Bureaucrat Beat: Casino Welfare? Monkey Business, and BP Confessions

Get this headline – “Welfare Aid Cards Valid at Casinos”!!!! Are they crazy? According to the LA Times, California welfare recipients are able to use state-issued debit cards to withdraw cash on gaming floors in more than half of the casinos in the state.

Officials said they are working to determine how much money had been withdrawn from casino ATMs by people using the welfare debit cards. Hello!!! Apparently forethought does not count as a requirement for state workers who issue these sorts of things. But, thoughtfulness does exist at the Paiute Palace Casino in Bishop where management made it clear they don’t accept Welfare debit cards or anything similar.

Mammoth Town Councilman Skip Harvey advised forethought when he confessed to the Eastern Sierra Council of Governments that he had left his garage door open which helped a bear go in and gobble up his dog and cat food. Oops. Hey, it was a good example of how to close things up. Harvey had reported that Mammoth residents’ habits of closing dumpsters tight have improved immensely. That’s what it’s all about in bear management.

Don’t try too hard to manage chimpanzees. A new study shows that the seemingly friendly chimps will attack and kill other chimps from nearby groups to expand their own territory. Scientists say this could point to the root of human warfare. Ouch. You mean we haven’t progressed beyond monkey business??!! That’s a fair statement all the way around.

Take BP Oil, if you want to examine primate conduct among humans. Seems they spent nearly a half million dollars on radio ads since the oil spill in April. Oh, swell. That really helped a lot. This doesn’t count all of the mea culpa TV ads. BP ran 1800 radio ads alone the week of June 14th. Hey, guys, this oil disaster goes way beyond public relations. Perhaps you should consider major donations to every church and temple on the planet, for starters, right after you stop the oil gusher.

They could learn from James Hurlburt. He’s the 92-year-old Bishop man featured in Time Magazine in an article on longevity. His sons live in Mammoth Lakes. Hurlburt voiced a solid philosophy of concentration on the good, study of God, and love. BP has a long way to go. Others of our elderly applauded Hurlburt and pointed to Inyo County’s take-over of Inyo-Mono Area Agency on Aging as precipitous. As one person pointed out, “It’s not just about taking good care of older people. It’s about helping them feel needed and useful and able to participate…and in their own homes and happy!” Couldn’t agree more.

We in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom like to participate in movie-going. We dig films. We might put on our list the future Pirates of the Caribbean Part Four: On Stranger Tides. If nothing else, the films frolic with pirates and Johnny Depp. How bad can it be? We wonder how good this will be – the movie version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s fine memoir, “Eat, Pray, Love.” Julia Roberts will star in the August movie. And, get this, they’ve designed tie-ins – furnishings, jewelry, tea, etc. Merchandising R Us!

Talk about merchandising – How about Apple and its 3 million iPad sales. Wow. Next, they’ll push sales into nine more countries. Mono CAO Dave Wilbrecht let me try out his personal iPad that he brought to a meeting. Very slick, fast and fun. One technology analyst said of iPad, “It’s fashionable and its ‘in’ and its less geeky than a keyboard. It’s the new definition of ‘it.'” Now if we could just elevate good human behavior to the status of “it.”

Lee Gaasch of Mammoth pointed to two people who have made a difference with the unpopular. Gaasch wrote a letter which can be read on our website. Her thanks goes to Kirk Stapp and Bill Taylor for their persistent discussion about the Town Council’s reduction of developer impact fees and affordable housing fees. Wrote Gaasch, “I thank Kirk and Bill for their persistence and passion in continually bringing these troubling ‘community’ issues forward. May their actions inspire us all to exercise our opinions and stand up for what we believe is right.”

Good point. Many times, the unpopular mark the most important part of public debate. It takes courage to go against the tide.

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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sherry kriescher
sherry kriescher
9 years ago

Well California needs to gets going because other State casino’s do not allow wealfare individuals to use their wealfare card at the casino. The ATM’s will not accept these cards and in fact it is the ATM companies that place these machines in the casino that need to be responsible… Read more »