Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Road fee (toll) of $5.22 a month proposed by the Eugene city Council - again


2002 the city of Eugene imposed a gas tax, now at five cents a gallon to help maintain our potholes, err…. I mean roads, now four years later, the city counselors want to explore alternatives to the tax which would cost single-family homeowners $5.22 a month or $62.64 annually to help fund the city's $100 million backlog of street work.
Alternative ideas include raising the city's gas tax; approve a general obligation bond or a commuter tax assessed on businesses.

The city counselors were deadlocked 4-4 on whether to postpone a vote on the proposal with Mayor Kitty Piercy breaking the tie in favor of the delay.

"The latest proposal would have raised an estimated $6.7 million annually for repairing, rebuilding and maintaining Eugene's streets."

more fees to chase businesses away, and let's not forget that with Sleepy Ted being reelected, the GPS road mileage fee may soon be a reality.
again, it's all about checks and balances. i.e. I don't trust them to do what they say they are going to do with the money.

Monday, November 27, 2006

First National Bank of Wal-Mart? It's coming


Wal-Mart is hoping to tap into the country's booming consumer loan market with its own bank in the second half of next year.
Wal-Mart has faced stiff opposition in its bid to open to charter a bank in Utah that would handle the 140 million credit, debit card and electronic check payments it processes each year. Opponents say the so-called industrial bank would be the first step in the retailer's move toward expanding into full-scale banking with retail branches that would destroy local U.S. banks.

Wal-Mart, who met with opposition on entering the banking business in the United States has benefited from Mexico's effort to open the financial service industry to low-income clients. Wal-Mart de Mexico, or Walmex, is the 13th banking license granted this year by financial authorities.

Wal-Mart bank Federal deposit insurance application--

The Politics of Immigration

"The Politics of Immigration: Confronting our past, constructing a future" a forum on immigration to be held at Lane Community College, November 28 from 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. in Building 19, room 257

The event is sponsored by Jim Garcia, Chicano/Latino student program coordinator and his invited guests include an immigration lawyer, Mike Samonoa who is an ethnic studies Professor at LCC representing the open border point of view and Springfield city counselor, Dave Ralston.
it should make for an interesting discussion

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Companies that use cheap, illegal alien labor as a business model should be on notice


40 illegal aliens working on a construction site were arrested Tuesday in Palm Coast Florida by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents. Three of those arrested reentered the country after being deported. Reentry after deportation is a prosecutable felony offense that carries a possible 25-year prison sentence.

“Companies that use cheap, illegal alien labor as a business model should be on notice,” said Robert W. Weber, special agent-in-charge in Tampa. “ICE is dramatically enhancing its enforcement efforts against illegal employment schemes."

The enforcement, part of the secure border initiative (SBI) was launched by the Department of Homeland security to secure America's borders and reduce illegal immigration, which includes enhanced worksite enforcement investigations and intensified efforts to track down and remove illegal aliens inside this country.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Rep. Charles Rangel's call for military conscription of Americans, age 18 to 42,


Do you think that we should reinstate the draft?
Rep. Charles Rangel thinks so, in fact if he has his way, there will be a call for military conscription of Americans, age 18 to 42.
Said Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi, "Mr. Rangel has long held this position. It's not about a draft, it's about shared sacrifice in our country.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Mojave Desert community voted 3-2 making it illegal to fly foreign flag by itself

USA Today--

The Nevada town of Pahrump population 33, 000, voted 3-2 on Tuesday to enact an ordinance making it illegal to fly a foreign nation's flag by itself punishable by a $50 fine and 30 hours committee service unless it is flown below an American flag.
"Old Glory is sovereign," says Paul Willis, a retired carpenter and board member. "You can't fly any other nation's flag higher than the American flag."

Lisa Rasmussen, a board member of the Nevada ACLU says that the flight restriction violates the First Amendment's guarantee to free speech. "People have a right, as much as we don't like it, to fly... any flag they wish."

The law was passed as part of a package of measures that also declared English the official language and denies benefits to illegal immigrants.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

3 dozen affiliated with the Gang Sur 13 in Springfield


A meeting called by Mark Molina, a member of the city's police planning task force, with 30 attendees met Tuesday to begin discussion. Attendees included police officers; school officials and youth outreach program representatives to discuss youth gangs in Springfield.
"Whether or not anyone knows about it, (gang activity) is real," Molina told the group, which gathered in a meeting room at the Springfield School District's administration building.

Police agree, stating that they identified more than three dozen people in Springfield affiliated with the Sur 13 gang [definition]-- out of California.
Some of the attendees talked about why youth become involved in gangs in the first place, others feel that offering teens constructive activities is the answer.
and why not... the DA advertises in the paper what crimes it will not prosecute and the government refuses to prosecute people who violate federal laws... who wouldn't think that gangs would form and run rapid?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

LCC President Mary Spilde worries that residents no longer have a favorable view of LCC...


LCC which recently lost its levy by just over 70,000 (57%) voters voting no on their ballots which would raise over $1 million a year for the next five years. "Everyone was surprised," said LCC President Mary Spilde

Spilde worries that residents no longer have as favorable a view of LCC as they once had.
No sh*t

Some people are theorizing that the reason for the no vote is because they were unaware that LCC was on their ballot until they filled it out.

"We will need to redouble our efforts in the community to tell our story and why the college so important, especially in this economy when we need people who are trained for the jobs we have," Spilde said. "We know we have a lot of friends, and we need to ask them to help us tell our story."

Monday, November 13, 2006

I have never seen this one before

City of Eugene jobs listing--

I was doing my weekly job search on the Internet and I came across this notice…

Application Systems Analyst 2


The definition of a permanent labor certification is that it is a certification issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) that allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the US.

It sounds like someone applied for this job, however that being the case, then why would a posting like this have to be made?

It just seems weird.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

the million-dollar bus hits the road


it's here. "You see before you the future," declared Peter Defazio who had the honor of driving the first EmX bus into LTDs Eugene Station. This was the first of five 60 foot diesel electric buses in the EmX fleet that will debut in mid-January for the Franklin Eugene to Springfield route.

The buses with carry a $960,000 price tag can accommodate 100 riders (44 sitting) and include spaces for two wheelchair users and three bicycle-toting riders.

The Franklin Blvd. route cost an estimated $29 million and phase 2, the Pioneer Parkway route will cost an estimated $39 million.

LTD board member Gerry Gaydos, also sought to check expectations, remarking that the "full promise" of rapid-transit buses won't be realized until the entire network is in place. LTD plans to build the second EmX leg along Springfield's Pioneer Parkway, and is eyeing Eugene's West 11th Avenue corridor for its third leg.
if you do the math is over $1 billion

Peter Defazio said that rabid buses are perfect for communities "it are big enough for light rail." And he predicts that the EmX will result in "more ridership, more efficiency and more livable future."

but who pays for this? Where's the money coming from for these new Cadillacs of buses? Federal grants? (our tax money) And did you know that employers and people who are self-employed pay a yearly LTD tax to help support this system?

Personally, I still feel that there's a better solution, especially for the amount of funds that are being spent on this project. Money could have been better spent on public safety, schools, road repair and with cheaper and smaller diesel electric buses that do not require a special roadway, could cover more territory, hire more people, transport more people, the more flexible in the routes and cost less than one third for what they're paying for this limited bus system while accomplishing the same goals.

I also question the capacity claims of these buses. 100 passengers, 44 sitting...e.g. they are considering requiring seat belts for school buses, however will that exclude public transportation?

Friday, November 10, 2006

We Are Not Afraid of Christmas Anymore...

USA Today--

Christmas is the time when we celebrate the birth of Christ. This is a holiday that has been around for generations, however, a holiday that seems to be rapidly dying off because of the "politically correct" crowd. However, as many retailers have been taking heat for trying not to offend anyone by substituting "Holiday" for "Christmas". Such as the "Holiday tree" versus "the Christmas tree."
Wal-Mart on the other hand, is taking a different approach this year.
"We, quite frankly, have learned a lesson from last year," says Wal-Mart spokeswoman Linda Blakley. [Referring to be outrage and boycotts of last year [lifesite]-- ] "We're not afraid to use the term 'Merry Christmas.' We'll use it early, and we'll use it often

This decision was met with applause when Wal-Mart informed its 7000 associates of it's plans at a conference last month.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Lane Community College measure 20-120 failed

The voters decided to vote no on Lane Committee Colleges five-year levy 20-120 by 56% no, 42% yes. Lane County Oregon--
While I was glad to see that the measure did not pass and I will admit that I do have a dog in this fight, plus I have already contributed thousands of dollars in tuition fees, I really do feel sorry for the good instructors and programs that risk losing their jobs due to cutbacks.

From a consumer [student] standpoint and recent graduate of Lane community college who along with seven other students from my class feel that we did not receive the value of education nor did the program meet our expectations for the amount of money that we paid for our education.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lane Co. Income tax fails; what's next?


The voters said no to measure 20-114 by 51% yes to 49% no. Commissioner Bobby Green says he hopes the people who voted against the measure will help solve the root problems that cause crime in Lane County...
"Unless we start to address the systemic issues around poverty, which is a lot of indicators around drug activities, crime ... and those who have chosen not to vote in favor of it, I take the position that's OK, too. But I hope they help us solve the problem," Green said Tuesday night.

Although there is no plan "B", District Attorney Doug Harcleroad [the same people who advertised which crimes they will not prosecute] says Lane County leaders will meet in early December to decide which public safety services to cut.

In a related article[link]-- if measure 20-114 is not approve, "the commissioners retain the authority to impose an income tax without restrictions as to the rate or purpose, but subject to possible referendum vote."

Ted Tax-and-gouge-me is back in for round two

It was either name recognition or people bought the sound bites during the commercials why they chose to reelect Kulongoski.

In either case, one thing you can be assured of is that the ODOT GPS mileage fee will still be on track to go into effect within the next couple years.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Computer down again

Sorry folks,
the computer died over the weekend and has to have a fresh install.
should be up again later this week.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

a federal judge on Tuesday blocked the city of Hazelton from enforcing an ordinance targeting illegal immigrants


Allentown Pennsylvania -- a pair of artists is targeting the illegal immigrants was blocked by a federal judge on Tuesday over two ordinances passed by the city of Hazelton just hours before the measures were to go into effect..

The measures, proved by the city Council would have imposed fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and denied business permits to come these that gave them jobs.

US District Judge James Munley ruled that the ordinance would create "irreparable harm" and issued a temporary restraining order blocking their enforcement. "We find it in the public interest to protect residents access to homes, education, jobs and businesses," he wrote in a 13 page opinion.

The ACLU and Hispanic groups sued Hazelton on Monday, contending that the law violates the Constitution because they trample on the federal government exclusive power to regulate immigration.

The judge's restraining order expires November 14, 2006.

Hat tip to Laura for the article