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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 78,308

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Golden State Warriors must pay off $40 million Oracle Arena debt

OAKLAND — The Golden State Warriors can’t leave for the City without paying the Town, an arbitrator ruled Monday.

When the team crosses the bay next season for its gleaming, new $1 billion arena in San Francisco, it will still be on the hook for about $40 million to retire the debt for renovation costs at its current home, Oracle Arena.

Arbitrator Rebecca Westerfield’s ruling settled an argument between the Warriors and the city of Oakland and Alameda County, which own the arena, over language in a 1996 contract.

“This was an after-the-fact attempt by the Warriors to rewrite the parties’ deal, and it would have left the people of Oakland and Alameda County holding the bag,” said Daniel Purcell, a partner Keker, Van Nest & Peters, which represented the city and county. “We are grateful that the arbitrator saw it our way.”

Read more: https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/10/29/aribrator-golden-state-warriors-must-pay-off-oracle-arena-debt/

Cross-posted in the California Group.

Major Hospital on San Francisco Border Threatened by Bankruptcy

Should Daly City’s hospital shutter at the hands of a hedge fund, nurses’ unions warn, it could create a regional health-care crisis that could drastically affect low-income patients and seniors.

Ever since Verity Health System filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Aug. 31, nurses at one of its six California hospitals, Seton Medical Center, have been anxious about the facility’s uncertain fate. San Franciscans have reason to be anxious, too: According to Verity, they make up about 14 percent of the patients who seek emergency care at the Daly City hospital. Overall, roughly 27,000 people in both San Francisco and northern San Mateo County each year would spill into other medical centers, such as Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

About 80 percent of Seton patients obtain care through Medicaid and Medi-Cal, making it a safety-net hospital for seniors and low-income people.

“For them to have to wait for service is deadly,” says Debra Amour, a Seton nurse who’s worked in the facility for nearly 25 years. “As an ICU nurse, I know that.”

Read more: http://www.sfweekly.com/news/major-hospital-bordering-s-f-threatened-by-bankruptcy/

Here's what happened after California got rid of personal belief exemptions for childhood vaccines

Health authorities in California have more power to insist that a dog is vaccinated against rabies than to ensure that a child enrolled in public school is vaccinated against measles.

That's just one of the frustrations faced by health officials in the first year after California did away with "personal belief exemptions" that allowed parents to send their kids to school unvaccinated, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

In the 2014-15 school year, when parents could still opt out of vaccinations for any reason they chose, only 90.4 percent of kindergarteners in California public schools were fully immunized. That's below the 94 percent threshold needed to establish community immunity for measles, according to experts.

The Script

Gaps like that helped persuade state lawmakers to pass Senate Bill 277, which was signed into law in 2015. It requires every child taught in public school classrooms to be fully immunized against 10 diseases: diphtheria, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae Type B, measles, mumps, pertussis (a.k.a. whooping cough), poliomyelitis, rubella, tetanus and varicella (a.k.a. chickenpox) – unless a doctor provides a medical reason for why it would be unsafe to do so.

Read more: https://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article220780905.html

Ad misleads on Democratic candidate's venture capitalist past

A Republican campaign committee is running a TV advertisement that implies California House Democratic candidate Josh Harder took part in business decisions as a venture capitalist that raised health care premiums and exposed consumers’ personal information.

The ad by the Congressional Leadership Fund attacks Harder based on his former work as a venture capitalist at Bessemer Venture Partners, a company that has invested in hundreds of companies. Harder is challenging Republican Rep. Jeff Denham, who represents the 10th congressional district centered around Modesto.

The ad specifically links Harder to decisions made by the companies Bright Health, a health insurance company, and LifeLock Inc., an identity theft protection company.

San Francisco venture capitalist Josh Harder isn’t like us. Harder got rich by investing millions in a health care company that jacked up rates on consumers. What’s worse? Another company Harder’s firm invested in was fined over $100 million for false advertising and failing to protect consumer information like social security numbers, credit cards and bank accounts.

Read more: https://www.sacbee.com/site-services/newsletters/capitol-alert-newsletter/article220579130.html

Texas' minority GOP voters: Republican allies have vanished

DALLAS -- Packed into the Christian Chapel Temple of Faith on a rainy Sunday evening this month were plenty of the minority voters Texas Republicans say have kept their party in power even as the state’s demographics shift in favor of Democrats.

“[When] you say, ‘I’m fiscally conservative,’ people look at you kinda strange, like how can that be?“ said Deborah Smith, a leader of the multiethnic Dallas Area Interfaith, who is black. “Just because you care about people [doesn’t] mean you just want to print money and blow it up.”

Texas Republicans have long credited their focus on pocketbook issues for their unusually high political support among minority voters — particularly the Hispanic community that’s expected to overtake whites as the state’s largest population group in 2022.

Yet headed into an election where minority voters are increasingly at odds with the policies of President Donald Trump, Texas Republicans who’ve long maintained good relationships with those voters are often not showing up.

“The same night I was out with 2,000 Indians, now, are those people of color?” said Dallas Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, who said he skipped the interfaith forum to attend a previously-scheduled event with Indian-American constituents instead.

Read more: https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/article220692060.html

This farce isn't funny. Subpoena the sheriff if justice matters

On Tuesday, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will continue a farce that epitomizes weak leadership in government and demonstrates how some board members are more concerned with protecting their cronies than representing citizens.

Just beginning his third term, Sheriff Scott Jones does not think accountability applies to him.

He is flouting any kind of oversight of his department and some county executives and board members — Susan Peters and Sue Frost — are all but rolling over and playing fetch to appease their master when they hear his voice.

In August, the current inspector general, Rick Braziel, released a report about the 2017 fatal shooting of an emotionally disturbed African American man, Mikel McIntyre, on the shoulder of Highway 50 near Zinfandel Drive. In his assessment, Braziel questioned the tactics of deputies. One deputy, Gabriel Rodriguez, fired 18 shots across the highway as McIntyre fled away from him. Braziel challenged whether officers needed to continually use deadly force against McIntyre or could have switched to less-lethal measures.

Read more: https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/marcos-breton/article220772650.html

It appears that Sheriff Mini-Trump doesn't play well with others.

Sacramento City Council to consider waiving fees for building affordable housing

Sacramento City Council will Tuesday consider a measure aimed to persuade developers to build more affordable housing.

The proposal would waive city-imposed fees developers must pay, but only for new affordable housing units the developer creates, according to a council document.

Those fees go toward helping the city fund services like infrastructure, parks, water and sewer, the document said.

If the measure passes, a developer building a project with 200 affordable units, for example, would save more than $1.8 million in Central City, more than $2 million in the River District and more than $2.6 million in the 65th Street area, according to the document.

Read more: https://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article220806030.html

More California cops and firefighters are paying for their pensions. Is it too late?

From Arcata on the North Coast to Hemet in the Inland Empire, California cops and firefighters are chipping in more money to pay for their pensions while the cities that employ them struggle to manage fast-rising retirement costs.

The new pension charges – a 12 percent paycheck deduction in Sacramento, an extra 8 percent deduction in Clovis, a pay cut and 12 percent pension contribution in Oroville, for example – reflect a calculus at local governments that workers are better off in the long run putting money into the California Public Employees’ Retirement System today rather than banking on the $350 billion pension fund earning its way out of its recession losses.

They’re also among the few options that local governments have to smooth out hikes in pension costs that many of them anticipate will nearly double their annual spending on CalPERS by 2024. The pension fund’s assets are worth about 70 percent of what it owes to workers and retirees, leaving it short tens of billions of dollars over time.

Local governments cannot rescind benefits they’ve promised to workers or retirees, so their choices are to reach compromises with their unions or find a way to pay down their pension debts faster.

Read more: https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article220698755.html

Former Oakland Building Inspector Accused of Shakedowns, Bribery, and Colluding with Landlords to

Former Oakland Building Inspector Accused of Shakedowns, Bribery, and Colluding with Landlords to Displace Tenants

Oakland Public Ethics Commission investigators are accusing a former city building inspector of receiving several hundred thousand dollars in bribes and other illicit payments from landlords and hiding these illegal payments while he was employed by Oakland.

Thomas Espinosa, a specialty combination inspector employed by the city from 2005 to 2016 is being charged with 47 violations of Oakland's Government Ethics Act.

PEC staff are recommending he be ordered to pay $1,151,737 in penalties.

Espinosa resigned after department officials tried to fire him in 2016 for colluding with a landlord to push tenants out of a West Oakland building. He was suspected of taking kickbacks from the property owner for his assistance.

Read more: https://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2018/10/26/oakland-building-inspector-accused-of-shakedowns-bribery-and-colluding-with-landlords-to-displace-tenants

KPCC studio and other businesses evacuated in Pasadena after suspicious package is found

Public radio station KPCC’s headquarters and nearby businesses in Pasadena were evacuated Monday night as authorities investigated a suspicious device found beneath a U-Haul truck.

Several businesses, including the headquarters for KPCC and the website LAist, were evacuated near Raymond Avenue and California Boulevard, as was a local homeless shelter.

Authorities detonated a cylindrical object, between 6 and 8 inches long, that was attached to a truck parked on the street, interim Pasadena Police Chief John Perez told reporters. The item, which had taping and wiring on it, probably wasn’t a real explosive device but was made to look like one, he said.

"Chances are it was not a device because we didn't hear a loud explosion," Perez said after it was detonated.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-pasadena-kpcc-evacuation-20181029-story.html
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