Daily Archives: August 24, 2011

CRC Funding on the Chopping Block?

A coalition of 4 advocacy groups calling themselves “Green Scissors 2011” has issued a report identifying programs that they see as “wasteful or environmentally harmful” and are recommending to the recently formed super commission to cut funding. Page 18 of the report lists “Columbia River Crossing” at the lower cost of $3.6 Billion saved.

In reality, we here in Clark County know that if cut, much more than that will be saved.

The coalition comprised of Taxpayers for Common Sense, The Heartland Institute, Friends of the Earth and Public Citizen has no personal stake in these programs and recommends over more than $380 billion in wasteful government programs the commission could cut.

Green Scissors main webpage states,

“Since its inception in 1994, the Green Scissors Campaign has fought to make environmental and fiscal responsibility priorities in Washington. The campaign seeks to eliminate subsidies and programs that both harm the environment and waste taxpayer dollars. By making these cuts, the federal government can save money for priorities including deficit reduction.”

Obviously not a conservative coalition, they still see the need for reining in over spending by Washington D.C. and it appears this is the first year they include the CRC in their crosshairs.

The report lists no specific reason the CRC is included in this year’s recommendations and it is far from the only program listed. We also see oil company tax breaks, tunnel projects and alternative fuel subsidies recommended to be cut.

Debbie Peterson, former candidate for the house in Washington State 49th legislative district says in a comment left on the Columbian article pertaining to this recommendation,

“There are numerous reasons for this project being eliminated, ranging from poor original bridge design, to lack of NEPA process, to huge intrusions on the fragile Hayden Island environment (36 square blocks), to the 20 historical Vancouver homes that will be negatively impacted, to the loss of 89 businesses (and who knows how many jobs that represents!) to the fact that IT DOESN”T SOLVE THE TRAFFIC CONGESTION PROBLEM.”

Debbie does her homework and is one of the more well-informed opponents to the CRC.

I’m not getting too elated as I have strong doubt that the chair of the commission, our own Sen. Patty Murray, who has continued to funnel Millions of our tax dollars down the CRC hole, will even consider it. Any who have been following the CRC for any length of time knows the main reason for replacing the aging I-5 bridge is to accommodate extending Portland’s MaxLine light rail into our community, whether voters and taxpayers want it or not. In fact, we haven’t even been in the equation as the ruling class continues ramming this down our throats.

Murray is on record as urging business leaders and elected officials to get behind the CRC and to deal with the ongoing controversy over it.

To date it has been mostly Washington conservatives opposed to light rail and who are supportive of a third of fourth bridge between the two states opposed to this project. Our complaints have been over funding, being denied a voice in it again, after defeating 3 measures on light rail at the ballot box, paying tolls and the lion’s share of the expense of a new bridge and freeway improvements in Oregon and seeing over $140 Million spent so far on “studies” with nothing to show for it.

David Madore, the owner of US Digital in Vancouver and a critic of CRC recently hired a forensic auditor to audit CRC’s finances and brought to light some questionable accounting. The Columbian recently informed the community of concerns the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council has over CRC funding, also shared by the Oregon State Treasurer.

Prior to that, Oregon’s Willamette Week brought up their own concerns over the CRC.

As I said above, this recommendation from Green Scissors is not a death knell to the project and I have serious doubts that Democrat Patty Murray will listen to them, but is refreshing to see a liberal group with no personal stake in this to see the project as “wasteful or environmentally harmful” and join our call to cut our losses and stop this madness.

We simply cannot afford to continue funneling hard earned and scarce tax dollars into the abyss of the CRC any longer.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Rep. Waters Remarks Anger Black Tea Party Leader

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, Founder and President of the South Central L.A. Tea Party is angered by Rep. Maxine Waters recent outburst, “As far I’m concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to hell,” and is demanding she apologize for it.

Peterson says,

“Scapegoating the tea party for the wasteful liberal social policies which are destroying the U.S. economy is wicked and irresponsible. On behalf of millions of patriotic Americans we demand that Waters apologize! The tea party is the solution, not the problem. I’m sure Maxine Waters would like her attacks on the tea party to distract from her failures and serious ethics issues.”

“Maxine Waters helped cripple the U.S. economy by pushing home loans to people who couldn’t afford them. Waters rant damning the tea party is an attempt to fire up her base and shore up support since the [ethics] committee will not dismiss her case.”

Rep. Waters remains under investigation for “allegations that she improperly tried to obtain a federal bailout for a bank where her husband owns stock,” by the House ethics committee.

H/T Standard Newswire

Ms. Waters and fellow California Democrat Laura Richardson recently confronted Don Graves, head of Obama’s ‘Council on Jobs and Competitiveness’ “to engage with Black lawmakers to push through bills designed to get Blacks back to work.”

H/T BET

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Marines Told Not to Loudly, er, Pass Gas Around Afghans

You can pass the ammunition, but not the gas. I wish I were making this up. If this is what command is upset about in our dealings with the Afghans then I’m thinking this thing should be over. Now. From the Military Times (here).

I didn’t want to write this little blog entry about farts. It’s not even on my beat. But my colleague Dan Lamothe, whose byline you have seen here quite often, shamed me into it. “You owe it to all Marines,” he told me. So here’s the news: audible farting has been banned for some Marines downrange because it offends the Afghans. I know there are many things in the Afghan culture that don’t seem normal to Americans and it’s hard to spend seven months working in someone else’s back yard. Still, the Marines I saw downrange are doing a pretty good job at trying to do the right thing around the Afghans. They’re not supposed to cuss because it could be misunderstood (that one goes out the window a lot). And they stay away from talking about politics, religion or girls because those topics could escalate into major disagreements (they can’t communicate anyway because of the language barrier). But farting? That’s practically a sport. Ok, it’s not soccer, but a good contest could open the door for cross-cultural exchanges, jokes and other gallows humor.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Salem Mayor Statement: "Heartwarming Response" to City Shutting Down Jan Cline’s Garage Sale

You can’t, I suppose, blame the Salem mayor for trying to make lemonade out of lemons in the case of seriously ill businesswoman Jan Cline. Unless, of course, Jan Cline were actually selling lemonade and then the mayor would probably shut that down, too.


Jan’s tale has made national media. Her name has been on the lips of scores of radio talk hosts and TV anchors all over the country as an example of government regulation run amok.

When diagnosed with a devastating bone cancer, the Keizer woman was forced to leave her home and moved in with a friend in Salem whose home would accommodate her specialized chair. Jan lives her life in that chair.


After crying “for about a minute,” Jan asked her friend to help her sell her things to help pay for what she knows will be huge medical bills. She doesn’t know how much the bills are at this point because she’s afraid to open them. 

Last week I talked to the woman who says she’s resorted to “liquidating her life” and “selling her life for dimes and nickels” at a back yard Salem garage sale to help pay her medical bills.

The self employed businesswoman has been forced to put her toy selling business on hold. She still answers phones occasionally for her limousine service but has had to hand part of that off, too. In other words, after spending her life taking care of herself and paying her own bills, she’s found herself dependent on others. She hates it. 
So she decided to run the garage sales –very classy looking ones, too—in her friend’s back yard. An unobtrusive sign in the front directed buyers to the back.

That was the case until one neighbor ratted her out and the Salem cossacks came and shut her down. It turns out you’re only supposed to have three garage sales a year in Salem. That’s to prevent rampant running of rummage sales that your neighbors undoubtedly would have if the government didn’t protect you from them.

Of course Salem thinks nothing of hot and cold running illegal aliens hawking food at the favored hang out spots where they stand on street corners looking for jobs from employers who illegally hire them. Hey cossacks! Over here! 
Right now 59 inmates with ICE holds get three hots and a cot at the Marion County Jail. How many more of their illegal friends are selling drugs, assaulting their wives, having more anchor babies, selling sliders out of the backs of their Pontiacs or drugs from their Mexican Mafia sponsored marijuana grows while Jan Cline sits in her chair and tries to make a few dollars to pay off medical bills treating a terminal disease? 

Salem’s mayor’s head would explode going through that thought process. Here’s her statement she issued over the past 24 hours:

In the last few days, City of Salem staff and I became aware of a heart-wrenching situation involving one of our residents. We are working diligently to find solutions, while people all across the nation are hearing about Salem and yard sales – and contacting our offices.
The City of Salem’s code enforcement staff recently investigated a complaint and confirmed that a yard sale in Northeast Salem operated by Ms. Jan Cline exceeded the City’s limit of three sales per year. This rule is in place to protect neighbors from noise and traffic impacts.
The officer explained the code, but did not issue a citation or fine. The City has not penalized Ms. Cline in any way.
City staff also offered options that would allow Ms. Cline to continue her sale online, or by moving to another location – a commercial site, or the home of a friend or neighbor.
After learning of Ms. Cline’s illness, the officer and his supervisor informed City leaders who immediately contacted business and faith-based groups to identify resources to help Ms. Cline.
I am pleased to report on what has happened since then. Local and national media attention to the story has created a heartwarming response. Many organizations and individuals in Salem and across the nation have offered support. By Friday, an account set up to help Ms. Cline cope with expenses of her illness had already raised $28,000.
As Salem’s Mayor, I am confident that City staff have responded with professionalism and sensitivity to this issue. And I am extremely grateful for the heartfelt response of people in my city and many, many others.

Mayor Anna Peterson

Isn’t that nice? They didn’t cite her! And THEY brought her all the help and got to the media to facilitate this! And LOOK! She could have another neighbor host the sale and then they’d be within the law! 

City staff also offered options that would allow Ms. Cline to continue her sale online, or by moving to another location – a commercial site, or the home of a friend or neighbor.

Would the neighbor have complained about that one, too?

They went after Jan Cline. It’s easier when a citizen wants to abide by the law to get them to bend. Real criminals fight back. With guns.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Rep. Waters Remarks Anger Black Tea Party Leader

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, Founder and President of the South Central L.A. Tea Party is angered by Rep. Maxine Waters recent outburst, “As far I’m concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to hell,” and is demanding she apologize for it.

Peterson says,

“Scapegoating the tea party for the wasteful liberal social policies which are destroying the U.S. economy is wicked and irresponsible. On behalf of millions of patriotic Americans we demand that Waters apologize! The tea party is the solution, not the problem. I’m sure Maxine Waters would like her attacks on the tea party to distract from her failures and serious ethics issues.”

“Maxine Waters helped cripple the U.S. economy by pushing home loans to people who couldn’t afford them. Waters rant damning the tea party is an attempt to fire up her base and shore up support since the [ethics] committee will not dismiss her case.”

Rep. Waters remains under investigation for “allegations that she improperly tried to obtain a federal bailout for a bank where her husband owns stock,” by the House ethics committee.

H/T Standard Newswire

Ms. Waters and fellow California Democrat Laura Richardson recently confronted Don Graves, head of Obama’s ‘Council on Jobs and Competitiveness’ “to engage with Black lawmakers to push through bills designed to get Blacks back to work.”

H/T BET

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Marines Told Not to Loudly, er, Pass Gas Around Afghans

You can pass the ammunition, but not the gas. I wish I were making this up. If this is what command is upset about in our dealings with the Afghans then I’m thinking this thing should be over. Now. From the Military Times (here).

I didn’t want to write this little blog entry about farts. It’s not even on my beat. But my colleague Dan Lamothe, whose byline you have seen here quite often, shamed me into it. “You owe it to all Marines,” he told me. So here’s the news: audible farting has been banned for some Marines downrange because it offends the Afghans. I know there are many things in the Afghan culture that don’t seem normal to Americans and it’s hard to spend seven months working in someone else’s back yard. Still, the Marines I saw downrange are doing a pretty good job at trying to do the right thing around the Afghans. They’re not supposed to cuss because it could be misunderstood (that one goes out the window a lot). And they stay away from talking about politics, religion or girls because those topics could escalate into major disagreements (they can’t communicate anyway because of the language barrier). But farting? That’s practically a sport. Ok, it’s not soccer, but a good contest could open the door for cross-cultural exchanges, jokes and other gallows humor.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Clackamas County urban renewal initiative qualifies for November ballot

From the August 23, 2011 Oregonian,

An initiative requiring voter approval for new urban renewal districts has narrowly qualified for the Nov. 8 ballot, prompting county commissioners to move quickly to place a possible competing measure on the ballot.

County Clerk Sherry Hall’s office today certified the 9,378 valid signatures needed to place the initiative on the ballot.

“I feel good,” said John Williams, a former Oregon City mayor who is one of the chief petitioners.”It was a lot of hard work and a lot of people took part in this, and it’s nice to have it culminate in an election.”

What if any effect passage of the Clackamas County initiative might have on Clark County residents ongoing battle against Light Rail is unknown at this time. One effort by Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt to ensure they receive the tax increase they wish to fund maintenance and operations of to create a sub-district, as they did to pass tax increase in 2005 that was voted down in 2004.

On the November 2011 ballot will be Proposition 1, to increase the sales tax by 0.2 percent, supposedly to keep C-Tran buses running at current levels.

Judging by comments left at a Columbian article covering a supporters rally at the Clark County Fair, public sentiment is against any more tax increases to C-Trans.

See also on my blog, C-Tran Proposition 1 Must Be Defeated and No More Money To C-Tran

We all must live within our means, it’s about time government subsidized agencies did too.

Can a defeat in Clackamas County be a precursor for Clark County?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Salem Mayor Statement: "Heartwarming Response" to City Shutting Down Jan Cline’s Garage Sale

You can’t, I suppose, blame the Salem mayor for trying to make lemonade out of lemons in the case of seriously ill businesswoman Jan Cline. Unless, of course, Jan Cline were actually selling lemonade and then the mayor would probably shut that down, too.


Jan’s tale has made national media. Her name has been on the lips of scores of radio talk hosts and TV anchors all over the country as an example of government regulation run amok.

When diagnosed with a devastating bone cancer, the Keizer woman was forced to leave her home and moved in with a friend in Salem whose home would accommodate her specialized chair. Jan lives her life in that chair.


After crying “for about a minute,” Jan asked her friend to help her sell her things to help pay for what she knows will be huge medical bills. She doesn’t know how much the bills are at this point because she’s afraid to open them. 

Last week I talked to the woman who says she’s resorted to “liquidating her life” and “selling her life for dimes and nickels” at a back yard Salem garage sale to help pay her medical bills.

The self employed businesswoman has been forced to put her toy selling business on hold. She still answers phones occasionally for her limousine service but has had to hand part of that off, too. In other words, after spending her life taking care of herself and paying her own bills, she’s found herself dependent on others. She hates it. 
So she decided to run the garage sales –very classy looking ones, too—in her friend’s back yard. An unobtrusive sign in the front directed buyers to the back.

That was the case until one neighbor ratted her out and the Salem cossacks came and shut her down. It turns out you’re only supposed to have three garage sales a year in Salem. That’s to prevent rampant running of rummage sales that your neighbors undoubtedly would have if the government didn’t protect you from them.

Of course Salem thinks nothing of hot and cold running illegal aliens hawking food at the favored hang out spots where they stand on street corners looking for jobs from employers who illegally hire them. Hey cossacks! Over here! 
Right now 59 inmates with ICE holds get three hots and a cot at the Marion County Jail. How many more of their illegal friends are selling drugs, assaulting their wives, having more anchor babies, selling sliders out of the backs of their Pontiacs or drugs from their Mexican Mafia sponsored marijuana grows while Jan Cline sits in her chair and tries to make a few dollars to pay off medical bills treating a terminal disease? 

Salem’s mayor’s head would explode going through that thought process. Here’s her statement she issued over the past 24 hours:

In the last few days, City of Salem staff and I became aware of a heart-wrenching situation involving one of our residents. We are working diligently to find solutions, while people all across the nation are hearing about Salem and yard sales – and contacting our offices.
The City of Salem’s code enforcement staff recently investigated a complaint and confirmed that a yard sale in Northeast Salem operated by Ms. Jan Cline exceeded the City’s limit of three sales per year. This rule is in place to protect neighbors from noise and traffic impacts.
The officer explained the code, but did not issue a citation or fine. The City has not penalized Ms. Cline in any way.
City staff also offered options that would allow Ms. Cline to continue her sale online, or by moving to another location – a commercial site, or the home of a friend or neighbor.
After learning of Ms. Cline’s illness, the officer and his supervisor informed City leaders who immediately contacted business and faith-based groups to identify resources to help Ms. Cline.
I am pleased to report on what has happened since then. Local and national media attention to the story has created a heartwarming response. Many organizations and individuals in Salem and across the nation have offered support. By Friday, an account set up to help Ms. Cline cope with expenses of her illness had already raised $28,000.
As Salem’s Mayor, I am confident that City staff have responded with professionalism and sensitivity to this issue. And I am extremely grateful for the heartfelt response of people in my city and many, many others.

Mayor Anna Peterson

Isn’t that nice? They didn’t cite her! And THEY brought her all the help and got to the media to facilitate this! And LOOK! She could have another neighbor host the sale and then they’d be within the law! 

City staff also offered options that would allow Ms. Cline to continue her sale online, or by moving to another location – a commercial site, or the home of a friend or neighbor.

Would the neighbor have complained about that one, too?

They went after Jan Cline. It’s easier when a citizen wants to abide by the law to get them to bend. Real criminals fight back. With guns.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com