Board elections begin for some of co-op’s districts

Two candidates are vying for a spot on Valley Electric Association’s board of director seat in Amargosa Valley.

Incumbent Dave Hall, running for his second term on Valley’s board of directors to keep hold of his District 2 seat, is being challenged by Gerald Nalepa, who has been in Nevada for over 10 years.

Voting for directors in District 2 began on Wednesday when members were to start receiving their ballots in the mail, according to a spokesman for Valley.

The last votes are to be tallied at the District 2 annual district meeting in Amargosa Valley. According to information on Valley’s website, that meeting will occur from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 19 at the Amargosa Community Center at 821 E. Amargosa Farm Road.

Valley Electric Association/Special to the Pahrump Valley Times Kathleen Keyes, candidate for Valley Electric Association’s District 4 (Fish Lake Valley) seat is running unopposed. Incumbent John Maurer is not seeking re-election.

A seat is also open on Valley’s District 4 (Fish Lake Valley).

Only one candidate is running (unopposed) for the District 4 seat for Valley’s board of directors: Kathleen Keyes. Incumbent John Maurer is not seeking re-election to Valley’s board.

The annual district meeting for Valley’s District 4 is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 21 at the Fish Lake Valley Community Center.

Valley’s annual meeting is set for April 27 at Pahrump Valley High School. According to Valley’s website, the meeting is set to run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dave Hall

Valley Electric Association/Special to the Pahrump Valley Times Dave Hall, District 2 (Amargosa Valley) board of directors for Valley Electric Association, is looking to keep his seat as he has one opponent for the 2019 race. Hall currently serves as secretary on Valley’s board of directors.

Hall is seeking a second term on Valley’s board of directors. He currently serves as the board’s secretary.

According to a summary of Hall’s background and qualifications released by Valley, he “has helped craft VEA’s plans for the future.”

The release continued stating, “He also emphasizes the importance of member education so everyone in the co-op understands where VEA is going and why. From his position on the board of directors, Dave is helping VEA grow, because by growing, VEA will be able to generate the revenues necessary to keep costs down and provide new and better services for members.”

Hall has been a resident of Amargosa Valley for 25 years and is currently serving as chairman for the Nye County Water District Governing Board. He is also a board member for Amargosa Seniors Inc.

Hall worked 27 years for the General Electric lighting division, where he served in a number of management roles as well as in human resources and engineering, according to the release.

“Hall also was involved in his community in northeast Ohio as a volunteer firefighter for 12 years and chief for the last five,” the release stated. “He was the farm manager for Ponderosa Dairy until his retirement in 2014. With his work on the Amargosa Planning Board and farming, he has had experience in the VEA service area, including distribution, service installations and efficiency programs for irrigation.”

Gerald Nalepa

Valley Electric Association/Special to the Pahrump Valley Times Gerald Nalepa is a candidate for Valley Electric Association’s District 2 board of director’s seat. Voting began on Wednesday and will come to completion at District 2’s annual district meeting on March 19.

Nalepa is a retired Marine Corps Reserve colonel, according to a summary of Nalepa’s background and qualifications released by Valley. Nalepa spent 16 years in active duty and 14 years in the reserve.

“I was raised and mostly worked on the East Coast, but began to visit Southern Nevada when my grandparents retired in Las Vegas (1978),” the release stated. “After a year-long tour in Iraq, I drove cross-country in 2007 and stumbled across a piece of property for sale in Crystal and purchased it, as well as several lots in Pahrump, establishing myself in Nevada.”

Nalepa holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in history and a master of business administration from the University of Chicago, according to the release. Nalepa also holds a master’s in public administration from Harvard University.

Nalepa was an infantry officer and held numerous command and staff roles while serving in the Marine Corps. During his time in the reserves, he worked in the “corporate world as a marketing manager and government affairs representative,” according to the release from Valley.

“I am fully retired and have time to fully serve on the board. I do travel often, and have family obligations (my mother is 90, living in Utah), but if elected, I will do my best to not let these interfere with my board duties,” the release stated.

Source: Board elections begin for some of co-op’s districts

Opening brief filed on Pahrump water order appeal

Special to the Pahrump Valley Times Acting Nevada State Engineer Tim Wilson took over the office after former state engineer Jason King resigned early this year.

The Nevada State Engineer’s Office has filed its opening brief in its appeal over water Order #1293A, which was overturned by a district court judge late last year.

In its brief, the engineer’s office, now under the leadership of Acting State Engineer Tim Wilson, argues that the findings of the district court judge were made in error and pleads with the Nevada Supreme Court to reverse the district court’s ruling. Wilson took over for former state engineer Jason King in January.

Water Order #1293 was issued in Dec. 2017 and was followed six months later by amended Order #1293A. The order restricts the drilling of new domestic wells in Pahrump unless two acre-feet of water rights have been relinquished in support of the well.

A group of local real estate agents, property owners and well drilling companies quickly formed Pahrump Fair Water LLC to fight the order, filing a lawsuit in which the group prevailed in December 2018.

Now the battle has moved to the Nevada Supreme Court and while the appeal moves through the legal process, the supreme court has issued a stay on the district court’s ruling. This means that Order #1293A is currently in effect and will remain in effect until the court makes its ultimate decision on the appeal.

“This appeal arises from the district court’s Dec. 6, 2018 order granting Pahrump Fair Water’s petition for judicial review, whereby the district court found that the state engineer exceeded his statutory authority in issuing amended Order #1293A, the state engineer should have provided notice to property owners prior to issuing amended Order #1293A, substantial evidence does not support amended Order #1293A and that Pahrump Fair Water, LLC had the requisite standing to challenge amended Order #1293A,” the state engineer’s opening brief details.

Throughout the 66-page document, the engineer’s office attempts to refute each of these findings of the district court, stating that it believes the engineer had full authority to issue the water order under existing Nevada law.

Citing a declining water table and an over-appropriated basin with the potential for nearly 100,000 acre feet of water use annually, the office claims that without the order in place, significant damage to local water resources could occur.

Further, the engineer’s office declared that if the Nevada Supreme Court does not reverse the district court’s ruling, then the engineer’s office will be placed in the precarious position of not knowing what control it can exert over domestic wells.

“Without amended Order #1293A the state engineer’s only option for addressing groundwater problems in Pahrump will be to regulate, or curtail, by priority, whereby any new domestic wells would be the first water use restricted,” the brief reads. “However, the district court’s findings even call into questions that legal directive and authority of the state engineer. If this court does not reverse the district court’s findings, the statutory authority of the state engineer to regulate domestic wells by priority is uncertain.”

In conclusion, the brief states, “Prior to issuance of amended Order #1293A, domestic wells represented the last unaccounted groundwater use in the Pahrump Basin, and yet water levels continued to drop, threatening thousands of existing wells. Amended Order #1293A is necessary to protect the existing water users in the Pahrump Basin and is a necessary component to the overall long-term management of the groundwater basin.

“Absent authority to intervene and manage the water resources, the state engineer may be required to curtail by priority, resulting in all new domestic wells being the junior most rights and the first to be curtailed,” the conclusion continued. “Allowing unrestri

Robin Hebrock/Pahrump Valley Times Pictured are pages from the Nevada State Engineer’s opening brief for its appeal in the case of water Order #1293A.

cted proliferation of new domestic wells in this context represents poor management of the groundwater resource and would have dire consequences.” 

Pahrump Fair Water now has until March 21 to file its answering brief.

Documents related to the appeal, including the opening brief, can be found on the Nevada Supreme Court’s website under case number 77722.

Source: Opening brief filed on Pahrump water order appeal

Newspaper column: Democrats display disrespectful distraction

 

Nevada Democrats have taken identity politics to a whole new level. They have not just lowered the bar, they have buried it.

Recently they held a press conference to announce the state party’s mascot for the 2018 election season – Mitch McTurtle. Apparently without a hint of embarrassment state Democratic Party Chairman William McCurdy unveiled the mascot. It was someone dressed in a turtle costume and holding a faux bag of cash, displaying a name tag reading “Mitch” and standing in front of a sign saying “shelling out millions for Dean Heller since 2011.”

The mascot looked like a parody of a Mutant Ninja Turtle, moviedom’s parody of super heroes, making it a parody of a parody. Is a parody of a parody a double negative and thus a positive?

The character apparently is meant to ridicule Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, not because he moves legislation through the muck and mire of the swamp on the Potomac at the pace of a turtle, but because of his appearance, of all things.

It seems some editorial cartoonists think the older white man McConnell’s thick neck and pointy head protruding from the shell of a suit and tie resemble a turtle. Imagine the hue and cry and pitch forks and torches that would be brought out if some Republican ridiculed someone, anyone because of their appearance, skin pigmentation, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.

We presume the costumed character is the 2018 version of the person in the chicken suit who hung around Republican events in 2010 to ridicule Republican senate candidate Sue Lowden for her nostalgic comment about the old days in rural Nevada when doctors did house calls and were paid in chickens instead of government welfare subsidies.

Some Democrats, without a hint of shame, discomfort or awkwardness, even posed with the green-bedecked character for photos that were posted online.

In this election year there are so many real issues that need to be addressed. All the representative seats are on the ballot. Two will be open seats, as Congressional District 4 Rep. Democrat Ruben Kihuen, under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations, will not be seeking re-election, and Congressional District 3 Democrat Rep. Jacky Rosen has announced she will oppose Republican Sen. Dean Heller, the designated target of the turtle mascot.

But first Heller must face Republican Danny Tarkanian in a primary, presumably sans turtle mascot in tow.

There is also a wide open race for governor since Gov. Brian Sandoval is term limited.

On the Republican side Attorney General Adam Laxalt is leading Treasurer Dan Schwartz in the polls.

On the Democrat side the current front runners appear to be Clark County Commissioners Chris Giunchigliani and Steve Sisolak.

The real issues nationally include the current hot buttons of immigration, border security, the budget, deficit and debt reduction, entitlement reform, earmarks, restoration of military might, trade agreements and tariffs, energy independence, health care and health insurance and so much more.

At the state level the issues will include taxation, Yucca Mountain, minimum wage, prevailing wages, voter ID, mental health, Medicaid eligibility, aid for veterans, tax abatements and more.

We wonder how many people have any clue as to just who Mitch McConnell is or that he took over the mantle of majority leader from Sen. Harry Reid.

This ignoble mascot endeavor by Nevada Democrats to ridicule a person’s physical appearance deserves a hearty horse laugh and a heaping ration of mockery, scorn, scoffing, taunts, jeers, lampooning and jibes. Let them begin and continue apace.

A version of this column appeared this week in many of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel and the Lincoln County Record — and the Elko Daily Free Press.

via Newspaper column: Democrats display disrespectful distraction — 4TH ST8

The case for a Republican governor in 2018 – California

(Photo above)Inspectors check the progress of the demolition of the storm-damaged Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge in Big Sur in March. The crumbling bridge along the California coast stranded residents in the area. California was unprepared for the drought, then, with the rainiest year on record, the inundation of water brought about failed roads, buckled bridges and a crater in the Lake Oroville spillway. Vern Fisher Monterey Herald
BY JIM BRULTE –  Special to The Bee  – APRIL 14, 2017 8:00 AM

One-party rule has ruined California.

California was once held up as the gold standard of progress and achievement. Previous generations built a great highway system connecting the coast to the Valley and the mountains beyond. Previous generations designed and built the State Water Project. This water infrastructure made cities in the desert flourish. Previous generations built a public education system that was the envy of the world.

When the political tide turned almost two decades ago and Democrats began their upward swing to the legislative supermajority they now enjoy, they were handed a California in great shape. The middle class was growing, student test scores were rising, and the welfare rate and crime rate were declining. But with each new election victory the Democrats claimed at the polls came a little less accountability and a little less transparency. California’s Capitol became an echo chamber filled with liberal elites who lost touch with the people and the many vital needs of our state.

Transportation funds got diverted away from roads, and water infrastructure was ignored regardless of our state’s growth. Felons were released from prisons, and we are now seeing the effects with a higher crime rate. Our educational system has become more focused on political correctness than student academic achievement.

We have 2.5 million children living in poverty while the Democrats have managed to take a balanced state budget and turn it into a deficit, even as they continue to raise taxes on all Californians. And this deficit exists in spite of the fact that we have taken most of the unfunded public pension and health care liability off budget!

The last two years have fully exposed the Democratic Party’s failures across California. Mother Nature ended a five-year drought, which California was completely unprepared for, with the rainiest year on record. This inundation of water brought about failed roads, buckled bridges and a crater in the Lake Oroville spillway. In addition to the failures in our transportation and water infrastructure, California state testing showed that not even half of our kids are ready for college.

The Democrats’ answer to these problems isn’t to assess and make changes; it’s to pickpocket the people of California for an even larger share of their paycheck. Rather than bringing much-needed reform to the state’s systematic problems, Democrats are just throwing money at the problems guaranteeing us much of the same. We need reform, we need changes, and we need accountability – none of which we are going to get with more of the same.

The Democrats broke it; they own it. Now is the time to shake up California’s downward decline, and the best way to do that is to elect a Republican governor in 2018.

Jim Brulte is the California Republican Party chairman. He can be contacted at senatorjimbrulte@cagop.org

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/soapbox/article144271104.html#storylink=cpy

Antioch Unified School District tables Burkholder Media proposal

The Antioch Unified School District Board has shelved a proposal by Superintendent Stephanie Anello, for Mike Burkholder, founder and publisher of the news website Eastcountytoday.net, to create a media platform, highlighting positive stories from the district. 

The idea, brought forth by Burkholder, an Oakley resident, called for the creation of a district news website and assistance with public outreach, as well as help with creating press releases and photography and implementing of a social-media strategy for $53,900 a year.

The board tabled the proposal last week after three of the district’s five board members expressed various concerns, and it became clear that the agreement wasn’t going to be approved. 

Anello said late last week she was unsure how she would proceed with the matter and didn’t know if another proposal would be brought forth in the future. 

The concerns of board members Walter Ruehlig, Debra Vinson and Crystal Sawyer-White centered on Burkholder’s conflict of interest as a local website publisher and former school-board candidate, lack of other bids for the work and the use of funds, which board members argued should be used for other purposes.

“I think a lot of us were stunned – I thought I had dirt in my eyes,” said Ruehlig, the board’s president. “Basically, my position is that the issue would have been problematic enough as is with all our other pressing district needs.”

Vinson declined to discuss the matter, because it is still ongoing, but said during the meeting that she had received phone calls expressing unease about the proposal.

“There is just a lot of concern,” she said. “A lot of people feel there is a conflict of interest.”

The three public speakers at the meeting all spoke against the proposal, touching on the perceived conflict of interest, Burkholder’s alleged verbal attack of one of his website’s readers and the desire to see the proposal’s funds go elsewhere.

Subsequent comments on social media reiterated public concerns.

“Glad to see Burkholder didn’t get the gig,” said Dave Roberts. “It was a crazy idea to spend so much money on such a negative person to put a positive face on a troubled district. Vinson is exactly right – it would do much more for the district’s image to spend that $53,900 to improve academic outcomes, rather than waste it on a flawed spin doctor.”

Anello said that the proposal had nothing to do with Burkholder’s website, Eastcountytoday.net, and that she didn’t seek other bids because the proposal was Burkholder’s own intellectual property, thus proprietary. She thought the proposal financially advantageous for the district, considering public-information officers in other districts usually cost about $125,000 a year when factoring in salary, benefits and a retirement package. 

“There are so many amazing students, employees and families in our district, doing fantastic things,” Anello said. “An AUSD media platform and an individual dedicated to highlighting their achievements would be a great benefit to the district and to the public at large.”

Burkholder said he was unsure if the district’s board or members of the public fully understood the proposal.

“If the proposal was better explained and they understood the benefits of all the components working together, I am confident it will move forward,” he said. “Following the decision, I’ve received a great deal of support from the community who could not understand why the board took no action. The comments were that they would like to see this type of service implemented by the school district and possibly by others, such as the City of Antioch.” 

According to the proposal, Burkholder would create a district website – using the EastCountytoday.net model – that would become ‘the single source for AUSD news and information.’ He would also work with the superintendent to identify positive stories or information that could be shared with the community, pitched to local media and shared on the district’s website and blog.

Burkholder said that undertaking such work wouldn’t be a conflict of interest.

“I do not see that there is a conflict of interest, because the content would be created by their stories, their photos and their comments,” he said. “They are not buying news, as some claim. They are creating their own and distributing information through platforms and processes created by Burkholder Media.”

Board member Diane Gibson-Gray, who believes the measure would have been approved if it had come from a different vendor or media outlet, said the district could benefit from increasing its online presence.

“I’ve often said that ‘absent information, people will make up their own,’ and this holds true for both positive and negative situations,” she said. “Building an AUSD community website, supported by social-media bundling, and building an audience will provide the opportunity to showcase positive stories, students, employees and more.”

view the complete proposal:

Burkholder Media Group Agreement

source

Project Veritas Releases Over 100 Hours of Audio From Inside CNN

James O’Keefe Offers $10,000 Award for Content Which Exposes Media Malfeasance

Anonymous Source Within CNN Provided Audio to Project Veritas

More Audio Yet to be Released in a WikiLeaks Style Dump 

Project Veritas released 119 hours of raw audio in a WikiLeaks style dump, with over 100 more hours still yet to be released. The audio was secretly recorded in 2009 by an anonymous source inside CNN’s Atlanta headquarters who we are identifying as Miss X. The tapes contain soundbites from current and previous CNN employees Joe SterlingArthur Brice, and Nicky Robertson, as well as numerous others. Project Veritas is also offering a $10,000 award for content that exposes media malfeasance. The tapes show CNN’s misrepresentation of polling data:

Miss X: “I read a CNN poll that was taken on June 26 and 28th, and I know that the hearing for the case, the fire fighters case was on the 29th, so the poll was done right before it, and those are still the poll results we’re reporting, so I asked someone in DC who does the poll results about why we hadn’t updated it, and said there were a few newer polls from last week and the week before and there’s CBS news polls and a Rasmussen poll, and he said we don’t use Rasmussen, and I said does CNN plan to do another poll if we’re only using that. He said we’re not going to be doing another poll, those are the results we’ll be using. So I don’t see how that’s reporting all sides because that poll said hold for release until Friday the 10th.”

Arthur Brice: “Who did you talk with?”

Miss X: “Paul [CNN’s Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser].”

Arthur Brice: “Yeah, he’s your director. Yeah, he’s pretty high up in the food chain. I agree. I think it’s dishonest to use outdated information if new information shows something that is in variance with what you’re reporting. It’s just, it’s dishonest.”

The same apathy towards reporting accurate poll numbers was seen in the way CNN released inaccurate poll numbers about Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor.

Miss X: “This wasn’t released until two weeks after. So can we say a newly released poll?”

Joe Sterling: “No, you can’t say that. You can’t say that at all. This isn’t a newly released.”

Miss X: “But it says newly released on Friday.”

Joe Sterling: “I know, how did we write about this? Did we write a wire about this? “I don’t think we stand to change how people think of her [Sotomayor]. Geez, I mean if someone picked this up it’s not going to change – it’s not going to change anybody’s opinion.”

Richard Griffiths, who is now CNN’s Vice President and Senior Editorial Director, was caught explaining that the role of a journalist is to “aid the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

“If we are journalists, what is our role as a journalist? What is the fundamental role as a journalist, for us to do? “Tell a story. Tell what’s going on. There’s a secondary corollary to that, right? Aid the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. To a degree, right? Is that not part of the traditional role of a journalist. It’s actually one of the things I can be most proud of as a journalist. You know we try to show the ugly side of humanity so we can do something about it. It’s hard, very hard.”

In the secretly recorded tapes, CNN’s liberal, anti-Republican, and anti-Fox News bias is clear. “Fox News, I think Fox News is unbearable. It’s horrible,” said Nicky Robertson, who was at that time the CNN Assignment Desk Editor. Joe Sterling, who was then the News desk editor for CNN’s online venue ‘The Wire’ was also recorded speaking profound liberal bias.

“That issue, climate change, I mean science is pretty much on board and there are a few dissenters. There’s no debate. It’s like you know, born-agains saying there’s a debate over, you know creationism, and all that stuff. There is no debate.”

“Project Veritas is determined to expose malfeasance, corruption and wrongdoing,” said Project Veritas founder and president James O’Keefe. “We want to become a destination where citizen journalists can come forward, work with us and make a real impact. That’s why today, we’re announcing a $10,000 award for anyone that comes forward with legally obtained materials exposing media malfeasance. If you have hidden audio recordings, video tapes or documents inside of a news room or media institution, and the material is good enough, I will pay you $10,000.”

Sign up here for updates as this story unfolds:

 

Donnelly: Dear Mr. President-Elect, Please ‘Pick A Fight’ With California On Behalf Of The American People

Donnelly: Dear Mr. President-Elect, Please ‘Pick a Fight’ with California on Behalf of the American People

Even though most Americans view California as a lost cause—the “land of fruits and nuts”—and now, the epicenter of resistance to President-Elect Trump, it would be a mistake to ignore it.

 ASSEMBLYMAN TIM DONNELLY 7 Jan 2017

The whiny, crybaby brigade of Democrats in leadership, who wield unchecked power over the most populous, and in many ways, the most significant state.

California Democrats doubled down this week—hiring former US Attorney General Eric Holder to go on offense against the policies of the incoming White House.

President-Elect Trump should engage California’s petulant leaders in much the same way—“pick a fight.”

Ignoring California in hopes that it will go away would be a disastrous mistake.  California is far too important to the national security of the United States to simply ignore it.

In spite of the government-created water crisis that has devastated the world’s “food basket,” (the San Joaquin Valley), California still supplies a majority of US agricultural products for export.  Grapes, citrus, almonds—yes, fruits and nuts–(no surprise here)—in addition to beef, poultry, dairy, tomatoes, all manner of vegetables, alfalfa, wine, cotton…to name a few.

Water wars between federal and state regulators, environmentalists, the Democrat governor, the Democrat-controlled state legislature, and farmers have gone on for decades with devastating results.  Much of the world’s most fertile farmland lies fallow, as groundwater, its lifeblood, is slowly siphoned off to keep farmers alive.

President-Elect Trump has already wisely tapped a few leaders from the crucial Central Valley region, which is not only known for its agriculture but is also home to vast quantities of domestic oil sitting atop the massive Monterey Shale. Both food and energy security are critical to the security of a nation.

So far the new president’s appointment to EPA, Scott Pruitt, bodes well for California.  A “climate-change skeptic,” Pruitt will loathe to ruining the economy in the name of “fake science,” and could be the best friend California farmers have had in decades.  Any relief from California’s crushing “climate change” regulations— affecting everything from regulating dust kicked up by tractors, to requiring dairy farmers to capture cow flatulence—could be a windfall for this persecuted industry.

And if the EPA took a balanced approach to the Endangered Species Act, weighing food production against the life of one tiny, insignificant, bait fish—the Delta Smelt—which has become the proxy for the environmentalist activists who populate the bureaucracies at both the federal and state level, water would once again flow to the San Joaquin Valley.

An old saying—“Whiskey’s for drinking, water’s for fighting.”—has been true for far too long.

But water’s not the only thing hanging in the balance.

Land use is a massive issue all over the West.

The Federal Government claims ownership of almost 50% of California’s land—a source of constant harassment for ranchers, loggers and anyone trying to operate a business in or around the land controlled by BLM, US Forest Services, and other federal agencies.  Picking a Representative from a western state like Ryan Zinke of Montana, as the nominee for Secretary of the Interior was another brilliant move.

But the biggest issue that Mr. Trump raised in his campaign by far—and the one that is front and center in the showdown with the California Democrat monopoly—is immigration.

What a President Trump does on immigration affects California’s 38 million people more than any other state.

California officials have declared California to be a “sanctuary” from any enforcement of federal immigration laws, and are defying the new president by refusing to cooperate with immigration officials in any way—preferring to dump criminal aliens on the streets so they can terrorize citizens rather than hand them over for deportation.

Since immigration is one of the specifically enumerated duties of the Federal Government, this is the fight you need to pick, Mr. President.

A few action items to consider:

  • Cut off all Federal funding to defiant sanctuary cities, counties, and the state at large—including California Care (California’s version of ObamaCare) where California intermingles state and matching federal funds in order to make taxpayer-paid benefits available to illegal aliens.
  • Stack the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals with Constitutionalists—and give the residents of this Marxist-Progressive occupied territory a chance to enjoy some of the basic freedoms and natural rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, starting with the restoration of the 2nd Amendment.
  • Instruct the Attorney General to sue California for promoting voter fraud with its faulty interpretation of the National Voting Rights Act. (California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, makes it clear on his website that Registrar of Voters are to “treat as normal” and “enter on the voter rolls” those who’ve failed to affirm they are US Citizens on the voter registration card.)
  • Instruct TSA to refuse to accept AB60 Drivers licenses (issued only to illegal aliens in California) as identification for boarding airplanes. (Yes, currently TSA accepts these drivers licenses from illegal aliens to board planes).
  • Hire an “Ambassador to California” to communicate your policy and penalties to the rogue state—and use the power of the media to publicly shame any who continue to defy federal law. (PS: I’m available)

The future for millions of Californians is in your hands, Mr. President.

Will you engage and fight this battle and win a victory for the American people or punt like every administration before you?

The world is watching.

Godspeed,

Tim Donnelly

Former California State Assemblyman

Author, Patriot Not Politician: Win or Go Homeless

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/tim.donnelly.12/

Twitter:  @PatriotNotPol

source

Bay Area Cities Prepare For 60 Days Without Hetch Hetchy Supply

In late December, the filtration tanks at a treatment plant in San Bruno were quietly filled with millions of gallons of raw water. 

At the same time, water was drained out of Mountain Tunnel, the century-old artery connecting the Bay Area to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, 175 miles away in Tuolumne County. From Tuesday through March 5, crews will traverse the 19-mile conduit making repairs and performing a rigorous inspection. Officials have known for years that the tunnel is at risk of catastrophic collapse. 

The shutdown will help them decide whether the tunnel can be saved or will need to be entirely replaced.

During those 60 days of inspections, San Francisco and other Bay Area cities will be cut off from their main water supply in the craggy heights in Yosemite National Park. Instead, water will come from four local water reservoirs and three treatment plants that will pump more than 150 million gallons a day to residents and businesses during the long closure. As water was filling the Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant in San Bruno, plants in Half Moon Bay and Sunol Valley were also being prepared for heavy-duty work. 

The pipeline normally closes for maintenance for 30 days each year, but the last time it closed for double that time was in 1980, also for a thorough inspection. 

“It’s more challenging than what we have normally done,” said Steven Ritchie, assistant general manager of water enterprise at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

For starters, two of the treatment plants needed to be made ready, he said. “We’ve done a lot of work upping Harry Tracy and the Sunol Water Treatment Plant’s efficiencies,” Ritchie said. “There will still be plenty of water available, and we have contingency plans in place for the worst-case scenario if a disaster happens.” 

 

One week before commission officials closed the tunnel, more water volume than usual was allowed to rush down a series of pipes from the Crystal Springs Reservoir to the San Andreas Reservoir and then into the Harry Tracy plant. Globs of sediment and algae skimmed across the surface of the rust-colored water as it flowed through a series of channels. The water would later be filtered and sanitized at the plant. 

The 17 million-gallon water storage drum at Harry Tracy usually empties and fills two times a day at most. But as a full-time water supply source for San Francisco and the Peninsula after the tunnel shutdown, it will be replenished eight times daily — and that’s with the lower seasonal demand for water.

“We’ve been planning this shutdown for a decade,” said Paul Gambon, the water supply and treatment system operations manager at the commission. “This year is the big year because it will determine what the future looks like. There are a lot of unknowns. We are currently in the exploratory phase.”

Warning signs began showing 25 years ago, alerting officials that something was amiss in the tunnel built by miners nearly 100 years ago. Obstructions caused by the crumbling structure have decreased the volume of water pushing through Mountain Tunnel, data show, and concrete laid when the artery was built is disintegrating. A collapse in the system could take 270 days and cost more than $100 million to repair or $620 million to replace, according to the commission. 

Last fall, the agency spent $5 million to improve accessibility to the tunnel for workers, which is located at the bottom of a steep canyon in a remote stretch of Hetch Hetchy Valley. Crews increased the size of entry points and built wider gravel roads. 

This winter’s inspection will reveal whether the agency will need to repair the tunnel completely or build a new one. Renovating the conduit would mean shutting it down for two months every winter for up to 10 years. It’s the pricier but more reliable option, Ritchie said. 

During the tests, the taste and purity of San Francisco’s water won’t change, Ritchie said. The water stored in local reservoirs was funneled down from Hetch Hetchy. But because of fish and critters that live around the reservoirs, it needed extra filtering, he said. 

Nor will residents likely see any changes in service during the two months, said agency spokesman Charles Sheehan.

“Water is essential and necessary, which is why there is so much planning around this shutdown,” Sheehan said. “You can’t have interruptions in service the way you could with garbage pickup. People should have confidence that their water system won’t fail on them.”

At the Harry Tracy plant, machines churned and hummed. Dirty water rushed in, and clean water left in its place. 

Lizzie Johnson is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: ljohnson@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @LizzieJohnsonnn

Five Ways to Restore the Separation of Powers

It isn’t enough for Trump to quickly rescind Obama’s executive orders. Congress also needs to act.

By DAVID B. RIVKIN JR. and ELIZABETH PRICE FOLEY Dec. 19, 2016 The Wall Street Journal

The worst legacy of the Obama administration may be disdain for the Constitution’s separation of powers. President Obama’s actions have created dangerous stress fractures in our constitutional architecture, making it imperative that the Trump administration and Republican Congress commence immediate repairs.

The Constitution separates power in two ways: among the three branches of the federal government and between the federal government and states. As James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers, separation creates “a double security” for liberty because “different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself.”

The Obama administration has spurned this core constitutional principle, aggrandizing executive power at the expense of Congress and states. It has rewritten laws, disregarding its constitutional duty to faithfully execute them.

ObamaCare’s implementation provides multiple examples: delaying statutory deadlines, extending tax credits to groups Congress never included, exempting unions from fees, expanding hardship waivers beyond recognition and granting “transition relief” for preferred employers.

Mr. Obama even usurped Congress’s power of the purse, spending billions for “cost-sharing subsidies” that pay ObamaCare insurers for subsidizing deductibles and copays. Congress never appropriated money for these subsidies, so the administration shifted money appropriated for other purposes. The House sued to defend its constitutional prerogative, and in May a federal court ruled against the administration, which has appealed.

Mr. Obama also exempted five million illegal immigrants from deportation, though Congress had unambiguously declared them deportable. He waived the mandatory work requirement of the 1996 welfare reform. He redefined sexual discrimination under Title IX, forcing schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms of their non-biological gender, and threatening to withdraw funds if colleges refuse to reduce due process protections for individuals accused of sexual assault.

The president has exhibited particular antipathy toward the Senate’s advice-and-consent duty. In Noel Canning v. NLRB (2014), the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the administration violated separation of powers by making unilateral appointments to the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was in session. And the president unilaterally committed the nation to an unpopular nuclear deal with Iran, bypassing the Senate’s treaty ratification power.

Mr. Obama’s actions have also shattered federalism. The administration rewrote the 1970 Clean Air Act, commanding states to revamp their electricity generation and distribution infrastructure. It rewrote the 1972 Clean Water Act, claiming vast new power to regulate ditches and streams under the risible notion that they are “navigable waters.” It has refused to enforce existing federal drug laws, emboldening states to legalize marijuana.

The media and academy enabled the administration’s unconstitutional behavior because they support its policy agenda. But the Framers expected members of Congress to jealously defend congressional power against executive encroachment—even from a president of the same political party. As Madison observed, “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place.”

This principle disappeared during the past eight years. In his 2014 State of the Union address, the president vowed to implement his agenda “wherever and whenever I can” without congressional involvement—to thunderous applause by Democrats. In November 2014, Democratic Senators urged the president to vastly expand his unilateral amnesty for illegal immigrants.

The Trump administration and GOP Congress should resist the temptation to follow this Constitution-be-damned playbook. The greatest gift Republicans could give Americans is a restored separation of powers. But this cannot be accomplished by merely rescinding the Obama administration’s unconstitutional executive orders. While this is a necessary step, Congress should enact additional reforms.

Second, Congress could prohibit “ Chevron deference,” in which federal courts defer to executive branch interpretations of ambiguous statutes. Chevron deference is a judge-made doctrine that has aggrandized executive power, ostensibly to implement Congress’s intent. If Congress denounces such deference, it can simultaneously reduce executive power and encourage itself to legislate with greater specificity.

Third, Congress can augment its institutional authority by expanding its contempt power. The criminal contempt statute should require the U.S. attorney to convene a grand jury upon referral by the House or Senate without exercising prosecutorial discretion. Congress should also extend the civil contempt statute to the House, not merely the Senate, and enact a new law specifying a process for using Congress’s longstanding (but rarely invoked) inherent contempt authority.

Fourth, Congress can require that all major international commitments be ratified by treaty. A statute defining the proper dividing line between treaties and executive agreements would reassert the Senate’s constitutional role, provide clarification to the judiciary, and encourage communication and negotiation between Congress and the president.

Fifth, Congress can enact a law further restricting its ability to coerce states into adopting federal policies or commanding state officials to carry them out. While the courts have ultimate say on the contours of these federalism doctrines, a law could force greater consensus and debate, provide guidelines on Congress’s use of its powers, and signal to the judiciary a reinvigorated commitment to federalism.

Restoring separation of powers is necessary and possible. It should be the highest priority of the Trump administration and Congress.

Mr. Rivkin and Ms. Foley practice appellate and constitutional law in Washington, D.C. Ms. Foley is also a professor of constitutional law at Florida International University College of Law.

Arizona's U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar Shared the following thoughts on the Opinion pieces above from his Facebook Account:

A must read article from The Wall Street Journal: Five Ways to Restore the Separation of Powers

It isn’t enough for Trump to quickly rescind Obama’s executive orders. Congress also needs to act. 

The media and academy enabled the administration’s unconstitutional behavior because they support its policy agenda. But the Framers expected members of Congress to jealously defend congressional power against executive encroachment—even from a president of the same political party. As Madison observed, “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place.”

This principle disappeared during the past eight years. In his 2014 State of the Union address, the president vowed to implement his agenda “wherever and whenever I can” without congressional involvement—to thunderous applause by Democrats. In November 2014, Democratic Senators urged the president to vastly expand his unilateral amnesty for illegal immigrants.

The Trump administration and GOP Congress should resist the temptation to follow this Constitution-be-damned playbook. The greatest gift Republicans could give Americans is a restored separation of powers. But this cannot be accomplished by merely rescinding the Obama administration’s unconstitutional executive orders. While this is a necessary step, Congress should enact additional reforms.