Archive for August 18th, 2010

LATimes: California pension reform effort loses support

The bill’s sponsor, state Controller John Chiang, and others say it has become so watered down that it would do little to prevent public employees from spiking their end-of-career paycheck.

By Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times

August 18, 2010

Legislation intended to curb pension spiking has become so watered down that it would now do little to prevent California public employees from boosting their end-of-career paychecks, critics say, prompting reform advocates and bill sponsor state Controller John Chiang to withdraw support.

Assembly Bill 1987 had been touted as an end to the pension boosting that occurs when public employees add unused vacation, sick time and other benefits to their final year’s compensation in order to drive up pensions.

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Fox&Hounds: The Jerry Brown Issue Ad

By Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee
Wed, August 18th, 2010

I’m flying back to California today and have finally caught up with all the hard shots and false accusations made against the Small Business Action Committee and me because we started a legal issue advocacy campaign urging Attorney General Jerry Brown to concentrate on bringing jobs to California while not taking positions that discourage job creation.

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August 18th, 2010, 3:00 am · posted by Tony Saavedra, Register investigative reporter

The Orange County Employees Retirement System spent $31,360 in its losing court battle to keep secret the names and pensions of retirees making at least $100,000 a year.

That’s money, essentially, out of pensioners’ pockets.

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LATimes: LA lawmaker to introduce bill for Bell residents

PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State
August 18, 2010 | 8:15 am

A Los Angeles Assemblyman will introduce a bill Tuesday that would enable residents of Bell to receive $2.9 million in rebates from overpaid property taxes.

Assemblyman Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) will unveil the legislation at a press conference in Sacramento Tuesday morning. The measure is also backed by state controller John Chiang.

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PE: CD44: Most supes back Calvert for Congress

Ken Calvert

By PE Politics
on August 17, 2010 11:23 AM

Four out of five Riverside County supervisors recommend another term for Inland Rep. Ken Calvert.

The Corona Republican, who is seeking his 10th term in office this November, announced today that he has the backing of John F. Tavaglione, Jeff Stone, John J. Benoit and Marion Ashley. All four are registered Republicans.

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PE: Call for pension reform criticized

09:16 PM PDT on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

By DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

Riverside County supervisors, currently grappling with pension reforms, themselves have decades of combined service and will receive substantial retirements when they leave the board.

Supervisor Bob Buster is in his 17th year on the board and served eight years on the Riverside City Council before that.

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PE: Riverside County’s next top judge envisions changes

10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

When she was a mom with three kids, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Sherrill Ellsworth went to law school in Fullerton and took classes at UC Riverside. For two out of the three years of her studies, she went to both.

The 1977 Hemet High School graduate wound up with enough transferable credits from UCR to earn a law degree and a bachelor of science degree from Western State University College of Law.

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SBSun: Widespread cuts on table

San Bernardino preparing new budget trims
Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/17/2010 06:20:29 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – City administrators are preparing a new list of budget cuts that could affect all departments, but no specifics have been revealed.

The potential for new cuts comes in the wake of the City Council’s rejection of new taxes and as negotiations with city labor unions remain unfinished. Although there is not agreement among the seven-member council that cuts are necessary, reductions to public services or layoffs could be on the table.

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SBSun: Six SB schools making required changes

Educators shaking things up for learning
Debbie Pfeiffer Trunnell, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/17/2010 06:04:08 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – At Shandin Hills Middle School, Principal Carmen Beck hopes an increased focus on building middle-schoolers’ academic and social skills will fix the low-achieving campus.

The focus is among the changes being implemented at Shandin Hills and five other San Bernardino City Unified School District schools in hopes of boosting test scores.

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Jesse B. Gill, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/17/2010 06:15:28 PM PDT

The school year began Monday for the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District and the majority of its students are finding a different way to get to class.

The district – like many districts in California – slashed its budget when statewide education funding was cut drastically this year, eliminating bus transportation for general education students for the 2010/2011 school year.

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SBSun: Tribe to pay for police near reservation

James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/17/2010 05:50:48 PM PDT

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians will pay the city of San Bernardino about $3 million over the next three years to cover the cost of policing city neighborhoods near the tribe’s reservation and casino, officials said Tuesday.

The tribe will pay for six San Bernardino police officers, one sergeant and one part-time detective, as well as for vehicles and equipment, crossing guards and additional police resources for special events.

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Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/17/2010 05:05:48 PM PDT

UPLAND – Three Upland medical marijuana cooperatives as of Tuesday cannot provide marijuana to their members.

G3 Holistic, Upland Herbal Patient Co-op and Old World Solutions were forced to close Tuesday due to a preliminary injunction granted to the city on Friday by a West Valley Superior Court judge.

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DailyBulletin: Council race heated

Latino hopefuls seeking diversity
Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/17/2010 06:54:48 PM PDT

FONTANA – The city has endured months of debate in Council Chambers on issues of race and whether Latinos are adequately represented by elected officials here.

That debate will come to a head Nov. 2 when voters in a city where 63 percent of residents are Latino will decide how important a role ethnicity should play in local politics.

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LATimes: Brown, campaigning on frugality, used state plane

The attorney general has flown on the plane 10 times since 2007, sometimes squeezing in conferences that were politically beneficial.

By Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Times
August 17, 2010|10:33 p.m.

Reporting from Sacramento — Jerry Brown, who is running for governor on a campaign of frugality, says he flies on a plane owned by the state only when absolutely necessary to carry out his duties as attorney general. But he has also used the Beechcraft King Air turboprop to travel to the luxurious Lodge at Pebble Beach, where a donor was being feted, and to attend events in cities serviced by commercial airlines.

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PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State

August 17, 2010 | 7:30 pm

Republican Senate nominee Carly Fiorina took a harder line Tuesday on the controversial plans to build a mosque several blocks from ground zero in New York City, suggesting that proponents of the mosque should back off their plans and find somewhere else in deference to families who lost relatives and friends in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

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By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 1A

In overturning California’s same-sex marriage ban, U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker suggested Proposition 8 defenders might not have legal standing to appeal because they are not directly affected by gay marriages.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown declined to defend the measure on behalf of the state, and Walker said there may be no one left to show “a concrete and particularized injury that is actual or imminent.”

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Former assistant city manager received at least $200,000. Experts say such a city loan program for employees is unusual.

By Jeff Gottlieb, Kimi Yoshino and Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
August 18, 2010

The city of Bell gave nearly $900,000 in loans to former City Administrator Robert Rizzo, city employees and at least two council members in the last several years, according to records reviewed by The Times.

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LATimes: Good-faith estimates get real

Mortgage lenders must now pay the difference if a loan’s closing costs come in higher than they estimated, which means no more lowballing to lure customers.

By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
August 18, 2010

Facing new penalties if they lowball estimates of upfront mortgage costs, lenders and brokers appear to be coming clean about how much borrowers will pay.

As a result, the so-called good-faith estimates that mortgage providers must give to prospective customers show closing costs soaring 36% this year, interest-rate tracker Bankrate.com said in a report this week.

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