Towse: views from the hill

February 28, 2009

Schwarzenegger Declares California Drought Emergency

Filed under: California,culture,government,weather — Towse @ 10:54 pm

Schwarzenegger Declares California Drought Emergency

Some more rain is arriving tonight, if the weather mavens are to be believed, and carry over for a few days, but things aren’t looking good.

Step one: encourage farmers who suck up water to raise crops like cotton and rice to move their operations to places that are better suited for water-guzzling crops.

Step two: encourage folks who plant golf courses in deserts to transform them into something else and/or let the land lapse back into sand dunes.

Step three: see where steps one and two take you.

February 2, 2009

Mormons donated more to California’s Prop. 8 campaign than they’d previously copped to

Filed under: California,causes,election2008,legal,politics — Towse @ 5:52 pm

Mormon church reports $190,000 Prop. 8 expenses.

Mormon church officials, facing an ongoing investigation by the state Fair Political Practices Commission, Friday reported nearly $190,000 in previously unlisted assistance to the successful campaign for Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.

Now there’s a huge surprise.

Up until Friday, the Mormon church had denied any direct financial support for the campaign beyond a reported $2,078 spent for bringing church Elder L. Whitney Clayton to California.

Church officials complained that Karger’s complaint was full of errors and that the church had “fully complied” with California law.

The report filed Friday contained few details about how the money was spent.


While the deadline for the report, which covers the period from July 1 to Dec. 31, is Monday, many campaign contributions by major donors and independent committees must be reported within days after they’re made.

The final reports are due today, because U.S. District Judge Morrison England late last week refused to exempt the yes-on-8 campaign from making their filings today.

If the Prop. 8 campaign was exempted from disclosure because of reports of harassments of individual donors, said Deputy Attorney General Zackery Morazzini, the same case could be made for any controversial initiative. Courts would have to “keep the entire California electorate in the dark as to who was funding these ballot measures,” he said.

England agreed.

He noted that some of the reprisals reported by the Prop. 8 committee involve legal activities such as boycotts and picketing. Other alleged actions, such as death threats, mailings of white powder and vandalism, may constitute “repugnant and despicable acts” but can be reported to law enforcement, the judge said.

Even if there have been illegal reprisals, that would be insufficient reason to grant a wholesale exemption for a multimillion-dollar initiative campaign, England said. He also rejected the Prop. 8 campaign’s argument that the $100 disclosure limit established in 1974 should be increased for inflation, saying some states require reports of contributions as low as $25 and the Supreme Court has never invalidated them.

[ref:Prop. 8 campaign can’t hide donors’ names]

Interesting to see what comes out today that the yes-on-8 campaign was so anxious not to have come out.

January 25, 2009


Filed under: California,history — Towse @ 12:12 am

On this date in 1848, James W. Marshall — constructing a mill on property belonging to Johann A. Sutter near Coloma, California — discovered gold.

My, how things changed.

Some of his nibs forebears came out here to set up shop in San Francisco, selling picks and shovels and pans to folks heading up to the hills to search for gold. Made a pretty penny in the hardware business, they did.

They were johnny-come-lately, but their offspring married into a family whose forebears arrived in 1776.

November 3, 2008

Wife of former 49er Young voting No on Prop. 8

Filed under: California,election2008,life,people — Towse @ 5:33 am

Wife of former 49er Young voting No on Prop. 8

You GO! Steve and Barbara.

November 1, 2008

Vote NO on Proposition 8, redux.

Filed under: California,election2008,politics — Towse @ 11:59 pm

Jerry Sanders, Republican Mayor of San Diego and former Chief of Police, made this statement a year ago September, explaining why he would not veto a council resolution supporting marriage equality, even though he’d run on an anti-gay-marriage platform.

Even up to the day before the press statement, when the resolution was passed, Sanders still fully intended to veto it.

He changed his mind and chokes up while explaining why to the cameras and reporters.

He mentions that his daughter is gay, as are members of his staff, and he found that he couldn’t veto the resolution and tell them “they were less important, less worthy or less deserving of the rights and responsibilities of marriage.”

“In the end, I couldn’t look any of them in the face and tell them that their relationships, their very lives, were any less meaningful than the marriage I share with my wife, Rana”

Words well said, and worth listening to on the eve of the election.

Vote NO on Proposition 8.

[via Andrew Sullivan. The Daily Dish]

October 1, 2008

House of the Week: Built for Art

Filed under: California,real estate,yikes — Towse @ 2:47 am

House of the Week: Built for Art

Have art? Have I got a place for you.

Holmby Hills. (Think crusty Bing Crosby neighborhood. Aaron Spelling, Tori’s ├╝ber rich dad, bought the Crosby estate and scraped it to build a home for his oversized ego. 46K sq ft. 123 rooms. That kind of neighborhood.)

3BED 5BA (and a powder room!)

11K sq ft


Check out pic 6/7. Designer designed an ugly bedroom, eh?

[WSJ via Curbed SF]

September 6, 2008

Recent Earthquakes – Map for 122-37

Filed under: California,life,quakes,San Francisco — Towse @ 4:08 am

Recent Earthquakes – Map for 122-37

We’re sitting at the dinner table.

Me: “Did you feel that?”


Me: “Oh, come on. The chimes on the spiral fire-escape out there are rattling! Listen.”

“Oh. OK. I thought you were kicking the table. The seagulls are squawking too. 2. something.”

Me: “I say 3.5 and fairly nearby.”

I came up to check

4.1 4.0 (updated)

2 miles ENE of Alamo, CA

Shake. Rattle. Roll.

July 30, 2008

Prop 8 update

Filed under: California,causes,culture,life,politics — Towse @ 6:42 pm

Prop. 8 backers sue to change ballot wording

Seems Jerry Brown (formerly Governor Moonbeam, currently State Attorney General perhaps Governor again after the next election, who knows …) has authorized the following ballot language for Proposition 8: “eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry.”

Says he, since the time the petition signatures were collected, the court confirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry. Therefore, Prop 8, which reads “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” would disenfranchise those who just May 15th got the right to marry and his wording is fine and good and valid.

Prop 8 proponents claim Brown’s verbiage is “inherently argumentative and highly likely to create prejudice” and they aren’t eliminating anyone’s rights. They’re simply trying to reinstate the definition of marriage that existed in California before the judicial decision in May.

Ya. Right.

Yay! hooray! for Jerry Brown. You go, guy!

July 25, 2008

Same-sex marriage foes warn of kindergarten lessons on gay matrimony

Filed under: California,politics — Towse @ 1:09 am

Same-sex marriage foes warn of kindergarten lessons on gay matrimony

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Backers of a November initiative to ban same-sex marriage in California plan to tell voters in the state ballot pamphlet that the constitutional amendment would protect children as young as kindergarten age from being taught in school about the virtues of gay and lesbian matrimony.

“If the gay marriage ruling is not overturned, teachers will be required to teach young children there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage,” supporters of Proposition 8 said in ballot arguments that went on public display this week at the secretary of state’s office.

That marriage lesson is more than likely part and parcel of the sex education lessons for kindergarteners that the gay agenda is forcing on the good citizens of California.

Yikes. Don’t say they didn’t warn you. …

May 15, 2008

California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban

Filed under: California,causes,legal,life,politics — Towse @ 5:25 pm

California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban

Yay! Hooray! Equality!

Now onward to November when the California Protection of Marriage Act (a constitutional amendment) will probably be on the ballot to read:

SECTION 2. Article I. Section 7.5 is added to the California Constitution. to read:
Sec. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.


Today’s California Supreme Court decision [PDF]

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