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Saturday
May142016

POLITICS/LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Bay Area): Commentary (Willie Brown), "Why dump Chief Suhr? He's the best thing going for the SFPD"; "Panel OKs $15 million plan to keep Bay Bridge rods from falling"; "BART directors OK extending contracts with unions"; "Alameda County D.A. conducts parallel Oakland police inquiries" ....

***Various items relating to local issues/local government in and around the Bay Area....

* San Francisco Chronicle (Willie Brown):  "Why dump Chief Suhr? He's the best thing going for the SFPD"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Panel OKs $15 million plan to keep Bay Bridge rods from falling"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "BART directors OK extending contracts with unions"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Alameda County D.A. conducts parallel Oakland police inquiries"

Saturday
May142016

SACRAMENTO: Affordable housing, state legislation?: "This is how California's governor wants to make it easier to build affordable housing" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "This is how California's governor wants to make it easier to build affordable housing" - From the LAT:

For years, Gov. Jerry Brown has resisted efforts to spend more money to build affordable housing. As part of his revised budget released Friday, Brown announced what he said was a better solution: making it easier to build homes for low-income residents. In a new package of legislation, Brown is proposing to streamline the permitting process for developers building affordable homes.  “Hopefully, the supply is going to bring down the cost,” Brown said. “Otherwise, through subsidies and through restrictions, we're just spending more and more tax dollars and getting very, very little.”

Brown’s move indicates he sides with the idea, promoted by academics and economists, that the primary issue driving the state’s out-of-control housing costs isn’t a lack of housing subsides, but rather that there’s not enough homes to meet demand.

How much Brown’s proposal will do to boost affordable housing depends on ...................

Saturday
May142016

POLITICS/ENVIRONMENT: California Coastal Commission, Commissioner Martha McClure, "undiluted profanity"?: Commentary (Steve Lopez), "Cover your ears: Coastal Commissioner Martha McClure's on the phone" ....

* Los Angeles Times (Steve Lopez):  "Cover your ears: Coastal Commissioner Martha McClure's on the phone" - From the LAT:

I have been called names so many times, I lost count long ago. I have been cussed out by the sharpest tongues in the East and the best in the West. All part of the job. But nothing compares — or even comes close — to the jet stream of undiluted profanity and invective showered upon me by Coastal Commissioner Martha McClure when I called her one evening last week.

As you may know, my colleagues and I have been peeking into dark corners and taking note of cozy relationships between commissioners, developers and their high-powered, politically juiced consultants. In the last week alone, The Times has lanced commission Chairman Steve Kinsey for failing to report two visits with representatives of a controversial, habitat-crushing development proposed in Newport Beach.

Which leads me back to my question for McClure: Is it true that she has stayed at the Malibu winery villa of a consultant who has represented numerous clients, including David Evans of U2, whose projects are often under review by the commission?

The answer is yes, but it took a while to get to the details. McClure had her own agenda in mind. She called me a "chicken s—," a slimebag and a hack. "You're farting out of your f— ass," she said at one point. Two of her favorite phrases seem to be, "Oh my f— God," and, "Are you f— kidding me?" There is not a sailor, living or dead, who can match her.

But why was McClure in such a lather? ......................

Friday
May132016

SACRAMENTO: Homelessness, proposed $2 billion in state funding: "Gov. Jerry Brown backs $2 billion plan to ease homelessness across California" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Gov. Jerry Brown backs $2 billion plan to ease homelessness across California" - From the LAT:

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday threw his support behind an ambitious $2-billion plan to build housing for California’s mentally ill homeless population. The governor's action comes as cities from Los Angeles to San Francisco, have seen increases in homelessness in recent years, sparked in part by rising rents that have pushed poor people into shantytowns on city sidewalks and canyons.

Under the plan, the state would issue $2 billion in bonds, which would be repaid over 20 to 30 years with money provided under Proposition 63, the “millionaires' tax” for mental health services that voters approved in 2004. Proponents said money from the bond, together with federal and local funding, would finance 10,000 to 14,000 new housing units for the state's 116,000 homeless people, an estimated 30% of whom have mental illness. It would make the most significant boost in state funding for the homeless in years.

Though Brown’s support is an important milestone, the proposal faces legal and political hurdles. A two-thirds supermajority vote in the Legislature would be necessary for the plan's passage, requiring the Democratic majority to find at least some support from Republicans. Democratic leaders, noting support from some Republicans, including Sen. Bob Huff (R-San Dimas), said the governor's backing — released as part of his revised budget — is a tremendous boost.

   ****

Ruth Schwartz, a longtime homeless housing official and executive director of Shelter Partnership in Los Angeles, said advocates had been calling on the state for years to get involved in helping ease the homeless problems. Brown’s support of the measure represented a major shift, she said. “This is just a huge pivot for the governor,” she said.

Friday
May132016

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump, taxes: Commentary (Paul Krugman), "Trump and Taxes"; commentary (Steven Rattner), "Donald Trump and the Art of the Tax Loophole" ....

***2016 presidential election, Donald Trump, taxes....

* New York Times (Op-Ed: Steven Rattner):  "Donald Trump and the Art of the Tax Loophole"

* New York Times (Op-Ed: Paul Krugman):  "Trump and Taxes"