Thursday, July 5, 2007

Sour Grapes for Friday, July 6, 2007

I'm Burning!
Fuming fire trucks, Batman
I learned recently that Fire Trucks on Saipan are required to fill up at, and only at, the ‘full service’ gas pumps. Everyone on the island knows that the gas is much cheaper at the ‘self serve’ fuel island and that the attendant will still pump your gas for you. So what is up with this ridiculous policy of spending, not their money, but OUR money to fill up those huge fire engine gas tanks while paying 14 cents per gallon more than is necessary? This could cost tens of thousands of unnecessary dollars a year. What could the possible reason be for such unwarranted extravagance? Just who exactly would promulgate such a regulation? Why?

Now I’m wondering if other government vehicles are doing the same. DPS and DPW between them have more than a hundred thirsty gas guzzlers. Are they also filling up at the full serve pump? I’m also wondering where the extra dollars are going. Any chance that some of those bucks may be finding their way back into the regulators pocket? What about the 600 or so other government vehicles? This might be something for OPA to look into when they have a chance. Even if there is no wrongdoing, there is a huge waste of money going on in an economic environment that calls for frugality not rampant waste.

I suggest the policy be changed immediately and the entire savings be given to the personnel of the DPS Firefighting Department as a raise in wages. I think they deserve it more than Exxon/Mobile, don’t you?
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The P to P path
Sorry I keep bringing it up, but I drive by this disgusting sight several times every day. Every time it makes me think of all the good things we could have done with the $350,000 dollars we wasted on this project. It has been and will continue to be UNUSED. I have yet to see the first person use the new gas mask path.

BEFORE : Sorry but I still haven't figured out how to insert the pictures here instead of the top.

AFTER : (or here either). Please go to the Saipan Tribune website and look at "Opinion" to see the before and after photos. (or wait around a couple of days until I figure out how to change the source code and they will appear here).

CUC come clean please
After several months of nearly 24/7 electric power, something seems to have gone wrong down at CUC recently. Over the last few weeks we have experienced outage after outage all over the island. Mostly they are blamed on tree branches or the heat, but I think there may be something more to it. As you have noticed recently the power has gone off several times per week, and sometimes several times per day. I wonder what the real reason is. Yes we got spoiled the last few months by nearly continuous electric power. I almost forgot how to reset all the digital clocks around the house. Now my microwave, VCR and alarm clocks are all blinking like Mr. Magoo.

While writing this column on Sunday morning the power went off…again…and I found out that my battery back up power supply had been abused once too often. It died, the computer shut down dumping all I had written and dumped the blog entry I was working on too. Whahh. These battery back up systems are designed to be needed occasionally in the off chance the power goes off. Mine is about a year old and of course went through the ‘scheduled’ outages last summer and fall…scores of them at least, maybe hundreds. Apparently the renewed outages of the last few weeks have been more than the poor backup system box could survive so now it’s off to the store to buy yet another piece of hardware junked by the on again off again, wildly fluctuating power provided by CUC.

So what is the point of all this rambling and griping? I think we would like to know the real reason why our electric power has again become unstable. It might make us feel better. We all thought that by paying the real cost of electric production we would get in return a stable and reliable source of power. Instead we seem to be falling back into the pit of random outages and fluctuating voltage output even though we are paying top dollar (and I mean top dollar) for our service. Have one or more of the engines fallen into disrepair again? Is our CUC credit card over at Mobile maxxed out again? Did we not offer the proper sacrifice to He of the Everlasting Electron? Did a flippin tree really fall on it …again? Come on Pam, give us the lowdown, please. We can handle the truth.

As if on cue, the power just went off while I was trying to finish and send this article. Now I type a few words and click the ‘save’ icon……… type and click, type and click. Are you feeling sorry for me yet? Have you seen your new power bill yet?
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The new blog
You will notice a new URL address at the bottom of the byline showing you the way to a new blog (the word is a contraction of weB LOG) circulating in the Internet ether of Saipan. It’s called the Saipan Saipanuvian Speaks and is authored by yours truly. Please come by and visit to read the latest blog entries and to leave your comments. That’s the great part about blogs. Unlike websites, you can actually interact immediately and leave your own ideas and comments as part of the “thread” of ideas being posted. There are many good blogs being posted by CNMI residents now so please come on out to the blogshpere and enjoy the exchange of ideas, photos, information and fun.
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1 page labor law coming
Stand by for next week’s column in which we see the entire set of Labor Laws in the Commonwealth reduced to 1 side of 1 sheet of paper.
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Quote of the week: Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other. Oscar Ameringer (1870-1943)

Bruce A. Bateman writes Sour Grapes when the moon is full and the mood strikes. Stay tuned for each exciting episode.
“Yes, he is opinionated.”


bradinthesand said...

You're all linked up! Good luck with your blog. I know you'll never run out of fun things to read. I'll see you for that beer tonight!

Marianas Eye said...

Hi Bruce,

I've linked you. Sorry for the delay. I've been blog-slacking lately.

Thanks so much for the offer with the renovations. One of the other parents put the drawings together a few weeks back and is doing the construction management.


Bruce A. Bateman said...

Thanks for the links guys.
Hope to see you both soon.

bigsoxfan said...

Personally, I always wondered why everything was a little or a lot more expensive at gas stations, than the normal stores. The captive audience is one reason and the other I think of is the government workers can use their gov't credit cards and load up on items other than gas and only have the total displayed. Instead of an itemized bill, like you get a dance club, the bane of many the expense account. So; beer, plus chips, plus gas only reads the total. Gas $75. Just my unsupported intepratation.

BoReGo said...

You've been tagged! Go to my blog and check out the last 7 lasts!