Bureaucrat Beat: Sticker Shock, Corporate Welfare, and Pucci Park

So, a kind of head shop in Ocean Beach near San Diego is selling stickers that say, “Welcome to Ocean Beach, Please Don’t Feed our Bums.” Tacky, certainly, but worse than that it seems they have kind of ripped off Steve Searles original stickers “Please Don’t Feed Our Bears”. The Store, called The Black, sits on Newport Ave. in Ocean Beach, home to the young and sometimes misguided, it seems a new set of aggressive, young panhandlers get rough with people who don’t give them hand-outs. Long-time residents have had it.

We will say the obnoxious beggars in Ocean Beach have something in common with Mammoth’s bears – they just let their animal natures go hog wild, and people forgot to say no and lock up the money and food. Some creatures have no self control. Those are the ones you just have to keep at bay. Ocean Beach or Mammoth lakes.

Steve Searles has received many phone calls about the sticker. He said he feels it’s “a bit over the top” – taking a shot at beggars. The ones who prompted the sticker are not homeless Veterans or others. They are young whippersnappers who demand a free hand-out.

Sacramento needs to just say no to some business interests who either get subsidies or humungous tax breaks from the State of California – to the tune of billions. We need those billions to balance the budget. An article in the LA times pointed to the bend over backwards tax breaks given to the movie industry and to certain enterprise zones and oil companies. Columnist Michael Hiltzik wrote this: “The $100 million spent on Hollywood could maintain any of several Medi-Cal benefits the governor proposes to cut. The $500 million spent on enterprise zones could save half of CalWORKS, and $1 billion from a severance tax on oil could save all of it, benefiting a billion children.” Do the legislators ever read the newspaper?

rick_pucciThere were a few good laughs at last week’s Eastern Sierra Council of Governments meeting. That’s the group that includes officials from our two counties and towns. Supervisor Susan Cash made note of the election of Rick Pucci as Supervisor of District 3. She welcomed him and then noted that some had said if Bishop gets a Dog Park they might name it Pucci Park. The officials grew a bit giddy and suggested naming a chicken coop after him. The good-humored Pucci said the chicken coop might be his choice since he has considerable chicken memorabilia in his office.

Speaking of Bishop’s chicken squabble, the Los Angeles Times sent a reporter to Bishop to get a story. He interviewed Councilwoman Laura Smith and many others. The reporter, Mike Anton, had called us, too. He marveled at our website comments on the chicken story. So did we, frankly. Will the LA Times color us rural rubes? Or a fortunate people who only have chickens to ruffle their feathers?

And, for all of the Hispanicphobes in our audience, you will likely find yourselves in the minority one of these days. You may also find yourselves at the bottom of the education pile. According to the LA Times, college attendance is way up. The Times quotes newly released government figures which show that freshman enrollment surged 6% in 2008 to a record 2.6 million, mostly because of rising minority enrollment.” The Times reported that “Freshman enrollment of Latinos in higher education jumped 15% in 2008….” Gee, I guess they must’ve learned English.

Finally, an Associated Press story last week reported that the federal government sent benefit checks to 20,000 dead Americans over three years. The total gift to those in the hereafter? $180 million!!! The President signed an immediate order to create a centralized database that will stop the madness. A website called U.S. Nation Debt Clock shows the current debt at $13 trillion. The site also says that the national debt has continued to increase by more than $4 billion per day. Okay. This seems simple – our elected bribe takers could go to work to cut government expenses by at least $4 billion a day. That would, at least, put a lid on the debt so they could chip away at the $13 trillion. Good grief!!!!

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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