Capitol Weekly's John Howard reports on a decision that is likely to increase the cost of earthquake insurance statewide
. "After lengthy negotiations, the state's major property insurers and the California Earthquake Authority have reached tentative agreement on a financing plan that would increase the average quake insurance policy by $55 annually, and includes a new $1.2 billion commitment from insurers.
The CEA's three-member governing board--composed of representatives of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and Treasurer Bill Lockyer approved the draft in a 2-1 vote. Lockyer, critical of the CEA's financial structure, opposed the proposal.
And from our Whiskey's For Drinking, Water's For Fighting Files
, the LAT's Sara Lin and Maeve Raeston report,"One of the directors of a small Yucca Valley water district who is fighting a recall election was arrested Tuesday for allegedly voting on water rates that could have benefited the water-hauling company she owns with her husband.
"The arrest of Sharon Lee Edwards
capped a tumultuous year for the tiny district that operates eight wells in a 45-square-mile territory that includes the remote desert communities of Flamingo Heights, Landers and Johnson Valley."
Keith Richman and Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach are back with a plan to reduce public employee pensions
. " As government officials throughout California grapple with the ballooning costs of public employee pensions and health care, two conservative politicians want voters to pop the bubble.
"The two are seeking to qualify a ballot initiative that would dramatically shrink retirement benefits for new state and local workers.
"'Something has to be done,' said initiative proponent and Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach.
"Public employee groups blasted the proposed initiative as unfair and too severe, saying some workers could see benefits slashed 60 percent.
"'It's an amazingly draconian initiative,' said Dave Low, chairman of Californians for Health Care and Retirement Security, a coalition working to protect public employees' retirement benefits. 'It's taking a 30-year employee and saying, `You've got to retire in poverty.'"
"A group of California teenagers working to curb underage drinking
scored a victory Tuesday when state officials voted to impose a steep new tax on sweet alcohol drinks
, such as Smirnoff Ice, Seagram's Coolers, Bacardi Silver and Mike's Hard Lemonade," reports Nancy Vogel.
The kids were immediately beaten up by the football team after practice Tuesday.
And Jon Fleischman reports Jeff Denham has turned the tables on the naysayers, and is using the budget standoff as a fundraising weapon
. "Senator Denham isn't taking this threat, however incredulous, lying down. A new website has been launched, www.joinwithjeff.com, where you can go to voice your support for Denham. The Friends of Jeff Denham Against The Recall have launched a television spot across his district, which you can watch below, and you can listen to a radio spot that they put together by clicking here
Meanwhile, Bill Lockyer wants to jump on board the Green Building Train
"State Treasurer Bill Lockyer on Tuesday proposed a $5 billion bond measure to combat global warming by getting California's largest building owner -- the state government -- to improve its energy efficiency
"Lockyer said he wants the Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign off on a November 2008 ballot measure to retrofit the state's massive building inventory with solar panels and other clean energy technologies
In more bad news for John Doolittle, the Bee's David Whitney reports the congressman has another primary challenger
"Auburn City Councilman Mike Holmes
announced Tuesday that he is entering the 2008 race for the congressional seat held by Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville.
"Holmes, 67, is the second Republican to announce against Doolittle, who is under federal investigation in the ongoing political corruption scandal stirred by imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff
, a 37-year-old Air Force reservist and security consultant, announced July 30 he will seek the Republican nomination for the 4th Congressional District seat Doolittle has held since 1991. Did Mr. Dianne Feinstein help fire the UC President?
Matier and Ross say yes.
"Members of the University of California's governing Board of Regents, unhappy with what they saw as persistent management problems in the UC system, pushed university President Robert Dynes into announcing his resignation this week, sources involved in the move said Tuesday
"Board Chairman Richard Blum met with the 64-year-old Dynes over dinner at Trader Vic's in Emeryville
three weeks ago to tell him the regents had grown impatient with his lack of progress in reforming a dysfunctional university hierarchy, the sources said."
"Blum, husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., confirmed that he had met with Dynes at the Emeryville restaurant but would not comment on details, saying only that 'Bob told me he wanted to spend more time with his family.'"
And finally, from our Who You Gunna Call Files
, the AP reports, A woman was arrested after she ">called police to help "get her money back" after she was unhappy with the crack cocaine she purchased
"Juanita Marie Jones
, 53, called Rochelle Police late Thursday night after she purchased what she thought was a $20 piece of crack cocaine, according to police reports.
"She told officers she broke the rock into three pieces and smoked one, only to discover the drugs were 'fake.'"
In a kind of good news, bad news ending, when the cops arrived, it turns out the drugs were real. But Jones was arrested for possession of cocaine.