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Wednesday
Jul302014

POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION: California high-speed rail project, Southern California segment, possible alternate route: "California high-speed rail project considering tunnel under San Gabriel Mountains" ....

* San Gabriel Valley Tribune:  "California high-speed rail project considering tunnel under San Gabriel Mountains"

A tunnel under the San Gabriel Mountains has been added as an alternate route for the $67.6 billion San Francisco-to-Los Angeles high-speed rail train’s Southern California segment connecting Palmdale to Burbank, officials said Monday. The new, more direct corridor, along with the S-shaped alignment proposed in 2007 that roughly follows the 14 Freeway through Santa Clarita, both will be discussed at seven upcoming public meetings of the California High-Speed Rail Authority in Los Angeles County beginning next week.

A tunneling option that runs in a straight line from the Palmdale Transportation Center directly to a station at the Burbank airport is being considered by the CHSRA for the first time as part of its environmental review, said Michele Boehm, CHSRA Southern California Regional Director. “Yes, we have included it as a corridor to look at in the next phase of the analysis,” Boehm said on Monday. The tunnel route will be shorter than the 60-mile-segment route released in 2007, she said, although she did not know exactly how much shorter. . . . . . . .

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The tunneling route under the San Gabriels is supported by Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who wrote a letter to the agency in October suggesting the route after hearing a lot of negatives from the cities of Acton and Santa Clarita over the first route.

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Santa Clarita Mayor Pro-Tem Marsha McLean agrees with Antonovich. . . . . . . . .

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The public meetings will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5 to Aug. 19 in the following locations.......................

Wednesday
Jul302014

SACRAMENTO: California Controller campaign, November 5 election: "San Jose's Democratic mayor backs Republican for state controller" ....

* San Francisco Chronicle (PoliticsBlog):  "San Jose's Democratic mayor backs Republican for state controller" - From the Chronicle:

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin's campaign for controller got a bipartisan boost Tuesday when Chuck Reed, San Jose's Democratic mayor, endorsed the Republican candidate.

"Ashley Swearengin and I have worked together as part of the Big Ten Mayors, a bipartisan group organized to focus on statewide issues impacting our residents and taxpayers" Reed said in a statement. Swearengin's "focus is not on partisan politics, but rather on getting the job done right. I'm proud to support her."

Reed's decisiont o give the cold shoulder to Betty Yee, the state Board of Equalization member who is the Democrats' choice in the Nov. 4 race, shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Reed, who has always been well out on the conservative edge of the Democratic Party, is termed out of office this year and has even less reason now to go blue................................ 

Tuesday
Jul292014

POLITICS (National, New York): Follow-up, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, controversy, anti-corruption commission: "Defiant, Cuomo Defies Interfering With Ethics Commission" ....

**Following up on earlier item noted here (New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, criticism, ethics inquiries, interference with Moreland Commission)....

* New York Times:  "Defiant, Cuomo Denies Interfering With Ethics Commission" - From the NYT:

BUFFALO -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday delivered a feisty and unrepentant defense of his handling of an anticorruption panel he created and then abruptly shut down, after five days in seclusion during which he encountered some of the harshest criticism he has faced as governor.

Accused of hobbling ethics investigations, Mr. Cuomo insisted on Monday that his office had merely offered 'advice,' and that his aides had never exerted inappropriate pressure onthe panel's leaders. "Independence,"  the governor said, "doesn't mean you get holed up in an ivory tower and you don't talk to anyone." He deemed the work of the panel "a phenomenal success."

The governor's public appearance was hist first since the New York Times reported Wednesday that his office had deeply compromised the panel's work..................................

Tuesday
Jul292014

MORNING MEMOS: Jerry Brown, Mexico trip, "Gov. Brown agrees to Mexico pact on climate change; environment activists wary of business ties"; new study, "Minorities aren't well represented in environmental groups, study says"; commentary (Dan Walters), "An obscure state agency creates big money problems"; L.A. City Hall, "More than 10,000 rush to apply in rebooted LAFD hiring drive" ....

***Various items this morning from across the spectrum of politics and/or public policy....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Gov. Brown agrees to Mexico pact on climate change; environment activists wary of business ties"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Minorities aren't well represented in environmental groups, study says"

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "An obscure state agency creates big money problems"

* Los Angeles Times:  "More than 10,000 rush to apply in rebooted LAFD hiring drive"

Tuesday
Jul292014

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (San Diego): Proposed increase in city minimum wage: "San Diego council votes to increase minimum wage to $11.50 by 2017"; Mayor Kevin Faulconer to veto planned increase, "San Diego mayor will veto minimum wage hike approved by City Council" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "San Diego mayor will veto minimum wage hike approved by City Council" - From the LAT:

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer plans to veto a minimum wage increase approved Monday by the City Council -- setting up a clash that will pit the Republican and the business establishment against the city's labor unions and Democrat-controlled council.

With six of nine spots on the council, the Democrats have enough votes to override the expected veto -- the first to be used by Faulconer since he was elected in February to replace Bob Filner, the city’s first Democratic mayor in 20 years.

Business leaders have indicated they may mount a petition drive to qualify the increase for the ballot and then campaign against the measure as a threat to the city’s economy.

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Jerry Sanders, former mayor and now chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce, said the increase could force businesses to leave San Diego and is effectively "a tax on every San Diego resident."

***ALSO, Related:

* Los Angeles Times:  "San Diego council votes to increase minimum wage to $11.50 by 2017"