Farmers feeling betrayed after Northern California county takes tax money, then bans marijuana cultivation

By Sarah Parvini | Los Angeles Times

ANGELS CAMP – Dennis Mills peered over his shoulder at the green hills below, where marijuana farms dotted the Calaveras County landscape.

“There’s another one!” he told the pilot with a laugh. The Cessna doubled back so Mills, a county supervisor, could steal a second look at a slope where trees had recently been removed.

From above, Mills said, it’s impossible to tell which cannabis cultivation sites are legal. But it didn’t matter to him. Every single one has to go.

Marijuana growers poured into this county known for gold mines and Mark Twain’s short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” hoping for a green rush after recreational cannabis was legalized in 2016. That pot boom ended abruptly when the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors voted to ban all commercial cultivation last month.

The debate here reflects a different side of the mania that has swept the state since the sale of recreational marijuana rolled out in January. As some places move to position themselves as pot havens, more conservative counties have decided they want nothing to do with cannabis — either selling it or growing it.

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“It’s really simple. This isn’t grapes and it’s not tomatoes. It’s marijuana, and it’s a drug,” Angels Camp resident Vicky Reinke said.

Although 57% of Californians voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, more than a dozen counties like Calaveras voted against it. And after previously supporting it, this Northern California county has suddenly veered hard against marijuana cultivation.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Business


BlackBerry sues Facebook for patent infringement over messaging

(Bloomberg) — BlackBerry Ltd. is suing Facebook Inc. for patent infringement, claiming the social media giant uses technology invented by the former smartphone maker in Facebook’s massively popular messaging applications.

Apps like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp use some messaging capabilities that were originally designed by BlackBerry, a spokeswoman for the company said in an email. “We have a strong claim that Facebook has infringed on our intellectual property, and after several years of dialogue, we also have an obligation to our shareholders to pursue appropriate legal remedies.”

BlackBerry is asking that Facebook be ordered to stop providing its primary app as well as Facebook Messenger, Workplace Chat, WhatsApp Messenger and Instagram applications and websites.

Facebook and its companies “created mobile messaging applications that co-opt BlackBerry’s innovations, using a number of the innovative security, user interface, and functionality enhancing features that made BlackBerry’s products such a critical and commercial success in the first place,” BlackBerry said in a complaint.

A representative for Facebook didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

In the past, Facebook executives have explained that in the technology industry, copying what works is sometimes necessary. Facebook wasn’t the first social network, just like Google’s Gmail wasn’t the first email service. Facebook has publicly credited Snapchat for creating the popular “stories” function that allows people to post disappearing videos about their days, which is now more popular on Facebook’s properties than it is on Snapchat.

BlackBerry was an early pioneer in messaging. Its proprietary service BBM helped draw millions to its phones in the mid-2000s when the company was a smartphone leader. But the company waited years before opening BBM up to phones running Apple Inc. or Alphabet Inc. operating systems, and as those companies took over the smartphone market, BBM’s popularity faded along with BlackBerry’s devices.

Under Chief Executive Officer John Chen, BlackBerry has stopped …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


Garden Coach: Cold, wet weather, lack of sun and improper planting can take a toll on African daisies and irises

A struggling Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' (African Daisy)

Dear Garden Coach: I have several clumps of Iris that have not bloomed since they were planted over two years ago. They get full sun in morning and I used Earth Doctor fertilizer to see if this would help them bloom, and it did not.

Joanne Franklin

Dear Joanne: I hear your frustration about wanting flowers and getting only green leaves.I am providing you with some general information from the American Iris Society for growing bearded Iris.

Iris grow best in a slightly acidic (pH of 6.8) well-drained soil. If your soil is heavy clay, you will want to amend it with compost or gypsum. Watering should be deep and infrequent; how often will depend on how well your soil drains. Remember that clay soils retain moisture longer than a sandy soil.

You mentioned your Iris is planted in full morning sun. They need at least six hours of direct sunlight (not shaded by trees). You also mention using Dr Earth Fertilizer. I am not sure which one you used and when your fertilized. The Rainbow Iris Farm recommends fertilizing in spring with bonemeal superphosphate, or a fertilizer low in nitrogen such as 6-10-10. Nitrogen is the first number and the second two are phosphorus and potassium. These are key nutrients for root and bloom production.

According to the Iris Society, a common mistake that inhibits flowering is planting the rhizomes too deeply. When planting, the roots should be placed in the planting hole and the top of the rhizome should be above the soil line. Do not mulch with organic matter because it creates shade on the rhizomes and excess moisture that causes them to rot.

A struggling Arctotis ‘Pink Sugar’ (African Daisy)

Dear Garden Coach: What is happening to my African Daisy and this little ground cover? I have them planted in a couple …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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