Friday, November 21, 2014

Toodles for Matt Owen?

Our very own Matt Owen got "toodled" by the Lost Coast Outpost yesterday. That's LoCO's term for suspending the comment privileges of those who make inappropriate ones. Probably no biggie since, as someone pointed out, Matt doesn't comment on the LoCO. He does write an occasional oped/ commentary which is what got him in trouble.

His Matt In The Middle commentary from yesterday dealt with Eureka's homeless situation where he included suggestions for dealing with it. Among his suggestions was an emotional reference to taking certain people out behind the courthouse and shooting them. That naturally brought out some hostile comments as well as some of those in support. 

Did he deserve toodles for that? I don't think so. It might have been a tacky comment and maybe something most would try to avoid writing, but it did reflect the emotional response a lot of people have probably directed towards bad guys that keep getting away with things. 

That reference seems to have been removed. Just as well as I'm not sure it added anything constructive to his commentary, aside from perhaps providing an avenue for some to vent over a difficult situation.

I've been much more bothered by comments I've read in the LoCO and other news web sites calling for the hanging, or worse, of people simply accused of crimes. The "oak tree, rope..." type comments often seen when someone is accused of something, especially sex related crimes, I've found appalling. Especially so since those making the comments are likely more serious about it than Matt was in making his. 

I'm appalled, but I don't suggest those comments be removed. There must be some value in reading people's feelings even if they're only venting.

Just a couple other observations on Matt's commentary: 

He criticized Prop 47 (the recent ballot initiative that reduced some felonies to misdemeanors) suggesting it lets even more people out of jail. That might seem the case but as I commented on the LoCO, it seems the vast majority of those people were already being released anyway because there isn't enough room in jail. I'm not sure Prop 47 really changed much.

He also made the suggestion of having a legal place for the homeless to camp and perhaps even providing housing of some sort for homeless folks, if I read him right. I might agree with a legal camping place, with reservations. I'm not so sure about providing actual lodging. 

Seems to me we've already done both. Years ago we let the homeless turn the South Jetty and Clam Beach campgrounds into their own camping spot. We've also turned a number of hotels and motels on Eureka's Broadway into "temporary" housing for homeless. Some would argue both those efforts only made things worse. 

So what is the answer to Eureka's homeless situation, consistent with human rights? I don't know.

An Anti- Government Surveillance Tool tells us of a new software program that detects the more commonly used government surveillance malware:

"Unlike the more all-purpose antivirus and anti-malware programs, Detekt centers around detecting and warning end users of surveillance malware of the sort known to be used by government.".

There's a link there where you can download the free software. They caution that the software likely doesn't detect more modern government developments. As for me, nah, I won't bother. It would likely just give a false sense of security. Besides, what do I have to hide???

It would be interesting, though, to see if any of the old surveillance stuff is on my computer. If any of you try it and actually find something on your system, let us know.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

An Obligatory Post

No ideas to present today so I'll just make an obligatory post so no one will accuse this of being a dead blog. But here are some links to check out if you're as bored as I am:

Reason magazine looks at why young folks may forsake the Democrats and go for Rand Paul.

A business in Old Town that sells yarn and knitting related stuff has a new web site

Video and transcript with one of my favorites, Greg Gutfeld, talking about climate change.

Hey, I had to post something!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bringing The Crowd To Its Feet

One of those fun things that shows up on your Facebook page. Just under 5 minute video of a couple of cello players that go in front of an audience expecting heavy metal, or some such. They're nearly booed off stage until they get going. Then the audience ends up on its feet.

Addendum: I see one commenter to the Facebook post claiming it was staged to make the video. Maybe so, but still pretty cool.

Ernie's Letter

A letter from our very own Eel River Ernie to the Lost Coast Outpost regarding the Fortuna City Council's vote on $3000 chairs for public safety(?) dispatchers. Short and sweet, it would have made a good letter to the editor to any of the local papers:

For pure entertainment value you have to watch tonight’s (11/17/14) Fortuna City Council meeting discussion on the purchase of chairs for the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) employees.  The Council voted to spend $3,000 dollars per chair for these employees and during the discussion talked about how it is not real money as it comes from a state grant fund and not from their budget.  It would be really hilarious if it wasn’t so indicative of the current City Council’s attitude toward the expenditure of taxpayer dollars and they wonder why their proposed tax increase failed…
Eel River Ernie

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hardest Places To Live In U.S.

The New York Times has a map identifying the hardest (and best) places to live in the U.S. Humboldt County seems to be doing a bit worse. Del Norte County even worse, with Mendocino holding its own.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Eureka's Mail Processing Center Closure

More chatter over the proposed shutting down of Eureka's mail processing center with postal employees protesting and circulating petitions yesterday to stop the closure. The Times- Standard covers the story and KIEM TV has a poll up on their web site asking if you'd sign a petition opposing the closure.

I voted No on the KIEM poll, although I don't like the idea of them relocating the processing center. I'm not sure it's that big a deal. So what if mail takes a little longer to get here? I'll adjust, although I might change my mind if I stop getting my 3 Suddenlink ads every week. Then I'll be pissed.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Chiang's City And County Finance Site

I was reading this story in the L.A. Times when I noticed mention of a web site created by past State Controller and now Treasurer- elect, John Chiang. His Government Financial Reports site lets you look up, among other things, city and county financial reports, along with associated reports on the different retirement systems. 

About the only problem for me is finance and accounting is NOT my forte' so a lot of the terms and numbers don't mean much to me. But, for just quick information, just move your mouse over a county on the home page map and the basic financial info for the county shows up.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Eureka Ranks 20th on Default Potential

This tidbit just in from the Humboldt Taxpayer's League:

"According to a report by the California Policy Center on the “Most Financially Stressed Cities and Counties in California”, out of 492 counties and cities studied, Eureka ranks 20th with a 0.42% probability of default (bankruptcy); Arcata ranks 138th with a 0.20% chance of default; Humboldt County ranks 182 with a 0.16% chance of default; and, Fortuna ranks 398th with a 0.02% chance of default.  The three cities with the highest default probability are: Compton at 4.01%; King City at 3.38%; and, Sutter Creek at 2.79%."

Interesting that some hole- in- the- wall type places most might have never heard of are rated as having 0% risk of default, such as #446 Yreka and #450 Rio Dell. You can see the entire list at the California Policy Center's web site.