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February 25, 2009     The Julian News
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February 25, 2009
 

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February 25, 2009 California Commentary A Higher Cliff by Jon Coupal and John Kabateck Over the last three days, California has come perilously close to committing economic suicide. What is so frightening is that taxpayers hav e , for now, avoided by only a single vote the passage of a legislative package imposing the largest tax increase ever presented to any statehouse in America. Ever. The only question is whether the constitutional protection of a two-thirds vote against tax increases -- approved by voters in a landslide in 1978 -- will continue to prevent this tragedy from occurring. The clear winner in this budget deal is the status quo of dysfunctional government. Indeed, passing this budget deal removes the last remaining chance for substantive government reforms. The real losers in this deal are ordinary California taxpayers and small businesses. Corporate California has been thrown a few bones and, as usual, has neither the backbone nor the vision to fight for more. (Some corporate interests will actually do pretty well. Multinationals will get tax relief as will Hollywood interests which will receive $100 million in tax breaks.) As of this writing, votes on this multi-bill package have already taken place over the weekend. It is our fervent hope that the proposals are carefully scrubbed -- at least as much as can be done in such a short period -- so that those legislators who call themselves fiscal conservatives can let the breathtaking scope of this plan sink in. It is not only the scope of these tax increases that should lead any sane person to reject them, but the details of the proposals are very troubling. For example, the so-called spending limit is significantly flawed. Unlike the hard spending limit of ACA 19, the proposal which is part of this R.ED. INCoTEAD'A Tt4E SNOVv'BLOWER )c.x_p cro  ID CA o.. package has huge loopholes in it, including a provision that allows the limit to be adjusted upward to account for tax increases. This defeats the very purpose of a spending limit. In exchange for massive tax increases which will hit an average family of four to the tune of $1,200 or higher annually, are fiscal conservatives getting anything in addition to a weak spending reform, like repeal of collective bargaining for the public sector? No. Are we getting systemic changes to address waste fraud and abuse? No. Are we getting significant and permanent reductions in state payroll? Are you kidding? The tax increases are being imposed for the very purpose of protecting state workers How about repeal, or even suspension, of AB 32? Of course not. California must continue to shoulder the burden of all nations to address global warming -- who cares about destroying the economy? Does the level of the so called "cuts" actually match the level of proposed tax increases? No. In fact, real "cuts" -- where spending will actually be reduced from the previous year -- reflect less than $5 billion. We are told to accept this deal as the best we could get. And besides, something must be done to prevent California from going off a cliff. But if this horrible bill package is approved, we will soon find out that the cliff we have driven off is much higher and the damage we sustain will be irreparable. Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), California's largest taxpayer organization. John Kabateck is executive director of the California arm of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), America's leading small- business advocacy organization. by Mike Marland oR, W,T. A The diesel engine is named for Rudolf Diesel, a German engineer who developed the device in 1897. In 1913, he mysteriously disappeared aboard a ship bound for London. W 00ekly SUDOKU by Linda Thistle 7 5 4 9 2 4 8 5 3 6 3 1 9 8 6 9 4 1 2 7 7 6 3 4 1 2 3 5 5 7 9 6 9 7 8 3 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! @ 2009 King Features Synd., Inc. The Julian News 11 CPUC Approves $8 Million To Help Bring Broadband To Unserved Areas SAN FRANCISCO, February 20, 2009 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today approved funding for five projects that will bring high- speed, Internet broadband service for the first time to thousands of households in unserved areas, helping to bridge the "digital divide" in the state. The projects, funded from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF), total $8,047,552 and represent 40 percent of the total project costs for broadband infrastructure for the five areas, which are: Alta/Blue Canyon (Nevada/Placer Counties), Carmel Valley (Monterey County), Comptche (Mendocino County), and Warner Springs (San Diego County), and 11 communities along Highway 299 in Humboldt, Trinity, and Shasta counties. On December 20, 2007, the CPUC established the two-year CASF to provide 40 percent matching infrastructure grants to broadband providers willing to put up the matching 60 percent of funds and to serve the nearly 2,000 California communities that are currently unserved and underserved by broadband. The CPUC has designated $100. million in the CASF to provide these 40 percent matching grants. Of that $100 million, $8,420,528 in broadband infrastructure grants have been approved so far. "The policies we adopted in late 2007 to make California a national leader in broadband deployment become very real when projects like these are brought before us," said CPUC Commissioner Rachelle Chong, a member of the state's Broadband Task Force. "After 14 years of efforts the community of Comptche, including the children at Comptche Elementary School, will finally have broadband Internet access." "The economic stimulus package signed into law this week by President Obama showcases a number of broadband initiatives that are consistent with our actions, such as the statewide broadband mapping from the Broadband Task Force, funding for broadband infrastructure to provide access to unserved and underserved communities similar to our CASF program, and telehealth projects similar to our ambitious California Telehealth Network," said CPUC President Michael R. Peevey. Of the projects approved today, the Highway 299 Broadband Network by Broadband Associates, International, Inc., will connect fiber optic lines to towers that will transmit continued on page 12 ACROSS 1 Pocket bread 5 Gentle soul 9 Force 12 Tel- l3 Winglike 14 Performance 15 Sheik portrayer 17 Grazing area 18 Main course 19 Indigent 21 "Why should I care?" 22 One of Santa's team 24 Donated 27 Wrestling surface Mounties' org. Mideast potentate Hearty brew 28 31 32 33 16.5 ACRE BEAUTY High Meadow Ranch $299,000 New Listing $319,900 Harrison Park 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, .83 ACRE, PALOMAR VIEWS Owner Will Carry $49,900 $1300/Month, Harrison Park 2br, 2ba. Like new with large dining room and kitchen. All appliaes included. As Heard On The Streets Of Jvlian by Eric Stamets Obama Spreads The Wealth, Nothing For Julian Now that President Obama has been inaugurated, he can start on his expressed goal to share the wealth. This is in the form of what is called a "stimulus package." A "package" is something that is wrapped neatly and that the U.S. Postal Service will accept for mailing. The "stimulus package" that was passed has been carelessly wrapped with exposed sticky duct tape and so is covered with dog hair that it couldn't make it out of Julian's Post Office, even though the workers there would bend over backward to help you. There was nothing in the "package" to keep the hundreds of Starbucks open that are closing- where's the stimulus in that? Without their coffee the population of the United States will get drowsy and go to sleep. There were many people who supported Obama from Julian. However there weren't enough votes to catch his attention and so there won't be any wealth spread out here, not from any earmarks, not from any birthmarks, not from any marks made by desperate fingernails trying to hang on, not even from a butt tattoo A',a,a,Lj =J . lrEf'#'ll 'I'OSb'VO l"t'] mark. Afterthe election, the TV news showed all of the exuberant 6 22 1 2 3 12 15 t8 ------ supporters cheering wildly, as 9 10 11 if the gravy train was about to 14 arrive. For those in the right 1"3----- areas it is about to. As for Julian, it's a bad place to be if there's a wildfire and it's a bad place to -- be when the spreading machine starts spraying out money. The 29 30 machine, which is modified 3-3----- from one of those huge fertilizer ______ spreaders on giant corporate farms, is so big it can't make the tight curves coming up here and doesn't have enough power to 44 45 46 carry it up the hill. The machine ---- will be confined to those areas ______ with straight roads or freeways. If that news isn't bad enough, ------ the tax machines that suck the ------ money out of your bank account 29 "---Doubtfire" are built on a Humvee chassis, 30 Vanna's have a beak like a mosquito, can colleague go anywhere, even break through bank doors and have a special mattress flipper attachment on the rear. 24 25 26 31 --m -- 34 38 41 42 47 51 54 52 Satan's field Tis a great confidence in a friend to tee him your faults; greater to tell him his. - Benjamin Franklin Savings-plan 53 Conked out acronym 54 Prior to 50 place? 9 Orange variety 34 Unescorted 55 Welsh veggie 10 On the rocks 35 Olive- 36 Wrigley 56 Catch sight 11 Obedience- 37 Procession product of school lesson 39 Not bumpy 37 History 16 Ultra- 40 Coat carrier 38 Singer DOWN modernist 41 Garage event Minogue 1 Macadamize 20 Alway 42 Layer 40 "That's a 2 Terrible guy? 22 Price 43 "Got--?" laugh!" 3 Pinball no-no 23 Particular 44 Elevator 41 Fashion 4 Loath (to) 24 Petrol name 43 Glum 5 Tardy 25 Way back 45 Leak slowly 47 Melody 6 Will Smith when 46 Vortex 48 Ratified biopic 26 Maiden of 49 St. 51 Oahu 7 Isle of-- Odin 50 Whopper souvenir 8 Cheery 27 Creche trio 2009 King Features Synd.. Inc. I,oR.1J. I;OmMINI, 00i00IAIl()i\\;!S COFFEE BEANS 3. Iceland 4. Norway 5. Denmark 6. Sweden 7. Bermuda *per capita 8. Switzerland 9. Netherlands 10. Germany Source: World Resources Institiute 2009 by King Features Syndicate, Inc. World rights reserved, -- King Crossword -- Answers Solution time: 25 mins. Weekly SUDOKU Answer 9LgL6 969LL L6L89   g 9  96 L L 69 L  L g   9 9 L   6 L 9 g g L 6  L 9 8 S b fi 9 L  g 9 6 9    6 8 L