Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The fat police are at it again, this time in New York City

Fox news--

New York -- the city health Department has unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would bar over 24,000 foodservice establishments from using ingredients that contain artificial trans-fats that are found in some shortening, margarine and other frying oils.
" labeling is one thing, but when they totally been a product, and it goes well beyond what we think is prudent and acceptable," said Chuck Hunt, executive vice president of the city's chapter of the New York State restaurant Association . "

The proposal would also create problems for national food chains such as McDonald's, Kentucky fried chicken, etc. who rely on deep fryers.

Some restaurants such as Wendy's have already announced that they will be switching to a new cooking oil that contains no trans-fatty acids

Under the proposal, restaurants will have until July 1, 2007 or risk being fined if an inspector discovers the wrong type of vegetable shortening on its shelves.
so I guess the question is... should restaurants be forced to change and/or should this issue be up to the voters first

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ted Tax and gouge me hoping to raise taxes on cigarettes by nearly .85 cents per pack

the Oregonian--

Governor Ted [tax and gouge me] Kulongoski is proposing to increase cigarette taxes by nearly 85 cents raising the tax on pack a cigarettes from $1.18 to $2.025, giving the state an estimated $150 million plus to fund health coverage to thousands of uninsured Oregon children.

Under the plan, the state would subsidized health coverage for children on a sliding scale up to a maximum income of $70,000 for a family of four. A family making less than $40,000 per year, would get fully subsidize health care for those younger than 19.

Kulongoski also responded to the stream of attacks about his support of new taxes from Ron Saxton, stating that the Republican has failed offer any plan -- other than finding efficiencies, or how he would cover any programs and higher spending.
" "Ultimately, you have to stand up to the plate and say how you're going to pay for it," Kulongoski said. "He's trying to make us so efficient, we're going to be last in this country in providing education and health care and public safety in Oregon." "

Sexton, who has taken a no new taxes pledge, opposes an increase in cigarette taxes, saying the state simply needs to manage its money better.
I agree with Saxton. We need to get our own house [budget] in order before we start worrying about having new programs, especially new taxes .

In a class-action lawsuit lawsuit, AOL apologizes for the release of customer records

LA Times--

The class action suit filed Friday in US District Court in Oakland on behalf of three subscribers against AOL under privacy laws because their records of Internet searches were retained by AOL and made public.
" AOL, a unit of Time Warner Inc., has apologized for the release, which it blamed on a researcher who had failed to gain proper clearances. The researcher and another AOL employee have been fired, and the company's chief technology officer has resigned. AOL also pledged to name its first chief privacy officer. "

Even though AOL had substituted numeric identifications for subscribers users names, the company acknowledges that search queries in itself might contain personal identification data, revealing names, credit cards and medical conditions.

AOL removed the data once it became aware of the release, however not before copies were already circulating through the Internet.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Here is a change of pace... a proposed ordinance for each household to own a gun

KTRV Fox 12--

Greenleaf Idaho -- population 860. If counsel member Steve Jett has his way, each household that can legally own a gun, will. It's called the Civil Emergencies Ordinance.
" "I think the city council is hoping it will happen and that it will be a deterrent to crime as the city and region increases in population," said Lee Belt, Greenleaf city clerk. "

The proposed ordinance is modeled after a plan similar to one that went into place in 1982 in Kennesaw, Ga., which saw a dramatic decrease in criminal activity.

"If the citizens are armed were not at a disadvantage." Said Art Bailey, owner of the Greenleaf store.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Congressman Tom Tancredos' letter to Attorney General Gonzalez about dog Chapman's extradition

Tom Tencredo--

(Excerpts from Tancredos' letter)
... Duane "dog" Chapman... has been detained on the behest of the Mexican government, and is linked to the capture Chapman made in Mexico. [Where] he could be extradited to Mexico, where bounty hunting is a violation of law.

" now, three years later, at the request of the regularly uncooperative Mexican government, your department has decided to use taxpayer resources to send marshals to Hawaii for Dog Chapman? This administration routinely tells Congress that they cannot secure our borders and immigration system due to the lack of resources. We are told that the US Attorney's office in border states are simply overwhelmed with cases and cannot prosecute all the violations -- even some of the serious ones. Yet somehow they have plenty of time to track down a Mexican drug smuggler and give him immunity so he can testify against our border patrol agents. "

I don't think anybody would argue that dog did wrong by not returning for his hearing, however, you can't help but wonder if there is more to this story behind the scenes.

I just think that Dog was an easy target... and a target that would make national news of how we've support Mexico.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Illegal aliens = big dollars for Boeing


Aerospace and defense giant Boeing Co. has won a multibillion-dollar contract of part of the Secure Border Initiative (SBInet) to erect 1800 towers along the borders of Mexico and Canada. Each tower would be equipped with a variety of sensors, including cameras and heat and motion detectors.

Boeing sold its plans to the Homeland security Department as being less risky and less expensive than proposals that would have relied on drones for routine surveillance work.

Hat tip to Laura for the story

Sunday, September 17, 2006

dog the bounty hunter -- additional information

arts and entertainment network--
The Chapmans were released from jail Friday night on bail. while out on bail, they will be required to remain in the state and wear electronic monitoring devices until they return to court for extradition hearings to face trial in Mexico. No date has been set for those hearings.

The arts and entertainment network (see link above) has provided the latest news and interviews with the Chapman family, including an exclusive interview with dog and Beth Tuesday at 10 p.m. Eastern time on A&E.

Additionally, dog and Beth will be interviewed live with Matt Lauer Monday on NBC's today show

Saturday, September 16, 2006

US marshals arrest dog Chapman for extradition to Mexico as demanded by the Mexican government

ABC News--

Duane" dog" and his two sons, Leland and Tim, were arrested Thursday by US marshals from a warrant that was signed by a federal judge in Honolulu issued on Wednesday.

three years ago, Mexican authorities demanded that the Chapmans transfer Andrew Luster to local Mexico police after Chapmans capture of Luster in Puerto Vallarta for fleeing the country on rape charges against three women. The Chapmans refused and were arrested and released on bail, however, they never returned to Puerto Vallarta for their court hearing on July 15, 2003.

" You see what the American government is doing to us? They throw us in jail," Chapman said in a federal courtroom. "I'm so upset about this." "

The Chapmans will face an extradition hearing to Mexico under the terms of the treaties between the US and Mexico governments.

A video from Rita Crosby interviewing dog's wife Beth is availableat this link from MSNBC News

in Mexico, bounty hunting is considered a crime.

----update-- -- September 16, 2006
dog released on bail
Duane Chapman was released on $300,000 bail after spending the night in the Federal detention Center. Tim and Leland were freed on $100,000 bail each.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

kudos to Springfield police and Oregon State police


Police arrested 11 people including two juveniles on drug-related charges in Springfield around 7 a.m. Monday morning.
Detectives found 18 people inside a three-bedroom home along with methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana, including scales and distribution materials as well as a gun.

I could more easily be okay with giving more money for public safety when I hear news like this versus hearing about multiple stings for prostitution. Good job!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Eugene has an affordable housing gap


The Eugene school district said its enrollment numbers are down and city officials are concerned because of the lack of affordable housing for young families.
"We have a housing shortage of starter homes, or homes that will satisfy the low to middle income family," said Eugene city counselor Gary Pape.
The median price for a home sold in Eugene last month was $260,000, and $194,000 in Springfield.
" Mayor Piercy says it's a complicated problem, but one that's worth taking a closer look at.
"What do we do working with banks and other investment opportunities to put together not just low income housing and high income housing but making sure we have good working family level housing," said Piercy.
Part of this issue has to do with density. "

the other part has to do with the lack of family wage jobs in the area and the overall cost of living.

Michigan -- under proposed legislation, girls entering sixth grade must be vaccinated against cervical cancer

Under legislation proposed by a bipartisan group of female lawmakers, females entering the sixth grade in Michigan would have be vaccinated against cervical cancer --

Senator Beverly Hammerstrom, lead sponsor of legislation, said, "we believe we can save the lives of these girls." Referring to a vaccine for Human papilloma viruses (HPV) that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in June. The three shot treatment which cost $360 will be covered by most of Michigan employers while those who are uninsured will be covered by the federal government's vaccination for children program, according to Hammerstrom.

The vaccine protects against two types of viruses that can cause cervical cancer remains highly effective for up to 4.5 years with very few adverse effects, according to the National Cancer Institute
" More than 98 percent of the women who had been vaccinated continued to have antibodies against HPV-16 and HPV-18 in their blood throughout the extended follow-up period - a strong sign that the vaccine remained effective and was preventing them from becoming infected with those strains of HPV. "

The bill has a provision allowing parents to opt out of the HPV vaccine requirement for medical, moral or psychological reasons.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Legal challenge to Arizona law that prohibits illegal aliens from receiving some public benefit, dismissed...

The Washington Times--

A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of proposition 200 in the Arizona, which was passed in November with 56% of the vote that require state and local government employees to verify the immigration status of those seeking public benefits, has been dismissed by a three-judge panel of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
"The suit, brought by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and Friendly House, a Phoenix-based nonprofit social service agency, was dismissed by U.S. Appeals Court Judges Alfred T. Goodwin, Johnnie B. Rawlinson and Thomas M. Reavley, sitting as a visiting judge. The panel said the plaintiffs had not shown they had been injured by implementation of the new law. "

Proposition 200 also subjects state employees to criminal charges if they fail to report illegals, and requires people to show proof of citizenship when they register to vote.

" But U.S. District Judge David C. Bury in Tucson, Ariz., refused to block implementation of the law and denied the request for a restraining order[to block implementation of the initiative], saying the organizations had failed to prove potential harm from enforcement of the initiative -- a position upheld by the appeals court panel. "

Saturday, September 09, 2006

40th anniversary: Start Trek debuts September 8, 1966


8:30 p.m. Eastern time, September 8, 1966, following Daniel Boone, NBC premiered the episode "the Man trap." The original pilot series, "The Cage" starring as Captain's Pike Jeffrey Hunter who declined to film a second Star Trek pilot to pursue his career in motion pictures.

[Paramount pictures]

As many Trekkies well know that Star Trek almost didn't happen.
" Roddenberry pitches the idea to the networks, using (among other things) a completely fabricated mathematical formula to suggest how many millions of inhabited planets (and, thus, potential storylines) were possible with Star Trek. CBS reportedly turns him down flat as they have a series called Lost in Space. NBC agrees to commission a pilot film, which will be produced by Desilu Studios (owned at the time by Lucille Ball). "[history of Star Trek -- wikipedia]

Other interesting trivia...
Jackson "DeForest" Kelley who played Dr. Leonard McCoy was originally asked to play the role of Mr. Spock.[TV.COM biography DeForest Kelly]

"Book-'em Danno"
Jack Lord of Hawaii 5-0, was one of the actors considered for the role of Captain Kirk which ultimately went to William Shatner. Lord wanted to coproduce and have a percentage of ownership of the series, however, he was ultimately rejected by both Gene Roddenberry and Desilu Studios[Jack Lord -- wikipedia]

Star Trek, the original 79 episodes are currently being digitally remastered.
Star Trek Prequel is rumored to be in the works with Matt Damon portraying a young Captain James T. Kirk.[Trek today]

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Intel's job reduction reduces Oregon workforce to 2004 levels

the Oregonian--

Intel, Oregon's largest private employer announced Tuesday that it will eliminate more than 10,000 jobs worldwide, which includes 1,250 of its 17, 200 Oregon employees.
"I think we simply found over time that we added more people than the market would bear," said Bill McKinsey, Intel's Oregon's spokesman referring to the 15,000 employees hired across company during a hiring spree last year. "We had become bloated (when measured) against our peers."
Intel plans to reduce its workforce from 102, 500 to 95,000 employees by the middle of 2007. The company expects to save about $3 billion annually beginning in 2008.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

RadioShack lays off nearly 400 employees via e-mail

Fox news--

Fort Worth, Texas -- Employees at RadioShack's Fort Worth headquarters received an e-mail Tuesday morning telling them that they have been dismissed immediately.
" The notice stated: The workforce reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately your position is one that has been eliminated. "

Spokeswoman Kay Jackson said that company officials told employees in the series a meeting that layoffs notices would be delivered electronically.
The company had announced August 10 and they would cut 400-500 jobs, mostly at headquarters, to cut expenses and "improve its long-term competitive position in the marketplace." RadioShack has also closed nearly 500 stores; consolidation distributions centers and liquidate slow-moving merchandise. E.g. Sales of cellular phones, a key item for RadioShack, have been disappointing.
Last month, the company hired former Kmart executive, Julian day, as chief executive after the previous CEO quit after admitting lying on his resume.

In my opinion, RadioShack was never the same after its founder Charles D. Tandy died.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Steven Irwin, the crocodile Hunter, dies while diving off Australia's northeast coast

Reuters Canada--

Sydney -- Steve Irwin, 44, otherwise known as the "crocodile Hunter" was hit in the chest by a stingray barb while diving off Australia's northeast coast.
Irwin had been diving off his boat "croc one" while filming an underwater documentary off Port Douglas. Irwin was taken by helicopter to nearby Low Isles for medical treatment; however, he was dead before they arrived according to police.

Eugene police will start enforcing tailgate parties everywhere except for Autzen Stadium?


An ordinance that have been on the books since 1974 states that if you rent your property up for parking it becomes a public place, and it is illegal to drink in public in Eugene, without a city permit. However, Autzen Stadium property owned by the University of Oregon is exempt from the ordinance.
"The consumption, possession of alcohol on an unlicensed premise statute states that it exempts Autzen parking lot, parking directly adjacent to the stadium, and not parking lots across the street." said Sgt. Nathan Reynolds "

Captain Chuck Tilby said the police do intend to eventually enforce the ordinance on tailgating parties, which carries maximum penalties of a $500 fine or 100 days in jail, or both.{source = KATU}
it is going to be very interesting to see how this one plays out.

ICE: Aggressive Enforcement Leads to 15 Illegal Aliens Arrested While Working for a Company Contracted to Paint US Military Aircraft

ICE: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement--

Roswell New Mexico: ICE special agents today arrested 15 illegal aliens who were working for Dean Baldwin painting Inc. who is under contract to paint US military aircraft, including the Lockheed C-130 military aircraft.

The illegal aliens were arrested after they were determined to be residing in working in the United States.
" "Aggressive worksite enforcement actions like this help deter aliens from entering the United States attracted by the 'job magnet,'" said Troy Henley, special agent-in-charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in El Paso. "These operations also help discourage employers from knowingly hiring illegal aliens." "

Miami -- September 1, 2006 press release -- 79 fugitives and three immigration status violators living in various cities throughout Florida were arrested for immigration violations.
Among the arrested was 36-year-old aggravated felon Evelyn Del Socorro, of Nicaragua. Del Socorro, at the time of arrest, Del Socorro was in possession of a Florida ID and drivers license under two aliases.

CAGUAS, Puerto Rico --September 1, 2006 press release -- 38 illegal aliens working at a construction site were rested by ICE special agents. The 38 men, all nationals of the Dominican Republic worked at Los Pradros, a site that will feature homes, apartments and a shopping center. All those arrested have been placed in removal proceedings for being in violation of immigration laws.

Knowingly hiring illegal aliens is a violation of immigration law. Thus far, from January through mid-July 2006, ICE worksite enforcement investigations have resulted in 445 criminal arrests in the apprehension of 2700 illegal alien workers on administrative immigration violations.
Illegal aliens who are apprehended, are placed through removal proceedings and quickly returned to their country of origin. Aliens who reenter the United States after having been deported face felony charges, and sentences up to 20 years in prison.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Medicaid benefits require proof of citizenship or legal immigration status took effect Friday

Department of Human Services--

August 30, 2006 -- state workers will begin asking people applying or reapplying for most Medicaid benefits to provide evidence of citizenship or legal immigration status in compliance with a new federal law aimed at keeping in eligible non-citizens off Medicaid rolls.
People who are receiving Medicare or supplemental insurance income benefits are exempted from the requirement because their citizenship has already been documented. Legal residents who are not citizens will continue to provide appropriate documents from the US citizenship and immigration services.

Approximately 500,000 people receive Medicaid health-care in Oregon. Federal estimates put the number of ineligible non-citizens receiving Medicaid benefit in Oregon up to 350.

DHS will assist Oregon born applicants by checking the agency's database for certificates. People born in other states, DHS will provide details on how to order birth certificate and, in specific hardship cases, will pay the cost of obtaining the document.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Oregon's economy growing?


With contributions from the housing market, Oregon's economy has continued to grow in the last quarter, which state economists said tax revenues are coming in at $1.28 billion above projections and thus will offer of the largest personal "kicker" in the state's history.

However, they are warned that a correction could result from a cooling in the housing market, and signs that job growth is starting to level off.
"Economists are projecting that the state will have almost $13.8 billion in general fund dollars to spend in the 2007-2009 biennium, up from the $12.4 billion spent in the current two-year budget cycle on state obligations, including schools, social services and public safety.
The new quarterly forecast calls for a personal income tax "kicker" rebate of $1.043 billion to return to the state's taxpayers -- an average of $567 for a household making between $40,000 and $70,000 per year.
Put another way, for every $1,000 households pay in taxes, they could get back $206, or 20.6 percent, breaking the previous record of a 16.6 percent tax rebate in 1987.
"Kicker" refunds are sent to Oregon taxpayers whenever state tax revenues exceed official forecasts by more than 2 percent.
Corporations, too, stand to benefit from the state's continued growth, and would be entitled to a 61.3 percent reduction in their 2007 tax bills -- or $238 million that the state would never collect. The "

Earlier this summer, Governor Ted Kulongoski introduced the idea of suspending the personal income tax kicker, allowing the state to keep the money and invest in areas that were cut back during the 2001-2003 recession, when Oregon had the highest unemployment rate in the country and tax collections plummeted.
and for those who don't remember... we were #2 in the nation for unemployment. Salem offered to help by suggesting that they raise taxes to compensate for the lower income tax revenues. This coincided with the February 14, 2004 cut off date when Congress eliminated the extensions on unemployment because of the war.
In a speech on Thursday, Kulongoski made no mention of the personal kicker, instead, he repeated his call for an end to the corporate kicker, stating that the money would be better used in a rainy day fund.

In related news... the Kulongoski campaign is prepared to take its message to the voters that Governor Kulongoski has helped put Oregon's economy back on track and balance the state budget despite a $3 billion deficit brought on by the recession, explains Jim Ross, Kulongoski's campaign manager.Registerguard August 25, 2006
I'm glad somebody somewhere is seeing an improvement in the economy... all that I see, is 3+ dollars a gallon for gas and taxes going up. In fact, I realize the other day that nobody waters their lawn anymore, at least in Springfield. with the fees associated with water use, it has just become too expensive.