Archive for February 9th, 2010

InlandPolitics: S.B. County retirement board contracts raise more questions

Information related to two contracts awarded by the Board of Trustees’ for the San Bernardino County Employees’ Association (SBCERA) is raising red flags as to why the contracts were awarded, and what was the motivation behind the expenditures.

A well-placed reliable source within the retirement board says the contracts awarded to Orange County-based Delta Partners, LLC and the Sacramento office of lobbying firm Platinum Advisors were of questionable need and ushered through at the behest of former Treasurer-Tax Collector Richard Larsen. Larsen was a statutory member of the pension fund board during his entire tenure as the county’s elected Treasurer.

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The trial of former San Bernardino County Assessor employee and Rancho Cucamonga City Councilman Rex Gutierrez has been scheduled to commence on March 16, 2010.

The trial duration is estimated to be ten days.

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Posted by Administrator at 8 February 2010

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
˜Eighth Amendment, Constitution of the United States˜

Today’s hearing in which Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, entered a plea of not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges and bail was set at $75,000, three times the usual bail for an involuntary manslaughter charge, begs a comparison to San Bernardino County’s own high-profile prosecutions. Those, of course, are the Jim Erwin and Bill Postmus criminal cases.

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InlandPolitics: The face behind the name

David Ellis

Many of you have inquired as to why no photograph of famed Orange County-based political consultant David Ellis is ever placed in stories.

Well here you go.

Expect to read much much more regarding Mr. Ellis in upcoming articles. All of which, will have guaranteed entertainment value.

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Fred Aguiar

10:00 PM PST on Monday, February 8, 2010

Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s inner circle has taken on an Inland flavor as he begins his final months in office and tries to shore up his legacy.

Since November, Schwarzenegger has appointed a trio of people with San Bernardino County roots to high-ranking posts in his office.

Former county supervisor and Republican lawmaker Fred Aguiar returns for another stint with an administration he first joined in 2003. This time, he is Schwarzenegger’s deputy chief of staff.

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10:00 PM PST on Monday, February 8, 2010

The Press-Enterprise

COLTON – U.S. Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina used the CalPortland cement plant in Colton on Monday as a backdrop to criticize the “thicket of regulations” that she said is killing jobs in California.

Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, is seeking the Republican nomination in June and fighting for the chance to take on incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., in the general election.

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DailyBulletin: LA letter hints at private operator for ONT

Liset Marquez, Staff Writer
Created: 02/08/2010 11:35:52 AM PST

ONTARIO – Ontario City Councilman Alan Wapner has expressed alarm over the possibility of a private operator running LA/Ontario International Airport.

The Los Angeles City Council recently issued a letter giving its city staff the option of bringing in a private operator to manage LA/ONT.

The letter was given to the Los Angeles city administrative officer to be used as a guide to help reduce the city’s budget deficit.

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The top spenders were Caltrans, with $10.4 million for vehicles, and the DMV, with $1.7 million for furnishings. An additional $2 million went to conferences and meetings, report shows.

By Patrick McGreevy

February 8, 2010 | 8:49 p.m.

Reporting from Sacramento – Even as the state grappled with a budget crisis last year, bureaucrats spent nearly $45 million on new vehicles, almost $30 million on new furniture and more than $2 million on off-site meetings and conferences, a legislative panel has found.

The expenditures were outlined in a report released Monday by the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review, which plans to call on state agency managers to explain their spending at a hearing Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »

Calbuzz: Palin Channels DiFi, Meyer Takes on Boss eMeg

February 9, 2010

When Sarah Palin wrote a cheat sheet for an interview on her hand, liberal pundits gleefully bashed her. But only Calbuzz* will tell you that the ex-Republican veep candidate in doing so was simply following in the, uh, footsteps of California senior Senator Dianne Feinstein.

From Arianna Huffington to Andrea Mitchell, lefty pundits pounced on Palin, after photos showed that she’d scribbled brief talking points on her palm – “energy, budget tax cuts, lift American spirits” – before sitting for questions during last weekend’s big Tea Party convention. It’s notable, of course, that the words are among her most important, fundamental principles and so, presumably, might not need to be written on her palm. If she had fundamental principles.

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WSJ (AP): Fixing Seasons of California Discontent

Associated Press

The prospect of more California-statehouse dysfunction this year is adding momentum to two efforts to overhaul California’s budget process—including one that could rewrite much of the state’s constitution.

California legislators are heading this month into what promises to be another season of bickering over the state’s big budget shortfall for the current fiscal year, ending June 30, and the next. Last year, they passed two austere budgets after impasses that forced California to delay payments and issue IOUs to creditors. Credit agencies cut the state’s rating to the lowest in the nation, and the California statehouse became the butt of jokes nationwide.

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Calpensions: Pension fund middlemen: new controls, no ban

By Ed Mendel

A new bill backed by CalPERS and CalSTRS makes a second attempt to tighten control of placement agents, the middlemen who collect multi-million dollar fees for helping investment firms get pension fund money.

But the big California pension funds, wanting an open door for pitches from small investment firms unable to afford their own marketing staff, are not following the lead of New York with an outright ban on placement agents.

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Southern California — this just in

February 8, 2010 | 8:08 pm

Representatives from two credit rating agencies expressed concern Monday about Los Angeles’ precarious financial position and the City Council’s indecision on budget cuts last week.

In a memo to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Council members, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said Fitch Ratings told one of his aides they were monitoring a number of factors that could lead them to downgrade the city’s credit rating. They included the erosion of the city’s reserves, the city’s structural deficit and the failure of city officials to reduce the size of the city’s workforce.

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Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 02/08/2010 06:13:52 PM PST

ONTARIO – Chaffey Joint Union High School District will reduce the current school year by three days to help close a $11 million budget gap.

The three days classes will be canceled are March 29, April 26 and May 17.

The district’s teachers and classified unions voted last week to approved the reduction in days, and the dates were released Monday.

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VVDailyPress: AV finance director out

Local civil suit against Pattison dropped
February 08, 2010 4:39 PM
Brooke Edwards

APPLE VALLEY • Town Finance Director William Pattison has resigned amid domestic violence charges, officials said.

Pattison, 45, was arrested at a home in Las Vegas on Dec. 26, with officials from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reporting he allegedly kicked his girlfriend in the back.

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February 08, 2010 4:47 PM
Natasha Lindstrom

VICTORVILLE • Victor Elementary School District officials are looking to shorten the school year by one day and convince employees to retire early as state cuts threaten to slash the district’s budget by more than $10 million, or nearly 13 percent.

“We worked diligently with our teams to come up with a really strong, productive retirement incentive to mitigate layoffs,” Superintendent Dale Marsden said, “and we’re hopeful that will reduce the impact significantly.”

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RivPE: San Jacinto considering cuts to school bus service

10:00 PM PST on Monday, February 8, 2010

The Press-Enterprise

Children may have to live farther from school to qualify for bus transportation if San Jacinto Unified School District trustees agree to a cost-saving recommendation at tonight’s board meeting.

Currently bus service is available to kindergarten through fifth-grade students living more than one mile from their elementary school and more than three miles away for students in grades 6-12 attending middle or high school.

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