July 2nd, 2003



I woke with a massive headache. I am headed for the shower, hope to head it off. Already took two Excedrin migraines.


I can tell I'm in a stressed state because I have been swearing at inanimate objects all morning.

This week is really booked, and I think that's part of the cause, and my upcoming trip to Las Vegas means lost income and a gap in the time I can work on various projects, and there are different things I'd like to be getting to, like the damage to my front bumper (I am remembering backing out of the driveway the other day and getting the angle wrong, pulling on the bumper as I backed out. The results are now obvious.), and the cat to the vet for his follow-up shots, and getting someone to build new steps for my front porch (I do have a lead). Last night's City Council meeting was just the starting trigger, or maybe most recent trigger really, for the stress response.

I recognize, yet, that this vulnerable state is not always bad. A man I met a few years ago wanted to have a go at me after a particularly exhausting day. He was attracted to that vulnerability in me when I reach this state. I understood that. On the one hand, I ask myself, why can't I get directly to this kind of openness, this fragility, without having to exhaust or stress myself. On the other, I ask, why not just accept this about me?

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Then there are moments when the sun shines again and my wings flutter and the heavens are singing.

For months, a developer here has been bugging the City to reduce or refund his traffic impact fees. He was able to talk the director into reducing them by half by applying a 50% pass-by factor, which I think was justified. These fees are charged per vehicle trip generated, and many trips to fast food and gas stations are pass-by or combined-trip events, not brand-new trips.

Then he found another loophole, or thought he had. When the factory outlet center was developed in 1994, it was part of a four-lot subdivision. The outlet center used one of the lots. A new freeway offramp used another. He contends that, because the traffic study for the project included estimates of trips generated by the remaining two parcels, that traffic fees paid for the factory outlet center developer included fees for the two outlying parcels.

Today I found the magic bullet. The actual calculations of fees done for the outlet center in 1994. Now, in many cities this would not be much of a biggie. You would expect to be able to find how fees were calculated in the past. PB is a little different that way, and records are simply not always available.

This city has an interesting past, including the Big Flood, during which many City records drowned, never to be seen again, and the Big Bribery, during which information on many permits simply walked out of the office, never to be seen again (although I've heard tales that some of these files are in some outbuilding somewhere near the railroad tracks. I haven't investigated.). On a wisp of hope I started digging in our planning files after exhausting the online files. I found a calculation, with neat handwritten corrections, which includes the fees to the penny and shows how they were calculated. Not only that, but it shows which fee resolution was used to determine the rate. This finance person is one after my very own heart. This kind of documentation is wonderful.

The fees are based on the square-footage of the buildings. Therefore, they were not based on estimated trips, with or without the two other parcels. There is no refund due to this developer.

I did enjoy writing the email. To tell the truth, though, I would have enjoyed writing it even if I had found that the fees did include the outlying parcels. The joy was in the finding of the documentation.


Finally. I am getting my hair done today at 3;30. Cut and highlighting. It has been way too long.

Tonight is a Dean for America Meetup downtown. I am ruminating on that one.

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New haircut - similar to the last one - and highlighting, a little deeper than the last time - and I am a new woman. I actually don't feel all that new, but maybe a little renewed.

I went to the Dean for America meetup, found maybe 60 others there. It is nice to see the support grow. I didn't know any of them, and most were middle-aged or older, which I don't necessarily think is indicative of Dean's support countrywide. I got a bumper sticker, replaced the "No War in Iraq" one with Dean's. Gotta keep up to date with these things, you know.