Sunday, December 31, 2006

happy new year -- Drive safe, or pay the consequences


Last year, ODOT reported that nearly 4000 traffic accidents in Lane County alone were less than half resulted in injuries. Approximate 30 of them were fatal.

With the help from a sheriffs Association grant, extra officers will be on the road this weekend.
"Our intent would be to encourage people to designate drivers and too find alternatives to transportation. we want them to have a good time but we want them to be safe. we don't want them to drive if they've been drinking," said Sgt. Fred Swank, with the Lane County Sheriff's Office.

Patrols will begin Sunday evening and continue throughout New Year's morning.

I hope everybody has a wonderful new year, and please be safe and don't drink and drive

Friday, December 29, 2006

Patch, replace, reload, restore, retire

This is the life of my computer lately.
Try as I might, it is time to put the ol' thing down.
This weekend I am ordering a new mother board [assuming the computer stays up long enough] and plan to be back blogging full time again soon.

Stay tuned!


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

LTD's EM-X buses soon to go into service


LTD's EM-X 63 foot long bus with room for about a hundred people [with people standing] is scheduled to go into service within the next couple weeks. LTD drivers for weeks have been training on the new buses in preparation for the rollout.
"Cause it's a sexy bus. it's just you know a it's a wonderful bus," said said 8 Year LTD bus driver Carl Faddis
It's a 63 foot long bus with room for about 100 people. but driving it isn't that easy.
"Is the fact that there's so much information to integrate into doing this thing. into handling the route. handling each of the stations," Faddis..
Each station a little different.
"This one is pretty feisty," said Faddis as he pulled up to a station on Franklin Boulevard in Glenwood.
The main purpose/reason for the bus is that we can make travel faster between Eugene and Springfield," said Angie Sifuentez, Marketing Representative for LTD.

The four $900,000 buses are scheduled to be fully operational on January 14, 2007. To entice riders, ridership will be free.
the system so far cost approximately $29 million for the 14 mile route between Eugene and Springfield. Hopefully, it delivers what it promises unlike that crazy [and dangerous] roundabout at Hayden Bridge and Pioneer Parkway in Springfield which is a disaster waiting to happen.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Have a very Merry Christmas

Back Tuesday!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Sony to pay $4.25 million over hidden anti-piracy software


As part of a settlement with 39 states to resolve investigations into problems caused by one of two types of copy-protection software—known as MediaMax or XCP hidden anti-piracy software that was included on music CDs.

Under the terms of the settlement, customers will be able to follow claim with Sony BMG to receive refunds up to $175, in addition, Sony BMG also agrees to no longer distribute compact discs with copy protected software that will hinder computer users from easily locating or removing it from their PCs.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

voters said no to a public $29 million public safety tax, so how about a new $129 million+ City Hall?

related story--

Eugene residents will likely be asked to approve a bond measure [or by other creative means] for the new City Hall with estimates so far ranging from $126.8 million to $130 million which includes acquiring land and building a 300,000 square-foot headquarters that will stand about six stories high.

"If the city can buy the properties, that's where we really turn up the heat on talking to the community and engaging them and building toward why they want this for themselves," she said. "And it should truly represent in its architecture and its function what the people of the city of Eugene want.", said Mayor Kitty Piercy
Hummm, New building or public safety? Which one do you think the people want?

A new City Hall, perhaps larger than the recently completed $92 million Wayne Lyman Morse Federal Courthouse, would remake a key block in the heart of the city. "I think it will generate excitement," Councilor David Kelly said.

city officials are eager to replace the 42 -year-old City Hall which they consider too small, energy inefficient [due to its single pane windows] and because the second story structure is supported by pillars, makes it vulnerable to an earthquake.

Jim Hale, a former city Council candidate agrees that the police department should be moved from City Hall, however that can be done without building an entire new building.
The city's priorities should be repairing streets, adding police officers to its understaffed ranks and finding money to develop parks, he said. "We have a million things that are higher priorities "

on the one hand, the city tells us that they don't have money to repair the roads or provide public safety, that they are shorthanded and do not have enough manpower... and yet they want to build a completely new building because of expected growth?
I agree with the idea that the police department should be separated from City Hall, however, I disagree that the construction of an entirely new building is really necessary.

Finally, let's not forget what the DA said on KUGN during interview about Eugene being considered a high crime area.

Like I've been saying, it's about checks and balances and priorities.

Hat tip to Gary for the article

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Employer who hired illegal aliens may face jail time


San Diego -- Two executives from Golden State, a Southern California fence company, pleaded guilty Thursday for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

The two men admitted hiring at least 10 legal immigrants and have alleged hiring more than 100 illegal immigrants from 1999 to 2005 and continued to employ illegals even after two government audits. Last year 110 unauthorized workers were found after government agents’ raided Golden State fences Riverside office.
“People slip through the cracks and that’s what happens. Mistakes were made,” Richard Hirsch, an attorney for Golden State and Kay.

The company will pay $4.7 million in fines, in addition the two executives will forfeit a combined $300,000 and both could go to prison. In comparison, last year Wal-Mart paid to end a federal investigation into the use of illegal immigrants agreed to pay $11 million.

Hat tip to Laura for the article

Monday, December 18, 2006

Weyerhaeuser plywood mill in Springfield to be decommissioned

Weyerhaeuser news release --

Weyerhaeuser Co. announced that it will permanently close to manufacturing operations in Oregon... a plywood mill in Springfield, and a veneer plant in Coburg -- effective immediately.
“Weyerhaeuser made the difficult decision after a strategic review of the company’s veneer business,” Cathy Slater, vice president of veneer technologies said. “There’s a shrinking demand for plywood panels because of the decline in housing starts and the increase availability of alternative products. After careful consideration of all the options, a decision was made to close the two facilities.”

The Springfield mill employs 86 people, 42 in Coburg.

Idaho turns to database to verify if you're legally allowed to work in the United States

the Oregonian--

Gov. Jim Risch of Idaho signed an executive order Wednesday requiring all state agencies to begin screening potential employees three federal database system that is managed by the US Bureau of citizenship and immigration services that will verify that they are legally allowed to work in the country by matching the employee's name, Social Security number and birthday.
Although it's the federal government's job to secure the country's borders, states have a role to play in curbing illegal immigration, too, Risch said.
"There's a second side to the illegal immigration coin, and that side is the job magnet," he said. "We must do our part to fight illegal immigration by ensuring we only hire those that are eligible to work in America."

Each employee receives a verification number that says that they are eligible for employment.
U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, told reporters that cutting off illegal immigrants from jobs was key to solving the country's immigration problems. Craig has promoted a plan to allow some of the 12 million illegal immigrants in the country to apply for citizenship, if they meet certain requirements.
"Our state needs a guest-worker program. Our state needs foreign nationals in our work force. But we want them to be here legally," Craig said. "The more America becomes less a safe haven for illegals to work, the easier our responsibilities become on the border."

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Personal Cost of Education

Robin’s Commentary --

Many who have been frequent visitors to this blog have heard me talk about many times about the lack of quality education at Lane Community College, and that the degree that I received is not worth the paper that is printed on. That opinion is shared by seven other graduates of my class.

When you talk about the cost of education, you have to look at both the direct costs and the indirect cost.

The direct cost for my associates’ degree is $24,000 in student loans. The indirect cost is the $40,000 that this student loan will cost me by the time it is paid off.

Personally, I think the money would have been well spent if I had a realistic chance of getting a job in the profession that I trained for.

To date, I have had two employers voluntarily tell me what they think are of the LCC CIT program during a job interview. They both expressed their disappointment in the quality of education and the lack of knowledge and preparation of the graduates.

For now, I currently have a job that pays the bills, however, to make any real money I'm going to have to go back to my previous career.

However, I do have an associate’s degree.

Maybe that would at least unlock a different door.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Boston Governor OKs detention of the legal immigrants by state police


Boston Governor Mitt Romney, who is considering a campaign for Republican presidential nominee in 2008, signed an agreement with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) Wednesday that allows Massachusetts State police troopers to detain illegal aliens that they encounter during the course of their normal duties.

The first group of 30 troopers drawn from the Violent Fugitive Apprehension Squad, the Criminal Investigation Section, the Anti-Gang Unit, the Drug Enforcement Unit and the Community Action Team will receive five weeks a specialized training next year paid for by the federal government.

The life of the new policy may have a limited life because Romney’s term ends January 4, and his successor, Democrat Deval Patrick, opposes placing any additional burden on the troopers, calling the policy a mistake.

It's unwise given all the other demands on the state police to ask them to take on the added responsibility of enforcing federal immigration laws," the governor-elect said Wednesday night in Springfield. "I don't think it's much more than a political ploy to bring them in." He said he's investigating what power he might have to nullify the agreement.

how can you think of it as being at burden when you're talking about national security?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

ID theft targeted in immigration raids


Greenley Colorado -- Immigration and Custom Enforcement officials temporary suspended six Swift meat-processing plants Thursday after arresting an unknown number suspected illegal immigrants in an identity theft investigation that agents had uncovered a scheme in which illegal immigrants and others have stolen or bought the identities and Social Security numbers of possibly hundreds of US citizens.

Swift has never condoned the employment of unauthorized workers, nor have we ever knowingly hired such individuals,” Swift & Co. President and CEO Sam Rovit said in a written statement.

ICE chief Julie L. Myer said ICE had uncovered several different rings that may have provided illegal documents.
Some immigrants targeted had genuine U.S. birth certificates, and others had other kinds of false identification, Myers said.
“The significance is that we’re serious about work site enforcement and that those who steal identities of U.S. citizens will not escape enforcement,” Myers said

Sunday, December 10, 2006

12 Acres of West Eugene Wetlands Now In City Hands


legislation backed by senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith, and supported by the city of Eugene and the BLM that would transfer 12 acres of the West Eugene wetlands property to the city of Eugene passed the House and Senate Saturday. The city plans to build an environmental education Center and a wildlife viewing.

city of Eugene's wetlands

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The economy is great... Kulongoski already wants 20% more

the Oregonian--

Over the next two years, Oregon would spend 20% more to include $1.1 billion increase for education and 700 million-dollar jump in healthcare and human services.

He [Kulongoski] proposes smaller class sizes; Head Start for every low-income child; adding 139 state troopers; expanded health insurance, mental health care and addiction treatment for the poor; a 25 percent increase in prison spending to accommodate more inmates; and the biggest round of university construction since World War II.

Kulongoski's budget plan relies on four tax increases -- two to be paid by corporations and two to be paid by households.

Cigarette taxes would rise 84 cents to $2.03 a pack, drivers would pay a surcharge on auto insurance, and corporations would forgo their $275 million "kicker" rebate for 2007 and pay a higher minimum corporate tax. Together, the four taxes would raise nearly $600 million in 2007-09.

of course, under the plan, the corporate kicker would be diverted into a rainy day account

"There's plenty of money. The governor has his party in power", said Former state House Speaker Larry Campbell
and people expected things to be different by reelecting him?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP)??? --

What is the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP)? This was a term that I heard on a talk show last night that I figured it's worth looking into.

While the facts are not verified... Colorado Republican Tom Tancredo, feels that it is real.

"He [President Bush] is going to do what he can to create a place where the idea of America is just that, it’s an idea. It’s not an actual place defined by borders. I mean this is where the guy is really going,” he told WorldNetDaily, a controversial conservative website.

According to Tancredo, the SPP which was signed last year by Canada, Mexico and the United States, the borders will lose all their significance, serving nearly as "speed bumps" in the flow of goods, services and people.

Geri Word, who heads the SPP office within the NAFTA office of the US Department of commerce, said in a telephone interview, "we didn't want to get the contact people of the working groups distracted by calls from the public."

Many SPP working groups appear to be working toward achieving specific objectives as defined by a May 2005 Council on Foreign Relations task force report, which presented a blueprint for expanding the SPP agreement into a North American Union that would merge the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a new governmental form.

Again, this story has not been verified by me to it’s accuracy.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

computers up .... again

The computer crashed again.. now it has a new harddrive and operating system, and I will resume posting within the next day or so after I have completed reinstallation of my software and get my backups up to date.

Stay tuned...