Tag Archives: California

Geniuses: San Francisco school district gives teacher raises, not sure if they will have revenue to pay for them

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Proposition G (also called the parcel tax) in San Francisco was approved by voters in June 5, 2018. It authorizes San Francisco to levy an annual parcel tax of $298 per parcel of taxable real property in the city for 20 years with revenue provided to the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) to fund educators’ salaries, staffing, professional development, technology, charter schools, and oversight of funding.

As a result, on June 27, the San Francisco Board of Education authorized raises for 3,600 teachers in the amount of a $5,500. They started receiving their raises in late August. (I don’t know which taxpayer fund the checks are coming from.)

And as is typical in big government, bureaucrats did not take the time to review the fine details. Actual monies collected from the parcel tax are in question as to 1) when the revenues will be available and 2) if they’ll be available at all to pay for these raises.

In a report from the SF Chronicle they note:

“The first property tax mailings that would include the Prop. G parcel tax have not yet been mailed to homeowners, [Mayor] Breed said, and the first payments on those taxes aren’t due until December. On top of that, both Breed and the Board of Supervisors have to approve and transfer the funds once they’re collected.

“Neither body has appropriated and transferred SFUSD any funds for this purpose,” Breed said.”

They mayor questioned the “fiscal prudence” of raising wages before the money generated by the measure has even been collected.

There’s also a separate legal challenge to Proposition C – related to commercial rents and education initiatives – that is tied to another suit (known as the Jarvis lawsuit). Read about the whole mess here.

The outcome of that Jarvis lawsuit could have an effect on the parcel tax and whether or not it is an illegal tax. It could in effect, depending upon the outcome, kill the revenue stream for these teachers’ raises.

As a result, the city cannot authorize parcel tax funds to pay for teachers’ raises which they are already receiving.

And that, my friends, is how big government works.

DCG

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Liberal utopia of San Francisco: Car break-ins have tripled since 2010

Inside Edition reporter sets up car break-in decoy (which is broken into), has their company vehicle broken into as well.

Progressive-run San Francisco has many, many problems. I’ve chronicled many of them on our site. See the following:

Turns out they have a major problem with car break-ins, also called “smash and grabs.”

According to a report earlier this year from KQED, San Francisco had more than 30,000 car break-ins reported last year. The number of break-ins has tripled since 2010.

The police say that the break-ins are a form of organized crime committed by “crews.”

Breaking into a car is a felony and if a criminal steals items worth over $950 it’s a second felony. You can go to jail for a maximum of three years for each felony. Problem is, they can’t catch people multiple times so they never do extended time for their crimes.

According to the report, police are trying to catch repeat offenders via “bundling,” where they track crimes someone commits over time. A case based on multiple incidents is more likely to result in a conviction.

Despite their efforts, the police barely make a dent in the numbers. An arrest is made in only 2 percent of the total break-ins reported.

Along with “bundling,” the city is trying to help with the crime spree by setting up a web site and telephone line to report break-ins and one officer from each of the city’s 12 police stations will focus on break-ins.

According to a SF Chronicle report earlier this year, the city’s actions will have no effect because there really are no consequences for the criminals.

A local woman has described the “smash-and-grab” crime as anarchy. Every day, thieves break into cars on her block, with no consequence. “There’s no risk,” she said. “Why would they stop?”

Police respond to complaints, take a report and usually say that nothing can be done. Noted one man, “They (the police) shrugged. They see it all the time. Some cops take it real personal. Others come, and they’re just going through the motions.”

That “going through the motions” seems to be what is happening in many west coast, progressive run cities these days.

DCG

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Big government at work: Bay Area transit card to get mobile phone update at cost of $194 million

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) serves as the Bay Area’s transportation planning, coordinating, and financing agency, and oversees the Bay Area Toll Authority.

Riders use a “Clipper” card from MTC to avoid having to pay cash at each transit ride and when they change transit systems (over a dozen agencies accept Clipper cards). Clipper cards were introduced in 2006, just 12 years ago. Apparently the system wasn’t designed with advanced technology in mind even though the area is the hub for innovative technology.

Guess how long the MTC has been working on the Clipper card update (called C2)? FOUR YEARS. And the new card won’t be rolled out until 2021.

Guess how much the C2 update and maintenance will cost? Almost half a BILLION dollars.

No biggie, California government agencies always find more taxpayer monies to fund their ridiculously overpriced projects.

Here’s more details from SF Gate: Clipper, once the whiz-bang smart card that rescued commuters from having to buy a ticket or pay a separate cash fare every time they rode a different transit system — Muni, BART, Caltrain, AC Transit, the ferry and so on — has grown stiff, stodgy and nearly obsolete.

The existing system has been irritating to customers and transit operators alike. Riders often must wait three days or more to add value to their cards and several hours for bus and light-rail rides to be reflected in their balances. Adding new transit agencies to the Clipper system is difficult, and offering special fares or discounts is next to impossible.

So regional transit officials are preparing to overhaul the Bay Area’s universal transit card at a cost of $194 million, plus an additional $266 million to operate and maintain the system for the next 10 years.

The new Clipper system, they said Friday, will allow riders to use their mobile phones to pay fares or add value to their cards. Gone will be the multiple-day waiting period to put more cash on cards online. And the changes will make it easier for transit agencies to offer discounts or special fares.

“What we hope they will notice is that the system works better for them,” said Randy Rentschler, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which runs the Clipper program. “It’s faster, it’s more convenient, it’s more functional, they can more easily add value or get cards for their whole family.”

The MTC is set to review plans to award a contract for the new card system to Cubic, the lone bidder and current operator, at an Operations Committee meeting Friday. The full commission is expected to vote on the contract at its Sept. 26 meeting.

Cubic will start work on the next generation of Clipper in January if awarded the contract. The mobile app is scheduled to arrive in 2021, with all existing readers and other equipment replaced the same year.

Much like someone deciding to replace an old laptop or smartphone, the commission decided it was time to invest in a new system, Rentschler said.

“We’ve been thinking about upgrading for some time,” he said. “Eventually, you taxpayers have to bite the bullet. We could have kept what we have running. But that would be less effective than upgrading the whole thing. So we decided it was time to just do it.”

Read the whole SF Gate story here.

DCG

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Of course: California DMV botched 23,000 voter registrations

From SF Chronicle: The state Department of Motor Vehicles incorrectly registered 23,000 people to vote, including putting the wrong political party and vote-by-mail preferences for those Californians, the embattled agency said.

The DMV, which has been criticized for excessive wait times in its offices despite millions in new funding, said Wednesday that the erroneous voter registration data were sent to the California secretary of state between April 23 and Aug. 5.

It said the errors occurred when DMV technicians had more than one customer record open on a computer at the same time, causing those records to merge. Updated software and staff training will prevent the mistake from occurring again, DMV officials said.

The errors also included signing people up to vote who did not register and putting the wrong language preference. The DMV said none of the errors involved undocumented immigrants illegal aliens, who are eligible to sign up for driver’s licenses. (Yeah, trust them not to make other mistakes!)

Affected customers will be sent letters noting the DMV’s error and how to correct them, the agency said.

“We are committed to getting this right and are working closely with the secretary of state’s office to correct the errors that occurred,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said in a statement.

The revelation brought immediate criticism from Republican lawmakers who have chided the DMV during Capitol hearings on excessive wait times. A Republican-backed proposal to investigate the DMV was killed by Democrats during a legislative audit committee hearing Aug. 8.

Officials in the department sent a status report to lawmakers Wednesday saying their wait times are down 30 minutes statewide.

The voter registration errors, which the department discovered Aug. 5, were not made public until Wednesday.

“It is one thing to wait in long lines, but quite another and even more troubling, to walk in to the DMV registered in one party to walk out registered in another,” said Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno. “We have had similar complaints from Central Valley residents who have contacted my office. I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. Something is being covered up that must be found, disclosed and fixed. The DMV cannot be trusted to police itself.

DCG

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More gun control: California senate votes to raise long gun purchases to age 21

From Fox News: The California legislature on Wednesday voted to raise the age for buying long guns throughout the state from 18 to 21.

Senate Bill 1100, introduced by Sen. Anthony Portantino, was approved with a 26-12 vote and sent to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown for a signature, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The bill would limit those who can purchase rifles to age 21 and above. State law already limits the sale of handguns to people 21 or older.

Portantino cited the February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida — in which a 19-year-old used an AR-15-style gun to kill 17 people — as inspiration for the bill.

“The two most deadly recent school tragedies have been perpetrated by people under 21 with long guns,” Portantino said Wednesday. “We should be sending our children off to school knowing they are going to be safe, healthy and get a good education.”

Opponents of the legislation argued that people can obtain long guns through illegal channels and that state legislators should focus on making sure criminals and those with mental health issues cannot get guns themselves.

Republican Sen. Jim Nielsen said he thinks “bills like this miss the target,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

“What is magic about 21?” Nielsen asked. “All of a sudden you are not a danger anymore?

The bill includes exemptions for anyone under 21 who serve as police officers, in the military or have valid state hunting licenses. 

DCG

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Don’t make me laugh: Proggies call for boycott of In-N-Out after $25k donation to republicans revealed

What happens when liberals call for a boycott of a fast-food chain…

From SF Gate: California burger chain In-N-Out donated $25,000 to the California Republican Party, a public filing on the California Secretary of State’s website shows.

The donation was spotted by reporter Gabe Schneider, who shared the news on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.

“In-N-Out added a new item to their secret menu,” Schneider tweeted.

A number of Twitter users immediately called for a boycott of the fast food chain, using the hashtag #boycottinnout.

“No more for me,” one user tweeted. “I refuse to spend money at any firm (when I have choices) that donates money to the Republican party or any Republican candidate.”

“So @innoutburger just gave $25,000 to the CA Republican Party,” tweeted another. “I’ve successfully boycotted fast food chains before, and I intend to do it again. #boycottinnoutburger.”

However, not everyone was willing to get in on the boycott.

“I’m not boycotting In N Out,” tweeted one account. “They’re based in a Republican part of the state (Orange County). Stands to reason they might support one.”

“Yo, In N Out could give the California GOP $30 MILLION in contributions and I’ll still keep eating there,” another person said. “Republicans will never take back the state, no matter how many Double Doubles they sell.”

DCG

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Liberal utopia: Homeless given free pass to terrorize citizens

The streets of San Francisco…

I’ve blogged about how terrible progressive-run cities have become due to the crimes perpetrated by the homeless. The homeless are free to poop where ever they want, do drugs in the open (and in shelters), drink on the streets and generally continue their dangerous activities with no consequences. Heck, their bad behaviors are even encouraged by the bureaucrats. See the following posts:

A radio producer for KTTH in Washington, Daron Casey, recently visited San Francisco and tells a story of how he was immediately attacked by a homeless person.

Within an hour of arriving on the streets of San Francisco Daron was assaulted. He was hit by a homeless man in the stomach which nearly knocked him over. He wasn’t hurt too badly at all yet it could have been worse had the homeless man had a knife or other weapon on him. Daron was too scared to take a picture of the homeless man.

The event spooked Daron enough that he did not want to walk around the city.

Daron went on to describe the city as “third world country” within a city.

Streets were filled with tents and garbage and homeless people were openly committing crimes. There were no police around to stop any criminal activities.

Read Daron’s whole story about the event here.

If you’re planning a trip any time soon to San Francisco, you’ve been warned!

DCG

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Taxpayer relief shot provided: Man holding infant gets attacked; pulls out concealed gun

Score one for the Second Amendment.

From Sacramento Bee: A Northern California man who was holding a 4-month-old child tried to break up a fight on Wednesday — and the result was deadly, according to police.

Travis Hutchinson, 31, went to a Redding, California, home on Wednesday evening to help his girlfriend’s cousin prepare for a math exam, police said. But as Hutchinson helped with test prep, another man started to pick fights with a handful of people at the home.

Amid the fighting, the homeowner threatened to call authorities. That’s when the man who set off the brawl — Burl William Hall, 34, according to the Red Bluff Daily News — left the home and took the fighting to the street.

Hoping to put an end to the incident, Hutchinson went onto the porch with a 4-month-old child in his arms and told Hall and others to stop fighting, police said.

That set Hall off, according to police: Hall “became enraged” with Hutchinson, and then charged towards him and started hitting him in the face and head. Hutchinson was still holding the child during the attack.

At one point, Hall nearly knocked Hutchinson out, police said. The baby slid from Hutchinson’s hands, but Hutchinson was able to grab the infant in time — saving the child before it hit the concrete porch, according to police.

Even then, Hall kept attacking, police said.

Hutchinson “feared for his and the infant’s life,” police said, so he grabbed his lawfully concealed handgun and shot one round at Hall. The bullet struck Hall in the chest and killed him, according to police.

Hutchinson told bystanders to call for police and paramedics, and then stayed at the scene until officers responded around 6 p.m. He gave a statement at the police department and was released.

The child was uninjured, and Hutchinson had only minor injuries, police said.

Hall was a registered sex offender who had a “lengthy criminal history,” police said.

Police said the investigation has been passed on to Shasta County prosecutors for review.

DCG

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Calif. students now given six ‘gender identity’ choices on college admissions applications

College Fix: Questions about gender identity and sexual orientation have been added to admissions applications used by the University of California system, including no less than six choices for students when checking off their “gender identity.”

One new question posed to those seeking admittance to the system – which educates 233,000 students enrolled in 10 campuses statewide – is “How do you describe yourself? (Mark one answer).”

The choices are: “male; female; trans male/trans man; trans female/trans woman; gender queer/gender non-conforming; and different identity.”

The application also asks “what sex were you assigned at birth, such as on an original birth certificate?” and the two choices are: male or female.

The questions are voluntary and responses to the questions will not impact admissions decisions, Shelly Meron, a spokesperson for the UC Office of the President, told The College Fix via email.

The questions were added in response to legislation passed in 2011 that requested the system provide students, faculty and staff an opportunity to report their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression on forms used to collect demographic data, Meron stated. Another question added to the application this year asks students’ sexual orientation, and offers “heterosexual or straight,” “gay or lesbian,” or a fill in the blank category.

“Allowing the LGBT community to self-identify also supports the university’s priority of creating an inclusive and welcoming campus environment,” Meron stated in an email to The Fix. “Responses will also provide UC campuses with data that will help us better understand and meet the diverse needs of our students.”

These changes underscore additional modifications made recently to accommodate LGBTQ students and faculty.

“In 2014, UC began adjusting its student record systems to allow students to indicate a preferred name to appear on campus records along with their legal name. And many campuses have already begun converting single-stall restrooms into gender-neutral facilities in existing buildings, where practicable,” according to UCR Today.

“In addition, the university is initiating a two-year project designed to coordinate and promote interdisciplinary study of genders and sexualities across the UC system,” UCR Today added.

The project will include convening UC stakeholders to identify ways to advance student learning about LGBT issues, and conclude with a systemwide symposium that will showcase research from students and faculty in the field of genders and sexualities.”

As for the application changes, student opinion on the issue is divided, with some students happy to see the amendments and others skeptical of the university’s intentions.

Shannon Frick, a senior aerospace engineering student at the University of California San Diego, told The College Fix in an email that “I think that putting it on there might actually open it up to claims of discrimination.” He also said he believes in a merit system, and he questioned how adding the question to the application could preserve such a system.

On the flipside, 2015 UCLA graduate and political science major Tyler Kroteskey told The College Fix, “Provided it is used for research purposes as opposed to influencing admissions decisions, I see the move to allow UC applicants to voluntarily list their gender and sexual orientation as a positive step.”

He went on to say that the demographic data could help the campuses better provide resources to students. Among solutions that could be proffered to “meet the diverse needs of students” are more “gender neutral” bathrooms. For example, the UC Berkeley “Bathroom Brigade” contends it is inconvenient for some students to use the restroom because only a third of Berkeley buildings have gender neutral restrooms.

There is a small but growing minority of colleges that have a sexual orientation question on their application.

The college to start the trend, Elmhurst College in Illinois, began listing a sexual orientation question in 2011. Since then, MIT, Boston University, University of Pennsylvania, and several others have hopped on the band wagon. This year Duke University and all UC campuses followed suit.

DCG

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Tourists shocked by what they see on San Francisco streets

san francisco

The streets of San Francisco…


Did nobody bother to Google the city they were about to visit? Before you make a trip to San Francisco, see the following:

From SF Gate: It’s something many San Franciscans see on a daily basis, outside their homes or offices and during their commutes. For better or for worse, locals are used to walking by crime scenes, have seen open injection drug use, and have witnessed mental health episodes firsthand.
But when a tourist lands at SFO, guidebook in hand, that reality can be shocking.
“Is this normal or am I in a ‘bad part of town?’ Just walked past numerous homeless off their faces, screaming and running all over the sidewalk near Twitter HQ and then a murder scene. Wife is scared to leave hotel now,” wrote an Australian Reddit user Wednesday.
That person isn’t alone. On Sunday, another tourist from Canada asked the San Francisco Reddit community, “Why is this city so terrifying?”
“I’d been there for probably less than a day, just wandering around the center, and already seen more than enough poverty and suffering to cause me wanting to leave desperately,” wrote another visitor from London in 2017. “I saw many people talking to themselves, or to things that weren’t there. Even in a Macy’s, and there weren’t any police officers to help them or do anything about it.”
Anyone who has hosted friends or family from out of town may have had to field similar questions.
Just those three Reddit posts garnered more than 650 comments, many of which were helpful suggestions (other neighborhoods to explore, safety tips, and more).
But the city’s own visitors’ bureau is struggling to come up with a good explanation for horrified tourists.
The streets are filthy. There’s trash everywhere. It’s disgusting,” Joe D’Alessandro, president of S.F. Travel told the Chronicle’s Heather Knight in April. “I’ve never seen any other city like this — the homelessness, dirty streets, drug use on the streets, smash-and-grabs.”
“You see things on the streets that are just not humane,” Kevin Carroll, executive director of the Hotel Council of San Francisco, also told Knight. “People come into hotels saying, ‘What is going on out there?’ They’re just shocked. … People say, ‘I love your city, I love your restaurants, but I’ll never come back.'”
DCG

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