Money, that’s what they want

Some e-mails about the Tribune’s top story today: Civic bucks bigger than ever

Firstly I would like to find out how to obtain a 200K job in Oakland. Even with my college education I have been unable to obtain such pay in the Bay Area. Secondly I want you to take a hard look at my children, our future and have you tell them why our schools are in such a mess but we can find a way shell out +200K in salaries. I can guarantee you that there
are qualified people that will wait in line for 120K in pay to replace Deborah Edgerly and we would get 2 for the price of one.



I cannot get my head around the compensation.

I had to translate it into a normal workweek. Using the figures you reported, and assuming these employees get time and a half for their overtime hours, it would still appear that the high paid fire inspector is on the job from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm seven days a week, 365 days a year! If this person only works 5 days a week, that is an 16 hour day – 52 weeks of the year!

How can this person possibly function at the level necessary to perform his/her job? I don’t care how much it saves the City in the short run by hiring fewer people.

–Sandra Turnbull


Coast Guard admiral in Deepwater, then in SF

admiral-allen.jpgU.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad W. Allen will testify tomorrow before the House Transportation and Infrastructure’s Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee on the Deepwater program, a push to modernize and replace the Coast Guard’s aging ships and aircraft and improve command and control and logistics systems.

Four USCG cutters moored at Alameda already have been upgraded as part of the program, but Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general released a report Monday concluding that the multi-billion-dollar effort — run by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. — has design flaws that have led to spiraling maintenance costs and could reduce the “improved” ships’ longevity unless corrected. That is, the refurbished cutters might not be able to take 230 days a year at sea over a period of 30 years, as the contract required.

And as if that hearing might not be a tough enough crowd, Allen will hop a flight afterward and finish the day by speaking at 5:30 p.m. in the Marines Memorial Club, 609 Sutter St. in San Francisco. It’s part of the George P. Shultz Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Northern California; tickets cost $49 for members, $59 for nonmembers, $25 for active-duty military personnel.


Today’s Congressional odds and ends

  • Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, introduced his first bill today: the Healthy Communities Water Supply Act of 2007, which will authorize $125 million in funding for projects to increase usable water supply by encouraging innovation in water reclamation, reuse, and conservation. With parts of California experiencing one of the driest Januaries ever and the impact on California’s water supply caused by rising global temperatures, this bill authorizes critical funds to develop alternative sources of clean drinking water, his news release said. The bill — of which the first original co-sponsor is Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo — is scheduled to be considered by House Transportation and Infrastructure‘s Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment on Wednesday. McNerney and Tauscher both sit on that subcommittee.
  • Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will host a forum at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Cannon House Office Building on “Iran: Engagement and Diplomacy, Alternatives to Preemption,” a reaction to what she says is the Bush Administration’s increased sabre-rattling toward that nation. The discussion of current U.S. policy towards Iran; the potential implications of preemptive war there; non-military alternatives to Iran’s nuclear ambitions; and engaging Iran in bolstering regional stability by ending Iraq’s civil war will be conducted by Ken Katzman, a Middle East policy expert from the Congressional Research Service; Georgetown University Security Studies Professor Paul Pillar, a 28-year veteran of the CIA; retired U.S. Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner; and National Iranian-American Council President Trita Parsi.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco; House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo; and other members of a bipartisan Congressional delegation which visited Iraq and Afghanistan in recent days will discuss the trip in a news conference tomorrow in the Rayburn House Office Building.
  • UPDATE @ 3:20 p.m. — Crank up your C-SPAN: Barbara Lee will be wielding the House’s gavel as Speaker pro tempore from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. PST tomorrow, surely striking fear into the hearts of conservatives far and wide.


    McNerney to introduce first bill

    Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, will introduce his first bill this afternoon, a $125 million pot of cash for water conservation pilot projects.

    The Healthy Communities Water Supply Act of 2007 will authorize $125 million for pilot projects that increase usable water supply by encouraging innovation in water reclamation, reuse and conservation.

    “With parts of California experiencing one of the driest Januaries ever and the impact on California’s water supply caused by rising global temperatures, this bill authorizes critical funds to develop alternative sources of clean drinking water,” reads McNerney’s press release.

    After introduction, the bill has been scheduled for consideration by the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment on Jan. 31.


    Avatars hold peace march today

    The RootsCamp folks in Second Life, the on-line world, are holding a virtual march on Capitol Hill today.

    It’s intended to mirror Sunday’s march on the real Capitol.

    Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, and Berkeley-based Clear Ink created Capitol Hill island earlier this year to bring the swearing-in of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi into Second Life.

    So, if you want to march for peace without leaving your house, risking arrest or dressing in enough layers to withstand a Washington winter, fire up your avatar.

    For more details, click here and click here.


    Co-del visits Pakistan, Afghanistan

    After visiting Iraq Friday, a bipartisan Congressional delegation — led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo — met Saturday with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad, and then released the following statement today after visiting Afghanistan and meeting with President Hamid Karzai:

    The purposes of our trip to Afghanistan were to salute our troops, visit with President Karzai, and meet with leaders of the NATO military effort. For five and a half years, our troops have been on the front line of the war on terror in Afghanistan. It is appropriate that we come here early in the new Congress to pay tribute to the men and women who are serving with great distinction in this critical task.

    In our discussions, President Karzai stressed the crucial importance of reconstruction. The delegation commended him for his leadership and discussed additional steps that would enhance the authority of the central government and improve the security situation in the country. We are encouraged by reports of a proposed supplemental assistance package to enhance our efforts to assist our Afghan partners. We will expeditiously consider this legislation and urge the international community to invest more fully in Afghanistan’s future.

    The delegation is deeply concerned about the escalating poppy cultivation problem in Afghanistan. Without aggressive action, this drug problem risks undermining the efforts of the Afghan government and coalition forces to stabilize the country.

    Many of us have been convinced for some time that additional forces would benefit the forgotten war in Afghanistan. We are pleased our commanders will now have larger numbers of American troops to prepare for challenging operations in the spring. In addition, the delegation appreciates the contributions of our NATO partners and looks forward to the fulfillment of their military commitments to this mission.

    We were honored to meet with in Afghanistan our troops, whose patriotism, courage, and devotion to duty are a source of great pride. Their efforts often do not receive attention reflecting the magnitude of their mission. We are grateful to them and to their families for all they are doing for our nation.