Index
Tuesday
Mar032015

POLITICS/EDUCATION: University of California, Governor Jerry Brown, UC President Janet Napolitano, UC funding?: "Budget standoff leaves California college hopefuls in limbo" ....

* San Francisco Chronicle (AP):  "Budget standoff leaves California college hopefuls in limbo" - From the Chronicle:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — University of California admissions officers are sifting through a record number of applications, but they have no idea how many new students they can enroll.

The uncertainty stems from the very public clash between university President Janet Napolitano and Gov. Jerry Brown over the state's role in underwriting the cost of a UC education for qualified Californians. Arguing that Sacramento has failed to fulfill its fiscal obligations, Napolitano plans to raise tuition 5 percent this fall and expand undergraduate enrollment by 3,000 — one-third of the slots for Californians and two-thirds for students from abroad and out-of-state. The governor, for his part, is threatening to withhold about $120 million in state funds unless the university keeps both its tuition rates and non-resident enrollment flat.

Their competing visions — along with additional plans by top lawmakers — have thrown off the tenuous mechanics of the admissions cycle. Campus officials still are waiting to find out what their overall enrollments are expected to be, a figure they use to calculate how many new students they can accept and then what proportion will be state residents subsidized by taxpayers ..........................

Tuesday
Mar032015

LOCAL GOVERNMENT/AVIATION (Burbank): Burbank Bob Hope Airport, proposed renovation, remodeling: "What's at stake in remodeling Burbank airport" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "What's at stake in remodeling Burbank airport" - From the LAT:

Officials generally agree that the Burbank Bob Hope Airport passenger terminal is cramped, outdated and obsolete. Opened 85 years ago, the terminal is so close to the runway that it does not meet federal design safety standards. The terminal also doesn't meet seismic standards and could be so heavily damaged in a major earthquake that it could go out of service.

Airport officials have long sought a new terminal since aerospace giant Lockheed Corp. sold it in 1978. But the effort has been stalled for various reasons over the years. Most recently, a renewed fight between the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority and the Burbank City Council has halted progress on designing a new terminal.

Both sides have come a long way to agree on major issues. But they still disagree over how much more influence Burbank's representatives should have on the airport authority's board in making major decisions. Here are some facts on the proposed new terminal and the causes of the dispute .........................

Tuesday
Mar032015

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Bay Area): San Francisco, implementation, new Airbnb law: "SF Airbnb law off to slow start; hosts say it's cumbersome" ....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "SF Airbnb law off to slow start; hosts say it's cumbersome" - From the Chronicle:

San Francisco’s new vacation-rental law is off to a slow start. Only a fraction of hosts who rent homes to temporary visitors have registered with the city, and many say the process is mired in time-consuming bureaucracy. That mirrors the situation in Portland, Ore., where new vacation-rental laws took effect in September and February, but haven’t spurred many hosts to register.

In San Francisco, the new measure, dubbed the Airbnb law in tribute to that vacation-rental site’s runaway popularity, came into effect Feb. 1. It allows permanent residents to rent rooms or homes for less than 30 days after they register with the city. Such short-term rentals had long been illegal, but that ban was loosely enforced.

After four full weeks, a total of 159 hosts have applied, while 254 more have appointments booked through the end of April, according to Gina Simi, a spokeswoman for the City Planning Department, which administers the registry. Airbnb has about 5,000 listings in the city while VRBO/HomeAway has about 1,200.

Some Airbnb hosts said they were stymied by rules requiring two in-person visits to city departments. Planning requires hosts to make appointments to meet in person and show a raft of documents, including a business license, which must be obtained in person by waiting in line at the treasurer’s office.

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Simi said her department simply wants to implement the ordinance competently and fully. “We aren’t trying to make anybody crazy but doing the best we can to establish proof of permanent residency for the people who apply,” she said .........................

Tuesday
Mar032015

POLITICS (National, State): Congressional redistricting, independent citizen commissions, U.S. Supreme Court hearing: "Supreme Court questions Arizona redistricting commission"; also, Supreme Court skeptical of citizen panels that redraw congressional districts"; "State redistricting plan under scrutiny at Supreme Court; commentary (Dan Walters), "Legislature may regain mapmaking" .... 

***Various reports, U.S. Supreme Court hearing, Arizona case, citizen commissions, redrawing of congressional districts....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Supreme Court skeptical of citizen panels that redraw congressional districts"

* Washington Post:  "Supreme Court questions Arizona redistricting commission"

* Sacramento Bee (McClatchy Washington Bureau):  "State redistricting plan under scrutiny at Supreme Court"

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "Legislature may regain mapmaking"

Tuesday
Mar032015

POLITICS/DEVELOPMENT: California Supreme Court ruling, California Environmental Quality Act, "huge" home: "Court: Mansions generally don't need environmental review" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Court: Mansions generally don't need environmental review" - From the LAT:

Just because a planned home is huge doesn’t mean that it should receive additional environmental review, the California Supreme Court decided Monday.

The state high court’s ruling appears to clear the way for Mitchell Kapor, a computer magnate who founded the Lotus Development Corp., and his wife, Freada Kapor-Klein, to build a nearly 10,000-square-foot home, including a 10-car garage, on a steep hill in Berkeley. Opponents contended that the house would increase the risk of landslides and require mammoth retaining walls and massive grading.

Monday’s decision, written by Justice Ming W. Chin, is likely to make it more difficult for activists to stop projects that would replace modest houses with mansions. The court said the state Legislature did not intend to require environmental impact reports for most houses built in urban areas ........................