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Tuesday
Aug262014

POLITICS (National, Local/Baltimore): Urban casinos, source of tax revenue and jobs: "With the Horseshoe casino, Baltimore adds to the urban gambling jackpot" ....  

* Washington Post:  "With the Horseshoe casino, Baltimore adds to the urban gambling jackpot" - From the WP:

The inside of the new Horseshoe casino looks like any gambling palace on the Las Vegas Strip, filled with blinking slot machines, blackjack tables, cocktail waitresses and crystal chandeliers. But one glimpse of the Royal Farms convenience store across the street is enough to remind you: This is not the Bellagio. This is Baltimore.

The owner, Caesars Entertainment, wouldn’t have it any other way. The company is one of many developers that have vied to open casinos in places such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Cleveland — cities that other industries abandoned decades ago. Post-industrial cities are casino gambling’s newest frontier. Located mainly in the Midwest and Northeast, they were off-limits to Vegas-style gambling until their states began embracing casinos as a source of tax revenue and jobs.

Maryland, which didn’t open its first slots parlor until 2010, is now one of the fastest-growing casino markets in the country — and one with an increasingly urban focus.............................

Tuesday
Aug262014

SACRAMENTO: AB 94, editorial, "Californians have a right to diss their officials"; earthquakes, "Quake early-warning system culd be built with water bond funds"; AB 69, delay, cap-and-trade implementation, transportation fuels, "Senate leader: No delay in cap-and-trade plan" ....

***Various items relating to doings in and/or around the Capitol....

* Capitol Weekly:  "Senate leader: No delay in cap-and-trade plan"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Quake early-warning system could be built with water bond funds"

* Los Angeles Times (editorial):  "Californians have a right to diss their officials"

Tuesday
Aug262014

POLITICS (National): Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, apology, Asian American jokes, commentary (Debra Saunders): "Harry Reid enjoys immunity from foot-in-mouth disease" ....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, apology, Asian American jokes)....

* San Francisco Chronicle (Debra Saunders):  "Harry Reid enjoys immunity from foot-in-mouth disease" - From the Chronicle:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the Asian Chamber of Commerce last week, "The Asian population is so productive. I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you've convinced a lot of us you are." In remarks videotaped by the GOP group America Rising, Reid also joked that he had trouble "keeping my Wongs straight." Then followed this apology: "My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize. Sometimes I say the wrong thing."

Sometimes? Reid is being far too humble...........................

Tuesday
Aug262014

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles Zoo, update, marketing agreement, Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association: "L.A. Zoo nears agreement on marketing that would free up city funds" ....

* Daily News:  "L.A. Zoo nears agreement on marketing that would free up city funds" - From the DN:

After three years of sometimes contentious negotiations, the city on Monday headed toward a final agreement on marketing the Los Angeles Zoo through the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association and eliminating its cost to the city general fund.

The City Council’s Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and River Committee urged adoption of a series of agreements with GLAZA to have it take over zoo marketing and agree to provide $2.5 million this coming year, and up to nearly $2.6 million in three years to offset operating costs.  As a result, the city could eliminate its general fund payments of $1 million to the zoo.

“This is a new era at City Hall,” said Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who chairs the committee. “It’s important we get this right, and I think we have done that with this.”

First proposed by former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa during the recession as a way to reduce the city’s budget, the program was designed to give GLAZA control over the zoo when it comes to marketing, public relations, special events and catered events.  One of the principal stumbling blocks had been city unions, which were concerned GLAZA would lay off workers to reach budget goals.

O’Farrell also asked for a report back in a month on information to seek new concession agreements ........................

Tuesday
Aug262014

L.A. CITY HALL: "Administrative Citation Program," proposed pilot program, enforcement tool, "quality of life" issues: "New enforcement tool for L.A. 'quality of life' issues proposed" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "New enforcement tool for L.A. 'quality of life' issues proposed" - From the LAT:

Los Angeles could soon create a new system of police-issued citations for minor "quality of life" annoyances that typically would be resolved with a warning. The pilot program, called Administrative Citation Enforcement, gives the LAPD  and the Department of Animal Services  a new enforcement tool that would bypass the court system. It would allow city officials to impose financial penalties for such offenses as urinating in public, having dogs off leashes at the beach or dumping garbage in public streets.

   ****

Officials said the proposal, which was approved by the City Council's budget committee Monday, is needed because warnings can be ignored and officers are often reluctant to take actions that can trigger a misdemeanor case.

The concept of the program was approved by the City Council last year. If adopted, it is expected to generate $1.59 million in net revenue annually.................