by Lou Binninger

When it comes to education Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was a blessing according to New Orleans school officials and students. The storm wiped out one of the worst school systems in the nation.

As the community evacuated and stayed away teachers received pinks slips. As people eventually trickled back to rebuild, the majority of the schooling was rebooted using charter schools. Those schools were given much independence on hiring, curriculum and school management but held strictly accountable for outcomes. Children are thriving today as never before.

Many students are sad for the losses of property and people but they consider the natural disaster a key to their educational accomplishments. It sounds like a Twilight Zone episode until you try to get government to change its stuck-in-the-mud wasteful habits.

A local CalTrans employee recently explained how the state routinely overspends on items it needs. The system is not geared to get the best product for the best price. There is absolutely no incentive to do so.

The state auditor found there were 3,500 excess CalTrans engineers and planners, very well-paid occupations. Rather than laying them off, hundreds more are to be hired with the new Prop 54 fuel taxes. As these state employees saunter around Marysville during their breaks making more than $100,000 annually it can weigh on your nerves and bank account.

The inertia of waste and inefficiency is nearly impossible to interrupt without a serious intervention like a natural or financial disaster.

The recent plotting to launch another 1% increase to the sales tax in Yuba County should get people pondering what we really need government for. What do we want it to do? Or, what and who can we get along without?

During the hot weather the health department reminds us to wear sunscreen, a hat and to drink water. Or, they provide free condoms and installation tips. Can you remember when we made these tough decisions on our own? Maybe each morning the county can also remind us to “Be Careful,” or “Wear a coat today,” kind of like mom used to do.

The county tells you smoking will make you sick and sometimes offers a cessation class. How many times from how many sources do we need to hear that something will kill us? How about the car seats and helmets for children? For all this extra help and all these folks watching out for us we spend millions of dollars a year. Does government need to do it?

Would water, hats, sunscreen and condoms be forgotten without government? Could the medical community provide reminders? Could the local hospital provide these classes and service clubs offer kids services? The hospital already hosts many classes about healthy living and coping with various ailments. Maybe retailers of protective items for youth could add training.

Radio stations sometimes remind us to drive carefully, don’t drink and drive, but drink water. Radio stations do this all for free, a public service.

Government says what it does is public service but wants a lot of your money for it. How about all those county Health and Human Service workers earning $150,000, $175,000, $200,000 to oversee giving away our tax dollars to people that aren’t working. How complicated is this work to earn the equivalent of a doctor’s salary? Plus the taxpayer still must pay the county pensions.

With all the various contractors here, why couldn’t we have them on contract for road and culvert repairs, sign replacements and so on? They are more efficient, own equipment, and handle their retirement saving taxpayers buying all kinds of assets that just sit around.

Is it cheaper to have a massive fleet of county vehicles or better to negotiate a deal with Uber drivers to chauffeur county workers around? Before you laugh, someone should add up the vehicle price, insurance, fuel and maintenance. A costly consultant could surely do an analysis.

Finally, there sure seems to be a lot of administrators, directors, chiefs and sheriffs for a poor rural community all getting rich compared to the lowly taxpayer. It’s something to think about but probably won’t change short of a disaster.

by Lou Binninger

Yuba and Sutter Counties are blessed with scenic rivers, lakes, and nature areas. Many sites are the way God created them and others have been developed or improved upon by humans. However, some activity left an ugly footprint.

God created the world. It was then presented to mankind to be good stewards to maintain and care for it.

The Gold Rush beginning in 1848 enriched Yuba County but hydraulic mining filled the waterways with debris and polluted the Yuba River. Lawsuits led to a stoppage of this approach. Dredgers then removed millions more dollars in gold leaving cobblestone piles and ponds. The filled-in Yuba and Feather Rivers led to routine flooding of valley residents.

Today, thousands of lowland dwellers are vexed with absurd environmental rules that prefer destroying homes, farms and businesses rather than mindfully dredging our waterways, managing the water and using dams to conserve our most precious resource.

Layer after layer of government endangers communities and limits the maintenance of our waterways. Dead trees, masses of concrete and wire from past development, shopping carts, tires and more mar our rivers.

It took years to get the motivation and the permits to muck out the boat ramp area in Riverfront Park. In fact, this park was once an embarrassment resulting from no management, trash dumpers, and perverts looking for hook-ups. The acres of waste were an eyesore.

It took the ingenuity and vision of pediatrician / soccer icon Len Marks to plan and develop the current soccer complex enjoyed by thousands of locals and visitors annually. This venue complemented a once happening amphitheater, baseball fields, BMX bicycle course and motocross tracks. Some of these assets have now been abandoned or have that look.

Concert uses of the park have been prohibited or discouraged with a myriad of government obstacles. Everything rises and falls depending on leadership. Thus, behold the park in its present condition.

Marysville’s Ellis Lake was once the city swamp. In 1924, the Women's Improvement Club commissioned John McClaren, designer of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, to turn the swamp into a lake, something people could enjoy. The project was completed in 1939.

Unfortunately, nearly 80 years later few improvements have been made. Good leadership and public works monies transformed the swamp, but for decades it has become a neglected stagnant pond.

Yuba County is home to many beautiful lakes used for water management, flood control, power production and recreation. They attract thousands of visitors each year. Some campgrounds along the Yuba River have been developed as well.

Yuba County Supervisor Andy Vasquez, Marysville Councilman Dale Whitmore and Yuba City Councilman Stan Cleveland have advocated responsibly dredging the river, improving access to waterways and making them more hospitable to residents and visitors.

These water resources are gifts to the community. However, government has often lacked the vision and will to develop and maintain them. Yuba City has taken the lead by transforming the riverfront north of the 10th Street Bridge. Now, it is a destination for families to enjoy at no cost.

These river bottoms near Yuba City had for decades been a neglected mess and often were set ablaze by the homeless costing thousands of dollars to extinguish and polluting the air.

Councilman Whitmore has been talking and talking about not just removing tons of garbage and squatters from illegal riverside camps but instead mimic what Yuba City has modeled to encourage the use and exploration of the river. People will venture where there is access, maintenance and safety.

Some politicians are actually afraid to venture into the river bottom areas alone. That is a bad sign when you are elected and then afraid of the turf you rule over.

It’s time for politicians and bureaucrats to look again at the resources entrusted to us to open them up to this community and attract visitors. Can youngsters and ladies feel safe to jog, hike and explore near our water ways? If not, then why not?

by Lou Binninger

The New Year is already provocative and entertaining. Al Gore proclaimed the record pet-freezing east coast temperatures to be a confirmation of Global Warming. He puts his mouth where his money is.

Frigid equals Global Warming. Sweltering equals Global Warming. La Nina, yep Global Warming. Drought, Global Warming. Making millions off it all is ‘inconvenient’ Al Gore.

Meanwhile the energy alternatives to fossil fuels are tanking. Environmentalists once in love with ethanol now want a divorce. It has been a scam on the taxpayers from the beginning with every gallon subsidized with tax dollars to make it ‘affordable.’ Ethanol is more harmful to the environment and our pocketbook than gas and diesel. And the diversion of corn and land for ethanol production raises the price of food to the consumer. However, bad government policies rarely end.

Remember Barack Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu predicted the end of fossil fuel supplies. Yes, the media proclaimed them a couple of the brightest guys in the country and now Trump is stupid.

How about Obama saying America’s manufacturing sector was shrinking and would never rebound. Then he mocked candidate Trump as a liar for suggesting it could thrive again. Obama’s 2016 saw a loss of 16,000 manufacturing jobs while Trump’s 2017 saw a 196,000 gain.

Construction industry leaders are actually fretting over a shortage of competent workers. Black Americans have the lowest unemployment rate since labor records revealed ethnic differences beginning 45 years ago in 1972. The December Black jobless rate was 6.8%. Amazing.

No one has mentioned Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or NAACP leaders making any celebratory comments since ‘their people’ are benefitting from ‘racist’ Donald Trump’s job enriching policies. With their profitable racial pandering curbed maybe they can be barkers for Viagra.

The Hispanic unemployment rate remains at a near record low of just 4.9 percent, up just a bit from the record low of 4.7 percent in November of last year. White unemployment is at 3.7 percent, while only 2.5 percent of Asians are unemployed.

If Blacks were allowed school choice they could compete with whites and Hispanic workers. Many liberal professors are still convinced Blacks are intellectually inferior due to being less evolved. However, that lie has its roots with Charles Darwin and then the eugenics movement that seeks to exterminate so-called ‘feeble-minded’ minorities.

The Asians are the most employed with the highest academic scores. It isn’t their DNA. They just work harder. Third World Communist Vietnam, though extremely poor, is even outperforming US students. Asians are in school longer and study harder. Here teachers unions want more money not more work. The results show.

Anyone care about the stock market? Every baby boomer with retirement investments should be thrilled as the market breaks one record after another. Last week, a talk show financial analyst predicted the market would surpass 28,500 in 2018. Who would have imagined as media pundits predicted a market crash should Trump win.

It seems that liberals would even be furious if the Trump administration eradicates spiking gonorrhea and cancer. Tax reform was greeted with left thinking disdain. Giving millions of workers $1,000 – 2,000 bonuses was mocked as if they received coupons for Happy Meals.

As America punished corporations for decades with nearly the highest corporate tax rate in the world major businesses have been moving off shore along with their cash. With the recent tax reform reducing the corporate rate from 35% to 21% corporations distributed bonuses, raised starting pay scales and brought money back to America by the trillions.

Obama and Hillary-loving Apple alone may repatriate $200 billion to the US. Apple will pay a tax on the transfer and the funds will be held by US financial institutions. Instead of leaving the US due to Trump’s election they are sticking around and bringing their cash with them.

Government-loving liberals will cringe at federal employment numbers dropping by 16,000 and food stamps recipients shrinking by 2 million in 2017. Another fascinating fact is that law enforcement deaths were at a 50-year low last year. Did a cop and military-loving Trump make that difference? Obama’s mockery of both institutions undermined their authority and made them vulnerable to anarchists and terrorists.

The one disappointment is that the estimated 25% of federal employees and many celebrities threatening to flee a Trump Presidency have not left. However, there is still time left.

by Lou Binninger

Yuba-Sutter Trump-lovers want a local version of ‘draining the swamp.’ They see a bloated government bureaucracy devouring tax dollars, reducing services and increasing pay, pension and health benefits. Poor Yuba County has one employee for every 74 residents.

Numerous agencies are troubled by controversy, expensive litigation and fantastic legal settlements. People wonder why employees can’t just do their jobs, work hard and behave themselves.

Meanwhile, customary services are reduced and some departments lock their doors during business hours to “benefit the public!” People pay enough taxes for perfect roads but instead Third World cracks and pot holes must be dodged with the skill of a Formula One driver.

The cost of city, county, state and federal workers and regulations is crushing the Golden Goose of business that pays the bills. Yet, rather than shrinking government, politicians and bureaucrats want to take more revenue from the citizens and make more rules to maintain the bureaucracy. Hillary Clinton calls them “Deplorables” and to Governor Jerry Brown they’re “Free-Loaders.”

In Yuba County, the “Deplorables’” Median Household Income is $48,739 (This includes the income of the householder and all other individuals 15 years old and over living there) and 16.6% of them live in poverty. Median pay and benefits for year around fulltime employees of Yuba County government in 2016 was $83,108.

“Deplorables” and “Free-Loaders” are tired of the government hustle. Year after year they pay more for less. It is absurd. An occasional quip from government workers is that they could earn much more in the private sector. It’s time to take advantage of those wonderful opportunities.

Rather than cut costs Yuba County now wants to add another 1% to the sale tax, copying Marysville. Marysville’s bait and switch rhetoric scamming voters is already being adopted by Yuba County leaders. Government monies are fungible in that money raised for one purpose can easily be used for another objective and disguised.

Marysville councilmembers promised that they could be trusted to use the extra tax revenue for police and fire. Don’t laugh.

Sales tax increases have little negative impact on the county’s top income earners. The poor are the ones punished by sales taxes since transportation costs represent a much larger percentage of their household budgets. Many county employees don’t even pay their own auto expenses. Supervisors even get a per diem allotment covering auto costs.

Yuba County government has been expanding, adding code enforcement people, workers assigned to the homeless and medical staff. When Doctor Joe Cassady was hired in 1992 he served as County Health Officer, oversaw medical care in the jail for 400 inmates and for 45-55 youth at juvenile hall.

Since Cassady retired, there is a new Health Officer, a different doctor for the jail and Cassady has been rehired to serve at juvenile hall. Cassady did what now are three jobs for one salary, received a state commendation for his work and the supervisors spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to fire him. Hold that thought.

Just as Marysville Councilmembers made decision after decision that buried the city in millions of dollars of debt so has the county. Supervisors committed county funds elsewhere that should have gone to the law enforcement budget. In turn, millions of federal immigration detainee dollars were used to finance the sheriff’s department..

Now, the general fund is overcommitted, can’t fulfill its mandate to protect and somehow it is the public’s fault. The county says the “Deplorables” need to pay more taxes. It’s no different than a household budget. Overspending and borrowing spell disaster.

County officials have squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs bungling marijuana ordinances and suing property owners. They also wasted money contesting the opposition to the Magnolia Ranch development in court. Poor decision-making comes easy around here.

Supervisors earning $80,000 and department heads making $200,000 and more want to convince poor people to pay more taxes to support those earning 2 and 3 times as much.

Candidate Trump’s promise to shrink government and regulations was declared nonsense by politicians and bureaucrats of all parties. What a difference a year makes. However, California politicians prefer the fragrance of the socialist swamp they’ve created.

by Lou Binninger

The Obama Administration and the media were experts at shoveling from the barnyard. Liberals believed whatever they were told and conservatives were duped with misinformation. The immigration and ‘Dreamer’ fraud are perfect examples of Obama scams.

‘Dreamers,’ a euphemism for illegal aliens offered special benefits under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), have been wrongly glamorized and the program lied about by Obamaites and the media. ‘Dreamers’ are offspring brought here by their lawbreaking parents.

Obama devised the DACA hustle but Congress is responsible to determine the fate of this group of aliens. Hopefully, whatever legislators do, it will be based on fact and not myth.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan agreed with Congress to pass the Immigration Reform and Control Act granting citizenship to 2.7 million illegals. The idea was that government would then shore-up a porous border. It never happened.

By 1995, 5.7 million more illegals were residing in the U.S. Many of them crossed the border to join their newly legal friends and family. Others believed that since the U.S. provided amnesty once, it would do so again. What is to prevent this scenario from reoccurring today?

Americans now think DACA applies primarily to college-educated immigrants who were toddlers when smuggled illegally into the US. The tale continues that these ‘young adults’ are so Americanized that they don’t even speak their country of origin’s language or understand its culture.

However, the truth is that many DACA beneficiaries came here as teenagers. They were eligible for the program as long as they entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday. By that time, they certainly spoke the language of their country and were saturated in that culture. Remember the administration said returning these adults to their homeland would be cultural torment. And, why should Dreamers suffer for their parents’ misdeeds?

However, no American child birthed by a flaky mom, crack addict, hooker, trailer-park babe or had a sperm donor in prison gets a free pass to the good life. But, somehow the ‘Dreamers’ win the immigration lottery because their parents were criminals?

The public was misinformed that the Dreamers spoke English. DACA had no requirement of English fluency. In fact, the application has a space to list the translator used to complete the form.

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that “perhaps 24 percent of the DACA-eligible population fall into the functionally illiterate category and another 46 percent have only ‘basic’ English ability.”

‘Dreamers’ are poorly educated. Only 49 percent of DACA beneficiaries have a high school education (a qualifying factor for DACA), even though a majority of them are now adults. And while military service could also qualify an illegal alien for DACA, out of the current 690,000 DACA beneficiaries, only 900 are serving.

DACA people were to have no felony convictions nor pose a threat to national security. How would that be known unless they were vetted? The Obama administration only randomly checked applicants’ backgrounds.

That may explain why by August of this year more than 2,100 DACA beneficiaries lost their eligibility because of criminal convictions and gang affiliation. Under the Obama random vetting even if they believed the ‘Dreamers’ had committed numerous crimes disqualification only occurred if there was a conviction. Foreigners essentially had the rights of citizens.

A significant percentage of DACA beneficiaries have serious limitations in their education, work experience, and English fluency. Since applicants were eligible to apply up until their 31st birthday what are the chances of them not being a burden to the American taxpayers? What does make them better off here is an extensive entitlement system of free stuff.

Yuba College is paying the renewal fees of up to $495 and offering financial aid to DACA students. Employees have been informed that they are not responsible to cooperate with authorities regarding the immigration status of students.

Citizens support DACA beneficiaries with their income taxes. In addition, local people paying their property taxes may notice several school bond assessments for Yuba College each year. While local students of taxpaying parents still pay fees to attend school DACA students get a free ride.

Citizens have been schmoozed by Obama and liberal politicians about DACA to recruit more liberal voters and the taxpayers are picking-up the tab.

by Lou Binninger

In 2009, as Hollywood was to release the film ‘Milk’ glorifying the life of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, the California legislature voted to designate May 22 in memory of him. It was signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Government schools were instructed to remember Milk in the curriculum that day each year.

The problem for students and their parents is that Milk was a homosexual activist, a liar and more troubling, a pederast (a man who has sex with boys). Milk was open about his sexual attraction to teen boys.

Hollywood, known for make believe, left out Milk’s sex with boys then lied by portraying that Milk was murdered by former Supervisor Dan White because he was a homosexual. No evidence supports that motive. It’s pure fiction.

Of course, homosexual politicians were major advocates for honoring Milk and present an annual barrage of sexual legislation. Further, their new laws include molding the minds of children via government school curriculum. The objective has been to ultimately upset the traditional worldview of gender and sexuality to where ‘normal’ becomes whatever the person feels it is.

Now, California is the first state to mandate the use of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender) – inclusive textbooks in government elementary schools. Parents will not be offered an opt-out since it’s the law.

The new curriculum requires a “fair, accurate, inclusive, and respectful” treatment of homosexual, bisexual, transgender, and lesbian Americans despite the historical insignificance. State textbook publisher Mark Jarrett says, “We’re not trying to make anybody gay; we’re not saying there’s an agenda; we’re not saying that these people are better than other people; what we’re saying is this is another group of Americans and they face certain prejudices.”

Jarrett’s history textbooks speculate on the sexual preferences of well-known Americans like Jane Adams, Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and President James Buchanan. Jarrett contends, “I think we should say Buchannan never married. He had a very good friend who was living with him. He may have been gay,” Jarrett added. “On the other hand, at that time, being gay was seen as something evil and wrong.”

The textbook written by Jarrett, a Ph.D, was approved by California to be used in the 8th grade. Students will read that legendary stagecoach driver Charlie Parkhurst “was a woman who identified as a man.” They will be informed that George Washington’s chief of staff Baron Von Steuben “may have been gay” and that poet Walt Whitman “was drawn to young men... but denied his same sex preferences in public.”

Critics argue that many of these accounts are speculation, but the State rejected any publisher that didn’t mention the homosexual references. The state also rejected rebuttals against the author’s claims. In one textbook, the state forced the publisher to add ‘lesbian’ to describe NASA astronaut Sally Ride.

The state education commission has been editing and also outright rejecting some of the publishers’ offerings that do not include new sexual orientation language. For example, in first grade materials, instead of referring to Ellen DeGeneres as ‘a lesbian and humanitarian’ as requested by the commission, the publisher suggested this revision: “Ellen DeGeneres...works hard to help people. She and her wife want all citizens to be treated fairly and equally...”

In the original education framework based on the 2011 FAIR Education Act, second graders were to learn that some families have two moms or two dads, a concept that is presented as part of normal diversity among people. In grade four, students will learn about Harvey Milk.

Advocates say that the new content treats the LGBT community more fairly compared to other groups that students in California already learn about, the history of black Americans and farm laborers, women right-to-vote activists and Holocaust survivors.

Critics of the LGBT references include Greg Burt, of the California Family Council, who wrote, “We do not support the inclusion of language in textbooks to promote a version of sexual orientation and gender identity that doesn’t take into account the sincerely held moral and religious beliefs of millions of California parents.”

“Many parents within the state are teaching their children that gender is based on biology, not feelings, and that sexual behavior should not be guided by natural inclinations, but by the moral precepts found in the sacred writings of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faiths.”

However, legislators do not trust parents with their children’s moral worldview. Children are like businesses in that parents can name them but the state will regulate them.

California will have 6.5 million K-12 students in 2020. For those families not wanting to participate in this change more information is available at RescueYourChild.com. It may be illegal to opt out, but it’s still legal to leave altogether.

by Lou Binninger

It is not unusual for new government officials or those campaigning for office to tout their aim to have a transparent administration. However, it usually stops at the rhetoric. Much of what government does is hidden from the public or is presented deceptively to citizens.

News stories today tell of sexual mischief and assault claims along with pay-offs using tax dollars, all without public disclosure. Millions of dollars are distributed to victims while hiding the identity of legislator and bureaucrat perpetrators. Many wonder why these criminals wouldn’t be personally liable for damages.

During 8 years of the Obama Administration spokes people and the Obama media were forbidden to utter the words ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorism.’ Thousands of terrorists acts committed by Muslims were described as workplace violence or some other innocuous term. The compliant media concurred with the deception while people concluded both institutions were liars and impotent.

How about the euphemisms describing foreigners violating United States immigration laws to enter and stay in this country? Illegal aliens became ‘undocumented workers’ and then ‘Mexican (or other country) nationals.’

The Obama Administration then told authorities not to quibble about the ages of young illegals caught in this country. Since unaccompanied ‘children’ were treated more leniently than adults, young offenders lied about their ages. The Obama cult let them get away with it.

Two pregnant teens currently here illegally and in custody are fighting to force American taxpayers to pay for their abortions. However, one now turns out to be 19, not 17 as she professed. Apparently America has become the world’s Sanctuary Country for free abortions. An Obama-appointed judge is siding with the teens.

Another area of government and media deception concerns a population described as ‘homeless.’ Like ‘workplace violence’ or a ‘Mexican National’ here illegally, or children that aren’t really children, the homeless term betrays the real reasons that need addressed. They aren’t just homeless. Some even prefer the ‘home’ that is not a traditional dwelling.

The latest challenge for the government and its sycophant media is to hide the criminal and aberrant behavior of many in the ‘homeless’ population. The desired persona is that people find themselves ‘homeless’ due to a bad break. However, many of this population keep exposing the government’s faulty story line by getting arrested for murder, assault, rape, indecent exposure, theft, carjacking, parole violations, etc.

Newspapers once described in crime briefs the general address and city of those arrested or simply indicated ‘homeless.’ That is now changing to maintain the sham. Now many papers indicate just the city of the person thus misinforming local residents and hiding the potential danger of who is involved and their origin.

Why not eliminate all crime briefs or all names or all addresses? Incorrectly telling stories to support a nonsensical agenda eventually becomes absurd. News has turned into political theater.

A New Yorker on an Internet rant regarding the latest terror act in his city asked why the terrorist watch list isn’t published everywhere. He has a point. Are we protecting Islam or fighting terrorism? You don’t deserve to know who will kill you.

For years, Marysville has ignored the crime wave in the city. Residents and businesses have been on their own. There are no crimes if you redefine the offense or ignore it altogether. Businesses have been employing private security services to do what used to be normal policing tasks.

Interim Marysville Police Chief Chris Sachs announced last week there would be more patrols during the holiday season. Why? He says there are increased reports of thefts, panhandling, bicycles operated recklessly on sidewalks, packages stolen from doorways and on and on. Other issues not mentioned include transients sauntering and riding bicycles into traffic, trespassing and generally ignoring city ordinances.

California insanity is to make it unlawful to offer free bags to haul groceries but then allow ‘shoppers’ to take a free $150 shopping cart. This makes complete sense to liberals.

This spike in criminal behavior is not a holiday problem but the new normal in Marysville. Sachs launched a ‘Walking the Beat’ program to address concerns. Since November 25, during 6 deployments, 11 arrests were made and 12 citations issued.

In the 1990s former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his Police Chief William Bratton stopped a major crime wave by arresting petty offenders. Somehow city officials here with far fewer credentials have a better idea, ignoring those same lawbreakers.

Until bureaucrats describe the problem truthfully they are swinging at the wind and are complicit in the deeds of the miscreants they ignore.

by Lou Binninger

Whenever faced with a community-wide flood or fire loss affecting businesses and homes it’s not unusual to see government waive much of the paperwork and fees to rebuild. Government gets out of the way.

Why do they do this? The ‘red tape’ wastes massive amounts of time and money. However, when the crisis has passed the system returns. If making it easier for citizens to be productive was good in a crisis then why not all the time.

Some in government understand the damage done by the laborious process to ask permission of bureaucrats to do most anything. Contractors say that the main reason more new homes aren’t going up is egregious fees and regulations. If the government disappeared tomorrow there would be a building and business boom.

There is little government innovation because most in government are not innovative and there is no incentive to be so. That may be why they chose their path. Most may not have what it takes to make it in the private sector. Most are managers and not innovators, not entrepreneurs.

The words expressed by the new Marysville City Manager about stimulating economic activity have been heard before. The question is whether she is any different. The only jobs government creates are government jobs. And those jobs do not render a product that people want to buy. Rather the bureaucracy takes productive dollars out of the market place. An expanding government has a negative effect on the economy.

Unfortunately, most of the Marysville City Council are or have been government employees. None have owned and operated their own business.

The government that enables the economy to grow is one that becomes smaller, that gets out of the way. That’s why the Trump Administration killing thousands of regulations has saved taxpayers an estimated $8 billion in 12 months. When talking with Carrier Air Conditioning employees, candidate Trump suggested that it was his promised cut in regulations that had the greatest impact on executives to keep the factory in the US.

There are indications that President Trump will shrink the size of government as well. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other agency leaders seem to be doing just that. Many federal employees promised to quit if Trump were elected. Unfortunately they lied. Now they are just holdovers with a bad attitude.

Regulations should be cut for all businesses because they are bad for business. Often government gives breaks to select companies to attract them to town while making others comply. That is known as crony capitalism or picking losers and winners.

It’s unethical. It should be illegal and it makes business people bitter and cynical about those who rule over them. Our founding fathers despised this type of government.

Doing business in California is little different than Communist Vietnam. People in both places learn how to work around authorities and if need be pay them off. Oppressive rulers make criminals out of honest enterprising citizens. If government were not trying to manage the private sector then the private sector would not be trying to buy influence in government.

Both California and Vietnam let you have the business in your name, but control the details and want to share in the profits. Ordinances and regulations dictate everything. Enterprises are neither private nor free.

The few successful government leaders around the country have shrunk the size of government, outsourced every task they could and even merged services with similar agencies nearby. So far, locals have resisted seriously exploring that route. They have firmly buried their heads in the sand which really limits their options.

Since we are all in this together we wish government leaders well. Their actions affect us all. However, socialism hasn’t worked elsewhere and it is not working here.

by Lou Binninger

Ronald Reagan liked to say, “The taxpayer – that’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.” Americans once revolted over taxes but now pay them on every move they make. Many citizens are losing more than 50% of their income to the government.

When the federal income tax was introduced in 1913 a little more than 100 years ago, most Americans were taxed at a rate of only 1 percent. Then, Tax Freedom Day was on January 22. In 2017, it was April 23rd. Tax Freedom Day is the first day of the year in which the nation as a whole has theoretically earned enough income to pay its taxes.

Just over 75 years ago the instructions for Form 1040 were two pages long. In 2014, it took 189 pages.

In 2011, Wheatland’s Bartholomew brothers were arrested on the Erle Road overpass while holding a banner saying ‘Taxes Are Theft.’ They were correct, were arrested and lost their case in Yuba County court. That’s the wrong message when you aren’t in charge.

Politicians and bureaucrats get themselves into financial trouble then insist taxpayers are stingy. Below are 97 various taxes, fees, tolls and charges the public pays. Not every person pays every tax. Yet despite all of these funding streams, local, state and federal governments are all drowning in debt. Hold that thought.

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association says, “Local governments ... like to play budgetary shell games in which they place a sales tax measure on the ballot to fund a politically popular purpose, and if the tax passes, it would enable the local government to free up money from the general fund that can then be spent on the pet projects or programs of local politicians.”

This is exactly what the Marysville did and what Yuba County bureaucrats plan to do. In these cases the popular bait is police and fire. Circle which taxes you have paid below.

Air Transportation, Biodiesel Fuel, Building Permit, Business Registration, Capital Gains, Cigarette, Court Fines (indirect taxes), Disposal Fees, Dog License, Drivers’ License Fees, Employer Health Mandate, Employer Medicare, Employer Social Security, Environmental Fees, Estate, Excise - Health Insurance, Federal Corporate, Federal Income, Federal Unemployment, Fishing License, Flush Taxes, Food And Beverage License, Franchise Business, Garbage, Gasoline, Gift, Gun Ownership Permits, Hazardous Material Disposal Fees, Highway Access Fees, Hotel, Hunting License, Import Taxes, Individual Health Insurance Mandate, Inheritance, Insect Control Hazardous Materials Licenses, Inspection Fees, Insurance Premium Taxes, Interstate User Diesel Fuel, Inventory, IRA Early Withdrawal, IRS Interest Charges, IRS Penalties, Library Taxes, License Plate Fees, Liquor, Local Corporate Taxes, Local Income, Local School, Local Unemployment, Luxury, Marriage License, Medicare, Medicare Tax Surcharge Obamacare, Obamacare Individual Mandate Penalty, Obamacare Surtax On Investment Income, Parking Meters, Passport Fees, Professional Licenses / Fees, Property, Real Estate, Recreational Vehicle, Registration Fees - New Businesses, Toll Booth, Sales, Self-Employment, Sewer and Water, School, Septic Permit, Service Charge, Social Security, Special Assessments - Road Repairs, Sports Stadium, State Corporate, State Income, State Park Fees, State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA), Tanning Taxes, Telephone 911 Service, Telephone Federal Excise, Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee, Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge, Telephone State And Local, Telephone Universal Access, The Alternative Minimum, Tire Recycling Fees, Tire Taxes, Tolls, Traffic Fines, Use Taxes, Utility, Vehicle Registration, Waste Management, Water Rights Fees, Watercraft Registration and Licensing, Well Permit, Workers Compensation, Zoning Permit.

Whether Yuba County citizens like their government or not it is unaffordable.

by Lou Binninger

Americans, though knowing what is right, have a tendency to do wrong. Cain, after hearing from God himself, still murdered his brother Abel.

God providing just Ten Commandments to guide society sounded simple except the clientele was flawed. Up until the 1960’s humans were not angelic but Biblical right and wrong was generally embraced in America. The 60’s led to a discarding of all types of order including respect for marriage, sexual faithfulness, and decorum between genders.

Today, no institution is exempt from liars, cheats, molesters and adulterers. That said the California State Government is a moral train wreck. Corruption has been uncovered in numerous agencies (Parks, Board of Equalization, Public Utilities Commission, University of California, etc).

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra rather than honoring the law and fairness instead tried to deceive voters on the upcoming Gas Tax Repeal effort. Becerra was to provide a title and summary for the initiative.

The title Becerra crafted for the Gas-Tax Repeal reads: “Eliminates recently enacted road repair and transportation funding by repealing revenues dedicated for those purposes.” However, an impartial Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley found it problematic that the words “tax” and “fee” don’t appear in the title of the repeal. Frawley will rewrite the title and summary himself.

Have you heard of the Calderon family, Charles, Ron, Tom and Ian? A Calderon has been in the legislature since 1982. A federal grand jury in 2014 indicted Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montibello) on charges he took $88,000 in bribes from a hospital executive and an FBI agent posing as a movie studio executive. His brother, Assemblyman Tom Calderon (D-Montibello) also pled guilty to money laundering and mail fraud.

Then, there is former San Francisco Senator Leland Yee (D-SF). Yee admitted to accepting an $11,000 cash bribe in June 2013 from an undercover FBI agent to help sponsor statewide marijuana legislation. In addition, he laundered a $6,800 contribution to his Secretary of State campaign in 2014. Overall, investigators identified more than $100,000 in bribes directed at Yee.

A racketeering charge also alleged that Yee tried to arrange an illegal international arms deal through the Philippines in exchange for money. Yee, a former Child Psychologist, is an anti-gun advocate.

Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-LA), is accused of groping a woman in 2009 when he was a legislative staff member. He announced he will not seek re-election next year then suddenly resigned.

That announcement came just hours before the Los Angeles Times reported allegations involving Bocanegra and six more women. He is accused of grabbing breasts, butts, and running his hand up the dress.

Bocanegra shares a residence with Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) who is also accused by multiple female victims of sexual harassment. Some victims were his aides and claim they were fired after complaining. The dismissal letter was signed by Bocanegra and Mendoza’s roommate Senate Pro-Tem Kevin De Leon (D-LA).

De Leon recommended Mendoza take a leave of absence during the investigation though Mendoza refused. De Leon admitted living with both men but claims he knew nothing about their sexual exploits before hearing the formal accusations. De Leon is running against Diane Feinstein for a United States Senate seat and has relocated away from the accused.

Then, there is former Assembly Speaker and current Senator “Huggy Bear” Bob Hertzberg. Fresno surgeon and former Assemblywoman Linda Halderman (R-Fresno) has accused Hertzberg of inappropriately hugging her on multiple occasions in a way that made her uncomfortable, even after she asked him to stop and reported him.

Halderman said “Huggy Bear” pushed his groin into her as he pulled her to him. “That was it for me,” Halderman said. She then contacted Jon Waldie, the Assembly Chief Administrator at the time, and told him about Hertzberg’s antics. Nothing was done.

Jon Waldie was the subject of his own Capitol lawsuit when an “Employee maintained she was harassed for breast-feeding her baby at work.” The settlement for the Assembly employee was $540,000 in 2003.

In “Memo: 25 Years of California Legislature’s Sexual Harassment Settlements” by Tuple Legal, “the Legislature has paid out at least $1.9 million for sexual harassment complaints in the past 25 years. In 2017 dollars, the amount is $2.8 million.”

Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) have also been accused of sexual wrongdoing. Debabneh announced his resignation.

As they apologize while maintaining innocence, resignations are a not small matter. These creeps and crooks have tremendous power, massive egos, and the highest legislative pay in the nation. Sixty days after increasing gas taxes 12 cents/gallon ($5.2 billion annually) they raised their salaries to $107,238 annually plus $183 / day in tax-free per diem. How about those roads?

Dec112017

by Lou Binninger

Yuba County Administrative Officer Robert Bendorf and the Supervisors have crafted a county government to their liking. The problem is the citizens can’t afford it. County officials this week are debating not how to cut back but how they can lift more of your money. Their eyes are bigger than their bank account.

Americans are world-famous for living above their means. Most have only a month’s worth of savings for emergencies.

The difference between counties and families is that families run low on money, cut costs or go bankrupt. Counties just take more from taxpayers and they are good at it. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has a phrase for how jurisdictions make a tax increase palatable, ‘Bait and Switch.’ For example in 1996, Yuba County pitched a Transit Occupancy Tax to develop tourism. Once passed, the money was absorbed into the general fund.

Marysville’s recent fear campaign claimed that police and fire would not be able to properly respond to 911 calls if citizens didn’t increase sales taxes to 8.5%. Since the law prevented the council from campaigning for a tax increase or using tax dollars to do so they colluded with developer David Lanza to fund a propaganda effort to deceive voters. It worked. Lanza then was awarded a marijuana dispensary permit by the city.

Once the new tax flow began, the Marysville City Council gave raises to employees including the City Manager. Remember the money was to maintain proper police and fire services. Then the council added more than $640,000 in debt to lease 19 new police cars. Remember, the new tax flow was to pay for police needs not borrow more and spend the tax increase elsewhere.

The truth is that Marysville had financial problems because the council created $17 million in debt to invest in 5 acres of lakefront property on Ellis Lake. There was no problem with police and fire funding until they botched the city budget.

No one would support a new tax for a land purchase boondoggle. The better strategy was to scare the hell out of senior citizens and mothers with young children, then utilize the new tax flow to boost the general fund to cover more than $600,000 in annual property payments.

Yuba County officials say there is not enough money for Law Enforcement (LE) and Fire (F). That’s impossible. LE and F are the only constitutionally mandated expenses for government. County officials should redeploy funds from other uses and departments back to LE and F. The county is living way above its means. Take a look at recent history.

In the 1990’s, prior to former Sheriff Gary Tindel remodeling and expanding the jail to take in immigration detainees the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) budget was maintained by the general fund. However, once millions (currently $6 million annually) of federal dollars flowed to YCSO for housing immigration inmates, supervisors began diverting tax dollars once destined for YCSO.

There was so much money that county officials gave employees raises retroactive to the date of hire. The bonuses not only added more than $1000 a month in pay to some workers but it spiked pension payments for the rest of their lives.

Then as the housing boom blessed Yuba County with massive revenues etc., Supervisors voted to double their salaries and benefits to more than $80,000 each. Within 1-2 years of that decision the housing crash and recession occurred. Revenues dipped severely but it was much worse than it needed to be due to reckless payroll spending and unwise county budget decisions affecting YCSO.

Add to this mismanagement impossibly high pension and health benefits. They are unsustainable and much higher than what local citizens have for themselves. That is wrong.

Finally, there are too many administrators earning too much money for Yuba County folks. Here is a sampling of 2016 salaries for non-public safety employees. The County Administrator was paid $277,207; Dep County Administrator $169,853; Health Officer $261,373; Community Development Director (Dir) $239,989; Dir of Public Works $213,567; County Counsel $239,960; Health and Human Service (HHS) Dir $227,475; Dir Child Support Services $206,893; Dep Dir HHS $190,204; another Dep Dir HHS $185,110; HHS Program Manager $154,100; another HHS Program Manager $146,154; Dep Dir Child Support Services $145,678; Chief Information Officer $185,352. There are 1,013 county employees with 689 considered fulltime / year around in 2016 according to Transparent California.

The median household income in Yuba County is $48,739 which means a lot of little people funding a lot of big shots.

The county has money for consultants, homeless camps, $3,000 a month for 14 Forward lunches, and much more. Yuba County’s 73,000 residents are already the highest-taxed people in a nation of 323 million.

It’s time to govern differently not tax more.

by Lou Binninger

Yuba County Supervisors received a letter from the Colusa Indian Community Council – Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians. The Colusa Casino group is asking Supervisors why Butte County’s Enterprise Rancheria is allowed to ignore agreements made in 2002 in order to build a casino in South Yuba County.

The Wintun Tribe followed the law to establish a casino on their reservation near Colusa. They have been protesting the Butte County Tribe’s illegal reservation-shopping to locate a casino in Yuba County rather than in Butte. They’re asking why we all don’t play by the same rules.

The Cachil Dehe people have a point. Enterprise Rancheria agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) crafted by former Supervisors Mary Jane Griego and Don Schrader, but Enterprise has not complied with it. The need for compliance was triggered by the tribe breaking ground. The tribe made an initial payment to the county and the City of Marysville but then nothing else.

The tragedy is that Griego and Schrader’s MOU included no cost of living adjustment in the event the casino took years to build. The flawed MOU, now 17 years old, has cost Yuba County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

In the past, Supervisor Andy Vasquez and former Supervisor Roger Abe asked the board to revise the MOU to properly reimburse taxpayers in current dollars for costs expended. Their request was rejected by former Supervisors Griego, Nicoletti and Stocker.

Enterprise Rancheria has violated the MOU by not adopting and complying with building codes, fire and safety codes, water quality standards, and food safety and public health standards. The tribe has not obtained a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit or implemented storm water mitigation measures.

Building plans were to be presented to the State Reclamation Board for review. No safeguards have been developed to prevent air pollution. A Clean Water Act permit has not been issued. Finally, there is no plan to curb noise pollution during construction.

Though not mentioned in the Colusa Tribe’s letter, $565,000 is past due to the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department to provide services to the Tribe. That is in 2002 dollars. It would have been $786,783 in today’s dollars, but for Griego and Schrader’s miscue.

Basically, Enterprise Rancheria is acting like what they are, a sovereign nation. Their compliance with the MOU is voluntary. If they default, then the only alternative for Supervisors is to sue the Tribe. However, San Diego Supervisors found that if the county prevails in court it still cannot force a Tribe to pay money owed to the county. It’s like trying to force Venezuela to pay back a loan.

Casino opponents warned Supervisors about this predicament but were ignored. Opponents repeatedly voted against this project and off-reservation casinos in general. Supervisors Bill Simmons, Griego and Al Amaro were euphoric with the scent of a new casino. They hurried a 3-2 vote with Hal Stocker and Don Schrader opposing. This was just prior to incoming Supervisor Dan Logue replacing Amaro. They knew Logue would oppose the casino and stop the project.

The Colusa Tribe’s letter also reminds Supervisors that the legality of the Department of Interior’s decision to permit land on Forty Mile Road to be a tribal casino is the subject of litigation in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. And, Governor Brown’s agreement with the Interior’s decision is under review by the California Supreme Court.

If the Appeals Court rules against the Department of Interior or the Supreme Court finds against the Governor then the entire project could be stopped.

The Colusa Tribe’s understanding of Yuba County’s MOU is no surprise for local opponents of the casino. What is disappointing is that opponents’ fears have come to fruition – that the County is impotent to enforce the MOU against a trust-breaking Enterprise Rancheria.

County bureaucrats have not held Enterprise accountable. The taxpayers’ take is that government got them into this and government should get them out. Of course, the citizens will pick-up the tab for the mess.

by Lou Binninger

Longtime Sutter County Sheriff Deputy and current District Attorney (DA) Investigator David Williams plans to retire and run against his boss DA Amanda Hopper. Williams obtained a law degree while working as an investigator.

Others that may be interested in the job are Jennifer Dupre who opposed Hopper in the last election. Dupre lives in Yuba City and is a prosecutor for the Butte County DA. Defense attorney Chris Carlos who once worked in the Sutter Co DA’s office is also talking about running.

Meanwhile, Sutter County Chief Investigator Jason Parker remains on administrative leave. The county is doing an investigation to determine Parker’s sins, if any, against DA Hopper. Whether his dismissal is righteous or not, the feeling is that the taxpayers will again pick-up the tab when the government improperly fires him.

Anu Chopra, former attorney in the Sutter County District Attorney’s office who was fired for lying in court after receiving complaints from defense attorneys has a lawsuit against the county. It looks like her pay-off will be postponed until after the District Attorney election in 2018 to avoid negative publicity from the settlement.

Some in Sutter County’s $5 Million Dollar Club are expressing relief that they can return to their normal duties rather than being sidetracked on one homeless proposal after another. The $5 Million Dollar Club represents 30 Sutter County employees commissioned to solve homelessness. Their combined salaries come to about $5 million annually or nearly $3,000 per hour.

Though there is a new and more restrictive Sutter County camping ordinance to deal with squatters it is not being enforced. Yuba County Sheriff Captain Brandon Barnes, Chad Lizardo (retired Yuba City Police), Yuba City Police Sergeant Dennis Hauck and Sutter County Undersheriff Jeff Pierce are campaigning to inherit the problem since Sheriff Paul Parker is retiring.

If no one else comes forward, Wendell Anderson who oversees the detectives at Yuba County Sheriff’s Department will take over for retiring Sheriff Steven Durfor. Being Yuba County Sheriff has some unique pressures due to the terrain, extensive marijuana grows, the demographics and the jail being a deportation holding facility for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement.)

Panhandlers, thieves and thugs continue to run loose in both cities. A high school student was stabbed in the hand recently retrieving a bike lifted from his Marysville school campus by a vagrant. As travelers approach Marysville on the E Street bridge campers and garbage can be seen scattered along the Yuba River.

Maybe the Marysville City Council, Yuba County Supervisors and Yuba County Water Agency personnel should tour the campgrounds where folks were squatting. Chances are that camping spots are being resettled after taxpayers spent hundreds of thousands to clean them up.

As many wonder about the widening of the 5th Street Bridge between Marysville and Yuba City, thousands are frustrated with Marysville becoming nearly impassable every afternoon. Hwy 70 and Hwy 20 crossing in Marysville is a fiasco with traffic backing up for miles on the Hwy 70 freeway south of the city. It is like the Lincoln, CA traffic snarl before Hwy 65 bypass was built. A bypass around Marysville is long overdue.

It pays to be a politician. After decades of neglected streets in Olivehurst, when some money is finally allotted for paving, which street gets top priority? That would be 7th Street right in front of former Yuba County Supervisor Mary Jane Griego’s restaurant.

Olivehurst Fire Department has been using an interim chief for months since Wade Harrison’s departure. There is talk of the Marysville Fire Chief leaving as well. Is it too logical to combine Linda, Olivehurst and Marysville into one fire authority under one chief, Rich Webb and overseen by one board, Linda’s? Probably, it’s only money.

by Lou Binninger

A San Francisco “O.J. Simpson” jury determined that Kate Steinle was ultimately responsible for getting shot in the back and dying along the wharf. When you go to San Francisco you need to weigh the risks against the benefits in visiting the city by the bay. It may cost you your life.

Five-time deported and seven-time felon illegal alien Jose Garcia Zarate, also known as Juan Francisco López-Sánchez, was set free despite previously admitting to shooting and killing Steinle. He won the Kill’em and Go Free lottery.

Steinle isn’t the only victim of San Francisco’s criminal alien community, just the most high profile. Bay Area politicians and activists have a red carpet out for illegals and they are responding. Steinle’s killer said he was attracted to San Francisco because of its Sanctuary protections. The career criminal couldn’t have made a better choice.

Arrogant state legislators and SF politicians act like this is a foreign country when asked to cooperate with federal authorities who have a mandate to secure the borders. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and Homeland Security apprehend illegals and others here legally but involved with criminal activity.

Socialist governments are masters at controlling, taxing and managing every move citizens make. However, officials take no responsibility for the horrible outcomes. The policies of San Francisco’s politicians and bureaucrats killed Kate Steinle.

The government is responsible for patrolling our borders, public safety, the justice system, the district attorney’s office, basically every aspect that could have prevented Steinle’s death. This wasn’t a case of a culprit falling through administrative cracks.

Jose AKA Juan crossed the border five times, committed seven felonies, stole a gun, fired a gun and had gun residue on his hands. A woman died.

Steinle’s killing is not an outlier. There are thousands just like Juan AKA Jose that have criminal records traumatizing American families.

It is one thing to travel to Mexico to be mugged, carjacked, robbed, raped, taken hostage, shot or hit-up by police for a bribe. That is a choice. It is something else for politicians to invite them home, to your home.

It is no accident that no son, daughter or spouse of a politician has been a victim. They are not exposed to the everyday risks that their subjects are.

You remember. In a socialist society everyone is equal except the aristocracy. You ride mass transit, they fly private jets. You turn in your guns. They have armed guards. You are stuck in traffic, they get the escort.

Meanwhile Mexican illegal Sergio Jose Martinez, 31, was sentenced to 35-years in prison

in Portland, Oregon. He sexually assaulted a woman in her home and attacked another in a parking lot.

Both assaults occurred on the same July day, a week after he was released from jail. He had been arrested for interfering with the police and providing a false birth date. He was released despite a request from ICE for the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office to hold him so the agency could take him into custody. The sheriff ignored ICE.

Oregon became America's first sanctuary state when it adopted a law in 1987 preventing law enforcement from detaining those who are in the United States illegally but have not broken other laws.

Martinez had been deported 20 times. He pled guilty to 10 counts including sodomy and sexual assault.

Border Patrol agents in Arizona arrested a Mexican illegal previously deported for a 2016 rape conviction in Contra Costa County, CA, a Sanctuary jurisdiction. Juan Sotelo-Carasco was discovered in the desert near Sasabe, AZ.

Agents working near Calexico observed a man who had illegally crossed the border from Mexico about 22 miles west of the port of entry. Agents arrested the man for processing.

A records check revealed the 44-year-old had a previous notice to appear from San Jose, CA for lewd acts with a child under 14. San Jose is located in San Mateo County which is also listed as a county with sanctuary protection policies.

Later that afternoon, agents observed another man who had illegally crossed the border about 11 miles west of the Calexico Port of Entry. Agents arrested the man. During a background check, agents determined that the 24-year-old Honduran national is affiliated with the MS-13 gang.

To stop welcoming foreign criminals California either needs more conservative politicians or the current crop of liberals to have some Kate Steinle-style mishaps.

by Lou Binninger

You ever get tired of government employees getting their off-time confused with their employment-time? How do people get their work done and do all this harassing and molesting of fellow workers and innocent bystanders? And, the little people, the taxpayers are paying for all the fun.

The Congressional Office of Compliance (OOC) released a year-by-year breakdown recently of federal harassment settlements, showing $17 million awarded to 276 victims throughout the past two decades.

The OCC said the settlements involve all types of harassment and originate from multiple offices inside the legislative branch other than the House and Senate. Maybe the House and Senate didn’t get their fair share since victims had yet to come forward.

In the settlements, harassment payouts averaged almost $400,000 per victim in 2002. In 2017, so far there has been nearly $1 million in payouts divided among eight victims.

Who did the harassing? Well, of course that’s confidential. President Trump is suggesting exposing the culprits from now on.

The release of 21-years of documentation came the same day that Minnesota Senator Al Franken was accused of sexually harassing a news anchor multiple times during a 2006 USO entertainment tour in the Middle East. Right after the news anchor talked more ladies came forward to attest to Franken grabbing their breasts, butt or inserting his tongue down their throat or all three.

However, for Franken and our other amazing politicians who meet and greet thousands of people in massive crowds it is hard to recall whose butt and boobs were fondled. It’s all just a blur.

Even Jesus in Mark 5 after realizing that healing power left him in a large crowd was just like Franken. “Who touched my robes?” Jesus asked. The culprit was a woman suddenly healed of 12-years of bleeding after spending all her money on doctors. Heh, if God in the flesh can’t keep track of these touches what do we expect of fallible molesters?

Maybe Franken and other perverts can use the Messiah defense--- intense crowds, bad with names and all butts and boobs feel the same after a while. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

The apologies of politicians are titillating in themselves. “I don’t remember her but if I hurt her feelings I am sorry if I overstepped my bounds by having my hands up her dress.” Or, “I have taken thousands of photos with ladies in very crowded rooms. Sometimes the only spot to rest your hand is on a butt. I try not to squeeze. If she did not appreciate that then I sincerely apologize. However, I don’t actually recall any of these events.”

The California Legislature is so overrun with hundreds of groping and harassment accusations from employees that they are going to conduct hearings. Now this is like leaving your 10-year old with a pedophile.

The legislators sitting in judgement are the very ones who force all our government school children to celebrate May 22 as Harvey Milk Day. Harvey majored in screwing and having oral sex with underage boys. And, he proved to be a chronic liar, as well. Yes, a true California hero.

These “leaders” brought us transsexual bathrooms, co-ed school showers and curriculum teaching that homosexual behavior is normal. Next year, will it be sex with a sheep. Why not make Harvey’s way legit...sex with boys?

In Sutter County as shamed District Attorney Carl Adams resigned after being exposed for sexual dalliances and misappropriation of funds the Supervisors never even ordered an investigation into the office accounting or into other rumors of his devious ways. It cost taxpayers $230,000 without even taking a close look. The Supervisors are comfortable with paying people-off and covering for themselves.

Why should we expect any better justice and accountability from the state and federal people? If we can’t hold our locals accountable forget about it elsewhere.

For you little people don’t try any of this behavior at home. You’ll get arrested.

By Lou Binninger

On May 4, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order to end the Johnson Amendment’s stifling effect on the free speech of religious organizations and pastors. Some people hoped the action would nullify the amendment altogether. It didn’t do that but it was progress. An act of Congress could do away with it completely.

Since it was adopted in 1954, the Johnson Amendment prohibits charities and churches from "directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office." Groups that violate the amendment could be faced with revocation of their tax-exempt status.

In the colonies, prior to the fight for independence, churches were congregating places for both spiritual and secular purposes. Preachers or ministers cast the vision for freedom and independence from England. Churches did not pay taxes and there were no limits on speech or restrictions on houses of worship.

Although settlers hated state-enforced religion, today’s myth of a separation of church and state would have been considered nonsense to them. Colonists believed that the Providence of God brought them to the New World. Having Godly people leading the nation was never considered as government mandating a particular religion.

By the time of the American Revolution, nine of the 13 original colonies were officially giving some kind of tax relief to churches. In 1777, Virginia enacted an exemption from paying property tax to "houses for divine worship." New York followed in 1799, and Congress exempted all churches in the District of Columbia from paying property tax in 1870.

However, giving churches a property tax break was not unanimous. During the 19th Century, opposition to churches retaining property tax exemptions was expressed by at least three US presidents: James Madison, James Garfield, and Ulysses S. Grant.

American churches' federal income tax exemption was not formerly enacted as legislation until the Tariff Act was passed by Congress in 1894, providing tax exemptions to "corporations, companies, or associations organized and conducted solely for charitable, religious, or educational purposes."

On Jan. 14, 1924, the US Supreme Court interpreted the reason for the exemption in Trinidad v. Sagrada Orden: "Evidently the exemption is made in recognition of the benefit which the public derives (from churches') corporate activities."

In 1954, Senator Lyndon Johnson from Texas was getting panicky in his re-election bid. With Russia, China and now North Korea becoming communist, American anti-communist fervor was hot against sympathizers.

Groups were organizing against candidates they thought were pro-communist. And, black churches were much more conservative-leaning than today. White conservatives in the south were anti-Jim Crow and pro-Civil Rights for Blacks. The Black churches were thriving and they would get out the vote, possibly against Johnson.

In a self-serving act to save his career, Johnson added his amendment to a large omnibus bill. His amendment would stop organizations, religious or secular, from campaigning for or against politicians or causes. The Amendment passed and he won the election.

For groups and churches organized under IRS Code 501(C) 3, speech which had been a right granted by God became a privilege granted by government in trade for a tax exemption. All the while, as the Supreme Court acknowledged, churches and nonprofits have always done the heavy-lifting in social work.

President Trump said at a White House signing ceremony, “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore. No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors.”

Trump’s order directs the IRS to “alleviate the burden of the Johnson Amendment.”

“Rolling back the Johnson Amendment does not favor any particular religious views over others, and the President has broad authority to decide not to enforce certain laws,” said Robin Fretwell Wilson, a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law.

The Landmark Church, formerly known as the Church at Pierce Creek, in Binghamton, N.Y. on Oct. 30, 1992, just four days before the presidential election, placed full-page ads in USA Today and the Washington Times warning Christians about Bill Clinton.

The ads’ headline, “Christians Beware,” was followed by a statement explaining that Clinton’s positions concerning abortion, homosexuality and the distribution of condoms to teen-agers in schools violate biblical principles. A notice at the bottom of the ad appealed for “tax-exempt donations” to pay for placing the ad.

Following the election of Bill Clinton the IRS withdrew the church’s tax exempt status. Hopefully, the gutting of the Johnson Amendment will prevent this in the future.

GRAND ISLAND

The area known as Grand Island in Colusa County encompasses land lying between Sycamore Slough at the head and the Sacramento River, which surrounds the area on three sides.

According to research, there were three business points on Grand Island including Sycamore, which was originally named Loch-loch. At one time, it was a small trading community with a hotel, two shops, a saloon, blacksmith shop, a church and a schoolhouse. A post office was established in 1871 with Howell Davis serving as the first postmaster.

The second point was Eddy's Landing which was situated about a mile below Grimes. This area afforded communication with the east side of the Sacramento River and the Marysville Road by means of a ferry. Steamboats also made regular trips up and down the river, hauling away produce and returning with freight for its merchandise stores and farms.

The third point and considered the most important on Grand Island was the village of Grimes. This community was founded in 1855 by Cleaton Grimes. A native of Maysville, Kentucky, Grimes, a tanner by trade, crossed the plains to California at the age of 34. He first tried his hand at gold mining and, for a brief time, in boat freighting before arriving on Grand Island the Spring of 1852.

Grimes soon after purchased 1200 acres of land from Dr. James Morrison where he built a log house near the river. Within a few years, the community grew with the first store built by James Goodhue in partnership with Case. Other establishments included a grain storage warehouse, one hotel, two saloons, one blacksmith shop, one harness shop, a livery stable and a barber shop.

In addition, there was a Baptist Church, a schoolhouse and a large community hall for public gatherings as well as meetings of several benevolent societies.

All-in-all, throughout the years, Grand Island was populated with a "thrifty" class of hard working people.

GRAND ISLAND SHRINE

Built in 1883, the Grand Island Shrine is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Colusa County. Located on a rural stretch of State Route 45 between Buster and Earp Roads, one can see the small chapel and large cross "reminiscent" of shrines built in Europe long ago to provide solace to pilgrims, shepherds and outcasts in the wilderness.

Mounted on a stone base at the entrance to the grove is the following inscription: "Site of the first Catholic mass to be said in Colusa County, May 1856. In 1864, a Catholic mission was conducted and a large wooden cross erected to commemorate the occasion. Masses, pilgrimages and visits were made here continuously thereafter. In order to preserve the identity of the place, Father Michael Wallrath secured a deed from Mrs. Anna Myers to this parcel of land and constructed a small shrine from hand kilned bricks in 1883". It is well worth the short drive to view this unusual Shrine as well as visit the many historical communities of neighboring Colusa County.

by Lou Binninger

Marysville City Administrator Walter Munchheimer is leaving soon. It appeared all was well with the city as he received his raise after voters agreed to an 8.5% sales tax. Then, boom, he resigned. Maybe he’ll return to Florida where there are no state income taxes. California’s top rate is 13.3% and the Florida’s sales tax is 6%, not Marysville’s 8.5%.

There hasn’t been talk of Marysville’s infamous Bounce Back plan for months. Remember how indignant Bounce Back committee members became when the entire plan was challenged? Did the city spend $100,000, $200,000, or more? Did the consultant ever get the work done? No matter. There’s more money where that came from.

Maybe the committee would like to return for a reunion.

Most people thought the city council, after going against voters to permit two marijuana dispensaries for medical uses, would expand sales for recreational use as well. As of January 1, recreational cannabis gets the green light in California.

However, council members McKenzie, Pedigo and Whitmore said no to recreational sales. Remember, cannabis users for medical purposes already had home delivery in Marysville without dispensaries. However, the city wanted the tax revenues from cannabis outlets.

After cannabis people greased Mayor Samayoa’s palm with $10,000 along with some ordinance and zoning massages, these dispensaries may finally be Marysville legal. The odd thing is we knew who would win the dispensary lottery ahead of time. Is that how it’s supposed to work?

A Colorado Springs Gazette editorial (“Five Years Later, Colorado Sees Toll of Pot Legalization”) takes the euphoria out of the benefits of legalizing cannabis. The writer refers to the story of legalization as an “embarrassing cautionary tale.”

“Visitors to Colorado remark about a new agricultural smell, the wafting odor of pot as they drive near warehouse grow operations along Denver freeways. Residential neighborhoods throughout Colorado Springs reek of marijuana, as producers fill rental homes with plants.

Five years of retail pot coincide with five years of a homelessness growth rate that ranks among the highest rates in the country. Directors of homeless shelters, and people who live on the streets, tell us homeless substance abusers migrate here for easy access to pot.

Five years of Big Marijuana ushered in a doubling in the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana, based on research by the pro-legalization Denver Post.

Five years of commercial pot have been five years of more marijuana in schools than teachers and administrators ever feared.

‘An investigation by Education News Colorado, Solutions and the I-News Network shows drug violations reported by Colorado's K-12 schools have increased 45 percent in the past four years, even as the combined number of all other violations has fallen,’ explains an expose on escalating pot use in schools by Rocky Mountain PBS in late 2016.

The investigation found an increase in high school drug violations of 71 percent since legalization. School suspensions for drugs increased 45 percent.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found Colorado ranks first in the country for marijuana use among teens, scoring well above the national average.

Commercial pot's five-year anniversary is an odious occasion for those who want safer streets, healthier kids and less suffering associated with substance abuse. Experts say the worst effects of widespread pot use will culminate over decades. If so, we can only imagine the somber nature of Big Marijuana's 25th birthday.”

Maybe McKenzie, Pedigo and Whitmore are sensing troubled times mixed with the cash cow of cannabis outlets. The Colorado Springs Gazette sure is.

Is City Hall getting easier to deal with. A local paint contractor said his client had to submit the proposed exterior paint color for approval by the City. Sometimes, these life and death decisions need to go before a special committee. But no, the city official quickly signed-off at the counter. Is it a honeymoon at City Hall or is this a new approach to encouraging business?

Does going to government to pick a paint color for your business sound Communist to you? There is something bad wrong when you invest your life, money and sleepless nights into an enterprise only to have the government say what it should look like, operate like, who can work there, what the wages are and what you can and cannot sell. Then they want to approve the sign for the building. And they call this ‘free enterprise?’ Who are these people?

There is a sense of hope and anticipation with many key employees at City Hall leaving. Let’s see if the change is lasting.

by Lou Binninger

The Yuba County Board of Supervisors did their best in the past to make senior citizens another entitlement group. Supervisors believed it was their job to provide them a center. That would be fine if Supervisors were investing their own money and not the taxpayers’.

Supervisors first gave seniors a free ride in the now demolished county offices on 14th Street in Marysville. That was a financial black hole and possibly an illegal arrangement. They had talked of actually building them a center.

The seniors then rented the facility on Olivehurst Avenue from Yuba County Office of Education (YCOE). After years there when the seniors heard the building was for sale they threw an ‘entitlement fit.’

Since the building is now being sold by YCOE, the seniors group must determine their future. Some say they may rent a location in Marysville.

The taxpayers do not owe the seniors a place to meet or funding. However, politicians would like to take credit for giving taxpayers’ money to seniors or solving their problems. It’s all about ego and getting elected. “I saved the seniors center.”

What we owe our seniors is respect, honor and kindness for their service to the community and the country. Individuals may be inspired to assist the seniors but it is not government’s business to make them a charity case.

Seniors were 13.3 percent of the U.S. population in 2011 or 41.4 million people 65 and older. Once turning 65 people did not forfeit their intelligence or decades of experience and wisdom. In fact, as a resource, they are the best kept secret in town. They have time and most have sufficient money to allow them to serve others. Jesus said that was the best way to live.

They have worked, parented, governed, coached, built, taught, cooked and gone to war. And there is no reason someone should be inclined to assume their affairs unless they become unable to care for themselves and lack any family to come alongside.

You can find them everywhere serving --- A Hand-Up, Hands of Hope, Trauma Intervention Program, law enforcement agencies, hospice, the hospital, and churches. They improve our quality of life.

Seniors in America have an impact worldwide. In 2005, two seniors in their 70’s, Eva Galambo and Oliver Porter, created the first new Georgia city in 50 years, called Sandy Hills. The city of 100,000 has a surplus, no pension problems, has a state of the art infrastructure and outsources all city tasks except police, fire and the courts. These two city builders are not outliers either.

Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa at 75. Colonel Sanders started KFC at 65. Noah Webster completed his American English Dictionary at 66. Peter Roget created the Thesaurus at 73. John Glenn returned to space at 77. Gladys Burrill ran a marathon at 92. Benjamin Franklin signed the Declaration of Independence at 70 and the US Constitution at 81.

The notion that seniors need to pack-it-in or become dependent on hand-outs is insulting to most of them and simply another indicator of socialist ideology permeating our government’s thinking.

Only a small percentage of all Yuba County seniors even attend the center. That’s like any group. Other seniors are involved in service clubs, churches, veterans groups and other nonprofits. Some are traveling and others still want to work. Most have other interests than this particular center. That does not mean the center is not serving a purpose. It just means that this group of seniors enjoys getting together.

That being the case, they should carry-on if they wish, manage their funds, do some outreach and strengthen the organization. Like any other nonprofit or business, the center will thrive, muddle along or cease to exist. All three are fine. Sometimes an idea or project has run its course and needs to be knocked in the head and given a decent burial.

In the private sector it happens every day. That’s how the nation grows and improves. Government is the one that keeps programs and departments on financial life support long past their usefulness. It can afford to with your money. It’s one of the many reasons the Founding Fathers had a disdain for the institution.

by Lou Binninger

The downfall of Marysville Chief of Police Aaron Easton after being accused of sexual misbehavior by a former Yuba College Police Academy student should be sobering for many locals in places of authority that are pioneering their own moral path.

Easton’s departure adds to a legacy of sexual misconduct accusations against Marysville Police Chiefs. After decades of respected leaders the City Council hired Bret Smith in 2003 and then paid him $48,882.40 to leave in June 2006 while receiving sexual harassment accusations from female co-workers and rumors about him hot-tubbing with teen girls. Today, he’s Chief of Ferndale PD.

Then, longtime lawman Jack Beecham, after losing a Yuba County Sheriff’s race, filled-in until Wally Fullerton could double or triple dip his way to an unceremonious departure after 6-years. Fullerton was accused of inappropriate sexual conduct by a female employee, as well.

Dave Baker took over in April 2013 and lasted until Measure W (1% sales tax increase) was turned down by voters in November 2014.

Aaron Easton was promoted to replace Baker. Soon after taking the position Easton’s wife, Sara, died from a gunshot wound in 2015. After over two years, neither the Yuba City Police Department nor the Justice Department has determined whether someone shot her or she ended her life.

Yuba and Sutter Counties have been riddled with inappropriate sexual behavior by those in government authority. Sutter County District Attorney Carl Adams resigned after it was discovered he was having sex with an escort he granted immunity to for her testimony in a murder case. The county paid Elizabeth Pollard $150,000 as Adams’ employees sexually harassed her.

Sutter County Sheriff Captain Lewis Mc Elfresh was prosecuted for sexual improprieties with his adopted teen daughter. Mc Elfresh and other Sutter County employees were engaged in group sex and spouse swapping.

Other Sutter County officials have been noted for inappropriate sexual behavior but victims have so far been unwilling to come forward. Some believe Sutter County putting District Attorney lead investigator Jason Parker on administrative leave is about his questioning of improper behavior by government officials, both sexual and otherwise.

However, the national stampede of both male and female victims now emboldened to come out about their abuse is a phenomenon. Politicians and government workers, Hollywood elites, producers and actors, and corporate executives have been outed by hundreds of victims. Recently, a letter signed by140 female employees in the California legislature protesting a culture of sexual harassment and intimidation was presented to Democrat leadership in Sacramento.

For decades, the sexual revolution touted no barriers to intimate behavior. Those seeds of ‘freedom’ are now coming to fruition in all kinds of sexual indiscretion, deviancy and perversion.

The question is whether citizens are comfortable with those in places of authority and power engaging in deviant lifestyles while ruling over them.

Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner recently entered prison for sending photos of his genitals via social media to young ladies. He was married at the time. New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez is being tried for political corruption including trips to the Dominican Republic for sex with young females.

Easton has not been charged. However, his electronic records were acquired by the Yuba City Police Department in the investigation involving the death of his wife.

A Yuba City Police Detective indicated that “Some of the information located (in digital format) made reference to sexual acts that occurred with unidentified females other than Easton’s wife, and (the YCPD detective) remembered seeing sexually explicit photographs of Easton taken while Easton appeared to be working in his official capacity as a peace officer.”

If this proves to be true it confirms rumors of Easton and others having sex while on duty. Law abiding taxpayers are hoping for a complete purging of dishonest and morally tainted government employees.

Government leaders are too lax on vetting new hires and too eager to pay-off those who have been wronged by morally deficient employees to maintain the status quo.