'Suddenly the water came' — 14,000 people evacuated in San Jose, CA

Last night, Coyote Creek in San Jose, California dramatically overspilled its banks. A mandatory evacuation displaced 14,000 residents, many of whom required decontamination because the water was likely toxic.

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California has a storm of "biblical proportions" every 200 years

The incessant rain in California for the last several weeks is just a taste of what's to come in the formerly drought-plagued state, says Rachel Becker in The Verge.

Snip:

The most recent was a series of storms that lasted for a near-biblical 43 days between 1861 and 1862, creating a vast lake where California’s Central Valley had been. Floodwaters drowned thousands of people, hundreds of thousands of cattle, and forced the state’s government to move from Sacramento to San Francisco.

More than 150 years have passed since California’s last, great flood — and a team of researchers with the US Geological Survey have predicted what kind of damage a similar flood would cause today. Their simulation, called the ARkStorm, anticipates that a stretch of the Central Valley 300 miles long by 20 miles wide would be underwater. Cities up and down the coast of California would flood. Winds would howl 60 to 125 miles per hour, and landslides would make roads impassable.

Image: Christopher Michel / Bay Area Storms 2017 Read the rest

Retired California State Senator is using AI to transcribe local government hearings for search and alerts

Sam Blakeslee, a retired Republican California state senator, worked with Cal Poly students to create Digital Democracy, a service that aggregates videos of the interminable, innumerable -- and vital -- local government hearings and meetings and then use machine-learning systems to generate automated transcripts so that activists, journalists and citizens could search and analyze them. Read the rest

California gets ready to punch back

Threats from the Trump administration to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities have caused California to start looking for methods to not pay taxes to the Federal government.

California's long-time status as a "donor state," one that pays more tax than it receives in federal funding, has been a contentious issue. Teapublicans have also long claimed the government has no right to tax people, anyways, and it'd be super fun to see what they have to say about liberals using their rhetoric against them.

Regardless, it should scare the ill-fitting pants off our illegitimately elected President that the most populous state, contributing the most money to his coffers, has state officials looking for ways to not pay taxes, and a public movement to secede. He may be in a place to push his bigoted and hateful policies forward, but California doesn't want to pay for them.

CBS Local:

Officials are looking for money that flows through Sacramento to the federal government that could be used to offset the potential loss of billions of dollars’ worth of federal funds if President Trump makes good on his threat to punish cities and states that don’t cooperate with federal agents’ requests to turn over undocumented immigrants, a senior government source in Sacramento said.

The federal funds pay for a variety of state and local programs from law enforcement to homeless shelters.

“California could very well become an organized non-payer,” said Willie Brown, Jr, a former speaker of the state Assembly in an interview recorded Friday for KPIX 5’s Sunday morning news.

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California Governor Jerry Brown's 'State of the State' vows resistance

California governor Jerry Brown gave a rousing State of the State speech yesterday. He vowed to fight for immigrants, health care, and the environment, and repeated his promise: California will not quietly allow Trump to dismantle so much of what we hold dear.

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California state employees may no longer use state funds travel to states where LGBTQ discrimination is legal

If you're a California state employee -- including an employee in the UC system -- no longer use California state funds travel to Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina or Tennessee, or any state "that has passed a law that (1) authorizes discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, or (2) voids or repeals existing state or local protections against such discrimination." It's hard to imagine any major academic conferences being held in those states anymore. Read the rest

Eating at all of LA's grand old restaurants and dives, one at a time

The Remains of LA blog has a mission: to "visit all the cool old places in LA (not all at once)." I met its proprietress today, working at my local Burbank library, and I share her passion for LA's old restaurants, though I lack her devotion! As she notes, "sometimes the food is good, and there are nice people." Read the rest

CA Governor Brown vows to launch "our own damn satellite" if Trump shuts down climate research

Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown told an audience of scientists at the American Geophysical Union that the state would launch its own "damn satellite" and continue climate research if the Trump administration shut down federal research. Read the rest

California just launched a "Digital Service" based on the amazing UK Government Digital Service

Since 2011, the UK's Government Digital Service has radically transformed the way Britons interact with their government, streamlining bureaucratic processes, opening up data, and making APIs available for community groups and commercial players -- alas, the GDS has become a political football in Westminster and has hemorrhaged talent, becoming a sad reminder of a once-glorious dream of government delivered humanely, with the public in mind. Read the rest

California's legislative leaders vow to lead the resistance

In both English and Spanish, California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) released the following open letter:

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Today, we woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land, because yesterday Americans expressed their views on a pluralistic and democratic society that are clearly inconsistent with the values of the people of California.

We have never been more proud to be Californians.

By a margin in the millions, Californians overwhelmingly rejected politics fueled by resentment, bigotry, and misogyny.

The largest state of the union and the strongest driver of our nation’s economy has shown it has its surest conscience as well.

California is – and must always be – a refuge of justice and opportunity for people of all walks, talks, ages and aspirations – regardless of how you look, where you live, what language you speak, or who you love.

California has long set an example for other states to follow. And California will defend its people and our progress. We are not going to allow one election to reverse generations of progress at the height of our historic diversity, scientific advancement, economic output, and sense of global responsibility.

We will be reaching out to federal, state and local officials to evaluate how a Trump Presidency will potentially impact federal funding of ongoing state programs, job-creating investments reliant on foreign trade, and federal enforcement of laws affecting the rights of people living in our state. We will maximize the time during the presidential transition to defend our accomplishments using every tool at our disposal.

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My neighborhood realtor is determined to turn a buck on electoral eschatology

(found this hanging from my front door-knob) Read the rest

The New York Times's GOP voter-suppression retrogame: "The Voter Suppression Trail"

Throughout the election cycle, The GOP Arcade has been releasing satirical 8-bit games about the GOP and right-wing politics in America; the New York Times commissioned a special one, based on the classic Oregon Trail, in which you play one of three voters attempting to cast a vote in either Texas (where you are a Latina nurse); Wisconsin (where you are a black salesman) or California (where you are a white programmer). Read the rest

Everything Must Go

This week on HOME: Stories From L.A., a member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network:

Some stories don't end when you think they do. Some stories just pause. And then they sneak back around and whap you across the back of your unsuspecting head. So here's one I didn't expect to revisit, although maybe I should have: Part 2 of Episode 7, "Unmaking A Home."

If you like what you hear, please drop by the iTunes Store and leave the show a rating and/or review. And don't forget to subscribe: 

iTunes | Android | Email | Google Play | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS Read the rest

Public safety codes are now free online for all

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "As a so-called rogue archivist, I'm not often the bearer of good news, so I thought folks might be cheered by 3 very positive developments on the open standards front." Read the rest

When Californians vote on legal weed, they'll also vote on wiping millions of arrest records

Despite the fact that minor possession has been a misdemeanor since 1976 (and medical weed has been legal since 1996) between 15,000 and 20,000 Californians are arrested every year for marijuana offenses. Read the rest

The Modernist Utopia that never was

HOME: Stories From L.A., a member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network, is back for its fourth season. This week:

What happens to a utopia that never got off the ground? Bits and pieces of one, an experiment in postwar living for the masses, are hiding in plain sight in the hills above Sunset Boulevard. Architect and author Cory Buckner talks about Crestwood Hills, a Modernist vision for a cooperative future that never quite arrived.

A note from the producer: If you'd like to help HOME get off to a good seasonal start, drop by the iTunes Store and subscribe. And if you have a minute to leave a rating and/or review, that helps stir the algorithmic stew that gets shows noticed. Thanks for listening.

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS Read the rest

California DMV thinks "INFOS3C" is a dirty word

The California DMV has rejected Opendns founder David Ulevitch's application for an "1NFOS3C" vanity license plate because it includes "a term of lust or depravity." Read the rest

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