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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September 23, 2016
CAP & TRADE
Does cap-and-trade serve California’s climate goals? (Sacramento Bee)
Cap-and-trade, in which businesses buy permits or offsets for the carbon they put in the air, may be the state’s most high-profile climate program. Despite the challenges to extend the system, it offers political benefits in the form of revenue that lawmakers can bring to their districts for local projects popular with constituents. But some environmentalists argue that it’s an inefficient system, pointing to its financial struggles and the leeway they say it gives big polluters to keep doing business by passing fees on to consumers or paying for out-of-state mitigation. They argue the program has failed to limit pollution and has actually hurt some poor communities by keeping dirty facilities open, and instead advocate a “command-and-control” approach that focuses not on permits but on mandates to reduce source emissions.
Prop. 54 will shine a light on legislative secrecy (Modesto Bee)
It’s common practice in Sacramento for bills to be gutted late in the legislative session, their wording “amended” with completely new language, and then voted on without committee oversight hearings, without being published on the state website for public review and without legislators given time to read and consider them. Fortunately, Proposition 54 is on the November ballot, allowing Californians the chance to vote on these commonsense transparency reforms. It would require bills to be posted on the Internet at least 72 hours before a vote (with the exception of emergencies declared by the governor). It also requires that all of the Legislature’s public meetings be recorded and posted on the Internet within 24 hours and archived online for at least 20 years. It allows the public to record and broadcast meetings and use them for any legitimate purpose without paying a fee to the state.
California Props 2016 An Interactive Voter Guide (CalMatters)
The state's voter guide runs more than 200 pages long. We’ve simplified things for you, with pages that analyze each ballot issue, report on the money and the major players behind them, and provide a curated selection of articles that go deeper on the issues. Each initiative page also includes a video commenting tool—an easy way for you to record and share your opinions on the ballot measures you are passionate about.
TRANSPORTATION / INFRASTRUCTURE
Transportation, housing crises get short shrift in Legislature (Sacramento Bee)
Our once-vaunted highway and roadway system is literally crumbling as Californians rack up nearly a billion miles of vehicular travel each day. Meanwhile, vital maintenance projects are stalled, some for decades, due to a lack of money even though Californians are paying the nation’s highest user fees and taxes.
Airbnb’s funding round led by Google Capital (Washington Post)
Airbnb Inc. has brought on Alphabet Inc.’s investment arm as a backer, part of an expected $850 million funding round that values the home-rental company at $30 billion, people close to the deal said. In addition to the new cash, employees who have been with the company for more than four years had the opportunity to sell common shares to investors as part of the deal. Roughly $200 million of employee stock was sold as part of that fundraising, these people said.
WATER / DROUGHT
Sacramentans still conserving, but water use grew in August (Sacramento Bee)
The Sacramento Regional Water Authority said Thursday that water consumption fell by 18 percent in August compared with August 2013, the baseline used by state drought regulators. The conservation rate was below the 22 percent savings achieved in August 2014. That suggests Sacramentans have become somewhat less diligent about conserving water after the state rescinded its mandatory savings program.
Federal officials approve preferences at new senior housing complex in S.F. (KQED)
San Francisco officials are applauding the Obama administration’s decision to approve a preference-based city program aimed at slowing displacement of residents at risk of losing their housing. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Wednesday that it would support an “anti-displacement” preference for federally funded affordable housing for the elderly in the city’s Western Addition.
HOMELESSNESS / POVERTY
A groundbreaking homeless shelter for college students in Santa Monica hits a snag (Los Angeles Times)
Shafer and his church have joined forces with Bruin Shelter, a new charity started by UCLA graduate students to help alleviate homelessness among college students. This is believed to be one of the first shelters for college students run by college students. A recent Cal State University survey found that 1 in 10 of the system’s 460,000 students are homeless.
Californians worry about poverty, income inequality, poll finds (KQED)
A majority of Californians believe poverty is a serious problem, but they disagree over what to do about it. That’s according to a survey conducted for our California Counts public radio collaboration. The CALSPEAKS survey asked hundreds of voters and some nonvoters across California how they feel about a range of economic issues, from home ownership and job security to wage disparity and upward mobility. The survey found that seven out of 10 respondents believe the number of people living in poverty is a “major” problem. There was wide agreement, regardless of race, political affiliation, income level or age. Two-thirds of Californians also believe income inequality is a major problem.
Poll finds 60 percent of voters support legalizing marijuana (SF Gate)
California appears poised to join a growing national embrace of marijuana, with a potent majority of people now supporting a November ballot measure to legalize recreational pot use across the state, according to a Field/IGS Poll released Thursday. Sixty percent of likely California voters said they would vote yes on Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which would legalize use and possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for people 21 or older and establish regulations, licensing and taxation of the cannabis industry. Thirty-one percent said no and 9 percent were undecided.
Poll shows California move to legalize pot has broad voter support (Sacramento Bee)
Two decades after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, voters now overwhelmingly support an initiative to legitimize the drug for recreational use, according to a poll released late Thursday. Proposition 64, the well-funded initiative to allow those 21 and older to carry, use and share up to an ounce of marijuana, is backed by a 2-to-1 ratio of likely voters. The Field Poll/Institute for Governmental Studies survey found that 60 percent intend to vote for pot legalization on the Nov. 8 ballot, the largest proportion to express their support since the poll began tracking views about marijuana laws nearly a half century ago.
CITY IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Old-fashioned family fun at Walnut Festival (East Bay Times)
Reaching its 2016 theme, “80 Years in the Spirit of Giving,” the Walnut Festival has grown so big it can’t contain itself. The annual event branches beyond its four-day boundaries Sept. 22-25, including a Twilight Parade and a no-cost carnival night for special needs children and their families the week before the main event. Even then, the Walnut Festival Association’s bonanza of live music, more than 30 kids rides, local food vendors, craft beer garden and other all-ages delights doesn’t stick to the festival’s start-and-end hours.
Play everywhere challenge winners (Kaboom)
We are thrilled to announce our 50 winners, selected by KaBOOM! and our blue ribbon panel, including leaders from the business, nonprofit, urban planning, and arts sectors. The winners represent a breadth of creative, replicable, and fun ways to help more kids and families fit play into their everyday lives. Four of the winners are California Cities.