US: California (News/Activism)

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  • George Lucas might build affordable housing

    05/20/2012 12:20:42 PM PDT · by SmithL · 32 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/20/12 | Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross, Chronicle Columnists
    "Star Wars" creator George Lucas could, indeed, make good on his idea of building affordable housing right next door to the high-income NIMBYs who blocked his plans for a production studio near his Lucas Valley ranch complex. His Marin County neighbors and conservationists have dismissed Lucas' musings as sour grapes, and say low-income housing could never be built in such a remote and environmentally sensitive location.But those in the know disagree.There's a feeling on the Board of Supervisors, which has final say over the project, that it fits into the county's desire for more low-income housing - and by the...
  • Night herons settling down in downtown Oakland

    05/20/2012 9:51:40 AM PDT · by thecodont · 11 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Sunday, May 20, 2012 | Carolyn Jones
    Downtown Oakland has no shortage of wildlife. Now it even has some of the nonhuman variety. A colony of giant, squawking, black-crowned night herons has taken up residence in the gritty urban core of Oakland, apparently thriving amid the tattoo parlors and Afghan restaurants, Occupiers and bus exhaust. "Oh my God, I saw one walking right down 14th Street. I'm like, 'What is that?' " said Jalima Morales, 26, who saw a few more of the striking blue birds as she was walking down Jackson Street recently. "Now I see them all the time. They're so loud. It sounds like...
  • California State Senate Passes Anti-Gun Legislation

    05/20/2012 7:59:48 AM PDT · by marktwain · 8 replies
    Ammoland ^ | 18 May, 2012 | NRA-ILA
    Charlotte, NC --( The battle for your Second Amendment rights continues to rage in Sacramento. On Monday, May 14, the California Senate passed two bills that are detrimental to California gun owners. Senate Bill 1315 passed in the state Senate by a vote of 21 to 14 and Senate Bill 1366 passed by a vote of 23 to 14. Senate Bill 1315, introduced by anti-gun extremist state Senator Kevin de León (D-22), is just a stepping stone to completely destroying California’s firearm preemption law. Firearm preemption laws are in place to standardize firearm laws across the state. This critical law...
  • California's high speed rail boondoggle just won't die (Jerry Brown still wants $100 billion rail)

    05/20/2012 7:57:01 AM PDT · by Qbert · 13 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 5/20/2012 | Rick Moran
    The Wall Street Journal has the backstory about how Governor Jerry Brown is insisting on trying to complete the high speed rail plan despite a budget shortfall of $16 billion: Transportation experts warn that the 500-mile bullet train from San Francisco to Los Angeles could cost more than $100 billion, though the Governor pegs the price at a mere $68 billion. The state has $12.3 billion in pocket, $9 billion from the state and $3.3 billion from the feds, but Mr. Brown hasn't a clue where he'll get the rest. [Snip] In 2008 voters approved $9 billion in bonds for...
  • Nancy Pelosi Defends Dems Rev. Wright Fundraising Appeal

    05/20/2012 6:56:02 AM PDT · by Sub-Driver · 14 replies
    Nancy Pelosi Defends Dems Rev. Wright Fundraising Appeal ABC House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi defended the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on “This Week” for sending a fundraising email that attempted to capitalize on the apparently dead advertising plan to link President Obama to Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The plan has been repudiated by Mitt Romney as well as the head of the super PAC reported to have been considering backing the plan. “Why would we have any regrets?” asked Pelosi, dismissing Romney’s rejection of the proposed advertising campaign. During our interview, Pelosi cited a previous attack by Romney on President Obama...
  • California’s Train to Nowhere

    05/20/2012 5:41:13 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 2 replies ^ | May 20, 2012 | Daniel J. Mitchell
    I’ve explained before that “high-speed rail” is a boondoggle, and I’ve also posted a thorough presentation on the topic from the folks at Reason about this issue. But some politicians can’t resist throwing good money after bad on these money-losing schemes. The latest example is from the People’s Republic of California, where Governor Jerry Brown is acting as if he wants the state to become a basket case.Here are some passages from the Wall Street Journal’s editorial on the topic.The good news in this debacle is that the state’s fiscal woes will make it nearly impossible to complete Governor Jerry...
  • Port of LA ship gas leak cause still unknown

    05/19/2012 4:43:21 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 6 replies
    KABC) ^ | Saturday, May 19, 2012
    LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Firefighters are still trying to figure out what caused a gas leak that prompted a ship to be evacuated at the Port of Los Angeles. The incident began Friday afternoon in the 700 block of East New Dock Street at Henry Ford Avenue. Fire officials said an unknown gas was leaking from a large container in the cargo ship. Fire crews unloaded several containers one by one before stopping the spill. Officials still don't know what kind of gas was leaking. The ship was leaving Los Angeles when the leak was reported. Officials have not said...
  • California's budget problems linger while many other states shape up

    05/19/2012 11:20:36 AM PDT · by SmithL · 19 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/19/12 | David Siders
    The pile-on was in full effect within hours of Gov. Jerry Brown's announcement this week that California's budget deficit had grown to $15.7 billion, with The Week giving its national audience a summary of the Golden State's financial affairs. "California's financial apocalypse," the magazine offered. "A concise guide." Fox News played the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Californication," and host Greg Gutfeld proclaimed Brown captain of "the Titanic that is California, a state so broke it may ask Greece for a loan." On Friday, the Democratic governor slapped back on national TV. "This is not Europe," Brown told Charlie Rose on...
  • The teachers union that's failing California

    05/19/2012 7:11:47 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 51 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | May 18, 2012 | OP-ED
    California's education tailspin has been blamed on class sizes, on the property tax restrictions enforced by Proposition 13, on an influx of Spanish-speaking students. But no portrait of the schools' downfall would be complete without mention of the California Teachers Assn., or CTA, arguably the state's most powerful union and a political behemoth that has blocked meaningful education reform, protected failing and even criminal educators, and pushed for pay raises and benefits that have reached unsustainable levels. The CTA's power dates back to September 1975, when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Rodda Act, which allowed teachers to bargain collectively. Within...
  • Centrist GOP candidates may offer chance to end California gridlock

    05/19/2012 7:04:04 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 10 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | May 19, 2012 | By Michael J. Mishak and Anthony York
    SACRAMENTO — For years, running for office as a Republican in California boiled down to one core pledge, bound by a candidate's signature and enforced with a vengeance: no new taxes. Not anymore. The state's new political landscape, scrambled by freshly drawn voting districts and new election rules, has given rise to a handful of GOP hopefuls proudly bucking the anti-tax orthodoxy. Their candidacies have the potential to end years of partisan gridlock here. The creation of more centrist districts and the end of the party primary system have given candidates — and special interests — an incentive to move...
  • Calguns Foundation Defends Innocent Gun Owner From Criminal Charges, Secures $35,800 Settlement

    05/19/2012 6:48:08 AM PDT · by marktwain · 11 replies ^ | 14 May, 2012 | CalGuns Foundation
    San Carlos, CA (May 14, 2012) – In an excellent conclusion to another federal civil rights lawsuit, The Calguns Foundation has secured a settlement agreement from defendants the City of Calexico, the Calexico Police Department, Chief of Police James Neujahr, and Calexico PD officer Mario Alcaraz. The case, Ian James Farias v. City of Calexico, et al., alleged that the defendants violated Mr. Farias’ Fourth Amendment rights by improperly arresting him and seizing his lawfully-possessed shotgun. The lawsuit also alleged that the Calexico PD failed to properly train their officers on firearms issues, leading to Mr. Farias’ arrest. Mr. Farias...
  • Police chief: Man who killed Gil acted in self-defense(CA)

    05/19/2012 6:15:45 AM PDT · by marktwain · 8 replies ^ | 17 May , 2012 | Tom Dunlap
    WATSONVILLE — Charges won’t be filed in the stabbing death of Brandon Gil in March, because investigators have determined that the suspect acted in self-defense. Watsonville Police Chief Manny Solano said Thursday that investigators determined that on March 31, after words were exchanged, Gil and another man, Ricardo Flores, attacked Frank Garcia first, outside El Miramar Restaurant and Bar on Main Street. Gil allegedly stabbed Frank Garcia in the upper body, and Garcia defended himself. “(Garcia) responded in fear of his life,” Solano said, adding that “this was a beef within the gang.” The three men are all associated with...
  • Frank Edward Ray, hero in Chowchilla school bus hijacking, dies at 91

    05/18/2012 10:43:45 PM PDT · by peggybac · 10 replies
    KC Star ^ | 5/18/12 | Elaine Woo
    Frank Edward Ray, the school bus driver hailed as a hero for helping to lead 26 children to safety after a bizarre kidnapping in the San Joaquin Valley town of Chowchilla, Calif., 36 years ago, has died. He was 91. Ray died Thursday in Chowchilla of complications of cirrhosis of the liver, said his granddaughter, Susan Ray. On the next-to-last day of summer school in July 1976, Ray was driving a busload of children home when he slowed down on tree-lined Avenue 21 for a white van blocking the road. Three masked men with guns jumped out and hijacked the...
  • Gov. mistakenly says Facebook invented in Calif.

    05/18/2012 8:56:00 PM PDT · by SmithL · 9 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 5/18/12
    Apparently, California Gov. Jerry Brown forgot to rent "The Social Network." In an appearance Friday on "CBS This Morning," the California governor said his state is still the land of innovation and where Facebook was invented. He added: "Not in Texas, not in Arizona, not in Manhattan and certainly not, you know, under the White House or the Congress." . . .
  • Bay Area congressmembers call Safeway lawyer’s joke ‘sexist’

    05/18/2012 8:31:51 PM PDT · by SmithL · 30 replies
    Inside Bay Area ^ | 5/18/12 | Lisa Vorderbrueggen
    What’s good for Jay Leno, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert is apparently not good for corporate lawyers.A group of Bay Area congressmembers sent a stern letter to Pleasanton-based Safeway CEO Steve Burd admonishing the grocery giant for a joke its top lawyer reportedly made at the expense of Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi during a May 15 stockholder meeting.General Counsel Robert Gordon reportedly told a joke involving the Secretary of State and the House Minority Speaker from San Francisco, pigs and the Secret Service. Gosh, it already sounds funny. (Read the full narrative below.)Lighten up, people.If members of Congress start...
  • 19-term Dem Rep. Pete Stark rejects debates, isn’t campaigning; gets Obama endorsement

    05/18/2012 6:53:16 PM PDT · by SmithL · 15 replies
    SFGate: Politics Blog ^ | 5/18/12 | Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writer
    Even as he faces his most competitive Congressional challenge in decades, 19-term East Bay Democratic Rep. Pete Stark, 80, has cut back on local campaign appearances –and turned down two upcoming debates sponsored by five area Chambers of Commerce and an Asian Pacific Islander group in his district. Stark’s retreat from public and campaign appearances in the East Bay in the midst of a heated campaign has been noticeable since he made headlines recently with some eyebrow-raising campaign gaffes at a Chronicle editorial board and at a public debate in Hayward. The California Congressional delegation’s longest serving member, who has...
  • Conservative Third-Party Dreams and Realities

    05/18/2012 4:46:32 PM PDT · by iowamark · 29 replies
    American Thinker ^ | April 29, 2012 | Daren Jonescu
    Tea Partiers and other constitutionally minded Americans for whom "Anyone but Obama" rings hollow, and who still harbor hopes of a third-party challenge to the GOP establishment, may find food for thought in a living example of such a conservative challenge -- namely, Canada. Americans would benefit from a careful evaluation of their neighbors' success. For decades, Canadian conservatives fought the same uphill battle as their U.S. counterparts, though lacking the constitutional armor with which to defend themselves. The nation moved continually to the left, and at the federal level, electoral politics was dominated by the increasingly socialistic Liberal Party....
  • Can liberals "wish" socialist utopia into existence?

    05/18/2012 11:57:17 AM PDT · by ReformationFan · 18 replies
    Renew America ^ | 5-17-12 | Chris Adamo
    California is in the midst of a monstrous debt crisis, the inescapable result of its leading Democrats having gambled on an annual deficit less than $9.2 billion (an immense sum in itself), but now facing a shortfall of nearly twice that amount. For the good of the country, anyone who is actually surprised at this development should be barred from voting in any election until they can pass a third-grade remedial math exam. The inevitability of the California crisis has long been glaringly obvious to all but the most ideologically blinded leftists. Unfortunately, the government of the Golden State is...
  • California unemployment has improved to Eurozone levels

    05/18/2012 11:12:08 AM PDT · by freedombiz · 1 replies
    Orange County Register ^ | 5-18-12 | Mark Landsbaum
    Today we awoke to the good news. California’s unemployment rate has plunged to (drum roll please) 10.9 percent! That’s as good as the unemployment rate in the euro zone, where people out of work also account for 10.9 percent of the working population, a new high for those folks. How bad is 10.9 percent? Well, the New York Times gives some perspective, saying the rate shows: “that the euro zone economy remains distressed.”
  • Judicial Watch Files Taxpayer Lawsuit against City of LA over Illegal Alien Sanctuary Policies

    05/18/2012 10:58:12 AM PDT · by kevcol · 7 replies
    Breitbart ^ | May 17, 2012 | Tom Fitton
    On Wednesday we filed a taxpayer lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department, Police Chief Charlie Beck and members of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners over Special Order 7. Under this policy police officers will no longer immediately impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers for 30 days, as long as they meet certain conditions. It's no secret that this policy change was made to specifically accommodate illegal aliens. The problem is that Special Order 7 is unlawful. And, for this reason, Judicial Watch's lawsuit on behalf of Harold P. Sturgeon, filed May 8, 2012, in the Superior Court...
  • California unemployment rate dips to 10.9%; state loses 4,200 jobs

    05/18/2012 8:54:07 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 7 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | May 18, 2012 | By Ricardo Lopez
    California employers trimmed their April payrolls by 4,200 jobs last month, snapping a string of eight straight months of employment growth. The unemployment rate declined last month to 10.9% from 11% in March, but only because discouraged workers left the labor force, according to figures released Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. California’s unemployment rate remains well above the national rate of 8.1%. Only two states have higher unemployment rates than California: Nevada (11.7%) and Rhode Island (11.2%).
  • Firm wins $1.6 million in Internet libel case

    05/18/2012 8:10:43 AM PDT · by freedombiz · 5 replies
    Orange County Register ^ | 5-18-12 | Jan Norman
    An Anaheim technology company and its top executive have won $1.56 million in an Internet defamation case that illustrates the potential seriousness of false information put online. Such cases may be a backlash to people who like to vent online., hitting such online commenters in the wallet if they can’t prove their rants.
  • Hoarding Tax Dollars (contractor discovers the depth of government profligacy in California)

    05/18/2012 7:37:05 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 7 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 05/18/2012 | Scott Mayer
    California is headed for the fiscal cliff even sooner than was expected, as the budget deficit has suddenly grown from a projected $9.2 billion to $16 billion. Governor Brown, who helped put California on its current unsustainable path during a prior term as governor, wants to raise taxes even higher, which will further cripple the economy of this already over-taxed state. Of course, Brown and Democrat-controlled legislature can't find any legitimate areas where spending could be cut and instead threaten to slash spending for schools and public safety. This is akin to an alcoholic who, when confronted with a lower...
  • Vallejo Family Demands Answers After Police Officer Kills Dog

    05/17/2012 10:50:09 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 40 replies
    CBSlocal ^ | 5/17/12
    A Vallejo police officer shot and killed Belle when he felt threatened during a routine house visit on May 16, 2012 VALLEJO (CBS SF) - A Vallejo family demands answers after a police officer shot and killed one of their dogs when he came to their house Wednesday to investigate an identity theft. Officer Chase Calhoun went to the family’s home near the corner of Kentucky and Trinity streets around noon Wednesday to take a statement. According to Vallejo Police, he heard two dogs growl, then saw them charge, as he opened the front gate of the home. Calhoun...
  • For Jewish Voters, Congressman Photoshops In His Jewish Mother

    05/17/2012 10:18:45 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 14 replies
    BuzzFeed ^ | May 17, 201 | Rebecca Elliot
    Rep. Brad Sherman, in a fierce fight for re-election in his Los Angeles district, got caught photoshopping his mother into some versions of a mailing. A source provided BuzzFeed the extended version of the mom-added mailing, which offers a likely explanation: It was part of a package aimed at Jewish voters
  • Field set to replace Nadia Lockyer

    05/17/2012 7:23:38 PM PDT · by SmithL
    Oakland Tribune ^ | 5/17/12 | Matthew Artz and Angela Woodall
    OAKLAND -- Eight candidates are vying to replace disgraced ex-Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer including three veteran city politicians and Lockyer's predecessor Gail Steele. The major names in addition to Steele are Union City Mayor Mark Green, who also is running for State Assembly; former Union City Councilman Richard Valle, who also is running to be that city's mayor; and Newark Councilwoman Ana Apodaca, who lost a mayoral bid last year. County supervisors next month are scheduled to appoint Lockyer's successor, who will serve through the November general election, when voters in Hayward, Union City, Newark, Sunol and north Fremont...
  • CARLSBAD: Police officer admits heroin theft from evidence room (CA)

    05/17/2012 4:15:06 PM PDT · by Half Vast Conspiracy
    North County Times ^ | may 17, 2012 | TERI FIGUEROA
    A Carlsbad officer who was once a vice and narcotics detective accused of stealing heroin from his police department's evidence room earlier this year pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree burglary. The officer, Michael C. Koch, will be back in front of a Vista judge for his formal sentencing June 20, according to the prosecutor, San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Paul Azevedo. Snip The arraignment judge allowed Koch to remain free on his own recognizance. Snip In 2000, Koch was named in a civil rights lawsuit filed in federal court.
  • HP’s Whitman to Announce Restructuring Plan Wednesday; 30,000 Jobs Targeted

    05/17/2012 3:37:09 PM PDT · by John W · 10 replies
    All Things D ^ | May 17, 2012 | Arik Hesseldahl
    The daunting task of restructuring Hewlett-Packard will begin in earnest next Wednesday when the company reports its quarterly earnings. Sources familiar with the company’s plans say that CEO Meg Whitman will discuss the opening steps of a company-wide restructuring plan that will include the elimination of about 30,000 jobs. A report by Business Insider yesterday pegged the range of cuts at HP to between 10 percent and 15 percent of its current work force of 320,000 people. But sources familiar with HP’s plans tell AllThingsD that the cuts will be carried out over a relatively long period of time, perhaps...
  • California Supreme Court to decide if illegal immigrant can practice law

    05/17/2012 10:48:25 AM PDT · by kevcol · 19 replies
    Contra Costa Times ^ | May 17, 2012 | Howard Mintz
    The California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to consider whether the State Bar has the authority to license an undocumented immigrant and allow him to become a practicing lawyer. In their weekly closed-door conference, the justices unanimously decided to consider the case of Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who graduated from Chico State University
  • USS Harvey Milk would be a fitting tribute

    05/17/2012 8:06:18 AM PDT · by SmithL · 58 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/17/12 | C.W. Nevius
    Petty local politics shouldn't ruin a truly meaningful national gesture, which is naming a U.S. Navy ship after gay icon Harvey Milk. A ship named for the first openly gay supervisor in San Francisco seems like such a bold and audacious gesture that you wonder whether the Navy would consider such a thing. Actually, it might. Last week, the service commissioned the Cesar Chavez, a ship named for the Mexican American labor leader. Chavez served two years in the Navy during World War II. So the Harvey Milk makes sense. Although it would be controversial in conservative political circles -...
  • Parolee Charged In Arson Fire At Catholic Church

    05/16/2012 10:27:45 PM PDT · by Steelfish · 5 replies
    LATimes ^ | May 16, 2012
    Parolee Charged In Arson Fire At Catholic Church [Pic in URL] May 16, 2012 A 34-year-old parolee was charged Wednesday with torching a Hacienda Heights Catholic church, authorities said. Gregory Yusuke Shiga allegedly broke into John Vianney Catholic Church after midnight April 16, 2011, and ignited a blaze with a flammable material, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. The fire caused more than $6.5 million in damage. Shiga is on parole and was arrested Monday at his home in Los Angeles, the Sheriff's Department said in a statement. The department did not say why Shiga was on...
  • After suspending butcher who defended pregnant woman, Safeway faces public wrath

    05/16/2012 7:47:24 PM PDT · by artichokegrower · 66 replies
    Santa Cruz Sentinel ^ | 05/16/2012 | KATE MOSER
    When Ryan Young, a butcher at the Del Rey Oaks Safeway, stopped a customer from hitting his pregnant girlfriend in the store last month, he won praise from the police department. But Safeway slapped Young with a suspension — without pay — while the company investigates the altercation. The story, which appeared Tuesday on KION, has spurred a public relations headache for the supermarket chain. Its Facebook page was peppered with outraged comments. "Safeway is taking this matter seriously," Safeway spokeswoman Wendy Gutshall said in a statement. "We have store security video of the incident and have been engaged in...
  • [Manny] Pacquiao Banned from L.A. Mall for Opposing Same-Sex Marriage

    05/16/2012 5:32:00 PM PDT · by Justaham · 16 replies ^ | 5/16/12 | Ben Shapiro
    The “tolerant” same-sex marriage left has struck again – this time, at the popular hangout The Grove, in Los Angeles. The owner of The Grove, Rick Caruso, tweeted that iconic boxing great and Philippines Congressman Manny Pacquiao would not be allowed “on the premises” thanks to Pacquiao’s outspoken opposition to same-sex marriage. “Boxer Manny Pacquiao is not welcome @TheGroveLA,” he tweeted. “@TheGroveLA is a gathering place for all Angelenos, not a place for intolerance.” Pacquiao was supposed to do an interview today with “Extra” at The Grove.
  • State Supreme Court to decide if illegal immigrant can practice law

    05/16/2012 6:43:34 PM PDT · by SmithL · 35 replies
    San Jose Mercury News ^ | 5/16/12 | Howard Mintz
    The California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to consider whether the State Bar has the authority to license an undocumented immigrant and allow him to become a practicing lawyer. In their weekly closed-door conference, the justices unanimously decided to consider the case of Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who graduated from Chico State University, a Florida law school and passed the state Bar exam in July 2009 but has been stalled in his bid to secure his California law license.
  • Oakland law targets violent protesters

    05/16/2012 6:38:11 PM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies
    Oakland Tribune ^ | 5/16/12 | Matthew Artz
    OAKLAND -- A proposed law would make it easier for police to arrest Occupy Oakland agitators by prohibiting them from possessing their weapons of choice at protests. The proposal would make it a misdemeanor to bring a host of items to protests including shields, fire accelerant and pressurized paint sprayers that several Occupiers have used against police officers and private property. Rather than having to catch Occupy agitators in the act of damaging property or using the makeshift weapons, police would be able to arrest protesters they saw carrying the prohibited items, potentially weeding out agitators before protests get violent....
  • State Employee Pensions to Cost California $3.7 Billion [And Gov. Moonbeam Wants More Taxes!]

    05/16/2012 6:04:29 PM PDT · by Steelfish · 6 replies
    NY Times ^ | May 16, 2012
    State Employee Pensions to Cost California $3.7 Billion May 16, 2012 SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California will pay about $3.7 billion for state employees' pension in its next fiscal year, more than it now pays but less than the state set aside for retirement-related expenses in the prior fiscal year, the state's pension fund said on Wednesday. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, best known as Calpers, is receiving $3.5 billion from the state government, down from $3.9 billion in the prior fiscal year. The anticipated $213 million increase in the state's contribution for the next fiscal year reflects a...
  • Strip Club Tax of $10 a Head Being Considered by California Legislature

    05/16/2012 5:14:15 PM PDT · by Beaten Valve · 33 replies
    LA Weekly ^ | May 16, 2012 | Dennis Romero
    Gov. Jerry Brown says there are $8 billion worth of cuts coming to state programs this summer, and that's not even enough to fill the $16 billion sinkhole California faces July 1. One enterprising legislator has a wild idea, though: Tax strip club patrons $10 each time they enter an exotic dancing establishment. Damn. Talk about your cover charge. Assemblyman Das Williams of Oxnard plans to tax you like a gangster taxes drug dealers: AB 2441, which is moving through the state Assembly as we speak, would levy a $10 fee on each and everyone of you good gentlemen (and...
  • Junior Seau's Restaurant Closes for Good

    05/16/2012 5:01:20 PM PDT · by Beaten Valve · 9 replies
    KTLA ^ | May 16, 2012 | KTLA news
    Two weeks after NFL linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide, the Mission Valley restaurant that bares his name closed, a trustee announced Wednesday. Bette Hoffman, who formerly was the director of the Junior Seau Foundation and former vice president of Seau’s of San Diego LLC, announced the closure of the popular sports bar. Without Seau’s charismatic leadership, it was felt that the future profitability of the restaurant could be in question,Hoffman released in a statement. All employees will be paid accordingly along with their accrued vacation commitments, she said.
  • To Gov. Jerry Brown's dismay, pension board phases in state hike

    05/16/2012 4:09:55 PM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies
    SacBee: Capitol Alert ^ | 5/16/12 | Kevin Yamamura
    Against Gov. Jerry Brown's wishes, the California Public Employees' Retirement System board voted today to phase in a higher cost to the state over two years rather than bill the state immediately in full. In a letter to the board, Brown called that "not a prudent decision." The disagreement was over the pace at which PERS is lowering its assumptions about future investment returns from 7.75 percent to 7.5 percent, called the discount rate. Such changes are intended to compensate for lower market returns. When the rate of return assumption goes down, governments must contribute more. The PERS board agreed...
  • Steinberg: Democrats seeking alternatives to some budget cuts {in the Golden State}

    05/16/2012 4:05:51 PM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies
    SacBee: Capitol Alert ^ | 5/16/12 | Torey Van Oot
    Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg today repeated a pledge to look for budget solutions that would allow lawmakers to preserve some services targeted with steep cuts under Gov. Jerry Brown's revised budget plan. "I said on Monday, I'm not looking for a public fight here," the Sacramento Democrat said this morning. "We're looking to work collaboratively and yet not be afraid to have our differences or air our differences with the other stakeholders, the other parties, but come to a resolution where we can in fact buy out some of the worst cuts." The revised budget proposal released by...
  • More California Gun Control: Bill to Ban Open Carry of Rifles & Shotguns

    05/16/2012 3:44:25 PM PDT · by marktwain · 11 replies ^ | 14 May, 2012 | dabneybailey
    The California state assembly approved Anthony Portantino's bill that would make it illegal to openly carry unloaded shotguns and rifles on the streets. So, more gun control laws in California. Who here is surprised? Anyone? Anyone? An earlier bill spearheaded by Portantino banned the open carry of handguns. This new bill is just finishing what he started. There will be a few exceptions, of course: hunters and police will be able to carry weapons, and there will be select locations where the ban does not apply. For the most part, though, you won't be able to openly carry a gun...
  • Rabbi’s speech called hateful (because he expressed Conservative views).

    05/16/2012 1:16:19 PM PDT · by Zetman · 10 replies
    San Mateo Daily Journal ^ | May 16, 2012, 05:00 AM | Bill Silverfarb Daily Journal staff
    A rabbi’s declaration that he is an “Islamaphobe” and an accompanying speech at a Tea Party forum in San Mateo earlier this month has been called racist and hateful by the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Rabbi Nachum Shifren and all the other candidates for U.S. Senate were invited to a candidate’s forum May 3 at the American Legion Hall in San Mateo, co-sponsored by the San Mateo County Republican Party and My Liberty, a local Tea Party group. Shifren told a cheering audience, “I am an Islamaphobe and everything we need to know about Islam, we...
  • Manny Pacquiao: 'I'm not against gay people'

    05/16/2012 12:33:01 PM PDT · by Beaten Valve · 34 replies
    LA Times ^ | May 16, 2012 | Andrew Blankstein, Bettina Boxall and Shelby Grad
    The Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles has banned boxer Manny Pacquiao over comments he made about gay marriage, but the boxer said he was misquoted. "Based on news reports of statements made by Mr. Pacquiao, we have made it be known that he is not welcome at The Grove and will not be interviewed here now or in the future. The Grove is a gathering place for all Angelenos and not a place for intolerance," the Grove said in a statement. In an interview with National Conservative Examiner, Pacquiao addressed President Obama's recent endorsement of gay marriage. "God's words...
  • BREAKING NEWS: Rainbow flag will fly high in Hillcrest (CA)

    05/16/2012 10:17:17 AM PDT · by massmike · 70 replies ^ | 05/16/2012 | BEN CARTWRIGHT
    Very soon, San Diego's LGBT community will see a colorful symbol of their pride flying high above the Hillcrest neighborhood. Today, the City Council voted 7-0 to approve a proposal by the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) to install a 65-foot flagpole in the median on Normal Street where it intersects with University Avenue. Nicholas Moade, owner of Rich's and a donor to the flag project, urged the City Council to pass Item 333. "This flag symbolized tolerance and diversity," Moade said. "As long as LGBT youth are being bullied ... it is important to fly this flag as a beacon...
  • California politicians bet big

    05/16/2012 9:26:47 AM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/16/12 | Dan Walters
    Poker players often use the phrase "betting on the come" to describe a willingness, if instincts and odds indicate, to wager big on the hope that they will draw winning cards. That's a perfectly valid tactic when one is playing with one's own money and therefore bearing the risk. But is it appropriate for California politicians to bet on the come by approving many billions of dollars in spending on very shaky assumptions that the money will be there when it's needed to pay the bills? Risk was the underlying theme of two hearings in the Capitol on Tuesday. One...
  • SF fire chief's wages garnisheed - spousal support

    05/16/2012 9:23:25 AM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/16/12 | Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross, Chronicle Columnists
    A judge has declared San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White a deadbeat divorcee and ordered the city to start garnisheeing $3,300 a month from her paycheck for spousal support to her ex-husband. Hayes-White says she stopped paying support about 14 months ago, after an incident in which her ex-hubby, Robert "Sean" White, grabbed and choked one of their sons while in a booze-fueled rage. In December, he pleaded no contest in San Mateo County Superior Court to a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment and cruelty. He is serving his sentence on a county sheriff's work detail and living in a...
  • In City Where Dogs Outnumber Children, Finding a Way for Coyotes to Coexist

    05/16/2012 8:10:23 AM PDT · by george76 · 78 replies
    ny times ^ | May 14, 2012 | NORIMITSU ONISHI
    SAN FRANCISCO — Dogs outnumber children here, making already assertive dog owners an even more formidable political force. But the emergence in recent years of coyotes in the city’s parks, and sometimes in its expensive backyards and picturesque streets, has raised doubts about whether that founding legacy can survive. Will the two animal worlds — the domesticated and the wild — be able to coexist? Might they even, as many in this liberal city hope, ultimately complement each other? Taking no chances, city officials recently cordoned off trails and barricaded a restroom in an area of Golden Gate Park where...
  • 'Octomom' Nadya Suleman's Bankruptcy Case Thrown Out

    05/16/2012 6:06:52 AM PDT · by Beaten Valve · 13 replies
    KTLA-TV ^ | May 16, 2012 | KTLA News
    The bankruptcy case against 'Octomom' Nadya Suleman has been thrown out of court, official records show. The mother of 14 failed to complete the necessary paperwork by Monday's deadline showing that she could not pay off her debts. Creditors can now resume efforts to collect their debts from Suleman, and foreclosure proceedings can resume on her rented La Habra home. The bankruptcy filing had put a temporary freeze on a foreclosure auction of Suleman's house. The home was supposed to go on the auction block at Orange City Hall on May 7, but it was put on hold until May...
  • Rep. Barbara Lee attacks Romney on Obama's behalf

    05/15/2012 10:25:36 PM PDT · by SmithL · 18 replies
    Oakland Tribune ^ | 5/15/12 | Josh Richman
    Rep. Barbara Lee on Tuesday went on the attack against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on behalf of President Obama's re-election campaign, blasting Romney's business record at Bain Capital. Lee, D-Oakland, said America doesn't need a president who got rich by putting the concerns of other wealthy investors over those of workers. "Like President Obama, I believe we need to restore middle-class security and create an economy built to last," she said on a conference call with reporters. "Unfortunately, Mitt Romney's economic policies would do even more damage to the middle class." Lee touted Obama's Recovery Act economic stimulus, which...
  • Manny Pacquiao Barred From 'Extra' Interview at the Grove After Bashing Gay Marriage

    05/15/2012 9:13:33 PM PDT · by Beaten Valve · 50 replies
    LA Weekly ^ | May 15, 2012 | Simone Wilson
    Update, 8:30 p.m.: Pacquiao is "not welcome at The Grove and will not be interviewed here now or in the future." Full statement at the bottom. ==================================== Update, 6:50 p.m.: "We're canceling the event," says Grove spokesman Bill Reich. "Manny Pacquiao is not coming to the Grove." And thus the backlash begins. ==================================== Professional boxer Manny Pacquiao and "Extra" host Mario Lopez were blowing up Twitter today about their 3/3:30 p.m. interview at the Grove on Wednesday. But mall executives tell LA Weekly that the event may be called off. Pacquiao told the National Conservative Examiner over the weekend that...