Tag Archives: Cal Fire

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.

Steven Greenhut: “Frankly, union power drives state and local firefighting policies”

10 Aug

Thanks Cynthia for sharing this 2020 article from Ed Ring. Ring documents the 20 year decline in California forest management, citing both the Sierra Club and the firefighters unions as the problem.

I think the title is a little broad – “Environmentalists”? A word that has become just another slur for people you don’t agree with, like Tree Huggers? I consider myself an environmentalist. I believe in proper forest management, thinning of dead and dying fuel, raking and burning tree trash – “biochar”.

And yeah, if I see a good looking tree, I’m liable to hug it.

No, we’re talking about The Sierra Club, an organization made up of the rich and entitled, for the rich and entitled, and supported by the rich and entitled. They don’t represent “environmentalists” as a class of people. Hey, do you pick up litter? Do you turn off the hose when you’re not using it? Congratulations, you’re an environmentalist!

“Sen. Feinstein blames Sierra Club for blocking wildfire bill,” reads the provocative headline on a 2002 story in California’s Napa Valley Register. Feinstein had brokered a congressional consensus on legislation to thin “overstocked” forests close to homes and communities, but could not overcome the environmental lobby’s disagreement over expediting the permit process to thin forests everywhere else.

I don’t agree with Ring that the lawsuit brought us where we are today. Our courts and legislature allowed that to happen, they backed down to a PAC that also donates heavily at election time – what do you think?

In 2014, Republican members of Congress tried again to reduce the bureaucracy associated with “hazardous fuel projects” that thin out overgrown forests. True to form, the bill got nowhere thanks to environmental lobbyists who worried it would undermine the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the law that requires thorough impact assessments ahead of government decisions on public lands.

Here’s what I think – as late as 2019, Feinstein bowed to pressure from the Sierra Club and the new Sunrise Movement, as well as her coworkers in the senate, and dropped her competing “more moderate” resolution on climate change.

https://theintercept.com/2019/03/01/dianne-feinstein-green-new-deal-sunrise-movement/

Her protest was weak, she really doesn’t want to go against these people. These PACs have a lot more influence than the average voter because of entrenched politicians like Dianne Feinstein. We need term limits as well as a limit on PAC contributions.

I have to agree with Ring’s friend Steven Greenhut, whom Ring quotes below – the firefighters’ unions are too powerful and they aren’t working for anybody but themselves:

Meanwhile, tragically, expect California’s politically powerful firefighters’ union to do little or nothing to support the timber industry or rural inhabitants who don’t want to move into urban condos.

As Steve Greenhut explained in a recent column in the Orange County Register: “Frankly, union power drives state and local firefighting policies. The median compensation package for firefighters has topped $240,000 a year in some locales. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection firefighters earn less, but their packages still total nearly $150,000 a year. The number of California firefighters who receive compensation packages above $500,000 a year is mind-blowing.”

No wonder firefighters are overwhelmed during California’s wildfire season. The state can’t afford to hire enough of them.

As long as PACs like Sierra Club and the unions are allowed to make enormous contributions at election time we will continue to see fire policy failure from the State of California.

Lou Binninger: If Gavin Newsom is not recalled, we owe Gray Davis an apology

10 Sep

As we head into another election, I think it’s important to remind everybody there is a petition circulating to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. 

HOMEPAGE

Newsom’s the worst governor we’ve had since Gray Davis. Maybe worse because he refuses to learn from the past. Davis presided over the rolling blackouts and signed the agreement with CalPERS promising pie-in-the-sky pensions for peanuts. We are still paying for his poor leadership. Newsom not only perpetuates the pensions and allows the utility companies to screw California residents, he runs the COVID shut-down, the transient takeover of our parks and waterways, and allows the destruction of our forests and air quality. 

It’s easy to print and sign the petition, and send it in.  Why bother?  I’ll let Lon Binninger take it from here:

https://www.nohostagesradio.com/podcast/we-owe-gray-davis-an-apology

No fan of Governor Gray Davis, it was still a shock when he was petitioned to be recalled and then actually voted out October 7, 2003! There was plenty wrong with the state then, utility and pension plan corruption, the spiking of motor vehicle fees, and a huge raise for state correctional officers to get Davis re-elected. Davis was the first California Governor to be recalled and the second in US history.

However, considering the bleak state of California today, if Gavin Newsom is not recalled the citizens owe Davis an apology.

Recall proponents have until November 17 to submit 1,495,709 verifiable signatures but are hoping to present 2 million knowing that many will be disqualified. This campaign is a volunteer effort and they rarely succeed. But these are unprecedented times.

Newsom says he has five big objectives: “1) increase funding for public education, 2) protect and secure Californians’ health and health care, 3) improve water, roads, and bridges, 4) address the challenges of housing affordability and homelessness, and 5) prepare for the threats of wildfires.”

California public education is among the lowest performing in the country and is basically a union welfare and retirement fund for teachers. Unions protect bad teachers and disruptive students and they crush any attempts at better alternatives such as charter schools. Newsom is impotent on education.

As for California’s need for “secure” health care, Newsom has done nothing to eliminate limits on the number of nursing graduates at California’s colleges and universities. He basically has extended the Obamacare expensive coverages. Meanwhile he’s willing to spend hundreds of millions to provide free health care to illegal aliens, while millions of working Californians cannot afford insurance.

Citizens are repeatedly taxed to “improve water, roads, and bridges.” Newsom then takes the money to waste billions on “High Speed Rail” rather than improving the infrastructure Californians need and use. Newsom funds thousands of surplus Caltrans workers, the department responsible for making road improvements. State audits reveal billions are wasted.

Newsom has done nothing to reform CEQA, California’s bottleneck Environmental Quality Act, which buries road projects in bureaucracy and courts for years, costing additional billions. Nothing is accomplished.

California gets the national loser trophy for “housing affordability and homelessness.” Newsom’s gift is gab not getting problems solved. The process of building new suburbs and infrastructure needs to be deregulated. Instead, since regulations have made it impossible for developers to sell affordable homes and still make a profit, Newsom has deceived voters into passing tens of billions of dollars in bonds. These billions are used to pay Newsom’s friends, who are building “affordable” housing at an average cost well in excess of $500,000 per unit. He’s a crook.

How about those homeless? Economist Walter Williams says that whatever you want more of – fund it. California has done just that by the hundreds of millions of dollars. Rather than providing cost-effective shelters in low-cost areas, arrest and direct addicts into rehabs, Newsom and Democrat mayors allow the homeless to take over downtown areas and choice neighborhoods throughout the state. 

Tens of thousands of homeless squatters live lawless, openly consume hard drugs, steal for their habits, and harass working residents. The lawless need to be detained and their problems addressed once sober.

Never shy to sue, Newsom could challenge the laws and court rulings that prevent the state from helping the homeless? Why just accept them? Instead he wants to build “supportive housing” on expensive real estate. Newsom’s performance on California’s homeless crisis reveals his liberal incompetence gene. Liberal solutions make problems worse.

Finally Newsom wants to “prepare for wildfires” which he blames on the climate. Hahahaha. Newsom has never admitted that forestry mismanagement is the reason for catastrophic wildfires, or that the droughts have occurred in cycles for centuries in this state? Wisdom is to prepare for drought not change the climate. 

Why isn’t the timber industry returning to harvest diseased and dead trees and thin mature trees in exchange for clearing brush? That would cost taxpayers nothing and create jobs. Can’t Newsom admit that most of the stress on the forests is because the trees have become too dense preventing healthy trees from getting enough nutrients?

There is plenty more to say of Newsom’s acts of incompetence including shutting down the state for a faux pandemic. Sign the recall petition by going to recallgavin2020.org. You can print, then sign and mail the petition. Or you locate your county’s Recall Gavin Facebook page on the website to find a signing location. 

 

Nakamura is dumping the fire department – in 2017!

14 Apr

Tomorrow night city council will discuss serving a three-year notice to the fire department that they will be considering a contract with Cal Fire. You may be asking the same question I am – why did they just approve new contracts with the fire department, with a proviso that says we have to give them three years’ notice before we dump them? This is not a sincere move on the part of Scott Gruendl or Mark Sorensen, it’s election year pandering.

Look there it says, “recently completed negotiations…” meaning, weeks ago. Why did they go through with the contracts at all?

REPORT IN BRIEF: The City of Chico recently completed negotiations with its nine (9) bargaining groups. One
outstanding issue, pertaining specifically to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), Local 2734, that
essentially binds the City, is Section 5.7, a contracting out provision. The City Manager believes this section
adversely affects the City’s ability to consider alternative service delivery options in order to evaluate the costs related
to salaries and benefits. Thus, in light of the City Council’s desire to treat all bargaining units respectfully and equitably
in future negotiations, the City Manager recommends that the City provide the attached notice of intent, which
becomes effective April 16, 2017.