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Continental Features/Continental News Service
VOLUME VIII NUMBER 1 APRIL 1, 2021
of Continental Newstime newsmagazine
Houston News Edition
Continental Features/Continental News Service
"The newspaper-feature super-channel"
* Congressional News Briefs ... Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, accompanied by fellow Republican Senators representing states as diverse as Maine and Utah and as diverse as Wisconsin and Alabama, huddled with National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd and other stakeholders in a roundtable discussion on the immigration crisis in the Rio Grande Valley, and Senator Cruz noted that, unlike the Administrations of Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama and Trump, the Biden Administration has stalled efforts of Members of Congress to conduct oversight of the current Administration's handling of the influx of undocumented aliens it invited, then sought to postpone. The Senator confirms that, once admitted to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility in Donna, Texas, he and his colleagues witnessed such severe overcrowding as a dense concentration of 4,000 unaccompanied children in space having a capacity to accommodate only 250, instead, and children as young as infants and toddler-age were seen in play pens. Senator Cruz likewise mentioned that the Biden Administration's reported confinement of little girls and little boys in cages was documented and that the coronavirus-infection rate in these close quarters is higher than the national average. Remarking how unprepared the Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection have been for the President's open-border policy, Cruz asserted, "This needs to stop. It is a crisis, it is a tragedy, and it is a man-made crisis. This was avoidable, this was preventable, and regardless of your party—Republican or Democrat—you should look at what's going on here, and say, 'Enough is enough. This must stop.'" In addition, the Senators' itinerary included a stop at the unfinished Border Wall and a Rio Grande boat tour conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety. In conclusion, Senator Cruz attributed the Biden Administration's "inhumane" policy at the Donna, Texas facility to the Administration's ill-advised decisions to stop construction of the Border Wall, to end the "Stay in Mexico" policy, and to resume the practice of releasing undocumented aliens directly into the interior of the U.S. On his part, Senator Cornyn also expressed criticism of the Biden Administration's plan to have Vanita Gupta confirmed as Associate Attorney-General, given her ownership of $14 million worth of stock in the family corporation, Avantor, whose production of acetic anhydride, Mexican officials found, is a precursor chemical in the manufacture of heroin and other drugs. The Senator also cited Ms. Gupta's evasive answers to the Senate Judiciary Committee's questions about her positions on qualified immunity, the death penalty, and police de-funding.
*Governor's Office News Briefs ... Governor Greg Abbott has announced that 10 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Texas, with more than 30 percent of the eligible population receiving a vaccine, and that the Texas Division of Emergency Management will furnish COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to Texas summer youth camps licensed by the state's Department of State Health Services, so the state can mitigate any potential outbreaks and identify positive cases, staff and campers choosing the tests free to volunteer. Beside the two agencies mentioned, the Governor says that the Texas Military Department have identified 35 counties, from Bastrop to Willacy, for participation in the fifth week of the Save Our Seniors Initiative. So far, 98 counties have taken part in the program, which relies on central drive-through vaccine clinics and direct administration to homebound seniors, the program focusing on the least-vaccinated counties for those 75-plus and 65-plus and taking into consideration total allocations during the previous 12 weeks. The Governor has, as well, penned a letter, with questions, to Vice-President, and reputed Border Czar, Kamala Harris urging her to visit the Southern Border personally to witness the continuing humanitarian crisis in the area. Underscoring "the threats and challenges caused by this [Biden-Harris] Administration's open-border policies," the Governor sought assurance that corrective action is underway "to prosecute human traffickers and address the surge in border crossings" and to "prevent more children from being trafficked and abused." Moreover, Governor Abbott asked whether the unaccompanied children were compelled to carry contraband into the U.S.; how many the Administration had determined as a result of screening were victims of trafficking, physical abuse or sexual assault; and whether the federal government was relying on DNA testing to release children into the custody of safe, trustworthy adults. The Governor also expressed concern that the Administration's policies are enabling the cartels, smugglers,
and human traffickers to amass illicit profits with impunity. In other developments, the Governor, subject to Senate confirmation, re-appointed Lamont Meaux—owner of Seabreeze Culvert, Seabreeze Chemical and Seabreeze Farm—and Kevin Scott, who holds science degrees, to the Gulf Coast Authority, which furnishes water systems and exercises responsibility for water-pollution control and waste disposal in the district mentioned. The new terms for which Meaux and Scott have been nominated expire on August 31, 2022. Then, too, Kevin Ellis, Chairman of the State Board of Education and owner of Ellis Chiropractic, is set to serve during the pleasure of the Governor on the Education Commission of the States. Finally, the Governor has expressed his condolences to the family and friends of Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Chad Walker, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop near Mexia last weekend, and the Governor has called on Texas law-enforcement officers to switch on their red and blue flashing lights for one minute at 1 PM today to honor Trooper Walker and all fellow officers in the state.
* State Legislative News Briefs ... Speaker of the House Dade Phelan, following Texas House of Representatives passage of legislation responding to mismanagement of the state electric grid during Winter Storm Uri, gives assurance that the reforms approved promise to improve management of the grid during extreme-weather conditions, protect ratepayers who depend on a reliable supply of electricity, and enhance coordination during times of crisis, thanks to House support of the work of the State Affairs Committee. The Texas House Committee on Redistricting has planned a public hearing today to consider population projections and the redistricting process for West Texas, with ramifications for Texas House, Texas Senate, State Board of Education, and Congressional districts. Although the U.S. Census Bureau has yet to publish official population data for the region, Representative Brooks Landgraf, a Committee member, informs that it is important for the state legislature to obtain comments from citizens and begin considering the matter. Meantime, the Texas Senate Business and Commerce Committee heard testimony on a bill that would provide greater oversight of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the independent organization faulted for leaving millions of Texans without electricity and water during the state's February hard freeze.
* County Government News Briefs ... The Harris County Commissioners Court is next scheduled to meet at 10 AM, and virtually, on April 13; at this time the agenda is not available.
* Mayor's Office News Briefs ... Mayor Sylvester Turner, testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee a little more than a week ago, described his efforts when a Texas state legislator assigned to the Committee having jurisdiction over the electricity market to set in place measures designed to anticipate extreme-weather events and prevent repetition of the 2011 blackout. However, because his legislative proposal to require ERCOT to have adequate reserves was not accorded a hearing, the Public Utilities Commission regarding the 2011 winter storm as a fluke, Houston experienced repetition in February, 2021, with 57 people dying from hypothermia or carbon-monoxide poisoning, some 400 apartment complexes and 50,000 homes experiencing broken pipes, the City's hospitals and fire stations dealing with reduced water pressure, and with the costs still being computed. The Mayor also dismissed suggestions that the City's investment in renewable energy caused the system-wide failure, since 67 percent of the City's energy supply, as represented by natural-gas plants, coal-fired plants and nuclear-power capacity, went off-line.
* City Council News Briefs ... The City Council, meeting by video conference on March 30, was set to take up an Agenda including a public hearing in support of a Resolution of No Objection for the 4-percent Housing Tax Credit Application of EADO 800 Lofts Ltd. in District H and a Consent Agenda consisting, in part, of approval of a recommendation from the Director of Houston Public Works for payment of $1,032,000 to the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District for 2021 Groundwater Withdrawal Permit Fees for Areas 2 and 3 for the period between February 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022; authorization to purchase the Pendar Technologies, LLC hand-held Raman Spectrometer equipment for the Houston Police Department at a cost of $69,518.90; and adoption of an Ordinance appropriating $25 million from the Airports Improvement Fund for the Bombardier Transportation (Holdings) USA Inc. Skyway Automated People Mover System Operations and Maintenance at George Bush Intercontinental Airport/Houston in District B.
* School District News Briefs ... The Houston Independent School District announces that it will be joining the national commemoration of National Library Week (April 4-10) and National School Librarian Day (April 4), in recognition of the central role a strong library plays on school campuses and to honor the contributions of school librarians. Meantime, all campuses will be closed from April 2 until April 5 for the District's Spring Holiday. On April 8, beginning at 5 PM the Board of Education is scheduled to meet in the District Board Auditorium at 4400 West 18th Street. Then, on April 10, the District will be hosting a virtual informational fair from 9 AM to 12 Noon for parents of incoming pre-kindergarten students, with Phase 1 applications due April 30.
* Weather ... The National Weather Service reports that current conditions at Houston Hobby Airport, as of 11:53 PM on March 31, are overcast and breezy, with a temperature of 61 degrees Fahrenheit, relative humidity of 34 percent, wind out of the northeast at 23 miles per hour, gusts as high as 35 miles per hour, barometric pressure of 30.36 inches, a dewpoint of 32 degrees, and visibility of 10 miles. The over-night forecast calls for decreasing cloudiness, a low temperature of around 47 degrees, the skies becoming mostly clear, and wind out of the northeast at 5 to 10 miles per hour. Thursday is expected to be sunny, with a daily high temperature of about 68 degrees, northeast wind of 10 to 15 miles per hour, and gusts as high as 20 miles per hour. Thursday night, expect clear skies, a low temperature of about 45 degrees and northeast wind of 5 to 10 miles per hour. It is anticipated that Friday will be sunny, with a daily high temperature of about 65 degrees, east wind of 5 to 10 miles per hour, and gusts as high as 20 miles per hour.
* Sports ... The Rockets (13-34) attempt to reverse their recent two-game slide when they visit Boston (23-25)—which has also lost two games in a row—on April 2 for a 7:30 PM tip-off. And on opening day of Major League Baseball, the Astros visit the A's for a 10:07 PM game (Eastern Time).
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* 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]
A free copy of the Etna, California News Edition of Continental Newstime [dated August 14, 2020] containing the newspaper feature of outdoor writer Lee Snyder is also available by
E-mail request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tulelake, CA News Edition
of Continental Newstime newsmagazine
VOLUME I NUMBER 1 OCTOBER 12, 2020
What's new in Tulelake, California? Find out here:
This is a Special Issue designed only to encourage a would-be editor-publisher in Tulelake, 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 Tulelake, 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 Tulelake, California. We publish too many other newspapers and publications to regularly publish a Tulelake community newspaper, too. It is our hope, besides, that a local editor-publisher in Tulelake will not neglect to publish ads, so local businesses receive wider publicity for their products and services. Thank you.
Tulelake, CA News Edition of Continental Newstime
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* Congressional News Briefs … The Paycheck Protection Program ended on August 8, with about $135 billion in Program reserves unspent, and Tulelake’s agent in the U.S. House of Representatives, Doug LaMalfa, considering the initiative a success, insofar as it reportedly preserved about 51 million jobs--12 million of which were located in rural areas--has signed a petition requiring 218 House Member signatures, to bring this matter up for consideration on the House floor. The thrust of the associated bill, House bill 8265, is to qualify businesses for a second Program loan if they can show a reduction in revenue, to relax spending requirements, and to enable businesses--Congressman LaMalfa has small Northern California businesses in mind--to claim loan forgiveness. LaMalfa expresses disappointment that, as more businesses close for good and could make use of the already-authorized aid, amid an active wildfire season, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has blocked Congress from addressing small-business needs. Also, the California Representative informs that he helped draft legislation the House passed to revise the 2018 Water Resources Development Act to offer relief to Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers that suffered water shutoffs threatening to the Basin economy. The bill permits the Bureau of Reclamation to earmark as much as $10 million annually for conservation and water-efficiency measures and authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to exercise greater flexibility in meeting the needs of water users and to protect duck populations in the Klamath National Wildlife Refuge from drought, as well. Since the U.S. Senate has already passed the bill, LaMalfa trusts that, President Donald Trump, given his commitment to aiding Basin farmers and ranchers, will sign the bill into law. Commenting on House Bill 925, a $2.4-trillion, supposed coronavirus-spending package, which he characterizes as the Speaker's "partisan wish list" because it was written without opportunity for Republican participation and contains much irrelevant to the coronavirus, Congressman LaMalfa says his vote against the proposal owed, in part, to the Democrat leader's attempt "to prop up the vulnerable members of her party headed into Election Day." The GOP Congressman's objections to the bill center on its tendency "to fund dangerous programs, like letting felons out of prison, providing stimulus checks to illegal immigrants, de-funding police, and federalizing the electoral process." In particular, he mentions removal of $600 million for COPS Hiring and state and local law-enforcement aid, opening a loophole for Planned Parenthood to receive taxpayer money under the Paycheck Protection Program, dispensing with ID requirements for in-person voting, eliminating the limitations on State and Local Tax (SALT) deductibility, and, among other demerits, stripping the Food Stamp program of its work-incentive provisions. California Senator Dianne Feinstein, together with Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, concede that, from the beginning of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative in 1996, Congress and the Defense Department expressed too much confidence in the private firms administering the program; namely, through such features as 50-year leases between the companies and the service branches. The National Defense Authorization Act in the 2020 fiscal-year addressed health, safety and environmental hazards in the private military housing, and, in keeping with the Act, the Defense Department announced an 18-point Tenant Bill of Rights during February, 2020. Still, the Senators note, four of the required rights have yet to be extended, since there is no standard lease, no tenant access to the housing unit's maintenance history, no mechanism for withholding the Basic Allowance for Housing when a dispute between company and tenant occurs, and no process for resolution of disputes. Toward greater oversight by Congress and the Defense Department, the California Senator and her colleagues have introduced the Ensuring Safe Housing for Our Military Act (Senate Bill 703) and have requested a progress report on the Tenant Bill of Rights from Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Then, too, the Senator, along with all Judiciary Committee Democrats, argue that a Senate hearing on Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett "would endanger health, safety." They add, "Now is the time to provide much-needed COVID relief, not to rush through a Supreme Court nomination and further endanger health and safety." In their letter to Chairman Lindsey Graham, they oppose a remote hearing on the nomination, too.
* State Government News Briefs … Tulelake’s representative in the California Senate, Brian Dahle, has announced his opposition to a measure passed by the California Legislature that would extend and re-direct until 2051 the utility tax ratepayers now pay. He is critical, besides, of Assembly Bill 1788, saying that the state has established many pesticide regulations, but fails to pursue those who use rodenticides and other pesticides illegally or negligently. Moreover, remarking on Governor Gavin Newsom's long-range plan to ban gasoline-powered cars from the state's roads, he points out that the state cannot even ensure dependable electricity, much less power electric cars. In an appraisal of the legislative session, the Governor has announced vetoing an additional 16 bills, including Assembly Bill 1835 because it would require the California Board of Education to undertake a lengthy rule-making process to amend the Local Control Funding Formula and delay use of unspent supplemental and concentration grant funds to benefit the most-vulnerable students for two school-years. The Governor favors a January budget solution, instead. He cited, as accomplishments, imposition of a ban on a number of toxic chemicals in cosmetic products, establishment of the state's own generic drug label (Cal Rx) as a means of lowering prescription-drug prices, creation of a task force to look into reparations for slavery, expansion of paid sick leave and family leave for front-line workers, and passage of new eviction and foreclosure-protection legislation for those confronted with a loss of housing due to the economic effects of the coronavirus.
* County Government News Briefs … The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors, at its meeting of October 6, was poised to take up a Consent Agenda consisting of approval of a letter to President Donald Trump asking for federal aid to counties affected by wildfire and the coronavirus public-health emergency; authorization to apply for and accept a California Library Literacy Services grant in the amount of $56,000; approval of a 2020-2021 fiscal-year contract with the First 5 Siskiyou Children & Families Commission, in an amount not greater than $30,000, to furnish mental-health services and outreach to youth aged 0 to 5; adoption of a Resolution authorizing acceptance of a CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act 2020 Emerging Issues Project allocation award of $166,978 for adjusting community-mitigation responses to the coronavirus in the County, through March 23, 2022; and, among other items, adoption of a Resolution okaying the submission of application(s) for Per Capita Grant Funds through the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Under Departmental Requests, newly-appointed Sheriff-Coroner Jeremiah LaRue was to be sworn in, and consideration was to be given to an Urgency Ordinance amending the County Code on standards for wells, with a Public Hearing scheduled for the Second Reading of the Ordinance. With regard to appointments, County Supervisors were set to appoint one Delegate and an Alternate to serve on the California State Association of Counties Board of Directors for the 2020-2021 Association year.
* City Government News Briefs ... The City Council, at a conference-call Special Meeting on October 8, was set to take up an agenda providing for approval of the Minutes of its Special Meeting on September 15 and its Regular Meeting on that date, along with approval of bill payments, and to receive public comments. [The Regular Meeting on September 15 dealt with the matter of authorization to apply for a LEAP (Local Early Action Planning) grant in the amount of $65,000 for re-zoning, updating planning documents, ordinances, and housing elements before the January 31, 2021 deadline; consideration of a possible change of ownership to the City of the Clyde Hotel and associated grant opportunities; possible acceptance of a construction bid on the Veterans Park Expansion Project; and, among other items of business, approval of a contract for on-call Engineering Services. The Special Meeting took up the matter of Police Officer appointments in Closed Session and considered approval of a professional-services agreement with Jesse Small to perform artistic services in connection with the Veterans Park Expansion Project.] In addition, time was scheduled for delivery of reports from community and/or school representatives; for authorization to pursue funding to cover the deficiency preventing initiation of the Veterans Park Expansion Project; for discussion, toward approval, of the proposed valued engineering contract suggested by the Director of Public Works; and for permission for the City Hall Administrator to advertise for the Temporary City Staff/Library position. The subsequent Closed Session of the Council, over which Mayor Henry Ebinger was to preside, was tasked to discuss a citizen complaint against the City Hall Administrator concerning payment of a utility bill and cumulative fees, while a succeeding Closed Council Session was concerned with Performance Evaluations of all City Department Heads. Thereafter, Department Heads were allotted time to furnish updates on matters relating to their areas of responsibility, and comments from such City officials as the City Engineer, the Chief of Police, the Director of Public Works, the City Clerk, the City Treasurer, and Council Members (Gary Fensler, Richard Marcillac, Penny Velador, and Henry Ebinger) were entertained.
* Weather ... The National Weather Service reports that, as of 1:05 AM, current conditions at Klamath Falls International Airport are mostly cloudy, with a temperature of 48 degrees Fahrenheit, relative humidity of 70 percent, wind out of the south at 6 miles per hour, barometric pressure of 30.23 inches, a dewpoint of 39 degrees, and visibility of 10 miles. The over-night forecast for Tulelake calls for partly-cloudy skies, with a light west wind and a low temperature of about 33 degrees. Columbus Day is expected to be mostly sunny, with light and variable wind becoming westerly at 6 to 11 miles per hour in the afternoon and with a daily high temperature of about 64 degrees. Monday night is expected to be mostly clear, with a low temperature of about 33 degrees and west-northwest wind of 5 to 10 miles per hour becoming light and variable in the evening, while the forecast for Tuesday calls for mostly-sunny skies, a daily high temperature near 70 degrees, and light and variable wind becoming westerly at 5 to 10 miles per hour in the afternoon.
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