Archive for January 11th, 2010

WashPost: Palin signs on with Fox News

Sarah Palin

By Howard Kurtz

Sarah Palin, who regularly rips the media, is becoming a television pundit at a place where she’s likely to feel at home.

A Fox News executive says the network will shortly announce that the former vice-presidential nominee is signing on as a contributor.

Palin, who resigned as governor of Alaska last summer, will appear as a commentator on various Fox shows. She will also host an occasional program that will examine inspirational tales involving ordinary Americans.

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December was the worst month for US unemployment since the Great Recession began.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Published: 6:35PM GMT 10 Jan 2010

People gather across the street from the New York Stock Exchange in New York Oct. 24, 1929. Thousands of investors lost their savings in the worst stock market crash in Wall Street history five days later.

History repeating itself? President Obama has been accused by some economists of making the same mistakes policymakers in the US made in the Great Depression, which followed the Wall Street crash of 1929, pictured Photo: AP

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The Uffer legacy continues

Sources on the Fifth Floor of the County Government Center report that those closest to deposed leader Mark Uffer are crying “Woe is me”. Seems that acting County Administrative Officer (CAO) Dean Arabatzsis and Public Information Officr (PIO) David Wert have been crawling the halls of the fifth floor pleading that “I really need my job”

Is this funny or what?

Yup, the same David Wert who was reportedly running up and down the halls shouting “We’ve got two votes” in order to save Mark Uffer from being terminated is now begging to be considered just a regular Joe doing his job. Mind you, this is the same David Wert who everyone has considered nothing more than Uffer’s bagman, consort, and vacationing confidant, always spinning to make Uffer look good even when everyone else knew the contrary was the actual truth. The same Wert who Uffer raised his salary three times…to the point he’s paid as much as a chief of staff…and he supervises ONE person.

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A decent idea to save a significant amount of money has graced San Bernardino County.

The proposal by the San Bernardino County Administrative Office to consolidate the Treasurer-Tax Collector-Public Administrator into the Auditor-Controller-Recorder is a well thought out idea. The second part of the proposal to be taken up by county supervisors this Tuesday is the County Clerk, Recorder, and archive functions will be folded into the elected office of Assessor.

The proposed consolidations make sense and maintains those functions as elected offices.

The formation of the Office of the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector-Public Administrator is essentially the creation of what is commonly known as a Public Finance Officer in many jurisdictions.

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SBSun: Fontana budget gap: $8.2 million

By Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/10/2010 07:44:12 PM PST

FONTANA – The city faces an $8.2 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2010-11.

City Manager Ken Hunt announced the figure at a goal-setting workshop attended by department heads and elected officials on Friday. “Things have changed, things have gotten worse,” Hunt said.

Hunt reminded officials that the city last year closed a $7 million deficit by eliminating some job vacancies, trimming department budgets, offering early retirement incentives and cutting roughly 50 positions.

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SBSun: Anti-Wal-Mart petition has enough signatures

Jesse B. Gill, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/10/2010 09:41:20 PM PST

REDLANDS – The Good Neighbor Coalition’s anti-Wal-Mart initiative will appear on the June ballot if the City Council doesn’t adopt it outright.

The San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Office counted the number of signatures on the initiative petition after the GNC filed it Oct. 14.

The petition had 5,830 valid signatures, meaning Redlands voters will see the initiative sooner rather than later.

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SBSun: Redlands school board schedules budget vote

Plan saves $11M, but more cuts expected

Jesse B. Gill, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/10/2010 06:02:41 AM PST

REDLANDS – The Redlands Unified School District Board of Education is scheduled to vote on deep budget cuts Tuesday.

The board will vote on the first round of cuts of a budget reduction plan – to the tune of $11.68 million.

“Implementation will be difficult because of the impact on our schools,” said Board of Education President Neal Waner.

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RivPE: Riverside school board to vote on 124 layoffs

10:00 PM PST on Sunday, January 10, 2010

By DAYNA STRAEHLEY
The Press-Enterprise

The Riverside school board will vote on laying off 124 kindergarten through third-grade teachers before the 2010-11 school year when it meets today.

The Riverside Unified School District board meets at 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Riverside Adult School, 6735 Magnolia Ave.

Classes in kindergarten through third grade will grow to 30 students next year, and larger classes require fewer teachers.

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SBSun: GT officials fumble drug discount program

Stephen Wall, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/10/2010 09:40:12 PM PST

GRAND TERRACE – With great fanfare, the city announced a program last year promising residents an average savings of 20 percent off the price of prescription drugs.

Officials promoted the free program on the city’s Web site and issued a news release about it.

The City Council gave its unanimous blessing in late April, and a city report said the cards would be made available to the public within 30 days.

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By Michael Rothfeld and Richard Simon

January 10, 2010 | 9:42 a.m.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sharpened his criticism of the federal government in an interview televised this morning, taking aim at California’s congressional representatives for what he said was a failure to advocate for enough funding from Washington.

Schwarzenegger said in his State of the State address Wednesday and in unveiling his budget proposal Friday that the state would press Washington for what he says is its fair share of the taxes Californians pay to the federal government. He said California receives less back on every dollar it sends than other states.

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LATimes: CalPERS to disclose details about intermediaries

PENSIONS

The California pension fund is expected to make public hundreds of documents with the names of agents who represent investment funds, the investments they promoted and the fees they were paid.

By Marc Lifsher

January 11, 2010

Reporting from Sacramento – California’s giant public pension fund, racked by criticism for the way it has managed a $205-billion portfolio, is preparing to disclose new details about the financial middlemen who play a little-understood and lucrative role in pension investing.

At issue are unregulated placement agents paid millions of dollars by private investment funds to act as marketing pitchmen to help get business from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, known as CalPERS.

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By Ed Mendel

There aren’t many ways to make quick cuts in public employee pension costs, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed one last week.

His new budget would divert an additional 5 percent of state worker pay to help the state cover pension costs, doubling the annual pension contribution already being made by most state workers.

The larger employee payment is expected to yield $406 million, allowing a similar reduction in the annual state payment to the California Public Employees Retirement System.

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By Bobby Caina Calvan
bcalvan@sacbee.com
Published: Monday, Jan. 11, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 1A

Michael Sertic, a college senior studying economics, is young and healthy, and he doesn’t want the government forcing him to buy health insurance.

He is among a group of people on both the right and the left ends of the political spectrum who object to proposals in Congress that would compel nearly every American to buy health insurance or face a fine.

“I happen to believe it’s unconstitutional. Government shouldn’t be forcing someone to pay for someone else’s health care,” said Sertic, 24, a member of Students for Liberty, a club at California State University, Sacramento, that espouses libertarian values.

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LATimes: George Skelton: The worst budget mess ever

CAPITOL JOURNAL

The governor and lawmakers collide when they should be collaborating.
By George Skelton, Capitol Journal

January 11, 2010

Reporting from Sacramento

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget proposal was depressing by itself. And the reaction to it made the Capitol even gloomier.

Blame the governor for his populist pouncing on the federal government, trying to lay partial responsibility for Sacramento’s dogged deficit on Washington.

Cite Democrats and their interest groups for too many predictable, pedestrian potshots.

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