Friday, May 22, 2009

LATimes give Humboldt Beaches an A - 100% score

"With the summer coming, the state has made assurances that it will start restoring funding to beach monitoring programs, but there is no firm date," said Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay. "Until then, swimmers in many locations in greater Southern California are truly swimming at their own risk."

Marin, Mendocino and Humboldt counties went to the head of the class, with their beaches scoring perfect 100% summer grades.
To see the complete report, visit Heal the Bay's website.

Santa Monica Pier, Surfrider, Doheny earn 'Beach Bummer' status from Heal the Bay
10:30 AM | May 20, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Health Care Talk Participants - Thanks Again

Thanks for particiapting, you 7 people know who you are. Your stories were inspirational, and this new venue is still a part of the administration. Stay involved. People do care. Here's an email I received today ...

Congratulations! Today, was recognized as an Innovation in Government, as part of the White House’s new Open Government Initiative.
As part of the materials we submitted to the White House in order to be considered for the Gallery, we put together a short video about the site and about health reform, which you can watch by clicking here.
Thank you again for your commitment to health reform and we hope you will continue to visit for the latest news and updates on health reform.

Jenny Backus
U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services

San Francisco Butt Tax

partial repost
Andrew Carico
May 21, 2009
at Public

... Recently, Newsom indicated proposing a new tax on cigarette purchases throughout San Francisco to the city’s Board of Supervisors. This move is not just an attempt to make San Francisco a healthier city but a more lucrative one as well.

This tax stands out as the first municipal fee of its kind in the country—making San Francisco a national guinea pig for such a tax.

The purpose of the tax exists to offset the ever-growing cost of cleanup that it takes to keep the streets clean of cigarette butts. It would add 33 cents to every pack of cigarettes sold.


"High" Time For CA ( and Trinidad ) Taxes?

partial repost
James Spencer
May 21, 2009
at Public

Weeks ago, when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger mentioned it may be time for California to “open the debate” on allowing the recreational use of marijuana, he lit up the eyes of legalization advocates everywhere.

He also peaked the interest of those who keep a watchful eye on the state’s budget issues.

The Office of Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a Democrat from San Francisco, claims an initial estimate of $1.3 billion in new revenue to the state if his AB390 legalization bill passed. A share of that would go to local governments, said Quintin Mecke, communications director for Ammiano.

“All sales tax would still be applicable, that’s not including local fees,” Mecke said. “Municipalities could certainly take advantage of that.”


Friday, May 15, 2009

Congratulations Graduates!

Good work! Best of luck, and have a summer full of fun!
Then, "Go out and save the world!" -HSU Commencement

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Painful" Brown Act Violation Discussion

Reposting - PublicCEO Editorial May 14, 2009

The City of Orland had a discussion in an open City Council meeting last week that easily could have sent City Attorney Tom Andrews and City Manager Paul Poczobut crawling under the table.

According to the Chico Enterprise Record, two councilors at an Orland City meeting answered publicly to allegations of discussions with another councilor that violated Ralph M. Brown Act public meeting and conflict of interest laws.

Although it had to be painful for the city manager, we want to commend the Orland City Council for having the discussion in the open, where state law requires.

Not hiding under the desk.

The Brown Act is probably one of the most misunderstood and ignored local government laws in the state.

It is our experience that some local governments would have tried to hide this discussion.

Orland did not.

They had it in an open and public way – which is the best way to handle it.

The reality is that Brown Act violations happen. They happen all the time. The real question is what to do about it.

We like what Orland did. They may have an issue with a Councilmember or two but they will be well served by an open and honest process to address it. is dedicated to serving the public administrators in California. However, one of our foundation principles is compliance with open meeting laws in both letter and spirit.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"The Hits Just Keep on Coming" - Prop 1A

(partial repost

"County officials were stunned on Monday when Governor Schwarzenegger revealed that the black hole in the state budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year had grown to $15.4 billion; or $21.3 billion if the May ballot measures fail to pass. The figures were revealed in a letter to the Legislative Leadership and reported by KQED. CSAC is attempting to obtain a copy of the letter.

This revelation comes as the Administration is preparing to release the summaries of two approaches to the May Revision; one if the ballot measures pass and one if they do not."

Can't vouch for these sites, they just send me interesting stuff ...

Ref: Governor lays out budget cuts this week - before May 19 vote
( May 8/09

Monday, May 11, 2009

Prop 1A-1E Failing Could Trigger State Money "Grab"

Don't get too excited - yet. Do get informed, vote, and be prepared for alternatives if you vote against our administration's recommendations.

As an apparent "vote yes or else" tactic, our state administration has indicated the option of borrowing property tax revenues under 2004's Prop 1A. This would apparently be a consideration if the proposed 1A-1E fail. Given the mood of people I've spoken with, there'd better be a new push at explaining why we need 1A-1E, and not just the specter of what may happen if they fail.

It's my current understanding that essentially the state is depending on these initiatives passing, and looking to what options are if they don't. This is the responsible thing to do. They are "planning for the worst" and communicating that to voters in advance. As a scare tactic, it may work for some, and just be amusing to others.

Major Announcement - US Department HHS

Via U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:


This afternoon, President Obama will be making a major announcement: health care industry leaders are agreeing to take steps that could save the country $2 trillion over the next 10 years.

The coalition taking this action represents union members, insurance companies, doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, and they have agreed to reduce the annual health care spending growth rate by 1.5 percentage points for the next 10 years.

This is big news for our country and for families who are struggling with the high cost of health care. The steps these organizations have agreed to take, combined with comprehensive health care reform, could result in savings of roughly $2,500 for American families.

The President will be speaking today about this important step forward, and you can watch his remarks live at 12:30 PM EDT on While you’re there, be sure to sign the statement of support for comprehensive reform and encourage your friends and colleagues to visit the site.

Today’s announcement is another big step toward comprehensive reform and with your help we will make reform a reality.


Jenny Backus
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Day Mothers!

Happy day to you all ... relax, enjoy, and thank you for your special help :)