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* ... CALIFORNIA POLITICS: California has some of the highest utility rates in the nation, so why are we selling excess power to neighboring states for less than we charge state residents? That's right, this is one of those 'only in California' stories that will drive you nuts. Over the past 20 years,
* ... POT DEBATE: Just when you think the local debate over marijuana can't get any whackier, it does. At the Board of Supervisors meeting this week David Abbasi, president of the Central Valley Cannabis Association, unleashed a broadside against Supervisor Mike Maggard, accusing him of being part of a criminal conspiracy to design regulations to approve a limited number of dispensaries associated with his friends. It's a serious charge, perhaps a reckless one, in that Abbasi is accusing a sitting supervisor of criminal wrongdoing. "What I am putting on the record today is Maggard's connection to a notorious, criminal drug trafficking organization in the cannabis business," he said. "I asked for help from federal investigators to end the real 'fraud being foisted on Kern County' by Kim Schaefer, Jimmy Lee, Mike Maggard and their high powered dispensary owners that paid them in exchange for a monopoly on cannabis in Kern County. Abbasi argues that Maggard is favoring dispensaries under the loose organization Kern Citizens For Patient Rights, a group Schaefer works with as a consultant. (Schaefer also is a consultant on Maggard's reelection campaign). Maggard denies any such connection, as does Schaefer by the way. Stay tuned because this debate is just heating up.
* ... KEVIN MCCARTHY: And check this out: it turns out the Washington Post is investigating Rep. Kevin McCarthy's background to fact check his personal story. And what is the big story the Post wants to expose? It is McCarthy's well known story of how he started a deli as a young man back in the 1980s. I spotted this on Californian food critic Pete Titll's Facebook page: "Yesterday's weirdness: contacted by a Washington Post fact checker who was trying to get the details on exactly what kind of business Congressman Kevin McCarthy operated back in 1986 when I reviewed Kevin O's Deli. He said someone had complained that McCarthy was exaggerating the scope of his operation, which he set up in a family yogurt shop while I believe he was studying at CSUB. Oddly, they attached a pdf of the review and I mentioned McCarthy by name as he took my order and waited on us. Not sure what they're going to do with it." I am not sure what the point here is; there are plenty of people (including Tittl) who remember with fondness the old Kevin O's Deli.
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Everything can be taken as an insult. You've just got to want it."
* ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "If you had to choose between eating tacos the rest of your life or being skinny, would you choose hard or soft tacos?"
* ... INGA BARKS: There has been a total house cleaning at local talk show station KNZR, the Alpha Media owned local station. First, they cut ties with longtime radio host Inga Barks, and now comes word that afternoon host Jaz McKay has been fired because if his fondness for racist slurs, insults and vulgarities. Alpha Media is not talking but both Barks and McKay confirmed their dismissals on social media.
* ... MAURY WILLS: If you were at Luigi's recently you may have spotted former Dodger great Maury Wills. The legendary Dodger shortstop and former manager was in town for the Taft College Triple Play dinner and was seen at Luigi's with Michael Bowers and Traco Mathews.