Politics

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Trump Tax Return Bill Moves to Governor's Desk

Posted By on Sat, Sep 16, 2017 at 5:09 PM

Mike McGuire
  • Mike McGuire
The California Legislature has passed a bill by North Coast Sen. Mike McGuire requiring presidential candidates to publicly release five years of tax returns before being placed on Golden State ballots, sending it on to Gov. Jerry Brown and, potentially, putting him in an awkward spot.

The bill, which McGuire authored in the wake of President Donald Trump’s stunning victory last November, one Trump achieved while bucking decades of tradition and refusing to release his tax returns. If signed by Brown, McGuire’s bill would force Trump to decide between running in California and publicly disclosing his tax returns in 2020.

On the Senate floor earlier this week, McGuire argued that Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns means his business interests are unclear, leaving it hard for the American public to decipher whether his decisions are aimed at lifting up all Americans or simply enriching himself. “This legislation will help make transparency great again,” McGuire said of the bill, which has since passed the Senate, the Assembly and the Senate again on largely party-line votes.


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Friday, July 28, 2017

Supes Take Needed Step to Protect Our Coast

Posted By on Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 10:01 AM

Trinidad Head. - FILE
  • File
  • Trinidad Head.

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors has joined other California lawmakers, business leaders, environmental groups and government agencies in rejecting the Trump administration’s attempts to open up the California coast to new offshore oil drilling. At its July 25 meeting, the board unanimously passed a resolution in support of the nearby Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries.

The sanctuaries, the resolution notes, “are home to some of the most diverse coastal ecosystems, which support giant kelp forests, many species of marine mammals, migrating salmon and hundreds of other forms of sea life,” before going on to confirm that, yes, the threat laid out in April’s “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy” presidential order “is of deep concern.”

The Trump administration’s directive calls for a “review” of national marine sanctuaries with the goal of opening these protected areas to new and expanded oil and gas drilling that are currently prohibited within them. As the resolution notes, Humboldt County “has long supported the protection of vital coastal resources, tourism, fishing and mariculture cultivation industries, and stands with other coastal counties in their efforts to protect these very pristine coastal waters.”

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

UPDATE: Budget Committee Reverses Trump's Tsunami System Cuts

Posted By on Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 8:39 AM

A graphic showing the buoy system that tracks tsunamis. - NOAA
  • NOAA
  • A graphic showing the buoy system that tracks tsunamis.
UPDATE:
The House Appropriations Committee has rejected a proposal by President Donald Trump to gut the nation’s tsunami warning system, a move one local official says could leave the West Coast vulnerable to destructives waves generated by quakes from thousands of miles away.

According to the committee’s report, the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriation’s Bill, passed on July 13, includes a recommended allotment of $973 million for National Weather Service and provisions to keep the nation’s two tsunami warning centers open.

The committee’s recommended funding level is $37 million more than the administration’s suggestion, with the committee citing the need to “maintain critical capabilities to provide weather forecasts and warnings.”

“The Committee does not adopt the proposed reduction of the Tsunami Warning Program,” the report states.

The committee also rebuffed the president’s call to eliminate $12 million in funding needed for a system of deep-sea buoys — completed just nine years ago — that transmit information on a tsunami’s trajectory to the warning centers.


PREVIOUSLY:
The tsunami warning system that has undoubtedly saved lives in coastal communities nestled along the Pacific — including our own — faces an uncertain future under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

Trump has proposed shuttering one of the nation’s two tsunami warning centers and eliminating nearly 40 percent of the staff that stand watch 24-hours a day, monitoring seismic activity across the globe for a tsunami threat.

If that were to happen, says Dorie Lanni, who oversees Humboldt County’s Office of Emergency Services, not only would alert capabilities be cut by more than half but there would be no backup warning system in place.


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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Huffman Town Hall Coming to Garberville

Posted By on Sat, May 27, 2017 at 2:06 PM

Congressman Huffman at his town hall in Arcata. - BEAU SAUNDERS
  • Beau Saunders
  • Congressman Huffman at his town hall in Arcata.
Congressman Jared Huffman is taking the next segment of his town hall tour to Garberville on May 31 after drawing large crowds up and down California’s 2nd District in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election.

According to a release from his office, Huffman will “discuss how to make forward progress in today’s political climate” and “answer questions and share his plans and priorities for best representing California’s North Coast in Congress.”


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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Huffman, Humboldt Residents, Decry House Passage of 'TrumpCare'

Posted By on Thu, May 4, 2017 at 3:30 PM

John and Micha Denizio - THAD GREENSON
  • Thad Greenson
  • John and Micha Denizio
Shortly after H.R. 1628 passed by a narrow margin in the House of Representatives, Rep. Jared Huffman's office fired off a press release denouncing the passage of "TrumpCare" as a "disaster." The bill, which includes an amendment that may remove coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions, can still be altered significantly in the Senate. Huffman isn't having it.

“At its core, TrumpCare is a massive tax break for the wealthiest of Americans," said Huffman, "with the Republican Congress playing the role of a ‘reverse Robin Hood’: robbing health care from millions of Americans in order to hand out $600 billion in tax breaks to our country’s richest people and largest corporations."

California Secretary of Treasury John Chiang also released a statement about the bill, saying, “In less than 24 hours, Congress has left 7.5 million Californians careening toward an impoverished retirement and four million Californians at risk of losing their healthcare."

According to a press release from the nonprofit Justice in Aging, the bill is also expected to have an outsized impact on older Californians, potentially raising increasing the annual cost of coverage for those in the 50-64 age group by as much as $12,900 and slashing Medicaid funding.

Only two people, John and Micha Denizio, showed up to a last-minute protest at the Humboldt County Courthouse at around 1:30 this afternoon, but another protest has been planned for 5 p.m. today, this one in response to an executive order signed by President Donald Trump that would allow religious groups to openly support political causes and candidates. The "Religious Liberty" Bill also has provisions that will exempt religious groups from having to pay for contraception for employees and staff.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Science!

Posted By on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 11:31 AM

The March for Science made its way through Arcata with a rising sea of signs. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • The March for Science made its way through Arcata with a rising sea of signs.

Local scientists, students of all ages and other advocates for science-based decision making joined more than 600 other March for Science events in cities around the U.S. to both celebrate Earth Day on Saturday and protest the Trump administration's policies and positions with regard to climate change and other issue.

The largely non-partisan Humboldt March for Science in Arcata, following a science expo and rally at the D Street Neighborhood Center, attracted an estimated crowd of 2,000 or more. The march from the Center to the Arcata Plaza and back was filled with creative signs with quotes that ranged from Aldo Leopold to Dr.Seuss. Others were filled with optimism ("Make America Think Again"), science advocacy and humor.
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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Arcata Affirms Commitment to All Residents, Stops Short of 'Sanctuary City'

Posted By on Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 5:08 PM

arcata.jpg
The Arcata City Council last night threw its support behind a California bill that would bar the use of state and local law enforcement resources for federal immigration enforcement, but stopped short of taking on the designation of “sanctuary city” — for now.

After hearing from a steady stream of speakers overwhelmingly in favor of the stance, the board split 2-2 — with councilmembers Paul Pitino and Sofia Pereira in favor and Mayor Susan Ornelas and Councilmember Michael Winkler voicing concerns. The council agreed to bring back the item when a replacement for Mark Wheetley — who recently stepped down to become Fortuna’s city manager — was seated to break the tie.

The sanctuary city issue is now likely to be a hot topic when the seven candidates vying to fill the remainder of Wheetley’s term are interviewed next week. An appointment is expected by the end of the month.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Huffman Celebrates Failure of TrumpCare

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 3:41 PM

Huffman - FILE
  • File
  • Huffman
Rep. Jared Huffman issued a press release this afternoon in response to the failure of Republicans to bring the so-called "TrumpCare" bill to a vote. President Donald Trump, who ran on a platform of repealing the Affordable Care Act, indicated today that he would consider drafting a new bill once the ACA "explodes." The Republican healthcare replacement plan was predicted to cost millions of people their health insurance. Huffman, a vocal and vigorous critic of the Trump administration, said the collapse of the plan represented a "tremendous victory." Read his full statement below.


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Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Political Climate With Jill Stein at HSU

Posted By on Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 2:33 PM

Jill Stein speaking at the Kate Buchanan Room at Humboldt State University on March 8 at 6 p.m. - SAM ARMANINO
  • Sam Armanino
  • Jill Stein speaking at the Kate Buchanan Room at Humboldt State University on March 8 at 6 p.m.

Jill Stein stepped on stage as a welcoming crowd of more than 300 community members clapped and cheered. She raised a peace sign in the air, which brought people in the Humboldt State University lecture hall to their feet.


Stein, the Green Party presidential nominee, came to campus to discuss a wide array of political topics yesterday. Although subjects ranged from vaccinations to Russian agents, there seemed to be a few general themes throughout the night.


Indigenous rights and solidarity, environmental activism, political establishment and the future of the American people were recurring themes that dominated questions and discussion more than over three hours. The discussion was followed with questions and praise from community members and students.


“Bernie Sanders could have beaten Donald Trump,” Stein said. “Hands down, if he wasn’t sabotaged by the DNC.”



Just before Stein came on stage, she was introduced and welcomed by a handful of students and community members. Nicola Walters said she was honored to have put her body on the line at Standing Rock and Stein won her vote by doing the same.


“I was honored to stand alongside Indigenous elders, Veterans for Peace, activists from the American Indian movement and water protectors from across the country for something that was bigger than myself,” Walters said.


Walters is a student in the middle of her thesis in Southern Humboldt focusing on environment and communities. She said the only reason she picked up a ballot this year was to vote on local races and measures, but she ended up filling the bubble for the Green Party as a vote for the environment.

Another community member welcomed Stein by playing a song she wrote and composed titled, “Water is Life,” which was inspired by Standing Rock before the election.


Sarah Torres, one of the people who introduced Stein, began by saying she wanted to acknowledge that everyone present for the event was on Wiyot land. “You took my land from so long ago,” she sang to the slow acoustic sound of her guitar.




According to the Humboldt County Election's Office, Stein received a little more than 3,000 votes in the county, which saw a 73 percent voter turnout. In comparison, Hillary Clinton took more than 33,000 votes in Humboldt and Donald Trump took about 18,300, while Gary Johnson finished with with about 1,200 local votes. But nationally, Stein has been criticized for siphoning votes away from Clinton in what proved to be crucial battle ground states, like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where she received more than 1 percent of the vote, according to CNN.


Stein's low Humboldt County vote total didn't seem to diminish her enthusiasm for the county. “For me,” she said, “this is where I get my batteries recharged.”

Erik Rydberg wearing a jacket that reads "#NoDAPL" at the Jill Stein discussion held at Humboldt State University on March 8. - SAM ARMANINO
  • Sam Armanino
  • Erik Rydberg wearing a jacket that reads "#NoDAPL" at the Jill Stein discussion held at Humboldt State University on March 8.

A long line of people lined up to ask questions of Stein during the event and when time started to run short, organizers instituted two lightning rounds were people got only a minute to ask Stein whatever was on their minds.

Questions ranged from her view on vaccinations, indigenous rights and our present political climate took up the last hour and a half. Responding to a handful of community members, Stein said she was never anti-vaccination, though she said she questioned big pharmacy companies and their research on vaccinations.


In a little more than three and a half hours, Stein and the gathering discussed topics that ranged all over the political spectrum. She spoke of climate change, the democratic party, Bernie Sanders supporters, DAPL and urged the younger generations to get involved.


“No pressure,” Stein said. “But it’s always the younger generation to make the transformative change.”

The event was organized by Climate Crisis and HSU's Green club. Banners were displayed inside the KBR while Jill Stein discussed politics on March 8. - SAM ARMANINO
  • Sam Armanino
  • The event was organized by Climate Crisis and HSU's Green club. Banners were displayed inside the KBR while Jill Stein discussed politics on March 8.


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Monday, February 13, 2017

Eureka Rallies Behind Planned Parenthood

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 1:37 PM

A crowd of more than 200 pro-choice and pro-Planned Parenthood supporters carry signs, chant and wave to passing drivers on Fifth Street outside the Humboldt County Courthouse on Saturday afternoon. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • A crowd of more than 200 pro-choice and pro-Planned Parenthood supporters carry signs, chant and wave to passing drivers on Fifth Street outside the Humboldt County Courthouse on Saturday afternoon.

The Humboldt County Courthouse lawn was filled Saturday with more than 200 people waving signs and chanting in a show of support for Planned Parenthood, which has come under threat with the new administration and Congress. Many passing motorists honked and waved in shows of support, though some offered a thumbs-down condemnation. Local photographer Mark Larson was there and shared the following slideshow.


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