California First in Nation to Ban Plastic Produce Bags

October 14, 2022 by Source

By Olivia Rosane / Nation of Change / Oct. 13, 2022

Much of the movement to reduce ocean plastic pollution has focused on the single-use plastic bags used to cart purchases away from the supermarket.

But there’s another type of plastic bag that is ubiquitous in grocery stores across the country: the handleless plastic bags typically on offer by the produce or meat sections for shoppers to tear off and use to separate their apples or cold cuts from the rest of their haul.

In California grocery stores, however, these other plastic bags will soon be a thing of the past. The state became the first in the nation to ban them in grocery stores

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Cleaning up the Mess that John Deasy Left at Stockton Schools

August 24, 2022 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tulican

The infamous John Deasy resigned his post as Superintendent of Stockton Unified School District (SUSD) on June 15th, 2020. That made his tenure two weeks more than two years which further exacerbated the longtime administrative instability at SUSD.

He apparently steered the district budgets toward deficit spending and left a decimated finance department in his wake while other administrative positions multiplied. Concurrent with his two years in Stockton, money and leaders from organizations bent on privatizing public education were bolstered and became more active.

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The Deadly Logic of CARE Courts

August 23, 2022 by Source

By Mat Wahlstrom

We’ve been dealing with many attacks on our rights lately.

From above, the activist Supreme Court has gutted the right to privacy that underpinned the right to reproductive freedom as well as non-normative sexuality, allowed tax dollars to be transferred from secular public to private religious schools, and endorsed performative public prayer in the name of someone who specifically rejected making a show of praying in public (Matthew 6:5).

From Republicans, who almost universally support the January 6 insurrection, it’s the freedom to mass murder so long as it’s with bullets, and continued voter disenfranchisement.

But while these have been dominating headlines, we’ve lost sight of the single most dangerous one yet: the plan touted by state and local Democrats to create a separate legal system through what are perversely called “CARE Courts.”

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Keeping the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Open Is a Dangerous Waste of Effort and Money

August 17, 2022 by Source

By Michael Hiltzik / Los Angeles Times / Aug. 16, 2022

The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant lies on the coast near San Luis Obispo within 20 miles of four active earthquake faults.

The faults were apparently unknown to the plant’s owner, Pacific Gas & Electric, which certified during the construction period that no such faults existed within that distance. Unit 2 was built in accordance with flawed blueprints.

There have been efforts to close the plant for years, gaining intensity as PG&E’s atrocious safety record came to light.

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Recall of Banana Boat Sunscreen in California

August 4, 2022 by Source

California residents and visitors spraying on sunscreen to protect themselves from the sun’s rays should check which product they’re using because of a recent recall.

The parent company of Banana Boat sunscreen products has issued a voluntary recall of several batches of the brand’s hair and scalp sunscreen spray because it may contain a cancer-causing chemical known as benzene. The recall impacts the following products:

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No Nukes Is Good Nukes

July 26, 2022 by Michael Steinberg

Will the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Ever Shut Down?

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

We thought it was a done deal. The Diablo Canyon nuke plant, the last operating one in the state, located on the central coast near San Luis Obispo, was due to permanently close, one nuclear reactor in 2024, the second the following year.

In 2016, even owner Pacific Gas & Electric agreed to the deal.

But, as the Doors predicted Back in the Daze, “The future’s uncertain and the. end is always near.”

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California to Get Help from Federal Science Agency for Sand Replenishment, Wetlands Recovery and Coastal Erosion

July 18, 2022 by Source

By Erik Anderson / KPBS

The federal science agency is preparing to pass out an unprecedented amount of money to make the nation’s coast more resilient.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has more than $3 billion ready to fund projects that bolster natural systems which can buffer the impacts of climate change.

In California, funded projects could include sand replenishment, wetlands recovery and expansion, or natural projects that fight coastal erosion.

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Coastal Commission, Meeting Today in Northern Calif, to Decide Fate of 2 Ocean Beach Cottages at end of Cape May

July 13, 2022 by Staff

The California Coastal Commission is meeting today, Wednesday, July 13, and will be deciding the fate of a new development in Ocean Beach that will demolish two cottages at the very end of Cape May Avenue.

Local OBceans are understandably concerned that coastal access will be negatively impacted and understand that the area does flood.

The problem is the Commission is meeting in Ft. Bragg in Northern California – and they’re meeting today. OB residents want folks, however, to participate in the meeting by remote testimony on Permit #6-20-0375 at 5162 Cape May Ave.

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California Passes Nation’s Toughest Plastic Reduction Bill

July 6, 2022 by Source

By Joseph Winters / Grist- Reader Supported News / July 5, 2022

California lawmakers declared a momentous victory against plastic pollution on Thursday when Governor Gavin Newsom approved a far-reaching bill to reduce plastic production, signing it into law just hours before a looming deadline.

The Plastic Pollution Producer Responsibility Act, widely considered the “strongest” plastic reduction policy in the nation, requires a 25 percent reduction of single-use plastic packaging and foodware — both by weight and by the number of items — within the next 10 years. The bill zoomed through the California Legislature this week, passing the state Assembly by 66 to 1 on Wednesday evening before clearing the Senate without opposition on Thursday morning.

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Follow Governor Newsom — Not Legislators — on Gas Tax Relief

June 23, 2022 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

President Biden called for a three-month gas tax holiday from federal fees at the pump.

It not only landed with a thud, it couldn’t even pass muster with Speaker Pelosi. A puny 18-cent savings per gallon for a three-months comes to less than a $10-a-month savings (unless you are a diesel trucker).

And whatever happened to the $400 dollar gas cards for California residents that Governor Newsom proposed in his budget?

At least, it had some sense to it.

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Agency that Oversees California School Districts’ Financial Problems Out of Control

June 10, 2022 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

California Assemblywomen Delaine Eastin wrote legislation creating the Financial Crisis Management and Assistance Team (FCMAT) in 1991. Her legislation was in response to the bankruptcy of the Richmond School District and requests for financial help from four other districts.

In 1992, Governor Pete Wilson signed the legislation into law and located FCMAT (pronounced Fick-Mat) under the auspices of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools. Since then, its power has grown and portfolio expanded with little oversight. Today, there is a burgeoning chorus of critics calling for reform or even termination.

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Need a Change of Pace? Run for U.S. Senate

June 7, 2022 by Source

By Joni Halpern

Perhaps people just want it on their resumé. Or maybe they want it written on their tombstone. Whatever the motivation, there seem to be innumerable candidates for public office whose qualifications are so sparse and potentially unsuitable that you hope and pray your fellow voters will take a hard look at them before voting.

Take the upcoming U.S. Senate race. You may not like Democrats as a general rule, or current U.S. Senator Alex Padilla in particular, but the guy is a bona fide graduate in engineering from MIT with a lot of experience in public policy. It appears that for some of the others on the long list of candidates for California’s contribution to the U.S. Senate, if they had one point of I.Q. less, they’d need watering. … Some of the candidates on that list seem like they haven’t worked in years,

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The Truth About Attacks on Dianne Feinstein: She Must Stay Put

April 18, 2022 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

The Pope labeled yesterday, “The Easter of War” and “scandalous” they even exist in the midst of a pandemic.

Certainly, none as ugly, costly, insane and hard to comprehend as the Russian/ Ukraine war.

But, the domestic assaults on Senator Diane Feinstein rank right up there. Starting with her hometown paper, the San Francisco Chronicle, calls for her to resign from her Senate seat have gone viral. Seriously, what is the urgency to push DiFi to resign from her Senate seat?

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California’s Political Weather: Heatwave With a Chance of Earthquakes

April 7, 2022 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Did you feel the jolts? Hear the rumblings? And rush to grab your get-away bag?

If not, you must have slept through the last 24-hours.

This afternoon’s scheduled final vote confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson, as the first black woman and public defender ever to be a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, is its own earthquake.

Deeply felt in California and the rest of the county, the aftershocks will reverberate for eons. The “strike-dip” fault lines cleaving both the Republican and the Democratic parties are already apparent. Just watch the rumblings of the 2022 and 2024 election cycles.

But, California is experiencing yet another earthquake; oddities in any April, in any year.

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Questions on SDG&E: Which Council Members Voted for Contract? Who’s the CPUC? How Much Do SDG&E Execs Make?

February 9, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

With heartburn coming to San Diegans in every bill from SDG&E, and with the confirmation that for some reason San Diegans pay the highest electricity rates in the country, numerous questions have been raised about all of this. For instance.

Which San Diego city council members voted for the SDG&E contract for 10 years, a contract pushed by Mayor Todd Gloria?

If the California Public Utilities Commission approves and sets rates, just who are they?

And just how much do the execs of SDG&E and its owner Sempra make?

The answer to the first is quick and easy; San Diego City Councilmembers who voted for the contract with SDG&E were:

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Schools Closings Creating Community Uproar in Oakland

February 8, 2022 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

Alameda County has designated Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) with a “lack of going concern” label. Translation: They are going broke and must follow orders to save their district. However, many Oakland citizens are not ready to genuflect; leaving school board members in a trap. Twenty years of billionaires financing attacks on Oakland’s public school system has created a toxic political environment.

In October 2021, the OUSD board voted to end its policy of permanently closing schools every year.

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San Francisco Public Schools Under Attack

January 21, 2022 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

San Francisco Mayor London Breed is leading a recall effort to replace three of the city’s seven school board members. Her neoliberal supporters would prefer to replace all seven but the four board members elected in the last election cannot be recalled. If they are successful, Mayor Breed will appoint the replacements. Along with board member Jenny Lam who Breed appointed previously, these new appointments would make four of the seven school board members Breed appointments rather than elected representatives.

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Hey San Diego! Time to Recycle Your Organic Waste

January 18, 2022 by Source

Public Service Announcement: New Food Recycling Program Aims to Curb Waste, Help Environment

By Karen Austin / Peninsula Beacon / Jan. 16, 2022

The ringing in of 2022 has begun a new era of food waste recycling by residents and the increased sharing of edible food surpluses by certain food-related businesses.

California Senate Bill (SB) 1383 aims to reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions known to cause global warming and drastic weather conditions by reducing the amount of organic material going to landfills.

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Marijuana Is Here to Stay, But Local Sales Bans Drive it Underground

January 10, 2022 by Source

by Paul Armentano / Times of San Diego / Jan. 9, 2022

The majority of Californians in 2016 cast votes to displace the illicit cannabis market with a taxed and regulated marketplace — one that would be controlled by licensed businesses, not by criminal entrepreneurs.

Five years later, voters’ desire has yet to become a reality. And while many folks are quick to point fingers at Sacramento and the state’s high tax rates, in many cases, local elected officials are largely to blame. That’s because more than half of the state’s cities and counties prohibit the operation of licensed cannabis businesses.

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San Diego: ‘So Little Goes Right, So Little Gets Fixed and So Much Disarray’

January 10, 2022 by Source

What’s Up with the Mayor’s App? Problems: “Around Every Corner”

By Colleen O’Connor

Every day, in every way, San Diegans are witnessing the crumbling of their once stable neighborhoods; in their once enviable designation, “Camelot by the Bay.”

Omnipresent homeless camps; vacant store fronts; trash overflowing onto unsafe, often filthy streets; decaying parks, pools, libraries and public spaces; spikes in inflation; a buckling health care system amid a pandemic all exacerbated by new tax 17% tax hikes for water/sewer, and new bond initiatives in the pipeline.

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A Review of New California Laws

December 27, 2021 by Source

California Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed 770 bills into law this year, many of them impacting people’s daily lives and will take effect as soon as Jan. 1, 2022.

Here are a few of the more noteworthy ones:

  • Animal welfare: Proposition 12, approved by voters in 2018, makes the use of metal enclosures that restrict pigs from turning around and cages that prevent hens from opening their wings illegal.
  • Minimum wage: SB 3 requires the minimum wage for all industries employing 26 or more employees to rise to $15, or $14 for those employing 25 or fewer workers.
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California Cannabis Companies Warn Gov. Newsom Industry on Verge of Collapse

December 20, 2021 by Source

By Michael Blood / Yahoo News / December 17, 2021

Leading California cannabis companies warned Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday that the state’s legal industry was on the verge of collapse and needed immediate tax cuts and a rapid expansion of retail outlets to steady the shaky marketplace.

The letter signed by more than two dozen executives, industry officials and legalization advocates followed years of complaints that the heavily taxed and regulated industry was unable to compete with the widespread illegal economy, where consumer prices are far lower and sales are double or triple the legal business.

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How We Can Save the Ocean and Improve Access at the Same Time

November 16, 2021 by Source

By Anupa Asokan / Op-Ed / San Diego Union-Tribune / Nov. 12, 2021

This summer I was determined to catch a fish called the California corbina. Corbina don’t really carry the clout that comes with reeling in fish like yellowtail or white seabass prized by Southern California anglers, but I’m drawn to corbina partly out of nostalgia since they are related to the red drum I grew up catching in the Gulf of Mexico, and mostly because they are easier to get to. I could fish for them right off the beach without a boat.

I’m a fisherwoman and my days are focused on advancing ocean conservation,

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COVID Cases Rising in Inland Empire and Central Valley; Concerns for San Diego

November 9, 2021 by Staff

My weather app on my phone has been displaying daily totals of new COVID cases and deaths. Yesterday, the number of cases was 9,000 something. Today, it was 18,000 something.

In today’s LA Times, it’s reported that “COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen significantly in the Inland Empire and Central Valley,” and has raised the specter of a wider spike in California as the winter holidays approach.

Throughout California cases and hospitalizations hit a plateau after months of decline. In areas “with lower vaccination rates, such as Riverside, San Bernardino and Fresno counties, conditions are deteriorating, with hospitalizations up by more than 20% in recent weeks.

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The Widder Curry: More Water Cut-Backs Will Kill My Fruit Trees While New Housing Developments Are Allowed to Grow

October 21, 2021 by Judi Curry

California’s Drought Emergency Extended to San Diego County

By Judi Curry

Here we go again. Another drought. Another curtailment of the use of water. The Governor is asking people to cutback on water usage 15% over last year.

My question is what about those of us that cut back 15% last year and are still cutting back? How much are we supposed to cut back

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The Oil Spill is Bad. So is the Deadly Contamination You Can’t See or Smell

October 20, 2021 by Source

by Bart Ziegler, PhD / Voice of OC / Oct. 20, 2021

On the topic of environmental disasters, could you imagine trying to deal with contamination from a far deadlier kind of waste that you can’t see or smell and that remains toxic for hundreds of thousands of years?

As details of the Orange County oil spill continue to unfold, globs of tar are washing onto San Onofre State Beach beneath the shadow of a shuttered nuclear power plant where Southern California Edison is storing 3.6 million pounds of radioactive waste 100 feet from the ocean.

Reporting on the oil spill has us drawing comparisons and thinking about the state of nuclear waste safety.

Take corrosion, for instance.

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Push to Ban Off-Shore Oil Drilling in California

October 7, 2021 by Source

Times of San Diego

Democratic members of Congress from California seized on the oil spill off the state’s coast to promote federal legislation to ban all offshore oil drilling, as investigators searched for what caused the pipeline to burst.

About 144,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the Pacific Ocean, killing wildlife, soiling the coastline and forcing officials to close beaches in several cities in Orange County. There are 23 rigs operating off California’s coast,

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‘Let’s Halt Centralized Zoning and Land-use Directives Coming Out of Sacramento’

September 23, 2021 by Source

A Response to U-T Opinion: “California housing crisis finally gets bold response it needed. Thanks to Newsom, Atkins.”

By Danna Givot

The September 17 UT Editorial Board thank you to Newsom and Atkins is shallow and uninformed. Foremost, it fails to recognize that California has an affordable housing crisis, not an overall housing crisis. The real gaps in California housing are at the lowest end. The free market is providing sufficient housing for higher income households.

The editorial failed to recognize that there are no provisions in either SB9 or SB10 for the production of any “affordable” housing. It is fair to assume that the market will do what it does without government incentives – produce more market-rate housing, which will not meet the needs

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2 Days After Smashing Recall Effort, Newsom Signs Controversial Housing Bill SB9

September 17, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Two days after literally smashing the recall effort with 64% of the vote, Governor Gavin Newsom signed one of the most controversial housing bills on his desk. Newsom signed Senate Bill 9 by Senate leader Toni Atkins, formerly of San Diego, on Thursday.

Newsom said, “The housing affordability crisis is undermining the California Dream for families across the state, and threatens our long-term growth and prosperity.”

No one would argue with that statement, although SB 9 doesn’t create affordable housing. In fact, 241 cities came out against SB 9. In a letter from the League of California Cities, 241 cities asked Newsom not to sign the measure.

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1960 Winter Olympics Site Changes Racist, Sexist Name

September 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Once in a while, a news story about a change comes along that resonates, and here is one that does. I personally have been championing this specific change for some 20 years now. And it has finally happened.

The site of the 1960 Winter Olympics near Lake Tahoe is having its name changed. Its owners have decided that the old name that rhythms with “fall” is offensive to Indigenous women. The new name is Palisades Tahoe. Historically, it’s also been called Olympic Valley.

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