Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

River City Risks

With California’s budget shambles comes a few interesting and risky twists. The Pooled Money Investments Board voted to stop all construction projects today. You might not think much of it, but when you look at the 67 page document listing all projects affected…you mightchange your mind.
Two that caught my eye were here in Sacramento County. One was a Levee Improvement Project at Natomas Cross Canal, and the other an American River Watershed/Folsom Dam Raise Project. Both, by virtue of their titles alone, seem important. But then, I haven’t forgotten Katrina and New Orleans. It’s old news, Katrina, but still applicable here in a city surrounded by levees and encroaching on flood plains.
If you live near a levee, you might want want to inundate your legislator. What ARE they getting paid for, anyway, and why are they getting paid? To protect you and your family from an infrastructure failure? Or to play “chicken until someone blinks” ? I’ve never been starry-eyed in regards to politics, but this construction job list has really gone over the top. Kind of like water over a dam. That was never fixed. Thanks to your (not-so) friendly legislature.

How is Sacramento in the news this week? The good and the bad

David Gregory is the new host of NBC’s Meet the Press!  And he used to work at KCRA.  So, yay, us!

But, it’s not all News To Make Us Proud today: Bob Swift of Swift Dodge on Arden Way decided not to swiftly dodge uncomfortable jingoism – nay, he went right for it!

Swift said the American people can help save the auto industry by deciding to buy American-made cars.

“People are reluctant to buy our cars because of the perception that maybe the quality isn’t what it should be,” Swift said. “Therefore, they’re going to buy Japanese, they’re going to buy a German car, forgetting that 50 years ago, we had to bomb those people and kill them by the thousands to keep them from overtaking our country.”

Wow, srsly dude?  You know a lot of those damn-ferner cars are actually assembled in the US, right? And besides that, really? Really!  Really. Ugh.  And the story got picked up nationally, so now he’s Bob Swift of Sacramento. Rad. Thanks for that! I’m never, ever buying a car from you, sir.

Does new hotel establish new ethic? Or rely on old jokes?

So, the Citizen Hotel will open soon and in case you haven’t heard about it yet it is THE coolest thing to happen in Sacramento, potentially ever. It’s so cool the room number signs are cool. So are the lampshades. Seriously, this hotel will outcool you, skinny-jean wearing Midtowner, and you, suit-wearing Capitol staffer, in like 3.2 seconds after it opens on November 30th. In fact, since its first weekend is already booked solid, it’s probably already out-cooled you.

From what I read and hear, little remains of the old building’s interiors – which is probably good since when I went to my optometrists office there, it was overrun by crickets (good luck) and other crawly things (bad luck).

But there’s something about The Citizen Hotel that bothers me, just a little. Something more insidious than its ubercool (hey, I like ubercool), something with a bit more bite . . . . (more…)

Local history

A historic day for a man who has seen a lot of history: Lelia LaRue shows her father, George Francis, a newspaper front page heralding the election of Barack Obama. At 112, Francis is believed to be the oldest man in America and the oldest to vote for Obama. (Sacramento, Calif.) ” (borrowed from the SF Chron’s day in pictures)

Registered? Know where? Know what?

You should be registered to vote by now – but if you aren’t sure – or if you aren’t sure where to vote or what you’ll be able to vote for – click here to look up your registration status with the Sacramento County Registrar.  You’ll need the address of where you think you’re registered, the zip, and your birthdate.

And don’t forget – you always have the right to cast a provisional ballot if you show up day-of and your name isn’t on the rolls.  More questions? Check out the Secretary of State’s website.

Love numbers? Like to cringe over voter participation levels since 1910? SOS has that too.

Lastly: can’t figure out who’s more full of sh*t today? Check your facts here.

We love the CHP!

There’s something really cool about a man in uniform–even better than that is a man in uniform, riding a horse, wearing cool CHP boots. Yes, Erik Estrada did not gain his fame by playing a homeless bum on TV.

You too can see our sexy (mostly) CHP riding on horseback around Capitol Park. They are out in full force lately, thanks to the Guv’s recent executive order and the ensuing rallies on the steps for state employees. Someone’s gotta keep the peace. So why not let the CHP do it, when they are on the “exempt” list, and they know for certain their salaries are secure? I’m not sure if the governor’s plan to cut wages backfired or not. Certainly placing more CHP in the public eye means more CHP getting paid. No salary savings there.

I really don’t mind watching the parades of men in uniform. However, had there been no executive order, there would be no great need to put the Capitol on lockdown. Had there been a budget, there would have been no need for an executive order. Had you voted last go around, there may have been a few good legislators in office, willing to compromise to keep the state moving and grooving as the happening place that it is and should continue to be. But then again, I’m counting the “shoulds” and “coulds” and not the reality of the grand BS that is the annual state budget.

What does it all mean? If you’d like to see your tax dollars at work, come for a stroll around the Capitol on a weekday. You’ll see an ocean of people, dotted by CHP, surging along in a sea of disillusion.

I can’t help but wonder if the extra brown shirts on patrol remind the governor of his childhood European home. Definitely a disturbing thought.

Progress? Really?


I’ve been seeing these yellow Fargo for Mayor signs all over the neighborhood around my office. Today on my lunch I saw this cluster (and there’s even more outside the frame on the left!) and was moved to post

At present, I don’t have a dog in this race, but I have to admit that these signs bug the hell out of me. They’re ugly for one, but… “Progress!” Is that really an advisable slogan for someone aiming at a third term in office? My vote for that would be a No.

Will Fargo’s bumpersticker read "I wish I was a little bit taller . . ."

The Bee runs an editorial today that praises Kevin Johnson’s entry into the race, but not quite Johnson himself, explaining that Sacramento needs a good Mayorial fight to get us back paying attention to our own city again.

 The Bee cites our neighbors West Sac, Citrus Heights, and Rancho Cordova as cities on the move while we just kinda sit here letting progress march right on past as we pass the time counting foreclosure signs in Natomas. Yeah, we could stand to, like, do stuff around here again. Can we redevelop something? Anything? K Street, Railyards? Something that’s not a condo or loft development would be good – ’cause those aren’t selling.

 Anyone have input on whether Kevin Johnson as the Other Candidate is going to give us a good, content-filled race centered on the issues facing this fine town, or whether it’ll just be “hey, Beat LA, go Kings” and no substance?  Having watched Arnold in town for these past few years, I’m not expecting much from celebrity candidates.

Home Field Advantage

So it seems our local Senator (well, for many of us) is going to be the new President Pro Tempore of the State Senate.

That’s pretty good for us. And the State since Senator Steinberg is well-respected and well-liked (an unusual and infrequent combination around town). Go Sac!

“Sick out” or?

Apparently a huge number of RT mechanics called in sick today. Could it be valid? Call me a Pollyanna, but the cold, rainy weather in Sacramento right now tanks. And in my office, the heating is not optimal, so we have people wearing parkas in their cubicles. Get cold, get sick. Cause and effect.

If I were working in a dank garage twisting stuff on a bus engine, I might catch a cold too. But then again, I just may be “sick” of my contract or “sick” of how management is running things. I might also be “sick” of not having decent health insurance.

If that’s how it works, maybe I’ll just call in sick to the presidential elections. That might help things. As if.

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