Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Amador County Republican Central Committee: Re-Organization and Officer Elections - Thurs Jan 15

The approximately 40 attendees included members of the Amador County Republican Central Committee, Chairman Dennis Revelle of the Placer County Republican Central Committee, Bill and Kathy Mason from the Calaveras County Republicans and Karl Dambacher from the Tuolumne County Republicans. Elected officials Sheriff Martin Ryan and Assessor Jim Rooney spoke about community issues. Dana Jorgenson representing Assemblyman Frank Bigelow and State Senator Tom Berryhill addressed the group. Volunteers who have helped with our activities and precinct work over the past year were honored. Speakers stressed the importance of these holidays and how they contribute to our society. The event culminated with holiday songs sung by Tom and Kitty Harmon with all joining in.
The date of January 15th  was announced for the Committee’s reorganization and officer elections. Amador Republican voters who are interested in becoming members of the Committee are encouraged to attend. Contact Dr. Arnie Zeiderman for further information at arnyzdoc@sbcglobal.net or call 209-223-1308.

Facts vs. Opinions in Citizen Journalism

The Amador Community News website has been a wonderful resource for me, providing useful information about the local area and activities that would not be available elsewhere.

In addition, it provides an opportunity for expression such as blogs. I have read many of the commentaries that have been published in the ACN. They are examples of citizen journalism written by concerned and civic-minded people. I have read them with interest, seeking to be informed about local issues. However, I have found many of them to be full of hyperbole, offering opinions as though they were facts. They seem to be aimed at readers who happen to believe the same way, i.e. “preaching to the choir”. The quote by Daniel Patrick Moynihan says it all: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts”.

Facts are not partisan. It is difficult to live by that axiom, because articles may include facts that run counter to a reader’s long-held beliefs. They may damage the credibility of people that have been held in high regard. But truth is important.

I believe that the opportunity provided to citizen journalists by the ACN comes with the responsibility to point out what is being presented as fact and what is instead opinion. As obvious as it might seem, a review of their definitions is warranted. I found the following in researching the literature:
  • A fact is something that has actually occurred, or is the case, is verifiable, and synonymous with truth.
  • An opinion is a judgment, viewpoint, or statement about matters commonly considered to be subjective, i.e. based on that which is less than absolutely certain, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts. What distinguishes fact from opinion is that facts are verifiable, i.e. can be objectively proven to have occurred. In casual use, the term opinion may be the result of a person's perspective, understanding, particular feelings, beliefs, and desires. It may refer to unsubstantiated information, in contrast to knowledge and fact.
  • An argument is an opinion that may be supported by facts, although people may draw opposing opinions from the same set of facts. Opinions rarely change without new arguments being presented. It can be reasoned that one opinion is better supported by the facts than another by analyzing the supporting arguments.

Going online to present an argument for or against something or someone is important and protected expression. The important thing: is it a sound argument? Is it a valid argument whose conclusion follows from its premise(s), and the premise(s) of the argument are true?

Opinions that are the result of emotion or interpretation of facts can be typical of citizen journalism. The writer may be basing them upon input received from less than reliable sources that are aimed at an audience only interested in having their prejudices affirmed. Some sources have been accused of providing substantiation that turns out to have been opinion pieces themselves. They are offering an argument for or against something that is not based on facts, but because they are citing a “source” they appear to be providing verification.

On September 30, 2010, First Amendment Day, the University of North Carolina published a post written by law professor William Marshall. Here is an excerpt:

“Our public discourse is wide open, robust, and virtually untamed in its use of language and modes of expression.  The advent of the internet has allowed even marginalized voices to reach out and find sympathetic audiences.  We have the resources, usually at our desk or laptops, to search for truth and gain knowledge about virtually any subject. This is the good news.

“The bad news is that even with all of this unfettered speech and information, we remain a remarkably uninformed society.”

For the reader of blogs, letters to the editor, and the other forms of citizen journalism, I believe that it is essential that a critical eye be cast on their content. Again, does the writer clearly state when he or she is expressing an opinion? If facts are presented, are they verifiable?

In 1789, Thomas Jefferson wrote “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government”.  And in contemporary times, educator John Erskine offered this quote: “Opinion is the exercise of the human will which helps us to make a decision without information.”

We shouldn’t shy away from being curious but instead take the time to investigate what we read. Rather than remain inside the bubble where we only read and hear what we agree with, dare to be truly informed.

D. Norman

Monday, December 29, 2014

MokeWISE Public Outreach Meeting - Thurs Jan 8

This is a good opportunity to learn about the Mokelumne watershed stakeholder group and planning for the Mokelumne watershed under this grant from California Dept. of Water Resources. Calaveras County Water District office is only 20 minutes from Jackson.
It's important for people to know what this group has been doing and the plans for finalizing recommendations in June.

Sent by Rich Farrington

Monday, December 15, 2014

"No Casino In Plymouth" Update

As 2014 draws to end we can be grateful for one more year with NO CASINO impacting our community. Although it may seem that not much is going on, in fact our lawsuit to block the Department of the Interior’s actions is progressing, with a response to our Motion for Summary Judgment due next week. We will keep you informed.

The end of the year also is a time to think about taking action to reduce your tax liability by making a charitable donation. We ask that those of you who could benefit consider supporting NCIP through donating to our tax deductible partner, Citizens Equal Rights Foundation.  Any such donation will go 100% towards funding our lawsuit. We have no administrative or fundraising costs, and our legal team includes volunteer and pro bono help as well as our attorney, who has been very generous with his time and hourly rate.
We realize that there are many worthy causes that deserve support and recognize the value of your donations to them. A “Las Vegas” style casino would be a direct and pervasive negative affect on our community. Your contribution to NCIP could make a difference in preserving our local quality of life.

Should you decide to donate please make your check payable to CERF and note on the check it is for the  "NCIP/CERA" suit

Please send your check to:
P. O. Box 82
Plymouth, Ca.  95669

Thank You,
No Casino In Plymouth

P.S.  We are having a major fund raising dinner at Helwig winery on January 31st.  It will be a Surf & Turf Dinner, featuring Prime Rib and Crab. We need your continued support for this event. We are also looking for silent and live auction items.  For more information contact Jon Colburn at email: jonec@att.net

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Letter to the Editor: Response to D. Norman

D. Norman has responded to my last two commentaries on the DEIR for the General Plan. The most salient quality of his response is his totally ignoring the significant points I raised. The documents see the environment, the natural world, as an abstraction disregarding the million or so years of symbiotic human/natural world interaction. All their proposals descend from this premise. This assumption, alone, is a significant impact and if someone disagrees with my interpretation I would like to hear their reasoning as to why. Derived from this assumption is the concept that D. Norman endorses, that of orderly growth. But this concept denies all of human history. If D. Norman believes in this I would like to hear what he bases his conclusion upon. I also stated that the migration measures, which vary from the sensible to the absurd, are raw material for future lawsuits. Again, he gave no direct answer. I stated that there is no cost/benefit analysis given and no regard, in general, to the costs of their mitigation measures. The real cost/benefit is to be decided by the governing body, generally the Board of Supervisors, but this is only a prelude to litigation. The extensive mitigation measures listed are premade for litigation, another factor that eludes D. Norman. Several times I noted contradictory  proposals in the DEIR as examples of ideology overruling common sense and reality. That situation D. Norman chooses to ignore along with those cited above that are the significant impacts upon the activities of human world. He states that I prefer alarm over information, but I am alarmed because the information is alarming.

Rather than respond to the issues I’ve raised, D. Norman enters an attack mode with several weak rhetorical or literary devices. He states that I believe that this document was created “…through their own bureaucratic volition…” I never said that, and he further assumes without any possible knowledge that I have not read the parts of the document justifying its existence. He asserts that I stated that this is a specific plan and not a general plan, and that I don’t understand the difference. But I clearly stated the opposite: that this document is very specific for a general plan. D. Norman instructs me to inform without political content, but what are his two letters? They are entirely political as they should be, since this is a political decision.

He also engages in misrepresentation and word twisting. He seems to think that I am downplaying the extensive preparation and groundwork for this DEIR. But, again, the opposite is true since my ongoing effort is a critique of that elaborate effort. He notes as curious my statement about a welfare office having less of an environmental than a productive facility that employs people as a means to ignore the obvious implications of my statement. He notes that urban sprawl is “without apparent design or plan.”

While I do not advocate sprawl, I am aware that that plan was obvious. It was inexpensive land and in the post war expansion we reached the milestone of the average person being adequately housed for the first time in history. In the same vein he belittles my statement about our regression to the land tenure system of the Middle Ages. I suggest that he go to the website of the Forestry Stewardship Council and other similar organizations and see the obvious.

D. Norman, as with my metaphor about welfare offices, twists my statement and changes the context regarding a possible motel at forest trailheads which would be a nearly impossible convenience under this plan and it’s EIR. He then proceeds to take my direct quotes from the document and states that they are my opinion. This is so incredulous it’s impossible to respond. He then concludes by saying “I have been unable to find any basis for any of these assertions.”   Again, this is not only too incredulous to respond to, but also reveals his technique of criticizing me rather than engage in intelligent discussion of the significant issues I have raised.

He defends the DEIR process by listing organizations involved in the document preparation as if I am unaware of them. I am totally aware that this list includes the Foothill Conservancy and several of their clone groups. The other groups also have specific agendas. No one seems to have represented the ordinary person, the unemployed, the food bank recipient or the apartment dweller trying to buy a home.

D. Norman criticizes me for choosing to print out the document. Of what relevance does this have to the substantive issues I have raised?  He repeatedly states that I don’t understand the EIR process but the only reason he gives is his disagreements with me.  I fully understand the EIR and planning process. I have a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning and have worked in the field off and on throughout my life. My work has been good enough to have been cited in the Congressional Record. I have read more EIR’s and General Plan’s than I care to remember. I have reviewed EIR’s for public agencies and have helped prepare one as a developer. A written statement of mine was accepted by State Supreme Court in an environmental lawsuit. Additionally I have taught environmental issues on the college level and once worked for a former State Legislature Sierra Club lobbyist. I have an in depth knowledge of the issues I am writing about and my criticism stems from that wealth of experience.

D. Norman concludes one of his two letters with the chilling undemocratic assertion that I should not be posted on Amador Community News since I don’t agree with his point of view. That statement of his certainly speaks for itself and reveals his true agenda.

Mark Bennett, Pine Grove

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Amador County Draft General Plan & Program EIR - Another Look, Part 2

Mark Bennett apparently prefers to alarm rather than inform in his second Commentary on the draft General Plan Update. He seems to be saying that the residents of Amador County are doomed to suffer from the Government’s plans, as if such plans have already been decided.

If he were truly interested in informing, he could instead write that the citizens of the county are being provided the chance to respond to the Planning Department’s proposed mitigations to the identified environmental impacts. He could point out that, as announced in Monday’s ACN, an additional public meeting has been scheduled, and that the Comment period has been extended to January 15, 2015.

He seems to downplay the extensive preparation and groundwork that has gone into what is now an eight-year process, as well as the significant amount of citizen and agency input received. 

Appendix A of the Draft EIR describes the stage of the process called the NOP, Notice of Preparation, which was submitted in July 2009. The section titled Project History and Planning goes into the timeline and process:

“Amador County initiated a comprehensive General Plan update in 2006. Public participation played an important role in the preparation of the Draft General Plan. Because the Draft General Plan reflects the goals of the community, citizen input was essential to identify issues and formulate goals. The public had several opportunities to participate, including the following:

“Five introductory community workshops were held during September 2006. These workshops provided an introduction to the General Plan update process and a forum to discuss visions for the future. Discussion at each workshop focused on four broad elements – community, character, resources, and services.

“Twenty-seven (27) General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) meetings, were held on a bi-weekly to monthly basis from July 2006 through April 2008. The public participated in GPAC discussions of issues and opportunities, existing conditions, vision, goals, and land use alternatives.

“The County hosted workshops and open houses on alternatives, goals, and policies in June and September 2008.

“Two rounds of study sessions before a joint session of the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission in October and November 2008, and March through July 2009.

“General Plan documents, including meeting agendas and summaries, background working papers, draft goals and policies, and draft land use alternatives, have been continuously posted on the county’s website for public access since 2006."

The review period for the NOP was from July 30 to August 31, 2009, and input from citizens and agencies was received. Respondents included:
  • Amador Citizens for Smart Growth
  • Amador County Transportation Commission
  • The Amador County Business Council
  • Amador Water Agency
  • Amador Olive Oil
  • Cal Fire
  • Caltrans - Div. of Aeronautics
  • California Public Utilities Commission
  • East Bay Municipal Utility District
  • Department of Fish and Game
  • Amador County Public Health Dept.
  • Sacramento County Planning & Community Development
  • Foothill Conservancy
  • Thomas P. Infusino, Pine Grove resident, on behalf of Foothill Conservancy
  • Sue Hokana, Fiddletown resident

The above list of interested parties is evidence that many people have provided ongoing oversight regarding many of the elements and measures of the Draft EIR. It is interesting to read the detailed recommendations made by organizations such as the Amador Citizens for Smart Growth, The Amador Business Council, and the Foothill Conservancy.

The negative tone of Mr. Bennett’s commentary is not helpful, in my view. He seems to view the process as being ideological in intent. Characterizing it as producing a “Count Dracula or Frankenstein document” with “no soul” that will doom us to a “zombie-like” lifestyle is unnecessary hyperbole.

As one example, he cites 4.2-1 (2-9)- the identified impact of future development resulting in farmland conversion of 307 acres. Such development could be residential dwellings, future mining, construction of roadways, and future public facilities. Curiously, he speculates that an example of a public facility could be a “welfare office”.

Proposed mitigation 4.2-1a states: “It is the County’s objective to maintain key farmlands for agricultural and agritourism uses, and reduce impacts related to conversion of Farmland (Prime Farmland, Farmland of Local or Statewide Importance, and Unique Farmland) to other uses.

“The County will seek to maintain key farmlands and “will also work with cities and LAFCO to promote the protection of Farmland, including identifying alternatives to expansion of spheres of influence into areas of Farmland.”

According to Cal LAFCO, “Local Agency Formation Commissions (LAFCos) are local agencies mandated by the State legislature to:
- Encourage the Orderly Formation of Local Governmental Agencies
- To Preserve Agricultural Land Resources
- To Discourage Urban Sprawl

“LAFCo must consider the effect that any proposal will produce on existing agricultural lands. By guiding development toward vacant urban land and away from agricultural preserves, LAFCo assists with the preservation of our valuable agricultural resources.

“Urban sprawl can best be described as irregular and disorganized growth occurring without apparent design or plan. This pattern of development is characterized by the inefficient delivery of urban services (police, fire, water, and sanitation) and the unnecessary loss of agricultural resources and open space lands. By discouraging sprawl, LAFCo limits the misuse of land resources and promotes a more efficient system of local governmental agencies.”

It is clear to me that decisions regarding elements such as farmland conversion, effects of night time lighting, and air pollution will be made with careful consideration and input from concerned citizens and agencies. The product of these efforts will not be “land control schemes”, looking “like the aristocratic land tenure system of the Middle Ages”. The process is intended to be a positive, orderly, and transparent one, in my opinion, with the outcome entirely up to us.

D. Norman

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Amador County Draft General Plan & Program EIR - Another Look

Mark Bennett’s opinion piece on the Planning Department’s General Plan Update contains, I believe, some misstatements and misleading interpretations.

Before dealing with specifics, I would like to point out that in the age of the Internet, it is really unnecessary to print out lengthy documents. Pointing out how large a document is seems to be en vogue amongst the politically-motivated. The thinking goes: A document measures over a couple of inches tall, so there must be something wrong with it.

I, too, have spent time poring over both documents. Rather than use all that expensive printer ink, I bookmarked the individual sections (conveniently provided as hyperlinks) for easy access and opening. Much more efficient than paper, in my opinion. And HP already has enough of my hard-earned money.

Mr. Bennett takes issue with the Planning Department for creating two documents, a Draft EIR and a Draft General Plan. The implication is that they went through “this expense of money and human effort” through their own bureaucratic volition, even though they provided detailed reasons at the beginning of the EIR. 

As explained in the Introduction, “According to the State CEQA Guidelines (Section 15168[a]), a state or local agency should prepare a program EIR, rather than a project EIR…"

“A key advantage of a program EIR is that it allows the lead agency to consider broad policy alternatives and ‘program-wide mitigation measures’ at an early time when the agency has greater flexibility to deal with basic problems or cumulative impacts." (State CEQA Guidelines Section 15168(b)(4).)

"…the program EIR addresses the impacts of the Draft General Plan, which is the proposed ‘project’, as defined by CEQA. As a program EIR, this document focuses on the general effects of the Draft General Plan. The analyses in this EIR do not examine the project-specific effects of projects or programs that may implement the Draft General Plan. State CEQA Guidelines Section 15146(b) provides that an EIR prepared for a general plan should focus on the secondary environmental effects to be expected following adoption, but that the EIR need not be as detailed as one prepared for the specific construction projects that follow.”

Creating the two documents, therefore, was done in accordance with the guidelines of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Mr. Bennett misstates the intent and impact of the program EIR. It is not meant to be “specific”, as he claims. Again, from the Introduction: “Although the legally required contents of a program EIR are the same as those of a project EIR; in practice, there are differences in level of detail. Program EIRs are typically conceptual and abstract. They contain a more general discussion of impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures than do project-level EIRs.”

As further outlined in Section 1.1.1 of the Introduction, the program EIR is “the first tier of environmental review and creates a foundation upon which future, project-specific CEQA documents can build. This program EIR will, in practice, help determine the need for subsequent environmental documentation, as well as dictate the scope of project level CEQA review.”

For example, using Mr. Bennett’s example, if a specific project were to involve putting up a commercial building in the vicinity of a hiking trail, the program EIR streamlines the process. From 1.1.1: “Through tiering, project-level environmental analysis can be limited in scope to site-specific environmental impact issues following the preparation of an EIR for a general plan.” It is Mr. Bennett’s opinion that this streamlined process is a way to “make future development less controversial since they are conceptually pre-approved”, and “should inhibit the relatively pandemic litigation now plaguing our small county”. Also, it “is not about guiding growth, but rather from preventing anything from happening”. In many readings, I have been unable to find any basis for any of these assertions.

Mr. Bennett seems to have lost sight of the purpose of CEQA. From the Office of the AG: “CEQA does not directly regulate land uses, but instead requires state and local agencies within California to follow a protocol of analysis and public disclosure of environmental impacts of proposed projects and adopt all feasible measures to mitigate those impacts.”

Mark Bennett’s comments on the draft General Plan Update in my opinion run contrary to the expressed aim of the Amador Community News. The ACN is a site that provides community news, information, and other resources. Articles and other submissions are expected to be non-partisan and politically neutral. When a commenter uses language like “the well-funded environmental elite”, and characterizes the orderly planning process as “like the Frankenstein monster, or Agenda 21, it has no soul”, what can the reader conclude about the author? I encourage people to research Agenda 21, a worldwide sustainable growth action plan, as well as the opposition to it.

Mr. Bennett promises to advance additional thoughts in future commentaries. I would hope that he looks upon such future submissions as an opportunity to inform, without the unnecessary political content.

D. Norman

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Marriage Equality - Some Additional Perspective

Philip Young’s guest commentary of November 10 frames the issue of gay marriage in a way that begs for some historical perspective. In his words, marriage between one man and one woman is “…fundamental essential for survival and ascent of the species”, and any argument to the contrary is “…limited in its reach to alter the biological , historic and evolutionary record and facts.”

I believe that even a cursory knowledge of how and when the institution of marriage came into being helps to give one a helpful perspective when considering this issue. The following is excerpted from an article in the AU.org website (Americans United for Separation of Church and State), written in April 2013:

“A view of marriage as a purely civil institution continued as the nation grew, mainly for pragmatic reasons. Clergy were often in short supply in unsettled areas, so couples had to make other arrangements.

“ ‘There was much less state supervision of marriage in the early years of this country and during the colonial period before that,’ Emily R. Gill, a professor of political science at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., and author of the recent book An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage, told Church & State. ‘It was much more common to regard couples as married if they were known by the community as a couple.’

“Such ‘informal marriages’ were common in thinly settled regions until well into the 19th century. There were few laws governing this issue. Most states did not begin to seriously regulate marriage until the post-Civil War period.

“When they did, religious groups were quick to step up. Before long, marriage ceremonies were closely associated with religious iconography. A bride in a dazzling white dress with a long train and a tuxedo-wearing groom stand before a cleric who makes the union official by intoning the words ‘By the power vested in me by the state’ – literally allowing the church to briefly assume the function of the government.”

In short, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that the States even began to regulate marriage. Claims defending the historical longevity of the institution lose their credibility, given that realization.

Mr. Young contends that “It must be and must remain the Will of the People who determine cultural values NOT the Federal Government or the Judicial, or the Executive or the Legislative.”

But there was a time when “the will of the people” was that interracial marriage be outlawed. In the present day, most people would be appalled if it were still illegal for interracial couples to marry.

Continuing from the AU site:
“Given that power, many religious groups used it to lobby legislators to define marriage by what the Bible supposedly said. Laws banning interracial marriage, which were common in many Southern states, were buttressed with citations from the Bible.

“In a famous case from the late 1960s, a Virginia judge invalidated an interracial couple’s marriage, asserting that God wanted the races to be separate. (The decision was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967’s Loving v. Virginia ruling.)”

Regarding another point offered by Mr. Young, that “there will never be a better functioning system than Marriage between one man and one woman; given the metric of successfully bearing and raising offspring.”

Given that metric, what does that say about marriages between infertile heterosexual couples? Or what about heterosexual couples that are past child-bearing age? Or couples that choose not to have children? A 2013 article in the Chattanooga Free Press reported: “A 2010 Pew Research report showed that childlessness has risen across all racial and ethnic groups, adding up to about one in five American women who end their childbearing years maternity-free, compared with one in 10 in the 1970s.”

There is one more assertion made by Mr. Young, having to do with the negative impact to children not being brought up, again in his words, in  “a normal and functioning Traditional Family. Composed of One Man and One Woman unified in the concept and intent of Marriage.”

In response, I submit a study abstract published in 2013 by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health:

“Extensive data available from more than 30 years of research reveal that children raised by gay and lesbian parents have demonstrated resilience with regard to social, psychological, and sexual health despite economic and legal disparities and social stigma. Many studies have demonstrated that children's well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents' sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents. Lack of opportunity for same-gender couples to marry adds to families’ stress, which affects the health and welfare of all household members. Because marriage strengthens families and, in so doing, benefits children’s development, children should not be deprived of the opportunity for their parents to be married. Paths to parenthood that include assisted reproductive techniques, adoption, and foster parenting should focus on competency of the parents rather than their sexual orientation.”

Academic studies such as these are not "irrelevant", in my view, and serve to correct misconceptions and bias with actual facts. I believe that the views of Mr. Young and others are steadily being diminished by the accelerating tide of public awareness, understanding, and compassion. As we see nearly every day in the news media, marriage equality is being swept into widespread acceptance by that tide.

D. Norman

Monday, November 10, 2014

Separation of Church and State: Upholding marriage between one man and one woman

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE and STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: Upholding Marriage and Between one Man and One Woman. p.c. young Nov 7 2014

It must be and must remain the Will of the People who determine cultural values NOT the Federal Government or the Judicial, or the Executive or the Legislative.

The Constitution and Bill of Rights is saliently a document protecting the individual; regardless of prevailing political perspective. What arises in the State must be protected against further Federal intrusions.
Marriage between one man and one woman remains an essential and NECESSARY fundamental essential for survival and ascent of the species.

While some liberal tendency or inclination may feel some intellectual disdain for this limitation, it will remain an academic and therefore irrelevant argument, ever limited in its reach to alter the biological , historic and evolutionary record and facts.

No one after all has declared partnerships as illegal. Partnerships are whatever those who enter into that association or relation wish it to be. Thus there is no animus intended or implied.

Yet Marriage is a unification of the two into one. In the legal sense and the biological sense. There is yet no substitution or equivalency for biological reproduction or the unique investment by those parents in bearing and raising offspring.

There can thus never be comparison between partnerships and marriage. They are incomparable and therefore not subject to interpretations as to its "equality" in the eyes of the law.

While there will be the predictable backlash from those who adopt and will attempt to cite their love and devotion , the failure of Marriage to function correctly in all cases, the divorce rate, domestic violence and a never ending litany of exclusionary arguments to invalidate Marriage; there will never be a better functioning system than Marriage between one man and one woman; given the metric of successfully bearing and raising offspring.

After all if we critically examine what is required to provide for a child; it quickly becomes a bewildering array of tasks, expenditures and investments emotional and physical. That a healthy child requires any number of necessities and then some.

Beyond providing we should also be aware that the critical metric, usually missing from most discussions as to what constitutes a healthy child, is that which will contribute to producing a productive, self reliant child a performing adult who does not burden others and is self sufficient and hopefully will give back in measures greater than that received.

That's progress. That's advancement, that's ascendance of the individual and that of society. Its that end objective that has been the admired accomplishment of proud parents.

While some may feel it can arise, almost like spontaneous generation, from a single parent household or a same sex partnership, the greatest confidence in that result arises from the assumption of a normal and functioning Traditional Family. Composed of One Man and One Woman unified in the concept and intent of Marriage.

Philip Young
Director, North Eastern California Conservative Party

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Last-minute, PAC-financed Novelli mailer and late donations raise concerns about out-of-county influence in District Three Supervisor election

Amador County District Three voters recently received a glossy, color campaign mailing promoting incumbent Ted Novelli for Amador County Supervisor paid for by the “Accountability and Safety Education Fund PAC,” with a return address of a political communications firm in Gridley, California. Josh F.W. Cook, Assemblyman Brian Dahle’s chief of staff, is a principal in that firm. The firm lists a variety of clients on its website, including JTS Properties, which has development interests in Amador County.

When asked for information about the PAC by e-mail, Cook replied that it is available in the “county clerk’s” office, yet no information could be located in Jackson today. A search of the Secretary of State’s records had similar results. Cook has not responded to requests for information on donors to the PAC.

Novelli’s campaign also filed a late campaign statement that shows three $1,000 donations from residents of Sacramento, Folsom and El Dorado Hills. All were made after October 19.

“I’m concerned to see a mysterious outside political action committee spending money on our local supervisor’s race,” said Pine Grove resident Lori Jagoda. “It can’t help but make you wonder whose money they’re spending and what those people may want in return. District Three voters deserve to know who is giving money and providing support to candidates for office.”

For more information contact Lynne Standard Nightengale at 209-295-4807

Friday, October 31, 2014

Endorsement Conservative Party FOR Ted Novelli, District 3 Board of Supervisors - By Philip Young

Endorsement Ted Novelli Board of Supervisors District 3 Oct 30 2014
P. C. Young   -   Director NE California Conservative Party
Endorsement Conservative Party FOR Ted Novelli, District 3 Board of Supervisors.
      When we vote November 4th we will be voting for credible, fiscally responsible representation. We vote for someone who shares our views and values. We vote for someone has both experience and proven ability to articulate position. We vote for someone who is genuine and not someone who used our vote to further an agenda that was hidden from us until they are elected.
        Ted Novelli has relevant experience, assured fiscal responsibility and requisite successes to garner an endorsement for Board of Supervisors District 3 from Conservative Party California.
         Unfortunately, Lynn Morgan has demonstrated duplicity, represents a move towards less local control, greater federal involvement more regulation and restrictions she represents outside interests and has been disingenuous.
      In any local community we desire someone who is part of the community, knows the people, the issues and has that sense and perspective of what is needed and how to accomplish their objectives.  This is perhaps one of the absolutely essential for effective local representation, if we combine this with fiscal responsibility.
             For Amador County, we find a region which is limited in developed resources and slow, if not limited, in growth, where we have a rural, rustic region steeped in history and surrounded by the natural beauty of magnificent forests and pristine rivers. The allure of the Sierra Nevada range is as close as an open door or window.
       Yet, we face a threat. The imminent threat of Federal encroachment, the irreversible encasement from EPA regulations and Federal Hegemony of our resources; innocently presented to us in the form of Wild and Scenic paradoxical and enticing language of sustainability; intended to ensnare our water resources in the federal bureaucracy of endangered species and biological opinions.
      The Water rights which so long have provided local residents access and use of the local resources so necessary for our living and well being; once captured by the Wild and Scenic will lock the local community all but out from the resources we enjoy and have access to.
      Ted Novelli understands the threat contained within W&S designation. It will drastically impact our local water rights. For that reason Ted makes the statement: “I oppose the designation of Wild and Scenic river.”
       Lynn Morgan states her support for W&S, yet its essence is to undermine local water rights, secures only a Federal Hegemony over all aspects of our river and any associated waters. One simply needs to read the language. Such language intends to inculcate environmentalist’s clause for sustainability. This is the ultimate in outside interests.
     “I absolutely support Wild and Scenic…what’s more important is retaining our water rights” stated Lynn Morgan UCC Oct 13 2014.

          Yet, written in the fine print of Wild and Scenic is a consignment to Federal Hegemony. It will mean whenever the Federal Government should declare its interest in this local body of water, local water rights will be conceded, and we will lose the very rights Lynn Morgan Touts as so essential.
          If we examine the record for consistency in word and deed, we immediately see a disingenuous inclination.  Lynn Morgan declares her support for the Gravity Supply Line yet never spoke of our supported GSL during her four years as Chairman of UCC.
        “Lynn never spoke in favor of  the Gravity Supply Line (GSL) in all her 4 years as chairman of UCC  to either the Board of Supervisors or the Amador Water Agency.  I know, because when it was on the agendas, I was present to speak for it at those meetings.”
          From the frequent platitudes of Lynn Morgan’s speeches, to the specious rhetoric of improved, new and consensus, there is less real content, measures and means necessary to satisfy a voter's due diligence to ascertain whether the candidate is qualified and has the substantive personality and tools required to perform their responsibilities.
           Ted Novelli, on the other hand, has ample experience, demonstrated successes and power of personal conviction, credibility and simply knows the depth and breadth of our Community to warrant a strong vote of confidence.

Philip Young
Director NE California
Conservative Party
Pine Grove Oct 30 2014