Archive | September, 2014

See what’s ahead for Chico in the next couple of years…Marysville city staff play dirty with November tax increase measure

7 Sep

 I don’t know if you’ve heard, the Marysville city council voted to put a one cent sales tax increase on their upcoming ballot. As you’d expect in a town that defeated a similar proposal in 2008, there’s opposition. But something Democracy minded citizens might not expect was how the opposition was treated by the city clerk.

According to Lou Binninger in the Territorial Dispatch  

( read the full story here – http://territorialdispatch.biz/2014/sept/Sept3-2014WEB.pdf   )

the Marysville City Clerk gave the anti-tax group the wrong deadline and therefore prevented them from submitting their ballot arguments. When the group showed the clerk a note in her own handwriting with the wrong deadline, she still refused to accept their arguments. The city attorney backed her up, saying all the city has to do is post an obscure notice in whatever newspaper they think can bury it the farthest in the want ads. 

I’m not surprised, Chico City Clerk Debbie Presson has given me misinformation, and then handed me nothing but a dumb giggle and “I’m so sorry!”  But  to those of you who have not yet been hipped to the true meaning of “public servant,” it would still come as a shock that these people work to feather their own nests instead of safeguarding the public interest. 

I expect this or a very similar scenario to play itself out right here in Chico in 2016. We’ve already heard the cops asking for some sort of public safety tax, probably an increase in sales tax. As busy as I will be over the next year or so, I will  keep Chico Taxpayers up and running, let’s try to get ready for another go-around like Measure J, it might be fun. 

It’s not about pot it’s about property rights

7 Sep

When I read about warrant-less searches in Lake County, I realized what it is that bothers me about the Butte county marijuana ordinance, Measure A – I’m an American, and I believe in my rights to my property, to be safe and secure in my home. I realized, Larry Wahl’s marijuana ordinance is a step in the wrong direction.

The worst thing about Measure A, is that it goes beyond  encouraging fighting and court battles between neighbors, giving even strangers a harassment tool to hound people they don’t like for whatever reason. This really bothers me – complaints aren’t restricted to neighbors.  Wahl has claimed all along that he’s trying to help people who live next door to “egregious” grows – no, he’s trying to harass people who don’t agree with him out of Butte County. This isn’t just about marijuana, it’s about everything Wahl and his hip pocket stand for – unregulated development, wholesale logging of our forests, open door to PG&E and other utilities, lower regulations for fracking and mining, and more property tax revenues and other fees to pay salaries and pensions, including his own $58,000+ salary, down at the county.  

I’m sick of these grabs. Somebody please tell Larry to read a book, I’d suggest “John Adams” by David McCullough. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marijuana patients serve TRO on Lake County law enforcement to stop warrantless searches, but judge does not believe in property rights and throws it out

5 Sep
From Lake County News:
Temporary restraining order filed against Lake County over Measure N marijuana rules
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 00:54 Elizabeth Larson
LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – A group of medical marijuana patients has served a temporary restraining order against the county of Lake in an effort to stop enforcement of Measure N, the county rules for medical marijuana cultivation voters passed in June.
The complaint was filed in federal court on Friday by a number of named and unnamed plaintiffs who are seeking a preliminary injunction.
The plaintiff group includes 60-year-old patient Mona Allen, who was growing six mature plants, 66-year-old patient Paul Ray Harris who was growing nine plants and 70-year-old patient Nina Faye Sikes who, together with her elderly husband, was growing 14 immature plants.
Defendants are the county of Lake, Sheriff Francisco Rivero, Undersheriff Chris Macedo, Lt. Loren Freeman of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Community Development Director Rick Coel and 50 unnamed individuals.
County Counsel Anita Grant said a hearing on the temporary restraining order request was held Tuesday afternoon in San Francisco.
She said the judge did not make a decision Tuesday, but instead took the matter under submission.
The case is alleging that the Lake County Sheriff’s Office – which is responsible for enforcing Measure N – has been conducting unconstitutional raids on properties around the county without search warrants or abatement notices required under code enforcement law.
The plaintiffs claim violations of their state and federal constitutional rights, which protect against unlawful search and seizure, invasion of privacy and a denial of due process.
They also allege sheriff’s personnel are ignoring patients’ refusal to search their property and prying open locked gates to gain access.
County officials have denied forcing their way into properties without consent.
In their declarations, Allen, Nina Sikes and her husband Elvin Sikes – all Clearlake Oaks residents – said their grows were eradicated by county officials on Aug. 1.
Allen said she was not at home at the time, and that law enforcement passed through two fences – prying one of them open – in order to get to the six mature and six immature plants she and her husband were growing on their one-acre parcel.
Elvin Sikes, who with his wife Nina had 14 immature plants on their half-acre parcel, alleged that law enforcement “burst through two closed fences without my consent” before chopping down the plants.
“I was at home at the time of the raid, but I did not voluntarily consent to any search or seizure,” Elvin Sikes said in his declaration.
“Although this case is about medical marijuana patients being unfairly targeted, it’s more about privacy and property interests that should be protected by the state and federal constitutions,” said Joe Elford, a San Francisco-based lawyer and chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access, who is working with attorney Jeremy Blank on behalf of the plaintiffs. “The county is not above the law, and it has an obligation to respect people’s constitutional rights when carrying out local policy.”
Last December, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Ordinance No. 2997, which bans outdoor cultivation in community growth boundaries; limits plant numbers on parcels larger than one acre outside of community growth boundaries to six mature or 12 immature plants; prevents grows on vacant parcels; limits indoor grows to 100 square feet or less; keeps outdoor cultivation 1,000 feet from schools, parks or other facilities serving children, and 100 feet from water bodies; allows collective grows not exceeding 48 mature plants or 72 immature plants on agriculture-zoned parcels of 20 acres or more; and makes the Lake County Sheriff’s Office responsible for enforcement.
The ordinance ended up going on the June 3 ballot due to a successful referendum, with voters approving it 51.6 percent to 48.4 percent.
Measure N went into effect July 11, 10 days after the Board of Supervisors approved the final election results for June 3.
Last month, local officials – assisted by Freeman – conducted enforcements in the Spring Valley area.
During a Board of Supervisors meeting on Aug. 19, Freeman estimated 30 properties had been inspected in that community.
At that same meeting, Allen and a number of growers complained to the board about the enforcements and promised to sue.
Elford previously sued the county in Lake County Superior Court over its temporary medical marijuana cultivation rules in 2012.
That ordinance allowed for up to six plants to be grown outdoors on a half acre or less, 12 plants on parcels of half an acre to one acre, 18 plants on parcels one to five acres in size, 36 plants on five- to 40-acre parcels, and a maximum of 48 plants on parcels 40 acres and larger.
In that case, Elford argued those limits were not enough to satisfy the plaintiffs’ medical needs.
In August 2012 Elford’s three clients received a preliminary injunction which ran out at the end of that year.
The case was dropped in June 2013 before the permanent injunction stage and about a month after the California Supreme Court issued a decision in the City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center Inc., which upheld the land use planning powers of local governments.
A local judge later denied Elford more than $150,000 in attorney’s fees in the case.
 
But…

Federal judge denies temporary restraining order request filed over Measure N enforcement

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – A federal judge on Thursday denied a request filed by a number of medical marijuana patients who sought a temporary restraining order over searches and eradications carried out under the county’s Measure N marijuana cultivation rules.

In his ruling, US District Judge Thelton E. Henderson did not find that the plaintiffs’ claims met the legal standard required to grant the temporary restraining order, but left the door open for moving forward on a preliminary injunction.

A group of plaintiffs – including Mona Allen, Carl Ray Harris, Jonathan Holt, Shaun Jones, Scott Outhout, Elvin and Nina Fay Sikes, Nicole Van Schaik, Preston Warren, the California Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and 200 unnamed individuals – filed the temporary restraining order last Friday.

The defendants are the county of Lake, Sheriff Frank Rivero and a number of other local officials, as well as Lt. Loren Freeman of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, as Lake County News has reported.

The cases alleges that the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights were violated by a series of warrantless searches this summer during which county and state law enforcement officials eradicated their marijuana plants.

Measure N – known officially as County Ordinance No. 2997 – was passed by voters in June and went into effect July 11. Among other things, it prohibits outdoor marijuana grows within community growth boundaries – which are primarily residential areas – as well as on vacant parcels.

A hearing was held on the temporary restraining order application on Tuesday afternoon before Henderson, at which point he took the matter under submission.

On Wednesday, Henderson had requested more information from the plaintiffs by noon that day, according to County Counsel Anita Grant.

Court documents indicated that the plaintiffs’ attorneys, led by Joe Elford, filed that supplemental information as requested, but that it failed to convince Henderson of the restraining order’s necessity.

In this Thursday ruling, Henderson denied the temporary restraining order request based on three of four legal standards.

In the first, Henderson did not find that the plaintiffs had proven the likelihood of irreparable harm.

In their filings, the plaintiffs claimed a loss of sense of security and suggested their property would be unconstitutionally seized in the future, both arguments which Henderson said he did not find persuasive.

Henderson went on to note that a mere loss of security does not justify a temporary restraining order in this case.

“Plaintiffs have not produced a single case holding that the loss of security resulting from a previous violation of constitutional rights is itself an irreparable injury requiring injunctive relief,” Henderson wrote.

He added that, even if they had, such a case would contradict a 1983 US Supreme Court decision, City of Los Angeles v. Lyons.

“In that case, in the context of whether the victim of a police chokehold had pled a sufficient injury for standing purposes, the Court explained that ‘It is the reality of the threat of repeated injury that is relevant to the standing inquiry, not the plaintiff’s subjective apprehensions,’” Henderson wrote.

Henderson went on to cite a case involving a preliminary injunction granted in an Arizona US district court in which the Ninth Circuit, in affirming the injunction, “did not endorse the idea that ‘exposure to a policy’ is ‘itself an ongoing harm’.”

The plaintiffs, in Henderson’s view, also did not show a likelihood of future injury.

Case filings showed the plaintiffs had relied on the case NORML v. Mullen, in which a preliminary injunction was granted against the unconstitutional use of helicopters and warrantless searches as part of the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting. CAMP subjected growers to returned searches each season.

“The case before the Court is highly distinguishable. Unlike in NORML, Plaintiffs have provided no evidence that Lake County intends to conduct additional searches or seizures against the named or Doe Plaintiffs,” Henderson wrote. “Mere speculation about the intentions of the County is not enough. Importantly, the Ordinance in this case, unlike the CAMP policy in NORML, does not explicitly rely upon ‘returning to the same areas’ with the objective of tiring out targeted growers. Further, Plaintiffs have neither alleged nor demonstrated that they have been subjected to the unconstitutional activities repeatedly.”

Henderson continued, “Assuming Plaintiffs’ allegations are true, the identified Plaintiffs have already lost their marijuana plants and had their privacy invaded. Absent additional evidence, Plaintiffs’ fear of prospective police intrusion appears to be little more than ‘subjective apprehensions,’ rather than ‘the reality of the threat of repeated injury.’ Ultimately, the ’emotional consequences of a prior act simply are not a sufficient basis for an injunction absent a real and immediate threat of future injury by the defendant.’ Without some evidence that Defendants’ might violate the Constitutional rights of Plaintiffs in the next fourteen days, a TRO is unjustified.”

The cases and declarations the plaintiffs used in their filings also were insufficient, in Henderson’s view, to show that the county of Lake has an official policy authorizing the behavior the plaintiffs are complaining about or that the plaintiffs are likely to be harmed again anytime soon.

During oral arguments, the plaintiffs were unable to clearly answer if Ordinance No. 2997 authorized the alleged conduct or if the defendant officers were acting beyond their legal authority, Henderson wrote.

“Without Plaintiffs more fully articulating this aspect of their claim, the Court cannot find that the problematic behavior was officially authorized, and therefore that Plaintiffs face a ‘real possibility’ that they will be raided again,” he said.

In his conclusion, Judge Henderson ordered the parties to meet and confer on a briefing schedule on the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, with a joint statement setting forth their areas of agreement and disagreement due on or before Sept. 12.

Let’s just admit it – Obamacare/Covered California is a complete failure and needs to be dumped asap

4 Sep
I found this ad in the News and Review - look at the bottom in tiny writing, "Sorry, no Covered California or medi-cal..." Sorry? Really?

I found this ad in the News and Review – look at the bottom in tiny writing, “Sorry, no Covered California or medi-cal…” Sorry? Really?

 

I’m not attacking the doctor pictured, or even the practice she works for, because I haven’t checked them out – maybe they charge perfectly reasonable prices and give cash discounts like my dentist and oral surgeon have done. 

But if I were paying $800 a month for my Bronze Plan (or, as I like to call it, The Mr. Shit Plan), I’d be pretty PO’d to find out my doctor won’t accept it. That’s just crazy Folks, why do we put up with this crap?   

My husband  and I are in a pretty ridiculous situation. We qualify for Medi-Cal but can’t collect because we own our own house and rentals. We’d have to sell  off all our assets and be dirt poor before we could collect a penny in benefits, and then what? You see the ad above is pretty clear.

So, we could  bump ourselves up to the Bronze Plan – $800/month, $12,000 deductible. If we got sick, we would eat pretty substantially into our savings before we could make any claim – meanwhile, unable to work, how would we pay our mortgage, tax, utility and other bills?

Oh yeah – the ad above says they don’t take the Mr. Shit Plan.

I always thought I’d saved a lot in the bank, until we got our first hospital bill about 8 years ago. A friend had had a similar procedure 10 years earlier, and his hospital bill wasn’t a fraction, he was able to pay it fully out of his savings and walk away a free and healthy man. Now you can’t even get in without insurance, even green cash will  only get you so far, the bills are so outrageous – more than your house is worth oftentimes. Doctors are vultures, they pick you so clean, you don’t have a home to go and die. 

I wonder if she smiles like  that when she tells you your insurance isn’t good enough.

I guess I’m going to send a copy of this ad to Jerry Brown’s office, and ask him what he can do about this before November. I’ll send a copy to Neal Kashkari, his Republic opponent, see if either one of them has an answer.

 

Donnan tries to clear up my accusations that others tried to bully him out of running in 2012, but only adds more mud to the water

4 Sep

Dave Donnan sent me a note, but I don’t know if it answers  my question.  I had a conversation earlier this year  with a certain candidate who told me, very clearly, that he had tried to talk Donnan out of the 2012 council race because he believed Donnan would be a spoiler. Donnan refused to back out and this candidate expressed a lot of frustration if not anger over his loss, blaming Donnan for stealing votes from him.  When I told that story on this blog, the candidate came around denying it, and started using threatening language. Since I didn’t have the remarks on tape, I dropped it. But, I wondered  why Donnan never came around. Finally, today he sent me a note about that.

Juanita…..I should pay more attention to this blog as I only found out about it a little while ago. No one forced me out of city council race…as you may not know I was very sick and was in the hospital on and off for 7 months. I’ve had cancer twice (colon removed and testicle) and they thought I had it for 3rd time (prostate) but it turned out that I had fistula attatched to prostate and had to have ileostomy (bag for life…surgery in Jan)) and at UCSF had to have urethral stricture surgery (surgery in March) and am now just getting back to normal.

No, I never heard of Dave’s health problems before. Frankly, I don’t think Dave is talking about the 2012 race – he ran in that race, seemed healthy, never mentioned any health problems and seemed perfectly ready to assume the duties of city council.   If he’d been elected, we would have paid for the surgery he describes above, and he probably would have had to forfeit his council seat. 

I don’t usually edit people’s comments, but I didn’t post the rest of Dave’s message because he started campaigning. Forget that Dave, I’m not helping you run for anything. 

 

Is this guy for real, or is somebody punking me?

3 Sep

Juanita

 

Did you receive my email earlier ?

Since you are a constant attendee to the CARD Board meetings I would like to pick your brain regarding the financial picture of this organization.  From one of the things I have read is that their budget is over $6 million and $5 million of that goes to 32 full time employees…is that right ?  and that they are paying for the employee retirement ?  I hear that their medical coverage is terrible

Can I buy you lunch this week and talk more ?

 

Dave Donnan

We finally hear from Dave Donnan – what nerve this guy has!

2 Sep

We were just talking about perpetual candidate Dave Donnan, weren’t we? Wondering what happened to that guy, since he never chimed in on our little debate last week. He could have answered all our questions, but never showed up. 

Imagine my surprise when I opened my mailbox and found this note:

 Juanita
As you know I am running for Director of CARD and it would be very helpful in my campaign if you could bring me up to speed on their financial situation
Thanks
Dave

Yes, I remember reading that Donnan was throwing his hat in for a CARD board position. I’m very depressed about CARD, I wish somebody would run against Jan Sneed, but I didn’t see anybody on the list, including Donnan, that I thought would be any better. I had thought of running for this position myself, but I have too much going on in my personal life, and I don’t have any supporters telling me to run. I can’t even  get anybody to care about what’s going on at CARD, why would I sacrifice my personal  life to ride into an ambush like that without any posse? 

But, I have to laugh at you Dave – what are you asking me for? All that time I was screaming my head off about what was going on at CARD, and I couldn’t even get you to attend a meeting. Now you’re asking me for stuff that is readily available here:

http://www.chicorec.com/CARD-Resources/Public-Resources/index.html

In a nutshell, you can see that CARD has been steadily depleting it’s finances paying off pensions for it’s top 33 or so employees.  Meanwhile, they’ve cut their minimum wage employees to 27 hours or less so they don’t have to pay Obamacare. I expect them to put a bond measure on the 2016 ballot, using their proposed gazillion dollar Aquajets’ aquatic center as bait. 

This board requires that you be 18 years of age and a resident of the CARD district, which covers Chico and the surrounding unincorporated area “of influence.”  I’d recommend you look the website over good and go to a few meetings before you stick your (virtual) dick in that mouse trap.

But no, I don’t support Dave Donnan. I believe Donnan, and Andrew Coolidge, and a lot of the people that “step up” for commissions are only trying to give themselves more credibility in their business dealings. BT Chapman is another one. These people all have businesses that revolve around the public sector, and if they can get themselves into a publicly elected or appointed seat, it gives them more respectability and opens more doors, let’s be real here. 

The only candidate I have any interest in is Molina, and I can’t find anything out about this woman except that she’s with Chico Velo (the spandex killers) and she is being endorsed by the Democrats. I was going to ask her if she wanted to speak to Chico Taxpayers at the library, but I’m so disgusted with the lack of interest (not only in my forums but I’ve heard  from two others that other forums are also grossly under-attended), FORGET IT. I’ll try to post whatever I can find about Molina here, we’ll see what we can dig up.