In a surprise move that stunned students and education experts alike, a 150-year old chain of for-profit colleges, including Corinthian and Heald, abruptly shut down this weekend, shuttering over 50 California campuses. Jill Tucker has the story for SFGate:
“Corinthian, which also operated Everest and WyoTech colleges, had come under fire after a U.S. Department of Education investigation found the company overstated employment prospects for Heald graduates by exaggerating job placement numbers.
“The investigation resulted in a $30 million fine this month and a ban on new-student enrollment. The company disputed the government’s findings…
“In addition, the company faced lawsuits, including one filed by Attorney General Kamala Harris in 2013 for securities fraud and predatory advertising, among other claims. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also sued for what it called a predatory lending scheme related to student financial loans….
“Despite the legal troubles, the closures were unexpected.”
Former GOP state party chief Tom Del Baccaro announced a bid to replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer. The announcement pits him against State Senator Rocky Chavez, (R-Oceanside) the only other high-profile Republican campaigning for the job (so far). Del Baccaro faces long odds in a state that favors Democrats, but first: can he even capture the nomination? From Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times:
“Allan Hoffenblum, a former Republican consultant who publishes the nonpartisan California Target Book election guide, described Del Beccaro as a “showman” whose candidacy would be hard to take seriously.
“’I think it’s an ego thing for him,’ Hoffenblum said, comparing Del Beccaro to presidential candidates who aim less for the White House than for lucrative TV and radio jobs that can follow a high-profile campaign.”
San Jose has announced strict new rules on outdoor water use, including a ban on washing your car at home. Paul Rogers has the detail at the San Jose Merc:
“It is now prohibited for anyone in San Jose to wash a car with potable water at home, whether or not they are using a hose with a shut-off nozzle. Commercial car washes are still allowed, as long as the businesses use recirculating water. It is also now illegal to top off a residential swimming pool or hot tub any more than 1 foot. The only exception: pools or hot tubs that are drained to fix leaks. (It is still legal to buy a pool or hot tub, but it is illegal to fill them.) Also, it is prohibited to put in a new lawn between May 1 and Oct. 31 if it has a sprinkler system.”
Over at the Bee, columnist Dan Walters takes aim at tax expenditures, or as he calls them, “loopholes.”
“While it takes only a simple majority vote by the Legislature and approval of the governor to create a new loophole, closing one is considered, legally, to be a tax increase and therefore requires a two-thirds legislative vote.
“Beyond legalism, however, those who benefit from lucrative loopholes will spend whatever it takes on lobbyists and campaign contributions to maintain them, while there’s no offsetting clout for reform.
“The tendency over time, therefore, is for the Capitol to open new loopholes at the behest of their beneficiaries – supposedly for the greater good of the public, of course – and almost never close old ones, even those whose supposed rationales have expired.”
Governor Brown is no stranger to the phenomenon of photo ops of politicians with their animal friends – after all, Sutter Brown, has a social media following that many celebrities would envy. But what to make of the photo of Brown dominating a rattlesnake with a walking stick that flashed around the state last week? And what happened to the snake? Can you say “Rattlergate”…
From Calbuzz: “’Did he kill the snake or not?’ we emailed Evan Westrup, Brown’s 12-year old, $134,000 chief flack, seeking merely to settle a commenter conflict that had broken out over at FB.
“’Res ipsa loquitor,’ he wrote back (after refusing to take our call), saying we should attribute the quote to him and not to Snape himself.
“Nice try, junior.
“As every school child knows, that Latin phrase, no doubt belched up by Brown, in the common law means ‘the thing speaks for itself.’ Except in this case. When, um, it doesn’t.”
As we go to press, still no word on whether the viper is alive or dead….
Fifty-seven Los Angeles firefighters are headed for Nepal to aid in search and rescue efforts following a massive earthquake that is reported to have killed nearly 4000 people in the remote nation.
We usually use this space to share a lighthearted story that’s good for a laugh, but today we thought we’d encourage readers to join us in donating to relief efforts to help this shattered country.
Public Radio International posted a list of seven charity organizations with very good reputations that are working to provide aid to Nepal. We were particularly impressed with Americares, which has been aiding survivors of natural disasters, political conflict and extreme poverty around the world for more than 30 years.
“Immediately, thousands of survivors will need medical treatment for cuts, lacerations and broken bones due to injuries from debris. In the following days and weeks, survivors may suffer from wound infections and respiratory problems from inhaling dust. If water supplies are disrupted, as some reports in Nepal indicate, survivors can become ill from drinking unclean water. The most vulnerable people – older people and young children, for example—are at risk for hypothermia and illness from exposure to weather; tens of thousands of survivors are reportedly living in tents in Kathmandu now, either because their homes were destroyed or damaged or very real threats from continuing aftershocks. “
We hope you’ll give if you can.