First, Mr. Cohea states "...evangelicals didn’t abandon the poor, the widow, the orphan or the innocent unborn. They just think the government does a poor job in serving them. That they and the countless organizations they sponsor do a far better job.”
Please do tell about the church’s efforts and the "countless organizations they sponsor." From my career in family mental health and child welfare, if it wasn’t for the government’s programs like foster care, providing children’s mental health services, funding parenting programs, and providing mental health supports in schools, challenged families and children would be floundering.
Please do tell the large-scale efforts that the church consistently provides every county in this nation to support these families. Also what organizations the church supports that, again, provide concrete help to families in every county in this nation.
Second, bring me some data on how Trump’s tax cuts helped us. Here’s some.
A Forbes magazine article from May 30, 2019 states Trump's tax cuts "didn’t work and the data prove it." Investment did not boom and the richest got even richer. Instead, the federal government acquired massive deficits while wealth inequality reached its highest point in three decades.
There’s plenty of data to show the tax cuts did not have benefits for the average American. Ready and waiting to hear how the tax cuts helped "blue collar workers and retirees."
I’ve been following Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antenna (CPMRAs, aka Small Cells), and Napa City Council’s approach to this new technology, along the way raising my concerns as well as my ideas for alternative approaches to councilmembers and city staff.
However, since approving its initial contract with Verizon in December 2017, the council has not yet taken one essential step: updating the City of Napa’s telecommunications ordinance.
An updated telecommunications ordinance is a proactive — and viable — way for our city to assert its local values, preferences and needs in a unified and integrated manner, rather than piecemeal responses and action steps. A more current ordinance is needed in order to balance residents’ concerns and needs with the incipient wave of CPRMAs/Small Cells that has come to our city and is likely to gain significant momentum.
Council has joined other cities and voiced support of local control on the subject of CPMRAs/Small Cells by supporting HR 530. That’s great, but it’s not enough.
It’s not too late for our council to act on this. If you agree, please call or email Mayor Techel and Councilmembers Alessio, Gentry, Luros and Sedgley.
The crunch of bald tires on a deep rutted gravel road leading to a tiny parcel of a once tree-studded land cradling a modest retirement home fails to reverberate on soil scraped clean by a hazmat crew on both sides of the road as far as the eye can see.
A single glove with three fingers missing hangs stiffly from a rusted and bent mailbox flag.
Husband and wife had both quickly forgotten the sole cup of coffee purchased 80 miles away long gone cold.
Glancing at the PG&E stock certificate on the seat between them, a solitary tear disappears into white stubble as the car rolls to a stop on land that used to be a respectable testament to the American Dream. Some 3.7 million tons of toxic detritus of some 19,000 lives were hauled away from Paradise, California.
In response to the Camp Fire that killed 86 people and reduced virtually every home and business of the 19,000 people living and working in Paradise to ash, PG&E issued following statement: “We remain deeply sorry about the role our equipment had in this tragedy and we apologize to all those impacted by the devastating Camp Fire (Wall Street Journal).”
PG&E knew its Caribou-Palermo line (origin of the Camp Fire) that went into operation in 1921 had reached the end of its useful life. In 2010, a PG&E report suggested the company needed to climb a sample of its towers to determine whether they were holding up. PG&E didn’t follow its own suggestion. The origin of the Camp Fire was “no isolated incident, but rather indicative of an overall pattern of inadequate inspection and maintenance if PG&E’s transmission facilities (California Public Utility Commission-CPUC).”
PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2019 to protect shareholders rather than its ratepayers who helped generate $16.8 billion in revenue in 2018 alone. In what constitutes the biggest utility bankruptcy in U.S. history, PG&E has proposed a settlement of $11 billion to insurance companies, $1 billion to local governments, and $13.5 billion — to be paid out over 18 months; half cash and half PG&E stock — to some 100,000 wildfire claimants. Following PG&E’s announcement of the proposed settlement, its stock went up 11% and 16% in consecutive weeks. (Los AngelesTimes).
In order for PG&E to qualify for access to a California taxpayer generated wildfire fund of some $21 billion, it must settle all claims by June 2020.
The CPUC passed Rule 20A over 10 years ago to allow PG&E to increase utility rates for purposes of burying power lines for “aesthetic reasons.” Until 2017, PG&E was allowed to “relocate those funds as the need arose.” Between 2007 and 2017, PG&E diverted $123 million from the Rule 20A program for things “it deemed more important” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Evidence of PG&E spending priorities was the installation of smart meters to track and collect revenue from ratepayers rather than inspecting and repairing the equipment later determined as the primary source of catastrophic wildfires.
All three privately held power companies in California have socialized profits established by the CPUC; PG&E is guaranteed 10.25% annually. For every dollar PG&E spends building electric or gas infrastructure, it is allowed return $.10 in pure profit. PG&E claims: “Maintaining a safe and reliable service…requires capital in which the investors deserve a fair return.” (Los Angeles Times).
PG&E, in its demurrer to rescind “inverse condemnation” in California bankruptcy law that mandates utilities to pay any damages caused by its equipment whether or not it is determined to be at fault, evidenced informed knowledge of the environmental threats to its transmission lines: five years of record breaking drought; bark beetle infestation leading to extreme tree mortality crisis; heavy rainfall in the winter of 2016 creating new vegetation growth, hottest summer on record in 2017, and more than 210 million trees in its service territory that could contact or fall into overhead electric lines. PG&E’s electrical equipment has sparked more than a fire a day on average since 2014 (Los Angeles Times).
PG&E does not possess the fidelity to its ratepayers to identify and take the actions necessary to protect them from catastrophic wildfires and serial blackouts during the annual wildfire season that has grown by 75 days in the last four decades. As long as the CPUC guarantees PG&E shareholders a socialized annual profit the task of eliminating wildfire threats by burying its transmission lines and implementing other protective measures will never be implemented in a comprehensive and expedited manner.
It is elemental to our continued health, safety, and economic well-being that we ratepayers take operational control of PG&E.
Let’s start out with two concepts. Thousands of years ago, there were about 1,000 people on earth. If this is the case, let’s think that all of us are related and cousins.
This will give us the mentality of wanting to help our family members. Let’s think that “there is no such thing as a self-made man or woman.” Many of the wealthiest people in the world have obtained their wealth only by employing the men and women who go to college and become engineers, doctors, space programmers, teachers of our children and so forth.
The college-educated people are the minds of America now and for future generations. Our philosophy now is: go to college, get a degree, find a job and end up for years paying off the school tuition debt.
Think of it — it should be the complete opposite. They should go to college, become these educated graduates and go into the workplace continuing to make our country the greatest now and into the future. We owe them for their skills and knowledge that they learned in college to help make all of our lives and progress for all Americans to continue to enjoy the prosperity and freedoms we possess.
Look at all the industries—an evolution of this knowledge that these college grads have made by invention and creativity. The idea that they have to pay America for years to come to give us the greatness that we are is simply ridiculous. It should be the reverse—whereas the student gets a degree from college without being saddled down by debt for years after they have completed their degree and have begun contributing to continue making our country the greatest.
For the long term on education funding, I would like us to eventually have a plan by which the tuition cost to these students would be completely free to them.
Income tax relief
My plan, to start with, will have a student graduate from college with a degree. They would start paying off their student loan the year after graduation for 10 years.
For example: if a student received $60,000 in student loans, then they would pay back $6,000 a year for 10 years with no interest after they graduate. For each year the student is paying $6,000, they would be entitled to deduct $6,000 off their income tax until the loan is paid in full.
If they graduated after five years or six years or seven years, they would start their loan payment after the fifth, sixth or seventh year, upon graduation if the IRS will allow this plan.
My idea would be: All companies or individuals that hire a college educated student should pay $10,000 a year to a superfund for each college student they hire. These students make these companies and businesses great with their ideas and innovations that they learned in college where their mind was expanded and are now benefiting this business or company—helping grow and thrive.
Without these students and their new ideas, their company would be stagnant. They bring knowledge and strategy and innovation to the table, which all help create a flourishing business. This plan would start with companies hiring a college-educated employee. That company would pay a $10,000 per college student annual fee that would go into a super fund.
This would be very little annually for the company acquiring these highly skilled and educated student minds. This is not a far-fetched plan as these companies would continue to pick and hire the best minds colleges have to offer.
I believe that people like myself — and thousands of other Americans — could donate a million dollars to this plan towards the betterment of our students to partially alleviate our nation’s student debt.
The American College Tuition Superfund will receive 10% of the government spending that is allocated to college and university education, to put towards student debt that is currently outstanding for all students. Any school receiving government funding will be obligated to put that 10% into the superfund now and into the future or the government funds will be suspended.
If government funding for the year (which includes federal, state, and local governments) for higher education totals about $170 billion that would obligate approximately $17 billion of that total to be put into the American College Superfund annually. Student debt interest that is currently outstanding will be paid down first. Thereafter, the 10% contribution to the superfund would begin to pay down past principal (owed), current principal (owed), and future principal (owed) on all student loans.
American College Endowment Funds
Another part for the American College Tuition Plan may not seem popular for universities or the country by first reading of what I am proposing. Most universities would say NIMBY or “not in my backyard” that they do not want to share their wealth. However, I hope after they read the text in totality they will see with their great minds that this will be a win-win for all.
Each university that presently has an endowment program would give 25% of their endowment money on hand to the graduated students of that college to help pay past, present and future students’ outstanding interest on their loans. After the student loan interest is paid, the remainder of that dedicated fund would go toward paying past, present, and future principal owed.
Any university with an endowment fund will be obligated to put the 25% of the money in their present endowment, into the student debt fund now and into the future, or all government funds should be suspended until that university becomes part of the above.
Alumni contribution to College Student Fund & American College Tuition Superfund
For this part of the program, the money stays with the benefited university to maintain their past, present, and future student debt of their graduated student’s body of that school.
Each university, with the money from this alumni endowment, would pay for the interest first on every outstanding loan that currently exists among their graduates. Thereafter, the Alumni Contribution Fund will go towards helping to pay off their student body’s principal debt.
Each university upon commencement of this program would have a major campaign call on all existing alumni of that university. That package sent out to each alumni would state that the university is having a major fund raising program for 180 days. It should start on Oct. 1 and end on March 31 of the next year. This way, I hope the alumni donation can be deducted over a two-year period.
The money generated from this campaign could be broken down as followed:
— 40% into that university’s endowment fund;
— 40% into that university’s Alumni Contribution Student Fund to pay off some of the students’ outstanding interest and then if any is left over to go towards their principal balance owed;
— 20% into the American College Tuition Super Fund.
This campaign would help enrich the school’s endowment fund, help eliminate that school’s student debt obligations, and help the superfund by paying for all students across America.
This plan gives to all students with college debt and for all future students assuming college debt. The money would be paid back to a fund that is set up to pay these debts off as the money comes in from the students and the above funds.
I am hopeful that all the money being put into these funds would help lower the amount owed by each graduating student to help alleviate this unfair practice to our system.
It is time for a change. Remember there is no such thing as a “self-made person.”
As I said, this plan may sound socialistic, but it is not. We would all be undoing a great injustice to students who inevitably make our country prosper. As a capitalistic person, I know that we need them more than they need us I just want to right a wrong in education.
I have hope someday that all of our college graduates will have no student debt upon graduation. Let’s do this.
After reading this plan, I would respect any ideas that anyone would come up with to change or make this plan a better blueprint as I realize I am 88 years old and not infallible.
For all those like myself who did not go to college, America should be grateful that through our ambitions, trades, and hard work we are the backbone which makes America what it is — the greatest.
On Nov. 23, we held a Survivors of Suicide Loss Conference at Queen of the Valley Medical Center. Losing a loved one to suicide is devastating, and to be with others who have experienced the same loss can be empowering.
Attendees commented that they felt safe, comforted and hopeful. Accomplishing just that is the goal of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), which supports conferences in the United States, not to mention 17 countries worldwide.
I want to express thanks to Queen of the Valley Medical Center for hosting this event, to AFSP for providing guidance and support, and to the members of the Suicide Prevention Council and other community members (you know who you are) for volunteering to help make this a successful event.
Also, thank you to Safeway, Golden Bagel, Nob Hill and Starbucks for donating food for a continental breakfast. Ken Kuntz provided beautiful music, and Alexis Felix, Napa Therapeutic Massage, donated certificates for massages to the participants.
Our conference was successful and will return next November, again offering it in both English and Spanish. Thank you to this generous community for supporting this special population of those who have suffered a suicide loss.
Denise Bleuel, survivor of suicide loss and member of the Napa Suicide Prevention Council
We hear a lot about the climbing number of homeless people in our country. Seems not much is actually being done.
Napa Supervisors just got back from a trip to Europe. How much did that cost?
Politicians flying back and forth from coast to coast and in between -- yes they have contributors, but with millions being spent to promote political candidates, how much of those millions could be spent on housing for the poor or low-income families?
And our taxes are going up. Maybe the upper-income people should be donating more.
Watching people donate clothes and food, I didn't see any millionaires doing that. Yes they contribute, but is it enough?
I see politicians getting richer and the middle- and lower- class people getting poorer. Is this the way it is supposed to be?
We have a candidate for District 4 Supervisor who meets two important qualifications.
First, Amber Manfree is a fifth-generation Napan who values, and wishes to preserve, the agricultural heritage of Napa County.
Second, Manfree has the necessary education, training, experience and scientific background to help guide Napa County through the necessary steps addressing the effects of climate change and water quality.
Napa County needs a vision for the future if the assets that make Napa County so productive and valuable are to be preserved.
If Napa County is to remain a dominant part of the wine industry, climate change is an issue that must be dealt with. If the issue of carbon is not addressed, then it seems unlikely a change to varieties more tolerant of hotter hots, colder colds and a more arid climate alone will be the answer to climate change needed to keep the area dominant.
In Napa County, the issue of vineyard expansion into the watersheds has been a contentious issue. Removing thousands of trees in order to plant vineyards works against the goal of reducing the carbon footprint. The science seems fairly clear on this point. But there are those seeking to turn the wooded hillsides into vineyards in spite of the science. The issue is one the county wrestles with.
It is winter now and it is the right time to pose the question whether Napa County is better prepared for the summer fires than it was during the fiasco in 2017 when two close friends escaped from their burning homes by the skin of their teeth only to encounter fire engines parked right below their driveways doing nothing while waiting for instructions.
By a variety of means and websites, the county is providing helpful information about what citizens in vulnerable communities should include in a grab bag at a moment’s notice, post signs in front of their properties and how they should stay informed using Nixle, watching TV and listening to radio (though all of the above were inaccessible due to inoperative networks).
But I have seen nothing the county itself has done to be better organized, to improve early fire detection, physical warnings when networks fail, administer actual help in evacuations or in establishing and maintaining public safe evacuation routes wherever they have been absent in the past. In short, what specifically has the county done to keep us safer during power and internet failures before and during a fire incident than in the past?
In the absence of leadership, many neighborhood groups have taken the initiative to form helpful networks to keep us safer. Inconceivably, defying reason and common sense, the county continues unabated to pursue land-use policies that do exactly the opposite.
While fire can affect any property anywhere, the most vulnerable populations are the ones in the Ag Watershed Zoning District which are typically served by substandard roads, none of which comply with any of the county’s road standards. They are far too narrow, winding, lack prescribed turnouts, public secondary accesses or are out of compliance with cul de sac maximum distance criteria.
Thousands of us live on such roads. On many occasions, we must wait for hours - sometimes days - for the county to remove fallen trees, downed power lines or incapacitated trucks (including tourist-carrying buses) all of which shut down escape routes in cases of emergencies. In the past two months, the Calistoga postmaster refused to deliver mail to upper Diamond Mountain Road twice for one week each due to unsafe conditions. God forbid there was a fire.
Yet the county keeps approving commercial development (vineyards and wineries with their entertainment centers) on such roads, which bring more traffic, large trucks, large equipment, tourist buses all of which prevent access and not least, more visitors who increase fire danger.
Residents in such areas are left with no alternatives but to appeal such projects with follow up lawsuits as in the case of a mega-winery approved at the top of winding Soda Canyon Road with no secondary public access. Most recently, one more winery was approved by the Planning Commission on Diamond Mountain, on a 3-mile cul de sac from Highway 29, the last mile only 12 feet wide. To make matters worse, this 20,000-gallon custom crush facility needs to import 80% of its grapes, requires four variances, including relaxing driveway slope standards and stream setbacks.
In approving this winery, the commissioners cited no “direction from the Supervisors” and the stalled “Remote Winery Ordinance” as if exercising common sense and safety protections for residents needed them. Now on appeal, has it occurred to anyone that there are locations in this valley where a winery is not appropriate?
However, whenever the so-called Remote Winery Ordinance will be taken up, it will have a problem right from the start in defining “remote” and justifiably so because remoteness is not the issue. It is safe access and secondary public escape routes which are.
When the narrow roads in the Ag Watershed were created, commercial uses were not contemplated. If the county wishes such development, it must ensure that access is at a minimum via County Standard General Minor roads with public secondary accesses of equal standard, inter-visible turnouts and in compliance with mandated county cul de sac provisions. Why does the County have standards in the first place if it chooses to ignore them?
It is not the best policy to have citizens create law via Initiatives but if the county fails to act in the interest of their safety, they will have no option but to resort to one. The year 2022 is not far away.
As a side note, a scientist professor at U.C. Berkeley has invented an inexpensive heat-sensing device primarily for medical applications but one which has great potential for early fire detection. The Moraga Fire Department is evaluating this technology that will not be fully developed for another two or three years. It would be advisable for Napa County to join in that effort.
I spent the first 20 years of my life living in a homestead community on the American Frontier, in pure American liberty. I remember we had zero government Intrusions, Restrictions, or Enforcements (IRE). Today I live under almost total IRE.
I remember the first time I paid a tax. I was 14 years old, and had been working part time on bigger ranches in the area for the past three years. On this particular year, I earned enough money to pay $7 in income tax. I remember being so proud to be supporting this great country called America.
Today I pay so many taxes and fees that I can’t even guess how much I pay, to whom the money goes, or what it is used for. Today, my personal liberty over my money (property) is almost completely gone, as is my prosperity.
I remember the aftermath of World War II. I remember the patriotism of the people. My mother lost a brother in that war, and yet, we were proud of America, and the war effort. I remember the Korean War and listening to the news daily as to what was happening there. My mother had a brother in that war too. But it was an undeclared war, and we were concerned about that.
Then I remember the Vietnam war. Not only were we concerned, many were openly opposing this undeclared war. It seemed that our leaders were no longer invested in actually winning wars. We were drawing lines in the sand that our fighting men and women were not allowed to cross. We were restraining our military forces from doing what they had the capacity to do – win wars.
Today we are fighting so many wars I cannot tell you where they all are. I do not know why we are fighting, or what the status of each war is. I do know that they are all undeclared. I feel totally disconnected. Is something wrong with me, or is this typical?
I can remember when my elected lawmakers made the laws of the land. I remember when I could actually talk to my representative or senator and feel respected, listened to, and helped.
Today there are over 250 federal agencies with enough sub agencies and departments to bring the count to over 400. Many of these have been given power to make rules and regulations, which have the force of law, all made by unaccountable, unelected people, and no chance of review or veto by the president.
While our legitimate lawmakers make one law, these faux lawmakers are making 100. Not only am I not invested in these faux laws, I detest many of them.
All I remember about the national debt is that during all of my 74 years, it has been growing out of control. Only during the presidency of Andrew Jackson has the country been out of debt. Today the total national indebtedness is more than $21 trillion. I wonder what the interest payment is on that debt. I will guess that if I asked 20 different government leaders this question, I would get 20 varying answers.
These are only a few reasons why I do not trust my government. Today my leaders are caught up in deciding what factions will get subsidies and privileges, and what factions will have them removed. They fuss continually for more money, no matter how much they have. They meddle in my personal life in so many ways I can’t count them.
They fuss over how I should use the bathroom; or what sex I might want to become; so many other things that are trivial to me in comparison to what I have listed above. None of these trivialities are in the U.S. Constitution as being something the Federal Government has authority over. I feel totally abused by my government.
I expect that my words will sound radical to you readers. But the changes I have seen from pure liberty in my homestead community to what I see today is unbelievably radical.
In early American history, "liberty" was on everyone’s lips. I remember when liberty was on the minds of all my neighbors in the homestead community. Today, I rarely hear the word. I want to do my part to revive a spirit of Liberty in America.
Therefore, I announce the publication of "Genuine Frontier Liberty: Founded Upon Customary Common Law And Freedom From Government." I spent all of 2019 writing my experiences of living with zero government IRE under this entirely voluntary law (bunkhousebooks.org).
An obscure organization known as the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District has placed a new 15-year sales tax on the March 3 ballot.
It was approved for the ballot by county supervisors in August, but no one is talking about it. Why is that?
Is it because three times in the past, they have asked voters to approve funding for this bureaucracy and we voters have rejected them every time?
Is it because only three of the five elected board of directors of the Open Space District voted to ask the county supervisors to place this tax before the voters? Why was it not a unanimous vote of the directors?
Is it because the Napa County Taxpayers Association opposes this new tax as it did in the 2016 election. Why? Because the Open Space District boasts that with its paltry funding from the County of Napa it has already “protected” thousands of acres and created many miles of trails.
Not only that, but the five cities in Napa County already boast something like 90 separate parks and recreation facilities, and there are many schools with recreation facilities in Napa County.
With all these local parks and protected county land, we ask why they need a new sales tax and millions more from taxpayers than they now receive from the county?
We ask where that money goes and who protects taxpayers? Their plan is to spend up to 3% on administration. Why is this necessary when the Measure T road tax spends only 1%?
Why does their plan expand their bureaucracy while Measure T operates successfully with no hired employees. Their expenditure plan shows an open ended allowance for “out of county travel including transportation, lodging and food travel and meals.” This seems unusual since the same expenditure plan prohibits the district from acquiring property outside of Napa County. So we ask why there is an allowance for travel?
Too many unanswered questions cloud the issue of this new tax.
Editor's note: The Registered asked the Open Space District about the issues raised by the author. General Manager John Woodbury send the following response:
"The letter is comparing apples and oranges. The percentage going to administration is in itself a meaningless number; the question is what is covered by the restriction.
"(1) Measure T supplements the budgets of public agencies that have extensive other tax revenues, and most of their admin costs and personnel costs are covered by other tax revenues, not Measure T revenues. NCRPOSD has no other tax revenues, so there is no other place to hide administrative costs.
"(2) Measure T funding is mostly used to contract with private firms to do the actual road work. The administrative costs of contractors are not covered by the Measure T restriction, and thus not constrained by Measure T’s 1% limitation.
"(3) Measure T has no restriction on out of county travel, as long as the travel can be justified as related to a project. That could include such things as trips to San Francisco to attend regional meetings, trips to conferences in places like Tahoe or Asilomar for training programs or to meet with potential contractors and equipment suppliers, or trips to look at other projects to learn from them. Many people have concerns about such travel, particularly when it is to places that most would consider vacation spots. For this reason, Measure K explicitly includes out of county travel as a component of admin overhead, meaning out of county travel needs to be specifically tracked, can’t be buried under project costs, and counts against the cap on administrative expenses."
I am writing with a message of gratitude to the kind donors of our beautiful Napa Valley. For most, the holidays are a joyful time. But for some, it is the most difficult time of the year. We at NEWS, Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Services, see clearly that for survivors, trauma and grief become amplified by the expectations of the season.
Unfortunately, domestic violence and sexual abuse did not slow down this year. Our sexual assault advocates responded to both adult and child survivors at record pace. We were called to the hospital to assist women who were seriously injured by their partners. We sat beside our clients as they endured grueling court testimony. We helped to provide housing and safe shelter to those who would have otherwise become homeless. We listened to the stress of mothers who feared they would have no means of providing gifts for their children for Christmas.
Thanks to our faithful donors, that fear was relieved! We had an amazing outpouring of love and generosity from so many people this year. The wrapped gifts and bicycles for our “Adopt a Family” program lined our hallways. Donations from our holiday appeal, some in the thousands of dollars, have been pouring in, and the Can Do, Napa Valley Give!Guide numbers just kept growing every day. Thank you for standing with us to support our work, and for all you do for NEWS and the community. It means so much to us, and to those we serve, to know you are with us. This is the true joy of the season. Thank You.
Presumption of innocence is arguably one of the major founding principles of our legal system. The idea that one is innocent until proven guilty guarantees the accused the benefit of the doubt, thus ensuring a fair trial.
Unfortunately, the justice system takes this right for granted. When a person is arrested, with or without charges, they are legally required to take a mugshot, a photo capable of severely hurting a person’s career opportunities, social life, and reputation.
In publishing mugshots, news outlets, tabloids, and booking photo websites deny those arrested of their presumption of innocence.
While a mugshot is not a guilty verdict, and most outlets don’t intentionally purport those in the photos to be criminals, mugshots hold a strong visual association between the subject and criminal activity. The association is considered so powerful that courts strongly disfavor showing such photos to criminal juries to avoid any prejudice.
But in the court of public opinion, less forethought goes into warning viewers that mugshots are not evidence of wrongdoing, and, as a result, society draws a strong inference of guilt from these photos. It is not difficult to see why: the harsh lighting, the dreary background, the gloomy atmosphere, all suggest we are looking at a lawbreaker, when in reality, the person is only a suspect facing allegations.
Thousands of innocent individuals who’ve had their mugshots posted on third-party websites have lost their employment status and have received unfair criticism from their community at large.
To prevent this, law enforcement agencies should have the discretionary power to release booking photos of criminal suspects only in cases where they were to be found guilty.
During this season of gratitude, I would like to recognize the amazing generosity of the Napa Valley Vintners with a 2019 grant of $400,000. The NapaLearns board, Napa County school districts’ trustees, leaders, teachers, and students all appreciate the support we’ve received over the past decade.
With total funding of $3.252 million from Auction Napa Valley, we have been fortunate to serve as a catalyst for innovation in our public schools.
With $945,000, we seed-funded the purchase of several thousand Chromebooks and iPads and now, with sustaining funding from the districts, every school in Napa County has a one-to-one computer environment for all K-12 students.
We have invested over $2 million in teacher professional development for 1,000 teachers to improve math instruction, implement project-based learning, and integrate technology into the curriculum.
More than 160 teachers have participated in our NapaLearns Fellows program, receiving $5,000 tuition scholarships for their masters degrees in Innovative Learning from Touro University.
Most importantly, because of the generosity of the NVV, our teachers feel supported and recognized for their hard work and dedication to the success of their students. Through its contributions to NapaLearns, the Napa Valley Vintners is investing in education that will make Napa County an economically thriving and vibrant community for years to come.
This 1969-1972 family sitcom was based on the 1963 MGM film directed by Vincente Minnelli. Both the film and ABC television series were adapted from the best-selling novel “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” by Mark Toby.
In the Minnelli film version, Ronny Howard (“The Andy Griffith Show”) tries unsuccessfully to set up his widowed father (Glenn Ford) up with Dollye Daly (Stella Stevens). I saw the film and didn’t like it. I remember there was a scene where Ford breaks down in tears in front of his young son Eddie.
I felt it had a very dark premise to it and couldn’t finish watching the movie.
Just like the movie, the TV series centers on the six-year-old boy Eddie (Brandon Cruz of “80 Steps to Jonah”) setting up his widowed, 30-something father Tom Corbett (Bill Bixby of “My Favorite Martian”), a Los Angeles magazine publisher, with various single young ladies. He wants to find a new mother and manipulates romantic situations involving his father.
While Tom Corbett is away at the office, a Japanese housekeeper, Mrs. Livingston, (Miyoshi Umeki) cares for young Eddie’s needs and schemes. She addresses her employer as “Mr. Eddie’s father.” Who does she really work for?
One of Eddie’s young friends is none other than the blond-haired child actress Jodie Foster. She also later appeared on a musical episode of “The Partridge Family” and the failed TV sitcom “Paper Moon” that centers around a Bible salesman/con and 11-year-old daughter traveling Kansas in the Great Depression era. Original father and daughter team Ryan and Tatum O’Neil starred in the 1973 film version.
At the office, we have Tom’s attractive secretary Tina Rickles (Kristina Holland). His business partner and magazine photographer Norman Tinker (James Komack) is a radical thinker. Also, Norman is an honorary uncle to Tom’s son Eddie.
Towards the end of the family sitcom, Bixby falls out with co-star James Komack over the show’s future direction. Third season episodes involve Norman, Tom, and Eddie. These last episodes lost the father-and-son duo quality that made the show.
In 1969, I was a three-year-old child of divorced parents living in San Francisco. My mother was a working woman raising my younger brother, Dennis, and myself. As a small child, I’d watch the opening credits where Tom (Bill Bixby) and Eddie (Brandon Cruz) were having fun with one another while Harry Nilsson’s theme song, “Best Friend,” was played in the background.
During the TV sitcom run, Brandon Cruz was involved in various television work. He appeared in three TV movies—“But I Don’t Want To Get Married!” (1970), “The Going Up of David Levi “ (1973), and “Family Theatre: Married Is Better “ (1974). Also, you could’ve seen him in various TV episodes of “Gunsmoke,” “Kung Fu,” “Medical Center,” “Love, American Style,” “Police Story,” and “Doc Elliot.”
After the ABC sitcom ended, Bill Bixby went onto the Tony Blake role on the short-lived NBC television series “The Magician” (1973-1974), where he’s an illusionist that solves crimes with his feats of magic. Meanwhile, Brandon Cruz appeared in the 1976 theatrical film “The Bad News Bears” as Joey Turner. You may remember the scene where the Yankee pitcher Joey got slapped by his father while he was standing on the mound.
That same year, Cruz appeared in the television movie “Jeremiah of Jacob’s Neck,” and the ABC Afterschool Special: “Mighty Mouse and the Quarterback Kid.” He was also in the 1978 theatrical film “The One and Only.”
Then, Bixby became David Banner on CBS “The Incredible Hulk” (1978-1982). He reunites with his former TV sitcom son Brandon Cruz in the first season. They appear in the seventh episode together. It is entitled, “747.” This was a take-off on the 1970s disaster movie, “Airport ‘75.”
In this episode, Cruz appears as the teenage boy Kevin, who joins his previous TV dad in the cockpit after the flight crew was disabled. He witnesses David Banner (Bill Bixby) turn into the Hulk (Lou Ferrigno) while the two are flying the plane.
Bill Bixby went into directing while he was on “The Incredible Hulk.” During the late 1970s to 1981, Brandon Cruz was performing in the Nardcore punk band Dr. Know. His group released several records.
In 1991, the Young Artist Foundation honored the former television child star with a “Lifetime Achievement” Award for his role as Eddie Corbett in the 1969-1972 sitcom. Bill Bixby passed away in 1993 from cancer.
“The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last year.
He seemed to be all atwitter over it. He was beside himself with glee. The problem is he misrepresented many aspects of the hoopla. Here are some.
Balmer writes: “Beginning with Ronald Reagan evangelicals turned their backs on their own best traditions of caring for the poor and welcoming the stranger to embrace a series of deeply flawed politicians and policies inimical to the teachings of Jesus.”.
I imagine he means Reagan himself along with George Herbert Walker Bush and his son. But not Bill Clinton, who was, I hazard to guess, the epitome of virtue in his eyes.
Also Evangelicals didn’t abandon the poor, the widow, the orphan or the innocent unborn. They just think the government does a poor job in serving them. That they and the countless organizations they sponsor do a far better job.
And as far as the unborn, Roe v. Wade, which many in the legal community called a form of judicial activism, has made it legal to kill them. I wonder if Balmer, being an Episcopal priest, approves of that. President Trump certainly doesn’t.
Balmer goes on to quote Galli: “That he, Trump, should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalty but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”
I wonder if Galli, or Balmer for that matter, would condemn King David, a man after God’s own heart, who broke numerous Commandments, among them murder. Or Paul. Or Peter. Or Noah. Or Galli himself. Or me.
I don’t have as much space as Mr. Balmer had so I’ll end by saying ignoring all the good this flawed man has done, the lowest unemployment in decades for minorities and women, prison reform, tax cuts, not only for the affluent, who are actually paying more in state taxes, but for the blue collar workers and retirees like me and much more.
Ignoring these accomplishments seem to be what the morally and intellectually superior elitist intelligentsia, like Balmer, want to do.
I think it all comes down to a very simple, uncomplicated, reason. They hate our president, not only because he often beats them at their own game, but because he’s not like them. He’s more like us. Millions of hard working people. Warts and all. “Deplorables.”