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Last Saturday, Richard McKee suffered a fatal heart attack and California lost one of its fiercest fighters for open government. Terry Francke, who started the First Amendment advocacy organization Californians Aware with McKee, writes this moving remembrance of his friend.

Voice of OC’s Tracy Wood provides this update on battles over the last remaining pieces of open space in North Orange County. City councils in both Fullerton and Orange are considering development proposals that community groups are bitterly opposing.

Norberto Santana, Jr. provides gives us a glimpse of the lobbying effort among OC Superior Court judges to keep their Cadillac health plans.

Frank Mickadeit spends the evening at an Italian restaurant with OCEA General Manager Nick Berardino and OC GOP officials.

Randy Youngman has a piece looking at the situation facing the owners of the Sacramento Kings: Fight the NBA or the taxpayers of Sacramento.

Marty Wisckol at the Register looks at longtime activist, Tim Carpenter and his Progressive Democrats of America.

Former Councilwoman Carol Gamble appointed to vacant council seat in Rancho Santa Margarita.

And Alan Milligan at Capitol Weekly writes this analysis on the hidden costs of costs of converting the defined benefit pensions of public workers into 401(k)-style plans.



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A sampling of the latest politics and government news in Orange County:

Voice of OC’s Tracy Wood examines battles being waged in the city of Orange and Fullerton over some of North Orange County’s last remaining open space. Both city councils are poised to approve developments, but community groups are fighting hard against them.

Our Adam Elmahrek reports on Irvine City Council passing a prevailing wage law along partisan lines.

Obama’s long form birth certificate is released and Laguna Niguel attorney Orly Taitz has a new conspiracy theory. The Register’s Marty Wiskcol has the write up at Total Buzz.

Michael Gardner of the San Diego Union-Tribune writing on the California Project with the OC Register and Voice of OC board member Daniel Weintraub has a good take on the state’s special funds, which hold more than $8 billion in revenues.

The Register’s Terry Sforza has a fascinating look at the state’s top-paid cemetery district executives. And guess what? OC tops the list.

Also in the Register is a Jon Lanser report on the 73 toll road. The road was supposed to pay for itself is now six years further in debt.

The Register’s Claudia Koerner has an interesting profile of Laguna Beach Republican Fred Karger, who is running for president.

Dana Point heads to court in beach access battle.

Rancho Santa Margarita city council mulls appointing for a vacant council seat.



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Costa Mesa residents got a briefing from a state retirement actuary on the problems facing their retirement system. Joe Serna at the Daily Pilot was there and filed a dispatch. The OC Register’s Jon Cassidy filed this report.

Expect a report from Voice of OC later this morning.

The Register’s Martin Wisckol gave some good play-by-play of the debate yesterday sponsored by the Lincoln Club between Nick Berardino from the Orange County Employees Association and Steven Greenhut, the Register’s Libertarian editorial writer who now heads the Pacific Research Institute in Sacramento and recently wrote a book assailing public employee pensions.

R. Scott Moxley at the OC Weekly writes another chapter in the Marilyn Davenport controversy. Moxley uncovered a 2009 email from the local GOP Central Committee member in which she expressed disapproval of a Muslim prayer meeting.

After hearing of this latest Republican Chairman Mike Schroeder said that it seems like Davenport “has a problem with people getting together to pray.”

Former County Supervisor and now state Assemblyman Chris Norby has been dinged for missing a high number of votes. A survey by the Sacramento Bee showed that he was the third least likely member of the Assembly to vote.

OC Register reporter Brittany Levine churns out some compelling copy on San Juan Capistrano looking at the budget problems caused by Chevron gas station leaks and delving into the online activism associated with a housing plan referendum in town.

The Daily Pilot reports that a revenue sharing plan from the OC Fair board is gaining steam in Sacramento.

The OC Register’s Frank Shyong reports on Mayor Jerry Amante’s issues in Tustin with the school district.

The Sacramento Bee reports on the progress of a bill in the state Senate that would force the Sacramento Kings to repay a $77 million loan from the city in full before moving to Anaheim.

And the LA Times’ George Skelton has an interesting column on Gov. Brown’s lack of success in negotiating union contracts.



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Costa Mesa continues to dominate the local political news in Orange County.

Voice of OC’s Norberto Santana examines the curious math that city officials have employed in recent months. Santana discovers that finding accurate numbers — from vote percentages to pension payments — can be an adventure in Costa Mesa.

More Costa Mesa

Frank Mickadeit at the OC Register again tackles the Costa Mesa controversy involving Councilman Steven Mensinger and Estancia High School English teacher and Surf Team instructor, Joel Flores. Mickadeit explores Flores’ interest in Che Guevara noting that the teacher has taken down a Facebook page featuring posters of pro-Communist literature.

The Daily Pilot reports that Mensinger filed a complaint against Flores on Monday.

Daily Pilot also offers a brief synopsis on the budget workshop in Costa Mesa today.

Beyond Costa Mesa

Anaheim basketball fans and taxpayers keep an eye on the closed door negotiations going on in Sacramento to see if that city can keep its team, or whether it is coming south.

The LA Times, Mike Reichter, has a good piece on Newport Beach having to cut lifeguards and the arguments being made by both sides of the issue.

And finally, any student of California’s budget mess would do well to read this special report by the Economist magazine on how the state’s unique form of direct democracy helped lead us to the pickle we are currently in.



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