The California city of Palmdale was ready to roll out the red carpet this summer when a Japanese company agreed to build a $60 million factory on a city-owned, vacant parcel on the southwest side of town — but now the company is taking its project out of state and critics say union greed is to blame.
As many as 300 people were slated to work at the 400,000-square-foot plant, painting and wiring light rail cars under a huge contract with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It was a coup for Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, and a plan that seemed to suit Kinkisharyo International, which last year moved its U.S. headquarters from Boston to El Segundo, Calif.
“I believe this is just the beginning of a manufacturing renaissance here in the Antelope Valley,” crowed Ledford in June.
“The company is disappointed. They would have liked to stayed in Palmdale.”
- Kinkisharyo spokesman Coby King
“We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time,” added Palmdale Economic Development Director Dave Walter. “So many people and organizations played huge roles in making this a reality.”
But a newly formed environmental group — which critics say is a front for a local union — had other ideas.
Japanese rail company Kinkisharyo agreed to build a $60 million factory on a city-owned, vacant parcel in Palmdale, Calif. It would have been similar to this facility operated by the company in Phoenix, Arizona. (Kinkisharyo) (KINKISHARYO)
The “Antelope Valley Residents for Responsible Development,” a group backed by the International Brotherhood Workers Union Local 11, produced a 588-page appeal claiming that construction of the proposed factory would violate state environmental laws, by, among other things, kicking up spores. What the union really wanted, according to Kinkisharyo officials, was clearance to organize the plant without any interference from the company. When Kinkisharyo officials balked, the project suddenly became a potential environmental hazard.
“They are using California’s environmental laws as a pretense to put leverage on the company to get what they want,” Kinkisharyo spokesman Coby King told FoxNews.com. “It’s unfortunate when groups that don’t care about the well-being of the environment use the laws to delay, and even kill, good business development.”
Kinkisharyo, the El Segundo-based U.S. subsidiary of Kinki Sharyo Co., is currently assembling 78 light rail cars for Metro, with delivery of the first car expected this month. The company has exercised an option to build an additional 97 cars under a 10-year, $891 million contract with the MTA. For now, the company is doing the work from a hangar in Palmdale. But after delays the company has said have cost it $2 million, Kinkisharyo is looking out of state for a site to build its plant.
“The company is disappointed,” King said. “They would have liked to stay in Palmdale.”
The standoff began shortly after the June announcement, when Local 11 officials sought a so-called card check agreement, where a company accepts the union if a majority of workers sign authorization cards. Absent such an agreement, the National Labor Relations Board would authorize a secret ballot during an organizing campaign the company would be free to oppose. The company said no thanks.
Comment: I know Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson. He is a strong Constitutional Sheriff. Please go to the the newspaper and vote for Sheriff Wilson. He and Siskiyou Co. Sheriff Jon Lopey stand together on many issues. Thank you. — Admin Liz Bowen
Sheriff Dean Wilson is in a close race against his far-left backed opponent Eric Apperson. In a very unusual move, the left-leaning local newspaper is conducting a poll of potential voters to determine the election results one week ahead of the election. Apperson’s supporters have mounted a massive social media [Face Book, twitter, etc.] to skew the results of the poll.
and support Dean Wilson for reelection. Click on the first selection, “Satisfied, want to keep Wilson”.
All 12 Northern California county sheriffs have endorsed Sheriff Wilson for reelection – They have voiced their fears of what might happen if the liberal-leftist-progressive-socialist forces elect “their” candidate. If the “choose Apperson” crowd can overwhelm the poll, they will publish ads creating a herd mentality bandwagon and disheartening Wilson supporters so they will not go to the polls.
PLEASE take the few moments necessary to cast your vote! Thank you. Aaron Funk, a Dean Wilson supporter
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” —Edmund Burke
Aaron Funk Kamp Klamath RV Park and Campground P.O. Box 99/1661 West Klamath Beach Blvd. Klamath, California 95548 TEL 707-482-0227 TEL 866-KLAMATH FAX 707-482-0147 www.KampKlamath.com KampKlamath@msn.com
South vs. North: Should Florida become two states?
Officials in the City of South Miami have passed a resolution in favor of splitting the state in half so South Florida would become the 51st state.
Vice Mayor Walter Harris proposed the resolution and it passed with a 3-2 vote at the city commission meeting on Oct. 7.
Harris told the commission that Tallahassee isn’t providing South Florida with proper representation or addressing its concerns when it comes to sea-level rising.
“We have to be able to deal directly with this environmental concern and we can’t really get it done in Tallahassee,” Harris said. “I don’t care what people think — it’s not a matter of electing the right people.”
Mayor Philip Stoddard agreed with Harris’ reasoning, saying during the meeting that he’s advocated for secession for the past 15 years but never penned a resolution.
“It’s very apparent that the attitude of the northern part of the state is that they would just love to saw the state in half and just let us float off into the Caribbean,” Stoddard said. “They’ve made that abundantly clear every possible opportunity and I would love to give them the opportunity to do that.”
But the vote wasn’t unanimous. Commissioners Gabriel Edmond and Josh Liebman voted against the resolution with Edmond, a history teacher, being the most vocal about it.
“I just want you guys to be careful because if you vote for this you’re setting a precedent that if other people in this city don’t like our representation or feel we’re not responsive to them they might say ‘we want to break away from the city of South Miami’.”
The resolution lists the northern border of what would be the state of South Florida as being Brevard, Orange, Polk, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
Orange County is particularly important because that’s where the South Florida Water Management District begins, Harris said. It was even suggested that a Central Florida city could possibly be the state of South Florida’s capitol.
In total, the proposed 51st state would include 24 counties.
The resolution’s 3-2 approval paved the way for it to be sent to the governing bodies of the proposed South Florida counties for consideration. In order for secession to be enacted, however, the measure would require electorate approval from the entire state and Congressional approval.
Comment: Hooray for the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors for taking a stand against Prop. 1! — Admin Liz Bowen
Siskiyou Daily News
At the urging of constituents, the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday joined the opposition to the water bond measure on this year’s ballot, Proposition 1.
By David Smith
Posted Oct. 16, 2014 @ 9:36 am
At the urging of constituents, the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday joined the opposition to the water bond measure on this year’s ballot, Proposition 1.
If approved by voters in November, the measure would allow the state to sell $7.1 billion in general obligation bonds to pay for water projects around California. It would also allow the sale of approximately $425 million in unsold bonds previously approved by voters. The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that the state would have to pay $360 million per year until the bonds are paid off.
Members of the public spoke in opposition to the ballot measure, calling it – among other things – a way for water rights to be taken away from agricultural water users and a way to lose local control over groundwater resources.
Representatives from Scott Valley Protect Our Water, the local granges and the Siskiyou County Central Republican Committee urged the board to author a resolution in opposition to the proposition.
Speakers alleged that the measure would increase the power of environmental groups and state agencies to purchase agricultural land, hurting local economies. Speakers also decried the potential for bond funds to be used to remove dams on the Klamath River.
County Counsel Brian Morris provided the board with a brief overview of the measure, focusing on the evolution of its language regarding the Klamath dams.
Under the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, the state is obligated to provide up to $250 million to help pay for the cost of decommissioning and removing four dams operating on the Klamath River.
According to Morris, previous iterations of the water bond had specific earmarks for the dams, but successive changes have led to the complete removal of references to the Klamath.
He noted that more general language in the measure can be construed to allow for funds to be expended on dam removal projects.
Specifically, section 79732 (a) 6 says one of the actions that can be funded to improve watersheds is the removal of barriers to fish passage.
In addition, section 79736 states that $475 million will be set aside to fulfill obligations of the state for complying with, among other things, “Any intrastate or multiparty settlement agreement related to water acted upon or before December 31, 2013.”
Settlements that might qualify include those that restore natural aquatic or riparian functions or wetlands habitat for birds and aquatic species, and those that restore endangered or threatened species and enhance the reliability of water supplies.
Discussion at the board level indicated that the state may not be relying on the bonds to fulfill its KHSA obligations, and District 5 Supervisor Marcia Armstrong said the county has been assured that there would be too much competition for the funds for any to be allocated to dam removal.
1. KCFJ 570 – VOICE OF FREEDOM RADIO: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25 – 12 NOON
Congressman Doug LaMalfa will be discussing the water issues in the North State, the EPA, and what can be accomplished by the US Congress to reign in their radical agenda. Tune in to hear this important conversation.
2. KCFJ 570 – VOICE OF FREEDOM RADIO: SATUDAY, NOVEMBER 01 – 12 NOON
The show will be for one hour, and will feature Mark Baird promoting the State of Jefferson, and exposing Heidi Hall (who is running for U.S. Congress) and her campaign violations.
This is the basis of politics – local issues. Listen and be informed.
A new comparison with four other large public pension funds found that CalPERS, while scoring average on service, had high pension administration costs — $213 per member a year, nearly twice the average of $108 per member.
In the year compared, fiscal 2012-13, a new CalPERS computer system and pension reform were taking unusual amounts of money and staff time. Scores are already improving as those jobs are completed, but CalPERS has a built-in disadvantage.
An official of Cost Effective Measurement (CEM) Benchmarking said CalPERS has the most “complexity” of 75 pension systems measured by the Canadian firm worldwide, including systems in Britain, Australia, Scandinavia and the Netherlands.
“You are the most complex system,” Tom Scheibelhut, CEM managing principal, told the CalPERS board last week while presenting the new comparison, “and that’s unfortunate because complexity impacts costs and it impacts services.”
Not directly adding to the complexity referred to by CEM, because it’s excluded from the pension survey, is a large part of the CalPERS operation: the administration of health care plans for active and retired state workers and many local governments.
The CEM service, whose slogan is “What gets measured gets managed,” has been used in the past by the California Public Employees Retirement System for investments. The new survey is the first annual pension administration report.
The California State Teachers Retirement System has used the CEM pension administration service for several years. The CalSTRS cost for fiscal 2012-13 was $198 per member.
As if to demonstrate a long-term commitment to having an outside firm monitor their performance, CalPERS and CalSTRS plan to host the annual CEM pension administration conference in Sacramento next May.
A comparison with 75 pension systems around the globe is said to be valuable for identifying “best practices” and “new ideas.” The CEM pension administration comparison for CalPERS was with similar large U.S. systems that use CEM monitoring.
According to CEM, CalPERS has 1.3 million active workers and pensioners, Teacher Retirement System of Texas 1.2 million, Florida Retirement System 1 million, New York State and Local Employees Retirement System 942,000, and CalSTRS 684,000.
It’s late October and that means there are a lot of people out there wearing masks. But this isn’t about Halloween. This is about all the fake taxpayer interests – organizations and candidates – who are trying to gain an advantage in the upcoming election by portraying themselves as defenders of homeowners and Proposition 13.
At some level, we at Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association ought to be pleased that others are attempting to use our name and the Prop 13 label. This fakery, if nothing else, is an acknowledgment that taxpayer issues are very important to voters – even in a left leaning state like California. After all, isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
Perhaps. But we should not – and will not – countenance deception.
Exhibit A in the “fake” category is in the hotly contested state senate race in Orange County between Janet Nguyen and former Assemblyman Jose Solorio. Nguyen is a solid pro-taxpayer candidate and Solorio is a typical liberal politician who would, if given the chance, repeal Prop 13 in a heartbeat. The problem for Solorio is that this district is in Orange County whose voters are more conservative and hostile to higher taxes.
That is why Solorio has enlisted the services of none other than Governor Jerry Brown himself to do both radio and television ads in a flailing effort to convince voters that, no – he really does like Proposition 13. But recent polling suggests that Orange County voters aren’t fooled and that HJTA’s strong endorsement of Janet Nguyen is far more powerful than the Governor’s push for Solorio. (The fact that Solorio consistently received “Fs” on HJTA’s legislative report card while he was in the Assembly makes his attempt at deception particularly difficult).
This contest is critical for the preservation of Proposition 13. It is the most high stakes race in the entire state because if Janet Nguyen wins, this will prevent the tax-and-spend California Legislature from passing tax increases at will and placing anti-Proposition 13 constitutional amendments on the ballot.
In addition, it’s not just candidates who attempt to hold themselves out as pro-taxpayer just to fool voters. In the current election cycle, a group we’ve never heard of before is selling its endorsement in favor of local tax hikes and left leaning candidates. The so-called “California Republican Taxpayers Association” has no bona fides as a legitimate taxpayer association. Moreover, its use of the word “Republican” has party officials incensed and strongly considering litigation for trademark infringement.
Finally, the most unusual attempt at deception we’ve seen this election is a mail piece from Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva who is running against pro-taxpayer Republican Young Kim. Like the Nguyen-Solorio race, this is a battle being fought in mostly conservative Orange County. And, like Solorio, it is hard for Quirk-Silva to hide her anti-Prop 13 animus. So what is her strategy? Simple – she puts her name beside Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association in a mail piece which simply notes that both she and HJTA support Proposition 2 – a mostly meaningless initiative on the November ballot. (Prop 2 is a marginal improvement to the state’s existing “rainy day” fund law so we support it. Note, however, it is not the hard spending limit we would prefer).
By putting her name next to HJTA, is Quirk-Silva attempting to associate herself with the “gold standard” of California taxpayer groups Apparently so. But this plan could easily backfire by giving Young Kim an opening to inform voters that it is she who has the endorsement of the HJTA Political Action Committee.
These examples are but a few of the often silly efforts at attempting to trick voters into believing that anti-taxpayer interests are not what they really are. Voters need to be aware of this treachery. Fortunately, most know who to trust. And it sure as heck isn’t the candidates and groups who are “Jarvis Jesters.”
Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.
The VIDEOS page at the top of this site has fabulous information. Many youtubes are of Jefferson Declaration Spokesman Mark Baird speaking at many Town Hall and county board of supervisor meetings. Other speakers are also included.
To learn more QUICKLY about the reasons that the State of Jefferson is a viable alternative to California, check out the videos.
Also go to the “51″ page for more youtubes and facebook pages.