Sunday, January 25, 2004

Left Coast News Alert!

Only in California? Bill urges building the feng shui way:
SACRAMENTO -- If a leading Democratic lawmaker has his way, your next new house may be built according to standards that supposedly put it -- and you -- in harmony with unseen natural forces.

Leland Yee, the assistant speaker pro tem, is backing a bill that could insert the millenniums-old strictures of feng shui into California's building code.

Some lawmakers roll their eyes. Some chuckle. Some wonder privately how an ancient system of alignment with invisible life forces could possibly fit into a nuts-and-bolts building code designed to ensure fire safety and structural integrity.

To Yee, however, Assembly Concurrent Resolution 144 is an acknowledgement of the wisdom of Asian culture and a way to help all Californians live a better life.

"This state has a large Asian population," said Yee, who represents a portion of San Francisco. "I think it is very important to respect the diversity of this state that we allow these kinds of principles to be recognized."
Indeed. Could I please have another helping of tofu with my granola?

Meanwhile in the People's Republic of Berkeley there's a little problem with cash flow - Chicanery tops meters in Berkeley: Vandals wanting to park free put city in yet another jam
The monkey-wrench gang has gotten the best of Berkeley's bedeviled parking meters -- again.

Armed with coin-slot-jamming matchbooks and gum wrappers, cheapskate vandals are knocking out meters by the hundreds, costing the cash-strapped city millions of dollars and prompting officials to begin thinking about yet another expensive overhaul of the system.

Parking meter theft and vandalism has dogged other Bay Area cities. Martinez, for example, has lost the use of half its 1,050 meters, which will cost the city about $220,000 in the current fiscal year, said City Manager Jane Catalano.

But no city -- not even parking-madhouse San Francisco -- can touch Berkeley's meter mess.

"I know of nowhere that has the petty vandalism of meters that Berkeley has," said Patrick Ryan, president of Reino Parking Systems of Australia, which provides multispace meters to Berkeley. "It's Berkeley -- people are a bit, uh, anti-establishment."
Ya think? Especially since they have installed the "Sherman tank" of parking meters according to the article. But I'm puzzled - I thought leftoids loved to pay taxes?