They’re digging the Castle Rock cut deeper at Lake Powell, which will save untold thousands of gallons of gasoline smoke per year.
Some environmentalists oppose the excavation because they believe a changing climate and excess demand for water will eventually drain Lake Powell into a hiker’s paradise.
This seems an extreme perspective to me. To prioritize the eventual drainage of Lake Powell above the emissions of boats burning thousands of gallons of gas would be an error.
It’s kind of like when the Sierra Club sued to stop the widening of US-95.
Government does stuff over alot, it seems. Ranging from tearing out curbs and replacing them with different curbs (to comply with ADA) to busting out windows and replacing them with triple-paned tinted glass (to comply with the 2009 Energy Code) it seems like Government’s always replacing something.
It’s one thing to argue society benefits (by increasing handicapped access to the world, in the case of ADA compliance). But when politicians claim separate benefit because this activity “created jobs” – well, they haven’t learned the Parable of the Broken Window. It explains, quite clearly, why recovering from accidents and catastrophes, and other replacements of capital assets, create net loss (not considering any specific societal goal served by the activity).
Centre-right opposition parties in Iceland are set for a return to power with all the votes counted after Saturday’s parliamentary election.
Voters in Iceland have turned sharply away from the direction they set in 2008, rejecting the EU, extreme green, and the idea of paying back foreign-held debt at the expense of Icelanders’ own paychecks. I found Iceland and its political thought intriguing ever since I read David Friedman’s book several years ago. Here is Friedman’s website.
Here on the web: http://www.richardthompson-music.com/ Thompson is a songwriter as prolific as Paul McCartney, and remains so today. I’ve been listening to his latest release Electric quite a bit this week.
From today’s Washington Post:
Obama pledged in his State of the Union address to do more to make sure more Americans can enjoy the benefits of the housing recovery, but critics say encouraging banks to lend as broadly as the administration hopes will sow the seeds of another housing disaster and endanger taxpayer dollars.
Last week, I learned that a City Ordinance requires 1% be added to any construction (capital) spending for “public art”. The next day, I requested a new ordinance to repeal this existing ordinance. My fellow Council member Bob Coffin noted that I might have stirred a sleeping giant with my request, and predicted the Council would hear from many citizens supporting the City’s continued investment in the works of favored local artists (although the artist featured in this photo lives in Denver).
Dear Sleeping Giant:
Personally and philosophically, I believe art is far too much in the eye of the beholder to allow some people to spend other people’s money on it. Cities should promote arts by offering classes to teach citizens to paint, sing, dance, write, sculpt, quilt, sew, design, pluck, drum and strum, but not by building a collection of favored artists’ art.
But it was not from this personal philosophy that I requested the repeal of this 2003 self-mandate, and it is my hope that the coming Council discussion on our mandate does not get bogged down in any of our philosophies.
My proposal is simply fiscal: While the “C-tax” is up, property tax is down and total revenue is flat. One of our unions just voted down a tiny raise, wanting more. The Sheriff says if the Legislature doesn’t raise the sales tax again (it last bumped the rate, by a quarter cent, four years ago as We had very narrowly (52%) voted back in 2004, but it kept the money in the state treasury instead of spending it on more cops) then the City of Las Vegas will have to lay off about a hundred people midyear.
With that in mind, I do not think it is wise or prudent public policy to put a decision to fund public art on auto-pilot. It needs to be deliberated and discussed in the coming budget cycles, soberly, prioritized along with all of the City’s responsibilities.
The giant computerized light show built into City Hall has been reprogrammed with a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.. Somebody with a better camera than I’ve got needs to get some video up on YouTube and post the link, please!
City Hall will be this way through Friday, though the formal holiday is observed this coming Monday.
Dana Bilyeu runs Nevada’s retirement system for public employees, and struck me as one of the most competent state senior executives in Carson City. Explaining today’s decision to cut certain government workers’ take-home pay by more than 1%:
the number of public employees in Nevada has dropped by 10 percent since the beginning of the recession and the remaining employees’ salaries have declined, while the number of retirees has increased.
The rapid change in our government workforce is blamed for PERS providing more than $100-million more in benefits last fiscal year than it took in from taxpayers and employees. The loss ate up about one-third of one percent of PERS assets.
The rate increase will restore that loss, and more. PERS assets are expected to increase, and the percent-funded to advance to 71.2%. Social Security, by comparison, is zero percent funded. PERS remains one of the few reliable retirement systems in America.
All teachers, state employees and local government workers outside Clark and Washoe pay half their PERS contribution out of their paychecks, and will directly feel the new bite. Here in Clark County (and Washoe), taxpayers pay 100% of the contribution, with no paycheck deduction.
Joe Schoenmann reports in the Las Vegas Sun today that I have proposed allowing ambulances to change red lights green.
Schoenmann’s story compared and contrasted our government paramedic service and the private ambulance service, but they edited out the part that explored the difference in the levels of training, experience and on-board equipment.
The differences are huge. Ambulances are specialized transporters, while paramedics are specialists in advanced – indeed, cutting edge – first aid. They almost can’t be compared.
You can read more about the City of Las Vegas Fire Department here.
Interesting. I make a post here and comments show up over on Facebook.
Meanwhile, the City Council is considering prohibiting any smoking on any city property, most particularly parks. What do you think?