I just received a very encouraging, but also quite sad email from a reader. He thanked me for my updates on the Recall of Gavin Newsom, and confirmed that he planned to vote “YES”, although he is still torn on who to vote for on Question 2. In my response to him, I affirmed that this is great that he plans to vote “YES”, and that Question 1 (Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from the Office of Governor?) is what gets us to Question 2; so Question 1 is the most essential.
Then he dived into the sad part of the email. What this Governor, and his COVID mandates are doing to suppress, depress, and harm our young people.
I am a teacher and coach in rural NE California. We were in school last year, but the lack of sports, music, and clubs, and the severe limitations on the ones that occurred like FFA, were a very real hardship to our kids in the rural farming communities where nothing binds the community like Friday night football or the local FFA competitions.
Interesting that he said, “binds the community”. There is power in community bonds, and the restrictions that Newsom placed on sports, worship, and gatherings was engineered to destroy that, along with people’s mental and physical health.
I am sending you this link, because it is clear with a compliance date of 9/27, that CIF is waiting to impose unpopular new high school activities mandates until after the recall, and I suspect that this is just one of many that will be put into place as soon as Newsom wins or cheats his way through the recall.
The link my reader sent was from the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) outlining the latest required COVID protocols to be implemented in order for K-12 students to participate in sports or extracurricular activities, like band or choir.
- Wear a mask indoors at all times, regardless of vaccination status. This applies to extracurricular activities such as: sports and sporting events sponsored by K-12 schools. This also applies to student-athletes while competing in an indoor sport.
In their infinite wisdom, the American Academy of Pediatrics, or another authority that the California Department of Health recognizes, has a separate set of rules for those sporting activities that may pose a choking hazard.
How good of them. Those they recognize:
- competitive cheer
- gymnastics while on an apparatus
- water polo
All but three of these are solo activities where much distance is maintained between other competitors. What need is there for any mask? Are these people nuts?
Rhetorical questions, of course.
The AAoP is even more gracious, by providing these recommendations for such instances:
- Conduct these activities outdoors.
We are talking Northern California in the fall and winter months. While not the Midwest, it’s not exactly warm either! Navigating a balance beam with gloves and a parka does not quite work.
The second option:
- Perform at least weekly screening testing with either PCR testing (1:1 or pooled PCR) or antigen testing of all individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated.
I wonder how much time and money will be wasted on this, when the children could be learning and active. A story for another day.
Then, the CIF left the recipient with this beautiful warning shot:
Note: Schools and/or school districts may implement more restrictive policies.
CDPH will continue to assess conditions on an ongoing basis, and will determine no later than November 1, 2021, whether to update mask requirements or recommendations.
Ya think? Schools must be in compliance by September 27, 2021. Notice this is after the Recall election.
But sharing this discouraging letter was only part of his concerns. My reader wanted to point out that even if Hair Gel is recalled, a future governor needs to make it their goal to address policies and laws that adversely affect rural California, in order to please their more populous brethren in the urban areas.
I wish we could get candidates to discuss rural issues, but I know they don’t because most of the votes are in the urban and suburban areas where they are campaigning. Up here in what many lawn signs hope will one day be a part of Greater Idaho, we have five crucial rural issues, four of which I have heard almost nothing about.
My reader emphasizes a salient point. All politicians, including the 46 running to replace Newsom, are mostly focused on the population centers, especially with the short window they have to campaign. But even in a primary or general election, it is the rural communities that get the short end of the stick. It seems to be an agenda in Sacramento to keep it so. Most of the Legislature is focused on pandering to their special interests; and those special interests have little care or concern for rural California. If anything, they despise these areas the way the Coasties despise flyover country.
My reader’s crucial issues that greatly affect rural Californians are worthy of exploration, and I let him know I would use them in an article:
First and foremost, as our sky has been darkened by smoke for well over a month now, is a commitment to action on fire mitigation efforts, clearing brush and dead trees, clearing out the waste left in burn scars, removing trees from anywhere near power lines, and salvage logging/harvest of timber in order to meet lumber demands for builders.
Wildfires. They essentially get ignored by urban California, until it affects them. It’s true, even if the fire is nearby and you live in an urban center. Those fires and once every 5-10 year mudslides in Malibu? Unless I can smell the smoke or it disrupts my traffic, it’s not a blip on my radar.
But Hair Gel makes things worse by ignoring his incompetence and malfeasance, and blaming the rampant Wildfires on Climate Change.
Take the current wildfire that is breaking the news: The Caldor Fire. You know when Newsom decided to pay a visit to the burn area? When it hit Lake Tahoe, a resort community where all the connected and beautiful people go to play. Labor Day weekend is normally a huge financial boon for this little area; but this Labor Day weekend, the Caldor Fire put the kybosh on this. CalFire issued an evacuation order for the areas surrounding Lake Tahoe on August 30. It was then that Newsom decided to pay an unannounced visit to the area on September 1—with handpicked media from his “home grown team”, of course.
Gov. @GavinNewsom will be up at the Caldor Fire today, but his office is providing no media access to his visit. Similar to his unannounced tour of Greenville last month after the Dixie Fire swept through, which his office later promoted through his social media channels.
— Alexei Koseff (@akoseff) September 1, 2021
It’s actually worse than I realized: “The Governor did speak to a local outlet and a national outlet who have been covering the fires for days,” per his spokesperson. So Newsom went to disaster zone on government business and his team handpicked the media, with no pool coverage. https://t.co/rH2uRGycmb
— Alexei Koseff (@akoseff) September 2, 2021
Because a press pool might mention that it was Newsom who overstated his mitigation efforts by 690 percent! His Hairfulness crowed about treating 90,000 acres, when he only treated 12,000 acres. This, while slashing $150 million from the state’s Wildfire prevention budget.
An errant reporter not on his “home grown team” might have also mentioned that the Legislature canceled an oversight hearing on Wildfire Prevention because it would be a bad look for Newsom facing the Recall.
Instead, Republican lawmakers held their own forum on the steps of the State Capitol.
Additionally-past governors notified legislators when they were headed to their districts. Typically do the tours together. Put politics aside for the good of Californians and…govern.
— Katie Phillips (@TweetsFromKatie) September 2, 2021
From local Fox 40:
As multiple major wildfires burn across the state, California Republican lawmakers held a wildfire forum Tuesday in front of the State Capitol.
The group organized the event after Democrats postponed an oversight hearing with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration and fire officials after an NPR investigation found they overstated completed forest management work by 690%.
“We need to get on these fires faster before they become the kind of conflagrations we’ve become all too familiar with,” said Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City.
The governor would not comment on the postponement of the oversight hearing and no one from Newsom’s administration attended the forum.
But, Climate Change!
It sells really well with the limousine liberals in Los Angeles and San Francisco who fill his, and many of the California legislators’ coffers. Not so much to the people in rural California who are actually affected by Newsom’s graft and negligence on Wildfire prevention and fire mitigation.
— Robert Lewis (@roblew9013) September 1, 2021
Then you have your poison pill legislation, like AB/SB 155, the so called “Wildfire Relief” bill. While it purports to budget $2 million toward Wildfire mitigation, it ties this funding to streamlining the removal of existing water storage, and as if they don’t make enough money, a five percent bureaucratic raise.
Resources Trailer Bill (AB/SB 155). The good ✅: Finally, a $200m per year continuous appropriation for wildfire prevention. This wouldn’t have happened without Republican lawmakers keeping the pressure on. 1/3
— James Gallagher (@J_GallagherAD3) September 8, 2021
(AB/SB 155) The ugly‼️: A pay raise for CPUC Commissioners. Talk about a tone-deaf Legislature. Perhaps a bonus for giving up their operational independence to the Governor? Former CPUC ED Alice Stebbins told @ABC10, “We do whatever the governor tells us to do, period.” 3/3
— James Gallagher (@J_GallagherAD3) September 8, 2021
The $1B wildfire relief money in the budget is tied to streamlining the removal of existing water storage AND a 5% bureaucratic raise. Tying the good with the bad is no way to govern. No new water storage, and Rural Californians are left paying the price for Sacramento’s games.
— Frank Bigelow (@FrankBigelowCA) September 8, 2021
My reader went back to the arbitrary, one-size fits all COVID restrictions that he says are “killing our youth.” He’s not wrong.
Second, removal of extreme COVID restrictions that are killing our youth under a smothering blanket of unneeded protection from a disease that does almost nothing to them. I know all the candidates have addressed this, but specifically removing mandates from school activities and stopping things like this CIF regulation is paramount to local families.
You see, these rural communities do not have unlimited internet, movie theaters, and strip malls for which their youth can be occupied or entertained. They have the community investments, they have sports, they have local activities where they thrive from face-to-face, hands-on interaction, not this masked up, social-distanced paradigm, which has repeatedly been discovered does little to nothing to mitigate the spread of COVID.
It is still a virus that does not adversely affect young people, but we are making this crash test dummies in this social experiment. My reader is right, we are killing our young, for no good reason.
His third issue is particularly damning:
Third, reduction and removal of gas taxes, environmental regulation, extreme ag suppression, and all other rules coming out of Sacramento that appear to be intentionally destroying rural business and agriculture in the name of climate change. Climate changes, it may be man caused, it may not, but we are adaptable, and we need to adapt. Farms feed urban populations, and if we are forced to drive electric tractors, and protect obscure species in our farm areas, and pay exorbitant taxes on the fuel to run these farms, it is not out of the realm of possibility to see millions of acres of farmland abandoned and literal starvation in our cities if farmers cannot grow food. Mandates like electric cars by 2035, breaching dams to protect fish, carbon neutral semi trucks, and other like them will destroy California Ag, and close down one of the biggest regions of food production in the world.
He mentions Newsom’s pipe dream of banning gas-powered vehicles by 2035. How does Hair Gel expect farms to operate? We all know what happens with an electric engine affected by extreme heat and cold. If used consistently, can these electric engines hold a charge for more than one day? Can a tractor with an electric engine plow or harvest a 50-acre field for 10 hours straight?
There are certain areas where petroleum fuel and products are essential, and agriculture is one. So, what if he doesn’t ban gas-powered vehicles? The exorbitant cost of gas in this State also cuts into the transport of those goods from rural areas to the urban center, people’s activities, and the limitation on equipment that is powered by petroleum fuel. But, His Hairfulness is fixated on his mantra of Climate Change, and not cognizant of the consequences of his policies. He is either too stupid or he does he care.
Fourth, expedited approval of power and water resources, such as more water storage, hydroelectric dams and nuclear power. With the drought and fires, people forget that just 2-3 years ago, Shasta was near capacity, and Oroville was in danger because there was so much water. Had we built more storage capacity, the dry years would still be dry, but the drought would not be this extreme. But instead of more water storage, the state wants to breach dams, instead of more electrical output, they want to get rid of all nuclear and most hydroelectric then drain the grid with electric cars. These are not feasible “solutions” here in the rural state, and again they seem aimed at a rural way of life.
Drought management and water storage are pivotal to the survival of California, and even more pivotal those rural areas my reader mentioned above. As noted from the above “Wildfire Prevention” bill, Newsom and his compliant legislature have no interest in building any new reservoirs, or maintaining any existing ones.
Newsom is all about restriction, but he is conveniently waiting until after the Recall election happens. He said in mid-August:
“At the moment, we’re doing voluntary,” the governor said. “But if we enter into another year of drought — and as you know our water season starts Oct. 1 — we will have likely more to say by the end of September as we enter potentially the third year of this current drought.”
If he wins, this schedule works well for him. Not so much for those rural communities already suffering from lack of water, especially with wildfires like the Caldor Fire still raging.
As much as I believe school choice is essential, my reader’s final issue makes another riveting point: private schools and homeschooling is not an option for some people. Get rid of the stranglehold of the Teachers unions and return local control to education:
Fifth, school choice is great, I am the rare public school teacher who is all for it. But up here, where the nearest private school is 80 miles away, and the nearest charter school about the same, we need to do all we can to make our public schools better. This does not mean more money thrown at it, it means more local control of curriculum, of where funds go, and of what we offer. It means fewer state red tape messes, and more local control of education.
His final thoughts expressed realism coupled with hope, that the Recall of Gavin Newsom will affect the change needed, not just for the parts of California that are visible to the rest of the world, but the rural parts that are the heart of the state, and where those visible parts would not exist if not for them.
I am sure that the last two weeks will rightly focus on voters in the more populated areas, but those of us living up here vote too, and we need to see a commitment to get Sacramento out of our hair and let us live our rural lives without their interference.
Six More Days.
Rural California deserves Best.