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2009 August 18 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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We’re Shrinking

The Miami Herald writes that Florida’s population declines for the first time since 1946

TALLAHASSEE — For the first time since the end of World War II, the growth state of Florida lost population, researchers say, in a sign that the economic recession is even worse than many had feared.

In all, the state lost about 58,000 people from April 2008 to April 2009, according to a new estimate from the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research.

The decline all but guarantees that state economists will likely revise downward state budget projections released just last week, when they forecast that Florida will receive $147 million less in taxes this budget year than they had previously anticipated.

With fewer Floridians, classrooms will likely be a little emptier than forecast. Already, the state had projected that, in the current budget year, nearly 10,000 fewer kids would be in class.

That estimate is likely to change now as well, and it could mean trouble for teachers because classroom funding is pegged to class size.

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August 18, 2009   6 Comments

Sound Track For Town Hall Meetings

Buffalo Springfield [Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, Jim Messina, and Bruce Palmer in 1966]
For What Its Worth [video, but ignore the visuals as they are Jefferson Airplane album covers.]

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

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August 18, 2009   8 Comments

A Little Help

Does anyone remember when in the confirmation process of Attorney General Eric Holder it was mentioned that the law firm that he worked for, Covington & Burling, had George W. Bush and the Republican National Committee on its client list? Since he made $2 million last year from the firm, and that list would certainly point to potential conflicts of interest, it seems odd that I don’t remember it being mentioned.

I do remember calls for Bill Clinton to reveal all of his clients for Hillary Clinton’s confirmation, but nothing like that for Mr. Holder.

Legal Schnauzer out of Alabama wonders: Are Holder’s GOP Ties Subverting Justice in Political Prosecutions?

Is this the reason Republican Ted Stevens, who pretty much admitted he did what he was indicted for, got a pass, but Democrat Don Siegelman can’t seem to even get a look?

Is this the reason, the Department of Justice isn’t interested in pursuing any charges concerning the Hedgemony’s misdeeds?

Wasn’t the Obama vetting process supposed to be super-thorough with extra invasiveness?

I guess CHANGE in the Department of Justice was too much to HOPE for.

August 18, 2009   2 Comments

La Brea Fire 8-18

FireThe fire in the San Rafael Wilderness area has now burned about 88,650 acres and is 75% contained. A significant portion of the rapid increase in the acreage is do to back fires.

Investigators now say that the La Brea Fire was started by a cooking fire at a drug trafficking camp.

InciWeb Notes: “An evacuation order is still in place for the 23 threatened residences on Foothill Road in Cotton Canyon. Two structures have been destroyed by the La Brea Fire one was the non-operational White Oaks Ranger Station and the other a hunter’s cabin.”

There have been 2 minor injuries fighting the fire, which has already cost $6.3 million.

Currently there are 126 engines, 56 crews, 30 dozers, 5 air tankers, 12 helicopters, 59 water tenders and 2,078 total personnel assigned to the fire.

The Martin Mars water scoop aircraft is now on station, using Cachuma Lake for refilling its tanks.

Links: The KEYT La Brea Fire article, the Santa Barbara Independent La Brea Fire page, InciWeb La Brea page with a map, KSBY has videos and the Enplan Wildfire Viewer, which used satellite sensors to spot fires.

[For more information go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Fires” for all of the posts related to wildfires on this site.]

August 18, 2009   Comments Off on La Brea Fire 8-18

Lockheed Fire [Santa Cruz] 8-18

FireThe fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains has now burned over 7,100 acres and is 80% contained. The weather has been cooperating, with lighter than expected winds. So far only 5 injuries have been reported and 2 outbuildings have been damaged and one destroyed by the fire.

There are still a half dozen residence threatened on Warnella Truck Trail, and about 20 people displaced from the Warnella and Blodgett area.

The primary fuels are redwood and pine trees. The area is mountainous with few roads for access.

Currently there are 238 engines, 34 crews, 29 dozers, 27 water tenders, 14 helicopters, 6 air tankers, and 2,172 personnel assigned to the fire. To date cost $12.8 million.

Links: Cal Fire Lockheed Fire page, the Enplan Wildfire Viewer, the Santa Cruz Sentinel local news page, and their map of the Lockheed Fire.

[For more information go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Fires” for all of the posts related to wildfires on this site.]

August 18, 2009   Comments Off on Lockheed Fire [Santa Cruz] 8-18

Hurricane Bill – Day 4

Hurricane BillPosition: 17.2 N 53.4 W [10 PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West-Northwest [295°] near 15 mph [24 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 125 mph [200 kph].
Wind Gusts: 155 mph [250 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 175 miles [280 km].
Hurricane Wind Radius: 45 miles [75 km].
Minimum central pressure: 952 mb ↓.

It is 555 miles [895 km] East of the Lesser Antilles Islands. These are direct readings from a Hurricane Hunter flight.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

August 18, 2009   Comments Off on Hurricane Bill – Day 4