California Takes On 2″ X 4″‘s.

Wood-pileBecause California has solved all of its problems, Marin County District Attorney Edward S. Berberian decided to sue Lowes for deceptive product labeling practices.

The main issue was that non-dimensional 2″ X 4″ pieces of lumber were not 2″ X 4″ but instead are 1.5″ X 3.5″.

The key wording in that statement is “non dimensional” as 2″ X 4″‘s are cut from freshly cut timber.

Lumber manufacturers typically cut a tree into dimensional

lumber very shortly after the tree is felled. Then, the newly-sawn (but soaking wet) lumber is kiln-dried until it reaches the desired moisture level. As lumber dries, it shrinks (as the moisture in the wood is reduced, the wood cells shrink, particularly across the grain). While the 8′ length won’t change much as the wood dries, the 2″ width and 4″ height (cross-section of the grain) will shrink considerably.

Because of this shrinkage, a typical 2×4 will usually measure out to around 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″. These numbers can vary slightly, but modern lumber manufacturers are pretty adept at delivering consistently-sized supplies of dimensional lumber.

In short, manufacturers cut the lumber into 2″ X 4″ pieces of wood, but as the wood dries it shrinks. Add to that the companies plane the wood to make sure it is somewhat smooth and you get a smaller, on-dimensional 2″ X 4″ piece of wood.

Amazingly, (well, maybe not as this is California) a California Superior Court Judge Judge Paul M. Haakenson agreed with District Attorney Berberian and issued an order requiring Lowes to do three things when it comes to labeling products such as 2″ X 4″‘s:

More On Westover Winery.

Westover-Wine-Grapes---ROH The other day we wrote a post on Westover Winery in California having to close because the state of California had fined the company for failing to pay volunteers.

Our thoughts got picked up by Walter Olson over at

In the comments that followed at Overlawyered is this from William Smyth who wrote:

I am the owner of the winery.

I have cancer and have had five surgeries in five years. I left a corporate job to deal with my cancer in 2010. My life expectancy is probably another six years.

The only reason I kept the winery going was for the fun and passion of those who wanted to volunteer and their friendship. I am closing the winery to spend time with both of my parents who are in the last years of their life and they are very ill at this point. I also want to deal with my cancer. The fines were probably more than what the entire winery was worth. The fines made my final decisions easy. We are talking about a business that is only open 10 hours per week total. We did not need any of the volunteers.

My wife and I could handle it alone. This was not about money, it was about passion. By the way, one of my volunteers made everything worth it, she later became my wife.


Baby Sammy In Sacramento – UPDATE!

California-CPS-ROH We wrote the other day concerning a Sacramento, California couple who, concerned for the health of their 5 month old baby, removed him from one hospital where the care was less than stellar and took him to another hospital. The child was then taken by the police and the less than aptly named “Child Protective Services.”

On Monday, a judge ruled the child could be returned to the parents under some rather odd conditions.

Five-month-old Sammy, who was removed from his parents’ custody by Sacramento County Child Protective Services last week, will be transported to Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, a Sacramento County judge ruled Monday. The baby has been in protective custody at Sutter Memorial Hospital.

The court also ruled Monday the parents must following all medical advice from now on, including not taking their child from Stanford without proper discharge.

A county social worker will make regular house visits to check on Sammy once he is returned home.

So the child was removed from the parents and taken to the same hospital where the child was receiving medication for absolutely no medical reason. That same hospital was then allowed to say “the child was in bad shape,” to a judge, despite another hospital saying the child was medically fit to return home. Does anyone but us think that Sutter Memorial Hospital’s testimony should be viewed as self serving? Why wasn’t the child taken to Kaiser?

(Oh yeah…. because Kaiser had said the child was fine and CPS and Sutter couldn’t allow that to stand.)

Secondly, while we can appreciate the child being taken to and diagnosed at Stanford Medical Center, even if they say “the child is fine and never was in danger,” the child’s parents, Anna and Alex Nikolayev, still have to have CPS visit their home? If there is no finding the child was in danger and the Nikolayev’s had acted appropriately, the state still gets to come “check” on the child? With no cause?

This just seems to be a case where the State of California is looking to prove that a child – even a well cared for and loved child – is not the responsibility of the parents. Ultimately, in California (and in other states) the child belongs to the state.

Lord help us all.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE!: Lawyers for the couple are stating they are going to file a lawsuit against the hospital, CPS and the police. The police lawsuit may not have legs, but as the hospital and CPS seem to have misrepresented facts and did not follow procedures in this case, they may be in trouble. Of course, if there is a monetary judgement against CPS, that will come out of taxpayer funds instead of the people who are directly responsible for this mess.

California May Allow Non-Citizens On Juries.

Jury-Box-ROHThe State Assembly of California has passed a bill that would allow non-citizens to sit on juries. By “non-citizens,” we don’t mean “non-citizens” or residents of the state. No, we mean non-citizens of the United States of America. The bill still requires the person meets all other jury qualifications such as age, being proficient in English, etc., but the prospective juror does not have to be a US citizen.

There doesn’t appear to be any Constitutional prohibition on non-citizens serving on juries, and the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Carter v. Jury Commission of Greene City that non-citizens may be excluded from jury service.

(In addition, the Supreme Court has ruled that the 14th Amendment protection applies to non-citizens, but some “essential” government jobs such as teachers, fire fighters, police, etc., may be limited to US citizens only.)

Without direct authority from the Constitution or the Supreme Court, we are left with the real question of “is it a good idea to allow non US citizens onto juries?”

We here at Raised on Hoecakes do not believe it is.

Before we explain why, it is interesting to see why the vote in the California Assembly was 45-25 mostly along party lines in the Democrat controlled Assembly.

Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, said his bill, AB1401, would help California widen the pool of prospective jurors and help integrate immigrants into the community.


Democratic lawmakers who voted for the bill said there is no correlation between being a citizen and a juror, and they noted that there is no citizenship requirement to be an attorney or a judge.


We Hope There Is More To This Story – But We Doubt It.

California-CPS-ROH This is one of those stories that we hope there is more that is not being told.

Somehow we doubt it.

Alex and Anna Nikolayev of Sacramento, California have a little baby boy named Sammy who has a heart murmur and is under the care of a heart specialist. Recently Sammy exhibited flu-like symptoms and out of concern for the health of their child, the Nikolayevs took Sammy to Sutter Memorial Hospital. While there, they became concerned about the quality and accuracy Sammy was receiving.

One of their specific concerns was that when a nurse was giving Sammy antibiotics, the Nikolayevs asked the nurse what the antibiotics were and what they were for. According to the Nikolayevs, the nurse told them she didn’t know why she was giving Sammy antibiotics or what they were for. The Nikolayevs tracked down a doctor who told them the child shouldn’t be receiving any antibiotics.

At the same time, another doctor told the Nikolayevs that he thought he should operate on Sammy to correct his heart murmur.

Because the doctor’s advice on the operation was against that of their heart specialist and because Sammy was being injected with antibiotics in error, the Nikolayevs took the child from the hospital without a “proper discharge” and immediately took the child to the competitor hospital of Kaiser Permanente. There a doctor examined Sammy who examined and monitored Sammy and eventually told the Nikolayevs there was no reason why Sammy needed to be admitted to the hospital and was medically cleared to go home.

Baby, You Can’t Drive My Car.

Just because we have never seen something before doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, but this is a first for us.

Ford is not only recalling 2013 Escapes equipped with 1.6-litre four-cylinder engines, Ford is telling drivers to stop driving the vehicle until it can be repaired.

Leaky or faulty fuel lines have caused three vehicle fires in which no one has been hurt. (And the irony of getting out of a burning vehicle named “Escape” is not lost on us.)

Ford is serious about not driving the Escape:

Ford says owners should call dealers to get the problem fixed. If parts aren’t available, dealers will drop off loaner cars for use until the repairs can be made. Once the parts arrive, it will take less than an hour for technicians to replace the fuel lines, Zwiebel said.

The recall affects only 11,800 vehicles bit still, when was the last time you saw a recall where the auto company will bring a loaner car to you?

In a related driving story, California is looking at adding a “vehicle miles traveled” (VMT) tax.

How Much Does It Cost To Move A Plant? If You Are The Government, $205,075.

Photo: Michael Chasse/National Park Service.

As part of Obama’s “Shovel Ready” projects, taxpayers are partially funding the Presidio Park Project in San Fransisco, California. The $1.045 billion dollar project will help alleviate congestion in the area of the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as make the roadway less susceptible to seismic damage.

The August 10, 2010 Federal Register reported an ecologist had reported seeing a plant known as “Arctostaphylos franciscana,” or a “Franciscan manzanita” bush. The bush is a low growing bush that according to one source, can be purchased at most local home and garden centers for about $16.00. But what made this specimen special was that it was found growing naturally in a median of the street the Presidio Park Project would renovate. Not only that, but the “Franciscan manzanita” was thought to be extinct in “the wild” even though it had previously could be found in much of San Francisco.

Eager to protect the plant, an agreement between different agencies was reached on relocating the bush. For most of us, that would be getting a shovel, digging the thing up, putting it on a truck, taking it to a new location, digging a hole, putting the bush in the hole, fill in the dirt, water and watch plant grow.

But we are not the government.

Must Stop Evil Food Trucks. Pot Dispensaries Are Okay Though.

William Monning is a man on a mission. Monning, a Democrat representing Carmel, California, is a former professor of conflict resolution at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He also chairs California’s Assembly Health Committee, which apparently wishes to control every business and aspect of your life.

Monning recently proposed a bill to the California legislature requiring food trucks remain 1500 feet away from schools. The current limit is 500 feet.

Monning believes his law will help prevent childhood obesity.

“The reality is the trucks that are coming to the schools are pushing low-cost, sugar-sweetened beverages and high-sodium snacks,” [Monning] said. “The kids aren’t paying $17 for a risotto from a gourmet food truck.”


“Our effort here is to create a circle of protection for the kids by not allowing the food trucks to park immediately at the … schools,” said Monning

Well, there you have it. Politicians feel they must “protect” people from making choices. Instead of empowering kids to make choices and teaching kids the consequences of those choices, they are taught the decision will be made for them and they’ll like it.

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