Friday, August 21, 2009

Toby Keith Makes Good on Promise to Soldier

The following is from I heard about it from the USO on Facebook. It is nice to hear about the positive things being done for our troops.

Toby Keith is a man of his word. Just ask the McKenna family in Purcell, Okla.

Toby met Sgt. Robby McKenna when he was on his seventh USO Tour last April, and the young man asked a special favor of his fellow Oklahoman. He gave Toby a birthday present for his stepmother and asked if the country star would mail the package once he got back to the U.S. The singer promised that he would.

But instead of mailing the gift, Toby decided to deliver it in person. He and a friend, Curt Motley, got on their Harleys and drove to the McKenna's home to make the gift from the young soldier even more special. Sgt. McKenna just happened to phone home while Toby was there, so he got to talk to the singer again, putting the call on speaker phone so that his fellow soldiers could hear.

"It was a remarkable night that we won't forget," the McKennas told their hometown newspaper, the Purcell Register. "We don't know how to express our gratitude for what Toby has done for us, for Robby and his troop ... We wanted to share this story with the readers of our newspaper because we wanted them to know what kind of person Toby Keith is. He's a hard worker. He loves his country. He cares for the soldiers. And he's a man of his word, and we know these things are facts."

Toby is heading back across the ocean this fall, this time to go on what will be his first European tour.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Executive Kremen snubs cities

It really does not come as a surprise that Whatcom County Executive Pete Kremen chose to go with the county's proposal for changes in the cities' UGA. I was hoping that after all the hours our mayor, city staff, planning commission, citizens and council put into the process that Executive Kremen would consider the cities proposal. Yet, from his report posted today on the County Planning Services web site, it doesn't look as if he even considered it. He has decided to go with the Urban Reserve idea even though there is no such thing in the GMA and the county has not said how the Urban Reserve would even work.

The city of Ferndale has agreed that our UGA could be made smaller, but not by the amounts the county wants. What we have is the county screwing up and then taking their problems out on the cities. "Let's punish the cities for our (the county's) actions" is the path the county is taking from Executive Kremen on down to Planning Director Stalheim.

I guess Executive Kremen decided to take the safe route for himself and side with those who are pushing this UGA reduction. I guess it is easier to fold than to stand up and do the right thing.

Personally, I don't think pissing off the cities in your county is a career building move for Executive Kremen or any of the County Council members. Elections are coming...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Private Jets for Congress

I was reading articles in the Wall Street Journal online about the congress requesting new private jets for $550 million. They are purchasing 8 jets total. The planes are the business version of a 737 and Gulfstream G550s. They are also getting a great deal. The WSJ reports that the cost of a G550 is $49 million. Congress is going to pay $66 million for each plane. The question being asked by the WSJ is why the additional $17 million per plane. As of the writing of the article, they had not received an answer. (

I checked and it was back in November when congress got on the case of auto maker executives for coming to Washington in private jets. The idea of using private jets was a big no no and several companies sold theirs. No congress is buying them?

Is this another example of do as we say, not as we do?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cash For Clunkers - What are people buying

I was wondering what people were buying with the increased sales with the Cash for Clunkers program. What I found was that it depends on who is creating the list. Here is what I mean just looking at the top five sellers.

Total sales by model only and includes all versions such as 2WD,4WD, Hybrids (source Wall Street Journal):
1. Ford F Series Pick Up
2. Toyota Camry
3. Honda Accord
4. Toyota Corolla
5. Chevy Silverado Pick Up Cash for Clunkers List. This is what people bought with their rebate. It includes all versions of the model as the above list.
1. Ford Escape
2. Ford Focus
3. Jeep Patriot
4. Dodge Caliber
5. Ford F-150

The Government's Cash for Clunkers list (They break it up by type, ex. 2WD total listed separately from 4WD) (source
1. Ford Focus
2. Toyota Corolla
3. Honda Civic
4. Toyota Prius
5. Toyota Camry

Looking at the top 5 in each list, it doesn't look good for GM. In the first list they only had 1. You you have to look down to number 15 before you found the next GM vehicle. In the second list they had two in the top 10 positions 7 & 8. In the last list they had one, 10th.

When I purchased my new car, I did not qualify for the Cash for Clunkers, the dealer told me the purpose of this program was to move all the 2009s that the manufactures had sitting around as a result of slow sales and closing dealerships. It was a short term fix designed to move inventory, that's all.

What will happen over the next couple months when the 2110s start coming out?

King Co. trans fats regulation effects us as well

Did you know that the King County Board of Health told county restaurants in July to phase out trans fats and voted to require chain restaurants to provide nutritional information for all menu items. This means removing trans fats in such things as market bakery breads? I didn't either because I don't live in King County. Yet, today, I learned that the King County ban also effects us here in Whatcom County. How, you may asked.

We recently purchased a loaf of bread at Haggen's bakery here in Ferndale. When we got home it was not the same as previous loafs that we have purchased. It seemed like it was not cooked all the way, a little mushy in the middle.

Today we were at the market and went to get another loaf thinking we just got a bad one last time. We started talking to the lady who baked the bread and found out that they have changed the recipe. Because Haggen has stores in King County, all there stores have changed. They have removed trans fats from some of their bread lines. The results, mushy breads.

King County Board of Health did this because they know what's best for their residents. As long as I have been going to the market, I don't remember anyone ever forcing my mom, my wife or myself to purchase anything. If I want bread that tastes good and is not mushy then I should be able to purchase it. Why do we need bureaucrats telling us what we can and can not eat.

I would urge everyone to contact Haggens and request that they go back to the old bread recipe. Why should we have to suffer for King County's dumb ideas. We get enough of that already.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

US Coast Guard Celebrates 219th Anniversary

As a proud Coastie dad and a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, I just wanted to express my thanks to all those who are serving in the Coast Guard. When most people are fleeing a situation, the Coast Guard is heading in. They truly are America's Guardians of the Sea.

"Nearly 42,000 active-duty, 7,484 reserve, 7,659 civilian and 29,000 auxiliary personnel use 247 cutters, 1,850 boats and 204 aircraft to save lives, protect property, ensure the prosperity of our maritime nation, facilitate maritime commerce and protect our nation against all hazards and all threats." (From the Coast Guard announcement)

Happy Anniversary..."Semper Paratus" (Always Ready)

Monday, August 3, 2009

The People's Plan...what?

Our city needs a new police station and a library. Over the past several months various options have been looked into. Building a new library, remodeling the old Rite-Aide building into a police station to name a few. Yet after looking at the various options the price tags were all too high.

Then the proposal to convert the old Boy's and Girl's club at Pioneer Park into a library and the library into a police station took root and started to grow. The more it was looked into the better it looked. Was it the perfect solution, not completely but it was better than any of the previous options. Also the price tag was reasonable.

With all the information researched and the dollars looked at the majority of the council voted to proceeded with this plan earlier this year. Were all those involved 100% happy no, but it's the direction council voted to go.

At tonight's council meeting we learned that there is a "People's Plan" out there and being supported by at least one council member, Zimmerman. At first this plan sounds interesting until you really start to look at it. The more you look the more it seems to fall apart. Yet, council member Zimmerman stood up in front of the council and said this plan could save the city over 2 million dollars. When asked where his numbers were to justify this, there were none. When asked what architect has looked at this plan, there was none. All we had was Zimmerman's estimate based on the costs Lynden has spent on one of their projects and that there were several people that also support this idea, yet none in attendance.

I support the plan the council has approved. I think it is the best solution for our city. I think it makes sense and it is affordable. We need a police station and a library that meets our community's needs. We need to continue to move forward. The "People's Plan" presented tonight by council member Zimmerman has so many holes in it, it was amazing that it was even brought up.