by Lou Binninger

          In 1978, Californians voted to change the way their property was being taxed saving thousands of owners from losing their homes and commercial real estate. In the 1970’s, due to a combination of severe inflation, population growth, and increased housing demand properties were routinely reassessed spiking taxes.


People who had lived in their homes for decades and now on fixed incomes were then unable to afford property taxes and forced to leave their homes. The voter initiative Proposition 13 led by Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann promised to roll back property assessments and limit how real estate was valued for tax purposes. It passed with 62.6% approval.


The Jarvis-Gann Act decreased property taxes by assessing property at its 1976 value and restricted annual increases of the assessed value to an inflation factor, not to exceed 2 percent per year. The Act also prohibited reassessment of a new base year value except when there is a change in ownership or a completion of new construction. These rules apply equally to all real estate, residential and commercial—whether owned by individuals or corporations.

The other significant aspect of the initiative 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, road repair or public safety; money held separately from the general fund.)


There have been numerous unsuccessful attempts by politicians to take back the ground gained for taxpayers with Prop 13. (Even with Prop 13 protections California still has the 16th highest property taxes in nation.)


November 3, 2020, there will be another push to convince voters to increase taxes, this time on commercial real estate. Under this initiative to change Prop 13, county assessors would split their tax rolls into two lists. Homeowners and some small businesses would still receive the full Proposition 13 benefits: a 1% tax based on a property’s purchase value and annual tax increases of no more than 2%.


However, commercial and industrial property owners would be required to pay much more. While their tax rates wouldn’t change, beginning in 2022 the levy would be based on the current market value of the real estate. Business property values would have to be updated by county assessors at least every three years. Increasing the taxes to businesses will be passed to consumers in the form of high prices.


Liberal politicians and California’s most powerful public employee unions — including Service Employees International Union, the California Teachers Assn. and the California Federation of Teachers are behind the split-roll ballot measure. Their decision to endorse the effort brought tens of millions of dollars to fund the campaign.

The ballot measure title is California Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding Initiative. This is simply another revenue stream for an already bloated and wasteful government. California has some of the most dysfunctional and expensive government agencies from schools and Caltrans to the Department of Motor Vehicles.


Here are a few examples of gross waste by government. Those “Your Road Taxes at Work” highway signs cost us $32,644.25 each. Instead of purchasing and running natural-gas powered clean buses at a cost of roughly $300,000 each, San Diego MTS decided that political correctness demands they pay 3 times more per bus for all-electric buses – or $900,000 each.


Thirty percent of Caltrans’ $18.1 million local maintenancebudget went for picking-up after people in 2018.  So, $6.2 million went toward collecting litter off the freeway and for cleaning out the debris left behind by homeless encampments abandoned in the wake of 72-hour eviction notices.


More than half (57%) of the Caltrans employees earns $100,000 or more per year – with 11,256 Caltrans employees receiving $100,000 or more. For every “active” project at Caltrans, there are more than six members of the $100,000 Club. The average compensation at Caltrans is $113,554 a year. The median income for Californians is just $32,482 per capita.


Caltrans has 7,494 engineers – that’s more than three engineers for every active project. In spite of the Legislative Analyst’s Office saying Caltrans is overstaffed by 3,500 the agency is expanding.


Gas tax funds were used to pay Holistic Exchange $300 for massages for 12 staff members in Merced County. Local transportation agencies spent gas tax funds on a $5000 trip to Paris, Munich, and Milan, $2700 for a trip to Las Vegas, and a visit to China totaling more than $5,000.


State government needs no more money, but Californians will probably vote to tax businesses. In a socialist state businesses are considered evil.

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

Yuba City, CA


Yuba city Fire Chief Alexander































December 31, 2019.


The City of Yuba City is pleased to announce the appointment of Jesse Alexander as the City’s new Fire Chief, effective January 13, 2020.  Chief Alexander joins Yuba City with twenty (20) years of fire service.


“We are honored and proud to have Chief Alexander join the Yuba City Fire Department team,” said City Manager Michael Rock. “Chief Alexander’s extensive years of experience and expertise will be a great compliment to our outstanding Fire Department.  He is a very talented leader with broad experiences responding to large-scale events and has served as commander on several high-hazard incidents.”




Chief Alexander joins us from the Chico Fire Department where he has served the past four years as Division Chief in charge of Training and Administration, focusing on emergency management. Chief Alexander began his firefighting career with CallFire in the Auburn area.  In 2001, he joined the City of Chico Fire Department and served on the Department’s Rescue Team specializing in Swiftwater Rescue. Chief Alexander has held key operational positions on multiple high-profile incidents, including the Oroville Spillway Incident, Stoney Fire, Thomas Fire, and Fentanyl-Mass Overdose.  Chief Alexander served as Branch Director on the Camp Fire, performing the largest search and rescue operation in California history.


Chief Alexander states “It is a great honor and privilege to be chosen to lead the women and men of the Yuba City Fire Department and serve the citizens of Yuba City.”


The Yuba City Fire Department has been without a permanent Fire Chief since July 2019.  Recruitment for the Fire Chief position was conducted by an outside firm, Bob Murray & Associates, who specializes in executive recruitment.  The recruitment process was highly competitive, the search resulted in 25 applicants.  The leading candidates went through an extensive process involving panel interviews and background investigations resulting in Jesse Alexander being the top choice for Yuba City.

by Lou Binninger


            California and Virginia legislatures, both with democrat majorities, are assaulting the Second Amendment, the right to firearms. California continues to pass laws hindering the use of guns -- mandating background checks to purchase weapons, sell them and now buy ammo.


Since July 1, 2019, 62,000 Californians were forbidden to purchase ammo as the new background check law took effect. Even law enforcement officers have been denied purchasing ammo.


            The California Department of Justice released background check rejection numbers in response to a lawsuit filed by the California Rifle & Pistol Association that seeks to overturn the new regulations. The court filing said that 18 percent of $1 background checks for ammunition purchases have been rejected.


Records indicated that 19,000 rejected ammunition buyers weren’t in the database at all, mostly because the Department of Justice was behind in maintaining the data.


Another 22,000 rejected ammunition buyers had addresses that didn’t match what was listed in the gun registry. Many of that number had moved since their data was entered.


Nearly 8,000 ammunition buyers were rejected because their names on their identification didn’t match what was in the registry.


Only 101 of the stopped ammunition purchases out of 345,547 total ammo purchases prevented “prohibited persons” from making a transaction. The ammo purchasing system violates the Second Amendment and is tyranny. This is not government’s business.


The charade to stop violence with gun laws is a brazen power move to disarm the public. It will have no effect on criminal behavior or deaths by firearms.


Founding Father Noah Webster wrote that the right to bear arms was “To prevent rule by a standing army; To prevent Congress from executing unjust and unconstitutional laws; To prevent the Federal Government from becoming unjust and oppressive; The people bearing arms should be superior to an army controlled by Congress.”

Richard Henry Lee, writer of the Resolution Declaring Independence, explains, “[W]hereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.


Virginia’s Patrick Henry said, “Oh, sir! We should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all? You read of a riot act in a country which is called one of the freest in the world, where a few neighbors cannot assemble without the risk of being shot by a hired soldiery, the engines of despotism. We may see such an act in America.” 


No American should be required of government to seek permission to buy a gun, use a gun or acquire ammunition.

Meanwhile in Virginia today, 87 of its 95 counties, 10 cities and 17 towns have passed resolutions designating themselves Second Amendment ‘Sanctuaries.’ This was done as the new democrat majority declared its intention to bring strict gun control to the state.


The sanctuary movement has been advanced with the advocacy of the Virginia Citizens Defense League and other smaller gun advocacy groups.


“I did not think it would be that high of a number,” said Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins. “It’s an organic thing that just took off after Election Day. Elections have consequences and this is the result. This has truly rocked the conservative, libertarian group’s core. It has really shook a lot of them awake. They are fully awake.”


Sheriff Jenkins has been one of the sanctuary county advocates and even suggested deputizing thousands of law abiding gun owners within his county, to extend law enforcement firearms carve-outs to those gun owners who would otherwise be affected by new gun laws.


Meeting resistance, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam transferred an additional $250,000 to enforce new gun control laws even suggesting calling out the National Guard. He threatened consequences to law enforcement for being resistant to the new laws.


Americans have fought valiantly for their freedom on foreign soil but are pathetic at home in resisting infringement by government. It may be a strategic moment for bloodshed.


 Thomas Jefferson wrote, “And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

by Lou Binninger


cali taxes



Occasionally on social media a photo-shopped road sign is posted to mimic those seen when leaving the golden state. It says, “Leaving California? Was it something we taxed?”


            An epidemic of taxes, fees and egregious regulatory obstacles have afflicted the lives of citizens though not the care of law makers or environmentalists. In fact, extreme greenies pray people leave so the state may return to the wild.


In 2018, nearly 700,000 divorced California and the departures have been increasing annually. The freedom refugees are not the welfare and food stamp lot, addicts and criminals, but rather taxpayers, young families, and small business risk-takers wanting a better life and government-lite.


            They are destined for other states seeking freedom, gun and ammo rights, lower taxes, less rules, and more buying power. Recently, a trucker posted a photo of his breakfast and the bill in the Midwest that was just half the cost of the same meal in Yuba-Sutter. You get a straw without asking and no one barfing near the front door.


            California gasoline is nearly $2.00 more than in other states and will get worse. Governor Newsom stopped ‘fracking’ and now promises the same fate for the state oil industry. Millions of SB1 road dollars were stolen by Newsom to undermine the use of vehicles thereby harassing people to use inefficient buses and trains.


            In order to compel people onto the slow and expensive bullet train, fuel prices will have to go way-up, roads abandoned and air travel taxed heavily since trains and buses cannot compete with cost-effective and efficient autos and planes. Remember, Steven Chu, Obama’s Secretary of Energy said gas would need to be at $9 a gallon to pry people from their cars.


The poor and middle class are subsidizing huge tax credits for the wealthy to buy unaffordable-for-most electric vehicles (EV). In fact, EV owners even get an exemption from paying their share of road costs.


Young workers and families are barely able to cover rent let alone buy a home. Mandatory solar and fire sprinklers on new homes along with a myriad of regulatory costs and years to acquire California Environmental Quality Act clearances for new developments make being in the home building business a loser. However, the current housing shortage may be solved by people fleeing the state and creating more vacant homes.


The state is flirting with building Russian-style public housing -- the bunker stack and pack look using taxpayer dollars. The government is the only entity left with deep enough pockets to construct unaffordable housing and then give it away ala taxpayer subsidies.


Newsom and his Capital Comrades are laying regulatory guidelines to eliminate property rights and single family housing. While being assessed with fire parcel taxes and a 1% lumber tax “to fight fires” rural communities have been intentionally put at risk with unmanaged forests, abandoned roadways, and ‘no maintenance’ power lines. Fire insurance companies are now abandoning rural parcels or making rates unaffordable.


Rather than put a gun to people government regulations will cause them to go broke, suffering slowly trying to comply. Citizens will leave voluntarily allowing properties to be repossessed and eventually assumed by the government.


This same strategy is being used to shoo farmers and ranchers from Bureau of Land Management properties. The government makes more and more rules, denies water rights, delays the permitting process and eventually creates criminals of honorable citizens.


Starting in 2020, Governors Brown – Newsom water rationing for indoor use at 55 gallons per person takes effect. In fact, Newsom wants to tax the water. This is a desk top created crisis as there is abundant water here but a lack of will to properly store and deliver it. Liberals routinely push propaganda that farmers are using 80% of all water. It is a nonsensical lie. Water-use is now restricted just like timber, oil and minerals.


A minimum of 50% of all water is set-aside for fish and runs unused to the sea. The formula is based on junk science, superstition, and a nut-case judge’s decision causing tens of thousands of fertile central valley acres to go fallow. Also forfeited is our food supply and thousands of agricultural jobs.


Finally, the PGE debacle is the fruit of a socialist government managing the utility. PGE has been forced to buy solar and wind energy at unprofitable rates and reduce the use of inexpensive fossil fuel and nuclear energy while the government sets the price for the consumer. Forcing PGE to go green bankrupted the utility. Watch for utility rates to double though they are already 60% higher than the national average.


Add sanctuary cities and free health care for illegals, horrible schools telling children deviant sexual behavior is normal, 150,000 addicts and criminals on the streets, 20% poverty and you have a perfect storm for an exodus.

Marysville, Ca.


Annual Give-A-Yam Drive Raised Nearly $166,000 in the Past Decade


cal transCaltrans District 3 employee Laura Featherstone watches North Region Right of Way Chief John Ballantyne load a case of noodles onto a scale for the district’s food donation competition among divisions. (Caltrans photos)


Large barrels loaded with canned foods and carts brimming with printed t-shirts, dolls, games and bicycles rolled out onto a loading dock, ready for delivery to families in need.


Once again, hundreds of Caltrans District 3 employees have stepped up this holiday season to give $9,005 and 9,545 pounds of food to the Yuba-Sutter Food Bank, Yuba-Sutter Chapter of the Salvation Army and other charities throughout the region.



In addition, employees for the 19th consecutive year donated more than 250 holiday gifts for the annual Christmas Angel Tree Program for needy children.


Caltrans North Region Right of Way Chief John Ballantyne, co-chair of the annual "Give-A-Yam" holiday drive, lauded employees for their continued generosity. “Our employees really opened their hearts this year and stepped up to help those that are less fortunate during the holidays and throughout the year,” he said. “Their generous gifts and donations will help make a difference to those suffering hardships in the community."

Major Julius Murphy of the Yuba-Sutter Salvation Army said the local chapter this season will distribute food boxes for holiday meals to about 425 families, which includes about 850 children. The Salvation Army also gives gifts to about 1,000 home-bound seniors in the region.


“The community we have is very generous,” Murphy said. “Caltrans continues to be our top supporter and donor, not just at Christmastime.”


This year, for example, a Caltrans employee donated 66 dozen eggs to feed the hungry throughout the year.

Murphy pointed out the year-round support is invaluable because of the chapter’s expansion of services, which includes taking over the 14 Forward shelter and the opening of eight new transitional homes. “We’ve doubled our outreach to the homeless community,” he said.  


Throughout the year, Caltrans employees conduct a series of fund-raising events for their "Give- A-Yam" campaign. Over the past 11 years, employees have donated a total of $165,800 to local charities.


“Caltrans is part of the community. All the employees get into the Give-A-Yam fund-raisers,” said Brian Goldman, who works in the Caltrans Right of Way unit. “We enjoy giving back to the community.”


This year, the Right of Way employees also donated 9,100 pounds of food to the Oroville Rescue Mission. “”All the food to the mission was going to the Camp Fire victims,” Goldman said.

by John Mistler

Marysville, Ca





The theme of the 69th Annual Marysville Christmas Parade was "Nautical or Nice". The parade consisted of "A Beachy Boat Parade of Lights through Historic Downtown Marysville".


The First Place winner for Most Creative Lighting was Shayla Metal Buildings and More. Shayla Sullivan found the boat in a field and it was scheduled to be destroyed. She immediately saw that the boat could be repurposed  and with the help of her husband Robert they put it on a trailer added lights and it became a float in the Beachy Boat Parade.


Shayla said, " Since the parade she has talked to several people in the area that have memories of the boat. At one time it was even used as a playhouse for kids.


The boat is now on display for, the Christmas Season, at the Rubel Ranch, highway 20 in Hallwood. 

by Lou Binninger


            Usually when trouble or miscues are discussed regarding Carden School at Juvenile Hall or TE Mathews (TEM) School for youth on probation the students are the topic. However, this year, it’s the teachers.


            Carden teacher Heather Frey, 41 resigned in April when it was discovered that on February 23 she married a former juvenile hall inmate Joseph Etchevarria after he was transferred to Yuba County Jail. Etchevarria took a plea deal for voluntary manslaughter and was moved to the jail after turning 18. There had been a tip that Frey and Etchevarria were romantically involved when he was a minor at the hall.


            Then, TEM instructor Sylvester White was placed on administrative leave October 30 after making an disparaging sexual slur to a male student. A week later, long time TEM Principal Chris Meyers was removed from his position after returning from a conference. Vice Principal Steve Rebozzi had interviewed staff members in Meyers’ absence leading to Meyers’ reassignment to teach at Carden School and Rebozzi taking his place at TEM.


            Last week, TEM teacher Nicolo Orozco emailed a copy of a letter to more than 200 Yuba County Office of Education (YCOE) employees that he wrote to YCOE Superintendent Francisco Reveles.


            The letter indicated first year employee Orozco had also been dismissed and Orozco was asking Reveles if he was fired in retaliation for reporting an unsafe environment for employees and child abuse at TEM. Orozco had reported both the Sylvester White incident and also inappropriate touching of students by teacher Jim Whiteaker.


            Orozco indicated that Whiteaker slapped students on the butt and put his hands on their shoulders and neck area. Whiteaker was hired by YCOE after resigning from Yuba City Unified School District in July 2018 due to multiple reports of inappropriate sexual contact over a twenty year career.


            Also, TEM teacher Tammie Fagan has been relieved of her duties after a series of inappropriate texts were discovered among employees critical of YCOE staff and an inappropriate outburst by Fagan at the school.


            Taxpayers may wonder how much learning could be occurring among the neediest kids in the county when the adults in charge can’t behave well.

Marysville, Ca.



The Yuba Water Agency is partnering with U.C. San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes on atmospheric river research specific to the Yuba River watershed. This research will give data that Yuba Water needs to change the way they operate New Bullards Bar Dam and Reservoir (the 5th tallest dam in the United States), to maximize the use of the existing infrastructure and significantly reduce flood risk, with potential water supply benefits as well. The research is looking at both the Yuba and Feather river watersheds, as Bullards and Oroville dams are operated in a coordinated way to minimize impacts downstream.

Other partners in this project are CA Department of Water Resources (which operates Oroville Dam), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Weather Service California Nevada River Forecast Center.


On Thursday, December 12th Scripps scientists launched the first of many weather balloons that will reach a height of 80,000 ft to record moisture, temperature and wind speed.  "This data will be helpful in updating the procedures for flood control, forecast information and the flexibility of using the planned secondary spillway." Discussed by John James of Yuba Water Agency and Anna Wilson from Scripps.


Atmospheric rivers are relatively long, narrow regions in the atmosphere – like rivers in the sky – that transport most of the water vapor outside of the tropics. These columns of vapor move with the weather, carrying an amount of water vapor roughly equivalent to the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River. When the atmospheric rivers make landfall, they often release this water vapor in the form of rain or snow. Sometimes called a Pineapple Express. 


Scripps recently released a study that shows atmospheric rivers are responsible for approximately $1 billion in damage annually in western states.


DeDe Cordell, Yuba Water Agency communications manager said, "In Yuba County, we know that financial cost far too personally, having lived through devastating flooding in both 1986 and 1997. Our economy has never recovered. "

Pictured is: John James, Yuba Water Water Operations Project Manager leading the Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations and Carly Ellis of U.C. San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes.

by Lou Binninger


Last Saturday night, Panda Express in Marysville had two street guys welcoming customers at the front door. Another sojourner was snoozing along the east window like a big fish in an aquarium, just inches away from diners woofing down Orange Chicken inside. Under California’s Gig Economy law these ‘volunteers’ should be considered employees of the Chinese fast food outlet.


With ‘homeless campers’ being shot, stabbed, beaten with blunt objects, overdosing and found floating in the Feather River our communities have become more colorful and culturally diverse than ever before, a Leftist dream come true. Hippies rejoice, this is the back to nature movement you longed for 50-years-ago.


Taxpayer-funded addiction does wonders. This is the ultimate photo-op for smiling and back-slapping ‘humanitarian’ judges, legislators and local officials. However, small business owners tiring of government oppression, shit on their doorsteps and arguing with reclining vagrants are moving.


Even California’s Oracle Corp. just announced it is moving its annual San Francisco (SF) technology convention to Las Vegas. The tech giant signed a three-year agreement to bring its OpenWorld convention to Las Vegas, citing rising hotel rates throughout the Bay Area as well as poor street conditions in SF.


The relocated convention — the third-biggest held in SF in recent years based on room nights — will be a substantial loss to the city. The loss comes to a minimum of 62,000 hotel room nights and a $64 million negative impact. OpenWorld events have been located at the Moscone Center for the past two decades.


The rising cost of hosting events in SF has become an increasing concern among hospitality professionals. The average hotel rate in the metro area was nearly $264 a night in October, according to data from hotel analyst STR. According to, Las Vegas is one of the most affordable cities for hotels, with rates averaging about $69 a night.


Another factor was the SF street drama. There were more than 30,000 car break-ins in 2018. Human waste, used needles and SF’s ‘finest’ leaning and lying around, drooling and vomiting was finally a deal breaker.

Meanwhile in other communities, a Los Angeles (LA) family visiting Seattle was stuck by a 23-year-old female transient driving high on meth as they exited their hotel. Two siblings died and the father injured. The driver, of course, fled on foot and was found in an alcove changing clothes. While being arrested, she was singing, dancing and blaming the police. Yep, she just needed a tiny house.


Last month, LA Police shot and killed a transient who chased an officer into the street with a foot-long machete. This ‘poor fellow’ robbed an auto parts store at knifepoint, then carjacked a vehicle from a fast food drive-thru and clipped two police cars. People say the guy was ‘troubled.’


Also in LA, an 11-year-old was walking home from a soccer game in Westchester when a male transient grabbed him by the neck and said, “You’re not going to see your parents after I kill you.” The child escaped. His father said when the suspect was arrested that he resisted and had to be taken away by ambulance. This is just another day for an 11-year-old in a city run by kooks.


In Santa Rosa, out for a walk behind a high school, a woman was attacked by dogs living at a homeless camp. Bitten and dragged, the lady suffered tendon, bone and nerve damage resulting in emergency surgery and a three-day hospital stay. Camps with aggressive dogs now rule many California communities. Yuba-Sutter residents report similar attacks while walking the levees or trying to approach the rivers.


A male transient in North Sacramento threatened to kill a man with a hatchet, and when police officers made contact, the suspect threw a large rock at one officer, injuring him, and fled. When found, he was uncooperative even when ‘tased.’ The transient’s dog then began biting one of the officers, forcing him to kill the dog.


Earlier that same day in downtown Sacramento, a transient punched a woman in the face in an attempt to take her purse. A citizen intervened, detaining the suspect until police arrived. The day before, a man was shot and killed at a homeless camp in the backyard of a residence in the suburb of Rancho Cordova.


The liberal answer is more and more money for shit patrols, needle retrieval, nonsense, and bigger government. This is the utopia, or haven’t you noticed?

by Lou Binninger


There have been hundreds of local tax increases proposed throughout California to deal with one problem – government employee pension debt. This debt was never authorized by voters but was incurred by politicians desiring the contributions and voting clout of employee unions.


As a former local government administrator said privately last weekend, “Government takes very good care of its own.” Its ‘own’ does not include the taxpayer.


            Of course, in no ballot argument and rarely even in news articles will you read that tax hikes or bonds are for pension debt. The voter is routinely deceived by government bureaucrats and their Deep State mouthpiece, the mainstream media.


School districts have joined the flurry to tap the taxpayer by passing school bonds, many of them. You may be thinking “Heh, we just passed some school bonds or we’re still paying off those bonds on our property tax bill!” Good memory.


            Just one bond isn’t enough. The upcoming bond blitz will include two, three or more bond measures on the ballot. If passed, the taxpayers’ will pay their ‘fair share’ with their property taxes. The problem is that most property owners won’t see what hit them. Their tax bill is hidden in their mortgage payment.


            Every CA school bond is for pensions and benefits. Pension obligations (and pay increases) are devouring more and more of school budgets.  Employee costs in the San Diego Unified School district recently exceeded the entire district school budget.  But not one bond measure will tell you that and neither will the media.


            California’s State Auditor recently concluded that the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) with 41,000 students and 2,200 teachers is facing insolvency next year.         At a May 2019 County Board of Education meeting, Sacramento City Board members learned that “91 cents of every dollar is spent on salary and benefits,” with only 9 cents going to programs. The SCUSD Board acknowledged that the Sacramento County Office of Education had warned the District for 14 years that their practices were unsustainable.


After the SCUSD ended the 2017-18 fiscal year with an $11 million deficit and just days after Superintendent Jorge Aguilar submitted the 2018-19 budget projecting another $22 million deficit (which was rejected by the county), Aguilar and seven other administrators spent more than $35,000 to attend a six-day conference at the Harvard Business School. This is typical going-broke-spending in government.


Yuba College is asking voters to approve another $228.4 million bond that will cost taxpayers $412 million. Taxpayer’s still owe $190 million on bonds approved in 2006.


The Yuba College Board has buried the district in debt in the past. The Yolo County Daily Democrat reported, “The ‘ugly circumstance’ began in April 2011, explained Chancellor Douglas Houston, when the district board sold $4.6 million in bonds under Measure J, approved by the voters in 2006.”


“Because they were a lesser-known form of general obligation bonds called capital appreciation bonds that $4.6 million will result in an eventual $54.2 million interest payment — costing the district nearly $59 million to pay down.”


“In the case of the Yuba Community College District, no payments on the $4.6 million will be made until 2038, with final payments due in 2048, 2049 and 2050. The Yuba College district’s $4.6 million in capital appreciation bonds will ultimately cost it about $12 for every $1 borrowed,” the Daily Democrat reported.


Houston and the Yuba College Board that hired him worked to reduce the damage done to the district by previous financial mismanagement. In the end, taxpayers still pay for all the financial misdeeds.


Opponents of the current bond proposal are wondering why the college is leasing administration offices for $310,000 annually on Plumas Street in Yuba City and why new buildings need to be added if enrollment is stagnant or decreasing. Others are asking why we need to borrow money for maintenance work and whether the district is top heavy with administrators. As usual with government, transparency is not its strength.

The California Appeals Court approved the joint request to expedite the Measure K case. This could still take another 9 months or more. 


12/03/2019 Order filed. The "Joint Motion for Calendar Preference and to Expedite Briefing" is granted; the appeal will be accorded priority pursuant to statutory provisions.


What does this mean?

It means the case will be fast-tracked. The California Court of Appeal is not a fast moving process. Traditional appeals can take up to 18 months or more. Expediting means more like nine months or more. No briefs have been filed yet. We will post the briefs after they are filed.


Meanwhile, Yuba County is collecting on the tax that was ruled as invalid. Total collected so far - over $3 Million

Keep in mind that no new evidence can be submitted. The appeal is basically to make sure that Judge Berrier followed the law, and made the correct ruling: To INVALIDATE MEASURE K.

by Kit Burton


wreath Photo for TD Wreaths Article “Memorial plaque honoring Edward McGanney at Smartsville’s Church of the Immaculate Conception”

In 1918 a great tragedy struck the town of Smartsville when news arrived that Edward (Ned) McGanney had been killed in action in France in the WWI battle of Meuse Argonne.


The McGanney family was, of course, well known in Smartsville and Ned was a popular fellow.  His family members were parishioners of the local Catholic Church and requested that a redwood tree be planted on the church grounds in his memory.  George Rigby describes the somber 1919 planting ceremony in the book “The Sage of Smartsville” and how the school children placed small handfuls of dirt on the redwood seedling.


That Redwood tree today is huge, and is nearly as prominent an icon of the town as the adjacent former Church of the Immaculate Conception currently under restoration.


So, in the centennial anniversary of the town’s tribute to Ned’s ultimate sacrifice for his country we celebrate “Wreaths Across America” an annual event during the Christmas season where we honor fallen military heroes all across our great country. 


Two sisters, Sally Knutson and Charle Lennon, who live in Nevada City and are members of Grass Valley’s Emmanuel Episcopal church, have volunteered to place a wreath on Ned’s monument on Sunday December 15.  Members of SCRFI, the non-profit corporation restoring the Smartsville former Catholic Church are organizing a ceremony on that day with some brief remarks, a couple of Christmas carols, and a lunch featuring home-made tamales. 


Festivities will start at 12:00 noon with lunch to follow.  The adjacent church under restoration will be open to visitors.  Donations are requested to cover the cost of lunch.


Sally and Charle, by the way, are descendants of Thomas Mooney, the man who owned the Empire Ranch in the early days of Smartsville and the namesake of Mooney Flat, the small community in Nevada County just east of Smartsvillle.  History buffs may find it interesting to talk to these two sisters who have many family memories and mementos of pioneer Thomas Mooney.


For more information visit the website of Wreaths Across America and our SCRFI site: and  or call Janet Burton at (530) 701-5090 or Kathy Smith at (916) 838-2757. 



by Lou Binninger


Socialism is not only evil, but deadly. It breaks the financial back of businesses and disrupts the distribution system of goods and services while killing people perceived to be in the way of the utopian mirage. Robert Heinlein said, “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”


            Rather than becoming socialist due to the control of an invading country, the US has been undermined from within, by the Left’s takeover of the schools, media, entertainment, unions and the Deep State’s egregious regulations to control the population.


            Our liberties and freedoms are being removed by a plethora of taxes and regulations. Retired Senator and libertarian Ron Paul wrote, “One thing is clear: The Founding Fathers never intended a nation where citizens would pay nearly half of everything they earn to the government.”


            America has become the “Government of No.” “You can’t do that” has become the Deep State’s mantra while it grows like a cancer to devour finance and freedom. You can’t have a straw, smoke, walk or ride in the wilderness, harvest timber, mine, use water, have or carry a gun without permission, build what you want, operate a business your way, enter an occupation without permission, say and believe what you want. There are a million No’s.


Frédéric Bastiat wrote that “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”


California is socialism central of America. Steps are taken daily to undo the miracle of freedom that the founders established making this nation a Beacon of Light and Hope to the oppressed of the world. Now the Left is pitching a welfare state in exchange for political power.


Ground Zero of the fight for freedom left the US decades ago and currently is in Hong Kong and mainland China’s Guangdong Province. Mainland China is the most intense Communist country in the world and is exporting that oppression to Hong Kong, once one of the freest places on earth. In terms of free enterprise and minimal regulations Hong Kong has often been rated number one in the world.


 However, on the Mainland, everything is controlled and monitored  -- where citizens can travel, what building they enter, if they can attend a government permitted church, can they have a child, where they can work, what is said on social media, essentially everything is being governed by a “social credit score.”


The government has an electronic dossier on each citizen granting or denying how they can live and move about. Facial recognition technology is used to watch people wherever they go.


People at an information headquarters permit or deny every citizen’s wish. The dossier / social credit report describes their life, buying habits, likes and dislikes, who their friends and enemies are including their pro or anti-government beliefs, everything. They are marked and controlled by the social credit score.


Hong Kong Chinese that have tasted true freedom under British rule are willing to sacrifice their living and their lives for what the American Founding Fathers created here. Meanwhile the US Left including most college students want the life China offers.


Some patriots have suggested tongue-in-cheek that President Trump make a deal, granting freedom and America to the Chinese protesters and encourage America-haters here to relocate to obtain what they desire, Chinese communism.


It is ironic that Hong Kong freedom fighters, some of the brightest, law abiding and hard-working people in the world, are waving American flags, singing the US National Anthem, carrying Trump posters and singing Christian songs as symbols and themes of their quest.


The Hong Kong ordeal could rival the Berlin Wall removal, Tiananmen Square massacre and the fall of the Iron Curtain.  Thousands of unarmed students were murdered at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square but tens of thousands could be killed quickly in Hong Kong.


Hong Kong protesters hate communism and everything America’s left hopes for. This is an historic confrontation unfolding. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”


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

by Lou Binninger


Liberals have controlled California policies for 50 years. They have an anti-freedom, anti-American agenda. They are line by line implementing a socialist minimalist lifestyle in the state. We can’t use the water, roads and the land. And that’s just the beginning.


All the while, politicians are repeatedly deceiving voters with numerous ballot measures touting more water resources and road improvements. They want neither. They are liars, deceivers, and in another era deserving of a Stalinist purging.


Nearly thirty years ago voters were warned that the transportation infrastructure was crumbling and a new fuel tax was immediately needed because the problem was so acute. A slick political campaign led to voters in 1990 approving Proposition 111, a nine-cents-a-gallon tax increase combined with a 55 percent increase in truck weight fees.


The campaign highlighted many projects to be completed and never even mentioned taxes. After passage the monies were diverted.


In 2017, Senate Bill 1 was passed by the legislature, another massive tax increase – 12 cents per gallon on gasoline, 20 cents per gallon on diesel fuel, and a huge spike in DMV fees. People became angry, attempted a repeal of the tax and recalled freshman Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton). So, skittish politicians insisted they were telling the truth, for real this time.


During the Proposition 6 Repeal of the SB 1 taxes politicians and even local public works leaders begged, pled and threatened that no road work would be done if the repeal was successful. And that would lead to people dying on dangerous roads. The claims were bogus. It was another scam. These people are no different than a pusher slinging bad dope. Did they keep their promise? No.


In September 2019, Governor Gavin “Creepy” Newsom signed an executive order redirecting SB 1 gas funds to railway systems and other green projects rather than upgrading roadways. The need given was to stop ‘climate change.’ These people are suffering a mental deficiency.


Widening Hwy 99 was cancelled. Assembly member Jim Patterson, representing the region affected by congested and dangerous Hwy 99 called it a “theft of funds meant to improve our roadways” and a “glimpse into the future.”


What is wrong with Californians that are repeatedly scorned and suckered by leaders? The majority don’t even vote. Most of those that do are ignorant. Or, maybe they suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.


Voters have been duly warned by conservative pundits and even conservative legislators to not vote for new bond or tax measures. However, they pass them in spite of the facts.


The facts are that the people are lied to by politicians and then suffer corruption, incompetence and misuse of public funds. However, voters keep sending the same officials back to the capitol to represent them.


The result is that Californians have the worst roads in the nation, pay the highest transportation taxes, and have the most expensive fuel. Newsom has set a date to force people with fossil fuel cars off the roadways.


At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when Benjamin Franklin left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation a lady asked him, “Well Doctor,  what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin responded, “A republic if you can keep it.”


John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”


It appears that we have both an ignorant and a ‘whatever’ citizenry. And, neither are they a moral, religious people. Our legislature is seasoned with perverts, liars and thieves.


Today, the people could change everything or change nothing at all. The future is in their hands.


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

 Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a mandatory one-year moratorium on insurance companies non-renewing policyholders.  The Commissioner’s action is the result of Senate Bill 824—authored in 2018 by Commissioner Lara while serving as a State Senator—in order to give temporary relief from non-renewals to residents living near a declared wildfire disaster.  This is the first time the Department of Insurance has invoked the new law, which took effect in January.  


In June, the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC)  Board of Directors approved a resolution creating a Homeowners Insurance Ad Hoc Committee (Committee).  RCRC member counties have been disproportionally impacted by recent homeowners’ insurance cancellations and non-renewals following years of devastating wildfires in California.  The Committee is tasked with considering potential solutions for the increase in homeowners’ insurance cancellations and non-renewals in high fire risk areas.  In particular, how county governments can develop programs and measures to encourage greater community-wide access and affordability to homeowners insurance. 


The potential solutions include, but are not limited to, introducing additional insurers into rural areas, working with the insurance industry on an insurance risk-reduction model, examining insurance industry risk modeling, re-creating/revising California’s Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plan (FAIR Plan), and working directly with policy advocates, the California Legislature, and the Department of Insurance to explore other options.


Local members of the Committee include the following County Supervisors:


 Randy Fletcher (Yuba)


 Dan Miller (Nevada)


The Committee is tasked with issuing a report of findings no later than the August 2020 Board of Directors meeting.

By Kathleen Smith


Smartsville, Ca.



Part of the mission of the Smartsville Church Restoration Fund, in addition to restoring the former church building, is to make it useful as a museum and visitors center. On September 1st, an unexpected original portrait of Thomas Mooney (1823 - 1888), appeared on the doorstep of the church. Fortunately, Janet Burton, SCRFI secretary, just happened to be there.


Two sisters, Sally Knutson and Charle Lennon, who had been caring for this rare artifact for many years delivered it to SCRFI. It was one of the heirlooms their mother had saved as keepsakes from the Mooney home at Empire Ranch, near Smartsville.  Jessie Mooney created this painting of her father, Thomas.


Sally and Charle realized the painting’s historical significance and wanted it to have a proper home where it would be valued and exemplify their family’s past and Mooney’s part in the settling of the Smartsville area. Sally and Charle learned of the plans for the museum when they attended Pioneer Day several years ago and were pleased by the restoration and decided the former church/museum would make the perfect home.


Their great grandmother, Mrs. Ben Taylor of Grass Valley was the sister of Mary Jane Huling, Thomas Mooney’s wife. Thomas and Mary Jane had eight children, two boys and six girls; none of them married.  Jessie, one of the daughters, was a professional artist and was listed as such in the directories of the day. She also did civic work and taught art classes to local children. The painting needs some restoration work and SCRFI is looking for a qualified professional to make the repairs. 


Thomas Mooney played a formative role in Yuba County as the co-founder of the Empire Ranch an important early staging stop on the road from Marysville to the northern mines.  Like most successful people of his time he was an entrepreneur, speculator, diplomat, philanthropist, civic leader and family man. 


He was born in County Kildare, Ireland, January 7, 1821, arrived in California in 1849 and started in the teaming business with a partner, Michael Riley in Sacramento. In 1851 he and Riley purchased the property in Yuba County and named it Empire Ranch.  They established the stage stop to service other teamsters who needed a stopping place on the road, a meal and a place to sleep, and care for their teams.  They also greatly profited by providing entertainment for the miners, hearty food with plenty of champagne, claret and milk punch on Sundays.


The post office was established at Empire Ranch in 1855. In later days Mooney kept race horses and held races at the ranch and hosted dances and other social activities. He was one of the hearty folks who came to seek adventure and built a life in Yuba County.


To learn more about this amazing individual and other pioneers of Yuba County, mark your calendars and plan to come to Smartsville’s Pioneer Day on the last Saturday in April.


Photo caption; “Sally Knutson and Charle Lennon donate the portrait of Thomas Mooney to Smartsville Church.”

by Lou Binninger


The Left hates Thanksgiving – the idea that we should honor God for protection and provisions, and should offer thanks to Him. God, like Bernie’s 2016 campaign got more yes votes at the Democratic Convention but was deleted from the platform language anyway. God and Bernie-the-Jew have something in common – being disrespected and ripped-off.


Israel learned that if you give the finger to God long enough He will eventually get the point and abandon you to your perverse ways and stupidity. It looks like that has occurred for the ‘Dims.’


            The Left hates the massive amounts of groceries and fossil fuels consumed leaving behind an unnecessarily large carbon print at Thanksgiving. However, the Left’s priests, Bloomberg, Gore, Pelosi, Obama and Hollywood actors get an exemption to have an entire jet of their own. No wasted resources to whine about here, right?


And, the Left’s plan for turkey along with chicken, pork and beef is to ban them all due to the ‘massive natural resources utilized to raise them.’ The Left’s food-Nazi slogan is “No meat for you!!” If you stay in America, you must become vegan.


The Left also detests the truth told about the Pilgrims, the Puritans and the ‘Native Americans’ or whatever they or you want to call them. College student Columbus-haters and Mayflower-mockers instead of a real education have been inoculated with sound-bite propaganda by professors. They make a living not by training thinkers but by molesting young naïve minds.


            The Left loves to think of the ‘Indians’ as idyllic, one with nature and also pathetic, another victim demographic group to rescuing. That’s fake history. Native people like the rest of humans then and now could be both honorable and dastardly. They had been butchering one another and dying from epidemics long before the Separatists (later called Pilgrims) arrived.


If anyone ever doubts the disaster of letting government manage your life look at Native Americans and the socialist reservation system. Yep, giving away money will fix that generational poverty and laziness. How about those record levels of substance abuse and suicide? Could blaming heterosexuals for the high suicide rates of homo and transsexuals be the same as saying European immigrants caused the high substance abuse and suicide rates of native folks?


The Millennials (18-34) may be the first generation to be stupider than their parents and less fun to be around. They are dumbed down, have trouble talking and then to be ‘sissies’. They have trouble finding themselves on the earth without Googling it and have the disposition of a Chihuahua. Turkey Day is difficult for millennials. They just need a ‘safe space’ until they come to pass.


Teachers have been ‘punking’ students by telling them Thanksgiving is about fall colors and turkey. Since they cannot acknowledge God, the Christian faith or the nation’s 1600’s newcomers (Pilgrims and Puritans) and their early friendship with the indigenous people, instructors come up with fake curriculum.


It’s understandable, for most people, if their job and family stability depends on it they will go along with a lot of nonsense they know is a lie. That’s why repressing free-speech and creating thought police is so easy.

Lefty intellectuals like to scream about early arrivers bringing infections with them that then became an epidemic among America’s indigenous tribes. So what’s new? All earth dwellers were riddled with diseases and lousy medical care. That was the cost of admission in those days.


Lefties have no problem today with allowing border crashers into the US carrying TB and all sorts of other communicable diseases. No howling now about the spike in sexually transmitted infections, TB and childhood ailments infecting America.


Professors and students need a refresher on ethnocentric thinking. The term is used in social science and anthropology for the act of judging another culture based on thinking the values and standards of one's own culture are superior – especially with regards to language, behavior, customs, and religion. Why not accept our history for what it is, not try to hide it, remove it or discredit it? For the vegan left, just eat the watermelon and spit out the seeds.


The Left overlooks its hypocrisy and weirdness while being quite harsh with previous generations of Americans. The Left is in the moral toilet with its ethnocentric perspective and fake history. “You hypocrite! First, remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye.” (Matt 7:5)

The truth can only set you free if you know what it is. Being stupid with good motives could get a person killed or at least really lost.


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

by Lou Binninger


            Students are a lot like addicts. They don’t do their research. When addicts are asked if they read the label or Googled what was in that stuff they swallowed, shot, or snorted they give a weird look. They bet their lives on, “Yeh, this is good stuff man.” And into the future they go.


            The same is so with students. They cannot even repeat with confidence what they thought the teacher said and then skipped their own research. They never consider that the teacher could be wrong and the curriculum a crock.


God commended the men of the Tribe of Issachar by saying, “All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.” No one is handing out bonuses for being clueless or remaining a fool.

An oft repeated myth about the Pilgrims is that they headed west seeking religious freedom. They had already relocated to Holland a decade earlier which was known for its freedom.


The Pilgrims saw the New World as an opportunity, more like the 700,000 that left Fecefornia or Calizuela last year. They wanted a place where their children could be raised with their culture, not the government’s brainwashing.

The Separatists (‘Separatists’ from the Church of England, they weren’t labeled Pilgrims till 200 yrs. later) set sail on the Mayflower for about $1000 each (today’s dollar) on September 6, 1620. But after a rough 66-day ocean crossing with one boat (Speedwell) turning back, they landed some 200 miles north of their target of Virginia in what became known as Massachusetts. On November 11, 1620, they finally dropped anchor and sent a few to shore.


The crew set-out in a small craft in rugged frigid surf. Participants credit a miracle from God for a safe landing as a large wave rather than capsizing, deposited them on the shore. It was winter and raw terrain.

They settled on an area they called New Plymouth. It had a long sloping hill that made it easy to defend. It was the site of the former Wampanoag village of Patuxet people. Its inhabitants had died of disease three years before. The village even had a stash of dried corn remaining.


The newcomers searched for the inhabitants or someone to pay for the food they discovered. They considered this divine providence. Then another miracle --after half the Separatists had died before spring, a local appeared that spoke English, had lived in England, once resided exactly where they landed and was a follower of Jesus.


In 1608, this young man named Tisquantum, or Squanto, had been abducted with others by an English merchant ship in “America” to trade with the locals. Then, Squanto was purchased by Catholic Friars in Spain who then released him. Making his way to England to work his way home, Squanto learned of Jesus and began speaking English.


A decade later he finally headed home serving on a ship as an interpreter only to find his Patuxet people destroyed by illness. Had Squanto not been taken as a slave a decade earlier he likely would have perished as well.


Squanto, now a man without a family who knew everything about surviving in Patuxet was adopted by the ‘Pilgrims.’ The settlers, beaten by the weather and disease were considering a return to Holland when Squanto surfaced.

Squanto assisted the newcomers to success and sustainability as well as negotiating 50-years of peace with the nearby people groups. Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford declared in his journal that Squanto “became a special instrument sent of God” who didn’t leave them “till he died” in November 1622.


The Separatists were underwritten by European merchants whom they had to repay. The Mayflower Compact spelled out that they would live communally, have all in common to pay back the investors. Their good intention as a socialist community was a disaster until Governor Bradford set people free to pursue their own interests and keep their increase.


The Plymouth Colony was yet another example of the failure of a state-managed society. The miracle was that Bradford was bright enough to see the solution that led to survival, repaying the investors and becoming the most powerful industrial nation in the world within 100 years.


The Lefty vegans hate this part. The colonists’ first Thanksgiving was a three-day feast and shooting competition among colonists and local tribal people. They offered thanks for how God sustained them through a horrific voyage, the deadly winter and joined them to Squanto and other tribal friends.


Yes, they ate wildlife and enjoyed firearms. However, the real story is just no longer fitting for a secular, socialist, anti-God school system. So children ‘celebrate’ Turkey Day propaganda along with “We came from apes and the world’s ending in 12-years.”


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

OConnor K

Yuba County’s first female judge – Kathleen O’Connor is the Grand Marshal of  the 69thannual Marysville Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 7th.  Judge O’Connor ran a successful campaign in early 2002, but was appointed by then-Governor Gray Davis to take the bench early, taking the oath of office in May, 2002.


Raised in Wheatland, Judge O’Connor has served in Yuba County Superior Court for seventeen years.  A role model, Judge O’Connor has inspired women and girls in our region to persevere and to never give up on their dreams.


Earlier this year, Judge O’Connor announced that she will not seek a 4thterm and will complete her current judicial term January 2021.  You will be missed, but the whole county wishes you well in your new





Nevada City, Ca.


nevada city christThe Kentucky Flat 4-H is making the Christmas Swags for Nevada City’s gaslights this year.   In keeping with the Victorian theme, Nevada City uses natural greenery for their holiday decorations just as was done in that era.

For over 30 years, Rodger Rollings, created the Swags for the town and this year he retired.   The Kentucky Flat 4-H stepped up to the task and is making the traditional Christmas Swags.   It’s a fundraiser for the 4’H and the Chamber is happy to have a local youth group involved.


“Nevada City is known for preserving the past and the Christmas Decorations in town reflect what would have been used so many years ago.” said Cathy Whittlesey, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce.


“Our Victorian Christmas events draw thousands of visitors every year.   The historic town provides the ambiance of an old fashioned Christmas and people are nostalgic during the holidays. It’s an outstanding celebration for the town.”