Another classic conversation with Verizon. The Bureaucrat Beat newsroom staff realized, one day, that our phone bills loomed way too high for the use. We decided to call Verizon for a better deal. The good news – we got a better deal. The sad side of the story – it took 45 minutes of bizarre phone calls.verizon.jpg

For the young in our audience, you probably don’t remember a time when you could – glory be to the heavens! – actually dial a number and talk to a real person for changes in service, and it happened – just like that. Not any more.

So, we dialed Verizon and endured the absurd conversation with a computer that demanded, over and over, to hear what our problem was. When, at long last, a real person came on the line, we were, of course, in the wrong department. Then followed a very long wait. We finally left a message and Verizon called back but hung up on us before we could say “over-charged.” We called back again, and the short version here is a nice woman took about 15 minutes to figure out that we could save about $30 a month with a better plan. Enough said.

A big thank you to Inyo Sheriff Bill Lutze, way under the gun of big media pressure on the Manson dig. He accommodated local media with great consideration. We appreciate that.

On another note, is it bad timing for Mammoth Lakes? An article in the New York Times says cities across the nation are losing air service. The aricle says that according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, nearly 30 cities across the US have seen their scheduled service disappear in the last year. Over the same period, more than 400 airports, in cities large and small, have seen flights cut. As jet fuel prices rise, airlines suffer.

So, just as Mammoth finally gets a positive decision from the FAA on a planned daily flight between Los Angeles and Mammoth, the airline business turns sour. Who knows, maybe the commuter hop between LA and here will make money.

More evidence air lines have big troubles – they’re now charging for all luggage (like you could travel without it!)

Pretty soon they’ll start to charge for toothpicks and peanuts.

You probably heard that the California Supreme Court decision that struck down the ban on same-sex marriage. In view of the 50% divorce rate, some say gay couples can’t do worse. Of course, it’s highly controversial. Locally, Mono County’s Clerk did receive one inquiry from a local man interested in a same-sex marriage license. The Clerk’s office said they’ll know more about procedures in 30 days. They’re waiting for the State to come out with the process.

In Mammoth Lakes politics, Tony Barrett, who was going to run for Town Council and whose name will appear on the ballot, actually withdrew from the race. In a new letter, Barrett said he pulled out so incumbents Kirk Stapp and Skip Harvey would win. He’s down on candidate and fellow planning commissioner Jo Bacon.

Endorsements have proven, at best, questionable, in terms of swaying the voting public. In Inyo County, the most heavily endorsed seemed to have lost in the recent past.

Barrett had earlier bashed Councilman Kirk Stapp for being in office too long. He was none to complimentary of Mayor Skip Harvey in earlier political discussions. Times have changed, apparently.

In his endorsement letter, Barrett says that Bacon hasn’t voted yes enough on development. Same old story in Mammoth. Those who want growth and those who question it.

At least they’re doing things and talking about issues. We in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom fervently wish that Inyo politicos could get down to meaningful talk.

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your views on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond

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