BRATTON…Food Not Bombs, read this horizontally, save the trees. GREENSITE…on Reflections from Down Under. SCHENDLEDECKER…winter blues. STEINBRUNER…S Cruz water demands, sewage or drinking water? Lost fire engine. HAYES…what lots of rain brings. PATTON…Oh, the Horror. MATLOCK…ringleaders and know-nothings bearing bear spray. EAGAN… Subconscious Comics and Deep Cover WEBMISTRESS’…pick of the week: Starry Night QUOTES…SPRING.
DATELINE March 13
SPECIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM FOOD NOT BOMBS. A good friend forwarded this brief on Monday (3/13) it deserves reading and following and adapting.
A SPECIAL KIND OF CRUELTY – FORCING THE HOMELESS OF SANTA CRUZ INTO THE HARSH TORRENTS OF THE ATMOSPHERIC RIVER
by Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry
The City of Santa Cruz is forcing hundreds of people who are homeless to stand out in the atmospheric river. Just imagine standing day after day in these torrents of rain with no way to change into dry clothes. These people could be spared this suffering if the city opened empty public buildings like the Civic Auditorium, the Veterans Hall and the Warriors Stadium for 24 hours a day during these deadly storms but they have refused. The one emergency shelter in town is only open for 25 people from the hours of 8:00 pm to 8:00 am leaving those few lucky people to spend their days huddled against the rain in the doorways of failed businesses.
The city of Santa Cruz is not only failing to provide safe shelter during the atmospheric river on March 9, 2023 the city threatened to arrest Food Not Bombs if we shared our meal next to Parking Garage 10, forcing people to stand in the downpour to get the only daily hot meal provided to the homeless during three years of the pandemic lockdown. This sure is an odd way to honor the city’s one volunteer organization who shared food and survival gear every day since March 14, 2020.
On June 29, 2021, the City of Santa Cruz announced that they would receive $14.5M from the State to fund their “homelessness response.” So far there is little evidence that this has provided any assistance and it sure has not been used to provide emergency shelter from the brutal atmospheric river.
As has been the case during each of this winter’s storms hundreds of additional people have been made homeless. “There are about 1,700 people displaced from their homes in Pajaro, and the town is inundated with water throughout,” Monterey County Communications Director Nick Pasculli told NPR. Food Not Bombs has been providing food and sleeping bags to those who lost their housing during these storms.
Adding to the crisis is the fact that hundreds of families have already had their food stamps reduced and there are additional cuts set for April.
“The average household on CalFresh will lose about $200 a month” said Becky Silva, government relations director at the California Association of Food Banks. A single-person household, for instance, could drop from $281 a month in food aid to as low as $23 in April.
Silvergate Bank, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank collapsed this week and a bank run on New Republic also started. Many area business who had deposits in Silicon Valley Bank may not be able to meet their payrolls. Over 150,000 tech workers were let go in 2022, many employed in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Another 68,500 tech workers were sacked in January 2023.
By the time you read this the news might be much worse, making the need to respond to the crisis in homelessness even more dire.
Along with a failing economy we are faced with the very real possibility of a global war between nuclear armed nations.
Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs had been preparing for the economic crisis, buying our first shipping container with a grant from Second Harvest. We held a benefit concert with David Rovics at London Nelson Community Center in September 2018 and a year later I shared a flyer pretending that the city had a plan to help the residents during the global economic crash. Well it looks like that time has come and still the city has no plan and it is up to volunteer groups like Food Not Bombs to provide for the community.
The pandemic was the first major event that showed we are on our own. The government has no intention of supporting anyone but themselves. News that it would only take a few weeks to “flatten the curve” gave us hope that the Little Red Church’s Monday night meal, the London Nelson Senior Meal and Saint Francis would reopen in a month or two. Our little crew sat at LuLu Carpenters on March 14, 2020, plotting out our COVID safety protocol believing that we could cover the void left by the shuttering of the indoor meals during the few months they would be closed.
A few days later the city asked us to lure our unhoused friends into their Triage Cages, fenced in parking lots scattered around downtown but we refused. Second Harvest Food Bank delivered its first of many truck load of rice, beans and other dry goods. We were approached by Live Oak School District seeking groceries for their homebound families so we did. We packed dry goods into an empty office and dining area at India Joze. Dozens of people stepped up to volunteer. People delivered homemade meals. Good hearted people dropped off handmade cloth masks. We connected parents with unhoused children, fixed vehicles saving their homes from the city tow trucks and helped charge their phones. We provided the only reliable hand washing station.
We organized the Community Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners that had been held at the Veteran’s Hall or the Museum of Art and History in the years before the lockdowns. A live concert at our meals marked every holiday.
The CZU Lightning Complex fires sent more people to our meals and clothing distribution. After winning a federal lawsuit against sweeping the homeless from San Lorenzo Park we began a weekly distribution of a pallet or more of food to Mama Shannon’s pantry and JP’s Kitchen in the Benchlands.
Food Not Bombs bought two more 20 foot shipping containers to store our back stock of food and equipment moving them each time the city evicted us from one empty parking lot to another.
So at the third anniversary of Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs sharing hot meals and survival gear it is clear that we can’t depend on the city to provide lifesaving services. But we can depend on them to implement the most brutal policies designed to inflict as much suffering as possible.
The violence of those at city hall is horrific and criminal. A very special kind of cruelty.
City of Santa Cruz – 831-420-5010
Mayor Fred Keeley – firstname.lastname@example.org
City Manager Matt Huffaker – email@example.com
Police Chief Bernie Escalante – firstname.lastname@example.org
Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs
PO Box 422 – Santa Cruz, CA 95061 USA
READ BRATTONONLINE HORIZONTALLY!!! Over the last 20 years online we’ve received a few questions/complaints about the difficulty of reading this entire column on our narrow windowed iPhones. I agree and had the same problem until I learned to turn the phone sideways and read it horizontally. It produces at least a 12-14 point font, and that should work for anyone as easy as it does for me and my aging eyes.
SAVE THE TREES. It’s too late to make this week’s City Council meeting (3/14) but here’s some of what the Our Downtown, Our Future sent out in a press release Monday (3/13)…
The Tuesday, March 14, City Council meeting is our last chance to save some of the Heritage trees on Lot 4 from being cut down. At least a few of these trees on the Cedar Street perimeter can easily be accommodated in the final design without undermining any goals of the project. The City needs to follow its own Heritage tree ordinance and resolution! Two things:
First, please send letters to city council using (the Action Network Link). You can use the message there or erase and send your own. To be in the packet, it needs to be received by today [Monday] at 5pm.
And second, if you can, come to the council meeting on Tuesday. You can zoom in or come in person Please witness, and if you feel called to do so, speak for the trees! The agenda item about the Lot 4 project will likely not be until 5pm or later.
Bonus for you, here is some music from last Saturday, and, below, from Russell Brutsché, well worth taking a listen!
Twelve heritage trees are slated to be removed where the City will build the new Library/Mixed Use Project.
These heritage trees have been part of our community for over sixty years, providing shade, scrubbing our air, and enhancing our beloved Farmers’ Market since its move to Lot 4 in the 1990s.
For more information about the heritage trees on Lot 4 and our Save Some Trees Coalition effort to have some incorporated into the design,
please visit this Santa Cruz Climate Action Network page.
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.
THE QUIET GIRL. (DEL MAR THEATRE). (7.7 IMDB). It didn’t win an Oscar for best foreign film…but it should have. It’s a very tender, touching, near gut wrenching story of a young neglected Irish girl in about 1981 who is sent to live with her family’s foster parents. Her shyness, her pain, her observations of the world around her make this one of the finest movies I’ve seen in years. Don’t miss it.
LUTHER: THE FALLEN SON. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.5 IMDB). The latest edition of the Luther series stars Idris Elba as the troubled and complex London detective. (Just between us there’s a character who looks so much like Leon Panetta it’s distracting!) Andy Serkis plays the sick and murderous evil doer and the entire movie is hammy, over acted and centered on an evil cult. There are better things you could and should be doing.
THE WOMAN KING. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.8 IMDB). Viola Davis has won more acting awards than anyone and she does a great job in this historical, but over dramatic action film set in West Africa in the 1820’s. It centers on slavery and how she as Nanisca the leader organized and captained an army of women to fight back against both white slavers and the Black men who actually supported and profited from sending slaves to both England and the United States. Mostly gutsy action with little plot but it’s very exciting.
CHRIS ROCK: SELECTIVE OUTRAGE (NETFLIX PERFORMANCE). Chris Rock made this live streamed performance in Baltimore on March 4 to a largely black audience and to millions of Netflix watchers. You can almost guess that he hit on such topics as the Kardashian family, why and who wears Yoga Pants and of course about the slap that Will Smith gave him at last year’s Oscars ceremony. Chris Rock is fast, brilliant and certainly worth watching. He is an acquired taste.
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.
A JAZZMAN’S BLUES (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.7 IMDB). First of all the sound track is out of sync with the visual scene so their lips don’t look or sound realistic. It’s a hokey story of blacks in Georgia and the Jim Crow laws and lives they are forced into. There’s a romance dealing with passing for white, there’s a murder and there’s some very mediocre jazz and singing that won’t thrill anyone…forget this one.
10 DAYS OF A GOOD MAN. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.4 IMDB). A Turkish movie that has a team searching for a missing son. Prostitutes, drugs, and a lawyer/detective who deal with crooked police and a missing iPhone means this is barely watchable.
MONIQUE OLIVIER-ACCESSORY TO EVIL. (NETFLIX SERIES) (7.1 IMDB). Be very careful when you watch this grueling, detailed account of a serial killer and her husband! Yes, she’s the guilty one and it’s based on a true story that happened in France 1987-2003. It’s billed as a documentary but it’s so dramatic and harrowing you’ll be glued to all 5 episodes.
CALL ME CHICHIRO. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.8 IMDB). This cute and very engaging young girl was a sex worker in Japan and she quit. She took a job in a bento shop (bentos being quick food dishes) and becomes everyone’s friend. It’s subtle, sensitive, and revolves around loneliness plus lots of eating. Worth watching.
THE HEAD OF JOAQUIN MURRIETA. (AMAZON + SERIES) (6.7 IMDB). This film from Mexico along with many other books and movies, attempts to give us the whole picture of this near legendary Robin Hood-Patriot-Thug. He lived and stole from both California and Mexican governments during and after the California gold rush. Parts of his history have him in San Juan Bautista, Benicia and San Francisco. It’s a rousing, fast paced western, and fun to watch.
THE CONSULTANT. (AMAZON + SERIES) (6.7 IMDB). It’s described as a comedy plus drama but with Christoph Waltz as the lead there aren’t many laughs…he’s not a funny or happy guy. He appears all of a sudden as the new director of a very successful iPhone tech games developer in Los Angeles and is cruel beyond belief to the entire staff. No fun here.
REFLECTIONS FROM DOWN UNDER
Just back from a three-week trip to Australia to visit family and friends after a too-long absence. I took this photo at the edge of a high bluff overlooking Pittwater, the name given to this ancient, drowned river valley just 16 miles north of Sydney. It is a naturally calm body of water although the Pacific Ocean is less than a mile away, just over the hill to the east on the left-hand side. This is where I grew up, taking all its natural beauty for granted.
The spot where I am standing is the end of a bush walk (the name Aussies use for hikes), one of many such walks in Ku-ring-gai Chase, the third oldest national park in Australia, dating from 1894, with significant plant and animal communities along with aboriginal sites, mostly ancient drawings on the flat sandstone outcrops.
I left this area about 50 years ago. People ask me has it changed in the interim? The biggest change is similar to the change in Santa Cruz during the same time period: many more people and a class shift from working class (save for a few upscale holiday houses) to the well-off. The modest two-bedroom house I grew up in near the beach, sold for $20,000 when my father moved to New Zealand in 1970, is now worth millions. In fact, the area is dubbed the golden triangle due to the sky-high property values.
What hasn’t changed, and this sets it apart from Santa Cruz, is the dominance of trees. In the photo above there are thousands of houses, largely rendered invisible, nestled among forests of spotted gums. Taking a drive down the street where I grew up, much looks the same except for the trees. They are 50 years older, much bigger, and taller. None has been cut down. Australians by and large live comfortably amidst big trees. In contrast, most of the big trees in a two square block area where I live on the lower west side of Santa Cruz have been cut down since I first admired them in 1979. Gone with the trees are the many bird species, except for crows.
Santa Cruz city professes a love of trees, but actions speak louder than words. The monthly loss of heritage trees to the axe is alarming and can only worsen with infilling and high-rise apartment blocks. By the time you are reading this we will know whether the city council has ignored the mandates of its heritage tree resolution and voted to allow the design of the library, garage, housing project on Lot 4 to proceed without a design alteration to accommodate at least two of the periphery heritage trees. Such tree preservation should happen as a matter of course since it is city policy. It should not be necessary to spend countless hours of community organizing to try to persuade the city to obey its own laws.
Since Santa Cruz is at the tipping point of a shift from a relatively small, low-rise seaside town with distinct character and sense of place to a high-rise, crowded, high-tech playground for the well-off, I was keen to see how Sydney and its suburbs handle population growth. When I left Australia in 1975 Sydney’s population was 2 million. It is now 5 million and far more multi-cultural than ever before. The change in the skyline of Sydney is jaw-dropping. Other near-by city suburbs on rail lines such as Chatswood have also grown dramatically in height. However, the smaller beach-town suburbs, and even Manly have kept their character at a human scale. There are more apartment buildings, nestled amidst big trees, but they are mostly 3 stories tall and most of the old familiar buildings still stand. At the rate of change in Santa Cruz, within a decade the town will largely be unrecognizable and most of the familiar old businesses long gone.
I was interested to see if Sydney has a similar homeless problem with people camping in doorways and in parks. The answer is no. The long-term availability of public housing and better mental and public health systems help. Neither does Sydney have a fentanyl crisis or drug overdoses at anywhere near the scale of the US. Nor are drugs or medications advertised in the media, a peculiar US practice. Sydney does have safe injection sites and has done so since 2001.
So, back home to Santa Cruz. Time to roll up the sleeves and get back to political work. And look forward when the weather clears to a swim at Cowell’s. That 75-degree Sydney, ocean water is far too warm.
|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.|
I’m going to break the rules and include a non-Santa Cruz city topic today: the disastrous flooding of Pajaro. For years, everyone has known that this levee was inadequate. Finally, work has been planned, but too late.
This is clearly a local economic, racial, and environmental justice issue, especially for farmworkers. There are organizations accepting donations to help the most disproportionately impacted people in the community. Cash donations can be sent directly to these farmworker organizations:
Center for Farmworker Families
General flood relief donations can be sent to: Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.
To fund replacement of tents, sleeping bags, and other supplies for people living outside in North and South Santa Cruz County, DSA Santa Cruz‘s Mutual Aid Working Group (Love Boat) accepts donations through Venmo: @DSA-SantaCruz (note Love Boat).
Of interest on this week’s city council agenda, given recent revelations of the city’s illegal, long-term installation and enforcement of no parking midnight-5am signs on the far Westside: state funding for “Abandoned Vehicle Abatement Program.” Could our vehicle abatement program spend these funds to help people repair and register vehicles, restricting ticketing and towing to vehicles that are truly, verifiably abandoned? This seems like an easy way to shift “community safety” via policing and penalties to community safety via care and encouragement.
- City Manager: Quarterly Grant Report – Fiscal Year 2023 as of December 31, 2022 – 3/6/23 (CMFYI 263) (click on the “supporting documents” on the right to see the chart of grant information; it’s interesting to see just how much grant money has not been spent yet).
This document from June 4, 2021, explains how the fee portion of the Abandoned Vehicle Abatement Program originates with individual vehicle registration fees and then travels through the state and county to the police. Those of us who own cars are inadvertently funding not just the abatement of truly abandoned property, but the continued harassment, ticketing, and towing of people who shelter in vehicles (see last week’s column for links).
On a more positive note, from the same grant report:
Perhaps many of us have had and proposed this idea, but I’d like to think that I planted the seed for this project: “Bay Dr. Protected Bike Lanes and Pedestrian Path.” A few (5-7?) years ago, I attended a city public feedback session on transportation at the Warriors stadium. Maybe it was specifically about safe routes to school or pedestrian/bike safety?
My kids were attending Westlake elementary, so we crossed accident-prone Bay Dr. at Escalona several times a day on the way to and from school, generally feeling like we risked our lives when making a run for the other side. Even when my children were old enough to get themselves to and from school on bike or foot, I did not feel it was safe for them to cross Bay Dr. alone.
Often I would extend my commute before or after drop off to walk in the greenway along the creek. Sometimes I would walk or bike up Bay to avoid the very steep hills on Bayona or Laurel streets. As my psoriatic arthritis worsened, and I became more aware of accessibility issues for people with disabilities, I noted that walking or biking the gentler slope of Bay was better for my body, but there were no sidewalks for people using mobility devices (or strollers), or bike paths. In addition, the wide 2-lane road naturally encourages speeds of 35-50 miles per hour, rather than a safer neighborhood speed of 25-30 mph. Even I find it hard not to speed when driving, especially coming downhill.
So I attended that session to ask for crossing improvements, and to suggest that the roadway be reduced and a lane replaced with a wide pedestrian/bike path. I had a nice conversation with now Director of Public Works, Nathan Nguyen, about it and he seemed interested in my idea.
While I continue to have many critiques of city governance and business, it has been a vast improvement to have a new crosswalk with flashing lights at this intersection for a couple of years now. I am heartened that Public Works has put in the work to plan improvements to Bay Drive, possibly as a result of a short conversation at a public input session. Thank you, and you’re welcome.
I received a friendly correction to last week’s Bonline column. Thanks for reading and sharing links!
I wanted to correct a portion of Joy’s article this week.
“Recently a group of neighbors requested street striping for parking spaces (less than 20 feet long, targeting larger vehicles) on David Way, just off West Cliff Drive. Another neighbor appealed to the Planning Commission. That appeal was upheld but will likely come before city council soon; if they overrule the Planning Commission an appeal to the Coastal Commission could be the next step.”
This request was appealed to the Transportation and Public Works Commission, not the Planning Commission. Agenda for that meeting can be found here.
|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.|
CITY OF SANTA CRUZ WATER DEMAND REPORTS SOME INCREASE, BUT NOT MUCH, EVEN WITH 8,900 NEW HOUSING UNITS PREDICTED
Last week’s Santa Cruz City Water Commission in-person meeting was an eye-opener, as Director Rosemary Menard and Analyst Sarah Easely explained that even with the State’s new housing mandate tripling the number of units that must be built in the City over the next eight years, water demand will not increase significantly.
Current water demands are 2.6 billion/year and will increase by 279 million gallons/year to accommodate the State’s Regional Housing Allocation Number (RHNA) mandate adding 5,096 more units than initially projected. She insisted the insignificant increase is due to water-efficient appliances, and also that most of the units will be ADU’s and multi-family, not single family homes, and will require less water.
The 2020-2045 Updated Water Demand forecast seemed too good to be true, and it is difficult for me to fathom what Santa Cruz will look and feel like with such an explosion of dense development.
Commissioners noted that the per-capita water demand for hotels was much higher than that of residential units. Also, I thought it curious that the analysis did NOT include UCSC in the water demand calculations.
You can listen to that explanation in Agenda Item 4 here:
Meeting Search Results – OnBase Agenda Online
The question that begs asking is this:
If the City of Santa Cruz is not anticipating significant increase in water demand through 2045, why then does Soquel Creek Water District feel it necessary to feverishly pursuing the incredibly expensive and energy-demanding PureWater Soquel Project, claiming that the sky is falling and therefore, to meet future demand, all must drink treated sewage water?
STATE OF THE SAN LORENZO RIVER SYMPOSIUM THIS SATURDAY
What is the health of the San Lorenzo River these days? Are the populations of salmon returning?
Come learn about what is happening on the mighty San Lorenzo River this Saturday morning 9 am –noon (3/18) at the London Nelson Center.
State of the San Lorenzo River Symposium – Coastal Watershed Council
“The San Lorenzo River runs from near Castle Rock State Park to the historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on beautiful Monterey Bay. The watershed historically hosted the largest steelhead runs south of San Francisco Bay and was the first watershed in the State of California to benefit from a watershed management plan.”
THESE PIPES CROSSING THE SAN LORENZO RIVER WILL CARRY TREATED SEWAGE WATER LADEN WITH TOXIC CHLORAMINE
Soquel Creek Water District’s PureWater Soquel Project will take pressurized treated sewage water in these pipes that have now been attached to the Laurel Street Bridge, crossing the San Lorenzo River, delivering the wastewater to the treatment plant on Soquel Avenue Frontage Road and Chanticleer.
I really wonder about the impacts these pipes will have on the bridge’s seismic stability, and what will happen to the health of the River if these pipes separate, spewing chloramine-laden sewage water that is toxic to all aquatic life?
Has the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife really examined this Project to develop an enforceable Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Plan (MMRP)? There is no evidence of this at all, even though it is required by law.
PURPOSE OF THE MMRP
The purpose of the MMRP is to ensure that the impact minimization and mitigation measures required by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for the Project are properly implemented, and thereby to ensure compliance with section 2081(b) of the Fish and Game Code and section 21081.6 of the Public Resources Code.
Please contact the California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife local environmental scientist Ms. Serena Stumpf firstname.lastname@example.org and ask what mitigations the California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife have implemented in coordination with Soquel Creek Water District to protect the San Lorenzo River habitat species.
THE SOURCE OF SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT’S FUTURE DRINKING WATER…
Treated sewage water? Hmmm… Currently California does not allow recycled wastewater to be sold directly for drinking, known as Direct Potable ReUse, to municipal water customers. However, that may change by the end of this year.
Currently, the Dept. of Water Resources is on-track to finalize Direct Potable ReUse by the end of this year, pending determination of an Expert Panel that all proposed criteria for the practice are protective of public health.
If you are a Soquel Creek Water District customer, below is the future source of your drinking water.
City of Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Plant
WHAT ABOUT BUILDING DAMS TO CAPTURE PREDICTED EL NINO STORM WATER?
With all the flooding currently happening, one would think that local water agencies would be anxious to collect some. You can take a look at the local stream levels in real time here
The good thing about it all is that the flooded fields will help recharge the local groundwater levels.
Will this be happening more often? Maybe:
Odds of El Niño returning to California are increasing. Would it bring even more rain?
Decades ago, there were plans to build several dams in the County. One of them was the Glenwood Reservoir. Soquel Creek Water District owns over 200 acres that could be the Glenwood Reservoir, but every year the Board of Directors classifies it as “excess property”. Really? Maybe the District needs to seriously consider building some sort of storm water collection and recharge facility there…rather than letting all the precious rain flood out to sea.
Take a look at the 2022 Santa Cruz County LAFCO Service and Sphere Review of several water municipalities
You’ll find the map showing the District’s boundaries, which include the Glenwood Reservoir, on page 207.
Write Soquel Creek Water District Board of Directors and ask why the Glenwood Reservoir is not being developed to collect any rainwater at all. Soquel Creek Water District Board email@example.com and copy Administrative Clerk Emma Western firstname.lastname@example.org
THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE COULD HELP RESTORE ACCESS FOR SOQUEL RESIDENTS CURRENTLY STRANDED
The County “got a good deal on a bridge” several years ago, and has stored the “good deal” on a vacant parcel in Soquel at the end of Tee Street, waiting for a bunch of money to appear to use it as a monstrous bridge spanning sections of Farm Park.
Well, why not use this “good deal” to help the hundreds of people stranded by the recent washout of a bridge in Soquel?
Here is what the Bridge to Nowhere currently looks like:
Please write Supervisor Manu Koenig email@example.com 454-2200 and Public Works Director Matt Machado firstname.lastname@example.org 454-2160 and ask them to use this bridge to help get the people in Soquel going places again!
There are other similar washouts where this Bridge to Nowhere could be used, instead of allowing it to sit rusting as a public nuisance for the Tee Street neighborhood.
CONNECTING WITH OTHERS WHO LIVE ON PRIVATE ROADS
A recent forum has begun to link people living on privately-maintained roads together to share information and ideas.
I live on a two-mile long privately maintained road that is in much better shape than most County-maintained roads.
CENTRAL FIRE DISTRICT ENGINE DESTROYED BY SEA WATER
Last week’s Central Fire District Board meeting included a continued discussion of what to do about a rather new fire engine who’s electrical / computerized components were destroyed by sea water and may not be able to be repaired. The District paid $500,000 for it new, but would have to pay more than $880,000 to buy a new one now to replace it.
You can read about the dilemma in the Minutes of last month’s Board meeting (see page 62)
Three engine units responded to a structure fire on Aptos Beach Road during the high-tide storm in January. The storm waves struck one engine, with sea water over the wheel well, sending a plume of salt water upward through the inner compartments of the engine. Three firefighters were swept off their feet, but luckily not injured.
Cause of the fire? An electric bicycle charging unit sparked when the salt water entered the garage of the home, igniting a fire.
IS THIS RIGHT?
Recently, while researching contact information for Third District County Supervisor Justin Cummings, I discovered that his two analysts are Andy Schiffrin and Sandy Brown. Wow.
Somehow, it does not seem right that Ms. Brown, a Santa Cruz City Councilmember, should be concurrently employed as a County Supervisor’s analyst.
What do you think?
MAKE ONE CALL. WRITE ONE LETTER. ATTEND ONE PUBLIC MEETING.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE THIS WEEK BY JUST DOING ONE THING.
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
WHAT LOTS OF RAIN BRINGS
Big Rainy Winters are normal for California, but few appreciate the full range of effects of these deluges. This very wet winter has been especially surprising because the National Weather Service did not predict it in their long term forecast, but these are things for which we should always be prepared.
We recall the cycles of El Niño, a series of generally wet years, which are sometimes followed by a series of La Niña years, which are more dry…even droughty. Some of us learned this terminology as shorthand linking California’s rainfall with Pacific Ocean temperatures along the equator. This year was supposed to be a La Niña winter, but then it rained and rained just like an El Niño year. Curious! We’ll have to wait for the analysis after it’s all over. Meanwhile, let’s consider what a big rainfall year means to the nature around us.
Although natural ponds in our area are rare, people have also created ponds across the landscape and both types of ponds last longer in rainy years like this one. When ponds dry up later, or even persist between years, there are many biological implications. Pacific chorus frogs, aka tree frogs, go from eggs to froglets able to hop out of ponds in the short period of as little as 3 months. But California red-legged frogs take longer: they need pond water for around 7 months. California tiger salamanders also need that longer time period. The invasive American bullfrog requires an even longer time to mature, some even take 2 years to grow from tadpoles to emerge from ponds as adults. So, longer lasting ponds created by especially rainy years can be very important for raising rare amphibians but can also help invasive bullfrogs grow up and spread across the landscape.
The most fascinating of the short-lived ‘ephemeral’ ponds in California are called ‘vernal pools’ – you can visit the most local ones at Fort Ord. Vernal pools support fairy shrimp, clam shrimp, and tadpole shrimp species, some of which are very rare and found only in California. Perennial ponds – ponds that last from one year to the next – support a plethora of vicious predators which disperse into nearby complexes of ephemeral ponds including vernal pools and prey on rare ephemeral pond organisms. Many of those perennial ponds dried out in our recent drought, so this rainy year is likely a boon for rare freshwater shrimp species as well as tiger salamanders and red-legged frogs.
Rivers and Creeks
Big rains mean big things for flowing freshwater ecosystems. These rainy winters rearrange things in streams and rivers. In the very unusual situation that a river isn’t contained within a levee system, the meandering bigger flows can carve new channels which may become the new main channel or might be a new low point in the floodplain, an oxbow pond or a secondary channel. These off-stream wetlands were once the most common type of ephemeral pond in California, supporting rare amphibians, turtles, fairy shrimp, tadpole shrimp, etc.
The big rain winters can also help rivers and streams to move sediment. Some California streams and rivers have suffered greatly from human-caused erosion, creating an unnaturally large amount of sediment that is robbing salmon of their clean-flowing gravel beds, which are required for salmon eggs and young. A legacy of past human-generated erosion/sediment is moving downstream in many places, but heavy rain winters can speed that process along. In restored or well-stewarded watersheds, these rainy years can create sediment-free gravel beds, helping to restore salmon habitat. Conversely, in (most) places where we still haven’t addressed erosion problems, especially rainy winters can exacerbate the problem, depositing big batches of new sediment that will take decades to flush out.
Lagoons and Estuaries
Where rivers and streams meet the sea, freshwater mixes with oceanic salt water and a world of magic takes place. When the winter rains fall heavily, these systems become more freshwater, for a longer period of time. This causes freshwater-loving species to proliferate and saline species to decline; that flux and productivity sequesters amazing amounts of carbon in deep muck, addressing climate change like no other ecosystem. Rainy years can support freshwater springs that pop up in the middle of the salty areas of estuaries. Some species are dependent on ‘brackish’ water- a mix of fresh and salt water; these do better in wet years. Elkhorn Slough has been quite flooded this year with great expanses of freshwater that have attracted many waterfowl. This is also one of the rare years that Elkhorn receives Pajaro River water, the last time being in 1995. That year, floodwaters scoured up old pollution and spread it throughout the Slough, obliterating a nesting Caspian tern colony and goodness knows what else.
A Flood of Pollution
Old pollutants are discovered in rainy winters. I previously wrote about ‘First Flush‘ – the nasty polluted runoff that comes off roads, parking lots, agricultural fields, and buildings during the first big rains of every season. Episodic prolonged heavy rain years have yet another effect: stirring up pollutants that would otherwise be buried. Two pollutants particularly come to mind: mercury and DDT.
Before it was regulated, some Californians were pouring mercury into the environment to leach gold out of crushed rock and sediment. Despite the lessons we learned from that toxic mess, people are still doing this terrible mining practice in places like the Brazilian Amazon. Mercury settles out into sediment that gets stirred up in floods, presenting new poison problems from a legacy long past. Likewise, DDT, a pesticide that the USA long ago banned because of its negative ecological impacts, is freed from the mud during heavy rains and flooding. DDT breaks down with time into a more toxic form, DDE…which is probably the reason Caspian terns no longer have a healthy colony in the Elkhorn Slough. I would have hoped that all of the waterfowl enjoying the Elkhorn Slough aren’t getting poisoned with this winter’s flood-stirred sediments, but then I got a report that used motor oil stored by businesses along Elkhorn Road created a big blob of nastiness for the ducks to suffer from. Darn.
On the flip side, big rain years can reduce salt concentration in the soil. It would be interesting to find out how much of California’s farm irrigation is used just to flush out salt from the soil: I bet it’s a lot! Fertilizer can contain lots of salt, and so can groundwater. In either case, those salts build up unless there is enough irrigation (or rain!) to flush the salt out of the soil. Accumulated salt can really damage the soil and quickly stunts plant growth.
Areas that receive salt spray or salt deposit from fog also have accumulated salt in the soil. These very big rains are making for less salty soil in those cases, across a vast portion of California’s coastline. Fewer soil salts will make even natural ecosystems more plant productive. However, more rain can also leach nutrients from the soil.
Plant Changes with Big Rain
Some plants rely on floodwaters to disperse, others need rainy years to establish, and pathogens can take advantage of the dampness of rainy years to sicken plants. French broom, a very problematic invasive plant in our area, has seeds that disperse in flowing water. Roadside ditches play an important role in broom dispersal. Native plants, too, can take advantage of stormy winters to move around. Clumps of river and stream vegetation get uprooted, tumble and float with the flow, and (if they are lucky not to go out to sea) re-root sometimes as new, big, lush islands where damselflies perch.
Coyote bush, a common shrub that invades grasslands, is a good example of a plant that needs a good water year to establish. Its tiny seeds are too small to grow quickly into seedlings, and those tiny emerging seedlings don’t compete well for water. Wetter years are more likely to see more coyote bush seedlings survive (and more precious coastal prairie is lost to this invasion). This story must unfold with many other small-seeded species.
Sudden oak death is an invasive pathogen that spreads more in rainy years. This disease actually swims around the environment when it’s rainy enough, so years like this are predicted to be especially problematic for our native oak species.
How Fast We Forget
A short time after a disaster, we forget…unless there are support systems in our culture to help us remember. The CZU Lightning Complex Fire was in August of 2020, and already people are slackening their preparations for wildfire. The last very rainy winter must have been too long ago for people to have remembered to prepare for this one. Going into this winter, I noticed that very few people had taken the ‘normal’ steps of protecting soil with erosion control; clearing out drains, ditches, and culverts, or even; maintaining drainage on unimproved (‘dirt’) roads. Now, streams are filling with mud (once again) and we are responsible for setting up a new legacy of pollutants and sediment to travel downstream for years to come.
In a prior piece, I noted the irony of people calling things ‘natural’ disasters. It is worth re-encouraging people to study Hurricane Katrina’s effects on New Orleans, and the root causes of that disaster. It would also be very interesting to chart the history preceding the flood-related disasters in our area. Maybe we can learn, remember what we learn, and apply those lessons moving forward, but citizens need to demand that the government institutionalizes that memory…or find another means to do so.
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
Pictured: A Horrible (Probably Socialist) Nun
I just couldn’t resist making this comment.
On March 7, 2023, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a front-page story by Bob Egelko, headlined as follows: “Socialism bill offers insights on candidates.” The Chronicle’s paywall will probably prevent non-subscribers from reading the article; however, I am reprinting the first paragraph, below, which is what prompted me to get to my computer to make this blog post. Here it is:
Any legislation expressly seeking reductions in Social Security and Medicare would be unlikely to win a single vote from Democrats in Congress. But trimming those programs seems to have been an underlying message of a resolution passed overwhelmingly by the House — including a majority of Democrats — condemning “the horrors of socialism.”
House Concurrent Resolution 9, “denouncing the horrors of socialism,” can be read in its entirety by anyone who clicks that link, but I can save you the wear and tear on your fingers by reproducing its text, below.
Oh, the horror of our system of Social Security! The horror of our food stamp program! Even more horrible: Medicare! We should all be afraid, right? VERY afraid! So say the Republican Party sponsors of the resolution, and those Democrats who have, apparently, signed on.
Are we “together in this,” or not? Should we be helping out those who need help? What about that Social Security system that will provide some income to workers when they can no longer work? What about that Medicare program that provides health care to those who would not, otherwise, be able to get it?
Just consider how “horrible” these “socialist” programs truly are! I have no brief for genuine horrors, of which history provides all too many examples. But if the Social Security program, and our other programs that provide assistance to those who need it, are “socialism” – if that is what we are supposed to be afraid of – then I say, “bring it on!”
- CON. RES. 9
Denouncing the horrors of socialism.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
JANUARY 25, 2023
Ms. SALAZAR (for herself, Mr. SCALISE, Ms. FOXX, Mr. MASSIE, Ms. MALLIOTAKIS, Mr. WEBSTER of Florida, Mr. BERGMAN, Mr. GOSAR, Mrs. GONZALEZ-COLON, Mr. GAETZ, Mr. NORMAN, Mr. JACKSON of Texas, Mr. BISHOP of North Carolina, Mr. RESCHENTHALER, Mr. HUNT, Mr. NEWHOUSE, Mr. DUNCAN, Mr. WALTZ, Mr. GIMENEZ, Mrs. MILLER of Illinois, Mr. CLYDE, Mr. ISSA, Mr. JOHNSON of Louisiana, Mr. GRAVES of Louisiana, Mr. STEWART, Ms. TENNEY, Mrs. CAMMACK, Mr. HILL, Mr. MCCLINTOCK, Mr. JOYCE of Ohio, Mr. BALDERSON, Mr. CARL, Mr. LAMALFA, Mr. OWENS, Ms. STEFANIK, Mr. NEHLS, Mr. FEENSTRA, Mr. LATURNER, Mr. JORDAN, Mr. ELLZEY, Mr. RUTHERFORD, Mr. TIMMONS, Mr. POSEY, Mr. TONY GONZALES of Texas, Mr. KUSTOFF, Mrs. MILLER-MEEKS, Mr. HUDSON, Mr. ADERHOLT, Mr. WITTMAN, Mr. BUCHANAN, Mr. MOOLENAAR, Mrs. BICE, Mr. SESSIONS, Mr. FRY, Mr. GOODEN of Texas, Mr. MORAN , Mr. WOMACK, Mr. AMODEI, Mr. BILIRAKIS, Mr. GALLAGHER, Mr. WILLIAMS of Texas, Mr. CALVERT, Mr. WEBER of Texas, Mr. OGLES, Mrs. FISCHBACH, Mr. BURGESS, Mrs. MCCLAIN, Mr. DIAZ-BALART, Mr. LUTTRELL, Mr. BUCK, Mr. MOORE of Alabama, Mr. BAIRD, Mr. SELF, Mr. BOST, and Mr. GUEST ) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services.
Denouncing the horrors of socialism.
Whereas socialist ideology necessitates a concentration of power that has time and time again collapsed into Communist regimes, totalitarian rule, and brutal dictatorships;
Whereas socialism has repeatedly led to famine and mass murders, and the killing of over 100,000,000 people worldwide;
Whereas many of the greatest crimes in history were committed by socialist ideologues, including Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un, Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, and Nicolas Maduro;
Whereas tens of millions died in the Bolshevik Revolution, at least 10,000,000 people were sent to the gulags in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and millions more starved in the Terror-Famine (Holodomor) in Ukraine;
Whereas between 15,000,000 and 55,000,000 people starved to death in the wake of famine and devastation caused by the Great Leap Forward in China;
Whereas the socialist experiment in Cambodia led to the killing fields in which over a million people were gruesomely murdered;
Whereas up to 3,500,000 people have starved in North Korea, dividing a land of freedom from a land of destitution;
Whereas the Castro regime in Cuba expropriated the land of Cuban farmers and the businesses of Cuban entrepreneurs, stealing their possessions and their livelihoods, and exiling millions with nothing but the clothes on their backs;
Whereas the implementation of socialism in Venezuela has turned a once-prosperous nation into a failed State with the world’s highest rate of inflation;
Whereas the author of the Declaration of Independence, President Thomas Jefferson, wrote, ”To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.”;
Whereas the ”Father of the Constitution”, President James Madison, wrote that it ”is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest”; and
Whereas the United States of America was founded on the belief in the sanctity of the individual, to which the collectivistic system of socialism in all of its forms is fundamentally and necessarily opposed:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress denounces socialism in all its forms, and opposes the implementation of socialist policies in the United States of America.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
RINGLEADERS AND KNOW-NOTHINGS BEARING BEAR SPRAY
Representative George Santos of New York, who is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee for misconduct and unlawful activity in his congressional campaign, has been recognized by a Brazilian man who pleaded guilty to credit card fraud in 2017, identifying Santos as the ringleader of the Seattle-based scheme. Gustavo Ribeiro Trehla recognized the credit card skimmer-in-chief from TV appearances, as Anthony Devolder, the alias he was using at the time, as the one who taught him the skimming technique and how to clone ATMs and credit cards after they met in 2016 in Florida. Reconnoitering later in Seattle, they implemented their plan, which resulted in Trehla’s arrest, and deportation, ending their scheme for a supposed 50/50 split of the take. After the Brazilian’s arrest, Santos visited the jail, threatening him if he squealed, and stealing his bail money, as anybody could have guessed, of course. A lawyer for Santos had no comment regarding investigations into potential financial crimes by both US state and federal agencies, and Brazilian authorities. No word yet of any Kevin McCarthy involvement in this arrangement.
Columnist Dana Milbank of the Washington Post accuses McCarthy of being as boastful of his ignorance as were the adherents of the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s, because he has no answers to any questions directed toward him…he hasn’t read it, seen it, or heard about it. After giving FoxNews‘ Tucker Carlson the video security footage from the January 6 Insurrection, who then aired select portions on his show to falsely claim the day was “mostly peaceful”, Kev asserted, “I didn’t see what was aired.” Senator Mitch McConnell rebuked McCarthy for his contribution, calling Carlson’s presentation an “outrageous, false and offensive portrayal of the insurrection,” but, McCarthy “didn’t see” Mitch’s blast. Trump’s provocative January 6 speech on the Ellipse sending his followers to sack the Capitol? “I didn’t watch it,” says Mac. When Representative Andrew Clyde of Georgia called the rioting rampagers a “normal tourist visit”? “I don’t know what Congressman Clyde said…I didn’t see it,” sez Mr. Mac. The bipartisan agreement to form a commission to probe J6? “I haven’t read it through,” parrots the Macster. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s harassment of fellow reps? Little Mac missed that – doesn’t “know what happened.” Asked by CNN’s Manu Raj if he had regrets after turning over the J6 footage to Tuck-Tuck, he replied, “No, look, each person can come up with their own conclusion.” Own conclusion about what? The stupidity of releasing the videos to a fascist wanna-be, or the fiery, anarchist, speech of The Don to launch the attack by his ignorant horde?
Milbank says, “At best, McCarthy’s willful cluelessness is just a dodge. But this week, McCarthy’s see-no-evil approach was just plain evil.” Several other Republicans spoke up calling Carlson’s presentation, “Inexcusable b.s.,” ,”whitewashing,” “dangerous and disgusting”; however, there were those who claimed the show “demolished the Dems dishonest narrative”, even appearing on the show to congratulate him on his deceit. Rupert Murdoch, Fox Corporation chairman, has voiced that perpetrating The Big Lie should have had more restraint, since the truth was known within the walls of Fox. Senate Majority Leader Schumer charged McCarthy with making “our democracy weaker,” preferring to put himself and his repulsive hangers-on before the security of the country. Milbank concludes with ,“And McCarthy isn’t finished with his depredations. (Marjorie Taylor) Greene, given a position of influence and respectability by the speaker, is launching a probe, complete with a field trip to a D.C. jail, into the “inhumane treatment” allegedly suffered by the accused insurrectionists awaiting trial. McCarthy has also given the green light to a new probe designed to challenge the conclusions of the J6 Committee. The man who will lead that panel, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) declared this week that Americans “didn’t see the other side” of the insurrection. “I think the truth is going to be somewhere between the violent videos and the supposedly peaceful actions there,” he said.”
“No. The only truth is that J6 was a violent attack on the seat of American democracy. There was nothing peaceful about an armed insurrection attempting to overturn an election – even if some people there that day weren’t themselves violent. But that truth – and this democracy – are threatened by a dangerously weak speaker of the House, who has concluded that the only way to preserve his own power is to support Fox News in its sabotage of this country.”
Charles P. Pierce in Esquire admits to feeling a bit ashamed about his initial reaction to the Carlson/McCarthy video deal saying, “Holy hell, was it funny. He apparently culled every piece of January 6 video he could find in which nobody does anything and then used it to suggest (and I quote): More than 44,000 hours of surveillance footage from in around the Capitol have been withheld from the public, and once you see the video, you’ll understand why. Taken as a whole, the video does not support the claim that January 6 was an insurrection. In fact, it demolishes that claim. The crowd was enormous. A small percentage of them were hooligans, they committed vandalism…but the overwhelming majority weren’t. They were peaceful, they were ordinary and meek. These were not insurrectionists, they were sightseers.”
“I know that every time I get on the sightseeing trolley on the National Mall, I bring along my bear spray. Just in case Tucker Carlson shows up in G.I. Joe cosplay. I mean, it could happen! The extended farce on Fox is going to go on for awhile, and the rest of us are obligated to poke as much fun as we can at the ruined tree on which Carlson has hung the bleeding carcass of his professional career.”
Politico says, “Indeed, polls show that there just isn’t much of a constituency in the GOP primary for anyone criticizing Trump on January 6. More than two years after the riot, the share of Republicans who disapprove of Trump supporters taking over the Capitol building has fallen to 49 percent, from 74 percent in 2021, according to a recent Economist/YouGov poll. And even if Republicans didn’t like what they saw that day, a majority of them don’t blame Trump.” Pierce ends his piece with, “There wasn’t a single actual patriot in that hall. The Fifth Column now stretches into the distance, out of sight.”
And trying a bit harder to gain some traction in his lead-up to a presidential bid, former VP Mike Pence delivered his strongest rebuke yet of his former Orange Boss, criticizing his role in the days leading to the J6 riot to overturn the election and rewrite history. In a Saturday night speech before the journalists of the annual Gridiron dinner in D.C. – no TV cameras, so he could be daring…ooooh! – he said Trump was wrong about his sidekick’s ability to overturn the election before the assembled Congress, and that history will hold the former prez responsible. History? We don’t need no stinkin’ history – we need the courts to act…NOW! Pence still holds a grudge about the dangers that he and all those present in the assembled chamber, including his own family, faced on that day, yet he still refuses to appear before the grand jury investigating the invasion of the Capitol to testify under oath.
The Gridiron is generally a lighthearted event, with sketches, comedy bits and parody songs by the press corps, but Pence ended his segment saying there is one topic he would not joke about, “The American people have a right to know what took place at the Capitol on January 6th, but make no mistake about it, what happened that day was a disgrace, and it mocks decency to portray it in any other way.”
Social media comments bloomed following his appearance, none too complimentary: Coward needs to testify!; Too little, too late!; Said not out of duty, not out of patriotism, nor love of this family, but as a political tactic in his quest for power. Sad; A Faustian character lurking in the shadows of the Capitol corridors in his under-the-table manner, believing Trump is dog meat in 2024…so much for his soul; A crock! He previously hemmed and hawed when asked about J6, refusing to criticize his boss, kissing his butt for his own sake; No one likes you, Mike. Go home!; Say what you want, Mikey. You’re still a loathsome, intolerant Bible-thumping windbag; What?! And wake up tomorrow next to a bloody horse’s head? No way! Better a live chicken than a dead duck!; If Pence was any more amorphous he’d end up in a lava lamp on ‘Mother’s‘ prayer commode! Or, as a car lot dancer!
We all know the symbolism of snowflakes contained in story and legend, their delicate beauty being rendered in art as jewelry or other art forms, perhaps in psychedelic art. So who could refuse to accept a gifted piece of framed art bestowed by an admirer in Iowa, a state that knows snowflakes well. The recipient was none other than Florida’s GOP governor, Ron DeSantis as he paid a visit to that state to gauge his popularity as a possible presidential candidate. He smilingly posed for photos holding up the shiny gift for all to see, a gift that had also been presented to Iowa’s GOP governor Kim Reynolds. Only later was it revealed to have a secret message (times six), each of the six branches of the hand-crafted snowflake decoratively spelling out the word ‘Fascist’. Right-wing broadcaster Laura Loomer, tweeted, “DeSantis got trolled in Iowa. Read the snowflake…,” to the one million plus viewers who viewed it across the media. “If the snowflake fits…,” tweeted Connecticut senator Bob Duff.
Glitch number two for the DeSantis visit occurred when a video truck appeared outside the event, playing clips showing his earlier conflicting statements on social security from which he has since attempted to distance himself. Privatization of the program, along with raising the retirement age were espoused, but with public opposition and the GOP trying to calm the waves have brought him more in line with the prevailing trend. And, he couldn’t escape without Mocker-in-Chief Trump’s commentary, “Very small crowds for Ron DeSanctimonious in Iowa. He’s against farmers, Social Security, and Medicare, so why would people show up – other than fake stories from fake news!” Give that man a red snowflake baseball cap!
And there we have it! The battle of dunces has started in which there can only be one winner between these two losers. Matt Lewis, a conservative columnist for The Daily Beast, says that if DeSantis is serious in his quest, he must disclose everything in his past that Trump might weaponize against him. If we know Blitzkrieg Bozo, he already has an arsenal of cudgels ready to go, so Lewis says to head him off. This won’t end well, however, because, as we know, each contender is ‘smarter than anybody else.’ The best scenario will have Trump, who is going down anyway, take DeSantis down with him. And, ‘Mother‘ is telling Mikey to just keep his mouth shut from here on out.
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: email@example.com.
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.
“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”
“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
~Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”
~Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
“If people did not love one another, I really don’t see what use there would be in having any spring.”
~Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
There is a YouTube channel called Great Art Explained. This is one of their videos, check it out!
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