Inglewood Government Schools: Rats, Mold, Filth—Run by State of California!

In 2012 the State of California took over the totally failed, bankrupt, corrupt Inglewood School district. At that time, it was a failed education facility, but the schools passed health inspections. One thing the new State management did was to fire 18 janitors. Now it is as healthy as a Mexican border town school. Rats, mold, filth, everywhere.

The State of California wants to take over all of your health care needs. The same people that have made sure children get sick at school; now want to make sure your health care meets the needs of Calcutta residents.

“Filthy classrooms. Blocked exit doors. Green matter, either mold or moss, growing in a drinking fountain.  Those are just some of the 23 “extreme deficiencies” a Los Angeles County inspector found on a recent visit to Inglewood High School, despite a promise by the school district’s leadership to fix problems exposed by a KPCC investigation.

The inspection by the Los Angeles County office of Education was performed a month after a promise by the state trustee running Inglewood Unified School District and the state school superintendent to clean up Inglewood High, which came in the wake of KPCC’s investigation into unsanitary and unsafe conditions at various Inglewood schools.”

It took a radio station, NOT the parents or union, to complain about the sickly conditions—think the State will do better for your health care needs?

classroom

Inglewood Unified: Filth, exposed wires, roaches still at some schools a month after KPCC investigation

Karen Foshay, KPCC, 12/18/14

Filthy classrooms. Blocked exit doors. Green matter, either mold or moss, growing in a drinking fountain.  Those are just some of the 23 “extreme deficiencies” a Los Angeles County inspector found on a recent visit to Inglewood High School, despite a promise by the school district’s leadership to fix problems exposed by a KPCC investigation.

The inspection by the Los Angeles County office of Education was performed a month after a promise by the state trustee running Inglewood Unified School District and the state school superintendent to clean up Inglewood High, which came in the wake of KPCC’s investigation into unsanitary and unsafe conditions at various Inglewood schools.

“The school appears to have a lack of maintenance and or repair,” wrote inspector Anthony Vallo, who added, “As a result there are many extreme deficiencies through out the school.”

Vallo photographed some of the problems, including:

  • Ceiling damage in the boy’s locker room, the library and some classrooms
  • Flooding in the auditorium
  • Excessive trash in some classrooms and a storage area
  • A clogged, damaged drinking fountain in the girls’ locker room with “moss or mold” in it, and a shower stuck on with the water running
  • Broken windows in a classroom

Vallo found the same conditions KPCC had observed, including exposed wiring, holes in ceilings, and a courtyard breezeway falling in.

The inspector found exposed wiring in three locations “with voltage present,” and four blocked exit doors – three of them in classrooms. He found three fire extinguishers that were either out of date or missing inspection tags. Vallos also found water damage in walls and/or ceilings in several classrooms and other areas.

Trash piles and rats are typical at Inglewood High, according to 11th grader Annabelle, who also said there is a major cockroach infestation.

“There are a lot of cockroaches….big ones,” said Annabelle, who asked that her last name be withheld.

Vallo found “evidence of cockroaches” in the kitchen/cafe during his inspection, according to his report.

Don Brann, the state trustee running Inglewood Unified, announced last month that an exterminator will visit the campus “on a monthly/on-going basis.” The move was part of an “action plan” Brann unveiled in response to KPCC’s reporting.  The plan included “deep cleaning” of the school’s bathrooms and “additional training and support” for the school’s custodial and maintenance staff.

Brann also said that maintenance staff had “prioritized a list of repairs” at Inglewood High.

On Wednesday, Brann told KPCC he hadn’t read the county inspection reports on Inglewood High and eight other Inglewood Unified schools, but said he is committed to clean and safe schools and has cleaning crews working weekends.

“The conditions here are really difficult to deal with,” said Brann. “Inglewood High for example is a hundred years old in certain parts,” he added, noting that he has called for the building of a new high school.

‘Dry rot,’ ‘mold,’ ‘sagging’ ceilings or floors

Inglewood High is not the only school with problems, according to county inspectors.

Of the nine schools inspected, only three received a “good” rating. Inglewood High ranked the worst, with Morningside High and Monroe Middle School rounding out the bottom.

At Monroe Middle School, inspector Vallo found four areas that merited an “extreme deficiency” rating, including the kitchen, where surfaces had “mildew or visual mold,” the ceilings or floors “are sloping or sagging” and there is “dry rot/mold in structural components.”

Vallo’s photos show the wall in the kitchen’s back room is missing drywall, with “severe damage and several studs damaged or missing.” In noting the “heavy damage” to the back room, the inspector noted in his report that the room “has been like this for some time.”

 

Caption: An inspector’s photo of damage to the ceiling in the back room of Monroe Middle School’s kitchen. (L.A. County Office of Education)

Morningside High also had a number of extreme deficiencies, including locked exit doors and a pigeon infestation.

“We know that our facilities are old but this is pretty extreme and we haven’t experienced anything like this in the past,” Kelly Iwamoto, President of the Inglewood Teachers Association said in reaction to the county report.

When asked if he could patch walls, fix leaks and get rid of cockroaches at Inglewood schools over the holiday break, Brann said, “Yeah I think we can get those things recentered and back to being reasonable, but they need to be really replaced and to be nice.”

Lawsuit prompted mandatory inspections

L.A. County’s inspections of Inglewood schools are required under a set of state laws commonly referred to as the Williams Settlement Legislation.

The laws were created as part of a 2004 settlement between the state and civil rights groups that had sued, claiming public school children were being denied basic tools needed for an education.  Inglewood students and parents were some of the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The Williams laws require the facilities of low performing schools to be inspected for various conditions, including safety and cleanliness.

Records show Inglewood Unified has done well in previous county inspections.

Inglewood High School has earned a “good” rating in five of the last seven inspections, dating back to 2008.  The school earned a “good” rating as recently as this past April, earning a score of 93 percent out of a possible 100 percent. It dropped to “poor”  – the lowest classification – during December’s inspection, with a score of just 12 percent.

Chris Graeber, an official with the union that represents Inglewood Unified’s classified workers, thinks Brann’s June decision to fire a number of janitors is to blame for the slide.

“They laid off 18 custodians, and they also laid off the people who were in charge of those custodians,” said Graeber.

Brann, who made the cuts as part of his attempt to pull Inglewood Unified out of debt, denied the layoffs were the cause of the problems at Inglewood High and the other schools. He added that he re-hired most of the laid-off supervisors as lower-level custodians, “saving all that differential pay.”

The state took over a nearly bankrupt Inglewood Unified in 2012 and gave it an infusion of $29 million.Brann is the District’s third state trustee; he took over in July 2013.

Teachers’ union president Iwamoto expressed frustration with the slow pace of repairs. “The union tells [Brann] and his cabinet all the time” about the problems cited in the inspection reports, she said, noting that a state monitor’s report on Inglewood Unified last summer referred to some of the same issues.

“I think it just further proves that something needs to be done,” said Iwamoto. “Enough talk… we want Don to have effective leadership to get these things done.”

‘The buck stops with the state’

“The buck stops with the state,” argued David Sapp, director of education advocacy for the ACLU of California, one of the organizations that filed the lawsuit that led to the Williams laws.

Since California’s Department of Education “is operating and responsible for the day-to-day operations of the school district,” it is “fully responsible for what is happening at the school level,” Sapp asserted.

“I just think about the student who’s sitting in a room looking at a hole in the wall with water or rain coming in and what that communicates to the student about how the state values his or her education,” he said, adding, “when I think about that I just know that if I were the state superintendent I’d be on the next plane down to Inglewood to get to the bottom of what’s going on and make sure that there’s a solution.”

In response to KPCC’s report last month on the problems at Inglewood Unified,  State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson  said he and his staff would “get to the bottom of things that need fixing right away.”

Beyond convening a meeting with his staff and Brann, it’s unclear what other steps Torlakson has taken. He has not visited Inglewood Unified since KPCC’s initial report, according to his office. 

Torlakson was unavailable for comment for this story.

County inspectors will conduct a follow-up visit to Inglewood High on January 5th to see if any of the “extreme deficiencies” have been corrected.

 

 

Texas job growth outpaces rest of U.S. combined

Want a job? Go to Texas. Want welfare? Go to California. Seriously, the State of Texas, a free to work State, a State with no income or corporate taxes has shown how to create jobs—be business friendly, low taxes and laugh at jokes like AB 32 or AB 109. Texas means business. California means a laboratory for Leftist ideology—all losers.

California needs $200 billion in taxes to build a high speed rail. Texas is also building a high speed rail—with NO tax dollars. Another example of how freedom operates.

“The remarkable employment growth in Texas looks even bigger considering its size relative to the rest of the U.S. Total non-farm employment has grown by 11.5 percent in Texas since December 2007. Employment in the rest of the United States has grown only 0.6 percent. Until September 2014, total employment growth in the rest of the United States since December 2007 was still negative.”

Want to survive? Live in California? Want to live? Go to Texas. Go Cowboys!

Flag_of_Texas

Texas job growth outpaces rest of U.S. combined

BY JASON RUSSELL, Washington Times, 12/18/14

Since the recession began in December 2007, 1.2 million net jobs have been created in Texas….

The economic miracle in Texas continues.

Since the recession began in December 2007, 1.2 million net jobs have been created in Texas. Only 700,000 net jobs have been created in the other 49 states combined.

The remarkable employment growth in Texas looks even bigger considering its size relative to the rest of the U.S. Total non-farm employment has grown by 11.5 percent in Texas since December 2007. Employment in the rest of the United States has grown only 0.6 percent. Until September 2014, total employment growth in the rest of the United States since December 2007 was still negative.

Only North Dakota has outpaced Texas on percent job growth, thanks to jobs created by the fracking revolution. California, Texas’ biggest economic rival, has created 985,600 fewer net jobs during the same period. California’s 1.5 percent job growth is ten percentage points lower than Texas’ percent job growth.

These data have been updated to include state employment numbers released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics data series.

Why is Texas such a great state for job creation?

For starters, Texas does not collect an individual income tax or a corporate income tax. It does collect a gross receipts tax. Still, the Tax Foundation’s 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index says Texas has the tenth best business tax climate in the U.S.

Texas has one of the highest sales taxes in the nation to make up for lost income tax revenue. The combined state and average local sales tax rate of 8.15 percent is 11th highest in the nation. However, sales taxes are more efficient than income taxes, since they don’t punish work.

Texas is also a right-to-work state, which studies have shown is better for the economy. Texas is the freest labor market in the country, according to the Mercatus Center. Their labor market freedom rankings include right-to-work status, in addition to minimum wage laws and workers compensation regulations, among other factors.

All these factors explain why Texas was ranked number one in economic performance in 2014 by the American Legislative Exchange Council. Texas performs highly in migration, employment and state gross domestic product.

 

CEQA to be Used to End Cars in California Cities

Bet you did not know that CEQA could end the use of cars in California? Here is how. In order to meet “clean air standards”, CEQA can force cities to end street parking, force the use of all gas tax money to create bike and walking lanes—take tax dollars to subsidize more busses. Instead of having lanes for cars—make mandatory half the lanes for other than private cars. All in an effort to force people out of their cars.

To the radicals in Sacramento CREATING gridlock is the goal of environmental regulations. Elections matter—we need honest legislators’ not Cuban style policies.

“A change to the formula used under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) could have a large impact on development throughout the state. Currently, the CEQA process views projects as having a negative environmental impact if they slow traffic. The proposed changes would change the perspective from one focusing on stemming traffic to one with an eye towards decreasing the amount of cars on the road and the temporal length of transportation.”

jerry brown legis

Proposed CEQA changes could push development to disincentivize car use

Metermadness, 12/8/14

A change to the formula used under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) could have a large impact on development throughout the state. Currently, the CEQA process views projects as having a negative environmental impact if they slow traffic. The proposed changes would change the perspective from one focusing on stemming traffic to one with an eye towards decreasing the amount of cars on the road and the temporal length of transportation.

If the proposed changes become final, the slight difference in priorities may change the way developers treat the city and suburbs. Whereas previous attempts under the act expanded car lanes and synchronized streetlights in order to lessen traffic, new attempts would discourage suburban sprawl and instead incentivize options for alternative transport. Those who bike and use mass transit may benefit from the proposed regulatory process, and supporters of green development are supporting the changes with the belief that it will lower greenhouse emissions. Yet for drivers who already have long commutes, driving through the city could become more onerous.

How should the state of California regulate development under CEQA? Do you think your commute could be affected if the development process changes?.. (more)

Thank you for expressing so clearly the objectives of the SFMTA to slow traffic and snarl it. We just had an election in SF where the SFMTA claimed the cars were causing the congestion. Now you have helped us prove that they are causing it on purpose. Thanks once again for proving us right and exposing the SFMTA’s lies, and explaining how the state is s*****g drivers.

We claimed the SFMTA is using taxpayer dollars that should be used to enhance MUNI to harass drivers and your statements support our claims. – ENUF, SaveMuni, Yes on L, No on A and B campaigns.

 

OBAMA’S BOY: High-Priced SEIU Union Rep Protester Charged with Attacking Cop

The SEIU is run by goons. What would you call an SEIU high official that organizes attacks on police and personally assaults a cop? Remember, if the SEIU were not allowed to extort workers and blackmail corporations, it would not exist. In California it supports ending UC pension investments in any firm dealing with Israel—the SEIU SUPPORTS the Palestinians—the terrorists of the Middle East.

“Murray worked as an organizing coordinator for 32BJ, a 145,000-member New York affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, known as SEIU, which has more than two million members nationally.

The attack in which Murray is charged has been front-page news in New York for almost a week. It was the first significant violence directed toward police after weeks of demonstrations across the city.  In the wake of the incident, the police union has harshly criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio, who they have portrayed as overly sympathetic to the protesters and insufficiently supportive of police.”

Now, two NYPD cops were executed—thanks to the rioting and revolt created, in part by the SEIU. Blood is literally on their hands.

SEIUObama

OBAMA’S BOY: High-Priced SEIU Union Rep Protester Charged with Attacking Cop

Daily Clash with Doug Gilles, 12/20/14

Coming from the SEIU, I could’ve told you that one.

A protester who has been charged with assaulting a New York police officer was making six-figures working for one the country’s largest unions, The Daily Beast has learned.

Robert Murray, 43, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, surrendered to police at Manhattan’s 5th Precinct Thursday morning.

According to a police spokesperson, Murray was charged with two felony counts of assaulting a police officer and three misdemeanors counts, one each of resisting arrest, inciting to riot, and obstruction of governmental administration. Murray has no prior arrests, the spokesman said. No date has been announced yet for Murray’s arraignment, where he will enter his plea and have an opportunity to contest the charges.

Murray worked as an organizing coordinator for 32BJ, a 145,000-member New York affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, known as SEIU, which has more than two million members nationally.

The attack in which Murray is charged has been front-page news in New York for almost a week. It was the first significant violence directed toward police after weeks of demonstrations across the city.  In the wake of the incident, the police union has harshly criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio, who they have portrayed as overly sympathetic to the protesters and insufficiently supportive of police.

 

Raiders now view San Antonio as a viable NFL market, Texas official says

Great news for the Los Angeles taxpayers—the NFL will not allow the Oakland Raiders to move to LA in 2015. The Raiders are the team that took $10 million, years ago, from the very little town of Irwindale, while negotiating to move to that town. The Raiders are known to play off towns against each other, to negotiate better deals from Oakland—and Oakland, a bankrupt town, is not smart enough to tell the Raiders to leave.

Sport teams, owned by billionaires, play off communities, to get the best in taxpayer paid stadiums, parking deals and other incentives, to make them richer—and the people in the “winning” city, poorer. Now they are playing San Antonio for fools—I thought Texans were a bit smarter?

Cisneros said San Antonio, armed with recent market survey data, has convinced Raiders officials that the franchise can succeed in the Alamo City. Now, Cisneros and others can only wait as the Oakland team contemplates its future home.”

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image5125129

Raiders now view San Antonio as a viable NFL market, Texas official says

Former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros has remained in contact with the Oakland Raiders about potentially moving here since initiating meetings with the team’s owner, Mark Davis, several months ago.

W. Scott Bailey, San Antonio Business Journal, 12/16/14

A former San Antonio mayor insists that Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis and the Texas city have reached a far more serious stage in talks about potentially moving the NFL team.

The latest round of talks are far more developed than past dealings with major league sports franchises when San Antonio has been used as a pawn by pro sports teams seeking better stadium deals back home, former Mayor Henry Cisneros said.

Cisneros said San Antonio, armed with recent market survey data, has convinced Raiders officials that the franchise can succeed in the Alamo City. Now, Cisneros and others can only wait as the Oakland team contemplates its future home.

I recently sat down with Cisneros, who initiated talks this summer with Davis about the prospect of moving the Raiders out of their 1960s-era stadium and into San Antonio’s 21-year-old Alamodome. Asked for a progress report on those negotiations, Cisneros told me, “I know there are people in town who think that we are being used as leverage for a stadium in another place. But this dialogue has become very serious. I know for a fact that we have moved to a different place. We have converted ourselves into a real option, where the Raiders know they can make more money than they are making now in Oakland by moving to San Antonio.”

Cisneros said data obtained from a market survey paid for by San Antonio and the Raiders indicates that South Texas is ready to support an NFL franchise.

“The survey information that we needed to present to the Raiders confirmed this city’s ability to sustain everything from suites to season tickets to attendance levels and to eventual support for another stadium,” Cisneros said. “It’s all there.”

San Antonio’s biggest obstacle to landing the Raiders is not Los Angeles, as many observers have reported. What the Alamo City must overcome, Cisneros said, are the Davis family’s deep ties to Oakland, which grabbed the Raiders from Minneapolis nearly 55 years ago. Mark Davis‘ father, Al Davis, was named head coach and general manager of the franchise in 1963. The iconic Davis owned the Raiders until his death in 2011.

Despite those deep Oakland roots, Cisneros remains optimistic.

“They have told us we do not need to sell them anymore on San Antonio as a market or on their ability to succeed economically here,” Cisneros said about Raiders management. “We are there.”

Regardless of how this plays out, San Antonio has apparently won over Davis.

“In virtually every conversation that we have, he says, ‘If I don’t make this decision (to move to San Antonio), I’m going to become your biggest champion with the league,” Cisneros said about the Raiders’ owner.

While Davis could be an important ally, Cisneros said he has been reminded that what San Antonio really wants are the Raiders.

 

Sacramento Can”t Get Computers to Run—Still Wants to Control Your Health Care

Sacramento has $340 billion in debt, pension plans with about ONE TRILLION DOLLARS in unfunded liabilities, worst roads in nation. We have the highest workers comp, income, corporate, sales tax rates—along with the highest gas tax rates (and going up in ten days). This is a State were when they take over a school district (Inglewood) rats and mold show up due to the firing of janitors. This is a State that proves government is always the problem, never even a partial solution.

Now the State wants to take over all of your health care insurance and make health care decisions FOR you. California is the home of Silicon Valley, arguably the world leader in technology—yet the State can not get its computers work—that is how bad the State is run. Even our government schools have useless, worthless computer systems.

For example, data from two California State University (CSU) systems were of undetermined reliability. We did not perform accuracy and completeness testing for CSU’s Common Financial System because the system contains summary-level data and we determined that it would not be cost-effective to trace this summary-level data back to the individual transactions that support the total. Likewise, we could not assess data reliability for CSU’s Common Management System by tracing to and from supporting documents because the system is primarily paperless. Alternatively, following GAO guidelines, we could have reviewed the adequacy of selected system controls to determine whether data were entered reliably. However, because it was cost prohibitive, we did not conduct these reviews.”

Work_in_the_computer_lab

CA data does not compute

By John Seiler, Calwatchdog,   12/20/14

California remains the global epicenter of computers and the Internet. Then why do so many of its state-government systems not compute?

The latest critique comes in a new report, “Data Reliability,” by State Auditor Elaine M. Howle. Subtitle: “State Agencies’ Computer-Generated Data Varied in Their Completeness and Accuracy.” Some key sections:

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), whose standards we follow, requires us to assess and report on the reliability of computer-processed information that we use to support our audit findings, conclusions, and recommendations….

Three assessemnts were made: “sufficiently reliable,” “not sufficiently reliable” and “undetermined reliability”:

In performing 53 data reliability assessments for State systems, we determined for the purposes of the audits that the data were sufficiently reliable in 19 assessments….

For 17 data reliability assessments, we concluded that the data were not sufficiently reliable….

For 17 data reliability assessments, we concluded that the data had undetermined reliability. 

So 36 percent were “sufficiently reliable.” And 64 percent were not.

Would the private sector be allowed to get away with that? If a business’ tax returns to the IRS were only 36 percent “sufficiently reliable,” the chief managers would end up in a federal klink. More:

For example, data from two California State University (CSU) systems were of undetermined reliability. We did not perform accuracy and completeness testing for CSU’s Common Financial System because the system contains summary-level data and we determined that it would not be cost-effective to trace this summary-level data back to the individual transactions that support the total. Likewise, we could not assess data reliability for CSU’s Common Management System by tracing to and from supporting documents because the system is primarily paperless. Alternatively, following GAO guidelines, we could have reviewed the adequacy of selected system controls to determine whether data were entered reliably. However, because it was cost prohibitive, we did not conduct these reviews.

So what we have here is basic government incompetence. The state general fund gets $110 billion of our tax dollars, but its data systems are basically unreliable. We have no idea how the money in government is spent, nor how effective it is at what it’s advertised to do.

Owner of Beverly Hills Hotel: Stoning of Women is THE LAW

The Beverly Hills Hotel is a place where for $18 you can have two eggs for breakfast, anyway you want them. It is the location of those famous secret affairs of Hollywood stars. This is where the Hollywood elite come to make their deals. You are not a Studio head without a tab at this old line hotel. Most of the clientele can also be found on the Obama and DNC donor list, supporters of Planned Parenthood and pay tribute to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. To attend a function at the hotel, you need to be on the list of certifiable hypocrites. Hypocrites?

Yup, the hotel is owned by a man that believes the stoning of women is OK, woman are sex slaves, should not be allowed an education or to drive. Yet, the Hollywood Left continues to think of the Beverly Hills Hotel as a Mecca, though ti is supporting the subjugation of women. Hypocrites.

“The storied Beverly Hill Hotel has come under increasing scrutiny and protest in recent months following the Sultan of Brunei’s decision to instate Shariah law, which, among other things, permits the stoning and honor killing of women.

Daftari pointed out the irony of holding a human rights event at a lavish hotel owned by a principal violator of such rights.

The rich of the Left have no problem professing human rights—then, with their dollars, supporting Sharia Law. Shame on them.

ShariaLawShroud

Iranian-American Human Rights Activist Blasts Beverly Hills Hotel

BY: Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon,   12/20/14

Iranian-American human rights activist and journalist Lisa Daftari blasted the Beverly Hills Hotel last week while accepting an award at a gala being hosted in the controversial hotel owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who has come under fierce criticism for imposing Sharia law in his country and oppressing women.

Daftari, a Fox News contributor and critic of oppressive regimes, was at the hotel on Sunday to accept an award from the Iranian Woman’s Organization. In her remarks before the group, Daftari used the occasion to slam the Beverly Hills Hotel’s wealthy owner for enacting an extremist version of Islamic law that abuses women.

The storied Beverly Hill Hotel has come under increasing scrutiny and protest in recent months following the Sultan of Brunei’s decision to instate Shariah law, which, among other things, permits the stoning and honor killing of women.

Daftari pointed out the irony of holding a human rights event at a lavish hotel owned by a principal violator of such rights.

“As the women of Saudi Arabia fight to do nothing more than drive and go out alone, and lets not forget that as we sit here in this hotel, owned by the Sultan of Brunei, only months ago protests and boycotts led by celebrities such as Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres, reminded us that while there’s an argument to be made about supporting the employees and local economy of the hotel, we cannot and will not forget the citizens of that country or any others where Sharia Law has been implemented, stripping its citizens of basic human rights,” Daftari said, according to a portion of her remarks posted online.

Daftari said that while she was initially conflicted about whether to even attend the event, she decided to use the opportunity to criticize the Sultan of Brunei from within one of his most prized luxury possessions.

“It’s crucial to keep human rights abuses and the implementation of Sharia Law around the world highlighted in the media and public spotlight,” Daftari told the Washington Free Beacon. “I cover human rights on a daily basis bringing to the main stream media awareness of the realities that exist within these societies; their treatment of women, of political dissidents, of religious minorities, and others.”

“I decided to attend the event and use the platform to address this very issue not from the picket line, but from right inside the hotel,” she explained. “This particular case garnered much attention because of the hotel’s popularity and celebrity advocacy, but think about all the other places in the world at this very moment where the cases of innocent victims of human rights abuses are not brought to light.”

Protests and boycotts were aimed at the hotel earlier this year by a range of celebrity activists following the Sultan of Brunei’s decision to enact Shariah law. The hotel has reportedly lost millions in revenue as a result of these boycotts.

 

San Diego Taxpayers to Subsidize “Free” WiFi for Government Bus Riders

Government by definition is theft. Sometimes the theft is hidden. In San Diego, the cities and counties, with elected officials give money to a Regional authority—with NO members being elected to the position. So, a slush fund is created, using tax dollars given to a secret government agency.

Now that secret, unelected agency is giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to the government bus system, so the riders could have “free” wifi while they are using other tax dollar subsidies to get to work. Good for them, bad for society and the productive people paying the taxes. TANSTAAFL (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch) or wifi—someone is paying.

Oh, since the wifi will be on a government system—the government will be able to totally monitor every click, every stroke and every web site you visit—who needed privacy anyway?

Photo Courtesy of newfilm.dk, Flickr.

Photo Courtesy of newfilm.dk, Flickr.

Pilot Project Will Connect ‘Rapid Bus’ And Internet

By Tom Fudge, KPBS, 12/19/14

A San Diego Metropolitan Transit System bus may soon have wireless Internet service.

The San Diego Association of Governments planning board has approved a pilot project that could let San Diegans use their laptops on the bus.

The board on Friday agreed to spend $275,000 to test a wireless Internet service on some of the buses, which are used on three rapid bus lines in San Diego. If the signal proves to be strong, SANDAG will spend a total of $654,000 to set up the system on all 47 buses used on the rapid bus routes.

Rapid bus lines have fewer stops and better stations than your typical bus line, in hopes of attracting more customers to mass transit. A SANDAG staff report says wireless Internet access is one of the biggest requests by users of public transportation.

One of the rapid bus lines runs between downtown San Diego and San Diego State University. One runs from downtown to Escondido, and another goes between Rancho Bernardo and UC San Diego. A SANDAG staff report says wireless Internet access is one of the biggest requests by users of public transportation.

The pilot program will allow coverage to be tested along the bus routes and give time for necessary adjustments to be made, according to SANDAG. Test results in other cities have shown coverage can be spotty because of frequent coverage dropouts.

The pilot project calls for only six of the 47 buses that serve Routes 215, 235 and 237 to be outfitted with wi-fi for testing. Passengers will be surveyed about their experiences using the system. If the tests go well and wireless systems are placed in all rapid buses as early as fall 2016.

 

No Funds Set Aside for State of California Health Care Obligations—Now in $72 BILLION Hole

The idea of insurance is to pay a premium, before bills are due, so when invoices come in, they can be paid. That is the responsible, the adult thing to do. No one accused government of being an adult or responsibility. In California, if you are an employee or former State employee covered by State health care plans, as your bills come into the system, they are paid with CURRENT dollars.

In fifty years of the system not a dime has been saved, invested or put aside to pay for the obligations. Bill in, dollars out—no bank account, no investments. Now, according to the State Controller, our obligations equal to $71.8 billion—and growing.

“A new report issued on Tuesday, the latest in a series of analyses from the state controller’s office in the past few years, concludes that California is on the hook for $71.8 billion worth of retiree health care benefits — and that’s just what those future benefits would cost in today’s dollars.

“The price tag associated with providing health care to retired state workers has quietly grown to rival or even eclipse the funding gap associated with public pensions,” said state Controller John Chiang in a written statement.”

Add to this the $754 billion CalPERS, $166 billion CalSTRS unfunded liability and then include the $340 billion in debt, you understand why Guv Brown is VERY confused when he says the State budget is balanced—and we can tax ourselves even more.

democrat supermajority sacramento california

California’s Retiree Health Care Debt Rises … Again

By John Myers, KQED, 12/16/14

In this new era of California tackling more of its future debt obligations, get ready for a new conversation about one that’s been under the radar for a very long time: the cost of long-term health benefits for retired government workers.

And here’s why it’s a doozy: Unlike with pensions, there has been no money set aside for these future costs. Zero. Nada.

A new report issued on Tuesday, the latest in a series of analyses from the state controller’s office in the past few years, concludes that California is on the hook for $71.8 billion worth of retiree health care benefits — and that’s just what those future benefits would cost in today’s dollars.

“The price tag associated with providing health care to retired state workers has quietly grown to rival or even eclipse the funding gap associated with public pensions,” said state Controller John Chiang in a written statement.

Chiang, who’s on the way out the door as the state’s chief fiscal officer and about to take the oath as state treasurer, has been ringing the retiree health care bell for several years. And it’s been hard to find anyone listening. Since his first actuarial report in 2007, the long-term debt for covering California’s public sector retiree health care has risen by $24 billion — a 33 percent increase.

The state handles the costs on a “pay as you go” basis, meaning that money needed to cover future retiree health benefits isn’t set aside in advance — a key difference from public sector pensions, which, even when underfunded, are premised on money that’s put away years before it’s needed.

We’re not alone in this problem, though some states have worked to find a strategy to fund their employees’ long-term health care costs. California’s retiree health care debt has been the nation’s largest for years, but analysts often conclude it’s hard to compare states on the issue, given the wide range of “other post-employment benefits” (OPEB) that are offered.

An interesting note about the new debt number, which is an estimate of the obligation due as of this past June 30: The recent changes in the affordability of health care should have actually led to a leveling out, a fiscal hole that didn’t get any deeper. What happened? Here’s the explanation offered by the controller’s report:

“…Those positive events were outweighed by new mortality assumptions that alone added $7.1 billion to the liability. Specifically, men are assumed to live approximately 2 years longer than previously expected. For women, the new mortality assumptions increase life expectancy by up to 1.8 years.”

Yes, we’re living longer. And every year that life expectancy rises, there’s the potential for the costs to rise even more.

Retiree health care has been the stealth issue in California debt circles, at least compared with the much noisier battle over public employee pension benefits. But there’s a sign that might be changing, with the man who seems focused on debt — Gov. Jerry Brown — apparently ready to engage.

“We’re going to have to tackle that,” said Brown’s top adviser, Nancy McFadden, about retiree health care at a Sacramento event earlier this month. “We can’t talk about fiscal stability without dealing with some significant unfunded liabilities.”

Just what Brown might propose, of course, remains a mystery. Those in government circles around the state Capitol took McFadden’s comments as a sign of something to come in 2015, but there are no guarantees.

That means the state keeps on paying the medical and dental bills of retirees as they come due — a dicey proposition when it comes to how much larger a slice of the budget pie those bills will amount to in years to come. But any solution would  also mean fewer dollars for other services. The new actuarial report concludes that the state should be setting aside $5 billion a year for current and future retiree health care costs, far more than the $1.9 billion in this year’s state budget.

Chiang’s announcement of the new, deeper hole includes his own proposal, one similar to an idea he first suggested in March: a five-year fix to slowly add in more dollars for future retiree health care. Under his scenario, those future services would be fully “pre-funded” for current government workers by the summer of 2020, thus reducing the state’s long-term shortfall by almost $20 billion.

Again, though, that means writing checks for that retirement account today. Perhaps, then, it’s appropriate to use a medically inspired idiom: For politicians, that’s a bitter pill to swallow.

 

LAUSD Union Demands 9% Raise—OVER ONE YEAR

Government schools are a failure. Common Core is assuring another generation of ill educated students. Unions make sure classrooms are used for propaganda and ideology—even math classes are opportunities to teach the anti-capitalist dogma of the Left.

We all know that LA and San Fran are competitors. Last week the San Fran unions agreed to a 12% pay raise, over three years. The LA unions are demanding a 9% raise in one year. LA wins—the students in San Fran and LA lose.

“The union’s latest proposal also included demands for three self-directed voluntary planning and collaboration days to be paid at hourly rate, stipends of $1,000 for materials, full rate pay for professional development  and a potential retirement incentive.

Now you know why Democrat Hertzberg has SB8—to create a NEW $10 billion a year permanent tax to replace the $7 billion temporary tax, shortly to expire.

SantaMoney

UTLA drops salary demand to 9 percent over 1 year

LA School Report,   12/17/14

Representatives for the teachers union, UTLA, lowered their salary demand yesterday, asking LA Unified for a one-year 9 percent pay increase for the current academic year, with future increases tied to that.

Vivian Ekchian, the district’s chief negotiator, said the proposal “is under review and we will ascertain the cost to the District.”

While the shift suggests movement in contract negotiations that have been stumbling along for months, it still leaves the side far apart, with the district holding to a 2 percent salary increase and one-time bonuses.

The union said on its website that its new demand was done as an effort “to increase the pace of bargaining.” In the same vein, it called for weekly negotiation sessions, starting in January even though the sides have been meeting almost once a week since the talks began.

The union’s latest proposal also included demands for three self-directed voluntary planning and collaboration days to be paid at hourly rate, stipends of $1,000 for materials, full rate pay for professional development  and a potential retirement incentive.

Fully anticipating no immediate agreement from the district, the union’s website said Gov. Jerry Brown‘s new budget in January will reflect how much money LA Unified can expect from the state.