The first step to recovery is often admitting that you have a problem. Lawmakers in California did just that last week when they approved a pension-reform measure.
Pension payments and retiree health benefits are weighing down state and municipal budgets across California and have been a factor in several city bankruptcies this year. Yet despite the fact that many people have been sounding this alarm for years, lawmakers in Sacramento have not acted on the issue until now. Read More
It’s never easy to make the case for cracking down on illegal immigration. The subject is too fraught with nativist, racist hatred. Too many Americans display naked hostility toward immigrants, who mostly hail from Asia or Latin America but could have been their European great-grandparents coming here to build a new life. When passions run this high, an argument from the middle of the road usually leaves you run over.
So a few caveats are in order. Read More
The Friday deadline for the state Legislature to pass a pension-reform measure is fast approaching, and the aptly named “special” committee on public pensions has allotted a whole two hearings on the matter next week. Read More
Justice was a lost concept in the Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi case (“Mirkarimi deserves another chance,” Wednesday). Read More
Proposition 34 on November’s ballot would end the use of the death penalty in California and convert the sentences for all 725 people on death row to life imprisonment without parole. In a well-intentioned bit of bribery to prevent public safety groups (read: unions) from opposing the proposition, it creates a $100 million fund from which law enforcement agencies can get grants to investigate homicide and rape. Read More
State legislators backed a bill this week that would require government agencies to obtain a court order before shutting down cellphone service. Read More
Santa Clara County is in financial trouble. Read More
Shark fin soup is an almost-tasteless delicacy that is more notable for its texture. But all across Asia and the Pacific Rim, Chinese consumers have historically viewed it as a mark of success and wealth. Read More
Earlier this month, the state Legislature passed Senate Bill 1029, authorizing the issuance of $2.7 billion in state bonds to begin construction of the nation’s largest transportation project — California high-speed rail — as well as authorizing an additional $2 billion in bonds to match local and federal funds for related projects. Read More
More than 1.4 million acres of scenic land in California is set aside for public use and managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. In the Bay Area alone, those sites include Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and Mount Diablo and Mount Tamalpais state parks. Read More