All posts by Roger Straw

Editor, owner, publisher of The Benicia Independent

An exploding gun control movement! THREE GREAT RESOURCES

February 21, 2018

Maybe THIS TIME, we will make the difference.  Here are some links to efforts to create a strong and effective movement for gun control legislation.  – RS, Editor

EVERYTOWN.org – 7 Actions You Can Take to Prevent Gun Violence

Every day, 96 Americans are killed with guns. We’re counting on supporters like you to take action that will help us pass common-sense laws and implement policies that will save lives.  [MORE]

noNRAmoney.org – National campaign to elect only candidates who do NOT take money from the NRA

NoNRAMoney.org was created for the sole purpose of telling candidates they must reject and denounce the NRA or they don’t get our votes. The simplicity of Grover Norquist’s No New Tax pledge but used for good not evil.  Time to make the NRA radioactive.

  • CANDIDATE PLEDGE: A Pledge By Elected Officials and Candidates that they will not take NRA money nor tout NRA ranking but will pursue common sense gun laws.
  • VOTER PLEDGE: A Pledge by Individuals to oppose any candidate for any office who takes NRA money or touts a favorable rating by the NRA.

Washington Post: Have your representatives in Congress received donations from the NRA?

Click here, then click on your state

Since 1998, the National Rifle Association has donated at least $4.1 million to current members of Congress. Explore below to see how much money has been donated to members of Congress in your state.

Click to go to Washington Post. Then click on your state.

For LOCAL March For Our Lives information, see Vallejo-Benicia Indivisible on Facebook, or go to March For Our Lives on Facebook, or check out Everytown above.
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Marilyn Bardet on AB617, California’s Community Air Protection Program

February 19, 2018

Benicia air monitoring advocate Marilyn Bardet spoke powerfully at a recent workshop held by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the California Air Resources Board.  Her comments nicely summarize the longstanding neglect of air monitoring in Benicia and the need for state and regional agencies to include Benicia in upcoming community outreach regarding AB617, the Community Air Protection Program.

Here is the 2-minute video clip of Marilyn and the encouraging  1-minute response from the BAAQMD’s Greg Nudd.  Below is more info and the video of the full workshop.

Highly recommended: highly informative video of the entire 2:39 minute workshop:

Full length video of the January 31, 2018 workshop, 2 hours 39 minutes.  (Note that audio doesn’t start until minute 13:20, and the meeting begins at 15:55.  You can move the slider forward to skip the first part.)

MORE about AB617, the Community Air Protection Program:

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CA State Senator seeks higher fines for illegal refinery emissions

Press Release from CA Senate District 3, Rep. Bill Dodd

Sen. Dodd seeks higher fines for illegal refinery emissions

Friday, February 16, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) introduced a new bill to help deter harmful emissions from oil refineries. The bill would increase fines for serious violations of emissions standards that sicken people or force shelter-in-place orders.

“There are already fines on the books for illegal refinery emissions, but the most common fine hasn’t been increased since Richard Nixon was in the White House,” said Senator Dodd. “When people are sickened by refinery emissions or forced to shelter-in-place, there should be stiffer penalties. My bill reinforces that oil companies should take proactive steps to avoid violations in the first place.”

Dodd’s bill, SB 1144, would triple existing fines for violations of emissions standards if the violations cause a health problem or impact over 25 people. Existing law doesn’t allow increased penalties for violations that injure nearby residents or for refineries with multiple violations. Currently, the maximum amount for the most common level of fines is $10,000 and hasn’t been adjusted since 1974.

Dodd’s bill would set the new fine at $30,000, and if refineries are found negligent, the amount would go up to $75,000 per day. In instances where a refinery fails to correct a known violation or intentionally violates standards, the violations would be even greater. For serial offenders with multiple serious violations within 36 months, the fines could be as much as $500,000 per day.

“Representing communities that house several refineries, I want to encourage the industry to be proactive in meeting their duty to neighboring residents,” said Senator Dodd. “This measure isn’t a silver bullet for addressing safety, but it certainly provides greater incentive to act responsibly.”

Senator Dodd’s district includes the majority of the Bay Area’s refineries. In September 2016, numerous Vallejo residents were sickened by a refinery incident that triggered over 1,500 complaints. The state’s Office of Emergency Services reported that area hospitals and medical facilities treated 120 patients for headaches, nausea, dizziness, and burning of the eyes, nose and throat. The Bay Area Air Quality Management issued a notice of violation to the refinery in Rodeo for that incident.

The funds from the fines in Dodd’s bill would be available to support more robust monitoring and enforcement. The bill is expected to come up for a committee vote next month.

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Related imageSenator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa Counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.
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For safe and healthy communities…