California is so crazy that its environmentalists are actually PREVENTING bike lanes from being built

https://web.archive.org/web/20160410070501/https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-enviro-bike-lanes-20160407-story.html

Want a bike lane in your neighborhood? It’s not so simple in California

By Liam Dillon

April 7, 2016

For many years, Berkeley bike advocates have pushed for their own lane on a two-block stretch of Fulton Street. The conditions seem ripe for one. It would connect two existing bike lanes in a bustling area between UC Berkeley and downtown. Bike racks already line the sidewalk.

But when asked, the city delivered an answer the advocates say they have heard time and again: The bike lane couldn’t go in because of the state’s premier environmental law.

The California Environmental Quality Act, known as CEQA, has stymied bike lanes up and down the state for more than a decade. Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco have faced lawsuits, years of delay and abandoned projects because the environmental law’s restrictions often require costly traffic studies, lengthy public hearings and major road reconfigurations before bike lanes are installed.

All told, bicycle advocates say the law has blocked hundreds of miles of potential bike lanes across the state.

“The environmental law is hugely frustrating,” said Dave Campbell, advocacy director for Bike East Bay, which has pushed for the Fulton Street bike lane. “It’s a law that allows you to say no. It’s not a law that lets you say yes.”

The bike lane issue is just one frustration state leaders have faced in trying to overhaul CEQA. Gov. Jerry Brown has called efforts to reform the law “the Lord’s work.” Major efforts in recent years to make it easier to build urban residential development and reduce businesses’ costs under CEQA have failed.

But as lawmakers face difficulty in changing the landmark law, a solution appears to be on its way for bike lanes. Thanks to a provision tucked into a bill that allowed the Sacramento Kings arena to be built more than two years ago, bike lanes might finally get a green light.

The issue has festered for a long time. A decade ago, a lawsuit against San Francisco’s citywide bike plan stalled the city’s plans to add more than 30 miles of bike lanes for several years. After that lawsuit, Los Angeles decided to conduct a full environmental review of its master bike plan to ward off potential legal challenges. And two years ago, a neighborhood activist in San Diego sued under CEQA after the city painted a bike lane on a main road.

Even without the threat of litigation, the environmental law can stop bike lanes in their tracks. When city of Oakland officials wanted to narrow a wide road near a major transit station and add two bike lanes, they realized it would be difficult to comply with the environmental law’s rules and didn’t proceed, said Jason Patton, Oakland’s bike program manager. About a decade later, the road remains a six-lane highway.

“CEQA is an incredible burden to doing work in urban areas,” Patton said. “And I say that as a committed environmentalist.”

The environmental law requires proponents of new projects — including bike lanes — to measure the effect the project would have on car congestion. When a traffic lane is taken out in favor of a bike lane, more congestion could result along that road. That result can put proposed bike lanes in peril. And traffic studies to show whether installing a bike lane would lead to greater congestion can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Oftentimes, cities won’t bother with the effort.

Twice in recent years, state legislators have passed laws aimed at making it easier for bike lanes to dodge the environmental law’s restrictions. Bike advocates say these efforts have helped, but because they have not eliminated requirements to produce traffic studies and hold public hearings, they haven’t fixed the problem.

Dave Snyder, executive director of the California Bicycle Association, said his organization was preparing to lobby legislators to propose another bill on the matter when SB 743 emerged in late 2013.

That bill’s main purpose was to exempt the new Sacramento Kings basketball arena from lengthy review under the environmental law. But tucked into the measure was a provision that changed the way projects would gauge their effects on traffic under CEQA. Once SB 743 passed, Snyder dropped his own proposal.

“It solves our problem completely,” he said.

The new law says that traffic congestion is no longer the preferred metric to be used. In its place, cities will measure how much a project impacts the number of miles cars will travel along nearby roads. Since replacing a traffic lane with a bike lane won’t increase the number of cars on the road, the new standard should allow cities to install bike lanes without environmental conflict.

Now the standards must be put into place. SB 743 called on the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research — a state agency that handles guidelines related to the environmental law — to write the new traffic rules. More than two years have passed, and the agency is still writing them.

Based on state regulators’ current schedule, the Kings will have built and started playing in their new arena before the traffic guidelines will have gone into effect in early 2017.

By changing the way all projects measure automobile traffic, environmentalists and urbanists hope the new regulations will lead to fewer car-centered developments and help the state meet its climate change goals. Others fear the new rules will derail projects already in the pipeline. The Southern California Association of Governments, a regional planning organization with jurisdiction over 18 million people in and around Los Angeles, is warning that the new traffic rules could endanger major plans for highway widening.

Darrell Steinberg, the former Democratic leader of the state Senate who authored SB 743, said it was difficult to understand the consequences of changing the environmental law. Dealing with CEQA, Steinberg said, was the hardest thing he did as a legislator.

“You take any substantive provision of CEQA and an advocate can credibly cite an example where that provision was used to save an environmental treasure,” Steinberg said. “You take the same provision and someone from the other side can cite an example where it was misused in some way.”

In February, a car hit and dragged a Berkeley research scientist on Fulton Street as she was cycling home after work, causing major injuries. After that accident, there were renewed calls for a bike lane, but Berkeley city officials again cited the state environmental law as the reason one couldn’t go in immediately.

Campbell and other bike advocates continued pushing until Berkeley’s mayor finally said the city would do whatever necessary to install a lane by May due to the safety concerns. If the city hadn’t, Campbell said, his group had an alternative in mind.

“We said if you don’t do it, we’re doing it,” Campbell said. “We have paint.”

July 22, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

In California, the left is eating itself – excessive regulations are making it very difficult for the state’s legal sellers of recreational marijuana

This is hilarious. Instead of reducing the excessive regulations, the government is planning to spend $100 million to help business owners deal with the regulations.

In addition, seven different environmental organizations have complained about the effects of legal marijuana on the environment.

In California, the left is eating itself.

As a libertarian, I am in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, and I am against excessive regulation of businesses. The fact that California wants to spend this $100 million, instead of reducing the excessive regulations, is hilarious.

Here’s the article:

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-06-14/california-struggling-marijuana-industry-cash-grants-budget

California offers $100 million to rescue its struggling legal marijuana industry

By Patrick McGreevy

June 14, 2021

SACRAMENTO —

The California Legislature on Monday approved a $100-million plan to bolster California’s legal marijuana industry, which continues to struggle to compete with the large illicit pot market nearly five years after voters approved sales for recreational use.

Los Angeles will be the biggest beneficiary of the money, which was proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to be provided as grants to cities and counties to help cannabis businesses transition from provisional to regular licenses.

“California voters approved Proposition 64 five years ago and entrusted the Legislature with creating a legal, well-regulated cannabis market,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. “We have yet to reach that goal.”

Many cannabis growers, retailers and manufacturers have struggled to make the transition from a provisional, temporary license to a permanent one renewed on an annual basis — a process that requires a costly, complicated and time-consuming review of the negative environmental effects involved in a business and a plan for reducing those harms.

As a result, about 82% of the state’s cannabis licensees still held provisional licenses as of April, according to the governor’s office.

The funds, including $22 million earmarked for L.A., would help cities hire experts and staff to assist businesses in completing the environmental studies and transitioning the licenses to “help legitimate businesses succeed,” Ting said.

The grant program is endorsed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who said in a letter to legislators that the money is “essential in supporting a well-regulated, equitable, and sustainable cannabis market.”

Separately, the governor wants to give cannabis businesses a six-month extension beyond a Jan. 1 deadline to transition from provisional licenses by complying with mandates of the California Environmental Quality Act. That extension, which faces opposition for delaying promised environmental safeguards, was not included in the state budget bill approved Monday and is still being negotiated with lawmakers.

The governor’s proposal to extend provisional licenses has drawn objections from a coalition of seven environmental groups including Sierra Club California, Defenders of Wildlife and the Nature Conservancy.

They said in a letter to Newsom that the proposal allowing the extension of provisional licenses and interim alternatives to CEQA rules goes against what voters were promised and is “wholly inadequate to protect local communities and the environment.”

At the same time, industry officials say the governor’s proposals do not go far enough in helping businesses struggling to stay open with provisional licenses while meeting what they see as burdensome rules under the state’s environmental regulations.

“It is a significant amount of money, but I don’t know that it actually answers the problem of provisional licenses making it through CEQA analysis in a timely manner to get an annual license,” said Jerred Kiloh, president of the United Cannabis Business Assn.

He said delays in cities adopting rules, their limited staffing and lack of resources by cannabis firms mean some face two to four years to get through the licensing process. Many would face the prospect of shutting down, at least temporarily, if they don’t get a regular license by current state deadlines, Kiloh said.

California voters paved the way for state licensing of cannabis stores, farms, distributors and testing when they approved Proposition 64 in 2016. State officials initially expected to license as many as 6,000 cannabis shops in the first few years, but permits have been issued only for 1,086 retail and delivery firms.

In 2019, industry officials estimated there were nearly three times as many unlicensed businesses as ones with state permits. Although some industry leaders believe enforcement has reduced the number of illegal pot shops, a study in September by USC researchers estimated unlicensed retailers still outnumbered those that were licensed.

Supporters of legalization blame the discrepancy on problems that they say include high taxes on licensed businesses, burdensome regulations and the decision of about three-quarters of cities in California not to allow cannabis retailers in their jurisdictions.

The bill approved by the Legislature on Monday includes $100 million and identifies 17 cities and counties earmarked to receive grants, including Los Angeles, which would get the largest grant. Other cities that will get grants include Long Beach, San Francisco, Oakland, Commerce, Adelanto and Desert Hot Springs.

Originally, pot businesses were supposed to transfer from temporary licenses to regular annual licenses by 2019, but many businesses were unable to comply in time, so the state allowed provisional licenses until Jan. 1, 2020, and then extended the deadline again to Jan. 1, 2022.

A key requirement to convert from a provisional license is to conduct a CEQA review to indicate how pot farms and other cannabis businesses will affect the surrounding water, air, plants and wildlife, and to propose ways to mitigate any harms.

However, Kiloh said, some cities are just setting up ordinances and staffing to process licenses, meaning many businesses cannot meet the looming deadline.

Each cannabis grower must provide evidence that they met the requirements for environmental review. If their city and county do not provide the required document, the applicants must prepare one, which often means hiring environmental consultants.

A bill by state Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) would have allowed the state to extend provisional licenses six years until 2028, but she shelved it after it drew opposition from the coalition of environmental groups.

The groups sent a letter to lawmakers saying that the bill “does not provide adequate environmental protection.”

The governor’s proposal, which is being considered by lawmakers, would allow the extension of existing provisional licenses by six months.

Environmentalists still hope the budget trailer bill can be changed to address their concerns, according to Pamela Flick, California program director of Defenders of Wildlife.

The group “opposes the proposed trailer bill language because it needs stronger environmental protections consistent with the original commitments made in Proposition 64, in which the voters intended meaningful and timely compliance” with environmental laws, Flick said.

The Newsom administration is warning of dire consequences if pot businesses are not given more time to get a regular license.

“Absent this extension, it is possible that a significant number of these licensees could fall out of the legal cannabis system, significantly curtailing the state’s efforts to facilitate the transition to a legal and well-regulated market,” the administration warned in its budget proposal.

The $100 million would go to local agencies with the most provisional licenses for growing, manufacturing, distribution, testing and retail operations. Some of the money can be used by cities offering equity funding to cannabis businesses owned by people of color.

Lawmakers welcomed the budget proposal from Newsom, who has an interest in seeing the legal market succeed because he was a leading proponent of Proposition 64.

“Gov. Newsom is dedicated to the success of the legal cannabis industry in California,” said Nicole Elliott, the governor’s senior advisor on cannabis. “The purpose of this one-time $100 million in grant funding is to aid locals and provisional licensees, many of which are small businesses, legacy operators and equity applicants, in more expeditiously migrating to annual licensure.”

Garcetti said in his letter that it will help Los Angeles “in creating a robust CEQA compliance program and comprehensive assistance programs to aid licensees in meeting annual licensure requirements.”

However, industry officials note the money will go to a small fraction of California cities, and only those that have already decided to allow cannabis businesses.

“It’s not incentivizing localities who have cannabis bans to get their ordinances up and running,” said Kiloh, owner of the Higher Path cannabis store in Sherman Oaks.

“The real problem is CEQA analysis is a very arduous process,” he added. “I think it would be good to have more reform of the licensing system instead of just putting money to it.”

June 14, 2021. Tags: , , , . Economics, Environmentalism, War on drugs. Leave a comment.

In California 3,000 Votes Were Recorded from an Empty Dorm Building

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/06/every-state-audited-california-3000-votes-recorded-empty-dorm-building/

In California 3,000 Votes Were Recorded from an Empty Dorm Building

June 5, 2021

The Santa Barbara News-Press reported this past week:

https://newspress.com/anatomy-of-an-investigation-into-a-non-investigation/

May 30, 2021

Approximately 3,000 mail-in ballots counted in the Nov. 3 election were supposedly cast by UCSB students residing in a voting precinct that, along with other dorm buildings, includes the Francisco Torres/Santa Catalina Residence Hall at 6850 El Colegio Road in Goleta.

Problem: Due to COVID-19, the Torres Building, which normally accommodates 1,300 students, was empty and locked down through most of 2020, as were all other UCSB dorms.

This means no students/voters were residing inside the Torres Building (nor any of the other dorms) during the election season.

It also means these ballots were fraudulent.

That’s because there’s a second problem: These ballots could not legally have been forwarded to students where they were actually living.

Why not?

Because forwarding ballots to alternative addresses is a felony.

Questions: Did someone at the Torres Building hijack ballots, mark and file them? Or did someone illegally forward the ballots to students living with their parents elsewhere?

THE CRIMINAL COMPLAINT

Thomas Cole of Analytics 805, which monitors elections, uncovered the Goleta precinct’s voting irregularities during the course of his routine analysis. Alarmed by the phantom ballots he’d pinpointed, Mr. Cole called the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office for advice on how to file a criminal complaint alleging Fraud Corruption of the Voting Process.

The D.A.’s Office directed him to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

Mr. Cole’s subsequent complaint, filed with the Sheriff’s Office, alleges that:

Someone in charge of the mail at the building illegally filled out those ballots for the students and sent all those ballots directly back to the election board, which is a felony.

Someone in charge of or with access to the ballots and signature machines simply ignored the phony signatures on the ballots returned from the Torres Building, which is a felony.

Or officials turned off the signature inspection machine.

Or officials lowered the threshold of the machine inspection on the Torres Building precinct ballots, thus allowing the approximate 3,000 fraudulent ballots to be counted, a felony.

Only a student actually residing in the Torres Building during October-November 2020 could have received a ballot to vote. And since the building was closed and locked down, that is impossible.

Thus, the 3,000 votes counted from the Torres Building are illegal.

THE “INVESTIGATION”?

Sgt. Joseph Schmidt, of the Sheriff Office’s Criminal Investigations Bureau, wrote an email of receipt to Mr. Cole and provided him with a case number: 21-2491.

Sgt. Schmidt added: “I will write a courtesy report and forward it to the University of California Santa Barbara Police Department.”

Two-and-a-half months later and no further word from Sergeant Schmidt and with no word whatsoever from the UCSB Police Department, Mr. Cole turned to The Investigator.

The Investigator wrote Sgt. Schmidt:

“I would like to know if your office has investigated or is currently investigating this complaint. Apparently, you were going to write a report and forward it to the UCSB Police Department. Has this been done? To whom was it sent, i.e. who is the best person to contact there? I would be most grateful if you would clarify who currently has jurisdiction over this complaint, along with names of officers assigned to it and any additional case numbers that may apply.”

Sgt. Schmidt responded by stating that the location of the complaint is within the jurisdiction of UCSB PD. He provided a direct number to its records department, from which The Investigator garnered the following information:

A report had indeed been received (in a timely fashion) by UCSB PD from the Sheriff’s Office.

UCSB PD had given the complaint its own case number: 21-0207.

The case was assigned to Cpl. Tiffany Little for follow-up.

Consequently, The Investigator sent Cpl. Little an email with these questions:

“1. Have you yet endeavored to investigate this complaint?

“2. If yes, what progress have you made?

“3. If the investigation has been concluded, what were its findings?”

(Neither UCSB PD Chief Alex Yao nor Operations Lt. Rob Romero had responded to The Investigator’s earlier email requests seeking clarification of this case.)

Two days later, The Investigator followed up with the following email to Cpl. Little, copied to Sgt. Jeff Lupo (her supervisor), along with Chief Yao and Lt. Romero:

“Since Thomas Cole, who filed this complaint, has not been contacted by anyone from UCSB PD to assess the mystery voting data that compelled him to file his complaint, I am left with the impression that nothing has been done to investigate this alleged felony crime. Please convince me otherwise before my column deadline tomorrow afternoon.”

Not 20 minutes later (19 to be precise), Cpl. Little telephoned The Investigator.

“It’s not us,” she explained. “SB County elections is not our jurisdiction.”

In that case, what did UCSB PD do with the complaint?

Said Cpl. Little, “We sent it to the D.A.’s office to sort out jurisdiction.”

“To whom may I speak with at the D.A.’s office who knows about this?”

“It doesn’t work like that,” replied Cpl. Little. “It happens electronically.”

Which sounds awfully like a black hole.

And is.

The Investigator telephoned the D.A.’s Office and spoke with James Blackburn, who identified himself as a legal office professional. Mr. Blackburn could find no record of having received either UCSB PD case number 21-0207. For good measure, he also checked the Sheriff’s Office case number 21-2419. Nada.

“Sometimes it takes two or three weeks to register,” he added helpfully. “Could you find out when they sent it?”

In other words, the old-fashioned runaround.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE

For a start, an investigating officer (if anyone can and wants to figure out the correct jurisdiction) should interview Mr. Cole and inspect his voting data.

All of the signatures from Torres Building ballots, currently in possession of the Santa Barbara County Election Division, should be matched to test for phony signatures.

If the signatures are phony — well, then: game, set, match.

If the signatures are genuine, someone in charge of the mail at the Torres Building illegally forwarded the ballots to students at their parents’ homes, which were then illegally accepted by the Elections Division, which operates within the purview of Joseph E. Holland, clerk, recorder and registrar of voters.

This is not rocket science.

A law enforcement officer investigating alleged fraud and corruption of the voting process should be able to interview whomever is in charge of mail at the Torres Building and determine if ballots were forwarded to students.

As Mr. Cole points out in his complaint: If they answer yes, it is a felony. If the answer is no, how did all those students get ballots to vote?

An investigating law enforcement officer should be able to interview election officials and gain access to the ballots in question to assess the veracity of ballot signatures.

After all, these are felony crimes, punishable by huge fines, disqualification from public office and up to three years in prison.

We are forever told by those who govern us that our right to vote is so very precious — sacrosanct, even. But when our choices for elective office are diluted with fake votes, our preciously sacrosanct vote becomes disenfranchised — and democracy suffers.

If election laws go unenforced, cheating and the candidates chosen by cheaters will endure and rule.

And there’s another important issue here: How can we, as a country, morally insist on monitoring the elections inside foreign countries when we, ourselves, are incapable of ensuring that our own elections are fair?

Mr. Cole told The Investigator that, nearly three months since sounding the alarm, he has lost faith in the ability of local law enforcement to investigate voter fraud. He now intends to file his complaint with the FBI.

Perhaps the Bureau will also investigate why law enforcement in Santa Barbara is sluggishly reluctant to investigate and enforce its own voting irregularities.

WHISTLE-BLOWERS WELCOME

There is, clearly, something terribly wrong with this picture.

Has Santa Barbara’s law enforcement community (including the D.A.’s Office) been politicized into ignoring complaints that do not fit a mainstream election narrative?

Are we living in a county that ignores legitimate complaints about illegal irregularities in the voting process?

The Investigator would like to hear from anyone who may have insider knowledge about why this voter fraud claim has not been investigated and (even more so) if there has been a concerted effort to cover up the fraudulent votes from UCSB’s Torres Building (and the other dorms).

Whistle-blowers are protected by law — and this column pledges to shield their identities.

June 5, 2021. Tags: , , . Stop the steal, Voter fraud. Leave a comment.

California Leftists Try to Cancel Math Class

https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ma/cf/index.asphttps://www.wsj.com/articles/california-leftists-try-to-cancel-math-class-11621355858

California Leftists Try to Cancel Math Class

The proposed curriculum framework aims low, abandons the gifted, and preaches ‘social justice.’

By Williamson M. Evers

May 18, 2021

Oakland, Calif.

If California education officials have their way, generations of students may not know how to calculate an apartment’s square footage or the area of a farm field, but the “mathematics” of political agitation and organizing will be second nature to them. Encouraging those gifted in math to shine will be a distant memory.

This will be the result if a proposed mathematics curriculum framework, which would guide K-12 instruction in the Golden State’s public schools, is approved by California’s Instructional Quality Commission in meetings this week and in August and ratified by the state board of education later this year.

The framework recommends eight times that teachers use a troubling document, “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction: Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction.” This manual claims that teachers addressing students’ mistakes forthrightly is a form of white supremacy. It sets forth indicators of “white supremacy culture in the mathematics classroom,” including a focus on “getting the right answer,” teaching math in a “linear fashion,” requiring students to “show their work” and grading them on demonstrated knowledge of the subject matter. “The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false,” the manual explains. “Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuates ‘objectivity.’ ” Apparently, that’s also racist.

The framework itself rejects preparing students to take Algebra I in eighth grade, a goal reformers have sought since the 1990s. Students in Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan master introductory algebra in eighth grade or even earlier.

At one time, California took the goal seriously and made immense progress. California Department of Education data show that while only 16% of students took algebra by eighth grade in 1999, by 2013, 67%—four times as many—were doing so. Success rates, meaning the percentage of students scoring “proficient” or above, kept rising even as enrollment increased dramatically.

The biggest beneficiaries were ethnic minority and low-income students. While student success tripled overall, African-American students’ success rate jumped by a factor of five, and Latinos’ and low-income students’ by a factor of six.

Many highly selective colleges expect students to take calculus in high school. To get to calculus by senior year, students have to proceed on a pathway of advanced courses. The framework condemns this as a “rush to calculus” and indicates that California schools won’t provide such a pathway. California high-school grads may be put at a disadvantage in applying to top colleges.

The framework explicitly rejects “ideas of natural gifts and talents.” That some are gifted in math implies some others aren’t, and this is “inequitable.” The framework’s authors also fear that those designated “gifted” may have their fragile egos hurt if they later lose that designation. So it writes an obituary for gifted-and-talented programs, which would hobble the rise of many talented children in California.

The framework rejects ability grouping, also called tracking, even though studies show that students do better when grouped with others who are progressing in their studies at the same pace. We have known for years, including from a 2009 Fordham Institute study of Massachusetts middle schools, that schools with more tracks have significantly more math students at advanced levels and fewer failing students.

The proposal’s agenda becomes clear when it says math should be taught so it can be used for “social justice.” It extols a fictional teacher who uses class to develop her students’ “sociopolitical consciousness.” Math, it says, is a tool to “change the world.” Teachers are supposed to adopt a “culturally relevant pedagogy,” which includes “the ability to identify, analyze and solve real-world problems, especially those that result in societal inequalities.”

Under this pedagogy, “students must develop a critical consciousness through which they challenge the status quo of the current social order.” Don’t think that kindergarten is too early for such indoctrination: “Teachers can take a justice-oriented perspective at any grade level, K-12,” the curriculum revisionists write. Students could be taught fractions in the distracting process of learning the math of organizing a protest march.

This program is quite a comedown for math, from an objective academic discipline to a tool for political activism. Society will be harmed: With fewer people who know math well, how are we going to build bridges, launch rockets or advance technologically? Students will pay the heaviest price—and not only in California. As we’ve seen before, what starts in California doesn’t stop here.

My advice to California’s Instructional Quality Commission, when it meets on Wednesday and Thursday to evaluate public comments on the curriculum framework, is to scrap the document and return to the 1997 math content standards and associated framework. Written largely by professors in Stanford’s math department, it resulted in the aforementioned stupendous statewide gains in algebra attainment. Teach math, not propaganda.

May 19, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , . Cancel culture, Dumbing down, Education, Equity, Math, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

In the Name of Equity, California Will Discourage Students Who Are Gifted at Math

https://reason.com/2021/05/04/california-math-framework-woke-equity-calculus/

In the Name of Equity, California Will Discourage Students Who Are Gifted at Math

The new framework aims to keep everyone learning at the same level for as long as possible.

By Robby Soave

May 4, 2021

California’s Department of Education is working on a new framework for K-12 mathematics that discourages gifted students from enrolling in accelerated classes that study advanced concepts like calculus.

The draft of the framework is hundreds of pages long and covers a wide range of topics. But its overriding concern is inequity. The department is worried that too many students are sorted into different math tracks based on their natural abilities, which leads some to take calculus by their senior year of high school while others don’t make it past basic algebra. The department’s solution is to prohibit any sorting until high school, keeping gifted kids in the same classrooms as their less mathematically inclined peers until at least grade nine.

“The inequity of mathematics tracking in California can be undone through a coordinated approach in grades 6–12,” reads a January 2021 draft of the framework. “In summary, middle-school students are best served in heterogeneous classes.”

In fact, the framework concludes that calculus is overvalued, even for gifted students.

“The push to calculus in grade twelve is itself misguided,” says the framework.

As evidence for this claim, the framework cites the fact that many students who take calculus end up having to retake it in college anyway. Of course, de-prioritizing instruction in high school calculus would not really solve this problem—and in fact would likely make it worse—but the department does not seem overly worried. The framework’s overriding perspective is that teaching the tough stuff is college’s problem: The K-12 system should concern itself with making every kid fall in love with math.

Broadly speaking, this entails making math as easy and un-math-like as possible. Math is really about language and culture and social justice, and no one is naturally better at it than anyone else, according to the framework.

“All students deserve powerful mathematics; we reject ideas of natural gifts and talents,” reads a bulletpoint in chapter one of the framework. “The belief that ‘I treat everyone the same’ is insufficient: Active efforts in mathematics teaching are required in order to counter the cultural forces that have led to and continue to perpetuate current inequities.”

The entire second chapter of the framework is about connecting math to social justice concepts like bias and racism: “Teachers can support discussions that center mathematical reasoning rather than issues of status and bias by intentionally defining what it means to do and learn mathematics together in ways that include and highlight the languages, identities, and practices of historically marginalized communities.” Teachers should also think creatively about what math even entails: “To encourage truly equitable and engaging mathematics classrooms we need to broaden perceptions of mathematics beyond methods and answers so that students come to view mathematics as a connected, multi-dimensional subject that is about sense making and reasoning, to which they can contribute and belong.”

This approach is very bad. Contrary to what this guidance seems to suggest, math is not the end-all and be-all—and it’s certainly not something that all kids are equally capable of learning and enjoying. Some young people clearly excel at math, even at very early ages. Many schools offer advanced mathematics to a select group of students well before the high school level so that they can take calculus by their junior or senior year. It’s done this way for a reason: The students who like math (usually a minority) should have the opportunity to move on as rapidly as possible.

For everyone else… well, advanced math just isn’t that important. It would be preferable for schools to offer students more choices, and offer them as early as possible. Teens who are eager readers should be able to study literature instead of math; young people who aren’t particularly adept at any academic discipline might pick up art, music, computers, or even trade skills. (Coding doesn’t need to be mandatory, but it could be an option.)

The essence of good schooling is choice. Individual kids benefit from a wide range of possible educational options. Permitting them to diversify, specialize, and chart their own paths—with helpful input from the adults in their lives—is the course of action that recognizes vast differences in interest and ability. Holding back kids who are gifted at math isn’t equitable: On the contrary, it’s extremely unfair to everyone.

Yet the framework seems to reject the notion that some kids are more gifted than others. “An important goal of this framework is to replace ideas of innate mathematics ‘talent’ and ‘giftedness’ with the recognition that every student is on a growth pathway,” it states. “There is no cutoff determining when one child is ‘gifted’ and another is not.” But cutoffs are exactly what testing and grading systems produce, and it’s absurdly naive to think there’s nothing innate about such outcomes, given that intelligence is at least partly an inherited trait.

If California adopts this framework, which is currently under public review, the state will end up sabotaging its brightest students. The government should let kids opt out of math if it’s not for them. Don’t let the false idea that there’s no such thing as a gifted student herald the end of advanced math entirely.

May 4, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Equity, Math, Racism, Social justice warriors. 1 comment.

A controversial crime bill now going through the Democratic-led California legislature is seeking to decriminalize robbery from a felony to a misdemeanor

https://thefederalist.com/2021/04/09/if-democrats-really-want-to-stop-asian-hate-they-must-stop-reckless-decriminalization-laws/

If Democrats Really Want To ‘Stop Asian Hate,’ They Must Stop Reckless Decriminalization Laws

Democrats who claim to stand with the Asian American community against hate crimes are the same ones who will vote to endanger victims.

By Helen Raleigh

April 9, 2021

Two of California’s most progressive cities, Oakland and San Francisco, have seen a string of attacks against Asian Americans in recent months. For California Democrats, the response to this crime wave is not to punish criminals and protect law-abiding citizens, but to to the exact opposite.

A controversial crime bill now going through the Democratic-led California legislature is seeking to decriminalize robbery from a felony to a misdemeanor. The bill is sponsored by Democrat Senator Nancy Skinner, whose district covers from East Bay to Oakland, where Asian Americans have experienced increased attacks.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “since the start of 2021, at least 32 Asians have been assaulted or robbed in the Bay Area.” Look at just a few of the most recent crimes here:

Oakland, April 2, 2021, four people robbed two Asian seniors in front of their house. Fortunately, the couples’ son was home, and he chased the robbers away by waving a machete.

Oakland, April 1, 2021, robbers tied an Asian couple in front of their 7-year-old daughter and brutally beat the husband before stealing the couple’s life savings.

Oakland, March 9, 2021, a 75-year old Asian man, Pak Ho, was robbed and knocked to the ground by 26-year old Teaunte Bailey during Ho’s morning walk. Ho died two days later. Bailey has a criminal history dating back to 2012, including multiple felonies in Oakland, and only last month was he involved in an arm-robbery in San Francisco.

San Francisco, February 23, 2021, three people robbed and cruelly beat up a 67-year-old Asian American man in a Laundromat. The suspects were arrested, and they were wanted in connection to multiple auto burglaries in the area.

Oakland, February 10, 2021, in broad daylight, two young men attacked a 71-year-old Asian lady by” knocking her to the ground before yanking her purse so hard the strap breaks off.” The old lady is bruised and still has body aches.

It is in the wake of these events that Sen. Skinner introduced SB- 82 to decriminalize robbery. Under existing California law, robbery is a felony and is punishable with prison time. SB-82 would turn robberies from a felony into a misdemeanor called petty thefts, as long as the economic value of the loss is under $950 and the crime doesn’t involve weapons or cause the victim severe injuries.

Under SB-82, the penalty for petty theft would be six months to one year in county jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.

Offenders would qualify for a diversion program, a rehabilitation program that allows the offender to avoid conviction and, in some jurisdictions, avoid a criminal record.

SB-82 is also designed to be retroactive. It would change and reduce the criminal penalty for even those already convicted of robbery and are currently serving jail time.

Under SB-82, some of the recent robbery cases I just mentioned, including the robbery of the senior Asian couple and the robbery of the 71-year-old Asian woman, would all be reclassified as petty theft. Since SB – 82 is retroactive, many of the 961 strong-arm robberies in the city of Oakland will be reclassified as petty thefts. Those perpetrators will receive much lighter sentences than they would under current law.

Skinner justified her new crime bill in the name of achieving social justice because she regards a felony charge of robbery and the punishment that comes with it as unfair to certain racial groups. In truth, like so many other woke initiatives Democrats have been promoting, all SB-82 will end up doing is to hurt people of all races who don’t enjoy the privileged life Skinner does.

Politicians like Skinner should have learned from their last disastrous crime reform bill. In 2014, voters passed the notorious Proposition 47, which reduces penalties for specific drug and property crimes such as drug possession, theft, and shoplifting.

Among other things, Prop 47 more than doubled the amount a suspect could steal before facing a felony from $450 to $950. Prop 47 also “allows certain offenders who have been previously convicted of such crimes to apply for reduced sentences.” The Democrats in California marketed Prop 47 as a “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.” Many voters bought the lie and passed the measure with a wide margin.

But since Prop 47’s passing, neighborhoods and schools in California have become less safe. Car burglaries, shoplifting, other theft, and criminal activities have surged in the state. A study by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California concludes that the jump of these crimes results from fewer arrests and a more lenient criminal sentence, mandated by Prop 47.

California cops on the street don’t need a study to tell them that Prop 47 is to blame for rising crimes in their district. The Police Chiefs Association tried to sponsor legislation that would amend Prop 47, adding a felony for serial theft with a value of $250 below the pre-Prop 47 limits. The Californian Democrats not only defeated this sensible legislation, but now want to make the criminal law even more lenient by changing any theft up to $950 from a felony to a misdemeanor. Should SB-82 pass, the crime rate will only go up.

Not surprisingly, SB-82 has already drawn intense criticism from law enforcement agencies and Asian American community in Skinner’s district.

On its Facebook page, the Yuba County District Attorney’s Office said SB-82 will treat violent crime with “barely a slap on the wrist.” It went on to say that SB-82 “would allow criminals to beat someone to steal their property, and as long as they didn’t use a weapon, break any bones, or cause great bodily injury, it will be a misdemeanor. Do they even care about victims in Sacramento?”

Asian American organizations outraged about the bill staged a protest in Oakland’s Chinatown. Carl Chan, president of the Chinatown Chamber, believes SB-82 will “reward those who commit crime and punish the victims.” Given that the Asian American community is already on edge about the rising crimes against their community, Alan Auyeung of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce said the bill’s timing shows politicians are “tone deaf” of the community’s concern.

Democrats who claim to stand with the Asian American community against hate crimes are the same ones who will vote to endanger Asian American victims and fail to protect those most vulnerable. They continue to spread lies that the rising crimes against Asian Americans result from “white supremacy” and former President Trump’s rhetoric on the coronavirus, even though most crimes against Asian Americans in recent months were committed by non-white perpetrators who were going after property.

Although many Asian Americans are beginning to see through Democrats’ empty rhetoric, lies, and dangerous policies, a majority of Asian Americans still keep showing up for the Democrat party at ballot boxes. In 2012, President Barack Obama won 73 percent of the Asian-American vote, exceeding his support among Hispanics (71 percent) and women voters (55 percent).

In 2016, 79 percent of Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voters supported Hillary Clinton. The 2020 presidential election result shows that although Trump made inroads with AAPI voters by winning 34 percent of AAPI votes, most AAPI voters still supported the Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden.

SB-82 should serve as the latest wake-up for Asian Americans in California. We need to ask ourselves: why are we voting for a party that doesn’t see us as equal to other racial groups and is willing to impose laws and regulations that harm our interests and safety, all in the name of social justice and equity? For Asian Americans, our political awakening must begin at the ballot box if we want to keep our families, elders, and community safe.

April 9, 2021. Tags: , , , . Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Los Angeles teachers’ unions tried to shut down a South Central charter school that had been very successful at teaching low-income black and Hispanic students

In my opinion, successful schools should not be shut down.

Instead, they should be copied.

Every child should be allowed to attend a school as good as this one.

The fact that the teachers’ union tried to shut down this successful school, instead of copying it, is despicable.

This is the complete article from the Wall St. Journal:

https://web.archive.org/web/20081014175429/http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122394095677630803.html

Charter Success in L.A.

School choice in South Central.

October 14, 2008

With economic issues sucking up so much political oxygen this year, K-12 education hasn’t received the attention it deserves from either Presidential candidate. The good news is that school reformers at the local level continue to push forward.

This month the Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF), a charter school network in Los Angeles, announced plans to expand the number of public charter schools in the city’s South Central section, which includes some of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in the country. Over the next four years, the number of ICEF charters will grow to 35 from 13. Eventually, the schools will enroll one in four students in the community, including more than half of the high school students.

The demand for more educational choice in predominantly minority South Los Angeles is pronounced. The waitlist for existing ICEF schools has at times exceeded 6,000 kids. And no wonder. Like KIPP, Green Dot and other charter school networks that aren’t constrained by union rules on staffing and curriculum, ICEF has an excellent track record, particularly with black and Hispanic students. In reading and math tests, ICEF charters regularly outperform surrounding traditional public schools as well as other Los Angeles public schools.

ICEF has been operating since 1994, and its flagship school has now graduated two classes, with 100% of the students accepted to college. By contrast, a state study released in July reported that one in three students in the L.A. public school system — including 42% of black students — quits before graduating, a number that has grown by 80% in the past five years.

Despite this success, powerful unions like the California Teachers Association and its political backers continue to oppose school choice for disadvantaged families. Last year, Democratic state lawmakers, led by Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, tried to force Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign a bill that would have made opening a new charter school in the state next to impossible. Mr. Nunez backed down after loud protests from parents in poorer neighborhoods.

School reformers in New York, Ohio, Florida, Connecticut, Utah and Arizona have faced similar challenges of late. Last year in Texas, where 81% of charter school students are minorities (versus 60% in traditional public schools), nearly 17,000 students had to be placed on charter waiting lists. Texas is currently bumping up against an arbitrary cap on the number of charters that can open in the state. Unless the cap is lifted by state lawmakers, thousands of low-income Texas children will remain stuck in ineffective schools.

Back in California, ICEF says that its ultimate goal is to produce 2,000 college graduates each year, in hopes that the graduates eventually will return to these underserved communities and help create a sustainable middle class. Given that fewer than 10% of high-school freshmen in South Los Angeles currently go on to receive a college diploma, this is a huge challenge. Resistance from charter school opponents won’t make it any easier.

February 24, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Unions. 1 comment.

California’s AB-5 destroyed many freelance jobs. Now Democrats want to expand the policy to the entire country.

A proposed new federal law is modeled after California’s AB-5. You can read about it here:

https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/538505-the-pro-acts-abc-test-fails-american-workers

Joe Biden supports making the policy nationwide:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickgleason/2020/07/07/joe-biden-endorses-california-law-doing-harm-to-freelancers-which-democrats-hope-to-impose-nationwide/

After many news reports of AB-5 destroying jobs in California, Lorena Gonzalez, the California politician who created AB-5, says the jobs that got destroyed were “not good jobs to begin with.”

https://www.kusi.com/assemblywoman-lorena-gonzalez-fletcher-responds-to-californians-hurt-by-ab-5/

Here are some examples of the devastation that the law caused in California:

California’s AB 5 kills off 40-year Lake Tahoe Music Festival

https://californiaglobe.com/section-2/californias-ab-5-kills-off-40-year-lake-tahoe-music-festival/

California Wedding Industry Turned ‘On Top of Its Head’ by Freelancing Law

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:OolG5bsqcVoJ:https://www.theepochtimes.com/california-wedding-industry-turned-on-top-of-its-head-by-freelancing-law_3222935.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

The Young Turks: New Law Could DESTROY Independent Music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwpx-8Rl7lM

Vox praised AB-5 for allegedly making workers better off. But a few months later, Vox laid off hundreds of its own writers in response to the very same law.

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:q2hpHWVNK1IJ:https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/19/how-law-aimed-uber-lyft-is-hurting-freelance-writers/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

AB-5 limits freelance journalists to 35 pieces per year for any given publication

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/california-freelance-journalists-sue-over-204250896.html

The Devastating Impact of AB5 on People with Disabilities and Their Families

https://medium.com/@staceybiro/the-devastating-impact-of-ab5-on-people-with-disabilities-and-their-families-fae1b47a76ec

February 21, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Economics, Joe Biden, Unions. Leave a comment.

In my opinion, California’s AB 1084 actually has very little to do with gender, and everything to do with the fact that the politicians who support it are a bunch of control freaks

California’s AB 1084 would require retail stores to have gender neutral areas for children’s clothing.

I am against the government getting involved in this.

In my opinion, businesses should arrange their stores according to what their customers want, not according to what politicians want.

I think this bill actually has very little to do with gender, and everything to do with the fact that the politicians who support it are a bunch of control freaks.

https://californiaglobe.com/section-2/new-ca-bill-to-require-gender-neutral-retail-departments/

New CA Bill to Require Gender Neutral Retail Departments

AB 1084 will require retailers to maintain one undivided area of its sales floor for children’s clothing, as well as online

By Chris Micheli

February 19, 2021

On February 18, Assembly members Evan Low and Cristina Garcia introduced Assembly Bill 1084 to require gender neutral retail departments. The bill would add Part 2.57 (commencing with Section 55.7) to Division 1 of the Civil Code.

Section One of the bill would add Part 2.57, which would be titled “Gender Neutral Retail Departments.” The bill would specify legislative findings and declarations that there are unjustified differences in similar products that are traditionally marketed either for girls or for boys can be more easily identified by the consumer if similar items are displayed closer to one another in one, undivided area of the retail sales floor. In addition, keeping similar items that are traditionally marketed either for girls or for boys separated makes it more difficult for the consumer to compare the products and incorrectly implies that their use by one gender is inappropriate.

The bill would specify that a retail department store that offers childcare items for sale is required to maintain one undivided area of its sales floor where the majority of the childcare items being offered shall be displayed, regardless of whether a particular childcare item has been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys. In addition, a retail department store that offers children’s clothing for sale, as well as toys for sale, would be required to maintain one undivided area of its sales floor where the majority of the children’s clothing being offered shall be displayed, regardless of whether a particular article of children’s clothing has been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys. The bill defines the terms “childcare item,” “clothing,” and “toy.”

AB 1084 would also specify that it is not to be construed to constrain how a retailer promotes, displays, or presents a particular item within each undivided area of its sales floor where either childcare items, children’s clothing, or toys are being offered for sale. However, no signage is allowed to be used within any undivided area where either childcare items, children’s clothing, or toys are offered for sale indicating the items are for either girls or for boys.

In addition, a retail department store located in California that maintains an internet website through which it sells childcare items, children’s clothing, toys, or anything that could be considered a combination thereof, is required to dedicate a section of the internet website to the sale of those items and articles that must be titled, at the discretion of the retailer, “kids”, “unisex”, or “gender neutral”.

This proposed law would only apply to retail department stores with 500 or more employees. Beginning on January 1, 2024, a retail department store that fails to correct a violation of this law within 30 days of receiving written notice of the violation from the Attorney General is liable for a civil penalty of $1,000 which may be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the State of California by the Attorney General in any court of competent jurisdiction.

February 19, 2021. Tags: , , , . LGBT. Leave a comment.

Why do California Democrats give sanctuary to violent serial criminals?

I seriously don’t understand why anyone would want this guy walking around.

Why did they set him free instead of sending him to ICE?

https://bigleaguepolitics.com/illegal-alien-thug-freed-from-jail-by-californias-sanctuary-policies-charged-with-double-homicide/

November 25, 2020

De Jesus Lopez-Garcia has a criminal history spanning back nearly 15 years that includes convictions for battery of a spouse, assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, battery of an officer, and vandalism.

San Jose, California police arrested Garcia on November 22nd for two counts of murder, battery on a spouse or cohabitant and violation of a protective order.

ICE points to three instances within the past two years in which the repeat felon was released into the community following jail stints in California, even as the immigration enforcement agency lodged detainer requests seeking to have De Jesus Lopez-Garcia transferred into their custody for deportation proceedings.

November 26, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Immigration, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

California governor and medical officials violated their own lockdown

https://patch.com/california/napavalley/top-ca-medical-officials-attended-french-laundry-newsom

Top CA Medical Officials Dined At French Laundry With Newsom

CA Medical Association officials sat with Newsom and other guests at a controversial French Laundry birthday dinner amid COVID-19 surge.

By Kat Schuster

November 18, 2020

NAPA VALLEY, CA — Officials from the California Medical Association joined Gov. Gavin Newsom among other guests at a top California political operative’s birthday dinner this month, Politico reported.

The French Laundry dinner, attended by prominent medical and political figures in California, has drawn criticism from the public during a week when Californians were saddled with sweeping new restrictions amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

CEO Dustin Corcoran and top CMA lobbyist Janus Norman both sat among guests at the elite Napa Valley restaurant to celebrate Jason Kinney’s 50th birthday, a lobbyist and longtime adviser to the governor, Politico reported.

The group was larger than three households, which is prohibited in the state’s coronavirus safety guidelines. And the presence of top medical officials has the potential to further criticism from Californians, who have called the gathering hypocritical.

A spokesperson from the CMA, Anthony York told Politico in a statement that “the dinner was held in accordance with state and county guidelines.”

But the photos reveal that the soiree was held in a garage-like structure with walls on three sides and a roof, Politico reported. However, attendees have insisted that it was held outdoor.

The governor apologized Monday, admitting that his behavior contradicted safety guidelines that he has been promoting for months.

“I want to apologize to you because I need to preach and practice, not just preach and not practice…” Newsom said. “…We’re all human. We all fall short sometimes.”

November 18, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

NBC News Los Angeles: Pair Charged With Voter Fraud Allegedly Submitted Thousands of Fraudulent Applications on Behalf of Homeless People

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/pair-charged-with-voter-fraud-allegedly-submitted-thousands-of-fraudulent-applications-on-behalf-of-homeless-people/2464168/

Pair Charged With Voter Fraud Allegedly Submitted Thousands of Fraudulent Applications on Behalf of Homeless People

November 17, 2020

A man who tried to run for mayor in Hawthorne is among two people charged in a voter fraud case in which thousands of fraudulent voter registration applications were allegedly submitted on behalf of homeless people, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Carlos Antonio De Bourbon Montenegro — also known as Mark Anthony Gonsalves — was set to be arraigned Tuesday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on 18 felony counts of voter fraud, 11 felony counts of procuring a false or forged instrument, two felony counts of perjury and one felony count of conspiracy to commit voter fraud, along with nine misdemeanor counts of interference with a prompt transfer of a completed affidavit, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Montenegro, 53, allegedly submitted more than 8,000 fraudulent voter registration applications between July and October, as well as allegedly falsifying names, addresses and signatures on nomination papers under penalty of perjury to run for mayor in Hawthorne.

November 17, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Voter fraud. Leave a comment.

San Francisco elected official Hillary Ronen blames the city’s homeless problem on “Republican ideology.” She is wrong. Here are six reasons why “progressive ideology” is the real cause of the city’s homeless problem.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

September 1, 2020

Hillary Ronen is an elected government official who gets paid $140,148 per year to work as a member of the legislative body for San Francisco.

In this video, Ronen blames San Francisco’s homeless problem on “Republican ideology.” (Skip to 8:52 in the video).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw8MACDZ3RI

Ronen is wrong.

“Republican ideology” is not the cause of San Francisco’s homeless problem.

Here six are reasons why “progressive ideology” is the real cause of San Francisco’s homeless problem.

First of all, here is a link to an article that was published by the Atlantic in 2007.

When a developer builds housing, there are three separate and distinct costs: the cost of land, the cost of construction, and the cost of getting a building permit (which the article refers to as the “right to build”).

The article includes this chart:

So in San Francisco, getting a building permit (which the article refers to as the “right to build”) adds approximately $700,000 to the cost of a new home.

And please remember, this cost for the “right to build” is completely separate from the cost of the land, and the cost of construction.

The cost for the “right to build” is determined entirely, 100% by zoning laws, density restrictions, and other local government policies.

Since Hillary Ronen is an elected government official who works as a member of the legislative body of San Francisco, she is one of the people who is responsible for the city’s zoning laws, density restrictions, and other local government policies.

Secondly, here’s another example of how hard it is to get a building permit in California:

http://www.aei.org/publication/texas-great-american-job-machine-solely-responsible-1m-net-us-job-increase-since-2007/

January 23, 2015

… there were more permits for single-family homes issued last year through November in just one Texas city – Houston (34,566) – than in the entire state of California (34,035) over the same period.

Let’s put this into perspective.

Houston is 628 square miles.

California is 163,696 square miles.

So even though California is 260 times as big as Houston, Houston actually issued more new building permits for single family homes in 2014 than did the entire state of California.

Just think about that for a minute.

Those numbers show just how incredibly, ridiculously hard California makes it to build new housing.

Anyone who has ever bought or sold anything at eBay understands that, all else being equal, the bigger the supply of something, the lower price, and the lower the supply, the higher the price.

By making it so difficult to get a building permit in California, the government is causing housing to be far, far more expensive than it would otherwise be.

Third, here is a great article by Thomas Sowell about how the politicians in California have waged war against the construction of new housing.

Fourth, this video also explains San Francisco’s war against the construction of new housing. And please note that it is progressives, social justice warriors, and other left wing activists who are the ones that are most opposed to building this new housing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExgxwKnH8y4

Fifth, in the video with Ronen that I included at the beginning of this blog post, she brags about creating a new government program that gives free illegal drugs to homeless people. (Skip to 7:56 in the video.)

Being high on illegal drugs makes the problem of homelessness bigger, not smaller.

And sixth, the Washington Post published this article, which is called:

“Rand Paul is right: The most economically unequal states are Democratic”

The article includes this chart, which ranks the states by their levels of inequality based on their Gini coefficients.

You can see a bigger version of the chart at this link:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/NJ6UOCWVE426LBX7NOQN6ECZVU.jpg

The information in the chart verifies the title of the Washington Post article. Blue states have more inequality than red states.

So that’s six different reasons why Hillary Ronen is wrong to blame San Francisco’s homeless problem on “Republican ideology.”

In each and every one of those six cases, it is actually “progressive ideology” that is causing San Francisco’s homeless problem.

San Francisco is waging a very strong, major war against the constriction of new housing.

For Hillary Ronen to blame this on “Republican ideology” is a huge lie.

On the contrary, since Ronen is one of the left wing, progressive, elected government officials responsible for San Francisco’s housing policies, it is Ronen’s own fault that San Francisco has such a big homeless problem.

September 1, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

In the past five years, in order to protect the environment, California has shut down 9,000 MW of natural gas capacity – enough to power 6.8 million homes

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

August 23, 2020

In the past five years, in order to protect the environment, California has shut down 9,000 MW of natural gas capacity – enough to power 6.8 million homes.

I can understand shutting down the natural gas plants – if they were being replaced by new nuclear plants.

But instead of building new nuclear plants, California has been shutting down its already existing nuclear plants, and is planning to close the very last last one in 2025.

Solar power doesn’t work when the sun isn’t shining.

Wind power doesn’t work when the wind isn’t blowing.

Anyone in California who opposes both fossil fuels and nuclear power, but also complains about electricity blackouts, is a hypocrite.

August 23, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism. 3 comments.

California governor Gavin Newsom, who supports green energy, demands an investigation to find out why clouds and weak wind caused widespread blackouts

California Governor Gavin Newsom is against nuclear power and fossil fuels. He has been getting rid of those reliable sources of electricity, and replacing them with solar power (which only work when the sun is shining) and wind power (which only works when the wind is blowing).

California recently had widespread blackouts.

California’s Independent System Operator had been warning for years that the state’s growing dependence on solar and wind power could lead to blackouts. The organization blamed the state’s recent blackouts on clouds and weak wind. And now Governor Newsom is demanding an investigation to see how and why clouds and weak wind prevented California’s solar panels and windmills from operating at their maximum possible capacity.

Governor Newsom is a hypocrite and an idiot.

Here’s an article about it from the Wall St. Journal:

https://archive.is/fOpT5#selection-2543.0-2543.41

California’s Green Blackouts

If you eliminate fossil fuels, power shortages are inevitable.

By the Editorial Board of the Wall St. Journal

Aug. 19, 2020

Millions of Californians have lost power in recent days amid a brutal heat wave, and state regulators warn of more outages in the days and perhaps years to come. Welcome to California’s green new normal, a harbinger of a fossil-free world.

“These blackouts, which occurred without prior warning or enough time for preparation, are unacceptable and unbefitting of the nation’s largest and most innovative state,” Gov. Gavin Newsom declared Monday while ordering regulators to pull out all stops to keep power on. “This cannot stand.”

Mr. Newsom is demanding an investigation, though he can start with his party’s obsessions over climate and eliminating fossil fuels. Even former Gov. Gray Davis admitted the culprit is the state’s anti-fossil fuel policies. “The bottom line is, people don’t want lights to go down,” he told Politico. “People also want a carbon-free future. Sometimes those two aspirations come into conflict.” They certainly do.

California’s Independent System Operator (Caiso) has been warning for years that the state’s increasing dependence on intermittent renewables, especially solar, is making it harder to ensure reliable power. Renewables currently make up about 36% of California’s electric generation, and Democrats have set a 60% mandate for 2030 and 100% for 2045.

Caiso in part blamed cloud cover, weak winds and failures at a couple of power plants for this weekend’s power outages. But this happens when you rush to shut down power plants to meet government diktats and reduce the amount of reliable baseload power. Unlike fossil-fuel plants, solar and wind can’t ramp up quickly when other power generators go down. Solar power also plunges in the evening, and the state didn’t have enough backup power to compensate to meet high demand.

Dozens of natural-gas plants that can ramp up power on demand have closed since 2013 – enough to supply about four million households—so California is relying more on energy imported from other states when needed. In normal times it imports about 15% of its energy. But the Golden State’s neighbors are also experiencing heat waves, and many have also been replacing fossil fuels with renewables too.

Over the weekend, Caiso imported hydropower from the Pacific Northwest, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released emergency water flows from the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River to generate hydroelectricity. Californians are fortunate that reservoirs were relatively full this year after a somewhat wet winter.

Los Angeles’s Department of Water and Power, which draws nearly 20% of its electricity from out-of-state coal, also chipped in supply. And Mr. Newsom on Monday waived the state’s emissions standards to allow businesses and utilities to run fossil-fuel generators, many procured for emergency power outages during wildfire seasons.

The power outages will get worse and more frequent as the state becomes more reliant on renewables. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has directed utilities to triple their battery storage for electricity by 2026. But this won’t make up for the natural-gas and nuclear plants that are slated to shut down in the interim – or the state’s power shortfalls during the heat wave.

Batteries are also expensive and present their own environmental hazards. Caiso has warned that the PUC isn’t accounting for battery recycling and replacement costs or how several days of cloudy weather could reduce solar energy storage. Batteries need to be replaced after 10 or so years, and disposing of their toxic metals is expensive.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the capital costs for a solar plant with an attached battery system run between 50% and 150% higher than for a new natural-gas plant. Natural-gas plants are still much less expensive after accounting for fuel costs, and they generally have a lifespan of 30 or more years.

Mr. Newsom on Monday acknowledged “gaps” in reliability amid the state’s transition to renewables while affirming the state remains “committed to radically changing the way we produce and consume energy.”

In other words, Democrats in Sacramento are so committed to ending fossil fuels that the hoi polloi are simply going to have to make some sacrifices – such as living with blackouts as if the state were a Third World country. So shut up and broil, and wait for the Green New Deal to do this for the rest of America.

August 20, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism. 1 comment.

Liberal YouTuber Rebecca Watson says, “… you definitely can vote for politicians who will keep their constituents healthy by easing income inequality…” Meanwhile, the Washington Post says, “The most economically unequal states are Democratic.”

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

August 15, 2020

Rebecca Watson is a liberal YouTuber who lives in San Francisco.

At 7:45 in this video, she says:

“… you definitely can vote for politicians who will keep their constituents healthy by easing income inequality…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3wiCiKNFqk

Meanwhile, the Washington Post published this article, which is called:

“Rand Paul is right: The most economically unequal states are Democratic”

The article includs this chart, which ranks the states by their levels of inequality based on their Gini coefficients.

You can see a bigger version of the chart at this link:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/NJ6UOCWVE426LBX7NOQN6ECZVU.jpg

The information in the chart verifies the title of the Washington Post article. Blue states have more inequality than red states.

And since Watson lives in San Francisco, I’d like to point out this article from Vanity Fair, which is called:

“San Francisco’s Income Inequality Rivals that of Developing Nations”

This video is called:

“Inside Nancy Pelosi’s District: This Is Not What America Should Look Like”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh6saOx-Q6s

I’ve watched a lot of Watson’s videos, and I know that she hates and loathes Republican politicians.

It seems to me that Watson is voting for politicians who make income inequality bigger, not smaller.

August 15, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Economics. Leave a comment.

Liberals standing on the road in front on oncoming traffic in Ventura County, California

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhEDWdyFH9k

July 9, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Black lives matter, Idiots blocking traffic, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Black Lives Matter wants to defund the police. This video shows a Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy saving a baby’s life during a Black Lives Matter protest.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

June 19, 2020

Black Lives Matter wants to defund the police.

This video shows a Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy saving a baby’s life during a Black Lives Matter protest.

https://twitter.com/Breaking911/status/1273716646344036352

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/18/us/officer-saves-choking-baby-trnd/index.html

A sheriff’s deputy saved a baby from choking during a Black Lives Matter protest

By Lauren M. Johnson

June 18, 2020

A video surveillance camera recorded a Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy save an unresponsive baby from choking during a Black Lives Matter protest in May.

The 11-month-old boy’s mother and another woman were attending the protest on May 31 in Palmdale, California, when the baby became ill, lost consciousness and stopped breathing, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

The women ran across a supermarket parking lot to a group of sheriff’s deputies who were monitoring the protest from across the street.

In the video, Deputy Cameron Kinsey runs toward the women when he realized they were in distress. The mother handed the limp child to Kinsey and after assessing the baby, the sheriff’s department said he “administered a mouth sweep with his finger and dislodged vomit.”

“None of that other stuff matters,” Kinsey said about everything taking place at the time. “Just the baby.”

Paramedics arrived and took the child to a nearby hospital where it was determined the boy had swallowed a coin, which had lodged in his throat and blocked his airway. Kinsey’s finger sweep turned the coin sideways so the child was able to breathe again, the department said.

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

Note from Daniel Alman: I’d like to recommend that you visit Whatfinger News. It’s a really awesome website.

June 19, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Black lives matter. Leave a comment.

California doctors say they’ve seen more deaths from suicide than coronavirus since lockdowns

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/california-doctors-say-theyve-seen-more-deaths-from-suicide-than-coronavirus-since-lockdowns

California doctors say they’ve seen more deaths from suicide than coronavirus since lockdowns

By Andrew Mark Miller

May 21, 2020

Doctors in Northern California say they have seen more deaths from suicide than they’ve seen from the coronavirus during the pandemic.

“The numbers are unprecedented,” Dr. Mike deBoisblanc of John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California, told ABC 7 News about the increase of suicide deaths adding that he’s seen a “year’s worth of suicides” in the last four weeks alone.

DeBoisblanc said he believes it’s time for California officials to end the stay-at-home order and let people back out into their communities.

“Personally, I think it’s time,” he said. “I think, originally, this was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients. We have the current resources to do that, and our other community health is suffering.”

Kacey Hansen, a trauma center nurse at John Muir Medical Center for over 30 years, says she’s not only worried about the increased suicide attempts but also about the hospital’s ability to save as many patients as usual.

“What I have seen recently, I have never seen before,” Hansen said. “I have never seen so much intentional injury.”

Businesses across California have started defying stay-at-home orders imposed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, and hundreds of protesters have hit the streets, making the argument that the orders were only meant to flatten the curve of the virus’s spread, which Newsom himself said was achieved in mid-April.

Suicide has been an increasingly significant problem across the country as the coronavirus outbreak caused stay-at-home orders that led to unemployment and stress.

By late March, more people had died in just one Tennessee county from suicide than had died in the entire state directly from the virus.

A study published in early May suggested the coronavirus could lead to at least 75,000 deaths directly brought on by anxiety from the virus, job losses, and addiction to alcohol and drugs.

Another study conducted by Just Facts around the same time computed a broad array of scientific data showing that stress is one of the deadliest health hazards in the world and determined that the coronavirus lockdowns will destroy 7 times more years of human life than strict lockdowns can save.

Earlier this week, a group of over 600 doctors signed their names on a letter to President Trump, referring to the continued lockdowns as a “mass casualty incident” and urged him to do what he can to ensure they come to an end.

May 22, 2020. Tags: , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

This surfer was arrested for being on the ocean during the California stay at home order

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcjyQm2KRnE

May 17, 2020. Tags: , , . COVID-19. 2 comments.

Elon Musk says Tesla will ‘immediately’ leave California after coronavirus shutdowns forced the company to close its main car factory

https://www.yahoo.com/news/elon-musk-says-tesla-immediately-173400044.html

Elon Musk says Tesla will ‘immediately’ leave California after coronavirus shutdowns forced the company to close its main car factory

Elon Musk says Tesla may leave its Palo Alto headquarters and Fremont, California factory.

In a tweet Saturday morning, the chief executive continued his outrage against shelter-in-place orders that have forced most non-essential businesses to close.

Last week, Musk likened the rules to fascism, and urged leaders to “give people their goddamn freedom back.”

May 9, 2020

After a week of decrying coronavirus shelter-in-place orders that have left Tesla’s main factory shuttered and unable to produce vehicles, Elon Musk says the company may move its factory out of the state.

“Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately,” the chief executive said on Twitter Saturday morning. “The unelected & ignorant ‘Interim Health Officer’ of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!”

That was followed up with a threat to move Tesla’s headquarters outside the state.

“Frankly, this is the final straw,” he replied. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if a suit had yet been filed, or in which court Tesla will file the lawsuit. Most state and federal courts are closed on weekends and do not allow filing. In a subsequent Tweet, Musk alsourged shareholders to file a class action suit for damages caused by shutdown.

Tesla’s press relations department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Alameda County did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Alameda County — the East Bay locale which includes Fremont, California, and Tesla’s gigafactory about 30 miles southeast of San Francisco — extended its shelter-in-place order on April 29 “until further notice.” Local authorities have not allowed Tesla to reopen the factory, and all manufacturing remains prohibited under the order.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Tesla was planning to resume some manufacturing operations at the factory as soon as last Wednesday, May 6. Local officials said it did not have permission to do so.

“Right now, the same health order is in place so nothing has changed,” Fremont Police Department spokeswoman Geneva Bosques told Business Insider at the time. “Operating the assembly line was determined early on to be a violation.”

Last week, following Tesla’s first-quarter earnings announcement, Musk decried the shutdowns as a substantial risk to the company’s financials.

“Frankly, I would call it forcible imprisoning of people in their homes against all of, their constitutional rights, in my opinion,” he said on a conference call. “It’s breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong and not why they came to America or built this country. What the f—. Excuse me. Outrage. Outrage.”

“If somebody wants to stay in their house, that’s great and they should be able to,” he continued. “But to say they cannot leave their house and that they will be arrested if they do, that’s fascist. That is not democratic — this is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom.”

Some states, including Texas, Georgia, and others, have begun to slowly allow certain businesses to re-open in recent weeks.

Musk praised counties neighboring Alameda, like San Joaquin for what he said were more “reasonable” responses. In a podcast released May 7, he told Joe Rogan that the company had learned from the coronavirus in China, where it briefly forced Tesla to close its Shanghai factory — a claim he repeated on Twitter Saturday.

“Our castings foundry and other faculties in San Joaquin have been working 24/7 this entire time with no ill effects. Same with Giga Nevada,” Musk said. “Tesla knows far more about what needs to be done to be safe through our Tesla China factory experience than an (unelected) interim junior official in Alameda County.”

As Musk began to complain about factory shutdowns in April, workers at Tesla’s Fremont factory told Business Insider that the comments made them anxious.

“I’m for going back to work, but only if it is safe for me, my family, coworkers,” said one production employee. “I don’t feel like I’m being forced to stay home or that my freedom has been taken away. It’s for the good of California.”

May 9, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . COVID-19. 16 comments.

The Young Turks: New Law Could DESTROY Independent Music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwpx-8Rl7lM

 

March 17, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Unions. Leave a comment.

California Wedding Industry Turned ‘On Top of Its Head’ by Freelancing Law

https://www.theepochtimes.com/california-wedding-industry-turned-on-top-of-its-head-by-freelancing-law_3222935.html

California Wedding Industry Turned ‘On Top of Its Head’ by Freelancing Law

By Jamie Joseph

January 31, 2020

TEMECULA, Calif.—Temecula-based destination wedding and event planner Michelle Garibay has run her business for the past 14 years without employees. Garibay has appeared in some of the nation’s most prestigious bridal magazines, including Style Me Pretty, The Knot, and Southern California Bride.

However, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) has impeded her latest business operations, along with many others in her industry who use independent contractors. AB5 essentially prohibits freelance work, with a few exceptions; it mandates that businesses hire employees instead of paying contractors.

“This industry isn’t well suited to having employees, because the work isn’t steady,” Garibay said. “And the contractors I have working for me have their own businesses as well, and they’re moms with kids—they left full-time employment to be able to have the freedom to work as a contractor.”

In effect since Jan. 1, AB5 was passed by lawmakers in September to clarify a 2018 case, Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County. Lawmakers intended for the bill to protect employees from companies that label them as independent contractors to avoid giving them the benefits due to employees.

But the bill has had a collateral effect on small business owners and independent freelancers who have made this business model their livelihood.

“A lot of the businesses in the wedding industry are women-owned,” Garibay said. “This is a female-dominated industry, so it takes away our freedom. It really does negatively impact the women in the workforce who want the freedom to work at home and be with their families.”

The law was originally backed by unionized gig-economy workers, such as those working for ride-share companies Uber and Lyft. One of the main writers of the bill, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), has received both praise and criticism for the bill.

“I’m sorry you feel that way. This is not a bad bill. Without it there would be no ability to freelancers to work under Dynamex. Also, thousands of workers would not have the protections they need. You want changes, that doesn’t mean the bill is bad.”

— Lorena (@LorenaSGonzalez) December 13, 2019

Due to the outcry and lawsuits from business owners and contractors in various industries, lawmakers are scrambling to write in exemptions. Earlier this month, Governor Gavin Newsom allotted $20 million in his proposed 2020 budget to enforce AB5.

Like many freelance-dominated industries, the wedding industry does not have a traditional work schedule.

Owners of small-scale wedding businesses hire contractors based on each wedding’s specific needs, Garibay said. It depends on the scale of the event. Both Garibay and her freelance workers are uninterested in forging a permanent employment contract, since those workers also have their own businesses.

When Garibay first heard about the bill, her reaction was to think about her team and “how unwelcoming this news would be.”

“They don’t want to be employees, they left full time jobs to do what they do now,” Garibay said.

Regarding the business owners who will have to hire their contractors as employees, Garibay said, “My heart goes out to those people who are going to be forced to bring in so much more [money] in order to pay the taxes that full employment requires.”

Small business owners in California already pay a lot of tax, and they will have to pay more to cover a portion of their employees’ taxes if they hire their freelancers.

California imposes both business and personal income taxes on small business owners who establish limited liability companies (LLCs), creating a double taxation on pass-through net income and the business itself.

Virtually all businesses in California are subject to at least one of three state income taxes on businesses: a corporate tax, a franchise tax, and an alternative minimum tax. Sometimes, small businesses are subject to all three.

To pay all these taxes, plus the added costs of hiring freelancers as employees, small business owners would have to increase their prices, Garibay said.

“This state is not very small-business friendly,” she said. “This is our main source of income to put food on the table for our families. It’s really cost-prohibitive when the state starts demanding that we now hire these people as employees because it’s going to completely throw this industry on top of its head.”

According to attorney Braden Drake, there’s an exception for business-to-business relationships within AB5 and there will likely be more exceptions carved out in coming months. However, in the wedding business freelancers who own their own businesses would not be exempted; they are hired for one day by the couple getting married, rather than another business.

Drake is working with small business owners to help them navigate the future of their businesses with AB5 in mind. “I’m trying to guide those business owners on how to meet those exceptions,” Drake said.

“We don’t know yet if they are going to enforce the law on California businesses who start hiring contractors outside of California,” Drake said. “What could happen is businesses could decide to relocate outside of California.”

Conversely, there are businesses in other states who are now refusing to work with freelancers in California, Drake said.

Small business owner Carla Kayes, a wedding and event florist in Riverside County—who has also been in the wedding industry for 14 years—is concerned about the industry’s future. Kayes has three part-time employees, but often hires freelance florists for high-end gigs, and said she was “sick to her stomach” when she first heard about the bill.

AB5 is “very unsustainable for my business,” Kayes said. “It’s kind of wiped out a whole industry of people here, and now people are hiring from out of state to get around it. The people that are in the state aren’t working. Literally everyone I know who is in wedding and events, they have to use freelancers consistently. It affects everyone.”

The freelancers Kayes hires “have their own floral businesses as well and fill in with work when they don’t have their own client bookings,” she said.

She plans to convert one of her freelance workers into a full-time employee, but can’t afford to convert more than one. Luxury wedding florists in Orange County, San Francisco, and more affluent cities who have to raise their prices to cover employee costs, presumably won’t experience a major negative impact, Kayes said.

“But for someone like me, who lives in Temecula, people are going to look at my work and say, ‘Oh, I can’t afford that,’” she said. “I think the lawmakers were completely unaware. I completely get the Dynamex case, and I think the employees winning that case were right, but I don’t think the lawmakers even knew how many industries would be affected.”

March 17, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Unions. Leave a comment.

California’s AB 5 kills off 40-year Lake Tahoe Music Festival

https://californiaglobe.com/section-2/californias-ab-5-kills-off-40-year-lake-tahoe-music-festival/

California’s AB 5 kills off 40-year Lake Tahoe Music Festival

Another casualty in the quest to ‘save’ workers from ‘misclassification’

By Katy Grimes

March 1, 2020

California’s AB 5 has taken another life: The new law has now killed off the 40-year old Lake Tahoe Music Festival.

“After 40+ years of classical music concerts offered outside with family and friends, the Lake Tahoe Music Festival will call a wrap to our summer festival with two performances in August of 2020,” the official festival website says. The Festival also posted the announcement on their Facebook page.

Assembly Bill 5 by former labor leader Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), has already significantly limited Californians’ ability to work as independent contractors and freelancers. It was revealed during Senate debate in September that the AFL-CIO wrote AB 5.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that AB 5 has already affected more than 1 million independent contractor and freelance working Californians.

Gonzalez can now add one more casualty to the growing list of 300+ industries impacted by the new law.

The Lake Tahoe Music Festival explained their decision:

New CA employment law AB-5 requirements add to the challenge of meeting our financial goals and create the final stressor on our small non-profit organization. For several years we have experienced the same slowly eroding philanthropic support of cultural life faced by other small arts organizations in our state. We now join many who also face increased uncertainty regarding employment costs and infrastructure needs associated with AB-5. So we will bring our festival to a close with pride in our long-time contribution to community life in North Tahoe and Truckee.

How is this “protecting” workers?

The new law, effective January 1, 2020, was passed under the guise of protecting “misclassified” employees. Instead, the law has caused thousands of freelance journalists, musicians, actors, Uber and Lyft drivers, and  millions of gig workers, to suddenly find themselves out of work.

Gonzalez and Democrats who supported AB 5 say the “unintended” consequences of the law now need legislative fixes. But that’s bunk. California Globe attended the legislative committee hearings on AB 5, and witnessed how lawmakers were warned over and over by hundreds of freelance and independent contractors of the consequences.

But California’s Democrats’ devotion to Big Labor Unions always wins.

While Gonzalez has finally reluctantly acknowledged that freelance journalists and photographers will get an exemption from AB 5 and its randomly chosen 35 freelance articles per year, there are now more than 30 bills in the Legislature changing or removing aspects of the law — at what cost? This was totally unnecessary.

Most recently, AB 1850, authored by AB 5 backer Assemblywoman Gonzalez, would exempt freelance and independent contractor writers and photographers and remove the controversial ’35 content submissions a year’ rule, California Globe reported. Assemblywoman Gonzalez and other lawmakers had been considering such changes since December of last year, before AB 5 was even law. So they knew this was a disaster-in-waiting.

Thursday morning, the the California Assembly rejected a motion by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) to suspend AB 5 while corrective legislation is under consideration. Kiley’s Assembly Bill 1928 is an urgency measure to repeal AB 5 and would return the legal standard for independent contracting to what it was for decades before AB 5 and the Dynamex decision. Kiley proposed the Legislature suspend those recent changes pending further legislative consideration, but his bill was voted down by Democrats.

March 17, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Unions. Leave a comment.

Vox Media is run by hypocrites. They praised California Assembly Bill 5 for allegedly making workers better off, but later laid off hundreds of their own writers in response to the very same law.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/19/how-law-aimed-uber-lyft-is-hurting-freelance-writers

How a law aimed at Uber and Lyft is hurting freelance writers

December 19, 2019

In September, the left-leaning media website Vox.com ran a triumphant headline about a bill that had just passed the California legislature: “Gig workers’ win in California is a victory for workers everywhere.” Assembly Bill 5, or AB5, would go into effect on Jan. 1, essentially making the gig economy illegal in the state.

AB5 forbids businesses to use contractors unless the companies can pass a stringent requirement known as the “ABC test.” It’s designed to ensure that all workers are classified as employees unless they perform their work independent of supervision, have an established business doing the same sort of work for multiple customers and are doing work that isn’t part of the company’s core business. Meeting one or two of these requirements isn’t enough; you must meet all three.

At the time of AB5’s passage, I noted that its aim was a mite quixotic, given that its primary targets, such as Uber and Lyft, were still unprofitable. If they couldn’t make a profit using drivers as contractors, it was hard to see how they could afford to turn the drivers into staffers with regular schedules, hourly pay and benefits. AB5 seemed more likely to drive these firms out of the state, taking their part-time jobs and their useful services with them. And not just gig-economy companies; in passing, I also noted that AB5 seemed to ban most freelance journalism.

It turned out to be a bit more complicated than that; the legislature had actually created a special exception for journalists, allowing them to write 35 articles annually before they’d be considered employees. That still seemed unworkable to this journalist, and should have to anyone who’s ever been near a newsroom — the law would, for example, make it illegal to use a UCLA professor as a weekly columnist without taking on the prof as an employee.

You can guess what’s coming next, can’t you? With Jan. 1 approaching, Vox Media, parent company of Vox.com, just announced that it will be laying off hundreds of freelancers in California. I mentioned my September remarks above not as a tiresome “I told you so” but to note that the effect on freelance writers isn’t some unanticipated side effect of the law. It was the predictable result of trying to force companies into a 9-to-5 employment model. That model just doesn’t fit a lot of businesses, including the business of those journalists who were inexplicably cheering AB5 — or worse, explaining to freelancers, from the safety of a staff job, that actually the law was good for them.

December 21, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , . Politics. Leave a comment.

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