A DESTRUCTIVE PROJECT
Attention: Jason Meyer, CA Department of Transportation. Jason Meyer, Environmental Coordinator, 707-445-6322. North Region Environmental, Unit E1. PO Box 3700. Eureka, CA 95502-3700
RE: Comments to Caltrans for Re-circulated Draft EIR/EA for STAA truck access on Hwy 199/197
I am writing to express my many concerns over the Caltrans Smith River SR 199/197 project. After reading the EIR and the re-circulated Environmental Impact Report, I am urging you to choose the no-build alternative so that no harm will come to the old growth redwood and other trees, the habitat, the endangered species and plants, and so no further harm will come to the Wild and Scenic Smith River.
Even the re-circulated EIR shows this project will be destructive in so many ways, it should not be allowed to proceed or it will cause harm beyond measure. The public does not realize the amount of irreversible damage this project will cause in harm to the environment, increase heavy truck damage to roads, harm to the marbled Murrelet’s in their nesting patterns, harm to the already endangered Northern Spotted Owls (to name just a few) and it will take away from the peaceful experience of traveling this amazing Scenic Smith River route to Oregon, which I travel frequently.
The Lily farmers with their pesticides need to stop polluting the Smith River, and this project needs not to start. The protected riparian vegetation and aesthetics along the Wild and Scenic Smith River are second to none, and they need to be protected, not removed with the promise of buying up some other private land somewhere. Nothing can replace this passage. The old growth trees hold the mountain together. Further logging will cause more instability, and further environmental damage, as even the EIR admits. Any further damage is unacceptable.
Just keeping Highway 101 and SR 199 and 197 open during the storms, will take a lot of money and keep Caltrans busy from now until doomsday, unless they are allowed to hurry doomsday along by ruining our treasures for the material gain of a few already wealthy business people. There will be no trickle down or gain to the people, and only loss to the people who know this place is sacred.
Have you consulted the Native American people with the full disclosure, giving them time to understand? They will tell you of their sacred places. I have seen one sacred place, where waterfalls flow off the mountainsides, and the boulders so large and water so clean and deep to dive into. I have seen where the Native American peoples have lived in the summer months. The old campfires are still there. You have to dig down but they are still there. These are sacred grounds you are intending to mess with, and these are places that can’t be replaced, ever.
The Wild and Scenic Smith River, is the only untapped river in California that is not completely degraded, and I feel shocked this plan has gone this far without the public really knowing. Caltrans is very good and strategic about issuing the EIR’s all at once, keeping things out of the news, or issuing the Draft EIRS and Final EIRS when people are involved, notices in mid-week papers; it feels calculated to the point of feeling like corruption to me. This is a very narrow, winding canyon road in a very rural area with breath-taking beauty. The people come from all over the world to see the magnificent beauty of this little piece of paradise, still pristine, and unlike any other place on earth. I will not sit by and do nothing. Anyone knowing the truth and having a love for this area like I do, would not allow this project to continue.
To log all the old growth listed in the EIR, and numerous other old growth trees, and all the other trees (all depending on each other through their root structures) will cause harm beyond measure. This project will cause native plants to be killed. Cutting into the steep and narrow passage ways will cause more run off into the Wild and Scenic Smith River, already threatened by the Lily Farmers.
This is a Scenic State Route and not meant for more and more of these larger and larger trucks to pass. STAA heavy truck traffic will increase when the STAA trucks choose Highway 101 to 199 when it is snowing on the Siskiyou Summit on I-5. Increase in spills will also be a tragic result.
The communities all along this SR 199 have not been engaged in what will result if this project is allowed to go ahead. Geologically this is very unstable territory. It is very discouraging that Caltrans continues to ignore our attempts for the EIR to address the cumulative impacts, and the public is still not being properly informed. To only re- issue part of the Environmental Impact Report, is yet another way of keeping the truth from people and another way to confuse people who are trying to understand how it all fits.
Let’s get moving with the short sea shipping on barges, you have Highway 299 to destroy as you wish. Hey, why not build a railroad to the east and ruin all those old growth redwoods there. Either way, landslides are going to happen as a result. However, you already have Highway 299, and you can’t stop with that?
I am not trying to stop commerce, but let’s get smart about transportation. Times are changing, and we need to change with the times and get the trucks off the roads utilizing the short sea shipping and keep the CA Legal Trucks and the jobs. Aren’t those jobs important? For every STAA, you take away jobs from local trucking firms.
Nothing short of an EIS is acceptable, due to the irreparable harm this project promises to create. If it is working, don’t fix it. Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and EIS must be prepared when a project “may” have a significant impact on the environment. Your document clearly states there will be significant impacts on the environment.
Please just keep the existing road up and running in the storms that promise to throw boulders off the cliffs in the Smith River Canyon narrow stretches. Just the current truck traffic is damaging, and more and larger trucks will only cause more safety issues and more damage.
Thank you for considering my opinion,
PS. To sign a petition go to http://www.wildcalifornia.org and click on the article about Smith River. Make it your own or click to sign before November 5, 2012 deadline, if you want to weigh in on this destructive project.
MENDO: THE REALITY SHOW
To the Editor:
I am 26 years old, born and raised in the north county and currently live in Redwood Valley. I work two local jobs while attending school in Santa Rosa. Someday I hope to be a health care professional. I have read with great interest the article about the recent raid on the property of the family of a Mendocino County Sheriff's captain in Potter Valley. This is the last straw for me, and I feel I must speak out. This is the first letter of any kind I have ever written to a newspaper, but who knows, maybe it will inspire me to write again, or, heaven forbid, become a reporter or run for office.
First, I want to say that, growing up and living in Mendocino County, I have been around marijuana my whole life. I am an occasional marijuana smoker just as I am an occasional drinker. I don't have time or money for any more than that. I do, however, know a number of people with medical marijuana cards. Some of them have 25-plant grows. Whether we like it or not we are right in the middle of an issue regarding how we are going to view not only the use of marijuana, but also the enforcement of the confusing laws about it. On one hand, it is supposedly legal to grow 25 plants if you have a medical card, but if the authorities come during harvest you will be arrested for having marijuana for sale by a "major crimes task force" with apparently no local oversight, who can and do thrash your house and take whatever they want, led by the professionals" you could ever imagine. However, in their defense, in a situation where the laws are confusing, the authorities can't help but be corrupt.
Our Sheriff, Mr. Allman, has been quoted in the Press Democrat as saying that his focus now that the war against the "cartels" is being won in the hills, is on stopping the intrusion of grows in suburban areas where supposedly these cartels have relocated because there's easy water, electricity, etc. I don't know where he gets his statistics but my friends in the north county where I grew up say the big grows in the hills have never been bigger or more numerous and no one can understand why there are relatively few raids anymore. The fact is reflected in the price of the product which has apparently never been lower. My thought is that it costs the Sheriff's department's "major crimes task force" too much to mount up and travel three hours up into the mountains to bust a big grow. That would require lots of overtime and gas money too. Plus they might get shot at. Far easier to bust the low hanging Mom and Pop fruit right here in town. It's cost effective and there's booty to be had. They're modern day pirates with a badge. They can get all amped up on their search warrants and stimulants and act like tough thugs against the timid rather than dealing with the real criminals in the cartels. Mom and Pop trying to get through tough times with their medical marijuana don't shoot at you. It's easy money. It's kind of like when the CHP patrolmen sit at Burke Hill and write speeding ticket after speeding ticket for everybody heading home from Santa Rosa rather than waste the gas to actually patrol.
That's OK in a sense. The Sheriff's department is no different than any other for-profit enterprise. They have to meet their revenue targets. And we all know that although the Sheriff's budget has been cut far less than the other county budgets which actually serve people's needs, it has nevertheless been cut. So what's the solution? Bust every small Mom and Pop you can as close to the jail as possible and in conjunction with the DA's office we'll sell them misdemeanors. Grow a small indoor? No problem. We'll raid you, thrash your place, take what we want - you'll have no recourse other than to buy a misdemeanor later. Sounds like a great cooperative business plan on the surface. The problem is this: the DA and the Sheriff and their staffs are hypocritical and, I believe, crooked. Law enforcement is into growing marijuana and everyone knows it. Remember the Assistant DA's recent bust? This Captain Johnson incident is just the latest. Captain Johnson didn't know his dad and brother were growing 500 plants next door? Really? We're not that stupid. And, more importantly, it took the DEA to step in to deal with it? His own boss and the "major crimes task force" couldn't? Of course not. Obviously, it's OK to grow if you're a "law enforcement officer" as long as you are an efficient harvester of the low hanging fruit. Mark my words here: Captain Johnson will get off after a thorough "internal affairs investigation." Just the same way the DA referred the Assistant DA's bust to the State Attorney General where it will die while the Assistant DA is allowed to slip away and go into private practice right here in Ukiah. And that's not all. Officer Hoyle. Moral? Steal newspapers and get a promotion to lead the Mom and Pop shakedown team. Go figure. Meanwhile the boss, our sheriff, Mr. Allman, is in perpetual re-election mode. You can hardly appear anywhere in this county where there are three people gathering where he isn't one of them. A sad state of affairs. Their reality show may not turn out like they planned.
The solution as I see it is this: Clean up the Sheriff's department. Get rid of the crooked officers on the "major crimes task force." Concentrate on the big grows in the hills planted by outside criminal groups, not on the small local Mom and Pops. Pressure the DA to prosecute major crimes, not marginal ones. If we can't get this to happen we need to elect a different DA who won't just sell misdemeanors and a Sheriff who will truly care as much about the rights of our citizens as he cares about his own slant on "enforcing" the laws.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS
To the Editor:
Another reason for the close of Sawyer's News was that the landlord wanted a big increase in rent. The building sits empty today. What are these people thinking? Are they thinking at all?
John Sawyer is not running for Santa Rosa City Council. He has been on this council and served as mayor. He is running for 1st District SoCo supervisor, east Santa Rosa and the Sonoma Valley. He has the money and usual suspects behind him, to judge from his mailers. His opponent, Susan Gorin, is a carpetbagger who moved to Oakmont to claim the residency requirement. But, she is the “Sierra Club's Choice.” These two are both “Democrats,” whatever that means, but one thing it may mean, is that Sawyer will likely have no substantive objections to the awful wholesale forest clearing and water grabbing of the wine mob, which rules, obviously.
BANK TRANSFERS NOW!
November is upon us once again.
Lets make 5 November a day to remember.
It’s Bank Transfer day. Don't be fooled by the elections both parties are in the pocket of Wall Street.
Remember this all started when unrestricted Banks and Financial players crashed the economy.
Bank of America foreclosure kings. JP Morgan Chase a close second. Wells Fargo #3.
643 foreclosure, sheriff’s auctions and bankruptcies in this county; hundreds of thousands throughout California and beyond. With many more in the pipeline, probably millions or more nationwide.
These thinly veiled criminal conspirators who we bailed out have been selling us out and reaping the profits.
There is a new foreclosure law coming in January but it’s a little late for a lot of our friends and neighbors.And looks to be tepid at best.
So I'm calling on our Latino friends, labor unions and anyone else who is frustrated with this corrupt aspect of casino capitalism.
Transfer your money to a credit union Mendo Lake, Redwood or to Savings Bank of Mendo county.
You can make a difference, the only thing these institutions understand is the bottom line. BofA plastered all over ATT Park relentlessly conning us with BS TV commercials, do not be fooled.
Join us and start taking our country back.
Occupy your heart, your mind, your financial future.
And any day can be Bank Transfer seize the day!
Tim Hemlock, Occupy Ukiah, Occupy Everywhere
GIANTS FANS: COURTESY, PLEASE
My husband and I live in Lake Tahoe. He's an hourly worker, and I'm disabled. As huge Giants fans, we make the seven-hour round trip several times each month to attend games.
We were more than willing to pay the exorbitant prices for gas, hotels and NLCS and World Series tickets to watch our beloved Giants. We were fortunate enough to get Americans With Disabilities Act seating for most of the games, but we had to sit in Bleacher Section 143 for World Series Game 1.
This would have been no problem if the other fans in lower rows had respected those around them. Those sitting in the first rows, who had unobstructed views, chose to stand for all nine innings. Everyone behind them also had to stand in order to get a glimpse of the field. They didn't even sit down between innings. Those of us in the top rows never saw the game. To add to the problem, many people with standing-room-only tickets squeezed into the rows. For most of the game, there were 11 people standing in the six-seat space in front of us.
Come on, people! If Games 6 and 7 are played at AT&T, show some common courtesy for those around you, many of whom didn't get free tickets. Stand up and cheer when something exciting happens, sit down when there's a batter in the box and, if you have an SRO ticket, go stand in an SRO area. That's what you paid for.
That was the first time I have ever wished I had stayed home instead of going to the park.
Zephyr Cove, Nevada
A BETTER SPEECH
The speech I want to hear:
We are two parties, two different ideas, both I feel aimed at saving a way of life we are proud of. A way of life that models respect and concern for our fellow man, our home earth and all its inhabitants. We have the ability to right the mistakes we have made, and the obligation to do it now.
His plan or mine, it is your choice. But we must act soon. The time is now. There is no standing still. We cannot afford to risk our future by continuing to bicker and fight over ideas and which one or the other is wrong. It's time to focus on what is right. Whomever wins your confidence needs and deserves your full participation and support as we look at what it will take to make our lives, our nation and our world a safe, healthy and prosperous place to live, work, and play.
In all the millions of possible places to live, we in all our searching know of no other one like this. And until we do, I believe we need to assume we are truly alone.
Whoever wins this election will require support in a way never seen before on this planet. We are no more just a nation. We are all brothers and sisters on a tiny speck of a planet in this vast universe. In order for us to progress to the next phase of possibility for humanity we must work, play and respect each other in a way we have never done before. My fellow earthlings, in order to survive and become what humanity can be, and to show that we deserve to be accepted as intelligent galactic citizens, we must put down our arms and raise our voices in support and love for who we are, what we have been, and where we want to go. And I know we can do that! We can and will because we have imagined it and so it is.
Thank you all for your time, dedication and caring. We can do this. Let's show the intelligence we have been given and the great potential of humanity to the whole universe. I love you.
SHUCK OR JIVE
Terrorism is another factor, like the W. Bush “good ol' boy” shuck, that Orwell couldn't have seen coming. He also mis-predicted the grand oppression coming from the left and therefore discounted the free-market “all for me” aspect, grandiose selfishness requiring police protection on the local level and military might internationally, being the chief operating principle of the far right.
The Thought Police, however, are bigger and better than he'd imagined, and of course the prediction of endless war (which we are always winning) in Eurasia was dead on. And the anti-sex league, expressed these days as abstinence education and supremely hypocritical pronouncements from the religion sector.
THOSE SQUIRRLY SCORES
We have spent some time figuring out how this erroneous information was generated, and are now spending more time trying to fix it in the computer system.
The short story is that all this information is gathered electronically from ARIES, the state's schools computer system, which reports everything: attendance, what every kid takes, etc. One of the requirements for California State University or University of California eligibility is that the student has taken 2 years of a foreign language. In our school, about 75% of the students are native Spanish speakers, and they are not required to take 2 years. They generally take a year of Spanish for Native Speakers, and that satisfies the requirement for them. Unfortunately, it does nothing for the reporting system, which continues to think those kids have not bothered to learn another language. Some go on to take AP Spanish Language or AP Spanish Literature, but they don't have to, to be eligible for CSU or UC admission. Actually, the classes required for both CSU and UC are the same; they are called the a-g requirements, and include
a) 4 years of English
b) 3years of math, including Algebra I and II and Geometry
c) 2 years of social studies, including US History and US Government (we require 3, including world history and economics)
d) 2 years of laboratory science, one biological, one physical
e) 2 years of foreign language
f) 1 year of visual or performing art
g) 1 year of any other college prep elective- this can be another math, science, language, or advanced art class.
Both also require the student to take the SAT I tests, which used to be called Scholastic Aptitude Tests. The name was changed to Scholastic Assessment Tests a few years ago, because there was increasing doubt that it measured aptitude, and more recently, it was changed to just plain SAT.
In the year that was reported on the “postcard” in the paper, it said 12% of the graduating class was eligible to apply to state universities; that would have been 5 kids. We usually send between 10 and 20 to four-year colleges. Last year, for instance, Irving went to UCLA, Olivia went to UC irvine, Kristen to San Jose State, Lily to Mills College, Nathan to Columbia College in Chicago, Ana Maria to St. Mary's, Elio to Sonoma State, Mariela to St. Mary's, Marisol to Sonoma State, Hector to Sonoma State, Eric to Chico State, and 4 others were accepted to CSU's but opted to start at community colleges for economic reasons.
Clearer? Questions? My cell phone works well, and e-mail is good.
Jan Pallazola, College Advisor,
Anderson Valley High School
P.O.Box 130, Boonville, CA 95415
(707) 895-3496, cell (707)367-0717
FORECLOSURE TOWN HALL
NEXT: Santa Rosa Foreclosure Town Hall Wed 10/24 7:30p: Vet Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Ave, Santa Rosa The energy, commitment and ideas coming from the Town Halls has been fantastic. These programs have now been born and will be shared as soon as possible:
1. a defacto county-level foreclosure moratorium any US county can implement overnight — it’s fast, simple, legal, already working in one county (John O’Brien’s County) — tell your county/city officials about the Conference Call with Registrar John O’Brien, 10/29 10a-11a. — call details available soon on HOFJ Conference Call Webpage
2. an easy to create, simple, provable, fraud lawsuit against the banks and their attorneys for your county DA
3. Foreclosure Town Hall live national webcasts — all individuals and groups (ie: congregations) can attend at the same time and interact — specific presentations for specific needs: Recorders, DAs, Supervisors, City Council Members
Committed to the Community
CJ Holmes, Founder
Home Owners For Justice,
The Most Trusted Name in Real Estate
Real Estate Analyst, DRE 01234197
We all know that in emergencies, seconds count. Seconds can mean life or death.
My store on State Street in Ukiah is a vantage point for observing the response times of our first responders. As the sirens sound, first past the store is always the Fire Department paramedic ambulance, and then a few seconds later, sometimes many seconds later, comes the big, lumbering fire truck.
Chief Dewey is requesting the elimination of the Fire Department ambulance due to budget reductions of six firefighter/paramedics (Ukiah Daily Journal 10/27/12) leaving us with fire trucks, and woefully inadequate private agencies, for emergency response. And our Police Department is so overwhelmed that the City Council is being asked to please add back police officers.
Meanwhile, our city staff seems to be hanging on to administrative jobs by unsuccessfully challenging state budget cuts to redevelopment money over and over again.
Has our leadership forgotten that their first priority is public safety? One wonders what their priorities are when they cut into the bone before cutting away the fat.
RIEHL’S REAL GOOD
I'm so happy to hear that CAITLIN RIEHL is running as a write-in candidate. She's challenging Lauren Sinnott for the City Treasurer position in Point Arena.
You may remember that Sinnott was recently recalled as Mayor and Councilperson. I read in this week's ICO that “$141,000 had been left out of construction costs” for the Safe Routes to Schools grant. Lauren Sinnott is fond of taking credit for writing the grant, which we now find “fell well short of the amount needed to complete.” Now she's running for City Treasurer. She says being Treasurer “is not rocket science.” Neither is getting it right in writing grants.
Citizens of Point Arena, don't let Lauren Sinnott near your coffers again.
Instead, please write in...CAITLIN RIEHL for Point Arena City Treasurer. She's run real businesses. We all know CAITLIN RIEHL as an active, trusted and competent member of our community. She is an excellent choice for Point Arena City Treasurer.
Be careful to spell her name right: CAITLIN RIEHL
OUT OF BALANCE
I'm astonished at the sappy patriotism at the introduction of each World Series game. There's a wooden-legged GI in dress uniform, throwing out the first ball. (Recruiting? Good luck.) They sing for us. The Hells Angels do a flyover. The whole thing is swaddled in the American flag. Fans hold their hats over their hearts during the National Anthem — as they purchase another beer.
I suppose it's all designed to perpetuate the notion that we live in the best country on earth.
The influx of foreigners is cited as proof.
But, who are these foreigners? First and foremost — Hispanics — lots of Hispanics. Then, folks from Africa — places like Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia. Cubans. Indians. (Why would you want to leave Calcutta?) Notice a pattern here? These are not common vacation destinations.
We're having no problem with Canadian immigrants. Aussies and New Zealanders are not pouring in. There's no influx of Dutch, Danes or Norwegians. Germans visit, but go home. The French don't even bother.
People from the shit countries flock to the US. People from civilized countries think we're a bunch of fat-assed, ignorant, evangelistic, war-mongering, gun-nuts. They want no part of us.
But, we're dangerous. And we have money. They need to pay attention. We're like the guy who comes to the party — nobody likes him, but he brings the drugs.
Barton H Boyer III
CRAIG FACES DOWN KALI YUGA!
At this moment, I'm at a large suburban house in Fairfax, Virginia with friends that I made at Occupy DC (Freedom Plaza encampment), late 2011-early 2012. Others from the "kitchen working group" are here, and we have regular visits from participants at the Peace House in D.C. who stay here for days and then return.
We are functioning as a writers' group, have already put one article on the DC IMC, have three scenes of a climate play done, and a "Book of Glimpses" that all are welcome to add to. We need to perform and make a video of the climate play. Further on, a larger in scope effort is underway to create a documentary film in regard to the approach of the climate-tipping-point-of-no-return calculated to be in 2017 (the year in which a full solar eclipse will occur).
At my urging, three of us went to the Durga temple during Navratri, and met the sangha and enjoyed the prasadam feast. The Kali temple in Maryland has a special Kali puja November 13th. There is a sizable Indian population in the Washington D.C. area. The Frankenstorm has arrived! It is raining here and windy, but it won't knock the house over. It is devastation time on the coast, however. The combination of a hurricane coming up from the Caribbean and the southward moving arctic air has produced a monster of a storm. I mentioned to my friends that "divine intervention" does NOT mean that everything will be pleasant.
THIS IS DIVINE INTERVENTION IN THE DARK PHASE OF THE KALI YUGA!!!
And the wakeup call has just begun, and will continue to intensify for the next five years. Our collective understanding is that we are doing spiritual work, to "intervene in history".
I remain committed to the Great Goddess, and only ask that she marry me.
If you hit LOTTO first, please bring a crew here and join with us.
Vote Green Party,
Craig Louis Stehr
ANATOMY & CULTURE
I would like to extend thanks on behalf of the 1st and 3rd grade Art classes of the AV Elementary School to these generous members of our community:
Larry, Gary, and Michael of I & E Lath Mill for the redwood lumber used in our Anatomy & Culture project. Also thanks to Charlie Hochberg for the use of his shop for cutting the wood for parts used in making our pedestals. Thanks also to Pam Laird at Blue Meadow farm for the cornstalks.
We appreciate your kind help!
Mr. Bing, Art Demonstrator
THE 57% PROBLEM
The Associated Press recently conducted a poll on racial attitudes which found that a majority of Americans harbor prejudice against blacks and Hispanics. 51% of Americans express explicit anti-black attitudes and when measured by an implicit racial attitudes test the figure increased to 57%. In an AP poll done in 2011, 52% of non-Hispanic whites expressed anti-Hispanics sentiments. That figure rose to 57% in the implicit test. These racist attitudes certainly have mantifested in this election cycle with the birthers (show me a birther and I will show you a racist), racial slurs against Obama by various conservatives, offensive car bumper signs, racist materials on the internet, and the efforts by some of the red states to impose Jim Crow election laws designed to keep minorities from voting.
Through all of these racial events Romney has remain silent. His failure to speak out on the racism by his conservative supporters tells me all I need to know about his character. People like to say and sing about God blessing America. However, why would God bless America in consideration of the racism against God's children of color?
James G. Updegraff
MIGHT AS WELL STEAL
Whenever there is a debt crisis (which is always) in government the plan is that we have to make cuts and add taxes. There is all kinds of talk that the world will come to an end if we don’t pass a tax measure. What actually happens is we pass the tax and everybody scrambles for the new money and the debt gets passed down the road to go through the same face again, only the debt keep getting bigger. Our standard of living drops as the government cannot do anything efficiently (simply put, they have no reason to). Taxes are a cost of business just like electricity or rent.
For instance, the new fire tax on each home. It’s not a tax on business this time, but each homeowner or landlord must make more to pay this tax and get no more service. It may be a small new cost but these never ending costs have made us the highest taxed state in the nation.
The point is that taxes are not the solution to anything. But they are the problem.
A prime example of the waste in our state is a program on CBS television. This reporter had a story of state personnel using state vehicles for personal use. He had several examples and these were flagrant use of these vehicles. There are laws that prohibit this, but state employees, because of the unbelievable difficulty to fire anyone, is the fact that they cannot be fired. No one would answer the reporter’s questions, even Government Jerry Brown when he was asked about this abuse. They all knew they were caught with their hand in the cookie jar. This is stealing, no different than robbing a bank. One can be sure that if these people were getting away with this and other similar abuses, it’s common and costing the taxpayer millions of dollars and of course we are told they have a bare-bones budget.
When I was in the Army years ago if someone in the company stole, the whole company had all its privileges taken away until they solved the stealing. It’s surprising how safe everything was. We turn good people into crooks by “If he is doing it and getting away with it, I might as well too.” This is the consequence of government unions which are a monopoly which because there is no competition they are illegal. Unfortunately government much of the time doesn’t go by laws they made for everyone else.