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Tuesday
Aug262014

SACRAMENTO: SB 270, statewide ban, single-use plastic bags: "California plastic bag ban stalls in Assembly"; also, "Plastic bag ban falls short in California Assembly"; "Assembly rejects statewide plastic bag ban bill" ....

* Sacramento Bee:  "California plastic bag ban stalls in Assembly" - From the Bee:

A proposed statewide ban on single-use plastic bags stalled in the California Assembly on Monday, a crucial stumble for one of the of most heavily lobbied fights of the current legislative session.

The measure faltered on a 37-33 vote, falling four votes short of the required 41. A key organized labor group removed its support and went neutral, which helped plastic and paper industries opposed to the bill. In a key late change, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union – grocery store workers – aligned with skeptics denouncing a minimum 10-cent fee stores could charge at checkout counters for paper or reusable bags..........................

***ALSO:

* Los Angeles Times (PolitiCal):  "Plastic bag ban falls short in California Assembly"

* San Francisco Chronicle (AP):  "Assembly rejects statewide plastic bag ban bill"

Tuesday
Aug262014

POLITICS/MEDIA (National, Local/Los Angeles): Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Dodgers, Time Warner Cable: "L.A. Mayor Garcetti seeks FCC review of Dodgers channel impasse" .... 

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A. Mayor Garcetti seeks FCC review of Dodgers channel impasse" - From the LAT:

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is asking federal regulators to examine the stalemate between Time Warner Cable and other pay-TV operators that's prevented much of the region from watching Dodgers baseball this season.

Garcetti's request came late Monday in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, which is reviewing cable giant Comcast Corp.'s proposed $45-billion takeover of Time Warner Cable. A combination of the two companies would make Comcast the dominant pay-TV operator in the Los Angeles region with 1.8 million customers.

   ****

Garcetti stopped short of asking the FCC to demand resolution of the Dodgers channel impasse as a condition for the government's approval of the deal. But the mayor did ask the FCC to delve into programming disputes and "determine why the problem has not been resolved already, and then ask Comcast to show that the merger would alleviate, and not exacerbate, problems of this sort."

Until now, Comcast has been on the sidelines in the furor over the Dodgers channel...................

Tuesday
Aug262014

L.A. CITY HALL: Development, Hollywood, Target shopping center, Los Angeles Dept. of Bulding and Safety: "L.A. officials issue stop-work order for Hollywood Target" ....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (Target shopping center, Hollywood, court ruling)....

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A. building officials issue stop-work order for Hollywood Target" - From the LAT:

Los Angeles building inspectors posted a stop-work order on Monday at a partly built Target shopping center in Hollywood, the latest turn in a long-running court battle over the project. Luke Zamperini, chief inspector for the Department of Building and Safety, said Target must halt construction "for the foreseeable future."

The order, which went into effect at 1 p.m., came a month after Superior Court Judge Richard L. Fruin Jr. ruled that the city violated the law when it allowed Target to build a 74-foot-tall shopping center on a stretch of Sunset Boulevard where such projects are limited to 35 feet.

The court issued its own order two weeks ago calling for the City Council to halt construction at the Target site. But work continued, prompting opponents of the project to seek a new court order finding the city in contempt. As recently as Thursday, a spokesman for City Atty. Mike Feuer said officials were determining what work, if any, could proceed on the site.

A Target spokeswoman referred The Times to a statement she issued last week, which said the company is "taking steps to continue construction at the store." Zamperini said he had not heard from Target since the city's order was posted at the company's job site. "I suppose when we do, we’ll find out whether they're OK with it or not," he said.

Target filed an appeal of Fruin's decision. Zamperini said the appeal automatically put the judge's order on hold. However, that appeal also put various city permits for the project on hold, making it impossible for construction to continue, he said. A stop-work order, he said, "just seemed like the prudent thing to do at this point."

   ****

In city and court documents, Target's lawyers said they designed a project that exceeded the height limit in response to Mayor Eric Garcetti, who wanted more stores, restaurants and a plaza. Garcetti pushed for the taller design, and additional pedestrian amenities, when he was a councilman representing Hollywood........

Monday
Aug252014

SACRAMENTO: Senator Rod Wright, voter fraud case: "Los Angeles DA seeks jail for Sen. Rod Wright" ....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Los Angeles DA seeks jail for Sen. Rod Wright" - From the Bee:

Los Angeles prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence suspended state Sen. Rod Wright to six months in jail, 1000 hours of community service and five years on probation for a jury’s verdicts in January that found him guilty of eight felonies of perjury and voter fraud.

   ****

In a recent court filing, prosecutors wrote that if the judge does not choose to sentence Wright to jail, prosecutors would instead request six months of home confinement.

“Furthermore, defendant must be advised of his disqualification from holding any public office in the future,” the district attorney’s filing says.

***ALSO, later report:

* Los Angeles Times (PolitiCal):  "D.A. seeking six-month jail term for state Sen. Roderick Wright"

Monday
Aug252014

POLITICS/BUSINESS (National, International): Burger King, corporate inversion, move to Canada?: "Burger King in Talks to Buy Tim Hortons and Move to Canada" ....

* New York Times:  "Burger King in Talks to Buy Tim Hortons and Move to Canada" - From the NYT:

Burger King may be the home of the Whopper, but Canada may be the new home of Burger King. The restaurant operator said on Sunday that it was in talks to buy Tim Hortons, the Canadian doughnut-and-coffee chain, in a potential deal that would create one of the world’s biggest fast-food businesses.

If completed, the deal would mean Burger King’s corporate headquarters would move to Canada, raising the specter of yet another American company switching its national citizenship to lower its tax bill.

   ****

Though the two companies are expected to argue that a merger would bring a host of strategic benefits, it would nevertheless count as a so-called corporate inversion. Many American companies have looked toward taking over foreign companies, and then moving their headquarters abroad, to lower their overall tax bill.

Inversions have become increasingly popular, though the practice has come under fire from Washington as the Obama administration and lawmakers have complained that companies that do so are unfairly — though legally — cutting their tax bills..........................