Sunday, March 15, 2009

What is wrong with all these Animal Control people?

Do you have to be a nincompoop to work at Animal Control (sometimes misnamed "Animal Services"), or does it just help? Some examples:

On today: Animal Control in Providence was going door to door to check on dog licenses. Yeah, let's spend our time going after people whose dogs haven't actually caused a problem. Mayor Randy Simmons put a stop to it.

A couple of years ago, Animal Control in Tooele was doing even worse: They were going door to door and ordering people to get rid of any pets over the technical limit, regardless of whether there had been any problem or any neighbors had complained. The city council put a stop to it.

A few months ago, Animal Control in South Salt Lake left a skunk trap out in the hot sun for an entire weekend, then tried to prosecute the guy who moved the trap out of the sun.

Last year, Sandy Animal Control picked up a 17 year old deaf cat on a sidewalk near its house and, unable to tell the difference between an old deaf cat and a sick cat, immediately killed it.

Recently, West Jordan Animal Control cited a woman whose dog got out while she was visiting her mother. That was fine, but they also cited her for not having her dog licensed in West Jordan. It wasn't good enough that it was licensed in Sandy, where she lives.

A while back, another Animal Control department in Salt Lake County cited a woman for having her gate open, even though her dog was still inside the yard.

Last year, West Valley was planning to use an inhumane gas chamber to euthanize pets.

Many other tales of Utahns' experiences with Animal Control; these are just a few that we've been able to verify or that have been publicly reported. What we can't figure out is whether Animal Control workers are told to be jerky, or does it just come naturally?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Once again, Mormons fall for a "low risk, high return" scam

I know this happens with all affinity frauds, that someone uses a claimed affiliation with a church or entity to sucker fellow members. But good grief, how many times are Mormons going to fall for the "42 percent annual return with little or no risk" line? Yes, these people are victims, and yes, the guy (if guilty) is a scumbag, but it's getting harder to muster up sympathy for people who either don't read the daily accounts of "too good to be true" scams, or somehow think they are entitled to high returns with low risk. Good grief.

Friday, March 13, 2009

KSL airs a dumb report about insulation rebates

An acquaintance was delighted a while back when an insulation contractor called her and explained that, if she qualified, she could get free insulation via a Questar / Rocky Mountain Power insulation rebate program. They blew insulation into her attic and she later noticed a drop in her energy usage, which is the whole point of the rebate program.

They did a good job. She didn't have to come up with the money herself. She didn't have to apply for the rebate and wait four months. It was a neat deal for her.

KSL, though, has managed to find something evil in this because -- brace yourself -- the contractor probably made a profit on the deal! What?!! And we assumed it was all pro bono!

This Debbie Dujanovic airs more than her fair share of contrived "exposes," but this may have been the dumbest. In fact, it should tell you something, KSL, when 98% of your commenters agree that the story is stupid, if not outright wrong.

KSL proudly reported that, as a result of their story, the energy companies are reducing their rebates. Great. Let's disincentivize a program that actually works. Now let's do an expose on charitable giving, because I hear that -- brace yourself -- people may be writing it off on their taxes!