Saturday, April 28, 2007

Thank you sleepy Ted

Robin's Commentary--

I just wanted to express my gratitude to Governor Ted Kulongoski a.k.a. “Ted tax and gouge me” for helping to pass a law requiring a prescription for certain over-the-counter medications to help reduce methamphetamine in Oregon.

I have lived in Oregon the majority of my life, and like most people who live here, develop hay fever, and take medications to help get through the season.

I also have asthma and would take an over-the-counter medication when my asthma would get out of hand because my lungs would get filled up with fluid.

Medication that I very rarely use, in fact, the last box I had lasted me for about four years.

Unfortunate, I used my last tablet this last week and went to the pharmacy to get another box, where I was informed that I would have to call my doctor and get a prescription for this formally over-the-counter medication.

The medication is Broncaid, which unfortunately became a prescription drug because it contains ephedrine.

No problem I thought to myself. I'll just call my doctor and get a prescription.

After hours of waiting and hacking up fluid for my doctor to call me back, she calls me and says, "Robin, I do not feel comfortable in prescribing such a drug however, I will prescribe Sudafed."

Sudafed is also a prescription only drug now thanks to Uncle Teddy

I tried to convince my doctor about the benefits of Broncaid and how much better it is then Sudafed, however, I was unsuccessful in my endeavor and my doctor concluded the call with, "it's either Sudafed are nothing!"

So, I guess Sudafed it is.

And I still can't breathe.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lane County -- two proposed budgets will be reviewed

Lane County news release--

Two proposed budgets will be reviewed beginning this Thursday, with the topic being the financial uncertainty from a loss of federal "payments to counties" funding which expired September 2006

The proposed budgets that were developed for consideration consider the "best case" and the "worst-case" scenarios if federal funding is lost

Scenario #1 reflects about $3 million in reductions and assumes federal funding continues.

Scenario #2 reflects about $20 million in reductions and cuts to general fund services, and $20 million in reduction to the road fund.

Additionally, scenario #2 does not include a replacement revenue source and proposes reductions or cuts to 46 different services and programs to include senior and disable services, Pathways residential drug treatment program for boys, extension services, veteran services, and supervision of misdemeanor domestic violence offenders, etc.
"With regard to general fund programs in public safety and public health, Lane County will significantly reduce its services below minimally adequate levels," County Administrator Bill Van Vactor said of Budget No. 2.

The budget meeting, named "Redefining Lane County in a Post-Timber Revenue World" begins at 6:15 p.m., Thursday, April 26 at Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Ave Eugene

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Legal" immigrants live in fear as a consequence from "illegal" immigration

San Francisco Chronicle--

US Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) and officials had been conducting raids since May 2006 across the country, to include arrests in San Rafael, Oakland, Richmond, San Pablo, Santa Clara and other cities across the bay area.

Many of the raids were conducted in private homes before dawn serving deportation warrants, while others whom officers suspected to be illegal immigrants were questioned and then arrested.

Some of the raids have effected legal immigrants and citizens.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, vowed Sunday to maintain a sanctuary for immigrants and to discourage federal authorities from conducting immigration raids.
"I will not allow any of my department heads or anyone associated with this city to cooperate in any way shape or form with these raids," Newsom declared. "We are a sanctuary city, make no mistake about it."

San Rafael Mayor Al Boro also called on California's US senators in March, to push the immigration agency to change how it is enforcing immigration law because he believes children are the ones being hurt.
"We are victims," said Porfirio Quintano, a 42 years year-old immigrant from Honduras, adding that his wife and two daughters, then ages 4 and 10, live in fear of another raid, even though they are in the country legally. "They were looking for somebody unrelated to us, but they lined us up against the wall and held us for an hour. It was terrifying, especially for our daughters."

I agree with Mayor Al Boro. However, it's not just the children that are getting hurt, it is also all those people who came to the United States LEGALLY that are unfortunately getting caught in ICE’s net, which is a DIRECT result from millions of people who have taken it upon themselves to invade our country by coming here ILLEGALLY.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Crossing the street? Raise your hand first says a new bill passed on Thursday

Statesman Journal--

Senate Bill 573 passed on Thursday would require drivers to stop for pedestrians who raise an arm to signal that they intend to enter the crosswalk or cross at a street corner.
"It improves communications without actually putting your body in the crosswalk ..." said Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland,

Burdick indicated that the hand signal would reduce confusion between pedestrians who were not sure whether a driver would stop and drivers who were not sure that someone is going to cross the street.
State law now says drivers must stop if a pedestrian is in a crosswalk. However, someone still on the curb may be hesitant to take the first step out into a street full of fast-moving vehicles. And as long as pedestrians aren't in the crosswalk, drivers don't have to stop.

The bill would require drivers to stop at both marked and unmarked crosswalks. Failure to stop could mean a fine of up to $360.
"The driver of a vehicle commits the offense of failure to stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian if the driver does not stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian when the pedestrian is waiting on the curb or shoulder of the highway at a crosswalk and raising a hand and arm toward oncoming traffic."
{ Summary Senate Bill 573}--

Mark Lear, traffic operations manager for the city of Portland, says "we think it sends a positive message to pedestrians that they need to leave a safe distance for the car to stop."

The Senate voted 18-8 to approve the bill.
another law on top of another law.
What I see coming out of this is the same people who already step out onto the street without looking in both directions (as we were taught as a child) for cars coming, to boldly go to intersections with their arm held high expecting cars to stop for them at a moments notice.
I'm sorry folks, but what happened at common sense?
Pedestrians -- you wait to cross a street until it is safe to do so.
Motorist -- stop at the stop signs and red lights and follow traffic laws.
There! Now can we all just get along?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Kitty Carlisle dies at 96


Kitty Carlisle Hart whose film and television career included the classic Marx Brothers movie "a night at the Opera" and the CBS primetime program "to tell the truth" died after a battle with pneumonia at the age of 96.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Operation Return to Sender Program Nabs 359 More Illegal Aliens


SAN DIEGO - A total of 359 immigration violators from 15 different nations were arrested during the past two weeks by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers as part of Operation Return to Sender.

Those arrested included 50 that have criminal records, including past convictions for child sex offenses, robbery and drug violations. 61 of those arrested have ignored final orders of deportation. 39 were previously deported and re-entered the US after being removed.

Operation Return to Sender since its launch in late May 2006 has resulted in more than 18,000 arrests nationwide.

Monday, April 16, 2007

it is always the children who have to suffer for their parents actions

The Seattle Times--

Berenice Louis,22, has been selling her belongings to keep her self and her two daughters fed after her husband, who was a construction worker left them.

Her husband, Juan Louis, 23, who came here from Mexico illegally four years ago was recently arrested and deported back to Mexico.

Louis and her two daughters were among the estimated 250-350 people, mostly children, who rallied at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle calling for changes in the US immigration laws that would prevent such family separations.
They carried signs that read "Don't abandon the children" and "Stop deportations; I need to be with my mom."

Marchers included Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, who talked about his own family immigrants roots, when they came from Germany in 1880.
Nickels said that he wants Seattle to be the kind of city where people can feel secure as you knock on the door late at night and where you call 911 and the Seattle police will not ask you your immigration status.
ra Mehlman, a spokesman with the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which supports the enforcement of immigration laws, said logic often gets lost beneath the sad stories of deportation.
"When parents break the law, they put their families in jeopardy. They are responsible," Mehlman said. "It should be no different from all the other cases where people break the law."
"The kids stay here, the parents get sent back and the families are torn apart," said Hilda Magana, director of the children's program at the Seattle nonprofit, El Centro de la Raza, who brought 58 kids from the preschool day care facility to the rally and march to show support, she said, for "putting families first."

Wednesday's march came after 51 undocumented [illegal] aliens were detained at two UPS warehouse in Auburn.
I agree with Mehlman.
The parents knew the consequences of breaking the law if they got caught, and what it would do to the children.
It was any other subject, that would be considered child abuse.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Is a $13.30 an hour part-time job that great, or a sign of the economy to draw 500 people to apply for eight jobs in person?

Statesman Journal--

About 500 people stood in line for hours for the prospect of eight part-time jobs at McNary Field in Salem to apply for the job of TSA screener that is expected to begin in June.
"You get to meet a lot of people, and you're doing a service for your country," said Dan Higuera, a TSA officer who works at the Portland International Airport. Higuera, who retired as an equipment manager for a trucking company before joining the TSA, said he enjoys working a flexible, part-time schedule.

The screeners will work about 20 hours per week at $13.30 per hour and receive medical benefits.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Get health insurance or be tracked down and fined until you pay your premiums...

LA Times--

Schwarzenegger administration is considering putting some teeth in his plan to require health insurance coverage as part of his vision for covering all Californians.

Under Schwarzenegger's plan, people who refuse to obtain health insurance could be tracked down by the state or private contractor, be enrolled in the plan and fined until they pay their premiums. [Yea! Like what the Mafia used to do.]
"We're going to punish them if they don't go out and buy health insurance on their own — health insurance that they can't afford at the moment that they are least able to afford it," said Beth Capell, a lobbyist for the Service Employees International Union's California organization.

Their proposal would be to locate people without insurance coverage for 60 days or more, and only those who still do not obtain insurance would be subject to the involuntary measures.
Many Democratic legislatures, unions and consumer advocates have objected that the Schwarzenegger plan would require a minimum cost of $1200 a year per person even with high deductibles.

well if I was a wealthy movie star/governor, I could afford to pay for my own health insurance, but you know what? I'm not! In fact, if I were not able to get health insurance through my job, I would not have it.
Governor, there is a reason why some people do not have health insurance and one of those reasons is because it becomes a choice between insurance or food.

Activists undaunted on (illegal) immigration

The Oregonian--

Robin’s Commentary
Well the daily dead fish wrapper as Lars Larson calls it has done it again by making it sound like Americans are totally against "immigration" in general.
After a year of pickets at day-laborer sites and marches that filled downtown streets, Oregon activists on both sides of the immigration debate are preparing for Round Two
the issue that they are referring to is citizens like Daniel{Daniel's Political Musings}-- and organizations like Oregonians for Immigration Reform{OFIR}-- who are actively protesting illegal immigration, not immigration in general as the article sounds. there is a major difference.
....But the biggest obstacle might be what some see as a boon, The Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition organizer Marco Mejia said. Thousands turned out last year because they were outraged by a House bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis. that would have criminalized illegal immigration and those who assisted.
"That was upfront anti-immigrant sentiment," said Mejia, a program director for the American Friends Service Committee in Portland. "Now, people are confused by the compromise legislation. It has created a little bit of a division."

"Criminalized illegal immigration"
Think about that phrase for a minute... "Criminalize"... "Illegal"
Although immigrant-rights advocates say there have been no large-scale raids in Oregon, they have noticed pickets photographing or taking down license plate numbers of employers at day-laborer sites.

If it were gang activity going on (not that I'm associating the two together), there would not be anyone criticizing someone for taking pictures of license plates of the vehicles involved.

The point is that there is a major difference between "legal" and "illegal" immigration being that one went through the process and expense to come here legally, while the other bypassed the process altogether.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bush continues to push his "guest worker" program

Washington Post--

Monday, President Bush outlined the latest version of his planned overhaul of the nation's immigration laws, renewing his support for a guest worker program for an estimated 12 million undocumented (illegal) workers in the country.

Bush continued to call on Congress to pass the type of comprehensive immigration legislation that he has been pushing ever since he was president. Bush stated that the overhaul should combine increase border security and added pressure on employers who hire illegal immigrants while at the same time providing an avenue for a large number of illegal aliens already here to become citizens.
"Congress can pass a comprehensive bill, and I can sign it into law this year," Bush said

"Family values don't stop at the Río Grande River," Bush said in the speech referring to those who risk their lives to sneak across the southern border to provide for their families and contribute to the nation's fabric in the same way immigrants have for generations.

Under Bush's proposal, illegal workers could apply for a three-year work visas, renewable at a cost of $3500 each time, and to become a permanent legal resident, they would have to return to their home countries and apply for reentry at a US Embassy or Consulate and pay a $10,000 fine.
"Family values don't stop at the Río Grande River ... while those who risk their lives sneak across the southern border to provide for their families...”
I could say the same about anybody that breaks into your house. Nevertheless, I would also ask the question, “does that make it right?"

In my opinion, the issue has gone way beyond cheap labor to affecting our nation's security by not taking the invasion of people who currently by the hundreds violated our borders on a daily basis.

While I will agree that our methods for applying for citizenship in this country may need to be looked at, the point is that we do have a system in place and people who wished to come here and become citizens should respect that system and the system of laws.

Currently, under the immigration laws, entering this country illegally is simply a misdemeanor and the immigration reform legislation should first start by making that a felony.

Of course, it will not matter what the penalties are they will not be enforced.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Greetings sports fans -- It's pandemonium here in Lane County as the battle heats up over the newly enacted Lane County income tax...


As the issue heats up over the newly enacted (and without voter approval) Lane County income tax, and with the "We Said No!" Committee's recent success in obtaining enough signatures to place the measure on the ballot again, some at the Lane County commissioner's office are not taking this challenge to their power laying down..

The challenger, "We’re All in This Together" committee chaired by Lane County Commissioner Bill Dwyer and one of the originators of the 1.1% Lane County income tax, along with several special interest groups such as the extension service and veterans services are hoping to convince voters before the May elections to vote in favor of the Lane County income tax.

About to enter the penalty box, is Lane County Commissioner Bobby Green.
Green, who is just one of the "tax them anyway 3" is the only one eligible for recall at this time. Green had this to say about the recall..
"It's a process, it's a public process and I respect the process, so people have a right to do what they believe is in their best interest and given that, my belief is that I acted in the best interest." , says Green

The other two, Stewart and Dwyer, will not be eligible for recall until May.

Folks, it should be an interesting battle on one side it is about money and the other it is principal.

Friday, April 06, 2007

More Pet Food Recalls

Statesman Journal--

Washington -- the Food and Drug Administration said that the manufacturer, Sunshine Mills Inc. of Red Bay Alabama, is recalling dog biscuits made with imported Chinese wheat gluten, which revealed that the wheat gluten was contaminated with melamine, which is used to make plastic, and other industrial products.

Sunshine Mills sells pet food under the labels Nurture, Lassie and Pet Life Dog biscuit brands which are sold through outlets such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, Long's drugstore and State Brothers markets, is recalling dog biscuits, which contained 1% or less of wheat gluten by weight.

Sunshine Mills said that there have been no reports of dog illness or death in connection with the products.

Menu Foods, a major supplier of wet pet foods has voluntarily expanded its recall of pet food products for selected "cuts and gravy" pet food manufactured back in November 8, 2006.
As a result of actions previously taken by Menu Foods, the vast majority of the products affected by this expansion are already off retailers' shelves.

brands included on the recall lists include...

Cat Food

Brand Look For This Date The Bottom of Can or Back of Pouch Variety Description Can or Pouch Size UPC
date range -------product name ------- containers---size ----- UPC code
Nov/20/09 Adult Sliced Chicken/Sauce Formula 3oz Can 3oz 37257-37359

Nutro Max Cat Gourmet Classics
Nov/21/08 Pouch Kitten Chicken/Tomato 3oz Pouch 3oz 79105-36263
Nov/21/08 Pouch Senior Whitefish/Crab 3oz Pouch 3oz 79105-36265

Pet Pride
Nov/21/09 Flaked Tuna 3oz Can 3oz 11110-80472
Nov/20/09 Sliced Chicken/Heart/Liver 3oz Can 3oz 11110-86261
Nov/20/09 Sliced Turkey/Gravy 3oz Can 3oz 11110-86257
Nov/20/09 Sliced Beef/Gravy 3oz Can 3oz 11110-86264

Nov/21/09 Flaked Chicken/Tuna 3oz Can 3oz 37257-01287
Nov/20/09 Sliced Beef/Gravy 3oz Can 3oz 37257-01243
Nov/20/09 Sliced Chicken/Heart/Liver 3oz Can 3oz 37257-01285
Nov/20/09 Sliced Salmon/Chicken 3oz Can 3oz 37257-01286

Science Diet Feline Savory Cuts Can
Jun/19/08 Sliced Beef/Gravy 3oz Can 3oz 52742-44120
Jun/19/08 Sliced Chicken/Grvy 3oz Can 3oz 52742-44110
Jun/19/08 Sliced Oceanfish/Sauce 3oz Can 3oz 52742-44010
Jun/19/08 Sliced Senior Chicken/Gravy 3oz Can 3oz 52742-46000

Dog Food

Brand Look For This Date The Bottom of Can or Back of Pouch Variety Description Can or Pouch Size UPC
date range -------product name ------- containers---size ----- UPC code
Grreat Choice
Nov/14/09 London Grill Cuts 13.2oz Can 13.2oz 37257-37002

Pet Pride
Nov/28/08 Pouch Chicken Teriyaki/Gravy 5.3oz Pouch 5.3oz 11110-84172
Dec/01/08 Pouch With Stew 5.3oz Pouch 5.3oz 11110-88124

Springfield Prize
Nov/14/09 Chicken Cuts/Gravy 13.2oz Can 13.2oz 41380-13901

Stater Brothers
Nov/14/09 Chicken Cuts/Gravy 13.2oz Can 13.2oz 74175-12240

{Menu Foods recall list -- April 5, 2007}--

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A plastic bag tax?

Corvallis Gazette Times--

eight-year-old Jessie Marley along with his mom wants shoppers to pay a quarter for every new plastic grocery bag that they use, and is planning to circulate a petition and gather signatures to make it a law.
“One of the goals of the City Council is to make Corvallis more sustainable,” Corvallis Mayor Charlie Tomlinson told his young visitor. And that could include both gentle encouragement and legislative acts, he said after the meeting.

San Francisco recently passed an ordinance to outlaw plastic check out bags in addition to its recent ban on Styrofoam food containers at restaurants.

Marley says he wants to bring attention to how plastic bags effect our environment. "They just don't think about it. Whereas, if there was a tax and you throw a plastic bag out, it would be just like throwing a quarter out and not trying to pick it up." Said Marley
as if groceries are not expensive enough as it is. Imagine paying $.25 per bag tax every time you go shopping. Next, they will be a $.25 tax on paper bags.

While the idea sounds good for the environment, imagine how it would be logistically for the stores to keep track of every bag that a consumer uses.

More than likely, a store may use an algorithm to calculate approximately how many bags are used for groceries.

What the article does not address, is when you pay your extra two or three dollars "bag tax", the bags will still go into the same garbage cans that they go to now, unless, they would be considering some sort of a deposit system similar to the Oregon bottle bill.

{additional source KEZI}--

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Recall efforts began for Lane County Commissioner Bobbie Green

Register Guard--

Paperwork for the signature gathering effort to fire, err, I mean recall the first of the "ignore the voter gang" Lane County commissioner Bobby Green has begun on Monday by Ben Pooler, chief petitioner of the "We Said No" political action committee.

Green, is the only one of the three commissioners who voted in favor of enacting a income tax just four months after the voters said no to the measure that is eligible for recall.

Election rules prohibit recall of Lane County officials until they have served at least six months of their current term according to Roxanne Marshall, election supervisor.

Once the partition is approved, organizers have 90 days to collect 4,274 of the needed signatures.
this recall effort is more than just recalling three commissioners who enacted a tax that the voters had rejected many times before, it is also a message to local and state governments that we are not going to tolerate any longer elected officials who blatantly act against the will of the people.

We are still a representative form of government, and to quote Abraham Lincoln, "... and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."{the White House, history of presidents}--still remains true.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) formally announces he is running for president

The Hill--

Representative Tom Tancredo formally announced Monday that he is running for president and that his campaign would be focused on combating illegal immigration.
“I am running for president to give Americans a voice, to win this fight [on illegal immigration],” Tancredo said in his announcement address on an Iowa talk-radio show....
“Unlike legal immigrants, who have for more than 200 years come to be a part of our nation, illegal immigrants today come to be apart from our nation,” Tancredo said Monday. “The great tradition of American assimilation has broken down.”

Tancredo is an advocate for tighter border security and an opponent of amnesty or guest worker programs for illegal aliens.

Tancredo has also publicly questioned the extradition of Dwayne "Dog" Chapman to Mexico.
{Congressman Tom Tancredo}--

I think this time around presidential candidates are going to find it very difficult to avoid the issue of illegal immigration.

Monday, April 02, 2007

$3.5 million for "velodromes"?

{Statesman Journal}--

What the heck is a Velodrome???

A Velodrone is basically a bicycle racing track, which are usually high banked oval shape bicycle tracks used for competitive racing and training.

Senate Bill 926 would allow for a construction of two tracks in southern Oregon and the third to be built in Eugene/Springfield area.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Atkinson, senators Bates, Brown, Burdick, KRUSE, PROZANSKI, Representatives BUCKLEY, GILLIAM, OLSON, RICHARDSON would direct the State Parks and Recreation Department construct three velodrome's in northern and southern Oregon.

"There's a huge economic pool," said Senator Jason Atkinson, "the bill out grew me and it outgrew the cycling community."

The Senate committee on the environment and natural resources voted 4-0 to recommend passage of the bill. Peggy Lynch, an action committee member for the League of Women Voters, was the only naysayer.
The group's objection was that the seed capital for planning, development and construction -- as much as $3.5 million to match by money from bicycling interests -- would come from Measure 66 money. Voters approved those funds for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to refurbish and acquire new parklands.

Committee member Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, responded that velodromes also provide healthful recreational opportunities.

Additional informationOregon Legislative Assembly, Senate Bill 926 --

I must say I was a little astonished when I read this in light of the passage of the Lane County income tax that something like this would even be considered.

they are screaming that they did not have money for basic services such as public safety, and they are juggling funds to try to make up the difference, For example, the Lane County Parks division will increase user fees for days areas and Camp Lane as a way to help address the proposed $510,000 budget reduction due to the loss of "car rental tax funding", in which the revenues may be redirected to help replace the loss of "Secure Rural Schools Funding".{Lane County news March 21, 2007}--
again, it's all about priorities I guess.