The hair tearing in Mammoth Lakes right now over medical marijuana should not surprise anyone. Marijuana was illegal for years and still is on the federal level. Law enforcement has fought it for years, so to embrace it now makes no sense.
Steve Klassen is passionate about the health benefits of marijuana. A law on the books says medical marijuana is legal. Some district attorneys say it’s still illegal to sell marijuana. So, change comes hard to California and the Eastern Sierra. We’ll see what the DA comes up with in a couple of weeks. We hear that counties in California all have different rules they want to follow.
We in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom are personally not into drugs, except for an occasional advil; but we do wonder about finding a better way to dispense drugs and a less expensive way. Hey, the pharmaceutical industry rips people off night and day. Plus, some of their products have proved addictive and harmful. Well, we’ll leave all that up to the new California Attorney General. Mammoth Lakes, on the bloody edge of change.
Someone shared with us The Red Tape Chronicles, part of msnbc.com. One story reveals that a new class-action lawsuit was filed against AT&T. Customers had a feeling their itemized bills charged too much. They were right, and this story says the mistakes could cost consumers millions. The lawsuit says AT&T’s iPhone data service is “like a gas station that charges for a full gallon when it only pumps nine-tenth of a gallon into your tank.”
This lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California, also claims that AT&T sometimes charges consumers for entirely phantom downloads, ringing up charges even when the phone’s internet connection is off. Oh, good grief. Now, we won’t feel good when we look at our AT&T bills. Justice will eventually prevail, right?
On a more positive note, Mammoth Town Councilman John Eastman reported that Eastern Sierra Transit Authority is financially healthy with $700,000 in the bank. He said the counties and cities don’t have to fork over anything anymore, at least for now. Eastman also reported some eye popping statistics about transit in Mammoth. Numbers of passengers just grow and grow. He named 350,000 riders annually as “way beyond our expectations.”
Good to talk to Mono Supervisor Chairman Hap Hazard on how the State will shift responsibilities to deliver services to counties. Bottom line – our local officials have to stay on top of it.
Governor Jerry Brown says a shift of responsibilities to local government will save the state money in the long run and make programs like parole and juvenile detention more efficient. The unknowns loom large.
According to our Sacramento sources, the Governor’s proposal would be financed by a five year extension of the vehicle license fee and sales tax if voters approve this in June. The Governor predicts that the tax extensions will give the State $5.9 billion in additional revenue to reorganize state and local government responsibilities by 2015. Okay. If he says so.
More comeuppance for our favorite utilities. Seems that a Senate committee has called for a hearing today in Los Angeles on recent telephone services outages in Southern California. More than 100,000 SoCal customers of AT&T and Verizon lost landline service, including emergency 911 service, some for several weeks, following December’s heavy storms. Hey, California Senate, the Eastern Sierra had the same problems!!! We’ll let you know what we hear about this hearing.
And, finally, when we reached into the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom refrigerator the other night, there was a bunch of cilantro with the fated lot numbers on it: 4889. Did you know the state department of public health recalled cilantro available at retail locations in California? Four different brands? Here are the names of the cilantro will potential Salmonella: Tanimura & Antle Cilantro, Ocean Mist, Nature’s Reward and Queen Victoria. They sound friendly. Though no one has reportedly grown ill, initial reports found salmonella in the herb. We’re not in the mood for illness, so we tossed ours.
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.