Normal temps, that is. It was 27° at our place this morning, but is supposed to rocket upward into the low 40s today. For the record, 27 is the average low for this time of year; we've been some 10 degrees warmer because of all the rain clouds which prevent the heat from radiating overnight. Either way, there was frost on the car windows.
Many of the leaves, mostly fallen from the trees now, are plastered to paved surfaces from all the rain. It's been dry for the last couple of days, and is supposed to be so today as well. That's the first time in a month we've had more a single day without rain. And of course, it's to be rainy - changing into a rain/snow mix by the beginning of next week - for the foreseeable future, as temps continue to slide.
* * * * *
The Anchorage mayor, under pressure to increase revenue due to the statewide shortfall - which is in turn due to the low, low price of oil - has proposed raising municipal fees on everything.
Well, practically everything. He is floating a plan to increase the fees by proposing "structure changes and inflation-based increases to several hundred city fines and fees."
Let's see what's affected:
- animal shelters
- cemetery plots
- speeding tickets
- fines for parking in a handicapped space to double from $250 to $500
- fees for animal boarding, licensing and vaccination
- fines for texting while driving
- fines for running over an animal with a motorcycle
- food facility operating fees and plan review permits
- the cost of a child care center license
- a new $25 fee, so that residents would be able to rent “humane” animal traps for cats and dogs
- a surcharge for using a new electronic plan review service [for building permits - Ed.] that is set to launch early next year
- from Parks and Recreation, a proposal to rent hand-pulled golf carts at $5 for three hours, and golf clubs at $7 for three hours
- the parks department also wants to change punch card systems and special hours for facilities in favor of daily admission rates and seasonal passes
The list goes on and on. The only things certain is that everything is going to cost more, and that the Assembly will rubber-stamp the increases.
A fee for breathing isn't on the published list, but it's only a matter of time.
If you drive a car I'll tax the street
If you try to sit I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk I'll tax your feet
(Lyrics from Tax Man, by the Beatles)The only thing unexpected in the linked article about the fee increase proposal is a statement from the Mayor that cost of "doing business" in Anchorage has increased by 46% since 2001. He doesn't explain (of course) how that could be possible while the Consumer Price Index shows an annual increase of only 1.7 percent or so.
What was it Disraeli said? Oh, yes:
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."