Posts Tagged: city

News

Michael Peevey’s tale of turmoil

Michael Peevey at a December meeting of the state Public Utilities Commission. (Photo: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

It’s almost impossible these days to see the name Michael Peevey without the word “embattled” attached to it. Peevey stepped down last December after serving two six-year terms on the California Public Utilities Commission, almost all of them as PUC president. He has been subjected to withering public criticism up and down the state for fostering a too-cozy relationship between the PUC and the utility firms he was charged with regulating, most recently Pacific Gas & Electric. “Don’t shoot, I surrender,” Peevey wryly told the commission at its December meeting, a comment that drew laughs.

News

The drought — with a grain of salt

A parched lake bed at Lake Oroville, about 60 miles north of Sacramento. (Photo: sddatta, via Shutterstock)

As drought-parched California withers, salt water captures attention – again. Santa Barbara, which built a desalination plan more than 20 years ago and then abruptly shut it down because of costs, is considering upgrading and restarting the project and provide the city of 91,000 with about a fourth of its drinking water. The tentative price tag is $40 million. In Sacramento, the State Water Resources Control Board is poised to adopt new regulations in May governing desalination.

News

Data: Will political races ever have their ‘Moneyball’ moment?

A man at a computer screen making his picks during "March Madness." (Photo: SAJE, via Shutterstock)

ANALYSIS: Now that we’re in the middle of March Madness and nearing the opening of the 2015 Major League baseball season, we see the sports data geeks take center stage. Ever since the book, and subsequent movie, “Moneyball,” fans have been intrigued by the data that appears to be a major driver in sporting decisions, from the players chosen for a team, to the offensive and defensive formations, where and when the percentages suggest shooting or passing, and so on.

News

Water and eminent domain: a volatile mix

A town hall meeting in Claremont that focused on water issues. (Photo: City of Claremont.)

A Southern California city has launched eminent domain proceedings to take over the private water agency that has served the community for more than 80 years – an unusual move, even in California, where fights over water are common.

News

Watchdog: Violations found in ballot props before election day

Before the Nov. 4 general election, California’s political watchdog examined “every advertisement relating to state and local ballot measures” – a total of 172 state and local propositions – and ordered corrections in 19 of them, mostly for failing to make it clear who was financing the ads.

News

Can public pensions be cut in bankruptcy?

Bus stop in Stockton, Delta College. (Photo: San Joaquin RTD)

Calpensions: Stockton filed a revised debt-cutting plan last week that could lead to a deal with a holdout creditor, Franklin bonds, possibly enabling the city to emerge from bankruptcy without cutting pensions. But however that plays out, a federal judge may rule on whether public pensions issued through the California Public Employees Retirement System can be cut in bankruptcy like other debts.

News

Fight for Yamada seat: A tale of two counties

Tracks in the Napa wine country at St. Helena. Photo: Hank Shiffman.

Thanks to newly redrawn district boundaries, Napa County has a chance to put its first lawmaker in the state capitol in more than a generation. The race to replace termed-out 4th District Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, promises to be hotly contested, featuring family connections, Democrats going head-to-head and a scramble for campaign funds.

News

Toni Atkins prepares for Assembly speakership

Toni Atkins

For Toni Atkins, a coal miner’s daughter and the first in her family to graduate from college, the road from Virginia coal country to San Diego to Speaker of the state Assembly has been long and winding. She’ll be leading the lower house despite concerns – at least in the north state – that an old tradition over equitable leadership distribution between Northern and Southern California. (Photo: League of California Cities)

News

Bankrupt San Berdoo gives police $1 million raise — again

Following the city charter, a reluctant San Bernardino city council last week approved a police pay raise costing about $1 million, the second $1 million police salary increase since the city filed for bankruptcy last year. The four council members who voted for the 3 percent pay hike all criticized a city charter provision linking San Bernardino to the average police pay in 10 other cities, most much wealthier with higher per-capita income.

News

A fiscal emergency in the desert

Desert Hot Springs is considering bankruptcy for the second time in 12 years. On Tuesday, the city council unanimously approved a fiscal emergency. An emergency declaration is a preliminary step in filing for bankruptcy protection, although there was no indication from council members that a bankruptcy action was coming.

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