Fart smell will linger in Humboldt County voter pamphlet, a judge has ruled, citing First Amendment protection.
Judge Timothy Cissna ruled this afternoon that the phrase "insert fart smell here," will remain in special elections material to be distributed to Southern Humboldt voters this spring. The phrase was written by Scotty McClure as a rebuttal to arguments in favor of Measure W, a parcel tax intended to fund the rebuilding of the Jerold Phelps Community Hospital in Garberville.
McClure argues that he's Taxed Enough Already, but county officials sought to quash his opinion in the pamphlet because they felt that the fart comment was offensive. They argued that the First Amendment is not absolute, noting that "you can't yell 'fire' in a crowded theater" - which seem rather a stretch. That's what the judge thought as well, so the county switched it up and argued that the material in question is false, misleading, or inconsistent.
Those county folks are certainly persistent, it must be acknowledged. They did all they could think of to enforce their bureaucratic moral values on a 68 year-old citizen who, unlike them, actually served his country. It is, however, too late for the county to appeal the decision; the pamphlet goes to the printer too soon for that to happen.
Further to the south, mega-farmers in the San Joaquin Valley have pumped so much water from the aquifers that the land surface has dropped by nearly two feet in places, and all the rain that the state's been getting won't do anything to recharge them; for that to happen, they'd have to let the Valley return to its natural flood-plain state, forming a large lake that could then slowly percolate water back down into the aquifers. Even if they were to do that - which they won't - the aquifers wouldn't be able to hold as much as they once did, due to the subsidence and compaction.
The yellow areas in the image here highlight areas where subsidence is most pronounced.
For a state that prides itself on being all Green&Sustainable, what they've allowed to happen is neither.
San Jose's Coyote Creek sort of flooded during the heavy rains, causing problems for area residents:
That was February 21, or about three weeks ago. But not to worry; forecasters say there could be more to come:
Federal forecasters said Thursday that the chances of an El Niño developing by fall are on the rise — now between 50 and 55 percent —an outlook that could skew the odds in favor of yet another wet winter.
The U.S. Drought Monitor classified just 8 percent of the state in drought Thursday, compared with 97 percent a year ago.
“By any formal metric, this winter was unanticipated,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA. “The deeper question of why it’s happening is challenging. I don’t think we have a good answer.”
But they can tell us for sure what the climate will be like in a hundred years....
Finally, from the "next thing that's going to kill them all" file - a "new" fault line has been identified in southern California, and it stretches from San Diego to Los Angeles.
Scientists uncovered a newly identified fault line that could unleash a magnitude-7.4 earthquake in the region, which other researchers say is already long overdue for a whopper of a temblor along the infamous San Andreas fault. The newly identified fault line is capable of a powerful quake that would impact 20 million residents of Los Angeles and San Diego, according to a study published Tuesday.
In 1857, when the last big quake hit, the state's population was under 100,000. Today, it's 37 million. That's a lot more to shake up.