L.A.’s Unfunded Pension Liability Explodes to $15 Billion. Leadership Nowhere To Be Found

Photo courtesy of channone, flickr

Photo courtesy of channone, flickr

LA WATCHDOG — Our enlightened elite who occupy Los Angeles City Hall tell us that pension reform is not necessary. After all, the recent actuarial report for the Fire and Police Pension Plan indicated that its $19 billion retirement plan was 94% funded as of June 30, 2016.

But as we all know, figures never lie, but liars figure, especially when it involves the finances of the city of Los Angeles.

The city will say that a pension plan that has assets equal to 80% of its future pension obligations is in good shape.  Baloney! Pension plans should aim to be 100% funded, especially in down markets. And in today’s bull market, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average is hitting record highs, the pension plan should be 120% funded so that it can withstand another bear market.

Even at the 94% funded ratio, the unfunded pension liability for the retirement plan is pushing $1.2 billion, not exactly chump change when compared to the projected payroll of $1.4 billion for the 12,800 active cops and firefighters.

But there is more bad news that is buried in the opaque actuarial reports that, when pieced together and analyzed, reveals that the overall Fire and Police Pension Plan is over $6 billion in the red and that only 75% of its future obligations are funded.

The Fire and Police Pension Plans are also responsible for Other Post-employment Benefits (“OPEB”) which covers medical benefits for retirees. But the $3 billion of OPEB obligations are less than 50% funded, resulting in an additional $1.6 billion in unfunded liabilities.

The city is also cooking the books by “smoothing” the actual gains and losses in its investment portfolio over a seven year period. This little trick is covering up a $600 million hit to its investment portfolio.

Finally, if the newly calculated liability (that includes adjustments for OPEB and smoothing) of $3.4 billion (85% funded) is adjusted to reflect the more realistic investment rate assumption of 6.5% (as recommended by Warren Buffett), the unfunded pension liability soars to $6.25 billion and the funded ratio plummets to 75%.

When combined with the $9 billion liability of the Los Angeles Employees’ Retirement System, the city’s total unfunded pension liability exceeds $15 billion. And this liability is expected to double over the next ten years based on realistic rates of return that are in the range of 6% to 6.5%.

But what are Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Council President Herb Wesson, Budget and Finance Chair Paul Krekorian, and Personnel Chair Paul Koretz doing to address the single most important financial issue facing the city?

Nothing! Absolutely nothing other than put their heads in a potato sack and hope that a robust stock market will make the $15 billion problem go away.

They have ignored the recommendations of the LA 2020 Commission to form a Committee on Retirement Security to review and analyze the city’s two pension plans and develop proposals to “achieve equilibrium on retirement costs by 2020.”

Krekorian and Koretz made the bone headed suggestion to raise the investment rate assumption to 8% so that the city would be able to lower its annual required pension contributions to the underfunded pension plans, allowing more money for union raises.

Wesson has not even created a Council File for the pension and budget recommendations of the LA 2020 Commission.

But the real culprit is Garcetti who has refused to address the pension mess that will eventually become a crisis. He has not asked his political appointees on the two pension boards to initiate a study of the pension plans and the city’s ever increasing contributions that now devour 20% of the city’s General Fund budget.  He has refused to contest the State’s Supreme Court “California Rule” which does not allow the city to reform the pension plans by lowering future, yet to be earned benefits.

Rather than look out for the best interests of the city and all Angelenos, he continues to kiss the rings of the campaign funding union leaders who are vital to his political ambitions.

The city’s lack of openness and transparency and its unwillingness to address its ever growing, unsustainable $15 billion pension liability can only be categorized as a major league cover up that should be front and center in the upcoming March election.

Where’s Eric?

Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and is the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council.  He is a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate.  Jack is affiliated with Recycler Classifieds — www.recycler.com.  He can be reached at:  lajack@gmail.com.

This piece was originally published by CityWatchLA

Elias: Next election: Get set for new voting system

You will not recognize the voting system during the 2018 elections in California.  Lots of changes—many to assure illegal aliens can vote, the dead are allowed their “constitutional” right to vote—and honest voting questioned.

“So instead of voters needing to sign up to receive mail-in ballots for every election, from now they will go to everyone automatically. Never mind the tradition of the secret ballot; everyone from labor unions to employers to neighborhood groups is now free to hold ballot-marking parties before Election Day. This has actually been true since mail-in voting became common in the late 1970s, and there have never been charges it led to mass fraud or coerced voting for particular candidates or causes. But such outcries may arise now.

The guinea pigs for the new system will be voters in Calaveras, Inyo, Madera, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sierra, Sutter and Tuolumne counties, with in-person voting at centers spotted around each county weeks before Election Day. Voters will also be able to drop off ballots at those centers, rather than mailing them in.

You got it—use your computer to sign up as a voter, you, your spouse, your two year old twins, Rover the dog and any fantasy people you want.  The State will send an absentee ballot—automatically to them.  A vote in California that is honest could very well be out voted by the criminal class abusing our system.

Free, honest elections in California in 2018?  That is a joke.

vote count election

Next election: Get set for new voting system

Tom Elias, Napa Valley Register,  11/24/16

If you voted this fall in a neighborhood garage or the clubhouse of a park or a school auditorium, remember the experience well. It may not be repeated anytime soon. If you saw American flags flying at your precinct polling place, that sight may also disappear.

A whole new election system is about to begin in California, complete with “vote centers” and a big expansion of early balloting. The new system will start phasing in 2018 in 14 counties and should be operative by 2020 everywhere in the state.

One thing for sure, losing candidates and those who expect to lose will have new fodder for the “rigged election” cry taken up so vocally this fall by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. With more mail-in ballots involved than ever before, same-day voter registration and personnel in place to provide language assistance, charges of fraud will be common at least while the new system is being broken in.

The hope behind the new system, pushed hard by Democratic Secretary of State Alex Padilla and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, is to increase voter turnout drastically.

After low-turnout disappointed officials in 2014 and the off-year-elections of 2013 and 2015, they began casting about for changes. The new system will deliver mail-in ballots to every registered voter in the 28 days before the actual Election Day, aiming to end any need to vote in a single place on just one day.

“We’ve got to…implement a new voting model,” said Democratic state Sen. Ben Allen of Santa Monica, who sponsored the new system in the Legislature. “Our current system has failed, as our voter turnout rates continued to decline toward record lows.”

Turnout in both the 2014 primary (25 percent of registered voters) and that year’s November general election (42 percent) was at record lows, making Padilla and the Legislature a bit desperate to push numbers up.

So instead of voters needing to sign up to receive mail-in ballots for every election, from now they will go to everyone automatically. Never mind the tradition of the secret ballot; everyone from labor unions to employers to neighborhood groups is now free to hold ballot-marking parties before Election Day. This has actually been true since mail-in voting became common in the late 1970s, and there have never been charges it led to mass fraud or coerced voting for particular candidates or causes. But such outcries may arise now.

The guinea pigs for the new system will be voters in Calaveras, Inyo, Madera, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sierra, Sutter and Tuolumne counties, with in-person voting at centers spotted around each county weeks before Election Day. Voters will also be able to drop off ballots at those centers, rather than mailing them in.

Counties pushed for this, partly as a cost-cutting measure. The fewer polling places, the lower the cost of an election. But counties moving to the new system will all have to adopt detailed plans through a system involving public hearings and input. Community groups, advocates for the disabled and other individuals will all be able to express preferences for vote center locations. But expect them to be placed in public buildings where there’s either no rent or low rent.

The politicians behind this system claim it will provide far greater flexibility than longstanding precinct polling places. “It’s time to modernize the voting process,” said Democratic state Sen. Robert Hertzberg of Los Angeles, a co-sponsor. “We need to provide the same convenience and flexibility (people) have in other areas of their lives. You can stream a movie or deposit a check with your phone any time, but without this (change), people still have to arrange their busy schedules to get to a polling place on a single day and that has hurt turnout.”

Only time will tell whether all this actually spurs more people to vote. And no one knows whether the inevitable charges of fraud or vote-fixing will have any merit. But the people behind the change are certainly correct about one thing: Turnout had become far too low in recent years, often allowing a small minority of eligible voters to choose the people who make key decisions for everyone.

 

Schaper: GOP Assemblyman Eric Linder Embraced SEIU Endorsement. How Did That Work Out?

For the past two years “conservative” GOP’er Assemblyman Eric Linder, in the Riverside area, voted for the unions so well that the SEIU endorsed him.  They gave him hundreds of thousands of dollars for re-election and even had TV ads promoting him.  What he did not have was a GOTV effort or much of a ground game or an effort to get the Republicans to vote for him.  He took them for granted.

Instead the SEIU let all the Republicans know that Linder was one of their boys—they did endorse him as well.  That did not go over well with the Republicans—he lost.

Other Republicans that tried to placate the unions and the Left also lost.  Assemblywoman Catherine Baker, the only Republican to vote for SB 32—the extension of AB 32, the job killer bill, won.  GOP Assembly leader called SB 32 a job killer that supporters of workers should not approve.  Baker did and won by about 10,000 votes.

The question now, that the Democrats have a super majority in both the Assembly and State Senate, do we support people who stand for election or those that stand for principle.  Does it matter the Party preference if they vote against the interest of the families, children and jobs of the State.  Just a thought, what do you believe?

government-vote

Eric Linder Embraced SEIU Endorsement. How Did That Work Out?

Arthur Schaper, The State of the Union,  11/28/16

One Republican in the state of California embraced the endorsement of the Service Employees International Union:

Eric Linder.

How did that work out for him?

He lost.

Here are the numbers which show by how much he lost:

Sabrina Cervantes

(Party Preference: DEM)              70,599   53.8%

Eric F. Linder

(Party Preference: REP)                60,745   46.2%
What did the Orange County Register have to say about Linder?

Several times in the last year, Assemblyman Eric Linder, R-Corona, pushed the green “yes” button on his desk when most of his Republican colleagues pressed “no.”

He broke from his party to vote for labor-backed bills requiring more disclosure of health care rates, new layoff protections for civil servants and a system for workers to collect unpaid wages from employers.

Notice that Linder was voting for Big Labor interests.

Those interests are not in concert with the Republican Party.

Those interests are not in concert with the best interests of middle class.

In fact, the labor union agenda is less and less supportive of the needs of working Californians!

The OC Register articles continues:

California’s largest public employee union supports tax increases and government spending, so it usually finds more in common with Democrats. Its endorsement of Linder – the son of a Mexican immigrant who first won election pledging not to raise taxes – has left some politicos scratching their heads, and others wondering if it signals an emerging trend of labor making nice with the GOP.

“He is the kind of guy who is going to start changing the Republican Party,” said SEIU’s political director, Alma Hernandez. “We’re willing to spend money and help good Republicans get elected.”

Does anyone not see the issues with this affiliation?

Linder had pledged not to raise taxes.

Then he turns around and supports the tax hikes!

By the way, the SEIU is aggressive as well as liberal. They have blocked streets, harassed taxpayers. They threatened to go on strike earlier this month.

He also voted for SB 10, the bill that allowed illegal aliens to purchase health insurance on the Obamacare state exchanges.

Unbelievable!

Sources from the Riverside area–where Eric Linder represented–noticed that he had not prepared any kind of volunteer base or GOTV operation.

I guess he thought that the SEIU would meet all those needs.

Guess what? It did not work.

Linder lost.

Check out the union’s agenda in supporting Linder:

“We’re not going to endorse a Republican just to endorse a Republican,” Araby said. “They are going to have to want a relationship with us and think about how they can best represent our members.”

Turning Republicans into unions puppets–that was the name of the game.

This kind of political double-dealing has plagued Republicans looking for more power and influence in the state of California.

This one more misguided example of the bad advice that out-of-touch consultants and liberal-leaning GOP donors are embracing.

Identity politics and special interest pandering is not going to save the California GOP.

It sure did not help Linder, who lost an assembly seat with a R+5 registration!

Awful.

Final Reflection

What have we learned from Linder’s mistakes?

I hope that Republican leadership in the state of California realize that outreach for the sake of outreach is meaningless in the long run.

Inclusiveness absent from principle is counter-productive and even destructive.

Republicans run for office on a set of promises, They have to keep those promises.

The Republicans running for local or state office cannot arrogantly assume that Republican voters will hold their noses for key vote-betrayals.

No. They won’t.

 

L.A.’s Millennial Population is Dwindling

There are two type’s of millenials in Los Angeles.  One, are the whining, crying, complaining type expecting the world on a platter.  The second type are the realists seeing the high taxes, bad laws, crazy government and a society based on theft—from taxpayers to those who violate the law.

The second type is leaving the disaster called Los Angeles and moving to a free State, like Texas or Arizona..  They understand complaining and whining is not productive.

“The generation that brought you safe spaces and adult coloring books is finally souring on the City of Angels, according to a new analysis of U.S. Census data. Despite a number of policy proposals aimed at courting the young, the rental site Apartment List says the city has seen a 7.4 percent decline in the number of residents between the ages of 18 and 35 over the last 10 years. The L.A. metro area’s millennial population, which now stands at more than 780,000, is experiencing the third worst decline in the nation, the analysis found.

Third worst in the nation is the bottom line.  LA is kicking out the middle class, leaving behind the very poor, the very rich and the illegal aliens.  This is not the life for a millennial, hence they are leaving as soon as they can.

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image6892849

L.A.’s Millennial Population is Dwindling

California City News, 11/28/2016

The generation that brought you safe spaces and adult coloring books is finally souring on the City of Angels, according to a new analysis of U.S. Census data. Despite a number of policy proposals aimed at courting the young, the rental site Apartment List says the city has seen a 7.4 percent decline in the number of residents between the ages of 18 and 35 over the last 10 years. The L.A. metro area’s millennial population, which now stands at more than 780,000, is experiencing the third worst decline in the nation, the analysis found.

Los Angeles just isn’t the attractive place it once was for America’s youth. You can thank those astronomical housing prices and a less-than-stellar job market for that.

“The high cost of living combined with stagnant incomes make L.A. a relatively unaffordable place for renters,” notes Apartment List data director Andrew Woo. “Fewer millennials are settling in L.A.” Instead, people in their 20’s and 30’s are heading for cities with more income growth and affordable housing. The big winners in this analysis include Houston and Austin, TX; Charlotte, NC; and Seattle, WA.

Read more about L.A.’s dwindling millennial population here.

 

Whose fault was it? Metro pays $300M more in 405 freeway building delay

The LA Times reported today that even after spending $1.6 billion—55% MORE than budgeted, there are no discernible improvements in traffic flow on the LA area 405 Freeway.  At the start of the process, that fact was noted—and that the cost was low balling. In the end the unions won, the corporations won, the commuters were harmed and the corporations made major profit—on a project that made no difference.  This was not about traffic—it was about paying off unions and corporations—major donors to Democrat candidates and officials.

“The settlement will increase the cost of the Sepulveda Pass project above $1.6 billion, about 55 percent higher than the original budget, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The $297.8-million agreement follows years of disagreements between Kiewit Corp. and Metro over how the freeway widening was managed. Kiewit has said in legal filings that Metro’s repeated changes to the project’s design and failure to identify and relocate utilities added significantly to delays, according to The Times.

It did not take dozens of scientists, engineers, surveyors and union officials to know the utilities existed and where they were—all they had to do is look at the blueprints mandated by government.  This is the excuse for the added design costs, delays and payoffs.  They knew exactly where the utilities were before they started the project.  Government lies and the families of California pay for the corruption.

Money

Money

Whose fault was it? Metro pays $300M more in 405 freeway building delay

Posted by Debbie L. Sklar, MyNewsLA,  11/29/16

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has agreed to pay nearly $300 million more to the contractor of the San Diego (405) Freeway widening project to resolve a long dispute over responsibility for schedule delays, design changes and cost overruns, it was reported Monday.

The settlement will increase the cost of the Sepulveda Pass project above $1.6 billion, about 55 percent higher than the original budget, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The $297.8-million agreement follows years of disagreements between Kiewit Corp. and Metro over how the freeway widening was managed. Kiewit has said in legal filings that Metro’s repeated changes to the project’s design and failure to identify and relocate utilities added significantly to delays, according to The Times.

Metro’s directors approved the settlement in closed session earlier this month. They will be asked Thursday to formally increase the project budget to nearly $1.61 billion, The Times reported.

“Frankly, there were deficiencies,Duarte Mayor John Fasana, the chairman of the Metro board, told The Times, referring to how the agency handled the project.

Metro could have continued to negotiate the settlement but we had some culpability, and it was time to move forward,” Fasana told The Times.

In a report to directors, staff members wrote that the “significant lessons learned” from the settlement included the importance of “detailed underground utilities investigations” before beginning a billion-dollar project, The Times reported.

Kiewit filed suit against Metro in 2014 in the same month the carpool lane opened, seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in reimbursements, according to The Times.

The company said in court documents that the design changes made after work began,as well as tasks that were not included in their original contract, created staggering expenses.

 

Free Market Works in Car Transportation: Car Sharing DOWN/Uber and Lyft UP

The current fight for market share between unionized taxi service ((losing big time), bus service in the Bay area due to free tech bus (losing), UBER/Lyft (winning big time) and car sharing programs like Car2GO (losing market share) shows how the market makes the economic decisions, not government.

“But is the industry already peaking? David Levinson, a transportation engineering professor who has been bullish about car-sharing in the past, notes at Transportist that Car2Go is pulling out of Minneapolis. Is this a sign of wider problems with the car-share business model or an isolated event due to unique circumstances? He says the situation is still murky:

The company complains about taxing, and I am sure that is also an element. Clearly carsharing should not be taxed a the same rate as rental cars, which are aimed to extract money from out-of-towners (taxing foreigners living abroad) who don’t vote locally, this is a case of public policy not catching up with changing technology.

Gee, taxes help killing an industry—then why do crony capitalists continue to finance Democrat candidates and tax increases (like the $140 billion transfer of money from families to government via Prop. 55) then complain?  It is suicide.  Churchill said “an appeaser is one who feeds his friends to the alligators, hoping they eat him last.”  Companies should realize they will be eaten—this is suicide.

uber

Signs That the Car-Share Industry Is Losing Steam

by Angie Schmitt, Beyond Chron,  11/28/16

Back in 2013, when Avis purchased Zipcar, car-share seemed like the wave of the future.

But is the industry already peaking? David Levinson, a transportation engineering professor who has been bullish about car-sharing in the past, notes at Transportist that Car2Go is pulling out of Minneapolis. Is this a sign of wider problems with the car-share business model or an isolated event due to unique circumstances? He says the situation is still murky:

The company complains about taxing, and I am sure that is also an element. Clearly carsharing should not be taxed a the same rate as rental cars, which are aimed to extract money from out-of-towners (taxing foreigners living abroad) who don’t vote locally, this is a case of public policy not catching up with changing technology.

There is also the rise of ridehailing apps like Uber and Lyft, which are only slightly more expensive and loads more convenient than carsharing for many trips. That they are only slightly more expensive is due to tremendous Venture Capital subsidies, which are great to exploit as customers, while they last. This also did not help carsharing.

Now this might be a particular case of a particular city, Car2Go is expanding in some places globally, but Car2Go has also withdrawn from several other US cities (e.g.  San Diego, Miami) and elsewhere (London, Birmingham, e.g.), so that is a fact. Susan Shaheen and Adam Cohen reported that North American carsharing membership appeared to have peaked 2 years ago. What the future holds awaits.

The future of urban transport is complex. That we are moving towards automation and electrification is a pretty solid bet, with some hedging on the timeline perhaps. Whether, when, and where fleet ownership/sharing/renting replaces individual ownership is less so. Certainly Manhattan is the kind of place this will be common, as taxis are already very important. Existing customers can easily shift, as doing old things better is the first step in a new technology. But most of the US is not taxi-reliant now, so is not a mere conversion but a major behavior shift. Doing new things is the second step. While many people certainly believe this will occur, just look at Uber’s optimistic valuation, this is a company that has yet to realize a profit, so it is built on many “ifs”.

 

San Fran Leftists Cry Wolf About Disabled and MUNI Use

There is a difference between “blocking” the disabled” from getting on and off a San Fran MUNI—and changing the location by a few feet.  Yet, the whining Left is crying about the location change as if the disabled were being held hostage on a bus.  All of this due to the tech industry providing free buses—at NO cost to taxpayers—and NO union bribes being paid—so workers can get to their jobs.

“Lack of consistent and widespread monitoring allows this reverse-commute service to get away with mutual blocking of MUNI busses, impacting people with disabilities. This blocking has been reported, and sometimes photographed, at the former MUNI stop on Van Ness & Pine as well as at the two current Noe Valley stops on 24th St. & Church.

This occurs when two shuttles are boarding their passengers at the curb and a MUNI bus comes along.

The MUNI bus then must stop in the traffic lane, forcing MUNI passengers to walk in front of the idling commuter shuttles—if they can get off the curb and if they can see the MUNI bus. Those who need the lift are stranded because there is too little space between the MUNI bus and the idling commuter shuttle.

It is these types of misrepresentations that show the public that unions are scam artists, lying about anything and everything—just to force workers to pay THEM bribes in order to work.  The good news is that the free system is expanding, freedom is expanding and the taxpayers of San Fran are getting a bargain.  I bet therapy sessions are on the Christmas list of every union leader in San Fran.

San Francisco, CA, USA

MTA Allows Commuter Shuttles to Put Disabled MUNI Riders At Risk

by Bob Planthold, Beyond Chron,  11/29/16

The “commuter shuttles” to Silicon Valley and biotech firms have been much written about, with a major exception: their effect on MUNI passengers with disabilities.

Lack of consistent and widespread monitoring allows this reverse-commute service to get away with mutual blocking of MUNI busses, impacting people with disabilities. This blocking has been reported, and sometimes photographed, at the former MUNI stop on Van Ness & Pine as well as at the two current Noe Valley stops on 24th St. & Church.

This occurs when two shuttles are boarding their passengers at the curb and a MUNI bus comes along.

The MUNI bus then must stop in the traffic lane, forcing MUNI passengers to walk in front of the idling commuter shuttles—if they can get off the curb and if they can see the MUNI bus. Those who need the lift are stranded because there is too little space between the MUNI bus and the idling commuter shuttle.

Another example of this blocking occurs when a shuttle pulls into the short yellow zone and taxi stand on Church @ 24th; this curb space is so short that the last 1/3 of the bus sticks out past the corner and across the front end of the bus stop for the 48 line. This either prevents the 48 bus from having space to pull in to the curb; or, as I have experienced, if the bus is already there, it cannot pull out but must wait for the shuttle bus to pull away from its illegal stop.

City agencies’ report that one person, in the greater Noe Valley area, accounts for a disproportionately high number and percentage of complaints. The magnitude of these statistics from just one small part of San Francisco shows there are problems not being addressed. Yet MTA continues to ignore how commuter shuttles’ negatively impact service to passengers who need lifts for boarding/ exiting.

Similarly those waiting MUNI passengers who are blind or have very low vision cannot quickly & easily tell where the MUNI bus is.

These problems of denial of access for people with disabilities were mentioned, months ago, at an MTA board of directors meeting, which was considering authorizing a follow-on version of the pilot program. But no action was taken.

MUNI passengers often have to take 2 or even 3 busses to get to their destination. Statistically, this means that there are many more people with disabilities riding MUNI than are riding the shuttles, and many more using MUNI’s lifts than using lifts on the commuter shuttles.

There is no indication that MTA monitors these private fleets to be sure that ALL are lift-equipped and that these lifts work. The previously mentioned stalwart Noe Valley citizen-monitor did not notice whether all commuter shuttles were lift equipped — and definitely did not see anyone boarding or exiting via a lift.

The standard approach to analysis about low-income people’s transit needs relies on Title VI parameters / factors, which are unrelated to people with disabilities. CEQA, NEPA, and FTA requirements /parameters were passed or delineated long before there was an Older Americans’ Act and /or the Americans with Disabilities Act [ 1990].

CEQA and NEPA talk of congestion as a factor to be calculated and analyzed. The need of people with disabilities is ignored. Yet a Title VI analysis is used as an environmental surrogate to apply to all people with disabilities and seniors.

Nobody at any transit or transportation agency has fessed up to this distortion and camouflage of the needs of, and usage by, people with disabilities for transit. So much for acknowledging and honoring the civil rights mobility / transportation requirements of people with disabilities — whether by MTA, SFCTA, SF Planning, SF Environment, FTA Region IX, MTC, et al.

It’s time for public monitoring to take commuter shuttles’ impact on disabled MUNI passengers into account.

 

Clinton Supporters BULLY a Bagel Business Owned by TRUMP Supporter

To the bullies that supported Hillary Clinton, if you are not with them, they want you dead.  They took this attitude with an owner of a bagel business—even the buying and selling of bagels must be done by the politically correct.  Want freedom?  Clinton folks hate you.  This is not a joke.

Several weeks before the election on a busy Sunday, several pro-Trump campaigners arrived in a bus to drum up support for their candidate. They remained outside the store, and soon, a customer went outside to confront the campaigners. The customer caused a scene, screaming that Donald Trump was a rapist and a Nazi.

Concerned about the commotion, especially with inappropriate language used outside a store marketed towards religious Jews, Drebin asked the woman to leave. After further insults about Trump, the customer turned her ire towards Trump supporters. At this, Drebin expressed his own support for the Republican candidate for president.

Soon, one-star reviews began pouring in from Clinton supporters on Goldberg’s Facebook page. Reviewers wrote:

No wonder these folks liked Hillary and are silent about Castro—they are totalitarian goons, not fit for polite society.  Free speech?  Free elections—not in the Clinton world.

hillary-clinton-biopics-cancelled-ftr

A Customer Outed This Trump Supporter, And He Lost 15 Percent Of His Business

If liberals are horrified at Donald Trump’s emergence, they have their own team’s behavior to thank for lending Trump support.

By Bethany Mandel, The Federalist,  11/29/16

How much might it cost a business owner to “come out” as pro-Trump in a blue city like Baltimore, Maryland? Stanley Drebin, the owner of Goldberg’s New York Bagels, a well-known kosher shop in town, has an answer: 15 percent of revenue, with 20 percent fewer customers walking through the door. Drebin didn’t actively express his views, but that didn’t stop the mob from descending on Goldberg’s.

Several weeks before the election on a busy Sunday, several pro-Trump campaigners arrived in a bus to drum up support for their candidate. They remained outside the store, and soon, a customer went outside to confront the campaigners. The customer caused a scene, screaming that Donald Trump was a rapist and a Nazi.

Concerned about the commotion, especially with inappropriate language used outside a store marketed towards religious Jews, Drebin asked the woman to leave. After further insults about Trump, the customer turned her ire towards Trump supporters. At this, Drebin expressed his own support for the Republican candidate for president.

Soon, one-star reviews began pouring in from Clinton supporters on Goldberg’s Facebook page. Reviewers wrote:

Okay bagels, but apparently served with a side of tacit approval of anti-Semitism, misogyny, xenophobia and alt-right leanings. Indigestion imminent.

Poorly run bagel shop, owned by bigots who do not respect or value their community or their customers. Not representative of my Jewish values, my American values, or my breakfast carbs values. Taking my business elsewhere and encouraging everyone to do the same.

The bagels were decent, but the store’s backing of a political candidate that supports racism, xenophobia and sexism will not get my business.

No thanks.. i would rather buy my breakfast from a business that doesnt support racist, xenophobic sexual predators.

After Drebin wrote a plea for customers to come to his defense, hundreds of more positive reviews rolled in, from conservatives and liberals alike. Those kind reviews, however, don’t take the place of the business Drebin has lost for simply holding an unpopular political view.

We’re hearing a great deal about what life will be like in “Trump’s America.” This phenomenon of being run out of business is the result of life in “Obama’s America.” No longer is it safe to hold views different than those who proclaim how tolerant they are. If liberals are horrified at Trump’s emergence, they have this behavior to thank for lending Trump support.

In an email interview between The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf and a 22-year-old Trump supporter living in California, it’s clear how much Trump’s response to politically correct rhetoric fed into his popularity. The Trump supporter wrote to Friedersdorf explaining his position in May, which easily could have been written by Drebin post-election instead:

For me personally, it’s resistance against what San Francisco has been, and what I see the country becoming, in the form of ultra-PC culture. That’s where it’s almost impossible to have polite or constructive political discussion. Disagreement gets you labeled fascist, racist, bigoted, etc. It can provoke a reaction so intense that you’re suddenly an unperson to an acquaintance or friend. There is no saying ‘Hey, I disagree with you,’ it’s just instant shunning. Say things online, and they’ll try to find out who you are and potentially even get you fired for it. Being anti-PC is not about saying ‘I want you to agree with me on these issues.’ It’s about saying, ‘Hey, I want to have a discussion and not get shouted down because I don’t agree with what is considered to be politically correct.’

If the people of Baltimore want to feel good about the bagels they eat (which taste exactly the same as they did a month ago) and virtue signal in every area of their entire lives, even their diets, by all means, avoid Goldberg’s.

In so doing, they can virtue signal their way to more electoral defeats. This behavior only means more and more people like Drebin are not only voting against Democrats, but also against liberal intolerance of anyone who dares hold an alternate view on any number of topics we never dreamed we’d be fighting over four years ago, like the bathroom policy at Target stores.

 

Nationwide homeless population drops, while San Fran sees increase

California government policies are clear and the results prove it.  The confused Guv Brown by his silence approved a $140 billion transfer of money from the families of California to the government.  He has approved the release of over 50,000 criminals, which explains the spike in crimes and victims.  He approves illegal aliens crowding our schools, hospitals, roads and taking jobs from Americans.  The policy of Jerry Brown and the Democrats is to assure the State consist of the very poor, the very rich and the illegal aliens—the middle class must leave.

While the rest of the nation is lowering the homeless rate, San Fran is growing more homeless.  We prefer homeless in California instead of the middle class.  We are a magnet for them—while pushing decent folks to Texas and other Free States.

“While 68 percent were staying in some form of temporary housing like shelters, 32 percent were living in places like the streets.

Since 2010, the nation’s homeless population has decreased overall by 14 percent. San Francisco’s homeless population has increased from 5,823 in 2010 to 6,996 this year. West Coast cities in particular have seen an increase and California saw an overall jump in the homeless population.

When will the middle class stand up to government and the Democrats?  Until then U-Haul will be profitable.

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Nationwide homeless population drops, while SF sees increase

By Joshua Sabatini, SF Examiner,  11/17/16

The homeless population across the U.S. has decreased during the past seven years, while San Francisco, on the other hand, has seen a rise.

There are nearly 550,000 homeless people across the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress released Thursday.

While 68 percent were staying in some form of temporary housing like shelters, 32 percent were living in places like the streets.

Since 2010, the nation’s homeless population has decreased overall by 14 percent. San Francisco’s homeless population has increased from 5,823 in 2010 to 6,996 this year. West Coast cities in particular have seen an increase and California saw an overall jump in the homeless population.

Matthew Doherty, executive director of U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness said Thursday the homeless increase in West Coast cities involves multiple factors, but certainly the hot real estate market is among them.

“The housing market is definitely a huge impact on the ability of people to retain stable housing and avoid the experience of homelessness,” Doherty said. “And then I think it’s also becoming harder and harder in many of these communities for people to exit homelessness and to find the places to call home that they can afford.”

He added, “In many communities we are also seeing more indications of a strong connection between the opioid epidemic and experiences of homelessness.”

Julián Castro, HUD secretary, said that “homelessness is down significantly in our nation since 2010, but we also know there is a lot left to do.”

Castro called for “even more leadership by mayors and governors, nonprofit organizations, in addition to the federal government to prevent and end homelessness in the United States.”

San Francisco has the six largest homeless population of other major cities. New York City has the most, at 73,523. The numbers are from a count of one day in January.

Doherty said that there was a “need to urgently focus” on increasing affordable housing across the country, improving employment opportunities and collaborating among federal, state and local governments.

Doherty praised the leadership of Los Angeles’s mayor and Board of Supervisors for their success in passing this month a $1.2 billion voter-approved bond to house the homeless there.

“It’s a matter of being able to take the supply of housing opportunities to the scale that’s needed to meet the needs there. That’s why the passage of the proposition is so important to bring those new units online,” Doherty said. “That’s the strategy that is working in every community.”

 

California HQ’d Firm Chooses Arizona/Not Sacramento to Build $700 Million Plant/Create 2,000 Jobs

It is nice to live in the Bay Area if you are a well paid auto exec.  It is even nicer to live near your work.  In the case of a new auto firm, Lucid Motors, the execs can work in a shining building in Menlo Park.  But, to build a car and make a profit, you need to go outside the State, in this case to Arizona.

Lower employee costs, a State government that likes to create jobs, not kill them.  Arizona does not mandate janitors take classes, on company time, to learn how NOT to rape—in California starting January 1,2017.  California is crazy—and if a Californian wants a job in the auto industry they can move to Arizona—and save on housing costs and taxes.  Good decision by Lucid—but does Jerry Brown even care?

“Menlo Park, California-based Lucid Motors will build an electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Casa Grande and has plans to build its luxury electric vehicles for first sale in 2018.

It is gearing up to compete with Mercedes, Audi and BMW, not positioning itself as an alternative to Tesla Motors or Faraday EVs.

“It took a serious partnership of the state, (Pinal) county and (Casa Grande) to bring this deal together,” said Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in an exclusive interview. “We made an extra effort to bring another major manufacturing facility to Arizona.”

California is for potheads, whiners and hypocrites—Arizona is for jobs and families.

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BREAKING: Arizona wins 2,000-worker, $700M auto plant in Casa Grande

Eric Toll,  Phoenix Business Journal,  11/29/16

 

Casa Grande in Pinal County is the new home of a 500-acre, $700 million, 2,000-employee automotive manufacturer.

Menlo Park, California-based Lucid Motors will build an electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Casa Grande and has plans to build its luxury electric vehicles for first sale in 2018.

It is gearing up to compete with Mercedes, Audi and BMW, not positioning itself as an alternative to Tesla Motors or Faraday EVs.

“It took a serious partnership of the state, (Pinal) county and (Casa Grande) to bring this deal together,” said Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in an exclusive interview. “We made an extra effort to bring another major manufacturing facility to Arizona.”

Ducey essentially closed the deal for Arizona, according to Lucid Motors.

Lucid had to weed though more than 60 markets in 13 states before selecting Casa Grande. Company officials did not want to name the finalist markets, but a report in the Sacramento Business Journal said the California capital city was the runner-up for the selection. Lucid would not confirm or deny that report.

Key decision factors were the availability of a 500-acre, shovel-ready site with heavy rail access, the Pinal County and Valley workforces and Arizona’s quality of life.

“While all the markets wanted an automotive OEM facility, Arizona was the state that made us feel as if it were a partner in the process,” said Brian Barron, director of manufacturing for Lucid Motors, formerly Atieva. “We were impressed that Gov. Ducey made a trip to California to meet our team and was so accessible when we were in Arizona. This was one of the key deciding factors in choosing Casa Grande.”

Greg Stanley, Pinal county manager, and Larry Rains, Casa Grande city manager, said the combined effort of the three governments and key local businesses overcame some of the challenges faced in getting the deal together.

Casa Grande and the county had to assemble the land for the company from five different land owners. The dual coordination was needed because 80 acres of the 500 acres are in the county and need to be annexed into the city.

Another factor is that the ground was shovel-ready with all backbone utilities in place.

“Finding a property this size with utilities was an important part of the decision process,” Barron said.

The company will begin hiring around 400 people in 2017 to start the training process in concert with Central Arizona College and technical and community colleges in Maricopa and Pinal counties.

“Just as happened in South Carolina and Alabama, we’ll need to train a non-automotive workforce to become an automotive workforce,” said Peter Rawlinson, Lucid’s chief technical officer.

An architect and general contractor have been selected for the mid-2017 groundbreaking, but Barron declined to name the firms until the contracts are finalized.

The facility will locate at Peters and Thorton roads in Casa Grande’s industrial development area near the junction of Interstates 8 and 10. Contrary to early reports, this is not the site that was originally proposed to Tesla Motors when the state bid for its Gigafactory a few years ago.