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Unbelievable …

The ABC reports a Cop charged over Perth bushfire

A 56-year-old Perth police officer has been charged by summons over a bushfire that destroyed 72 properties.

Robert James Stevens from Roleystone has been charged with carrying out an activity in the open air that causes or is likely to cause a fire.

It is understood sparks from an angle grinder the sergeant was using during a total fire ban started the blaze.

Stevens is on leave and was off duty at the time. It is also understood his wife is ill.

He is due to appear in court next month. If convicted he faces a maximum penalty of $25,000 and a year in jail.

How can anyone be this stupid. If he had ever used an angle grinder before this incident, he would have to be aware of the sparks it generates. After seeing the sparks, did he even bother to wet down the area where he was working and have a hose ready? The winds were really gusty and the humidity extremely low, didn’t he even consider the danger? He is/was a police officer, did he think that the law didn’t apply to him?

February 9, 2011   6 Comments

And You Expected ?

McClatchy reports on another Scott outrage: Florida governor’s plan to ax pill database alarms police

MIAMI — Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to eliminate a computer system aimed at curbing the illegal sale of prescription drugs at storefront pain clinics, a move that alarmed narcotics investigators, drug-treatment advocates and some lawmakers.

Just two years ago, state legislators approved the creation of a prescription drug monitoring program that would allow doctors to review the drug purchases of their patients, to prevent patients from seeking narcotics from multiple doctors — a practice known as “doctor shopping.”

The Legislature approved the measure in response to an explosion of storefront pain clinics across South Florida, making the region the main supplier of black-market pills across Appalachia and the East Coast.

Now the governor wants to erase the database before it even gets off the ground. A proposed bill included in the budget package the governor unveiled on Monday would eliminate the database — even though it won’t be financed with state money.

Get real people – the man was CEO of the corporation that ran up the biggest Medicare/Medicaid fine ever imposed, and you expected him to OK a curb on the rampant abuse and criminal behavior in the South Florida medical community? That data base threatened his friends and peers, so, of course he axed it. Next thing you know people will be surprised when he reduces the ability of the state to investigate Medicaid fraud.

February 9, 2011   6 Comments

Running Government Like A Business …

The Miami Herald reports on the latest outrage: Lawmakers demand Florida budget details from Gov. Scott

Gov. Rick Scott’s bold budget plan wasn’t even 24 hours old Tuesday before state legislators started ripping it apart and leveling a familiar charge against the governor: He wasn’t forthcoming with details.

Whether it was his billions in cuts to Medicaid or to schools, legislators said they weren’t sure what Scott specifically wanted to do in his budget, which would further widen a $3.6 billion shortfall next year due to nearly $2.4 billion in proposed tax cuts.

The criticisms and tough questions weren’t limited to Democrats; Scott’s fellow Republicans were skeptical of what many thought were skimpy details in his $65.9 billion budget.

The bipartisan concerns underscored a growing sense in the Legislature that Scott’s proposal is rooted in unrealistic political calculations, not the subtle calculus it takes to run the nation’s fourth-most populous state. In the House K-12 budget committee on Tuesday morning, eyebrows arched and heads shook as lawmakers tried digesting Scott’s plan to slash state-paid per-student spending by 10 percent.

Details, the Lege “don’t need no stinkin’ details”. CEOs don’t provide details, they just present the broad outlines of what they want the “corporation” to do, and underlings take care of the details.  He doesn’t seem to understand the link between “taxes” and the “revenue” side of the ledger.

As long as you refuse to accept that the problem is one of low demand, and keep messing around on the supply side, things will get worse, not better.

February 9, 2011   Comments Off on Running Government Like A Business …

Yukon Quest 2011 – Day 5

Yukon Quest trail

Sled DogThe first ten are in at 10AM CST and it looks like Hugh Neff has a commanding lead, but it is built on taking less rest than the field. If he can keep it up, he should win, but the worse of the Quest is ahead, and there is no way of knowing how long he and, more importantly, his team can maintain this regimen. Thirty-six hours isn’t a long recovery time.

At Dawson

1 Hugh Neff (8)
2 Hans Gatt (13) +2:41:00 [The initial time yesterday was a typo on the site]
3 Ken Anderson (18) +4:55:00
4 Brent Sass (22)
5 Sebastian Schnuelle (11)
6 Allen Moore (24)I
7 Wade Marrs (15)I
8 Dallas Seavey (3)I
9 Dan Kaduce (10)
10 Kelley Griffin (1)
11 Joshua Cadzow (16)
12 Jodi Bailey (17)R
13 Mike Ellis (5)
14 David Dalton (23)

Beyond Pelly Crossing

15 Johannes Rygh (6)R
16 Clint Warnke (25)I
17 Tamara Rose (12)I
18 Didier Moggia (7)
19 Jerry Joinson (21)R
20 Hank DeBruin (19)I
21 Christine Roalofs (9)R
22 Kyla Durham (14)R

Update at 6:30PM CST: Michelle Phillips (4) has scratched at Dawson. She was down to 8 dogs, having had to leave 4 dogs at Scroggie Creek.

The Mushers in bold are former winners of the Yukon Quest, the numbers in parentheses are their Bib numbers, the small “I” indicates a Quest rookie who has competed in the Iditarod, and the small “R” indicates a total rookie.

Note: This post will be updated during the day, and the map changed on all posts to reflect the current situation.

All posts on the Yukon Quest can be seen by selecting “Yukon Quest” from the Category box on the right sidebar.

February 9, 2011   Comments Off on Yukon Quest 2011 – Day 5