Random Rants: As I sit here and wonder why dogs chew up their own beds and then have to sleep on the hard floor, or why my wife is addicted to some word game on her cell phone, I’m trying to decide what to rant about first.
How about this: I heard that some small airports across the country are being closed because of the sequestration fiasco…this, along with the already ranted about military cuts. How about somebody growing a brain (not mentioning names here) and move, act, get someone to do something, yell, scream, cry, pout, whatever! Instead of cutting important stuff that really affects people, how about putting a hold on this crap?!
-$50 million for National Guard counter drug program
-$5.8 million for some east-west center (whatever that is)
-$3.4 million for national fish hatchery systems
-$3 million for aquatic plant control
-$120 million for alternative energy research within the military (I thought the military was part of the Defense Department, not the Energy Department)
-$10 million for the Chicago sanitary & ship canal
-$5 million for abstinence education
There is a ton more, but you get the point. Is there anything else I need to rant about on this?! (Of course there is, but this is all I can take in a week!)
Did you see what was happening in Cyprus this past week? The government was threatening to tax citizens’ bank accounts to raise $7.5 billion to bail the government out of debt! Folks there are going nuts over this, wouldn’t you? How would you like to pay a tax on money you already paid taxes on, having it come right out of your account? Think it couldn’t happen here? The way our tax happy government is these days, you don’t think that if we get so far in debt and start to default and are unable to provide entitlements — they wouldn’t try the same thing? Think again!
Okay, I’m ready to donate money to the Rand Paul for President campaign in 2016! Wait a minute, I own a small business in California, I don’t have any money to donate to anything, but if I did, and hopefully I will, Rand Paul is my guy (at least for now). After hearing some of his filibuster for 13 hours and the speech at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), I’m really impressed – and he won the straw poll at this convention for President in 2016.
With the local election more than a year away, you may be thinking it’s too early to think about it. But, as each person enters the race, I at least want you to think about how important it is to vote in the city council election. Decisions made by our council can have a real direct impact on each person in this city. If you’re a regular reader of this rant, you know I like to spin hard on national politics and tend to go light on the local stuff. I’m thinking, though; it’s time to direct more attention to what’s happening right here around us. With that being said, look for the Gazette to give more coverage to the city election as we go through the next 13 months.
Recent Headlines Catching My Attention:
“Two more enter city council race”: You heard it here first last week, as I reported Alan Ferdman and Dante Acosta were about to enter the city council race.
“Suntech announces $541 million bond default”: I thought green energy is the way of the future…that’s what the President keeps saying!
Quotes of The Week:
“I believe we should work to end all racism in American society and staunchly defend the inherent rights of every person” (Rand Paul)
“I have a question for the President. Do you hate all rich people, or just the ones who don’t contribute to your campaign? Do you hate poor people or just the ones with jobs?” (Rand Paul)
“What I say is, national defense is the most important thing we do in Washington, but there still is waste in the military budget” (Rand Paul)
“Both sides of the aisle, Republican and Democrats, have been unwilling and afraid to address the deficit, and someone’s got to” (Rand Paul)
Letter to the Publisher
I have been reading the Santa Clarita Gazette for a couple of years now after first being introduced to your great publication at Valencia Car Wash. I now pick up a copy weekly either at the car wash or at Jimmy Dean’s restaurant. I particularly enjoy your rants, most likely because your political views mirror my own and I appreciate the crossword puzzles you publish.
My main reason for contacting you is to thank you for the wonderful series you are running on my friend, Jim Backer. It’s great to see Jim’s many talents and contributions to the community being highlighted so well. One thing that won’t appear in your series, but which Jim can claim a majority of the credit, was Jim’s dedication to seeing that the Princess Cruises corporate offices – along with their 1,400 employees – would relocate from Century City to Santa Clarita. I was a member of a three-person search committee at Princess which was tasked with finding a new home for Princess Cruises. As Princess had grown dramatically in the late 1980s and 1990s (through the merger with Sitmar Cruises as well as internal growth), the company had outgrown the space it occupied in two Century City buildings. Due to the escalating Century City rents and the fact that this location was difficult to access by the majority of Princess employees, we embarked upon a nationwide search for a new corporate location. Realizing that we would lose a great number of talented employees if we left the greater Los Angeles area, we soon began to concentrate our site selection efforts closer to home.
Throughout our search process, Jim Backer continued to work tirelessly in an effort to promote the virtues of the Santa Clarita Valley as the ideal place for Princess to locate. The problem that Jim faced was that there were several existing buildings available – most in the west San Fernando Valley and Conejo Valley – that had acres of parking surrounding the buildings capable of accommodating our needs. If we were to choose an SCV location, it would require the construction of a large multilevel parking structure which would greatly add to the facility cost that must be borne by Princess…I can distinctly recall a phone call that Jim made to me at my Century City office sometime in the mid 1990s asking me to restate our parking needs. Jim wanted to confirm that the majority of our parking requirements occurred from Monday through Friday during the daytime…he began to develop a plan which would entail the construction of three buildings specifically for Princess that would be surrounded by restaurants, an entertainment complex and various retail establishments…a portion of the parking structure cost could be defrayed by the other businesses which required sizable amounts of parking during evening and weekend hours when Princess had very little need for employee parking. Thus, Jim was able to fashion a rental agreement for sparkling new buildings which competed favorably with older existing buildings that would have required retrofitting and which had open-air parking located a considerable distance from the office building.
Through his creative planning and persistence, Jim succeeded in bringing the 1,400 (now exceeding 1,600) Princess employees to Santa Clarita and placed them in an outstanding environment where they are able to enjoy the many amenities that were created by Newhall Land and Farming. I just thought you might like to know a bit more about Jim’s past contributions to this wonderful community that we call Santa Clarita.