I find the news of this striking. As anyone with an ounce of commonsense can tell, strident gun laws lead to more crime. Just look at Chicago as your paradigm of hope. That hasn’t stopped the Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio from trying to repeat error. The article below should have a link at the end to view the actual proposal:
Posted: Jul 15, 2014 8:19 PM CDTUpdated: Jul 15, 2014 8:19 PM CDT
LOS ANGELES – Laura Whitney and her husband, Michael Korte, don’t know whether they’re being good citizens during a drought or scofflaws.
On the same day the state approved mandatory outdoor watering restrictions with the threat of $500 fines, the Southern California couple received a letter from their city threatening a $500 penalty for not watering their brown lawn.
It’s brown because of their conservation, which, besides a twice-a-week lawn watering regimen, includes shorter showers and larger loads of laundry.
They’re encouraged by the state’s new drought-busting, public service slogan: Brown is the new green.
The city of Glendora sees it differently.
“Despite the water conservation efforts, we wish to remind you that limited watering is still required to keep landscaping looking healthy and green,” says the letter, which gives Korte and Whitney 60 days to restore their lawn.
They’re among residents caught in the middle of conflicting government messages as the need for conservation clashes with the need to preserve attractive neighborhoods.
“My friends in Los Angeles got these letters warning they could be fined if they water, and I got a letter warning that I could be fined for not watering,” Whitney said. “I felt like I was in an alternate universe.”
Despite the drought, Californians have increased their water use by 1 percent in May compared with previous years, according to a state survey of water providers. To combat perceived complacency, the state water board voted this week to require water agencies to adopt emergency drought plans and authorized fines of up to $500 a day for water wasters.
The board’s chairwoman, Felicia Marcus, said “a brown lawn should be a badge of honor because it shows you care about your community.” But several homeowners are reporting that a dried-up lawn instead attracts the wrath of their community.
Homeowners associations can’t punish residents for scaling back on landscaping under an executive order signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in April and a bill awaiting his signature. While both measures are silent on fines imposed by local governments, the governor’s office condemned moves that punish drought-conscious Californians.
“These efforts to conserve should not be undermined by the short-sighted actions of a few local jurisdictions, who chose to ignore the statewide crisis we face, the farmers and farmworkers losing their livelihoods, the communities facing drinking water shortages and the state’s shrinking reservoirs,” said Amy Norris, a spokeswoman for the California Environmental Protection Agency, in a written statement.
Local officials say conserving water and maintaining healthy landscaping are not mutually exclusive goals. They caution that even in times of water shortages, residents shouldn’t have free rein to drive down property values, and they can use drought-resistant landscaping or turf removal programs to meet local standards.
“During a drought or non-drought, residents have the right to maintain their landscaping the way they want to, so long as it’s aesthetically pleasing and it’s not blighted,” said Al Baker, president of the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers.
Anaheim resident Sandra Tran, 47, said she started installing drought-resistant landscaping after receiving violation notices from Orange County Public Works. She spent more than $600 on the changes as the agency mandated she water and maintain her yard in “a healthy green condition.”
Yet as Tran drives home from work, she sees signs flashing on the freeway urging her to conserve water.
“It’s almost crazy because one agency is telling you one thing and another is forcing you to do the opposite,” she said.
Democratic Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown introduced a bill that would have prohibited local governments from imposing fines, but she dropped AB1636 after cities in her district promised not to penalize homeowners for brown lawns during a drought emergency.
Brown was shocked when she heard the practice continued elsewhere in the state, and said she would consider reviving her bill in 2015.
“It seems to me those cities aren’t using common sense,” Brown said. “It’s too bad you need a law.”
Many thanks to Lt Governor Peter Kinder and all the State Senators and Representatives that sent letters to the DNR requesting that they extend the comment period and hold more public meetings. They have done so!
Here is the release from the DNR with meetings at the bottom of the notice:
Section 319 of the Clean Water Act establishes a national program to address pollution from stormwater runoff, which is known technically as nonpoint sources of water pollution. Nonpoint sources of water pollution are the leading causes of water quality degradation in the United States. Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act specifically authorizes EPA to award grants to states with approved Nonpoint Source Management Program Plans. As required by Section 319(h), each state’s Nonpoint Source Management Program Plan describes the state program for nonpoint source management and serves as the basis for how funds are spent.
The document is revised every five years to reflect current conditions. Please contact the Department of Natural Resources’ Water Protection Program at 573-751-1300 or 573-751-7428 for more information.
From 2011 through 2013, EPA conducted a national reform of the 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program. All state programs, including Missouri’s, are impacted by the reform and are undergoing changes. A new nonpoint source management plan is in development to reflect new state and national priorities.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources invites the public to comment on the department’s Draft Nonpoint Source Management Plan. The department will be hosting two public meetings. The first meeting will be held on July 22, 2014, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Dewey Short Visitor Center, 4500 State Highway 165, Branson. The second meeting will be held on July 28, 2014 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lewis and Clark State Office Building, 1101 Riverside Drive in Jefferson City.
The department has extended the deadline to receive public comments on the draft Nonpoint Source Management Plan until Aug. 8, 2014. Comments may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and should include the sender’s contact information, or by U.S. postal service to Department of Natural Resources, Water Protection Program, Watershed Protection Section, PO Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176.
Public Notice Information
New developments in the plan revision process will be posted to this page as information becomes available. Links will also be provided on the department’s Water Protection Forum website.
DRAFT State of Missouri Nonpoint Source Management Plan (Revised 05/09/2014)
Jul 11, 2014
Smith included language in Energy and Water funding bill to prohibit federal dollars from enforcing EPA proposal
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) announced that his provision to prohibit any federal funds from being used by the Corps of Engineers to enforce the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed “Waters of the United States” rule was included in the legislation that passed the House. The proposed new regulations would potentially allow the EPA to regulate nearly every area of the ground that gets wet or has flow during rainfall. The rule is too broad and could be interpreted to expand the EPA’s reach to cover all ponds, puddles, temporary or small wetlands, irrigation ditches or similar collections of water. Smith has called the proposal an overreach of federal authority that would have a harmful impact on rural America.
“The ‘Waters of the United States’ proposal would give Washington bureaucrats the power to regulate nearly every area of the ground that gets wet or has water flow during rainfall. The House of Representatives passed the appropriations bill with my provision to prevent the rule from being enforced. Now the fight will continue in the Unites States Senate. Our Constitution gives the House of Representatives the power of the purse strings. If the EPA continues its war on rural America, I will keep using every possible avenue to protect rural Missouri,”said Smith.
Smith explained how the “Water of the United States” proposal would have a negative impact on Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District.
“The driving force of our economy in South-Central and Southeast Missouri is agriculture. We grow every major crop in our district other than sugar and citrus fruits. Our farmers and ranchers raise nearly every kind of livestock including beef and dairy cattle, pigs, chickens and even specialty livestock like bison. The ‘Waters of the United States’ proposal would force farmers who use fertilizers and pesticides to jump through needless and costly regulatory hoops. Livestock farmers could be forced to put a buffer zone between their animals and any body of water,” said Smith.
Smith’s provision is included in sec. 106 (p. 10 lines 20-25, p. 11 lines 1-6) in the second attachment of the FY 2015 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill.
Addressing the three CP concerns:1) It’s clear that the anti-gun folks want to take our ability to USE our firearms, even if they can’t take the guns, themselves, away. Protecting things needed to effectively use them, like ammo and accessories, is a good addition to our constitutional rights. If we had not included “typical to the normal function of such arms” the opposition would still have been able to try to limit magazine capacity, etc.
2) “Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny.” is probably the most important phrase in the amendment. We always have had laws restricting our God-given unalienable rights, and we always will. Some of those restrictions are necessary to any society, if you are going to respect and protect OTHER’S God-given unalienable rights.
For instance, I think most of us would agree that a law against slander (restricting someone’s free speech rights) would be appropriate. Likewise, we would agree that there should be legal consequences when someone deliberately lies about or misrepresents a product. If a filling station sold you “gas” that was really water, you would want him to be accountable for ruining your engine.
And I think most of us would agree that a law restricting target practice in a crowded urban neighborhood was an appropriate restriction of the right to keep and bear arms.
All of those things would pass the legal standard of review called “the strict scrutiny test”.
A law, however, saying you can’t own a gun if you live in a crowded neighborhood, or fire one in protection of your life or property, would not pass the strict scrutiny legal test.
The addition of that language to SJR 36 is a direct response to the modern courts’ tendency to “dumb down” our rights by applying “lesser” standards of review of laws restricting our rights. Increasingly, courts are redefining and diminishing our rights by applying something called “the rational basis test”. Learn more about it here: https://soundcloud.com/institute…/make-believe-judging-the and ://www.ij.org/…/other_pubs/neily_georgetown_journal.pdf
In sum, the strict scrutiny clause in SJR 36 is not at all opening the door for more infringements on our gun rights, but it IS forcing the courts to use the toughest standard of review when such unconstitutional laws are challenged.
3) With respect to the final clause, the current CP position is: “While many will see this language as reasonable, allowing government to determine who can possess firearms is fraught with unseen and unknown danger. Historical cases of governments using “mental illness” as an excuse to detain and imprison its citizens are many.”
Again, I think most of us would agree that the state SHOULD be able to restrict the rights of SOME people — those serving time in prison for murder, for instance. Such people have rightly lost the right to move about freely and to associate with whomever they choose. And they have also lost the right to keep and bear arms.
The language in SJR 36 builds new fences around the state’s ability to make those sorts of restrictions. For instance, right now a VA doctor can unilaterally make the determination that veteran is unfit to own a gun. With SJR 36, the individual gets due process — a court of law has to determine that he is a real danger before he loses any rights.
SJR 36 greatly ties the hands of the state and provides unprecedented protection to Missourian’s right to keep and bear arms.
Just a quick note to make sure you know that the anti-gun folks are trying to keep Missourians from voting on Amendment 5 (SJR 36), which would give us the strongest constitutional gun rights of all the states.
They claim that the short description you will see on the ballot is not fair and that the court should order the measure removed from the ballot. A Cole County judge already ruled against the anti-gunners, but they have appealed to the Supreme Court.
We need a strong showing of citizens in the Supreme Court at 1:30 pm on Monday, July 14th.
Can you make it to the hearing? I promise that you will find it very interesting!
Read about the amendment here: http://www.morkba.com/index.html
Please pass this on to your liberty-loving friends!