Everything on today's menu is low-fat and high-fiber. Consume as much as you wish: Richmond sure finds some amusing ways to make news. It seemed to outdo itself when it filed suit against its own Councilman Corky Boozé for property code violations that resulted in "hazardous, unsafe and blighted conditions." Then came last week's curious juxtaposition of public events.
On Monday, the city's Human Rights and Human Relations Commission condemned "hate speech" and advocated for tolerance and respectful discourse at City Council meetings. The next day, police had to be summoned to empty the chamber when residents refused to stop screaming and shouting at council members. The new Contra Costa County call center that's scheduled to open Oct. 1 is supposed to provide help in finding health care coverage for the uninsured, but so far it seems to be specializing in defining irony.
Of the 180 customer service agents hired to counsel applicants seeking medical insurance, it turns out that half will be part-time workers without employee benefits, meaning their jobs come with no health care coverage. Perhaps they can phone the call center for advice. What a shock to read that San Francisco's new Transbay Transit Center will cost $300 million more than $1.6 billion budgeted for the project. It's so strange to hear of government projects incurring cost overruns.
A five-story downtown terminal that's to be part of the project will someday serve as a stop for buses, Caltrain and Gov. Jerry Brown's new high-speed rail system that surely won't encounter any overruns beyond its $68 billion projected cost. Yes, that's meant to be a joke. Fourteen days after KTVU dropped jaws throughout the Bay Area by falling for a juvenile hoax and identifying the four pilots onboard Asiana Flight 214 with racially insensitive, bogus names, three veteran news producers were offered up as scapegoats and fired.
Wonder if the punishment will be as severe for Lee Kang-guk, the actual pilot at the controls when the plane crashed into a seawall at SFO. The state's Employment Development Department delivered sobering news last week when it reported that per capita wages in the Bay Area rose an average of only 1 percent in the 12 months ending in March. Economists blame that on an abundant supply of workers and a relative shortage of jobs.
Of course, those numbers should greatly improve after BART workers go on strike and get the annual 5 percent raises they so richly deserve. The first proposed remedy for the Postal Service's economic woes was elimination of Saturday service. The latest is to streamline delivery techniques. No more door-to-door deliveries; just curbside mailboxes and cluster boxes, so fewer letter carriers are needed.
Too bad Postal Service can't do what the water district and sewer district have done for years. When they need more money, they just raise their rates. Finally: One of the persons involved in the pepper-spraying incident during an Occupy protest at UC Davis in 2011 said the emotional pain he suffered as a result of the episode has caused him psychiatric injury that merits a workman's compensation claim.
An appeal, set for Aug. 13, will rule on the request by applicant John Pike. He's the former campus cop who did the pepper spraying.
Contact Tom Barnidge at firstname.lastname@example.org.