Observers of the last Inyo Supervisors’ meeting were negatively impressed by what some called Supervisor Linda Arcularius’s diatribe against the environmentalist side of the public access issue. She reportedly accused them of being unethical because they refused to compromise.

Hey, this is the American Democracy and people can say what they want. It’s just unfortunate that when officials scold the public for the view they hold, this does not encourage public involvement in government.

Others have commented to the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom that Ms. Arcularius has taken to scolding, not just the public, but her colleagues on the Board. We have found that verbal knuckle-rapping is best reserved for misbehaving children.

In Mammoth Lakes, more evidence of what the public wants from elected officials. Long-time local Dieter Fiebigger thanked the Town Council this week for his third appointment to the Tourism and Recreation Commission. Dieter said he has a good feeling about this Town Council. He said it was the first Council to listen to the people of the Town.

Well stated. These two incidents at public meetings reveal what the people want. Someone who will listen.

And, hey, it was impossible to listen to anyone on your cell phone Wednesday night. A lot of you out there probably tried and got nothing but circuits are busy recordings or a busy signal. Yep. Cell service
was all the way down for something like 12 hours.

A local cell phone service person told us that reports indicated that a Caltrans crew in Emeryville, CA had accidentally cut a fiber optic line which took down lots of phone service.

We’re still waiting to hear why on some afternoons you can’t call cell phones form land line phones. Communication mysteries.

It’s no secret that the federal government spends incredible amounts of our money. The organization called Citizens Against Government Waste, a taxpayers’ watchdog group, just issued their 2007 Pig Book.

The worst examples of pork barrel spending are in the book. They list 24 projects totaling $2.4 billion. Here are a few:

* $59,000,000 in the Department of Defense budget for medical research. Huh? As the waste watchers note, medical research is important, but in the Department of Defense? Also, one program which would spend $1.35 million is called “obesity in the Military Research Program.”

* In the Department of Homeland Security budget $225,000,000 is set aside for port security grants. An audit found that HS has distributed these funds in a “broad, unfocused manner.” The report says that as a result, DHS had no assurance that the hefty grant program is protecting the nation’s most critical and vulnerable port infrastructure and assets.

* $12,000,000 goes to bus companies for security measures. The program, according to the Pig Book, directs money to profitable, private companies that should be able to fund security measures themselves.

* $2,500,000 set aside for security measures for the Super Bowl, Olympics, Presidential inaugurations and other events. Of course, some of these events don’t happen every year. Who spends the money? The Pig Book says they should authorize these kinds of funds based on actually planned events. Duh!!!!

The Pig Book reveals that our government budgets money and then fails to carry out tasks effectively. If anyone would review these programs and get tough, we probably wouldn’t have to pay higher taxes.