Local News RoundUp
The Local News RoundUp is the League's daily news clipping service of articles related to California cities and local government.
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October 28, 2016
New Feature: Based on member feedback, at the end of each news summary, we will be noting in red the cities in which the article covers. If an article covers an entire region or a majority of cities in a Division, we will denote by the appropriate League Division.
Gov. Jerry Brown launches TV ad against Prop. 53's change to state revenue bonds (Los Angeles Times)
Proposition 53 asks voters to add revenue bonds of $2 billion or more to the list of government borrowing that requires statewide voter approval. Unlike general obligation bonds, which are paid back by taxpayer dollars through the state's general fund, revenue bonds are paid back with fees charged to users of projects like bridges, dams and buildings. Proposition 53 could force statewide votes on two high-profile infrastructure projects: California's plan for a high-speed train system and the construction of twin underground tunnels to divert water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to Southern California.
California voters will like this proposition, but special interests won’t (Fresno Bee)
Proposition 54 changes only a few words in the California Constitution, but will make far-reaching improvements to the way business is done at the Capitol. It will prevent legislators from making last-minute changes to proposed laws that no one – other than a few powerful special interests – has had an opportunity to read or provide input before heading to the governor’s desk.
Jerry Brown stepping up campaign against measure on Delta water tunnels (Sacramento Bee)
Gov. Jerry Brown, keeping a somewhat low profile throughout the fall campaign, stars in a new TV ad debuting Thursday in which he urges Californians to oppose Proposition 53, arguing it will constrict local control, increase the cost of critical infrastructure and is brainchild of a single wealthy farmer.
TRANSPORTATION / INFRASTRUCTURE
Newport Beach is suing the FAA over new flight plans, and Culver City is expected to follow (Los Angeles Times)
Citing concerns about the potential for increased aircraft noise and pollution, Newport Beach officials sued the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday, alleging that the agency’s plan to reroute flights across the region was completed without adequate environmental review. Culver City officials said they expect to file an almost identical suit on Friday. The federal lawsuits target the FAA’s Metroplex project, which intends to replace aging air traffic control systems, redesign Southern California’s busy airspace and change the arrival and departure procedures for 21 local airports, including Los Angeles International and John Wayne in Orange County.
Newport Beach, Culver City
Government and the Housing Crisis: Less Not More Involvement Needed (Fox and Hounds)
California elected officials proclaim a housing crisis is upon us. Like a plague of locusts, they say the problem was unforeseen and it deserves government’s attention. Frankly, an argument can be made that the state’s housing markets have for decades been overrun by bureaucrats and state lawmakers and now it’s time for government to reverse course and act to get out of the way.
15 Ideas for Tackling California Cities’ Housing Crisis (Next City)
California’s housing shortage and affordability gap is large — among the worst in the country — and with the population growing far faster than housing production, it’s getting worse. But according to a new report, it doesn’t need to be this way. The McKinsey Global Institute laid out 15 tools with the potential to produce 3.5 million additional homes in the state by 2025. That’s the magic number to both satisfy pent-up demand and meet the needs of the 3.6 million people expected to move to California over the next decade.
HOMELESSNESS / POVERTY
Homelessness became a crisis in L.A. during the 1980s, but the city struggled to act (Los Angeles Times)
In less than two weeks, Los Angeles voters will decide the fate of a bond measure to help build low-cost housing for those now living on the streets. Statistics show Southern California’s homeless problem has gotten worse in recent years, which has helped push homelessness to the top of L.A.’s civic agenda. But the city has struggled with homelessness for decades.
Women now account for 1 in 3 homeless people in L.A. County (Los Angeles Times)
One in three homeless people in Los Angeles County are women, according to government figures released this year. The total of more than 14,000 women is a 55% increase from 2013. The number of women camped out in RVs, tents and lean-tos doubled in the last three years. Homeless women face staggering levels of violence, in shelters and homeless housing as well as on the streets. A survey released this week by the Downtown Women’s Action Coalition, a consortium of service providers and advocates, found that nearly half of skid row women had been attacked in the previous 12 months; more than a quarter of them were sexually assaulted.
Cities in the Los Angeles County Division
Blighted Santa Ana motel to be 71 apartments for homeless (Orange County Register)
A motel converted into the first large-scale permanent supportive housing project in Santa Ana stands as a model for finding a solution to chronic homelessness in the county, city officials and service providers say. The Guest Inn and Quality Suites, at 2151 E. First St., may look like a motel from the outside, but since spring has had a 60 percent occupancy rate of formerly homeless individuals and families, many of them from the Civic Center. Community Development Partners, a private company that purchased the motel in December, has left it 40 percent vacant because it is about to renovate the brick, brown and mustard building into a wooden, more modern design. With 71 units, The Orchard, as the $18 million housing project is being renamed, is one of the largest projects providing housing for homeless people in the county, said Santa Ana Councilman Vincent Sarmiento, who represents the ward where it is located.
Cities pass emergency laws against recreational pot (San Diego Union-Tribune)
With a state proposition looming that could legalize the sale of recreational marijuana across California, several San Diego County cities have been scrambling to pass emergency ordinances that would temporarily prohibit the cultivation and use of the drug within their borders.
National City, San Marcos, Santee, Poway, Lemon Grove, El Cajon, Imperial Beach, San Diego
Sacramento leaders feud over cash from legalizing commercial marijuana grows (Sacramento Bee)
A proposal to allow commercial cultivation of cannabis in Sacramento has stalled as City Council members jockey for control of public revenues from the industry. The plan was pulled from the council agenda Tuesday as Councilmen Allen Warren and Eric Guerra push for mandatory money for impacted neighborhoods. Cultivation could bring least $2.2 million in annual revenues, according to Ranelle Kawasaki of the city’s finance department. The amount of revenue depends on how many licenses the city issues and the size of grows.
Pot panel discusses ‘last small farm industry in California’ (Times-Standard)
How recreational marijuana legalization would impact small farmers in Humboldt County will mostly depend on the actions of the local industry, according to a Humboldt State University panel discussion Wednesday. Fred Krissman, a research associate with the HSU Anthropology Department and scholar in the university’s Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research (HIIMR), said marijuana is currently the “last small farm industry in California.”
California regulators examine safety of food irrigated with oil wastewater (Capital Public Radio)
For more than 30 years, wastewater from oil and gas operations has been used to irrigate food crops in California. Regulators will re-examine the safety of that practice during a public hearing Friday. Four oil companies in the state currently send oil field wastewater to four irrigations districts. Once treated, it’s then recycled and used on food crops, primarily in Kern County. To date, no studies have shown that irrigating crops with oil wastewater poses any threat, says Carl Rodgers, with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Cities in the Central Valley Division
CITY IN THE SPOTLIGHT
California city officials want to round up turkeys (Capital Press)
Leaders of the city of Davis are working to relocate turkeys that have been harassing people on the streets of the college town. The Sacramento Bee reports that the City Council voted this week to approve a wild turkey management plan that includes trapping and relocating many of the birds and possibly killing some of the more aggressive ones. They also called for an ordinance prohibiting people from feeding the turkeys.
Sacramento joins SmartCities Collaborative (ABC10)
Six cities applied, but Sacramento was chosen as one of the 16 to join the “Smart Cities Collaborative”. This is all focused around improving transportation. The first meeting will happen in Minneapolis on November 9 to the 10. The city of Sacramento said it’s sending a senior planner from public works to attend.
Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Jose