Posts Tagged: city

News

The battle against COVID-19’s increasing trash level

A volunteer cleanup worker plucks a disposable mask from the water. (Photo: Tatyana Aksenova, via Shutterstock)

Nearly every morning for the last 12 years, San Francisco native Eva Holman has walked Baker Beach and collected trash. Located near the mouth of the Golden Gate, Baker is the iconic beach where the Golden Gate Bridge’s graceful red arc has provided the dramatic background for innumerable iconic photographs. Holman grew up nearby, and she lives so close to Baker Beach now that it’s essentially her backyard.

Opinion

Small businesses offer key fiscal support for government

Downtown Placerville, Calif. (Photo: Laurens Hoddenbagh, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The recent flurry of stories about small business woes often miss an important part of the picture: Small businesses’ role in helping fund government’s important responsibilities. Consider the City of Placerville. Located in El Dorado County with the original colorful Gold Rush era monikers, the sometimes controversial Hangtown and the more staid Dry Diggings, the city is a tourist draw housing a number of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

News

Oakland’s Libby Schaaf vs. the Feds

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. (Photo: Ben Margot)

Does Libby Schaaf have a political future outside of Oakland? Since her inauguration in 2015, Oakland Mayor Schaaf has worked assiduously on (and bragged about) programs aimed at reducing crime, improving transit and a host of other causes dear to the hearts of big-city mayors. Then came Saturday, Feb. 24.

News

Bakersfield focus in bullet train battle

An artist's rendition of the California bullet train. (Illustration: California High Speed Rail Authority)

At the heart of the dispute over California’s bullet train project is Bakersfield, where a local legal battle is sending ripples through the multibillion-dollar system. “We have adversely affected all of Southern California,” said Adam Cohen, a Bakersfield transportation and planning consultant who closely monitors the high-speed train’s path and station through his city.

Opinion

Wanted: An early warning system for local governments

Pedestrians crossing Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. (Photo: Sean Pavone, Shutterstock)

OPINION: Back in 2012, then Treasurer Bill Lockyer called for an early warning system that would give state officials time to proactively address local government fiscal emergencies before they wound up in bankruptcy court. We are now five years closer to the next recession and its attendant set of local government financial crises, but the state has made little progress toward implementing Lockyer’s proposed system.

News

San Bernardino eyes cuts of police retirees’ pensions

San Bernardino police officers, members of the SWAT team. (Photo: Juno Kughler Carlson, omnitrans.org) omnitrans.org

San Bernardino’s plan to exit bankruptcy, possibly next year, cuts the pensions of 23 retired police officers who receive an unusual supplement to their regular CalPERS pension. The supplement boosts pensions to the same amount now common among police and firefighters, a standard set by the Highway Patrol in a CalPERS-sponsored bill, SB 400 in 1999.

Opinion

Cardrooms bet on upscale future

This poker player's hand is the stuff that dreams are made of.. (Photo: Freer via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Over the last decade, many California cardrooms have moved beyond their gold rush roots by upgrading and adding hotel and dining options to meet patron demands for the gaming experiences found elsewhere. Today, more than 75 state-licensed cardrooms operate in California, providing thousands of living-wage jobs and valuable general fund revenue to communities across the state.

News

Wherefore art thou, Shakespeare? In Land Park

An image from the stage of the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival.

Review: For five weeks this summer, the normally flat and barren stage by the Land Park duck pond has been transformed into a three-dimensional Veronese Plaza with twin balconies, two ground-level doorways, and a center ramp and staircase. With the backdrop of the evening sky, the park’s expansive greenery, and flocks of flying geese, the magic of Shakespeare takes place.

News

In bankrupt San Bernardino, firefighting at crucial juncture

San Bernardino firefighters on the front lines. (Photo: Sheri Armstrong)

Bankrupt San Bernardino’s plan to cut costs by contracting for firefighter and other services has been aided by legislation and a court ruling. But a shortage of firefighters is causing a rough transition. A second fire station was closed earlier this month and others were hit with temporary “brownout” closures, delaying response times. New hires for 14 firefighter vacancies are not expected to complete training until next month.

News

Contracting out, bankrupt San Bernardino cuts pension costs

On the outskirts of San Bernardino. (Photo: Steve Heap)

A San Bernardino plan to exit bankruptcy follows the path of the Vallejo and Stockton exit plans, cutting bond debt and retiree health care but not pensions. Then it veers off in a new direction: contracting for fire, waste management and other services. The contract services are expected to reduce city pension costs. Other pension savings come from a sharp increase in employee payments toward pensions and from a payment of only 1 percent on a $50 million bond issued in 2005 to cover pensions costs.

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