Saturday, July 23, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
City crews scrambling to turn off nearly 2,000 fire hydrants opened by residents seeking relief from the heat required a police escort to protect them from gang members and others upset with the shutdowns.
CBS 2 found one city crew being followed by a police sport-utility vehicle as they crisscrossed neighborhoods, turning off a total of 1,921 hydrants.
“It’s a waste of water, and I have to do my job,” said 20-year Water Management Department veteran Richard Quarles.
Quarles was surrounded by a group of people who dumped water on him as he shut down a hydrant that was spewing hundreds of gallons of water into the street.
“The gangbangers and the neighborhood tough guys, they could crack you over the head with something. Anything can happen,” he said.
Suspects have stolen more than 100 storm drain grates in Sacramento in recent weeks, forcing city workers to rush to replace them and leaving residents at a loss to explain by the culprits’ motives.More.....
Natomas residents said at least 13 of the cast iron grates went missing overnight Wednesday, and city workers have begun welding the replacement grates in place.
The covers cost about $63 each to replace, but it is unlikely that thieves snatched the metal to sell for scrap. Although prices for recycled copper have jumped to about $3.25 a pound, cast iron can only sell for about a penny if you can find a recycler willing to pay for it.
At least one cover disappears a night, according to city officials, but suspects take as many as 15 in other nights.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
The retirees came from near and far, gathering in a muggy auditorium here to listen to an urgent pitch: give back a big chunk of your pension or risk losing it all.More......
This city of 19,000 is broke and headed for bankruptcy, partly because it has promised retired police and firefighters millions of dollars in pensions and benefits that it cannot begin to afford.
And so Robert G. Flanders Jr., a state-appointed receiver who is trying to right the city’s finances, found himself on the stage at Central Falls High School on Tuesday, asking retirees to help solve “a horrible dilemma” by giving up a significant part of what they had always assumed was untouchable income.
“No one blames any of you for this situation,” Mr. Flanders told the retirees, many of whom appeared well into their 70s and 80s. “We understand, believe me, that we are asking for great unanticipated sacrifices. But there is simply no money in the city to continue on the current path.”
By way of warning, he pointed to the example of Prichard, Ala., which stopped paying retirees in 2009 after its pension fund ran out of money.
A new analysis of federal workforce data shows that even in this time of retrenchment and downsizing, the federal government almost never fires or lays off workers. In fact, in many corners of the federal government, it is virtually impossible for an employee to be fired. "Federal employees' job security is so great that workers in many agencies are more likely to die of natural causes than get laid off or fired," writes USA Today, which conducted the survey.
The paper reports the federal government "fired 0.55% of its workers in the budget year that ended September 30." For the private sector, the figure is about 3%. And for some parts of the federal workforce, the firing rate was even lower. For example, USA Today found that federal workers in the Washington, DC area have 99.74% job security. Some agencies, like the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, did not fire or lay off anyone in the last year.
And the federal government is not only not firing anyone; it's doing plenty of hiring. A look at federal job listings shows that the Internal Revenue Service is looking for a deputy executive director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, at a salary of up to $155,500 per year. The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs is looking for a Gender Issues Advisor, based in Iraq, at up to $155,500 per year. The Agency for International Development is looking for three Democracy Specialists, at up to $136,771 per year. And the Department of Housing and Urban Development is on a hiring spree for Equal Opportunity Specialists, at up to $65,371 per year, with openings in Hartford, Boston, Buffalo, New York City, Newark, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Baltimore, Miami, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Louisville, Birmingham, Jackson, Greensboro, Knoxville, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Dallas, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Omaha, St. Louis -- the list goes on and on.
For the past 6½ years, the $9 in union dues withheld from the biweekly paychecks of the roughly 800 members of Cincinnati Organized and Dedicated Employees sent more than $7,000 flowing every other week into the city employees’ union bank account.
At least, that’s what was supposed to happen.
What actually occurred, federal prosecutors alleged Wednesday, is that roughly one of every two dollars that City Hall deposited in CODE’s account eventually ended up in the pocket of its president, Diana Frey.
While I'm never surprised that union heads steal from their members (it's been a Teamster trademark for years), what caught my attention was this............
The sparse financial details listed in the indictment indicate that Frey allegedly took more than half of the biweekly dues paid since 2005 by CODE members, who include middle managers, professionals, technical employees and nurses.
Seriously? These people need union representation? So does the union negotiate how many coffee pots per employee are permitted? The inside office temperature can only reside between 68-72 degrees? Cube walls must be in excess of four feet?
It seems to me that unions should exist to represent those who cannot negotiate for themselves. But apparently, middle managers for the city need Cesar Chavez to represent them.
"We can give people all the information and advice in the world about healthy eating and exercise, but if parents can't buy the food they need to prepare those meals because their only options for groceries are the gas station or the local minimart, then all that is just talk," Mrs Obama said today.More....
Many US inner cities are "food deserts", or areas where shops selling healthful foods are rare or expensive, and residents, many of them poor, live on cheap processed meals and sugary drinks, which pile on the pounds while providing scant nutritional benefits.
Now Michelle let me ask you a question.
Let's say I'm looking to start a brand new supermarket inside these "food deserts" because I know that there is a tremendous opportunity there to make some money.
Does a law like this make it more or less likely for me to do that...............
The California Supreme Court revived a Los Angeles ordinance that protects grocery workers, ruling it didn't take over state or federal laws.
The ordinance, passed in 2005, required new owners to hire grocery stores' existing workforces, except managers, for at least 90 days after the ownership transfer before it was rejected by a lower court. It affected stores of at least 15,000 square feet.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
… as he (Obama) told Scott Pelley on CBS the other night, gran’ma gets it. That monthly Social Security check? Fuhgeddabouddit. “I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on Aug. 3 if we haven’t resolved this issue,” declared the president. “Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”
But hang on. I thought the Social Security checks came out of the “Social Security trust fund,” whose “trustees” assure us there’s currently $2.6 trillion in there. Which should be enough for the Aug. 3 check run, shouldn’t it? Golly, to listen to the president, you’d almost get the impression that, by the time you saw the padlock off the old Social Security lockbox, there’s nothing in there but a (stack of) yellowing IOUs.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
The attitude/ignorance seems to cross race, gender, age and geographical lines yet there seems to be an attitude of these drivers that they're the arbiters of appropriate speed and that you need not drive faster than they do.
That seems to be a liberal frame of reference kind of like saying "at some point haven't you made enough money".
I hate the beach. It's hot, it's dirty, it's crowded. During the week, one of my brother's friends noted the "scenery" at the beach; referring to the women.
What scenery? I didn't see one attractive person on the beach. Plus, isn't putting a navel ring on a bikini muffin top like putting sprinkles on a dog turd? No thanks.
Plus there isn't enough "scenery" to out weigh my hatred of the beach.
The Cincinnati Enquirer has a piece in the paper today titled "How can we help our city run better?"
Here's a start. QUIT ELECTING DEMOCRATS!!!!!!!
Seriously, Name any one of the top hundred worst run governments in this country and there will be one constant; They're all run by democrats.
How hard is it to recognize that.
If you are not familiar with the city of Cincinnati government let me offer a brief history lesson. Until roughly 15 years ago, the city's council usually had enough republican and charterite (a third party in the city) representation to block most of the stupid shit that seems to ooze into all democratically run cities.
Unfortunately, most conservatives tired of plugging holes in the dike so they just left.
Now the city is FDBD (For Democrats By Democrats) and we can see the results.
For some reason, I will never understand why republicans don't educate the public with democratic destruction of economies.
All they need to do is say "if you want your country to look like Detroit...........vote democratic".
While I'm assuming that many conservatives are afraid of being accused of racism simply pick another example. "Want your country to look like Illinois or California......... Vote Democratic" or how about "Democrats......... turning the world into Greece, one country at a time."
President Obama, where's the plan? Seriously, isn't a leader supposed to present a plan and use that as the basis for compromise?
But then again, it's a lot harder than voting present.