Archive for February, 2018

The Sun: Switching parties again, Joe Baca wants back in Congress

Former Inland congressman Joe Baca speaks at a 31st Congressional District candidate forum in this 2013 file photo (File photo by Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG).

By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
February 27, 2018 at 3:25 pm

Another election year, another comeback attempt for former Inland Rep. Joe Baca.

Read the rest of this entry »

Former San Bernardino County Supervisor Paul Biane, acquitted last August in an epic public corruption case that spanned nearly eight years, filed claims against the county and state on Friday alleging malicious prosecution. He is seeking more than $10 million in damages.

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
February 26, 2018 at 11:05 pm

Former San Bernardino County Supervisor Paul Biane filed malicious prosecution claims against the county and state on Friday, Feb. 23, seeking more than $10 million in damages, making him the last of the former Colonies corruption case defendants to do so.

Read the rest of this entry »

IE Business Daily: Former Colonies defendants form political action committee

The fundraising tool will seek out candidates who support open and honest government, according to its founders. It’s also going to set its sights on a certain district attorney.


February 26, 2018

The four former defendants in last year’s Colonies Crossroads corruption trial have formed a political action committee to support candidates they believe will practice open government.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Colonies Case: Biane files claim against county, state

Friday, February 23, 2018 – 06:30 p.m.

Former San Bernardino County Supervisor Paul Biane filed separate claims against both the county and State of California on Friday.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos at his office in San Bernardino, Calif. on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Ramos, who served since 2002, is seeking re-election. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The San Bernardino Sun/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
February 24, 2018 at 8:00 am

Seeking his fifth term as San Bernardino County’s top prosecutor, District Attorney Michael A. Ramos is facing two challengers in this year’s election race.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sun: Private investigator clears Adelanto mayor of sexual harassment allegations

By Brian Whitehead | bwhitehead@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: February 23, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Updated: February 23, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Adelanto Mayor Richard Kerr was cleared of sexual harassment allegations Friday after an independent investigator concluded he did not engage in unlawful sexual harassment nor violate city policies, city spokesman Michael Stevens said.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Ryan Hagen | rhagen@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: February 20, 2018 at 8:02 pm | Updated: February 20, 2018 at 8:50 pm

After two weeks of public calls for a vote on Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey’s attempted veto of a new contract for the city manager, the City Council formally voted Tuesday, Feb. 20, to stand by the city attorney’s opinion that the only way to reject the contract would be a lawsuit.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Dan Walters | Feb. 21, 2018 | Commentary

The essence of California’s pension crisis was on display last week when the California Public Employees Retirement System made a relatively small change in its amortization policy.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: February 19, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Updated: February 19, 2018 at 7:10 pm

The union representing Riverside County sheriff’s deputies has given at least $554,000 in direct and in-kind contributions to one of three candidates in the 2018 sheriff’s race, campaign finance records show.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Suzanne Hurt | shurt@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
February 19, 2018 at 3:36 pm

An effort to recall three Corona City Council members fizzled when the group was unable to gather enough signatures to put the issue on a ballot by the Sunday, Feb. 18 deadline.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County Judge passes away

Monday, February 19, 2018 – 10:30 a.m.

It is with great sadness that we report the passing San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Vic Stull.

Read the rest of this entry »

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia in 2016. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press)

By Matier & Ross
Published: February 17, 2018
Updated:   February 18, 2018 6:00am

The latest sex-harassment scandal in the state Legislature took an interesting turn the other day when four of state Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia’s former staffers alleged that she “spoke graphically” about having sex with other lawmakers in their offices.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Colonies Case: Burum claim available online

Sunday, February 18, 2018 – 06:00 p.m.

The fourth in a series of multi-million dollar claims related to the Colonies prosecution debacle, filed on January 30, 2018, is now available online.

Read the rest of this entry »



By Dan Walters | Feb. 18, 2018 | COMMENTARY

This year is the 40th anniversary of Proposition 13, the iconic property tax limit measure that California voters overwhelmingly endorsed in 1978.

Read the rest of this entry »

By John Wildermuth
Published: February 16, 2018
Updated:   February 17, 2018 – 8:41am

Rep. Doug LaMalfa, whose Butte County seat is considered among the safest Republican strongholds in the state, faces a long-shot opponent who has out-raised him for the campaign.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fourth-quarter apartment rents averaged $1,883 a month in Los Angeles County and $1,871 a month in Orange County, market tracker Reis Inc. reported recently. Rents in the region increased between 3 percent and 5.5 percent last year.

By Jeff Collins | JeffCollins@scng.com | Orange County Register
Published: February 15, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Updated: February 16, 2018 at 6:24 pm

A $300 rent hike threw Noemi Hernandez’ finances into a tizzy in 2016, forcing the part-time cashier to apply for food stamps and curtail spending on other things. A year later, her rent went up another $160.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Paul Rogers | progers@bayareanewsgroup.com
Leigh Poitinger | lpoitinger@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group
Published:  February 14, 2018 at 6:00 am
Updated:    February 14, 2018 at 2:58 pm

As California suffers through another dry winter, increasing fears that drought conditions may be returning, the state’s residents are dropping conservation habits that were developed during the last drought and steadily increasing their water use with each passing month.

Read the rest of this entry »

State income tax revenues for January totaled $16.34 billion, which was $2.53 billion higher than expected.

By Kathleen Pender
Published: February 13, 2018
Updated: February 13, 2018 – 4:00pm

California’s tax revenues far exceeded expectations in January for the second consecutive month, but it remains to be seen how much of the excess reflects underlying strength in the economy, versus people speeding up their 2017 state income tax payments while they were still fully deductible on federal tax returns.

Read the rest of this entry »

From left, Mayor Rusty Bailey, Mayor Pro Tem Chris Mac Arthur, City Manager John Russo and City Attorney Gary Geuss. A weekly planning meeting didn’t happen Monday, Feb. 12, when Bailey’s colleagues did not attend. (File photos)

By Ryan Hagen | rhagen@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: February 12, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Updated: February 12, 2018 at 7:19 pm

Since before Rusty Bailey was elected Riverside mayor in 2012, the city’s top officials — the mayor, city manager, city attorney, city clerk and mayor pro tem — have met nearly every Monday in what they call the Teamwork and Communication meeting.

But Monday, Feb. 12, everyone but Bailey refused to attend.

Read the rest of this entry »

It has not yet been publicly divulged whether either will substantiate the accusations against City Manager Gabriel Elliott or Mayor Rich Kerr.

By Shea Johnson
Staff Writer
@DP_Shea
Posted:    Feb 12, 2018 at 5:10 PM
Updated: Feb 12, 2018 at 5:10 PM

ADELANTO — Separate sexual harassment investigations into the city’s highest-ranking administrator and top public official have been completed, with written reports on each expected “imminently,” a city official said Monday.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Jeff Stein
February 12, 2018

California’s plan to shield residents from a tax hike under President Trump’s tax plan is likely to fail, said seven former high-ranking Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department officials.

Read the rest of this entry »

Business Wire: Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc. to Acquire Grandpoint Capital, Inc.

Business Wire
February 12, 2018

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc. (PPBI) (the “Company,” “Pacific Premier,” “we,” “us” or “our”), the holding company of Pacific Premier Bank (“Pacific Premier Bank”), and Grandpoint Capital, Inc. (OTC Pink: GPNC) (“Grandpoint”) today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Pacific Premier will acquire Grandpoint in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $641.2 million, or $18.57 per share, based on a closing price for Pacific Premier’s common stock of $39.10 as of February 9, 2018.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Filing period opens for June primary election

Monday, February 12, 2018 – 10:00 a.m.

It’s finally here. The long-awaited filing period for the June 5, 2018 primary election is officially open.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Ed Mendel
Monday, February 12, 2018

The use of the word “unsustainable” had a distant echo this month as the League of California Cities issued a study of CalPERS rates, a move to get stronger local options for controlling rising pension costs.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Monica Crowley, opinion contributor — 02/12/18 08:00 AM EST

In all of the discussions about the political weaponization of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI, alleged corruption at the highest echelons of those agencies and serial abuse of the secret FISA process surrounding the 2016 election, one name has been conspicuously absent: President Barack Obama.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
February 10, 2018 at 9:00 am

A consulting firm getting more than $40 million from Riverside County to make county government more efficient used a misleading measure to claim it improved response times at the Sheriff’s Hemet station, sheriff’s officials said in a wide-ranging critique of the firm’s efforts.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Imran Ghori | ighori@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: February 9, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Updated: February 9, 2018 at 6:43 pm

A Riverside County judge has sided with critics of the planned World Logistics Center in ruling that an environmental study for the project was flawed.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: February 9, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Updated: February 9, 2018 at 6:54 pm

San Bernardino County Supervisor James Ramos officially declared his candidacy Friday, Feb. 9, for the Inland state Assembly seat held by Rancho Cucamonga Republican Marc Steinorth.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
February 9, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Attorneys alleging the mishandling of reports of sexual abuse by former Redlands High School teacher and convicted sex offender Kevin Patrick Kirkland have sued another former teacher, alleging he sexually abused a student.

Read the rest of this entry »

More than 600 hundred brick buildings in the Inland Empire are unretrofitted and at risk of collapse during a major earthquake, despite decades of warning, a Times analysis has found

By Rosanna Xia, Rong-Gong Lin II and Raoul Rañoa
Feb 09, 2018 | 8:35 AM

In a fast-growing Inland Empire churning out new housing tracts, the city of Redlands is a throwback to an older, more regal era.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Liset Marquez | lmarquez@scng.com | Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
February 7, 2018 at 4:51 pm

Ontario-Montclair School District is facing a $5.5 million deficit for the 2018-19 school year due to declining enrollment and increasing retirement obligations.

Read the rest of this entry »

Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman with CDCR, pushed back on Ramos’ assertions, saying the board under the law must assess whether individuals have turned their lives around and they reject parole the vast majority of the time. “Unfortunately, D.A. Ramos is wrong on the facts and politicizing a serious process that’s been in place in California for more than a century,” Waters said in an email to the Daily Press. “The Parole Board is made up of law enforcement and public safety professionals with decades of experience, including a former prison warden, assistant sheriff, CHP division chief and supervising deputy district attorney, among others.”

By Shea Johnson, Staff Writer
Posted Feb 6, 2018 at 5:29 PM
Updated Feb 6, 2018 at 5:29 PM

“Are you kidding me? I mean what’s going on in this state?” Ramos told the Daily Press. “We’re going to have to take back this system.”

Strongly urging the governor to reject their recommendations, San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos castigated the California Board of Parole Hearings on Tuesday as liberal agendists after six convicted murderers in this County were granted parole last month.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County Attorney’s Union gives to Ramos, Rutherford

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 – 12:00 p.m.

How does the saying go? Time heals all wounds.

Apparently that’s the case with the relationship between the San Bernardino County Public Attorney’s Association (SBCPAA), and both County Supervisor Janice Rutherford and District Attorney Mike Ramos.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ken Petchow left. County Supervisor Janice Rutherford right.

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: February 5, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Updated: February 6, 2018 at 9:41 am

A member of the San Antonio Heights Association announced Monday he is running against incumbent Janice Rutherford for her seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Dow drops 1,175 points — Get over it!

February 5, 2018 – 03:00 p.m.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, a basket of thirty stocks, dropped 1,175 points at Monday’s close. The index had been down 1,600 earlier.

Read the rest of this entry »

Monday, February 5, 2018 – 11:00 a.m.

Rancho Cucamonga-based Attorney Jason Anderson has pulled initial papers to run for San Bernardino County District Attorney.

Read the rest of this entry »

Former Colonies trial bribery defendant, Mark Kirk, walks his daughter Audrey, 6, to school on Wednesday, November 8, 2017. Kirk walks his daughter to school nearly every day. (Sarah Alvarado for The Sun)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: February 5, 2018 at 11:35 am | Updated: February 5, 2018 at 11:55 am

Mark Kirk remembers one of the longest nights of his life: May 9, 2011 — the night before he surrendered himself to authorities at the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

Read the rest of this entry »

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) delivers his final State of the State address in Sacramento on Jan. 25. Democrats who want to replace him are aiming even further left in a state already known for its liberal politics. (Pool/Reuters)

By Scott Wilson
February 3, 2018

SACRAMENTO — For those who think California politics is on the far-left fringe of the national spectrum, stand by. The next election season, already well underway here, will showcase a younger generation of Democrats that is more liberal and personally invested in standing up to President Trump’s Washington than those leaving office.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday, February 4, 2018 – 07:00 p.m.

Congratulations to the Super Bowl LII champion Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles beat the New England Patriots in a hard fought battle in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Jim Erwin
Sunday, February 4, 2018 – 01:00 p.m.

Remember the small beleaguered San Bernardino-based Life Bank?

Yes, that sleepy bank owned by the former Life Financial Corporation. The same institution that withered down to an asset size of $250 million and a stock price of just 68 cents back in 2002.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
February 3, 2018 at 8:58 am

And they thought passage was the hard part.

Almost a year after Democratic leaders and a coalition of business, local government and labor interests lobbied furiously to get a massive road-repair bill through the state Legislature, the same alliance is ready to defend a 12-cent-per-gallon increase in California’s gas tax that’s key to the bill’s aim of raising more than $50 billion over 10 years.

Read the rest of this entry »

The County of San Bernardino Government Center in San Bernardino. (File art)

By Beau Yarbrough | byarbrough@scng.com | Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Published: February 2, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Updated: February 2, 2018 at 7:50 pm

California legislators aren’t the only ones named in documents released Friday regarding public harassment in California’s state capital.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Jim Steinberg | jsteinberg@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
February 3, 2018 at 7:01 pm

A division director for the San Bernardino County Probation Department has been put on administrative leave following a felony arrest Wednesday, Jan. 31, the agency’s spokeswoman said Saturday.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Dan Walters | Feb. 4, 2018 | Commentary

From one end of California to the other, hundreds of cities are facing a tsunami of pension costs that officials say is forcing them to reduce vital services and could drive some—perhaps many—into functional insolvency or even bankruptcy.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Read the documents related to Russia Investigation

By Jim Erwin
Saturday, February 3, 2018 – 07:30 p.m.

Well the pot is boiling now that the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Intelligence memo, drafted by the committee majority, commonly-referred to as the Nunes-Memo, has been declassified by President Donald Trump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fed caps growth at Wells Fargo over sham accounts, other consumer abuses.

By James Rufus Koren
Feb 02, 2018 | 5:25 PM

The Federal Reserve ordered Wells Fargo & Co. on Friday to cap its growth and improve its corporate governance, punishment for what the regulator called “widespread consumer abuses and other compliance breakdowns” at the San Francisco financial giant.

Read the rest of this entry »

By John Myers
Feb. 1, 2018 – 3:53 p.m.

Citing limited options for raising local taxes, the association representing hundreds of California cities warned that rising public employee pension costs might mean fewer services and longer emergency response times over the next several years.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Liam Dillon
Feb. 1, 2018 – 3:30 p.m.

Almost every city and county in California will have to streamline its rules for approving new housing following the passage of legislation last year, the state Department of Housing and Community Development said Thursday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bloomberg: California Could See the Return of $4 Gasoline by May

By Milana Vinn
January 31, 2018, 12:12 PM PST

  • Price at the pump rose to $3.30, the highest since 2015
  • Increase in state’s gasoline taxes adds pressure on consumers

Motorists in California, the state with the most expensive gasoline, could see pump prices that begin with a 4 again as oil markets rally.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Adam Ashton
aashton@sacbee.com
February 01, 2018 – 12:01 AM

California’s swelling budget reserves are approaching a point where the state by law can’t save any more money ‑ but don’t expect a tax rebate.

Read the rest of this entry »