Archive for January, 2012

InlandPolitics: First blow leveled in S.B. County Third District race

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 – 12:30 p.m.

It’s only February and the first serious blow has been leveled in the race to represent San Bernardino County’s Third Supervisorial District.

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Riverside County officials have gone to court in an effort to stop a one-day strike by health care professionals.

BY RICHARD K. De ATLEY
STAFF WRITER
rdeatley@pe.com

Published: 30 January 2012 11:33 AM

A judge Monday barred 248 health-care workers from joining a one-day strike by members of Riverside County’s second-largest union.

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The PE: SAN MANUEL Tribe hires back former lobbyist

By PE Politics
January 30, 2012 3:08 PM

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians near San Bernardino has hired back its longtime Sacramento lobbyist, Frank Molina, with whom it parted ways last March amid an investigation by the state’s political ethics agency.

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DailyBulletin: Ontario chief faces discrimination lawsuit

Mike Cruz, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Created: 01/30/2012 10:27:09 AM PST

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – A workplace discrimination lawsuit has been filed in Superior Court against Ontario Police Chief Eric Hopley by his former administrative assistant Brenda Vallejo.

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DailyBulletin OpEd: Ratcheting up a contract tussle

Executive Editor Frank Pine
Created: 01/28/2012 06:06:04 AM PST

San Bernardino County’s Board of Supervisors asked county lawyers last week to draft language for a ballot measure that would give voters the final say on increases to pension benefits for public employees.

Supervisors Janice Rutherford, Gary Ovitt and Josie Gonzales voted yea with supervisors Brad Mitzelfelt and Neil Derry voting nay.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Would it be churlish to say that the much-ballyhooed Think Long Committee for California fell short on fortitude?

Or merely accurate?

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PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State
January 30, 2012 | 3:31 pm

California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye lost a round over Judicial Council power

The state’s top judge lost a political battle Monday when the state Assembly voted to shift key budget decisions from the state Judicial Council that she heads to local trial courts, some of which have complained about the panel’s handling of money.

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PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State
January 30, 2012 | 7:09 pm

A state senator who is running for secretary of state is urging Gov. Jerry Brown to take over California’s beleaguered online campaign finance database, which was down for most of last month.

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InlandPolitics: S.B. County: Is proposed Barstow casino on Ramos’ agenda?

Monday, January 30, 2012 – 10:00 a.m.

Within all of San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors candidate James Ramos’ negative baggage appears to be a glimmer of a motivating interest as to why the current millionaire chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is seeking the county post.

The Tribal chair, who is seeking to oust Third District Supervisor Neil Derry in June, may have a personal finance cause.

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The PE: Inland courts brace for tougher year

Understaffed, overwhelmed, Riverside and San Bernardino county officials say the verdict is few options on further cuts

RICHARD K. De ATLEY/Staff

RICHARD K. De ATLEY
STAFF WRITER
rdeatley@pe.com

Published: 29 January 2012 07:33 PM

Like passengers on a plane with half the engines snuffed, Inland court officials can only wait and watch as Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget for next year fiscal year moves through the state’s political turbulence.

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The PE: POLITICAL EMPIRE: Baca works his way into position

Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, second from left, earned a aisle seat to greet President Barack Obama before the State of the Union speech./AP

THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE
Published: 29 January 2012 06:51 PM

They don’t call him “Working Joe” for nothing.

For at least the fourth consecutive year, U.S. Rep. Joe Baca outmaneuvered a host of his Democratic colleagues and worked himself into a coveted center aisle seat at last week’s State of the Union address. Baca, who was already in position several hours before the speech, again nabbed a primo spot and fought through the scrum of lawmakers to greet President Barack Obama on his way to the podium.

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Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Created: 01/28/2012 10:20:35 PM PST

As an option to deal with increasing congestion and construction costs, toll lanes may be added to San Bernardino County freeways but not before 2017, transportation planners say.

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Wendy Leung, Staff Writer
Created: 01/28/2012 06:11:04 AM PST

Hoping to restore jail funding to San Bernardino County, an Inland Empire assemblyman introduced a bill on Friday that could potentially bring $16 million to county coffers.

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By Howard Mintz hmintz@mercurynews.com
Posted: 01/30/2012 06:56:26 AM PST
Updated: 01/30/2012 07:31:17 AM PST

With a crucial vote looming Monday, a conflict that has shaken California’s judiciary reaches a critical stage when the Assembly considers legislation that would strip control of most of the court system’s purse strings from a central bureaucracy and turn it over to the Legislature and local trial judges.

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Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
January 29, 2012

The California Teachers Association officially agreed Sunday to back Gov. Jerry Brown’s multibillion-dollar tax plan, which should provide the governor hefty financial support for his fall campaign.

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By Steven Harmon
Bay Area News Group

Posted: 01/29/2012 06:59:19 PM PST
Updated: 01/30/2012 03:20:06 AM PST

SACRAMENTO — The raging battle over the political and economic clout of labor unions is headed west to California.

The state’s powerful labor groups have anxiously witnessed union rights and benefits being gutted in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. Now, unions in California are girding for an all-out war over a ballot initiative that would curb their ability to raise political cash.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

When a political party achieves dominance of any government, one expects that it would use its hegemony to enact its public policy agenda.

That’s the way democracy is supposed to work.

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Calpensions: Pension earnings dip amid gloomy forecasts

Monday, January 30, 2012
By Ed Mendel

The nation’s two largest public pension funds last week reported slim annual investment earnings, CalPERS 1.1 percent and CalSTRS 2.3 percent, as experts continue to say hitting their long-term earnings target, 7.75 percent, will be difficult.

While CalPERS reported weak earnings in 2011, a prominent private-sector investment manager, Robert Arnott of Research Affiliates, told the board last week he thinks the most they can expect from stocks and bonds next decade is 4 percent.

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By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
Published: Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 – 6:57 am

Jon Fleischman, the conservative blogger, was brooding the other day on Facebook, underwhelmed by the presidential candidates he has left to choose from.

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LATimes: By any name, it’s lobbying

George Skelton

Gingrich bristled at Romney’s L-word tag, but it’s all semantics.
By George Skelton Capitol Journal
January 30, 2012

From Sacramento

Without picking a side in the entertaining Republican presidential contest, let us stipulate that Mitt Romney was smack on target when he called Newt Gingrich an influence peddler.

A lobbyist? No, not in a legal sense. But did he lobby? Yes, in the common usage of the word.

An influence peddler? That pretty much covers it.

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The Sun: Ratcheting up a contract tussle

Executive Editor Frank Pine
Posted: 01/28/2012 05:38:39 PM PST

San Bernardino County’s Board of Supervisors asked county lawyers last week to draft language for a ballot measure that would give voters the final say on increases to pension benefits for public employees.

Supervisors Janice Rutherford, Gary Ovitt and Josie Gonzales voted yea with supervisors Brad Mitzelfelt and Neil Derry voting nay.

Read the rest of this entry »

Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/28/2012 10:54:18 PM PST

A controversial state Supreme Court ruling is forcing 400 redevelopment agencies throughout California to close, but officials overseeing redevelopment at the former Norton Air Force Base say work there will continue.

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The PE: RIVERSIDE: Sixth candidate enters mayor’s race

BY ALICIA ROBINSON
STAFF WRITER
arobinson@pe.com

Published: 28 January 2012 06:31 PM

The Riverside mayor’s race could now be a six-way contest, with a little more than a month left until the candidate filing deadline.

The latest entrant is Peter Benavidez, a local nonprofit CEO and member of the city’s charter review committee, who recently took out a petition for signatures in lieu of the filing fee.

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Norma Torres

Assemblywoman Norma J. Torres
Created: 01/28/2012 06:06:11 AM PST

The state Supreme Court’s ruling which eliminated redevelopment agencies has created uncertainty for cities and counties engaged in redevelopment activities. Redevelopment has been used as a tool by many cities and counties to successfully revitalize communities. The court’s decision throws into question how cities and counties will pay for infrastructure, housing and retail projects in blighted communities.

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Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 01/27/2012 09:31:09 AM PST

CHINO – The Chino Valley Unified School District has about two weeks to find $20 million to cut from its budget for next year.

That’s the bad news coming from last week’s Board of Education budget study session.

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Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 01/28/2012 06:06:01 AM PST

UPLAND – The City Council has not made a formal request for the League of California Cities’ assistance in the medical marijuana case pending in the state Supreme Court, but some inquiries have been made.

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DailyBulletin: Chino addresses its RDA issues

Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 01/26/2012 11:32:13 AM PST

CHINO – This city, like many others across the Golden State, will bid farewell to its redevelopment agency come Wednesday.

As a result of a state Supreme Court ruling last month, which upheld a law eliminating about 400 redevelopment agencies in California, Chino City Council members agreed to name the city as the successor to its agency.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

The big news in Stanislaus County these days is that a big Internet retailer – almost certainly Amazon – will establish a huge distribution center in Patterson that would employ at least 1,500 workers.

Meanwhile, California new car sales reached nearly 1.3 million vehicles last year, a 9.9 percent improvement over 2010, and the state’s unemployment rate dipped in December to 11.1 percent, down 1.4 percentage points from the previous December, with at least a quarter-million more working.

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InlandPolitics: Could Million Air business license flap derail county event?

Saturday, January 28, 2012 – 09:00 a.m.

Could the lack of a business license at Million Air San Bernardino LLC derail the state of the county event scheduled for February 29th?

It’s just another embarrassment for the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, and in particular Supervisor Josie Gonzales, who allowed the event to be held at the lavish facility.

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The PE: RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Union, county prepare for strike

BY DUANE W. GANG
STAFF WRITER
dgang@pe.com

Published: 27 January 2012 08:34 PM

Riverside County will go to court Monday seeking to keep nearly 300 nurses and other health professionals from taking part in a day-long strike planned by the county’s second-largest union.

County officials this week appealed to a state labor relations board for help after the Service Employees International Union Local 721 informed officials at Riverside County Regional Medical Center that nurses planned to participate in the strike Tuesday.

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Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/27/2012 08:39:26 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – An official with San Bernardino International Airport’s most upscale business paid part of the fees to renew its business license Thursday, but it still wasn’t enough to get a valid license, city officials said Friday.

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Toni Momberger, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/27/2012 06:48:38 PM PST

REDLANDS – The latest Redlands resident to announce candidacy for the newly drawn 31st Congressional District wants to be clear that he does not live in a manicured part of town.

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By Jim Sanders
jsanders@sacbee.com
Published: Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

A California Supreme Court ruling Friday significantly raised Democratic Party prospects of gaining the supermajority needed in the state Senate to pass tax or fee increases.

The high court decided that Senate maps drawn recently by a 14-member citizens commission will be used for this year’s legislative elections, even if a pending referendum qualifies for the ballot.

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Gov. Jerry Brown pledges to cut spiraling costs, but key parts of his rollback plan apply mainly to future workers. Activists want quicker action.

By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
January 28, 2012

Reporting from Sacramento— Gilbert Robles retired as a state parole agent at age 53, able to collect a $101,195 annual pension — 94% of his final salary. Last year, six months after he retired, the Arcadia resident accepted a political appointment with the same agency that pays an additional six figures.

Scott Hallabrin took retirement as the top attorney for the state’s ethics agency on June 29, 2009. The next day, he went back to the same post, as he prepared to watch his pension checks roll in on top of a salary.

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LATimes: State Supreme Court to leave boundaries intact for Senate races

PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State
January 27, 2012 | 10:19 am

A correction has been added to this post. See below for details.

The California Supreme Court, faced with a possible ballot measure to scrap newly drawn election districts, decided Friday to leave the boundaries in place for this year’s state Senate races.

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday, January 27, 2012 – 09:45 a.m.

Well we finally have it.

San Bernardino  County Board of Supervisors Chair Josie Gonzales admits she’s in it for the dough.

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San Bernardino County supervisors have too much to do, the chairwoman says after a union backs the idea

BY IMRAN GHORI
STAFF WRITER
ighori@pe.com

Published: 26 January 2012 09:27 PM

A proposal to reduce San Bernardino County supervisors’ positions to part-time status would leave little time for them to meet and respond to constituents’ needs, board Chairwoman Josie Gonzales said Thursday.

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The Sun: Million Air operating without license

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/26/2012 12:53:12 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – Million Air, the upscale jet refueling facility at San Bernardino International Airport, has been operating without a business license since April, city officials said Thursday.

The facility, which caters to private and corporate aircraft, has been the most high profile business drawn to the airport and has been touted by airport officials as an example of the airport’s potential prosperity. It began operations in 2010.

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Rep. Mary Bono Mack

BY BEN GOAD
WASHINGTON BUREAU
bgoad@pe.com

Published: 26 January 2012 11:52 AM

WASHINGTON — Newt Gingrich is an “erratic” thinker who “abandoned his conservative principals” before leaving Congress, Inland Rep. Mary Bono Mack said Thursday on behalf of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

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Cities hoping for extra life for redevelopment agencies are told to focus on a future without them as a Feb. 1 deadline nears

BY JIM MILLER
SACRAMENTO BUREAU
jmiller@pe.co

Published: 26 January 2012 09:04 PM

SACRAMENTO — Legislation to extend the life of redevelopment agencies beyond Feb. 1 seemed all but dead Thursday despite a last-ditch push by local officials and other groups.

The California Supreme Court last month upheld a state law ending redevelopment, which for decades has helped local governments pay to revitalize downtowns and build new streets and also been criticized as a taxpayer subsidy for politically connected developers. Inland Southern California has some of the most active agencies in the state.

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DailyBulletin OpEd: Is there nothing better to do?

Assemblyman Curt Hagman

Assemblyman Curt Hagman
Created: 01/26/2012 11:31:48 AM PST

California’s Legislature has a full plate this year: crafting a responsible budget, protecting our schools, encouraging job creation, reforming public pensions and much more. Gov. Brown has just proposed a 7 percent increase in his 2012-13 budget and again asking voters for more tax increases when the state’s economy remains stalled by already high taxes and slow growth. Yet in my time in the state Assembly, it never ceases to amaze me when liberal politicians introduce unnecessary legislation that has nothing to do with the priorities of California’s citizens.

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DailyBulletin: Fontana mayor vows to join fight for LA/ONT

Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren delivers her state of the city address on Thursday, January 26, 2012 at the Jessie Turner Community Center in Fontana.

Jim Steinberg, Staff Writer
Created: 01/26/2012 11:35:17 AM PST

FONTANA – Mayor Acquanetta Warren on Thursday vowed to join forces with Ontario city leaders in the quest to wrestle ownership of L.A./Ontario International Airport from Los Angeles’ control.

That pledge was part of broad strategy focused on regional cooperation as Fontana moves forward with 2012 and in the succeeding years.

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Will Bigham, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Created: 01/26/2012 10:42:20 AM PST

A committee of the Cal State University Board of Trustees is set to begin the search for a new president at Cal State San Bernardino. President Albert Karnig is retiring at the end of the school year.

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Patrick Fite, For the Daily Facts
Posted: 01/26/2012 04:25:15 PM PST

Practicing simple energy efficient methods can add up to huge savings, as the Redlands Unified School District (RUSD) has shown during the past 26 months by saving more than $900,000 in energy costs.

Read the rest of this entry »

PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State
January 26, 2012 | 8:12 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday urged 1,500 Los Angeles political and business leaders to back his proposal for higher taxes and implored them to pressure lawmakers in Sacramento to overhaul the state’s pension system this year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Jan. 27, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Last Tuesday, the Public Policy Institute of California issued a new poll that found, among other things, just 17 percent of the state’s voters like the Legislature’s performance.

Simultaneously, the Legislature’s top leaders provided another reason for Californians to harbor such scorn.

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Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye

January 26, 2012

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye today urged the defeat of Assembly legislation that would undermine the authority of the Judicial Council, and give courts in as few as two counties authority to veto any statewide judicial project.

Cantil-Sakauye, who became chief justice in 2010, is showing herself to be a tough fighter as she lobbies to kill legislation by Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, himself the consummate inside player.

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POLITICS

By Shane Goldmacher
Updated: January 26, 2012 | 5:34 p.m.
January 25, 2012 | 9:30 p.m.

A sleepy race for a California Legislature seat is turning into a fractious family feud that pits a former top staffer to Buck McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee, against the congressman’s wife.

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Mitt Romney left. Newt Gingrich right.

By Mark Z. Barabak and Maeve Reston
January 26, 2012, 7:11 p.m.

Reporting from Jacksonville, Fla. and Miami, Fla.— Picking up where their last debate left off, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich resumed battling Thursday night over personal integrity and the tenor of their respective campaigns, each accusing the other of unfair character attacks.

Romney, clearly itching for a fight, turned an early discussion on immigration policy into an assault on Gingrich over a radio spot he ran earlier this week on Florida’s Spanish-language airwaves. Gingrich pulled the ad, which described Romney as “anti-immigrant,” after it was criticized by Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a rising national star in Latino politics who is staying neutral in the primary.

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The PE: GOVERNOR: Northerners dominate appointments in first year

Most of his appointments in the first year went to people who live in Northern California, but 20 Inland residents got posts

BY JIM MILLER
SACRAMENTO BUREAU
jmiller@pe.com

Published: 25 January 2012 09:45 PM

SACRAMENTO — As Gov. Jerry Brown put his stamp on California government in the past year, his appointments leaned heavily toward the state’s less-populated northern half.

Since taking office in January 2011, Brown had made almost 580 appointments to administration jobs and state boards and commissions through last week. Of those, two-thirds listed residences in 10 Northern California counties, with a third, 194, from Sacramento County alone. Almost 70 percent are Democrats.

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San Bernardino County supervisors Brad Mitzelfelt, First District; Janice Rutherford, Second District; Neil Derry, Third District; Gary Ovitt, Fourth District; and Josie Gonzales, Fifth District (File photos)

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/25/2012 04:21:42 PM PST

A proposed initiative to make county supervisors’ jobs part-time would spell doom for residents desiring a stronger presence of government in their communities, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Josie Gonzales said Wednesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Trends favor apartments
Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Created: 01/25/2012 03:20:18 PM PST

Residential developers will remember the past year as the third-slowest in California history – and the slowest ever in terms of permits for new single-family homes.

Golden State developers are finding a better market for apartments and other multi-family living options than new homes.

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DailyBulletin: Underground route requested for power lines

By Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 01/25/2012 04:20:13 PM PST

CHINO HILLS – Southern California Edison has been ordered to investigate another underground power-line route for the power lines due to carry 500 kilovolts of wind-generated electricity through the city.

Earlier this month, Edison turned over a 96-page document to the state Public Utility Commission that detailed “feasibility, cost and timing” on 16 possible options for building the high-voltage Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project through Chino Hills.

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VVDailyPress: Supervisors eye pension ballot measure

Safety union announces push for part-time supervisors
January 25, 2012 10:31 AM
Natasha Lindstrom, Staff Writer

SAN BERNARDINO • On a split vote Tuesday morning, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors directed staff to draft a ballot measure that would require voter approval for any future pension increases for county employees.

A few hours later, the county Safety Employees’ Benefit Association announced it was funding an effort to reduce the Board of Supervisors to part-time status.

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California Gov. Jerry Brown presents his proposed state budget, which needs tax hikes to balance. (Lezlie Sterling / MCT / January 5, 2012)

By Marc Lifsher
January 25, 2012, 10:43 a.m.

California’s combination of business, sales, income and other taxes ranks it close to the bottom of the 50 states for being business-friendly, according to an index put out by a conservative Washington think tank.

California placed 48th, ahead of only New York at 49th place and New Jersey at 50th, said a report released Wednesday by the Tax Foundation.

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Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
January 25, 2012

Less than a week after Gov. Jerry Brown claimed widespread business support for his ballot initiative to raise taxes – including donations from big healthcare and oil companies – the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and California chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business urged business groups this afternoon to resist any effort by Brown to “cajole” them.

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California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris walked away from talks with the banks last year, saying not enough was being offered for California homeowners. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

By Alejandro Lazo

January 25, 2012, 2:57 p.m.

Calif. Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris’ office has called a proposed $25-billion settlement with the nation’s mortgage industry “inadequate.”

“We’ve reviewed the details of the latest settlement proposal from the banks, and we believe it is inadequate for California,” Shum Preston, a spokesman for Harris, said in a statement. “Our state has been clear about what any multistate settlement must contain: transparency, relief going to the most distressed homeowners and meaningful enforcement that ensures accountability. At this point, this deal does not suffice for California.”

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The PE: AIRPORT: LA councilmen want to research Ontario transfer

BY KIMBERLY PIERCEALL
STAFF WRITER
kpierceall@pe.com

Published: 24 January 2012 09:02 PM

The last time a Los Angeles councilman proposed taking a serious look at what it would take to transfer control of Ontario International Airport back to the city of Ontario, the Inland city didn’t have a serious proposal.

Now it does.

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San Bernardino County supervisors Brad Mitzelfelt, First District; Janice Rutherford, Second District; Neil Derry, Third District; Gary Ovitt, Fourth District; and Josie Gonzales, Fifth District (File photos)

Joe Nelson, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 01/23/2012 03:05:32 PM PST

The president of San Bernardino County’s most powerful labor union announced Tuesday it is bankrolling an initiative to reduce county supervisors’ jobs to part-time status.

Read the rest of this entry »

Supervisor Josie Gonzales

BY IMRAN GHORI
STAFF WRITER
ighori@pe.com

Published: 24 January 2012 07:08 PM

San Bernardino County supervisors moved forward Tuesday with a proposal to require voter approval of future pension increases but face opposition from employee unions who quickly announced plans for a competing measure aimed at supervisors.

The board agreed to have county staff draft a ballot measure requiring voter approval before retirement benefits for county employees, legislative officers and elected officials could be increased. But final approval is not assured with supervisors split 3-2 on whether to consider the proposal.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Jim Steinberg Staff Writer
Posted: 01/24/2012 08:43:11 PM PST

The Fontana and Rialto city councils scrambled on Tuesday night to approve measures paving the way for a Feb. 1 deadline for the dissolution of their redevelopment agencies.

Meanwhile, because of the complexity of what needs to be accomplished in a short time frame, two bond-rating agencies have taken negative actions toward billions of dollars in California bonds secured by redevelopment tax increment revenue.

Read the rest of this entry »

VVDailyPress: VVUHSD, teachers union strike tentative deal

Agreement delays decisions on furlough days, benefits cuts
January 24, 2012 3:29 PM
Natasha Lindstrom, Staff Writer

VICTORVILLE • Three months after declaring an impasse, the Victor Valley Union High School District and its teachers union have struck a tentative agreement. (Click here to read the agreemment.)

But rather than resolve contentious compensation issues, the proposed deal essentially delays the hard decisions until negotiations resume in March for the 2012-13 school year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Details of the president’s annual speech to Congress came under harsh fire from members of the Inland region’s Republican delegation./AP

BY BEN GOAD
WASHINGTON BUREAU
bgoad@pe.com

Published: 24 January 2012 09:18 PM

WASHINGTON — The central initiatives laid out in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night seem tailored to address Inland Southern California’s largest problems: unemployment and the home foreclosure crisis.

Yet the details of his plan raised concerns from some area officials and came under harsh fire from members of the region’s predominantly Republican congressional delegation, signaling a contentious election year in Washington and a tough road ahead for the president’s agenda.

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Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
January 24, 2012

California voters like Gov. Jerry Brown’s idea of making high earners pay more taxes, but otherwise are of mixed minds about solving the state’s chronic budget woes, according to the Public Policy Institute of California’s latest poll on the topic.

Here are a few findings from the poll, released today:

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California State Controller John Chiang

PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State
January 24, 2012 | 1:51 pm

Democratic lawmakers sued state Controller John Chiang on Tuesday seeking limits on the controller’s right to withhold lawmakers’ pay during a budget stalemate.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

As the Legislature reconvened this month, California’s judges resumed their civil war over money and power.

It pits Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and the State Judicial Council, along with one faction of trial and appellate judges, against a rebellious faction, organized as the Alliance of California Judges, over how to allocate pain as the courts adjust to reduced financing.

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The PE: RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Union plans one-day strike

BY DUANE W. GANG
STAFF WRITER
dgang@pe.com

Published: 23 January 2012 10:39 PM

Riverside County’s second-largest union is planning a one-day general strike next week to protest the pension and benefit changes imposed on employees last year.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry

BY IMRAN GHORI
STAFF WRITER
ighori@pe.com

Published: 23 January 2012 08:14 PM

San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry will return to normal voting at today’s board meeting even as he sparred with federal officials over the exact nature of his eight-month suspension.

Due to criminal charges he faced last year, Derry had not taken part in votes involving federal funds.

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County supes to approve $2.63 million for SVL fire station
January 23, 2012 4:57 PM
Natasha Lindstrom, Staff Writer

SAN BERNARDINO • Two weeks after slashing their own benefits, San Bernardino County’s supervisors Tuesday will consider extending the compensation cuts to all county elected offices.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Joe Nelson, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 01/23/2012 03:05:32 PM PST

Two San Bernardino County supervisors are requesting that benefits for all county elected officials, not just the Board of Supervisors, be reduced to be in line with elected officials in other counties.

Supervisors Neil Derry and Janice Rutherford are pushing for the ordinance, which comes less than two weeks after the board approved a similar ordinance that reduced total compensation for future supervisors by roughly $48,000 annually.

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Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/23/2012 03:37:18 PM PST

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is poised to direct county administrators to draft a ballot measure that would require voter approval for any proposed increases to county employee retirement benefits.

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BY ALICIA ROBINSON
STAFF WRITER
arobinson@pe.com

Published: 23 January 2012 07:06 PM

“Let the next mayor’s campaign begin,” Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge declared in his final State of the City speech late last week.

Apparently the candidates listened, because a day later, the barbs began flying in what had so far been a quiet race.

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By Art Marroquin and Liset Márquez, Staff Writers
Created: 01/23/2012 04:05:25 PM PST

The president of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners on Monday called for a resolution stating that LA/Ontario International Airport will not be available for a transfer or sale for at least two years.

The move comes less than one week after Ontario embarked on a new public relations campaign known as “Set Ontario Free” to wrest control of the midsize airport from Los Angeles.

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Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 01/23/2012 10:37:37 AM PST

CHINO – City Council members agreed last week to hire an outside agency to find candidates to replace City Manager Patrick Glover, who will retire next month.

The agency – Bob Murray and Associates – will conduct a search for an outside candidate.

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LATimes: CalPERS earns 1.1% on investments in 2011

It falls short of the 7.75% average that actuaries say CalPERS needs to meet obligations. Calendar-year results are just indicators — the public pension fund’s fiscal year ends in June.

By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
January 24, 2012

Reporting from Sacramento— The nation’s largest public pension fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, posted a 1.1% return on its investment portfolio in 2011, Chief Investment Officer Joseph Dear told his board.

The 2011 performance was well below the estimated average annual return of 7.75% that the fund’s actuaries say is needed to meet current and future obligations to its members.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

The state budget contains hundreds of specific provisions but none is bigger, more complicated, more politicized, more emotional – or more important – than the 30 or so billion dollars that it spends on K-12 education.

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Rep. Nancy Pelosi needs a gain of 25 House seats.

Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Washington — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is predicting that Democrats will recapture the House in November, a move that could open the possibility of the San Francisco Democrat regaining the speakership and becoming the first politician to return to that office after a defeat since Texas Democrat Sam Rayburn in 1955.

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January 23rd, 2012, 9:20 pm
Posted by Teri Sforza, Register staff writer

As the lights are fading to black for California’s 425 redevelopment agencies, their successors will inherit $29.8 billion in unpaid long-term debt, according to the latest figures from the state controller’s office.

And that doesn’t include the wild-eyed issuance of at least $700 million in new debt last year, when the agencies had a hunch they’d soon be dismantled.

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InlandPolitics: Elder Hansberger tells it like it is

Monday, January 23, 2012 – 11:00 a.m.

You gotta hand it to Leroy Hansberger these days.

Yep, the truth hurts.

The life-log county resident, and father to former County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger, has been making it known his son ran a piss-poor campaign four years ago. A campaign in an election where his son lost to Supervisor Neil Derry.

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InlandPolitics: Ellis orchestrated anti-recall effort fails

Monday, January 23, 2012 – 09:30 a.m.

An anti-recall effort meant to protect certain members of the Fullerton city council flopped last week when recall backers turned in an overwhelming number of signatures to qualify a recall ballot.

The city council targets?

  • Don Bankhead: 17,064 signatures
  • F. Richard “Dick” Jones: 17,587 signatures
  • Patrick McKinley: 17,603 signatures

Of interest is news that the anti-recall effort was mounted by a figure familiar to San Bernardino County political circles.

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Looming retirements, especially of the Inland area’s Rep. Jerry Lewis, could leave the region without political heft for years

BY BEN GOAD
WASHINGTON BUREAU
bgoad@pe.com

Published: 22 January 2012 08:39 PM

WASHINGTON — When Inland Rep. Jerry Lewis leaves office at the end of the year, he’ll take with him one attribute that none of his potential successors can promise to replicate: seniority.

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Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley/The Press-Enterprise

THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE
Published: 22 January 2012 07:52 PM

Workin’ It

When Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. visited Riverside last week, a lot of the discussion was about the jobs created by goods movement and related construction projects such as the Magnolia Avenue underpass.

Add Laurence Parker to the job-creation list. Parker, waving an American flag and dressed as the Statue of Liberty, crashed Boxer’s presser to get a little attention for Liberty Tax Service, which has an office on Magnolia just north of the underpass. Usually he just stands in front of the office to draw the attention of drivers, much like a sign-spinner.

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Molly Davis, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/21/2012 03:24:10 PM PST

REDLANDS – Oranges. They’re all over Redlands. In the groves, on the street signs, on the city’s logo, even on the masthead of this newspaper.

And for the past few weeks, oranges have had members of the city baffled as they try to understand who has been managing the city’s groves.

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DailyBulletin: Battle picking up to represent 40th

Neil Nisperos and Benjamin Demers, Staff Writers
Created: 01/22/2012 06:22:41 PM PST

For two Rancho Cucamonga businessmen, the road to victory on Election Day in November got a tad easier in the wake of Rep. Jerry Lewis’ retirement earlier this month.

But before being able to represent the newly drawn 40th Assembly District, Republican Mike Morrell and Democrat Russ Warner will have to get past each other.

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Dan Walters

Published: Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Whenever someone suggests that California’s public employee pension systems need reform, civil service unions react dismissively, often with attacks on the credentials or even the morals of critics.

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