Thursday, June 30, 2005

Slain Teen Was Trying to Give up, Witness Says

By Rebecca Noland
June 29, 2005

Springfield --" a man who says he saw a Springfield police officer shoot an unarmed 15-year-old boy early Sunday morning said it looked as if the teen was trying to surrender when the fatal shot was fired. His statement contradicts the official version of what transpired."
"Dustin Allen Reinke, 26, of Springfield [who police had arrested late Saturday night at a party in Springfield on a warrant for second-degree assault] was in the back seat of a police car parked about 50 feet from the spot where Jason Michael Porter was killed by a Springfield police officer early Sunday morning.

"Reinke, who was under arrest at the time, said that Porter had opened the driver's side door and swung his feet out of the pickup, when the officer ran up and shot the boy in the head, killing him,according to an attorney who spoke with Reinke on Tuesday."
"in a news conference Monday, Lane County District Attorney Doug Harcleroad said the driver's side door was closed and the window rolled up with the officer approached the stolen Dodge pickup truck.the officer looked in the window and saw what he thought was a gun in Porter's hand, Harcleroad said. He fired once through the window glass, and the bullet hit the boy in the jaw, Harcleroad said. Porter died at the scene. He had no gun."

" The other officer was following a stolen silver Dodge pickup whose driver had refused to pull over. The pickup did not accelerate, but turned into a Weyerhaeuser Co. parking lot and circled around, police said. It stopped on some elevated railroad tracks that run through the property. The pursuing officer stopped nearby and got out of his car.

The car Reinke was in stopped near the entrance of the parking lot. Wheatley said Reinke told him he had a clear view of the scene. Reinke said Jason Porter opened the driver's side door, his feet came out and the officer came up and shot him, Wheatley said."

"Jason Porter's mother, Kelly Porter, said Tuesday that her son had arrived at her home with the stolen pickup the night he was shot. She said he told her that he and a buddy bought it together. She said she knew her son was driving without a license."

I agree it is tragic when a 15-year-old loses his life.
in a related story, the parents of the 15 year old are thinking about suing the Springfield Police Department.

In a situation, when the police are following and trying to pull over a reported stolen vehicle, tensions are high.
the officer does not know that it is just a kid out for joy ride, or what to expect when he stops the vehicle.

when the driver, refused to pull over and then later pulled into a parking lot and "circled around" to the police officers point of view, that was a sign of an aggressive act. that when the officer went to the car and the boys suddenly raised his hand, the officer fired.

again, it is very sad that what could easily be thought of as a child's prank, ended in a fatality, however, I believe that the Springfield police acted accordingly to this situation the best that they could considering the circumstances.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Government Condemns U.S. Civilian Patrols

Los Angeles Times
June 25, 2005

" Mexico condemned US civilian groups that patrol the Mexican border to stop the illegal immigrants, calling them a racist and unacceptable."

they are condemning us for depending our own borders? And that is unacceptable?

"... the shows of racism and xenophobia... particularly on the border between Mexico and Arizona, and which threatened to extend to other US states, are unacceptable,"
Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Emesto Derbez said at a conference on immigration in El Paso.

This would be like a burglar being upset at a home owner for locking their front door and buying a pit bull.

As I-Tax nears its end, questions still linger

Portland Business Journal
June 24, 2005
Andy Giegerich

"Schools activists are scurrying for alternatives before the December 31 expiration of the temporary Multnomah County income tax"

"... talk of a regionwide ballot initiative that would provide funds to about 30 public school districts in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties; organizing by the Portland business alliance to determine businesses roles in fighting the school crisis; calls from citizen activist for businesses to take a larger role during the next round of school funding effort; and the exploration of other funding measures -- including reinstating a soon to expire property tax levy."

here is a formula that I learned in school...

I=Pi (the value of pi has no end)
or roughly translated, Money pit.

just out of curiosity...

okay, please correct me if I'm incorrect in any of the following.

If you come to this country illegally, it is a felony.

This makes you a felon.

if I hire or support you, and I am aiding and abetting a felon which in turn I could be put in jail.

It is not correct?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

4,618 Square miles. 103,452 people. 5 deputies

The RegisterGuard
June 26, 2005
by Bill Bishop

There is frustration over calls for help that go unanswered as five patrol cars try to cover 4,618 square miles of unincorporated Lane County, where 103,452 people live. In total, the sheriff has 18 patrol deputies providing 24-hour coverage, seven days a week.

The county's overcrowded jail is the most high-profile image of the sheriff's budget shortfall. But it's not the only one.

She is not surprised that Eugene officials recently shot down a proposal by the county to consider forming a new taxing district to boost public safety in rural areas

The number of serious crimes reported increased 17 percent in the first four months of this year, compared with the same period last year. The number of calls for less serious problems rose 12 percent in the same period, according to sheriff's department data.

Those are only the crimes that get reported, says Sgt. Cliff Harrold, who supervises Jacobson and three other deputies on the swing shift on this particular Thursday. Criminals are well aware of how thin the patrols are. Citizens seem to be catching on, too, he says.
Like Duh! especially when you keep "advertising on the front page of the paper" that you're shorthanded and do not respond to calls.

Relying on backup

It's dangerous for a deputy to go solo to high-risk calls.

The county's hills, valleys and forests create pockets where cell phones and radios don't work. Not far from Eugene, on the far side of Bailey Hill, is one such place. A deputy there cannot summon help if a call goes bad.

and again you are advertising this because?

Burnout among deputies is a growing concern for department commanders, says Sgt. Cliff Harrold.

I really feel for the sheriff's department and city police about lack of funding and manpower, but we are not given the complete picture.

The sheriff's department for example is more than just five officers. There are another five officers that are part of the "traffic team" which are self-funded. The primary job at the traffic team is to patrol the freeways. They are not allowed to respond to general law enforcement calls unless it is a life or death issue or providing backup. The rare exceptions are if they happen to be in an area of high priority and there are no other officers to respond in the area.

(Source: city and sheriff's officers that I have personally asked this question of)

It is also in my opinion and extremely "stupid" to advertise that you do not have coverage. Example, the DA giving out a list of what they will not respond to opens the doors for criminals and gives them free range.

I understand that the whole purpose of articles like this is for public support and sympathy.

However, you must also remember that public perception and support is very important to law enforcement.

When you hear that a department does not have enough personnel to protect its citizens, but yet you see a patrol car sitting on the side of the freeway with its lights off for hours running radar, the public does not understand that that is a traffic team member not a patrol officer. We do not see that they are two different things.

In the Eugene/Springfield, area crime is on the rise. What makes the news? A sting over prostitution. Obviously more important than tracking down the people that you stole my car or broke into my house. Oh, I forgot, you don't have the personnel to patrol.

Personally, I think it comes down to getting value for money and priority.

Although I do agree that keeping prostitution out of our neighborhoods helps makes our neighborhoods safer, I think that I would rather hear that they just busted a meth lab or a car theft ring over arresting nine Johns trying to get a little "whoopie" tonight.

To be fair, I cannot emphasize the point enough that it is not the officers fault. Most are excellent at what they do and they do the best that they can with what they have to work with, they just got stuck in the middle of the funding battle.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Idaho Lawmaker Leads Drive for Alternative National Currency

KCBI channel 2 Boise Idaho
June 24, 2005
by Scott Logan

Boise-A state lawmaker from northern Idaho is helping lead the local charge for a new currency in the United States.

Representative Phil Hart is pushing what's called Liberty Dollars, supposedly backed by gold and silver bullion, stored at a warehouse in northern Idaho.

Proponents claim their legal, but state officials aren't so sure.

Hart says his role is to get people and merchants to accept the new currency. "When you go out to eat, you can choose restaurant A or B," he said. "And if you want to trade and do commerce with the Liberty Dollar, it's out there for people to do that."

Idaho currency
proposed Liberty Dollar
Mexican currency
just out of curiosity, I did a Google search for "Mexico currency" which returned the above result.

Even if they are dissimilar, the last time we changed our currency to make it more difficult to "counterfeit", it was within hours when the first counterfeit version came out. Now we have so much ever changing variety of currency, is getting difficult to recognize what is real money and what is fake.

Shana Alexander 79 dies

June 25, 2005
the New York Times
by Margalit Fox

For those you that are old enough to remember the earlier 60 minutes shows, one segment of the show was point/counterpoint with Shana Alexander and James Kilpatrick.

What made this segment of 60 minutes very entertaining and interesting is that the two would debate and constantly spar off each other about issues in the news.

Saturday Night Live later picked up the gag with Dan Aykroyd playing James Kilpatrick and Jane Curtin was Shana Alexander.

CBS dropped the show in 1979.

Shana Alexander died of cancer on Thursday in Hermosa Beach California. She was 79

This was back in the days when television was actually entertaining. Back when we had good journalist and investigative reporters.

How times have changed.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Supreme Court rules cities may seize homes

Chicago Tribune
By Hope Yen
Associated Press writer
June 23, 2005

WASHINGTON -- A divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses against their will for private development in a decision anxiously awaited in communities where economic growth often is at war with individual property rights.

The 5-4 ruling -- assailed by dissenting Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as handing "disproportionate influence and power" to the well-heeled in America -- was a defeat for Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They had argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.

As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue.

at the moment, just providing a link to the article.

the representatives that voted in favor of this bill, I wonder how they will feel if it is their property that is targeted for shopping center.

teen charged with vomiting on teacher

June 23, 2005
by Mallory Simon
Court TV

a Kansas high school student has been charged with battery against his teacher using an unusual weapon -- vomit.

Matthew Haefele, a 17-year-old student at Olathe Northwest High School in Olathe, Kan., is due in court on July 1 to face a misdemeanor battery charge for throwing up on his Spanish teacher.

According to state law, offenders can be charged with battery if the action "intentionally [causes] physical contact with another person when done in a rude, insulting or angry manner."

Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison claims Haefele threw up on David Young as part of an end-of-semester prank, and said he hopes to teach the teen that his actions were no laughing matter.

what can I say?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

State proposes removing cultural competency ban

Statesman Journal

June 22, 2005

a banning of "cultural competency" training in Oregon schools have been removed from the House budget bill.

Yet for bids the department from spending money on developing cultural dependency standards or programs.

The department and the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission had said earlier that nothing barred them from pursuing the idea on their own after Flores (Rep. Linda Flores chairwoman of the House education committee) stopped a competency bill from progressing in the Legislature.
Under Flores' interpretation, the bill would have required educators to advocate for equity and social justice in order to teach.

She said she doesn't oppose those concepts but doesn't want the government telling teachers what to think.

Supporters of the idea say that their motivation comes nowhere close to that. They see cultural-competency training as a way to better educate teachers about poor and minority students in order to raise their achievement.

maybe because there is confusion on which culture to teach?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

high-speed bus system between Eugene and Springfield, why?

June 20,2005
story by Matt Cooper

Work on a bus rapid-transit link between Eugene and Springfield is speeding up.

Construction on the next part of the high-speed bus route starts early this week along 11th Avenue, as Lane Transit District pushes toward a planned opening of the $18 million system in fall 2006.

Officials hope the system will be fast enough to reduce reliance on cars and ease traffic congestion. The concept, popular around the country, involves state-of-the-art buses in dedicated lanes, similar to light rail.

The district is five years behind schedule with the first leg of Eugene-Springfield's system - called "EmX" and pronounced "M-X" - but LTD said everything's a go to open the inaugural four-mile route next year between downtown Eugene and downtown Springfield.

The district hopes to boost ridership on the route by 10 percent initially.

First of all it should be noted that they are five years behind schedule.

Secondly, I still fail to understand why we need such a service.

Thirdly, LTD's own statistics shows a decrease in ridership.

so what they're going to do is buy several brand new hybrid buses to run back and forth between the 4 mile stretch of Eugene and Springfield to start with.

They are going to tear up the roads during the stretch, get rid of the grassy center mediums to create a dedicated bus lane with traffic lights designed to give the buses the right away. This will in turn, cause traffic to back up along this route.

Now in the meantime, a lot at the roads in the downtown area are so bad that you almost need a four-wheel-drive vehicle just to drive them.

LTD has built numerous bus stations throughout Eugene and Springfield, in their fleet of buses are three different sizes, a small shuttle bus called the Breeze, a regular 44 passenger bus, and the large accordion bus.

It would seem to me to make more sense to take the smaller Breeze buses, equipping them so they can have better priority over the traffic lights (and cheaper) and have them shuttle between Eugene in Springfield and surrounding areas.

I will at least give kudos to the LTD planners that these new buses that they are thinking about using will run on rubber tires and are not restricted to a rail system like the Max system in Portland.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Money pit

Bend Chamber of Commerce leaders criticized a proposed business-license fee, which was included in the $181 million budget the city council adopted Wednesday night.Link

Among the fees approved by councilors were:

• An average 50 percent increase for development plan reviews. For example, the design review fee for new construction will go from $850 to $1,275.

• A nearly 8 percent jump in water rates. For example, a standard residential hookup will increase 70 cents a month to $9.73 for base service.

• A 6 percent increase in sewer rates, from $21.77 to $23.08 for residential homes.

• A 44 percent increase for ambulance services. For example, the fee for ambulance transport with basic life-support services will go from $530 to $765.

• A $30 increase for burial plots at the Bend Cemetery, from $605 to $635. The city is also raising annual maintenance fees by 10-percent fee from $81 to $89 annually.

the fee is expected to raise about $300,000 for the city of Bend.

City officials have said the fee will allow the city to keep better tabs on who is doing business in the city.

keep better tabs? Does that mean that they are not doing it now?

One of the things that really annoys me is that government somehow thinks that we are wealthy and it is their sole job to take money from us.

When they talk about "increasing revenue" they forget that their increase in revenue, is a decrease in our savings.

and again I have to make this point. Do not keep telling us that you do not have the money or the budget to operate with out proof.

Show us a balance sheet and that you have a means of checks and balances to better manage our money that you are asking for.

As employees, we just can not go to our bosses and say "hey boss, I don't have enough money and I want a raise", so why is it that government who is supposed to be our employees, keeps coming to us and demanding more money.

I have to agree with Jesse Ventura when he was governor about a federal sales tax.

He said that under the current tax system, the government gets your money before you get your money, if you eliminate the income tax and go strictly to a federal sales tax, Then you get your money before the government gets your money and the government is therefore more in tune with the actual economy.

I think it's an excellent idea.

defending illegal aliens,

I wish somebody could explain it to me

I am a college student, and every time I bring up the issue about illegal aliens, they make me out to be the bad guy with the problem.

Here's the part that I don't get...

they are here illegally
they are not supposed to be here
they are breaking our laws
we are changing our policies to accommodate the lawbreakers
we are having to learn a different language because we are being overpopulated by people that do not belong here.
preference for jobs are now given to Spanish or bilingual speaking people including the State of Oregon giving a 5% bonus if you speak Spanish.

I'm being serious and sincere when I ask if somebody could please explain to me why I should be okay with this.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Spanish being encouraged in 4J school?

as I was reading other blogs, and following up on stories, I came across this little posting from the 4J school district....Link
"...Seventh grade is an optimal year for beginning foreign language study in that two years of middle level French or Spanish is equivalent to a full year at the high school level...."

Perhaps I am reading this wrong, or I am being overly sensitive to the issue because of the way that we seem to be bending over backwards for illegals and trying to accommodate them instead of them accommodating us language wise.

Perhaps, if I want to learn Spanish, I should do it because "I want to", not because "I have" to to survive in my own English-speaking country.

on the other hand, perhaps times are changing and it is time to adjust.
That is what gets confusing anymore, not knowing what is right or wrong regarding this issue.

Governor Wants a Draft

Kulongoski: it's time to talk about the draft

Governor Ted Kulongoski broke ground Tuesday on a project to build a new state war memorial to Oregon soldiers and said afterward that the nation needs a debate on whether to restore the military draft.

A total of 44 soldiers from Oregon or with strong ties to the state have died in the military operations in the two countries.

Twelve of fallen soldiers were in the Oregon National Guard.
Kulongoski, a US Marine veteran himself, said in the interview he feels that regular forces in the guard are being stretched thin as an enlistment rates decline.

"They're rotating National Guard kids in and out of the country's 2, 3, 4 times," he said. "We need a debate about the draft. That's the issue."

I agree that it is very sad that Oregon forces are being rotated in and out of country so many times, and thank you to our forces for being there for us.

Somehow, I just do not feel that it is appropriate for king Ted tax-and-gouge-me to talk about reintroducing the draft at a war memorial for our fallen soldiers.

That's my opinion, and I could be wrong.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

close schools to build new schools?

the Oregonian --Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Months after voting to close five schools, Portland's school board has opened the door to building two new ones.

I am curious if they knew at this time that they were going to open new schools and forgot to tell us

Board members have told Superintendent Vicki Phillips to plan for a new school on a 31/2-acre portion of the former Whitaker Middle School site on Northeast 39th Avenue. The school closed in 2001 because of mold problems, and students were relocated. Next year, most Whitaker students will attend Tubman Middle School. Officials haven't decided what type of school to build but say the new building would replace one or more existing schools.

The school board also has approved the concept of building a school at New Columbia, an 852-unit, mixed-income development under construction in North Portland. The 500-student school will be built if financing from several public and private sources is secured by September. The school would open in September 2006 and would replace Ball Elementary, a 228-student school built in 1948.

Some parents call the plans irrational given the district's overall declining enrollment and recent school closures. And Lolenzo Poe, a school board member whose term expires at the end of this month, voted against the New Columbia project because he said Whitaker deserved to be replaced first.

"A lot of people are under the mistaken impression that somehow the board closed schools to save money to turn around and pump money into new schools," said Doug Morgan, a school board member. "None of the money from closing schools is going into the new schools."

"under the mistaken impression that somehow schools were closed to save money"... I do not understand how they would think that we would get that impression.
All that you hear any more is that schools have to cut back expenses, layoff teachers and put more students into classes in addition, they say that they cannot afford to maintain the buildings.

Gee, Mr. Morgan, I guess that the public just assumed

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

what if Michael Jackson was found guilty...

I was just wondering, if Michael Jackson was found guilty, would the jurors be in fear of their life from extremists Michael Jackson fans? And could that have been a basis for their decision?

In a high profile case like this, how well are the jurors protected?

just curious.

Two Year-old Crosswalk Law Doesn't Work!
No kidding!

the Oregonian
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Jeff Mapes

SALEM -- it looks as if there will be a quick end to confusion on how much leeway motorists must give pedestrians at controlled intersections.

Key Oregon Legislature's say they have abandoned efforts to rewrite a two-year-old law that went further than intended in providing a zone of protection in crosswalks.

"Were going to have a situation where it's going to be very, very confusing, and were going to have a lot of misinterpretations of the law," said Troy Costales, manager of the safety division for the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Before the 2003 law, motorists turning at an intersection with stoplights or stop signs were required to simply yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. then the legislator sought to beefed-up pedestrian protection by requiring motorist to stop until walkers had cleared the lane of travel, plus one Additional Lane..

However, the wording of the "stopping stay stopped" law unintentionally require that motorists wait until pedestrians reach the sidewalk.

unintentionally required motorists!! I remember when Eugene police made the news because they set up a sting two years ago at six and Blair to make people aware of the new law.

The Register Guard June 17, 2003

The next human rights cause reaches Oregon today when Gov. Ted Kulongoski picks up a ceremonial pen and signs a deceptively minor traffic revision into law.

The new law says that drivers crossing intersections without signals must stop and remain stopped until pedestrians crossing the street clear the driver's lane and the adjacent lane.

No more rolling pauses followed by flooring the gas pedal the instant a walker clears the fender; no more ambiguous yield-for-pedestrian laws.

and they wonder where we got the "misconception"?

The article continues --

Mark Landauer, Portland city lobbyist, said that as a result, mortars downtown often found they couldn't get through an intersection before the light changed -- if they follow the law, that is. Mark said that the law also slowed buses and caused uncertainty among police about when to ticket motorists for encroaching on pedestrians.

No Kidding, I figured that one out as soon as the law was introduced.

it would have required motorists to stop and wait until pedestrians had cleared the lane of vehicle travel, plus an additional 6 feet. The Willamette Pedestrian Coalition (figures that there is such a thing)agreed to accept a compromise in hopes it would lead to more education and enforcement of the laws protecting people on foot.

on the surface, I can definitely understand why they came up with a new law. However, it makes just as much sense as when one small city believed that they were being visited by UFOs and decided to solve the problem by passing a law stating that UFOs could not land in their town.

Monday, June 13, 2005

of course, everybody's talking about Michael Jackson...

June 13, 2005, Michael Jackson was found not guilty on all 10 federal counts.

My advice to Michael Jackson, close Neverland.

More efforts to get you out of the car

GPS per mile tax, variable-rate toll systems whose fees can change within minutes, increased gas tax, highways combined with traditional free lanes and toll lanes to give drivers and options when traffic gets bad.

As more and more cars jammed freeways, getting from point A to point B. is becoming a more difficult thing to do these days.

One suggested solution is to add tolls to our Oregon freeways.

Portland, Oregon, an article from KATU, comments about toll booths catching on and being the future of the highways.

Of course, seeing an opportunity to make more money, there is electronic pay, "Some days the toll is $2.00 and some days as much as $8 depending on how heavy the traffic is."

"It is, at once, a solution for easing the worst traffic congestion, raising money for cash starved roads and a big step towards bringing more time-saving, high technology tools to daily driving."

"Traffic managers, rely on a network of cameras and sensors, monitor conditions can change the toll as quickly as every six minutes. Electronic bulletin boards flashed the latest price before the entryway. (are we given the opportunity to turn around?)
Credit card size radio transponders on the windshield automatically bills a driver's credit cards."

"... to support mass transit, commuters buses are guaranteed access to the lanes, and toll revenues help support operations on the island breeze, the bus rapid transit system that carries 554 paying passengers a day"

Senator Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro, commented in the Statesman Journal , that he envisions the two states public-private partnerships working together to benefit another of the biggest traffic jams in the state: the I-5 bridge between Portland and Vancouver Washington.

"in addition to more and better roads and smart transportation, the state will start a pilot program this year to test drive a tax by the mile system. Passenger vehicles in Oregon are currently taxed about $.24 per gallon, but fuel-efficient cars have translated into less money for roads."

Okay, I know that I am not a traffic engineer, I have worked with engineers in the past and sometimes they overlook the simplest solution.

For example, in Eugene/Springfield area, they are tearing up the four-lane I-105 to make it a 6 Lane highway. The problem I see with widening of freeway, is you just make a wider space for more cars to pile up on. It is similar to having a 5/8 in diameter garden hose with a half inch in diameter nozzle, you'll have a lot of water in a hose, but not very much coming out of the end.

Okay, here is the problem as I see it.

Traffic seems to flow just fine until you come to an offramp, where you have several things starting to happen.

1) People start to unnecessarily slow down to 45 miles an hour about a half-mile before reaching the offramp when there is no traffic in front of them, thus causing traffic to backup.

2) The offramp themselves are not long enough to act as a buffer to the first traffic control device encountered. Again traffic backs up.

3) People driving 45 miles an hour in the left lane causes congestion. In this area, I see a lot of that.

4) Traffic lights are more intelligent now, timing could be changed to accommodate higher traffic on the freeway offramp's during peak times. Of course, the other arteries will have to be taken into consideration as well.

I guess what I'm thinking is that there is a lot of solutions that are available without throwing a lot of money at it and costing us the drivers more money to encourage us to get out of our cars.

so would it be better to make longer more intelligent on/off offramp's?

Several years back in the local newspaper, there was an article where the city of Eugene had so many years to reduce vehicle traffic and get more people into mass transit or risk losing a large portion of their highway funds.

I have lived in Oregon the majority of my life, and I love it here, but it is getting to the point that I cannot afford to stay here.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

lawmakers debate over drivers license

Gabriela Rico-- statesman Journal -- June 11, 2005

"A driver's license and no longer is about skillful parallel parking or knowing the speed limit.

every time an Oregonian boards an airplane or enters a federal building, they flash the card as proof of who they are -- proof that they've been "cleared" by the authorities."

"state lawmakers want to add security features to the driver's license and state identification cards and deny them to illegal immigrants. They are considering two bills that would address those changes."

the Federal real ID act, which goes into effect in 2008, will supersede any state laws regarding driving and identification cards.
(and Oregon is worrying about this because?)

the real ID act would require proof of citizenship to apply for or renew a driver's license.

Senate Bill 640 proposes that fingerprints be taken when obtaining a license or state identification card it would also allow the use of facial recognition technology.

(tell me about big Brother again)

House Bill 2608 would limit who can get a driver's license or state ID card by requiring proof of citizenship or legal residence.

"Representative George Gilman, chairman of the House transportation committee, said he doesn't foresee either bill passing.

"We won't do anything this term... it's a feeling I have. Things are pretty contentious here"

Legislatures may decide to wait for guidelines from the federal legislation, Gilman said."

OK, let me see if I understand this. The federal law supersedes state law with the exception that states are allowed to append the federal law, however, Oregon legislatures are going to spend a lot of time coming up with new laws that will be invalidated when the new federal laws go into effect and they are not sure what the federal regulations will be. have I got it right so far?

instead of enacting new laws, why not enforce the ones that are currently on the books. for example, starting approximately 1995, when you are hired, you have to show proof that you have the "right" to work in the United States by showing a birth certificate or other identification approved by the federal government and in turn, your employer has to fill out an immigration I-9 form and keep on file for inspection.

in addition,Every quarter, the employer must file quarterly reports to the government which lists the employees name and Social Security number.

I have come to the conclusion that we are no longer a "representative" of government, we have a government that now runs on what ever the "popular" issue is at the time and ignores the real issues.

High taxes and unemployment being one of them.

Friday, June 10, 2005

new parking meters, convenience or a ripoff?

March 21, 2005

New UO parking meters stand up for convenience

Parking for five hours on the University of Oregon campus: $3.75.

Not having to lug around quarters to pay for it: Priceless.
(sounds familiar)
Buying time on parts of the UO campus will be a less weighty matter come spring term, when drivers will be able to leave their stacks of quarters at home and pay with a credit card.

Sure, there are a few extra steps involved. You have to walk to the meter, buy your time and then go back to the car and put your receipt on the dashboard.

But it eliminates the two biggest complaints Stamm hears about parking: broken or jammed meters and having to carry around a couple of pounds of quarters.
I would think that one of the biggest complaints is standing in the rain and feeding meters, now you have to walk half a block, get your ticket, walk back to your car and place to take it on your windshield.

And broken meters aren't a problem, because if one doesn't work, a person only has to walk up the street to the next kiosk and plug in the plastic to get their window stub.
it is not a problem? The next meter is a block and a half down the street one way, and that is assuming that you know the area enough to know that there is another meter a block and a half away, and did we forget about the rain again.

The university is paying about $100,000 for the seven-meter system, but that includes the computer system that monitors them and all the training and installation.

These things are kind of sneaky in one way: Unlike the old meters, any time remaining on a new meter is lost when you put more money into it. That means if you still have 20 minutes on a meter and pay for another hour, you only get the hour and not an hour and 20 minutes.
wait a minute, isn't that stealing?

If that makes you unhappy, maybe you'll like one of the meter's nice features. They're green. Actually UO green and yellow, but also green in that they run on batteries charged by a solar panel.

oh yes, make me want a greater distance, cost me more money and time but that is okay because the meters are actually solar powered and the school colors. That makes everything better.

I think the only "convenience" that these meters offer is for the parking patrol people.while I will agree that caring a bunch of quarters is inconvenient, I would rather feed the meter that is "next to my car" when it is raining.

here is an idea if they are willing to spend $100,000 on parking meters, continue with the idea of having a central meter and still have "parking meter heads" at the individual parking locations with each location having its own ID number.

The central meter will keep track of the time at each location, and I do not have to return to the car to add more time or to place a ticket on my windshield. Everything can be done at the central meter.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

More surprises at the pump! If odot has its way you may never know how much you're going to pay.

Odot is currently experimenting with GPS systems to be installed in your car to
calculate a road user fee that will be collected at the pump. Currently, the
system is designed to only charge a per mile tax within the State of Oregon.
Traveling outside of the state, you will not pay an Oregon road tax... however,
if other states adopt this technology, traveling to another state you will be
paying their per mile road fee.

Oregon's Road User Fee Task Force was established through HB 3946 and passed by
the Oregon legislative assembly in 2001 along with a grant from the federal
government to test the GPS systems in vehicles to track the miles driven with
in the state Oregon.

Under the proposed law, all new vehicles will be required to have the GPS
systems installed an older vehicles will be retrofitted.

The big picture... because this system will know exactly where you are, what
time you drive, it is also capable of variable rates for driving the same

These are the facts... the amount of money you pay per mile will vary depending
literally on where and when you drive and could change hourly. For example
driving during business hours will cost more than driving in the evening.
Rates proposed are anywhere between 1.25 cents to .10 per mile.

It is also very likely you could pass through in area that is called a
congestion pricing area. Odot defines this as "area pricing" where it will
cost more to travel on these roads based on use of the road and the time.

Some areas will have an additional use its tax called "facility pricing", this
is where designated roadways will have a special rate added to the mileage rate
fee during congested periods of the day.

Road tolls... with the GPS system in place, you can arrive at the pump and find
that bridge you just traveled on had a toll placed on it as well.

What about fuel-efficient vehicles? To quote odot, " from the transportation
revenue perspective, fuel-efficient vehicles produce less fuel tax revenue
because they consume less gasoline. "
Does this mean that fuel-efficient vehicles will pay more per mile? Owners of
hybrid cars found out the hard way.

Personally, I see too many flaws in the system at least from a taxpayer point
of view and this is another way for free access to our already struggling bank

I recommend that we put a stop to this before it gets started.

If you don't believe me, check out odot's web site at...

oh yes, and think about what the insurance industry will do with the information.

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stay tuned, I'm sure that I'm going to be posting some interesting commentary.