Why Keep Public Salaries Secret?

Well, I can’t think of any good reasons. As long as these entities and their employees want to pretend that they are public servants then they need to walk the talk: transparency!

But, in today’s Eugene Register-Guard you will find this as the quoted key reason:

“I could see people being upset,” Barnhart said. “Some people don’t want their spouses to know how much they make. This is going to make it available for the world to see. I don’t know what kind of liability we have for their privacy.”

Help me with this, please!

Some people do not want their spouses to know how much they make? Where to begin??

Is Barnhart talking for himself? Are there really people still living in an age when their significant other was a chattel?

If your spouse is not sharing this basic information with you it is time to see a counselor or move on to a new partner.

As for the county’s dilemma: publish the information. Worker’s that do not like it can move to the private sector.

What To Do With Gamboa

It is unfortunate that Ernesto Gamboa let himself be co-opted by thugs engaged in an immoral government activity but that is no excuse to provide him official asylum.

On the other hand the government has no legitimate authority to make him go anywhere. If he can find private employment, can sustain himself, then he should not be interfered with.

Of course, all the people Gamboa lied to over the years may have some interest in claiming compensation for his involvement in their kidnapping and imprisonment.

Well, Duh….

The headline in the Eugene Register-Guard* print edition on March 5 reads:

Bullying persists despite state laws

The article opens with:

Despite Oregon’s eight-year-old anti-bullying law, about one-third of Oregon teens report having been harassed according to a review released Wednesday by a coalition pushing to strengthen the law.

Did the writer really expect that a piece of legislation would eliminate bullying?

Glancing around I notice theft, fraud, murder, speeding, and so on, are still pretty rampant despite endless rounds of legislation.

Some in the Oregon legislature (see HB 2599) seem to think that since the current law hasn’t worked they should expand the definition of bullying, harrassment and intimidation to include, amongst other things:

…interfering with the psychological well-being of a student.

Teachers better be careful to not call on students who are not prepared, Sally better not turn down Billy when he asks for a date and that coach had better start everyone on the team.

Perhaps if we did not force our children into holding pens for so much of their early lives there would not be as much bullying.

*Sorry, no link to an online version of the article. Such links are very hard, if not impossible, to come by at the Register-Guard. Especially when looking for something in an older than 7 days edition. If any of you know a good way around this problem please let me know.

Requiescat In Pace ~ Seattle PI: 1843-2009

Today marks the end of the Seattle PI‘s print edition:

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the region’s pioneer newspaper and the city’s oldest continually operating business, a newspaper that both shaped and was shaped by the community it covered, prints its last edition Tuesday — nearly a century and a half after its forebear first rolled off a hand-cranked Ramage press promising to be “the best and cheapest promulgator of all sorts of useful information.”

The above linkis to the PI’s new online offering.

Here is a message from the PI staff and some readers:

We switched from the Seattle Times to the PI some months ago and have been very happy. Now we are sad and disappointed.

Best wishes to all the PI staff and to those continuing on with the online version…best of luck!

Dog Days In Salem

vickie walker introduced legislation to allow dogs in the state capital (as if there aren’t enough already) and, surprisingly, not everyone agrees with her:

One lawmaker who told her he wouldn’t support it was Rep. Wayne Krieger, R-Gold Beach.

“I have three dogs and I love them, but I don’t want dogs under my seat, peeing on the wall or leaving mangy hair everywhere,” he said. “This is the Capitol. It’s not a doghouse.”

Ya know, if this is krieger’s understanding of dogs I certainly feel sorry for the three he owns. Perhaps he needs a visit from pet protective services and the good folks of Gold Beach might reconsider sending him to the Salem doghouse in the future.

Thieves in Eugene?

The Lane Transit Authority thinks it has a problem with riders who do not pay full fare:

Drivers have estimated that 2 percent to 5 percent of riders get away with an invalid fare, although one said recently that the number can be 15 percent to 20 percent on a busy day.

Really, though, even 20% greatly understates the problem:

After a recent review of operations, Lane Transit District has decided it will look into the problem of “fare evasion” — riders who don’t pay enough in fare, unknowingly or on purpose.
A payroll tax on local businesses provides most of the district’s operating revenue, but fares account for 15 percent to 23 percent.

It turns out that all of Lane Transit’s riders are paying less than they should…by 77-85%.

There are two sets of thieves in action here: first, LTD which steals from local businesses to fund LTD operations and second, the riders all of whom indirectly steal from the local businesses and some of whom underpay on even the inadequate fares charged by LTD.

So, yes, Eugene is full of thieves.

Northwest Dealings