On August 28, 2015, Ian Hespelt, a 39-year old San Francisco bicyclist, attacked a woman’s rented car with his bike lock, smashing the driver side window, and nearly missing her head.
Let’s say you’re a Portland citizen. You were an assistant manager of an auto parts store for almost nine years, and were laid off a few months ago. You have an excellent reference from your former employer, coach your son’s Little League team, and have had no brushes with the law, not even a speeding ticket. You hear a new auto parts store is opening, and send them your resume. Move quickly to the back of the line.
Picture an unholy alliance of local government liberals and Federal bureaucrats, then take that to an even more frightening level by factoring in the classic liberal love of public transportation. These cash-burning forces converge at the one city in America that combines the worst excesses of local and Federal government: Washington, D.C. Recently, a group of city officials, Amtrak management, and a local developer announced a plan to redevelop the iconic Union Station in Washington, D.C. Union. In presenting the details of the project, they swore that the footprint of the building would remain the same, and the original architecture of the century-old building would remain unchanged. Hmmm. Same footprint. Same architecture. To the casual observer, that might mean they are doing some functional upgrades, for a reasonable price.
What’s the best way to treat homeless alcoholics? Give them a place to live with a concierge who runs out and buys them beer or vodka every time they teeter towards the brink of sobriety? Most people would not call that a great idea. Except for Bevan Dufty, and his colleagues, who think it is. Dufty is a former San Francisco Supervisor, and is now Director of HOPE (Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement) for the City and County of San Francisco.
Asking if Palestine is a state is a lot like asking if hip-hop is music. The younger and more liberal you are, the more likely you are to answer yes. If you oppose random violence and indiscriminate attacks, you’ll probably say no. (About Palestine, not hip-hop.)
What do Barstow, Cotati, Dublin, Dunsmuir, Monrovia, Richmond, Santa Maria, and Santa Rosa have in common, besides all being in California? In the first few months of this year, they have each carried out a method of cronyism that I call the Ooze and Cruise Method. How does it work? Simple. 1. If you have always wanted to be a member of your city council, suck up to a current member. 2. Get appointed to a planning commission or design review board. Hang around and wait for an opening to appear on the city council. 3. Ooze into the vacant seat by being appointed by other members, even though you have never run for office. 4. Cruise into the office in the next election because you are now an incumbent, and have a definite advantage.
Note: This is the column that got me fired as an irregular columnist for a local newspaper, before it even ran.
What could be better than spending three hours on Tuesday night at a City of Cotati Strategic Planning Study Session? Spending two hours. Actually, 10 minutes would have been even better, because that was the amount of time that involved either strategies, or the study thereof.
On this particular evening, there were 11 people from city government, and three citizens in the peanut gallery. The 11 included the mayor, vice mayor, three councilmembers, the city manager, assistant city manager, the police chief, economic development director, administrative services director, and director of public works.