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Saturday
Sep042010

Jerry Brown, editorial board visit, "on the issues": Brown says "he'd be a frugal governor" 

* San Francisco Chronicle editorial board visit with Jerry Brown:  "Jerry Brown says he'd be a frugal governor" - Interesting report on what Brown had to say on a number of key issue.  From the Chronicle:

   On pension reform: "You need a two-tier (pension system). The contributions are going to have to be increased and we have to put everything on the table. Because ... the defined benefits only work if it's actuarially sound. If the employees don't contribute, then you have to either reduce salaries or lay people off to pay for it."

   On how he'll get a budget: "The path forward is an honest, time-on task which has never been done in the history of California. ... No governor has ever opened his budget in November. They keep it secret. ... And they release it in January. ... I'm saying (starting in November), intensity and nothing else. ... I'll have those people locked up in my own chamber and put my own cot out there if I have to."

   On how he'll get beyond partisanship: "Every one of those people, whether they're Democrats or Republicans or business, will have to get out of their comfort zone. ... There is no way forward except leadership and building consensus. ... I don't go there as an apprentice governor. This is something I understand."

   On new taxes: "I stand on no new taxes unless the people vote for them."

   On his record as Oakland mayor: "I'm the guy who went to the state Legislature and said, 'Can we exempt 30 blocks in downtown Oakland from (the California Environmental Quality Act) for three years?' I saw, as mayor of Oakland, that you have to make changes. I said, 'Inclusionary zoning (which requires some housing for low-income people) is a tax on builders. ... We need money and we don't need criminals.' You may think that's obvious. But it was not obvious to the mayor before or the mayor afterward."

   On whether he would stand up to labor unions: "To get a consensus ... a two-thirds vote, you're going to have to get some Republicans. To get some Republicans, you're going to have to get some business people. Business people have their agenda. ... At some point, everybody's going to be in a big room and we're going to have to be making some compromises. You're going to have to do some things that organized labor doesn't like."

Friday
Sep032010

Warning from L.A. County: Dump raw sewage, go to jail....

* Following up on reports of raw sewage allegedly being dumped onto local streets in Venice by RV residents, Daily News says that Los Angeles County officials today issued a warning regarding possible jail entences and/or fines for anyone caught doing this.  From the DN:

   Operators of recreational vehicles who dump human waste on streets, parking lots or campgrounds can be sentenced to up to six months in jail and fined up to $1,000, county officials warned Friday.

   The warning came a week after Venice residents complained that some RV dwellers have been dumping human waste onto local streets. The residents say hundreds of RVs and campers are parked on neighborhood streets, creating a nuisance.

Friday
Sep032010

Bell: Subpoenas issued for Robert Rizzo's emails over the past five years....

* Following up on reports that former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo may have unilaterally made city loans of up to $400,000 to two local businesses -- and believing that Rizzo may have been conducting city business and communicating with city officials and employees by way of a personal email domain account --  Los Angeles Times reports this afternoon that members of the Bell City Council voted today to issue subpoenas to obtain copies of Rizzo's messages going back back years.  From the LAT:

   The decision to seek the e-mails comes after reports that Rizzo may have made city loans of nearly $400,000 to two businesses without public notice or council approval. Under Bell's city charter, the city has the power to subpoena Rizzo's correspondence as part of a city investigation, the city council said.

   Rizzo was ordered to appear in person and produce copies of the e-mails by the next City Council meeting, scheduled Sept. 20.

Friday
Sep032010

Westside subway extension EIR released today: The good news + the other news?

* Los Angeles Times reports that the EIR for the proposed Westside subway extension was released today.  And that the good news is that the environmental analysis shows that extension is expected to provide substantial benefits to transit riders, but that -- contrary to one of the project's selling points-- the subway extension will do little to relieve traffic congestion in West Los Angeles. From the LAT:

   Released Friday, the subway’s draft environmental impact report states that the project will give transit users more options and allow them to travel across town much faster than the municipal buses that serve the densely populated Wilshire corridor.

   Transit officials estimate that a one-way subway trip from downtown Los Angeles to Westwood would take about 25 minutes, something that is now difficult to do in a car at rush hour. Buses make the trip in at least 50 minutes, a time that will only lengthen as Wilshire Boulevard and parallel thoroughfares become increasingly choked with traffic.  The report shows, however, that in 2035 the subway extension will only result in a tiny reduction in autombile use -- around 1% -- and that the San Diego Freeway, the Santa Monica Freeway and major streets along the line will remain heavily congested due to population growth. 

Friday
Sep032010

The "college vote" in 2010: Will social issues be the driving force? or the economy?

* Interesting New York Times analysis/overview as to the conflicting dynamics and pressures at play with regard to the "college vote", an arena typically known for younger voters who often see themselves as liberal on social issues but who are now facing the economic reality of a job market that they perhaps never expected.  Excerpt from the NYT:

   Though many students are liberals on social issues, the economic reality of a weak job market has taken a toll on their loyalties: far fewer 18-to-29-year-olds now identify themselves as Democrats compared with 2008.

   “Is the recession, which is hitting young people very hard, doing lasting or permanent damage to what looked like a good Democratic advantage with this age group?” asked Scott Keeter, the director of survey research at the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan group. “The jury is still out.”

   How and whether millions of college students vote will help determine if Republicans win enough seats to retake the House or Senate, overturning the balance of power on Capitol Hill, and with it, Mr. Obama’s agenda. If students tune out and stay home it will also carry a profound message for American society about a generation that seemed so ready, so recently, to grab national politics by the lapels and shake.