Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland enraged Issa when he made public Tuesday the entire five-hour transcript of an interview with the IRS manager in Cincinnati whose office targeted for scrutiny conservative groups like the Tea Party seeking 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status. The conservative Republican manager pointedly rebutted Issa’s allegations that the White House proposed or directed his office’s activities. Read More
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that the country will need to spend $384.2 billion over the next 20 years to upgrade the infrastructure necessary to provide Americans with clean drinking water, and more than 11% of that work needs to be done in California. Read More
Judging by Superior Court Judge Andrew Sweet’s comments, Joseph Naso is not off to a good start. Reuters reported that on Day Two, the judge admonished Naso for repeatedly interrupting a witness and “several other transgressions of trial decorum.” The judge accused him of trying to turn the trial into a “circus” and warned him that he could lose the right to defend himself. Read More
All four lawsuits attack the plan’s balancing act between its two avowed goals of protecting the Delta and providing more water for Californians. But they don’t agree on whose ox is being gored. At the core of their discomfort is that all parties are already suffering a loss of resources in a zero-sum game that is still shrinking. Read More
When California began moving 880,000 children from Healthy Families to save money and allegedly provide better, more coordinated care, parents of children who received Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) were told insurance coverage would continue. Turns out, that is not the case. Read More
Maplight, a website that focuses on money’s influence on politics, identified 12 bills under consideration during the legislative session that were relevant to fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing.
Seven were stalled (and are probably dead), three were defeated and, by Maplight’s count, two are still under active consideration. But one of those two, Assembly Bill 665, simply increases indemnity bonds for abandoned wells. Read More
The U.S. Supreme Court put a crimp in Port of Los Angeles efforts to expand without causing more air pollution by striking down regulations requiring off-site parking and rules ordering companies to place “How Am I Driving?” placards on their trucks.
The port’s 2008 rules were in response to criticism from environmentalists and community activists who opposed expansion of the port unless something was done about the miserable air generated by trucks. Read More
Troubled Exide Technologies was already scrambling to fend off creditors and restructure the company when a California regulatory agency shut down its huge Vernon battery recycling plant in the middle of Los Angeles County in April. Consumer advocate Liza Tucker said the $10 million posted by the company will not be enough to cover the plant’s cleanup. “That will not come close to actually cleaning up all the contamination at the site,” she wrote Read More
The legislation changes existing law to give local and state agencies the power to restrict public data to electronic formats, like pdf files (rather than spreadsheets or cvs files), which cannot be used in databases that are conducive to analysis. Local governments would also be allowed to deny written requests for public records without giving a reason, or, if the mood strikes them, not to respond at all. Read More
The lawsuit claims that “HIV/AIDS patients face a potentially life-threatening decision that also threatens their privacy” because of United Healthcare’s requirement that they use mail-order pharmacies. Many of the drugs used by HIV/AIDS patients need refrigeration, but delivery to a house, apartment or office could be problematic for more than just safety reasons. Read More
Back in March it became known that Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget contained a provision to levy a $10 fee on anyone requesting a court record. The seemingly small fee is actually a large impediment to journalists who routinely request access to 10 or more documents in the course of a day.
Researchers working for law firms, landlords and companies who scour court records for information on debts, probate and evictions would also feel the impact. Read More
It probably won’t bring supporters of the Keystone Pipeline XL to their knees, but San Francisco State University (SFSU) has joined a growing number of schools in the country that won’t invest money in coal and tar sands companies.
The school announced on Tuesday that its foundation, with assets of $51.2 million, voted in May to also consider pulling all its investments in fossil fuels. Read More
Democratic Assembly members Mariko Yamada and Bob Blumenfield introduced Assembly Bill 518 in February to restore permanent funding to the program and last month the Assembly unanimously approved it. But Yamada refused to sign off on a Senate Health Committee amendment that would allow more for-profit companies to provide the care and the bill died without a vote this week, according to Dan Walters at the Sacramento Bee, after an “awkward conversation” with Democratic members of the panel. Read More
Before Democratic state lawmakers and Governor Jerry Brown reached agreement Monday on key state budget items, they fended off GOP legislators, huddled with lobbyists, negotiated with interest groups, studied polls and gathered anecdotal evidence of the popular will.
But they lacked what the once-bankrupt city of Vallejo had for its budget deliberations—a Top 12 list of preferences from the residents. Read More
Conservationists think the move is premature. “This is like kicking a patient out of the hospital when they’re still attached to life support,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity. Gray wolves remain scarce or non-existent in California, New England, upstate New York and parts of the Northwest where researchers say they would thrive if given a chance. Read More
Following up on his trip to China, the governor met with Chinese officials this past week in California to talk about economic development opportunities. Meanwhile, Japanese troops are coming to California to participate in joint military exercises. China, which is fighting with Japan over islands they both claim, is not happy. Read More
The larger the median, the larger the ideological disparity between the parties. The congressional median is around 1.2. Louisiana is the least divisive state at 0.5.
California is literally off the grid, which only goes up to 2.5. California’s score looks to be around 3.0. The next closest to California is Colorado at 2.2. Read More
Democratic State Senator Michael J. Rubio surprised his party and the governor when he announced last Friday that he would be resigning his seat to take a job as the manager of California government affairs for Chevron Corporation. Rubio, 35, said he wanted to spend more time with his wife and two young children, one of whom as special needs. Read More
Sentencing reform advocate and former Pennsylvania prisons chief Jeffrey A. Beard was named Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Wednesday by Governor Jerry Brown. He replaces Matthew Cate, who left in October after four and a half years to head the California State Association of Cities. Read More
Governor Jerry Brown, reaching outside the park service community, went career military instead and picked retired Major General Anthony L. Jackson, 63, as director of the troubled Department of Parks and Recreation on Tuesday.
Jackson replaces Ruth Coleman, who resigned in July after $54 million was found stashed in department accounts while 70 state parks faced closure because of budget cuts. Read More
The Catholic Diocese of San Diego fired a longtime elementary school teacher and kicked her four kids out after it became known that her ex-husband, who had a history of domestic abuse and had instigated a ruckus at the school before, was getting out of jail.
Carie Charlesworth made $37,000 a year and does not presently have any employment prospects. She doesn’t know where her kids will go to school in the fall. Read More
After the board botched her firing—they voted 5-4 without public notice behind closed to doors to can her, in violation of the Brown Act—she threatened to sue and negotiated a lucrative package before resigning. Dugger was also allowed to remain on the payroll for 19 months, drawing benefits and accruing an extra two months vacation time Read More
To average 87,000 gallons a day, Kreusser’s pipes would have to leak the equivalent of an Olympic size swimming pool under her property every seven days. Someone probably would have notice the resulting sinkhole.
When Kreusser protested, the utility offered to cut the bill in half. Instead of paying, she sued the city for $300,000. Read More