‘You have a crisis out there’: Gavin Newsom scolds counties over delays in mental health law

One of the counties that is operating a CARE Court, Riverside, is taking more time to adopt the conservatorship law. Newsom singled it out at his press conference. 

“Riverside County (is) doing great work on CARE Court, but decided not to move forward with the implementation of conservatorship,” Newsom said. 

Riverside County officials said they’re not ready to carry out changes to the conservatorship law, which carries “significant responsibilities.” The county’s behavioral health department, hospitals and law enforcement need time to expand treatment facilities, increase housing capacity, develop new protocols and train staff, Dr. Matthew Chang, behavioral health director of Riverside University Health System, said to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. 

“Setting an implementation date in 2026 would signal our commitment to getting it right for our community,” Chang said during board remarks.

Mayors back Newsom’s timeline

Several California mayors, by contrast, are urging counties to move faster. Mayors often bear the brunt of residents’ complaints about homelessness, but they tend to have little influence over social services and mental health spending. 

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, who supported a majority of Newsom’s mental health reforms, urged his county’s board of supervisors to implement the conservatorship expansion immediately.

“While the law allows for counties to delay implementation until 2026, our county is experiencing an unacceptable behavioral health crisis – one all of us see clearly every day in our communities. Putting implementation off will cost people their lives,” Gloria and other San Diego County mayors wrote in a letter to the board this month.

Nora Vargas, chair of the board of supervisors, initially proposed delaying implementation to 2025 after hospital and behavioral health leaders argued more people would cycle in and out of the emergency room without proper support. 

“San Diego County will implement (the conservatorship law) in a way that is methodical and equitable because these are real people and real families seeking care,” Vargas said in a statement to CalMatters. 

Tim McClain, a spokesperson for San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, said the county is moving as quickly as possible despite receiving no support from the state. 

The law “comes with no new resources for hospitals, substance use disorder treatment providers, or county run public conservator offices. It doesn’t establish clinical assessment criteria that will incline clinicians to extend holds. And it doesn’t do anything to create the operational tools that will actually get people with substance use disorder from (emergency departments) into ongoing addiction treatment,” McClain said in a statement to CalMatters.

Demand on mental health system

Among the concerns raised by counties is a dramatic influx in the number of people needing treatment.

In Kern and Santa Barbara counties, behavioral health officials have said they expect the number of people who would qualify for involuntary treatment to increase tenfold, The Bakersfield Californian and Santa Barbara Independent have reported. 

Behavioral health officials in Stanislaus County told their board of supervisors that because the expanded definition of “gravely disabled” will now include people with drug use disorders, the number of conservatees will likely go up. They say they need additional staff and coordination to handle a larger population. There are also very few treatment settings for people with severe substance use disorders in the county, health officials said. 

The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors agreed to push back implementation, but supervisors said they would like to enact the law sometime before 2026.

In neighboring San Joaquin County, supervisors this week also voted to delay the law’s implementation.

“We need the state to provide us with guidance on how we can best apply this law to help the vulnerable and protect people’s civil rights while ensuring their treatment,” Supervisor Robert Rickman said in a press release.

If any year is looked back on as pivotal in California’s fight to curb mental illness, homelessness and drug-related deaths, 2023 could be the one. Gov. Gavin Newsom pushed major — and at times controversial — reforms of the state’s mental and behavioral health systems through the Legislature, but a mere two months after signing the laws, Newsom accused counties of moving too slowly to adopt them.

Newsom on Friday at a press conference took local governments to task, publicly pressuring them to take action on the state’s new conservatorship law.

“The state has done its job. It’s time for the counties to do their job,” Newsom said.

In October, lawmakers significantly loosened long-standing rules limiting who can be placed in involuntary treatment. The change to the state’s conservatorship rules allows people who can’t take care of their own medical needs or personal safety to be deemed “gravely disabled” and placed in treatment facilities without consent. This includes people struggling with addiction. 

But the vast majority of counties have opted to delay implementing the conservatorship expansion, putting them at odds with the governor’s timeline. They play a critical role in the law because they administer the state’s social services and mental health programs. 

County leaders say they need more guidance and resources. They argue they lack the staff and funding to move this new policy forward. The law goes into effect in 2024, but allows counties to defer implementation until 2026.

Fifty-six counties out of the state’s 58 are requesting permission to delay implementing the law, Tony Vartan, Stanislaus County’s Behavioral Health Director, told his Board of Supervisors this week. 

Only San Luis Obispo and San Francisco counties plan on beginning implementation next month, Vartan said.

Newsom said during Friday’s press call that the “lack of urgency” at the local level was disappointing.

“You have a crisis out there. There’s a crisis on the streets and people are talking about delaying the conservatorship efforts till 2026. We can’t afford to wait,” he said.

Michelle Doty Cabrera, executive director of the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California, said in a statement behavioral health departments are “already stretched” thin and need time to coordinate such a complex change. In the past two years, they’ve been hit by increased demand for services, widespread provider shortages, and a series of new state mandates.

“County boards of supervisors across California have heard clearly from hospitals, law enforcement officials, and county behavioral health professionals that infrastructure capacity, staffing and training must be in place to make the law successful,” Cabrera said.

California counties singled out

The change comes on the heels of another major Newsom mental health initiative. CARE Court, which passed last year and began rolling out in October, allows people with untreated mental illness to be placed in court-mandated treatment programs and housing

So far, eight counties are operating a CARE court. Now, most of those early adopters have chosen to delay the conservatorship expansion.

One of the counties that is operating a CARE Court, Riverside, is taking more time to adopt the conservatorship law. Newsom singled it out at his press conference. 

“Riverside County (is) doing great work on CARE Court, but decided not to move forward with the implementation of conservatorship,” Newsom said. 

Riverside County officials said they’re not ready to carry out changes to the conservatorship law, which carries “significant responsibilities.” The county’s behavioral health department, hospitals and law enforcement need time to expand treatment facilities, increase housing capacity, develop new protocols and train staff, Dr. Matthew Chang, behavioral health director of Riverside University Health System, said to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. 

“Setting an implementation date in 2026 would signal our commitment to getting it right for our community,” Chang said during board remarks.

Mayors back Newsom’s timeline

Several California mayors, by contrast, are urging counties to move faster. Mayors often bear the brunt of residents’ complaints about homelessness, but they tend to have little influence over social services and mental health spending. 

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, who supported a majority of Newsom’s mental health reforms, urged his county’s board of supervisors to implement the conservatorship expansion immediately.

“While the law allows for counties to delay implementation until 2026, our county is experiencing an unacceptable behavioral health crisis – one all of us see clearly every day in our communities. Putting implementation off will cost people their lives,” Gloria and other San Diego County mayors wrote in a letter to the board this month.

Nora Vargas, chair of the board of supervisors, initially proposed delaying implementation to 2025 after hospital and behavioral health leaders argued more people would cycle in and out of the emergency room without proper support. 

“San Diego County will implement (the conservatorship law) in a way that is methodical and equitable because these are real people and real families seeking care,” Vargas said in a statement to CalMatters. 

Tim McClain, a spokesperson for San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, said the county is moving as quickly as possible despite receiving no support from the state. 

The law “comes with no new resources for hospitals, substance use disorder treatment providers, or county run public conservator offices. It doesn’t establish clinical assessment criteria that will incline clinicians to extend holds. And it doesn’t do anything to create the operational tools that will actually get people with substance use disorder from (emergency departments) into ongoing addiction treatment,” McClain said in a statement to CalMatters.

Demand on mental health system

Among the concerns raised by counties is a dramatic influx in the number of people needing treatment.

In Kern and Santa Barbara counties, behavioral health officials have said they expect the number of people who would qualify for involuntary treatment to increase tenfold, The Bakersfield Californian and Santa Barbara Independent have reported. 

Behavioral health officials in Stanislaus County told their board of supervisors that because the expanded definition of “gravely disabled” will now include people with drug use disorders, the number of conservatees will likely go up. They say they need additional staff and coordination to handle a larger population. There are also very few treatment settings for people with severe substance use disorders in the county, health officials said. 

The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors agreed to push back implementation, but supervisors said they would like to enact the law sometime before 2026.

In neighboring San Joaquin County, supervisors this week also voted to delay the law’s implementation.

“We need the state to provide us with guidance on how we can best apply this law to help the vulnerable and protect people’s civil rights while ensuring their treatment,” Supervisor Robert Rickman said in a press release.

Click here to read the full article in CalMatters

Day 2 of President Biden’s LA fundraising sweep rolls on Saturday

Biden attended a shiva at the residence of Lyn and Norman Lear in honor of the pioneering TV producer’s death last week at the age of 101.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden rolled into Day Two of their their Los Angeles-area fundraising blitz on Saturday, Dec. 9, criss-crossing the city for myriad meetings, many of them at private homes in posh neighborhoods.

While most of the president’s stops were thought to be linked to efforts to fuel his campaign coffers, one was a solemn experience: Biden attended a shiva at the residence of Lyn and Norman Lear in honor of the pioneering TV producer’s death last week at the age of 101.

“You know, (Lear’s) cast of characters painted a fuller picture of America, of our hopes and our hardships, our fears, our resilience, and changed the way we look at ourselves,” Biden said Friday at an evening gala. “In explaining his approach to getting the laugh — to get us to laugh and think, Norman Lear said, and I quote, “You stand a better chance if you can get them caring first” — “if you can get them caring first.”

Biden added: “Folks, at our best, we’re a nation that cares.  We care about each other; we care about the nation.  And in — and in three years, we’re going to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Norman brought an original — bought an original copy of that.  And he shared it with schools and museums.”

The president gave a 15-minute speech at an event hosted by investors Jose Feliciano and Kwanza Jones, where he touted items he regards as his administration’s accomplishments, from efforts to combat climate change to funding programs to undo the effects of pollution in poor and minority communities to jump-starting high speed rail.

As he hailed the rate at which Latinos were starting small businesses, a small child in the front rows piped up.

This weekend’s meetings are aimed at helping Biden reach a fundraising target of roughly $67 million for the fourth quarter of the year, according to a source close to the president’s campaign who spoke to the Associated Press but insisted on anonymity to discuss internal numbers.

The first lady also campaigned individually or her husband, appearing at a fundraising event Saturday at NeueHouse Hollywood hosted by Matthew Crowley and Martha Leon De La Barra. She was introduced by actress Connie Britton and spoke for 11 minutes to an audience of about 100 guests, according to a pool report.

“I wish that this election were about simple policy differences. I wish it were about differences of character or merit. But fundamentally, what this election will be about is democracy,” she said.

“We are the party defending it, not the one tearing it at its seams. We are the party that holds sacred the peaceful transfer of power, not the one that assaulted the Capitol on January 6. You and I — we are the party protecting the right of this nation’s people to live freely, not the one praising the oppressive thumb of dictators.”

After the speech, she participated in a discussion moderated by actress Elizabeth Banks.

On Friday, the first lady appeared at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to tour research laboratories as part of the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research. She toured the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center and Smidt Heart Institute.

The couple was scheduled to attend at least six different meetings around the L.A. area between the two of them, swooping into events drawing a throng of musicians, movie stars and moguls. 

Meanwhile, police continued to investigate numerous acts of vandalism by some of the more than 1,000 protesters who demonstrated not far from the president’s appearance at a celebrity-studded fundraiser Friday in Holmby Hills.

“At one point an unlawful assembly and dispersal order was issued due to the protesters’ actions including throwing objects at officers and passing vehicles,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a statement.

The protesters gathered Friday afternoon to condemn U.S. funding of Israeli military strikes in Gaza with one holding a sign, “No votes for mass murderer.”

At one point, the crowd blocked entry to the president’s fundraiser as cars attempted to enter. Some demonstrators slammed on cars, shouted “Free Palestine,” at drivers, and refused to let up their street blockage.

After about an hour and a half and some tense back and forth between officers and protesters, the demonstrators began marching toward Wilshire Boulevard. Completely blocking traffic on the southbound side of Wilshire, the protesters marched for several blocks. Some people in cars traveling the opposite way shouted their support for the movement; others displayed their opposition with thumbs down and middle fingers.

The demonstration was put on by the Palestinian Youth Movement, an organization comprising Palestinians and Arabs living in the U.S. and Canada, according to its website. Other activist groups, including Code Pink and the Los Angeles chapter of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, also planned to participate in the demonstration.

“We are making sure that Biden hears the voices of Palestinian youth,” said Justice Crudup, a 29-year-old from LA, who works with the Orange County Justice Initiative. “We are seeing so many young voters who will turn 18 next year and who will see what’s transpiring this year…a lot of young people are going to be holding the power.”

Chief Moore said the protest ended without arrests.

“The crowd slowly dispersed and no arrests were made, no use of force, and no officers were injured,” he said.

Someone spray-painted “Free Gaza” on the wall of an apartment building on Wilshire Boulevard across from Sinai Temple. Some of the building’s residents inside threw objects at the crowd. Other Westwood businesses were tagged, Fox11 reported.

“The LAPD is aware of the acts of vandalism that occurred in the Westwood area last night by protestors who marched from an earlier demonstration. The graffiti is being removed today and crime reports have been taken,” the LAPD announced Saturday.

“The LAPD is actively investigating these crimes. While the LAPD fully supports 1st Amendment rights for peaceful demonstrations, we will not tolerate violence or vandalism of any kind.”

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, condemned the vandalism.

“The anti-Semitic acts and vandalism in Westwood are despicable. There is no ‘context’ in which anti-Semitism is acceptable. It is vile, repugnant and abhorrent,” Lieu wrote on X. “I urge law enforcement to investigate and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.”

Meanwhile, inside the gala, Biden touted his record to the gathering of high-profile supporters and took a few swings at the GOP front-runner, former President Donald Trump.

“You’re the reason,” Biden told the crowd — co-hosted by such folks as former L.A. mayoral candidate and entrepreneur Rick Caruso and former Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco — “that Donald Trump is a former president, or he hates when I say it, a defeated president.”

Rhetoric swapped between the two political foes has grown increasingly bitter in the past few days, with Trump declaring Biden as “the destroyer of American democracy” this week. At Friday’s event, Biden declared: “The greatest threat Trump poses is to our democracy, because if we lost that, we lose everything.”

Earlier in the week, Trump declared Biden “the destroyer of American democracy.” The former president said Tuesday in Iowa: “(Biden has) been weaponizing government against his political opponents like a Third World political tyrant.”

Polls have shown Trump holds an overwhelming lead in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Other polls have shown he has a slight lead over Biden in a potential 2024 general election race.

“I’m the only thing standing between you and Lenny Kravitz,” Biden joked before yielding the stage for a performance by the veteran rocker.

Also attending the gala were filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Rob Reiner, television producer Shonda Rhimes, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass andand Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank.

Former House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi reportedly co-hosted the event along with former L.A. mayoral candidate and entrepreneur developer Rick Caruso.

According to Deadline, tickets ranged from $1,000 to $500,000. Those who contributed $25,000 or more had access to a photo line.

Republican Party officials condemned Biden’s fundraising swing.

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

But Not Schiff or Porter – Both Harvard Law (Thank You Michelle Steel): 74 Members of Congress Demand Harvard President Gay Resign in Letter to Governing Board Members

More than 70 members of Congress demanded Harvard President Claudine Gay’s resignation in a letter addressed to University governing board members Friday evening.

The letter, which was led by Rep. Elise M. Stefanik ’06 and largely signed by Republicans, calls for the resignation of Gay, MIT President Sally A. Kornbluth and University of Pennsylvania President Elizabeth Magill. The letter comes three days after Gay’s testimony during a House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing about antisemitism on college campuses prompted a wave of backlash.

“Given this moment of crisis, we demand that your boards immediately remove each of these presidents from their positions and that you provide an actionable plan to ensure that Jewish and Israeli students, teachers, and faculty are safe on your campuses,” the letter stated.

“Anything less than these steps will be seen as your endorsement of what Presidents Gay, Magill, and Kornbluth said to Congress and an act of complicity in their antisemitic posture,” the letter added.

Gay faced fierce criticism for not unequivocally stating that calls for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s policies on bullying and harassment. Gay attempted to clarify her remarks in a statement released on Wednesday and then apologized for the impact her testimony had during an interview with The Crimson on Thursday.

“These desperate attempts to try and save their jobs by condemning genocide are too little too late,” the letter stated. “It should not take public backlash nor 24 hours of reflection to realize that calling for genocide is unacceptable.”

A University spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Click here to read the full article in the Harvard Crimson

California has 11 of largest shortages in US, study Says Ventura County #1 in Nation

California is collapsing—here is another matrix for evidence.

“Here’s the 11 biggest homebuilding deficits in the state, ranked by their shortfall’s share of local housing supply …

Ventura County: Home construction has run 12.5% short of local needs (a gap that ranks No. 1 in the US). The deficit translates to the underproduction of 36,161 residential units.

Inland Empire: 10.7% short (No. 3 nationally) – or 160,841 units.

Madera: 8.8% short (No. 5) – or 4,251 units.

Salinas: 8.3% short (No. 7) – or 9,868 units.

Merced: 7.9% short (No. 9) – or 7,053 units.

Stockton: 7.9% short (No. 9) – or 19,957 units.

Visalia: 7.6% short (No. 11) – or 11,410 units.

Los Angeles-Orange County: 7.1% short (No. 14) – or 332,275 units.

Vallejo: 7.1% short (No. 14) – or 11,577 units.

Yuba City: 5.9% short (No. 23) – or 3,698 units.

Modesto: 5.8% short (No. 24) – or 10,547 units.

Now these areas are being targeted by Sacramento to become slums like most of New York City.  Affordable housing is a buzz word for crime, drugs and slums.  That is the vision of California by the National Socialist Democrat Party.

SUBSCRIBER ONLY

California has 11 of largest housing shortages in US, study says

Ventura County is 12.5% short of its needs, ranking No. 1 in state and US

By JONATHAN LANSNER, Orange County Register  10/19/23    https://www.sbsun.com/2023/10/19/california-has-11-of-largest-housing-shortages-in-us-study-says/?utm_email=95C3E5E4E4E5A580647814C571&lctg=95C3E5E4E4E5A580647814C571&active=no&utm_source=listrak&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Story+Button&utm_campaign=scng-sbs-breakingnews&utm_content=alert

Buzz: California is home to 11 of 25 US metropolitan areas with the largest housing shortages.

Source: My trusty spreadsheet reviewed a study of housing underproduction by Up For Growth that looked at construction from 2012 through 2021 for 193 US metropolitan areas – including 23 from California.

Topline

The Golden State’s high housing costs are often tied to construction failing to keep pace with population and economic growth.

Here’s the 11 biggest homebuilding deficits in the state, ranked by their shortfall’s share of local housing supply …

Ventura County: Home construction has run 12.5% short of local needs (a gap that ranks No. 1 in the US). The deficit translates to the underproduction of 36,161 residential units.

Inland Empire: 10.7% short (No. 3 nationally) – or 160,841 units.

Madera: 8.8% short (No. 5) – or 4,251 units.

Salinas: 8.3% short (No. 7) – or 9,868 units.

Merced: 7.9% short (No. 9) – or 7,053 units.

Stockton: 7.9% short (No. 9) – or 19,957 units.

Visalia: 7.6% short (No. 11) – or 11,410 units.

Los Angeles-Orange County: 7.1% short (No. 14) – or 332,275 units.

Vallejo: 7.1% short (No. 14) – or 11,577 units.

Yuba City: 5.9% short (No. 23) – or 3,698 units.

Modesto: 5.8% short (No. 24) – or 10,547 units.

Details

Looking at the big picture, let’s compare California’s 23 markets with the 170 other metros with under production …

California metros are 873,730 units short, by this study’s tally. That’s a deficit equal to 6.5% of all homes statewide.

Other US metros are 2.55 million units short, or 3.3% of their combined supply.

So California’s underproduction, by this math, is essentially twice as deep as elsewhere.

Caveat

Note that housing shortage estimates vary widely. That’s because the math includes a host of assumptions – from measuring demand (people or jobs) to housing density (people per home) to the starting point (good times or bad).

  •  

The logic of Up For Growth, industry-supported researchers, says the nation overall is 3.9 million housing units short.

That deficit falls in the mid-range of projections from other groups. Those estimates project the shortfall from just under 2 million to over 6 million.

Bottom line

Forget the debate about the size of the housing shortfall.

Instead, ponder the fallout across the Golden State through a prism of key housing cost metrics as reported by this study.

Rent growth between 2012 and 2021 in the 23 California metros saw the median increase 4.9% in a year vs. 3.4% in the 170 metros elsewhere.

Rent is considered a financial burden for 53% of Californians vs. 46% nationally.

Or think about median home prices, which are up at a 10% annual pace in a year for these California metros vs. 5.6% nationally.

Postscript

Here are the other California metros in the study, ranked by shortfall …

Fresno: 5.6% short (No. 28 of 193) – or 18,770 units.

San Jose: 5.3% short (No. 34) – or 36,404 units.

Sacramento: 5.1% short (No. 37) – or 46,604 units.

San Diego: 5% short (No. 40) – or 60,989 units.

Bakersfield: 4.8% short (No. 42) – or 14,320 units.

Napa: 4.7% short (No. 46) – or 2,485 units.

Santa Rosa: 3.8% short (No. 69) – or 7,417 units.

San Francisco-Oakland: 3.6% short (No. 75) – or 66,793 units.

Santa Maria-Santa Barbara: 3.6% short (No. 75) – or 5,697 units.

Santa Cruz: 3.5% short (No. 79) – or 3,579 units.

San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles: 1.9% short (No. 128) – or 2,144 units.

El Centro: 1.6% short (No. 136) – or 890 units.

New walkout At Five Hotels in Santa Monica After Talks Stall

Hotel workers at five Santa Monica properties walked off the job early Monday after negotiations stalled last week.

Unite Here Local 11 — which represents thousands of cooks, housekeepers, dishwashers, servers, bellmen and front desk agents in Los Angeles and Orange counties — has been urging hotels to agree to sweeping wage increases given how deeply the housing crisis affects workers.

The union last month urged convention organizers and visitors to “stay away from strike-ready hotels” that haven’t signed new contracts with more than 15,000 workers at some 60 properties.

Unite Here Local 11’s key demand for months had been a $5 immediate hourly wage increase and a $3 boost each subsequent year of the three-year contract, for a total raise of $11. Southern California hotel workers have been on strike on and off since July 2.

At the bargaining session Sept. 21, the union made a new economic proposal lowering that $11 total raise to $10.50, union spokesperson Maria Hernandez said. But the union said talks failed when, after a more than three-hour caucus, the hotel company representatives returned without any counterproposal.

Keith Grossman, an attorney representing a group of Southern California hotel owners and operators, said in an emailed statement Monday that the union’s proposal “only took the parties further apart.”

“Unfortunately, Local 11 made no real movement,” Grossman said. “The union’s offer, its new work stoppages, and its continued call for a boycott, which continues to damage Los Angeles and hurts employees, communicates that the union is not prepared to bargain in good faith. We believe it’s time for the union to engage in real negotiations.”

The bargaining session was the first to be held in nine weeks, he said.

Grossman did not respond to questions about specific issues that cropped up in bargaining.

Grossman has repeatedly criticized the union for failing to reach out and resume talks. The union has said it is firm on its wage proposal and that the hotel bargaining group’s wage offers have fallen far short.

Peter Hillan, spokesperson for the Hotel Assn. of Los Angeles, said the proposal, from the perspective of hotel owners, was a step back because the union moved up the start date of hotel contributions to a health and welfare fund by one month, increasing the overall cost of the contract. “That’s a takeaway from where we were earlier,” Hillan said.

German Martinez, who, the union alleged in a labor complaint, was among workers tackled at a picket line in August at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, said in a union news release Monday morning that “it was disrespectful to see our employer not even address or apologize to us, and instead come back with no offer.”

Martinez has been a dishwasher at the Fairmont Miramar for 34 years. “We will do what we have to do until we get the fair contract we deserve,” he said.

Although workers authorized a strike earlier this summer, they aren’t walking off the job at all properties at once. Instead, they are engaged in rolling work stoppages in which workers at a cluster of hotels walk out for a few days at a time.

Unite Here Local 11 officials have described it as a “strategic decision” to “keep the hotels on their toes and guessing.” The approach also helps the workers’ finances.

Click here to read the full article at the LA Times

The Bail Project loses appeal to temporarily block law imposing bail restrictions

At least in Indiana there is some semblance of protecting the public.

“HEA 1300 required that charitable bail funds be licensed and placed restrictions on who can be bailed out of jail if they were booked for violent criminal charges.

The Bail Project also asserted that the law infringed its right to free speech, as well as its rights under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

The Bail Project responds to questions over who it bails out

Under HEA 1300, charitable bail organizations are only allowed to bail individuals that have not been charged with a violent crime or those who have been charged with a felony but do not have any past convictions for violent crimes.

The law also stipulated that no more than three people could be bailed within 180 days without a license.

Even common sense is being outlawed b y the crime protecting Progressives.


The Bail Project loses appeal to temporarily block law imposing bail restrictions

by: Tyler Haughn, Fox59,  8/9/23  https://fox59.com/news/the-bail-project-loses-appeal-to-temporarily-block-law-imposing-bail-restrictions/

INDIANAPOLIS — The Bail Project has seen its appeal rejected in federal court, upholding a law passed in Indiana last year that limits who can be bailed out of jail.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued its ruling last week, denying The Bail Project’s appeal of HEA 1300, a law the non-profit organization claimed is unconstitutional and unfairly targets charitable bail organizations.

The Bail Project sues Indiana over new state law

According to court records, The Bail Project contended that cash bail payments should be viewed as a form of advocacy and should be protected by 1st Amendment rights as a result. The court disagreed, stating that lawmakers possess the ability to regulate charitable bail funds and the pre-trial detention system.

“Indiana has a legitimate interest in regulating its pretrial detention and bail system, and HEA 1300’s regulatory scheme is rationally related to that interest,” read a portion of the court’s ruling.

HEA 1300 required that charitable bail funds be licensed and placed restrictions on who can be bailed out of jail if they were booked for violent criminal charges.

The Bail Project also asserted that the law infringed its right to free speech, as well as its rights under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

The Bail Project responds to questions over who it bails out

Under HEA 1300, charitable bail organizations are only allowed to bail individuals that have not been charged with a violent crime or those who have been charged with a felony but do not have any past convictions for violent crimes.

The law also stipulated that no more than three people could be bailed within 180 days without a license.

The Bail Project has received criticism in the past as some violent crimes were committed by people after they were reportedly bailed out of jail by the organization, including the stabbing of two officers in December 2021.

The organization responded to the criticism by pointing out that this does not reflect the general trends when assessing the hundreds of individuals and families that have been positively impacted by its work.

The Bail Project has been working to release defendants in Indiana since 2018 by paying cash to bail individuals out of jail facing various charges.

Dozens of migrants from Texas arrive in Los Angeles (City Council Wanted Them)

It looks like Los Angeles is about to get the New York/Chicago illegal alien experience.  Both NY and Chicago are sanctuary cities—hence Texas and Florida is giving them what THEY want lots of illegal aliens and money problems.  Los Angeles is so dumb that last week the City Council decided that they did not have enough criminals from foreign countries—so they made L.A. a sanctuary city.  At the time I asked how soon will buses and planes from Florida and Texas show up in this Third World city of L.A.?  Literally it took just a week for this to start.  In New York, a town of eight million people. Over 70,000 illegals aliens showed up in less than a year.  L.A., with 3 million people should expect the same—with the $10 billion a year price tag—at a time when the city has an exploding homeless and mentally ill problem that can not afford.

Hopefully the buses from Texas and Florida will show up at the Mayors mansion in the expensive exclusive Hancock Park—million dollar homes are the slum housing.  Maxine Waters lives in Hancock Park.  This would not have happened is the city did not BEG illegal aliens to come here.  And the Marxist Mayor is upset that illegal aliens are taking her up on he offer of free stuff and protection.

LA Mayor Karen Bass released the following statement, “It is abhorrent that an American elected official is using human beings as pawns in his cheap political games. This evening, more than 40 people were sent by the Governor of Texas to our City of Los Angeles. Shortly after I took office, I directed City Departments to begin planning in the event Los Angeles was on the receiving end of a despicable stunt that Republican Governors have grown so fond of. This did not catch us off guard, nor will it intimidate us. Now, it’s time to execute our plan.

Dozens of migrants from Texas arrive in Los Angeles

By Susan Hirasuna and Alexi Chidbachian, Fox11,  6/14/23  https://www.foxla.com/news/migrants-from-texas-arrive-in-los-angeles-greg-abbott

LA’s Chinatown takes in migrants bussed from Texas

A church in Chinatown is taking in migrants who arrived in Los Angeles. Texas Governor Greg Abbott says he bussed the group of migrants from the U.S. border.

LOS ANGELES – Dozens of migrants from Texas arrived in Los Angeles Wednesday, with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott taking credit for the drop off. 

Two buses dropped off about 40 people at St. Anthony’s Croatian Church in Chinatown.  

Anchorwoman Wears Daring Outfit, Forgets Desk is TranslucentDefinition|

Sponsored

With items in hand, families from Latin America and Haiti were welcomed to the church by several people and organizations.  

Workers with the Office of Emergency Operations and Public Health were at the church all day setting up and preparing for their arrival. Several other relief organizations were on site as well.  

Migrants in bus from Texas to LA without food, water for 23 hours, activists say

Activists were told the families who were in the bus from Texas to Los Angeles were without food or water for 23 hours.

It’s believed the migrants will soon be transported from the church to other locations for shelter.

The migrants were bused in from the Texas-Mexico border and Texas Governor Greg Abbott has claimed credit for it, citing LA as a sanctuary city.

RELATEDLos Angeles gets one step closer to ‘Sanctuary City’ for immigrants with City Council vote

Abbott took to Twitter to say, “Texas just dropped off the 1st bus of migrants in Los Angeles. Small Texas border towns remain overrun & overwhelmed because Biden refuses to secure the border. LA is a city migrants seek to go to, particularly now its leaders approved its self-declared sanctuary status.”

Activists helping the migrants get settled in Los Angeles were told the families were on the bus from Texas for about 23 hours without food or water.

According to Abbott’s office, Texas has been charting buses to take migrants from Texas to locations including Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia, and most recently adding Denver to the list of destinations. Since beginning the busing effort last spring, more than 21,600 migrants have been shipped out of Texas to “these self-declared sanctuary cities,” according to Abbott’s office.

LA Mayor Karen Bass released the following statement, “It is abhorrent that an American elected official is using human beings as pawns in his cheap political games. This evening, more than 40 people were sent by the Governor of Texas to our City of Los Angeles. Shortly after I took office, I directed City Departments to begin planning in the event Los Angeles was on the receiving end of a despicable stunt that Republican Governors have grown so fond of. This did not catch us off guard, nor will it intimidate us. Now, it’s time to execute our plan. Our emergency management, police, fire and other departments were able to find out about the incoming arrival while the bus was on its way and were already mobilized along with nonprofit partners before the bus arrived. Los Angeles is not a city motivated by hate or fear and we absolutely will not be swayed or moved by petty politicians playing with human lives. We are a city that seeks to treat all people with dignity and compassion and we will continue to work closely with non-profit organizations, including the L.A. Welcomes Collective, as well as with our County, State and Federal partners.”

Gov. Newsom’s office also released a statement saying, “Contrary to what some may want to think – California is also a border state but instead of demonizing asylum seekers, we focus on working with local communities to support and humanely welcome people.Regarding the recently arrived families, the state is in close communication with the County and City of Los Angeles, and our community partners. Together, we will make sure that the children and families who arrived are safe and welcomed.”

It’s unclear where and when the migrants will be moved. Border Patrol officials say while they process migrants at the border, they don’t have anything to do with what happens to them after they make it into the United States. 

This is not the first time migrants have been flown into the Golden State… just weeks ago dozens of migrants were brought in from other states into Sacramento. 

In early June, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration said three dozen migrants whom the state recently flew from El Paso, Texas, to Sacramento at taxpayer expense all went willingly, disputing allegations that the individuals were coerced to travel under false pretenses.

The Supreme Court’s Warning About Prop. 13

A decision in a Minnesota case revives questions about injustice and California’s tax revolt law.

Late last week, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a decades-old Minnesota property tax law was unlawful when it allowed the government to seize wealth from an elderly Black homeowner. The decision in Tyler vs. Hennepin County serves as a warning about legal defects in other property tax laws that unfairly harm communities of color, including California’s own Proposition 13.

The Minnesota case began when Geraldine Tyler failed to pay the taxes on her longtime Minneapolis home. Over several years, the tax debt accumulated to $2,300, exploding to $15,000 when penalties and fines were added. The county seized her condominium and sold it, keeping the entire proceeds — $40,000 — not just the $15,000 she owed.

The Supreme Court proclaimed that this money grab was unjust and unconstitutional under the 5th Amendment’s takings clause. It rejected Hennepin County’s legal reliance on the 13th century Statute of Gloucester, a law that Justice Neil M. Gorsuch characterized during oral arguments as being “about lands owned by the feudal lord and what happens when a vassal fails to provide enough wheat to his lord.”

The court’s determination that what happened to Tyler didn’t meet constitutional standards echoes and revives a concern raised in the 1990s about Proposition 13.

California’s tax-assessment limits demand radically different property taxes from owners of similar properties, based only on their time of purchase. Thirty years ago, Stephanie Nordlinger balked at paying nearly five times in property taxes for her Los Angeles home as longer-settled neighbors. An unmoved Supreme Court majority held that the differential treatment had a rational basis, but Justice John Paul Stevens disagreed.

In his dissent, Stevens concluded that Proposition 13 created “a privilege of a medieval character: Two families with equal needs and equal resources are treated differently solely because of their different heritage.”

The Supreme Court’s blessing in Nordlinger vs. Hahn upheld Proposition 13’s legality and established its feudal — and unfair — nature.

Proposition 13 raises race discrimination concerns. Assessment caps benefit long-standing homeowners — who are often white — at the expense of their more diverse neighbors who arrive later. The effects of such property taxes on homeownership’s demography suggest violations of the 1968 federal Fair Housing Act. Recent estimates show that Proposition 13 gives the average homeowner in a white neighborhood of Oakland, for example, a tax break of nearly $10,000 each year — more than triple the break provided to average homeowners in Latino neighborhoods, and about double those in Black and Asian neighborhoods in Oakland.

Ironically, people just like Tyler were the original faces of the battle to enact Proposition 13 in California and similar measures around the country. Activists in the 1970s and 1980s invoked stories of elderly widows losing their homes to convince voters that property taxes should be based on a home’s purchase price and allowed to rise just 2% a year from there, regardless of market value.

But such assessment limits have not lived up to their promise to protect homeowners. Michigan also limits the amount that an owner’s assessment can rise. Yet as real estate values declined in Detroit, those limits did not ensure that assessments fell to match, leaving low-income Black homeowners with inflated, unaffordable taxes. Like Tyler in Minnesota, many residents were forced out of their homes through tax foreclosures.

In California, Proposition 13’s overbroad system protects the propertied at a high cost to more diverse, first-time buyers. People may stay put to hold on to a tax advantage, limiting inventory and driving up home costs. Parents can also pass low tax assessments on to their children, exacerbating the problem.

The California Housing Finance Agency notes that “for the entire 2010s, California’s Black homeownership rate has been lower than it was in the 1960s, when it was completely legal to discriminate against Black homebuyers.”

While Proposition 13’s precise inequitable effects are complicated, more inclusive and less legally tenuous alternatives exist.

There are other tax reforms that could protect low-income and elderly homeowners without hamstringing cities’ tax bases and enriching wealthy owners.

Philadelphia allows low-income senior citizens to freeze their property taxes, and low-income families to spread rapid assessment increases over several years. In Massachusetts and some Connecticut towns, low-income homeowners can defer part of their property tax bill, which is paid off upon the home’s sale. California has its own property tax postponement program, which it should expand, instead of relying on Proposition 13.

The Supreme Court’s rejection of Minnesota’s greediness reminds us that the courts are watching as states tighten the vise of property tax systems on the poor and racially diverse. To be sure, Proposition 13 does not result in unconstitutional “takings.” But the concerns that motivated the court in Tyler vs. Hennepin County also apply here. And given the court’s willingness to reverse long-held constitutional precedent, perhaps the Nordlinger decision itself will be due for reconsideration.

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times

San Clemente Attack: 2 Marines Beaten by Group of Teens

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. – Two Marines were beaten by a group of teenagers and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Monday was searching for the attackers.

The melee began about 9:15 p.m. Friday near the pier located at the end of Avenida del Mar, and OCSD deputies responded to the site, according to sheriff’s spokesman Mike Woodroof.

The pair of Marines were treated at the scene for minor injuries to their hands, knees, abdomens and heads, but they refused to go to a hospital, Woodroof said.

It’s unclear how many people attacked the two men, but Woodroof said the number was likely somewhere between 10 and 30.

A minute-long video which has circulated online captured the brawl. In the video the Marines are seen on the ground trying to shield themselves from the attack.

The brawl appears to come to an end after two individuals, a man and a woman, step in, telling the group to stop, the station reported.

Click here to read the full article in Fox 11 News

End of a love affair: AM radio is being removed from many cars

An era is coming to an end.  The AM radio, which made Rush Limbaugh a star and brings golden oldies to your car, is about be history.

“Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Tesla and other automakers are eliminating AM radio from some new vehicles, stirring protests against the loss of a medium that has shaped American life for a century

Life and times change, we adopt or get nostalgic about is what is gone.  I have XM satellite radio in my car.  I listen to all the cable news stations, the Golden 60’ and 50’s songs, old time radio with stories of drama, comedy and history.  I do not need AM radio—and now, it will soon not be a choice.  Sad to see it go.

End of a love affair: AM radio is being removed from many cars

Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Tesla and other automakers are eliminating AM radio from some new vehicles, stirring protests against the loss of a medium that has shaped American life for a century

By Marc Fisher, Washington Post,  5/13/23    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/05/13/am-radio-electric-cars/

America’s love affair between the automobile and AM radio — a century-long romance that provided the soundtrack for lovers’ lanes, kept the lonely company with ballgames and chat shows, sparked family singalongs and defined road trips — is on the verge of collapse, a victim of galloping technological change and swiftly shifting consumer tastes.

The breakup is entirely one-sided, a move by major automakers to eliminate AM radios from new vehicles despite protests from station owners, listeners, first-responders and politicians from both major parties.

Automakers, such as BMW, Volkswagen, Mazda and Tesla, are removing AM radios from new electric vehicles because electric engines can interfere with the sound of AM stations. And Ford, one of the nation’s top-three auto sellers, is taking a bigger step, eliminating AM from all ofits vehicles, electric or gas-operated.

Some station owners and advertisers contend that losing access to the car dashboard will indeed be a death blow to many of the nation’s 4,185 AM stations — the possible demise of a core element of the nation’s delivery system for news, political talk (especially on the right), coverage of weather emergencies and foreign language programming.

“This is a tone-deaf display of complete ignorance about what AM radio means to Americans,” said Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers, a trade journal covering the talk radio industry. “It’s not the end of the world for radio, but it is the loss of an iconic piece of American culture.”

For the first hundred years of mass media, AM radio shapedAmerican life: It was where Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his fireside chats; where a young Ronald Reagan announced Chicago Cubs baseball games; where DJs such as Wolfman Jack along the U.S.Mexico border, Larry Lujack in Chicago, Alan Freed in Cleveland, “Cousin Brucie” Morrow in New York City and Don Imus in California, Texas, Ohio and New York howled, growled and shouted out the latest pop hits.

Through the snap and crackle of distant lightning and the hum of overhead power lines, AM radio’s sometimes-staticky signal dominated the country’s soundscape. From the 1950s into the 1970s, Top 40 hit music stations in many big cities maintained astonishing shares of the audience, with 50 percent and more of listeners tuned to a single station, meaning that people could walk along a city sidewalk and hear one station continuously blasting out of transistor radios, boomboxes and, above all, car radios.

But technology moved on, and the silky smooth sound of FM radio and then the crystal digital clarity of streaming stations and podcasts narrowed AM’s hold on the American imagination.

Now, although 82 million Americans still listen to AM stations each month, according to the National Association of Broadcasters, the AM audience has been aging for decades. Ford says its data, pulled from internet-connected vehicles, shows that less than 5 percent of in-car listening is to AM stations.

Ford spokesman Alan Hall said that because most AM stations also offer their programming online or on FM sister stations, the automaker will continue to “offer these alternatives for customers to hear their favorite AM radio music and news as we remove [AM] from most new and updated models.” The 2024 Mustang is Ford’s first internal combustion model to be marketed without AM.

Several big automakers, including Toyota and Honda, say they have no plans to eliminate AM radio, and General Motors, the nation’s top-selling carmaker, has not announced its intentions.

As Ford did, BMW eliminated AM from electric models in part because “technological innovation has afforded consumers many additional options to receive the same or similar information,” Adam McNeill, the company’s U.S. vice president of engineering, said in a letter to Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.).

But many AM stations don’t offer alternative ways to listen to their shows. Even those that do say their audience, much of which is older, tends not to be adept at the technologies that let drivers stream anything they choose from their smartphones into their car’s audio system. And despite the growing popularity of podcasts and streaming audio, a large majority of in-car listening remains old-fashioned broadcast radio, according to industry studies.

The removal of AM radio from cars — where about half of AM listening takes place — has sparked bipartisan protests. Some Democrats are fighting to save stations that often are the only live source of local information during extreme weather, as well as outlets that target immigrant audiences.Some Republicansmeanwhile, claim the elimination of AM radiois aimed at diminishing the reach of conservative talk radio, an AM mainstay from Sean Hannity to Glenn Beck to dozens of acolytes of the late Rush Limbaugh. Eight of the country’s 10 most popular radio talk shows are conservative. “The automobile is essential to liberty,” right-wing talk show host Mark Levin told his listeners last month. “It’s freedom. So the control of the automobile is about the control of your freedom. They finally figured out how to attack conservative talk radio.”