Index
Thursday
Jun232016

SACRAMENTO: Environment/recycling, "Hundreds of California recycling centers close -- what now?"; California Public Employees' Retirement System, "Former Schwarzenegger aide named CalPERS interim CEO"; environment, editorial, "Brown's lofty environmental goals face uncertain future" ....  

***Various items relating to doings in and/or around the Capitol....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Hundreds of California recycling centers close -- what now?"

* Sacramento Bee (editorial):  "Brown's lofty environmental goals face uncertain future"

* Sacramento Bee:  "Former Schwarzenegger aide named CalPERS interim CEO"

Thursday
Jun232016

POLITICS/ENVIRONMENT: Pacific Gas & Electric, Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, plan for closure in 2025: Editorial, "Closing California's last nuclear plant is welcome, so long as it doesn't hamper the state's climate change goals" ....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, plan for closure in 2025)....

* Los Angeles Times (editorial):  "Closing California's last nuclear plant is welcome, so long as it doesn't hamper the state's climate change goals" - From the LAT:

The announcement this week by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. that it will shut down the state’s last nuclear power plant by 2025 and replace the energy it generated with renewable power is good news for Californians, who have always had an uneasy relationship with nuclear power in general, and with the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in particular.

Few will be sorry to see the reactors near Avila Beach — uncomfortably close to several earthquake fault lines — go dark. But this will be a victory only if the utility can follow through on its promise to replace the lost nuclear power without turning to fossil fuels. Regulators and lawmakers must closely examine  the terms of the shutdown deal (which PG&E worked out with the electrical workers union and environmental groups) and ensure it won’t endanger the state’s ambitious goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

For all its potential for meltdown disaster, nuclear power is “clean” and sustainable. Diablo Canyon, which began operation in 1985, produces about 20% of the electricity that PG&E provides to its customers in Central and Northern California. That’s a lot of electricity to replace, or to save through conservation. Doing so even with a nine-year head start to identify new power sources will be tricky. For one thing, it will require . . . . . . . .

There is a faction of the environmental community, albeit a small one, that believes turning away from nuclear power is a mistake . . . . . . . .

An orderly and planned closure such as this one is certainly preferable to an unexpected shutdown after something goes wrong . . . . . . . .

The end of California’s nuclear age may have been inevitable ...............

Thursday
Jun232016

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump, Trump University litigation: "Trump University seized upon foreclosure crisis" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Trump University seized upon foreclosure crisis" - From the LAT:

As millions of people were losing their homes in the depth of the recession, instructors at Trump University were urging students to seek out anxious or desperate sellers to reap a financial windfall, according to recently released documents in the federal class-action lawsuit against presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. The now-defunct for-profit real-estate school, founded by Trump and two associates in 2004, offered workshops on how to take advantage of the foreclosure crisis in some of the hardest hit states, including California.

In a 2008 slide aimed at persuading potential students to sign up for a three-day, $1,495 workshop, Trump is pictured alongside a quote: “I’ve always made a FORTUNE in FORECLOSURES, and YOU WILL TOO. The timing will never be better than NOW! My recommendation is that you attend our retreat. ENROLL TODAY!” That year, more than 2.3 million foreclosures were filed across the nation, including more than a half-million in California, said Daren Blomquist, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac, a housing data firm. “It was the height of the foreclosure market.”

Trump was certainly not alone among investors who sought to make a profit by purchasing foreclosed or distressed properties at a deep discount. These investments helped the housing market eventually rebound, Blomquist said. But what is routine in business can be controversial in politics, as seen in Democrats’ successful 2012 effort to brand that year’s GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, as a heartless corporate vulture.

In a similar move, Democrats seized upon Trump University’s focus on foreclosures as an example of Trump’s willingness to profit on Americans’ suffering ....................

Thursday
Jun232016

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Los Angeles Police Dept., "LAPD orders officers to 'show compassion and empathy' to homeless people"; O.C., "Downtown Fullerton could be split up by new election plan"; San Francisco, "S.F. police use-of-force policy gets commission OK"; also, L.A. City Hall, "City Targets Airbnb-style Hotels in Venice" ....

***Various items relating to local issues/local government -- Northern California, Southern California....

* Los Angeles Times:  "LAPD orders officers to 'show compassion and empathy' to homeless people"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "S.F. police use-of-force policy gets commission OK"

* Orange County Register:  "Downtown Fullerton could be split up by new election plan"

***ALSO:

* The Argonaut:  "City Targets Airbnb-style Hotels in Venice"

Thursday
Jun232016

POLITICS/ENVIRONMENT: California Coastal Commission, audit of agency's money management?: "Coastal Commission gets an emergency loan from the state to make its payroll" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Coastal Commission gets an emergency loan from the state to make its payroll" - From the LAT:

Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget advisors have approved an emergency loan of $1.45 million to the California Coastal Commission after an agency staffer said it was in danger of not making payroll in July. A letter sent to legislative leaders this week by Brown said this is the second consecutive year of a cash crisis for the commission, prompting a formal audit of its money management. The money will “address end of the year, day-to-day things that couldn’t be deferred,” said H.D. Palmer, a budget spokesman for Brown.

   ****

 

The Coastal Commission loan, approved Monday in Sacramento, will be repaid from federal grants and state fees that are expected to arrive later this summer. The notice sent to the Legislature this week says that the loan from the state’s general fund will be paid in full no later than Oct. 30. 

   ****

The commission, with broad power over conservation and development issues along California’s coastline, has an annual budget of almost $24 million. Data from the state controller’s office show the agency lists 163 permanent employees with a total monthly payroll of $1.2 million.

[Commission Chief Deputy Director Susan] Hansch said this week’s emergency loan is part of a larger systemic problem with the timing of money paid to the commission, though she also conceded that the current shortage was worse than other instances of a cash crunch in years past. Coastal Commission staffers originally asked for a loan of $600,000 but state officials determined that the shortfall would be larger than anticipated ..............