Archive for July 22nd, 2012

CNBC: Earnings Show Recession May Be ‘Fast Approaching’

By Jeff Cox | CNBC
Sunday, Juu 22, 2012
@cnbc on Twitter

While this quarter’s earnings reports have crossed a substantially lowered profit bar, future expectations through the year indicate a recession could be on the way.

Estimates for the third and fourth quarters have been dropped to levels not seen since the days of the 2008 financial crisis, below even the muted 2 percent expected level of inflation.

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County Supervisor Neil Derry left. Former San Manuel Tribal Chairman James Ramos right.

Sunday, July 22, 2012 – 11:30 a.m.

San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry picked up an unexpected supporter for his pension reform proposal this past week.

His opponent.

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The PE: REGION: Cities say they’re not going bankrupt

Officials with other Inland cities say they’re not in danger of declaring bankruptcy like San Bernardino.

BY JEFF HORSEMAN
STAFF WRITER
jhorseman@pe.com

Published: 21 July 2012 05:05 PM

It’s an obvious question after San Bernardino sought bankruptcy — is my city next?

The early answer, at least in the Inland area, is probably not. While three California cities plan to file for bankruptcy and more could follow, local officials say their finances aren’t at the breaking point.

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Members of San Bernardino City Fire Station 221 prepare to conduct training exercises in downtown San Bernardino. The recent filing of bankruptcy by the city may cause the city management to reconfigure the amount it contributes to all city employee pensions, including fire and police departments. (Gabriel Luis Acosta/Staff Photographer)
Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/21/2012 04:27:18 PM PDT

Special Section: San Bernardino

The deterioration of San Bernardino’s public finances to the point where city officials are willing to declare bankruptcy could be the prologue to another fight over public employee benefits.

Pension costs are not the only source of San Bernardino’s financial ills. The city’s own financial analysis blames weak revenues, deficit spending and accounting errors for a $45 million deficit.

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Supervisor Neil Derry

Point of View

Supervisor Neil Derry
Created: 07/21/2012 07:11:11 AM PDT

Over the last couple of years there has been growing discussion and dialogue about public employee pensions in San Bernardino County. My colleagues on the board have demonstrated leadership and expressed their support for the need to reform this growing financial burden on taxpayers – a liability that now exceeds $1.7 billion dollars. To put that in perspective, our general fund budget is $2.3 billion.

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SFChronicle: State parks scandal may undercut tax pitch

Wyatt Buchanan
Updated 10:28 p.m., Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sacramento –The scandal over a stash of $54 million in California’s Department of Parks and Recreation, which led to the resignation of the department’s director and firing of a deputy on Friday, will likely create problems for Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure in November, political observers said.

The governor used the threat of park closures as part of the narrative of the state’s desperate financial crisis even as some critics said it was merely a strategy to inflict unnecessary pain on the public to drum up support for new taxes. Now, the admission by top-level state officials that they were unaware the parks department had tens of millions in extra funds could undermine Brown’s pitch to voters that the state needs more of their tax dollars.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Jul. 22, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

As noted in this space and other venues, many provisions of the so-called “budget trailer bills” that the Legislature wrote in secret and hastily enacted last month had nothing, in fact, to do with the budget.

To establish a tenuous connection to the budget, Democratic legislators inserted token $1,000 appropriations in measures that make major changes in law.

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LADailyBuster: Pensions loom as budget buster

By Rick Orlov, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/21/2012 06:12:34 PM PDT
Updated: 07/22/2012 12:31:52 AM PDT

While some causes of San Bernardino’s fiscal crisis are unique to that Inland Empire city, at least one poses a growing threat to other municipalities throughout California: pension benefits.

San Bernardino has seen its pension obligations double in the past six years, and they are soon expected to take up about 15 percent of the city’s overall spending.

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High levels of hexavalent chromium, a toxic heavy metal, add to the hurdles Cadiz Inc. faces in its plan to ship water to the Southland.

 

By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
July 21, 2012

The Mojave Desert groundwater thatCadiz Inc.wants to sell to Southland suburbs contains hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen, in amounts that are hundreds of times greater than the state’s public health goal for drinking water.

The presence of the toxic heavy metal, which occurs naturally in the aquifer Cadiz proposes to tap, could force the company to undertake expensive treatment, driving up the cost of the project and ultimately the price of its water.

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