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Wednesday
Jul232014

POLITICS/SPORTS (Bay Area): Santa Clara, 49ers, Levi's Stadium, gala opening, "spectacular" (commentary, Matier & Ross) ....

* San Francisco Chronicle (Matier & Ross): 

   ****

Niners gala: The 49ers' traditional red and gold colors gave way to black tie Saturday night, with a gala at the new Levi's Stadium that featured John Legend performing on the 50-yard line.

The thousands of invited revelers were wined and dined with a menu that featured everything from sushi to sliders.

And no windy speeches.

Estimated cost to the team: $375 per person.

"It was spectacular," Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone said Tuesday as he wrote out a $310 check to cover the gift limit amount he exceeded by bringing his wife.

Wednesday
Jul232014

L.A. CITY HALL: City of Los Angeles bicycle lane project, editorial: "Some bumps in the road on the way to a bike-friendly L.A." .... 

***Following up on earlier item noted here (Councilman Gil Cedillo, opposition, bicycle lane project)....

* Los Angeles Times (editorial):  "Some bumps in the road on the way to a bike-friendly L.A." - From the LAT:

As the city of Los Angeles continues its ambitious 35-year project to build out 1,684 miles of bikeways, it is running into resistance in some neighborhoods from politicians, merchants and residents. Plans to paint bike lanes on a three-mile stretch of North Figueroa from York Boulevard to Avenue 26, for example, have been stopped altogether by City Councilman Gil Cedillo, whose district includes that area. Cedillo says he heard strong opposition to the plan at community meetings and that some local fire and police officials told him it could pose a safety problem for emergency response vehicles.

City traffic engineers, meanwhile, say the fire and police officials they spoke to did not have problems with this particular route for emergency vehicles. And as for congestion worries, they're probably overblown. . . . . . . . .

This battle is familiar. Building a bike-friendly city, a goal the City Council adopted when it passed its official city bicycle plan in 2011, requires clear, measurable trade-offs...............................

Wednesday
Jul232014

POLITICS/EDUCATION: University of California, increasing percentage of non-resident students: "Percentage of out-of-state students to rise again"; also, "Nearly 1 in 3 UCLA Fall Freshmen Could be Non-Californians" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Percentage of out-of-state UC students to rise again" - From the LAT:

The number of new UC students from other states and nations will continue to increase this fall, extending a trend that university officials say is financially necessary but critics say is changing the nature of a beloved state institution.

The percentage of all new UC freshmen who come from outside California is expected to be 20.2%, up from 18.3% last year and 15.5% the year before, according to preliminary data based on students' statements that they will enroll. Among the nine UC undergraduate campuses, the percentages are the highest at UCLA with 30.1%, UC Berkeley with 29.8% and UC San Diego with 28.4%. The lowest shares were at UC Merced with 1.2% and UC Riverside with 6.9%.............................

* LA Weekly:  "Nearly 1 in 3 UCLA Fall Freshmen Could Be Non-Californians"

Wednesday
Jul232014

POLITICS (National, Local/Bay Area): George Lucas, proposed museum, Chicago, community opposition, San Francisco still interested, editorial: "George Lucas encounters the City of Cold Shoulders" ....

* San Francisco Chronicle (editorial):  "George Lucas encounters the City of Cold Shoulders" - From the Chronicle:

A month ago, filmmaker George Lucas took his "Star Wars" museum plan to Chicago. He clearly was fed up with haughty, picky, billionaire-resenting, NIMBY-ridden San Francisco.

Well, guess what? It turns out that the Windy City knows how to put up a little gale-force resistance of its own. Chicago's parks advocates are upset at the idea of more building along the city's prized lakefront; they're threatening a lawsuit. The Chicago Tribune editorialized against the lakefront site, and design critics are using terms like "vanity project" and "Darth Vader" to describe the museum. Grousing has emerged from Chicago Bears fans who resent the intrusion on sacred tailgating ground for games at Soldier Field.

A torrent of objections is casting doubt on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's deal-making prowess. It may be more difficult than he first thought to push the project through the approval process. And, oh yes, there are echoes of that other issue that arose in snooty San Francisco: grumbling that the Lucas collection featuring easy-on-the-untrained-eyes painters and movie memorabilia is a bit too kitschy for a big-league city.

Lucas has yet to debut a design for the 15-acre spot consigned to him, a fateful step in a city famous for its standout architecture. This movie is a long way from over, but it's doesn't look like it's going to be a love story. Meanwhile, there is that sweet spot back on San Francisco's Embarcadero that would be perfect for a museum. Even the waterfront's most ardent protectors agree.

We're just saying, Mr. Lucas, there's nothing like a dramatic plot twist that leads to a happy ending.

Let bygones be bygones in a galaxy far, far away........

Wednesday
Jul232014

SACRAMENTO: Senator Ron Calderon, corruption case, trial delay: "Delay sought in Sen. Calderon trial until after he leaves office"; also, "Delay likely in corruption trial for California Sen. Ron Calderon" ....

***Delay of trial from September until next May....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Delay sought in Sen. Calderon trial until after he leaves office"

* Sacramento Bee:  "Delay likely in corruption trial for California Sen. Ron Calderon"