UCLA study: To fairly implement a road congestion tax, give poor people cash

Want to make sure you push the middle class out of California?  Easy?  Create a “congestion tax”, forcing the middle class to pay for the right to drive on streets and freeways—while giving the poor cash and the rich do not care.

“Congestion pricing requires payment to use certain roads to address environmental concerns. This, theoretically, forces people to use other means of transportation, such as carpools or mass transit, thus reducing the number of cars on the road.

But the concern is only middle-class and wealthier families could afford to use such pay-to-drive roads.

The UCLA report, “Guardrails on Priced Lanes: Protecting Equity While Promoting Efficiency,” suggests cash payments to the poorest 13 percent of drivers to be fair and equitable.

The three scholars who authored the report recommend pricing freeway lanes according to demand, and using a portion of the toll revenue “to assist the low-income people who those prices might burden.”

California already has the highest gas tax in the nation—along with the highest cost of gasoline.  Add to it, and you either create more poor or Texans.

UCLA study: To fairly implement a road congestion tax, give poor people cash

ANDREW THOMPSON, College Fix,  5/13/22

As bureaucrats eye implementing road congestion taxes, a group of UCLA scholars has looked at how to put such policies in place while also being fair and equitable to poor people.

Their preferred solution: give low-income households cash assistance.

Congestion pricing requires payment to use certain roads to address environmental concerns. This, theoretically, forces people to use other means of transportation, such as carpools or mass transit, thus reducing the number of cars on the road.

But the concern is only middle-class and wealthier families could afford to use such pay-to-drive roads.

The UCLA report, “Guardrails on Priced Lanes: Protecting Equity While Promoting Efficiency,” suggests cash payments to the poorest 13 percent of drivers to be fair and equitable.

The three scholars who authored the report recommend pricing freeway lanes according to demand, and using a portion of the toll revenue “to assist the low-income people who those prices might burden.”

“The optimal way to deliver this assistance is via a cash transfer that every person below a certain income threshold is automatically opted into,” the report added. “Such an approach would protect low-income travelers while being neutral with respect to mode: It would provide assistance to people who drove at peak times, but it would not condition assistance on doing so.”

In effect, the proposal amounts to a form of income redistribution, as the coffers of wealthier commuters would be used to finance the transportation activities of low-income commuters. Wealthier groups do the most driving, meaning that the burden of tolled roads mostly falls on groups with higher socio-economic status.

Its authors are Professor Michael Manville with the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Gregory Pierce, co-director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, and Bryan Graveline, a grad student researcher.

They based their study on the heavily traversed metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Inland Empire, San Jose, San Diego and Sacramento.

In an email interview with The College Fix, Manville said roadways are a shared commodity.

“A free road is a monopoly good regulated by a government price control, and as such it operates inefficiently. So people should pay to use it, the way they pay for electricity,” he said.

Manville characterized the proposal as a “fee-for service” rather than a tax, noting the similarity between the proposal and the manner utility companies operate.

But, he added in his email, “it’s important not to have prices so high that low-income people can’t get around. This is, again, also how investor-owned utilities operate. So some of the toll money is returned to lower-income people to help them defray the costs.”

In response to a question asking if the proposal was basically a tax on the rich, he said the word “rich” doesn’t appear in the report.

According to the Brookings Institute, the “taboo against pricing roads is slowly fading.”

“Cities are starting to recognize the opportunity to reduce roadway congestion without waiting for federal or state governments to provide billions in funding for costly new infrastructure,” the think tank argued in October 2019.

“Congestion pricing is already the standard in our choices about how we travel, where we shop, even when we go to the movies—it’s time to bring it to our roads, too.”

But Manville and his fellow researchers aimed to address the equity implications of congestion pricing.

According to the report, 13 percent of households in the studied area would be “unduly burdened” by congestion pricing. Unlike similar policies implemented in other countries, the effect on low-income residents is concerning because most such households drive rather than using other forms of transportation for their commute.

However, “utilities do mostly manage this equity problem: They have policies that protect low-income consumers and ensure that pricing does not deny them access. Some of these policies can be models for congestion pricing.”

The UCLA proposal suggests using toll revenues to fund transportation stipends for low-income households. The authors suggest that the proposed payments could also be used to purchase fares for other modes of transportation.

Five things to know about nuclear power in California

This is what you need to know about nuclear power in 2022:

It is clean

It is cheap

It is safe

It is needed.

Only those that love inflation, high taxes and pushing people and jobs out of California oppose it.

“Today, the facility employs about 1,500 workers. Its 2,240 megawatts of electricity generation is roughly enough to support the needs of more than 3 million people, according to PG&E. 

Nuclear power accounted for 9.3% of California’s electricity in 2020; natural gas was by far the primary source at about 37%, according to the California Energy Commission.”

Worse, once closed there is no plan to replace the 10% of power it provides Californians.  Imagine without it, we will only be allowed electricity for several hours a day if we want to keep businesses open.

Five things to know about nuclear power in California

BY NADIA LOPEZ, CalMatters,   5/13/22  

IN SUMMARY

Gov. Newsom is considering seeking federal funds to keep Diablo Canyon open as California transitions away from fossil fuels. But there are many complications to keeping nuclear power in California.

As California makes progress toward meeting its ambitious climate goals, one concern has gone unanswered: How can it stop burning fossil fuels while ensuring the power grid remains reliable? 

That question is at the center of a debate over the state’s use of nuclear power.

Nuclear power does not rely on fossil fuels, so it doesn’t produce large volumes of planet-warming pollutants as other energy sources do. While it’s seen as a climate-friendly alternative, opponents cite safety threats and problems storing radioactive waste.

Now, nearly six years after the decision to close California’s last nuclear power plant —  the 2,240-megawatt Diablo Canyon facility — Gov. Gavin Newsom says he is considering applying for federal funding that would keep it open past its scheduled 2025 closure. It’s a move, he said, that could avoid rolling blackouts and power shortages as the state transitions to renewables and braces for more extreme heat, wildfires, drought and floods. 

Newsom has until May 19 to apply for the funding and would need the facility’s owner, Pacific Gas & Electric, to get on board, too. Some experts say if Diablo Canyon is shut down, there’s a good chance state officials will be scrambling to replace the lost megawatts. 

So what should Californians know about the state’s reliance on nuclear power? Here are five key takeaways:

Diablo Canyon supplies enough power for 3 million people

Perched on California’s gusty Central Coast, Diablo Canyon has been supplying power to the state’s electric grid since 1985. But the plant near San Luis Obispo has been battered by controversy the entire time. 

Just a few years into construction, PG&E found the site was near several seismic fault lines. That spurred lawsuits and massive, statewide protests, culminating in the largest arrest in the history of the country’s anti-nuclear movement. Despite the opposition, the plant was completed.

Today, the facility employs about 1,500 workers. Its 2,240 megawatts of electricity generation is roughly enough to support the needs of more than 3 million people, according to PG&E. 

Nuclear power accounted for 9.3% of California’s electricity in 2020; natural gas was by far the primary source at about 37%, according to the California Energy Commission.

California gets nuclear power from out of state, too

Most of California’s nuclear energy is generated by Diablo Canyon, but it also imports nuclear-powered electricity from Arizona and Washington state, according to the California Energy Commission.  

Twenty-eight states have at least one commercial nuclear reactor. But some also are facing possible closure in the decades to come.

Arizona’s Palo Verde Generating Station is the country’s largest power plant, with three nuclear reactors built in the late 1980s. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2011 granted the plant a license to continue operating until 2047

Twelve commercial reactors have closed in the past decade, including in New York, Massachusetts, Nebraska and Iowa. Yet Oregon-based NuScale Power recently gained approval to build test reactors in Idaho in 2029 and 2030.

California imports more electricity than any other state — about 30% of its supply in 2020, including some from coal-fired plants that are larges sources of greenhouse gases, according to the California Energy Commission. 

Hurdles remain to keeping the plant open

In 2016 PG&E announced plans to permanently shutter Diablo Canyon, noting that the transition to renewable energy would make continued operations too costly. The California Public Utilities Commission approved the closure in 2018, after the utility reached a settlement agreement with advocacy groups and environmentalists. One reactor is slated to close in 2024, followed by the second in 2025.

Faced with a potential power crunch as climate change ravages the state, Newsom said PG&E should consider applying for $6 billion in federal funds that the Biden administration set aside to rescue nuclear plants from closing. 

But the prospect of keeping it open could face numerous technical, financial and logistical hurdles.

PG&E and the Nuclear Regulatory Commision, which issues the licenses to keep the plant operating, would have to expedite the renewal process in time for the quickly-approaching shutdown. 

PG&E did not respond to multiple requests for comment. In a statement to CalMatters, the CPUC said “all options are on the table.” 

“Electricity reliability for California is a main priority,” said spokesperson Terrie Prosper. “Extending the operation of Diablo Canyon will require examination by the CPUC.” 

PG&E also would have to address aging infrastructure problems and make investments to comply with the state’s water-cooling regulations, according to Matthew Freedman, a staff attorney with The Utility Reform Network, a consumer advocacy organization.

Bottom of Form

Delaying the closure could potentially be more expensive for ratepayers. A better alternative would be to improve the state’s energy storage capacity for renewable energy, he said. 

“Since the continued operation of Diablo Canyon could prove to be very expensive, any proposal to keep the plant alive must be accompanied by binding cost containment and protections for ratepayers,” Freedman said. “PG&E’s rates have already been skyrocketing and we want to do everything we can to bring it down. So we’re definitely against any proposal that would give PG&E a blank check.”

Nuclear power comes at an environmental cost 

Nuclear energy is generated from splitting uranium atoms in a reactor. This process, called fission, produces steam that is then used by turbines to create electricity. The result is a reliable, 24/7 energy supply. But operating the plant still has consequences for communities and the environment. 

Nuclear plants require water as a cooling mechanism to prevent them from overheating. That water is often released back into the ocean at a much higher temperature that could damage marine habitats. 

And while power plants don’t produce greenhouse gases, they do produce a toxic byproduct: spent nuclear fuel, which must be disposed of safely.

Opponents of nuclear energy argue that people of color, including Black, Latino and Native American communities, are especially vulnerable to harm from mining uranium as well as the disposal and storage of radioactive waste. Companies that operate these plants have long used ancestral native lands and other areas near disadvantaged communities to source materials and store spent fuel, said Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace. 

Critics of Diablo Canyon also say the facility’s infrastructure is outdated and flawed. Burnie said the threat of earthquakes is a top concern. The 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima was caused by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

“It’s a complete distraction, it’s infuriating. This is about saving an embattled nuclear industry — it’s not about saving the climate.”

SHAUN BURNIE, GREENPEACE

Instead, he said the state should abandon the idea of keeping the plant open, focusing solely on renewable energy projects and decentralizing the power grid.  

“It’s a complete distraction, it’s infuriating,” Burnie said. “This is about saving an embattled nuclear industry — it’s not about saving the climate.” 

Still, the state’s plan to reduce its reliance on nuclear energy has not been an easy transition. Renewable energy projects have faced delays due to the pandemic and worsening drought could drive declines in hydropower energy production. Heat waves have triggered rolling blackouts and brownouts as demand for electricity soars.

“Our view is that zero-carbon resources are the replacement for Diablo Canyon and we don’t think more fossil fuel generation is needed,” Freedman said. “That being said, we understand that there are challenges with reliability that policymakers are trying to

Proponents laud nuclear power as zero-carbon, lower-cost

Diablo Canyon has played a crucial role in providing carbon-free energy and maintaining the reliability of California’s power grid, said Jacopo Buongiorno, a professor at MIT’s department of nuclear science and engineering. Without it, Buongiorno said, it will be difficult to meet demand as intensifying weather patterns increasingly strain the grid. He said the state needs to rely on all kinds of renewable and carbon-free sources, including nuclear energy, to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2045. 

“Given the magnitude of the challenge that we’re facing in terms of decarbonizing and mitigating climate change, I would argue that we should use more nuclear energy, we should use more solar and more wind,” he said. “Everything that does not emit carbon dioxide should be on the table.”

Buongiorno acknowledged safety and nuclear waste concerns, but described the risks as minimal compared to the detrimental effects that fossil fuel emissions have on the environment and heavily-polluted communities. He said the storage of nuclear fuel is also highly regulated and handled in a “safe, effective manner” with the use of dry cast storage. 

“Given the magnitude of the (climate change) challenge that we’re facing, I would argue that we should use more nuclear energy, we should use more solar and more wind.”

JACOPO BUONGIORNO, MIT’S DEPARTMENT OF NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

If Diablo Canyon were to close, maintaining a carbon-neutral grid by 2045 would require more energy storage — at least 18 gigawatts of solar power, according to a joint 2021 Stanford and MIT study co-led by Buongiorno. To build those solar facilities, the state would need about 90,000 acres of land compared to the 900-acre Diablo Canyon site. Finding that available space could be a challenge due to an executive order requiring the state to preserve 30% of its natural and coastal lands by 2030. 

The study found that keeping Diablo Canyon open could save an estimated $2.6 billion in power system costs from 2025 to 2035. The price of natural gas has risen recently, so existing nuclear power plants tend to be more competitive, Buongiorno said.

The cost of electricity from solar and battery storage is higher than the cost of Diablo Canyon alone, “so there are savings simply from operating a cheaper asset,” he said. 

Excluding the price of nuclear fuel, PG&E spent $1.2 billion in 2021 to operate Diablo Canyon.

Steven Chu, a Stanford University physics professor and the energy secretary during the Obama administration, said the state should be making every effort to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. Closing Diablo Canyon would only slow that transition, he said.

“Nuclear power may be certainly the lesser of two evils compared to keeping oil and natural gas plants,” he said. “You can’t wave a magic wand and say we go 100% wind and solar because they are intermittent. It’s easy to go from zero to 50%. It’s much harder to go from 50 to 75% and nearly impossible to get to 100%.” 

Newsom unveils $18.1 billion relief package to address inflation

Newsom and the Democrats are going to add to the inflation woes of our State by spending tax dollars.  With that, they are also making it easier for folks NOT to work.  Utility bills paid, “free” public transportation for three months (otherwise the buses and trains would be empty). Rental help, insurance help and more.  While he is asking to postpone the diesel tax for a full year, he only wants to give a one time $400 check to car owners—enough to pay for the gas tax increase he is allowing, starting July 1.

To make sure fewer people are hired, he is raising the minimum wage to $15.50.  The good news is that we already have a worker shortage, so the bad service we are getting is going to be the norm.  This budget is a disaster for working folks and a glorious day for the illegal aliens, the very rich and the poor.  I call this the “Newsom Texas/Florida Budget—it will cause more middle class and businesses to move out of State.

Newsom unveils $18.1 billion relief package to address inflation

Photo courtesy of 401(K) 2013, Flickr

By Madison Hirneisen | The Center Square, 5/12/22   

(The Center Square) – Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a $18.1 billion dollar relief package on Thursday to address rising inflationary costs by leveraging the state’s budget surplus.

The package, introduced a day before Newsom is set to reveal the revised state budget, comes as Californians are still paying the highest prices in the nation for gas and facing rising prices at the grocery store due to inflation and supply chain issues.

A large portion of the relief package – $11.5 billion – is dedicated to tax refunds for Californians and includes the governor’s rebate proposal announced in March to send $400 checks to every registered vehicle owner, with a cap of two checks per individual. Newsom’s gas relief proposal also included three months of free public transportation, and his relief package includes $750 million to fund it.

“This inflation relief package will help offset the higher costs that Californians are facing right now and provide support to those still recovering from the pandemic,” Newsom said in a statement.

The funding package utilizes the state’s budget surplus to “get money back into the pockets of Californians,” Newsom said. Last week, Senate Democrats indicated that the surplus has stretched up to $68 billion, far higher than the $29 billion estimated in January.

Under Newsom’s proposed relief package, hospital workers and skilled nursing facility workers who have delivered care “to the most acute patients” during the pandemic would be eligible for $1,500 as part of $933 million earmarked for hospital and nursing home staff.

The relief package also includes:

  • $2.7 billion to provide emergency rental assistance to low-income tenants who applied for assistance before March 31
  • $1.4 billion to help residents pay back past-due utility bills, including $1.2 billion for electricity and $200 million for water bills
  • $304 million to expand “health insurance premium assistance under Covered California for families of four earning up to $166,500 annually”
  • $439 million to pause the diesel sales tax for 12 months
  • $157 million to “waive child care fees for low-income families”

“These investments will make a meaningful impact on the lives of Californians by making health care and child care more affordable while also providing relief for the many who struggled to afford the cost of energy during the pandemic,” Health & Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said in a statement.

The state will also see its minimum wage increase to $15.50 an hour for workers starting January 1, 2023, Newsom’s office announced Thursday. The “accelerated increase” comes as a result of inflation exceeding 7%, according to the governor’s office.

“The wage increase will benefit millions of California households that are struggling to keep pace with the highest rate of inflation in decades,” Newsom’s office said in a news release.

Newson:  Give $3 Billion to School Districts for Students that Do Not EXIST

In the past two years California government school’s enrollment declined by 270,000.  Instead of cutting the payment for the non-existent students, Newsom is proposing to pay for the ghost students.  Money that could be used to roll back high taxes, the homeless, crime and drug crisis is going to school districts for students that no longer exist.

“The TK-12 budget includes a sizable increase in general funding under the Local Control Funding Formula, which school districts and legislative leaders had made their #1 priority, as well $4 billion in funding for school construction and extra money for Newsom’s community schools initiative.

Newsom would also provide $3.3 billion to compensate districts for plunging attendance this year, in recognition of the impact of the Delta and Omicron variants on schools. Since school districts and charter schools are funded based on the prior year’s average daily attendance, Newsom’s proposal will further boost next year’s funding and address superintendents’ biggest worry.

With a quarter of a million fewer students, so far, they continue to construct more school buildings—L.A., San Fran, Oakland and many other districts are closing schools—and Gavin wants to build new monumnets to failed education.

$20 billion more for schools, community colleges under Gov. Newsom’s revised budget

JOHN FENSTERWALDKAREN D’SOUZAALI TADAYONMICHAEL BURKE,ANDASHLEY A. SMITH, Edsource,  5/13/22 

Gov. Gavin Newsom unveils his 2022-2023 state budget revision during a news conference in Sacramento on May 13, 2022.

With state revenues continuing to defy projections, schools and community colleges would receive a record $128 billion in 2022-23 under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised state budget, which he presented on Friday. That’s nearly $20 billion more than the governor proposed just five months ago.

Newsom reaffirmed his January budget pledge of a 5% increase to the base funding to the University of  California and California State University for the next five years, in exchange for agreements to improve graduation rates and enroll more students and transfer students.

The TK-12 budget includes a sizable increase in general funding under the Local Control Funding Formula, which school districts and legislative leaders had made their #1 priority, as well $4 billion in funding for school construction and extra money for Newsom’s community schools initiative.

Newsom would also provide $3.3 billion to compensate districts for plunging attendance this year, in recognition of the impact of the Delta and Omicron variants on schools. Since school districts and charter schools are funded based on the prior year’s average daily attendance, Newsom’s proposal will further boost next year’s funding and  address superintendents’ biggest worry.

Newsom already had proposed leveling projected post-pandemic declines in enrollment by proposing to let districts to switch to a three-year rolling attendance. He agreed to go further, he said, after hearing from districts and education advocates that the measure wouldn’t go far enough to make up for their enrollment loss in recent years.

“We’re basically softening that impact,” Newsom said.

Bob Blattner, a school consultant, commended the governor. “While the details are lacking, the governor listened loud and clear about this year’s attendance collapse,” he said.

Newsom touted his education proposals as education reform, while chastising governors of other states for focusing on arbitrary things like banning books or trying to fight “something that doesn’t exist,” critical race theory.

“That’s what all their time and attention goes to, that’s not education, period, let alone reform,” Newsom said. “We call it transforming public education, this will take some years but that’s what we’ve been doing the last couple years,” Newsom said. “We’re not just promoting, we’re investing, and you can see that reflected in these new investments.”

Other highlights of the TK-12 budget include:

  • $8 billion in discretionary, one-time funding to districts, distributed on a per-student basis.  Newsom encouraged districts to address the continuing effects of the pandemic by supporting students’ mental health and wellness and learning challenges and take unspecified actions to preserve staffing levels.
  • An additional $500 million in one-time funding to expand residencies for teachers and school counselors.
  • $1.5 billion on top of the $3 billion the Legislature approved last year for the California Community  Schools Partnership Program. Next week, the State Board of Education will approve the first round of funding for the program, which enables low-income schools to expand family involvement and to create community partnerships addressing a range of student emotional and academic needs (see story). “We want to continue to build that momentum and those partnerships in the spirit of something that should have happened decades ago: bringing parents and the larger community to bring that whole-person focus to our public education system,” Newsom said
  • A cost of living adjustment of 6.56% for the Local Control Funding Formula, the largest COLA since the formula was adopted in 2013. In Newsom’s January budget, it was 5.33%.
  • An additional $1.8 billion, on top of the $2.2 billion proposed in January, for new school construction and modernization. That money would come from the state’s General Fund.

On a cautionary note, the overall ongoing funding for Proposition 98, the formula that determines the percentage of state funding that must go to schools and community colleges, is projected to be $110 billion in 2022-23, the same as the current year ­– an indication that the three-year surge in revenue, mainly from capital gains receipts and personal income taxes, may be leveling off.

Not included in Newsom’s budget is a state subsidy for district contributions for employee pensions through CalSTRS and CalPERS, which face a steep increase in 2022-23. Newsom also doesn’t include increased funding for busing students to school – a priority of both the Senate and the Assembly.

Newsom and the Legislature now have a month to negotiate the final version of the budget to meet the June 15 constitutional deadline.

Higher education

In exchange for Newsom’s pledge to increase base funding for UC and CSU, the systems have committed to things like improving graduation rates, increasing enrollment of California undergraduates and transfer students and eliminating equity gaps in graduation rates.

Newsom originally proposed those funding agreements in his January budget proposal, dubbing them “multi-year compacts,” and said Friday that his administration has completed the agreements. For UC, the 5% base increase means it would receive $200.5 million more in base funding in 2022-23 over 2021-22, while CSU would get $211.1 million more.

His administration has also finalized what Newsom is calling a “multi-year roadmap” with the state’s system of 116 community colleges. The community college system is expected to make progress toward similar goals as UC and CSU, though Newsom didn’t tie specific funding increases to progress on those goals, since the community colleges receive base funding via Proposition 98.

Newsom said Friday that the promise of 5% funding increases would help UC and CSU plan for the future, unlike in the past when they haven’t been guaranteed any specific amount of funding from year to year.

“We think this will be a game changer,” Newsom said.

Notably absent from Newsom’s proposal, however, was any major reform to the Cal Grant program, something sure to disappoint student leaders and college access advocates that say the state’s main system of awarding financial aid is in need of an overhaul.

Early Education

The budget earmarks $157 million toward extending the current waiver on family fees for the state’s subsidized childcare. The proposal will help about 40,000 cash-strapped families save up to $595 a month during a time of rampant inflation, officials say.

“This is huge,” said Gina Fromer, CEO of Children’s Council of San Francisco, a resource and referral agency. “Making state-subsidized child care and preschool more affordable keeps critically needed dollars in parents’ pockets. It allows struggling child care providers to continue caring for children, and it keeps our economy moving forward.”

Second American Civil War has Started

The summer of 2020 saw the new American Civil War starting.  The BLM/Antifa looting and burning of our streets—without law enforcement stopping it was like the shot in South Carolina that started the first Civil War.  Government allowed murder, rapes, burning, looting and the killing of American cities. Since then the flight of decent people from the cities became a flood.

Portland, Oregon no longer pretends to have a police department—it is a fight between the totalitarians and the decent citizens who have no left yet.  Our campuses have become the ideological headquarters for the Progressive Civil War supporters—education is no longer a priority on American campuses.

Most of our media is in support of the radical insurrection—the real one, not the phony Democrat created January 6 protests.  We are now are the point that, in my opinion, when the Supreme Court announces, officially, its decision on Roe v Wade, the summer of 2020 will look like summer camp.  Blood will again be in our streets—created by the Stalinists of our time—Democrats.  You have less than six weeks to prepare yourself.

There Will Be Blood

By Blaine L. Pardoe, American Thinker,  5/13/22 

Progressive activists have long fallen on the tactic of resorting to violence, destruction, and even bloodshed to get their points across. With the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on abortion, I feel assured they will once more pull this oft-used tool from their belt, and once again resort to carnage and mayhem. Already, they vandalized several Catholic churches last weekend, and firebombed a Right to Life group’s headquarters. A bullet was fired into the office of the Virginia Attorney General this week as well. Violence is already here. These were all pre-game activities as they warm up for what is to come.

In reality however, members of the far Left have consistently resorted to violence and sanctioned attacks against civilians. Many of the Vietnam protests turned into riots. Domestic terrorists belonging to the Weather Underground bombed school buildings, the U.S. Capitol, and the Pentagon. The SLA robbed banks, set off bombs and murdered innocent people.

In recent years, staff of the Trump Administration, such as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, faced confrontational harassment and were asked to leave businesses – actions fully supported by politicians such as Maxine Waters. Mad Maxine encouraged her followers to publicly accost Trump officials. Ten years earlier, such a statement by a politician would earn a well-deserved censure in the House. Now, it is accepted and even supported with nary an uproar. Let’s not forget that in June of 2017, a Bernie Sanders supporter shot and wounded Representative Steve Scalise during a baseball game. Encouraging acts of aggression gets you one thing – more aggression.

The characterization of the riots of 2020 as “mostly peaceful protests” by the mainstream media and Democrat leadership simply reinforces their willingness to cross the line into outright violence to make their point. The media love the violence because violence equals ratings and clicks on the web. They will highlight the carnage that is to come and make sure we all see it on the nightly news. They will paint the domestic terrorists as patriots. They, like the Democrat leadership, see the violence as the justified ‘means to an end’ of their social agenda.

Fear-mongering to whip their constituents into a frenzy has already begun. Warnings that same-sex marriages could be on the chopping block, and interracial marriage rights will face removal are the calling cards left by the ‘progressive’ Left. The View went so far as to warn that “….fascism is coming!” While we all joke that The View is far from a credible source, they do have a voice, no matter how cackling and grating it may be. Progressives are literally stoking the coals to start a fire that simply is nonexistent. In doing so, they are complacent in whatever violence may come.

In the past, the extreme Left was the source of mayhem, far removed from the Democratic party of John F. Kennedy. The problem today is, the Democrat Party and the extreme Left are one and the same. The Party shifted so far left, that the violent fringe is where the mainstream party now resides. As such, they have no issues with utilizing violence to achieve their ends. Machiavelli would be proud.

There will be blood because their other, more traditional tactics, are failing. Labeling people/groups as ‘Nazi’ or ‘racist’ ceases to have meaning. Painting parents as domestic terrorists backfired. Defaming and degrading, perhaps the most choice weapons in the Left’s arsenal, only further alienate people. Most grow tired of the rhetoric. America is numb to their false polls, their pundits, and their late-night-show hit jobs. Censorship and demonization of conservatives on social media reached a tipping point with Musk’s Twitter purchase. With midterms coming, even the most jaded person can see the tide is turning against the Left. What remains is brute force.

The best barometer of support for this tactic was the lack of action from the White House itself over the protests outside the homes of the Supreme Court justices. On their own, these protests were clearly attempts to influence the Justice’s decision which has not been issued – a violation of federal law. Did the White House condemn these actions and warn off the protestors with arrests? Did the Mumbler-in-Chief speak out against this and attempt to quell the anger? No. While they asked for no violence or threats, they saw no issues with this kind of personal harassment. In essence, they signaled to the crowd, ‘go for it!’

We are in no man’s land – between the illegal leak of the High Court’s decision and the formal announcement of its ruling. Rest assured, protest signs are being printed and plans for large-scale riots are underway. The Progressives are akin to spoiled children – if they don’t get their way, a temper-tantrum is inevitable. While I hope that I am wrong; I fear what is to come. A people who would advocate for the killing of unborn children will have few qualms about harming adults that think differently. We are potentially looking at a long and painful summer, one where viciousness and bloodshed are bound to occur.

Blaine L. Pardoe, is author of Blue Dawn: The most chilling “what-if” in history…the progressive overthrow of the United States and The Democratic Party Playbook, Election 2022 Edition. Pardoe is an award winning New York Times bestselling author who lives in Virginia. He is the author of numerous science fiction, military history, humor, true crime, and business leadership books.

California defends coed prison law in court, says it’s like different races sharing same cell

Would you put a man in a prison cell with a woman?  In California they do—and the results are rapes, pregnancies and violence.  This is another example of Democrats trying to wipe out the existence of women.  Think that is far fetched?  The demented Joe Biden nominated a woman for the Supreme Court who admitted under oath she had no idea what a woman is!!  The Biden folks have been silent about the killing off of women’s sports by those who are men, but claim to be women.

“They are seeking to intervene in the case on behalf of male-to-female prisoners, accusing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) of intentionally misreading the law to give itself discretion to slow or even block transgender transfers on prohibited grounds.

What’s noteworthy is one of their clients, the Transgender Gender-Variant & Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), has publicly questioned SB 132 for requiring only gender self-identification for housing in women’s prisons, predicting that male inmates will use it in bad faith.

Bad faith?  Why would any man claim to be a woman, just so he could be placed in a female jail—LOL.  Watch as women in prison sue for the violation of their privacy, violence against them and rape, due to government policy

California defends coed prison law in court, says it’s like different races sharing same cell

Photo credit: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

ACLU seeks permission to intervene in challenge by radical feminists who deny gender identity, claiming Department of Corrections isn’t enforcing self-identification law.

By Greg Piper, Just the News,   5/13/22 

Housing an anatomical male in a women’s prison is no different than housing two people of different races in the same cell, according to the California attorney general’s office.

It’s just one of several arguments the state is making in federal court to protect its law that lets prisoners choose their gender identity for purposes of placement — and even bodily searches — regardless of sex reassignment surgery or hormone therapy.

But the ACLU and transgender groups are not happy with Attorney General Rob Bonta’s defense of Senate Bill 132, which took effect 16 months ago, against a constitutional challenge by so-called “trans-exclusionary” radical feminists.

They are seeking to intervene in the case on behalf of male-to-female prisoners, accusing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) of intentionally misreading the law to give itself discretion to slow or even block transgender transfers on prohibited grounds.

What’s noteworthy is one of their clients, the Transgender Gender-Variant & Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), has publicly questioned SB 132 for requiring only gender self-identification for housing in women’s prisons, predicting that male inmates will use it in bad faith.

The gender-critical Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) is challenging the law on behalf of four female inmates, two of whom allege transgender transfers assaulted them. 

They say SB 132 violates their 1st, 8th and 14th Amendment rights, including by removing male references from their complaints against anatomically male inmates. WoLF’s response to Bonta’s motion is due by month’s end.

WoLF has been fighting similar proposals in different states with mixed success.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill (HB 1956) in March hiding basic information from the public about transgender transfers to women’s prisons, including their reported assaults on women, in response to leaks from guards about some transfers’ histories of violence against women.

But two weeks later, a Maryland self-identification bill (SB 550) similar to California’s died in committee after WoLF testified against it. “Feminists and other supporters of single-sex spaces should take heart — if you show up, if you speak up, you can make a real impact to improve conditions for women and girls,” the group said.

In his motion to dismiss, Bonta’s office said “courts throughout” the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which oversees California, have rejected challenges to transgender transfers. 

“Like inmates who have asserted living with inmates of a different race violates their free exercise rights,” the filing said, “transgender inmates can be housed in women’s facilities in a manner that is consistent with Plaintiffs’ free exercise rights.”

That’s the same argument a prominent trans cyclist made to discredit opposition to biological males in women’s sports, equating race and gender identity.

Even if the law were invalidated, transfers who preceded it won’t be sent back to men’s prisons, the office said, noting the law wasn’t in effect when one plaintiff claims she was assaulted.

The attorney general urged the federal judge not to invalidate SB 132 before CDCR fully implements it, since future litigation in state courts might “remedy a constitutional defect by literally rewriting statutory language.”

Bonta’s office offered the court an easier exit: lack of legal standing. 

To claim the law harms them, the four female inmates improperly “depend upon a chain of hypothetical events”: assuming that “transgender women are more violent” and will seek a transfer to abuse them, and that CDCR won’t screen would-be transfers for “management or security concerns.”

He won a small battle Tuesday: Ex-offender nonprofit Woman II Woman withdrew as a plaintiff. Bonta claimed it had incorporated simply to file suit, so it lacks standing.

In response to the First Amendment claim, the attorney general argued prison staff are not obligated to repeat the “willful misgendering of transgender inmates” by female inmates, who are no more than “offended observers.” It’s also “demonstrably false” inmates are required to use preferred pronouns for their grievances to be reviewed.

Since transgender women “live, work, and change in front of cisgender women in a number of gender-exclusive spaces,” the inmates can’t allege their religious rights have been violated either, the state said.

The plaintiffs and state had different interpretations of CDCR’s alleged promises that the former won’t be housed with trans inmates. The female inmates said these promises are outside the law, while Bonta said it shows the plaintiffs contradicting their own claims.

CDCR’s half-hearted implementation of the law is just one reason why Bonta can’t represent transgender inmates, ACLU California affiliates, the Transgender Law Center and Lambda Legal argue in a motion to intervene filed Monday.

They seek to represent four transgender women, two of whom remain in male facilities, “who have variously been harassed, severely beaten, and sexually assaulted” by male inmates and CDCR staff alike.

Citing statistics similar to those promoted by WoLF on the state’s reluctance to process transgender transfers, the groups said the vast majority of 321 requests are still pending, while not every inmate among the 46 approved has actually been transferred.

Would-be transfers have waited “many months” for hearings, requests have been dropped and denials issued without “statutorily required explanations,” the filing said. Nothing in the law’s text “permits CDCR to slow-roll its implementation.”

CDCR grossly overstates its “discretion” to implement the law, elevating separation-of-powers arguments at the expense of equal protection, they said. Reversing transfers based on “management and security concerns” would never happen to non-transgender inmates.

WoLF and its clients have “weaponize[d]” the state’s slow-rolling implementation, the groups said, characterizing the plaintiffs as bigots whose denial of gender identity violates the “judicial consensus.”

Progressives Fail Students in San Fran

This is all you need to know about union run, racist, drug promoting San Fran schools:

“Literacy is the foundation of equitable education, and far too many SFUSD students leave elementary school without achieving their basic right to read. The most recent SFUSD performance data indicate that 55% of students do not meet standards in English language arts, and there are huge gaps in performance between subgroups. Only 20% of Black students, 15% of English learners and 16% of students with disabilities met standards in English language arts.”

A total failure—sending you child to a San Fran school is a priori evidence of child abuse!

Opinion: Early reading instruction in San Francisco public schools: A love affair with what has failed

Most recent data indicates 55% of students do not meet standards in English language arts

By Megan Potente and Laurance Lem Lee Special to The Examiner • May 10, 2022 6:30 pm – Updated May 12, 2022 12:46 pm

Teacher Bronwyn Baker and SFUSD Superintendent Vincent Matthews share a fist bump as her fourth graders participate in a scavenger hunt at Starr King Elementary School in 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Megan Potente and Laurance Lem Lee, Special to The Examiner, 5/13/22

The initial findings of a much anticipated San Francisco Unified School District curriculum audit were released Tuesday, adding to pressure from parents and educators to change how kids are taught to read. The audit findings point to major deficiencies in the district’s K-five English language arts curriculum as it is written and observed inside classrooms. Those who have been pushing for change are not surprised by the findings and are now hopeful that the district will finally acknowledge the deep problems and commit to change.

At public comment during the Monday meeting, parent Havah Kelley said, “Nothing about what I heard today surprises me. … I’ve been trying to help my son for about five years.”

Literacy is the foundation of equitable education, and far too many SFUSD students leave elementary school without achieving their basic right to read. The most recent SFUSD performance data indicate that 55% of students do not meet standards in English language arts, and there are huge gaps in performance between subgroups. Only 20% of Black students, 15% of English learners and 16% of students with disabilities met standards in English language arts.

Coastal Commission rejects Poseidon desalination bid for O.C.

We have a serious water shortage.  Guv Newsom refused to expand the Shasta Dam, refused to spend $2.7 billion the voters gave him to create new water storage facilities, is tearing down existing dams—and now an opportunity to provide water for a large portion of Orange County has been denied.

“But commissioners who voted against Poseidon described the $1.4 billion project as too harmful to the ocean, too expensive for water customers and too dangerous for the surrounding community. They also said it’s unclear if Poseidon’s water – enough for 400,000 people – would ever be needed in central and north Orange County, even as global warming makes drought conditions the norm. Some argued that wastewater recycling and other sources – including other possible desalination projects – will be able to answer future water needs.

Looks like the Coastal Commission has illiterates on the Board.  The water is not needed for possible future use—it is needed now for current use.  As I have said before, the problem is not that we have a lack of water, we have a surplus of politicians.

Coastal Commission rejects Poseidon desalination bid for O.C.

The unanimous vote at the end of a long public hearing in Costa Mesa effectively ends the biggest ocean-to-tap proposal in the county

By ANDRE MOUCHARD, Orange County Register, 5/13/22 

A long-running, controversial bid to transform ocean water into for-profit tap water for central and north Orange County died late Thursday, May 12, when the California Coastal Commission unanimously turned down a permit application from Poseidon Water, the company behind the proposal.

Supporters of the 50-million-gallon-a-day desalination plant, to be built near the coast in Huntington Beach, argued it would be a drought-proof source of potable water during a time when water is expected to become a scarce resource.

But commissioners who voted against Poseidon described the $1.4 billion project as too harmful to the ocean, too expensive for water customers and too dangerous for the surrounding community. They also said it’s unclear if Poseidon’s water – enough for 400,000 people – would ever be needed in central and north Orange County, even as global warming makes drought conditions the norm. Some argued that wastewater recycling and other sources – including other possible desalination projects – will be able to answer future water needs.

The unanimous vote, taken by 11 members of the 12-member board – with one recusal – during a public hearing at a Costa Mesa hotel, also defied Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has supported the project for years and recently said publicly the state needs Poseidon’s project as a water source because “we need more tools in the damn tool kit.” Four seats on the commission are appointed by the governor.

For Poseidon, the ruling effectively ends a 21-year, $100 million effort.

“This was not the decision we were hoping for today,” Poseidon said in a statement immediately after the vote. “We thank Gov. Gavin Newsom for his support of this project, correctly pointing out that desalination is an important tool in the toolkit. We believe in the Governor’s vision and his Water Resilience Portfolio, which identified the goal of maintaining and diversifying water supplies.”

Critics and some commissioners described Poseidon’s bid in less than glowing terms, saying the company didn’t do enough to resolve questions about environment and cost. The company has said repeatedly that the project would boost water bills in central and north county by $3 to $6 a month, but the company has not provided a recent cost analysis and Coastal Commission staff said the price would “likely be higher.”

About 300 members of the public attended in person or remotely to comment for or against the project. Some members of labor unions and others noted that construction would add about 2,000 jobs over a five-year window and create a long-term source of water.

“We can afford a few more dollars on our water bill,” said resident Ken Williams, who said he represented labor unions in Orange County. “What we can’t afford is to have the taps run dry.”

But many other members of the public questioned the project’s environmental harm, and the long-term impact it might have on everything from tourism to surfing.

“I know I don’t want to be surfing in toxic brine for the rest of my life,” said Casey Faulkner, a member of the Surfrider Foundation in Huntington Beach.

Others who have worked against the project for years expressed surprise that a water project with strong backers in Sacramento and elsewhere was rejected during the worst drought in recent history.

“It was never a good idea for Huntington Beach, but shady money kept the project going for more than 20 years – all without a customer or permit to build,” said Ray Hiemstra, with Orange County Coastkeeper, one of several environmental groups that oppose the project.

“This victory for sustainable water would not have been possible without the continued advocacy of Orange County residents and water warriors across the state.”

The denial raises questions about how the county will handle its future water needs.

Though the 2.5 million people who live in central and north Orange County region that could have used Poseidon’s water will continue to be supplied by wastewater recycling and a large aquifer, other water sources figure to be less reliable in the future.

Poseidon, in its statement Thursday, suggested the problem is immediate.

“California continues to face a punishing drought, with no end in sight. … Every day, we see new calls for conservation as reservoir levels drop to dangerous lows. We firmly believe that this desalination project would have created a sustainable, drought-tolerant source of water for Orange County, just as it has for San Diego County.”

Opponents of the project agreed, with many saying they also support desalination projects in general even as they oppose the specific bid from Poseidon.

Commission board members also spoke in favor of desalination, describing it as a long-term answer, even as they voted against Poseidon’s proposal.

“I believe desalination … must be a critical part of the state’s water portfolio. I’ve seen the good desal can do, and how effective it can be, if done right,” said Commission member Meagan Harmon.

Another desalination project could be used locally. Water districts in south Orange County have proposed a plant near Doheny Beach. It would be financed by bonds issued by water agencies, and would be smaller and less environmentally degrading than the project pitched by Poseidon.

The Doheny project is slated to come before the Coastal Commission later this year.

San Fran LEGALIZES COCAINE And Other Dangerous Drugs

It is illegal in California and the U.S. to have, sell or use Cocaine and other dangerous drugs.  Yet, San Fran has set aside a section of the city where druggies can gather, use their illegal drugs and be protected by government agents.  Since this is illegal why isn’t the DA having this location closed down?  Why isn’t the California Attorney General closing down the drug zone?

“But four months later, city officials have quietly dropped the word “linkage” from the title, according to the facility’s dashboard, and now call it simply the Tenderloin Center.

The change is about much more than a word. From the very start, many of those involved in creating the facility viewed it primarily as a place where people could consume drugs in relative safety—an “overdose prevention site” or “safe consumption site,” to use the parlance. 

City data indicates that few people have been linked to services. Journalists have been barred from the center, but in interviews with The Standard, guests who had visited the site confirmed that they had witnessed or partaken in illegal drug use there. Some weren’t even aware that drug rehabilitation services were offered at the linkage center, seeing it primarily as a safer and more private place to use drugs.” 

How corrupt is San Fran?  Newsom wants California to be the baby killing headquarters for the U.S. and Mayor Breed wants San Fran to be the overdose center of the nation.

Much-Touted ‘Tenderloin Linkage Center’ Morphs into a Safe Consumption Site for Drug Use, Despite Legal Risks

Written by David Sjostedt, SF Standard,  5/11/22 

When Mayor London Breed announced the opening of the Tenderloin Linkage Center in January, she touted it as “a safe, welcoming space for those ready to access San Francisco’s health and human service resources easily and quickly.” 

The idea, Breed and other city officials said, was to create an easy path for people suffering from drug addiction or mental illness to be “linked” to services.

But four months later, city officials have quietly dropped the word “linkage” from the title, according to the facility’s dashboard, and now call it simply the Tenderloin Center.

The change is about much more than a word. From the very start, many of those involved in creating the facility viewed it primarily as a place where people could consume drugs in relative safety—an “overdose prevention site” or “safe consumption site,” to use the parlance. 

City data indicates that few people have been linked to services. Journalists have been barred from the center, but in interviews with The Standard, guests who had visited the site confirmed that they had witnessed or partaken in illegal drug use there. Some weren’t even aware that drug rehabilitation services were offered at the linkage center, seeing it primarily as a safer and more private place to use drugs. 

The Tenderloin Center’s emergence as a de-facto safe consumption site puts the city in a tricky legal position; federal and state laws prohibit such facilities. And San Francisco voters have mixed views on whether they should be allowed, according to The Standard’s Voter Poll, with many residents opposing the idea as one that condones drug use rather than combating it.

The legal situation could soon change. The U.S. Department of Justice is weighing a possible legal path forward for supervised consumption sites, and engaged the mayor’s office on the question of “appropriate guardrails” for such sites this year. It’s unknown what those guardrails would look like, but harm reduction advocates expect a decision to come down in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, the city is in an awkward position. It has a plan for a full-blown safe consumption site at a different Tenderloin location, but in the meantime has to explain its interim solution. 

“I don’t think we would characterize the linkage center as the same thing as an overdose prevention site,” said Jen Kwart, a spokesperson for the city attorney’s office, in an April 25 interview.

Breed’s Announcement Sparks a Scramble

The idea for a “linkage center” first emerged as part of Mayor Breed’s Dec. 17 emergency declaration to crack down on drug overdoses and drug-related crimes in the Tenderloin district. As part of a “robust, aggressive plan” to address the crisis, Breed said that the city would open a center to connect those struggling with substance abuse and other problems to the services they need.  

In the following days and weeks, employees of multiple city agencies, including the Department of Emergency Management, Department of Public Health and the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, scrambled to pull together a plan, according to emails obtained through public records requests.

The emails show a disconnect between how the site was discussed among a small group of top public health officials and how it was discussed more broadly, both with other city agencies and in communications with the public.

In a Jan. 7 email to Andrea Tenner, the Department of Public Health’s head of emergency preparedness, an official at a HealthRIGHT 360, a nonprofit with a key role in the center, referred to it as the “Tenderloin Overdose Prevention Site,” or TOPS for short. The email from Britt Miazgowicz, vice president of contracts for HealthRIGHT 360, detailed the challenges of having to redirect staff from another planned drug crisis response center. 

Another Jan. 3 email from HealthRIGHT 360 CEO Vitka Eisen, addressed to Tenner along with DPH head of behavioral health Hillary Kunins and other top public health officers, urged the parties to host the overdose prevention site in an outdoor tent rather than inside to “manage smokers.” 

“For a host of reasons, HR360 would strongly prefer to offer harm reduction/overdose prevention services in an outdoor/tented structure,” said Eisen, citing the pandemic and the nonprofit’s expectation that it would be servicing smokers. HealthRIGHT 360, which specializes in addiction services, has received more than $53 million in payments from the Department of Public Health in the current fiscal year.

The city relied on a collection of nonprofits as it raced towards the center’s Jan. 18 opening date. According to a document laying out assigned roles, HealthRIGHT 360 was responsible for “medical, behavioral and mental health support” for guests along with “overall harm reduction and monitoring.” Another nonprofit, Urban Alchemy, was responsible for “general staffing” and de-escalation. Other organizations set up at the site to act as service liaisons. 

Grand Opening Draws Scrutiny

After the linkage center opened, it didn’t take long for things to veer off course. 

On Jan. 20, author and gubernatorial candidate Michael Shellenberger published an article claiming that he had witnessed guests smoking fentanyl in an outdoor area at the linkage center. Breed, for her part, appeared to flip-flop on whether drug use was permitted at the facility, a fenced-off and partially tented area at United Nations Plaza. 

A man named Virgil, last name not given, lines up for services at the Tenderloin Center, formerly known as the Tenderloin Linkage Center at Civic Center in San Francisco, Calif. on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. | Camille Cohen

In December, Breed made sharp statements that the city would no longer “let someone use [drugs] in broad daylight.” But in late January, after the center opened, she appeared to walk back that statement, asserting at a press conference that the city “cannot control who does or does not use drugs in any given location.” In February, Breed told Fox KTVU in a live interview that drug use is not “authorized” at the linkage center.

Staff at the Department of Public Health meanwhile were fretting about possible legal liability.

In a text message conversation on Jan. 22, DPH medical director Deborah Borne expressed concern that she could be held culpable after Shellenberger’s article on drug use at the site published.

“The mayor is going to need to defend us,” Borne said to Paul Harkin, director of harm reduction services at the nonprofit GLIDE. “If DPH throws me under the bus, please vouch for me when I’m looking for a new job.”  

Linkage Center Yields Few Links

From the start, it was unclear whether “linkages” were actually happening. An initial report published on the city’s website showed 33 completed linkages in the first week. But because the category grouped together medical treatment, behavioral health care, substance use treatment, shelters, food security programs and housing into a category called “completed linkages,” it wasn’t possible to tell how many people were connected to drug treatment. 

To date, despite thousands of visits per week, the site has only reported 31 completed linkages to addiction treatment. 

In response to a Feb. 15 inquiry from The Standard seeking clarity on visitor outcomes at the linkage center, Zoe Harris, a spokesperson from the Department of Public Health, wrote to a group of city officials that she hoped to redirect reporters from their “focus on linkages.” 

Other questions arose around the site’s use of “meaningful engagements” as a metric of success. According to February email exchanges, HealthRIGHT 360 reported hundreds of “meaningful engagements” that did not square with observations of other staffers and led to an artificially high count. 

Feb. 8 email from Department of Public Health special project coordinator Robert Hoffman speculated that Gary McCoy, the vice president of policy and public affairs for HealthRIGHT 360, was “making up numbers” in light of confusion about seeming sharp discrepancies in statistics about linkages week over week. 

In an interview, McCoy said that HealthRIGHT 360’s involvement with the linkage center happened “with almost no notice” and pointed to the last-minute scramble as a reason for the center’s struggle to produce coherent data. 

“There were a lot of ideas from the higher-ups on how we should provide metrics for this type of program,” McCoy said. “There was certainly not enough time to ramp up or redeploy staff from other programs.” 

Despite all the problems, the center may indeed be saving lives as an overdose prevention facility: Since its January launch, 78 overdoses have been reversed there, among 982 reversed citywide by emergency personnel.

Hopes for a Change Under Biden 

The confusion surrounding the linkage center’s primary purpose mirrors a lack of clarity around what “overdose prevention sites” or “safe consumption sites”–terms often used interchangeably–ought to entail.

The term safe consumption site has a broad meaning and is used to describe any facility that provides supervision for drug use. Overdose prevention site is a phrase more commonly used to describe a social gathering place for people to use drugs with supervision and access to overdose-reversing drugs.

All such facilities remain illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. But New York City has forged ahead anyway, opening two safe consumption sites in November and no deaths have occurred at those facilities. City officials in San Francisco have said they want to move ahead, too, with the Board of Supervisors approving a purchase in December of two buildings in the Tenderloin to serve as SF’s first sanctioned safe consumption site.

A bill to legalize safe consumption sites under state law is now making its way through the legislature. The author of the bill, state Sen. Scott Wiener, told The Standard in January that “if San Francisco decides to move ahead of the state and open up a safe consumption site before SB 57 passes, that’s a decision for San Francisco.” 

The U.S. Department of Justice, meanwhile, is considering carving out an option that would allow overdose prevention sites to operate under some set of conditions. 

That’s because the justice department is nearing a settlement with a Philadelphia-based nonprofit called Safehouse, which it sued in February 2019 over plans for a safe consumption site. That settlement is expected to set terms that could allow Safehouse to operate legally, and a judge this week extended a deadline to determine the terms of that settlement until June 23. 

In San Francisco, longtime recovery advocates and some policymakers say they’re supportive of overdose prevention sites and other harm reduction practices, but hope to see those techniques balanced with more services for people seeking sobriety and abstinence from drugs and alcohol. 

Providers at the linkage center are missing a “golden opportunity” to provide a productive environment for people who want to stop using, said Richard Beal, a recovery advocate and a director at Tenderloin Housing Clinic.

“They do a lot of good work, but what about the people who need to be in a different modality,” Beal said. “They’re doing a great job meeting people where they’re at, but they’re doing them a disservice by leaving them there.”

California’s Under-21 Firearms Sale Ban Overturned in 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Good news—Democrats can not take away 2nd Amendment rights from those 18 to 21 in California.  Instead of closing the border, instead of keeping convicted criminals behind bars, Sacramento Democrats were trying to make scapegoats out of our young citizens.

“According to the Jones v. Bonta decision, which reversed an earlier San Diego Circuit Judge’s decision to uphold the ban, the court noted that the second amendment protects not only the right for younger people to own and use weapons, but it also covers the ability to purchase them as well. Judge Ryan Nelson used that as the crux in his majority decision, noting specifically how the revolutionary army in the 1770’s  had many young adults under the age of 21 using weapons to secure independence.”

Sadly, in today world wit a major shortage of cops and a surplus of DA’s protecting criminals, everyone needs to be prepared to protect themselves, since government won’t or can’t.

BREAKING: California’s Under-21 Firearms Sale Ban Overturned in 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

‘America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army’

By Evan Symon, California Globe,  5/11/22 

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Wednesday that California’s ban on sales of semiautomatic weapons to those under 21 violated the second amendment and thus is unconstitutional.

According to the Jones v. Bonta decision, which reversed an earlier San Diego Circuit Judge’s decision to uphold the ban, the court noted that the second amendment protects not only the right for younger people to own and use weapons, but it also covers the ability to purchase them as well. Judge Ryan Nelson used that as the crux in his majority decision, noting specifically how the revolutionary army in the 1770’s  had many young adults under the age of 21 using weapons to secure independence.

“America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,” Judge Nelson said in his decision. “Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms. California has restricted the sale of most firearms to anyone under 21. The Second Amendment protects the right of young adults to keep and bear arms, which includes the right to purchase them.”

“The [San Diego] district court erred in not enjoining an almost total ban on semiautomatic centerfire rifles for young adults.”

Supporters of lifting the ban, led by the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), which led the case against Attorney General Rob Bonta and California, applauded the decision and noted that they hope that this overturning will lead to others nationwide.

“Today’s decision confirms that peaceable legal adults cannot be prohibited from acquiring firearms and exercising their rights enshrined in the Second Amendment,” FPC Vice President of Programs Adam Kraut said in a statement. “We are pleased to see progress on this important legal front and optimistic that similar results will come from our many other challenges to age-based bans filed in courts across the United States.”

Others, such as Dave Simmons, a Missouri-based lawyer who is assisting on other firearms cases, noted how important the ruling is in the 2020’s.

“Courts are, more and more, ruling in favor of second amendment rights,” said Simmons to the Globe on Wednesday. “And with this case, it’s showing that even strict California isn’t invulnerable either. Plus, with a conservative majority court, one with enough members to potentially overturn cases like Roe v. Wade, firearms cases reaching the court may see some significant expansions in the coming years. California’s case is just another showing where things are going. And if the state decides to bring this one to the Supreme Court, we would definitely see just where the court sits on all of this. They may not even bother. They’re more conservative and the Supreme Court rarely takes major firearms cases. But it’s just the sign of the times.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, Attorney General Bonta has yet to comment or say whether or not if he would be bringing this to the only court left who would be able to hear this: the Supreme Court.