A SMALL PRICE TO PAY FOR THE MAYOR’S OFFICE
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s campaign committee has been ordered to pay $13,000 in fines for taking campaign donations in excess of legal limits during her successful run for office three years ago.
— Washington Post, June 8, 2017
IT WOULD IF SHE LOST HER JOB
“How’s your job?” [Virginia gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello] asked.
“I make $9.66 an hour after working for years,” Candace Niles, 27, said with a sigh. “I’m a single mom with three kids.”
“Would it change your life much if minimum wage was $15 an hour?” Perriello asked, referencing a policy he and Northam support but Republicans in the legislature oppose.
— Washington Post, June 12, 2017
WELL, THERE’S YOUR PROBLEM
[Texas House Speaker Joe] Straus was in no hurry to impose order. He looked at the scrum of lawmakers around [Rep. Jonathan] Stickland. “Just think,” he said. “These are the people responsible for spending two hundred and eighteen billion dollars.”
— New Yorker, July 10, 2017
WHY IS HEALTH INSURANCE SO EXPENSIVE?
The aim of forest bathing [walking quietly in a forest], [certified Forest Therapy guide Melanie] Choukas-Bradley explained, is to slow down and become immersed in the natural environment. She helped us tune into the smells, textures, tastes and sights of the forest....
“It’s my hope that the health care system will include [forest therapy] into the range of services they reimburse for,” [Amos] Clifford [the founder of the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy] says.
— NPR, July 17, 2017
NEIGHBORLY HELP UNWANTED
A Toronto man who spent $550 building a set of stairs in his community park says he has no regrets, despite the city’s insistence that he should have waited for a $65,000 city project to handle the problem. The city is now threatening to tear down the stairs because they were not built to regulation standards.
Retired mechanic Adi Astl says he took it upon himself to build the stairs after several neighbours fell down the steep path to a community garden in Tom Riley Park, in Etobicoke, Ont. Astl says his neighbours chipped in on the project, which only ended up costing $550—a far cry from the $65,000–$150,000 price tag the city had estimated for the job.
“I thought they were talking about an escalator,” Astl told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.
Astl says he hired a homeless person to help him and built the eight steps in a matter of hours.
— CTV News, July 19, 2017
UNIONS DON’T GET OUR GOAT
A union has filed a grievance in response to Western Michigan University’s hiring of goats to clear 15 acres (6.07 hectares) of woodland on campus.
The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that Kathi Babbit is the chief steward of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees local union. Babbit wrote in a July newsletter that the grievance had been filed in relation to subcontracting and the unreported use of goats.
The university hired the team of goats after a half-acre trial run last year. Officials of goat rental company Munchers on Hooves say the animal consumes 3 to 5 pounds (1.36 to 2.27 kilograms) of vegetation per day and leaves behind natural fertilizer.
— Detroit News, July 13, 2017
I WILL GLADLY PAY YOU TUESDAY, 30 YEARS FROM NOW, FOR A HAMBURGER TODAY
In Prince William, the board of supervisors is considering a proposal in which it would use bond money to build the stadium. The team would then reimburse the county the entire cost over the course of a 30-year lease....
“If the team doesn’t make their revenue targets—if the team is not able to pay its annual projection lease amount—there’s no guarantees anywhere that they have to make up the difference,” said Pete Candland, one of Prince William’s eight county supervisors. “The taxpayers are the ones on the hook.”
— Washington Post, June 17, 2017
WHAT ARE CRONIES FOR?
Gov. Terry McAuliffe doled out some of Virginia’s juiciest political plums to seven current or former administration officials and two of their wives on Friday, appointing them to boards overseeing state colleges and universities ... in his last round of Board of Visitors picks before he leaves office in January.
— Washington Post, June 4, 2017