News

Sunday, October 15, 2017

It should be noted, for posterity or something, that the Prunedale Bypass has suffered one final ignominious setback.

This time, it came on Oct. 4 in the form of a governor’s veto. And, once again, it left local transportation officials disappointed and feeling powerless. But in the context of the Prunedale Bypass, a gubernatorial veto seems poetically appropriate.

The fact that any lingering issues regarding the bypass might still exist was stunning. I thought the Prunedale Bypass was dead and buried long ago, entombed in a shrine engraved with a pithy epitaph about government inefficiency and squandered opportunity.

Imagine my surprise to learn that Assemblywoman Anna Caballero, D-Salinas, had carried legislation this year that, if passed, would have finally put the Prunedale Bypass to rest once and for all, and in a way that might have benefited Monterey County at least a little.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Big Sur is no longer split in two.

As of 5pm on Oct. 13, traffic will resume in both directions allowing for locals and tourists to travel further south on Highway 1 from Monterey.

The bridge, which is located just south of Big Sur Station on Highway 1, was damaged beyond repair after heavy storms in February caused a landslide that cracked a support column.

At a ribbon cutting on Oct. 13, many politicians spoke, including Sen. Bill Monning and Assembly member Anna Caballero.

Big Sur locals and business owners, including Nepenthe owner Kirk Gafill also spoke about how the community and local government worked together to help those residents stranded on the south end of the bridge collapse, including the importance of a one-mile hiking trail through Pfeiffer State Park allowing people to hike goods over to the south.

Friday, October 13, 2017

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s not uncommon to lease or rent things like cars, homes, or even furniture.

But what if we told you pets are now being added to the list?

A growing number of breeders and pet stores are doing it, but as CBS2’s Kristine Johnson explained, not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.

“Our previous dog was hit by a car on Valentine’s Day,” Angela Kyme said.

With heartbroken kids at home Kyme said she thought Harley could help ease their pain. Then she realized she couldn’t afford the lab’s $2,000 price tag.

The breeder, Kyme said, suggested she opt for a special loan, which she understood to work like a credit card.

“They bring in this paperwork for me to sign on a tablet that I couldn’t read, and I was told it’s all your basic contract,” she said.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

In Monterey County last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested 29 suspected undocumented immigrants, 28 from Mexico and one from El Salvador, out and about in the community, at their homes or on the street. Over the same time period, they made 391 arrests at the Monterey County Jail. That’s according to data obtained by the Weekly via a U.S. Freedom of Information Act request to ICE.

Those numbers are likely to change when California’s sanctuary state law, SB 54, takes effect on Jan. 1. A reasonable person would expect the total number to decline, but ICE Acting Director Tom Homan issued a statement to say that instead of hanging around jails, ICE agents will instead go everywhere else: “ICE will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community,” Homan said.

It could undermine the very purpose of SB 54, which is meant to make California communities safer, to bring immigrants into the fold, to empower them to report crimes and not hide from law enforcement.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

IRVINE, Calif. — Converge 2017, UnitedAg’s 4thAnnual Health Benefits Forums were held in Fresno, Santa Maria, and Salinas, September 26 – 28. The program builds upon UnitedAg’s ethos by showcasing the nontraditional way UnitedAg creates the health plan from the patient outwards. The theme of ‘Converge’ emphasized UnitedAg’s commitment to focusing on the members and creating a culture of innovation through collaboration.

“We are reimagining healthcare as something that is centered around the patient and their personal experiences,” said Christopher McDonald, Director of Product Development and Underwriting. “We are building relationships with members and health providers that share the same vision as us, such as those at their regional clinics including our Mexico Panel and Teladoc.”

Forum sessions included; the new Teladoc Challenge, the first peek at the 2017 Health Benefits Benchmark Report, information about the new AgSafe Partnership and opportunities to learn about the UnitedAg Health and Wellness Clinic in the different regions.  All the regional events were extremely well-attended by UnitedAg Members and guests.

Assembly member Anna Caballero attended the event and talked about why the event was important. “People [of the agricultural industry] … work really hard not only to produce the food we eat, but also to help us maintain our rural agricultural economy,” said Assembly member Anna Caballero, “The ability to cover people and make sure they can access medical help when they need it is really, really important.”

Friday, September 22, 2017

At the end of the recently concluded legislative session, lawmakers considered a bill that should have given them significant heartburn: whether to give the billionaire developers of a new Los Angeles Clippers arena in Inglewood a “get out of court free” card regarding the California Environmental Quality Act.

Though the bill failed to pass a policy committee, if history is any guide, the Democrat-controlled Legislature will eventually approve such a measure. In recent years lawmakers have granted this CEQA lawsuit “remedy reform” to the Legislature’s own office building project and to the owners of L.A. and Sacramento professional sports teams.

Not surprisingly, pandering to big money donors and shielding themselves from the regulations they impose on others is “business-as-usual” in Sacramento.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Legislature burned some midnight oil last weekend acting on many bills—including a number being watched closely by California farmers and ranchers—before adjourning for the year in the early hours of Saturday.

Among the bills approved by the Assembly and Senate, and now awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's decision, is Assembly Bill 822, which would require state-owned or -operated institutions, except public universities, colleges and school districts, to buy California agricultural products if the bid is no more than 5 percent higher than a similar bid from out of state. School districts would have to take the California bid if it doesn't exceed the lowest out-of-state bid. The California Farm Bureau Federation sponsored the bill, authored by Assemblywoman Anna Caballero, D-Salinas.

In urging the governor to sign AB 822, CFBF noted that California farmers and ranchers produce food under the strictest environmental and workplace regulations in the country.

"California should match its values by supporting farmers and their employees who are meeting these high standards," said Noelle Cremers, CFBF director of natural resources and commodities.