Index
Sunday
Aug312014

POLITICS (National, Local/Los Angeles): Los Angeles area Congresswoman Maxine Waters, new approach, sympathetic ally to "Big Business": "Rising (Maxine) Waters" ....

* Politico:  "Rising (Maxine) Waters" --  From Politico:

Maxine Waters -- the fiery liberal from Los Angeles known for calling House Republican leadership "demons" and threatening to nationalize oil companies -- has gone from the scourge of Big Business to a sympathetic ally for corporate America.

It's no accident.

Water is executing this transformation by seizing on the growing divide between conservative Republicans and Big Business and leveraging her position as the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, where in the coming weeks she will play a role in the battles over extending a terrorism insurance program and the Export-Import Bank.

A large part of her strategy has been to seek out opportunities to play the yin to committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling's yang. When the Texas Republican's free-market agenda has led him to oppose government programs the business community supports, Waters has been ready to jump in and deal.........................

Sunday
Aug312014

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (San Diego): Olivenhain Municipal Water District, "prank" by general manager, discrimination lawsuit: "Water manager wore burqa as prank"; also, "Water district manager accused of discrimination" ....

***Controversy relating to a local water district in San Diego County.....

* UT-San Diego:  "Water manager wore burqa as prank" - "'There are a lot of people who suffer because people like her takes these things lightly'"

* UT-San Diego:  "Water district manager accused of discrimination" - "Olivenhain manager is the one who wore burqa as a prank"

Sunday
Aug312014

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, new billing system, customer service, editorial: "DWP billing fiasco shows communications pipeline plugged up" ....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (DWP, new billing system, "new wage of huge bills")....

* Daily News (editorial):  "DWP billng fiasco shows communications pipeline plugged up" - From the DN:

What’s the difference between that water main that ruptured near UCLA and the information pipeline that should be serving Department of Water and Power customers?

Easy: The water main has been fixed. The information flow is still broken..........................

Sunday
Aug312014

POLITICS (National, State/Massachusetts): Casino gambling, expansion? retrenchment?: "Massachusetts May Shut Down Casinos Before Even One Opens" ....

* New York Times:  "Massachusetts May Shut Down Casinos Before Even One Opens" - From the NYT:

BOSTON — With the casino industry showing signs of retrenchment, voters in Massachusetts may do something that voters nowhere else have done, at least in the last century: slam on the brakes on casino gambling.

Massachusetts was one of the last states to climb aboard the casino craze, approving legislation in 2011 to allow three casinos and a slots parlor. Now it may be the first to reverse itself, with voters deciding in November whether to repeal the law before a single casino has been built.

The stage is set for a multimillion-dollar campaign pitting the casino industry and its allies in organized labor against a coalition of grass-roots activists, religious leaders and mom-and-pop businesses. The two sides have already squared off in several town-by-town referendums across much of Massachusetts over the last year, fighting each other to a near draw. Now they are laying the groundwork for an all-out, statewide donnybrook that will burst into public view in September in television ads and on doorsteps as both sides try to secure support, house by house.............................

Sunday
Aug312014

POLITICS/ENVIRONMENT: California drought, water policy, politics, conservation: "Conservation conundrum: Water use various greatly across California" .... 

* Sacramento Bee:  "Conservation conundrum: Water use varies greatly across California" - From the Bee:

Drive across city limits in virtually any part of California, and you will also cross another kind of frontier, one gaining more attention during the worst drought in a generation: The borders between cities also define different ideas about water. One city may have gutters coursing with wasted water, while its neighbor lives by the highest conservation standards.

The differences can be glaring, according to a Bee review of data submitted by water agencies, and they highlight some of the challenges in achieving broad conservation goals during the ongoing drought. In a hypothetical tour of the state, according to the data, the well-informed traveler would encounter the following disparities:

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Water consumption varies enormously across California, and the reasons are not easy to pin down. But it is an issue of growing importance as the state struggles to contain water demand.

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Expecting every resident of the state to use the same amount of water, or even adopt the same conservation measures, seems like a reasonable expectation on the surface. But California’s geographic and socio-economic diversity make this difficult, if not unreasonable, said Gregory Weber, executive director of the California Urban Water Conservation Council. The council collects consumption data from many water agencies as part of an agreement with the state.

“It’s hard to tell a single story about why people across the state have such differences,” said Weber. “Every water agency out there is going to claim they have unique circumstances, and to a large extent it’s true.”

Weber and other water experts say California’s many unique microclimates are one explanation for the wide differences in water consumption. . . . . . . .

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But beyond climate, other factors come into play, especially when comparing neighboring communities that experience similar weather. Household size, property size and income level also have a role.

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“If you don’t mind paying a large water bill – if that’s a small proportion of your income – there really is less of an incentive to save,” said [Tracy Quinn, policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council.]

That would seem to be the case in places like. . . . . . . .

In comparison, consumption in...........................................