Index
Wednesday
Jun172015

POLITICS (National): Congress, Democratic Caucus, vice chair election: "Linda Sanchez latest to make bid for Democratic leadership post" ....

* Politico:  "Linda Sanchez latest to make bid for Democratic leadership post" - From Politico:

California Rep. Linda Sánchez is planning to run for vice chair of the Democratic Caucus next Congress, multiple sources confirmed.  The Democrat has been quietly telling colleagues about her plans over the past week, hoping to build a coalition early as the race is expected to be hotly contested.

Sánchez is the second Californian lawmaker to make a bid for the No. 5 spot in Democratic leadership. Rep. Barbara Lee announced her intention to seek the post last week.

The vice chairman position will come open after the 2016 elections, as its current occupant, New York Rep. Joe Crowley, is term limited from serving a third term and will likely move up in the ranks. The race will attract a significant number of contenders as many rank-and-file members are eager to advance in a caucus that has been dominated by more senior leaders ..................

Wednesday
Jun172015

L.A. CITY HALL: Mayor Eric Garcetti, trip to D.C., fundraiser, Ezell Ford shooting, Los Angeles Police Commission decision, commentary (Steve Lopez): "Every Garcetti evasion triggers more questions" ....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (Garcetti, trip to D.C., fundraiser, Ezell Ford shooting)....

* Los Angeles Times (Steve Lopez):  "Every Garcetti evasion triggers more questions" - From the LAT:

Washington, D.C., is a long way to schlep for two half-hour meetings for the good of Los Angeles, but that's what Mayor Eric Garcetti said he did last week. It's possible Garcetti has not heard of Skype, GoToMeeting, Facetime, Wiggio or another digital connection that could have saved him the hassle of a cross-country trip. But I doubt it. Garcetti is a techy guy. So cynic that I am, I figured there had to be more to the trip back East.

On Monday, my colleague Peter Jamison threw some light on the subject, reporting that the mayor had another piece of business to tend to in Washington. Namely, a fundraiser for his mayoral reelection campaign — an event that he and his staff had failed to mention in earlier explanations. As I said, I'm a cynic, and it looked to me like the fundraiser might have been the real reason for the trip.

Garcetti denied that. He said Tuesday on KNX-AM (1070) that he would have canceled the trip if the fundraiser was the main event. I hate to be picky here, but if the fundraiser was not the main event, then why did his campaign pay for the trip?

That's the thing about this story. There seem to be more questions than answers, and this is getting to be a habit. Last month the mayor said a family commitment was one reason he skipped a community meeting about the police shooting of yet another unarmed man, but that excuse didn't hold up under a magnifying glass.

In the case of the far-flung fundraiser, it doesn't help that the mayor's staff was evasive when Jamison asked his questions, telling the reporter an attorney would have to review the request for more details. Why? Was there something to hide?

   ****

There is nothing illegal in any of this, and ultimately the mayor will be judged on bigger issues. Can he make the city safe, create more affordable housing, draw more living-wage jobs and offer some traffic solutions? But on the big stuff and the little stuff, you can avoid a lot of trouble by remembering what your mother taught you: Always tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The alternatives are guaranteed to make headlines.

Wednesday
Jun172015

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (County of Los Angeles): Home healthcare workers, "income inequality": "L.A. County supervisors vote to gradually boost home care worker wages" ....  

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A. County supervisors vote to gradually boost home care worker wages" - From the LAT:

Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to raise the wage of about 140,000 home healthcare workers paid through a state program partially funded by the county. Their pay will go from $9.65 an hour to $11.18 over the next year and a half. It was the first major decision on salaries made since a new board majority took office in December. It also marked the first time the board had suspended a fiscal rule put in place by the outgoing board last year, requiring a four-fifths supermajority on votes to increase worker pay and benefits.

The vote on pay for the workers, who care for sick, elderly and disabled county residents, could foreshadow the outcome of a pending proposal by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to follow the city of Los Angeles' lead and raise the minimum wage for county workers and those laboring in unincorporated areas from $9 to $15 by 2020. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said he also plans to soon propose increasing the “living wage” paid to county contractors. “I do believe that there is a readiness to address income inequality in the county of Los Angeles,” he said ...........................

Tuesday
Jun162015

POLITICS (State, Local/Los Angeles; Bay Area): State budget negotiations, CEQA, "side deals": "Lawmakers making side deals on Hollywood high-rises, Warriors arena" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Lawmakers making side deals on Hollywood high-rises, Warriors arena" - From the LAT:

With Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders negotiating differences over the budget, a side issue has emerged over extending special handling of two controversial developments: a $200-million mixed-use project in Hollywood and a new arena for the Warriors basketball team in San Francisco. Brown approved a streamlined environmental review for the 8150 Sunset Blvd. project in Hollywood in April 2014 and the same expedited process for the Warriors project in Mission Bay three months ago.

That streamlined process was created by legislation in 2011 that recognizes projects costing more than $100 million that create significant numbers of jobs and abide by tough environmental standards. The bill streamlines the California Environmental Quality Act process by requiring that courts take no more than 175 days to decide environmental challenges to specific projects and lawsuits start in the court of appeal. However, to qualify for an expedited process, the two projects must complete their environmental studies by Jan. 1, 2016, and state officials say it appears they need more time.

Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) said legislative leaders and the Brown administration are negotiating the language for the deadline extension to be included in a budget trailer bill.

   ****

The Hollywood project involves two buildings, including a 16-story high-rise, that will include 249 apartments, as well as commercial, retail and restaurant space. The Warriors are proposing an 18,000-seat arena for Mission Bay, adjacent to UC San Francisco.

Opponents of the Warriors project say they oppose what they see as a “backroom deal’’ being worked out in Sacramento ...............

Tuesday
Jun162015

POLITICS/AVIATION (National, Local/Southern California): Los Angeles area air traffic control: "FAA proposes state-of-art traffic control system for L.A.'s crowded skies" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "FAA proposes state-of-art traffic control system for L.A's crowded skies" - From the LAT:

High above the 22 million people who live and work in Southern California is some of the busiest airspace in the nation. On a typical day, more than 11,000 aircraft take to the skies, most of them over the sprawling Los Angeles Basin. There are Gulfstream jets from Van Nuys Airport, Cessna 172s from Santa Monica Airport, helicopters from Torrance Municipal and giant Boeing 747s from Los Angeles International, which handles more than 1,700 departures and arrivals daily.

Keeping track of it all is a massive undertaking for air traffic controllers, who use radar screens dotted with moving lights to guide aircraft to their destinations; technology that dates to the 1950s. The Federal Aviation Administration now believes there is a better way to manage the crowded sky. The agency is proposing a state-of-the-art air traffic control system that would track aircraft more precisely, potentially freeing up congested corridors and allowing pilots to make shorter, safer flights to their destinations.

For passengers, the anticipated benefits include .......................