Bureaucrat Beat: Fishy, Copperhead, and Show Biz

In addition to hang-ups for Fish and Game trout plants this month, local resorts could not get permits to buy privately produced trout to plant. Tim Alpers said that there is also a “moratorium on new stocking permits.” Alpers said he can only serve long-time customers with the same amount of trout they ordered last year. No new customers. The veteran trout producer called the latest moves “a full out assault on the fishing industry.”

We will have to say that the state bureaucracy at the center of all this is not equipped to evaluate all California water ways for trout and other fish plants. Change is in the wind and the bureaucracy may break in the breezy gusts because they can’t bend. We’ll see.

Remembering people today. Earlier we spoke of former Inyo Supervisor Keith Bright who has died. Another lesser known Independence character passed on recently. In the early days of our news service, we called her Copperhead. Or, rather, that’s what she called herself on CB Radio traffic. Barbara Southey was a smart lady, with good cheer and an interest in everything. Way back when, all of us news nuts chatted on the CB radio – to truckers, passersby and each other. It was fun. My handle was Lois Lane. John Heston’s was Clark Kent. Okay. I know, major corny. Anyway. Just a word to tip our hats to Copperhead – a bright light in the tiny town.

Here’s one that dims the lights for sure. Government employees, according to the Wall St. Journal, on average have higher pay and bigger benefits than the private-sector employees who support them with taxes. As economic times fumble, private business employees have to share the pain. Not usually so in government. This factoid irks more than a few. After all we pay for government to serve us. Why should they make more money? One local citizen had suggested that Inyo and Mono create a big group health insurance policy that anyone could join. Officials would have to deal with the same health coverage we all get. We like that.

We know Show Biz delivers lots of sparkle and questionable substance sometimes, but what about Mammoth’s C-Biz? You know, the policy that gives developers a way to contribute to the town without paying Developer Impact Fees and big workforce housing fees. It’s a big political football right now. The current Town Council will have some explaining to do.

Wow. Sometimes the Mammoth Town Council meetings dish out entertainment almost as amusing as Show Biz. Last meeting John Eastman and Skip Harvey tried all sorts of verbal jabs at each other. The adrenaline level shot way up with snarks and snips about the height of the Old Mammoth Place project. Harvey pointed out that the height went almost 10 feet too high in one place and that the 55 foot buildings would “dominate” the neighborhood. “This is domination, folks,” said Harvey. John Eastman pointed out that Mammoth will still be a Village in the trees since the trees are 65 to 85 feet tall. Meetings ahead promise the Clash of the Titans in 3D.

Point of corporate clarification today. As you know, we like to take our shots at Verizon Phone Company. But that’s a totally separate company from Verizon Wireless. While Verizon Communications has part ownership, the other part is Vodaphone of England. A separate CEO and distinctly different operation run the cell phone service company called Verizon. In fact, Consumer Reports had named Verizon Wireless as the “best provider.” We like to give credit where credit is due.


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