Bureaucrat Beat; 15 year-old, Larouche again, and the Astorian

sierrawavelogoHappy birthday to us!! Sierra Wave, originally born KDAY, just reached it’s fifteenth birthday. It’s a Quinceanara! That’s the Latin American celebration for girls when they reach 15 – a step from girlhood to womanhood. Beautiful ritual. Hey, that must mean we’ve reached adulthood. Darn it was fun being a juvenile. We reserve the right to retain our childish hearts even if we have grown-up jobs.

A youthful pleasure in the desert outside Bishop has reportedly come to an end. The radio controlled car fans fixed up a really cool track way off Brockman L ane. Had a really neat set-up – a place for families to have a great time. No alcohol. Very clean and careful. We hear DWP put the kibosh on the whole thing. The colonial power cometh! Innocent fun goeth.

The paid hacks for Lyndon Larouche seem to have a lot of fun when they set up their propaganda stands at post offices in the Eastern Sierra and around the nation. They refuse to provide factual back-up for their assumptions – “President Obama is psychologically unfit to serve and should be impeached.” Hey, it’s a free country. We’re all free to spout whatever kinds of half-truths we want. So does the Post Office condone the Larouche folks? Richard Maher of the Postal Service said the Larouches “visit our post offices every day. We allow them to demonstrate on postal property,” he said, “as long as there are no disturbances, they don’t block access or solicit signatures.”

Maher was quick to add that their views do not represent those of the Post Office. Some people told us that the man in front of the Bishop Post Office, in fact, did solicit signatures. Whatever. Bishop Postmaster Alissa Wendt called it a “gray area”.

Lots of gray these days. Some people seem to experience gray when it comes to marijuana laws. Medical marijuana changed things and some in law enforcement aren’t quite sure how. Maybe the new attorney general will get to that one of these days after she gets through her attack on gang crime, immigration and drugs generally. The Mono DA still looks for her direction.

And Steve Forrester of Astoria, Oregon, looked to the Eastern Sierra for direction to a unique experience. He wrote about in the Daily Astorian. One of our listeners shared it with us. The column, entitled Of Cabbages and Kings: Owens Gorge tested our middle-aged agility, Forrester writes about climbing the Gorge, flying Horizon, and the raw drama of the mountains here. Here’s what he said: “If you accept the Native American belief that certain mountains are sacred places, this line-up of jagged peaks amounts to a holy basilica. Being in places like this is a spiritual jolt.” Sometimes it takes a stranger to help us see what sits right in front of us.

When money is on the wane, grief waxes. Well, that’s how it seems. Wild Iris reports more child abuse and domestic violence. The bad economy likely to blame. The Town of Mammoth and Mono County at odds over money. When times were good, Mammoth sent lots and lots of tax money to the County. Now, times are not so good and Mammoth wants to pay only its fair share of county dump costs. With a $30 million court judgment staring it in the face, Mammoth has no more time to just pay the bills.

The big question now – will Edison customers be able to pay the bills if a rate increase goes through. Maybe so. According to Edison’s paperwork, the utility wants to recover $25.6 million associated with franchise fees and under-collections. It’s kind of confusing but it’s now up to the Public Utilities Commission. How much more can the public pay for everything? Gasoline? utility rates? food? Stay-tuned.

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.

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