Author Archives: barry

BARRY’S BLOG WEDNESDAY 1-29-14

The Presidents speech last night was interesting. Many of his statements were passionate but some of the analysis’s over the last couple of days have been more interesting. For example: Congressional leaders and the administration supposedly have agreed to lower several billion dollars of the food stamp program. But the other part of the story is they also agreed to allow government subsidies to the poor and under employed to no longer be required to claim these dollars given to them as income, and therefore drops their reportable income to lower levels, and this automatically increases their food stamp allowances. Net decrease of tax payer burden…..zero.

The President has threatened to force contractors doing business with the Government to pay a minimum wage of 10 dollars 10 cents. The rest of the story is this will only affect future contracts. The basic affect of the Presidents threat appears to be helping no one, or very small affect on a very small population.

Politics has always been a give and take situation with self interest as the main driver. In other words if you approve my bill, I will vote for yours. The problem is most of this horse trading is done behind closed doors, and never reported. Also when it is reported, it is never complete so we need to really dig to get the facts of how these deals affect our wallet and life here in the USA. Thus the freedom of the press which is under attack all the time. Wonder why?

I still believe in the USA and its constitution. Also over time, the constitution has been continuously attacked by the controlling party frustrated by not being able to dictate change. So what is different this time? The intensity of the attacking is the obvious.

So what is next? Our constitution and government has checks and balances even though sometimes we don’t think so. Our government was designed to be frustrating so change had to follow a process that would protect us the citizens. Let hope the process holds and we stay protected.

The really important part of our system is the vote which is constantly under attack.

Example:

Get rid of the electoral college! Sure, this gives major population states like California and New York control over selection of the President. Not fair!

Allow illegal population become citizens…..sure get the votes from 12 million illegals. NOT!

Get more citizens dependent on government money like Social Security, Medicare, Welfare, Food Stamps, Medical Insurance, Unemployment Assurance payments etc. This allows the controlling party in office to use fear of money loss to keep others out of power. Old trick and works well.

Control the press: Obvious, if you can lie or filter the truth to the mass population, then decisions at the voting booth are politically maneuvered to support and protect those in power which is the very root of why our constitution was written to protect us.

So lets give the process time which it requires, and see how we turn out. We still are the most prosperous and successful government experiment in all of history. There must be a reason for this, but lets not kid ourselves, being the best and most prosperous government makes us also the target to bring down to prove others are really right.

Don’t underestimate the power of one!

Have a great day, be kind to yourself and be happy!

BARRY’S BLOG THURSDAY 1-23-14

I am headed off to our local Auburn Faith Sutter hospital to have a fix operation on a torn rotor cup in my left shoulder. This has been planned for a few months, and I look forward to having it repaired and complete restoration of the left arm. The wonder of all this is what our local hospital has accomplished over the recent years in attracting very talented surgeons and modern equipment. This operation a few years ago would be a major incision, large tools to repair the situation, and then stitches to hold tight the wound until it heals. Then maybe a plaster of paris cast to hold the parts together until healed.

Today, I arrive at the hospital at 11:45 AM and check in. I have already been visited at home by a company that fit me for a plastic and felt harness that is full of velcro straps including a squeeze ball for exercising my fingers. What did we do before Velcro? They also delivered a machine that I fill with ice and water, which pumps into a sleeve that lays over the shoulder and cools it down 20 minutes at a time. About the size of a large cooking pot. How cool it that!

I will be prepped and surgery is done with a tiny TV camera and microscopic tools with little incisions to allow these tiny tools to enter the shoulder and do the work. The small holes will be covered with bandaid like coverings, and I will be strapped into the sling and velcro’ed. Release is expected to be about 3:00 PM. Less than 5 hours in the operating room, and sent home.

With all this modern medicine right here in out rural community of Auburn is wonderful and appreciatively convenient. It was not so long ago I would have been required to travel to San Francisco, then Sacramento, then Roseville. How far we have come, thanks to some very smart and dedicated executives and health care companies and officials.

I will return to work Monday with some restrictions on my left arm….and hopefully swinging the #9 Burner by spring. How sweet!

Have a great day, be kind to yourself, and be happy!

BARRY’S BOG: TUESDAY JANUARY 21,2014

With the Governor declaring a limited Drought Emergency this past week, we all will now focus on water supplies, management and forecasts. I spent two days this past weekend driving the floor of the Folsom Dam taking photos and video of the eerie results of releasing most of the water from the dam over the past 7 months. The release, which is supposedly needed to push salt water encroaching on the Delta and placing water flows to Central and Southern California in danger has been dramatic.

Folsom Dam was approved by the Federal Government in 1952, and was completed in 1955, officially opening in 1956. The purpose for the dam was multi-purpose…generating electricity and supplying precious water into the California Viaducts feeding hungry farmland and people in Central and Southern California. The dam, fed by both the North and South forks of the American River, can hold over one million cubic yards of water within its 75 mile shoreline and runs from about 300 feet above sea level upward 340 feet. The power house at the dam has three generating plants that can push 198.7 megawatts of electricity down high tension power lines to Sacramento and South. Over 500 thousand people could be affected by the dam if there was a flood or breakage which prompted the Federal Homeland Security Agency after 911 in 2001 to close the road that was atop the dam connecting Placer and El Dorado Counties. A new road has been constructed below the dam and has restored the traffic flow after a few years of jams on other roads.

The Water levels have gone from 38% full in February of 2012, up to a high of 74% full May of 2013 down to 18% full December 2013 to yesterday at 17%. Obviously the out flow of water to the input has also been dramatic. In the 7 months from 5/13 through 12/13 input water flowed at 4,429 Cubic Feet Per Second (CFS) and was changed to 371 CFS inout to 2,538 CFS outflow. This technically drained the dam to a dangerously low point and may starve the syphons that feed water systems to several thousand water customers and homes in Easter Sacramento County and Western Placer and El Dorado Counties.

I believe the area citizens deserve some questions answered:

Who at the Bureau of Reclamation makes these through flow decisions?
Is there a committee of engineers and climate scientists in on the decision process?
Are Mayors, Supervisors, Water District Boards involved in the process?
Are there any members of the public involved in the process?
Is the Press invited to the decision meetings?
Are there hearings and oversight by State and Federal Governments
Are there impact hearings on these decisions?
What are the financial impacts from these decisions?
Are there financial benefits because of these decisions?

Lets all start asking questions of our political and government representatives and maybe a little light on the subject will be revealing, and cause some honest review of the process, and hopefully prevent future disasters like the one that appears to happening now.

Have a great day, be kind to yourself and be happy!

BARRY’S BLOG TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2014

The political actions and news coverage of Chris Christie, second term Governor of New Jersey is fascinating and sometimes entertaining. Listening to the various experts on the media there is consensus that he is being picked on by the press and now the administration because he is becoming a threat to the Democrats as the presidential seat goes into play for the 2016 elections. First the traffic jam that was deliberately orchestrated by members of Christie’s staff as a so called political pay back for non support by the mayor of the community that abuts the George Washington Bridge got major coverage last week by all the press and electronic media including way above average coverage on the weekend Television Talk Shows.

Now the Justice Department under AG Eric Holder has announced an investigation into how Christie’s administration managed the billion + dollars given to them to restore the damage on the Jersey coast from a hurricane. Christie says the Obama administration approved the spending step by step. So is this a political witch hunt because Christie is looking Presidential?

Several of my team of friends and advisors have also talked about this swirl of activity with Christie at the center of these fire storms, and first reaction was distaste at the use of presidential and AG power against a potential political foe. Secondly however the discussion has turned to Christie and his ability to take the heat, handle the press well, and if he is truthful and open about his role, and continues to demonstrate leadership with intelligence, then this circus may catapult Christie high enough in the News-Sphere that he attracts enough supporters to take the big Oval Office when it’s time.

Now isn’t that an interesting thought. Rather than destroy Christie, they tough him up, test his skills and integrity, and the entire political scene shifts. Isn’t America great?

Have a great day, be kind to yourself and be happy!

BARRY’S BLOG THURSDAY JANUAY 9, 2014

The New Jersey Story about a high ranking official in the Governor’s office ordering a massive traffic jam in morning rush hour traffic leaving New Jersey into New York City for mean political reasons is making me sad and angry. I have suffered many hours of traffic jam delay’s in years I spent in the eastern corridor including the Gorge Washington Bridge from Fort Lee New Jersey into New York City, and they are frustrating, dangerous, and down right cruel if used for personal gain of a greedy peanut brained politician. Those not impressed because it was traffic, what if they had shut down two tracks of the inbound trains to Grand Central Center?

How have we allowed this type of thinking to get into the high offices that should have our health, safety, and well being as their main concern…… not as a massive pressure tool to forward an agenda that someone else disagrees with.

Seriously, I believe this borders on Terrorism. This is the worst kind or Terrorism because it is being used by our own people against others causing inconvenience for you and me. Where is the understanding by these people that they were selected by us, and are paid from our hard work and money through tax. We have selected people that have no respect for us, or the system of government we have, and therefore are orchestrating a destruction from within. Maybe Terrorism is too strong, so how about Treason?

Governor Cris Christy spent more than an hour this morning with the press and seemed to be convincingly strong that he did not know about this incident, and personally hurt at the dishonesty within his own circle of trusted staff. He has fired one senior member of the staff, and there were several more that knew and also managed the backup that should have known better, and stopped it. For instance, why would a head of transportation, cabinet position, take a gov’s aid suggestion to inconvenience a major part of the local population who he/she is sworn to protect. They should also be fired, and if Christy is as good as he appears, then stay tuned. A decisive leader in the state house…..wow! What a concept! Firing bad actor government employees….now this is different!

Ok, I feel better. One of the reasons I moved to California was to get away from this type of government of intimidation which is very present in the East. So fair warning to Jerry Brown’s staff…….don’t screw with I-80 West to Roseville. I will really get mad!

Have a great day, be kind to yourself and be happy!

BARRY’S BLOG TUESDAY JANUARY 7, 2014

The cold wave that is hitting the mid and southern part of the country has brought back some memories for me. I was born and raised in a small town in Western PA located in the snow belt. The snow belt is a designated path that major snow storms take from Canada over the Great Lakes dumping cold air and major snow falls in January and February. Temperatures drop to 15 degrees below zero each January for about 15 days. As a kid I still got up, delivered my paper route, walked to school which never had a snow day in my 12 years there. Those homes that had frozen pipes, neighbors helped, and there was always someone with a truck with chains to pull out anyone stuck. As the day progressed, and we kids got out of school, we started shoveling the snow for our neighbors, chipping ice for the old lady down the street, and getting groceries for the couple across the street. Sure we got a buck or two sometimes, but that was not the point. We were taught to help those that need it, and not expect a “tip”. In a couple of days, sun was out and life back to normal until the next storm came by.

Does this happen today? I would hope so.

What makes this year so different is the mass of area that is being hit by the cold wave. Cities like Atlanta, New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Charleston are not really prepared for these low freezing temperatures. Cities become really crippled and come to a stop with freezing pipes, snapped power lines, stress on communication and transportation systems plus people don’t have the extra warm clothing. Also, unlike us that lived it, we headed the warning and made sure we did not get over-exposed risking our nose and ears.

One thing for sure, man has not created this. The earth has been around for several million years doing this while we humans have only been keeping weather records for over a little more than a hundred years.

Stay warm, where ever you are. Spring and summer will surely come on schedule and these cold days will be only a memory.

Have a great day, be kind to yourself and be happy!

BARRY’S BLOG JANUARY 6, 2014

Back to work and on the air at KAHI this morning, just like I was never away. Coffee cups were where I left them, computers were set up and inviting, and at 6:00 on que the network popped up and delivered all the NEWS as expected.

Having two weeks off was delightful, but returning to daily routine has its comfort. Starting with the weekend, shopping, church, visits, dusting off the vacation dust….all felt good and comforting. Starting the new year and week refreshed and ready to go is also inviting.

Now to the New Year. Notice how Washington is back to normal this morning. Democrats chipping at the Republicans in the Senate forgetting we remember they have the majority there, so what’s the problem? Over in the house, debate over extending the unemployment benefits to thousands of Americans that are out of work and counting on these benefits as income continues as Republicans want Government to prove they can pay for it…..gee what a concept.

So the battles continue as the titans position for the mid-term elections in hopes to capture more of the power blocks in congress and the states. In other words, here we go again!

Locally we all woke up this weekend reading and hearing that the Auburn City Manager, Bob Richardson, was probably moving to neighbor city Grass Valley to be their City Manager. This is a loss since Bob has gained a great reputation of being competent and professionally navigating the city of Auburn through some hard times during the down-turn economic period we are slowly coming out of. Bob also is just a nice guy! We will miss you at city hall, but good news is you and family will still be a part of the neighborhood. Wish you well!

The near future NEWS on water is bleak however. A situation out of the control of politicians, however their policies have helped to create the situation, forecasts severe water shortage this spring as our snow pack is way below normal, and lack of wet storms is stirring major concern by officials that are expert in this area. With the release of Folsom Dam water along with other water supply reservoirs in Northern California by the Feds to push sea salt water back from the viaducts that supply water to Southern California, and the lack of new fresh supplies due to weather, our local Northern California city residents are going to be restricted and maybe run out of water in a few months. I believe it would be fair to say that Mother Nature still rules the universe even when man tries to re-engineer it. Must be a lesson in there somewhere!

Have a great day, be kind to yourself, and be happy!

BARRY’S BLOG: Monday 12-9-10

I marvel at the naivety of out high level politicians when they make major statements following a disaster, on how they want to proceed with solutions. The train reck a couple of weeks ago North of New York City killing 4 and hurting over 100 passengers has brought out Chuck Shumer, New York Senator, with a suggestion that trains should be installed with cameras that look in and out of the engine. This should be an embarrassment and Chuck, or his staff should think out these statements before he gets on TV. I would like to interview Chuck and ask these obvious questions:

“Senator, what would be the reason to have tv cameras on these trains? Would it allow us to see the engineer fall asleep, then watch helplessly as the train leaves the track and crashes into the river? ”

“Senator, who would be watching the views from these camera’s? Would there be a new Government agency that would sit in Washington 24 by 7 and watch all these cameras, sort of like the security people in Las Vegas watching walls of cameras that are trained on the doors, games, and employees?” “Would there be government employees manning these rooms watching the several thousand trains each day on the rail systems, and who would pay for that?”

“Senator, are you considering having these camera’s feed the internet and be on UTUBE so we could all watch these engineers fall asleep, and then watch the crash?”

I would also like to ask the Senator if he has driven the new versions of Mercedes, BMW and Volvo vehicles which have sensors that alert the driver they are falling asleep or drifting out of their lane. One of them can sense a stoppage or pending accident two vehicles ahead, and apply breaks while warning the driver of the danger.

I guess I suffer from disappointment that some of our top political leaders sometimes to appear in public so far behind in knowledge of our incredible technology position in the world that they appear stupid. I don’t think Chuck Shumer is stupid…..and a message to the staff’s that serve our leaders……For God’s sake, get your bosses up to speed.

Opps……computer just told me to go back on the air with the NEWS.

Have a great day everyone, be kind to yourself and be happy!

BARRY’S BLOG FRIDAY 12-6-13

The Cold snap is causing many homeless to suffer. Seems like this year is worse than recent Holiday periods, and the numbers support this. Sacramento County is reporting 2500 homeless with only 70 beds in a warm shelter, and 100-to 120 beds in warm churches. Non-profit agencies are passing out blankets, hats, gloves, clothing and tarp or tents to the hundreds who sleep under bridges and highways attempting to shelter them selves from the frigid and windy temperatures.

Sacramento is not the only reporting entity….Placer and El Dorado counties are reporting high numbers along with West Sacramento.

The homeless situation is getting worse mostly due to the advent of colder weather in the Northern sections of the USA, driving the population to the West and South seeking warmer weather, and generous communities who share their time and goods for them.

One major reason the problem is increasing locally is the shift this year with the Feds forcing the state to deal with an over-population of prisoners in state facilities. The state solution is to force the population of lower crime prisoners down on the counties. Also the state cut back locations and personnel in the parole system. This has shifted a lot of people to locations foreign to their normal home areas to places like Auburn and El Dorado Hills. They often have no money, family or support systems, and lack transportation so they become part of the homeless community in those towns that have parole offices. Auburn is one of those. The alternative is being arrested and back in jail for parole violation. A vicious cycle due the bureaucratic decisions that don’t analyze the impact of their decisions, or they don’t care.

So what’s the answer? Just providing shelter probably is not. Providing jobs is not necessarily the answer either. Jobs for most of these people would not pay enough for them to have decent shelter either. Some states and countries have created large communal communities where everyone works at jobs that serve the whole. They grow their own crops and food supply, serve each other with services and support. These communes are often religious backed and is the common theme. To get into these communities takes discipline and no drugs or alcohol. It also takes leadership that can manage such a village.

There is also some experimenting going on with what is called “Wet Centers”. These centers allow addicts on drugs and alcohol to get shelter while supporting their habit. This approach is interesting and certainly will come under political fire since they are tax supported.

Government building mental health and addiction centers would reduce the population by about 70% but this idea has been going the other way for the last 50 years. Addicts are counted in this group since they are considered mentally ill.

Frustrating isn’t it. There is no easy answer for this problem and pretty much falls to local kind hearted people that give of their time and money to help this area of our population. Our churches also play a role as does the independent funded agencies like Loaves and Fishes, The Gathering Inn, St. Vincent DePaul and the Salvation Army. All staffed by limited paid employees and mostly volunteers. Most if not all funding is donated by kind hearted local people.

God Bless all that give to those in need! Have a great day, be kind to yourself, and be happy!

BARRY’S BLOG TUESDAY 12-3-13

Two stories are catching my attention this morning. The first is the report that Americans spent 2 billion dollars on line yesterday on Cyber Monday, and the admission by the engineer on the New York State Amtrak train that he was asleep when the train entered a sharp curve at 82 miles per hour in a 30 MPH zone.

The Cyber sales at 2 billion dollars which is 30% of the total expected sales for the holiday season this year should be sending a strong message to retailers that there is a major shift going on with the consumer. I liken it to the shift in the late 50′s and early 60′s when shopping centers started to appear in cities drawing shoppers out of downtown. It took a long time but was decisive and turned downtown into entertainment centers rather than shopping centers, and stays that way today. Now the shift is moving to iPhones, iPads and computers with delivery at home or pick up at stores. When the numbers on the fourth day of a four day shopping spree hits 30% of the season expectation, it tells me that shopping point of sale is electronic. The WHY?….. is probably traffic, parking, rudeness, clerks that are unaware or inexperienced, and general craziness shopping in a mob environment. We may be seeing a tipping point here which could change shopping habits for many years in the future.

The train accident in New York State, North of New York City last weekend has now been blamed on the engineer falling asleep at the controls allowing the train to seed up to 50 miles above the limit as it entered into a curve demanding the train be slowed to 30 MPH. These trains used to have a switch on the engineer’s chair that had to be depressed every few seconds or the train would slow to a stop. Where was the button on Sunday? There were stories when these buttons were originally required that engineers would purposely defeat them because of the requirement to be attentive to the switch which was annoying. This was, I believe, a requirement when they got rid of firemen in the cab as a cost cutting measure some years ago. Sleep at the wheel is a major problem. We have seen disaster after disaster with Bus, Car, and truck drivers who fall asleep at the wheel and their speeding vehicles go out of control and crash killing passengers and others. Lets not forget the sleeping pilots that flew several hundred miles past the destination airport a couple of years ago. Caltrans recognized the problem several years ago and allows truckers to pull over anywhere and sleep without penalty. It will be interesting to hear the political take on this accident. Also the question should also be answered why these high speed engines are not equipped with electronics that would sense speed zones and automatically trigger a slowdown on these trains. They are fully electronic controlled in the cab and extending it to the rails and ground should only be a matter of time and money. If we can hit the moon with an electronic driven space ship, land an Airbus with 300 on board on a 100 foot runway, or a fighter jet on a bobbing aircraft carrier in the Pacific, I would guess we could slow down an electric train on rails without a lot of development. This automation of trains can be demonstrated just down the road at Roseville. They move switch engines assembling long freight trains all day long with no engineer on board. Lets take the technology forward to save lives.

Have a great day, be kind to yourself and be happy!