Hoping to beat Gov. Brown's budget clock, redevelopment
agencies across California are jump-starting hundreds of millions of dollars worth of projects.
One, in Citrus Heights, even met on a holiday to approve
the spending. The Bee's Brad Branan, the Chronicle's
Marisa Lagos and the Long Beach Press' Paul Eakins
take a look.
From Branan: "Los Angeles approved $930 million in projects, while Fremont signed off on
up to $140 million in work, and Citrus Heights authorized
about $60 million for redevelopment."
County expects to discuss $155 million in redevelopment
projects today. Redevelopment advocates said the votes are a reasonable
defense against what they call Brown's unreasonable
proposal. Public employee unions that
expect to benefit from the governor's plan called the
decisions deceptive and
From Lagos: "Why does it matter? Well, Gov. Jerry Brown wants to eliminate the 60-year-old, $5
billion a year program as part of his plan to close the state's
$25.4 billion budget gap. Under the proposal, the state's
agencies would disband July 1, and any money that hasn't already been committed
to a project would flow back to cities, counties and
"That's right: under Brown's plan, if a redevelopment
agency has already signed a contract or issued a bond,
the project in question
will keep the funding. So now, it looks like some local
officials want to do an
end run around the governor's grand plan. This is sure to set up some interesting fights both
Sacramento and around the state."
From Eakins: "The council is being asked to encumber $886 million in
current and future redevelopment area tax revenues
revitalization of neighborhoods" in the city's seven
through the 2021 fiscal year..."
"The money would pay for planned projects such as the
Eastside Police Station, North Long Beach Library and
Fire Station 12 in North
Long Beach, as well as future potential projects. City
officials also want to use $138.5 million of current
and future redevelopment housing set-asides, which is funding that must be
spent on housing under state law, for affordable housing
projects through the
2016 fiscal year."
Brown's plan to push the redevelopment agencies into
extinction isn't the only issue worrying the locals.
He also wants to cut enterprise zones, which allow businesses tax and hiring breaks in return
for locating in sketchy areas. The Oakland Trib's Rick
Radin has the story.
"Local officials and businesses are concerned that Gov.
Jerry Brown's proposal to eliminate an enterprise zone
program will drive firms out of low-income areas such as Richmond that have benefited economically."
"Cutting the program would save $343 million in 2010-11 and $581 million in 2011-12, aiding Brown's efforts to balance the state budget,
according to the state Department of Finance, which
argues that the program does not provide a statewide
benefit and should be eliminated."
Meanwhile, a pair of state Senate elections may be settled in
the first round of balloting, which means the newly approved "top-two" primary system likely won't be tested. From the
LA Times' Jean Merl.
"Only two candidates will be
on the ballot to replace former state Sen. George Runner (R-Lancaster),
who resigned his 17th District seat after his recent election to the state
Board of Equalization. One of the candidates is his
wife, former Assemblywoman
Sharon Runner, also a Republican, who is considered
the strong favorite in this
longtime GOP stronghold..."
"With eight people on the ballot in the South
Bay-based 28th state Senate district, a runoff could be needed
to determine who
will succeed the late Jenny Oropeza (D- Long
Beach). Oropeza died shortly before the Nov. 2 election and was reelected
posthumously....Most observers give the edge in that
race to former Assemblyman Ted Lieu, a Torrance Democrat
whose lower-house district overlapped half the Senate district."
Politics is show business for ugly people, as the saying
goes, but Hollywood isn't doing much better than Sacramento
lately: Tinseltown is going through its own economic pain. The LAT's Dawn C. Chmielewski and Meg James have the
"To paraphrase Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert,
"Hollywood, we have a problem." The industry that was supposed to be immune to economic
downturns looks like it's going to have some re-entry problems as the economy
begins to recover."
"Broad swaths of the entertainment business declined
2010.DVD sales were
off 13%. Music CD purchases plummeted 19%. Video game sales as well as concert
and theater attendance also fell. Even the turnout
for America's favorite
pastimes — baseball and NASCAR — was
down. And swift changes in technology will make it
difficult for Hollywood to
capture pre-recession levels of revenue."
Finally, we turn to our "What a Strange, Strange Trip Its Been" file to see some video of a California mother who
took a 1950s trip on LSD, long before most of the '60s counterculture ever heard of Acid. Yo, mama!
"An American biographer - doing research for a book on
pioneers in the field of hallucinogenic drug experimentation
- has stumbled
upon footage of a prim and proper housewife struggling
with the effects of LSD.
The bizarre and slightly creepy footage shows a doctor
dosing up the young
woman and filming the consequences.
Biographer Don Lattin said he came across the footage
while preparing a group
biography of British writer Aldous Huxley, philosopher
Gerald Heard, and Bill
Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Mr Lattin said: 'It's from a television programme, circa
1956, about mental health issues."
Wonder if they filmed Cary Grant...