Index
Tuesday
Jun282016

POLITICS/URBAN AFFAIRS: Pew Research Center, new survey, racism in America?: "There's a deep divide on how blacks and white see race. New numbers prove it" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "There's a deep divide on how blacks and whites see race. New numbers prove it." - From the LAT:

A report that asked thousands of people about their views of racism has found the nation to still be deeply divided, with majorities of black and white Americans holding nearly opposite views of the impact of skin color.

About 4 in 10 black Americans doubt the the country will ever reach the point where they are treated as equals to whites, according to the Pew Research Center survey released Monday. Yet, nearly 4 in 10 white Americans think that’s already happened. A majority of white people believe blacks are treated the same as them when applying for a mortgage, in the workplace, in restaurants, and at the voting booth, the survey found.

In almost every category measured, including police treatment of blacks, the Black Lives Matter movement, politics and the presidency, "there's a huge polarization between black and white Americans," said Pew’s Juliana Horowitz.  "You hear that anecdotally, that there is a divide in the country," and the numbers bear it out, added Horowitz, an associate research director at the Washington organization.

While about 4 in 10 whites surveyed said there was too much of a focus today on race, nearly 6 in 10 blacks said there is too little. Forty-six percent of whites described race relations as generally good, yet 61% of blacks said they are generally bad.

White and black Americans also disagreed on the nature of racism ....................

Tuesday
Jun282016

SACRAMENTO: Homelessness, "California lawmakers approve $2 billion for homeless housing"; legislation, "Gov. Brown signs bill that limits seizure of assets of many Medi-Cal recipients"; elections, "Activists reveal more dark-money donors to campaigns against unins and schools-funding tax" ....

***Various iems relating to doings in and/or around the Capitol....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Activists reveal more dark-money donors to campaigns against unions and schools-funding tax"

* San Francisco Chronicle (AP):  "California lawmakers approve $2 billion for homeless housing"

* East Bay Times:  "Gov. Brown signs bill that limits seizure of assets of many Medi-Cal recipients"

 

Tuesday
Jun282016

POLITICS/URBAN AFFAIRS (National, Local/New York): New York City, short-term rentals/home-sharing, regulation, Airbnb: "Airbnb and the Battle of Suitcase Alley" ....

* New York Times:  "Airbnb and the Battle of Suitcase Alley" - From the NYT:

Early this year, Mike Quinn, a lawyer in the art world, moved from the West Village to the East Village, into an apartment in an eight-unit building on Third Street between First and Second Avenues. The twin plagues of chain commerce and luxury residential towers have eradicated much of what distinguished the two neighborhoods historically, but Mr. Quinn noticed one big difference right away — all over the East Village, and where he lived in particular, people were hauling luggage around all the time. He began referring to his block as Suitcase Alley. Airbnb guests from around the world remain always in view.

On June 17, the State Legislature passed what would become one of the most stringent home-sharing laws in the country, if not the world, should Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo approve it. The measure would forbid not only landlords, but also tenants, to list apartments for short-term rental on Airbnb and similar sites, and would impose fines of up to $7,500 on those who flout it. It is already illegal in New York to rent out an unoccupied apartment in a building with three or more units for fewer than 30 days, but Airbnb is full of advertisements for such places regardless; about 55 percent of Airbnb listings violate the law, according to housing activists.

The company doesn’t dispute the figure; it instead seeks to have the legislation modified, so that a costume designer living in Chelsea, for instance, could sublet her rental apartment for the four or five days a month she worked in Los Angeles with no worries that she was engaging in an illegitimate transaction.

Although Airbnb has faced fierce opposition in San Francisco, Berlin and Barcelona, the new law in New York arrives at a moment when certain governments and municipalities have begun to regard it far more affectionately . . . . . . . .

On Wednesday, Chicago’s City Council overwhelmingly passed a relatively lenient bill governing how sites like Airbnb could operate in the city. This came after intensive lobbying on the part of the company, whose policy director, Chris Lehane, like the city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is an alumnus of the Clinton White House. The legislation, which has certainly had very vocal opponents, establishes a 4 percent tax on each rental to help fund services for the homeless.

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In New York and other cities with exorbitant housing costs, one longstanding objection to Airbnb has been that certain listings effectively remove units from the residential housing market, suppressing supply and theoretically driving up rents.

According to a report to be released by a consortium of housing activists, 16 percent of Airbnb listings in New York City, or approximately 8,000 units, should be considered “impact listings,” meaning that they are booked several times per month and listed for at least three months per year by someone who advertises multiple apartments on Airbnb, and not just the single apartment in which he or she lives. These are the commercial profiteers.

Validating Mr. Quinn’s Suitcase Alley observation, the report found .....................

Tuesday
Jun282016

SACRAMENTO: Legislative transparency, 72-hr. waiting period, commentary (Dan Walters), "California measures for three-day waiting period near showdown"; University of California, "UC spent $158,000 on campaign to counter critical state audit"; recycling centers, "Band-aid for closing recycling centers passes California Assembly" ....

***Various items relating to doings in and/or around the Capitol....

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "California measures for three-day waiting period near showdown"

* Sacramento Bee:  "Band-aid for closing recycling centers passes California Assembly"

* Sacramento Bee:  "UC spent $158,000 on campaign to counter critical state audit"

Tuesday
Jun282016

POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION (Orange County): Orange County Transportation Authority, Anaheim Streetcar, Harbor Boulevard corridor: "OCTA Votes Unanimously to End Anaheim Streetcar Project" ....

* Voice of OC:  "OCTA Votes Unanimously to End Anaheim Streetcar Project" - From Voice of OC:

The controversial Anaheim streetcar project is all but dead after the board of the Orange County Transportation Authority voted unanimously Monday to pull support for the 3.2 mile, $300 million transit project and explore other alternatives for the Harbor Boulevard corridor.

It’s a decision that the board has debated and delayed for months, after a highly politicized report by an ad hoc committee, comprised of four of the project’s opponents, recommended the city of Anaheim drop the streetcar project and hand it over to the Transportation Authority.

Monday’s 14-0 vote – with directors Jim Katapodis, Tim Shaw and Frank Ury absent – would end all planning processes for the streetcar with the city of Anaheim. Instead, the Transportation Authority will conduct a study of the entire Harbor Boulevard corridor, including the streetcar’s proposed route, and determine what transit solutions would make the most financial and logistical sense.

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Enthusiasm for the streetcar project has steadily deflated as discussions of the project’s cost and impacts has raised questions about whether there would ever be enough riders to pay off the expensive project.

 

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Although the agency has stopped planning for the project, a streetcar is not necessarily off the table. Monday’s vote means the Transportation Authority will go back to the drawing board with a study of Harbor Boulevard and consider all the possible transportation options, which, if viable, could include a streetcar. The study will be complete in January 2017, according to Transportation Authority staff ....................