Monday, June 21, 2021

Attorney General Bonta Pushes Back on Postmaster General DeJoy’s Flawed Postal Service Proposal

 OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general, as well as the cities of New York and San Francisco, in a comment letter condemning a proposed 10-year strategic plan put forward by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that threatens to significantly slow the speed of mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) across the country, including first-class election mail. Specifically, the proposed plan, along with other changes, would permanently alter USPS’ service standards to extend the number of days it has to meet delivery deadlines in a superficial effort to demonstrate improved reliability. In the comment letter, the coalition urges the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission to reject the proposal and calls on USPS to take other steps to substantively improve its performance.


“The U.S. Postal Service is a lifeline for millions of Americans and small businesses across the country,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Reliable, timely deliveries make a difference when it comes to keeping a customer or exercising our right to vote. Shame on Postmaster General DeJoy for playing politics with our postal service, a nearly 250-year-old American institution. We respectfully urge the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission to reject this foolhardy proposal. You can’t fix something just by moving the goalposts. Our communities and the more than 600,000 postal workers nationwide deserve better.”

Under the proposed 10-year plan, USPS is, among other things, seeking to change its service standards for first-class mail from 1-3 days to 1-5 days, claiming the existing service standards are incompatible with declines in mail volume. As part of the proposal, USPS asserts that the existing standards make it difficult to provide reliable and consistent service because of high costs and inefficiencies in its transportation network, citing, for instance, low utilization of long-haul truck capacity. However, extending the delivery timeline and then citing the new standard as evidence of improved reliability only serves to create the illusion of a solution without addressing any systemic issues inhibiting USPS’ performance. Thus, USPS’ plan to change the performance standard does not actually address its failings to timely deliver the mail and may well result in overall slower delivery and even worse customer satisfaction. Ultimately, the proposed plan fundamentally deviates from USPS’ core mission as a public service and ignores the potential consequences on the delivery of all types of mail across the country, including with regards to regular government services, paychecks for working families, and election mail. Rural communities and critical state business conducted through the mail would especially suffer from an inefficient postal service.

In the comment letter, the attorneys general assert that the proposal:

Would have significant adverse effects on postal service across the country;

Threatens to harm the states and their residents, including through direct impacts on government services, election mail, and rural and low-income communities; and

Cannot be justified based on USPS' rationale for the changes.

Today’s comment letter is separate from the California Department of Justice’s ongoing litigation against Postmaster General DeJoy in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al. v. Louis DeJoy, et al. As a result of that case, USPS was preliminarily blocked from implementing a series of sudden policy changes ahead of last year’s presidential election that threatened to slow the delivery of election mail during an election that saw a record number of ballots cast by mail.

In filing the comment letter, Attorney General Bonta joins the attorneys general of Pennsylvania, New York, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, as well as City of New York and the City and County of San Francisco.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Attorney General Bonta Formally Launches New Regional Human Trafficking and Sexual Predator Apprehension Teams

 LOS ANGELES – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today formally launched new regional Human Trafficking and Sexual Predator Apprehension Teams (HT/SPAT) within the California Department of Justice and is encouraging law enforcement partners in the state to reach out to the new program. Progressively stepping up their efforts since last year, the teams — one covering Northern California and another covering Southern California — are now nearly fully staffed and have already taken action across the state to support law enforcement partners in disrupting and dismantling human trafficking and the criminal exploitation of children. Attorney General Bonta today also issued an information bulletin to local authorities to provide guidance on key techniques meant to help reduce harm in law enforcement interactions with sexually exploited youth. In addition, the Attorney General today highlighted new funds included in the proposed state budget aimed at combatting the effects of the pandemic on human trafficking and directly supporting survivors across California through $30 million in new grants over the next 3 years. The new proposed funds are in addition to $10 million per year in grants already included in the budget.


“Plain and simple: Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery. Whether it’s forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation of children, there is no place for these kinds of crimes in California or anywhere,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Unfortunately, the pandemic has only served to exacerbate many of the underlying risks that lead to human trafficking in our state. We all have to work together across every level of government and society to help bring human trafficking to an end. That’s why I’m proud to formally launch our human trafficking teams at the California Department of Justice. I urge our partners across the state to reach out whenever they are in need of assistance. No one agency can do it all alone — and we need more than arrests to have a real, lasting impact on survivors, particularly children. That's what makes these new grants in the proposed budget and our law enforcement bulletin so important. It will take hard work, patience, and understanding to secure justice and, ultimately, to bring healing. I’m confident that with the tools being shared today, together we can help make a difference for our people and for our state.”

“It has been more than 150 years since slavery was abolished and yet modern-day slavery still exists in our backyard,” said Assemblymember Miguel Santiago. “It’s our responsibility to do everything in our power to abolish this horrid crime and help survivors recover. A historic state investment of $60 million over the next three years coupled with the Attorney General’s statewide efforts will provide survivors much needed services such as housing, food, legal representation, and emergency response that could prove life-saving. This is only the start and it will take a village to eradicate one of the biggest human rights challenges of our time.”

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery where perpetrators profit from the control and exploitation of men, women, and children for sex or labor through force, fraud, or coercion. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were more than 1,500 human trafficking cases reported in California in 2019 — more than any other state in the nation. In California, human trafficking has been most prevalent in urban areas and, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, three of the top child prostitution regions nationwide are in the Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco metropolitan areas. Among other industries, victims of human trafficking can also be found among migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, providers of residential care, and in California’s garment sector. Despite these ongoing concerns, California has historically lacked a statewide, collaborative approach to human trafficking enforcement.

However, as a result of a new infusion of funds to the California Department of Justice starting in fiscal year 2019-20, HT/SPAT has begun to directly step up engagement with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in efforts to help address the epidemic of human trafficking in California through a more comprehensive and collaborative statewide response. The new regional teams are in addition to the California Department of Justice’s existing work as a lead agency in the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force. The HT/SPAT program is committed to using a victim-centered approach to aggressively investigate and identify forced labor and sexual exploitation for profit or gain by human traffickers and sexual predators. The program also works to monitor and ensure compliance with California’s laws among registered sex offenders, largely focusing on those who have been identified as “Well Above Average Risk Offenders” in the California Sex Offender Registry. These individuals generally have a higher predicted rate of recidivism within the first five years of release from custody. Overall, there are 13 special agents and two crime analysts in the HT/SPAT program, all are new positions dedicated to directly tackling and assisting in efforts to eradicate human trafficking in the state.

The Attorney General encourages law enforcement partners across the state to reach out to the new HT/SPAT program for assistance on human trafficking matters, particularly those that may be complex or impact multiple jurisdictions. To date, many agencies have already done so and HT/SPAT has taken action in nearly all phases of enforcement efforts, including through:

Nearly 300 on-the-ground address checks of potential suspects and high-risk sex offenders;

The development of dozens of investigative leads, conducting suspect and survivor interviews in conjunction with law enforcement partners;

The execution of nearly two dozen search warrants;

Outreach to non-profit organizations that provide services to survivors; and

Assisting in and directly securing arrests related to human trafficking and other violations of California’s laws. 

In addition to the California Department of Justice’s ongoing efforts to directly combat human trafficking in the state, Attorney General Bonta is today issuing guidance to help law enforcement protect commercially sexually exploited children from further harm. Commercial sexual exploitation of youth is defined as a commercial sex act where anything of value is given, including the provision of food, shelter, or payment, in exchange for the performance of a sexual act. Both girls and boys can be impacted and are subject to many of the same risk factors. 

Over the past decade, there has been a growing awareness and shift in understanding regarding sexually exploited youth in California and around the country. As a result, the California Legislature has enacted a number of state laws that aim to ensure youth are not criminalized as a result of being commercially sexually exploited. For instance, Senate Bill 1322 of 2016 made laws that criminalize soliciting or engaging in prostitution inapplicable to anyone under 18 years of age, fundamentally changing aspects of the relationship between youth and law enforcement. However, legislation alone does not ensure youth in such circumstances are able to meaningfully engage with law enforcement to extricate themselves from abusive situations or assist in the investigation and prosecution of exploiters. Ultimately, more restorative-focused actions often depend on building trust and long-term relationships. While a number of law enforcement agencies may have significant experience and expertise in working with commercially sexually exploited youth in such a manner, this is not always the case for law enforcement agencies across the state and a harm reduction approach ultimately requires patience, consistency, and a recognition that lasting change will take time.

In today’s bulletin, drawing on the expertise of the Department's Bureau of Children's Justice, the Attorney General urges law enforcement agencies to use a harm reduction framework and offers a wide-range of specific key strategies and approaches to help protect sexually exploited youth, including, among other things, to:

Remember that trauma impacts the ability of youth to recall information, creating the potential for there to be gaps in their stories or have details presented in a non-linear fashion;

Allow time for youth engaging with law enforcement to decompress, giving them space to clear their heads or use the restroom;

Clearly establish the purpose of the interaction, reminding youth that they are not in trouble or under arrest;

Review and update as needed a safety plan for youth regarding what to do should they feel in danger or receive threats;

Take steps to remain engaged and stay in contact with youth if possible, even if they go missing from foster care or other placements;

Maintain communication with the youth’s support systems, including social workers or caregivers;

Determine the best and safest way to maintain contact, particularly if texts or phone calls make the youth feel unsafe; and

Take steps to protect youth from being required to publicly provide testimony due to the sensitive nature of their cases and their juvenile status.

Lastly, pending approval by the Governor, the proposed budget contains a major new investment in direct services for survivors of human trafficking in the form of grants to be administered by the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. These new grants are sorely needed as a result of the pandemic's impacts on many of the underlying risk factors that lead to human trafficking in California, including job loss among vulnerable populations, reported increases in online grooming, and limitations on the ability of victims to seek assistance in person. During COVID-19, service organizations across California have reported significant upticks in calls to their hotlines and in demand for assistance. The Attorney General is a fierce champion for making these kinds of grants available and supported calls by advocates to ratchet up investments into direct services for survivors. The grants included in the current proposed budget will help local entities support survivors through $30 million in new funding over the next 3 years. If approved, these funds will be part of the state's multi-tiered strategy to help protect and support Californians impacted by human trafficking.

Separately, the California Department of Justice also provides and maintains on its website human trafficking notices that certain businesses are required to post by law in order to inform the public and help ensure potential victims of trafficking are aware of resources available to them in California. These notices are available for use to all members of the public. Up-to-date digital copies of the notices are available for free in two dozen languages on the Attorney General’s website here: https://oag.ca.gov/human-trafficking/model-notice.

General information about the HT/SPAT program is available on the Attorney General’s website here: https://oag.ca.gov/bi/htspat. A copy of the information bulletin issued today is available here.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Free Talk Live Radio Hosts Arrested By Feds

 FTL's Main Host Released on Highly Restrictive Bail

You haven't received any updates from me in a few months because at about 6am on March 16th, the windows were smashed in at the FTL studio, which is also my home.  Approximately two dozen armed men and women from the FBI, IRS, ATF, USPS, and others decided to pay us a very rude visit and steal some computers and phones, as well as kidnap me and my next-door neighbor and co-host "Nobody".  At the same time they were raiding the home of another FTL co-host, Aria DiMezzo, as well as a few of our mutual friends.


In total, six of us were arrested and have been charged with various victimless "crimes" relating to the alleged distribution of Bitcoin without government permission.  Four of the six were released on the same day, while me and Nobody were held pending bail hearings.  My first hearing took weeks to get the ruling, but the magistrate denied my release, calling me a flight risk and "economic danger to the community". 

We subsequently appealed and six weeks later an actual judge released me on some very restrictive bail conditions.  Nobody is still being held and is appealing his initial bail denial as well.  My bail conditions include home confinement, no access to cryptocurrency, and I'm prohibited from speaking with my co-host of nearly 20 years, Mark Edge, as well as Aria, Nobody, and several other mutual friends.  We plan to fight these restrictions as they are a clear violation of the right to free speech and free association.  One thing is for sure - it certainly doesn't feel like "innocent until proven guilty" with 69 days behind bars pre-trial and insane bail conditions, that I've only glossed over here to keep this update short.

We are denying the ludicrous charges against us and planning for a trial in 2022.  I am facing the brunt of it and have been labeled a "sophisticated criminal" and "kingpin" by the prosecutors.  Bitcoin of course, is not illegal, so they had to cook up some other scary sounding charges like "wire fraud" and "money laundering" and the biggie, "continuing financial crimes enterprise", which alone has a ten-year minimum sentence.

Free Talk Live was the first national radio show - maybe even the first national media period - to discuss Bitcoin and we've been longtime advocates for it and other cryptocurrencies.  Is that why we're being targeted? 

https://www.freetalklive.com

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Attorney General Bonta: In California, Federal Child Tax Credit Is Exempt from Garnishment

  OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today warned financial institutions, creditors and debt collectors that in California, it is illegal to seize federal Child Tax Credit payments for individual debts. On July 15, roughly 39 million U.S. families – representing 88 percent of the nation’s children – are expected to begin receiving monthly Child Tax Credit payments. Governor Gavin Newsom’s April 23, 2020, Executive Order makes it unlawful to garnish any financial assistance provided to individuals as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Executive Order’s protection extends to the Child Tax Credit, which was enacted as part of the American Rescue Plan in response to the pandemic.  


 “The pandemic has been tough on families across California,” said Attorney General Bonta. “The Child Tax Credit payments should be a bright spot for our families, putting money in their pockets as the country begins our recovery. No parent should go to bed worried that these payments will be seized by some debt collector.”

 The new Child Tax Credit provides families with up to $300 per month for young children and up to $250 per month for kids ages six through 17, for the 2021 tax year. Eligible families will receive the credit as a monthly payment from the IRS.

 The Child Tax Credit was part of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic aid package called the American Rescue Plan that became law in March. In California, Executive Order N-57-20 sought to ensure that COVID-19 assistance funds reached their intended recipients in full and weren’t withheld by debt collectors. This state protection for individuals includes pandemic-related financial assistance provided by local, state and federal government.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Attorney General Bonta Secures Settlement with EPA to Protect Americans from One of World’s Most Toxic Substances

 OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has agreed to initiate rulemaking to collect data on and eliminate reporting exemptions for uses of asbestos, a long-known toxic carcinogen. California and Massachusetts previously led a multistate coalition in challenging the EPA’s failure to create a new rule requiring data collection on the importation and use of asbestos, and in December 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California found in favor of the state attorneys general. In today’s settlement, the EPA agrees to complete rulemaking by specific deadlines consistent with the court’s summary judgment order and to not appeal the court’s ruling. 



“The long-time failure of the EPA to regulate asbestos is an environmental injustice and public health tragedy,” said Attorney General Bonta. “As with so many environmental toxins, it is our low-income communities, communities of color, and young children who are disproportionately exposed to this deadly carcinogen and who suffer the resulting health consequences. Today's commitment by the Biden Administration's EPA to collect missing information about the import and use of asbestos is an important step toward ensuring all Americans live in a community that is healthy and safe.” 


Asbestos – a carcinogen that takes 15,000 lives per year – is linked to diseases that are life-threatening, or cause substantial pain and suffering, including mesothelioma, fibrosis, lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, as well as other lung disorders and diseases. There is no safe level of exposure to this highly toxic material. Currently, the EPA does not possess, and is not collecting, comprehensive data on the importing, processing and use of asbestos and asbestos-containing articles in the U.S. necessary to protect public health. 


Following years of inaction, a coalition of state attorneys general petitioned the EPA in 2019 to initiate rulemaking on asbestos, and, following the EPA’s rejection of their petition, filed a lawsuit to compel the EPA to take action. On December 22, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California found that the EPA’s denial of the coalition's petition violated the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act. The court directed the EPA to initiate rulemaking to eliminate exemptions for asbestos in the current Chemical Data Reporting rule.  


In today's settlement, conditioned on court approval, the EPA agrees to meet specific deadlines for the rulemaking process and to not appeal the court's decision. The EPA will publish a proposed rule no later than nine months after the effective date of the settlement and a final rule no later than 18 months after the effective date of the settlement. As part of the settlement, the states seek to amend their complaint to allege only a cause of action under the TSCA and agree to a slightly modified final judgment that directs the EPA to initiate rulemaking under the TSCA to address the information-gathering deficiencies that the court identified. 


Attorney General Bonta and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey are joined in today's settlement by the attorneys general of Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Phone Scammer?

 Today while at work, I got a call from a person calling himself Alan Davis an inspector for the Social Security Administration. His number had a San Francisco area code but that means nothing these days. 





He said he was investigating me for fraud and needed me to verify my personal information. 

I said this is Tom Sebourn, I work in a news room. This call is being recorded. 

He said I was in a lot of trouble and needed to verify my identity. I told him that we read Public Service Announcements to the  public about scams all the time and they usually start with a phone call just like this.

 He started to get abusive with me and said fine, I'll just send this to your local law enforcement agency and I interrupted him and said do what you want, I'm not giving you any more information. Fine he said I'll send it to the police.

 I told him to do that as I know who our local law enforcement is but i don't have a clue who you are even if you do say your name is Alan Davis. 

 He got mad and hung up. I reported him to the Department of Social Security Inspector General's Office. 

That's what you do. 

These people are sharks and really motivating. DON'T FALL FOR IT!!

Monday, May 31, 2021

The Classic Rock Rewind!

 That show thing I do is on now going till Noon this Memorial Day!

www.highqualityrock.com


Monday, May 24, 2021

The Classic Rock Rewind Today 10 am - Noon Pacific

You know it's Monday when I try to get you to listen to my show. It's only 2 hours long, and it's free. No credentials needed or pass words.  Brand new music from Jackson Browne today. So take the edge off of Mondays with The Classic Rock Rewind exclusively on www.highqualityrock.com 
More info about the show at www.tomsebourn.rocks 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Don’t Buy Exxon’s Fable Of The Drunken Captain

This is an inside look at what really led up to the Exxon Valdez disaster that is still a problem today. The ships radar was off because it didn't work. That's not all...

Investigative reporter Greg Palast shared this with The Guardian UK today.

Don’t Buy Exxon’s Fable Of The Drunken Captain

by Greg Palastfor The Guardian UKMarch 24, 2021

Today, March 24, the 32nd Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez disaster will be commemorated with the re-telling of lies. The official story is, “Drunken Skipper Hits Reef.” Don’t believe it.

https://vimeo.com/528283428

The video above is an introduction to the story.

Days after the oil tanker slimed 1,200 miles of Alaska’s coastline, I was in Prince William Sound, launching an investigation for the Chugach Natives of Alaska. It was their coastline.

This story remains untold: the true cause of the Exxon Valdez catastrophe was the oil giant’s breaking their promises to the Natives and Congress, cynically and disastrously, in the fifteen years leading up to the spill.

As to Captain Joe Hazelwood, he was below decks, sleeping off his bender. At the helm, the third mate would never have collided with Bligh Reef had he looked at his Raycas radar. But the radar was not turned on. In fact, the tanker’s radar was left broken and disabled for more than a year before the disaster, and Exxon management knew it. It was just too expensive to fix and operate.

For the Chugach, this discovery was poignantly ironic. Twenty years earlier the Chugach sold Exxon and BP the incredibly valuable port of Valdez—for $1. That’s right, a dollar. But they won something in return: a guarantee of the safety of the waters on which they survived. On their list of safety demands in return for Valdez was “state-of-the-art” on-ship radar.

We discovered more, but because of the labyrinthine ways of litigation, little became public, especially about the reckless acts of the industry consortium, Alyeska, which controls the Alaska Pipeline.

Several smaller oil spills before the Exxon Valdez could have warned of a system breakdown. But Erlene Blake, a former Senior Lab Technician with Alyeska, the Exxon/BP consortium, told our investigators that management routinely ordered her to toss out test samples of water evidencing spilled oil. She was ordered to refill the test tubes with a bucket of clean sea water called, “The Miracle Barrel.”

In a secret meeting in April 1988, Alyeska Vice-President T.L. Polasek confidentially warned the oil group executives that, because Alyeska had never purchased promised safety equipment, it was simply “not possible” to contain an oil spill past the Valdez Narrows — exactly where the Exxon Valdez ran aground 10 months later.

The Natives demanded (and law requires) that the shippers maintain round-the-clock oil spill response teams. Alyeska hired the Natives, especially qualified by their generations-old knowledge of the Sound, for this emergency work. They trained to drop from helicopters into the water with special equipment to contain an oil slick at a moments notice. But in 1979, quietly, Alyeska fired them all. To deflect inquisitive state inspectors, the oil consortium created sham teams, listing names of oil terminal workers who had not the foggiest idea how to use spill equipment which, in any event, was missing, broken or existed only on paper.

 In 1989, when the oil poured from the tanker, there was no Native response team, only chaos.

Continue reading at Greg's web site HERE


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Oregon’s Logging Industry Says It Can’t Afford New Taxes. But Prices Have Never Been Higher and Profits Are Soaring.

 From ProPublica:

Lobbyists claim the timber industry is "up against the ropes." Here's what they're not saying: Lumber prices are at record highs.

by Rob Davis, The Oregonian/OregonLive, and Tony Schick, Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Thirty years after Oregon lawmakers began giving the state’s timber industry tax cuts that cost rural counties an estimated $3 billion, industry lobbyists warned them not to follow through on efforts to reinstate the tax this year.


Legislators are considering whether to add to taxes paid by the logging industry after an investigation published last year by Oregon Public Broadcasting, The Oregonian/OregonLive and ProPublica found that timber companies, increasingly dominated by Wall Street real estate trusts and investment funds, benefited from the tax cuts at the expense of rural counties struggling to provide basic government services.

During hearings last week, a parade of industry lobbyists and supporters said now would be the worst possible time to reinstate the tax. What they didn’t tell lawmakers: Lumber prices are at record highs. The huge demand for lumber and the accompanying high prices have helped to boost stock prices and profits for some of Oregon’s biggest timber companies.



See the rest of the story here


Friday, February 19, 2021

Rainy Day Music Show Saturday On The Interwebs

 We have a brand spanking new episode of

The Classic Rock Rewind coming up Saturday morning 8-10 am Pacific time. Click the link www.radiovegas.rocks for the free player. If you see this too late, the show re-airs on Monday from 10-Noon on www.highqualityrock.com

If you see this too late, the show re-airs on Monday from 10-Noon on www.highqualityrock.com
Photo has nothing to do with the show. These are tractors and the show is music. However, these are nice Humboldt tractors.



Monday, February 15, 2021

The Classic Rock Rewind Monday 10-Noon Pacific

 My show, The Classic Rock Rewind is on today going 10 am-Noon Pacific time on www.highqualityrock.com 

This show is dedicated to Jay Bird the founder of Radio Vegas Rocks.  Jay died early this month which is why we were not on radio vegas for a couple of weeks. The station is still going and we were aired on Saturday but if you missed that show, tune in today for The Classic Rock Rewind. 



Friday, January 29, 2021

So, There Is This Classic Rock Show I Do Saturday Mornings 8-10 am

 I have an all new episode of The Classic Rock Rewind coming up in a few hours going Saturday morning 8-10 am on www.tomsebourn.rocks/contacts and the app at www.radiovegas.rocks  Some old classics from The Smothers Brothers show and The Ed Sullivan Show. Join us at the links, it's free and we even pay the artists through BMI, ASCAP and SECAC. 

I shot this picture coming in to Moonstone Beach from Little River California near my home. 

Dr. Shirley Weber Becomes the First Black Woman to Serve as Secretary of State in California

 SACRAMENTO, CA - California Democratic Party Chair Rusty Hicks issued the following statement on Dr. Shirley Weber becoming the first-ever Black woman to serve as Secretary of State in California:

“Today, California made history and helped move our country forward with the appointment of Dr. Shirley Weber as Secretary of State. As the first-ever Black woman to serve as California’s Secretary of State, Dr. Weber continuously demonstrates what it means to lead with a moral conscience.


In her own words, Dr. Weber stated, ‘As I tell people how ironic it is that a girl whose father could not vote, whose grandparents never had a chance to vote - is now responsible for 40 million Californians and their right to vote’.

The California Democratic Party is proud of this historical day as we look forward to working with California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber.”


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Altice officials announced today that they've reached agreement with Cox Media Group

 Altice officials announced today that they've reached agreement with Cox Media Group to allow for retransmission of "local" broadcast TV stations in Eureka's Designated Market Area (DMA) which includes Humboldt County.

Sean Taketa McLaughlin, executive director for Access Humboldt shared this statement:


"We understand that an agreement has been reached between Cox Media Group and Altice that will again allow for retransmission of Cox Media Group (CMG) owned stations KIEM (NBC) and KVIQ (CBS) over the cable systems in Humboldt County (Eureka DMA) as well as five other markets and eight other TV stations across the nation. Altice owns the cable system operating as Suddenlink that provides TV, internet and telephone service in the Cities of Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, Ferndale, Blue Lake and Trinidad as well as areas of Humboldt County from Scotia to Big Lagoon.

"Humboldt County sent a strong letter to our Congressional delegation calling for policy changes that would return jurisdiction to local governments.  The letter also called for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconvene a Localism Task Force to consider the harms of media consolidation and lack of  local accountability in the information ecosystem. At the State Legislature, Access Humboldt is calling for an audit of cable TV and local broadcasters performance during the pandemic - for the purpose of finding solutions to close the digital divide.  Our goal is univeral access to open secure networks that meet local needs and interests - esp:  public health and safety; education; economic and community development; culture and arts; and civic engagement.

"On behallf of our local governments, Access Humboldt will continue to seek ways to avoid such a problem in the future. And we will also ask both Suddenlink (Altice) and  Cox Media Group's stations KIEM (NBC) and KVIQ (CBS) to be accountable to our local community as much as possible."  

On a related note, today Access Humboldt joined with national groups in asking that President Biden quickly name a fifth FCC Commissioner to fill the agency  for the work ahead.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has jurisdiction over broadcast TV and cable TV, and much harm has occured through that agency during the past four years.  The FCC bears responsibility for the policy failures we see across our media and broadband internet landscape.


Finally - we ask our State Legislature to reform the failed regulatory regime under the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act, which eviscerated local jurisdictions' authority to negotiate with absentee owners of critical communications infrastructure.  


For more information contact Sean Taketa McLaughlin:  sean@accesshumboldt.net

#  #  #

_______________________________________________________


Access Humboldt is a non-profit, community media & broadband access organization serving the residents and local jurisdictions of Humboldt County on the North Coast of California USA, managing resources that include: streaming channel online; cable access TV channels; KZZH FM 96.7 community radio; media collection on Community Media Archive; a wide area broadband network with dedicated optic fiber connections to twenty locations serving local jurisdictions and community anchor institutions; broadband access wireless networks; a Community Media Center with studio and other production equipment and training on the Eureka High School campus; and ongoing operational support for public, educational and governmental access media services.


AccessHumboldt.net

________________________________________________________


  

Sean Taketa McLaughlin

Executive Director

Access Humboldt

P.O. Box 157, Eureka, CA 95502

Attorney General Becerra Establishes Worker Rights and Fair Labor Section

 Builds on existing bureau to expand DOJ’s capacity to protect the health, safety, and rights of workers in California and across the country 



SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that he has established the Worker Rights and Fair Labor Section (Section) within the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Division of Public Rights. Initially operating as a bureau within the Civil Rights Enforcement Section, the establishment of the unit as a new section will expand DOJ’s capacity to protect the health, safety, and rights of workers. With California and states nationwide continuing to confront the effects of the coronavirus and a rapidly transforming workplace, Attorney General Becerra remains committed — at a time when it is more important than ever — to strengthening DOJ’s ability to stand up for labor rights in the state and across the country.

“California is the economic engine of the United States and it’s our workers who supply the horsepower to make that possible,” said Attorney General Becerra. “I established the Worker Rights and Fair Labor Section to better protect hardworking Californians and give them confidence that our laws will be vigorously enforced.”

"The violation of workers' basic rights has a ripple effect that leads to a host of consequences for families, communities, and our state's economy," said California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski. "We have known Attorney General Becerra a long time and he has consistently supported the rights of our state’s workforce. We commend Attorney General Becerra for taking an aggressive approach to fight wage theft and other crimes against workers. With this new section of the Department of Justice, California continues to set an example for the rest of the nation with bold action to protect working people."

"On behalf of our nearly half a million construction workers, we are grateful to California Attorney General Becerra for recognizing the need to further protect workers," said President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council Robbie Hunter. "Workers across the state and from every sector will be more secure because of Xavier Becerra’s leadership in the creation of the Worker Rights and Fair Labor Section of the California Attorney General’s Office."

Protecting and enhancing the rights of workers is of the utmost importance to the well-being of California, its communities, and its economy. With nearly 20 million people in California’s workforce in industries ranging from agriculture and construction to information technology and entertainment, the Section will use the law enforcement powers of the Attorney General’s Office to continue to stand up for everyone working in the state — no matter where they come from. As part of that effort, the Section will work with stakeholders across the board — including federal, state, and local enforcement agencies — to ensure fair labor and business practices.


Expanding on and elevating DOJ’s existing efforts, the Section will, among other things, help bring increased focus and expertise to implement policy and protect against workplace issues — including in the underground economy — such as:

Wage theft, working with partner agencies to help address systemic deficiencies that result in workers losing out on the wages they are due, including in instances where businesses fail to pay overtime or allow for meal and rest breaks;

Health and safety violations, stepping up DOJ’s ability to tackle current and emerging trends such as those brought on by the coronavirus; and

Employee misclassification, protecting workers from being inappropriately classified as independent contractors, which can allow companies to evade legal obligations such as minimum wage, sick leave, and overtime. 

Under Attorney General Becerra and as a bureau, the worker rights and fair labor team has helped DOJ protect hardworking Americans and their families in California and across the country. In December of 2020, the Attorney General’s Office took action in court against Amazon as part of an ongoing investigation into the company’s coronavirus policies and protocols. The Attorney General also pushed back on a Trump Administration effort to effectively rip wages away from essential farmworkers. In November of 2020, Attorney General Becerra secured a court decision protecting the rights of more than half a million healthcare workers in California’s In-Home Supportive Services program. He also urged the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to adopt an emergency temporary standard aimed at protecting workers across California from exposure to COVID-19, which was approved unanimously that same week. In October of 2020, the Attorney General secured an appellate court decision against Uber and Lyft as part of an ongoing case involving employee classification in the state. In March of 2020, the Attorney General filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration's efforts to preempt state law and undermine worker protections with regards to meal and rest breaks. In 2019, Attorney General Becerra — alongside the California Labor Commissioner’s Office — filed criminal charges against the operators of an alleged illegal garment shop licensing scheme. He also secured settlements with four major fast food companies to end the use of “no-poach policies” that harm workers by making it more difficult to seek better pay and benefits at competing franchises.

Friday, January 22, 2021

The Classic Rock Rewind Is On Saturday Morning 8-10 am Pacific

 Join me for 2 hours of mostly classic rock on The Classic Rock Rewind Saturday mornings 8-10 am Pacific on www.RadioVegas.rocks and follow the show at www.TomSebourn.rocks 

Click the links above to access the free player during show. No credentials are needed. 





Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Ca. Attorney General Files Flurry Of Lawsuits On Last Day In Office

 California Attorney General Xavier Bacerra becomes head of the US Department of Health and Human Services or DHSS tomorrow. 

On his way out, he has filed several lawsuits and complaints which I have linked below. 


https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/attachments/press-docs/1_Complaint%20Challenging%20MBTA%20Rule.pdf

https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/attachments/press-docs/2021%2001%2019%20Petition%20for%20Review%20Interim%20Waiver%20Rule%20with%20Attachment%20FINAL.pdf

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/default/files/Clean%20Air%20Cost%20Benefit%20Rule%20-%20Final%20DC%20Cir%20Petition.pdf

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/default/files/2021%2001%2019%20Petition%20for%20Review%20%28EPA%20Ozone%20NAAQS%20Review%29A%20FILED.pdf

https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/attachments/press-docs/Petition%20for%20Review%20NSPS%20GHG%20significance%20filed%201-19-21.pdf

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/default/files/pdf.pdf

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/publications/immigration-detention-2021.pdf

https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/attachments/press-docs/DOE%20Clothes%20Washer-Dryer%20Petition%20FILED.pdf

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/default/files/1%20Complaint.pdf

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/default/files/130%20States%20MSJ%20Brief.pdf

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/default/files/N.D.%20Cal.%2021-cv-00384%20dckt%20000001_000%20filed%202021-01-15.pdf

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/default/files/Petition%20for%20Review%20%28FINAL%29.pdf

Friday, January 8, 2021

The Classic Rock Rewind Saturday Morning 8-10am

 It’s our second show of the year in just a few hours. The Classic Rock Rewind going 8-10am Pacific, Saturday morning on www.radiovegas.rocks and the app!


Nuclear Waste Water Fukusima From A Drone

G.W. Bush On Explosives At WTC

US Senator Joe Liberman, WTC 7 Did Not Occur