Articles by Special to The Grapevine

Many people can’t afford wildfire insurance

California’s relatively quiet 2019 fire season ended in October, with serious wildfires in both Northern and Southern California. There are many things Californians can do to prepare for these blazes, but one option – taking out wildfire insurance – is out of reach for many of them. For example, after massive fires in 2018, an estimated 350,000 Californians could no longer get property and casualty…


Learning from Native American wildfire management strategies

For several months in 2019, it seemed wildfires wouldn’t rage across the West as they had in recent years. But then came the dry autumn and California’s Santa Ana and Diablo winds, which can drive the spread of wildfires. Utilities are shutting off power across the state to reduce the risk of damaged equipment or downed trees on wires causing fires. There’s no lack of…


Treating wildfires as a public health issue

Deadly fires across California over the past several years have shown how wildfire has become a serious public health and safety issue. Health effects from fires close to or in populated areas range from smoke exposure to drinking water contaminated by chemicals like benzene to limited options for the medically vulnerable. These kinds of threats are becoming major, statewide concerns. Many people still think of…


In age of Drumpf, Tony Clifton claims foul

Editor’s Note: Michael Patrick Welch, renowned New Oreans writer, musician, teacher and friend of The Escondido Grapevine, conducted an interview with the provocateur known to Andy Kauffman and Bob Zmuda fans as Tony Clifton. While others have shunned this outstanding piece of informational journalism, we embrace it and re-print this as a public service. “After a year of chasing Tony Clifton to get his thoughts…


YOUR state senator Brian Jones opposes gun control and state assault weapons ban

Leave it to the poor suffering residents of the Duncan Hunter-Joel Anderson reign of Trumpist political terror, and corrupt behavior, to be saddled with their obvious successor at outrageous and dangerous political malpractice. Enter the gates of gun violence hell with state Sen. Brian Jones, (R-NRA), elected in California’s 38th Senate District, as the successor to ALEC’s favorite son, Anderson, who got term-limited out of…


ACLU notes from Sacramento…parolee voting rights, police body cameras, etc.

State Assembly votes to restore voting rights to nearly 50,000 Californians on parole The California State Assembly passed Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 6, which would restore voting rights to nearly 50,000 Californians on parole. ACA 6, authored by Asm. Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), passed with a 54-16 vote. ACA 6 will next go through the California State Senate, where it will need a 2/3 majority to…


Madeleine Pickens, you are what you eat

Or what’s eating Madeleine Pickens? Rancho Santa Fe resident and ardent Donald Trump supporter Madeleine Pickens wanted the African-American chef she recruited from the Del Mar Country Club she owns in Southern California to cook “black people food” — not “white people food” — at her rural Nevada dude ranch and wild horse sanctuary, according to a federal lawsuit accusing her of racial discrimination. Armand…


Robocars could gobble up downtown parking

Imagine a scene from the near-future: You get dropped off downtown by a driverless car. You slam the door and head into your office or appointment. But then where does the autonomous vehicle go? It’s a question that cities would be wise to consider now. Self-driving cars may be on the roads within the next decade or two. Automakers and specialized startups alike are aggressively…


California strengthens police use of force laws

California Families Celebrate as Governor Signs One of the Strongest Police Use of Force Laws in the Country Propelled by the leadership of hundreds of family members whose loved ones were killed by California police officers, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed historic legislation to strengthen the state’s law on police use of force. Introduced by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), Assembly Bill 392: The California…


Transit district adds NASA safety program

The North County Transit District (NCTD) is teaming up with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to work with Bombardier Transportation USA Inc. and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) to bring added safety through the Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS) program. The C3RS is designed to improve railroad safety by…