Tag Archives: California

Liberal utopia of San Francisco see homeless population increase by 17%

The streets of San Francisco…

That’s what spending over $300 MILLION taxpayer dollars annually get you…

From SF Gate: Despite creating hundreds of new shelter beds and spending more than $300 million annually on homelessness, San Francisco has seen the number of homeless people in the city rise by 17% since 2017 — with a whopping amount of that increase coming from people living in vehicles.

A preliminary summary of January’s one-night street count released Thursday pegged the new number of homeless people in the city at 8,011, but that number is sure to be lower than the more complete count to be released in July. That’s because it was calculated using federal guidelines, which don’t account for as many types of homelessness as those the city uses.

Still, the federal data give an early glimpse of what city officials will be finding out in more detail later, and the glimpse is bracing.

The number of people living in cars, RVs and other vehicles has risen by 45% since the last one-night count was taken two years ago. That much has been anecdotally evident for months, particularly in industrial Bayview neighborhoods, where vehicle colonies have sprouted in ever-increasing numbers over the past year.

Overall, the new count indicates at least 1,153 more homeless people are in the streets compared with two years ago, when the federal tally set the total number at 6,858.

Read the whole story here.

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Kamala Harris vows to take executive action on gun control if elected

Fortunately this womyn has a slim chance of taking the lead of the demorat presidential candidates.

From NY Post: Sen. Kamala Harris pledged Sunday that she will pursue executive action on gun control measures if Congress fails to act in the first 100 days of her presidential administration.

“I’m proposing, one, that if by my 100th day in office when elected president of the United States, if the United States Congress fails to put a bill on my desk … then I’m prepared to take executive action because that’s what’s needed: action,” Harris, a California Democrat and 2020 hopeful, said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Harris had first articulated the plan at a CNN town hall in late April, but bought it up again Sunday on the heels of yet another school shooting, in which 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo was killed after rushing the gunman to save his classmates.

“We are not waiting on tragedies and we are not waiting on good ideas,” Harris said, pointing to the “heroism of a child who we now mourn his loss, his parents’ only child.”

When asked how she liked Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-N.J.) proposal for a federal gun registry she answered, “I like the idea. But, Jake, I’m going to tell you, on the issue of the need for gun safety laws, we’re not at any loss for good ideas. People have been having good ideas for decades on this issue.”

Booker is also vying for the White House.

Harris said that the country was waiting for Congress to act. If she was forced to take executive action, Harris said she would require those who sell more than five guns a year to do background checks. She would also have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives take away licenses from gun dealers that don’t follow the law.

Harris also expressed support for government intervention in dealing with Facebook. Co-founder Chris Hughes said Thursday that the social network should be broken up.

Asked by Tapper if she agreed with Hughes, Harris answered, “yes, I think we have to seriously take a look at that, yes.”

“I mean, when you look at the issue, they’re essentially a utility. Like, there are very few people that can actually get by and be involved in their communities or society or in whatever their profession without somehow, somewhere using Facebook,” Harris said. “It’s very difficult for people to be engaged in any level of commerce without – so, we have to recognize it for what it is. It is essentially a utility that has gone unregulated. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s got to stop.”

Over the course of the interview, Harris also tried to clean up comments she made to Tapper in January when she said she wanted to do away with private health insurance. Harris explained that while she supported Medicare-for-all “it doesn’t get rid of all insurance.” “It was in the context of saying, let’s get rid of all the bureaucracy. Let’s get rid of all the waste,” she said of her previous remark.

Harris said the Medicare-for-all bill she supports “doesn’t get rid of supplemental insurance.”

The legislation also entitles all residents of the United States to health care services.

Tapper asked if this meant Harris supported giving health care to illegal immigrants. “Let me just be very clear about this. I’m opposed to any policy that would deny in our country any human being from access to public safety, public education or public health, period,” Harris answered.

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Justice served? California woman who tried to drown newborn in McDonald’s restroom gets probation

Baby mama Lockner “didn’t know” she was pregnant/San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office photo

From Fox News: A California woman accused of trying to drown her newborn in a McDonald’s restroom avoided jail time last week after striking a plea deal with prosecutors and pleading no contest to felony child endangerment.

Sarah Jane Lockner, 27, received four years of supervised probation and was ordered to take parenting classes. SFGate reported, citing court documents. Lockner reportedly agreed to the plea deal in January. She was originally charged with attempted murder.

Lockner was in the middle of a shift at a McDonald’s in Redwood City in the Bay Area in September 2017 when she was complaining of stomach pains, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. When her fellow employees noticed she was trailing blood, Lockner told them she had a “heavy period.”

A co-worker went to check on Lockner in the restroom and allegedly discovered Lockner with the newborn’s head face-down in a toilet bowl, according to prosecutors. Lockner reportedly told the co-worker not to call police, but the co-worker did anyway, according to the Mercury News of San Jose.

Responding officers found the baby not breathing and without a pulse, the newspaper reported. The baby was rushed to a hospital and survived. The child is reportedly staying with the father’s aunt.

It wasn’t the first time this had happened to Lockner, according to prosecutors. She had given birth to another child in a restroom at home three years prior to the McDonald’s birth, prosecutors said. Lockner said both times that she didn’t know she was pregnant.

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Cal Poly SLO faculty move to get 25-year-old Chick-Fil-A removed

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

Guess where we will now plan to go for dinner on Saturday night…

From SF Gate: Fast food restaurant Chick-Fil-A may soon be kicked off campus at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, if a push by the school’s academic senate to get the chain franchise removed is underscored by university President Jeffrey Armstrong.

Faculty that make up the campus organization point to Chick-Fil-A Foundation’s history of donating to anti-LGBT causes, noting that its values are not consistent with those of the university.

In a vote Tuesday, the vast majority of the academic senate (38 out of 44) opted to recommend getting rid of the chicken chain’s location despite its 25-year tenure on campus.

“We don’t sell pornography in the bookstore and we don’t have a Hooters on campus — we already pre-select those kind of things based on our existing values,” said academic senate Vice Chair Thomas Gutierrez to the on-campus publication Mustang News. “This is a similar thing, the difference is we’re actually profiting from this. So our money, every dollar a student is spending at Chick-Fil-A, is going to these causes that are in violation of our values.”

In response, university spokesman Matt Lazier released two statements. One voiced a hesitation to “censor” a business because of different viewpoints, as KSBY reports. In a subsequent comment, Lazier stated that the school aims to be inclusive above all else:

“While university administration passionately disagrees with the values of some of the organizations the president of Chick-fil-A has chosen to make personal donations to, we do not believe in responding to intolerance with intolerance,” he told KSBY. “Rather, we must model our values of inclusion – that means upholding the rights of others to have different perspectives and ensuring there is space in our community for differing viewpoints and ideologies, even those that may be in direct conflict with our own.”

If the university does wind up deciding to remove the restaurant, it would need to curtail a five-year contract extension on the location, signed in 2018.

It would likely be expensive to terminate the contract, but the academic senate hopes that the university will see that “(business) partners are held to the same high diversity and inclusion standards of as the rest of the campus community.”

It’s not the first time this Chick-Fil-A location has sparked a debate. In 2012, about 50 protesters held a national “Kiss-In” at the Cal Poly franchise — the only one in San Luis Obispo County — to protest the company president’s anti-LGBT comments.

In the Bay Area, local city officials are similarly attempting to navigate what to do about Chick-Fil-A stores. In April, San Jose politicians openly considered ways to make a planned San Jose Airport Chick-Fil-A the “gayest in the country.”

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No surprise: After legalization, illegal pot sales boom in California

As reported by Thomas Fuller for the NY Times (via SF Gate): In the forests of Northern California, raids by law enforcement officials continue to uncover illicit marijuana farms. In Southern California, hundreds of illegal delivery services and pot dispensaries, some of them registered as churches, serve a steady stream of customers. And in Mendocino County, north of San Francisco, the sheriff’s office recently raided an illegal cannabis production facility that was processing 500 pounds of marijuana a day.

It’s been a little more than a year since California legalized marijuana — the largest such experiment in the United States — but law enforcement officials say the unlicensed, illegal market is still thriving and in some areas has even expanded. “There’s a lot of money to be made in the black market,” said Mendocino County Sheriff Thomas Allman, whose deputies seized cannabis oil worth more than $5 million in early April.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared that illegal grows in Northern California “are getting worse, not better” and two months ago redeployed a contingent of National Guard troops stationed on the border with Mexico to go after illegal cannabis farms instead.

Stepped-up enforcement comes with a certain measure of irony — legalization was meant to open a new chapter for the state, free from the legacy of heavy policing and incarceration for minor infractions. Instead, there are new calls for a crackdown on illegal selling.

Conscious of the consequences that the war on drugs had on black and Latino communities, cities like Los Angeles say they are wary of using criminal enforcement measures to police the illegal market and are unsure how to navigate this uncharted era.

The struggles of the licensed pot market in California are distinct from the experience of other states that have legalized cannabis in recent years. Sales in Colorado, Oregon and Washington grew well above 50 percent for each of the first three years of legalization, although Oregon now also has a large glut of pot.

But no other state has an illegal market on the scale of California’s, and those illicit sales are cannibalizing the revenue of licensed businesses and, in some cases, experts say, forcing them out of business.

Entrepreneurs in the industry, which spent decades evading the law, are now turning to the law to demand the prosecution of unlicensed pot businesses. “We are the taxpayers — no one else should be operating,” said Robert Taft, whose licensed cannabis business in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, has seen sales drop in recent months.

“This is starting to get ridiculous,” he said of the illegal pot shops, including nearby businesses that list themselves as churches and advertise marijuana as a kind of sacrament. “It’s almost like the state is setting itself up to lose.”

California gives cities wide latitude to regulate cannabis, resulting in a confusing patchwork of regulations. Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego have laws allowing cannabis businesses, but most smaller cities and towns in the state do not — 80% of California’s nearly 500 municipalities do not allow retail marijuana businesses. The ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana passed in 2016 with 57% approval, but that relatively broad support has not translated to the local level. Cities like Compton or Laguna Beach decisively rejected allowing pot shops.

Regulators cite this tepid embrace by California municipalities as one of many reasons for the state’s persistent and pervasive illegal market. Only 620 cannabis shops have been licensed in California so far. Colorado, with a population one-sixth the size of California, has 562 licensed recreational marijuana stores.

But the more fundamental reason for the strength of the black market in California — and what sets the state apart from others — is the huge surplus of pot. Since medical marijuana was made legal in California more than two decades ago, the cannabis industry flourished with minimal oversight. Now many cannabis businesses are reluctant to go through the cumbersome and costly process to obtain the licenses that became mandatory last year.

Of the roughly 14 million pounds of marijuana grown in California annually, only a fraction — less than 20% according to state estimates and a private research firm — is consumed in California. The rest seeps out across the country illicitly, through the mail, express delivery services, private vehicles and small aircraft that ply trafficking routes that have existed for decades.

This illicit trade has been strengthened by the increasing popularity of vaping, cannabis-infused candies, tinctures and other derivative products. Vape cartridges are much easier to carry and conceal than bags of raw cannabis. And the monetary incentives of trafficking also remain powerful: The price of cannabis products in places like Illinois, New York or Connecticut are typically many times higher than in California.

The state’s illicit cannabis exports appear to be increasing even now, well into California’s second year of legalization. New Frontier Data, a data research company that specializes in cannabis, calculates that high demand and more advanced growing techniques will contribute to approximately half a million pounds more illicit cannabis this year compared with 2018.

The federal government still considers marijuana illegal, and the Drug Enforcement Administration says it still investigates marijuana-related crimes. But a spokesman, Rusty Payne, said the agency has a bigger crisis to attend to.

“We’ve got our hands full with the opioid epidemic to be honest,” Payne said. In wildland areas, seizures of illicit pot by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife more than doubled in 2018, the first year that recreational cannabis was legal.

The department destroyed 1.6 million marijuana plants in 2018, up from 700,000 in 2017 and 800,000 the year before — all of them illegally grown.

“There’s a subset of people who are just refusing to get into the process,” said Nathaniel Arnold, the department’s deputy chief of enforcement.

Read the whole story here.

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California approves PG&E rate hike to pay for costs related to wildfires

I’d be pretty ticked off if I was a PG&E customer because it doesn’t appear that the California Public Utilities Commission was working in favor of the publics’ best interest.

As reported by SF Gate: California regulators have approved a $373 million rate hike for Pacific Gas & Electric to pay costs related to a series of wildfires.

KTVU-TV says the California Public Utilities Commission Thursday unanimously OK’d an increase that raises the average bill by $3.50 a month over 12 months.

The station says the money is supposed to be used to pay PG&E’s costs for nine fire, wind and rain events in 2016 and 2017, including repairs and clearing brush and trees from under power lines to prevent future fires.

The hike won’t cover the billions it will cost PG&E in connection with 2018’s devastating wildfires.

The utility, which has filed for bankruptcy, is also seeking about $22 a month in rate increases for wildfire safety and to attract investors.

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Coachella Music Festival coincides with herpes spike

From TMZ: There was an unwanted guest running amok at Coachella this year … herpes.

According to honchos at HerpAlert — an online diagnosis and treatment website for the STD — there’s been a huge spike in folks looking to get treated for herpes in the communities surrounding the famous music festival.

HerpAlert’s been in business for 2 years now, with doctors issuing prescriptions to pharmacies after people submit photos of their, umm … situation, for medical pros to review. The turnaround time is blazing fast, it only takes about 2 hours.

We’re told the site has seen a massive surge in folks seeking prescriptions for herpes since Day 1 at Coachella. A whopping 1,105 cases have been reported in Indio, Palm Desert and Coachella Valley — and also L.A., Orange and San Diego counties where most of the concertgoers live.

HerpAlert tells us they typically handle 12 cases a day in Southern Cali … but during the first 2 days of Coachella, the site serviced almost 250 patients!!! The biggest previous spike was during Oscars weekend 2018, when they got a mere 60 cases a day.

Bottom line … what happens in Coachella might stay with you. For life.

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What demorats can do for a city: San Francisco’s homeless crisis and opioid epidemic

Maybe it’s not so much what demorats can DO for a city..it’s what they CAN’T do to solve problems.

Because if taxpayer money solved the problem, it would have been solved decades ago.

See also: Seattle is Dying

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Liberal utopia of San Francisco: People are pooping more than ever on the streets of San Francisco

The streets of San Francisco…

Demorats have turned San Francisco into a literal sh*thole.

From SF Gate: One of America’s wealthiest cities has a huge problem with public poop.

Between 2011 and 2018, San Francisco experienced a massive increase in reported incidents of human feces found on public streets.

In 2011, just over 5,500 reports were logged by the San Francisco Department of Public Works; in 2018, the number increased to more than 28,000.

The government watchdog Open the Books documented the sharp increase over time in a stunning chart, first spotted by the BuzzFeed editor John Paczkowski.

Notably, the chart of only documented reports — the actual amount of feces on San Francisco’s streets is likely even higher than these statistics suggest.

“I will say there is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen growing up here,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed told NBC in a 2018 interview. “That is a huge problem, and we are not just talking about from dogs — we’re talking about from humans.”

San Francisco has struggled with a feces problem for years. The city even employs a “Poop Patrol” that attempts to keep the streets clean and focuses on the Tenderloin neighborhood.

But the problem is bigger than just keeping the streets clean — the issue appears to be related to the city’s struggle to accommodate its homeless population amid skyrocketing rent prices and a decreasing supply of affordable housing.

A 2017 survey of San Francisco’s homeless population counted nearly 7,500 people living on the street. That population faces limited public resources, and public bathrooms are no exception.

Whether the Poop Patrol is able to reverse the trend on San Francisco’s streets remains to be seen, but there’s an indication that the crew is a bandage on a problem much bigger than dirty streets.

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Warning if traveling to SFO: Homeless surge at airport & calls to police have tripled

Homeless in BART/SF Chronicle photo

Once you get past the homeless at the airport, make sure to watch out for the feces bombs throughout the city.

From SF Gate: Authorities at San Francisco International Airport are struggling to deal with rising numbers of homeless people arriving at the International Terminal, many of them seeking shelter in the middle of the night after riding BART trains south from the city.

It’s the latest expression of the region’s increasingly visible homelessness crisis and represents another challenge for BART, which is dealing with the pending retirement of its general manager and police chief, the complex rollout of a new fleet of trains, and this week declared a state of emergency over surging crime, rampant fare evasion and “quality of life” issues.

In the past two years, airport duty managers and San Francisco police officers who patrol SFO have seen official contacts with homeless people triple, according to airport figures obtained through a public records request. There were 1,139 such calls in February, or roughly 40 a day, compared with about a dozen contacts a day in March 2017.

The records do not specify how the person arrived at the airport, which sits east of San Bruno and Millbrae in San Mateo County, or describe the result of the encounter.

But airport officials noted that a large percentage of these unsheltered people arrive on the last BART train each night, which pulls into the International Terminal after 1:30 a.m. and empties out, with no return run to San Francisco. At that time, the terminal is mostly empty — departing flights have ceased — and airport officials said the arrivals raise security concerns.

On March 27, records show, San Francisco police officers had 33 contacts with homeless people at SFO, all at the International Terminal area by the BART station. Nineteen of those contacts occurred during the midnight shift.
From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day, the airport allows only employees, ticketed travelers and people dropping or picking up fliers to be in the terminals.

“Bottom line, this particular arrival at night is an area of focus as a disproportionate number of riders on trains are homeless,” SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said. “We’ve been working with BART to examine where trains terminate for the night, and we’ve also requested that BART sweep trains for homeless before they arrive at SFO.”

While Yakel said the majority of the contacts with homeless people stem from the final train each night, BART officials disagreed. They said perhaps four or five homeless people are typically encountered each night at the airport, which is consistent with other end-of-line stations like those in Richmond and Fremont.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that these people don’t have any permanent housing and they end up at SFO,” said Jim Allison, a BART spokesman.

A BART police officer does a sweep through the last two trains of the night, along with the train operator, when they reach SFO, Allison said. SFO employees and San Francisco police officers assigned to the airport also screen people coming off those trains, asking them where they are headed, and respond to homeless people who sometimes make their way into the terminal.

Armando Sandoval, the BART police crisis intervention team coordinator, said officers typically find people at the end of line, often asleep. “I think it’s typical of migrating homeless. It could be buses, trains or subway trains,” Sandoval said. “They spend time on the trains and forget where they are and end up at the end-of-the-line locations.”

BART does not allow people to remain on trains when they are out of service — and with the airport’s isolated location, there isn’t an easy exit, officials said. Currently, San Francisco police hand out tokens for a free bus ride on SamTrans, which has 24-hour service to SFO and connects to locations from Palo Alto to San Francisco.

During the day, many homeless people contacted at the airport are provided BART passes.

“The notion of pulling them off a BART train and putting them on a SamTrans bus is not solving the problem, it’s just shifting it,” Yakel said. As a result, he said, the airport and BART are working with San Mateo County homeless services agencies to try to get help for individuals.

The phenomenon has intensified as the transit agency deals with an estimated $25 million-a-year fare evasion problem. On Monday, BART began a monthlong enforcement blitz to attack it. Three days later, General Manager Grace Crunican shocked the board of directors when she announced she’d be leaving the agency in July after running BART for seven years.

Read the whole story here.

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