Letter from Sacramento

May 27, 2018


Disasters—whether natural or human-caused—tend to spur action.

They also draw out the opportunists.

We saw this during the ten-year drought when mountains of stressed trees were overtaken by opportunistic bark beetles. Today, the U.S. Forest Service estimates there are up to 129 million dead trees in California’s forests.

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Clint Olivier: Diesel Denial

By Kevin Hall

Lame duck Fresno City Councilman Clint Olivier, now in his final year in office and approaching the end of his political career, is disingenuous when he acts as if public health concerns about diesel exhaust are a desperate, last minute attempt to stop a project’s approval, as in the recent Gap Inc vote.

Continue reading Clint Olivier: Diesel Denial

20 Years of Documented Diesel Damage to Fresno Children Ignored by City

By Kevin Hall

Our kids are the canaries in Fresno’s coal-mine-like atmosphere of microscopic pieces of soot and gases.

The more deleterious impacts to their sensitive, developing systems play out over their shortened lifetimes. One in four suffer acute impacts from asthma, about which Mayor Lee Brand once asked if air pollution is so bad why don’t we all have asthma? He was voting in support of wrapping a commercial almond orchard around California Veterans Home at the time.

Continue reading 20 Years of Documented Diesel Damage to Fresno Children Ignored by City

City Council allows Gap Inc. to dump diesel on Fresno students

By Kevin Hall

“The lower we go, the stronger our negotiating position becomes.”                        Fresno Mayor Lee Brand, April 4, 2018

With the latest in a string of negative declarations of environmental impacts for warehouse distribution centers, Fresno government’s institutionalized racist policies and practices have impacted people’s health once more. With its early April approval of the Gap Inc.’s expansion, it also approved potentially thousands of additional daily diesel truck trips by schools and neighborhoods.

Continue reading City Council allows Gap Inc. to dump diesel on Fresno students

Why I said ‘no’ to Nelson Esparza

GRAY EsparzaStudents1
Nelson Esparza took office as a Fresno County Board of Education trustee in December 2016. Four months later he announced his run for city council, later denying that was his plan all along. He hopes to leave the board and students behind after just two years into his four-year term, his first ever as an elected official. (Source: campaign website Nov. 2016)

By Kevin Hall

I was first introduced to Nelson Esparza while he was briefly employed at a local nonprofit, so I agreed to get together and talk politics when he called a few months later. Over a quart-sized ice tea at Irene’s in the Tower, I listened closely as he told me he was running for city council and asked me to join his kitchen cabinet, that close circle of advisers candidates rely on to keep them honest and who have some experience with politics. And I do. Which is why I said no. Continue reading Why I said ‘no’ to Nelson Esparza