Arts & Culture, Issues, News, Politics »
The city of L.A. is finally getting serious about McMansions – large houses built on small lots that are out of step with the traditional character of neighborhoods.
The City Council has slapped a temporary ban on the construction of McMansions in 20 upscale neighborhoods while it considers a broader response to the problem.
In five of those neighborhoods, the city also temporarily banned the issuance …
News, Politics, Santa Barbara »
If you drive Highway 101 between Ventura and Carpinteria, check out Santa Barbara County’s first car pool lanes. This completes the second of four scheduled phases within the Highway 101 widening project. City Council member Gregg Hart is the spokesperson for the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, which is overseeing the project. He hopes that, with support from the city and financial contributions at the state level, they’ll raise the …
California Elections, economy, Environment, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics, Power and Water, Zocalo Public Square »
We’re well into the fourth year of a severe drought in California.
And this week, Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders from both parties announced more than a billion dollars in emergency aid that’s being introduced as legislation in Sacramento.
But at a press conference, the governor also faced question after question over whether the State Water Resources Control Board’s new conservation actions are enough.
John Myers is …
News, Politics, Santa Barbara, Water and the Drought »
A few hundred people attended Friday’s public State of the City breakfast, at the Fess Parker Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara. With two large screens on either side of the stage, displaying complementary info-graphics, photos and videos, Mayor Helene Schneider began her speech by celebrating partnership projects underway.
“The level of civic involvement here in Santa Barbara is unparalleled, and together we’ve built an incredible community through a …
A Huntington Beach attorney is trying to make a point about the First Amendment, but it seems unlikely that Matt McLaughlin could have found a more offensive way to do it.
Hard to believe, but McLaughlin has proposed a ballot measure that calls for the killing of gays and lesbians. And it appears that he will be allowed to proceed to the signature-gathering stage.
It will …
The Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant in Santa Barbara hasn’t seen use in over two decades, but that might change soon. According to the city’s Water Resources Manager Joshua Haggmark, the plant is crucial for Santa Barbara to survive the drought.
“I don’t think desalination should be our only source of water, but in California I think it should be a small portion of the water supply. At least …
News, Politics, Santa Barbara »
Santa Barbara residents have until Friday to submit their ideas for how the city should be divided up. Districts are being carved out, as the city makes changes to the way voters elect council members. Starting this Fall, the city will be divided into six districts. Under an agreed-upon in the court settlement, Noozhawk reports, at least two must have a majority of Latino and/or …
California Elections, News, Politics »
Last week, Republicans in California’s state Senate chose Jean Fuller as their new leader. When Fuller takes over as Senate GOP leader this fall, she’ll be the first woman from either party to hold a leadership position in that chamber, and three out of four of the top leaders in the state legislature will be women. The others–who are already on the job–are Assembly Speaker Toni …
Today, March 3 is an election day – polls are open from 7am-8pm.
First things first, check out SmartVoter.org and find out where your polling place is, and who is on your local ballot.
Then, use this handy League of Women’s Voters guide (pdf) to learn more about the candidates.
Voters will be deciding on:
City Charter Amendments 1 & 2, which will determine if the election date should change for …
California Elections, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »
Voters in Los Angeles County will head to the polls on Tuesday.
They’re set to cast ballots for City Council, School Board and Community College District Board members.
And then there are also a couple of charter amendments that would change when we hold local elections, with the goal of boosting voter turnout.
Only 23 percent of voters turned out for the last mayoral election.
Dave Zahniser covers city …
economy, Environment, Issues, News, Politics »
Waste liquid from fracking operations contains levels of benzene that can be far higher than state and federal agencies consider safe, according to a new analysis.
That liquid – known as flowback fluid – is often reinjected into groundwater. Benzene is a known carcinogen.
The state passed a fracking law two years ago that requires oil companies to test wells for a variety of toxins. The …
California Elections, economy, Issues, News, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »
We’re just into 2015, and here we are, talking about the presidential candidates for 2016. In speech after speech, Republican and Democratic candidates are weighing in on income inequality and the wealth gap. Or, as Jeb Bush called it this week, the “opportunity gap.”
A new multimedia series for Capital & Main launched this week, in a cross-California analysis of poverty and an increasing income …
Los Angeles is a huge, complex city with a government whose machinations are often opaque and always perplexing. Nobody was better at cutting through the bureaucratic haze and back-room dealing at City Hall than Los Angeles Daily News reporter Rick Orlov.
Orlov’s death yesterday at age 66 leaves a huge hole in L.A. government journalism. He was mentor to many young reporters and gave his …
Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »
There’s a new poll that came out this week from the Public Policy Institute of California, that asked residents how they feel about Governor Jerry Brown’s job performance, his budget proposal and also things like water use and higher education spending. All important topics, sure.
And then there was this nugget: the poll found that a solid majority of adults think their police departments are doing …
Environment, Issues, News, Politics »
Hedge fund billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer says he won’t run for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat in 2016. That could make things a little easier for state Attorney General Kamala Harris, the one Democrat so far to commit to the race.
Steyer – a Bay Area businessman and climate change activist – says he seriously considered making a run for the Senate. But Steyer …
President Obama will deliver the 2015 State of the Union address at 6 p.m PT / 9 p.m. ET.
The economy is improving, Obama’s approval rating has seen an uptick (most polls put it at 46 percent, but a Washington Post-ABC poll out Monday puts it at 50 percent), and Americans are feeling more optimistic than they have been. Things could be worse, but they could be better as Obama gets ready to face the most hostile Congress he’s seen. (Even back in 2009 when he was called a liar, …
California Elections, economy, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, The New Mayor »
As the budget debate continues over how to deal with the least among us in California, there are calls from the extreme left for Governor Brown, and the legislature, to devote more to those people and social programs that were hit hard in the state budget by the Great Recession, and they haven’t much recovered.
Here in Los Angeles, there are proposals to raise the …
Commentary, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »
In the mythology of ancient Greece, Odysseus, King of Ithaca, disguises himself as a beggar to gain an advantage over his enemies. In Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” a relative masquerading as a vagabond helps shift the monarch’s sympathies toward the disadvantaged.
The past year marked a new trend in the electoral cycle: politicians “going native,” spending the night in homeless shelters or sleeping on the streets …
California Elections, economy, Education, Issues, Politics »
Governor Jerry Brown today released a record $113 billion state spending plan.
Under the proposal, the general fund will increase about 5 percent from the current fiscal year… something the governor says reflects California’s economic momentum.
The governor, however, did not propose many new programs but instead focused on covering growing costs to existing ones.
John Myers is at the California Politics Desk at KQED in San Francisco, and …