Today’s show covered a lot of ground. There was an intentional arson yesterday near the fishhook at Highway 17 and Highway 1. Two suspects were arrested very quickly, one running from the scene with a butane lighter in hand. Allegedly Kelly Hawkins was mad that the Elks Lodge had her illegally parked car towed. And in her drug induced world of bright ideas, this four time probationer, ten time arrestee in the past 12 months, thought she would burn the joint down as revenge.
She allegedly got Mitchell Swienton to join her on her crusade of burning the Elks Lodge down. Luckily the Santa Cruz Fire Department and Cal Fire quickly got the fire under control before homes were burned or innocent people injured or killed. Both alleged arsonists list the Homeless Services Center as their address.
I discussed this extensively with callers including Ken “SkinDog” Collins about the confluence of problems demonstrated in this crime, the attraction of drugs, homeless, and crime to Santa Cruz. Listen online or download the mp3 file HERE
I also mentioned on the show that I would update the spreadsheet posted yesterday with a new one adding a tab for Santa Cruz County employees exceeding federal pay scales. Feel free to download and peruse:
UPDATE: I was asked about federal pay based on how expensive an area’s cost of living. In the spreadsheet above there is a breakdown by region, the federal government pays more in higher cost of living areas. From the Office of Personnel and Management:
33 Areas and “Rest of U.S”
Locality pay is set by comparing GS and non-Federal pay in each locality pay area, based on salary surveys conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). BLS is unable to survey all the many areas where Federal employees work, and we currently have 33 separate metropolitan locality pay areas. All other employees in the contiguous 48 States are included in the “Rest of U.S.” (RUS) locality pay area. BLS conducts a number of small-scale surveys in the RUS area and combines the results for setting the RUS locality pay rate.”
UPDATE 2: Furthermore, not only are the local and county governments paying certain individuals greater salaries than the federal scale, but the retirement benefits are richer too not only because of pay but because a higher amount is attributed. So not only is the yearly pay too high, the retirement benefits are excessive and unmaintainable, ultimately in time too much of tax revenue will go to service retirement benefits as seen in places like San Jose and San Diego where they had to dial back pension benefits. Federal (FERS) info can be found HERE while CalSTRS is found HERE