Thursday, May 31, 2012
The Arrogance of Politicians
Posted by John Stossel | May 31, 2012
New York City proposes to make it illegal to sell containers of soft drinks, sweetened coffee, and some fruit juices that are larger than 16 oz.
Give me a break. This infringes on my right to make my own contract with a merchant. It also doesn’t work. Americans have gotten fatter since the government launched its “war” on obesity.
Mayor Bloomberg has already pointlessly and intrusively banned trans fats, required restaurants to post dietary information, and outlawed food donations to homeless people because “the city can’t access their salt, fat or fiber content.”
The Food Police say that they just want to help us make good decisions. But no, they want much more than that. Government is force. Politicians want to force us to make good decisions.
Where does it stop? Why not replace hotdogs with Tofu Dogs and red meat with turkey? Once government pays for our health care, won’t they soon require exercise police to come into our homes to make us do pushups?
In a free society, I should be able to determine my own diet.
Mayor Bloomberg indulges the fatal conceit that politicians can and should force us to become thin. I say, No They Can’t! And they shouldn’t try.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
City’s financial deterioration also led to crippling water service problems
Art Lawler The Athens Review
Athens — KEMP — The City of Kemp, plagued by huge infrastructure expenses, mainly crumbling water pipes, disbanded it's police department, as of 7 a.m., Tuesday, and is set to begin negotiations with a nearby municipal utility company to take over its water services.
Police Department equipment, including the town's patrol cars, bullet-proof vests, ammunitions, and other items will be auctioned off soon, according to Mayor Donald Kile.
The city council voted 4-0 Tuesday night for Kile to enter into negotiations with West Cedar Creek Municipal Utilities District, located in Tool, to take over day-to-day operations of the Kemp Municipal Water System.
An official with WCCMUD, however, told the Review Wednesday afternoon, that nothing has been established between the city and the MUD.
Office Manager Wanda Sanders said negotiations between engineers, the legal departments and the board of directors still need to be worked out.
Kile said that if such an agreement can be worked out, West Cedar Creek MUD would take over Kemp's water-deteriorating water lines.
“It's not done yet,” Sanders said. “There's lots to be done before that happens.”
Kile spent Wednesday communicating with the media, as well as local officials and others during yet another hectic day for the City of Kemp.
Kile took over as mayor not quite a year ago, just months before the decaying pipes began altering the city's lifestyle in sometimes-dramatic fashion.
Last summer, the city was without water for several days, when record-hot temperatures, combined with the drought, caused cracks in the earth, and shift in the land. This reportedly caused a huge number of water lines to crack.
Citizens had to boil water, and emergency supplies and drinking water from surrounding cities had to be brought in for the citizens’ safety.
More recently, the city lost much of its water power, and citizens again had to boil and ration water for a couple of days. The school district had to be shut down for two days when restroom facilities could not take care of the students’ needs.
But it wasn’t until Tuesday night's action that jobs were affected.
“It's heartbreaking, that we have to do this,” said Kile. “We affected people's livelihood. But it's what we had to do.”
Kile said the following in a prepared statement Wednesday: “We know this is a very tough situation for several of our city employees, and we terribly regret that these actions had to be taken. But the City's financial situation has deteriorated to such an extent that immediate measures were necessary.”
By early afternoon, Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes had issued a news release intended to reassure apprehensive Kemp citizens about the law protection of their community:
“Sheriff David Byrnes would like the citizens of Kemp, Texas to know that the Sheriff's Office will continue to answer calls in the City of Kemp. As of 7 a.m. on May 9, the City of Kemp disbanded the police department due to budget issues,” Byrnes said. “We will continue to serve the citizens of Kemp, just like we always have.”
Citizens who have emergencies in Kemp are being told to dial 911, and their calls will be handled “in a timely manner.”
Kemp citizens who have a non-emergency call to the Sheriff's office will need to call 972-932-4337.
To help beef-up patrols in the city, Kile said he was told that constables would also be helping in the coverage.
Any problems, the release says, will be routed to the appropriate departments.
City officials said they realize many questions still need to be answered.
As for the current water situation, there is no immediate loss of services, but negotiations with West Cedar Creek MUD have yet to begin.
“While we understand that the lawyers and financial specialists will have to get together to hammer out the details that mutually protect and benefit the parties, I am confident that an agreement will be ready in the very near future — an agreement that is acceptable both to the City of Kemp and the board of directors of WCCMUD,” Kile said.
The decision was made at Tuesday night's council meeting following a motion by Councilman Tommy McSpadden, and seconded by Councilman Leotis Buckley.
Kile said he wouldn't have financial numbers for citizens for a few more days, with the mayor spending his time putting out fires.
“I got people who love me and people who hate me,” he said.
He admitted the reaction has been mixed. The city had already raised water rates back in December to deal with a crisis that current members say should have been handled years ago.
Some people believe some past councils just punted the problem down the road.
The kids, said one person, are having to deal with it now.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Cash-Strapped NY Town Cancels July 4 Fireworks
New Rochelle, N.Y. is appealing for donations to save holiday events amid budget problems
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 | Updated 1:51 PM EDT
A cash-strapped New York town has had to cancel Fourth of July fireworks and is appealing for donations to save its celebration of America's birthday.
New Rochelle town officials say the Independence Day display costs $75,000, and was eliminated from the city's 2012 budget, along with the Memorial Day parade and Thanksgiving parade, which both cost $30,000 to put on.
The costs for those parades include $10,000 for the event and $20,000 for police, fire and emergency service support, the town said.
New Rochelle has asked for donations to help save the holiday celebrations, and so far, enough money has been collected to hold the Memorial Day parade.
Funding for the Thanksgiving parade is also coming in, officials said, but the news for July 4 is bleak.
"Should funds not be raised, this event unfortunately will remain canceled," the town said.
Mayor Noam Bramson said the town is in a "time of fiscal challenge" and depends on the support of donations to help out.