Ice, ice, baby: Bites knows what it means to feel a chill in the workplace, given that our editorial meetings are held down in the embalming room of a former mortuary. Bites also understands that such permafrost conditions are well-suited to the preservation of dead bodies, friendly ghosts and cold-blooded journalists. But actual living human beings, Bites imagines, work better in conditions that are considerably less crypt-like.
Just don’t try telling that to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
A source at the state Department of Conservation (DOC) recently described for Bites the deep-freeze conditions instituted in honor of a recent visit from the Governator to the Renaissance Tower at 801 K Street. “Due to Schwarzenegger’s scheduled visit to the 20th floor of the department at 10:30 this morning, the building temperature was reduced to 60 degrees Fahrenheit ‘because that is the way the governor likes it,’ we were told by both building management (Triple Net) and DOC organizational staff,” reported the pissed-off staffer. “Offices set at 60 degrees are not merely uncomfortable, but unhealthy. Employees with arthritis, colds, etc. were forced to endure this absurdity. Such arrogance on the part of the governor is blasphemous to the several hundred building employees who were forced to exchange comfort for the blatant demand of a single state employee.”
Said employee would, of course, be Arnold. “Although governor, Schwarzenegger is also a state employee,” our informant continued. “Thus, he should respect fellow employees and adhere to ethical policies in the workplace. As of 2:15 p.m., the temperature on the ninth floor of 801 K Street is only 63 degrees. Such arrogance is unacceptable.”
The governor’s office did not confirm the 60-degree mandate but insisted Schwarzenegger’s concern with climate control is not unusual. “Basically, what I can say is that it varies,” said Schwarzenegger’s deputy press secretary, Terri Carbaugh. “When the governor travels, there tends to be a lot of people involved. … If there’s two people in a room, no. But if there’s 60 people in a room, [the temperature] would have to change.”
Dick jokes: Schwarzenegger’s secretary of education, Richard Riordan, managed to come off as an even bigger Dick than “Go F*** Yourself” Cheney when he told a perfectly innocent 6-year-old girl named Isis that her name meant “stupid, dirty girl.” But Riordan may not be the Governator’s biggest faux pas when it comes to educational appointments. The very next day, Schwarzenegger rewarded his own personal investment adviser, Paul Wachter, with a 12-year stint on the University of California Board of Regents. Wachter will take a position previously filled by Dolores Huerta, a lifelong populist who co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez. Huerta was seeking reappointment after serving a six-month replacement stint, but Schwarzenegger wisely recognized that his fellow millionaires are much better suited to serve the true needs of the people. And to show he’s as committed to ethnic (if not economic) diversity as the president he hopes to replace one day, Arnold filled a second opening with anti-union frozen-Mexican-food magnate Frederick Ruiz. Fellow regent Ward Connerly must be proud.
Tribes invade Scotland: America doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to dealing with other sovereign nations, not even those existing within our own borders. But this month, four California tribal nations who are concerned with the restoration of the Klamath River are taking their case not to Sacramento or Washington, but to Scotland. Yes, a delegation of Karuk, Yurok, Hoopa and Klamath tribes will be venturing to the land of kilts and haggis to confront multinational energy corporation Scottish Power, whose dams are messing up some 350 miles of salmon-spawning grounds. Tribal leaders say Scottish Power subsidiary PacifiCorp solicited their suggestions but didn’t bother to include any of those suggestions in a re-licensing proposal that, if approved, will stand for another 30 years. “The company assured us that we would be partners in deciding the future of the Klamath, but our concerns obviously fell on deaf ears,” said Leaf Hillman, vice-chairman of the Karuk tribe. “We are left feeling betrayed.” More information about the Klamath River controversy can be found at www.friendsoftheriver.org.