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Thursday
May252017

POLITICS (National): President Donald Trump, Office of Government Ethics: "White House Moves to Block Ethics Inquiry Into Ex-Lobbyists on Payroll"; "Power struggle intensifies between White House and ethics office"; "Trump Declares War on the Office of Government Ethics" ...

***President Donald Trump, Office of Government Ethics....

* Washington Post:  "Power struggle intensifies between White House and ethics office"

* New York Times:  "White House Moves to Block Ethics Inquiry Into Ex-Lobbyists on Payroll"

* New York Magazine:  "Trump Declares War on the Office of Government Ethics"

Thursday
May252017

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Bay Area): San Francisco Board of Supervisors, affordable housing, density bonus: "S.F. supervisors OK taller buildings in exchange for affordable housing" ....

***San Francisco Board of Supervisors, affordable housing, density bonus....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "S.F. supervisors OK taller buildings in exchange for affordable housing" - From the Chronicle:

A housing density law that took two years to craft was approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, notching a win for developers and pro-growth advocates who say the only way to make San Francisco affordable is to keep building.

The ordinance, which allows developers to build taller residential structures in exchange for making 30 percent of the units affordable, passed 10-1, with Supervisor Norman Yee dissenting. Yee had asked for a special exemption for the Ocean Avenue corridor in his district, but failed to get support from the majority of his colleagues.

Supervisor Katy Tang first proposed the city density law in 2015 as a means to produce more homes for middle-class families who don't qualify for federally subsidized housing. Her initial version died under opposition from her progressive colleagues, who said it didn't demand enough of develoeprs, and from westside homeowners, who said it would cause new real estate projects to flood their neighborhoods. But Tang managed to revive the law this year, amid increased interest in helping ...............

Thursday
May252017

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles World Airports, settlement, litigation, Culver City. Inglewood: "City settles lawsuits challenging modernization projects at Los Angeles International Airport" ....

***Los Angeles World Airports, settlement, litigation, Culver City, Inglewood....

* Los Angeles Times:  "City settles lawsuits challenging modernization projects at Los Angeles International Airport" - From the LAT:

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday agreed to settle lawsuits brought by Culver City and Inglewood that alleged the potential environmental impacts of modernization projects at Los Angeles International Airport were not properly evaluated.

Officials said the settlements smooth the way for construction of ground transportation improvements, including a people mover in the central terminal area, a transportation center, a consolidated car rental facility and upgraded roads. All are part of a $14-billion modernization of the nation’s second-busiest airport.

   ****

Under terms of the agreement ......................

Saturday
May202017

POLITICS/EDUCATION: University of California, state audit, UC regents: "Tensions high as UC regents meet to discuss audit response"; "UC regents defend Napolitano, blame media for 'salacious' coverage of state audit"; "State auditor urges UC regents to boost oversight of budget practices but says audit found nothing 'nefarious'" ....

Saturday
May202017

SACRAMENTO: 2016 election, Proposition 56, tobacco tax increase, Gov. Jerry Brown, Medi-Cal provider rates?: Commentary (George Skelton), "Gov. Brown stiffed doctors, dentists and hospitals by not increasing provider fees with new tobacco money" ....  

***2016 election, Proposition 56, tobacco tax increase, Medi-Cal provider fees, Governor Jerry Brown?

* Los Angeles Times (George Skelton):  "Gov. Brown stiffed doctors, dentists and hospitals by not increasing provider fees with new tobacco money" - From the LAT:

The way Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing to spend — or not spend — the hefty new tobacco tax is an example of why citizens are so cynical about government and politics. In fact, it’s the sort of thing that contributed to the election of President Trump. No, Brown isn’t to blame for this White House misfit. But voters who felt kissed off by the political establishment were Trump’s electoral base.

By a landslide, California voters — roughly 9 million — approved a $2-per-pack increase in the cigarette tax last November. Much of the new revenue was supposed to go toward raising fees for doctors and dentists who treat poor patients on Medi-Cal, the state’s version of federal Medicaid. But Brown has refused to allocate any of the new money for that, despite the glaring need.

During the recession, Sacramento cut the already miserly Medi-Cal provider rates by 10%. And those cuts haven’t been rescinded, even as the economy has recovered and income tax rates have been increased on the wealthy. Consequently, California’s Medi-Cal rates are shamefully about the lowest in the nation, at 48th.

So what? So providers aren’t fools. There’s no law forcing them to treat Medi-Cal patients. And many are refusing to. The only providers required to treat everyone are hospital emergency wards. And that’s where patients who can’t find traditional care wind up, clogging waiting rooms and costing more to treat. Most of us pay the cost through stiffer private insurance premiums .................