Category Archives: Taxes

Homeless people defecating on LA streets fuels horror hepatitis outbreak

skid_row

Great job demorats!

From Fox News: An outbreak of hepatitis A is spreading through Los Angeles County after leaping from a large homeless contingent in San Diego, threatening thousands of people and fueling criticism that local officials have not done enough to contain the deadly liver disease.

Hundreds of cases have turned up in southern California as well as Michigan — but conditions in Los Angeles, where roughly 50,000 people live on the streets, have prompted deeper concerns.

Reports compiled by volunteer organizations have faulted city officials for not providing enough accessible toilets as the homeless population sharply increased by 23 percent this year.

In a prescient warning, a June 2017 report by a collection of nonprofits called the LA Central Providers Collaborative sounded the alarm about crowding and living conditions on Skid Row, citing the city’s own predictions about the increased risk for hepatitis A and other diseases.

“One would think that Los Angeles, one of the greatest cities in the world, would exceed these minimal standards. However, this Audit finds that in Skid Row, Los Angeles fails to meet even the standards for a refugee camp,” the report said. “During overnight hours, there are only nine public toilets available for 1,777 unsheltered homeless people on Skid Row, and these toilets are largely inaccessible.”

The report noted that United Nations’ refugee camp standards are one toilet for every 20 people.

Fast-forward to September, and the county declared an outbreak affecting homeless people and illicit drug users. The disease also is rising among gay and bisexual men, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health noted in a Nov. 2 advisory.

Los Angeles currently has 31 hepatitis cases – 15 among the homeless and 16 gay men.

Toilet access is a chief concern, as the disease can be contracted by ingesting or touching anything contaminated with infected feces. Homeless individuals without bathroom access defecating on the streets spreads the disease. 

Seventeen miles away is the community of Venice, a trendy beachside haven made famous by a young Arnold Schwarzenegger who once lifted weights in a makeshift gym set up along a boardwalk. The homeless liked the area, too, and the population has grown to about 1,000. The area has nine toilet stalls, none which are open at night.

Los Angeles County, meanwhile, has 42,828 homeless living on the streets, which swells to more than 50,000 during the day when many leave overnight shelters. Most are within the city of Los Angeles, which has a total of 2,800 toilets and 800 urinals located in parks that are open during daylight hours.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

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Tehama deputies were called 21 times to to gunman’s neighborhood before shooting spree

kevin janson neal

Crazed man: Kevin Janson Neal who was on the deputies “radar”

I’m still waiting for the gun control fanatics to tell me which gun control laws, not already in place, would have stopped this nut.

As reported by Dale Kasler at the Sacramento Bee: When it came to police calls, the unpaved rural road where Tehama County gunman Kevin Janson Neal lived was a busy place.

The Tehama Sheriff’s Department was called to Neal’s remote neighborhood 21 times in the past year to deal with disputes between Neal, his wife and their neighbors, according to documents released Tuesday by the department.

The incident reports, released to The Sacramento Bee in response to a Public Records Act request, depict a feud in rural Rancho Tehama Reserve that was escalating out of control. Neal and his wife, the former Barbara Anne Glisan, initiated seven calls themselves, accusing their neighbors of manufacturing methamphetamine and aiming a weapon at Neal. Their neighbors called sheriff’s deputies six times to accuse Neal of firing gunshots in their direction.

The ongoing dispute climaxed last week. Neal, who was described by family members as delusional, shot his wife to death on Monday and buried her beneath their baby-blue motor home on Bobcat Lane. The next morning, armed with four weapons and clad in a military-style assault vest, Neal killed two of his neighbors, shot out the windows of the community’s elementary school in what authorities said may have been an attempt to kill a neighbor’s son, and then killed two more people. His 45-minute rampage ended when law enforcement officers shot Neal to death.

Neal was out on bail after being arrested last Jan. 31 for assaulting two of his neighbors, and the sheriff’s department last week acknowledged that Neal and his feud were on deputies’ radar screens. Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston told reporters that Neal was “not law enforcement friendly” and would never come to the door when deputies arrived in response to calls. His disheveled motor home, whose front facade was partially covered by a giant metal awning, was twice placed under surveillance in an unsuccessful attempt to catch Neal doing something illegal.

The incident reports released Tuesday show that two of Neal’s neighbors, Hailey Suzanne Poland and Diana Lee Steele, called deputies three times in a week in late August to complain that Neal was firing gunshots, either toward their home or in an unsafe manner. In all three cases, deputies reported the area was quiet when they arrived. A few days later, Neal’s wife Barbara called deputies to say unidentified neighbors were driving by their house and yelling at her and Neal.

Steele was among the first people killed in the rampage last Tuesday.

In late July, Neal called deputies to complain that one of his neighbors, Danny Elliott, aimed a pistol at him. The incident report said the allegation was unfounded. Cal Fire, meanwhile, has said it couldn’t confirm Neal’s allegations that his neighbors were cooking meth. Elliott was also killed in Tuesday’s rampage.

The incident reports also provide the most detailed look at Neal’s Jan. 31 arrest for assaulting Poland and Steele.

When deputies arrived at the scene that January afternoon, Neal and his wife were sitting in their driveway and Neal was yelling that he had been attacked by “the two bitches” down the street. He added that he believed Poland and Steele had thrown a box of rat poison in his back yard to kill his dogs. When he confronted the two women, Steele struck him in the face and Poland tried to stab him, he told deputies.

In fact, it was Poland who had been stabbed, deputies said. The two women told deputies that they were walking toward a nearby creek when Neal jumped over a fence, brandishing a knife. Additional investigation revealed that the box of rat poison was empty and appeared to be old, and Neal acknowledged he had been shooting at a two-by-four with an assault rifle. When deputies talked to Neal’s wife, she said she saw her husband “making stabbing motions at the two ladies.”

Deputies confiscated an illegal assault rifle during the arrest. He later surrendered a handgun as part of a restraining order issued after he was bailed out of jail.

Johnston, the assistant sheriff, said the weapons used in last Tuesday’s shooting spree were homemade.

DCG

Amid new groping allegations and a past “encounter,” CA Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D) will not run for re-election

raul bocanegra

Demorats knew of Bocanegra’s behavior in 2009 and they supported him in the 2016 election. Guess demorats are only “disturbed” about his behaviors when more than one victim comes forward.

From Sacramento Bee: Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, a Los Angeles Democrat accused of groping a woman in 2009 when he was a legislative staff member, announced Monday that he will not seek re-election next year.

The announcement came just hours before the Los Angeles Times reported allegations involving Bocanegra and six other women. If the allegations are true, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said, he will move that Bocanegra be expelled from the Assembly.

“These allegations are extremely disturbing, especially since they come after Mr. Bocanegra had previously been investigated and disciplined* as a staff member and agreed to stop any harassing or abusive behavior,” Rendon, D-Paramount, said in a statement. “The decision to deny constituents the representation of their elected official can be a difficult one, but make no mistake: If the investigation affirms the allegations, I will move to immediately expel Mr. Bocanegra from the Assembly.”

*From Wikipedia: In 2009 Bocanegra worked as a staff member for then Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes. In October of 2017, Elise Flynn Gyore, who worked as a staffer for a state senator at the time, alleged that Bocanegra “put his hands into her blouse” outside of a bathroom at a night club in Sacramento. Flynn Gyore did not know Bocanegra at the time. The next day she reported the incident to the Senate sergeant who conducted an investigation which concluded that it was “more likely than not that Mr. Bocanegra engaged in [that] behavior that night”. In October 2017, Flynn Gyore made her allegation public, to which Bocanegra issued a public apology saying that he was “deeply regretful about putting someone in this position”, and that he wanted “to apologize most sincerely.”

In a message posted to Facebook, Bocanegra said he would immediately resign from his leadership position as majority whip and suspend his campaign for the San Fernando Valley seat.

“As you may know, news stories were reported a few weeks ago about a regrettable encounter when I was a legislative staffer in 2009. It was a moment that I truly regret, that I am very sorry for, and for which I have accepted responsibility for my actions,” Bocanegra wrote. “These news reports have since fueled persistent rumors and speculation, and I do not believe that this is in the best interest of my constituents to continue to serve next term.”

“I have sought counsel from community members and constituents,” he continued. “After much discussion and reflection, the most prudent decision to avoid another costly special election in Los Angeles and ensure our community is not left without any representation in the State Assembly would be for me to resign at the end of the legislative session. I will spend this time focusing my energy on serving my constituents.”

His decision comes more than three weeks after longtime Capitol staff member Elise Flynn Gyore spoke publicly, including to The Bee, about an after-hours event in 2009 in which Bocanegra, then a chief of staff, stalked her around a downtown Sacramento nightclub and grabbed her underneath her clothes.

The Assembly investigated Bocanegra at the time and ordered him to stay away from Gyore. She said she continues to deal with what she feels was an inadequate response by the Legislature.

In recent weeks, the Los Angeles Daily News and a handful of Bocanegra’s constituents have called on him to resign, including former Assemblywoman Patty Lopez, a fellow Democrat who defeated Bocanegra in a stunning upset in 2014 and then lost to him again last November.

After his announcement Monday, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, demanded that Bocanegra resign immediately. “@AsmBocanegra you are not the victim, you are the perpetrator who’s victimized untold #’s of women & girls & brought shame to the people you purported to represent,” she wrote on Twitter. “Don’t wait till 2018. Leave now. #WeSaidEnough #MeToo #IBelieveYou”

DCG

North Carolina fire department loses funds over Confederate flag

uwharrie volunteer fire department facebook photo

Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department photo from Facebook

From Fox News: A fire department in North Carolina stands to lose at least $19,000 because of its refusal to remove a Confederate flag from its property. 

The Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department has been flying the Confederate flag in front of the fire station for years. Firefighters say it represents history and heritage, not racism. 

“The flag is not hurting a thing,” Lee Hudson, with the Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department, told WFMY. “We are not a racist department. We are not in any way. Members or the department as a whole.”

Montgomery County Commissioners (click on link to contact them), however, disagree.

“The Board of Commissioners stated their position, that they did think the flag was inappropriate and requested for the fire department to take it down,” Montgomery County Manager Matthew Woodard (click on link to contact Mr. Woodard) told WFMY.

The Board of Commissioners sent firefighters a letter last week saying that they will withhold funding for the department until it takes down the flag.

The Charlotte Observer reports the Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department gets $19,000 a year from Montgomery County, plus $400,000 annually for fire trucks. The department was organized as a non-profit corporation in 1983.

Firefighters said they do not plan on removing the Confederate flag any time soon.

“We would love to work with the county and for them to support us,” said Hudson. “But, we’re not going to move on the issue of taking down the flag.”

I found a GoFundMe page for the volunteer fire department. From the page:

“Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department is a small rural fire department located in the middle of the Uwharrie National Forrest.  We have served our community and surrounding communities since 1983.  The departments volunteers have families, jobs, and are active in local churches.  We have 3 fundraisers per year to obtain the necessary funds to provide first response operations to our community and surrounding fire districts.  The restriction the county has placed on our funds makes the burden that the volunteers carry that much heavier.  All donations received will go towards continued operations, firefighting equipment and turn out gear for the volunteers.  The UVFD has always been heavily supported by its community and would like to say thank you for all of your support.  The support the Fire Dept. has received during the recent days has been overwhelming and encouraging not only from our local residents but those from other states as well.

We will continue to serve our community regardless of the restrictions placed upon us.”

If you’d like to donate, go here.

DCG

Colorado VA kept secret wait lists for vets’ mental health care

misadministration

Par for the course under Obama’s administration. See also:

From Fox News: A new government watchdog group found that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility in Denver violated policy by keeping improper wait lists to track mental health care that veterans received.

Investigators with the VA Office of Inspector General confirmed whistleblower and former VA employee Brian Smother’s claim that staff kept unauthorized lists instead of using the department’s official wait list system.

That made it impossible to know if veterans who needed referrals for group therapy and other mental health care were getting timely assistance, according to the report. The internal investigation also criticized record-keeping in PTSD cases at the VA’s facility in Colorado Springs.

Patients there often went longer than the department’s stated goals of getting an initial consult within a week and treatment within 30 days, investigators found. In one case, a veteran killed himself 13 days after contacting the clinic, which was supposed to see him within a week.

Investigators said the unofficial lists did not always identify the veteran or requested date of care, and they could not determine how many veterans were waiting to receive help and for how long, even with the help of staff at the facilities.

“My worst fears have been realized in this Inspector General’s report that Chairman Johnson and I demanded,” Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardener said in a statement. “It highlights even more VA mismanagement and lack of accountability in Colorado. This cannot happen again, and it’s time for the VA to finally wake up and ensure our men and women are getting the best care possible. I will continue to work with Chairman Johnson to ensure the accountability that somehow the VA refuses to accept.”

Smothers, who worked at the VA in Denver as a peer support specialist on the post-traumatic stress disorder clinical support team, informed Gardner and his fellow senator, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, last about the VA facilities in Denver and nearby Golden using wait lists for mental health services from 2012 until last September. Gardner (I think they mean Smothers here) resigned from his post at the VA shortly after going public, citing retaliation from VA officials in Colorado.

“Putting veterans on secret wait lists is not acceptable,” Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said in a statement. “The VA should implement changes to provide the highest quality care for our veterans and hold wrongdoers accountable. I thank Brian Smothers, the whistleblower who bravely came forward to shed a light on these unacceptable practices at the VA so they can be prevented in the future.”

Speaking to the Associated Press, Smothers said he was disappointed the report didn’t make clearer that VA staff knew full well what they were doing. “We renamed the files ‘interest lists’ so people wouldn’t know we were breaking the rules” on how to maintain wait lists, Smothers said.

The VA Eastern Colorado Health Care system said in a statement that while it agreed with much of the report’s findings it bristled at the idea that its wait lists were “secret.” The statement says that “nothing about this process was secret” and that it was discontinued once staff became aware it violated VA policies.

DCG

Kill her with kindness: Scalise responds to Rosie O’Donnell’s profanity-laced tweets

rosie o'donnell tweet

What a miserable proggie.

From Fox Insider: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise reacted to an expletive-laced message from comedian Rosie O’Donnell after the House passed its tax reform proposal.

“Your life was saved a*****e, do something with it,” O’Donnell fumed on Twitter. “Find your morality [and] decency. Stop lying about tax cuts to the rich.”

The southerner responded with a simple “Bless your heart.”

Scalise smiled when asked about it by Martha MacCallum, saying that when liberals like O’Donnell have to “resort to the kind of name calling and cursing,” then “we won the argument.”

“Let the liberal elites cry because they lost the election,” he said, adding that the tax bill is indeed a boost for working families and businesses.

Scalise was gravely wounded by an Illinois man during a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Va.

DCG

Bloodsuckers: Seattle council approves tax on Airbnb rentals

self licking ice cream cone

As I’ve told you – here, here and here – there’s never enough money that Seattle demorats can’t get their hands on.

From Seattle Times: The Seattle City Council voted Monday to tax operators of short-term rentals, such as those listed on Airbnb. Beginning in 2019, the city will impose taxes of $14 per night for entire homes and $8 per night for rooms.

In addition to paying for the city to set up and administer the tax*, the proceeds will be used to support community-initiated development projects and create affordable housing, according to the ordinance.

(*Self-licking ice cream cone n. a process, department, institution, or other thing that offers few benefits and exists primarily to justify or perpetuate its own existence.)

The council was scheduled to also vote Monday on regulations for the short-term rental industry. But Councilmember Rob Johnson persuaded four of his colleagues to join him in voting to refer that legislation back to his land-use committee for additional discussion.

As now proposed, the regulatory ordinance would require all short-term rental operators to obtain a license and would cap the number of short-term rentals operated by a single person or company at two.

People and companies operating short-term rentals before Sept. 30 of this year in an area including downtown, Uptown and South Lake Union would be exempt from the cap.

There may be debate at the committee level about where the boundaries of the exempted area should be and whether listing platforms such as Airbnb should pay fees.

DCG