Our county Supervisor Ted Owens is a moderate Republican who can work “across the aisle” with the left and right in our communities. He’s a “good egg” too, having snapped up a tea party T-shirt this past summer, making some hostile constituents very happy.
Ted also raises some cogent points about the eastern end of the county being left out of some government planning more than it should be, largely because the Rood Center is based on the western end. The county Economic Resource Council is an example.
We’re up and down Hwy. 20 a lot, running into Ted at the Memorial Day celebration in Truckee, for example. The western end can learn from the eastern end, and vice versa. “I guarantee it,” as haberdasher George Zimmer would put it.
When it comes to tourism, we attended both county workshops — one in Grass Valley and the other in Truckee — and learned from each one.
I was glad to see a Truckee firm — Switchback P.R. — working on a countywide tourism plan. The group has been here to visit with local tourism officials to form a strategy, and it has held the public workshops.
It’s been a collaborative effort. Switchback will present a tourism strategy to the board next week.
But hard-right blogger Russ Steele — a fellow GOPer, no less — is now bashing Ted, suggesting he should recuse himself from voting on the plan:
“Now some thoughts on the Strategic Tourism Plan-Marketing: Switchback Public Relations and Marketing, Inc. is the same PR firm that Supervisor Owens used for his re-election campaign according to their website here. When the BOS votes on this plan, will Supervisor Owens recusing [sic] himself from the vote, citing a conflict of interest? You thoughts on these issues.”
Here’s mine: We need to work together to market our county to visitors, not engage in civil warfare. Our county is barely 100,000 people, and we’re trying to draw business from a pool of millions. Let’s get on with the real issue.
“The Great Recession and its aftermath are entering a new phase in the United States, which could bring even more severe assaults on the living standards and basic rights of ordinary people than we have experienced thus far,” according to The Nation.
“This is because a wide swath of the country’s policy- and opinion-making elite have singled out public sector workers—including schoolteachers, healthcare workers, police officers and firefighters—as well as their unions and even their pensions as deadweight burdens sapping the economy’s vitality.”
“The Great Recession did blow a massive hole in state and municipal government finances, with tax receipts—including income, sales and property taxes—dropping sharply along with household incomes, spending and real estate values.
“Meanwhile, demand for public services, such as Medicaid and heating oil assistance, has risen as people’s circumstances have worsened. But let’s remember that the recession was caused by Wall Street hyper-speculation, not the pay scales of elementary school teachers or public hospital nurses.
“Nonetheless, a rising chorus of commentators charge that public sector workers are overpaid relative to employees in comparable positions in the private sector. The fact that this claim is demonstrably false appears not to matter. Instead, the attacks are escalating.”
The rest of the article is here. The comments beneath the story are worth reading too.
We used to trek up to Madison, Wis., AKA “Mad City,” from Chicago in the ’80s. We were in graduate school, and there was beer, brats and swimming in Lake Mendota. It’s a very cool college town, as well as the state Capitol. Now “Mad City” is grabbing national headlines as its governor butts heads with public unions.
President Barack Obama joins a toast with technology business leaders at a dinner in Woodside on Thursday, according to a photo released by the White House on Friday.
This is Jobs’ first authorized photo since his medical leave in January. The Apple Computer co-founder is to the immediate left of the president, with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to the right.
Also visible in the photo are Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Oracle chief Larry Ellison and the remainder of the guest list. (Click for larger image)
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)