Comments by OldDawg

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Posted on October 6 at 9:15 a.m.

DonMcD, I think the Republican's just might bring it up, to the extent that they will feel beholdin' to the Tea Party, and to the extent that the Tea Party returns to it's own grass roots and initial impetus ... revulsion at all the bail outs. I find some common ground between the Tea Party and these Occupy Wall St. folks on some of these issues, especially the deeply shared anger about the bail outs of Wall St.

A constitutional amendment to prohibit political donations from corporations is worth serious consideration .... so long as it included prohibition on donations from labor unions. Neither entity is "a person" in a real sense. Let political donations come from real persons only.

Romney's comment was unfortunate. He meant of course that corporations represent shareholders (sometimes poorly, sometimes well) who are people. Mostly people like you and me, saving for our old age, putting away our IRA's and pensions into corporate stock. But like you, I'm in favor of eliminating the middle-man ... I'd prefer to make my own donations, as a saver, rather than entrust these to corporate managers.

Likewise, Unions aren't persons, they represent real persons (sometimes poorly, sometimes well) who work like you and me. I'd prefer to make my own donations, as a worker, rather that entrust these to union managers.

So it's worthy of real consideration. I might support it if it's framed along these lines.

On Occupy Santa Barbara Mobs De la Guerra Plaza

Posted on October 6 at 8:20 a.m.

I think the protesters are nutty if that list of demands shared above by cartoonz is "official" from the organizers.

But I share their anger about Wall St., though my anger is directed to the Democratic Party and the President. The financial reforms they passed (when both House and Senate had Democrat majorities) under "Dodd-Frank" were a sham, and I feel my vote for the President has been betrayed. Too big to fail is still alive and well and thriving, and there's no way that Dodd-Frank's failure to address it can be laid at W's feet. This is Obama's bad, he owns it all sad to say.

Now the president I voted for is trying to make up for this failure by proposing punitive and crowd pleasing taxes on the rich. Well and good if that flicks your bic ... but it solves nothing fundamental. They are still too big to fail, it's gonna happen again very soon, and we will be back to shovelling newly printed money their way in short order. Nothing, I mean nothing, has changed.

Break the banks up. Now. Turn "too big to fail" into "too small to bail". Return banking to something resembling a free market. Where you do actually fail, and succeed, on your own, depending on whether you're adding value.

Too bad this isn't the protester's agenda. They're pushing socialism, when the problem is that's what we have ... We All own the banks now, we have all the downside, none of the upside. We've nationalized them, without calling it that, and it's a botched nationalization at that.

On Occupy Santa Barbara Mobs De la Guerra Plaza

Posted on October 4 at 7:35 a.m.

That's one big entitlement mentality you've got there Mr. Akre, just about the biggest one I've seen. Yes, surprise, surprise, Casa Esperanza is not Shangri-la. Ya see, there's just no money in helping the homeless, and so things get a little ragged for sure. I'm sure all the more so when pathetic ingrates like you feel the need to write such terrible reviews about your free lunch.

Oh yeah, I forgot, you paid! ... that big $300 coming out of your social security check. I'm glad to see that you found a better bed and breakfast in SLO for your $300. I'm sure all kinds of landlords were beating a path to your door to get that kinda money.

I'm sure they have their faults like all humans, but I know the good people working at Casa Esperanza don't deserve what you've dished up here.

On A View from In There

Posted on September 14 at 9:09 a.m.

The thing I don't get is why the local growers haven't formed a cooperative, and built the transportation hub in Oxnard themselves, on their own dime. Why does this have to be done by the Federal Government (USDA)? Anybody remember Sunkist? Citrus growers seemed to figure all these things out on their own, why not the flower growers?

That said, I'm all for revoking whatever advantages the Colombians are receiving courtesy of Uncle Sam ... perhaps Rep. Capps could more productively focus on getting these eliminated, rather than loading our grandchildren up with more federal debt to finance BOTH the grower's Oxnard facility as well as the subsidies to the Colombians.

On Flower Power Revival?

Posted on September 14 at 8:42 a.m.

Leaving a legacy of land. Isn't this what we're trying to accomplish by channelling development toward infill projects with higher density? Like what's proposed at San Marcos & Hollister? Where else are you going to provide places for your children to live, that does a better job of leaving a legacy of land to them?

Are you supporting a big low density tract house development in Naples to house your kids, so you can preserve as a legacy for their enjoyment that wonderful parcel of land bookended by Cody's and Von's on one side, and Sungate Ranch on the other?

On Let's Leave a Legacy of Land

Posted on September 13 at 9:48 a.m.

JohnLocke, help me out if you would. You said that 10 years ago SB City government was half it's current size, but I'm having a hard time confirming that. I looked at the City's budget documents for FY 2012 and FY 2002 (at their website), and they show that overall city staffing has actually declined (modestly) over these past 10 years. Then I looked at overall budgeted operating expenditures, and this did show real growth of 30%, after controlling for inflation over the 10 years ... but that's nowhere near the 100% growth that your comment suggested. Is there another measure for the size of the City government that you had in mind when you said it has doubled over the past 10 years? Thanks in advance.

On Must the County of Santa Barbara pay such lavish, "competitive" pensions to its retired executives?

Posted on September 8 at 9:27 a.m.

They're obviously not confined to a wheelchair, they'd very quickly have another viewpoint. The old terminal was horrendous.

On Not Fort Wayne Here

Posted on August 27 at 12:14 a.m.

She still loves you, as you do her.

On Hope Ranch Fire Kills One

Posted on August 24 at 3:36 p.m.

side241>>"Congratulations on only paying an average of 18 cents kWH! This shows that you have a far below average consumption, which can only come from conscientious usage. But are you considering all the junk fees that are tied to your kWH usage? It adds up."

I am considering the total bill from Edison, including taxes, fees, etc. divided by kWh used as shown on the bill. My consumption and rate are not "far below average." The US Energy Information Agency reports that the 18 cents/kWh that I pay is actually above the average for California. See:

side241>>"Our calculations factor in the cost of replacing inverters in year 15, the 30yr historically provable inflation of 6.7% for electricity..."

Again, according to the US Energy Information Agency, the average annual increase in the residential price of electricity has been only 3.1% per year over the past 30 years. Same figure goes for the full 49 year period back to 1960 reported by the EIA. Not the 6.7% that you claim proof for. Visit the following page for the EIA price data, from which you may calculate the inflation figures I report:

side241>>"MY JOB, at Planet Solar, is to give our customers the best value and the most thorough information available."

I'm confident you give your customers very good value. I think you're a good guy! And even though I quarrel with your rate of return data, I think that with all the free money and tax credits that typically sloshes around to your client's projects, it all works out fine for them... privately. But for us as a society, and for the grandchildren ... it doesn't work out fine at all.

side241>>"I am surprised you denigrate my customer for putting up a solar system so he can use his AC guilt free."

I don't begrudge your clients increasing their electricity use after installing their systems ... so long as they did the project fully on their own dime, no subsidies, no tax credits. More power to them (no pun intended ;). However, I very much begrudge them expanding their consumption if, to do their solar projects, they have used taxpayer dollars, and ratepayer dollars, and dollars funded from government debt to be paid by the grandchildren. They should feel very guilty.

On Solar Project Biggest in the Country

Posted on August 23 at 9:08 p.m.

@side241: I appreciate your enthusiasm and spirit. But your numbers defy logic and just don't add up, by a mile -- and frankly they do damage to the credibility of our common sustainability cause. Re your answers to my questions:

side241>>"(3) ... if this were a private commercial project, the payback would be about 6 yrs with a Return on Investment of about 23%. Where else can you find a guaranteed return of over 20% these days?"

With 6 yr payback and 23% ROI ... then why aren't you simply overwhelmed with business? Why are your promises of a guaranteed 23% return on investment going begging in this greedy society, and you are only able to expand your business when a project comes along that requires 100% life-support from free money courtesy of the Federal government and the Cal Solar Initiative?

side241>>"(1) the system will produce about 2,725,000kWH per year or (2) the equivalent of about $68,000 per month!"

Assuming you are correct in estimating the value of the electricity produced monthly at $68,000, then it will take about 15 years before this project produces enough electricity to cover the $12.25 million cost. How do you reconcile this fairly long payback period to the 6 year payback you asserted in (3).

More importantly ... assuming the $68,000 is an average monthly value, then you're saying these panels generate electricity worth 12X$68K = $816,000 per year. Since you say that the panels generate 2,725,000 kWh per year, then you must think that the electricity is worth about 30 cents per kWh throughout the year ($816,000 / 2,725,000 kWh). Please tell me, where in Santa Barbara County are residential customers paying an average annual rate of 30 cents per kWh?

More likely, they're paying something closer to what I pay in Edison country on the South Coast. It varies, but it hangs close to 18 cents per kWh. If I use that rate, the 2.725 megawatt-hours produced annually by the panels are only worth about $490,000 per year --- and the payback period (simple) on the $12.25 million cost is ... 25 years. The rate of return? About 1.2% figured over 30 years, if the panels/roofs last that long. A very far cry from the guaranteed 6 year, 23% rate of return you claimed above. How do you reconcile this?

Elsewhere in your comments you talk about how your solar clients have expanded their consumption running air-conditioning etc., "guilt free". It must be nice to live in a psychic-world where you have no guilt for expanding your consumption of electricity ... when your solar system was purchased, in whole or part, from Federal/State debt or from your neighbors paying their solar assessments to Edison and PG&E ... where the whole intention of giving you this free money was to reduce our fossil based electricity consumption. You've thrown our gift away, for your private enjoyment.

Carbon tax now. Stop the con job. Stop the wasteful subsidies funded on the backs of our grandchildren.

On Solar Project Biggest in the Country

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