Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 13 June 2008
Back in the 1970s, when "Saturday Night Live" was considered groundbreaking and, well, funny, they did a spoof of a phone company commercial starring Lily Tomlin as her telephone operator character Ernestine.
Apparently Ma Bell was lacking in the customer service department. At the end of the skit, the camera cut to Ernestine, sitting at the switchboard.
"We don't care," Ernestine said, smiling smugly. "We don't have to. We're the phone company."
Apparently the Bush administration has a similar mantra.
It's bad enough that West Coast trollers are suffering through the cancellation of this year's salmon fishery. One could argue that administration policies that deprive fish of needed water have contributed to West Coast stock declines.
Then on Wednesday, salmon fishermen learned that the Office of Management and Budget is requesting an additional $546 million for the fiscal year 2009 budget to cover increased costs associated with the 2010 census. And it wants to take $70 million of the $170 million earmarked for salmon disaster relief to help cover those costs.
In a letter to Congress, OMB writes, "After the reduction, $100 million would still be available for payments, which is sufficient given the estimated economic impact of recent fisheries disaster declarations for the area."
West Coast legislators on both sides of the aisle were not amused.
"This request is a slap in the face to the scores of salmon fishermen in Oregon who are struggling to make ends meet in the wake of the largest salmon closure in West Coast history," said Sen. Gordon H. Smith (R-Ore.) in a press statement. "Rest assured there will be a strong bipartisan effort to ensure that these cuts don't go through."
Lordy, we hope so. The Bush administration's lack of compassion for salmon fishermen is truly, head-shakingly stunning, especially in the wake of its tepid response to aiding Gulf of Mexico residents (not to mention fishermen) devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
But then again, if the administration didn't lose any sleep about the salmon disappearing, why would we think it'd have any qualms over making disaster relief money vanish, too?
National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15
In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.
National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15
In this episode:
March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received
The New England Fishery Management Council is soliciting applications for seats on the Northeast Trawl Survey Advisory Panel and the deadline to apply is July 31 at 5:00 p.m.
The panel will consist of 16 members including members of the councils and the Atlantic States Fishery Commission, industry experts, non-federal scientists and Northeast Fisheries Science Center scientists. Panel members are expected to serve for three years.Read more...
Commercial salmon fishermen will have 12 hours to fish Oregon's lower Columbia River, starting at 7 p.m. tonight.
Biologists upgraded their forecast for the summer king run to 120,000, the largest since at least 1960.Read more...