California Exports its Poor to Texas, other States, While Wealthier People Move In 

California exports more than commodities such as movies, new technologies and produce. It also exports truck drivers, cooks and cashiers.

Every year from 2000 through 2015, more people left California than moved in from other states. This migration was not spread evenly across all income groups, a Sacramento Bee review of U.S. Census Bureau data found. The people leaving tend to be relatively poor, and many lack college degrees. Move higher up the income spectrum, and slightly more people are coming than going.

About 2.5 million people living close to the official poverty line left California for other states from 2005 through 2015, while 1.7 million people at that income level moved in from other states – for a net loss of 800,000. During the same period, the state experienced a net gain of about 20,000 residents earning at least five times the poverty rate – or $100,000 for a family of three.

Kiril Kundurazieff, 56, is among the low-income residents who left California. He spent more than a decade working in a small bookstore, then at Target, then at a Verizon call center, in Southern California. After some medical issues that hampered his eyesight, he found himself unemployed in Santa Ana, with monthly rent of about $1,000 in 2012.

“There was really nothing left for me in California,” said Kundurazieff, who also writes a blog about his cats. “The cost of living was high. The rent was high. The job market was debatable.”

Friends in Texas suggested he relocate. He now works at a Walmart in Houston, making a little north of $10 an hour. He works 40 hours a week, riding his bike about 7 miles to work many days. He does not pay state income tax. His rent is just over $500, with utilities.

[Read the full story here, at The Sacramento Bee]

About the same time that Kundurazieff was leaving, Tamara and Kit Keane were arriving from Oklahoma. Both had been working on their doctorate degrees at Oklahoma universities, Kit in biology and Tamara in education.

The Keanes already knew California. Kit, 34, was born and raised in Sacramento. Tamara, 31, spent most of her life in Southern California. They met at UC Davis about a decade ago.

With graduate degrees, they had options. They liked the cost of living in Oklahoma and bought a two-bedroom house with a backyard for the bargain basement cost of $121,000.

But they wanted to come back to California, for its beauty and to be near family. “We knew coming here, we would have to make a lot more money to live a similar lifestyle,” Tamara Keane said.

After moving back last year, both now work for the Twin Rivers Unified School District as teachers on special assignment. They are expecting a child and recently purchased a three-bedroom house in Hollywood Park for $360,000. Tamara is still working on her Ph.D.; Kit is looking into eventually teaching at the university level. “Teacher salaries are not great,” Tamara Keane said. “But they are enough for us to want to come here.”

Well-paid new arrivals in California enjoy a life that is far out of reach of much of the state’s population. Besides Hawaii and New York, California has the highest cost of living in America. Read the rest of this entry »


Yuki Da! Tokyo has November Snow for First Time in 54 Years

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Tokyo (AFP) – Tokyo woke up Thursday to its first November snowfall in more than half a century, leaving commuters to grapple with train disruptions and slick streets.

Snow began falling before dawn with the mercury approaching zero as a cold weather system moved south.

The Japan Meterological Agency said it was the first time snow had fallen in November in central Tokyo since 1962.

Amounts were greater in suburban areas closer to mountains but even central Tokyo saw brief accumulations, which the agency forecast to be as high as two centimetres (one inch).

That was the first November accumulation since records began in 1875, the agency said.

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“I was surprised to see snow at such an early stage of the season,” said Hiroko Tanaka, a Tokyo resident.

“I felt this may be a sign of something abnormal in terms of natural phenomena,” she told AFP.

But experts say the situation is nothing to worry about.

“Today’s snowfall and accumulation occurred because several elements came together at once by chance,” said Sakiko Nishioka, an agency official in charge of weather forecasting.

“It does not mean this can signal any unusual weather conditions this season such as a super cold winter,” Nishioka told AFP, adding that it was also unclear if it was related to climate change or events such as El Nino.

Tokyo, which extends over a wide area and includes many suburbs, enjoys relatively mild winters compared to some other parts of the country where snowfall is more frequent. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Frequently-Wrong Meteorologist Arrested While Doing Weather Forecast, Columnist Paul Krugman Fears He’s Next

Newfoundland meteorologist Eddie Sheerr arrested during weathercast. (NTV)

Law enforcement is so fed up with the miserably cold, cloudy, and damp weather in Newfoundland, Canada that it has arrested two local broadcast meteorologists.

CBC News meteorologist Ryan Snoddon was the first to take the fall for the anomalous chill. You can watch his arrest – part of an apparent sting operation – below:

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Next in the hopper was NTV meteorologist Eddie Sheerr, arrested while delivering the forecast on the evening news.

Both Snoddon and Sheer were charged with impersonating a meteorologist, failing to provide the essentials of summer – sunshine, good forecasts and blue skies – and trafficking of rain, drizzle, and fog.

Prior to their arrest, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary had issued a statement to the media noting Snoddon and Sheerr were persons of interest given the following state of affairs:

SUMMER was last seen in early August of 2014. When last seen, SUMMER was described as being between 20-30 degrees Celsius (68-86 degrees Fahrenheit), blue skies with a bright and warm source of light in the sky. There have been sporadic sightings of this bright object, but these sightings have been rare since May 2015.

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Frequently-wrong New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is reportedly afraid to appear on television, due to fears of being arrested. Krugman has never been held accountable for his dishonest statements and failed predictions.

Sheerr – who is from the U.S. – faces possible deportation, the arresting officer said.

Of course, the arrests were just a humorous stunt – the Canadian’s way of coping with conditions that are egregious even by their own standards. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] LUCKY STRIKE: Lightning Strikes Two Jets on Approach to Sea-Tac Airport

Mid-Air Scare When Lightning Strikes 2 Planes Over Seattle 

SEATTLE —  reports: Some of the people on their way into Seattle Wednesday evening got quite the hello from Mother Nature as lightning struck two different jets as they approached Sea-Tac Airport.

“We were flying in and out of clouds, sunshine then darkness, sunshine then darkness. I was looking out the window when I saw this bright flash and this streak of lightning hit the top-middle of the right wing near the engine.” 

University of Washington student Owen Craft was out in the University District trying to film lightning strikes as a thunderstorm moved through and caught the two massive bolts as they passed through the planes’ fuselage.

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“Airplanes themselves are prepared for this kind of stuff and have the mechanics to manage lightning strikes. We did not receive any reports of precautionary landing alerts from any pilots Wednesday night either.”

—  Sea-Tac Airport public relations manager Perry Cooper, to ABC News

“I was stunned for a second because I couldn’t believe what I just saw,” Craft said. “After the second (plane) got hit, I knew I was on to something spectacular!”

One of those planes was an Alaska Air Flight 515 inbound from Orange County while another was Alaska Air Flight 731 that was coming into Seattle from Houston. Kim Dodge was sitting in Row 9 on the right side of that plane when the bolt hit.

“I think it hit the wing because there was an immediate loud crack and the cabin was bright for that brief second. There was this loud gasp in the cabin after it happened. The people behind me were starting to worry if it was going to affect the landing. It didn’t.”

— Passenger Kim Dodge, who was sitting in Row 9

“We were flying in and out of clouds, sunshine then darkness, sunshine then darkness,” she said. “I was looking out the window when I saw this bright flash and this streak of lightning hit the top-middle of the right wing near the engine.”

She said it looked like the bolt exited right below the wing.

“Instantly a sound, a plane move and a flash of light; probably the worst turbulence you’ll ever feel for 2 solid seconds,” said Anthony Porter. “It got people pretty shook up.”

— Anthony Porter, on the Orange County flight that was also hit by lightning

“I think it hit the wing because there was an immediate loud crack and the cabin was bright for that brief second,” she said. “There was this loud gasp in the cabin after it happened. The people behind me were starting to worry if it was going to affect the landing. It didn’t.”

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“We landed safely,” Dodge said. “It was startling.”

Anthony Porter was on the Orange County flight that was also hit by lightning:

“Instantly a sound, a plane move and a flash of light; probably the worst turbulence you’ll ever feel for 2 solid seconds,” said Anthony Porter. “It got people pretty shook up.”

But Porter said aside from the moments surrounding the strike, the flight was totally normal.

“It was alarming, but it was so quick, people knew something happened, but no one knew what happened,” he said. “It was a direct hit and 5 seconds before and 5 seconds after — smooth sailing, there was no turbulence.” He said the plane landed without further incident.

While being struck by lightning would sound frightening to those on board, airplane lightning strikes are not that uncommon and the jets are built to withstand the jolt. Read the rest of this entry »


STORM: DRUDGE GOES CODE BLUE

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NEW YORK (CBS Connecticut/AP) — Tens of millions of people along the Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor rushed to get home and settle in Monday as a fearsome storm swirled in with the potential for hurricane-force winds and 1 to 3 feet of snow that could paralyze the Northeast for days.

Snow was coating cars and building up on sidewalks and roadways in New York City by evening, and flurries were flying in Boston. Forecasters said the storm would build into a blizzard, and the brunt of it would hit late Monday and into Tuesday.

As the snow got heavier, much of the region rushed to shut down. Read the rest of this entry »


Environmentalist: Ferguson Happened Because of…wait for it…’Climate Change’

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Her argument is rooted in the doctrine of “environmental justice,” sometimes called “environmental racism,” which is recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the National Weather Service, the St. Louis area was not notably warmer this summer than it has ever been.

From The CornerKatherine Timpf: According to a top environmentalist organizer, climate change is responsible for this summer’s violence in Ferguson, Mo.

“Oppression and extreme weather combine to ‘incite’ militarized violence.”

“To me, the connection between militarized state violence, racism, and climate change was common-sense and intuitive,” 350.org Strategic Partnership Coordinator Deirdre Smith wrote.

“people of color also disproportionately live in climate-vulnerable areas.”

“Oppression and extreme weather combine to ‘incite’ militarized violence,” she continued. Weeks of rioting followed the killing on August 9 of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Read the rest of this entry »


Venice Beach Lightning Strike KILLS a Man


BREAKING: Massive Storms Close D.C. , Ted Cruz and Tea Party Deny Involvement

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Federal offices will be closed Thursday in the Washington, D.C., area as the region braces for the worst of a winter blast that has already brought misery to stranded motorists in North Carolina and hundreds of thousands of people without power across the South.

The White House renewed its attack on Senate and Congressional Republicans, blaming Ted Cruz for masterminding weather disruptions as a scientific stunt aimed at crippling the Federal Government.

By late afternoon some Raleigh motorists were abandoning their cars on the highway. | AP Photo

By late afternoon some Raleigh motorists were abandoning their cars on the highway. | AP Photo

At a White House press conference this morning, Jay Carney blasted President Obama’s Republican opponents:

“Senator Cruz’s secret organization of scientists, meteorologists, campaign donors, and a powerful cabal of evangelical wizards, once again, have conspired to freeze the nation, in order to hurt the American people, and deny millions of innocent people access to essential government services. “

carneyPresserA winter storm warning for the Washington area is in effect until 3 p.m. Thursday. The National Weather Service was predicting as much as 8 inches of snow across the area, most heavily along the Interstate 95 corridor.

Snow will mix with rain and sleet Thursday morning before turning to rain and sleet in the afternoon, the weather service said. Dustings of snow were falling across the area by Wednesday evening. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will open its 86 rail stations as normal on Thursday morning. The agency said it will try to run trains every six to 10 minutes on all five lines, but warned that closures might happen if the weather worsens.

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Read the rest of this entry »


Winter Storm Pax Updates: Hundreds of Thousands Lose Power; Traffic Snarls; Northeast Braces for Storm

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Winter Storm Pax continued its second wave of wintry weather Wednesday, dumping freezing rain and sleet across a wide area that could experience catastrophic conditions for a prolonged period of time.

In North Carolina, snowfall led to a disastrous commute Wednesday afternoon in Raleigh and Charlotte. Cars slid off roads and heavy traffic led to gridlock, forcing some drivers to sit in hours of slow commutes or abandon their cars.

(FORECASTWinter Storm Pax | Live Updates on the Storm)

The National Weather Service also warned to “expect significant – crippling – ice totals from Atlanta eastward along the I-20 corridor.” In the Carolinas, snow fell Wednesday in areas expecting to see as much as 18 inches of accumulation from Pax.

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At least 14 deaths have been blamed on the storm: two in North Carolina, one in South Carolina, two in Mississippi, two in Georgia and seven in Texas. More than 3,000 flights were canceled Wednesday in the U.S., with many more flight cancellations expected Thursday. More than 400,000 customers lost power across the Southeast Wednesday.

Next up, Pax is hitting parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast Wednesday and into Thursday, closing schools and disrupting travel plans across the region.

(MOREHere’s Why Ice Storms Are So Dangerous)

Read the rest of this entry »


Friday News Dump

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BenK – Ace of Spades HQ

Thanks to Gabe, JohnE, Doreen, Zakn and others for a few of those links.

Follow BenK on twitter and feel free to tweet links between 10-11pm on weekdays.

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Influx of out-of-work feds could spark unemployment fraud

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Breanna Deutsch writes:  In the wake of the government shutdown, state unemployment offices are being flooded with furloughed federal workers.

Many states do not have the capacity to thoroughly vet all of the applicants seeking jobless benefits, which opens the door to potential fraud, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Typically when laid-off workers apply for unemployment benefits, they must produce proper documentation, including pay stubs, to prove their previous employment and income information. However, the recent surge of applicants has made it difficult for some states to look through all of the paper work.

Instead some states are basing the benefits program off of the honor system. Read the rest of this entry »