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Mike J

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  1. Many, perhaps most, expats would say they see very little upside. And don't forget the language requirement. Becoming fluent in a new language can be a challenge for some of us older folks. Just my opinions of course. If you want to become a dual citizen, I think you should go for it.
  2. This is one of those "yes, but not really" scenarios. Even when you renounce U.S. citizenship while obtaining Philippine citizenship, you actually retain your U.S. citizenship. Requirements for renouncing U.S. citizenship are very specific. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/travel-legal-considerations/us-citizenship/Renunciation-US-Nationality-Abroad.html <snip> A person wishing to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship must voluntarily and with intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship: 1. appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer, 2. in a foreign country at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate; and 3. sign an oath of renunciation <end snip> I do not know of anyone who has obtained Philippine citizenship. After obtaining Philippine citizenship you would attain the rights of a native born Philippine citizen. This would include the right to vote, buy land, own firearms, etc. You could NOT run for or hold an elected public office. Most expats, myself included, consider it a lot of pain for very little gain. The requirements are as follows. https://www.lawphil.net/statutes/comacts/ca_473_1939.html <snip> Section 2. Qualifications. – Subject to section four of this Act, any person having the following qualifications may become a citizen of the Philippines by naturalization: First. He must be not less than twenty-one years of age on the day of the hearing of the petition; Second. He must have resided in the Philippines for a continuous period of not less than ten years; Third. He must be of good moral character and believes in the principles underlying the Philippine Constitution, and must have conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during the entire period of his residence in the Philippines in his relation with the constituted government as well as with the community in which he is living. Fourth. He must own real estate in the Philippines worth not less than five thousand pesos, Philippine currency, or must have some known lucrative trade, profession, or lawful occupation; Fifth. He must be able to speak and write English or Spanish and any one of the principal Philippine languages; and Sixth. He must have enrolled his minor children of school age, in any of the public schools or private schools recognized by the Office of Private Education1 of the Philippines, where the Philippine history, government and civics are taught or prescribed as part of the school curriculum, during the entire period of the residence in the Philippines required of him prior to the hearing of his petition for naturalization as Philippine citizen. Section 3. Special qualifications. The ten years of continuous residence required under the second condition of the last preceding section shall be understood as reduced to five years for any petitioner having any of the following qualifications: Having honorably held office under the Government of the Philippines or under that of any of the provinces, cities, municipalities, or political subdivisions thereof; Having established a new industry or introduced a useful invention in the Philippines; Being married to a Filipino woman; Having been engaged as a teacher in the Philippines in a public or recognized private school not established for the exclusive instruction of children of persons of a particular nationality or race, in any of the branches of education or industry for a period of not less than two years; Having been born in the Philippines. <end snip>
  3. I wonder if when the good Lord created women, he practiced a bit? Then when He had them looking perfect, He created the Filipina.
  4. So them dogs only like "red horses".
  5. But the string dries out in April or thereabouts. When the wiring, etc was pulled from the house that we had redone, it was scary as hell! In my first couple of years here I received more electrical shocks than my entire life living in the USA.
  6. Like almost any commodity the value of gold fluctuates over time. Right now the world economy is kind of influx so gold could easily increase in value. That could change if the USA is able to reach trade agreements with China and other countries that other countries see as being beneficial to the world economy at large. If you buy low and sell high, gold was a good investment. If you bought high and had to sell low, well . . . kind of like fine wine, exotic cars, art, diamonds, etc. The chart below is adjusted for inflation. https://www.macrotrends.net/1333/historical-gold-prices-100-year-chart
  7. 200 amp panels are pretty much the standard in the USA. The 220 amp reflect the capacity of the main breaker in the panel, not how much power you actually require for present and/or future needs. The following site may help in main panel and breaker sizes. I say "may help" because you of sort of working backward from what you have to what you need coming into the house. We ended up having to replacing 100% of the wiring, receptacles, and main panel in one house due to electrical issues and substandard wiring. The article in written for American readers so the example reflect 120 volts instead of the 240 used here. https://www.thespruce.com/calculate-electrical-circuit-load-capacity-1152739 The term electrical load capacity refers to the total amount of power provided by the main service for use by your home's branch circuits and the lights, outlets, and appliances connected to them. Understanding capacity and load becomes necessary if you are planning the electrical service for a new home, or if you are considering an electrical service upgrade to an older home. Understanding the load needs will let you choose an electrical service with an appropriate capacity. In older homes, it's extremely common for the existing service to be badly undersized for the needs of all the modern appliances and features now in use. Total electrical capacity of an electrical service is measured in amperage (amps). In very old homes with knob-and-tube wiring and screw-in fuses, you may find the original electrical service delivers 30 amps. Slightly newer homes (built before 1960) may have 60-amp service. In many homes built after 1960 (or upgraded older homes), 100 amps is the standard service size. But in large, newer homes, 200-amp service is now as a minimum, and at the very top end, you may see 400-amp electrical service installed. How do you know if your current electrical service is adequate, or how to plan for new electrical service? Determining this requires a little math to compare total available capacity against the likely load that will be placed on that capacity. elecrtical circuit load capacity Nusha Ashjaee/The Spruce Understanding Electrical Capacity Calculating how much power your home needs is a matter of calculating the amperage load of all the various appliances and fixtures, then building in a margin of safety. Generally, it's recommended that the load never exceed 80 percent of the electrical service's capacity. To use the math, you need to understand the relationship between watts, volts, and amps. These three common electrical terms have a mathematical relationship that can be expressed in a couple of different ways: Volts x Amps = Watts Amps = Watts/ volts These formulas can be used to calculate the capacity and loads of individual circuits, as well as for the entire electrical service. For example, a 20-amp, 120-volt branch circuit has a total capacity of 2,400 watts (20 amps x 120 volts). Since the standard recommendation is for the load to total no more than 80 percent of the capacity, this means that the 20-amp circuit has a realistic capacity of 1920 watts. So to avoid the danger of overloads, all the light fixtures and plug-in appliances together on this circuit should consume no more than 1,920 watts of power. It is fairly easy to read the wattage ratings of all the lightbulbs, television sets, and other appliances on the circuit to determine if a circuit is likely to overload. For example, if you routinely plug a 1500-watt space heater into a circuit, and run several light fixtures or lamps with 100-watt bulbs on the same circuit, you have already used up most of the safe 1920-watt capacity. The same formula can be used to determine the capacity of the house's overall electrical service. Because a home's main service is 240 volts, the math looks like this: 240 volts x 100 amps = 24,000 watts 80 percent of 24,000 watts = 19,200 watts In other words, a 100-amp electrical service should be expected to provide no more than 19,200 watts of power load at any given time. Calculating Load After you know the capacity of individual circuits and of the home's full electrical service, you can then compare this with the load, which you can calculate simply by adding up the wattage ratings of all the various fixtures and appliances that will be drawing power at the same time. You might think this involves adding up the wattage of all the light fixture lightbulbs, all the plug-in appliances, and all the hard-wired appliances, and then comparing this to the total capacity. But it is rare for all electrical appliances and fixtures to run at the same time—you wouldn't run the furnace and the air conditioner at the same time, for example; nor is it be likely that you would be vacuuming while the toaster is running. For this reason, professional electricians generally have alternative methods for determining the appropriate size for the electrical service. Here is one method that is sometimes used: Add together the wattage capacity of all general lighting branch circuits. Add in the wattage rating of all plug-in outlet circuits. Add in the wattage rating of all permanent appliances (ranges, dryers, water heaters, etc.) Subtract 10,000. Multiply this number by .40 Add 10,000. Look for the full wattage rating of permanent air conditioners, and the wattage rating heating appliances (furnace plus space heaters), then add in whichever is the larger of these two numbers. (You don't heat and cool at the same time, so don't need to add both numbers.) Divide the total by 240. This resulting number gives the suggested amperage needed to power the home adequately. You can easily evaluate your current electrical service by using this formula. Other electricians suggest another simple rule-of-thumb: 100-amp service is generally large enough to power a small- to moderate-sized home's general branch circuits, plus one or two electric appliances, such as a range, water heater, or clothes dryer. This service may be sufficient for a home under 2,500 square feet if the heating appliances run on gas. 200-amp service will handle the same load as 100-amp service, plus electric appliances and electric heating/cooling equipment in homes up to about 3,000 square feet in size. 300- or 400-amp service is recommended for large homes (more than 3,500 square feet) with all-electric appliances and electric heating/cooling equipment. This service size is recommended where the expected electric heat load is over 20,000 watts. A 300- or 400-amp service is usually provided by installing two service panels—one providing 200 amps and a second providing another 100 or 200 amps. Plan for the Future It is generally a good idea to oversize an electrical service to make future expansion possible. In the same way that 100-amp service quickly became undersized when electric appliances become common, today's 200-amp service may someday seem badly undersized when you find yourself recharging two or three electric cars. An oversized electrical service will also make it possible to run a sub-panel out to your garage or shed if you someday choose to take up woodworking, welding, pottery or another hobby requiring lots of power.
  8. Neither had I. Appears to be in the research and may happen in the future category. Remember the "old days" when you had to do research without Google. https://nationalpost.com/health/a-long-lasting-flu-shot-that-youd-only-have-to-get-once-every-5-10-years-could-be-on-its-way The most vexing thing about the annual flu vaccination is that it’s annual. You have to get it every year, and many people don’t do so. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that only 2 out of 5 Americans have received the shot so far this flu season. Wouldn’t it be easier if a flu shot were a once-in-a-lifetime event, or even once or twice in a decade? Public health officials see that as a potential game-changer. “If we had an effective universal vaccine, it would take a huge dent out of health-care costs [and] disruption of work, school attendance and social activities,” says William Schaffner, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University and medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. “It could change the entire way we prevent influenza.” It could change the entire way we prevent influenza The idea no longer seems so elusive, says Barney Graham, deputy director of the vaccine research center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Modern molecular technology enables scientists “to design things at atomic resolution,” which “really wasn’t possible until the last few years,” says Graham, who is trying to develop what scientists call a universal, or long-lasting, vaccine. Several groups of scientists, including Graham’s, have reported progress toward a vaccine that could protect against flu permanently with a single injection or with a shot given every five to 10 years. Either approach would be a big advance over current practice, which requires health officials to predict major flu viruses nine months in advance so manufacturers can adjust the vaccine each year. With a universal vaccine, “we wouldn’t have to worry about that,” Schaffner says. “Each year we could go after people who hadn’t been vaccinated before. It could be a year-long, daily vaccination activity, not just focused in the fall.” The hope is that such a broad-spectrum vaccine also could protect against rare but potentially deadly pandemics. “It would be the single most important thing we can do in public health today,” says Michael Osterholm, a professor of public health and the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. ‘I can’t rewrite history’: She didn’t think a flu shot was necessary — until her daughter died at 12 Sorry kids: Docs urge flu shots, not nasal spray, this year Flu nose spray doesn’t work for kids and needles are more effective, U.S. health panel says While flu can strike anyone, it is most dangerous for the very young, the elderly and the chronically ill. Globally, seasonal flu epidemics produce 3 million to 5 million cases of serious disease every year, resulting in 250,000 to 500,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. Symptoms include fever, dry cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, severe malaise, sore throat and runny nose. The two major types of seasonal influenza viruses that can infect humans are A and B. Type A viruses, which are constantly changing, are the ones usually responsible for yearly epidemics. Scientists classify type A viruses into subtypes based on the combinations of the two molecules that cover the surface of the virus, hemagglutinin and neuraminidase. Vaccines work by stimulating the production of antibodies against pieces of the virus. A universal vaccine would need to provoke antibodies that bind to “conserved” regions of the virus – that is, areas that stay the same and are common to most flu viruses. Currently, seasonal vaccines are designed to respond to the hemagglutinin head, which changes every year. Researchers are using different strategies that target the common areas. Some very impressive scientific efforts are underway to make this real Two groups working separately, for example, are focusing on hemagglutinin’s stem, or stalk, which, unlike the head, doesn’t change. To do so, each team had to first figure out how to stabilize the stalk after lopping off the head. (The head is removed because it draws key immune system cells – those needed to make antibodies – away from the stem.) Each using a different approach, the teams have found a way to anchor the stem once the head is eliminated. Another team built an entirely new virus in the lab by using recombinant DNA techniques, then designed a vaccine based on its conserved elements. “We hope that by doing that, our immune system will remember the conserved regions . . . so that changes in the head won’t matter,” says Peter Palese, chair of the microbiology department at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Finally, another group has developed an experimental multiyear vaccine based on the genetic sequences of flu strains that have appeared in the past century. These researchers believe it is unrealistic to assume that any experimental vaccines, including theirs, will last a lifetime without requiring an update; thus, they are reluctant to predict the effectiveness of their own beyond five to 10 years – but even that would be an improvement over having to get an annual shot. “We can go back in history and make vaccines that protect against all the variants for the last 100 years,” says Ted Ross, director of the Center for Vaccines and Immunology at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “That doesn’t mean we can do 100 years in the future, but we still can prevent a lot of disease. We just don’t know when and if one approach will have longer staying power than another. We’ll find out.” While animal studies of various prospective vaccines are promising, it probably will be years before researchers start testing them in humans. Still, public health officials are excited. The idea of a universal vaccine seemed a pipe dream until recently. “But now, or very soon, it may no longer be a flight of fancy,” Schaffner says. “Some very impressive scientific efforts are underway to make this real.’”
  9. I think this message from Philippine Department of Health clears up the confusion. The original message should have said "entering" not "leaving" the Philippines. https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/10/12/19/doh-tells-travelers-entering-ph-to-be-vaccinated-amid-polio-outbreak MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday advised travelers entering the Philippines to be vaccinated in wake of re-emergence of polio in the country. "Foreign nationals and returning Filipinos of all ages who are intending to stay in the Philippines for 4 weeks and more, are encouraged to receive a single dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) not later than 4 weeks before their scheduled travel to the Philippines. Given that the traveler has not received polio vaccination in the last 12 months," the DOH said in a statement. "Travelers undertaking urgent travel within 4 weeks are recommended to receive a single dose of IPV at least by the time of departure as this will still provide benefits, particularly for frequent travelers," it added. DOH also encouraged travelers leaving the Philippines to check immunization requirements of countries they are going to, and if required, receive a dose of IPV before departure and get a certificate from the Bureau of Quarantine to serve as proof of their vaccination. Last Sept. 19, DOH declared a polio outbreak in the Philippines after 2 cases of the virus were confirmed in the country.
  10. I lived in Yakima, Washington prior to moving here six years ago. Yakima was "renting" jail space to Seattle because they had run out of jail space. In their infinite wisdom Yakima officials decided to build a "jail complex" and rent out lots of jail space to produce revenue. They quickly found a large piece of agricultural land and bought it for an outrageous price because the selling price "fit the financial plan". Surprise, surprise, the land had no water and no sewer. They were not able to buy water rights and sold the land at a big loss. Their whole plan kind of spiraled out financial control. The "complex" ended up being a white elephant and a drain on country resources. You can read these two news articles and see both the "promise of riches" and the "end results". Excellent case that shows how "short term vision" can lead to "long term problems". All these years and it STILL CHAPS MY @SS. https://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Yakima-County-locks-up-market-for-new-jail-space-1075609.php YAKIMA -- When King County announced it would raise jail rates earlier this year, Yakima County wasted no time showing who could lock 'em up better and cheaper. With the help of a marketing director, Yakima County jail officials went to Seattle, Bellevue and other Puget Sound-area cities and made a pitch to lure their business east. They waived a jail booking fee, offered to shuttle inmates across the Cascades, and even teased with amenities such as video conferencing, allowing visitors to talk to relatives doing time 160 miles away. And the clincher: They'd do it for one-third less than King County charges. Follow this story to get email or text alerts from SeattlePI when there is a future article following this storyline. Email address or Phone Number Follow this story Mercer Island, Federal Way and Renton signed up. Seattle, Bellevue and others are considering it. Jails have become a booming business in Yakima County, an agricultural valley better known for fruit trees and sagebrush than jail beds. The farm-rich but money-poor county now relies on jail-bed contracts for 18 percent of its general-fund revenues. And that's likely to increase as Yakima County considers building a new jail to satisfy increasing demand, both home-grown and imported. Already, more than one-third of its 870 confined inmates are men and women sent from Lynnwood, Olympia and other Western Washington cities. Most have committed misdemeanor crimes: stealing, driving without a license or domestic violence. "We are very aggressive," said Ken Ray, hired in 1994 when Yakima County moved jail operations out of the Sheriff's Office and into a newly created department of corrections. "The contract business keeps our lights on and the justice department running." In 1993, the county earned only 27 cents for every dollar it spent on criminal justice. Now it earns about 70 cents for every dollar it spends. The county is far from turning a profit on jail operations. But with money earned from jail beds -- $8.5 million in the last year -- it has used revenues to house its own growing jail population and add treatment programs. It also opened an innovative 160-bed facility that's getting notice not only from judges and city officials, but also from inmates requesting transfers there. Jean Rietschel, presiding judge of Seattle Municipal Court, said she walked away from a recent visit impressed by how the facility was run. Opened last year, the Yakima County Community Restitution Center was modeled after the highly regarded Northern Rehabilitation Center in Shoreline. The new center is located in Union Gap, 10 minutes from downtown Yakima. Surrounded by a police station, a Boys Scouts of America office, a church and Costco, it looks more like a community center than a jail. Rietschel liked the availability of programs that helped inmates improve themselves and fulfill court orders, including state-certified drug and alcohol treatment, mental-health counseling and work programs. "They're adding programs while King County is losing them," the judge said, referring to King County's plan to close some treatment beds at its Shoreline facility. Low-risk, non-violent offenders are sent here. Some await trials, but most are serving short sentences. The front doors to the center are locked. Cell doors are not. Terann Hoptowit shares one cell with a few dozen other men. He got busted for stealing beer and resisting arrest, and was shipped here in September to serve 26 months. Reflecting the philosophy of the place, he wears blue jeans, a green polo shirt and a green sweat shirt rather than the standard-issue jail jumpsuit. He also wears a badge that denotes he is a "RESIDENT," not an inmate. Being far from home has been lonely, the 35-year-old Auburn man said. Echoing other inmates, Hoptowit said family and friends haven't visited because the 160-mile trek is too far for them. Rietschel, the Seattle judge, also worried about the toll such distance would have on inmates and their families. "It's important for people to maintain their community ties," she said. But Hoptowit, like other inmates, said he ultimately didn't mind the trade-off. He liked being in a facility whose mission is to rehabilitate rather than incarcerate. Every week, he attends anger-management classes. He gets drug and alcohol treatment. "It helps if you apply yourself," said Hoptowit, who has curly black hair and a dark mustache. "Whatever you put in, that's what you get out. So when I get released, I'll be able to stay sober." Jennifer Gilpatrick, 24, said she sent several letters to Olympia jail officials pleading to be transferred east because she heard people raving about the treatment programs. "I'm taking all the classes," she said one afternoon while working on a quilt. In her room, about 30 women sat at clustered tables, writing in notebooks, sewing quilts, writing letters. Beds are stacked close together in the far back, but the room has the feel of a dorm, with familiar trappings such as a coffee maker, ironing board, soda machine and microwave. "I didn't understand why Auburn would send me here," said Angela Wayrynen, 30, looking up from a three-ring binder containing her journal. "When I got here, I was happier." Wayrynen has been in and out of jail since 18, committing crimes to get her methamphetamine fix. Her last misdeed, forging a check, landed her 90 days. "I think that my problem all along is that I need (drug) treatment," said Wayrynen, who has been getting drug counseling since she got here. "I can't wait to get out. This is giving me tools to go on." Will Paulakis is the barrel-chested 18-year jail veteran who presides over the restitution center. He remembers the old way of doing business, when guards walked around with brass keys and locked everyone up, he said. "That's of the past," he said, though he later added that this alternative sells better west of the Cascades than in more conservative Eastern Washington. Ray, the county's energetic corrections director, is responsible for many of the changes in Yakima County's jail system. "We realized that most of the people who are incarcerated are not likely to spend their lives in prison," said Ray, who one colleague described as equal parts corrections officer, psychiatrist, preacher and bureaucrat. Corrections officials found that a majority of inmates have some form of chemical addiction, and treatment was the proper course to prevent them from returning to jail. When Ray came on board in 1994, the county did a massive review of its jail population and realized that it had large numbers of people jailed who were awaiting trial. Those who did not pose a risk to the community were released into community supervision or home-monitoring programs. With beds available, the county realized it could make money renting them. It put together a business plan, hired a marketing director and went after Western Washington cities. Yakima County is now searching for a site for its new jail, which could have up to 864 beds. Its future, however, may depend on whether many of two dozen cities renegotiating contracts with King County decide to sign long-term contracts in Yakima. Several counties, including Pierce and Snohomish, are in the process of completing new jail facilities, raising questions about whether Yakima may be relying too much on its Western Washington neighbors. But corrections and county officials say, based on their own studies, there's a real need for jail beds. And there's room for Yakima County's business to grow. "If we continue to think we're just agriculture, it's unrealistic," county Administrator Doug Cochran said. "We have to change with the times." https://www.theolympian.com/news/article25277317.html YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - The first sign of trouble came in a telephone call just before Christmas. Yakima County Corrections Director Ed Campbell learned from his staff that the city of Federal Way was pulling its 30 inmates out of the Yakima County jail system. Auburn followed in quick succession, withdrawing 60 prisoners. Despite earlier assurances from his 35 King County city customers that they would renew most bed rental contracts set to expire Dec. 31, the exodus was on. Explore where you live. Subscribe for 12 FREE weeks of unlimited digital access. SAVE NOW When it was over, Campbell found himself with roughly 30 contract inmates - from what had been 300 - and what could be a $7 million or deeper hole in his $32 million budget. The loss nearly equals what the county spends every year to operate the assessor, treasurer, auditor, county clerk and planning departments combined. Campbell calls it the most difficult time he and the department have faced. "I believe we are going to have to go through some restructuring. I'm not certain we will fill all the vacant beds," he said. County officials face some tough decisions about how to close the gap, which is made more difficult by an obligation to pay back the bonds sold to build the new jail near State Fair Park - the very purpose of which was to house contract inmates. The bond payments plus money Campbell must set aside for capital improvements amount to about $3 million. By laying off 33 people, eliminating five vacant positions and renegotiating some contracts for jail services, Campbell will cover about half the losses. What happened to Yakima County reflects a broader trend throughout the state and the nation as inmate populations drop.Campbell and Yakima County simply got underbid in what has become an increasingly competitive marketplace as counties look to narrow gaping holes in their budgets by contracting out an increasing number of empty beds. More than ever, money is now driving the rental business. The trend is critical to Yakima County because it relies on bed rentals to cover its costs. The department operates on its revenues, including $10 million from general county tax dollars to support housing county inmates. Bed rental contracts with county cities, King County, the state and federal governments and miscellaneous revenues from telephones, inmate commissary and other sources make up its budget. "There is a lot of pressure on the market because jurisdictions are struggling," Campbell said. "There are fewer inmates out there and more jurisdictions selling." Chelan County jail chief Phil Stanley said the decline in inmate populations is a sign of the economic times as counties find cheaper alternatives to incarceration through home detention and pretrial release. One major source of jail inmates - driving on a suspended license - has been decriminalized."There has been an effort to try to reduce the number of bed days in jails to save money," said Stanley, whose county rents out about 90 beds. "The jail budgets for counties have become very expensive." The whole dynamic likely will change even more when a consortium of seven south King County cities opens an 800-bed jail for minor offenders in Des Moines, Wash., south of Seattle, in September. The facility, South Correctional Entity (SCORE), will take all misdemeanor offenders from the seven cities - Auburn, Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Renton, SeaTac and Tukwila - at projected daily rates of $112 in 2012, according to Penny Bartley, director of the SCORE jail. All seven cities were part of the group that signed agreements to house prisoners in Yakima County in 2002. Other cities in the county can use the new jail, but they will be required to pay a higher rate, something over $120 per day, according to a representative of cities not among the seven. With that new jail moving toward completion and beds opening up elsewhere, the negotiations between Yakima County and the cities became more complex and more fluid as individual cities made their own decisions about their needs and where those needs could be accommodated, city representatives said. County officials say they were caught off guard by the pullout decisions. They thought they had offered an incentive to cities by letting them out of a prior requirement that they rent a minimum number of beds. "There was this hope that all things would be the same and the contract would continue as is. There were dynamics that changed and there was nothing we could do about it," said County Commissioner Mike Leita. "We couldn't stop other counties from building beds and we can't stop Snohomish County or Benton County from subsidizing bed rates." When the dust settled, the King County inmates were spread across the state. Many are in Snohomish County; some are in Chelan and a lesser number are housed in Okanogan County. In all three cases, bed-rental rates are a third or more below what Yakima County is charging this year. Snohomish County has signed contracts worth $1.5 million with at least seven cities in King County for a total of more than 135 beds, and more contracts are pending. Chelan County picked up new contracts with Federal Way and Kent as of Jan. 1, adding them to Kirkland, which already had inmates housed in the Chelan jail. Maj. Doug Jeske with the Snohomish County sheriff's office said he began spreading the word last summer that the county was in the market and had beds to rent. The news traveled throughout King County just as the cities were continuing to talk with Yakima County. Catherine Cornwall, a policy analyst for the city of Seattle, said Yakima County had proposed a rate increase in 2009 for renewal of the contracts. Campbell lowered the price after taking over Corrections late that year. But as talks progressed, the cities were looking for alternatives, Cornwall said. "Operationally, a drive to Everett is a lot easier. The rates were more competitive," she said. Cornwall said Seattle appreciated the service it received from Yakima County during the seven-year contract, but that's little solace to Yakima County officials as they look to reduce the yawning budget gap. They have several options: eliminating programs instituted at the request of the King County cities, reducing the jail's contribution to cover maintenance costs, more layoffs, using reserves, or finding new bed rental customers. As a start, the county has closed three units of the new jail near State Fair Park since the King County inmates left. While possible, more layoffs beyond the 33 already announced are at the bottom of the list, county commissioners said. "I would tell you there are more palatable opportunities than staff reductions," said Leita, who has dealt most with the jail since he took office in 2005. "Whether we can achieve that is yet to be determined. We are reluctant to go to that alternative because we have invested a lot of money into our corrections officers." Campbell isn't giving up on the rental market. He said he is talking to three of what he described as large agencies, including one in Idaho, that could bring in 150 rental inmates. He expects to know in two weeks whether those rentals are possible. If they are, the county's problems mostly will be solved. Absent that, the agency will have to make more cuts to fill the remainder of the budget gap. One thing is for sure. The county won't cut rates to compete with Snohomish County, where the daily bed rate is $62.50, and Okanogan, where beds cost $55 per day. Yakima County is charging $99.80 per day to the few King County cities that remain under contract. County officials suspect other counties are charging rates that don't cover the actual cost. Leita said the county won't get into a bidding war because it would require county government Ñ taxpayers Ñ to cover more of the cost. Another possibility, he said, would be for the county to market its beds to more serious offenders. He said the SCORE facility and other jails are marketing space designed for misdemeanor offenders, opening up what he called a niche market for higher-level offenders. "We are spending $7 million to harden our (downtown) facility to make it more secure," he said. "We might choose to bring in some of the less desirables at a premium price." In any event, the county faces difficult choices. "Our issue right now is for the next three months we have to make some hard, short-term decisions to keep the ship upright," Leita said.
  11. Maybe the locals know which food is freshly made and not as likely to make them sick. My experience with an all you can eat can be found on page 1 of this thread. I won't repeat it here except to say it was NOT PRETTY.
  12. The rate of incarceration in the USA was skyrocketing from the early 80s to about 2010. At the rate it was growing I was beginning to think that by the year 2050 every adult in the USA would either be in prison, or working for the prison as a jail guard. Fortunately the trend seems to have reversed itself. Actually I think a lot of that reversal was due to lack of jail space, they could not build prisons fast enough to keep pace. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/05/02/americas-incarceration-rate-is-at-a-two-decade-low/
  13. You are correct about the US having the largest number of prisoners according to this report. And so is Tommy. https://www.prisonstudies.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/wppl_12.pdf There are more than 2.1 million prisoners in the United States of America, 1.65 million in China (plus unknown numbers in pre-trial detention and other forms of detention), 690,000 in Brazil, 583,000 in the Russian Federation, 420,000 in India, 364,000 in Thailand, 249,000 in Indonesia, 233,000 in Turkey, 230,000 in Iran, 204,000 in Mexico and 188,000 in the Philippines. C The countries with the highest prison population rate – that is, the number of prisoners per 100,000 of the national population – are the United States (655 per 100,000), followed by El Salvador (604), Turkmenistan (552), U.S. Virgin Islands (542), Thailand (526), Cuba (510), Maldives (499), Northern Mariana Islands – U.S.A. (482), British Virgin Islands (470), Rwanda (464), Bahamas (438), Seychelles (437), Grenada (435), St Vincent and the Grenadines (426), Guam – U.S.A. (404) and Russian Federation (402).
  14. I was curious because the quote shows the deaths increasing by 3%, but make no mention if the prison population had changed. So I read the article, then followed the links to their source data. See below for what I found. The number of deaths was basically identical, only 4 more deaths in 2014. That is an increase of .00115 percent, just a bit over 1/1000th of one percent! And where did they get from the official number of 3,483 deaths in 2014 to claim 4980? My take on this is that the Guardian is probably fairly liberal and anti prison. They certainly have a right to their opinion, but it appears to me that they either "cherry picked" statistics, cooked the numbers, or perhaps just made up some numbers. The stats were kind of an interesting read, the Guardian - hmmm not so much. <snip> State prison deaths From 2013 (3,479) to 2014 (3,483), the number of deaths in state prisons was relatively stable. Deaths in state prisons declined in both California (down 13%) and Texas (down 7%) from 2013 to 2014. Together, these states accounted for a fifth of the state prison population and a fifth of state prisoner deaths in 2014. Nearly 9 in 10 (87%) state prisoner deaths were due to illness in 2014, with more than half of those caused by either cancer (30%) or heart disease (26%). From 2013 to 2014, the number of AIDS-related deaths increased 23% and the number of deaths due to a respiratory disease increased 20%. Also up during this period was the number of suicides in state prison. Suicides increased 30% from 2013 to 2014 after a 6% decrease from 2012 to 2013. Suicides accounted for 7% of all state prison deaths in 2014—the largest percentage observed since 2001. Accidental deaths and deaths due to drug or alcohol intoxication were recorded as the cause of death in about 1% of state prison deaths in 2014. <end snip>
  15. Found this site. Please note: I do buy or sell gold and have no experience/knowledge about the company. I AM NOT recommending or endorsing this site as being legitimate. https://oneouncetrading.com/
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