Recycle this!

I went to my parking lot recycling spot (awesome site, btw, 2004 & 2005 “News” articles) on Saturday to cash in some bottles and cans that had been piling up (why give that money to the County, right?) only to find out that their hours had been dramatically cut recently. Why? It’s good for the bottle, right? It’s good for the can, right? It’s what Oprah wants us to do!

As it turns out, what do you know

The state has tapped the California Redemption Value fund for $417.7 million in loans to help deal with its budget crisis. Consumers pay about $1.2 billion a year in 5- and 10-cent deposits on most soda, sports drinks, juice, beer and water bottles and cans sold in California.

The parking-lot recycling business operates as a for profit enterprise helping to make it easier for folks to return their recyclables for cash. You know, creating jobs, providing a service to the community. Yawn…

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Groundbreaking ideas from stimulus watchdog

the BobsLaura Chick, the state inspector general for stimulus spending, is busy solving problems that California is encountering with spending ARRA stimulus funds. Problem: A backlog of approvals at the Office of Historic Preservation, due to furloughs at that office, means ARRA funded projects are having trouble getting started. Her solution: No more furloughs for that department!

Obviously Chick is just a straight shooter with upper management written all over her. I’m sure it took Schwarzenegger a while to respond to this suggestion after he literally (not literally) picked his jaw up off the floor.

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Our name is Sacramento, and we have a problem.

When I first moved to these fair parts several years ago, one of the things I took note of was the casual attitude where DUI was concerned. People here don’t take drinking and driving very seriously compared to where I’ve lived before. It’s so commonly done and accepted that I’ve seen off duty cops do it (and even a certain coach of your Sacramento Kings). I’ve had difficulty understanding how unconcerned people here are with impaired driving and the risks that come with it.

It’s no surprise our region is rife with buildings crashing into our moving vehicles.

I felt some vindication about my feelings on this issue when I came across Marcus Breton’s article in Bee today:

Continue reading “Our name is Sacramento, and we have a problem.”

Disturbing headlines of the day

Awful slideshow: Images In Baby Dismemberment CaseIn the “Most Viewed Slideshows” section on at the moment: Children Found Alive In Trash Bin and Images In Baby Dismemberment Case. I hate to sound so preachy, but what the fuck is wrong with you people??? (Not you people, of course.)

I don’t really mean that. I understand the “rubbernecking” tendency that is burned into human nature. But isn’t there also an “avoidance of deep mental disturbance” tendency also? How does this stuff even get made into slideshows, anyway? Are those things auto generated or what? Wouldn’t somebody somewhere have to decide Yes this makes a good slideshow to push out to the Hearst TV affiliate sites (guessing there on how it works). illustrates

If you were to read an article about how most Sacramento parks will be closing their bathrooms (you know, because of the budget) next week would you wonder to yourself, “Bathrooms? I don’t follow.” hears your concern and helps you out with a little image to help.

What about an article that reports on a man performing lewd acts near a playground?

Officers say they found 35-year-old Alfonso Valladarez “gyrating his hips in the grass,” as if he was having sexual intercourse.

Hmm, playground, eh? What’s the big deal? Once again, is there.

Do I need to see a photo of children playing at sunset while I read about a man gyrating his hips in the grass as if he was having sexual intercourse while looking toward the playground? No, I do not. In fact, just typing that sentence makes me want to vomit.

Problems we’ll never have (Volume 1)

We love to pile on the problems we have in this town. Heck, the Sac Rag fortune was created off that simple idea. But, from time to time, we should consider the problems other cities have that we will never have to worry about.

For example, “Chief blames ‘knuckleheads’ for Lakers disturbance.”

Looting and vandalism that broke out in the aftermath of the Los Angeles Lakers’ basketball championship won’t keep the city from celebrating the team’s victory …

See, don’t you feel better now? Have your own? Feel free to comment it.

Leave the kid alone

I’m all for civic pride, but come on people.

You can continue to badger Dustin Pedroia if you:

  • Have never made a disparaging remark about the place where you grew up and how eager you were to leave
  • Have never made an offhand remark when you were young (or even not so young) that you wish you could take back
  • Have never thought that someone’s words could be taken out of context or interpreted differently when retold by a different person
  • Think that a 25 year old who earned the American League Rookie of the Year and American League MVP titles, who is making millions, and who is living in one of America’s most wicked cool cities wouldn’t draw comparisons to his current situation vs. where he was raised

Just chill, or else this person might make a new video (warning: salty language!)

No Mermaids Need Apply

mermaid barI know I made light of the mermaids thing but the larger issue is the proposed $8.6 million city subsidy for the building of the complex. As you might expect, there is a petition out there in opposition to the subsidy. Neighboring businesses argue the subsidy would “bankrupt” their businesses. The Midtown Business Association has collected some documents about the proposal (they call the proposed new bar with swimming girls a “mermaid bar,” which is confusing — if it was truly a bar for mermaids, that wouldn’t necessarily cut into the bottom line for neighboring businesses catering to “normals.”)

Based on the developer’s proposal it sounds like the mermaid bar/mermaid-themed bar is going to be punningly titled “DIVE BAR” and the “adult pizza” (??) joint is to be called “PIZZA ROCK.”

Downtown to get mermaids??

We would be remiss if this planned testament to d-baggery were allowed to go unremarked:

[San Francisco nightclub owner George] Karpaty’s K Street proposal has some novel elements: a pizza shop with staffers doing “dough acrobatics,” a dance club targeting the 30-and-up crowd, and a bar featuring a built-in aquarium with women swimmers costumed as mermaids.

I’m trying to find the local news clip touting the mermaid idea as being “straight out of the movies” — the movie in this case being the totally relevant “Analyze This” from 1999. I’d like to see this idea carried forward into a whole block of ’90s movie-themed d-bag hangout spots. For example, a “breakfast any time” Vegas diner joint, a “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” juice bar, or perhaps a “Crying Game” hot dog shop run by women.

And let’s not forget the “dance club targeting the 30-and-up crowd.” Who really wants to see that?

Becoming Detroit(s)

I found some time to catch up on the latest news regarding the California budget crisis. If ever there was a reason to tag a post in the “ugh.” files…

Both legislative houses were pondering 27 hastily drafted bills that cover state budgets for two fiscal years: the current one that ends June 30 and the next one that begins July 1.

Should the words “hastily” and “budget” ever be used the in the same sentence?

In the Senate, the debate included cliff-hanging metaphors and disparaging references to Detroit.

“California is on the edge of a financial cliff, and some would say we’re just about over the cliff, hanging on by our fingernails,” Steinberg said. “We are running out of cash, and the situation is getting worse.”

But state Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, said that if the package were approved, Feb. 14, 2009, would be remembered as “the Valentine’s massacre on California taxpayers.”

“If we pass this budget,” he said, “Los Angeles and San Francisco will become the Detroit(s) of the West.”

You sports fans will recall the incident with the Kings and the Pistons from 2005. Damn you, Karma.

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