Friday, March 25, 2016

"Missing Myself"

"Missing Myself"

After finally making some progress with sign enforcement upcountry, a new blight mars our area.  After being subjected to spray-painted "Ted Where Are U? and "We Miss Ted" signs along Hwy. 88, we are now looking at the next phase of Ted Novelli's "Missing Myself" campaign. Former Supervisor Novelli is now giving out flashy Merzlak printed signs stating "We Miss Ted", which he has strategically placed on both sides of his own porch.

I questioned Ted's judgement when he left such embarrassing plywood signs up for over a month, especially after someone defaced them with paint. It became even more confusing to see those signs ending up in front of the Fire Station.  No matter who puts these signs up, if they have your name on them, then you need to bear some responsibility. Campaign signs are not even legally permitted for another month, plus it will be years before Ted can even be in another District election.  Am I missing something, other than myself?

I have personally addressed the Board of Supervisors regarding the problem of "off-site" signage, including the filing of two written complaints requesting that the County enforce certain sign ordinances.  It is obviously important to allow promotional signs to be placed nearby businesses, but the willy-nilly placement of "off-site" signs along the highway that are nowhere near the business is clearly unfair to other businesses who respect the law. We have all witnessed how this monkey-see monkey-do practice becomes contagious if not enforced. Now, just as the County is making some headway with signage removal, new "We Miss Ted" signs are popping up. 

Such self-adulating behavior is insulting to our current Supervisor and degrades our entire community. This is the last thing our district needs!

Mike Spence

Monday, March 21, 2016

Gwen Clayton for District 4 Supervisor - Upcoming Events

Too Polite to Fight?

Obstructionist, divisive Republican abuse of power has slowed our economy, shut down the government, attempted dozens of times to jerk healthcare away from millions, and now with its typical knee-jerk reaction to anything Obama says, Reps. are refusing to perform their duty under the constitution in selecting a Supreme. For the vast majority of Americans this has become intolerable. When Republicans are not busy trying to shut down the government or end Obamacare they're frantically trying to thwart our rightful President at every other turn, as they have done constantly for the past seven years. Of course they blame him, presumably for continuing to try to get anything done.

    The voters are understandably fed up and hopefully will throw the bums out, except of course in the many places where right wing gerrymandering guarantees Republican victory, or where they can succeed in preventing young people or minorities from voting. They know that they can win in no other way at this point.

     Our society is sick, and as Lindsey Graham so aptly put it his "party has gone batshit crazy".   Whether the culture is terminally ill remains to be seen, but the rise of Trump to such a place of prominence is just a symptom.  The disease is willful ignorance on the right for which no cure has yet been discovered.

      Trump himself does clearly suffer from a severe case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a mental illness.  Here are main symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic blog, as per the DSM-5:
  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Exaggerating your achievements and talents
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Requiring constant admiration
  • Having a sense of entitlement
  • Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
  • Taking advantage of others to get what you want
  • Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of other
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

Although some features of NPD may seem to suggest mere confidence, it's actually something very different.  Putin has it too. Picture those two abnormal personalities with the power to blow up the world and you see why the rest of the planet is horrified at our politics. Meanwhile Trump remains totally and willfully ignorant on the subject of governing a country and essentially clueless on international relations.   Yesterday he actually said that he talks to himself when asked with whom he consults on foreign policy.  Next he'll probably be hearing voices (probably his own), as his ego-mania passes the psychotic stage, if it hasn't already.

     Trump Chumps are really nothing more than the regurgitated Tea Party.  Remember them?  Before that they called themselves "the Silent Majority" (they were neither).  We can trace them further back but the point is to recognize that angry right wingers just love to jump on some extremist band wagon or the other, and always have.  In its current manifestation they have stooped to the short-fingered Trumpanzee as their adored leader, attracted initially no doubt by his racist rants, beginning with his initiating the birther nonsense that only true racist dummies bought into and still believe. This is proof of willful ignorance and racial animus, not just lack of education or intelligence.

      But it doesn't stop there.  Try to get your head around the specter of two bellicose narcissists with their fingers on the trigger and the world in the balance and you start to see why the rest of the world is shaking its collective head in fear and disbelief. Most have had experience with fascism which can flourish only where right thinking people don't speak out to stop it. So I have to ask you, what are you doing, or worse yet not doing about this awful mess?  Someday your children or grandchildren may ask you this very question, and find you sadly lacking.  It's that serious.  

      You say you think it can't happen here?  Maybe not, but understand that if it doesn't happen this very year it will only be because we won't let it.  By "we" I mean WOMEN because there are more of us who care and think, and because only women and ethnic minorities can stop Trump now.  Republicans obviously can't. If fascism does manage to land in America, it will be because too many reasonable people who saw it coming were just too polite to fight against it. Talk about political correctness run amok...

Nora Coryell

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association comes to the rescue of Amador Water Agency Ratepayers

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association comes to the rescue of Amador Water Agency Ratepayers
On Tuesday March 8th, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) filed a lawsuit against the Amador Water Agency (AWA) regarding its refusal to act on the qualified petition titled “Referendum Against A Resolution Passed by The Amador Water Agency Board of Directors” which was circulated in response to water rate increases. The Ratepayer Protection Alliance (RPA) organized Amador voters and successfully collected over 2,500 signatures for the referendum asking the AWA to repeal the rate increase or submit the issue to a vote. Amador County Office of the Registrar verified that the referendum received a sufficient number of signatures. However, AWA decided to ignore the protest, claiming that:

1.     The referendum protesting rates is beyond the power of the voters;
2.     The constitution does not reserve the referendum power as a means of repealing a rate increase;
3.     The petition is fatally confusing because it contains more than just the text of the subject Resolution.

In its papers submitted to the court, HJTA meticulously debunks each of AWA’s excuses for ignoring Amador voters.  HJTA states that “The Agency is blatantly refusing to perform its ministerial duties as required by law and is in gross violation of a constitutional right…”  The Elections Code requires AWA to either rescind the rate increase or allow Amador voters to decide at the next election.
The lawsuit seeks to place the referendum on the ballot for June 7, 2016. The Amador Superior Court has scheduled a hearing for April 1, 2016.  If the Court rules in HJTA’s favor, the Court may at that time issue a writ of mandate ordering the Agency to certify the petition and call the election.

The filed ex parte petition for writ of mandate and the points and authorities documents are available on the Ratepayer Protection Alliance’s website (

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Frank Axe launches campaign for Amador County District 4 Supervisor

Frank Axe, a resident of rural Amador County between Sutter Creek and Pine Grove for the past 10 years, submitted in-lieu petitions to the Amador County Elections Office on February 25 to launch his campaign for District 4 supervisor.

In announcing his campaign, Frank said, “I want to actively represent District 4 on the Amador County Board of Supervisors to help build a path to prosperity, good jobs, and a strong local economy. At the same time, we need to protect the qualities residents love about our county: Our rural character, history and heritage, scenic beauty, and small-town quality of life.”

Frank and his wife, Kathy, moved to the county after successful careers in industry. He has succeeded as a team leader, product developer, community-college teacher, father and husband due to his leadership and listening skills, problem-solving expertise and critical-thinking abilities.

Frank is an active community volunteer. As a member of the Amador County Transportation Commission’s Regional Transportation Plan Update Committee, he worked with diverse interests to wrestle with the county’s road-funding deficit and recommend priorities and policies for local highway and road improvements. As a docent at the Kennedy Mine, he has seen how much local residents can accomplish when they work together on issues of mutual concern.

Frank owns and operates a vacation rental business in Sutter Creek. An expert manager and scientist, he holds 15 patents. He’s an active outdoorsman who enjoys fishing, backpacking and skiing.

When elected, Frank’s first priorities will be to:
  • Improve fire and other public safety efforts in the county.
  • Strengthen and diversify our local economy while protecting our quality of life.
  • Support critical services for children, adults, seniors and veterans.
  • Ensure our county government is accountable and efficient.
  • Restore respect, inclusion and civility to county government.

As a citizen, homeowner, volunteer, and business owner, Frank has watched our local government in action. When asked what motivated him to run for office, he said, “Too often, our super- visors work to benefit narrow interests at the expense of the rest of us. It’s long past time for that to stop. We all need to work together for the benefit of District 4 and our county.”

In addition, he noted: “I want to be a voice for inclusion, civility and respect. I will welcome ideas from everyone, regardless of how long you’ve lived here, your political party, or who your family may be. I want to listen to local residents, learn from them, and with their help, make Amador County government effective and accountable. We need local government that works with everyone.”

Frank is running a volunteer-based, grassroots campaign, ably assisted by campaign coordinator Doug Hardy. To read more about Frank and the campaign, send him your ideas and concerns, or join the campaign team, see

Thursday, March 3, 2016

CA Budget & Policy Center: New Analyses Examine Persistently High State Corrections Spending

California Budget & Policy Center
March 3, 2016

New Analyses Examine Persistently High State Corrections Spending
Although California in recent years has substantially reduced the number of people in the state's correctional system, spending on corrections through the state budget remains high. Two new analyses from the California Budget & Policy Center take a look at why state corrections spending has failed to decline along with the decline in the numbers of incarcerated adults and adults on parole.

A Budget Center fact sheet discusses some of the chief reasons that California has struggled to bring down state corrections spending and also points to some ways that state policymakers could achieve reductions going forward. Read the fact sheet.

A  Data Hit from the Budget Center (below) takes a closer look at a key contributor to still-high corrections spending: the fact that spending per incarcerated adult in California has doubled since the mid-1990s. View the Data Hit at full size.