Archive for December 13th, 2009

TheSentinel: Nuaimi’s $170,000 Golden Handshake

Mark Nuaimi

Mark Nuaimi’s departure from his post as assistant city manager in Colton, ostensibly taken as a fiscal austerity measure included with the layoffs of 60 other Colton municipal employees, actually cost the city’s taxpayers $170,000, the Sentinel has learned.

Nuaimi was roundly applauded for not sparing himself in the bloodletting that took place at Colton City Hall in reaction to a worsening fiscal situation. When it was determined that city revenues for fiscal 2009-10 were running at close to $5 million less than what former city finance director Dilu De Alwis had projected and upon which the city council had finalized its 2009-10 budget, former acting city manager Bob Miller had requested that city employees consider accepting across-the-board salary reductions.

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internet poker

Approval could mean up to $250 million a year for California coffers, but it’s far from a sure bet.

By Patrick McGreevy

December 13, 2009

Reporting from Sacramento – With the state bracing for billions of dollars in budget shortfalls, a group of casinos is offering California leaders a stake in a new pot of money if they allow Internet poker sites to set up business in the state.

A consortium including the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and the Commerce Casino plans to take the idea to the state Legislature next month. The two would be among the gambling interests seeking to operate poker websites if the proposal were approved.

Gambling industry experts say $347 billion annually is wagered online globally, with millions of U.S. residents giving their credit card numbers to Internet sites so they can bet on poker games they play on their personal computers against other gamblers who are doing the same.

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SacBee: Dan Walters: A two-tier California is now reality

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

A quarter-century ago, in a series of Sacramento Bee articles that later morphed into a book, I described how California was undergoing dramatic economic and social change and quoted from a paper co-written by University of California, Davis, economist Philip Martin about the state’s future to wit:

“… The possible emergence of a two-tier economy with Asians and non-Hispanic whites competing for high-status positions while Hispanics and blacks struggle to get the low-paying service jobs. … ”

The concept of a segmented, even segregated, California was somewhat revolutionary in the mid-1980s. After all, wasn’t California the embodiment of mobile egalitarianism?

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VVDailyPress: Some council members out of the loop

By Brooke Edwards
Staff Writer

December 13, 2009

VICTORVILLE • When one or two council members have a meal with a private developer to discuss a potential project, some chalk it up to being active, pro-growth representatives for the city.

Others say it’s symptomatic of the way business has been conducted in Victorville for some time, meeting at the local watering hole and leaving some council members out of the loop.

Developers of the private DesertXpress train from Victorville to Las Vegas recently held a meeting in the Grumpy Golfer restaurant at Greentree Golf Course.

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Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 12/12/2009 06:08:28 AM PST

Endowments at local colleges have taken a hit as each scrambles for more money during a down economy.

James J. Floyd, associate vice president of investments at Claremont McKenna College, said endowments at each of the Claremont Colleges were in decline on June 30, when the endowment figure is determined.

“Everybody was down. The markets have rebounded a little bit since then,” Floyd said.

Despite the positive news, CMC trustees are trying to determine what lessons they can learn from last year, Floyd said.

“What we took was to look at our asset allocation and identify ways to mitigate the volatility going forward,” Floyd said.

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SBSun Editorial: City manager tackles first test

Colton-seal

Our view: With new city manager on board, Colton gets a fresh start.
Posted: 12/12/2009 05:29:56 PM PST

We extend a hearty welcome to Colton’s new city manager, veteran municipal administrator Rod Foster.

Foster, who began his tenure in Colton on Monday, has 23 years experience in city government, including turns as assistant city manager in Hesperia and Upland. He steps into his role in Colton at a critical time as the city faces a $5.9 million budget shortfall that stems, at least in part, from mistakes made by previous administrators.

The budget gap has already forced scores of layoffs and the temporary closure of the city’s libraries, which have since reopened on a reduced schedule.

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SBSun OpEd: What it takes to transform downtown SB

Jeff Mayer
Posted: 12/12/2009 05:14:12 PM PST

San Bernardino is embarking on a major transformation, a renaissance to be applauded locally by the San Bernardino community and on a broader scale by organizations such as the Urban Land Institute (ULI). Last April, San Bernardino officials presented a visioning effort for revitalizing downtown and solicited feedback from a panel of planning experts to gauge its feasibility. As a panelist, I was presented with the Vision Plan for Downtown San Bernardino, and saw great promise.

Clearly, the city has done its homework. I was impressed that they had retained professional counsel throughout the planning process from outside, objective experts. The result – a mindset change from a microscopic, “Band-Aid” approach to a comprehensive, macroscopic approach that encourages the city and businesses to work together to maximize land use for profitability and customer experience, a must for a successful revitalization effort.

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Jesse B. Gill, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/12/2009 03:49:39 PM PST

REDLANDS – The Redlands Unified School District has to make deep cuts to it operating budget next month and experts say the coming years will get worse before they get better.

The RUSD will have to cut at least $11.68 million in January. The district could have to cut $20 million more depending on education funding levels in the new state budget Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will deliver after the new year begins.

The district is looking at deep cuts including adult education programming and bus services for high schoolers.

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Rancho Cucamonga Seal

Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/12/2009 06:14:37 AM PST

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – A family claims they’re in the crosshairs of city officials because for hosting Christian gatherings in their home.

Joe and Diana Johnson say the city has been harassing them for hosting Bible studies in their rented house on Highgate Drive after a code enforcement officer determined the couple is disrupting the neighborhood by running a church there.

“We’re not going anywhere,” Diana Johnson said. “The Bible says (Christians) will suffer persecution for Christ. We realize they are not angry with us. They are angry with God.”

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