Public Rights to Government Records Threatened

Terry Franke of Californians Aware, an organization that advocates for public rights to government information, has identified troubling changes to the California Public Records Act (CPRA) contained in Governor Brown’s 2013/14 budget proposal. Brown proposes to eliminate the CPRA mandate by halting state reimbursement to local agencies for the costs of compliance.

School Closures: Impact on neighborhoods and communities

The Pew Charitable Trusts has examined what happens to school buildings once they are closed.  While the report examined 327 schools in big cities nationwide, its lessons also apply to suburban school districts. Mike Antonucci, a blogger on public education and teachers unions, shares:

Nine Fallacies Used to Defend Public Pensions

The National Center for Policy Analysis recognizes “growing pension costs are an increasing problem for local government. Public pensions require fundamental reform, but defenders of the current system have advanced arguments that do not reflect sound economic thinking. Yet these public pension fallacies endure in political debates, even as finance economists have roundly rejected them.”  In an […]

Negative Outlook bond rating for Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District

Financial storm clouds remain on the horizon for the Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District (PHRPD), established in 1951. Following review of the District’s finances, including June 30, 2012 financial statements, a February 8, 2013 report from Fitch Ratings affirmed an “A” rating and “negative rating outlook” for $20 million in District general obligation (GO) […]

Why did people root for Christopher Dorner?


The Christopher Dorner story of a crazed-ex-LAPD-cop on a vengeful killing spree stirred up a surprising range of reactions. I’m struggling to make sense of why some people identify and sympathize with Christopher Dorner who, by all appearances, was a whack and cold-blooded murderer. Columnist Jim Geraghty explains it this way:

Higher Ed Grapples with Growing Pension Crisis

 The nonpartisan California Legislative Analyst’s Office has released a report entitled “The 2013-14 Budget: Analysis of the Higher Education Budget.”  In this report the Governor’s budget is criticized, among other things, for proposing to restructure debt at exorbitant cost and failing to link budget outlays to improvements in academic performance.  And, as expected, escalating pension […]

K-12 Schools Must Improve to Help East Bay Economy Stay Competitive

Last month Contra Costa County Supervisors were briefed on the region’s future job outlook by representatives from the Contra Costa Community College District, the county’s Workforce Development Board and the Contra Costa Council. These groups work with leaders from local industry to develop job training programs to meet employer needs. The discussion focused on job growth in the context of developing Contra Costa’s […]