A state department is caught wasting time and money

A game of solitaire
Remember when this was the preferred method of wasting time by state employees?

Shocking headline, huh? Can’t believe it, huh? Want to learn more now, don’t you?

As if California’s Department of Parks and Recreation scandal wasn’t enough to irritate the snot out of us (the Sacramento County district attorney will not pursue criminal charges against California state parks officials because of a “failure to identify any crime”), we learn from CBS13 that more fun and frivolity occurred recently at Capitol Bowl in Sacramento.

It was the middle of a work week — but that didn’t stop the State Department of Parks and Recreation from having a little fun. On state time, driving state vehicles and transporting state workers flown in from Southern California for “training,” the employees dined, bowled and laughed, a CBS13 On The Money investigation has learned.

Say what you will about this incident, I found the real issue to be with the ease folks have in lying these days. Continue reading “A state department is caught wasting time and money”

The End contest sponsored by … water

Frequent fun guy Radio Matthew emails to point out that 107.9 The End’s new star search contest to find a local singer who’ll open this year’s Jingle Ball concert is sponsored by Vitamin Water Glaceau. From the press release:

107.9 The End is teaming up with Vitamin Water 10 and the Westfield Galleria at Roseville to host an event to see who will open the show! Sacramento has a ton of talented singers, and we’ll find out who will open the upcoming Jingleball concert!

Might want to avoid having people think of “water” and “107.9 The End” in the same sentence. (BTW, Vitamin Water is a product put out by Glaceau, who is a subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Company.)

You can sign up on The End’s Web site to get preauthorized to audition on Sunday, October 25 at noon. I’ll let the peanut gallery suggest other things you might want to think about before you enter a contest with The End 107.9

Radio contest death trial starts today

Jury selection begins today in the trial to determine whether Entercom, the radio giant who owns 107.9 The End (and 98 Rock, and 96.9 The Eagle, and KSSJ, and 106.5, and AM 1320…) is responsible for the death of Jennifer Strange during a radio contest in 2007, which of course I blogged about back then. Since I really haven’t thought about it much since then, I still feel pretty much the same as I did back then: I still maintain that “personal responsibility” doesn’t protect a company asking people to abandon their common sense. I’d rather err on the side of protecting people who should know better than protecting organizations without a discernible conscience.

I also hope as a side effect of this trial that somehow NBC will be forced to stop airing “America’s Got Talent” — hey, I’m no expert, it’s up to the lawyers to figure out how to make that happen.

Sacramentans getting lucky abroad

No, this is not about sex tourism. First, we had journalists accused of spying in Korea getting freed by Big Dog Bill. Now we have a local musician narrowly escaping imprisonment in Iran.

Former Cake bass player Shon Meckfessel was traveling with the three backpackers who are being detained for espionage for crossing the Kurdish border into Iran. Meckfessel likely would have joined his traveling companions, but he had a cold and decided to recuperate in his hotel.

All Sacramentans who plan to travel abroad are advised to purchase this shirt, available exclusively from your culturally savvy friends at The Sac Rag in the language of your choice:

shirt front shirt back
front back

Sac City open enrollment back on

SCUSD announced today that open enrollment for SCUSD is being conducted this week, and parents will be notified next week.

Previously: Via the SCUSD Observer blog we learned that the SCUSD Board of Education held an emergency special meeting on 3/26, but sent the announcement about the meeting and distributed the agenda at 3 p.m. that day, in violation of the board’s own policy requiring 24 hours public notice of a special meeting. Nothing gets CoolDMZ fired up like not giving proper notice about meetings. The board posts video of its meetings “the next business day,” but go figure, the video of this meeting has yet to be posted (as of 3/31).

Run them out of town

This is a major scandal. It’s old news by now, but back in 2007 when the city council agreed to transfer $55 million to Thomas Enterprises to help the company buy the rest of the railyard land, it apparently overpaid by several orders of magnitude because it didn’t take the time to get an appraisal done. Most of the money came from the transportation fund and thus couldn’t be used to get us out of the $50 million hole we’re in — though how it was able to be transferred to a real estate developer in that case is beyond me.

This whole mess stunk before, but this is an outrage. The Sac Rag does not do political endorsements, but let’s just say I personally hope the city council’s unemployment rate soon becomes 100%.

The Worst Example of “Showing Your Sacramento” — Ever

From today’s Bee story detailing the October 4 murder of a college student in San Diego, in which the primary suspects — inlcuding the son of Fabian Nunez — are from the Sacramento area:

A woman who was hosting the men at her apartment told police the four were drinking and showing off their knives. They talked about wanting to show people “how we do it in Sac-Town,” according to the warrant.

I, for one, was unaware that knifing people while intoxicated was how we did it in Sac-town. I thought we had cornered the market instead on vehicular property crimes.

Actually, how do I say that this whole episode is sickening? Oh, like this: This whole episode is sickening.

Double talk on ARC recall flyers

Some well-played investigative work by Kel Munger turns up different text on the English-language and Russian-language versions of an information card being passed out to ARC students urging them to vote No on the proposed recall of 9 ARC Student Association officers. The board passed a resolution in support of Proposition 8 on the November ballot, which inserts a hetero-only marriage definition into the California Constitution. Kel has some great posts up about the scandal.

My initial reaction was that a recall was a bit of an anti-democratic play from a group advocating for treating people with fairness, as no rule-breaking or misdeeds are alleged on the part of the officers as far as I know. But these officers are probably elected to terms of less than a year, and letting democracy do its thing and voting them out after their term would be pointless. Who would have ever thought that American River College would become a hotbed of democracy in action?

San Diego “your classmates are dead” hoax

California is a very large state. I’m not an expert but I think it’s like, one of the biggest states. 🙂 You would think the smart folks at Boing Boing and the London Telegraph would know that. Instead, Boing Boing, referencing a hoax by law enforcement at “El Camino High School in California,” linked to this story from the Telegraph. This made me waste a whole 4 minutes of my lunch hour tracking down the original story, which comes out of Oceanside, CA and not San Juan Unified.

Continue reading “San Diego “your classmates are dead” hoax”