Bureaucrat Beat: Ripped Picasso, Deregulated Verizon, and W Hollywood

We’ve all missed a step or two. You know, you catch your toe in the corner of the carpet, stumble on the pavement, save yourself from a spill on the dance floor. But we can all likely say that we have not stumbled and fallen into a Picasso painting, tearing a hole in the jillion dollar canvas. We felt grateful when we read the story about the art student who slipped and fell into the famous painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Grateful that we had never done such a thing. Sometimes fate seems to take over, and we have little control over the unwinding path of life.

But, hey, we all do the klutz thing from time to time. Do you think DWP will feel embarrassed if the groundwater pump test in Lone Pine sucks down the water table like a giant vacuum? An earlier test they did drew down a deep well by 6 feet in 24 hours. Ouch. That does not bode well for Lone Pine. Whadda ya think, Board of Supervisors?

Here’s what we think of news that AT&T and Verizon will gouge the heck out of us when beginning next year regulatory limits on rates disappear for phone companies. Phooey!!!

In the LA Times business section, Verizon spokesman Jon Davies declined to speculate on what Verizon might do when the regulatory cap disappears next year. Yeah, right. No need to speculate. We know what verizonthey’ll do.

The Public Utilities made the decision to deregulate. They said the “California telecom market was sufficiently competitive to justify leaving phone companies to their own devices.” Truth is market forces have not pushed prices lower. As the LA Times put it: “So far, it doesn’t seem like the industry-friendly PUC is in any hurry to help consumers.”

Seems the legislature tried to pass a bill that would have required phone companies to give customers a 60-day notice of any rate hikes. Legislators refused to support the bill, including Mono County Senator Dave Cox who sits on the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee.

We’re really not so dumb as they think we are. The other night when the Bureaucrat Beat staff wandered into the post office to retrieve our mail, an elderly man stood at a counter pouring over his own letters. He said out loud to no one in particular, “Is this congressman insane?” Then he turned our way with a mailer in hand. “In one paragraph he says no government health insurance. In the next paragraph he says don’t touch Medicare.” Yeah. We know.

Here’s internet proof that our health care system costs way too much. The website medicaltourism.com spells out which country you can go to for medical procedures that cost a small fraction of what it costs in the United States. Need we say more?

The problems with the over crowded state prisons may, in part, fall right in the laps of the voters. Inyo Sheriff Bill Lutze pointed out that the proposition voted in by California voters to create the Three Strikes Law has resulted in a large number of life in prison inmates crowding up the system. There’s not enough room for lesser term prisoners. Yikes. Time for reform?

Just an aside right here. For those of you who can still afford to go out of town and make the scene, as they say, check this out. A new night spot in Hollywood. It’s called W Hollywood, described as an uber-modern hotel with a resident restaurant, Delphine and two bars, Station Hollywood and the Living Room. Yeah. We’ll be there. Look for the black cape and long cigarette holder.

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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