Sunday, May 22, 2016

SO CAL DRY - HOT AIR - NASA's ET 94 ENDEAVOUR

----El Nino has been pretty much a bust where I live in Southern California.  We've  received very little rain despite the weather expectations.   All we have is the rest of Grey May, then June Gloom to anticipate as the clouds overhead, though sometimes dark, float past to release any moisture in downpours elsewhere -- sometimes threatening flooding and/or mudslides. 

We can be grateful Northern California mountains did build up a snow pack almost normal for the season, but they'll need the same or more each year to come.  At least this year there will be snow to melt providing some portion of our Southern California usual water allocation.  Our city residents continue to convert landscapes to sustainable vegetation -- most of us voluntarily using water with care.  Meanwhile our city's legal efforts to acquire our water rights continue despite the company's unwillingness to sell them back to us.

----The political candidate onslaught has begun.  They've all previously been in Southern California numerous times in recent months and weeks, but now comes the big push.

Early afternoon I noticed two young men carrying clipboards coming through the neighborhood, but they turned away from my door when I directed their attention to my window sticker "No Solicitations - No Knock Registry" sign.  Now I wonder if they were soliciting for business, if they were promoting a candidate or if maybe they were after signatures on another of many circulating petitions.

----Later I tuned in to early afternoon TV news to learn Bill Clinton was expected in about fifteen minutes at a nearby community high school in Pomona as he campaigns for wife Hillary.  

----Heading south from here on one of our freeways into Orange County (known conservative stronghold ala Big John Wayne country) in the next few days Bernie Sanders (he's been in San Diego) will speak in Irvine at an outdoor amphitheater where I've enjoyed listening to the Pacific Symphony Orchestra concerts.

----Another day Donald Trump will be expressing himself in nearby Anaheim, also home to Goofy at Disneyland.

----A week or so ago Madeleine Albright was a speaker at one of our Claremont Colleges - Scripps - where she encountered protests to her appearance by some drowning out her voice.  Her months earlier comments calling for women to vote based on gender caused Scripps women students, especially, to let her know their adverse reaction.  There was some concern after a while that she wasn't being given an opportunity to be heard. 

I expect some individuals, both men and women, may gender vote, but I think most of us are wise enough to also consider additional more significant criteria.  I find it troublesome that there seems to be an increasing intolerance by many for listening to the views of those who differ from their own.

----ET 94 - external fuel tank -- is being united with NASA's Endeavour space shuttle at Los Angeles California Science Center Exposition Park.   Here's the tank arriving in L.A. after a trip through the Panama Canal from New Orleans:



Fuel tanks for all other shuttles launched disintegrated after being jettisoned.  Never launched, this tank is the only one remaining intact in the world.   This orange monster is reported to be fourteen stories high when in vertical position for take-off with the shuttle.  Today in horizontal position the tubular-looking tank was transported through streets where some light poles had to be temporarily taken down, though no trees trimmed as needed for the shuttle for safe passage.  Turning corners was a challenging maneuver, but despite the slow speed the tank arrived safely at the Science Center earlier than expected.



Shuttle Endeavour took a spectacular flight over L.A. in 2012 when it arrived in Los Angeles.  The flight flew over many special areas including east toward where I live, but here's one view over the famed Hollywood sign:

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A spectator filled trip followed with transportation through the streets where it now rests at the Science Center as can be seen in this Los Angeles time lapse YouTube video:.



Recent years have seen other not just large but humongous objects being propelled through L.A. streets as I wrote about several years ago here in The Giant Megalith. 

Only auto motorcades on the streets are in our future as best we know now in Southern California  -- at least until our June 7th Presidential primary election.   A couple candidates, at least, will return later to raise money.   Then, we'll also see how important our state's voters are considered to be after the July Democratic and Republican national conventions.

Update:
This is a spectacular visual of Endeavour, the Los Angeles surrounding area, pilot audio noting points of interest, occasional radio chatter with control tower.  A special thrill for small plane enthusiasts though this is no small plane.









   

Sunday, May 08, 2016

MOTHER, EDUCATION, VOTING



Periodically I've been writing personal memories for my family so thought I’d share one commemorating my mother.  

Mother was born in nineteenth century United States to educated conservative but progressive farm parents as our agrarian society was becoming industrialized.   We had entered the twentieth century by the time Mother completed the 8th grade of school.   The Great Lakes State where she lived required those students wanting to attend high school must first pass a specially designed competency test referred to as “the Boxwell exam.”    
  
Mother’s parents encouraged their children who were so inclined to attend high school.   She passed the Boxwell, went off to a town the long-horse-and-buggy days-distance-away from her home to live weekdays with a family in the town where the high school was located.  In return for that family providing her board and room where she stayed while attending classes, she performed housekeeping duties in their home, plus her father paid them a small sum.    

Interestingly, I was able to locate the Boxwell exam's questions in the Ohio State University Library archives.     Here are a few questions with one I chose from each discipline an eighth grader was expected to have mastered.   The student was offered ten question choices in each discipline from which they had to select nine to answer.  
There were no yes/no or multiple choice questions as in many of today’s tests, often recorded on Scantron forms. 

Grammar and Composition:     
Analyze or diagram the following:  Captain Nathan Hale, a brilliant and handsome young man came forward and said, “I wiLL undertake it.”  His Last words were, “I regret that I have but one Life to Lose for my country.”

Orthography: 
7,8,9,10. Spell as the examiner pronounces: Aviator, vigil, Brazil, courtesy, tapestry, grieve, candor, reverie, Japanese, merino, sterile, dissent, refrigerate, justice, suffrage, peppermint.
Geography:
Write a short composition upon any of the following topics: "Raising Corn," "The Amazon Valley," "The Reciprocity Trade of the United States With Canada," “The Panama Canal" or "Our National Congress and Its Work of the Last Year."
Writing:
Write a short selection of poetry or prose from memory as a sample of your penmanship.
Reading:
Read for the examiners. (65%)
Arithmetic:
If ten men can dig a ditch 3.6 rods long, 2 feet deep in 8 days of 9 hours each, in how many days can twelve men dig a ditch 49 rods long and 3 feet deep if the days are only 8 hours long?
United States History including Civil Government:
What is a protective tariff? What is a tariff for revenue? What do you understand by the conservation of our natural resources?
Physiology:
Name the three divisions of the brain, and state the work of each division.                                                                                                                       

Click Boxwell's for a link to more details and questions if you're interested.    
 

Mother spoke of having to memorize all 88 Ohio counties; learning Latin to better understand the roots or relationships to some of our English words, especially scientific and legal ones, but these may have been high school studies.       

Following high school graduation Mother attended Kent Normal School (Kent State University now).  She became a teacher after completing the then required two year program for certification.  Subsequently she taught in a one room school house in her northern Ohio home community.   The experience of teaching all age students through eighth grade together in one room was the practice of the day.

1920 was the first year in which women could vote in the United States following passage of the 19th Amendment to our Constitution.   My mother became 21 that year, enthusiastically voting in that Presidential election.   She continued to proudly vote in all elections at every level throughout her life.    She cherished educated voting as a hard won right and a citizen's responsibility for living in this free nation.  

After meeting and ultimately marrying my father, they moved to a different area of the State where their family began.   Consequently, her life took quite a different path from that in education due to a variety of reasons, including the later development of unexpected health issues. 
 
Each year that I become older and closer to her age when she departed this earth, I increasingly think of matters I would so enjoy discussing with her now.   This year’s election is one such topic, especially when I read this description of issues in that first 1920’s election in which she voted.  

American Leaders Speak…    “…politicians were arguing…Overseas there were wars and revolutions; at home there were strikes, riots and a growing fear of radicals and terrorists. Disillusionment was in the air…The debate between the nationalistic activism…and the global idealism…”. 

My mother had a very positive outlook on life as she adapted to changing times and circumstances.     She was loving and supportive of our family throughout my life as only a mother can be. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

CALIFORNIA COURTIN'

,

Well, it has started – last Friday afternoon (4/22) I received my first 2016 Presidential Primary political phone call – a recorded message from The Donald asking me to vote for him to make America great again.  Isn't that the same day he had a new delegate guru describing how his candidate is evolving to be more presidential?  

I expect many prospective California voters are being called and  many others not formally committed are being contacted, too. That's also why I'll probably hear from all the rest of the candidates -- Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, any others left by June, or newcomers (this crazy year anything is possible).  I can handle this vote-seeking attention just this one year since California likely won't garner such attraction again.  
 
I’ll be interested to see what other candidates I hear from and when, before May 23rd  -- that’s the date by which California voters must register (if they haven't already), or re-register their political affiliation ((if they want to change), to vote in this Presidential Primary election.  

We will have six party ballots from which to select one, depending on our registration status for this Presidential Primary election June 7, 2016:                      
         
  • 3 will be closed to all California voters but those registered members of each respective party                 Republican, Green, Peace and Freedom.
  • 3 will be open to all California voters in addition to registered members:  Democratic,  American     Independent, Libertarian 
There’s been some confusion in California with some voters believing they were registering as Independents learning recently they’re actually registered as members of the American Independent party – likely quite opposite political philosophies.   So, state government election officials have hastened to change registration forms to rectify that situation.  Meanwhile, those whose intent was to register as Independents are double-checking their voting status. 

This is a portion of the now corrected California voter registration form:   
                     Political Party                    (Item 14)   

                    ·  The person registering to vote may indicate which (if any) political    
                             party they prefer                
                    · Currently, there are six qualified parties:

                          · American Independent (not to be confused with “independent”

                             voters who do not wish to affiliate with any party); Democratic;

                            Green; Libertarian; Peace and Freedom; Republican

                    ·A person may choose not to state a party preference by marking “No Party

                         Preference”.

                    ·Under current State law, “No Party Preference” voters

                              ·may vote for any candidate for statewide or congressional office.

                              ·may not be able to vote for some candidates in a primary election

                              for President of the United States or party committees
                    
This confusion in California’s registration ballot was not designed to make voter registration more difficult for citizens.   That is unlike some other states where efforts have been made to deliberately complicate the voter registration process -- make it more difficult for some voters to register instead of easier --  under the guise of making it more secure from abuse which has not been documented as even being a problem.  We do need to be able to vote.

(Sorry about any small print as Blogger doesn't seem to be following the regular size print I selected then later tried to correct after finding it had been arbitrarily reduced by the print size troll.)



          

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

California Foreshadows Nation's Change


Recent years when we celebrate our various national holidays such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day,  I've often reflected on our nation's changes, especially those occurring during my lifetime.  This country has experienced numerous domestic challenges including some associated with  demographic changes.  Now we are encountering one of the most profound in our nation's history which is slowly expanding.   California officially became the third state following Hawaii and New Mexico where another ethnicity has surpassed Caucasians as a majority, U.S. census records reveal.       

Latinos are now the majority ethnicity group in the State of California.  Whites became a minority in the Los Angeles area just a few years ago when our population changed to the degree that no clear majority group existed among whites, African-Americans and Latinos.  Now Latinos have emerged as California's new majority ethnic group.     

I am a member of an ethnic minority for the first time in my life as there are now more Latinos than whites in California.    A population ethnic change is a trend across our nation.   Some may wonder what, if any, implications this may have for our lives?   I offer my experience as reassurance that this ethnic change has been a gradual, though increasingly rapid evolution, which has been non-disruptive in my life.   This California white person's life continues much as usual, but is enriched.   I have never expected it to be otherwise.  Perhaps how we think about such changes has some influence on their outcome.   I can only hope residents in the rest of the nation where such change occurs adapt as well in the years ahead.

We live in an ever-expanding world as are many nations composed of increasing multiple ethnic groups with varying beliefs and languages.  Newcomers to our United States generally learn our American English language.   We native English speakers by honing our skills in other languages can only benefit us all.   In this digital social media world I read recently about needing to learn even another specialty language, too -- how to write some computer programming code language -- as this is becoming an expected skill needed in the future by all, but that's another topic for a future discussion.

In the years to come, though maybe not in my lifetime, there are going to be other categories in addition to ethnicity, such as religion, where a once considered minority group in this nation may increase in numbers greater than the majority group we've known throughout our lifetime, even since the beginning of our nation's history.

We can only strive to see that any type of new majority groups will be more understanding, accepting, compassionate, tolerant, and fair to existing minority groups than some, once in the majority, have been since the founding of our great nation.    In the meantime, we would be wise to put our best foot forward, as the saying goes, toward how we treat others in order to reflect favorably on our minority group.  I'm sure we will want others to treat us well.-- perhaps better than some of us have treated them.

I think we need to think carefully about these matters when we consider who we would want as the next President of our country and representing us around the world.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

PROCRASTINATION & PRIVACY

Well, I've really done it this year.   Get the coffee pot primed.....gather the microwavable foods and sandwich makin's at the ready.....make sure there are some fruits, nuts, other energy snacks at hand -- guess I'll definitely be spending this weekend doing my federal and state income taxes.

I pulled together all the paperwork, gathered the tax booklets and forms, or printed them off the Internet --  collecting this all in one file by the time January ended.  Why I haven't done any more since then would be hard to explain.  I remember hearing we had more days than usual this year to submit our returns and pay our taxes.  I'm sure I've had good reasons why I haven't done more before this, but I expect you would likely tell me, "That's no excuse!"

Since I began doing my taxes manually, by default, after my husband's death (he had always done them), I've just continued doing so.   I've become much quicker at the process as each year passes.

Yes, I know I could hire someone, or I could do them online or with a computer program, but I confess to having an attitude about doing so.   I've always liked playing with numbers so the mathematics isn't an issue.  But, something is terribly wrong with a tax system into which we pay that has become so complex we have to pay even more just to have somebody else figure out how much tax we owe -- even if our government tries to pacify us by making the cost of doing so tax deductible.    

Of course, hiring someone does create employment opportunities, so this may be our government's idea of one way to address creating more jobs.  I hope this doesn't mean I'm not a good citizen.  Maybe I better have a glass or two of the ol' vino with which to relax and contemplate this matter after mailing my tax form envelopes Monday.

At least I am supporting the postal service, so that must count for something toward my good citizenship.  I still like receiving mail in the box outside my home's front door.   Besides, I've never had a problem with anyone hacking into my ordinary mail -- not that they couldn't access it in other ways.   As much as I appreciate the digital world's mail speed, I can't help wondering if that older mail system provides more privacy ... as long as what's been mailed gets there.  I must say in all my years I've never had anything I mailed or that I knew was sent to me be compromised.      

Perhaps you don't procrastinate or fret about privacy, so maybe my thoughts are just tilting at windmills.

Friday, April 01, 2016

SENIORS BEWARE

4/9/16 Up Date
Another phone scam today similar to one I've received in years past.    This was an accented English-speaking male stating he was with Windows technical department.  When I asked why he was calling me, he said they were receiving some technical signals my computer was seriously infected.  I ended the conversation.   Had I responded they would have determined I had a computer, requested other information that ultimately would lead to their being able to access my computer and/or threatening technical dangers if I didn't have them correct the problem -- for a charge, of course, by giving them a credit card number or other means of obtaining money from me.


Scams focusing on seniors -- other than political!  This is no April Fools Day joke.

Last week our local Kiwanis Club served a pancake breakfast preceding our local senior center's Senior Scam Stopper program.  California's Contractors State License Board (CSLB), State Senator Carol Liu, Assemblymember Chris Holden, and the City of Claremont presented this seminar.   Panel presenters from CSLB, Department of Business Oversight, Senior Medicare Patrol/Community Senior Services, U.S. Postal Inspection Services presented informative facts in an interesting, entertaining manner followed by discussion, along with having literature available.

Scams commonly used against older consumers range from auto repair to insurance and Medicare fraud.   Require written estimates, pay attention to the small print and guarantees and any work you're having done.    CSLB representatives discussed home repair fraud.  The importance of hiring licensed contractors,the need to require a written contract specifying costs, completion time, payments, along with all the precautions to be taken.  Get written change orders on any contract -- don't rely on verbal changes.

I occasionally watch TV's Judge Judy or People's Court with Judge Milian whose show features Harvey Levin at the conclusion of each court case.   He frequently reinforces Judge Milian's admonition in some cases to add the statement "Time is of the essence" to contracts which adds legal significance to completion time. 

The Medicare Representative advised we all need to check the forms we receive relative to our health care that report what Medicare and/or any supplemental insurance is paying out to be certain the charges are legitimate.  Given all the code numbers, honest mistakes are sometimes made, but billions are being paid out in intentionally false billings by individuals deliberately defrauding Medicare and our health care system that may be charged against our accounts.   Perhaps if we could prevent the bulk of these losses, Medicare could afford to provide dental care and hearing aids for all who need them rather than none at all or in the limited medical manner now.

Prevalent in recent years are phone scams to which I can personally attest to receiving.  Several times I've had calls with the IRS scam.   Before this scam was in the news my first call came on a Friday afternoon of a long holiday weekend.  The male accented speaker was very polite, but subsequent calls that day, and Saturday became much more aggressive.  I allowed all of those calls to be recorded on my answering machine.  I checked several sources and learned I could report these calls to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) web site which I did.  In more recent years I've received recorded alleged IRS messages spoken by an unaccented English-speaking female, but its the same scam in a different form. 

Just a few weeks ago I received my third Grandma/Grandpa scam phone call with which readers here may be familiar.   If I've answered the phone I resist the temptation of playing games with these people, but have been known to say, "Oh, you're full of BS!" and then I immediately hang up.  This time the phone rang again a few seconds later, but I didn't answer and no message was left.    Acquaintances of mine have told me stories about others known to them who have succumbed to these phone seductions to the tune of losing thousands of dollars.

In one case, one couple disregarded their bank teller's efforts to dissuade them from withdrawing a large sum which they subsequently mailed away.  To this day, they persist in being angry at their real grandson, because he's neither thanked them or paid them back the several thousand they sent.  They're convinced they bailed him out of a Mexican jail despite assurances from him and his family he had not been in Mexico, much less made that call.    Receiving such calls we should simply check with family regarding the alleged missing person or simply hang up on all these calls -- give NO information.

Calls from those representing themselves from banks, businesses, any institution or organization can be double-checked for authenticity by phoning them at official numbers previously known to you to verify the number and/or information you've been given before giving any information or taking action.

There are various means of credit card, especially debit card, fraud.   They discouraged use of debit cards.  Check your monthly statements and annual credit reports for any listing errors -- request yearly free copies.
Specifically mentioned were the risks being taken any time a credit card is taken out of sight to print the charge such as at a restaurant.

New credit cards with chips require protection since they can be readily copied from within a wallet or purse from a distance with electronic devices crooks have now -- some users thwart this copying by wrapping their chip cards in aluminum foil, or purchase protective cases designed to prevent access.  (I think credit card companies should provide protective covers with each chip card they issue but they don't.)

We computer users need to be on the alert to avoid all those defrauding email invasions which may or may not go automatically to spam.  Also, beware of those contests, notices you've won an inheritance, requests you loan money, etc., etc.  Ordering items whether on the Internet or other, you can be scammed, so make certain the padlock icon is present on the site at the very least, or pay through other associated secure sites.

Some of these scams can come through regular old-fashioned postal mail -- ads with a way to earn money from home by mailing packages they'll send you then cashing the check for postage they pay you.  The first small check or so might even clear the first time to lull you into trusting, but none for the big bucks will later.  Lotteries, foreign and domestic, are generally basically scams in one form or another -- some, where there never are any winners.

Coincidentally, local TV news has recently focused on love scams.  Seems there are many people, including some of us oldsters, who make friends on the Internet, including with others around the globe  -- eventually becoming so emotionally involved that requests for money/loans we favorably respond to.   Men and women going through significant life changes with the loss of spouses, other family, friends, or just feeling lonely are often emotionally vulnerable and can be most susceptible to establishing such new intimate friends or romantic connections.  A desire to help others can also be a seduction for many caring oldsters.   I expect many bloggers like me have received hard luck story emails, usually from another country, asking for financial help. 

I think what can be concluded is that if you're asked, sooner or later, to send any money, it's a scam.   So don't!   Also, I know it's simplistic, but don't let greed get in the way -- as the saying goes -- if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Friday, March 25, 2016

CALIFORNIA MATTERS

CALIFORNIA MAY MATTER THIS ELECTION PRIMARY!

The 2016 Presidential Primary state elections to select our two major political party's candidates convention delegates continue to be the most unusual, even bizarre, in my lifetime -- considering the rhetoric used.

This year, candidates need to acquire western states delegates to reach the necessary total to become their party nominee at the convention.   For so many election years the required total would be achieved much earlier in the year, following  mostly eastern states primaries vote tally.   So...California's June 7th primary is taking on more significance.

Once ignored Californians can now anticipate for the next couple months or so being subjected to all the hoopla first hand we've read about taking place in other states as candidates seek votes for their respective July political party conventions.  In fact, some candidates have already been in the Los Angeles area holding campaign appearances.  I suppose we'll soon have TV commercials, phone calls, and mail flyers to plague us voters which we've largely been spared previous years.   I've been signed up several years with our local "No Knock Registry".  That means I have a decal on my door also stating "No Solicitations", so I won't have those door-to-door campaigners.    

Here's how it looks up to this point from my perspective.....

The Democratic party candidate-choosing has proven to be more of a two candidate competition than anyone had anticipated.   They each are defining their positions on the major issues facing our nation and the world, allowing those who are paying attention to distinguish how they're different and how they're the same.  They stress intent and action, but they also have an underlying design toward national and international unification.  Personal attacks and negativism have been absent, fortunately.  The  front runner candidate continues to be expected to achieve the required nomination numbers by their July 25-28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania convention.   

The multiple Republican party candidates have continued being whittled down in number and now are three.
The third -- whose behaviors indicate he may be the only sane sensible one in the group -- has acquired the least number of delegates and is said to be unable to obtain enough more to become the candidate. 

Debates of the other two most prominent Republican candidates have revealed intent to institute alarmingly extremist irrational approaches to addressing our nation's and the world's issues in a destructively divisive manner.  Their debates, and I use that term loosely, have waffled all over the place from focusing on actual issues to denigrating one another -- and lately even disparaging each others wives.

The current Republican leader offers what appear to be overly-simplistic knee-jerk type problem solutions reflecting a failure to understand and consider all of an issues complex nuances, coupled with a repelling enthusiasm for initiating personal attacks on his opponent(s).   Frankly, I find it scary, even dangerous,  to think that leading candidate is expected to secure enough votes for the nomination.   One fly in this ointment is despite gradual increasing overt support, there continues to be a lot of open and covert opposition to his becoming the nominee.  How, or even if, the Republican party can prevent that, should they decide to do so, will be interesting to observe in the months ahead, then later at their July 18-21, Cleveland, Ohio convention.

The Democratic party is expected to continue as a political force, basically consistent with their long established principles, whatever the outcome of their convention.  The same may not be true for the Republican party which long ago strayed from principles for which they always said they represented.  Years ago a vocal Republican party minority segment began disrupting congressional legislative function, then more recently has been trying to hijack their party's election primary. 

Voting outcomes to date in both party primary results clearly reflect a desire for change, but..... from what to what?    






Sunday, March 06, 2016

DROUGHT, BLOOMS, $$$, ATHLETICS, TAX WOMEN



DROUGHT IN CALIFORNIA 

The good news here in So Cal, eastern Los Angeles County, is that El Nino’s rain has found us again and snow is falling in the mountains from two storms coming through.   Northern California had mountain snow melt much of the past month reducing what had been a promising accumulation toward decreasing our drought effects.   We still will need even more rain and snow.   


SUPER BLOOM IN DEATH VALLEY

Death Valley actually received more rain than normal and the previously barren dry cracked earth is now asea with a rare Super Bloom of wild flowers - see outtakes you can view.  

I'm reminded of suddenly seeing just such a glorious colorful sight in the Arizona desert outside Scottsdale one spring in what had always been a barren area we had driven through periodically for several years.


LANDSCAPING $$$ SHOCK

Local city efforts to increase our environmentally green status to the max prompted seeking new bids with the current contract due to expire according to our local weekly newspaper, The Claremont Courier.    They reported our City Council is in a state of shock at the increased cost from $657,068 annually to $3 million. 

Bids from other landscapers were luke warm using the new parameters—no chemicals, no leaf blowers and no weeds and an increase of mulch use in planters.  

The previous contract was based on limited use of chemicals, the use of battery or electric blowers and varying degrees of weed tolerance.  

Moderation of some expectations has temporarily been made with a short term current contract extension to allow city officials to study the matter further.   What kind of increased costs will we individual home owners incur? 


WATER RATE $$$ EXCESSIVE

Our city continues to seek ownership of our water company through eminent domain legal procedures since the current owner refuses to sell.   Golden State Water Company, considered a public utility, is a wholly owned subsidiary of American States Water Company.  City officials and residents have been unhappy since long before the drought with the pricing mechanisms Golden State Water has used and the repetitive rate increases an impotent state Public Utilities Commission keeps approving.  

A concise article with this link to Capitol Weekly notes:  Claremont had the highest rates of 10 surrounding communities surveyed, and that rates doubled between 2008 and 2013, with another rate hike sought in 2014.”   We reportedly pay $50 more than our next door neighbor city La Verne for the same amount of water. “La Verne is used for comparison because of its similar size, population, and water sources. Claremont has more wells producing less costly water than La Verne but surprisingly La Verne water rates are lower.”   


HEALTH PRODUCT $$$ DISCRIMINATORY TAX ON WOMEN

 California AB 1561 – read the announcement for more facts.  

“Assembly members Garcia and Chang are working to end a longstanding tax on women in California.  Across the world, countries as well as select  states in the U.S. are organizing to repeal the sales tax on feminine hygiene products which are necessary health products for women.  From Canada, to the UK, to Malaysia, political leaders have repealed, reduced, or are under pressure from activists to jettison the “tampon tax.”...  To date, only five states in the United States & Canada have taken this action and eliminated taxation on tampons and sanitary napkins.”   See map.
                   
CNN’S Jackie Wattles reports five New York women have filed a lawsuit against New York’s tax department and its commissioner. “Their demand: Stop imposing a 4% ‘luxury tax’ on feminine hygiene products.”  Legislation has not been making significant gains toward enactment.  "Similar bills have been proposed in states including California, Utah and Virginia.”
                                    
                   
ATHLETICISM FOR OLDSTERS


My city of Claremont, California is a little over 14 square miles in size with a population of approximately 35,000.  The amenities in addition to the universities here include several retirement communities where I've also had the pleasure of providing Speech-Language Pathology services as well as in various other health services settings and hospitals in the surrounding area.   Pilgrim Place, one I have served, is:  “A senior community for those serving in religious or charitable organizations.” 

Our newspaper this week reported a special screening would be held there of Emmy-winning filmmaker Eric Goldfarb’s inspiring documentary on Senior Athleticism entitled “Impossible Dreamers,” featuring legendary golfer Gary Player.   Many other senior athletes appear including the Pilgrim-Pacers.  Their activity is integrated through six short segments beginning at about 19 minutes in and scattered throughout the hour and a quarter of the vimeo.  Pilgrim Place residents are very active in our city, also producing a a renowned annual festival attracting visitors from around Southern California and elsewhere.   

You can determine for yourself whether or not you might want to engage in any of these athletic activities and just how competitive you feel with some of these 60+ to 90+ years oldsters.   As for me, I need to walk more – just regular walking.