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A note about Crazyfornia. I moved to California in 1970, when it was just a silly place.

A selection of examples


Examples: The state constitution says the legislature should agree on a budget by July 1st. The legislature would merely cover the clock and continue being silly.

Local news items in the 1970s

  • Someone tried to break into an Oakland school, fell through the gymnasium skylight, got badly hurt, collected $10 million from the school district instead of jail time.

  • If you gave 1st aid to someone who needed it, you would likely be sued.
    ( In the U.S., the defendant pays for his/hers/its own defense, hence the many "black-mail" suits. )

  • And the "Twinkie Defense" - some guy got irritated at the San Francisco City Council, went home got a gun came back, and in hippie talk "blew away" two elected officials - the clever attorney defense was that sugar candy made him do it - the jury bought it - he got 7 years for the double murder - called "voluntary manslaughter" - out in 5.

  • And the hooker who got hit by a city trolley - claimed the accident ruined her business as she was now so hot that she gave "it" away instead of selling "it" - so sued - and won.
Now, 2 generations later, the state legislature we vote for really can't afford to be so silly.

  • But the state legislature no longer even bothers to cover the clock.

  • The legislature wants to sell $17 billion in bonds, "guaranteed" by future profits from the state lottery, to keep up the spending rate this year (2011).
    (The state lottery was originally sold to the voters as a method of increasing money for education - but that tale is long forgotten.)
    ( Also, the legislature lied, the money for education was not increased)

  • The legislature is considering making a state legal holiday in honor of just one of the two San Francisco officials "blown away" in the 1970s (above) - only the self proclaimed gay one -

  • Sept 2009 - seems the state has passed legislation to tax the cities, so the cities are laying off school teachers and cops. The state is talking about releasing 7,000 prision inmates early because the prisons are so crappy a federal judge is involved. The 7,000 inmates to be released, are facing a job market where there is a reported 11% unemployment. The currently unemployed have better job qualifications and cleaner records. So fewer cops are going to face more desperate crooks. Happy days :-|
    - Feb 2014 - Still same game, state lawyers petitioning court to delay action for another 2 years. State talking of releasing 30,000 "non-violent" fellons, examples - burglers, dope peddlers, swindlers of old ladies, ...

I could give more examples - but - who here cares - The rather new California "healthy families" program is still funded.

And the folks we sent to congress aren't so great either.

Representative Nancy Pelosi, "the great millionaire fund raiser", sprinkles some campaign funds amongst her fellow representatives, some say it is her family money, and is promptly elected "Speaker of the House". (Who says money doesn't talk?) I think her only talent is screaming at rock concerts.

And the show goes on -
from "The San Diego Union-Tribune" March 13, 2009
.pdf of actual article
here. Local copy

Stem cell institute puts 2 in same post
Joint appointment for vice chairman

By Terri Somers
Union-Tribune Staff Writer
2:00 a.m. March 13, 2009

Job sharing came to the state stem cell institute yesterday when its board appointed two people to the post of vice chairman: San Diego biotechnology veteran Duane Roth and Art Torres, a former state senator and outgoing chairman of the California Democratic Party.

The positions are considered part time. Torres will be paid $75,000 plus health benefits. ...

Update - From: California Healthline < >
Date: Tue, Jan 17, 2017 7:37 am
Voters Approved Stem Cell Agency On Rosy Promise Of Cures -- Will They Do It Again?
     Since its first awards in 2005, the agency has given away money at a rate of $22,000 an hour, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. But it has yet to come up with a therapy that reaches the general public, and the money is running out.
     Sacramento Bee: California’s Stem Cell Agency Will Run Out Of Money In Three Years. Should Voters OK Spending More?
    Voters were told that stem cell therapies would ease afflictions found in nearly 50 percent of California families. The agency would create the “cures for tomorrow,” then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said. Since its first awards in 2005, the agency has given away money at a rate of $22,000 an hour, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. But it has yet to come up with a therapy that reaches the general public despite rosy expectations raised by the ballot campaign.Today, the future of the program is unclear. (Jensen, 1/17)

BART opens race's doors to funding ... allow contributions from contractors
- from the Argus (Alameda County) August 11, 2008
- my head line would have been "Encouraging corruption of elected officials"
     "BART" is short for "Bay Area Rapid Transit" our subway and elevated train.
    .pdf of actual article here. 232 K bytes

BART opens race's doors to funding

Four incumbents to run under relaxed rules,
which allow contributions from contractors

By Denis Cuff

Four BART Board members have filed to run for reelection, kicking off the first board race in 12 years in which incumbents can accept campaign contributions from contractors seeking business with BART jobs.

Board President Gail Murray of Walnut Creek, Bob Franklin of Oakland, and Tom Radulovich and Lynette Sweet, both of San Francisco, all filed by Friday's deadline to retain their seats in their districts.

Board member Zoyd Luce of Dublin decided not to run. Filing for his seat remains open through 5 p.m. Wednesday.

As of late Friday afternoon, Radulovich faced at least one challenger, Peter Klivans of San Francisco, and no one had filed to run against the other three incumbents. But it will take until Monday before election officials in the three BART counties can process candidate paperwork and say whether other hopefuls entered the race.

The race could be pricier this year because of relaxed campaign funding rules. The board voted 6-2 in December to scrap a ban on board members soliciting or receiving campaign contributions from contractors bidding on BART jobs or seeking no-bid contracts for specialized work or services.

The ban was enacted in 1996 in response to a well publicized FBI investigation that resulted in two board members - Wilfred Ussery and Margaret Pryor - pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about money they took from BART contractors. Both were put on probation and no longer hold office.

"I voted for the rule (ban) in 1996 to improve BART's credibility with the public, but this is a different board and different time," said Joel Keller, a BART board member from Antioch. "I trust this board."

At Keller's suggestion, the board replaced the ban with a contribution limit of $1,000 from would-be contractors.

The limit applies to BART board members throughout their term, and to challenger candidates once they file to run.

Board members Sweet and Radulovich said they wanted to keep the ban to prevent even the appearance of undue influence from campaign donors.

"I think the ban was a good check," Radulovich said. "I agree with Joel that we have a more responsible board today than in the early 1990s. But I don't want any problem with fundraising to mar the functioning of this board."

Keller said the ban served its purpose. But in the last 12 years, campaign costs have soared for mailers and other political advertising, he said.

In low-profile special district races such as BART, there often are few donors other than family members, friends and transit contractors who are willing to make contributions, he said.

Keller also asserted that the old ban gave an unfair advantage to challengers over incumbents. Board members could not accept contributions from winning bidders until three months after they landed a contract, yet a challenger could accept a contribution from the same firm during that period as long as he hadn't filed to run for office yet.

The new rule says the $1,000 contribution limit for a company is lifted once the contract has been awarded.

Franklin, the BART board member from Oakland, said he thinks the new $1,000 limit on contractor contributions is a reasonable one to prevent against undue influence.

"When I accept a contribution from someone, I'm not selling my vote," Franklin said.

Reach Denis Cuff at 925-943 8267 or dcuff@

Do you have a chance if you are 'straight' ??

I'm too lazy and gullible to verify the following
- I must be turning into a journalist :-((
- Sept 2011
Chief Heather Fong (left), is the first SFPD female, lesbian Chief of Police.

Theresa Sparks (center), a former male, is president of the San Francisco Police Commission, CEO of a multimillion-dollar sex toy retailer,and a transgender woman.

Sgt. Stephan Thorne (right), a former female, is the first transgender male SFPD police officer.

Their Representative in Congress is Nancy Pelosi.

Screwing the under-dog or "challenged"

- Added July 2012 by Ed Thelen
Crazyfornia has a long and distinguished history of screwing folks :-))

  1. I suppose, but cannot prove, that bigger, more aggressive gangs (tribes) of Indians chased smaller weaker tribes from nicer lands - groups of animals ( including us ) are often that way.

  2. The Spanish/Mexicans took the Indian lands. The King of Spain gave nice big Land Grants to people who were or might be helpful to him.

  3. The American '49ers, looking for gold and fortune, gave lip service to the Spanish Land Grants - but the holders of the grants needed American legal help prove/defend their grants.
    Soon the American lawyers owned the land grants
    and happily sold off most of the parcels to "the rest of us". :-))
    Every one who counted was happy :-))

  4. Some of the lovely old screw-you rules and laws are still in effect today. :-))
    If you have a trust fund or some other money,
    - and are judged incapacitated,
    some friendly elected judge will appoint one of his cronies,
    - to assure that you don't squander your money,
    - before the crony has eaten it all up with fees and expenses.

    The San Jose Mercury (July 1, 2012) finally did something useful by making a big three page expose' of one of the more egregious examples of
    a court appointed crony performing the customary malfeasance (lining his pockets).

    In summary:
    Some dude got hit by cars
    - and is "brain-injured and partially paralyzed".
    A trust fund was set up for his life-time care.
    The court appointed "trustee"
    - who billed 30% of the total trust fund in the first year,
    - friends of the victim complained,
    - and then the fun began :-))
    - the "trustee" billed and collected another 30% to defend himself :-))

    You gotta love this place, a laugh a minute. :-))

    From the San Jose Mercury News,
    web page, another web page and from Center for Elders and the Courts :-))

    In case the San Jose Mercury News removes the above stories from the Internet, here are three pages in .pdf format, about 600 KBytes each.
    Front page Sunday July 1, 2012, page 15, page 16.

    I suppose the goode olde dayzes of "Rip and Tear" may come to an end :-((
    - before I figure how to get on this gravy train :-((
    But, money talks, and it may take Crazyfornia another generation or three. :-))

    I'm told that my father was part of a large group which helped stamp out this practice in Minnesota in the late 1940s.

Different State Cultures

- Added Feb 2014 - circulating around the Internet (still free :-)

  • The Governor of California is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks the Governor's dog, then bites the Governor.

  • The Governor starts to intervene, but reflects upon the movie "Bambi" and then realizes he should stop because the coyote is only doing what is natural.

  • He calls animal control. Animal Control captures the coyote and bills the state $2,000 testing it for diseases and $5,000 for relocating it.

  • He calls a veterinarian. The vet collects the dead dog and bills the State $2,000 testing it for diseases.

  • The Governor goes to hospital and spends $3,500 getting checked for diseases from the coyote and getting his bite wound bandaged.

  • The running trail gets shut down for 6 months while Fish & Game conducts a $100,000 survey to make sure the area is now free of dangerous animals.

  • The Governor spends $500,000 in state funds implementing a "coyote awareness program" for residents of the area.

  • The State Legislature spends $20 million to study how to better treat rabies and how to permanently eradicate the disease throughout the world. (All the money is spent on "admistrative costs".)

  • The Governor's security agent is fired for not stopping the attack. Agent sues for illegal termination, wins $10 million (attorney gets 30%) and goes on permanent disability for stress related problems. The state spends $150,000 to hire and train a new agent with additional special training re: the nature of coyotes.

  • PETA protests the coyote's relocation and files a $50 million suit against the state.

  • The Governor of Texas is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks his dog.

  • The Governor shoots the coyote with his state-issued pistol and keeps jogging.

  • The Governor has spent $.50 on a .45 ACP hollow point cartridge.

  • The buzzards eat the dead coyote.
And that, my friends, is why California is broke and Texas is not.

The Bridge between San Francisco and Oakland

- Added Oct 23, 2014
"Machine Design" article on line

Wanna Buy A Bridge?

Aug 19, 2014 - Stephen Mraz | Machine Design

When a major section of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco collapsed during the 1989 Loma Preita earthquake, officials at the California Dept. of Transportation (Caltrans) leapt into action to replace the span. Their team of experts estimated it would cost $1 billion and be finished by 2003, give or take.

The bridge was completed late last year at a cost of $6.4 billion, so far. By the time all the bills and interest get paid, it will likely tally over $12 billion. Were there any warning signs that the project would be so late and so expensive? You tell me:

Was it wise to assign a lawyer to be project manager? He had no engineering training and his previous job was Assistant Chief Counsel for California. While he was overseeing bridge construction, he fired or reassigned several experts in welding, testing, and bridge construction when they raised concerns about safety and quality. A least two of these mentioned that the project manager “repeatedly told them not to record their concerns in writing, either on paper or e-mail, but rather to communicate orally,” according to a California Senate report that looked into the cost overruns on the bridge.

Firing whistle-blowers is standard operating procedure (one of the unwritten ones) at Caltrans, where the motto seems to be “Go after the troublemaker, not the trouble,” according to a California State Senator.

Was it wise to hire a Chinese crane-building firm that had never built a bridge to handle the construction? Apparently the Chinese firm was the low bidder, coming in $250 million below the nearest competitor. What could go wrong?

Soon after production began in China, it was discovered the firm was welding in wet and rainy conditions, a cardinal sin, according to welding experts. They continued welding in the rain for years on the project. Wet welds are prone to hydrogen contamination, one of the major causes of cracked welds. The company also stored completed bridge sections outside in the rain where they partially filled with water. A report was filed saying this would cause corrosion in inaccessible areas of the parts. The prime contractor dismissed concerns saying any rust “would be insignificant and unmeasurable.” Caltrans accepted this without comment for parts that would be suspended for 150 years (hopefully) in a foggy environment close to seawater.

In a telling anecdote, the prime contractor and others kicked in a total of $500,000 to train Chinese welders in proper techniques. Many, if not all, of the workers skipped the training, and nothing was done.

I hope the bridge lasts its 150-year design life, but I fear that will have as much to do with dumb luck as good engineering.

(For more details on this project, check Charles Piller’s coverage in the Sacramento Bee.)

Since this article appeared, the bridge roadway expansion joints are to be replaced - the Chinese joints are defective, cracking and chipping the bridge concrete.

Dr. Abolhassan Astaneh (UC Berkeley): On the poor bolts: - local copy
On the seismic safety (the purpose of the new and extremely expensive bridge in the first place)

High Speed Rail, LA to SF

- Added May 28, 2016
A quick comment -
This says the the bullet train to cost $98.5 billion.
Most California public projects have cost over-runs of about 7 to 1.
That estimate, times seven, gives $700 billion
     Example the Bay Bridge @ 12 to 1 Rounding it up gives $1.2 trillion.
Google says in 2014 there were 38.8 million residents in California, lets round that up to 40 million
Assuming 1/6 of Californians work and pay taxes
That is 6.7 million California residents pay taxes, that is over $100,000 each
?? A real bargain for the few of us who want to go between LA and SF a few times a year. ??

On-line story here.

Los Angeles Times

May 25, 2016

State cap-and-trade auction falls far short, hurting bullet train

By Ralph Vartarbedian

The latest auction in California’s cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gases fell sharply below expectations, as buyers purchased just 2% of the carbon credits whose sale funds a variety of state programs -- notably, the proposed high-speed rail project.

The quarterly auction, conducted May 18 and announced Wednesday, will provide just $10 million for state programs, including $2.5 million for the bullet train. The rail authority had been expecting about $150 million.

The reason is unclear, but state officials and outside experts pointed to several possible causes: less need for the credits, pending litigation that may overturn the entire system and volatility spawned by speculators in a secondary trading market.

Whatever prompted the lack of buyers, the auction is a stark example of the uncertainty and risk of relying on actively-traded carbon credits to build the bullet train, a problem highlighted in recent legislative testimony by the Legislative Analyst's Office and a peer-review panel for the $64-billion high-speed rail.

The state rail authority is counting on the greenhouse gas fees to fulfill its legal obligation of matching about $3.5 billion in federal grants. The Federal Railroad Administration just last week modified one of its two grants to allow the state to spend all the federal money by next year but not match it with state funds until 2022.

The grant modification also allows the federal agency to extend a cash advance, needed by the rail authority to cover a cash-flow problem it has experienced. It is unclear whether the auction shortfall will exacerbate that cash-flow problem or worse, undermine the state's already-stretched financial plan.

The rail authority's recently released 2016 business plan had counted on getting about $10.6 billion from the greenhouse gas fees through 2050, about half of it by borrowing on the future income stream in about 2025. The plan drew warnings even before the auction that there are no assurances the market will generate the expected revenue or that private lenders would make loans vital to the project without demanding high-risk premiums on the interest rate.

H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the California Department of Finance, said the current budget anticipated that the four quarterly auctions would raise $2.4 billion, with $600 million going to the rail project. Earlier auctions in this fiscal year met expectations, but the poor performance of the May 18 auction leaves the annual total at $1.8 billion, with $450 million going to rail.

But Palmer noted that there is a $500-million reserve set up in anticipation of volatility that could help close the gap. The use of that reserve will have to be agreed upon by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature, he said.

In addition to the rail project, the fees provide funding for transit projects, affordable housing and other transportation programs.

The auction market is designed under the state's Global Warming Solutions Act to curtail the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Companies or organizations that emit those gases have to buy credits issued by the Air Resources Board.

Buyers at the auction took just 785,000 of the 43 million allowances offered, each of which allow the emission of one metric ton of carbon dioxide. All the permits were bought at the floor price of $12.73.

But there is a secondary market, where the private parties who own the credits trade them daily. Those credits were recently priced at $12.34, well below the state floor in the auctions. It means that any company needing a credit could buy it more cheaply on the secondary market than in the auction.

"I don't think we know for sure what happened," said Ross Brown, an expert in the program at the Legislative Analyst's Office. "A lot of theories have been put forward."

One possible cause is that potential buyers believe a pending lawsuit could overturn the entire system. The California Chamber of Commerce is the lead plaintiff in a suit that contends the fees are a tax that was never authorized by the required two-thirds of the Legislature and that the law never specifically authorized the auctions. The state contends the fees are not taxes, but a consequence of regulations.

The lawsuit was filed years ago, however, well before the first auction. A judge recently asked a series of questions that perhaps fueled speculation that he might rule in favor of the suit.

Another serious possibility is that emitters of carbon dioxide are making better-than-expected progress at cutting their gas output. That would mean the program is more successful than expected, but the success would be a blow to the bullet train.

A third potential cause is that markets sometimes behave irrationally when buyers and sellers make wild swings in their behavior. David Clegern, a spokesman for the state Air Resources Board, said he believed the auction results reflected simple volatility.

If the auction results reflect a long-term shift in greenhouse gas revenue, it would raise new concerns about the viability of building the bullet train.

"This is an example of the kinds of uncertainty that we have identified," said Jessica Peters, a Legislative Analyst's Office expert on the bullet train who has testified before the Legislature.

a collection of Crazyfornia silliness

- Added Mar 23, 2017
on line story
Did I mention that Berkeley students are howling because tuition and other "fees" are being raised a lot faster than inflation. - No one mentions the broken promises of the state lottery (see above).
(photos not included)

California: The Physical Collapse Of A Social State

Thomas Del Beccaro, Contributor
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Welcome to California. It is a state of a perfect set of laws – at least in the minds of those wedded to the legislative pursuit of social justice. Under the one-party Democrat rules, spending on fairness tops $100 billion every year. Meanwhile, the basic infrastructure of the state, so necessary for the economy long and short term, is collapsing.

The California legislature has been busy making the news these days. They are determined to fight President Trump tooth and nail – and they are putting the taxpayers’ money where the legislature’s mouth is.

California Democrat after Democrat has decried President Trump. The day after the election, a “Joint Statement from California Legislative Leaders on Result of Presidential Election,” issued in part by California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (formerly Kevin Leon), stated:

“While Donald Trump may have won the presidency, he hasn’t changed our values. America is greater than any one man or party. We will not be dragged back into the past. We will lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our social fabric or our Constitution.”

The legislature hired former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder as legal counsel for their fights with the federal government. Their new state attorney general, Xavier Becerra, was appointed “to protect California's economy and our sensible policies on climate change, health care, civil rights and immigration,” – so said Governor Brown who made the appointment.

California, of course, is the front-line for Sanctuary Cities – so many of which have also pledged to fight Trump. Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento prohibit law enforcement from cooperating with immigration authorities – Kate Steinle notwithstanding. They are all willing to risk millions of dollars in federal funds for their current residents essentially to provide social justice for those here now illegally and in the future.

Long before all of that, of course, California has led the way for its brand of social justice on social issues as well. When they have, they do more than talk about it – they spend money on it, including in the schools.

Finally, we cannot forget that California has the most stringent and expensive regulations in the world as part of its effort to fight “climate change.” Estimates run to over a billion dollars spent in California each year to change the world’s climate – or at least to prevent it from changing any more. Now Mr. de León wants to prevent the use of any fossils fuels in the state by 2045.

Of course, it is no small irony in an epic year of rain, those same Democrats continue to claim that because of a lack of social justice in the hearts of Americans, climate change is real and will result in prolonged droughts in California. Indeed, taxpayer funded NASA climatologist Bill Patzert predicted last year that “We are in a drought forever.”

Mother Nature, of course, does not listen to politicians or predictions.

California has indeed had an epic amount of rain this year – far, far greater than anyone predicted. So much so that California infrastructure is being exposed for what it has been – ignored.

The biggest non-social justice headlines have gone to people fleeing Oroville Dam, which holds back Lake Oroville, the second largest man-made lake in California. For over a decade, despite many warnings, the social justice warriors have not only refused to build new water infrastructure to feed a population growing with the immigrants and now refugees they want to protect, they have also refused to spend money to protect the infrastructure they have.

It is said that California has over $77 billion in deferred road, highway and bridge maintenance. It showed this week with a sink hole in LA because of the rain they didn’t predict. There is also the collapse of part of one of its main highways in the North, Highway 50, from the rain they didn’t predict – not to mention the Oroville dam, the break in a Central Valley levee and over-flowing dams causing flooding in places like the southern part of Silicon Valley.

Of course, there is the whole issue of the lack of water infrastructure in California. There is not enough of it to store and supply the water needed for its industry and residents. Indeed, the system was designed for half those living in California today. Keep in mind that, three years ago, even the EPA said California needs $44.5 billion to fix the infrastructure that it has.

Berkeley "Free Speech"

- Added April 14, 2017
(This is my title for the piece that follows)

"Berkeley, the home of 
  'Free Speech' - 
  as long as you agree with us"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

From David Horowitz

The freedom to speak is inseparable from the freedom to hear.
The UC Berkeley administration is hostile to both these freedoms.

I know this by personal experience. The College Republicans invited me to speak at Berkeley on April 12. I had hired bodyguards and was ready to go into the lion’s den. But in a death of a thousand bureaucratic cuts, UC administrators placed such harsh restrictions on the event that it had to be cancelled the day before my appearance.

The administration feared a repeat of the February leftwing riot on campus when masked leftwing thugs prevented Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking, and caused $100,000 property damage as well as physical violence to bystanders.
     The UC Police Department did nothing to stop or arrest the rioters who as a result would not have to think twice before rioting again, at my event or at Ann Coulter’s which is scheduled to take place at the end of the month. The UC administration used their own cowardice at the Yiannopoulos event as an excuse to silence me.

Everyone is by now familiar with the left’s desire to gag its political opponents. The university is the left’s playground because it can count on administrators like UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton, desperate for what all appeasers seek — peace in his time — to place crushing burdens on conservative students who want to hear other opinions.

In my case, the administration insisted that the speech take place at 1 pm, when most students are in class, and at a site a half mile away from the campus itself. But that wasn’t enough. UC Campus Police Chief Yao, in a moment that called up Lewis Carroll as well as Kafka and Orwell, told me that College Republicans could announce the event but not tell people where it would take place.

But the administration wasn’t through. Two days before the event, the College Republicans were summoned to a meeting with Vice Chancellor Sutton and UCPD Captain Yao to be told that in addition to the other burdens their club was going to be charged $5,778 for “security” and an additional $2,000 for rental on the room that was half a mile from campus.

The birthplace of the Free Speech Movement once again spit in the face of free speech.

This entire episode is another disgraceful chapter in the nationwide story being written every day of the university’s sycophantic capitulation to the totalitarian left and its collaboration in the left’s attack on ideas it doesn’t agree with.

At the same time UC Berkeley and universities like it gag me and other conservatives, they open their arms to racist organizations like Black Lives Matter and anti Semitic hate groups like Students for Justice in Palestine, providing them with offices and money and ample opportunities to present their rancid ideas at the times and places of their choosing.

Knowingly exposing others to HIV is no longer a felony in California

- Oct 11, 2017
from the Washington Post.
Knowingly exposing others to HIV is no longer a felony in California
By Eli Rosenberg, October 10

California lawmakers have passed legislation to reduce the penalty for those who knowingly or intentionally expose others to HIV without their knowledge, rolling back a law that mostly affected sex workers.

The bill, SB 239, which was approved by the Democrat-controlled state legislature in September and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Friday, will lower the charges for these acts from a felony to a misdemeanor when the law goes into effect in 2018. The act of knowingly donating HIV-infected blood, also a felony now, will be decriminalized.

The statutes that the new laws revise date back to the late 1980s, when AIDS had emerged as a public health crisis in cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Fear and misinformation about the disease’s potential to spread ran high as the authorities struggled to get a handle on the new epidemic and a spate of legislation about HIV exposure cropped up across the country.

... this is a link to the article

You Won't Believe Some of the New CA LAWS!!

- Nov 24, 2017
from Ignacio Menendez

Why would you want to move to sunny California?

CA Legislative Year Closed on Friday....So what did they Accomplish ?
You Won't Believe Some of the New CA LAWS!! Check out #13...the last one

Update today from Jeff Stone, Republican state senator on the further progressive destruction of California

Fellow Californians:
Friday will be the end of this legislative year. Here are some of the highlights of this session:

  1. SB-1: increases your gas taxes by approximately 20 Cents (Nov 1) and your vehicle license fees by an average of $100 (Jan 1st).

  2. Passed Cap N Tax which will increase gas 0.63 to 0.93 cents a gallon change and the taxes that go with it. So do the math projection..... (0.12 + 0.63 = 0.75/gallon + current $3.10/gallon = $3.85/gallon)

  3. Proposed increase on a new tax every residence will pay for tap water in the State!

  4. A $3.46B parks bond to pay for parks in "disadvantaged communities" meaning Los Angeles. The debt service will be over $200 million a year. The good news is some money goes to help fix the Salton Sea which should have always been a State responsibility!

  5. Law to release any lifer (murder, rape , child molestation, etc.) who is 60 years old and has already spent 25 years in prison! Charles Manson qualifies today and the Melendez brothers that murdered their parents could be released in about 12 years? What about victims?

  6. A new $10 charge on all residents living in a mobile home parks to address living condition enforcement in those parks? Why does the left embrace these regressive taxes on the poor?

  7. We picked an official dinosaur of the State of California. Really ? Yes!

  8. Blackmail Tesla to either unionize with the United Auto Workers Union or forfeit State incentives to buy their electric cars! Just another Union Grab!

  9. Reduce from a felony to a misdemeanor the purposeful intent to transmit the AIDS virus to a unknowing partner.

  10. Give preferential treatment to prisoners convicted of serious crimes that are less than 25 years old because their brains are not mature enough to understand right from wrong. Whaaat? If the brains of our kids don't mature until 25, why do we allow them to vote ?

  11. A bill to require our true sex be omitted from drivers licenses? Whaaat?

  12. Free legal services for illegal immigrants...of course !!

  13. Establish safe "injection zones" run by government to oversee people injecting heroin! You have to be kidding me? Yep, it passed!

Election Polling Place Workers get less than California Minimum Wage - Aug 9, 2018
In November 2015, the wife worked at a local election polling place. In California the polls open at 7 AM and close at 8 PM. She had to show up by 6:00 AM to help set up, and was finished handling ballot boxes, stacking tables and chairs and removing signs by 10:30 PM. By my calculations that was 16 hours, allowing for a minimal lunch break and no dinner (busy time) break. She got less than $100 or less than $6.25/hour.

Today Alameda County (contains Oakland, Hayward, Newark, etc) in the San Francisco Bay area, sent an e-mail asking if she was available again for this duty.

This is "Schedule for California Minimum Wage rate 2017-2023."
Date Minimum Wage for Employers with 25 Employees or Less Minimum Wage for Employers with 26 Employees or More
January 1, 2017 $10.00/hour $10.50/hour
January 1, 2018 $10.50/hour $11.00/hour
January 1, 2019 $11.00/hour $12.00/hour
January 1, 2020 $12.00/hour $13.00/hour

The e-mail stated that:
    1. There will be a manditory 3 hour class several weeks before the election - pay will be $25
         - if you also work the full election day.
    2. The payment for a regular worker on election day would be $95.
If she works the 16 hours as before, that would be $5.94/hour. She declined the offer -

"We" (I guess I'm part of the system now - I've lived in California over 35 years) won't/don't even pay poll workers the mandated minimum wage for their part of the election process -

and on and on New San Francisco mayor asks governor to commute her brother's prison sentence - Dec 2018
Mayor's brother convicted of pushing accomplice out of get-away car after armed robbery - into traffic, killed. SF Mayor Breed seeks brother’s release from prison Napoleon Brown, London Breed’s Brother: 5 Fast Facts

State grabs forclosure funds intended for others - Jan 2020
A question for the reader:
How much would you trust the state, its elected officials, its employees after reading this article? ??
- other grabs - from the Introduction "(The state lottery was originally sold to the voters as a method of increasing money for education - but that tale is long forgotten.) ( Also, the legislature lied, the money for education was not increased) "

from the San Francisco Chronicle
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
starting on page 1

Deal over misuse of foreclosure funds cost the state $1.4 million

By Alexei Koseff

SACRAMENTO - California paid more than $1.4 million to cover the legal costs of community groups that sued the state for diverting hundreds of millions of dollars meant to help homeowners hit by foreclosures during the last recession, documents obtained by The Chronicle show.

Representatives for Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state officials reached the settlement in November, agreeing to pay $1.4 million for attorney's fees and $26,067 for undisclosed costs for three groups that pursued their case against the state for five years. The Chronicle obtained a copy of the settlement through a public records request:

The two sides were fighting over how California would spend its share of a nationwide settlement with fïve banks that had been accused of abusive lending practices linked to the economic crash of 2008. while the state tried to use the money to plug a budget hole, courts repeatedly sided with the community groups that argued the money should go to direct aid for homeowners.

The Newsom administration fïnally gave up the battle after losing in the state Supreme Court last year. Yet the more than $300 million that the state improperly diverted still has not been spent on its intended purpose - helping people who lost their homes to foreclosure.

California's settlement with the National Asian American Coalitión, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and the COR Community Development Corp. is in addition to $965,943 that the state spent on attorneys' fees and costs to defend itself against the litigation, according to the governor's office.

Faith Bautista, president and CEO of the National Asian American Coalition, signed off on the settlement. But she said it does little for her organization, a Daly City nonprofit that provides counseling and down-payment assistance for home buyers, or its clients.

"With the money they paid with their lawyers, with the money we paid with our lawyers, we could have helped so many homeowners," Bautista said. "It's always the lawyers who win."

In 2012, California received $410 million through a settlement with the country's five largest mortgage servicers - Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and GMAC, now known as Ally Financial - which had used fraudulent practices to quickly foreclose on struggling homeowners. The settlement also provided $20 billion in assistance for borrowers nationwide and more than $2 billion for other states.

Sen. Kamala Harris, then the state attorney general, negotiated to put most of California's share into services for homeowners, such as foreclosure hotlines and legal aid.

However, then-Gov Jerry Brown and the Legislature raided $331 million from the fund to pay off housing bonds` and othér debts owed by state agencies, as lawmakers struggled to balance a state budget that was still in the red.

The community groups sued the state in 2014 and won rulings that California must restore the money. But Brown fought the case and, in 2018, the Legislature passed a law retroactively declaring that the settlement had been spent properly.

Newsom, who took offïce last year, continued to defend the money diversion until July, when the California Supreme Court declined his request to review an appellate court decision striking down the new legislation. That unanimous rulïng declared the "money was unlawfully diverted from a special fund in contravention of the purposes for which that special fund was established."

The following month, Newsom announced that the state would place the $331 million into a trust for nonprofits that assist with borrower relief in foreclosure cases and represent renters facing eviction. During a news conference, he applauded the plaintiffs for "exercising leadership and forcing the state to come to grips with its previous determination that this money should have been used to pay off the debt related to housing bonds."

"I think this is a much better proposal," he said, "and in that respect, they deserve an enormous amount of credit."

Nearly six months later, the program still has not been established.

The Legislature passed a bill in the fall stating its intent to "create a trust to manage these funds," which Newsom signed in October. In his budget proposal this month, he said his administration was "exploring, with input from stake holders, ways to establish and manage a trust."

Jesse Melgar, a spokesman for Newsom, said the administration expects to work with the Legislature in the coming months to produce a plan.

"The timeline for the flow of funding will depend on the legislation and time it takes to set up and manage the trust," he wrote in an email.

Bautista said she was frustrated and "beyond anger" that, despite repeated court rulings, the state was not acting with any urgency to finally put the mortgage settlement toward its intended purpose.

"Why not? You've got the money there. There's a court order to help. It's so clear," she said. "Sad, sad, sad. And a shame on them."

Alexei Koseff is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. alexie.kosseff@ Twitter: @ akoseff

Gig workers mobilizing as AB5 hits livelihoods - Feb 10, 2020
The local media (I live in the San Francisco "Bay Area") likes to say that California is first in the nation in many things. That may be true, but many of the "firsts" are later undone - When I first got here in 1970, the price of liquor was set by some state commission to be "fair". A liquor store could be shut down much quicker for selling under-priced booze than for selling liquor to under-age youngsters. That "fair" price fixing disappeared maybe 10 years later.

The following article from the "San Francisco Chronicle", February 10, 2020 is another attempt to be "fair". The state law AB5 limits hiring "independent" workers - Frankly I don't know if hiring a baby sitter for an evening is legal. I probably violated the law when I hired Pablo to find and fix a leak in the lawn sprinkler system - I now have difficulty doing such things.

Good Luck to us all -

Gig workers mobilizing as AB5 hits livelihoods

They blame new law for job loss, pay cuts

By Carolyn Said

What do sheep shearers, rehab specialists, ventriloquists, medical transcriptionists, face-paint artists and test proctors have in common?

They're among the many kind of workers who are mobilizing online, in public protests, and in letters and visits to lawmakers to say that AB5, California's controversial new gig work law, is hurting their livelihoods.

"This law doesn't just affect Uber drïvers and truckers," said Karen Anderson, a freelance writer, editor and photographer. Freelancers Against AB5, a Facebook group Anderson started in November, now has more than 9,000 members who share experiences about losing clients and assignments, being unable to hire assistants, grudgingly becoming employees, or, in some cases, going out of business entirely.

"Stories come pouring in every day for professions you'd never guess: cancer registrars, hull cleaners, rig welders, Santa Clauses, meeting/event planners, virtual paralegals, pharmacists, Pilates instructors, music therapists for children," Anderson said. Anecdotes from more than 135 diverse occupations are chronicled by the group.

Contractors continues on A9
Contractors from page A1

The freelancers' activism has already yielded some results. On Thursday, AB5 author Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, said on Twitter that she would seek to remove an annual submission cap for freelance writers and photographers (who are suing over AB5), and will soon propose changes for musicians. Gonzalez, who said she's held hundreds of meetings with affected groups and individuals, promised that more changes are coming soon.

But, she said in an interview, some fears are over-blown. If freelancers have a business license - which San Francisco, San Jose and other cities require anyway, mandates that predate AB5 - and operate a sole proprietorship, they can rely on the law's provision allowing businesses to work directly for other businesses, she said.

For instance, a bride could hire a makeup artist as an independent contractor, or a charity could hire a freelance harpist to play during a fundraiser.

The law's ABC test is key. Someone can only be an independent contractor if
(A) they do work free from the hiring entity's control;
(B) they do work outside the scope of the hiring entity's business;
and (C) they have an independent business doing that type of work.

So a makeup artist working at a MAC Cosmetics counter, for instance, would need to be an employee because the hiring entity is in the makeup business.

But irate and worried freelancers report seeing gigs vanish. They say out-of-state companies are blackballing Californians. The business-to-business exemption has not helped, some said.

"I received cut-off notices from my clients just before Christmas, and have already lost most of my livelihood overnight," Ildiko Santana, a Hungarian-English translator and interpreter, wrote in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom that she shared with The Chronicle.

Stephen de Ropp, a documentary cinematographer, said he structured his small business as a corporation "to avoid any shadow of a doubt with my clients that I could still freelance."

But it didn't always work. "My clients' lawyers are so paranoid about the wording of the law that many are not even allowing for business-to-business contracts to be approved with my company," he said in an email. "A majority of my business income is in jeopardy."

AB5 and the Dynamex California Supreme Court decision it codifies make it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees.

"These freelancers are feeling understandable pain, but pointing the finger in the wrong direction," said Veena Dubal, a UC Hastings law professor and advocate of ABS. "It's not the law (hurting them); it's the employers who said they can't do the simple thing of providing unemployment insurance and workers' comp, so instead they'll just stop using the freelancers."

But many freelancers reject the pro-AB5 arguments that workers deserve the security and protections of employment and that companies exploit workers by hiring them as freelancers to cut costs. Those on the Facebook group say they make good livings and prefer the freedom to set their own schedules. They feel that employment - if it's even offered - is too constraining or impossible for people with disabilities, single moms or those caring for ill family members.

Mary Beth Sasso has taught for three years at an arts center in Santa Rosa as an independent contractor paid $60 an hour.

"It was good money, and I loved doing it," she said. To comply with ABS, she said, the center hired her and other teachers as employees, but cut her pay to $23 an hour because of the overhead of benefits and other expenses. "The scope of my job hasn't changed, but that doesn't matter," she said.

At tax time, she said she'll be limited on the deductions she can take for the employee work. (California companies must reimburse employees for business expenses, however, and the center is now paying self employment taxes Sasso previously covered herself.) She fears that other teaching clients might drop her entirely.

The ABS controversy highlights how laws are trying to catch up as the nature of work changes. Gallup says 36% of American workers, or 57 million people, make money through independent jobs - gigs - as either their primary or secondary work, including 29% whose primary endeavor is an "alternative work arrangement."

Several Republican state lawmakers have introduced bills this month to roll back all or parts of ABS. The most sweeping is AB1928, which would revert the state to the previous, more-flexible test for employment, called Borello.

"Our goal is a full and immediate repeal," said AB1928 author Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin (Placer County), who introduced it as an urgency measure, which means it can go into effect immediately upon enactment. "This is an unprecedented situation where a single bill has deprived countless people in our state of their livelihoods. Let's stop the bleeding and then debate what the ultimate form of the law should look like."

He's open to addressing "genuine misclassification" cases, he said, but also is seeking a constitutional amendment, ACA19, to reinstate the primacy of the Borello test. Even if the Legislature voted to place that on the ballot, it would not appear until 2022.

With Democrats holding supermajorities in both the Senate and Assembly, however, the chances of the Republican-backed anti-AB5 bills passing seem slim.

Small theater, dance and music companies are particularly struggling with AB5. Gonzalez proposed that the state create a $20 million fund to help subsidize their compliance, but it's unknown whether that will happen.

Becky Davis, board president of Altarena Playhouse in Alameda, is forming a coalition seeking a grace period and separate criteria for performing arts groups.

"Most of these organizations were simply not adequately funded to comply with AB5's drastic increase in employment costs on such short notice," she said in an email. "These changes are increasing budgets anywhere from 15 to 40 percent to much more (one company cited a 1000% in crease in artist fees if they were to reclassify artists as employees). These kinds of increases are devastating for a small-to-medium nonprofit."

Miriam Lewis, who designs and constructs costumes for theaters as a freelancer during breaks from her job teaching costume design at San Francisco State University, said she's very concerned that small theaters will go out of business.

"For me it will be an artistic hit," she said. "I'll lose my chance to continue to develop myself artistically, to have my design work seen by people and to participate in the world of arts that I love."

While AB5 has numerous exemptions for professions like doctors, dentists, lawyers, architects, engineers and more, many freelancers say their occupations are so specialized that they're unlikely to get off the hook.

Renee Dyer, along with her three Arabian horses, Comet, Madonna and Jacki, had a dream gig working part time as the master horse handler for an East Bay nonprofit providing equine therapy for dementia patients.

"It was such good work, (but) they just couldn't afford me" as an employee once AB5 took effect, she said. "They ripped my epaulets off."

Carolyn Said is a San Francisco Chronicle staff, writer. Email: Twitter: @csaid

Catch, Book and Release - Police Full Employment - Oct 5, 2020

I live in Fremont, so was interested.

Man Sought In Fremont Home-Invasion Killed In SF Robbery: Police

Vermond Jones, a suspect in Fremont & Union City crimes, was shot dead last week during attempted robbery in Union Square, officials said.
By Susan C. Schena, Patch Staff
FREMONT, CA - A 21-year-old San Francisco man, who was out of jail on an electronic ankle monitor and wanted in connection with an armed, home-invasion in Fremont and a Union City burglary in May, was shot and killed Thursday as he allegedly attempted to rob an individual near Union Square in San Francisco, authorities said.

Vermond Jones, sought on multiple charges and a "documented" member of the "Fillmore - Knock Out Posse" gang, was one of three suspects linked to a May 5 crime spree that included a break-in at a residence on Laurel Canyon Court in Fremont, where a victim was held at gunpoint, along with a Union City home burglary and a San Francisco robbery, according to the Fremont Police Department.

Another suspect, Tyler Spears, 23 of Antioch, was arrested May 14 in Vallejo by the Fremont police SWAT team. A third suspect, who waited outside the Fremont home in a getaway vehicle, was not identified, officials said.

Following the Tri-Cities crimes, Fremont detectives worked with the San Francisco Police Department and U.S. Marshals to track down Jones, deemed "armed and dangerous" in a felony warrant, who last was known to reside in San Francisco's 10th and Market streets area. Jones was wearing a court-ordered, GPS ankle monitor during the May 5 crimes, but purportedly dismantled it May 14, police said.

San Francisco detectives notified Fremont authorities last week that Jones was killed in a shooting incident near Union Square Thursday as he was attempting to rob a victim, police said. No additional information was available on the case.

In the May 5, Fremont home-invasion, investigators said two males, wearing masks, broke into the home on the 2000 block of Laurel Canyon Court at about 10:30 a.m. through a side garage door. The duo confronted the resident in the master bedroom and forced him - at gunpoint - to lay on the ground, and then ransacked the house and stole jewelry and cash before taking off in a vehicle, which was captured on neighborhood video surveillance.

On the same day, the men also allegedly burglarized a Union City home and committed a "brutal robbery" of a woman in San Francisco, police said.

The Fremont "community camera network," along with physical evidence, led to the identification of Jones and Spears as suspects, police said.

Police said Jones had numerous pending court hearings for suspicion of various crimes including multiple robberies, multiple burglaries, possession of a firearm, grand theft, multiple counts of stolen vehicle possession, false imprisonment, child endangerment and removing his court-ordered electronic-monitoring device.

"It appears that Jones has been arrested for no less than 35 separate charges, and all those cases are still pending," Fremont police said at the time in a May statement. "However, in spite of all of the above, Jones had been released from custody on a GPS ankle monitor while those cases worked their way through the court process. Jones had the GPS ankle monitor on during the above crime spree on May 5th."

During Spears' Vallejo arrest in mid-May for the Fremont crime, he reportedly was found to be in possession of a loaded firearm, allegedly stolen during a Suisun City burglary in January, police said. He was booked at the Alameda County Jail, arraigned May 22 and was released on bail May 27, police said.

While out on bail, Spears was arrested in September by the Antioch Police Department for another alleged, armed home-invasion robbery -- this time in Antioch, officials said. He remains in custody in Contra Costa County at the Martinez Detention Facility.

Pot Workers get higher priority for covid vaccine than School Teachers - Feb 8, 2021

CA Vaccine Rollout: Cannabis Workers Now Eligible For Shots

The Golden State updated its vaccine rollout to include medicinal cannabis workers in some of the highest prioritization tiers.

Kat Schuster, Patch Staff
Posted Mon, Feb 8, 2021 at 4:51 pm PT|Updated Mon, Feb 8, 2021 at 6:04 pm PT

LOS ANGELES, CA — Last week, Shannon Goodsell — a 53-year-old cannabis delivery driver with underlying health conditions — was uncertain when she was going to get a coronavirus vaccine shot. That is, until Thursday, when the state shifted cannabis workers into some of the highest vaccine prioritization tiers. Those in the medicinal cannabis industry are now eligible to be vaccinated alongside health care workers in Phase 1a, according to guidelines updated by the California Department of Public Health Feb. 4.

Those working in food and agriculture for growing, production, storage, transport and distribution also became eligible for Phase 1b, a tier that includes people 65 and older and people working in emergency services, child care and education. Medical cannabis workers will be vaccinated "as necessary in Phase 1b, Tier 1, by nature of their designations in eligible essential workforce classifications," the state said.


The decision to place cannabis workers ahead of teachers comes as school districts across the state are working on solutions to open schools for in-class instruction. Vaccinating teachers and others who work in schools is seen as a vital step. Last month, the nation's largest teacher's union, the National Education Association, called for prioritizing teachers.

"Every single student, educator and parent in America has spent the past 10 months in a state of anxiety over the COVID-19 pandemic and what it's done to our school communities," NEA President Becky Pringle said. "There is no replacement for the in-person connection between our students and their educators."


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