Free Things From Dept of Ed

"Jazz in America: National Jazz Curriculum"
offers lessons for teaching about jazz in American history or
music class for Grades 5, 8, & 11. Learn about the evolution
of jazz, different jazz styles, improvisation, basic musical
elements, & how jazz influenced (and was influenced by)
American culture. (MA)
http://64.78.6.235/home.asp

"Constitution Toolkit"
includes images of newspaper articles (1787), notes Washington
& Jefferson wrote on drafts of the Constitution (1787-88),
Jefferson's chart of state votes (1788), Washington's diaries
(1786-89), Hamilton's speech notes for proposing a plan of
government, a Philadelphia map (1752), the "broadside" Bill of
Rights (1791), & other artifacts. (LOC)
http://memory.loc.gov/learn/community/cc_wethepeople_kit.php

"Global Warming Facts & Our Future"
explores the latest scientific information from the National
Academy of Sciences. Is our climate warming? Are humans
causing it? What might be the effects? What can be done?
Learn about the greenhouse effect, the carbon cycle, & past
changes in our climate. See predicted changes & how they
could affect sea levels, agriculture, & ecosystems. Find out
about options for reducing CO2 emissions. (NAS)
http://www.koshlandscience.org/exhibitgcc/index.jsp

$5 to guess who this is.

It's not me. But, since he's away on a boat right now, I can post this and he can't say a thing about it!

Did you ever wonder why I go to the ER so often?

It's because I have a long standing habit of not looking where I'm going.

Can't tell if he's crazy or what

This evening the FedEx guy showed up at our door, to deliver three boxes. I knew what it was - gifts from Dad, Liz and Mark.


(That's Mark, Myself, and my Dad - aka Wayne)


Inside each of the three boxes contained a card - one which brought me to tears. And, one that just confused me - probably because it confused my dad as well.

In the packages:
1 Fiesta Ware Tea Pot. Which looked familiar.
1 bowling award for someone in the East Valley Special Olympics. I've never bowled for an award before, and I'm pretty sure I've never participated in anything having to do with Special Olympics.
1 Potato
6 CDs of Mark's band.

The teapot I'm fine with. The 6 CDs - good to go. The award confuses me - was it just so cheap you couldn't pass it up? The Value Village tag was on it. Dad - big question - the kid who once owned the Special Olympics award...do they know their parents sold it from right under them? :-)

The Potato - my hunch is that it's from the garden in the backyard. If this is the case - DAD - you broke a federal or state law...you are not supposed to transport live plant matter between state lines. If this potato has some bug in it - California is in trouble.

So, Dad, Liz and Mark - Alex and I thank you for the gift. I'm going to make a baked potato for dinner, and think about what to do with my new bowling award.

Come on - $10 to laugh so hard your pants will look like....

Greens Have Positions

2005 Special Election Green Party of California Recommendations

The special election in November (estimated to cost $45 to $80 million!) will contain eight ballot initiatives. The Green Party offers the following analysis to help you decide how to vote on these important decisions.

Information on the election, and the full text of each initiative, is available from the Secretary of State’s website .

Summary of Recommendations

NO on 73 (abortion reporting)
NO on 74 (teacher's tenure)
NO on 75 (union dues)
NO on 76 (school funding)
NO POSITION on 77 (redistricting)
NO on 78 (drug discount - business version)
YES on 79 (drug discount - consumer version)
NO POSITION on 80 (regulation of electric service providers)

Discussion

Here are the highlights of the discussions that led to the recommendations we’ve made.

Proposition 73 - Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy.

This proposition places a notification requirement on doctors before an abortion procedure may be performed on a minor. Unless the minor applies for a waiver from a judge within the doctor's jurisdiction, the minor's parent or legal guardian must be notified before the procedure, and a 48-hour waiting period must be respected.

Greens advocate full access to safe and reliable reproductive information and services – including abortions. This should be true regardless of whether teens have been abused, are part of functional or dysfunctional families, or they live in rural or urban areas. This initiative is one more step in the process to limit women’s reproductive choices. All research shows that the availability of reproductive information and services lowers the incidence of teen pregnancies and abortions.
Proposition 74 - Public School Teachers. Waiting Period for Permanent Status.

This proposition would increase the probationary period for teachers from the current two years to five years. During probation, teachers can be dismissed without cause or reason.

School administrators have arbitrarily dismissed probationary teachers to intimidate new teachers from speaking up at meetings or engaging in union activity. This initiative appears to be designed to keep new teachers intimidated, inactive, and fearful of supporting their teacher’s union for a full five years. This would greatly weaken California’s teacher unions at a time when they (and all of public education) are under heavy fire from the Schwarzenegger administration.

Contrary to the inferences of Proposition 74’s advocates, permanent teachers do not have tenured status. They can be dismissed for a variety of reasons specified in the state education code. But permanent teachers have the right to due process; they cannot be dismissed without cause.

Proposition 75 - Public Employee Union Dues. Required Consent for Political Contributions.

This initiative would, "Prohibit public employee labor organizations from using dues or fees for political contributions unless the employee provides prior consent each year on a specified written form" (from official summary).

The big businesses who funded Prop 75 want to weaken the labor movement on the political front, and they want to cut wages, pensions and other benefits for workers.

Currently, most unions offer an “opt-out” check box on their union form for those members who do not want their dues used for political purposes. This initiative would change this to an “opt-in” method that each member has to renew each year to support their union’s political activities.

In the interest of fairness, the equivalent for business would be to get the approval of stockholders for political donations that a publicly held corporation wants to make. But we’re not hearing this from the backers of Prop 75 even though businesses far outspend working people in political contributions.
Proposition 76 - State Spending and School Funding Limits.

This initiative cuts school funding by over $4 billion every year – $600 per student – leading to more overcrowded classrooms, teacher layoffs, and fewer textbooks and classroom materials. Specifically, it would tighten the cap on total state spending; end Prop 98’s protections for schools and colleges; and require automatic cuts across all social and civic services if tax revenues drop.

We think some things are too important to cut – things like education, health care, and fire protection. Schwarzenegger and other Prop 76 proponents want to impose required cuts to vital services while prohibiting cuts to special interests like the California Dried Plum Board and “pork barrel” road building projects.

Greens believe that fair taxation statutes will be needed to finance all state expenditures, and that legislators should be increasingly more responsible to the taxpayers for increasing Public Education spending in particular. Legislators should NOT be forced by Prop 76 to either reduce spending to match revenues, or to yield responsibility for needed spending reductions to the Governor.
Proposition 77 - Redistricting.

The Green Party could not come to agreement on a position. NO and NO POSITION were the predominant votes.

This initiative would create a constitutional amendment requiring a three-member panel of retired judges to draw congressional and state legislative districts, rather than the members of the current legislature. This would supposedly take the party politics out of redistricting. The redistricting would occur as soon as possible.

NO on 77 – Opposing this bill would put us in the same camp with Democrat and Republican incumbents who want to continue to run in their gerrymandered districts. This bill does nothing for Greens, and still makes it look like something is happening. No matter how they draw the districts, only the Republicrats can win due to the lock that corporate money and winner-take-all voting has put on elections.

NO POSITION on 77 – Other states have tried independent or bipartisan redistricting panels. These efforts did not result in a significant difference in which party gets elected in any given district. Passage of this proposition may bring some relief from the extremes of gerrymandering, but let's recognize that it will not be a significant improvement in democracy for Californians.

This is a distraction from real reform. The problem is single-member (one winner) districts using winner-take-all voting. There is no gerrymandering scheme that will accomplish fair and balanced representation of voters under such a system. The solution is multi-member districts using proportional representation voting. This provides majority rule and minority representation regardless of how boundaries are drawn.
Proposition 78 - Prescription Drug Discounts (business version).
Proposition 79 - Prescription Drug Discounts (consumer version).

Health Access California, and other labor and consumer groups, sponsored Prop 79, which would use the purchasing power of the State of California to negotiate prescription-drug discounts for millions of Californians that now pay retail prices for these medications. This measure is opposed by "Big Pharma," the prescription drug industry, which also sponsored a counter-measure, Prop 78.

The San Francisco Chronicle (July 13, 2005) ran a front-page story listing 12 drug companies which have contributed $43 million since June 16 for this battle. Pfizer, Merck, and GlaxoSmithKline each contributed $8.5 million to their industry's "California Initiative Fund."

The Alliance for a Better California (the coalition of nurses, teachers, state employees, etc.) also worked to put Prop 79 on the ballot. Much of the language came from a measure that passed the legislature last year but was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger.

The major difference between these Props is that Prop 79 is mandatory for the drug companies. Firms that don't provide medicines under this program for the same price they charge MediCal could be barred from selling to the State's MediCal program. Under Prop 78, drug company participation is voluntary.
Proposition 80 - Electric Service Providers. Regulation.

The Green Party could not come to agreement on a position.

This initiative stems from a bill passed in the CA legislature (AB 2006) in 2004 that would have required utilities and other power suppliers to plan rationally for the future by re-regulating energy in California. Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed it, preferring "competitively priced" electricity over regulated electricity, even if residential rates go up in the process. So, TURN (The Utility Reform Network) is taking the bill to the voters.

YES on 80 – Blackouts due to power shortages and market manipulation did not exist in California prior to deregulation (all previous blackouts resulted from transmission or distribution outages). This proposition re-establishes legal requirements that were abandoned during deregulation. “Integrated resource planning” prohibits large commercial customers from jumping back and forth between “direct access” (power from independent providers) and utility services, thus providing more certainty to utilities in their purchase planning. There are also requirements for “adequate reserves” to prevent blackouts due to power “shortages,” as well as restoring obligations on corporations supplying energy to California - PG&E, SCE and SDG&E - to serve California consumers rather than out-of-state energy suppliers.

Other favorable aspects of this initiative are the requirement for all retail electric sellers to increase renewable energy resource procurement by at least 1% each year, and moving up the date of the state's 20% renewable energy requirement from 2017 to 2010 (decreasing our dependence on expensive fossil fuels). Similarly, “first priority for energy efficiency” means efficiency programs will be pursued before new power plants are built.

NO and NO POSITION on 80 – It foolishly gives even more authority to the CPUC, an agency frequently criticized by consumer groups. It locks communities into long term energy contracts with private corporate energy providers. It does allow Community Choice Aggregation programs, but the language is not clear and comprehensive so it could seriously undermine a community’s ability to start a CCA.

Somebody got a new phone!



washingtonpost.com
At Final Day of Roberts Hearings, Hatch Snaps . . . and Snaps

By Dana Milbank
Friday, September 23, 2005; A04

It started around the time Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) observed that the "hearings were dignified." Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) whipped out his camera phone and snapped a photo of Leahy.

Thus began Orrin's Excellent Adventure yesterday at the Senate Judiciary Committee. As the panel voted to endorse John G. Roberts Jr.'s nomination to be chief justice, the fifth-term senator composed a digital photo album.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) complained about Democrats' "loyalty to their ideological and single-interest groups." Hatch took a picture.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) asked if Roberts would "lead us on the path of continued equality." Hatch snapped a photo.

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) announced that he had "serious doubts" about Roberts. Hatch pointed and shot.

Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) countered that Roberts "bears no ill will." Hatch closed his right eye to line up the picture.

This photojournalism evidently inspired Biden, who took out his own camera phone and shot a candid of Leahy and Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.).

In defense of the touristy tendencies of the two senators, the hearing was not exactly suspenseful. DeWine spent much of the hearing with his eyes closed; Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), judging by his yawns, seemed to be only one cup of coffee ahead of DeWine.

Indeed, the only question yesterday was not whether Roberts would be recommended to the full Senate, but whether any Democrats would vote for him (three of the eight, as it turns out).

For a while, it seemed lonely for Leahy, who announced his support for Roberts on Wednesday, the only Democrat on the committee to do so before the hearing. This managed to get him a drubbing from the left wing ("inexplicable," howled People for the American Way) but no thanks from the right wing ("cynical posturing," said a press release distributed at the hearing by the Traditional Values Coalition).

Leahy did not smile when Specter hailed his yes vote as "courageous." As Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced her opposition to Roberts, the man from Vermont, rested his face in his hand. When Kennedy railed against the nominee, Leahy adjusted his tie and inspected the back of his hand. When Biden added his dissent, Leahy busied himself with his BlackBerry. And when Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) delivered an anti-Roberts diatribe, Leahy looked at Roberts's handler, former senator Fred Thompson, and raised his eyebrows. Thompson smiled sympathetically.

But in the end, Leahy was joined by two other pro-Roberts Democrats, Wisconsin's Herb Kohl and Russell Feingold. And the committee took on a different hue, divided less by party than by temperament: the amiable against the belligerent.

The committee's two partisan bookends, Schumer and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), were in a grudge match. The New York Democrat, speaking of Republicans, condemned "extreme groups and individuals."

Cornyn fired back that Democrats were spouting "the exact opposite of the truth" and argued that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg supported legal "prostitution and polygamy, and she opposed Mother's and Father's days as discriminatory occasions."

Even after three committee Democrats endorsed Roberts, Cornyn railed that "the days of bipartisanship when it comes to supporting judicial nominees to the Supreme Court -- sadly, I believe they appear to be over."

The normally genial Grassley briefly joined the partisans. "I would like to speak to just Republican members of the committee at this particular time and not the Democratic members," he announced.

"Should we stop listening?" Leahy asked.

"Yes, you can stop listening," Grassley said.

Graham tried to provide a counterpoint to the bitterness. He urged his fellow senators not to question the motives of their opponents, and he called on President Bush to name a second nominee "who loves the law more than they love politics."

"Liberals and conservatives come and go, but the rule of law is bigger than all of our philosophies," Graham said.

Sen. Sam Brownback, who skipped most of the hearing, didn't agree with that bit about law trumping philosophy. The Kansas Republican arrived at the hearing room with a 14-year-old girl suffering from Down syndrome and, as the smiling girl stood behind him, made an impassioned anti-abortion argument. We "celebrate her," Brownback said, "and yet in the womb, 80 percent are killed."

Hatch began reaching into his pocket. But he apparently reconsidered and did not pull out his camera phone. This moment would not be recorded as part of Hatch's Excellent Adventure.

Spam Spaghetti

Spam on the Go
A can of Spam, spaghetti noodles, green onions and garlic
all sauteed with soy sauce and sesame oil. Prep Time:
approx. 10 Minutes. Cook Time: approx. 10 Minutes. Ready in:
approx. 20 Minutes. Makes 6 servings.
Printed from Allrecipes, Submitted by Claudine

1 (8 ounce) package uncooked spaghetti
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (12 ounce) container fully
cooked luncheon meat (e.g. Spam), cubed
1/2 green onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper

Directions
1 Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
2 Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over
medium heat. Add luncheon meat, green onion and garlic and
saute until light brown. Stir in cooked spaghetti , then
stir in soy sauce, water, sesame oil and pepper. Mix all
together, heat through and serve.

Good Day 4 A Protest

This morning Alex and I set out to Tully's for coffee and breakfast. On the to do list included attending a protest. It was a healthy turnout, with the highlight being that Martin Sheen KICKS ASS!!!

Can I tell you how much I love to hear President Bartlett on Television, and to actually see him give a speech in real life. Ohhhh. Just thinking about the speech again gives me shivers.

Rats - a Big Freaking Deal

Last friday night, I drove Alex and I to the Pasadena CPK. More than half way there I started to notice a bad smell coming from my car. I couldn't figure out what it was, but any smell from a car is not a good thing. I thought about it all through dinner. I just couldn't figure out the smell - until - we got back to the house and I saw a rat.

Rats downtown are different from the rats at home. Rats at home are field mice. Rats here...well...they are big.

Belfair Rats:


Los Angeles Rats:



Indeed, a rat had crawled up into the motor of my car and waited for me to start the engine. As the car quickly heated up and began moving - I toasted that rat.

I spent time after church picking out the pieces of the torched rat.

Tonight, with the first rains, I was down in the garage to get my umbrella and coat from the car. As I watched Alex change the wipers on his car, I looked over to see a new rat making it's home - or grave - in the motor of my car.



Your Hawaiian Name is:



Kaili Kiana


I tell ya - the movie SUCKS!!!

Have you ever considered building a website where you pooed on crappy movies, and people actually read it.

I found it.

http://www.pajiba.com


If you want to know how THEY REALLY felt about the movie.

France Doesn't Take Returns

HASTERT SUGGESTS RETURNING LOUISIANA PURCHASE TO FRANCE

Angry Chirac States France's No-returns Policy

Offering his most controversial comments to date about the future of New
Orleans, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said today that the United States
should "at least explore the possibility" of returning the Louisiana
Purchase in its entirety to France.

Rep. Hastert said that the United States would be "totally justified" in
demanding that France take the Louisiana Purchase back because, in his
view, "It's becoming obvious that when we bought the Louisiana Purchase
the French were selling us a bill of goods."

Explaining his remarks, the Speaker said that when the Emperor Napoleon
I sold the United States the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 he did not offer
full disclosure of the property's vulnerability to storm damage and that
this omission makes the sale null and void.

But at a press conference in Paris, French President Jacques Chirac gave
Rep. Hastert's proposal a chilly reception, saying that France had "a
strict no-returns policy" and that he intended to adhere to it.

"To Monsieur Hastert, let me say this," said a visibly angry President
Chirac, pounding on the podium with his fist. "You break it - how you
say - you bought it."

But according to Professor Harland Linsdale of the University of
Minnesota's School of International Law, if France eventually agreed to
take back the Louisiana Purchase, it is unlikely that the U.S. could
demand more than the 1803 purchase price of $15 million.

"In Louisiana, $15 million won't even buy you one elected official,"
Professor Linsdale said.

Elsewhere, reconstruction efforts in New Orleans suffered a setback
today when Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally leaned against a
levee and breached it.

Grandma won't like this song...

Gold Digger

Dreamy Dan Wilson...RETIRES

From the Seattle Times
Mariners
M's notebook: Wilson working for one more game

By Bob Finnigan
Seattle Times staff reporter

Understandably, Dan Wilson got a lot of calls yesterday, the day after he announced he would be retiring at the end of this season.
"It was an odd feeling, knowing that it was public now, everyone knows," said the top catcher the Mariners ever fielded. "It was humbling."
Wilson will accompany the team on its upcoming trip to Texas, Toronto and Detroit, to maximize his rehab of the left knee he tore up early in the season and give himself a shot to fulfill his desire to play one more game.
"We'll get real specific about rehab and have a better idea if it will be possible to play again," he said. "I feel it will be possible."
Mariners fans, who undoubtedly will want to see one of the all-time favorites take the field one last time, might want to circle Jamie Moyer's final home start.
Moyer, who starts today against Anaheim, is currently listed to start only one game in the final homestand, on Friday, Sept. 30.
"From what I understand from the medical staff, the later we go, the better chance Dan will have of getting in a game," manager Mike Hargrove said. "As long as he's healthy, it's a great idea. It's a great way for him to go out."
One likely scenario would be to have Wilson start the game, catch a batter or two and then leave.
Wilson has one salient thought on his possible last game, with the prospect of playing in the final weekend series against the Athletics.
"It would matter if Oakland was in the race. I have to respect the race, and if my playing is going to alter the competitive nature of our club in any way, I wouldn't want that," he said. "This is just a neat piece of closure for me. But it's nothing that is necessary."
Bubela arrives
As if the circle of baseball life were turning in the Seattle clubhouse, as Wilson's time drew to a finale, Jaime Bubela came to the big leagues for the first time yesterday as an outfield replacement for Jamal Strong, who suffered a broken bone in his left hand Sunday.
Bubela was surprised to get the call from the Mariners. His season with Class AA San Antonio ended last week, and he had returned home to Houston and started attending classes Monday at Houston Baptist University, where he majors in business.
"I was at school, actually in class when the call came [from Missions manager Dave Brundage]," said the 27-year-old left-handed hitter. "I got the message after the class ... no, I didn't get to my next class."
• Wilson has caught 1,237 games for the Mariners, with hope of one more. Only 11 players in major-league history have caught as many games for one team, led by Gabby Hartnett, who caught 1,756 games for the Cubs from 1922-40.

Someone Cut the lights?

So, I get this call this afternoon from Alex..."Something's happenning downtown...the lights are out"

Two seconds later..."Ginny, the site's down"

And, an hour later this comes out:

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Major portions of the city lost power for more than an hour around lunchtime Monday after utility workers mistakenly cut several cables, causing a short that sizzled through the system.

Roughly 2 million people were affected by the resultant power surge and outages, which trapped some in elevators and snarled intersections regionwide. All power was restored by 3 p.m., about 2 1/2 hours later.

At the height of the blackout, many office workers seized the chance for an extended lunch on a mild afternoon, even as police and fire sirens echoed in the background.

"I'm just reading the paper and seeing a lot of my colleagues out here, so I guess we all have a good excuse," said Ludwig Welsh as he ate his midday meal outside his downtown insurance office.

There were few reports of injuries. Two men were briefly hospitalized after inhaling toxic fumes at an oil refinery when smoke backed up after the power went out, fire officials said.

Police discounted terrorism almost immediately, though the timing of the outage caused some concern: It came a day after the airing of videotape in which a purported al-Qaida member threatened Los Angeles.

"We were all freaked out, no doubt," said downtown high-rise worker Vicki Brakl.

Though the Police Department ordered all officers to stay on their shifts and surveyed the city by helicopter, law enforcement officials dismissed sabotage even before the utility explained what happened.

Still, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recognized that the timing "created a heightened sense of concern."

The outage began at about 12:30 p.m. when workers installing an automated alert system cut several wires simultaneously, instead of one at a time, according to Ed Miller of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

That caused the short that led to all the trouble. Utility officials initially said the outage occurred when the cables were incorrectly reconnected.

The outage spread north into the San Fernando Valley and hit neighboring cities, including Burbank and Glendale. But because of the region's patchwork utility system, pockets of power remained, even as adjacent areas served by the city-run Los Angeles Department of Water and Power were dark.

Though some power experts said the system performed correctly given the surge, it was the latest indication of the electrical grid's vulnerability.

Two weeks ago, half a million Southern California Edison and DWP customers lost power for 30 minutes when a transformer shut down automatically because an alarm mistakenly went off.

A blackout in August 2003 that started in Ohio after tree limbs touched a power line cascaded across the East and into Canada, affecting 50 million people. That led to demands for more reliability and preparedness.

Inside one downtown high-rise Monday, Albert Vasquez had to pry his way out of an elevator that shut down after the power failed.

"It was bizarre," he said. "It went completely dark."

Vasquez, 27, a customer service representative, opened the doors with his hands and went outside.

Across the city, traffic was snarled at intersections when stop lights went dark.

Katie Cerio, a stylist for TV commercials, said traffic signals were out in her neighborhood.

"They've got people directing traffic, but it's definitely a bit chaotic," Cerio said as she drove. "But now I just entered West Hollywood and the traffic lights seems to be on."

Gas station pumps stopped working, car washes came to a halt, assembly lines stalled and restaurant machinery quit in the middle of lunch hour.

At Bob's Big Boy restaurant in Burbank, power was out for about 90 minutes.

"All we could serve were salads and cold sandwiches, no hamburgers," manager Frank Rodriguez said.

At the downtown YMCA, staff used flashlights to help usher exercisers from the pool and other areas to locker rooms so they could dress before evacuating.

Before its power was restored, UCLA Medical Center was on backup generators and reported no danger to patients. Childrens Hospital Los Angeles was on backup power and doctors planned to suspend all unneeded operations the rest of the day, a spokesman said.

The city's transit trains ran during the outage, but with major delays.

"I walk faster than that," said commuter Jennifer Crocker, 27.

I said it....

What I sent to the GPCA/CC:

Meeting in the Middle

This email will probably put me on the poo-poo list of many, but, here it
goes...

After the campaigns of 2000, I continued my Green Party activity with GPLAC. As a full-time grad student, I had enough time to volunteer to take meeting minutes, attend local meetings. But, the days the GPLAC phone was disconnected, I decided maybe it was time to become more interested in how the bills got paid. Along with that came the interest on how GPLAC money was being accounted for the FPPC. I didn't think about who was treasurer, I didn't think about the GPLAC relationship to GPCA. I didn't know about the Southern California Green Party. I didn't know about the bank accounts, I didn't know about any office arrangement.

Most days I wish I never found out about the phone getting disconnected.

I finished grad school back in 2001. I've had two jobs since graduating, and only one thing has remained constant through this entire time. Considering that I have moved 5 times, on my second car, two surgeries, and a couple of relationships - the battle for financial transparency has remained constant.

I was a part of the GPLAC when we originally asked Mike for a full accounting of money in and money out. I was a part of the GPCA/CC when we sent the letter to GPUS asking that Mike not represent California on any GPUS committee.

In the back of my mind I just kept thinking - "He's got to turn over the
papers, he has to know what he's doing to the party" When I came off the
Coordinating Committee, off the GPLAC, I figured that resolution was around the corner. That was 3 years ago.

In August the Coordinating Committee asked that two observers participate in communications between Mike Feinstein's lawyer and the GPCA's . Alex and Beth have been serving as "observers", but they have been working as the Coordinating Committee's voice to ensure a document that can pass CC muster.

At the end of the day, there were a lot of mistakes, wrongs, rights, good
intention done here. GPCA, and Greens from across the country...every single one of us...deserve and demand that money in equals money out, and that every penny is accounted for, and our financial transparency is made complete.

This isn't the magic pill for GPLAC. GPLAC has larger issues than money
unaccounted for. There is not a lot of trust for the council. The upside is
that locals are moving beyond the council.

Unfortunately, the transparency among Greens has not been maintained. Good faith hasn't been maintained. But, the agreement turned over to the GPCA/CC is a start.

The proposal in front of the CC doesn't let anyone off the hook. I trust
Beth and Alex not to sell GPCA up the river, and I feel the proposal the CC
currently has in front of them is the only hope, and last viable option. The
GPCA - albeit, not the current GPCA/CC - needs to face the fact that the
spotlight of responsibility is not a single light, but rather the warm glow
of solar power.

Just to be upfront about it, I'm not in the camp supporting Mike Feinstein,
but I, along with many others who were just looking for the documentation, don't think I've ever acted in bad faith through this whole event. Please, give this document a look with fresh eyes, set aside valid feelings of frustration, anger, and concern that people on both sides have, and see the worthiness of this document.

Thanks for listening,

Ginny-Marie Case
Los Angeles, CA

From Another

A Billion Dollars?

The next time you hear a politician use the word
"billion," casually, think about whether you want the
politician spending your tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one
advertising agency did a good job of putting that
figure into perspective in one of its releases.

a.. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
b.. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
c.. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in
the Stone Age.
d.. A billion days ago no-one walked on two feet on
earth.
e.. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20
minutes, at the
rate our government spends it.

Reason # 4598 why I love Alex

He cleans the bathroom.

Yes! I know. He will spend one of his days off scrubbing the shower, disinfecting the toilet, getting the toothpaste off the side of the sink, and vacuuming the rugs.

I don't remember having a roommate that dedicated to having a clean bathroom.

I know - you are all jealous!

Hot Dogs and Cop Cars

I'm at home waiting for the SBC person to show up. Quite honestly, I'd rather be at work.

So, funny things have been happening in the past couple of days.

1) On Saturday morning I had just opened my eyes for a split second because I heard a police car coming up the wrong way on Main Street. It sounded weird. Then, we heard a crash, and no more sirens.

The police car was coming up Main street - the wrong way - going pretty fast. Hit the curb, spun out and parallel parked on the sidewalk. I wish that I would have gotten a picture of it - because it looked kind of funny.

2) I got a picture of this one. You know those ladies who sell hot dogs on the sidewalk. They've got their burners surrounded with cardboard, and the hot plate sits on a grocery cart, or push cart. I've always wondered where they come from.

Take a look at the picture:




1) The green mini van has all the supplies. The hot dogs came out of the cardboard box (no gloves when handling the dogs-n-bacon).

2) The supplies where carried in a child's stroller.

3) When the onion rolled off the cart, onto the ground, into the gutter...you would think that the Onion would go into the trash.... Nope! The guy picked up the onion and placed it on the stroller and off he went.

so - the next time you smell the hotdogs wrapped in bacon and you-wan-some - just know - the onion rolled into the gutter.

Too Much

It's been difficult to find time to actually blog. When I sit down to the computer I log onto read the updates on Katrina, only to walk away in disgust. Then, last night as I was emptying my car, Alex says to me that the Chief Justice may have passed away. It's like, there's so much to say - but I don't want to stop moving long enough to realize that many things in our country will be changing over the next couple of months.

It too three days of news before any of the news outlets said that the people who stayed behind to ride out the storm - didn't do that by choice. How long did it take the media, let alone regional electeds to figure it out. Did anyone think about the fact that it was the end of the month - people who live on, at, or below the margin didn't have any extra gas, food, medicine - let alone emergency supplies.

The Mayor of New Orleans has it right. I prayed extra for him today...and Kanye West.

Can't Wait to T A P

Los Angeles to implement contactless fare cards as first step toward regional system
Thursday, September 1 2005


By Andy Williams, Contributing Editor

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is set to roll out a smart card-based fare system. What's unique about the program is that it will take the fare system direct from paper tickets and tokens to the smart card. "Most transit agencies use mag stripe cards (before migrating to smart cards), but not so with Los Angeles," said Mark Kroncke, director of business development for the western region for Cubic Transportation Systems, the company developing the Los Angeles fare payment system. "L.A. is going from tokens and paper tickets right to smart cards.”

He compared the leapfrog in technology to the way some European countries' phone systems evolved. "In Eastern Europe they went directly from an antiquated phone system to cell phones, and now everyone has high-tech cell phones."

Cubic is currently installing the contactless fare boxes on buses. "We're half way through installation on some 3,000 buses," said Mr. Kroncke. Right now, bus drivers use the fare boxes to log on when they start their shift.

As an example of the open source technology Cubic is installing, he said the smart card readers for passengers will handle ISO 14443 type A and B standard cards, as well as Cubic’s own Go Card format. The bus drivers are equipped with Mifare cards that double as their ID badge. Other MTA employees use it as their access cards, said Jeffrey Klompus, a consultant in Booz Allen Hamilton's L.A. office. Booz Allen, he said, was hired as technical consultants by L.A. MTA "to help them develop the technical specifications that were then competitively bid."

The fare boxes are integrated with the Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS) that, said Mr. Klompus, helps provide the vehicle location and allows the bus driver to have voice communication with the dispatcher. "We've integrated this system with the fare boxes," he added.

"In L.A. you have two systems, bus and rail," he said, adding that he expected it will take Cubic until February, 2006 to equip all buses and rail lines. "The whole infrastructure will be in place then. We've been working on this since March 2002."

The original contract price was $84 million, but with the addition of other transit agencies, system improvements, and system enhancements, the project is now closer to $115 million.


A 700,000 card initial order … with 2 million cards by 2008

Mr. Kroncke said L.A.'s initial order is for 700,000 cards that Cubic calls its Go Card. The Go Card is also used in Washington, D.C. (as Smart Trip) and Chicago (as Chicago Card). L.A.'s card will be known as the Tap (Transit Access Pass) Card. "We want to get people used to tapping their card at the reader so they don't miss the read range," said Mr. Kroncke.

"Once we get everything installed, we will start a pilot program with the contactless smart card," said Mr. Kroncke. There will be about 50,000 in the pilot, most of them MTA employees, plus some select groups, such as the area's larger employers. He estimates the pilot will run three to six months.

He said MTA is expected to have two million cards in circulation by 2008. Obviously MTA will be running parallel systems for a period of time. People won't be forced to use the smart cards; any changes will be phased in.

Riders can buy a monthly pass or a daily or weekly pass, he added. "If I pay $52 for a monthly pass, I can ride all day every day." A stored value option will be available to allow the purchase of other things. That's down the road. "Phase 2 will include something like an e-purse for parking, events (Dodgers games), and retail stores," he said.

The cards will be available via a mass mail campaign and there will be ticket vending machines at all rail station stops and customer service centers. "Buses will not have ticket vending machines but you'll have access to a large point-of-sale network (e.g. stores) that are currently selling bus tokens," he said. There will be "loading machines" where people can add value to their smart cards, he added.


A regional focus

While Cubic started with L.A. Metro, "the plan has always been to make this a regional smart card program," said Mr. Kroncke. That fits with the Universal Fare System that the various transit agencies in L.A. County and beyond desire.

This Universal Fare System is expected to handle card management for the region. Already, Cubic also has received contracts from nine bus operators across L.A. county, including Long Beach, to provide fare boxes so they can join the regional system.

"This whole project," said Mr. Kroncke, "was born out of a need to have seamless travel among the various areas in L.A. County. MTA operates throughout the county, but you also have smaller communities served by their own agencies." Eventually, one card will work on all transit systems in the county, he said.

Cofirmed: Not a Hoax

Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 1:27 PM
To: Ginny-Marie Case
Subject: Rescue Line for Victims of Katrina

I guess it would be a good idea to forward this after all. I was able to verify this info on California's Office of Emergency Services website
at:
http://www.edis.ca.gov/bulletins/1125532941.txt (double-check for yourself to be sure).

So this doesn't appear to be a prank forward.
-Alex

***********************************************************
Rescue Line for Victims


State OES has learned that trapped victims on the Gulf Coast are calling family, friends, loved-ones, or anyone they can get a call out to in California asking for someone to rescue them. These requests need to go immediately to the US Coast Guard's Rescue Line at 800-323-7233 and immediate assistance will be sent.

Please distribute this information as widely as possible.

Thank you.

************************************************************
Eric Lamoureux
Chief, Office of Public Information
California Governor's Office of Emergency Services Ph. 916-845-8400 Cell. 916-869-3367 Pgr. 916-845-8911 Fax. 916-845-8444 eric_lamoureux@oes.ca.gov