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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 »

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[VIDEO] College History Professor Pulls Down 9/11 ‘Never Forget’ Posters

A history professor a Californian community college was caught on video ripping down “Never Forget” 9/11 memorial posters.

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One of the World Trade Center's twin towers collapses after it was struck by a commerical airliner in a suspected terrorist attack September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

One of the World Trade Center’s twin towers collapses after it was struck by a commerical airliner in a suspected terrorist attack September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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ALERT: Police Evacuate UPS Facility in San Bernardino After Driver Discovers Package Addressed to ‘Suspect’ Residence 

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‘Isolating package to be safe’

A UPS facility in San Bernardino was evacuated Friday evening after a delivery driver discovered a package addressed to a “suspect” home in Redlands, authorities said.

Multiple police vehicles were seen shortly after 8:30 p.m. outside the UPS customer center in the 1400 block of East Victoria Avenue (map).

The evacuation was ordered out of an abundance of caution, according to San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan.

“Package with delivery address to suspect res (sic) in Redlands,” Burguan said on Twitter. “Isolating package to be safe.”

Althought the item was from a “reputable vendor,” UPS officials called police “just to be safe” after noticing its delivery address, the police chief tweeted.

It was unclear if the item had been sent to a particular suspect, according to Burguan.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department bomb technicians were responding to the scene, police said. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Size Doesn’t Matter: Brave 20-Pound Dog Chases Bears Away from California Home

MONROVIA, Calif. — A 20-pound French bulldog scared off three bears who had wandered into the front yard of a California home.

“She blew me away, couldn’t believe that she turned into a Wolverine.”

Security cameras captured two of the three bears, about a year old each, walking around the home when the family guard dog spotted them.

Jules was apparently not scared of the cubs’ size or being outnumbered. Video shows the dog chasing the cubs off of her turf. Read the rest of this entry »


Mystery Man Found Decomposing In Car Had More Than 1,200 Guns, Cash, Underwater Car

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – An attorney said Wednesday that the body of a mystery man was decomposing in his car in the tony Pacific Palisades neighborhood in Southern California for nearly two weeks before he was found by authorities on July 17.

Inside his home, detectives discovered more than 1,200 guns, scopes, 6.5 tons of ammunition, bows and arrows, knives, machetes and $230,000 in cash.

They also found eight of the 14 vehicles registered to the man stashed across Los Angeles, including a Toyota SUV designed to drive underwater.

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Who the man was and how he came to accumulate the arsenal and vehicles are questions authorities are still trying to answer.

Veteran defense attorney Harland Braun represents the man’s fiancée Catherine Nebron and identified him as Jeffrey Alan Lash.

That’s also the name coroner’s officials are working with and they’re in touch with a relative to try to officially identify the body, said Craig Harvey, chief of investigations for the coroner’s office.

Lash and Nebron were together for 17 years and she believed him when he told her that he worked as an undercover operative for multiple unnamed government agencies, Braun said.

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“The story itself sounds totally crazy but then how do you explain all this?” Braun said. “There’s no evidence he was a drug dealer or he stole these weapons, or had any criminal source of income, no stolen property, all the stuff you’d look for.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Barstow Police Wrestle Pregnant Woman to the Ground in Arrest Caught on Police Body Cameras

Unlawful Arrest of a Pregnant Woman by Barstow PD

Body-worn camera footage released by the Barstow Police Department (recorded: 01/26/15) reveals the unlawful arrest of Charlena Michelle Cooks, who at the time was eight months pregnant and dropping off her second-grade daughter at school.

 


One Dead After SUV Drives Into Crowd At Ice Cream Shop

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NBC Southern California reports: One person was killed and at least five others injured when an SUV drove into a crowd standing outside a Southern California ice cream shop, fire officials said.

The crash happened just before 6 p.m. at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour in Buena Park, Orange County Fire Capt. Gonzalez told NBC4.

An SUV struck seven to eight people who were waiting to go inside the restaurant, Gonzalez said. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] REWIND: Classic 1970s Revlon “Charlie” Ad with Shelley Hack & Bobby Short

Certain commercial jingles get stuck in your head for years. Some even for decades. 

That’s the case for me with this Revlon “Charlie” ad. I was a kid when I first heard it, during a summer in  Southern California, and I never forgot the melody or lyrics. Or the brand of perfume.

From the YouTube description:

Still as classy as when it first aired. Featuring Shelley Hack and music by Bobby Short. Every shot is composed and lit like a Hurrrell photograph… this was Madison Avenue at its finest.

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The finger-popping jazzy tune is a cross between a nightclub or Vegas lounge number, and elevator music. The “Kinda hip kinda now” and “wow” hipster jive talk was funny to me, even then, I knew it was cornball, but not without charm. It recalls the Smothers Brothers, Carol Burnett, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In era. When Dean Martin and Doris Day records were in the Columbia Record Club magazine ads right next to The Lovin’ Spoonful, Donovan, Cat Stevens, The Carpenters, and Led Zepplin.

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If getting into your head is the objective in advertising, then the ad worked. This Revlon commercial conveyed sophistication. The name of the perfume, “Charlie” seemed fresh, inventive.

YouTube


Reality Check: Liberal Jews Not Immune from Anti-Israel Hate

Photo credit: Jewish Journal/Julie Fax

Photo credit: Jewish Journal/Julie Fax

Joel B. Pollak writes:  Left-wing Jews may hope that their increased willingness to criticize Israel might spare them some of the worst of anti-Israel hatred from Palestinian advocates and antisemites. Not so, sadly. The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles reports that a beautiful mural along the outer wall of the Arbeter Ring/Workmen’s Circle Southern California facility in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood was defaced with “Free Palestine!!!!” graffiti Thursday.

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6 Things to Say About the New Corvette Stingray to Impress Your Man

It's got that V-8 engine thing inside, and it goes Vroom Vroom

It’s got that V-8 engine thing inside, and it goes Vroom Vroom

While contributing Editor Dr. Strangelove (a long time ‘vette-head) is deeply involved in Hong Kong Law concerns, I’ll publicly admit what he’s jazzed me about privately for as long as I can remember:  my ignorance about cars. Not only am I a complete moron when it comes to the automotive world (even though I myself own a popular sports car) I’d go further, and say that I know less about cars than Jenny.  I’ll let Jenny take the wheel from here.

Women readers: is your husband or boyfriend a Vette enthusiast? From the Love & Sex department at The Stir, Conservative chick Jenny Erikson shares this handy guide to impress your due:

phnmtuxako1bc72Let me preface this by saying I know very, very little about cars other than that I like shiny ones that go fast. But I do know how to flirt, and sometimes the best flirting is to have a little bit of knowledge about something boys find interesting. Like fast cars. See? In the Venn diagram of things boys and girls both like, fast cars exist in that middle overlapped section.

So I thought I’d learn a little more about the new 2014 Corvette Stingray, because apparently it’s the best sports car America has ever built. Read the rest of this entry »


Losing Is Good for You

The downside of the “everyone gets an A” generation

LOS ANGELES — AS children return to school this fall and sign up for a new year’s worth of extracurricular activities, parents should keep one question in mind. Whether your kid loves Little League or gymnastics, ask the program organizers this: “Which kids get awards?” If the answer is, “Everybody gets a trophy,” find another program.

Trophies were once rare things — sterling silver loving cups bought from jewelry stores for truly special occasions. But in the 1960s, they began to be mass-produced, marketed in catalogs to teachers and coaches, and sold in sporting-goods stores. Read the rest of this entry »


Thanks, Mr. L

Elmore Leonard’s life-changing advice.

National Review Online, Elmore

By  Robert Ferrigno

Elmore Leonard was the worst interview of my life. Not his fault. Mine. He didn’t hold it against me; in fact, he gave me an incredible gift, which tells you plenty about the man.

I was a feature writer for a Southern California daily newspaper at the time, and I leapt at the chance to talk to him when he came through on a book tour. He was my literary hero, writing this lean, graceful prose and dialogue that was absolutely true to the little criminals he wrote about — those overeager psychopaths who were just like the rest of us, but freed of the limitations of long-term thinking and responsibility.

The interview took place in his suite at the Ritz-Carlton. I was nervous, too aware of my struggles with my first novel and in awe of him for making it look easy, which is always the hardest part. I taped the interview, to my great regret. I was pathetic, so overwhelmed that my questions tacked from the sycophantic to the rude as I tried and failed to find the right balance. Mr. L remained cordial and polite throughout the ordeal, a scrawny gent calmly smoking a cigarette while I sweated and stumbled.

Near the end, I confessed to my predicament as a writer. Said I had a full-time job at the paper and a new baby at home and weekends were the only time I had to write and I was making no progress at all. I knew his history, knew he must have some kind of method, some secret. He had worked at an ad agency in Detroit while supporting five kids and writing a succession of paperbacks for ten years before he made enough to quit his day job.

Read the rest of this entry »


Repost | Guest Post: Robert Ferrigno, author of The Girl Who Cried Wolf

From Aliveontheshelves.com:

By Lisa. Filed in Guest Posts  |  

It’s Friday and I am letting the writers do the work for me! Today, I’ve got a really interesting guest post from Robert Ferrigno, author of The Girl Who Cried Wolf, which just came out in February. You know that I love to hear from writers about their process — how they write, how they get inspired — and Robert has a unique process. I think you’ll be as fascinated as I was!

Look Around and Listen—We Are All Characters

One of the most useful skills a writer can develop is the ability to pay attention, to notice the things going around you. The bits of conversation, the clothes, the physical and verbal and non-verbal interactions of people. A good fiction writer is first and foremost a good observer, a good reporter. The best fiction is drawn from real events, real people and real problems.

The characters in my latest book, The Girl Who Cried Wolf, come from the people that I met while working as a reporter in Southern California. It was a great job, one in which I could write about nearly anything, though I tended to lean towards what piqued my interest—California sleaze balls, new money and youth culture.

I was a reporter for eight years and in that time I wrote hundreds of profiles, interviews what I called “involved journalism.” I flew with the Blue Angels, and was even given the stick, whereupon I inadvertently threw my pilot and I into a barrel-roll. I did desert survival training. I drove race cars, went on midnight runs with auto repo men and reported on women who made their living entering bikini contests. (My wife was less than happy about that one) What I am doing now with my crime novels is using those same reporting skills, but with a spin, an ability to let the characters breathe and take me and the reader where things are most interesting. I use current headlines to form of basis of The Girl Who Cried Wolf, and use people I’ve met along the way as characters.

My style of writing may differ from the methods used by other writers. Having earned degrees in filmmaking, creative writing and philosophy, I use skills derived from each to formulate a plot and create characters. Through the use of filmmaking techniques such as storyboarding, I am able to visualize my books. When I write I think like an actor. I hear dialogue in my head and oftentimes find myself walking around my house, speaking to myself in different voices. (My family has learned to ignore this) I become the character.

Though this approach may not work for all writers, I can honestly say that above all else, the best advice I could give to a new or established writer is that the world is trying to help you with your writing. Notice how the people around you dress, their choice of shoes, their jewelry or lack of jewelry, their speech pattern, their slang. Each choice people make in how they present themselves to the world can be used by the writer in the characters they create and the plots they  write about.

As a narrative designer in the video game industry, my eyes were opened to the video game world which was an evolution for me. The video game office is a place where people come to work in their pajamas or in, what those in the “real world” would call—semi costumes. It doesn’t even raise an eyebrow—whether it’s men in kilts or women wearing furry hats. I spend a lot of my time taking it all in, making mental notes, but I’m also a guy who wears basic black and hightops every day, so I’m sure I am a source of amusement also.

The most important takeaway from what I have learned in my professional experience is to simply listen. If you want to talk to someone or compile research for a book, approach the people you meet without an agenda—I learned this as a reporter. Just talk to people. What you may not realize is that the way that people talk and what they say makes for such great dialogue. If you want to capture a character with wonderful dialogue that you can hear in your head, consider taking it from people you have already met. You know what they look like, how they sound and what they said—now turn them into a character. I believe this is one of the most useful skills a writer can have. Most people want to tell you their story. All you have to do is listen… and find the deeper story within.

For more information, check out his website at  http://robertferrigno.com/

via Guest Post: Robert Ferrigno, aliveontheshelves.com


Tom Wolfe’s California

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In the Golden State, the great writer first chronicled the social changes that would transform America

Michael Anton writes: Tom Wolfe is most identified with New York City, for good reason. He has lived and worked in Manhattan since the early 1960s, and New York dominates his writing the way London looms for Dickens. But Wolfe has never been afraid to venture from his home turf—this fall’s Back to Blood, an exploration of Miami, is a case in point—and his true literary second home is California. Over the course of his career, Wolfe has devoted more pages to the Golden State than to any setting other than Gotham. In his early years, from the mid-1960s through the early 1970s, the ratio was almost one-to-one.

More to the point, the core insights on which he built his career—the devolution of style to the masses, status as a replacement for social class, the “happiness explosion” in postwar America—all first came to him in California. Even books in which the state figures not at all are informed by Wolfe’s observations of the West. Without California, there would be no Wolfe as we know him—no Bonfire, noRight Stuff, no Radical Chic or Me Decade, none of the blockbuster titles or era-defining phrases that made him world-famous.

And without Wolfe, we would not understand California—or the California-ized modern world. At the time of his most frequent visits, the state was undergoing a profound change, one that affects it to this day and whose every aspect has been exported throughout the country and the globe. Both have become much more like California over the last 40 years, even as California has drifted away from its old self, and Wolfe has chronicled and explained it all.

It started by accident. Wolfe was working for the New York Herald Tribune, which, along with eight other local papers, shut down for 114 days during the 1962–63 newspaper strike. He had recently written about a custom car show—phoned it in, by his own admission—but he knew there was more to the story. Temporarily without an income, he pitched a story about the custom car scene to Esquire. “Really, I needed to make some money,” Wolfe tells me. “You could draw a per diem from the newspaper writers’ guild, but it was a pittance. I was in bad shape,” he chuckles. Esquire bit and sent the 32-year-old on his first visit to the West—to Southern California, epicenter of the subculture.

Wolfe saw plenty on that trip, from Santa Monica to North Hollywood to Maywood, from the gardens and suburbs of mid-’60s Southern California to its dung heaps. He saw so much that he didn’t know what to make of it all. Returning to New York in despair, he told Esquire that he couldn’t write the piece. Well, they said, we already have the art laid in, so we have to do something; type up your notes and send them over. “Can you imagine anything more humiliating than being told, ‘Type up your notes, we’ll have a real writer do the piece’?” Wolfe asks. He stayed up all night writing a 49-page memo—which Esquire printed nearly verbatim.

It’s a great tale, but, one fears, too cute to be strictly true. I ask him about it point-blank. “Oh, yes, that’s exactly what happened,” he says. “I wrote it like a letter, to an audience of literally one person”—Esquire managing editor Byron Dobell—“with all these block phrases and asides. But at some point in the middle of the night, I started to think it might actually be pretty good.”

That piece—“The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby”—represents the first time that Wolfe truly understood and was able to formulate the big idea that would transform him from an above-average feature writer into the premier cultural chronicler of our age. Those inhabiting the custom car scene were not rich, certainly not upper-class, and not prominent— indeed, they were almost invisible to society at large. Wolfe described his initial attempt to write the story as a cheap dismissal: “Don’t worry, these people are nothing.” He realized in California that he had been wrong. These people were something, and very influential within their own circles, which were far larger than anyone on the outside had hitherto noticed.

Read the rest of this entry »