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Smell of pot wafting everywhere as state goes off the rails
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Is it just me or since California voters foolishly approved recreational marijuana are you smelling that burning weed everywhere now?

I was in a convenience store in Oakdale getting a soda - the government hasn't seized that right of mine yet - when three people walked in reeking of pot. One guy was on crutches and his face looked like the losing end of a physical assault.

I stand by my belief that this is not going to be good for us, our kids, our standing in the world and will only increase the poverty in the Valley.

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I had no idea Ceres liked Starbucks as much as it does. When I heard this I was stunned. An inside source that tells me that during last summer's two-week half-off Frappuccino happy hour promotion, the Hatch and Mitchell store was #2 in the nation in sales - bested only by Long Island, New York. That's impressive given there are 11,100 stores in the U.S.

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When your car registration goes up this year, remember your state Senator Anthony Cannella is the reason. Last year the Ceres Republican cast the crucial swing vote that allowed Senate Bill 1 to pass. SB1 is the bill signed into law by Gov. Brown who felt we needed to raise taxes by $52 billion with a ‘b.' That bill is now subject of a repeal effort that could land on the November 2018 ballot. A petition move kicked off in late November and I have doubt it will collect the 585,407 signatures from registered voters by March to make the ballot.

To recap, SB 1 raised the gas tax by 12 cents as of last November for a total of 41.3 cents per gallon. By the time we reach July 2019 your state gas tax will be at 47.3 cents. That's if the repeal movement fails.

Your auto registration is going up also because of SB 1. How much is based on the value of your car. If your car is valued under $5,000, your fees go up another $25; valued between $5,000 and $24,999, up $50; valued between $25,000 and $34,999, up $100; valued between $35,000 and $59,999, up another $150; and if you own a car worth $60,000 and higher, you'll be shelling out ANOTHER $175.

Electric car owners should be steaming over the fact that while they pay for no gas and no gas and thus no tax, they will be paying a first-ever registration fee of $100 per year beginning 2020. So much for the Democrat lawmakers promoting clean vehicles.

I'll readily admit that California's infrastructure is in real need. The state has failed to keep up because Democrats in control of Sacramento are more concerned about gender ID on driver's licenses than practical matters like building roads, bridges and dams. Traveling anywhere in California has become a major headache. If you don't believe me, stand atop the Hatch Road overpass at 7:45 a.m. and look southward at the solid stream of cars heading from Turlock to Modesto.

Like many, my jaw dropped when I heard Cannella voted for the massive tax hike. But let me play devil's advocate for him; I can understand why he voted for SB 1. First, he was promised the ACE train extension into his district - and a passenger platform for Ceres. He got to go home and brag to his constituents about bringing home the bacon (even though we're paying for that bacon although many of us won't get to eat it.) Also, Cannella knows we must do something to invest in roads and highways; we are falling behind as we continue to grow. I'm sure his thinking went this way: "I'd prefer that we grow state revenues by dismantling our anti-business climate instead of running them off to states like Texas, Arizona and Utah. But, sigh, knowing that will never happen with the party in charge, the only way to come up with the money is to send the bill to those who drive those roads.
But still, I don't like the approach.

Honestly, fellow Californians, don't vote for a repeal of the gas tax UNLESS you're willing to quit electing governors and state senators and state assemblymen who want to regulate business out of business.

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Speaking of anti-business, the second of a series of minimum wage hikes ordered by Democrats went into effect on Monday. It's now $11 an hour. Under SB 3, the minimum wage went up to $10.50 an hour in 2017. It will increase $1 per year to $15 in 2022. Yay, you say? Not when you see fast-food prices rise, customers recoiling with fewer sales and businesses responding by cutting jobs. I'm telling you, there are some real rocket scientists running the show under the dome.

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Oh, and get this - goody, goody - we'll be seeing more illegal aliens. The state is now protecting them as an official "sanctuary" state! Isn't that just great? California will be a magnet for them now, it wasn't already! Yippee! If they can make it across the border - where is that wall? -they're safe here. Isn't that what we all want? Protection of criminals?

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If you're a gun owner, that means you buy ammunition. Once upon a time (three days ago) you used to be able to buy ammo on the internet. Brown and company changed that. If you mail-order bullets they can only be shipped now to an authorized vendor.

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Oh, and now California schools are more prone than ever to mass shootings. Why? Because our state lawmakers just took away the discretion of school administrators to allow someone with a licensed concealed weapons permit to bring a gun onto campus. Now highly skilled armed licensees won't be able to shoot the armed-to-the-teeth mass murderers who creep onto our campuses. Sacramento is full of morons.

I have grandchildren at school. I would prefer that someone with a carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) permit be armed on campus and ready to take out that armed lunatic who walks onto campus to inflict carnage and mayhem. Now our kids are sitting ducks. The mass carnage could be stopped immediately on campus rather than wait the four to five minutes for police to respond.
Nobody with a CCW has ever shot up a school to my knowledge. But plenty of CCW holders have stopped mass murderers.

Absolute madness in California, but you lefties elected them.

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Sacramento loves to give out things and have you pay for it. They just took the first step toward free college and you get to pay for it. Wonderful, huh?

So Democrat Assemblyman Miguel Santiago wrote this dumb bill. It waives the fees for the first year of community college for all first-time students. Why? Has anyone heard of a FAFSA? The state already offers fee waivers for low-income students, but some community college districts say that a vast percentage of students eligible for the waiver don't apply for it.

How many kids will take college seriously if they don't have to invest any personal funds into it?

Do you have any feedback about this column? Let Jeff know by emailing him at He will read it, promise.