When will Inyo people get wise. Folks, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power uses the tactic of divide and conquer. They have used it in the 36 years the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom has operated and likely before that.

Latest tactical move? A secret source spelled it out. For years, DWP did not keep track of water for ranch leases. They just let it flow, and the ranchers pretty much backed up whatever DWP wanted to do. All of a sudden, a few years back, DWP started to count the acre feet to leases. Only 5 allowed. That hurt the ranchers, who had come to rely on whatever DWP gave them – way more than 5 acre feet of water per acre of land.

LA Dept of Water and PowerNow, DWP, according to our secret source, is telling the ranchers that the cutback of lease water came because of water needed to keep down dust on the Owens Dry Lake. We kind of knew they had said that because some Inyo Supervisors started to trot out the line that “we have to save water and quit using so much on the Dry Lake bed.” Oh, please. We know a divide and conquer move when we smell one! The Supervisors should have said, publicly, we understand DWP has taken away water from our ranchers, and they’re using the excuse of the dry lake dust!

First, DWP has never been required to use water on the dust. They have options. Second, they created what was called the worst dust-pollution source of its kind in the western hemisphere. So, quit trying to get other people to pay for your mistakes, DWP.

If Inyo people would get together and agree to cooperatively throw DWP under the bus whenever they try to play one of us against the others of us, we just might have a better life. Let’s hold hands and not scandalize each other to please DWP.

On a much more petty note, we in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom feel we would have a better life if real people answered phones and questions. While we went through a disgusting conversation with a computer voice the other day, it hit us. It feels creepy to talk to a computer! This is not a conversation. The other side isn’t even alive!!!!!!

Most of the time, the robotic can’t deal with our problems and we have to pound the zero key to hope we can find a breathing human. Plus, this would mean more jobs for people. Of course, corporations do not care about jobs. They care about the bottom line and about pay for CEOs!!!!???? Did you see the Sunday Los Angeles Times Business section. Good grief. The CEO of Occidental Petroleum makes $76.1 million in cash and stock options ($34 million in cash, $40 million stock options). Really? Just for 12 months of alleged work? Wonder how much vacation time he took.

CEO SalariesSome boards of directors have started to vote down these kinds of salaries. These obscene paychecks do not bode well for the public. It just means we have to pay more for gas, food, retail items, etc., etc. Maybe these guys have never read history, never heard of Marie Antoinette and the gang – you know, the eating of cake, the rolling of heads. Nobody needs to make that much money.

Law enforcement had a lot of work to do over the holiday, and they still took time to report pet dogs locked in cars at the fairgrounds in Bishop during the heat of the day (when we had heat!). Animal Control apparently came down and took care of it.

The American Civil Liberties Union took care of a guy in Colorado who gave the middle finger to a State Patrol Trooper who had pulled over a car. Initially, the finger man faced a charge of harassment. The State Patrol asked that the case be dropped but apparently the prosecutor didn’t want to. He has now, though. The ACLU maintained that the gesture might have been rude but amounted to protected free speech. We like that. If the common man loses his ability to express outrage in a non-violent way, this could lead to more trouble. Hey, we’ve had the middle finger stuck up at us. We never thought of it as an assault. Just kind of funny.

Finally, we want to say hi to Ken Wetzel of Ridgecrest. We met Ken at a performance of “Bronzeville” at Manzanar recently. Seems Ken is an electrical engineer who has a very good antenna at his house where he listens to the Sierra Wave radio station, particularly in the morning. He likes our news and Bob Todd. Thanks, Ken. It was great to meet you, and thanks for listening.

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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