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Aug 31st
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Town Hall with Assemblymember Bill Monning

bill_MonningAre you endorsing candidates and measures in the November election?  If so, which ones?

On the Nov. 2 ballot I am urging everyone to vote yes on Proposition 21, the state parks initiative that would establish an $18 annual vehicle license surcharge to fund state parks and wildlife programs, and to vote yes on Proposition 25, the initiative to change the legislative vote requirement to pass a budget from two-thirds to a simple majority.

I am urging everyone to vote no on Proposition 23, the initiative to suspend the implementation of air pollution standards established in Assembly Bill 32 that requires major producers of air pollutants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and to vote no on Proposition 26, the initiative requiring certain state and local fees to be approved by a two-thirds vote.  

Also, I am supporting Measure H in the City of Santa Cruz, which will improve community safety by guaranteeing funding for police, fire, and other public safety services in neighborhoods throughout the city, as well as in parks, public spaces, beaches, commercial districts, and schools.

I am supporting Jerry Brown for governor along with all of the Democrats running for statewide constitutional offices. Each of these candidates supports public education; will protect the environment; improve and expand public transit; and rebuild California’s economy through helping both small businesses and their employees.

The delay in finalizing the state budget has caused the withholding of more than $3 billion in payments to state workers so far. What other effects has it had on Californians?

The current budget impasse has serious consequences on the lives of many Californians.

A large number of those suffering are receiving Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) services, whose programs have gone without reimbursement since Aug. 20, 2010. The ADHC Centers provide disabled elders with medically supervised nutrition and exercise in safe community settings.

Because a state budget has not been enacted, these centers are beginning to close their doors. Fifty percent of local providers were unable to make their Oct. 4, 2010 payroll deadline and 33 percent—103 centers—will be out of cash at the end of October. The closing of ADHC centers is also forcing wage-earning family members of disabled elders to leave their jobs, increasing the number of unemployed Californians.

The challenges facing the ADHC Centers are the same as those being faced by other state programs, their employees and the clients they serve. In-Home Support Services (IHSS), childcare centers, CalGrants, and CalWorks all employ Californians and provide services dependent on state funding.

Progress is being made to resolve the current budget impasse, and, while there are no easy solutions, I am continuing to work with my colleagues to enact a budget that will protect jobs, education, and our state.

Parts of the national healthcare law

went into effect a few weeks ago. Who

does it impact and how will it change

their coverage?

For Californians concerned about healthcare, Sept. 23, 2010 marked an important day. That is the day key consumer protections from federal health reform went into effect.

The most important consumer protections enacted allow young adults to remain covered by a parent’s healthcare insurance until the child turns 26 years old; guarantee heath insurance coverage to all children regardless of a pre-existing condition; and prohibit co-payments or deductibles for preventive services, such as smoking cessation and immunization programs.

However, in response to these healthcare reforms, some insurers have announced their intent to eliminate child-only individual insurance policies. This move represents a bad-faith response by healthcare plans. The spirit of the national healthcare reform is to provide increased access to coverage for all children, regardless of a pre-existing condition. I supported legislation (AB  2244), currently on the governor’s desk, that would require health plans sold in California to provide coverage to minors.

I recently participated in a presentation in Santa Cruz by the Mad As Hell Doctors who are part of the Physicians for a National Health Program. The traveling doctors were joined by local physicians who made a strong case for a single payer healthcare plan. Compelling testimony was also provided by local residents who described the inadequacies of the current system. I support a single payer healthcare plan as the best system for California, but until we have a governor who will also support, I will continue to work to implement the immediate incremental benefits of the national healthcare reform. 

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The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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