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Seattle News Edition
VOLUME VII NUMBER 1 AUGUST 1, 2020
of Continental Newstime newsmagazine
* Congressional News Briefs ... Senator Maria Cantwell, as a senior member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and to follow through on her commitment to climate-change mitigation, has joined Senators Angus King, Joe Manchin and Tom Carper, to request that the U.S. Government Accountability Office conduct a comprehensive review of methane emissions from oil and gas development. The Washington State Senator stresses the need for reducing methane leaks and to upgrade technology for measuring methane emissions, while noting that the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to reduced natural-gas prices, thereby lowering the incentive for producers to capture and sell methane-laden natural gas, rather than allow it to be vented into the atmosphere. Citing the authority of the International Energy Agency, the Senators assert that minimizing methane leaks is cost-effective and the primary means of oil and natural-gas companies for countering climate change. Senator Cantwell and colleagues add that understanding how methane emissions from the oil and natural-gas sector affect the environment and human health depends upon understanding exactly how much methane is released into the atmosphere during normal and abnormal conditions.
* State Government News Briefs … Governor Jay Inslee has issued a Proclamation, Number 20-64, exempting personally-identifiable information from public disclosure as the state conducts contact tracing in coronavirus-case investigations. He explains, “The success of the response to the COVID-19 epidemic depends in part on the free flow of information and individuals’ willingness to share information and cooperate with public-health authorities. Ensuring the protection of a person’s personally-identifiable information may determine whether that person will fully cooperate with COVID-19 case investigators and contact tracers.” Since the state’s Public Records Act already protects many types of personal information pertaining to public employees and volunteers, the Governor’s Proclamation does not furnish additional exemptions for those conducting the contact tracing. This Proclamation is due to expire on August 29. Meantime, the Governor has extended Proclamation 20-46.1, of April, 2020, toward protecting high-risk employees and worker rights. Based upon new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance concerning individuals at increased risk for severe illness, employees who are 65 years of age or older continue to be covered by the Proclamation—which will continue in effect through the duration of the current state of emergency, or until rescinded or amended—and the Proclamation details processes companies should use for employees with certain medical conditions.
* County Government News Briefs … The Community, Health and Housing Services Committee of the Metropolitan King County Council met virtually on July 29, before a series of announced meeting cancellations of the Council and its
Committees running from August 3 to at least August 26. The Committee convened to discuss such matters as, toward taking possible action on, two proposed motions acknowledging receipt of a progress report on coordination of delivery of benefits and services to low-income County residents, consistent with the 2019-2020 Biennial Budget Ordinance. The sponsors of these proposed motions were Council Member Kathy Lambert and Council Member Rod Dembowski, Senior Legislative Analyst Sam Porter and Council Staff, respectively. In addition, Council Staff, the Senior Legislative Analyst and Council Member Lambert collaborated on a proposal to request that County Executive Dow Constantine develop a plan to put into force the recommendations of the Department of Community and Human Services and Public Health for coordinating the delivery of benefits and services for low-income King County residents, while exploring other recommendations to improve the coordination of benefits for persons held in County Jail facilities.
* City Government News Briefs … Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, since announcing on June 4 a partnership aimed at achieving free city-wide testing for the coronavirus at drive-up sites in north Seattle and in south Seattle, informs that a third testing site at Rainier Beach High School in south Seattle has opened as a walk-up location. To date, in excess of 80,000 tests have been conducted, and the Mayor pledged that the City would add more days and hours for testing and boost capacity by up to 4,000 tests per week. Meanwhile, a fourth location, one in Southwest Seattle, is presently under consideration. In other developments, City Council President M. Lorena Gonzalez, together with the Mayor, have marked passage of the Seattle Transportation Benefit District Renewal. Allowing that funding through sales-tax revenue is “a regressive and flawed revenue tool,” the small increase of 0.05 percent will permit the City to invest in other programs fostering equity and maintain the service many transit users rely on. Besides, the legislation the Council has approved will expand regular transit service to all sectors of the City, so that essential workers and other riders will experience “safe, efficient and frequent transit” city-wide, just as maintaining as much service as possible during the coronavirus epidemic will position Seattle for recovery up ahead.
* Weather … The National Weather Service reports that current conditions at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, as of 3:15 PM on July 31, are clear, with a temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit, relative humidity of 42 percent, wind out of the south-southwest at 11 miles per hour, barometric pressure of 30.01 inches, a dewpoint of 55 degrees, and visibility of 10 miles. The forecast for tonight calls for increasing cloudiness, with a low temperature of about 60 degrees, and southwest wind of 5 to 14 miles per hour. Saturday, August 1st is expected to be partly sunny, with a daily high temperature of about 77 degrees, calm wind becoming west-northwest wind of 5 to 7 miles per hour in the afternoon. It is anticipated that it will be partly cloudy Saturday night, with a low temperature of about 60 degrees, north-northwest wind of 5 to 8 miles per hour becoming calm after midnight, while the forecast for Sunday calls for mostly-sunny skies, with a daily high temperature of about 81 degrees and calm wind becoming southwest wind of about 6 miles per hour in the afternoon.
Report on Science: By Greg A. Anderson
About Earth’s Nearest Planetary Neighbor [Condensed]
We are in an extraordinary era in human history. In the midst of a pandemic and riots, a private company put humans in space for the first time, perhaps ushering in a new phase of the Space Age. That age started more than sixty years ago and has given us a completely new understanding of the universe. Before the advent of space probes, many professional astronomers thought Venus might be a tropical paradise under its ever-present clouds; in fact, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, using computer modeling, says that the planet may have had a shallow, liquid-water ocean and a habitable surface for 2 billion years of its early history. Venus, under the cloud cover, is a hot and hellish place, with a carbon-dioxide atmosphere 90 times as thick as Earth and with resulting greenhouse-effect temperatures approaching 864 degrees Fahrenheit. Its sluggish rotation not only translates into a day on Venus being equal to 117 Earth days, but that means its spin subjects its dayside to the sun for nearly two consecutive months….
Located about 25 million miles from Earth and 67.24 million miles from the Sun, Venus, about Earth-size in dimensions, has an axial tilt of little more than 3 degrees, while that of Earth is 23 degrees, accounting for our seasonal changes. Since the orbit of Venus is more circular than that of Earth, really with no apogee and perigee relative to the Sun, Venus does not experience the "cool down" associated with reaching apogee in its distance from the Sun. Also, the rotation of Venus is in the reverse direction from the rotation of Earth: the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East. Scientists believe that a planet-sized object once struck Venus to establish its current spin pattern. However, Venus has fewer impact craters than Mercury, Mars, and Earth's satellite, the Moon. Flat plains are estimated to cover approximately 65 percent of the surface of Venus, but in the remainder of the surface one of the six mountainous regions stretches for some 540 miles and rises to an elevation of about 7 miles.
There are geologic differences, though, as reflected in computer images made possible by the U.S. space probe, Magellan's 1990 radar scans of the surface of Venus. For example, there are ring-like crowns, coronae, formed, scientists believe, when hot matter inside the planet rises to the surface. Besides, there are raised tiles, tesserae, ridges and valleys that extend in different directions. Geologists allow that the surface features are less than 1 billion years old….
Gravity? The force of gravity on Venus is somewhat less than on Earth and its mass is approximately four-fifths that of Earth. Overall, a person weighing 100 pounds on Earth would weigh as much as the proverbial 88-pound weakling on Venus.
A number of different space probes have contributed to our knowledge of Earth's nearest planetary neighbor. Those of the U.S. have not only included Magellan, but Mariner 2, Mariner 5, Mariner 10, Pioneer Venus 1, and Pioneer Venus 2. The Venera-series probes the former Soviet Union launched have increased factual information by passing, crashing on, or landing on Venus with test instruments.
Note: Editor-in-Chief Gary P. Salamone also contributed to this report.
Question Time with Public Figures
The American public expects public officials to deal with, rather than dodge, difficult public-policy problems, to be transparent in their public-policy positions, and to state their views confidently, thoughtfully and boldly. One week was allowed to finalize the response, by E-mail, of each of the Presidential candidates listed below.
The Continental News Service had announced its intention to publish results of this multi-respondent poll in its on-line newspapers over the course of time, and these newspapers include its Washington D.C. News Edition, Chicago News Edition, Honolulu News Edition, Atlanta News Edition, Anchorage News Edition, Boston News Edition, Seattle News Edition, Miami News Edition, San Diego News Edition, Rochester (N.Y.) News Edition, Minneapolis News Edition, and Houston News Edition.
Would you, Senator/Representative/Governor, support legislation, or even sponsor legislation, ending all federal government grants to Planned Parenthood if it was conducted in an even-handed and non-discriminatory manner; that is, likewise ending all federal and federally-subsidized state grants to faith-based and all other non-profit groups, whatever their specific tax-code classification?
__ Yes. Uncheck "No Comment." My reasoning is ________________________________________________________________________________.
__ No. Uncheck "No Comment." My reasoning is _________________________________________________________________________________.
X No Comment. Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
* Proverbs (chapter 28/verse 22): “He that hastes to be rich has an evil eye, and considers not that poverty shall come upon him.” hastes=hurries.
[A timely warning against get-rich-quick schemes]
Fort Jones News Edition
of Continental Newstime newsmagazine
VOLUME I NUMBER 1 JUNE 18, 2020
What's new in Fort Jones, California? Find out here:
This is a Special Issue designed only to encourage a would-be editor-publisher in Fort Jones, California to start a regular weekly or bi-weekly newspaper and to show that, using the structured format below, the proverbial wheel need not be re-invented—to eliminate the complexity in restoring newspaper coverage
to Fort Jones, California. Just as our Website indicates, Continental Features/Continental News Service is available to give guidance, to offer some cartoons/comic strips and other feature material free of charge, and to help a new local editor-publisher expand by 26 pages one time monthly for readers interested in
receiving a general-interest magazine insert. CF/CNS desires more exposure for our cartoons, comic strips and newspaper columns, but we do not exist to compete with a local editor-publisher in Fort Jones, California. We publish too many other newspapers and publications to regularly publish a Fort Jones
community newspaper, too. It is our hope, besides, that a local editor-publisher in Fort Jones will not neglect to publish ads, so local businesses receive wider publicity for their products and services. Thank you.
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* Congressional News Briefs ... Doug LaMalfa, Fort Jones' agent in the U.S. House of Representatives, has nominated five students, based upon recommendations of his Military Academy Selection Committee, to four of the five U.S. Service Academies. The three students from Chico were nominated to attend different Service Academics: the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The student from Cottonwood was also nominated to attend Annapolis, while the student from Shasta Lake was nominated to attend the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. No students were nominated to attend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. In other developments, Congressman LaMalfa, who had worked with Oregon Congressman Greg Walden on behalf of Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers on both sides of the state line, credits the Trump Administration with acknowledging the Convoy for Change rally in Midland and acting to restore the full 140,000-acre-feet water allotment promised in April. The rally was a reaction to plans in May to reduce the water allotment further to 80,000 acre feet, which would threaten with ruin crops that were planted based on assurances given in April. LaMalfa observes, "While Basin farmers are still only receiving 40% of their legal water right from Upper Klamath Lake, it will help to get them through the remainder of the growing season with the crops they currently have in the ground." He says the Bureau of Reclamation decision to reverse course operates to "prioritize agriculture and overrule the bureaucracies that created this crisis," adding, "The water in the Klamath Project needs to remain where it belongs: with the Basin farmers who hold the water right and rely on it for their economic survival." Also, the Congressman reports becoming an original co-sponsor of the Coronavirus County Relief and Stability Bill, to ensure that small and medium-size counties, operating on "tight budgets" and facing revenue deficits, receive the funds necessary to support senior-care agencies, first responders, and public-health departments. He argues that previous legislation furnished direct assistance to local governments having service populations of more than 500,000 people, overlooking 42 counties in California likewise in need of federal support during the pandemic, LaMalfa resumes, "Despite Congress' clear directive that the Coronavirus Relief Fund be used to assist local governments, several governors continue to withhold counties' allotment. In California, further cuts to rural counties' withheld share were reduced to half and then redistributed to urban areas." Although the bill would furnish more funding than the National Association of Counties requested, he says that the funding sought "will benefit all Americans." Senator Dianne Feinstein's focus, meanwhile, has partly been on U.S. foreign policy. Accompanied by Senators Mark Warner, Angus King and Jack Reed, she wrote Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe to declare: "While we support the goal of bringing the war in Afghanistan to a responsible end, we are concerned that a repeat of our hastily-announced withdrawal from Syria could needlessly put more American lives at risk, increase the threat to allies and partners participating in the Resolute Support Mission, and squander important intelligence relationships and counter-terrorism operations." The Senators cited "reports"; that is, a statement in the New York Times that "President Trump has repeatedly voiced a desire to leave Afghanistan sooner than the timeline laid out in the Feb. 29 peace agreement. He may want to campaign on bringing home every soldier" before the November election. The Senators expressed concern that the withdrawal would not be "orderly, conditions-based, and planned in conjunction with military and diplomatic counterparts," but would instead be "much earlier than the timeline established in the Taliban peace agreement that was signed earlier this year." Other considerations Feinstein and her colleagues raised were the "stability and governance in Afghanistan, the threat posed by groups like the Haqqani Taliban Network, al-Qa'ida,and ISIS, and the risk posed by a precipitous U.S. withdrawal." Senator Feinstein has expressed alarm, as well, to General Tod D. Wolters, of the U.S. European Command, that President Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper have reportedly decided to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Germany by 9,500, to limit America's NATO deployment there to 25,000 troops, so our NATO ally bears a larger share of the burden for its
defense. Besides, the Senator, joined by Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Mark Warner, has contacted FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe to request release to the public of any information supporting the President's claims that, in the looting, violence and destruction of property, "our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists and Antifa," agents of "domestic terror." Terming the President's declarations "inflammatory claims," the Democratic Senators charged that the purpose is to discredit "legitimate peaceful protests" and to "justify unnecessary federal, even military, intervention and the excessive use of force."
* Governor's Office News Briefs . Governor Gavin Newsom has pledged to work with the California Legislative Black Caucus, the California Latino Legislative Caucus, other legislative leaders, national experts, community leaders, law enforcement and journalists in developing new policing and criminal-justice reform & following nation-wide demonstrations related to the killing of George Floyd. The Governor points out that in 2019 his Administration collaborated in passage of Assembly Bill 392, what he characterizes as the “nation's strongest standard for police use of deadly force," and that this year the thrust of his Administration is promotion of a "now conversation about broader criminal-justice reform" toward establishing "a cultural change.'' In particular, he has announced support for a general prohibition of the carotid hold and other techniques that will apply to all police departments in California. Already, he emphasizes that he has ordered removal of carotid-hold instruction from state training materials and state police-training programs; he suspended use of the death penalty due to racial and economic differentiation in its application; he proposed closing two state prisons and the Division of Juvenile Justice; his revised May Budget called for shortening prison time for offenders who take part in treatment or education programs and who demonstrate good behavior; and he has advocated access by incarcerated youth to higher education. In addition, the Governor acknowledges that BYD North America has finally received certification from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for its respiratory masks, thereby meeting a State deadline of June 12. Consequently, the company is now set to ship additional masks, some 150 million N95 masks, to health-care workers and first responders, in connection with California's public-safety and re-opening plans. Previously, an estimated 110 million surgical masks were delivered under the State contract with BYD, and Governor Newsom says that the new supply of personal protective equipment will ensure that the State can meet the future needs of doctors, nurses and yet other front-line workers. Meantime, the Califomia Senate's Budget and Fiscal Review Committee planned a hearing for June 12 on the Budget Act of 2019. Besides, the Committee scheduled a hearing on the same date relative to education-finance apportionments, as well as a hearing on statc taxes and charges. Then, on June 18, the Senate Appropriations Committee was due, at this writing, to conduct a hearing on flavored tobacco products.
* County Government News Briefs … The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors, meeting just two days ago, was scheduled to approve a Consent Agenda of routine and non-controversial items including approval of a 2020-2021 fiscal-year, contract addendum with Scott Valley Veterinary for provision of spay/neuter services, boosting the contract value by $2,000 to a total amount not greater than $12,500; authorization for the County Fish and Game Commission to purchase $4,336 (plus tax) in deer decoys, and to transfcr the articles to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife; clarification of the January 7, 2020 appointments of Frank Hayden and Dan Drakc to the Scott Valley and Shasta Valley Watermaster District for terms closing December 15, 2023; approval of a 2020-2021 contract addendum for used-oil collection and recycling services with the Oil Re-Refining Company; and approval of a not-to-exceed-$365,818 contract with the California Department of Social Services for coordination of adoption services. Departmental Requests included support for the Chief Probation Officer's study of the feasibility of Siskiyou County becoming one of the proposed Regional Hub Centers to house juveniles in the aftermath of the State Division of Juvenile Justice no longer accepting juvenile intakes; consideration of an application for $150,000 in Local Government Planning Support Program funds from the California Department of Housing and Community Development; development of an administrative fine schedule for violations of Siskiyou County Code provisions on industrial hemp cultivation; and presentation of an update on the status of coronavirus cases in the County. Also, a Public Hearing initiated on May 19 resumed, concerning the second reading of an Ordinance amending County Code provisions relating to personal marijuana cultivation, to allow for increased fines for multi-day citations. Plus, County Supervisors anticipated that a Public Hearing on the 2020-2021 fiscal-year Recommended Budgets it was undertaking must he carried over to a Public Meeting on June 23. Further, the Board of Supervisors was poised to appoint one member to an unscheduled vacancy on the Scott Valley and Shasta Valley Watermaster District for a term closing December 15, 2023, the candidate, among other stipulations, not holding water rights.
* City Government News Briefs … The Fort Jones Town Council, conducting a special meeting by Zoom computer hook-up on June 17, was set to consider, toward approval, Resolution 1076, to consolidate local-election balloting with the November, 2020 General Election. Additionally, the Council was scheduled to take up, toward approval, Fort Jones’ final 2020-2021 fiscal-year budget. Thereafter, with adjournment, the Council planned to hold its next meeting on July 13 at 7 PM in City Hall. At the Council's previous meeting on June 8, also held through Zoom link-up, the Council was set to take up such non-action, discussion items as the monthly Police Department report, the monthly Fire Department report, Code Enforcement, the monthly Public Works report, City Administrator Karl Drexel's Report, the Planning Committee Meeting, and the Etna Ambulance. Among the Consent Calendar items the Council was due to approve, unless a Council Member or a member of the public requested removal, were the Minutes of the Council's Regular Meeting of May 11; ratification of disbursements during the period May l-May 31, 2020; June Accounts Payable, and Fort Jones' budget versus actua1 spending during the period July 1, 2019-May 31, 2020. Now, the action items included discussion of a permit and use permit in the Scott Valley Business Park; review and adoption of the Employee Handbook, appointment of a New Ordinance and Policy Committee; adoption of an Interim Policy on Bulk Water Sales Permits; and review and adoption of the 2020-2021 Preliminary Operational Budget. Next, leading to adjournment, the Council had set aside time on its agenda for a Public Hearing, spotlighting an associated Staff Report and Board Comments, on the Second Reading of an Ordinance regulating Mobile Home/RV Parks.
* Weather ... The National Weather Service reports that current conditions at Montague Siskiyou County Airport, as of 10:53 PM, are clear, with a temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit, relative humidity of 40 percent, winds out of the north at 14 miles per hour, barometric pressure of 30.01 inches, dewpoint of 46 degrees, and visibility of 10 miles. The forecast for tonight calls for mostly-clear skies, with a low temperature of about 56 degrees, and light and variable wind. Friday is expected to be sunny, with a daily high temperature of around 87 degrees and light and variable wind.
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