HEARD ON THE TOM/TOMS

HEARD ON THE TOM/TOMS

Stephen Frank, California Political News and Views, 12/8/22 

VERY BIG STORY!!!!

Very interesting Tweet by Senator Melendez: 

Senator Melissa Melendez

I have known

@pnjaban

for a very long time. There is no one who will work harder and no one more fierce in the fight than Harmeet. The question is, is the party tired of losing yet? It’s time for new leadership. #thestatusquohastogo

The question now is, are California Republicans ready for new California Republican Party leadership?  In the November 8 election we lost two, possibly three Assembly seats—Wallis is still ahead by about 39, he wins, we lose only 2—but down to 17—without him down to 16, out of 80.  In the Senate we lost at least one seat, and a Democrat is ahead in a Republican seat, by 12 votes  In Congress we started with eleven members, now we get 12—with the redistricting that gave us Kevin Kiley.  While Chair Patterson is saying we “flipped” a Dem seat, as expected she is misrepresenting the facts—this was the Nunes seat, that Connie Conway holds—and the GOP’er won by about 450 votes, when Nunes had previously won by thousands.

Want to win?  IMPLEMENT a voter registration program, to start.  The CRP has not had one since March, 2013.  Melendez asks the right question—are we tired of losing?  If so, get new Republican leadership.  What do you think?

I have been told that Harmeet has a consultant—Matt Shupe.  Matt was Harmeets ED when she was Chair of the San Fran Central Committee—paid I am told $10,000 a month—but the money came from Charles Munger Jr.  Currently Shupe is the Chair of the Contra Costa Central that is known for refusing to endorse conservative candidates for office—even if they are nominees.  Some have reported that he asks them to hire him—and if they don’t, no endorsement.  He was also the communications person for Nathan Hochman the GOP nominee for Attorney General who was anti-Trump and pro-abortion—only he wanted till after the primary to tell us that.  Before the primary he refused to answer those questions.  Oh and Shupe was paid $7500, in the primary, to help Sen. Brian Dahle.

TALKING POINTS 

  1.  The Los angeles GOP is holding an organizinbg meeting this Saturday.  Tim O’Reilly has been quietly telling people he will get rid of Andy and his gang, once the election is over and it will be a new Committee.  Yet, he still refuses to tell the members how much the Executive Director is paid—and he refuses to abide byt the Satte Election Code and refusing to allow voting memebrs of the LAGOP to vote in the organizational meeting.  But it gets worse.

At the bottom of an email he sent out earlier this week, whining about a possible lawsuit due to his refusal to obey the State Election Code are the icons for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  If you click on Twitter, this is what you get:

릴리와

@S2ILLHVHLS2

디엠주시면 본계 알려드림

Translated from Korean by

DM me and I’ll let you know

tweetdelete.net/delete_tweets/Joined August 2020

17 Following

16 Followers

When you click on Instagram, this is what you get: “Sorry, this page isn’t available.”

The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed. Go back to Instagram.

When you click on Facebook, you get a Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/LosAngeles.GOP

You get an article telling you to vote in the June 7th primary—and another article from Bakersfield in March of 2022.

All this time O’Reilly has been either Chair or Vice Chair and said nothing about lack of money, how they spend money, lack of candidates for legislative office in L.A. County or the lack of voter registration programs.  Isn’t it time for the LAGOP to get republican leadership, not just another Andy and gang gavel holder closing down the GOP in L.A. County?

  • The next large club leaving the Rogue Nine and the California Federation of Women is the Temecula RWF.  They are sending in the papers to disassociate from an organization that does not follow its own bylaws and Rogue people call meetings and remove a State President without telling them the charges or inviting them to the meeting.
  • As we say in the card game Bridge, let me review the bidding:

The California Republican Party does nto believe in voter registration and promotes candidates NOT endorsed, like Matt Rahn for Assembly, but unendorses nominees, without telling them until a meeting what the charges are as they step to the microphone to answer the charges, given only THREE minutes to respond—unable to call witnesses or present documents.

We lost at least 2 Assembly seats, lost two more State Senate seat—and gained one congressional seat via redistricting.

County committee like Contra Costa, Alameda and L.A. either do not run candidates for office or refuse to endorse GOP nominees who are conservative.

The California Federation of Republican Women hold Board meetings to remove a State President—though the bylaws say only a statewide general meeting can do that.  This is the organization where in the October, 2021 State conference club presidents wanted to discuss a divisive issue, had their microphones shut off and told by the President at the time, Sue Blair to stop discussing this, IT IS A DONE DEAL.  Now due to the actions of the Rogue Nine numerous clubs are in the process of disassociating with the CFRW—to go independent or just close down. 

California Republican Party is no longer irrelevant in Sacramento–it has become the punchline to a joke. Thanks Jessica!!!

As Senator Melendez said, are we tired of losing—let’s get new leadership.

  •  What the article fails to mention that along with fewer prisons and fewer prisoners we get MORE crime and MORE victims.  Yet, we continue to vote for those that want to harm us and our families.

More housing, fewer prisons: California outlines game plan — Hanging over the heads of California’s newly sworn-in state lawmakers — and likely to be top of mind when they return to Sacramento next month — are the state’s intertwined housing and homelessness crises. Emily Hoeven CalMatters — 12/7/22

(Periodically the California Political News and Views will publish tidbits of political news, to

keep you in the loop of what the pooh bahs know.  The phrase “tom/tom’s” comes from my

mentor, Lorelei Kinder who never passed a rumor, just called to tell me what she heard on the

“Tom/Tom’s”.  This column is named in her honor.)

Eber: Clean-up on Isle Five

It looks like Rich Eber does not trust Kroger or Albertsons.  After looking at their press release there is a question I have to ask—isn’t Krogers and Albertsons doing this already, without a merger?

·         “Serve America with Fresher Food, Faster: Delivers broader portfolio of the freshest products through an expanded store network, optimized supply chain and enhanced capabilities

·         Best-in-Class Personalized Experience: provides unmatched personalized experience and promotes healthier lifestyles

·         Expanded Our Brands Portfolio to Offer Customers Higher Quality and Better Value: Brings together Kroger and Albertsons Cos.’ private label portfolios to offer customers a wider range of products at affordable prices with enhanced innovation capabilities and an increased manufacturing footprint

·         Seamless Customer Experience Requiring Zero Compromise: Creates a single seamless ecosystem to offer a more personalized and convenient omnichannel experience to serve customers anything, anytime, anywhere with zero compromise on quality, selection and affordability

What a bunch of BS.  Based on the press release I trust the 99 cent store more than Krogers or Albertsons.  Maybe they should not be merged—instead taken over by real grocers.

Clean-up on Isle Five by Richard Eber

Richard Eber, Exclusive to the California Political News and Views  12/8/22

Perhaps I’m not the brightest star in the galaxy; but even an ignorant coupon free guy like me can figure out Safeway’s  two dollar off special deal on butter marked up to over eight bucks a pound , isn’t going to save  my family any money.

During inflationary times one needs to shop with discipline to make ends meet.  Many of Safeway’s deals border on being scams intended to extract every penny possible from their customers.  In addition, the quality of their signature brands from meatballs to popsicles is marginal at best.

In the course of my life, I have not heard one person ever say Safeway’s house brands ever compared in quality to any product marketed under the Trader Joe’s logo.

I only wish their parent company Albertson’s was as dedicated to customers as their shareholders.

With this dismal record of non-performance can we ever trust the conglomerate Albertson’s-Safeway to improve their performance once the merger with Kroger is completed next year?

Even taking account a leap of faith perspective , is it possible to believe the press release signed by Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen that read, “The combination of Kroger and Albertsons Companies brings together two purpose-driven organizations to deliver superior value to customers, associates, communities and shareholders.”

The two companies promised

·         Serve America with Fresher Food, Faster: Delivers broader portfolio of the freshest products through an expanded store network, optimized supply chain and enhanced capabilities

·         Best-in-Class Personalized Experience: provides unmatched personalized experience and promotes healthier lifestyles

·         Expanded Our Brands Portfolio to Offer Customers Higher Quality and Better Value: Brings together Kroger and Albertsons Cos.’ private label portfolios to offer customers a wider range of products at affordable prices with enhanced innovation capabilities and an increased manufacturing footprint

·         Seamless Customer Experience Requiring Zero Compromise: Creates a single seamless ecosystem to offer a more personalized and convenient omnichannel experience to serve customers anything, anytime, anywhere with zero compromise on quality, selection and affordability

To these corporate platitudes and promises I can only say “Baloney!”  Tom Shane and George Zimmer are better friends of mine than Kroger and Albertsons-Safeway.

Apparently I am not alone in challenging the merger of these oligopolies.  Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit objecting to Albertson’s bestowing 4 billion dollars to their shareholders (for stock worth $34.10) in the 25 billion dollar merger. She felt this move would diminish the resources at the new company’s ability to serve their customers

California joined the lawsuit of Oregon along with several states resulting in a temporary injunction being imposed against Albertson’s generous dividend.  This maneuver is an indication of coming attractions for the new entity whose who will undoubtedly be dedicated to promoting corporate greed.

This indicates improving the end product to the public is hardly a priority of either party in uniting the two food giant empires. While Rosenblum’s lawsuit looks good on paper, it does not address the major issues of the proposed Albertson’s-Kroger merger.

In my mind both of these companies having union employees is not justification of government to look the other way in scrutinizing this flawed merger.  Answering President Reagan’s question pertaining to food shopping “are you better off than four years ago”, the answer is an emphatic “no”!

Gavin Newsom in calling a special session of the legislature to deal with alleged excess profits of oil companies in California; may choose to consider the impacts of this mega supermarket deal at the same time,.   Over the long run, the Albertson’s-Kroger marriage will have more impact on the Governor’s constituents than show boating on prices paid at the pump; that will be tied up in the courts for years.

It is doubtful California’s Progressive Governor especially cares what anyone might think about his oil antics. They are tailored to fit his run for the Democratic nomination for President. Despite what Newsom might be saying in not planning on running in 2024, I wouldn’t bet the ranch on his changing his mind, once Joe Biden chooses to steps down.

At the same time, defying his union supporters, who favor the Albertson’s-Kroger merger plans, will never happen under this ambitious politician’s reign.

Also unlikely is if the elitist Newsom has ever visited the produce department at Safeway or Albertson’s. Had the Governor done so he would not only be oblivious to the high prices; but also find fruits and vegetables picked far before their prime to reduce spoilage. The same goes for the mediocre bakery, meat, or deli departments their customers must endure each week.

Where I reside in Concord and throughout the state, few choices exist where one can economically shop for food.   Currently we are prisoners to the Albertson Empire along with Wal-Mart and Costco, where membership is required.  Reducing shopping options just doesn’t seem like a good idea at the present time.

Our elected officials need to carefully assess the Kroger-Albertson’s merger that reeks of “clean-up on isle five” with zero remedies to fix the problem.

Stein: Today’s economic challenges being perpetuated by Ponzi schemes

The question is whether the new GOP majority in the Congress is willing to stand up to the Democrats spending spree.  We have a budget bill that the GOP in the Senate is negotiating to pass, which will provide a bigger deficit.  Things are so bad, the Democrats will not be able to pass an increase debt limit bill—and that is good.

Then when the GOP takes over in January, will they refuse to appropriate money for 87,000 new IRS agents?  Will they demand an audit to see where the Ukrainian money went?  Will they vote to end the funding for FBI and DOJ agents that have interfered with our elections—then send criminal referrals to get them indicted?  We should know by the end of January if the GOP is going to stand up to the Democrats are pretend to speak loudly, then vote to increase the Ponzi scheme.

“To begin with, we have the ongoing national debt Ponzi scheme being perpetrated on US taxpayers. The unsustainable national debt is the elephant in the room that the ruling class and the media refuse to talk about.

Under President George W Bush, the national debt doubled, from $5 to $10 trillion. President Barack Obama said, “hold my beer” doubling it again under his 8-year term from $10 to $20 trillion. Under President Donald Trump, the debt still crept upwards, but COVID pushed it into the stratosphere, with relief funds and paying Americans to not work. President Joe Biden has kept his foot on the accelerator and now with the national debt clock exceeding $31 trillion, there is with no sign of slowing, much less stopping.”

  Today’s economic challenges being perpetuated by Ponzi schemes  

There are elephants in the room that the ruling class and the media refuse to talk about.  

Dr. Ronald Stein,  Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, 12/7/22    

Summary: Lack of products in the future, manufactured from the fossil fuel that built the world to 8 billion people, is an elephant in the room that the ruling class and the media refuse to talk about.   To begin with, we have the ongoing national debt Ponzi scheme being perpetrated on US taxpayers. The unsustainable national debt is the elephant in the room that the ruling class and the media refuse to talk about.  

Under President George W Bush, the national debt doubled, from $5 to $10 trillion. President Barack Obama said, “hold my beer” doubling it again under his 8-year term from $10 to $20 trillion. Under President Donald Trump, the debt still crept upwards, but COVID pushed it into the stratosphere, with relief funds and paying Americans to not work. President Joe Biden has kept his foot on the accelerator and now with the national debt clock exceeding $31 trillion, there is with no sign of slowing, much less stopping.   The national debt Ponzi scheme is resulting in inflation and shortages in perpetuity.  

The recent collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency crisis has earned its previous CEO Sam Bankman-Fried comparisons with Bernie Madoff, a Wall Street financier who ran the largest Ponzi scheme in history. The FTX now-former CEO had unintentionally described crypto staking or yield farming as essentially a Ponzi scheme.   Today, we have an ongoing “green” Ponzi scheme of net zero emissions by ridding the world of the fossil fuels whose manufactured products, fuels, pesticides, and fertilizers, caused the world to populate from 1 to 8 billion in less than 200 years, right AFTER the discovery of oil, in favor of wind and solar that CANNOT MANUFACTURE anything for society.  

Like the national debt, the unsustainable reduction in products from fossil fuels that support the world is another elephant in the room that the ruling class and the media refuse to talk about.   Today, we have 8 billion on this planet that are surviving because of all the products, fuels, pesticides, and fertilizers MANUFACTURED from fossil fuels.   Today, the NEEDS of those 8 billion are increasing for everything that is manufactured from fossil fuels to stay alive. As more come out of poverty, the demand for those manufactured items is accelerating.  

The green movement has no plan to replace all that is manufactured from fossil fuels, just a plan to only generate electricity from breezes and sunshine.   Interesting, everything that needs electricity is made with the oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil, including all the parts of wind turbines, solar panels, and EV vehicles. In an all-electric world, there will be nothing to power without oil!  

Like the national debt Ponzi, the shortages of the products, fuels, pesticides, and fertilizers MANUFACTURED from fossil fuels will also contribute to shortages and further inflation in perpetuity.   Thus, we may get to the net-zero emissions society that we had in the 1800’s when there were no coal-fired power plants, no natural gas power plants, and no crude oil to be manufactured at refineries into usable products, but with a few billion less people on this planet that will die from starvation, diseases, and weather-related fatalities.  

California teacher who outraged parents with BDSM materials claims it helped kids’ identity development

This is why parents need to run from government schools in California.  We have too many classrooms run by bigots and haters, folks that do not like freedom.  Then you have classrooms run as if they were part of the Hugh Heffner School of Sex.

“A California teacher who boasted about a “queer library” which contained sexually explicit content, including information on BDSM/kink and orgies, said the books helped students “figur[e] out who they are.” 

The English teacher at San Juan Hills High, previously identified on the school’s website as Danielle Serio, is known as “Flint.” Fox News Digital found that Flint posted repeatedly on TikTok about sexually explicit books, which the district was later forced to respond to amid parents’ outrage.  

Since the school district refuses to take this pervert out of the classroom, the parents need to act.  All they have to do is keep their children out of the classroom run by a pornographer.  Maybe then the union owned school board will act to protect the children, instead of making them victims of the District.

California teacher who outraged parents with BDSM materials claims it helped kids’ identity development

A parent from the California district said, ‘There shouldn’t be porn… in classrooms… What was in the classroom… made me sick’

By Hannah Grossman | Fox New, 12/5/22 

FIRST ON FOX – A California teacher who boasted about a “queer library” which contained sexually explicit content, including information on BDSM/kink and orgies, said the books helped students “figur[e] out who they are.” 

The English teacher at San Juan Hills High, previously identified on the school’s website as Danielle Serio, is known as “Flint.” Fox News Digital found that Flint posted repeatedly on TikTok about sexually explicit books, which the district was later forced to respond to amid parents’ outrage.  

The school district previously claimed in an email to parents that the content was only available to a specific club – but that did not appear to be the case. The library was positioned in Flint’s classroom, and it was available to all students, according to Flint’s own commentary before Fox News Digital’s story. 

In a video posted on November 21, Flint discussed the outrage surrounding the “queer classroom library.

Flint is a teacher who posted about pornographic books in a classroom library.  (Screenshot/TikTok)

“People get really mad about my queer library. I have like 200 titles that are specific to the LGBT community that I’ve been curating for over eight years. Don’t get me wrong, my students love that library. It has been very helpful for many students figuring out who they are, how to relate to their peers,” she said. 

“Everything you Ever Wanted to Know About Being Trans…” discussed BDSM, fetishes and a kink social media networking site. 

“I find the BDSM/kink community to be extremely open-minded and welcoming in every way; it’s a place of sexual liberation,” the book stated. “There is often more blanket level of acceptance of transgender people within the kink/BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism) scenes and sites such as FetLife.”

FetLife is a social media networking site for the “kink community.”

Another book called “This Book is Gay” discusses the casual hookup site “Grindr” and includes detailed information on how to have anal and “girl on girl” sex.

“We all want to have sex with loads of people,” the book states. “[T]he prostate gland… feels amazing when massaged. Lots of men, gay or straight, like how this feels.”

“Let’s talk about dildos: I think a lot of people assume that where there is no penis, a desperate sexual void is created, out of which something [bleep] shaped must ultimately slot in order to satisfy,” the book continued. “I’ve only every slept with two women who enjoyed using dildos. I hate wearing a strap-on. I’ve only every done it once and NEVER AGAIN!”

It also included information on sex parties and orgies. 

“Saunas, or ‘bath houses,’ are dotted all over the country, and they are perfectly legal. People (many saunas run lesbian nights) pay some money to enter and then have a bit of a sauna and some random sex. Again, this is fine as long as you’re safe.”

Another book, “The A-Z of Gender and Sexuality,” also discusses kink and fetishes as well as “tucking” – the process of hiding one’s penis and “whorephobia” – stigma against prostitutes. 

Following outrage from parents in the district, an email was sent out, which was obtained by Fox News Digital, that claimed the books were only part of an extracurricular club. The district also asked for “civility.”

“We are aware of a news article questioning the appropriateness of books that were in a student club library,” the district said. “The books referenced were available through a high school extra-curricular club and are not instructional materials. However, we have initiated a review of these books, which are currently not available to students.”

Fox News Digital asked about the status of the review but did not immediately receive a response. 

“There shouldn’t be porn allowed in classrooms,” David Averell, a parent in the district, told Fox News Digital. “What was in the classroom pretty much made me sick.”

It wasn’t the first time Flint responded to criticism following the controversy. On another occasion, Flint questioned whether “waves of criticism” against the teacher were legitimate. 

“So as a trans teacher with a pretty public platform, there will often be waves of criticism that I know better than to internalize. Every once in a while there will be that little voice that says something like, ‘What if they are right? What if all my efforts on this Earth are all for naught.’ In those moments, it is helpful to step back, take myself way out of it,” Flint said. 

On another occasion, Flint said, “I want people who follow me to know that I believe very much in what I’m doing, and I think my history as a teacher speaks for itself.”

The district, however, said at the time that they do not endorse Flint’s comments.

Oroville Teacher HATES White People—Including Herself—Allowed in Classroom

Do you want your child in this class?

“A self-identified “cringey” California English teacher claimed she combats “white supremacy” “B.S.” in her classroom by teaching students about the overemphasized importance of grammar usage and writing rules. 

Marta Shaffer, a tenured English teacher at Oroville High School, began the 2022-2023 academic year by teaching parts of linguistics as a way of “fighting white supremacy in my classes,” according to her posts on TikTok. The goal was to be “inclusive of all kinds of ways we use the language.” 

According to Shaffer, expectations for students to use proper grammar and syntax is part of White supremacy culture that “runs deep.” 

The bigger question is how did this person get a teachers credential?  And, why does this proud bigot who has mental problems—hating herself—allowed anywhere near children.  She needs therapy and correctly tagged as a racist.  This is why parents need to run from government schools—how many more bigots are in the classroom, paid with our dollars to harm our children?

California English teacher teaches kids grammar is part of White supremacy: ‘Undermine that B.S.’

An English teacher named Marta Shaffer said, ‘I try to undermine that B.S. in my classroom as much as I can’

By Hannah Grossman | Fox News, 12/5/22 

FIRST ON FOX – A self-identified “cringey” California English teacher claimed she combats “white supremacy” “B.S.” in her classroom by teaching students about the overemphasized importance of grammar usage and writing rules. 

Marta Shaffer, a tenured English teacher at Oroville High School, began the 2022-2023 academic year by teaching parts of linguistics as a way of “fighting white supremacy in my classes,” according to her posts on TikTok. The goal was to be “inclusive of all kinds of ways we use the language.” 

According to Shaffer, expectations for students to use proper grammar and syntax is part of White supremacy culture that “runs deep.” 

“I try to undermine that B.S. in my classroom as much as I can,” she said.

She said, “We study linguistics and the rules that we actually use to communicate instead of the made-up rules that White supremacy created for when we write papers and stuff, which is what scholars call the ‘language of power.'”

The teacher raised praised student’s academic essays for including “AAVE” language – African-American Vernacular English.

“As an educator I am constantly worry if I’m the problem. What do I mean by that? Well public education is an institution that upholds lots of problematic systems in our society like white supremacy, and misogyny and colonization, etc,” she continued. “Well, let’s look at how we write essays [where we] start with an introduction that includes a thesis, always cite your sources, use transition words like ‘however’ and ‘therefore.’ These are all made-up rules. They were created by Westerners in power. Which got me thinking, what if I started my school year with a unit honoring how we talk rather than teaching students how to write properly.”

Another included a prompt which said that a student’s “codes” – how they speak at home or with friends – is “just as important, if not more than important,” than a boss’s expectations on how their employee communicates. 

She said, “Just because your teachers, your professors, and your boss may expect you to write and speak in a certain way that may not be natural to you, does not mean that your more natural… languages are not important. They are just as important, if not more important than the ‘language of respectability.’”

The English teacher added that she feels like a “cringe white lady” when “teaching students of color” about linguistics. 

“Did I worry I was being a White savior? Absolutely. Was it uncomfortable? Definitely. But a lot my students come here, and they’re uncomfortable with the white mainstream culture of public school life. So I think it’s good for them to see their teacher deal with linguistic discomfort, too,” she said. 

The California teacher also claimed that the IQ bell curve and the SAT are “racist.” 

“The writers of these tests were made up almost entirely of White people… and they still are,” she said. 

Hannah Grossman is an Associate Editor at Fox News Digital.

Newsom Creates $402 Million in Revenues Via Offshore Wind Scam

Newsom is smarter than Bernie Maddow or Sam Bankhead Fried—they just stole money based on Ponzi schemes and outright fraud.  The Hollywood Slicky is smarter.  Here is how his scam works:

His announces the auction of rights to build wind turbines in the ocean off of the California Coast—he gets the Coastal Commission to buy into this scam.

Stupoid energy companies put up good money to buy the leases.  Biden and the national Democrats did this to oil companies—theyt leased Federal land and offshore rights—then when the companies applied for permits, they were turned down or Biden put a moratorium on permits.  This after the oil companies paid billions.

In the case of the wind turbine folks, they will apply for permits, get sued and the cases will be in courts for years.  Then the environmentalists will claim the windmills are killing the ecosystem of the ocean and get stopped from building.  This is a great way to kill off these companies and to get revenues for it.

If a company is so stupid as to buy these leases they are not companies, I would invest in.  would you?  They fell for the new government scam—buy leases then have government stop you from using them.


First-ever California offshore wind auction nets $402 million — so far

BY NADIA LOPEZ,  CalMatters,  12/6/22     

IN SUMMARY

Several dozen companies are competing for leases to build massive floating wind farms in deep ocean waters off Morro Bay and Humboldt County. The auction is the first major step toward producing offshore wind energy off the West Coast.

The first auction for leases to build massive wind farms off California’s coast netted bids reaching $402.1 million today, signaling the beginning of a competitive market for a new industry producing carbon-free electricity. 

The auction — the first on the West Coast — includes five sites about 20 miles off Morro Bay and Humboldt County, totaling 583 square miles of deep ocean waters. The leases from the federal government are the first step in a years-long regulatory process that could culminate in the nation’s first commercial-scale floating wind turbines off California’s coast. 

After 20 rounds of bidding, today’s top bid stood at $100.3 million for a 125-square-mile area off Morro Bay, while the lowest leading bid so far is $62.7 million for a 98-square-mile area off the coast of Humboldt County. Bidding will resume on Wednesday at 7 a.m and winners will be released that afternoon.

So far, the total bids are considerably smaller than the record-breaking $4.37 billion paid for six offshore wind leases off New York and New Jersey’s coasts in February. That was the largest amount ever paid for U.S. offshore energy leases — including for oil and gas. The funds are paid into the U.S. Treasury’s General Fund. 

The results of the auction offer the first key signs for gauging how strong the market is for producing offshore wind energy off California. Forty-three companies, including industry leaders like the Danish company Ørsted, are eligible to bid on the leases offered by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which oversees offshore energy and mineral projects.

The offshore waters included in the auction have the potential to host several hundred turbines that produce more than 4.5 gigawatts to power about 1.5 million homes.

Offshore wind projects are considered critical to meeting California’s goals to provide a new source of electricity, end reliance on fossil fuels and battle climate change.

“Today’s auction is great news for California’s offshore wind industry, workers, and electricity ratepayers,” said Adam Stern, executive director of Offshore Wind California, a trade group for industry developers and technology companies. “It’s the most consequential milestone yet for the Golden State’s efforts to make offshore wind a key part of its diverse clean energy future.” 

“There’s a lot of opportunities, but there’s also some challenges…California has deeper waters than any other areas with these floating turbines so far in the world.”

HABIB DAGHER, UNIVERSITY OF MAINE

Experts say construction is at least five to six years away, and an array of unknowns must first be addressed by the companies: the high costs of construction, the logistics of producing the energy and bringing it to shore, and the environmental risks to marine life and commercial fisheries.

“There’s a lot of opportunities, but there’s also some challenges,” said Habib Dagher, executive director of the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, who is helping develop the first offshore floating wind turbines in the U.S.

“California has deeper waters than any other areas with these floating turbines so far in the world,” he said. “How do you protect the environment, protect local stakeholders, protect the fisheries, protect indigenous communities, while also speeding up permitting so we make a difference with global climate change?” 

Unlike current offshore wind turbines fixed to the ocean floor off the East Coast, California’s turbines — the first of their kind in the nation — would float on platforms anchored by cables in waters reaching about half a mile deep.

The turbines are hundreds of feet tall with blades that are bigger than a football field, but they would largely be out of sight from the shore, about 20 miles away. The Morro Bay lease area covers 376 square miles, while Humboldt’s is 207 square miles.

The state’s ambitious offshore wind targets build off President Joe Biden’s 2021 pledge to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind nationally by 2030. Gov. Gavin Newsom hopes to add between 2 to 5 gigawatts of offshore wind off California’s coasts by 2030. 

The state’s ultimate goal is to produce at least 25 gigawatts from offshore wind sources by 2045 – the boldest commitment any state has made. That could supply electricity for 25 million homes. 

“Offshore wind is a critical component to achieving our world-leading clean energy goals and this sale is an historic step on California’s march toward a future free of fossil fuels,” Newsom said in a statement. “Together with leadership from the Biden-Harris Administration, we’re entering a new era of climate action and solutions that give our planet a new lease on life.”

How do offshore wind farms work?  

Offshore wind turbines work similarly to land-based ones. Wind makes the turbine’s blades spin around a rotor, which then turns a generator to produce electricity. The turbines send energy through cables under the seabed to an onshore substation, where the energy is converted to a higher voltage before being fed into the grid that provides electricity. 

California’s offshore wind farms would be the first in the country constructed with floating platforms at a large scale. Europe has long been a leader in developing offshore wind technologies, including a few existing floating offshore wind farms.

The U.S. hopes to soon become another world leader in developing the technology, said Dagher of the University of Maine. 

“The U.S. still has an opportunity to lead in floating technologies,” he said. “But we need to move forward on the technology side and keep investing in research and development.”

The first offshore wind turbines in the U.S. are rooted to the sea floor in relatively shallow waters on fixed structures, which are unsuitable for deep waters. California’s floating turbines, however, will be located about 20 miles offshore and will need to be anchored by cables that reach to the ocean floor at depths of several thousand feet.

To date, the federal government has held ten competitive lease sales and issued 27 commercial wind leases in the Atlantic Ocean, spanning from Massachusetts to North Carolina, according to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

The two offshore wind farms operating in U.S. waters are capable of generating a combined 42 megawatts of electricity. The country’s first offshore wind project, off the coast of Rhode Island, launched in 2016 with five turbines, followed by a project in Virginia with two turbines. More projects are on the way, including off the coasts of MassachussettsNew York and New Jersey.

Building and operating the nation’s new offshore wind industry will be worth $109 billion to supply chain businesses over the next 10 years, according to one report.

Costs for launching offshore wind projects have decreased by as much as 60% since 2010, according to a July report from the International Renewable Energy Agency. The cost of producing the energy in the U.S. averages about $84 per megawatt-hour, more than most other types of energy, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Bigger and deeper carries more risks and higher costs

The auction is just one of many steps in the permitting and construction of commercial offshore wind development off California. Once the sites are leased, developers must submit plans detailing the cost and scale of the wind farms before going through an extensive environmental review. That process could take five to six years before construction, which could take a couple more years, begins, said Stern of Offshore Wind California.

The companies would have to seek approval or permits from several state and federal agencies, including the California Coastal Commission.

The scale and size of the technology means California would need to rapidly build specialized port facilities and servicing vessels to construct and transport the gigantic turbines. To speed up deployment, he said it’s critical that the state start now investing in transmission and port infrastructure and developing a clear roadmap on permitting and procurement. 

“We know that we have to do something different. Offshore wind is different. That being said, we’re also acutely aware that there are impacts on communities.”

DAVID CHIU, FORMER ASSEMBLYMEMBER

Wind power tends to be stronger in the ocean than on land, making offshore wind a particularly valuable renewable energy source that could help the grid during times when other renewables like traditional wind and solar can’t produce energy.

Winds off the coast are strongest in the late afternoon and evening, which is exactly when – particularly in the summer – electricity demand surges as people go home and turn on appliances like air conditioners.

But several challenges exist with deploying the technology in deep ocean waters, including risks to marine life and concerns over natural disasters, such as earthquakes, said Dagher of the University of Maine. 

The turbines off Eureka would be in waters 2,490 feet deep and for Morro Bay, 3,320 feet, he said. No project in the world exists in waters this deep. The deepest project to date is in Norway, in waters 721 feet deep, Dagher said. 

“That adds costs and risk because no one’s building anything this big or this deep yet,” he said. 

At a climate summit hosted by the California Energy Commission on Monday, state leaders, public officials and companies gathered to discuss offshore wind deployment in California ahead of the lease sale.

San Francisco City Attorney and former Assemblymember David Chiu said the burgeoning industry could help grow the state economy by adding thousands of good-paying union jobs in multiple sectors and helping fossil fuel workers transition into renewables.

Chiu authored AB 525, passed in 2021, requiring the state Energy Commission to establish offshore wind planning goals for 2030 and 2045 and develop a five-part strategic plan by 2023. He said strong workforce training programs and community benefit agreements, especially with Native American tribes, will be crucial to implementing the law.  The potential impacts on commercial fisheries also must be considered.

“We know that we have to do something different. Offshore wind is different,” he said. “But that being said, we’re also acutely aware that there are impacts on communities.” 

The federal government will offer bidding credits for developers who enter into community benefit agreements and invest in workforce training or supply chain improvements in communities. Companies that develop offshore wind projects in California also will be required to enter into labor agreements and work with Native American tribes before beginning construction.

Studying risks to dolphins, whales, fish and birds

While offshore wind is a climate-friendly resource, many environmental groups and researchers say floating wind turbines could pose environmental risks. Sea turtles, fish and marine mammals could become entangled in the cables, while birds and bats could get caught in the turbines, said Irene Gutierrez, an environmental attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council.  

“We want to make sure it’s done right,” she said. “There’s a lot that we don’t know about offshore wind in the West and what that means for various marine and coastal ecosystems.” 

To reduce harm to these animals, Gutierrez said federal and state agencies, developers and researchers must work together to conduct more research and commit to regularly monitoring the effects on natural habitats once the projects launch. 

“We want to make sure it’s done right. There’s a lot that we don’t know about offshore wind in the West and what that means for various marine and coastal ecosystems.”

IRENE GUTIERREZ, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL

Brandon Southall, a scientist with the environmental group California Ocean Alliance and a research associate at UC Santa Cruz who studies the effects of noise on marine mammals, is performing a risk assessment on the lease areas for the federal government to assess how to avoid disruptions to endangered animals and noise-sensitive marine life. 

“There’s a lot of uncertainty,” he said. “But there are a lot of tools that we have that are rapidly evolving, like listening and directional vector sensors to locate where animals are coming from, and we have some baseline data from other projects.” 

He said the boats servicing and maintaining the turbines would pose some of the largest risks to dolphins and whales, which communicate over long distances and are sensitive to noise. To avoid being too disruptive to their communication patterns, Southall said the turbines should be installed with noise-reduction technology. Ship operators should also be required to follow a speed limit to avoid striking marine mammals, he added. 

Despite the risks, Southall said they shouldn’t derail efforts to deploy the clean energy source given the severity of the climate crisis. He said it’s important that the federal and state governments develop a regulatory framework for companies to ensure they comply with environmental protections. 

“I hope that when we’re looking at these concerns about impacts, that we, as a scientific community and as a conservation community, don’t lose sight of the fact that we need sustainable, alternative energy,” Southall said. “We need a balance of informed and conservative cautionary decision-making, but not so precautionary and so afraid of the uncertainty that we never get there.” 

Help is on the way for California truckers grappling with EV regulations–to END Trucking

This is how Newsom and the Democrats end trucking in California.

First, they mandate only EV trucks.

Then they build recharging stations to be used by those trucks.

They they raise the cost of charging to make it prohibitive to fully recharge.

Then they ration the amount of electricity a truck can use in any given week or month.

This is like the old story of the frog that goes into a kettle of cold water.  As it gets warmer, the frog stays, until it is boiling and they are dead.

This is how you kill the California economy.  Anybody care?  This is like the Community Choice electricity systems owned by government, controlled by government—and at some point the cost skyrockets and the rationing begins.  This is not a murder—it is a suicide.

Help is on the way for California truckers grappling with EV regulations

IN SUMMARY

Freight trucks are critical for the economy but represent a major source of California pollution. Many programs, from the federal to local level, are available to help pay for the transition to zero-emission vehicles.

GUEST COMMENTARY WRITTEN BY Nick Chaset, 12/6/22   CalMatters  

Nick Chaset is the CEO of East Bay Community Energy, a nonprofit public agency that operates a Community Choice Aggregation program, providing renewable power to Alameda County and 14 cities.

Freight vehicles are one of the largest sources of air pollution in the state, and the East Bay and Central Valley are among the biggest emitters. Thirty-percent of the jobs in Alameda County alone are tied to industries that move goods in and out of the Port of Oakland and the Oakland airport.

While freight trucks are critical to our economy, they also threaten public health and the planet. Medium- and heavy-duty trucks make up just 7% of California vehicles, but are responsible for more than one-quarter of carbon emissions, more than 60% of smog-forming nitrogen oxides, and more than 55% of lung- and heart-harming fine particulate pollution from vehicles.

Semi-trucks are by far the biggest polluters. While they only account for 10% of trucks on the road, they are responsible for around half of all truck emissions.

Communities adjacent to freight corridors are impacted most. A recent study by UC Irvine found that deployment of zero-emission trucks will deliver critical health benefits to low-income residents who live and work closer to ports, industrial facilities and highways and experience disproportionate exposure to pollution.

Power providers are doing everything they can to help ease the transition.

While electric passenger cars are becoming more common on California roads – rising to roughly 18% of all new car sales this year – medium- and heavy-duty battery electric trucks are just starting to emerge.

The California Air Resources Board has counted 155 different models of zero-emission vans, trucks and other commercial vehicles on the market – or coming soon from major truck manufacturers. Tesla, for example, has been racing to develop an electric semi against Peterbilt, Freightliner and others. WalmartAmazon and other fleet operators are placing big orders.

The state is putting its muscle behind the switch. CARB is implementing clean truck regulations, which require 55% of commercial van and pickup truck sales, 75% of straight-truck sales, and 40% of semi-tractor sales to be zero emission by 2035.

Under an executive order from Gov. Gavin Newsom, CARB is now proposing clean fleet rules with the goal of achieving a zero-emission California truck and bus fleet by 2045. The target is 10 years earlier for certain market segments, such as last-mile delivery and drayage vehicles that serve ports and railyards. A final decision is expected in spring of 2023.

To facilitate the conversion, several funding programs are available from state and federal agencies and local air districts. The state’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, for example, has given out $700 million in rebates for roughly 6,000 zero-emission trucks. 

The new Inflation Reduction Act will create additional federal funding opportunities for trucks and charging stations, including a $40,000 tax credit for electric cargo trucks and a 30% credit for chargers, up to $100,000 per site. Research suggests that the landmark law could double or triple the market for battery-electric trucks to as high as 38% of the fleet by 2030. Another $7.5 billion for chargers was included in last year’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Organizations like East Bay Community Energy are also stepping up, offering technical assistance to fleets and loans of up to $3 million to support truck electrification, including both vehicles and charging stations. Our organization previously helped fund a program to expand EV charging in Alameda County with the state Energy Commission.

Switching to electric trucks doesn’t just move pollution from roads to power plants, either. By utilizing the all-renewable power market for charging, truck operators can generate maximum credits under California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard and earn extra incentives to cut emissions. 

The energy sector’s work to clean up the power supply is only part of the work needed to protect California public health and the climate. Now is the time to put that clean energy to work cleaning up the roads.

SONOMA COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION BUYS LAND FOR TEACHER HOUSING

Here we have another school district, owned by the unions, playing housing developer instead of educator.  The idea is simple to teach racism, sexual grooming, bigotry, hate of America, teachers need to have “affordable housing”.  So instead of improving education, the Educrats are going to build homes to keep the failed teachers in town.

“The Sonoma County Office of Education has purchased new property for educator housing at 3280 Juniper Ave. in Santa Rosa for $630,000. The plan could be a game changer for the district and the employees who work there. 

SCOE will now ask the city to rezone the property for high-density housing. That will allow SCOE to provide 60 rental units for teachers and other public employees.

Retiring superintendent Steven D. Herrington initiated the plan, but it was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This is where your school taxes are going—and Administrators time—into housing speculation, not education.

SONOMA COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION BUYS LAND FOR TEACHER HOUSING

California County News, 12/6/2022  

The Sonoma County Office of Education has purchased new property for educator housing at 3280 Juniper Ave. in Santa Rosa for $630,000. The plan could be a game changer for the district and the employees who work there. 

SCOE will now ask the city to rezone the property for high-density housing. That will allow SCOE to provide 60 rental units for teachers and other public employees.

Retiring superintendent Steven D. Herrington initiated the plan, but it was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Casitas de Amarosa was one of my main project goals during my last term,” Herrington said in a press release. “COVID delayed the project from moving forward, but I am so proud to have it back on track.  

“As the project moves forward, we will be in discussions with the California Housing Finance Authority and other state and local partners, mindful that Casitas de Amarosa may serve as a model for other government agencies seeking to make their communities more affordable for public employees,” he added.

Incoming Superintendent Amie R. Carter, Ed.D. said the new housing will further SCOE’s goal of strengthening and diversifying its workforce, as a lack of affordable housing in the area has shut out many prospective employees.

“We are excited to cooperate with the City of Santa Rosa, Amarosa’s neighbors, and state officials as we seek to get our campus rezoned and start construction,” Carter added.

Students fear losing aid as grades are withheld during strike

If the students were truly concerned about their education and grades why aren’t they speaking out against the UAW strike closing down education in the UC system.  If these students were worried that could lose their scholarships—why aren’t they picketing the UAW headquarters and union leaders?  Why should those giving scholarships continue to finance the NON education of students?  Why aren’t these organization suing the union?  Why hasn’t Newsom demanded a return to education?  Of course he closed down k-12 education for two years and was proud of it, so closing down UCLA is no big deal.

I would hope the students are not stupid.  They need to transfer to schools outside of California if they want an education—and not be held hostage by the UAW and other unions.

“With the strike in its fourth week and no end in sight, faculty across the system are now planning to withhold tens of thousands of grades this fall in solidarity with those workers. That could have significant and dire implications for some undergraduates, such as those who need a certain grade point average to maintain federal financial aid and students planning to graduate this fall or soon apply to graduate school.”

Let the real student sue the union—they deserve an education. After Newsom closed the UC system for two years, with only pretend education happening, these students need to understand California is NOT about education, it is about control and abuse.

Students fear losing aid as grades are withheld during strike

UC says only a small fraction of students could lose aid and pledges to help those who are impacted

MICHAEL BURKE, EdSource,  12/7/22 

ate student workers rally on UCLA’s campus as they seek better wages to keep up with the cost of

The strike by University California academic workers may soon hit some undergraduates in a vulnerable spot: their grades.

With the strike in its fourth week and no end in sight, faculty across the system are now planning to withhold tens of thousands of grades this fall in solidarity with those workers. That could have significant and dire implications for some undergraduates, such as those who need a certain grade point average to maintain federal financial aid and students planning to graduate this fall or soon apply to graduate school.

Allie Jones, a senior at UC Santa Barbara double majoring in English and philosophy, relies on her grade point average to keep her financial aid. She is confident she’ll keep her aid in the long run, but she’s yet to receive clear guidance and is concerned it could be temporarily withheld. That’s problematic because she relies on that federal aid to pay for her off-campus housing.

“For someone like me, who lives off campus, withheld aid could literally mean losing my housing,” said Jones. She blames UC leadership for her predicament and says the striking workers have reasonable demands.

UC officials say very few students — maybe less than 1% of its 230,000 undergraduates — might have aid withheld if grades aren’t submitted on time and that the university is taking steps to mitigate those possible impacts.

As of Tuesday, UC faculty have committed to withholding more than 30,000 grades until the strike ends. That number is based on self-reported information that faculty organizers have collected using an online form.

Teaching assistants as well as student researchers are striking for better wages and remain far apart from UC officials in efforts to reach a settlement. The strike also involves postdocs and academic researchers, but UC has reached tentative agreements with them, although they have not returned to work out of solidarity with the workers who have yet to settle.

The pledge from faculty to withhold grades comes during current finals week at UC’s seven undergraduate campuses that are on the quarter calendar. The other two campuses, Berkeley and Merced, hold finals next week on the semester calendar. Some professors have canceled their final exams altogether, while others are holding the exams but won’t grade them, post them for students or report them to their campus registrar.

Several campuses have already extended their deadlines for grades until later this month or January.

UC leadership has urged faculty to submit grades on time, even threatening to withhold pay if they don’t. In a recent letter to UC administrators, UC Provost Michael Brown wrote that faculty have the “responsibility to maintain course and curricular requirements,” including the “timely awarding and submission of grades.” He added that UC could “withhold their compensation” for faculty who “choose to withhold their labor during the strike.”

Withholding grades could also mean federal financial aid is withheld for students who need to make satisfactory academic progress. That includes student who receive awards such as Pell Grants, federal loans or federal work-study. Graduations may also be delayed for students planning to complete their degree this fall.

When it comes to financial aid disbursement, UC says fewer than 2,300 or so of its roughly 230,000 undergraduate students would be impacted. UC also plans to help those students in the event aid is withheld, including by offering UC-administered aid when a student can’t get federal aid.

“The vast majority of students will be unaffected by a potential delay in grades. A very small number of students who did not meet federal Satisfactory Academic Progress in a prior term and were counting on fall grades to clear their record may be impacted. At most this group represents fewer than 1 percent of UC undergraduates,” UC spokesman Ryan King said in a statement to EdSource.

Faculty who are withholding grades say they are simply exercising their legally protected right to not pick up work responsibilities of striking employees, since grading is often the job of teaching assistants. They also say it’s the university’s responsibility to ensure that students aren’t negatively impacted by the lack of grades.

“This is a dispute between the university and the union representing graduate student workers. And this actually has little to do with us as individual faculty,” said Kevan Aguilar, an assistant professor of history at UC Irvine. Aguilar is one of the faculty who organized the pledge to withhold grades and this fall is teaching a class on the Mexican Revolution. Since grading in that class is done by the teaching assistant, grading won’t happen until after the strike is resolved.

Aguilar added that it’s up to university officials to resolve the situation by “listening to the union and their demands.”

Jones, the UC Santa Barbara student, agrees. She said she supports the striking workers and said financial aid is being threatened because UC negotiators “refuse to play ball.”

“Rent here is absolutely astronomical, and inflation is absurd across the entire state and country,” Jones said. “A livable wage should not be something that people have to beg for.”

Campus officials across the system have encouraged faculty who can’t submit grades this fall to leave grades blank, which will allow them time to add a grade in the future. At UC San Diego, for example, instructors have been notified that they will have one year to change grades that are submitted as blank grades this fall.

Some students won’t suffer immediate consequences if grades aren’t submitted on time this fall but remain frustrated with the situation. Soren Larsen, a senior at UC Santa Cruz studying computer science, is taking Principles of Computer Systems Design, an upper-division course in his major. The class, which is required for the Bachelor of Science in computer science, involves building a web server from scratch.

Larsen said he nailed the course’s first two assignments, but then the strike started and other meetings of the class were canceled. Since then, he’s had little contact with the professor and teaching assistants. The professor eventually communicated to Larsen and the students in the class that they would get to argue for the grade they deserve based on the work they did while the class was active.

Larsen is confident he can argue for a B-plus or A-minus but said he’s unsatisfied because there have been no classes or assignments since the strike started. He said he wishes he could’ve been evaluated “to the same strictness as someone who took the whole class” without disruptions.

“The grade I get in this course is always going to feel illegitimate, and it’s frustrating to me because I want a real grade,” he said. Larsen added that he’s especially frustrated because several of his classes in past terms were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and now the strike is another interruption, making much of his experience at Santa Cruz feel inadequate.

Kareem Majeed, a senior in international development studies at UCLA, said he understands why many of his peers are unhappy with the disruptions brought by the strike. Majeed himself has felt the ramifications: All four of his classes have been completely canceled since the strike began. He’s not sure when he will receive grades, something he acknowledged is worrisome.

But Majeed supports the strike and said he wishes other undergraduate students could see “the bigger picture” and do the same.

“Many of my friends feel like it’s gone on for long enough, but that’s the point of the strike. We’re in a really key moment for labor. People are hurting. I hope they are able to get the cost of living adjustment,” Majeed said, referring to the striking workers’ push to get salaries that match the cost of living along with annual adjustments, one of their key demands.

SF Votes to Temporarily Ban Police From Using Remote-Controlled Robots to Kill, Will Continue Debating Policy

Criminals are applauding the decision of San Fran government not to utilize killer robots.  They already know the cops will allow them to steal anything, at any time, in front of the cops as well.  They know cops are hesitant to use their guns, since if they do the criminal will get away and the cop indicted for racism or other nonexistent cause.  Now with robots out of the way, criminals are free to ply their trade without fear of arrest or harm.

“San Francisco’s policy to allow police to kill using remote-controlled robots will be sent back to the workbench.

But in the meantime, police will be barred from using remote-controlled drones to kill.

“I think it allows us to have that time and really allow experts to weigh in where necessary,” said Supervisor Connie Chan, who represents part of the city’s west side.”

Who are the “experts”?  The criminals.

SF Votes to Temporarily Ban Police From Using Remote-Controlled Robots to Kill, Will Continue Debating Policy

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, KQED,  12/6/22   

San Francisco’s policy to allow police to kill using remote-controlled robots will be sent back to the workbench.

But in the meantime, police will be barred from using remote-controlled drones to kill.

“I think it allows us to have that time and really allow experts to weigh in where necessary,” said Supervisor Connie Chan, who represents part of the city’s west side.

That’s after a Tuesday vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who approved new legislation to require the San Francisco Police Department to seek board permission to acquire military-style weapons. Because this amendment was a change from the original legislation, which was voted on last week, it will require a second vote for approval. That vote may take place as soon as next week.

‘I simply do not think arming robots and giving them license to kill will keep us safer.’Supervisor Gordon Mar

Tucked into wider legislation regarding military weapons was a policy to allow police to use remote-controlled robots with deadly force in extreme situations, as long as permission was obtained from top police brass.

San Francisco police currently have a dozen functioning ground robots used to assess bombs or provide eyes in low-visibility situations, the department says. They were acquired between 2010 and 2017, and have not been used once to deliver an explosive device, police officials said.

While the supervisors approved that legislation 8–3 last week in a hotly contested meeting, board legislation requires two rounds of votes in two separate board meetings for full approval.

Those second votes are usually procedural, foregone conclusions that pass by in a wink. Tuesday’s vote was a rare exception.

The controversy around last week’s vote grew so hot that one supervisor indicated he would flip his vote. Supervisor Gordon Mar, who lost his election to challenger Joel Engardio this past November, said he had a change of heart.

“I simply do not think arming robots and giving them license to kill will keep us safer,” Mar said at Tuesday’s meeting.

He wasn’t the only one. A total of five supervisors who approved the “killer robot” policy, as it has been referred to, decided to flip the off switch on the literal remote-controlled killing machines this week.

Much has changed in seven days. San Francisco’s vote has renewed a fierce national debate sparked years ago over the ethics of using robots to kill a suspect and the doors such policies might open. Largely, experts say, the use of such robots remains rare even as technology advances.

Michael White, professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, said even if robotics companies present deadlier options at trade shows, police departments won’t necessarily buy them. White said companies scrambled to equip body-worn cameras with facial recognition software, but departments didn’t want them.

“Because communities didn’t support that level of surveillance,” White said. “It’s hard to say what will happen in the future, but I think weaponized robots very well could be the next thing that departments don’t want because communities are saying they don’t want them.”

Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Asian Law Caucus voiced concerns about the policy after the vote, they said.

“This is a horror and an outrage,” wrote one local group, called Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community, in an email to the Board of Supervisors on Monday.

The group said it did not trust SFPD to yield robots with lethal force due to their track record of alleged racism against Black and brown communities. They also argued that the policy flew under the radar for far too long.

“Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community has been working on the issue of racist policing and police violence for six years, but we only became aware of the vote a few days prior to the meeting. If we who have been working on this issue daily for years were blindsided by this – we know for certain that the general public, and those Black San Franciscans who will be most impacted, were kept completely in the dark,” the group wrote.

In an interview with KQED last week, following the vote, Mayor London Breed defended the policy and dismissed concerns that it would lead to more militarization of local law enforcement.

“[The robots are] not trained to shoot people. There’s a lot of misinformation about what they actually will do,” said Breed.

The San Francisco Police Department said it does not have pre-armed robots and has no plans to arm robots with guns. But the department could deploy robots equipped with explosive charges “to contact, incapacitate, or disorient violent, armed, or dangerous suspect” when lives are at stake, SFPD spokesperson Allison Maxie said in a statement.

Three members of the board objected to barring police from using drones with lethal force: Supervisors Rafael Mandelman, Catherine Stefani and Matt Dorsey, who is a former police department spokesperson.

“I think we have spent far too much time on it already,” Mandelman told the board at Tuesday’s vote.

Explicit authorization was required after a new California law went into effect this year requiring police and sheriff’s departments to inventory military-grade equipment and seek approval for their use.

The state law was authored last year by San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu while he was an Assembly member. It is aimed at giving the public a forum and voice in the acquisition and use of military-grade weapons that have a negative effect on communities, according to the legislation.

A federal program has long dispensed grenade launchers, camouflage uniforms, bayonets, armored vehicles and other surplus military equipment to help local law enforcement.