(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NPR NEWS AND THE LOS ANGELES TIMES)
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)
Arnold Schwarzenegger is recovering after he underwent heart surgery.
The 70-year-old Hollywood superstar and former governor of California went to Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles on Thursday for a pulmonic valve replacement, a spokesperson said in a statement. Originally replaced in a 1997 heart surgery, the valve had “outlived its life expectancy” and had to be replaced again, according to the statement.
The statement contradicts an earlier report from TMZ suggesting that Schwarzenegger had undergone emergency open heart surgery during the replacement procedure.
Schwarzenegger’s spokesperson said an open-heart surgery team was prepared in the event the replacement was not able to be performed. According to the statement, the valve was replaced successfully and Schwarzenegger is in stable condition.
Schwarzenegger, the star of iconic films including Terminator, Predator and Twins, opened up about his 1997 heart surgery after breaking his ribs in a 2001 motorcycle crash, to say going under the knife was not as bad as the fractures.
“It was very painful, much more painful than the heart surgery,” he said. “A rib breaking is, like, the worst.”
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)
(DELANO, Calif.) — Police in central California say a couple fleeing immigration officials died after losing control of their sport utility vehicle and crashing onto a power pole.
The Delano Police Department says in a statement that federal immigration agents Tuesday activated their emergency lights Tuesday at the couple’s SUV and it pulled over.
The statement says the SUV raced away when the agents exited their vehicle.
The SUV veered onto a dirt shoulder, overturned and crashed into a power pole, killing them.
The department identified the couple as 35-year-old Santo Garcia and 33-year-old Marcelina Garcia.
United Farm Workers president Arturo Rodriguez says they were farmworkers living in Delano, a rural town 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.
Rodriguez says they were looking for work Tuesday and leave behind six children.
The Bill And The B.S.
So the Politicians in Washington were actually able to work together enough to get a Budget Bill passed, congrats to them on this achievement. Yet We The People have the right to say to those folks that it is about damn time you did something that wasn’t bi-polar! Example being, we see and realize that as soon as a Bill is passed, any Bill, right away you get party spin about any good things that your party liked or didn’t. Trouble is most anything ever passed, and very little is passed, is all one Party sided. Personally my political views are independent of either Party and personally I believe that most people are. We often end up voting for, if we vote at all or even register for that matter, the one we consider to be the least of the two evils. I agree with neither Party Platform, some of the things that the Democrats are for, I am for. But also I am against some of their views, just as I am with the Republicans and some of their views. Until the liberal left of the Democratic Party and the far right of the Republican Party begin to hold only a little sway within their own leaderships will the individual Representative be unhindered to vote their own and their voters own conscience.
They are (mostly all) full of it and we the public are so sick of all of them (almost all). I am sick of both party leaderships. It is they that always put so much interior pressure on the people that we voted into office. I voted for my Kentucky Congressman and Senator, I did not vote for their party leaders to dictate to them how they vote. I did not vote for an New York or the California Representative, and no one should have the power to dictate to them how they will vote on any issue, except the voter who voted them in. Then, we would have a democracy where the people rule, not some tiny Round Table with only five or six Players.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NRA-ILA)
Waivers of Gun Rights: A New Shot at Gun Repression
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2018
Lawmakers in California must have temporarily exhausted their store of ideas for legislating against law-abiding gun enthusiasts. After years of padding the bureaucracy with ever more complicated rules, restrictions and bans for people who legally own and enjoy guns, lawmakers are now considering a measure to strike a preemptive declaration against gun ownership.
The California bill, AB 1927, introduced by Assembly Member Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, directs the state’s Department of Justice to “develop and launch a secure Internet-based platform to allow a person who resides in California to voluntarily add his or her own name to the California Do Not Sell List.” This list would be uploaded to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), meaning the system would affect a person’s ability to acquire a firearm not just in California, but anywhere in the country.
On registering, a person has the option of providing the state with the names and email addresses of up to five contacts, who have the right to be notified as soon as the registrant seeks a restoration of the right to acquire guns. The bill makes it a crime to knowingly sell or transfer a firearm to a person on the list (and a licensed gun dealer is liable to lose their dealer’s license, too). “Receipt” of a firearm is “unlawful” for anyone on the list, although the bill specifies that mere possession is not prohibited (“possession after the moment of receipt is not unlawful and the fact of possession may not be relied upon to prove a violation” of the law).
While getting on the Do Not Sell List may be as simple as a few clicks of a mouse, getting off the list is challenging different matter entirely. The registrant must file a petition with a court to have his or her name removed. All persons on the registrant’s contact list are entitled to advance notice of the date, time, and location of the court hearing. And although a person may register on the list for any reason (or no reason at all), a court is authorized to remove a registrant off the list only after he or she establishes, by a “preponderance of the evidence that he or she is not at elevated risk of suicide.” The evidence needed to satisfy this standard isn’t specified, but it’s safe to assume that a mental health evaluation and testimony from a mental health professional will be required. Once a court grants the order, the state must remove the person from the NICS Index and expunge all records related to the person’s registration on the list.
A similarly inspired bill to allow a “voluntary waiver of firearm rights” is pending in Washington State. S.B. 5553allows anyone to file a waiver document with the court, and to include the name of a “person to be contacted” if a voluntary waiver is later revoked. All waivers are fed into a state police database used to determine eligibility to purchase a handgun. The person is free to revoke the waiver at a later date, but the waiver must stay in effect for a minimum of two weeks (seven days, plus another week in which the police must delete the waiver from the database). The bill makes it a felony to provide a gun to a person where there is reasonable cause to believe the person is subject to an active waiver, and a licensed dealer is prohibited from selling or transferring a gun to such persons.
The apparent rationale behind these bills is to provide those at risk of suicide with a way to declare themselves “prohibited persons” for the purposes of future gun purchases. Assemblyman Bonta describes his bill as giving “people the power to create a potentially life-saving barrier,” and the summary on the Washington proposal claims it will prevent suicide by helping “people in crisis maintain their autonomy while saving their lives.”
Overlooking several practical issues, the bills’ effectiveness isn’t likely to match the declared sentiment of advocates.
The California bill requires that the “Internet-based platform” for the list “credibly verif[y]” the identity of those who sign up online. Neither bill, though, has a corrective procedure to remove anyone included because they share a name and birthdate with someone properly listed, or because of some other error. The only way the bill provides for getting de-listed on California’s registry is convincing a court not that there’s been a mistake, but that the registrant has a non-elevated risk of suicide.
Waivers of constitutional rights “must be voluntary and must be knowing, intelligent acts done with sufficient awareness of the relevant circumstances and likely consequences.” In Washington State, persons contemplating a waiver should be aware that the waiver remains effective even after it is revoked because the police have a week to process the revocation, with ensuing legal consequences. Because of the time lag between actual revocation and the update to the police database, a person who seeks to obtain a gun after revocation but during that period is liable to be reported to a separate police database of people who attempt to acquire guns while prohibited under state or federal law.
The most distressing thing about these bills is the focus on the method while bypassing the underlying, core problem of the person’s suicidal impulses, depression, or other mental health emergency. Experts estimate that the vast majority of persons who commit suicide suffer from a mental illness at the time of their death. The same mindset impelled “gun violence restraining order” laws in California and Washington State, aimed specifically at disarming persons at risk of harming themselves (but only with a gun). Regardless, Assemblyman Bonta, resorting to the favorite catchphrase of the gun control movement, describes his bill as “a common-sense measure” to allow people to “self-restrict their ability to purchase a firearm.”
While lawmakers continue to look for new ways to restrict gun rights, people seeking help may find there’s a lot of talk about promoting health through “innovative” prevention strategies for at-risk individuals, without much in the way of actual help.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)
“It’s been so long since others and myself could walk into a place where you could feel safe and secure and be able to get something that was good without having to go to the back alley,” Deakin said. “This is kind of a big deal for everybody.”
The nation’s most populous state joins a growing list of other states, and the nation’s capital, where so-called recreational marijuana is permitted even though the federal government continues to classify pot as a controlled substance, like heroin and LSD.
California voters in 2016 made it legal for adults 21 and older to grow, possess and use limited quantities of marijuana, but it wasn’t legal to sell it for recreational purposes until Monday.
Finding a retail outlet to buy non-medical pot in California won’t be easy — at least initially. Only about 90 businesses received state licenses to open New Year’s Day. They are concentrated in San Diego, Santa Cruz, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Palm Springs area.
Los Angeles and San Francisco are among the many cities where recreational pot will not be available right away because local regulations were not approved in time to start issuing city licenses needed to get state permits. Meanwhile, Fresno, Bakersfield and Riverside are among the communities that have adopted laws forbidding recreational marijuana sales.
Just after midnight, some raised joints instead of champagne glasses.
Johnny Hernandez, a tattoo artist from Modesto, celebrated by smoking “Happy New Year blunts” with his cousins.
“This is something we’ve all been waiting for,” he said. “People might actually realize weed isn’t bad. It helps a lot of people.”
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin and state Sen. Nancy Skinner were on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony as his city began selling marijuana legally. Customers began lining up before dawn Monday outside Berkeley Patients Group, one of the oldest dispensaries in the nation.
Los Angeles officials announced late last month that the city will not begin accepting license applications until Jan. 3, and it might take weeks before any licenses are issued. That led to widespread concern that long-established businesses would have to shut down during the interim.
However, attorneys advising a group of city dispensaries have concluded that those businesses can continue to legally sell medicinal marijuana as “collectives,” until they obtain local and state licenses under the new system, said Jerred Kiloh of the United Cannabis Business Association, an industry group.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many of those shops, if any, would be open New Year’s Day.
“We are trying to continue to provide patient access,” said Kiloh, who owns a dispensary in the city’s San Fernando Valley area. With the new licensing system stalled in Los Angeles “my patients are scared, my employees are scared.”
The status of the Los Angeles shops highlights broad confusion over the new law.
State regulators have said shops must have local and state licenses to open for business in the new year. But the city’s top pot regulator, Cat Packer, told reporters last month that medicinal sales can continue to consumers with a doctor’s recommendation until new licenses are issued.
The state banned “loco-weed” in 1913, according to a history by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the pot advocacy group known as NORML. The first attempt to undo that by voter initiative in 1972 failed, but three years later felony possession of less than an ounce was downgraded to a misdemeanor.
In 1996, over the objections of law enforcement, President Clinton’s drug czar and three former presidents, California voters approved marijuana for medicinal purposes. Twenty years later, voters approved legal recreational use and gave the state a year to write regulations for a legal market that would open in 2018.
Today, 29 states have adopted medical marijuana laws. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. Since then, five more states have passed recreational marijuana laws, including Massachusetts, where retail sales are scheduled to begin in July.
Even with other states as models, the next year is expected to be a bumpy one in California as more shops open and more stringent regulations take effect on the strains known as Sweet Skunk, Trainwreck and Russian Assassin.
The California Police Chiefs Association, which opposed the 2016 ballot measure, remains concerned about stoned drivers, the risk to young people and the cost of policing the new rules in addition to an existing black market.
“There’s going to be a public-health cost and a public-safety cost enforcing these new laws and regulations,” said Jonathan Feldman, a legislative advocate for the chiefs. “It remains to be seen if this can balance itself out.”
At first, pot shops will be able to sell marijuana harvested without full regulatory controls. But eventually, the state will require extensive testing for potency, pesticides and other contaminants. A program to track all pot from seed to sale will be phased in, along with other protections such as childproof containers.
Jamie Garzot, founder of the 530 Cannabis shop in Northern California’s Shasta Lake, said she’s concerned that when the current crop dries up, there will be a shortage of marijuana that meets state regulations. Her outlet happens to be close to some of California’s most productive marijuana-growing areas, but most of the surrounding counties will not allow cultivation that could supply her.
“Playing in the gray market is not an option,” Garzot said. “California produces more cannabis than any state in the nation, but going forward, if it’s not from a state-licensed source, I can’t put it on my shelf. If I choose to do so, I run the risk of losing my license.”
In 2016, the state produced an estimated 13.5 million pounds of pot, and 80 percent was illegally shipped out of state, according to a report prepared for the state by ERA Economics, an environmental and agricultural consulting firm. Of the remaining 20 percent, only a quarter was sold legally for medicinal purposes.
That robust black market is expected to continue to thrive, particularly as taxes and fees raise the cost of retail pot by as much as 70 percent.
Melley reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writers Christopher Weber, Michael R. Blood and Michael Balsamo contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
Follow AP’s complete coverage of marijuana legalization in California: https://apnews.com/tag/CaliforniaMarijuana .
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
Thomas Fire is the largest blaze in California history
(CNN)The Thomas Fire is now the largest wildfire in California’s modern history after torching 273,400 acres.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM NEWS)
Nine people have contracted Legionnaire’s disease after visiting Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.
Disneyland voluntarily shut down two water cooling towers in one of its backstage areas after discovering they contained high levels of the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s, according to the Orange County Register. The towers were chemically treated to combat the problem, and there is no ongoing threat to guests’ health, the Register reports.
Legionnaire’s Disease is a serious lung infection most often caused by inhaling microscopic water droplets tainted by the bacteria Legionella. It typically strikes the elderly and people with compromised immune systems and can be fatal, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Twelve cases of the disease have been reported in the Anaheim area; among those, eight people had visited Disneyland in September and one worked there, the Register reports. One person, who had not visited Disneyland, died from the disease. The victims’ ages range from 52 to 94.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM)
(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump is responding to a California billionaire who has vowed to spend at least $10 million in advertising calling for the president’s impeachment.
Trump is using Twitter to call Tom Steyer “wacky & totally unhinged.” He says Steyer “has been fighting me and my Make America Great Again agenda from the beginning,” adding the billionaire environmentalist “never wins elections!”
Steyer recently launched the advertising, which has been running on Fox News and other national outlets, arguing that Trump should be ousted from office. Steyer contends Trump is pushing the U.S. toward a nuclear war, is obstructing justice at the FBI and threatening to shut down news organizations he doesn’t like.
Steyer wants viewers to call their members of Congress and tell them to bring articles of impeachment.
Life through a Windshield
In 81’ the story began, first with my brother and then with a friend
Seeing life through a windshield like a gypsy on eighteen wheels
But when you do this for a living it’s life you omit
White line fever they call it in song
White lines on the concrete is to what you belong
The back rows of the truck stops and the cab of a truck is your home
From Beantown to Shaky to big D then Windy you roam
Dispatch can get you a load to anywhere except the state you belong
Driving your shiny KW is not just a job now you see
Through the windshield is your life on this unending concrete sea.Boston
Aspirin, Doan’s Pills and Preparation H
Always part of your luggage because that hot load just can’t wait
Truck driving is a hobby for the homeless no roots do you need
Life through the windshield is now the life you can’t leave