Saturday, May 16, 2009

OPEN POSTS WEEK TWENTY-SIX

The recent airline crash in upstate NY focused on several problems and I will give my own take on a few. The pay. A first officer usually is paid in the vicinity of $37,000 per year after the first year and prior to that it is in the $20-24 per hour range. This is fairly standard on most airlines and represents their pay based on a maximum of 1,000 hours per year on jet aircraft. The pilot of the crashed commuter plan was flying a turbo prop and therefore could fly 1,250 hours per year maximum. Pay increases rapidly and by the third year it jumps to $66 per hour and that is based on gate to gate time. Clock runs when you leave the gate and stops when you pull into the gate. A captain - usually a 3-5 year period - will earn about $100 per hour and that will increase with sonority and aircraft flown. A senior captain can be in a $150,000 - 200,000 range.

Aircraft flown is interesting. My son flies the series that carry between 48 and 96 passengers. Once they exceed a certain number of seats the FAA requires an additional flight attendant so they will keep configuration under 50 and under 100. His routes are varied and it is not unusual to fly five legs in a day - five takeoffs and landings in a variety of conditions. In the last year he has probably had more take offs and landings than some pilots have had in ten years.

The commute is something else. Most of the pilots have extensive commutes and that was brought out in the Buffalo incident. My son lives in Massachusetts and is based in Milwaukee so he is usually on either a Mid West, Delta or FedEx flight to get to and from his home base. He left Friday night and will overnight in Milwaukee at company expense and then fly for four days. On one recent flight from Milwaukee there were seven pilots onboard from different airlines returning to Boston. One pilot was based in Salt Lake City and has to commute four to five times a moth. The pilots and crew of airlines fly at no charge on any airline that has room and this can apply to off days as well. Hop a flight and have a mini vacation.

The traditional training ground for commercial pilots has been the military. That has changed dramatically to where only 25% of current commercial pilots have military backgrounds. My son does have military but not with fixed wing aircraft. Why has this happened? Deregulation. Pay, benefits and working conditions have changed substantially and the aura and shine of being a commercial pilot is long gone. Not unusual for even a senior captain to have a part time job. I know one former pilot who worked for Eastern, Piedmont, Braniff and retired from TWA…well, TWA actually got retired and he packed it in. Notice the trend? Four failed airlines. His pensions all vanished and was forced by regs (since changed) to retire at age 60.

The commuter turbo that crashed is the new trend setter in regional passenger routes. Smaller, more fuel efficient and more cost effective such as the CRJ series I mentioned. No 180 seats with 50 empty. But the training is questionable as are the working conditions. The thing to remember is that in virtually all crashes it comes down to pilot or human error.

Nancy Pelosi! I heard the talking heads on her news conference from hell and managed to catch it on the rerun. What a wreck! This may have been the most embarrassing display I have ever seen at a press conference.

President WOW will continue with terror tribunals. No problem with that IMO.

The economy took a big step backwards last week as several indicators show a stall situation and that is totally frustrating to all. I really want to eat some crow on this situation as I felt it would take a few years to straighten out several decades of foolishness. Right now this may be just a step backward and two steps forward. Keep a close watch on the S & P index and if that gets to a 1,000 in a few months things will be looking a lot better.


Post away.

55 comments:

Hal Brown said...

If anyone is interested in my opinion on the latest manufactured controversy from the hydroponic hothouse of Town Hall - i.e. The Misadventures of Pothead Patrick - check out my latest post on Hechuva Blogspot (here).

bogofree said...

Is the basement at the Town Hall a grow room?

Might need some drugs to listen to that radio show.

Suo Mynona said...
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Suo Mynona said...

**Community Preservation Act News**
***From The Official CPA Website***

"The DOR issued a bulletin today revising its earlier 35% CPA match projection down to 29%

http://www.communitypreservation.org/SpringElections.cfm
---------------------------

With all the hooks that CPA has in monies dispersed, the positive enticements are decreasing further for the tax burden placed upon those unable to pay.

It is time for Middleboro to take certain matters into their own hands. I believe it can be done. People with the monetary means and desire can come together.

Maybe they can pass BB's "no brainier" "IQ test"

More likely they need a more positive messenger that does not belittle the townspeople.

Hal Brown said...

bogofree said...
Is the basement at the Town Hall a grow room?

Might need some drugs to listen to that radio show.
I don't know if marijuana would make the listening to the show more intense and thus disturbing, or ludicrous. Maybe someone with experience being high on the weed will weigh in on this. Patrick?

On growing pot in the Town Hall basement:

The idea of legalizing and taxing marijuana is an old one. It's been endorsed by a large list of economists who signed this open letter, including Milton Friedman and two other Nobel Prize winners:

An Open Letter to the President, Congress, Governors, and State Legislatures We, the undersigned, call your attention to the attached report by Professor Jeffrey A. Miron, "The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition" (link).

The report shows that marijuana legalization -- replacing prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation -- would save $7.7 billion per year in state and federal expenditures on prohibition enforcement and produce tax revenues of at least $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like most consumer goods. If, however, marijuana were taxed similarly to alcohol or tobacco, it might generate as much as $6.2 billion annually.

The fact that marijuana prohibition has these budgetary impacts does not by itself mean prohibition is bad policy. Existing evidence, however, suggests prohibition has minimal benefits and may itself cause substantial harm.

We therefore urge the country to commence an open and honest debate about marijuana prohibition. We believe such a debate will favor a regime in which marijuana is legal but taxed and regulated like other goods. At a minimum, this debate will force advocates of current policy to show that prohibition has benefits sufficient to justify the cost to taxpayers, foregone tax revenues, and numerous ancillary consequences that result from marijuana prohibition.

Hal Brown said...

On bogo's intro to week 26, here's an interesting article: "Commuter Pilot’s Life Defies Glamorous Stereotype" (link).

I'm curious what our learned regulars think of my take on the Patrick pot pot being stirred by Adam Bond.

Please check out my blog opinion "The buzz at Town Hall" (link) and comment here, there, or both. My blog is also a Google blogspot so you can post there using your same untrackable ID.

If you missed them, you can scroll down to check out the most recent "rude" pictures of people taken in Boston.

bogofree said...

Excellent article, Hal, on the commuter pilots. Always nice to see SOMEONE do some research.

Interesting in regards to certain illegal substances and IMHO eventually the laws will be loosened and regulation will be put into place. I really have no problem with any of that except to tighten up the consequences - similar to what is finally being done with drunk drivers.

Suo...this is gov't at its finest. Get something attractive going and then diminish the contribution. This is why some are wary of the Obama-Bush-Congress bailouts since when the money dries up you are left with making up the difference, paying debt off and raising revenue (never say taxes).

I like CPA but I also realize the circumstances are just not right.

Middleboro has always been a fairly supportive community.

Hal Brown said...

On marijuana and flying, here's a story that may interest you.

Years ago I knew a Vietnam veteran who flew helicopters carrying troops into and out of combat zones.

He talked about the prevalent use of pot and alcohol in Vietnam, and some of the other less common drug use. He said that lots of the helicopter pilots he knew, including himself, smoked pot before a mission.

He said that you'd have to crazy (and some were, and no doubt many were just plain brave) to fly into a hot L.Z.* without being stoned. Of course booze would have impaired the flying skill so was frowned on.

Even so he crashed three times so had I been there I have hoped for a stone cold sober pilot.

* a landing zone under enemy fireRead "The buzz at Town Hall" here.

bogofree said...

Like what the Japanese did for Kamikaze pilots during late WW II.

Went to an air show many years ago at Weymouth Naval Air Station and a stunt pilot crashed. Straight down at 300 MPH+. Blood tests show drugs and alcohol.

Pilots are restricted to alcohol consumption usage before flights. I believe the regs say 12 hours. In the early 70s I was at a club in Boston speaking to someone who was smoking dope and drinking scotch straight. We started to talk flying and he was a pilot for BOAC who was scheduled for a trans Atlantic flight that very morning.

I don't know what the rates are for pilots in accidents regarding blood samples showing substance issues nor am I sure what the figures are for all transportation from the NTSB.

Drug and booze usage goes back to the dawn of man.

Hal Brown said...
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Hal Brown said...

bogo says: "Drug and booze usage goes back to the dawn of man."/

and so does prostitution, yet another subject and also something that various societies tried to stop by outlawing.

Who would you want flying your plane, a pilot who the night before smoked pot, got drunk, or used the services of a prostitute?

(amended above post)

Don't forget: "The buzz at Town Hall.

Hal Brown said...
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Hal Brown said...

bogo wrote:

Like what the Japanese did for Kamikaze pilots during late WW II.Do you mean the thousands of "comfort women" who were forced to "serve" the Japanese army during World War II as prostitutes, or the use of meth?
-

a quote:

Meanwhile, German blitzkrieg strikes and suicidal Japanese kamikaze and banzai attacks may have been inspired by something more than fearless nationalism; those nations supplied their forces with Pervitin and Isophan, brand names for methamphetamine

bogofree said...

Various uses of drugs to prepare the pilots.

anonymous said...

Hal
Somebody must have given you some cheap pot with additives the 3rd time around. I smoked it a lot back in the day, and never got the feeling of losing control. It was like having 2 drinks....mild euphoria and silliness and a voracious appetite. Kind of slows the world down, so I wouldn't recommend driving on it. You think you're going 50 and you're really going 15. That's a real tip off to the cops.

This whole "Pot" Rogers thing is a non issue in my view. Could care less unless he starts smoking it at BOS meetings.

Family Guy said...

One more dog complaint to get through and they can all lite up.

Mimi does have a garden.

Rocky said...

I think the $100 fine is nothing more than the state taxing pot?

Ever wnder if maybe he was lying to seem cooler?

bogofree said...

Anyone ever listen to the Paul Harvey parody on him shilling pot on his radio show? One of the best I ever heard.

Since Hal was talking about prostitution maybe that can be brought up on the famous radio show. Have you ever visited a prostitute? Why stop there? Have you ever cheated on your spouse? Springer of the radio.

anonymous said...

Hal visit a prostitute? Now that's funny!

Suo Mynona said...

*****BB Quote****

"50 bucks is nothing"

BB: 500 bucks is 50 with just another zero. Is 500 bucks nothing for you? Time will tell.

I still believe 50 bucks is a considerable amount of money for some people.

Suo Mynona said...

***Hey BB****

How about a pledge to save the Green School that you have blogged about?

You say: "Well, Middleborough, it's time to put your money where your mouth is."

Will you put your money where your mouth is? Other people have.

Hal Brown said...

On the Green School

I left the BOS meeting just after Lincoln Andrews got off to what was a good start delivering a well-prepared and cogent presentation of why the school should be saved. (My priority on Monday night is always to pick up my wife at 8PM for pizza at The Central.)

Did anybody see the rest of the discussion? What's the plan? Did he suggest how?

The only thing I could think of that I haven't heard mentioned as a use for the school, if it can be saved, is as a retail learning experience for high school students. They could learn to run the entire operation from management to promotion to sales to ordering, stocking etc.

It could be a store for both Middleboro school and town promotional items such as clothing, mugs, calenders and other items for both locals and visitors. I don't see this as a money making endeavor though. Even a downtown location would have trouble making a profit.

As for how to pay for it, what with demands for our donations to various good causes coming from every direction, it's hard to think that adding one that will need in the six figures is realistic.

bogofree said...

The presentation was excellent and both Bruce and Neil added their support and insight. This, I guess, is what passes for "dinosaurs" to some and in one weekend managed to raise a significant amount of money and interest.

The seed money is in, Hal, and the next step is a workable plan and evaluation. That will take place ASAP and the folks involved in this have connections and experience in these matters.


I have already contributed and I am sure that BB and some others who have mentioned this subject online will do the same. BB has a blog and a column that can be used to speed up the process. Fund raising will be necessary and that seed money needs to blossom.

The bottom line is an exact dollar figure is unknown until a complete evaluation takes place. The structure might not even be salvageable.

Hal Brown said...

I figure at least $100,000.

That's a lot of children's swings.

The picture in the thumbnail can be enlarged by clicking here.It's from the Thompson book and shows the school as it looked after it was rebuilt in 1923.

LMAO said...

I saw the presentation and now I wonder if BB will toss in a few bucks along with JP. LMCAO!

Andrews did more in a weekend than the CPA crowd did in months. I know, Bogo, you supported CPA and sign a petition but also realized it was going nowhere.

I saw all those comments on the BB blog directed towards the third rate dips**ts who don't listen to his all mighty lectures. Looks like the third rates got something going. LMCAO!

LMAO said...

100K, Hal? Are you a structural engineer? The costs with clean up and rebuild may go into that territory or far greater. I think they want to raise at least 15K. No one knows what the cost will be but those involved seem to have a bundle of connections that can cut deals and get money.

Hal Brown said...

I suppose I'm going to have to put a degree in structural engineering on my incredibly long "to do" list. Am I a structural engineer?

No, and I don't even play one of T.V.

But I did hear numbers like $15,000 for this and $60,000 for that and have had some work done around the house so I figured $100,000 was a good starting point.

Are YOU a structural engineer?

Some PEOPLE just love finding an excuse to laugh their asses off at my expense.

My suggestion to them while laughing their asses off is unprintable.

Hal Brown said...

I suppose I'm going to have to put a degree in structural engineering on my incredibly long "to do" list. Am I a structural engineer?

No, and I don't even play one of T.V.

But I did hear numbers like $15,000 for this and $60,000 for that and have had some work done around the house so I figured $100,000 was a good starting point.

Word verification: ourbig
Are YOU a structural engineer?

Some PEOPLE just love finding an excuse to laugh their asses off at my expense.

My suggestion to them while laughing their asses off is unprintable.

Suo Mynona said...

***HELP BB****

Here is a link to BB's Blog Call To Arms to save The Green School:

http://bellicose-bumpkin.blogspot.com/2009/05/may-2009-atm-article-10-green-school.html

Maybe BB can do a snazzy blog presentation for this positive effort and a link for pledges based on feasibility.

savegreenschool@hotmail.com

Pledges are now in excess of $10,000.

bogofree said...

Hal

Looks like you'll have to put double posts on your list!

I don't think LMAO was really being snarky. But a point was made in that nothing will be known until the evaluation of clean up and building takes place.

I heard different numbers tossed around but my understanding is there are two distinct issues with the first being the clean up and the second being building restoration. The local groups focus is on the restoration and part of that is stabilization so that clean up can progress.

I am not sure what the final clean up tally will be nor do any of us have an idea on that. Ditto with the condition of the building. I'm sure a good old fashion barn raising could simplify the final renovation costs.

bogofree said...

Suo

The following two posts are from the BB blog which I checked out on your link. I also submiited by acciident a similar post to Mark's blog since that was what I was linked into to check out the Green School. He may or may not print it. I hope he does since it may get the ball rolling on that end.

The quotes are an example of what can be done. I may support CPA but I also support this. I hope BB will step up and use his resources meaning his blog and columns. So far the theatrics has raised $10,000 in FOUR days! I am impressed!

"Well, Middleborough, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. We get to save this building(or not) all by ourselves with no grants or matching state money."

"Watching the theatrical stunt of Lincoln Andrews with a wad of $1 bills was childish, but effective in stiffling CPA."

Suo Mynona said...

I hope and expect the person you quoted will make a pledge.

anonymous said...

Hey, Hal, open up that checkbook!

BB. Open up that checkbook!

Bozo. I heard you gave $1! LOL! What was it? Twenty empties?

Save The Green School said...
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bogofree said...

I saw the post by Lincoln Andrews on the BB blog and Mark is still pointing out the CPA possibilities at 1%. I can't disagree with him since I support it but in classic fence sitting mode I realize it is not going to pass in the immediate future. Just maybe this Green School initiative will create some impetus for the CPA?

I am also sure that Mark will toss his support behind it as it is a grass roots effort and he has been involved with those in the past - CPA, recall and the casino issue.

According to friend Hal BB is a "power broker" so that does have some impact. Mark has a blog , the nemasket site and newspaper column and maybe even access to Radio Free Bond. Don't know. Be an interesting community topic.

I would also urge Jessie to look into this from an energy standpoint. After all it is the Green School and she has posted extensively on that issue. What could she add to the mix for making any renovations a benchmark for going green? Must be money in the funnel and the G&E is a possibility. Maybe grab some stimulus dough?

Mboro has some folks that could really lend a hand in this project from those who are of the novice status to scouts looking for an Eagle Project to local contractors/tradesmen who have some time, materials and expertise they can toss in.

Grab a page from the Soule Farm book.

Hal Brown said...

I'll make a pledge.

I can see this bringing people together as it's a real community project.

I still like my idea about using it as I suggested - a store selling school and town items being run completely by students. They would also beautify and maintain the triangular island out front.

The Cemetery at the Green already maintains the grass between 105 and Plymouth Street.

As one of the main entry roads to downtown Middleboro this will be a great welcome for visitors coming off Rt. 44 and drive past the lovely Congregational Church and historic cemetery. It would be enjoyed by residents as well.

Hal Brown said...

P.S.

Not only would we be saving a historic building but because of its location being on such a well traveled intersection we'd be telling lots of people about our valuing both the past, the present, and the future.

bogofree said...

Notice that much of the conversation on blogs is in the past tense looking to play the blame game. Plenty of that to go around but the discussion at this juncture should be on one particular item - The Green School. Is it worth saving? What is the cost? How much can be raised?

LMAO said...

I have been following the Green School issue on the BB blog and find it interesting that some commentors are more focused on the negative than the positive. Is it personal?

This is a community issue and Andrews seems to focus right in on that part of the debate. As Bogo has said this is about the now and not the past.

This is also a voluntary and that is different from the CPA. I really don't like the aspect of someone telling me how good a tax is. I get the feeling that some think the recent proposed increase in the sales tax is also a good thing for me. It is not.

The whole Green School thing may not work out but it is worth the effort.

bogofree said...

This should be a stand alone issue at this point. Judgment to what got us there can be debated at a later time and IMO it is as BB and others have stated. Priorities. Sometimes the PM portion of the budget falls aside for job protection.

I'm not sure about this being any type of Catalyst for CPA but it does have the potential.

I'm sure LA will keep everyone informed of progress on this project and postings on what folks can do to contribute resources financial or otherwise.

Save The Green School said...

We will have news to report in the week or so. Bruce Neil and I have chatted. We are now setting up a time to meet and determine the most practical manner of stabilizing the structure.

Please make a pledge:

savegreenschool@hotmail.com

chica said...

A worthy effort.

anonymous said...

The excuses people are making not to donate to saving the Green School are bogus and petty. Seems like "Megan" (JP) has not informed herself well on the actual plans for a new police station.

Dog, Bounty Hunter said...

I'm diappointed by some of the negative comments on BB's blog resisting saving the Green School. This is the perfect opportunity for the community to work together on a worthy project. Call me a cynic, but I believe that some are objecting simply because they are at odds personally with the individual who proposed it. That's just so low.

RE: a new police station.....why couldn't the empty new N. Middleboro fire station be converted to house police headquarters plus house one fire truck? The police personnel would only be 1/4 mile away from the Dunkin Donuts on the rotary. Convenient considering many of them practically mainline caffeine. Just kidding, Rocky.

Dog, Bounty Hunter said...

THE PLAN

A. Back off and let those men who want to marry men, marry men.

B. Allow those women who want to marry women, marry women.

C. Allow those folks who want to abort their babies, abort their babies.

D. In three generations, there will be no Democrats.


Dang - I love it when a plan comes together

Save The Green School said...

Dog:

Negative comments by negative people yeilds positive results. Goes back to basic math, grammar, and human nature.

All comments are welcome.

Dog, Bounty Hunter said...

STGS

I admire your initiative and persistance. And I am astounded by the amount of money raised in such a short time. It just goes to show what people are capable of when they set their minds to something. You can count on me for a pledge.

Hal Brown said...

Shameless website self-promotion from me, and is there any better kind?

I put some Green School vintage pictures on Middleboro Matters (here) Spring edition, and added a topic on its message board* where people who want to do more than just exercise their acerbic wit can make constructive suggestions.

* Instant posting, pictures allowed.

anonymous said...

Many thanks to LA for starting the Green School dialogue and getting the ball rolling. I agree that negativity is preferable to apathy, though I can't understand why anyone would object to such a good cause.

Save The Green School said...

Dog:

It is like the famous Margret Meade Quote:

'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.'

The people that have quietly and quickly pledged money are wonderful.

Family Guy said...

LOL on the quote. Wonder who uses that all the time?

Dog. That was an oldie but goodie. No more Democrats! LMCAO!

What is the latest dollar figure on the Green School?

I like the fact that LA is not putting out any pie in the sky promises. Very realistic approach. Maybe BB should copy it for his CPA game plan?

Save The Green School said...
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Save The Green School said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Save The Green School said...

LMAO and others:

Right now the total is just over 11,000.00 dollars. I contacted several local institutions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday to see if there was a willingness to participate. All indicated they would. I told them I would wait to formally apply until the project seemed viable through citizen donations first. Wasting others business time is not good. Asking for white elephant dollars is never good.

Now that there is enough pledged to possibly help the school I will formally apply for those dollars.

We still need more people to make a pledge to savegreenschool@hotmail.com
--------------------

Mike Maddigan, local historian extraordinaire, wrote a wonderful piece on the Green School:

http://nemasket.blogspot.com/2009/05/green-school.html

Mike is a town treasure. The service he provides Middleborough will live for literally hundreds of years. He is a true unsung champion of the town. It is amazing how he continually comes up with well written, factual historical information.

Nest time you see him say thanks.

Save The Green School said...

SMALL PLEDGES NEEDED

We are now at the point that small donations will make a significant impact. There is enough in pledge dollars to accomplish a project.

Your small pledge will now add up to critically assist in the effort. People can take pride they assisted in any amount.

I was called by a wonderful couple whom I did not know that made a 25 dollar donation. The reason was compelling and heartfelt. It was best pledge made to date IMO.

Thank you in advance,

Lincoln
savegreenschool@hotmail.com