J.M. Ivler’s last LosAlNews Article: Election Day 2016

Editor’s note, 1/16/2017:  In light of the sudden death of my co-editor and friend JM, I plan to go back and bring some of his greatest articles up to the front.  His last full post, reproduced below, contains a lot of his practical wisdom & wit. Re-reading it reminded me of what a great citizen & thinker we’ve lost.  I’ve put some of  JM’s most profound sections in bold for those who like to save time:

(11/7/2016, Los Alamitos)  by J M Ivler: (bolding added)  It is NOT in LosAlNews’ purview to tell you HOW to vote. While the people who post here have a various number of opinions on who they will be voting for, and have even shared those opinions, it’s YOUR vote and it does count.Vote sign

Yes, the top-of-the-ticket has been an ugly mess. More people are voting “against” one candidate or the other than “for” a candidate that they would actually like to have running the country. The campaigns have been ugly throughout the entire Primary process and into the General election. Even when you think the campaigns can’t get any further into the gutter, they found ways to do so.

The number of times I have heard “well I’m voting for this candidate because I will do anything to stop that candidate from winning.” is past triple digits. The number of times I have heard “lesser evil” is a multiple of that.

So, rather than wade into that mess my goal here is to get you focused on the fact that there are a great many reasons to go to the polls and vote, other than the mess at the top-of-the-ticket.

In fact, I will go so far as to say that you can skip almost all the partisan contests on your ballot because you really know nothing about any of the candidates running other than the winner will be from part of the duopoly. Really, one debate between the candidates for Senate to represent the entire State of California? No debates for the House or Assembly? Do you really know where any of them stand, what they stand for and what policies they will implement in your name?

But down the ballot there are some things worthy of you taking the time to fill it out. Continue reading

It’s not the drought, it’s the distribution

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Our Thursday columnist shares “twists & turns” he discovered investigating “the current water controversy.”

(Los Alamitos, 5/28/2015) by Highlands Guy:  The availability of water is kind of like the economy:

There’s lots of money around, but who has it and how much they have at any one point, is probably the prime causitive factor of the current debate throughout the West.

Most native Californians have never really had to think about water. It seemed like there was always enough to do whatever the heck we wanted to do with it. This has been the case ever since the developers and politicians, early last century, figured it would be cool to turn the desert into a virtual rain forest.

How we got here: Continue reading

HG: What are we supporting (via the “Legislative Platform?”)

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(Los Alamitos 5/7/2015)Dave E here.  As far as I know, with continued cutbacks  by local print and online media our Thursday Columnist is now the only writer in any news media who scrutinizes some aspect of Los Alamitos government every week.  Fortunately for those of us who care about Los Alamitos, he’s at it again, asking some good questions.  Thanks, HG!

by Highlands Guy:   Let’s look at what we support via the adoption of the “Legislative Platform for 2015:”

In an effort at full disclosure, I must admit I didn’t see the council meeting where this was on the agenda, nor did I look at it until about a week ago. So, I’m just getting up to speed and trying to wrap my arms around a subject with a lot of moving parts. So my first task was to read it. But first I had to print it. 34, single sided pages. Yikes! I don’t envy our city council having to read this stuff in detail and make intelligent, informed, decisions about it with the very best interest in mind of the diverse constituency that is Los Alamitos.

I may not be the brightest bulb on the tree, but I was expecting to easily understand exactly what was stated in the ‘Background’. This was not the case. I became stumped by “…develops reference guide for legislative positions… and provides advocacy and engagement guidelines for city staff…” and “… engage in the legislative session at the County/Regional, State, and Federal level…” I presume this is a pre-programmed guide to tell our city council   Continue reading

HG: The Democratic Process: It’s yours, why not use it?

HG says the three tools of direct democracy can be applied at the City and County level.

(Los Alamitos, 4/16/2015)  by Highlands Guy:   There are three highly effective political processes that are used at the California State level, but are rarely seen in little places like Los Alamitos.

Is there something you would like to see implemented that could increase the quality of civic life in Los Alamitos? Is there something you would like to have eliminated that could have the same effect? Do you continually find yourself at odds with one of the fine folks on the Council dais?

Under State regulations the initiative, the referendum, and the recall, can be effective tools for voters to implement change. These processes are most often seen at the County and State levels, but are available to the voters in tiny places like Los Alamitos also. You don’t need Continue reading

Gov. Brown’s water math just doesn’t add up

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Everybody conserving 10% saves twice as much water as Brown’s proposal that the users of 20% of the state’s water conserve 25%

(Orange County, CA, 4/5/2015)  We all know California’s in the midst of a severe drought.  We also know by know that agriculture uses 80% of the water in the state (see, for example, Wikipedia:  Water in California).

So what does our aging Governor do?  Signs an emergency executive order requiring “cities and communities to reduce water usage by 25%” (Reuters, 4/1/2015).  OK, so, if 100% of the 80% of non-agricultural use as all in “cities and communities,” that would be a 25% reduction of 20% of the state’s water usage, or a whopping 5% reduction in statewide usage.

But check this out:  “A shift to more efficient irrigation methods could reduce agricultural water use by 22 percent [22% of agriculture’s 80% share = 18% statewide, and…], an amount equivalent to all the surface water Central Valley farmers lacked because of drought last year, according to Continue reading

LosAlNews.com top stories, cities, nations & ages 2014

100% of the first 12 homes on Rochelle displayed American flags today to honor Eric

You might be surprised what four nations had the most readers for LosAlNews.

(1/5/2015) I asked JM to search our stats for our top stories for last year, and he also passed on stats on where are readers come from, their ages, & more.

Boy was I in for some surprises!  Like the city with the most readers wasn’t Los Alamitos!

And the biggest age demographic.  And the fact that our top 4 nations are on four different continents.

Check it out:

 Top stories of 2014 :

Continue reading