Index
Sunday
Aug312014

POLITICS/MEDIA: Chelsea Clinton, departure from NBC News: "Chelsea Clinton quits $600K job at NBC"; also, "Chelsea Clinton leaves NBC to focus on Clinton Foundation, motherhood"; "Chelsea Clinton's Exit From NBC News Announced Friday Before Holiday Weekend" ....

***Sampling of coverage, Chelsea Clinton departure from NBC News....

* New York Post (Page Six):  "Chelsea Clinton quits $600K job at NBC" - From Page Six:

In a classic holiday Friday news dump, Chelsea Clinton announced she was leaving her cushy $600,000-a-year correspondent job at NBC — after she failed to land the network any special access to her mom Hillary Clinton.

Chelsea, who boasted no experience in journalism, was hired as a “special correspondent” for NBC in November 2011. Her work included interviewing the CGI Geico gecko and “Making A Difference” reports for now-cancelled “Rock Center with Brian Williams.” But NBC insiders tell us that News execs, who kept Chelsea on staff by moving her to a month-by-month contract earlier this year, were infuriated when Hillary gave her first interview for her book “Hard Choices” to ABC’s Diane Sawyer on June 9.

One insider sniffed, “NBC hired Chelsea for the stories she could bring in from her influential contacts, and access to Hillary. But they didn’t get Chelsea to do any serious work, and they didn’t get access to Hillary.” And when Politico revealed Chelsea’s massive salary in June, our source says, “It was catastrophic for NBC, because not one of the other correspondents, not even Jenna Bush Hager, is on that sort of money.”

The daughter of George W. Bush — who is extremely well-liked on “Today” and scored a sit-down with President Obama and reported on the Sochi Olympics — is rumored to be among those who expressed their dismay at Chelsea’s huge salary for apparently very little work. Business Insider calculated Chelsea made $26,724 for every minute she appeared on NBC................

***ALSO:

* Los Angeles Times ("Ministry of Gossip"):  "Chelsea Clinton leaves NBC to focus on Clinton Foundation, motherhood"

* Deadline:  "Chelsea Clinton's Exit From NBC News Announced Friday Before Holiday Weekend"

Sunday
Aug312014

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Sacramento): Update, Sacramento Central Labor Council, "ouster" of Bill Camp: "Labor leader Bill Camp now on administrative leave" ....

***Following up on earlier items noted here (Sacramento, "ouster" of Sacramento labor leader Bill Camp)....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Labor leader Bill Camp now on administrative leave" - From the LAT:

Days after firing its longtime executive secretary, Bill Camp, the Sacramento Central Labor Council board has rescinded the termination and instead placed Camp on leave, according to an internal letter signed Friday by the council’s president. The move comes after national AFL-CIO officials challenged the termination process.

Writing to union officials Friday, council President Lino Pedres said Camp is now “on paid administrative leave while (the board) looks into various issues regarding his tenure here.” The letter states the council expects its review to last several weeks, and the council has told Camp not to speak publicly about the issue.

The council board met with national union officials Friday. Afterward, Pedres issued a public statement saying the council is following an internal process “regarding personnel issues. To protect the integrity of that democratic process, we don’t have any further comment at this time.”

The week revealed a rift in the coalition, which represents 104,000 workers......................

Sunday
Aug312014

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Bay Area): San Francisco City Hall, influence of Mayor Ed Lee's chief of staff Steve Kawa: "Steve Kawa is the powerhouse behind San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee" ....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Steve Kawa is the powerhouse behind San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee" - From the Chronicle:

He's called the enforcer. The shadow mayor. The sphinx. Most San Franciscans have never heard of one of the most powerful people in the city, and Steve Kawa likes it that way. He's the 52-year-old chief of staff to Mayor Ed Lee, held the same position under Mayor Gavin Newsom and was a top aide to Mayor Willie Brown.

For a decade, Kawa has been the go-to guy at City Hall, negotiating labor contracts, pushing through mayors' policy goals, keeping staffers in line and playing bad cop to the mayors' good cop. But he's rarely mentioned in the media and avoids publicity.

His influence, coupled with an intense desire to avoid the limelight, has earned him plenty of nicknames, including "the man behind the curtain." But if he's more powerful than the fictional Wizard of Oz, his personal story is more like Dorothy's, leaving a small, working-class town in Massachusetts for the Emerald City of San Francisco and going through a painful process of self-revelation.

From his blue-collar beginnings - he was the first member of his family to attend a four-year college and paid his way by working four jobs - Kawa has quietly risen to the pinnacle of San Francisco government. "He is the most powerful unknown person in San Francisco," said former Supervisor Aaron Peskin, a frequent critic of the three mayors for whom Kawa has worked................................

Sunday
Aug312014

POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION (State, Local/County of Los Angeles): California high-speed rail project, community response, Supervisor Michael Antonovich recommendation, proposed Palmdale to Burbank corridor route: "Proposal for rail corridor through Angeles National Forest draws fire" ....

***Following up on most recent earlier item noted here (California high-speed rail project, Supervisor Mike Antonovich recommendation, proposed route, Palmdale to Burbank)....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Proposal for rail corridor through Angeles National Forest draws fire" - From the LAT:

A recent proposal to study cutting a high-speed rail corridor through the Angeles National Forest is drawing fire from San Fernando Valley communities near the preserve's southwest boundary.

Calling Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich's idea vague and ill-conceived, groups that represent thousands of residents want the California High-Speed Rail Authority to disregard the suggestion. The opposition is primarily coming from Sunland, Sun Valley, Lake View Terrace, Shadow Hills, La Tuna Canyon and Tujunga — areas that might be disrupted by a forest alignment depending on where it would go. Some residents contend the proposal is already threatening property values and pending real estate sales.

"Antonovich has not communicated with us or returned our calls," said attorney Bill Eick, who sits on the board of the Shadow Hills Property Owners Assn. "Basically, he has thrown us under the train."

Tony Bell, a spokesman for Antonovich, called the criticism a positive development that will foster further discussion about the route's feasibility. "We want to make sure there aren't additional impacts in any one of our communities," Bell said, adding that the supervisor wants to hear from all interested parties.

Antonovich recommended that a swath on the west side of the forest be studied for potential routes, but he did not include specific alignments. The rail authority has agreed to consider — at least preliminarily — the supervisor's proposal for the Palmdale-Burbank leg as well as two separate alignments along the Antelope Valley Freeway that planners have studied for years.........................

Saturday
Aug302014

POLITICS/EDUCATION: Los Angeles Unified School District, politics, tensions, commentary (Sandy Banks): "L.A. Unified exemplifies the forces that stifle public school reform" ....

* Los Angeles Times (Sandy Banks):  "L.A. Unified exemplifies the forces that stifle public school reform" - From the LAT:

By now, Los Angeles Unified was supposed to be the technological model for big-city school systems. All of its pupils would have iPads, teachers could access student data with the click of a mouse, and parents could check their children's attendance and grades daily online.

But the student data and tracking system stumbled out of the gate three weeks ago when the new school year began. On some campuses teachers had no rosters, student schedules were scrambled and classrooms were either empty or overflowing. The computer system was so overloaded, it couldn't process simple commands.

And the iPad project — the crown jewel of Supt. John Deasy's reform campaign — was bungled so badly in its rollout last year that district-wide expansion was scaled back, then scrapped this week in the midst of concerns that the contracting process was tilted toward companies Deasy favored.

So instead of a groundbreaker, the district has become a national model of the tensions that stifle public school reform. Our technology projects were stranded between high-minded ideals and grass-roots realities; tripped up by jockeying over priorities, politics and power................................