Bureaucrat Beat: Wild West Supervisors, Mayor Angel, and Toxic Strawberry Fields

They did it again. The Inyo Supervisors raised the eyebrows of even the most casual constituents. Citizens of Keeler and Death Valley don’t pay a dump gate fee. In a round about way, Inyo County calculated that for the some 2,000 people in the remote areas, it cost $11 more per person per year than in the rest of the County. Is the phrase – Oh, for Heaven’s Sake! Coming to mind?

Soooo, gosh. Those darned desert rats are costing the rest of us $20,000 per year. Of course, never mind that they have lived with the Owens Dry Lake, practically no services and all of their sizeable bed tax going somewhere else, not to mention the Coso Geothermal royalties.

To reward the desert people, the supervisors are considering eliminating service for the folks who would then have to haul their garbage to Ridgecrest or somewhere.

Have the Sups asked people if they want to pay the $11? It would certainly be cheaper than the alternatives.

People called us to report that some of the supervisors were “argumentative, high-handed, scolding the people.” Oh, Good Grief. The somewhat dj vu behavior – much like the last official Board meeting – was described by citizens as “like the Wild West.” And, “We were shocked by the disorderly meeting.” Supervisor Beverly Brown was described as angry and lecturing the people that paying for their service would not be fair to the folks in Bishop who have to pay a gate fee.

What ever happened to reasonable solutions instead of condescension and finger pointing?

Now, here’s a story about the mayor of Tulua, Colombia, who went straight to the law to fix things. Mayor Juan Guillermo Angel said he got tired of the gossip swirling about his town, dubbed famous for rumor mongering for nearly 300 years.

Other town’s members and local media see Mayor Angel as somewhat diabolical – sending free speech straight to hell. Now, the city will hold a series of public meetings to instruct citizens on the finer points of gossip. Love it. Listen up, Mammoth.

This is no blither-blather. The US Environmental Protection Agency okayed the use of toxic pesticides on produce fields. Gotta kill bugs somehow, you say?

50 scientists, including five Nobel Laureates in chemistry protested the EPA’s approval of what they call a new, highly toxic fumigant, methyl iodide, for use mostly on strawberry fields. One of the scientists is quoted as saying that “pregnant women and the fetus, children, the elderly, farm workers and other people living near the fields would be at serious risks.” Seems the new toxin could cause thyroid tumors, neurological damage and miscarriages in lab animals.

The EPA Administrator says he’s confident everything will be sweet as a strawberry since they only approved it for one year. So, what…does that mean they’ll see if there are any miscarriages or tumors?

Okay. So, we in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom delved into the story for what we just knew we would find – money. According to the Los Angeles times, the manufacturer of the poison is called Arysta. Arysta’s former chief executive, Elin Miller, is now a top official at the EPA. And, they’re not even ashamed of this kind of stuff!!!!

The gloves are off with Dubya, better known as our President. If he can’t do better than this with his federal departments, he needs to opt for early retirement.

Finally, a quote from Marydawn Dean of Dean’s Plumbing and Heating. They serviced our furnace to get ready for winter, and the bill included a word to the wise from Marydawn. We, frankly, look forward to these.

Here’s the quote: “Change the way you think and you will change the way you feel.” We like this. So, while we think many government departments have angled for mere personal profit, we think justice will ultimately prevail, and that makes us feel better!

With that, this is Benett Kessler, signing off for Bureaucrat Beat, where we await your views on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and Beyond.

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