By John Moorlach | Orange County RegisterPUBLISHED: February 28, 2019 at 11:36 am | UPDATED: February 28, 2019 at 11:38 am A sad development that has exploded across the country in recent years has become known as “the Opioid Epidemic,” especially among young people. That’s why I have introduced Senate Bill 689, which establishes guidelines and increases local control for needle and syringe exchange programs. Such programs do not condone drug abuse but recognize the reality that some people are going to inject themselves with harmful substances. Almost inevitably, these people are poor. They “only had a dollar to live on till next Monday,” to quote the old Hoyt Axton anti-drug song, “Snowblind Friend.” Experts will tell you people are tempted to use old needles that may be contaminated with HIV, hepatitis or other diseases, perpetuating the contagion. Which is why needle-exchange programs hand them new, sterile needles. This idea, while … [Read more...] about Local control is key to making needle exchange programs work
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Trash and homeless encampment lie along a walkway between the parking garage and the Orange County Superior Court building in the Santa Ana Civic Center area. Sound The gallery will resume inseconds Tents, bikes, shopping carts and other items fill the sidewalks and lawns around buildings in the Santa Ana Civic Center in Santa Ana. People leave the Plaza of the Flags with their belongings early one morning in the Santa Ana Civic Center in Santa Ana. A worker cleans up between the Plaza of the Flags and the Orange County Public Law Library early one morning in the Santa Ana Civic Center in Santa Ana. Albert Torres is homeless and camps at the civic center in Santa Ana. A security officer who has been trained to dispose of used syringes safely removes two that were found just outside of the Santa Ana City Council chambers. Homeless feet show signs of hard living at the county's Civic Center in Santa Ana. A mama cat and her kitten are pets to … [Read more...] about As Santa Ana Civic Center homeless population grows, so do crime, fear and disease
Blake Gumprecht Las Cruces Sun-News Published 12:53 p.m. UTC Sep 4, 2018 SANTA TERESA - Pity poor Santa Teresa: Nothing ever seems to go its way. This small, unincorporated community four miles from the U.S.-Mexico border was once the centerpiece of an ambitious plan to create a binational industrial district that consultants boldly claimed would one day be home to 225,000 people. That never happened because the man behind the scheme went bankrupt. Worse still, after Santa Teresa's founder went broke, the community went downhill. A country club that it was built around closed. Its roads have deteriorated. Streetlights are no longer turned on at night. Street signs have faded, and sidewalks have buckled. Dead palm trees line the once-grand parkway leading to the country club, their fronds gone, a placard advertising high-speed Internet stapled to the trunk of one. Now, in an effort to overcome its problems, residents of Santa Teresa want to incorporate as a city, but its nearest … [Read more...] about Santa Teresa faces old foe in fight to incorporate
By Alicia Robinson | [email protected] | The Orange County Register PUBLISHED: July 5, 2018 at 1:57 pm | UPDATED: July 5, 2018 at 1:57 pm Faced with a double-digit deficit that is projected to reach more than $66 million in 2023, Santa Ana officials plan to ask voters for more money in the form of a sales tax increase that would go on the November ballot. The City Council hasn’t decided how much to ask for – the staff recommendation is 1.5 percent – but will likely do so later this month. The deadline to request items for the fall ballot is Aug. 10. A 1 percent sales tax boost, which translates to a penny of added tax on each dollar spent, would bring in about $40 million more per year to the city coffers, officials said. A 1.5 percent sales tax would collect Santa Ana about $60 million. Council members were vocal about the need for more money to avoid service cuts when they voted Tuesday, July 3, to seek the sales tax increase. “Nothing’s … [Read more...] about Santa Ana will ask voters in November to increase local sales tax; the question is how much
By Margot Roosevelt | [email protected] | Orange County RegisterPUBLISHED: June 27, 2018 at 10:42 am | UPDATED: June 27, 2018 at 1:45 pm Soft spoken and bespectacled, Diana Corral, a 36-year old Orange County social worker, hardly fits the stereotype of union boss. “I love my job because I love helping people,” she said of her work as an eligibility specialist who guides the poor, the disabled and the homeless in applying for food stamps, Medi-Cal heath insurance and cash assistance. But as president of Local 2076 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, with 1,450 members, Corral is one of hundreds of public-sector union leaders on the warpath across California to counter the effect of Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, Janus v. AFSCME. The decision, overturning four decades of legal precedent, outlawed so-called “fair-share” or “agency” fees levied by government unions. The fees, paid by workers who … [Read more...] about Can California’s public employee unions thwart U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision?