Ethics watch
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has released its second annual list of the most corrupt members of Congress, and six Californians are among the 20 people on it, including John Doolittle (R-Roseville), whose sprawling 4th District includes the Oroville area in Butte County. Doolittle is getting a lot of flak these days for his close ties to disgraced Beltway lobbyist Jack Abramoff and for the sweet deal he has with his wife, who runs his fundraising operation and takes 15 percent of the gross as personal income. Other California representatives on the list are Ken Calvert, Richard Pombo, Jerry Lewis and Gary Miller, all Republicans, and Maxine Waters, a Democrat.

“The officials named in this report have chosen to enrich themselves and their families and friends by abusing the power of their office, rather than working for the public good,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW.

Roadless rule takes a turn
The Bush administration’s decision last year to overrule the Clinton administration’s banning of new roads in national forests has taken a U-turn, at least for now. A federal district judge in San Francisco, Elizabeth LaPorte, has overturned the Bush rule and largely reinstated the Clinton protections.

The Forest Service, she stated, had failed to observe the regulator protocols mandated by such a significant change, dodged the environmental analysis required and ignored the new rule’s potential impacts on endangered species.

The Bush rule gave individual state governors more say over the issue of new roads in the forests, but few apparently have chosen to exercise that power, and several states—including California—actually joined in the lawsuit before Judge LaPorte.

Move that ride!
Folks who try to sell their vehicles by parking them on school lots may get an unpleasant surprise. The Chico school board’s trustees recently voted for a prohibition on use of the lots for such purposes and directed school staff to post signs warning that vehicles left overnight or carrying a “for sale” sign could be towed away at the owners’ expense.

The action was in particular a response to the growing number of for-sale vehicles parked in a Pleasant Valley High School lot at the corner of East Avenue and Ceanothus, as shown in this photo. As many as 30 cars and pickups have been parked there at one time, giving the place the look of a used-car lot.

The district will begin by affixing written warnings to the offending vehicles, but if that doesn’t work, bye-bye baby.