sins of commission

 

 
 
about the film sins of commission

Archive for August, 2009

California Fire Season - A Promise Broken

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 29) — A growing wildfire sending massive billows of smoke into the sky north of Los Angeles nearly tripled in size Saturday, injuring three residents, burning a small number of homes, knocking out power to many more and prompting evacuations in a number of mountain

Mandatory evacuations were extended Saturday into neighborhoods in the canyons on the northwestern edge of Altadena, Glendale, La Crescenta and Big Tujunga Canyon, Forest Service spokesman Bruce Quintelier said. It was unclear how many residents were ordered to leave.

California is heading into the most destructive part of its fire season, when winds can whip flames into 90 mile per hour storms of fire - it’s clear that a promise was not kept.

Anyone who suggests fire protection can be as good this fall as in recent years most likely will turn out to be living a fantasy. That, of course, would include Schwarzenegger, for whom everything almost always is “fantastic” in more ways than one.

(Source-Tom Elias www.californiafocus.net)

The new state budget cuts $27 million from Cal Fire, the state agency that sends people and equipment wherever they’re needed most. The reduction includes more than $10 million earmarked for new fire engines, hoses, pumps and other equipment.

There’s also the matter of the DC-10 airborne tanker, another so-called budget cut likely to cost more than it saves.

For years, California has contracted for a standby DC-10 that can dump up to 12,000 gallons of water or fire retardant each time valves open beneath its huge tank.

But a stroke of Schwarzenegger’s pen cancelled the $7 million contract that kept that jumbo jet plane on standby for California.

Now, the state will pay more than $66,000 every day it uses the plane, with a five-day minimum. Anything beyond 21 deployments would end up costing more than the budget cut - and if this year turns out like the last few, that’s how it will be….assuming the DC-10 is available.

But these reductions in state firefighting ability may pale beside what local fire departments will suffer because of the new budget’s raids on local funds.

In Los Angeles, for one, firefighting officials must cover a $39 million shortfall caused in large part by the state raid. So there will be “brownouts” at many city fire stations, with a total of 87 fewer firefighters on duty each day, almost one-tenth of the usual work force. One battalion command team, 15 fire companies and nine ambulances will be out of service each day, but no city fire stations will actually close.

In other areas, including parts of San Diego County ravaged by several large fires over the last five years, fire prevention efforts are being cut. High-risk Fallbrook is one such place, while several other local districts are ironically casting about for money to pay their contracts for standby assistance from Cal Fire. If they can’t pay, the state agency will either have to let the locals handle all problems or go to work without the payment it usually gets. Since Cal Fire insists nothing will diminish its performance, the agency will probably work some fires without reimbursement. Some budget solution.

The most significant thing here is that while officials say they will still “attack and respond,” they may not be able to be as effective as usual.

(Source-Tom Elias www.californiafocus.net)

So far, there heven’t been any mega-blazes anywhere in California until mid-August. But the driest part of the year is still ahead, the season when past wildfires have ravaged Malibu, Berkeley, Bel Air, Rancho Santa Fe, Laguna Beach, the Oakland hills and many other California areas.

Farm Team Action Alert: STOP California Coastal Commission tyranny STOP AB 226 STOP AB 291.

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Please take action on the following FARM TEAM ACTION ALERT.

We need the farmers - and the farmers need us!

Action Alert

Coastal Commission Bills Await Floor Vote

Two bills that would have major impacts on property owners in the Coastal zone are headed to the Senate floor for a vote.

AB 226 (Ruskin) and AB 291 (Saldaña) grant the California Coastal Commission (CCC) with new authority in determining violations, imposing penalties and administering the permitting process.

Considering California’s current budget situation, this is likely an attempt to increase revenues for the commission in order to maintain a budget the commission feels it deserves.

Stop the power grab and take action today by clicking on the bill numbers below!

AB 226 (Ruskin, D-Redwood City) Oppose

Increases the role of government by granting new authority to the California Coastal Commission to impose massive civil penalties for violation of the Coastal Act.  The bill would allow for penalties to be imposed after a simple hearing of the Commission as opposed to due process afforded through the judicial system.

AB 291 (Saldaña, D-San Diego) Oppose

Increases the role of government by granting new authority to the California Coastal Commission that prohibits a landowner from even submitting a coastal development permit if they are merely accused of a violation of the Coastal Act.

The State Legislature only has until September 11 to take action on the remaining bills.  Make sure your voice is heard today!

AB 226 Action Alert - http://www.capwiz.com/cfbf/issues/alert/?alertid=13948831&type=ST

AB 291 Action Alert- http://www.capwiz.com/cfbf/issues/alert/?alertid=13941621&type=ST

The People of California urgently need your help.

Donate to SINS OF COMMISSION or The CALIFORNIA FARM BUREAU

Support SINS OF COMMISSION. I urgently need your help to finish the film and get it to the people. ALL donations are tax deductible and confidential when made through the film’s fiscal sponsor The INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION, a 501 c3 non profit foundation. Fastest, easiest way to help is to click the “DONATE NOW button” on the side of this page, and you will be whisked away to a secure PAY PAL page set up for us. Fill in the blanks, click “send” and bingo…you’ve helped!  You can also send a check to:

The International Documentary Association
Fiscal Sponsorship Program
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA  90017.

Please be sure to write  “for: SINS OF COMMISSION” on your check. 

Thank you in advance for your support,

Richard Oshen

Stop the California Coastal Commission’s attack on coastal families

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

If ever there ever was a time in California to stop the abusive practices of the California Coastal Commission, that time is now.  Two dangerous bills AB 226 and AB 291 are in committee and must be stopped.

AB 226 (RUSKIN) would greatly expand the Coastal Commission’s enforcement authority by allowing the Commission to act as both prosecutor and judge and impose civil penalties and allow the Commission to retain the penalties it assesses to augment its own budget.

Even more sinister, AB 226 creates dangerous motivation for the Commission to seek civil penalties as a way to augment its budget, and would strip alleged violators of due process afforded by the courts.

AB 291 (SALDANA) grants Coastal Commission staff the authority to deny permit applications without a hearing. AB 291 gives Coastal Commission staff the power to halt processing of a permit application if the Commission staff asserts that any violation exists on any property for which a permit is filed.

In other words AB 291 presumes an applicant is”guilty until proven innocent” by giving the Commission staff the ability to refuse to process a coastal development permit application until staff is satisfied that the alleged violation, whether related to the permit application or not, was cured. Families with homes will be prejudiced by arbitrary delays.

If there is one thing the California Coastal Commission does not need it is additional enforcement authority.  30 years of court records clearly shows the CCC abuses the power they already have! The triple c doesn’t need more power ... they need reform… and it is well past time that the California legislature reform the California Coastal Commission.

The following letter explains why-

There are two bills in the California legislature, AB 226 and AB 291, that grant more broad sweeping legal powers to the California Coastal Commission to intimidate citizens and the people he presents in his documentary film project, “Sins of Commission.” I saw it at a showing at a private home. It is a powerful call for reform of the California Coastal Commission, which evidently fears its exposure in the film as an autocratic, appointed board with special powers and no meaningful oversight.

Those of us who support public access to and preservation of the California coast, as I do, may not be aware of the aggregation of powers by the CCC. I witnessed it in action recently, as it attempted to subvert the Brown Act (transparency in government) and as it refused to even read the opposition arguments submitted by an NGO and by 84 citizens who wrote individual letters, before it “permanently voted” to approve the filling of a swimming pool that cost the state nothing and served the handicapped, the chronically ill, children, and the public for over 50 years. I also look down on a private beach club’s two story buildings and tennis courts on the beach across PCH from where we live that were approved by the CCC apparently without meaningful mitigation.

The CCC now uses special legislative powers over a swath of land five miles inland from the coast to further its objectives, in concert with other state agencies and commissions. In so doing, Richard Oshen documents, it legally intimidates and financially breaks private citizens with landholdings inside the designated “coastal zone,” even when they seek rational, small improvements on their properties. He shows how a CCC board member, however, holds property in the zone that is not subject to the same rules. He also presents a powerful indictment of the CCC’s powers over local control by munipalities that would protect against the wildfires we have experienced during an extended drought. Even large cities, such as San Diego, and wealthy towns, such as Malibu–both severely affected by wildfires–have been unable to defend against the CCC powers in concert with other state entities.

These bills need opposition. The CCC needs reform, oversight, to operate according to democratic rules of procedure, and to return to its mandate to protect the coast. Please contact your state representatives and urge them to oppose AB 226 and AB 291. Please circulate this email to conservationists and supporters of private property, local government, and open democracy.

I am circulating this letter in my role as a private citizen, not as a member of any group. As a historian of religions, an environmentalist, and a community development worker, I am supporting Richard Oshen’s film as a private act of conscience. I do not express the views of any group with which I am associated. They are solely my views.

Thank-you,
Jean Rosenfeld

Thank-you, Jean for your kind words.

A now… a little foot tapping music while you’re making that phone call.

Take it away maestro~

Attorney General Withdraws Subpoena for SINS OF COMMISSION

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

I received the news yesterday. I was disappointed to learn the court granted the CCC their summary judgment. I am glad the state dropped its subphoena for SINS OF COMMISSION…but not relieved… if you know what I mean. To know the coastal commission can subphoena a work print and demand raw footage of an unreleased documentary film any time they want, in violation of the 1st amendment,and that too is OK with the courts in California invites very careful consideration by those who oversee such stuff.

I’m in the process of ramping up efforts to complete SINS OF COMMISSION and find the best way for the film can reach the people of California and United States.  Currently, distribution consists of well worn unfinished DVD copies being passed hand to hand underground by the people along the coast of California who know there is another side of the CCC story that isn’t being reported in the news or on TV - except by this film.

Sadly for all of us, the judge let the California Coastal Commission worm their way out of their day in court thanks to a scheme that guarantees no citizen of the state will ever have a fair trail against the state sanctioned thuggery of California Coastal Commission and other agencies like them.

California Courts seem to routinely make the wrong call on coastal commission cases when it appears the CCC is going to  lose, and I am not the first observer to arrive at this conclusion.

I refer to the California Sate Bar Journal Volume 54, No. 1 January/February 1979. In the article, “YOU CANT WIN THEM ALL - OR CAN YOU?”,  an interesting point was raised by the author then, that ought to be reexamined now.

Is it possible for any lawyer (let alone a single client) to be right 88% of the time?

-Michael M. Berger

Let that sink in for a second.  Is it possible…. for any  lawyer….(let alone a single client)….to be RIGHT 88% of the time?

The statistical implication is that trial lawyers are wrong almost all of the time.  How can that be?

That’s 9 times out of 10 times up at bat! That ought raise some eyebrows whether you are a baseball fan or not, and seriously put into play the “honesty” of the recent CCC win into some major league big doubt.

To further understand the screwball math,  one must understand coastal commission modus operandi. Simply put, the triple C can (and does) change-up, alter, amend, and/or create new rules at whim.  The other well know fact is that courts routinely bend the rules for government agencies.

For instance, in South Coast Regional Com v Gordon 18 Cal,3d 832 (1977) the author cite 2 new rules were established - that has startling ramifications. Mr. Berger continues,

Our judicial system is premised on the idea that lawyers-as officers of the court-deal forthrightly with the courts before whom, they practice and the parties whom they oppose…In order to preserve the integrity of litigation as a dispute settling mechanism.

-Michael M. Berger

Take a stand against the California Coastal Commission’s skulduggery.

Support SINS OF COMMISSION. I urgently need your help to finish the film and get it to the people. ALL donations are tax deductible and confidential when made through the film’s fiscal sponsor The INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION, a 501 c3 non profit foundation. Fastest, easiest way to help is to click the “DONATE NOW button” on the side of this page, and you will be whisked away to a secure PAY PAL page set up for us. Fill in the blanks, click “send” and bingo…you’ve helped!  You can also send a check to:

The International Documentary Association
Fiscal Sponsorship Program
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA  90017.

Please be sure to write  “for: SINS OF COMMISSION” on your check. 

Thank you in advance for your support,

SINS OF COMMISSION sheds more light on California Coastal Commission

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

The California Coastal Commission vs. Its Critics

The “most formidable player” in California land regulation demands a documentarian’s raw footage

Thank you Brian Doherty and REASON MAGAZINE for clearly, and eloquently illuminating how the California Coastal Commission’s mission has morphed over 30 years into a land grab of immense proportions and far beyond what any reasonable person one would think of as the protection of California’s coast.

Hopefully readers now begin to see just how dangerous two new bills, AB 226 and AB 291, now being considered in the California state legislature are.  If they pass, the result will be like giving steroids to a bull in a china shop. That bull may only be in the coastal zone now but it can easily rampage up the street where you live and ransack your property in the blink of an eye- unless you take some mighty quick action.

Armed with the potent new powers prescribed in AB 226, a well documented power-abusive commission will have more even more broad, sweeping power to tax and fine.  In the case of AB 226, the California Coastal Commission will have the power to levy $5,000-$50,000 “administrative civil penalties” without having to get a court order .

It is unfortunate for the people of California that government views going to court to secure permission to levy a fine on people an inconvenience like a sand trap on a golf course.

This is a brazen broad-daylight attack on our rights… so why does the California legislature continue to endorse thuggery when it should be stopping it?  Where, then, have all the safeguards gone that protect our families, and friends?

California’s government failed to protect people’s property in the past, and won’t protect it now. Instead it will resort to dirty deeds perpetrated on helpless people by a state-sponsored, steroid-induced coastal Czar who has reigned unrestricted over people’s lives for 29 years,  who said on-camera he is not a civil servant, and thus not bound by the constitution nor term limits.

Call your representatives now. STOP AB 226 and AB 291 while they’re still in committee.

After you make the call consider helping SINS OF COMMISSION with a generous tax-deductible donation. Help us help you…or if you prefer, you can just pay them… it’s your choice- but we’re the ones offering a 501c3 deduction… not them.

ALL donations are tax deductible and confidential when made through the film’s fiscal sponsor the INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION, a 501 c3 non profit foundation. Fastest, easiest way to help is to click the “DONATE NOW button” on the side of this page, and you will be whisked away to a secure PAY PAL page set up for us. Fill in the blanks, click “send” and bingo…you’ve helped!  You can also send a check to:

The International Documentary Association
Fiscal Sponsorship Program
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA  90017.

Please be sure to write  “for: SINS OF COMMISSION” on your check. 

Thank you in advance for your support,

Richard

SINS OF COMMISSION - KSCO AM - SATURDAY SPECIAL Audio File

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

NOW - Listen to this!

If you missed KSCO’s spectacular SATURDAY SPECIAL radio show hosted by MZ, broadcast last Saturday on AM 1080 - you can hear it right here right now.

If you think SINS OF COMMISSION is making a difference in California- help keep it going.

Critical time California.

2 diabolical bills, AB 226 and AB 291 are in the works and if you think the people along the coast in California are the only ones going to suffer, you are are in for a big surprise, and a rude awakening.

Now, more than ever, is the time to contribute to SINS OF COMMISSION. If you’ve been thinking about doing it, hoping someone else would - waiting for summer, wait no longer - summer is almost over.

ALL donations are tax deductible and confidential when made through the film’s fiscal sponsor the INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION, a 501 c3 non profit foundation. Fastest, easiest way to help is to click the “DONATE NOW button” on the side of this page, and you will be whisked away to a secure PAY PAL page set up for us. Fill in the blanks, click “send” and bingo…you’ve helped!  You can also send a check to:

The International Documentary Association
Fiscal Sponsorship Program
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA  90017.

Please be sure to write  “for: SINS OF COMMISSION” on your check. 

Thank you in advance for your support,

Richard

SINS OF COMMISSION - KSCO AM 1080 - Adds Distinguished Guests

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

When SINS OF COMMISSION filmmaker Richard Oshen takes to the airwaves on Michael Zwerling’s SATURDAY SPECIAL, August 8 on KSCO AM 1080, he will be joined by two prominent guests in the struggle for human rights in California.

Terry Gossett is President, and a founding director of Californians for Property Rights, an educational public benefit corporation. Terry has been a director of a number of technical, financial and community organizations. He currently consults for the aerospace industry in program management and simulation of manned and unmanned aircraft systems.Terry and his wife, Bee, have lived in Moss Beach since 1998.

Damien Schiff is a staff attorney for Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), the oldest and most successful public-interest legal organization that litigates for property rights, limited government, free enterprise and a balanced approach to environmental regulation, in courts across the country. Mr. Schiff obtained his law degree magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law, and his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University.

This is going to be an eye-opener of a show for a lot of people, says Oshen. SINS OF COMMISSION is a powerful film because it takes people behind the veil of secrecy surrounding the  California Coastal Commission to reveal how the commission operates, and what they do behind the scenes for the first time.

In NOLLAN v. CALIFORNINA COASTAL COMMISSION, (483 U.S. 825) The Supreme Court of the United States called the coastal commission’s practices an “out-and-out plan of extortion.”

In a controversial 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that a requirement by the CCC was a taking in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments… and yet it is inconceivable to think that there is a bill currently on the table, AB 226, that proposes to grant this already power-mad commission even more enforcement power?  If you live in a home along the coast of California… or anywhere else in America - don’t miss this show.

SINS OF COMMISSION - KSCO AM 1080 - Saturday 08-08-09 - 10 AM

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

SINS OF COMMISSION, the first documentary film expose of the California Coastal Commission in its history, takes to the airwaves this weekend on SATURDAY SPECIALKSCO 1080 AM, (Santa Cruz - San Francisco).  MZ, Michael Zwerling, maverick owner of KSCO and KOMY hosts the 2 hour radio show August 8 from 10 AM to 12 PM.

4 and 1/2 years ago, Filmmaker Richard Oshen lived inland and didn’t know anything about the California Coastal Commission. Like most Californians he figured they had something to do with the beaches or the water.

When close friends called him to document an inspection of their land by the coastal commission, he thought he would just show up with a camera, film the inspection for about an hour or so, hand the tape to his friends, and be done.

It didn’t happen that way, says Oshen.  Instead, he stepped into a shadowy world he never knew existed. The California Coastal Zone is like a parallel universe , he says. You think you are still in California, you think you are still in America… but the reality is anything but.

California’s dirty little secret.

Saturday’s show promises to be an eye-opener.

The scary thing about the whole thing is that I have observed the California Coastal Commission treat human beings living along the California coast as enemies of the state.

-Richard Oshen, filmmaker

It has taken this long to get to this point because the Triple C controls the mainstream media covertly or overtly preventing anything critical of them from getting out. Now, for the first time, the people get to hear the other side of the California Coastal Commission story…the side of the story the commission doesn’t want you to know…

This is a very crucial time for California. Two new bills coming down the pike,  AB 226 and AB 291, are very troublesome because they will give a well documented, historically proven, power mad commission… more power.  Does this sounds like a bad idea for the people of California - or what?

For more information about KSCO and Saturday’s show click SATURDAY SPECIAL

A word about how to listen to KSCO live–

Click this link http://www.ksco.com/listentips.cfm, download a file called kscolive.m3u to your desktop– you should get live feed at that point.

SINS OF COMMISSION needs your support to complete the film, and get it out.

ALL donations are tax deductible when made through the film’s fiscal sponsor the INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION, a 501 c3 non profit foundation. Fastest, easiest way to help is to click the “DONATE NOW button” on the side of this page, and you will be whisked away to a secure PAY PAL page set up for us. Fill in the blanks, click “send” and you’ve helped!  You can also send a check to:

The International Documentary Association
Fiscal Sponsorship Program
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA  90017.

Please be sure to write  “for: SINS OF COMMISSION” on your check. 

All contribution information is confidential.

Thank you in advance for your support,

Richard



 
 
Subscribe for Updates
First name
E-mail
 
facebook international documentary association imdb youtube