Midday open thread: Calif. mandates solar on new houses; bear spray sends Amazon workers to the ER
Today’s comic by Ruben Bolling is Amazon’s new HQ, in Chagrin Falls, USA:
• California becomes the first state to mandate solar panels on all new homes. The requirement goes into effect in 2020:
“These provisions really are historic and will be a beacon of light for the rest of the country,” said Kent Sasaki, a structural engineer and one of six commissioners voting for the new energy code. “(It’s) the beginning of substantial improvement in how we produce energy and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.”
The new provisions are expected to dramatically boost the number of rooftop solar panels in the Golden State. Last year, builders took out permits for more than 115,000 new homes — almost half of them for single-family homes.
The estimated cost added for the average new home is $10,000, with $1,500 of that going for improved energy efficiency. That upfront costs will be paid for by lower utility bills over the life span of the solar panels.
• 24 Amazon workers hospitalized after robot punctures bear spray in warehouse. One is in critical condition and 50 others were injured.
• Open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act ends in most states on December 15: If you’ve been delaying, there are just nine days left if you need insurance! Free help is available. Answers to your questions about signing up and trained professionals who can talk your through your options are just a phone call or click away. Call 1-800-318-2596 or visit localhelp.healthcare.gov to make a one-on-one appointment now.
A copy of the relief of the triumphal march in Rome with crowd carrying the loot from the destroyed Temple of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
• Catholic News Service tweets out a Happy Hannukah with a photo of a section of Rome’s Arch of Titus showing a scene from the Roman trashing and looting of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Not exactly the meaning of Hannukah, which was a rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. by the Maccabees. They revolted against the Seleucid slaughter of thousands of Jews and the desecration of the Temple with an altar to Zeus. That rededication included restoration of the golden menorah, the branched candelabrum that is a key element of Jewish ceremonies and identity. Depicted on the arch’s relief is what amounted to a rally celebrating the destruction and parading of the booty, including the menorah taken from the Temple. Not exactly a message associated with a “Happy Hannukah.”
Ã¢Â€ÂœWe are witnessing a blatant ploy to undercut a core premise of our constitutional democracy Ã¢Â€Â” that the people (and party) leaving office have an obligation to transfer their powers peacefully and professionally. Period.Ã¢Â€Â @AriMelber, on the Wisconsin coup. https://t.co/5un7NWBi28
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) December 6, 2018
• Juvenile offenders housed with adult prisoners in Michigan revive their dismissed lawsuit with an appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court: The federal lawsuit was tossed out by a district court judge in February on the grounds that the plaintiffs, former and current inmates, had not exhausted administrative remedies. It is alleged that at least “500 children ranging in age from 14-17 years” were incarcerated with adult prisoners by the Michigan Department of Corrections. The the complain stated “subjects youthful prisoners to heightened and substantial risk of physical and sexual violence and abuse and sexual harassment at the hands of adult prisoners and prison staff.” Among the abuses the juveniles have said they suffered as a result of being housed with adults: rape, sexually transmitted diseases, and solitary confinement.
• Felons penalized for drug offenses will be able to grow hemp under congressional compromise: But they’ll have to wait until 10 years after their convictions before they can do it. A provision in the Senate farm bill that makes it easier for farmers to grow hemp bars felons from doing so. But Sen. Ron Wyden, the architect of the compromise, told McClatchy in July that he wanted hemp treated like other agricultural crops with no bans on who can grow them. “Restricting hemp cultivation makes as much sense as restricting who can grow corn,” Wyden said. But that compromise doesn’t go far enough for Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs for the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance. He said, “Any ban will still have an adverse affect on people with felony convictions who are trying to get their lives back in order and would unfairly lock people out of new job opportunities they desperately need.”
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin rounds up Republican disgraces in WI, MI and NC. Pundits still trying to decode the hidden clues in Mueller’s moves and public filings. Will Pence avoid indictment? Any blame at all? NC-09 turns even uglier, and what to do about it.