Thursday, March 29, 2012

Enough is Enough-TTC

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This should be called Exortion #1 instead of Prop. #1- as the only reason some are voting for it they say, "It is cheaper to pay this than the lawyers"-paying ranson is not the way to stop extortion. And if you are convinced for this increase, why even ask voters on increasing taxes for law enforcement and to keep our tax rate the same as Wenatchees that is .2% ? Why didn't Wenatchee bail out East  Wenatchee for the sprint boat race losses if they were thinking regionally?

I will be voting no on prop. 1- The more I hear about it, the more I am opposed to it.  I refuse to spend money fighting this- I would rather give that money to help those who cannot afford it or the ones loosing their jobs due to cutbacks.

One local mayor stated the reason to vote yes is because, “The unknowns scare me to death.”? Do you think just maybe an elected official should do the research before asking taxpayers to approve a tax based on unknowns? Show me one lawsuit filed for the 1.5 million spent on legal fees or show me one lawsuit that has won on a bond sale? I lost money in the state deferred comp. Bonds/stocks-I am still waiting to see a lawsuit to recover my funds from that. Show me the guarantee and no risk clause on those bonds? I am voting no because the unknowns if it passes scare me to death.

Prop 1 does not do anything to end the SEC investigation or the legal bills surrounding it. Why would you vote a 30 year tax in until you know the outcome of the investigation? How does an arena allow a registered letter sit unopened in its safe for over a month? Even our local paper reported the story 4 days after the Arena discovered its mistake and nothing since? I asked why mayor was allowed to cast a vote on a financial issue on the radio, and they simply said their attorney said it was ok?

The supporters say the debt will be paid even if Prop. 1 fails- so why do we need to pass prop 1 and the .1% tax increase? They claim this is the last option available? Get real, do you really believe that? They told us they did not know who held bonds last year, now they seem to know? They told us Dec. lst was the deadline, then March 1st was the deadline,… do you see a pattern?

Why can’t cuts be made-(name one cut the city has actually made) and why does it require laying off 5 firemen or 5 policemen as the only option presented? Why not everyone take a 3 or 4% pay cut – state employees did that- to bail out state- after the state donated .33% of its sales tax to fund the arena starting in 2005. We have a part time mayor making over 74,000, a police chief at 9200 a month, a fire chief at 8200 a month- who knows what Mark Miller makes- instead of layoffs or people losing their jobs, why not a 3% pay cut until we get this mess straightened out. Why not start with council/mayor- instead all I see is pay raises when they claim they may go bankrupt if we don’t’ pass this tax increase.

Why not have Wenatchee sell some of its surplus land, including acreage it owns in Douglas County and along the riverfront? Why not renegotiate the interest rates- every hear how much interest only they have paid since 2006 and the rates they paid? If I was a bondholder, getting part is better than none and cheaper than lawsuits. Why not quit hiring 340 dollar attorneys, Wenatchee has spent 1.5 million on attorneys and not one lawsuit has been filed- that was just to tell you that they have too much debt? I could have told them for a lot less than that.

Some claim this is only 10 cents and tax deductable? Remember, the arena collects. .4% of sales tax already, it could almost double if you pass this- .4% plus .2% and .1%=.7%- that is almost twice what Link collects and .3% less than the city of Wenatchee collects. The tax deduction for sales tax is set to expire; it’s only temporary unless they are successful at extending it. This tax is for 30 years at a min.,even if you believe it will not be extended. And you will pay for it not only on  your purchases for 30 years, but pay again on helping the poor, and on government tax projects that will pass that charge on to you.

Ever hear of what is spent on arena expenses, the payroll, and other? Ever hear how much has been donated by supporters? Let’s see we built a Japanese garden in EW and lit the walking bridge with donations- what happened to all this support for arena?

Serve Wenatchee paid out 275,000 to help the poor with assistance since it started and they are supporting a tax increase- why- can they afford more taxes or do we give more to help the poor out now? I thought Wenatchee has a problem with homeless people yet they claim outside people will help pay for this tax? Before you vote yes, better look at all your little taxes on your phone bill, your 1% property tax increase, the price of food and fuel lately, and look at the last time your taxes went down?

According to the web site in support of Proposition 1, “The Town Toyota Center does slightly better than break-even from a profit and loss standpoint, if you take out the legal fees. Further, if you factor in the sales taxes associated with additional economic activity generated by events at the TTC (food, lodging, etc.) it’s more profitable.” They also state on that page, that if Proposition 1 does not pass, that “…we will remain in default on the $41.8 million debt and we can anticipate a flurry of lawsuits. In the end, we will have to pay the debt plus the legal fees associated with the default.” If that is all true, why would they shut down the Town Toyota Center, no matter what, will only make the situation worse?

I am waiting to hear a guarantee this tax increase will cover all future needs of arena, it will not still close down still, as well as the outcome of SEC investigation before I vote yes blindly on this. I don’t vote on emotions, fear or unknowns. They lied to us before, how do I know they are not lying to us now? My vote is not for sale.  I want to send a message to city, state and federal elected officials- no more taxes.

SEC Charges Municipal Issuer in Washington’s Wenatchee Valley Region for Misleading Investors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington D.C., Nov. 5, 2013 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a municipal issuer in the state of Washington’s Wenatchee Valley region with misleading investors in a bond offering that financed the construction of a regional events center and ice hockey arena.  The SEC also charged the underwriter and outside developer of the project and three individuals involved in the offering.

The Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District agreed to settle the SEC’s charges by paying a $20,000 penalty and undertaking remedial actions.  It is the first time that the SEC has assessed a financial penalty against a municipal issuer.

The issuer is a municipal corporation formed by nine Washington cities and counties in 2006 to fund the Town Toyota Center, located in the city of Wenatchee.  An SEC investigation found inaccuracies in the primary disclosure document accompanying the issuer’s offering of bond anticipation notes in 2008.  The document, called the “official statement,” stated there had been no independent reviews of the financial projections for the events center.  However, an independent consultant twice examined the projections and raised questions about the center’s economic viability.  The official statement failed to disclose that financial projections had been revised upward based in part upon optimistic assurances by civic leaders that the community would support the project.  The document also omitted key information about the possibility that the City of Wenatchee’s remaining debt capacity of $19.3 million would limit its ability to support any future long-term bonds.

“Financial penalties against municipal issuers are appropriate for sanctioning and deterring misconduct when, as here, they can be paid from operating funds without directly impacting taxpayers,” said Andrew Ceresney, co-director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “This municipal issuer is paying an appropriate price for withholding negative information from its primary offering document and giving investors a false picture of the future performance of the project.”

The Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District issued $41.77 million in bond anticipation notes in 2008, and defaulted on its principal payments in December 2011.

The SEC’s settled administrative proceedings also name the developer Global Entertainment and its then-president and CEO Richard Kozuback, the underwriter Piper Jaffray & Co. and its lead investment banker Jane Towery, and Allison Williams, a senior staff member for the Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District who certified the accuracy of the official statement.

“An underwriter’s due diligence obligation is critical, particularly when financing a startup revenue project.  Piper Jaffray & Co. failed to develop a reasonable basis for believing the accuracy of key representations made in the official statement,” said Mark Zehner, deputy chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Municipal Securities and Public Pensions Unit.

In settling the SEC’s charges, Piper Jaffray & Co. and Towery agreed to be censured and pay penalties of $300,000 and $25,000 respectively.  Global Entertainment and Kozuback each agreed to pay penalties of $10,000.  Williams consented to a cease-and-desist order and the issuer agreed to remedial actions, including training for personnel involved in the offering and disclosure process.  The issuer also agreed to adopt written policies for disclosures in municipal offerings and continuing disclosure obligations, and to designate an individual responsible for ensuring compliance with those obligations.  The respondents neither admit nor deny the SEC’s findings.

The SEC’s order requires Piper Jaffray & Co. to retain an independent consultant to conduct a review of the firm’s municipal underwriting due diligence policies and procedures as well as its supervisory policies and procedures relating to municipal underwriting due diligence.  Towery agreed to limit her activities as an associated person of a broker-dealer or municipal advisor for one year by refraining from any contact with any existing or prospective municipal issuer client for the purpose of conducting, maintaining, or developing business or for the purpose of making decisions on behalf of a broker-dealer in connection with any due diligence activities.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lottery test commecial

The big news seems to be the mega lottery for Friday-500 million? that is $19.2 million a year for 26 years or a single payment worth $359 million. I seldom buy lottery tickets, I think todays ticket is #4 for entire year I have bought- Jan hates when I buy a ticket- but then I don't buy coffee at starbucks, so figure we are even- as we both are throwing money away? Lottery commercials are always fun to view- sadly they seldom show the money people loose.
But winning the Big One isn't a guaranteed ticket to the good life, as these previous winners can attest:

-Jack Whittaker: This West Virginia businessman won $315 million in the Powerball lottery in 2002, the largest jackpot ever from a single ticket in American history at the time. After being robbed of $545,000 in cash while at a strip club, Whittaker's granddaughter and daughter were later found dead, and Whittaker was sued by Caesars Atlantic City casino for bouncing $1.5 million worth of checks to cover gambling losses.

-Juan Rodriguez: This New York City parking attendant was earning less than $30,000 in 2004 when he won $149 million in a Mega Millions drawing. But soon after taking the lump sum option of $88 million, his wife filed for divorce and was awarded half of his winnings.

-Fred Topous, Jr.: Topous won $57 million, the seventh-largest jackpot in Michigan state history in June 2008, but eventually took a $33 million lump sum. The convicted sex offender, who was released from prison in 2006, needs to register as a sex offender until 2024.

-Billy Bob Harrell, Jr.: This preacher working as a stockboy at Home Depot struck it rich in 1997, winning $31 million in Texas' lottery. Some 20 months later, after divorcing his wife and buying a half-dozen homes for relatives, he committed suicide using a shotgun.

-Jeffrey Dampier: In 1996, Dampier and his wife won $20 million in Illinois' lottery and used the money to buy relatives homes and to start a gourmet popcorn shop in Florida. Nine years later, Dampier was kidnapped and killed by his sister-in-law and her boyfriend who targeted him for money.

Meanwhile, a man who has won seven lottery drawings told the New York Post that aspiring millionaires shouldn't "go crazy" if they want to win the big jackpot. "Go and buy tickets, but the most important thing I’m telling people to do is don’t go crazy,” Richard Lustig, 61, told the newspaper.

Lustig, citing the long odds of 1-in-176 million, urged those with lottery fever to keep their cool.

“This is the biggest prize in history, and people are going to go out and buy a lot of tickets, and almost all of them -- millions of people -- are going to lose, so don’t spend the grocery money or the rent money,” he said. “You have to buy tickets to win, and the more you buy the better your chances, but don’t go crazy."

update;
Americans are expected to spend $1.46 billion on Mega Millions lottery tickets. So how far does $1.46 billion go?
Trim this year's expected $1.3 trillion federal deficit by just over one-tenth of 1 percent
Feed 238,000 American families for a year.
Trim this year's expected $1.3 trillion federal deficit by just over one-tenth of 1 percent.
Buy 10 F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets
Treat 685,000 average U.S. households to gasoline for a full year.
Pay for just under 3 1/2 hours' worth of federal spending.
Buy nearly 3 million new iPads at the starting price of $499 -- almost as many as Apple has already sold.
Pay a year's worth of health care expenses for 462,000 American average families.
Provide a week of unemployment benefits for nearly 40 percent of America's 12.8 million unemployed.
Buy a 73 percent share of the Los Angeles Dodgers, based on the $2 billion that Magic Johnson and other investors agreed to pay this week for the baseball franchise.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nick Vujucic Becoming A Dad

Nothing is more inspirational than the testimony of Nick Vujucic. I know he will challenge you. He was born without arms or legs and has overcome. I enjoy his testimony and hope to meet him someday. Don't give up. This is a 2012 video posted when he was on 60 minutes and he is now married and they are expecting their first child.
Nick Vujicic was born to Duška and Boris Vujicic in 1982 in Melbourne, Australia. Although he was an otherwise healthy baby, he was born without arms and legs; he had no legs, but two small feet, one of which had two toes. He has two siblings, Michelle and Aaron.
Initially, a Victorian state law prevented Vujicic from attending a mainstream school due to his physical disability in spite of a lack of mental impairment. However, Vujicic became one of the first physically disabled students integrated into a mainstream school once those laws changed. But soon enough, his lack of limbs made him a target for the school bullies and he fell into a severe depression. Following this depression, at the age of eight, he contemplated suicide and even tried to drown himself in his bathtub at the age of ten. From then after the love for his parents prevented him from following through. He also states in his music video "Something More" that God had a plan for his life and he could not bring himself to drown because of this.
Vujicic prayed that God would give him arms and legs and initially told God that, if his prayer remained unanswered, he would stop praising him indefinitely. However, a key turning point in his faith came around when his mother showed him a newspaper article about a man dealing with a severe disability. Vujicic realised he was not unique in his struggles and began to embrace his lack of limbs. After this, he realised that his accomplishments could inspire others and became grateful for his life.
Vujicic gradually figured out how to live a full life without limbs, adapting many of the daily skills limbed people accomplish without thinking. He writes with two toes on his left foot and a special grip that slides onto his big toe. He knows how to use a computer and can type up to 43 words per minute using the "heel and toe" method. He has also learned to throw tennis balls, play drum pedals, get a glass of water, comb his hair, brush his teeth, answer the phone and shave, in addition to participating in golf, swimming, soccer, and sky-diving.
During secondary school, Vujicic was elected captain of Runcorn State High School in Queensland and worked with the student council on fundraising events for local charities and disability campaigns. When he was seventeen, he started to give talks at his prayer group and later founded his non-profit organisation, Life Without Limbs.
Vujicic wrote that he keeps a pair of shoes in his closet due to his belief in miracles.
In 2005 Vujicic was nominated for the Young Australian of the Year Award.
Vujicic currently lives in Los Angeles, California, United States. On 12 February 2012, he married his fiancée, Kanae Miyahara. On 13 February 2013, their son Kiyoshi James Vujicic was born, weighing 8 pounds 10 ounces.
According to Vujicic, had he been born in a third world country, his condition might have been considered a curse or a shame by his parents and he might have been killed at birth

Vujicic graduated from Griffith University at the age of 21 with a Bachelor of Commerce, with a double major in accountancy and financial planning. Subsequently he became a motivational speaker, travelling internationally and focusing on teen issues. Having addressed over three million people in over 24 countries on five continents,he speaks to corporate audiences, congregations, and schools.
Vujicic promotes his work through television shows and through his writing. His first book, Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life (Random House, 2010) was published in 2010. He markets a motivational DVD, Life's Greater Purpose, a short documentary filmed in 2005 highlighting his home life and regular activities. The second part of the DVD was filmed at his local church in Brisbane – one of his first professional motivational speeches. He markets a DVD for young people titled: No Arms, No Legs, No Worries!.
In March 2008, he was interviewed by Bob Cummings for 20/20.
He starred in the short film The Butterfly Circus, which won the Doorpost Film Project's top prize of 2009 and the Best Short Film award at the Method Fest Film Festival, where Vujicic was also awarded Best Actor in a short film. Butterfly Circus also won the best short film award at The Feel Good Film Festival in Hollywood in 2010.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Everyone Hurts-Don't Drink & Drive

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Last nights paper ran a story about a man who fell out of a pickup on SR2 while holding a barbecue they had just bought. There were some comments posted about his mentality- but I don't think  he was as stupid as those who drink and drive. There few things more stupid than drinking and driving. Even with the warnings, the extra patrols, the free rides home, people will still drink and drive, and people will die because of it. Last Wednesday night around 9pm near Arlington, Jim Arneson was killed by a drunk driver and his son is in serious condition! (see note from facebook below)

Between 2004 and 2008 based of fatal crashes- nearly half (49%) of people killed in impaired related crashes were between 16 and 30. Of impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes, 84% were male. Almost 2/3rds of impaired related crashes occurred in rural areas. Two out of three crashes occurred between 6pm and 5; 59am. More than half (52%) occurred in rural areas. 50% of impaired drivers killed, were also speeding. Over half of passenger occupants involved in impaired driving fatal crashes were not wearing seat belts.

My hats off to those cracking down on impaired drivers and work on same roads as them- you have my total support-Nail those Drivers! Too bad we have so many get off on technicalities for a fee. There is no need to drink and drive at any time- Please, Please, Please do not Drink and Drive! I don't need to be called out to flag for one more DUI accident. Everybody hurts when you drink and drive. There is no excuse, its stupid, and yes, my family will be on the road today- my wife already lost a sister from a drunk.

Zach Arneson
A week ago tonight I got a call from my wife letting me know that my Dad and Brother had been in a head on collision with a drunk driver. My Dad, my BEST friend, was killed in the collision. I never thought this could happen. Not to my Dad. He never touched a drop of alcohol in his life. My brother has spent the last week in the hospital with fractured ribs, sternum, and back. Its a miracle he is... even alive. The driver that hit them was traveling at 75+ MPH and crossed the center lane. My Dad was the most amazing man I have ever known. I can only hope to be like him someday!! He was so much more than a Father and his love was unconditional! The pain in my heart can not be expressed with words. I love you Dad, with all my heart!!!See More—


3-17-13
TACOMA, Wash. —

9-year-old Donovan Best died Sunday night after being taken off of life support at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.
Investigators said Best’s uncle, 26-year-old Jayce Randall, was allegedly driving drunk and high on marijuana when his vehicle crashed on westbound State Route 16 early Saturday morning.
Best and Randall were ejected from the car after it rolled over, and Best was taken to Mary Bridge Hospital in critical condition.
The Washington State Patrol said Randall’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.
Randall also admitted to police that he smoked marijuana and drank heavily before he got into the vehicle.
Best’s family told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Deborah Horne that the crash is the ultimate family tragedy.
“It’s awful. It’s the most horrific thing that I could ever imagine a family going through,” said Karrie Lewandowski.
“A mistake was made. Unfortunately, it is a tragic mistake. There’s nothing we can do to fix it now,” said Dale Lewandowski.
Randall was charged with vehicular homicide.