You can get your very own, official "Friend of SeanInBoise" coffee cup for just a buck. Here's how: Go to your favorite dollar store and…
Wondering why, if Barbi (TM) is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
I visited the Golden Corral Buffet & Grill (in Boise on Emerald near Milwaukee) twice during the past three weeks. Both visits were near lunch time. The staff members were friendly and well groomed, the service was awesome, the food was great, and the prices were decent. For those who haven't been there, this is an all-you-can-eat buffet. There's a lot to eat; it will take many visits to sample everything! During both of my visits, the staff kept bringing refills of my soda before I ever had to ask. My only concern is that in some of the seating areas, the chairs and tables are a little close together -- having a private conversation is difficult during busy periods. One other thing worth mentioning is the fact that the employees are encouraged to learn the first names and drink preferences of as many customers as possible. A few of them have been rewarded for being able to recognize several hundred regular customers, and knowing what they like to drink. --SeanInBoise
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So who does the PRO give the money to when a small venue gets a license? If some small bar gets licensed so that the various bands that perform once a week can play what they want, how will the PROs know which artists to pay? I suspect they don't bother trying to find out. I used to work for a company where the employees would listen to the radio while they worked. Customers could hear the music when they came in, so one of the PROs sent the company a "cease and desist" order. So much for listening to music at work. :(
Its a shame when we turn people into commodities. This business (private prisons) makes a profit off of human misery. They advocate for tougher laws and help perpetuate the myth that only lengthy incarceration can protect the public. All so they can make a buck. When they build these human warehouses, they are chronically short-staffed, and the people working there are frequently under-trained. About 97% of all inmates will eventually be released; do we really want people who will eventually be back in our communities to be living in a gladiator arena?
They say that in war, plans never survive first contact with the enemy. I wonder if city plans have a similar fate.
When I was at BSU many years ago, most semesters I could afford to take classes only part time -- and that was with Pell grants and student loans in a good economy -- I can only imagine how many people are unable to attend now, and how much worse it will be after the new rate increases take effect. I'm self-employed now and still can't afford to go back and finish my degree.
The guards and so-called "counselors" who just stood around and watched as an assault like this took place should be fired and banned from ever working in a prison again. What if kids in school were fighting and the teachers refused to stop it? You would hear the outrage all over our fine state. But prisoners? The corporate media in this state rarely ever mention it. The lawsuit against Corrections Corporation of America on behalf of an inmate only got mentioned because it was a major lawsuit against a corporation with a significant presence in Idaho, not because of what officials there allowed and continue to allow to happen. We need to remember that about 97% of all inmates will eventually be released back into the communities they came from. If we allow (and encourage) this kind of violence in our prisons, that is what they will bring back to our community. Don't believe me? Look at the inner cities in California and other populous states. Most of the adults in the slums have done time in their states' various prisons. Violent prisons. And look what they have now. High crime rates that affect not only their own neighborhoods, but entire cities.
Better late than never. I used to live near the western end of the airport. Back then we had F-4s with afterburners taking off all the time. The noise was loudest during the summer when the lower air density meant the planes had to use their afterburners the longest. (Kind of the same situation last summer with the Oregon F-15s -- they weren't so bad.) You get used to the noise and don't notice it after a while, except when you are outside and have to stop talking for a moment because the person you are talking to can't hear you. That said, I support bringing these planes to Boise. Not because of jobs or anything else except that Boise may be the best place in the world for these crews to train and we should give our troops (including aircrews and those who service them) every advantage possible.
I have several comments about this. They have already been shared with several members of the Boise City Council, and the quoted text is exactly what they were sent. (I should also mention that I do not own or work for any emissions testing company.)
"I am concerned and dismayed about the potential to replace the red emissions vans with the company called SysTek. Here are some of the problems I see:
"First, I’ve heard that at least some of the other communities where this company is currently operating are not exactly thrilled with this company’s performance. Due diligence is a must.
"Although I was unable to attend the Boise council meeting on 3/2/2010, it is my understanding that the distribution of the funds (from the proposed $11 test) was discussed during the meeting. The company representative stated that $3.50 goes to DEQ, and $2.00 pays the worker. The remaining $5.50 presumably goes out of state to the company and its owners or stockholders. It is also my understanding that there are currently about 60,000 tests done each year in Ada County. Since SysTek apparently plans to have 20 testing locations, this means that each station will average about $6,000 per year – hardly enough to pay a part-time worker, let alone provide the level of service and convenience we have become accustomed to." (Note: The $6,000 figure is based on the testing stations' share of the $2.00 that is for paying the worker, not the entire $11.00 fee.)
"Currently, the emissions stations are independent businesses, not affiliated with any automotive repair shops. They are not allowed to repair vehicles that fail the emissions test, nor are they allowed to recommend a specific repair facility. Instead, the air quality board provides a list of qualified repair facilities, and the emissions tech may give the entire list to the customer whose vehicle has failed to pass the test. Under the SysTek plan, emissions testing will be done in existing auto repair businesses. Do you think that those technicians will – always – remain neutral when a customer’s vehicle fails? Do you think that it is possible for unscrupulous technicians to cause a vehicle to fail, just so that they can also get the repair business? (It is my understanding that the simple act of disconnecting a certain vacuum hose in some vehicles may cause a test failure.) Given the low amount of revenue that the testing stations will be generating, there may be strong incentive to act inappropriately in some cases.
"What happens when the SysTek contract comes up for renewal in five years? Will SysTek be the only bidder? Will they announce that the existing revenues are insufficient to provide the service that people in this area want, and that it is necessary to raise the fee up to – say – $50 per test? If they are the only bidder, will we have any choice but to pay?
"What happens to the operators and employees of the various emissions testing stations (red vans) if SysTek is allowed to take over? I doubt that very many of them will get hired by the new testing stations, since those stations already have their own mechanics and technicians. Recent changes to the emissions testing program have already caused 18 or so emissions testing stations to close. Do we need to intentionally put even more people on the unemployment roll?
"The current system involves numerous independent businesses. If there is a location that needs a red van, you can be sure that someone will step up and fill the gap. Will a company based in another state be as nimble? If someone lives at one end of town, will they have to drive all the way across town to get an emissions test? Big companies aren’t known for being agile. Also, what happens to the investment that all of these small, local, business people made in their red vans? There won’t be much residual value when the market gets flooded with used analyzers and used red vans."
“If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it!”
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