FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Berkeley Busybodies Side With UFW Rather Than Farmworkers

The liberal busybodies on the Berkeley City Council are weighing-in again on an issue that has nothing to do with their city: Gerawan Farming in Fresno is in their crosshairs again.

While the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board has steadfastly refused to count thousands of ballots collected by Gerawan farmworkers, cast nine months ago to decertify the United Farm Workerslabor union, Berkeley is inserting itself in the labor dispute – on the side of the big labor union, rather than with the little, farmworkers, fighting for the right to work without a union.

It is ironic that the ALRB, created in the 1970’s to provide farm workers a voice, refuses to let workers have a voice to vote to decertify the UFW, because the outcome may not fit their agenda.

In July, the… Read More

Richard Rider

Residential water cost: San Diego 65% Higher than San Antonio

I’ve been harping on the high cost of electricity in California, a concern to us all — especially compared to other states — and ESPECIALLY compared to our hated rival Texas. But that’s not the ONLY utility comparison that should concern us.

By chance I came across a residential water rate calculator for San Antonio –themost drought-stricken town in a national field of 225 cities. I recently wrote a piece about their remarkable water improvement projects vs. parched Los Angeles, so this all ties together!

I took my current July-August (1914) San Diego city water bill and ran my usage (237 gal/day for a 3 person detachedabode — 46.9% lower than last year’s usage) and other variables through the San Antonio residential water bill calculator.

https://www.saws.org/Service/rates/ratecalc/

The results (including ALL fees and costs):

San Diego 2 month cost – $197.91

San Antonio 2 month cost – $119.94

BOTTOM LINE:For the same amount of water, San Diego costs residents 65.0% more than SanRead More

Kevin Dayton

Swearengin Faced With Meaningful Veto Opportunity: Will It Happen Before the Election?

News media has portrayed Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin – a Republican – as a candidate with potential to defeat Democrat Board of Equalization member Betty Yee in the November 4, 2014 election for California State Controller. But as she seeks support from California voters in the political center, Swearengin faces criticism from some conservatives.

FlashReport’s John Hrabe has criticized Swearengin’s apparent tendency to conduct public business without the knowledge of the public. Among several examples he cites is her role behind-the-scenes in pushing for a union… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Board of Equalization: Part of the Problem, But Steel’s Office the Solution

The government of California does not realize they are the proximate cause of business leaving California. They think they can pound on businesses ad infinitum because we have great beaches and great weather. All they are concerned about is getting their money which actually feeds their unionized employees excessive compensation. Here is another tale of their attempted destruction.

My client, a young man, got caught being on the hook for a couple of entities for which he was wholly responsible. Despite that he accepted responsibility for the liability and tried to set up a payment method. The Board of Equalization (BOE) agreed to a reduced (but still substantial) amount under a program that would allow him to make expedited payments. Unfortunately, due to the slow economy, his business income stuttered and he was unable to meet the payment schedule. We were back to the full liability and establishing a smaller payment plan over the length of the debt.

I received a call from a staff person at the BOE West Covina office. This is in the district of Jerome Horton, BOE Chairman. Which district you are in very well may determine the treatment you receive from the BOE… Read More

Katy Grimes

CA Ammunition Ban Will Cause Shortages, Price Spikes

SACRAMENTO — The National Shooting Sports Foundation Wednesday released a report Wednesday demonstrating the negative effects California’s ban on the use of traditional lead ammunition in hunting will have on hunters, the state’s economy, and wildlife conservation.

Implementation of AB 711, byAssemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-South Gate,the legislation signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in late 2013, will at least triple the price of ammunition, driving more than one-third of the state’s hunters to hunt less or stop hunting completely. With the loss of more than 50,000 hunters in the state, California’s economy will see a loss of millions of dollars in salaries and in tax revenue.

In addition, as… Read More

Katy Grimes

Food or Fish: Political Honesty Needed in CA Water Wars, Part ll

The long time political dispute between California farmers and state and federal water regulators predates the latest drought and will continue long after, unless some political honesty takes place. This is Part ll of “Food or Fish: Political Honesty Needed in CA Water War.” Part l is here.

California farms and businesses are starved of water. Lawmakers and federal environmental regulators have authorized more than 81 billion gallons of water to flow out to the ocean, instead of being used for human consumption, the Pacific Legal Foundation recently explained following the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ adverse decision in March.

This is environmental… Read More

Ed Ring

Watsonville, California – Another Tax That’s Really Just For Pensions

The city of Watsonville lies nestled among some of the most verdant farmland on earth. Just a few miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, the moderate, moist air nurtures endless fields ofstrawberries, apples, fresh flowers, cauliflower, broccoli and artichoke. Fragrant forests of redwood carpet the Santa Cruz Mountains to the north; some of the most abundant and diverse marine life in the world spawn in the Pajaro estuary to the immediate south. Watsonville is surrounded by agricultural abundance and scenic beauty. But like many other agricultural towns in California, Watsonville’s economy has struggled. The average household income in Watsonville is $47,442 per year, well below the California average of $58,328, and the city’s17.8% unemployment rateis nearly twice the state’s average.

None of this stopped Watsonville’s civic leaders from putting onto the June 2014 ballot aPublic Safety Sales Tax, Measure G, which in an election with 30% turnout, squeaked through with just over the… Read More

Katy Grimes

Food or Fish: Political Honesty Needed in CA Water Wars

The long time political dispute between California farmers and state and federal water regulators predates the latest drought and will continue long after, unless some political honesty takes place.

By focusing on worn-out political balderdash, many in the media have bypassed sincere analysis of the drought, the causes, long-standing battles, and long-term ramifications.

California uses 40 percent of the water from the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers, for “endangered fish.” The water is diverted to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, leaving much less for irrigation.

The Modesto and Turlock water districts currently provide 10 percent of unimpaired flows for the environment. But the State Water Resources Control Board is considering a demand for four times that amount, despite the 135-year water rights of Turlock and Modesto,… Read More

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