Category Archives: California

Oroville Dam Concrete is Spalling! Get Out Now! May 27th 2019

Oroville Dam is an earthfill embankment dam on the Feather River east of the city of Oroville, California, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, east of the Sacramento Valley. At 770 feet (235 m) high, it is the tallest dam in the U.S.

https://www.watereducation.org/sites/main/files/imagecache/lightbox/main-images/oroville_dam_dwr.jpg

Proof of Spalling in the Walls and Gate House, It’s cracking apart, they can’t use the Main Spillway, so that means it’s going to go over the Emergency Spillway, you can’t risk that! All that dirt and trees below will go into the river and clog it! Get out people! Go somewhere safe! This is not the only problem, there are too many! Leaks, broken parts, Spalling, gatehouse sinking, and more!

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California Legislature Moves To Keep Trump Off 2020 Primary Ballot

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Legislature is trying again to force presidential candidates to publicly disclose their tax returns, hoping a new Democratic governor known for his clashes with President Donald Trump won’t block them this time.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

The state Senate voted 27-10 on Thursday to require anyone appearing on the state’s presidential primary ballot to publicly release five years’ worth of income tax returns. The proposal is in response to Trump, who bucked 40 years of tradition by refusing to release his tax returns prior to his election in 2016.

California’s presidential primary is scheduled for March 3. If the bill becomes law, Trump could not appear on the state’s primary ballot without filing his tax returns with the California secretary of state.

“We believe that President Trump, if he truly doesn’t have anything to hide, should step up and release his tax returns,” said Sen. Mike McGuire, a Democrat from Healdsburg and the co-author of the bill along with Sen. Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat.

The Legislature passed a nearly identical bill in 2017, only to have it vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, telling lawmakers he was concerned the law was unconstitutional. Brown, a Democrat, refused to release his tax returns while in office.

He left office in January and was replaced by Gavin Newsom, who has released his tax returns and embraced his role as a national “resistance” leader to Trump and his policies.

Source: by Adam Beam | Associated Press / Washington Times

Trump NRA Convention Speech…”They tried for a coup; didn’t work out so well.”

Earlier today President Trump delivered exceptional remarks during the National Rifle Association 148th Convention, Indiana Convention Center. One very important aspect to point out in this speech is the remarks about the “coup” and “overthrow” were not off-the-cuff additions they were written into the teleprompter:

…”They tried for a coup; didn’t work out so well.” (Applause.) “And I didn’t need a gun for that one, did I? (Laughter.)”  “All was taking place at the highest levels in Washington, D.C. You’ve been watching, you’ve been seeing. You’ve been looking at things that you wouldn’t have believed possible in our country. Corruption at the highest level — a disgrace. Spying, surveillance, trying for an overthrow. And we caught them. We caught them. (Applause.) Who would have thought in our country?”

Source: by Sundance | The Conservative Tree House

 

CA State Workers Hoarding Vacation Days, Create Additional $3.5-billion Debt Spike And Counting For Taxpayer

https://www.latimes.com/resizer/bze2YfCSgok0AZkCCc9pPXo-Xmc=/800x0/www.trbimg.com/img-5c7ad778/turbine/la-1551554416-vsv2h5fvxy-snap-image

Last year, the state paid its employees nearly $300 million for time off that wasn’t used, according to a Times analysis of payroll data from the state controller’s office. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

(LA Times) After 36 years as a California government transportation engineer, Bijan Sartipi retired with much more than a goodbye party: He was paid $405,000 for time off he never used — one of more than 450 state workers who took home six-figure checks when they left their jobs last year.

And Sartipi didn’t top the list — a prison surgeon in Riverside pocketed $456,002.

In a trend that stems from lax enforcement of the state’s cap on vacation accrual, more and more state workers are able to retire with massive payouts for unused vacation and other leave. That could become a budget breaker for California as an aging workforce heads into retirement. During the next recession, California will be obligated to continue the payouts, forcing lawmakers to cut programs to balance the state budget.

Last year, the state paid its employees nearly $300 million for banked time off, according to a Times analysis of payroll data from the state controller’s office. The data include most agencies and departments, but not legislative employees or other taxpayer-funded institutions such as the public university systems. That means the actual cost to taxpayers for unused vacation is much higher.

The total unfunded liability also does not account for employees who used stockpiled days off at the end of their careers to remain employed while not actually working, boosting the value of their pensions.

All told, state workers had $3.5 billion in unused leave as of 2017, the most recent estimate available. The blame, said Stanford public policy professor Joe Nation, rests entirely on government mismanagement.

“It’s like having a speed limit but not enforcing it,” he said. “This is not a good way to run any organization.”

California mandates that vacation balances for most employees be capped at 640 hours. Sporadic enforcement of the rule, coupled with an increasing number of state workers retiring, has led to a 60% rise in the number of six-figure payouts since 2012, when 280 employees each cashed in unused paid leave totaling $100,000 or more, The Times’ analysis found.

Even so, said Brian Ferguson, a spokesman for Gov. Gavin Newsom, “the state has made significant strides in recent years in reducing unused leave balances.”

Some departments have offered workers a chance to cash out up to 80 hours accrued time off each year in hopes of reducing the liability of larger payout when workers retire at a higher salary. According to the Department of Finance, the state wrote checks totaling $111 million over a three-year period ending in 2017 to help reduce vacation balances — an effort started under former Gov. Jerry Brown.

Most private-sector employers cap vacation between 40 hours and 400 hours and do not allow time to be earned beyond those limits.

In California, public-sector union contracts are negotiated at the direction of the governor and must be approved by the Legislature. Any changes to how much vacation employees could store would have to be negotiated and such concessions would not come easily. The state’s powerful and deep-pocketed public-sector unions showered Newsom with contributions, and labor is also among the biggest donors to Democratic lawmakers, who have supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature.

State Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) said revising the vacation policy would help California contain its liabilities, but did not believe that was politically feasible.

“I doubt Gavin Newsom will go to the bargaining table to see if he can fix it,” Moorlach said. “Our governors are very reliant on public employee union contributions, so this is just not going to happen.”

State workers also enjoy another vacation perk most public sector workers have not heard of. When employees cash out their banked leave, the state government pays them not just for the hours they have on the books, but also projects how much additional time they would have earned if they had taken the days off. That means a person with 640 hours of vacation would also be paid for all of the vacation and holidays they would have earned had they taken those 80 days off.

For some, vacation payouts can surpass annual salaries. And since state labor code requires employers to compensate workers for unused days off based on final pay rate — not what they were earning when the time was accrued — the actual cost of each vacation hour increases over time.

The top 20 employees with the largest payouts in 2018 took home a combined $5.9 million, with all but three receiving raises in the year before they left state service. The raises increased the employees’ leave payouts by an average of $7,500 apiece, The Times’ analysis found.

“That’s in line with pension spiking,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. — likening it to boosting retirement pay with last-minute salary increases, a practice banned in many cases under a 2012 reform law. “It’s an abuse and it should be corrected with legislation,” Coupal said.

Sartipi took home an additional $15,000 for unused time off thanks to a 4% raise in his final year of work.

The onetime district director for the California Department of Transportation in Alameda County received $405,119 for banked time off — the equivalent of more than 4,400 hours of vacation, or two years of stored leave, according to The Times’ analysis. His annual salary when he retired was $191,208.

When asked for comment, Sartipi declined.

The state controller’s office would not provide the number of vacation days for individual employees, saying the information was confidential, but did provide how many hours agencies had on the books as of 2017. But of the 20,400 workers who cashed out their time off last year, nearly 6,200 received at least $10,000. The majority of vacation payouts were less than $5,000, the analysis showed.

Many who received large payouts worked in prisons or public safety positions, where staffing shortages and emergencies can make it difficult to schedule vacations.

“I would have rather had been taking time off than taking a payout,” said Kim Zagaris, the former fire and rescue chief for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

Zagaris, whose state career spanned three decades, received $218,000 from unused vacation when he retired last year. He said the tax bite out of that lump-sum payment was around 40%.

The number of vacation hours banked by state workers jumped in the years after 2009, when California furloughed workers during the recession. The forced unpaid time off meant many did not need to use vacation or could not afford to.

In 2016, the Department of Human Resources began tracking the amount of unused leave accumulated and working with managers to have those over the cap create plans to use the time up. A spokesman said the department plans to post the state’s total number of unused vacation hours and the cash value of that liability online later this year.

As of 2017, state workers had accrued 75 million hours of paid leave, according to the controller’s office.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections accounted for a third of those hours, which carried a $1-billion price tag. The California Highway Patrol had $396 million in unused leave on the books, the data show; Caltrans was on the hook for $366 million.

When J.J. Jelincic was ready to retire from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System in January 2018, he opted to take his vacation time instead of a lump-sum payment. Jelincic, who has been on vacation for more than a year, said that was the smarter investment.

Because while on vacation, he has received a 4% raise that went to everyone in his job classification. And since he is still an employee, he is increasing his total state service. The net impact will mean an increase of his pension. Jelincic is also accruing more vacation time while on vacation — and receiving holiday pay.

The state requires employees to get a manager’s approval to burn down their vacation before retiring instead of receiving a lump-sum payment.

Mike Genest, who served as budget director for former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, said there are times when large payouts to hardworking state employees are warranted.

“But, I would say most of the time it is abused,” Genest said.

He received $37,000 in unused time off when he left the Department of Finance in 2009.

“I have no guilt for the taxpayer that I was milking the system,” Genest said. “People knew I worked ungodly hours most of the time.… It could be looked at as abuse, but I tell you I deserved it and I have no qualms saying that as a fiscal conservative.”

Source: by Melody Guiterrez | Los Angeles Times

Global Warming Goodness Slays Drought In South West

A Strong Start to Sierra Snowpack

https://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/144000/144552/sierra_tmo_2019042.jpgFebruary 15, 2018 – February 11, 2019

In Spanish, Sierra Nevada means “snowy mountain range.” During the past few months, the range has certainly lived up to its name. After a dry spell in December, a succession of storms in January and February 2019 blanketed the range.

In many areas, snow reports have been coming in feet not inches. Back-to-back storms in February dropped eleven feet (3 meters) of snow on Mammoth Mountain—enough to make it the snowiest ski resort in the United States. More than 37 feet (11 meters) have fallen at the resort since the beginning of winter, and meteorologists are forecasting that yet another storm will bring snow this week.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) acquired these natural-color images of the Sierra Nevada on February 11, 2019, and February 15, 2018. In addition to the much more extensive snow cover in 2019, notice the greener landscape on the western slopes of the range.

Statistics complied by the California Department of Water Resources indicate that the mountain range had a snow water equivalent that was 146 percent of normal as of February 19, 2019. It was just 44 percent of normal on Thanksgiving 2018. Last season, on February 15, 2018, snow cover was at a mere 21 percent of normal.

Some of the snow has come courtesy of atmospheric rivers, a type of storm system known for transporting narrow, low-level plumes of moisture across long ocean distances and dumping tremendous amounts of precipitation on land.

The condition of Sierra Nevada snowpack has consequences that go well beyond ski season. Spring and summer melt from the Sierra Nevada plays a crucial role in recharging California’s reservoirs. Though conditions could change, California drought watchers are cautiously optimistic that the boost to the snowpack will insulate the state from drought this summer.

The reservoirs are already in pretty good shape. Cal Water data show that most of the reservoirs are already more than half-full, and several have water levels that are above the historical average for the middle of February.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview. Story by Adam Voiland.

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https://i.giphy.com/media/Ve3vaOhN6NxTO/giphy.webp

Major CA Resivor Levels
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/resapp/RescondMain

Daily Snow Sensor Report
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/reportapp/javareports?name=PAGE6

 

Los Angeles Uncontrolled ‘MediEval’ Typhus Outbreak

Residents and officials in the city of Los Angeles, California are horrified that their city has descended into a third world hellscape of poverty and disease. The typhus outbreak raging through the city is a flea-borne disease often reserved for socialist and poverty-stricken dystopias such as Venezuela.

https://s14-eu5.startpage.com/cgi-bin/serveimage?url=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FE7HozzSGakA%2Fmaxresdefault.jpg&sp=5611dc631892df2dce78e79518473b05

Downtown Los Angeles Socialist Paradise

But that’s modern Los Angeles. Typhus is spread by fleas hitching a ride on rats. While the general population struggles under the weight of the government (local, state, and federal in LA’s case) and the homeless population continues to climb up, the same cannot be said for the rats that carry fleas the cause typhus. The rat population in LA is doing just fine, however, as piles of garbage dot the cityscape, making it Thanksgiving Day every day for the city’s fat, happy rodents, wrote the American Thinker.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s website, Murine typhus, is also called endemic typhus or flea-borne typhus, is a disease caused by a bacteria called Rickettsia typhi and it is spread to people through contact with infected fleas. People will get sick with murine typhus when infected flea feces are rubbed into cuts or scrapes in the skin. In most areas of the world, rats are the main animal host for fleas infected with murine typhus. Murine typhus occurs in tropical and subtropical climates around the world where rats and their fleas live. Yet now, it seems that the disease is taking over and spreading, along with Hepatitis A, through Los Angeles thanks to the socialist policies that enrich the political elite and enslave and impoverish everyone else.

The city is spinning rapidly out of control.  As people struggle to make ends meet and carry the tax burden of a city, state, and federal government hellbent on overspending, the area continues to descend into a third world hellscape. Sadly, the return of a disease thought left behind in the Medieval Times such as typhus is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to problems in Los Angeles.  For months, county health officials attempted to say that typhus only really affects the burgeoning homeless population. However,  Deputy City Attorney Liz Greenwood, a veteran prosecutor, told NBC4 she was diagnosed with typhus in November, after experiencing high fevers and excruciating headaches.

“It felt like somebody was driving railroad stakes through my eyes and out the back of my neck,” Greenwood told the I-Team. 

“Who gets typhus? It’s a medieval disease that’s caused by trash.”  Everyone in LA can now apparently get typhus thanks to the very left-leaning policies they’ve allowed.

Responding to complaints from other city workers fearful of getting typhus, the city fumigated the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Division office, as well as parts of LAPD’s main headquarters, NBC4 said. The deputy city attorney reportedly said she will not go back to work at City Hall East until they also fumigate that building, too.

https://s14-eu5.startpage.com/cgi-bin/serveimage?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgatorpress.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F07%2Frat-summit.jpg&sp=6436fba7a85136bd50026be373a95a67

Downtown Los Angeles Socialist Paradise

Yet that’s all just treating the symptoms of the problem.  The city is spending money they don’t have to fumigate buildings the paid for with stolen money (taxing the residents) and looking to constantly raise taxes to “help” get rid of typhus.  But that disease will eradicate itself when people aren’t forced to share living spaces with rats that carry infected fleas. This is all just a symptom of the major disease communism that’s swiftly sweeping its way through big cities in the United States. No amount of taxation or theft will fix this. In fact, a lot less of that will have an immense impact. 

Government anti-poverty programs are a classic case of the therapeutic state setting out to treat disorders created by the state itself.” –The Foundation For Economic Education

Source: ZeroHedge

The Stomach Turning ‘Ballot-Harvesting’ That Enabled Democrats To Steal California In 2018

TINVOWOOT, (there is no voting our way out of this)

The picture emerging from California’s election is grotesque. How again did Democrats engineer their strange midterm victory in Orange County and in other traditionally Republican areas? In that election, apparently winning Republican candidates were all unseated as the ballots just kept arriving, and arriving, and arriving, until the results flipped. Each and every time. And no such flips happened for Republicans, just Democrats, after they learned that Republicans were winning. And Democrats say it’s just ‘counting all the votes.’

Welcome to ballot-harvesting.

The Daily Caller has an ace report with a video showing just how that’s done:

Attorney Robert Barnes, on Twitter, noted just how problematic that new practice is:

https://twitter.com/Barnes_Law/status/1069052240256819200 Which is why it’s illegal almost everywhere in the world. California, on the other hand, back in 2016, passed AB1921, a law that actually permits it. Anyone can turn in ballots now, no questions asked, no chain of custody required. Back at the time, Democrats were hollering about low turnout and how getting more turnout was a priority, even though they were running a one-party state at that time, as they are now. They painted themselves as all concerned about ‘democracy’ given the low rates of turnout in their districts, many of which were known asrotton boroughs‘ full of non-citizen voters. But what they really had in mind was ‘ballot harvesting.’ Most of the attention at the time from Republicans was focused on the involuntary registration of voters through the Department of Motor Vehicles, which has led to what was feared: the registration of illegal immigrants. But the bigger thing was going on on the outside, with the mail-in ballots nobody asked for and the apparent real purpose for these unasked for and unwanted ballot, which was … ballot-harvesting.

I sign up for every party mail list in order to read what all political sides are thinking, so I get lots of Democratic Party mail, including polls of members, which I answer, probably horrifying Democrats who open such returned polls, as I tell them to get rid of Obamacare. If they want to know what I think, I tell them. Could the fact that I am on those lists be the reason why I got a mail-in ballot when everyone else in my household gets sample ballots and goes to the polls on election day? Despite my Republican registration, it sure sounds like it.

This signals a grotesquely changed electoral landscape. Turns out the mail-in ballots are all that matters now, because all anyone has to do is harvest, and keep harvesting them, until Democrats get the result they want. I wrote about those lingering questions in the recent midterm here.

‘Count all the ballots!’ has been the Democrat rallying cry. Yet in reality, it was their defense of this sneaky little project, making anyone who doesn’t like it someone who wants to disenfranchise people.

It’s a lie. It’s not about counting all the ballots in the slightest, it’s about selectively counting the ballots of only voters who fill in the Democratic slots. The Democratic operative who called herself ‘Lulu’ in the video clip wanted to collect only the ballot of the voter in the household who had no party affiliation, not the ballots of the Republicans, so it wasn’t about counting all the ballots, it was about counting all the Democratic ballots and the ballots of those on the fence who could be muscled into voting Democrat. She after all, offered to ‘help’ that voter, which we all know means the ballot would be filled out a certain way. Oh and here’s another goodie in this: Ballots can be harvested and mailed even on election day, when the counts are happening and Democrats can see which candidates are performing weakly. The operatives can be dispatched like flying monkeys to those districts to intrude on the private spaces of voters who maybe didn’t want to vote or who were planning to go to the polls in the evening, and ‘harvest’ those votes. And you can bet a certain number of those ballots would be cast by people who were afraid of consequences if they didn’t vote the way that ballot harvester standing at the door wanted them to vote. After all, the harvesters, by coming to the homes, signaled they knew where the voters lived, and theoretically, many of these voters could have been illegal immigrants registered whether they liked it or not by the DMV to vote. Oh, and could the operative have steamed open the ballots to see how those people voted and make sure they were delivering the votes? With zero chain of custody rules, they certainly could.

The specter of involuntary registration, combined with ballot harvesting on the other end really does present some selective voting as well as fraud opportunities. This is the kind of thing that went on in Daniel Ortega’s Nicaragua, where the elections were denounced as fraudulent and unfair by global electoral monitors, which may well be where the California Democrats got the idea.

Democrats have yelled for years about turnout and this was what they came up with. They’ve effectively ended the right to abstain, which up until now, has been an acceptable choice, and like commie place they are effectively making voting compulsory for people who don’t want to vote. Lefties have been yelling for years about turnout, and this is the result: ballot-harvesting, the actual thing they had in mind.

Republicans didn’t know about it. Now they do, and now they will have to set up their own ‘ballot-harvesting’ teams for the next election, collecting only Republican ballots just as Democratic operatives collect only Democratic ballots from people who can’t be bothered to go to the polls, or who have a mail-in ballot they didn’t ask for sitting on their dining room tables.There should be quite some competition for people who aren’t registered to any party, with each side considering those ballots their very own and rushing to ‘harvest’ them first. Pity those guys.

But what we have here is a real corruption of democracy, the end of choice in whether to vote, and the selective ‘harvesting’ of votes as now the new ground game. In the era of 3-D and other high-tech printers, and a very badly run electoral operative, the prospect of ballot stuffing is there, too, now that anyone can turn in ballots with zero chain of custody rules.

It’s not democratic, it’s the sort of thing dictatorships in badly run impoverished countries do, and hey, what a coincidence, California leads the nation in poverty. It’s also the kind of thing United Nations observers and the international community’s usually liberal electoral integrity commissions condemn. Where’s the condemnation for this clearly outrageous practice going on in California and on track to get very, very worse? 

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