Index
Monday
Sep232013

POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION (Bay Area): Bay Area Rapid Transit District, new round of BART negotiations, commentary (Matier & Ross), clear that the "unions are winning"....

* San Francisco Chronicle (Matier & Ross)  - From the Chronicle:

BART ride: One look at what is on the table in the new round of BART negotiations that continue this week shows pretty clearly that the unions are winning. Just look at the numbers.

When negotiations began on April 1, BART management's position was a) no raises; b) workers begin paying more into their pensions; and c) most importantly, that workers move from paying a flat $92-a-month for health care to paying 20 percent of their medical premiums. The package would have saved the transit system about $140 million over 4 years.

In a last-minute attempt to avert the July 1 strike, BART sweetened the offer with an 8 percent raise over 4 years, and dropped the medical kick in to 16 percent, down from 20. As the deadline approached for a second possible strike in August, BART upped its offer again. This time the package included a 10 percent pay hike over 4 years, only a 4 percent retirement kick-in, and a continuation of the flat rate for health care - except for those on the high-end plans.

In short, BART went from a deal to save the system $120 million to a deal that will cost about $33.8 million over the next four years. "We've been the one's making the moves throughout," said BART director Zackary Mallett. BART Board President Tom Radulavich said, "If we go beyond this, it will mean more cuts and dirtier stations."

The problem for BART is that their "final-final" offer made before the imposed cool down, is now the opening offer in the new negotiations.....................

Monday
Sep232013

POLITICS/SPORTS (Bay Area): 49ers new stadium, controversy, shortfall of about 5,000 parking spaces: "49ers stadium idea to develop park angers wide array of Santa Clara residents"....,

* San Jose Mercury News:  "49ers stadium idea to develop park angers wide array of Santa Clara residents" - From the MN:

SANTA CLARA -- The surprising revelation that the San Francisco 49ers are about 5,000 parking spaces short at the team's new stadium has rapidly set off a chain of events that has everyone from soccer coaches and golfers to Boy Scout troops and Native Americans fighting mad.

Hundreds of local residents fear the team will pave over the Youth Soccer Park next to Levi's Stadium to appease fans who need parking spots. And now the city has proposed moving the soccer fields, its parking lot and buildings down the street to a park where butterfly lovers think their gardens will be destroyed, bird watchers suspect native habitats will be trampled and Ohlone Indians say an ancient burial ground could be unearthed.

"There is outrage in the community," said retired Wilcox High School biology teacher Dennis Dowling, 71, who has spent decades with his students planting trees at the open space. . . . . . . . .

Santa Clara city leaders, however, are urging residents to "calm down." They say the fear stems from "propaganda" spreading through social media and that most of the greenery in the 40-acre Ulistac Natural Area would be preserved.

The off-the-field drama kicked off when the 49ers and city officials quietly disclosed at a meeting last week that they still need 5,000 parking spaces to meet their goal of 21,000 spaces. The 49ers now hope to let about 6,000 cars park on the fairways of the city-owned golf course across the street from the stadium. It's a temporary fix, however, as that land is slated for a huge Santana Row-style development.......................

 

Some stadium leaders are now eyeing the 11-acre Youth Soccer Park, which sits in the shadow of the $1.3 billion stadium. Santa Clara officials say the 49ers are interested in leasing the city-owned land for fans to park during game days and other events to help fund a new $10 million soccer park.

Monday
Sep232013

POLITICS/EDUCATION: University of California, Grace Napolitano selection as UC chancellor, criticism of selection process; California State University, CSU trustees, discussion, budget framework for next year....

***A couple items regarding higher education in California:  University of California; California State University....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Napolitano choice fuels criticism over UC's selection process" - "Supporters of a more open method say better decisions are made when three or four finalists are formally identified to the public."

*Long Beach Press-Telegram:  "CSU trustees to talk budget"

Monday
Sep232013

L.A. CITY HALL: Garcetti commission appointees, commentary, LA Weekly: "Eric Garcetti's Five Worst Mayoral Appointees"....

* LA Weekly:  "Eric Garcetti's Five Worst Mayoral Appointees" - From the Weekly:

Did Mayor Eric Garcetti have only three files from which he chose his city commissioners, who wield influence over whether to fire bad cops, expand LAX into Westchester, push from outside for shakeups at failing LAUSD schools and kill off L.A.'s wildly unsustainable policies such as its patch-the-streets-never-fix-'em follies?

Garcetti Appointee File One: Best friends who backed him for mayor. File Two: Enemies who backed him for mayor. File Three: People who gave him cash to run for mayor. We think, in many cases, Garcetti pulled from the three files. This may explain why his powerful city commissions and mayoral advisory team contain a tad too many people who have no clue what they're doing.

Here are Garcetti's five worst mayoral appointees........................

Sunday
Sep222013

WEEKEND MEMOS: Controversy, AB 240, Maywood water companies; food trucks, LAX (truck "shells," inside Terminal 4) and Long Beach Airport; editorial, "last-minute scrums in Legislature need to stop"; commentary (Daniel Borenstein), poverty's shift to the suburbs, new ways required to help the needy....

***Various items relating to politics and/or public policy....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Fate of Maywood water companies rests with Brown" - "Companies serving Maywood oppose a bill creating a public agency backed by a water district involved in an FBI corruption investigation."

* San Jose Mercury News (editorial):  "Last-minute scrums in Legislature need to stop"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Food trucks to roll into LAX, continue weekly at Long Beach Airport"

* Contra Costa Times (Daniel Borenstein):  "Poverty's shift to the suburbs requires new ways to help the needy"