Rudy here, your roving canine Alameda reporter. 

Patience is needed in the morning. No need to move off the couch until the Old Man has slurped at least two cups of coffee. (His eyes slowly open.) Then my tricky nonverbal herding skills must kick in.  

The federal government is preparing a lump of coal for the stockings of more than 3.7 million people nationwide in the form of a reduction in food stamp benefits.

Three proposals — one of which has already been approved — would tighten eligibility requirements, eliminating $4.2 billion in benefits for more than two million families nationwide.

Part One in a Series

Some observers of the passing parade may have noticed that a certain word gets repeated frequently in almost any serious newspaper whether it be the National Enquirer, Star Magazine, The Mirror, Mega Star or The Sun. That word is not “affordable.” It is not “warming” nor “rising.” It’s not even “vaping.” It is “impeachment.” 

People pick grapes. Last spring at the University of California Berkeley, I attended a lecture panel of farm labor workers from Sonoma, California’s wine country. They spoke about their horrific experiences in the field. It is easy to forget that produce is picked by farm laborers. They provide us with the food we need to survive. They are our friends. Yet their voices are not heard. Farm laborers live in environmental justice neighborhoods and work in harsh environments that negatively impact their health, and no enforcement of policies to prevent this from happening.