Illegal alien Luis Angel Pacheco to be charged for beating death of 2-week-old child

The Liberty Grabber Left has improved the art of forecast to the point of large absurdity.

Does anyone keep in mind how the Left used to make cogent arguments in favor of their policy propositions? We neither.

Method, method back when, they might make a reasonable argument when their concepts made good sense. Now they simply parrot the worst concepts of the USSR or nationwide socialist employee’s party of Germany and expect to be admired for the effort.

The issue with going method out Left is that they have no other location to go to when called out on a concern. Since late, they have drawn on the worn out old strategy of accusing their opposition of what they are doing— in spades. Whether it’s hurling the racism or sexism charge at the drop of a KKK hood, or questioning everybody else’s accuracy, they’ve refined the art form to facepalming excellence.

Problem is that forecast just works for a bit and then talk begins about sending out in the guys in the white coats to have them ensconced in a cushioned space for their own safety. Individuals are at first taken aback when being implicated of the precise opposite of their belief system. However it’s just a short-term strategy that breaks down under examination.

Such was the case in a news conference on production of Intergalactic Background Checks. Or Universal, boosted, etc. It’s always an ominous sign with the usage of numerous labels for the very same idea as in the 30 plus synonyms for socialism.

Agent Mike Thompson (D-CA) fielded a question on the measure, projecting the remarkable assertion that those who oppose this legislation in truth want a nationwide weapon windows registry as reported in the NTK Network.

“At any time the other side says that this isn’t enforceable without a nationwide windows registry, that’s a code word for they wish to do a nationwide pc registry,” Thompson said.

Thompson then explained that there is absolutely nothing that can be used to create a national weapon windows registry in the proposed legislation.

[Our emphasis]

In the future he likewise makes the absurd assertion in the form of a rhetorical question that critics of his expense truly wish to eliminate all guns:

“As far as anyone who says, ‘Well, this expense would not have actually resolved this incident,’ the only thing that will resolve each is to do away with weapons. So are you informing me that the critics of my expense desire to eliminate all weapons?” Thompson asked, rhetorically.

[Our focus]

To sum up, those opposing federal government control of personal residential or commercial property in actuality want that control and worse according to the good representative. That opposition to Intergalactic Background Checks is since it will result in gun registration and confiscation somehow implies that those in opposition to gun registration and confiscation actually want gun registration and confiscation. [Before you ask, we do not hold stock in the Aspirin production concerns]

This is the video of the press conference in all it’s splendor, the relevant portion at the 13 minute point of the 23 minute long video.

The Takeaway.

So let us clarify what the good Agent stated prior to the world. That those who desire to conserve Liberty in essence wish to destroy it. This type of unreasonable headache-inducing projection is just for a short while efficient. After which people start speaking about assisting those people out by opposing their absurdities and eventually voting them out of office, cushioned cell optional.

Here’s how much recent rains have actually gotten rid of California’s dry spell– Red Bluff Daily News

By contrast, a year ago this week, the weekly report, understood as the U.S. Drought Monitor, classified 48 percent of California as being in drought status. California’s five-year drought, which extended from 2012 to through 2016, triggered prevalent water shortages, wildfires and heavy groundwater pumping from desperate farmers trying to keep their orchards and crops alive. The reason: The relentless ridges of high-pressure air that obstructed Pacific storms from hitting California throughout the dry spell are gone.

Among the headaches Gavin Newsom will inherit as governor: California’s troubled bullet train project – Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown has devoted half a century of political knowledge and power to advance the California bullet train construction project, but he leaves office with its future badly damaged by cost overruns, mismanagement and delays.

It hands incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom a tough decision: delay indefinitely the goal of a statewide bullet train system and salvage something useful out of the billions of dollars already spent, or stick with the original vision and find at least $50 billion in new money to keep it going.

Either option will probably lead to a clash between the project’s die-hard supporters and its skeptics. Almost every major engineering and construction firm has a big stake in the project, as do unions, small businesses and city governments. The outcome will depend on how much fiscal pain and risk Democrats are willing to accept.

So far, Newsom has only hinted at what he will do, saying at times the effort must continue in some form — though with less gusto than Brown exhibited as he championed what has grown into the nation’s largest infrastructure effort over the last eight years.

Newsom, who declined interview requests, has his own alternative big-ticket priorities: universal healthcare, early childhood education, homelessness and climate change. None of them involve the $77-billion rail project.

Interviews with more than a dozen California officials, construction executives, engineers and academics who study transportation say the project’s problems go so deep that the state will probably have to settle for something far less than the original blueprint of a high-speed rail network through almost every major city from Sacramento to San Diego — at least until the middle of the century or later.

“If I was going to teach my students how not to build a high-speed rail, the California system would be the lesson,” said Bent Flyvbjerg, a University of Oxford professor who has studied bullet trains around the world and is widely considered one of the top experts on mega-project risk. “It is a long shot to be highly successful.”

The problems, to be sure, do not preclude finishing the system, Flyvbjerg said. Experts close to the project estimate future costs could be covered roughly by a 20-cent-a-gallon gas tax or a half-cent sales tax or a 6% state income tax surcharge — though any of those would be a huge lift for Newsom and other Democrats focused on other progressive issues.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority has enough money to keep going for two to four years before it could exhaust its cash stockpile, depending on the flow of state funding and whether costs continue to increase. But time is the project’s enemy, as inflation adds $1 billion to $2 billion to the project’s cost for every year of delay.

Though the bullet train won the support of voters in 2008 and remains popular among Newsom’s constituency, cracks are beginning to emerge in the unconditional support Brown had engendered among Democrats. Republican opponents generally want an outright cancellation.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) said in an interview he wants the project paused for a reassessment. Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Oakley), chair of the Transportation Committee, has called for the resignation of rail authority Chairman Dan Richard. Newsom has said he wants to revise the project in some undefined way, and people close to the project anticipate he might replace some of Brown’s executives and board appointees with his own staff.

“We need a timeout,” he said. “We need to hit the pause button and make a careful judgment about the next steps. I do have a sense of urgency. To evaluate the project while it is ongoing is difficult. We need to look at the direction being taken. It is not at all what the voters approved.”

The authority is currently building 119 miles of track and structures in the Central Valley for an estimated $10.6 billion, up from an original estimate of about $6 billion. The initial construction would run from Madera to Wasco, two small cities that hardly fit into the international standard for bullet train end points.

The decision to first link the Central Valley to the Bay Area eliminated the connection to Southern California for the foreseeable future, which Rendon said left voters feeling “that a rug has been pulled from under them.”

Among the unresolved issues is the decision to put little initial investment in the state’s two biggest cities, Los Angeles and San Diego, the difficulty of satisfying fiscal and operational requirements set in the 2008 bond act, a lack of support to raise new funding, and the project’s flawed governance.

One possibility is that the high-speed rail in the Central Valley would connect in Merced with the Altamont Corridor Express commuter rail system that runs through the Altamont Pass to San Jose. In fact, the commuter system’s executives are quietly positioning for that very possibility.

The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, which operates the Altamont system and the Amtrak system in the Central Valley, is extending the commuter rail system to Merced in a $300-million project, a more modest plan than the rail authority’s idea of connecting the Central Valley through a $10-billion-to-$12-billion tunnel under the Pacheco Pass east of Gilroy. The authority’s 2018 business plan acknowledges that it cannot afford the tunnel.

“No matter how you look at it, Merced will be the northern point of high-speed rail for quite some time,” said Stacey Mortensen, Altamont’s executive director. “So we need to get there. We are trying to be part of the solution.”

During his campaign for governor, Newsom told The Times the project is “achievable and realistic” and said that he is “committed” to a partial system from the Central Valley to the Bay Area. That is almost identical to the rail authority’s plan for a San Francisco-to-Bakersfield segment by 2029, expected to cost $29 billion to $37 billion. Based on the rail authority’s financial statements, Newsom’s idea would be short by $8 billion to $16 billion, counting all of its sources of revenue through 2029 and assuming no further cost growth.

Rendon, the Assembly speaker, said “there is no buzz” about new taxes or redirecting existing revenue to the project. “We absolutely have to look at the lowest cost options to get some connectivity,” he said.

Quentin Kopp, the former chairman of the state rail authority and now one of its critics, does not believe the project can be completed as structured and that the only hope is another ballot measure. Voters should decide whether to modify the bond proposal so that any remaining funds can be spent on regional transportation projects that may one day be connected in a statewide system.

Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), chairman of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee and a longtime supporter of the project, said need for the bullet train is not diminished by the problems that have developed. As for more money, he suggested surcharging passengers for their trips through tunnels, capturing revenue from commercial development around stations and allowing the authority to issue revenue bonds.

Brown declined to be interviewed. In his brief public remarks over the years, he consistently saw the bullet train as essential to the state’s future and used his extraordinary political skill to advance it, find new money at crucial moments and protect it from outside meddling.

“The high-speed rail links us from the past to the future; from the south to Fresno and the north,” he said in 2015 at a ceremony at a vacant lot in downtown Fresno. “This is truly a California project, bringing us together today.”

The 12-minute speech was one of Brown’s longest public addresses on the project, and though he did not delve into a single detail, he demonstrated a steady optimism that has been his bulwark against increasingly bleak news.

“I call it the tragedy of Jerry Brown,” said Elizabeth Alexis, a cofounder of a Bay Area watchdog group that has warned of problems for years. “He had every possible political lever. He took political ownership of the project but never managerial ownership of it. Details matter.”

The entire project needs an outside evaluation and cost estimate, construction industry executives say privately. Flyvbjerg agrees that an outside panel of experts could be useful, but only if the state’s political leadership accepted and followed the recommendations.

Troubled projects are often finished, though they often become financial drains on governments, Flyvbjerg said, pointing to bankrupt or unprofitable systems such as the London-to-Paris bullet train through the English Channel tunnel or airport systems in Stockholm and Oslo.

“You reach a point of no return,” he said. “It means throwing good money after bad. It is very common in mega-projects.”

The Secret History of Fiat Brazil’s Internal Espionage Network and Collaboration With the Military Dictatorship

In October 1978, Fiat Brazil’s workers were on the verge of their first strike. The Italian carmaker’s factory in South America would go on to become its most successful: Today, more Fiats are produced in Brazil than in any country besides Italy, and Fiats are the third most popular car in Brazil. But 40 years ago, as Fiat was growing into its Brazilian operation, turmoil was on the horizon.

At the Fiat factory in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, workers, fearing repression, had been organizing in secret. The military, which had taken power in a 1964 coup d’état, sometimes violently opposed labor organizing. Yet the Brazilian and Italian Fiat executives couldn’t ignore the palpable energy on the factory floor in Betim, the city where the Fiat plant had opened only two years earlier.

Six days before work would eventually come to a halt, Airton Reis de Carvalho, the precinct chief with the local police department, sent a letter to the military. A Fiat worker had been spending hours in front of the police station, trying to locate and free a jailed colleague who was viewed as indispensable to the push for a strike. “There really were Fiat employees who were detained,” Reis explained in his letter. “All of the measures taken by our precinct in this case were in keeping with our agreement with Colonel Joffre, of the Fiat Automotive’s security department.”

Under Joffre Mario Klein’s careful watch, Fiat had been spying on Brazilian workers in collaboration with the military dictatorship.

Reis was referencing Joffre Mario Klein, an army reserve colonel who had joined Fiat’s Brazilian operation in its early days — and who would be at the center of the company’s machinations against its own workers. Under Klein’s careful watch, the Italian carmaker had been spying on Brazilian workers in collaboration with the military dictatorship. Klein’s role in keeping Brazilian workers in check for Fiat, along with a long list of repressive moves by the company, are coming to light after a yearlong investigation by The Intercept Brasil, which tracked down documents from archives in Italy and Brazil and interviewed ex-workers at Fiat, former union leaders, and prosecutors in both countries.

The repression of labor at Fiat Brazil came thanks to coordination between the security apparatuses of the Brazilian government and a massive clandestine espionage network operated within the company itself, according to documents at the Minas Gerais public archive. Headquartered in the auto plant and commanded by Klein, Fiat’s internal espionage division employed dozens of civilian and military spies who investigated the lives of workers and helped the abusive dictatorship put agitating workers behind bars.

While Fiat’s network of spies operated far beyond the factory walls, closely tracking workers’ activities, the company also invited government repression onto its premises, according to documents from the Office for General Security, a now-defunct division of the Minas Gerais state police. The Brazilian Department of Political and Social Order, a police force known by its Portuguese initials, DOPS, operated freely among Fiat workers. DOPS was infamous for frequently taking the lead in brutal government campaigns of repression against social and political activity, and had employed torture and murder among its tactics since the 1950s. These were the dark forces infiltrating union meetings with the blessing of Fiat Brazil’s own security apparatus.

Fiat’s spying operation in Brazil had a parallel back home in Italy. Fiat engaged in the same pattern of espionage in Italy during the “Years of Lead,” a time of Italian political and social turmoil in the that ran from the late 1960s through the late 1980s, according to a second batch of documents from Fiat’s official archives in Turin, Italy, as well as documents from the federal courthouse in Naples, Italy.

The Italian spying operation was exposed in the 1970s, when the prosecutor Raffaele Guariniello conducted an investigation and found that Fiat had developed a system of pervasive espionage. A former secret service agent headed up the internal spy ring, and police, judges, and ex-military men were all implicated. The spies compiled hundreds of thousands of files with information about workers’ private lives, including intimate details. The information would prove useful for Fiat in identifying union leaders and ferreting out strike plans. Years after the investigation was complete, the case finally went to court, and some public officials and Fiat executives were convicted. While many of the details have come to public light, however, the history of the Italian spy ring is likely to remain a patchwork: A substantial portion of the evidentiary files from the case have disappeared.

In April 2018, in response to an initial inquiry about this story, Fiat Brazil said, “We consulted several sources in the company, but there is really no memory of such events.” In February of this year, Fiat Brazil offered the same comment in response to a detailed inquiry and declined to make company officials available for an interview. Fiat’s Italian headquarters referred The Intercept to the Brazilians’ statement and added, “Regarding the issues concerning Italy, we have no comments to make, because they are well-known things that have been reported in newspapers on many occasions in recent decades and on which books have also been written.”

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Striking Fiat workers hold an assembly at the Minas Gerais factory in 1979.

Photo: Mana Coelho

The Strikes

In Minas Gerais, the strike finally came on October, 23, 1978, when Fiat’s employees on the factory floor halted their work. It would be a clash that reverberated through decades of Brazilian history, and a test not only for the plant’s managers, but for the authorities as well. For workers across the country, Fiat — which had invested substantial resources and political capital in building out its presence in Brazil — showed the possibilities of resistance in the face of long odds. Even at a company whose bosses had a close relationship with the military, there was hope, meaning that the dictatorship was not all-powerful. New strikes inside other auto companies followed. Among the workers on those picket lines was a young man named Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, better known as Lula, who would go on to become Brazil’s 35th president a quarter-century later.

It was not supposed to be this way. At least that’s what Brazilian politicians had promised Fiat, according to a leaflet released at the time, used by Brazil’s National Institute of Industrial Development to attract foreign investment. During the negotiations to bring the carmaker to Brazil, the local governor, Rondon Pacheco, had told the Italians that his country offered a pacified labor force — they were poorly educated, “depoliticized youths,” mostly from rural areas, without a culture of labor struggle. This rosy picture of a docile workforce led local authorities to work with Fiat to set astounding production goals: They hoped to quickly build and scale up the operation so that, in short order, 190,000 new cars would roll off the factory floor every year. Those sky-high ambitions would be Fiat’s undoing. To get things moving more quickly, Fiat rushed in metallurgists from Italy and experienced toolmakers from the Brazilian states of Santa Catarina and São Paulo. But these skilled workers came from home having already been steeped in organizing: Both states had union movements operating at full steam.

The newcomers quickly spurred the locals into action. They demanded not only higher wages but permission to set up a committee of worker representatives. Above all, the workers wanted a slowdown of the production lines. At the time, Fiat progressively accelerated the machines over the course of the work day, leading to physical exhaustion among workers. So the strike was organized and finally put into effect.

The work stoppage lasted five days, with the union signing an agreement in a meeting attended by only a few dozen people. But the company kept only some of the promises it had made, and tensions remained high. The following year, another strike broke out. The clashes between employees and the company had become too much for executives at the young Fiat Brazil. Only a few years in, the company had suffered a pair of strikes, so Fiat decided to play hardball. Executives at Fiat Brazil called on a man who would become infamous in the lore of Fiat Brazil workers: Col. Joffre Mario Klein.

The Rise of the Colonel

Klein joined Fiat in 1975, before the factory even opened in Minas Gerais. His hiring had been the result of an ominous recommendation: Officials with thee National Information Service, Brazil’s primary spy agency at the time, had suggested Klein for the post. After being hired, Klein got to work setting up an office at Fiat with the anodyne name “Security and Information.” Only later did it become apparent that Klein’s primary duty was the command of an internal apparatus of repression. The office, which was expressly created by Fiat, drew up dossiers on employees, but the factory workers themselves were unaware of its activities. No one even knew how many people worked for Klein — or who they were.

“We didn’t know who he was, but he appeared to be a high-ranking military type. He was feared by the workers, to whom he rarely uttered a word.”

Over time, Klein became a personal friend of Fiat Brazil’s first president, Adolfo Neves Martins da Costa. Executives at Fiat’s worldwide headquarters in Italy heaped praise on the army reservist, according to a former employee in the company’s human resources department, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The closeness with top Fiat figures meant Klein acquired a tremendous amount of influence. “No one was ever hired without my husband’s knowledge,” Klein’s widow, Maria Antonieta, told The Intercept Brasil in a series of 2017 interviews, which took place some nine years after her husband died. Klein described her late husband as a “serious and meticulous” man.

Klein seemed to exude power. Workers didn’t know who he was, but they knew he made them apprehensive. “He was slim, with a well-trimmed mustache and gray slicked-back hair and was always impeccably dressed,” said Edmundo Vieira, who was president of the metalworkers union in the 1980s. “We didn’t know who he was, but he appeared to be a high-ranking military type. He was feared by the workers, to whom he rarely uttered a word.”

Antonieta recalled her husband taking at least one trip to Fiat’s international headquarters in the northern Italian city of Turin. The former Fiat human resources employee confirmed that the trip took place and added that Klein made several other journeys to Turin; Klein, the employee said, wanted to understand how the Italians controlled strikes. It would not take Klein long to learn.

Fiat had been spying on its employees for years in Italy, where there was a robust labor movement and Communist Party presence, leading to regular strikes. In an effort to gain an edge on workers, Fiat set up an archive that, at its peak, contained more than 350,000 personnel files on workers’ personal, labor, and political activity. The filing cabinets occupied an entire floor of Fiat’s former headquarters in the heart of Turin.

When Fiat’s security apparatus extended to Brazil, however, Italian Fiat workers reached out to their Latin American counterparts. “From September 26 to October 4, 1979, I was in Rio de Janeiro and Betim to monitor the strike movements and Fiat’s operations in Brazil,” Antonio Buzzigoli, a former representative of the Italian Federation of Metalworkers, told The Intercept Brasil in a lengthy interview in the kitchen of his apartment in Turin.

After returning to Italy, Buzzigoli, through the metalworkers’ union, published a report in which he alleged that there was an “armed in-house police force” at the factory in Betim. The report suggested that the security team was 70 agents strong, trained by “an Italian and later by a Brazilian.” Its function was to put psychological pressure on the workers. Buzzigoli noted that agents monitored everything: They would keep tabs on “the bathrooms, and the cafeterias, circulating among the various areas of the factory all day long.” He wrote of the regularity with which the military police entered the factory. Italian newspapers seized on the metalworkers’ report and Buzzigoli did a series of interviews about what he had seen in Brazil.

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Riot police patrol the Minas Gerais factory during the strike in 1979.

Photo: Mana Coelho

Espionage, Arrests, and Firings

Within Fiat’s company archives in Turin, there is a November 1980 document about the carmaker’s Brazil operation titled “Statistics, positions, and wages.” An organizational chart shows that four employees constituted a “Security and Information” division under Klein’s direct control. But the surveillance apparatus was much larger than that — bigger even than the force Buzzigoli gleaned some knowledge of during his visit to Brazil. According to the document, 141 Fiat employees answered to the head of surveillance, Mauricio Neves, Klein’s right-hand man and second in command of the company’s security operations.

The security team took advantage of everything at their disposal to gather information that could help undermine political activity and potential labor leaders. One tack was to eavesdrop on the only available public telephone at the factory, in the courtyard; security would listen in on employees’ conversations. The labor activists took notice: Adriano Sandri, an Italian who worked at Fiat in Brazil, wrote to Buzzigoli to inform him that the telephones were monitored and that the head of surveillance kept records of all union-related calls. (The former Fiat human resources employee confirmed that phone conversations were monitored; it’s unclear what became of the records.)

Another Fiat tactic was to give current employees the opportunity to recommend new hires. The notion undergirding this move was making employees partially responsible for their recommendations’ conduct and integration into the workforce — a type of shared surveillance under the pretext of making a more congenial workplace. What’s more, active Fiat employees were effectively punished for labor organizing: Union membership all but eliminated any possibility of promotion.

Retaliatory measures against workers followed a distinct pattern. The workers who were deemed dangerous by the company were arrested under any pretext authorities could find — typically accused of stealing parts and tools — and were subsequently fired with cause.

Ézio Sena Cardoso’s story was typical. When he came to work at the plant in Betim, in October 1976, Cardoso already had 14 years of experience as an electronics technician at other companies. At Fiat, he started as an electrical maintenance mechanic for specialized machinery. A political activist, Cardoso had four prior arrests on his record. The first happened when he was 17, for participating in a protest at the gates of Mannesmann, a German conglomerate that he had never even worked for. At Fiat, Cardoso was active in mobilizing employees, although, due to political differences, he never joined the union board.

“I was punished for refusing to abandon the cause.”

Cardoso was one of the employees who actually ended up in Klein’s office. The persecution, Cardoso said, intensified after he declined, in front of Klein, a proposal to enroll in a professional development program to spend a year in Germany in exchange for “forgetting about this union matter.” He said, “I was punished for refusing to abandon the cause.”

A few months later, Cardoso was again summoned to the colonel’s office. This time, he was fired. Klein’s security unit accused Cardoso of authoring anonymous handwritten flyers agitating for labor actions. His lawyer asked for a handwriting analysis to determine whether the flyers had in fact been written by Cardoso and the result was conclusive: It was not Cardoso’s handwriting. “Someone within Fiat forged the flyers by copying his handwriting from official documents he had signed,” his lawyer, Santiago Lélis, said in an interview. “We won the case.” The court ordered Fiat to pay Cardoso damages, but his job wasn’t reinstated.

Other accounts of harassment and hostile work conditions were preserved for posterity thanks to the work of Michel Le Ven, a former priest. Le Ven, whose historical work focused on labor conditions during the military dictatorship in Brazil, collected anonymous accounts of individuals who worked for Fiat. “It’s a military system, with a hierarchy and everything, commanded by a colonel and a lieutenant,”one employee told Le Ven, as part of the priest’s doctoral research. “It’s totally repressive. When leaving the factory, workers are humiliatingly searched as if they are the worst kind of scum. If you protest, you are threatened and your employee number is noted by security.”

Le Ven, who was one of three French priests infamously imprisoned by the Brazilian dictatorship in 1968, lives in Minas Gerais and is in ill health. The Intercept Brasil obtained his unpublished doctoral thesis from his family.

Another anonymous Fiat Brazil employee described an interrogation room maintained by the Italians. “Fiat had a place to detain people inside the factory,” the worker told Le Ven. “Just like on the streets, they would approach someone, stop them, and say, ‘You’re under arrest.’ They would put them in their car and take them to the surveillance warehouse. When they arrived, there was the colonel. He was the executioner.”

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ROTAM officers, members of an elite military police unit, at the entrance for the Minas Gerais factory in 1981.

Photo: Mana Coelho

Double Agents and Spotless Uniforms

Intelligence on the workers’ activities made its way to the Fiat security center in two ways: from double agents and from the infiltrators working for DOPS. Klein’s outfit recruited the double agents from among those workers who were suspected of subversion. Once they had been brought to the Fiat security room, the workers were promised a promotion or professional stability — as long as they betrayed their colleagues. The recruited workers would then be sent back out to the factory floor, pretending to be allied with trade unionists, all the while spying on them for Klein.

The most feared infiltrators were said to be easy to pick out of the crowd of workers: They wore spotless overalls — not even a single grease stain. It looked as if they had never worked a day on the machines in their lives. In many cases, they hadn’t. The DOPS agents in workers’ clothing had no friends; they did not fraternize with the regular employees — and there were a lot of them.

The infiltrators circulated throughout the company, gathering information from employees and at union meetings inside and outside of the factory. In the beginning, they went unnoticed. Little by little, however, the workers began to find them out. “They walked in pairs, wearing the green uniforms of the quality control team, which allowed them access to all areas of the factory,” said Antônio Luiz Vasco, who worked at Fiat from 1978 to 1982. “But the real members of the quality control team did not know who they were. And the fact that those uniforms were always spotless was weird.”

One day, Vasco and two other colleagues decided to out a group of infiltrators who were gathered at the door of the cafeteria. “We snuck up from behind them and shouted, ‘Attention!’” Vasco recalled in a phone interview. “And they immediately saluted. After that, they never again showed their face in the factory.” He let out a hearty laugh while recalling the incident.

Later, Vasco and José Onofre de Souza, a fellow worker, were sitting in the factory courtyard when they were called to “give a statement” in the security room. “It was a normal room, an office,” said Onofre. “They photographed us and took our statements, as if it were a police station.” Shortly thereafter, agents entered the factory and took Onofre away. “They took me to Lagoinha,” he said.

“We asked our bosses where he was, and they said that he had been caught stealing and had been fired. But everyone knew that was a lie.”

Lagoinha is a neighborhood in Betim where, beginning in the 1950s, Minas Gerais’s Department of Investigations — akin to a state-level version of the U.S.’s FBI — maintained an office with a jail. During the dictatorship, detainees were routinely jailed at facilities like the Lagoinha building for days without being charged. “They didn’t interrogate me, didn’t charge me,” Onofre recalled. “Didn’t do anything. They didn’t beat me, but they didn’t treat me well, either.”

With no news about her son during his illegal detention, Onofre’s mother went to the factory to find out if anyone had heard anything. “We asked our bosses where he was, and they said that he had been caught stealing and had been fired,” said Vasco. “But everyone knew that was a lie.”

Onofre got off lightly in the end — considering the fate met by many of the political disappeared under Brazil’s dictatorship. “I was there for two or three days,” he recalled. No records of the jail — let alone Onofre’s detention — exist.

Fiat also closely monitored worker meetings. The Intercept Brasil uncovered a document on company letterhead detailing Fiat’s surveillance of union activity. The report was found among microfilm records housed in the Minas Gerais public archives, among a batch of 97 microfilm rolls from the Office for General Security, the now-defunct division of the Minas Gerais state police, which received documents from the local DOPS unit.

The document includes a report of a closed meeting of workers held at a high school in the nearby state capital, Belo Horizonte. Among the approximately 50 attendees was a former Fiat employee identified in the document as Enilton Simões. “The presence of the former Fiat employee was well received by the meeting leaders, who immediately nominated him to be a member of the committee they had formed,” the document says.

The surveillance record dated April 19, 1979, details Simões’s remarks to the group. At one point, he asked if any Fiat employees present could explain how the military police operated within the factory. The document says, “Speaking on behalf of the trade union of Betim, he said the following: ‘Is there any representative of the Fiat workers who will come forward to report on how employees are treated by police within the factory?’”

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Fiat workers on an assembly line at the Minas Gerais factory around 1987.

Photo: Mana Coelho

The Turin-Betim Connection

Brazil’s military dictatorship helped Fiat come to the South American country. The Minas Gerais government put up $71.4 million and Fiat invested $71.5 million. Though lacking a majority interest, the state government chose the company’s president in Betim, according to an agreement between the Minas Gerais government and Fiat. Fiat, for its part, decided who would hold the positions of vice president and superintendent.

On the day the agreement was signed, Giovanni Agnelli, the president of Fiat Worldwide, held a news conference in which he said that he had chosen Brazil for “the social and political tranquility in the country at the moment.” For Fiat, the military coup of 1964 was a “revolution.” A Fiat country assessment, dated July 25, 1974, warned that social inequality in the country might serve to tamp down the Brazilian economy, but suggested economic growth might continue if there were no violent political upheaval.

Around then, in the early 1970s, Raffaele Guariniello, the former prosecutor in Turin, discovered that Fiat had spied on its Italian employees and even on potential hires. It was Guariniello who found the filing cabinets, with 354,077 personnel records, at Fiat’s former headquarters in Turin. “The strategy of espionage, bribes, and collaboration involving police officers, judges, and former military personnel had been devised by a former military man, who Agnelli trusted, that worked for the Italian secret service,” said Guariniello, in hushed tones, during an interview at Rome’s Senate library.

Guariniello marshaled his evidence into corruption charges against five top Fiat executives. But Agnelli was never among those charged.

In an attempt to squash the case, lawyers for Fiat managed to have it transferred to Naples, in southern Italy. There, in thick mafia territory, cases could be more easily “fixed” for the rich and powerful. Yet for many Fiat officials, no easy fix came. One by one, a series of the company’s employees were prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced, though none was imprisoned, because the statute of limitations had expired.

Once the legal cases were done, the Italian archives, where the case files had been kept, requested that Fiat take back the 150,000 files — half of the total collection. The archive office in the federal courthouse in Naples said the court simply didn’t have space to store all the documents. It’s unclear where all of those files are now. The Intercept Brasil examined what is left of the case files in Naples. There, we found some files that were left behind by Fiat among the documents.

The papers hint at the extent to which Fiat spied on its own employees. Described as “informative notations,” the records showed employees’ marital status, socio-economic status, criminal records, histories of political activities, political leanings, and public reputations — including those of family members directly linked to the respondents. One of the files found was that of Salvatore B. It described him as “single, apolitical, rents a modest apartment with his sister, who is also single, a worker, and apolitical, with good moral and civic conduct.” Salvatore was considered “suitable” to work at the factory in Turin.

Carlo C., on the other hand, was deemed “subversive,” despite having no police record and exhibiting good moral and civic conduct. The research into Carlo’s life was extensive. It was his past affiliation with the Italian Communist Party that raised red flags for Fiat security officials. The company spies produced a two-page report covering Carlo’s life from his college years until he joined the Communist Party — even including his church attendance. Their report also describes his father’s participation in the Italian centrist Christian Democracy party, as well as the fact that his mother and sister were both members of the faith-based activist group Catholic Action.

The files on the workers sometimes reflected the chauvinistic Italian culture of the time. For instance, the investigators gave a harsh assessment of a woman referred to as Angela O. Spies working for Fiat collected information on every aspect of her life. They noted that she had been twice evicted from her home for nonpayment of rent and that she currently lived in a small apartment with her mother and two children, one of whom had a serious health problem. Their report went on to say that “the person in question (Angela) has been in a relationship with a bankrupt, ex-con type for over a year and leaves much to desire on the moral front, because the children are from a different father and she previously had a relationship with a German citizen sought by Interpol.”

The report detailed several key moments in Angela’s life. “She worked as a cashier and, for a period of time, was seen roaming around the streets of Milan for unknown reasons,” the Fiat spies wrote. “She has not worked for a long time and leads a dubious life, arriving home late every night.” At that point, the researchers had already drawn their conclusions: “We suspect that she is a prostitute.”

It’s unclear if the scope of Fiat’s spying on workers in Brazil ever matched that of its investigations into Italian workers. No in-depth personnel files on large numbers of employees have surfaced. If the Italian spying did have a parallel in South America, perhaps the files were burned — the fate of many documents during the process of “turning out the lights” in the waning days of the military dictatorship in Brazil. When asked for a statement, the company responded that it has no records of events during that period.

The post The Secret History of Fiat Brazil’s Internal Espionage Network and Collaboration With the Military Dictatorship appeared first on The Intercept.

Pacheco Chosen to Carry Torch During Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi

RSPD Chief Dwane Pacheco will be taking part in a very special ceremony this spring in the United Arab Emirates

ROCK SPRINGS — Rock Springs Police Chief Dwane Pacheco has been selected as a member of the Final Leg team that will carry the torch throughout the United Arab Emirates before the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in March.

Pacheco will be one of 112 “Guardians of the Flame” as they runs the Flame of Hope through the UAE, finally stopping in Abu Dhabi, the site of the 2019 Games.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg (LETR) for the 2019 World Games takes place from March 3 to March – 14 and includes  96 law enforcement officer runners, 10 Special Olympics athletes, and logistics personnel.

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The run is designed to will raise excitement for the World Games throughout the country. LETR for Special Olympics is Special Olympics’ largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle in the world.

Nearly 100,000 law enforcement members in all 50 states, 12 Canadian provinces, and 44 countries contribute to LETR efforts annually as Guardians of the Flame, ensuring the delivery of the Flame to the opening ceremony of local Special Olympics competitions, state/provincial games, and national/regional games.

You can show your support for the LETR for Special Olympics by donating to Chief
Pacheco’s fundraising page or a donation by check can be dropped off at the RSPD. All donations will be sent to Washington DC.

The donations are tax deductible and go towards offsetting the costs of the trip and
to sponsor 10 athletes. With your donation, you can be a part of enriching the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their communities through sports, education, and healthy living.

Your donation ensures athletes can be on the field 365 days a year, spreading joy and making memories. For more information on the Final Leg team and the members participating, please visit www.letr- finalleg.org.

Link to donation page:
https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/SOLAR/DwanePachecofbclid=IwAR20kFG9LjQFwVD8PuKtsl73hTmxMhII3EbE5sMF7lLObMAox7_-tB5Aedo

2 Week Old Infant Beaten By Father Has Died; Charges To Be Upgraded

HOUSTON, Texas– Child Abuse private investigators say that Daniel Pacheco the 2-week old baby that was seriously beaten by his dad has actually passed away.

Private investigators charged Luis Angel Pacheco, 27, with injury to a kid, however charges are anticipated to be upgraded with the child’s death.

On Monday February 25, 2019 EMS workers moved the baby from a residence in the 16600 block of Gaeldom drive in west Harris County.

The child was admitted to Texas Kid’s Hospital West Campus(Katy).

Doctors notified the Sheriff’s Workplace, after the injuries on the kid were irregular with the daddy’s statement to them.

The child had numerous blunt force injuries to his skull and other blunt force injuries on his stomach and groin area.

HCSO Investigator J. Garcia and lead private investigator Harris County Precinct 5 Deputy Investigator M. Puente reacted to the hospital.

Detectives say that Pacheco told them he was trying to change his child’s diaper when kid started to cry.

He was trying to calm him down by holding him and change the diaper on the infant.

While he was walking from one to another, he dropped the kid on the concrete flooring.

Pacheco noticed the injury on the kid’s head however did not make his spouse familiar with the injury.

The kid’s mother was in another part of the home during the incident.

After a couple of hours the child’s breathing became labored and 911 were called.

Pacheco could not explain the other injuries to the kid or how they happened.

He is currently being held on a $250,000 bond.

The post 2 Week Old Baby Beaten By Daddy Has Actually Passed Away; Charges To Be Upgraded appeared first on Breaking911.

State analysts: Make up your mind on high-speed rail, Gavin

SACRAMENTO — Nonpartisan state analysts have a message for Gov. Gavin Newsom and the legislature: Make up your mind when it comes to bullet trains.

In a report released Tuesday, the Legislative Analyst Office cautioned against any continued waffling about whether the state should complete its high-speed rail vision of 220-mph trains whisking passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in less than three hours — a vision voters approved in 2008 under Prop 1A.

On the one hand, Newsom, in his State of the State address earlier this month, said the project would cost too much and take too long.

“Right now, there simply isn’t a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A.,” he said in his Feb. 12 address. “I wish there were.”

The next day, he back-tracked on his earlier comments, saying the state was committed to “connecting the Central Valley and beyond.” But just what that means is less clear, the report said. Does that mean the governor would be postponing, or “effectively terminating,” the remaining portions of the project? If it does complete the Merced to Bakersfield segment, would those tracks carry high-speed trains or augmented Amtrak service?

Representatives from the governor’s office did not immediately return a request for comment. But the report’s authors warned that continued uncertainty over the plan will lead to unnecessary costs from purchasing land it doesn’t need or drafting plans for trains that might never leave the station.

The legislature should take the turnover of the new administration to re-evaluate the project, the report said. If it remains committed to seeing the full route from San Francisco to Los Angeles, it should work to address the estimated $55 billion to $58 billion funding gap the project faces. If not, the legislature will want to consider how to modify the project, the report said, by scrapping it altogether or otherwise reducing its scope.

Some of those decisions could begin taking place as soon as this spring, said Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, and chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee. The committee plans to hold a hearing in March to hear about alternatives for the train’s future in the Golden State. Beall expects the governor’s office to then make some proposals in May for alternative paths forward.

But Beall cautioned that if the route doesn’t connect to Silicon Valley, it won’t attract enough riders to cover the costs of operation. And that means the taxpayers will be footing the bill.

Perhaps the state could complete the Central Valley segment while it continues work on the Silicon Valley segment, Beall said, by purchasing land, redeveloping Diridon Station in downtown San Jose and doing some preliminary engineering work. It also could run trains up and over the Pacheco Pass, rather than digging a costly tunnel underneath it, a move that would further sacrifice the trains’ speed.

“We should look at all those options,” Beall said. “But the primary commitment is to have no government subsidies of the operating costs.”

Other legislators, however, would rather see the project scrapped altogether. Assembly member Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, said it’s time to admit defeat. The state should use its remaining Prop 1A funds to pay back a $3.5 billion grant from the federal government and make reparations to farmers, business owners and others whose lives have been impacted by construction.

“What we need now,” he said, “is to ensure that Fresno and the Central Valley is made whole by the High Speed Rail Authority before they run out of money.”

POLITICS: America’s strongest climate governor might be a Republican — Friday, February 22, 2019 — www.eenews.net

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has taken steps to address climate change. Josephine Pettigrew, Office of the Governor/Flickr

During his first run for governor, Charlie Baker sat for a meeting with a group of leading environmentalists in Massachusetts. It quickly turned combative.

Baker, a Republican who was challenging Gov. Deval Patrick (D), voiced doubts about the veracity of climate science and the high cost of renewable energy. He singled out Cape Wind as an overpriced offshore wind project proposed for Nantucket Sound. The project died years later, in 2017.

Recounting the meeting to The Boston Globe, the environmental leaders recalled Baker using a whiteboard to lecture them about the shortcomings of their position. The greens were shocked. Baker, a former state budget official, municipal leader and health care executive, had a reputation as a technocrat. They assumed he accepted the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate.

He did not.

“I’m not saying I believe in it. I’m not saying I don’t,” Baker told the Globe in 2010. “You’re asking me to take a position on something I don’t know enough about. I absolutely am not smart enough to believe that I know the answer to that question.”

He lost the race.

Nearly a decade later, Baker is a two-term governor, fresh off a landslide re-election victory in November that saw him commandeer roughly two-thirds of the vote in one of America’s most liberal states. The result was not a surprise. Baker’s approval ratings throughout his first term made him the most popular governor in the country.

More surprising is the list of climate victories Baker notched during his first four years. He can now reasonably claim to have accomplished more on climate than any other governor in office today — including Democrats.

His support for an offshore wind bill in 2016 helped launch the industry in North America, and made Massachusetts the first state to wade into the shallow waters of the North Atlantic in search of large quantities of renewable electricity (, June 19, 2017).

After a series of climate-induced weather events battered the Bay State, Baker launched a series of efforts to raise funding for local resilience and adaptation initiatives (, March 16, 2018). Other states are now pondering whether to follow suit.

Now, Baker is poised for perhaps his most ambitious and consequential push of all: a bid to curb transportation emissions, the largest source of greenhouse gases nationally and one of the most difficult to cut.

The man who once questioned climate science sounds different on the stump today. Last fall, speaking to environmentalists at a forum in Boston, Baker argued that the push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was inextricably linked to efforts to bolster the meager stock of affordable housing around the Massachusetts’ capital (, Nov. 2, 2018).

The governor has begun taking steps onto the national stage. He accepted Democrats’ invitation to testify about the dangers of climate change before the House Natural Resources Committee earlier this month.

Climate change, he told the committee, is “not a partisan issue” in Massachusetts.

“While we sometimes disagree on specific policies, we understand the science and know the impacts are real because we’re experiencing them firsthand,” Baker said.

State Sen. Marc Pacheco, a Democrat and leading climate hawk in the Massachusetts Legislature, said Baker’s evolution is so substantial that it’s “like you’re talking about a totally different person.”

He credited climate activists and state lawmakers for pressuring Baker to address the issue. “To give credit to the governor, he has welcomed science,” Pacheco said. “He’s looked at the science, the data that has come across his desk, he has seen the evidence of how renewables can over the long term be a cost-saver and public health improver.”

Unlike Trump

Baker is firmly in the minority in President Trump’s Republican Party, where resistance to climate policy is a GOP staple. But the Massachusetts governor has an opportunity to make in-roads with his counterparts in other states, who may be more open to listening to one of their own, said state Rep. Maria Robinson, a Democrat and former policy analyst at Advanced Energy Economy, a clean energy trade group.

“I think it’s hugely important to have an Republican voice,” she said. “The struggle is each state believes its circumstances to be completely unique. If he can move someone like a [Republican Florida] Gov. Ron DeSantis, even just a little bit, to implement more solar in Florida, that’s an incredible win.”

The question is how far Baker intends to push the climate envelope. The governor has remained mum on proposals to institute a carbon price, and critics contend that his administration has been slow to wean the Bay State from natural gas.

Baker begins his second term at a time when America finds itself short of climate leaders. Trump spent his first two years in office dismantling environmental regulations and denying climate science. Congressional climate hawks have a public platform to champion a “Green New Deal,” but not the votes to enact it.

And there is a void at the state level following the retirement of Jerry Brown, the former California governor who championed climate action over four terms as a Democrat. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, both Democrats, have positioned themselves to assume the climate mantle, helping to establish the U.S. Climate Alliance and making the issue a focus of their administrations. But both have struggled to notch legislative victories (, May 29, 2018).

That may change this year. Cuomo and Inslee now have firm Democratic majorities to work with after last fall’s midterms. Combined with a new crop of Democratic governors, the prospects for major state climate action are better than in previous years (, Feb. 12).

But greens are increasingly looking to Baker for leadership. They’re hopeful he is ready to step into a role once played by George Pataki, the former New York Republican governor who spearheaded efforts to create the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program covering the power sector in nine Northeastern states.

Baker has embraced RGGI as a model for how to deal with transportation emissions. He has emerged as a vocal cheerleader of the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a group of nine states and the District of Columbia focused on developing a cap-and-trade program for cars and trucks (, Dec. 19, 2018). The group is expected to finalize a program within a year.

Speaking to reporters following his congressional testimony, Baker talked up the virtues of applying the RGGI model to other sectors of the economy.

“As our economy has continued to grow, our energy draw is remaining the same, relatively flat, and our greenhouse gas emissions have gone down,” Baker said. “I do think these are better done on a regional basis than on a state-to-state basis, because regions can work collaboratively, whether you’re talking about electricity generation, energy generation or transportation.”

Baker’s test

The governor’s push on transportation is notable on several fronts. Unlike the power sector, transportation emissions have steadily risen in recent years (, April 17, 2018).

Massachusetts is on track to cut emissions 25 percent of 1990 levels by 2020, but it has little hope of meeting a targeted 80 percent reduction by midcentury if it does not tackle emissions from transportation.

“I think he has set himself up to be seen as a leader on climate, but there is a lot more to do, particularly in the TCI context,” said Jordan Stutt, carbon programs manager at the Acadia Center, an environmental group focused on the Northeast. “Setting up the framework, moving the conversation forward is really important. He and his administration deserve credit for that. But ultimately he will be judged on whether he establishes a program that reduces emissions. That is where this next year will be so important.”

Baker is not without his critics. He has done little to reduce the state’s overwhelming reliance on natural gas, and his past appointments to the state’s utility commission have been hostile to residential solar, said Deb Pasternak, who leads the Sierra Club’s Massachusetts chapter.

The governor might be a leader by today’s political standards, “but in terms of delivering a livable planet, he needs to step up,” she said.

In some respects, Baker’s hand on climate has been forced. Massachusetts is unique among states in that it has a law calling for deep emissions reductions and a directive from the state’s highest court to fulfill those requirements.

The Conservation Law Foundation sued the Patrick administration for failing to uphold the terms of the law. Baker initially fought the lawsuit when he took over the governorship.

But once the state Supreme Judicial Court found in the foundation’s favor, his administration quickly set about developing a plan to cut emissions, said Brad Campbell, president of the Conservation Law Foundation.

“I do think he is becoming an important climate leader,” Campbell said. “He has grown into that role over the course of the last four years. He is someone who believes in fact and scientific-based decisionmaking. And I think more than anything else, the increasing urgency, particularly the threat to a coastal state like Massachusetts, has persuaded him that action is needed.”

A series of winter storms in 2015, a severe drought in 2016 and several extreme weather events in the years since then have influenced the governor’s thinking about the risks of a changing climate, said Matt Beaton, Massachusetts’ secretary of energy and environmental affairs.

The response of private industry has also been important. Baker took note of the fact the insurance and financial industries were incorporating climate risks, Beaton said. Today, the governor frequently mentions the climatic changes observed by fishermen and farmers.

“It seems like the guy has put himself out on a limb, pushing the envelope and being passionate on the issue,” Beaton said. “To me, it’s remarkable to see how much leadership he’s taken on the issue, particularly as a Republican.”

What followed might be described as a GOP blueprint for climate action.

Green allies

Baker and lawmakers who crafted the 2016 offshore wind bill drew heavily on the experience of Cape Wind. Where state officials strong-armed Massachusetts’ utilities into buying power from that project at a high price, the new law requires wind developers to compete for the right to win long-term contracts with the state’s power companies. When the bids were revealed last year, the low prices received by the state caught many industry observers by surprise (, Aug. 6, 2018).

“You have to make sure the transition is done in an economically sustainable manner that is reliable,” Beaton said. Push too far too fast, he said, and you risk economic shocks that could blunt public support for climate action.

Massachusetts’ focus on offshore wind has prompted a scramble up and down the Eastern Seaboard. New York and New Jersey have established ambitious offshore wind targets in the years since, with each vying to become the hub of the nascent industry.

They still have ground to make up on their New England neighbor. The Danish wind giant Ørsted AS selected Boston to host its North American headquarters in 2017. And the first offshore turbines associated with an 800-megawatt project could begin spinning some 20 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard in 2021, when other states are still in the planning process.

State officials have paired their wind efforts with a bid to bring more Canadian hydropower. Combined, they estimate wind and water will provide roughly a third of the state’s power needs. By 2030, they expect half of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources.

Baker’s attempts to steel Massachusetts against the impacts of climate change have been similarly groundbreaking. The governor has essentially pursued a two-tiered approach. Through the state Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan, Baker has sought to implement a statewide strategy for identifying vulnerabilities associated with climate-induced weather events.

At the same time, much of his work has been focused on aiding municipalities. The state recently implemented a municipal vulnerability preparedness program in which communities identify risks. Both programs can draw funding from a $2.4 billion state bond passed last year to fund climate resilience projects.

The governor hasn’t stopped there. He recently proposed raising the tax on real estate transactions to pay for local adaptation programs. His office estimates the move could generate up to $1 billion in revenue over the next decade.

“I often cite Gov. Baker as a national leader to my Nature Conservancy colleagues across the U.S.,” said Steve Long, a policy advocate at the conservancy who has worked closely with the administration on its adaptation efforts. “We’re looking at replicating a lot of what has been done in Massachusetts and taking it to other parts of the country.”

Baker’s congressional testimony may ultimately mark an important juncture in his tenure, environmentalists said. The governor, they noted, could have rejected the committee’s invitation or adopted a starkly different tone when testifying.

Instead, he doubled down, calling on the federal government to support local adaptation efforts and promoting a national emissions reduction target. At one point, Baker, a former Cape Wind critic, mounted a lengthy defense of the state’s offshore wind industry. He said Massachusetts’ experience with the failed project laid the groundwork for it to be successful going forward.

“The committment and courage he brought to the testimony before the House sends a clear signal that he’s ready to be a leader among governors in taking bold action,” said Campbell, the CLF president. “And it would be surprising and very unlike Gov. Baker for him to define the problem as he did without planning to take action. His tenure has not been marked by sweeping promises with no follow-up.”

Alisal boys’ soccer wins first Norcal title

Last Tuesday the Alisal Trojans boys soccer team was knocked out of the Central Coast Section (CCS) Open Division playoffs by Burlingame. A few cried. Some yelled. But most of them looked at the ground in blank disappointment.

What a difference 11 days makes.

The final whistle blew Saturday night and the Trojans’ bench rushed the field as winners of the CIF NorCal Division II championship game. The tears this time were much different, coming from coach Mark Cisneros and some of the seniors on the team. This 3-1 victory over Richmond gave the Trojans their first regional title.

“I’ve been chasing this for three years,” senior captain Jesus Ochoa said. “I’ve missed it twice but now, Alisal’s champions.”

“I did know this was something we wanted to be a part of,” Cisneros said. “It didn’t go well in CCS and it was hard to accept that. CCS was all we knew. I had to convince the boys there was something else and they believed in it.”

Ochoa was instrumental for the Trojans in the win. He scored the first goal of the game in the 15th minute, catching the goalie out of position for an easy goal to the right side of the net.

But the Trojans allowed the Oilers back into the game minutes later when freshman midfielder Octavio Munoz buried a cross into the left corner. Junior goalkeeper Luis Canseco couldn’t quite reach it and the Trojans found themselves in a tie. That tie lasted just six minutes, however, as junior forward Angel Amezcua scored off a lob from Ochoa to put the Trojans up 2-1. They’d keep the lead into halftime.

A light rain that fell all game didn’t seem to faze Canseco nor the Trojans’ offense. Richmond’s speed couldn’t consistently overcome Alisal’s passes and Canseco notched 10 saves, six of which came in the second half.

Following the 3-1 win over Bella Vista on Thursday, Ochoa told the team in the post-game huddle that the second-half defense needed to step up.

“Throughout the whole season we had little issues in the second half,” Ochoa said. “We’d have little mistakes, but it didn’t cost us today.”

“Tonight was the height of (Ochoa)’s leadership,” Cisneros said. “He brought it out at the right time. He was vocal, he led by example, and went all out. I’m really impressed.”

The second-half defense tightened after 15 minutes of back-and-forth possessions. Canseco had a leaping save in the left corner of the net following a corner kick in the 59th minute, and that save started a run of ball dominance for the Trojans.

nullAlisal fired off three shots on goal in the ensuing eight minutes as sophomore forward Jesus Gregorio and sophomore defender Joel Garcia repeatedly beat the defense but couldn’t score.

Amezcua, as he had all of the CIF playoffs, rose to the occasion again. His fancy footwork evaded a sliding defender and the Oilers’ goalkeeper. He launched the ball from 15 yards out and raised his arms in celebration without seeing the ball make it into the net.

From there, the Trojans maintained the attack and kept Richmond from scoring on a trio of deep counterattacks. The final whistle blew and Alisal was crowned CIF NorCal Division II champions at midfield.

And as the team gathered toward the home bleachers to thank the fans clad in coats and clutching umbrellas, the sun poked out from beneath the clouds for the first time Saturday. A double rainbow then formed over the west end of the field.

“Look,” one of the huddled players yelled, pointing to the sky. “It was destiny.”

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Alisal boys’ soccer wins Norcal title

Junior Angel Amezcua had two goals and senior Jesus Ochoa added another as the Trojans won 3-1 over visiting Richmond.

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