Index
Thursday
Dec182014

DEVELOPMENT/DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES: Downtown L.A. "renaissance," Ace Hotel: "Ace hotel building in downtown L.A. is up for sale" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Ace hotel bullding in downtown L.A. is up for sale" - From the LAT:

Downtown Los Angeles’ historic United Artists building, currently home to the Ace Hotel, is up for sale. The decision to market the 182-room hotel building at 929 S. Broadway does not come as a surprise to the hotel chain, said Brad Wilson, president of Atelier Ace & Ace Hotel Group. “We are confident our above-market performance and the hotel's unique positioning will ensure the hotel remains an Ace," Wilson said. Still, new ownership could cut brand ties with Ace for a fee, according to the property  brochure.

The hotel, open for less than a year, is part of downtown's renaissance. Its 1,600-seat theater built in 1927 has become a popular site for movie premieres and live music events. . . . . . . .

Chicago landlord Greenfield Partners is said to be seeking approximately $100 million for the property, the Los Angeles Business Journal reported.

   ****

Greenfield Partners bought the United Artists building for $11 million in October 2011 from Wescott Christian Center Inc......

Thursday
Dec182014

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Orange County): Follow-up, Santa Ana, proposed bonus for city manager: "No Bonus for Santa Ana City Manager" ....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (proposed bonus, Santa Ana city manager)....

* Voice of OC:  "No Bonus for Santa Ana City Manager" - From the Voice of OC:

Santa Ana City Council members Tuesday night decided not to grant City Manager David Cavazos a 5 percent performance bonus after residents said the money should instead go to public services.

Cavazos was poised to receive the bonus, which calculated on his $315,000 salary would have been an extra $15,750. But several residents – including a group of teenage students -- showed up for public comments before the council’s closed session discussion on the issue and complained that Cavazos already receives an extraordinary amount of money from taxpayers.

Alitzel Velasco, a student at MacArthur Fundamental Intermediate School, said news of Cavazos’ bonus reminded her of residents who come before the council asking for things like bike lanes and park improvements, only to be told there’s no room in the budget. “If we have money why don’t we spend it on things that could help our city and better it,” Velasco told the council.

Some speakers pointed out that when adding in Cavazos’ benefits and other pay, including a pension from Phoenix he’s collecting, the city manager already makes nearly $800,000. “That’s double the president of the United States of America,” said activist Madeleine Spencer. “I would prefer a full time City Council rather than paying more for a city manager. That would make a lot more sense.”

   ****

If Cavazos was disappointed by not getting the bonus, he didn’t show it. He was all smiles after the meeting and told reporters that he was “happy with the way things are going.” “I’m very happy. I have a very positive reaction,” Cavazos said............

Thursday
Dec182014

MORNING MEMOS: Sacramento, "California Senate's fiscal outlook hinges on complex spending formula"; politics/education, "Former Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett goes to work for Hayward school district"; Bay Area, "Bay Bridge rods, bolts are safe and can stay, draft report says" .... 

***Varioius items this morning from across the spectrum of politics and/or public policy....

* Sacramento Bee:  "California Senate's fiscal outlook hinges on complex spending formula"

* San Jose Mercury News:  "Former Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett goes to work for Hayward school district"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Bay Bridge rods, bolts are safe and can stay, draft report says"

Thursday
Dec182014

SACRAMENTO: California tax reform, SB 8, Sen. Robert Hertzberg, commentary (George Skelton): "A smart California tax bill points the way to needed reform" ....

* Los Angeles Times (George Skelton):  "A smart California tax bill points the way to needed reform" - From the LAT:

He's a freshman state senator showing no fear, no hesitation and seemingly no political sense. His first bill is a huge, historic tax hike. Sen. Robert M. Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), of course, is no ordinary babe-in-the-woods, backbench freshman. He's a former Assembly speaker and lifelong political junkie who grooves on public policy. He's also a certified reformer — previously active in government reform groups — and a human dynamo who always seems to run rather than walk.

Hertzberg's tax increase — introduced as SB 8 immediately after he was sworn in Dec. 1 — actually is long-needed tax reform, the kind that causes most politicians to avert their eyes. The measure finally would extend the state sales tax to services, the fastest growth sector of California's economy.

   ****

Most lawmakers — Gov. Jerry Brown included — see polls showing that voters overwhelmingly object to taxing services and they back off. . . . . . . .

   ****

Isn't Hertzberg afraid of being viewed as a dreaded tax-and-spender? "Not at all," he says. "This is an area I'm interested in. It's why I ran — not to sit on the sidelines. I want to work on the tough stuff. That's the purpose of being in government. I'll shy away from no discussion. I'm 60 years old. "Will I be successful? I have no idea. But I've got to step up to bat."

Hertzberg will need a two-thirds legislative vote to raise taxes. Good luck with that, let alone securing the governor's signoff. But broadening the sales tax to services will ultimately be needed if California is to ever stabilize its revenue system to match the 21st century economy...................

Thursday
Dec182014

POLITICS (State, Local/Bay Area): Follow-up, Oakland street protests, outing of "undercover" CHP officers: "Oakland police: We had no idea CHP officers dressed as protesters" .... 

***Following up on earlier item noted here (Oakland street protests, outing of undercover CHP officers)....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Oakland police: We had no idea CHP officers dressed as protesters" - From the Chronicle:

Although California Highway Patrol officials said they had planted plainclothes officers within recent demonstrations in Oakland and Berkeley with the approval of the cities’ respective police departments, Oakland police officials said Wednesday that they were unaware that the CHP had undercover officers within their jurisdiction the night one pulled a gun on protesters after his partner was attacked ...................