Socialism Kills Jobs—NYC Restaurants and Amazon

You better visit New York City soon if you are looking for world class food—instead of hot dogs from a street vendor and pizza made in sloppy places.  Thanks to tax and unemployment policies long time, well known world class restaurants are forced to close in New York.  This is a lesson being learned in Seattle—will California cities face this soon?

“Like thousands of others, my son Luke recently left New York after 16 years to return to our Colorado mountain community. The cost of living, the filth, the notorious New York attitude, the nanny-state tax-and-spend politics, and the decrepit subway all played a part. There was also its war on the Second Amendment — despite a Colorado concealed carry permit, a New York City long gun permit, and that, as an armorer, he equipped filmmakers with firearms, Luke was denied a pistol premise permit. Perhaps that was his last straw, but for his mother and me it was the shuttering of restaurants where, after camping on the sofa in his basement apartment, we splurged for excellent meals. Most of the worthwhile restaurants are gone. Time to leave.”

The idea of higher taxes, more employment mandates and regulations are killing jobs and businesses.  Progressives in Washington, New York and Sacramento are working hard to make the United States and California, another Venezuela.

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Get out of New York, all the good restaurants are closed

by William Perry Pendley, Washington Examiner,  2/16/19

 

Like thousands of others, my son Luke recently left New York after 16 years to return to our Colorado mountain community. The cost of living, the filth, the notorious New York attitude, the nanny-state tax-and-spend politics, and the decrepit subway all played a part. There was also its war on the Second Amendment — despite a Colorado concealed carry permit, a New York City long gun permit, and that, as an armorer, he equipped filmmakers with firearms, Luke was denied a pistol premise permit. Perhaps that was his last straw, but for his mother and me it was the shuttering of restaurants where, after camping on the sofa in his basement apartment, we splurged for excellent meals. Most of the worthwhile restaurants are gone. Time to leave.

The first to go was Artisanal Fromagerie & Bistro, listed at 2 Park Ave., but really around the corner and down darkened 32nd Street. A short distance from Luke’s Murray Hill residence, its “playful twists to classic French brasserie dishes” drew a reviewer’s praise, but we went for cheese and dessert fondues, massive cheeseburgers, and creative desserts. We were delighted when, in late 2015, it announced a move to a larger location south on Park Avenue. Sadly, in spring 2017, three months before its grand reopening, it filed for bankruptcy, the victim of construction and architectural issues and a purported $3 million debt in unpaid rent.

Next was legendary (since 1937) Carnegie Deli, north of the theater district on Seventh Avenue. It was touristy, noisy, and crowded, and real New Yorkers preferred Katz’s on Houston, but its corned beef and pastrami, especially in the famed “Woody Allen” (I added Swiss cheese), could not be beat. The New York media relished the intrigue that led to its closing: rumors of an affair, a stolen recipe, a nasty divorce, and the illegal siphoning of natural gas for most of a decade. We discovered its death spiral one night after seeing the Broadway play, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” when we arrived to read its “temporarily closed” sign.

Primehouse, a high-end steakhouse at 27th and Park, was a worthy, celebratory splurge, right after renting a new apartment, always a Herculean crap shoot in New York, or moving an 80-pound tabletop and an apartment full of furniture up four flights of stairs, or a birthday. We never ate steak there because its cheeseburgers were delicious and colossal, but everyone packed in around us did, along with ample wine and drinks. Thus, we were shocked one day to walk up and find it closed. According to a waitress at an affiliated restaurant, despite the constant traffic and high prices, it could no longer afford Manhattan’s ever-escalating rent.

We found a worthy replacement, an “upscale steakhouse” in nearby Gramercy, BLT Prime New York. There we did dine on the steaks, which were excellent, as were the fries, onion rings, macaroni and cheese, and revolving, creative-but-hearty desserts. It was less noisy than its midtown cousin, where expense account hedge fund types enjoyed themselves a little too much. Sadly, last month, returning to New York City, we learned that days before Christmas it closed “due to ongoing construction and scaffolding,” an ubiquitous feature of New York City buildings, and the “prohibitive costs of rising New York City rent.”

Undaunted, we always have our favorite site of celebratory meals, including birthdays, weddings, and graduation — the Blue Water Grill on Union Square. Made famous by a Coen Brothers movie, “Burn After Reading,” it was excellent for more than a decade before as a “warm, jazzy American restaurant.” It featured seafood (the raw bar was extensive, but the Ginger-Soy Lacquered Chilean Sea Bass was my favorite), an excellent filet mignon, and creative specialties all topped off for us by the hard-to-find chocolate lava cake. As we readied our reservation, we learned it closed New Year’s Day, unable to afford a $2 million annual rent increase.

A few favorites remain. The Doughnut Plant in the Chelsea Hotel, “the best doughnuts in the world,” was a breakfast locale despite dingy, decades-old scaffolding that turned it into a cave. Serendipity 3, in an Upper East Side townhouse since 1954, decadent desserts, such as the “Frrrozen Hot Chocolate” and towering sundaes, was perfect for after dinner if we made month-in-advance reservations or timed our arrival to avoid the three-hour wait. For dinner, there is delectable Hometown Barbeque in Brooklyn.

On reflection, should I be devouring doughnuts, or scoffing three-scoop hot fudge sundaes at all, or savoring Western BBQ in the Big Apple?

It was great while it lasted. I feel sorry for visitors embarking on the foodie search we began nearly two decades ago, but I empathize with the young men and women now displaced from restaurant jobs, between auditions and dreams, because of what has happened to New York City. Given the daily developments from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, it will only get worse.

William Perry Pendley (@Sagebrush_Rebel) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is an attorney and author of Sagebrush Rebel: Reagan’s Battle with Environmental Extremists and Why It Matters Today.

Hispanics 70% of Registered Attendees for Trump’s El Paso Rally

When the California No-Trumpers blast Donald Trump for living in the White House, they are actually denouncing themselves for their hatred of the Republican Party.  Trump did not cause the November 6 debacle in California THEY DID.  By giving words to the lie that Trump hates Hispanics, that he fight for public safety is really a demand for bigotry, they allowed the Democrats to lie about the President and Republican.  They caused it by not allowing the CRP to have a voter registration drive for six years.

On November 6, the Hispanics of Texas gave Republican Governor Abbott 40% of their votes—yet he has the same principles on immigration as does California Republicans—except for the No–Trumpers who demand control of the California Republican Party.  Here is another example of the lie of the No-Trump movement in California:

“When President Donald Trump held a rally to tout his border security plan in El Paso, Texas on Monday, 70% of the 30,000 registered attendees were Hispanic, a Trump campaign manager says.

What’s more, nearly half of those registered were Democrats, Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale told Axios, providing the following estimated breakdown:

  • Democrats: 50%
  • Republicans: 25%
  • Swing Voters: 25%

“Our data shows that President Trump is building a coalition that extends far beyond the traditional Republican base,” Pascale told Axios.

Under Trump, the Hispanic unemployment rate remained under five percent in January (4.9%), having hit a record low in two of the last four months (4.4% in October and December of 2018).”

Is it racist for No-Trumpers to oppose a President that created economic policies that allowed an historically low unemployment rate for Hispanics?

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Report: Hispanics 70% of Registered Attendees for Trump’s El Paso Rally

 

By Craig Bannister, cnsnews,  2/15/19

 

When President Donald Trump held a rally to tout his border security plan in El Paso, Texas on Monday, 70% of the 30,000 registered attendees were Hispanic, a Trump campaign manager says.

What’s more, nearly half of those registered were Democrats, Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale told Axios, providing the following estimated breakdown:

  • Democrats: 50%
  • Republicans: 25%
  • Swing Voters: 25%

“Our data shows that President Trump is building a coalition that extends far beyond the traditional Republican base,” Pascale told Axios.

Under Trump, the Hispanic unemployment rate remained under five percent in January (4.9%), having hit a record low in two of the last four months (4.4% in October and December of 2018).

Still, as CNSNews.com reported, on Wednesday, Wisconsin Democrat Rep. Gwen Moore dismissed the positive economic news for Hispanics, declaring, “Blah, Blah, blah.”:

“GDP is great, unemployment is at an all-time low. African-Americans are doing well. Hispanics are doing well. Wages are rising at the fastest pace in ten years — blah, blah, blah.”

UC to Continue to Railroad Male Students With “Star Chamber” Interrogations

If you are a male student at a University of California campus, every date you have, every private meeting with a female (or a male), every visit with a professor could cause the end of you academic career and the destruction of your life.  The University has a policy of LYING about student actions, lying about criminal activity and then abusing students at “trial”—disallowing attorneys, witnesses, or facts.  When you walk in the door of your oppressor (the Administrator) you have already been found guilty—life destroyed by government corruption.

“UC’s interim systemwide Title IX coordinator, Suzanne Taylor, made clear that the system will drag its feet on treating accused students fairly as long as it can.

Referring to effective cross-examination techniques that prevent a university official from excluding relevant questions – as proposed by the Department of Education – Taylor said UC has “no intention … of putting in place those aspects of those Title IX rules that we believe would be harmful to our community unless and until we are absolutely legally required to do so.”

She insisted that the system started working on a “fair and compassionate” hearing model after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos* unveiled the proposal last fall. It plans to issue an interim policy “in the next few weeks.”

Freedman, the Cal State lawyer, also diminished the importance of live hearings where parties are cross-examined in real time before neutral adjudicators, which are now legally required.”

At some point the UC system will face large settlements and lawsuits.  At some point the Administrators will find themselves bankrupt due to their corrupt policies.  Only then will students will treated fairly.

UCLA

Cal State slams the brakes on Title IX proceedings after courts repeatedly rule against universities

Greg Piper, The Colleg Fix,  2/15/19    

UC will continue slanted trials ‘until we are absolutely legally required’ to stop

California appellate courts have repeatedly affirmed the rights of accused students in campus sexual misconduct proceedings in recent years.

Three of the rulings came against the University of Southern California, including two less than a month apart.

As it becomes increasingly clear that their procedures won’t survive judicial scrutiny, California’s largest university system has slammed the brakes on Title IX proceedings and others are rushing to comply with the growing body of law, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The most recent ruling bans a common system for Title IX investigations, where a “single investigator” also serves as “prosecutor, factfinder [sic] and sentencer,” and requires cross-examination of both parties and witnesses in live hearings.

Cal State, whose Fresno campus was recently rebuked by a trial court, “has temporarily stopped proceedings in 75 cases that probably are eligible for hearings,” according to Leora Freedman, the system’s deputy general counsel.

The University of California System, USC and Claremont McKenna College also confirmed to the Times they plan to issue interim policies “soon,” while Occidental College has already made changes. (The Times inexplicably leaves out four of the five appellate rulings against colleges.)

CMC was the loser in an appellate ruling last summer, and a continuing due-process lawsuit against Occidental is among the longest running at this point, according to Brooklyn College Prof. KC Johnson, who closely tracks Title IX litigation.

At least one college doesn’t have to go far to comply with the legal precedents, according to the Times: “Stanford already allows cross-examination in a hearing.” It’s also one of only three colleges nationwide to require either unanimity for guilty findings or the “clear and convincing” evidence standard.

University lawyer believes private meetings with students are better

UC’s interim systemwide Title IX coordinator, Suzanne Taylor, made clear that the system will drag its feet on treating accused students fairly as long as it can.

Referring to effective cross-examination techniques that prevent a university official from excluding relevant questions – as proposed by the Department of Education – Taylor said UC has “no intention … of putting in place those aspects of those Title IX rules that we believe would be harmful to our community unless and until we are absolutely legally required to do so.”

She insisted that the system started working on a “fair and compassionate” hearing model after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos* unveiled the proposal last fall. It plans to issue an interim policy “in the next few weeks.”

Freedman, the Cal State lawyer, also diminished the importance of live hearings where parties are cross-examined in real time before neutral adjudicators, which are now legally required.

Because the “subject matter of these cases are of a personal, intimate nature,” it’s more effective for an official to meet privately with each party in a dispute, she claimed.

Freedman’s statement contradicts multiple court rulings against universities where judges said cross-examination is the “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth,” quoting the Supreme Court.

 

Despite Contrary Claims, African-Americans Believe in the American Dream — Even Millennials

African-Americans have the same values as all Americans—free speech, safety in the streets, quality education, an opportunity to succeed, a life free of racism and bigotry.  Like all Americans they want to compete for good jobs and living the best life possible.  They are patriotic and defend our nation and streets, like other Americans.

“The most significant factor in pursuing the Dream according to the survey results is to have the freedom to choose how to live one’s life. This is the case for the population as a whole, of which 86% believes that freedom of choice is essential for the realization of the American Dream. It is also the case for 83% of millennials — those born between 1981 and 1996. Breaking the findings down along racial lines, 86% of whites favor freedom of choice, while other groups are in the high-seventieth percentile range. Additionally, 83% of millennials (79% of black and 80% of white millennials) believe that a good family life is essential to the Dream. These minor percentage differences call into serious question the popular racial disparity stories.

In contrast, questions of home-ownership and career considerations are notably less important to Americans when they think about the American Dream. Roughly 60% of whites, blacks, and Hispanics said that homeownership was an essential component in achieving the Dream. Millennials were slightly higher at 66% with whites at 66% and blacks at 62%. Professional development was even less important, with only 55% of whites, blacks, and Hispanics stating that career success was essential. Asians, though, were higher at 63%.”

Stop dividing Americans—we are united until Progressives and No-Trumpers divide us and use identity politics to promote racist policies.

Norman Rockwell Freedom of Speech

Despite Contrary Claims, African-Americans Believe in the American Dream — Even Millennials

By Samuel J. Abrams, Real Clear Politics,  2/15/19
Is the American Dream attainable for everyone? Conclusions in recent debates in academic and policy circles have been rather pessimistic, and a recent high profile newspaper piece went as far as saying that the American Dream is not for black millennials because so much of it is dependent on owning a house and reaching career milestones. An achievement not really possible for younger blacks in this country according to the author, who based her findings on discussions with a selection of her peers. Her conclusion that the American Dream is unattainable for black millennials Is a most disturbing finding if true.

However, data from a new survey on the American Dream (the American Enterprise Institute’s Social Capital survey) reveal that claims of its demise, especially among black millennials, are overblown.

In the survey, I asked thousands of Americans around the country what factors were essential to the American Dream. While homeownership was important, Americans replied that other factors such as freedom to live as one chooses, and meaningful family relationships were far more important — despite being elements that are not regularly discussed when people think about the American Dream.

The most significant factor in pursuing the Dream according to the survey results is to have the freedom to choose how to live one’s life. This is the case for the population as a whole, of which 86% believes that freedom of choice is essential for the realization of the American Dream. It is also the case for 83% of millennials — those born between 1981 and 1996. Breaking the findings down along racial lines, 86% of whites favor freedom of choice, while other groups are in the high-seventieth percentile range. Additionally, 83% of millennials (79% of black and 80% of white millennials) believe that a good family life is essential to the Dream. These minor percentage differences call into serious question the popular racial disparity stories.

In contrast, questions of home-ownership and career considerations are notably less important to Americans when they think about the American Dream. Roughly 60% of whites, blacks, and Hispanics said that homeownership was an essential component in achieving the Dream. Millennials were slightly higher at 66% with whites at 66% and blacks at 62%. Professional development was even less important, with only 55% of whites, blacks, and Hispanics stating that career success was essential. Asians, though, were higher at 63%.

The data make it unambiguously clear: being able to have a good family and live one’s life freely are far more important in the minds of millennials, and Americans generally, than homeownership and career considerations. And, there are minimal racial differences.

Thus, when I asked Americans if they had achieved the Dream, were on the way to achieving it, or thought it was out of reach, 82% of Americans collectively fall into the two optimistic categories while only 18% believe that the Dream is out of reach.

Breaking down the responses by race and ethnicity, there is remarkable parity and optimism in the population as a whole. The data show that 85% of Asians, 81% of whites, and 80% of blacks and Hispanics believe they are either living the Dream or are on their way to achieving it.

Looking at millennials specifically, 80% believe they have realized or will reach the American Dream. Racial differences are minor here with 82% of white Millennials and 78% of blacks and Hispanics being optimistic. Millennial Asians are again outliers at 90%. The Asian outlier aside, the data confirms a strong affirmation of the belief in the American Dream among this younger generation of Americans.

So, conclusions pointing to the Dream’s demise do not hold up to scrutiny. The survey data show that the decades-old conception of homeownership or upward career mobility being the primary driving forces behind the American Dream is no longer correct for Americans in general, and for black millennials in particular.

In our current political climate, there is certainly reason to believe that many black Americans and millennials may be frustrated with the seeming lack of upward mobility or lack of reward for hard work. However, the American Enterprise Institute’s Social Capital survey demonstrates that the idea of the American Dream has evolved beyond the narrow definitions of having a “big” job and a home. It has morphed into one where family is central, and where being able to have the choice to live one’s life as one sees fit, is paramount. With this in mind, it is powerfully evident that the American Dream is alive and well.

Samuel J. Abrams is professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

 

Black Students at UC Santa Barbara: We Demand Segregated Building, Lots of employees—Promotion of “Separate but Equal” Conditions

Racism is alive and well at UC Santa Barbara—it is as if a block of students are promoting racism at the request of the Klu Klux Klan.  Yet, the students wanting to go back to the days of segregation at Ole Miss are black.

  • “The creation of an Office of Black Student Development “to support the Black experience at UCSB.” The office would include eight paid positions and would provide “resources, advocate for and help create a positive learning environment” for black students in addition to building a “sense of belonging” to bolster the academic success of black students.
  • The implementation of a Director of Black Student Development, who would advocate for black students on campus and keep the university “accountable to Black students and Black student development.”
  • The implementation of two academic support counselors dedicated to addressing the academic achievement needs of black students.

Yup—this is a separate but equal effort by racists, using blacks to call for their own second tier education.  White Progressives are the Klan without the sheets.

Photo courtesy pd2020@sbcglobal.net, flickr

BSU Releases Demands to Address Black Student Resources and Success

 

by Sofia Mejias-Pascoe, Daily Nexus,  2/16/19

UC Santa Barbara’s Black Student Union released a set of demands on Feb. 8 for the university to fulfill, which includes eight new paid positions dedicated to fostering black student success on campus and the creation of a building specifically for black student development.

BSU initially presented the demands during the 1968 North Hall Takeover. Daily Nexus Archives

These demands build upon previous ones that Black Student Union (BSU) presented to the university, first in 1968 and again in 2012. The most recent demands aim to address “structural hindrances on the development of Black UCSB students,” according to the list of demands authored by the BSU Demands Team.

“Black students must continually fight to have their humanity recognized and appreciated, which takes time away from students’ abilities to study, learn and become wholly involved as campus community members,” the team wrote in the demands list.

The demands team argued that the university’s lack of effort to improve the conditions of black students on campus has required that BSU members and the black student community consistently advocate for black students, according to the demands list. To alleviate this, BSU demands institutional changes they said would provide a reliable source of advocacy for black students on campus.

“The University has continually been unable to fulfill Black students’ demands without the intervention of Black students on campus who address this inability,” the demands team wrote.

“The University’s reliance on Black student intervention in what should be structured efforts to support Black students is unacceptable.”

The Feb. 8 demands include the following:

  • The creation of an Office of Black Student Development “to support the Black experience at UCSB.” The office would include eight paid positions and would provide “resources, advocate for and help create a positive learning environment” for black students in addition to building a “sense of belonging” to bolster the academic success of black students.
  • The implementation of a Director of Black Student Development, who would advocate for black students on campus and keep the university “accountable to Black students and Black student development.”
  • The implementation of two academic support counselors dedicated to addressing the academic achievement needs of black students.
  • The implementation of a recruitment and retention specialist to “ensure that the University is … recruiting more Black students in order to increase our Black student population” and to focus on Black student retention. The specialist would also focus on “creating a livable environment for Black people.”
  • The implementation of a coordinator of black student life, who would specialize in the social and extracurricular activities and opportunities of black students.
  • The implementation of two advocacy counselors tasked with identifying the current challenges that black students face at UCSB and working to resolve those issues and help black students achieve their goals.
  • The creation of a building on campus, which would be named the “Malcolm X Center for Black Student Development.”  It would be solely dedicated to black students and would be a commemoration to the North Hall Takeover of 1968.

BSU estimates the total cost of the demands to be about $900,000 and requires that this money be provided permanently by the chancellor’s office, as opposed to the Division of Student Affairs, and be allocated by February of 2021.

BSU also demands that the construction of the Malcolm X Center for Black Student Development begin within the same two-year period. This demand for a building for black students on campus was part of the 1968 demands set forth by BSU members during the North Hall Takeover.

“We believe that it is time that the University fulfill the commitments that it has claimed to have made to Black students throughout the course of the last 50 years. We want the entire campus community to know and hear clearly our struggle. We refuse to wait any longer,” the demands team wrote.

BSU met with Chancellor Henry T. Yang and other top administrators on Friday to present and discuss BSU’s demands.

Yang said he is willing to work with students in creating Office of Black Student Development in a statement he sent to the Nexus.

“I am supportive of the vision for an Office of Black Student Development, and have been working with students, faculty, and administrative colleagues to ensure that progress is made toward the first steps of planning for the establishment of such a significant resource,” Yang wrote in the statement.

The demands and information about the meeting were emailed to Nexus on Feb. 9. In that email, BSU expressed “frustrations” about an incident that had happened during the meeting.

According to the email, Maria Herrera-Sobek, associate vice chancellor of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, made “disturbing and insulting” comments which “belittle[d] the struggle of Black UCSB students and Black people by minimizing the Black identity as a whole.”

While discussing BSU’s demands, Herrera-Sobek reportedly expressed her discontent with a previous black administrator, who she felt centered efforts on the black student community and lacked attention toward the Chicanx and Latinx student community, the email stated.

Herrera-Sobek also reportedly said during the meeting that she would have hoped the administrator spent more time focused on the Hispanic student community, adding that, “[W]e are all African,” according to the email.

“Black students across the board continue to be undervalued and underserved at an institutional level within university systems,” BSU wrote in the email.

“Our meeting [on Friday] proved how ignorant our own administration is to the plights of Black students.”

Herrera-Sobek said she apologized to the BSU members for the effects that her comments had in the meeting.

“I have communicated to the students that I deeply regret the remarks that caused them discomfort and made them feel marginalized,” Herrera-Sobek wrote in an email sent to the Nexus on Tuesday morning.

“I hope to have the opportunity for further dialogue with the students and to continue to find ways for my office and the university to support their needs and to address their pressing concerns.”

BSU said Herrera-Sobek’s behavior during the meeting was an “iteration of anti-Blackness” on behalf of the university, and something they said is familiar to the experiences of black students at UCSB and other schools such as Santa Barbara City College and California Polytechnic State University.

“It was troublesome for us to hear an administrator whose position is explicitly and solely dedicated to diversity and equity on campus use such apparent anti-Black rhetoric,” BSU wrote in an email.

A copy of the demands in full can be read below:

 

Property owner sues city over order to rebuild illegally demolished house

Private property has no meaning in the socialist paradise called San Fran.  The town known for human feces everywhere, the homeless on your doorstep and intolerance for free speech and self protection—this is the town that uses tax dollars to KILL druggies, with “free” needles so they can over dose at taxpayer expense.

“A property owner who was ordered by the city to rebuild an exact replica of a Twin Peaks home by a well-known architect after he illegally demolished it has filed a lawsuit challenging the decision, claiming it violates his civil rights.

Two lawsuits filed in federal and state courts Thursday are seeking to overturn the Planning Commission’s decisions and asking for a total of $10 million in damages — the amount it would cost owner Ross Johnston to comply with the commission’s order to rebuild the Largent House by architect Richard Neutra at 49 Hopkins Ave., according to his attorney, Andrew Zacks.

Also named in the lawsuit is the San Francisco Planning Department, the Department of Building Inspection and the Board of Supervisors, which according to the complaint has the “authority to hear appeals of Planning Commission decisions on conditional use authorization applications.”

Did anyone mention the property was privately owned, not owned by the government?  Yet, the government is treating I as if it was owned by the taxpayers.  Government is corrupt—this is just another example.

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image20781311

Property owner sues city over order to rebuild illegally demolished house

By Laura Waxmann, SF Examiner,  2/15/19

A property owner who was ordered by the city to rebuild an exact replica of a Twin Peaks home by a well-known architect after he illegally demolished it has filed a lawsuit challenging the decision, claiming it violates his civil rights.

Two lawsuits filed in federal and state courts Thursday are seeking to overturn the Planning Commission’s decisions and asking for a total of $10 million in damages — the amount it would cost owner Ross Johnston to comply with the commission’s order to rebuild the Largent House by architect Richard Neutra at 49 Hopkins Ave., according to his attorney, Andrew Zacks.

Also named in the lawsuit is the San Francisco Planning Department, the Department of Building Inspection and the Board of Supervisors, which according to the complaint has the “authority to hear appeals of Planning Commission decisions on conditional use authorization applications.”

Johnston bought the two-story home for $1.7million in 2017, complete with “permits to demolish 80 percent of that property and build a brand new almost 4,000 square foot house,” Zacks told the San Francisco Examiner on Friday, adding that “more of the house was demolished than was supposed to.”

According to court documents, the home’s previous owner initiated the permit approval process to redevelop the property in 2014, and was authorized by the Planning Department to remove an existing sunroom, make interior alterations and build a “vertical addition above the second floor,” among other changes. Those plans were approved by The City’s Department of Building Inspection.

“In May of 2016, DBI approved and stamped the 2014 Permit for the proposed three-story, four-bedroom/four bath single-family redevelopment, meaning ground could now be broken for construction,” per the lawsuit filed in state court.

When Johnston took over the property in 2017, he hired a general contractor to begin the demolition work.

“The complexity of the initial demolition work required that the vast majority of it be done by hand in a manner that effectively “reverse-engineered” the original construction,” reads the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that the construction crew deemed the house “structurally compromised” during the demolition, and made “a judgment call in the field to immediately remove the compromised structure,” even though the 2014 permit dictated that certain structural elements of the home had to be maintained as part of the new construction project.

The City was made aware of the tear down by way of a DBI complaint from a neighbor in October 2017, and Johnston’s representatives were asked to submit new plans to the Planning Department “incorporating the portions of the demolition that had exceeded the scope of the 2014 permit” and to seek a conditional use authorization, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit blames negative press in the following months for the Planning Commission’s resistance to moving the revised plans forward.

With a unanimous vote in December, the commission ordered Johnston to rebuild the house according to its original plans, and to chronicle the story of the Neutra home’s illegal demolition and replica in a sidewalk plaque.

Johnston attempted to appeal the decision to The City’s Board of Appeals, which would require the support of five supervisors or a requisite number of neighbors signing off on the appeal — neither of which Johnston was able to secure.

“They left my client without any process to file an appeal, said Zacks, adding that the commission “extended its authority beyond where the code allows it” by ordering the home to be replicated.

“They overtook the authority of Board of Appeals and the zoning administrator, which are the proper agencies in San Francisco to do enforcement,” said Zacks.

Planning Commissioner Dennis Richards said that he believes the commission “made the right decision.”

“It put the big spotlight on the problem with illegal demotions here in The City — if nothing else it put the spotlight where it needed to shine,” said Richards. Richards noted that Supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced legislation a week before the commission’s ruling to push back against a growing trend of illegal demolition of residences by real estate speculators vying to build larger projects in their place.

In regard to the lawsuits, Richards said that the property owner has the “constitutional right to exhaust all [of his] legal remedies.”

The City Attorney’s Office is still reviewing the lawsuit and therefore not able to discuss its specifics, said spokesperson John Cote, who added that more broadly, “illegal demolition is something we take very seriously.”

“One can’t just violate City laws and then ask for forgiveness later,” said Cote. “It doesn’t work that way.”

AUSHD Hires Radical Political Activist As “Social Media Consultant”

The Anaheim school district has made sure that radical, hate and bigotry against this country and our values are the policies’ promoted to the public—on the taxpayers dime.

“Translated from bureaucratese, it sounds like K-12 News Network is being paid to develop a social media communications strategy it will then be paid to implement.

Oppose To Charter Schools But Supportive of Unions, Teacher Strikes, Identity Politics and Racial Quotas
Contrary to the AUHSD’s anodyne description, the K-12 News Network”s focus is entirely political. According to its own website, K-12 New Network’s mission is political advocacy and online mobilization for push for progressive-Left politics and policies in public education – with a particular focus on attacking the charter school movement, supporting teachers unions and advocating for identity politics-based curriculum. especially as they relate to public education.  Among K-12 News Network’s priorities guiding editorial content” are:

  • “promot[ing] policies, programs, and curriculum that counter the effects of structural racism, sexism, homophobia, wealth inequality, religious intolerance, and discrimination against the disabled“”

The Anaheim school district is going to PROMOTE anti-quality education policies’ to the public.  This is a school district that opposes quality education for the children—it is time to move or find a private school dedicated to education of the child.  Anaheim is trying to become the LAUSD of Orange County.

aoc

AUSHD Hires Radical Political Activist As “Social Media Consultant”

Posted by: Matthew Cunningham, Anaheim Blog,  2/15/19  

 

At its December 2018 meeting, the Anaheim Union High School District Board of Trustees approved a $20,000 contract to hire a progressive political activist as a “social media consultant” for the district.

The contract is with K-12 News Network, which is owned and operated by Cynthia Liu. According to the AUSHD, the K-12 News Network is “a grassroots education news and civic engagement platform that brings elevating public school communities into the digital age.”

According to the contract, K-12 News Networks deliverables include “a report and its presentation, examples of existing uses of tools/platforms than can be adapted to AUHSD’s needs along with any budgetary considerations, and any necessary organizational charts or compilations of best practices establishing protocols for AUHSD social media communicators to follow.”

Translated from bureaucratese, it sounds like K-12 News Network is being paid to develop a social media communications strategy it will then be paid to implement.

Oppose To Charter Schools But Supportive of Unions, Teacher Strikes, Identity Politics and Racial Quotas
Contrary to the AUHSD’s anodyne description, the K-12 News Network”s focus is entirely political. According to its own website, K-12 New Network’s mission is political advocacy and online mobilization for push for progressive-Left politics and policies in public education – with a particular focus on attacking the charter school movement, supporting teachers unions and advocating for identity politics-based curriculum. especially as they relate to public education.  Among K-12 News Network’s priorities guiding editorial content” are:

  • “promot[ing] policies, programs, and curriculum that counter the effects of structural racism, sexism, homophobia, wealth inequality, religious intolerance, and discrimination against the disabled
  • “clarify and strengthen the ‘public’ in public education” – in other words, attack charter schools. Liu is fond of the hashtag #charterschoolsarenotpublicschools
  • promote the productive and authentic engagement of parents, educators, and students using all the democratic processes integral to public schools available to them” and “strengthen civic participation in support of public schools, including full use of the electoral and political process” – i.e. progressive-speak for inject left-wing political goals into school communication and interaction with students and parents.

The K-12 News Network Facebook page reveals a steady stream of hard-Left political posts: supporting teacher union strikes, attacking charter schools, supporting the Green New Deal, praising taking the knee during the Pledge of Allegiance, and demanding race be used as a criteria for hiring teachers:

And these are from just the last few days.

Another expression of K-12 News Network’s pro-teachers union orientation is a site it hosts: “Students Resisting TFA.”  TFA is Teach For America – a non-profit that recruits college students to spend two years after graduation teaching in public schools in poor urban and rural communities. Since 1990, more than 50,000 TFA “corps” member have taught more than 5 million students. Most have remained in teaching or education.

However, teachers unions feel threatened by TFA – and thus K-12 News Network’s hostility toward TFA. “Students Resisting TFA” – as if this volunteer program is oppressing the poor and voiceless – is billed as a “student-led effort” to “dismantle” Teach for America.

AUHSD Sensitive About The K-12 News Network Contract
It’s unsurprising the AUHSD would award this contract: K-12 News Network is totally in sync with the political agenda of AHUSD leadership. Following the election of Al Jabbar to the AUHSD Board of Trustees and the hiring of Michael Matsuda as superintendent, the Anaheim Union High School District became ground zero for overt political opposition to charter schools and parental choice. The district has become a jobs warehouse for progressive activists and candidates.

The K-12 News Network contract was originally on the September 13 AUHSD Board of Trustees meeting. Several hours before the Board meeting began, Anaheim Blog reported on the overtly political and partisan nature of the K-12 News Network, and staff pulled the item from the agenda. As reported above, it was added to the agenda for the December 13, 2018 meeting – at which re-elected Board members were sworn in and Board officers elected.

Does AUHSD Really Need A Social Media Consultant?
The contract with K-12 News Network and the manner in which it was handled raise a number of questions.

Why is the AUHSD spending $20,000 on a social media strategy when it lacks the most rudimentary tools of public transparency? The district doesn’t livecast Board of Trustee meetings over the Internet. It doesn’t provide a publicly accessible online archive of Board meeting videos – chiefly because it doesn’t even record meetings on video. If a member of the public wants to watch an AUSHD Board of Education, they have to do so in person.

The district does audio record Board meetings, but the recordings are only available when specifically requested – in which case staff will send you a Dropbox link.

If the AUHSD leadership had the slightest interest in public transparency, they could mount an iPhone on a tripod and broadcast meetings on Facebook Live. Perhaps Cynthia Liu of he K-12 News Network will include that recommendation in her deliverables – although the district doesn’t need to pay someone $20,000 to point out the obvious.

Another question: why K-12 News Network? There are many qualified, non-political social media consultants out there who could help AUSHD construct a social media strategy – and who could do a professional job in less time and for less money. By it’s own description, K-12 News Network’s background is in online advocacy and organizing to advance a particular ideological viewpoint; it’s strange the AUHSD would award a social media consulting contract to a political advocacy site rather than a social media strategy firm.

Why was K-12 News Network selected? Did the district reach out to Liu? Did she solicit the district?

These are legitimate questions to ask of a public agency regarding awarding of public contracts with public funds. They have been posed to the AUHSD. The district has responded with stonewalling and possibly withholding public records.

More about that next week.

Fewer acres-more processing tomatoes forecast in 2019

California is a great place for growing food.  As Guv Brown and the Democrats limit water for food, farmers have learned to maximize crops.

“It is a familiar pattern. San Joaquin Valley farmers are expected plant fewer acres of processing tomatoes in 2019 according to a new USDA report.

But the tonnage of  tomatoes is expected rise to 12.1 million – a 2.5 percent increase over last year. Farmers are expecting a yield of 51.5 tons per acre in 2019, the same number as 2018.

The industry average yield has more than doubled in the past few decades. It was under 20 tons per acre in the mid 60s and in the 30s as recently as 2006. In 2017 the yield come in at 44.5 tons an acre.

Producing more than 90 percent of the nation’s processed tomatoes and nearly half the world’s total processed tomato tonnage,”

Democrats have tried hard to kill California agriculture—and the farmers fight back.  Yet, as the recent election showed—farmers and workers in the Central Valley are prepared to kill their jobs and industry by voting for Democrats to control Sacramento and Washington.  They must hate themselves, their families and community by voting for officials that want to destroy them.  Sick.

Photo courtesy sheagunther, flickr

Photo courtesy sheagunther, flickr

Fewer acres-more processing tomatoes forecast in 2019

Sierra2theSea,  2/12/19

It is a familiar pattern. San Joaquin Valley farmers are expected plant fewer acres of processing tomatoes in 2019 according to a new USDA report.

But the tonnage of tomatoes is expected rise to 12.1 million – a 2.5 percent increase over last year. Farmers are expecting a yield of 51.5 tons per acre in 2019, the same number as 2018.

The industry average yield has more than doubled in the past few decades. It was under 20 tons per acre in the mid 60s and in the 30s as recently as 2006. In 2017 the yield come in at 44.5 tons an acre.

Producing more than 90 percent of the nation’s processed tomatoes and nearly half the world’s total processed tomato tonnage, California’s tomato growers are among the most  efficient farmers in the world. Adoption of drip irrigation and fertilizing techniques has helped drive up yield.

The tomato is the most widely-grown vegetable in the United States.Americans eat about 75% of their tomatoes in the processed form. Consumption of processed tomatoes accelerated in the late 1980s with the popularity of pizza, pasta, and salsa.

Processing tomatoes are picked fresh and then heat-treated for use in tomato products, including tomato paste, diced and whole canned tomatoes, tomato sauces, tomato juice, tomato soup, salsas, and ketchup.

This month processor Olam in Lemoore is expected to add solar to heat their product.

The top three production counties in order are Fresno,Yolo and Kings.

Their Home Survived The Camp Fire — But Their Insurance Did Not

The folks that had their homes destroyed by the Camp Fire in Northern California are coming realize a truth—the insurance industry is abandoning them.  Even if your home was not destroyed in the area, your fire insurance, for all practical purposes is gone.

But when their property insurer, American Reliable, notified them in December that it wasn’t renewing the couple’s homeowner’s coverage, they realized that returning home would be even harder than expected.

“Getting that letter was like a slap in the face,” Tamara Conry said. “Right now, when it’s going to be the hardest time ever to get insurance at any kind of reasonable price, that’s when you non-renew us?”

Other families in Butte County could face a similar insurance dilemma. About 10 percent of buildings in Paradise are still standing after last November’s wildfire, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Even though a new California law that took effect in January requires insurers to renew homeowner’s coverage on properties that survived wildfires for at least one year, the new law doesn’t help people affected by last year’s fire disasters like the Conrys.

The law does not say how much the insurance company can charge—and even then, after one year, the insurance goes away.   Watch as the insurance companies do the same to homes directly on the coast.  California is in for a gigantic economic shock.  Watch as property values drop, as equity is lost and more middle class and slightly rich flee the State.

VENTURA, CA - DECEMBER 5: A home is destroyed by brush fire as Santa Ana winds help propel the flames to move quickly through the landscape on December 5, 2017 in Ventura, California. (Photo by Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Their Home Survived The Camp Fire — But Their Insurance Did Not

By Pauline Bartolone | KXJZ, 2/17/19
Tom and Tamara Conry stand outside their home in Paradise, Calif., which was almost untouched by November’s deadly Camp Fire. Their property insurer notified them in December that it would not renew their policy past January.

Tom and Tamara Conry were dead set on returning to Paradise after the deadly Camp Fire destroyed the town last November. The couple’s home was barely touched by the fire, and most other survivors had a much steeper climb to recovery.

But when their property insurer, American Reliable, notified them in December that it wasn’t renewing the couple’s homeowner’s coverage, they realized that returning home would be even harder than expected.

“Getting that letter was like a slap in the face,” Tamara Conry said. “Right now, when it’s going to be the hardest time ever to get insurance at any kind of reasonable price, that’s when you non-renew us?”

Other families in Butte County could face a similar insurance dilemma. About 10 percent of buildings in Paradise are still standing after last November’s wildfire, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Even though a new California law that took effect in January requires insurers to renew homeowner’s coverage on properties that survived wildfires for at least one year, the new law doesn’t help people affected by last year’s fire disasters like the Conrys.

“Their situation can almost be worse, sometimes, than people whose homes are gone,” said Amy Bach, executive director of the consumer advocacy group United Policyholders.

“They’re sort of competing with the total loss victims for attention and dollars, but they also don’t have the same protection that a total loss victim has to keep their insurance,” she added.

Tom and Tamara Conry are now living in a rental apartment in Yuba City, about an hour south of Paradise, because their home is still contaminated by smoke. Their back deck was also scorched. American Reliable covered their hotel after the couple evacuated and is now paying for their temporary rental.

But the news that the insurance company wasn’t renewing their coverage has just added to the headache of making their home livable again, the Conrys say. At least two other insurers turned them down and they worked with two different brokers to try to find a new policy.

“Sometimes I feel like it would have been easier if the house had burned down,” Tamara said, adding that she and Tom also feel truly sorry for all the families who lost much more than they did.

The California Department of Insurance says it’s heard from others in fire areas who have faced a non-renewal from a property insurer.

As a state senator in 2018, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara pushed through the new law that helps ensure at least one year of continued coverage for homeowners with property standing in fire zones.

He said this law was intended to help families like the Conrys, who may face the same situation in future disasters.

“A sudden non-renewal can shatter survivors’ feeling of security that they have barely started to rebuild,” Lara wrote.

Another new California law ensures people whose homes have completely burned down in a wildfire can renew a homeowners policy for at least two years.

Global Indemnity, the parent company of American Reliable Insurance Company, didn’t respond to emails and phone calls asking to discuss the Conrys’ situation.

Mark Sektnan, who represents the industry as president of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, says companies are always reassessing their risks.

“You want to make sure you don’t have too many policies concentrated in a particular area because if there is a loss, it could have negative implications for the company,” Sektnan said.

One insurer, Merced Property and Casualty, already went belly-up because of the Camp Fire.

But Sektnan says there are about 50 homeowner insurers in California, and homeowners like the Conrys are sure to find another option. Policyholders in areas devastated by wildfires will likely pay more for their coverage, though.

“That’s to ensure that … people in the high-risk areas should pay a higher amount for insurance than people who live in low-risk areas. Otherwise, people like where I live would end up subsidizing these people,” Sektnan said.

The Conrys recently found a new homeowners policy, a last resort plan California law provides for people like them. They’re paying more than double what they did before.

But the devastation in Paradise, and the insurance headaches, have been too much for the Conrys. They’ve recently decided they’re not going back, and have put their house up for sale.

 

Save $$–Attend Community College for Two Years

Why spend $100,000 or more for two years of college, when you are not sure of the direction for your life.  Why put yourself deep in debt when you can continue your education at 10% of the cost?  That is what smart high school seniors are asking themselves.  Those with the right answer will be successful in life.  Those who spend the money will spend a lifetime paying the money back and angry at the adults that allowed them to destroy twenty years after high school graduation—living with parents, unable to form permanent relationships, deep in debt and living close to poverty—with a fancy worthless degree.

“Then I explained my reasoning that I felt I shouldn’t spend money on tuition before I know what direction I’m going in. She understands.

These days, my peers seem jealous that I’m opting out of the stress of senior year. They’re writing college essays, crashing on application deadlines, and waiting to hear back from schools. I’m just kind of cruising through until graduation.”

Why spend $100,000 to find out, if you are white, that you are a homophobic bigot, that you should hate America and love terrorists?  Get an education on the cheap instead of an expensive indoctrination.

orange_coast_college_republicans_2

Opting Out of a FourYear College

KQED,  2/15/19

 

For the first time in 15 years, the number of freshman applicants for the UC system dropped. YR Media’s Chris Weldon explains why he’s not applying for a fouryear college.

I’m a high school senior. This year, I’ve been getting many questions from my classmates and teachers about my post-high school plans. It’s like people expect this huge, detailed timeline… And I don’t have it.

When I look at my friends, one guy wants to pursue marine biology at Santa Cruz. A whole group intend to study film at UCLA. Another wants to study neuroscience at UC Davis.

Honestly? It’s daunting. My future still looks like a blank slate. I entertain ideas about business or media. But I know those aren’t jobs, exactly. And I’m not sure where I would fit in.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m running out of time.

So, I decided to enroll in community college next year. This choice was unexpected. For my first two years in high school, I was regimented. My parents pushed me to take honors and AP classes, because they wanted me to be competitive for college. For a while, this path seemed predestined. But then, last year, over dinner, my mom asked me which colleges I wanted to tour. She wanted to start planning, and when I told her I wasn’t ready to tour colleges, she seemed a little surprised.

My friends also ask me if I feel worried about missing out on that classic college experience: moving out of my parents house when I turn 18, living in dorms, college parties. And, you know what? I kind of am sad to miss out on these early adult milestones. But I’m also okay with the trade-off. I think it’s worth it to not take on student debt, while I’m still feeling lost. Essentially, I’m buying myself some more time. And when I do go to college, it’ll be on my terms.

With a perspective, I’m Chris Weldon.

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Chris Weldon is 17 and lives in Benicia. His perspective was produced by Youth Radio’s new network of journalists and artists, now called YR Media.