Index
Thursday
Sep032015

POLITICS (National, State): Uber, drivers' lawsuit, class-action status, report/analysis: "Analysis: Uber will survive, no matter what courts decide" ....

***Following up on most recent earlier items noted here (U.S. District Court ruling, Uber drivers, class-action lawsuit)....

* San Francisco Chronicle (Carolyn Said):  "Analysis: Uber will survive, no matter what courts decide" - From the Chronicle:

Will Uber drop dead if it loses the lawsuit by drivers seeking to be employees? Will the entire constellation of on-demand companies implode? Not likely. History, economics and consumer demand all show that Uber and other companies are likely to continue to flourish even if the legal battles force them to shift parts of their business model, numerous observers say.

“We’re keeping the doors open, and the show will go on,” said Nanci Clarence, an attorney for the Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Theatre, after it settled a groundbreaking case from exotic dancers seeking employment status in 1998. The dancers’ case, resolved after years of haggling, set the stage for today’s lawsuits against Uber, Lyft, Postmates, Try Caviar, Handy and other on-demand companies, said Beth A. Ross, the Oakland lawyer who represented the dancers.

Even while granting class-action status to California drivers suing Uber, U.S. District Judge Edwin Chen on Tuesday emphasized that the ride service will do just fine no matter the outcome .....................

Thursday
Sep032015

L.A. CITY HALL: Regulation, short-term rentals: "Spurred on by conflict over Airbnb, L.A. struggles to define 'bad' short-term rentals" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Spurred on by conflict over Airbnb, L.A. struggles to define 'bad' short-term rentals" - From the LAT:

As Los Angeles lawmakers try to regulate the booming business of short-term rentals, they are trying to draw a line between what they see as "good" and "bad" rentals.

At City Hall, few see anything wrong with renting out an extra bedroom from time to time for added income, part of what Councilman Mike Bonin has dubbed "good short-term rentals." But the phenomenon of whole homes or apartment buildings becoming tantamount to hotels has stirred up alarm in tourist hot spots such as Venice and Hollywood. Housing, labor and community activists argue that such rentals disrupt quiet neighborhoods and take units off the market, a problem they say has surged with the explosive popularity of online platforms such as Airbnb.

Between those extremes lies a vast middle ground, including homeowners renting their entire house to visitors when they leave town and investors who have run beach cottage rentals for years. The question facing City Hall is exactly where to draw the line .....................

Thursday
Sep032015

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (No. California; So. California): Sacramento, "Sacramento task force recommends $12.50 mininum wage with exemptions"; Orange County, "Anaheim Councilwoman: Kick Homelss Out of Parks, Bring Dogs In"; Bay Area, "Oakland Raiders stadium plan violates team's 'terms and conditions' for deal"; L.A., "L.A. County Orders Probe of Kardashian Fireworks Show" ....

***Various items relating to local government -- Northern California; Southern California....

* The Argonaut:  "L.A. County Orders Probe of Kardashian Fireworks Show"

* Sacramento Bee:  "Sacramento task force recommends $12.50 mininum wage with exemptions"

* Contra Costa Times:  "Exclusive: Latest Oakland Raiders stadium plan violates team's' terms and conditions' for deal"

* Voice of OC:  "Anaheim Councilwoman: Kick Homeless Out of Parks, Bring Dogs In"

 

Thursday
Sep032015

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Bay Area): San Francisco, city "potty-sitters" : Commentary (Matier & Ross), "City's latrine team tries to keep public toilets tolerable" .... 

* San Francisco Chronicle (Matier & Ross):  "City's latrine team tries to keep public toilets tolerable" - From the Chronicle:

Faced with a growing problem of people defecating in the streets, San Francisco is hiring “potty-sitters” — at up to $16 an hour — to ensure that the city’s public toilets are kept available for people who need a restroom, not a place to shoot up or turn tricks. The idea, said San Francisco Public Works spokeswoman Rachel Gordon, is “to make sure they are used for their intended uses and that they are in decent condition for the next person to use.” The cost: $1 million a year, and growing.

“We need to step up and meet the demands of what people expect from a great city like San Francisco,” said Public Works head Mohammed Nuru.

 

The potty-sitters are an outgrowth of the “Pit Stop” program that Public Works began last year. It included rolling out three portable toilets that could be moved from neighborhood to neighborhood and staffing two of the 24 toilets maintained by the French outfit JCDecaux. So far, about two dozen monitors have been brought on to keep watch over the public restrooms, and more are on the way.

The keep-it-clean effort comes on top of the $3 million a year the city is spending to clear out homeless encampments and the $1.5 million to steam-scrub streets and alleys that have become de facto toilets for the homeless, the inebriated and the mentally ill. . . . . . . .

Complaints about the state and safety of the streets are coming from all corners, not least of them being the city’s $18 billion-a-year tourism industry. “The issue isn’t just that we have a problem — the issue is that it’s getting worse,” said Thomas Klein, regional vice president for Fairmont Hotels. “Aggressive behavior, panhandling and defecation used to be isolated to a few neighborhoods. Now it’s rampant across the city.” ...................

Thursday
Sep032015

SACRAMENTO: Climate change legislation, Assemblyman Henry T. Perea: "This Democrat's decision on climate change could be a game-changer" ....  

* Los Angeles Times:  "This Democrat's decision on climate change could be a game-changer" - From the LAT:

Henry T. Perea was having a change of heart. For years, the Democratic assemblyman had griped about the Central Valley getting shortchanged by Sacramento and overshadowed by Los Angeles, San Francisco and other big-city magnets for state dollars. Now he was in a poor Fresno neighborhood, not far from where he grew up, standing in front of a constituent's home with newly installed rooftop solar panels — paid for by a program he had publicly assailed.

But here he was at a news conference staged in front of the new solar panels. Behind him on this spring day, state Senate Leader Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles), one of the party's most ardent climate advocates, clapped with glee as Perea told onlookers, "You're turning me from a skeptic to a supporter."

The depth of Perea's conversion may determine the fate of the sweeping climate-change package being championed by Gov. Jerry Brown and De León, policies designed to change the cars Californians drive and the sources of power that keep their lights on and air conditioners humming. Their steepest hurdle is not the climate-change deniers that Brown dismisses as "troglodytes," or even skeptical Republicans whose minority-party status has relegated them to the political sidelines.

It is a pack of moderate Democrats in the Legislature. And the most public face of that opposition is Perea, their leader ........................