Monday, June 30, 2008

I think we all care about senior citizens and poor people

But spending between two and four million dollars* (if not more), to give them the piece of mind that comes with knowing that their houses will be gutted and remediated before they're demolished seems a little extravagant. Go read this at Squandered Heritage, then head on over to We Could Be Famous.

That's all I have time for tonight.

*Actually, $15M according to the story in the title link.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Yahoo and Google

I don't know if anybody else will find this useful, but I was just able to find three or four links using Yahoo that I couldn't find with Google. While looking for evidence to support the assertion that the RTA is basically Nagin's baby, I found thst many of the links to Times Picayune articles, that I used in earlier posts, no longer worked, a Gambit link that indicates that the mayor bought responsibility for that agency worked fine.

So I tried doing a Google search for some of the quotes that appeared in those earlier posts. I either found a link to my old post but nothing to the Picayune:
Under the plan, General Manager Bill Deville would move into a new position: director of capital recovery. Deville would be replaced by Mark Major, the RTA’s deputy general manager for finance and administration.

Reiss said he will recommend that Deville retain his $125,000 salary and that Major’s $100,000 salary increase by $25,000

Or, the Google search led to nothing at all:
RTA commissioners sat slack-jawed Monday during their monthly meeting as they listened to staffers explain the challenges associated with cleaning a bus -- inside and out -- with a skeleton crew of about a half dozen laborers and a single pressure washer.(earlier post)

I finally decided to try a Yahoo search of the quotes in question and found links to both "Moldy City" and the Picayune.

So, if you have a quote from an article, but not the headline, Yahoo sometimes works better than Google. I guess I had gotten into the habit of using Google at home and just waiting to use LexisNexis at the library if I couldn't find what I was looking for using Google.

If you're curious about what prompted those searches, it was this from Friday's Picayune:
The agency's cash crunch has had a huge effect on its payroll. A total of 1,357 employees before the storm has been cut to about 550. About 100 of those are administrators, with the balance being union drivers and mechanics who have some degree of job protection because of their collective bargaining agreements.

Almost one out of every five employees is an administrator. That's Nagin's RTA, but it's too late at night to add more right now.

Friday's article also contained a statistic that seemed meaningless, or difficult to interpret, under the circumstances or:
The bid document cites the city of Dayton, Ohio, as a similarly sized transit system that averages 2.6 employees per vehicle. In contrast, Veolia's bid notes, the RTA has an average of four employees per vehicle.

But that will also have to wait.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lies, damned lies, and...

Awards? I think that even Jeffrey would agree with Stacy Head about this:
The Government Finance Officers Association honored the city for taking "an important step toward sound financial practices" with its 2008 budget, and Nagin said he was "humbled" by the recognition.

But the award and a presentation the Budget Committee received Thursday touting the city's new "budgeting for outcomes" approach made Councilwoman Stacy Head "feel like I'm in 'The Twilight Zone,' " she said.

"Holy cow!" said Head, who has been highly critical of Nagin administration spending on crime cameras, the 311 informational hotline and garbage collection. "What were they thinking when they gave us an award?"

Head's comments produced an angry response from Budget Committee Chairwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell.

Um, Cynthia, how deep into my bag of examples do you want me to dig? I can also do procedures.

On an otherwise unrelated note, today's mental health tip also involves local news. If you watch the WWL morning news while you're getting ready for work in the morning, change the channel if the in studio musical guest is a cover band. I had a song by a soap opera actor turned "rock" star, a song that was overplayed like crazy in the early eighties, going through my head all at work yesterday. I don't mean to imply criticism of the band in question, well, maybe the choice of material, I'm just pointing out the potential hazards of exposure to cover bands early in the morning.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Southern Regional Bullshit

Before I get to my main point, I have a question about some of the comparisons that Dennis Woltering made in tonight's report on the mayor's misnamed communications office:
New Orleans, with a population 327,000, according to Nagin, has 9 positions in the office of communications. The annual budget just for salaries is $561,917.

The city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with a population of 312,819, has three positions in the public information office. The annual budget for salaries is $167,000.

Bakersfield, California, which has a population of 323,213, has no public information department. The assistant city manager handles those duties. The annual salary is $93,922.32.
San Francisco, with a population of 864,515, has five positions in the mayor's office of communication. The total annual salaries equal $421,869.

Dallas, with a population of 1,213,825, has six people in its public information office. The total annual salaries equal $477,169.

Isn't the comparison only valid for San Francisco? A former communications director, under Dutch Morial, seemed to allude the same thing when he was interviewed, but didn't elaborate. In New Orleans, that's the budget for the mayor's communication office. In the other cities, with the exception of San Francisco, that seems to be the information budget for the entire city government. I thought that something similar might be at work when the city council increased its PR budget last year. Still, it was a good report by Dennis Woltering, that's not the b.s. referred to above.

The bullshit I refer to is this:
Following through on a commitment that he announced during his budget address to the City Council last fall, Mayor C. Ray Nagin has proposed pay raises for City employees in nearly every position classification to increase their compensation rate to the Southern regional average.

If some country had an army in which the ranks below lieutenant were sergeant I, II, III and IV, instead of private, specialist, corporal and sergeant, you wouldn't expect pay rates in that army to reach the world military average by position. Well, there weren't any privates or specialists, or even corporals, in my former department.

Beyond bullshit:
"In a post-Katrina environment in which we had to cut thousands of positions in order to stabilize our government,
we have employees performing the jobs of two or three people
and we must ensure that they are paid competitively with their counterparts in this region," said Dr. Brenda Hatfield, Chief Administrative Officer.

Maybe a very few are overworked, but most have found a great excuse for things not getting done. I'll have a full-fledged rant on the pay raises over the weekend, but I don't want to get too worked up to sleep tonight.

I will make two quick points. Like the mayor's pay increase proposal of 2006, this one also excludes firefighters, but the city council didn't buck the mayor to include this time. I can't find a link, but I heard on TV that that council voted to approve the pay package and piss off the firefighters today -- a mere ten days after the mayor's press release announcing the proposal. Who says the council and mayor can't work well enough together to get anything done quickly?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More recent stories, old posts

I had planned to wait until I had more time to put into this, but:
US Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the State of Louisiana (State) announce

VA Medical Center (VAMC) and Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans (MCLNO) Site Selection Public Informational Meetings

Meeting Date: Thursday, June 26, 2008

Location: Grace Episcopal Church, 3700 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

Time: 1:00 p.m. -- 4:00 p.m.
6:00 p.m. -- 9:00 p.m

Not sure if I'll be able to make the second metting, but I guess I should dash this off tonight.

The Times Picayune is certainly right about the importance of a teaching hospital, but the mayor seems to know that we all know that the Picayune's right.

After reading the recent stories on plans for a new teaching hospital, I looked up a couple of old posts. Since those posts touched on a few subjects, you may want to go directly to the linked articles from May 2007 and February of this year. Read the articles and these posts at Squandered Heritage. The mayor has obviously been banking on the fact that nobody will be willing to risk losing the VA hospital by getting into a prolonged fight over location. It might be too great a risk in this case, but the mayor will keep running roughshod over process for as long as he can get away with it.

In a related note, the July/August issue of Preservation Magazine names Charity Hospital and the adjacent neighborhood among America's eleven most endangered historic places. Interestingly, the same issue that expresses concern about the "1939 art deco landmark" on Tulane Avenue featured a cover story on Tulsa's art deco gems.

Just like Lincoln

In fact, when it comes to Iraq, Bush was at his worst when he was humbly deferring to the generals and at his best when he was arrogantly overruling them.

No matter what you think of the rest of David the Likable's most recent column, that single line has got to be the single stupidest thing that David Brooks has ever written. If he keeps engaging in that kind of tomfoolery, the rest of the liberal blogosphere might need to start calling him "Bozo" instead of "Bobo." I guess it was sheer genius for Bush to overrule the generals that wanted more troops in the first place. I can't begin to find the words to describe the brilliance that led him to ignore the generals who opposed the war before* the invasion.

I wasted too much time discussing national politics during the Democratic primaries, so I won't go into much detail here. I'll skip the debate over whether it's really working, but, considering the basic premise of the surge, I really don't see how can it can be judged a success until after a return to pre-surge troop levels. We haven't gotten there yet.

*You gotta love the understated headline:
Some Top Military Brass Favor Status Quo in Iraq

"Some" included "some" members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the article didn't saying how many of the six members of the Joint Chiefs "some" referred to.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Recent Story, Old Posts

A recent Times Picayune article mentioned some announced and some likely candidates for William Jefferson's seat in the House of Representatives:
Though nearly a month remains before the July 9 start of the three-day qualifying period, state Rep. Cedric Richmond of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish Councilman Byron Lee announced last week that they are running.
Also rumored as candidates are Kenya Smith, who will resign Friday as an aide to Mayor Ray Nagin; and Republican Gary Clark, a political science professor at Dillard University.

Before that article appeared, Jeffrey had already explained why Byron Lee is a serious candidate and Oyster explained why he's a serious scumbag.

As I've mentioned before, Cedric Richmond lobbied for the city's expensive new sanitation contracts when they were proposed in 2006, and in their defense when they came under fire last year. If he's elected, I see a bright future for Rep. Richmond -- he should quickly vault into the national spotlight when he starts co-sponsoring legislation with Chris Dodd.

Kenya Smith came across as a bit of a douchebag in a recent Picayune article about the use and abuse of city credit cards:
"I'm sure our folks have provided you what is there and would be happy to accommodate you if you think there is more," he said.

Smith added that "this is now feeling a lot like intimidation and harassment" and said he has "followed all laws, policies and procedures in place."

However, that's not the first time that he showed himself to be a douchebag.

Finally, I don't know if anybody else commented on it, but Gary Clark was a bit of a buffoon on WWL last February. I won't hold the fact that he defended Nagin against him, I often play Devil's advocate myself, but I do find it interesting that the Nagin defender turned out to be a Republican. However, if I were going on TV to argue a counter-intuitive proposition (e.g. Nagin's doing a good job), I would at least do my home work. I certainly wouldn't insult the viewer's intelligence with nonsensical statements like "Nagin doesn't need to spend much time in Baton Rouge because he works well with a strong legislative team." Nobody's quite about the composition of Nagin's "legislative team," and he often neglects to consult with its presumed members.

I had planned to title this piece "Recent Stories, Old Posts," but the RTA, S&WB and FEMA trailers will have to wait a day or two. However, I will say that I'm curious about what park this letter writer is talking about:
The park near my home, not in use since Katrina, is slated as flood grounds, just in case

The only Metairie park that I'm aware of serving as a retention pond is Pontiff Playground, which is open. Just curious, I'm not up on the status of every Metairie park and playground, so I don't want to question the writer's integrity.

Unfortunately, I think this letter reveals why so many well-meaning people rallied behind the mayor when they should have been demanding answers:
We did not fall prey to the NIMBY syndrome.

I've said it before, if he had time to go to Jamaica, he had time to answer questions about trailer placement. In retrospect, many upper middle-class New Orleanians were as easily manipulated as blue collar Kansans. I'll have a full length rant on this by the end of the week. Of course, I have no way of knowing whether this particular letter supported the mayor's response of "NIMBY" every time somebody questioned any of his site choices, but many did.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Still worth reading

A few weeks ago, I recommended the BGR's 2003 report on tax increment financing. I failed to mention it before, but the five year-old report deals with many projects that are still being discussed, including TIF's in New Orleans East and development plans for the World Trade Center -- with an entire appendix devoted to the latter.

As I've indicated before, I believe that the city needs to get out of the habit of committing future revenue, that should go into the general fund, to specific projects that sound good now. Judging by recent reports, Arnie Fielkow doesn't share that concern:
In addition to the one-time payment, Full Spectrum must make what is essentially an annual property tax payment. The building is technically tax-exempt because it is owned by the city, but the developer has agreed to pay 60 percent of the taxes that would be assessed if it were privately held.

Howard labeled that provision a "tax break" and said the council should demand a 100 percent payment from the developer. The Bureau of Government Research has long taken the position that projects involving luxury condominiums, as this one does, should not receive any sort of tax abatement.

Howell Crosby, an attorney for the World Trade Center, noted that the office building currently does not generate revenue for the city in the form of hotel-motel or sales taxes, both of which would be generated once the development is complete.

Council members agreed to take up the lease at their next meeting, on July 10. Councilman Arnie Fielkow said the body should not delay a vote beyond that date because the $24 million the Building Corporation is set to receive under the lease arrangement provides startup money for Reinventing the Crescent, an ambitious plan to redevelop the riverfront.

"Without that seed money, I question whether that project would get off the ground," Fielkow said.

If that quote seemed unnecessarily long, read the BGR report -- at least Appendix B. Also, note the following from City Business:
The 99-year lease would allow New York developer Full Spectrum to put a hotel, condos and a cultural center or museum in the city-owned building in exchange for a one-time, $24 million fee and an annual payment in lieu of taxes.

The annual payment would be used for improvements to the public riverfront that surrounds the 33-story, mostly empty office building.

I'm not trying to take gratuitous shots at Fielkow, and I don't mean to imply anything by noting a disagreement. However, he has called for a "comprehensive and articulated policy" on the use of tax increment financing districts, but he wants a vote on what seems like a TIF by July 10. Actually, Stacy Head called for the same policy, and she's also getting impatient. Of course, the WTC deal has been fugabooed so many different ways for so many years, that the impatience is almost understandable. Almost.

If one of the names mentioned above sounds familiar, it's probably because of this. Frankly, I'm not sure how much I'd make out of the coincidence that the head of the corporate section of the state's oldest law firm has had two clients in the newsrecently.

The thrill is gone

Barack Obama might have turned Chris Matthews' head back in February, but you didn't really think he could forget his true love, did you? I bring this up because I just saw Lynn Sweet (per Matthews: "the person who knows Obama better than anybody") on Hardball. I don't claim to have seen every episode, and probably wouldn't admit it if I had, but I don't recall having seen Lynn Sweet on Hardball when the Democratic nomination was in doubt. She was a guest on April 28, but I believe that was her first 2008 appearance. You can always find a reporter from a presidential candidate's home state who will say bad things about him; it's piece of cake. Now that Obama's up against St. McCain, I suspect that we'll be seeing a lot more of Ms. Sweet. Funny how little we saw of her when Obama was campaigning against the cackling bitch and the hypocrite with the expensive haircut.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Uncle Clancy says, "Eat your broccoli..."

And listen to your daddy:
At the same time, everyone needs to remember that this recovery is going to be a decade long process, not a quick fix. Equally important is the notion that just because we don't see cranes in the sky, that doesn't mean the work of recovery isn't getting done.

Truth is, every recovery project takes a lot of advance planning, designing, paperwork and double-checking before construction begins. That's true even for private-sector projects, but it applies doubly so in the public sector — particularly where federal grants are involved.

So just shut up and go play with that toy he brought you:
A key element of hope is patience, which brings us back to the notion that this recovery is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. Meanwhile, citizens can track the quiet (for now) progress of several hundred public recovery projects online by clicking the orange recovery ribbon in the upper-right-hand corner of the city's Web site (

Don't tell me that I was the only Gambit reader who thought that the commentary was a patronizing piece of crap.

I'll try to return to this subject in a future post, but I seem to recall the mayor saying that the city's recovery couldn't wait for a forensic audit. He said that during a debate two years ago. We finally got the results of a 2006 audit in January of this year. As far as I can tell, none of the problems that it uncovered have yet been addressed. I guess that implementing sound financial policies and accounting procedures is a marathon, not a sprint.

I was sure the story was going to be about catastrophe insurance

When I saw this headline the other day:
Flooding in the Midwest may help bolster awareness of coastal issues, experts say

I didn't think about infrastructure repair, but Charlie Melancon makes a good point:
Catastrophic flooding and levee breaches in Iowa could help Louisiana make its case that the U.S. government needs to make serious investments in infrastructure, Congressman Charlie Melancon said at a forum on coastal insurance issues Monday.

It would probably be somewhat tasteless, if not altogether ghoulish, to campaign in Iowa on McCain's opposition to a national catastrophe fund. At least, it would be tasteless to raise the issue too soon. However, Iowa easily came in first in a National Journal Political Insiders Poll, conducted before the flooding, about which three Bush states are Obama's best pickup chances.

On the subject of infrastructure, I will remind readers that before we heard about levee breaches in the Midwest, we heard about a bridge in Minnesota -- a bridge that was one of 73,518 bridges nationwide. Before we heard about the nation's bridges, we heard about the nation's levees. You can also bet that half the cities in America are watching to see how much help New Orleans gets with its sewerage and water repairs. If the S&WB gets help fixing any problems that can't be blamed on Katina, they'll all have their hands out. Actually, it's a national problem and many cities will probably need federal help, no matter what the market worshippers say. It would be neither ghoulish nor tasteless to ask McCain how he thinks we can afford to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, and cut the corporate tax rate and increase the size of the military, all in light of nation's infrastructure needs.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Tennessean gets it

From an editorial in Friday's Nashville Tennessean:
America is a big country, but is it big enough to safely store radioactive waste from abroad?
EnergySolutions wants to move the atomic waste either through the port of Charleston, S.C., or New Orleans on its way to Oak Ridge for processing; of that material, 1,600 tons of residue would be destined for Clive, Utah. That is only for this one contract. EnergySolutions has signaled that it is actively pursuing more foreign business.
But this nation must not, under any circumstances, become a dump for dangerous waste from around the world. The people of those nations would not stand for it, and neither should Americans.

You may recall that last month, Oyster alerted us to an article in the Picayune (buried on p. A6) about plans to import radioactive material from Italy through the ports of New Orleans and Charleston, process it at Oak Ridge, Tennessee and store it in Utah. That's about all I've heard about it in the local press. The newspapers in Tennessee, South Carolina and Utah have covered in the story at length, but we've barely heard about it. Nice to know that our journalists are so much more responsible than the muckraking fear mongers in those other states.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Feminazi Party

I had planned to avoid discussing national politics for a while, but I haven't seen anybody else commenting on something that I noticed about the NYT's Thirteen ways of looking at a whitebird -- basically twelve short answer responses (one had two authors) to the question: "What went wrong (with Clinton's candidacy)?" Six were written by men, six by women.

It's interesting, but probably coincidental, that of the six pieces written by men, the three written by politicians were all written by Democrats. Of the six written by women, the three written by politicians were all written by Republicans. The three written by Republicans, Jane Swift, Heather Wilson and Christine Todd Whitman, all blame Clinton's loss on sexism. One, Wilson's essay, asserts that Obama was the most liberal for good measure. I've found comments about each of those op-ed pieces individually, but none about all three. Now that Obama has the nomination wrapped up and the Democrats are trying to unite, Republicans start to object to the sexist treatment that Clinton received. How convenient:
Republicans are alive to the opportunity. When Obama superdelegate Steve Cohen compared Clinton to the bunny-boiling character played by Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, John McCain's press team rushed out a critical email. He hopes women will forget the campaign stop in South Carolina where he was asked: "How do we beat the bitch?" Once he stopped laughing, he answered "that's an excellent question".

For the sake of comparison, the other three women contributors were Kathleen Hall Jamison, of the non-partisan Annenberg Public Policy Center blamed Clinton's Iraq vote. Ana Marie Cox, who must be liberal because Wonkette is always rife with sexual innuendos and references*, blamed the media. The New Republic's* Michelle Cottle inadvertently agreed with Cox.

*I was, of course, being facetious about Ana Marie Cox. Still, I do find it funny that, in an age of "South Park Republicans," Ms. Cox's apparent familiarity with fellatio seems to be taken as evidence of liberalism. I suppose that it's safe to say that The New Republic has gone back to being liberal-leaning since Marty Peretz sold it; it describes itself as center-left. I will take the opportunity to remind some (an astonishingly large number) Obama supporters just how conservative the magazine had become when Andrew Sullivan was its editor.

Monday, June 09, 2008

This is like deja vu all Clancy again

I'm too tired to do the follow up that I planned to my last post (about the favorable reactions to the mayor's state of the city address), but I think I covered the most salient point anyway. Not the most important, just the most obvious. When the paper's only responsible* op-ed writer, the editorial page writer of the local daily, and the editor of the city's main "alternative" weekly all praise the mayor for taking responsibility, when all he's done is offer the same excuse that he offered a year ago, it sticks out like a sore thumb. It does to me, anyway. Throw in the conveniently ignored lawsuit, and it's a very sore thumb.

There were more serious problems with all three pieces, especially the Picayune's editorial, which I'll try to return to. In case I don't, it does seem that the Picayune's editor's could use some of Sarah Carr's skepticism about "buying momentum" and long-term stability. For more on the Sarah Carr article, see We Could Be Famous.

In the meantime, it's interesting to compare Clancy DuBos' reaction to the Mayor's 2008 "State of the City" speech to his reaction to the Mayor's 2006 "100 Day" report. They're nearly identical. I'm curious about where DuBos got the notion that we elected a "visionary" in 2002; I was under the impression that we were electing a practical "businessman," albeit a "businessman" who understood the practical consequences of widespread corruption. At any rate, a visionary might be the best person to lead a stagnating city out its doldrums, I don't think you'd want a visionary to oversee the practical task of rebuilding a city.

Am I the only blogger who has trouble coming up with titles for posts?

*By responsible, I mean that Stephanie Grace usually gives the impression of taking some account of the facts before writing her columns.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Collective Amnesia?

Or collective cowardice? Or just a bunch of really wise monkeys?

I've already commented on the mayor's "state of the city" speech, but I went on vacation soon after and missed most of the editorial reaction. Now that I'm back, I'm flabbergasted. I leave town shortly after seeing a WDSU report that Nagin's chronic excuse mongering had finally led to a lawsuit and come home to...Mizaru*:
To his credit, Mayor Nagin apologized for delays in getting crime cameras up and working across the city. One of the companies hired to do the work "walked off the job," and the city had to start again, he said. But "we should have caught it earlier and adjusted accordingly." In promising to have 200 of 241 cameras working by July, he said: "No more delays. No excuses."

This year, he accepted responsibility for the nonfunctioning crime cameras

And Iwazaru:
"one of the companies we hired to install and maintain a significant number of cameras walked off the job and that impacted our delivery schedule," Nagin admitted. "We had to go back instead of concentrating on moving forward. We should have caught it earlier and adjusted accordingly."

Put aside for the moment questions over the administration's unnecessary secrecy over the matter until now, as well as just how long it took to 'catch' a major contractors' absence from the job. This was Nagin doing something he rarely does: owning up to his shortcomings and promising to address them, on a transparent schedule, "no more delays, no excuses."

In a comment at Adrastos' place, I mentioned that the WDSU report is the only mention that I can find in the local media of Southern Electronics' lawsuit againts the city. Maybe the city's other news outlets have decided that the suit is frivolous, and they're exercising discretion rather than displaying cowardice; let's be charitable and assume that they are. The fact remains, the WDSU report was on the station's website early Friday. The Stephanie Grace op-ed, T/P editorial and Clancy DuBos column didn't hit the newsstands until Sunday. They all praised Nagin for "taking responsibility" yet none mentioned one consequence of the Nagin's wonderful decision to "take responsibility" -- to be fair, I have no idea what kind of publication schedule Gambit is on.

Leaving out the lawsuit, one might hope that professional opinion-mongerers would be well-informed enough to remember, or diligent enough to find out, what had been reported on a subject before offering their opinions. Had our wise monkeys bothered to uncover their eyes, they might have found a March 2007 report on faulty cameras and questionable contracts that led to this response:
The initial contract to install the cameras, which Mayor C. Ray Nagin signed in July 2004, followed a competitive bid process. Under this contract, the City specified a maximum number of cameras that would be installed by the vendor.

At the end of that year, the contractor had installed only 25 cameras, despite significant encouragement from and expense on the part of the City. In order to install cameras more quickly, the City also employed contractors who had been chosen through a state bid process.
By the end of this year, 200 cameras are expected to be in operation.

I suppose that it's too much to expect professional journalists to remember articles from over a year ago or even have enough of a vague recollection to prompt a Google search. However, a similar report appeared less than a month before the opinion pieces:
On that January evening in 2007, Nagin announced that 50 cameras would be operable within a week, with 200 online by the end of the year. It was a modest proposal, scaled down from an earlier pledge of 1,000 cameras.

Now we're supposed to be reassured because the mayor takes responsibility, while blaming somebody else (and getting the city sued), and promises to have 200 cameras working by July. He made last year's promise after replacing Southern Electronics.

Update: Way to go, City Council.

*In case my meaning isn't obvious:
The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil.

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