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  • California state, local government workers among best-paid

    01/31/2012 7:04:13 PM PST · by SmithL · 20 replies
    SacBee: The State Worker ^ | 1/31/12 | Jon Ortiz
    California state and local government employees remain among the highest-paid in the nation, according to revised 2010 data released this month by the U.S. Census Bureau. Full-time monthly pay for March 2010 in the District of Columbia averaged $5,900, followed by California at $5,774 and New Jersey' s $5,540. Nationally, the average pay for full-time state and local public employees was $4,388 for the March 2010 period sampled by the bureau.
  • Controller: State to run out of cash in March without action

    01/31/2012 2:04:17 PM PST · by SmithL · 8 replies
    SacBee: Capitol Alert ^ | 1/31/12 | Kevin Yamamura
    California will run out of cash by early March if the state does not take swift action to find $3.3 billion through payment delays and borrowing, according to a letter state Controller John Chiang sent to state lawmakers today. The announcement is surprising since lawmakers previously believed the state had enough cash to last through the fiscal year that ends in June. But Chiang said additional cash management solutions are needed because state tax revenues are $2.6 billion less than what Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers assumed in their optimistic budget last year. Meanwhile, Chiang said, the state is...
  • Let Oakland protesters occupy a county jail cell

    01/31/2012 9:02:01 AM PST · by SmithL · 9 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 1/31/12 | Debra J. Saunders
    Occupy Oakland is aptly named. When forces occupy a city, they know that occupied turf is not their home. They can maraud, loot, vandalize, abuse the locals, and then leave. They can treat other people's property as their own. The occupiers don't have to clean up after themselves. They don't have to worry about paying for the workers who clean up after them, either. Occupiers don't have to exert self-control. They can freely act upon their rage, while defenders of occupied territory must concentrate on protecting what others want to harm. Occupiers do not have to fear that they will...
  • California's High-Speed Rail: Going Nowhere, Very Fast

    01/30/2012 5:53:26 PM PST · by Kaslin · 13 replies
    IBD Editorials ^ | January 30, 2012 | THOMAS SOWELL
    California has a huge state debt and Washington has a huge national debt. But that does not discourage either Gov. Jerry Brown or President Barack Obama from wanting to launch a very costly high-speed rail system. Most of us might be a little skittish about spending money if we were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. But the beauty of politics is that it is all other people's money, including among those other people generations yet-to-be born. The high-speed rail system proposed for California has been envisioned as a model for similar systems elsewhere in the United States. A recent...
  • Quan says she'll call national Occupy leaders

    01/30/2012 2:49:02 PM PST · by SmithL · 29 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 1/30/12 | Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
    Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said today that she is going to call national leaders of the Occupy Wall Street movement and implore them to disown Oakland's protest movement. Quan said Saturday's demonstration, where 400 protesters were arrested and City Hall was vandalized, showed that the contingent of protesters who have targeted Oakland were not as non-violent as they claim they are. "I plan to call some of the national leadership of Occupy this week to say that the Oakland group is not nonviolent and has not agreed to be nonviolent," Quan said in an interview on KCBS. "The national Occupy...
  • Oakland, Occupy take stock of clash's damage

    01/29/2012 6:55:16 PM PST · by SmithL · 23 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 1/29/12 | Demian Bulwa, Justin Berton, Chronicle Staff Writers
    Oakland officials and Occupy protesters Sunday confronted the fallout from their continuing conflict, a fight that reignited Saturday with a chaotic, often violent day of demonstrations that resulted in at least 400 arrests. A day after Saturday's clashes, city officials took stock of the damage, which included injuries to three police officers and several protesters, as well as vandalism inside City Hall. There, dozens of protesters had broken in with a crowbar, grabbed California and U.S. flags, and ignited them on the front steps. "It's like a tantrum," Mayor Jean Quan said while displaying the damage inside the building, which...
  • Oakland to assess damage after Occupy protests

    01/29/2012 11:47:47 AM PST · by SmithL · 7 replies
    Associated Press ^ | 1/29/12 | TERRY COLLINS
    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Oakland officials assessed damage to City Hall caused by Occupy protesters while leaders of the movement claimed Sunday that police acted illegally in arresting hundreds of demonstrators and could face a lawsuit. Mayor Jean Quan was among those inspecting damage caused after dozens of people broke into City Hall on Saturday, smashing glass display cases, spray-painting graffiti, and burning an American flag. That break-in culminated a day of clashes between protesters and police. Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said nearly 400 people were arrested on charges ranging from failure to disperse and vandalism. At least three...
  • Sunday Morning Math Puzzle

    01/29/2012 6:15:00 AM PST · by SMGFan · 16 replies
    NPR ^ | January 29, 2012 | Ed Pegg JR & Will Shortz
    Next Week's Challenge from listener Ed Pegg Jr.: Write the digits from 1 to 9 in a line. If you put a plus sign after the 2, a times sign after the 4, and plus signs after the 6 and 8, the line shows 12 + 34 x 56 + 78 + 9, which equals 2003. That's nine years off from our current year 2012.? This example uses four arithmetic symbols. The object is to use just three of the following arithmetic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, in a line from 1 to 9 to get 2012 exactly. The...
  • Editorial: GOP keeps having bad days in court

    01/28/2012 8:10:35 PM PST · by SmithL · 13 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 1/28/12 | Editor
    The California Republican Party keeps making matters worse as it struggles against what seems inevitable. On Friday, the California Supreme Court unanimously decided to leave in place state Senate district maps drawn by the voter-created California Redistricting Commission. This was the second time the GOP turned to the court for help, and the second time it was slapped down. The Republicans spent – and probably wasted – $2 million on its drive to qualify a referendum challenging the maps. It's not certain that the measure will qualify for the November ballot.
  • California passes new auto emission rules

    01/27/2012 11:46:49 AM PST · by SmithL · 31 replies
    Associated Press ^ | 1/27/12 | JASON DEAREN
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- California air regulators passed Friday sweeping auto emission standards that include a mandate to have 1.4 million electric and hybrid vehicles on state roads by 2025. The California Air Resources Board unanimously approved the new rules, which require that one-in-seven of new cars sold in the state in 2025 be an electric or other zero-emission vehicle. The plan also mandated a 75-percent reduction in smog-forming pollutants by 2025, and a 34 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over roughly the same time. Automakers worked with the board and federal regulators on the greenhouse gas mandates in...
  • Planners want to direct Bay Area residents to live in existing communities to cut back on greenhouse

    01/26/2012 11:49:13 PM PST · by SmithL · 9 replies
    Contra Costa Times ^ | 1/26/11 | Lisa Vorderbrueggen
    Planners want to direct Bay Area residents to live in existing communities to cut back on greenhouse gas emissionsCONCORD -- A Bay Area plan for where to build new houses, shops and offices in a way that helps cut greenhouse gases relies on increased population concentrations some communities may reject, a state homebuilding industry representative told Contra Costa business and political leaders Thursday."My concern is that we are way down the road in this process, but not a lot has been explained to the public," California Building Industry Association attorney Paul Campos said. "There is a near-poetic discussion of the...
  • California settles up -- interest free -- with prison guards union

    01/26/2012 8:23:04 AM PST · by SmithL · 4 replies
    SacBee: The State Worker ^ | 1/26/12 | Jon Ortiz
    California's prison officers union is getting a loan from taxpayers – interest-free – to settle a multimillion-dollar debt it owes the state. The deal sealed on Wednesday closes the books on what the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said was at least $4.5 million the California Correctional Peace Officers Association owed for wages and benefits paid to CCPOA leaders while they were away from their state jobs tending to union business. CCPOA, which represents about 30,000 correctional and parole officers, refused to settle the so-called "union paid leave" tab that has been running since...
  • Judge strikes parole-revocation provisions in California law

    01/26/2012 8:10:30 AM PST · by SmithL · 5 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 1/26/12 | Denny Walsh
    A Sacramento federal judge has struck down as unconstitutional the part of California's so-called Victims' Bill of Rights that governs parole revocation. The law, enacted by voter approval of a 2008 ballot initiative known as Proposition 9, was a sweeping amendment to the state constitution, conferring a long list of entitlements on crime victims. The sections dealing with parole revocation were made part of the state's Penal Code. U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton ruled Tuesday that those sections fall short of providing the minimum due process guaranteed by the Constitution and two U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Morrissey v. Brewer...
  • California air board to vote on landmark electric-car rules

    01/25/2012 7:56:08 PM PST · by SmithL · 26 replies
    San Jose Mercury News ^ | 1/25/12 | Paul Rogers
    In a move that could reshape the American automobile industry, California regulators Thursday are expected to approve sweeping new rules requiring that 15 percent of new cars sold in California by 2025 run on electricity, hydrogen or other systems producing little or no smog. The regulations by the California Air Resources Board, dubbed the "advanced clean car rules," would start in 2018, ramping up each year and ultimately resulting in 1.4 million "zero emission" vehicles on California roads by 2025. Today there are only about 10,000 such vehicles in the state. "This is a really large step. It's transformational," said...
  • Labor board chief to press for new union rules

    01/25/2012 2:53:54 PM PST · by SmithL · 9 replies
    Associated Press ^ | 1/25/12 | SAM HANANEL
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The chairman of the National Labor Relations Board says he won't let the controversy over President Barack Obama's recess appointments stop the agency from pressing ahead with changes that could help unions win new members. Mark Pearce tells The Associated Press he will urge the board to approve new rules that would make it easier for unions to establish and win representation elections in workplaces.
  • Klamath dam removal costly, but would add jobs, federal report says

    01/25/2012 1:47:12 PM PST · by SmithL · 22 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 1/25/11 | Michael Doyle
    WASHINGTON – The ambitious proposal to remove four Klamath River dams would add jobs and aid fish, a new federal report asserts, but the idea still leaves California lawmakers badly divided. As they approach a make-or-break decision on whether to recommend the dam removal, U.S. Interior Department officials on Tuesday touted anticipated benefits that include improved salmon habitat and 1,400 construction jobs during the year it would take to remove the hydroelectric dams. Long-term Klamath basin restoration efforts would add an estimated 4,600 jobs, the report says. But the dam removals would also cost somewhere between $238 million and $493...
  • Gov. Jerry Brown's tax proposal gains support among voters

    01/24/2012 6:34:30 PM PST · by SmithL · 19 replies
    Contra Costa Times ^ | 1/24/12 | Steven Harmon, Bay Area News Group
    Support for Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative is widening among voters, though not too many are happy with the prospects of paying more sales tax. In a survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, 68 percent of likely voters -- up from 60 percent six weeks ago -- support his plan to increase the sales tax by a half percent and raise income taxes on individuals with an annual income of $250,000 or more. "I think it's our duty to take care of the next generation," said San Ramon resident Elizabeth Moore, a retired high school teacher who was...
  • California lawmakers to sue John Chiang over their pay

    01/24/2012 3:42:01 PM PST · by SmithL · 3 replies
    SacBee: Capitol Alert ^ | 1/24/12 | Kevin Yamamura
    Democratic legislative leaders sued Controller John Chiang today for blocking their pay during last year's budget dispute, a decision that drew scorn from lawmakers last summer. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez said the Democratic controller overstepped his bounds when he decided that lawmakers sent Gov. Jerry Brown a flawed budget last June and docked their pay. They said they are not suing for back earnings, but to ask the court whether Chiang can intervene this year if lawmakers face another budget dispute with Brown at the June 15 deadline. The lawmakers filed in...
  • NYC officials dodge blame over 'SHCOOL X-NG' sign

    01/24/2012 11:11:58 AM PST · by SmithL · 18 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 1/24/11
    Everyone who's ever gone to school should know how to spell "school." But someone who plastered a school crossing sign on the street in front of a New York City high school got it wrong. The New York Post reports ( that the big white letters in front of Marta Valle High School on the Lower East Side say "SHCOOL X-NG."
  • Rand Paul says Nashville airport went too far after he refused pat-down

    01/24/2012 9:18:38 AM PST · by SmithL · 13 replies
    The Tennessean | 1/24/12 | Brian Haas
    Gannett Newspaper - Link Only:|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE