Index
Tuesday
Feb092016

POLITICS (International, National): Immigration, ethnic tension, commentary (Richard Cohen): "The rising storm of ethnic tension in Europe and the U.S." ....  

* Washington Post (Richard Cohen):  "The rising storm of ethnic tension in Europe and the U.S." - From the WP:

Let me tell you about my boat. It has a single mast and a cabin at the stern. It is painted white with a red stripe at the water line. I bought it in Denmark, at the port where in 1943 Danish fishermen and others transported most of the country’s Jews to safety in neutral Sweden. My boat measures 5 inches long. It is as huge as the human heart.

The doughty Danes, so wonderful in World War II, have now turned churlish. They seize the jewelry and other valuables of Syrian and other migrants seeking to enter the country. This is not the same as barring the migrants, but it shows what happens when a bighearted people get scared. Much of Europe is now scared.

America is little different. Donald Trump urged that all Muslims be temporarily barred from entering the United States, and almost instantly many Republicans followed suit. In announcing for the presidency in June, he cited Mexican immigration as a major problem — a wave of immigrants that supposedly included more than the average number of rapists and other sorts of criminals. They were taking our jobs and our women. It is a message ripped from the heart of white racism.

Mexico and Central America are to the United States what the Arab world is to Europe. In Europe, it is Arabs who allegedly run sexually amok. It is Arabs, too, who purportedly threaten to overwhelm local European cultures, just as the effect of Hispanic immigration here can be seen in signage and heard in public-address announcements — Spanish, as well as English.

Trump and the other Republican presidential candidates live in a firehouse that only sounds four alarms . . . . . . . .

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In both Europe and the United States, the present moment is touted as the inevitable future. But ....................

Tuesday
Feb092016

AFTERNOON MEMOS: California Public Utilities Commission, "Political Power Struggle Over PUC Reforms"; San Francisco, "Some SF Businesses Posting Losses Following Super Bowl 50"; Porter Ranch, "Crews close to stopping the leak, but now's the 'demanding' part"; Oakland, "Oakland's new hope for more housing" ....

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

* ABC7 San Francisco:  "Some SF Businesses Posting Losses Following Super Bowl 50"

* Daily News:  "Crews close to stopping the leak, but now's the 'demanding' part"

* Fox & Hounds (Joel Fox):  "Political Power Struggle Over PUC Reforms"

* San Francisco Chronicle (Chip Johnson):  "Oakland's new hope for more housing"

Tuesday
Feb092016

POLITICS/ENVIRONMENT: California Coastal Commission, ouster effort, Executive Director Charles Lester, commentary (Opinion L.A. - Scott Martelle): "Coastal Commission ought to be open about why it wants a new director"; also, "Big turnout is expected at a showdown over the Coastal Commission chief's future" .... 

* Los Angeles Time (Opinion L.A. - Scott Martelle):  "Coastal Commission ought to be open about why it wants a new director" - From the LAT:

The California Coastal Commission is in the midst of a political controversy of its own making, and how the 12 voting members of the board act come Wednesday will send a clear signal about whether they are capable of living up to their mandate to protect the coast.

The issue is the status of Executive Director Charles Lester, whom the board notified last month that it intended to kick out of the job he’s held since 2011. Lester invoked his right to a public hearing, which comes Wednesday in Morro Bay during the board’s monthly meeting. The Times’ editorial board weighed in today, telling the commission members that unless they “can present sound, defensible, professional reasons for dumping him, they should let him stay in his job and get on with the people's business.”

They also should make that call publicly. While Lester has the right to the public hearing, which is likely to be packed with supporters, the board has the option to hold its own discussion of his status and its vote in public or in a private session.

Given the high profile nature of the issue and Lester's request for a public airing, the commission should not retreat behind closed doors after hearing from Lester and the public. For that matter, Lester - in the same spirit of openness - should waive his right to privacy and release his previous performance evaluations. If there's a paper trail of unresolved problems, let's see it.

The overwhelming analysis of what’s going on is that pro-development folks are orchestrating efforts to oust Lester, generally seen as a quieter and less politically savvy leader than his predecessor, Peter Douglas, who was a potent and shrewd defender of the coast. To move this discussion and vote behind closed doors would lead a reasonable Californian to wonder exactly what it is the commission has to hide.

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Of course, any commission has the right to appoint a top executive of its choosing. But ..................

***ALSO, Related:

* Los Angeles Times:  "Big turnout is expected at a showdown over the Coastal Commission chief's future"

Tuesday
Feb092016

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles): Homelessness, "parallel plans" - city/county: "L.A. homeless plans near approval, but where will the money come from?" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A. homeless plans near approval, but where will the money come from?" - From the LAT:

Los Angeles city and county officials are set to adopt parallel plans Tuesday to tackle the persistent and growing problem of homelessness in the region. Officials and some advocates say the plans represent a renewed political will and spirit of collaboration between the two powerful local government bodies in addressing an issue that has confounded policymakers for decades. But the question of how they will pay for the strategies in the long term remains unanswered, particularly on the city side.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said executing the plans “will take substantial resources, but more than that, it will take political will and moral courage.” “I do think this is a new moment,” he said, but he acknowledged that the "question of the hour" is where the ongoing money will come from.

The county plan would commit to spending $150 million over the next two years on strategies for reducing homelessness, on top of the nearly $1 billion a year county officials estimated they spend now on health and welfare services for and law enforcement interactions with homeless residents.

The city plan sets out a long list of strategies that would cost more than $1.85 billion over the next decade to implement, but city leaders have yet to determine how it will fund the plan.

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The county and city efforts were spurred by a 2015 countywide homeless count that found more than 44,000 people living on the streets, in encampments and vehicles, an increase of 12% from 2013.

The county and cities have different roles in addressing the problem .....................

Tuesday
Feb092016

MORNING MEMOS: "Relief well is closing in on Porter Ranch gas leak"; Uber, "On-Duty Uber Driver Arrested for Alleged DUI After Watching Super Bowl at Bar"; O.C., "New Reports Show How County Supervisors Fill Their Campaign Coffers"; Rancho Mirage, "More than 1,000 protestors prepping for Obama summit"; San Diego, $50 million budget surplus, "New SD budget may have more pools, streetlights" ....

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

* Los Angeles Times:  "Relief well is closing in on Porter Ranch gas leak"

* KTLA 5:  "On-Duty Uber Driver Arrested for Alleged DUI After Watching Super Bowl at Bar"

* Voice of OC:  "New Reports Show How County Supervisors Fill Their Campaign Coffers"

* San Diego Union-Tribune:  "New SD budget may have more pool hours, streetlights" - "Council priorities also include flood channels, trees"

* Desert Sun:  "More than 1,000 protestors prepping for Obama summit"