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Thursday
Jun022016

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Bay Area, "PG&E recommended for huge fine for poor record keeping"; downtown L.A., "Massive Mixed-Use Project Proposed in Arts District"; Sacramento, editorial, "Some last-minute dirt in Sacramento's Steinberg-Ashby race"; Avalon, "Santa Catalina Island to vote on marijuana dispensary" .... 

***Various items relating to local issues/local government -- Northern California, Southern California....

* Sacramento Bee (editorial):  "Some last-minute dirt in Sacramento's Steinberg-Ashby race"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "PG&E recommended for huge fine for poor record keeping"

* Downtown News:  "Massive Mixed-Use Project Proposed in Arts District"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Santa Catalina Island to vote on marijuana dispensary"

Thursday
Jun022016

SACRAMENTO: California Public Employees' Retirement Fund, "Ex-CalPERS chief will collect part of state pension n prison"; AB 1711, "California Assembly approves cap on UC out-of-state enrollment"; Calif. Citizens Compensation Commission, "Californa panel lifts pay 4 percent for Jerry Brown, lawmakers" .... 

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

* Sacramento Bee:  "Ex-CalPERS chief will collect part of state pension in prison"

* Sacramento Bee:  "California Assembly approves cap on UC out-of-state enrollment"

* Sacramento Bee:  "California panel lifts pay 4 percent for Jerry Brown, lawmakers"

 

Thursday
Jun022016

POLITICS (State, Local): Housing supply, development rules, Gov. Jerry Brown: "Gov. Jerry Brown's housing plan could wipe away development rules in Los Angeles and San Francisco" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Gov. Jerry Brown's housing plan could wipe away development rules in Los Angeles and San Francisco" - From the LAT:

Robert Tillman owns a coin-operated laundromat in San Francisco’s Mission District,  a  neighborhood  at  the epicenter of California’s housing crisis. Over the last 2½ years, he’s spent nearly $500,000 on plans to tear down the business to build apartments. But although the city has zoned the property for apartments, Tillman hasn’t gotten very far.

Local residents can file a formal complaint to the city to hold up Tillman’s project because they don’t like how it looks, how tall it is or where people will park, starting a chain of appeals leading all the way to the Board of Supervisors. Environmental lawsuits could add years of delay amid exploding demand for new homes in a region with six times as many new jobs and people as housing units added from 2010 to 2015, according to a study by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley. “Everything is a negotiation,” Tillman said of trying to build houses in San Francisco. “There’s no single person you can negotiate with who has the ability to make a deal.”

Under a new plan from Gov. Jerry Brown, that dynamic should change. Brown’s proposal would force local governments to approve any urban housing development provided the project matches the underlying zoning and a certain percentage of homes are set aside for the poor, adding some certainty to processes across the state that Tillman and other developers have described as overly complicated.

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Experts have said Brown’s plan would fundamentally change how housing gets built in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles and others that require layers of approval for every large development . . . . . . . .

To spur growth, Brown wants to wipe away local and state rules on parking, height, density and environmental reviews beyond those already required through zoning. 

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In cities with significant existing restrictions on housing beyond zoning, the measure’s effects could result in profound changes to the development approval process.  . . . . . . .

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“I do imagine that the citizens of many cities will become unglued when they understand what this will do,” said Michael Brilliot, a manager in San Jose’s planning department.

Still, Brown’s plan would not create a boom in housing supply ....................

Wednesday
Jun012016

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election: Commentary (E.J. Dionne, Jr.), "Trumpism: Made in Europe"; commentary (Kathleen Parker), "America is under relentless attack -- from within"; commentary (David Ignatius), "President Trump would hand the world to China"; also, "Clinton launching national security case against Trump in California speech" ....

***2016 presidential election....

* Washington Post (E.J. Dionne, Jr.):  "Trumpism: Made in Europe"

* Washington Post (Kathleen Parker):  "America is under relentless attack -- from within"

* Washington Post (David Ignatius):  "President Trump would hand the world to China"

***ALSO:

* Washington Post:  "Clinton launching national security case against Trump in California speech"

Wednesday
Jun012016

SACRAMENTO: California Board of Equalization, politics? budget?: "Besieged California tax board gets into lease-approval business" ....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Besieged California tax board gets into lease-approval business" - From the Bee:

There’s nothing like money – or the state Legislature’s threat of yanking it – to focus the mind. It’s double trouble when the state’s business-tax collector and auditor struggles to defend itself because its own business is in disarray. That’s why the five-member Board of Equalization, after taking numerous hits for spending on office spaces and furniture, voted last Wednesday to make new real estate leases subject to their vote.

Normally such day-to-day decisions are beneath the leaders of an agency that has 4,400 employees, a $595 million budget and collects and distributes $60.5 billion in use taxes, retail sales taxes and dozens of other taxes. Yet there was BOE Chairwoman Fiona Ma, a Democrat, proposing a policy last week that would have required board approval for new leases except those for members’ personal offices. After a lengthy discussion, the board voted unanimously to include all new leases – including those for their own offices. “I think there’s a whole lot of wisdom in following the direction of those folks that set your budget,” Board Member Jerome Horton said before the vote.

During recent budget hearings, lawmakers made frequent reference to a Sacramento Bee investigation that revealed taxpayers shelled out $130,000 on furnishings and installation for Horton’s Sacramento office last year. The report also showed that Sacramento office leases for Horton and three board colleagues cost the public a combined $740,000 annually.

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Budget hearings didn’t go well for the agency ................