California

California Using $100 Million of $550 Million Federal Coronavirus Funds to Put Homeless in Hotels

The California Department of Housing and Community Development is using $100 million of the $550 million it got from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to put homeless people in hotel rooms or other facilities in San Francisco as a way to allegedly curb the spread of the disease. The state’s Homekey program announced the millions of taxpayer dollars available as grants to pay for the housing and that the deadline to apply is December 30. The agency’s website states: Administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), $600 million in grant funding will be made available to local public entities, including cities, counties, or other local public entities, including housing authorities or federally recognized tribal governments within California to purchase and rehabilitate housing, including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other buildings and convert them into interim or permanent, long-term housing. The additional $50 million is from State General Funds and must be used by June 30, 2022, according to the website. The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the bay area participation in the government handout: As the coronavirus crisis stretches on and many hotels remain shuttered, some antsy owners are becoming more open to the idea of selling rather than hanging on to see how long they can survive the crippled economy. In hyper-expensive San Francisco, where plummeting tourism has led to 40% of the hotels temporarily closing, some owners might feel more confident than those in other regions in recovering financially once the pandemic eases. But it doesn’t mean they’re not thinking about selling, officials said. San Francisco homeless policy leaders have said since early summer they are hoping to buy two or more hotels for conversion, and some leading players in the city’s Homekey process say several properties are in play. The challenge, they say, is finding buildings that don’t need prohibitively expensive updating — in-unit bathrooms, disabled access and the like — whose owners are willing to sell at a fair price. All of that is no small ask, considering that while rents have dipped significantly during the pandemic, real estate prices have not. Then there’s the follow-up cost. Overseeing a supportive housing operation costs about $30,000 a year — per person — so a modest, 50-unit complex alone would require $1.5 million a year. The Chronicle reported that the state has received about 100 initial applications so far, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) office. San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen suggested a more militant approach if properties do not become available. “If we can’t find willing sellers, we should consider addressing this major problem by eminent domain,” Ronen said. “Homekey is a solution, but we need much more like it. We have to do everything we can.”

Wow..  Glad I don’t live there!  You really can’t make this stuff up, folks.  What a bunch of big-government nazis!   So…to be clear.. $100 MILLION of OUR hard-earned tax dollars, are being wasted by the people’s republic of California to put homeless people in hotels..where there are already documented cases of mass abuse of drugs and alcohol (gee, what a surprise).  Who would want to stay at those hotels?  I’m sure the owners of those hotels are thinking that same question..  And, the funds were ostensibly doled out to combat the Wuhan virus plague.  Yeah..  Oh well..  This is California.  The Trump Administration (and the American people) shouldn’t be bailing out California which is run by liberal Dems in Sacramento, who continuously make spectacularly poor choices and waste tax dollars on stupid ideas like this.

California could release up to 8,000 prisoners to prevent coronavirus spread, officials say

California will release around 8,000 prison inmates early in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus in state correctional facilities, with more than half expected to return to society by the end of July, officials said Friday. The move will allow prisons to use the extra space to impose social distancing rules, isolation and quarantine measures, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement. “These actions are taken to provide for the health and safety of the incarcerated population and staff,” CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz said. “We aim to implement these decompression measures in a way that aligns both public health and public safety.” The department estimates 8,000 inmates could be released by the end of August, providing they meet several criteria. Prisoners with a year or less left on their sentences are eligible for early release. Those with convictions of violent felonies and sex crimes are not. Anyone released from custody will be tested for the virus within seven days of their return to society, the CDCR said. Several states have opted to release some prison inmates early amid a surge in infections in correctional institutions. California has reduced its prison population by 10,000 since mid-March, when the COVID-19 pandemic first triggered government protection measures in the United States. As of Friday, the state prison system reported 5,841 coronaviruses among inmates, which increased by 864 in the past two weeks. In San Quentin State Prison in San Francisco’s Bay Area, infections among prisoners soared after the transfer of 121 inmates from the California Institution for Men in Chino, which reported hundreds of cases amid crowded conditions. A third of San Quentin’s 3,500 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 following the transfer.

Utter insanity..  But, then again..  This is California.  Thank God I don’t live there.

Southern California sheriff takes heroic stand for citizen freedom

A sheriff in Southern California, Chad Bianco of Riverside County, told the local board of supervisors earlier this week that he wouldn’t enforce stay-at-home orders because, get this, he thinks citizens can think for themselves. Move over, doctors. Step aside, nurses. Bianco is much more a real hero — not just someone doing his job. In these crazy COVID-19 times, where government has gone amok and politicians have become drunk with power, Bianco’s stand on constitutional principle is actually heroic. “From the beginning,” he said, The Blaze reported, “I told you that I would not be enforcing this stay-at-home order, partly because I trusted our residents’ ability to do the right thing without the fear of being arrested. I knew that they could be trusted to act as responsible adults, and I was correct.” Imagine that — a public servant actually serving the public, and not demanding the public who pays his salary kowtow and bend to his own will. A public servant recognizing the proper role of public service. He went on: “Not only do we not have the resources to enforce unreasonable orders, [but also] I refuse to make criminals out of business owners, single moms and otherwise healthy individuals for exercising their constitutional rights. I believe Riverside County residents are responsible enough to proceed cautiously.” Bianco for president. This is exactly how the government — the federal government, the state governments, the local governments — should have treated Americans from the COVID-19 get-go: with deference. With humble recognition of Americans’ intelligence. With modest and quiet submission to the citizens’ ability — and right — to take the government guidance and medical recommendations and then judge for themselves how best to apply it. Instead, bureaucrats, some elected, some not, ran roughshod over American’s rights — over Americans’ God-given rights. And, despite the fact the coronavirus data is showing serious regulatory relaxation is in order, bureaucrats, some elected, some not, are continuing their roughshod runs over Americans’ God-given rights, to this very day. “[Lockdowns] eliminated constitutional freedoms put in place over 200 years ago,” Bianco said. “In the name of a public health crisis, our civil liberties and constitutional protections were placed on hold.” And then he did something that would make the fear-mongers fueling COVID-19 crackdowns simply gasp with astonishment: he cited factual coronavirus numbers to support his viewpoints. “Unfortunately, we have lost 181 of our residents to this virus,” Bianco said. “But keep in mind that this is only seven-thousandths of 1 percent.” He called for a return to normalcy — and sanity. “As leaders,” Bianco said, “we must adjust our decisions to better serve the county as a whole.” Words of wisdom that should be forced reading and listening for all the other public servants of the country who want to continue their controls of the American people. The fact is citizens aren’t stupid. Americans are quite capable of deciding for themselves how best to protect their own health and that of their loved ones. The trend lately has been to label doctors and nurses and hospital staffers and medical responders and the like as heroes for putting themselves on the frontline and treating COVID-19 patients. But they’re not; not really. They’re doing their jobs. They’re doing what they they’ve been trained to do — treat sick people. Bianco? He went above and beyond. He took a lonely stand for the little guy, for the cowered masses, for the principle of freedom, for the fate of the Constitution, for the proper moral compass of our country’s government, for the right of the individual over government — at a time when doing so makes him immensely unpopular with many in the echelons of power. Now that’s heroic.

Agreed 100%!!   What a stark contrast to those Dallas cops who ticketed that poor salon owner, and then the judge actually put her in jail for a bit.  Unreal…  Thanks to columnist Cheryl K. Chumley for that great story about Sheriff Bianco there in southern California doing the right thing.  Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter  @ckchumley          🙂

Appeals court reinstates California law requiring background checks for ammo purchases

A federal appeals court reinstated a California background-check requirement for ammunition purchases this week after another court had deemed the law unconstitutional and a violation of the Second Amendment. U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez in San Diego called the regulations “onerous and convoluted,” but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco disagreed and granted the state’s request to stay the order, according to the National Rifle Association (NRA). “This means that the same restrictions that have been previously in effect regarding ammunition in California are back for the time being,” the NRA said in a statement. California became the first state in the U.S. to require background checks for ammunition purchases when the law took effect in July 2019. Ammunition sales jumped 300 percent last June before the regulations took effect. Voters originally approved the measure in 2016. Benitez had ruled in favor of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, which asked him to halt the background checks with a preliminary injunction. “The experiment has been tried. The casualties have been counted. California’s new ammunition background-check law misfires and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured,” Benitez wrote in his 120-page opinion.

Federal judge tosses California law requiring background checks for ammunition

A federal judge blocked a California gun law on Thursday that required people to undergo a background check before purchasing ammunition. U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez in San Diego called the regulations “onerous and convoluted,” adding that they violate a citizen’s Second Amendment rights, the Associated Press reported. Benitez ruled in favor of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, which had asked him to halt the background checks with a preliminary injunction. “The experiment has been tried. The casualties have been counted. California’s new ammunition background check law misfires and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured,” Benitez wrote in his 120-page opinion. “Criminals, tyrants, and terrorists don’t do background checks,” he added. “The background check experiment defies common sense while unduly and severely burdening the Second Amendment rights of every responsible, gun-owning citizen desiring to lawfully buy ammunition.” Benitez reportedly claimed the law blocked legitimate sales to law-abiding citizens, about 16 percent of the time. He also ruled that California’s ban on importing ammo from outside the state violates federal interstate commerce laws. California became the first state in the country to require background checks for ammo purchases when the law took effect back in July. Ammunition sales jumped 300 percent in June before the regulations took effect. Voters originally approved the measure back in 2016. The state attorney general’s office told the AP it is reviewing the decision but did not immediately say if it would appeal the decision or not.

Kudo to Judge Benitez for this outstanding decision.  It’s a HUGE victory for law-abiding gun owners in California.  The whole background check for purchasing ammo is beyond ridiculous on so many levels.  Excellent!!     🙂

Trump signs memorandum diverting more water to California farmers

President Trump on Wednesday signed a memorandum directing more of California’s scarce water supply to farmers and other agriculture interests in the state’s Central Valley, a Republican stronghold. Speaking alongside House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in the lawmaker’s hometown of Bakersfield, Trump boasted of how his administration reworked environmental rules to assure more water gets to farmers, while also taking shots at his political rivals – from California Gov. Gavin Newsom to Democratic presidential primary hopeful and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. “For too long water authorities have flushed millions of gallons into the Pacific,” Trump said. “I ordered the administration to update outdated opinions which determined water allocation in this state.” Trump added that he is going “to put a lot of pressure” on Newsom to enact the changes and if the California governor doesn’t follow through then “you’ll get a new governor.” Trump has long criticized the environmental rules governing the flow of water in California – calling the rules “insane” during a campaign stop in 2016 and pledging that he’d be “opening up the water” for farmers. The environmental rules are meant to ensure that enough water stayed in rivers and the San Francisco Bay to sustain more than a dozen endangered fish and other native species, which are struggling as agriculture and development diverts more water and land from wildlife. Environmental advocates and the state say the changes will allow federal authorities to pump more water from California’s wetter north southward to its biggest cities and farms. The Trump administration, Republican lawmakers and farm and water agencies say the changes will allow for more flexibility in water deliveries. In California’s heavily engineered water system, giant state and federal water projects made up of hundreds of miles of pipes, canals, pumps and dams, carry runoff from rain and Sierra Nevada snow melt from north to south — and serve as field of battle for lawsuits and regional political fights over competing demands for water. Environmental groups say the changes will speed the disappearance of endangered winter-run salmon and other native fish and make life tougher for whales and other creatures in the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean. After an initial study by federal scientists found the rule changes would harm salmon and whales, the Trump administration ordered a new round of review, California news organizations reported last year. The overall effort “ensured the highest quality” of evaluation of the rule changes, Paul Souza, Pacific Southwest director for the Fish and Wildlife Service, said in a statement Tuesday. “We strongly disagree that the proposal will reduce protections for endangered species,” Souza said. Beyond operational changes in the federal Central Valley Project water system, the administration’s changes allow for more habitat restoration, upgrades in fish hatcheries and the water system itself, monitoring of species and other improvements, Souza said.

While we do not know the specifics, it appears that this decision was made after much thought and consideration.  California is controlled by the Democrat party in Sacramento with a supermajority / veto-proof majority in the state legislature and a VERY liberal Democrat governor who are all beholden to the extreme enviro-wakos there.  And, the state is so far in debt that it’s on the verge of bankruptcy.  So, it’s more than reasonable to assume that a little pushback by Trump for the benefit of those poor farmers trying to feed all of us is probably a good thing.  Of course we’ll continue to monitor this developing story and report any more details we hear about.

Protesters wreck College Republicans’ info table, spit on US flag, at UC Santa Cruz, video shows

In the latest act of violence against conservatives, protesters at the University of California at Santa Cruz recently smashed a College Republicans information table, according to reports. A video posted on social media shows two protesters tearing up placards and ripping down signage – with one of them appearing to spit on a 13-star “Betsy Ross” American flag that is seen lying on the ground. “I think this guy’s trying to assault me,” one protester says, laughing, as someone tries to grab an American flag away from him. The man attempting to take back the flag later falls to the ground during the struggle. “Get a life!” those fighting off the protesters say at one point. The video starts when the incident is already underway, so it’s not clear exactly how it began. But Dylan Temple, president of the College Republicans chapter at UC Santa Cruz, told The Post Millennial it began when one of the protesters grabbed one of the group’s flags. Temple said he immediately reported the matter to campus police. Subsequent posts on social media gave a name for one of the protesters, but it was unclear if that person was charged with any crimes. The Santa Cruz incident appeared to extend a recent wave of violence against Republicans and supporters of President Trump. Other recent incidents have included a driver smashing his van into a GOP voter-registration tent in Jacksonville, Fla., and an unidentified woman fleeing after allegedly punching a retired New York City police officer who was wearing MAGA-style attire in a Tennessee bar. In New Hampshire, a man was arrested for allegedly assaulting a 15-year-old Trump supporter and two adults near a polling site during the state’s primary election.

This sort of thing is becoming more and more common, unfortunately.  For more on this story, click on the text above.

Mexican cartels poisoning US national parks through hidden pot growing operations: report

Mexican cartel members – who for years have carried out large scale, hidden pot-growing operations in U.S. national parks in California – are poisoning water and wildlife through the use of illegal pesticides banned by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new report published Tuesday. Two Mexican nationals and suspected cartel members were arrested in September during a raid on an illegal marijuana operation hidden beneath the thick tree canopies in California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Authorities found 8,656 growing marijuana plants and 232 pounds of processed marijuana, Monterrey, Calif.’s KQMS reported. About 3,000 pounds of trash, including discarded clothing, propane tanks and spent cans of insecticide, in addition to three miles of plastic irrigation pipes and open bags of fertilizer were also discovered at the site, suggesting the operation had been in use for years, National Public Radio reported. “The true crime here is the fact that they’re killing off basically America’s public lands, killing off the wildlife, killing off our water,” Kevin Mayer, a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement assistant special agent in charge, told NPR. “This is stuff that, you know, it’s not going to repair itself.” Though California’s national parks have been plagued by illegal pot-growing operations in the past, some of which were operated by hippies, the cartel operations are usually larger scale, well organized and use heavy-duty, illegal poisons to more vigilantly protect their cash crop from rodents and insects. Wildlife ecologist Greta Wengert, who was called in to survey the operation after September’s raid, told NPR she discovered gallons of concentrated carbofuran at the site. Carbofuran is banned by the EPA, European Union, Canada and Brazil for all legal purposes. It is produced in the U.S. by Pennsylvania-based FMC Corp and exported to Mexico, India and other nations. “It is incredibly toxic,” Wengert told NPR. “A quarter-teaspoon could kill a 600-pound black bear. So obviously just a tiny amount can kill a human. It remains in an ecosystem for a long period of time.” She said she’s detected these deadly toxins in cannabis plants, native vegetation, water, and infrastructure. Exposure to these chemicals can prove deadly for humans and wildlife alike. A California coalition – made up of environmentalists, law enforcement agents, politicians, wildlife ecologists and members of the legal cannabis industry – have joined forces to clean up the pollution caused by illegal cartel operations, according to NPR.

Wow..   Consider the irony here…  The next time you see someone smoking pot, tell them they’re hurting the environment.  When they go, “huh?”…point them to this article.   🙂

California city denies Straight Pride rally permit

A Northern California city has denied a request to hold a so-called Straight Pride rally at a park. Modesto city officials on Friday denied an application by the National Straight Pride Coalition for an Aug. 24 event at Graceada Park. Organizer Don Grundmann had estimated 500 people would attend. The group says it supports heterosexuality, Christianity and white contributions to Western civilization. Opponents argued the rally would promote hatred of LGBTQ people and minorities. City spokesman Thomas Reeves says the permit request was denied over safety concerns, because the group lost its liability insurance and the parks department determined the event wasn’t consistent with park use. However, Reeves says the city would allow the rally at a downtown plaza if the group proves it has insurance by Tuesday.

Hmmm..  Let’s wait and see if this group can provide it has the insurance…and then IF they have it, what the City of Modesto will do; whether or not it’ll issue the rally permit.  Regardless, just fathom a universe in which ANY city in California would deny such a permit to an LGBTQ organization to have their gay pride rallies and marches.  Of course, that’d NEVER happen.  And, we all know it.  One thing we love to do here at The Daily Buzz is show the brazen hypocrisy of the left, which includes Democrat politicians and the dominantly liberal mainstream media.  This is such an example.  The National Straight Pride Coalition has every right to have their rally.  It is their constitutional right, just as it is for the other side.  Freedom of association works both ways; not just for one side.

Cash or cigarettes?: Nine face vote-fraud charges, bribing homeless for signatures

Authorities in Los Angeles have indicted nine people on felony voter-fraud charges, accusing the defendants of using homeless people to forge signatures on voter-registration and petition forms. According to NBC News, the indictment involves 14 felony counts related to electioneering in the 2016 and 2018 political cycles, though none of the nine defendants has been charged on all of them. The charges in the indictment include, according to NBC, “circulating an initiative with forged or fictitious names, signing fictitious names, registering fictitious persons, and making payment for signatures.” The suspects are accused of bribing homeless people on Los Angeles‘ Skid Row with cash or cigarettes in exchange for the signatures, transactions that were observed by beat police and then by undercover officers. Seven suspects pleaded not guilty Friday in Los Angeles; the other two persons charges have not appeared in court yet, NBC reported. The charges could result in up to four years imprisonment.