Index
Wednesday
Jun262013

SACRAMENTO: California Public Employees' Retirement System, influence-peddling scandal: "Civil suits may be halted to boost criminal case in CalPERS scandal"....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Civil suits may be halted to boost criminal case in CalPERS scandal" - From the Bee:

Hoping to strengthen their case against the two men accused in the CalPERS influence-peddling scandal, federal prosecutors are trying to shut down a series of civil lawsuits involving the duo. The unusual legal strategy, undertaken with the cooperation of CalPERS, the California attorney general and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is an attempt to make sure the civil lawsuits don't muddle the federal prosecution.

The coordinated effort is "a sure sign that federal prosecutors are committed to bringing these defendants to justice and sending them to prison," Philip Khinda, the Washington lawyer who investigated the scandal for California Public Employees' Retirement System, said in a prepared statement.

The move comes three months after a federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Fred Buenrostro, CalPERS' former chief executive, and Alfred Villalobos, a marketing agent and former CalPERS board member who represented investment firms doing business with the pension fund.............

Wednesday
Jun262013

SACRAMENTO: AB 93, enterprise zone overhaul legislation, approval, California state Senate, measure now faces uncertain future in Assembly....

* Sacramento Bee:  "California state Senate passes enterprise zone overhaul" - From the Bee:

The state Senate late Tuesday passed a proposal to eliminate California's enterprise zones after Senate Democrats negotiated a series of last-minute amendments to mollify resistant lawmakers. The legislation, a priority of Gov. Jerry Brown's, will now head to an uncertain future in the Assembly............

* Los Angeles Times:  "Enterprise zone bill passes state Senate" - From the LAT:

After a lengthy debate, Gov. Jerry Brown’s drive to revamp a nearly 3-decade-old business tax break passed the state Senate with bipartisan votes to spare. The bill, which now faces potentially strong opposition in the Assembly, was approved on a 30-9 tally at 10:23 p.m. Tuesday. It all but eliminates the $750-million-a-year, locally controlled enterprise zones and replaces them with a broader, statewide series of business incentives..............

Wednesday
Jun262013

L.A. CITY HALL: Eric Garcetti, oath of office for L.A.'s first Jewish mayor; editorial, DWP ratepayer advocate; report, update, car-sharing services, cease-and-desist order....

***Various items relating to doings in and/or around Los Angeles City Hall....

* LA Weekly:  "Eric Garcetti, L.A.'s First Jewish Mayor, Will Take His Oath Of Office On A Christian Bible"

* Daily Breeze:  "Car-sharing services continue operating in L.A. despite cease-and-desist order"

* Daily News (editorial):  "People must help DWP ratepayer advocate help them"

Wednesday
Jun262013

POLITICS (Local, State): Update, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, USC lease: "USC deal for Coliseum approved by state board".... 

* Los Angeles Times:  "USC deal for Coliseum approved by state board" - "The Coliseum's landlord, the California Science Center board, approves basic terms of a 98-year lease that lets USC take over parking revenue." - From the LAT:

A state board approved a sharply debated deal Tuesday that grants USC control of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and nearly all of the revenues from the taxpayer-owned stadium for the next century. The governing board of the California Science Center, the Coliseum's landlord, voted 7 to 0 to adopt the basic terms for the lease agreement that extends to the private university most of the benefits of owning the historic venue without requiring the school to buy it.

The lease will become effective after the state Department of General Services and the California Natural Resources Agency approve a final document and the Science Center board ratifies it. The package could require Sacramento to reimburse two public museums next to the Coliseum for money they might lose to USC because the school will be permitted limited use of their parking lots at a lower price.

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Critics have labeled the overall agreement, which grew out of a corruption scandal at the Coliseum Commission, a giveaway to USC that fails to guarantee the public enough money. Key opposition to the USC deal had come from trustees of the Science Center's fundraising foundation, which is separate from the governing board....................

***ALSO:

* LA Weekly:  "Fight On: USC Gets Control Of L.A. Coliseum, Plans To Spend $70 Million On Stadium Upgrades"

Wednesday
Jun262013

L.A. CITY HALL: Casden West L.A., developer agreement to downsize controversial commercial and residential project: "Casden agrees to downsize West L.A. development"....,  

* Los Angeles Times:  "Casden agrees to downsize West L.A. development" - "Developer Casden West L.A. drops plans for a grocery store and a Target and reduces number of homes after critics complain about expected traffic." - From the LAT:

Real estate developer Casden West L.A. has agreed to chop down the size of its hotly contested commercial and residential project on the Westside, following two weeks of negotiations with neighborhood groups, a company official said Tuesday. With a City Council vote on the project set for Friday, Casden abandoned plans for both a supermarket and a Target, moves that are expected to dramatically decrease the amount of automobile traffic that the project generates.

The reworked project, planned next to an Expo Line light rail station, will have just 15,000 square feet of commercial space, instead of the previously proposed 160,000, said company spokesman Brian Lewis. Casden also is reducing the number of homes planned within the project near the congested corner of Pico and Sepulveda boulevards, from 638 homes to 595.

The Casden development had major support from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who had portrayed it as "quintessential smart growth" — the concept of clustering homes, shops and restaurants around transit stops. But an array of neighborhood groups had threatened legal action, saying that Casden illegally used property owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to calculate the development's size. Lewis said his company responded to neighborhood concerns about traffic and would no longer rely on the MTA land to make its calculation.

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Casden West L.A. has been looking to strike a deal before the 15-member City Council undergoes a dramatic changeover. Next week, six new council members will take office.

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Tuesday's announcement comes one week after another developer offered its own concessions in response to heated neighborhood opposition............