Sunday, November 25, 2012

Power the Creativity with Energizer & Crayola

energi8866_Crayola_promo_bug_230x130r1I recently attended a fun event with Chip & Lulu hosted by Energizer & Crayola. I wasn’t really sure what the connection was between batteries and crayons, but I was game to attend. Because, honestly, if there are two categories of things I have a lot of in my house—it is batteries and crayons! We ended up having a great time and learning a lot about the latest offerings…And perfect timing for the holiday season.

Keeping a supply of “fresh” batteries on hand for emergencies is something that is on my “annual to do list” for our emergency supplies. I am involved in the emergency preparedness program at Chip’s elementary school. Part of our annual review is making sure we swap out the batteries in the walkie-talkies and flashlights. I snapped to attention when the Energizer representative told us about the Energizer Max Batteries with Power Seal Technology. These batteries have a 10 year shelf life! Now, I’ll just have to remember to rotate the stock…Once a decade! The event was full of kids and there were candles all over the place. I was kind of weirded out until I found out that these were battery operated candles. They looked like real wax pillar candles—they are even scented. Energizer Flameless Wax Candles have a natural flicker pattern that runs for 4 hours mimicking a real candle flicker pattern. The best part is that they go anywhere! I received two candles and Chip and Lulu could not wait to use them in their rooms. How funny that little kids can have wax candles in their rooms! I felt an urge to lecture the kids on stuff I didn’t get to have when I was a kid….But I just let them enjoy their candlelight.

Crayola has teamed up with Energizer to Power the Creativity. When you buy specially marked packs of Energizer MAX AA-16 and AAA-16 batteries, you will find coupons inside that will save you up to $20 on select Crayola products. We got to try out all of the products including the Light-Up Tracing Pad and Digital Light Designer which was my favorite.

For more information visit and find them on Facebook.

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Energizer. I attended an event and received a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All content is my own.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Election Day. Decisions. California.

voteTuesday is Election Day. It is a presidential election which means higher turnout. I vote in every election, big or small. I think about all the people who came before me who fought so hard so that I could spin over to the polls in my minivan, vote, slap an “I voted” sticker on my shirt and get on with my day. It’s something I take very seriously. Voting in person is something I like to do. It just “feels” more official to me and I like to bring the kids so they can experience the process. My parents always brought me.

Here are my thoughts on the people and propositions on my ballot:

President of the United States: I could spend 4 years and a whole blog on this one. Suffice to say, California is a blue state so it doesn’t matter. Obama is going to get all 55 electoral votes.

United States Senator: Elizabeth Emken

The simple fact that incumbent Dianne Feinstein has refused to debate Elizabeth Emken is enough for me to endorse Emken. Politicians work for the people. If a politician is arrogant enough to decide their seat is locked up for them and they don’t need to allow for an exchange of ideas, questions from constituents and important issues to be heard from all angles, then they are NOT someone who should be representing anyone. Because they are clearly out of touch and only care about themselves. Dianne Feinstein is arrogant. The kiss of death in a politician. Elizabeth Emken is a down to earth, working mom. She has a son with severe autism and began a second career as VP for Government Relations at Autism Speaks. She is smart, talented and knows what challenges we face both here in CA and in the US. Visit Elizabeth Emken’s site.

United States Representative: Bill Bloomfield

I thought I had gotten away from Henry Waxman when I moved from his district a few years ago. Thanks to some redistricting, I’m facing the possibility of having Henry Waxman be my congressperson…Again. No. No thank you. Where do I start? How about the simple fact that the man doesn’t even live in LA? He has a house outside Washington for decades. If that isn’t arrogance and being out of touch with the people you represent, I don’t know what is. Bill Bloomfield is an Independent. That’s right, he isn’t beholden to any party or special interest. He rejects hyper-partisanship and believes we need to focus on solving our nation’s problems. Bill Bloomfield and I see things in much the same way. This guy is my kind of candidate. Someone who is willing to step up and get things done and leave name calling, labels and destructive politicking behind. For more info, visit

Member of The State Assembly: Craig Huey

I like Craig Huey. He is a kind and personable individual. When I walked up to him after a town hall meeting, he was open and wanted to talk even though it was after 9pm and less than 2 weeks before election day. I figured the guy was tired, but I had questions. Contrast this with the two times I attempted to speak with Al Muratsuchi, Craig Huey’s opponent. I tried to ask a question in a forum where Mr. Muratsuchi only called on older men. I was the only young female in the audience. I followed him out of the room and tried to ask him questions, he was dismissive. On a more recent occasion, I ran into him at a civic event. I questioned him about questionable budget votes he had made as a school board member and filings made by a state inspector who said Mr. Muratsuchi ordered him to hide evidence as a state prosecutor. Al Muratsuchi didn’t want to talk about any of it. I guess his record is embarrassing to him. He has blocked myself and others from his Facebook page. When I asked him, in person, why he wasn’t answering questions and why he was blocking voters from his page, he responded, “It’s run by volunteers.” It’s clear that guy doesn’t care and he is out of touch. He has run a dirty campaign against Craig Huey sending out dozens of mailers with lies. Lies that have led to court actions. It’s disappointing that this could have been a great campaign where constituents isssues and questions could have been addressed by both candidates. Only Mr. Huey cares to communicate with voters. Craig Huey is committed to ending the special interest influence in Sacramento and bringing fiscal responsibility back into the vocabulary of our state. With a successful business career and track record as a job creator and business owner in Los Angeles, Craig Huey is uniquely qualified to serve all of us.

Los Angeles District Attorney: Alan Jackson

I don’t have a strong preference here as I believe Jackie Lacey to be a strong candidate. However, I think Alan Jackson has the edge. I am particularly impressed with his resume having spend five years as a prosecutor in the Hardcore Gang Division.

State Measures – ALL props and measures are now covered below. Thank you for your patience as I updated throughout the past couple of days.

Prop 30: No

Governor Brown is pushing Prop 30 hoping Californians believe it is the answer to our public education problems. The worst part of Prop 30 is there is absolutely no guarantee any money will get to schools. It is a “backfill” bill that is set up to “fill” in all the debt that Sacramento has created. They are holding our kids hostage as a means to solve their overspending and mishandling of the state’s funds. A response of “what about the trigger cuts?!” is what we often hear. The “trigger cuts” are cuts that are currently set up to go into effect for the state school budget if Prop 30 does not pass. The legislature can meet to cancel the trigger cuts. They had trigger cuts in place last year that they canceled when the Facebook IPO yielded less revenue than predicted. These trigger cuts that Governor Brown is threatening us with do not have to take effect. Beyond that, the CA Teacher’s Union, the most powerful union in the state will not stand for the cuts to their employees. The sales tax hike provision in prop 30 would make California’s sales tax the highest in the nation. Sales tax affects the poor disproportionately. It is absolutely imperative that we hold Sacramento responsible for cleaning up their own mess. Stop catering to special interests, make cuts in other areas and stand up to powerful lobbies. As a parent of children in CA public schools, I say enough is enough! NO on Prop 30!

Prop 31: No

Prop 32: Yes

Prohibits corporations and unions from taking money from worker’s paychecks for political fundraising without consent. I attended a meeting with Gloria Romero, the leader of Prop 32, speaking and taking questions from the audience. Yes on 32 to stop union interests in Sacramento is a good start to get CA back working for the people and not the special interests. As it is now, our politicians are employees of public labor unions. CA Teacher's Union has put $22 million into fighting prop 32. Can you just imagine what that money could do for the schools? Instead, they are fighting streamlining the process of getting teachers who are child molesters out of school districts. The CA Teacher's Union is the most powerful union in CA. It has more money than Big-oil and Big-Pharma. The union gets $300 million in dues from teachers...Without their choice of giving it or not. Then the union, run by thugs does everything they can to protect teachers OVER protecting students. You can't blame them, really, they are paid very highly to do their job. So a YES on 32 gets us to level the playing field of special interests owning the political process. Passing Prop 32 also means that contractors will not be able to donate to the political campaigns of politicians who approve their contracts. What a no brainer! Here is a link to a brief video supporting Yes on 32 and here is a link to Make a Change for California which has a really brief explanation on the main page about the Teachers Union putting politics ahead of students.

Prop 33: Yes

Prop 34: No

I feel very strongly that we need to keep the death penalty. We need to keep murderers and child rapists on death row. In my previous post on the sentencing of the murderer of Jamiel Shaw, I wrote of the irony that the man was given the death penalty on Friday and this Tuesday may no longer have that sentence. Jamiel Shaw was murdered by an illegal alien gang member because he carried a spider-man backpack. For everyone who has had their lives and their families torn apart…Let’s honor the living victims and their loved ones by keeping the death penalty in California.

Prop 35: Yes

I attended a meeting last week with the authors of Prop 35. It was one of the most intense experiences I’ve had in long time. Victims of human trafficking spoke to us about what happened to them and what they have been through. Parents of a victim of human trafficking, who, due to the twisted nature of our system, sits in prison, spoke to us about what their family has endured. It may seem like something that doesn’t involve us. Unfortunately it does, there are victims all around us, from families just like ours. In our state, many vulnerable women and children are held against their will and forced to sell their bodies. The traffickers often make $700,000 per year. Trafficking drugs requires an ongoing flow of narcotics. You can sell a human being over and over. The victims of human trafficking are girls as young as 12. The FBI has identified San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego as high intensity sex trafficking areas. Shockingly, CA is weak on laws to protect the victims. A yes vote on Prop 35 increases prison terms for human traffickers, requires traffickers to register as sex offenders, requires sex offenders to disclose their internet accounts and increases fines to pay for victims’ services.

Prop 36: No

Prop 37: No

This is very deceptive and written by a trial lawyer. Prop 37 authorizes shakedown lawsuits against farmers and grocers. If this measure passes, it means more government bureaucracy, which means increased costs for food. And who pays that? The consumer. The consumer bears the burden of the increased costs. The reality is that genetically modified foods are sometimes preferable to food that has been treated with pesticides. It is better to allow the consumer to dictate what they want and allow the marketplace to cater to customer demands. The analysis is that the average household grocery bill will increase by $400/year if this is passed.

Prop 38: No

Also knowns as “Molly Munger’s Intitiative”, Prop 38 is a bad choice for California. The income tax increases affect anyone earning over $7,000/year. That is pretty much anyone who works. If you earn more than $17,000/year, the initiative raises your rates by as much as 21%. And that is on top of federal income tax. The sales tax increase affects everyone who buys things. To top it off, the tax increases would be in place for twelve years…Even if the economy improves…Or gets worse. Why anyone would vote to lock ourselves into a revenue burden like that is unfathomable. The tax hikes also target small businesses, which is the heart of the economy. This will cause businesses to close or flee California along with the jobs. Prop 38 also does nothing to help higher education or any level of education in the first budget cycle. Like Prop 30, Prop 38 does nothing to address what is wrong with California. We need to make Sacramento accountable to the people to fix the budget and get their priorities straight. Taxing every one of us will only cause more economic distress and is throwing good money after bad. Fix the system, don’t enslave California citizens for the errors of our politicians! No on Prop 38!

Prop 39: No

Increased taxes on businesses mean increased taxes for the consumer. It also lead to lost jobs for California. Businesses don’t just absorb tax increases, it’s basic math and commonsense about how the world works. Californians are already the highest taxed people in the country. We cannot add to our burden.

Prop 40: No

Los Angeles County Measures

Measure A (Advisory Vote Only): I do not feel I know enough to say

Measure B: No

The Adult Entertainment Industry is already the most regulated in the state. Porn actors take blood tests every 14 days. The industry has proven it can regulate itself. A no vote is a must in order to keep the porn industry from going underground and therefore putting more people at risk. This would also cause a loss of jobs and revenue to Los Angeles when we have already experienced the flight of mainstream entertainment. There are thousands of regular people who work in the porn industry one day and mainstream another, just doing technical jobs like gaffers, grips, caterers. Why we would pass a measure that would cause lives to be endangered and jobs and revenue to be lost is just stupid. No on B!

Measure J: No

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Justice for Jamiel Andre Shaw II

Jamiels 001_thumb[1]Many of you are aware of my involvement with the fight for justice for the murder of Jamiel “Jas” Shaw II. Jamiel, age 17, was just a few yards from his home on March 2, 2008 when he was shot to death by an illegal alien gang member. He was shot to death because he was carrying a Spiderman backpack and because Spiderman wears red. I have rerun the post, with updates, each year on the anniversary of Jamiel’s death. This past Spring, I went to court and sat with Jamiel’s family at the trial of his murderer. I stood with them in the hall. I sat with them at lunch. I tried to will some of the pain away from them. The murderer was found guilty. On Friday, November 2, 2012, Four years and eight months to the date of Jamiel’s murder, justice was served. His murderer was sentenced to the death penalty. Justice has been served. Unbelievably, the murderer's death sentence may be overturned on Tuesday when Californians go to the polls and vote on Prop. 34, a measure to repeal the death penalty in this state.

The fight to protect American citizens from being murdered by illegal aliens continues. No one should have to go through what Jas’ family has been forced to go through. Here is a link to a report by Dave Lopez of CBS Los Angeles.