Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Very cool video from Dean Pearcy

This is the intro video from the awards presentation put together by our AV guy Dean Pearcy. There are other videos available to watch on this "channel," as well. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Welcome to All!

When this blog first appeared, we had a lot of interested citizens tuning in. Now, thanks to the local media outlets, many of you are visiting the Local 29 blog for the first time. Welcome!

This election season has been interesting - for sure. Perhaps you've read snippets of Local 29 blog entries in the paper or on the news. If you like, you can check out these entries and see how attempts have been made to take things out of context (quite clumsily I might add). You can see the parts that have been left out (no simple story if you paint a complete picture of your "villain," I guess).

Thanks to the broadcast media, we have had a record number of "hits" (as the kids say). There are some misconceptions and news blackouts around some issues that are near and dear to us. And for those of you who are tuning in from these media sites, here are a few:

1. Mayor Hession says the union doesn't support him, but firefighters do. Shortly, we'll have a poll that either verifies or negates his claim - stay tuned. Dennis also said we didn't support him because he is a "tough negotiator." Funny, we hadn't negotiated with him! We don't support Dennis simply because he ignored our warnings about ambulance overbilling and other issues. We tried for a very long time to warn his administration about problems with AMR overbilling. He ignored us. We aren't worth listening to. Even when citizens have contacted us with their concerns to take to him - he won't listen. Mary Verner joined with us in our fight to expose the problems - and Hession's administration fought us in this quest for the truth.

2. Candidate XXX says he/she will fire the Fire Chief and that's why the union is backing this candidate. Hopefully when you peruse this blog, you will see that, for the most part, the union and the fire administration get along fairly well. Most of the time are goals are concurrent. Are there times when we disagree? You bet! But, we always work things out. I believe that we are all united in trying to provide the best service and protection for the citizens of Spokane. I'm not privvy to everyone's conversations with candidates, but why would we want to see anyone "fired"?

3. Giveback Days. We overwhelmingly voted, a couple of years ago, to work 24 hours for free each year for two years. Despite press releases and personal notes to the news media, to my knowledge, this has never been reported. One wonders why.

4. Our lost positions. I believe the number is 40. A few years back we had layoffs and staff reductions from attrition. The Spokesman-Review reports that due to Hession's financial acumen, he has created new fire positions. This is not true. We have hired 6 new firefighters to replace 6 retirees. But we're still down the 40 or so. No new positions. No return to previous staffing levels. Over 20 years, our call volume has more than doubled, while the number of firefighters has been reduced by 20%. Not good news for those of us who live in the city.

5. KREM News reported the other day that the two leading campaign donors for either Hession or Verner was our union and the city employee's union. This was wrong. Avista had us both beat in contributions to Hession's campaign. An interesting mistake.

OK, I didn't mean to bore you. You've read the quotes in the paper and heard them on yack radio, read for yourself what was written. If you have any questions, my email address is on the side. You are welcome to leave comments, as well.

Thanks again!