You are currently browsing the daily archive for February 17, 2009.
I’ve been busy having fun with my kids, but I did catch the news that Obama signed the stimulus bill today. It won’t turn things around, but it may slow the descent until something else happens. The package is for about 600 billion in spending, and about 200 billion in tax cuts, half of which, according to Paul Krugman, may have some minor stimulus effect, the other half being a complete waste of time amounting to concessions made for the Republican votes which never arrived. So we’re talking about at most 700 billion in filling in a hole in demand nearly three trillion dollars wide. A larger spending bill, and yes, a stimulus bill is a spending bill, might have shortened the depression considerably, but politics is politics.
Part of the problem is that this is not a national depression. It’s global. That means we won’t recover until other countries can buy our products and we can buy theirs. I wonder if any national stimulus plan, even in the biggest economy in the world (for now), is adequate if it’s not in conjunction with similar plans in at least the other G8 countries. Only catch is, most other governments already spend plenty of money in the public sector. We have a gap to work with.
Right now I’m typing this entry from The Ice Cream Shoppe. I plugged the establishment last year, and it really is a special place. They now offer wireless to compliment their home made ice cream (rated “super premium”) with a great selection of flavors. The coffee is top rate, as well as some other selections. It’s worth it for the atmosphere alone, and the Beatles and other classic rock and 60s culture memorobilia which adorn the place is probably woth a fortune (his insurance premiums are probably higher than his rent). 708 Lighthouse. if you’re coming through town make the trip.
Pacific Grove is an absentee town in many respects, as most of the homes are used for vacation rentals despite the prohibitive ordinances (with too many loopholes if they were to mean anything). It became clear to me last year when the playground around the corner was filled with tourist kids like my own. Many of the neighborhoods, particularly those within 5 or 6 blocks of the water, are dead right now. No cars in front of them. Nobody lives there, but it’s off season during rough economic times. If you have the time and money, there are probably deals to be had.
The quiet is reflected in the police beat. There are seven entries in this week’s edition of the Pacific Grove Hometown Bulletin, and only one actual crime reported – a woman called the police to report that a large clam shell had been removed from her front porch. A man also reported being disturbed by a barking neighborhood dog. The police arrived and discovered a barking dog on a chain in a fron yard. The officer left a note telling the owner to deal with the situation or face the wrath in the form of a ticket. There was also reported a deer with a board stuck in its antlers, but by the time the authorities were on the scene, the deer had solved its own problem. Another woman called about a neighbor’s dog who kept defecating on her lawn, which resulted in another threat of a ticket. And a coyote had been reported in town in several locations, the last wherein a spontaneous posse of good citizens drove it off by thrown sticks and pinecones. There was also a car accident and an old ordnance container washed up on a beach believed to have originated at Fort Ord, which I think has been closed for a couple of decades now. Another long day for the local constabularies.
Those of you working on the code enforcement front might find this interesting. The local paper has a brief news entry on grey water, reporting:
In Monterey County is is legal to use grey water, defined as that water which comes from showers and clothes washing. However, a permit is required. The water may be used to irrigate gardens, but it may not be discharged on the surface.
Now, Monterey County is rural, but arguably less so than Humboldt County. It has been reported locally that since grey water permits have been allowed, in theory, in Humboldt County, not one such permit has been granted. I get the feeling the resistance is less profound if it exists at all down here. What’s the problem in Humboldt? It does lend credence to the theory that the county is more interested in governing lifestyles than protecting the environment or other legitimate community interests. However, one obvious question has to be answered: how many have actually applied for a permit in Humboldt? How many have actually been refused?
To be sure, Monterey County is a place abundant with wealth, and government does often prove itself more accomodating to money, even tolerating the indiosynchrasies of its tax base. If the rich folk in Carmel Valley want to water their artichokes and arrugula with dirty water, let them? So long as they spend their money and pay their taxes.
Lots of otters in the Monterey Bay. More than I’ve seen in my life. That could be good news environmentally speaking. Bad news for abalone divers.