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Named & Shamed BLM Rangers Beat Retreat From Ranch

Posted on 18 April 2014 by Howard Copelan

 

facebook post of BLM Ranger

facebook post of BLM Ranger

A facebook posting of the photo, name and address of a BLM Ranger may have been at least partly behind the federal agency’s decision to retreat from a range war in Clark County.

According to confidential sources the facebook posting created an atmosphere of extreme reluctance from the rangers to continue the round up of cattle on the Bundy ranch. And that at least several rangers indicated they would like to be transfered and failing that would not follow orders to confront or disperse demonstrators.

“I heard rumors that some personal were getting a little reluctant,” said Nevada Assemblyman John Ellison. “But that is all it was rumors.”

The time line however is telling.

notesaprilOn Friday April 10th the photo name and address of one ranger, Michael Roop, was posted on Facebook by Utah countable Katina M. Young with the caption: “This is Michael Roop! He works for the BLM out of Portland, Oregon! He is the one who threw 57 year old Margaret Houston to the ground! She had her back to him and never knew it was coming! Share his photo and info to all you know! This man needs to lose his job!”

Within minutes the photo and more of Roop’s personal information including his phone number  was posted on over a dozen websites and blogs.

Highly critical e-mails addressed to Roop and phone calls using the number published began shortly later and did not let up.

Less than 12 hours after the first posting the BLM announced it was retreating in the range war and would be giving Bundy’s cattle back with this statement:

“As we have said from the beginning of the gather to remove illegal cattle from federal land consistent with court orders, a safe and peaceful operation is our number one priority. After one week, we have made progress in enforcing two recent court orders to remove the trespass cattle from public lands that belong to all Americans,” wrote BLM director Neil Kornze said in a statement.

“Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public,” he added. “We ask that all parties in the area remain peaceful and law-abiding as the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service work to end the operation in an orderly manner.”

Kornze, a former senior aide to Sen. Reid, called ranching an “important part of our nation’s heritage” and accused Bundy of failing to comply with multiple court orders to remove the cattle. According to Kornze’s statement, Bundy owes $1 million in grazing fees.

Lightning-halfpageThe legal arguments of the story evaporated late last week with videos that showed BLM rangers including Roop attacking protesters with taser pistols and police dogs.

The videos went viral and a virtual army of supporters some armed some not bagan to converge on the somewhat aptly named Bunkerville, Nevada.

“I am not sorry I posted the photo and I would do it again,” Young said. “I am a law enforcement officer and we are not supposed to behave in that manner. It did get me banned from making new posting on Facebook for 24 hours because someone complained but by then it was too late and there was no way I am taking the post down.”

Young added that she had several other photos of rangers that could be similar ‘named and shamed’ that could be posted should the situation arise.

The crisis began last week when armed federal officials and contract cowboys were brought in this week to execute a 2013 court order and remove the trespassing cattle.

cows.

“It’s high time for the BLM to do its job and give the [endangered desert] tortoises and the Gold Butte area the protection they need and are legally entitled to,” senior Center for Biological Diversity scientist Rob Mrowka told the Mesquite Local News. “As the tortoises emerge from their winter sleep, they are finding their much-needed food consumed by cattle.”

The herd belonging to Clive Bundy, also hinders the plants’ ability to recover from wildfires, tramples rare species, damages ancient American Indian cultural sites and endangers recreationists, Mrowka added.

The Bureau of Land Management website says Bundy has defied trespass laws for more than two decades, ignored rules and fees that other cattle ranchers have observed and refused “repeated attempts to resolve the matter administratively and judicially,” according to TheBlaze. While Bundy stated that he owed the BLM $300,000 in back grazing fees, spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon put the figure closer to $1.1 million.

wrecfraudThe roundup of the approximately 900 unwelcome cattle could cost as much as $3 million. But the 68-year-old Bundy has remained unintimidated.

Since 1993, Bundy has been battling the agency, as well as the National Park Service, the Center for Biological Diversity and the courts, to graze his cattle on 150 square miles of Gold Butte scrub land in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. He stopped paying his grazing fees back then, saying he “fired” the Bureau of Land Management as land manager. His Mormon ancestors had tilled the unforgiving soil since 1887, long before the 1934 Taylor Grazing Act allowed the federal government to seize control, TheBlaze reported.

“I have raised cattle on that land, which is public land for the people of Clark County, all my life. Why I raise cattle there and why I can raise cattle there is because I have preemptive rights,” he asserted, explaining to TheBlaze that this includes the right to forage, too.

Furthermore, Bundy has argued that it is the United States trespassing on Clark County, Nev., land, not he, and that he is a better steward of the land. He points out that the manure from his cows fertilizes the soil, that he’s built water sources for wildlife, and that his cattle prevent the vegetation from growing overly dense and creating a fire hazard.

The round-up comes at a time when the retail price of beef has hit historic high and is not expected to go down anytime soon.

softball2

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Long Canyon In Home Stretch

Posted on 18 April 2014 by Howard Copelan

mineworker

 

The Long Canyon Mine is on its last leg of permitting process just in time perhaps as gold enters a super cycle.

According to a Newmont Gold press release the Long Canyon project the Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) is now open for a 45 day public comment period during which community members are invited to offer input that will ultimately help shape the development of the project.

The process began in 2012 and has cleared every bureaucratic hurdle remaining on track to begin construction in 2015.

While Newmont was dotting every ‘i’ and crossing every ’t’ gold experienced a slump in 2013 trading at around $1,100 an ounce.

minemapHundreds of workers were laid off by area mines in the western half of Elko County.

Some locals feared a return to the bad old days of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s when the market crashed to well below $400 an ounce triggering a local recession that devastated the economy.

notesaprilAt the turn of the millennium hundreds if not thousands of jobs were lost and rural Nevada was plunged into deep recession because of the gold death spiral. Experts were predicting that gold would never again seen the $700 an ounce mark of the late 1970’s, and the odds were long against the precious metal would reach again the $450 sweet spot that made gold ming profitable for Nevada mines.

softball2However according to commodities analyst Gary Wagner gold may be headed for a two perhaps four year long “super cycle” that could push the price of the precious metal even beyond the highs of $1,900 an ounce last seen three years ago.

Wagner has been a technical market analyst for over 25 years. A frequent contributor to STOCKS & COMMODITIES Magazine, he has also written for many financial publications including Futures Magazine as well as Barron’s.

According to his commentary “Chart This” on the Kitco Precious metals website, Wagner said that even before the current crisis in the Ukraine gold had already bottomed out of it year long spiral that devastated the Nevada mining industry in 2013.

Those fears are in vain Wagner predicted and added that the signs are that gold is not only ready to return to record levels it may even eclipse them.

Even before the crisis in the Crimea gold had already returned to the $1,300 an ounce mark indicating that the market had recovered and that the sell off had stopped.

And now with the current political crisis the precious metal should recover its former highs and perhaps exude them Wagner said.

wrecfraudThere are several reasons to be optimistic he explained first gold is regaining its luster as a safe haven for investors that was tarnished a year ago by the unexpected drop.

More practically is that gold knows no border. Should the Ukrainian crisis continue without resolution the West is sure to impose more economic sanctions and restrictions on trade with Russia. A sure way to sidestep those trade restrictions is instead of using dollars, euros or other currency is to make them in gold.

In addition to political unrest in Europe there is also an economic crisis brewing in China. All that bad news is good news for the Nevada mining industry and the Nevada economy. Both for current projects such in the Carlin Trend and new ones such as Long Canyon Mine.

Lightning-halfpageEven before the slide in the price of gold ended, Newmont Mine official insisted  of that work on the Long Canyon Mine project 30 miles west of Wendover would continue unabated.

“Of course we have had to adjust and reevaluate,” said Newmont Mining executive Mary Korpi. “Some projects have been put on the back burner but the Long Canyon project is not one of them.”

Newmont commitment to the project will probably not dissipate no matter what this year since it is still in the permitting/exploration phase and with the earliest construction start date estimated for mid 2015 any fluctuation in the price of gold this year is essentially irrelevant for the Long Canyon project.

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Ofeldt Escapes Death Penalty Jury Convicts On Lessor Charge

Posted on 18 April 2014 by Howard Copelan

 

ofeldtnow

Change of appearance? Above; James “Big Time” Ofeldt as he looked on his first day of trial this week and below: Ofeldt at a hearing last year.

ofeldtthenESP inmate James “Big Time” Ofeldt escaped a possible death sentence when a White Pine jury convicted him of the lessor charge of voluntary homicide.

According to Nevada law, involuntary manslaughter is the killing of a human being, without any intent to do so, in the commission of an unlawful act, or a lawful act which probably might produce such a consequence in an unlawful manner, but where the involuntary killing occurs in the commission of an unlawful act, which, in its consequences, naturally tends to destroy the life of a human being, or is committed in the prosecution of a felonious intent, the offense is murder.

  A person convicted of the crime of voluntary manslaughter is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 10 years, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.

In addition to the charge he was convicted of Ofeldt was also charged with open or premeditated murder and second degree murder.

A possible sentence for the former is death by lethal injection and life imprisonment for the latter.

softball2The conviction of the least weighty of the charges can be taken as a victory albeit not a complete one for the ESP inmate.

Accused of the 2011 murder of his cell mate Erik “Bingo” Houser, Ofeldt has never denied the killing but instead has insisted he was acting in self defense.

Over the past two years, his defense attorney, Charles Odgers has laid at least a preliminary case of self defense and according to more than a few pieces of correspondence between prison officials and the White Pine County Sheriff’s office they may have enough to raise at least a reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors.

Documents obtained by the Advocate at least suggest that both investigators from the prison and the White Pine County Sheriff’s Department did not dismiss that angle out of hand.

wrecfraudAccording to those and other documents Ofeldt was fingered for killing to seal a truce between two white prison gangs the Aryan Warriors and the Skin Heads. Ofeldt, the correspondence suggested, was accused of being a snitch by the Aryan Warriors and Houser was picked for the job.

While the jury evidently did not completely buy that defense they bought enough of it for the man to avoid a death sentence.

The jury may have all taken Ofeldt mental state at the time of the killing.

From the day he arrived in 2004 Ofeldt has apparently been at war with Ely State Prison waged against both staff and fellow inmates alike. According to his prison disciplinary report, Ofeldt has spent almost half his so far nine years in prison under one form of discipline or another and close to four years in solitary confinement otherwise know as disciplinary segregation.

Most of the infractions Ofeldt was punished for were from fighting and assaults on other inmates to assaults on guards. His longest stretch in solitary began on October 31, 2009 and ended shortly before he killed cell mate Houser in May 2011.

The effect of solitary confinement on mental health has been studied and discussed by psychiatrists since the 1930s. According to psychiatrist Stuart Grassian, a specialist in the area, inmates are more likely to under-report than to over-report its effects (i.e., “Some of the guys can’t take it—not me”).

Lightning-halfpageRecently some have argued that evidence for a unique syndrome is insufficient and accused its proponents of bias because they advocate for prisoners in legal cases relating to solitary confinement. A study conducted by the Colorado Department of Corrections found that solitary confinement did not undermine mental health, and suggested that inmates in isolation often had mental health problems that should not be attributed to the isolation itself.

The International Red Cross considers Solitary Confinement  to be a form of psychological torture when the period of confinement is longer than a few weeks or is continued indefinitely. Negative psychological effects have been documented, leading one judge in a 2001 suit to rule that “[Solitary confinement] units are virtual incubators of psychoses—seeding illness in otherwise healthy inmates and exacerbating illness in those already suffering from mental infirmities.”

In juvenile detention, jail or prison since he was nine years old the inmate is if anything a poster child for all that is wrong with the prison system.

And while the possibility that Ofeldt will one day leave Ely Max it is highly unlikely. Not even half way through a 40 year sentence for 12 previous felonies James “big Time” Ofeldt will likely die in prison.

nicholead

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Assemblyman John Ellison Hero Of Bunkerville Ranch Standoff

Posted on 18 April 2014 by Howard Copelan

 

ellisonIf the was a hero in the Bundy Ranch standoff it was Nevada Assemblyman John Ellison who when most other Nevada political leaders were heading as far away from the range war as possible, Ellison charged in and just may have prevented the standoff from exploding.

 

“Everybody was saying that it wasn’t in their jurisdiction.” Ellison said in an interview with the High Desert Advocate. “That was the biggest load of BS I ever heard. There were 100’s of federal agents and 100’s of protesters all on Nevada land all armed and it wasn’t in our jurisdiction to make sure people stayed safe? Come on.”

 

The five foot two inch little giant made it his business to get Clark County and Las Vegas Metro officers to the scene despite the reluctance of their administrations.

 

“I don’t really have an opinion on the Bundy case, except to say as a rancher I know the difficulties of dealing with the BLM,” he continued. “What I was a afraid of with all those guns around both from the federal agents and with some of the protesters was that a shooting war would start by accident. I think the presence of local deputies and officers put a fusion between both sides.”

 

The deputies and Ellison’s presence at several stand offs may have been a factor that kept passion cool and could have also factored into the BLM’s decision to retreat from the fray and return the cattle back to Bundy.

 

wrecfraud“I really don’t think this is over by a long shot,” Ellison observed. “The BLM got embarrassed and they could be back.”

 

However Ellison’s public and prolific support of Nevadans may have spurred his more cautious colleagues to take note and perhaps stand up and be counted should the need arise again.

 

“We were elected to defend the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Nevada,” he added. “That is our jurisdiction.

 

Named the most conservative legislator for 2014, Ellison represents the largest district in the state. Despite the vast area he is running unopposed on the November ballot.

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WWPD Blotter

Posted on 18 April 2014 by Howard Copelan

During the week of April 09 through April 15 2014 the West Wendover Police Department made the following arrests:

April 12, 2014: Jennifer Wright was taken into custody for domestic battery at the Rainbow casino. Bail $3,000

April 12, 2014: Robert Gieb was taken into custody for 3rd offense driving under the influence, failure to display headlamps and disobedience to a traffic control device in the 600 block of Wendover Boulevard. Bail $5,330

April 13, 2014: Lucas Anderson was taken into custody on a warrant while at the Montego Bay casino. Bail $637

April 13, 2014: Troy Boyd was taken into custody for domestic battery with an enhancement for crimes against the elderly. Bail $15,000 

April 15, 2014: Amanda Aurand was taken into custody for driving under the influence in the 2000 block of Tibbets Boulevard. Bail $1,050

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WWPD Workers Kudos

Posted on 18 April 2014 by Howard Copelan

wwpdapril

The West Wendover Police Department recognized two employees at the regular meeting of West Wendover City Council on April 15, 2014.

 

Toni Corona has been employed with the police department for nearly 14 years and was recognized for her recent promotion to Administrative Assistant. Toni has worked closely with all of the officers, police department administration and other city departments in order to adjust the services of the police department to meet the needs of the citizens of the city of West Wendover. Toni works hard to maintain the professional image of the police department and educates the public that she interacts with on the services provided by the city.

 

Shannon Baker has been with the police department communication center since 2007 and was recognized for her recent promotion to Lead Dispatcher. Shannon has recently taken on tasks such as updating and re-structuring the communication center training program; revising current policy and procedures to meet the needs of the department; and replacing outdated equipment with modern technologies. Shannon supervises six full time employees in the communication center, which runs 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

wrecfraud

 

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Quintin Rice Computer Guy

Posted on 18 April 2014 by Howard Copelan

quintin

Let me introduce myself my name is Quinn Rice I am a computer service technician with 15 years’ experience in repairing computers.  I have worked for some of the top name repair companies in the business, I have decided to offer my services here in Wendover and Howard asked if I would write a Column giving some direction that might help with the computer needs of the community.  So I gave it some thought and figured that giving some insight on what computer is best for me?

There are 3 classes of computers:

The first is the least expensive usually found at the box stores like Walmart in the price range from the price range of $350.00 to $700.00 depending on what store you look at.  

The Second is more of a business classification ranging from $600.00 to $2000.00 meant to run the business applications and meet the needs of the company.

The Third is the gaming computer and there is no limits to the price range anywhere from $1500.00 to no limits, to what this computer will do or coast of this computer.

quinnadSo I want to give some insight of what I was told when I worked for one of the big name repair companies, I was told that to make my money I had to sell so much merchandise to increase my check.  So I picked out 3 of the bestselling computers on the floor and when my customer would come in and make a statement “I am looking for a computer” that would be all I heard.  Even though I would ask what you are looking for in a computer system.   That would not matter I already had 3 computers I was going to pitch.  I was going to sell them one of the 3 computers I already chose.  The words out of the customers mouth was Blah…Blah…Blah.  It is not in their best interest to repair your computer or even one of the low end computers that will fill your needs.  In most opportunities the repair tech will sell you a computer that would be overkill and out of the price range you are looking for.  In most cases I found the computer you already got is going to fill the needs it was intended for, with the correct upgrades or repairs to the current system is really all that is needed.

So do some research to find the best match for your needs, instead of asking someone else what you need as that normally turns out to be overkill?  You are the best to know what you can afford and also what you need.

softball2

 

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Armed Feds Take On Nevada Rancher As Beef Prices Soar

Posted on 11 April 2014 by Howard Copelan

revolution?

Just as the price of beef hits record highs the federal government agents have shut down the last Nevada cattle ranch in Clark County.

Armed federal officials and contract cowboys were brought in this week to execute a 2013 court order and remove the trespassing cattle.

cows“It’s high time for the BLM to do its job and give the [endangered desert] tortoises and the Gold Butte area the protection they need and are legally entitled to,” senior Center for Biological Diversity scientist Rob Mrowka told the Mesquite Local News. “As the tortoises emerge from their winter sleep, they are finding their much-needed food consumed by cattle.”

The herd belonging to Clive Bundy, also hinders the plants’ ability to recover from wildfires, tramples rare species, damages ancient American Indian cultural sites and endangers recreationists, Mrowka added.

The Bureau of Land Management website says Bundy has defied trespass laws for more than two decades, ignored rules and fees that other cattle ranchers have observed and refused “repeated attempts to resolve the matter administratively and judicially,” according to TheBlaze. While Bundy stated that he owed the BLM $300,000 in back grazing fees, spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon put the figure closer to $1.1 million.

blmadThe roundup of the approximately 900 unwelcome cattle could cost as much as $3 million. But the 68-year-old Bundy has remained unintimidated.

Since 1993, Bundy has been battling the agency, as well as the National Park Service, the Center for Biological Diversity and the courts, to graze his cattle on 150 square miles of Gold Butte scrub land in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. He stopped paying his grazing fees back then, saying he “fired” the Bureau of Land Management as land manager. His Mormon ancestors had tilled the unforgiving soil since 1887, long before the 1934 Taylor Grazing Act allowed the federal government to seize control, TheBlaze reported.

“I have raised cattle on that land, which is public land for the people of Clark County, all my life. Why I raise cattle there and why I can raise cattle there is because I have preemptive rights,” he asserted, explaining to TheBlaze that this includes the right to forage, too.

Furthermore, Bundy has argued that it is the United States trespassing on Clark County, Nev., land, not he, and that he is a better steward of the land. He points out that the manure from his cows fertilizes the soil, that he’s built water sources for wildlife, and that his cattle prevent the vegetation from growing overly dense and creating a fire hazard.

The round-up comes at a time when the retail price of beef has hit historic high and is not expected to go down anytime soon.

wrecfraudThe retail value of “all-fresh” USDA choice-grade beef jumped to a record $5.28 a pound in February, up from $4.91 the same time a year ago. The same grade of beef cost $3.97 as recently as 2008.

According to market analyst the extreme weather that hit most of the Midwest and eastern seaboard thinned the nation’s beef cattle herds to levels last seen in 1951, when there were about half as many mouths to feed in America.

“We’ve seen strong prices before but nothing this extreme,” said Dennis Smith, a commodities broker for Archer Financial Services in Chicago. “This is really new territory.”

Ironically the portion of the country that escaped the ‘polar vortex’ was the south west including Nevada.

nicholeadIndeed the relatively mild winter in the Silver State was welcomed by the ranching industry which was hit hard by last year’s deep freeze that thinned out local herds.

“We had a great calving season this year,” said Elko County rancher Geoff Dahl. “And with the price of beef this could be one of our best years. Fortunately we don’t use BLM land to raze our herd anymore. Back in the 1960’s and 70’s we had a real good relationship with the agency but things began to change. Instead of public/private partnership it has become hostile and obstructionist to the ranching industry. And a lot of their policies make no sense. They try to stop what they call invasive species except for horses which are protected. Bundy’s family has been ranching in Clark County for over 100 years and the desert tortoise actually depends on cow dung as a major part of its diet.”

Lightning-halfpageThe standoff has also elicited a response from Nevada governor Bryan Sandoval less for the action itself than the manner in which it is being done.

“Due to the roundup by the BLM, my office has received numerous complaints of BLM conduct, road closures and other disturbances. I have recently met with state legislators, county officials and concerned citizens to listen to their concerns.” The Nevada governor said in a press release.

“I have expressed those concerns directly to the BLM. Most disturbing to me is the BLM’s establishment of a ‘First Amendment Area’ that tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution.

“To that end, I have advised the BLM that such conduct is offensive to me and countless others and that the ‘First Amendment Area’ should be dismantled immediately.

“No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans.

“The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly.”

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Will Lemich Suffer From Budget Red Ink?

Posted on 11 April 2014 by Howard Copelan

lemich:perea

 

A possible tax increase in White Pine County could not come at a worse possible time for County Commissioner Mike Lemich and his re-election bid.

According to fellow County Commissioner Mike Coster the proposed county budget is some $1.8 million in the red and the only options for the commission is to either dip into the county’s rainy day fund or raise revenue either by an increase in fees or taxes.

nicholead

“– At the first pass, including request for new items, is $900,000 over the current year.

– Total revenues (money we CAN spend) for the year is forecasted by the State of Nevada to be $900,000 below the current year.

– That means we have to cut $1.8 million, which is $900,000 BELOW the current year total revenue of $11,500,000, from the current budget and new requests.

FYI: 2013 revenue $12,400,000

2014 revenue $11,500,000

quinnad2015 revenue $10,900,000 (proposed),” Coster wrote in a facebook post. “…Like most of us personally, we need to live within our means. That means spending only what we are taking in.

Where to you recommend cuts? We have tentatively eliminated all vehicle purchases, new employees, and numerous other new items. That has solved $395,000 of the $1.8 Million shortfall. As mentioned above, some of the shortfall can be solved by drawing on our “savings” in the fund balances.

What do you think? Programs to be cut? Draw a lot from savings to maintain the amounts spent in the current year? Assess new taxes?”

While Coster said he would not support any kind of a tax increase, the option is certainly on the table and Lemich who is facing a primary election June 9th could be put in the unenviable position of being damned if he votes for it or damned if he votes for extreme budget cuts.

A public servant who has served on one governing body or another since the early 60’s Lemich has built a reputation of never shying away from a fight but this time around the deck seems stacked against him.

Elected to the County commission shortly after White Pine emerged from an embarrassing bankruptcy Lemich ran and was elected on his reputation as a fiscally responsible businessman.

wrecfraudThe fact that the county budget is suffering from a shortfall at all will almost certainly used by his opponents in the upcoming primary that perhaps another man could have handled things better.

Lemich is facing former Ely Mayor George Chachas and former County Commissioner Gary Perea.

Of the two challengers it is most likely Chachas will deliver most of the verbal broadsides. The two men have known each other practically all their lives and it has not been an amicable relationship to say the least.

Public disagreements between the two have often devolved into insult ridden shouting matches some that have come close to physical confrontations.

softballnuggetFormer commissioner Gary Perea is relatively mild mannered when compared to his two rivals and may be the chief beneficiary of the budget deficit.

When he was narrowly defeated in his own re-election bid two years ago, the county was in the black It has only been since he was gone that red ink began to flow again.

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XP Demise? Don’t Panic, Says Local Computer Man

Posted on 11 April 2014 by Howard Copelan

xp

 

There really is no need to panic for computer users running Microsoft’s Windows XP despite the fact the operating system is no longer supported said local computer guru Quin Rice.

“Yes XP is no longer supported by Microsoft,” Rice explained. “But that is no reason to either pay for a costly up grade or costlier still, buy a new computer. Most people can simply down load for free a program called Windows Defender and they will be just fine.”

quintin

Quintin Rice

Released in 2001 Windows XP is the most popular operating system in the world. Almost one-third of PCs on the Internet, some 28%, are still using XP, according to OS watchdog site Net Applications.

And some 44% of businesses are still using it, according to mobile device management company Fiberlink.

According to survey by the High Desert Advocate, Windows XP is still the operating system or one of the systems used by various state and local government agencies and private commercial businesses even after the Tuesday dead line.

Even after Tuesday’s ‘drop dead’ date all XP PCs continued to boot up and operate from And they will continue to do even do that without Microsoft’s official support. The only difference is  that Microsoft will not fix bugs, add features, or — most importantly — patch newly found security holes.

However most major bugs have were stamped out in the 13 years since the operating system debuted and few experts see a new plague on XP users being unleashed by evil hackers.

quinnadMost XP computers are at least five years old if not more and the reason they have kept on running the old operating system while four others have been released on the market can be summed up in two words: dependability and cost.

As its 13 years in operation attest XP is a work horse while not as flashy as the five newer Microsoft system that followed it gets the job done.

Indeed it was the experience with Windows Vista released seven years after XP that may have caused XP users to keep the old reliable system for 13 years.

Dubbed the worst launch of a new product since the New Coke, Vista was costly cumbersome and what was worse for many small businesses and private user it was often not compatible with peripherals like printers and scanners.

nicholeadUsers were often faced with the decision to either return to XP or spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on new equipment they had not budgeted for.

Many if not most returned to XP and have not budged since.

The fact that XP has lasted so long and has so many satisfied user also indicates an interesting trend in consumer electronics— durability.

wrecfraudIn the beginning of the computer revolution a machine was almost obsolete the moment it left the store.

Software and hardware upgrades were necessary just to stay in business.

But shortly after the turn of the millennium computer users began to notice that while near machines still carried with them a certain cachet older computers could still do the work they were required to do.

The times between major upgrades to systems even the largest ones grew longer and longer and computer manufactures saw order decline until last year when new computer purchases were eclipsed by tablets, smart phones and other mobile devices.

Because they are portable however an iPad or and Android will not be found running a sewer treatment plant or a police dispatch center. That job was left to the old reliable PC running XP.

Lightning-halfpageAnd while the program is now no longer getting support from Microsoft, according to Rice those machines still have a few good years left.

“If your PC does everything you want it to do, if you have no complaints I would not change it out,” he added. “ We can keep it running and we can keep it secure at a fraction of the cost of a new operating system or a new computer.”

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