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California Coastal Commission - Burns them out again

Friday, May 8th, 2009

They have to burn, they will burn,” said Coast Commission spokeswoman Sarah Christie.

State rules protecting maritime chaparral place homeowner’s lives at risk

California Families who have long bristled at the immense authority of the California Coastal Commission, contend that state rules protecting maritime chaparral have placed homeowners at risk and exacerbated the fire danger.

Although the commission flatly rejects that assertion, ( of course they would)  SINS OF COMMISSION thinks not- as this 2008 interview reveals -

Chaparral thrives up and down the coast- from Southern California up to Mendocino County-and is what the fire department calls fuel beds for fires.

Problem is maritime chaparral is designated by California Coastal Commission as “environmentally sensitive habitat” and protected by law,theoretically because “it is susceptible to disturbance or degradation by human activities” -  but the State Fire Marshal is responsible for the public’s safety.

Who is in charge? The California Coastal Commission…. or the state Fire Marshal?

Did the California Coastal Commission say endangered? Sensitive? Susceptible to disturbance? we think not.

It is estimated the so called “sensitive” shrub blankets 1.3 million acres across the state, or more. Others, including an expert from the [California] State Department of Fish and Game and those who have analyzed the issue for the Coastal Commission - meaning paid to say, believe it is closer to 20,000 acres but that it may appear far more widespread because other varieties of plants are mixed in.

Whatever the acreage, California Coastal Families say the commission’s chaparral-protection rule blocks them from taking even basic precautions against wildfires, such as cutting a defensive perimeter around their homes, or from remodeling or expanding structures on their property.

( Source: Capitol Weekly)

The statement means that “people will have their land effectively condemned based upon the personal opinion of one person, the expert the county or commission requires them to hire to do a biological assessment of their property as part of the permit process.

The commission emphatically denies that its regulations contribute to the fire danger, and notes that the state generally defers to local fire agencies in emergencies on questions of local property protection. But many homeowners who were forced to evacuate and huddle with neighbors aren’t buying that at all: The chaparral, they believe, contributed to the lightning-sparked Big Sur fires, which …destroyed 20 homes and charred at least 72,000 acres.

The central message here for us is that the maritime chaparral, like the San Diego coast sage shrub, are not just fire-prone, they are fire-dependent. They have evolved over a millennium to require fire to regenerate. They have to burn, they will burn,” said Coast Commission spokeswoman Sarah Christie.

( Source: Capitol Weekly)

SINS OF COMMISSION vehemently disagrees, and firefighters like Mr. Franklin concur.

Are you burnt out from all of these fires? And the season is just beginning.

Tired of spending billions of YOUR dollars to fight fires that shouldn’t be in the first place?

Help us get the film out to the people, the media and the legislators.

Donate now through our fiscal sponsors the International Documentary Association a 501 c3 non profit foundation and receive a tax deduction .

Save California.  Save the Coast.  Save your homes.

California Wildfires - Who Really Gets Burnt? Follow The Money - Part 1

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Fire Victims Feel Burned by Lawmakers Tied to Insurers

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

By Jordan Rau Times Staff Writer
February 27, 2006 in print edition A-1 

SACRAMENTO ” Karen Reimus’ San Diego house was obliterated by the 2003 wildfires, leaving nothing recognizable except a charred jogging stroller and her daughter’s burned bicycle.  Yet her insurer insisted that she catalog each of her family’s destroyed personal items  ” down to pens and tampons ” if she wanted to be reimbursed.

“When insurance companies are selling peace of mind the way they do in their advertisements, nobody has any inkling of the hoops you are going to have to jump through,” said Reimus, a 39-year-old lawyer and mother of two.

She reached a settlement with her insurer after months of wrangling. Dozens of similarly frustrating experiences prompted Reimus and other survivors of one of the worst wildfire seasons in California history to urge that new rules be imposed on insurers. But the most far-reaching efforts were derailed by a panel of state lawmakers that is closely aligned with the insurance industry, offering an unusually clear window on how Sacramento works and how legislation can be determined by a handful of well-placed politicians.

Insurers have spent $25 million on lobbyists

Insurers have spent $25 million on lobbyists, campaign contributions and perks for lawmakers  ” even some who regularly cross them  ” since 2003. Their money shows up particularly prominently in the campaign coffers of members of the Assembly Insurance Committee, a pro-business, relatively conservative bastion within the generally liberal Legislature.

Insurance money  ” more than $1 million in 2003-04  ” makes up nearly a fifth of some of those members’ war chests. And members, their spouses and their aides routinely accept expensive meals, free golf games, hotel rooms, tickets to Laker and Clipper basketball games and other gifts from insurers and their lobbyists.  

See which California lawmakers, that represent you, make the biggest bucks from the insurance industry in Part 4.

Source: Times reporting
Los Angeles Times

See the article on Los Angeles Times website

Feeling burnt? Help us get the message out.

Donate now through the International Documentary Association, our fiscal sponsor.

Big Kudos to California Clean Money Campaign. Visit them at CCMC



 
 
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