The Election Shock Nobody Expected... (But You'll See it Coming)

It comes down to just 9 words... Nine simple words which when spoken, will determine the outcome of the 2024 election... These words have nothing to do with Trump, the economy, or what's happening in Ukraine, China or Israel. This is the scandal that isn't being reported (yet.) But my political operatives tracked down this story.

Rebuilding Paradise: Nonprofit's $500 'defensible space' grants help cut residents' insurance costs

June 24, 2024

PARADISE, Calif. (AP) -- The letter from the insurance company arrived just before Brian and Morgan Gobba finally finished construction on their new house: Their homeowner's policy was being canceled.

The Gobbas were among the first families to return to Paradise after the 2018 Camp Fire killed 85 people and destroyed 90% of the homes here. The house where Morgan grew up burned in the fire. The couple wanted to be part of restoring the town, but the process has been exhausting and expensive.

"A lot of people don't realize that when you rebuild in a burnt-out town, you're not starting at ground zero," said Gobba, who worked as a construction estimator and is now a fire prevention inspector for the town of Paradise. "You're starting at negative five or 10, because you need to cut down the trees and get rid of a lot of things that are destroyed or toxic."

Facing the prospect of not having protection for the home they'd worked so hard to build, the Gobbas enrolled in the California FAIR plan last year, the state's insurer of last resort. Their annual premium is now $6,000.

"When you think you're slowly gaining money and adding to your safety net and your bank account for your kids and family and future, and all of a sudden, 'Hey, here's a bill for $6,000,' it really puts a hole in your heart," said Gobba.

Households throughout Paradise are confronting an insurability crisis as companies, reeling from unprecedented wildfire losses, raise premiums and discontinue policies in California. But a local foundation is trying to help those families find ways to qualify for and afford private insurance again by giving them money to make their properties more resilient to wildfire.

The Rebuild Paradise Foundation opened applications last month for the Defensible Space Gravel Grant -- a $500 voucher for enough gravel to create a 5-foot-wide buffer around a 2,000 square foot home, protecting the structure from vegetation or other combustible material.

The foundation hopes the vouchers help homeowners qualify for discounts insurers in California are required to give to customers who take certain risk-mitigation actions, including creating defensible space. After years of enduring the financial and emotional strain of rebuilding, many fire survivors may lack the capacity to make modest improvements like this on their own, according to Rebuild Paradise's executive director, Jen Goodlin.

"People are just maxed out," she said. "The new phase of the rebuild is landscaping, but there's no resources to do it."

Creating defensible space is also a key part of fire safety, according to Megan Fitzgerald-McGowan, director of the National Fire Protection Association's Firewise USA program. "When we look at how a wildfire spreads, it's not often that big wall of flames that people think of," she said. "It's the little embers flying through the air."

Those embers can ignite vegetation, especially if it's dry and overgrown. Having space between vegetation and the base of the house can prevent flames and embers from reaching the structure itself.

Many new homes in Paradise haven't been landscaped yet, leaving plenty of space for tall weeds to sprout in the spring and become highly flammable in the dry summer months. Gravel perimeters can prevent those weeds from growing, but they can be expensive and labor intensive to establish. The voucher is redeemable at a local rock business and includes delivery. If an applicant can't lay the rock themselves, volunteers will come help.

"This idea of a little bit of funding going a long way is what we hear all the time," said Fitzgerald-McGowan. "Sometimes it's just that little bit of a leg up, because these costs do add up."

Rebuild Paradise has doled out nearly $2.3 million since the fire, assisting households with construction costs not covered by FEMA or insurance like replacing septic infrastructure or surveying lots. The foundation was just winding down its largest grant program when, right before the five-year anniversary of the fire, insurance companies began raising premiums and dropping customers.

"It made everyone a little crazy," said Goodlin, whose own annual premium went from $2,500 to $12,000. "We have new homes built to the highest fire safety measures, yet we're getting these astronomical increases."

Since 2017, California home insurance premiums have gone up an average of 35%. Seven of the 12 top home-insurers in California have paused or restricted new business in California since 2022, saying it's become too risky to write policies in the disaster-prone state.

The state's insurance department is working on new rules to appease companies' concerns in exchange for them writing more policies near areas prone to wildfires. Those rules are expected to be finished by the end of the year.

Around 150 families have applied in the five weeks since the grant opened, and Goodlin said some insurance companies have even begun suggesting to their customers that they apply for the grant. The organization has received so much interest that it is pausing new applications while it reorganizes its processes. "We knew it would be a very popular grant program, but I don't think we actually realized how extreme it would be," said Goodlin.

The foundation aims to help 1,000 families, but it will have to raise more funds to do so, which means Goodlin herself is in the process of applying for grants to expand the program. She said she's even reached out to some of the insurance companies themselves for donations, though none have responded.

Brian Gobba applied for the grant as soon as it opened. The Rebuild Paradise Foundation had already helped him with the costs of surveying and installing a new septic system.

Without that kind of assistance, Gobba said many of his neighbors would not have been able to return to Paradise. "The help of the grant money in all its little forms, it's helping people get back to the ridge."

A Marine who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gobba knows how important being with people who have gone through similar experiences can be in overcoming trauma. "The people that have moved back after the fire have each other to lean on," he said. "That's really good for the healing process."

The gravel should be delivered this week. Gobba hopes that creating defensible space will not only allow them to landscape in a fire-safe way, but to also get off the FAIR plan. "Maybe somehow we could get our premiums and our yearly costs to go down," he said. "It felt like it was grasping at straws, but we had to try."


Associated Press coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits receives support through the AP's collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content. For all of AP's philanthropy coverage, visit

Continue Reading...


These Are The Top Democratic Contenders Who Could Succeed Biden If President Were To Bow Out Of

In the wake of a debate performance that drew widespread criticism, speculation has been reignited about whether President Joe Biden should bow out before the November election.

Trump Vs. Biden: New 2024 Election Poll Show Tie, But Here's Who Independent Voters Favor

A new 2024 election poll shows Donald Trump and Joe Biden tied. The poll shows inflation a key concern for voters moving forward.

Man Who Predicted Trump 2016 Win: "Prepare for Election Meltdown" - Ad

In 2016, surveys were giving Hillary Clinton more than 99% chance of winning right up until election night. But right before the election... Former advisor to the CIA, Jim Rickards predicted Trump would win. You won't believe what he's predicting now. And it could have huge implications for the financial markets.

Top 3 Tech Stocks Which Could Rescue Your Portfolio In July

Here's the latest list of major oversold players in this sector, having an RSI near or below 30.

Military to spend billions on "Living Missile" - Ad

We've just prepared a new report on the small defense contractor that makes this weapon - plus three other small defense firms best positioned to ride this mega-trend...

Top 4 Real Estate Stocks That Could Lead To Your Biggest Gains In Q3

The most oversold stocks in the real estate sector presents an opportunity to buy into undervalued companies.

The AI Presentation 'They' Don't Want You to See - Ad

Wall Street legend confesses, "I feel a sense of duty to share what I know with as many people as I can... that's why I made this free for all to view."

Jim Cramer Has A Market Strategy: Interest Rates Up, Buy Mag 7; Rates Down, Buy Everything

Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC's "Mad Money," has advised investors to consider buying the 'MAG 7' stocks when interest rates rise and to buy everything when rates fall.

This Could Be Like Buying Crypto In 2020 - Ad

Wall Street veteran Ian King says, "this could be like buying crypto in 2020." Now Ian's pounding the table on a new opportunity that's on the cusp of mainstream adoption just like crypto in 2020. And he's recommending you buy 3 little-known stocks ahead of an official announcement from the U.S. government.

Ford's Jim Farley Embraces EVs, Exciting Rival Tesla CEO Elon Musk, But Report Says Nearly Half Of EV Owners In US Want To Switch Back To Gas

Ford CEO Jim Farley on Friday wrote an article on X, detailing his long-standing love for gas vehicles and a newfound love for EVs, and rival CEO Elon Musk is excited. The sentiment, however, is not shared by EV owners across the U.S.

Coinbase Shares Spike After Company Unveils Stripe Collaboration To Streamline Crypto Payouts

In a significant move for the cryptocurrency world, leading digital asset exchange Coinbase Global Inc. (NASDAQ:COIN) and payment processing giant Stripe have unveiled a strategic alliance aimed at enhancing cryptocurrency payment solutions.

The Surprising Way to Play AI (Not Stocks!) - Ad

Almost nine out of 10 Americans completely ignore this market. And your broker probably isn't going to help you invest in this niche. That's because this niche of the AI market is completely outside of the stock market. Take advantage of these potential AI superstars....

Why Is Vaccine Maker Emergent BioSolutions Stock Trading Higher On Tuesday? (UPDATED)

Emergent BioSolutions has secured over $250 million in contract modifications from the ASPR at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funding ensures the supply of critical medical countermeasures, including Cyfendus for anthrax, ACAM2000 for smallpox, VIGIV for smallpox vaccine complications, and BAT for botulism.

Royal Caribbean Stock Is Rising Tuesday: What's Going On?

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE:RCL) shares are trading higher Tuesday in sympathy with shares of Carnival Corp (NYSE:CCL), which jumped after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results.

July 22nd - The Biggest Crypto Event in History - Ad

According to the man who called every major market top and bottom for the last 29 years... A single event triggering on June 24th will send the crypto market soaring. But what's more exciting... is that this event could send a small sector of the crypto market soaring 5X, 25X, and even 100X higher in just days.

United Airlines jet makes unscheduled landing in Florida after a passenger fights with a crew member

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A United Airlines jet from Miami to New Jersey made an unscheduled landing in Orlando, Florida, this week after a passenger became “aggressive and disruptive,” the airline said.

Australian PM Slams Meta As Arrogant And Irresponsible, Urges Payment To News Outlets: 'They Should Fulfill The Commitments That They Had Previously Given'

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese criticized Meta Platforms Inc. for its arrogant behavior and urged the company to continue paying local media organizations for their content, emphasizing its social responsibility.

Forget AI, Imperium Is Expected to Grow 320,000% In 3 Years - Ad

Three of the world's biggest AI companies -- Google, Nvidia and Intel -- have even partnered with my No. 1 Imperium company to get on this massive mega trend. The average investor hasn't caught on yet, but you can still invest in my No. 1 Imperium company for just $10 a share.

Airbus Pockets Multi-Billion Dollar Deal With Germany For Next-Gen Military Satellites: Details

Airbus clinches €2.1 billion contract with Germany for next-gen military satellites, reinforcing European space leadership.

Elon Musk's Chilling Warning for Humanity - Ad

Elon Musk warned that humanity will soon be 'obsolete.' Every port, railroad, highway, and airport in America is facilitating a kind of 'invasion' that will bring about centuries worth of change in the next few years. If Elon and the research are correct -- the results could be devastating for the average American.

Nike Analysts Sour On Retailer's Short-Term Prospects Following Poor Outlook: 'No Quick Rebound'

Nike shares plummet after weak revenue numbers and lowered guidance. Analysts have mixed opinions, with some seeing a long-term play and others disappointed by lifestyle category trends.

UBS Sells Stake In China Joint Venture To Comply with Local Regulations: Report

UBS selling partial stake in securities joint venture to BSAM in China, consolidating operations, CEO says it's optimal move for compliance.

Elon Musk Discloses 2 Attempts On His Life And Endorses Trump Following Rally Shooting: 'Dangerous Times Ahead'

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was quick to endorse Donald Trump after the former president was shot at during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday.

Get in Our "Ozempic Trade" Before It's Too Late... - Ad

In the past 90 days, one stock has jumped 96% and another has gained 88%. Don't miss out on the next round of potential winners. Here are 4 "Ozempic Stocks" you must own.

The Election Shock Nobody Expected... (But You'll See It Coming) - Ad

It comes down to just 9 words...Nine simple words which when spoken, will determine the outcome of the 2024 election...These words have nothing to do with Trump, the economy, or what's happening in Ukraine, China or Israel. This is the scandal that isn't being reported (yet.) But my political operatives tracked down this story.

Rivian Stock Skyrockets Premarket, Set To Open At 4-Month High: What's Going On?

EV startup Rivian has found the going tough along with the rest of its peers as demand falters amid an inclement economy.

Your Second Chance to Profit from AI - Ad

If you missed out on Nvidia, don't worry. A 244-year-old pattern is about to trigger a $25.6 trillion AI surge... And send three overlooked stocks soaring 1,000%+

Heather Lovier Named COO Of Rocket Companies, Replacing Bill Emerson

Heather Lovier appointed COO of Rocket Companies, replacing Bill Emerson, amid focus on tech innovation and operational strategy.

The End of America's Global Leadership - Ad

Believe it or not, this October surprise could end up being the real election story when historians write their books. And no matter who wins, it may be impossible to restore America's global standing afterwards.

Trump Media & Technology And Grindr Were Among The 10 Biggest Mid-Cap Stock Gainers Last Week (June 23 - June 29): Are These In Your Portfolio?

Top performers last week: Tempus AI +30%, Enovix Corp +29%, Grindr Inc +27.5%, Trump Media +18.33%, Credo Tech +18.3%, Tecnoglass Inc +17.9%, STAAR Surgical +16.55%, RXO Inc +16.22%, Global-E Online +16.21%, SentinelOne Inc +15.47%.

Trending Now

Information, charts or examples are for illustration and educational purposes only and not for individualized investment management This message contains commercial elements, such as advertising. We only send these offers to those who have opted in to our newsletter. Past performance is not indicative of future results. For these reasons we strongly suggest trading in a DEMO/Simulated account. The information provided by us is for educational and informational purposes only. We make no representations or warranties concerning the products, practices or procedures of any company or entity mentioned or recommended and have not determined if the statements and opinions of the advertiser are accurate, correct or truthful. If you use, act upon or make decisions in reliance on information contained or any external source linked within it, you do so at your own peril and agree to hold us, our officers, directors, shareholders, affiliates and agents without fault.

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service