Political Fix (7 January, 2022)

Take this job and shove it – A wrap up of the year 2021

It’s the anniversary of the January 6 riots on our capitol, but the number I can’t get out of my head is 21.4 million. That’s how many people have quit their jobs since July, the highest number since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started keeping track.

There are now 1.2 jobs for every unemployed person.

What spurred the Great Resignation? Economist have their theories, but the one I’m leaning towards is the fact that the pandemic changed many people’s lives and made them reevaluate what’s important.

Workers, especially those in the service and health industry, needed a break from their low paying, thankless jobs and just decided to take a permanent one.

Why not be broke and in debt while living in a family member’s basement? Same difference if you rent and work fulltime.

Some years I look back and think, yeah, I could have predicted that – but, if 2020 was the year of shutdowns, 2021 was the year of reverberations.

Who would have predicted used cars for sale would become scarce or the homeless would take over entire parks and beaches? While walking down the street in Portland a few months ago to the train station, I was the only person on the sidewalk not homeless.

I am still trying to figure out how the real estate market went crazy while everyone lost their job during the economic shutdown. The United States has a problem with income inequality, but I never expected there to be such a stark manifestation of the problem.

Besides millions of people giving the middle finger to The Man, the stock market skyrocketed but the supply of computer chips got dangerously low, impacting the supply of new cars.

In other 2021 news: there was the miracle of the COVID vaccine, the collapse of the Champlain Towers in Florida, a heat dome over Portland where it reached 116 degrees, and the end of our 19 year involvement in Afghanistan.

And I heard about a supply chain backlog – but I got all my Christmas presents on time.

2021 ended with 30 tornados ripping through Arkansas and Kentucky, and a firestorm in Boulder Colorado on December 30. The day after? It snowed. In California, we had the recall. Remember that?

We celebrated December 31, 2020 as the end of a dumpster fire year, only to discover, within the week, that 2021 was going to be just as bad.

And for all those people who quit their job? There is a severe labor shortage and employers are offering signing bonuses and competitive salaries.

It looks like for 2022, workers might actually get paid what they are worth.

Now who would have predicted that?

Here is the Valley Voice’s 2021 wrap up of our top ten stories of the year.

  1. Area restaurants reopening indoors; county and cities leaving enforcement to state by Martin Velasco Ramos
  2. Double disinterment at Tulare Cemetery brings grief and loss of employment for groundskeeper by Catherine Doe
  3. Lawsuit alleges Hanford credit card abuse, sexual harassment and wrongful termination by Mark Pratter
  4. Tulare County medical providers prescribing controversial ivermectin treatment by Alexandra Feller
  5. Hanford mayor, ex-councilman deny allegedly accepting cash bribes by Mark Pratter
  6. Kaweah Health under regulators’ microscope after drug control negligence, deaths by Dave Adalian
  7. Kings County DA facing sexual harassment allegations by Catherine Doe
  8. Letter of Complaint Filed in Hanford against Brieno for Inappropriate Comments by Mark Pratter
  9. Tulare and Kings Counties Grapple with Permanent Solutions for Homeless after Project Roomkey Ends by Martin Velasco Ramos
  10. Bribery Case Involving Hanford City Council Deepens by Mark Pratter

The top 10 posts on Valley Voice’s Facebook provide their own mini wrap-up of 2021. The Voice doesn’t just post its own articles but national and state issues that could be of interest or affect Tulare and Kings County residents. The following are a mix of local, state, and national news.

  1. Fire Crews in the Sequoia National Park continue to apply protection wrapping (foil) to iconic sequoia trees and historic structures. A community meeting is scheduled for September 17, 2021, at 7 p.m. at the Three Rivers Veterans Memorial Building.
  2. “It’s the best-kept secret in the nation — little Visalia building the largest parish church in modern U.S. history,” Chavez said. Once St. Charles Borromeo is completed, all Sunday Masses in Visalia and major diocesan celebrations, such as priest ordinations, will be held there. https://religionnews.com/2021/09/14/the-largest-catholic-parish-in-the-united-states-is-being-built-in-the-heart-of-californias-dairy-industry/
  3. A notice from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Boudreaux has issued an evacuation WARNING for a portion of Three Rivers. The Evacuation Warning covers all points on both sides of Highway 198, east of the intersection of North Fork Drive, and includes all side roads that connect to Highway 198 east of North Fork Drive.  This does not include points along North Fork or South Fork Drive.  Sheriff Boudreaux has issued a MANDATORY EVACUATION ORDERS for the Silver City and Cabin Cove area on Mineral King Road
  4. Dr. Yorai ‘Benny’ Benzeevi’s assets will stay frozen after Tulare County Judge Michael Sheltzer denied a motion that would have allowed Benzeevi to access money in his bank accounts or keep any future income. Benzeevi’s bank accounts were ordered frozen in August 2020 when a laundry list of charges were filed alleging he committed embezzlement, grand theft, and other crimes managing the Tulare Regional Medical Center and the Southern Inyo Hospital through the company he headed, Healthcare Conglomerate Associates (HCCA.).
  5. Statement by President George W Bush on Insurrection at the Capitol Laura and I are watching the scenes of mayhem unfolding at the seat of our Nation’s government in disbelief and dismay. It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight. This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic. I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement. The violent assault on the Capitol – and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress – was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes. Insurrection could do grave damage to our Nation and reputation. In the United States of America, it is the fundamental responsibility of every patriotic citizen to support the rule of law. To those who are disappointed in the results of the election: Our country is more important than the politics of the moment. Let the officials elected by the people fulfill their duties and represent our voices in peace and safety. May God continue to bless the United States.
  6. Lawyers for Dr. Yorai ‘Benny’ Benzeevi appeared in court Wednesday, asking Judge Michael B. Sheltzer to lift a temporary restraining order freezing the former Tulare hospital CEO’s money, bank accounts, and future earnings. The judge declined to make an immediate decision, stating that he would deliberate on the arguments and filings from each side and issue a written ruling in the days to come.
  7. Representative Liz Cheney, the third-highest ranking leader in the House GOP conference and one of the most conservative members of the Republican Party, issued a statement that she will be voting to impeach Trump. “On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic. “Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.  “I will vote to impeach the President.”
  8. The incident was recorded on a form that has not previously been seen. The “Application for Disinterment for Human Remains and Authorization and Release Agreement” required the family to “release, indemnify and hold harmless” the cemetery, funeral home, and vault company from “any liability” from any distress, illness, psychological injury or damages that resulted from viewing the disinterment. https://www.ourvalleyvoice.com/2021/12/16/discovery-of-new-disinterment-leads-to-more-questions-at-tulare-cemetery/
  9. Got cabin fever? Visalia restaurants and bars are open for indoor dining.
  10. This opinion submission was taken from a comment left on our most recent article, “Kaweah Health CEO defends hospital amidst open state investigation,” by the parents of Victor Krumdick, Victor Robert and Gillian Mary Krumdick. Krumdick was the contracted employee — identified in a hospital inspection report as “Scribe 1” — who died of a propofol overdose at the hospital. “Prompted by months of deep soul searching, the ensuing pain and devastation, waiting months for the final autopsy report, the most hurtful utter silence of the hospital administration, and the chance look at two newspaper articles in July, I have chosen to tell you Victor’s story from our perspective. As in the telling of any story, ours is a biased view, that of a grieving mother and father. Victor’s sister, coworkers, and dear friends from other seasons of his life would perhaps tell a different tale, but this is our story to tell…”

 

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