Index
Sunday
Nov032013

POLITICS/EDUCATION: California State University, request for new frunding for 23-campus system: "Cal State University trustees to request $237.6 in new funding from state"....

* Long Beach Press-Telegram:  "Cal State University trustees to request $237.6 in new funding from state" - From the PT:

Trustees for Cal State University will meet this week in Long Beach to approve a request for new funding from the state that will highlight the wide gap between what administrators in the 23-campus system say is the minimum state assistance needed and what Gov. Jerry Brown says California can afford.

CSU is looking for $237.6 million in new funding, which far surpasses the $142.2 million increase tentatively proposed by Brown for 2014-2015. “We always hope we get what we ask for, but the reality is oftentimes different,” said Mike Uhlenkamp, spokesman for CSU.

 

The lion’s share of CSU’s request would go to $91.6 million in pay increases for faculty and staff, which represents a 3 percent raise, and $79.2 million to help meet enrollment demand. CSU has denied enrollment to 20,000 students each year over the past three years. About $50 million is proposed to augment what CSU calls Student Success and Completion programming, which includes updated technology and online education, reducing bottleneck courses and improving college-readiness programs. The plan would bring CSU’s total budget to $4.6  billion.

 

In a still-tough economic environment, CSU will have a difficult case to make to Brown and state lawmakers, who will be joined at the table at January’s state budget talks by public safety, healthcare and other California groups looking for sizable pieces of the budgetary pie....................

***ALSO, Related:

* San Jose Mercury News:  "Proposition 30: A year later, California schoos seeing benefits of tax measure"

Sunday
Nov032013

POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION (Sacramento, Bay Area): More info/details, investigation, Bay Bridge, new eastern span, project projects, Caltrans decision-making: "Bay Bridge project problems to be investigated"....  

***Following up on earlier item noted here (Sen. Mark de Saulnier, investigation, Bay Bridge cost overruns, delays)....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Bay Bridge project problems to be investigated" - "After a decade-long delay and massive overspending, Sen. Mark de Daulnier has promised a probe into Caltrans' Bay Bridge project." - From the LAT:

The new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is open to traffic, and motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians have expressed approval of the single-tower suspension span's elegant beauty. But then there are these facts: The project was completed a decade later than promised and came in $5 billion over budget. It was also plagued by construction difficulties, including a batch of massive bolts that snapped, delaying the opening and requiring a costly retrofit.

Last week, state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) announced that he would lead a "comprehensive investigation" into the decision-making by California Department of Transportation officials throughout the nearly 12-year construction period. He will also chair a series of Senate Transportation and Housing Committee hearings to explore problems plaguing all state "megaprojects" and come up with suggested improvements for Caltrans.

   ****

The probes come as part of a larger push to reform the transportation agency...................

Sunday
Nov032013

POLITICS/WATER: L.A. Aqueduct at 100: report/analysis, "100 Years of Water: Owens Valley residents still worry about water losses to L.A."; op-ed, "The long shadow of William Mulholland"...

***Water politics:  City of Los Angeles, Owens Valley, William Mulholland, L.A. Aqueduct....

* Los Angeles Times (graphic):  "The L.A. Aqueduct at 100"

* Daily News:  "100 Years of Water: Owens Valley residents still worry about water losses to L.A."

* Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed: William Kahrl):  "The long shadow of William Mulholland" - "His L.A. Aqueduct changed the city -- and water politics -- forever."

Sunday
Nov032013

POLITICS (Sacramento, Local/City of L.A.): Sen. Ron Calderon, FBI sting, Councilman Jose Huizar: "FBI agent targeting lawmaker apparently contacted Huizar's office"....

* Los Angeles Times:  "FBI agent targeting lawmaker apparently contacted Huizar's office" - From the LAT:

A man posing as a studio executive, but apparently actually working as an undercover FBI agent targeting State Sen. Ron Calderon, contacted Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar's office last year with questions about city permits.

Records and interviews indicate the agent represented himself as Rocky Patel, president of Los Angeles-based United Pacific Studios. Sometime last year, the councilman's spokesman said, Patel apparently wanted information on securing a conditional use permit for a production studio in Huizar’s district.

One Huizar staff member “met Mr. Patel at his business and explained the options available to him,” said Huizar spokesman Rick Coca in an e-mail. “Subsequently, the staff member did not hear from him again on this matter.” On Friday, when reporters asked Huizar whether he met Patel, he referred questions to Coca. Coca's email did not address that question. 

The sting operation was described in vast detail in a 125-page sealed affidavit obtained by Al Jazeera America last week. The undercover agent, who is not identified by name, repeatedly made payments to Calderon as the lawmaker worked to secure new tax credits in Sacramento that could benefit the company, the affidavit states.

Calderon has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged. Coca said Calderon referred Patel to Huizar's office..................

***ALSO:

* Daily News:  "FBI agent may have reached out to L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar's office"

Saturday
Nov022013

MORNING MEMOS: Bell, corrupt former city administrator Robert Rizzo, two "untouchable" lucrative streams of income; op-ed, "Policing L.A.'s sheriff"; Opinion L.A., commentary, suggested possible general manager for L.A. Department of Transportation.... 

***Various items this morning from across the spectrum of politics and/or public policy....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Bell won't be able to touch some of Rizzo's wealth" - "Corrupt former Bell manager Robert Rizzo may be ordered to pay millions to the city, but his public pension and 401(k) are untouchable."

* Los Angeles Times (Op-ed: Laurie Levenson):  "Policing L.A.'s sheriff" - "A civilian oversight board is the best way to give L.A. County citizens a voice in running the department."

* Los Angeles Times (Opinion L.A.: Robert Greene):  "Could NYC's 'wacko nutso' Janette Sadik-Khan be right for L.A.?"