Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Officers instructed to release 20 illegal aliens, three who are fugitives

WTOV9--


Belmont County Ohio police discover 20 illegal Mexican immigrants inside a van, including three who were previously deported [which makes them felons under the law]. Immigration officials were contacted and ordered the officers to release all 20.

Belmont County Sheriff Fred Thompson said that his department had no choice but to follow the orders from immigration officials.
news video
first time getting caught crossing the border is a misdemeanor, being deported and returning is a felony.
The catch and release policy may be good for fishing, however, it makes a mockery out of the legal system.

Springfield police crackdown on prostitution problem


Straight out of an episode of cops, the men and women of the Springfield police force with television cameras tagging along gear up for an undercover mission... to conquer Springfield's huge prostitution problem.
With undercover police officers posing as prostitutes, they managed to arrest 22 people as a result of the sting.
" As you drive through Downtown Springfield you may not notice it.
But it's out there.
Police say prostitution is a problem.
"Typically for us it's a complaint driven operation. if we receive complaints then we will respond to it," said Captain Rich Harrison, with Springfield Police. "

Woo Hoo!!
You know it just gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling to know that while Eugene/Springfield is considered a high crime area...
cities complaining that they don't have the manpower and money for public safety...
that at least almost 2 dozen John's were taken off the street.
Meanwhile, Salem police get criticized for using bait cars to help catch car thieves

Caution! butterfly crossing ahead

yes, the good folks at the Federal Highway Administration recently proposed a project to help the endangered Fender's Blue butterfly in what studies show would be impacted by the West Eugene Parkway project.
" "The fenders blue butterfly is the most sort of special endangered species in the West Eugene Parkway area," said Friends of Eugene President Kevin Matthews.
If the West Eugene Parkway is built many believe it will destroy what little is left of the butterfly's habitat. "
Matthews believes a more realistic approach would be dropping the West Eugene Parkway altogether and reworking West 11th.
the proposal is to place crossing signs similar to the school crossing signs on the Parkway and on West 11th during the butterflies migration.
I have lived here the majority of my life, and it never ceases to amaze me.
To quote Bill Engvall , "here's your sign"

People living next to railroad tracks complain about train noise

Kezi--
Eugene city Council is discussing putting in a railroad quiet zone near downtown and Whitaker neighborhoods. The law, known as railroad quiet zones, was passed over a year ago. The problem lies is that they have to figure out how to make the crossings safer, even if that includes closing some crossings.
" "The noise is really too much," said Marianne Hall who lives right next to the tracks.
She says the noise has forced her to make some changes.
"We use to have our bedroom upstairs but we've put it downstairs in the farthest room away from the train partly because of the noise," said Hall. "

if you move in next to an airport, you might get some noise from airplanes... if you move in next to railroad tracks...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Do not like the idea of sending the IRS after employers who employ illegal aliens? How about sending the IRS to chase pimps?

Do not like the idea of sending the IRS after employers who employ illegal aliens? How about sending the IRS to chase pimps?
Kezi--
if Senator Charles Grassley, chairman of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee has his way, he would use the Internal Revenue Service to chase after pimps and sex traffickers rather than the vice squad.
Hey, it worked for Al Capone.
" Grassley, R-Iowa, would hit pimps with fines and lengthy prison sentences for failing to file employment forms and withhold taxes for the women and girls under their command.
The proposal would make certain tax crimes a felony when the money comes from a criminal activity. A one-year prison sentence and $25,000 fine would become a 10-year sentence and $50,000 fine for each employment form that a pimp or sex trafficker fails to file. "

Ah…!

In the battle against obesity, we should limit fast food chains

Newsday.com--
you know the arguments... America's too fat. So our government officials, you know the ones, the ones that don't think that we're smart enough to take care of ourselves, the same ones that want to take Pepsi and Coke out of schools. When Councilman has decided at least in New York, that poor people are overweight due to a high concentration of fast food.
" Councilman Joel Rivera, health committee chairman, said at a hearing Wednesday he was exploring the idea of using zoning laws to prevent fast food joints from taking over city streets. More than half of adult New Yorkers are overweight or obese. "You're not going to totally eliminate fast food restaurants, but you could limit the amount," Rivera said after the hearing. "

OK, let's follow this logic.
I will concede that a regular diet from the dollar menu from a fast food outlet is not exactly the most healthiest diet that one can be on, but it may be the only diet [at least on the road] that one can afford.
If I am overweight, I have nobody to blame but myself. However, government feels that it is their duty to step in and regulate your eating habits for you instead.

Monday, June 26, 2006

What does Viagra and Rush Limbaugh have in common? An appointment with customs officials

AP--
US customs and border protection examined Rush Limbaugh's luggage after his private plane landed at the airport from the Dominican Republic. Customs officials found a bottle labeled Viagra, however it did not have Limbaugh's name on it.
the matter was referred to the Sheriff's Department.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Why should I learn English when you will provide me signs in Spanish

the Washington Times--
" Metrorail officials are considering adding permanent Spanish-language signs, system maps, fare-card machines and announcements in stations after a push by immigration advocates. They say the idea has been discussed for several years within the agency's Office of Project Communications... "

office of what?
The estimated cost for the changes at least $500,000 per station in as much as $900,000 for a large multilevel stations such as Metro Center.
" Immigration advocates say riders with limited English skills might have difficulty understanding how to transfer between lines or how to use fare-card machines and schedules, and they fear rebuke from Metro staff if they seek help in broken English. "

Estimates of more than one million immigrants and illegal aliens live within the region and about 40% of them are Hispanic according to the Urban Institute.
In a 2003 report by the national capital region transportation planning board, calls for more bilingual staffers, improve foreign-language pamphlets and the incorporation of universal symbols to help the region's immigrant writers.
for tourist, universal signs may not be a bad idea... some countries already do that. However, to focus strictly on Spanish as the "other" common language is more proof of the hidden cost from the silent invasion

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I am waiting for the fallout over this one

Robin's commentary

From time to time, both Daniel and myself have posted jobs that require their applicants to be bilingual or specify that they are fluent in Spanish.

It was refreshing for a change, to see a job posting 01976: Cook1 at the University of Oregon, which reads, "... ability to read and write English"

One of the reasons why this is significant and why I am talking about it, is because it has become commonplace in advertising to announce that the company also accommodates Spanish-speaking people.[not too many Japanese, Vietnamese, etc.]

Not that there is anything wrong with that unless they try to force their employees to speak a different language than what they were hired to speak or risk losing their jobs in the process, a trend that we are starting to hear more and more about.

The problem comes when a company advertises that they only speak English, the PC people go ballistic.

As I have said many a time, we are still a primarily English-speaking culture that is being forced to accommodate another language because of a population explosion [invasion] of people who speak a different language, mostly Spanish, and who refuse to learn our language and assimilate in to this country.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

"the crowd of day laborers huddled in a parking lot outside McDonald's has dropped by half."

the Washington Post--
San Diego -- in the border city, fewer parents are walking their children to school. The crowd of day labelers huddled in a parking lot outside a McDonald's has dropped by half. A sense of unease has spread to the community since immigration agents began walking the streets as part of a nationwide effort targeting an estimated 590,000 immigrant fugitives.
" Juana Osorio, an illegal immigrant from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, said her neighbors have largely stayed indoors since agents visited her apartment complex June 2. Her husband, Juan Rivera, has stopped taking their two children to the park on the weekends. "We want to go out but we can't." Said Rivera, a construction worker. "

Recently in the news about 2200 illegal immigrants being rounded up in operation "Return to Sender", 400 of those illegal immigrants were from the San Diego area.
" We can't just turn our heads away from people we find along the way," said Lauren Mack, an ICE spokeswoman in San Diego. "

ICE has increased it's fugitive task forces nationwide from 18 to 38 and plans to expand a 52 teams by the end of next year. The Bush administration has proposed a total of 70 teams.
" Day laborer Fredy Calleja said his uncle was arrested about two weeks ago while watering plants outside his home. An agent asked him about someone suspected of selling drugs in the area. When the uncle said he didn't know the drug dealer, the agent asked if he was in the country illegally and arrested him when he said he was. "

Calleja's uncle was deported and was back in San Diego a little bit more than a week later.

Monday, June 19, 2006

House Speaker Dennis Hastert dealt a blow on immigration compromise

AP--

" Hopes for a quick compromise on immigration were dealt a blow Tuesday after House Speaker Dennis Hastert said he wanted to take a "long look" at a Senate bill offering possible citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants.

"We're going to take a long look at it," Hastert said late Tuesday.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas said he opposes a provision allowing workers to use up to 20 documents to verify that they are legal workers.

""Only a small, vocal faction wants to stop a sensible guest-worker program and ignore the reality of the 11 million undocumented living in the country now," Kolbe said in a statement. "We must not let any delays impede our progress toward solving this problem." "

hear no evil... see no evil... speak no evil

Sunday, June 18, 2006

some cold and allergy medicines will only at be available by prescription after July 1

KMTR--

A reminder that a new law sponsored by sleepy Ted goes into effect July 1, 2006 requiring over-the-counter drugs that contain pseudoephedrine, ephedrine and phenylpropanolamine be available by prescription only.

let's see if I have this right...
cold and allergy medicine = prescription
prescription = Doctor
Poor = No Doctor
No Doctor= no prescription
no prescription = more days lost from school & work

Thanks Tedfor for thinking of the health and welfare of Oregonians

laptop with Social Security numbers stolen [again]


Washington, DC -- a laptop containing the Social Security numbers and other personal data of 13,000 District of Columbia employees and retirees has been stolen from the home of a ING US financial services employees which administers the District retirement plan, according to officials.
"The company did not notify city employees of the theft until late Friday because it took officials several days to determine what information was stored on the laptop, ING spokeswoman Caroline Campbell said.
The laptop was not password-protected and the data was not encrypted, Campbell said."

backup a second... a laptop containing sensitive data was not password-protected and the data was not encrypted??? [Pausing to take a deep breath] who in this day and age does not know about password protection? I could understand if it was somebody's personal home unit... however... UGH!!!
But wait... it gets even better
"We are concerned that this information was being managed without protection," said Mary Ann Young, spokeswoman for the city's chief financial officer. "
this is not your daughter going out on the date... these are a people's Social Security numbers and personal information.
Why is this stuff on somebody laptop in the first place?
Haven't you heard of secure remote connections? You know, the little key down on the bottom of the corner and Word says "HTTPS" in the address bar type of stuff. Similar to make a purchase online.

" For us, this is very unfortunate," Campbell said. But were moving forward, were very focused and committed to find any other laptops that don't have encryption software and to fix that. This incident revealed a gap. "

FYI, Windows XP comes with file encryption.
"Two other ING laptops containing information on 8,500 Florida hospital workers were stolen in December, but the employees were not notified until this week, said ING spokesman Chuck Eudy. Neither laptop was encrypted, he said. "
read that last paragraph again

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Lars Larson prohibited from further criticism of local hospitals practices

Insider Radio--

" During the seminar's panel discussion on programming news/talk radio, moderated by Clear Channel VP Gabe Hobbs, KXL Program Director James Derby stunned many in the audience by admitting outright that Lars Larson was prohibited from further criticism of a local hospital's practices, after it complained to the station.

From the seminar attendees, you could hear audible gasps. One radio executive later told me he felt bad for Larson, who wasn’t in an immediate position to defend himself.
"

Baby James admitted that the decision was from pressure of the sales department after the hospital had finally signed an advertising contract with KXL.
as people sitting in the seminar, I too am shocked however not surprised.
I know that some people have criticized Lars in the past for changing his mind on an issue and accused him of "backing down" to management's wishes. E.g. the Christmas cross.
Lars Larson works for KXL, and KXL does not operate for free, and whether we like it or not, Lars has to do what his boss tells him to do.
As Lars's popularity grows nationwide, that may change. Nevertheless, for now, welcome to capitalism.

LCC budget committee voted unanimously for $72 million general fund...

KMTR--
Eugene (KMTR) - Lane Community College will not cut programs or raise tuition next year, but nearly 80 jobs at the school have been cut and others scaled back.
The LCC budget committee voted unanimously for $72 million general fund for the upcoming school year. The number is nearly $6 million short of what is needed to continue services at the current level.
Next year’s tuition was not increased for budget purposes, but students could face some higher fees because of inflation.

... not increase for budget purposes however increased because of inflation???
No matter what you call it... it is still an increase.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Porn Site Trojan Horse May Have Compromised Oregon Taxpayers Electronics Files

KEZI--

Salem Oregon
Personal data of up to 2,200 Oregon taxpayers' electronic files may have been compromised by an ex-employee's unauthorized use of the computer according to the Oregon Department of Revenue on Tuesday.

The accident apparently occurred when an employee downloaded a contaminated file from a porn site containing a Trojan horse that may have sent taxpayer information back to the source when the computer was turned on. Said Amy McLaughlin, an Information Technology Security Officer with the State of Oregon.
" The department determined on May 15 that the computer was being improperly used and on May 23 that some data may have been captured and sent out.", said McLachlan "

is it just me, or has there been a lot of sloppiness with our personal information this year?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"when ordering... speak English"says Philadelphia store owner

MSNBC--


I just completed [yesterday] my final final. With one 1-credit requirement remaining, I will hopefully be done with LCC forever.

So to start things off and to get back in the swing of things... a friend of mine sent me this controversial article about a Philadelphia store owner stating, "this is America... when ordering, speak English."

The store's owner, Joey Vento came under fire by the city's commission on human relations for placing a sign in his window stating that "this is America... when ordering, speak English" citing that Mr. Vento was in violation of the city's "Fair Practices Ordinance", which prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodation and housing.
" it's discouraging patronage by non-English-speaking customers because of their national origin or ancestry," said Rachel Lawton, acting executive director of the city's commission on human relations


Lawton indicated that the restaurant could be ordered to take down the sign or face fines up to $300[link].

" no one is refused service and no one is discriminated against, [referring to design] it is meant to encourage immigrants to learn English. Vento told Reuters, if you don't speak English, the sign means nothing. "

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

slow blogging ahead


it's finals week once again.

so I will be taking the rest the week off from blogging to focus on my finals.

thanks for checking in.

Robin

Sunday, June 04, 2006

pay at the pump PER MILE tax coming to a vehicle near you

the Oregonian--


I think it is very ironic or coincidental that as I approach my one-year anniversary of my blog, [first article] which started because the Eugene Registerguard refused to print any of my letter's the editor on this subject, that I would be once again warning people about the same little moneymaking plan of ODOT's to install a GPS system in your car TO CHARGE YOU PER MILE PAYABLE WHEN YOU FILL UP road tax.

[Anyway, one year later] ODOT will begin a 10 month test of 280 vehicles in the Portland area which a report to two fueling stations to get a first reading on GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEMS THAT WILL TRACK HOW FAR THEY DRIVE.

Jim Whitty of the Oregon Department of Transportation is overseeing the project.
" If Oregon eventually adopts the system, the fuel tax would remain in place, Whitty said, because only new cars would have the technology, and Oregon also would have to account for vehicles from other states. "


... because only new vehicles would have the technology? That is singing a different tune. Will car manufacturers be installing these devices? Will it become a nationwide thing? Another reason for me not to buy a new car?
ODOT plan nicknamed Road User Key Task Force (RUFTF)
The device, we'll keep track of how many miles that each passenger vehicle in Oregon travels within the state and what time of day as well as how much congestion was on the road at the time will determine how much per mile that you will pay. There has been talk to automatically charge the driver a road toll for various locations payable at the gas pump.
ODOT is concerned that higher mileage vehicles will mean less revenue.
Roughly translated... they can charge you a VARIABLE tax depending on WHERE, and WHEN you travel. I.e. when you go to work in the morning at 8 a.m., you may pay more per mile at that time because the roads are considered congested and pay a lesser tax/fee for traveling on the same road at 3 p.m. when the roads are less congested. In their own words, "for simplicity, the Road user Key task force recommends only one rate adjustment; for time of day mileage pricing is cystic areas to solve congestion problems and support [mass transit] congestion reducing programs."
" How would electronic calculation of mileage work? While numerous technological devices are available to count miles driven, the task force has chosen two as the best possibilities. One is a simple version of the global positioning system (GPS). The other possibility is an Odometer Tag, an electronic sensor connected to the odometer. Either device would eliminate out-of-state mileage from fee calculation. The mileage data would be downloaded in wireless fashion over a short distance via radio frequency. The download of mileage data would be transmitted no farther than a few feet to a local reader. "

According to ODOT, "the mileage fee rate would be about 1.25 cents per mile [do the math] which they claim would be similar to what you're paying at the pump now.
under the current system, the amount that you pay per mile of course depends on your gas mileage

What do the gubernatorial candidates think about this?
Jason Atkinson, while no longer a gubernatorial candidate, is still a sitting senator, told me in person that he is absolutely against it.

Ron Saxton, told Lars Larson on the air that he would kill the project.

Ted Kulongoski, we don't know because he won't answer any questions, so therefore we must assume that he is in favor of this project since it is happening on his watch.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Is big Brother watching through those cameras at the traffic lights?

Mail Tribune--


Medford is installing a fiber-optic ring around the city that will enable staff to detect problems in traffic signals and eventually monitor live streaming video cameras at the interchanges.
Initially, the public works department will be able to monitor how the traffic signals are working, said Alex Georgevitch, city traffic engineer.
In the long term, public works hopes to put up cameras to count vehicles and to help police and fire crews monitor traffic accidents, he said, adding that the city does not have any cameras at this time.
The cameras will have streaming video capabilities as well as the ability to tilt, pan and zoom.

"If we have a crash, we can zoom it the camera around," said John Vial, ODOT district manager

There are no plans to offer access to the fiber optic cable network for consumer use.
personally, I think I should be a law identifying who is looking at us through the cameras.
How do you know if the camera is one that controls the traffic lights which are becoming commonplace or the traffic cameras you see up and down I-5 which companies like Clear Channel use for their traffic reports.
I definitely recommend reading this article because I think that there is more here than meets the eye.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Eugene City Poll Suggests City is in Touch On Some Issues, Not On Others

KEZI 9
How can you argue with a head line like this?