Good Morning Humboldt County!
C’mon in…you’re here in time for coffee and a look at some entertaining stories to start the day. Truth is often stranger than fiction as demonstrated in a couple of these stories. Pull up a seat and relax. The coffee’s especially good today.
Marines ordered to stop farting around civilians
The Military Times news service, reporting from Afghanistan in August, disclosed a U.S. Marines command directive ordering troops to restrain their audible flatus because, apparently, Afghan soldiers and civilians complained of being offended. The reporter doubted the directive could be effective, in that passing gas by front-line troops is "practically a sport." [Military Times)
Union leaders gaming the retirement system
A Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV investigation revealed in September and October the astonishing result that Illinois laws passed in 1997 and 2007 at the behest of organized labor have given at least three former union leaders lifetime government pensions as if they had been city or state employees, totaling an estimated drain on public budgets of about $7 million. Two teachers' union officials were allowed to teach exactly one day to qualify, and an engineers' union official was hired for exactly one day, with the remainder of the service of the three having been on the payroll of the respective unions. A September Tribune report estimated that perhaps 20 other union officials might have been eligible under similar provisions. [Chicago Tribune
City builds wheel chair ramps to nowhere
In what a cement company executive said is "one of those bureaucratic things that doesn't make any sense," the city of Detroit recently built wheelchair ramps at 13 intersections along Grandy Street, despite knowing that those ramps are either not connected to sidewalks or connected to seldom-used, badly crumbling sidewalks. The ramps were required by a 2006 lawsuit settlement in which Detroit pledged to build ramps on any street that gets re-paved, as Grandy was. (No one in city government thought, apparently, to attempt a trade of these 13 intersections for paving 13 more-widely used ones in the city.) [Detroit News
Time to walk on down the road…