Wednesday, March 31, 2010

That Gasping Sound is GI Dying...

Here we go...our city leadership is on a mission.  How to make up a 2 million dollar projected revenue deficit in the this year's city budget...and a projected deficit of 3 million dollars in next years budget.  This mornings headline in the Daily Disappointment attempts to solve part of the problem this fiscal year by furloughing...sending home without pay...every city employee for 2.5 days...if the unions agree to it.  This...according to the news report...will garner a savings of $150,000.00.  This doesn't even scratch the surface of the 2 million shortfall.   In her infinite wisdom the Mayor even suggests we cut back on concrete repairs (streets?) and sewer maintenance...areas that are already underfunded. 

What caught my eye in the story was that this years 2 million dollar shortfall is partly attributable to a 1 million dollar loss in city sales tax revenue because of the bad economy and unemployment (and it wasn't that long ago the Chamber of Commerce and Nebraska's economic gurus were touting Nebraska was almost bulletproof in the sagging economy.)  My question is...if we are a million short in sales tax revenue...what created the other million dollar shortfall?  Could it be overspending by our glorious Mayor...her predecessors and our wonderful city council?  I and many GI-ites would likely respond with a resounding YES!  I guess when you are in a legacy building mode it's "Damn the the tax increases...and full speed ahead."   

With around 5 million to make up over the next year-and-a-half...the only alternative is to raise property taxes in Grand Island and increase fees...bend over folks it's coming.  Budget cuts are out of the question in GI although I believe we would be better off by selling or giving away the Shooting Park...cutting back on the exorbitant parks budget...cutting travel and large ticket items.  It's time to cut frivolous spending practices like we have seen over the past several years and get back to the basics of maintaining the basic infrastructure and the protection of life and property.  We look like Omaha and that ain't good.        

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fences Build Good Neighbors...or More Dancing Mounties...

I think before Obama and his minions open the door to the 12 million or whatever number of illegals there are in this nation...before giving them free health care...we ought to give this a try.  And the world thought we were the only ones with or considering a border fence.  I think if you tried to cross this border illegally you might run into trouble a thousand times worse than what you would by trying to carry a 4 ounce bottle of shampoo past an overzealous TSA screener (I had a bad airport experience this week) which would be bad.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The U.S. Senseless...

Irony.  You can live outside the Grand Island city limits and be counted in the "2010 Senseless Drive Toward 50,000," that will release the federal fundage floodgates across our Grande Isla...but on the other side of the coin you outsiders aren't good enough to get a library card in GI unless you fork up $40.00 annually to be a library patron.  This is an outrage and a slap in the face to the people bordering this festering pustule of humanity and greed.  

I have half a notion to go on Craigslist and offer my services as a "Library Mercenary"...checking out books with my free card under the cover of darkness...providing them to the folks outside the city confines for a mere $10.00 dollars a year.  I wonder if there is a limit to the number of books I can have checked out at one time?  I bet I could sign up enough clients to leave me with a pretty good stockpile of cool refreshing beverages this summer.  Books for Beer...oooh rahhh!  You could pick your selections up at my house avoiding the crime ridden downtown and the traffic congestion that the New Nebraska State Fair will bring...that's worth another fiver at least.    Maybe I could recruit a team of "Checkout Commando's" (minimum 10-year enlistment.)   Forged Library cards are out unless I can get into their computer database so I can't go there cause the Library Police are going to be watching.  

Speaking of Library Police...nothing was stated in the local pulp opinery regarding the stiff behavioral enforcement sanctions the Library Gestapo want enacted.  Seems some of the local stiff noses think our library gets a bit unruly and populated with undesirables at times.  And for the life of me I can't remember if burka's will be allowed or not.  

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Isla de Fantasia...

I guess since I mentioned it I might as well give a "duck and cover" salute to the annual migration of Sandhill Cranes that converge upon de Isla each spring.  These long-legged throwbacks to pterodactyls...numbering in the tens...if not hundreds to thousands...arrive each spring around the end of February and first week of March to stage their flight to Siberia where who knows what they do when they get there?  They spend about 6 weeks chowing down in area fields nearly doubling their body weight for the long flight north.  They are a treat for tourists from near and far.  School kids learn about the birds and their long journey and love them almost as much as the local Chamber of Commerci.  Of course what they fail to tell the children is these ugly fowl foul the soil and groundwater while they are here...while guaranteeing that most farmsteads are heavily invested in Culligan reverse osmosis machines...and ensuring that local roads are filled with scatter-brained tourists pretending to be on their first clueless drivers training excursion on a country road...all while burning up carbon credits that the guano birds try so hard to restore.  

If we want to really turn this into a capital raising endeavor I say we offer a 6 week crane season like the states to our south.  That's where the money is.  Hunting.  Blinds up and down the Platte River filled to the brim with hunters hoping to limit out before they lift off the former mile-wide and foot-deep river.  I even have a few slogans that might help the local economy.  "From the Platte to Your Plate...Crane Tastes Great!" or "Crane...The Other Dark Meat."  I have others.

This is just scratching the surface...there are still the hundreds of thousands of snow geese...Canadian geese...ducks and random Whooping Crane infecting our water supply.  But I won't go anyway.  I look forward to mid-April when they soar and belch through the upper wind currents of the atmosphere searching for the southerly low level jet stream to aid their cruise to Siberia...where who knows what they do when they get there?  The only other advice I can give unsuspecting visitors is...Don't look up between late February through mid-April when in south-central Nebraska...if you do...wear goggles.

That about sums it up for me.  I remember as a youth being able to walk almost close enough to touch them.  Now with  "commercial involvement" you can't get within a quarter mile of these feathered dinosaurs.


Life On Isla de Grande....Week in Review...

Crime this week in GI kept true to form...An early morning assault on a woman opening the Byco store across from Fonner Park...home of the New Nebraska State Fair...A brother stabbing a brother in the predawn hours...And one late entry this Saturday morning when a man broke in on two other men in a local motel room and beat them with "the arm of a chair."  The Chamber of Commerce attributed the latter crime to a moment of "religious fervor gone awry" and is blaming the Pope.  We should be paying for this type of entertainment.  Oh...we are. 

Also of note...the Sandhill Cranes are arriving in force...but avoid back roads...they are going through a mushy thaw cycle...are deeply rutted from the bad winter...and underwater in some areas around GI. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Beware...Census Scammers....

The Bogeyman is coming to your house soon.   He's out there.  He will be coming to your'll find him in your mailbox...knocking on your door...he's everywhere.   

He's in GI already...$90,000 in local tax dollars and "private contributions" are being spent to "boost" GI's population to 50,000...a move to latch deeper onto the federal teat.  My question is why not push it up to the next level?  If 50,000 nets you millions in federal tax dollars...what will a population of 75,000 do for us?  Bring in some more illegals...homeless...annex Funk.  Some local officials say the 50,000 doesn't have to be found within the city limits of's a "local area" thing.  Define "local area."  

Hey...federal dollars come from Kearney...Omaha...San Francisco...New's not just our's everybody's. 

As a "One Out" public is a tip on how to fill out Question 9 on your form.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sean Penn...Every Village Has To Have One...

Hey Spicoli...Read My Lips...Your Cousin Hugo = Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...Despot Dictator...
My apologies to Larry Fine...a real actor.  

Morning Poll Numbers....Do You Feel The Love?...

The GI Independent Daily Poll...

I love the way they word their questions.  Do I detect complacency in the third choice?

 Poll Results...

How concerned are you about Grand Island’s $3 million economic shortfall?
I am very upset about the entire budget situation in Grand Island.
(95 Votes, 63%)
I am concerned but confidant that the city council can shore things up without increasing taxes.
(13 Votes, 9%)
It’s no worse than other communities’ problems. We’ll muddle through it.
(44 Votes, 29%)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Business As Usual...

Seems that Grand Island's three million budget shortfall has jumped another $16,000.  GI's leadership appears to be suffering from One-Hand-Doesn't-Know-What-The-Other-Hand-Is-Doing Syndrome...and as I have said for years...making poor investments in the entertainment and parks business while letting the basic infrastructure fail.   

I am not exactly sure who did the fuzzy math for NTV when they reported property taxes would go up $1200.00 a year and their report that GI was suffering a gasoline tax collections shortfall...what they meant to have said was fees collected from natural gas sales.  At least they tried.  One of the upcoming candidates interviewed led me to believe her resolution is for us to pay the upcoming tax increase and live with it.  I hope the folks in her Ward think twice before applying the #2 pencil to their ballot.  It's time to bite the bullet...not bury us deeper.   

The Isle de Grande...Delayed Weekend Recap...

Was going to write a "sharp commentary" regarding the three million dollar shortfall GI is facing due to our city leadership's failure to not tax us enough (will discuss the details of that on-going robbery at a later time.)   What trumps the city's budget SNAFU is that local news folks were very...very...slow out of the gate in reporting the alleged Five Points Bank heist midday Saturday. 

Can't understand why the story didn't show up in the Sunday paper.  Maybe they had to clear it through the Chamber of Commerce before going to print????  Don't know if it made the weekend news on either NTV or KHAS.  I would think that maybe KHAS would have picked it up...NTV hasn't a clue on weekends.   Update:  KHAS-TV scooped them all...they reported the heist Saturday.      

What prompts a 15-year-old to rob a bank?  Did his allowance get cut due to the bad economy?   Under the influence of video games?  Maybe the Nanny Committee in the Unicameral can offer some sweeping legislation protecting teens...and bank tellers...from the evil of video games before this session ends.     

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

50,000 - By Hook or By Crook...

Bankrupt Grand Island's money grubbers are all excited about the upcoming 2010 Census.  They put "Pop. 50,000" on the signage to GI's entrances and the federal coffers will open like a dam break at Kingsley Dam...providing a flood of your tax dollars for it's "progressive" needs.  GI wants the 50K population so bad they are using local tax dollars to fund advertising on local media to "Get Out The Count."  I thought there were federal dollars already promoting the Census...I see the tacky commercials all the time on the telly.  

Today's news reveals that GI is obviously wasting its time and money.  Just do what they do in Ogallala...fake it by having the Clowns of the Unicameral change the rules to keep the federal flood gates open.  It seems anything goes anymore.  Maybe GI should charter a bus and import a few homeless to reach it's goal.   

Another Useless Law Coming To You Soon...

The Clowns of the Unicameral are spinning their wheels again with more of their useless legislation.  That being the ban on texting while driving.  There are layers and layers of laws already on the books relating to dangerous driving...careless driving...willful wreckless and motor vehicle homicide to name a few.  Not only do these present laws cover texting...but also include dangerous driving associated with giant slurpee spills...eyeliner application or shaving while driving as one former Nebraska legislator was accused of a few years back.

How does a policeman profile a texter?  How do they know that the "alleged texter" isn't dialing a voice number?  "Honest officer I was just calling my mom."  Will they pull the violators phone records to prove he was texting at the time of the chain reaction collision?  I am sure a search warrant would be required and any good lawyer could squelch such an attempt.  What if little Becky hands her texting device over to her friend Louise who is riding shotgun just after she sent three cars careening into a cornfield?  "Honest your Honor...I was just letting her use my cell phone."   

This is a useless and unenforceable bill that ranks right up there with seat belt laws.  I wish our friends in Lincoln would spend more time reducing spending and less on feel good nanny government.        

Monday, March 1, 2010

Just Wondering...

What a planet slammer...I've rode out a 7.1 temblor and can't begin to imagine an 8.8.  This monster tied as the 5th strongest earthquake since 1900 and was 500 times stronger than the recent Haitian earthquake.  

There is one question that leaves me scratching my head in the wake of the recent quakes though...why has the magnitude of the tsunami's been weaker than forecast?  The Chilean quake put the whole Pacific and 53 nations under the gun for significant fast moving waves...they do move fast.  We have Tsunami Warning Centers across the planet with big budgets and lots of high tech gear.  Although this kind of bust is good...the busts seem to be occurring with a little more frequency.

Forecast Extent of Coverage
Tsunami Forecast Travel Time

Dancing Mounties...

Caught brief glimpses of the closing Olympic festivities Sunday eve and thought it was odd that at 9:30 it came to an abrupt end.  No sign off thanking us for watching.  No "See you in England in 2012."  Just go to commercial and nuthin'.  Next thing here comes the much advertised Seinfeld "Marriage Ref."  Was NBC thinking that we would all hang around?  This rollover to trash...I watched enough to change the channel...was like receiving the sudden news of the unexpected death of a friend.  A ratings robbery.  The News...Weather and Sports at 10 and 10:30 a DVR replay of the rest of the closing.  There was no  announcement at 9:30 that I saw stating NBC would replay the remainder at 10:30...just back to the Olympics like nothing had happened.  I am sure the Canadians and others sat there for an hour with the gigantic beavers while the Maple Leaf "larvae" Girls hung from the curtain as Olympics fans took a timeout and viewed the "Marriage Ref" and local news.  

Some of the blowups were terrifying...the aforementioned giant Beavers and the giant Mounties and Moose.  What scared me the most though were the Dancing Mounties...when the announcer said they were real Mounties...I had my doubts immediately when they marched in...I have seen Cub Scouts drill with more precise footwork and alignment.  Then my chin dropped when they jumped into their Busby Berkeley routine.  Made me thank God that while they couldn't least they could take down a hairy lumberjack miscreant with ease.  The whole thing has left me traumatized yet this morning.  My perception of Mounties as cool tough guys slipped a couple of notches.   

All-in-all the closing was quite the organized extravaganza...except for the unannounced hour long break.  To that I say...NBC you are a bunch of self-promoting dorks.