Bureaucrat Beat Raises Eyebrows on Stamps, Parking and Water 101

In our investigations this week, the staff of the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom discovered an amusing article. It falls under the category of “Give the Ladies th4eir due”. Seems that the United States mint will offer, for the first time, coins with the image of women – Martha Washington and Abigail Adams. We had to laugh. Women don’t need their images on money, they control the money! For those who still believe the myth of the wealthiest men in the world, ask them who makes the money decisions.

Speaking of money, maybe Maria Shriver Schwarzeneggar should re-consider some of Governor Arnold’s donations. Headlines in the LA Times said that State Farm donated $25,000 to a fund controlled by the Governor. The article also implies influence peddling with the news that State Farm has lobbied lawmakers on at least 10 bills relating to auto insurance. The 25 grand entitles State Farm to sit on the Governor’s Advisory Committee where decisions are made.

Feeling powerless about now? Then we just have to pull the postal service out of the bag. Lovely three color glossy brochures in our P.O. boxes carry what intelligent customers see as a warning: “New Postage Prices,” it says, “What You Need to Know, May 14, 2007.” We already know what we need to know. The postal service will continue to raise stamp prices with complete abandon. New prices went into effect yeste3rday. Letters now require a 41 cent stamp, up from 39 cents. For those of us, and the crowd is growing, who fear the price will zip up again soon, the compassionate postal purveyors have cooked up what they call the “Forever” stamp. They cost 41 cents each but will supposedly continue to work even though the price goes up. Did they sign an agreement on that one or is it their word we’re taking?

Mammoth Lakes people are still snarking about parking in the Village and how citizen Don McPherson told it like it is on that one. The Village – a major new center in the resort with potential, universal town benefits. Potential, unrealized without a place to park.

So, we called Mammoth Town Manager Rob Clark. He could not speak to the past and how the then-Town Council let the necessity of parking slip through their fingers as they approved Intrawest’s project. Clark did point to MMSA and Starwood as the ones in the lead for the parking structure project. He said they hired a consultant who will submit a design to the Town Advisory Design Panel (who knew they had that?) at the end of this month and then it goes on to the Planning Commission.

Manager Clark vowed that officials of the Town and elsewhere are working on a finance structure deal. He called the parking structure planned for town-owned land at Canyon and Hillside “a very expensive3 and difficult” project. He claims all are “working diligently to make it happen.” Clark admitted that they can’t guarantee it will be built in 2007. Construction costs, he said, are through the roof.

So, what about the fact that when building starts on what is now surface parking at the Village that parking will disappear? Clark said, “Those are concerns we share as well.” The spectre of virtually no parking at the Village sends an ill portent for businesses there.

To sharp reprimands that Town officials have put other priorities first, Clark maintains that other projects are not causing parking structure delays. “We talk about this every week,” he said.

Public frustrations have bubbled up like Hot Creek’s steam pots because of the time that has gone by with no seeming progress. Clark says that officials have determined several pieces in financing. The Town will put in $3.2 million, borrowing through an assessment district – $6 million, MMSA – $6 million through different means.

Better make public transportation plans now.

In Inyo County, we aired a letter from Daniel Pritchett concerned that DWP and Inyo’s Water director were down-playing the role of groundwater pumping in water table levels.

When asked about this, Inyo Water Director Tom Brooks said his comments on the importance of run-off and recharge were “situational.” He did say that, “It’s obvious, if you reduce pumping it helps the water tables.” He added that you can’t resolve “historic over-pumping without water recharge.”

Copyright 2007 Sierra Broadcasters


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