The traditional, upward trajectory of local politicians moving up to state offices is being reversed, largely because of term limits. The latest example: The number of lawmakers seeking a seat on the L.A. city council.
From the LAT's David Zahniser: "Los Angeles City Hall proved irresistible to yet another Sacramento politician, with AssemblymanBob Blumenfield becoming the fourth state lawmaker to launch a bid for next year's City Council race."
"Blumenfield, a Democrat from Woodland Hills, moved to create a campaign committee last week to run for the west San Fernando Valley seat held by Councilman Dennis Zine, who is running for city controller. Already raising money for other council campaigns are Assemblyman Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles), Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar) and Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles)."
"The musical chairs arrangement is being driven largely by term limits, which is forcing officeholders in both Los Angeles and Sacramento to give up their posts. All four candidates from the Legislature are taking aim at council seats that will have no incumbent next year. Larry Levine, Blumenfield's campaign consultant, said his client faced term limits in 2014 and wanted to make sure he could continue serving his constituents."
Fires will pose an increasing threat to California homes in the years ahead, a function of warmer temperatures fueled by climate change and urban growth.
From Jeremy Miller of KQED: "Lead author and environmental engineering professor Anthony Westerling, says wildfire risk to California homes may double over the next 40 years because of a combination of climate change, land alteration and urban development."
"The report supports the findings of several other studies released earlier this yearshowing a correlation between warming Western temperatures and increased fire activity. The study projects that climate change will generally increase fire risk across the state, with the greatest threat posed to forests in the foothills and mountains of Northern California."
"The interplay among climate, people and fires is complex. In some cases, according to the report, factors contributing to fire risk may even cancel out. For example, development may reduce the volume of flammable material available to fuel large fires but the corresponding increase in population will up the probability of human ignitions."
Corn prices may be rising because of the drought in the nation's farm belt, but that doesn't mean California growers will be reaping the benefits.
From the Bee's Jing Cao: "The nation's worst drought in nearly a half-century has sent corn prices soaring, a potential boon for Central Valley farmers who grow the crop in irrigated fields and don't depend on the rain."
"In reality, however, many area corn growers are sitting out the higher prices this year because they agreed to sell their crops months ago when prices were lower."
"California consumers will likely pay for the drought, even though they're located far away from the withered fields of the Great Plains and Midwest."
From the LAT's Richard Winton: "The City Council is slated Tuesday to decide whether to order a preliminary analysis on letting the Orange County Sheriff's Department patrol the city, one of the oldest in the county."
"Fullerton has been buffeted by controversy and political upheaval since the death of Kelly Thomas last summer. Two officers have been charged in his death, the police chief has left, three officers quit the force in the face of termination proceedings and three of the five council members were recalled in a June election."
"Fullerton Councilman Bruce Whitaker, a sharp critic of how the police handled the violent encounter with Thomas, said that although the department needs to be examined, the driving force behind potentially contracting out police services is the $37 million required to operate the 144-officer department."
Meanwhile, the ongoing dispute between Consumer Watchdog and a veteran Democratic political consultant appears to be escalating, with the consumer group's president responding to an earlier op-ed piece. The earlier piece in Capitol Weekly can be seen here.
From Jamie Court in Capitol Weekly: "Sacramento loves to hate Consumer Watchdog, because we expose the dirty deeds politicians do for corporations, confront regulators who are asleep at the switch, and don’t believe you have to go along with big corporations to get along. We also take on the rich and powerful in the initiative process on behalf of consumers, which the legislature and lobbyists consider a slap in the face."
"Whenever we have a big fight with the insurance industry, most of which we have won, some PR flack materializes as the voice of Sacramento’s hatred. There was a Republican operative in the Schwarzenegger years, before that a soon-to-become Blue Shield executive, and now a former chief mouthpiece for two disgraced California Democratic politicians, who recently took to Capitol Weekly’s pages with venom for all things Consumer Watchdog."
Finally, from our "Cross My Heart, Hope to Die" file comes word that telling the truth is healthy. But you knew that, right?
"Telling the truth when tempted to lie can significantly improve a person's mental and physical health, according to a "Science of Honesty" study presented at the American Psychological Association's 120th Annual Convention."
"Recent evidence indicates that Americans average about 11 lies per week. We wanted to find out if living more honestly can actually cause better health," said lead author Anita E. Kelly, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame. "We found that the participants could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies, and that in turn was associated with significantly improved health...."
"Over the course of 10 weeks, the link between less lying and improved health was significantly stronger for participants in the no-lie group, the study found."
Next step: Eat your vegetables ....