Los Angeles is in the midst of a $500 million budget shortfall. So, when Michael Jackson’s memorial service takes place today, who is going to pay for all of the police officers necessary to control the crowds. According to ABC News, the City of Los Angeles will be footing the bill, which is expected to be about $2.5 million. An LA Times blog asked the question, “should taxpayers be responsible for Michael Jackson’s memorial service?” In that text, it says that the Los Angeles budget shortfall is only $360 million. Whatever. What is interesting is that, on the same day, the LA Times business section has a story that claims Jackson’s estate could be a “thriller of a profit machine.” So, we have a situation in which, presumably, the family wants to have a public memorial service with free tickets for Michael Jackson whose estate is expected to genererate millions of dollars a year. Yet, the cash strapped city, that is laying off workers, is expected to pick up the tab. Indeed…the LA Times raised a good quesiton, should the taxpayers be expected to pick up the tab for the memorial service? You make the call.
On This Date In History: This is a tale filled with politics so it’s confusing. Back in 1902, Arthur Powell Davis, an engineer with the Bureau of Reclamation, came up with an idea for a dam along the Colorado River at a place called Boulder Canyon. Herbert Hoover, an engineer by education himself, was Secretary of Commerce in 1921 and he made it a priority to support a high dam at Boulder Canyon. Plans were set for the project to be begun in 1922. Well, there was Congress to contend with and water rights and states rights…lots of politicians. So the project didn’t get started until This Date in 1930. By that time, coincidentally, Herbert Hoover was the 31st President. It was also the beginning of the Great Depression and Hoover wanted to be re-elected. While work started on July 7, the official ceremony commemorating the beginning wasn’t until September when Hoover’s Secretary of the Interior, Ray Wilbur, declared the project would be known as the Hoover Dam. It was appropriate since Hoover had been instrumental over the years in getting the project going. But, Hoover also wanted the project to bear his name to remind people of all the jobs he had created. It didn’t work. Hoover lost badly to Franklin D. Roosevelt.
As the project was getting started, it was determined that geologically it was better suited down the river in Black Canyon. Nevertheless, it was still called the Boulder Canyon Project and on May 8, 1933, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes(father of the current Democrat politician with the same name) declared that the name of the project would no longer be known as Hoover Dam, but instead Boulder Dam. FDR had been in office for a few months and erasing any mention of Hoover perhaps was high on the priority list of helping the US to be fearless against “fear itself.” This of course even though the dam was being built in Black Canyon. In 1947, President Harry Truman signed a resolution of the Congress changing the name back to Hoover Dam….but the town built for all of the workers is still Boulder City. When I was a kid we stayed in a motel in Boulder City that looked like it was from the set of National Lampoon’s Vacation. Christie Brinkley didn’t show up though.
Here’s a link to all sorts of stuff about Hoover Dam including a bunch of photos from the 1930′s. Notice that it is called the Boulder Dam Project..AKA Hoover Dam. There are some things of which some people will not let go, Congressional resolution and Presidential signature or not!
Weather Bottom Line: There is a little wrinkle in the forecast. I saw this yesterday but didn’t mention it because it seemed so pedestrian. But, we have a weak front trying to come down late Tuesday. The 18Z GFS Monday indicates a tenth of an inch of rain late Tuesday. The NAM has some moisture but no rain. The other models are equally as non-commital. As of Monday night, the official forecast makes no mention of rain and for most people, that will be probably correct. But, I betcha we will see a number of clouds with some scattered showers. After this guy goes back on the retreat, we will get a southerly component to the windflow and the temperatures will rise to the low 90′s by the end of the week and humidity levels will continue to rise, probably to a rather uncomfortable level by the end of the week.