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February 10, 2010     The Julian News
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February 10, 2010
 

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February I0, 2010 California Commentary Checking In For Pay; Checking Out of Reality by Jon Coupal How would you like to go to work at 9 a.m., wave to your boss and say "Hi, I'm here. Bye," and then immediately turn around, walk out the door and go home or play a round of golf - and, here's the best part, still get a paycheck instead of being fired? And suppose to make it easier on you, you could just drive by your place of employment and check in at the curb? If this does not sound like your job, you are not alone. This describes the work of a small minority of Californians - 120 lucky folks - who, before every long weekend, go through this tedious routine to assure themselves of $567.84 in additional pay. And since the total obligation of time is about 5 minutes, it works out to about $6,814.08 if the rate is applied to a full hour of work. So how do these 120 privileged individuals pull this off? Here is their trick: They are members of the state Legislature and they make their own rules. Although lawmakers received a pay cut from the Compensation Commission at the beginning of the year, they are still the highest paid legislators in all 50 states and they know how to game the system to guarantee that the money keeps flowing. In addition to their nearly six figure salaries, lawmakers receive a tax-free allotment of $141.86 per day that is intended to compensate for the cost of living in Sacramento while performing their jobs. However, if they go more than four days without meeting they lose this bonus, and so, to make sure they get this generous stipend while enjoying a long weekend, they have a "check-in" session on the day before. As was described by the Sacramento Bee, the process "... can be as simple as driving through the parking garage in the R,F.D. Capitol basement and checking in momentarily with a Sergeant of their house." Although this practice has been going on for decades and is embraced by members from both political parties, it finally made news when someone leaked an e-mail from the office of Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg that was sent to Senate members urging them to show up and check in on Friday before Martin Luther King day, so that all could collect their per-diem payments over the long holiday weekend. Now, California is a big state, almost 800 miles from Crescent City to Chula Vista, and few taxpayers expect lawmakers to go through a daily commute from far flung home districts to Sacramento. But what is galling is that while many Californians are suffering severe financial hardship, members of the Assembly and Senate are checking in at work to do nothing but assure themselves of "walking-around money" for a long weekend. Lawmaker abuse of these "check-in" sessions for the sole purpose of collecting their per diem is just one of many stories that contribute to the public's disdain for our elected state representatives. Recent polls show the approval rate for the Legislature at a near all-time low of 16%. This means that 84% of Californians do not have a positive view of its performance. And it a safe,bet, considering our 12.4% unemployment, record foreclosure rates and crushing tax burden, that many of those who do not approve of the Legislature actually despise it as a self-serving body that has no sympathy for the concerns of its constituents. Jan Coupal is the president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. by Mike Marland 'MAN. (~4~ 1 PLOV,/IN' T~EcoE-. Kaaren Terrl~ Janet Gastil Halley Ann & Larry Failer cell 619-417-0481 cell 760-445-1829 cell (760) 803-1195 Experts say a doctor of chiropractic care can often speed relief to headache sufferers without the use of medication. For more information, visit the Web site for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, a not-for-profit group that spreads awareness of chiropractic care, at www.yes2chiropractic,com. *** A delicious vegetable you canpresent to your kids is the sweetpotato. Sweet potatoes and yams are naturally sweet yet very nutritious. To find a variety of free sweet potato recipes, visit the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission's Web site, www.sweetpotato.org. Weekly SUDOKU by Linda Thistle 3 4 9 1 2 6 2 8 7 5 4 7 6 3 2 4 9 3 5 8 . 9 4 1 2 9 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. DIFFICULTY THIS WEEK: * * *- * Moderate ** Challenging *** HOO BOY! 2010 King Features Synd., Inc. Secretary of State Reports One in Five Voters Now Registered Decline-to-State More Total Voters Since Last Statewide Primary in a Gubernatorial Election Year SACRAMENTO - Heading into the 2010 election year, 20.2 percent of California voters identify themselves as "decline- to-state" (DTS), an all-time high as a percentage of total registered voters, according to the Secretary of State's latest Report of Registration released today. The report also shows more than 16.9 million Californians are registered voters, up from 15.8 million at this same time four years ago. The report includes data gathered 154 days before the June 8 Statewide Direct Primary Election and reflects updates to voter registration rolls, including the removal of registrants who have passed away, moved out of state, or have been determined to be ineligible to vote, as well as the addition of new registrants. The percentage of DTS voters - sometimes called nonpartisan or unaffiliated voters - has more than doubled in the last 20 years. In four years, the percentage of people registered with the Democratic Party has increased from 42.7 percent to 44.6 percent, while the percentage of people registered with the Republican Party has decreased from 34.7 percent to 30.8 percent. "Whether or not you choose to register with a particular political party, the most important choice is to register to vote and then to make your voice heard on Election Day," said Secretary of State Debra Bowen, the state's chief elections officer. "While there is still plenty of time - until May 24 - to register to vote in the June 8 primary, why wait?" The complete January 5, 2010, Report of Registration can be found on the Secretary of State's website at www.sos.ca.gov/ elections/ror/ror-pages/154day- prim-10/index.htm. California has a "modified closed primary" system that permits each party to determine whether it will allow DTS voters to participate in their primary The Julian News 13 HOMES. CABINS. LAND. RENTALS. PROPERTY MANAGEMENT. VACATION RENTALS 2019 Main Street www.julian-realestate.com 760-765-0111 $499,900 Julian Estates- 3br, den, 2 ba, 2 car, 2200 sq. ft., 4.47 acres. Wood Interior, Lodge Feeling. $259,000 Whispering Pines, 3br., 2ba,, fenced 1/2 acre, wrap-around deck w/built-in play equipment, dual pane windows, FA/AC i i' ili!i :iii il Incredible views. 10.34 acres. Property boasts a well, 2-5000 gallon water storage tanks, fire hydrant, 2 car garage, 3 graded pads, underground electricity, paved road, behind a gate for privacy. Asking $275,000. $39,000 - Cuyamaca Woods .83 acre with views to the mountains and lots of trees, election. The Democratic and Republican parties will permit DTS voters to request their ballots in the June 8 primary; the The registration totals for the six qualified political parties and voters who have declined to state their political affiliation are: American Independent 382,380 2.26 % Democratic 7,545,617 44.62 % Green 111,395 0.66 % Libertarian 84,462 0.50 % Peace and Freedom 55,036 0.33 % Republican 5,199,961 30.75 % Miscellaneous 118,194 0.70 % Decline to State 3,412,529 20.18 % TOTAL 16,909,574 The last day to register to vote in the June 8 primary election is May 24. The last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot is June 1. iction employee 8 Inhumane 33 South 9 Possesses Korean 10 Capades site capital 11 Homer's 35 Symbolof neighbor intrigue Flanders 36 Basis for 16 Of the upper grits hipbone 38 "The Biggest 20 Huge --" 23 Places 39 "Real Time" 24 History moderator chapters 42 Punch 25 Musical 43 Architect based on Saarinen "La Boheme" 44 Plumbing King Crossword ACROSS 1 "Humbug!" 4 Trade 8 Leno's feature 12 Expert 13 Gyro holder 14 Fight the clock 15 Michael Jackson album 17 Previously owned 18 Shadow location 19 Honest politician? 21 Chemical suffix 22 Comic "married" to Fang 26 Sired 29 Visibility hindrance 30 Galena, e.g. 31 Ear-related 32 Indulge in pugilism 33 Check bar codes 34 "-- Town" 35 Tussaud's medium 36 Stickup job 37 Extremely impressive 39 Bovine utterance 40 Sapporo sash 41 Entertained 45 Piece of work 48 German poet/ 1 2 12 15 18 26 27 31 34 37 45 46 5O 53 dramatist 50 Leak slowly 51 Sub- sequently 52 Swiss canton 53 Will beneficiary 54 Ethereal 55 19-Across' party DOWN 1 Decrease 2 Needing liniment 3 Roll call reply 4 Immobilizer 5 Dorian Gray's creator 6 Corroded 7 Seeming contrad- $299,990 - Cuyamaca Woods 2br, 2 ba, 2 car, 3.3 oak filled acres w/ views, Solar & generator, 26 Amazon.cam problem buy 45 La-la 27 Needle case preceder 28 Any of the 46 "Th~ Raven" Dionne writer quintuplets 47 Submachine 29 Henhouse gun threat 49 Greek 32 Starbucks r]workplace $179,000 Kentwood II - 2 br, 1 ba 2 car garage, fireplace, hardwooql, dual- glazed windows, A/C. 20t0 King Features Synd., lnc, $50,000 Shelter Valley 2.73 acres, well, electric meter, fenced. $1 16,000 - Coulter Ridge 7.15 acres, Ocean Views, Perc for 3 bed room, County Approved septic lay-out, Easy paved access, Varied topography other four qualified parties will not permit DTS voters. By law, voter registration updates must occur 154, 60 and 15 days before each primary election, and 60 days and 15 days before each general election. There is one "off-year" update released in February of years with no regularly scheduled statewide election. As Heard On The Streets Of Julian by Eric Stamets -- ICing Crossword - Answers Solution time: 27 mins. Presidents Day Where did the nonsense 1-E-~1"-- of combining a weekend in ~ February and a Monday into "Presidents Day" come from? Most people immediately point to the stores that do massive advertising trying to get rid of 24 25 all the old merchandise they ~ couldn't unload on Christmas ~ shoppers. Some say from dune buggy participants who could --- also call in sick for a few days and get an extended vacation in the desert out of it. Some people 43 44 still remember that there were ~ two holidays to honor our two ~ most beloved presidents, George Washington and Abraham ~ Lincoln and they occurred on their actual birthdays. But to make it seem like we are honoring all presidents and lump them in with Andrew Johnson, Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush is ludicrous. One of the major problems is that no one can remember which birthday comes first in the month (Lincoln then Washington) and you can't look at the average calendar anymore because it just says "Presidents Day." Plus both Lincoln and Washington each have more than one syllable and people don't like the effort in pronouncing long words. So now many people are referring to them as "this birthday" and "that birthday" and if you don't know which is which, you better just move your fat fingers down to Wikipedia and find out. FOODS 1. Tomatoes 2. Broccoli Sprouts 3. Berries 4. Soybeans 5.Tea 6. Pumpkin 7. Spinach 8. Garlic 9. Pineapple 10. Apple Source: www.thedietchannel.com 2010 by King Features Syndicate, Inc. World dghts reserved. Weekly SUDOKU Answer 9 9 /. t~ S I. 6 ~ /. ~ I. 6 9 8 t~ 6 L 1~ 9 8 i; g L ~ S 8 6 Z I~ 9 L tt 9 6 ~ L Z 8 8 L L 9 ~ 6 i~ S S L 6 L 8 ~ t~ 9 9 t~ 8 ~ /. I. 6 6 i~ t~ L 9 8