Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lifting Fannie, Freddie Cap Called Policy Disaster! (News Max Wednesday, 30 December, 2009 15:55 hrs) by Julie Crawshaw

BS Ranch Perspective:

Looks like the Government is going to relieve the CAP, that was placed onto Freddie and Fannie, when the Real Estate Losses started, but since the whole thing is ruled to be passed history the Cap was lifted, If this is the case then History is bound to repeat itself!!

Also I bet that the big Banks that President Obama has Mentioned, whom have paid off their portion of the Money's that were given to them reference the bill that was designed to keep our country out of a full on depression, well they had a certain amount of time to pay them off. The Larger Banks (Bank of America, Chase, & Wells Fargo) have paid their Debt back to the Federal Government. President Obama now wants to target them again, even thought they paid off their Debt faster then they were allowed, President Obama wants more, so he has proposed a "New TAX" that is to get more money from them. The reason that this happened was the bank Honored their Employee's Employment Contracts, that stated that they were entitled to a portion of the Banks Good Fortune. These employee's are in Management, and their contract basically says that if their Bank or Department within the bank makes money, they are entitled to a portion of the Profits that were made. They are paid in the form of "Bonuses"

The Banks are currently making money and they decided to Honor their Profit Sharing portion of their Employee's Contracts and they paid the Bonuses to their Employee's! But this is something that is bad in the thoughts and mind of the President of the United States, so he as devised this new Tax to gain the Bonuses that is owed to their employee's via a Profit Share portion of their Labor Contract, So he feels that the monies paid to these DESERVING EMPLOYEE'S for their Hard Work, is not good business.

Now let me be clear that if the Bank didn't pay their employee's in this manner the Employee could go after them for breech of a labor contract. I am certainly not a Lawyer and I am not sure on this but if you are a deserving Employee and the bonus is entitled to go to you certainly you would want that money that you worked so hard for!

Once again the President has ATTACKED our Capitalist Ways and is reverting back to Socialist Terrorism against these Banks for their decision to run their MONEY MAKING Business as they see fit!! This Socialist Terrorism by the President is designed to make these companies not to recognise their good work, and give their earned bonuses to the Federal Government.

NOT GOOD!! It really makes these Strong Arming Tactics Look Like Terrorism against Capitalism!!

BS Ranch

Lifting Fannie, Freddie Cap Called Policy Disaster

By: Julie Crawshaw

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got a huge gift this Christmas: The Treasury Department removed the $400 billion spending cap from what the administration believes will be necessary to keep the huge government sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, solvent.

"This action confirms that the decade-long congressional failure to more closely regulate these two government-sponsored enterprises will rank for U.S. taxpayers as one of the worst policy disasters in our history," Peter Wallison, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute writes in The Wall Street Journal.

"Fannie and Freddie's congressional sponsors — some of whom are now leading the administration's effort to 'reform' the financial system — have a lot to answer for."

Most of the damage, Wallison notes, was done from 2005 through 2007, when Fannie and Freddie were binging on risky mortgages.

However, new research by Edward Pinto, a former chief credit officer for Fannie Mae and a housing expert, reveals that the GSEs began buying risky loans as early as 1993.

Pinto says Fannie and Freddie routinely misrepresented the mortgages they were acquiring, reporting them as prime when they had characteristics that clearly made them subprime or Alt-A.

By the end of 2008, the two GSEs held or guaranteed approximately 10 million risky loans with a total principal balance of $1.6 trillion that are now defaulting at unprecedented rates.

Since then, under government control, the two agencies have continued to buy dicey mortgages in order to stabilize housing prices.

After mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported a 13 percent drop in mortgage purchases in November, Fannie Mae said its book of business declined at an annualized rate of 6.7 percent in the same month, Housing Wire reports.

© Newsmax. All rights reserved

Monday, December 07, 2009

Energy Buyback plan means rooftop revenue for Homeowners (Press-Enterprise By David Danelski) Or Does IT?? (BS Ranch Perspective)

BS Ranch Perspective:

This law is not moving far enough to given enough incentive for those that want a solar power generation plant on their house, since you are only supposed to be generating less then or up to what you are using now, it leaves people with more of an option of paying off their mortgage first then making the huge investment in this power plant, that will not pay them enough to make a decent savings to their household!! If this power plant was to take their electric bill away from their monthly/yearly bills then there would be an incentive, but what would make and even more incentive would be to allow the homeowner to sell, power back to the State/City/or Local power Company, when they have not used as much power in their household as they have generated for that month. Sure that power that they got purchased from them would be considered to be income as a private Sales, this and only this, would lead to a way to drive people to conserve power!! Other then that if their power is reduced, yet they are still forced to pay a bill then they will take those savings and mark it as that SAVINGS, in there budget they might be easier to spend that money, but if it is marked as Earnings that would make it more likely to try to make more!! Other than that the speculation that people will try to save simply because their bill is reduced is a stupid assumption on their part!!!

BS Ranch

PS: this projected Change is bad, and the allowed buyback of power should be allowed at a profit from the homeowner!!

Energy buyback plan means rooftop revenue for homeowners

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12:09 AM PST on Sunday, December 6, 2009
The Press-Enterprise

California residents who install photovoltaic solar panels on their homes soon could be paid by their utilities if they produce more electricity than they use, the result of a state law that takes effect next year.

But don't expect a rush of people installing rooftop solar units, observers say. Here's why:

To be eligible for paybacks, homeowners and businesses cannot install solar systems that generate more electricity than they've been using. In other words, they can't put in extra solar panels with the intention of selling power to the local utility.

Story continues below
Terry Pierson / The Press-Enterprise
Riverside homeowner David Morgan has a 2.3-kilowatt solar system on his home, and he says laws governing utility buyback of unused residence-generated solar power are moving in the right direction.

The law does not apply to the 1.4 million electricity customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Once rooftop solar accounts for 2.5 percent of a utility's total power supply, no further buybacks are required.

The law's backers hope it will move California toward capturing a huge source of clean power that doesn't require construction of new long-distance power lines or building energy projects on hundreds of square miles of desert land that otherwise might be preserved for recreation or wildlife habitat.

Enough sunshine lands on California rooftops to potentially generate 50 gigawatts -- nearly the total electricity the state uses on a hot day in August -- according to estimates in a 2007 California Energy Commission report.

Some say the law's restrictions expose lawmakers' reluctance to truly embrace the potential of rooftop solar, despite the state's mandate that utilities obtain 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by next year and 33 percent by 2020.

"We are getting a lot of sloganeering, but they are really just throwing us a bone, and it is not much of one," said David Myers, executive director of The Wildlands Conservancy, an Oak Glen-based organization that raises funds to acquire wildlife habitat for permanent protection.

The bill's author, Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, said the limitations were necessary to overcome opposition from large utilities, including San Diego Gas and Electric, and the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates investor-owned utilities, including Southern California Edison.

"I got the most I could get with this bill," Huffman said. "I'd like to see as much generation from as many roofs as possible, but this was a political compromise."

Opponents said the state already requires utilities to spend about $3 billion subsidizing the cost of rooftop systems through rebates. Those who benefit from the subsidies "do not need another opportunity to receive payment from the utility," according to an analysis by the Public Utilities Commission.

Damon Franz, an analyst for the commission, said in an interview that the rule limiting how much electricity people can produce will encourage people to install smaller systems, allowing the state rebate dollars to be distributed to more homeowners. Smaller solar systems also would encourage owners to reduce their electricity consumption, in order to get paid for the unused power, he said.


Bob Botkin, solar programs manager for Southern California Edison, said the company took no position on the bill. He added, though, that encouraging people to produce only the power they use helps eliminates the cost of distributing the power to other users.

Despite the bill's limits, Huffman said, it opens the door to electricity buybacks. He is hopeful that future legislation will lift the 2.5 percent cap.

Story continues below
Terry Pierson / The Press-Enterprise
David Morgan says he has enough roof space to accommodate solar panels that would supply 100 percent of the power for his household and one of his neighbor's homes.

Riverside resident David Morgan, who installed a 2.3-kilowatt solar system on his home a few years ago, said the law is moving in the right direction.

"It's on its way to be being a good thing, but it isn't going far enough," Morgan said.

Since his system provides about a third of his family's power needs, Morgan said the law gives him a financial incentive to add more solar capacity. He has enough roof space for panels that would supply 100 percent of the power for his household and one of his neighbor's homes, he said.

By the end of next year, utilities are required to set rates to reimburse customers who qualify for buybacks. Once the rate is set, residents can start earning redeemable credits for excess electricity they produce. The first checks would arrive a year later.

Huffman said under existing rules, utilities kept track of homeowners' excess electricity production. At the end of a year, if they produced more power than they used, the remaining credit was forfeited, infuriating some owners of rooftop systems.

In an e-mail to Huffman's office, San Francisco resident Douglas C. Horner Jr. wrote: "I'm not in the business of providing free power to PG&E on my dime. If they are not banking those credits, or sending me a check, then I might as well use as much power as possible ... "


David Wright, Riverside's utilities director, said he doesn't expect the limitations of Huffman's bill to slow rooftop solar progress in Riverside. The city is years away from seeing 2.5 percent of its power coming from rooftop solar systems, giving lawmakers time to increase the cap when necessary, he said. The city has about 107,000 meters; about 110 are connected to solar systems.

Even with local subsidies and federal tax credits, the cost of a residential solar system, depending on size, is roughly $20,000 to $50,000, akin to the cost of a new car. Consequently, few people would be inclined to build a system that produces more than their needs, Wright said.

The limitations in the law give utilities time to phase in rooftop solar and other alternative sources of electricity while paying off debts on conventional power plants, he said. Forcing the utilities to buy solar power too quickly could result in rate increases.

"It would be like paying two mortgages for two houses when you need only one house," Wright said.

Myers, of The Wildlands Conservancy, said the state needs to encourage people to invest as much as they can in rooftop solar, but instead it is setting up roadblocks that protect utility profits.

Such obstacles will result in more large-scale solar and wind energy development on previously undisturbed public land, as well as more power lines crossing public and private land to carry that energy to cities far away.

"It just doesn't make sense, when we are trying to convert to a green economy," he said. "The technology is ready and the roofs are on the grid, and no environmental impact reports are needed."

Reach David Danelski at 951-368-9471 or

Monday, July 06, 2009

Secret Documents Reveal BLM Secret Plan to Destroy Wild Horses....

BS Ranch Perspective:

Can you believe that they are going to still try to Destroy the Wild Horses, when there has been a strict fight against such an act! The laws have been made that no horses will be slaughtered in the United States or Transported to another country for Destruction! I cannot believe that a Government Agency, one whom I am sure had fought for this law, has swooped this low as to ignore the law and attempted or made plans even to destroy the American Wild Mustang!

I believe that the men and or Woman that were involved in this should be Slaughtered instead of the Wild Mustang!

BS Ranch

June 11, 2009- for immediate release

Documents Reveal BLM Secret Plan to Destroy Wild Horses

Documents obtained from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) via the Freedom of Information Act by a Phoenix-based non-profit, The Conquistador Program, reveal shocking and detailed plans to destroy healthy wild horses in government holding facilities as well as those still remaining in the wild on public lands.

BLM employees as well as a USDA veterinarian held weekly "Implementation Team" meetings beginning in July of 2008 in which they discussed and developed strategies aimed at ridding BLM of thousands of mustangs. In October they completed a 68 page document entitled "Alternative Management Options". Tactics included in this document are reminiscent of those used to wipe out Native American tribes in the 1800s.

The BLM team created scenarios for killing mustangs using barbiturates, gun shots, or captive bolts. Bodies would be disposed of through rendering, burial or incineration. They discussed killing 1200-2000 wild horses per year. The document states that "the general public would be prohibited from viewing euthanasia." Additionally, the Team felt that "increased support from public relations and management staff would also be needed to insulate those doing the actual work from the public, media and Congressional scrutiny/criticism."

"Minutes from these meetings as well as the Draft Plan reveal what amounts to 'the final solution' for the American mustang," states Ginger Kathrens, filmmaker and Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. "Despite a huge outcry from the American public last year regarding BLM plans to kill wild horses in holding, the agency is still pressing forward with a plan to destroy our American mustangs both on and off the range."

Division Chief of the Wild Horse and Burro Program Don Glenn told The Cloud Foundation that "no decision has been made to move forward on a large scale with this plan, yet."

BLM meeting minutes speak for themselves. "Security at facilities and at gathers would need to be increased to combat eco-terrorism. Having the people that are willing to put down healthy horses at gather sites could be a problem. Having vets putting down healthy horses at preparation facility[ies] could also be a problem." Meeting minutes reveal the psychological toll that employees would pay—"have counseling for employees and contractors that have to euthanize the healthy horses because it is very stressful."

The report created an option in which wild horses of all ages could be sold "without limitation". In other words, horses could be sold directly to killer buyers in unchecked numbers. The Team admitted that "some wild horses will go to slaughter".

"Once they are gone, they're gone" says Karen Sussman, President of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros. "To lose this incomparable species would be a travesty."

Team Members formulated ways in which they could circumvent the National Environmental Policy Act, asking "How many (wild horses) could be euthanized during a gather (roundup) without having NEPA?" BLM discussed ways to circumvent the federal carcass disposal law (43 CFR 4730.2). Conversations included how many wild horses could be rendered at the Reno Rendering plant or "disposed of in pits". The Team concluded that "there will not be large numbers of horses euthanized during gathers or in the field. This is due to state environmental laws."

Recommendations include the creation of gelding herds, and sterilization of mares to create non-reproductive herds in the wild in place of natural herds. The team recommended changing the sex ratio from the normal 50% males and 50% females to 70% males and 30% females. Then the experimental two-year infertility drug, PZP-22, would be given to all mares that are returned to the wild. Plans call for rounding up the wild horses every two years to re-administer the drug.

"Mares on the drug will cycle monthly and, with the altered sex ratio, the social chaos will be dangerous and on-going," Kathrens explains. "Any semblance of normal wild horse society will be completely destroyed."

Kathrens has spent 15 years in the wild documenting mustang behavior for her PBS television documentaries which chronicle the life story of Cloud, the now famous pale palomino stallion she has filmed since birth. "Even Cloud and his little herd in Montana are in serious danger if BLM implements these options," she continues. "The BLM plans a massive round up in Cloud's herd beginning August 30, 2009."

The BLM will not guarantee that Cloud and his family will remain free.

The BLM documents referred to above and photos of wild horses are available from The Cloud Foundation.

The Cloud Foundation, Inc.
107 South 7th St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
719-633-3896 (fax)

An Open Letter to President Obama. (by Lou Pritchett) Scary Stuff, On The Head!

This is all just to Frightening, Mainly Because it's TRUE!! To Think that these United States Minority Comedic Actor's have said during their Comedy Act on Stage, to a Very Large Applause, that Obama was not elected for his Politics, he was Elected Because He Is Black! Basically the Comedic Actor stated that he gave his vote to the Black Man, To Get The First Black Man Elected Into Office, No Matter What His Policies Are! Just to get the first one out of the way, this will ultimately make it easier for the next Minority Leader to become The President of The United States. Plus, the Minority Children in the United States will believe there are bigger possibilities for them growing up! Who Cares what he does in the Four Years that he is in Office!!


The author, Lou Pritchett, is a well-known public speaker who retired after a successful 36-year career as the VP World Sales for Proctor and Gamble.

Lou Pritchett
Foremost Leader in Change Management

Lou Pritchett is one of corporate America 's true living legends- an acclaimed author, dynamic teacher and one of the world's highest rated speakers. Successful corporate executives everywhere recognize him as the foremost leader in change management. Lou changed the way America does business by creating an audacious concept that came to be known as "partnering." Pritchett rose from soap salesman to Vice-President, Sales and Customer Development for Procter and Gamble and over the course of 36 years, made corporate history.


Dear President Obama:

You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.

You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.

You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.

You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.

You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.

You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core.

You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', and are always blaming others.

You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America ' crowd and deliver this message abroad.

You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.

You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.

You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.

You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.

You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations.

You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.

You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.

You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.

You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.

You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O'Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.

You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.

Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

Lou Pritchett

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Recent Filming Projects Take Many Unusual Forms (Inyo Register May 7, 2009)

BS Ranch Perspective:

It looks as if the government has found another way to bolster the economy for the film industry in the Owens Vally, I mean, since the car industry has taken a fall, and cannot produce as many commercials in the valley as they usually do! Now the DoD is taking up the Slack in the Free time of the Back Drop of the Valley to make Training Films for the Men and Woman that are going to Iraq for the War on Terror! The training will be a valuable tool for the American Solder, so I feel that the trade off is a wonderful one, but I still feel awful about the economic slow down in the Auto Industry, so bad, that I did purchase a Truck from one of the failing markets just to see if my purchase makes a difference, after all the Chrysler Family of Automobiles and Trucks are the BEST on the ROAD! Now I am not saying that there is anything wrong with the Ford or Chevrolet vehicles. It is just my belief that when it comes to Trucks, the Dodge Truck is the best on the market, after all they get the same Torque out of a 6.9 liter, that Ford or Chevy gets out of their big 7.2 Liter. Now the biggest difference is that Dodge's Cummings Engine has two less Cylinders and therefor gets better fuel economy with the same amount of torque, hence the better vehicle! Again this is just my opinion, just remember that an opinion is like your but, everyone has one!

I am glad that these training films are being made now, but I am wondering why? Why, they have not been made a whole lot earlier then now? I guess because we have a kinder gentler President in Office now that is the difference, to make training films to show how people should ride in a Hummer when it is in motion in Iraq!

BS Ranch

Recent filming projects take many unusual forms

Humvees at the ready at Whitney Portal and Movie Flat roads as part of a Department of Defense training film for troops in Afghanistan. Photos courtesy Inyo County Film Commission

By Chris Langley
Inyo County Film Commission

The economic slowdown has had a significant, measurable effect on filming projects locally. By this time each year, the county usually has had 20-30 automobile commercials. This year they can be counted on fingers of both hands. Different kinds of filming projects have been scouting and filming, however, and demonstrate that many new forms, markets and formats are being generated by innovative artists and Internet gurus.
The writers' strike last year ended the hopes of many budding television series, and furloughed feature film production. That was followed by the threatened actors' strike. Although a tentative agreement has been reached, the strike's shadow is still present. Many companies stored their money for films in hedge funds, which quickly evaporated with the enormous drop in the Stock Market.

As the economy contracted calamitously, the three major automobile companies' sales did too, bringing them to the edge of collapse. Now Chrysler has filed for bankruptcy, GM is trying to reorganize and even Ford struggles. With the government involved, the companies have how they do business, and in one sense have changed how they do commercials for marketing their products. GM requires a production company to use its own money creating the commercial, only receiving half the money upon completion and acceptance of the ad. The second half of the money is paid only after the commercial has aired or been published. In fact, the automobile companies are using the production company's money to fund the creating of the commercial. Obviously, production companies are unwilling to front money for a company that may disappear, obviating their need to repay the company.
Nevertheless,Spider Motorcycle, a three-wheel version introduced a few years ago in a commercial made here, Kia, and Subaru all have worked locally in the last months. While they have worked in the Alabama Hills, many of the shoots have taken place on the scenic roads of the county, north and south.
When "Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen" opens at the end of June, it will be interesting to see if the show begins with the work done here as originally planned. When "G.I. Joe" opens in August, we'll be looking for Tuttle Creek and Whitney Portal second unit work.
Two very interesting projects have shot here in the last few months. They are very different from each other in style, purpose and intended audience. Neither will be seen in your local multiplex, that is for certain. The Metabolic Studio from L.A. is filming one project and the other is being done under the auspices of the Department of Defense and will be used in training Humvee drivers in Afghanistan to avoid IEDs and terrorist threats.
"Silver and Water" is an artist's film under the direction of visionary artist Lauren Bon who works with FarmLab, and the Metabolic Studio, a collective of artists practicing social sculpture. Rochelle Fabb, project manager, began working in the Owens Valley nearly a year-and-a-half ago, consulting with the Film Commission on locations, history of the area and local resources to create an installation/performance piece being created by Ms. Bon. The group intended to investigate the history of the area that links Lone Pine and Southern Inyo so closely with the city of Los Angeles. The work had many aspects including performance and installation at the PPG Plant south of Lone Pine, Swansea and Cerro Gordo.
Then it would all be filmed on a schema of the "Wizard of Oz" and titled "Silver and Water." The silver is the bullion from Cerro Gordo that kick-started the backwater town that became Los Angeles. The water was the water the city took from the area to allow for development of the megalopolis that exists to our south today. To further their reach into the community for support, they taught a group of local citizens to play the glass harp (wine glasses tuned to specific notes). Called the Metabolic Orchestra and dressed in costumes inspired by the Bauhaus style of design in Europe, the group played "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in one of the silos at the PPG. All this was filmed to be incorporated in the film in a public performance.
Additional filming was done over at Swansea where projects involving growing algae for oil extraction as a fuel were attempted. There was even a skywriter who spelled out "Surrender Dorothy." The work of the group continues with the themes of "Film, Fuel and Food," and they have leased property on Main Street in Lone Pine near the Espresso Parlor to develop the "food" component. Work on the filming will also continue. It is planned now that the film will be shown at a new theater up at Cerro Gordo during the Film Festival this year. The group has created a beautiful greenhouse to develop sustainable agriculture and replication of an algae/brine shrimp art installation from 1972.
The other project of note is a training film for a simulator for military personnel driving in Afghanistan. Scouting and staging plans took several months because the film was made in 300-degree-plus panorama with a state-of-the-art digital camera. Actually, the camera was eight cameras all in-synch, and the final film would be projected in the round so the trainees experienced encountering terrorist threats in Afghanistan. Again, the Alabama Hills stood in for Afghanistan as they did in "Iron Man" and a Motorola commercial before. Inyo County, in film terms, is more the "New Afghanistan" than the "Old West."
The shoot was challenging because of the panorama nature of the staged encounters. The director had to ride in the camera car and anyone in the Alabamas camping or climbing would appear as being in war-torn Afghanistan. This required the Inyo County Board of Supervisors to close Movie Road for five days. The supervisors and the county really practice being film friendly when needed. The wind blew some of the days very hard, and as one crewman steadfastly said, "I guess the wind blows like this in Afghanistan as well."
This shoot was good for our economy and of even more value because it would make our men and women in the Armed Forces better prepared for the challenges of the Middle East.
Langley can be reached by phone at (760) 937-1189 or by e-mail at

Friday, June 19, 2009

San Bernardino Council Approves Firefighter's Wage Cut! (The Press-Enterprise June 1, 2009).

BS Ranch Perspective:

It seems that the Budget crisis is effecting the Inland Empire, and what do you know but there is a city that is willing to take the obvious gamble at loosing personnel because of the shortfall in their Budget! However Unlike the State of California they have taken the bold move to actually go to the Union of the Fire Services and see if they were willing to take a cut in pay rather then lay off's! Being that the Cut in Pay made more sense then the Lay Off's they took the cut in pay so that they were able to try to work through the shortfall, without loosing any Personnel!!

BS Ranch

San Bernardino council approves firefighters' wage cut

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10:00 PM PDT on Monday, June 1, 2009

The Press-Enterprise

San Bernardino City Council members agreed Monday to a pay-and-benefit cut for firefighters aimed at saving the city $1.4 million over the next 13 months.

Council members approved the agreement unanimously. Firefighter union members already had approved it, union President Scott Moss said.

The agreement, which expires at the end of the 2009-10 fiscal year, marks the final wage concession by San Bernardino employee groups to plug a $9 million deficit in the city's $150 million general fund budget.

The contract calls for an across-the-board 8.7 percent pay cut and does away with an earlier negotiating point that would have cut the city's contribution for health coverage by $664 per employee per month.

The percentage-based pay cut was more equitable, said Linn Livingston, the city's human resources director.

She said the agreement also requires firefighters to sell 48 hours of accrued vacation time back to the city by the end of the month, and another 48 hours before July 1, 2010, the start of the 2010-11 fiscal year. The firefighters would be required to work those hours, Livingston said.

She said that's cheaper than the current arrangement. Under the city's "constant manning" policy, any position left vacant by a firefighter on vacation must be staffed by a co-worker on overtime, Livingston said.

In return, council members agreed to extend a union contract, which was due to expire at the end of this month, for another year.

Further, firefighters will be allowed to log four hours of paid leave per week in a "time bank" for later use.

Until the start of the 2010-11 fiscal year, the contract restricts firefighters from drawing more leave from their time bank than they would ordinarily accumulate in a year.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Supreame Court Rebuff Allows Sale of Medical Marijuana in San Bernardino County... (The Press Enterprise, Wednesday, May 20, 2009)

BS Ranch Perspective:

What is up with the decision of the court to allow the Inland Empire of California to have the decisive use of the "Mary Jane" for medical use! This might be the start of the break down for the rest of the country, and the begining of the break down of the rest of the country to gain the use of the Medical sides of Marijuana for the rest of the United States! But isn't it great to know that it was the Inland Empire that gave the world the Hells Angles and now Medical Marijuana use!! 

BS Ranch

Supreme Court rebuff allows sale of medicinal marijuana in San Bernardino County

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03:11 PM PDT on Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Press-Enterprise

San Bernardino County residents previously unable to lawfully purchase marijuana for medicinal uses should soon be able to do so after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear challenges to the state's medical marijuana law.

"The Supreme Court is the end of the road," said Allen Hopper, litigation director for the American Civil Liberties Union's Drug Law Reform Project. "There is no additional legal challenge left for the counties."

San Bernardino and San Diego counties had sued in San Diego County Superior Court three years ago contending that federal drug law trumps California law, therefore making the possession of marijuana in this state -- for medical or any other use -- illegal.

By refusing to hear the case, the court upheld lower-court rulings that rejected the counties' arguments.

Supporters say marijuana helps chronically ill patients relieve pain. Critics say the drug has no medical benefit and all use should be illegal.

California voters in 1996 decriminalized using marijuana for medicinal purposes, and the state Legislature passed a law seven years later spelling out regulations governing its use, including a requirement that counties issue ID cards to patients who have letters from their doctors confirming the medical need.

Riverside County has been issuing the cards ever since, county spokesman Ray Smith said by phone Monday.

Victoria Jauregui Burns, chief of the Riverside County Public Health Department's HIV program, said San Bernardino County residents cannot cross county lines to obtain ID cards because they must show proof of residence to obtain them.

Riverside County residents must also have a letter from a physician and pay a $153-a-year fee.

The county has averaged 350 applicants a year for the past three years, she said, but the volume of applicants has surged in recent months. Some 200 people have applied for the cards in the past three months.

Supervisors in San Bernardino and San Diego, and as many as seven other California counties that have been waiting for the Supreme Court to weigh in, will now consider issuing the ID cards.

San Bernardino County will not issue the cards at least until supervisors are briefed by their attorneys on June 2, county spokesman David Wert said.

The ACLU's Hopper said county supervisors need to understand the meaning of the decision, "so I have no problem with them taking a little bit of time for their lawyers to explain what the legal effect of the decision is."

On the other hand, he said, "It's not rocket science. The Supreme Court said that what the Court of Appeals did stands. The Court of Appeals threw out the counties' challenge."

Scott Bledsoe, of Crestline in the San Bernardino Mountains, said he doesn't trust the county to quickly begin issuing ID cards. He said he will lead as many as 50 medical marijuana proponents in a demonstration at today's supervisors meeting in San Bernardino to press for immediate action.

Bledsoe sued the county in January when it refused to issue him a medical marijuana ID, and he says Monday's Supreme Court decision "bolsters my suit.

"We were expecting, or hoping, that the Supreme Court would deny review of San Bernardino's case," Bledsoe said by phone. "We also assumed that they were going to continue obstructing, even after a ruling like that came down. I filed suit so we could get something going."

Fast Action sought

Aaron Smith, California policy director for the national Marijuana Policy Project, called on the two counties to act immediately.

"It's time for San Diego and San Bernardino counties to end their war on the sick and obey the law," Smith said in a news release Monday.

Tom Bunton, a senior deputy county counsel in San Diego County who argued the case on behalf of both counties, said he was disappointed with the Supreme Court decision, but that "I think it does" mean the end of the battle against California's medical marijuana law.

He said he will recommend that San Diego County supervisors begin issuing identification cards.

Hopper said the Supreme Court decision -- while unexplained by the court itself -- "really comes down to the sovereign right that the state has to decide for itself what its criminal laws are going to penalize or not penalize."

He said he is counting on the Obama administration to continue its hands-off policy on medical marijuana dispensaries in California, a sharp reversal from the Bush administration.

Reach Darrell R. Santschi at 951-368-9484 or

Friday, June 12, 2009

Redlands dealership lands on GM's drop list (Press Enterprise, Monday May 18, 2009)

What I don't know is how does, The Elected Official, from the U.S. Congress, know what or who's Dealership in what City or Location is best suited to provide the best services to the people whom want to purchase their favorite General Motor's Vehicle or Chrysler Made Vehicle, since they are closing some of the Dealerships that have the best Sales Records in their Dealership District, with which some of them have kept that Best Sales Record for Multiple Years Running, yet they find themselves on the chopping block as one of the Dealerships to be CLOSED, as part of the Big Picture, that has been designed by the Congress, and the U.A.W. of which has not been able to successfully been able to argue for one of these huge money making Dealerships, which have been showing a profit, EVEN WITH THE TOUGH TIMES THAT WE FIND OURSELVES IN NOW! THE MOST SUCCESSFUL DEALERSHIP'S HAVE BEEN SHOWING A PROFIT, for their respective Auto Maker's!! 

Either Congress or the U.A.W. has seen their way to close these big time money maker's to show that they are trying to make these companies Fail! Now I don't know about you, but I don't want to see General Motor's or most of all Chrysler FAIL! ESPECIALLY, under the direction under an Elected Official, somebody that I know that I will not be voting for next year if any one of the auto makers fails all together!! If they do fail it will be from the decisions that are made here at their Re-Configuration in the Chapter Eleven, Rules and Regulations of the Bankruptcy clause! 

If you ask me, the Government took that big chance in loaning that money to the Auto maker, in that they should just be allowing the people that know how to run an Auto Business, Run that Business!! The People that are Elected Cannot even Balance the Checkbook of the American People to the satisfaction that we can have a balanced budget, yet when it comes to anyone else and their money, boy howdy they better have a bowl movement of gold, and it better smell of money and not have any fowl odor of any kind, even if there should happen to be a little gas that might escape when the bowl movement is being laid!! 

BS Ranch


Redlands dealership lands on GM's drop list

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12:45 PM PDT on Monday, May 18, 2009

The Press-Enterprise

At least two Inland dealerships are now confirmed to be on a list of 1,100 that General Motors plans to drop as franchisees by October 2010.

Owner Bill Hatfield confirmed today that his dealership, Hatfield Buick GMC in Redlands, received a letter from GM Friday that it is on the list.

"We're going to contest this," said Hatfield, third-generation owner of the dealership, which has been in business since 1913. "We're going to make our case to them that this is the wrong move."

"But we want to emphasize that things haven't changed, and it's business as usual," Hatfield said. "We're going to take care of our customers as we always have."

General Motors, facing a possible bankruptcy filing June 1, is telling 1,100 dealerships nationwide their franchises will not be renewed. The company hopes closing dealers will cut competition between GM outlets and keep prices up.

As previously reported, Don McCredie, owner of Tri Buick Pontiac GMC in Hemet since 1974, on Friday confirmed his dealership was one among hundreds that GM will cut ties with based on a letter he received from the automaker. He called it "unfortunate."

Hatfield said GM did not give specific reasons why his dealership was picked for franchise termination. The dealership, which employs 25, is located at 301 E. Redlands Blvd. "It's really rough," Hatfield said of breaking the news to employees and customers.

"Maybe GM looked at their dealer list and said this one's near the freeway and this one isn't, so it has to go. I really don't know," Hatfield said. "I think people like a place where things aren't done the way they are somewhere else. I think our customers like the fact that I'm here all day, and they can come in and talk to me if they want."

GM is not releasing a full list of dealers who were sent similar letters. The franchise cuts will affect 20 percent of its current dealer network.

Some Inland dealerships said they received word Friday that they were spared, while others took a lack of correspondence from GM to mean there will be no change in their franchise pacts.

According to the Associated Press, many dealers have vowed to fight, first through a 30-day company appeal process, then possibly in court.

GM's dealers are protected by state franchise laws, and the company concedes it would be easier to cut them if it were operating under federal bankruptcy protection. GM says it's trying to restructure outside of bankruptcy because of the stigma of Chapter 11.

Chrysler dealers have fewer options because the company has already filed for bankruptcy protection, and federal bankruptcy judges generally trump state law.

Last week Chrysler announced it will close 789 of 3,200 dealerships by June 9. That includes Dodge City Chrysler-Jeep in La Quinta.

At least 13 Inland dealerships have closed since March 2008, amid the auto industry's worst sales slump in decades.

Reach Lou Hirsh at 951-368-9559 or