Sunday, February 15, 2009

News from around here

The WEATHER report for the next 5 to 7 days says that the Sierra Nevada Mountains can expect to get up to 7 feet of snow over the next week. That means we in Sacramento will probably have a lot of rain. I’m not complaining – although my arthritis is – because our water supplies are screaming for replenishing. Eight counties are under advisories, watches or severe weather warnings. Wind and rain are raging at the moment.
R and I are planning to head for Sonora, Ca in the Sierra foothills on Friday to celebrate Mr. Moose’s 60th birthday. Yesterday Moose awoke to 5 inches of snow on his deck. I will take my camera and get some pictures from his deck (wait til you see the view).

Moving on…
Apparently, our legislators were going to try to come to an agreement on a relief budget for California and the vote is scheduled for late Saturday because…

“SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Although there were no assurances that enough Republicans would vote for it, both houses of the state Legislature were scheduled to vote Saturday on a critical budget package to tackle California's $42 billion shortfall… Both houses were scheduled to meet Saturday morning. However, the Senate announced late Friday it will push back its session and vote at 5 p.m.” BECAUSE… “Tens of thousands of spectators were expected to crowd downtown to watch Lance Armstrong and other pro cyclers compete in the Amgen Tour of California. The race ends with a lap around Capitol Park, and many of the streets around the Capitol were to be closed.”

I won’t say it!! I JUST WON’T SAY IT!!! Yes, I will… they couldn’t do this Friday night?? They knew this event was scheduled – known it for MONTHS. As it was, they spent almost all Saturday night involved in this mess. This is the most unproductive group of people I have read about. Common Sense is DEAD.

It is wonderful that Sacramento hosted part of this cycling event. It brought much needed money into the city’s economy. Thank you Lance Armstrong. The bottom line would have been much less without him.

NOTE: As of this morning (Sunday), the voting is still stalled – ONE VOTE SHY (California still requires a 2/3’s vote to pass legislation). So, today there is no budget fix and I am still going to get an IOU for my state tax refund.

NEXT… Let’s fast forward to October 2009 and Desert Springs, CA and our Cal-Trans Department.

The California Department of Transportation (Cal Trans) is scheduled to host a national convention in October for the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) National Conference. There is a consumer watch-dog group (Howard Jarvis Taxpayers) who says this is “government behaving business as usual in the face of this financial crunch.” And this conference is NOT high priority on the spending scale. There will be 125 Caltrans employees working to make this conference a success. Howard Jarvis Taxpayers said that we Californians, as tax payers, would be spending $255,000 for Cal Trans to host this convention – salaries for six days equals $125,000 and $130,000 spent on lodging, food and airfare. It was also said that several law makers were unaware of what Caltrans is planning for later this year. So there may be repercussions falling back on this spending.

OK… let me give MY take on this. Maybe I am not looking at the whole picture, but I have given you all the information that I have. First, the salaries… from what I understand, the people who will be working as hosts for this convention are Cal Trans employees. Wouldn’t we be paying their salaries anyway… even if they weren’t at the convention?? Second, even though it would cost a bit to ‘house’ the hosts, isn’t this event bringing in much needed income to the state (in the form of room tax, food tax, entertainment tax, gas tax… and on and on with the taxes). I don’t know as I can agree that this watchdog organization has used a logical thought process in this instance. To me, in this case, they are just out to ruffle feathers.


Again, this is my California world, and these are just my opinions...
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  1. Oh, girl! California politics is such a mess these days (but I think politics all over is a mess). I'm constantly amazed at how long lawmakers can stall a decision. I hope y'all get your state government back in working order--because I was planning on moving there (as soon as I win the lottery). Work on that won't you? (the lottery, I mean) lol

  2. With Stockton ranking as the #1 most miserable city in the country and then this sort of news out of the Great State of California, it almost makes me glad I don't live there anymore. The reason for the "almost" is because there are still so many things that I like about California and there are people out there whom I still care deeply about. Honestly, I wish I could afford a trip out just for some decent Mexican food!

    Perhaps the Governator could work on a campaign to make flights to California really cheap so that we tourists would be lured out there and pump some money into the economy? That might help things a little because even if you don't want to live there, it's still a great place to visit!

    I will look forward to the pictures from Sonora as I enjoy any and all views of the Sierras!

  3. It's good that you are getting water, but that much at one time can be a problem. Come the melt, the rafting on the river is going to be great.


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