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Alex Salmond quits as Scotland’s leader

 

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond speaks during a press conference in Edinburgh, Scotland,

Friday, Sept. 19, 2014.

Associated Press

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Scotland’s pro-independence leader Alex Salmond resigned as first minister and leader of his political party Friday, hours after Scots voted to remain in the United Kingdom.

Salmond, 59, told reporters at a news that he was proud of the campaign and the record turnout for Thursday’s vote.

Related: UK remains united after Scotland referendum

“For Scotland the campaign is not over and the dream will never die,” he said.

Salmond’s impassioned plea to launch a new nation fell short, with Scots choosing instead the security of remaining in union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The referendum’s result prevented a rupture of a 307-year union with England, bringing a huge sigh of relief to Britain’s economic and political establishment.

In Thursday’s referendum, 55 percent were against independence to 45 percent in favor. There was an unprecedented turnout of just under 85 percent.

But Salmond, who also resigned as head of the Scottish National Party, was upbeat about Scotland’s future. A visibly relieved British Prime Minister David Cameron promised to live up to earlier promises to give Scotland new powers on taxes, spending and welfare.

“We now have the opportunity to hold Westminster‘s feet to the fire on the vow that they have made to devolve further meaningful power to Scotland,” he said. “This places Scotland in a very strong position.

Cameron told reporters outside his Downing Street office that the new plans will be agreed upon by November, with draft legislation by January.

As Scotland’s fledgling first minister in 2007, Salmond made a referendum on independence his grand strategic goal and predicted, to general disbelief even from supporters, it would be won within a decade.

___

Danica Kirka reported from London. Associated Press writers Shawn Pogatchnik in Edinburgh; Paul Kelbie in Glasgow; and Gregory Katz in London contributed to this report.

http://news.msn.com/world/alex-salmond-quits-as-scotlands-leader

Exclusive: Angry with Washington, 1 in 4 Americans open to secession

MSN News

By Scott Malone of Reuters

BOSTON (Reuters) – The failed Scottish vote to pull out from the United Kingdom stirred secessionist hopes for some in the United States, where almost a quarter of people are open to their states leaving the union, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

Some 23.9 percent of Americans polled from Aug. 23 through Sept. 16 said they strongly supported or tended to support the idea of their state breaking away, while 53.3 percent of the 8,952 respondents strongly opposed or tended to oppose the notion.

The urge to sever ties with Washington cuts across party lines and regions, though Republicans and residents of rural Western states are generally warmer to the idea than Democrats and Northeasterners, according to the poll.

Anger with President Barack Obama‘s handling of issues ranging from healthcare reform to the rise of Islamic State militants drives some of the feeling, with Republican respondents citing dissatisfaction with his administration as coloring their thinking.

But others said long-running Washington gridlock had prompted them to wonder if their states would be better off striking out on their own, a move no U.S. state has tried in the 150 years since the bloody Civil War that led to the end of slavery in the South.

“I don’t think it makes a whole lot of difference anymore which political party is running things. Nothing gets done,” said Roy Gustafson, 61, of Camden, South Carolina, who lives on disability payments. “The state would be better off handling things on its own.”

Scottish unionists won by a wider-than-expected 10-percentage-point margin.

Falling public approval of the Obama administration, attention to the Scottish vote and the success of activists who accuse the U.S. government of overstepping its authority – such as the self-proclaimed militia members who flocked to Nevada’s Bundy ranch earlier this year during a standoff over grazing rights – is driving up interest in secession, experts said.

“It seems to have heated up, especially since the election of President Obama,” said Mordecai Lee, a professor of governmental affairs at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, who has studied secessionist movements.

‘OBAMACARE’ A FACTOR

Republicans were more inclined to support the idea, with 29.7 percent favoring it compared with 21 percent of Democrats.

Brittany Royal, a 31-year-old nurse from Wilkesboro, North Carolina, said anger over the “Obamacare” healthcare reform law made her wonder if her state would be better off on its own.

“That has really hurt a lot of people here, myself included. My insurance went from $40 a week for a family of four up to over $600 a month for a family of four,” said Royal, a Republican. “The North Carolina government itself is sustainable. Governor (Pat) McCrory, I think he has a better healthcare plan than President Obama.”

By region, the idea was least popular in New England, the cradle of the Revolutionary War, with just 17.4 percent of respondents open to pulling their state out.

It was most popular in the Southwest, where 34.1 percent of respondents back the idea.

That region includes Texas, where an activist group is calling the state’s legislature to put the secession question on a statewide ballot. One Texan respondent said he was confident his state could get by without the rest of the country.

“Texas has everything we need. We have the manufacturing, we have the oil, and we don’t need them,” said Mark Denny, a 59-year-old retiree living outside Dallas on disability payments.

Denny, a Republican, had cheered on the Scottish independence movement.

“I have totally, completely lost faith in the federal government, the people running it, whether Republican, Democrat, independent, whatever,” he said.

Even in Texas, some respondents said talk about breaking away was more of a sign of their anger with Washington than evidence of a real desire to go it alone. Democrat Lila Guzman, of Round Rock, said the threat could persuade Washington lawmakers and the White House to listen more closely to average people’s concerns.

“When I say secede, I’m not like (former National Rifle Association president) Charlton Heston with my gun up in the air, ‘my cold dead hands.’ It’s more like – we could do it if we had to,” said Guzman, 62. “But the first option is, golly, get it back on the right track. Not all is lost. But there might come a point that we say, ‘Hey, y’all, we’re dusting our hands and we’re moving on.’”

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Additional reporting by Mimi Dwyer in New York; Editing by Douglas Royalty)

http://news.msn.com/us/exclusive-angry-with-washington-1-in-4-americans-open-to-secession

Scottish independence: Scotland votes No

The Scotsman

19 September 2014

ALEX Salmond’s dream of independence has been shattered after Scotland voted to stay part of the United Kingdom.

Scotland today rejected independence and voted to remain part of the United Kingdom at the end of the most intense political campaign the country has ever seen.

The silent majority finally raised its voice on a tense yet utterly compelling night of political history.

During a referendum that attracted record numbers of voters and was hailed as a triumph of democracy, the people voted to maintain the 307-year Union.

A decisive No vote was the culmination of two and a half-years of vigorous and at times edgy campaigning, which looks certain to change the constitutional map of Britain for ever.

As the votes were counted, a grim-faced Alex Salmond was seen boarding a private jet at Aberdeen airport just after 3am. Photographed with his wife Moira, the First Minister was contemplating his political future after the referendum he had strived for throughout his life delivered a telling blow against him.

The promises to deliver more powers to Holyrood made by the UK party leaders during the campaign were outlined in an early morning statement by David Cameron, which recognised the need to bring the United Kingdom together and deliver further devolution for not just Scotland, but England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Live blog on the Scottish independence referendum, with news, pictures, tweets and much more from around Scotland and further afield

With turn out at well over 80 per cent, the vote saw the economic warnings of the Better Together campaign overcome a powerful and impressive grassroots campaign run by Yes Scotland.

Reacting to the result, the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke of her “deep personal and political disappointment” saying she had fought the hardest campaign of her life.

Ms Sturgeon indicated she would be prepared to work with the UK parties to deliver more powers to the Scottish Parliament and claimed that the vote was not a mandate for the status quo.

“I will work with anybody and do anything I can to deliver substantial powers for the Scottish parliament, that’s beyond any doubt,” she said.

The Prime Minister’s plans were outlined by the Conservative chief whip Michael Gove said the UK would see a major constitutional overhaul which will hand more powers to all UK nations – and finally solve the so-called West Lothian Question.

This is the long standing conundrum which allows Scottish MPs at Westminster to vote on matters like health and education which are controlled in Scotland by the Holyrood Parliament. It has fuelled growing anger among Tory backbenchers, especially with the prospect of even greater powers for Scotland regardless of the referendum outcome.

“The Prime Minister will say much more later today,” Mr Gove said today.

“But I think its widely accepted across the political spectrum that there are some issues which affect Northern Ireland, Welsh and English voters which and need to be decided in a way that respects the majority of opinion in those parts of the United Kingdom.”

He added: “If as seems likely there is a No vote, then the Prime Minister will be saying more about not just the need to make sure that the interests of Scotland are catered for but also how do we keep the UK together and what that means for Northern Ireland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

All three pro-union parties have set out plans for greater devolution for Scotland and say an agreed timetable will be in place by the end of the year, with legislation published by the end of January.

Mr Gove said there will be a “similar sense of urgency” in bringing forward proposals for change in the other UK nations as well.

Mr Gove, a Scot originally from Aberdeen, said the plans would stop short of an English Parliament being introduced.

But he added: “The central thing, I think is that there needs to be change in order to ensure that Westminster works better for the people of England Wales and Northern Ireland.”

Signs that the other main UK parties were coalescing around that position came when the Labour MP Jim Murphy said the referendum could inspire an “awakening” of politics in England.

Mr Murphy said there was a “disconnect” between the “village of Westminster” and the great English cities like Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

While emphasising that it was not his role as a Scot to tell the rest of the UK how to conduct its politics, Mr Murphy suggested that the referendum – whatever the outcome – could lead to a realignment of powers south of the border.

Mr Murphy, who played a prominent role in the Better Together campaign with his 100 Towns in 100 Days tour, also said he thought that 16 and 17-year-olds should be given the vote in the next General Election.

The extension of the franchise to include more teenagers in yesterday’s poll had been a huge success, Mr Murphy argued.

Teenagers had been “enthused, informed, clever and sussed” and he said there was a case for attempting to extending the franchise in the rest of the UK for next year’s General Election.

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said there should be “wider” constitutional change across the UK.

It was the campaign that saw Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond clash in two televised debates, the resurrection of Gordon Brown as a formidable, front line politician and Better Together was criticised for relentless negativity and obsessing on unanswered questions over the currency.

But despite the criticism, Better Together emerged triumphant in an early morning of high drama.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-scotland-votes-no-1-3546529

Scottish independence: Doubts over Queen’s future

Her Majesty The Queen visiting the Forth Road Bridge to mark its 50th anniversary. Pic: Phil Wilkinson

Her Majesty The Queen visiting the Forth Road Bridge to mark its 50th anniversary. Pic: Phil Wilkinson

The Scotsman

Friday 19th September 2014

THE Queen might have escaped the break-up of her kingdom, but the future of the monarchy is likely to be a focus for debate in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum, it has been predicted.

 Stephen Haseler, director of the Global Policy Institute in London, said constitutional discussions would be a “chance to start again” and raised the issue of what would happen with the royal family in years to come.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has called for a constitutional convention after the referendum to look again at the way the nations of the UK are governed, while Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said the next few years will see a “rewiring” of the British constitution, with power being passed from Westminster to the nations and regions.

Professor Haseler said: “If you have a rethink about our basic constitutional arrangements, the question is, sure, we would keep the Queen while she’s here, but what are we going to do afterwards?

“If you’re going to have a written constitution, what are we going to do about the heirs and successors issue?”

He added: “It’s a chance to start again. This whole debate is a chance to start again. The Queen and the monarchy are deeply involved in this.”

As head of state, the Queen remains publicly neutral when it comes to political matters. But on Sunday after attending morning church at Crathie Kirk, she reportedly told a well-wisher in the crowd: “Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future.”

Anti-monarchy group Republic has called for a parliamentary inquiry into the actions of the Queen and her advisers, saying they would be writing to the Commons political and constitutional reform committee as well as the Justice Secretary.

Republic’s chief executive Graham Smith said: “The monarchy and the Queen have been around long enough to know what they’re doing. Comments made by the Queen last weekend and widely reported in the press as pro-Union were a deliberate attempt to influence the vote.

“We’re calling on MPs to investigate the role of the Queen in this referendum campaign and the convention of royal impartiality.

“Of course, the Queen is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t – but the bottom line is that the rules are there and the Queen can’t pick and choose when to follow them.”

Mr Smith said: “Republic takes no position on whether Scotland should be independent, but it’s unacceptable for the Queen to be interfering in this way while still asserting her neutrality.”

http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/scottish-independence-doubts-over-queen-s-future-1-3547403

General Mills to close Lodi plant, erase 430 jobs

Comment: Hum, California’s economy and business-friendly environment looks to continue to be in trouble. — Admin Liz Bowen

General Mills to close Lodi plant, erase 430 jobs

Sac Bee.com

Published: Thursday, Sep. 18, 2014 – 9:38 am

General Mills said today it’s closing its cereal plant in Lodi.

The decision will cost the region 430 jobs.

General Mills said it expects to close the plant by the end of 2015.

The company said it “would consolidate manufacturing at other facilities within the General Mills supply chain.” It added that the decision is subject to negotiation with union officials.

The plant opened in 1947.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/09/18/6717573/general-mills-to-close-lodi-plant.html#storylink=cpy

http://www.sacbee.com/2014/09/18/6717573/general-mills-to-close-lodi-plant.html

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Tehama Co: Hosting Sporting Clay Tournament fundraiser 11-15-14

Tehama County will be hosting a Sporting Clay Tournament as a fundraising event for the State of Jefferson on November 15th at the Rolling Hills Casino.  Each county is invited to send their delegates to shoot for a great cause.  

Lunch and awards ceremony will take place after the shooting and non-shooters are welcome.  Please find attached the information flyer and registration forms, due back by October 30th.  

All proceeds will go to the State of Jefferson, earmarked for education and advertising.  

See you there!

Fundraiser for State of Jefferson

1st Annual State of Jefferson Sporting Clay Tournament

Sponsored by Tehama County for State of Jefferson

Sat. Nov. 15, 2014

8 a.m. is sign up

9 a.m. starts

1 p.m. lunch and awards

at

Clear Creek Sports Club

Rolling Hills Casino

I-5 and Liberal Ave.

Corning, CA.

$100 per shooter, includes sporting clays and tri-tip lunch at Rolling Hills Casino

$20 for non-shooter and lunch

Represent your county!!!!!

RSVP and deposit deadline is Oct. 30th

Call Karin Knorr at 530-824-4035

Dem lawmaker to Scots: Don’t ‘follow Mel Gibson’

Washington Post
By Colby Itkowitz September 17 at 7:00 AM

Like the Scots themselves, members of Congress are split over Scotland’s future.
At the start of the August recess, House lawmakers introduced a resolution expressing support for a “united, secure, and prosperous United Kingdom.”
The lawmakers were swift to add that the decision to break from the U.K. was ultimately up to the Scottish people, but rumor has it that some in Scotland were dismayed by the appearance of the United States taking an anti-independence stance.
The authors of the bipartisan resolution — sponsored by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and supported by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and ranking Democrat Eliot Engel (N.Y.) — were following President Obama’s lead, who in June had expressed a desire for the U.K. to remain intact.
“We’re the background singers,” Sherman told the Loop. “It’s good to have a bipartisan voice from Congress echoing what [Obama] said.”
But the resolution went nowhere. And since Obama’s June comments, the United States isn’t taking an official position on the Scotland question. (Of note, Scotland houses the U.K.’s nuclear weapons, so that’s cause for some concern.)
On Monday, a competing resolution was introduced by Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), co-founders of the Friends of Scotland Congressional Caucus. That legislation — also not going anywhere — strongly emphasizes Scotland’s right to decide its own fate and, playing off the first resolution’s wording, says that “a strong and prosperous Scotland is important for United States national priorities.”
The caucus, of which Sherman is also a member, has remained neutral on the issue, but Duncan is personally pro-Scottish independence. “Being closer to the people is better as far as government goes,” a Duncan spokesman said.
Voters in Scotland will decide Thursday on whether to declare independence after a three-century union with England, and the polls show it’s going to be close. A spokeswoman for the Scottish Affairs department at the British embassy in Washington said they were not allowed to comment on anything related to the referendum until after the vote.
Making the case for unity, Sherman said Scots worried about maintaining a strong Western alliance to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin and threats such as the Islamic State militant group should remember that the alliance “is led by the United States and the United Kingdom is our most important partner.”
But if that isn’t a convincing reason, Sherman added, “I’m from Los Angeles, and there’s one thing every Los Angeles motorist knows, never follow Mel Gibson.” Gibson, as filmgoers may recall, played a 13th-century highlander fighting for Scottish independence in the movie “Braveheart.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/in-the-loop/wp/2014/09/17/a-house-divided-over-scottish-independence/

 

Siskiyou Co: Fire in City of Weed damages or destroys over 100 homes and buildings

• CAL FIRE provides an update of the current situation on the Boles Fire in Weed

By Siskiyou Daily News staff
Posted Sep. 16, 2014 @ 4:17 pm

Location: City of Weed County: Siskiyou

Acres: 375
% Containment: 20%
Start Date & Time: Monday, September 15th 2014 1:38 P.M.
Injuries: 3
Structures Threatened: 1,233
RESOURCES ASSIGNED:
Engines: 108
Water Tenders: 9
Bulldozers: 28
Crews: 20
Helicopters: 7
Total Personnel: 1,068

Current Situation: Yesterday firefighters aggressively attacked a wind driven wildfire that immediately threatened the City of Weed. Firefighters continue to build and improve containment lines around the fire.
CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 4 assumed management responsibilities of the incident at noon on September 16th. Damage Assessment Teams are being assembled and will begin surveying the affected areas of the fire.
A community meeting will be held today September 16th at 7:00 P.M in the theater building at College of the Siskiyous in Weed.
If you feel you have information regarding the Boles Fire, please contact . A reward will be offered up to $10,000 leading to the cause of the fire.
Evacuation orders are still in effect for the following areas:
The Community of Angel Valley and Hoy Road
For more information on how to prepare for wildfire, visit www.readyforwildfire.org.
Cooperating Agencies: CHP, CAL TRANS, Pacific Power and Light, Weed City PD, Yreka PD, Mt.
Shasta PD, Siskiyou County Sheriff, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California National Guard, California Conservation Corps, and CAL OES, United Way, and the American Red Cross.

Read more: http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/article/20140916/News/140919756#ixzz3DWmDBNlW

For more indepth info go to:  SFgate.com

 http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Firefighters-make-headway-in-destructive-Weed-5758830.php#page-2

 

California’s groundwater law will get governor’s OK Tuesday

Comment from Rally Sally: When will enough be enough? Time for the State of Jefferson!

“The basic philosophy of this approach is the idea that you give local agencies the authority that they need to be able to do that — monitoring, getting access to records and the ability to regulate pumping, if they need to, then you have a state backstop, if local agencies are given authority but don’t use it, there is the possibility that the state can do it for them, or compel them to do it.”

California’s groundwater law will get governor’s OK Tuesday

By Lisa M. Krieger lkrieger@mercurynews.com

Posted: 09/16/2014 06:12:00 AM
Updated: 09/16/2014 06:12:36 AM PDT

Gov. Jerry Brown will sign a landmark measure Tuesday to regulate groundwater pumping, enacting the most significant California water law in nearly 50 years.
The legislation would require local government officials to bring their groundwater basins up to sustainable levels. Local agencies would be required to regularly measure water tables and set goals so that only as much water is taken out as is naturally replenished.
Decades of intense pumping have dropped water tables dangerously low in places such as the San Joaquin Valley. Scientific studies show the ground is sinking in many hard-hit areas.
But the law will take years to implement. Agencies in the most over-pumped basins will be required to submit plans to the state by January 2020. It could be decades, experts say, before the most depleted groundwater basins are replenished.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, and Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, is designed to halt over-pumping by directing local public agencies to establish groundwater entities that will develop management plans. If local agencies don’t take action, the State Water Resources Control Board can step in and do it.
“The basic philosophy of this approach is the idea that you give local agencies the authority that they need to be able to do that — monitoring, getting access to records and the ability to regulate pumping, if they need to,” said Ellen Hanak of the Public Policy Institute of California. “And then you have a state backstop,” she said. “If local agencies are given authority but don’t use it, there is the possibility that the state can do it for them, or compel them to do it.”
Brown and Democratic legislative leaders backed the proposal, but Republicans and Central Valley Democrats argued it was too sweeping and would hurt farmers already struggling amid the ongoing drought. Farmers blamed cuts in surface water deliveries for the increased reliance on groundwater.
“A solution is definitely needed, but these bills do not provide the right tools for a comprehensive solution,” said Cannon Michael of Bowles Farming Co. in Los Banos.