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By Eric Johnson
Published Jan 15, 2024

Hey, Mickey—please pay attention to your driving! Hey, Mickey—please pay attention to your driving! Image credit: Antonio Gravante, Shutterstock

Killer Cars, COVID & Copyright

Happy MLK Day, California. A reminder that this day was dedicated to volunteerism when Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act of 1990, encouraging Americans to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy “with acts of civic work and community service.” If you are in a position to do that and plan to do so, we commend you.

And a reminder that below our featured articles, you will find an easily digestible digest of curated news from trusted sources. 

Are Fatal ‘Accidents’ a Form of Violence?

This week we begin with the first of two articles about unnecessary losses of life. Jon Vankin writes about the increasing phenomenon of “traffic violence,” which is also known as the automobile “accident.” As you will see, thousands of Californians lose their lives each year because we’ve designed our transportation system to optimize for cars instead of people. Meanwhile, pedestrians are being killed by distracted drivers in bigger and bigger cars in devastating numbers.

Death on the Roads: Traffic Fatality Crisis Far From Over

California traffic deaths dropped by 12 percent in the first three months of 2023, but road fatalities remain at crisis levels.
As the COVID pandemic eased, so did the epidemic of death on the road. Somewhat. But the ongoing crisis of traffic fatalities remains at high levels with early numbers form 2023 appearing to top 4,000 in California.

Reading ‘The Wisdom of Plagues’ on COVID

In his new book, a former New York Times science reporter and expert on pandemics writes: “If the lies hadn’t been told ... we really would’ve ended up with only about 600,000 dead instead of 1.1 million dead.” I consider the book’s harrowing truths while suffering from a late case of COVID-19.

COVID Still Sucks

As I post this, the tiny pipe-mark beneath the T on this COVID test card, indicating that I am still infected, feels like it’s lodged in my stinging left eyeball.
A new book, ‘The Wisdom of Plagues,’ makes me feel angry that I contracted the disease in what should be the post-COVID era.

Mickey Mouse Is Free

For generations, US copyright law was determined largely by the value of one iconic piece of intellectual property. The fascinating tale of the Walt Disney Company’s successful campaign to protect the world’s most famous mouse, which has finally come to an end.

Mickey Mouse Enters Public Domain. What That Means for California

The version of Mickey Mouse seen in the 1928 animated short “Steamboat Willie” is now free for public use.
Disney icon Mickey Mouse is now in the public domain, meaning anyone can create their own Mickey Mouse cartoons. Here’s what that means, and how it could affect the California economy.

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Roseville Urban Forest Foundation aims to improve the tree canopy of the city through thoughtful planning and planting.

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Upcoming Community Ally Events

Roseville Urban Forest Foundation logo RUFF: Native Tree Planting, Roseville
Saturday February 24 2024   9:00 AM
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From Our Media Allies

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Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Tahoe Business Sector in ‘Transition Period’

A shocking number of businesses have shut down, but multiple new ventures are coming in behind them.

Sierra Sun logo Climate Profile: David Carter of Deep Planet

Climate Profile, a feature by the North Tahoe chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, explores how climate change has affected the lives of local citizens.

Sierra Sun logo The Push for a National Landmark at Donner Pass

The railroad tunnels high above Truckee hold historic stories. Deep in the granite, the lives of immigrant workers were made and lost over 150 years ago.

Auburn Journal logo Auburn Problem-Oriented Policing Team Experiencing Successes

Through connecting with the community and attacking issues until they are solved, Auburn’s Problem-Oriented Policing unit works to improve the city.

Loomis News logo Auburn Woman Adds More Protection From Mountain Lions

Kevi Edmonds read about mountain lion attacks killing livestock in Loomis and saw an opportunity to assist other livestock owners with another way to guard against an attack.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Palisades Tahoe: ‘Strange Vibes’ Day After Deadly Avalanche

The avalanche occurred about a half hour after the lift opened for the first time this season.

Sierra Sun logo Placer Supervisors Approve $175,000 in Defensible Space Grants

The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved the acceptance of $175,000 in grant funding for the development of a Defensible Space Fuels Reduction Program, aimed at assisting low-income senior and disabled residents in eastern Placer County.

Lincoln News Messenger logo Watershed Plan: ‘Urgent Actions’ Needed for American River

The El Dorado Water Agency announced the completed Programmatic Watershed Plan to address concerns regarding the American River watershed.

Placer Herald logo City of Rocklin Seeks Ruhkala Award Nominations

The Ruhkala Community Service Awards recognize exemplary community service efforts in Rocklin.

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Recent Statewide News

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• SCOTUS to Hear Case with Major Implications for Homeless

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case related to whether cities and towns can ban camping on public property. The high court could overturn Martin v. Boise, a 2018 federal court decision that keeps western cities and counties from blocking public camping when sufficient shelter space is unavailable.

(01/12/2024) → Sacramento Bee

• Fourth Graders Might Lose Free Access to California State Parks

California’s projected budget deficit of close to $38 billion likely means some cuts are coming. Among them, Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed ending the California State Park Adventure Pass, which offers free access to some state parks for fourth graders.

(01/12/2024) → SFGate

• Iconic California Restaurant Closes Without Warning

Pea Soup Andersen’s, a Buellton, Calif., restaurant just shy of its 100th birthday, closed suddenly. The restaurant's other location, near Interstate 5 in Santa Nella, remains open.

(01/10/2024) → SFGate

• $10M-Plus Lawsuit Follows Multiple Deaths at Sacramento Jail

Sacramento attorney Mark Merin has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family of a man who died in May after being held at the county jail. Other inmates have died in recent years, and the jail is under a federal consent decree to improve its health care.

(01/09/2024) → Sacramento Bee

• Hate Crimes Rising in Los Angeles

Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism found that hate crimes rose 12.9% between 2022 and 2023. The spike follows a particularly stark increase in crimes against Jewish people.

(01/09/2024) → LAist

• Newsom Sets March 19 Special Election to Fill McCarthy’s Seat

Gov. Gavin Newsom has called for a March 19 primary to elect a replacement for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who resigned from Congress in December. If a candidate doesn’t win outright, a runoff will be held on May 21.

(01/08/2024) → Sacramento Bee

• State Trying to Use Generative AI to Reduce Traffic

Caltrans has set a Jan. 25 deadline for tech companies to show how generative artificial intelligence might reduce traffic congestion in the state. This follows an executive order that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed in September related to this type of AI.

(01/08/2024) → LA Times

• New Year Brings Protections for Deep-Sea Corals and Ocean Fishing Opportunities

New rules took effect Jan. 1 permanently protecting the most fragile deep sea corals off Southern California. Simultaneously, more than 4,500 square miles of ocean waters are now reopened to fishing after more than 20 years of closures.

(01/08/2024) → YubaNet
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Government Announcements

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Image of County of Placer seal. County of Placer   (01/12/2024)

Placer Supervisors approve $175,000 in defensible space grant funding for qualifying eastern Placer

The Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the acceptance of $175,000 in grant funding for the development of a Defensible Space Fuels Reduction Program, aimed at assisting low-income senior and disabled residents in eastern Placer County.
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (01/12/2024)

Kevin McCarty CA Assembly 06:
Assemblymember Kevin McCarty’s bill requiring a minimum age for kids to play youth tackle football heads to the Assembly Floor

Assemblymember Kevin McCartys bill requiring a minimum age for kids to play youth tackle football heads to the Assembly Floor braithsi Fri, 01/12/2024 - 10:19 Friday, January 12, 2024 SACRAMENTO Assemblymember Kevin McCartys bill requiring a child to be at least 12 years old to play tackle football passed the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, and Tourism Committee. AB …
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/11/2024)

World Green Nutrition, Inc. is Recalling ELV Alipotec Brand Mexican Tejocote Root Supplement Pieces (Raiz De Tejocote Mexicano Suplemento En Trozos), Net. Wt, 0.3 0Z (7g), Due to the Presence of Yellow Oleander in this Product

WORLD GREEN NUTRITION, INC. is recalling ELV ALIPOTEC brand MEXICAN TEJOCOTE ROOT SUPPLEMENT PIECES (RAIZ DE TEJOCOTE MEXICANO SUPLEMENTO EN TROZOS), NET. WT, 0.3 0Z (7g), due to the presence of yellow oleander in this product. The consumption of yellow oleander can cause adverse effects on neurolog
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (01/11/2024)

Megan Dahle CA Assembly 01:
Back in Session

Greetings And just like that the Assembly is back in session! If youre new to receiving my weekly newsletter here is what you can expect to receive each week: Resources: State agencies offer various resources but they arent always easy to find. My team gathers helpful information such as wildfire recovery resources power outage maps and information about stimulus payments …
Image of Town of Loomis seal. Town of Loomis   (01/11/2024)

What are the Town Hall 2024 Holidays?

2024 Loomis Holidays New Year’s Day Monday, January 1, 2024 Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday  Monday, January 15, 2024 Lincoln’s birthday  Monday, February 12, 2024 Washington’s birthday Monday, February 19, 2024 Memorial Day Monday, May 27, 2024 Independence Day Thursday, July 4, 2024 Labor Day Monday, September 2, 2024 Veterans Day Monday, November 11, 2024 ... Continued The post What …
Image of Town of Loomis seal. Town of Loomis   (01/11/2024)

Where can I find the nearest Hospitals?

Sutter Roseville Medical Center 1 Medical Plaza Drive, Roseville, CA 95661 (916)781-1000 Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital 11815 Education Street, Auburn, CA 95602 (530)888-4500 Kaiser Permanente Medical Center 1600 Eureka Road, Roseville, CA 95661 (916)784-4000 The post Where can I find the nearest Hospitals? appeared first on Loomis, CA.
Image of Town of Loomis seal. Town of Loomis   (01/11/2024)

Town Hall Closure- 1/15/2024

The post Town Hall Closure- 1/15/2024 appeared first on Loomis, CA.
Image of Town of Loomis seal. Town of Loomis   (01/11/2024)

Planned PG&E Outage for 1/13/2024

Please read the information below posted on behalf of PG&E for a planned electric outage: This outage is scheduled to occur on Saturday, January 13, 2024 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM affecting service at COLLEGE BLVD BRACE RD @ SIERRA LOOMIS, CA, 95650 impacting meter(s) ending in 11008. This interruption is necessary for our ... Continued The post Planned …
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/10/2024)

U.S. Trading Company of Hayward, CA is Recalling Dragonfly Jelly Bars Because it Contains Konjac Powder and May Present a Choking Hazard

U.S. Trading Company of Hayward, CA is recalling Dragonfly jelly bars because it contains konjac powder and may present a choking hazard. Konjac and its consequent texture and consistency could pose a choking hazard to small children as well as adults with functional and/or anatomic abnormalities.
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/10/2024)

Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc. Recalls Aged Cotija Mexican Grating Cheese (8oz) Because of Possible Health Risk

Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc. of Modesto, CA is recalling a total of 344 cases of Aged Coja Mexican Gratng Cheese (8oz), UPC 72724200043 batch number 4DW-23318 because it has the potenal to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and somemes fatal infecons