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RAIDERS To Vegas? — APPLE’S Winning Streak Over — GOOGLE pressured to dump Trump

04/27/16 09:30 AM EDT

By Carla Marinucci (, @cmarinucci) and Andrew Weber (

Buenos dias and good Wednesday morning, Golden State!

Story Continued Below

THE BUZZ: Republican Donald Trump’s landslide five-state sweep — cracking the 60 percent mark? — and Hillary Clinton’s key pickup of delegate-rich Pennsylvania, along with Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware in Tuesday’s primaries change the calculations and strategy heading toward California’s June 7 primary.

— THE SILICON VALLEY ANGLE: Trump’s dominant performance means the pressure is ramping up on Google, one of Silicon Valley’s biggest players, to be a disrupter in the 2016 presidential race and to withhold potentially lucrative sponsorships for Republican National Convention events, now that he’s calling himself “the presumptive nominee.”

— WHAT’S AHEAD — A coalition of local activist groups in the San Francisco Bay Area promises Thursday to deliver upwards of 400,000 signatures to Mt. View-based Google, urging the tech firm to take no part in a convention coronation of Trump. The protesters include activists from California groups which have taken center stage in a number of high profile protests — CREDO, ColorOfChange, UltraViolet, vsGoliath, Free Press Action Fund, Daily Kos, Center for Media Justice and the Courage Campaign.

— Along with Thursday’s petitions, a plane will fly over Google headquarters — and later over the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge — with a banner that reads “Google: Don’t be evil. #DumpTrump.” Google won’t be the only corporate target: the groups will expand their appeals to leading firms like Microsoft, Coca-Cola and Walmart “not to provide a platform for Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric.”

— BOTTOM LINE: Reports already suggest leading tech firms like Facebook, Google and Apple, which have had big roles at political events ranging from debates to convention parties, are rightly nervous about being associated, even indirectly, with Trump’s controversial statements and campaign. But there’s marketing, audience, and revenue to consider. Google this: “dilemma.”

** A message from Chevron: Data comes in all shapes and sizes: emails, texts, even selfies. And each day more energy is used to move the world’s data than to fly all its planes. Chevron helps make sure we have the energy to keep sharing and flying. **


— ‘’Trump backers, critics clash, fire pepper spray outside Anaheim City Hall — Keep your noses out of the national election,’’ by LATimes’ Ahn Do and Matt Hamilton: “ A divided Anaheim City Council voted late Tuesday to take no action on a resolution to formally denounce Donald J. Trump, capping a heated nearly four-hour debate that followed clashes outside City Hall between supporters and opponents of the Republican presidential candidate.”

— “The Biggest California Primary Since Goldwater Beat Rockefeller,” by Eliana Johnson in the National Review: “As in 1964, the race that will culminate in California is also a battle for the ideological soul of the Republican party. Goldwater’s nomination ensured the GOP would be a vessel for conservatism. On June 7, California’s 5 million registered Republicans will decide whether it remains so.”

— TRUMP LUNCH SOLD OUT WITH 600 — “Could be most watched CAGOP convention since Ronald Reagan’’ — Flashreport’s Jon Fleischman via Breitbart News sets the table for an explosive state GOP convention this weekend — ”the ‘opening bell’ for the fight for 172 delegates on the Republican side, awarded largely by congressional district on a three-to-a-district, winner-takes-all basis.”

— DIVVY IT UP — GOP attorney Ben Ginsberg on the so-called Kasich-Cruz coordination, tells MSNBC that the Republicans’ could craft a savvy CA strategy: “If they play their cards right, each can specialize in certain districts.’’ Under CA’s winner-take-all by Congressional district June 7 GOP primary, Kasich could stake a claim to Silicon Valley/Bay Area, Cruz to San Diego/Inland Empire, and Trump…well, go figure.

— “Donald Trump brings troublesome relationship with the truth to California,” by Politifact’s Chris Nichols: “PolitiFact, the national and independent fact-checking website, has never met a presidential candidate quite like Trump. The GOP frontrunner has earned more Pants On Fire ratings for claims he’s made than any presidential hopeful PolitiFact has checked since it launched in 2007. Those ratings are reserved for only the most outlandish statements.”

— TROUBLE AHEAD — “Confusion lurks in the California primary,” by Capitol Weekly’s Paul Mitchell: “One challenge heading into June is that these voters have grown accustomed to seeing all candidates on their ballot with the new open primary. While insiders might understand the subtleties of the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries, our past experience shows that the average voter has not done well adapting to seemingly simple changes in election procedures.”

— “State’s Democratic superdelegates feel heat from Sanders backers,’’ by SFChronicle’s John Wildermuth:


— TONEY, AND TONE DEAF — “Upscale NorCal community insists drought’s over, wants residents to water lawns,’’ by LA Times’ Joseph Serna: “We believe that allowing the drought to negatively impact the landscaping at any Blackhawk home does a disservice to property values throughout the community,” the homeowners association announced. ‘We believe there is no longer any reason that all landscaping in the community cannot flourish as it once did. Starting on June 1, any of Blackhawk’s 2,000 homeowners who fail to maintain green lawns or install drought-tolerant landscaping will now risk fines or litigation.”

— RAIDERS TO SIN CITY? — Las Vegas seeks a ‘pledge’ from Raiders owner Mark Davis,’’ by SFChronicle’s Vic Tafur: “While the Raiders close in on their first waiting list for season tickets at the 53,000-seat Oakland Coliseum, owner Mark Davis will be in Las Vegas on Thursday, reportedly set to “pledge” to move the team there.”

— INVESTIGATIVE THUMBS UP — “Here are all the sports events California state lawmakers attended for free,’’ by LATimes’ Javier Panzar: “Being an elected official in California has its perks. Want proof? Consider all the free tickets to sporting events that members of the Legislature accepted last year as gifts from utilities, unions, law firms and other firms.” With searchable database:

WELCOME to POLITICO’s California Playbook! Got tips, story ideas, events, news releases or birthdays you think we should know about? Contact Carla Marinucci @cmarinucci. Or drop us an email at or


— “Assembly Democrats want more than $1 billion for affordable housing next year,” by LATimes’ Liam Dillon: “The plan provides a mixture of tax credits, development subsidies and grants to spur homebuilding for those with the lowest incomes in the state, including farmworkers and the homeless.”

— “14 people fatally overdose on ‘painkiller’ in California,’’ via US News World Report: “At least a dozen people in the Sacramento area have fatally overdosed on a pill disguised to look like a popular painkiller — and now the drug has turned up in the San Francisco Bay Area.”

–“‘Barbarians’: Report reveals racist texts sent from San Francisco police officer,” by Washington Post’s Lindsey Bever: “Authorities said they have uncovered racist and homophobic text messages sent by and to a former San Francisco police officer who is embroiled in a growing scandal over such messages among law enforcement. Jason Lai has resigned from the San Francisco Police Department following a 2015 investigation that first looked into sexual-assault allegations.”

— “San Francisco police text scandal at odds with diverse image,’’ via AP: “Details of a second batch of racist and homophobic text messages sent by a San Francisco police officer seem at odds with the image of a rainbow-flagged city that prides itself on diversity.”

— “Beat L.A.: Why S.F.’s economy outperforms its southern neighbor’s,” by San Francisco Business Times’ Riley McDermid: “The San Francisco metro area has done far better than Los Angeles when it comes to creating prosperity for its residents, a new book by urbanist Michael Storper argues, and the Bay Area is a test case in how to advance long-term economic development, he told The Atlantic in an interview this week. ‘Industry differences are essential,’ Storper said. ‘The Bay Area captured key New Economy industries such as information technology and biotechnology, and greater L.A. did not.’”

— “How UCSF landed a $185 million gift from Wall Street’s Sandy Weill,” by San Francisco Business Times’ Ron Leuty:

— “LA City Council Soapbox Evades its Own Sexual Misconduct Failures,’ by Daniel Guss, Citywatch:

— “Scientology Leader David Miscavige Threatens to Sue Over Father’s Tell-All,’’ by Hollywood Reporter’s Seth Abramovitch: “Among the ‘malicious, false, misleading and highly defamatory’ assertions made in the book: that Miscavige ‘seized power’ from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard by ‘outmaneuvering rivals’; that ‘Gold Base’ headquarters in Hemet, Calif., has ‘appalling conditions’ and staff ‘were not permitted to leave’; that church members were ‘subjected to deprivation and violence’ while detained in a prison-like containment center known as ‘the Hole’; and that Miscavige hired private detectives to trail his father.”

— “Top business leaders, 27 governors, urge Congress to boost computer science education,” by the Washington Post’s Emma Brown: “‘Our schools should give all students the opportunity to understand how this technology works, to learn how to be creators, coders, and makers — not just consumers,’ they wrote Tuesday in an open letter to lawmakers. ‘Instead, what is increasingly a basic skill is only available to the lucky few, leaving most students behind, particularly students of color and girls.’”

— “Report casts doubt on SF-area breast cancer ‘cluster,’” on “An extensive report in the Pulitzer Prize-winning weekly newspaper Point Reyes Light highlighted how the Bay Area media contributes to the anxiety of white women in Marin County with headlines like ‘Unseen Killer Stalks Marin’ and ‘Breast Cancer Amid Affluence: High Rate in Marin County Appears Tied to Wealth, Education,’ even though evidence shows the disease is no more prevalent there than in other places.”

— “Delta battle over water and fish lands in court,” by San Jose Mercury News’ Denis Cuff: “State and federal regulators have failed to protect Delta fish and the environment during the drought by repeatedly relaxing water-quality standards so as to keep water flowing to California cities and farms, three conservation groups argued in a federal lawsuit filed Friday.”

— “Employment distress affects 2.9 million Californians,’’ by SacBee’s Dan Walters: Officially, 1.1 million Californians are unemployed, half as many as the state had during the depths of the Great Recession. However, a new analysis of employment data by the Legislature’s budget adviser suggests that when the underemployed and labor force dropouts are added to the official number, job distress affects nearly three times as many Californians.

CAMPAIGNS 2016/2018:

— GAVIN TAKES A RISK — BRAVO TV’S “Watch What Happens Live,” a sexy, live show hosted by Andy Cohen, is usually populated with Real Housewives, hard-drinking drag queens, entertainers and even porn stars. But last night, it was California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s turn to hit Cohen’s Clubhouse, alongside actress Bellamy Young — who plays America’s First Lady in the hit show, “Scandal.” Oh, man. Link to website:

— Juliet Williams @JWilliams AP: “Ooh, just in time for the eyes of the nation to be on those #CA Congressional districts” — California Center for Jobs and the Economy and the California Business Roundtable issues detailed demographic profiles of all 53 CA Congressional Districts. Link to data:

— “Loretta Sanchez says relaxing species law ‘on the table’ to help state,’’ by SacBee’s Christopher Cadelago: “Democratic U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, campaigning for U.S. Senate, said Tuesday that she would consider amending the federal law governing endangered species to help improve the water supply across the parched state of California. Asked whether the Endangered Species Act should be looked at, Sanchez said yes.”

— Sunlight Foundation’s 25 Biggest Spending House Races in 2016 – CA’s 17th District comes in 22nd with $1.7 million spent:

— “Top two: Democrats feel the heat Capitol Weekly,’’ by Ted Andersen, Capitol Weekly: “California’s fledgling top-two voting system, which creates an open primary for statewide and other offices, could prove costly to Democrats in liberal districts while rewarding Republicans who lose.”

— INCOMING! BLISTERING RECAP — “Senate Debate: Kamala Harris Wins By Not Losing,” via CalBuzz Blog: “Tom Del Beccaro attacked Kamala Harris for being a squish on crime. Ron Unz blamed Pete Wilson for wrecking California’s Republican Party. Duf Sundheim seemed precariously close to a James Stockdale moment. Loretta Sanchez sounded like she’d been sucking on a helium balloon moments before the event started.”

— AFTER NIXING HOUSE RUN — “Laura Capps to Announce School Board Candidacy,’’ by Jerry Roberts, Santa Barbara Independent:


— “Comcast in Talks to Buy DreamWorks for More Than $3 Billion,’’ via Wall Street Journal: “DreamWorks, based in Glendale, Calif., makes animated movies such as ‘Shrek’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda.’ Comcast, based in Philadelphia, is a cable giant that also owns the Universal Pictures film studio, with which DreamWorks Animation would likely merge. It wasn’t immediately clear what the deal, should it go through, would mean for DreamWorks’ chief executive, veteran Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg.”

— 15 years after “Thelma Louise” — “Geena Davis thinks Hollywood needs to ‘get over’ its fear of female characters,” by the Washington Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg:

— “Oscars: Academy Asks Members for Résumés to Determine Voting Eligibility,” by the Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg: “The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has begun the process of vetting its members to determine whether or not they qualify as ‘active’ under the Academy’s recently approved rules, which will impact whether or not they retain the right to vote for the Oscars.”


— “End of an era: 13 years of continuous quarterly growth ends at Apple,” by New York Times’ Vindu Goel: “The technology giant said on Tuesday that revenue for its second fiscal quarter, which ended in March, fell 13 percent to $50.6 billion as sales of its flagship product, the iPhone, fell, with little else to take its place. Net income fell 22 percent to $10.5 billion, or $1.90 a share.”

— “Uber picks up a new passenger: The Teamsters,” by San Francisco Business Times’ Riley McDermid: “In the wake of a major legal settlement for Uber drivers that kept them classified as independent contractors but allows them to organize, The Teamsters Joint Council 7 said this week that is still actively involved in trying to form a drivers association with the group.”

— “How Uber’s political donations illustrate the divide between management and employees,” in CrowdPac:

TWEET OF THE DAY — Ted Lieu @tedlieu — “I just completed an entire press interview by text message using #WhatsApp while flying at 35,000 feet. Technology sure can be cool.”

— “Study reveals new vulnerabilities: If you use @Waze, hackers can stalk you,” via Fusion — “Researchers at the University of California-Santa Barbara recently discovered a Waze vulnerability that allowed them to create thousands of ‘ghost drivers’ that can monitor the drivers around them—an exploit that could be used to track Waze users in real-time. They proved it to me by tracking my own movements around San Francisco and Las Vegas over a three-day period.”

NEW GIRL IN TOWN — “’She has a name’: Amazon’s Alexa is a sleeper hit, with serious superfans,” by the Guardian’s Nellie Bowles: “Among the more than 35,000 reviews on Amazon, the general consensus is that unlike Apple’s Siri, whose error rate can be frustrating, the Echo responds as soon as it hears the word Alexa and it rarely mishears commands. Meanwhile, developers see a new gold rush as they start building apps (called ‘skills’) for the Echo even before Amazon has opened a proper app store.”

— “LinkedIn moved into a new skyscraper in San Francisco, and the offices are unlike anything else we’ve seen,” by Matt Rosoff:

— “25 Geniuses Who are Creating the Future of Business,” in WIRED:

DEEP DIVE — “The Rise and Fall of Silk Road: Part 1,” by Joshuah Bearman and Tomer Hanuka in WIRED:


— “Gannett and Tribune bosses get into snit during acquisition talks,” by Poynter’s Benjamin Mullin: “Discussions over the fate of Tribune Publishing are starting to get a little chippy. Since Gannett made its $815 million bid to purchase the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and 9 other major dailies on Monday, executives from both companies have exchanged pointed messages that offer contrasting accounts of the runup to the acquisition offer.”


— San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee has announced the appointment of Ivar C. Satero as Director of the San Francisco International Airport (SFO), following the retirement of Director John L. Martin who held the post for 20 years. Satero is currently the Chief Operating Officer of SFO and formerly held the position of Deputy Director for Design and Construction. His appointment is effective July 18, 2016.


— Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz has endorsed Loretta Sanchez for U.S. Senate. “Mr. Koretz, who represents diverse communities in the Westside of Los Angeles and parts of the San Fernando Valley, cites Loretta’s long-standing support for Israel and the Jewish community as reason for his backing.”

— The California School Employees Association (CSEA) is supporting Joe Dunn for California’s 46th Congressional District, Dunn’s campaign announced Tuesday.


— GOP’s “DANGEROUS” AGENDA — Release: “United States Senator Barbara Boxer, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, and DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda will be hosting a press call ahead of the California GOP Convention taking place this weekend, where the three remaining Republican presidential candidates are scheduled to speak. The fact of the matter is that Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich are all completely out-of-touch…Simply put, we cannot afford to give any one of them the keys to the White House.”

Details: April 27th, at 4:15 PM ET/1:15 PST — RSVP: Please email Jenna Price, for dial-in information.

** A message from Chevron: Data comes in all shapes and sizes: emails, texts, even selfies. And each day more energy is used to move the world’s data than to fly all its planes. Chevron helps make sure we have the energy to keep sharing and flying. **

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New MPD operation leaves few options for ‘tent city’ residents

Will Ferrill slides into a white plastic patio chair and turns a knob on the battery-operated, circa-1990s boombox beside him as talk radio discussions give way to the hum of the busy industrial road nearby. His sunglasses are pulled over his timeworn face; a crimson University of Alabama hat is perched on his head.

A seemingly simple patchwork of tarps and blankets hang overhead and large barrels are in place to catch rainwater for showering, or laundry. A small cooler is filled with dirt and seedlings as a makeshift garden. Floor mats are used as a sort of carpeting.

This is home to the soon-to-be 70-year-old man whose face is not only wrinkled by time and war, but also by hardship and years of living off the grid.

It won’t be his home much longer.

The Vietnam veteran is one of about two dozen homeless individuals being forced to pick up and move from a wooded area north of downtown due to new guidelines imposed by Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s administration and the Mobile Police Department. Ferrill and other campers say they’ll be cited, or in some cases arrested, for trespassing on Friday, May 6, if they don’t leave beforehand.

“I don’t want to leave,” Ferrill said. “I got everything here already. We got tons of stuff to move. It’s going to be a big problem for us to move.”

He needs an extra tent on his campsite to hold the possessions he’s accumulated after more than 30 years living in campsites all over the South. For Ferrill, few things have changed in the time he has survived outdoors, except he cooks with propane now instead of scavenged wood.

Financially, his lifestyle is supplemented by food stamps and a monthly Social Security check. His living expenses are minimal, but include payment every six months for a post office box. Ferrill buys jugs of water for drinking from a nearby Exxon station and collects rainwater for other needs.

“I used to sleep downtown years ago — here, there and everywhere,” he said. “A different campsite every night. This is a lot better because it’s my place.”

Ferrill said he and other campers who keep to themselves and don’t bother anybody are being forced out due to complaints about a trash-strewn and lawless “tent village” on the other side of Conception Street Road, a short distance from his own camp.

“I don’t know why they’re bothering us here,” he said. “They’re giving us a raw deal, man. They ought to leave us alone and run them out, if they’re going to do anything.”

(Photo | Daniel Anderson/Lagniappe) 70-year-old Will Ferrill has lived in campsites for more than 30 years. He believes the city of Mobile’s forced evictions from private property north of downtown “is going to be a big problem.”

City spokesman George Talbot said the administration would work to help the campers on both sides of the road, after a complaint from at least one private landowner alerted officials to several issues inside the decades-old homeless community colloquially known as “tent city.”

After the complaint, MPD officers contacted owners of the properties where the 25 individual camps currently sit to get permission to clear them out, Talbot said. Among the issues, he said, is public safety, health and environmental concerns as human waste and trash is being dumped in Three Mile Creek, Talbot said. MPD spokesman Terrence Perkins did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this story, but according to campers, police handed out eviction notices earlier in April, and continue to visit the sites and remind them of the deadline regularly.

Talbot said the city has since teamed up with civic organizations to help the affected campers possibly find a solution.

Issues with help
The various organizations tasked with helping the homeless each have their own set of guidelines, which could make it hard to serve everyone affected by the evictions. For example, several of the individuals could run into trouble trying to receive help from Housing First, Executive Director Eric Jefferson said.

Setting aside criminal histories burdening some — often landlords won’t accept residents with a felony conviction — Jefferson said the city and Housing First simply don’t have enough affordable housing available.

“We have to put some on a waiting list,” he said.

In fact, Jefferson said, there are currently 422 individuals awaiting housing.

Housing First does offer “permanent supportive housing,” but only to those who qualify. Primarily, an individual must have a disability to qualify for this type of housing. They must also be chronically homeless — homeless for a year or more, or four episodes of homelessness in three years. Housing First has 113 of these units, Jefferson said.

“Needless to say, we’re full,” he said.

Michael Babb, who resides in his own tent near but separate from the main camp in question, said he’s been on a housing waiting list more than two years.

There is also the “rapid rehousing” program, but to be eligible an individual must have income. Unlike supportive housing, a rapid rehousing lease is signed by the individual living there, not by the organization. There are 55 of these units and the average stay is anywhere from six months to two years, Jefferson said.

There is also a program for military veterans, he said, but an individual must meet the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs definition of “veteran,” having completed basic training and served in a conflict.

Problems with the system start to become apparent. For instance, while Ferrill, a U.S. Army veteran, would qualify for housing within seven to 14 days, Jefferson said, his friend Tim, who was also in the Army, wouldn’t because he didn’t serve in a conflict.

Neither Ferrill nor Tim, who asked that his last name not be released, want to live within four walls. Ferrill said living outside has increased his longevity.

“I’m not ready to go in yet,” Ferrill said. “It keeps me healthy … I’m 70 years old and I don’t take no kind of medication.”

Housing First reached a milestone last year with “functionally zero” homeless veterans in the city. The caveat to this is, of course, the veterans only counted if they wanted help, or qualified for help.

Even if an individual can qualify for housing, some don’t have the means to get the basic paperwork needed to participate in daily life.

A 34-year-old homeless woman named Corey said she and her boyfriend are trying to scrape together the money needed to get a copy of her birth certificate in order to get identification. They have lived for about 11 years in the woods close to the tent city in a small cabin he built from scrap lumber. While he is able to work occasionally mowing lawns and landscaping, she said she is hindered from most physical activity by a heart condition. She said she doesn’t know what they’ll do come May 6.

“If we don’t leave, they’re going to arrest us,” she said. “They might as well put me in jail.”

Other programs in the city have their own restrictions that could limit participation by a number of individuals impacted by the closure of tent city.

In addition to serving breakfast and dinner to the city’s homeless, the Salvation Army also offers first-come, first-served beds in its dormitory at 1009 Dauphin St., spokesman Kavontae Smalls said. The dormitory has 28 beds, open on a first-come, first served basis. However, the beds can only be used by a single individual 10 times every two months, Smalls wrote in an email.

“If we have extra beds available and someone has used up their limit, we’ll still allow them to sleep at the homeless overnight shelter,” Smalls wrote.

In March, the agency served an average of 28 homeless individuals breakfast every day and 61 homeless men dinner.

“We’ll probably see more faces coming in for free meals,” Smalls said of the closure of the tent city. “I don’t see any major impact other than that.”

The organization also offers substance abuse programs and some participants in those programs are homeless, Smalls said.

Possible solutions
Jessica James, executive director of McKemie Place, an all-female homeless shelter, said the organization is preparing for an influx.

“We tried as best we could to get out in front of this,” she said.

While not many of her clients live in the tent city, James said, several have friends there. She said they tried to get the word out through those women.

Women who stay at McKemie Place must be out by 7 a.m. each morning. The organization provides daily transportation to the 15 Place day shelter, which provides meals and a place to shower.

James is working with the city through a task force to build a shelter downtown, which would allow women 24/7 access to the shelter. While women at McKemie Place can stay there for up to three months, James said, the goal of the organization is to find permanent housing.

“My only concern is on the last day many will not have another place to live,” she said. “Some don’t want housing.”

Jones said a possible solution has been embraced by cities such as Eugene, Oregon, which provides sanitary campsites for the homeless on unused city property.

Eugene’s “rest stop” program allows 15 people to sleep overnight in small tents at a given site, while the city also provides portable toilets. Eugene currently funds four sites with a possible fifth on the way, each managed by a community agency. Individuals who use the campsites can be transitioned into affordable housing. Eugene, with roughly 156,000 residents, is only slightly smaller than Mobile.

While the rest stop idea a “viable option” for Mobile, Jefferson said, he doesn’t think the current administration would embrace it. He said to his knowledge the city doesn’t want individuals “living outside of a dwelling.”

Talbot refuted that and said if a property owner was willing to allow it, they wouldn’t stop an individual from camping. He added portable toilets could possibly be added for such an arrangement.

“All ideas are on the table,” Talbot said. “All solutions are on the table.”

Several media reports detailed a plan by the mayor of Portland, Oregon, to allow campers to access undeveloped city property during certain hours of the evening.

Jefferson said Huntsville, Alabama, has also started a community of portable tiny homes for the homeless, wrapped around a community center that offers running water. He said Housing First would like to do something similar — lease portable tiny homes on abandoned property with their own plumbing — but it comes down to funding.

“We’ve talked to possible funders and hope to soon have an answer on a request we made,” he said.  

Jennifer Greene, a co-director of Delta Dogs, who with Dr. Jennifer Eiland has helped treat a number of pets for the homeless in the area, said she hopes leaders could come together to help find solutions.

“I’d love to see some out-of-the-box thinking,” she said. “I feel there’s an opportunity for our city’s leaders … all of us to come together and find unique ways to solve a common problem.”

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Historic Garden Day Tour takes participants through six historic locations

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THE GARDENER STATE: It’s the perfect time to visit Historic blooms at Presby

If you happened to miss the cherry blossom festival at Branch Brook Park in Newark and Belleville this early spring, why not set some time aside early in May and get out to see the blooms at the Essex County Presby Memorial Iris Gardens?

The Gardens are celebrating their 89th year of presenting the public with an unforgettable display of bearded iris, known as the ‘Rainbow on the Hill.’ Families, couples, artists, photographers, and iris lovers marvel at the sight of thousands of iris in bloom each May — and you should too.

The Essex County Presby Memorial Iris Gardens,, is internationally renowned as the largest public iris garden in the United States, with display beds containing nearly 1,500 iris varieties (around 14,000 plants) that produce over 100,000 blooms. It is also a living museum of botanical preservation with some varieties dating back to the 1500’s and is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Sites.

READ: Growing in the Gardener State

“The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens welcomes spring with its landmark display of blooms,” said Nancy Skjei-Lawes, board president of the Citizens Committee of the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens. “And this year, we are especially looking forward to the arrival of the American Iris Society, We can’t wait for the American Iris Society to see the history of bearded iris unfold in our rainbow display as well as the 887 guest convention iris. We hope visitors and convention goers will enjoy the blooms and delight in our honey bee yard.”

“The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens is recognized internationally for their horticultural and historical significance,” Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. said. “Our unique public-private partnership preserves and protects this New Jersey treasure. We look forward to sharing this wonder with iris enthusiasts from across the country and around the world. We invite the public to come out and enjoy the dazzling display of colors on the ‘Rainbow on the Hill,’ and support the Citizens Committee’s work to maintain this valuable resource.”

The anticipated bloom season is from Thursday, May 12, through Friday, June 3, though as any gardener knows, Mother Nature follows her own calendar and bloom length and timing can vary year to year. Bloom season begins its annual display starting with their “minis” bearded collection, then to the famed tall bearded irises and ends with non-bearded irises. Live Jazz music is offered at the gardens weekends during Bloom Season, from 4 to 6 p.m.

In addition to the spectacular iris display, visitors will be invited to peruse the Bloom Room gift shop which will be open with an exciting mix of affordable house, garden and iris-related items Friday, May 6, through Sunday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Presby’s Iris Plant Sale, also the same dates, will offer iris dug from their gardens. Their popular Mother’s Day luncheon, Sunday, May 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., invites visitors to treat mom to a special luncheon and iris or item from their Bloom Room Gift Shop.

The following weekend, Sunday, May 15, from 4 to 6 p.m. features the TaikoZoku Japanese Drumming Show, while Saturday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with a rain date of Sunday, May 22) is the Family Garden Party, a free community event sponsored by Essex County Parks with entertainment, crafts, face painting, booths from local organizations such as the Essex County Environmental Center and Rutgers Master Gardeners, and various food trucks. A student art exhibit will also be featured.

The Essex County Presby Memorial Iris Gardens is at 474 Upper Mountain Ave. (at the base of Mountainside Park) in Upper Montclair. During bloom season, admission is a suggested $8 donation to help fund garden costs. The Gardens are open daily from dawn until dusk.

For more information about the 2016 bloom season, call 973-783-5974; email; or visit; on Facebook at; and on Twitter @PresbyIrises.

Get thee a shrubbery

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher recently joined the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association to remind residents that it’s time to start planning this season’s gardens and landscaping.

“Now is a great time to think about this year’s garden and to visit a nursery or garden center to discuss spring plantings that will brighten your landscape all season long,” Fisher said. “Remember to ask for Jersey Grown to ensure your plants are accustomed to New Jersey’s growing season and are pest- and disease-free.”

Jersey Grown growers are listed on the Jersey Grown website at There is also a search option to find nurseries and garden centers near you. The website is now optimized for easy access on tablets and mobile phones as well.

“New Jersey is home to a robust wholesale and retail horticultural industry,” said Dominick Mondi, executive director of the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association. “Independent garden centers exemplify the quality of products and service we expect out of the small businesses that comprise our membership. Home owners around the state should avail themselves of the knowledgeable individuals at local nurseries and garden centers to improve their properties, and their lives, though plants.”

Local nurseries and garden centers are known for their expertise and service and sell a wide range of products for the landscape and home garden, including trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, seasonal flowers and tropical plants, components for organic gardening, mulches, stone, fertilizer, garden architecture, water gardening supplies and fish, interlocking pavers, seeds, sod, firewood, and Christmas trees.

Nurseries and garden centers are part of the $358 million dollar New Jersey horticultural industry. To promote the industry, the Jersey Grown branding program was created and over the years expanded so it now includes trees, shrubs, flowers, annuals, perennials, Christmas trees, firewood, wood and black oil sunflower seed for birdseed.

Nicholas Polanin is associate professor, agricultural agent II, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Cooperative Extension of Somerset County. Email him at

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CREEKSIDE GARDENS – Ad from 2016-04-27

Have something to sell?

Submit your classified ad today.

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Magic City Master Gardeners give out gardening tips

Posted Apr 26, 2016 at 2:00 PM
Updated Apr 26, 2016 at 2:15 PM

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Gardening Newbie? 5 Expert Tips To Get You Started

Spring is finally here — and so is time to dig in the garden! ‘Tis the season for planting beets, radishes, herbs and baby greens.

Growing your own herbs and vegetables is a great way to save money on produce and to prevent waste. You can pick what you need to avoid throwing away any wilted produce.

Planting your own produce also maximizes nutrition, as freshly-picked vegetables and herbs are at their peak for antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content.

Whether you’re a condo dweller with a window sill or small balcony or you’re lucky enough to have a backyard to plant in, here are five expert tips to get your garden a (green) thumbs up!

(Photo credit: Eileen Kane via Flickr).

1. To seed or not to seed

Seeds are less expensive than seedlings, but seeds require planning and planting indoors a couple of months before spring arrives. If you want to start your plants from seeds, keep in mind you need to give them plenty of TLC and the right amount of water each and every day to get them going.

Does that seem too high maintenance for you? Do you want to get planting pronto? Pick up some seedlings or potted herbs or tomatoes that are ready to plant from a gardening centre or grocery store. Save yourself the aggravation! You can also choose veggies that can be started outside (see #2).

2. Choose wisely

Some vegetables are demanding and others pretty much grow themselves. If it’s your first foray into gardening, start with easier to grow options to boost your confidence.

Options that are great for beginners include sow-and-go options like carrots, beets and radishes. All you have to do is plant, cover with soil and water, and they’ll be growing strong in no time.

Herbs are also fairly easy to grow. You can find potted herbs at most grocery stores if starting from seed seems too intimidating and transfer them to your garden.

If you’re keeping your herbs indoors, put them in a south-facing sunny window where they’ll get at least four hours of sun each day. Dill, parsley, cilantro and chives tend to do better in smaller areas (they usually grow to one foot in diameter).

(Photo credit: Kristine Paulus via Flickr).

3. Start small

Gardening expert Frankie Flowers recommends you take it easy on the amount of plants you take on. A single tomato plant will typically provide tomatoes for a family of four all season long. Do the math and only plant what you’ll use to cut down on food waste.

(Photo credit: J Arlecchino via Flickr).

4. Plan your picking

Chef Tim Mackiddie from Jackson-Triggs Estate winery recommends you pick your garden vegetables and herbs just before using them. You may think you’re saving time by picking batches and storing them in your fridge, but the cold mutes the flavours.

Chef Tim also suggests you pick root vegetables when they’re smaller for the best flavour and texture and so you can use not only the roots, but the nutritious and tender leaves.

5. Use the whole vegetable

Do you typically use beet roots but throw away the greens? You’re missing out on nutritional benefits like beta-carotene, needed to prevent cataracts, and vitamin K, important for bone health and blood clotting.

(Photo credit: Jackson-Triggs. Used with permission).

Chef Tim shows how to use beet roots and the greens in his Warm Beet Salad with Charred Mushroom Vinaigrette.

Are you a garden guru or a planting newbie? Share your garden photos and tips on Facebook at 80 Twenty Nutrition!

Disclosure: This article was supported by Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery. All opinions are 100% Christy’s own.

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Gardening Tips: Feed plants in spring to get them off to a good start!

Despite the beautiful weather we had in March, followed by April having more snow than any other month this winter, spring has definitely arrived. We are still getting a roller coaster ride with temperatures soaring to beach weather one weekend followed by sub zero nights, but that is spring in the North!

The plants in my perennial gardens are now actively growing and spring bulbs are blooming, as I am sure yours are too. Now is the time for an application of fertilizer to help them thrive.

I like to use a granular, organic fertilizer at this time of year. We have a major deer problem where I live, so I use Fertilo Organic fertilizer. As well as being an excellent source of nutrients, the smell of the feather meal component in the mix keeps the deer out of my yard!

To keep the deer from browsing all season long, I broadcast it throughout my gardens every three weeks. I use it a little lighter than the instructions recommend and don’t cultivate it into the soil. The first application is always as soon as the noses of my hosta plants poke out of the ground.

For a spring application of fertilizer for lawns and gardens, I do prefer an organic, granular type. It releases slowly as spring rains arrive, giving little boosts of nutrients frequently. Time your application to an expected rainfall so the fertilizer gets released to the roots.

Every fertilizer package has three numbers identifying the major nutrients provided. The first number is the percentage of nitrogen in the fertilizer. Nitrogen is the nutrient that promotes strong leaf growth. Spring lawn fertilizer is always highest in nitrogen.

The second number on the label is the percentage of phosphorous in the mix. This nutrient promotes healthy root growth. Fertilizer recommended for transplanting is always highest in phosphorous. Bonemeal is an example of this type. Its numbers are usually 0-14-2.

If you live in an area where wildlife, such as raccoons, squirrels or skunks tend to dig up you new plants, use a liquid transplanting fertilizer instead. It has the advantage of not attracting animals.

You may have noticed that good quality lawn fertilizer now has little or no phosphorous in it. That is because this particular nutrient is very slow to break down. Major testing throughout the province has shown that there is an adequate supply in the soil for healthy grass growth.

The last number on the fertilizer package gives you an indication of the percentage of potassium present in the mix. This nutrient promotes overall health, flower bud formation and plant hardiness. It is often the highest number on a package of fall fertilizer. It helps plants toughen up for winter.

A balanced fertilizer feeds all parts of the plant. An example of this type of food is 20-20-20. I use this water soluble fertilizer throughout the growing season to keep my annuals healthy right into the fall. I alternate it with 20-8-20, a formulation for flowering plants, to encourage constant blooms.

If you would like to use fertilizer less frequently, try the slow release pellets. I have some on hand to put in all my pots. Then even if I don’t have time to use any other type of fertilizer, every time I water, the plants get a little shot of food!

There are also fertilizers formulated for specific plant groups. Many hours of research has gone into preparing the best blend for evergreens, trees and shrubs, hedges, clematis, acid loving plants, tomatoes or roses. Just follow the directions on the container, being sure not to apply more than recommended. Too much of fertilize can burn the stems and roots of plants!

Don’t forget to feed your flowering spring bulbs. In order for them to bloom year after year, they need to store nutrients in the underground bulb. Bulb Booster was developed by the Holland bulb growers just for this purpose. The Dutch sure know how to keep tulips and daffodils thriving!

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Brentwood garden designer to battle for coveted Grand Designs award

An entrepreneuring garden designer from Brentwood is set to battle it out for a coveted Grand Designs award for the second time.

Liam Sapsford, 24, won the Grand Designs Live Garden Designer of the Year competition in 2014 and has once again made the shortlist of three competitors who will take part in a design challenge over three days later this month.

The winner will be presented with the award by Kevin McCloud, presenter of the Channel 4 TV show Grand Designs, at the biggest design exhibition in the UK at the ExCel centre in East London.

But having already won it, Liam said he wasn’t feeling any pressure to win back his crown.

“I don’t think I have anything to prove. It’s more about working with Grand Designs on something new and all the other people and businesses that will be there,” he said.

“Last time I won it was a non-stop celebration and I went on to work on really interesting projects in and around London.

“Kevin McCloud also recommended me to work on a project that is going to be on Grand Designs soon and then did my masters in Sweden.

“I also worked in Beijing and did a lot of landscape projects and after that I realised I wanted to do more residential projects.

“Asia was a bit far so I thought I would come back and try to do something here, so I set this up my own company The Garden Designer and haven’t looked back.”

Liam is a former St Martins School pupil and after leaving he went on to do a degree in landscape and garden design at Writtle College.

And after gaining a masters in entrepreneurship at a university in Sweden he has come back home full of new ideas, which he will use on his garden design in the competition.

“You get given a brief, which is quite vague as they only give you one word – this time it was ‘contrast’,” said Liam.

“I thought I could relate to the contrast between urban and nature and thought how I could create the perfect setting.

“My idea doesn’t really have boundaries, you won’t be able to mark out what is the urban section and what is the nature section.

“It will be somewhere you want to sit, play, relax and live in.”

He added: “I am using a lot of reusable timber and there will be a moss wall.

“The moss is from Norway, when I did my masters I worked for a company doing product placement and they used it – it’s really picking up.

“It’s really soft and you pin it down using a special method, it’s like a soft carpet on the wall and can be indoors and outdoors and can be good in a home or office environment.

“It’s a mad rush when you get there. As far as I can remember it gets really fast-paced but it’s a great environment to be part of, last time I learned so much.”

Liam is now working with Brentwood company Boswell Builders to build the components that will go into his garden during the three manic days of building from April 26 to 29 April.

His garden will then be on show at the Grand Designs Live exhibition at the ExCel Centre from April 30 to May 8.

To get in touch with Liam to arrange a free consultation email or call 07946261984.

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