Former Gov. Schwarzenegger is gone but not forgotten: The family of the man who was stabbed to death in
a knife fight involving the son of former Assembly
Speaker Fabian Nunez has sued the governor for violating the victim's civil
rights. Schwarzenegger had partially commuted the younger
Nunez's prison sentence.
From Jack Dolan in the Los Angeles Times: "During his last hours in office, Schwarzenegger cut
Esteban Nuñez's 16-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter to seven years,
without notifying the Santos family. Schwarzenegger
noted in his commutation order that Nuñez, although involved in the fight that ended in Santos'
death, did not inflict the fatal knife wound."
"Under the Victims' Bill of Rights, which was added
to the state Constitution following a 2008 ballot measure, victims have a right to be heard "upon
request" in any proceeding involving a "post-conviction release decision."
The University of California approved controversial
pay increases on Thursday, despite the fiscal problems facing the university
and the obvious potential for political fallout. The
LAT's Larry Gordon has the story.
"As they wrapped up their meeting in San Diego, the
regents also awarded controversial, 10% pay raises to three financial managers
in the UC president’s office whose salaries after the increases will range
$216,370 to $247,500. Officials defended the one-time raises as a way to save
money in the long run…."
"Unions criticized the decisions, calling such raises
executives unseemly at a time when low-wage UC employees face increased costs
for pension and retirement health plans and a state
budget crisis threatens
large scale layoffs across the university."
Jerry Meral, one of California's best known environmentalists
who served in the Brown administration more than 30 years ago, is back: He's been appointed by Brown to spearhead Delta issues.
From Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury News: "Meral, 66 of Inverness, is a registered Democrat who
served as deputy director of the state Department of
Water Resources during
Brown's administration in the early 1980s. After that, he was executive
director of the Planning and Conservation League, one
of the state's most
influential environmental lobbying groups, until 2003."
"Meral, a legendary kayaker for whom Meral's Pool is
on the Tuolumne River near Yosemite National Park,
led efforts in the 1970s,
'80s and '90s against the construction of large dams, helping found
the River and the Tuolumne River Trust. He served on
the board of the Sierra
Fund and Restore Hetch Hetchy."
Just the facts, m'am: As the rhetoric over taxes intensifies, one should keep an eye on the facts, notes the Bee's Dan Walters.
"The Tax Foundation
calculated Californians' state-local taxes in 2008 at 10.5 percent of personal
income. That translated into about $170 billion in revenue and the nation's
sixth-highest percentage. New Jersey was
highest at 11.8 percent, followed by New York, Connecticut,
Maryland and Hawaii…”
“While Proposition 13, enacted
in 1978, strictly limits property tax rates, the state's relatively
values push property tax bills into the upper ranks. In 2009,
the Tax Foundation says, California property taxes
as a percentage of value on
owner-occupied houses were 44th in the country, while the median tax bill of
$2,839 was 10th highest, nearly $1,000 above the national average.”
Speaking of money, CalPERS and CalSTRS earned more than 12 percent profit in 2010. The Bee's Dale Kasler tells the tale.
Public Employees' Retirement System said
it earned nearly 12.5 percent in 2010. The California State Teachers'
Retirement System earned 12.7 percent.
The results mean the two funds have now erased many
their 2008 losses. But officials said they still need additional
taxpayers to make the systems whole."
"This is very encouraging news but the historic
market declines of the 2008-09 financial crisis showed us that CalSTRS cannot
solely invest its way to healthy long-term funding," said Chief Executive
Jack Ehnes in a press release. He said CalSTRS will
continue talking to the
Legislature, Gov. Jerry Brown's office and other parties
to increase funding."
And now we turn to our "All You Need is Love" file to learn about the undercover police officers
who went under the covers.
"A police spy married an activist he met while
undercover in the environmental protest movement and then went on to have
children with her, the Guardian can reveal."
"He is the fourth spy now to have been identified as
undercover police officer engaged in the covert surveillance
Three of those spies are accused of having had sexual
relationships with the
people they were targeting."
"The details of the activities of the fourth spy, who
still a serving Metropolitan police officer, emerged
as the senior police
officer managing the crisis in undercover operations
insisted that officers
were strictly banned from having sexual relationships
with their targets."
Bond, James Bond...