Pattaya Sports Round up – Friday December 30 – January 5,…

first_imgFridayDFiT, Dusit Thani Pattaya: Visitors using the group fitness membership can avail of the THB 2,000 offer for five visits to the gym after their membership has expired.  The offer includes unlimited use of DFiT facilities including tennis courts.  For more information, call 038-425611 ext. DFiT.1:00 p.m. The Pattaya Bridge Club meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon at 1pm at the Bowling Green, Soi Fuengfa (Soi Xyte). Visitors of all standards are welcome and we will always find you a partner.  Details are on the website – www.pattayabridge.com or call Terry on 038 422 924.2:00 p.m. Pattaya Sports Club Bowling at Pattaya Plus Bowl (north of Big C), Second Road. Contact La at P.S. after 1:30 p.m. 8:30 p.m. Mickey Mouse Darts League takes place at the following venues: OK Corral, Devonshire, Cheers, Drum and Monkey, Helicopter, Londoner, Palmer’s, Rising Sun, Stars in your Eyes. For further information please call Denis on 047794050 or E-mail denis@okbarpattaya.com. Everyone Welcome!SaturdayPattaya Archery Club meets between 10am and 12 midday every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at our dedicated shooting range within easy reach of Pattaya, near the new railway road.  Beginners of all ages are welcome, and equipment and coaching are free.  For more information call Eric, the club President , on 089 535 1193 or visit www.pattayaarcheryclub.comOcean Marina Yacht Club invites experienced sailors and learners for racing weekends and funsail/training weekends.  The club has 5 star clubhouse facilities and a fleet of 25′ racing yachts available. www.omycsailing.com, phone Kev Scott 087 825 0011.8:00 a.m. Diving with Mermaid’s Dive School.  Contact Mermaid’s Dive Center, tel. 038 232 219 – 20, email: mermaids@loxinfo.co.th8:00 a.m. – noon & 2 – 6 p.m. (Sat & Sun – Also Monday to Friday) Horseback riding at the Horseshoe Point Riding Academy, the biggest equestrian center in South-East Asia.  Show jumping, hacking, trail, dressage and classical dressage.  Training courses from beginners to advanced riders with English speaking instructors.  Leisure trail riding, group and private classes.  All levels of riders welcome.  Over 100 horses and ponies available.  Located on 1,500 acres of beautiful tropical garden land just outside Pattaya.  Free shuttle service available.  For more information: phone (+66) 3873 – 5050 (ext. 4016-18), fax (+66) 3873 – 4973 or email: ridingschool@thehorseshoepoint.com8:30 am. -10:00 am. International Players Academy meets every Sat. morning for Jr. Intermediate level Tennis at Ambassador City Tennis Courts. Visitors are welcome, just bring your tennis racket, ages range from 10-16. For more details call CJ on 086 086 21213.00 pm – Pattaya Cricket Club practice nets at Horseshoe Point next to Siam Country Club. All ages and abilities welcome.  Please contact Simon at pattayacricketclub@gmail.comSunday8:00 a.m. Diving with Mermaid’s Dive School.  Contact Mermaid’s Dive Center, tel. 038 232 219 – 20, email: mermaids@loxinfo.co.th12:00 p.m.  Pattaya Sports Club Softball plays at the fields of Pattaya Sport Flying Club.  The fields are situated as follows: follow Sukhumvit Road in the direction of Sattahip and turn left just past Greenway Driving Range.  Follow the road for about 5km till you see a sign saying Pattaya Sport Flying Club on your left hand side.  Turn in the sandy road for another 3/4km till you see the fields on your left side.  For more details contact Dirk at: oxbow70@yahoo.com or phone at 015754528 or Alan at 061574795.2:00 p.m. The Pattaya Backgammon League (PBL) meets every Sunday at B.G. House & Restaurant @ 2 p.m. For further details phone 081 664 9085 or email tournament@pattayabackgammonleague.com3:00 p.m. Pattaya Jungle H3 meets every 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month and departure is from the Lek Hotel on 2nd Rd at 3pm.  For more info please call Kai on 01 863 5095.5:00 p.m. Pattaya Sports Club Lawn Bowling Section.  Fun roll-ups on Sunday nights at 5 p.m. that will be instructional, build camaraderie, and fun.  Teams will be drawn for matches, with beginners and experienced bowlers mixed together.  Very generous discounts are offered for PSC members, just show up with your PSC card and flat-soled shoes if you have them.  Equipment is for hire at a modest cost if you don’t have your own.  Contact Bowling Green – Pattaya on 038 720 741 or email info@lawnbowlasia.com or just call at the Bowling Green located on Soi Fuengfa between Soi Buakow and 3rd Road.MondayPattaya Blue Water Sailing Club is sponsoring a 5 day 4 night cruise from Pattaya to Koh Samet aboard the 52 ft sailing yacht Monona from Dec 12-16.  The yacht will accommodate 6-8 people and will leave Pattaya Monday with an overnight stop at a beach off Satahip arriving Tuesday in Koh Samet. Wednesday and Thursday will be spent exploring the islands around Koh Samet and arrive back in Pattaya early Friday evening.  For further information contact Nathan Russo at 08 5275 6724 or ncrusso1@gmail.com.1:00 p.m. The Pattaya Bridge Club meets at the Bowling Green, Soi Fuengfa (Soi Xyte). Visitors of all standards are welcome (a suitable partner if necessary) and the venue is non- smoking. For all the latest information, times, location map etc. visit: – www.pattayabridge.com3:00 p.m. Pattaya Hash House Harriers: The club for drinking people with a running problem meets every Monday at 3.15 pm at the Lek Hotel, (between Soi 12 & 13 on 2nd Road). The bus leaves at 3.30 pm, and the run starts at 5pm. Call Patrick 081 687 2410 for details.8:30 p.m. The next Monday Quiz Night is on Jan. 2.  The fixtures are as follows:  Cheers vs. Offshore, Londoner vs. Nervous Wreck, Nom’s vs. Irish Rovers, W. Tankie vs. The Ranch, Palmers (Bye)TuesdayChess and Scrabble Club: every Tuesday 12pm – 5pm at Hoek-Van-Holland in Jomtien. Take Thappraya Road to intersection with Beach Road. Dong Tan Police sub-station is right there. Walk back towards Pattaya 10 meters along walking path. Hoek-Van-Holland is on the right, before the parking lot. Bring your own chess set and/or scrabble board. For more information please see website www.hoek-van-holland.com – Everyone welcome.The Pattaya Chess Club meets every Tuesday evening from 6:30 p.m. onwards at Brauhaus on 2nd Road between Soi 7 and Soi 8. Learners and anybody who would like to play chess are most welcome. Boards and clocks are provided.Wednesday1:00 p.m. The Pattaya Bridge Club meets at the Bowling Green, Soi Fuengfa (Soi Xyte). Visitors of all standards are welcome (a suitable partner if necessary) and the venue is non-smoking. For all the latest information, times, location map etc. visit: – www.pattayabridge.com3.00 pm – Pattaya Cricket Club practice nets at Horseshoe Point next to Siam Country Club. All ages and abilities welcome.  Please contact Simon at pat tayacricketclub@gmail.com.4.00 pm – Club Petanque Thailand plays Wednesdays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m.  The court is open for groups every day. New and bigger surface. Very good drainage as well as better lighting.  No membership fee. Find us at Soi Nernplabwan 100/2 Moo7, next to Sutawas Temple and small Banglamung Police station. Contact: 085 280 7182, fax 038 248 067, email: petanque.Th@gmail.com (English, French, German, Scandinavian); (Thai & Chinese: 080 618 2831.)Thursday7:00 p.m.  Pattaya Panthers and Panties (mixed) Touch Rugby every Thursday night at Horseshoe Point next to Siam Country Club. New players are always welcome – we are a very sociable team! Please contact Paul Crouch on 089 902 6286 or pjcrouch@hotmail.com8:30 p.m.  PSC Thursday Darts League.  Participating teams include Pleasure Dome, Fishermen, Roxy, Queen Vic, PSI, Helicopter, Rising Sun, Londoner and Crazy Eddie’s.  For details, contact Len Banfield, PSC Darts chairman, phone 038 420 432.last_img read more

Torrie takes the medal

first_imgIPGC Golf from the Tara Court Golf GroupSunday, Oct. 9, Green Valley – Medal1st Rod Torrie (11) net 682nd Shaun Tracy (15) net 72 3rd Gerry Hannan (11) net 754th Bob St Aubin (14) net 75Rod Torrie.It was time for our monthly medal again here at Green Valley.  As usual the course was in very good condition except that the greens have still not recovered completely from the sanding and coring.  Most of us found it playing very long as the fairways are very soft and with no run, which was probably why, except for one player, the scores weren’t great.Rod Torrie was the exception and he won his second medal for this year with an excellent net 68, so obviously the bumpy greens weren’t a problem for him as he won by four shots.Shaun Tracy was our only other player to play to his handicap and he came second with a net 72.  We had a count back for third place with Gerry Hannan coming out on top with a net 75 and Bob St Aubin took the fourth and last place.  Bob also got the only ‘2’ of the day so he wasn’t too disappointed for losing the count back.Tuesday, Oct. 11, Treasure Hill – Stableford1st Donal McGuigan (18) 37pts2nd Gerry Hannan (11) 32pts3rd John Fenwick (19) 31ptsIt had been a long time since we last played here at Treasure Hill and again we found the course is excellent condition.  It is great value for money and even though there are still delays on road 331 it is still worth the extra time it takes to get there.A very hot day for golf but at least we escaped the rain.  Some of our group were playing here for their first time and as usual everyone found it very difficult, and because today it was wet and playing long it was even more difficult than usual.We had one exception, Donal McGuigan, who had no problem with it as he scored thirty seven points to win by five clear.  Gerry Hannan was playing here for his first time but he still managed to come second with thirty two points.  John Fenwick took the third and last place with thirty one and we had no ‘2’s today.Thursday, Oct. 13, Burapha – Stableford1st Russell Gilroy (16) 38pts2nd Jon Batty (6) 36pts3rd John Fenwick (20) 33ptsAgain for our last game of the week we were back here at Burapha.  We won’t have many more weeks here now as the Sport Days are nearly over, which is a pity as we all enjoy this course very much.We were lucky again with the weather and got around dry but because of all the rain over the past few days and nights we all decided to play off the shorter white tees as it was going to be playing long.Russell Gilroy, who has been playing very consistent over the past few weeks was the winner again today with thirty eight points, a score which will hopefully bring his handicap down even further and give the rest of us a chance!  Jon Batty also played his usual consistent golf and came second with thirty six points.  John Fenwick took the third and last place for today with thirty three points.Paddy Naughton has just arrived back for a short visit and on his first game he got the only ‘2’ of the day to make sure he didn’t go home empty handed.last_img read more

Kevin Durant pushes for an NBA team in Seattle

first_imgAdvertisement s3n9NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs3exbiWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Eqm( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) clrWould you ever consider trying this?😱66ryyxCan your students do this? 🌚no3gofRoller skating! Powered by Firework The Golden State Warriors will take on the Sacramento Kings in Seattle on Saturday and Kevin Durant will return to the city where he began his NBA career.Advertisement The Warriors forward strongly thinks that Seattle deserves a spot on the NBA map. The Seattle Supersonics were relocated in 2008 and became the Oklahoma City Thunder after just one season for KD in the city.Advertisement “It’s a basketball city. It’s a sports town,” he told ESPN. “They have a good representation of basketball in the NBA from Seattle-born players, Washington state-born players, and I feel like that whole brand deserves an NBA team.“Just like the Golden State Warriors deserve a team or the Los Angeles Lakers deserve a team, Seattle is that same way. (A team) has that same type of impact in the community. So (we have) a lot of time in life before this whole thing is over, and I’m sure we’ll see a team before it’s time.”Advertisement Coach Steve Kerr also echoed his star’s thoughts, and said that the NBA being in Seattle should be a ‘no brainer.’However, for the move to become a reality, one of relocation or expansion is needed. Currently, no such plans are close to happening, so KD’s wish won’t bear fruition in the near future. But Seattle will arguably be one of the top contenders to get a team if the need arises. Advertisementlast_img read more

Mallard’s Team of the Week —Sensations Dress Shop U14 Girl’s Champs

first_imgDuring the regular season Sensations Dress Shop struggled to find any consistency against the rest of the Girl’s U14 League teams.However, when playoffs rolled in the squad rose to World Cup form as Sensations Dress Shop won the Nelson Youth Soccer U14 Girl’s House League crown with a thrilling 3-2 shootout win over Vogue during Championship Saturday at the Lakeside Pitch.Sensations Dress Shop and Vogue played to a 2-2 regulation tie before the victors took over to capture the House League crown in shootout. Mallard’s Source for sports would like to add to the Cinderella seasons for Sensations Dress Shop with Team of the Week honours.The team includes, coach Laura Zondervan, Heather Potkins, Anna Milde, Haley Slomba, Shaen Panko-Dool, Bryce Winters, Ava Young, Alex Pompu, Riley Zondervan, coach Beth Corven, Veronica Kearnes, Kelsey Andrusak, Hannah Corven, Camryn Parnell, Kamylle Barton, Jaden How and Ellee Atkinson.last_img read more

Kobe Bryant helicopter firm was not allowed to fly in fog

first_imgIsland Express Helicopters was limited to operating when the pilot was able to see clearly when flying.The pilot reportedly had the federal certification to fly the helicopter relying only on cockpit instruments.However he is likely to have had little experience in doing so, experts say.This was due to him being restricted by the company’s licensing.The cause of the crash in foggy weather west of Los Angeles is still being investigated. Bryant was on his way to coach his daughter’s basketball team in a local youth tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy.Meanwhile, on Friday the Lakers played their first game since Bryant’s death, going up against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Staples Center in LA.The team paid tribute to Bryant by warming up wearing his numbers – 8 and 24 – while thousands of fans chanted, “Kobe, Kobe!”Singer Usher then began a formal tribute by singing Amazing Grace, flanked by bouquets in the shape of the numbers 8 and 24.Paying tribute to the icon, Lakers star LeBron James told the crowd: “The fact that I’m here now means so much to me.”I’m going to continue with my teammates to continue his legacy not only for this year but as long as we can continue to play the game of basketball that we love, because that’s what Kobe Bryant would want.”last_img read more

Noise nuisance

first_imgThere is no questioning the prevalence of noise nuisance and its harsh consequences on residents. The numerous related complaints, including letters in the media, tell of extremely worrying situations. Much has been said about the disturbing effects, especially on the elderly, the sick and children, seemingly left at the mercy of the perpetrators. Much has also been said about the reportedly reluctance of the Police to intervene or their very delayed and inconsequential response.Based on reports, noise nuisance is widespread with common sentiments by affected residents. Their stories detail the horror they are forced to endure and their passionate pleas for help. To put in perspective the impact of loud noise, the USA used it as a means of “music torture” for psychological warfare on former Panamanian leader, General Manuel Noriega.Facing indictment for drug-trafficking and other claims, he was at the time hiding out in the Vatican’s embassy in Panama City, after the USA invasion. Having surrounded the embassy, troops blasted rock music non-stop. It is believed that the Vatican complained to the then US President, George HW Bush and the music war stopped within three days. Shortly after, Noriega surrendered.That further demonstrates the potency of noise to inflict psychological harm on humans. Evidence is not necessarily needed to make that point, but noteworthy, loud noise can potentially cripple the mindset. While the Noriega situation lasted only three days, here in Guyana, many residents are subjected either on a daily basis or throughout every weekend. As this nuisance continues unabated, affected residents are left short of a solution for relief.Recently, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan spoke to the issue during related training involving representatives of the Guyana Police Force and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He alluded to the social problems noise nuisance can precipitate and reminded that persons can be prosecuted. He also stated that other mitigating measures such as seizure of equipment, revoking of licences and the increasing of fines can be taken against perpetrators and urged knowledge of the related laws.While the training is welcomed and the Minister’s pronouncement would be seen as a call to action by those tasked with maintaining law and order, it did not answer why there is a reported lack of action in many instances to the numerous reports made. Clearly, the authorities cannot be oblivious of residents’ cries; both in the media and complaints made to various Police stations.It should be noted that after accusing its predecessor of failing, the current Government campaigned vigorously to restore law and order in all forms. If that were to be believed, then an obvious question is why it took more than three years for the Minister to appear to be implementing measures to bring relief to residents? What could have led to his pronouncements at this time and which prevented him from doing so before?There have been numerous allegations of some Police ranks deliberately turning a deaf ear to complaints of noise nuisance. One reason is reportedly some the ranks benefit from owners of bars and promoters. There are also allegations of some ranks patronising some bars and events even while the music is devastating to surrounding residents. The common response to aggrieved callers is that permission is granted until midnight. In reality that “midnight” turns out to be much closer to sunrise.Gauging from reports in the public domain regarding the Police/EPA training, it appears that the issue of “until-midnight permission” may not have been a focus. This is not to say it probably was not discussed. However, that needs to be addressed, taking into consideration the welfare of citizens. Equally worrying, is the Minister urging knowledge of the related laws to the gathering. Is that suggesting that the first responders are unaware? Should that be taken as an answer for the lack of meaningful intervention, especially in the past?Surely that cannot be accepted for residents wanting relief. Many have asked why particular bars are given the freedom to consistently blare music in total disregard for others. Action has since been taken against one and residents are relieved after years. A question is; why not earlier? Naturally, clamping down on noise nuisance will find favour with residents but the wrath from the perpetrators.When interests clash, the welfare of the general citizenry is expected to be given priority. As the Minister’s charge is executed, the foremost expectation would be for no favouritism to be shown to the believably friends and/or benefactors of some ranks. As it is, some bars, in and out of the City, operate unfettered as if the Minister’s statements were never made.If the Minister is genuinely concerned over the various social problems that can manifest, then he has to be even-handed and the efforts sustained across the country. If this is now a priority, then he must also implement a mechanism whereby citizens can easily further their complaints when ignored at Police stations with the expectation of a swift resolution. Failure in these regards will probably see residents surrendering to blasters as Noriega; only in the context of being fatigued by noise.last_img read more

Several Persons, Vehicles Stranded in Southeast

first_imgThe roads to Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County and the southeast, are an economic hazard for half of the year, every year in Liberia, due to the rains.The Daily Observer has gathered that due to the bad road network in the southeast of the country, several persons traveling that way, as well as their vehicles, are stranded. The passengers and their vehicles, the report said, got stranded about a week ago, and they are reportedly running out of food and water.The report was corroborated by dispatchers at Monrovia/Grand Gedeh Parking Station, who confirmed that hundreds of businessmen, women, aid agency vehicles and commuters are stranded due to the deplorable road conditions. They added that the passengers and the vehicles were stuck in the muddy areas of the road.As a result, some of the stranded vehicles have reportedly developed mechanical faults on the highway near the security post at Toe Town, Grand Gedeh County. Meanwhile, there are also reports that goods, which some of the stranded persons were carrying to Zwedru, have begun to rot as a result of being confined for so long.During the weekend, some of the stranded passengers, contacted via mobile phone, told the Daily Observer that they have been stranded for two weeks.They further noted that to send their messages to Monrovia and other areas, they have to travel about four to five miles and climb high hills to get network signal to call relatives and friends. Businessman George B. Bleeton, 48, said he was disappointed because “If we remain stranded with these perishable goods for another week, we will incur loses thus hindering our businesses.” Mr. Bleeton added that the stranded passengers are running out of basic necessities such as food and safe drinking water. “We only want the government to fix the very bad parts of the road for now and wait for the dry season to do real work on this highway,” one of the passengers pleaded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Marvels of childhood just don’t seem to age well

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonSeriously, if Walt was such a kind man, why did he display these unobtainable wonders at the onset of his giddily anticipated weekly “Wonderful World of Disney”? In 1950s America, there were no cheap flights to California. No, we had rotten station wagons and anything located within a 50-mile radius of home as long as it wasn’t the Baseball Hall of Fame because my commie parents hated baseball. Which left Frontier Town, a fly-blown collection of crumbling log forts and cabins thrown up by the side of a highway and meant to profit off the Davy Crockett insanity. Shown in episodes, the fabled series featured Fess Parker as the frontier hero who seriously beat the hell out of all the guys who played him later (including John Wayne and especially Billy Bob Thornton). This while the nation’s youth wore a genocide’s worth of lesser mammal fur and nobody seemed to notice. Years later I saw Parker at his resort in Santa Barbara. I had two kids by then. I was a grown man. And all I could do was gape as Davy said hello to me! “He said hello to me!” I told my young daughters, who had no idea why I was behaving like a bigger idiot than usual. In a way, this is the story of my life. Everything I want, if it comes at all, comes far too late. Cool cars, nearly cool moves – all arrived late. The same can be said of Disneyland. By the time I visited the mother of all roadside attractions, I might as well have been back at Frontier Town, where – this is a true story – we once ran into my sister’s moonlighting math teacher painted like a Sioux chief and smoking a Pall Mall. Still, Frontierland called to me in the same way that duty called Davy and his trusty sidekick, George “Buddy Ebsen” Russell, to their deaths at the Alamo. Only what I had expected in Frontierland had vanished. Where was the stagecoach, the cow with the Mickey spots and the petting zoo? And why was it that everything looked so much smaller than it had appeared on TV? Still, the logs were there and Tom Sawyer Island was there and, while I could no longer use the secret passages or run happily along the famously slightly swaying (but OSHA safe) bridge, I figured that a time would come when I’d have children who would enjoy what I had so tragically missed. Only my children, infected with the electronically generated superheroes of their day, saw nothing in these relics of my day. The log walls, the smell of raw wood and all the wonders bequeathed us by Mark Twain and Davy were as remote to them as the planet Trafalmadore. If they had read of Tom and Huck’s adventures or seen one of the eight films based on the story (the first, in 1907, was viewed by Twain himself), it had made no impression. Adventure then and adventure now are far different things, which is probably why rumors are flying that this integral portion of Frontierland may soon become Pirates of the Caribbean Island. Why not have an adventure based on a movie which is itself based on a ride? Things change as things must and what was once adventure is no more. So why do I feel like the time I went looking for Frontier Town and found nothing left, not even a trace? I want to hear your comments. Connect with me at john.bogert@dailybreeze.com, call 310-543-6681 or send a letter to Daily Breeze/John Bogert, 5215 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503-4077.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Editor’s Note: John Bogert is on vacation but has selected some of his favorite past columns to run while he’s away. This one originally was published Oct. 6, 2006. When you think about it, Disneyland is just another roadside attraction. Sure, it’s a really big one and it has been parked in Anaheim since the place smelled more like oranges than Kuwait. Still, no matter what its size, if an attraction doesn’t change, it becomes another Frontier Town. Not Frontierland, mind you, a registered trademark of the Disney conglomerate, but Frontier Town. Frontier Town was what Davy Crockett-smitten 1950s kids in upstate New York had in place of Disneyland. Go ahead, laugh. But that’s what we got instead of the marvelous spinning teacups, the Tomorrowland rocket and the log fort you Kalifornia Kids had right down the wide-open highway. last_img read more

Issa seeking spot on GOP leadership team

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Republicans will select some new leaders after they return from their winter recess at the end of the month. California now has one other member of leadership: Rep. John Doolittle, R-Rocklin, the Republican Conference secretary. Doolittle is tied to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and his leadership post could be at risk if Republicans hold elections for all leadership spots short of speaker. Some rank-and-file Republicans are pushing for such full-scale elections in the wake of the Abramoff lobbying scandal that helped force DeLay, R-Texas, to give up the majority leader job. WASHINGTON – Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, announced his candidacy Friday for a spot in the House Republican leadership being vacated by one of the contenders to replace Tom DeLay as majority leader. Issa said he will seek the post of Republican Policy Committee chairman, among the lower spots in the eight-member GOP leadership team but one that would give him a seat in meetings with the House speaker, majority leader, whip and others. “I think California needs to be represented in the national policy debate,” Issa said in an interview. “So much of what needs to be heard in Washington originates in California.” The position has been held by Arizona Rep. John Shadegg, who on Friday became a candidate in the race for majority leader, opposing Reps. Roy Blunt of Missouri and John Boehner of Ohio. last_img read more

Cut state’s debt, don’t add to it

first_imgWith all these looming liabilities, the state should be cutting debt, not increasing it. After all, it is not as if Sacramento is short of tax revenues to fund needed infrastructure. In California, state tax revenues rose 19 percent in 2005 and are on course to rise another 7 percent in 2006, according to census data. California’s congested infrastructure is frustrating to all. But voting for more bonds and getting deeper into debt is not a good solution. Instead, states should reprioritize their budgets, devote rising revenues to critical projects and pursue private financing where they can. There is no free lunch with debt-financed spending. When you’re casting your vote, remember that bonds come with just as high a price tag as new taxes do. Chris Edwards is director of tax policy at the Cato Institute. Write to him at cedwards@cato.org.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! IN addition to choosing candidates in Tuesday’s election, California voters will directly control government policy by approving or rejecting billions of dollars of bond issues. The state of California has $43 billion of bonds on the ballot to fund highways, schools, and other projects. Cities and counties across the state are asking voters to approve an additional $10 billion of bonds for local projects. California budgeting has become uniquely hooked on debt. The $53 billion in bonds in California represent two-thirds of the $80 billion in bonds on the ballot across the entire country, according to Bloomberg. California used to finance most of its infrastructure with current revenue, but it now finances nearly all of it with debt. For politicians, the appeal of bonds is obvious: They provide funding for favored projects without unpopular tax increases. Federal Reserve Board figures show that state and local debt nationwide jumped from $1.2 trillion in 2000 to $1.9 trillion today. Voters usually approve more than two-thirds of bonds at the ballot box, according to The Bond Buyer. That high approval rate is curious. Don’t people know that more debt means higher taxes? The tax bill might not come due for a few years, but the burden of debt is real. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’First, consider that yesterday’s decisions to issue debt are imposing a burden right now. Every dollar Sacramento must spend paying off past bonds is money it can’t use for infrastructure upgrades and taxpayers can’t spend on their household expenses. Second, debt financing is more costly than current tax financing because of the interest expenses and related charges. The only real beneficiaries of debt are the middlemen – the tens of thousands of highly paid analysts in the Wall Street municipal bond industry who do the underwriting and trading. These middlemen are costly, and mixing high finance with big government often results in corruption. Indeed, the municipal bond industry suffers from “pay to play” scandals in which bond underwriters use bribes and campaign contributions to win bond business from government officials. A third disadvantage of debt is that it makes state and local finances less transparent. As Wall Street has concocted ever more complex debt deals for the states, it has become nearly impossible for citizens to decipher government budgets. The most important reason that California voters should hesitate to approve bonds is that the state already faces huge government liabilities. California has about $70 billion in unfunded liabilities for retirement health benefits for state workers. last_img read more