Jun 18

California State Massive Fraud Against Consumers

Hundreds of Millions Stolen in Bottle Redemption Scam as Recycling Centers Are Closed

Homeless and Low Income Folks Shut Out of Recycling

With the closing this week of the Santa Monica Recycling Center, there is now no place to redeem your bottles and cans west of the 405 Freeway.  Not only has the State failed to return the money collected from consumers to help the local recycling centers, but a criminal conspiracy between the State of California, some of the large grocers, and certain trash waste haulers have put hundreds of millions of dollars into the hands of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.

Another side-effect is that many thousands of homeless folks, low income folks, and other citizens who make all or part of their meager living by picking up trash and bottles for recycling are finding it hard to keep doing it because over 40% of the recycling centers have closed down, meaning that in many areas there is nowhere to go to turn in your bottles and cans.  Collecting and redeeming bottles and cans brings in a small amount of coin for the poverty class.  Cheating the public in such a blatant way is one more example of the class war that is being conducted by the political elite in Sacramento and many other states..

Over 1,000 Redemption Centers closed in California

According to Susan Collins of  the Container Recycling Institute, over 1000 Redemption Centers have been recently closed.  All of us are forced to pay the CRV (recycling) fee when you buy water or beverages.  You pay 5 cents for small bottles and 10 cents for large containers.  You are entitled by law to get your  money back, but the State of California has found a way to cheat you by making it almost impossible to return the bottles.  When this program started years ago the merchant who sold you the beverage had to take the container back.  Then all the merchants were exempted due to lobbying by the big market chains because it was a bother for them..  The greedy crooks in California didn’t want to cut the markets in for their trouble in collecting the fees and then collecting the bottles back, so they then contracted out to some companies to install machines in some (not all) market locations.These machines were not programmed correctly, here’s a video we shot back in 2010 proving that Ralph’s market collected the CRV and then Rejected the bottle for a return credit.

Consumer Watchdog Accuses California of Breaking the Social Contract 

Jamie Court, President of Consumer Watchdog, has accused the State of California of breaking the social contract with it’s citizens.  The Cal Recycle Agency is sitting on $360 Million Dollars, money they have collected from consumers they have cheated from getting their deposits back.  God knows how many more millions have been siphoned off or stolen.  For instance, who audits the tens of thousands of gas stations, small markets, large markets and other outlets who COLLECT the deposit money.  How much of that cash is actually just EMBEZZLED and never given to the State?  In addition, some independent recycling centers have been caught trucking in plastic bottles from Arizona and selling them to the State for CRV deposit.  The “per pound” price paid for plastic bottles can often be less than the California CRV, another way the consumer is cheated by this system.  The State also was cheated when recycling centers bought plastic bottles from out of state by the pound and sold them to California for the higher CRV.

Santa Monica Closes the Last Redemption Center on the Westside

Santa Monica, choked off from funds even though the gluttonous Governor and his cronies are sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars of consumer paid in money, is closing the last Recycling Center on the Westside of Los Angeles.  The West L.A. area consumers pay around 6 million dollars a year for CRV deposits,  Now, there is nowhere close to go to get your money back.  Here’s a video of the closing, with Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog and Susan Collins of Container Recycling Institute:

Outrage over Santa Monica City Council Action Closing Center

With the Recycling Center now closed, thousands of homeless and low-income folks have nowhere to take bottles collected off streets.  Consumers have nowhere to get their deposits back.  The City, meanwhile pays trash haulers huge amounts to fill landfills.  The bottles and cans in trash trucks go mostly to landfills because they are contaminated inside the trucks.  The bottles and cans collected by the Recycling centers are generally clean and can be made into new bottles and cans.

The United States Attorney Must Investigate This Corruption in the State of Caifornia

The U.S. Attorney should launch a serious investigation into this multi-million dollar fraud.  Here’s some of the main points.

  1.  The State of California has committed massive fraud on it’s citizens and broken the law by cheating and scamming consumers out of hundreds of millions of dollars through devious means.
  2.  Investigate the large markets, the gas station stores and all stores selling beverages for signs of embezzling the cash from CRV deposits.
  3. Investigate the donations, cash and possible bribes from the trash hauling industry to politicians in Sacramento.
  4. Demand that all outlets that sell beverages must also redeem the CRV.
  5. Re-open enough recycling centers to handle the job.  It should not have to be a half a days trek to return a few bottles.
  6. .Investigate the Cal Recycle bureaucrats for misuse of funds, fraud on consumers, and provoking class war on homeless folks and low income folks who survive on doing society a big favor for very little money.
Apr 16

Nomadic Woman Lives Out of Backpack For 20 Years

A Review of Her Backpack Contents and Tips For Extended Travel

by Adventurer Shashi Harrie

Video by Paulie Hunt

Photos by Julie Webster

Shashi’s Latest and Famous Backpack

Contents of Sashi’s Backpack.

Our dear friend Shashi was just about to leave for another travel adventure.  She had been globe-trotting for over 20 years, living simply and mostly out of her back pack and a rolly suitcase.  She has been almost everywhere, including Tibet and Latin America.  This trip was to go back to India, seeking wisdom at her favorite Ashram.

Before she left we persuaded her to meet at a friend’s apartment and go through her entire backpack kit.  Over the years she had refined the things she carried to get the lightest items, but also the strongest and long lasting items.  I know that one of  her favorite places was REI in Santa Monica for excellent camping gear.  She agreed to share her experience and go through the items that she has found to be a necessity for extended travel and adventure.  She caries a water filter, a rice cooker, and a device to grind nuts and seeds, because she will be eating mostly things she prepares and finds in even small villages, including rice, beans and fresh veggies.. Being on the road can be expensive if you travel like a rich tourist and stay in hotels and have all meals in restaurants.  Shashi prefers to be on foot or bus and find a really cheap place to  stay or camp and cook her own food.  This savings allows her to travel constantly on a very small fixed income.  She also works a little along the way, or  trades services with businesses.  She has fixed computers, done bookkeeping, is a licensed acupuncturist, a trained karate security guard, and many other talents.

Please enjoy the video below and following that some photos we took of her equipment.  Notice that to keep organized, things are kept in cloth or vinyl waterproof bags and little pouches.  For instance, the first aid kit is in one bag, toiletries in another, food prep stuff in another.   That keeps everything organized in her backpack.

Note:  The video below is only 16 minutes.  We will upload the entire 50 minute version soon.

 

Shashi Harri  (L) and Julie Webster

Big Fun Videographer Paulie with Shashi Harri

I am very  sad to say that our dear friend passed away on her last trip in early 2019, due to  being caught in a dreadful storm and getting pneumonia.  We will certainly miss her calm disposition and great knowledge.  This is her last gift to those who live out of their backpacks, by choice or by chance and hard times.  She was so happy to share this information with everyone at gypsycool.  Rest In Peace dear Shashi Harrie.

Mar 13

Free Dinners in Encino

Encino Church Offers Help

by Judy

I volunteered today at feed the homeless in Encino.  It is a very impressive place.
Every tues night  6:30 to 8:00pm   and every sunday late afternoon   3:00pm to 4:pm

anyone in need is welcome for a free hot meal and dessert

Location  St Nicholas Episcopal Church – fellowship hall,   17114 ventura blvd, encino, ca 91316

The meals are served as a sit down dinner with entertainment.  The people are served like they were eating at a restaurant.

Dec 10

New Film on Homeless Children in Los Angeles

“Invisible Children of L.A.” Coming Soon – Fundraiser With Senator Kevin deLeon, Producer Maryana Palmer and Actress Mimi Kennedy Highlights Plight of Our Local Kids

Los Angeles is fast earning the reputation as the homeless capitol of America.  Because of skyrocketing apartment rents, the millions of folks who were thrown out of their homes by the bankers during the mortgage melt-down now have nowhere to go.  Thousands of families are living in their RVs, vans and even cars.  This includes thousands of children.  Even if the family gets a “chit” to stay in a motel for a couple of weeks, imagine the impact on the kids.  It is an intolerable situation.

This new documentary focuses on several families, their daily struggle to make ends meet, living with their kids on the street, in motels, in vehicles.  It is a heart-wrenching documentary that is a call to action for society to do something to help this situation.  There are many helpful solutions to these problems, we just need to marshal our society to tackle them

The fundraiser was held on September 29th at the Peace Center in Culver City.  The goal was to get enough money to pay for post production costs for the film, so that it could get released.  The trailer is done.  Gypsy Cool’s friends were at the event, with video cameras to record the highlights of the event.  Please, anyone who can help with a few bucks, go to www.invisiblechildrenofla.org and make a donation to the film through Film Independent.