"Lawmakers on Monday failed to compromise on changes to the $9.9 billion high-speed rail bond voters will take up in November," writes the Bee's E.J. Schultz.
"Republicans, Democrats and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
agree that the current ballot measure lacks oversight
language. But the two parties have not agreed on how
to fix the measure, which lawmakers originally crafted
"As envisioned, bullet trains eventually would run from
San Diego, through the Central Valley, to the Bay Area
and as far north as Sacramento, with top speeds of
more than 200 mph.
"The bond would cover only about a third of the project's cost. Planners hope the federal government and private
companies will pick up the rest.
"The current language in the bond measure, known as
Proposition 1, prioritizes the route running from Los Angeles to
Fresno and on to Merced and San Francisco.
"Assembly Bill 3034 by Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani
, D-Stockton, opens up other segments for first-round funding – such as lines to Sacramento and San Diego – so long as the spending does not have an "adverse impact" on the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco route. Such flexibility could give the
"yes" campaign a wider voter audience, presumably making
it easier to pass.
"But the state Senate on Monday failed to take up the
bill because Republicans and Democrats could not agree
on how to beef up the oversight."
"Service workers at the University of California's 10 campuses and hospitals went on strike [yesterday] over a salary dispute," writes Gale Holland in the Times.
"The workers, members of the American Federation of
State, County and Municipal Employees, say they are
paid 25% less than workers who hold similar jobs at community
colleges and private hospitals. UC and the union have
been negotiating a new contract since last year without
success, and the union had voted to strike if its demands
were not met.
"The contract dispute is taking place as the UC system
faces severe funding shortages. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
has proposed a budget for next year that would leave
the university $240 million short of covering its costs.
"Union President Lakesha Harrison
has argued that the university has the funds to pay
the food service, custodial, medical and other workers
a decent wage but that it is not a priority for the
university. Some top UC officials, she noted, have
received large pay increases.
"'No one's trying to get rich here,' she said earlier this month. 'It makes no sense that the world-renowned University of California cannot pay its workers
at least what community colleges in their areas are
It looks like the mind games in the 2010 governor's race have begun.
Matier and Ross report, "No sooner did San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announce he was forming an exploratory committee for
governor than state Attorney General Jerry Brown made a move of his own - one that's likely to get under Newsom's skin.
"Reliable sources tell us that Brown has approached
San Francisco PR consultant Alex Tourk to help launch his own campaign for governor, and the
two were in serious talks this past week.
"Tourk, who once headed Newsom's Project Homeless
Connect program, had a falling-out with his boss when he found out the
mayor had slept with Tourk's wife."
Newsom refused to respond to reports that he would
retaliate by hiring Linda Ronstadt.
"A state watchdog commission recommended yesterday that California phase out its
antiquated juvenile prisons by 2011, replacing them with regional lockups run by counties," reports the AP's Don Thompson.
"The regional centers would hold the most dangerous
offenders under the proposal by the Little Hoover Commission.
Less serious offenders would be housed at county juvenile
"Commissioners said the state also should end its three-year experiment with combining youth and adult prisons
under the California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation. Authority over youth prisons would
be placed under an Office of Juvenile Justice reporting
to the governor until the state ends its involvement.
"It will cost taxpayers $378 million next year to care for the state's 1,500 juvenile inmates, the panel said in a report to Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders. The
report also suggests that the youth prisons carry out
rehabilitation, stating that three of four freed young
offenders commit crimes within three years.
“'Californians may fairly ask what they are getting for
this outlay and whether other strategies can better
deliver public safety and youth rehabilitation,' commission Chairman Daniel Hancock
From our Mmmmm....Crisco files:
"California is poised to become the first state in the nation to
ban restaurants and other food facilities from using
trans fats, which are known to increase the risk of heart disease,
under a bill approved by the state Legislature Monday
and sent to the governor," reports Samantha Sondag in the Chron.
"The measure, passed with a bare majority, comes two
weeks after a similar ban in New York City became fully
effective. California doctor and consumer groups support
the law, while restaurant groups have offered a lukewarm
response. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not taken
a position, a spokesman said.
"Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia (Los Angeles County), who wrote AB97, said the measure is intended to promote the health
"'When it comes to heart disease and diabetes, communities
of color are leading the way,' Mendoza said. 'I figured that the use of trans fats in our restaurants
is a leading contributor to that.'"
"Kevin Westlye of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which represents
800 Bay Area restaurants, bars and caterers, said Mendoza's bill is practically unnecessary given the dedication
of California restaurants to providing healthful dining
"'Restaurants don't really use trans fats anymore,' he said. 'It's very minimal.'
"Westlye thinks efforts to eliminate trans fats are
better focused at the national level, where packaged
goods are regulated. He said the New York law took
only a small share of trans fats off the table."
"A disgruntled city computer engineer has virtually commandeered San Francisco's new multimillion-dollar computer network, altering it to deny access to top administrators
even as he sits in jail on $5 million bail, authorities said Monday," reports Jaxon Van Derbeken in the Chron.
"Terry Childs, a 43-year-old computer network administrator who lives in Pittsburg,
has been charged with four counts of computer tampering
and is scheduled to be arraigned today.
"Prosecutors say Childs, who works in the Department
of Technology at a base salary of just over $126,000, tampered with the city's new FiberWAN (Wide Area Network), where records such as officials' e-mails, city payroll files, confidential law enforcement
documents and jail inmates' bookings are stored.
"Childs created a password that granted him exclusive
access to the system, authorities said. He initially
gave pass codes to police, but they didn't work. When pressed, Childs refused to divulge the
real code even when threatened with arrest, they said.
"He was taken into custody Sunday. City officials said
late Monday that they had made some headway into cracking
his pass codes and regaining access to the system."
CW's Malcolm Maclachlan reports on a bill that could eliminate alcohol sales at certain
"Assemblyman Hector De La Torre, D-South Gate, has introduced a measure that would ban
alcohol sales at stores that offer only self-checkout lines. The bill is supported by groups fighting
"But AB 523 would seem to disproportionately affect one non-union
grocery store chain. That chain, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets,
is in the midst of a push
to expand into northern California-including in an Oak Park location
being developed by
Sacramento mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson.
"After several years of internal debate, the University of California's
faculty has finalized a proposal to recast the system's decades-old
promise to admit one of every eight graduating high
school seniors in
the state," reports the U-T's Jim Sweeney
"The revised formula would limit the UC admissions guarantee
to one in
10 graduating seniors starting in fall 2012, but it's much more
complicated than that.
"Supporters call it a long-overdue overhaul of criteria that exclude
thousands of deserving students simply because they
failed to complete
one step or another."
To which we say, "Booooo!!!"
And finally, from our Crazy Like a Fox Files, AP reports, "A 77-year-old grandmother was recovering at home after she pinned
down a rabid fox that bit her and held it until help
Blakeslee was attacked as she tended to her petunias
outside her Stroudsburg farmhouse.
said she pushed the animal to the ground after it bit
her, and held its
jaws shut with one arm as she flagged down a passing
driver with the
"Blakeslee's teenage grandson, who lives next door, heard the
motorist's cries and ran to help, followed by Blakeslee's son, who shot