Bureaucrat Beat: Depressed, Hereditary Trouble, OMP

A disturbing news report – Seems airline pilots can not by regulation take anti-depressants. This is disturbing, for some of them, too, no doubt. Think about it. Would you prefer a pilot under the influence of depression? That’s a grim thought. If depressed, might the aviator try some type of narcotic or liquor to salve his harried soul? Good grief. Hopefully, the friendly skies will remain so and airline companies will tend well to their pilots.

Has LADWP tended well to its Owens Valley employees? Former worker, Joaquin Balassa, who recently sued DWP and won a partial victory, says DWP equals Darth Vader in their lack of benevolence. When he had run-ins with the Department, Balassa said he was told that bullying treatment and stealing of stuff is “generational” and that the Owens Valley is miles away from headquarters where no one can watch. Yikes.

A local listener called to complain about DWP. He described how a DWP crew went up to the top of a power transformer past Laws and threw down a ravens’ nest full of eggs and then apparently went down and stomped on all the eggs. As the caller said, yeah, I know DWP will say the nest would interfere with the power pole somehow, but the whole incident, he said, is a symbol of DWP’s calloused lack of care for the Owens Valley, the wildlife and the people. This caller wondered why DWP didn’t take the nest down when it first went up, before the eggs. Then he noted something else:

“The natural habitat for many birds is in the trees. The trees in the area have been systematically destroyed due to removal, cutting or the absence of underground water. The Ravens’ next best choice for nesting is perhaps now only a telephone pole.” The caller went on to say that a few years back DWP cut down four Locust trees on Rudolph Rd. He said these trees had provided a nesting spot for Ravens and Hawks for many years. “This act,” he said, “is just another example of DWP’s insensitivity in our area.”

More from Tony Barrett who took issue with the appeal on the mega project, Old Mammoth Place. His main point was process, process, process. If the naysayers, maintains Barrett, had come to the meetings, they could have voiced concerns. Barrett said that two economists concluded that Old Mammoth Place would provide “many community benefits and millions of dollars annually in TOT, sales tax and property taxes”, but without increased density it would be no go. Barrett said that of the signers of the appeal only two participated in testimony. Point well made.
In another part of our world, in Independence, the debate goes on over where a new $30 million court project should go – Independence, as planned, or Bishop. As we look out the window of our Independence newsroom, it’s clear that the continued diminishment of the County Seat does not hold value for the entire County, but Independence has to take a look at some of its own faults.

During a court case in Independence the other day, witnesses and relatives of the defendant could be overheard speaking with some consternation about where they might eat lunch. Subway is it. The community must recognize the shortcomings of the town to support people. There is no grocery store, one dinner place and one fast food place. Supervisor Marty Fortney and the movers and shakers in the town need to put their heads together and see what needs to happen and then go for it. As many have recently said, Independence is on life support.

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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