Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Car repairs, unused prescriptions and pepper spray

For those of you trying to save a few bucks and do your own car repairs have a listen. Last week I decided to replace the leaky radiator in the Lumina. This after I did a front brake job, not spending a dime, as all the parts were under warranty.

After getting prices of over 800 to replace the radiator I decided to do it myself. The local parts store wanted over 300 for a new radiator so I went on line and found a OEM radiator with shipping for 165.00. Of coarse, driveway mechanics face many hurdles in getting parts for older cars. The tranny lines for the radiator broke and there no longer made by GM, so I had to have the lines made at a local tranny shop. Bottom line, it pays to shop on line and do it yourself if you have the tools, time and space. I saved 500.00 dollars.

A move to help properly dispose of unused prescriptions is making progress in some communities. As you may know, kids are having a drug field day with un used prescription drugs and is one of the most serious environmental assaults on or drinking water. Many components of these drugs have been found in municipal water supplies. Gloucester is leading the way with taking a old US mail box, painting it over and placing it in the local police station. Anyone can drop off these drugs 24/7 and be assured they will be destroyed properly. Winchester, who has had this program since 07 have collected 125,000 pills and 5 boxes of liquid medication. A great idea which should be implemented in every police station in the State.

A move by a Rep from Wrentham would allow us to buy self defense sprays without a FID card. Damm good idea and I hope it makes it to Devals desk.

Unemployment benifits

While most of our readers are employed, some of us still have no job and have reached the end of our allotted time collecting. Deval signed into law, after realizing 85,000 residents would loose their federal unemployment funds after 59 weeks, would be eligible for another 20 weeks. It's not paradise, nor a permanent fix, but it is good to know it's there if needed.

The State's unemployment rate at over 8% is the worse since 1992 and most likely will go over 9%. Certainly not as bad as many other States, but with all the new tax increases coming, more of us should be aware of what the future may well end up being.
2010 will be harder on us all and now is the time to start making plans to deal with many more cut backs in our lives.

Back in the saddle again

It didn't take to long before reports of how much lobbyists money is being spent here in Mass and in Washington. For the first half of 09, special interest groups have spent 38 million dollars trying to shape major bills before the Mass legislature. If this spending keeps up, it will mark an all time record for spending. 646 registered lobbyists representing over 1000 clients are roaming the State House hallways, despite new ethics laws. All is legal, but who among us think this is good for our future?

And just when you think it's outrageous here in Mass, drug companies, hospitals, doctors and every other Health care company trying to sway Washington in the Health care reform have spent 66 million for the first quarter of this year, up 25% from last year this time.

Nothing good will come from any of this here in Mass or the country. The hundreds of millions of dollars spent every year to buy influence, is primarily why we as voters are ignored by the elated eleite.

Back in the saddle again

Mass is getting 22 million for energy saving projects. This is a portion of the 54.9 million in US Department of Energy's State Energy Program. This money will fund solar projects and energy saving measures for public buildings around the State. The Sate has received 5.5 million for administration costs and will get another 27.5 million if the State can meet certain goals.

Which leads me to write, the Sate budget is in serious peril for 2010 and like every other State getting stimulus money, budgets have to be balanced before any money is released. Just look at Calif and there 24 billion dollar deficit. Mass is not there, but we have a more problems facing us in the near future. Funding two zoos, closing some registry offices, health care and how to fund it have people up in arms. The typical response from our elected eleite is nothing short of disgraceful. Deval is not closing his Washington DC office, despite what the legislator has mandated.

On a brighter note, Sal DiMassi's pension is on hold, the 252 million dollar payment to the creditors for the big dig dept has been put off because the legislator has written into law, that 100 million dollars from the new sales tax increase will go directly to the big dig dept.