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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

The Firing Of Dr. James Enstrom: The Dangers of Bucking Fashionable Science

Part l of a series:

Bucking the highly fashionable notion that California’s air pollution is deadly, Dr. James Enstrom was one of only a few scientists willing to blow the whistle on the fraudulent science perpetrated at the California Air Resources Board.

It is often said the cover up is worse than the crime. Dr. Enstrom is living proof.

An attempt to muzzle scientific debate and academic freedomon a University of California college campus is at the root of the wrongful termination lawsuit of Dr. James Enstrom.

Enstrom challenged the scientific research that the California Air Resources Board and California Legislature used to enact policies regulating diesel fuel emissions. And then he was fired from his job of 35 years at University of California, Los Angeles.

Enstrom exposed the cover-up of “junk environmental science.” He also outed a phony… Read More

Katy Grimes

Media army of fools in Sacto arena deal

Nearly every member of the media in Sacramento is openly advocating for a new basketball arena to be built in downtown. And they are supportive of a massive public subsidy to offset the cost for the owners of the Sacramento Kings. Besides gross incompetence, this is also willful negligence.

A group of citizens and taxpayers known as STOP (Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork), and Voters for a Fair Arena Deal, are fighting the public subsidy of the proposed new arena. According to the lawsuit filed bySTOP, the city subsidy is actually $338 million — not the $258 million the city claims.

STOP has tried to get the details of the arena deal and purchase of the Sacramento Kings to be made public.

Beyond the legal challenge to the city’s… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sacto City Clerk rejects petition to put arena subsidy to a public vote

In another twist in Sacramento’s arena derangement syndrome, a petition drive to put a public subsidy for the proposed Sacramento basketball arena project to a public vote, has been rejected by the Sacramento City Clerk.

Friday, the city clerk announced that she rejected the petitions, along with 34,000 signatures, on the grounds some of the petition versions did not comply with election code.

“Due to technical issues identified in the submitted petitions, I find the petition noncompliant with significant provisions of the California Elections Code and the Sacramento City Charter, and therefore insufficient to move forward,”Shirley Concolino, Sacramento City Clerk, said in a press release.

Yet, just last week,theSacramento County Registrarcertified there were enough… Read More

Katy Grimes

State of the State: Gov. Brown seeks ‘fiscal restraint’ — and more spending

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown delivered his2014 State of the Statethis morning. It was largely a recap of his recent2014 Budget proposal press conference, but shorter.

As Brown often does, he first took on his critics:

“It occurred to me that these critics – who have long recited our state’s decline – perhaps have nothing to say in the face of California’s comeback – except, ‘please, don’t report it.’ Well, I’m going to report it, and what a comeback it is: A million new jobs since 2010, a budgetary surplus in the billions and a minimum wage rising to $10 an hour!”

Brown stressed again the need for “fiscal restraint” from the Legislature. But then he went on to discuss several big state… Read More

Katy Grimes

Arena Derangement Syndrome update: Arena lawsuit nears deposition of city officials

Opponents of the push for a heavily subsidized downtown Sacramento basketball arena are closer to forcing key city insiders to tell what they know about how much taxpayers actually will have to pay for the project.

Last week,Sacramento Superior Court Judge Eugene Balononissued a tentative ruling in the lawsuit targeting the arena deal orchestrated by Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA star. It supported petitioners’ requests that they be allowed to depose Sacramento Councilman Kevin McCarty and Sacramento Economic Development Director Jim Rhinehartabout undisclosed dealings between city officials and the new Kings ownership group to help it buy the team.

The Sacramento Investor Group,led by tech entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive,… Read More

Katy Grimes

Arena derangement syndrome afflicts Sacramento

Call it “arena derangement syndrome,” or ADS. It afflicts cities trying to use taxpayer money for new sports arenas or stadiums.

It’s now threatening thevalidation of 35,000 ballot initiative petition signatures that would halt the proposed subsidy of a new arena for Sacramento’s Kings basketball team.

The ADS gripping Sacramento has infiltrated most of city government, and made it all the way to the city’s top ranking officials. ADS started in the office of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, himself a former NBA star, then spread like a communicable disease through the Sacramento City Council, senior city management and city hospitality and convention agents. ADS thrives in a host of labor unions and crony capitalist business owners that would benefit from constructing the arena — and, of course, in the super fans.

ADS has divided friends and neighbors, even caused riffs in families.

In December, after the Sacramento City Clerk’s Office is done counting the petition signatures, Sacramento county elections officials said a validation process would take weeks.

The anti-public subsidy group… Read More

Katy Grimes

New CA Labor Secretary David Lanier, man of mystery

David Lanier has his hands full. Formerly Gov. Jerry Brown’s legislative affairs secretary, on Nov. 6 the governorgave him the nodto be the California’s new secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

Lanier takes charge more than three months after the meltdown of the computers of the Employment Development Department.

Ireported on those problems earlier this month. The problems are supposed to be fixed by Dec. 31. The “fix” already has cost California taxpayers $100 million.

In September, following the computer update,150,000Read More

Katy Grimes

EDD computers must be fixed by Dec. 31 – Part ll

This is Part 2 of a series on the EDD. Part 1, an interview with Spokesman Dan Stephens, ishere.

Just after the Labor Day weekend, the California Employment Development Department released a $100 million computer upgrade. Itcrashed.

Without warning,150,000 joblessCalifornians were cut from unemployment benefits. The EDD blamed a computer glitch and said it would take weeks to fix.

November hearings in the Legislature produced promises to fix the system. In response,Henry Perea, D-Fresno, the chairman of the Insurance Committee, senta letterto EDD Director Hilliard demanding fixes by Dec. 31. Perea identified five… Read More

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