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March 6th, 2005:

Outbound stats

I saw a blurb about a new service called MyBlogLog on the SixApart blog, and it looked interesting enough to give it a try. This is a service that will capture stats on outbound clicks from your blog – in other words, if you put up a link to someotherblog.com, it will tell you how many people follow that link. I have no idea if this will be useful to me or not, but the basic service is free and they provide a seven-day free trial of their paid service for signing up, so what the heck. If I like it, I’ll include these stats in my monthly traffic reports.

February traffic report

Had about 47,000 hits in February. The unfortunate trend of spam referrals continues. Hard to say how much effect that has on my traffic numbers – I’m not even sure I want to know. Whatever effect it does have, I’m still grateful to all of you for coming by. Thanks very much, and click the More link for the usual list of top referrers and search engine terms.

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Bedford rollback passes

By ten votes.

In a record 33 percent turnout, residents voted 4,929 to 4,919 for the measure, according to unofficial results.

“I feel it’s a big win when you consider the odds that were against us,” rollback supporter Bob Stewart said.

Members of the anti-rollback efforts were devastated by the results, standing in stunned silence as the numbers were announced at the Pat May Center and hugging each other in despair or frustration.

“Ten stinking votes,” resident David Moon said. “Maybe we need a recount.”

Mayor Rick Hurt said rollback opponents were contemplating asking for a recount, but he advised caution.

Although part of him wants to consider it, he said, “This city must heal.”

If the tax rollback stands, the city’s property tax rate will drop from 49.5 cents per $100 of assessed property value to 40 cents. Property owners can expect to receive rebates. The owner of a $150,000 house — about the average price of a house in Bedford — would save $142.50 a year.

All that for a lousy hundred forty bucks a year? Geez.

City officials say they will have to cut $2.6 million out of the $24.8 million general fund budget.

Election results will be canvassed March 14. City manager Chuck Barnett said he would make recommendations for cuts at council work sessions scheduled for March 18 and 19. The council would then have to amend the budget, possibly at a special meeting March 29.

Officials have said threatened items include Bedford Splash, the library and senior citizens center.

Hurt said he didn’t know which services would go first, but he said he would try to protect public safety.

More than 100 employees may be laid off, officials have said. Jeanne Green, who works at the library, stood still in shock after the results were announced.

“This is awful,” she said. “The city is going to die.”

Rollback supporters disagreed. Throughout the campaign, they said the city was using scare tactics to stop a rollback.

“Nobody’s going to lose their job,” resident Ralph Good predicted. “There may be some adjustments.”

They can’t both be right. Someone’s going to be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised later this month.

Ten votes. There’s a reason people keep insisting that every vote counts.

“60 Minutes” to look at DeLay

I’ve got my TiVo set to record 60 Minutes tonight, as they do a story on the various investigations into Tom DeLay. How about you?