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Robert Klein, who spent six years as the state stem cell agency's chairman, addresses issues related to the November ballot initiative. (Photo: David Jensen, California Stem Cell Report)
The folks who are trying to save the $3 billion California stem cell agency from financial extinction are using a well-worn technique that goes back to ancient Egypt, at least by some accounts. It is expensive, depending on what you are peddling, and generates a return as low as 1 percent. It is direct mail, but with a significant twist.
An illustration of medical insurance covering a family. (Image: Andrey_Popov, via Shutterstock)
Claire Haas and her husband are at a health insurance crossroads. If they were single, each would qualify for a federal tax credit to help reduce the cost of their health insurance premiums. As a married couple, they get zip. “We talk about getting divorced every time we get our health care bills,” said Haas, 34, of Oakland. She has been married to her husband, Andrew Snyder, 33, for two years.
Gov, Jerry Brown, left, and Howard Jarvis, the architect of Proposition 13, at their first joint news conference in July 1978. Voters approved the initiative the month before. (Photo: Associated Press)
Once thought of as a sacred cow, Proposition 13, the tax revolt measure passed in 1978, is now under attack. Schools and Communities First, a coalition of nearly 300 groups and leaders, has qualified to put an initiative on the Nov. 2020 ballot that would lift caps on property taxes for commercial and industrial properties.
Housing construction at a new California neighborhood.(Photo: Marilyn Volan)
As California rents and property values continue to rise, it should come as no surprise that three housing-related measures will face voters on the November ballot, targeting veterans’ home loans, local rent control and housing construction for the homeless. Statewide, the average rent on a one-bedroom apartment is about $1,400, and a home costs $440,000 — far more than double the national average of $180,000.
A wilted rose bouquet at the Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego. (Photo: Sherry V. Smith)
The environment plays a big part in Capitol legislation, but here’s a topic rarely linked to the environment – cremation. Traditional fire-based cremation entails emissions and pollutants. But a little-known bill signed by Gov. Brown allows the use of a water-based method called alkaline hydrolysis, which has been used elsewhere since the 19th century.
View of downtown San Diego and central rail yards. (Photo: welcomia, via Shutterstock)
The rampant hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego is highlighting the city’s significant homeless problem. More than half of the 444 people with confirmed cases as of Sept. 14 are homeless, county health officials reported earlier this month. The officials say the highly contagious liver infection was spread through person-to-person contact. San Diego has more than 9,100 homeless people, which amounts to the fourth largest homeless population in the country.
Little Corona Beach, Corona del Mar near Newport Beach, Orange County. (Photo: Jon Bilous.)
It was a classic Coastal Commission moment – cheers, jeers and white-hot media scrutiny. When the Commission denied a controversial development in Newport Beach last September, the crowd shrieked and clapped. A two decades-long fight to build 895 homes, a 75-room resort and 45,000 square feet of retail space was over – at least for the moment.
A view across the rail years of downtown San Diego. (Photo: Welcomia, via Shutterstock)
Calpensions: In another ruling allowing pension cuts, an appeals court last week overturned a state labor board ruling that a voter-approved San Diego pension reform was invalid because the city declined to bargain the issue with labor unions.
Workers in Los Angeles demonstrate in support of a $15 minimum wage. (Photo: Dan Holm, Shutterstock)
High housing costs, electricity and gas prices are the main reasons California has the highest poverty rate in the nation, according to state Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes. The Yucca Valley legislator has made alleviating poverty his top priority. “I think increasing the quality of life for people we serve is the overall goal,” he said. “If you have poverty as a measuring stick, California is failing worse than every other state in the country.”
The lighthouse off Front Street in Crescent City, Del Norte County. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)
After hours of passionate testimony, almost exclusively in support of beleaguered executive director Charles Lester, the Coastal Commission voted 7-5 to fire him. Four months later and 600 miles to the north, the aftershocks of the Commission’s political earthquake are still being felt: On June 7, Martha McClure, a commissioner who voted to fire Lester, lost the Del Norte County supervisor seat that she has held for the past 20 years.