Index
Saturday
Nov222014

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Los Angeles, Long Beach): Update, truckers strike: "Los Angeles, Long Beach port truckers end strike at three companies, cite 'productive dialogue'"; also, "Trucker strike at ports of L.A., Long Beach ends" ....

* Daily Breeze:  "Los Angeles, Long Beach port truckers end strike at three companies, cite 'productive dialogue'"  - From the DB:

Los Angeles and Long Beach port truck drivers have decided to stop striking at three area trucking companies after meetings with the companies and union officials led to “productive confidential dialogue” about drivers’ wage and labor issues.

Drivers agreed late Thursday to stop picketing trucks belonging to QTS Inc., LACA Express, and WinWin Logistics, which all plan to meet to “resolve outstanding issues between them,” according to a joint statement by Mayor Eric Garcetti, the companies and the Teamsters, the union wanting to represent the truck drivers.

“All sides have expressed an interest in sitting down and continuing confidential discussions of these issues and challenges facing the drayage industry,” according to the joint statement. “QTS Inc., LACA Express, Inc. and WinWin Logistics, Inc. each respect drivers’ right to choice with regard to unionization.”

Meanwhile, drivers will continue picketing trucks from Pacer and Harbor Rail Transport..................

* Los Angeles Times:  "Trucker strike at ports of L.A., Long Beach ends" - From the LAT:

Striking truck drivers from two companies agreed Friday to return to work, organizers said, ending a nine-day trucker protest at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The two struck companies -- Pacer International Inc. and Harbor Rail Transport -- said in statements that they would not retaliate against drivers who walked off the job and vowed to continue discussions with the Teamsters Union, which is backing the drivers.

A series of driver strikes began at the ports Nov. 13, and drivers from seven firms protested at various times during the job action, organizers said........................

Saturday
Nov222014

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, nonprofit trusts, audit data/documentation: "DWP trusts provide data for audits"; also, editorial, "'Trust us' doesn't cut it in deal with DWP union" ....

* Daily News:  "DWP trusts provide data for audits" - From the DN:

The two trusts funded by the Department of Water and Power have agreed to provide all the information requested by Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin to allow him to audit how they have used $40 million in ratepayer funds over the past decade, officials said Friday.

The Joint Training Institute and Joint Safety Institute boards, meeting for the first time in months, agreed to provide all the documentation requested by Galperin. Galperin aides said he plans to begin the audits in early December. Galperin has said he will need four months to complete the work.

The agreement is part of a settlement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 to end most of a legal dispute with the city over the power to audit the spending of the trusts.........

***ALSO, Related:

*  Daily News (editorial):  "'Trust us' doesn't cut it in deal with DWP union" - From the DN:

Los Angeles officials declared victory last week after the City Council approved an agreement with the Department of Water and Power workers’ union for a financial audit of two secretive trusts that have been sucking in tens of millions of dollars in ratepayer money. But those officials jumped the gun. This is not a triumph for the public’s right to know. It leaves the fight for transparency ongoing.

The battle erupted more than a year ago when it was revealed that nobody could say — or would say — what became of $40 million that went toward the two entities, ostensibly devoted to employee training and safety, jointly run by DWP management and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18.

Converging in this one issue was almost everything L.A. residents hate about the DWP: The mystery of it all. The suspicion that ratepayer cash was being wasted on a union slush fund. The thought of how all that money could instead be used to improve utility service and upgrade infrastructure. The obstinate union. Ineffectual city officials.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer and City Controller Ron Galperin actually deserve credit for saying enough is enough and fighting union chief Brian D’Arcy in court while exerting political pressure, confident the public and justice were on their side.  But when D’Arcy decided to compromise, the city settled for less than it should have. If this was the best deal it could negotiate, well, that doesn’t mean Angelenos should be satisfied................................

Saturday
Nov222014

POLITICS (State, Local/Bay Area): California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E, pipeline accident, $10.8 million fine, additional investigation: "PG&E gas-line probe by state was slow to launch" ....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "PG&E gas-line probe by state was slow to launch" - From the Chronicle:

It took a four-year string of six accidents blamed on inaccurate natural-gas system records for California regulators to open an investigation into whether Pacific Gas and Electric Co. knows the condition of the pipelines that run into people’s homes and businesses, according to a Chronicle review of state records. PG&E, which is already facing $1.4 billion in penalties for safety violations related to the deadly 2010 explosion of a gas transmission line in San Bruno, could now be fined millions of dollars more for similar problems with its smaller distribution lines.

On Thursday, regulators with the California Public Utilities Commission levied a $10.8 million fine against PG&E for a pipeline accident that caused a March 3 explosion in Carmel. They also cited a nearly identical accident that happened eight months earlier in Mountain View, in which damage was averted. No one was injured in either incident, but the Carmel blast destroyed an unoccupied cottage.

The commission also opened a formal investigation into PG&E’s distribution system, more than 40,000 miles of pipes, most 2 inches thick or smaller, that branch off from larger transmission lines like the one that ruptured in San Bruno.

The commission concluded that the six incidents provide a “strong showing that PG&E may have violated applicable law,” and suggested the company’s distribution-pipe records were “inadequate to make critically important, ongoing safety decisions.”

Flawed records were at the root of the 2010 disaster in San Bruno.............................

Saturday
Nov222014

SACRAMENTO: Riverside County Board of Supervisors, vacancy: "Jerry Brown gets chance to fill antagonist's seat" ....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Jerry Brown gets chance to fill antagonist's seat" - From the Bee:

In the nearly four years since he returned to the Governor’s Office, Gov. Jerry Brown has faced few local government antagonists more vocal than Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone. Now Brown gets to fill Stone’s seat following the supervisor’s election to the state Senate earlier this month.

Stone, a Republican, is resigning from the board next week, three weeks after he defeated former Republican Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia in the race for the 28th Senate District. Brown has no time limit on choosing Stone’s replacement. “The governor is obviously looking for the best possible candidate for this position,” Brown spokesman Jim Evans said in an e-mail Friday.

Brown has filled several supervisorial vacancies during his third term as governor, and almost all of the appointments to the nonpartisan posts have been Democrats. That could be a challenge in Stone’s Third District, particularly if whoever Brown appoints tries to run for a full term when the seat is on the ballot in 2016.

Republican registration in Stone’s district is the second-highest in Southern California, with GOP voters outnumbering Democrats by more than 31,000. . . . . . . . .

Other factors in the appointment could be the board’s demographics. . . . . . . . .

What seems unlikely is that Stone will have a lot of input in Brown’s selection..........................

Saturday
Nov222014

SACRAMENTO: Assembly District 39, update, vote tally: "Election 2014: Patty Lopez's lead widens over Raul Bocanegra in tight race for Assembly District 39" .... 

* Daily News:  "Election 2014:  Patty Lopez's lead widens over Raul Bocanegra in tight race for Assembly District 39" - From the DN:

Patty Lopez’s lead over Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra widened Friday, with the San Fernando resident leading by 419 votes, up from 235 on Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s latest count.

Lopez and Bocanegra are locked in a tight race for Assembly District 39, a district that includes the San Fernando Valley neighborhoods of Pacoima, Sunland-Tujunga and North Hollywood.

   ****

The Registrar-Recorder expects to certify all race results by Nov. 28.