We all have seen the statistic that it costs more to keep a drug offender in a California prison than it does to send him/her to college. I think about this as I read new reports of how many people won’t be able to attend the University of California, or teach there, or do their research there, or work there. Then I read about how the prison guard’s union is so powerful in California politics. Here’s an article from one of the many research organizations of UC that the state can’t want to fund anymore, the UCB Institute for Governmental Studies.
The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) is the California prison guards’ union. In recent years the CCPOA has become a major player in California politics. Its political influence has grown to the point that it is widely considered to be one of the most powerful political forces in Sacramento. Its lobbying efforts and campaign contributions have greatly facilitated the passage of legislation favorable to union members.
And, I may add, favorable to the institutions of prisons themselves.
So why can’t the UC employee unions be a powerful force in California politics? They represent around 200,000 people. Why aren’t the UC unions out there lobbying for UC to be a vital part of California economy and social justice? Because UC has spent the last 25 years spending their state-funded money to break the employee unions. UC’s employees are a natural voice for the importance of UC –as opposed to more and larger prisons. But that voice was suppressed, that partnership was rebuffed. Now UC is asking us to individually lobby our legislators and write stories about how UC changed our lives. That’s all very nice, but our political system responds to collective action. Now the unions are fighting for their members alone, pointing out that we’re all getting paycuts while executive positions continue to be created. Too bad the unions can’t be in cahoots with management in Sacramento, like the prison guards and the prison industry.
Last summer during the Big Sur fire we watched the MODIS maps in horror as the red dots marched further and further north, west, and south every 12 hours. In the Lockheed fire, we’ve gone 24 hours with no new detections. The fire is buring, but not spreading.
Ralph asked for notation of Warnella Rd, which runs along a ridge west of Bonny Doon village. The rest of these maps indicate where the southern edge of the fire has been in relation to this road. I removed the 1 km footprints to make it easier to see the terrain.
Only one map is needed this afternoon because it is all good news. No new fires have been detected in the last 12 hours, that’s why there are no red dots on the map. The orange and yellow areas may still be burning, but the Lockheed fire doesn’t appear to be growing.
I figured out how to find what time the data was collected.
I added some thumb tacks to point out some of the road intersections that I know of. If you’d like me to add them for other landmarks I can do that, just let me know.
The red areas are what burned today, or in the twelve hours that pass since the last time the satellite went over. What is orange is what was red the last time.
Some of the images are rotated in relation to the compass so that you can see the “thumbtack” better. North is indicated in the upper left of the map.
I figured out how to use the MODIS data in google earth. I’ll add more images as the
data is updated every 12 hours. Let me know if you’d like to see something in particular
and don’t know how to do this.
But if you want to learn, you download and launch google earth, and then click
on this link:
This kmz file should load into google earth. You then twiddle with the google earth controls until you see
what you need to see.