Archive for June, 2010

InlandPolitics: Key witness had no credibility with jurors

Aleman

Breaking news here. The jury in the Rex Gutierrez trial didn’t believe key prosecution witness Adam Aleman.

Wow, no kidding.

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SBSun: Mistrial declared in Rex Gutierrez trial

Gutierrez

Joe Nelson and Mike Cruz, Staff Writers
Posted: 06/30/2010 04:06:38 PM PDT

A mistrial has been declared in the trial of Rancho Cucamonga Councilman Rex Gutierrez.

The 11-woman, one-man jury voted 7-5 and 8-4 in favor of convictions on Gutierrez’s two felony charges of grand theft and 9-3 in favor of conviction on one felony count of filing a false claim.

Jurors began deliberations on Monday.

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The jury in the trial of Rancho Cucamonga city councilman and former Assessor employee Rex Gutierrez announced it was at an impasse Wednesday afternoon.

Superior Court Judge Duke D. Rouse declared a mistrial and sent the jury home after being informed a unanimous verdict could not be reached.

The jury, consisting of 11 women and 1 man, could not reach a verdict on any of the felony charges, consisting of two counts of grand theft and one count of filing a false claim.

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InlandPolitics: A new twist in the Brown-Biane saga

Sources tell InlandPolitics.com that Matt Brown, chief of staff for county supervisor Paul Biane has been offered a position with Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector Larry Walker.

But it seems Brown is balking at taking the job.

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The jury in the Rex Gutierrez case will commence their third day of deliberations at 9:30 a.m.

Expect a verdict if there is going to be one. After today the probability of a mistrial increases.

Stay tuned.

SBSun: SB braces for big cuts

More than 100 police, fire posts may get ax
Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/29/2010 07:32:49 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – The city manager’s worst-case budget proposal, released Tuesday, would take more than 100 police officers and firefighters off the job while also shutting down branch libraries and Operation Phoenix youth centers.

“It’s a nightmare scenario,” 3rd Ward Councilman Tobin Brinker said. “The dollar amounts are daunting. The service cuts are terrible.”

Combined, the proposed cuts would slice about $20.7 million from a citywide $139.6 million in spending over the fiscal year that begins Thursday.

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SBSun: Redlands lays off 32, cuts 47 posts

Jesse B. Gill, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/29/2010 09:20:22 PM PDT

REDLANDS – Most of the city employees laid off in a budget-cutting effort have already left their jobs, said city spokesman Carl Baker.

The city laid off 32 people and eliminated 47 positions to help close a budget gap before the start of the 2010-11 fiscal year. The pink slips have been sent and the remaining city staff is trying to figure out how to fill the gaps left behind.

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Brown

By BROOKE DONALD (AP) – 10 hours ago

MONTEREY, Calif. — Jerry Brown defended his ownership of a $1.8 million, five-story home with sweeping views of San Francisco Bay, saying Tuesday it does not undermine his gubernatorial campaign’s message of frugality.

Instead, he says the house is consistent with his philosophy.

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SBSun: West Valley juvenile hall to close next year

James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/29/2010 06:07:17 PM PDT

San Bernardino County’s West Valley juvenile hall will close early next year and the county Probation Department could lose as many as 39 officers as it seeks to cut $10.2 million from its budget.

West Valley Juvenile Detention and Assessment Center in Rancho Cucamonga will close in March, seven probation-corrections officers will be laid off next month and 32 more officers could lose their jobs by the end of the year, Chief Probation Officer Michelle Scray said Tuesday.

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Baca

James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/29/2010 05:55:27 PM PDT

Leading up to an immigration speech on Thursday, President Barack Obama met Tuesday with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, including Rep. Joe Baca, D-San Bernardino.

The White House reported that Obama discussed his upcoming speech as well as his desire to see Congressional action on comprehensive immigration reform “at the earliest possible opportunity.”

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VVDailyPress: State: HUSD may not be able to pay its bills

June 29, 2010 5:53 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • The Hesperia Unified School District is one of 174 public school districts statewide to end up on the State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s list of schools that are having “trouble meeting their financial obligations.”

Two Victor Valley school districts, the HUSD and Lucerne Valley Unified School District, were among 160 districts to receive a “qualified” certification of their financial status, meaning the districts “may not meet (their) financial obligations for the current or two subsequent fiscal years.”

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Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 06/29/2010 09:50:22 PM PDT

Legislation has been introduced that would make California the first state to legalize Internet poker.

But on Tuesday the state Senate Governmental Organization Committee put on hold plans to legalize Internet poker for players 21 years and older until more of the concerns over S.B. 1485 could be addressed.

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RivPE: Riverside school board objects to stipend cuts

10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, June 29, 2010

By DAYNA STRAEHLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Nearly a month after an agreement between Riverside Unified School District and the Riverside City Teachers Association for furlough days and other cuts, the school board still doesn’t like the way stipends were reduced.

Although top administrators say the negotiating teams at the bargaining table understood the stipend cuts, board members said Monday night they don’t think others did.

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RivPE: The Uncounted 12K could determine Senate outcome

By PE Politics
on June 29, 2010 1:51 PM

Thousands of uncounted Riverside County ballots could determine the outcome in the squeaker of a Democratic primary in California’s 40th Senate District.

As of late Monday, former Assemblyman Juan Vargas led Assemblywoman Mary Salas by six votes out of more than 48,242 cast.

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LATimes: Whitman hedges on her pledge to not raise taxes

By Shane Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times
June 30, 2010

Reporting from Sacramento —

One of the first actions that Republican Meg Whitman took upon declaring her candidacy for governor was signing a pledge never to raise taxes — but on Tuesday she added a hedge to that vow.

The candidate suggested that she might consider a tax hike in the event of an extreme natural disaster. It seemed a subtle step back, but among the anti-tax crusaders who have persuaded almost every GOP state officeholder and top-ticket candidate to sign the pledge, there is no hedging allowed.

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By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Jun. 30, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman acknowledged Tuesday that much of the deficit left behind when Jerry Brown vacated the Governor’s Office was due to Proposition 13, but she said his reaction to the tax-limiting voter initiative should have been to cut spending.

Whitman’s latest television ad blasts Brown for the deficit that faced lawmakers and new Gov. George Deukmejian when Brown left office in 1983.

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ELECTION 2010/NEWS ANALYSIS

By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times
June 30, 2010

Meg Whitman has spent much of her gubernatorial campaign demonizing unions — arguing that their strength in Sacramento is central to the capital’s dysfunction, pledging to reduce their ranks in the state workforce and accusing their leadership of putting labor’s interests above taxpayers’.

But in recent days, in a fight with the California Nurses’ Assn., the Republican nominee has unveiled an unusual strategy: trying to divide rank-and-file members from their union bosses. It’s either a shrewd calculation that could move traditionally Democratic voters into her column, essential to her effort in the fall — or a risky move that could galvanize a union whose support is vital for Democratic nominee Jerry Brown’s prospects, and whose efforts have been pivotal in past elections.

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InlandPolitics: Gutierrez jury requests testimony read-back (**Correction**)

Another interesting aspect of today’s deliberations in the Rex Gutierrez trial was the request for testimony read-back by the jury.

The jury requested the court reporter read-back testimony of the defendant.

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***This post was updated and revised late Tuesday night after the receipt of clarification on the jury’s inquiry. A completely different line of inquiry occurred than that originally published***

The jury deliberating the fate of Rancho Cucamonga city councilman and former Assessor employee Rex Gutierrez ended its first full day of deliberations with no verdict and a couple questions for the court and attorneys.

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Meg Whitman

By JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

(06-29) 16:13 PDT Roseville, Calif. (AP) —

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman said Tuesday lawmakers shouldn’t leave Sacramento and return to their districts for a break in the midst of a $19 billion budget crisis.

Her criticism came just two days before the start of a new fiscal year, with most of the 120 legislators expected to head home for the holiday weekend.

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OCRegister: Fiorina sees wedge between Feinstein, Boxer

Carly Fiorina

June 29th, 2010, 3:19 pm · posted by Dena Bunis, Washington Bureau Chief

Republican Carly Fiorina is in Washington, D.C. this week doing what all candidates who come to the nation’s Capital do – she’s raising money.

With just a few days before the June 30 closing of this fundraising quarter, Fiorina is here helping to beef up her contribution totals.

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SacBee: Whitman says Brown is a failure

Meg Whitman

By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Jun. 29, 2010 – 12:37 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jun. 29, 2010 – 2:18 pm

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman told a small crowd at a motorcycle dealership in Roseville this morning that her opponent, Democratic nominee Jerry Brown, is a failed politician and that she is the candidate who could create jobs and make government more efficient and accommodating of business.

“I know how to balance a budget,” the former eBay CEO said. “I know how to create jobs.”

Whitman spoke inside the dealership in front of 12 motorcycles on risers, flanked by Roseville Yamaha employees and two signs that said, “Jobs are on the way.”

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PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State

June 29, 2010 | 2:43 pm

The Fair Political Practices Commission has begun an investigation to determine whether Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has accepted thousands of dollars in free tickets to sporting events, awards shows and concerts, was engaging in his “ceremonial role or duty” when he accepted those gifts, officials said Tuesday.

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Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
June 29, 2010

A record 174 of California’s school districts have been identified as financially troubled by the state Department of Education, 38 percent more than appeared on a January list.

State schools Supt. Jack O’Connell said today the increasing number of distressed districts, including 14 receiving “negative certification” that could come under state supervision, reflects their declining state and local tax revenues. He termed it “a period of unprecedented fiscal crisis.”

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iePolitics: The Restraining Order

Cortes

www.iepolitics.com

Written by Administrator
June 29th, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Here is the order:  Councilperson Cortes v. Moore Note:  There are two separate files when you open the document.  The first is the application and the second is the order.

A couple of things are noteworthy.  First, the order is for 100 yards and includes city hall, city functions, etc.  The defendant is a resident of  Grand Terrace and this order basically denies her right to participate in city government or even pay her trash bill in person.  If this order is made permanent, she would not be allowed to attend a 4th of July event if the city is sponsoring one, or a Christmas pageant, or a parade.

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On Tuesday June 29, 2010, 9:01 am EDT

For American taxpayers, now on the hook for some $145 billion in housing losses connected to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans, that amount could be just the tip of the iceberg.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the losses could balloon to $400 billion. And if housing prices fall further, the cost to the taxpayer could hit as much as $1 trillion.

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Jury deliberations to determine the fate of Rancho Cucamonga city councilman and former Assessor employee Rex Gutierrez has reconvened.

Gutierrez faces three felony charges related to alleged time card fraud during his employment under former Assessor Bill Postmus.

InlandPolitics: Real problems for Upland Mayor?

Pomierski

Word on the street has it that Upland Mayor John “JP” Pomierski is in serious trouble.

The kind of trouble you don’t resurrect yourself from.

Not the weak politically motivated stuff. More like the smoking gun category.

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YahooFinance (AP): Consumer confidence tumbles in June

Consumer Confidence Index tumbles almost 10 points as worries about jobs, recovery flare

Anne D’Innocenzio, AP Retail Writer
On Tuesday June 29, 2010, 10:46 am EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans, worried about jobs and the sluggish economic recovery, are having a relapse in confidence, causing a widely watched index to tumble in June and raising concerns about consumer spending in the critical months ahead.

The Conference Board, a private research group based in New York, said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index dropped almost 10 points to 52.9, down from the revised 62.7 in May. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had been expecting the reading to dip slightly to 62.8.

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RivPE: Jury starts deliberating in corruption case

Rex Gutierrez

10:27 PM PDT on Monday, June 28, 2010

By IMRAN GHORI
The Press-Enterprise

The first case to go to trial in a corruption investigation against five San Bernardino County officials went to the jury Monday.

In his closing arguments before a packed courtroom, defense attorney James Reiss called his client Rex Gutierrez a pawn in prosecutors’ attempts to go after an influential developer.

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06:47 PM PDT on Monday, June 28, 2010

By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL
The Press-Enterprise

The federal agency that seized Arrowhead Credit Union on Friday defended its decision after community and business leaders said the credit union’s financial condition was showing signs of improvement.

That’s not the case, said National Credit Union Administration spokesman John McKechnie.

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SBSun: Gutierrez lawyer says R.C. councilman was pawn

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/28/2010 08:25:01 PM PDT

Rancho Cucamonga Councilman Rex Gutierrez, while employed at the San Bernardino County Assessor’s Office, honestly documented his activities, deceived no one and became a political pawn in a corruption probe by state and local prosecutors, his attorney argued Monday.

During an emphatic closing argument in San Bernardino Superior Court, defense attorney James Reiss decried prosecutors’ allegations that Gutierrez conspired with Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum and former Assessor Bill Postmus in taking a job at the county office while performing work in his capacity as a councilman.

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SBSun: Interim CEO takes reins of Arrowhead Credit Union

Rebecca U. Cho, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/28/2010 05:29:14 PM PDT

An interim chief executive officer has taken the helm at Arrowhead Credit Union as part of the federal government’s takeover of one of the Inland Empire’s largest credit unions over the weekend.

Kay Woods stepped in to temporarily head the San Bernardino-based credit union. Woods is “an experienced conservatorship manager,” said a spokesman with the National Credit Union Administration, the federal regulatory body that took over Arrowhead.

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RivPE: SB Supes okay budget with layoffs

10:00 PM PDT on Monday, June 28, 2010

By IMRAN GHORI
The Press-Enterprise

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors approved a $3.8 billion budget Monday that calls for deep cuts in almost all departments, including layoffs in the probation, public defender and planning offices.

The spending plan for the 2010-11 fiscal year eliminates 529 positions, 85 of which are filled. The general fund, which makes up $2.2 billion of the budget, is down $89 million from the previous year while funds allocated to specific programs are up $191 million, County Administrative Officer Greg Devereaux said.

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SBSun: San Bernardino County passes balanced budget

James Rufus Koren and Joe Nelson, Staff Writers
Posted: 06/28/2010 06:23:41 PM PDT

San Bernardino County’s budget for the new fiscal year calls for cutting hundreds of county jobs and holding off on raises for many county employees.

County leaders approved the 2010-11 spending plan Monday. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

The $3.8 billion spending plan calls for cutting 529 county positions. County leaders acknowledged the budget included “painful decisions” but said it will help the county remain on solid financial ground into the future.

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RivPE: Riverside Unified confirms 117 teacher lay offs

10:00 PM PDT on Monday, June 28, 2010

By DAYNA STRAEHLEY
The Press-Enterprise

The Riverside Unified School District has laid off 117 teachers out of 455 preliminary layoff notices sent before the March 15 deadline, the school board was told Monday night.

Assistant Superintendent Kathleen Sanchez updated the board on the layoffs and rehiring process and Deputy Superintendent Mike Fine presented totals of staff reductions over the past three years.

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DailyBulletin: Pension group seeks more

L.A. County sees $200M shortfall
Troy Anderson, Staff Writer
Created: 06/28/2010 08:28:10 PM PDT

Stung by an $8 billion pension fund loss last year, Los Angeles County supervisors will be asked today to spend an additional $200 million to shore up its wilting retirement system.

If the money is approved, the taxpayer tab for county employees’ pensions would soar in the fiscal year beginning Thursday from $787 million to $987 million.

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Villaraigosa

Can the mayor drive a hard bargain with entities like AEG, the Dodgers and the motion picture academy if he has also been the recipient of tickets?

By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times

June 29, 2010

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has argued for weeks that his acceptance of free tickets to concerts, awards shows and athletic events is not subject to state gift disclosure law because his attendance is part of his official duties.

Yet beyond the thorny legal issues, Villaraigosa faces a political question: Can he drive a hard bargain with entities that do millions of dollars in business with the city if they are also giving him access to pricey entertainment?

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PoliticsBlog

June 29, 2010

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown today announced that he had accepted 10 invitations for town hall meetings and debates with his opponent, Republican Meg Whitman.

The first event Brown said he would attend is on July 31 and is hosted by the Faith Forum, a Christian organization. Others, including a debate on Sept. 11 sponsored by The Chronicle, KTVU and KQED, are planned throughout September and October.

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iePolitics: Can justice be found in San Bernardino County – Part 5

The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government.

~George Washington~

www.iepolitics.com

Written by Administrator
June 28th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I intended for the final installment in this series to profile the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. But how many times can I write about the incestuous relationships between District Attorney Mike Ramos, Conflict Panel attorneys, Public Defender Doreen Boxer and judges—relationships that often should be prohibited by conflict laws if not their own sense of integrity and morality? Unfortunately, as we know “integrity and morality” are not important qualities to many of these individuals.

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InlandPolitics: Closing arguments conclude in Gutierrez trial

It was the defense’s turn this morning in San Bernardino County Superior Court in the trial of Rancho Cucamonga city councilman and former Assessor employee Rex Gutierrez.

Gutierrez is facing three felony counts related to alleged time card fraud while working for Assessor Bill Postmus.

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LATimes: Sen. Robert Byrd dies at 92

The West Virginia lawmaker was the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history and cast more votes than any other member since taking office in 1959.

Sen. Byrd talks to members of the media before the resumption of President Clinton’s impeachment trial. Byrd was openly hostile over Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky. (Timothy Clary / AFP/Getty Images / January 26, 1999)

By Johanna Neuman, Special to the Los Angeles Times

June 28, 2010 | 7:09 a.m.

Reporting from Washington —

Robert Carlyle Byrd, the West Virginia Democrat who was often called this generation’s conscience of the Senate for his devotion to the system of constitutional checks and balances and the prerogatives of power, died Monday. He was 92.

Byrd, who served longer than any member of Congress in U.S. history and cast more congressional votes than anyone since taking office in January 1959, died at about 3 a.m. at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Va., a spokesman for the family said.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010 – 11:27 a.m.

San Bernardino County is set to adopt its 2010-11 budget next year and the revenue assumption appears to be significantly better than originally thought.

Currently the county projects combined annual operating deficits totaling $222.1 million dollars through the 2014-15 fiscal years. A bright estimate considering current conditions.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010 – 10:16 a.m.

Now that the dust has settled over the hoop-la with the San Bernardino County union concession votes, we can see what is slated to occur at Monday’s special Board of Supervisors meeting, where the 2010-11 budget is scheduled to be approved.

The pain to be felt by sworn sheriff and district attorney employees who rejected proposed contract concessions? The deletion of vacant budgeted positions and a reduction in overtime.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010 – 05:28 p.m.

Designated as a significantly under capitalized is nearly always a death blow for a credit union.

The institution so-designated has to raise capital by generating earnings or shrink its balance sheet or both. Arrowhead was doing just that. But its actions was not enough to stop the hemorrhaging. The Inland Empire economy is showing no tangible signs of improvement as the number of unemployed continues to grow.

A significant factor affecting Arrowhead’s loan quality (delinquency rate).

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SBSun: San Bernardino looks at tax hike

Council considers effects of raising levy on property sales
Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/27/2010 09:51:17 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – Attempts to solve a $24 million deficit could soon give the City Council a chance to decide if a higher tax on real property sales makes sense.

The question for the council – and maybe San Bernardino voters – is whether the tax will help the city solve its budget problems while blocking absentee landlords from the city, or if it will just impede recovery in the city’s housing market.

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DailyBulletin: Dems see better odds facing Donnelly

59th Assembly District

James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Created: 06/27/2010 08:31:33 PM PDT

Tim Donnelly wants to cut government spending. He doesn’t believe global warming is real. He wants to bring Arizona’s latest immigration law – known as S.B. 1070 – to California.

In short, he is conservative.

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County alleges fraud in Assessor’s Office
Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/27/2010 07:02:50 AM PDT

As the trial of Rancho Cucamonga Councilman Rex Gutierrez comes to a close this week, a civil lawsuit against the defendant and four other former executive staff at the county Assessor’s Office lingers on.

The county filed the lawsuit on May 12, 2009, the same day a county-commissioned investigative report detailing alleged misconduct in the Assessor’s Office under the reign of Assessor Bill Postmus was released to the public.

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SBSun: Gutierrez trial focuses on e-mail, calls

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/27/2010 09:52:30 PM PDT

After seven days of testimony, the trial of Rancho Cucamonga Councilman Rex Gutierrez approached its end Thursday with prosecutor John Goritz delivering his closing argument.

Defense attorney James Reiss delivers his closing argument today in San Bernardino Superior Court.

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VVDailyPress: San Bernardino County continues to grow

June 27, 2010 10:46 AM
DAVID KECK, Special to the Daily Press

Despite the economic downturn San Bernardino County’s population grew by 24,684 people from 2007 to 2009, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The county’s population was 2,017,673 as of July 1, 2009.

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RivPE: March Healthcare investors a diverse group

10:48 PM PDT on Sunday, June 27, 2010

By LORA HINES
The Press-Enterprise

A venture capitalist, a couple of corporate chief financial officers and at least four former and current business owners are among investors in a large-scale medical complex at March Air Reserve Base.

They, along with Donald Ecker, managing member and project leader of the private company March Healthcare Development, stand to clear an estimated $25 million by the end of the decade, based on construction costs and land-sale revenue predictions. Investors will make an expected 21 percent rate of return as they push forward on what is billed to become the Inland area’s largest health care center, to be called March LifeCare.

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SacBee: Whitman, Brown offer contrasting campaign styles

By Jack Chang
jchang@sacbee.com
Published: Monday, Jun. 28, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 1A

One gubernatorial campaign employs nearly 70 people and contracts with dozens of others as it spares no expense finding new ways to craft and broadcast its messages.

Another relies largely on the spontaneity of its candidate with minimal infrastructure and almost nothing in the way of marketing dazzle.

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CalBuzz: The Poizner Effect: Is Jerry Brown Blowing It?

Brown

Monday, June 28, 2010

Four months before the November election, the Jerry Brown-Meg Whitman race looks like a small band of desperadoes toting six shooters facing off against a fully staffed division equipped with tanks, stinger missiles and .50 caliber machine guns.

Even so, we have to wonder if Brown doesn’t seem ruinously hellbent on employing the not-so-vaunted Poizner Strategy: keep your powder dry while constantly whining about how nasty and profligate the other side is, then fire everything you’ve got all at once, in a short burst at the end of the campaign.

Worked like a charm for The Commish, eh?

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YahooFinance (AP): Mutual fund returns turn negative in 2nd quarter

Investors can expect to see more negative returns on their mutal funds for April-June quarter

Tim Paradis, AP Business Writer,
On Sunday June 27, 2010, 2:23 pm EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — The minus signs are back.

Investors still feeling bruised by the terrible mutual fund returns of 2008 and early 2009 can expect to be disappointed again when they get their statements for the second quarter. While most fund categories did well in the first quarter, during the April-June period there were few places to hide.

The slump wasn’t as steep as in late 2008, when the stock market was crashing during the financial crisis. But it showed that nervous investors have put the market’s recovery on hold.

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Pat Dennen

Sunday, June 27, 2010 – 10:14 a.m.

Retired San Bernardino County Fire Chief Pat Dennen has been appointed Deputy Fire Chief of Operations for the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA).

Cal EMA Fire and Rescue is responsible for management of the day to day operations of the State’s Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System which has at its disposal a fleet of 129 Cal EMA engines, 12 Cal EMA water tenders, 13 Cal EMA swift water units, 6 Cal EMA communication/ support units and more than 1,000 local government fire engines that can be deployed statewide during major fire sieges and disasters.

Congratulations Pat……

11:21 PM PDT on Saturday, June 26, 2010

By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL and JACK KATZANEK
The Press-Enterprise

Arrowhead Credit Union, to some, had appeared to be climbing up from the bottom, much like the Inland economy that has shown slight signs of improvement in its long way toward recovery.

But that may not have been enough to prevent the National Credit Union Administration from seizing the well-known San Bernardino-based credit union on Friday.

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SBSun: San Bernardino eyes pension savings

City is looking to trim benefit for future hires
Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/26/2010 10:03:17 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – City Hall’s long-range plan to halt growing deficits includes negotiations aimed at whittling away at the retirement benefits that could be owed to future employees.

City employees’ contracts expire at or before the end of this year, and the city’s weakened financial position could be a premise for difficult bargaining sessions.

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SBSun: Oil tax plan at issue

California budget

James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/26/2010 07:10:53 AM PDT

This year, oil companies have pumped 29.5 million barrels of oil from Kern County. An additional 3.4 million have come from Los Angeles County.

In San Bernardino County, the total is just 274 barrels, pumped by two tiny oil operations in the Chino Hills area – the hub of the county’s barely existent oil industry.

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June 26, 2010 12:04 PM
Brooke Edwards

VICTORVILLE • The city attorney has taken the position that e-mails sent by council members from their personal accounts are not subject to public records requests, regardless of whether they deal with official city business.

“To me that’s ludicrous,” said Judy Alexander, a Soquel-based attorney who works with the California First Amendment Coalition and filed a request for the records. “I think their interpretation of the law is incorrect.”

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Schools short on reserves for 2012-13
Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 06/26/2010 07:07:53 AM PDT

CLAREMONT – The school district has passed its three- year budget, but is below the state threshold for reserves in its third year.

This could cause Los Angeles County to get involved in Claremont Unified School District’s operations, but school officials said they doubt that will happen.

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SacBee: Fiorina courts Latino voters

Carly Fiorina

By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Jun. 27, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

In a bid to reach out to Latino voters, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina campaigned in Sacramento on Saturday with former Bush administration Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, a well-known advocate of creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

But Fiorina declined to say whether she agrees with Gutierrez on the issue.

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LATimes: Whitman’s ad invokes the 1960s — sort of

THE WEEK

Her effort to link Jerry Brown to the era is not exactly accurate — and not exactly surprising.

By Cathleen Decker, Los Angeles Times

June 27, 2010

Television screens in California last week were filled with pictures that looked like finds from a time capsule. A McGovern poster. Peace signs. Woodstock-esque views of young people having fun doing who knows what. A war helicopter, vaguely reminiscent of the Vietnam era, arcing sharply as if to avoid fire.

It was not an ad for a documentary on the 1960s or some PBS show on the Vietnam War. It was an ad for Meg Whitman’s campaign for governor.

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LATimes: Undone by their dreams

HIGH DESERT HOPES

Drawn by the promise of affordable housing, thousands put down roots in arid Hesperia. But long-term security proved an illusion.
Vacant lots

By Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times

June 26, 2010

First of two parts

Dirt is cheap in the Victor Valley, and amid tumbleweeds and rabbit brush, Joshua trees and juniper bushes, home developments rise up like islands where the desert has been rolled back.

About 300,000 people call this region home. Baked in the summer, frozen in winter, it is scoured by winds that sweep down the mountains — and yet they come, drawn by what they can’t find elsewhere in Southern California: the promise of large and affordable houses in clean and safe neighborhoods.

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SBSun: Federal regulators seize Arrowhead Credit Union

Rebecca U. Cho, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/25/2010 06:45:57 PM PDT

Two quarters of rising profits at Arrowhead Credit Union failed to convince the government to stay away – the San Bernardino-based institution was taken over by federal regulators Friday.

Arrowhead’s “declining financial condition” prompted the seizure, according to a statement released Friday by the National Credit Union Administration. The decision does not affect Arrowhead’s 152,000 members, who will continue to receive uninterrupted service. Member funds are also federally insured up to $250,000 per account, the administration said.

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Lori Consalvo, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/25/2010 05:28:05 PM PDT

David Richard Lewis, executive vice president for the Lewis Group of Companies, was found dead Thursday in his Las Vegas home.

The Upland resident died from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the Clark County coroner. Officials are ruling it a suicide.

David Lewis was 36 years old.

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DailyBulletin: Montclair approves its 2011-11 budget

Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 06/25/2010 01:18:58 PM PDT

MONTCLAIR – By incorporating a hoped-for agreement with city employees to take pay cuts, the City Council this week approved its 2010-11 budget.

City employees are being asked to take off 80 furlough hours in the 2010-11 fiscal year as well as pick up a larger share of pension contributions to help balance the city’s budget.

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RivPE: San Bernardino County certifies June 8 results

By PE Politics
on June 25, 2010 11:00 AM

San Bernardino County has certified the results of the June 8 election.

Riverside County has finished counting all of the ballots that were in its possession on Election Day.

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LATimes: Boxer slams Fiorina’s record at Hewlett Packard

Boxer                                    Fiorina

PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State

June 25, 2010 | 7:53 pm

During a visit to a family-owned bakery in Lincoln Heights on Friday, California Sen. Barbara Boxer said it was “bizarre” that her opponent, former Hewlett Packard Co. Chief Executive Carly Fiorina, has argued that her experience dealing with job cuts and outsourcing has prepared her to tackle those issues in Washington.

Fiorina, who laid off some 30,000 workers while she headed HP from 1999 to 2005, told an audience in Beverly Hills earlier this week that her willingness to make difficult choices during her tenure and her knowledge of why many companies are outsourcing jobs would be an asset to voters.

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Carla Marinucci, Drew Joseph, Chronicle Political Writers
San Francisco Chronicle June 25, 2010 05:24 PM

Saturday, June 26, 2010

(06-25) 17:24 PDT OAKLAND — One of the state’s most powerful labor unions, saying it “won’t be pushed around” by Meg Whitman, unveiled a scathing ad campaign Friday seizing on an altercation between the former eBay CEO and one of her employees.

The California Nurses Association said the incident shows how disconnected the GOP gubernatorial nominee is from working people.

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Whitman

Published: Saturday, Jun. 26, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

As GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman mails fliers to nurses criticizing the California Nurses Association, the union held a rally Friday in Oakland hitting back at Whitman and inviting her to a July 15 forum with nurses to be held in her hometown of Atherton.

Friday’s event drew several dozen nurses from around California and also featured an appearance by Queen Meg, a parody of Whitman played by teacher and actress Elaine Burn.

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Villaraigosa

By David Zahniser and Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times

June 26, 2010

Lawyers for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa named the Los Angeles Dodgers as the most frequent donor of his free tickets, but they struggled to identify many of the other entities that have let him appear at athletic and cultural events without paying, according to documents released Friday.

The 422 pages of records were assembled as part of Villaraigosa’s effort to show that he was performing official and ceremonial duties while going to concerts, sports events and award shows over the last five years. The mayor says that distinction relieved him from having to report the tickets as gifts under state law.

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LATimes: Steve Lopez: No free pass this time, mayor

Maybe it’s not corrupt, but at the very least, Villaraigosa’s use of free tickets is bad judgment.

June 25, 2010|Steve Lopez

Once upon a time in Los Angeles, we had an aggressively dull mayor who guarded his privacy, seldom emerged from his City Hall bunker, and took his sister with him when he went out on the town. Jim Hahn was so shy a guy, I set up a service to recruit potential dates for him.

In a big shakeup, the city made the switch to Antonio Villaraigosa, who seemed determined to prove that he didn’t need my help.

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InlandPolitics: Tragedy hits local business community, David R. Lewis dead at 36

Reports are coming to local news outlets that developer, executive, husband and father David R. Lewis took his own life yesterday at his Las Vegas, Nevada home.

David was a highly thought of and talented executive who touched many lives in the community.

Condolences to his family, friends and associates.

VVDailyPress: Lewis Group of Companies executive found dead

June 25, 2010 6:22 PM
BY NATASHA LINDSTROM AND DAVID KECK

LAS VEGAS • An executive vice president for one of the largest commercial developers in the West and one of the Victor Valley’s biggest landowners took his own life on Thursday.

Police conducting a welfare check at a southwest Las Vegas residence found David R. Lewis, 36, of the Upland-based Lewis Group of Companies dead shortly before 3 p.m., Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Bill Cassell said.

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RivPE: Feds seize Arrowhead Credit Union

04:06 PM PDT on Friday, June 25, 2010

By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL

Arrowhead Credit Union has been seized by the National Credit Union Administration, according to the regulatory agency.

NCUA spokesman John McKechnie said the credit union’s branches would continue conducting normal operations and deposits up to $250,000 were insured.

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issues an executive order requiring recipients to promise they will use cash benefits only to meet basic subsistence needs. GOP legislators call for the cash to be returned.

By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times

June 25, 2010

California welfare recipients using state-issued debit cards withdrew more than $1.8 million in taxpayer cash on casino floors between October 2009 and last month, state officials said Thursday.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order requiring welfare recipients to promise they will use cash benefits only to “meet the basic subsistence needs” of their families. The order also gave the state Department of Social Services seven days to produce a plan to reduce other types of “waste, fraud and abuse” in the welfare program.

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Gutierrez

10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, June 24, 2010

By IMRAN GHORI
The Press-Enterprise

Rancho Cucamonga Councilman Rex Gutierrez defrauded San Bernardino County taxpayers as part of a “culture of corruption” at the assessor’s office, a prosecutor charged Thursday in his closing argument.

Deputy District Attorney John Goritz told the jury there was overwhelming evidence of a conspiracy that allowed Gutierrez to get his position as intergovernmental relations officer at the assessor’s office through a political favor yet avoid any discipline for failing to do much work.

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Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Created: 06/24/2010 07:30:48 PM PDT

Rancho Cucamonga Councilman Rex Gutierrez knowingly falsified time records and was paid for hours not worked in the county Assessor’s Office, and should therefore be convicted of grand theft, a prosecutor said Thursday in San Bernardino Superior Court.

“The evidence shows, well beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant lied on his time cards and didn’t show up for work regularly,” prosecutor John Goritz said during his closing argument Thursday in Gutierrez’s trial. “You can decide this case based on that alone.”

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City found cash to cover Sheriff’s union raises but will see a 10-percent drop in coverage due to vacant deputy positions.
June 24, 2010 8:05 PM
BROOKE EDWARDS, STAFF WRITER

VICTORVILLE • The city is no longer considering dropping nine deputies for the coming year, however seven deputy positions currently vacant will not be restored in the upcoming budget.

The city council was expected to vote during the budget workshop coming up Tuesday on whether to move one sergeant, one detective and seven deputies out of Victorville.

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June 24, 2010 1:45 PM
Natasha Lindstrom

SAN BERNARDINO • As arguments wrap up in the first jury trial in a far-reaching county corruption probe, a judge on Thursday dropped one of four felony counts against an executive staff member of former San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus.

Defendant Rex Gutierrez, also a Rancho Cucamonga councilman, is accused of defrauding taxpayers by working on personal or Rancho Cucamonga matters on county time and falsifying time cards, during his service as intergovernmental relations officer under Postmus.

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www.iepolitics.com

Written by Administrator
June 24th, 2010 at 10:00 am

A view of Hinkley, California from Highway 58

I spent a better part of two days this past week exploring Hinkley, California, trying to get a feel for the community and those who live there.  It seems to be an area without definition and little has been written about it, which left me with a lot to learn.

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SBSun: San Bernardino looks to garbage for deficit relief

Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/24/2010 05:19:56 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – City leaders may try to wring millions of dollars from the city’s refuse business and other utilities as part of plans to solve San Bernardino’s $24 million deficit.

That idea is in line with a recent consultants’ report listing 100-plus ways to reform trash collections.

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SBSun: Folkens backers blast Baca at shotgun fundraiser

Folkens backers blast Baca at shotgun fundraiser
James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/24/2010 08:22:24 PM PDT

Armed with a pistol-grip shotgun, David Finch of Highland quotes from the Mel Gibson epic “Braveheart” when asked if he thinks Republican candidate Scott Folkens can beat Rep. Joe Baca, D-San Bernardino, in November’s election:

“You don’t have to defeat them,” he said. “You just have to fight them.”

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RivPE: Legislator to meet voters Friday in Riverside

Nestande

10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, June 24, 2010

Residents can meet with Assemblyman Brian Nestande from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday in Riverside. Nestande represents an area that includes Lake Elsinore, Murrieta, Temecula, Perris, Hemet and Riverside.

Nestande will meet with constituents at Coco’s Restaurant, 1303 University Ave., Riverside. Information: 951-369-6644.

By PE Politics
on June 24, 2010 11:28 AM

Riverside County is exploring whether it has the legal right to count more than 12,500 June 8 election ballots that arrived at the county election office after the legal deadline.

State law requires ballots be in the office of the county registrar of voters by 8 p.m. the day of the election. But, because of miscommunication between the county and the U.S. Postal Service, 12,563 ballots that were at a Moreno Valley post office June 8 were not picked up by elections officials until the following day.

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