Bureaucrat Beat: Holy Airport, Batman; Where’s the Class? Peanut Butter Time

Wow. How did the Town of Mammoth Lakes find itself in such a pinch? 12 local jurors found the Town guilty of breach of contract with Hot Creek Development. Things got so confusingbatman.jpg that hand writing experts had to decipher notations on a copy of the development agreement to see who knew what when. Holy chicken scratching, batman!

A $30 million damage award rides on the definition of federal regulation. Like, when is a rule a regulation? Yikes. Makes all the other veddy, veddy important issues seem teeny tiny.

Ironic, isn’t it, that the Town hoped to get about $30 million in grant money from the FAA to bring in 757s (the Sierra Club put the kibosh on that) – the same amount they’re now charged in damages. Seems the Town was not destined to have an additional $30 mill. One of the jurors wrote to us and said testimony revealed officials didn’t read the development agreement.

Since the outcome of this can seriously impact levels of service for the people of Mammoth Lakes, we hope the best for the Town.

Have you noticed how the “class” has slipped out of so many things – humor, clothing, lifestyles. The internet had one more – insults. The section is called “When insults had class.” Here are a few:

The famous one between Churchill and Lady Astor: She said, “If you were my husband, I’d give you poison,” and he said, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”

Clarence Darrow said, “I have never killed a man, but I have read manyh obituaries with great pleasure.”

Mae West said, “His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.”

And, Groucho Marx quipped, “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”

Words and thoughts cleverly chosen like careful selection of hors d’ouevres compared to tossing of slightly dirty bricks.

We will also just mention that the bad stories about certain post offices continue to come in. We don’t want to beat the proverbial dead horse, but we have some good news for those post offices that like to send mail back rather than place them in the p.o. boxes. The High Sierra phone book includes a listing of names and post office boxes. How very simple!

Starting on page 153 of the phone book, find lists of names and p.o. boxes. Businesses, too. Okay, postmasters? Please? Pretty please with red, white and blue stamps on it?

We’re all into belt tightening these days, right? Everything costs more, and even in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom we’ve cut back on attractive napkins for our donuts. Now, we just use paper towels.

We’re not into fancy, expensive wardrobes, either. We tend to bring lunch and zap it in the microwave rather than lavish restaurant lunches.

We’re not alone. According to spending data and interviews, many Americans have begun to do what we’re doing. When milk costs as much as a gallon of gas, we’re all in trouble. Peanut butter and jelly has made a comeback. Starbucks is on the wane.

Name brand cookies and crackers have taken a dive in consumer habits. So have alcoholic drinks out. Home-cooked meals are more popular. Bizarrely enough, big, flat-panel TV sales and video games are up. So are programmable thermostats and insulation.

Meanwhile, another news report shows that government contractors continue to rack it in. According to the New York Times, government contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan more than $102 billion has been spent. Congress says they will crack down. More than 60,000 federal contractors owe $7.7 billion in back taxes. Ouch.

The bad guys who fail to pay have so far scored new government deals. Congress swears they’ll pinch the pirates.

Stan Smith of Bishop has a power of positive thinking idea. He wrote:

You know, just a while ago we were all told gas will go to $4 per gallon and we
thought gas will go to $4 a gallon and guess what? It did!!

Now, will you all start thinking gas will go to $ 1.27 per gallon, please??!!

Thank you for your support.

Thank you, Stan.

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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