Index
Friday
Feb272015

SACRAMENTO: AB 774, proposed legislation, beer samples, tastings at local farmers markets: "Beer samples could be on tap at California farers markets" ....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Beer samples could be on tap at California farmers markets" - From the Bee:

California’s farmers markets are places to sample the lush cornucopia of the state’s produce – and, perhaps soon, to taste the fruits of California’s many craft breweries.

Wine aficionados can currently sip samples of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon as they browse farmers markets. Beer vendors can’t offer the same choice. That would change under a bill that Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, hopes will pair two increasingly popular California activities. “Statewide, craft brewing has really grown exponentially,” Levine said, and “we also have this farmers market culture where the makers of a product get to meet the consumers of a product and they can build a relationship with one another.”

Thanks to a bill that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law last year, breweries can get licenses to sell suds at farmers markets. Assembly Bill 774 would extend the terms of those permits to allow tastings as long as the brewery is located in the same county as the market or an adjacent one.

Dozens of breweries said in a survey they will seek farmers market permits, according to California Craft Brewers Association executive director Tom McCormick. And as long as breweries are selling the beer, McCormick said, potential customers should be able to have a taste. “It will benefit the consumer to know what they’re buying,” McCormick said ...........

Friday
Feb272015

POLITICS (National, State): U.S. Supreme Court, 6-3 decision, power of state licensing boards: "Supreme Court restricts state license schemes that limit competition" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Supreme Court restricts state license schemes that limit competition" - From the LAT:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday cut back on the power of state licensing boards to restrict competitors from offering low-cost services, a victory for consumers that could prove significant in industries as disparate as taxicabs, funerals and cosmetology. The ruling came in a case challenging the power of North Carolina’s Board of Dental Examiners. The panel, most of whose members are dentists elected by dentists, for years has tried to prevent non-dentists from offering teeth-whitening kiosks in shopping malls.

The 6-3 decision upheld federal antitrust charges against the board.

The ruling could prove important in an era when licensed industries, such as taxi services, are facing competition from outsiders that offer services at lower prices. Until now, the law has been understood to allow states and municipalities to use licensing boards to enforce restrictions, even if doing so limits free competition. But the court’s opinion said that power has limits, particularly when the licensing board is controlled by members of the industry affected by potential competitors .....................

Friday
Feb272015

SACRAMENTO: Field Poll, road maintenance and upkeep, increase in California gas tax?: "Californians sharply divided over hiking state gas tax" .... 

* Sacramento Bee:  "Californians sharply divided over hiking state gas tax" - From the Bee:

California voters think the government should spend more money to help maintain crumbling roads, but they offer mixed views on how to fund the upkeep, according to a new statewide Field Poll.

More than 70 percent think state and local officials should dedicate additional resources to existing roadways. By a smaller margin, 48 percent to 35 percent, they believe more money must be set aside for new road construction. However, the poll found voters split over a proposal to raise the state gasoline tax by 10 cents a gallon to improve roads and highways. Opinions on the tax increase largely fall along party lines, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed ....................

Friday
Feb272015

L.A. CITY HALL: Charter Amendments 1 and 2, Citizens for Increased Voter Participation campaign committee, LA Weekly: "Charter Amendment Campaign Relies On Bogus Turnout Number" ....

* LA Weekly (Gene Maddaus):  "Charter Amendment Campaign Relies On Bogus Turnout Number" - From the LAT:

t's been a rough week for Citizens for Increased Voter Participation, the committee behind Charter Amendments 1 and 2. First, the committee had to retract a claim that Mayor Eric Garcetti supports the measures, which are intended to boost turnout at city and school board elections by moving them to even years.

Now the campaign is taking heat for an inaccurate turnout figure in one of its mailers. The mailer claims that in the March 2013 mayoral primary election, turnout was 16 percent. The figure appears next to the words "embarrassingly low," paraphrasing a quote from L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez. "Eighty-four percent of L.A.'s registered voters didn't bother to vote," the mailer states, quoting Lopez. The quote appears next to an L.A. Times logo, which mailers often use to bolster their credibility.

At the time the column was written, about 90,000 ballots had yet to be counted. In an email, Lopez said the 16 percent figure was updated in later reports. The final figure ended up being 21 percent — not great, but not nearly as bad as the mailer claims.

"Another day, another lie by promoters of the deceptive and dangerous charter amendments," said Hans Johnson, spokesman for Save Our City Elections, which is urging a "no" vote on the charter amendments. "Their drive to take away our stand-alone local elections and change our city charter is fueled by special interests from out of state. That's who's funding erroneous mailers like this, in which, once again, they lie to L.A. voters."

The mailer came from consultant John Shallman, who also has been embroiled in controversies in a school board race and a city council campaign this cycle .....................

Friday
Feb272015

POLITICS/EDUCATION: Los Angeles Unified School District, sexual harassment lawsuit vs. Supt. Ramon Cortines, LA Weekly: "Sex Harassment Suit Against LAUSD Superintendent Appears To Be Totally Bonkers" ....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (LAUSD, refiling of sexual harassment lawsuit vs. Superintendent Ramon Cortines)....

* LA Weekly (Hillel Aron):  "Sex Harassment Suit Against LAUSD Superintendent Appears To Be Totally Bonkers" - From the Weekly:

As expected, LAUSD employee Scot Graham filed his third lawsuit against Superintendent Ramon Cortines on Wednesday, alleging that the 82-year-old schools chief sexually assaulted Graham in 2010, and that when he complained, the school district took no action. 

Graham filed his first lawsuit against LAUSD and Cortines in 2012.  At the time, Cortines admitted he'd had a sexual relationship with Graham but said it was consensual. A judge threw out the lawsuit on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired. Another suit was later withdrawn by Graham. Last year, Cortines was rehired as schools superintendent for a third time, on an interim basis, following the resignation of John Deasy. Soon after, Graham started threatening a new lawsuit. 

The original lawsuit was raunchy enough, claiming, among other things, that Cortines invited Graham up to his ranch in the Sierra Mountains, crawled into bed with Graham and masturbated while Graham cringed in horror. The new suit goes a step further, painting Cortines as power-mad and sexually obsessed ...........................