Join Dr. Rita Support The Drilling Ban

I support the ban, will you? – Dr. Rita Ramirez

Board of Supes Support Offshore Drilling Ban

Feb 14, 2018

On Tuesday, the Board approved a resolution by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Janice Hahn supporting a ban on new offshore oil and gas drilling, and new oil and gas wells along California’s coast. The resolution also backs an initiative for no new Federal oil and gas leasing in all US waters.

Given the anti-environmental actions of the current federal administration, it is becoming increasingly important to set a precedent for environmental leadership at the state and local level. LA County, the state of California, and many individual municipalities have stepped up, playing a pivotal role in continuing to implement measures that protect the state’s vast and diverse natural resources.

Offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration are a direct threat to the wellbeing and health of the Pacific Ocean and its ecosystems. It increases the risk of large-scale oil spills and other damage. Past oil spills have harmed wildlife and negatively impacted recreational and commercial activities. In 2015, a pipeline that serviced offshore oil platforms burst, and took months of intense restoration work to mitigate the damage to surrounding animal and plant life.

Despite a mounting body of evidence, President Trump has expressed plans to expand offshore oil and gas leasing, which have been mostly off-limits to new federal leasing since 1984. Not only have these offshore drilling and fracking projects shown the potential to cause significant harm to our oceans, but they also deepen the state’s dependence on fossil fuels.

The Governor of California, Attorney General, State Senate, State Lands Commission, and many municipalities are vehemently opposed to projects that limit the genuine progress made toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving toward renewable energy.

These activities pose an unacceptably high risk of damage and destruction to California’s marine environment and increase the impact of human-made climate change from excessive reliance on fossil fuels.

The Board of Supervisors strongly supports this position and is committed to continuing to make LA County an example of dedicated environmental stewardship and innovation in sustainability.

This is a critical step toward ensuring that County residents, visitors, and wildlife will be able to enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Ocean for years to come.

Sign Gabby Giffords’ Courage Pledge

Sign Gabby Giffords’ Courage Pledge

Sign The Pledge.  I did! – Dr. Rita Ramirez

Read Gabby Giffords Open Letter to Voters

I know politicians fear the gun lobby.

But I also know that fear cannot compare to what those innocent children in Florida felt as the gunshots rang out, bullets flew through the halls of their school, and their teachers and classmates were gunned down.

That fear is nothing compared to what parents must have felt waiting in the parking lot of the high school waiting for news about their children.

If I could offer protection to those families and the 315 Americans who are shot every day, I would. But we can’t wall ourselves from the threat of gun violence, nor will we find safety in the deadly cycle of arming ourselves against each other.

The defenders of the status quo – advocates of the firearms industry and the politicians paid to defend it – will tell you that events like these are virtual acts of nature, products of mental illness or bad parenting, beyond our ability to control.

This could not be further from the truth.

Every day we fail to take action, we choose this fate. We tolerate politicians who fail to acknowledge this crisis and vote against our safety. We let our gun violence epidemic continue day after deadly day.

That cycle has to end, but it will only happen when politicians realize they have more to fear from you than they do the gun lobby. And that starts with making your voice heard.

Sign my pledge:

Add Your Name: “I promise you that if we cannot make our communities safer from gun violence with the Congress we have now, I will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress, one that puts communities’ interests ahead of the gun lobby’s. I will Vote Courage in November and support candidates who will stand up to the gun lobby and take action to make our communities safer.”

My heart is with the victims and survivors, and my gratitude is with Broward County’s courageous first responders. The question now is if we will find the courage to pass the laws we need to protect our children, to stop dangerous people from accessing guns.

If Congress won’t act, American voters must.

All my best,

Gabby Giffords

SIGN MY PLEDGE

 

For Inyo & Mono Counties… California Is Preparing to Defend Its Waters from Trump Order

For Inyo & Mono Counties… California Is Preparing to Defend Its Waters from Trump Order

By Jane Kay / January 10, 2018

https://www.revealnews.org/

In its first act to shield California from the Trump administration’s repeal of regulations, the state’s water board has prepared its own rules protecting wetlands and other waters.

The proposed new rules, scheduled for a vote by the board this summer, could insulate the state from President Donald Trump’s executive order to roll back the reach of the Clean Water Act. That rollback would strip federal protection from seasonal streambeds, isolated pools and other transitory wetlands, exposing them to damage, pollution or destruction from housing developments, energy companies and farms.

“When you look at it from a historical perspective, California has lost the vast majority of the wetland resources,” said planner Paul Hann, who oversees the State Water Resources Control Board’s wetlands protection program. “We want to capture the rich diversity of wetlands across the state. These resources play a big role in improving our water quality and providing a valuable benefit in terms of flood protection, wildlife habitat and recreation.”

Over the past two centuries, California has lost roughly 90 percent of its wetlands, leaving 2.9 million acres, according to the California Natural Resources Agency. These remaining wetlands support more species of plants and animals than any other habitat, including an estimated 41 percent of California’s rare and endangered species.

Stepping in to protect its wetlands “is a prime example of a state exerting its right to protect itself from federal rollbacks,” said attorney Rachel Zwillinger, a water policy adviser for Defenders of Wildlife. “California is showing the type of state leadership that our system of cooperative federalism envisions.”

What’s at stake

Winter brings dormancy and frozen earth to much of the country. But on the border of Marin and Sonoma counties, about 40 miles north of San Francisco, hundreds of creeks and lakes are springing to life. Birds swoop in from the north, steelhead and salmon edge their way upstream, and newts and pond turtles emerge in waterways fed by rain.

“The end of the summer is such a terrible time when it’s dry and dusty and the earth is parched. When it starts to rain, it’s like heaven,” said Sally Gale, a fifth-generation rancher in Petaluma who is president of the Marin Resource Conservation District. “The earth smells so rich and fertile. In a couple of days, you see a sprinkling of green across the pasture. The network of rivulets and wetlands looks like veins on a leaf.”

“The land comes back to life. It’s magic,” Gale said.

These wetlands are an example of what’s at stake in the state’s effort to protect what could be left vulnerable by the Trump administration’s plan to roll back the federal rule and redefine wetlands.

In California, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, the vast majority of streams flow only in response to rainfall, according to U.S. Geological Survey data cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“The West is different from the rest of the country,” said Dave Shuford, senior biologist at the Petaluma-based nonprofit Point Blue Conservation Science. “The ecosystems out here are very dynamic. Year to year, they change depending on rainfall.

“It’s boom or bust for species,” he added. “If birds, amphibians and reptiles don’t have these places to go, they’ll have a hard time breeding.”

In a drought year, the creeks hold no water. In a wet year, they catch the rain, and their vegetation filters out pollutants before they can move via creeks and rivers toward the ocean. The pools recharge groundwater, slow flooding, stop erosion and provide fresh water for flora and fauna.

“If you add up all of the small spots, it’s a big resource,” Shuford said. “You have a bunch of little places that support huge numbers of birds.”

Like a scene out of the Old West, Chileno Valley Road in Petaluma winds through coast live oaks and bay laurels before the landscape opens to once-straw-colored hills now turned bright green. Hidden in the hills, formerly dry washes and creeks surge with rainwater. Eventually, the flows make their way to Tomales Bay, one of the most pristine bays on the West Coast, and then on to the ocean.

Along the winding road, a handsome Victorian Italianate house built in the 1880s marks the Chileno Valley Ranch, where Gale and her husband, Mike, raise grass-fed beef cattle and lambs and grow apple trees on unirrigated pastureland dependent on rain.

Behind the house, Chileno Creek began to trickle after a handful of November rains. Blue herons and white egrets searched for food. As winter rain pelts the watershed, the creek rushes. In time, it can fill to 150 feet wide and overflow onto the pastures. Steelhead will arrive, and later in the winter, red-legged frogs and pond turtles. Family and friends have counted more than 100 species of migratory songbirds, many of which stay to breed, as well as muskrats, raccoons, coyotes, foxes and bobcats.

 

Trump’s order

In June, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt hoped to fast-track the rollback of that protects wetlands by narrowing the definition of “waters of the United States,” but it’s been slowed by regulatory obstacles.Credit: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

For decades, many builders, growers, ranchers, energy and mining companies and other industries have lobbied federal lawmakers to limit their obligations to preserve wetlands under the Clean Water Act.

Shortly after taking office, Trump told a gathering of farmers and homebuilders that the EPA had “truly run amok” by saving “nearly every puddle or every ditch.” He told EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to throw out the Obama administration rule that protects seasonal streams and small isolated ponds and shrink the reach of the law by narrowing the definition of “waters of the United States.”

Pruitt has made clear where he stands: As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt sued the EPA in 2015 to overturn the wetlands rule. As administrator, he appeared in an August video for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, urging ranchers to send him public comments supporting its repeal. The Government Accountability Office is investigating this as a possible violation of rules forbidding lobbying by government officials.

In June, Pruitt started the repeal, hoping to fast-track it. But it’s been slowed by regulatory obstacles. Under the latest schedule, he plans to rescind the rule by April and propose a new one by May.

Trump directed Pruitt to incorporate a definition, put forth by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 2006, that defines protected bodies as relatively permanent and continuously connected by surface water to navigable bays, rivers or lakes.

If Pruitt incorporates that definition, it could endanger the drinking water supply of more than 117 million Americans. According to a 2009 EPA analysis, 58 percent of streams that supply public drinking water systems are intermittent or ephemeral. Based on the National Wetlands Inventory, the EPA assessed that at least 20 million acres of vernal pools, potholes, salt flats, creeks and other isolated wetlands would be put at risk.

If the rule “is rolled back, many of our waterways may lose critical protections,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has joined seven other states and Washington, D.C., in objecting to the repeal of the Obama rule, said in a statement. “The California Department of Justice refuses to stand idly by and let that happen.”

California prepares to be rollback ready

Sally Gale, a fifth-generation rancher, says when it rains after the dry and dusty summer, her rich and fertile land “comes back to life. It’s magic.”
Credit: Brian L. Frank for Reveal

For more than a decade, the California water board has been working with scientists, holding public meetings and consulting with landowners and businesses to develop new dredge-and-fill regulations to enforce the state’s landmark Porter-Cologne Act, adopted in 1969. A key piece is providing a new wetland definition protective of the state’s intricate network of water bodies.

In mid-2016, before Trump was elected, the board staff unveiled its proposal, defining which characteristics qualify as a protected wetland and laying out provisions that are more protective to a wide array of water bodies than the current federal rule. For the first time, all the regional boards would enforce the same regulations when landowners and others seek government permission to discharge into or disturb wetlands. If enacted, the state’s directive would be first to avoid deterioration, then minimize losses and, if loss is necessary, fully replace them.

“We’re trying to balance procedural efficiency with environmental protection,” said Hann, the board’s wetlands protection program head.

Under narrower federal rules, businesses might be able to plow over or drain a seasonal pool or tributary, while under the state rules, it would be considered a protected wetland that could not be disturbed without investigation and permits.

In urging Trump to revoke the Obama administration rule, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of Home Builders, energy companies and other business groups argued that states should control their own waters. Now that California is stepping in to take control, these same groups are arguing that the state’s proposed rules are duplicative and contradict federal rules.

“Why should we have dueling processes?“ said Kari Fisher, a lawyer for the California Farm Bureau Federation. “That’s very expensive. You have situations where the state and federal governments can be at odds because they’re using different definitions and reaching different conclusions, for example, on mitigations. You have all of these conflicting issues that would arise.”

California already has led the way in challenging the Trump administration’s proposed border wall, cuts to health care funding and the plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or “Dreamer” program for young immigrants living in the country illegally. But this would be its first official rule that would stop a Trump rollback from affecting California.

Richard Frank, a former state chief deputy attorney general who now directs the California Environmental Law and Policy Center at the UC Davis School of Law, predicts that some states will follow California’s lead in adopting their own wetlands rules, while others will be content with the federal rollback.

“This is the environmentally strongest water board I’ve been aware of in the 40 years I’ve been following California activities closely,” Frank said.

Add Your Name…  Dr. Rita Did!

Add Your Name… Dr. Rita Did!

I stand with DACA. – Dr. Rita Ramirez

My name is Gabriela, and I’m a DREAMer. I am one of more than 800,000 young people granted protection from deportation through the DACA program started by President Obama.

When the Trump administration announced in September that it was ending DACA, I was worried for my future. I did not know whether I would be able to remain in the U.S. — the only country that’s ever felt like home to me.

Last night’s court decision on DACA is further proof that Donald Trump’s elimination of the program was never about the rule of law. It was about holding our futures hostage and deporting DREAMers as bargaining chips in future political negotiations.

It is still up to Congress to pass legislation to provide permanent protection for DREAMers — which is why I am asking you to join me today:

Add your name to call on Congress to pass a permanent DREAM Act by January 19th that will protect DREAMers like me from deportation.

When I was 12 years old, my family made the decision to leave El Salvador and come to the U.S. Our neighborhood back in El Salvador was afflicted by gang violence and my parents wanted to protect me.

During the first several months, I felt so frustrated that I didn’t know the language here. So I would go to the library and check out two of the same books: one in Spanish and another in English. I would read one page in English and then one page in Spanish — and that’s how I learned.

When President Obama created DACA in 2012, my life changed. I knew I didn’t have to go back to El Salvador and put myself at risk.

At that moment, that 12-year-old that didn’t know how to speak English came to mind. And I thought of how far I had come.

I am telling you my story today because I refuse to go back into the shadows. We can’t stay quiet when there is injustice happening.

Our fight is far from over. We must continue coming together to oppose this administration’s inhumane immigration agenda.

Add your name to demand that Congress pass legislation by January 19th to allow DREAMers like me to stay in the only country we’ve ever considered home.

ADD YOUR NAME

There are hundreds of thousands of other DREAMers who have stories like mine. To them I would like to say this: Your presence in the U.S. is not wrong. You were meant to be here.

Thank you for reading my story today.

In solidarity,

Gabriela

New Gun Restrictions Are Coming to California in 2018.

New Gun Restrictions Are Coming to California in 2018.

I support legislation regarding gun safety, “The life you save might be your own!” – Dr. Rita Ramirez.
California’s more than 6 million gun owners are going to see new restrictions in 2018 stemming from sweeping regulations lawmakers and voters have approved over the past two years.
A 2016 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found there was a strong relationship between higher levels of gun ownership in a state and higher firearm suicide rates for both men and women.

How do US gun deaths break down?

There have been more than 90 mass shootings in the US since 1982, according to investigative magazine Mother Jones.
Up until 2012, a mass shooting was defined as when an attacker had killed four or more victims in an indiscriminate rampage – and since 2013 the figures include attacks with three or more victims. The shootings do not include killings related to other crimes such as armed robbery or gang violence.
The overall number of people killed in mass shootings each year represents only a tiny percentage of the total number.

Attacks in US become deadlier

The Las Vegas attack was the worst in recent US history – and the three shootings with the highest number of casualties have all happened within the past 10 years.

What types of guns kill Americans?

Military-style assault weapons have been blamed for some of the major mass shootings such as the attack in an Orlando nightclub and at the Sandy Hook School in Connecticut. The police said dozens of rifles had been recovered from the scene of the Las Vegas shooting.
A few US states have banned assault weapons, which were totally restricted for a decade until 2004. However most murders caused by guns involve handguns, according to FBI data.

To learn more about gun in America, here are two articles to read:

https://www.usnews.com/topics/subjects/gun-control-and-gun-rights

https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-12-21/an-interactive-map-some-of-the-deadliest-mass-shootings-in-modern-us-history

Dr. Rita Ramirez for Congress 2018 Kickoff

Dr. Rita Ramirez for Congress 2018 Kickoff

The committee members of the Dr. Ramirez for Congress 2018 met today to begin the task of starting up the campaign for Dr. Ramirez 2018 run at the California 8th Congressional District seat for the House of Representatives.  While details of the 2 hour meeting and presentation were confidential, Dr. Ramirez could be heard saying “we’re [meaning the campaign] going to win!”

Ramirez has previously sought the #CA08 voters’ approval for the House of Representative position.  This time, the “blue wave” is in her favor.  Plus, she has put together an amazing team of individuals who will support each other and the candidate.

Committee members will be meeting again before Christmas.

#PeopleOverPoltics is not just a slogan for this campaign.  It is truly how all the committee members feel.  They are determined to set an example of how Democrats can put together an inclusive campaign strategy, one that should resonate with #CADEM.

For more information, please contact Bruce Greenberg, Campaign Communications Director – communications@drrita4congress.com or call: 760-865-9553

Ploy to Block Cadiz H2O Project

Ploy to Block Cadiz H2O Project

Lands Commission Application Requirement Most Recent Ploy to Block Cadiz H2O Project

A move by the California State Lands Commission in asserting its regulatory rights in the Mojave Desert could entail Cadiz, Inc. having to carry out an exacting and comprehensive environmental impact report on that company’s controversial project to siphon water from beneath the eastern Mojave for importation to and use by communities near the coast.

Project opponents and environmentalists have long maintained that the ecological impact assessments that accompanied the project’s approval were flawed. The approval process and environmental certification of the project was carried out by the Santa Margarita Water District, which is more than 200 miles removed from the project’s desert well sites. Santa Margarita also had a direct interest in the water importation scheme.

The second and current version of the Cadiz desert water extraction plan was approved by the Santa Margarita Water District more than five years ago, but the project’s proponents have encountered a series of post-approval legal, regulatory and procedural challenges that delayed it. With the changeover from the Barack Obama to the Donald Trump administration earlier this year, the prospect increased that necessary federal acquiescence in use of governmental rights of way for the pipeline to carry the water would be forthcoming. At that point, however, project opponents reinvigorated challenges to the undertaking at the state level.

The California State Lands Commission’s demand that Cadiz submit a project application for its pipeline construction is the latest manifestation of that opposition. Beginning in the late 1980s, what was then known as the Cadiz Land Company, which had been created by Ted Dutton and Keith Brackpool, sunk a well in the Cadiz Valley and initiated an organic farming operation growing tomatoes, peppers, melons, grapes and citrus. Throughout its existence, the Cadiz farming operation failed to operate at a profit. But in the meantime, it was able to make an assertion, based upon the irrigation of the crops at the Cadiz farm, to water rights from the Cadiz/Fenner aquifer.

By the late 1990s, it was clear that the Cadiz Land Company’s true design was on securing water rights in a remote locale in the Mojave Desert to then sell that water for use elsewhere. The company seemed to hit pay dirt with its plan when in 1997 the Metropolitan Water District bought into a proposal from the Cadiz Land Company to convey up to 1.5 million acre-feet of what was referenced as “surplus” Colorado River water to Cadiz and “store” that water by pumping it into the water table there. In “dry years” the Cadiz Land Company proposed allowing the Metropolitan Water District to extract water from the aquifer and conduct it through a 35-mile pipeline that was to be constructed between Cadiz and the Metropolitan Water District’s existing Colorado River aqueduct. After five years of environmental studies, in August 2002 the federal government gave approval to the project.

In October 2002, however, the proposal was rejected by the Metropolitan Water District’s board of directors after conservationists raised concerns over possible environmental damage. An extensive round of litigation between the Cadiz Land Company and the Metropolitan Water District ensued. The concept lay dormant for six years but in 2008, the Cadiz Land Company, by then known as Cadiz, Inc., revived the plan in modified form, emphasizing less the drawing of water from the Colorado River and instead proposing to obtain water from sources feeding the desert area’s dry lakes that are subject to evaporation. The revamped project, to entail the sinking of 34 wells into the desert and construction of a 44- mile pipeline to meet up with the aqueduct carrying Colorado River water to the Los Angeles and Orange County metropolitan areas, was given a tentative budget of $536.25 million.

Cadiz, Inc. first arranged to find potential buyers of the water, lining up the Santa Margarita Water District in Orange County; the Three Valleys Water District, which provides water to the Pomona Valley, Walnut Valley, and Eastern San Gabriel Valley; the Golden State Water Company, which serves several communities in Southern California, including Claremont; Suburban Water Systems, which serves Covina, West Covina and La Mirada; and the Jurupa Community Services District, which serves Mira Loma in Riverside County.

Then, to obtain environmental certification of the project, Cadiz, Inc. turned not to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, but to the Santa Margarita Water District, which was to be the largest recipient of the water. The Santa Margarita Water District is the second largest water district in Orange County, serving the affluent communities of Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, Coto de Caza, Las Flores, Ladera Ranch and Talega. A contingent of San Bernardino County residents protested the Santa Margarita Water District’s assumption of lead agency status on the project, officially known as the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation and Recovery Project, based on the consideration that the district lies 217 miles from the Cadiz Valley across the county line from San Bernardino County.

San Bernardino County could have contested that arrangement in court, but Cadiz, Inc. effectively muted that by providing then-San Bernardino County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, in whose First District the Cadiz and Fenner valleys and much of the East Mojave were located, with $48,100 in political donations as he attempted to vault from his position as county supervisor to Congress. In the June 2012 primary, Mitzelfelt proved unsuccessful in his effort to get into the 8th Congressional District race runoff in November 2012, placing a distant fifth among thirteen candidates, in no small part because his support of the Cadiz Project was so unpopular with his constituents that the hefty political contributions from Cadiz, Inc. proved to be of no avail to him.

In seeking to transition into Congress in 2012, Mitzelfelt had to forgo seeking reelection as supervisor that same year. Thus, he was consigned to leave office later that year. He was still in office as a lame duck when on July 31, 2012, the Santa Margarita Water District’s board of directors certified the environmental impact report for the Cadiz Water Project, clearing the way for Cadiz, Inc. to extract an average of 50,000 acrefeet of water per year – more than 16 billion gallons of groundwater annually – for the next century from the eastern Mojave Desert and send it via pipeline westward to Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties. Over the next five years, a succession of environmental challenges and lawsuits delayed the implementation of the project. Cadiz, Inc. has succeeded in overcoming those lawsuits, nearly all of which were heard in Orange County Superior Court. One remaining snag holding up the project was a 2015 U.S. Bureau of Land Management decision that Cadiz, Inc. could not use the existing federal railroad right-of-way for the water pipeline it intends to construct to convey water drawn from the aquifer to the Colorado River Aqueduct. This carried with it the requirement that the company go through a federal environmental review, under the National Environmental Policy Act, delaying the project and adding to its expense. At issue was the degree to which railroads are at liberty to allow their rights-of-way to be used for non-railroad purposes. A railroad right-of-way can accommodate a water pipeline if the water is to be used by the railroad, but the use of steam engines went out of vogue last century.

In 1989, an Interior Department solicitor concluded that an 1875 railroad law allowed railroads to authorize other uses without Department of the Interior approval. A subsequent solicitor’s opinion altered that conclusion to state other uses had to “derive from or further” a railroad purpose. The Bureau of Land Management office for California later found that “conveyance of water for public consumption is not a railroad purpose.” In March, the Donald Trump Administration, in the form of a blanket memo from a Bureau of Land Management acting assistant director, revoked two of the legal bases for the agency’s 2015 decision blocking the Cadiz project. This prompted Cadiz, Inc. to reapply with the federal government for permission to proceed, in turn galvanizing Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-California, who was the lead sponsor of the 1994 California Desert Protection Act signed into law by President Bill Clinton, the sponsor of the California Desert Protection Act of 2011, the sponsor of the California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act of 2015 and the sponsor of the California Desert Protection and Recreation Act of 2017, and a longtime opponent of Cadiz, Inc.’s designs on desert water. Feinstein consulted with Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, who in July altered the language of pending legislation, AB 1000, which originally pertained to water meter standards, to halt significant desert water pumping until state land and wildlife officials review the proposed groundwater extractions to first certify they will not harm the desert’s ecology.

Though the Cadiz Project was not mentioned specifically in the legislation, Friedman acknowledged the alteration of AB 1000 came in response to the Trump Administration’s prioritization of the Cadiz Water Project. “When the federal government refuses to undertake these environmental reviews, the state must step up and make sure they are done,” said Friedman. Friedman’s move triggered objections from Cadiz, Inc. and its corporate officers, who characterized what she was engaged in as “flawed legislation” and an effort to derail the project. The bill did not make it past the California Senate Appropriations Committee, where it lay dormant at the end of the legislative session. In September, State Sen. Ricardo Lara, DBell Gardens and Kevin de León D-Los Angeles, the state Senate’s president pro tempore, effectively blocked the bill’s release. Lara, asserting the project had already been subject to the rigors of the California Environmental Quality Act, said, “That process should be allowed to play out.” De León in whose district the Cadiz corporate headquarters is located, has received $9,100 in political contributions from Cadiz, Inc., $4,100 for his California Senate campaign in 2014 and $5,000 in June of this year for his planned run for lieutenant governor next year.

Thereafter, the environmental wing of the Democratic Party in California began casting about for another stratagem to block the Cadiz Water Project. Last month the State Lands Commission, which is chaired by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, proclaimed ownership of and passage rights over a 200-foot swath of property a mile long upon which a portion of the Cadiz pipeline is to be laid. Newsom, like current governor Edmund J. “Jerry” Brown and Feinstein, was a supporter of Friedman’s AB 1000. Newsom is vying against De León for the Democratic nomination for governor next year. The Lands Commission is requiring that Cadiz complete an application for use of the property. That application will undergo an analysis of relevant issues by the Lands Commission staff, and a determination of what criteria will need to be met to allow the pipeline to pass over the property. The discussion on the state’s end of the equation has extended, the Sentinel has learned, to what environmental certification will be required for the pipeline passover, which some want to be expanded to include a full-blown review of the adequacy of the earlier environmental analyses that were done for the project as a whole.

Environmentalists and project opponents have contended that the environmental impact report on the project which was ratified by the Santa Margarita Water District in 2012 was flawed and inadequate on a number of grounds, including what they say was a gross miscalculation of the natural annual recharge of the aquifers in the East Mojave, which in actuality falls significantly below the amount of water to be extracted by Cadiz, Inc. They contend the Santa Margarita Water District board members, who do not represent the residents of San Bernardino County or the East Mojave in particular, were insensitive to the full implication of the inadequacies in the environmental report and therefore did not fairly and adequately size up the impacts of the project, being blinded by their own interest in seeing the project approved. For that reason, they are pressing for a comprehensive reevaluation of the environmental impact report and the approval of the project that was based on it, such that Cadiz, Inc. is required to, essentially, redo the environmental impact report so the environmental certification is made under the watchful eye of a panel that does not have a stake in the financial outcome of the decision. Efforts to obtain input from Scott Slater, the current head of Cadiz, Inc. were unsuccessful. – Mark Gutglueck

 

“We Leave No One Behind.”

“We Leave No One Behind.”

In the wake of the FEMA fiascos in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, Dr. Rita Ramirez has a few thoughts to share with constituents and the #CA08.

In the military, they say “We leave no one behind.”  We, Americans, will not leave behind Florida, Houston, or Puerto Rico.

I wonder if the President knows that Hawaiians are also Americans.  After all, Hawaii is [a group of islands] surrounded by water.

We need to help all Americans.

Country before Politics. Above All, People before Politics.

Right To Bear Arms, Right To Control The Bearer

Right To Bear Arms, Right To Control The Bearer

I support the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. But life is more precious than a gun. The safety of every American is also a Right as stated in the Declaration of Independence. The compromise is the obligation of every gun owner to be responsible of following rules and laws guaranteeing the safety of all Americans: by education, mental health, and personal usage. What a tragedy of Life in Las Vegas, San Bernardino, Connecticut, and other American cities. We all suffer the loss of anyone’s life and their joy. – Dr. Rita Ramirez, October 4, 2017

Preventing Gun Violence – from the 2016 Democratic Platform

With 33,000 Americans dying every year, Democrats believe that we must finally take sensible action to address gun violence. While responsible gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe. To build on the success of the lifesaving Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, we will expand and strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws; repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to revoke the dangerous legal immunity protections gun makers and sellers now enjoy; and keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines (LCAM’s)—off our streets. We will fight back against attempts to make it harder for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to revoke federal licenses from law breaking gun dealers, and ensure guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists, intimate partner abusers, other violent criminals, and those with severe mental health issues. There is insufficient research on effective gun prevention policies, which is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must have the resources it needs to study gun violence as a public health issue.

Learn more about other #CA08 Issues, here.

NO to Medicare Cuts: Tell Congress Now!

NO to Medicare Cuts: Tell Congress Now!

 

Congressional leaders have confirmed our fears: powerful members of Congress are scheming to use the upcoming budget deadline to force through nearly $500 billion in Medicare cuts. No matter when they hold the final vote, this threat to your earned benefits is real, and it’s urgent. More than 29,952 AARP advocates like you have already spoken up, and told Congress that benefit cuts are unacceptable. Will you join them?

Tell Congress to reject ANY budget that cuts Medicare benefits!

Tell Congress: No Medicare cuts, and no vouchers.

Make sure your Representative opposes any budget that cuts Medicare >>TAKE ACTION NOW >>

Congressional leaders know that some of the harsh cuts to Medicare on the table in other proposals would never pass in an up-or-down vote.

That’s why they’re trying to sneak them into law by attaching them to a must-pass spending bill, and hoping that we don’t notice them trying to break Medicare’s promise.

Don’t let them get away with it: Tell Congress to protect seniors’ earned benefits, and reject any budget that cuts Medicare.