Monday, July 17, 2017

City Politics.


I guess because I am so sick of national politics - I am now interested in local politics ( County and State, too) and every other Tuesday I try and attend our city council meetings. Now that we are down to one vehicle, I take my husband to work(7 miles away) and then I have the van to get to the meeting. I will have to stay up - and then pick him up at midnight.

We are all sick of the crime we have been having, although it is all over California due to a series of prison reform measures, which reduce the state prison population by 20,000 inmates by releasing non-violent offenders early and making some felonies misdemeanors. Assembly Bill 109, transferred 60,000 felony parole violators a year from state prison to county control. The measure saved California $100 million and makes our Governor look good. However, my county and the rural cities and towns are inundated with criminals.

Then if that wasn't enough, the voters passed Proposition 47 a couple of years ago, which converted many nonviolent offenses, such as drug and property crimes, from felonies to misdemeanors. Many crimes that are violent are considered non-violent now.

Assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer
Battery with serious bodily injury
Solicitation to commit murder
Inflicting corporal injury on a child
First-degree burglary
Raping an unconscious person
Human trafficking involving a minor
Participation in a street gang
Exploding a destructive device w/ intent to cause injury (yes, setting off a bomb in a public place)

Opiate drugs are everywhere as well as Methamphetamine. We have the homeless; people who are down on their luck- not drug addicted. Then we have the criminal homeless that live in encampments in our canyons and open space areas. They accidentally (or on purpose) start fires. They steal, rob, attack people on our river trails - and our city council just turns a blind eye. Actually one of them rolled her eyes when one of us got up to talk.

Last year, the Guardian Angels formed in our town. My husband and I joined and trained, but we decided we are just too old, to get out there and fight crime. I've met many good people and if you have been reading this blog for long, you know I am a very comfortable introvert. But I'm concerned about what is happening to my beautiful community. There is one citizen group that goes out on the weekends and cleans up the filth left over from the encampments. I can't do that - I'd throw up. It's THAT bad. I could, however, supply the helpers, with water and drinks -

The last city council meeting, we served 2 members a notice to RECALL. They fired our police Chief in the middle of our crime spree crisis. They won't hire more officers, instead, they want pretty lights on our bridge- a new city flag and other frivolous acts and they are worried about paying into the high city pensions. So city services are cut.

It's a mess.

But it's been fun, interesting and actually satisfying in a way because unlike national politics, we are closer to actually being heard-  of course right now we are only being heard because we want to RECALL 2 council members.

Do you attend your local city council meetings?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

My Happy Place

Laydee on a small patch of snow

California had a historic winter - we still are dealing with a heavy snow pack in our high country. Snow skiing at Squall Valley - Yosemite still has roads closed and "my" National Park, that I live just 40 miles to the West - have roads closed at both ends. You can get about 10 miles on both sides and then you have to turn around due to heavy snow.

Yesterday we drove up to have a picnic and take Laydee to the snow. Where we parked, it was free of snow- just a few patches. We had to hike up a bit to see the massive snow pack.

Road closed!

They hope to have it cleared by the end of July.

If we really hustled, we could very easily play in the snow at morning and watch the sunset on the beach on the same day. It's a bit harder now because there is one major road that kept getting washed out, during the rains - in Humboldt County. So, it takes a while now, just to get through - down to one lane.

Spring in July. Near Summit Lake 6700 ft elevation

It was pleasant though, to sit among the trees- watching the deer feed. Listening to the trees sway in the breeze and the sound of a woodpecker at a distance. For me, there is nothing like the forest! It is my happy place or at least one of my happy places. Funny, because I grew up just a mile and a half from the beach. I love the ocean and the beach but I like lonely beaches - not crammed packed with people. Where is the serenity in that?

Tree uprooted from the winter

The white trees are dead trees singed from a past forest fire.

No one around! That's one thing when you go to the mountains -most people are on the move -hiking and exploring. They are not congesting any one area like a popular beach will. Everyone wants to be left alone to commune with nature.

We found this swampy meadow still drying out. Wildflowers just starting to bloom as if it is Spring. Just a month ago, this area was covered in snow. My husband and I always dream and play, "What if?"

What if we owned all this mountain property - what would it look like? Well, I'd rescue a lot of dogs and cats, and cows and horses - I'd have chickens and mules and donkeys and I want a burro.

My parents used to own a home and property in the mountains - but the heavy snows and the fact that my dad's snow blower always was in repair when he needed it - they moved down to the valley floor. So I inherited the valley house. I do sometimes wish, they still had that mountain home, surrounded by the big trees and all.

We are fortunate. Just a few miles east and we start climbing towards the mountains. Same when we drive north (toward Mt Shasta and West through the Trinity Alps. So while I may not "live among the trees" - they are very close for us to enjoy year round.

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