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Political
Political

California Democrats: Are they really democratic?

■ Thomas D. Elias / Contributed It was one of the biggest disconnects in last year’s elections. In early 2018, three months before the June primary election, 54 percent of delegates to a convention of the California Democratic Party voted to desert longtime U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and endorse the termed-out former president of the state Senate, Kevin de Leon of East Los Angeles. Voters demurred. In the primary, rank-and-file Democrats backed Feinstein by about a 70-30 percent margin. But the party organization ignored them. Its executive board voted to endorse de Leon anyway in their Democrat-on-Democrat November runoff election. Again, Feinstein won. This proved the state party organization comes nowhere (more…)
Political

Council approves 11 new police and fire vehicles

<strong>Council approves 11 new police and fire vehicles</strong>
Assigned cars said to increase police ‘boots on the ground’ File photos ■ By Tom Jones / Contributed The Hemet City Council recently authorized the purchase of seven new police vehicles and four emergency response vehicles for the police and fire departments. The fully equipped police cars are to be purchased under an assigned patrol vehicle plan, first implemented in 1994, that increases police visibility, patrol time and useful life of each vehicle. By assigning vehicles rather than using pooled patrol cars, down time at the beginning and end of shifts is eliminated allowing officers to stay in-service for the entire length of a shift adding about 60 minutes per day, (more…)
Political

Report from newly elected DB42 member

<strong>Report from newly elected DB42 member</strong>
Francisco Ramos joins Executive Board of California Democratic Party File PhotoFrancisco Ramos joins Executive Board of California Democratic Party. ■ Francisco Ramos / Contributed Editor’s note: This report was filed by Francisco Ramos, recently elected to the California Democratic Party Convention for District 42. What a huge day Saturday was! The results are in. Our Deep Blue 42 ticket won 5 out of 7 of the “Other than self-identified female” spots, with two of our DB42 members becoming first alternates. Also, DB42 won three self-identified female seats. I am proud to announce, that I came in number one for the Executive Board and also in the “Other than self-identified female“ category. (more…)
Political

Brown’s legacy projects won’t happen as planned

■ Thomas D. Elias / Contributed The farther four-term Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown gets from the state Capitol’s “horseshoe” office suite, the less anyone in power has seems to care about completing either of his two “legacy” projects. For one, the fate of the high speed rail “bullet train” project authorized under a 2008 ballot proposition just became more clear. New Gov. Gavin Newsom has decided the state should keep and use bridges and viaducts already built in the Central Valley. But not as part of a Los Angeles-to-San Francisco bullet train. Rather, he sees a high speed rail project of a different scope, confined to running between Bakersfield and Merced. (more…)
Political

Did the government shutdown gamble with aviation safety?

Critical safety steps skipped with inspectors furloughed, says union president ■ Chronicle News Service For every day the federal government is shut down and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees are impacted, the nation’s aviation system is gambling with aviation safety, Professional Aviation Safety Specialists National President Mike Perrone told Congress on Feb. 13. And while 4,000 aviation safety inspectors were furloughed at the onset of the partial government shutdown, he said, “A critical layer of safety was missing, and this is unacceptable.” Perrone testifies before Congress Perrone testified in front of the Aviation Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at a hearing entitled “Putting U.S. Aviation Safety at Risk: (more…)
Political

Melendez responds to Governor Newsom’s first State address

■ Jared Yoshiki / Contributed On Feb 12, Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, issued the following statement in response to Governor Newsom’s first State of the State address: “Today the Governor acknowledged the need for CEQA reform, a plea made by Republicans for years. We should once and for all halt the practice of giving billionaires financial breaks with CEQA exemptions so they can build sports arenas, and start giving those financial breaks to struggling Californians. No more giveaways to wealthy team owners. “Much talk was made of new commissions being formed, new boards being formed, new task forces being formed. Translation: more government being formed. “While I appreciate the Governor’s (more…)
Political

Ballot harvesting

Fundamental transformation of the American democratic process ■ Election Integrity Project California / Contributed The term “ballot harvesting” may now be the most talked-about topic in the world of elections. Perhaps it is time for some clarification. There are two types of ballot harvesting. One, though at the very least despicable and unethical, is now nevertheless legal in California: anyone, provided that payment is not provided on a per-ballot basis, can lawfully take possession of and submit anyone else’s vote-by-mail (VBM) ballot, regardless of relationship or lack thereof. This type of ballot harvesting allows for unimpeded coercion of vulnerable people, such as college students, union members, people in assisted living and (more…)
Political

Sidewalk vendor law taking effect

<strong>Sidewalk vendor law taking effect</strong>
State mandated sidewalk vending regulations enacted in San Jacinto Photo by Jacob DoaneA sidewalk vendor named “DogODog” sets up shop outside of a San Jacinto City Council meeting. ■ Jacob Doane / Contributed SB 946, the law passed in 2018, protects the activity of street vendors in the state and allows them to sell on the streets. However, under this new law local government has the authority to hold these vendors to standards of health, safety, and public wellbeing. On Jan. 1 this law came into effect. This bill had previously been proposed as an option to the San Jacinto City Council, but was declined. However, with the State ordinance issued, (more…)
Political

Hemet Chamber’s interim director sets her sights on growth

<strong>Hemet Chamber’s interim director sets her sights on growth</strong>
With a background in marketing, Cyndi Lemke’s path is a foregone conclusion Courtesy Cyndi Lemke and FacebookMarketing has been Cyndi Lemke’s focus for years including a four-year stint as marketing manager of the Soboba Casino. She now is interim executive director of the Hemet San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce. Courtesy Cyndi Lemke and FacebookCyndi Lemke has lived in the valley for more than three decades and has been a marketing professional and real estate agent who is now poised to assume direction of the Hemet San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce. ■ By Chris Smith / Advisory Editor The Hemet San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce is the hub in a beehive of (more…)
Political

GOP hopefuls would update tactics, not message

■ Thomas D. Elias / Contributed California Republicans have been predictably disconsolate since their election debacle of last fall, when Democrats swept them from every contested California seat in Congress and won complete control of state government for at least the next two years. The GOP gets its first chance to do something about that in its late February state convention in Sacramento, where the main order of business will be to replace the party’s current state chair, the affable former state Sen. Jim Brulte. A hotly contested race for this potentially significant slot features one moderate and two ultra-conservatives, all advocating change for their party. But none appears willing to (more…)