Porterville LGBT Group Launched to Oppose Rescinding City’s First Ever Pro-Equality Proclamation

First pride month, Porterville CA First Pride Month Proclaimed June 4, 2013 By Porterville City Council, political efforts to rescind immediately follow[/caption]

Porterville, CA – Residents have launched Porterville Equality and Fairness For All (PEFA), a coalition of local LGBT organizations and allies, opposing the efforts of some city councilmembers to rescind a historic proclamation declaring June “LGBT Pride Month” in the city. The proclamation was issued on June 4th by Mayor Virginia Gurrola recognizing the significant contributions of the LGBT community in Porterville.

“Mayor Gurrola took a brave stand against discrimination by supporting a proclamation acknowledging the significant contributions of the LGBT community in Porterville, and for that we thank her,” said Barry Caplan, Coordinator of PEFA. “Now, some on the council find it necessary to rescind the proclamation, thereby rescinding acknowledgment of the city’s LGBT residents.”

June is celebrated as LGBT Month nation and statewide. On June 4th, Mayor Virginia Gurrola issued a Proclamation honoring the LGBT community for its longstanding volunteer work in mental health and other areas that has benefited the entire community.

Despite the routine of all councilmembers signing proclamations recognizing community members, every member of the council, except for Mayor Gurrola refused to follow standard protocol. They refused to shake the hands of the recipients and refused to sign the proclamation.

Council Members Brian Ward and Greg Shelton have agendized revisiting the Proclamation at the upcoming council meeting on June 18. Shelton aims to discuss the “process” of the Proclamation, despite Porterville’s process being the same or substantially the same as every other City in California. Ward proposes to rescind the Proclamation mid-month, and to replace it with a Resolution declaring “A Month Of Community Charity and Goodwill For All in Porterville”.

Porterville and its Council has a long history of anti-LGBT activism. In 2008 during the Prop 8 campaign, Ward offered a Resolution in favor of Prop 8, urging locals to vote to remove rights from themselves in order to harm a disfavored minority.… Read the rest

Local paper “disturbed” by low turnout, does not understand own role

…but I am not too shy to tell them some of the reasons:

See article here

Why didn’t people vote, especially when the city council made headlines more than once in the past year for antics better left to a vaudeville show or a sitcom.

Easy answer: Because the Recorder has abdicated its civic reporting responsibilities many times:

1) You posted a video of a TCSO officer misbehaving and admitting that he knew he was misbehaving. That was good. But it only lasted about 24 hours as a more senior TCSO officer asked the paper to pull the video, which you promptly did.

2) You have never pressed Councilmembers, especially those running for election on any controversial matters. The town has been hurt for almost 4 years as a result of Ward and Hamilton working to take away the rights of gays. And Hamilton’s flip-flop from his 2003 vote, when he pledged Council to work against what he urged the 2008 Council to do has never been reported. In fact, the Recorder took the page offline that reported the 9/2003 meeting I refer to.

3) Hamilton again: You have never followed up regarding his odd behavior during the arrest of the previous publisher of the Recorder.

4) You have never reported on the discovery, made quite plain on the Recorder facebook page by Case Lok and others, that Rodney Martin had posted materials with his view on the impropriety (to day the least) of the mixing of races in public and homophobic reasons why he homeschools his kids. Not only ought that have been news, but why he never mentioned it in his campaign ought to have been news as well.

5) You have never run or lent your voice to a sustained voter registration drive or get out the vote drive.… Read the rest

13 Cities Post Unemployment Above 15 Percent

Porterville-Visalia makes the Top 10- Again!

Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly metropolitan-area data,

via 13 Cities Post Unemployment Above 15 Percent – Yahoo! Real Estate.

First, a little explanation of the chart in the link, then a comment or two.

Although the chart says “Visalia, CA” at 15.4, it actually means VISALIA-PORTERVILLE METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA (MSA).

I wondered, with so many nearby locations on the list (in particular Hanford, but also Fresno, Modesto, and Stockton, how did Porterville manage to escape? Could it be just below the Top 13?

The answer turns out to be yes and no. I went in search of the raw data to see what it said for Porterville. First I found City Specific data for Tulare County in the form of a spreadsheet.

From that we learn that the data for Porterville and East Porterville (listed separately for some reason I don’t know, the areas are contiguous):

Monthly Labor Force Data for Cities and Census Designated Places (CDP)
April 2009 – Preliminary
Data Not Seasonally Adjusted
LaborEmploy-UnemploymentCensus Ratios
Area NameForcementNumberRateEmpUnemp
East Porterville CDP4,0003,20080020.4%0.0176150.024856
Porterville city22,00018,9003,10014.1%0.1050030.095011

So, depending on if we average E. Porteville in or not, Porterville would indeed be on the list. If we don’t average it in, Porterville would in fact be just below the Top 13, probably easily making the Top 20 in the Nation.

But I noticed in the same spreadsheet that the data for Visalia did not match the article above:

Visalia city57,00051,5005,5009.6%0.2863660.167197

So this must not be the same source of data.

Further searching led to this file (pdf) which does match the 15.4 for Visalia-Porterville.

VISALIA-PORTERVILLE METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA (MSA)
(Tulare County)
The unemployment rate in the Tulare County was 15.4 percent in April 2009

So there you have it.… Read the rest

Learn Where Porterville California is Located

In an earlier post I introduced the concept of “Porterville Island”.  Here I want to introduce Porterville and the region in order to make this idea clearer.

Porterville is located in Tulare County of Calfornia, in the Central Valley. The Valley as a whole is the most fertile and productive farmland in the world. The west side is bordered by the Coastal Range that rises out of the Pacific, and the east side by the mighty Sierra Mountains. East to west the valley is generally 50 to 100 miles wide. North to South, the Valley extends 400 miles from the Angeles and Tehachapi Mountains north of Los Angeles.… Read the rest

Porterville Island – Coming Soon to a Citrus Grove Near You

Recently local home developers Ennis Homes declared bankruptcy. I wasn’t here at the time the local and connected family owned business did most of its work, which I guess was during the real estate bubble heyday of the not-so-long-ago yesteryear.

(Aside: how long ago does it have to be to be “yesteryear” anyway?)

Controversy is raging in the comments section of the Porterville Recorder. For example, one Ennis supporter writes:… Read the rest