Bratton…protect our North Coast again, average penis length, movie critiques. Greensite…on how EIRs are manipulated: Downtown Plan Extension. Schendledecker… Skypark! toxic waste disposal! Public trust fund! Steinbruner…County planning dept., county fire dept. & grand Jury, Sheriff Dept. and surveillance composting toilet, Harbor Village, construction consultants $$$, skyscraper canyons. Hayes…Oaks, terrestrial coral analogues. Patton…community over Capital. Matlock…moms, courts and pit-bulls unleashed. Eagan…Subconscious Comics and Deep Cover. Webmistress…pick of the week. Quotes “Butterflies”
DATELINE JULY 3
PROTECT OUR NORTH COAST…RIGHT NOW AND AGAIN. I arrived in Santa Cruz County (1970) just in time to help stop PG&E from building their Nuclear Power Plant in Davenport. Then again in the mid 70s we had the enormous battle against developers building 10,000 new houses in Wilder Ranch. Davenport and the North Coast now once again face just a large and threatening a danger…THE COAST COTONI NATIONAL MONUMENT.
The group Friends of the North Coast have valiantly been trying to arouse as many of us as possible to make any/all development as green and livable as possible. Go here to read and learn what FONC is all about… They just sent out a special wakeup call this week with this statement:
“Now that the property is a national monument, visitation and use can increase exponentially, as happened with Ft. Ord, where visitors jumped from 40,000 to 400,000 within a few years of its designation as a national monument”.
That’s 4000,000 in cars driving our Highway One and if you think Highway One is crowded now…wait and worry.
MY HOW YOU’VE GROAN!
According to the July 3rd issue of the New Yorker …research at King’s College (London) and at the University of Turin (Italy) the average size of the male penis “is 3.6 inches long when flaccid, and 5.2 inches erect. (The average girth is 3.5 inches flaccid, and 4.6 inches erect.)” And now we know!!!
I search and critique a variety of movies only from those that are newly released. Choosing from the thousands of classics and older releases would take way too long. And be sure to tune in to those very newest movie reviews live on KZSC 88.1 fm every Friday from about 8:10 – 8:30 am. on the Bushwhackers Breakfast Club program hosted by Dangerous Dan Orange.
TAKE CARE OF MAYA. (NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY MOVIE) (8.1 IMDB). A very devastating document for what has happened and continues to happen when hospitals and “Child Protective Services” cover up their mistakes and blame parents by calling them Child abusers and create prolonged cases in courts, with parents losing. This true case happened in Venice, Florida but exists in many locales. The hospital kept Maya a prisoner for three full months for only so called legal reasons.
INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY. (DEL MAR THEATRE) (6.9 IMDB). A very poor wrap-up and closer to the Indiana Jones series that started with such a literal bang. It’s stuffed full of CGI car chases, bloody roof jumping and the much ballyhooed restoration of Harrison Ford. It doesn’t help but Antonio Banderas and Mads Mikkelsen are almost hidden in it. It’s shallow, monotonous, pointless and painful…don’t go.
BLOODHOUNDS. (NETFLIX SERIES) (8.1 IMDB). Another Korean film that accomplishes exactly what was intended …and it works. It’s about loan sharks, everybody wearing covid masks, and guts flying everywhere. Guts fly because the lead characters are not just close buddies but also are boxers…Korean style boxers of course.
ROCK HUDSON-ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWED. (MAX DOCUMENTARY MOVIE) 7.8 IMDB). Rock Hudson’s real names were Roy Scherer jr. and Roy Fitzgerald. He died from AIDS in 1984 and was a Republican. He was gay and only hid it from the public, not his friends and fellow actors. He mainly did musicals and comedies and the 70’s were his decade. Doris Day and Elizabeth Taylor both liked him as a person and co-star. He starred big in Giant and author Armistead Maupin tells a lot of the background.
ARMAGEDDON TIME. (AMAZON PRIME MOVIE) (6.5 IMDB). This is a slow tearjerker of a movie with stars like Anthony Hopkins and Anne Hathaway leading the cast. It’s about New York City, it’s about being Jewish, it deals with Nazis and there’s even a character named Fred Trump in it for no good reason. Fred Trump was Donald Trump’s Dad and he died in 1999. It touches on father abuses among other issues, and it’s set in the 1980’s.
SPECIAL NOTE….Don’t forget that when you’re not too sure of a plot or need any info on a movie to go to Wikipedia. It lays out the straight/non hype story plus all the details you’ll need including which server (Netflix, Hulu, or PBS) you can find it on. You can also go to Brattononline.com and punch in the movie title and read my take on the much more than 100 movies.
EXTRAORDINARY ATTORNEY WOO. (NETFLIX SERIES) (8.7 IMDB). According to some recent article Korean films are leading the world in popularity nowadays. That proves true with this one. Attorney Woo is an autistic and brilliant young woman attorney (27 years old). The plot and drama and the laughs in the first episode makes this well worth hanging with. She defends a senior wife who hit her husband with a clothes iron. Serious, funny heartfelt and worth watching.
HUNGER. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.6 IMDB). A Thai film that gets deeper by the minute as it deals with a high end restaurant named Hunger. The head chef is mean, cruel and very successful and he trains his staff of ex noodle joint kids in ways to make all foods into art pieces…but at what cost personally? Vegies might not like this one.
SLEEPING DOG. (NETFLIX SERIES) (7.01 IMDB). This tricky German movie about a policeman who has amnesia and is then assigned a new rookie to investigate a murder case that was supposed to have been solved. It turns out that the police department has some issues that make this a pretty good movie.
BLACK MIRROR. (NETFLIX SERIES) (8.8 IMDB). They call it an anthology series. That means 27 separate episodes, each with its own separate plot and stars. Well-directed and nicely paced and stars such as Jon Hamm, Salma Hayek, Rory Kinnear, Miley Cyrus, Annie Murphy, and Oona Chaplin all have good parts in one of the series. Odd, fascinating, perplexing and well worth watching.
LOUIS ARMSTRONG- BLACK & BLUES. (APPLE TV) (7.4 IMDB). This documentary should be required viewing, especially for Americans. His early New Orleans history, his world travels, his use of marijuana way back when, and especially his side of the scene involving race relations after being accused of Uncle Tomism for decades. Orson Welles, Dick Cavett, Ed Murrow, Leonard Bernstein are a few of the stars in this dynamite treasure.
(Double) Talking Traffic
It’s not a good sign when the public is vastly outnumbered by top level city staff at a city council meeting. The three back rows of senior staff include Planning director, Assistant Planning director, Public Works director and Transportation manager. I am the sole speaker from the public. The Consent Agenda item proposes a further allocation of monies ($295,000) to consultants Kimley-Horn for the traffic study on the Downtown Plan Extension Project. I am speaking to the item because I read the traffic study will be limited to weekdays only.
That’s right. Weekend traffic won’t be studied in the environmental review (EIR) for a major project in an area currently grid-locked on most summer weekends. That omission means mitigations cannot be proposed in the EIR or implemented.
This is the largest single project in the history of Santa Cruz. The proposed housing will bring an additional three to four thousand people into a relatively small area between Laurel Street and the first roundabout. An anticipated 1600 new housing units will be built in multiple 12 story (minimum) structures, plus a new enlarged Warriors stadium. The main road impacted is Front Street, the major route taken by summer tourist traffic and by residents on the lower westside.
Although I was the only member of the public expressing concerns (go figure), after I spoke the issue was taken up by councilmembers Sonja Brunner and Sandy Brown, who asked staff to explain the lack of inclusion of weekend traffic in the study. First the Transportation manager had a crack at it and then the Planning director weighed in.
Their reasons (my comments in italics) for excluding weekends from the traffic study are:
- Adding weekends would be very expensive. (you don’t omit CEQA issues due to expense).
- Doesn’t need to be studied if within half a mile of a high-quality transportation hub.
- Conflicts with the General Plan which accepts more congestion downtown to make it more bike and pedestrian friendly. (this area is not yet “downtown”).
- Studying weekends would show a need to widen the road which is not good for bikes and pedestrians. (there are several mitigations that don’t require road widening).
- Would leave less land for development.
- We don’t need to analyze to know traffic is heavy on the weekends. (doesn’t pass the CEQA test).
- Study will be done on connecting Laurel St. Extension to Third Street; connecting to that neighborhood and the beach. (take note Beach Hill neighbors).
- Need to reduce traffic demand (i.e., driving) for people driving in the area. (take note lower westside residents).
- Level of Service (LOS) or a measure of delay is outside the scope of CEQA. (Not true if local conditions warrant a study of LOS.)
Councilmember Brunner persisted in her questioning and sent a strong message that she wants the issue of emergency vehicle access to have priority emphasis as the project and public meetings proceed. Councilmember Brown added her concerns that these significant impacts are not being fully addressed and supported Brunner’s emphasis on emergency vehicle access.
The Sentinel subsequently covered the issue in a prominent article by reporter Aric Sleeper. If a question had not been raised at the council meeting it is likely that this item, just one out of thirty-three other consent agenda items would have been approved without comment.
In October of 2022 the public was invited to contribute to a Scoping document for the project. This is a formal opportunity prior to the preparation of a draft EIR for the public to comment on what it wants included in the draft EIR. Below is an extract of what I submitted at that time. Other items I included in the original were about light pollution and habitat. You can judge if my requests on traffic and public services were considered or ignored.
Re: Scoping Comments for Downtown Plan Extension Project EIR
October 16, 2022
Dear Ms. Neuse,
The following are my comments submitted for the Downtown Plan Extension Project Subsequent Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). Thank you for your careful consideration.
- Assess the ability of emergency vehicles (police, fire, ambulance) to access the beach area, Wharf and Boardwalk during summer weekends when traffic currently is grid-locked at the roundabouts. Assess this impact, taking into account the additional traffic generated by 4000 new residents as well as increased commercial and visitor- serving establishments in the project area.
- Assess the increase in VMT from the thousands of residents of the lower westside who will divert away from this area due to gridlock and travel to and from their homes via Mission St.
- Factor in the delivery vehicles who currently use this route to make deliveries to the Wharf and Beach area, who will divert to Mission St. or California and then Bay St. to avoid gridlock.
- While VMT is required under CEQA, that law allows congestion to be studied if there are local conditions that warrant such study. Such conditions exist in the project area. Currently, the roundabout within the project area is grid-locked on summer weekends. Assess the congestion that will be aggravated by this project and fully mitigate. One mitigation is to re-divert beach-going traffic away from the project area so that the increase in traffic can be spread-out between Ocean St. and Front St. Consider a Boardwalk parking entrance and exit at the back as well as the existing front entrance to avoid the current situation of inbound Boardwalk traffic needing to navigate two congested round-abouts.
Fair to say that my comments were ignored if the statements from the Transportation manager and the Planning director at the council meeting are any indication. You should be concerned that the city of Santa Cruz Planning Department is not serving the public. The description from the council meeting is how the environmental review will likely be skewed. The significant impacts of this massive project will be manipulated into insignificance unless more people pay attention and demand better.
There will be more public meetings as well as the release of a draft EIR in probably late summer. There are new groups in town who love all development and could care less about the impacts on neighborhoods. They rely on residents being too busy or too distracted to follow the various meetings and agenda reports. They appear to have a Planning Department in their hip pocket. Time to get involved. There are supportive council members. They need to hear from us.
|Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, a member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of IDA, International Dark Sky Association http://darksky.org Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.|
SKYPARK! TOXIC WASTE DISPOSAL! PUBLIC TRUST FUND!
Guest columnist Tyler Maldonado, with Joy Schendledecker
City Council met in closed sessions on June 13th and again June 27th regarding real property negotiations over Skypark in Scotts Valley. Valued at $8.5 million, the 8.15 acre vacant lot is one of many abandoned airports in California, and is located on Mt. Hermon Road between Nob Hill and Target.
Closed session meetings are not open to the public, and parties to the meeting are disallowed from disclosing information gained from it following section 54963 of the Brown Act. Both lead negotiators, Director of Economic Development for Santa Cruz Bonnie Lipscomb and city manager Mali Lagoe of Scotts Valley did not comment for this reason.
According to Santa Cruz City law, proceeds from the sale of the Skypark Property are earmarked for the Public Trust Fund, a fund established in a Council Policy Manual update in 1998 to support capital improvement projects in Santa Cruz. Ongoing and future capital improvement projects are annually developed in the 3-year Capital Improvement Plan and can be found on the city’s website.
What does Public Trust Fund money actually fund? May 19, 2022, Planning Commission meeting, the 2023-2027 Capital Improvement Program Consistency with General Plan was presented. In 2022, Public Trust Fund monies went to projects like: new Harvey West Ballfield Lighting, the Cowell Beach Water Quality Project, City Residential and Collector Street Reconstruction and Overlay (aka repaving some streets), downtown bike locker replacements and signage, parking garage maintenance and upgrades, some wharf piling replacements, a “Space Utilization Plan” for City Hall, and to the Downtown Library Affordable Housing Project for early phase design and development of the downtown Library/ mixed use affordable housing project (and the list goes on).
In summary, more than $1 million was transferred from the Public Trust Fund to a variety of General Fund line items last year.
Additionally, on November 15, 2022, city council approved a $1.8 million Public Trust Fund-funded loan to For the Future Housing, Inc., affordable housing developer for a project on River Street (which seems like a good use, while some of the 2022 spending seems to stretch the approved uses).
“The City Council majority will have a say in what the money gets spent on, and those decisions would occur in a public meeting,” wrote Santa Cruz city councilmember Sandy Brown in an email response to an inquiry about how the anticipated proceeds of the Skypark sale would be spent.
Brown wrote that Scotts Valley is planning for a “town center,” in line with previous efforts to develop the property, according to the Scotts Valley Downtown Specific Plan established in 2008 to, “guide the development of a mixed-use node that will become the heart of the city.”
The city of Santa Cruz sold the property in 2018 to Scotts Valley Town Green Land LLC, a coalition of Bay Area developers for $8.5 million. Less than a year later, the developers walked away from the contract due in part to concerns over the cost of environmental cleanup of the site, which contained toxic materials such as arsenic and benzene.
Where will that contaminated soil end up? According to a January 2023 Calmatters investigation called, “Out of Site, Out of Mind,” it will likely go to one of two toxic waste landfills near indigenous land in Arizona or Utah. The full report is worth a deep read, but at least look at the summary news story. If and when the city is finally able to sell this toxic land, a stipulation of that sale should be that the soil is disposed of within California, preferably as close to Santa Cruz as possible. There is no possible environmental justice in sending it elsewhere.
The parcel was appraised at $8.3 million “as is” in 2017 by Zeller Appraisal Services for the City of Santa Cruz according to a Sentinel report, meaning the appraiser factored the cost of the cleanup into the valuation of the land.
That valuation was approved by the Santa Cruz city council in closed session and sent to Scotts Valley sometime in the spring of 2017, the Press Banner reported, which led the developer at the time Foothill Partners Inc. to pull out of the project. A year later, Scotts Valley Town Green Land LLC offered to purchase the site for $8.5 million to develop it into the “Scotts Valley Town Center,” a mixed-use development with 350 residential units above retail and entertainment-focused businesses.
Writing for the Good Times in May 2019, Alisha Green reported on the intersecting motivations at the time of the city of Scotts Valley and Town Green Land LLC that brought the project about in the first place. Seeking increased revenue from retail sales tax to offset a million-dollar-deficit, Scotts Valley pushed for increased retail space. Scotts Valley is projected to have a $5.2 million deficit for fiscal year 2023-2024, according to their budget report.
“One of the challenges with housing for me is that—I don’t have a nice number—but I know that housing, in my opinion, costs more in services than we receive in taxes,” Scotts Valley mayor at the time Jack Dilles was reported to have commented at the time.
“Our challenge will be to squeeze the developer so we can get what we want, at the same time there has to be profit in it for them to make it worthwhile,” Former Mayor Reed said in 2018, when the first phase of the development was being negotiated.
Developers on the other hand sought to build more housing, as residential rents would form the bulk of the profits. After a series of community meetings, those 350 units were reduced to 225 in February 2019; the developer pulled out of the project.
“The project that evolved for us, which reduced the housing component and maintained the original retail, did not have enough revenue to offset the costs,” Doug Ross, one of the leaders of the project, reportedly said.
Scotts Valley’s 6th housing element identifies 1,220 total and 392 “very low” affordable units as Scotts Valley’s share of necessary housing. If Scotts Valley doesn’t meet its RHNA goals, California’s Builder’s Remedy, a portion of the Housing Accountability Act of 2017 allows developers to bypass certain local restrictions if they meet some inclusionary affordable housing requirements.
Scotts Valley City law requires that 15% of all housing developments be deed-restricted as “below market rate”, affordable to someone making between 50 and 120% of the area’s median income.
“Because the state has ruled that local inclusionary ordinances can only apply to the base density of a project, we are not really getting any additional affordable units in projects that can seek up to 50% more units, by right,” Brown pointed out. Given this, Scotts Valley could allow developers to build a town center with as few as 10% “Below Market Rate” units.
If a sale finally goes through after multiple failed attempts, Scotts Valley could have its retail-focused town center and consequent tax revenues and meet some of its RHNA goal, and developers could make quite a buck with the state’s stick hanging over the city’s head, the question we are left with is this: what would Santa Cruz get? Given that the Public Trust Fund has been historically stretched to include all kinds of projects, general fund line items and even affordable housing financing, the direction of the funding seems likely to go wherever the city council points.
Perhaps with strong enough public opinion, it could even point in the right direction.
This column was initiated by, and largely researched and written by, Tyler Maldonado. I provided feedback, a little bit of writing, and a very small bit of research. Thanks Tyler!
|Joy Schendledecker is an artist, parent, and community organizer. She lives on the Westside of Santa Cruz with her husband, two teens, mother in law, and cats. She was a city of Santa Cruz mayoral candidate in 2022. You can email her at: email@example.com.|
(Joy Schendledecker is an artist, parent, and community organizer. She lives on the Westside of Santa Cruz with her husband, two teens, mother in law, and cats. She was a city of Santa Cruz mayoral candidate in 2022 firstname.lastname@example.org).
PUBLIC COMMENT ON COUNTY HOUSING ELEMENT ENDS
NEXT TUESDAY July 11
It is critical that the County Planning Dept. hear from you about where to place dense infill development in the unincorporated areas of the Community, and your last chance of substance to do so is next Tuesday, July 11. This is the update to the County General Plan, and will shape the quality of life in our Community for future generations.
The Project documents are in the link below, but first take time to look at what the two Stakeholder Committees recommended in Appendix C
Will the Planning Dept. staff follow these recommendations?
In the meantime, it is important that you read through their Recommendations and make your own by next Tuesday. E-mail them to:
2023HousingElement@santacruzcounty.us or click on the yellow button in the Project document website below:
DISAPPOINTING THAT THE GRAND JURY CHOSE NOT TO REVIEW FIRE DEPT. IMPLEMENTATION OF PAST RECOMMENDATIONS
One of the Grand Jury Reports just issued is “Honoring Commitments to the Public”. I was really hoping the Grand Jury would review the lack of an After Action Analysis by Santa Cruz County Fire Department and CalFire after the 2020 CZU Fire, to interview the Volunteers and determine what worked well and what did not. This is a crucial aspect of planning for future emergency response. However, I was disappointed to read this:
“The Grand Jury also reviewed Ready? Aim? Fire!; however, follow-up responses to this
2019-2020 investigation were not pursued, since over the past three years there has
been a major wildfire and three more fire-related Grand Jury investigations.
The value of the Grand Jury’s reports is realized when government agencies apply the recommendations to improve transparency and efficiency for county residents.”
Well, it would be great if the agencies actually did act in a manner improving transparency, wouldn’t it?
GRAND JURY REPORT ON SHERIFF DEPT. USE OF SURVEILLANCE
The Grand Jury did some good investigative work on other issues, namely the issue of Sheriff Dept. use of surveillance equipment, notably in the jails.
Other Reports just released by the Grand Jury are here and are worth reading:
WOULD THIS SPEED PERMIT APPLICATION PROCESSING?
Last Tuesday, the County Board of Supervisors Consent Agenda was bursting, numbering —–items. One Item, #29, proposed requiring the Planning Dept. to return within 90 days to report on the possibility of allowing building permit applicants to opt for having a Third Party Plan Check company review their plans, rather than the Planning Dept. staff.
The Planning Dept. has quite a few vacancies, leading to sluggish permit processing times:
As of June 6th, 2023, the County’s Performance Measurement Dashboard for the Permit Center showed the following median processing times: Single Family Dwellings – 64 days; Remodel – 107 days; Multi-Family Housing – 154 days; ADU – 197 days. On average, 18% of this time is the result of the applicant responding to comments, and 82% is county staff’s review time.
Between March 7, 2023, and June 6, 2023, there was an increase in the median processing time for permits in all categories. Specifically, the processing time for a remodel permit increased 10.31% from a median of 97 days to 107 days.
It will be interesting to see what the Planning Dept. staff reports to the Board on this. When the Board hired 4Leaf consultants to handle the CZU Fire permitting work, Planning Dept. staff complained, seemingly worried about their job security.
COUNTY COMPOSTING TOILET PILOT PROJECT MOVES TO WATSONVILLE
Another Consent Agenda item last Tuesday included changing the location of the County’s Composting Toilet Pilot Project from Crest Ranch in Bonny Doon to the Watsonville City Wastewater Treatment Plant in order to expedite permitting and avoid CEQA analysis. Now the bio-solids will be collected at the Ben Lomond Transfer Station, and transported to Watsonville for composting.
The idea was originally meant to help the CZU Fire Survivors rebuild their homes more quickly and to potentially avoid having to install the very expensive Alternative Systems that cost $75,000 or more as well as expensive geotechnical analysis for septic leach fields, now required by the County in many areas. The Supervisors approved a pilot project to compost waste at Crest Ranch, but permitting has been a problem.
The Santa Cruz County CBS Pilot was brought to the Board and approved in October 2022 to further support the rebuilding efforts of families impacted by the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fire. When the item was brought before the Board last year, only 14 of the 911 homes destroyed in the 2020 CZU Fire had been successfully rebuilt. Since then, 28 CZU-impacted households have successfully rebuilt their homes.
The Pilot Project is being enthusiastically shepherded by Watsonville City Sanitation Engineer, Mr. Ryan Smith. He testified before the County Board of Supervisors multiple times supporting the use of the alternative composting toilets when the County’s septic system ordinance was under State-mandated revision.
As the Chief Plant Operator at the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, Ryan Smith will provide on-site support and supervise the project with GiveLove. The City of Watsonville’s Public Works and Utilities Department has strongly supported this pilot and has agreed to host the Composting site at the treatment plant. Ryan Smith has led efforts on behalf of GiveLove to develop a license agreement between GiveLove & the City of Watsonville. On June 13th, the City of Watsonville’s city council adopted a resolution to execute the license agreement necessary to host the pilot project at the Watsonville Wastewater Treatment Plant.
So now, the six-month Pilot Project will allow 25 households in the CZU Fire area to get free composting toilet kits (usually costing $400 each). The company providing the kits, GiveLove, will collect the data necessary to inform the Board next year about the success of the Pilot Project, allowing the Board to consider expanding the effort going forward.
This will be interesting to watch…stay tuned.
FORMER HOTEL SITE NEAR THE HARBOR IS NOW
EXCESS PROPERTY TO SELL
Back in 2017, the County Redevelopment Successor Agency wanted to give Barry Swenson exclusive development rights to a large County-owned parcel at 7th Avenue and Brommer, overlooking the harbor. Maybe you went to those hearings, too, and heard the oily description of the massive project that would include an upscale hotel, condos and yurts for the “Visitor Accommodation” project. Proposed Development
Thank goodness, the County rescinded the deal with Swenson, however, last Tuesday, the Board officially declared the parcel “Surplus Property” and will offer it for sale. This was slipped through in Consent Agenda Item #35.
Here is what happens next:
Following adoption of a surplus resolution, the Surplus Lands Act (SLA) requires the Redevelopment Successor Agency (RSA) to issue a Notice of Availability for open space and for low-, moderate-income housing purposes to all required entities as provided in Government Code section 54221(f)(2) and 54222(a) and allow 60 days for response. If a responsive notice of interest is received within the 60-day period, then the RSA is required to negotiate in good faith for at least 90 days to attempt to reach terms of sale. If mutually acceptable terms of sale are not reached within the 90-day negotiation period, then the Property may be sold outside of the requirements of the SLA (except that a limited affordability covenant must be recorded against the Property).
The Property is surplus to RSA needs and not necessary for RSA’s use. It is therefore recommended to adopt a resolution declaring the Property surplus and stating the RSA’s intent to sell the Property.
Upon successful negotiation for disposition, sale of the Property will result in proceeds that will be distributed to the various taxing entities consistent with the share of the property tax received following approval of one or more Development and Disposition Agreements (DDAs) or other form of document approved by the RSA Board and the Santa Cruz County Consolidated Redevelopment Oversight Board.
The Project will offer the opportunity for an increase and diversity of housing options on the Site.
The Project will stimulate the economy offering lodging, shopping, dining, and indoor/outdoor gathering places.
What exactly will that mean??? Keep your eye on this and contact your County Supervisor when they all return from vacation on August 1.
APPROVING A QUESTIONABLE CONTRACT WITH CALFIRE
Another large expensive, potentially controversial Consent Item the Board of Supervisors swept under the rug was #46, approving a one-year $7.3 million contract with CalFire to train the Santa Cruz County Fire Dept. Volunteers.
Here is why I felt the Board should have rejected the contract:
Dear Board, You need to consider this contract AS THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF SANTA CRUZ COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT, not at the Board of Supervisors. The augmented $899,514 to pay for six additional engineers/drivers was supposed to be paid for by the CSA 48 2020 Special Benefit Assessment action. Property owners were also told the new tax would allow a cost-saving three-year contract with CalFire…this is not the case now. Claiming a large cost saving due to arbitrarily reducing the Amador Agreement time is bogus and only saves money on paper. The Fire Dept. Advisory Commission was not happy with the way CalFire Chief Armstrong manipulated the information when it was presented, and the Commissioners voiced concern that CalFire is becoming more dependent on CSA 48 monies buying new equipment that CalFire then leases on demand. This proposed Contract also eliminates local in-house plan checks, and relies on a contracting agency that is far removed from Santa Cruz County and may know little about the needs of the public and building and fire matters, especially relating to topography. Please do not approve this contract. It does not serve the public safety needs of the people, and promotes the needs of CalFire at the expense of the Santa Cruz County Fire Dept. volunteers who are treated poorly. Do not approve any contract with CalFire until there is an After Action Review of the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fire with the Volunteers.
The Board paid no attention, and asked no questions of CalFire Chief Nate Armstrong who was loitering in the hall.
Write your County Supervisors and demand an After Action Review be conducted with the County Fire Dept. Volunteers for the CZU Fire.
NEW COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER REPLACES GAIL NEWEL
One would think, with COVID now in the rearview mirror, that the new County Supervisor action to appoint a new County Public Health Officer would be quite public. Not so. Last Tuesday, the Board approved the appointment of Dr. Lisa Hernandez via Consent Agenda Item #54:
COUNTY RECEIVES $2.24 MILLION GRANT TO PROVIDE SEVEN UNITS OF HOUSING?
The County received $2.24 million in state Project Home Key grant monies to fund the 801 River Street transitional project that will provide seven housing units. That works out to be $320,000/person. Isn’t there a more cost-effective way to help more people with these hard-earned public taxpayer dollars?
That was Consent Agenda Item #67 last Tuesday: DOC-2023-594 Adopt resolution accepting unanticipated revenue in the amount of $2,240,000 from the California Department of Housing and Community Development for Project Homekey; ratify the Standard Agreement and local Project Agreement for the 801 R
COUNTY HIRES CONSTRUCTION CONSULTANTS FOR $9 MILLION EACH
The County Public Works Director Matt Machado claimed in Consent Agenda Item #83 that the County just does not have the staff to oversee construction projects in the County, so the Board of Supervisors approved extending contracts hiring two consultants for $9 million each.
Public Works is continuing to complete repairs to several damaged sites from the 2016-17 and 2022-23 storm events. Due to these and other on-going projects, the current not-to-exceed amounts for each Independent Contractor Agreement are at their current capacity, yet much more construction management services are needed for the upcoming construction season. This construction season includes several high value projects such as:
- The Soquel Drive Buffered Bike Lane project awarded at $20,208,885,
- 2023 Pavement Management awarded at $5,443,330,
- Emergency Routes Resurfacing awarded at $2,246,700,
- Highway 152/Holohan Road Intersection with Engineer’s estimate of $2,789,000, and
- Valencia Creek Sewer Relocation with a low bid of $2,364,836.
These upcoming projects are in addition to this winter’s emergency projects currently in construction and several others being added.
Overall, there is approximately $54 million worth of Capital Improvement Projects to be constructed this season and currently estimated value of $32 million worth of Emergency Repairs. Based on approximately $85 million in construction projects, management oversight is estimated at a cost 17% for roughly $14.5 this season.
Since 2019, MNS Engineers Inc. has performed oversight services on multiple projects at a value to-date of $45 million while Consor has performed services on a value to-date of $33 million. Rebidding on-call consultant contracts is not possible at this time as emergency repairs needed immediately on critical County infrastructure are necessary to respond to these emergencies. Inspection and project management of these emergencies does not permit a delay resulting from a competitive solicitation of bids on new on-call consultant contracts. These contracts will expire in April 2024; at which time, new contracts will be established.
To continue managing oversight of 2022 construction season started projects in addition to 2023 construction season projects, it is necessary to increase the agreement with MNS Engineers Inc., and Consor North America, Inc. Approving amendments of $5,000,000 for each consultant for a total increase of $10 million is less than the estimated needed value of $14.5 million in additional oversight services for this season alone. This approval allows uninterrupted management services to projects currently in construction as well as multiple projects to start.
The recommended actions would result in a new not-to-exceed amount of $9 million for each contract.
DOC-2023-610 Approve amendment to agreements with construction management on-call consultants to increase compensation by $5,000,000 each for a total amount of $9,000,000 each, and take related actions, as recommended by the Deputy CAO/Director of Co
EVEN WITH $8 MILLION BUDGET DEFICIT, SUPERVISORS APPROVE LEASING NEW OFFICE FOR $27,552/MONTH FOR FIVE YEARS?
Consent Agenda Item #87 approved a new five-year lease at 150 Westridge Drive in Watsonville, near the huge new campus the County purchased this year for a South County Government Center. This 13,776SF leased office space will house health care serviced while the buildings at 1430 Freedom Blvd. are demolished and rebuilt, and also include a new 1,350SF office for Fourth District Supervisor Felipe Hernandez.
DOC-2023-614 Approve lease agreement for real property located at 150 Westridge Drive, Watsonville; authorize the Deputy CAO / Director of Community Development and Infrastructure to execute the lease agreement on behalf of the Health Services Agency
Consent Item #93 approved spending $3.3 million for the architects to design the new building to replace the demolished structure at the Freedom Blvd. campus. DOC-2023-620 Approve agreement with Hawley Peterson Snyder (HPS) Architects for the South County Health Campus Project in the amount of $3,356,086; adopt resolutions accepting unanticipated revenue in the amount of $3,356,086 in Fiscal Year 2022-23;
NEW 10′ WIDE BIKE PATH ON GREEN VALLEY ROAD IN WATSONVILLE MUST BE BUILT IN ONE YEAR
Consent Agenda Item #94 approved funding a bike path on Green Valley Road between Airport Blvd(Holohan Rd.) and Mesa Verde Drive (where the Sheriff Substation is located).
The Engineer’s Estimate for this project, not including design, inspection, overhead, or contingencies, is $4,122,739. The project is partially funded by multiple sources including $5,000,000 in Clean California Grant Funds, $400,000 in Measure D Funds, and $516,097 in County General Funds.
DOC-2023-621 Approve plans, specifications, and engineer’s estimate for the Green Valley Road Multi-Use Trail Improvements Project; set online bid opening for 2:15 p.m. on July 27, 2023; direct Community Development and Infrastructure to return on or
THERE WAS NOT A MEETING OF THE MINDS, SO THE COUNTY TOOK AWAY FLOOD CONTROL MONEY
It was amazing to see that the Board of Supervisors rejected the plea of Pajaro Flood Control Management Director Dr. Mark Strudley to leave the County funding support in place for Pajaro flood control projects for which the money was intended. He asked the Consent Agenda Item #96 be pulled, in order to have better public discussion. Chairman Zach Friend refused to do so.
Watsonville City Councilwoman Ari Parker also requested the Board not approve the proposed funding claw-back, but to no avail. Wow. Public Works Director Matt Machado dismissively explained to reporters in the hallway who asked why the County was taking back the funding, “It’s just crumbs.”
GOOD LETTERS TO THE SUPS
Make sure you read through the Correspondence of last Tuesday’s County Board of Supervisor meeting. Mr. Cove Britton wrote a good one regarding the Board’s farce involving the appeal of a Planning Dept. determination requiring expensive studies ad nauseum (Letter #i):
FEDERAL MONEY TO SUPPORT DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ SKYSCRAPER CANYONS?
Russ Brutsche spotted this interesting article on Lookout Santa Cruz, sporting the federal official visit to Santa Cruz. The City’s proposed new ordinance for all-electric housing seemed charming to Ms. Ariel Marshall from the Dept. of Energy.
Why did she come here? It seems Mayor Fred Keeley and City Economic Development Director Bonnie Lipscomb have grand plans to build a downtown canyon of skyscrapers and want to court federal dollars to help pay for it.
Will they also pay for the cleanup of liquefaction destruction as sea level rise discussions warn?
NEW CHANTICLEER OVERCROSSING WILL OFFER SWEEPING VISTA OF TREATED SEWAGE WATER PLANT
The work on Highway One near the Soquel Drive/Soquel Avenue area is in full swing. The pedestrian overcrossing that will be juxtaposed to the PureWater Soquel Project treatment plant will have sweeping views of the facility, and likely expose users to loud noise from the reverse osmosis pumps. When I toured a similar facility in Santa Clara, the agency issued ear protection.
Here is the strip of land the Chanticleer Overcrossing will occupy when built. The County and RTC paid Soquel Creek Water District $740,000 for this strip of land.
Here is the PureWater Soquel Treatment Plant, but what you can’t see here are the multiple large hazardous chemical storage tanks that will be adjacent to the Chanticleer Pedestrian Overcrossing.
If you are interested in learning more about the Highway One and Overcrossing Projects, tune in this Friday at 1pm to “Community Matters” to hear Ms. Sarah Christensen, Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission Project Engineer, discuss the work happening now and what else is planned. santacruzvoice.com
REST IN PEACE, ROB EDWARDS
I was saddened to read the obituary of Rob Edwards in Sunday’s Santa Cruz Sentinel. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting this amazing fellow who worked hard to build a great training platform at Cabrillo College for archaeology students and was highly respected for his work, I have read and appreciated a number of his reports. The most notable one was his survey of the barn at the Redman-Hirahara Farmstead, detailing the artifacts associated with the Japanese American families who lived there upon the end of the Internment Camps of WWII, having lost all they had while being imprisoned. Thanks to the Hirahara family and the Pajaro Valley neighbors, the apartments in the barn helped those unfortunate families get back on their feet.
Rest in peace, Rob, and thank you for your good work while you were here.
THE LEE RESOLUTION INITIATED THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
I recently learned of the Lee Resolution, a document that preceded the Declaration of Independence and shaped the beginning of our Nation. I had never heard of this piece of history and enjoyed learning more about how the process happened to launch the United States of America into being. Happy Independence Day!
WRITE ONE LETTER. MAKE ONE CALL. ATTEND A MEETING AND EXPECT ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS.
MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE THIS WEEK BY JUST DOING SOMETHING.
Cheers and Happy Independence Day,
Becky Steinbruner is a 30+ year resident of Aptos. She has fought for water, fire, emergency preparedness, and for road repair. She ran for Second District County Supervisor in 2016 on a shoestring and got nearly 20% of the votes. She ran again in 2020 on a slightly bigger shoestring and got 1/3 of the votes.
Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com
OAKS, TERRESTRAIL CORAL ANALOGUES
This past weekend, I had occasion to gaze for hours on end up into oak trees, reminding me of an analogy I’ve thought about where oak trees are like terrestrial coral reefs. When snorkeling around an atoll with patches of coral, I glide over vast sea grass beds, which hide flounder, conch, rays, and serve as habitat for many more species. Ahead, I see a tall, dark shadow looming and slowly coming into view is a coral patch. As I draw near, many species of colorful fish dart in and out of crevices and caves formed by the coral. Far from those tropical waters, I hike through extensive grasslands startling grasshopper and savannah sparrows, snakes, and a resting fawn. As I draw closer to the oak forest that rings the grasslands, I see new species of colorful birds and many butterflies popping out and flying back into the protection of the oak canopies.
The long-lived evergreen oaks of the central coast serve super-important roles supporting wildlife, and their canopy structure lends for spellbinding entertainment.
Our California Sister
I want to tell you about an oak-related butterfly that often catches my attention. California sister, Adelpha californica. If you spend much time around one of our live oaks right now, chances are good that you’ll see one of these strikingly beautiful butterflies. They can be very, very energetic fliers with bursts of energy followed by short glides, and lots of sudden turns. They behave more like predacious dragonflies than nectar-loving butterflies. Flying in and out of each hole in an oak canopy, they sometimes dart down the top of each branch, methodically seeming to examine every bit of structure. Why?
I have many hypotheses about this high energy ‘patrolling’ of oaks by California sister butterflies. Are they guarding their eggs or larval babies? It takes more than 60 days for an egg to reach its adult stage, growing from tiny to larger caterpillars along the way. During the caterpillar stage, they are vulnerable to predation or harassment by many things, though apparently neither the young nor the adult butterflies are tasty due to concentration of toxic oak-leaf compounds. So, perhaps they are looking for just the right place, and just the right time, to glue one of their eggs to the oak. Back and forth the colorful butterflies go, flitting in and out of shade, deeper into the canopy or out from it in the full sun. Maybe they are thermoregulating through this behavior. I also wonder if they might not be clearing spider webs from their territory, to make it safer for their young to learn to fly after they emerge from chrysalis with their tender young wings and clumsy first flights.
Do the California sister butterflies fly around the trees where they grew up, or do they move around more? Are there generation after generation of the same families in the same trees? Do they guard the flower patches near their trees, to maximize their access to nectar? So many questions…
Other Oak Denizens
While watching the California sister antics, I saw a bright yellow swallowtail butterfly cruise rapidly by. Was it a coincidence that it didn’t slow down or was it wary of the danger of trespassing into California sister territory?
In the heat of the day, a high buzzing noise fills the air around the oak groves; during the morning and evening, there are clicks. Both of those sounds are cicadas. The buzzing noise are male adult cicadas. In the soil beneath the oak leaf duff, unwinged young cicadas are sucking on roots for a living. One day, they emerge as winged adults, shedding a hideous exoskeleton that you can sometimes find laying around. Female cicadas lay eggs in holes they cut into an oak tree’s pencil-thin twig bark.
Occasionally, some say especially at the onset of droughts, oak moths flitter around the canopies of oaks by the hundreds. They look like large, animated confetti. Their larvae drop so much poop in those episodic years that it sounds like its raining. They don’t kill the oaks, generally- perhaps they help defoliate the trees to keep them from using too much water…or perhaps they help cycle nutrients with all of their rich poop.
Still More Oak Friends
More than once, I saw dragonflies perching on the outermost tips of oak branches. So many bugs jet in and out of the oak canopy that there are plenty of chances for those dragonflies to grab one up and make a meal of it.
I recently encountered an oak tree that buzzed. Looking into the canopy, I noticed that yellow jacket wasps were animating the entire tree with buzzing movement. The wasps were eating an outbreak of oak pests, or just lapping up sweet insect exudates, from scale or aphids, I couldn’t tell – they were too high up.
Some of the oak associate insects make odd looking structures called “galls.” There are lots of different things that do that, and that previous link is a great place to explore the amazing variation of species. I add a photo of one I found this past weekend here, next to a canyon live oak acorn cup.
Birds in the Mix
Oak trees also provide for many birds. Acorns are important food to California scrub jays, which have been shown to store 7,000 acorns in the soil and subsequently forgetting about some that germinate and grow. Acorn woodpeckers store their acorns in holes in tree trunks. Lots of other birds eat acorns.
The most colorful oak bird is the Townsend’s warbler, which (unlike many other of its warbler relatives) overwinters along the coast in California. It is a real treat to see this yellow-streaked bird darting around an oak canopy in the otherwise drab winter.
As oaks get older, they drop limbs, leaving behind cavities that provide nesting locations for other colorful birds, such as the Western blue bird. Such nesting cavities are a limiting factor for the survival of many bird species.
Help the Oaks
Besides the many species of life that oaks support, oak trees make great shade, are drought tolerant, and grow nice firewood. The entertainment value of having an oak close to your home is well worth it. You can grow an oak tree almost no matter what kind of soil you have near your house. So, why not plant one? Or not…if you are lucky enough to live near oak trees, you can bet that a scrub jay will plant one for you and all you need do is help the sprouted young plant along.
If you pick a nursery oak tree, make sure that it is less than a year old and that the roots aren’t swirling around inside the pot: messed up roots are terribly detrimental. If one of those early roots goes around in a circle inside the pot, the mature root will follow its path, a disadvantage to long-term tree health.
You’ll want to water a new oak regularly through the first summer, but not thereafter. Try to avoid summer water if at all possible past the first year.
Oaks grow faster than you think! Get ready to plant one this fall by scoping out the right spot…
Grey Hayes is a fervent speaker for all things wild, and his occupations have included land stewardship with UC Natural Reserves, large-scale monitoring and strategic planning with The Nature Conservancy, professional education with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and teaching undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz. Visit his website at: www.greyhayes.net
Email Grey at email@example.com
(Grey Hayes is a fervent speaker for all things wild and whose occupations have included land stewardship with UC Natural Reserves, large-scale monitoring and strategic planning with The Nature Conservancy, professional education with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and teaching undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz. Email Grey at firstname.lastname@example.org
I wrote, recently, about The Catholic Worker Movement, and today I am following up.
Let me alert you to the May 15/22, 2023, edition of The Nation, which ran an excellent article by Renée Darline Roden. Her article was titled, “Works of Mercy.” At least, that’s the hard copy version of the headline. Online, the article bears this title: “The Anarchism of the Catholic Worker.”
I think what The Nation has to say about The Catholic Worker Movement is important. My own writing on this topic is not so bad, either. I encourage you to find out more. Just click those links.
The actual purpose of this follow-up blog posting, however, is not to brag about my own writing, or to celebrate The Nation’s important comment about an important topic. As is so often the case, one little phrase in Roden’s article sent me to my computer, to type out today’s blog posting. Here’s the comment, from The Nation, that lets you know why The Catholic Worker Movement is so important:
Resisting capitalism by creating a new economic life is not just a Gen Z innovation on the Worker movement. Choosing community over capital as the basis for an economy is the original Catholic Worker mandate (emphasis added).
Choosing “community” as the organizing principle of our economy is the antidote to much that has made our economy, and society, and our politics, so unwell. Here’s how I usually put it:
“We are all in this together!”
If that is, in fact, true (and that statement is, in my estimation, a profound truth about our human situation), then we need to structure our society, economy, and politics to reflect that reality. Learning about The Catholic Worker Movement is a good place to start.
Gary Patton is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read and subscribe to his daily blog at www.gapatton.net
Email Gary at email@example.com
MOMS, COURTS AND PIT-BULLS UNLEASHED
Before finishing up their summer term, the US Extreme Court showed us how it intends to continue reinventing America. Not content with their earlier decisions of ending the right to an abortion, limiting the EPA’s ability to fight climate change, and eliminating state gun control laws, the rampage continued with their history-making lurching toward the right. The initial rulings issued were deceptive, prompting hopes of moderation for the upcoming remainder, especially in the aftermath of criticisms heaped upon the judicial body over the past months. The heaviest decision dealt with overruling a conservative case which would have allowed state legislatures to have nearly unrestrained power on running elections, with complete control over gerrymandered district maps, a MAGA-supported case that would have altered use of electoral votes in the presidential election. Trump attorney, John Eastman, had maintained that state legislatures could simply ignore election results and appoint electors pledged to Trump, thereby keeping him in the White House after the contested 2020 election; so this decision against the crackpot ‘independent state legislature theory’ was a big relief for liberals who looked with trepidation toward 2024, as the GOP and its billionaire sugar-daddies looked forward to stacking the deck. Justices Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Coney Barrett, stood with liberals Sotomayor, Kagan and Brown for the majority opinion.
Lower court rulings were upheld, determining that Alabama had drawn congressional districts in such a way that voting power in Black populated districts was diluted, which will require that districts be redrawn. Past court decisions which tended to weaken the Voting Rights Act, tended toward more restraint in this instance, some crediting Chief Justice Roberts with being able to rein in his conservative firebrands. Then, the Kraken was unleashed, as college admissions no longer had to consider race, eliminating affirmative action in cases brought forward by Harvard and the University of North Carolina, a decision toward which Justice Thomas has been anxiously waiting to cast a thumb’s down vote. Such a supple wrist, with Ginni aiding him in the lead-up to big day! Saving the final big decision until Friday on the Biden administration’s Student Loan debt-relief order, the court ruled it unlawful, capping its reframing of laws and doctrines that have served the country well for generations.
NAACP President, Derrick Johnson, called out Justice Clarence Thomas as “the worst thing” created by affirmative action in condemnation of the Supreme’s decision to overturn affirmative action in college admissions. Thomas benefitted from the program, gaining a spot in Yale’s law school, and upon graduating, he wrote that racial preference had “robbed my achievement of its true value.” Then turn in your robe, Clarence! Johnson declared, “Race plays an undeniable role in shaping the identities of and quality of like for Black Americans. In a society still scarred by the wounds of racial disparities, the Supreme Court has displayed a willful ignorance of our reality.” On the other hand, former VP Mike-the-whitest-person-in-politics-Pence argued that affirmative action is no longer need as it once was to correct racial bias. “But I can tell you, as the father of three college graduates, those days are long over,” he proclaims. Wow! Who knew that ‘Mother‘ isn’t White?!!
The non-case in the release of the court’s decisions allows a Colorado-based web designer who opposes same-sex marriage to deny her services to LGBTQ+ couples. Lorie Smith, who brought the case was allowed to post a notice that she would not design a site for gay couples due to her religious beliefs, which could have violated Colorado law. According to Smith, a man named Stewart approached her to design a site for his wedding, but Stewart denies contacting her, says he has been married to the same woman for fifteen years and had no idea this case was wending its way through the courts. Although the state could have figured this out early on and saved everyone a lot of trouble, being vacated as a fraudulent case, her lawyers allowed the hoax to proceed. While Smith believes her First Amendment rights would be violated, Justice Sotomayor wrote that the plaintiff was objecting to “conduct,” and ignores the importance of our right to public accommodation. One person suggests, “Every website request begins with, ‘We are gay, and we need a wedding website. If the business is accommodating, then say, ‘Actually, I need a graduation website for my son…I just wanted to make sure you weren’t a complete homophobe.”
Probably shouldn’t be considered out of the ordinary, but an Indiana chapter of Moms for Liberty quoted Adolph Hitler on the cover of their newsletter, ‘The Parent Brigade.’ Their apology rang a bit hollow in light of their dedication to banning books and targeting LGBTQ+ students and school staff, in addition to reaching out to the Proud Boys, Three Percenters, Christian Nationalists and other extremist groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center says the group’s primary goals are to fuel right-wing hysteria and make the world less comfortable for Blacks and LGBTQ+ individuals. On a recent weekend, five GOP presidential hopefuls auditioned before the group’s ‘Joyful Warriors’ conference in Philadelphia, as they trumpeted their parental rights credo against such things as COVID–19 precautions, school libraries, school curricula that covers race, sexuality, and gender. The Former Guy told the group, “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to America.” followed by Nikki Haley saying, “When they mentioned that this was a terrorist organization, i said, ‘Well, then count me as a Mom for Liberty.'” Ron DeSantis praised them with, “Scrutiny of this group is a sign that we are winning this fight.” Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ryan Walters, who has called teachers’ unions “terrorist organizations” capped the praise with, “You know who else was called a terrorist group, an extremist group? Those founding fathers. That’s who you are today. You are the most patriotic group in the country right now.” Other speakers continued the tirade, with James Lindsay describing the Pride flag as that “of a hostile enemy,” and Lt. Governor Mark Robinson (NC), declaring the transgender movement “demonic, and full of the Anti-Christ spirit.” All of this debasement, in Trump’s words is, “In service of fighting a cult of Marxists and perverts,” as these GOP candidates race to the bottom of the barrel.
As Bocha Blue of the Palmer Report writes, “These presidential contenders have no idea what’s about to come at them. They’re like innocent lambs heading to the slaughter…Right now, they’re doing the usual Republican dance, which is – run for President, but avoid attacking His Royal Traitor. Ah, but that’s OK because the ultimate test – the Big Kahuna – is getting ready to fasten its talons around ALL of them. See, it’s a question – one innocent question, but it has the potential to ruin all the candidates. It has the potential because there is no answer to this question. Anything they say makes things worse for them. Picture them being interviewed by reporters or perhaps in a debate. The Question: “Who is the rightful winner of the 2020 Presidential election?” Cue the bells of doom…it isn’t Trump they should be afraid of – it’s MAGA. Nobody in MAGA will EVER vote for a candidate who says Biden is the lawful and accurate President…MAGA wants their fantasy to continue. They will turn like pit-bulls on ANY candidate who doesn’t continue to delude them. And if they say Trump is the rightful winner? They lose all the independents. They lose America…They will try to answer with a non-answer. It won’t work. They will ALL have to say who they think is the President. And if they’re not worried about the answer, they’re in even more trouble that initially thought.”
After the Republican National Committee released its criteria last month with requirements for candidates to participate in the August debate, one of which is signing a pledge to support the Republican nominee, many of the hopefuls are taking umbrage over the mandate. Some are reluctant at signing, at least one refuses to do so, but the RNC is immoveable, chairwoman Ronna McDaniel saying, “It’s the Republican Party nomination, and the pledge is staying.” Time to uncage the pit-bulls, eh, Ronna?
Dale Matlock, a Santa Cruz County resident since 1968, is the former owner of The Print Gallery, a screenprinting establishment. He is an adherent of The George Vermosky school of journalism, and a follower of too many news shows, newspapers, and political publications, and a some-time resident of Moloka’i, Hawaii, U.S.A., serving on the Board of Directors of Kepuhi Beach Resort. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. View classic inner view ideas and thoughts with Subconscious Comics a few flips down.
EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Deep Cover” down a few pages. As always, at TimEagan.com you will find his most recent Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.
“Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
“The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity.”
“Butterflies are self-propelled flowers.”
~Robert A. Heinlein
Hope you had a great 4h of July! Here, have a couple of laughs!
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