Bureaucrat Beat: The Politics of Color-Coding, Re-boot Business, and Nevada Attack

Do you find the bureaucratic color alert levels as troubling as we do? First of all, news came out last week that former Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge has written in his new book that the Bush Administration wanted him to use the terror level alerts to bolster the President’s image. This is not green, yellow or red. It’s murky.terror_alert_system

So, last week when Fish and Game’s Bruce Kinney revealed that the Department now has a color alert system for bear visitations, the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom couldn’t resist the comparison. Reporter Lara Kirkner laid out Kinney’s explanation of the color levels. But really, people, when a bear is standing in your kitchen munching down on cheesecake, is it the time to ponder color coordination? Kinney did say that most bear calls from Mammoth are “yellow.” Okaaaay.

And, do the bears know about these colors?

One man who heard about the color alert levels for bears queried, “What is the value of this system?” Good question. We would ask Bruce Kinney, but he has resolutely refused to speak to us. Still, apparently, miffed over the Arthur the Bear incident of 5 years ago. It was a tough time. Lethal resolve or life for the bear? Maybe DFG got burned by all of that and needs a system to stand between them and the bears.

We’re just as skeptical about the Homeland Security color-coding, especially when dabbed with shades of politics, which Ridge admits it was. How about people just use their best judgment, instead of color-coding, to handle situations. It’s enough to identify a problem without having to jam it into a color system.

Volcanic hazards also boast a color alert level for aviators. Okay. We get that. The pilot has to fly over a large area. He can quickly check the status of volcanic hazards and if they will soon blow.

Some people in Mammoth are about to blow up. The ones whose homes have been broken into by bears and expensive foodbeardog_food eaten. We heard that one man wants to send a bill to the woman who leaves pounds of dog food outside her home for the bears, teaching them bad habits.

In Bishop, inquiring minds want to know if bureaucrats’ habits are so bad that they won’t know how to encourage new businesses to re-locate in Bishop. The City Council and some local folks have re-grouped for another push at new business in Bishop to keep shoppers at home.

Seems City Council members found a consultant who knows how to calculate out of town shopping habits of local residents. The idea – to figure out what kinds of businesses could provide those same products right here in the Eastern Sierra.

Some in the Bishop business community tell us that city regulations have made it nearly impossible to open a new business and make things work. We’re just passing the word.

We’ve heard an awful lot of talk about attracting business to Inyo-Mono over the years. But, hey, it’s never too late.

state_capitol_1-12-09Tell that to the legislators in Sacramento. They’re all in a tizzy about ads Nevada has run, urging businesses to re-locate from California to Nevada. We haven’t seen the ads, but the Los Angeles Times quotes Assemblyman Jose Solorio of Santa Ana as saying he was “pretty outraged by the nastiness of their tone.” The LA Times said that the Nevada TV ads compared California legislators to monkeys and the state budget to flying pigs.”

Hey, all we can say to the Assemblyman is – it was you guys who spent months bickering over stupid stuff, failing to pass a budget, doing things to hurt everybody. Now, Solorio has launched his own media blitz of pro-California ads proclaiming that “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but what happens in California makes the world go ’round.” Nice, but we all know California taxes and regulates business way more than Nevada. That’s the bottom line.

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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