Plastic bag ban to be discussed by Internal Affairs committee June 12

In the agenda for the upcoming Sustainability Task Force meeting on Monday, June 4, we see that the “single use” plastic bag ban will be tossed to the Internal Affairs committee at their June 12 meeting.

Now, this should be interesting. The Sustainability Task Force meetings are held in the afternoons and evenings. When the STF heard this issue, the room was packed. And not just with ban supporters, so nya, nya, nya.

Internal Affairs committee meetings are held at 8am. And the coffee, well, it is free, so who in the hell am I to gripe. But, we’ll have to see how many of these passionate planet protectors will show up for an 8am meeting. I’m just sayin’.

I hope some of you cons will come down – this is our chance to get a negative recommendation out of the Internal Affairs committee. I think all it would take is a couple of rational comments to turn this buggy around. No nasty accusations, no dramatic speeches, just some basic questions about the implementation and cost of this feel-good bullshit. It’s better if you read the reports before the meeting – all the stuff you want is available at the city website:

http://www.chico.ca.us/government/minutes_agendas/sustainability_task_force.asp

The more I think about this thing, the dumber is seems. I can’t go into it right now, I got to roll out some tortillas for dinner.

 

Mr. David Guzzetti, Chico Conservation Voters – REDACTED!

Generally, the word “redact” means to edit a document. In this case, it means Guzzetti is being called on the carpet by the Fair Political Practices Committee for failing to properly file his campaign expense reports.

“Dear Mr. Guzzetti:

The Fair Political Practices Commission (“FPPC”) enforces the provisions of the Political
Reform Act (“Act”),1 found in Government Code section 81000, et seq. This letter is in response
to a complaint filed against you by the Office of the Secretary of State that alleged you failed to
file campaign statements in electronic format.

The FPPC has completed its investigation of the facts in this case. Specifically, the FPPC
found that you failed to file your semi-annual campaign statement for the January I, 20 II
through June 30, 20 II period in electronic format by the August I, 20 II deadline.”

A “redaction” in this case means, he’s been warned, next time he’ll be fined.

“Since you subsequently submitted this statement on February 2,
2012, we are closing our file on this matter.

This letter serves as a written warning. The information in this matter will be retained
and may be considered should an enforcement action become necessary based on newly
discovered information or future conduct. Failure to comply with the provisions of the Act in the
future will result in monetary penalties of up t0 $5,000 for each violation.”

This is not Chico Conservation Voters first violation. According to documents filed by the FPPC (FPPC #09-537), CCV treasurer Michael Worley was fined $5,000 in 2008, not only for failing to file reports properly, but for sending out a “mass mailing” under a fake name. This is what the Chico Democrats do in every election – I’ve got their last minute “hit mailers” in past. They use a fake name – in 2008, they used a name  that referenced the organization “Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.” They send out postcards with all kinds of made-up accusations about their opponents. They send out lies about their competition, and they don’t include a real name on the postcards because they know they’re lying and they don’t want to be traced.

I’ll tell you what they do that’s perfectly legal – they file their reports with the county instead of the city. Under intense pressure from bee-atches like myself, county clerk Candace Grubbs has only recently started posting campaign reports so the public can actually read them. The city clerk’s office has been doing that for years now, so Guzzetti has been filing at the county, even for things like his campaign against last year’s Measure A, to switch city of Chico elections to June. Why would he file those at the county? Because at the time Grubbs was not posting them, you had to go to O-ville, make a formal written request giving personal information for the documents, and then stand around til they felt like digging them out (at that time, records were kept in sagging cardboard boxes strewn around the office floor).  If you wanted copies you had to PAY FOR THEM. You were only allowed to look, don’t touch. A friend of mine was kept waiting so long one day, they told her it was closing time and she’d have to come back and refile her request the next day. And, when she asked for copies, she was made to take copies of EVERY PAGE, and pay for them, even though she was only interested in three or four specific pages.

Now, the county clerk is posting reports, thankyouverymuchbitch, so don’t forget to check them out:

http://clerk-recorder.buttecounty.net/CampaignDocs_Web_Public_Access/searchscreen.asp?searchtype=1&checkforyearrange=0&yearrange=

It still sucks compared to the city clerk’s page – you have to know the name of the organization, and there’s too many links, opportunities to get lost and wander around their website. Oh well, it’s better than nothing, and if you hit it regularly, it will keep old Candy on her toes.

Guzzetti will use whatever tactics it takes to keep the liberals in power, and pissant fines aren’t going to stop him.

 

 

 

If you can’t “beat the heat,” learn to enjoy it, Chico Style!

I had a very pleasant morning working in the yard. I love a good spring cleaning. I like to swiffer the eaves, rake up all that debris from the spring storms, clean up those dead flowers and weeds, and get everything all neat now so we don’t have to move very much when it gets HOT.

For you people who have never spent a summer in Chico – ooo, excuse me while I bust a snicker – you are going to LOVE IT!  But don’t freak out on me  - you can do it, you just have to have a plan.

Call WalMart right now and ask them when those baby pools are coming in. A baby pool is a life saver. You fill it up with cold water in the morning, and when it really gets bad later in the day, you go to the gas station or the corner store and get a bag of ice to put in it. Then you pour yourself a tall cold one, and you strip to your skivvies, and you sit in that baby pool. It will put a new attitude on you so fast, you will think you just took 20 years off your age. Your friends might laugh – before you know it, they will be asking if you have a spare pair of shorts. 

Now, if you’re a little more ambitious, you might want to look into Intex pools.

http://foxabovegroundpools.com/category/above_ground_pool_sizes.html?gclid=CPrC57WeprACFcYBRQodXh5FVw

We bought our first Intex pool about eight years ago, and it is just about crapped out. It’s big enough for a grown-up to swim short laps, or for five or six kids to have a heck of a good time.  We’ve used it about four months out of the year, and after a while, the sun and chlorine take their toll. Last year it started to sag a little, and we’re wondering if it will be water tight this year. We’ll see. If not, I’m buying a new, smaller one. I don’t need it so much for laps, I need it  to stay cool. I do my yardwork in my swim suit, and when I feel like I’m about to have a stroke, I get in the pool. I have a hat and a floatie chair with a cup holder. I call it, “Mom’s Think Tank.” 

I would venture to say, my Intex has paid for itself in savings off our PG&E bill. Using it every day is the best way to keep it clean. And, when you’re in the pool, you aren’t in the house running your tv and your appliances and your air conditioner.

Then there’s Chico Creek. If you pay taxes in the City of Chico, you owe it to yourself to go swimming in the creek at least a couple of times a month. As the weather gets hotter, you move up farther. You get to know your holes pretty well, I’m not giving up my fave. Wear good shoes, wear sunscreen, don’t drink booze up there or take glass, and take a shower immediately when you get home to avoid poison oak and tick infestation. And be safe – don’t dive, don’t try to swim those damned holes, and watch out for your friends. And did I mention, DON’T DRINK BOOZE, YOU STUPIDS! 

My plan for the intense mid-day heat is La Siesta. I am self-employed, so I can set my schedule to a certain extent. I try to get up by 6am, do my outside work by 10 or 11, and then have the mid-day to stay under a rock out of the sun – or a roof, anyway.  I shut my windows and blinds by 9am, so my apartment stays cool. I eat lunch early, and then I either find some brain candy to watch on tv, or I just plain lay down for a nap. This might sound silly – but I feel like I get two days this way. I can start a new day every afternoon feeling fresh.

Another plan for the afternoon is the Chico Library, over at First and Sherman. I have always enjoyed the library, especially when my kids were small. One day I encountered another young mother there. As we locked our bikes next to each other, she told me she lived in a little apartment with no air conditioner. She and her child were white from the heat. She said every day they came to the library to take advantage of the air conditioning. I think of that young woman every time I make a donation to the library. The library is so much more to this community than a book depository.

When I take a nap in the midday I can stay up later to enjoy night time. The park is full of life at night. Of course, some of that life is of the criminal element, so take a friend and a flash light and be aware of your surroundings. There’s also a lot of natural, non-threatening activity to enjoy.   There are lots of bats’ nests, it’s fun to go at sunset and watch for a cloud of bats to come whisking out of an old tree. There used to be a huge nest in the freeway overpass, and I predict they will return as soon as the work is over. Check enormous old oak trees with broken limbs. Look for the guano on the ground, a fine sandy looking layer that stinks like ammonia. Or stand under a light along the park trail at night. The insects seek the light. The bats come to eat the bugs. And, you might spot the owls that come to eat the bats. Maybe you will catch a family of raccoon raiding a brimming garbage can.  The cool air coming off the creek is so good you wish you could carry some home to blow around in your house. 

I like Chico summers, I like them good and HOT! I like the feeling of 5 am, when the air is perfect. I like the smell of hot grass. I like the sound of crickets and cady-dids chirping. I like to fry an egg on my sidewalk in August. I like swimming when the air is so hot the water feels GOOD! 

Remember, we’re having an early, 9am meeting at the library this Sunday – with councilman Mark Sorensen, who will try to explain and answer our questions regarding the proposed phone tax. With Mark’s facts, we can write good letters to the paper, and we can start spreading the word to our friends.  Knowledge is power. 

 

 

 

A great event for a great cause – Wounded Warrior Ball tomorrow night at Chico Eagles Hall

Chico Eagles hall is sponsoring a dinner dance tomorrow night for the benefit of troops coming home with injuries suffered in the defense of our country.

Your $25 ticket includes dinner, but if you just want to dance the evening away with your sweetie, you can get tickets at the door for $15 each.

There’s also a silent auction of memorabilia – some of it donated by Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, who was kind enough to address our Taxpayers meeting recently.

The entertainment is being provided by The Karma Kings, out of Paradise.

This kind of event doesn’t happen in Chico every day, so have fun and do something for your country at the same time.

You can get tickets or more information at 342-5696.

Paul Zingg: Pay more or we shut the doors!

Chico State President Paul Zingg’s job is essentially to raise money for the university. He’s paid more than $300,000/year to do just that. I would think that would entail meetings with lots of local civic groups, maybe a local scholarship program, even working with the local high schools to raise local attendance, etc.

No, apparently, it means, e-mailing the local newspaper and telling them, “Chico State’s total loss of general-fund funding in this latest scenario (would) be about $33 million…We are facing program eliminations and significant negative impacts on our workforce in this scenario. Not to mention threats to supporting student access and progress to degrees.”

So, he’s threatening to kick our kids out of school unless…

“The November election will be critical because if the tax measure is not approved by voters, there could be long-lasting damage to the system based on another $250 million cut.”

…unless we raise our sales tax by a minimum of half a cent. 

Well, let me tell you something folks, I went to Chico State – graduated Suma Cum Laude!  That’s Latin for, “we got all the money we could out of her!” 

My experience at Chico State was that of a turnip being squeezed. I had to sit through classes that made me feel as though somebody was putting a plastic bag over my head for 50 minutes. I had teachers who should have retired years earlier, but were riding their bullet-proof “tenure.”  I had teachers who sat in front of the room and point blank told us Chico State was a piece of shit – one teacher used the term “Sausage School” – and still expect us to show up every day. One teacher told us, in a lengthy lecture, that he felt the grade system was bad for students’ morale and self-esteem, but when we asked him why he still gave letter grades, he said, “I know you guys, you’re tough enough to handle it!”

 I had a couple of wonderful teachers – okay, make that three. Two had been great in their day, but were beyond retirement, and getting forgetful and distracted. One of these guys still works in the department, I mean, he’s practically mummified!  

The third was still sharp, admitting to me that half her class should not be passed, but the college “doesn’t like too much failure…” She actually complained to me that “Chico State populates most of the area schools with teachers, probably 30 percent of whom are not qualified…” This she told me on finals day, when she had to give a group an ‘A’ on their group project, simply because one of their members hadn’t shown up and the project was ruined. It wasn’t their fault, so she gave those who showed up an A, even though she admitted their project didn’t show much work. These gals, some of whom couldn’t write a complete sentence and often didn’t understand the course work, are now teaching in schools all around us, maybe teaching your children or grandchildren!

If you have a child at Chico State I would certainly recommend a visit to their classes, and make it surprise. Unless every seat in the room is packed, the teacher has to let you in. Wait a few weeks – these classes always start brimming over, but by the end, the teacher is lucky to have a dozen students left.  I know the feeling – sometimes, the last two weeks of a class was the worst, and people would begin to drop like  flies. I’ve been to finals where only a handful of the original 30 – 40 students even bothered to show up. 

The level of teaching I suffered was horrific. Good teachers teaching down because they knew their students were not prepared. Poor teachers bumbling on day after day, knowing they can’t be fired. I felt like I lost years of my life, and then there was the money! I paid my own way through school, working minimum wage jobs. Boy, did I feel like a sucker.

In fact, toward the end – and this happened to plenty of other students – my department head made me retake 9 units I’d already taken at Sacramento State. She said they didn’t transfer, and she made me do it. It was awful – one class even used the same textbooks as my previous teacher, I just had to sit through an entire semester of rehash. When I went to Evaluations, they told me I was nine units over, and I could have already graduated. It wasn’t a coincidence that my department head was removed about a semester later. I heard the same story from more than half a dozen of my fellow studentsover the course of one semester.  The department you major in gets your money, the longer they can keep you the better for them. Liberal Studies department head Sara Armstrong kept me, and Gawd knows who else,  for an entire semester that I didn’t need to take or pay for, just to get money for her department.  And, they didn’t fire her,  they removed her from the department, they gave her another job – secretary to another staffer. I’m not sure, but I think it was Scott McNall, I’ll have to ask him.

So excuse me when I say, go ahead and CLOSE CHICO STATE. Send Zingg packing. I don’t think he could get a job in the private sector – maybe he could run a medical school in Grenada or something. But if he thinks I’m paying another half cent on the dollar to foot his lifestyle up at 14 Mile House, he better think again. 

Get your tickets NOW for the Wounded Warrior Ball – May 19, with the Karma Kings!

The Chico Eagles Lodge #218 is throwing a swingin’  shindig to raise money for men and women injured while serving their country. 

I have a poster, but I can’t figure out how to post it, so I will share the details. You can get more information at 342-5696

The Wounded Warrior Project  is a national organization that helps our returning vets who are dealing with life long injuries – everything from limb loss to mental stress. These folks have served their country, now it’s our turn to serve them.

This is a nice affair, because it’s affordable in this economy – tickets are only $25, and include dinner. If you can’t make dinner, you can get in to the dance for only $15 – what a deal! And they will be a silent auction of items donated by some generous supporters. 

My husband and I are not exactly huge socializers, but this event is tempting because it’s going to attract a nice cross section of Chicoans. Maybe I’ll see you there!