Tag Archives: California

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

Criminals don’t follow laws: NorCal shooter built his own illegal guns

kevin janson neal

Crazed man: Kevin Janson Neal

Liberal logic: Despite all the gun control laws in California, the illegalities of gun acquisition and questionable mental wellness of this shooter, it’s still the NRA’s fault.

From NY Post: The deranged Northern California gunman built two of the four weapons he used in his bloody rampage himself, authorities said.

Kevin Janson Neal — who killed five people Tuesday before being gunned down by police — fashioned a pair of AR-15 semi-automatic rifles from parts he purchased, the Record Searchlight reported.

These firearms were manufactured illegally, we believe, by him at his home,” Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said Wednesday. “So they [the guns] were obtained in an illegal manner, not through a legal process. They are not registered.”

Cops said the crazed gunman had also used two handguns that were registered to someone else.

A restraining order issued in February prohibited him for owning guns.

The order was put in place after he was charged with assaulting two women in January, the outlet reported. He was out on $160,000 bail when he carried out the shooting.

Investigators believe Neal, 43, started his rampage by killing his wife Monday, then donned a ballistic vest the following morning, grabbed his weapons and set off on a 45-minute killing spree.

He killed two neighbors, stole their truck and drove around, randomly picking off targets.

He also tried to get into the Rancho Tehama Elementary School but was unable to after a quick-thinking staff member ordered a lockdown.

Neal appeared to have wanted to exact revenge on his neighbors after a long-running dispute, authorities said.

DCG

Sexgate: Actor Tom Sizemore accused of molesting 11-year-old girl

tom sizemore

The parents and others involved in the movie knew about this and did nothing. NOTHING. After all, they had a “fiduciary responsibility to the movie. What a cesspool Hollyweird is.

From Hollywood Reporter: Actor Tom Sizemore was told to leave a Utah film set in 2003 after an 11-year-old actress told her mother that he had touched her genitals, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Months later, he returned for reshoots in Malibu after her parents declined to press charges. The incident has never been revealed publicly.

When contacted, the now 26-year-old former actress, whom THR is not identifying at her request, declined to address the matter except to note that she’s recently hired a lawyer to explore legal action against the actor as well as her parents. Sizemore declined to address the situation. “Our position is ‘no comment,'” says his agent Stephen Rice.

THR spoke to a dozen people involved with the production of the film, a crime thriller called Born Killers (shot as Piggy Banks). They confirmed Sizemore was sent home over the alleged incident. According to these cast- and crewmembers, rumors swirled and emotions rose on set over what had allegedly transpired.

Sizemore, notorious for his long rap sheet that includes charges of drug use and battery against women, has not previously been accused of molestation. An actor with a tough-guy image then at the height of his scandal-driven infamy, when the Utah incident occurred he’d recently been convicted of physically abusing and harassing his ex-girlfriend, the former “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss.

Sizemore is said to have denied the young actress’ claim as soon as he was confronted with it. His management firm Untitled and talent agency CAA quietly dropped him shortly afterward. He’s currently repped by the boutique firm Pantheon.

​Cast- and crewmembers, inspired by the nascent movement toward industry transparency in the post-Harvey Weinstein era, explain that the incident took place near the end of production on Born Killers (not to be confused with Oliver Stone’s earlier Natural Born Killers, which Sizemore also appeared in). It was during a second-unit still portrait session, to capture photos of Sizemore’s character with his abandoned wife and daughter. The imagery would serve as a plot device in the $5 million film, which was released by Lionsgate in 2005. The film centers on two immoral brothers on a crime spree. (Sizemore played the dissolute father who raised them.)

The roughly half-hour session required the young actress, who had a small role in the production, to be seated on Sizemore’s lap in a holiday tableau. This is when Sizemore allegedly either rubbed his finger against the girl’s vagina or inserted it inside. Production manager Cassidy Lunnen recalls that “the girl was so young it was unclear to her and [later] her parents what had actually taken place and if it was intentional or not.”

During one setup, which required just the two of them, Robyn Adamson, who portrayed the wife, stood away, near the photographer. She recalls of the girl, who was wearing a flannel nightgown: “At one point her eyes got just huge, like she could’ve vomited. I was watching her. She soon reintegrated and kept going, although she had trouble taking direction. Later, when I was told about what happened, I knew exactly what it was.”

Catrine McGregor, the casting director who hired the young actress, fielded a call from the actress’ agent the next day, explaining that the girl had informed her mother that she’d been inappropriately touched. “The mother noticed that her daughter was unusually quiet and told her she was going to take her to this swimming place that was the little girl’s favorite thing,” says McGregor, a four-decade veteran in the business, who notes that she subsequently filed a complaint with SAG’s legal department and advocated for Sizemore’s immediate dismissal from the project. (SAG declined to comment.) “When the girl put on her bathing suit, she told her mother that it reminded her of the day before, in an upsetting way — that the bathing suit’s contact against her felt like what happened when the man had put his finger inside her,” as McGregor understood the events on-set.

Word spread quickly. “It filtered down to the crew,” says Roi Maufas, who worked as a production assistant. “The little girl said what she said and we all thought, ‘That fucking sleazebag.’ There was never any doubt. He was this guy who was already known for making inappropriate comments, being drunk, being high. We’re talking about consistent behavior, just being ‘Tom Sizemore’ on set every day. Then this happens. Guys reached for hammers. [Producer James R. Rosenthal, who died in 2011], who was livid himself, had to stop a group of us from going to visit Mr. Sizemore to kick the guy’s ass.

In interviews, the film’s producers Jai Stefan, Michael Manshel and Gus Spoliansky note that they removed Sizemore from set as soon as they heard about the assertion, reviewed the photographs from the portrait session but found them to be inconclusive evidence and sought out the parents to encourage them to engage law enforcement if they felt compelled to do so. Stefan, who along with the others describes being heavily affected by the actress’ claim (“I was like, ‘Did that just happen on my watch?’ I started crying”), recalls the parents “not wanting the little girl being taken off the movie. We said we can remove her, remove him, remove both.”

“They did talk to the police but didn’t press charges,” says Manshel adding: “We also talked to Tom at the time, and told him everything that had been told to us, and he said: ‘I’ve done a lot of awful things, and I’d never do anything with kids.’ We considered whether we had some responsibility to him to not pass judgment on him.

Eventually, in need of pick-up shots, they invited Sizemore to Spoliansky’s Malibu home a couple of months later for reshoots.

“We had a fiduciary responsibility to complete the film so we decided to go about business as usual — lacking the evidence of what happened that day,” says Spoliansky. Still, he’s quick to add, “We took the allegation extremely seriously and we were willing to do anything, including dismissing Tom. We just couldn’t be police, judge and jury.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Sticker shock coming with California’s new legalized marijuana market

mafia

Government is going to be in charge. What else would you expect to happen?

From ABC News: California’s legal marijuana marketplace is coming with a kaleidoscope of new taxes and fees that could influence where it’s grown, how pot cookies and other munchies are produced and the price tag on just about everything.

Be ready for sticker shock. On a retail level, it costs about $35 to buy a small bag of good quality medical marijuana in Los Angeles, enough to roll five or six joints.

But in 2018, when legal sales take hold and additional taxes kick in, the cost of that same purchase in the new recreational market is expected to increase at the retail counter to $50 or $60. At the high end, that’s about a 70 percent jump.

Medical pot purchases are expected to rise in cost too, but not as steeply, industry experts say.

Or consider cannabis leaves, a sort of bottom-shelf product that comes from trimming prized plant buds. The loose, snipped leaves are typically gathered up and processed for use in cannabis-laced foods, ointments, concentrates and candies.

Growers sell a trash bag stuffed with clippings to manufacturers for about $50. But come January, the state will tax those leaves at $44 a pound. That means the tax payment on a bag holding 7 or 8 pounds would exceed the current market price by five or six times, forcing a huge price hike or, more likely, rendering it essentially valueless.

“All it would become is compost,” predicted Ryan Jennemann of THC Design in Los Angeles, whose company has used the leaves to manufacture concentrated oils.

Governments struggling to keep up with the cost of everything from worker pensions to paving streets are eager for the cascade of new tax money from commercial pot sales that could eventually top $1 billion statewide.

But higher taxes for businesses and consumers give the state’s thriving illicit market a built-in advantage. Operators in the legal market have been urging regulators to be aggressive about shutting down rogue operators.

Donnie Anderson, a Los Angeles medical cultivator and retailer, predicted the higher level of state taxation next year is “just going to help the illicit market thrive.” He said more needs to be done to cut the cost, especially for medical users, many of whom won’t be able to absorb a price jump.

The increased tax rates are just one part of California’s sprawling plan to transform its long-standing medical and illegal markets into a multibillion-dollar regulated economy, the nation’s largest legal pot shop. The reshaping of such an expansive illegal economy into a legal one hasn’t been witnessed since the end of Prohibition in 1933.

The change has come haltingly. Many cities are unlikely to be ready by Jan. 1 to issue business licenses, which are needed to operate in the new market, while big gaps remain in the system intended to move cannabis from the field to distribution centers, then to testing labs and eventually retail shops.

The path to legalization began last year when voters approved Proposition 64, which opened the way for recreational pot sales to adults. Medical marijuana has been legal in California for about two decades.

Come January, state taxes will include a 15 percent levy on purchases of all cannabis and cannabis products, including medical pot.

Local governments are free to slap on taxes on sales and growing too, and that has created a confusing patchwork of rates that vary city to city, county to county.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Pro-life student group wins settlement after professor tries to wipe out chalk message

Excellent!

From Fox News: A California professor who is seen on video trying to censor pro-life students drawing with sidewalk chalk has been ordered to undergo First Amendment training and pay $17,000 as a result of a district court settlement.

Fresno State University public health professor Dr. Gregory Thatcher recruited students from his class to help deface the Fresno State Students for Life (FSSL) sidewalk chalk.

Thatcher allegedly harassed and intimidated the group, accusing them of chalking outside the free speech zone on campus — which hadn’t existed at the school since 2015.

“What the professor did was wrong, and the only permit a student needs to speak on campus is the First Amendment,” the pro-life club’s president, Bernadette Tasy, told Fox News.

The chalk messages encouraged students on campus to seek pro-life health care options.

Tasy captured an exchange between herself and Thatcher in a video clip of the incident.

“Free speech is free speech in the free speech area,” Thatcher is heard telling Tasy. “It’s a pretty simple concept, okay? This does not constitute a free speech area. Okay?”

After Tasy insisted they had permission from the university, Thatcher started erasing the chalk with his shoe. “You have permission to put it down, and I have permission to get rid of it. This is our part of free speech. College campuses are not free speech areas,” Thatcher said, “Do you understand? Obviously you don’t understand.”

As part of the settlement, in which Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) represented FSSL, Thatcher will pay $1,000 to Tasy and $1,000 to another student, Jesus Herrera, along with some attorneys’ fees. The professor is also required to undergo First Amendment training to be provided by ADF.

Thatcher told Fox News he won’t have to pay a penny out of his own pocket because the settlement was made through his insurance company. “I did not, in any way, admit to any wrongdoing,” Thatcher said. “I did agree to sit through a training seminar because I love to learn others’ thoughts and opinions.”

But Tasy said it’s not about the money. “The important thing is that Dr. Thatcher won’t be able to interfere with our expressive activities again,” she said.

Tasy was “really shocked” that a professor would behave like that – especially at a public university. “Public university professors should be encouraging free speech and not erasing it from existence,” she said.

Travis Barham, ADF Legal Counsel, said Thatcher was “in a league of his own” with such a flagrant violation of the First Amendment. “This is a particularly extreme case because you have a professor trying to wipe away the chalk himself,” Barham said. “Far too often university officials try to play the role of speech police and try to restrict what can be said and where it can be said on campus.”

Fresno State University did not respond to request for comment. Thatcher remains listed as faculty in the Department of Public Health, as noted by the College Fix.

DCG