Archive for March 22nd, 2010

RivPE: Riverside’s chief faces DUI charges

12:15 PM PDT on Monday, March 22, 2010

By PAUL LAROCCO
The Press-Enterprise

Riverside police Chief Russ Leach was drunk when he crashed his city-issued car last month, authorities allege, and will face two misdemeanor counts from the incident.

Leach has been charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and driving with a blood-alcohol level above .08.

The determination came at the close of a nearly two-month probe following Leach’s controversial 3 a.m. wreck on Feb. 8.

Read the rest of this entry »

This article is the fourth in a series of in-depth stories related to the controversy surrounding the settlement of Quiet-Title litigation between the County of San Bernardino Flood Control District, County of San Bernardino, and Colonies Partners, L.P.

In this segment, we make available to you the 2005 “Unpublished” Opinion by the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Two, Presiding Justice Ramirez, Associate Justices Gaut (Author) and Hollenhorst.

Read the rest of this entry »

California Watch
A Project of the Center for Investigative Reporting

K–12

March 22, 2010 | Louis Freedberg

In response to California’s deepening budget crisis, administrators in nearly half of the state’s 30 largest school districts are considering shortening the school year from its current level of 180 instructional days, according to a survey by California Watch.

Teachers in San Jose have already agreed to cut one week from the school year. In Los Angeles, Superintendent Ramon Cortines is pushing to cut the school year by 5 days. The Long Beach Unified School District wants to reduce it by three days, and the San Francisco Unified by two.

Read the rest of this entry »

msnbc: House sends health care bill to Obama’s desk

President to sign reforms into law; ‘fixes’ still require House, Senate action

WASHINGTON – After well over a year of negotiations, setbacks, and political wrangling, the House has approved President Barack Obama’s top domestic policy initiative, sending a bill to massively overhaul the nation’s health insurance system to his desk to be signed and enacted into law.

The climactic chapter in a century-long quest for near universal coverage concludes with the House’s 219-212 approval of a bill to extend coverage to 32 million Americans who lack it, ban insurers from denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions and cut deficits by an estimated $138 billion over a decade.

Read the rest of this entry »

This article is the third in a series of in-depth stories related to the controversy surrounding the settlement of Quiet-Title litigation between the County of San Bernardino Flood Control District, County of San Bernardino, and Colonies Partners, L.P.

In this segment we make available to you the 2003 Statement of Decision by Superior Court Judge Peter Norell.

Read the rest of this entry »

SBSun: 300 take home $100K pensions

Foundation sees sign of growing problem
Sandra Emerson and Liset Marquez, Staff Writers
Posted: 03/21/2010 09:21:47 PM PDT

More than 300 local retired city officials, public safety personnel and school teachers are among a group raking in $55.3 million in retirement benefits.

The retirees in San Bernardino County and parts of Los Angeles County are each being paid pensions of $100,000 or more annually.

Read the rest of this entry »

SBSun: CalSTRS funding gap looms

Some say system is unsustainable
Sandra Emerson and Liset Marquez, Staff Writers
Posted: 03/21/2010 07:03:00 AM PDT

The second-largest public pension fund in the nation dropped in value by 25 percent in 2009.

That has fanned the flames for reformers who say the California State Teachers’ Retirement System is unsustainable.

CalSTRS, which funds pensions for teachers and classified employees throughout the state, saw a decline of $68 billion in its investment portfolio when the economy took a nose dive at the end of 2008.

Read the rest of this entry »

SBSun: Gerrymandering takes toll

59th State Assembly District takes lots of money to win
James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/21/2010 04:48:45 PM PDT

At its widest point, the 59th State Assembly District stretches nearly 80 miles.

It covers parts of two counties, two National Forests and five area codes. It’s impossible to drive from one end to the other without leaving the district.

Also impossible, experts say, is to run a successful campaign in the sprawling 59th without raising and spending lots of cash.

Read the rest of this entry »

SBSun: Shortfall plaguing pensions

Fixes are proving to be contentious
Sandra Emerson and Liset Marquez, Staff Writers
Posted: 03/21/2010 07:02:54 AM PDT

For years, the state has been embroiled in a debate over whether its pension practices are sustainable.

Despite opposing opinions in that debate, both sides point to the economy as a major culprit in asset losses.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System lost about 20 percent of its value in the recent economic downturn.

Read the rest of this entry »

DailyBulletin: Rialto facing hefty bill for pensions

City at financial crossroads
Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer
Created: 03/21/2010 07:02:58 AM PDT

RIALTO – The city’s financial future remains uncertain as rising pension costs are crashing head-on into plunging revenues.

When enhanced retirements for safety personnel and nonsafety workers kick in next year, the city will be funding an estimated $12 million in pension costs, including $5 million in sweetened benefits approved by the City Council in 2008.

Already tasked with closing an $8.2 million General Fund budget deficit, City Administrator Henry Garcia reported to the council recently that the city does not have the revenue needed to meet its contractual obligations for the pensions.

Read the rest of this entry »

RivPE: SANBAG chooses priority transportation projects

10:00 PM PDT on Sunday, March 21, 2010

By DUG BEGLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Six upcoming projects will use federal money coming to San Bernardino County freeways, county transportation officials decided last week.

A new westbound lane on Interstate 10 in Yucaipa and Redlands, car pool lanes on Interstate 215 between Riverside and San Bernardino, the I-215/Interstate 15 interchange in Devore and landscaping along Highway 210 will share the bulk of the $47.2 million in federal money awarded to the area. The money is passed through from Washington to Sacramento, then to San Bernardino Associated Governments.

Read the rest of this entry »

LATimes: Whitman’s conservative core

Meg Whitman

CAPITOL JOURNAL

Capitol Journal

Poizner tries to portray her as a liberal, but it’s just not possible.

By George Skelton Capitol Journal

March 22, 2010

From Sacramento

Meg Whitman’s Republican rival calls her a liberal. He’s not even close.

Political writers often describe her as moderate. That misses the mark too.

Supporting abortion rights — even state funding of abortions for the poor — doesn’t automatically make her a moderate. Not when she’s prepared to whack benefits for welfare moms — slash almost any program — to avoid raising taxes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Brown

March 22, 2010 | Chase Davis

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown has quietly granted access to at least three people who requested to dig through more than 2,000 boxes of records documenting his two terms as governor, from 1975 to 1983, California Watch has learned.

Jerry Brown, governor’s race

New America Foundation fellow and former LA Times reporter Joe Mathews documented his approval process in a blog post last week. The others who requested and received approval are Peter Scheer, of the California First Amendment Coalition, and a student at the University of Southern California, where the records are housed.

Read the rest of this entry »