Saturday, August 17, 2019

On My "To Do" List

I need to try to get this place. I can combines wine and aviation history.

Link is here.

Local Swamp - Alligators, Oh my

Since I last checked in with a status, we (the No Tolls Bunch) have met with the Parish President, several council people, our state rep and state senator to discuss the response to the bridge proposal. I am happy to say that we must have had some influence as out Parish President, not know for having political cojones, has sent a rather direct letter stating that the Parish did not support the proposal as presented due to the tolls and their impact on the economy of the Parish. We now await the response from the DOTD.

In related news, I was always concerned that the private party of the Public Private Partnership did not have a contractors license as they are primarily a financial company even though published organization charts showed them in control of all subcontractors. I expressed this concern to the Licensing Board and expected a quick answer that all was OK because,..... but that didn't happen. Crickets were chirping. Seems like there is a little conflict in the Louisiana Statutes and the DOTD took it upon themselves to interpret them in the DOTDs favor. The issue is subtle but we all know that the law rests upon the details and as this is the very first PPP the details have not yet been tested. This went far enough to elicit a formal letter of explanation from the DOTD to the Licensing Board.

In a nutshell, one regulation says that any entity managing a construction project in any manner shall be licensed. Another regulation, written to allow "design-build" contracts, allows the project manager to use the license of a subcontractor. My opinion is that the law for these design-build contracts meant for the project to be managed by the DOTD and its staff of technical professionals. There is a third regulation dealing with Public Private Partnerships and allowing the DOTD to enter into a PPP. The DOTD feels that, even though their contract is with a non licensed private party, it's OK because it is a design-build contract. But the private party , unlike the DOTD, has no technical staff.

I am still trying to decide my next move. Any contract lawyers out there?

Monday, August 12, 2019

Book Review - A Dangerous Man

Robert Crais has done it again! Joe Pike is having a peaceful day and running errands at the bank when he observes a kidnapping in broad daylight. He puts down the perps and saves the lady and he thought that was it. A few days later he gats a message from the girl that the perps had made bail and she was concerned. Then she disappeared. This led Joe and Elvis on a fast paced search for the missing that will keep you glued to the chair. Very hard to put down, the story switches between the points of view of Joe, Elvis and the bad guys. Another good story for long flights and insomniacs.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Gun Confiscation Hysteria

Given recent events and the typical calls from the liberals, I post this link to an older post. As with most things, you have to do the math.

https://peripateticengineer.blogspot.com/2013/01/is-confiscation-even-possible.html

Friday, August 2, 2019

Head Count

KSA added 18 heads to the count for a total now of 133. Two of those heads were from child rapists and the rest were the usual mix of druggies and murderers.

Remember this number when the libs start complaining about our own federal executions.


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Local Swamp - Update

Opposing the toll bridge...…..

Engineers can be pesky critters. We are pesky because we read specifications and regulations for a living. So I read the Louisiana Statutes regarding Public Private Partnerships. It turns out that the proposing company is required by law to submit their proposal to "each local jurisdiction" and they then have 60 days to comment and "confirm that it meets the local transportation plan". This sounded to me like they needed local permission to proceed so I notified all the folks on the email list which included one of our councilpersons. He asked the parish lawyer if the proposal had been received. He could not find it so he sent an email to the Dept of Transportation lawyer asking where it was. Turns out that it had been delivered 30 days ago and our parish politicos had lost it. So now, there are 30 days left to comment and Hurricane Barely shuts everything down for another week.

This week we finally got someone to pay attention and realize that this was a chance, mandated by law, to influence the project.

Upon further reading, I noted the key word "each". So now I am checking to see if the neighboring parishes were informed and if the received a copy of the proposal. If not, we could re-set the 60 day clock.

The lesson here is that your politicians probably don't have a clue what the law says so it pays to spend some time and look into the details.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Hurricane (Barely) Barry

My 82 year old mother in law's air conditioning went out so she moved in with us to keep cool until repairs were made. Then along comes Barry and she stayed as she doesn't like to be alone in bad weather. She has stayed glued to the TV with its almost continuous coverage of the storm. The problem is that, with air time to fill, they spend time talking about all the things that COULD happen and they are scaring the crap out her. Try as I might, I cannot get her away from watching the doom and gloom. Even this morning, with the storm well west of us and going on shore, she was worried to hear that it had just been upgraded to a Cat 1 hurricane...… by 1 mph! What we are having in the burbs of New Orleans is really just a blustery, blustery day.

And I have a peeve about the reporting. They re reporting the storm surge as "above ground". That reference means absolutely nothing. They should reference "mean sea level". Then they can add the tide and storm surge to get a realistic number for the storm surge. For me, this is just another way the news reports false news and terrorizes the public to boost their ratings.