Gov.-elect Jerry Brown, looking for ways to save money, is eliminating the job of Inspector General Laura
Chick, the former L.A. controller who tracked the flow
of federal stimulus dollars. The LAT's Jack Dolan tells
"Chick, who achieved a measure of celebrity in Los
for her public criticism of government waste, is not
"After announcing that Brown was closing her doors,
Chick said the Capitol needs more oversight, not less.
She complained that her efforts to shine a light on
wasteful spending in Sacramento have been stymied by
entrenched bureaucrats more interested in preserving
their power than in ensuring public accountability."
California's high-speed rail officials approved another leg of the system, after word arrived of the approval of additional
From the Mercury News' Mike Rosenberg: "After coming under attack for approving a multibillion-dollar "train to nowhere," California will spend another
$1.2 billion to bring the line closer to "somewhere," that
is, from the outskirts of Fresno to an area near Bakersfield."
"The California High-Speed Rail Authority board voted unanimously Monday
to extend construction of the first segment of track
across as many as 120 miles in the Central Valley at a cost of up to $5.5 billion."
Back to the real world, Wells Fargo has
agreed to ease the mortgages of thousands of people
who are staring foreclosure in the face.
From George Avalos in the Oakland Tribune: "Wells Fargo has agreed to modify the mortgages of nearly
15,000 California homeowners who teeter on the brink of foreclosure
under a $2 billion deal with state officials that was announced
"San Francisco-based Wells Fargo and the state Attorney General's
Office announced the settlement in connection with
"pick-a-pay" loans originated by Wachovia and Oakland-based World Savings."
Meanwhile, Capitol Weekly's Malcolm Maclachlan has
the story of the redistricting commission's tough conflict-of-interest rules -- rules that also apply to the panel's staff.
"The commissioners themselves have the option of waiving
the rules for particular hires, but only by meeting
a supermajority vote requirement: The votes of nine out of the 14 commissioners, including at least three each of Democrats,
Republicans and decline-to-state members, are required for a waiver."
"In the meantime, the commission has been posting job
openings — and these ads refer to the conflict-of-interest requirements. The goal, say people closely
associated with the process, is to see if they can
get a satisfactory applicant pool without having to
relax the requirements."
Gov. Schwarzenegger is begging a state appeals court
to let the controversial sale of state office buildings
go forward, reports the LA Times' Shane Goldmacher.
"In unusually blunt terms, the Schwarzenegger administration
has issued a desperate plea to the California Supreme
Court to intervene to allow the controversial sale
of two dozen state office buildings before he leaves
office in less than two weeks."
"The buildings’ sale,
which would raise $1.2 billion for this year’s budget, is stalled in the 6th District
Court of Appeal in San Jose. The court awaits legal
arguments this week from
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and opponents of the sale."
And now we turn to our "Have a Happy Flight" file to learn a new lesson: Don't worry about a bumpy ride, worry about that airsickness
bag right in front of you. Make sure you read this
tale just before breakfast.
"Her panic started when she was throwing away a used
tissue in an air sickness back in the seat pocket in
front of her."
"I took my Kleenex and proceeded to immerse it into
a trash bag," she explained. "When I did, my hand came
out full of blood and mucus. When the passenger — who did not wish to be identified — realized she had blood on her hands, she was frightened."
"I panicked and threw the bag on the floor, and then
blood smeared on the side of the airplane," she said."
Talk about friendly skies...