Search Results for: to win the war

To Win the War on Cars, San Francisco Weaponizes Real Estate

The car is more dangerous than terrorism, cocaine of even Donald Trump to the hack politicians and special interests in San Fran.  Given the chance they would not only outlaw cars in the city, but make it a criminal offense to run a Hertz Rent a Car facility, or an apartment owner than provides free parking for tenants.  The city is now given building permits for condo’s/apartments that do not have any parking spaces, but include bike racks instead.  Imagine the culture of this city if no one owned a car, and Ford/Chevy and Toyota were criminalized?

“What San Francisco believes it can do, however, is improve life in the city by making it easier to get around without a car. This week, its Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance requiring developers to stock new residential or commercial projects with more alternative-transport perks than ever before. This is no all-out war on vehicles, but rather an attempt to cut down on the number and length of car trips the natives take each day.

And if it works, San Francisco’s data-driven approach could become a template for other American cities hoping to turn big talk about transportation innovation into big action, and big results.”

Some how I do not believe folks in Chico, Tampa or Omaha want to live at the whim of government transportation.  The good news is that the productive, serious people that now live in San Fran are getting to learn what it is to live in a totalitarian State—maybe they will seek freedom in Texas or at least Reno?  Freedom means deciding for yourself your means of transportation.  That is a seditious concept in San Fran.

Drought cartoon 1

To Win the War on Cars, San Francisco Weaponizes Real Estate

Aarian Marshall, Wired, 2/9/17

I’ll start with the bad news, because I think you can take it: You can’t beat San Francisco traffic. As long as people want to live in this idyll by the bay, tech companies set up shop off Market Street, and bars offer expensive drinks made with fruit shrubs, cars and tech buses will choke its roads.

“Anecdotally, the only major cities unfettered by congestion are terribly declining Rust Belt ones,” says Marlon Boarnet, an economist and urban planning researcher with the University of Southern California. (Think Detroit, Buffalo, Youngstown.) “In our most thriving cities, we can’t make the congestion vanish because the cities are thriving.” San Francisco’s booming so hard, the only place in the US where you’ll find worse traffic is Los Angeles.

What San Francisco believes it can do, however, is improve life in the city by making it easier to get around without a car. This week, its Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance requiring developers to stock new residential or commercial projects with more alternative-transport perks than ever before. This is no all-out war on vehicles, but rather an attempt to cut down on the number and length of car trips the natives take each day.

City Life

And if it works, San Francisco’s data-driven approach could become a template for other American cities hoping to turn big talk about transportation innovation into big action, and big results.

Starting next month, the more free parking any new SF project plans to provide, the more it must do to encourage alternate ways of getting around. Want to build a condo complex in Mission Bay with 20 parking spots? You need 13 points under the new Transportation Demand Management regime. To get there, you can provide some dedicated spaces, or even memberships, for a car-sharing service (six points). Furnish the basement with a fleet of bicycles for residents (one point). Set up a shuttle service to the closest train or bus station (14 points), or stick a handy screen with real-time transit schedules in the lobby (one point). Dedicating space to on-site childcare earns you two points, since it means fewer parents driving to drop off and pick up the kiddos.

The big idea from the city is to give developers some flexibility, but make its priorities clear: In a constrained city expected to add 100,000 households and up to 600,000 cars by 2040, people need travel options that aren’t driving alone.

“This is just one small piece of the overall transportation puzzle,” says Wade Wietgrefe, a San Francisco city planner. A city also needs to support these changes with ingredients like more robust public transport, miles of protected bike lanes, tolls for solo drivers during rush hour, even zoning regulations to encourage more walkable neighborhoods.

Cities like Seattle, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Arlington, Virginia, have been using this sort of anti-personal-car regulation for decades. But San Francisco is the largest in the US to give it a whirl and the first to apply these rules to both commercial and residential developments. There’s good reason to expect positive outcomes. “Studies of transportation demand management programs show modest changes at the site when sufficient incentives are provided, meaning significant subsidies like free transit passes,” says Genevieve Giuliano, a transportation policy researcher with USC.

The best news for San Franciscans is that the city has pledged to be open-minded about how these incentives play out. “It’s important to have this be data-driven,” says Viktoriya Wise, chief of staff for the sustainable streets division at the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency. “As we collect data on different measures, we’ll be able to adjust the program.” With enough numbers to crunch, the city could get really, really micro—like giving developers extra points to build a bike-share station in exactly the spot that needs one.

You’ll have to be patient: This program won’t bear serious fruit for 10 to 20 years, given the pace of development. The first projects built under the new rubric won’t get off the ground for another 18 to 24 months. But San Francisco planners say they’re already getting calls about the ordinance from other cities interested in taking this approach for a spin. And for the family that gets access to an in-apartment storage spot for their car-share friendly car seats (two points!), the lifestyle changes will happen a lot sooner. Too bad they’ll still have to find ways to entertain toddlers while stuck in traffic.

An unwinnable bidding war: How Modesto’s housing crisis prices out would-be homebuyers

Modesto is a wonderful, quiet, but growing community.  Housing, until recently was comparatively cheap versus the rest of California.  Now that San Fran is closing down, people can work remotely instead of going to an office, the city has experienced a housing boom—pricing out locals who want to stay in town.

“In Modesto, the housing inventory has been shorting by over 1,000 units a year since the recession, said Daniel Del Real, a broker associate with PMZ Real Estate.

Add to that a nationwide rise in lumber and construction costs, which in turn increases selling prices even further, and homeownership for couples like Jones and her fiancé looks increasingly out of reach. For a young couple on a budget of roughly $250,000 to $300,000, securing a house in a market where the median sales prices routinely exceed $400,000 is a challenge.

“We need to find the right house for us and something that we’re comfortable in, rather than getting stuck in something that we can’t afford later on down the road,” she said.

While this story is about Modesto, the price of homes in San Diego has risen 25% in just the past year.  California has become totally unaffordable.

An unwinnable bidding war: How Modesto’s housing crisis prices out would-be homebuyers

By Kristina Karisch, Modesto Bee,  7/22/21

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For Tiffiny Jones and her fiance, the past few months have been marked by milestones. The couple is expecting their first child in the next few weeks, and they’ve been looking to buy their first home together.

But months of house-hunting have proved frustrating: With high prices and even higher demand, finding a home in or around Modesto feels like an impossible task. After scouring homes online for months and attending showings, only to see multiple offers on properties that went well above the asking price, Jones and her fiance have put their dream on the back burner.

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 “There’s not a lot of three-bedroom houses available,” she said. “The housing markets are not where they were a few years ago.”

Jones and her fiance’s experience is mirrored by many individuals and families in Modesto and across the country. A nationwide inventory shortage has sent housing prices skyrocketing, and the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to a surge of movement from higher- to lower-priced regions as people look for houses with more space to raise their families.

According to a recent FreddieMac report, the U.S. had a housing supply deficit of 3.8 million units as of the fourth quarter of 2020. Between 2018 and 2020, the housing stock deficit increased by approximately 52%, the report found.

In Modesto, the housing inventory has been shorting by over 1,000 units a year since the recession, said Daniel Del Real, a broker associate with PMZ Real Estate.

Add to that a nationwide rise in lumber and construction costs, which in turn increases selling prices even further, and homeownership for couples like Jones and her fiance looks increasingly out of reach. For a young couple on a budget of roughly $250,000 to $300,000, securing a house in a market where the median sales prices routinely exceed $400,000 is a challenge.

“We need to find the right house for us and something that we’re comfortable in, rather than getting stuck in something that we can’t afford later on down the road,” she said.

In June, the median home prices in both Stanislaus County and Modesto reached over $400,000. Across the county, the median selling price for homes was $429,000, with a median price in Modesto at $415,000, according to data from TrendVision.

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For Del Real, these conditions spell out an uncertain future for Modesto and the Central Valley.

“If we maintain the status quo, you’re going to see an exodus of young people,” he said. “We’re going to lose residents to cities … that streamline the process and make it happen. They’re just going to go down the street.”

A crisis a decade in the making

In the Central Valley, the 2008 financial crisis decimated the housing market. California was among the states most heavily hit by the housing bubble — precipitated by mass mortgage lending, dubious subprime operations and ballooning home values.

California’s housing prices suffered their fastest and steepest fall in 25 years in 2007, sinking 6.6% in a year.

Locally, home prices dropped more than 15% in 2007 in the areas of Merced, Modesto and Stockton, marking, according to a report from the Public Policy Institute of California, “the largest one‐year decline of any California metro area in at least 30 years.” These declines reversed some of the pre-crash gains in home prices.

The ensuing recession hit the Central Valley especially hard. The financial crisis caused the local unemployment rate — which is normally above average compared to the rest of the state — to skyrocket. Modesto hit joblessness rates of over 17% during the recession, and the city, along with Stockton and Fresno, ranked among the top 10 “weakest performing” metro regions nationwide.

At the same time, construction nearly stopped.

In Modesto, housing permits fell 63% from 2004 to 2007, according to the PPIC report.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Modesto was issuing between 400 and 1,800 permits annually, with a spike around the turn of the millennium, according to city data.

In 2006, the city issued 415 housing permits; in 2007, the number went up to 574. By 2008, only 113 permits were issued citywide, and the numbers dropped into the double digits by 2009. It took until 2016, over half a decade later, for Modesto to once again issue over 100 permits.

In 2020, the city awarded 224.

This decade-long pause in construction has taken its toll on the region. Del Real estimates the city is short over 11,000 housing units, and with the current rate of development, it’s nowhere close to being able to fill the gap.

New homes are quickly being bought at The Trails in the Village One neighborhood in Modesto, Calif., on Friday, July 16, 2021. Andy Alfaro [email protected]

New plans to revitalize old processes

Jessica Hill, Modesto’s community development manager, said the city is reevaluating its housing priorities as it works to update its general plan, or long-term outlook for the city.

Modesto is bringing on a consultant firm to look into city processes and assess opportunities to streamline development and help facilitate housing affordability.

According to the proposal, the general plan will address key issues such as expanding Modesto’s economic base, clarifying future growth areas and implementing the city’s recent downtown master plan, among others. Hill said the plan will serve as a “roadmap for us to really look at how we can improve our internal processes and how we can be proactive in different policy decisions that are coming down on the federal and state level.”

“We do recognize we’re constrained right now by the current boundaries of the city of Modesto and we understand that we still want to research and find different growth areas,” she said.

This overhaul of the general plan will allow Modesto to re-prioritize what kind of housing is developed, said Councilman Chris Ricci, because the current plans and goals have been in place for years.

Current projects in the pipeline tend toward sprawling developments of single-family homes, he said, which don’t always fit the community’s housing needs.

“These things have been planned over many decades, and so they reflect the values of the decades in which they were created,” Ricci said. “That filters all the way down from the plan to the planning commission to the developers, so that even the projects we’re working on today reflect that vision.”

The recession, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, have fundamentally changed housing needs. With work from home at an all-time high and thousands looking for more affordable, larger homes for their families, Modesto is seeing an influx of transplants from other parts of the state — largely the Bay Area and Sacramento.

Michael Zagaris, the president of PMZ Real Estate, said this pattern creates “a conflict in which a lot of the local people are being priced out of housing by the people from the Bay Area. It’s a cascade effect.”

Bay Area buyers bring with them more purchasing power, and low interest rates are allowing buyers to access homes that would otherwise be out of their price ranges. With a lack of supply, homes can attract multiple offers in a matter of hours once they’re on the market, and most come in above the asking price.

But Modesto, which along with other Central Valley towns has historically served as a commuter city for Bay Area workers, won’t necessarily serve that function forever.

Ricci said priorities for development need to shift away from serving “cities that work great with single-family homes” where “you get in your car and you drive to work 100 miles away.”

That model is ending, and cities need to focus more on affordability and livability, as well as adaptability to new types of housing. Ricci is a proponent of infill development — or rezoning and developing land already within a city’s boundaries — and mixed-use development, “places where you can have retail, residential and office kind of together, working together to create more livable spaces.”

New housing development will be built along Oakdale Road with the northern boundary being Claratina Avenue in Modesto, Calif., on Friday, July 16, 2021. Andy Alfaro [email protected]

‘A political and legal quagmire’

Even with plans for new types of development, those being built right now are facing their own challenges.

In Modesto, both the recession, as well as complicated rules and regulations regarding the drawn-out process of entitlement — annexing and preparing land for development — have come together to create a pipeline issue. Zagaris said this makes the housing crisis in Modesto worse “than in most other parts of the country.”

“In terms of the supply of entitled land, it is a political and legal quagmire we have here that is not going to go away,” he said. “It is so challenging that many folks who own land in what is called the ‘path of growth’ in Modesto … have decided we’re not going to pursue this.”

Jaylen French, Modesto’s economic development director, said that in terms of overhead costs, developing new land is always risky for a city. Since entitled land needs to be fitted with sewer lines, sidewalks and other utilities — which then have to be maintained in perpetuity — embarking on a large-scale development typically results in a “net negative” for a city’s budget.

“You don’t typically see (city) incentives for residential (development),” French said. “What the city would want to do is make the process as streamlined as possible, as easy as possible.”

Zagaris and PMZ are in the process of developing Tivoli, a roughly 454-acre proposed mix of homes, stores, offices, an elementary school and parkland.

The project has been in development for over a decade. When the City Council approved the development in 2008, plans included as many as 3,193 new homes ranging in size from apartments and condominiums to regular houses and small estates.

Twelve years later, Tivoli has yet to break ground.

Zagaris said he expects the project — alongside Village One in Modesto — to be among the last large-scale development projects in the city. He said fellow developers are wary of investing in projects that could take over a decade to complete and that run risks of complications in every step of the process.

Without any significant changes, Zagaris said he doesn’t “think we’re going to solve the imbalance between the needs of the families in the area and the supply, ever.”

For Zagaris, Tivoli will be the last large project in a decades-long career in Modesto. He’s in his 70s now and no longer interested in the prospect of embarking on another 10- or 15-year development process.

“I don’t want to be 95 years old when the next neighborhood happens,” he said.

Winning a War of Attrition Against Government Unions

Anyone involved in state or local politics in California soon realizes that government unions are the most powerful special interest in the state. From time to time, as the ride-share behemoths proved in spectacular fashion last November with Proposition 22, corporations will defy the unions on very specific issues. But by and large California’s corporations have entered into a profitable symbiosis with government unions.

Small wonder. California’s state and local government unions collect and spend nearly one billion dollars per year, mostly in the form of dues from workers in the state and local government bureaucracies. The teachers’ unions alone, when you include local chapters and bargaining units representing education service workers, have nearly a half-billion dollars to work with. Every year.

There is not one member of California’s state legislature who is not likely to acknowledge, off the record, that government unions in California exercise almost absolute political power. But they have one Achilles heel, California’s initiative process.

Every two years – it used to be every state election including primaries and special elections, but in 2011 the unions got rid of that privilege – California’s voters have the right to directly approve or reject new laws and new constitutional amendments that can supersede legislation passed by the union-controlled state legislature. Not only can laws and constitutional amendments approved via a state ballot initiative overturn existing law, but the state legislature cannot pass contrary legislation to nullify these initiatives. They can only be nullified by a new, contrary initiative being put before voters in a subsequent election cycle.

Putting an initiative on the ballot is no small task. For example, a constitutional amendment, capable of implementing fundamental political changes in California, will not qualify for the state ballot in November 2022 unless proponents gather not quite 1.0 million signatures from registered voters. To ensure that many signed petitions withstand the validation process, since inevitably there are duplicates and ineligible signatures, at least 1.3 million signed petitions have to be gathered. The campaign necessary to collect this many signed petitions can cost proponents anywhere between five and ten million dollars.

This isn’t a lot of money for government unions to spend. It also isn’t a lot of money for a consortium of large corporations to spend. That is evident from the quantity of initiatives that qualify for the state ballot every two years. But it is an absolute pile of money for any group that is willing to defy these unions to spend. It is a nearly prohibitive amount of money, which is why initiatives that pose an existential threat to government unions rarely make it onto the state ballot.

In the first two decades of this century, only a two major threats to government union power via ballot initiatives come to mind. In 2012, Prop. 32 would have banned unions and corporations from contributing payroll-deducted funds to state and local candidates. It would also have banned government contractors from contributing to candidates that may award government contracts. Unions fought this hard, spending $70 million in opposition, vs. $20 million mustered by the proponents. In 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger – who up to that time had been an outspoken critic of government unions – put four initiatives on the state ballot. All of these initiatives challenged union power, and the unions fought back hard, spending well over $200 million to defeat them all, versus $50 million raised by the proponents.

Decouple Qualification Effort from Campaign for Passage

The historical record of ballot initiatives that challenged government unions in California has spawned a conventional wisdom that goes something like this: “The unions are going to grossly outspend us, so we can’t have any hope of victory unless we carefully pick a perfect, winnable initiative, preferably incremental in nature that will overwhelmingly appeal to voters. So let’s save our money and go at the unions once every ten or twenty years, because maybe then we can win a little something. If we try anything bolder than that, nobody will ever donate to conservative causes again in California.”

This logic, while timid, is safe and sound. But there is another way to look at these numbers. And it goes like this: “Unions may have $2.0 billion per year to spend, but they can’t use all of that for politics, and while what they do spend on politics is still insanely abundant, it isn’t limitless. If we know that unions are going to spend $50 million or more to be sure they defeat a ballot initiative that they consider an existential threat, then let’s make sure we have at least one, if not a half-dozen, existential threats qualified for the ballot, every two years from now until hell freezes over.”

Imagine the impact of this strategy. Instead of spending $5 million to qualify an initiative for the ballot and $50 million to try to win passage, drop that campaign for passage to $45 million, and use the $5 million you save to make sure you have another initiative on the ballot in two years.

This strategy can be examined from a lot of angles. Why even worry about the campaign for passage of an initiative? Why not form a committee focused on one thing only; qualifying initiatives for the state ballot every two years, as many as possible, where every one of them is an existential threat to the government unions?

It’s a target rich environment. Education reform, pension reform, work rule reform, collective bargaining reform. Take away their right to strike – they’re public employees that enjoy civil service protection. Or attack the leftist issues that government unions support in lockstep with corrupt corporations, i.e., roll back extreme environmentalist laws that have tied up in knots any attempts to develop land, energy and water in California. No wonder the state is unaffordable. Get rid of union make-work projects such as high-speed rail and direct the money into infrastructure that will actually benefit Californians. Require annual 3rd party audits of government agencies. Reform the government contracting processes.

There’s no end to what sorts of policy initiatives could be introduced to voters that would draw the fire of government unions and deplete their treasuries. Dozens of policy areas, hundreds of detailed proposals, and they could be put forward again and again. How many times can these unions spend $50 million or $100 million to defeat these existential threats?

This is a war of attrition that underfunded insurgent reformers in California can win. The asymmetry between the cost of qualifying a state ballot initiative and the cost to the unions to defeat it will eventually drain them. For every dollar that’s spent by the insurgents, the unions will have to spend five to ten dollars. The more bold and disruptive the initiative is, the more the unions will spend to be certain it fails. And all those hundreds of millions they’ll spend is money they can no longer spend in Georgia, Wisconsin, or anywhere else outside California. It’s also money they’ll be unable to spend to control battleground school boards and city councils across the state.

The spinoffs of this strategy go beyond just breaking these unions financially and reducing their ability to control local and state elections. As outspoken opponents of government unions finally become a significant percentage of local elected officials, because they weren’t spent into the ground by their union supported opponents, a critical mass of young and rising reform-minded politicians emerge in California. Suddenly reformers have experienced candidates available to run for state assembly and state senate.

There’s more. Over time, the power of incumbency, the level campaigning playing field, and a host of enlightened new policies will enable the electorate to understand the value of political reform. Better schools. Better neighborhoods. A lower cost-of-living. Lower crime. Lower taxes and fees. An end to harassment of small businesses. Fewer regulations. More government accountability.

Eventually, to come full circle, unions will be so exhausted fighting initiatives that are mortal threats to their existence that voters will start to approve them, because the unions no longer have the capacity to out-spend the proponents in the general campaign.

Government unions are the root cause of bloated, inefficient, even hostile government in California. Making them fight for their existence via ballot initiatives is a cost-effective way to eventually break their power.

This article originally appeared on the website of the California Globe.

Washington Post Op-Ed Suggests Americans May Need To Prepare For War On Election Night If Biden Doesn’t Win In A Landslide

Joe Biden has made it clear—elect him on November 3 or November 4 will see an all out fighting Civil War.  Even the Washington Post is using its newspaper to promote “IT IS BIDEN OR WAR theory.  They want us to be bullied into voting for someone that just a couple of days ago begged a racist, Jew hating, Jacob Blake Sr.

“The op-ed, titled “What’s the worst that could happen?” is written by Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown University. In it, Brooks notes that the Transition Integrity Project, which she co-founded, “built a series of war games,” gathered participants “and asked them to imagine what they’d do in a range of election and transition scenarios.”

“A landslide for Joe Biden resulted in a relatively orderly transfer of power. Every other scenario we looked at involved street-level violence and political crisis,” according to Brooks.

This is how Venezuela was lost to freedom—the threat of civil war.  Now the people are in massive poverty and enslaved.  That is what Joe Biden wants for us.   Say NO to Biden, say NO to violence.  Say NO to Democrats.

Washington Post Op-Ed Suggests Americans May Need To Prepare For War On Election Night If Biden Doesn’t Win In A Landslide

Shelby Talcott, Daily Caller,   9/3/20   

A Washington Post op-ed published Thursday suggested Americans should prepare for war if the election result is anything but a landslide for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The op-ed, titled “What’s the worst that could happen?” is written by Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown University. In it, Brooks notes that the Transition Integrity Project, which she co-founded, “built a series of war games,” gathered participants “and asked them to imagine what they’d do in a range of election and transition scenarios.”

“A landslide for Joe Biden resulted in a relatively orderly transfer of power. Every other scenario we looked at involved street-level violence and political crisis,” according to Brooks.

The op-ed goes into detail regarding “four scenarios experts consider most likely” in terms of the 2020 election.

“We explored the four scenarios experts consider most likely: a narrow Biden win; a big Biden win, with a decisive lead in both the electoral college and the popular vote; a Trump win with an electoral college lead but a large popular-vote loss, as in 2016; and finally, a period of extended uncertainty as we saw in the 2000 election,” Brooks wrote.

Since asking Biden and President Donald Trump was not possible, the project relied on “participants with similar backgrounds.” Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson and and conservative commentator Bill Kristol were among those on the GOP side. All have been described as “never Trump” or “not Trump Republicans,” the Boston Globe reported.

“In each scenario, Team Trump — the players assigned to simulate the Trump campaign and its elected and appointed allies — was ruthless and unconstrained right out of the gate, and Team Biden struggled to get out of reaction mode,” according to Brooks.

Each exercise resulted in both Democrat and Republican participants calling for “supporters to take to the streets,” the op-ed continued.

“Team Biden repeatedly called for peaceful protests, while Team Trump encouraged provocateurs to incite violence, then used the resulting chaos to justify sending federalized Guard units or active-duty military personnel into American cities to ‘restore order,’ leading to still more violence. (The exercises underscored the tremendous power enjoyed by an incumbent president: Biden can call a news conference, but Trump can call in the 82nd Airborne,)” Brooks wrote.

According to the op-ed, despite noting that the “war games” largely resulted in mass violence and chaos, it “doesn’t predict the future.” Brooks finished by laying out ways to prevent an apparent upcoming war, from protecting the electoral process to military powers preparing for a “possibility that politicians will seek to manipulate or misuse their coercive powers.”

“Mass mobilization is no guarantee that our democracy will survive — but if things go as badly as our exercises suggest they might, a sustained, nonviolent protest movement may be America’s best and final hope,” Brooks wrote.

Jamie Lee Curtis warns of Trump fans stealing mail trucks to win 2020: ‘Let’s not let it happen!’

The Hollywood melt down may be complete.  Jamie Leigh Curtis, famous for her sexy/non sex characters in the movies believes the Republican Party is going to hijack Post Office trucks, to steal the absentee ballots so they can not be counted.  What is she smoking?  Has her therapist signed off on allowing her to be outside an institution?  President Trump is wrong.  We do not need a fence along our U.S. Mexican borders.

Instead he needs a fence around Hollywood, to prevent the mental disease from spreading to legitimate society.  There are so many mental cases—on the streets and in the movie studios, that like he stopped travel from China to protect us, he needs to do the same to Hollywood.

““I swear, in broad daylight, the driver of the red truck had a red cap on with white letters,” she tweeted nearly 560,000 fans while attaching an image of a damaged USPS vehicle. “Conspiracy? Outright attempt at stealing the election by denying the access of the @USPS ? Let’s not let it happen! @JoeBiden.”

Ms. Curtis, an ardent supporter of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s campaign, faced immediate backlash. 

Some responses include: 

  • Nick Searcy: “These Democrats have lost their minds.”
  • Jason Rantz: “Jamie Lee Curtis is absolutely, ridiculously insane. Just completely and utterly insane.”
  • Cameron Gray: “Is this what eating too much @Activia does to one’s brain?”
  • Frank Hart: “One of the most revealing and disappointing things about Twitter is learning how many actors I once liked are completely insane.”

Does Activa eat your brain?  Maybe that is what happened to Curtis.  Bottom line, she is a sick person—needs help.

Jamie Lee Curtis warns of Trump fans stealing mail trucks to win 2020: ‘Let’s not let it happen!’

By Douglas Ernst – The Washington Times, 8/12/20   

Celebrity activist Jamie Lee Curtis says she’s worried that President Trump’s supporters may steal the 2020 election by making off with United States Postal Service trucks. 

The “Halloween” star left Twitter users confused on Tuesday after peddling a conspiracy theory of enormous size and scope. 

“I swear, in broad daylight, the driver of the red truck had a red cap on with white letters,” she tweeted nearly 560,000 fans while attaching an image of a damaged USPS vehicle. “Conspiracy? Outright attempt at stealing the election by denying the access of the @USPS ? Let’s not let it happen! @JoeBiden.”

Ms. Curtis, an ardent supporter of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s campaign, faced immediate backlash. 

Some responses include: 

  • Nick Searcy: “These Democrats have lost their minds.”
  • Jason Rantz: “Jamie Lee Curtis is absolutely, ridiculously insane. Just completely and utterly insane.”
  • Cameron Gray: “Is this what eating too much @Activia does to one’s brain?”
  • Frank Hart: “One of the most revealing and disappointing things about Twitter is learning how many actors I once liked are completely insane.”

The actress’ comment came against a political backdrop in which Mr. Trump has threatened to sue over a hastily made vote-by-mail bill crafted during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mr. Trump blasted the Nevada bill as an “illegal late-night coup” attempt by Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat. 

The president, however, defended Florida’s vote-by-mail efforts because its system has been successfully tested.

“Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True,” Mr. Trump tweeted Aug. 4. “Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail!”

I swear, in broad daylight, the driver of the red truck had a red cap on with white letters. Conspiracy? Outright attempt at stealing the election by denying the access of the @USPS ? Let’s not let it happen! @JoeBiden pic.twitter.com/gG765Caldm

Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) August 11, 2020

Growing Animus Toward Contact Tracing Puts Local Health Officials and the Public at Risk

If a person who closed down Hollywood Blvd Saturday night, or the Bay Bridge over the weekend, how do the tracers/trackers find all those people?  Plus these folks have already shown a disregard for government, rules and the laws—think any of them would be willing to be isolated for two weeks by government?  The hiring of tracers/trackers is not for health purposes—remember they did not do that with the AIDS epidemic.  No this is about more taxes and bigger government.

“County health officials across the nation say they are encountering anger, hostility, and mistrust from the public that could upend reopening efforts and hasten the spread of coronavirus.

We’ve already seen this phenomenon play out with health officers like Orange County’s Dr. Nichole Quick and Ohio’s Dr. Amy Acton. Both resigned amid rising pressure—even physical threats—from members of the public. Quick and Acton were targeted over face masks and stay-at-home orders. But as states reopen, local officials are encountering the same hostility against contact tracing too.

Okanogan, Washington Community Health Director Lauri Jones had to get security cameras installed at her home after threats against her began circulating online. They were kicked off by her attempt to contact a coronavirus patient and advise them to self-isolate for 14 days per CDC guidelines.

In this climate you would need a police officer to go with each tracer/tracker—but that could be construed as being racist—plus cops are quitting.  Send a social worker with each privacy invader—see how long that lasts.  This is just another pretend effort to make believe government is doing something.

Growing Animus Toward Contact Tracing Puts Local Health Officials and the Public at Risk

California County News, 06/15/2020  

County health officials across the nation say they are encountering anger, hostility, and mistrust from the public that could upend reopening efforts and hasten the spread of coronavirus.

We’ve already seen this phenomenon play out with health officers like Orange County’s Dr. Nichole Quick and Ohio’s Dr. Amy Acton. Both resigned amid rising pressure—even physical threats—from members of the public. Quick and Acton were targeted over face masks and stay-at-home orders. But as states reopen, local officials are encountering the same hostility against contact tracing too.

Okanogan, Washington Community Health Director Lauri Jones had to get security cameras installed at her home after threats against her began circulating online. They were kicked off by her attempt to contact a coronavirus patient and advise them to self-isolate for 14 days per CDC guidelines.

“The accusations started flying, that we were spying [on that family], that we had put them under house arrest,” Jones told NPR. “It got totally twisted and people thought we violated their civil liberties.”

Theresa Anselmo, Executive Director of the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials, said 70% of her members have received threats and several local health directors in the state have resigned.

Contact tracing efforts will increase as states fully reopen. Experts say those efforts are key to returning to some sense of normalcy. With social media, conspiracy theorists, and some right wing news outlets fanning the flames, health officials worry the mistrust and hostility could get much worse. If it gets bad enough, those tasked with preventing the spread of the virus could lose one of their strongest tools.

Online wine yes, coffee no: Scrambling to keep up with California’s new Prop. 65 toxic warnings

Go to a gas station and you are told you will get cancer, due to a Prop. 65 warning sign.  Go to most office buildings, you will see the same sign.  Buy wine, you will see the sign.  No facts behind the sign—it is just the law—everything causes cancer, hence a sign to buy nothing, eat nothing, use nothing and go nowhere—otherwise you will die of cancer.  Of course, this is just a money maker for government—to fine those that do not put up such a sign.  Until Starbucks fought back—laughed at the silly joke and said NO.  Now, the government agency will re-consider claiming coffee causes cancer.

Years ago alar caused the killing of the apple crop in numerous States.  That it caused cancer was a lie—but cost billions to the public and businesses.  The DDT pesticide scam by Rachel Carson cost a lot of money and millions of African lives—was she a racist or just ignorant?  Either way people died thanks to her scam.  Now California has Prop. 65 signs everywhere and most people totally ignore them—many do not even see them any more.

“As for how the Prop. 65 warnings have changed? The original notices simply declared that a chemical known to cause cancer or reproductive harm was present in a product. Among other things, the new warnings must state that a product can “expose” consumers to harmful chemicals, name at least one of the chemicals, include a triangular yellow alarm symbol, and refer to additional and detailed information on a website maintained by the proposition’s administering agency, the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

Those warnings can apply to almost anything—fuels and solvents and coffee, of course, but also high-end fashion accessories, jewelry, furniture and cosmetics.

I bet Gavin Newsom still goes into government buildings with the Prop. 65 warning sign.  I venture that radicals like Pelosi, Harris and Feinstein have not changed their activities due to these signs.  In reality, this is about the growth of government, union jobs and government revenues—almost nothing to do with the health of Californians.

Prop. 65 warning

Online wine yes, coffee no: Scrambling to keep up with California’s new Prop. 65 toxic warnings

By Glen Martin, CalMatters,  3/22/19

Cancer with your caffeine?  Judging from the bleary-eyed java addicts queued up every morning at California’s 2,800 Starbucks, it’s a non-issue. Most folks don’t even notice the signs warning that the coffee and pastries contain acrylamide, a carcinogenic chemical produced when the beans are roasted and the croissants are baked.

And even those who do read those advisories ignore them, calculating that some things—well, that first morning cup of coffee, anyway—are worth the risks.

After all, California is studded with those warning signs. You see them at gas stations, bars, even Disneyland. Their omnipresence is dictated by Proposition 65, the 33-year-old voter-approved initiative that requires businesses to post warnings on products containing dangerous compounds.

In recent months, the state has opted to require “new and improved” warnings with more details, and to apply them to something that didn’t even exist when Prop. 65 first took effect: online markets.

The new rules also expand responsibility for the warnings to the entire “supply chain” associated with a product, from manufacturer to distributor to retailer.

As a result, visits to the state’s Prop. 65 website have skyrocketed—both from businesses and from the citizen “bounty hunters” who can make money by spotting and reporting violators.

But even as the measure has expanded to cover, say, online wine sales and marijuana dispensaries, it has run aground on the coffee warnings. After much pushback and debate about the potential health benefits of java, the state regulatory agency that oversees the proposition has a pending rule making the warnings unnecessary where coffee beans and brew are sold.

As for how the Prop. 65 warnings have changed? The original notices simply declared that a chemical known to cause cancer or reproductive harm was present in a product. Among other things, the new warnings must state that a product can “expose” consumers to harmful chemicals, name at least one of the chemicals, include a triangular yellow alarm symbol, and refer to additional and detailed information on a website maintained by the proposition’s administering agency, the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

Those warnings can apply to almost anything—fuels and solvents and coffee, of course, but also high-end fashion accessories, jewelry, furniture and cosmetics.

By 2018, Proposition 65 was noteworthy for two things: the ubiquity of the warnings and the general indifference of the public when confronted with them. It was unthinkable, for example, that anyone who needed a fill-up would run screeching from a gas station simply because there was a sign about carcinogenic chemicals positioned over the pump.

But the amendments seem to have spurned renewed interest in the regulation. They were adopted after a UC Davis researchers interviewed more than 1,500 people at DMV offices and found that more than 75 percent preferred the new proposed warnings over the old ones, and 66 percent supported warnings that specifically named a toxic chemical.

“During June 2018, before the new warnings took effect, the site had 107,000 users, 132,000 sessions and 348,000 page views,” said Sam Delson, OEHHA’s deputy director for external and legislative affairs. “During the peak shopping period from November 17, 2018 to December 16 2018, traffic surged to 874,000 users, 920,000 sessions and 1,573,000 page views.”

Many of the visits were from businesses looking for details on compliance, he said. Proposition 65 doesn’t directly punish manufacturers or retailers for hawking products that contain dangerous chemicals above state-decreed thresholds. As long as businesses comply with the warnings, they can sell most wares. But executives abhor the thought of warning labels appended to their high-gloss lipsticks or coffee tables—so much so that they often reformulate their products so a warning isn’t needed.

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Other inquiries came from another group: bounty hunters, or “citizen enforcers” In Prop 65-speak. It turns out there’s money in them thar toxics. The proposition allows private citizens to sue manufacturers, distributors or retailers of non-compliant products and keep a portion of any settlements or fines.

Bounty hunters typically buy products that don’t have any warnings, pay a lab to test them for listed chemicals, then serve the purveyor with a 60-day notice if the items are not in compliance.  Such a notice gives local district attorneys or the state attorney general the option of pursuing the case.  Except in very rare and highly publicized cases, however, prosecutors pass due to heavy workloads. The citizen enforcer can then sue, presenting the business with the choice of a court fight or settlement. And in the vast majority of cases, businesses opt for settling, says John J. Allen, a partner with Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis, a Los Angeles-based law firm that defends plaintiffs in Proposition 65 cases.

“Unless there’s an absolute necessity to fight, it’s just easier and cheaper to settle,” says Allen. “If a business goes to court and doesn’t prevail, it risks paying the plaintiff’s legal fees and fines of up to $2,500 per day of exposure for each person who used the product. So if you’re talking, say, hair gel or plastic wristwatch bands, that’s potentially a great many exposures.”

Settlements typically range from $25,000 to $40,000, though some can reach six figures, said Tom Jonaitis, a toxicologist and the founder of RegTox, a consulting firm that deals with Proposition 65 issues. Plaintiffs also agree to reformulate their products or post warning labels.

When everything shakes out, attorney’s fees usually take 80 to 90 percent of such payouts. The remaining 10 to 20 percent comprises a stipulated penalty, with 75 percent of that figure going to the state and the remaining 25 percent going to the enforcer.

In 2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the state attorney general’s office recorded 688 Proposition 65 settlements totaling nearly $25.8 million.

Usually, an enforcer has multiple cases running at the same time, Allen says. “They’ll go to a mall or go online and look for a particularly line of merchandise, buy five or 10 items, get them tested, see which has listed chemicals and what the concentrations are, then issue notices.”

Wine merchants face new requirements to ensure their online transactions don’t run afoul of California’s Prop. 65 toxics warnings.

Many of the recent notices have targeted online wine retailers, says Ryan Landis, a principal of Polsinelli, a California law firm that defends businesses involved in Proposition 65 cases.  Alcohol is a listed compound under the regulation, and its hazards must be noted in any sale conducted in the digital realm.

Alcoholic beverage sellers “now have to update their warnings to cover online and internet sales,” says Landis. “They were accustomed to simply including the warnings on the physical packaging.”

Regardless of whatever hassles Proposition 65’s warnings cause for businesses, the bottom line, supporters say,  is that they work. When retailers reformulate a product to comply with California state law, they invariably sell that product nationwide, says David Roe, who drafted the original language of Proposition 65 while working as an attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund.

“It makes no marketing sense to peddle a ‘clean’ product in California and a ‘dirty’ one in the other 49 states,” says Roe. “Proposition 65 has been the single most successful law in the country over the last 30 years in reducing unnecessary exposure to toxic chemicals. The great untold story of 65 is that its impact has been largely invisible. Thousands of products have been reformulated to reduce toxicity. But no one realizes that because these products don’t have warnings. The more 65 succeeds, the fewer indications there are of that success.  The ultimate goal of the proposition is to have no warnings, to have no evidence that its goals have been achieved.”

Allen agrees with that assessment—grudgingly, and to a point.

“If Proposition 65 has done anything beneficial, it’s reducing the number and concentrations of chemicals used in consumer products,” he says, “but it has achieved that in an awkward and inelegant fashion. There are ways of doing that without relying on an army of private enforcers who want to line their pockets. It’s like killing an ant with a sledge hammer.”

Speaking for the state, Delson acknowledges that “not everyone is a fan, but we believe Proposition 65 is an effective tool to help people make informed decisions, and perhaps more importantly, it has stimulated companies to make products safer by eliminating or reducing chemicals to avoid a warning.”

But then there’s coffee. The argument is that people are exposed to acrylamide from a variety of sources, not just cappuccinos. And the threshold limits established for the chemical under the regulation don’t necessarily correlate to greater peril. In multiple studies, coffee consumption is linked to lower cancer, diabetes and heart disease rates—lurking acrylamide notwithstanding.

When Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle ruled last year that acrylamide exposure was covered under Proposition 65 and that warnings were mandated for coffee, it prompted a backlash from free enterprisers carping about nanny state overreach.

The state, however—perhaps recognizing the political risks that could arise from denying a population their morning caffeination—is trying to ditch the warning. A pending regulation would clarify that exposure to chemicals via coffee consumption doesn’t pose a significant cancer risk and therefore doesn’t require Prop. 65 warnings. “We have been sued over the issue,” Delson acknowledged in an email, “but we expect to adopt it by June, 2019.”

Will Gavin Newsom be like a kid in the candy shop? He wants the $200 billion choo choo to nowhere—a dangerous project for the present and destroys our economic future. He wants single payer health care—a $400 billion boondoggle guaranteeing folks die waiting for a doctor and cared. He wants government schools from the time a child is born—who needs parents, expect for the sperm and eggs? His plans for education are expensive—with no benefit to the students. Teachers make out great. Unions and construction firms will be able to buy big homes in California. Vendors to government education will see great profits. But the education of the students? They will keep the proven failure, Common Core, so the students will be literate, unable to think or speak for themselves and afraid to stand up if they believe something. “Of all the governor-elect’s pledges, perhaps the biggest-ticket item is his call for universal preschool. A measure put forward in the last legislative session to expand what is known as “transitional kindergarten” to all 4-year-olds would cost in the “low billions” when fully implemented, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office. Depending on the number of participating students, the LAO put the cost of universal preschool between $1.97 billion and $2.35 billion annually. The cost of providing an additional high-quality year of schooling could be about $9,800 per student, children’s advocates say. “It’s not inexpensive,” said Avo Makdessian, who leads the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Choose Children campaign, an effort to bring attention to early childhood issues. “But all the research shows it pays dividends.” Literally, Newsom wants the State to start the indoctrination sessions at an early age and be the baby sitter for the kids. The self-obsessed Left must love having the kids then giving them to the State to raise. Newsom’s cradle-to-career plan for education is ambitious — and expensive Karin Fischer, EdSource, 11/9/18 Newsom’s cradle-to-career plan for education is ambitious — and expensive Newly elected governor Gavin Newsom’s big campaign promises on education could cost billions of dollars if fully realized. The governor-elect has pledged to establish a cradle-to-career system of education in California and made it a central tenet of his education platform. To improve educational outcomes, the former San Francisco mayor argues that the state needs to begin offering services in early childhood with interventions continuing throughout school and college. The Newsom campaign did not release cost projections for any of its proposed education policies during the campaign against Republican John Cox. But through an examination of previous legislative proposals, expert and advocacy group assessments and a review of comparable programs in other states, EdSource was able to provide a rough calculation of how much Newsom’s strategy could cost. Click here for a graphic illustration of what a cradle to career education system might cost. Universal preschool for 4-year-olds, one Newsom pledge, could cost more than $2 billion to implement. Another plank in his educational platform, guaranteeing California students two free years of community college, could be another $92 million a year. While there is much that is uncertain and speculative — in many cases, Newsom has put forward broad goals rather than specific policy prescriptions — this is the first real picture of what an investment in education could look like under the Newsom administration. Of all the governor-elect’s pledges, perhaps the biggest-ticket item is his call for universal preschool. A measure put forward in the last legislative session to expand what is known as “transitional kindergarten” to all 4-year-olds would cost in the “low billions” when fully implemented, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office. Depending on the number of participating students, the LAO put the cost of universal preschool between $1.97 billion and $2.35 billion annually. The cost of providing an additional high-quality year of schooling could be about $9,800 per student, children’s advocates say. “It’s not inexpensive,” said Avo Makdessian, who leads the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Choose Children campaign, an effort to bring attention to early childhood issues. “But all the research shows it pays dividends.” On the other end of the cradle-to-career spectrum, Newsom has promised two full years of community college tuition. That would build upon the $46 million in this year’s budget allowing colleges to use the money for students to attend for one year tuition-free. The state also spends millions on community college fee waivers for low-income Californians through its College Promise Grant. Higher education advocates, however, had pushed Newsom and Cox to take a broader view of college affordability, especially for low-income and minority students, so that state aid helps covers living costs as well. “We need to look at the total cost of college,” said Audrey Dow, senior vice president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, “not just tuition.” Newsom does not only propose to expand traditional classroom instruction. California should have 500,000 “learn and earn” apprenticeships by 2029, he said. The state now supports about 75,000 apprenticeships, spending just over $77 million annually on apprenticeships and apprenticeship training and instruction. While much of the expense of hands-on career training is often defrayed by employers, based on current appropriations, reaching Newsom’s goal could cost as much as $500 million if the state were to solely pick up the tab. The promises keep adding up: • $2 million to $3 million a year for a statewide longitudinal data system connecting early childhood, K-12 and higher education. Newsom has sided with educators, researchers, and advocates who say that a comprehensive system is needed to track the progress of California students. Education Insights Center, a research group at Sacramento State University, made the estimate, adding that start-up costs would run up to $10 million. While there are existing K-12 and higher education systems, some education analysts say that expanding data collection to include early childhood could be more expensive. • $1 million to $3 million for expanded prenatal and development screenings. A bill (AB 11) approved by lawmakers during the 2017-18 legislative session but vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown would have expanded early and routine screenings for low-income children 0 to 3 through the MediCal program. The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated the measure would result in $500,000 to $1 million in administrative costs, with the cost for additional screenings in the “low millions,” depending on the number of families who participated. • $6.5 million over five years to offer computer science courses in every high school. Code.org, a nonprofit group focused on expanding access to computer science, particularly for women and minorities, estimates this one-time pot of money would cover the costs of training current high-school teachers in computer science instruction. According to the organization, California universities did not graduate a single new teacher in 2016 prepared to teach computer science. • Up to $2 million annually for a new higher education coordinating council, linking the California Community Colleges, the California State University and the University of California systems. The California Postsecondary Education Commission had a budget of $1.9 million when it was disbanded in 2011 by Brown as ineffective. California is just one of two states without a postsecondary coordinating body. The LAO has said a new office would likely have a “somewhat smaller budget” than its predecessor. When it comes to many aspects of his education platform, Newsom has offered something less than a concrete policy proposal. Still, it is possible to offer some educated guesses about the expense involved. For instance, Newsom vows to open college savings accounts for every incoming kindergartner. He doesn’t explicitly say it, but it seems reasonable to think that the state would seed each account with a small amount of money to encourage families to save for their children’s education — after all, Newsom started an equivalent program on the local level as mayor of San Francisco. If a statewide plan was to follow San Francisco’s model, making a deposit of $50 in each child’s account, it would have a price tag of about $26.6 million a year, based on current kindergarten enrollments. In recent years, however, other municipally-based programs have been more generous — the Oakland Promise program, for example, gives $500 to children born into poverty and plans to open a college savings account starting with $100 for every kindergartner regardless of family income beginning in 2020. Another campaign pledge, to increase summer learning programs, could cost, on average, about $186 per student per week, according to the Partnership for Children and Youth, an organization that is working to expand summer and afterschool programs. However, other estimates put the costs far higher — an average of $307 per week. It’s difficult to put a dollar figure on the total price tag for serving all students who could benefit from such activities because there’s no reporting required to the state for summer programs, said Jennifer Peck, the nonprofit’s president and CEO. Then there’s Newsom’s embrace of community schools, or schools that bring together health care, social services and after-school programs on a single elementary or secondary school campus. In his platform, Newsom does not actually call for an increase in the number of community schools, which are already in cities like Los Angeles and Oakland. But if he were to do so as governor, there is some agreement about the bottom line. The minimum core cost for a community school is about $150,000 a year — this pays for a school director to coordinate programs and services as well as for a needs assessment and other basic services, according to the National Center for Community Schools. But in other cases, Newsom’s proposals are too short on specifics to permit a practical estimate of costs. Some are so overly broad — such as expanding affordable child care — that they could lead to any number of policy prescriptions. In response to an EdSource query, Joey Freeman, policy director for the Newsom campaign, did not offer cost estimates generated by the campaign itself. As San Francisco mayor between 2003 and 2011, Newsom pursued a similarly far-reaching educational agenda, establishing universal preschool, expanding afterschool programming and starting college savings accounts — and found a way to pay for it, Freeman noted, in the midst of a recession. “Certainly, this is a question of resources,” Freeman said, “but it’s also one of resourcefulness. Gavin is committed to finding a way to realize his vision that every student in California deserves an opportunity to achieve success.”

Will Gavin Newsom be like a kid in the candy shop?  He wants the $200 billion choo choo to nowhere—a dangerous project for the present and destroys our economic future.  He wants single payer health care—a $400 billion boondoggle guaranteeing folks die waiting for a doctor and cared.  He wants government schools from the time a child is born—who needs parents, expect for the sperm and eggs?

His plans for education are expensive—with no benefit to the students.  Teachers make out great.  Unions and construction firms will be able to buy big homes in California.  Vendors to government education will see great profits.  But the education of the students?  They will keep the proven failure, Common Core, so the students will be literate, unable to think or speak for themselves and afraid to stand up if they believe something.

“Of all the governor-elect’s pledges, perhaps the biggest-ticket item is his call for universal preschool. A measure put forward in the last legislative session to expand what is known as “transitional kindergarten” to all 4-year-olds would cost in the “low billions” when fully implemented, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office. Depending on the number of participating students, the LAO put the cost of universal preschool between $1.97 billion and $2.35 billion annually. The cost of providing an additional high-quality year of schooling could be about $9,800 per student, children’s advocates say.

“It’s not inexpensive,” said Avo Makdessian, who leads the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Choose Children campaign, an effort to bring attention to early childhood issues. “But all the research shows it pays dividends.”

Literally, Newsom wants the State to start the indoctrination sessions at an early age and be the baby sitter for the kids.  The self-obsessed Left must love having the kids then giving them to the State to raise.

classroom

Newsom’s cradle-to-career plan for education is ambitious — and expensive

Karin Fischer, EdSource,  11/9/18  

 

Newly elected governor Gavin Newsom’s big campaign promises on education could cost billions of dollars if fully realized.

The governor-elect has pledged to establish a cradle-to-career system of education in California and made it a central tenet of his education platform.

To improve educational outcomes, the former San Francisco mayor argues that the state needs to begin offering services in early childhood with interventions continuing throughout school and college.

The Newsom campaign did not release cost projections for any of its proposed education policies during the campaign against Republican John Cox. But through an examination of previous legislative proposals, expert and advocacy group assessments and a review of comparable programs in other states, EdSource was able to provide a rough calculation of how much Newsom’s strategy could cost.

Click here for a graphic illustration of what a cradle to career education system might cost.

Universal preschool for 4-year-olds, one Newsom pledge, could cost more than $2 billion to implement. Another plank in his educational platform, guaranteeing California students two free years of community college, could be another $92 million a year.

While there is much that is uncertain and speculative — in many cases, Newsom has put forward broad goals rather than specific policy prescriptions — this is the first real picture of what an investment in education could look like under the Newsom administration.

Of all the governor-elect’s pledges, perhaps the biggest-ticket item is his call for universal preschool. A measure put forward in the last legislative session to expand what is known as “transitional kindergarten” to all 4-year-olds would cost in the “low billions” when fully implemented, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office. Depending on the number of participating students, the LAO put the cost of universal preschool between $1.97 billion and $2.35 billion annually. The cost of providing an additional high-quality year of schooling could be about $9,800 per student, children’s advocates say.

“It’s not inexpensive,” said Avo Makdessian, who leads the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Choose Children campaign, an effort to bring attention to early childhood issues. “But all the research shows it pays dividends.”

On the other end of the cradle-to-career spectrum, Newsom has promised two full years of community college tuition. That would build upon the $46 million in this year’s budget allowing colleges to use the money for students to attend for one year tuition-free. The state also spends millions on community college fee waivers for low-income Californians through its College Promise Grant.

Higher education advocates, however, had pushed Newsom and Cox to take a broader view of college affordability, especially for low-income and minority students, so that state aid helps covers living costs as well. “We need to look at the total cost of college,” said Audrey Dow, senior vice president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, “not just tuition.”

Newsom does not only propose to expand traditional classroom instruction. California should have 500,000 “learn and earn” apprenticeships by 2029, he said. The state now supports about 75,000 apprenticeships, spending just over $77 million annually on apprenticeships and apprenticeship training and instruction. While much of the expense of hands-on career training is often defrayed by employers, based on current appropriations, reaching Newsom’s goal could cost as much as $500 million if the state were to solely pick up the tab.

The promises keep adding up:

  • $2 million to $3 million a year for a statewide longitudinal data system connecting early childhood, K-12 and higher education. Newsom has sided with educators, researchers, and advocates who say that a comprehensive system is needed to track the progress of California students. Education Insights Center, a research group at Sacramento State University, made the estimate, adding that start-up costs would run up to $10 million. While there are existing K-12 and higher education systems, some education analysts say that expanding data collection to include early childhood could be more expensive.
  • $1 million to $3 million for expanded prenatal and development screenings. A bill (AB 11) approved by lawmakers during the 2017-18 legislative session but vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown would have expanded early and routine screenings for low-income children 0 to 3 through the MediCal program. The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated the measure would result in $500,000 to $1 million in administrative costs, with the cost for additional screenings in the “low millions,” depending on the number of families who participated.
  • $6.5 million over five years to offer computer science courses in every high school. Code.org, a nonprofit group focused on expanding access to computer science, particularly for women and minorities, estimates this one-time pot of money would cover the costs of training current high-school teachers in computer science instruction. According to the organization, California universities did not graduate a single new teacher in 2016 prepared to teach computer science.
  • Up to $2 million annually for a new higher education coordinating council, linking the California Community Colleges, the California State University and the University of California systems. The California Postsecondary Education Commission had a budget of $1.9 million when it was disbanded in 2011 by Brown as ineffective. California is just one of two states without a postsecondary coordinating body. The LAO has said a new office would likely have a “somewhat smaller budget” than its predecessor.

When it comes to many aspects of his education platform, Newsom has offered something less than a concrete policy proposal. Still, it is possible to offer some educated guesses about the expense involved.

For instance, Newsom vows to open college savings accounts for every incoming kindergartner. He doesn’t explicitly say it, but it seems reasonable to think that the state would seed each account with a small amount of money to encourage families to save for their children’s education — after all, Newsom started an equivalent program on the local level as mayor of San Francisco. If a statewide plan was to follow San Francisco’s model, making a deposit of $50 in each child’s account, it would have a price tag of about $26.6 million a year, based on current kindergarten enrollments.

In recent years, however, other municipally-based programs have been more generous — the Oakland Promise program, for example, gives $500 to children born into poverty and plans to open a college savings account starting with $100 for every kindergartner regardless of family income beginning in 2020.

Another campaign pledge, to increase summer learning programs, could cost, on average, about $186 per student per week, according to the Partnership for Children and Youth, an organization that is working to expand summer and afterschool programs. However, other estimates put the costs far higher — an average of $307 per week.  It’s difficult to put a dollar figure on the total price tag for serving all students who could benefit from such activities because there’s no reporting required to the state for summer programs, said Jennifer Peck, the nonprofit’s president and CEO.

Then there’s Newsom’s embrace of community schools, or schools that bring together health care, social services and after-school programs on a single elementary or secondary school campus.

In his platform, Newsom does not actually call for an increase in the number of community schools, which are already in cities like Los Angeles and Oakland. But if he were to do so as governor, there is some agreement about the bottom line. The minimum core cost for a community school is about $150,000 a year — this pays for a school director to coordinate programs and services as well as for a needs assessment and other basic services, according to the National Center for Community Schools.

But in other cases, Newsom’s proposals are too short on specifics to permit a practical estimate of costs. Some are so overly broad — such as expanding affordable child care — that they could lead to any number of policy prescriptions.

In response to an EdSource query, Joey Freeman, policy director for the Newsom campaign, did not offer cost estimates generated by the campaign itself.

As San Francisco mayor between 2003 and 2011, Newsom pursued a similarly far-reaching educational agenda, establishing universal preschool, expanding afterschool programming and starting college savings accounts — and found a way to pay for it, Freeman noted, in the midst of a recession.

“Certainly, this is a question of resources,” Freeman said, “but it’s also one of resourcefulness. Gavin is committed to finding a way to realize his vision that every student in California deserves an opportunity to achieve success.”

Taxpayers win, Warriors lose; arbitrator rules team is on the hook for $40m arena debt

Professional sporting teams, like the NBA;s Golden State Warriors (San Fran area) love to use government and taxpayers to make a profit.  The use tax dollars to build stadiums, then, like the NFL Raiders, skip town or force cities to bid against each other for the chance to lose taxpayers dollars.

“The Golden State Warriors rarely throw up an air ball, but they did Monday after an arbitrator ruled the team must continue paying its $40 million share of the Oracle Arena bond debt.

Warriors owners had argued they were no longer on the hook for annual payments on the 30-year bond, issued in 1996 for remodeling Oracle Arena, after the team moves to its new arena in San Francisco next year. The team’s share of annual debt payment is $7.5 million.

“The terms of the lease were clear in our eyes,” said Scott McKibben, executive director of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority. “The Warriors committed to pay this debt. This money was spent to make specific renovations to meet the Warriors’ needs. We simply wanted them to honor the agreement, regardless of where they will be playing their home games in the future.”

Glad to see someone holding a billionaires play toy accountable.  The better way to do that is to offer NOTHING to the billionaires—if they want a stadium or arena, let them pay for it.  What do you think?

golden state warriors

Taxpayers win, Warriors lose; arbitrator rules team is on the hook for $40m arena debt

East Bay Citizen,  10/29/18

The Golden State Warriors rarely throw up an air ball, but they did Monday after an arbitrator ruled the team must continue paying its $40 million share of the Oracle Arena bond debt.

Warriors owners had argued they were no longer on the hook for annual payments on the 30-year bond, issued in 1996 for remodeling Oracle Arena, after the team moves to its new arena in San Francisco next year. The team’s share of annual debt payment is $7.5 million.

“The terms of the lease were clear in our eyes,” said Scott McKibben, executive director of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority. “The Warriors committed to pay this debt. This money was spent to make specific renovations to meet the Warriors’ needs. We simply wanted them to honor the agreement, regardless of where they will be playing their home games in the future.”

The World Champs’ aversion to paying the outstanding arena bond debt after they leave Oakland has long been a simmering point of contention. It was first reporting in the East Bay Citizen in February 2017 that Warriors management began reiterating this concern to the Coliseum JPA.

By October 2017, with no agreement in sight, both sides agreed to enter arbitration, leading to today’s ruling.

“We all love the Warriors and appreciate their success on the court,” Oakland City Council President and Coliseum JPA Vice-Chair Larry Reid. “However, the taxpayers of our community should not be on the hook for debt incurred and renovations completed at the Warriors request. I’m proud that we have stood firm and that the arbitrator has properly placed this obligation where it belongs.”

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Left Wing Starbucks: Judge Says Needs Cancer Warnings for Coffee!!

I won’t go to Starbucks because the ownership has made it clear—they love high taxes, preferred Hillary to Trump and even today oppose Trump.  They closed down every store, thousands, because they hired a couple of bigots in Philly.  Seriously do you think an afternoon seminar—paid—will stop nut cases from being stupid?  This is a gigantic publicity stunt, nothing more or less.  Now the Confederate State of California is demanding we all know that coffee could create cancer—so could watching the Dodgers lose—the stress could start the disease.

“Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said Starbucks Corp. and other roasters and retailers failed to show that benefits from drinking coffee outweighed any risks from a carcinogen that is a byproduct of the roasting process. He had tentatively made the same written decision in March.

A nonprofit group sued about 90 coffee companies, including Keurig Green Mountain Inc. and Peet’s Operating Co. Inc., under a state law that requires warnings on products and in places where chemicals that can cause cancer are present.

The coffee industry did not deny that the chemical acrylamide was found in coffee. But they argued it was at harmless levels and their product should be exempt from the law because the chemical results naturally from cooking necessary for flavor.

Facts mean nothing to judges that are ideologues.  No one will drink less coffee, or more because of the warning signs—no one cares because we all know that government lies.

coffee latte

Cancer Warnings at Calif. Starbucks? Judge’s Final Ruling Clears the Way

KQED, 5/8/18

A court ruling that gave coffee drinkers a jolt earlier this year was finalized Monday when a Los Angeles judge said coffee sold in California must carry cancer warnings.

The coffee industry did not deny that the chemical acrylamide was found in coffee, but they argued it was at harmless levels.

Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said Starbucks Corp. and other roasters and retailers failed to show that benefits from drinking coffee outweighed any risks from a carcinogen that is a byproduct of the roasting process. He had tentatively made the same written decision in March.

A nonprofit group sued about 90 coffee companies, including Keurig Green Mountain Inc. and Peet’s Operating Co. Inc., under a state law that requires warnings on products and in places where chemicals that can cause cancer are present.

The coffee industry did not deny that the chemical acrylamide was found in coffee. But they argued it was at harmless levels and their product should be exempt from the law because the chemical results naturally from cooking necessary for flavor.

The final ruling clears the way for the Council for Education and Research on Toxics to seek a permanent injunction that would either lead to ominous warning labels or a commitment by the industry to remove the chemical from their product — as the potato chip industry did years ago when sued by the same group.

Attorney Raphael Metzger, who represents the nonprofit, said he hopes mediation will lead to some settlement of the case that has been brewing for eight years. If no agreement is reached, another phase of trial would determine civil penalties as high as $2,500 per person exposed each day since the suit was filed in 2010.

“In all the years I’ve been practicing, I’ve never had a case that got to this point,” Metzger said. “They’ve lost all their defenses and we proved our case. The only issues left are the nature and form of the injunction and the amount of penalties to be assessed. It’s not a pretty place for them to be.”

Berle had ruled about two years ago against the industry’s best defense before issuing the tentative decision March 29 that rejected a secondary defense.

At the time, the coffee industry said it was considering all options, including appeals. It said that cancer warnings would be misleading and said numerous studies have shown health benefits of drinking coffee.

The industry and lawyers in the case did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment sent after business hours.

World Health Organization Says No Risk

In 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer — the cancer agency of the World Health Organization — moved coffee off its “possible carcinogen” list.

Studies indicate coffee is unlikely to cause breast, prostate or pancreatic cancer, and it seems to lower the risks for liver and uterine cancers, the agency said. Evidence is inadequate to determine its effect on dozens of other cancer types.

The California legal case has been brewing for eight years and is still not over. A third phase of trial will later determine any civil penalties that coffee companies must pay.

With potential penalties up to $2,500 per person exposed each day over eight years, that figure could be astronomical in a state with close to 40 million residents, though a massive figure is unlikely.

The lawsuit was brought under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, passed by voters as Proposition 65 in 1986. It allows private citizens, advocacy groups and attorneys to sue on behalf of the state and collect a portion of civil penalties.

The law has been credited with reducing chemicals that cause cancer and birth defects, such as lead in hair dyes, mercury in nasal sprays and arsenic in bottled water. But it’s also been widely criticized for abuses by lawyers shaking down businesses for quick settlements.

Metzger, who drinks a few cups of coffee a day, said he wants the industry to remove the chemical from its process. Coffee companies have said that’s not feasible and would make their product taste bad.

Metzger’s group brought a similar case later taken up by the state attorney general that resulted in potato-chip makers agreeing in 2008 to pay $3 million and remove acrylamide from their products rather than post startling warnings that can be found throughout California and are largely ignored.

Parking garages, for example, post signs saying, “This area contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm.”

Regulations adopted in recent years now require more specific warnings that list the chemical consumers may be exposed to and list a website with more information. Parking garages, for example, will have to post that breathing air there exposes drivers to carbon monoxide and gas and diesel exhaust and that people should not to linger longer than necessary.

Many coffee companies have already posted warnings that specifically say acrylamide is found in coffee and is among chemicals that cause cancer. However, many of those warnings are posted in places not easily visible, such as below the counter where cream and sugar are available.

In the first phase of the trial, Berle said the defense failed to present enough credible evidence to show there was no significant risk posed by acrylamide in coffee.

The law put the burden on the defense to show that the level of the chemical won’t result in one excess case of cancer for every 100,000 people exposed. Berle said the epidemiology studies presented were inadequate to evaluate that risk.

Nearly half of the defendants in the coffee case have settled at some point during the long legal process and agreed to post warnings, Metzger said. About 50 defendants remain.

Among the latest to settle was 7-Eleven, which agreed to pay $900,000. BP West Coast Products, which operates gas station convenience stores, agreed to pay $675,000. Yum Yum Donuts Inc. agreed to pay about $250,000.