Archive for February 23rd, 2010

YahooFinance (Reuters): Regulators report 27 percent jump in problem banks

On Tuesday February 23, 2010, 10:05 am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of “problem” U.S. banks jumped 27 percent during the fourth quarter of 2009 to 702, the highest level since 1993 and a sign the industry’s recovery is still shaky, regulators reported on Tuesday.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said the industry overall eked out a profit of $914 million for the quarter, benefiting from a healing economy, but said the improvement was concentrated in the largest banks.

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iePolitics: Throwing stones from glass county building


So our illustrious San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos is concerned about expenses paid by former Assessor Bill Postmus out of Postmus’ campaign war chest—not exactly new news.

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RivPE: Cassie MacDuff: Crimes or Omissions?

Cassie MacDuff

10:00 PM PST on Monday, February 22, 2010

Why does one public official’s failure to disclose a gift, income or property warrant criminal charges, while others get off with mere fines?

I’ve wondered about that since the arrest last year of former San Bernardino County Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin on 10 felonies.

Erwin is headed for trial on charges related to not disclosing a trip back East on developer Jeff Burum’s private jet and a Rolex watch Burum gave him.

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February 22, 2010 3:53 PM
Natasha Lindstrom

SAN BERNARDINO • To ensure there’s not somebody planting secret recording devices in the San Bernardino County Government Center, county supervisors have approved a $22,500 purchase order for five sweeps to hunt for hidden surveillance equipment.

County spokesman David Wert said the surveillance sweeps aren’t tied to the ongoing public corruption investigation by District Attorney Michael A. Ramos, who two weeks ago charged former county officials Bill Postmus and Jim Erwin with felonies related to bribery in what prosecutors are calling the biggest corruption scandal in county history.

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SBSun: Barstow mayor charged with sexual battery

Stacia Glenn, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/22/2010 06:15:59 PM PST

BARSTOW – Barstow Mayor Joseph Dennis Gomez Jr. was charged with sexual battery on Monday, two months after a police officer’s wife reported that he assaulted her during a holiday party.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s investigators have been looking into the Dec. 18 incident, which allegedly took place in an unincorporated area of the desert city.

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10:00 PM PST on Monday, February 22, 2010

The Press-Enterprise

The Grand Terrace City Council tonight will begin grappling with a budget crisis that could drain the city’s treasury for years to come.

In the short term, council members must trim $423,000 from the city’s general fund budget for the 4½ months remaining in the current fiscal year.

Then, they must find a way to pay back $2.6 million funneled since 1990 from the city redevelopment agency to balance the general fund that pays for day-to-day expenses.

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Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/22/2010 06:50:13 PM PST

The Legislature this week is considering a package of Democrat-backed proposals that would cut the $20 billion deficit by $5 billion through fund shifts and tax hikes.

Some of the largest proposals include tax increases on property insurance and fund shifting on fuel taxes, which are undergoing heavy debate from lawmakers on both sides.

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By Kevin Yamamura
Published: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Facing a deadline to act on the state’s fiscal crisis, lawmakers on Monday sent a handful of budget solutions to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but Democrats and the Republican governor remain divided on tax-related proposals.

The governor declared a fiscal emergency in January and called a special session of the Legislature to tackle part of the state’s $19.9 billion deficit within 45 days, the last of which was Monday. Schwarzenegger asked lawmakers to resolve $8.8 billion of the gap, while the Legislature on Monday sent about $2.3 billion in solutions to the governor.

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By David Lazarus

February 23, 2010

It’s wrong to say that Bob Iritano is fighting for his life; he knows he’s lost that battle. What he’s fighting for is time.

You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but Iritano, 50, has terminal cancer. It’s not a question of whether he’s going to die. The only question is when, and how much longer he’ll be with his family.

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Victoria Colliver, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

State investigators accused Anthem Blue Cross on Monday of committing more than 700 violations of California law, including misleading consumers, failing to pay claims on time and ignoring inquiries from regulators in the state insurance commissioner’s office.

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner had some harsh words for the health insurer, accusing the company, a subsidiary of WellPoint Inc., of being “belligerent” in its failure to cooperate with the Department of Insurance and “low-balling” customers in settlement discussions.

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Calbuzz: Does The Commish Have an Outside Game?

Steve Poizner

February 23, 2010

Meg Whitman’s capture of the influential endorsement of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association is a big blow to Steve Poizner’s inside game campaign approach. So the key, emerging question for The Commish in the race for the Republican nomination for governor is: does he have an outside game?

For months, Poizner has pursued a tortoise-beats-the-hare game plan, patiently traveling the state, appearing at every conservative talk show and ed board that asked and rounding up grassroots endorsements from no-name local elected officials and GOP county committee chairmen.

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SBSun: San Bernardino attorney Prince arrested

Former candidate jailed after domestic violence call
Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/22/2010 05:33:37 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – Attorney and former political candidate Tim Prince was arrested Monday on suspicion of domestic violence and threats.

Prince was arrested shortly before 9 a.m. after police responded to “a call from a female victim alleging domestic violence at her house,” police Lt. Dan Keil said.

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SBSun: Grand Terrace to discuss budget problems

Stephen Wall, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/22/2010 04:18:57 PM PST

GRAND TERRACE – The nation’s economy may be starting to rebound, but the city’s budget woes are not over.

The City Council will hold a 4 p.m. workshop today to talk about how to close a $423,000 mid-year budget shortfall in the General Fund.

Spending and revenue projections have changed since the start of the 2009-2010 budget year in July.

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RivPE: Lake Elsinore voters to decide Buckley’s fate

10:18 PM PST on Monday, February 22, 2010

The Press-Enterprise

Voters go to the polls today in Lake Elsinore to decide whether to recall or retain Councilman Thomas Buckley.

The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Voters will be asked whether they want to recall Buckley or keep him in office. Voters also will be asked who they want to replace Buckley with if he is recalled.

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