KCRA news van burglary highlights growing trend of crime against KCRA

March for Marriage Equality - Sacramento
Creative Commons License photo credit: Annie&John

Normally I wouldn’t joke about the break-in of an unmarked KCRA news van earlier this month. But in this otherwise positive report about homicides being down 42% since 2008, KCRA references the burglary of its van to tie the incident to crime trends that “depen[d] on the neighborhood.” Did the crooks actually steal the vehicle, leaving KCRA able only to report on news that happens at KCRA?

I’m kidding, of course. The vehicle break-in happened in Natomas which today’s report points out is experiencing a major increase in vehicle burglaries.

Poll: 3 out of 5 feel that summer is hotter than winter

I just don’t get *news* stories like this one at cbs13.com (via AP):

Poll: Californians Worried About College Costs

A new poll shows Californians are worried about higher education funding cuts they fear qualified people won’t get to college. A Public Policy Institute of California telephone survey of about 2,500 people finds half of parents with children 18 or under are very worried about being able to afford a college education for their children.

Really? You don’t say. Let me dust off my sociology degree for a second and suggest that all parents from the beginning of time have been very worried about being able to afford a college education for their children. Sure, there is a sector of the population with tons o’cash who may never actually sit down on their Italian leather sofa (try not humming that tune now, btw) and *worry*, but a headline letting us know that Californians are just worried about college costs doesn’t really help anyone, right?

I know I’m a curmudgeon, but if all you hear is that the sky is falling with no end in sight, because of the budget, of course people will be worried about the cost of EVERYTHING.

Fresnans get defensive

Another list came out recently ranking America’s smartest cities and Sacramento came in at T35 with Oklahoma City.

Metro Area Population: 2,109,832 – Daily Beast IQ Score: 84

On paper, Sacramento has a lot going for it, intellectually. It’s the capital of California, a draw for the Golden State’s best and brightest. And it’s just 90 minutes east of the Bay Area, which almost topped this list. Yet Sacramento wound up with below-average scores for almost every one of our criteria.

We do have a lot going for us, you know, on paper. It’s hard to swallow our IQ score of 84 (the winner, Raleigh-Durham, had a score of 170!), but when you consider they included college education, presidential voting turnout AND nonfiction book sales in their study it starts to make sense. Two out of three ain’t bad, right?

Fresno finished last (IQ of 3!) and the Fresno Bee’s Mike Osegueda took issue with it.

Continue reading “Fresnans get defensive”

Take that Columbus!

Who doesn’t love a list? What about a list pertaining to Sacramento? Not you? Great, because here’s one that should have you scratching your head (especially if you’ve been to some of the cities that took us down. Riverside?).

Sacramento has the 32nd-largest economy in the nation, and the sixth-best in California, according to a new federal report … GMP measures the total output of goods and services within a given area in a given year.

Not bad for a “middle of the road community“, right?

Sacramento’s higher-than-average cost of living and modern-day record jobless rate, coupled with lower earning potential after graduation hurt the capital region on the top 20 list, according to the American Institute for Economic Research. But Sacramento fared much better than Columbus, Ohio; Oklahoma City and Las Vegas, which suffers from a dismal number of college graduates and staggering low research funding.

Columbus you say? Owned. Seriously though, is there a connection to be made here?

Is Sacramento Safe… from the Undead?

So a couple of years ago, a “Cool” person from this website and I fiddled around with the custom map program on Google Maps to plan ahead for any local catastrophe that might occur in the event the Dead walk.  One can never be too careful- especially when zombies are involved.

What I didn’t realize was that the map was made public for anyone to edit and add.  I check two years later, and it’s been viewed by over 80,000 people and contributed to by people from all over the US (mental note, if you happen to be in the mid-west, head to Wisconsin).

I post it here now for fellow ‘Raggers to contribute and pass on to others who might want to make suggestions of Hot and Cold Zones to avoid becoming a brain casserole.

Only happy when it rains

Please to allow me to continue the rant I started before Christmas.

So the results of a survey about the employment outlook for 2009 in Sacramento were released on Wednesday. Check out the headlines from the Google News feed:

Super…Great…Grand. Did I mention that we get it? No one is saying that these are the days, but come on. Report different.

Continue reading “Only happy when it rains”

Bee’s teacher database sidesteps privacy issue

Kudos to the Sac Bee for its newest salary database on all of the state’s teachers. “See how well your school district pays its teachers.” Not “See how much your kid’s teacher makes.” The tool allows you to look up district average salaries and other data, and compare salaries across districts in a region or across the state. A useful tool without any of the privacy issues. This should be the model for all of the Bee’s salary databases.

I do think it is interesting that the spin has been spun somewhat on this one… “Are teachers in your area making what they deserve?” That sentiment is absent from Melanie Sill’s editorial on the backlash to the State worker pay database. Back then it was all about doing a public service, giving us information about worker compensation because “state spending [is] under pressure.” Now, it’s all about making sure your kid’s teacher is getting a good paycheck? Maybe I’m splitting hairs, but I sense that the Bee is making some much needed course corrections here.

Sac Bee to publish county salaries?

I have learned that The Bee has filed a Public Records Act for “2007 base salary and overtime records, including employee name, department, and job title” for all employees of Sacramento County. Apparently the Bee is planning to compile a database and release all the information on its website, as it did earlier this year for State of CA workers.

This raises all the same issues as that project, concerning workers’ privacy, safety, and the public benefit of this level of public records releasing by the Bee. Continue reading “Sac Bee to publish county salaries?”