Campaign disclosure forms filed with the California Secretary of State’s office indicate that the “Foster for Treasurer 2014″ political committee (launched by Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster shortly after his reelection in 2010) collected $9,100 between July 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2012 for a total collected in 2012 of $60,000. After expenses, the committee [...]
When members of the Bellflower City Council used their last meeting of 2012 to unanimously approve a Climate Action Plan, they propelled the city into 2013 as one of the area’s leaders in the fight against climate change. The Climate Action Plan (CAP) establishes a method of identifying the sources and amounts of greenhouse gas [...]
GreaterLongBeach.com reader Uduak Ntuk contends the passage of Proposition 30---which increases funding for public education through a tax hike on the rich---is essential to creating the educated and motivated work force California must have if it is to recover.
LONG BEACH — It’s going to be a busy Tuesday for trustees of the California State University system: in the same session, they will discuss raising tuition fees and hear out Chancellor Charles Reed’s request for the approval of pay raises for high-level administrators. Reed’s push for pay raises for more high level CSU administrators, [...]
Former President Bill Clinton's keel was scraped of barnacles before his permanent installation off Belmont Shore as a lightning rod for controversy. Councilman Gary DeLong's congressional campaign hopes Clinton will increase turnout of voters who live to excoriate a man who left office 12 years ago.
The state Senate voted, 37-0, this morning to approve a measure authored by Alan and Bonnie Lowenthal that would continue permitting shippers to avoid paying California’s sales/use tax on a portion of the fuel they buy. SB 1243, sponsored by Senator Alan Lowenthal in the Senate, thus moves on to the Assembly, where the sponsor [...]
If Blong Xiong is elected this November, the Fresno city council member and Laos-born refugee would become the first Hmong American in Congress. No matter what happens, however, Xiong is energizing the country’s fast-growing Hmong community,
A suit filed in the Court of Appeal asserts that a law which deprives people in state prison of the right to vote should not be applied to people who are not in state prison. If the court agrees, more than 85,000 people could vote in the November election.
At the request of GreaterLong Beach.com, state Senator---and Congressional candidate---Alan Lowenthal explains his thinking in introducing SB 1243, which would permanently exempt large ships from paying California sales tax on fuel at the same time that California residents are being asked to raise their own taxes
Veteran Representative Jerry Lewis of Redlands, the impeccably coiffed "dentured servant of the Inland Empire," was among three Republican congressmen from California who retired last week---consequences of the state's new redistricting process and plain, old age.
After a long and passionate debate, the California Assembly still can't decide what to do about a bill that would give juveniles convicted of heinous crimes a chance to reduce their "life without possibility of parole" sentences by allowing them to submit petitions for sentence reconsiderations after serving 15 years.
Mayors from eight cities in the 27th State Senate District of Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, are urging him to rescind his support of eliminating redevelopment agencies to help balance the state budget, saying that would cost millions to California cities. That legislation has been made part of the current budget signed by Gov. Jerry [...]
State Senator Alan Lowenthal’s bill to ban styrofoam food containers in California—except in areas where at least 60 percent of them are recycled—has been approved by the state Senate and sent to the Assembly. Lowenthal’s legislation, SB 568, was stalled two votes short of passage Thursday morning after a pair of 19-14 roll call votes. [...]
Where are you when we need you, David Foster Wallace? We're waiting for the story of 9/11ii. It's the story of a world where a great national tragedy took place---so immense and consequential that, 10 years later, the United States government transforms it into secret policy. The world needs that book, but David Foster Wallace is somewhere else.
White croaker has always seemed like a funny name for a fish, and after the release of the State Water Resources Control Board’s largest-ever statewide survey on sportfish from California coastal waters, it seems even funnier … in a very-last-laugh kind of way. White croaker in the Long Beach area have the highest concentrations of [...]
The Governor's Mansion is among 70 California parks and historic buildings---one quarter of the state's total---that are threatened with closure because of budget cuts. Sad, but is it true? Or just an empty political tactic?
A high-speed rail system stretching from San Diego to San Francisco has been billed as an environmental godsend that will get people out of airliners and cars and still run free of taxpayer subsidies. The reality is considerably understated costs, unrealistic assumptions on financing, inadequate staff and lack of oversight from the Legislature.
The committee established to review the immense ridership figures that have been projected for California's high-speed train system turns out to be just another expensive layer of self-endorsing bureacracy.
Long Beach state Senator Alan Lowenthal's bill 517 (SB 517) would place the High-Speed Rail Authority---which since its creation has operated pretty much on its own---under the direct control of the state Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. The High-Speed Railers are, well, railing against it.
Doctrinaire Republican office-holders are fascinating—government officials who distrust government, and they explain this distrust by venerating Reagan, a government official who raised taxes as California governor and never eliminated a government program or department as U.S. President.
A bill requiring California schools to widen the perspective of history classes so as to include the role and contributions of many ethnic groups, sexual orientations and persons with disabilities has been approved by the state Senate Judiciary Committee and will now be considered by the full Senate. Awkwardly acronymed the FAIR—that’s Fair, Accurate, Inclusive [...]
William Vickery, the longtime professional administrator of the California court system, has retired amid calls for his resignation due to severe problems with implementing a new computerized information system, reports the Sacramento Bee. The expensive problems with the system—and the resulting controversy—were extensively reported on GreaterLongBeach.com in February via a story by Katy Grimes of [...]
The Governor suggests a one-year suspension of the 58-year-old Open Meeting Law, which requires governmental bodies to give adequate announcement of their meetings, post their agendas, meet in public and keep to those agendas. In other words, it's a pillar of California's modern democracy.
The City of Long Beach acquired some 222 parcels of land worth approximately $180 million Tuesday night when the City Council voted 9-0 to accept all properties, assets and development agreements that were transferred to it in a unanimous Monday morning vote by the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA) Board. The actions by the two [...]
"It is slow, labor intensive, and does little that off-the-shelf programs could not have been modified to do for much less investment,” said one Superior Court judge. Another called the court computer system “idiotic,” “counter-intuitive,” and "so stupid that it isn’t compatible with Microsoft Word.”
Turns out bullet trains exhibit tremendous momentum before they even start running---before they’re even built, in fact. It builds from the interplay between the government agencies and officials that approve the projects and the corporations that build them and is extremely difficult for citizens groups to overcome.
The Center, Long Beach’s gay and lesbian community center, is joining with 10 other Los Angeles County gay and lesbian and equality groups on Valentine’s Day to hold what’s being called a Peaceful Protest for Marriage Equality at the East Los Angeles County Clerks office. The Feb. 14 event is part of a nationwide day [...]
As I watched last week’s news reports bidding farewell to Governor Schwarzenegger, I was still shaking my head with a “What the hell?” Whether you think he did a good job, a bad job, or something in the middle, the reality of “Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger” is still surreal, the punchline of a joke aimed at America’s obsession with media and artifice.
Welcome to California. It has the world's eighth-largest economy but personal incomes went down. Only New York's tax burden is significantly higher. Adult obesity has more than doubled in 20 years but the crime rate is at its lowest level in a half century. We like it here.
Monday would have been the day Jenny Oropeza began her second term in the California Senate. Instead, for her staff, it was simply the first day back from the holiday break, a return to tending to the needs of constituents and a resumption of the countdown to their last day on the job.
It’s the end of the year, which means it’s time for nostalgic looks back and fond retrospectives on 2010’s most memorable events and personalities (this is due, in great part, to the fact that nearly everyone in the Capitol is on vacation, so virtually nothing is going on). So it wasn’t a surprise when I [...]
Most Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature don't think Prop 25 will translate into anything new. Despite its promise to end budgetary gridlock, they suspect Prop 25 will ultimately translate into the very same budget shambles we’ve been enduring for so long.
Assemblymember Warren T. Furutani, whose 55th District cuts across multiple cities in Greater Long Beach, announced via press release today that he has been appointed chair of the Committee on Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security (PERSS) by Assembly Speaker John Perez. The committee’s jurisdiction includes oversight of the public retirement administration and investment strategy, [...]
An unusually high number of rabid bats have been found in LA County this year. Officials advise against begining any kind of star-crossed romance with any bat---no matter how soulful their eyes, tortured their eyes or yearning their love.
“THIS THANKSGIVING, ONE MAN IS GRATEFUL FOR POLITICAL MAILERS,” Nov. 24 [ By Anthony Pignataro ] I think continuous robocalls are tantamount to harassment, not free speech. Theyshould be illegal. / LB CITY GIRL “STATE COASTAL COMMISSION ORDERS HITCHCOCK TO RESTORE WETLANDS HE ILLEGALLY RAVAGED IN 2009,” Nov. 19 [ By Heather Altman ] Darn. I was [...]
Given the one-sided election results in California, a trend of “red flight”---that is, an out-migration of people from cities and counties made insolvent by public employee pension costs---may soon appear. And those pensioners may lead the way, taking their lucrative checks with them.
The initiatives that gave California its first and greatest reputation for wackiness back when we enshrined our Voter Anger (or “initiative process”) right there in the state Constitution. And now what are we using it for? Wacky tobacky. That, my friends, is the Circle of Life.