End the Billion Dollar Owens Lake Rip-off of LA Ratepayers by Ted “Elmer Gantry” Schade
Monday, 18 March 2013 11:26
Written by James Enstrom and Harold Calahan
08 Feb 2013
VOICES - During the past decade the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control Officer Ted Schade has extracted $1.2 billion
from Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) Ratepayers, increasing their water bills by up to 20%. This Ratepayer money has been used to build Ted’s Empire in the Great Basin (Alpine, Inyo, and Mono Counties) in order to control dust from Owens Lake.
The dust, a form of particulate matter air pollution, is blown off the dry lake bed by wind. Owens Lake has been largely dry since the Los Angeles Aqueduct was completed in 1913 by DWP’s Chief Engineer William Mulholland. This aqueduct has made possible the delivery of water necessary for the growth and survival of Los Angeles for the past century. As an organization deeply concerned about Owens Lake, DWP has worked diligently to successfully reduce the lake dust to an entirely safe level.
The Great Basin, which has a population density of only two people per square mile, is not experiencing any documentable adverse health effects from the current level of Owens Lake dust.
However, Schade continues to exaggerate the dangers of dust in the Great Basin with the religious fervor of Elmer Gantry.
He demands further dust reduction based on the US EPA PM regulations, even though they are not scientifically valid in California.
Also, he co-authored an April 2012 report that claims over 9,000 deaths per year in California can be attributed to Owens Lake dust exposure.
Then, amazingly, Schade requested in a July 2012 letter that the Great Basin be EXEMPTED from costly dust-related regulations by claiming the dust is NOT dangerous in this sparsely populated area. Like Elmer, Ted is a hypocritical charlatan!
All the while, PRECIOUS California water, equal to the amount used by the City of San Francisco (over thirty billion gallons a year), continues to be pumped into Owens Lake, where it simply evaporates.
Instead of agreeing to the much less wasteful dust control proposed by DWP, Shade has hired $750 per hour attorneys and has demanded $400 million more for dust control done his way. His demand is so outrageous that DWP filed an October 12, 2012 federal lawsuit against Ted’s Empire.
This lawsuit has wide support from Ratepayers, the entire Los Angeles City Council, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, homeowners associations, and others.
Until Shade stops misrepresenting the dangers of the Owens Lake dust and agrees to efficiently and economically control it, a new advocacy group appropriately named IRATE (Irate Ratepayers Against Ted’s Empire) will advocate and promote an IMMEDIATE AND TOTAL boycott of the Great Basin, particularly Mammoth Lakes.
IRATE has extensive expertise in the flawed PM (dust) science that is being misused by unaccountable regulators like Schade and in effective ways to do Ratepayer advocacy.
IRATE is organizing the BOYCOTT with assistance from as many Ratepayers as possible in order to stop the water waste at Owens Lake and end Ted’s billion dollar rip-off.
California Races - November 2012
Last Updated on Saturday, 03 November 2012 21:51 Saturday, 03 November 2012 21:47
Click the link below for a quick summary on the races across the state:
Use the following link for the California Secretary of State:
CA Tea Party Groups Coalition Suggestions for November Propositions
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 October 2012 23:12 Monday, 10 September 2012 11:59
- Proposition 30 - Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Increases personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years. Increases sales and use tax by ¼ cent for four years. Allocates temporary tax revenues 89 percent to K-12 schools and 11 percent to community colleges. Bars use of funds for administrative costs, but provides local school governing boards discretion to decide, in open meetings and subject to annual audit, how funds are to be spent. Guarantees funding for public safety services realigned from state to local governments.
( Dawn’s commentary: It is not a coincidence that the amount of money this tax increase raises is the interest on the High Speed Rail bonds. This is for the Governor’s dream project, the Train to Nowhere: NO on Prop 30)
- Proposition 31 -Establishes two-year state budget cycle.
Prohibits Legislature from creating expenditures of more than $25 million unless offsetting revenues or spending cuts are identified. Permits Governor to cut budget unilaterally during declared fiscal emergencies if Legislature fails to act.
(Dawn’s commentary of the proposition: NO on Prop 31! I doubt the boobs in Sacramento will be any more effective doing a budget every 2 years instead of the annual one they are suppose to produce..and this is a Trojan Horse to steal money from Peter in the suburbs and give it to Paul in the cities, don’t be fooled on this one folks, )http://tinyurl.com/9lfedpo
- Proposition 32 – Prohibits Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction.Prohibitions on Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute.
Restricts union political fundraising by prohibiting use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Same use restriction would apply to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors. Permits voluntary employee contributions to employer or union committees if authorized yearly, in writing. Prohibits unions and corporations from contributing directly or indirectly to candidates and candidate-controlled committees. Other political expenditures remain unrestricted, including corporate expenditures from available resources not limited by payroll deduction prohibition. Limits government contractor contributions to elected officers or officer-controlled committees.
(Dawn’s commentary: Yes on Prop 32, this is the first chance we have to level the playing field as taxpayers!)
- Proposition 38 – Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute.
Increases personal income tax rates for annual earnings over $7,316 using sliding scale from .4% for lowest individual earners to 2.2% for individuals earning over $2.5 million, ending after twelve years. During first four years, 60% of revenues go to K-12 schools, 30% to repaying state debt, and 10% to early childhood programs. Thereafter, allocates 85% of revenues to K-12 schools, 15% to early childhood programs.
(Dawn commentary : No on Prop 38: NO! Punishing wealth creators while creating more progressive indoctrination centers for young children is not a great idea).
- Proposition 39 – Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. I
Requires multistate businesses to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California. Repeals existing law giving multistate businesses an option to choose a tax liability formula that provides favorable tax treatment for businesses with property and payroll outside California. Dedicates $550 million annually for five years from anticipated increase in revenue for the purpose of funding projects that create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs in California. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Approximately $500 million in additional state General Fund revenues in 2012-13 and $1 billion each year thereafter from requiring a single sales factor formula for corporate taxes, with about half of the additional annual revenues from 2013-14 through 2017-18 supporting energy efficiency and alternative energy projects. Increased Proposition 98 minimum funding guarantee for K-14 schools of roughly $225 million annually from 2012-13 through 2017-18 and by roughly $500 million each year thereafter, as a result of additional state General Fund revenues.
( Dawn’s commentary: NO on Prop 39! Wow - can a proposition possibly be more full of fail ? More taxes, more bureaucracy, and green energy projects. See Solyndra, and pass this loser up.)
Democrats walking into “war on women” trap of their own making
Thursday, 30 August 2012 17:17
posted at 12:01 pm on August 30, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
Do Democrats still plan to feature a “war on women” theme at their convention? If they do, I argue in my column today for The Fiscal Times, they may well find themselves hoist with their own petard, after a week of watching accomplished Republican women speaking from the dais in Tampa. Not only does the emphasis entirely miss the issues about which voters care most in this electoral cycle, the entire argument diminishes women to, well, to exactly what Code Pink reduced them in protests at the GOP convention:
The message from the Obama campaign and Democrats in general seems to be that women are somehow incapable of finding birth control on their own unless some paternal entity dispenses it to them, despite all evidence to the contrary. They’re so incapable of this task that employers and schools have to hand it for them, no matter how much income they derive nor how much tuition they manage to pay otherwise. This has already backfired during Team Obama’s “Life of Julia” campaign, which offered a creepy, solitary vision of a woman’s life approaching that of the song “Eleanor Rigby.” Former CNN news anchor Campbell Brown wrote in The New York Times that “Julia” was “a silly and embarrassing caricature based on the assumption that women look to government at every meaningful phase of their lives for help.”
But it’s even worse than that. The strategy segregates women from other issues as if they only have deep concern in this election over the status of their genitalia. This theme came to ludicrous fruition in demonstrations by Code Pink at the Republican convention in Tampa, when activists showed up dressed as gigantic labia. The scene provided an unintentionally revealing portrait of just how progressives see women in modern American society.
That is the true risk for Democrats who pursue this strategy. After three nights of watching successful and accomplished women in the Republican Party discuss economic policy, job creation, and reform of the federal government for deficit and debt reduction, viewers will tune in the following week to see women considered as interested in little more than sexual reproduction. Voters might well conclude that there is a “war on women,” but that it’s not the Republicans who are waging it.
Here’s a case in point — the HHS contraception mandate that Democrats will be hailing as liberation for women in the workplace and in universities. Sandra Fluke is already scheduled to deliver a major speech at the convention on this topic. But contraception isn’t difficult to find, nor is it expensive to purchase on an individual basis. Almost six months ago, US News researched the individual cost of contraception for all of the options — and found that nearly all of them fell between $150 and $600 per year. Sterilization costs more up front ($4,000-$6,000), but over a 20-year period, the costs are at the lower end of the same range. (In my column, I note that oral contraception can cost as little as $9 per month.) That’s probably why the CDC discovered in its 20-year study that 99% of all women who wanted to avoid pregnancy while being sexually active accessed birth control on their own, and that lack of access didn’t even figure in the reasons for unintended pregnancies. For those who qualify for Medicaid, the federal government already subsidizes contraception through Title X, and has for nearly 40 years.
Democrats argue with their “war on women” strategy that modern women in the workforce can’t figure this out on their own, nor pay for it without the paternalistic mandate that employers and educators foot the bill. Is that a winning argument? I guess we’ll soon see, because this is the contrast that will take place during next week’s convention. Republicans will have presented women as strong, independent, and focused on issues like economics, jobs, national security, education, and fiscal discipline. Democrats will have presented a vision of women like this, solely focused on one thing:
Which approach actually respects women? Voters will get the chance to make that choice, and Democrats might be surprised at the answer.
Censorship rears its ugly head in California Senate
Friday, 10 August 2012 11:17
By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Aug. 10, 2012 - 12:00 am
Let's not mince words about what the state Senate's Democratic leader did Wednesday. It was self-serving censorship, the sort of thing that one expects from tinpot dictators, not from those who fancy themselves to be progressive civil libertarians.
Someone acting for Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg suddenly cut off cable television access to a legislative hearing to air facts and arguments about pending ballot measures.
The Senate Governance and Finance Committee called the hearing – as required by law – into three tax increases (Propositions 30, 38 and 39) and altering the state's budgetary procedures (Proposition 31).
As it opened, the committee's chairwoman, Democrat Lois Wolk, said she hoped that the testimony would help voters make reasoned decisions about the highly controversial measures.
But only the few people in the hearing room and those technologically savvy enough to tune into an Internet audio feed heard Wolk's words.
Just before the hearing was to be telecast on the California Channel, a public affairs channel carried on most cable systems, somebody from the Senate told Cal Channel to cut it off.
It's obviously bad business that Capitol politicians can control what the public sees of their activities. But this is an especially egregious example of manipulating that power for political purposes.
It wouldn't take a Mars rocket scientist to figure out why Democrats didn't want the hearing to be broadcast.
One witness was to be Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, who opposes Proposition 30, the sales and income tax measure that Steinberg is fervently supporting. And he would most likely dwell on the Senate staff raises that Steinberg had granted as an example of why taxes should not be raised.
Coupal, in fact, made exactly that point, but that's what the hearing was about – airing the arguments and counterarguments along with factual information from the Legislature's budget analyst.
Steinberg spokesman Rhys Williams said this:
"It was inappropriate to provide legislative resources to promote the ballot measure campaigns of either side, and in particular to make those public-funded resources easily available for exploitation in political TV commercials. No different than the rules that apply to legislative staff."
Balderdash. You could say the same thing about any hearing or any legislative debate on any issue. In any event, it's still blatant censorship.
Steinberg made Wolk look like a fool when she touted her hearing as a way to inform the public. He owes her an apology.
More importantly, he owes 38 million Californians an apology for denying them access to a public hearing of their Legislature for crassly political motives. And he owes them a promise never, ever to do it again.
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