Archive | August, 2021

Living in a constant state of disaster is unhealthy for children and other living things

30 Aug

Gee, doesn’t this wildfire scenario put COnVID in it’s proper perspective? I mean, I don’t know one person who can prove to me they had COVID (in fact, I only know one person who has claimed to have it), but I know people all around me right now are getting sick from breathing the cancer-laden smoke from these human-made and human-manipulated fires.

From the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/smoke.html

Wildfire smoke is a mix of gases and fine particles from burning vegetation, building materials, and other materials. Wildfire smoke can make anyone sick. Even someone who is healthy can get sick if there is enough smoke in the air. Breathing in smoke can have immediate health effects, including:

  • Coughing
  • Trouble breathing normally
  • Stinging eyes
  • A scratchy throat
  • Runny nose
  • Irritated sinuses
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • An asthma attack
  • Tiredness
  • Fast heartbeat

Let me add, stomach ache. The last few nights I think I’ve been swallowing air because my sinuses are so glued shut I can’t get it any other way. I wake up at 3 am with a horrible stomach ache, walk around belching and blowing my nose for 15 minutes. I’ll also add dehydration – I’m waking up several times a night, thirsty as hell, even though I’ve been drinking more water than ever. My mouth is sore, my tongue is dry, and my voice has been reduced to a croak.

So what’s the solution? “If you are told to stay indoors, stay indoors and keep your indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed unless it is very hot outside. Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Seek shelter elsewhere if you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed.”

This advice might be useful in a short-term emergency. We’ve been force-fed smoke and ash and other cancer-causing particulates for about 2 months now. Stay inside? How the fuck is a person supposed to make a living? And, according to the CDC, masks are suddenly worthless?

Do not rely on dust masks for protection. Paper “comfort” or “dust” masks commonly found at hardware stores trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will not protect your lungs from smoke. An “N95” mask, properly worn, will offer some protection. If you decide to keep a mask on hand, see the Respirator Fact Sheet provided by CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

But I’m supposed to believe that a mask will stop a virus? Wow, this just gets more ridiculous every minute.

After over a year of the COnVID shutdown, we are now forced indoors and isolated by wildfires left to burn half the state. We already know what happens – more depression/mental illness, more domestic violence, more suicide.

These wildfires, like the COVID shutdown, were human-made and human perpetuated. In both instances, the cure has been worse than the disease.

Don’t just believe what you read or hear about this recall, do your own research

29 Aug

This morning I saw a letter in the Enterprise Record from a regular letter-writer who stated, “So with money from outside our state supporting the recall of Newsom, we are spending millions of tax dollars to respond to this bogus claim of corruptness.” 

Yes, there have been claims of corruption against the Newsom administration, including his meeting with PG&E lobbyists at a closed restaurant to “broker a deal” for PG&E bankruptcy, as well as his mishandling of the Employment Department scandal. It’s true that proponents of the recall have charged the governor with corruption, and they have plenty of evidence to back up those claims. It’s also true that our state will spend millions of dollars on this election.

But where does the writer get her claim, “With money from outside our state supporting the recall of Newsom“? She does note explain. That’s a pretty serious charge, I had to search that. I found a couple of articles about the funding in this recall, and I didn’t see that anywhere. In fact, Cal Matters has this neat-o “live-tracker” that updates the information daily.

I was shocked to see how much disparity there is in the funding – “Supporters of the recall have raised approximately $8.0 million and opponents have raised about $62.2 million.” According to the LA Times, if you include money raised by candidates for governor, the YES figure is $32.6 million.

But I found nothing about any “money from outside our state supporting the recall of Newsom” Anybody else?

Here’s why I’m asking – when he announced a limit and a cut-off date for recall letters, Enterprise Record Editor Mike Wolcott posted a list of rules, including, “We don’t print purported facts that can’t be independently verified. When using facts, cite a source. We don’t print letters that require substantial research to verify.

Was there any verification of this writer’s claims? It took me less than a minute to find the correct information, from respected sources. In fact, the ER often runs pieces from Cal Matters, the SF Chronicle, and the San Jose Mercury News.

The old advice is, believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see. I’ll add, don’t believe what you read in one newspaper, or from one source. Check your own facts. Use different sources, including those you don’t necessarily agree with. Don’t just take it from me – check it! And check it again!

The transient camp debacle – Mayor Andrew Coolidge got us into this mess, but has little idea how we will get out of it

27 Aug

I saw this story from KHSL Chico Action News on the Google News Chico site. Google is a better source than the ER lately. But, these don’t stay up forever, eventually the website refreshes, and I have never found any archives. So, I cut and paste the transcript, but if you want to see the entire interview you can see it at the link below for a few more days maybe. I also included most of the comments I found posted below.

I would like to remind everybody, Mayor Coolidge seems to have forgot – in 2018, this ninny went along with the council’s liberal minority and signed the Shelter Crisis Designation. That is why he lost reelection in November 2018. In 2020 the council went with districts, I don’t believe Coolidge would have got reelected in an at-large election. The “conservative backlash” also helped – I was shocked when Coolidge got the endorsement of the Republican Women Federated and other groups that had been pretty pissed at him a couple of years earlier. One local pundit even mentioned Coolidge’s support of the SCD, but opined he was the only choice in that district. As if, “just hold your nose and vote for him”. And here we are.

Here’s another question Haley should have asked – how much has this lawsuit cost the city so far? Maybe next time.

https://www.actionnewsnow.com/content/news/Chico-Mayor-talks-plan-to-clean-up-parks-get-homeless-into-shelters-575166171.html?videoKey=d0f281ad61760d93e99327ae18a98d69318aefd6

CHICO, Calif. – Action News Now spoke with Chico Mayor Andrew Coolidge about the state of the local homeless crisis and the ongoing lawsuit between the city and a group of eight homeless people.

For the time being, the city cannot enforce park rules that ban overnight camping until the judge approves a homeless shelter compromise.

Below is this transcription of our conversation with Mayor Coolidge:

Q: Mayor Coolidge, the first thing I think we should address here is, where are we at in the process of finding some sort of compromise when it comes to finding a shelter solution?

A: I think the community really wants to know that, where are we in the trial process, where are we in terms of actually getting some resolution? Because I think we all want to move forward and I’m among those folks. So if you look at it today actually they’ll be submitting briefs to the magistrate in terms of the settlement conference, that will be proceeding on the 30th, so there will actually be a settlement conference at that time. Hopefully, there will be.. some sort of resolution. That’s really the issue we’re dealing with. The two parties coming together. I believe the other side wants the moon. We’re really just dealing with providing a solution that will work within the city’s budget, so we can end this and get back to enforcing the in the parks and waterways, so it’s complicated.

Q: One of the things the judge brought up was at the airport shelter site, we’re not seeing beds, a roof, walls, all of the things that might entail what a shelter is. Is there a plan in the works to make that site more of a shelter? Or is there some other solution you’re cooking up?

A: A lot of people like to talk about the airport site and say, a lot of things were missing. But at the same token, a lot of things weren’t in place yet. We actually had a request for a proposal out for that site to have organizational management. And to have them manage it in a way that would provide some of those things. But the county backed out of that site, we had other difficulties and that never came to fruition. So we have the site out there, it has the spaces and we are actually providing additional shelter above the tents, but that site, even though a lot of people have said that’s not a great site, not a great location – it has about 29 people out there. They’re staying. So it’s grown on its own. Whether the city continues to do it because we have gotten some push back because the judge did not like it – that’s something that we have to look at and see whether we tailor that back and look into something else, I think that’s where the settlement conference comes into play.

Q: It feels like this all seems so far down the line. Everyone wants some sort of compromise reached, and yet we’re still not even sure if we make (the airport site) work go a completely different direction at this point?

A: Certainly the city has an idea of what we can do. There are some sites being considered, some sites being offered. We want to put that together, we want to make this problem a problem of the past. We want to move forward. Whether the plaintiffs are on board with that? Some folks would say they’re just trying to delay, trying to keep this process going as long as possible because it works in their favor? The city’s of course pushing for the judge to make a decision quicker to get to a settlement sooner. So we’ve offered some pretty big things that I never thought we’d put on the table and the response we’re getting is just not even…

Q: Can you tell me what some of those things are?

A: I can’t tell you specifically what they are, but I can tell you that we’re considering things that are more similar to Comanche Creek. Sites that have some shade and trees, that have access to water. So we’ve put some pretty hefty items on the table but I don’t ever see us moving to an indoor shelter, because that would be really difficult. it would be difficult for the entire ninth district to actually comply with that. You’re talking about San Francisco and L.A., if they had to do that, even those cities would be on the brink of bankruptcy. So to require cities to provide indoor housing when some of our residents don’t even have that? To provide air conditioning when some of our residents don’t even have that? I don’t think that’s a very realistic outcome. I don’t think the judge is going to burden the city with that and every city in the ninth district with that.

Q: While we’re tied up, while the city can’t do anything when it comes to enforcing (some) park rules, what are the key public safety issue that you’re worried about?

A: You’ll start to see some movement on those issues. When it comes to extreme drug use, when it comes to the fires, obviously anything with criminal activity, that’s something that we’re looking at and working on to stop that kind of activity. So we are rolling out a program to do that. We know and realize that these areas are high-crime areas as well. So there’s a lot of folks in the community pushing for enforcement in that area, but according to the city attorney in how we move forward, it has to be in a way that isn’t targeted. We don’t want to target that community or seem like we’re targeting that community. So for example we can’t go in there and say we’re going to fine everyone for smoking and cite them. We really have to look at doing something more complete and inclusive in terms of the entire city and just enforcing laws on the books.

COMMENTS FROM ACTION NEWS WEBSITE (I didn’t get all the comments, some were snarky.)

William 1 day ago I think the airport was meant to be a temporary solution. That’s why it was named a resting spot, not intended to be a shelter, which is why it probably didn’t help with satisfying whatever the judge wanted. I mean isn’t homelessness supposed to be temporary? Unfortunately, when the airport spot was put up in June, multiple news websites including the Chico ER posted an article that said Chico offered sanctioned camping for homeless. Two months later, here we are with even more homeless than before because of this news. Only an estimated 29 spots used for camping at the airport. You can see where the rest are now. I have no clue what the solution is, but if we go all Oprah with homeless saying “You get a house” and “You get a house”, no doubt it will attract a lot more homeless people. We have hard working people struggling to pay rent and then they see their taxes go to what seems like wasted resources. $45K/month for 29 homeless spots used? You could rent 29 houses for a month with that money. I’m all for giving a hand up to the homeless of this area, but let’s not make Chico the homeless destination capital of the world. Honestly, if I had a warrant for my arrest, I would hide out in the parks and homeless areas. I know Shasta county does homeless sweeps for people with warrants. You bet I’d be coming to Chico if I lived up north.Lastly, I think the City Council doesn’t want to go too far with resources as to attract out of area homeless.

Regina Erekson 1 day ago Replying to William Homelessness should be temporary. It took 2 years at Torres and assistance from Behavioral Health to receive rehousing help There is apparently no Continuum of Care for that, as it seems I will need to repeat the process after having a HAP defunded, couldn’t afford to use Section 8 lease in place and then moved to TBRA somehow. It’s been 3 yrs processing my disability claim through Social Security so TBRA refused me any further assistance. So do I go back to Torres to start over again? Also, now that I’ve been here 5 years, I constantly bump into former Torres roommates that are back on the street. If you don’t have the ability to maintain housing one way or another… Inadequate finance, substance abuse or infirmities it’s a merry go round of uselessness that seems to primarily rely on billing Medicaid/Medi-Cal and to qualify for grants that apparently go to administrative costs or eventually gets rolled to other budget lines. For example, when Coolidge said YOU would pay the $350k for the 29 capers on the Tarmac and then magically the COVID funds that were going to be applied to widening Bruce Road for the unaffordable housing developments. I really think there should be more transparency on how the city uses residents money. BTW if you want every homeless person to be self-sufficient take inventory of the things you require to get to work and function. .. that’s what is needed. Without addressing the cause of homelessness, it will never go away.

Regina Erekson1 day agoReplying to William Also, fires add to the local homeless population annually. Chico isn’t an attractive place to be homeless FYI. For example meth and heroin are far more available and cheaper in port cities. Maybe city council can make up those flyers so you can divert the crowds down to L.A., S.F. NY, FL … heck, China, India, Africa…trade for refugees, euthanasia, rural development, Soylent Green…

Unknown1 1 day ago Replying to Regina Erekson If housing is so expensive I would suggest you get together with other homeless people and use your joint resources to rent a place. College kids do it all the time.

Fred Spenger 2 days ago The Homeless are asking for the the moon? The Homeless are delaying the process? Some citizens don’t have a roof over their heads or air conditioning? Aren’t the homeless citizens also?

A Citizen 1 day ago Replying to Fred Spenger Coolidge not only doesn’t consider the homeless citizens. He doesn’t even consider them human. The city is bringing in a snake oil salesman for “advice” on how to “fix” our homeless “problem”. Coolidge is whining about money. While tossing $50k to this “expert” aka conman aka snake oil salesman. What an absolute joke!

Flaunts 2 days ago Replying to Fred Spenger>>> the homeless need to accept a hand up instead of expecting a hand out

Unknown1 1 day ago Replying to Fred Spenger Unproductive citizens.

Regina Erekson 1 day ago Replying to Unknown1How did you get that demographic information?

Unknown1 1 day ago Replying to Regina Erekson Probably from the same source that you got yours that says they could lead productive lives and if enough money and freebies are given to them they will become what they should have become without all of the money and freebies. They wasted their chance by burning their bridges and refusing to be a part of their own life.

eholohan 2 days ago The judge should have to give us a plan. In stead, he wants Chico to come up with a plan and he will say IF it is OK or not. Unacceptable!

Alley Oop 2 days ago Agreed. We shouldn’t be hostages to this judge and the Transient Invaders.

It’s time for California to take a new direction – we have the right to petition our leaders for redress of our grievances, and that’s a RECALL!

27 Aug

Wow, three days of sweet oxygen, and then the winds shifted – back to breathing cancer! Thank you, Cal Fire. The Dixie Fire, for one, has now been masturbated for over a month, plenty of overtime for management, who file in and out every day in convoys of immaculate white trucks. What do these people do? They don’t get dirty, that’s for sure. You see them on the news, you see them in videos released to the badge bunnies like Karla K. Larsen. A phalanx of management pencil pushers, racking up overtime as much as three times their contractual salary.

If you’re okay with that, go ahead and ignore the recall. Get yourself a good gas mask.

Are you sick of reading about drug overdoses and crime? Yeah, Dave got his car back, two weeks and 2,000 miles later, beat up, parts stripped off, full of trash including hypodermic needles, driven all over the county by junkies. At one point, Chico PD had the car and the driver, but let them get away while they flustered over whether or not to pursue a stolen car. Chico PD is indeed, overwhelmed. The statewide policy of “transferring” criminals and drug addicts from one locality to another for money is driving Chico off the cliff. The AB109 money isn’t spent to improve prisons or jails, it’s dumped into the county pension deficit. Read the county agendas for yourself – Debra Lucero said I was spreading “falsehoods” – but the transfers, the money received and paid, and the payments toward the burgeoning county pension deficit are all in there. Then our Sheriff Kory Honea complains he doesn’t have enough room at the jail to hold car thieves, drug dealers or human traffickers, and they’re released onto the streets of Oroville and Chico. Another dealer just arrested recently, with methamphetamine, cocaine, and fentanyl. There’s a warning circulating right now to watch out for meth and coke laced with fentanyl.

If you’re okay with that, go ahead and ignore the recall. Maybe you should move to one of the towns that’s transferring them out instead of transferring them in!

Are you tired of higher taxes and deteriorating infrastructure? Right now Chico City Council, led by an idiot, is working on putting at least two different tax measures on the 2022 ballot. They are also working on a business and rent tax, which I have read will need to go before the voters, but wow, they sure aren’t talking about it in front of the voters. Meanwhile, the city of Chico only does projects that come with state grants, like roundabouts that have to be driven over by big trucks, and bike lanes to nowhere.

If that’s okay with you, go ahead and ignore the recall.

I’m sick of having my summers stolen by wildfire, I’m sick of drug dealers and junkies running my town, and I’m sick of overpaid administrators ripping me off to feather their retirement nests. It’s time for a change in leadership.

A recent letter to the ER from union operative, Tom Reed, seems to be saying that we don’t have the right to recall our elected officials. I think Kevin Kiley answers that pretty well with this comment from his Facebook page:

This election is happening because many, many, Californians have demanded it, people of all political affiliations, all background , who have looked around and seen we have the highest poverty, the most homelessness, greatest level of inequality, failing schools, crumbling infrastructure – how did our beautiful state become the last in everything?

As I’ve seen as a member of the legislature for five years, we have a broken state government. If you are someone who is frustrated with the direction of our state, you want to stay here, raise your children here, retire here, but you are afraid to cross party lines – take a chance on change, the recall is for you.

My administration will be about “Back to Basics”. Pave our roads, manage our forests, store our water, maintain our grid, fund our police, things government is supposed to do.

I’ve voted for Kiley, but I will have to ask him exactly what he means by funding our police. I’ll get back with any response I get.

Every time I see Gavin Newson on TV, it just reinforces my feelings about this recall – YES! NOW!

22 Aug

This morning I saw an interview with Gavin Newsom on Fox News “The Issue Is”. He declared, “We’re going to win overwhelmingly, we just need to remind people to turn out and vote.” It sounded more like an order than an observation.

And then the threats of “profound consequences” – Republicans, he says, will eliminate masking and vax orders, forcing the rest of us to “walk off the COVID cliff.” They will tank our economy. They will get rid of Nancy Pelosi. Asked what he thought of each of the front runner candidates, Newsom opined, “they all align with Trump, they are much more similar than they seem.”

That’s not what I saw in the debates – Cox was the only one who announced he would vote for Trump, and only if there were not other way to beat Biden. Both Faulconer and Kiley failed to bite on the question of supporting Trump, saying they wanted to stick to California issues. I think the question was off base. A more appropriate question would have been who they’d pick to replace Dianne Feinstein in the event that her slipping mental abilities lead to early retirement.

So much for a rational conversation with the governor. Asked if he thought his current advice to “just vote NO and skip the second question” was “political suicide”, Newsome ignored the reporter, leaned toward the camera, and rasped, “You don’t have to worry about the second question, just vote NO.” The reporter continued to ask Newsom why he thought there were other Democrats running on the ballot, “do you understand why Democrats are frustrated?” Again, Newsom ignored the question, writing off any Democratic dissatisfaction saying, “Everybody is frustrated, it’s the difficulties we’ve seen as a state.”

I don’t know who he means by “we”, I don’t believe he knows anything about the difficulties the rest of us have been dealing with. For one thing, when asked what he thought is the biggest issue facing Californians right now, he said, without hesitation, “What’s on everybody’s minds – we need a comprehensive strategy for homelessness.

Well, if he means the instant homelessness that occurs when you burn down an entire town, he’s got something there. Right at this moment, I’d say the biggest thing on anybody’s mind in California is, will we ever have another summer when we can open our windows at night? About two-thirds of the state is wondering if they will always live under the threat of man-made wildfires. And canny taxpayers are wondering how an agency that racks up as much overtime as Cal Fire can’t seem to put out a fire. A lot of us are asking, “if they say it’s ‘contained,’ how come it keeps getting bigger?

I’ll add, what’s going to happen to our PG&E rates as they burn down one town after another? Earlier this year, Newsom hastily passed legislation that supposedly “stabilized” utilities by protecting them from the consequences of their own mistakes. Does that mean our rates won’t go up? Who exactly is he protecting?

Every time I see Newsom in the news, he just reinforces my feelings about the recall.

Deadline for Newsom recall-related letters to Enterprise Record is September 9 – get those letters in folks! No name calling, Dammit!

20 Aug

I watched the debate televised last night, featuring California Governor candidates Kevin Kiley, Kevin Faulconer, and John Cox, and I thought they all represented themselves fairly well. I thought Kiley’s answers were the most thoughtful, I liked his stance on everything they talked about. But, I was disappointed that there were no questions about what’s on everybody’s mind in California right now – the wildfires.

Look at the Cal Trans CCTV for Chico, you can see the air quality is very unusual.

You might think there’s a storm moving in but it’s smoke and ash that are creating the cloud cover.

There is ash on my patio plants, the spiderwebs in the trees – if you stand still, you can see it showering down, tiny particles. You might as well be smoking two packs a day, is what I’m guessing. Can you believe Chico banned woodstoves years back, because smoke is bad for you!

I don’t get mad, I get even. So I wrote the following letter to the Enterprise Record. Mike Wolcott announced the other day, the cut-off date for recall-related letters is September 9. There are other rules:

https://www.chicoer.com/2021/08/17/its-election-time-again-and-here-are-the-rules-editorial/

No name calling.” Hah! But trash talk, personal attacks, and misinformation are okay, from what I’ve been seeing lately. Try to keep your letter on point and check your facts, have them ready, just in case Wolcott decides to perform his due diligence.

I’m voting to recall Gavin Newsom because we need to get this governor out of office and change his policies that have caused misery for so many people.

When Newsom took office he declared the state would clear underbrush and thin forests “with prescribed burns and other techniques.“ But Capitol Public Radio found “Newsom overstated, by an astounding 690%, the number of acres treated with fuel breaks and prescribed burns… Newsom has claimed that 35 ‘priority projects’ carried out as a result of his executive order resulted in fire prevention work on 90,000 acres. But the state’s own data show the actual number is 11,399.“

Instead of holding PG&E accountable after the utility was found responsible for the Camp Fire, Newsom announced his office would “broker a deal” to end PG&E’s bankruptcy. Some critics believe Newsom has given the company a gift in the form of this year’s hastily-passed legislation AB 1054, which protects power monopolies from financial accountability when they start future wildfires, after having accepted $208,400 in campaign donations from the utility in 2018.

Newsom has overseen a policy of “containment” – allow fuels to accumulate, and then let fire burn itself out, no matter the calamities it creates, lives, habitat and natural resources lost forever. My vote to recall is purely defensive – I feel like he’s trying to kill us.

Kevin Kiley, with five good years of experience in the legislature, is a good choice to replace Newsom. We need a change in leadership, now.

Here’s an interesting article from today’s SF Chronicle regarding why Gavin Newsom is trying to ignore away this recall – the Democrats think the voters are too stupid to make two decisions?

19 Aug

https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/joegarofoli/article/What-s-behind-Gavin-Newsom-s-advice-to-not-16393947.php

Newsom is not on the regular ballot – so, if we get a majority of YES votes on the recall, he’s out, period

19 Aug

I got my recall ballot yesterday, it was most certainly a high point. I already knew what to do, but I’ve been hearing and reading a lot of confusing information about this recall.

My husband and I noticed right away – Gavin Newsom is not on this ballot. That is confusing, as we heard stories that he was indeed running, and that he had a little set-to with the Secretary of State over his party designation.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-07-12/newsom-wont-get-democrat-beside-his-name-on-recall-ballot-says-judge

Apparently you will have to write him in at the bottom of the ballot if you want to vote for him (in the event that the recall is successful). And the right-in rules are weird.

https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-08-16/will-your-write-in-vote-in-californias-recall-election-count

Here’s something I didn’t know – only candidates who have applied for write-in status will be counted in this election. This article says that candidates have until August 31 to apply for write-in status. That means the full list of eligible write-in candidates will not appear until early September.

Here’s an August 4 article from CalMatters that adds more confusion:

https://calmatters.org/politics/2021/08/newsom-recall-how-to-vote/

You can write in any name you want. But for your vote to count, it must be someone from the certified list. Write-in candidates have until Aug. 31 to file. Any write-in votes for Newsom also won’t be counted.

So, I assume Newsom has not applied to be a certified write-in candidate. In fact, Newsom apparently is telling his supporters just to vote No on the first question and IGNORE the second question. Here’s a blurb from the Democrats’ Twitter page.

The weirdest thing I’ve seen so far are signs distributed by the local Chico Democrats. They are associating this recall with something called Q’Anon – devil worshipping child molesters. This reminds me of the totally weird door hangers they were distributing in the last election. I’m floored – what the hell is happening to Chico Democrats?

The disarray in the Democratic party is one more reason to vote YES on this recall. Newsom and his party are tanking our state with their very, very strange agenda.

I can’t guess what will happen, I just know I’m voting YES for the RECALL and Kevin Kiley for Governor.

Capitol Public Radio: Newsom overstated forest clearance by 80,000 acres

18 Aug

This morning the smoke is so bad I woke up thinking we’d inadvertently left a window open. No. We’d even reinforced the sliding glass door with masking tape. Since 3 am, we’ve been breathing acrid, toxic air, thanks to PG&E, Cal Fire, and the head of the whole stinking fish, Gavin Newsom.

“Dixie Fire: Containment to be determined...” is the official word out of Cal Fire. Meaning, it will go out with the first rains. As of yesterday the fire was bearing down on Susanville – is that their intention? Just burn out all the mountain dwellers, leave nothing but ski resorts? Really?

I received a survey from Doug LaMalfa’s office, asking me how I think they should handle these fires. One option was, don’t allow people to live in fire prone areas anymore. I’m sure LaMalfa’s staff included that option to piss people off, but I’ve heard that kind of talk from people like Jim, and I think it’s on the table.

My family landed in the Sierra Nevada in the 1840’s, my grandma Mahala brought three children in by mule train in 1849. At that time, that was where the jobs were, and that’s where you could get land. Those people built this state. Their descendants continue to live up there – with the exception of my cousin Janet, who lost her house in Greenville a couple of weeks ago.

Is this how Newsom intends to accomplish de-population? Just burn them out? It’s been done before – look up the history of Prattville – the original town burned down due to a suspicious fire in the early 1900’s, just as The Western Power Company (predecessor to PG&E) was attempting to buy up huge swaths of land to build dams and reservoirs. The people of Prattville didn’t want to sell. So, one day when most of the residents had travelled to a baseball tournament, the town burned to the ground. Today the ruins of the original town of Prattville are sunk under Lake Almanor.

Well, that might all be a specious conspiracy theory, but Dan Walters reports here

https://calmatters.org/commentary/2021/08/wildfires-newsom-recall-forest-service/

that promises Newsom made early in his term about fire prevention and suppression have not come to fruition.

“Everybody has had enough,” Newsom said, adding that the state’s approach “fundamentally has to change.”

Newsom said the state would clear underbrush and thin forests with prescribed burns and other techniques, emulating how nature and Native Americans dealt with fire for countless eons.

“However, what seemed to be an innovative new state policy became an embarrassment when Capitol Public Radio reported in June that Newsom had hugely overstated what the state had done over the previous two years.” Capitol Public Radio  “found Newsom overstated, by an astounding 690%, the number of acres treated with fuel breaks and prescribed burns in the very forestry projects he said needed to be prioritized to protect the state’s most vulnerable communities. Newsom has claimed that 35 ‘priority projects’ carried out as a result of his executive order resulted in fire prevention work on 90,000 acres. But the state’s own data show the actual number is 11,399.

So, here we are today. Between his refusal to hold PG&E responsible for mismanagement and lack of maintenance, and his failure to implement his own promises to manage our forest lands, Newsom has managed to burn down, what, a third of the state? More? How many left homeless, destitute?

So, watch for your recall ballot, clerks all over the state were supposed to be mailing those out Monday. Vote for RECALL, and then I hope you’ll fill in the bubble next to Kevin Kiley to take on the last year or so of Newsom’s term. Find out more here:

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Do you feel like a turnip? Our public agencies are in it for whatever they can get, and they’re willing to squeeze us hard to get it

16 Aug

Yesterday was the worst day I’ve had all summer. A hundred and WHAT?!! And unbreathable air, it’s like being a cockroach. I grew up here People, and this is Bad.

I have the nicest neighbors, an older couple who moved out here from the mid west to be closer to their adult children, all over whom live out here on the coast. They’re really beautiful people, very easy-going, always cheerful. Well, I ran into them Friday as they hastily threw their travel gear into their car. They were disheveled and dis-coordinated, actually snapping at each other. The woman told me they had tried to stay in their tiny house, sitting under the air conditioner, for three days straight, and they started to go out of their minds. And, they realized, if this kept up, they would be getting a power bill and a half, as they were forced to run the ac night and day. So they were headed out to stay with friends in Southern California. “Anything for a change of scenery… ” she said, as they continued to load supplies into the hatchback.

We had our summer trip, even made it to the coast, but the money started to add up, so we came home.

I try to stay productive, but what is there to do? Feeling the cabin fever, I put on my last N-95 and go outside to rake up dead stuff, prune back dying shrubberies – it’s already fall at my house, stuff is dying fast. The water bill is frightening. I can’t cook because the house is too hot.

Our Australian cattle dog lays on his back with all four paws in the air, like road kill. His old mate is in her last days, and boy, would this ever suck for your last days. She spends the day arranging herself in front of this ginchee portable fan we found at Harbor Freight Tools. I swear, she holds her pee because it’s so nasty outside – we literally have to pick her up and drag her out. As soon as she’s out the door she stops, gives us “The Look”, and tries to turn back inside. Once she’s certain we’re not taking her back inside until she pees, she lets loose a yellow river that leaves a washout in the gravel. Then she turns around and full steam back to the house. For an old, saggy, bag of bones, she’s strong and determined.

So, when we feel like the walls are closing in, we load the dogs into the truck, ac blaring, Ron Woodward on the radio, and drive out to look for fruit stands. The Chico Farmer’s Market is too expensive – not to mention, HOT! – so we head out down Hwy 5 or 99, whichever way looks good. Last trip we ended up all the way past Williams. On Hwy 20 headed for the coast, we found a great stand with the best melons and corn we’ve had for a while. Corn is a good price indicator – 4 ears for a dollar is pretty good. And, get a load of this – CLEAN BATHROOM! Anybody seen a clean public toilet in Chico lately?

It’s the little things, don’t you agree?

It’s the little things that will drive you nuts, too. My friend’s car got stolen a week or so ago, and life has been pretty sucky for him. Just imagine being stuck on your bike right now, lugging your groceries home in three-digits and crap air quality. Chico PD have offered him no solace, even though they actually made contact with his car and the thieves inside. They chose not to pursue my friend’s car – we saw all this on BCFAC Facebook. Thanks for nothing, Chico PD. I felt his frustration, and dropped a note to my district supervisor, Kasey Reynolds. I asked her what she could do about this – it’s not just my friend, Chico has one of the highest car theft rates in the nation. Look at the police reports, also available on BCFAC, and you’ll see car theft is a common, every day occurrence in our nasty little town.

She told me to call her. I hate phone calls. Let me tell you something about talking to Kasey Reynolds on the phone – she won’t answer a direct question, talks rapid fire about everything under the sun except your questions, and then tells you she’ll get back to you with those answers, but never does. I’ve got a mailbox full of inquiries to her that were never answered.

She did tell me that she thought giving our new Chief Madden a higher salary than his predecessor was the only way they can “attract and keep talent”. But gee, crime continues to go up in Chico, how does that work?

Our public safety agencies are in it for what they can get, and it’s obvious to me, they’re willing to squeeze us pretty hard to get it.