Salmon Season Shut Down

Article from CalMatters.

An excerpt.

“Most summer mornings at first light, Jared Davis is a few miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge, motoring his charter fishing boat Salty Lady over the Pacific Ocean. His eyes sweep the horizon, looking for diving birds, but mostly he watches the screen of his dashboard fish-finder for schools of anchovies — a sure sign that salmon are near. When the signs look good, he throttles down to trolling speed and tells his customers to let out their lines. 

“Drop ‘em down!” Davis calls out the window. “Thirty to 40 feet!”

“When the bite is steady, the Salty Lady may have 20 customers on board, each spending $200 for the chance to catch salmon. On the best days, fishing rods bend double the moment the lines go down, and a frenzy of action ensues, often amid a hundred or more other boats. Hooked Chinook thrash at the surface, and the deck becomes strewn with flopping fish.

“Last year, California’s commercial and recreational fishing fleet, from the Central Coast to the Oregon border, landed about 300,000 salmon.

“But this year, Davis and other salmon anglers won’t be fishing for salmon at all.

“In response to crashing Chinook populations, a council of West Coast fishery managers plans to cancel this year’s salmon season in California, which will put hundreds of commercial fishermen and women out of work in Northern California and turn the summer into a bummer for thousands of recreational anglers. 

“Last year, the industry’s economic value was an estimated $460 million for fish sales and related businesses, including restaurants, tackle shops, private fishing guides, campgrounds and other services. Salmon season usually runs from May through October. 

“The closure, Davis said, “is going to be devastating to my business.” He said he will “try to scrape together a season” by targeting other species, like rockfish, lingcod, halibut and striped bass, but generating interest in catching these fish will be a challenge. 

“Our customers want salmon,” he said, adding that last year, his customers caught roughly 2,000 Chinook.

“Davis, 53, who has fished all his life, said the thrill of salmon fishing never grows old. “There’s nothing else like a wide-open salmon bite,” he said.

“Only in two previous years — 2008 and 2009 — has California’s salmon season been shut down completely. That closure came as the numbers of spawning fish returning to the Sacramento River, the state’s main salmon producer, crashed to record lows. 

“Now California’s Chinook runs have collapsed again.

“Just 62,000 adult fall-run Chinook returned last year to the Sacramento River to spawn, the third lowest return on record and only half of the fishery’s minimum target.

“Runs on the Klamath River, in far-northern California, also have plunged, hitting 22,000 spawning adult fall-run Chinook last year, the fourth lowest return in 40 years. Native American tribes rely on the Klamath River’s salmon for traditional foods and ceremonies. 

“What’s ailing the fish, scientists and state officials say, is a variety of factors, primarily in the rivers where salmon spawn. Large volumes of water are diverted for use by farms and cities. Combined with drought, this causes low flows and high water temperatures, which can kill salmon eggs and young fish. Vast tracts of floodplains and wetlands, where small fish can find food and refuge, have also been lost to development and flood control projects.

“Chuck Bonham, director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the quantity and quality of river water appear to drive salmon numbers.”

No California salmon: Fishery to be shut down this year – CalMatters

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Urban Decline

Bracing article from the New York Times.

An excerpt.

“On the last day of February, Glen Lee, the chief financial officer of Washington, D.C., issued a warning to the mayor and members of the District of Columbia Council, who are undertaking such costly ventures as free bus service and expanded affordable housing.

“The Covid-19 pandemic,” Lee wrote, “has brought about significant changes in the District’s population and economy, with potential long-term implications.” Revenue estimates, he said, have “been lowered due to 1) a more pessimistic economic outlook; and 2) a deteriorating real property market.”

“In Lee’s view, there are still more danger signals:

“Recently completed preliminary real property tax assessments, which is the basis for FY 2024 real property tax revenue, are lower than anticipated, and year-to-date revenue collections through January for deed and unincorporated business taxes, both of which are gauges of strength of the real estate market, are drastically lower than last year.”

“Washington is not alone. Most of the nation’s major cities face a daunting future as middle-class taxpayers join an exodus to the suburbs, opting to work remotely as they exit downtowns marred by empty offices, vacant retail space and a deteriorating tax base.

“The most recent census data “show almost unprecedented declines or slow growth especially in larger cities,” William Frey, a demographer and senior fellow at Brookings, emailed in response to my query.

“From July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021, “New census data shows a huge spike in movement out of big metro areas during the pandemic,” Frey writes in an April 2022 paper, including “an absolute decline in the aggregate size of the nation’s 56 major metropolitan areas (those with populations exceeding 1 million).”

“This is the first time, Frey continues, “that the nation’s major metro areas registered an annual negative growth rate since at least 1990.”

“The beneficiaries of urban population decline are the suburbs.

“Frey writes:

“The combination of domestic migration, immigration, and natural increase led to a different outcome in the suburban counties of major metro areas. There, domestic migration increased through mid-decade to a fairly constant level from 2015 to 2019. It rose after that, especially dramatically during the prime pandemic year of 2020-21, in large part due to an increase in city-suburb movement.

“Even more damaging to the finances of major cities is the fact that the men and women most likely to move to the suburbs are among the highest-paid key sources of income and property tax revenues: workers with six-figure salaries in technology, finance, real estate and entertainment. Those least likely to move, in turn, are much less well paid, working in service industries, health care, hospitality and food sales.

“There is a striking interaction between the Covid-driven exodus from the cities and changing racial and ethnic urban populations. From 2020 to 2021, the nation’s 56 largest metropolitan areas saw a 900,000-person cumulative decline in their white populations, Frey reports.

“In an August 2022 essay titled “White and youth population losses contributed most to the nation’s growth slowdown,” Frey writes that, of the metropolitan areas with populations in excess of one million, “43 saw absolute declines in their white populations. Sixteen saw absolute declines in their Black populations, and six saw declines in Latino or Hispanic and Asian American populations.”

“In the period 2020-21, the white population of the New York-Newark region fell by 222,530, compared with a 39,363 decline among Hispanic Americans, 53,763 among Black Americans and 11,485 among Asian Americans. There were very similar patterns in Los Angeles-Long Beach, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin and Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington.

“In the decade before that, 2010-20, the minority population of big cities grew substantially, driven by a 1.5 million increase of Latinos and a 1.2 million increase of Asian Americans, while the Black big-city population declined by 129,807, according to Frey. The population of whites in big cities grew over those 10 years by a modest 239,378.

“The question facing large cities, especially the older “legacy” cities in the North, is whether they can break what urban experts now call an “urban doom loop.” The evidence to date suggests that things are not improving much.”

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Ancient Rome & Today

Interesting article from UnHerd.

An excerpt.

“The death of Ancient Rome wasn’t so much a collapse as a slow, interminable decay: between the second and sixth centuries AD, its population declined from a million people to just 30,000. Since then, 15 centuries have passed and thousands of cities have been built. And yet, as Rome’s greatest chronicler Edward Gibbon warned in 1776, a similar fate awaits our modern metropolises. This time, however, their decline will radically alter our perception of what “urbanism” really means.

“London, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles — these urban centres epitomised what Jean Gottman described in 1983 as “transactional cities”. Based on finance, high-end business and IT services, they were defined not by production and trade in physical goods, but by intangible products concocted in soaring office towers. For years, academic researchers, both on the Left and Right, envisioned a high-tech economic future dominated by dense urban areas. As The New York Times‘s Neil Irwin observed in 2018: “We’re living in a world where a small number of superstar companies choose to locate in a handful of superstar cities where they have the best chance of recruiting superstar employees.”

“Yet even before the current downturn, the data defied the bravado. For decades, the ultra-tall towers that once symbolised urban greatness have been as anachronistic as the cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Office occupancy has been declining since the turn of the century, along with the construction of new space. In 2019, before the pandemic, construction was one-third the rate of 1985 and half that of 2000.

“More serious still has been the movement of people. Migration to dense cities started to decline in 2015, when large metropolitan areas began to see an exodus to smaller locales. By 2022, rural areas were also gaining population at the expense of cities. The pandemic clearly accelerated this process, with a devastating rise in crime and lawlessness: notably in London, Paris, Washington, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Chicago. In some parts of Chicago and Philadelphia, young men now have a greater chance of being killed by firearms than an American soldier serving during the Afghanistan or Iraq wars.

“The fading allure of the big city — further undermined by the post-pandemic shift to remote work in many sectors — is also taking place against the backdrop of an urban economy that has increasingly rewarded the few. Of course, some districts, such as the north side of Chicago, have experienced impressive growth, but they are often surrounded by others suffering from severe deterioration. And for all of gentrification’s wonders, almost a fifth of residents in the 50 largest US cities live below the poverty line.

“Contrast this with the historic role of cities as engines of upward mobility. Even the addition last year of a few thousand migrants forced New York Mayor Eric Adams to declare a state of emergency; in other words, New York, a city largely built on the labour of newcomers, now seems too weak to house and employ a substantial number of immigrants. Amid this failure, perhaps it’s unsurprising that migrants and minorities are heading to America’s suburbs, sprawled sunbelt cities and smaller towns.

“So what is the urban future? The answer lies less in the central business districts than the suburbs and exurbs. And this presents a nightmare for the traditional urbanist. In contrast to central business districts, suburban offices have fared far better while sprawled areas such as Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Austin and Nashville have become the nation’s hottest office markets. With the large majority of major metropolitan area residents already outside the urban cores, the most enticing economic opportunities may lie in modern-day versions of Ebenezer Howard’s “garden cities”, such as Cinco Ranch outside Houston or New Albany near Columbus .”

The ghost of Ancient Rome haunts America – UnHerd

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How Policy is Made?

Interesting look as reported in the Sacramento Bee.

An excerpt.

“The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a new plan last week to manage natural resources on the American River Parkway — a plan that the director of regional parks said would give the county more flexibility to move homeless people from one part of the parkway to another.

“When asked what shuffling homeless people around will accomplish, Kentral Pierce, who’s lived on the parkway for 10 years and has been relocated multiple times, had a one-word answer:


“As the number of visible encampments along the parkway has increased, the political will to act has also grown, with murky results. In August 2022, the Board of Supervisors formally banned camping along the American River Parkway and designated the area “critical infrastructure.” That ordinance did not require more housing or other services designed to offer people a more comfortable alternative.

“At the Tuesday supervisors meeting, the board again displayed a sense of urgency about homeless encampments on the parkway as it discussed the Natural Resources Management Plan.

“Department of Regional Parks Director Liz Bellas addressed the board and answered questions about the new plan, which prioritizes “elimination or mitigation of the detrimental consequences associated with homeless encampments.”

“Supervisor Phil Serna, who represents District 1 which includes midtown, East Sacramento, North and South Natomas, Del Paso Heights and Oak Park, asked Bellas specifically about how homeless people would be handled under the plan.

“What will the adoption of this plan do to enhance our legal ability to more immediately address the impacts that we’re seeing?” he asked, referring to the consequences of homelessness. “How does this plan fit into the arsenal of tools that we have to compassionately take care of the parkway, of course, simultaneously looking after folks that deserve something other than a tent space on the parkway to shelter in?”

“Hearing this question, Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the Sacramento Coalition to End Homelessness, said, “What I hear is, how can we get around the Martin v. Boise decision?”

“In 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the case that citing or moving homeless campers when there was no other place for them to go was a form of cruel and unusual punishment under the Constitution.

“As long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter,” the judges said. Between the city and the county, Sacramento County has about 7,000 more homeless people than it has shelter beds for them to sleep on, and an even worse shortage of stable, affordable housing.

“But at the Board of Supervisors meeting, Bellas said the parkway plan would give the county more ability to cite or move homeless people.

“This document plus our environmental review document has stated, ‘This is something that needs to happen: We need to take care of our natural resources. We need to make sure that we are addressing the impacts of our encampments on the parkway,’” she said. “It could be used to help us defend any questions that might come up on why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

“Serna asked her specifically whether homeless people could be moved from a part of the parkway with “greater habitat value” to a different part of the parkway before, ultimately, moving them into a “more humane shelter situation.”

“Bellas responded: “Absolutely.”

“The plan explicitly raised the issue of the Martin v. Boise case, saying the ruling “prohibits the County from criminally prosecuting people who are sleeping, sitting, or lying outside on public property when those people have no home or shelter available.” The plan also includes “interpretation of the decision” from county counsel, which says that the case law does not mean that people can “indefinitely reside at a single location on public property,” suggesting that the county’s legal attorneys likely agree homeless people can be legally shuffled from one area of the parkway to another, at least under certain circumstances.

“From my perspective as a lawyer, I wouldn’t want to hang my hat on that,” said Eric Tars, the legal director of the National Homelessness Law Center, who also served as counsel in the Martin v. Boise case. “I’m sure they’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars with their lawyers coming up with a scheme, rather than actually complying with the spirit of Martin. They’re trying to find ways of doing what Martin says you shouldn’t do by slipping through a loophole.”

“Tars said local politicians can choose to see Martin v. Boise as a constraint on the ability to criminalize homeless people or as an opportunity to marshal political will to create adequate housing. He pointed to Chico specifically.”

Read more at:

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Serious Snow

All around California as reported by the New York Times.

An excerpt.

“Record snowfall and freezing temperatures have altered the landscape and lives of millions of people in California in recent weeks. The mountains behind the iconic Hollywood sign in Los Angeles are dusted in white. Yosemite National Park is closed to the public, and mountain roads are coated with black ice.

“Vineyards in Napa Valley were dusted with powdery snow. Snow met the sand on a beach in Santa Cruz.

“In the Greater Lake Tahoe area, which includes the city of South Lake Tahoe, a winter storm warning will be going into effect Saturday morning through Monday morning, the National Weather Service said. Heavy snow accumulations of 1 to 2 feet, and up to 4 feet in higher elevations, are expected still.

“If you come to the Sierra this weekend, you may not be able to leave for a while,” the Weather Service said.

“In El Dorado County, which includes South Lake Tahoe, search and rescue crews and off-highway vehicle units were responding to calls from residents who needed evacuating from their homes, help with snow removal or rescue while stranded on roads, Sgt. Alexander W. Sorey, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department, said on Friday.

“As steady snowfall fell in the mountains of Southern California last week, residents at lower elevations dealt with the fallout from a more familiar threat: too much water. Intense rains and powerful winds pounded Los Angeles and surrounding counties last week, producing significant flooding in urban areas.

“But in Los Angeles, meteorologists reported a rare sight, when snow, or graupel — the soft, wet precipitation that is not quite as hard as hail — descended on the Hollywood sign.

“The storms hitting the Yosemite area to the north have been coupled with freezing temperatures. This week, in one sign of the extreme weather, the floor of the Yosemite Valley had 40 inches of snow depth. The park was closed, and no date has been set for it to reopen.

“Scott Gediman, a ranger and spokesman for the national park, said crews were digging out roads and trying to clear parking lots on Friday morning. The skies were clear, but the weather forecast called for 18 to 24 more inches of snow to come, from Saturday through Monday.

“It is just keeping on,” he said. “People are working hard. We are concerned about the storm coming in.”

“In Madera County, Sheriff Tyson J. Pogue said crews had been evacuating or helping residents who had run out of food, water and fuel, particularly in Bass Lake and North Fork. Some had been taken to American Red Cross shelters.

“People have been snowed in to their homes,” he said. “A lot of those residents are trying to get propane trucks up and resupply for the next storm.”

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A bracing article from City Journal.


“For roughly 100 years, California was America’s synecdoche: the part of the country that best represented its whole. It was town and country, coastal metropolis and interior farmland, opportunity and freedom. It was Hollywood, the defense industry, and the high-tech economy. Its people were both high-achieving and laid-back, able to enjoy the state’s natural bounty, from the beaches and cliffs to the forests and Sierras. California boasted a pioneering public education system, in which every child, no matter how poor, could receive a good education. It had affordable suburbs, built around nuclear families. It was growing, quadrupling its population after World War II. In a word, California represented progress.

“Now the state has become America’s shadow self. True, it is more prosperous than ever, surpassing Germany last year to become the world’s fourth-largest economy. But Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, and smaller cities are today overrun by homeless encampments, which European researchers more accurately describe as “open drug scenes.” Crime has become so rampant that many have simply stopped reporting it, with nearly half of San Franciscans telling pollsters that they were a victim of theft in the last five years and a shocking one-quarter saying that they had been assaulted or threatened with assault.

“These pathologies are just the most visible manifestations of a deeper rot. Less than half of California’s public school students are proficient in reading, and just one-third are proficient in math (with a stunning 9 percent of African-Americans and 12 percent of Latinos in L.A. public schools proficient in eighth-grade math). Education achievement declined precipitously in California in 2021, as the state kept children studying at home well after kids in other states had returned to the classroom. Californians pay the most income tax, gasoline tax, and sales tax in the United States, yet suffer from electricity blackouts and abysmal public services. Residential electricity prices grew three times faster in 2021 than they did in the rest of the United States. And the state government, dependent on income taxes, faces a projected $23 billion budget deficit that will only grow if the nation’s economy enters a recession. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given these trends, California’s population stopped expanding in 2014 and has slightly declined since, resulting in the loss of a congressional seat after the 2020 Census.

“Homelessness and disorder loom as the biggest problems. Most of the assaults and threats that San Franciscans reported came from the city’s large number of homeless and mentally ill addicts, who are allowed to sleep, defecate, and use drugs in public. Los Angeles is in even worse shape, as the city is so much larger than San Francisco and the local government is, against stereotype, even more progressive. Skid Row can no longer contain its massive population of street homeless; the city’s government has all but legalized open-air drug dealing and use. Over the last decade, homelessness increased 43 percent in California, even as it fell 7 percent nationally.

“Some signs of hope seem to have emerged on this front. Since taking office in December 2022, the new mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, has worked to shut down drug markets and tried to move people into shelter and housing through a program called “Inside Safe.” Venice Beach voters elected as mayor a moderate named Traci Park, who worked with Bass to move street-dwellers inside. San Francisco’s mayor, London Breed, closed an experimental government-funded drug-consumption site in June, responding to complaints from residents, business leaders, and mothers of homeless addicts. In November 2022, San Franciscans elected a majority of moderates to the city’s governing board of supervisors, who, like the mayor, favor stronger action to remove self-destructive addicts from the streets. Those changes followed a voter recall earlier that year of a radical district attorney, Chesa Boudin, whose policies of de-prosecution encouraged disorder.

“But there is less than meets the eye to these developments. Bass’s office reports that just 31 homeless people in Hollywood, and fewer than 100 in Venice, had been moved inside between December 11, 2022, and January 21 of this year. For context, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, there were 41,290 total homeless in Los Angeles in 2020, of whom 70 percent were “unsheltered”—living in tents or cardboard boxes on sidewalks and underneath overpasses. Voters increased the progressive majority on the Los Angeles City Council and tossed out the sheriff of Los Angeles County, who had advocated a tougher response to crime, drugs, and violence, in November 2022. In San Francisco, a judge halted efforts to move the city’s vulnerable homeless indoors before torrential rains pounded the state for weeks; the judge had sided with a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union against the city. And six months after closing the drug-consumption site, Mayor Breed and the Board of Supervisors announced in early January that they intended to open 12 new sites across the city. In the state’s two major cities, significant improvement on crime, drugs, and homelessness is unlikely under current political leadership.

“What explains California’s dramatic decline? And what would it take for the state to return to its former greatness?

“The reasons progressives give for California’s problems stopped making sense long ago. Since the 1970s, they have attributed much of the state’s difficulties to Republicans’ unwillingness to fund social programs. The cause of homelessness, they alleged, was Ronald Reagan’s decision to close mental institutions and tighten civil-commitment standards as governor and his refusal, as president, to fund “community-based” alternatives. But progressives have been unable to make that argument credibly for decades. For 12 years, Democrats have held a supermajority of the California legislature and controlled the governor’s mansion. California spends much more than other states on homelessness and mental illness, yet has worse outcomes.

“Without Republicans to blame, Democrats have turned to the state’s housing shortage as a catch-all explanation. A lack of housing does cause problems in California, as Christopher Elmendorf explains in this issue. Los Angeles and the Bay Area struggle even to build apartments near mass-transit stations. Insufficient housing, massively driving up the cost of keeping a roof overhead, contributed to the state’s population drop-off since 2014, as well as to the loss of many tech companies and jobs to more affordable locales in Texas and Florida. And it’s not just housing that is missing—the inability of California’s local governments to build hospitals, group homes, and shelters has undermined cities’ ability to solve the homelessness problem….

“To understand the intellectual roots of this toxic policy mix, Friedrich Nietzsche is an illuminating guide. Writing in the nineteenth century, Nietzsche foresaw a coming crisis of nihilism. Nihilism had at least two manifestations, in his view. One was the notion that life has no inherent meaning, value, or purpose. Humans are no different from frogs, as the nihilistic antihero, or villain, of Ivan Turgenev’s 1862 novel, Fathers and Sons, explained. Thinking and feelings are just the excretions of bodily organs; there’s nothing divine about humans. Nihilism was also a psychology and ideology of destruction.

“For Nietzsche (and others who followed), the first form of nihilism precedes the second. If life has no inherent meaning, then humans can, say, pursue empty pleasure, whether through drugs or sex or some other form of escapism, at no cost. But another response to the loss of meaning has been to invent new religions, usually in the form of totalizing political ideologies that provide the intoxication of power. As Communism was the nihilistic alternative to industrial capitalism and fascism the nihilistic alternative to liberalism, woke progressivism can be seen as the nihilistic alternative to our postindustrial, post-scarcity society, whose institutional structures are the enemy of sacrosanct racial and sexual identities. It is a political ideology, a psychopathology, and a religion all in one.

“Today’s nihilists are busily destroying the institutions that make civilization possible. Of course, opposing civilization is ultimately possible only if one takes it for granted. Our grandparents may have known what real poverty was like, but few of us do. Today’s nihilism is the ideology of the privileged, the children of the people who worked hard and made it—a descent from the successful nineteenth-century Russian farmers in Fathers and Sons to California’s 1960s-era “trustafarians,” who inherited nest eggs and never had to work, to San Francisco’s contemporary homeless, who get $700 per month in cash welfare from the city and most likely spend it on drugs. That such nihilism took root in America’s most prosperous, libertine state should not surprise us: there were always more bars than churches in San Francisco, the last American city to shut down opium dens.”

America’s Shadow Self | City Journal (

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20 Years Camping on the Parkway with County Approval

So reports the Sacramento Bee, paragraph in bold.

An excerpt.

“Sacramento County officials plan to clear a longstanding encampment of homeless seniors Thursday — this time for good.

“The secluded riverfront camp near Discovery Park, known as Bannon Island, is home to roughly 30 seniors. Some of them have been living there for more than 20 years.

“County officials have largely allowed the camp to stay put, even providing water drop-offs at one point. But last month’s major rain and windstorm caused severe flooding there, county spokeswoman Janna Haynes said. The park rangers posted notices to the camp Tuesday ordering them to leave by Thursday afternoon.

“Sacramento is expected to experience rain and a windstorm Thursday and Friday, but even after the storm passes, people will not be able to return to the island, Haynes said. That’s a change from the county’s handling of the January storm.

“Bannon Island has been closed to all (Discovery) Park users since January, not just campers,” Haynes said in an email. “It is currently far too dangerous to have people there. We currently have temporary signs posted stating that the area is closed to the public and more permanent signs will be put in place soon. This will be a long-term closure.”

“Crews are still clearing debris, trash and downed trees from the January storm, which block access for first responders, making it unsafe to live there, Haynes said.

“Twana James, the island’s unofficial mayor, said she is suffering from pneumonia and does not know where she will go.

“I hate it,” James, 54, said Wednesday. “I can’t move. I don’t know what to do. I’m real sick. I can’t breathe, can’t do anything.”

“The camp is mostly secluded from the public, but clearing it will be physically taxing. In the summer of 2021, The Sacramento Bee journalists were the first members of the media to visit the site and report on the residents. Journalists observed about 60 tents, some of which had multiple rooms with furniture and carpeting. Cables were draped between the surrounding trees, holding dog leashes and colorful beach towels.

“Following the planned clearing, county staff will store all personal property that is not perishable and/or unsanitary for 90 days, said Ken Casparis, a county spokesman, in an email.

“Park rangers have offered shelter to the people living on the island in the past, Haynes said. It’s unclear if county officials will offer to transport anyone to a shelter or motel Thursday.

“As many shelters are temporary with limits on number of pets and amount of possessions. What the residents really want is permanent housing, several have told The Bee.”

Sacramento County, CA, to clear Bannon Island homeless camp | The Sacramento Bee (

And this article from KCRA 3 validates the point, Bannon Island homeless encampment asked to clear out (

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Downtown Sacramento

Currently, great article from California Globe.

An excerpt.

“The Sacramento State of Downtown and the city was held Tuesday morning at the Sacramento Convention Center. With Sacramento’s downtown still hurting from Covid business lockdowns, as well as the riots of Summer 2020, city leaders are rightfully concerned with how to rejuvenate the Capitol City of California.

“Traditionally, Sacramento’s downtown was where residents commuted in to the city for work, and went home at 5:00pm. Over the years, business owners in downtown Sacramento build a bustling restaurant and bar scene. Entertainment venues were refurbished and renovated, and new ones were established, balancing out Sacramento’s downtown night life.

“But when Gov. Gavin Newsom locked down the entire state on March 4, 2020 over the Covid virus, followed by the 2020 riots, the grinding halt of business deeply hurt the city. Many businesses were unable to recover.

“A local radio show broadcast Tuesday morning from the Convention Center and spoke with the Downtown Partnership, Convention Center management, and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

“The Downtown Partnership and Convention Center have had a challenging time attracting events and conventions to the city, largely because the city does not have the hotel rooms to accommodate really large events and conventions. There was good news too, but only because of the Herculean efforts by these organizations.

“But another issue has caused concern and isn’t going away –  the large homeless population and increasing crime.

“Several downtown streets look like no-go zones with abandoned buildings and storefronts, no-tell motels, open drug and sex trade, and shady characters up to no good.

“The Mayor’s interview however, was disconcerting in that rather than accepting responsibility for the state of the city, Democrat Mayor Steinberg pivoted from the huge drug-addicted homeless population and crime, to shaming business owners for not doing their part.

“He said business owners really needed to step up their help to the city, and told them they need to stop focusing on “me” and focus on “we.”

“Actually Mr. Mayor, no. Business owners are in the business of running a business and are not responsible for helping you clear the city of the homeless drug addicts and criminals. I recognize that your job hasn’t been particularly rewarding since you were elected, but you are the Mayor.

“Sacramento business owners are suffering, as business owners in nearly every Democrat run city are, across the county: They are fighting off crime, which goes unpunished; homeless addicts stealing from them, blocking their doorways, defecating and urinating on sidewalks in front of businesses, and harassing customers and employees.

“Business owners still operating have lost business because of the deplorable conditions in cities. Many are fighting to stay afloat. Many more have closed their doors.

“The problem with cities is not that business owners won’t help – plenty do. The problem with cities is the Democrats who run them. Most elected officials have no empathy with business owners because they’ve never run a business or signed the front of a paycheck. It’s easy to pick on a business owner who drives a nice German car when politicians don’t know he works 7 days a week, and has as many sleepless nights. It’s easy to call business owners selfish when elected officials don’t know how many homeless people the owner tried to help, but got fed up when the last one shattered his store window or ripped him off.

“The Sacramento Mayor is talking about how Sacramento will need to change, but recognized that many offices full of workers will not be returning to downtown. He acknowledged that housing is an issue in Sacramento, and that it is too expensive.

“The other huge issue killing Sacramento is crime which goes unpunished, thanks to Proposition 47 passed in 2014 – which then-Senator Steinberg supported. Proposition 47, passed by misinformed voters and flagrantly titled “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act,” reduced a host of felonies to misdemeanors, including drug crimes, date rape, and all thefts under $950, even for repeat offenders who steal every day – which many do.

Prop. 47 decriminalized drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor, and also removed law enforcement’s ability to make an arrest in most circumstances, as well as removing judges’ ability to order drug rehabilitation programs rather than incarceration.”

OPINION: The State Of Downtown Sacramento | California Globe

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Water Policy Change

From Cal Matters.

An excerpt.

“IN SUMMARY Angering environmentalists, the water board decided that cities and farmers would get more Delta water while restricting flows for endangered salmon and other fish. The move came after Gov. Gavin Newsom suspended key environmental laws.

“California’s water board decided Tuesday to temporarily allow more storage in Central Valley reservoirs, waiving state rules that require water to be released to protect salmon and other endangered fish.

“The waiver means more water can be sent to the cities and growers that receive supplies from the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta through the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project. The state aqueduct delivers water to 27 million people, mostly in Southern California, and 750,000 acres of farmland, while the Central Valley Project mostly serves farms.

“The flow rules will remain suspended until March 31.

“Environmentalists reacted today with frustration and concern that the move will jeopardize chinook salmon and other native fish in the Delta that are already struggling to survive. 

“The flow standard they relaxed is probably the most important regulation we have,” said Gary Bobker, program director at The Bay Institute. He said the rule is aimed at simulating natural runoff in rivers, which is critical for native fish to reproduce and thrive.

“The order from the State Water Resources Control Board, signed by Executive Director Eilleen Sobeck, comes eight days after Gov. Gavin Newsom suspended two state environmental laws and urged the board to act. Water suppliers and growers had criticized the state for “wasting” water during the January storms by letting it flow through rivers out to sea instead of capturing it in reservoirs.”

Water board waives Delta rules that protect salmon – CalMatters

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City County Homelessness Coordination

Almost funny, if not so sad.

Article from KCRA 3 At MSN.

An excerpt.

“It has been more than two months since the city and county of Sacramento reached an agreement to coordinate efforts to address the homelessness crisis.

“KCRA 3 News checked in to see what has happened since the new partnership agreement was adopted in early December.

“Lots of work being done,” said Assistant City Manager Mario Lara.

“He explained that the city and the county have been meeting weekly, working out the details on how they will share data and what metrics they will use to measure progress or refining protocols for a shared training program to standardize how they are conducting outreach and assessments.

“I think the relationship and the communication has improved significantly, especially as a result of the partnership agreement because now it focuses us and we’re clear as to what exactly we’re working towards,” Lara said.

“The city and county have been combining resources for outreach teams, which include mental health workers that go out to encampments.

“Three days a week, we are out there, feet on the ground, working side-by-side county and city,” said Cait Fournier, mental health program coordinator with Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services.

“There are currently three outreach teams, but the goal is to increase that to 10 within six months.

“In the last couple months, we have added on; we are onboarding, interviewing and onboarding new staff as well to expand,” Fournier said.

“Another important piece of the puzzle is making sure there are enough beds to get people off the streets.

“The city announced it will reopen the Miller Park Safe Ground site by the end of the month after it closed during severe storms last month. However, instead of tents, it will offer travel trailers this time, accommodating up to 45 people.

“It is only a temporary option, Lara said.

“Clearly, Miller Park was never intended to be a long-term solution. It’s not an ideal site, and it is very costly to operate the way that we were operating it,” he said.

“Lara said the focus over the last few weeks has been on finding a more ideal location.”

What has happened since Sacramento city, county partnership to reduce homelessness? (

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