At a tense meeting at an Assembly Budget subcommittee, University of California President Janet Napolitano threatened to cap in-state enrollments at UC unless the state authorizes more money for the system next year. From Alexei Koseff at the Sacramento Bee.
“’We will not not be admitting students that we don’t know that we actually have funding for,’ Napolitano said.
“Democratic Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins slammed the plan, expressing frustration over ‘UC’s latest attempt to use students as bargaining chips…’
“’Even to maintain the current level of enrollment that we have of California students,’ Napolitano said, ‘we either need to have additional money from the state or we need to have a certain number of out-of-state students.’”
Los Angeles yesterday held local elections, returning incumbents to their seats and – so far – approving a change that would consolidate local elections with state and federal election dates. From David Zahniser, Emily Alpert Reyes and Catherine Saillant at the Los Angeles Times:
“A handful of City Hall incumbents — council members Jose Huizar, Paul Krekorian, Nury Martinez and Herb Wesson — were easily fending off reelection challenges, according to partial returns. Councilman Mitchell Englander, who was unopposed, also won reelection.
“Charter Amendments 1 and 2, billed as ways to boost turnout in city and school board races, were well ahead of the more than 50% approval required to win passage, the results showed. They were being decided on a day when turnout in the city was expected to stay below the much-lamented 21% mark recorded two years ago, when there were open races for mayor and six council offices.”
California’s two U.S. senators have introduced legislation that would add federal protections to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, designating it as a ‘national heritage area.’ The designation would not affect property or water rights, but there is no word on how it would impact Governor Brown’s twin tunnels plan.
From Carolyn Lochhead at the San Francisco Chronicle: “National heritage areas operate under the National Park Service, but the agency plays only an advisory role to the local commissions set up to manage them. The designation operates through public-private partnerships that leverage federal funds for such things as historic preservation, natural resource conservation, and educational and recreational projects.
“Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer said in a statement that the designation would have no effect on property rights or water rights, always a sensitive concern in California and never more so than during a drought.
“Feinstein called the delta ‘a critical resource for California.’ Boxer said the designation would ‘benefit the environment and the economy of the entire region.’”
Water conservation weakens, even as the drought worsens. From Paul Rogers at the San Jose Mercury News:
“According to new data released Tuesday, Californians cut water use 8.8 percent statewide at homes and businesses in January compared with January 2013, the baseline year used by state water officials.
“That's a far cry from the 20 percent conservation target that Gov. Jerry Brown asked state residents to hit last year. And it's a significant drop-off from the 22 percent drop that Californians recorded in December compared with December 2013…
"’Folks look at their lawns, and they just can't bear them being brown,’ said Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board, which collects data from roughly 400 cities, counties and water agencies.
“On March 17, the board will consider new rules to increase water savings.”
Sad news yesterday as word spread that John Mockler, noted education consultant, and author of Prop 98, had died at 73. Greg Lucas penned a moving obit for his longtime friend at Capitol Weekly.
“’John knew education law like no one else and was able to put school finance on a solid footing that endures even today. He was also a great human being who I will deeply miss,’ Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday.
The architect of Proposition 98, the 1988 initiative that sets state support for public schools, Mockler also served as executive director of the State Board of Education and Gov. Gray Davis’ cabinet secretary for education….
“’His brilliance, tireless energy and wicked humor never allowed bureaucracy or politics to get in the way of what’s right for kids. He solved more state budget crises on the back of a napkin than any governor and did it faster than any computer could be programmed,’ [said Joe Nunez, executive director of the California Teacher Association and a longtime friend.]”
And, this week we continue to celebrate the great state of Florida, which joined the Union 150 years ago this week. What better way to celebrate than to follow the exploits of the state’s weird and wonderful inhabitants – whose actions so often lead to bizarre news headlines that begin with, “Florida Man…” There’s even a Twitter feed devoted to “Real-life stories of the world's worst superhero.”
Today’s episode: Florida Man throws bucket of urine, French onion dip at girlfriend.
“Michael Williams, 43, of the 3000 block of Thomasson Drive, was arrested Sunday by Collier deputies at his home… accused of throwing a bucket of urine at his girlfriend during an argument.
“During the argument, the girlfriend told deputies that Williams threw a can of French onion dip and a bucket of urine at her.
“Reports said that the home where Williams lives occupies 10 residents but only has one bathroom so they use a bucket outside to urinate and empty it later.”