Columns

One year later, glitches still plague Covered CA

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

  “Here we go again with the same nightmare as a year ago. [I’m] truly fed up with Covered California’s technical incompetency.” So complained Igal Koiman, a health insurance broker, in remarks published this week in the Sacramento Business Journal. His frustrations echo those of ...

Bill would push unionizing franchise workers

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
7-Eleven

  The franchise market in California, a keystone of small business in the state, soon could change radically. The California Legislature last Thursday sent a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk that would effectively supersede the contractual agreements between California-based franchises a...

Did Caltrans cover up shoddy work on Bay Bridge?

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
bay bridge wikimedia

  Douglas Coe, an engineer under the employ of the California Department of Transportation, spent years working on the retrofit of the eastern span of the Bay Bridge between Oakland and San Francisco. When the 25-year Caltrans veteran told his supervisors there were cracks in thousands of...

The myth of California’s underpaid public school employees

Monday, July 28th, 2014
Prop. 30

  Eduardo Benard, a custodian at San Francisco’s Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School, received $107,912.31 in pay and benefits in 2013. He was one of 31 custodians employed by California public schools that boasted more than $100,000 in compensation last year, according to just-release f...

Complaint alleges people with disabilities barred from voting

Monday, July 28th, 2014
voter form

A complaint filed earlier this month with the U.S. Department of Justice alleges that thousands of Americans with disabilities have been illegally deprived of their right to vote. The perpetrator of this injustice: judges. The complaint, which was filed by the Disability and Abuse Project, alleg...

CA economic ranking renews debate

Thursday, July 10th, 2014
california topographic map, wikimedia

For those who put a lot of stock in statistics, it's a good month for California. The Golden State has returned to take its former position among the world's largest economies. World Bank calculations show California -- if it were considered a country -- placing eighth in size worldwide. That's...

Activists try to stop crude-by-rail

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
Communities for a Better Environment

  “Boom!” read the signs carried by some of the five dozen or so protesters who raised a ruckus Saturday outside the Kinder Morgan rail yard in the Contra Costa County city of Richmond. The aim of the environmental and community activists is to stop further rail shipments of crude oil...

Column: UC regents urged to divest in fossil fuels

Friday, May 30th, 2014
Divest Now UC

  The scene brought to mind Tom Wolfe’s essay “Mau Mauing the Flak Catchers,” which was published all the way back in 1970, when young Jerry Brown was a member of the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees. Wolfe’s non-fiction essay was set at San Francisco’s Office of ...

Tesla latest CA company to diss Golden State

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

  Tesla Motors, the Palo Alto maker of luxury electric cars, is holding its annual stockholder meeting next Tuesday. It will be interesting to see whether CEO Elon Musk announces the two states that will compete in a “bakeoff” to determine where Tesla decides to build its new $5 billion ...

Why CA has an affordable housing crisis

Saturday, April 12th, 2014
California population_2

What a long strange trip it’s been for the Pebble Beach Company since it unveiled its Del Monte Forest development plan all the way back in 1987. In the ensuing 27 years, PBC has revised its plan innumerable times only to have state regulators or local government bodies block the company from b...