Bureaucrat Beat: Monarch in Mammoth, Shadow of Doom, and Jubilant Jazz

The most exciting story we heard during the holiday – that King Abdullah Hussein of Jordan planned to stay at the Westin Hotel in Mammoth Lakes during a motorcycle trip in the western United States. Wow! How about that?!?

His father, who passed away in recent years, was the famous King Hussein, married to an American woman, Queen Noor, who recently appeared on the Bill Maher Show on HBO to discuss her humanitarian work. Now, here’s a family with a high profile. We will add that the former King Hussein brought a touch of class and character to the Middle East, a region much in need of that kind of leadership right now.

Hey, we were glad to hear the younger King Hussein likes America and apparently toured Death Valley and Yosemite with Mammoth Lakes in between – that’s the word, anyway. His security people were scoping out the Westin before the Fourth of July. It wouldn’t be the first motorcycle tour in America. King Hussein II cruised Carmel and Big Sur in 2007.

Meanwhile, in Sacramento, no pleasure cruises there. Fear multiplies as nothing happens on the state budget. California started its new budget year last week without a spending plan in place and no agreement on how to resolve the now $19 billion deficit. Seems thousands of state workers piled onto the steps of the capitol to protest the Governor’s spending cuts and threat to their pay. Everyone who relies on the state is on edge.

In the shadow of doom in Sacramento, the Governor did sign a new law that sets up what’s called a High-Risk Health Insurance Pool, funded by the federal government. The plan will offer health insurance coverage to people with pre-existing conditions who have been without insurance for at least six months. Call the Inyo-Mono Senior Legal Program for info at 873-3581.

Good news for the Mammoth Lakes Jazz Jubilee, brainchild of Ken and Flossie Coulter. Flossie told us that one of the jazz groups was featured on Good Day LA on KTLA. That coverage sparked plenty more – reporters from Sunset Magazine, KTTV Morning Show, magazines from Ventura and Malibu and more. Wow. Great publicity for all of us. Thanks, Ken and Flossie. Stay tuned for the Jubilee July 14th through the 18th. You like music? You’ll love the Jazz Jubilee. Will make you forget all about bureaucracy.

One of our listeners shared with us that Missouri voted in tougher immigration-related rules than Arizona did. Like English is the official language of Missouri, Highway Patrol can verify immigration status of any person arrested, no financial aid to illegals trying to go to college. Okay, but we will point out that 3.4% of Missouri’s population are Hispanic while California’s is 36.6%. Does make a difference if you’re expecting Missouri rules to play here.

And, now for a purely frivolous note. One of our favorite actors, Tom Selleck, will star in a new show in the fall TV season. He will star in a show called “Blue Bloods” about New York cops. When character actor Elisha Cook was alive he lived part-time in Bishop and told us a lot about Selleck. Cook acted in Magnum, P.I. as the character Ice Pick. He said Sellect was good to his crew, honest and decent. We like that when Hollywood types turn out to be actors of the good kind.

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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