Bureaucrat Beat: Hollywood News, Warp Speed, Safety Net

Let’s start today with Hollywood and then dive into the dark, snarly depths of bureaucracy. Ruminations on the Oscars – “Avatar” filmmakers learned once again that you have to be human to win an award. We think you will find the 3D version of “Avatar” quite the experience – human or not.

Movieland just loves a remake. Right now, Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” dazzles moviegoers with 3D and 2D versions. Not far behind, so say insiders, a remake of “The Wizard of Oz.” Word has it that Hollywood wants to revisit Oz and spin out Wizard 2 and then a story about Dorothy’s granddaughter in Oz. Well, okay, but how can you beat Judy Garland and her pals?

For those out there who miss Jerry Seinfeld and have found his new venture, “Marriage Ref” less than satisfying? Listen to this. Jerry will do an evening of stand-up comedy to benefit the Reprise Theatre Company where former “Seinfeld” costar Jason Alexander sits as artistic director.

Of course, to see the Jer live would mean a trip to Beverly Hills. April 8th at the Saban Theatre.

Okay, enough of dazzle. Down home here’s the first note – CHP officers have thoughtfully staked out the new four-lane highways in and out of Independence where travelers whiz on through town with warp speed. One officer told us that the CHP will work to slow down traffic. Thank goodness. Caltrans promised that the new sidewalks would “calm the traffic.”

We in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom, with a bird’s eye view of the new highway, knew that was falderal. The CHP stopped a speeder north of Independence. When asked about the town they had just zipped through, the driver said, “What town?” He tore through the little town so fast, it was all a blur. Way to go, Caltrans.

From highway nonsense to statistical versions of the truth. At a past Mammoth Town Council meeting, consultant Brian Godbe explained to officials and citizens how his firm surveyed Mammoth voters and gauged their support for a new utility users tax.

Godbe found out that Mammoth people are satisfied with the quality of life in town. The survey asked about the most important issue. The largest percentage – roughly 1/3 – named the economy and jobs. Other issues include population and development, the town budget, the cost of living and leadership.

Godbe said of Mammoth’s people that they “understand there is a crisis” but feel optimistic about the future. 65% of those surveyed like town services. People also like the low crime rate and access to the national forest and to parks and trails.

Sounds like officials should keep an eye on the number one issue – the economy and jobs. This undoubtedly holds true for Inyo County, too.

It takes work to keep track of everything in life. One thing you might want to jot down – Sunday at 2 am marks the start of Daylight Saving Time. We lose an hour, basically, when we spring ahead. Of course, you don’t have to get up at 2am, just turn the clock ahead Saturday night. Away we go – at least a week of inner confusion as we watch the light and the clock and feel like we’re still behind.

Sounds like we have fallen behind, again, when it comes to the global health. The McClatchy Newspapers reported that lower levels of oxygen in the Earth’s oceans, particularly off the Pacific Northwest coast, could be another sign of fundamental changes linked to global climate change, according to scientists.

Seems that some spots off the coast of Washington and Oregon show the almost complete absence of oxygen with dead sea creatures piling up. Scientists are still unsure of the long-term implications. Wow.

And, Mono Supervisor Hap Hazard took care to look into a health care issue in which an Alameda man said he struggled with Mammoth Hospital for a week to get his broken leg taken care of. Mono County investigated since they give money to Mammoth Hospital for charity care. Hazard said the investigation proved that the County’s safety net for those without insurance did work. Problems, in this case, seemed to arise after initial care and stabilization. Hazard wanted citizens without health insurance to know for sure that they should go to the hospital emergency room if they have a serious problem without fear of being turned away.

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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