by Lou Binninger

 

Once upon a time, California home and commercial property owners after working for decades to pay their mortgages / taxes, get their kids though school along with paying medical, food and transportation expenses, were being forced out of their homes and businesses by government.

 

Those who endured the Great Depression and survived WW II, the Korean War, and now ready for retirement were being deprived of their homes by punishing tax policies. Property taxes could literally double from one year to the next.

Then in 1978, Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann put Proposition 13 on the ballot (Passed with 62.6% of vote) which reduced property taxes, changed how property values were assessed and limited the percentage property taxes could be increased each year.

 

All property values were reset at 1976 levels. Property could be reassessed whenever it sold. Otherwise the value could be increased by no more than 2% each year for taxing purposes.

 

The other significant aspect of Prop 13 was that it required a two-thirds majority in both legislative houses for future increases of any state taxes. It also required a two-thirds vote majority in elections for local governments to increase special taxes. (A "special tax" is a tax devoted specifically to a purpose: e.g. homelessness or road repair; money that does not go into a general fund.)

 

As a result, millions of Californians have been able to keep their property and avoid thousands of dollars in taxes each year thanks to Prop 13.

 

Today, longtime Californians who understand and have benefitted from Proposition 13 are in shock that people would consider doing away with the property tax relief that saved their homes and businesses. However, they underestimate the ignorance of today’s voters, the socialist leanings of youngsters and the corrupt nature of Sacramento politicians.

 

A new initiative called “California Schools and Community Funding Act” is destined for the November 2020 ballot. The title is a euphemism used to deceive. This initiative is about removing Prop 13 limitations on commercial property thereby increasing property taxes which could bump a tax bill up 10-fold.

 

Supermarkets, office buildings, warehouses, factories, shopping centers, auto dealerships, medical offices, self-storage facilities, gas stations, hotels, restaurants and such would have their property reassessed at current market rates spiking their taxes.

 

However, buildings and real estate don’t pay taxes, people do. Increased taxes on commercial property will be passed along to the consumer.

 

In 2012, the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy did a study concluding that raising property taxes on businesses by an estimated $6 billion would cost the state economy $71.8 billion of lost output and more than 396,000 lost jobs in the first 5-years. The shame is that California does not have a revenue problem but rather a spending addiction among its leaders.

 

However, prior to the Pepperdine study, 12 attacks via bills, initiatives and amendments on Prop 13 benefits to commercial property had been waged but failed. Proponents of the current assault say they are just closing a “loophole,” but the tax treatment of commercial property is not a “loophole.” It was the will of the voters.

 

In 1978, with Prop 13 on the ballot Governor Jerry Brown and the legislature put Prop 8 on the ballot to create a split roll allowing higher taxes of commercial property. Voters rejected Prop 8 by 53-47%.

 

Since the 1800s, California has treated personal and commercial real estate the same for tax purposes.  Prop 13 cut the property tax rate to 1% from a statewide average of 2.67% and put limits on the increases of the assessed value of property.

Opponents often argue that Prop 13 caused a reduction in per-pupil spending on education. It’s a myth. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, per pupil spending in California’s elementary and secondary schools has risen every year since the 1970s. Measured in constant dollars, per pupil spending in the state was $5,474 in 1969-70, $7,116 in 1979-80, $8,798 in 1989-90 and $9,255 in 1999-2000. In 2015-16, the state spent $11,893. (See https://nces.ed.gov in Table 236.65).

 

Those who would like to help preserve Prop 13 can go to www.hjta.org/ProtectProp13. It will explain how to volunteer, get a yard sign, and donate. There is also a printable informational sheet online or copies can also be obtained by calling HJTA at 213-384-9656 or 916-444-9950.

 

(Get Lou’s podcast at “No Hostages Radio” and his articles at nohostagesradio.com)

Marysville, Ca.

 

Yuba County health officials have issued a precautionary "No-Swim Advisory" for specific areas of the Middle Fork of the Yuba River downstream from Bullards Bar Reservoir, after a yellowish sediment discoloration of the water was noted.

Swimming restrictions are now in place for the Rice's Crossing water access, Missouri Bar, and Lower Missouri Bar. 

The murky yellowish water conditions are similar to those discovered this week along the South Fork of the Yuba River in Nevada County. In that instance, E. coli levels were found to be double the safe recommended levels by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) .

 

Because of the similarities with the river discoloration in Nevada County, Yuba County officials say it is important to take steps immediately to protect public health.

 

The discoloration on the Middle Fork in Yuba County was first observed late Saturday by Yuba Water Agency workers at the Colgate Power Plant, and the details were then relayed to the Yuba County Office of Emergency Services. A Yuba County Environment Health team is collecting water samples this morning for testing purposes to determine whether the water poses a health risk.

 

Currently, the water being released from Bullards Bar Dam, located upstream from the power plant, is running clear and shows no signed of the discoloration.

 

Yuba County OES is working closely with Nevada County officials. The Army Corps of Engineers is posting the "No-Swim Advisory" notices, and OES officials said other state and federal agencies have been notified, as well.

Grass Valley, Ca.

 

Wareing Team Ultimate Six Up Champions Photography by David Wong 1The 33rd Annual Draft Horse Classic will take place at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley September 19 through the 22nd. The Classic has grown to become the premier Draft Horse show in the western United States. The four day event features six majestic performances, along with non-stop entertainment in between classes.

 

As part of the Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair, free musical entertainment will be at the Western Music Fest at the Fairgrounds. Music will be featured beginning at noon on Friday and Saturday, and 11 am on Sunday. All music at the Western Music Fest is free, you can grab a bite to eat, and enjoy the music at the Pine Tree Stage.

 

In between the Draft Horse performances, the Harvest Fair is bustling with activity, including art shows, exhibits and trade shows. The Harvest Fair is an experience that can be enjoyed by kids and adults – and admission is free! You will have an opportunity to visit the barns and meet the horses, taste the delicious Treat Street goodies, or sit and enjoy the live entertainment.

 

Except for service dogs, no dogs or other pets are allowed on the grounds during events. Pets providing emotional support, well-being, comfort or companionship are not recognized as service animals under ADA regulations and are not permitted.

by Lou Binninger

 

            In 2018, County Administrator (CAO) Robert Bendorf and the Yuba County Supervisors made a determination to seek a 1% sales tax increase to “save public safety.”  The scheme to sell the increase as a public safety tax but then put it on the ballot as a general fund tax has undermined the credibility of the Board of Supervisors and the county administration.

 

            The supervisors’ excuse that they would put this measure on the ballot and “let the people decide” was a “heads I win and tails you lose” ploy. They played the citizens and/or they followed their CAO’s deceptive lead.

 

The entire media campaign from multiple fliers designed to instill fear, public safety town hall meetings, fire and law enforcement themed signs, the sheriff chairing the campaign committee and the ballot ordinance itself shouted public safety is suffering, there is not enough money and we guarantee the money will go for public safety.

 

Bottom line, it was another “give us more” campaign touted with guarantees but it was all a mirage.

 

Up until the 1990s county general funds were sufficient to take care of law enforcement and fire needs. Then after the jail expansion in the early 1990s Sheriff Gary Tindel contracted out beds to the federal government and millions of dollars came to the county annually. The excess revenues over costs were a cash cow that supervisors had control over. The monies were fungible, produced by law enforcement, but could be directed anywhere in the county by supervisors and they were.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, supervisors saw more money than ever before and began to raise salaries, even retroactively to the date of hire. That spiked salaries and pensions tremendously.  In union negotiations supervisors would even pay the employee share of pension contributions. (In the private sector, employees normally pay for their own pensions.)

 

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) money began to be known as ICE “Crack” around the sheriff’s department making an analogy to the addictive quality of the drug “Crack” cocaine. County administration was living above its means, salaries and pensions had been spiked, supervisors’ salaries were doubled, ICE and sheriff’s funding diverted for other uses and then the 2006-7 housing crash occurred.

 

County leaders so overcommitted the budget that it was now a disaster. The final straw would have been losing the ICE contract which today brings in over $6 million a year and funds a much bigger jail operation than needed for just local inmates. However, the county can’t live without it.

 

Supervisors had diverted monies from public safety and now were short. From the housing crash to the 2019-20 budget though revenues increased, the costs of pensions and health insurance devoured revenues due to financial guarantees made in high times. The unfunded pension liability had now become a threat to all county services.

 

Although Measure K advocates celebrated their devious triumph of 53% at the polls Superior Court Judge Stephen Berrier invalidated the measure saying it needed the higher win margin (2/3s of vote) being a special tax versus a general tax.

 

The additional 1% tax began being charged in April 2019 while the court fight over K proceeded. And, though Berrier agreed with the plaintiffs (opponents of the tax) Yuba County is appealing the ruling. The tax (millions of dollars) will continue to be collected which the average person believes should never have been assessed in the first place while the measure was being legally contested.

 

Should Measure K be invalidated upon appeal the money will still go to Yuba County coffers. Citizens and their monies have been entrapped by this illegal tax and it is to the government’s advantage to stretch out the appeal process because the jurisdiction benefits in the end win or lose.

 

Hundreds of thousands of tax dollars were illegally squandered paying for a campaign to deceptively convince voters to assess themselves more taxes. This is in violation of people’s freedom of speech according to both the Federal and State Constitution. Citizens paid for the campaign against them, paid the tax, paid the county’s hired attorneys and will lose the taxes assessed even if they win the case against Measure K.

 

The 2019-20 budget has now been passed with additional funding going to public safety without a cent of Measure K tax. So why was Measure K needed?

 

If you ever wondered why the founding fathers hated and feared big government this is why.

 

(Get Lou’s podcast at “No Hostages Radio” and his articles at nohostagesradio.com)

by Lou Binninger

 

Each year the state legislature passes more than 900 laws by finding something new the citizens are doing wrong. We started with the Ten Commandments but now have thousands of laws in the “Golden State” to keep us in check?

 

            The most egregious law breakers are those that make them. In fact, law makers live like they are above the law.

 

            The Freedom of Information Act instructs government to provide requested documents in 10 days but it took months for Yuba County to produce the initial costs of the Measure K campaign. In fact, using the public’s money for a campaign to convince people that they should pay more taxes is illegal but it was done by Yuba County Supervisors anyway.

 

            The free speech clauses of the Federal and State Constitutions prohibit the use of governmentally compelled monetary contributions (including taxes) to support or oppose political campaigns since “Such contributions are a form of speech, and compelled speech offends the First Amendment.”  Smith v. U.C. Regents (1993) 4 Cal.4th 843, 852.

 

And, the “Use of the public treasury to mount an election campaign which attempts to influence the resolution of issues which our Constitution leaves to the ‘free election’ of the people (see Const., art. II, § 2) … presents a serious threat to the integrity of the electoral process.” Stanson v. Mott (1976) 17 Cal.3d 206, 218.

 

Yuba County has been spending money furiously for legal fees, public relations and campaign paraphernalia now for 2 years to trip-up voters. There really is no one to hold them accountable. The district attorney who is supposed to be impartial and prosecuting wrong doing was an advocate of the campaign.

 

People were shocked that the County Supervisors were able to vote to appeal Judge Stephen Berrier’s ruling against Measure K so quickly and in secret. The county attorney had begun putting the item on the meeting agenda to comply with the Brown Act so the Supervisors could address a defeat when it came.

 

The Brown Act was created to keep the people’s business in the open rather than being done behind closed doors. Since Measure K had been a very public debate and a measure put on the ballot by the board why did they meet in closed session following the judge’s ruling? It was inappropriate and unethical.

 

The people had a right to hear and be heard by the board about the appeal of Measure K.  There had been hundreds of thousands of their tax dollars flitted away, a public campaign and vote, and an open court proceeding. Social media had been alive with debate for months. What had to be kept confidential?

 

Now, some supervisors are blocking people from communicating with them via social media about Measure K. That is also against the law for elected officials.   In Knight First Amendment Inst. at Columbia Univ. v. Trump, 928 F.3d 226, 230 (2d Cir. 2019), it was decided just months ago by the Federal Appellate Court that “the First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise–open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.” 

 

The Appellate Court found the blocking unconstitutional, even though President Trump opened the account as a personal account before his presidency and would retain personal control over account after his presidency. 

 

So, Supervisors Bradford and Fletcher along with any others utilizing blocking to censure speech of their constituents is illegal.

Finally, though not illegal, hypocrisy by county officials is troubling. The county administrator was quoted in the Appeal Democrat saying “It’s unfortunate that out-of-town organizations and an ex-politician felt they had to twist the purpose of Measure K in order to undo the will of our voters.”

 

Plaintiff Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is the most highly respected public service nonprofit in the state helping people stay in their homes and protect their rights.  And law firm Bell, McAndrews and Hilltachk, LLP of Sacramento (representing Measure K opponents) is regarded as top election law experts in the state.

 

The county already had staff attorneys but hired a Nevada County law firm to defend Measure K and used an “award winning ballot measure consulting firm” from Oakland, CA. to snooker the voters. In fact, the CAO doesn’t even live in the community. Who actually “twisted the purpose of Measure K” is in the eye of the beholder and the courts.

 

Was the Bendorf’s noted “ex-politician” John Mistler? Mistler served four years on the Yuba County Board of Supervisors, but most of his life he earned an honorable living doing carpentry, being a manager at Montgomery Wards, being a volunteer firefighter and owning the Territorial Dispatch newspaper.

 

(Get Lou’s podcast at “No Hostages Radio” and his articles at nohostagesradio.com)

by John Mistler

Brownsville, Ca.

 

After five months of investigation of the North Yuba Water District (NYWD); the conclusions were that "the investigation did not find credible evidence of an intentional omission of facts, misrepresentation, or fabrication of data that would alter the eligibility of the grant application."

 

For five months there were weekly accusations from the Yuba Water Alliance, a local group of citizens, not all NYWD customers, whose contact person is Alton Wright,  painting a picture of corruption and fraud on the part of the  NYWD Board and the  General Manager, Jeff Maupin,

 

Some of the e-mail headlines: "Do they really believe it's right to lie on applications  and defraud taxpayers?" "Once again, someone at NYWD is lying" "NYWD's never-ending negligence is now a public safety issue."

 

The actual findings of the investigation by the State Water Resources Control Board, Office of Enforcement (Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Prevention Unit are:

 

"The investigation did not find credible evidence of an intentional omission of facts, misrepresentation, or fabrication of data that would alter the eligibility of the grant application. The Quit Claim relationship between NYWD and SFWPA was provided in the application. Reliable aluminum data showing exceedances of the MCL in the ditch water was provided by the NYWD in their application, and that data was not treated by the DFA as significant in ranking the application. The DFA acknowledged the benefit to irrigation water customers as well as to domestic users in their evaluation of the application prepared by Northstar and Mr. Maupin on behalf of the NYWD. The grant application was reviewed, in accordance with the DFA’s standard practice, in a 19-step process documented in the application assessment package. The application package provided by NYWD was compliant with State Water Board requirements, and as a result the Forbestown Ditch Planning Project was determined to be eligible for funding."

 

The entire investigation can be seen on eterritorial.com  September 9, 2019  issue

Marysville, Ca.

 

rodeo2The 86th Annual Marysville Stampede sponsored by the Flying U Rodeo will take place on Saturday September 14 and Sunday September 15 at the Cotton Rosser Arena-Riverfront Park.

On Wednesday the 11th at 5:30 p.m. the Twin Cities Cattle drive will start at Franklin and Plumas Streets in Yuba City and continue North on to Bridge Street. The drive will travel East on Bridge St.  over the 5th Street Bridge to D Street in Marysville, then turn right on First Street and end up at the Cotton Rosser Arena in Riverfront Park. 

There will be at least five days of celebration from  Cowgirls Soiree,  Kick Off Parties, Kids Rodeo,  Sodbuster dinner and dance,  after party at the Silver Dollar and of course the Rodeo.

 

 Saturday the 14th is Military Appreciation Day. We would like to show our appreciation to the men and women in our military. All enlisted and retired personnel can show their military ID at the gate and get in FREE as our thanks for your service.

 

And Sunday the question is "Are you tough enough to wear pink Day?" Wear pink to the rodeo to show your support of breast cancer awareness and research and be entered in a drawing for a free pair of Justin Boots.  A portion of the days ticket sales will go to the Geweke Caring for Women Foundation .

 

 

cottonCotton Rosser named 2019 Legend of ProRodeo

by Tracy Renck PRCA Media Coordinator

Colorado Springs, Colo.

 

 ProRodeo Hall of Fame stock contractor Cotton Rosser has been named the 2019 Legend of ProRodeo.

Rosser will be honored at the 12th annual Wrangler Gold Buckle Gala on Dec. 2 at the South Point Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas.

 

“This is a wonderful, great honor to receive,” said Rosser, 91.

 

Rosser was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1995. Rosser and his son, Reno, operate the Flying U Rodeo and Rosser Rodeo stock contracting companies based in Marysville, Calif.

 

They produce about 50 rodeos a year.

 

“I’m just the PR man now,” Cotton said with a chuckle. “I never imagined my rodeo career would be like this. I’m the richest guy in the world with memories and friends. I’ve loved every minute of the rodeo business and I would do it all over again. It has been a great experience.”

 

Rosser is the 14th man to be honored with the ProRodeo Legend award, following Jake Barnes, Jim Shoulders, Clem McSpadden, Harry Vold, Larry Mahan, Shawn Davis, Dean Oliver, Donnie Gay, Benny Binion, Mel Potter, Neal Gay, Michael Gaughan, and Keith Martin.

 

Rosser is a pioneer in the rodeo industry who was ahead of his time in developing the entertainment side of rodeo. Rosser received the PRCA Donita Barnes Contract Personnel Lifetime Achievement award in 2015.

 

“A lot of rodeos we have, we have had for 60 years, like the Cow Palace, Red Bluff (in California) and Reno (Nev.),” said Rosser, who served on the PRCA Board of Directors for many years. “They even put a statue up in Reno of me (in 2014). It just doesn’t get much better. I have raised a good family and I really tried to help rodeo. Some people say if you’ve seen one rodeo, you have seen them all, and I have always said I don’t think that’s quite true. Rodeo is the greatest sport in the world, and I’m glad to have been a part of it for the last 70 years.”

 

Rosser still rides a horse into the arena, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

“Rodeo is the only thing I know,” Rosser said. “It doesn’t get better than that when you ride into the arena and they play the national anthem and there is a full house,” he said.

 

For more than 60 years, Rosser has been known for his spectacular, flamboyant opening ceremonies at rodeos on the West Coast and for many years at the National Finals Rodeo.

 

Rosser is considered the “P.T. Barnum” of professional rodeo. He has searched out ideas from sources as remote from the sport as ice shows and circuses, looking for that special something he can add to his productions.

 

The other side of Rosser is his history as a top cowboy, who started competing in all of rodeo’s standard events as a teenager and later as a member of his college rodeo team at Cal Poly University-San Luis Obispo. As a professional, he won buckles, saddles and trophies. Among his many titles, one of Rosser’s highlights was winning the all-around title at the 1951 Grand National Rodeo in San Francisco.

 

Rosser purchased the Flying U Rodeo Ranch in 1956, which is now the oldest continuing rodeo livestock company in the United States. In 1985, Rosser was named PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year.

Sep92019

by Lou Binninger

 

                As Yuba County residents wait for a Judge Stephen Berrier decision on the legality of the Measure K sales tax measure, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and Californians are benefitting from rulings elsewhere supporting Propositions 13 (1978) and 218 (1996) requiring a 2/3s vote of the populace for new taxes.

 

            Meanwhile voters in El Dorado County, east of Sacramento, rejected a parcel tax to benefit the fire district in a special election. The effort to add $94 per parcel a year needed a 2/3s vote but received only 38% approval. The money would have added a third firefighter on four of six engines.

 

            The El Dorado Taxpayers Association requested three considerations to endorse the measure but the campaign consultant hired with tax dollars recommended against any concessions. The association wanted to make sure the measure would be fairly portrayed and would protect taxpayers.

 

            First, the citizens requested not to have a special election but to place the measure on the March 2020 primary ballot to get more voter input, be less expensive and refine the measure. Second, the people wanted a sunset date on the measure to require reauthorization and accountability to the voters as to how the money had been spent. And third, taxpayers requested an independent oversight committee with defined responsibilities.

 

            The taxpayers association was supportive of fire fighters but mentioned that in November 2018 Sacramento voters passed a sales tax increase guaranteed to fund community services. However, less than six months later the city manager, with support of employee unions, proposed diverting the money to fund pensions. With this in mind the El Dorado association therefore opposed Measure B.

 

            Maybe some voters got a look at El Dorado firefighter salaries. In 2018, the fire chief earned $282,565; two division chiefs received 228,920 and 221,040; a fire captain $209,260; a firefighter/paramedic $209,228; seven made more than $200,000. Twenty-five employees made more than $150,000. Fifty-three were paid over $100,000 a year.

            At one time property taxes paid for public safety. What has changed? Certainly salaries if you ask retired public safety employees that started their careers in the 80’s. Salaries were much lower then and paid for with local taxes.

            Now, cities, counties and districts are dreaming up new taxes and fees to get their $100,000 to $500,000 annual salaries depending on where they work in the “Golden State.” Salaries are so exorbitant that smaller, rural jurisdictions cannot keep their employees due to the lure of big money elsewhere.

 

            In the private sector salaries have a governor on them called the bottom line. If the product or service does not produce significant revenue and profit the salaries are changed by the market. Businesses either adjust or close the doors. Employees then go elsewhere and agree to another salary or they don’t work.

 

In government, now controlled by employee unions, it is an incestuous affair with politicians and unions servicing one another. The citizens that pay the salaries have no say in any salary and pension agreements. It is corrupt particularly when government leaders violate the free speech rights of voters by using tax funds to promote new tax measures. It has become an entitlement system.

 

Marysville, CA is beginning to charge for 911 responses even after raising an additional 1% sales tax and millions more for public safety. However, the amounts the city council is charging for a response is a mystery. It would be helpful to know what it will cost if 911 is called.

 

The opponents of Marysville’s sales tax increase were correct. The new revenue went for pensions, health costs and increased salaries. Public safety was the candy to get the vote. Once money enters the general fund it is fungible and disappears.

 

(Get Lou’s podcast at “No Hostages Radio” and his articles at nohostagesradio.com)

by Lou Binninger

 

For a “disadvantaged city” Marysville has money to burn on consultants and engineering firms when local professionals offer their expertise for free or at much lower costs. It seems nowadays that county and city administrators though paid $150-300 thousand dollars annually bring little to the job other than hiring consultants with exorbitant fees.

 

            Marysville appears to be hooked at the hip with EKI Environment and Water that has struck gold working for the little city. EKI proposes to run Ellis Lake like an aquarium by using 2 compressors, 25 aerators and chemicals spending a fantastic $695 thousand to start and then $45,000 annually. Yet there are no guarantees of a clean lake. In fact, the water will not be fit for swimming.

 

            Next, EKI wrote a $400,000 Water Resources grant to put a well in Gavin Park where EKI receives up to $79,900 for design and administrative services. A local contractor / well-driller could do the job for less than $10,000. It wouldn’t take $400,000 to put wells and pumps in every park in the city. (The parks have been dry for years due to the unaffordable rates of California Water Service. The option is to put wells in each park.)

 

            Having EKI do the engineering and oversee installing a well and pump to run sprinklers for $400K is like hiring an industrial engineer to oversee the housekeeping of your 900 square foot apartment. EKI charges from $85/hr for secretaries up to $286/hr for a Chief Engineer plus mark-ups on subcontractors.

 

            How did Marysville marry EKI? Does former Public Works Director Dave Lamon come to mind? He works there now after leaving Marysville with $3 million in California Water Resources fines for not filing 11 quarterly waste water reports. He also is the one who began pumping ground water full of minerals leading to the Ellis Lake algae outbreak and lobbied against using Yuba River water for the lake.  The Riverfront Park Boat Ramp was allowed to become unusable under Lamon, as well.

 

            Both EKI proposals for the Ellis Lake rehab and for the Gavin Park well are seriously flawed. EKI’s estimate of more than a million dollars to pump Yuba River water is so outlandish as to raise questions about their competence or a bias. Locals estimate pumping river water will cost $10-15 thousand annually.

 

            EKI proposes drilling a 300-foot well and installing a pump to provide up to 175 gallons per minute at Gavin Park. That’s like using a 50-caliber gun to kill a rabbit. The current Cal Water Service connection to the park is using just 15-20 gallons per minute.  

 

The city could have a 100-foot well and a 1-horsepower submersible pump installed for less than $7000. This system would produce plenty of water and would not need an engineering firm to oversee the project. Since the water is free to the city this system would irrigate the park for far less than using the prohibitive Cal Water Service.

 

            There are additional concerns with the city decision-making. The Department of Water Resources set a timeline for the city to spend the state’s gift of $144,144 for restoring the lake. The city has violated that agreement set for project completion in 2018 and could be looking at more penalties.

 

If the city paid EKI for services rendered to this point, began Yuba River water deliveries and gave an update to the state they may avoid further state costs and restore / protect their water rights to the Yuba River. Otherwise, the city appears to be headed for another debacle costing millions of dollars.

            For the Gavin Park irrigation grant EKI could be paid for its services

thus far and then ask Water Resources to amend the grant to include all parks by installing the appropriate sized wells and pumps in each. If the city leaders do not know what they are doing they would be better off in the future utilizing local professionals rather paying extraordinary fees for services not needed from companies out of the area. You don’t need an engineer to install a well and pump.

 

            Councilmembers Phone Numbers

Ricky Samayoa           530-749-3901

Bruce Buttacavoli       530-749-3901

Brad Hudson              530-632-5656

Stephanie McKenzie   530-217-8562

Bill Simmons               530-844-0229

 

(Get Lou’s podcast at “No Hostages Radio” and his articles at nohostagesradio.com)

           

             

Sutter County, Ca.

 

steve headshotThe Sutter County Board of Supervisors has appointed Steven M. Smith, a 10-year veteran of the County Administrative Office, as County Administrative Officer.

 

Smith was serving as the interim County Administrative Officer since the position became vacant in January. The appointment was made by unanimous vote on Tuesday, August 27, and it became effective August 31.

 

In thanking the Board for the appointment, Smith told them: “I am also thankful for the support and hard work of my colleagues in the County Administrator’s Office both past and present and for the tremendous support of the department heads and employees of the County.”

 

Steve Smith came to work for the County Administrative Office in 2009, under then CAO Larry Combs. Hired as a Deputy CAO, he was working as the Assistant County Administrative Officer under former CAO Scott Mitnick.

His primary focus up until the past year has been on development of the County’s budget. He has worked with every department and every department head in the past decade.

 

Prior to joining Sutter County, he spent seven years working for Contra Costa County, first as Assistant Director of Nutritional Services for the Health Services Department at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and later, after earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, as Administrative Services Officer in the Building Inspection/Conservation and Development Department.

 

He said one of his priorities is to ensure the County does everything it can to support commercial and residential development identified in the Sutter Pointe Specific Plan for south Sutter County, while ensuring the development pays for itself. Developers have indicated they may break ground next year.

 

Other priorities include sorting out the homeless situation, consolidating County offices (including opening 850 Gray Avenue for Health and Human Services), securing funding for continuation of fire services in the unincorporated areas of the Yuba City basin, and building on positive relationships with the cities of Yuba City and Live Oak, and the County of Yuba.

by Lou Binninger

 

Liberals have had their way for many decades in the retreat from managing forests, no thinning brush or removal of dead trees. The idea is that humans are bad for the earth and need to be restrained and relocated in stack and pack housing, leaving the “wild” to creatures and a nature utopia.

 

The problem is that is contrary to what God instructed (Gen 1:26 and 2:15). The job description was to manage the flora and fauna not let it manage us. Everyone and everything loses. Violating divine instructions has consequences regardless of your party or pocketbook.

 

Historically, the forest and rangelands of America had been managed by foresters and ranchers who loved and benefitted from the environment flourishing until extremists took control of agencies beginning in the late 1960s. Timber companies and foresters once worked together removing dead and dense stands of trees and brush while fire crews were able to access maintained logging roads to knock-down fires. Now, with abandoned forests, fires are allowed to burn.

 

That has led to horrific disasters destroying people, millions of acres and creatures, costing billions of dollars. The only winners have been agencies getting bigger budgets to clean-up the mess that government created.

 

After devastating fire seasons in 2017-2018 with infernos wiping out parts of Santa Rosa, Lake County and all of Paradise liberals were like dogs avoiding eye contact after soiling the carpet. Their policies were destroying the state community by community.

 

At a recent Lake Tahoe Summit Congressman Tom McClintock told a room of democrats that “A generation ago, we actively managed our forests to assure that tree density matched the ability of the land to support it.  Every year, US Forest Service foresters marked off excess timber and then sold it to the timber companies that removed it.  Today, well-intentioned environmental laws passed in the 1970’s make that process endlessly time consuming and ultimately cost prohibitive.”

 

“Those who tell us we just need more money forget that before these laws, harvesting excess federal timber didn’t cost us anything.  On the contrary, it brought in over a billion dollars a year – 25 percent went directly to local governments like Tahoe and the other 75 percent funded the entire U.S. Forest Service and paid for forest programs.  Today, forest management costs us $2 for every dollar it generates.”

 

“Those who blame global warming should consider this: before the U.S. Forest Service was created, California lost between 4 ½ and 12 million acres to wildfire every year.  When the Forest Service actively managed the land, that figure dropped to a steady quarter million acres.  Last year, we lost 1.9 million acres.  That’s not a new normal.  That’s the old normal reasserting itself because we abandoned our forests to neglect.”

 

McClintock reminded attendees that burned and decaying forests have made a mockery of their environmental laws intended to curb carbon emissions. “Wildfires in the United States pump an estimated 290 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air every year.  Healthy, growing forests absorb it.  Milling surplus trees sequesters their carbon indefinitely and renews the forest’s ability to store still more.”

 

Forests and rangelands are like a business, car, human body, or farm, if poorly managed or neglected, disaster awaits. It takes generations before a destroyed forest will return to a mature stand of trees. Must the entire state burn for arrogant anti-people re-wilders to back down?

 

Fire insurance companies will soon refuse to underwrite rural properties or will make insurance unaffordable which will thrill enviro-extremists who detest freedom, liberty and in fact celebrate when people that love the land, leave it.  The enviro-fascists have joined the modern eugenics movement intending to thin out the undesirables called people.

Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) it takes an average of 4 ½ years and costs millions of dollars to produce an Environmental Impact Statement in excess of 500 pages in order to thin or manage the forest. Liberals get their crazy way by bullying people and regulating them off the lands that they love and maintain.

 

Entire towns and industries have been closed by these lunatics in government.

 

(Get Lou’s podcast at “No Hostages Radio” and his articles at nohostagesradio.com)

by Lou Binninger

 

On June 6th 1978, 62.6% of California voters passed Proposition 13, People's Initiative to Limit Property Taxation, also known as the Jarvis-Gann Amendment. It amended the Constitution of California changing how taxes were assessed on real property and how taxes are raised in the state.

 

The most significant portion of the act is the first paragraph, which limited the tax rate for real estate: “ Section 1. (a) The maximum amount of any ad valorem tax on real property shall not exceed one percent (1%) of the full cash value of such property. The one percent (1%) tax to be collected by the counties and apportioned according to law to the districts within the counties.”

 

The proposition decreased property taxes by assessing property values at their 1976 value and restricted annual increases of the assessed value of real property to an inflation factor, not to exceed 2 percent per year. It also prohibited reassessment of a new base year value except in cases of (a) change in ownership, or (b) completion of new construction. These rules apply to all real estate, residential and commercial—whether owned by individuals or corporations.

 

Prior to Prop 13, real estate taxes in some areas could double in one year if property values increased. Some people were losing their homes being unable to pay their taxes as the government reassessed their property to raise more revenue.

 

The other significant aspect of the amendment is that it required a two-thirds majority in both legislative houses for future increases of any state tax rates or amounts of revenue collected, including income tax rates. It also required a two-thirds vote majority in local elections for local governments wishing to increase special taxes. (A "special tax" is a tax devoted specifically to a purpose: e.g. homelessness, public safety, road repair; money that does not go into a general fund.)

 

So, how much difference did Prop 13 make? For example, a house purchased in Yuba County in 1987 that owes $670 today in property taxes before bonds and other assessments are added would instead pay $6100 without Prop 13, more than 9 times as much. That increased amount would drive many older people on fixed incomes from their homes.

You can discover how much you would owe by going to HJTA.org (Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Organization) and click on “see your shocking tax bill if WE LOST Prop 13.” Then fill-in your homes current market value and your “without Prop 13” tax will be shown. It is obvious how losing Prop 13 protections could mean losing your residence.

 

Prop 13 makes property taxes predictable, affordable and stable so homeowners can budget and keep their homes. Renters also benefit from steady lower rents. Lower property taxes also increase the chances of home ownership for renters.

 

Business owners are helped by predictable and lower taxes allowing them to invest more capital to expand their operations. This creates jobs and improves the economy.

 

            Local government and schools benefit because Proposition 13 provides a reliable, stable and growing revenue source. Even when real property values drop, property tax revenues continue to grow.

 

Proposition 13 stabilizes neighborhoods as residents are no longer driven out by unaffordable tax increases. (Keeping neighborhoods intact was one of the reasons cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1992 decision upholding Proposition 13.)

 

All taxpayers benefit because Proposition 13 guarantees their right to vote on new local taxes, and it requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to increase state taxes.

 

Meanwhile, the democrats who have a super majority in the California Senate and Assembly are doing their best to remove the 2/3s vote provision to raise taxes. Their initial target is to attack the Prop 13 protection for commercial real estate. Then, once that is accomplished a full reversal of Prop 13 benefits on residential property will be next.

 

Remember the $54 billion SB1 road tax and DMV fee increase that voters failed to repeal? Only about 50% of those revenues are being used for roads. Now, politicians say $54 billion is not nearly enough to pay for deferred transportation costs and they want $136 billion more.

 

Removing Prop 13 tax restrictions will allow a 50% plus 1 vote to add parcel taxes and more bond repayments onto your tax bill below your property taxes figure where levee, utility, Mello Roos and school bond assessments are currently listed.

 

All Californians should go to HJTA.org to become a member and then vote to resist politicians plundering our wealth to create a socialist state.

 

(Get Lou’s podcast at “No Hostages Radio” and his articles at nohostagesradio.com)

by John Mistler

 

Marysville, Ca.

 

On August 27, 2019 a hearing on Measure K was held in the Superior Court of Yuba County with Judge Stephen Berrier presiding. The hearing was to decide whether Measure K, a 1% sales tax increase on the  un-incorporated area of Yuba County was a "Special Tax" requiring 2/3rds vote of the people or a "General Tax" requiring a 50% + 1 vote of the people. The sales tax passed in the November election with 53.04%, enough for a "General Tax" but not enough for a "Special Tax." The opponents position is the tax was promoted to the people as a "Special Tax" and money would only be used for "Public Safety/Essential Services." A "General Tax" means that one cannot guarantee where the taxes will be spent.

 

Judge Berrier opened the hearing  asking Yuba County's Attorney to defend their positions.  Most of the hearing was the county defending  what is meant by "Public Safety/Essential Services" which is a narrow definition and thus a "Special Tax."  Essential Services means there must be non-essential services.

 

In closing the judge asked both sides if it was their intent to appeal his decision if their side lost. Both attorneys said they would appeal.  With this in mind the judge  clarified that the collection of tax dollars would continue until after a decision of an Appeals Court.

 

An interview with those attending the hearing  unanimously felt the judge was leaning toward invalidating  Measure K. The attorney for Howard Jarvis, Brian Hildreth, said it is possible we will have a decision within 10 days.

By Courtney Ferguson

        

          Miners Picnic is one of Nevada County’s oldest, best-loved traditions.  “It began in 1895,” explained event chair Steve Sanchez.  “Early picnics raised funds to help miners’ widows and orphans – as well as injured and out-of-work miners.  Times have changed, and today it’s simply a day to celebrate our gold-mine history at Empire Mine.”

            Hosted by Empire Mine Park Association (EMPA), Miners Picnic is one of the few times during the year that visitors are welcome to bring blankets, chairs and lunches to picnic on the shady, stately grounds.  There’s a nail-biting mine rescue reenactment in the mine yard at high noon.  It’s always fun to cheer the rescue team on as they race to save the miners.  The Blacksmith Shop will be open, as will the Mine Shaft and other original buildings.

         minersPast Due & Playable will perform old-time bluegrass favorites in the afternoon. 

          Three bands will perform on the event stage near the Clubhouse.  The Stamp Mill Stompers will open the day with that lively “new-fangled” Dixieland jazz.  Making their Miners Picnic debut, Beyond the Rails will play their blend of light rock favorites, including Eagles and Jimmy Buffett songs.  Popular bluegrass band Past Due and Playable will close the day with emotive, old-time tunes.  Food, drinks and ice cream will be for sale by Back Porch Market, Sweeney’s Weenies, and Lazy Dog Ice Cream.  A special beer garden will serve offerings from Jernigan’s Tap House & Grill.  Visitors can also enjoy the fun of an old-fashioned Cake Walk and a Silent Auction. With demonstrations by Harrington & Baldwin Mining Equipment & Supply, plus vintage cars on display – non-stop activities are planned all day long.  Popular mountain man George Steger is scheduled to be on hand with tales from a rugged, resourceful lifestyle of yesteryear.

            “Living History docents in their period attire will portray some of the colorful characters who shaped our history,” Sanchez explained, “and they’ll be on hand to recreate our golden past.”  The Park staff and volunteers make an all-out effort to retain this event’s historic roots, while keeping its spirit fresh and fun each year.

            This year’s Miners Picnic will take place on Saturday, August 31st from 11:00 a.m. to

4:00 p.m. at Empire Mine State Historic Park, 10791 E. Empire St., Grass Valley.  The costs are the same as usual:  $7 for those 17 and over and $3 for those aged 6 to 16.  Children under 6 are admitted free of charge – and parking’s free.  For further information, phone the Park’s Visitor Center on (530) 273-8522 or visit www.empiremine.org   Everyone’s invited – including well-behaved dogs on leashes.           

 

 

 

                       

by Lou Binninger

 

While California schools are at the bottom in terms of academic performance they are one of the leaders in legal settlements for sexual abuse of children by school employees. Unions make it nearly impossible to fire a teacher but if accomplished it costs taxpayers an average of $500,000 and several years.

Many school administrators and employees ignore “red flags” and reports of abuse from students and parents and frequently violate their legally mandated reporting requirements. Vulnerable student victims that fear nothing will be done to perpetrators are reluctant to cooperate with an adult system they see as stacked against them.

All of this protects predators that may even have past “write-ups” in their school district personnel files.

Lilian A. Vanvieldt, senior vice president for Alliant Insurance Services, has spent more than three decades insuring schools across the country. She says sexual abuse and molestation are the most significant areas of insurance coverage under pressure and California is a high risk state.

“The cost of sexual molestation is becoming quite restrictive for insurance companies so they’re starting to pull back on that line of coverage.” In California, Vanvieldt recommends that schools carry a minimum of $50 million in coverage.

The cost to carriers is significant and even with high limits carriers are pushing up deductibles. So, in addition to insurance coverage being more costly, some districts are required to establish million-dollar retentions to even obtain coverage.

Vanvieldt says California is down to three or four insurance markets willing to write sexual abuse and molestation coverage. Others are limiting the coverage by dollar amount and number of claims.

A sampling of California news headlines tout the sexual abuse problem - Marysville teacher accused of sex with 15-year-old student; Juvenile hall teacher, inmate married; Embattled Yuba City Teacher Jim Whiteaker Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations; Los Angeles school district settles abuse suits for $22M; LA School District Settles Molestation Case for $5M; LAUSD Has Paid Out More Than $300 Million Over Sex Abuse; California Is Juggling More Teacher Misconduct Cases Than Ever; How One School District Got a Handle on Its Abuse Problem.

And, now a female kitchen worker with Tri-Counties Juvenile Hall in Marysville is reported to be currently on leave accused of sexual misconduct with inmates.

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing received 5,895 misconduct cases last year – 400 more cases than it received five years ago.

San Francisco attorney Paul Matiasic representing local molest victims in a suit against Yuba City Unified School District (YCUSD), Superintendents Doreen Osumi and Nancy Aaberg, Jim Whiteaker, and other school personnel said last week that former teacher Whiteaker is a serial predator that was allowed to remain employed as school officials knew of and actually noted complaints against him but did nothing.

Mandated reporters repeatedly violated the law by not informing law enforcement and/or Child Protective Services when learning of Whiteaker’s improper behavior with minor students over 25-years of incidents.

The next date for the YCUSD / Whiteaker lawsuit is November 4th, 9 am in Sutter County Superior Court. Matiasic says that the school district hired independent investigators to evaluate allegations and report back to the board before Whiteaker was released from his duties. Matiasic highlights more than a dozen incidents reported by victims about Whiteaker in the court filing. The document lists 16 different violations of the law.

The attorney believes the jury trial will be scheduled sometime in 2020 when Matiasic said he will utilize a “parade of witnesses” comprised of former students and school employees.

Meanwhile, though Yuba County Office of Education has had 2 instances of improper behavior by teachers with minor students in 2015 and 2019 they now have hired YCUSD - dismissed Jim Whiteaker as a full-time teacher to take the latest fired instructor’s job at T.E. Mathews (TEM) court school. TEM provides schooling for high-risk male and female students in collaboration with Yuba County Probation.

YCOE and YCUSD’s lax protocols and policies are exposing students to sexual abuse and risk losing millions of tax dollars in higher insurance deductibles and premiums that could benefit students.

(Get Lou’s podcast at “No Hostages Radio” and his articles at nohostagesradio.com)

by Lou Binninger

 

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will pay $22 million to settle lawsuits by 16 current and former students who were sexually abused by two coaches.

LAUSD, the second largest in the United States behind New York City, will pay $14 million to nine girls who were abused by Ronnie Lee Roman, a former youth services coach at two elementary schools. The district will pay $8 million to seven boys who were abused by Jaime Jimenez, a former high school football coach.

Roman is serving 105 years in prison after he was convicted of lewd acts on a child. He was found guilty molesting girls from 8 to 12 years of age.

Jimenez was sentenced to more than 36 years after he pleaded no contest to sexual abuse and battery, and lewd acts on a child. His victims were between 13 and 16 years old, and one of them has since killed himself, according to Morgan Stewart, one of the attorneys representing victims.

The school district ignored complaints against Roman going back more than a decade and did nothing about Jimenez’s “red flags,” including secluding students in locker rooms, and spending long periods of time with them on and off campus, Stewart said.

″ (The district) still doesn’t understand its fundamental duty to protect the children in its care, sadly,” said the attorney for the victims.

LAUSD settled with 82 victims of Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt who for more than two decades committed a shocking variety of lewd and disgusting acts with his pupils. He was finally arrested and sent to prison, but not before being paid $40,000 to resign after years of spoon-feeding his sperm to students.

Berndt retains lifetime health coverage and his pension, totaling $3,891.17 monthly in pretax benefits. If he lives to the average age of a man in California, he'll collect about $1 million. Payout to victims and legal fees are now more than $200 million by LAUSD.

Schools have proven to be incapable of protecting students from sexual predators. School administrators have credentials but lack common sense and the courage to act.

Redlands Unified School District (RUSD) agreed to pay more than $30 million to settle lawsuits involving sexual misconduct by school employees between 2016 and 2018. However, they then decided to change how they managed employees and to create a no-tolerance culture for sexual abuse.

Mary Rone Shell, a RUSD spokeswoman, said renewed efforts to protect students were made not solely as a result of those lawsuits and an increase in the district’s insurance claims since the payouts. “We want individuals who have maleficence to know they are not welcome,” she said.

The Redlands policy now instructs employees to avoid being alone with individual students out of view of others, inviting or allowing students to visit their homes, remaining on campus with students alone or visiting a student’s home.

Staff is also instructed not to contact students for personal purposes outside of school by phone, letter, texts or social media. If they want to contact students for educational purposes, they must loop in another adult, like a parent or the school principal.

Adults are also instructed not to follow, accept friend requests from or communicate with minors on social media. When a coach or club adviser wants to text students, they must message all team members at once, unless it involves a student’s private academic or medical issues, in which case they must loop in the school principal.

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing says they had 5,895 misbehavior referrals in school year 2017-2018. Crimes involving alcohol 2,482; other crimes 1,332; serious crimes/felonies 942; drugs 251;  child crime nonsexual 447; child crime sexual 331; adult sexual 110.

California public schools are no longer anchored to any moral foundation, they can no longer agree on gender, and a variety of sexual activities are encouraged short of forced sex or rape. Sex education, some of which is mandatory, includes sexual perversion and deviancy. Some of the individuals establishing these rules would be considered weirdos or deranged in the past.

The institutional moral free-fall is coupled with a union that has established teaching as the only profession that must have ironclad job guarantees. This is absurd and has no place in a free society that thrives on competition.

Union driven government schools are socialist schools that have horrible outcomes while devouring massive amounts of public wealth. They consider any attempt at competition, free speech, teacher merit pay, and freeing teachers from mandatory union dues as anathema.

The system is totalitarian in that it essentially relies on secrecy, control and force where parents are privy to very little that occurs in the classroom. When parents aren’t looking contrary policies and political agendas are introduced.

The mafia cannot compete with union protection of incompetent and abusive teachers as well as predators. Many school leaders actually consider themselves superior to parents.

It is in this context and school culture that sexual abuse of children is now epidemic.

(Get Lou’s podcast at “No Hostages Radio” and his articles at nohostagesradio.com)

Aug262019

8/22/2019

 

Brownsville, Ca.

 

Twenty people attended the North Yuba Water District meeting last Thursday.  For the last eight months the meetings have been very heated as the North Yuba Water Alliance has tried to push their agenda which differs many times from that of the elected board. This meeting was civil by contrast.

The board voted to begin the process to supply domestic water to the Aero Pines Association. Due to well problems the Association is without potable water.

nwyd meetingThe General Manager gave an overview of the irrigation water supply. NYWD supplies treated potable water as well as irrigation water. By law drinking water has a priority over irrigation water. NYWD will begin cutting back on irrigation water with the intent of extending the use. Lack of storage seems to be the problem.

The North Yuba Water Alliance, a group of citizens whose contact person is Alton Wright, passed out a flyer at the beginning of the meeting with a graph that showed that the NYWD water figures were in error and they presented their own figures, calling them the Customer Plan. This graph was also posted on Alton Wright's blog/facebook page Yuba Vision as fact. Director Hawthorne said he could not let the  mis-information continue. He began to correct the graph item by item, Alton Wright did not try to defend his graph. Buck Weckman asked if anyone from the North Yuba Water Alliance was an engineer or what expertise they had to make these accusations. There was no reply.

The biggest battle between North Yuba Water Alliance (NYWA) and the North Yuba Water District (NYWD)  is the piping of the Forbestown Ditch.  The NYWA wants to clean the ditch and the NYWD wants to pipe it. It is not clear why NYWA wants to only clean the ditch but NYWD wants to pipe it to conserve water cutting out evaporation and leakage.

by Lou Binninger

 

lake1

 

 Last Tuesday night the Marysville City Council rejected a proposal by rice farmer Charlie Mathews and former City Councilmember Dale Whitmore to once again pump fresh Yuba River water to Ellis Lake. Mathews was to contribute $10,000 and Whitmore $1,500 along with collaborating with all entities (Yuba Water Agency, State Water Resources, PG and E and the city) to make the lake clean once again.

 

Longtime council member and former Yuba County Supervisor Bill Simmons put the item on the agenda and made the motion to accept the River Water plan but the effort died due to inaction by councilmembers McKenzie, Samayoa, Buttacavoli and Hudson.

 

Simmons was the catalyst to rehabilitate and re-open the abandoned Riverfront Park Boat Ramp on the Yuba River after decades of neglect by the city. That was accomplished by collaborating with private businesses working pro bono, federal and state permitting agencies, National Guard equipment operators, and Yuba County. It included dredging the river inlet and all the clearances that entails.

 

Ellis Lake with well water

 

Today’s algae-laden putrid lake was once clear and clean enough to swim-in according to former elected officials and long-time city residents. And, that was accomplished by using Yuba River water from melted snow delivered to the lake and then exiting into Jack Slough and onto the Feather River.

The council hired engineering firm EKI Environment and Water to study the lake and propose a plan to resolve the ongoing mess. However, EKI’s report makes no sense. It appears they had their mind made-up; they didn’t do their homework; or used bad data.

 

 They outright rejected utilizing Yuba River water while offering inaccurate or exaggerated assumptions according to Mathews. For example, EKI claims the Yuba Water approach would result in high capital investment, operating and permitting costs.

 

However, EKI offers no proof of this conclusion but instead uses speculative language to sell its mechanical lake bottom aeration system which does come with exorbitant costs. And, the final outcome would not even clean the lake enough for “contact recreation,” normally called swimming.

Yuba County has numerous man-made lakes that are pure and clean being fed by snow water and all having an exit to a steam or river. None utilize compressor-powered aerators on the lake-bottom, nor are they treated with chemicals, and they all have “contact recreation.”

 In the EKI Table A list of negatives about using Yuba River water EKI uses the words ”could,” “may” and “might” to construct the downside argument against utilizing nature’s way versus creating a “Frankenstein” mechanical lake. For $144,144 they offer speculation.

How about an academic analysis using “would” and “will”? How about offering some facts and guarantees to discount what has worked in the past and to refute the Mathews-Whitmore offer?

EKI and Mathews-Whitmore (M-W) agree that using the lake’s ground water well introduces minerals into the lake which feed algae. In other words, ground water from a well creates more algae. Snow water from the Yuba River does not have a high mineral content therefore starving out the algae.

Per its report, EKI’s aeration system will cost $695,000 for the pilot project and final construction plus $45,000 a year in operation and maintenance costs.  Simmons says a one-time treatment of algae killing chemical costs an additional $22,000. EKI has a personal benefit in its aeration proposal, they get paid more.

The M-W plan would cost the city $10,000 – 15,000 in power costs annually to bring fresh water into the lake. And M-W is donating the “seed” money of $11,500 to hook-up and test the pump and obtain the proper permits. M-W suggest turning off the ground water pump in September and using Yuba River water instead as a test while they pick-up the cost.

M-W say if the council agrees to the approach of pumping from the Yuba River, Ellis Lake could then be drained, the fish and debris removed and the lake could be refilled in 11 days with fresh water.

The river water is free and Marysville has pre-1914 riparian water rights on the Yuba River. Numerous articles dating back to 1903 in the Appeal Democrat describe fresh Yuba River water brought by ditch and flume into Ellis Lake. If the council declines the use of the river water their rights to the Yuba River will be suspended squandering millions of dollars in future benefits.

(Get Lou’s podcast at “No Hostages Radio” and his articles at nohostagesradio.com)

Councilmembers      Phone Numbers 

 

Ricky Samayoa           530-749-3901

Bruce Buttacavoli       530-749-3901

Brad Hudson              530-632-5656

Stephanie McKenzie   530-217-8562

Bill Simmons               530-844-0229

by Lou Binninger

 

                CalPERS, (California’s Public Employment Retirement System), the largest pension plan in the nation ($370 billion in assets), is in the news every week somewhere. It’s a fiasco, but that is California these days.

 Stories of missed investment goals, fraud, sexual abuse, and tapping participant counties and cities for more money litter the Internet. Who would voluntarily turn over any portion of their lives to be managed by the government – not even the mentally ill? There are no departments free of waste, mismanagement and boondoggles. This is socialist stupid-think up close. California is now a deep pockets Venezuela.

A good friend, preparing to retire from Caltrans as a manager in electrical maintenance said that he wasn’t eligible for any of those “$100,000-plus pensions.” He was referring to the fact that CalPERS says the current 596,000 public pensions in the state average about $35,000 each per year. However, averages are misleading since they include many people at the lowest salaried positions with the minimum years vested.

CalPERS pensions also include 1,200 that exceed federal limits. What’s that mean? Nine years ago Lee McDougal retired as the manager of a small Southern California city and started collecting the pension he was promised for 38-plus years of employment.

Last year, McDougal collected $337,000 — nearly a third more than the federal maximum for public pensions. The excess portion then must be paid from his former employer’s annual budget instead of the state’s public retirement system. And taxes on the portion of the pension exceeding federal limits also cost cities and counties extra, draining revenues that could go toward street maintenance, parks, or public safety. You didn’t know that? That was the idea.

The list of pension federal-limit-busting annual payments totaled $197 million and is growing despite a 2013 state law that capped the pensions at the federal limit.

Four years ago, 684 retirees were on the list. Since the 2013 capping law applies only to workers hired after January 1 of 2013, the list of pension-limit-busters will continue growing for decades.

Many of the retirees on the list were managers in cities, counties and special districts that now pay money out of their operating budgets for their excessive pensions. To comply with tax law, the jurisdictions provide benefits above the federal limit by paying the remainder as wages from their general funds, further crippling operating budgets.

“A government’s obligation should end at the federal limits,” said Dan Pellissier, president of California Pension Reform. “If you want to do more, do more, but the government shouldn’t be responsible for subsidizing luxury spending in retirement.”

In 2018, 774 of the 1,205 retirees on the luxury pension list had retired from local governments.

McDougal, 68, is receiving the largest supplementary payment of all the retirees on the list, although his overall pension isn’t the largest CalPERS pension in the state. That notoriety goes to Michael Johnson, a former Solano County administrator who gets $402,000 per year.

Retired Sacramento Police Chief Sam Somers Jr., who retired in 2016, gets $205,000 in annual pension benefits in line with IRS limits plus $14,000 in payments above the cap. Former Public Works Director Jerald Way is paid $152,000 from CalPERS plus $14,000 as wages from the city.

Eight Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District retirees receive a total of $1.97 million in annual pensions including $196,000 in above-limits payments. Four Sacramento Municipal Utility District retirees have pensions worth a total of $973,000 per year, with $157,000 in benefits above the IRS limits.

Meanwhile, CalPERS announced that it earned a paltry 6.7 % return on its investments for the last fiscal year ending June 30 missing the 7% target needed to put – off demanding additional contributions from the budgets of cities and counties.

CalPERS reported an 8.6 percent investment return in the 2017-18, and 11.2 percent in the 2016-17 and missed its target in 2015-16, when it earned an embarrassing .61 percent.

CalPERS’ assets are worth about 70 percent of its total obligations to public employees and current retirees. That means it cannot currently afford to keep its promises. So, it must rob the taxpayer of additional funds to pay the overpromised government employees.

Any competent finance expert outperforms CalPERS because its board’s investment guidelines are more concerned with saving seals, transgender rights, and adjusting the world’s thermostat than it is making money to pay retirees.

(Get Lou’s podcast at “No Hostages Radio” and his articles at nohostagesradio.com

 

class reunion0n Saturday August 10th at the Peach Tree Golf and Country Club a group of 50 or more gathered for their 60th Class reunion.   A social hour, followed by dinner. Over 3,000 years of history filled the room, about half the group were the original classmates of the graduating class of 1959 of Marysville Union High School. The past classmates shared stories and photos of yesterday’s school days. A breakfast followed on Sunday morning August 11th where more stories were exchanged. The 2019 committee wishes to thank those who made this possible, to all that donated to the raffle prizes and to the Peach Tree Country Club for their wonderful services.