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California Environmental Quality Act delays new home build in San Diego even without an environmental reason

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I grew up in California, and I’m the last member of my family to live here. One of my sisters and her family moved to Oregon. For her family, it wasn’t an economic issue as much as a quality of life issue. In a recent ranking of states, California ranked the worst state for quality of life.

My parents recently bought a home in Las Vegas, and my eldest sister already lives out there. In the past two years, my family has moved out of California because of taxes, cost of living, quality of life, traffic, and a whole host of other issues.

California’s middle-class is leaving because California isn’t the “Golden State” it once was.

One major issue we are facing in California is a housing crisis, and it isn’t due to lack of developers wanting to build more housing. One main reason is overbearing government regulations.

The Building Industry Association recently commissioned a study that found that up to 40 percent of the cost of a new home is attributable to the 45 regulatory agencies that govern home building in California.

As a candidate for California State Controller, I will not have any legislative ability to address this issue, but I plan to introduce Trickle-up-Taxation to voters with a ballot initiative in 2020. Trickle-up-Taxation will indirectly help to solve our housing crisis because with Trickle-up-Taxation, regulatory reform and realigning of regulatory agencies will be necessary, and those reforms will not only help with the housing crisis but a myriad of other failed state governmental policies and structures.

Trickle-up-Taxation isn’t just about bringing much-needed tax dollars into your community to address the needs of your community. Trickle-up-Taxation will give greater flexibility to your local elected officials to streamline new development and cut down costs.

A perfect example of overbearing government regulation is the halting of a dilapidated California Theatre building in downtown San Diego. A theatre that has been closed since 1990 has fallen into disrepair and was scheduled for demolition for a new 40-story residential tower.

The new construction has been halted because the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires that a city’s environmental report includes several alternatives for the site including at least one preservation alternative.

Since the city’s report did include several alternatives, it did not consider at least one preservation alternative. Thus the court ruled that a new report had to be issued and at least one preservation alternative must be considered.

My question is, why should one preservation alternative even be considered? The building is from 1927, in disrepair, and its contaminated with lead and asbestos. Cleaning up asbestos and lead is very expensive, and no developer in their right mind would spend the millions necessary to remove that and preserve a building that will not bring in a reasonable rate of return or even a profit.

CEQA and the State of California should have no say in what happens to this building. We already have codes on how to properly clean up and dispose of asbestos and lead, and those codes are needed but spending thousands of dollars to consider preserving a building the owner and the city do not want, is utter nonsense.

Does regulatory reform that Trickle-up-Taxation ensure your city will do the right thing?

No, it doesn’t. San Francisco has proven that its local elected officials can delay development for over five years and require the owner to pay over a million dollars and doing study after study and still delaying the new housing development with nonsense that a building that was built in 1924 and was gutted when it was turned into a laundromat may have, but weren’t not sure, have some historical significance because neighborhood groups used the land once upon a time.

Government regulations are necessary for the protection of residents and the environment. I’m not arguing government doesn’t play a role, what I am arguing is that in the San Diego case, CEQA and the State of California have overstepped their bounds and are medlying in what should be a local issue, not a state issue. If San Francisco wants to make it difficult for their developers then so be it, they have that right.

My opinion is CEQA, and the State of California is delaying housing that is desperately needed and due to their government overreach, are adding millions of dollars of cost to new home build projects and thus will result in more expensive homes and years of delays.

Therefore, fewer people will be able to afford decent housing, and if they can’t find housing they will do what my family and many other Californians are doing; they are leaving the state for greener pasture elsewhere.


Konstantinos Roditis is a candidate for California State Controller. You can learn more about his campaign at cacontroller.com, and you can follow him on Twitter & Facebook.

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Guns and Crime

Nevada to seek death penalty for illegal alien Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman

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Nevada to seek death penalty for illegal alien Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman

Prosecutors in two counties where an illegal immigrant allegedly murdered four people are seeking the death penalty for his crimes. North Nevada was shaken by the string of murders until the alleged killer was apprehended by law enforcement in January.

Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, 20, was arrested January 19, 2019, by Washoe County Sheriff’s department and charged with multiple offenses while prosecutors and investigators worked on charging him for the four murders. They rarely invoke the death penalty but the severity and heinous nature of the crimes warrant capital punishment, according to prosecutors.

“We reserve the death penalty for the worst of the worst,” Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks said last Thursday. “We use it sparingly.”

The illegal immigrant from El Salvador is accused of shooting and killing Gerald David, 81, and his wife, Sharon, 80, in Reno and Connie Koontz, 56, and Sophia Renken, 74, in Gardnerville.

My Take

Just as traffic fines are doubled in construction zones, so too should penalties be increased when illegal immigrants commit crimes. His immigration status was not taken into account, but the crimes themselves were enough for prosecutors to seek the death penalty.

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Devin Nunes sued Twitter: Here’s the real can of worms that could open for the social media giant

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Devin Nunes sued Twitter Heres the real can of worms that could open for the social media giant

Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) has filed a lawsuit against Twitter, citing multiple offenses including defamation, conspiracy, and negligence. The lawsuit, filed in Virginia, asks for $250 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.

Currently, Twitter is considered to be a content platform rather than a producer, but Nunes claims the site has overstepped its bounds as merely a host because they’ve taken an active and aggressive interest in filtering and censoring content. They’ve also been aggressive in their banning and “shadowbanning” practices, the latter of which impacted Nunes’s account itself.

This has a very good potential of opening that particular can of worms, as I noted on Twitter:

My Take

There are three acceptable possibilities that can come from this or other actions.

  1. Twitter stops banning, censoring, and filtering content altogether other than content that is illegal or filtered by a user upon request. It’s important to throw that in, not because it needs to said to most people but because many anti-free-speech activists (better known as hate-speech protesters) would perceive the goal of ending censorship as a requested license for no-holds-barred free posting. It’s one thing to ban someone for doxxing or making actual threats. It’s a whole other thing to ban people for being critical of sharia law, for example, or to tell people they should learn how to code.
  2. Twitter keeps their current filters, bans, and censorship in place but they do so across the ideological, political, cultural, and religious spectrum. There are countless instances where double standards are applied based upon an unwillingness to offend the left while actually craving opportunities to offend the right. One need only look at Ayatollah Khamenei’s Twitter account for examples of someone who can threaten lives without worrying about a Twitter ban.
  3. Police the site how they want, but remove the protections against defamation and other lawsuits in an acknowledgement that they’re a content aggregator, not simply a platform.

I’ll admit up front that this site has a vested interest in cleaning up Twitter. Several of our writers have been banned on Twitter for being too aggressively conservative. I know with a certainty that none of their Tweets were as heinous as others’ who are allowed to stay on the site simply because they’re not conservative. But we have no real recourse against the social media giant. As a crowdfunded news outlet that relies on our readers for donations, we would never waste the money getting legal over a handful of Twitter accounts. They’re just not worth it.

But it’s more than just the money. They are a private corporation and I always push back against government interactions with private business. It’s their platform. They can do what they want with it. If they want to be hyper-leftist, that’s their prerogative, just as we will be staunchly conservative. But we’re held to a higher degree of accountability because we’re not a platform the way Twitter is currently classified. It’s this area, the way they’re classified, that we can see fruit coming forth from this lawsuit.

What Nunes is doing isn’t really about the money. It’s about putting Twitter’s anti-conservative and anti-Judeo-Christian practices in the spotlight and establishing a change in the system that holds them accountable. I support the Congressman in this effort.

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Culture and Religion

Houston library had Alberto Garza, a registered child sex offender, read stories to children for Drag Queen Storytime

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Houston library had Alberto Garza a registered child sex offender read stories to children for Drag

Conservatives know the LGBTQ community has their say in most aspects of life in America today. Their political and cultural influence is unquestionable and public organizations jump through hoops to appease the various groups. Many libraries have even embrace “Drag Queen Storytime” as a way to teach tolerance to children by allowing transvestites to read stories to children.

Houston Public Library is one such progressive public organization that has embraced the practice. Unfortunately, they didn’t do anything to protect the children that visit the library by allowing “Tatiana Mala Nina” to read for the children. The problem arose because”Tatiana” is actually Alberto Garza, a 32-year-old child sex offender.

My Take

Houston Public Library has apologized. Is that really enough? Mistakes happen, but there are certain situations and jobs in which extra special care must be taken. Our public libraries, which are often considered to be truly safe places and popular venues for children to learn, should be able to give a reasonable expectation to parents that registered child sex offenders are not given explicit access to children.

This is gross negligence. I may be in the minority on this one, but this is a terminable offense in my books. Someone’s head should roll.

Keep in mind I rarely call for anyone to be fired for a single offense, but this is literally the worst case scenario for a library administrator. When you give someone access to the children that come to the library, they cannot be convicted child sex offenders. That’s sort of a no-brainer.

Nothing will likely happen beyond the apology, but here’s hoping.

So many exceptions are made for “alternative lifestyles” for the sake of tolerance. But when this tolerance allows a convicted child sex offender to have access to small children, the exceptions have gone way to far. This is absolutely unacceptable.

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