Firetrap

21 Jan 19
What Fresh Blog is This?

Watching T2 Trainspotting was a relatively strange experience for me because, just like with The Wonder Years and Degrassi Junior High on television in the 80s and 90s, I am nearly the same age as the protagonists/actors,  and couldn’t help but personalize the growing pains conveyed in these stories. What really struck me was the […]

18 Jan 19
The Mercury News
California’s new governor and his family plan to move to a $3.7 million, six-bedroom house in Fair Oaks they bought in December, according to property records obtained by the Sacramento Bee. For now, Gavin and Jennifer Siebel Newsom and their four young children are living in the historic governor’s mansion in downtown Sacramento. The governor’s office confirmed that they plan to move to Fair Oaks, an unincorporated community in Sacramento County, once their new house is renovated. Deed records show the Fair Oaks property was purchased in December by a limited-liability company registered in the name of Gavin Newsom’s cousin Jeremy Scherer. The governor’s office confirmed that the Newsoms purchased the property. The 12,000-square-foot home was previously owned by  philanthropist and businessman Vern Jones and his wife, Gloria. Vern Jones died in August, and the property went on the market soon afterward. A real estate agent’s listing described the Fair Oaks mansion as a “sophisticated Santa Barbara Montecito-styled home within over 8 acres of park-like setting.” The house, built in 1985,  has a wine cellar, a pool, a guest house and a tennis court, along with six bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and three half-bathrooms. It is a 15-mile drive from the state Capitol. Newsom spokesman Nathan Click described the new home as “more kid-friendly” for the Newsom children, who are all under the age of 10. “They will move their four kids, two dogs and bunny rabbit in a few months and open up the magnificently renovated historic Governor’s Mansion for public events and state business,” Click said in a statement. “They love being a permanent part of the Sacramento community and are excited about living, working and raising a family here.” The family moved into the residence downtown the day Newsom was sworn in as governor. Since 2011, the Newsoms had lived in a midcentury-modern home on 1.4 acres in Kentfield, Marin County. That house cost $2.2 million. His predecessor, Jerry Brown, lived in the historic mansion with his wife and dogs starting in 2015 after a multimillion-dollar renovation. It marked a change from his first two terms in the ’70s and ’80s, when Brown was single and lived in a state-owned apartment near the Capitol, according to Sacramento Bee archives. Before Brown, Ronald Reagan was the last California governor to live in the downtown mansion — until 1967, when his wife Nancy declared the home a “firetrap” and they moved to east Sacramento. While Reagan was governor, supporters financed a sprawling mansion in Carmichael, but it wasn’t finished until after he left office and Brown refused to move in, opting for the apartment. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”curated” curated_ids=”5680583″]Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted from Southern California while he was governor and stayed at the Hyatt Regency near the Capitol when he was in town. While George Deukmejian was governor in the 80s, the Governor’s Residence Foundation bought a ranch-style home about 10 miles from the Capitol. Deukmejian lived there with his wife and high-school-age daughter. Former Govs. Gray Davis and Pete Wilson and their families also lived in the house while in office. Tony Bizjak contributed to this report.
18 Jan 19
East Bay Times
California’s new governor and his family plan to move to a $3.7 million, six-bedroom house in Fair Oaks they bought in December, according to property records obtained by the Sacramento Bee. For now, Gavin and Jennifer Siebel Newsom and their four young children are living in the historic governor’s mansion in downtown Sacramento. The governor’s office confirmed that they plan to move to Fair Oaks, an unincorporated community in Sacramento County, once their new house is renovated. Deed records show the Fair Oaks property was purchased in December by a limited-liability company registered in the name of Gavin Newsom’s cousin Jeremy Scherer. The governor’s office confirmed that the Newsoms purchased the property. The 12,000-square-foot home was previously owned by  philanthropist and businessman Vern Jones and his wife, Gloria. Vern Jones died in August, and the property went on the market soon afterward. A real estate agent’s listing described the Fair Oaks mansion as a “sophisticated Santa Barbara Montecito-styled home within over 8 acres of park-like setting.” The house, built in 1985,  has a wine cellar, a pool, a guest house and a tennis court, along with six bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and three half-bathrooms. It is a 15-mile drive from the state Capitol. Newsom spokesman Nathan Click described the new home as “more kid-friendly” for the Newsom children, who are all under the age of 10. “They will move their four kids, two dogs and bunny rabbit in a few months and open up the magnificently renovated historic Governor’s Mansion for public events and state business,” Click said in a statement. “They love being a permanent part of the Sacramento community and are excited about living, working and raising a family here.” The family moved into the residence downtown the day Newsom was sworn in as governor. Since 2011, the Newsoms had lived in a midcentury-modern home on 1.4 acres in Kentfield, Marin County. That house cost $2.2 million. His predecessor, Jerry Brown, lived in the historic mansion with his wife and dogs starting in 2015 after a multimillion-dollar renovation. It marked a change from his first two terms in the ’70s and ’80s, when Brown was single and lived in a state-owned apartment near the Capitol, according to Sacramento Bee archives. Before Brown, Ronald Reagan was the last California governor to live in the downtown mansion — until 1967, when his wife Nancy declared the home a “firetrap” and they moved to east Sacramento. While Reagan was governor, supporters financed a sprawling mansion in Carmichael, but it wasn’t finished until after he left office and Brown refused to move in, opting for the apartment. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”curated” curated_ids=”5680583″]Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted from Southern California while he was governor and stayed at the Hyatt Regency near the Capitol when he was in town. While George Deukmejian was governor in the 80s, the Governor’s Residence Foundation bought a ranch-style home about 10 miles from the Capitol. Deukmejian lived there with his wife and high-school-age daughter. Former Govs. Gray Davis and Pete Wilson and their families also lived in the house while in office. Tony Bizjak contributed to this report.
15 Jan 19
We Ate The Paste

A couple of weeks ago I fell asleep suddenly. That isn’t unusual, I work 20 hours a day usually, but this time I didn’t wake up for 3 days. At least not that I remember. When I woke I was incredibly weak, but after another day of fleeting consciousness I realized everyone I thought would […]

11 Jan 19
East Bay Times
Although they’re both Democrats, the leadership styles of Govs. Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown are utterly different. That has quickly become evident. Newsom swings for the fences. Predecessor Brown played a cautious game, working the percentages. Rookie Newsom doesn’t yet know his capabilities and intends to test himself. The veteran Brown — in his second gubernatorial tenure, anyway — believed he knew his limits. He wouldn’t fight battles he wasn’t confident of winning. In his inaugural address Monday, Newsom promised to be a “prudent steward of taxpayer dollars,” but emphasized: “Let me be clear: We will be bold. We will aim high and we will work like hell to get there.” Contrast that to Brown, who recently told the Sacramento Press Club: “The essence of leadership is knowing when to hold and when to fold, when to move forward and when to stay still.”Newsom is impatient. His style is to make a big splash, as he famously did soon after becoming San Francisco mayor in 2004. He irritated many Democratic leaders by allowing same-sex couples to marry when it was illegal. That bold action ultimately led to gay marriages becoming legal across the country. Brown carefully picked his shots. If he didn’t have a good one, so be it. Newsom has adopted the classic, proven strategy of most governors and presidents: leaking policy proposals to selected news reporters before they’re announced publicly. The purpose is to generate early support and put the best face on an idea before it’s picked apart by the entire media. One example: The Times last week was leaked Newsom’s intention to propose spending $1.8 billion to expand early-childhood education and childcare. Brown didn’t really give a rat. He almost never leaked. In fact, he didn’t care much about the media at all, except for large national publications and Sunday talk shows. One difference for the public is that Sacramento could be a lot more interesting with a free-swinging governor trying to hit home runs. Brown himself was always interesting — his oratorical flourishes especially — but his governing style was often too much like a ballplayer taking pitches and walking to get on base. The fact that one Democrat has replaced another in the governor’s office is cited by some analysts as the reason this transition was so dull compared to previous changes of power. But I don’t think so. I think it’s primarily because polarizing President Trump and the Democratic takeover of the House have grabbed the public’s focus. But Newsom’s rapid-fire actions could start attracting attention. It’s like he has a new toy that he can’t put down. His early-childhood program was leaked even before he was sworn in. On his first day as governor, Newsom proposed a sweeping expansion of Medi-Cal, California’s federally subsidized healthcare program for the poor. That was virtually unprecedented. Governors usually spend their first day partying, not engaging in governance. One piece of the Medi-Cal expansion will be politically touchy. Newsom wants to extend Medi-Cal coverage to young adults up to age 26 who are living in the country illegally. Undocumented children up to 18 already are covered. The additional annual cost is estimated to be $260 million. Newsom proposed that all Californians be required to have health insurance, an old Obamacare mandate that Trump and congressional Republicans dumped. Newsom also wants to subsidize insurance for the middle class. And he’d merge the state’s prescription drug buying into a single program to provide more bargaining power and cut costs. Some of what Newsom wants he can do himself with executive orders. Other things require legislation. Some stuff needs Trump’s and congressional approval. Scratch that. Newsom characterized his ambitious proposal as an initial step toward the universal health care system that he promised in the election campaign. His second day on the job, Newsom traveled into the Sierra to propose spending $305 million to accelerate the stripping of dying trees and thick brush from wildlands, expand firefighting crews and modernize 911 systems. Bravo. There’s no higher priority for California right now than preventing and fighting wildfires. On Day 3, Newsom announced a crackdown on the DMV, which he asserted “has been chronically mismanaged and failed in its fundamental mission to the state customers it serves…. It’s time for a reinvention.” No kidding! One smart thing Newsom did was move his wife and four small children into the historic governor’s mansion in downtown Sacramento. It has housed 14 governors since 1903, but Nancy Reagan fled the place in 1967, calling it a firetrap. Gov. Jerry Brown updated the three-story, 30-room Victorian and reoccupied it. It’s close to the Capitol, is majestic inside and should provide lots of mysterious romping space for Newsom’s kids, the youngest of whom stole the inaugural show. Two-year-old Dutch — sucking on a pacifier and carrying a blankie — toddled on stage halfway through his father’s speech. Newsom scooped him up, smiled and didn’t miss a beat reading off a teleprompter. Everyone got a good laugh. It showed Newsom to be a multitasker, easily juggling parenting with governing and politicking. It also highlighted a generational divide between Brown, 80, and Newsom, 51. Brown’s style worked for him. He didn’t lose a real fight in his last two terms. We won’t know about Newsom for a while. If a home run hitter connects, he’s a hero. If he strikes out often, he’s benched. George Skelton is a Los Angeles Times columnist. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”]
11 Jan 19
The Mercury News
Although they’re both Democrats, the leadership styles of Govs. Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown are utterly different. That has quickly become evident. Newsom swings for the fences. Predecessor Brown played a cautious game, working the percentages. Rookie Newsom doesn’t yet know his capabilities and intends to test himself. The veteran Brown — in his second gubernatorial tenure, anyway — believed he knew his limits. He wouldn’t fight battles he wasn’t confident of winning. In his inaugural address Monday, Newsom promised to be a “prudent steward of taxpayer dollars,” but emphasized: “Let me be clear: We will be bold. We will aim high and we will work like hell to get there.” Contrast that to Brown, who recently told the Sacramento Press Club: “The essence of leadership is knowing when to hold and when to fold, when to move forward and when to stay still.” Newsom is impatient. His style is to make a big splash, as he famously did soon after becoming San Francisco mayor in 2004. He irritated many Democratic leaders by allowing same-sex couples to marry when it was illegal. That bold action ultimately led to gay marriages becoming legal across the country. Brown carefully picked his shots. If he didn’t have a good one, so be it. Newsom has adopted the classic, proven strategy of most governors and presidents: leaking policy proposals to selected news reporters before they’re announced publicly. The purpose is to generate early support and put the best face on an idea before it’s picked apart by the entire media. One example: The Times last week was leaked Newsom’s intention to propose spending $1.8 billion to expand early-childhood education and childcare. Brown didn’t really give a rat. He almost never leaked. In fact, he didn’t care much about the media at all, except for large national publications and Sunday talk shows. One difference for the public is that Sacramento could be a lot more interesting with a free-swinging governor trying to hit home runs. Brown himself was always interesting — his oratorical flourishes especially — but his governing style was often too much like a ballplayer taking pitches and walking to get on base. The fact that one Democrat has replaced another in the governor’s office is cited by some analysts as the reason this transition was so dull compared to previous changes of power. But I don’t think so. I think it’s primarily because polarizing President Trump and the Democratic takeover of the House have grabbed the public’s focus. But Newsom’s rapid-fire actions could start attracting attention. It’s like he has a new toy that he can’t put down. His early-childhood program was leaked even before he was sworn in. On his first day as governor, Newsom proposed a sweeping expansion of Medi-Cal, California’s federally subsidized healthcare program for the poor. That was virtually unprecedented. Governors usually spend their first day partying, not engaging in governance. One piece of the Medi-Cal expansion will be politically touchy. Newsom wants to extend Medi-Cal coverage to young adults up to age 26 who are living in the country illegally. Undocumented children up to 18 already are covered. The additional annual cost is estimated to be $260 million. Newsom proposed that all Californians be required to have health insurance, an old Obamacare mandate that Trump and congressional Republicans dumped. Newsom also wants to subsidize insurance for the middle class. And he’d merge the state’s prescription drug buying into a single program to provide more bargaining power and cut costs. Some of what Newsom wants he can do himself with executive orders. Other things require legislation. Some stuff needs Trump’s and congressional approval. Scratch that. Newsom characterized his ambitious proposal as an initial step toward the universal health care system that he promised in the election campaign. His second day on the job, Newsom traveled into the Sierra to propose spending $305 million to accelerate the stripping of dying trees and thick brush from wildlands, expand firefighting crews and modernize 911 systems. Bravo. There’s no higher priority for California right now than preventing and fighting wildfires. On Day 3, Newsom announced a crackdown on the DMV, which he asserted “has been chronically mismanaged and failed in its fundamental mission to the state customers it serves…. It’s time for a reinvention.” No kidding! One smart thing Newsom did was move his wife and four small children into the historic governor’s mansion in downtown Sacramento. It has housed 14 governors since 1903, but Nancy Reagan fled the place in 1967, calling it a firetrap. Gov. Jerry Brown updated the three-story, 30-room Victorian and reoccupied it. It’s close to the Capitol, is majestic inside and should provide lots of mysterious romping space for Newsom’s kids, the youngest of whom stole the inaugural show. Two-year-old Dutch — sucking on a pacifier and carrying a blankie — toddled on stage halfway through his father’s speech. Newsom scooped him up, smiled and didn’t miss a beat reading off a teleprompter. Everyone got a good laugh. It showed Newsom to be a multitasker, easily juggling parenting with governing and politicking. It also highlighted a generational divide between Brown, 80, and Newsom, 51. Brown’s style worked for him. He didn’t lose a real fight in his last two terms. We won’t know about Newsom for a while. If a home run hitter connects, he’s a hero. If he strikes out often, he’s benched. George Skelton is a Los Angeles Times columnist. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”]