Friday, August 31, 2007

Sanctity of Marriage ... For Who?

I just don't get why the sanctity of marriage isn't extended to everyone.

Why should gays be exempt from having the same rights to make a legal commitment to someone they love?

How does that threaten heterosexual marriage?


Will our lawmakers outlaw the quickie Vegas marriage because it somehow doesn't fit their idea of the sanctity of marriage?

What happened to less government interference in our private lives?

Government needs to get back to doing what it was intended to do: provide for the basic safety (IE, fix those damn bridges and levees -- consider making health care available for a reasonable cost -- fix our dilapidated school buildings) and stop telling people who they can love!


Monday, August 27, 2007

Water Flowing in Hooterville

The water hauling situation here is almost back to normal. After the fiasco caused by the state Department of Health, when not one bureaucrat thought about the families left without water, the county stepped up to the plate. The county had never been notified that this action was going down, BTW.

At last count, over $50,000 was spent bringing in water trucks and drinking water when the county declared a state of emergency. Our unpaid and unemployed water haulers rode shotgun with the county trucks showing them where their customers lived so that everyone would get their much needed water.

The CHP returned the confiscated water trucks and the county moved to put the haulers in touch with the small business loan agency to assist them in the event their trucks needed additional upgrades. Everyone that filed for their permit and submitted their fees was granted temporary permission to continue hauling water to the community.

Of course, this could have all been accomplished before the raid by the state and it would have avoided leaving people without water during one of the hottest months in the desert.

Lessons learned (I hope!): Enforce the law, but not at the expense of the health and welfare of the consituents.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Yes, I'm A Bleeding Heart Liberal!

We had a tough week-end here, but not near as tough as many are facing that rely on having water hauled to their homes. Imagine being faced with no drinking water for yourself or your pets. No water for showers, washing dishes, clothes, flushing your toilet. God forbid there is a fire. Well, that's what hundreds of residents here have been facing since Friday when the State of California swooped in and took our local water haulers off the street, impounding trucks and closing down the only way hundreds of people here get water to their homes.

These water customers are not affluent. Many are elderly and on fixed incomes. They either can't afford their own private wells, or the ground water in their area is not good, or both. Their property isn't on a community well or private water company or they are far from the grid.

The story is our water haulers didn't have a carrier license. Did the state come in and give them a citation and time to comply? No. Did they have any concerns about the people here who, without water, cannot cool their homes in 100+ degree weather? No. Did they do any basic investigation to find out that out-of-town water haulers either won't come out here or, if they would, charge double for the same truckload of water that our local water haulers charge? I seriously doubt it.

Friday night, we had issues with our well. We had no water and couldn't get it fixed that night so I called for a load of water to hold us over. That's when I first got wind of this story. We are fortunate that our friends brought water over Saturday morning for our horses and we were able to put water in our swamp cooler to cool down the house. But Friday night it was 90 degrees in the house with the windows open and fans. I had 2 gallons of bottled water for emergencies and had to keep putting cold compresses on my pug Chyna to make sure she didn't die of heat exhaustion. Pugs are in danger of that when the temperature reaches 80 degrees.

We are okay. But what about the others who are not? I understand about laws and that ignorance of the law is no excuse. But what about the ingorance of following the letter of the law to the endangerment of human beings? What about our elderly and children? Did anyone think about them? Did one person at the state who was involved in this decision think about the possible consequences of even one elderly person possibly having a heat stroke or worse? Did they bring water to their homes when they took their only water delivery away? No. Has the State Department of Health sent anyone here to check on their wellbeing? No!

Yesterday, I faxed the article in the local paper to our governor's offices and emailed KCBS/KCAL. Sunday, I emailed our county supervisor and his staff, state assemblyman and state senator.

Today at 5pm there is a meeting at the Community Center and it might have to be held at the park next door if as many people come as I think.

This isn't about compliance with the law. This is about the people left without water. This is about government decisions that have no regard for the health and welfare of their constituents. The ironic thing is that it was the Department of Health that put them in peril.

SHAME on the State of California! If caring about those people makes me a bleeding heart liberal I am happy to say I am.