Index
Monday
Oct202014

SACRAMENTO: "Inauguration" of Kevin de Leon as Senate President Pro Tem, departure of Darrell Steinberg: Commentary (George Skelton), "De Leon throws extravagant bash as Steinberg leaves quietly"; editorial, "New Senate leader Kevin de Leon starts off on a sour note with glitz-fest" .... 

***"Inauguration" of Kevin de Leon as Senate President Pro Tem....

* Los Angeles Times (George Skelton):  "De Leon throws extravagant bash as Steinberg leaves quietly

* Sacramento Bee (editorial):  "New Senate leader Kevin de Leon starts off on a sour note with glitz-fest"

Monday
Oct202014

L.A. CITY HALL: Development, Hollywood, Sunset/Gordon tower, court ruling: "Judge's ruling on Sunset/Gordon tower puts tenants in limbo" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Judge's ruling on Sunset/Gordon tower puts tenants in limbo" - From the LAT:

At 22 stories, the Sunset and Gordon residential tower is the most prominent example so far of Mayor Eric Garcetti's push to make Hollywood a place for high-density, high-rise living. But the future of that newly completed, 299-unit project is up in the air. A judge earlier this month issued a ruling invalidating the construction permits, saying city officials improperly allowed the developer to demolish a 1924 building that until recently housed an Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant.

City officials say they are still trying to figure out what the ruling means for the 40 or so tenants who have already moved in. Luke Zamperini, spokesman for the Department of Building and Safety, said it is possible the tenants will have to relocate until developer CIM Group obtains new permits. Other officials are hoping it won't come to that.

It's the latest of several setbacks for the city as it seeks to remake Hollywood with a series of big developments.......................

 

Friday
Oct172014

L.A. CITY HALL: Municipal elections, proposed schedule change: "L.A. lawmakers move to sync elections with federal, state contests" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A. lawmakers move to sync elections with federal, state contests" - From the LAT:

A panel of Los Angeles lawmakers pressed ahead Friday with a plan to ask voters to shift local elections to even-numbered years — a schedule change that would put them on the same ballot as closely watched contests for governor or president. The proposal must still go before the entire City Council and ultimately before voters, who could decide whether to change the election schedule in March.

Two separate citizen commissions have backed the idea of shifting local elections to even-numbered years, instead of keeping them in odd-numbered years. 

Proponents say the change will bring more Angelenos to the polls, especially black and Latino voters. Less than a quarter of L.A.'s registered voters cast ballots in the mayoral race between Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel last year — the lowest in any two-candidate runoff in a century.

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Opponents counter that local candidates will be forced to raise more money to compete for airtime and that local races will be relegated to the bottom of a lengthy ballot.

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To change the schedule, L.A. could either...............................

Friday
Oct172014

POLITICS/EDUCATION: Los Angeles Unified School District, resignation of Supt. John Deasy, Deasy interview with reporters: "Deasy slams teachers union, speaks of regrets" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Deasy slams teachers union, speaks of regrets" - From the LAT:

Days after stepping down as Los Angeles schools chief, John Deasy acknowledged he should have worked harder to improve relations with the school board but also criticized the teachers union for making it difficult to improve the district.

Deasy resigned Wednesday after a rocky 3½-year stint as superintendent, where he recently clashed with the Los Angeles Board of Education and weathered sharp criticism from a newly aggressive and confrontational United Teachers Los Angeles. Deasy's critics, among them board members and union officials, deemed him uncommunicative and autocratic.

“I wish I could have found a better balance between my feeling of urgency and the ability to have built a more unified will to move quickly to do that,” Deasy said in an interview with reporters. Deasy said that many attacks and criticisms were frequently not based in fact and that well-funded teaches unions have often put adults before children. He said his efforts to improve district schools, sometimes at the expense of teacher job protections, have made him a target from the union.

Children are “voiceless and defenseless,” Deasy said. “My concern is that youths' well-being be paramount and that their rights come first. Quite frankly, that’s the only reason we open our doors when we begin work in public education.”

Deasy’s resignation could lead to the scaling back or elimination of some of his signature policies, some of which were regarded as trailblazers nationally but which United Teachers Los Angeles has signaled it will push to shift.........................

Friday
Oct172014

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Orange County): Audit, Orange County Great Park, Irvine City Council, Orange County District Attorney: "Drama Over Great Park Heats Up at Irvine Council" ....

* Voice of OC:  "Drama Over Great Park Heats Up at Irvine Council" - From the Voice of OC:

Attendees at this week’s Irvine City Council meeting experienced one of the most dramatic scenes yet in the years-long political drama over the city’s controversial Great Park project. On the agenda Tuesday night was an update on the ongoing forensic audit of over $200 million spent on the 1,300-acre park, which has long been under suspicion because of consulting contracts awarded to close allies of former council leader Larry Agran and the perception that relatively little has been built.

The audit is a huge dividing point between the council’s Republican and Democratic factions. Members of the Republican council majority say it is necessary to find out what really happened to all the money spent, while the council’s minority Democrats say it is a political stunt aimed at bolstering their opponents’ chances in the November election.

Those two arguments clashed at the council meeting, with shots exchanged over the Orange County District Attorney’s involvement in the audit, a video rebuttal produced by a consultant in response to an earlier preliminary audit, and Agran’s own call for an investigation into the audit as a misuse of public funds, among other issues.

At one point, things got so heated that Agran tossed a letter from the DA's office across the dais after refusing a request from Republican Mayor Steven Choi to read it aloud. The letter included a request for documents related to the audit. “You read it, Mr. mayor,” Agran said. “Stop acting like a child,” Republican Councilwoman Christina Shea fired back after the letter was thrown about.

Republican Councilman Jeffrey Lalloway became so fed up with Agran that even an apparent scoff or snicker from Agran drew Lalloway’s ire. “Is that funny?” Lalloway asked as he stared at Agran. “Are you trying to make fun of me? By making that noise?”

Before things got nasty....................................