Culver City Observer -

 
 

Homeless Vets, Snowden says NSA Track Illicit Affairs

Commentary

 

January 23, 2014



By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

Since 2010 homelessness among veterans has fallen by 24% across the country according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A recent assessment by HUD disclosed that 57,849 veterans were homeless nationwide -- very tragic, to say the least.

From the file labeled "South of the Border," Brazilian police are among the world's deadliest by the rate of people killed in custody.

Was it only two years ago that John Pike, as a police officer in the University of California system, pepper-sprayed passive demonstrators at UC Davis? Now it gets good -- Mr. Pike is seeking workers' compensation for a psychiatric injury even though he was fired around 12 months ago. and he has a settlement conference on Aug. 13 in Sacramento.

I recently had a conversation with Maria AKA the "Wild Gypsy Lady," who, after reading the tea leaves said, "When the GAS B figures are released later this year, Culver City, as it relates to pensions and retiree medical, will be underfunded by over $100 million." Months ago I had a conversation with Jeff Muir, Culver City's Chief Financial Officer, who felt that with the sales tax increased we should weather the storm. However, I am concerned. If his projections don't materialize, how many city employees will be laid off and how many city services will be cut?

I know we all remember Bruce Malkenhorst, the former Vernon, California city manager who received $911,000 per year in wages and benefits. Well, from the "I cannot believe it's true" file, his CalPERS pension was cut by Sacramento from $500,000 per year to $115,000, so now he is suing Vernon for the difference of $385,000. Well, if Mr. Malkenhorst started telephoning all our city employees who get pensions of over $125,000, he would have one messed up dialing finger. Mercy!

So when was the last time you heard of someone who came down with polio? As I recall, in the mid 1950s we rolled up our sleeves for the shots or stuck out our tongues for the sugar cubes. But today in Somalia there are 105 reported cases and 600,000 children need to be immunized. The U.N. is helping.

For those who enjoy a beer or two or three or four, 2014 promises to be a wonderful year. Two events will put a huge smile on many a happy face. The first party is San Francisco Beer Week Feb. 7 - 16, 2014. For more info go to sfbeerweek.org. The second is San Diego Beer Week Nov. 7-16, 2014, and you can check out sdbw.org.

An Afro-American Albuquerque high school student came to school dressed as Santa, only to be reprimanded by his teacher, who asked "Why are you wearing that? Don't you know Santa Claus is white?" The teacher has been placed on paid leave.

Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor living in Russia, told Brazilian authorities that National Security Agency operatives can even keep track of who is having an affair or looking at pornography in case they need to damage their target's reputation.

Who could ever imagine China would be the third country to land on the moon? And now their government plans to put a space station in Earth orbit as soon as 2020.

From the news you haven't heard . . . Companies drilling in the ocean for oil and gas exploration purposes have discovered vast reserves of freshwater beneath the seabed of continental shelves off North America and other places.

Oxnard Harbor welcomed the Lady Washington, a faithful replica of the first American ship to round Cape Horn and land in the Pacific Northwest. The ship is now visiting Ventura Harbor Jan. 21 - Feb. 3. Tours and adventure sailings are available. For more information call 800-200-5239 or go to historicalseaport.org.

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at http://www.CulverCityObserver.com by placing Rubenstein in that website's search box.

 

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