Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Property taxes and a parking tax on homes = double taxation

Register Guard--

The Eugene city Council on Thursday voted to raise the city's gas tax by three cents a gallon by a 6-2 vote to generate more money to repair the city's "bumpiest, potholed filled" streets, bringing the total that motorists would pay for taxes to 50.4 cents per gallon.

" Councilor Chris Pryor said the council will explore three other ways to produce more money for streets, namely a property tax levy that would need to be approved by voters and a parking tax on homes and businesses that wouldn't need voter approval. "

Portland attorney and lobbyist for the Oregon petroleum Association Paul Romain told counselors before the vote that if they passed the tax increase, his group would launch a signature gathering drive to asked residents to vote on the latest increase or possibly on the entire tax.
an extra tax for our driveway? Isn't our driveway part of our property taxes that we pay every year? Isn't that double taxation? Would you be charged differently if you have a single car driveway are a double car driveway?

When is this craziness going to end?

It is definitely past time for recalls.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Monday is Memorial Day -- have a safe three-day weekend

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA): "Will this be the last amnesty program?"

Lars Larson has presented audio in transcripts of senators Grassley's top 15 reasons the current immigration reform plan is flawed.

(here is a summary of a few of them, the rest are available at{Lars Larson}--

-- Probationary benefits not subject to the trigger (work auth, protection from
removal, ssn, granted to illegal aliens immediately even if background
check is not complete)...

-- Many criminal provisions may be waived for elig purposes. falsely
claiming u.s. citizenship...even tho its a crime...

-- Background checks taken to lightly...

-- The illegals protected from removal...

-- TERRORISTS AND CRIMINALS can apply for probate status... even if there is an order for REMOVAL or in custody. Now 600,000 who have defied orders...

-- Only eligible to illegal aliens only...

-- Indefinite renewal to the Z-nonimmigrant visas...

-- NO English requirement...

-- Principal alien pays, however wife and kids are not required..."

This is only a summary, I definitely recommend checking the full transcript and listen to the audio at the following locations.
{Lars Senator Grassley list flaws in immigration Reform}--

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Is it really a good idea or even safe to allow buses to go the wrong way on a one-way street?


By now, anyone who as driven recently on West 11th traveling west has more than likely experienced a set in headlights coming at them head on. It is a drunk driver? Some crazed maniac going the wrong way? No, it is the EmX bus going east in its special two-way dividerless traffic lane.

Don Herbison of LTD states that this stretch of West 11th from Franklin to Mill is the most dangerous.
" "We're heading the wrong way on a one-way street," Herbison explains as we drive. "All the traffic coming from my right, on Ferry Street, if they don't look -- if you look at this van right here. I made eye contact with him. But we've had a couple of incidents where they pull out in front of me. "

The most recent accident between a vehicle and EmX bus occurred Tuesday after a car ran a red light and clip the front of an EmX bus at 11th and Patterson. This makes the fifth accident in just five months. (or an average of one every month for a small fleet of buses)
" "The more and more we grow, the more and more changes we'll have," says Angie Sifuentez of LTD, "and so people need to just be more aware of what's going on, and continue the defensive driving." "

Herbison says the biggest key for drivers is to read the sign said Mark were you can't turn on red, are were you can't pull U turn to stay safe.

It's not something that drivers would normally expect to see is a bus traveling the WRONG WAY on a one-way street in a UNPROTECTED, and in my opinion and not very well marked bus line. Keep in mind that this is the university area, where drivers attention is also focused on a large number of pedestrians and bicycles that are crossing the street and any given time and place.

More importantly, is let's focus on the average of one accident per month especially on this very small fleet of buses.

As the EmX grows through Eugene Springfield on roads that they will share with the public, should these buses be allowed to travel the wrong way on one-way streets?

Personally, I say no. It's confusing enough as it is having these "special" bus lanes that look like a turn lane much less having headlights coming at you the wrong way on a one-way street.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lane County Commissioners approved salary increases in the wake of 250 proposed job cuts

Register Guard--

The Lane County commissioners who will cut about 250 jobs (mostly with the sheriff's Department) has also approved a pay increase for 180 directors, managers, supervisors and nonunion professionals working for the county that will give them an opportunity to earn over time up to $20,000 more a year in salary beginning July 1, with salaries well above the current limits.

Commissioner Bill Fleenor, who joined the board in July, said that he would have voted against the increases.
" I know how hard these people work - I am amazed at the level of dedication of Lane County employees," Fleenor said. "But you can only pay them what you can afford. And the taxpayers have spoken... we have to live within our means "

County officials claim that they must pay well enough to attract and keep quality workers however, the job cuts could also prompt other departures.

"Union President Cheryl Dyer said that "the majority of the current AFSCME employees are here for the benefit," Dyer said. "We are getting older and using it. (The cost of living) has gone up in the last three years, and we haven't seen the net income to keep up with that - there's a lot of give there.""

None of the commissioners on the board in December when the new pay scale was approved could be reached for comment.

"cost of living increase???" How many people in the private sector you know get those.
When I saw the article about the raises, I will admit that on one hand, I was shocked however, on the other hand, I was not a bit surprised; in fact, it would have shocked me more if they didn't.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The New Immigration Bill

Robin's Commentary--

There’s been a lot talk about the new proposed immigration bill on the talk show circuit, and it's been interesting listening to the different opinions from hosts like Lars Larson who is against the bill, to Bill O'Reilly who's in favor of the new bill.

Both sides bring up some good arguments for and against the measure. Therefore, I decided to do little bit of cruising on the White House web site and see what they have to say about it.
" Strengthening The Assimilation Of New Immigrants: The proposal declares that English is the language of the United States and calls on the United States Government to preserve and enhance it, as well as enacting accelerated English requirements for many immigrants. In addition, the DHS Office of Citizenship will be expanded to include coordinating assimilation efforts in its mission, and the Education Secretary will make an English instruction program freely available over the Internet. "(a)

I can almost guarantee you that that one will be challenged especially by the ACLU and other immigrant groups. It would not surprise me one bit to see that one eliminated through negotiation of the bill.

" There is a cutoff date for Z visas for people who are undocumented… you're going to have to prove that you're in the country prior to January 1, 2007... try to pretend that I was here prior to January 1, 2007... would be the absolute dumbest thing to do if you ever want to have a prayer of getting any type of benefit under the temporary work program." Said Secretary Chertoff , "we catch a very significant number of people who crossed the border illegally. We now fingerprint them. If you cross the border, we catch you, we fingerprint you, you will never get into this program, because that fingerprint, dated tomorrow or dated a week from now or dated a month from now is going to be conclusive proof that you were not in this country as of the cutoff date; that you broke the law after the cutoff date. And that will take you out of the program for life."(b)

I am glad to see that they address the argument learning from Ronald Reagan's amnesty bill that in theory should prevent a huge influx of people rushing over here to apply for the Z visa. However, I can see a black market developing for the documentation required to show proof that you were here before January 1, 2007.

" If you don't do that, (referring to illegal aliens refusing to participate in the program) you have the same person doing the work, not paying the taxes, maybe stealing someone's identity, and you are perpetuating a system where that person can be victimized," Said Secretary Chertoff , " and we're going to have more raids and more of what we have now. So is it harshly punitive? No. We're not treating this as a capital offense. "(b)

"We're not treating this as a capital offense." Then what would it be treated as? It is already simply a MISDEMEANOR to cross the borders anyways. It is also a FELONY to be deported and reenter the country. The problem is that the law is not taken seriously as proven by how many illegal aliens repeatedly returned to the US after being deported.

" First and foremost, it means that my agents who go out and enforce the law can spend their time looking for drug dealers and gang bangers, instead of maids who are working in hotels. I only have so many agents. I suggest you ask the American people, would you rather have the agent track down a gang banger and a drug dealer, or a maid? I think pretty much all of them will say, let's go get the gang banger and the drug dealer. Said Secretary Chertoff "(b)

Sure, I would like law-enforcement to go after the drug dealers’ whether they're illegal are not illegal or not. However, isn't this still selective enforcement?
" 3. MYTH: The government will not and cannot meet its promise to crack down on the hiring of illegal workers.
· FACT: Before the Z visa and temporary worker programs go into effect, an Employment Eligibility Verification System (EEVS) must be in place and ready to prevent unauthorized workers from obtaining jobs in the United States.
· FACT: Employers will be required to verify the work eligibility of all employees using the EEVS, and all workers will be required to present stronger and more readily verifiable identification documents. Tough new anti-fraud measures will be implemented to restrict fraud and identity theft.
· FACT: Employers who hire illegal workers will face stiff new criminal and civil penalties. For example, the maximum criminal penalty for a pattern or practice of hiring illegals will increase 25-fold, from $3,000 per alien to $75,000 per alien."

That’s all good and well in theory. We already have a law on the books regarding employers, it's called the INS I-9, and you're already supposed to provide proof that you are "legally" eligible to work in the United States.

The problem is that it is not enforced because we do not have the resources and money for enforcement, and that cities and states (at least Oregon) restrict the police from being allowed to query somebody about their immigration status which I can easily see both sides of the argument.
One side being that we do not want to have a society where the police randomly stop someone on the street and ask to see your papers. However, that would be a legitimate question if you have already been charged with an offense.

So, what happens if illegal aliens and employers refused to cooperate? In addition, there is already a large number of both, so why should they?

This proposal in my opinion will only work if the illegal aliens come forward and register to be in the system and if the government can actually develop the resources and the cooperation of local and state governments to follow through.

Sources cited =
{(a) Fact Sheet: Border Security and Immigration Reform -- Administration And Bipartisan Group Of Senators Reach Bipartisan Agreement On Comprehensive Immigration Reform}--

{(b) Press Briefing on Immigration Reform }--

{(c) Fact Sheet: Border Security and Immigration Reform (Myth/Facts)}--

Friday, May 18, 2007

United States surrenders to the invasion

New York Times--

Senate negotiators announced Thursday that they've reached an agreement on a comprehensive immigration bill that would offer legal status to MOST of the nation's estimated 12,000,000-20,000,000 illegal aliens.
The heart of the immigration legalization program is a new "merit-based system of immigration" intended to make the United States more competitive in a global economy. [i.e. slave labor]

Under the merit-based system, the government would adapt a point system to a value weight the qualifications of people seeking "permission" points to be awarded for job skills, education and English language proficiency.

" Mr. Bush praised the Senate measure, which incorporates many of his ideas, saying, “I really am anxious to sign a comprehensive immigration bill as soon as I possibly can.” "

The bill also includes a temporary worker program, under which 400,000-600,000 foreign workers to be admitted into the country each year.
" The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, offered cautionary words as well, saying: “I have serious concerns about some aspects of this proposal, including the structure of its temporary-worker program and undue limitations on family immigration. We need to improve the bill as it moves through the legislative process.” "

" All workers will suffer because employers will have available a ready pool of labor they can exploit to drive down wages, benefits, health and safety protections and other workplace standards, said John J. Sweeney, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.,"

Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, denounced the proposal saying that it was "unfair to the millions of people who applied to legally immigrate to the US"
" "This rewards people who broke the law with permanent legal status, and puts them ahead of millions of law-abiding immigrants waiting to come to America," said Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican. "I don't care how you try to spin it, this is amnesty."{Washington Times}-- "

first off, no matter how you label it, we are rewarding 12 million criminals who broke one of our most precious laws, the sanctity of our borders.
Secondly, the argument about separating families, these people knew the risks when they made the CONSCIOUS decision to bypass the current process of immigration to cross the border illegally.
While the immigration process may be "broken", it is the currently enacted law on the books. We do have a system in our "representative" style of governing to change our laws and breaking the law to do it is not one of the options.

One of the arguments in the past has been that there's too many illegal aliens to enforce immigration laws, would we feel the same way about personal crime such as burglaries, car theft, etc. which continue to increase yearly? Would we offer amnesty to the millions of people who committed these crimes based simply on the sheer numbers of people and the possibility of being separated from their families?

Most likely not.

It looks like illegal aliens has managed to accomplish something that other countries have tried to do in the past such as Japan, to invade the United States, and they did it without firing a shot.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Aftermath of the NO vote for public safety, same old BS!

The voters in Lane County regarding “public safety tax” sent a very clear message, that we do not want an extra income tax. However, just like the sales tax issue, I don't think that they get it.
Not surprisingly, the Lane County Sheriff's Department once again appears to get the brunt of the 250 proposed job cuts, with 100 deputies from the jail, 20 patrol deputies from police services (does that include the traffic team?) and 50 support staff positions including everything from managers to janitors.(250-170=80)
" Captain Thomas Turner with Lane County Sheriff's Office says, "it will only have to be the major calls the most violent the most aggressive that's about the best we can respond to and in a extremely limited capacity."

At any given time there would only be two deputies and one supervisor covering all of Lane County and the cuts would mean the jail will go from about 75 down to just 25 beds available for local offenders. "{KVAL}--

The Lane County Sheriff's office says that they may later consider going without patrols during certain hours of the day.
remember that next time you see a sheriff's deputy sitting on a side road running radar and remind yourself that several years ago they have decided not to respond to burglar alarms.
Other cuts include about 25% of the jobs that are funded by the county's general fund, 25% of the county's road fund and almost half of the jobs funded by the parks fund.
" Without the federal money or an alternative, Burger said, "Lane County becomes a lot less livable and a lot less safe, said Sheriff Russell Burger" "
(a great message to send out to the Olympics committee for the Summer Olympics trials soon to be held in Eugene)

Voters did pass a by 56% of the vote a 2% cap on future income taxes.
" Our direction is clear," said Commissioner Faye Stewart, board chairman. "Work with the federal government to get funds, and if that doesn't work, we make the cuts and focus on trying to provide the best services we can for the citizens.
…Voter approval of the tax cap means that the board faces a limit of 2 percent on any future county income tax and the money can only go to public safety, said Stewart. That could hinder the county's ability to use any future income taxes to pay for other services. The board had placed this provision in the ballot language to try to assure residents that income taxes would go only to public safety "{Register Guard}--
(which it should have been in the first place)

in other news...

Oregon Legislature's jump on the predicted $152 million surplus.{Register Guard}--

Sources cited...
{Register Guard}--
{Register Guard}--

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Lane County income tax: 71% of the voters say NO (commissioners -- that is the opposite of yes)


Voters in five counties rejected plans to make up for the loss of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, which Congress failed to renew that helps fund cutbacks in federal timber payments.

In Lane County, voters rejected a 1.1% income tax to raise $32.5 million annually.
60% of the funding would have been dedicated for public safety, 2.2% for extension services and .7% for veteran services.
Services were tagged to be funded by the "public safety" tax include
" violent crimes detectives • 160 jail beds • juvenile
intake and supervision • at-risk youth services • Pathways residential drug and alcohol treatment program for boys • drug detox and treatment • adult sex offender treatment • search & rescue • offender labor program • forest work crews • emergency and police services on public lands • veterans services • extension services • prosecution of felony drug possession crimes •Service reductions are also proposed in the budget for children with developmental
disabilities and adults with severe mental illness; women, infants and children program; elderly and disabled services; and animal regulation services.{ballot measure 20-129}-- "

(interesting that only 60% of the "public safety" tax would actually go to public safety)

Josephine County public safety levy lost by a wide margin. The levy would have funded the sheriff's office, the District Attorney's Office and the juvenile Justice Center. {Levy about more than public safety}--

Coos County rejected the tax by 68%

Curry County in Southwest Oregon, rejected a tax by 67%
" Curry County Commissioner Lucie LaBonte said if the federal safety net isn't approved, there will be no more patrol officers beginning July 1. "

while doing research this morning, I've read articles that are asking the question, "why don't citizens care about public safety?"
It's not that citizens don't care about public safety, in my opinion, it is that we are get tired of being blackmailed by the local government, and by the mishandling of the budget.

The comments by Curry County Commissioner Lucie LaBonte are an excellent example of this.

If anybody does not care about public safety, perhaps it is Lucie LaBonte.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I thought it was very nice for the Oregon Employment Department to translate this in English for us

Robin's commentary--

a friend of mine recently lost her job and filed for unemployment. I thought it was very interesting since my friend does not speak a word of Spanish, that the Oregon Employment Department felt the need to translate English to Spanish for her.

click on picture to enlarge

The cost of postage stamps was not the only thing that changed


As of Monday, the $.39 postage stamp will now cost $.41.
Other changes: the pricing system will now be based on the shape as well as the height of the item being mailed. So, you can reduce your mailing cost is simply choosing different packaging.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Council committee endorses 3-cent a gallon gas and a parking space fee on homes just to name a few

Register Guard--

In an effort to help fill the city's $2 million financial gap for street maintenance, the City of Eugene may levy taxes on Eugene homes and businesses based on everything from their property value to the amount of garbage that they generate.
" "If we don't solve the problem now, it just gets worse," said City Councilor Alan Zelenka, a member of the council committee. "

The committee, in a year-long effort to figure out how to get more money to repair streets considers as an example...

A garbage surcharge was suggested for the wearing tear of the trucks on city streets [like buses]

Attendees included Councilors Chris Pryor and Jennifer Solomon
Fourth Counselor Bonnie Bettman who was not present at the meeting and withheld support however, preferred a "commuter tax".
City's cost estimates for the proposals:
10-year local option levy,
$6 million: 38 cents per $1,000 of property value, or $67 for average home
Garbage hauling fee,
$1 million: 5 percent surcharge added to bills (about $1 more a month for customer with 32-gallon garbage cart)
Gas tax,
$2 million: Raise city gas tax to 8 cents, up 3 cents
Fee for street lighting and bike paths, $850,000: No individual estimate, but fee could be imposed on all occupied residential and commercial properties
Fee based on property's parking capacity,
$6.2 million: No individual estimate yet"

Left pocket, Right Pocket…
Keep squeezing and there won't be any blood left in these turnips!
I wonder how "successful" cities manage funding?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Lane County income tax: be careful how you vote... there could be some catches


One for sure thing that any long-term Lane County resident has learned, is that when local government wants money, they will do anything to get it.

If you're like me, when it comes to approving taxes, you would automatically just vote "no". This time however that strategy may be a double-edged sword.

Consider the Lane County income taxes measures 20-129 & 20-130.
"Let's break this down: if you vote 'yes' on both measures, you're voting for a county income tax, and voting to cap that tax (and all future taxes) at 2%.

If you are 100% against county income taxes, you likely would want to vote 'no' on 20-129, and 'yes' on 20-130 -- that way, you're opposing the tax, but saying that if it does pass anyway, it should be capped.

Voting 'no' on both will show your opposition to the tax, but leave any future tax open to be more than 2%".

I suggest reading both measures very carefully and doing some research on your own.

And don't forget, ballots are due Tuesday May 15, 2007

Lane County income tax may affect Non-lane County residents

Lane County income tax may affect Non-Lane County residents
Lane County public safety income tax code--

The Lane County public safety income tax subchapter (LC 4.500 to 4.571) in addition to tax in personal income by 1.1%, also imposes a nonresident income tax (LC 4.530 to LC 4.536) on income earned in Lane County.

Nonresident income is described as the "the sum of Oregon tax with income resulting from wages that are paid to a nonresident for services performed partly or wholly within the county, plus net County asset income of the nonresident."

The Lane County income tax, which is imposed upon each resident equal to 1.1% of the residents County taxable income, effective with it in tax years beginning on or before January 1, 2007 shall be filed no later than the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of the residents tax year. (Otherwise known as April 15)

If you have been a resident for less than a full tax year, the tax on income may be prorated based on the number of days during the tax year that you were a resident. (4.521(3)), unless of course, your income was to generated by sources in Lane County in which case you shall pay a "Lane County public safety nonresident income tax".

Penalties for failure to file returns (4.566) may result in penalties of 20% of the total tax for payment liability if the failure is for a period of six months or more (5% of the total if less than six months)
4.571 Criminal Penalties.
Violation of LC 4.557 or LC 4.558 is punishable, upon conviction thereof, by a fine not
exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months, or by both fine and imprisonment. In addition, any County employee convicted for violation of LC 4.557 or LC 4.558 shall be dismissed from employment and shall be barred from employment for a period of five years thereafter. Any agent of the County shall, upon conviction, be ineligible for participation in any County contract for a period of five years thereafter.

you can imagine the bookkeeping nightmare, not only keeping track of your individual income receipts, but also keeping track of where they were generated from.
[Thinking]”Hummm, did the sale come from Lane County, Linn County?"

In short, like the recent "I" tax, if you do your own taxes, do not forget the file the "third" income tax form.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

So... would you take an accounting course from a college that cannot even balance it's own budget?

Register Guard--

Lane Community College plans on cutting staff and reducing courses to catch an $8.8 million hole in next year's budget.

The shortfall for next year has increased from an estimated $4.7 million to $8.8 million due to "escalating insurance costs" and the need to rebuild a depleted ending fund balance.
Make no mistake; we understand that there is a financial crisis hitting the college, and it is directly due to inadequate funding by the state," Bob Baldwin, financial coordinator in the head of the classified union said. "But we do think it is possible to find equitable ways of spreading the pain within the college."

In addition to freezing salaries under the proposed budget, other measures include improving productivity and efficiency by combining programs and reducing costs. Program cuts include 23 literature courses, 25 courses in art and applied design, and 13 courses and the Department of music theater and dance.

The state legislature’s final decision on the budget is not expected until late May or early June,

LCC in my opinion has totally forgotten who their customer is, the student, and perhaps it will take a little lesson in economics to remind them of the rule of supply and demand before things change.

as for the question in the title... my associates degrees cost me $40,000 by the time it's paid off when you include interest. Was it worth it? I don't think so.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Clear Channel sells 4 local radio stations to California firm

Mail Tribune--

Clear Channel Communications, which owns four radio stations in Eugene, including 1120 KPNW been sold to Bicoastal Media of Lakeport, Calif., along with nine other stations in Oregon for about $37 million.

The purchase is the largest for the growing Bicoastal radio network.
"We're looking to get into larger markets, and these are rated markets," said Mike Wilson, Bicoastal president and chief operating officer, who was home Friday recovering from minor surgery to repair a rotator cuff injury in his shoulder. "We assume there will be more activity for us in rated markets within the next 30 days."

Wilson says that they do not anticipate any cuts in staffing, stating "there's staffed pretty lean for the volume that they do..."

The sale of the four local radio stations are part of 362 radio stations and 72 markets for a total of approximately $840 million.

Additional resources
{news release Clear Channel radio}--
{Bicoastal's Web site}--

Monday, May 07, 2007

In my opinion:: Kulongoski and the State of Oregon should be sued for putting the health of Oregonians endanger

Robin's Commentary

Have you noticed something unusual this year?


At your job, at school, are in the mall?

**Hack** **Hack**

Doesn't it seem like more people are getting sick in larger numbers than normal?

**Cough** **Hack** **Cough**

What I'm referring to is the extra suffering caused by making what was typically over-the-counter drugs either available by prescription only or not available at all in Oregon.

I have bronchial asthma in addition to hay fever. At this time a year, my lungs are normally really full of fluid and I can't breathe. Typically, a relatively inexpensive medication called Broncaid, which I may use at most twice a year, generally takes care of the condition of clearing my lungs and I can get on with life.

Not this year!

I'm in my third week of hacking trying to clear my lungs and I have already lost three days of work because of this issue. My doctor,who has already tried numerous medications including a prescription similar to Sudafed, which used to sell for $3.95 a box and is now available by prescription only for $19 for 30 with insurance to get me cleared up.

With Broncaid, I would have already have been over this seasonal phenomena, however, I've been hacking so much that my vocal chords are so sore, that I sound like Sam Elliott doing one of those beef commercials. (And I'm a female)

Okay Robin, why not just get a prescription for Broncaid? Because I can't!

According to my pharmacist, Broncaid is not even available in Oregon. However, it is available in other states.


Because Oregon thinks that it's main active ingredient, ephedrine hcl, MIGHT be used in the creation of methamphetamines, of course ignoring the fact that the majority of the illegal drugs in Oregon comes from over the border.

How does this relate to the beginning of this article?

Something that a friend of mine pointed out. Typically, when people start to get sick, they go to their local drugstore and by the over-the-counter medicines to help take care of their health. Some of those medications are now only available by prescription only.

So, consider this scenario. It's Friday night, you're starting to get sick. Before Kulongoski's war on drugs, you could just head down to Walgreens and pick up what you need to take care of yourself and be ready for work again on Monday. Not anymore. That old reliable medication that used to get you through the weekend is now a prescription only medication, and your doctor's office is closed for the weekend. So what do you do?

What would you do if you do not have or cannot afford a doctor?

Not everybody can afford health insurance.

So personally, I think Kulongoski's war on drugs has only managed to punish law-abiding citizens by denying them the medications to be healthy, without really addressing the real source of the meth problem in Oregon, which in my opinion, is not over-the-counter medications.

so with my bag of cough drops and inhaler, I will try to make it through another day.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Salem finalize the deal for red light cameras for a monthly flat fee of $16,590 to an Arizona company

Statesman Journal--

city officials have finalized the deal with Redflex traffic systems Scottsdale, Arizona company which is hired to install cameras at two Salem intersections, Commercial and Marion streets NE and Mission and 25th streets SE.

Salem has agreed to pay the company a flat fee of $16,590 per month for a least one year, with the option to renew or nine years. Typically, the company charges cities on a per ticket basis.
Rusty Morris of the Salem police traffic unit stated that amounts to nearly $200,000 per year.

The system works by a sensor that is activated when the traffic signal turns red. If a vehicle passes over the sensor after the light is red, e.g. running the red light, a video is taken to try and capture the video's license plate number.
The Police Department will then review the video of each potential violation, and a ticket for $237 will be mailed to the registered owner.

The project now is awaiting permit approval from the Oregon Department of Transportation, as both intersections are located on state highways.
{Redflex Traffic Systems}--

Thursday, May 03, 2007

with a presidential veto, Lane County will NOT get the federal funding they were hoping for


President Bush vetoed an Iraq war funding bill today that contained a supplemental emergency bill to continue federal timber payments to Oregon in which Lane County leaders said that they stand to lose nearly $47 million a year that was earmarked for public health, safety services and local schools.

Officials say that without the federal payments, the county will not be able to maintain critical services and predicts cutting 150 public safety positions at the Lane County sheriff’s office.
Additionally, the district attorney's office said that it won't be able to prosecute felony drug cases.
once again, the DA's office PUBLICLY announces what it will NOT prosecute, which of course opens the door once again for more crime in Lane County. Thanks guys

"If congress creates a new emergency supplemental, the time frame could take weeks or months and it's unknown how much payment to the counties funding would be included," said Lane County Commissioner Faye Stewart.

Lane County leaders say that the cuts to county services would be avoided if the voters passed the proposed public safety tax on May 15.

looks to me like it's time to get serious as far as government funding and spending and decide what's more important.

Do we want to fund the "foo foo" feel-good projects, or do we want to fund projects that are required for running the city and county such as public safety?

It's a decision that the taxpayers make every day of our lives.

Do we spend our limited funds to go to a movie tonight, or put food on the table?

Going to the movie would be fun, however, that means missing dinner tonight because there is not money for both.

Government needs to make the same decision. While building new parks, having a pretty new bus, and other nonessential services are nice, you can not overlook NECESSARY funding for the infrastructure and operations, including the safety of the citizens of Lane County.

It is like I've always said about funding," left pocket, right pocket, it is all the same pair of pants"
and that's why in all good consciousness, I can not vote in favor of the Lane County income tax on May 15th.

Tom Poston of "The Bob Newhart Show" dies at 85


Tom Poston, well-known for playing the "clueless" handyman on such shows such as "Newhart" and “Mork and Mindy” died at the age of 85 after a brief illness.

He made guest appearances on scores of television shows, including "Studio One," "The Phil Silvers Show," "The Defenders," "Get Smart," "The Bob Newhart Show," "The Love Boat," "St. Elsewhere," "The Simpsons," "Coach," "Murphy Brown," "Home Improvement," "Touched by an Angel," "Will & Grace," "Dream On," "Just Shoot Me!" and "That '70s Show."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A photo opportunity to good to pass up

I could not pass up this photo-op today on Franklin Boulevard of LTDs new million-dollar bus temporarily stranded in the bus only lane.

While I will concede that the concept of having a special lane to decrease commuter time to get around traffic might be a good idea, I still think that spending over $900,000 per bus as compared to the $472,000{Lane Transit District Budget Committee 2004-2005}-- for the standard articulated buses is still a bit overpriced.

Hopefully this bus will not suffer the same fate as the six blue hybrid Breeze busses that were retired by LTD and sold at a loss in April 2004 due to costly repairs.