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Ya' Gotta Be Schmittin' Me - Christmas, a Rifle, and a Life Lesson

Monday, December 17, 2018 / No Comments

By Dan Schmitt | November 17, 2018 |  

No season is quite like Christmas for welling up memories.  And no Christmas season is more indelibly locked into my memory than the one that occurred back in 1958.

I grew up the third of seven kids in the small central Wisconsin town of Schofield.  My parents were products of the Great Depression and World War II and disciplined differently.  Six of the seven Schmitt kids were boys, and we were all boys if you know what I mean!

There was never a dearth of misdeeds, ill-behavior or outright stupidity on the part of us Schmitt boys.  

Brown and Trump administrations announce water agreement that will destroy fisheries and Bay-Delta

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By Dan Bacher |

As Jerry Brown gets ready to leave the Governor’s Office in January, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced Thursday that they and the Bureau of Reclamation reached an agreement  on updating how the State Water Project (SWP) and Central Valley Water Project (CVP) are operated “to meet environmental regulations,” reported first here on the Daily Kos (
Fishermen, conservationists, Tribal leaders, environmental justice advocates, Delta residents and family farmers see the deal as one that benefits corporate agribusiness interests in the San Joaquin Valley at the expense of fishing communities, Tribes, Delta farmers and the public trust.
“The state and federal projects are intertwined, and we have a joint interest and responsibility to ensure our water system meets California’s needs especially as conditions change,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth in a statement.
DWR and the Bureau also signed an agreement to formalize the cost-sharing formula for projects needed to meet joint responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). “The new agreement calls for costs to be shared equitably between the state and federal projects for work to meet joint responsibilities under the ESA, including monitoring and habitat restoration,” according to DWR.  
The cost-sharing agreement, signed by Nemeth for DWR and Michael Ryan, Regional Director of the Bureau of Reclamation for the Trump administration, can be found here.
Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler reported on the agreements on Saturday in the Sacramento Bee in an article entitled, “California cedes water to feds in Delta deal with Trump.”
“Southern Californians could lose billions of gallons of water a year to Central Valley farmers under a deal Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has struck with water officials working for President Donald Trump,” they wrote. Click here for the full article.
“There’s no guarantee the agreement with Trump will accomplish what Brown’s team is seeking: a lasting compromise on environmental regulations that could stave off significant water shortfalls for farms and cities across California. A powerful state agency, the State Water Resources Control Board, hasn’t yet signed off on Brown’s compromise environmental proposal. Environmental groups have called the governor’s idea woefully insufficient to save ailing fish population,” according to the Bee.
“Brown’s administration also made a separate concession to the Trump administration on the governor’s controversial Delta tunnels project, to the dismay of environmental groups that oppose the tunnels,” the Bee said.
California Department of Water Resources spokeswoman Erin Mellon also said, “The Brown administration gave federal officials a ‘no-harm agreement’ that says the Central Valley Projects customers won’t lose any water if the Delta tunnels are built.”
She elaborated that if CVP customers were to lose water, they would be compensated with cash, or some other water.
According to Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, “the irony in the Sacramento Bee story is that Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth describes this deal as not a quid pro quo, when that is exactly what it is.  Similarly, Metropolitan Water District’s General Jeff Kightlinger ‘defended the horse-trading’ and increased water exports to industrial agriculture saying the compromise on environmental regulations is needed.”
“Governor Brown is giving the Trump Administration domain over California’s rivers, the Bay-Delta estuary, fish and wildlife, drinking water systems for millions of people, and the state’s water rights system, all for his boondoggle Delta tunnels project,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. “While President Trump is under investigation for betraying his office, Governor Brown is betraying California’s people, environment, and sustainable water future. This is who Governor Brown has chosen to do business with, instead of the impacted parties of his horse trade.”
“This isn’t an enduring environmental legacy. It is Governor Brown’s desperate, yet dangerous swan song for California, aided and abetted by California’s Department of Water Resources and Metropolitan Water Districts of Southern California, the largest landowner in the Delta.  It is an attempted water coup, nothing less,” concluded Barrigan-Parrilla.
I have been one of the few writers who has consistently and truthfully reported on the environmental legacy of Governor Jerry Brown since he entered his fourth term in 2011.
It’s not just about the Delta Tunnels or fracking. Brown’s real "environmental" legacy includes 21,000 new oil and gas drilling permits, Delta smelt on the brink of extinction (if not extinct in the wild), struggling winter and spring chinook runs, deal after deal with the Trump administration, including the exemption of California oil fields from the Safe Drinking Water Act, the worst air pollution in the nation right here in the Central Valley, record water exports out of the Delta and record Delta fish kills (Sacramento splittail), pollution trading, clearcutting forests, fake habitat restoration like at the Ballona Wetlands in Southern California, Proposition 1, the Delta Tunnels scam and the Brown Water Plan, the SoCal Gas Blowout... and the list goes on and on and on.
Brown’s main claim to fame, his "climate leadership," consists of grandstanding at international climate conferences about unenforceable agreements largely based on pollution trading that benefits oil and gas companies and the corporate elite. Brown has also “denounced” the Trump administration for their proposal to open offshore drilling leases in federal waters (over 3 miles from shore) off California. 
However, the Governor's Office press releases and many compliant media have neglected to mention that Brown’s oil and gas regulators, at the same time that Brown portrays himself as an “opponent” of offshore drilling, approved 238 NEW offshore oil wells in state waters under existing leases off Los Angeles and Ventura counties from 2012 to 2016. That’s an increase of 17 percent, according to data released in a report issued by Fractracker Alliance in February 2017. To read the complete report, go to:… 
It gets worse. On June 20 of this year, Consumer Watchdog launched a web site that allows you to compare California offshore wells under the control of Governor Jerry Brown and President Donald Trump. The numbers are stunning.
“Brown has called Trump’s federal offshore oil drilling short-sighed and reckless, but the site — — shows Brown controls four times more oil wells in state waters than those Trump controls in federal waters,” according to Liza Tucker, consumer advocate for Consumer Watchdog.
We need to put political pressure Governor-Elect Gavin Newson to make sure that he does the right thing and breaks with the many bad environmental policies of Jerry Brown.

Chew's Movie Reviews - The Favourite

Saturday, December 15, 2018 / No Comments

By Gary Chew | 

Now Showing  | 

It's difficult for me to generate much interest or support when it comes to royalty. Whether it's about contemporary royals or ones of yore, the subject is a bore. Conversely, on taking in Greek film director Yorgos Lanthmos's oft-advertised and highly-touted monarchical picture THE FAVOURITE, I was sure enough brought to a sense of surprise.

A seemingly frail Queen Anne of Great Britain reigned in the early 18th century. It's written she was frightfully incompetent to carry such a responsibility. England and France were at war; the financial burden was causing great strain on the royal treasury.

You can easily believe such a thing watching this bawdy film since Her Majesty (Olivia Coleman) is not so much running the royal show. She's most often splayed out on her majestic bed while her bosom companion, the uppity Lady Sarah of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz), maintains a firm grip on the reins of power ... as it were. The ailing Anne is always cranky and barking commands, while Sarah distracts the Queen and thus pulling only the strings that Lady Sarah wants plucked. (Speaking of strings, if you're a lover of The Baroque, the movie will certainly be music to your ears, although the dance scenes are on the stodgy side.)

On the other hand, all is not to be so harmonious after a distant cousin of Anne's named Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives ... out of hard times ... at the castle. Her family has “gone the way of the poor house” because father is a lousy gambler. Abigail applies for a servant's position ... and gets the gig.

Sarah and Abigail ultimately vie to be Anne's most “favoured.” And so obtains the film's title; albeit, I've formulated an after-the-fact working title for this well-produced, sometimes confusing, costume drama that's cleverly and comically written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. My suggestion is: “A Strange Yet Farcical Tale Of Those Royal Lesbians Of Arrogance.” I have to add: the ladies in this movie are marvelous! Many of the gentlemen actors nicely acquit themselves too, even though most of the fellows play their parts as total buffoons, being party to incredibly stupid tomfoolery. But it is after all, you see, a hearty and lusty film of feminism. Award nominations are nearly as plentiful as TV spots pitching THE FAVOURITE.

Lanthmos moves the film in short, somewhat disconnected bits and pieces, usually with bawdy punch lines or actions to finish off every scene. You'll be amazed by the stunning camera work on sets that take residence inside authentic royal interiors, with many shot through a fetching fish-eye lens. Vividly verdant, bucolic exteriors are at play as well.

If you think you want to see an earlier, even more over-the-edge feature by Lanthmos, take a gander at his dark and highly absurd film called THE LOBSTER (2015). There's no guarantee you won't be sorry if you do, but chances are simply zero you'll never forget it. It will remain in your brain. I just loved it. Lanthmos must appreciate Coleman and Weisz, as they were also cast in THE LOBSTER, along with Colin Farrell in the lead, which, to confuse you even more, is the lobster.

Lanthmos does have a wicked way of suddenly darkening this new work of his, too. That's especially made clear with the final scene. That's all you're getting from me on that score, however. But happily, I'll tell you this: THE FAVOURITE is unfavorable for the kiddies, as it is so awesomely ribald ... if you know what I mean.
 Copyright © 2018 by Gary Chew. All rights reserved.

Gov. Brown appoints deputy legal affairs secretary to Sacramento Superior Court

Friday, December 14, 2018 / No Comments

December 14, 2018 | 

With his days in office winding down, this morning Gov. Jerry Brown announced six judicial appointments to the Superior Court benchs in Alameda, Los Angeles, Riverside and Sacramento counties. Among those appointed by Brown to the Sacramento Superior Court is a current member of his administration. 

Kristina B. Lindquist, 37, of Sacramento, has served as a deputy legal affairs secretary in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. since 2011. Prior to serving in the Brown administration, Lindqust served as staff counsel at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2008 to 2011 and as tax counsel at the State Board of Equalization in 2009. 

Lindquist earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Timothy M. Frawley. 

Lindquist will continue to serve Brown in her current position until the end of the Administration. She is a Democrat.

The compensation for this judicial position is $207,424.

Weekly Grocery Deals in Elk Grove, Sacramento

Thursday, December 13, 2018 / No Comments

Compliments of Notorious P.I.G. |

Looking for the best deals at grocery store chains in Elk Grove and the Sacramento region like Raleys and Safeway? Look no further than this weekly update.

Probationer arrested by Galt Police, suspected of pushing meth

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Timothy David Welch. 

A suspect arrested by Galt Police remains in custody at the Sacramento County Jail on two drug-related charges.

In the late evening hours of Friday, December 7 police officers contacted Timothy David Welch, 33, of Galt, near a residence near Emerald Oak and Ramon drives. After determining Welch was on probation, a search allegedly led to the discovery of drug paraphernalia, a scale, packaging, and approximately 18 grams of suspected meth was found

Welch is being held on an $85,000 bail and will be arraigned on Wednesday, December 13. 

Sacramento Board of Supervisors approves $4.8 million contract with First 5

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 / No Comments

At their Tuesday meeting by a unanimous vote, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors the Department of Human Assistance to execute an agreement with First 5 Sacramento Commission in the amount of $4,800,000 for the coordination, oversight and monitoring of the CalWORKs Home Visiting Initiative Program.

Program implementation will begin on Jan. 1, 2019 and runs through Jun. 30, 2020.

We are thrilled to award this program funding to First 5. They will get the HVI program off the ground and running,” said Ann Edwards, Director of the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance. “Providing mothers and their unborn and young children care and resources is our number one priority. These services will set them up for success and a positive life outcome.”

The purpose of the CalWORKs Home Visiting Initiative (HVI) is to support positive health, development, and well-being outcomes for pregnant and parenting women, families, and infants born into poverty, expanding their future educational, economic, and financial opportunities, and improving the likelihood that they will exit poverty.

Combining home visits with CalWORKs provides an opportunity to connect parents with necessary professional resources to assist in improving their parenting skills and household order, and ensuring that their children have a safe and nurturing environment that allows them to thrive and grow.

New parents and caretakers receiving CalWORKs will be paired with student nurses and other trained professionals who will make regular visits to the participants’ homes to provide guidance, coaching, access to prenatal and postnatal care, and other health and social services.