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January 6, 2010     The Julian News
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January 6, 2010
 

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January 6, 2010 olifornia Commentary_ Wheels Coming Off High Speed Rail by Jan Coupal Californians are tired of hearing about government's problems. Because they are struggling with their own crises - including record high unemployment, foreclosures and taxes - the last thing they want is more bad news from government. But want it or not, the bad news keeps coming. After approving the largest tax increase in the history of all 50 states last February, the Sacramento politicians told us that the ship was righted and we were on course. When the state budget was back in the red just five months later, we were told that the necessary corrections were made through spending cuts and we had avoided disaster. Now we learn that the state is upside-down by another $20 billion, and this will necessitate further program cuts, new taxes or both. But compared to what is coming down the pike, this is the good news. Just like the bulk of the iceberg that was struck by the Titanic - a ship with whose passengers many Californians now identify - was under the surface, so too, we are finding that some of government's most severe maladies have been hidden from view. State Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor and Treasurer Bill Lockyer are sounding the alarm that it is debt that may sink the ship of state. A quarter century ago, state treasurers like Tom Hayes were recommending a debt ratio of no more than 4%. More recently Phil Angelides, the former treasurer who recommended bonds as a panacea for most that ails our state, said we could safely handle a debt ratio of 6% The debt ratio is calculated by determining how much the state is obligated to pay out on existing debt as a percentage of the general fund. Since each new state bond that is approved - like those for stem cell research and bullet trains - and sold increases the annual obligation for debt retirement. Put too many bonds on the market too quickly, or suffer a decrease in revenue due to a sour economy - and California has been subjected to both - and the debt ratio goes up. Now Taylor and Lockyer warn that the ratio could go to 7 or even as high as 10%. And although California already has the lowest credit rating of all 50 R.F.D. states, the oblivious Legislature has placed an $11 billion water bond on the June ballot without considering the impact on just how this will impact California's long term fiscal health. Because of our already huge debt, and the lack of confidence the financial community has in the Sacramento governing class, California debt instruments are no longer the sound investment they once were. All this means that, although California can still sell bonds, like a consumer with bad credit, that debt will be very expensive. But after selling $36 billion of debt this year, and struggling to find further takers, Treasurer Lockyer may begin seeking to sell bonds to overseas investors. "We are running out of tricks," Lockyer told an Assembly hearing. "Shortly we are going to have to go international to sell California bonds. I don't know how expensive that is going to be." California currently pays higher rates than Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, the treasurer says. What does this mean to the average citizen as a practical matter? Since constitutionally the state is required to meet its bond obligations before one dime can be spent from the general fund on other programs, a high debt ratio means less money for schools, law enforcement, transportation, healthcare or any of the other programs that most Californians value. It means that Californians will not only have to accept less from government but that there will be even greater pressure to raise taxes to pay for the services that remain. Californians already pay some of the highest taxes in the nation and our state competes with New Jersey for the heaviest tax burden per capita. Higher taxes would drive even more jobs out of state and increase the number of people depending on dwindling state services. It's not a pretty picture and, if during the holiday season, Californians would prefer not to dwell on the iceberg lurking under the surface, who can blame them? Jan Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association - California's largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers' rights. by Mike Marland I - DIDVOUUTU ) iljRdLL Weekly SUDOKU by Linda Thistle 3 8 6 1 6 9 7 5 2 5 3 7 2 8 4 3 7 6 2 8 9 7 4 1 5 9 2 8 1 2 5 7 9 4 5 6 Place a number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each small 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. DIFFICU L.TY THIS WEEK: * * Moderate -A-,k Challenging * ** HOO BOY! @ 2009 King Features Synd., Inc. As Heard On The Streets Of Julian by Eric Stamets New Wildlife Species Just Discovered, In The Future The following are animals that will have evolved quickly to meet changes in our environment in the future. If you don't believe in evolution, they will be created by God to fill their special new environmental niche. Either way, it doesn't matter- this is what you get and these animals will be discovered in the future. Junkyard Jackrabbit and Wreckingyard Goat The Junkyard Jackrabbit lives only in junkyards with their many junked cars now that we have run out of gasoline. They have stereo speakers inserted in their ears and a slot in their abdomen for playing a CD. They nest in old upholstery and can eat any part of a car that is not metal and any stale chips or popcorn that fell between the cushions. The niche for disposing of the old metal in the junked cars is occupied by the Wreckingyard Goat. The Wreckingyard Goat gnaws at old rusting fenders of cars and has well adapted hooves for climbing on the tops of cars to take a bite out of an old sunroof. The Wreckingyard Goat's preferred food is Gremlins, Yugos and Ford Pintos because of the ease in eating the very thin metal. If you accidentally step on the droppings of the Wreckingyard Goat, make sure your tetanus shots are up to date. These species are expected to have enough to subsist on for millions of years. Freeway Deer The Freeway Deer is unusual because it lives only on old empty freeways that are unused now that there are, unfortunately, no individual automobiles. It feeds exclusively on the boundless grasses and plants that have sprung up in the cracks in the pavement. Their hooves have evolved into a skid proof type that is only suitable for walking and running on concrete and asphalt pavements. They cannot survive on dirt with rocks. Unfortunately, the very plants they eat will eventually lead to their extinction, for the plants are slowly breaking up the pavement and when the fiat pavement is gone, so are the deer. A close relative, the Berkan Deer won't fare as badly. They have adapted to eating the aluminum beer cans that humans have so thoughtfully left for them over the years by the side of the road- kind of like putting out birdseed. However, some stretches of roadside were made uninhabitable by some over zealous humans who cleaned up the food source. Berkan Deer The Julian News 13 HOMES. CABINS. LAND. RENTALS. PROPERTY MANAGEMENT. VACATION RENTALS 2019 Main Street 760-765-0111 www.mtnfarms.com $520,000 Julian Estates, 3br, den, 2 ba, 2 car, 2200 sq. ft., 4.47 acres. Wood Interior, Lodge Feeling. $319,000 3 br, 2 1/2 ba. plus 1,200 sq. ft. guest house over garage on 5 acres. 2 horse barns, outbuildings and small fruit orchard. i " , .....  ,i $285,000 Kentwood 2br, 1 ba, 864 sq, ft. knotty pine interior .59 acres. $259,000 Whispering Pines, 2 br, 1 ha, + loft, Wood interior and soaring ceilings, ] ba separate apt, downstairs, Double decks. will also cluster around houses where the occupants watch Monday Night Football looking for handouts. In the future we might have ten to twenty Freeway Deer survive in the National Freeway Museum and a few poorly maintained parking lots. Powerline Coyote The Powerline Coyote is a well documented sub-species that lives only under the old abandoned huge powerlines that brought electricity to u's before we were more enlightened and began using mostly the new solar- quasar technology that can take advantage of the solar wind and gamma rays, supplemented with ]rj00g tzossw)rd 12 15 $459,000 In Town, 2bd, 2ba with separate 1 bd guest suite, built in 2003, Seriously Custom Home. $295,000 Julian Townsite. 2 br, 2 ba, on .85 acre. Within walking distance to all the shops and restaurants. $249,000 Kentwood, lbd, lba with large loft. All wood interior, large deck, completely furnished. ...... .... .... $225,000 Kentwood II 2 br, ] ba 2 car garage, fireplace, hardwood dual- glazed windows, A/C, ACROSS 1 Cry like a banshee "Say again?" Crafty , 12 Europe s neighbor 13 German car name 14 Tiny veggie 15 Peter Parker's alter ego 17 Cartesian conclusion 18 Hostels 19 Droves -- --- -- 21 Founded (on) 42 24 6 4o J__ Unaccom- 4-8- ; panied __  __ 25 Swiss peaks 5 I __ 6...-. __ 26 Directly 30 Floral neck- 49 Sea flock 8 Small-timer wear 50 Therefore 9 Freshwater 31 Actor Alan 51 Wapiti algae 32 NASA devia- 52 Method 10 Begin tion (Abbr.) 11 Sweet pota 33 Last page? 53 Turned blue? toes 35 Small combo 16 Conclude 36 Nestling DOWN 20 Yale student hawk 1 Existed 21 Hairless 37 Dashboard 2 Cleopatra's 22 Sheltered features slayer 23 It takes 38 Folkways 3 Midafternoon thyme 40 Painter hour 24 Use a tea- Mondrian 4 Restroom spoon 42 Actress designation 26 Spheres Gardner 5 Caution 27 Guitar's kin 43 1984 mocku 6 Runs 28 Greet mentary smoothly 29 Pairs subject 7 Oklahoma 31 Accumulates 48 Buddy city 34 CBS logo 2009 King Features Synd., lnc, 14 I1 45 46 35 Named 37 Narcs' org. 38 Jerry Herman musical 39 Ellipse 40 Needles' mates 41 "Meet Me - Louis" 44 Use a crow- bar 45 Take a shot at 46 Time of your life? 47 Home for 14-Across a little nuclear generation. The Powerline Coyote subsists on the birds that are downed by hitting the old electric wires. They have been seen actually plucking birds out of mid air as they fall, much like some dogs catch Frisbees. Because they are a subspecies and there are not many of them, they are classified as endangered. Therefore, under U.S. environmental law, the powerlines remain in place, even though unused and ugly to supply their food source. They should be capable of existing anywhere else, alongside other coyotes, but the pickings are too easy and they refuse to budge except to seek water. The alpha Powerline Coyotes live under a line that passes by a pond. The survival of their habitat is ensured since no one, even now that the lines are not used, will build a house near them. The habitat of the regular coyote, however, is very much under stress, since people will build a house anywhere a coyote can go. One would think that after so many birds had hit the wires after all these years, the lines would break. Since the utilities were absolutely paranoid about starting another fire, they made the wires out of a newly developed conductive carbon- titanium composite material that will never break. Only when the utilities started the Hollywood Firestorm with the old wire technology that burned down Hollywood, all the movie and TV studios and the stars homes, was there anyone with enough clout to put them out of business. One unnamed ticked-off movie producer simply bought the utility for what value it had left and shut it down. The Powerline Coyote is the same sub-species that lives under the few old wind turbines that are still in use and survives on the resultant bird kill. Sweet Smelling Skunk Weekly SUDOKU Answer L 9 8 6 L g 8 t' L 6 t, t It g 6 8  L 1  L 6 g 8 L g t t 8 L t 6 i 9 L LIt L 6 9 8 8 9  L g L L t 6 9 9 6  8 L L g 9 6 L t 8 200g INTERNET SEARCHES l. Michael ]ackson 2. The "Twilight" Saga 3. WWE 4. Megan Fox 5. Britney Spears 6. Naruto 7. merican Idol 8. Kim Kardashian 9. NASCAR 10. RuneScape Source.. Yahoo.corn @ 2009 by King Features Syndicate, Inc, World rights reserved. -- IQ00g Crossword - Answers Solution time: 21 rains. a3Aals oou31sN -1 ua Quite simply, since they were .L H Ul J- n no longer in danger of getting lilt I hit on highways, skunks quit ]slau s horrible. It took a lot of  . i.-,- - smelling l dWIla n continued on page 15 I ^ -1 Silly H AIs ul00I air o B | Ullall d s vivl00ls v