Index
Friday
Feb122016

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Porter Ranch, "Why some Porter Ranch residents aren't overjoyed after gas leak stopped"; Orange County, "Nelson Enters Judicial Race, Could Mean He Resigns Supervisor Post Early"; Bay Area, "San Francisco real estate 'overvalued,' according to new report"; O.C., "O.C. deputies union files lawsuit over jail conditions, saying they led to inmate escapes" ....

***Various items relating to local government -- Northern California, Southern California....

* Voice of OC:  "Nelson Enters Judicial Race, Could Mean He Resigns Supervisor Post Early"

* Orange County Register:  "O.C. deputies union files lawsuit over jail conditions, saying they led to inmate escapes"

* Daily News:  "Why some Porter Ranch residents aren't overjoyed after gas leak stopped"

* San Francisco Chronicle ("On the Block"):  "San Francisco real estate 'overvalued,' according to new report"

Friday
Feb122016

SACRAMENTO: California Chamber of Commerce, "job killer" list: "CalChamber sends 'job killer' bills to its personal graveyard" ....  

* Sacramento Bee:  "CalChamber sends 'job killer' bills to its personal graveyard" - From the Bee:

At the Esquire Building, a block away from the budding magnolias on the state Capitol grounds, policy analysts and executives of the state’s most powerful business coalition are busy screening bills as quickly as legislators can introduce them. Under the dome, Democratic lawmakers like Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson are firming up their plans, mindful that their bills could be branded in a way that dooms them or is used against them in the next election.

Every spring the California Chamber of Commerce introduces its so-called “job killer” list, a handpicked collection of bills the group says will reduce jobs and deter companies from doing business in the state. Critics of the long-standing lobbying practice call the list little more than a marketing campaign carried out on behalf of big business. One thing is certain: You don’t want your bill to be on it.

“They can be very effective,” said Jackson, a Santa Barbara Democrat. “If a bill is on the job killer list, you have to take it seriously that there will be a strong effort to undermine its passage.”

   ****

 

CalChamber President and Chief Executive Allan Zaremberg sid his interest group isn’t responsible for failed legislation. The chamber simply calls out “bad bills.” “It isn’t publicity, and it isn’t our lobbying that kills a job killer,” he said. “It’s the consequences of the bill.”  

****

Its job killer list is determined through a long process that begins with ...................

Friday
Feb122016

SACRAMENTO: Education, new spending, school construction: "Gov. Jerry Brown opposes $9-billion school bond measure" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Gov. Jerry Brown opposes $9-billion school bond measure" - From the LAT:

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday came out against a $9-billion school bond measure that will go before voters in November, erecting a political hurdle for advocates of new spending on school construction. "I am against the developers' $9-billion bond," Brown said in a statement to The Times. "It's a blunderbuss effort that promotes sprawl and squanders money that would be far better spent in low-income communities."

Brown has hinted in the past at his displeasure with the ballot proposal. When he unveiled his budget plan last month, the governor said the bond measure would not change the state program that determines how school facilities are built and maintained. That process prioritizes districts that submit early applications for projects — which Brown said favors affluent districts over cash-strapped ones. "The Legislature could do a better job than the developers who put that one together," Brown said at the time.

But lawmakers' efforts to craft a smaller bond have stagnated.

   ****

Outright opposition from Brown could prove politically damaging for the larger proposal. . . . . . . .

But the $9-billion bond has racked up its own cadre of influential supporters, including ..................

Friday
Feb122016

POLITICS/ENVIRONMENT: California Coastal Commission, firing of Executive Director Charles Lester, follow-up: "Fired Coastal Commission director speaks out"; also, "Transparency debate follows vote by California coastal panel" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Fired Coastal Commission director speaks out" - From the LAT:

The newly fired executive director of the California Coastal Commission said Thursday that commissioners have shifted in recent years to be more accommodating to coastal developers and to exert tighter control over day-to-day activities at the agency.

"This commission seems to be more interested in and receptive to the concerns of the development community as a general rule," Charles Lester said in comments similar to those expressed by hundreds of supporters who spoke at a public hearing before his dismissal. "There is less focus on how we can make decisions to implement the Coastal Act.  That's different than saying it's development versus environment," he said. "It's more nuanced. But I think it remains to be seen how it will unfold."

Lester, 53, spoke in a hotel room a few hundred feet from where the agency he ran for more than four years continued a regular meeting without him. Acting under one of the nation's strongest coastal protection laws, the 1976 Coastal Act, the agency is charged with protecting the state's 1,100-mile shoreline from overdevelopment, threats to public access and environmental damage.

   ****

In the hourlong interview Lester, his suitcase already packed to return to his home outside Santa Cruz, spoke calmly and carefully as he detailed his long-brewing tensions with the commission and his worries over the future of its work .................

***ALSO:

* San Francisco Chronicle (AP):  "Transparency debate follows vote by California coastal panel"

Friday
Feb122016

POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION: California high-speed rail project: "Lawsuit contends the California bullet train project is violating state law"; also, "Timing, cost of high-speed rail project face legal scrutiny"; "Kings County opponents of high-speed rail get their court date" .... 

* Los Angeles Times:  "Lawsuit contends the California bullet train project is violating state law" - From the LAT:

The California bullet train project violates state law because it is not financially viable, will operate slower than promised and has compromised its design by using existing shared tracks in the Bay Area, attorneys for Kings County and two Central Valley farmers argued Thursday in Sacramento County Superior Court. The lawsuit asserts that the state's plans for the Los Angeles to San Francisco high-speed rail link violate restrictions placed on the project under the $9-billion bond act that voters approved in 2008.

The project has faced more than a dozen lawsuits, brought by churches, corporations, farmers, irrigation districts and government agencies. But the suit by Kings County and farmers John Tos and Aaron Fukuda has emerged as the most serious challenge to the entire project. The legal challenges have contributed to delays that have now put the project more than two years behind schedule. 

The suit asks to halt funding for construction and land acquisition, allowing spending only to develop an alternative plan. A ruling is supposed to be issued within 90 days.

Judge Michael Kenny had asked the attorneys to focus on five technical questions revolving around the state's compliance with the bond act.

Stuart Flashman, who represented the plaintiffs, described a number of alleged violations of the bond act restrictions ......................

***ALSO:

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Timing, cost of high-speed rail project face legal scrutiny"

* Sacramento Bee:  "Kings County opponents of high-speed rail get their court date"