Sunday, July 31, 2005

Upcoming Rally for Obeying the Law

(definition: aiding and abetting is a law term implying one who instigates, encourages or assists another to commit an offence. Wikipedia

Springfield Oregon, August 6, 2005
a rally is planned at the Springfield library at 10 a.m.

We know Terrorist's are flying to Mexico or Central America and are coming to America via our open border! Yet, our state still allows the Mexican Consulate to travel and hand out their version of PHOTO ID to illegal aliens, helping BAD GUYS hide from watch lists! The Matricula Consular card.

We can stop this! On August 6th at the Springfield Library @ 10 am, we will conduct a HUGE PROTEST and are requesting that DHS/ICE be there and pre-screen applicants!

Why are State employees at these events, helping illegal aliens, get a job, and a license and a place to live and to VOTE? That is against Federal law!! also known as aiding and abetting which is also punishable by law
for more information, click on the following link. Open Letter to Rep. Jeff Kropf

I think that Daniel from summed it up quite clearly, "You would think that no rally for obeying the law would be necessary but with all the apologists for illegal aliens, including our presidente, it is."

I understand that corporations see huge dollars by catering to the illegal immigrants, but we have to stop for a minute, step back and look at the big picture here.

#1, they are here illegally!
#2, they are not supposed to be here!
#3, we are bending over backwards to cater to these people, and sacrificing our own culture and ways as a result.
#4, WE have to learn a second language to get a job in our own country.
#5, WE are demonstrating to the world that our laws mean nothing.

please do not get me wrong, I do understand that most are here for the opportunities that America has however to offer, however,by coming here illegally, they are cheating the system and undermining the people who worked to be here legally.

perhaps one majorly overlooked consequence about people be here illegally is the way people are starting to perceive and treat the people who are here legally.
An Hispanic woman in my class commented, "I get tired of people looking at me like I am garbage." I was shocked but yet not surprised by her comment.

history has proven that perception's can get out of control, and this is exactly where it is going if we do not stop it now by enforcing our own laws.

do you remember the Japanese concentration camps and the perception of the Japanese people that were here legally? It was terrible.

what good does it do to have a homeland security department causing more inconvenience for the citizens of the United States, when our borders are open for anybody who wishes to come through them and then once here we do nothing about it except welcome them with open arms.

I figure we have two choices, #1) we tighten up our borders and make our own government follow the federal laws or #2) we just give up.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Oregon Anti-Meth Bill Aimed at Cold Meds

The Washington Post
By Brad Cain

SALEM, Ore. -- The Senate on Saturday approved a plan to make Oregon the first state in the nation to require a prescription for many cold and allergy medicines, an attempt by lawmakers to shut down methamphetamine labs.
The Senate voted 26-4 to approve the measure, which now returns to the House. Soon the bill is expected to reach the desk of Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who supports it.surprise
The bill was endorsed despite complaints that it would unfairly burden law-abiding citizens who cannot afford doctor visits.
"It's a no-brainer," said Republican Sen. Jeff Kruse. "If we can save one meth baby, it will be worth it."
Oregon is among more than a dozen states that restrict the sale of pseudoephedrine tablets to pharmacies and require that the medications be kept behind the counter.
Customers must also show identification.

it's two o'clock in the morning, I caught the flu. I would normally go to my local Albertson's or Safeway or some other 24-hour store and buy some cold medicine so that I could go to work the next day and keep functioning.

From my experience already from this new law, I was unable to obtain a normally over-the-counter drug that is available over-the-counter in every state in the union except Oregon.
in my opinion, this new law is very ridiculous not only in the fact that a small percentage of meth cooks use the ingredients from cold medicine (most get it from other sources in larger quantities) but it penalizes the law-abiding citizen in the process.

History has shown that by limiting a substance from the public is not the answer. Prohibition is an excellent example of this and the only thing it accomplished was making some people rich.

"If we can save one meth baby, it will be worth it." Although I agree with that statement, there is no proof that this law will accomplish that.

Take a minute to look at the larger issue and think about all the people that are going to work with a cold or flu and spread it to their coworkers simply because they could not get easy access to medication.

Think about the increased price for what is now a seven dollar cold remedy will cost after it becomes a prescription.

Also ask yourself, what is next? Are we going to outlaw Advil or Tylenol because it might have an ingredient that might be used in some sort of the illegal drug also?

American Cancer Society Relay for Life

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all the walkers, sponsors and volunteers who participated in this year's American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

I was there all day Saturday as a volunteer working the sound booth and it was really great to see all the support from the local community. They said that the number of walkers was higher this year than it has ever been before at this event.

in addition to the walkers,local celebrities including Eugene's mayor,Kitty Piercy was there to show their support and stories.

it was a wonderful event for such a great cause.

If you get an opportunity next year, come on out and lend your support.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Rent a deputy - literally

Willamette week online

By Angela Valdez

A national title loan company is paying the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office thousands of dollars to stake out a North Portland bar and grill known for its all-you-can-eat spaghetti specials, home-style breakfasts and dedicated keno players.
The owner of the Sweet Home Bar and Grill on North Lombard Street thinks the unusual arrangement is aimed at scuttling his business. Northwest Title Loan, a business that offers high-interest loans in exchange for vehicle titles, forks over $74 an hour, 45 hours a week, to keep an armed, off-duty officer in a cruiser outside the bar next door. The title company says it had concerns about disorderly, inebriated customers.

But bar owner Dennis Frank thinks his working-class clientele isn't a bunch of rowdy drunks, and that the company wants him to break his lease and leave the shared lot, opening up more room for parking.

Northwest Title told Portland police, who worked the detail for the first two weeks of July before the sheriff's office took over, that bar patrons were backing their cars into the building and intimidating customers. Asked to elaborate, the company's general counsel, Michael Reed, said the company's president observed money changing hands in the parking lot and thought he'd seen a drug deal. "What else could it be?" Reed says.
Although it may come as a surprise, both the Sheriff's Office and the Portland Police Bureau offer their cruisers and officers for contract jobs. Huh??The service usually is bought for short-term events, like film shoots, or by municipalities that lack their own patrols.

Let me see if I have this straight...
Now it is not uncommon for off-duty police officers to make extra money a security guards, etc.
It is also not uncommon for agencies to "rent" vehicles for movie productions and commercials.

However, I have never heard of an agency "loaning or providing" a patrol cruiser so that an off-duty officer can make money.

The other point, an official police cruiser is being used by an off-duty police officer, which means that that cruiser is off-duty and the public does not know that. All that the public sees is that a police officer hanging out in one location all day long and not doing their job.

Law enforcement agencies constantly complain about bad publicity, I think this is one good example of bad publicity and that bad use of public equipment.

a cold is inconvenience enough, curing it is a matter of timing

well thank you Governor Kulongoski,

I caught a cold,went to Safway at 6
buy the old reliable normally gets rid of it within a day, Theraflu.

it is only available through the pharmacy now thanks to the governor,
and the pharmacy does not open until 9 a.m.

and since I am going to have to get out of bed again to return to the
pharmacy to get what used to be an over-the-counter cold medicine, the meth cooks
are laughing at us right now for our foolishness and the impact that they
have on general society.

I am {cough} thinking of you {cough}Governor.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The New Lars Larson Web Site

have you checked it out yet? What do you think?

for those of you who have not heard yet, Lars Larson has a brand-new web

along with a new web site comes a new subscription service with membership ranging from $39.95 for a standard membership, $59.95 for a limited charter membership.

I will admit I did not spend too much time wandering around a web site, however my initial opinion is I found it to be hard to navigate and find anything useful.

I especially found it to be very limited for a nonmember as far as having a reason to visit compared to the old web site.

In a previous e-mail conversation with Lars Larson, he informed me that one of the reasons for a subscription service is because he has been personally shelling out thousands of dollars for the streaming audio of his show for his listeners. this is something that I really appreciated him doing. I don't think any other talkshow host would do that.

with that being the case, I can appreciate the subscription service, however, the web site was more than just streaming audio. It included what was happening on his show and around the northwest.

The new web site, and unless I've missed it, only has a snippet of that.

My first impression of the new site is that unless you're willing to send money, there's not much reason to go there.

what do you think?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

it's hard enough to be returning student (part two)

Robin's commentary

Well I went down in history as creating a confusing anomaly between the University of Oregon and Lane community college.

What had happened, in 1975 higher at 65 credits, which followed me when I went back to Lane in 2003. Starting my third year at Lane community college, I currently have over 120 credits.
I applied to the University of Oregon for the dual enrollment program, which allows me to take courses at both colleges. The U of O audited my transcripts and deducted 50 credits, which put me down to 70 credits.

The problem started when I inquired about my financial aid and they reviewed my account and discovered that was 70 credits, anything under 90 credits is hosted by Lane community college when in the dual enrollment program.

However, the U of O said that they would gladly handle my financial aid account once I reach the 90-credit market again which will be after fall term.

Lane community college had already revoked my financial aid offerings when they finally realized that I had financial aid at the University of Oregon.

To quote a letter received today, "your transfer credits that were deducted have caused a of confusion for both you and the offices involved... we can only fund students in this program if they have 90 or more accepted earned credits.”

Financial aid options have been plaguing me ever since I've been in school. The amount of time and stress involved in trying to straighten out the bureaucracy is unbelievable.

I am taking 11 credits the summer, nine credits is considered full-time for summer term and when you include the countless hours that I have spent between the two colleges trying to get things straightened out on top of my homework and assignments, it is ridiculous.

There has to be a better way.

Monday, July 25, 2005

not paying bills makes you a bad driver

Notice of pendency of class action against defendant
Farmers insurance Co. of Oregon


This is the beginning of a class-action suit letter that I got over the weekend.
When I read what this letter was about, I was jumping up and down with joy to see that somebody is finally taking on the insurance company on adjusting your insurance rate based on your credit score.

several years ago, when they started doing this, I inquired with my insurance company on the reason for this. They responded, "statistically speaking drivers who pay their bills on time are better drivers."

I fail to see how someone's budgetary habits have on their ability to drive.

(well honey, I have to learn how to drive more erratic now, I was late with the car payment.)

I hope that the plaintiffs win and set a precedent in this case because too many people have unauthorized access to your credit score.

Insurance companies are not the only people who can access your credit score without your permission. When you submit an employment application or when you go to the dentist, they access your credit information.

Especially nowadays with the increase in identity theft, I'm very glad to see this.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

It's Hard Enough Being a Returning Student

July 24, 2005
Robin's commentary

Feeling like the proverbial ping-pong ball!

2003 was a year for massive layoffs in Eugene/Springfield area myself included when the company that I had worked for eight years close its doors forever. Because the company moved out of the area, we were classified as dislocated workers and became eligible to return to school under a state program called SUD from the politically incorrect "unemployment office" which allowed us to return to school for retraining instead of looking for work.

Therefore, at the age of 48, I decided to take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to return to school and getting a degree, as did about two-dozen of my fellow coworkers.

Never in my life would anything have prepared me for the nightmare that was before me.

For the first three months, everything went beautifully. My advisor and I had laid out a plan that within two years I would be leaving with a dual degree in computers and networking however, that was all about to change.

30 years later, I am being penalized because I went to school at Lane community college and earned 65 credits, which LCC refers to as "the maximum credit limit".

They defined the maximum credit limit as the maximum lifetime credits allowed for a particular degree. For a two-year college like Lane, it is 150 "attempted" credits for a two-year program, [link] U of O 180 "attempted" credits for a four year program. the definition of "lifetime attempted credits" is any credit course that you have taken is counted whether you got a grade, past the course, or... the point is, it was "attempted"

So that included my credits from 1975, any credit course that I took at LCC for continuing education or at my job, if they had LCC come on-site and offer instruction, (I took two courses in Excel) all are counted as "attempted credits".

Due to a glitch in the computer system, (as told by the financial aid office) I received notification that I was approaching the maximum credit limit six months before I should have.

Not knowing what this is all about, I asked my advisor who automatically went in to automatic "file an appeal mode".

When you file an appeal, the adviser has to lay out a "plan" for your education for the next couple of years. Part of the rules for this, is you are only allowed to work towards one degree.

So, so much for my beautifully laid out dual degree plan. I asked my advisor later on why I was not informed ahead of time that that I will be running into this issue. He informed me that advisers are were instructed not to talk about this issue when planning a student schedule because it was impossible for them to keep up with all the financial aid requirements.

The appeal was decided in my favor and a new schedule is set forth. Thinking now that at least as far as financial aid is concerned; things should be fairly smooth from now on.


When I finally got over the fact that I'm going to be in huge debt over education, I decided why not continue on to a four-year college and get a bachelor's degree while I have the opportunity. Therefore, I registered at the University of Oregon and became what is called "dual enrollment". This allows me to finish the six remaining classes at LCC while at the same time start working on classes for my bachelor's requirement at both colleges.

For most folks, this is a great idea. However, I went to college at LCC in 1975.

Kudos to the University of Oregon when they decide to audit my transcripts and disallow 50 of my credits. YEAH! Good riddance.

That reduced my 120 credits down to 70 credits. I was excited in the fact that my credits were brought down to a normal student range and I could continue my education without any more complications.
The U of O reminded me that I will have to file another appeal in a terms because I will reach their maximum credit limit at 180 credits, however, at least this time they told me upfront to expected it.

Since I have been there before, I was not too concerned about it.

A new and unusual anomaly surfaced.

When a dual enrolled student reaches 90 credits, their financially aid is handled by the University of Oregon.

LCC says that I have 120 credits and says that University of Oregon should handle my financial aid and withdrew all financial aid offerings.

U of O says that I have 70 credits after they disallowed 50 of them and says that LCC should handle my financial aid until I reach that 90 credits mark [again?] Then the U of O will administer my financial aid. U of O is reevaluating my financial aid eligibility at this time..

Not the meantime, while these two colleges are battling out on who gets the privilege of administrating my financial aid, I have lost a lot of time from my studies and gain tremendous stress having to deal with this issue.

All because I went to school in 1975 and earned 65 college credits.

The saga continues...

Friday, July 22, 2005

Forget tow trucks. Boot 'em instead.

The Oregonian
July 22,2005
Anna Griffin
The pitch is simple: Hey, Mr. Business Owner, hate it when people who aren't your customers park in your lot? Sick of those nasty confrontations when they find out you've towed their cars away? Want to make a little extra cash?

With the state of Washington just weeks away from outlawing the private use of boots -- those ugly over-the-wheel clamps designed to immobilize illegally parked cars -- at least one Seattle-based company has relocated south to Portland.

It offers businesses a new revenue stream and a surefire way to scare off people they don't want in their lots. [including customers] More companies could be on the way, city regulators say.

But the booting boomlet may not last long. City regulators already have received several citizen complaints. And city commissioners are considering following Washington's lead. An aide to Commissioner Randy Leonard is drafting an ordinance that would crack down on boots in private lots. The measure could come before the City Council within two weeks.

…Even before the Legislature acted, the Washing Department if Licensing ordered Total Parking Solutions to stop using boots, ruling that applying a clamp to a car wheel is the same thing as impounding it – something only government agents and licensed towing companies are allowed to do.

I used to own a business so I can understand the frustration about having non customers in my parking lot, however I don’t think I would ever think about booting anyone, for one, I would be scared that I would accidentally would boot one of my own customers, and second, I would be concerned about the liability.

The next question would be, is it legal for business owners to "charge" customers for parking in their parking lots?

To me, that would be a simpler solution.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

House OKs requiring prescription for cold medicine

Bill, which applies to drugs used to make meth, goes to Senate

Statesman Journal
July 21, 2005
Peter Wong

Oregon would be the first date in the nation to fight the spread of methamphetamines by requiring prescriptions for some cold medications under legislation that passed the House on Wednesday.

The 5-4 vote said House Bill 2485 to the Senate, which unanimously approved a companion bill with stiffer penalties against makers of meth, an illegal stimulant, if children or seniors are present at houses used as labs.

Both chambers also approved $7.1 million in spending for added investigations and prosecution of drug makers and treatments of addicts.

"We are not going to eliminate methamphetamine by passing this bill," said Rep. Greg Macpherson, D-Lake Oswego, one of the bill's floor managers. "But we will reduce the local cooking of meth."

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant that can be extracted to make methamphetamine. Police have estimated that home-grown labs account for about one-third of the illegal drug and that Mexican cartels supply the rest.

Rep. Jeff Kropf, R-Sublimity, was one of a handful of members who voted against the bill. He said giving prescription-only status for those medications would trigger a public backlash.
"I think this bill goes too far in regulation beyond common sense," he said.
Kropf said most of the callers to his talk show on Portland radio station KXL opposed the proposal. He likened it to the negative reaction to the 2003 law that limited school-zone speeds around the clock.

Well I always wondered if things could get any dumber and I guess the answer to that is, "yes".

This bill, is just another excuse to make up on the impact inadequacies of law enforcement.

I speak from experience, when there was a drug house next door to my house. My neighbors and neighborhood watch constantly reported activity to the local police who did absolutely nothing (literally). You know the type. When different cars start showing up at all times of the night, stolen vehicles being parted in their backyard, etc.

The problem was solved, when the owner of the House (this being a rental property) decided that he wanted to sell the property. The owner did not believe the allegations that his rental property was a drug house, until a thorough inspection of the house when t he discovered numerous hidden compartments hollowed out in the walls and floors to hide drugs.

In a separate incident, as I'm getting ready to leave for work, I noticed a news team in front of my house filming the house across the street where the police just busted them for making methamphetamines.

I take comfort in knowing that the illegal drug activity will be squelched by the fact that the meth cook cannot see what he is doing because he cannot get cold medicine.

You got a really love this state.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

James Doohan, 'Scotty,' Dies At 85

July 20, 2005

Los Angeles, California -- James Doohan, the actor who played Scotty on Star Trek has died at his home in Richmond Washington. He was 85. The cause of his death was pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease.

as a Star Trek fan, I can honestly say that he will be missed.

"Here's to ya, lad"

Bill passes, allowing high school students to earn college credits.

The Oregonian
Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Similar to Washington's Running Start, the measure lets juniors and seniors enroll at no cost to them

A measure expanding the ability of Oregon students to get college credit while in high school sailed through the House floor Tuesday and will go to Gov. Ted Kulongoski for his signature.
Senate Bill 300 creates a statewide system in which students can get a jump on college while high school juniors or seniors at no cost. Their tuition is paid by their school district.
Some districts have individual agreements with state universities or community colleges for dual enrollment, but the programs are not available to all. The measure makes the program statewide for juniors and seniors or any student older than 16 and is patterned after the Running Start program in Washington.
The measure says that at least half the state aid that high schools get for each student will follow the student to college and pay for tuition, fees and books. It sets a cap that high schools can use to limit their financial loss -- no more than the equivalent of seven students enrolled full time in college programs at a high school of 1,000 students.

I think it is a wonderful idea that the students will be given the opportunity to get college credits, however, the unforeseen catch is with financial aid.

In 1975, I went to a community college in there and 65 credits. 2003, I returned to school and within six months ran into what was called the "maximum credit limit" for financial aid because I reach the maximum "lifetime" credits allowed by financially and had to file an appeal. The University of Oregon informed me that within eight terms that I will be running into the same issue again.

Therefore, the idea is great, but just be aware of unforeseen surprises.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

No Running Allowed!!

In the pursuit of safety, teeter-totters and swings are disappearing from playgrounds

By Chris Kahn
Education Writer
Posted July 18 2005
Sun Sentinel

Andrea Levin is grateful that Broward County schools care about her daughter's safety. But this year when they posted a sign that demanded "no running" on the playground, it seemed like overkill.

"I realize we want to keep kids from cracking their heads open," said Levin, whose daughter is a Gator Run Elementary fifth grader in Weston. "But there has to be a place where they can get out and run."

Broward's "Rules of the Playground" signs, bought from an equipment catalogue and displayed at all 137 elementary schools in the district, are just one of several steps taken to cut down on injuries and the lawsuits they inspire.

How about swings or those hand-pulled merry-go-rounds?

"Nope. They've got moving parts. Moving parts on equipment is the number one cause of injury on the playgrounds."


"Nope. That's moving too."


"Well, I have to be careful about animals" turning them into litter boxes.

Cement crawl tubes?

"Vagrants. The longer they are, the higher possibility that a vagrant could stay in them. We have shorter ones now that are made out of plastic or fiberglass."

"Kids aren't using them the way they're supposed to," said the agency's director, Donna Thompson, who led a national effort to get rid of animal swings two years ago. "I'm pleased that a lot of these are disappearing."

how about we just wrap our kids in bubble wrap before we allow them to leave the house.

Next, people are going to be changing the laws that all children under the age of 15 must wear helmets if they intend to walk due to the risk of head injuries by tripping... it could happen.

are we really starting to become overly protective? Is it even healthy to raise children in a totally sterile environment?

I'm not a parent, so maybe I'm not even qualified to comment on this one however I do remember when I grew up,yes, I fell off the bike, I fell off the playground equipment, but I also learned to be more careful in the future.

Just like with new cars that have so many protection devices in them now, drivers are becoming more careless on the road.

Although I do not like to see anybody become injured, and I do believe utmost in safety, but where do we draw the line?
When is enough to much?

Spanish preferred

July 15, 2005


Customer Care Representative


position summary: communicate with low income customers in person, by mail and phone with regard to billing and low income programs.

Training & experience required: high school diploma or GED. Three years customer service experience involving a wide variety of complex decisions and work processes in a high-volume customer base using an automatic customer account system. Human service experience and Spanish preferred.

Tasks: facilitate and set up payment arrangements including equal payment plans, range forgiveness plans, etc.


yet another example

Monday, July 18, 2005

Immigrant Births Put Pressure on Hospitals

Yahoo News
By CARA ANNA, Associated Press Writer

UTICA, N.Y. - With nearly one in four American births now to a foreign-born mother, pressure is growing on health care centers to not only deliver babies, but deliver in more languages than one.

A report issued earlier this month by the Center for Immigration Studies says as of 2002, 23 percent of all births in the U.S. were to immigrant mothers. Births to Hispanic mothers accounted for 59 percent of those.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 says hospitals that get federal money must provide interpreter services. It just doesn't say how. Most hospitals reach out with phone-based interpretation services. But critics say the phone has limitations, especially during childbirth.

"What, are they going to pass the receiver back and forth while the doctor is catching the baby?" asked Dr. Francesca Gany, director of the Center for Immigrant Health at the New York University School of Medicine. "Health care facilities are definitely feeling the heat."

One hospital in Madison, Wis., said requests for interpreters more than doubled, to more than 4,000 requests a year, between 2000 and 2003. In Columbus, Ohio, Children's Hospital in 2002 had almost 8,000 requests for interpreters.

The saga continues.

Rally supports immigrant students

Statesman Journal
July 18, 2005
by Dan Robrish (AP)

PHILADELPHIA -- Supporters of a proposed law that would benefit people who arrived in the United States illegally as children said Sunday that it would help more immigrants get college degrees and contribute more to society.

During a rally held as part of the annual convention of the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic civil-rights group, people spoke out in support of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. The proposal, known as the DREAM Act, would give undocumented youths the chance to become legal U.S. residents and possibly help them get in-state college tuition.

"We are not asking for any special treatment. We are only asking for the same right to go on and complete a higher education," said Salem resident Blanca Cabrera during the rally at the convention of the National Council of La Raza. Cabrera was selected as a National Merit Scholar at North Salem High School and is active in a group called Latinos Unidos Siempre.

The proposal has failed in Congress in two previous sessions and has not been introduced in the current session. It would provide a conditional six-year legal status for immigrants who arrived before the age of 16 and have lived in the United States for at least five years.

To qualify, the immigrants must have earned high school diplomas or GEDs in the United States and be of good moral character. Those who have completed two years of college or served two years in the U.S. armed forces by the end of that six-year period would qualify as lawful permanent residents of the United States.

An amnesty rewards illegal immigrants and sends the message to future illegal immigrants that they can sneak in, keep their heads down long enough and eventually get green cards," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, when the act was pending in Congress in 2003.

"The overall economic benefit to our cities, states and nation would be dramatic," said Regan Cooper of the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition.

If you are a regular reader to my blog, you know where I stand on this issue.

In one respect, I can see what they are trying to do. I agree, it is unfair to the kids that their parents brought them over here illegally however, the fact remains that they are here "illegally", and chances are that they did not come over here by themselves and that one or both of the parents are also in the United States illegally.

I applaud the fact however that they are insisting that the immigrants must earn high school diplomas or GED's and be of good moral character, however that still does not change the fact that they are breaking FEDERAL laws.

(Isn't there some kidnapping laws about taking a child over a state line?)

Officials in Mexico have openly stated that they feel that immigrants should be allowed to freely cross our borders. Perhaps, one answer would be for Mexico to help with the problem by giving up some of its territory to the United States.

We can call it "Little US" or "Ellis Island 2". It could be a halfway house cofounded by Mexico and the US and overseen by the United States has a place for immigrants to go to learn to read and speak English and we can help them apply for legal status.

Just thought.

Those Nasty Building Fees:

The Registerguard
Services versus Surcharges

July 17, 2005
by Joe Harwood

It takes a lot to shock Vicki Pattle, a successful businesswoman and mother of four grown children.
Yet, when Pattle and her husband decided to move into Eugene from rural Lane County and build their dream house, they faced a crash course in civic infrastructure finance that came as a nasty surprise.
Having selected a home design for a parcel in northeast Eugene, Pattle was baffled when her builder sent an invoice listing $5,118 for "systems development charges." Later, she was assessed an additional $1,860 in systems development charges, for a total tab of $6,978.
"My eyes about popped out of my head when I saw the systems development fees," Pattle said. "I didn't realize this was part of the package, because I've never lived in the city."
Many cities around Oregon and nationwide are levying ever-larger systems development charges, also known as impact fees. The money typically goes into each city's capital budget to help pay for the costs of growth - repairing streets, expanding sewage and water treatment plants, and revamping or expanding stormwater systems and parks.

Under state law, the charges can't be based on the value of a home. Rather, they must be derived from a standard formula applied to every house - so much per bathroom or kitchen sink - much like a sales tax or flat tax that doesn't take income levels into account. So, the fees on a spacious and expensive four-bedroom, two-bath new home will typically be similar to those on a small, bare-bones, three-bedroom, two-bath home.
In addition to the city-imposed systems development fees for roads, parks and sewers totaling $5,118, she paid a $1,860 fee to the Eugene Water & Electric Board for EWEB's future water treatment capacity.
"I don't have a problem with the fees and paying my share," Pattle said. "But I think there might be a better way to assess them so it's more equitable."
Fees based on impact
"We've been trying to convince the jurisdictions to find a way to charge more for higher-end homes, but we haven't had any luck," said Roxie Cuellar, director of government affairs for the Lane County Home Builders Association.
That's because under state law, cities can't vary the systems development charges based on home value.
Chad Ruhoff, president of Ruhoff Home Builders in Eugene, said development charges, plus fees for building permits, are primary factors contributing to the lack of affordable housing. Building permit fees vary depending on the value of a project and pay for the cost of city inspectors to review plans and visit sites to ensure that codes are followed.
"On a typical $250,000 house, we are seeing (systems development charges) and (building) permits going into the $10,000 to $11,000 range," he said. "It's getting really expensive."

in addition to the fees that is mentioned, they forgot to include that the residents of Eugene/Springfield are also SUBSIDIZING these new homes and development with our ever-increasing utility fees.

The article states that some of the money will help pay for "repairing streets, expanding sewer and water treatment systems and parks."

The only road repairs as I see going on in the Eugene/Springfield area, are the roads that you have to ask yourself "why are they repairing this road? It looks fine to me" as your four wheeling down one of the main city streets trying to avoid the massive potholes.

I almost forgot to mention, the new construction for the high speeds 16 mile an hour bus line. Silly me.

Do not get me wrong; I understand the city must have fees to operate. However, sometimes as with any government agency, it can seem like they are just an open pit to throw money into and we do not get anything in return. (Thinking back 20 years ago when utilities only cost me $30 a month)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

City Council members expected to approve 19 future skate parks

The Tribune

By Amanda Pennelly
July 15,2005

It’s a victory worth celebrating for both skateboarders and BMX bikers, the two largest local skate-park user groups. But the general sense of triumph could be trumped by a potentially bigger struggle ahead: deciding who exactly gets to use the parks and how.
Many skateboard advocates want exclusive access to the new facilities, while most BMX riders want shared, equal access.

It’s a conflict city managers will have to address before anyone starts pouring concrete, said Parks & Recreation project manager Rod Wojtanik, who has been in charge of the skate-park project since voters approved a 2002 parks operating levy that allocated $500,000 to future public skate-park projects.
“Besides identifying locations, user access is probably the most difficult issue a city faces when building these parks,” he said.

It’s a decision made especially difficult in Portland, where skateboarding has one of the largest and strongest constituencies in the nation

Okay, I could write a very long article on this one. However, I'll make it short :-)

First, skateboarders and bike riders do not pay taxes into the system as we do with our vehicles.

Secondly, if they are "one of the largest and strongest contingencies in the nation", then they should be able to raise money for their own skateboard parks.

Third, while we are constantly hearing that schools do not have any money for the basics, but they can come up with money for this.

Where I live, some of the city streets are bad enough that you almost need an SUV to keep from drowning in a pothole.

If we had a good economy at the moment, I could see spending money this way. But reality check, we have a long way to go before we get to that point.

Friday, July 15, 2005

20 More layoffs for OSP

Mail Tribune
By Jack Moran
July 14, 2005

Oregon State Police patrols would fall to a level not seen since the 1960s, under a pair of budget proposals endorsed by state legislators.

Separate OSP budgets approved this month by the Senate and House would eliminate 20 patrol-division positions. If the proposals are combined and included as part of the overall budget for the 2005-07 biennium, the number of patrol slots statewide would fall to 309 — the fewest in nearly 40 years, according to OSP."It’s a possibility, but we remain hopeful this can be resolved before the budget is finalized," said OSP Capt. Gerry Gregg, head of the agency’s patrol division.

"We really don’t want to lose any more trooper positions," he said.

Layoffs likely would be avoided by reassigning patrol troopers to serve as Fish and Wildlife officers or OSP detectives, officials said. what??? again this shows where their priorities lie

State Sen. Avel Gordly, chairwoman of the Senate’s special budget subcommittee on public safety, issued a news release last month stating she would support a 2 cents-per-gallon gas tax or auto-insurance surtax to help fund OSP. No formal proposal has been made.

fix everything was another tax or fee? I don't think so.
Throwing money at a problem is not the answer to fixing the problem. Those in government who feel that the public is a bottomless pit for money, are demonstrating their poor management skills.

How would the governor and the legislature feel if the troopers that personally protect them were laid off?
Oh I forgot, protecting wildlife is more important.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Do Not Expect the Police to Protect You

Police have no constitutional obligation to protect individuals from private individuals.
Fox News
story by Wendy McElroy
July 14, 2005

On June 27, in the case of Castle rock versus Gonzalez, the Supreme Court found that Jessica Gonzalez did not have a constitutional right to police protection even in the presence of a restraining order.

By a vote of 7-2, the Supreme Court ruled that Gonzalez has no right to sue her local police department for failing to protect her and her children's from her estranged husband.

In her lawsuit, Gonzales claimed the police violated her 14th amendment right to due process and sued them for $30 million. She won at the appeals level.

Local officials fell back on a rich history of court decisions that found the police have no constitutional obligation to protect individuals from individuals. In 1856, the US Supreme Court (South versus Maryland) found that law enforcement officers had no affirmative duty to provide such protection.

... No obligation to protect individuals from individuals? I'm sure if the local DA's office gets wind of this one, they will add mugging to their list of laws that they will not enforce.

It's All about Money

July 14, 2005
COVER STORY -- BusinessWeek online

Companies are getting hooked on the buying power of 11 million undocumented immigrants

Inez and Antonio Valenzuela are a marketer's dream. Young, upwardly mobile, and ready to spend on their growing family, the Los Angeles couple in many ways reflects the 42 million Hispanics in the U.S. Age 30 and 29, respectively, with two daughters, Esmeralda, 8, and Maria Luisa, 2 months, the duo puts in long hours, working 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., six days a week, at their bustling street side taco trailer. From a small sidewalk stand less than two years ago, they built the business into a hot destination for hungry commuters. The Valenzuelas (not their real name) bring in revenue well above the U.S. household average of $43,000, making them a solidly middle-class family that any U.S. consumer-products company would love to reach.

But Inez and Antonio aren't your typical American consumers. They're undocumented immigrants [illegal immigrants] who live and work in the U.S. illegally.

When the couple across the Mexican border five years ago... and lacked basic documents such as Social Security numbers... the couple soon discovered how to navigate the increasingly aboveground world of illegal residency. At the local Mexican Consulate, the couple's signed up for an identification card known as the matricula consular for which more than half of the applicants are undocumented immigrants, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a Washington think tank.

Today, companies large and small eagerly cater to the Valenzuelas -- regardless of their status.

What can I say that has not already been said, other than the fact that we are catering and encouraging people to become felons and we wonder why people in general are having less respect for the law.

However, this is an excellent example of why immigration laws are not enforced.

It is all about MONEY!

Bin Laden didn't have to crash planes into the twin towers, if you want to invade the United States, just start showing up. We will lay down our weapons and welcome you with open arms.

check this out if you are still not convinced about the seriousness of illegal immigration.
Interactive Map: a Nation of the Illegal Immigrants

Want to become a US citizen? Work on a farm

July 14, 2005
The Associated Press
By Juliana Barbassa

The Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, and Security Act 2005, authored by Senator Kennedy, D-Mass, and Larry Craig, R- Idaho, would allow illegal immigrants who have been working in the agricultural sector to become permanent legal residents and eventually citizens.

According to the national farmers alliance, about 77% of the people who do farm work in the US are foreign-born, and 53% are here illegally. The bill has broad support from the agricultural industry [ no kidding] and other business groups such as the National Council of Agricultural Workers, the United States Chamber Of Commerce and the California Farm Bureau Federation.

"AgJOBS represents the coming together at historic advisories in a rare opportunity to achieve free forms supported of these goals, as well as our nation's agricultural productivity and food security ." Read a letter signed in April by more than 500 supporting organizations, among them the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, the Farmers Juice Fund and the Western Growers Association.

The bill failed last year, but supporters said that they are optimistic about chance in 2005.

The bill is expected to be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 26

Don't want to learn English, Don't want to or can't go through the process to become a legal citizen, don't worry, work on a farm.

Please do not get me wrong, I'm not saying that farm work is easy, but I think it CHEAPENS all the efforts of the people who went through the process to be here LEGALLY.
If that was me, I would be furious.

So much for homeland security.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

senate votes to limit Coburg traffic income

July 12,2005
The Oregonian
By Grant Schulte

The Oregon Senate moved Monday to cap the amount of money Coburg officials can collect from Interstate 5 speeding tickets, following charges that the city created a speed trap to fill coffers.

The dispute between the city and some lawmakers resurfaced with the 22-9 vote on a bill that would limit its speeding-ticket revenue to 10 percent of the city budget.

A similar measure, enacted in 2004, let cities use fines only from their own jurisdiction. Coburg annexed land across I-5 -- bringing that section of the highway under its oversight.

This time, Senate Bill 1074 is intended to stick: It applies only to Coburg.

The bill sends an unmistakable message to the city's leaders, who "thumbed their nose at this Legislature," said Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, the measure's sponsor. The bill's fate in the House remains unclear, though Prozanski said the leadership has signaled it will allow hearings.

Prozanski said the proposed cap would still place Coburg among cities that earn the most revenue from speeding tickets statewide -- about $120,000 a year.

"It's a tax on driving," said Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day. Worse, he said, the city's intense focus on speeders undermines public trust in legitimate law enforcement.
[catching speeders is "legitimate law enforcement", it becomes abusive when a city focuses more on catching speeders then catching criminals e.g. sheriff's traffic team, and Mr. Ferrioli, placing a GPS in every car is a tax on driving. Why are you not to crying out to stop that?

Sen. Bill Morrisette, D-Springfield, one of the measure's sharpest critics, lambasted the Senate effort as a crackdown on officials trying to enforce the law.

"What's the problem?" asked Morrisette, a former Springfield mayor whose legislative district includes Coburg. "What do you have to complain about if you get a ticket for exceeding the speed limit?"

Morrisette said increased patrols have unearthed more serious crimes, such as drug trafficking, along the heavily traveled highway while protecting drivers from accidents.

First, I do not like speed traps because I'd rather have the officers patrolling the neighborhoods instead. I thought it was very interesting when I asked a Coburg police officer about this and he told me that the majority of the tickets were for people that were driving over 80 miles an hour.

I am greatly opposed to police departments using traffic citations for source of income. That is not law enforcement, it is revenue enhancement.

Same thing with photo radar that takes your pictures and mails you a ticket.

Moreover, I am not surprise that Bill Morrisette is one of the measure's sharpest critics. Springfield was one of the first cities that I'm aware of in my area to use speed traps as the sole means of making money. I remember that within the first two weeks they cited so many people that the municipal court was telling them to back off. Officers on motorcycles were literally hiding in the bushes with only a radar gun visible to catch violators.

Fortunately, they do not do that anymore. Now it is just the occasional car sitting in a medium with its lights off.

In short, if they're doing it as a means of enforce the law, that is fine, if there sole purpose is for revenue, then I'm against it.

Your Child Misses School... You Go to Jail

June 11, 2005
Channel 2 News

The Associated Press

A new law went into effect this month in Nampa Idaho, which allows a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $1000 against parents whose kids are habitually absent from school.

Nampa school Superintendent Gary Larson commented that his district was working on a policy to require students to make up the time that they miss or attend classes on weekends or after school.

The aim of the law is to deal with truant students who missed too many classes for no valid reason.

I understand the intent of the law, however, there are situations where a kid is out of control and the parent is a single-parent working a full-time job. Not that I am trying to make excuses to relieve responsibility of the parent, but what choice does the parent have?

In addition, if you put the parents in jail, what is going to happen to the child especially if that is a single parent?

Monday, July 11, 2005

roadside cameras

Robin's Editorial

if you have not noticed yet, there are more and more cameras that are showing up all over the place. In the Eugene/Springfield area for example, you'll find cameras on bridges, billboards, on top of buildings looking down at us.

A couple weeks ago, I visited Portland and I was flabbergasted with how many cameras that I saw along the highway.

I started to ask myself why are there so many cameras, and what are they used for?

I have discovered that odot has quite a collection of cameras and a percentage of them are available on the Web.

It is becoming commonplace now to see cameras at traffic lights. We have been told that this allows the traffic control box to "see" the cars and is cheaper than the wire loop in the road.

Radio and television stations have cameras for their road reports that they broadcast.

All of these are fine and well, I have no objections to any of this however, but what I would like to know is who is looking through these cameras.

For example, in the city of Eugene on the ferry Street Bridge, there are at least four cameras that are remote controlled. Why?

I do not think that it would be unreasonable to require some method of identifying what the cameras for, either by color coding or some sort of indication on the camera of its owner and if the camera is mounted on a publicly owned structure, then that camera should also be available for viewing by the general public.

I wonder, if as a private citizen that I would be allowed to post a camera somewhere along the roadway on my own personal use?

Legislature hopes law will freeze ID thieves

The Bend Bulletin
By Scott Domer

The Oregon Senate is expected to vote on legislation Monday that would give people the ability to freeze their credit reports as a way to block identity theft.

"We need to provide consumer options to protect themselves before they become victims," said Senator Floyd Prozanski, District 4, who will bring the builds the floor.

"Oregon ranks in the top 10 in reporting identity theft," Prozanski said,calling the fallout from methamphetamine a major contributor as addicts steal identities to finance their habit.

The bill would allow the security freeze only for new credit inquiries and would require consumers to send a certified request the three credit reporting bureaus. The firms were not available for comment Friday.

Once frozen, a consumer would have to contact the reporting bureaus to grant permission to open a report to a specific creditor or for a specified amount of time.

10 states already have similar laws in place.

Tom Perrick, president of the Oregon bankers Association, said the banking industry disagrees with the scope of the bill stating that "the bill is well-intentioned (but) is redundant."

Anyone who looks at the reports knows they been flagged for a security reasons.

Gee, here's a thought. There was a time when it was required if a company wanted to view your credit report, they "used to" have to have written permission to do so.

Now, credit reports are being pulled for just about everything.

For example, I still fail to understand why your car insurance company has the "right" to look at your credit report as a basis for how much they are going to charge you for insurance.

The theory is... "statistically, people who do not pay their bills on time are poor drivers" despite what they're driving record states.

I have got "notices" with my insurance bill that they are making inquiries to my credit history, which I think is interesting because I personally have never given my insurance company "permission" to view my credit history and I do not see any reason for them to do so unless I set up a credit account with them, and if I did that, chances are I would have give them written permission to pull my credit report.

Employers, are also making credit report inquiries on new employee applications without the knowledge of the employee.

and these are a only what I know for sure, who knows who else is looking at your credit report without your permission.

So in my opinion, if you want to reduce identity theft, tighten up security on who has access to your reports, because if a consumer needs to "freeze" an account, it is already too late.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

if your looking for some information about Alberto Gonzales who was sworn in as the nation's 80th Attorney General on February 3, 2005.

The Center for American Progress offers some interesting views.Link

Lars Larson to have regular news column

The Springfield news
July 8,2005

Introducing a new column by radio guy Lars Larson

The Springfield News is proud to welcome Oregon pundit Lars Larson as a new columnist. Lars' column will run every Friday in the paper, and in it Lars will address mostly topics of state government outside the Portland metro area.

a very welcome addition to the local bird cage liner,

it is very sad that a little 7000 circulation newspaper will carry him while the big 70,000 registerguard isn't.

Kudo's to the News

Montana troopers told to pull over one car every hour

Chicago Sun-Times (AP)
July 8, 2005

Helena Montana -- a new policy for state troopers require that at least one vehicle per hour is stopped.

Col. Paul Grimstadsaid the rule in aims to reduce accidents and drunk driving.

although the driver need not be ticketed, the chief said that the rule steers clear of an anti-quota law.

State law bars law enforcement from imposing minimum numbers of arrests or citations for an officer. but the law says the term "quota" excludes "use of generally accepted management techniques that employee performance objective as part of an overall employee evaluation."

are the officers not doing their job? that is what this kinda sounds like.

I am not in favor in imposing any kind of "quotas" no matter what name that you give them. Law inforcement is just that, Law inforcement. a

The ideal situation is that an officer has nothing to do. Going under the assumption that if he has nothing to do there is no crime.

If the officers time is to constantly seek out "one" vehicle to meet a requirement, I do not feel that is efficient use of law enforcement and also imposes on the right's and conveniences of law-abiding citizens.

Monday, July 04, 2005

spy device will cut drivers speed by satellite

June 3, 2005
The Sunday Times-Britain
Dipesh Gadher, transport correspondent

It is the ultimate backseat driver. Motorists face having their cars fitted with a "spy" device that stops speeding.

The satellite-based system will monitor the speed limit and apply the brakes or cut the accelerator if the driver tries to exceed it. A government-funded trial has concluded that this scheme promotes safer driving.

... Cars were fitted with a black box containing a digital map identifying the speed limits of every stretch of road... a satellite positioning system tracked the cars locations. The device compared the cars speed with a local limit -- displayed on the dashboard -- and sent a signal to the accelerator or the brake pedal to slow if it was too fast. The system can be overridden to avoid a hazard. [how quickly?]

The DfT says it has no plans to make the speed limiters mandatory but admits it is considering creating a digital map of all Britain's roads, which would pave the way for a national ISA system.

One of the things that I pointed out to Jeff today, who is subbing for Lars Larson, is what if there is an emergency. For example, you're on the freeway and somebody is trying to merge into your lane and you need to get out of the way. Will the system disengage to allow you the short bursts?

And what about other roads? Will it be limited only to freeways?

What are your thoughts?

Fourth of July remembered

July 4, 1776,

With the signing of the Declaration of Independence, this was the day when Americans officially declared their independence and freedom from Britain and democracy was born.

As we enter the 21st-century I have to ask if we are starting to lose that freedom.

With Congress taking away our land rights, our government for fear of political incorrectness is refusing to secure our own borders, budget issues preventing the protection for our citizens,and out-of-control technology, will we have to once again band together to fight for our freedom?

" When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, a separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the options of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which it held them to the separation."

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain and unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. -- that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed..."

"... The history of the present King of Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usuorpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let the facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused to assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

... he has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable and distance from the depository of broad public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

... he has erected multiple new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

... for cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

... for imposing taxes on us without our consent:

... for suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

... We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the supreme judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be free and Independent states;..."
(The Declaration Of Independence)

So tonight as you and your family sit back and enjoy the firecrackers, Pause for a moment and remember what this day is truly about.

Happy Fourth of July and please be safe.