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THE NOONER for December 5, 2014
A long string of blunders for Kevin de León "Kevin de León, president pro tem of the state Senate for just a few weeks, has already run up a remarkable string of political missteps and gaffes.
WHOA: "UCD now has the highest student fees among the nine University of California undergraduate campuses." [SacBee.com]
ISN'T IRONIC, DONCHA THINK? You already know that I stand for money not playing any role in elections. Even though you've already been there for me, can I count on you to please help with whatever donation you can afford, so we can retire our debt? [Ron Varasteh for OC Transit Board]
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Marc Aprea and Samantha Draper! Weekend gretins to Stuart Waldman (Saturday), Sara Bachez (Sunday), Odysseus Bostick (Sunday) Jim Beall (Sunday), and Kassy Perry (Sunday)!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
House Votes To Declare Obama's Immigration Actions 'null And Void'
House Republicans approved a measure Thursday that aims to ‎block the Obama administration from moving to shield millions from deportation, a largely symbolic legislative response to the president's new immigration policy that reflects lawmakers' limited options.
S.F. reveals nearly $22 million surplus
Budget tightening and historic highs in property, transfer, business and hotel taxes are the reasons for the better-than-expected results, City Controller Ben Rosenfield said Thursday as his office prepared to release audited financial results for the fiscal year that ended June 30. Riding a tech, tourism and healthcare boom, the city brought in almost $1.2 billion in property taxes in the last fiscal year, up 5 percent from the year before, and $563 million in business taxes, up 17 percent, according to draft figures from the report. Most of the money would be spent on making service more reliable and expanding capacity; 25 percent would be earmarked for street safety improvements. In July, Lee had directed his department heads to propose 1.5 percent budget cuts that could be implemented if voters approved Prop. The annual budget numbers donâÂÂt include a $3.9 billion unfunded retiree health-care liability or a separate $3.9 billion unfunded pension liability. While incremental progress has been made on both fronts, the debts leave a budgetary hole that combined is nearly equal to this fiscal yearâÂÂs $8.6 billion budget. [...] though tax revenue is at an all-time high, plenty of people see themselves getting priced out of a city where the median home price hit $1 million in June, an all-time high. âÂÂThe fact remains, as rosy of a picture as it is for city government, there are plenty of people who are struggling in San Francisco,âÂÂ said Campos, who co-sponsored a nonbinding resolution that the Board of Supervisors passed this summer supporting giving nonprofit workers who contract with the city a 0.75 percent raise if fiscal 2013-14 ended with a surplus, which it did. âÂÂThis provides us in city government with an opportunity to help working-class and middle-income families that are struggling,âÂÂ Campos said of the new-found money.
Ready For Another Election? Los Angeles City Council, Lausd Contests In March | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @ scpr.org
Los Angeles residents will be asked in March to vote on 15 openings in the Los Angeles City Council, Board of Education and Community College Districts.
William B. Callaway, noted Bay Area landscape architect, dies
John King @ sfgate.com
During a long career with SWA Group of Sausalito, the burly but genial man known to everyone as Bill designed landscapes ranging from office districts in Asia to private estates in Northern California. In 2007, by then the CEO of one of the professionâÂÂs largest firms, Mr. Callaway received the ASLA Medal from the American Society of Landscape Architects for accomplishments that included inspiring other designers âÂÂto retain an idealistic view of the profession and the world.âÂÂ Raised on the family ranch south of Sacramento, Mr. Callaway attended UC Berkeley and received a bachelorâÂÂs degree in landscape architecture before taking a job at what then was Sasaki Walker Associates. After a break to earn a masterâÂÂs degree from Harvard UniversityâÂÂs Graduate School of Design, Mr. Callaway returned to SWA and stayed for the rest of his career, becoming president in 1982 and CEO in 2002. [...] of his death he was on the board of the firm, which has 230 employees with offices in China and the United Arab Emirates as well as six cities in the United States. Many current leaders of the firm were hired by Mr. Callaway or served as junior members on his projects, where they were impressed from the start by his eagerness to improve the landscape in all its dimensions. In a 2008 interview with The Chronicle, for instance, he criticized as âÂÂunconscionableâÂÂ the use of water-consuming lawns for good looks along roadways.
Empty Threats Vs. Real Immigration Reform
House Republicans once again find themselves choosing whether to govern or to make a point. Last year they embarked on a destined-to-fail effort to "defund Obamacare," leading to a 16-day government shutdown . Now, some Republicans want to "defund amnesty," a reference to President Obama 's move to rule out deportation for more than 4 million people who are in the country illegally. Rather than make empty threats with appropriations bills, Republicans should take up Obama's challenge to develop a coherent, comprehensive overhaul of the country's badly flawed immigration laws .
Court Reluctantly Upholds Murder Conviction Despite Request For Lawyer - Crime Scene
Jade Anderson didn't kill anyone, but she was convicted of murdering a man who had been choked unconscious by her companion, shortly before Anderson stole the dying man's wallet and cell phone. Now...
Poverty, Taxes And Milk Among California Economy Facts In LAO Rundown | The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @ sacbee.com
After A Flawed Killing By Cops, LAPD Chief Must Decide What To Do
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday he must strike a difficult balance in deciding how to discipline three officers who violated department policies when they shot and killed an unarmed man after a pursuit last year.
Arizona Joins Other States In Federal Immigration Lawsuit
Arizona joined 17 other states suing the federal government and immigration agencies in U.S. District Court this week to derail President Obama 's executive action deferring deportation for up to 5 million people.
How L.A. Unified Got Its Ipad Contract
Was the Los Angeles Unified School District 's $1.3-billion iPads-for-all program handled properly?
Fast-food workers walk out for higher pay
Kevin Fagan @ sfgate.com
For the second year in a row, hundreds of fast-food workers walked off their jobs and took to East Bay streets Thursday to demand higher wages, but this time something else was with them âÂÂ momentum. Labor and political experts say more workers in more cities nationwide took part in the one-day strike this year than last, and that with a string of wage-hike victories in the past year, low-paid burger flippers and french-fry servers are becoming a political force. The activists have gained attention not by focusing purely on rich-versus-poor arguments, experts say, but by zeroing in on the singular demand of a $15 minimum hourly wage. With the average wage in the $200 billion fast-food industry being $8.94 an hour âÂÂ which translates to just below poverty level for a full-time worker supporting a family of three âÂÂ the message resonates. âÂÂThis is the most broadly based and potentially the most successful labor movement in many years,âÂÂ said David Schultz, a political science professor at Hamline University in Minnesota who specializes in labor issues. ThursdayâÂÂs strikes were carried out by thousands of low-wage workers in more than 190 cities in the U.S., nearly doubling the number of the first big strike in August 2013, organizers said. In the Bay Area, hundreds of workers walked out of McDonaldâÂÂs, Taco Bell, Burger King and KFC outlets in at least a dozen cities including Oakland, Richmond, Pleasanton, Fairfield, Berkeley, Hayward and San Leandro. Representatives of the National Restaurant Association, McDonaldâÂÂs and others targeted in the strike said the protesters were unfairly attacking an industry that isnâÂÂt intended to be a lifelong career for most, and that the restaurants canâÂÂt afford to pay much higher wages without raising prices. The National Restaurant Association said in a statement that the fast-food worker movement was being pushed forward by âÂÂnational labor groups and their alliesâÂÂ who have âÂÂspent millions of dollars on a coordinated campaign to paint an inaccurate and unfair portrait of AmericaâÂÂs restaurants.âÂÂ âÂÂThe implication of a $15 minimum wage for what are largely entry-level jobs in the industry ... is that there would be far fewer of those jobs available, and that the requirements for securing one of those jobs would be higher, elevating the skill and experience required to a different level,âÂÂ the association said. On the federal level, the minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour since 2009, despite President ObamaâÂÂs calls for an increase. Since the first fast-food strike last year, however, 14 states including California have raised the wage, and several cities including Oakland have also acted on their own.
Sacramento State Students Reject Fee Hike For New Arena | The Sacramento Bee
Diana Lambert @ sacbee.com
Sacramento State students overwhelmingly rejected a $438 annual fee increase this week to build a 5,000-seat arena on campus, joining a wave of discontent over increasing costs at public universities across California.
'remote Area Medical' Shows Real Faces Behind Healthcare Woes
'Remote Area Medical,' by co-directors Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman, is a revealing documentary on healthcare
No Longer In Fashion For Lawmakers To Decline Raises | Utsandiego.com
Exclusive: Republicans Prepare 2015 Immigration Legislation | Reuters
Richard Cowan @ reuters.com
WASHINGTON Thu Dec 4, 2014 7:27pm EST
The New Health Care: Big Changes in Fine Print of Some 2015 Health Plans
A ProPublica analysis found that many health insurance plans offered in the federal marketplace are changing their benefits heading into 2015.
It's Official: California Storm Didn't Cure The Drought
Despite a “respectable” amount of rain this week across all of California, it wasn’t enough for federal agencies to improve the state’s drought picture, new data released Thursday show.
Who Lied? Part Iv: Much Ado About A Urinal | Voice Of San Diego
Harper had already detailed for her an encounter he had with DeMaio. He had described how, on July 10, as he finished up at a urinal down the hall from the campaign’s second-floor headquarters, DeMaio hovered behind him and exposed himself, grabbing his genitals. Harper quit the campaign two days later. He left on good terms, with a recommendation from DeMaio.
How To Make It Easier For Health Workers To Volunteer In Crises
The United Nations estimates that 5,000 more international healthcare workers will be needed during the coming months in West Africa to fight the Ebola outbreak. But where they will come from is not entirely clear. As World Bank President Jim Yong Kim recently stated, “Right now, I'm very much worried about where we will find those healthcare workers.”