Racism and Segregation In Rhode Island!! Segregated Dinners for Blacks at Brown University

In the 1950’s black students went to café’s and dinners and sat at the counters—to desegregate restaurants.  Today black students oppose integration and demand segregation.  At UCLA and UC David black only dorms are being planned.  Univ of San Fran has segregated graduation ceremonies.  Many colleges now have segregated study halls and conference rooms.  Bigotry is growing—and it is not the KKK demanding it—it is those that supported Sanders and Clinton wanting 1950’s style racism.

Liberal Brown University is set to offer segregated dinners for black and Muslim students on the tail of recent Antifa protests that have turned violent over the last few months.

Purporting to offer “racial reconciliation,” Brown administrators took a $300,000 grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to “break down racial hierarchies and create a positive narrative about race in the community,” the College Fix reported.

The money was supplied by donations by liberal organizations such as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Newman’s Own Foundation.”

When you buy the Paul Newman brand salad dressing and other Newman items, you are financing the dream of the Ku Klux Klan—segregating blacks.  Is that your intention, racism and bigotry?

Photo courtesy pd2020@sbcglobal.net, flickr

Kellogg and Brown University to Offer Segregated Dinners for Black, Muslim Students

by Warner Todd Huston, Breitbart Big Government,   9/18/17

Liberal Brown University is set to offer segregated dinners for black and Muslim students on the tail of recent Antifa protests that have turned violent over the last few months.

Purporting to offer “racial reconciliation,” Brown administrators took a $300,000 grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to “break down racial hierarchies and create a positive narrative about race in the community,” the College Fix reported.

The money was supplied by donations by liberal organizations such as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Newman’s Own Foundation.

There will be two separate segregated “dinner discussion groups,” one for African American students and a second for Muslim women, according to Brown University Chaplain Rev. Janet Cooper Nelson.

Deploying a string of modern, liberal buzz words to explain the dinners, Rev. Nelson told the school newspaper that she hoped the Muslim women’s dinner would “allow the women to engage in topics such as the intersection of race, Islam, and gender fluidity.”

In a press release, Brown officials blamed the unrest in Charlottesville for the new program.

“Last weekend’s events in Virginia offer a powerful reminder that the need to confront racism remains urgent,” Brown President Christina Paxson said in an August 16 statement. “Higher education has an essential role to play in creating positive change, and we’re proud to join with AAC&U and our fellow TRHT Campus Centers in taking action.”

The AAC&U grant is part of a larger effort supposedly aimed at creating “racial healing.”

Brown claims the money will be used to address “the historic and contemporary effects of racism and leading transformative change.”

The donation will be put toward plans to “educate, prepare and inspire the next generation of leaders to advance justice and build equitable communities.”

The university’s program seems to be an uncomfortable reminder of the once-hated concept of “separate but equal,” a segregationist policy once used to keep races apart in the U.S. education establishment. Separate But Equal was opposed by civil rights activists in the 1950s and 60s and called a violation of the rights of minorities.

 

California high school warns students against chanting ‘USA!’ at sporting events

At a High School in Folsom, loving your nation via a chant at a football game is no longer allowed.  Maybe a Hate America chant would be approved by the so-called professionals running Vista Del Lago High School.  Maybe singing the “Internationale” or an Antifa chant would be approved.  But chanting “USA” is an offense.

The Washington Times reports Principal Lori Emmington of Vista Del Lago High School in Folsom, sent a letter home to parents noting that in the “school’s effort to promote ‘sportsmanship, empathy and kindness,’ they had opened up a discussion with dozens of students to determine when chanting ‘USA’ is and isn’t appropriate.”

It is appropriate, for example, after the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance or “any other patriotic event,” but during sports competitions it “might be confusing.”

Confusing to whom?  ISIS, their U.S. brethren Antifa or their racist affiliate Black Lives Matter.  Government schools used to teach love of country.  Now they teach hate of country, its history and those that sacrificed to allow useful idiots to tell kids not to love their nation.  Will the Folsom School Board fire the Principal or will it take a re-call to get rid of the Board?

Photo courtesy Fabi Fliervoet, flickr

California high school warns students against chanting ‘USA!’ at sporting events

 

College Fix, 9/14/17  

 

A California high school has warned its students that chanting “USA!” at sporting events “could appear inappropriate and intolerant.”

The Washington Times reports Principal Lori Emmington of Vista Del Lago High School in Folsom, sent a letter home to parents noting that in the “school’s effort to promote ‘sportsmanship, empathy and kindness,’ they had opened up a discussion with dozens of students to determine when chanting ‘USA’ is and isn’t appropriate.”

It is appropriate, for example, after the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance or “any other patriotic event,” but during sports competitions it “might be confusing.”

CBS Sacramento reports that elsewhere in the country “USA!” chants “appeared to be used in derogatory ways toward opponents of different ethnicities,” and that the California Interscholastic Federation has addressed any concerns with its individual districts.

More from the story:

School officials worry the chants could come across as intolerant and offensive to some, but parents CBS13 spoke with see it differently, as an expression of pride and acceptance.

Mother Natalie Woodbury said, “I want to chant USA because I want us to pull together and help, not because I want anybody to feel left out or not a part of our country. ”

District officials say they want to make that there is no ban on chanting USA.

I’m glad that they will still allow our students to cheer for our country,” said Mother Cody Santero.

A chant [student Ryan] Bernal says will continue to be about uniting, not dividing.

“We’re all one. We all stand as one together.”

The district says there has never been a complaint about USA chants at the high school. Students say there’s likely to be a lot of chanting at this Friday’s football game, where the theme is USA pride.

Read the full article.

How did Prop. 47 “cut” crime? By making crime a ticketable offense rather than jail

This is what you need to know about the effect of Prop. 47—along with Prop. 57

“Sass stated, “The undisputed facts are that in each of the three years following the 2014 passage of Prop 47, both the violent and property crime rates have increased. In Los Angeles County, 40,384 violent crimes were committed in the year prior to Prop 47; each year the number increased, with a total of 56,351 committed in 2016. Property crimes also increased every year, with 252,224 in 2016 compared to 228,419 in 2013.”

As an example of how “Prop 47 made a number of prior felony crimes inconsequential misdemeanors,” Sass cites incidents of theft and asserts that stores and residents see “no point in reporting a misdemeanor theft crime.”

That is right, 48,000 MORE victims and tens of thousands of victims no longer counted because the criminals stole something under $950 of value—a spit on the sidewalk ticket, no longer a criminal offense.  We did it to ourselves—now we need to undo the crime wave—unless you like the thrill of being a victim.

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What Recent CA Crime Stats Show After Passage of Prop 47

 

Crime Voice,  9/12/17

 

SACRAMENTO – In 2014 60% of California voters (4.2 million citizens) passed Proposition 47 and re-categorized certain nonviolent crimes from felonies into misdemeanors. 2.8 million voted “no ” on the proposition.  Although California has 25 million registered voters, only 7 million Californians voted on this issue…..

What, if any, has been the measurable effect of recent developments in crime statistics across the state since 2014?

Recently Robert Sass, vice president of ALADS (Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs), issued a release asserting the rising rates of certain crimes in the three years following the proposition’s passage.

Sass stated, “The undisputed facts are that in each of the three years following the 2014 passage of Prop 47, both the violent and property crime rates have increased. In Los Angeles County, 40,384 violent crimes were committed in the year prior to Prop 47; each year the number increased, with a total of 56,351 committed in 2016. Property crimes also increased every year, with 252,224 in 2016 compared to 228,419 in 2013.”

As an example of how “Prop 47 made a number of prior felony crimes inconsequential misdemeanors,” Sass cites incidents of theft and asserts that stores and residents see “no point in reporting a misdemeanor theft crime.”

He in fact states that, based on statistics of who is serving time in county jail for theft, that “theft under $950 is now a consequence-free crime.” Thus, “Prop 47 has created a criminal culture where criminals know they face little, or far lesser, punishment for their crimes.”

Law-abiding citizens are urged to keep an alert eye on the continuing trends in California crime.

San Fran Sheriff ASSISTS Illegal Alien to Murder

A previous San Fran Sheriff sent a vicious criminal, a five time deportee, back on the streets and the result was the murder of Kate Steinle.  Now we have a violent illegal alien, that the Feds asked the current Sheriff to hold the criminal for the Feds to put up.  Instead the Sheriff, a proponent of illegal aliens and their violence (why else would he put them back on the streets if he did not support their crime wave).

“Perez-Araujo was arrested in May on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale, was charged in court with a single misdemeanor count of possession of brass knuckles and released shortly thereafter, officials said. The charge does not fit the criteria under which the San Francisco jail would notify ICE.

“Despite the detainer, local authorities made the decision to release him back into the community without providing any notification to ICE, resulting in another arrest that may have been averted had the city chosen to cooperate with ICE,” Schwab said.

The series of events that led to Esquivel’s death began Aug. 12, when Garcia-Pineda and Perez-Araujo stole a silver .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver and ammunition from a private car that was parked in San Francisco and belonged to city police Officer Marvin Cabuntala, according to a court complaint filed Thursday. The police internal affairs division is probing the theft and whether the officer failed to properly safeguard the weapon.”

The co-conspirator in this murder—without whom Abel Enrique Esquivel Jr, would still be alive.  The Sheriff needs to be indicted by the Feds on civil rights charges.  Feel safe in San Fran—not as long as government protects criminal.

Photo credit: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

DACA-Eligible Illegal Alien Wanted for Deportation Accused of ‘Sanctuary Murder’ in San Francisco

by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, Breitbart CA,  9/16/17

An 18-year old illegal alien wanted by federal authorities for deportation allegedly stole a gun from a San Francisco police officer, then shot and killed a popular immigrant activist last month.

AP reports that Erick Garcia-Pineda, 18, had been detained in December and released from custody in April pending deportation, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Garcia-Pineda was required by an immigration judge to wear an ankle monitor and check in regularly with ICE.

Garcia-Pineda failed to show up for his August appointment, ICE spokesman James Schwab said.

San Francisco police say Garcia-Pineda used a gun stolen from an officer’s car to kill 23-year-old Abel Enrique Esquivel Jr, on Aug. 15. He was arrested on misdemeanor battery charges Sept. 3 before investigators say they connected him to the slaying.

SF Gate reports that a second suspect in the murder, Jesus Perez-Araujo, might never have been on the street if he’d been deported:

Perez-Araujo was arrested in May on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale, was charged in court with a single misdemeanor count of possession of brass knuckles and released shortly thereafter, officials said. The charge does not fit the criteria under which the San Francisco jail would notify ICE.

“Despite the detainer, local authorities made the decision to release him back into the community without providing any notification to ICE, resulting in another arrest that may have been averted had the city chosen to cooperate with ICE,” Schwab said.

The series of events that led to Esquivel’s death began Aug. 12, when Garcia-Pineda and Perez-Araujo stole a silver .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver and ammunition from a private car that was parked in San Francisco and belonged to city police Officer Marvin Cabuntala, according to a court complaint filed Thursday. The police internal affairs division is probing the theft and whether the officer failed to properly safeguard the weapon.

Garcia-Pineda, Perez-Araujo and Daniel Cruz, 18, then went on a robbery spree in the early-morning hours of Aug. 15, authorities said, ending with Garcia-Pineda shooting Esquivel, a city native and supermarket worker, at 26th Street and South Van Ness Avenue. Data from the ankle monitor is now key evidence in the case.

The story is already drawing comparisons to the tragic shooting of Kate Steinle, 32, also shot in San Francisco with a gun stolen from a law enforcement officer by an illegal alien protected from deportation by San Francisco’s ‘Sanctuary City’ policy.

The victim identified as 23-year-old Abel Ezquivel—like Kate Steinle spent much his time volunteering—at the Central American Resource Center, which provides legal help to low-income Latino clients and other social services, the AP reports.

The local Press Democrat reports:

In Garcia-Pineda’s case, police say he and two other men were carrying out a string of robberies in the city’s Mission District when they encountered Ezquivel walking down the street. Ezquivel was shot and killed.

Garcia-Pineda and the two other men “were responsible for several robberies” between Aug. 13 and Aug. 15, San Francisco police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.

This latest ‘Sanctuary Murder’ comes amid a national debate over DACA and sanctuary city policies that President Trump has promised to end.

Garcia-Pineda would not have been automatically disqualified from DACA for the misdemeanor battery charge, had he applied.

At the same time, California is on the verge of becoming the first “Sanctuary State” after the legislature passed a bill (SB54) Friday that spreads ‘San Francisco-Style Sanctuary’ policy statewide, which would forbid law enforcement across the state from cooperating with federal immigration authorities in all cases except the most violent and serious crimes.

If SB54 were law, Garcia-Pineda would have been shielded from deportation in every jurisdiction in California, not just San Francisco or Los Angeles—in spite of skipping out on immigration authorities.

“What makes this so tragic is that it might have been prevented if San Francisco did not have such an egregious sanctuary policy,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies [told SF Gate], which advocates for more restrictive enforcement. “How many deaths is it going to take before people realize this is a mistake?”

The bill is on the Governor’s desk and will most likely be signed into law, despite this latest ‘Sanctuary Murder’, which was reported too late to have any impact on the months-long debate.

Tim Donnelly is a former California State Assemblyman and Author, currently on a book tour for his new book: Patriot Not Politician: Win or Go Homeless

California Drug Price Bill Sweeping In Scope, Lacking In Muscle

The devil is in the details.  The socialists in California are jumping for joy—government is going to control the price of drugs.  No matter that if they actually do that, few or any new life savings drugs.  Canada, Britain, France and Germany have price controls on drugs—when was the last time you heard any their firms produced major new drugs—on a consistent basis?

“Some experts have said transparency alone is not enough to bring down drug prices, and more extensive changes are needed.

“We need really far-reaching reforms that say ‘sorry, pharma, we’ve had enough. We’re not going to do it your way. We’re going to do it our way,’” said Peter Maybarduk, director of the Global Access to Medicines Program at Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog group. The group wants sweeping changes at the federal level that would reduce spending on drugs, such as allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies and limiting market exclusivity on certain pharmaceuticals.

The California measure would put a spotlight on drug prices from different angles, imposing reporting obligations on both insurers and drug manufacturers.

A press release from the Governor would be cheaper than the millions it took to pass this powerless law.  That is how government works—it pretends to do something serious, when they know it was just symbolism.

Opioids

California Drug Price Bill Sweeping In Scope, Lacking In Muscle

By Pauline Bartolone, California Healthline,  9/18/17

 

Capitol Desk delivers the latest in health care policy and politics from Sacramento and around the state. Have an idea? Let us know.

A California bill headed to the governor’s desk may be the most sweeping effort in the nation to shine a light on drug pricing, but it lacks the muscle being applied in other states to directly hold those prices down.

The idea behind the law is that if everyone knows when and why prices are rising, political leaders eventually will be more empowered to challenge those increases.

“Transparency is a longer-term play. It’s about building political will, getting more information and helping build the case for the changes that we need” in order to have more sustainable drug prices, said Ted Lee, a senior fellow at Yale University’s Global Health Justice Partnership, which recently released a report on steps states can take to reduce drug prices.

Some experts have said transparency alone is not enough to bring down drug prices, and more extensive changes are needed.

“We need really far-reaching reforms that say ‘sorry, pharma, we’ve had enough. We’re not going to do it your way. We’re going to do it our way,’” said Peter Maybarduk, director of the Global Access to Medicines Program at Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog group. The group wants sweeping changes at the federal level that would reduce spending on drugs, such as allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies and limiting market exclusivity on certain pharmaceuticals.

The California measure would put a spotlight on drug prices from different angles, imposing reporting obligations on both insurers and drug manufacturers.

The campaign for the bill brought together some unlikely political allies in the California State Capitol this year: Consumer advocates, insurers, employer groups, labor unions and even a prominent billionaire environmentalist shared the same platforms at press conferences, urging legislators to force drug manufacturers to disclose and justify their high prices.

Gov. Jerry Brown has about a month to decide whether to sign the bill. Brown rarely comments publicly about legislation before he takes action, but a spokesman, Brian Ferguson, said the governor’s office had worked closely with legislative staff on the bill.

The pharmaceutical industry remains fiercely opposed to the legislation and has vowed to lobby the governor against it.

The measure “will not improve the accessibility or affordability of medicines for patients,” Priscilla VanderVeer, deputy vice president of public affairs for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), said in an email.

Under the proposed law, pharmaceutical companies would be required to give state agencies and insurers 60 days’ notice if they planned a price increase of more than 16 percent over two years on drugs with a wholesale cost of $40 or higher. And they would have to explain the reasons for the increase.

Manufacturers would also have to report the introduction of certain high-priced drugs to market, explain their marketing plans for the product and say if it is an improvement on drugs that are already available.

Health plans would be obliged to report to state regulators on the drugs with the highest annual cost increases and document how much drug spending factored into their premiums.

Yale’s Lee said both price control and transparency laws play important roles in regulating prescription drug costs. Ellen Albritton, a senior policy analyst at Families USA, said transparency measures such as California’s bill are a “key part” of what is needed for the U.S. to get drug prices under control. She said various actions by states, taken together, build the case for federal action.

This year, at least two states have passed laws that tackle high drug prices head-on and may have a more immediate effect on consumer costs than the California measure, Lee said.

Maryland and New York, for example, passed laws this year that use a variety of legal levers to impose financial penalties or require discounts if prices are too high.

Maryland’s law empowers the state’s attorney general to take legal action if it determines drugmakers are “price gouging” on generic drugs. A violation by the company could trigger refunds to consumers and a fine for the manufacturer.

The New York law introduces a drug price cap in the state’s Medicaid program and would require rebates on drugs that exceed their limits, according to a Yale University analysis.

The California bill’s author, Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-Covina), said he didn’t believe price controls were the right approach. “I still believe in the basic tenet of free enterprise,” he said. The market should play itself out.”

But California’s bill is more comprehensive in some ways than other states’ laws. It requires new reporting in the private and public insurance markets and encompasses generic, brand-name and specialty pharmaceuticals. Other state laws affect only one payer, as in New York, or one subset of drugs, as in Maryland.

Vermont has a transparency measure, passed last year, that mandates reporting on a narrower subset of drugs than California’s proposal. Nevada’s recently passed drug price law requires disclosures from insulin makers.

Hernandez, who chairs the state Senate’s health committee, said the California bill could be a national model for drug price policy because transparency works to bring costs down. Consumers across state lines will benefit from California’s law, he said.

“I encourage the federal government, especially California’s representatives in the U.S. House and Senate, to consider similar legislation as we continue this discussion at a national level,” Hernandez said.

He said industry opposition to his bill has been fierce, with “legions” of lobbyists clogging Capitol hallways and full-page ads in local newspapers during the final days of the legislative session, which ended Friday.

Despite the industry’s resistance, Hernandez said, the effort to address high drug costs had bipartisan support and rallied players who are usually at odds on other matters.

“It has become a huge coalition because it’s impacting everybody,” he said.

Patriot Prayer rally cost SF nearly $1 million, Mayor Lee to seek reimbursement

A few years ago, Mayor Lee allowed the Occupy folks to take over parts of downtown San Fran and the Civic Center—no problem.  Cost the city millions to replace the vandalize government facilities and the private firms lost millions in sales and more millions to fix their vandalized properties.  Maybe if Mayor Lee did not support the anarchists of Occupy, he would not had had to spend $1 million to protect the First Amendment in his town from Antifa and other terrorist organizations.

“San Francisco spent $890,000 on security and transit thanks to the protests that sprung up in resistance to the planned Patriot Prayer rally, On Guard has learned.

The Mayor’s Office isn’t taking that lying down. Mayor Ed Lee will pursue getting money back for San Francisco, as he had previously promised, his office told me.

“We are pursuing reimbursement from the federal government for The City’s public safety costs associated with the Patriot Prayer rally on August 26,” Ellen Canale, a spokesperson for the mayor, wrote in an email on Friday.”

While the event did occur on Federal property, Washington is not responsible for the San Fran policy of protecting murderers and rioters.  If the city protected it’s citizens at all times this expense would not happen—but the terrorist know that Lee and the radicals running the formerly great world class city prefer criminals to innocent citizens.

Occupy Oakland street scene, photo courtesy Heart of Oak, Flickr.

Patriot Prayer rally cost SF nearly $1 million, Mayor Lee to seek reimbursement

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, SF Examiner,  9/16/17

Patriot Prayer’s “Free Speech” rally never actually materialized last month, but it still cost The City big bucks.

San Francisco spent $890,000 on security and transit thanks to the protests that sprung up in resistance to the planned Patriot Prayer rally, On Guard has learned.

The Mayor’s Office isn’t taking that lying down. Mayor Ed Lee will pursue getting money back for San Francisco, as he had previously promised, his office told me.

“We are pursuing reimbursement from the federal government for The City’s public safety costs associated with the Patriot Prayer rally on August 26,” Ellen Canale, a spokesperson for the mayor, wrote in an email on Friday.

So even though Joey Gibson, Patriot Prayer’s organizer, scampered up and down San Francisco, fled to Pacifica, and ultimately landed at Crissy Field to hold a right-wing talk with a dozen close buddies, including alleged white nationalist Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman, San Francisco still gets stuck with the dang bill.

Remember, San Francisco made it loud and clear that we didn’t want this protest in our backyard, yet the National Park Service, which has jurisdiction over Crissy Field, gave it the OK — despite the possibility of violence.

But even if we do get all of our taxpayer money back, it won’t be for all of The City’s expenses.

The Mayor’s Office thinks it can only make its money back on the public safety costs, which total $775,000, according to a public records request response from the San Francisco Police Department. I filed the request Aug. 28, two days after the scheduled Patriot Prayer rally.

The cost also “includes planning during the week leading up to the event,” Sgt. Michael Andraychak, an SFPD spokesperson, wrote in an email.

The figure is “98 percent” salary, he wrote, with the remainder of the costs including incidentals like van rentals, food and water for officers in the field.

But $115,000 came out of Muni’s pocket that day. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency ran extra buses, traffic control staff and “Muni ambassadors” to help everyone get around the dozen or so protests throughout The City, according to SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose.

And that tally doesn’t include costs to the Department of Emergency Management, the Mayor’s Office, or any other city agencies looped into the weekend to help as nearly 15,000 San Franciscans protested across The City. Heck, it doesn’t even include the cost to Presidio businesses like the Presidio Bowling Center or the House of Air, which told me they lost beaucoup-bucks as they canceled reservations and sent employees home.

Add all that up, and the cost to San Francisco could easily tip toward a cool $1 million.

Almost makes you wish The City could just send the bill to Patriot Prayer, doesn’t it?

 

Drugs Help? Is California One Of The Happiest States In The Country?

California has the nation’s highest income, sales and gas taxes (and the gas taxes are going up 74 cents a gallon).  Our pension pensions are collapsing and LAUSD gives diploma’s to its students, 45% in 2016, that have a “D” average.   We have over twelve million in poverty and another 8-10 million in near poverty.  Yet, it has been declared California is the happiest State in the nation.  Did they asked those in poverty or near poverty or the functional illiterates given diplomas from LAUSD?

“The study compared the 50 states across 28 different categories – ranging from depression and suicide rates to sleep and sports participation – to determine where people are most happy. California ranked as the fourth happiest state in the country, according to the personal finance website’s report, which looked at three main criteria: emotional and physical well-being, work environment, and community and environment.

The analysis ranked only Minnesota, Utah and Hawaii ahead of California. Nebraska came in after California, rounding out the top five happiest states, according to the study.

Compared to other states, Californians have low rates of depression and play a lot of sports, which offsets one of the lowest rates of income growth.

Happiest?  Did they add the rate of drug and alcohol use to get to that determination?  Did they do an IQ test or a mental test to see if those questions can face reality—or prefer to live in fantasyland—not in Disneyland.  Happiest?  Pass the bong.

Cannabis marijuana weed pot

Is California One Of The Happiest States In The Country?

A new WalletHub study ranked the happiest and unhappiest states. Do you agree with the findings?

By Kristina Houck, Patch,  9/17/17

 

Happiness may be a state of mind, but happiness also depends on your state. While not the happiest state in the country, Californians are among the happiest in the United States, according to a new study by WalletHub.

The study compared the 50 states across 28 different categories – ranging from depression and suicide rates to sleep and sports participation – to determine where people are most happy. California ranked as the fourth happiest state in the country, according to the personal finance website’s report, which looked at three main criteria: emotional and physical well-being, work environment, and community and environment.

The analysis ranked only Minnesota, Utah and Hawaii ahead of California. Nebraska came in after California, rounding out the top five happiest states, according to the study.

Compared to other states, Californians have low rates of depression and play a lot of sports, which offsets one of the lowest rates of income growth.

After Hawaii and New Jersey, the Golden State has the third lowest share of adult depression, according to the study. California also has the fourth highest sports participation rate, following Colorado, Oregon and Washington. However, the state has the fourth-worst income growth. Only Georgia, Florida, Arizona and Nevada have lower rates of income growth.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” wins the Emmy for best drama and “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus reigns as the queen of comedy at the 2017 Emmys.

“People determine their own happiness. But how content we are with life is not only and always a matter of perspective,” WalletHub author Richie Bernardo wrote. “Where we choose to live can also influence our level of happiness.”

Source: WalletHub

So what is the unhappiest state in the country? West Virginia, according to WalletHub. Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama and Arkansas rounded out the top five unhappiest states. (Get Patch real-time email alerts for the latest news from your California neighborhood. And iPhone users: Check out Patch’s new app.)

Click here to view the complete rankings.

$4.4 Billion Bay Area Transportation Plan — to Be Paid for by Higher Bridge Tolls — Sent to Governor

Sacramento just transferred $4.4 billion from the pockets of the workers and families of the Bay Area—and visitors that have to use the bridges to visit the area.  No, not new taxes—that would take a two thirds vote and I guess Chad Mayes was not ready to vote for yet another tax increase..  The Democrats are raising the tolls on the bridges by $3 dollars—a 50% increase on tolls in many places.

“Grayson said after SB 595 passed the Assembly that while he understood the need for infrastructure upgrades in the Bay Area, “there is a fundamental lack of equity in this proposal. … East Bay commuters deserve a better and far more just measure.”

DeSaulnier, who has vowed to fight the toll increase as it heads to the ballot next year as Regional Measure 3, said he feels the long shopping list of projects in bill is the result of what he termed a politically driven planning process on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

“It’s frustrating that such an innovative area is so backward when it comes to transportation,” DeSaulnier said.”

On the other hand, the folks of the Bay Area love tax increases, job killing policies—so maybe force them to pay more to get around.  To some in the middle class a $15 a week increase in tolls, $750 in a year, could be the last straw to get them to call themselves Texans.  How much more can they afford.

sanfrancisco3

$4.4 Billion Bay Area Transportation Plan — to Be Paid for by Higher Bridge Tolls — Sent to Governor

By Dan Brekke, KQED,  9/15/17

 

If you live in the Bay Area, you’ll be hearing a lot about Senate Bill 595 over the next year or so. If you’re a regular user of any of the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges — that’s all of them, except the Golden Gate Bridge — you’ll want to pay close attention.

SB 595, which won final passage Thursday and now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, provides for a vote in the nine Bay Area counties next year to raise bridge tolls by as much as $3. If the Bay Area Toll Authority, the agency that oversees the bridges, seeks that maximum $3 increase, tolls for a single crossing would be as high as $9 — the potential rush-hour tab for a trip across the Bay Bridge. (If you’re hyperventilating, just remember we’re still not in Verrazano-Narrows Bridge territory; the cash toll on the span between Brooklyn and Staten Island rose $17 earlier this year.)

The higher tolls would pay for nearly three dozen transit and highway projects totaling $4.45 billion over the next 25 years. The complete list is at the end of this post, but highlights include:

  • BART would get $500 million to help pay for an expanded fleet of new-generation rail cars.
  • BART would get $50 million for preliminary design and engineering work on a second transbay crossing.
  • The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority would get $375 million, part of what it needs to build a planned BART extension to downtown San Jose.
  • Some $325 million would go to a long-dreamed-of Caltrain extension from San Francisco’s far-South of Market to downtown.
  • The Bay Area’s Water Emergency Transportation Authority would get $300 to pay for new boats and dock facilities.
  • On the highway side, $300 million in toll proceeds would go to building new paid express lanes on Bay Area freeways.
  • Another $1.1 billion would go to rebuilding interchanges and improving the most heavily traveled highway corridors.

Beyond the proposed spending, the bill’s most notable feature might be a provision put forward by longtime BART critic Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, to create a new inspector general position that would have sweeping authority to watch over the agency’s finances and performance.

A long list of local officials, unions, business and urban planning groups supported SB 595 as crucial for dealing with current and future transportation challenges in the Bay Area.

“This bill gives the Bay Area the bold plan it needs for the future,’’ Sen. Beall, the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement after the proposal finally made it through the Assembly on Wednesday. He added that the measure is especially important in Silicon Valley.

“On weekdays, an average of 602,000 vehicles enter and exit the Bay Area,” Beall said. “With the expansion of tech firms, such as Google and Apple, those numbers will grow. Let’s take action now to curb traffic before it becomes worse.”

So, what’s not to like in this picture?

Several Contra Costa County legislators — Assemblymember Tim Grayson and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier among them — opposed SB 595, saying that it’s 1) a regressive tax and 2) a ripoff for the residents of the East Bay.

Their main argument — both DeSaulnier and Grayson penned op-ed pieces for the East Bay Times — is that residents of Alameda and Contra Costa counties will pay significantly more in increased tolls than their communities will get back in benefits.

Grayson said after SB 595 passed the Assembly that while he understood the need for infrastructure upgrades in the Bay Area, “there is a fundamental lack of equity in this proposal. … East Bay commuters deserve a better and far more just measure.”

DeSaulnier, who has vowed to fight the toll increase as it heads to the ballot next year as Regional Measure 3, said he feels the long shopping list of projects in bill is the result of what he termed a politically driven planning process on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

“It’s frustrating that such an innovative area is so backward when it comes to transportation,” DeSaulnier said.

Here’s the comprehensive list of projects to be funded under SB 595, as detailed in the bill:

  1. BART Expansion Cars. Purchase new railcars for the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) to expand its fleet and improve reliability. The project sponsor is the BART. Five hundred million dollars ($500,000,000).
  2. Bay Area Corridor Express Lanes. Fund the environmental review, design, and construction of express lanes to complete the Bay Area Express Lane Network, including supportive operational improvements to connecting transportation facilities. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, express lanes on Interstate 80, Interstate 580, and Interstate 680 in the Counties of Alameda and Contra Costa, Interstate 880 in the County of Alameda, Interstate 280 in the City and County of San Francisco, Highway 101 in the City and County of San Francisco and the County of San Mateo, State Route 84 and State Route 92 in the Counties of Alameda and San Mateo, Interstate 80 from Red Top Road to the intersection with Interstate 505 in the County of Solano, and express lanes in the County of Santa Clara. Eligible project sponsors include the Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority, and any countywide or multicounty agency in a bay area county that is authorized to implement express lanes. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission shall make funds available based on performance criteria, including benefit-cost and project readiness. Three hundred million dollars ($300,000,000).
  3. Goods Movement and Mitigation. Provide funding to reduce truck traffic congestion and mitigate its environmental effects. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, improvements in the County of Alameda to enable more goods to be shipped by rail, access improvements on Interstate 580, Interstate 80, and Interstate 880, and improved access to the Port of Oakland. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission shall consult and coordinate with the Alameda County Transportation Commission to select projects for the program. Eligible applicants include cities, counties, countywide transportation agencies, rail operators, and the Port of Oakland. The project sponsor is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Alameda County Transportation Commission. One hundred sixty million dollars ($160,000,000).
  4. San Francisco Bay Trail/Safe Routes to Transit. Provide funding for a competitive grant program to fund bicycle and pedestrian access improvements on and in the vicinity of the state-owned toll bridges connecting to rail transit stations and ferry terminals. Eligible applicants include cities, counties, transit operators, school districts, community colleges, and universities. The project sponsor is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. One hundred fifty million dollars ($150,000,000).
  5. Ferry Enhancement Program. Provide funding to purchase new vessels, upgrade and rehabilitate existing vessels, build facilities and landside improvements, and upgrade existing facilities. The project sponsor is the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority. Three hundred million dollars ($300,000,000).
  6. BART to San Jose Phase 2. Extend BART from Berryessa Station to San Jose and Santa Clara. The project sponsor is the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Three hundred seventy-five million dollars ($375,000,000).
  7. Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART). Provide funding to extend the rail system north of the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport to the Cities of Windsor and Healdsburg. The project sponsor is the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District. Forty million dollars ($40,000,000).
  8. Capitol Corridor. Provide funding for track infrastructure that will improve the performance of Capital Corridor passenger rail operations by reducing travel times, adding service frequencies, and improving system safety and reliability. The project sponsor is the Capital Corridor Joint Powers Authority. Ninety million dollars ($90,000,000).
  9. Caltrain Downtown Extension. Extend Caltrain from its current terminus at Fourth Street and King Street to the Transbay Transit Center. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission shall allocate funding to the agency designated to build the project, which shall be the project sponsor. Three hundred twenty-five million dollars ($325,000,000).
  10. Muni Fleet Expansion and Facilities. Fund replacement and expansion of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s MUNI vehicle fleet and associated facilities. The project sponsor is the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. One hundred forty million dollars ($140,000,000).
  11. Core Capacity Transit Improvements. Implement recommendations from the Core Capacity Transit Study and other ideas to maximize person throughput in the transbay corridor. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, transbay bus improvements and high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane access improvements. Priority funding shall be the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District’s (AC Transit) Tier 1 and Tier 2 projects identified in the study. The project sponsors are the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Alameda County Transportation Commission, and AC Transit. One hundred forty million dollars ($140,000,000).
  12. Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) Rapid Bus Corridor Improvements. Fund bus purchases and capital improvements to reduce travel times and increase service frequency along key corridors. The project sponsors are AC Transit and Alameda County Transportation Commission. One hundred million dollars ($100,000,000).
  13. Transbay Rail Crossing. Fund preliminary engineering, environmental review, and design of a second transbay rail crossing and its approaches to provide additional rail capacity, increased reliability, and improved resiliency to the corridor. Subject to approval by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, funds may also be used for construction, and, if sufficient matching funds are secured, to fully fund a useable segment of the project. The project sponsor is the Bay Area Rapid Transit District. Fifty million dollars ($50,000,000).
  14. Tri-Valley Transit Access Improvements. Provide interregional and last-mile transit connections on the Interstate 580 corridor in the County of Alameda within the Tri-Valley area of Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission shall consult with the Alameda County Transportation Commission, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, and local jurisdictions to determine the project sponsor. One hundred million dollars ($100,000,000).
  15. Eastridge to BART Regional Connector. Extend Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail from the Alum Rock station to the Eastridge Transit Center. The project sponsor is the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. One hundred thirty million dollars ($130,000,000).
  16. San Jose Diridon Station. Redesign, rebuild, and expand Diridon Station to more efficiently and effectively accommodate existing regional rail services, future BART and high-speed rail service, and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail and buses. The project sponsor shall consider accommodating a future connection to Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport and prioritizing non-auto access modes. The project sponsor is the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. One hundred million dollars ($100,000,000).
  17. Dumbarton Corridor Improvements. Fund planning, environmental review, design, and construction of capital improvements within Dumbarton Bridge and rail corridor in the Counties of Alameda and San Mateo to relieve congestion, increase person throughput, and offer reliable travel times. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, the projects recommended in the Dumbarton Corridor Transportation Study and improvements to facilitate rail and transit connectivity among the Altamont Corridor Express, Capitol Corridor, and Bay Area Rapid Transit District, including a rail connection at Shinn Station. The project sponsors are the Bay Area Toll Authority, Alameda County Transportation Commission, the San Mateo County Transit District, and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. One hundred thirty million dollars ($130,000,000).
  18. Highway 101/State Route 92 Interchange. Fund improvements to the interchange of Highway 101 and State Route 92 in the County of San Mateo. The project is jointly sponsored by the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. Fifty million dollars ($50,000,000).
  19. Contra Costa Interstate 680/State Route 4 Interchange Improvements. Fund improvements to the Interstate 680/State Route 4 interchange to improve safety and reduce congestion, including, but not limited to, a new direct connector between northbound Interstate 680 and westbound State Route 4, a new direct connector between eastbound State Route 4 and southbound Interstate 680, and widening of State Route 4 to add auxiliary lanes and high-occupancy vehicle lanes. The project sponsor is the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Two hundred ten million dollars ($210,000,000).
  20. U.S. 101-Marin/Sonoma Narrows. Construct northbound and southbound high-occupancy vehicle lanes on U.S. 101 between Petaluma Boulevard South in Petaluma and Atherton Avenue in Novato. The project sponsors are the Transportation Authority of Marin and the Sonoma County Transportation Authority. One hundred twenty million dollars ($120,000,000).
  21. Solano County Interstate 80/Interstate 680/State HIghway 12 Interchange Project. Construct Red Top Road interchange and westbound Interstate 80 to southbound Interstate 680 connector. The project sponsor is the Solano Transportation Authority. One hundred fifty million dollars ($150,000,000).
  22. Interstate 80 Westbound Truck Scales. Improve freight mobility, reliability, and safety on the Interstate 80 corridor by funding improvements to the Interstate 80 Westbound Truck Scales in the County of Solano. The project sponsor is the Solano Transportation Authority. One hundred five million dollars ($105,000,000).
  23. State Highway 37 Improvements. Fund near-term and longer-term improvements to State Highway 37 to improve the roadway’s mobility, safety, and long-term resiliency to sea level rise and flooding. For the purposes of the environmental review and design, the project shall include the segment of State Highway 37 from the intersection in Marin County with U.S. 101 to the intersection with Interstate 80 in the County of Solano. Capital funds may used on any segment along this corridor, as determined by the project sponsors. The project is jointly sponsored by the Transportation Authority of Marin, the Napa Valley Transportation Authority, the Solano Transportation Authority, and the Sonoma County Transportation Authority. Funds for this project may be allocated to any of the project sponsors. One hundred million dollars ($100,000,000)
  24. San Rafael Transit Center. Construct a replacement to the San Rafael (Bettini) Transit Center on an existing or new site, or both, in downtown San Rafael. The selected alternative shall be approved by the City of San Rafael, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, the Transportation Authority of Marin, and Marin Transit. The project sponsor is the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Thirty million dollars ($30,000,000).
  25. Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Access Improvements. Fund eastbound and westbound improvements in the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge corridor, including a direct connector from northbound Highway 101 to eastbound Interstate 580, westbound access and operational improvements in the vicinity of the toll plaza east of the bridge in Contra Costa County, and Richmond Parkway interchange improvements. Of the amount allocated to this project, one hundred thirty-five million dollars ($135,000,000) shall be dedicated to the direct connector from northbound Highway 101 to eastbound Interstate 580 in Marin County and seventy-five million dollars ($75,000,000) shall be dedicated to the projects in Contra Costa County. The project sponsors are the Bay Area Toll Authority, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, and the Transportation Authority of Marin. Two hundred ten million dollars ($210,000,000).
  26. North Bay Transit Access Improvements. Provide funding for transit improvements, including, but not limited to, bus capital projects, including vehicles, transit facilities, and access to transit facilities, benefiting the Counties of Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, and Contra Costa. Priority shall be given to projects that are fully funded, ready for construction, and serving rail transit or transit service that operates primarily on existing or fully funded high-occupancy vehicle lanes. The project sponsor is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Eligible applicants are any transit operator providing service in the Counties of Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Solano, or Sonoma. One hundred million dollars ($100,000,000).
  27. State Highway 29. Eligible project expenses include State Highway 29 major intersection improvements, including Soscol Junction, and signal and signage improvements, which may include multimodal infrastructure and safety improvements between Carneros Highway (State Highway 12/121) and American Canyon Road. The project sponsor is the Napa Valley Transportation Authority. Twenty million dollars ($20,000,000).

    28. Next-Generation Clipper Transit Fare Payment System.
    Provide funding to design, develop, test, implement, and transition to the next generation of Clipper, the bay area’s transit fare payment system. The next-generation system will support a universal, consistent, and seamless transit fare payment system for the riders of transit agencies in the bay area. The project sponsor is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Fifty million dollars ($50,000,000).
  28. Interstate 680/Interstate 880/Route 262 Freeway Connector. Connect Interstate 680 and Interstate 880 in southern Alameda County to improve traffic movement, reduce congestion, and improve operations and safety. The project sponsor is the Alameda County Transportation Commission. Fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000).
  29. Interstate 680/State Highway 84 Interchange Reconstruction Project. Improve safety and regional and interregional connectivity by conforming State Highway 84 to expressway standards between south of Ruby Hill Drive and the Interstate 680 interchange in southern Alameda County and implementing additional improvements to reduce weaving and merging conflicts and help address the additional traffic demand between Interstate 680 and State Highway 84. The project sponsor is Alameda County Transportation Commission. Eighty-five million dollars ($85,000,000).
  30. Interstate 80 Transit Improvements. Fund improvements to support expanded bus service in the Interstate 80 corridor including, but not limited to, bus purchases, expansion of the WestCAT storage yard and maintenance facility. Fund implementation of the San Pablo Avenue Multi-modal Corridor (AC Transit). The project sponsor is Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000).
  31. Byron Highway-Vasco Road Airport Connector. Fund construction of a new connector between Byron Highway and Vasco Road south of Camino Diablo Road as well as shoulder and other improvements to the Byron Highway, including a railroad grade separation, to improve safety and access to the Byron Airport and to facilitate economic development and access for goods movement in East Contra Costa County. The project sponsor is Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Ten million dollars ($10,000,000).
  32. Vasco Road Safety Improvements. Fund the widening of lanes and construction of a concrete median barrier along 2.5 miles of Vasco Road beginning approximately three miles north of the Contra Costa/Alameda County Line. The project sponsor is Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000).
  33. East Contra Costa County Transit Intermodal Center. Fund the construction of a Transit Intermodal Center in Brentwood enhancing access to eBART and Mokelumne Bike Trail/Pedestrian Overcrossing at State Route 4. The project sponsor is Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000).
  34. Interstate 680 Transit Improvements. Fund improvements that will enhance transit service in the Interstate 680 corridor, including, but not limited to, implementing bus operations on shoulder (BOS), technology-based intermodal transit centers/managed parking lots and development of technology to enhance real-time travel information. Fund implementation of Shared Autonomous Vehicles (SAVs) to improve first and last mile transit connectivity. The project sponsor is Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Ten million dollars ($10,000,000).
  35. Transit Operating Support: The measure provides up to $60 million a year to support the operations of future regional express buses, the new Transbay Transit Center and expansions of of the Water Emergency Transportation Authorities ferries. WETA, which operates the San Francisco Bay Ferry system, would get the lion’s share of that money — as much as $40 million in operating support in coming years.

Small and Speedy, Gonzales Is a City on the Move

Gonzales, California is a town of approximately 9,000 people.  The Hispanic population in 94.6%.  You would think this is a poverty stricken, near bankrupt city with failing schools, high crime rates, etc.—that is what the Fake News media would lead us to believe.  Instead, based on sound economic policies, basic learning in schools and a community that hates crime, this is a role model for all communities, regardless of ethnic heritage.

“The small city of just 9,000 sits in the heart of the poor and agricultural Salinas Valley, a region known for its high poverty rate, a weak economy tied to agriculture, and a history of gangs. Despite all that, it has a success story to tell.

Start with Gonzales’s relatively low crime rate (a stark contrast with the higher-crime city of Salinas just 20 miles up the 101), and then look onward to its 95 percent high school graduation rate, new health care facilities and enviable doctor-to-patient ratio, investment in sustainability (symbolized by a giant wind turbine, the city’s tallest structure), and a remarkable record of economic development victories.”

A success story the Democrats do not want you to know about.

Karina-Onofre-at-City-Hall

Small and Speedy, Gonzales Is a City on the Move

With a Growing Economy, Good Schools, and a Low Crime Rate, It’s Outpacing Bigger Salinas Valley Rivals

 

By Joe Mathews, Zocalo Public Square,  9/18/17

Here’s a nasty bit of conventional wisdom: California’s small, rural places are supposedly desperate and doomed, with few economic prospects in an era when state policy favors the urban coastal mega-regions with high-paying jobs and reputations for world-class innovation.

But if that’s true, how do you explain Gonzales?

The small city of just 9,000 sits in the heart of the poor and agricultural Salinas Valley, a region known for its high poverty rate, a weak economy tied to agriculture, and a history of gangs. Despite all that, it has a success story to tell.

Start with Gonzales’s relatively low crime rate (a stark contrast with the higher-crime city of Salinas just 20 miles up the 101), and then look onward to its 95 percent high school graduation rate, new health care facilities and enviable doctor-to-patient ratio, investment in sustainability (symbolized by a giant wind turbine, the city’s tallest structure), and a remarkable record of economic development victories.

Most intriguingly, Gonzales has advanced by figuring out how to make its small size an advantage. Building on stable leadership—the relentless city manager, Rene Mendez, is in his 13th year in office—Gonzales has kept city government small and simple, operating more like a nonprofit that constantly seeks partnerships and grants. City hall is a one-story building the size of a small restaurant.

Being small has allowed Gonzales to move faster—and speed is highly desirable in a state as slow and bureaucratic as California. The city’s streamlined structure allows for speedier reviews and planning; getting a project approved takes months, not years. An example: A very large vegetable processing plant for Taylor Farms was unveiled in July 2013; by April 2014, the project was done.

The result: Gonzales has been growing faster economically than many wealthier communities in Monterey County. In the past three fiscal years, Gonzales’s tax base has grown by 17 percent, 19 percent, and 20 percent, respectively, as it has added industrial and commercial development. Those gains represent more than 1,200 new jobs within the city limits.

The city is now home to companies oriented toward technology, agriculture, and the environment. Among these are HealthySoil, which manufactures products that improve crop production; Ramsay Highlander, which designs and manufactures advanced harvesting equipment; and Constellation Brands, an international producer and marketer of beer, wine, and spirits.

Gonzales’s approach is unconventional among California small towns. The more typical formula is to beautify the town center and develop a signature entertainment venue that attracts visitors, while chasing major retailers like Costco to produce high levels of sales tax for municipal coffers.

Mendez, who grew up in Patterson in the San Joaquin Valley and came to Gonzales from a job as Inyo County administrator, knew that Gonzales, small and somewhat isolated, was not a natural fit for tourism and malls. Instead of chasing big retailers, he wanted the city to build itself to serve its own residents. So the city has focused on enhancing its industrial footprint and taking advantage of its location on the 101 in the Salinas Valley, where good weather and clean water produce vegetables. Instead of having a Costco, Gonzales is the place that produces the vegetable trays that you buy at Costco.

Being small has allowed Gonzales to move faster—and speed is highly desirable in a state as slow and bureaucratic as California. … The result: Gonzales has been growing faster economically than many wealthier communities in Monterey County.

Mendez says one virtue of a small city is that there is no bureaucracy. He and other city leaders have to build relationships directly with businesses, nonprofits, and other governments because they have no coterie of aides to do that for them.

Building those relationships, in environment-obsessed Monterey County, has required investments to match partners’ interest in sustainability. Gonzales built a wind turbine, its tallest structure and most distinguishing landmark, to accommodate the sustainability-minded Taylor Farms, which does extensive recycling of water and waste and relies on solar power and onsite cogeneration in its growing Gonzales processing facility.

Soon, Gonzales will be home to a 130,000-square foot Mann Packing facility that will reuse all water on site.

Many of Gonzales’ partnerships are designed to serve its youthful population: 60 percent of residents are below age 35, and more than one-third are 18 or younger. These youth partnerships include the Gonzales Youth 21st Century Success initiative, which focuses on building academic skills, and Bright Futures, which builds career readiness.

The city government also expands its capacity by hiring young people as interns and using them even in policy roles. In 2013, the city and school district jointly created a Youth Council that writes grant applications for school camps, tackles community improvement projects, and helps form policy, most recently in devising legislation on medical marijuana and on “social hosting,” the term for adults who host underage drinking parties. To give the Youth Council teeth, two of its members have non-voting seats on the city council. “I’ve found the city does listen to us, because we’re there,” says one council member, Cindy Aguilar, 16.

But the best example of the Gonzales method may involve health care.

Five years ago, the city had just one full-time doctor who was overwhelmed by patients needing her services. So the city identified a vacant piece of land and worked to convince Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, which has a hospital up the road in Salinas, to open a satellite facility there. A fundraising campaign, led by a million-dollar donation from Taylor Farms, helped get that clinic built.

That might have been enough in some places, but simultaneously, the city was negotiating with non-profit Clinica de Salud to set up a second clinic. Gonzales now has six doctors and four dentists, and isn’t stopping there; a partnership with the county health department is working on new community health goals.

Gonzales’ record is less impressive on other issues, especially housing. The city is badly overcrowded, with 4.1 persons per household. Mendez notes that Gonzales hasn’t managed to build even one single-family home since 2005, though that’s not for lack of effort. The city is working on three new developments that could produce more than 6,000 housing units, as well as new schools and a library. But none have been built, as developers and the city struggle with familiar California issues of ownership, financing, and regulation.

In California, small, freewheeling cities have been viewed with suspicion because of scandals like the one in the city of Bell, where the city manager and his allies plundered $5.5 million, via inflated salaries that were the highest in the nation. But Gonzales shows that a small city can put freedom to good use, if it’s willing to seek partners. (For the record, the city pays Mendez $190,000 a year, about average for a California city manager).

Mendez says Gonzales is not singular; other California rural cities can make similar progress if they’re relentless about seeking collaborations with other institutions, particularly with each other. “Our types of communities have to do a better job of working together to pursue jobs and advocate for each other,” he says.

And Gonzales has more to do. Community development director Thomas Truszkowski took me around the city, talking about infrastructural improvements for industry. These might include a second wind turbine, to provide more renewable energy. Gonzales also could use a hotel, he said—to accommodate the visiting executives and employees of the city’s many businesses.

On these and other projects, Gonzales is looking for partners.

Not a Joke! Feds Spend $587,441 to Make Engineering a ‘Safe Zone’ for LGBTQ Students

Did you know that it is not safe to be gay in the engineering field?  Are you aware that transgendered folks, have another problem to consider, the engineering filed, which deals in absolutes, doesn’t care if you deny your DNA, they just want results—no special privileges because you take hormone pills/shots every day—either perform or you do not get the job.

Now we find that the National Science Foundation wants to combat “chilly” receptions.  Is it that gays and bi-sexuals are asking for jobs or is it because folks that are demanding engineering jobs use there orientation as a reason to be hired—gendered based affirmative action?

“Recent research on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals in engineering has shown that the climate can be unfriendly (or ‘chilly’) for both students and professionals,” according to the grant for the study. “This project aims to increase the inclusion of LGBTQ students and professionals in engineering.”

The study aims to “foster inclusion” and allow college faculty and professors to “become change agents.”

Maybe if these folks promoted their qualifications instead of their orientation the reception would not be chilly.  Get the chip off your shoulder and prove you are capable of the work—like all other Americans.

ShakingHandsWithMoney

Feds Spend $587,441 to Make Engineering a ‘Safe Zone’ for LGBTQ Students

Study seeks to combat ‘chilly’ environment for LGBTQ engineers

BY: Elizabeth Harrington, Washington Free Beacon,  9/18/17

The National Science Foundation is spending over $100,000 to create “safe zone” inclusion training so more members of the LGBTQ community become engineers.

The project, which will not start until January 2018, is a joint study being conducted by the American Society For Engineering Education, Rowan University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The focus of the study is to find ways to combat what the researchers call a “chilly” environment for lesbian, gay, and transgender individuals in engineering labs.

Two separate grants totaling $587,441 were awarded Thursday. A grant worth $473,325 was awarded to the American Society For Engineering Education, and $114,116 was given to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“Recent research on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals in engineering has shown that the climate can be unfriendly (or ‘chilly’) for both students and professionals,” according to the grant for the study. “This project aims to increase the inclusion of LGBTQ students and professionals in engineering.”

The study aims to “foster inclusion” and allow college faculty and professors to “become change agents.”

“The project will identify issues faced by LGBTQ students and professionals in engineering, identify and implement strategies to create more welcoming engineering environments, and disseminate those strategies so that they can be expanded to a national level,” the grant states.

The study also involves creating an online course called “SafeZone,” which can train college engineering professors how to be inclusive to gay students and other sexual minorities.

“In addition, the research will be the basis of systematic development and formative refinement of an online SafeZone course to provide inclusion training to engineering students and professionals nationwide,” the grant states.

“A chilly climate for LGBTQ individual [sic] can be found in every sector of STEM professions, where cultural norms and professional ideologies make it difficult to recognize and rectify exclusionary practices,” the grant states. “One negative consequence of this chilly environment is difficulty in recruiting and retaining talented LGBTQ individuals into the engineering profession.”

“This project uses qualitative research to generate new knowledge about the processes of developing a community of practice to promote LGBTQ inclusion in engineering, how the members of the community develop into change agents, and what strategies are effective in reshaping norms and increasing LGBTQ inclusion in engineering departments,” the grant added.

Kelly Cross, a post-doctoral researcher for the University of Illinois, Stephanie Farrell, the chair of experiential engineering education at Rowan University, and Rocio Chavela Guerra of the American Society for Engineering Education, are leading the study.

Cross list of research interests includes “diversity and inclusion in STEM, intersectionality, teamwork and communication skills, assessment, and identity construction.”