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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.

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 withdraws from West Hollywood International Film Festival

Friday, July 10th, 2009

SINS OF COMMISSION, the first documentary film to penetrate the veil of secrecy surrounding the California Coastal Commission, withdrew from the West Hollywood International Film Festival late this afternoon.

“Irreconcilable differences prevent us from participating”, said Richard Oshen, writer, director, and producer of the debut film from Pacific Coast Highway Productions, Inc.

I am deeply saddened the people of California must wait longer to see SINS OF COMMISSION. I am 100% committed to bringing the film out, and I hope I can do that very soon. Each day we are delayed people and environment suffer in California.

Richard Oshen, SINS OF COMMISSION, writer, director, producer

“I wish everyone associated with WHIFF 2009 the best of luck”.



 
 
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