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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~

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

California on the Skids

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Twenty-thousand layoff notices go out Tuesday morning

LOS ANGELES — The state of California — its deficits ballooning, its lawmakers intransigent and its governor apparently free of allies or influence — appears headed off the fiscal rails.

(Source: NY TIMES)

Mathematically, it’s really simple. If people can’t build, they don’t by property, if they don’t buy property, the don’t pay property taxes. If there are no property taxes, the economy hits the rails, basic services, including police, and fire, follow soon thereafter. 

The state, nearly out of cash, has laid off scores of workers and put hundreds more on unpaid furloughs. It has stopped paying counties and issuing income tax refunds and halted thousands of infrastructure projects.

(Source: NY TIMES

In a democracy, what happens to the least of us happens to the most of us.

SINS OF COMMISSION documents several AMERICAN stories that happen to take place in California but could happen anywhere in America… whenever people come smack up against quasijudicial regulatory agencies: Agencies or commissions that make their own rules, enforces the rules they make, and then pass judgment - usually without the hope of appeal, since you’re appealing to the same commission who sentenced you. 

When the time comes for our elected representatives to explain why the state of California, once the 5th largest economy in the world, is being flushed out to sea faster than crap into the Santa Monica Bay, they won’t admit they allowed property rights to erode. The biggest offender, along the coast at least, is the California Coastal Commission.

As California government continued its grinding downshift toward insolvency, lawmakers appeared to be settling in for an overnight stay at the Capitol as they spent a fourth afternoon searching for the last vote needed to span the state budget gap.

(Source: LA TIMES)

California is faced with a projected $42 billion deficit (CNN).

Interesting footnote. A few weeks ago, I was invited to screen SINS OF COMMISSION to an organization in the real estate sector. But as quickly as I was invited, they uninvited me because they didn’t want to be seen as anti-coastal commission - even though members of this group have been hardest hit by the double whammy of the state’s economic crash, and onerous over-regulation by the triple C that is helping to bankrupt the state.

It’s sad to watch. The Golden State — which a decade ago was the booming technology capital of the world — has been done in by two decades of chronic overspending, overregulating and a hyperprogressive tax code that exaggerates the impact on state revenues of economic boom and bust. Total state expenditures have grown to $145 billion in 2008 from $104 billion in 2003 and California now has the worst credit rating in the nation — worse even than Louisiana’s. It also has the nation’s fourth highest unemployment rate of 9.3% (after Michigan, Rhode Island and South Carolina) and the second highest home foreclosure rate (after Nevada).

Roughly 1.4 million more nonimmigrant Americans have left California than entered over the last decade, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council. California is suffering more than most states from the housing bust, but its politicians also showed less spending restraint during the boom.

(Source: Wall Street Journal)

You don’t have to be a physical engineer to know once a foundation collapses, whatever is built on top goes down. That’s why Property rights is considered the “cornerstone” of democracy…. pull that away and poof - viola!

 

Aides to the LOS ANGELES County Supervisors routinely sought to improperly influence permit development decisions?

Friday, January 16th, 2009

(Source: LA TIMES garrett.therolf@latimes.com)

Bruce W. McClendon, the chief land use planner for Los Angeles County, was fired Friday by the county’s chief executive. McClendon thinks it was in retaliation for blowing the whistle on county supervisors’ aides.

McClendon said he was called to a meeting with William T Fujioka and told he was terminated from his $191,028-a-year job as head of the Department of Regional Planning. Security officers later escorted him out of the building.

According to the LA TIMES, when McClendon was reached by telephone, he said

… he believed he had been fired in retaliation for blowing the whistle on county supervisors’ aides. He said he had given Fujioka information that showed that aides to the county supervisors routinely sought to improperly influence decisions on whether to permit development plans.

“It was illegal, and they can go to jail for doing it,”said McClendon, 62. He said his meetings with Fujioka in recent weeks made it clear that he was likely to be fired. He said he recently began consulting with attorneys in preparation for filing a whistle-blower retaliation lawsuit.

Fujioka denied that McClendon had given him such information. Aides to Supervisors Michael Antonovich, Don Knabe, Gloria Molina, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Zev Yaroslavsky declined to comment on the allegations.

McClendon said that he had to protect his staff from day-to-day interference from supervisors’ aides, which was supposed to be reduced under a new county structure that went into effect in 2007.

The Department of Regional Planning performs all land use planning functions for the unincorporated areas of the county. Like Topanga Canyon. Services include long-range planning, land development counseling, project review, environmental review and zoning enforcement.

This is the same bunch Kathleen Kenny filed a R.I.C.O suit against. ( Please see: Kathleen Kenny vs California Coastal Commission - SINS OF COMMISSION) Watch the trailer on this site or YOUTUBE  

The more things change… the more things stay the same….

Los Angeles County’s unincorporated areas include more than 2,600 square miles and represent two-thirds of the county’s land and one-tenth of its population. Some of that land is in the California Coastal  Zone, and under the jursidiction of the California Coastal Commission… 

Read more of this great article by Garrett Therolf at the LA TIMES garrett.therolf@latimes.com



 
 
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