Friday, January 30, 2009

Mixed Signals

Not his friend,

Not his roommate,

His fiance.

His fiance Chuck.

Wheel Of Fortune acknowledges the cultural change.

the times they are a changing!

Put Some Skin In This Game, Give It 110%!

What Makes 100%?

What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%.

How about achieving 103%?

What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:


is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


H-A -R -D-W-O -R -K
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%


K -N -O -W-L-E-D-G-E
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%


A-T -T -I -T - U - D - E
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%


B -U -L -L -S -H-I -T
2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.

A-S -S -K -I -S-S -I -N-G
1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit and Ass kissing that will put you over the top..

Mark Stephen Cunningham 1947 - 2009

Mark and I first met in the summer of 1964 at the Trappist monestary in Ava, MO. I can't remember the circumstances that led us to that place, but I do remember eating our meals, served by the ancient Brother Barnabus, in the guest dining room. Listening to George Kessler, a theology professor at Rockhurst College, voicing his opinion about dang near everything. (George used an ivory cigarette holder to smoke his non filter Camels.)

Every morning after breakfast, Mark and I would walk down the gravel road to Bryant Creek and walk across the swinging bridge to the concrete plant where we would stack blocks. We worked monk's hours. This was the beginning of a life-long friendship.

Time passed, Mark joined the Air Force and was deployed to Thailand. He liked Thailand. When he got discharged, he moved to Detroit and worked for Ryder Truck Rental. He got married, divorced, retired and moved back to Springfield, in roughly that order.

Mark wrote everything down. The last time we had lunch together, at a small Mexican restaurant on South Campbell across from O'Reilly's, he wrote down the details of our conversation in a small spiral notebook. I made fun of him for doing so. He told me he wanted to chronicle the events so he could re-live them. He shoulda been a blogger.

Mark was a kind and gentle person who died of a heart attack on Tuesday. He was 61.

His funeral mass is tomorrow at 1 PM at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on North Campbell in Springfield.

He will be missed.

As published in the SN-L, Mark's obituary:

Mark Stephen Cunningham, 61, of Springfield, was born February 6, 1947, in Independence, Mo., and passed away January 27, 2009, in Springfield. Mark graduated from St. Agnes High School in 1965, and attended SMSU and the University of Washington at Puget Sound. He was an Air Force veteran who served with distinction in the Philippines and Thailand. He retired from Ryder Truck Leasing, where he was a district manager for Detroit and Dearborn, Mich., after 25 years of service. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and was a CASA volunteer. He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother and one sister. He is survived by two brothers, Philip and wife, Gail Cunningham, and John Cunningham; and eight nephews and one niece. Mark was a kind, generous man who always found the good in everyone. He will be deeply missed. Funeral mass will be held in St. Joseph's Catholic Church at 1 p.m. Saturday, January 31, 2009. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Joseph's Church building fund.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Nothing Comes Between Me And My Calvins"

In the late 1970s Calvin Klein put his name on the back pocket of his jeans starting the frenzy for designer jeans.

And when the jeans were advertised by 15-year-old Brooke Shields with the famous lines “nothing comes between me and my Calvins” and “I’ve got seven Calvins in my closet, and if they could talk, I’d be ruined”, the brand was taken to new heights. Which leads to the new 2009 Calvin Klein jean print ad: Ah, we were so much younger and innocent then. Here is the video.

First I Lost My Life Insurance, Is My Pension Next?

Last October. I received a letter from my life insurance company.

In December, I received another letter from the company. Long story short, I ain't got life insurance no more.

I collect a pension from the Public School Retirement System (PSRS) of Missouri. I am a retired teacher---I taught 6th grade in Nixa, MO and worked for one of Missouri's educational associations. I am a member of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association (MRTA).

This afternoon, I received the following information alert from the MRTA:

A special PSRS/PEERS Board meeting was called for on January 21st in Jefferson City to address and educate education associations on the current financial crisis affecting our retirement system. The meeting was well attended with over a dozen MRTA leaders and members in attendance. President Maggie Elder and I were allowed to sit among the PSRS/PEERS Board members. This was an indication of the seriousness of our financial situation. Below are some of the points brought forward by Executive Director Steve Yoakum, staff, and PSRS/PEERS Board.

1) For the fiscal year July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008 our system had a NEGATIVE 4.77% return on investments. Our retirement system operates on the assumption of an 8% return on investments every year. For the period of July 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008 the system had a NEGATIVE 20% return on investments. It could be worse by June 30, 2009

2) Our retirement system has lost $9 BILLION in the last year reducing our cash on hand or to be invested from approximately 32 BILLION to approximately $21 BILLION.

3) Our system now has a negative cash flow of about $500 million a year meaning that there is $500 million more going OUT than is coming IN.

4) There are only four ways to fix this crisis. 1 – Increase contribution rates. 2 – Get much better returns on investments. 3 – Reduce retirement benefits. 4 – A combination of the last three.

5) The PSRS staff reported that it would take a contribution rate of 43% starting in 2012 until 2018 to fund the system. Current contribution rate is 26%. It is my opinion that this is very unlikely with school funding so short and teacher salaries ranked at 45th nationally. PSRS employees currently pay the highest contribution rates in the nation.

6) PSRS uses a 5 year smoothing plan to average the ups and downs and also is required by federal law to use a 30 year amortization of benefits. These accounting practices will not alleviate the current funding crisis. To add insult to injury, these accounting practices may be changed where it would be a determent to our system by those who want to privatize Social Security and want to require 401K type of defined contribution retirements. We will need to oppose these accounting proposals with all our might.

7) The PSRS Board and staff had no recommendations at this time and stated that it will be up to the Education Associations and Legislature to address this funding crisis.
It is not just the Police and Firefighters who are in pension trouble.

Driveline Vibration Issue

They live among us and vote.

This guy ran over a mattress and decided to keep going.

The ensuing jumble finally whipped around enough to put a tear in the gas tank, the subsequent lack of fuel is what finally brought this vehicle to its knees.It had still managed to drive 30 more miles decently with a 60 lb tangle wrapped
around the driveshaft.The guy complained that the vehicle had a "shimmy" when driving at high speeds.They live among us and vote.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why John Lives In Florida....

The Jeep and snow plow works pretty good. Wished I would have put a top on the jeep, and forget windshield washers. I plowed our drive, the Pettijohn's drive, the neighbor's between Lil Jim and Peggy's house and New Street hill. It was fun but cold, and I wished I would have hooked up the heater.

My hat looks funny but it keeps my head warm!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

If You Were At The Inauguration, You May Be In This Picture

David Bergman took a lot of pictures of the inauguration, but this one is the best inaugural picture ever.

I linked it here and, if that link doesn't work, here is another link.

The photo is 1474 megapixels so I won't be posting it on the bus, it would take up too much space!

From Bergman's blog:


I covered my first inauguration and what an inauguration it was.

Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States in a ceremony on the west front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Before Tuesday, I had photographed five presidents and covered big events including the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and concerts like Live 8 and Live Earth.

But this one was the biggest.

It deserved a big photo.

I made a panoramic image showing the nearly two million people who watched President Obama’s inaugural address. To do so, I clamped a Gigapan Imager to the railing on the north media platform about six feet from my photo position. The Gigapan is a robotic camera mount that allows me to take multiple images and stitch them together, creating a massive image file.

My final photo is made up of 220 Canon G10 images and the file is 59,783 X 24,658 pixels or 1,474 megapixels. It took more than six and a half hours for the Gigapan software to put together all of the images on my Macbook Pro and the completed TIF file is almost 2 gigabytes.

Use the controls to zoom and pan around the photo. You can also double click to zoom in and double click again to get even closer.

ps-- I found Newt Gingrich. He doesn't look too happy.

Bird Strike

We all know about the bird strike that brought that airplane down in the Hudson River last week.

Here's an example of what happened when an automobile travelling 120mph struck a bird:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Got Tagged This Evening!

It was around six this evening, I was sitting in my easy chair with my pipe and slippers getting ready to do a blog on covers of this song my favorite tenor is singing when the land line rings in.

I answer the phone, as I am accustomed to do when the black phone rings. I notice, however, that the caller ID lists the incoming calls as a pri vat number.

The female callers asks if there is a male registered voter in the household who is planning to vote in the City Council election.

I tell her yes there is.

"Would that be you", she asks?

Yes, and she proceeded to ask my opinion of a whole bunch of people.
The pollster asked if she could ask me some questions about the mayoral candidates and general council seat candidates in Springfield.

We went through each of the candidates by name. First she asks if I had heard of them. Then she asked if I had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of them.
She asked:

If I was more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate who supported the pension sales tax.

If I was more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate who was endorsed by business groups (I assume she meant the chamber of commerce).

If I was more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate who was endorsed by labor groups.

If I was more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate who was endorsed by the police and firefighters groups.

If I was more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate who had a long range vision for Springfield.

If I was more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate with business experience or charitable experience or political experience.

She asked the usual demographic questions, age, level of education, etc.

I asked who was paying for the survey, she said a group called "Good Government."

Anybody know who they are? '

I mentioned this poll to some people at a function I was at this evening, several thought it was the chamber.

The candidates of whom I was asked my opinion, in no specific order, were

Jim O’Neal
Sandra Queen Noble
Christopher Donegan
Tamara Finocchiaro

Robert Stephens
Lyle Foster
Tom Martz

Fred Ellison
John Rush
Jason Lillard

Know you this, I got an opinion about dang near everyone of these candidates and I am interested in seeing the results of this poll.

I know a poll like this can cost between 4 and 6 thousand dollars.

What candidate has that kind of money?

I suspect the Chamber of Commerce has a vested interest in who gets elected to city council.

Some have said that the Libertarians are seeking to stack the council.

Does anyone know who "Good Government" is?
PS--a person recently told me those who don't support the pension sales tax don't support our police and firefighters. "Like those who didn't support the war in Iraq didn't support our troops," I asked?

Everybody Say AMEN!

In the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest,
And in the joy of a new beginning,
We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back,
When brown can stick around --
When yellow will be mellow --
When the red man can get ahead, man --
And when white will embrace what is right.
Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.


REV. LOWERY: Say amen --


REV. LOWERY: -- and amen.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dolly Parton Hair


"Scarlet Ribbons" -Jim Reeves

"She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" -John Ford Western

"Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree" -Tony Orlando, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash

"Pabst Blue Ribbon" -1950s Television Commercial (My Grandfather worked for PBR in St. Louis, don't know what he did but he wore a suit and tie to work. And only drank PBR. My other grandfather drank Budweiser)

"Stick Magnetic Ribbons On Your SUV" -Asylum Street Spankers

Random Stuff On A Sunday Morning

Friday, January 16, 2009

Regarding That White Pride Group That Is Meeting At The Library Station This Saturday....

And now, a song

White Pride Group Meets Saturday

White pride group meets Saturday
January 16, 2009

The women's division of Springfield's National Socialist Movement group will be filmed for national television on Saturday.

The white pride group will meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expressway.

The meeting will be filmed by the Women's Entertainment Network, a New York-based television network, said Ami Bostwick, national director for the National Socialist Movement Women's Division.

Bostwick said the public can attend part of the meeting but declined to elaborate on the agenda and what part might be closed.

"We're not a hate group or a gang; we're a political organization," Bostwick said. "We want to let the white community know they have an advocate fighting for their rights."

From the SN-L

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Brad Schlozman Award for Most Effectively Breaking the Will of Liberal Partisan Bureaucrats

It's Awards Time!

"It has been months since I felt the need to scream with a blood-curdling cry at some commie, partisan subordinate (i.e., most of the [Voting] section staff until recently). And I feel like the people I now work with are all complete professionals. What a weird change. Granted, these changes are nice in many respects, but bitchslapping a bunch of [Division] attorneys really did get the blood pumping and was even enjoyable once in a while. I think now it’s all Good Cop for folks there. I much preferred the role of Bad Cop. . . . But perhaps the Division will name an award for me or something. How about the Brad Schlozman Award for Most Effectively Breaking the Will of Liberal Partisan Bureaucrats. I would be happy to come back for the awards ceremony."

And the nominations for Gerrymandering.

The nominations for inaccurate, incomplete, biased, unsupported by the law, and contrary to the facts ….

The nominations for bitchslapping.

The nominations for real American.

The nominations for "What's his view on the world."

The nominations for how do you like your coffee.

The nominations for inappropriately considered political and ideological affiliations in hiring.

And finally, if you are looking for the anwswer to a good question, call (413) 497-0025.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stay Home, Watch It On TV, Do Some Work Around The 'Hood, It's Gonna Be Cold

Save your money, prices are high in DC, What with the economy the way it is, you don't want to drop a couple of large when you can see it on youtube and MSNBC. Save your money. Instead, why not rake leaves, clean out the garage, maybe even do some community service. We will survive

Their Stimulus Check Arrived Early


A Pennsylvania couple is behind bars after police say they failed to call the bank when a glitch put an extra $175,000 in their account.

Authorities say 50-year-old Randy Pratt and 36-year-old Melissa Pratt instead withdrew the money, quit their jobs and moved to Florida.

They were buying a house in the Orlando area when the mistake was traced.

The two were arraigned Tuesday on theft and other charges and jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail. A public defender was being assigned.

A $1,772.50 deposit showed up in their FNB Bank account last summer as $177,250.

Police say Melissa Pratt said her husband, a roofing installer, often got large checks and she wasn't aware of any error

The story is here.

Flipper? Did She Say Flipper?

No? I can't hear what she's saying, did she say, "Flicka?"Oh, she said,"flicker."
For a minute there I thought she was talking about that
photo site.

The Impotence Of Proofreading

The the impotence of proofreading
By Taylor Mali

Has this ever happened to you?
You work very horde on a paper for English clash
And then get a very glow raid (like a D or even a D=)
and all because you are the word¹s liverwurst spoiler.
Proofreading your peppers is a matter of the the utmost impotence.

This is a problem that affects manly, manly students.
I myself was such a bed spiller once upon a term
that my English teacher in my sophomoric year,
Mrs. Myth, said I would never get into a good colleague.
And that¹s all I wanted, just to get into a good colleague.
Not just anal community colleague,
because I wouldn¹t be happy at anal community colleague.
I needed a place that would offer me intellectual simulation,
I really need to be challenged, challenged dentally.
I know this makes me sound like a stereo,
but I really wanted to go to an ivory legal collegue.
So I needed to improvement
or gone would be my dream of going to Harvard, Jail, or Prison
(in Prison, New Jersey).

So I got myself a spell checker
and figured I was on Sleazy Street.

But there are several missed aches
that a spell chukker can¹t can¹t catch catch.
For instant, if you accidentally leave a word
your spell exchequer won¹t put it in you.
And God for billing purposes only
you should have serial problems with Tori Spelling
your spell Chekhov might replace a word
with one you had absolutely no detention of using.
Because what do you want it to douch?
It only does what you tell it to douche.
You¹re the one with your hand on the mouth going clit, clit, clit.
It just goes to show you how embargo
one careless clit of the mouth can be.

Which reminds me of this one time during my Junior Mint.
The teacher read my entire paper on A Sale of Two Titties
out loud to all of my assmates.
I¹m not joking, I¹m totally cereal.
It was the most humidifying experience of my life,
being laughed at pubically.

So do yourself a flavor and follow these two Pisces of advice:
One: There is no prostitute for careful editing.
And three: When it comes to proofreading,
the red penis your friend.

A Dinner Conversation:

He Died

Who did?

That guy who said "rare Corithiam leather."
I don't know who you are talking about.

Ok then, how about this: "De Plane, De Plane!"

That guy died?

No, not him, his boss.

Oh, that guy!
Ricardo Montalban, 1920 - 2009 RIP.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Stairway To Heaven?

At a time when the once-vaunted unity of the religious right has eroded and the mainstream media is proclaiming an “evangelical crackup,” Marc Driscoll represents a movement to revamp the style and substance of evangelicalism.

With his taste for vintage baseball caps and omnipresence on Facebook and iTunes, Driscoll, who is 38, is on the cutting edge of American pop culture. Yet his message seems radically unfashionable, even un-American: you are not captain of your soul or master of your fate but a depraved worm whose hard work and good deeds will get you nowhere, because God marked you for heaven or condemned you to hell before the beginning of time.

Yet a significant number of young people in Seattle — and nationwide — say this is exactly what they want to hear. Calvinism has somehow become cool, and just as startling, this generally bookish creed has fused with a macho ethos.

At Mars Hill, members say their favorite movie isn’t “Amazing Grace” or “The Chronicles of Narnia” — it’s “Fight Club.”
Who would Jesus smack down?

Is this the best sports headline ever? A tip of the hat to Not Right About Anything.

I've Got A Secret

Jackehammer has picked up on something here that she finds to be curious.
Now, link over to this LifeofJason post on this evening's City Council meeting. Scroll down to about 7:37 pm and keep reading, especially the part that comes in at 7:42 pm.

Jackehammer finds it gets curiouser and curiouser.

It Ain't Hatari!

I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Full Moon Rose

btw, stay away from the shrimp.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Full Moon Rising

I have seen a lot of moons in my life....
hubcaps, the man in, in airports, pie, Harlow's, men on,,,,,,

but none might compare with the sight we can see, if the skys are clear, this evening, when the moon rises at sunset.

As the moon rises over the horizon, it will seem to be extra large as it rises over the horizon.

The Saturday Night Special treat will be the largest full moon of 2009.

You can read all about it here.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Reverend Ted Returns From The Wilderness!

He's Back!

Who Is Senator DeMint And Why Is He Calling Me?

NRTW Facilities, 703- 770-2249 just called me.

National Right To Work Committee, that's who called me with an important message from Senator DeMint.

The person who called me wanted me to hold the line for an important message from Senator DeMint from Washington DC.

I asked the caller what state Senator DeMint represented. He said Washington, DC.

I said I didn't think Washington DC had senators. (Senator DeMint represents South Carolina.)

I asked the caller why the senator from South Carolina was calling me, a resident of Springfield, MO.

He didn't know and said he would connect me with his supervisor.

I got connected to the recorded pitch from Senator DeMint.

I hung up.

I then called Senator DeMint's Washington DC office (on my cell, it's a free call) and left a message asking why the Senator from South Carolina was calling me.

I then called Senator McCaskill and told her about the phone call.

Why is a senator from South Carolina calling residents of Southwest Missouri?

Palin Unplugged

When a politician blames the handlers for the mistakes, well it is not very confidence inspiring.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

False Profits

Beware of false profits.

meanwhile, still no life insurance.

Kit Kashes In: Another One Bites The Dust

Kit Bond is following the lead of Sam Brownback and Mel Martinez and will not seek re-election in 2010

SW MO political junkies will read the local reactions to the news of his retirement on local blogs and the paper.

I thought it would be interesting to see how folks outside of the Ozarks would herald the announcement.

Andrea Mitchell has this on MSNBC's First Read.

It is a simple, straight forward piece which quotes heavily from Senator Bond's statement.

CNN Political Ticker looks at the numbers for 2010.

The Huffington Post opines here.

The comments make the above accounts interesting.

btw, Gone Mild foreshadowed today on April 12, 2007.

"WOW! What A Ride!"

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming...Wow! What a ride!" Melvin Trotter 1924-2006.

Melvin's full obituary, as published in the Springfield News-Leader 07/17/2006:

Melvin Lewis Trotter, age 82, passed away Friday evening, July 14, 2006. He loved his wife Violet who survives of the home and to whom he was married for 48 years. He was a member of the Northside Christian Church. He loved his God and his family and was blessed with an abundance of cherished friends. Melvin was born on July 5, 1924, the son of Frank and Eva Trotter and enjoyed the love and affection of his six brothers and three sisters. He is survived by two brothers, Gary Trotter of Grove, Okla., George Trotter of Owasso, Okla., and one sister, Alice Hensly of Eugene, Ore. his loving children:Jill Trotter of Cincinnati, Ohio William Trotter of Sarasota, Fla., and his wife, Kathy and Brenda Trotter of Rochester Hills, Mich., all from his first marriage to Joan Leeder who he married in 1943 and preceded him in death. He is also survived by his stepchildren who loved him dearly and were equally loved by him. They are: Paul Hagood, Jr., who preceded him in death and his wife, Shirley, of Boulder, Colo. Connie Lehan and her husband, Joe, of Minden, Iowa William Hagood and his wife, Carole, of Jefferson City, Mo., and Russell Shelton, Springfield. Melvin was the very proud grandfather to 17 grandchildren and greatgrandfather to 10 great-grandchildren. Melvin was a proud veteran of World War II serving his country in Normandy, the Rhineland Ardennes, France and Central Europe in a tank reconnaissance squadron attached to Patton's army. He received several citations and awards for his military service including the Jubilee of Liberty Medal, World War II Victory Ribbon, Distinguished Unit Badge and a Silver Star. Melvin graduated from Coffeyville Junior College in Coffeyville, Kan., where he also worked for the city water company. In 1965 he became the Director of the water treatment plants for the cities of Eureka Springs and Jefferson City in Missouri and retired in 1990 as the Director of the Water Pollution Treatment Plant in Springfield, Mo. Among his many accomplishments, Melvin received awards for his work in the water pollution treatment field and can claim that under his professional guidance the capital city of Monrovia, Liberia, in West Africa received its first state-of-the-art Water Pollution Treatment system. While in Liberia, Melvin and Violet were honored to attend a ball given by the President of Liberia for President Nixon and his wife during a visit to the country in 1973. Mel and Violet were able to enjoy their passion for travel by touring most of the United States and Europe before retiring to their beloved Ozarks. Melvin's other life passion included his church in which he was a Deacon and taught Bible classes, and in helping to raise his grand and greatgrandchildren. His easy smile and quick wit were testimony to his enjoyment of life. Melvin's quiet demeanor in his later years belied his true approach to life and of the philosophy by which he live: "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming...Wow! What a ride!" We, who by the grace of God, were able to love and be loved by him are eternally grateful for the guidance, love and support he freely gave throughout his life. He will be severely missed by all who knew him and we take solace in knowing that we will see him again in heaven. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Greenlawn Funeral Home North, 3506 N. National Ave. Funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 18, 2006, with Pastor Ed Holt officiating. Burial will follow the service at Greenlawn North Cemetery. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight, July 17, 2006.
Read more here.

There You Go Again

"There's a lusty infant!"

"By the look of him, his quarter staff does his reasoning for him."

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Richard Cory

This Explains So Much....

On June 18, 1912, Congress passed a law entitled:

An Act to provide for the support and maintenance of bastards in the District of Columbia.

Which may explain automatic congressional pay increases.

Reduction, Elimination, Suspension, and Adjustment

Jan. 6, 2009

News Release

For Immediate Release

City Manager Greg Burris outlined to City Council today his recommendations for worst-case budget reductions if the Feb. 3 sales-tax proposal fails and the economy does not begin to show improvement by later this year.

Burris said that scenario, which assumes a decrease in sales-tax revenue of 1.5 percent for both the current and upcoming fiscal years, would require $5.75 million in budget reductions. He also offered recommendations for a scenario in which the sales tax is not approved, but the economy begins to recover and shows a 0.75 percent increase for each of the two fiscal years. That would require a $3.97 million budget reduction.

The budget recommendations are in addition to the $5.2 million cut in the current fiscal year in order to make the City's full contribution to the Police/Fire Pension Fund. His budget memo recommends that the City again make the full contribution for the 2009-10 fiscal year regardless of the election outcome because the Pension Fund shortfall will escalate more severely if the City does not make the full contribution. The 2009-10 contribution would be more than $13.03 million, a $530,000 increase over 2008-09, or about 18 percent of the City's $73 million General Fund budget.

Burris' complete budget letter and supporting documents are available at: . A video of the meeting also will be posted by 5 p.m. today on CityConnect.

"During the presentations I've been making to citizens, I've received a number of questions about what the potential impact would be on city services if the tax does not pass," Burris said. "I pledged early on in this process that I would make my recommendations to Council public well before the Feb. 3 vote so citizens can make their most informed decision."

Burris said that he has worked closely with the Leadership Team to develop the recommendations, which are based on several underlying goals:

* Retaining core services, including the highest priorities cited in the recent Citizen's Survey;

* Emphasizing "on-the-street" duty to maintain Police patrol efforts as much as possible and keep as many fire stations open as possible;

* Retaining as many full-time positions as possible, though a certain number of layoffs are likely;

* Retaining communication with citizens, though it will be affected by cutbacks;

* Avoiding additional across-the-board budget cuts to prevent the overall service levels from becoming "anemic";

* Focusing on ongoing costs rather than using one-time funding sources to address ongoing obligations. That includes not tapping into the City's "rainy-day" reserve fund for emergencies such as the 2007 ice storm.

The following is a summary of the proposed budget reductions:

Personnel reductions: $1.65 million
* For General Fund positions, the current hiring freeze on 30 positions implemented Jan. 1 would carry through the next budget year as well as the 36 positions frozen in the current budget. (Additional positions have been and would be frozen in Parks, Health and Transportation as the transfers from the General Fund are reduced.)

* Future vacancies that occur during the budget year would be frozen unless approved for hiring by the City Manager.

* A number of contract employees would not be renewed.

The Police and Fire departments comprise 56 percent of the General Fund. In the Police Department, remaining staff would be allocated to meet priority needs in uniformed patrol and investigative services. The remaining officers currently assigned to neighborhood services, downtown and Commercial Street would be reassigned, along with three traffic officers. Voluntary support for community races, charity events and special events would be eliminated.

General Fund Transfer Reductions to Parks, Health and Transportation: $1 million
Parks - $500,000: Reduce maintenance/mowing schedule; reduce programs at Jordan Valley Park and Mediacom Ice Park; reduce exhibits and programs at Dickerson Park Zoo; eliminate school-parks summer playground program at Title 1 school-park areas.
Transportation - $250,000: Primary impact is further extension of the pavement preservation program for street maintenance. Earlier budget reductions and material cost increases have extended the preventive street maintenance from a 12-year to 26-year frequency.
Health - $250,000: Reduce animal-control services; eliminate multi-family housing safety inspections; eliminate the Phelps Grove and Rountree rental registration programs; institute an air-permit fee on 150 EPA-regulated businesses in Springfield consistent with St. Louis and Kansas City; eliminate the City's employee wellness program.

Elimination of contributions to Non-Profit organizations: $587,177
In the current fiscal year, the City reduced its contributions to non-profit agencies that provide valuable services and quality-of-life amenities to Springfield. These contributions would be eliminated entirely for the 2009-10 fiscal year. These agencies include: Community Partnership of the Ozarks; Discovery Center of Springfield; History Museum of Springfield-Greene County; Mayor's Commission for Children; Mayor's Commission on Human Rights; Ozark Greenways, Inc.; Ozarks Fighting Back; Partnership for Prosperity; Springfield Sister Cities Association; Traffic Safety Alliance; Urban Districts Alliance; Urban Neighborhoods Alliance; Watershed Committee of the Ozarks.

Eliminations or reductions of other partnership programs and services: $63,694
This includes funding the City provides for programs including: Downtown Springfield Community Improvement District; Downtown Wi-Fi; Ozarks Transportation Organization; Festival of Lights; Partners in Education; downtown parking enforcement; Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce programs.

Internal Employee Development, Functions and Services: $1.56 million
* Suspension of Merit Step increases for eligible employees, which would require a City Council ordinance change.

* Suspension of deferred-compensation matching program for unclassified employees.

* Reduction of employee and City Council professional development and travel, excluding training necessary to maintain required professional certifications.

* Elimination of security system in the Busch Building and City Hall.

* Elimination of internal services such as employee leadership and supervisory training, sick-leave minimization incentive; employee morale and the Police Department's citizen surveys; the remaining employee and family appreciation events; computer discount program and the employee service recognition program.

* No cost-of-living increase for employees.

One-year suspension of Crime Lab payment: $270,000
Burris said he is making this recommendation because the City made a larger contribution in the current budget year before knowing the amount of contribution from Greene County and its regional partners.

Adjustment in Overhead Rate to Grant and Enterprise Funds: $500,000
This involves a third-party review of the appropriate costs to be charged to grant and enterprise funds for overhead services provided by the General Fund. This basically represents a transfer from these funds to the General Fund and will necessitate budget reductions for these funds.

Additional Departmental Reductions: $114,000
* Elimination of summer community concerts and activities at Jordan Valley Park, such as support for the annual free Springfield Symphony event for Artsfest weekend.

* Elimination of Neighborhood Assessment Program.

* Reduction of archived records storage costs by increasing electronic archiving.

* Reduction of City Council mileage reimbursement.

If Council elects to develop the budget based on the scenario where the economy begins to improve later this year, Burris said he would recommend restoring part of the reductions to the transfers to Parks, Transportation and Health funds; reinstating merit-step increases for eligible employees; making a partial payment for the Crime Lab; and restoring part of the reduction for employee and City Council professional development.

Monday, January 05, 2009

HEERS, H-E-E-R-S, All Capitals

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin will be performing, for your listening pleasure, live and on stage at the historic Patton Alley Pub in Beautiful Downtown Springfield, MO on Saturday, January 24, 2009. The band's scheduled performance is to begin at 9 P.M.

flat tire

clickhere you can't see it.

Questions On A Photograph Of A Tire Change

1. What make of automobile?

2. Is that tire lying on the ground the flat or the spare?

3. Why does the woman have her hands under the car?

4. What is type of tool is being used?

5. Why didn't the photographer help?

6. What state, other than marital bliss, is the couple in?

7. What time was the picture taken?

8. What season is it?

9. What year is it?

rationalize your answers. Clicking on the picture enlarges it enough to see details.

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