Bureaucrat Beat: Clooney Delight, Honey Fraud, and LA Schleppers

How bad can the week be? With a new George Clooney film out, “The American” and the Cloonster looking lean, mean and georgeclooneymasculine? I say it can’t be too bad. Of course, this amounts to a very narrow, personal view. But, hey, we’ve all got them. Go to your Favorite movie star and enjoy life!!

All right, now that we got that good stuff out of the way, let’s get down to the dirt. For the next, emerging super power, China still tries to get away with a lot of bad boy stuff. According to news reports, a federal grand jury accused German and Chinese executives of conspiracy to illegally import more than $40 million of honey from China.

They wanted to avoid fees so they put fake labels on the Chinese honey to pretend that it came form Russia, India, etc. Plus, the Chinese honey contained antibiotics not approved for use in honey production. Nice. One more reason to shop locally and buy local, and we might add truly delicious, honey.

Here’s another fraud. Seems every year before the deadline to pass new laws, chaos reins in Sacramento. That’s when the snakes, er, uh, lobbyists swoop in. They propose and of course, offer campaign funds, to get their pet plans passed with virtually no public or media scrutiny. As one public policy official said, “It’s an easier way to, frankly, pull a fast one.” Nice.

Not nice – the way Los Angeles ignores the Long Term Water Agreement, designed to settle a very serious and powerful environmental lawsuit against their groundwater pumping. The sad part – Inyo officials don’t make them toe the line. The latest disappointment – the realization that even though the Agreement calls for LA City Councilmen to attend the Standing Committee meetings, they haven’t for years. They just ignore us, and our own officials never make them live up to the rules. We obey, so should they.

A past water director told me that there is a list of more than a dozen Agreement violations by LADWP. Of course, maybe the reason Inyo doesn’t do anything is because of how pathetically loose the Agreement is written. They could’ve reduced the whole document into one sentence “LADWP will do some things to improve Inyo’s environment, if they feel like it.”

Here’s an item for the Paranoid among us. Seems that many copy machines in offices or commercial shops keep digital files of the material they copy, print, scan, fax, on a hard drive. An identity thief’s paradise. When copiers are sold or trashed, the hard drive content is fair game. The Federal Trade Commission say they will try to make manufacturers and sellers “aware” of this. Swell. What you can do is ask the staff at a copy shop whether they have security safeguards.

Most fun statement at a public meeting in the Eastern Sierra last week? Sean Turner of Mammoth Brewing stood up to report on the successes of his music events, and he sneaked in a commercial when he said to the TV audience watching the Mammoth Town Council meeting that they should try a Mammoth Brewing beer. “It’s a great way to watch the Town Council meeting.”

Rumor has it that some pretty bizarre bear situations have turned up in and around Mammoth Lakes. Back when Steve Searles could just do what he does well with bears, under Chief Donnelly, it all rocked along successfully. No problems. Now that at least three government agencies have a say – what a mess. 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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