Breaking News

Buzz builds for Brown ’16

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Is the fourth time the charm for Gov. Jerry Brown's presidential aspirations? The question may well have more to do with politics at the national level than the state level. Believe it or not, a fresh round of chatter and interest is springing up around the idea of yet another presidential run for...

Lawsuit could expand state control of groundwater

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
Adjudicated water basins, DWR

  Sacramento Superior Court Judge Allen Sumner just issued a preliminary ruling that Siskiyou County must regulate groundwater well permits along the Scott River in accordance with "Public Trust Doctrine." This means the water now mainly used by hay farmers also will have to be divided among...

‘Six Californias’ will go before voters

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Its debut on a California ballot might still be two years away. But this month, supporters successfully verified the quixotic, Silicon Valley-powered Six Californias initiative obtained the necessary signatures to receive an up or down vote. As the Los Angeles Times reported, the Six California...

Minimum wage activists set sights on L.A.

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

The concerted push for higher minimum wages in California has spread from the East Bay to Los Angeles. On the heels of a recently approved $15 minimum wage in Seattle, advocates for dramatically increased hourly wages sensed an opportunity to select a fresh target. That's where L.A. comes in. Or...

A look at CA’s mixed-bag teacher firing reform

Sunday, July 20th, 2014
miramonte

In some respects, it's now easier to fire teachers in California. In others, it's more complicated. That's the verdict on AB 215, the version of several different firing reform bills that cleared the Legislature and received Gov. Jerry Brown's signature late last month. In the wake of the Mir...

CA, feds struggle with — and spar over — pot regulation

Friday, July 18th, 2014
marijuana-gavel

As California muddles ahead with its disorganized decriminalization of marijuana, local and federal lawmakers are adopting distinctly different approaches to the prospect of pot-related crime. City councils are apt to worry about different kinds of drug crime than Congress. But the new attention...

Richmond pols continue posturing on underwater mortgages

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
richmond

A majority of the Richmond City Council still wants to use eminent domain powers to to seize “underwater mortgages" even though the bond market refused to sell $34 million in municipal bonds for the city last year due to Richmond officials' interest in the novel proposal. Prices are soaring in ...

Controller 2014: 7 reasons why John Perez should quit while he’s behind

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

The "sunk cost fallacy" -- a self-destructive quirk of human behavior -- explains why we persist in losing. We hold onto loser stocks, attend concerts we'd rather skip and demand recounts of decided elections. The sunk cost fallacy is alive and well in the ongoing recount requested by Assemblyma...

LA and SF dogfight over transport visions

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
great streets

In San Francisco, a bus project over a decade in the making finally receives its massive environmental impact report. In Los Angeles, the mayor announces his first executive directive, launching a "Great Streets" program. It's a tale of two cities -- and two visions of the future of urban planning. ...

Judge rules smelt can’t stop water sales

Monday, July 14th, 2014

  On June 13, a coalition of sports fishermen and Northern California groundwater users sued to stop water sales to the parched Central Valley. They contended conveying water through the Delta would kill Delta Smelt fish. But that didn’t convince a federal judge after two highly qualifi...