flyerd1 
Member since Mar 23, 2013


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Re: “Council Seats and Crash Zones

Somehow this post disappeared (it was originally before my "now to the political issue" post. Anyway, here it is:

Regarding Prop 1:

-It's ridiculous to see scare tactics, and particularly concerning when scare tactics are presented by news personalities and politicians as facts rather than simply the extraordinarily remote possibilities they in fact are. Yet politicians, television, radio, and print have all done exactly that. How about presenting both arguments rather than just the 1-sided "French" version?... Even the title uses scare tactics: "levy to PROTECT Fairchild". implying that not passing somehow jeopardized FAFB.

- As a former Major and pilot involved in related projects at another base, I can tell you that the residential density in that area is not a top concern. Strategic needs of the military is always the number 1 concern. The potential ability for any other "nearby" bases to absorb the subject base's mission is another. Modernization, operating costs, base operating costs and any required/expected updating expenses are others. Some unique concerns for aviation bases include items like: ramp space; runway/taxiway conditions/length/width; navigational aids; topography; avg days down due to weather; alternate runways available in the near vicinity (for alternates or emergencies); bird strike hazards...to name a few. In other words, numerous other items all rank much higher than what prop 1 considers...

-It's as if French simply wants another reason to spend more money. Calm, rational, critical thinking "should" trump emotional, hypothetical, fear based, decisions and hopefully that holds true in this case with the "no" vote.

Posted by flyerd1 on 11/07/2013 at 11:04 AM

Re: “Council Seats and Crash Zones

Now to the political issue:

1. "Candace Mumm has an impressive list of community volunteering, neighborhood activism and professional experience that makes her a safe bet."
---> Because volunteering and neighborhood activism = a good "leader"???...

2. "They", "Tea Party politics", "austerity"...
---> Why is it always a we vs. "them" mentality? Irt austerity: too many people are passive and cavalier in their lack of concern regarding the national debt and the many other concerns which will prevent that debt from going in the correct direction (down) going forward. Unfortunately, people are procrastinators by nature and won't get serious irt solving the problem until the bitter end when it costs multitudes more to fix, hurts people far more, and/or is too late...

A care-free attitude of "yes, yes, yes" is what causes the types of problems we've seen in places like Detroit, CA, Greece, and across the country in overly fat pension plans that were simply unsustainable (WA's PERS1 is a prime example). Recall that our former Governor is now making more in retirement (via her pension) than she was making while working as Governor. That makes "perfect sense" (to an idiot)...

We better get serious about these monetary issues going forward because time's running out. In fact, we've likely already hit the go no-go point on an attempted takeoff where once you pass it, there's no room left to "safely" abort. Iow, we're most likely crashing... Not fear mongering, simply looking at the factual circumstances we find ourselves in.

Posted by flyerd1 on 11/07/2013 at 10:32 AM

Re: “Tipping Point

-It's ridiculous to see scare tactics and particularly concerning when scare tactics are presented by politicians and news personalities as facts rather than simply the extraordinarily remote possibilities they in fact are. Yet that's exactly what we've seen from politicians, television, radio, and print irt Prop 1. How about presenting both arguments rather than just the 1-sided "French" version?... Even the title uses scare tactics: "levy to PROTECT Fairchild". implying that not passing somehow jeopardized FAFB.

- As a former Major and pilot involved in related projects at another base, I can tell you that the residential density in that area is not a top concern. Strategic needs of the military is always the number 1 concern. The potential ability for any other "nearby" bases to absorb the subject base's mission is another. Modernization, operating costs, base operating costs and any required/expected updating expenses are others. Some unique concerns for aviation bases include items like: ramp space; runway/taxiway conditions/length/width; navigational aids; topography; avg days down due to weather; alternate runways available in the near vicinity (for alternates or emergencies); bird strike hazards...to name a few. In other words, numerous other items all rank much higher than what prop 1 considers...

-It's as if French simply wants another reason to spend more money. Calm, rational, critical thinking "should" trump emotional, hypothetical, fear based, decisions and hopefully that holds true in this case with the "no" vote.

-Another famous scare tactic is: "it's FOR the children"...

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by flyerd1 on 11/07/2013 at 9:18 AM

Re: “Spokane County voters narrowly rejecting Prop. 1 in early results

-It's ridiculous to see scare tactics and particularly concerning when scare tactics are presented by news personalities as facts rather than simply the extraordinarily remote possibilities they in fact are. TV, radio, and print have all done exactly that. How about presenting both arguments rather than just the 1-sided "French" version?... Even the title uses scare tactics: "levy to PROTECT Fairchild". implying that not passing somehow jeopardized FAFB.

- As a former Major and pilot involved in related projects at another base, I can tell you that the residential density in that area is not a top concern. Strategic needs of the military is always the number 1 concern. The potential ability for any other "nearby" bases to absorb the subject base's mission is another. Modernization, operating costs, base operating costs and any required/expected updating expenses are others. Some unique concerns for aviation bases include items like: ramp space; runway/taxiway conditions/length/width; navigational aids; topography; avg days down due to weather; alternate runways available in the near vicinity (for alternates or emergencies); bird strike hazards...to name a few. In other words, numerous other items all rank much higher than what prop 1 considers...

-It's as if French simply wants another reason to spend more money. Calm, rational, critical thinking "should" trump emotional, hypothetical, fear based, decisions and hopefully that holds true in this case with the "no" vote.

-Another famous scare tactic is: "it's FOR the children"...

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by flyerd1 on 11/07/2013 at 9:08 AM

Re: “When the Levy Breaks

I’m "completely for education" funding via a fair and equitable method. A much more equitable method of requesting additional funding would be to request it via a sales tax (whatever fraction of a penny required). That way, “everyone” casting a vote would actually be voting to "increase their own taxes” as well as other people’s taxes. If it’s going to be a property tax then either A) only property owners should have the levy on their ballots or B) it should be a supermajority vote. Right now many people vote who don’t even pay property taxes… Otherwise this type of a levy tax should require a super majority in order to be considered more of a fair vote (explained below).
A cost cutting, as opposed to revenue generating, method of addressing the education budgets would be to address the underfunded TERS1 pensions and work to modify those pensions via negotiations and constitutional changes. The state already acknowledged that TERS1 (stopped in 1977) was unsustainable and a responsible re-negotiation could be done without undue harm to current pension beneficiaries. All other post TERS1 plans should be transitioned to 401K plans. If you´re thinking "levy $ doesn´t pay for those things", please review the previous post´s bucket example. Additionally, cost structures should be reviewed and compared to the private & charter schools that currently operate for less money while achieving better scholastic success rates.
If it was a super majority vote this would at least be a fair vote: A super majority vote is necessary anytime you allow a subset group of people to vote on a matter that could be beneficial to them and that they are “not” directly impacted by (in a financially impacting way, i.e. they pay for it). For example (using property ownership rates of 60%), if 65% of “non-property owners” vote “YES”, a levy like this could pass with only 40% of property owners voting for it (even though the property owners pay it).
If Washington was having a vote to increase the sales tax by 2% you wouldn’t want people from the Idaho/Oregon borders allowed to vote (if they were "you´d want a super majority vote") on it because, as stated above, they would be a subset of voters that don’t have to pay for the tax but could actually benefit as their sales went up due to people going into Idaho to avoid the 2% increase in Washington.
The counter point of “renters pay levy taxes via rent” is "ridiculously simplistic" because only in a perfectly linked system would this be the case. In actuality, landlords can only charge what the market will bear. Meaning, if a landlord can’t get a renter at a price that covers the costs of the levy, he/she has to lower the rent in order "to simply rent the unit out and avoid a vacancy…"

Posted by flyerd1 on 02/13/2012 at 5:35 PM

Re: “When the Levy Breaks

1) "Normally we haven’t run endorsements for school levies"
--- I agree that a publication is better when employee´s editorial based comments (specifically if they claim "factual" data) should be done in a neutral way. For example, the Spokesman bias irt publishing letters to the editor concerning the levies was sickening and went like this:
33 Pro Levy (including numerous "editorials" and "Guest Opinion" columns with NO 200 word limits)...
vs.
3 Anti-Levy (with none of the aforementioned "extra long" columns). Additionally, 2 of the 3 were posted 2 days before the voting deadline (after most people would have already voted)...
11x more pro levy and multiple allowed to be greater than the 200 word limit. "News" Bias? The answer is obvious...
2) "levies are less an option and more a requirement to fully fund some of our most important public institutions. In a longstanding arrangement, public education requires local support for as much as a quarter of its funds. Keeping our public schools strong has never been "controversial".
--- Keeping schools strong is still not being argued. Many people believe funding is already sufficient (especially if the underfunded budget items and overpaid administrator pay issues were addressed). Does anyone think if SPS´s advertised various administrator jobs for 60-100K that we wouldn´t get a lot of highly qualified candidates??? I´d put money down that we´d get "many" replies from people very good credentials... Many (obviously not all) private schools currently operate for less money while achieving better scholastic success rates; adopting many of their policies should be an extremely high priority. Competition provided by charter schools and vouchers would also help.
--- Levies are meant to be one time fill-gap revenue streams that may be necessary once every 10-20 yrs. They´re “NOT” meant to be a “constant” revenue stream… It shows incredibly bad district leadership when districts have gotten to the point of expecting levies as a never ending portion (1/4) of their budgets.
Anything with an expected END date (like a “3yr” levy tax or a mortgage) has to have a “new” one started in order to “remain” in place so it’s perfectly accurate to say it’s a new tax. What if, after paying off your mortgage, the bank said “we don’t want you to pay a new mortgage, we’d just like you to pay on this replacement mortgage” for another mortgage term…? How would that go over?
If we paid levy taxes on a monthly basis, and there was a 1 month break between the old and new levy (meaning the tax would be gone for 1 month), would you agree that the new levy is a new tax? In other words, would you have to actually "See" at least 1 month of taxes "without" the levy to agree that the new levy is a new tax? Exactly what would be the difference between that scenario and having no 1 month gap (aside from the 1 month tax savings) in regard to it being a new levy? Just because these new levies take over with no break, as opposed to the 1 month break in the example, doesn´t change the fact that they´re a new levy/tax (it just makes it "less noticeable" than if there was a break period).
The less noticeable taxes may be easier to get people to accept but there´s no disputing that it also makes them the most hidden and therefore tricky/dangerous (ALL somewhat hidden taxes, not "specifically" school levies). Taxes should be extremely noticeable so as not to become forgotten or simply seen as replacements, continuations, etc...
3) Contrary to the apparent beliefs of most levy supporters that people in opposition are sinister child haters, there are many anti-levy citizens with no ulterior motives. I, for one, simply appreciate having actual truths presented (rather than fear invoking commentary and distortions I´ve read/heard). Making it appear that 3yrs of levy costs will be paid in a single yr is an example of distortion on the anti-levy side. Similarly, there are many examples distortions & less than true statements from the pro-levy side. Here´s one irt what levy $ will actually be used for:
It´s extremely disingenuous to say "specific funds" are for "specific items" of an overall budget. Basic accounting shows that the net impact of a levy is simply to increase the "overall budget" (even if presented as paying for specific items). Here´s an explanation of why (please try to understand that this simply explains the shell game of saying "where" certain $ goes (regardless of your opinion as to the need for the $) and is applicable in many other situations you may encounter besides this one:
Imagine an $8M budget spread into 10 buckets. If someone decided $8M wasn´t enough and wanted to request more $ they could simply put the entire $8M into buckets 1-8 and say "we need $2M (levy $) but it´s only for buckets 9 & 10" (maintenance & operations, or whatever your specific levy indicates). The net result of the additional $2M would simply be that the new budget is $10M instead of $8M. The shell game here is that they could just as easily have said the $2M is for buckets 1 & 2 or 3 & 5 or 4 & 7 etc. In other words, the "exact" place they "choose" to say the $ goes to is absolutely irrelevant because it´s all part of "one overall budget" that is being spent.
Regardless of your stance irt the actual need for the $ it´s a complete shell game when they say "don´t worry, the money is only for this bucket or that one". It raises the Q of why do they need to use shell games to sell a levy; shouldn´t the actual need be strong enough so as not to require moving shells around? Could it be because they need to distract you from looking in some of the other buckets?...
Being “civic-minded” includes being “fiscally aware” of where/how the community spends ii’s money. Too many people fall into the word manipulation traps employed by pro-levy supporters as well as the exploitative “heart string” tactics of “it’s for the children”…

Posted by flyerd1 on 02/13/2012 at 5:28 PM

Re: “Drop the Pitchforks

The formatting program used for these comments doesn't seem to be working but I'll try this again...
Great comment Laurie. I'll add the following:
1) "Normally we haven’t run endorsements for school levies"
--- I agree that a publication is better when employee's editorial based comments (specifically if they claim "factual" data) should be done in a neutral way. For example, the Spokesman bias irt publishing letters to the editor concerning the levies was sickening and went like this:
33 Pro Levy (including numerous "editorials" and "Guest Opinion" columns with NO 200 word limits)...
vs.
3 Anti-Levy (with none of the aforementioned "extra long" columns). Additionally, 2 of the 3 were posted 2 days before the voting deadline (after most people would have already voted)...
11x more pro levy and multiple allowed to be greater than the 200 word limit. "News" Bias? The answer is obvious...

Posted by flyerd1 on 02/13/2012 at 5:11 PM

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