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Sacramento Finishes in Bottom Half of State Capital Cities Livability Survey

Thursday, February 22, 2018 / No Comments

A recent study of state capital cities ranked Sacramento in the bottom half of livability. 

The study conducted by personal financial website WalletHub, found Sacramento ranked 27th overall among 50 rated cities. The top honors went to Austin, Texas while Trenton, New Jersey occupied the bottom spot.

In their rankings, WalletHub compared all 50 capital cities across 51 key indicators including affordability, economic strength, quality of education, health, and overall living standards. Also included was the number of tourist attractions.

On the negative side, Sacramento was ranked as the 43rd in terms of affordability. Although Sacramento has become the preferred destination of Bay Area transplants, it is not affordable as compared to other capital cities.

The five best in affordability included Cheyenne, Wyoming; Oklahoma City; Bismarck, North Dakota; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Springfield, Illinois. 

On the flip side, Sacramento was ranked 8th in the quality of life index. The top five in this category were Honolulu, Boston, Denver, Austin, and Madison Wisconsin. 

Other results from this study and the methodology can be viewed here

Sacramento Property Owner Fails to Make Court-ordered Repairs, Gets Thrown in Jail

Friday, February 16, 2018 / No Comments
Cameron Kambiz Razavi Twin Garden Apartments Carmichael California

A property owner who failed to make court ordered repairs has been taken into custody and is being held at the Sacramento County Jail. 

On October 13, 2016, Cameron Kambiz Razavi, 59, pled guilty to two Sacramento County code violations for permitting substandard dwelling units and permitting junk and rubbish to accumulate at the Twin Gardens Apartments, in Carmichael. As part of the plea agreement, Razavi was ordered to do community service, correct all building and code violations, and pay $15,000 dollars to the District Attorney trust fund for investment in the community.

His progress in repairing the violations was monitored by the court every 90 days. Razavi repeatedly failed to make mandatory appearances where he was to show proof that he corrected the violations.

As a result of his failure to comply and appear, Judge Kevin McCormick ordered him to serve three weeks in jail. Razavi will return to court on March 5, 2018, to show proof that he has fixed the violations, and if he fails to do so he will serve another 30 day jail sentence.

Two Suspects Arrested in Connection with Death of 6-year old

Thursday, February 15, 2018 / No Comments

Two suspect are in custody at the Sacramento County Jail after they were arrested in connection to the death of 6-year old boy.

On February 12, at 6:53 a.m. the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Communications Center received a request from the Sacramento Metro Fire Department to respond to the 7300 block of Power Inn Road. Fire personnel indicated they had encountered a deceased child within a residence at that location. 

Responding Sheriff’s deputies began their preliminary investigation into the incident, which involved the death of a 6-year-old male. Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Child Abuse Detectives responded, which is standard in all child death investigations. During their investigation, Detectives determined the circumstances surrounding the death of the child were suspicious.

During the investigation Detectives developed probable cause to arrest 26-year-old Angelica  Araiz Garcia of Sacramento and 22-year-old Miguel Roberto Uribe (above left) also of Sacramento. Both Uribe and Garcia lived at the residence and were arrested for charges pertaining to child neglect and child abuse resulting in a child’s death.

Uribe was identified as the victim’s biological brother and Garcia was identified as Uribe’s live-in girlfriend. Both suspects are being held in the Sacramento County Main Jail. Bail for Garcia has been set at $500,000.00 and Uribe is being held without bail due to his charges.

The identity of the victim, in this case, will be made available by the Sacramento County Coroner’s office after notification has been made to his next of kin. Both suspects are scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday, February 21. 

Western States Petroleum Association & Members Have Dumped $170 Million Into CA Campaigns Since 2001

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By Dan Bacher | February 14, 2018 |

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the most powerful corporate lobbying group in California, and its members have contributed $170 million to California political campaigns since 2001, according to a new data analysis from MapLight released on February 14.

WSPA is the trade association for oil industry interests in the western states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. WSPA members include multinational oil corporations such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Valero and the Plains All American Pipeline Company, the corporation responsible for the Refugio Beach Oil Spill of 2017. 

WSPA and its members have contributed more than $112 million to ballot measure campaigns, $8 million to state candidates, and $50 million to other California political action committees and party committees, according to the MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State compiled by Laura Curlin and Ashleigh McEvoy.

“Chevron tops the list of political donors from WSPA’s membership, contributing $89 million overall since 2001, the first year in which online data is available,” Maplight reported. “Aera Energy has contributed the second most at roughly $40 million, and Valero is third at $13 million.  

The report documents all of the California legislators who have received campaign contributions from the oil industry since 2001.

Senator Jean Fuller, the Kern County Republican from Senate District 16 who has served as the Legislature’s most fervent advocate for Big Oil, received the most oil industry contributions of any legislator, $88,890.

Senator Cathleen Galgiani, a Democrat from Senate District 5, received the second largest amount of oil industry contributions, $83,350.

Assemlymember Rudy Salas Jr., a Democrat from Assembly District 32, received the third largest amount of Big Oil money, $79,850. 

The top ten recipients of WSPA member money in the California Legislature are listed below:

(1) Jean Fuller, Republican, Senate District 16, $88,890 
(2) Cathleen Galgiani, Senate District 5, Democrat $83,350
(3) Rudy Salas Jr., Assembly District 32, Democrat, $79,850
(4) Raul Bocanega, Assembly District 39, Democrat, $76,300
(5) Adam C. Gray, Assembly District 21, Democrat, $72,600
(6) Jim Cooper, Assembly District 9, Democrat, $71,650
(7) Sebastian M. Ridley-Thomas, Assembly District 54, Democrat, $70,800
(8) Chad Mays, Assembly District 42, Republican, $63,700
(9) Mike Gipson, Assembly District 64, Democrat, $62,650
(10) James L. Frazier Jr., Assembly District 11, Democrat, $58,176 

You can explore data on the campaign contributions from WSPA members - including contributions from each organization, top recipients serving in the California State Legislature, and contribution patterns over time by going to:… 

While the amount of money individual legislators have received from WSPA members is alarming, they pale in comparison to the $9.8 million from oil companies, gas companies and utilities that “climate leader” Governor Jerry Brown has received since he ran for his third term as governor, according to Consumer Watchdog. For more information on Governor Brown and his so-called "green" policies, see:

In addition to pouring millions into campaigns, WSPA “augments its political influence with a massive lobbying presence in Sacramento,” topping the list of lobbyist spending in California in the third quarter of 2017, according to Maplight.

Big Oil dominated three out of the four top spots of expenditures by all lobbying organizations in 2017, according to documents from the California Secretary of State’s Office that I analyzed.

Outspending all of their competition, Chevron placed first with $8.2 million and the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the trade association for the oil industry in the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona, placed second  $6.2 million. Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company finished fourth with $3.2 million. You can find the information on spending by employers of lobbyists here:…

That’s a total of $17.6 million dumped into lobbying by the three top oil industry lobbying organizations alone. That figure exceeds the $14,577,314 expended by all 16 oil lobby organizations in 2016. 

Big Oil has become so powerful in California, in spite of the state’s largely undeserved “green” image, that every bill except one opposed by the oil industry has failed to make it out of the legislature over the past three years.

But WSPA and Big Oil wield their money and power not just through spending millions of dollars on lobbying and political campaigns. They also create Astroturf groups, work in collaboration with the media, and get appointed to positions on and influence key regulatory panels.

For example, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association, chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called “marine protected areas in Southern California from 2009 to 2012. She also served on the task forces to create “marine protected areas” on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast from 2004 to 2012. Information: 

As Reheis-Boyd was overseeing the crafting of California’s “marine protected areas,” Reheis-Boyd’s husband, James D. Boyd, sat on on the California Energy Commission from 2002 to 2012, including serving as Vice-Chair of the Commission from 2/2007 to 1/2012.  

The “marine protected areas” created under the privately funded MLPA Initiative fail to protect the ocean from fracking, offshore drilling, pollution, military testing and all human impacts other than fishing and gathering. Yet state officials and corporate environmental NGO representatives praised the process overseen by Reheis-Boyd and other corporate interests as “open, transparent and inclusive,” though it was anything but.

There is no doubt that Big Oil has captured the regulatory apparatus from top to bottom in California — and we must curb and overcome the power and money of the oil and gas corporations in California in order to protect the public trust. For more information about the grassroots campaign to get oil money out of California politics, go to:

Sacramento Infomercial Chiropractor Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Practicing Medicine Without Licence

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 / No Comments

February 14, 2018 |  

A Sacramento chiropractor entered a guilty plea on charges that he was practicing medicine without and license and defrauding thousands of dollars from his victims.

According to plea entered on February 9 with the Sacramento District Attorney's office, James Joseph Martin plead guilty to three counts of practicing medicine without a license, four counts of grand theft by false pretenses and misdemeanor charges of illegally using ‘MD’ and ‘physician’ in advertisements.

Martin's infomercials (see below) appeared regularly on ABC10’s Sac&Co morning show. In those spots, Martin, a licensed chiropractor, portrayed himself as a functional neurologist who practiced metabolic or pastoral medicine, specializing in treating conditions of the thyroid, neuropathy and other health conditions. 

Several of Martin’s patients was under the impression he was a medical doctor. Some patients paid thousands of dollars for his treatment, which primarily consisted of Martin prescribing over the counter supplements and then selling them at a significant mark up.

Martin will formally be on May 29 one year in jail and ordered to pay restitution to all victims named in the complaint. Additionally, he will be on felony probation for 5 years, required to surrender his chiropractic license and prohibited from portraying himself as someone who practices functional or pastoral medicine. 

Water Board Delays Delta Tunnels Hearing Until Feb. 22

Sunday, February 11, 2018 / No Comments
Pennie Opal Plant of Idle No More SF Bay testifies against Jerry Brown's Delta Tunnels project at a State Water Resources Control Board meeting in Sacramento on February 8. Photo by Dan Bacher. | 

By Dan Bacher | 

After hearing Delta Tunnels opponents and proponents testify regarding whether or not they believe the Department of Water Resources new plan to build the project in two phases is a changed project, hearing officers for the State Water Resources Control Board on February 8 postponed a critical hearing needed to implement the project.

Hearing officer Tam Dudoc announced the first day of Part 2 of the process would be delayed until February 22, beginning with the evidentiary portion of Part 2.

Dudoc also directed the petitioners, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, to respond to the Natural Resources Defense Council, et al.’s February 7, 2018 renewed motion for a stay of the hearing, as well as the other comments and issues raised during the hearing that day.  

She gave the petitioners until 5:00 PM on Friday, February 9, to respond. Dudoc also set a deadline of 12:00 noon on Tuesday, February 13, for all other parties to respond to the petitioners’ forthcoming submittal.

The Water Board is currently considering the petition by the DWR and Reclamation to change the points of diversion of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project required for the building of the two massive tunnels under the Delta.

After months of talk and speculation, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR)  on Wednesday announced plans for a two-stage implementation of Jerry Brown’s controversial Delta Tunnels project, also known as the California WaterFix.

In a letter to water agencies, Karla Nemeth, DWR Director, said the option for the first stage includes two intakes on the Sacramento River in the North Delta with a total capacity of 6,000 cfs per second, one tunnel, one intermediate forebay and one pumping station.

The second stage would consist of a third intake with 3,000 cfs capacity, a second tunnel and a second pumping station. This would bring the total capacity of the project from 6,000 cfs in the first phase to 9,000 cfs capacity in total, a volume of water that would exceed the entire volume of the Sacramento River during low flow periods, according to Nemeth.

Doug Obegi, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) attorney, was pleased with the decision.

“The hearing officers partially granted our motion by cancelling next week’s hearing, giving the parties time to brief them whether this (the two staged project) is a changed project,” said Obegi. “We consider this a major change and I hope the board will require a significant stay to address the concerns of the public who haven’t seen the voluminous models for the revised project that were sent out late yesterday.”

“The hearing officers are taking this seriously and I greatly appreciate their consideration in doing this,” he concluded.

During the public comment period, Pennie Opal Plant of Idle No More SF Bay urged the board to reject the petition required to build the California WaterFix.

“I am a signatory to the Indigenous Women of the Americas – Defenders of Mother Earth Treaty Compact 2015. We can’t live without water and neither can our non-human relatives. The WaterFix is a water theft. You cannot approve the WaterFix,” urged Plant.

”From my heart to yours, especially to the women, our babies swim in the seas of our wombs. Please protect this water and the life that lives inside of our bellies. Please protect this sacred system of life that swims in the Delta. If we don’t protect the Delta now, it’s going to be damaged beyond the capability to maintain human and non-human life. It’s up to us,” she stated.

A large number of other Delta Tunnels opponents, including representatives of Restore the Delta, North Delta Cares, Friends of the River, the Center for Biological Diversity, Sacramento Valley water districts, Delta farmers, business owners, fishing groups, San Joaquin, Sacramento and other Delta counties and the City of Stockton, spoke on behalf of the motion to stay the hearing and against the California Water Fix.

Councilmember and Vice Mayor Elbert Holman of the City of Stockton said the California WaterFix would undo years of investment that Stockton has put into meeting state water quality standards. By choosing not to mitigate the adverse impacts to the water quality of 300,000 residents, DWR is treating the Delta’s largest city like “second class citizens,” he stated.

Project opponents say the project would hasten the extinction of Sacramento River spring-run and winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, as well as imperil salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

Ex Sacramento Unified Employee Caught Dancing After Injury, Pleads Guilty to Workers Comp Fraud

Thursday, February 8, 2018 / No Comments

A former employee of the Sacramento Unified School District who was caught on camera dancing, had plead guilty to workers compensation fraud.

Marcus Kelly pled no contest to felony insurance fraud and was sentenced 30 days in county jail, five years formal probation and ordered to pay $40,097 in restitution.  

Kelly was employed by the Sacramento City Unified School District as a janitor who claimed on September 9, 2014, he experienced an un-witnessed slip-and-fall at work, resulting in reported back and leg pain. Kelly was placed on modified duty, including limitations on how much he could lift and limitations on bending or twisting at the waist. 

By the end of September, Kelly reported his condition had worsened and that his pain was so intense it interfered with his ability to travel and engage in social activities. When the restrictions could not be accommodated, he was placed off work. 

However, investigators found that during this time period, Kelly had been working as a dancer at a nightclub. Surveillance video showed Kelly dancing on stage for several hours over several days, and engaging in activities he reported to doctors he was unable to perform. 

This case was prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit.