Thursday, August 30, 2007

Teen driver may face charges in boy's death

Register Guard--

By guest commentator Gary
"Bailey Hill is without a doubt a dangerous obstacle course of lights and traffic," Bryce Vandiver said. "People don't use their turn signals and think speed limits and red lights are a suggestion."
"There's no enforcement,” Cynthia Anderson said. "There aren't even signs." She said she has called the city at least five times about drivers failing to stop for children trying to use the crosswalk. Her son crosses Bailey Hill Road daily and often waits as 10 to 12 cars zip past without stopping.
Eugene's traffic engineer Tom Larsen said the city has fielded calls about the stretch of roadway south of the Churchill High School. But his crash statistics don't back up neighborhood claims.
The city recorded one crash - a car hitting a tree - at the Bailey Hill and Westleigh intersection in all of 2003, 2004 and 2005 combined, he said. Numbers for 2006 were not available Tuesday.
There were nine recorded crashes at Bailey Hill Road and Warren Street during the same period. None of the wrecks was fatal.
"In terms of crash history, this is not a dangerous intersection," Larsen said.
I wonder how the family of 10-year-old Vaclav Hajek of Eugene feels about that statement. Vaclav, who lived nearby, was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center, where he was declared dead after he was struck by a car on Monday. An initial investigation indicated that the driver was speeding south on Bailey Hill Road approaching Westleigh Street

it is unfortunate and very sad that someone got injured and killed, especially a child... but as far as the issue of vehicles running stop signs and red lights, in the area that I live, this is a very common phenomenon.
There is no excuse for running a stop sign!
Besides being extremely dangerous no matter how "clear" the intersection may seem, it is because of these idiots that they're putting up red light cameras, increasing insurance costs and changing laws and we have to pay for it because as somebody else stupidity.
I have personally assisted with the local PD in over 250 accidents. If you do not think that a car is dangerous, you're DEAD wrong. -- Robin

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What does the EmX and the Hollow Road/Pioneer Parkway roundabout have in common?

Robin's commentary

The LTD EmX project is about to invest another $38 million into LTD's pet bus line which service is expected to begin in 2010.

I got to thinking about the overpriced bus system which is funded 80% by the Federal transit administration, 15% by "connect Oregon" in 5% by LTD match{}--, and having the experience of trying to navigate through the roundabout during heavy traffic, which is an experience in itself, I began to wonder about how the Pioneer Parkway roundabout system will work LTD's EmX.

Although on the LTD web site, they have a map regarding the route... they do not indicate whether or not the "bus lane" will go through the roundabout itself, have a special lane through the roundabout, and/or some sort of traffic control device, which of course would defeat the whole purpose of having a roundabout.

I still have to ask the question that if the only advantage really to the EmX is that it has its own special bus lanes, why not just have the LTD fleet use the new bus lanes and save $800,000 per bus?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Proposal: Lane County inmates to share expense for their housing


Lane County Sheriff Russ Burger is proposing that inmates at the Lane County Jail should start sharing the expense for their housing, which costs about $82 a day per inmate

Under the proposal, inmates will pay $10 a day for their housing fees, $2 to see a nurse and $20 for follow-up visit.
" "One of the highlights of this proposal is if they leave and they owe money if they don't come back we will forgive that debt. that's incentive not to reoffend in our community. "

Inmates will pay up to 50% of the money that the inmate has on the books at the jail for the fees, this includes money that inmates have on them when they were arrested and any funds that people give them while they are locked up.

If approved, the sheriff says that this proposal would have a sunset date to make sure that it was cost-effective. He added that they will not pursue any collections and that they will only use the staff and resources the county currently has available to run the program to be cost-effective.

Berger believes that these fees could keep some inmates from going back to jail.
on the surface... a good idea, however, what if the inmate refuses to pay all together?

You are not going to pursue collections...
So, what is the worst that will happen to an inmate who has been released from jail owing fees that they refuse to pay? You going to put them back into jail?
The sheriff says that they would waive the fees if the inmate does not return to jail for two years... while possibly a good incentive, it is also an incentive for the inmate not to pay anything.
In my opinion, it would be worth it to eat what the inmate owes Lane County for jail fees if that inmate will stay on the straight and narrow.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Proposed ordinance would require homeowners to pay for upkeep of public sidewalks

Statesman Journal--

Salem -- proposed changes in sidewalk ordinances may require homeowners and businesses to pay for the upkeep of public sidewalks.

Previously, the city has been responsible for all sidewalk repairs unless it can prove that a property owner has damaged the sidewalk.
Question: if a homeowner has to pay for the sidewalk, does it now become private property?

In addition, if the city cannot afford to pay for the repairs to the sidewalk, how do they expect the public to do it?

I don't know about you, but I'm not wealthy. I have to take out a loan or borrow on a credit card soon just to paint my house

Moreover, why stop at sidewalks... how about paying for the maintenance of the streets in front of our houses (citing Garden Way in Eugene as an example)

Then who would be responsible for the streetlights, traffic signs, etc.

Tell me again why we pay property taxes... oh yes, I almost forgot... to fund the schools

Friday, August 24, 2007

ENTERING the country is illegal...
BEING in the country is not!
According to the Court of Appeals of the state of Kansas

Case number 96613 in a circuit Court of Appeals of the state of Kansas, State of Kansas versus Nicholas Martinez ruled that those who enter this country illegally is a crime and is subject to deportation, however, the illegal aliens ongoing presence in the United States in and of itself is not a crime unless that person has previously been deported and regained illegal entry into this country.
" 6. 8 U.S.C. § 1325 (2000) declares an alien's unsanctioned entry into the United States to be a crime. While Congress has criminalized illegal entry into this country, it has not made the continued presence of an illegal alien in the United States a crime unless the illegal alien has previously been deported and has again entered this country illegally. 8 U.S.C. § 1326 (2000) makes it a felony for an alien who has been deported to thereafter reenter the United States or at anytime thereafter be found in the United States. "

The case manifested itself when Martínez being an illegal alien would be unable to fulfill the mandated probationary terms, which requires the parolee not to violate any State or local laws, however, because of Martínez immigration status, his continued presence in the United States in itself is a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326 (previously deported), which is a compelling reason to deny probation.

Additionally, "the district court does not engage in enforcing our nation's immigration laws by simply recognizing a defendant's immigration status for the purpose of deciding whether the defendants is amenable to probation."

In short, even though Martínez has pled guilty to the possession of cocaine and endangering a child, the two main issues (1) whether the fact that he is an illegal alien justifies the denial of presumptive probation and (2) whether the district judge gave him fair notice of her intention to impose a departure sentence.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Compaired to other states, Oregon is a whimp!

Robin's Commentary--

I just returned from visiting my best friend in North Dakota, which by the way, is the first time in 30 years that I have left the state, not to mention the furthest that have ever been from home and I have to admit, crossing Washington state, Idaho and Montana was an interesting experience.

One of the first things that I noticed right off as soon as I left Oregon, was the speed limit on the interstate, the slowest being 70 miles an hour in Washington state while the other states it was common to see 75 miles an hour as the speed limit.

The other thing that I noticed that was weird at first was the self-service gasoline.

Since I have lived in Oregon the majority of my life, this was scary at first however; I quickly took a liking to it. Not only was it faster to pull into a station and use my debit card without having to wait for an attendance, (or worrying that somebody's going to break my gas door again) it was especially convenient when I was low on fuel at 1 a.m. and was still able to buy gas. Apparently, it is not uncommon for stations to leave the pumps turned on after-hours.

I recall that several times in Oregon's history, the issue about self-service came up with the proponents claiming that it will reduce the cost of gasoline by reducing labor. While I will argue with that point, apparently, one big problem with self-service is what is known as "gas and run."

Each of the states that I went through had a warning on the pumps about the penalties for "gas and run." Montana for example warns that you will lose your license, while the other states warned that they would prosecute offenders severely.

So comparably based on my four state visit, Oregon seems kind of "wimpy" especially regarding the speed limit.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Announcement: Robin's nest is taking a long overdue vacation next week

A new law will require employers to fire workers who use false Social Security numbers or risk up to $10,000 in fines

New York Times--

Federal authorities are expected to announce tough new rules this week that would require employers to fire workers who use also security numbers in an effort to crack down on illegal immigrants.
"“We are tough and we are going to be even tougher,” Russ Knocke, the spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said yesterday. “There are not going to be any more excuses for employers, and there will be serious consequences for those that choose to blatantly disregard the law.” "

Employers, especially in the agriculture and low wage industries are deeply worried about the new rules, which could force them to lay off thousands of immigrant workers.
" Across the employer community people are scared, confused, holding their breath,” said Craig Regelbrugge, co-chairman of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, a trade organization. “Given what we know about the demographics of our labor force, since we are approaching peak season, people are particularly on edge.” "

Immigrant rights groups and labor unions including the AFL-CIO are preparing to unleash discrimination against Hispanic workers complaint.

Mark Hinkle, a spokesman for Social Security estimates that an expected 140,000 no match letters will be sent to employers this year.

Homeland security officials say that stepped-up raids on workplaces will back up the new rules across the country that employs illegal immigrants.

Not only does falsifying or stealing somebody social security number harms the legitimate cardholder, it is also a federal offense.
It boggles the mind on how anybody can defend somebody else's usage of stolen identity.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

All right, you win! We will “let” you vote on the new tax.


Eugene voters will actually get a chance to vote on the new gas tax and decide whether they should pay an extra three cents per gallon to fix the streets. However, at the same time, the city Council moved today (Wednesday) to make another two cents per gallon permanent.

Additionally, talks are underway between the city and some lane county commissioners to see if a countywide gas tax would be the ultimate solution.

Eugene officials say the three cents per gallon is not the whole answer, however is essential to fixing a backlog of street repairs into the millions of dollars.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Should a city be spending $200,000 on (or even being involved with) a centralized day labor site?

Portland Tribune--

Thomas Fitton, president of a legal watchdog group, Judicial Watch, placed Portland's mayor Tom Potter on notice in a faxed letter to Potter advising "serious legal concerns" with using taxpayer money to support day laborers most of whom are undocumented according to a 2006 UCLA and University of Illinois's study, which found that 75% of a sample surveyed of 2260 day laborers across the country were undocumented.
" “By establishing and operating the proposed day laborer site, the city will likely be violating federal law,” Fitton writes. "

A spokesman for Tom Potter, says they have received the letter and that "the mayor and the council have a different opinion and continue to move forward on it."

The city Council voted unanimously to approve the funds for the project, using it as a way to help the entire community amid concerns such as loitering around businesses, littering and traffic.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Clerk: "Can I see some ID please?"
Customer: "Why??? It is only a can of spray paint!"

These are the questions that Commissioner Randy Leonard will have the clerks asking if he has it his way under a proposed anti-tagging ordnance.

Leonard, wants to make people of any age show ID when they buy spray paint & businesses would have to keep records for several months of who bought the paint and what color they bought in order to benefit police investigating graffiti.

Retailers who fail to comply would face fines as high as $20,000.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

.... as we capture and tag the specimen so that we may track their natural day to day activities...

Register Guard--

Ocean City New Jersey beach meets high tech by replacing the plastic beach badges with high tech RF ID wristbands that visitors will wear while visiting the New Jersey beach shores.

The devices, will automatically debit the visitor's bank accounts or credit cards to pay for beach access, food and parking. Even the garbage cans have gone high-tech by e-mailing the cleanup crews when they need to be empty.
" this is the future, said summer resident Karen Kinloch, "is for at right now. It's probably overdue. It's kind of antiquated to take a piece of plastic and pin it to your swimsuit. "

The new system, which uses WiFi wireless technology, will cost about $3 million and is expected to be finished in next summer.
" It will take the hassle out of going up to people and asking to see their badges,'' Will McKinley, a badge checker said. ''They're more OK with it up here. On the beach, they don't like to be hassled.'' "

Ocean City spins more than $282,000 a year to pay for 170 badge checkers like McKinley whose job is likely to be eliminated by the new system.
welcome to the 21st-century folks