THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CALIFORNIA - This site is dedicated to exposing the continuing Marxist Revolution in California and the all around massive stupidity of Socialists, Luddites, Communists, Fellow Travelers and of Liberalism in all of its ugly forms.

"It was a splendid population - for all the slow, sleepy, sluggish-brained sloths stayed at home - you never find that sort of people among pioneers - you cannot build pioneers out of that sort of material. It was that population that gave to California a name for getting up astounding enterprises and rushing them through with a magnificent dash and daring and a recklessness of cost or consequences, which she bears unto this day - and when she projects a new surprise the grave world smiles as usual and says, "Well, that is California all over."

- - - - Mark Twain (Roughing It)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Court OKs School ban on US flag shirts

Flag T-shirts banned on Cinco de Mayo in Morgan Hill.

"Don't wear that shirt."
  • In a display of what has to be pro-Mexican racism, a Federal Court rules that citizens of the United States cannot wear a shirt with the American flag on it. 
  • Again, pro-Mexican.  If you are a Hispanic from Columbia, Peru, Cuba or Brazil your heritage has nothing at all to do with Cinco de Mayo, but you would not be allowed to wear an American flag shirt.

Officials at a Northern California high school acted appropriately when they ordered students wearing American flag T-shirts to turn the garments inside out during the Mexican heritage celebration Cinco de Mayo, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the officials' concerns of racial violence outweighed students' freedom of expression rights. Administrators feared the American-flag shirts would enflame the passions of Latino students celebrating the Mexican holiday.

The unanimous three-judge panel said past problems gave school officials sufficient and justifiable reasons for their actions. The court said schools have wide latitude in curbing certain civil rights to ensure campus safety reports the Associated Press.

"Our role is not to second-guess the decision to have a Cinco de Mayo celebration or the precautions put in place to avoid violence," Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote for the panel. The past events "made it reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real," she wrote.

William Becker, one of the lawyers representing the students, said he plans to ask a special 11-judge panel of the appeals court to rehear the case. Becker said he would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court if he loses again.

"The 9th Circuit upheld the rights of Mexican students celebrating a holiday of another country over U.S. student proudly supporting this country," Becker said.

Cinco de Mayo marks the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, when Mexican troops defeated a French army of Napoleon III, then considered the mightiest military in the world. It is considered a bigger holiday in the U.S., celebrating Mexican heritage with parades and revelry in many major cities.

About 50 students carrying a Mexican flag walked out of classes.
See more - ABC News.

Police cars follow Hispanic students who walked out of Live Oak and
Ann Sobrato high schools to march around Morgan Hill.

New California Flag
Since America no longer exists let's make it official by adopting a proper California flag that represents only one nationality.  Americans of African, Asian, American Indian and European heritage might as well move out of state.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Race heats up to replace GOP Rep. Gary Miller

Councilman John Valdivia

Interesting race shaping up for GOP-held congressional seat in San Bernardino. Dynamo black Republican female mayor may be up against a popular Hispanic Republican councilman.

San Bernardino County, California has some of the most intense politics in the country. Fontana, one of the county's largest municipalities has a black female mayor. She's outspoken on a host of issues, and she's even led drives to oust some allegedly less-than-honest local politicians. Now, she is heavily rumored to be on of two or three candidates who will seek the seat of retiring Republican Congressman Gary Miller (31st District). 

From the San Bernardino Sun, "San Bernardino Councilman John Valdivia announces bid for Rep. Gary Miller’s seat".

Word circulated Wednesday that Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren may also consider a run for Miller’s seat, but Warren said Thursday it wasn’t in the cards. “The Lord hasn’t moved me in that direction yet,” Warren said. 

She said she received about 20 phone calls Wednesday and Thursday from her constituents urging her against running in the congressional race.

Acquanetta, as she is known in Fontana and as she prefers people to call her, is Ms. Personality. She hosts a weekly local cable TV show as Mayor, spotlighting local Fontana businesses, and urging Los Angeles-area business to move into the medium-sized city. But wait, there's more.

Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren
Her likely opponent if she jumps in, is a well-respected and loved Hispanic GOP Councilman.

Meet San Bernardino Councilman John Valdivia.

On Thursday became the first Republican candidate to announce he would be running for Rep. Gary Miller’s 31st Congressional District seat. “The bottom line is somebody needs to fill the seat and I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” Valdivia said. “I think I’m good on issues and best reflect the demographics of the district.”

Former Assembly candidate Paul Chabot announced he’ll be seeking another office: the 31st Congressional District.  He had been seriously discussing with family, friends and colleagues about switching gears and running for Miller’s seat to prevent a Democrat from being elected to the highly coveted seat reports the Daily Bulletin.
“We really have to hold that seat for the Republican Party,” Chabot, 39, of Rancho Cucamonga, said. “If a Democrat gets that seat, we may see a domino effect of other Democrats beating Republicans in state and local elections throughout the district in the years to come.”

Chabot, an outspoken opponent of medical marijuana, founded several local nonprofits promoting American values and the deterrence of drug abuse including the Inland Valley Drug Free Community Coalition, Drug Free RC, Freestyle Foundation Inc. and the Coalition for a Drug Free California. He is an Iraq War veteran and served in the Clinton White House as a Presidential Fellow and later in the Bush White House as a senior adviser.
Chabot has a bachelor’s degree from Cal State San Bernardino, a master’s degree in public administration from USC and a doctorate in executive leadership from George Washington University.

Paul Chabot
Paul Chabot California
Though he has never served in public office, Chabot said he would be willing to take on the fight for Miller’s seat, although he said it would be much more challenging than the Assembly race.

“I’m committed to holding the congressional seat for the Republican Party, whether I do that in my current capacity as a candidate for state Assembly or a candidate for Congress is the question my family and I are deciding,” Chabot said.

Chabot’s release included his first official endorsement, from former GOP Rep. Jerry Lewis:
“He has what it takes to make a real difference in Washington and knows that we need to live within our means, stop playing politics, maintain a strong national defense and ensure that every child receives a good education,” Chabot’s press release quotes Lewis as saying.

On Thursday, former State Sen. Bob Dutton — whom Miller beat out for the 31st Congressional District in 2012 — threw his support behind Chabot as well:

“I think he’s the right man for the job,” Dutton said.

Miller’s district is one of the most competitive in the coming election cycle and a “top target” by Democrats because a majority of the registered voters in the district are Democrats. That Democratic majority was the result of redistricting in 2010.

Money has flown in from around the country for Democratic candidates including Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, Colton attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes, San Bernardino school board member Danny Tillman and former Rep. Joe Baca.

31st Congressional District
Currently held by retiring GOP Congressman Gary Miller, the district covers
the greater San Bernardino area in Southern California.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Democrat wants a 24 cent gas tax increase

Marxist Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg

Marxist Jackass of the Day
  • Voters deserve what the get.  They were fucking stupid enough to elect these Marxist assholes, so let them pony up 24 cents a gallon in new Democrat gas taxes.

The People's Republic of California  -  A brand new carbon tax proposal outlined on Thursday by California Democrat Senate leader Darrell Steinberg would raise an estimated $3.6 billion in its first year. 

The Marxist Senator claimed the new wealth would be re-distributed into the pocketbooks of the state's "poorest residents" as well as public transportation - - - Translation. To union workers and businessmen who donate to his party.

The tax, which would apply to fuels like gasoline, would start at 15 cents a gallon in 2015 and rise to 24 cents a gallon in 2020, Steinberg said in a speech at the Sacramento Press Club.

Steinberg claims poverty in the state is growing and that he needs to steal the money of those who work hard and give it away to low- and moderate-income working people via a federal tax credit. It would also help plug funding shortfalls in public transit reports Reuters News.

The tax would halt plans to bring fuels under the state's cap and trade program next year, a policy that since the beginning of 2013 has regulated the emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases from large stationary sources, such as power plants and cement factories.

Cap and trade sets a gradually declining limit on the amount of greenhouse gases businesses can emit and allows for the trading of excess permits on the open market.

A carbon tax is a simper system to administer than cap and trade, but instead of setting an environmental target, it hopes to discourage driving by raising the price of gasoline.

Passage of the tax is considered a long shot given that California law requires any new tax to gain the support of two-thirds of members in both chambers of the state legislature.

The proposal was also met with resistance from environmentalists, who believe the current policies are well designed and should not be tampered with.

Friday, February 21, 2014

California Film Industry in Collapse - Welcome to Socialism

A publicity photo for the Hollywoodland subdivision's groundbreaking includes a plow, mules and surveyors. It was taken from the book "The Hollywood Sign" by Leo Braudy and appears courtesy of the Bruce Torrence Collection of the Hollywood Sign Trust. Erected in 1923 as a giant ad for the housing development, the sign's letters are 45 feet tall and 36 feet wide.

Hollywood wants protection from Democrat Taxes
  • To avoid insane Socialist Democrat tax rates film industry jobs are flooding out of California to low tax states.
  • California’s share of the one-hour TV series market declined from 64 percent to 28 percent, resulting in the loss of an estimated 8,500 jobs.
  • In the past 15 years, feature-film production in Los Angeles alone has declined almost 60 percent.

California created the film industry.  But high Socialistic Democrat taxes are driving jobs out of the state.  You know things are bad when Hollywood liberals are asking California for a tax break. . . . a break for themselves but not for all Californians.

Film Works, an entertainment-industry advocate organization, recently launched an online petition asking California’s film and TV enthusiasts to lobby lawmakers to create greater incentives for production to stay within state borders.

While operating costs in California have grown more expensive over the past decade, other states and countries have established film tax credits in an effort to bring production to their territory reports the Daily Caller.

If California does not pass similar legislation, Film Works warns, the state will lose hold of one of its most iconic industries.

“We are now greatly concerned that the state’s status as the epicenter for motion picture production is at risk,” the petition reads.

“If policymakers fail to make our state more competitive, the film industry in California will face the same fate as other industries, including aerospace, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of jobs permanently leaving California for other states.”

“It’s time for California to wake up,” reads one of the organization’s blog posts.

The industry’s decline in the Golden State has been difficult for individuals working in the entertainment industry to ignore.

From 2005 to 2013, California’s share of the one-hour TV series market declined from 64 percent to 28 percent, resulting in the loss of an estimated 8,500 jobs, the Film Works petition notes.

According to a report conducted by the San Francisco Film Commission, these job losses not only impact those who were formerly employed, but take a negative toll on the economy as a whole. The study found that every job lost in the film industry results in a loss of $112,000 in spending in the local economy.

And in the past 15 years, feature-film production in Los Angeles alone has declined almost 60 percent.

Saying "No" to Hollywood
Lower taxes caused the Syfy Channel production "Bitten" to be 
filmed in Toronto, Canada.

In an attempt to curve the drop in production, California passed a $100 million film tax incentive in 2009, but it was not enough to keep producers within state borders.

A growing list of states, including Georgia, Louisiana and New York, have established tax incentives that far exceed those passed in California.

These business-friendly policies have added millions to states’ economies. Louisiana is just one example of this phenomenon. The year before it enacted its tax credit (2002), production spending in Louisiana was only $3.5 million. By 2010, that figure had jumped to $674 million, making for a 19,000-percent increase.

Many leading businesses and organizations involved in the entertainment industry recognize how California’s tax-heavy policies are threatening the survival of the film industry and have thus aligned themselves with Film Works, demanding that California Gov. Jerry Brown sign into law legislation that will re-energize one of the state’s major cash industries.

Among many others, the petition’s supporters include Warner Bros, FilmLA, the city and county of Los Angeles, and the national labor union representing working actors, SAG-AFTRA.

Although Hollywood is still recognized as the mecca for actors and directors, some worry that this legacy may soon become a distant memory.

“It is hard to call yourself the capital when you are making less than half of the product,” the president of FilmLa inc. Paul Audley noted about California’s waning industry in an interview with Film Works.

“We do not have much time left to bring this industry back and keep it here before the infrastructure, the crews, the vendors, and the studio systems have moved out of the state and then we have nothing left for this industry to call home,” he added.

Good-Bye Hollywood
AMC's "The Walking Dead" is filmed and creates jobs
in the low tax state of Georgia.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Occidental Petroleum moves HQ to Texas - More Jobs Leave California

Oil wells in Huntington Beach, 1935

Putting Jobs in a Museum
  • Thank you Jerry Brown, on your watch Occidental Petroleum is moving their California headquarters, and all those jobs, to business friendly Texas.
  • Occidental joins Fluor Corp, an engineering company now based outside Dallas.  Fluor had called California's Orange County home until 2006. Calpine Corp, now a Houston-based power company, abandoned San Jose three years later.

(Reuters News)  -  Occidental Petroleum Corp said it would spin off its oil and gas assets in California into a separately traded company and move its headquarters from Los Angeles to Houston, where it will be closer to its largest U.S. operations.

Wall Street analysts have estimated the underperforming California unit, which Occidental had talked about splitting from for months, could be worth $19 billion to $22 billion.
Good-Bye California. Hello Texas.

Occidental said the California unit generated a pretax profit of about $1.5 billion in 2013.

The California unit, the largest natural gas producer in the state, has long been seen as a drag on the company because of its limited oil production.  The California fields produced an average 261 million cubic feet of gas and 88,000 barrels of oil per day in 2013.

Occidental is increasingly focusing on production from fields in the Permian Basis in Texas and New Mexico, far from Los Angeles where the company was founded nearly a century ago.

California vs Texas

The formal migration of Occidental to Texas, a move Reuters flagged as likely late last year, follows several other departures from California to the Lone Star state by big companies in the energy industry.

Texas Governor Rick Perry welcomed the shift, saying it was only fitting that the state's biggest oil producer should be based in "the energy capital of the world."

Perry, a Republican, has run television ads in states that are traditional Democratic strongholds to lure companies to Texas, pitching it as a low-tax, low-regulation environment for "creative renegades."

Fluor Corp, an engineering company now based outside Dallas, had called California's Orange County home until 2006. Calpine Corp, now a Houston-based power company, abandoned San Jose three years later.

After Occidental's move, Chevron Corp. will be the only big oil company with headquarters in California.

GOP Governor Rick Perry Welcomes Occidental
Petroleum and Their Jobs to Texas.


The Olden Days
  • Photos from back in the olden times.  Way back then California drilled for oil and created high paying jobs in the energy industry.
  • Today the only "growth" industry is in food stamps and welfare.

Oil derrick in the middle of a Beverly Hills Road, 1940

Playa del Rey beach

Southern California's first actively-exploited oil field near the
present-day neighborhood of Echo Park. Photo c. 1895-1901

Huntington Beach

See more at Beach oil wells Southern California

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Transgender male high schooler on girls' softball team

Pat Cordova-Goff  -  File/Watchara Phomicinda/Staff Photographer

A World Gone Mad!  
  • A new Democrat passed law forces schools to put transgender "males" on sports teams with young girls. 
  • Dictatorial Democrats demand that you bow down, kiss their fee, and give your children over to the all-powerful-state for re-education to cure them of any Thought Crimes and indoctrinate them in proper thinking..
  • "It is categorically unfair to biological girls to have to compete with a sexually-confused young man with stronger upper body strength."  -  Randy Thomasson, SaveCalifornia.com

The People's Republic of California  -  A California high school student who believes he is a girl trapped in a boy's body just made the girls' softball team.

Pat Cordova-Goff, 17, a strapping senior at Azusa High School, in Azusa, an hour east of Los Angeles, can play with and against girls because of a September change in state law went into effect last month. The law requires that, “a pupil be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”

Goff, who is a cheerleader at the school, played freshman baseball when he considered himself a boy. He found out Friday that he made the cut.

“We feel really confident about her ability,” Azusa Unified Superintendent Linda Kaminski told local newspaper San Gabriel Valley Tribune.  “No.  1 as a district, we want to ensure access to everyone, but we’re also committed to placing students on the team on their merits ...Based on her skills, Pat did make the team.”

The law was signed by Comrade Gov. Jerry Brown amid a gender debate that also included disagreement over which bathrooms students could use. Supporters have said that the law will help cut down on bullying against transgender students.

Officials for Azusa High School said parents of students and others have been supportive of Cordova-Goff trying out for the team.

“Parents had questions and we answered them as best we could,” Azusa High School principal Ramiro Rubalcaba told FoxNews.com. “My experience is that the parents have been pleased.

“Some students and players may feel uncomfortable but that only because this is something new to them but I believe they are all going to be accepting,” he added. “And I think the team is going to bring home a championship. That’s my prediction.”

Some feel that having Cordova-Goff play with young female athletes puts out an unfair advantage and sets a bad precedent.

“It’s intolerable of this young man to not accept an equal standing of girls playing girls,” Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, told FoxNews.com. “It is categorically unfair to biological girls to have to compete with a sexually-confused young man with stronger upper body strength, who makes the game board decidedly 'unequal.'"

“This mixed-up, in-your-face cross-dressing agenda is pushing more parents out of California public schools, which now have ten sexual indoctrination laws leading children astray," he added.

The team roster was to be originally posted on Wednesday, but unnamed sources at the school told the Valley Tribune it was held up because Cordova-Goff was not going to make the team, and he only did so after meetings involving an attorney and school district officials. School officials denied this was the case.

(Fox News)

Friday, February 14, 2014

GOP Sweep of San Diego & San Bernandino Elections

Republicans win Mayor and City Attorney
in Bankrupt Democrat city. 

By Eric Dondero 
Libertarian Republican

National media ignores Republican sweep of municipal elections across California.
Back in November 2013, amid all the big Chris Christie, and McAuliff vs. Cuccinelli news, a number of Republican won small-to-medium sized city mayorships. The list included New Britain, CT, a couple towns in New York state, and amazingly Annapolis, Maryland. The liberal media completely ignored these elections. You had to go to Patch.com, or the tiniest of local papers to get any news on these elections. 

On Tuesday, the lib media just could not ignore the election of a Republican mayor of San Diego. And to their credit, they did report on Faulconer's big win over Alvarez, and mostly fairly. But there were no blaring headlins, "Republicans regain Democrat-trending San Diego." 

And did you hear anything about REPUBLICAN Carey Davis being elected as Mayor in San Bernardino? Or for that matter, his reformer sort-of running mate Gary Saenz?

Hey, hey, hey... is that a Hispanic guy who just got elected San Bernardino City Attorney??  Bh... bh... bh... but everyone knows Hispanics in California hate Republicans.

From Reuters, "Voters in bankrupt San Bernardino sweep old guard from power":

Residents of bankrupt San Bernardino, California on Tuesday voted to complete a rout of the city's pro-union old guard, electing business-friendly pragmatists who have pledged to try to reduce pension costs and take on vested interests. As San Bernardino enters into a fourth month of mediation with its creditors, the biggest of which is Calpers, California's giant retirement system, voters on Tuesday elected Carey Davis as the crisis-hit city's new mayor. 
Davis, a businessman and political novice, ran in part on a campaign to reduce the city's pension obligations. In an interview in November, when he became one of two mayoral candidates, he said the city had to cut spending on police and fire departments, currently more than 70 percent of the budget. 
"You have to roll the pensions back," Davis said in November. Davis did not return calls on Wednesday. Davis will play a big role in how the city approaches negotiations with its creditors. He will be part of a small team of elected officials who represent the city as the debtor in the bankruptcy.
21 paragraph article by Reuters, and not a single mention of the fact that Carey is a Republican. Even the local paper, The Sun, makes no mention of Carey's Republican affiliation. You have to dig deep down into the comments sections to learn:

Both Gary Saenz, and Carey Davis are Republicans...
Now, try to imagine for a second what national news headlines would be a day or two after local elections in California, where a Democrat won a Republican-held mayorship in the Nation's 8th largest city - San Diego - and nearby in a medium-sized municipality, a Democrat won a mayorship AND a city attorney's race, beating two Republican candidates. 

How about NY Times, Washington Post, CNN or The Hill:

"Shocking results from California, Democrats sweep city elections, crushing incumbent Republicans"

San Diego Goes Republican
  • A winning message of social tolerance combined with being anti-tax, anti-regulation and strongly pro-business.

An anti-tax Republican city councilman has been elected mayor of San Diego in a special election to fill the unexpired term of Bob Filner, who resigned amid a torrent of sexual harassment allegations.
San Diego becomes the nation's largest city with a Republican mayor, and Kevin Faulconer will be the only Republican to lead a major city in California, where Democrats hold all statewide offices. Filner was San Diego's first Democratic leader in 20 years.

With all precincts reporting, the two-term councilman and former public relations executive led Democratic Councilman David Alvarez by 54.5 percent to 45.5 percent reports ABC News.
Faulconer, who was backed by Filner's two-term Republican predecessor, Jerry Sanders, highlighted his opposition to a 2010 ballot measure to raise the sales tax, which lost resoundingly, and his support for a 2012 measure to cut pensions for city workers, which passed overwhelmingly. Alvarez backed the losing sides.

Faulconer's win comes as the nation's eighth-largest city turns more Democratic.  Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney by 25 percentage points among city voters, and Democrats enjoy a 13-point advantage over Republicans among registered city voters.
Faulconer easily topped a field of 11 candidates in the first round by dominating in newer, wealthier neighborhoods north of Interstate 8. Alvarez secured a spot in Tuesday's runoff by cleaning up south of the freeway in more densely populated, predominantly Latino areas.

“Faulconer won the race not because he was moderate, but because he carried himself as the adult in the race,” said Jon Fleischman, publisher of the GOP-oriented Flashreport. “He’s certainly a moderate on social issues. But he’s anti-tax, anti-regulation. He’s strongly pro-business. …”

(San Diego Union Tribune)

San Diego voted for Obama in a landslide but
now has elected a Republican Mayor.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

South Dakota governor wooing California dairymen

A One Way Street
  • The GOP Governor of South Dakota is only the latest Governor visiting California businesses to steal away jobs to their states.
  • Funny, you never see Democrat Jerry Brown visiting neighboring states to bring jobs here.  I mean really, what would he say?  Come to California where we will tax and regulated the crap out of you.

An out-of-state governor was in the Central Valley on Wednesday on a recruiting mission. South Dakota's governor is trying to get California dairymen to set up shop in his state.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R-South Dakota) says local dairymen have plenty of room to grow in his state, and there's less regulations than in California.

Daugaard is flying into the Central Valley -- the country's dairy capitol. For the third year in a row, Daugaard has his sites set on recruitment.

"South Dakota offers some very good advantages for dairying. Our land is low priced, we have lots of forage," said Daugaard.

GOP Governor Dennis Daugaard

Daugaard will spend his time in Tulare at the World Ag Expo, talking to California dairymen.
"We've already identified over 400 different sites in several counties that could be considered for location of a dairy," said Daugaard.

The governor says he's already convinced a few dairy owners to make the move. But lifelong dairyman -- and owner of Maddox Dairy -- Stephen Maddox says while the opportunity may be great in a state with less regulation, there's one reason it'll be difficult to persuade the move.
"Anybody that moved back there in the last year or so is going through a little bit of a shock right now. That's one of the things you're going to have to give up if you move out of state, the weather is not so nice as California," said Maddox.

Gov. Daugaard's office claims it's not trying to steal our business owners, unlike Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who launched an ad campaign last year slamming California's business climate.
"We're here looking for dairymen who would be considering starting a new herd in South Dakota, maybe diversifying their operation. It doesn't mean they have to leave California," said Daugaard.
But his efforts to double South Dakota's dairy herd could work, especially since California is in such a dire drought.
Maddox says the governor's effort could also change the dairy perspective from local government.
"Well, sometimes you gotta be far away from home to be appreciated," said Maddox.

Gov. Daugaard will be in Tulare on Wednesday for the final day of the World Ag Expo -- hoping to convince a few more dairymen to begin work in the Mount Rushmore state.

Doesn't Food Come From Markets?
A clueless California public and most of the hack politicians they elect could care less about farm businesses and the thousands of jobs they create.  Farms are just something to be paved over to put up another strip mall.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Obamacare California is running out of money

You mean it's not free?
  • California Democrats have been sucking furiously on the Federal teat to keep Obamacare going, but now that flow of "free" Federal cash is going away leaving California taxpayers to pick up the tab.

Covered California (Obamacare) is setting aside nearly $200 million to fight off projected budget shortfalls as it prepares for what it says is a challenging financial future without hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid.

Officials brimmed with confidence after the agency tallied 625,000 individual or family health care enrollments through mid-January, the most of any state. They also say its survival is not assured, in part because of the uncertainty around sign-ups that are key to the exchange's success reports the San Francisco Examiner.

The greatest vulnerabilities include the "long-term sustainability of the organization" after federal grants that have been its sole source of support, more than $1 billion so far, dries up this year, the agency's executive director, Peter Lee, wrote in December to the California Department of Finance.

Lee outlined a list of potential risks that, along with the pace of enrollments, included safeguarding personal data, staff training and turnover, and protecting the agency from fraud and waste. To be self-sustaining, he said, the agency will make changes "to reflect ... revenue realities."

In its short life, Covered California has grown to oversee a $400 million budget, more than 860 employees and offices throughout the state. The agency is in the process of hiring 350 additional call-center employees, mostly in Fresno.

Need a Doctor? - You are Screwed!
Covered California pulls troubled online physician directory

The state's health exchange, Covered California, has taken down its error-plagued online physician directory until further notice.

The announcement was made after consumers complained that the directory contained misinformation about whether their doctors were participating in their new policies. Exchange officials said they would remove the physician directory from its website.

"We were trying to help consumers in selecting their plans, and we needed all (health insurers) to give reliable and accurate information," said Anne Gonzales, a spokeswoman for Covered California reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The complaints began shortly after the policies became effective Jan. 1. Enrollees said that they checked the Covered California website to make sure their doctor would be part of their new plan's network, but later found out the information was wrong.

This is not the first time the new state agency has had to take the physician directory offline. The exchange pulled the doctor list from the site in mid-October to fix technical problems, but republished it before the end of that month, Gonzales said.

Gonzales noted that Thursday's decision affects only the combined physician directory, or the online tool that allowed consumers to see which physicians were in which networks to help them make their decisions. She said people can still find the physician information by clicking on individual plans. She did not know when the physician directory would be available again.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Huntington acquires 4,600 rare, old photographs of Southern California

E.G. Morrison (ca. 1827–1888), Roller Coaster at the Arcadia Hotel, Santa Monica, late 1880s.
Albumen print, Ernest Marquez Collection. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

A California Long Gone
  • The Huntington Library has preserved so much history of an early California that no longer exists.
  • Not everything is "progress".  The once Golden State of California has gone from lightly populated small towns and rolling green hills to a "modern" society that is basically one massive asphalt jungle of wall-to-wall people, smog and traffic jams.

(Los Angeles Daily News)  -  Modern technology’s sepia filtered snapshots cannot compare to the treasure trove of original photographs The Huntington recently purchased from a man whose forefathers arrived in California with Father Junipero Serra.

Ernest Marquez, 89, said his 4,600-photo collection began as a hobby more than 50 years ago when he became interested in learning about his ancestral history.

“During the process of going to antique stores and sales and all that, I kept running into old photographs of Santa Monica and Los Angeles, and I kept picking them up,” said Marquez, from West Hills. “At that time, I could get them for $1 or $1.50. I started collecting original photographs of all the beach towns in Southern California.”

The Ernest Marquez Collection is the most expensive photograph purchase The Huntington had made since the time of Henry Huntington, who died in 1927, said Jennifer Watts, curator of photographs.
Its prints — from the 1870s to the 1950s — lay out Santa Monica’s transformation from a small, rustic village to a symbol of “The Golden State.”

North Santa Monica Beach, ca. 1880s. Albumen print, Ernest Marquez Collection.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

North Santa Monica Beach, ca. 1880s. Albumen print, Ernest Marquez Collection.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Although the newly purchased photos primarily focus on the landscape, topography and buildings of Santa Monica and Los Angeles, the Ernest Marquez Collection also speaks to the history and development of Southern California from Santa Barbara all the way to San Diego, Watts said.

It fills a gap in The Huntington’s photographic holdings and includes elusive images by some of the region’s earliest photographers: William Godfrey, Francis Parker, Hayward & Muzzall and Carleton Watkins.

Marquez recalled a memorable photograph taken by Watkins, a highly acclaimed early western photographer.

“It was taken of the city where there’s only one building standing on the cliff,” Marquez said. “Santa Monica in 1875 was just starting. There was nothing there.”

Watts said she hasn’t had a chance to look at all the of images but some of her favorites have to do with the beginnings of California, the Southern Pacific Railroad, and the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad. She enjoyed seeing the beginning of the tourist trade, where people sunbathed in front of shacks, she said.

Watts declined to talk about the price tag of the Ernest Marquez Collection but said it would take more than a year to pay off even though its Library Collectors’ Council also helped fund the buy.

Marquez said some of the photos that he purchased for $1 or $2 are probably worth about $300 today.
The photos adds to the Huntington’s strengths as a collections-based research and educational institution, David Zeidberg, Avery Director of the Library at The Huntington, said in a press release.
Marquez said he will be sad to part with his photos next week but knows The Huntington is a good new home for a life-long hobby he kept from his wife for years.

“I’m extremely happy that it’s going to a place where it’ll be preserved and protected and where it will be useful for scholars and people interested in California history,” he said. “It’s a safe place for them that I can’t provide anymore because I’m getting to the age where I can’t take care of them like I should.”

The Huntington still needs to catalog the large collection, but Watts said she expects some prints will be available in its digital library by summertime. For now, people could see a huge chunk of the photos in Marquez’s book: “Santa Monica Beach: A Collector’s Pictorial History.”

Southern Pacific Railroad entering Santa Monica, 1878.

Carleton Watkins (1829–1916), Beach and Bathing House at Santa Monica, ca. 1877. Albumen print,   Ernest Marquez Collection. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Carleton Watkins (1829–1916), Santa Monica Hotel, ca. 1877. Albumen stereograph, Ernest Marquez Collection. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.