Democrats Wants Government Involved in Diaper Changing as a STATE LAW

Pensions are collapsing local government. Fish are getting water needed by people. California has the highest taxes in the nation and companies are fleeing this State because of bad regulations and stupid laws. Now we have another argument that each legislator needs an IQ test and a test of common sense before they take an oath of office or put in a facility for their own protection.

Nannny Ricardo Lara, sometimes known as a Democrat State Senator has decided that California’s real problems need to take a back seat to this newly found crisis—where men are allowed to changed a babies diaper in a public place. Thousands of years of kids, but Democrat Lara has decided to make California a Letterman joke—again.

“The groundbreaking bill is the first statewide measure of its kind in the nation and will ensure that public facilities for changing babies’ diapers are equally available to both men and women in California.

Pensions, takes, jobs? No, diaper changing! Democrats. Maybe it is Ricardo Lara’s diapers that need changing? Oh, the PR firm that notified me of this bill and press conference is in NEW YORK.

Democrat Donkey

Dads to Rally in Support of ‘Potty Parity for Parents Act’ Establishing Equal Access to Baby Changing Stations in Public Facilities

Senator Ricardo Lara, 7/31/14 

Long Beach, CA –Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Huntington Park/Long Beach) will be joined by dozens of dads at a press conference in Long Beach Friday to support the passage of his bill SB1350, the Potty Parity for Parents Act. The groundbreaking bill is the first statewide measure of its kind in the nation and will ensure that public facilities for changing babies’ diapers are equally available to both men and women in California.

WHEN: Friday, August 1, 2014 beginning at 11:30 a.m. (PDT) B-roll shots of Aquarium restroom facilities available from 11:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

WHERE: Aquarium of the Pacific; 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

Conference will be held in front of the Aquarium near the “Members Entrance” sign.

WHO:

  • State Senator Ricardo Lara
  • Doyin Richards, Founder of daddydoinwork.com
  • Rick Zbur, Executive Director-elect of Equality California and gay dad
  • Trevor Mulligan, Blogger at oneSAHD.com & co-organizer of LA Dads Group
  • Maricela Renteria de Rivera, founder of Breastfeeding Support for Long Beach Area Moms

WHAT: Baby changing stations provide a safe, clean, and private place to change babies’ diapers. As the demographics of the modern American family evolve, traditional gender roles with women as the primary caregiver for the children are changing, and men are becoming more and more involved in the care of their young children. SB 1350, the Potty Parity for Parents Act, requires a baby changing station to be installed in the men’s restroom if one is being installed in the women’s restroom, or requires a diaper changing station to be included in a family restroom that is available to both men and women.

Dads, moms, legal guardians and their children will join the Senator in supporting the bill at one of Long Beach’s main family attractions that provide baby changing stations in men’s and women’s restrooms – The Aquarium of the Pacific.

VISUALS: The press conference will take place in front of the public restrooms at the entrance of the Aquarium of the Pacific. There will be fathers with children, as well as supportive mothers who are willing to provide on-camera interviews in support of the bill.

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Senator Ricardo Lara was elected in 2012 to represent the 33rd Senate District, which includes the cities and communities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Long Beach, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, South Gate, South Los Angeles, Vernon, and Walnut Park. For more information please visit this link: http://www.senate.ca.gov/lara

 

 

 

State of California—With YOUR $$–in Dry Cleaning Business

A few years ago Arnold, the professional fondler and amateur Governor, convinced Californians to spend $10 billion on fixing our roads. Everyone agreed our roads are bad. But he lied. He spent close to one billion of that money at the Los Angeles port—with a lot of the money going to large trucking companies to buy new diesel engines—at the same time trying to end independent truckers at the ports, mostly throwing Hispanics out of work—forcing them to work for large corporations paying bribes to unions. Another $600 million went to the Port of Oakland, for the same purpose.

Now the State of California, YOU, are buying dry cleaning equipment for small businesses so they can meet the artificial standards based on junk science promoted by the scam artist Al Gore.

“Under the authority of AB32, CARB has instituted its cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions.  Large industries and utilities that emit CO2 above designated levels (called a “cap”) must buy pollution permits (called “trade”) from CARB. If they don’t buy a pollution permit, they must reduce their emissions.

Only large industries and utilities are subject to cap and trade today. Fuel suppliers will be subjected to it next year.

Small businesses are not subject to cap-and-trade emissions regulations today, so the CO2 reductions at a dry cleaner are not mandated, but still fit in with AB32′s overall goal.”

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NEW: State funds dry cleaners’ shift to CO2

By Wayne Lusvardi, Calwatchdog, 7/30/14

The California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research Program has produced a dry cleaning machine that uses CO2. The carbon-based cleaning process replaces perchoroethylene chemical-based dry cleaning.

The machine is being tested by the Aramark uniform cleaning corporation in Los Angeles. Colorado-based firm C02Nexus received a $396,200 CEC grant on Dec. 3, 2009 to develop an alternative dry cleaning machine using C02.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas whose reduction is the target of Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 — although the phrase “climate change” usually is used today. But according to CO2Nexus, “The CO2 used in the CO2Nexus systems is recycled from existing industrial processes and as such is completely carbon neutral.”

So the problem with the subsidies is not the CO2, but the use of public funds.

CO2Nexus is a business spinoff from FeyeCon Development and Implementation B.V., which is based in the Netherlands.

Redundant technology

The CO2Nexus technology was redundant to private industry research and development already in operation in the United States in June 2008 by the Solvair Corporation, based in Evanston, Ill. The Solvair system was installed by several private dry cleaners in the Midwestern and Eastern U.S. in 2008 and 2009. Nu-Yale Cleaners in Louisville, Ky., received a grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to install the Solvair system on Nov. 25, 2008. By October 2010, the U.S. Air Force had already started ordering the Solvair carbon-based dry cleaning system. Moreover, the Kreussler Corporation in Europe introduced its SYSTEMK4 dry cleaning machine in the U.S. in 2009. The SYSTEMK4 dry cleaning chemical has no carbon footprint and is already being used in Fresno, California.

Carbon cleaning replaces “perc” dry cleaning

In 2007, the California Air Resources Board issued a regulation to phase out all use of perchoroethylene used in dry cleaning as a toxic air contaminant under California’s Toxic Air Contaminant Identification and Control Program (Health and Safety Code section 39650, et. seq.). Perc has been attributed to contaminating 5 percent of all water wells in the state and is considered a toxic industrial chemical. With the phase out of perc, there was a need to find other solvents and technologies that would be safe for groundwater, dry cleaning workers and air emissions.

Exempt from cap-and-trade emissions regulations?

Under the authority of AB32, CARB has instituted its cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions.  Large industries and utilities that emit CO2 above designated levels (called a “cap”) must buy pollution permits (called “trade”) from CARB. If they don’t buy a pollution permit, they must reduce their emissions.

Only large industries and utilities are subject to cap and trade today. Fuel suppliers will be subjected to it next year.

Small businesses are not subject to cap-and-trade emissions regulations today, so the CO2 reductions at a dry cleaner are not mandated, but still fit in with AB32′s overall goal. Local businesses, however, are subject to regulation of toxic emissions and industrial hazards.

Controversial PIER energy research grant

The Public Interest Energy Research Program has spent $700 million of California utility ratepayers’ money from 2000 to 2011 by tacking a “fee” on all utility bills, including $44.5 million in funding in 2013. The program is controversial, as the impartial California Legislative Analyst’s Office concluded there never has been any “clear payoff” for ratepayers from its research.

On Dec. 12, 2013, an LAO report “Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Programs” concluded that California’s $15 billion in scattered energy programs were duplicative, not aligned with legislative priorities, and ineffective.

The funding of redundant dry cleaning machinery to compete with U.S. based companies that had already installed similar machinery in 2008 is sure to make the PIER program even more controversial.

California Democrats OUTLAW Best Weapons From Being Sold in State

Freedom is a word Democrats do not use or like. Choice is a word they use only when it is in the context of aborting babies. Killing babies is OK—the same woman choosing the school of her choice for her living children is not OK. Thanks to the Sacramento Democrats two of the best manufacturers of weapons in the nation and world, are not allowed to sell in this State. That does not mean criminals will not have these weapons—or other weapons—just that honest citizens are barred from the best weapons for self protection.

As the President and Democrats are importing gang members, cartel workers and other criminals from Central America, they are making it harder for families’ to protect themselves from this onslaught of invading criminals.

“The idea behind the law is that investigators will collect the brass, trace the serial number imprinted on the brass to the firearm, and solve the case just in time for the last commercial break.

The problem is this is real life. Nobody has developed the technology to make a stamp on the end of a firing pin reliably and successfully so as to consistently leave a serial number on a brass casing. When Smith & Wesson and Ruger asked the California Department of Justice where to get these firing pins, the Department of Justice had no answer. So as a result, no new pistols can be added to the dwindling list of “not unsafe” pistols allowed for sale in California.”

Photo courtesy of krazydad/jbum, Flickr.

Photo courtesy of krazydad/jbum, Flickr.

Leading firearms manufacturers ending sales in California: The not-so-unintended consequences of bad legislation

by Michael Schwartz, SD Rostra, 7/31/14

Industry leaders Smith & Wesson and Strum, Ruger & Co. Inc. (Ruger) are two of the most well-known, trusted names in the firearms business. Starting business in 1852 and 1949 respectively, these two companies now manufacture about one in every four firearms produced in the U.S., according to a survey by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

This year California will become the only state in which these two American icons cannot sell their legal products that you have the right to keep and bear.

Starting in January of 2001, the State Legislature passed into law Penal Code 3200 Article 5, creating a list of handguns approved for sale in California that have been deemed “not unsafe.” Yes, I wrote that correctly. The California government actually uses the term “not unsafe.” In order to get a product onto the “not-unsafe” list, a manufacturer must submit three samples of each product model for testing by a lab in Maryland, Illinois, or Kansas that will certify it as “not unsafe.” The cost is $2,000+ for the certification and around $500 annually to stay on the “not unsafe” list.

Kevin Black, Manager of Technical Operations for H.P. White Labs in Maryland, told me that not one pistol has ever failed the “drop test” portion of the certification and that less than one percent of pistols have ever failed any part of the test. None failed catastrophically (meaning a failure that would normally result in injury or misfire by the user). In other words, the testing is bunk and its purpose is not really safety.

If a manufacturer wants to upgrade any part on the pistol or sell models with any slight variation, then three of each upgraded pistol model must be submitted and a $10,000 fee must be re-paid for each.

Both pistols pictured are made with the same materials, are the same caliber, take the same ammunition, are made on the same machines, are manufactured at the same factory, and function exactly the same. But one is part green and one is black. Because of the difference in color, three of each model would have to be submitted for testing, with thousands of dollars in state fees having to be paid for each to remain on California’s “not-unsafe” list. Submitting three of each isn’t a huge task if you are a company like Glock that sells thousands of each model every year at a cost under $500 each. But what about custom pistols that are sold for a few thousand each and simply do not sell to a mass market customer? This makes it impossible for California to be a viable option for small business. For example, STI International makes competition firearms and was one of the first companies to be regulated out of the California market. They stopped being able to do business in California in 2007.

Last year Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris decided that a law signed by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007 would now be put into effect. The law requires every pistol sold by a dealer in California have a serial number on the tiny tip of the firing pin so that it imprints an identifying mark on the ejected casing of a fired cartridge. Without this, a pistol cannot get onto the “not unsafe” list. It was agreed upon at the time of passage that the law would not go into effect until the imprint technology was developed.

The firing pin is inside the gun and is smaller than a pencil lead. It strikes the cartridge to make the bullet fire out of the end of the barrel of the firearm. An ejected casing is that little, round brass part that you see in movies and TV next to every shooting victim or that you hear hitting the ground after someone shoots a gun. The idea behind the law is that investigators will collect the brass, trace the serial number imprinted on the brass to the firearm, and solve the case just in time for the last commercial break.

The problem is this is real life. Nobody has developed the technology to make a stamp on the end of a firing pin reliably and successfully so as to consistently leave a serial number on a brass casing. When Smith & Wesson and Ruger asked the California Department of Justice where to get these firing pins, the Department of Justice had no answer. So as a result, no new pistols can be added to the dwindling list of “not unsafe” pistols allowed for sale in California.

Some of the other problems with the micro stamp law:

• The firing pins can easily be changed after a crime is committed or filed down so no serial number exists.

• The serial number only leads to the last known registered owner of the gun.  Not to the criminal who stole the gun to commit the crime.

• The criminal can easily collect his casings and/or leave other casings from other guns to mislead investigators, making the case even harder to solve.

• The criminal could use a revolver, which doesn’t eject casings.

So if all these problems exist, why would Attorney General Harris activate and start to enforce this old law?

If you want to sell a pistol in California that you manufacture, you must be on the approved list and you now cannot be on the approved list unless the firing pin in your product stamps an identifying serial number onto the casing before it is ejected from the gun. The result is gun companies like Smith & Wesson and Ruger are ending sales in California because they are unable to comply. Now is it all becoming clearer?

Anti-gun laws passed in Sacramento have already ended sales by manufacturers like Barrett Firearms and STI International. Smith & Wesson and Ruger have joined fellow manufacturer Glock and organizations Second Amendment Foundation and National Shooting Sports Foundation in a lawsuit against California regarding their “not unsafe” gun list scheme. The attorney heading the case is Alan Gura, who in 2008 helped win Heller vs. D.C. in front of the Supreme Court, which ruled that the Second Amendment is an individual right.

“When there is an illegal drug problem, laws aren’t passed to punish people who need medication or the regulated pharmacists who provide those drugs,” said Dennis Rohman, manager of P2K Gun Range. “But when the subject of guns comes up, immediately the conversation is about taking from those who use guns to protect their self and family and taking from the already heavily regulated dealers who are the first line of defense when it comes to stopping gun crime. Because Smith & Wesson and Ruger cannot conduct business in California, it’s taking away a large percentage of my inventory, which will result in lost revenue to the state, but won’t stop crime.”

Rohman sells firearms to around 200 San Diegans a month. All are charged sales tax and a $25 fee by California, which means hundreds of thousands in revenue to the state from just his one shop.

“In a nutshell, this is nothing more than political extortion,” said Marc Halcon, owner of American Shooting Center. “I must applaud the decision of Smith & Wesson and Ruger. Yes, I will take a financial hit, but this isn’t about me. This is about the future of the State of California and electing responsible people to represent us.”

# # #

Schwartz is a member of the Second Amendment Committee and the San Diego County Republican Liberty Caucus, as well as a volunteer with Gun Owners of America.

 

Patent workers paid to exercise, shop and do chores, investigation reveals

Government is waste, corruption and an albatross on the families of America. Imagine having a government job, without a boss or any assignments. That is what the Patent Office has done for years. Wonder how many other D.C. agencies could get rid of dozens of employees and no one would notice?

“Dozens of employees working for an obscure federal agency went years with little work to do, allowing them to collect salaries and bonuses while they shopped online, caught up on chores, watched television or walked the dog, an investigation revealed Tuesday.

The probe by the Commerce Department’s inspector general found that paralegals at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s appeals board were paid more than $5 million for their time even though there was so little work for them to do that supervisors didn’t care how they used it.

This is why government is neither trusted nor respected.

720px-US-PatentTrademarkOffice-Seal.svg

 

 

Patent workers paid to exercise, shop and do chores, investigation reveals

Paralegals on payroll years before their bosses hired

By Jim McElhatton, The Washington Times, 7/31/14

Dozens of employees working for an obscure federal agency went years with little work to do, allowing them to collect salaries and bonuses while they shopped online, caught up on chores, watched television or walked the dog, an investigation revealed Tuesday.

The probe by the Commerce Department’s inspector general found that paralegals at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s appeals board were paid more than $5 million for their time even though there was so little work for them to do that supervisors didn’t care how they used it.

“I almost don’t blame [paralegals] for watching TV because, I mean, you’re sitting around for 800 hours,” one chief judge told the investigators, who found that supervisors not only tolerated the problem but in one instance admonished an employee who complained about the lack of work.

The idle paralegals nonetheless managed to take home more than a half-million dollars in performance bonuses from 2009 to 2013, before the agency hired enough judges to increase the workload, according to the report.

The underworked paralegals and supervisors concealed non-work activities by recording hours under the pay code as “other time.”

One official told investigators it was an open secret that “other time” was code for “I don’t have to work, but I’m going to get paid.”

Investigators said the practice continued until last year when agency officials got word that the inspector general’s office was looking into complaints from whistleblowers.

Todd Elmer, chief communications officer for the Patent and Trademark Office, said the agency is reviewing the report and plans to issue a formal response within 60 days.

“Many of the OIG’s recommendations for improvements at the PTAB are already underway or have been implemented,” Mr. Elmer said in an email statement.

He said the agency conducted its own study after it was informed of the problem.

Asked why they had logged so much “other time,” paralegals and their supervisors blamed a lack of work. One paralegal told a supervisor that she didn’t have any work, but the supervisor didn’t seem bothered.

“There is not much work and I know there is not much work, and you can stop calling me every day and telling me you have nothing to do because I know you have nothing to do,” the paralegal recalled being told.

Still, the paralegals received such high performance ratings that supervisors doled out generous bonuses.

One senior manager recalled a meeting in which managers stated “although we’re not obligated to provide bonuses, we’re still going to.”

The review released Tuesday also found that some managers were fearful of antagonizing labor union officials, so efforts to assign “special projects” to the paralegals were “feeble, half-hearted and ineffective.”

From 2009 through 2013, the agency spent more than $4.3 million overall to reimburse “other time,” and many of those paralegals took home nearly $700,000 in bonuses.

“In the worst cases, paralegals seemed content to have idle time while collecting full salaries and benefits … while management seemed to sit on their hands, anticipating the arrival of judges at some unknown date in the figure,” the report concluded.

Managers interviewed by the investigators didn’t seem surprised that paralegals weren’t doing much work. One said he wouldn’t have been “a bit surprised if there were people who were going out to the golf course.”

 

Pot Sales to Save Bankrupt San Bernardino?

Instead of reforming the pension system which caused its bankruptcy, the city of San Bernardino is looking at allowing pot to be sold in its city for revenues. What would that look like? Every pothead within 100 miles would go to this city. It would be a boon to fast food places, and car accidents. If this works, they could legalize prostitution and really make some good money. Put in a couple of casinos and this town will never have money problems again.

Of course, families would have a problem living in this Mecca of tolerance and revenue. This is what happens when government refuses to do its job and looks for the “easy” way out—sex, drugs and roll and roll—that should be the new slogan of this once decent community.

Cannabis marijuana weed pot

Bankrupt California City May Turn To Taxing Pot

by Alan Greenblatt, NPR, 7/30/14

Lots of people are making money off marijuana sales. Officials in San Bernardino, a Southern California city in 2012, are suggesting that it might as well profit too.

Officials are considering a proposal floated by City Attorney Gary Saenz to regulate and tax medical marijuana dispensaries.

Saenz — who was talking about stepping up efforts to close 18 illegal dispensaries in the city — now calls eradication both “” and expensive.

Acceding to California policy allowing medical marijuana, he says, will move distribution off the black market. He notes that Palm Springs the only city in California’s Inland Empire that allows dispensaries, expects to collect $500,000 annually in taxes from marijuana sellers. With more than 200,000 residents, or four times Palm Springs’ population, San Bernadino might bring in more.

“The California Board of Equalization, which oversees the state’s sales tax, says once a city approves medical marijuana outlets, it can use the tax revenue any way it wants,” Reuters .

The city council is expected to hold a hearing on the matter next month.

“A year ago, I think perceptions were very different on this issue, but I think we’re starting to see the formation of at least some sort of consensus that we need to have some sort of regulation,” Councilman Henry Nickel the San Bernardino Sun. “I think we’re reaching the tipping point.”

Calle: Does anyone cover the news in Sacramento?

The bad news is that fewer mainstream media are covering Sacramento and State government. The good news is that fewer mainstream media are covering Sacramento and State government—and misrepresenting the facts and hiding the scandals. Now we have a series of investigative journalists, bloggers and muckrakers stirring the pot and giving information to the public that was once hidden by use of alcohol and friendships.

While we still have Dan Walters acting let the policeman of sanity from the Sacramento Bee, we have had sycophants in the Capitol. How many Bee, Times or Chronicle reporters found a second career in being the flacks for the politicians they once covered?

“The Sacramento Bee, the newspaper of the capitol, has cut its state government reporting staff by almost half.  The same thing happened at the L.A. Times. Last December, Southern California Public Radio announced it would close its Sacramento news bureau and similarly, last August, ABC News announced the closing of its broadcast presence in the capitol.”

Which is worse—getting no news or getting the news as the politicians want you to learn about it?

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Does anyone cover the news in Sacramento?
By Brian Calle, Calwatchdog, 7/31/14

California is perhaps the most significant state in the union both culturally and economically. One in every eight Americans lives here. In 2012, California’s GDP was $1.9 billion — roughly the same size as that of Italy and Russia.  If we were a nation, we’d consistently be in the top-10 largest economies in the world. And the state’s capital, Sacramento, is one of the largest governments in the nation outside of Washington, D.C., often responsible for exporting good and often bad policy ideas to other states.

One would think with such importance that reporters and news organizations would have in place an incredibly large presence to cover the comings and goings of lawmakers and agencies in Sacramento. Yet, disconcertingly, the opposite is true.

In fact, the number of reporters covering state government is at a startling low. And a recent Pew study shows that number will likely continue to decline.

According to the study, national numbers of reporters covering state legislatures has dropped more than 35 percent since 2003, outpacing the overall drop in journalists from all fields. The Sacramento Bee, the newspaper of the capitol, has cut its state government reporting staff by almost half.  The same thing happened at the L.A. Times. Last December, Southern California Public Radio announced it would close its Sacramento news bureau and similarly, last August, ABC News announced the closing of its broadcast presence in the capitol.

The Pew study also exposed huge gaps in newspapers covering state capitols — only 30 percent of newspapers polled cover their state government at all.  Which means entire cities or regions read the news every day and see no significant legislative coverage. News stations are reducing the time the assigned reporters even spend on covering government. Only half of reporters assigned to cover state government do so full-time, and 15 percent of those assigned are student interns. If news organizations are not adequately reporting on how our state leaders are spending tax dollars and making decisions on our behalf, who will?

What makes our situation in California worse is how we compare based on the length of our legislative sessions.  California is one of just five states with a 12-month legislative session.  Texas, the state with the most reporters, and full-time reporters, assigned to the state government, has an average legislative session length of under 5 months.  Among states with a year-long legislative calendar, California has a significantly higher percentage of part-time reporters.

It’s not as if the Legislature isn’t giving reporters plenty to keep an eye on.  In 2013, the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to opening government, gave our state Legislature a “D” grade.  Important details about legislation, committee assignments and votes weren’t available anywhere on the state’s website.  The report showed it was nearly impossible to tell what was going on in our own government based on what they report themselves.

Despite ongoing scandals and ethics violations, a significant number of legislators in Sacramento have backed away from passing comprehensive ethics reform.  And the Legislature adjourned for recess earlier this year without touching the most pressing issue on its agenda: A reformed water bond agreement that has been awaiting approval since former Governor Schwarzenegger helped draft the legislation five years ago.  If there were more coverage of Sacramento, would legislators move faster on legislation like this? I’d like to think so.

Heading into the November election, we’re about to send a lot of new leaders to make decisions for us. And there are decisions of great consequence, from education funding, to insurance premiums, to drought preparedness, to business and regulatory policies, at stake. Citizens need to know what politicians and influencers are doing and saying in Sacramento to make informed decisions.  And a vibrant press corps is essential to providing such information.

 

Pension Debt Killing Fire Services in Mountain Area Fire District

Cities like Vallejo, Stockton and San Bernardino are going bankrupt—so what, it just means less government and we are forced to hear the whining of bully unions. But when a fire district goes belly up—in a mountain area around Lake Arrowhead—that is a danger to all of us. Unions have gotten their grips so far into our wallets that it is possible the State might have to take over fire protection from a local district massacred by the unions and their greed.

“As previously reported in The Alpenhorn News, the CFFPD found itself hard hit by decreased tax revenue as a result of the economic downturn, attempted to keep the district alive through reducing its expenses including salaries and staff reductions, asked the voters for an increase in its assessment and when its measure failed to pass, then contracted its services to the SBCFD that was able to provide the services for less money, has $218.00 remaining at the end of its 2014/15 fiscal year, is now facing annexation, a process where the district, its services and revenue are absorbed by the SBCFD. “

The good news is that this district will dissolve, one way or another. A lesson for all of us as to what will happen if we do not have pension reform.

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$33 million pension debt hangs over fire district

Gail Fry, Alpenhorn News, 7/30/14

According to an interview with The Alpenhorn News, Crest Forest Fire Protection District Administrative Secretary Patti Forsythe explained the district has $33,102,477 in pension debt with 20-years of $410,437 in annual payments that will be paid before residents receive any fire or emergency services.

At its July 15 meeting, the Crest Forest Fire Protection District (CFFPD) received an update on the status of the district’s application to be annexed by San Bernardino County Fire Department (SBCFD), which is to be submitted to the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). This is the district’s first step toward dissolving the independent fire district.

As previously reported in The Alpenhorn News, the CFFPD found itself hard hit by decreased tax revenue as a result of the economic downturn, attempted to keep the district alive through reducing its expenses including salaries and staff reductions, asked the voters for an increase in its assessment and when its measure failed to pass, then contracted its services to the SBCFD that was able to provide the services for less money, has $218.00 remaining at the end of its 2014/15 fiscal year, is now facing annexation, a process where the district, its services and revenue are absorbed by the SBCFD.

According to financial records, CFFPD will not have sufficient tax revenue or money in its fund balance to cover its annual contract costs with the SBCFD beyond its 2014/15 fiscal year.

The CFFPD, an independent fire district, established in 1929 to serve the communities of Agua Fria, Blue Jay, Cedarpines Park, Crestline, Rimforest, Twin Peaks and Valley of Enchantment with fire and emergency services, is destined to ride off in the sunset and become a piece of history unless a majority of the community rallies to use the protest process to save its independent fire district.

However, its $33 million in pension debt will remain like a dark cloud over the communities it used to serve until the debt is paid in full. The pension debt owed to the San Bernardino County Employees Retirement Association (SBCERA) will be paid first “before any other money is used for fire suppression,” Forsythe explained.

Forsythe further clarified the remaining pension debt a total of $33,102,477 requires twenty years of annual payments in the amount of $410,437 including a 4 percent annual compounded increase “to offset the cost of the County Safety Cost Pool.”

“LAFCO will ensure that the obligation incurred by the district will be paid by the residents within the service boundary,” Forsythe confirmed.

In an interview with The Alpenhorn News, LAFCO Executive Officer Kathleen Rollings-McDonald explained they had provided CFFPD with some examples and were waiting to receive the completed package from the district.

Rollings-McDonald explained LAFCO needs an application, a signed resolution from the board, a plan for service, maps and legal analysis, a fiscal impact analysis, revenue projections, disclosure of existing liabilities and a plan for how they will be paid.

At its July 15, meeting Director Leslie Dodge-Taylor pressed its staff on when the application package would be ready for submission to LAFCO. SBCFD Battalion Chief Ron Walls explained their goal was 30-days but to give them 60-days to allow for areas that needed to be researched.

CFFPD is preparing the application and related documents for submission through LAFCO the agency that handles all proposed boundary changes in San Bernardino County. Additional information about the process can be found at LAFCO’s website: http://www.sbclafco.org/

During the annexation process LAFCO will announce, through publication in the newspaper and/or mailing of a notice, a period of time during which registered voters and/or landowners may submit a written protest against annexation.

 

Thanks to Barack the First: Average Price of Electricity Climbs to All-Time Record

Finally, we found a spot where Barack Obama told the truth! In 2008 he announced that “My Energy Plan Will Make Electricity Rates Skyrocket”

Thanks to Obama the coal industry has been decimated—with no replacement for the lost, cheap, clean, coal. Solar energy, which Obama and State government have spent tens of billions on promoting—which now provides .35%of our nations energy supply. The rich can afford high energy and gas costs and the very poor get public assistance—Barack the First has an energy policy that is a war on the middle class.

“Although the price for an average KWH hit its all-time record in June, the seasonally adjusted electricity price index–which measures changes in the price of electricity relative to a value of 100 and adjusts for seasonal fluctuations in price–hit its all-time high of 209.341 in March of this year, according to BLS. In June, it was slightly below that level, at 209.144.”

Photo courtesy of lydiashiningbrightly, flickr

Photo courtesy of lydiashiningbrightly, flickr

Average Price of Electricity Climbs to All-Time Record

By Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS, 7/30/14

(CNSNews.com) – For the first time ever, the average price for a kilowatthour (KWH) of electricity in the United States has broken through the 14-cent mark, climbing to a record 14.3 cents in June, according to data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Before this June, the highest the average price for a KWH had ever gone was 13.7 cents, the level it hit in June, July, August and September of last year.

The 14.3-cents average price for a KWH recorded this June is about 4.4 percent higher than that previous record.

Typically, the cost of electricity peaks in summer, declines in fall, and hits its lowest point of the year during winter. In each of the first six months of this year, the average price for a KWH hour of electricity has hit a record for that month. In June, it hit the all-time record.

Although the price for an average KWH hit its all-time record in June, the seasonally adjusted electricity price index–which measures changes in the price of electricity relative to a value of 100 and adjusts for seasonal fluctuations in price–hit its all-time high of 209.341 in March of this year, according to BLS. In June, it was slightly below that level, at 209.144.

Back in June 1984, the seasonally adjusted price index for electricity was 103.9—less than half what it was in June 2014.

Electricity prices have not always risen in the United States. The BLS has published an annual electricity price index dating back to 1913. It shows that from that year through 1947, the price of electricity in the United States generally trended down, with the index dropping from 45.5 in 1913 to 26.6 in 1947.

In the two decades after that, electricity prices were relatively stable, with the index still only at 29.9 in 1967—an increase of 12.4 percent over two decades.

However, from 2003 to 2013, the annual electricity price index increased from 139.5 to 200.750, a climb of almost 44 percent.

So far, overall annual electricity production peaked in the United States in 2007. Per capita electricity production also peaked in 2007, based on calculations made using data published by the Energy Information Administration and the Census Bureau.

However, in the first four months of this year (January through April)–according to the July edition of the Monthly Energy Review released yesterday by the Energy Information Administration–overall electricity production was up, with the nation having generated a total of 1,329,042 million KWH. That is more than the 1,281,300 million KWH produced in the first four months of 2013—and it is also more than the 1,298,675 million KWH generated in the first four months of the peak production year of 2007.

According to the Census Bureau, however, the resident population of the United States increased from 300,888,674 in April 2007 to 317,787,997 in April 2014. So, per capita electricity production in the first four months of 2014 (0.004182 million KWH per person) was less than the per capita electricity production in the first four months of 2007 (0.004316 million KWH per person).

The composition of U.S. electricity production in January-April 2014 was also somewhat different from the composition of production in January-April 2007. In both years, coal was the top source of electricity. But in the first four months of 2007, coal generated 644,052 million KWH, while in the first four months of 2014 it generated only 548,297 million KWH. That is a drop of 95,755 million KWH or about 14.9 percent.

Electricity production from nuclear power declined from 260,838 million KWH in January-April 2007 to 254,485 in January-April 2014. Electricity production from conventional hydroelectric power declined from 92,873 million KWH to 88,364. And production from petroleum declined from 24,974 million KWH to 14,931.

The largest increase in electricity production came from natural gas—which climbed from generating 234,331 million KWH in the first four months of 2007 to generating 318,958 million KWH in the first four months of 2014.

The 84,627 in additional million KWH of electricity that natural gas generated in the first four months of this year compared to the first four months of 2007 is more than all of the 68,516 million KWH of electricity generated by wind power in the first four months of this year.

The 68,516 million KWH of electricity generated by wind in January through April equaled 5.2 percent of the nation’s electricity supply during that period.

The 4,594 million KWH of electricity generated by solar power equaled 0.35 percent of the nation’s electricity supply in the first four months of the year.

 

Rising pension costs loom over new Huntington Beach budget

Without pension reform cities have two choices—higher taxes or fewer government services. My choice is always fewer government services, along with outsourcing of work and ending the premium pay (a payoff) to the unions. Allow workers to get a pay raise without costing the taxpayers extra money—want to join the Rotary, PTA or union, it is your FREE choice.

The surfing capitol of the world (or is it galaxy) Huntington Beach is now struck with hard choices—to many they are easy choices.

“The city is expected to contribute $27.1 million toward its California Public Employees’ Retirement System obligation, a $1 million increase over this fiscal year.

However, contribution rates will increase over the next eight years to enable the city to pay down its pension costs in three decades. Huntington Beach is expected to contribute about $49.3 million in the 2021-22 fiscal year.”

Photo courtesy of kenteegardin, flickr

Photo courtesy of kenteegardin, flickr

Rising pension costs loom over new Huntington budget

By Anthony Clark Carpio, Huntington Beach Independent, 7/30/14

Huntington Beach’s finance department forecast another balanced budget for the coming fiscal year, though it reminded City Council members of rising costs of unfunded liabilities, mostly for city employee pensions.

It’s the city’s second consecutive balanced budget, meaning no cuts in services, according to Finance Director Lori Ann Farrell.

In fact, additional police officers and a portion of the long-awaited senior center project are included in the budget for 2014-15. But Farrell and budget manager Carol Molina-Espinoza said during a study session Monday that pension costs will rise steadily over the next few years.

The city is expected to contribute $27.1 million toward its California Public Employees’ Retirement System obligation, a $1 million increase over this fiscal year.

However, contribution rates will increase over the next eight years to enable the city to pay down its pension costs in three decades. Huntington Beach is expected to contribute about $49.3 million in the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The proposed budget includes a $500,000 surplus, which the city will use to pay down the pension costs and other unfunded liabilities, Farrell said.

City staff is proposing a $339.9 million budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 — a $26.1 million increase over the current year. General-fund revenue is expected to be $207 million, a 7 percent growth, Molina-Espinoza said.

Police are projected to get two additional sworn officers, bringing the total number of full-time officers to 214. The department had 237 officers in 2008, before the recession.

The Police Department also is expected to replace 20 of its patrol vehicles, costing the city $783,528. About $850,000 is budgeted to fund helicopter repairs, a study on a shooting range and changes to the department’s building to meet Americans With Disabilities Act requirements, Farrell said.

Huntington Beach is looking to get the ball rolling on its senior center by budgeting $3 million toward the project, in addition to the $1.5 million it set aside in the 2013-14 budget. The new facility, slated for Central Park, is estimated to cost about $21.5 million.

A $15 million bond will fund most of the remainder of the project, and $1 million is proposed in the 2014-15 budget to pay it down, Farrell said. The city also anticipates donations.

The budget also includes $39,200 to increase beach restroom cleaning during the summer and $35,600 toward a new summer day camp for children.

Unfunded liabilities

Unfunded liabilities are costs that the city will need to pay but has not yet budgeted for.

Huntington Beach’s unfunded liabilities include:

• Increase in CalPERS, or pension, contribution rates

•800 MHz public-safety radio update project

•Workers’ compensation plans

•LeBard school site funding

•Equipment replacement requests

 

10 of the State’s 12 Major Reservoirs Below 50% Capacity as Drought Wears On

Government owns all of the water projects in California. It has decided which farms get to be productive and which go under. The Feds and our confused Guv Brown have decided fish over families. Now the Democrats are about to pass a bill to take away the use of groundwater owned by individual property owners. The Pavley bill, when passed gives Sacramento the responsibility of “managing” groundwater. This will go a long way in the financing of Democrat campaign—pay to farm or else.

How bad is government management of our water supply?

“Though a spokesperson clarified, the reservoirs are not yet at historically low levels. There may be some solace to be taken from the fact that 1977’s historic drought brought California’s reservoirs to far lower levels. Also, the state average for all 12 reservoirs comes out to about 60% percent, still well above 1977’s average of 41%.

80% of California is already considered in “extreme” drought conditions, with some areas’ conditions considered exceptional—the highest category of dryness.”

ManInWater

10 of the State’s 12 Major Reservoirs Below 50% Capacity as Drought Wears On

California County News, 7/28/14

State officials say California’s reservoirs are now at a “seriously low” level. Many of the state’s major reservoirs are now less than half full. The report by the California Department of Water Resources shows that some of the major reservoirs are approaching numbers as low as 20%.

Though a spokesperson clarified, the reservoirs are not yet at historically low levels. There may be some solace to be taken from the fact that 1977’s historic drought brought California’s reservoirs to far lower levels. Also, the state average for all 12 reservoirs comes out to about 60% percent, still well above 1977’s average of 41%.

80% of California is already considered in “extreme” drought conditions, with some areas’ conditions considered exceptional—the highest category of dryness.

These harsh conditions and dwindling supplies have caused several measures aimed at conserving the water supplies still available across the state. State officials approved a $500 fine last week for certain types of wasteful water usage.

Jerry Brown has also signed a bill that prevents homeowners associations from fining residents with who are attempting to conserve water by holding off on watering their lawn. This may have been inspired by recent reports of cities allegedly fining residents for having brown lawns. Which, as reported by us earlier, may not be a completely factual report.

Read more about the state’s reservoirs here.