SACRAMENTO: Resignation of State Senator Roderick Wright, effective September 22, governor to call special election: "Convicted felon Roderick Wright to resign from Senate"; also, "Rod Wright steps down from the California Senate"; "State Sen. Wright resigns after voter fraud case" ....

***Various reports:  Resignation of Senator Roderick Wright, effective September 22, 2014. Governor to call special election to fill the seat....

* Los Angeles Times (PolitiCal):  "Convicted felon Roderick Wright to resign from Senate"

* Sacramento Bee:  "Rod Wright steps down from the California Senate"

* San Francisco Chronicle (AP):  "State Sen. Wright resigns after voter fraud case"


SACRAMENTO: The democratic process, statewide offices, local offices, special districts, school boards, etc.: Editorial: "California has an abundance of democracy, maybe too much" ....

* Sacramento Bee (editorial):  "California has an abundance of democracy, maybe too much" - From the Bee:

There’s only one thing as bad as a society without enough democracy and that is one with too much democracy. Well, maybe not as bad, but still pretty unfortunate.


If that’s tough to swallow, think about it in terms of the old lawyer’s discovery trick of providing way more – boxes more – information than requested with the intent of burying one important fact under a mountain of documents.

On Nov. 4, voters will be asked to choose candidates for statewide offices, judgeships, school boards and city councils. In Sacramento County, voters will have the additional obligation of voting in 32 special districts elections with one, two or even three open seats apiece. It makes you tired just doing the math.

California has more special districts than you can shake a stick at. Your arm would cramp long before you got halfway through the approximately 2,300. They include mosquito and vector control districts that decide when to spray your neighborhood with pesticides and water districts that decide how much you have to pay when you turn on the tap. Others manage sewers, parks or cemeteries. That’s on top of all the city council, boards of education and county supervisors. There are 482 cities in California, 1,028 school districts and 58 counties. Is your head spinning yet?

What’s wrong with having all these elected bodies? Nothing, if they are adequately monitored. But they rarely are........................



SACRAMENTO: Gov. Jerry Brown, perspective, history, commentary (Dan Walters), "Brown dons rose-tinted glasses for his look backward" ....

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "Brown dons rose-tinted glasses for his look backward" - From the Bee:

Those entering old age – psychologically, not necessarily chronologically – often embrace rose-tinted nostalgia, a yearning for times past when, they believe, life was better. Jerry Brown, at 76 California’s oldest-ever governor and seeking a fourth term, revealed that tendency in an interview with Bloomberg News as he recounted his efforts to establish a military-oriented charter school as mayor of Oakland.

“I wanted discipline,” he told reporter Michael Marois. “I wanted the Army in the classroom, uniforms, marching, yes sir. I wanted to re-create the Catholic school of the 1950s. When I went to school at St. Ignatius High School, Eisenhower was president and Pius XII was the pope and we had a Republican, Elmer Robinson, as the mayor of San Francisco. This was a world that worked and it worked well.”

Say what?

It may have worked well for the pampered son of a prominent political family whose father, Pat Brown, was attorney general and soon to become governor. But it didn’t work well for...........................


SACRAMENTO: California Public Employees' Retirement System, Stockton bankruptcy, CalPERS pension debt: "Pensions may be key to Stockton bankruptcy exit" ....

* Calpensions:  "Pensions may be key to Stockton bankruptcy exit" - From Calpensions:

Bankrupt Stockton says it does not want to cut its biggest debt, pensions promised employees, because the CalPERS plan is needed to be competitive in the job market, particularly for a short-handed police force in the crime-ridden city. But despite Stockton’s wishes, during a hearing Oct. 1 on Stockton’s “plan of adjustment” to cut debt and emerge from bankruptcy, something else may emerge: a landmark ruling on whether CalPERS pension debt can be cut in bankruptcy.

Early last July, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein, who has called the unclear status of pension debt in bankruptcy a “festering sore,” asked parties in the Stockton case for legal briefs on the pension issue before the Oct. 1 hearing. This month the lone major holdout with no negotiated agreement with Stockton, two Franklin bond funds owed $35 million, gave the judge a 64-page brief arguing that CalPERS debt has no special protection in bankruptcy.

Stockton and CalPERS say the pension issue is “academic” and “hypothetical” because the exit plan does not cut pensions. Franklin contends that a ruling on pensions is needed to know whether all creditors are being fairly treated.


Judge Klein said fair treatment of creditors, a requirement under federal law, would be considered in the exit plan..............................


L.A. CITY HALL: Development, USC Village: "USC unveiling plans for $650-million retail, housing complex" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "USC unveiling plans for $650-million retail, housing complex" - From the LAT:

USC on Monday is to unveil the final and somewhat altered design of the biggest construction project in the university's history: a $650-million housing and retail complex just north of the main campus.

Replacing a now-demolished shopping center along Jefferson Boulevard and Hoover Street, the new USC Village is to include living space for 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in five-story residence halls, a large grocery store, a drugstore, a fitness center, restaurants and other shops. The design, all in the so-called Collegiate Gothic style that echoes much of USC's campus, surrounds a plaza that officials said they hoped would become a public gathering place.

The formal groundbreaking is Monday, with the target completion date in fall 2017.


The eateries and stores are aimed at the wider neighborhood, not just students, said Thomas Sayles, USC's senior vice president for university relations. . . . . . . . .

The plan faced earlier opposition from some neighborhood activists about its large scale and possible effect on hastening gentrification in the area south of downtown Los Angeles. As a result, during the city's review of the 15-acre proposal, USC agreed to pay $20 million to support affordable housing in the area, among other pledges to help the neighborhood. Sayles said that USC already has paid $10 million of that to a city housing program.


The university is paying for the project with donations and cash on hand, although it might consider borrowing in the future, Sayles says.........