Publisher’s Note

Incongruities

By Mike O’Brien

Armstrong and Getty are a funny, fascinating twosome whose radio show airs weekdays on Talk 650 KSTE AM radio, and is simulcast on WB 58 television. While their show is interspersed with news and traffic, they riff and rave about various news items and whatever else comes to their minds.

The two men recently commented on a proposal in San Francisco to spend $2 million on a plan to make the Golden Gate Bridge suicide-proof. They proceeded to humorously speculate about the bridge fortifications happening concurrently with the liberal-leaning City by the Bay’s supervisors advocating assisted-suicide legislation, which the state of Oregon allowed in 1994 and which the Supreme Court recently upheld (and to which I am opposed). The hosts’ irony was typically clever, as they envisioned the community simultaneously advocating suicide barriers on the bridge, and supporting legislation enabling unknown thousands to be put to death.

Sacramento City Council made a mess of Sutter Health’s effort to build a new project in midtown. While the council dithered, millions in additional expenses and carrying costs were added to the project’s total ($460 million). The Sutter District Master Plan, which the council finally approved in December, will add more than a million square feet of state-of-the-art health care facilities to midtown, including two new hospitals, hundreds of good jobs and all the other economic vitality that comes with redevelopment and infill. The plan is vast, and includes $12 million for the first phase of building a new Trinity Cathedral, and expansion of the B Street Theatre and the Children’s Theatre. (The not-for-profit theater will be able to perform in the hospital for patients.) Next time you wonder who’s increasing health care costs, look no further than our own city council and the Service Employees International Union.

Speaking of government foibles, what’s up with the California State Agricultural Fruit Inspection station in Truckee, the one we have had to stop at on Interstate 80 for decades to tell an inspector that we have no illegal fruits or veggies? For a few years, there have been no officials inspecting at this stop. Yet noncommercial vehicles are still required to obey the stop order, only to find signs that say “Closed today; please proceed” before moving on, thereby wasting millions in lost time, gas burned and pollutants expelled as cars and trucks roar off.

On a more positive note, it appears that the new I-80/Douglas Boulevard interchange in Roseville has reduced congestion by nearly 20 percent. While slowdowns still occur, they are worse when approaching Highway 65 and the I-80 split near the Madison Avenue exit. But the overpasses (at Riverside/Auburn Boulevard, Antelope, Greenback Lane and Madison Avenue) are covered to prevent jumpers, and your traffic wait may be a good time to eat that un-confiscated fruit.