May 28, 2013

cosmogarvin:

This week in Sacramento Current.

This is the last episode before the big election June 5, I like to think of it as the season finale. But sorry, no long summer break , we’ll be back next week with vote results and God knows what all.

We’ve been super-focused on the City, obviously, perhaps too much to the exclusion of everything else.  The County Board of Supervisors controls a much bigger budget (and has much deeper deficits to deal with). The board oversees, sort of, the Sheriff, and District Attorney. And the county is where most of the social services come from–like public health, and mental health. Well, they used to provide that.

This week we talked to Gary Blenner and Jeff Kravitz, both running for County Supervisor–in District 4 (Folsom, Antelope, Bumfuck) and District 3 (Arden Arcade, Fair Oaks, Carmichael).

They are progressive democrats running against entrenched republicans, in conservative districts. But they’re fun to talk to, and they’re running real campaigns, as best they can.

Feb 20, 2013

Save our schools

On Thursday the Sacramento City school board will likely vote to shut down 20 percent of the district’s elementary schools. It’s eleven schools in all, and all are in low income neighborhoods. The move will save about $2.5 million dollars, according to district estimates. It’s not very much money–considering the fact about 3600 students will be displaced. How many of those will get lost in the shuffle, and wind up at charter schools or in other districts? Five percent, ten percent? All taking their per pupil funding with them. It won’t take many defections for most of those $2.5 million in savings to be wiped out.

For the podcast this week, I interviewed two people who are trying hard to save their schools. The first is Jonathan Tran, he’s part of a group called Hmong Innovating Politics who have been organizing and putting pressure on the school board. Yes, it’s ok call them HIPsters. They have a Tumblr. I bet we’ll be hearing a lot more from HIP.

The second interview is with Mandy Carrillo, a former Fruit Ridge Elementary School student, and volunteer there.  Mandy was also a student representative on the Sac City board of education, and she knows her stuff. The district says that school is severely under-enrolled. But Mandy knows the history of that school, and tells why the district’s numbers don’t tell the whole story. In a nutshell, an independent charter school, the Language Academy, was formed there. And when the charter moved its operations out of Fruit Ridge, it took half the neighborhood kids with it.

Last week, the leaders of the Sacramento City Teachers Association voted to oppose this plan. They join the dearmrkennedy in opposition–both groups in the past have supported some school closures, if done the right way. And there’s a big rally planned Wednesday, the day before the big vote. It starts at 4:30 pm, at the Boys and Girls Club, 5212 Lemon Hill Avenue. See the HIP site orSacramento Coalition to Save Public Education for more details.

Sep 27, 2012

A nice title

Today SN&R’s front-of-the-book-editor Nick Miller dusted off the old SNOG blog for a big piece on city council candidate Allen Warren. The developer is running for North Sacramento’s District 2 seat, currently held by Sandy Sheedy. Warren has a long history of legal hassles relating to his businesses and unpaid debt.

A lot of this stuff—like Warren’s unpaid property taxes—has been floating around. We asked the candidate about it on the podcast a while back. Patrick and Isaac and Dale revisit it in the latest Forum podcast too. Warren has insisted that no one believes it is an issue.

Among other things, Miller’s is the first major media story out there to lay out Warren’s legal trouble with creditor Wells Fargo. The bank says Warren and family went on shopping sprees and European trips, when he should have been tightening his belt and attending to his foundering development business. And then, according to the suit, he didn’t pay the bank back.

I think it probably is a campaign issue, even if Warren’s opponent Rob Kerth doesn’t want to touch it directly. As Miller says in the story, “there’s no denying that the lawsuit and Warren’s business ups and downs are baggage.” Heavy baggage.  

Apr 15, 2012

Apr 12, 2012

Fox mole gets a new job. It worked!

azspot:

Announcing Our Newest Hire: A Current Fox News Channel Employee

>So here I am. And I come bearing gifts. The video above is of Mitt Romney and Sean Hannity bantering before the taping of an interview for the “[Hannity Vegas Forum](http://electad.com/videos/mitt-romney-talks-to-sean-hannity-on-the-hannity-vegas-forum-special-february-2-2012/ “ElectAd | Mitt Romney Talks To Sean Hannity On The “Hannity Vegas Forum” Special (Part 1 Economy) – February 2 2012”)” in February. Of note: Romney professes his and his wife Ann’s well-known love of horseriding, praising the qualities of the “Austrian Warmbloods” that his wife rides—the are “*dressage*” horses, he notes—while maintaining his own preference for the “smoother gait” of his own “Missouri foxtrotter.” >Now there’s nothing wrong with Mitt and his wife loving horseback riding. But remember this video next time Romney attacks Obama for golfing. The inherent elitism and snootiness of golf is NOTHING compared to competitive horseback riding. And I think Mitt loses points with the GOP base for his correct pronunciation of *dressage*. To GOP-voter ears it sounds not only gay, but even worse, French. >Elsewhere in the video you will see the two men discussing the possibility that this very footage may one day be leaked, as they warn one another against primping too carefully. “You don’t want to have [John Edwards moment](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJpNSJSab04 “John Edwards, Playing with his Hair - Feeling Pretty! - YouTube”),” Hannity says. “Did you see that?” Romney replies: “Oh, yeah I saw that. It’s one thing to do it for a second. It’s another thing to do it for an hour.” (And it’s quite another for Newt Gingrich’s wife to [groom him like a circus walrus](http://gawker.com/5897110/ “Secret Video: Newt Gingrich’s Creepy Wife Grooming Him Like a Circus Walrus”).)
Apr 12, 2012

Fame is not going to live forever

shortformblog:

So, there was this service on Twitter called “@FAME,” which was something of a weird/novel concept — basically, you install this plugin, and you got entered into a daily raffle. If you won the raffle, all the other FAME users would auto-follow you for a day. After a day, those users unfollowed you automatically, with the option to refollow. Cool idea, right? Well, Twitter didn’t think so — they banned the app for an undisclosed terms of service violation, saying it violated the spirit of the platform. The company says it’ll try doing this on another platform instead. Should they come to Tumblr?

Apr 12, 2012
Obama’s political incentives after re-election direct him to satisfy “centrist” pundits and journalists by being even more mind-numbingly bipartisan and “centrist” than he has been. Until the election happens, members of both parties will have their own incentives to pretend that this is not the case. Democrats will not want to demoralize their core constituencies by broadcasting that Obama’s re-election won’t deliver what they want from it. Republicans want to keep their core constituencies as motivated as possible by ignoring that re-election will free Obama from having to heed the left, which he has already been quite effective at ignoring for most of his time in office. Put another way, Republicans will point to a phantom left-wing fanatic to scare their voters into turning out, and Democrats will point to the mirage of a progressive second term for the same purpose.
Eunomia: Re-Election Would Allow Obama to Ignore the Left More Than He Already Does (via azspot)

(via azspot)

Apr 12, 2012
Newspapers are kind of dreary, depressed places. I would go the penniless Web route to get practice. You can enter the mainstream so much quicker there.
New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell • Suggesting, during a lecture at Yale, that writers should work for free online to get practice, rather than at newspapers. Gladwell, who once worked at the Washington Post, said that while he had good experiences there, he ultimately felt that newspapers’ lack of profitability makes them less desirable in this regard. How many writers or journalists out there would be willing to take this advice — or are at this very moment? (ht Poynter)

(via shortformblog)

Apr 12, 2012
climateadaptation:

Looks like about 200 orangutans were killed. I’ll post more in the am.
sexyactionplanet:

Sumatran Orangutan: “It is no longer several years away, but just a few months or even weeks before this iconic creature disappears”Hundreds of orangutans are believed to have died in fires deliberately lit by palm oil companies in the last few weeks. Conservationists say the rare Sumatran orangutan could now be wiped out within weeks.

Read more here.

climateadaptation:

Looks like about 200 orangutans were killed. I’ll post more in the am.

sexyactionplanet:

Sumatran Orangutan: “It is no longer several years away, but just a few months or even weeks before this iconic creature disappears”
Hundreds of orangutans are believed to have died in fires deliberately lit by palm oil companies in the last few weeks. Conservationists say the rare Sumatran orangutan could now be wiped out within weeks.

Read more here.

Apr 11, 2012
inothernews:

The Colbert Report

inothernews:

The Colbert Report

Apr 11, 2012

cosmo garvin: Boss Johnson rides again

cosmogarvin:

  1. Share
    “
    Holy cow, a unanimous vote, 9-0 to look at #strongmayor 3 versus an elected charter commission, for the November ballot. Fun meeting.
    Wed, Jan 18 2012 01:27:31
  2. Share
    “

(Source: cosmogarvin)

Apr 11, 2012
A 23-year-old man has become the youngest person ever to be named a ‘Lego Master Model Builder.’ Said the man’s parents, ‘Move out!’

SETH MEYERS, Saturday Night Live.

Shut up, Seth Meyers!!!  :-)

(Source: inothernews)

Apr 11, 2012
natashavc:

I THINK WE ALL KNOW WHAT THE BEST PART OF THIS PICTURE IS. 
(via intergalacticspaceparty : trifesoup)

natashavc:

I THINK WE ALL KNOW WHAT THE BEST PART OF THIS PICTURE IS. 

(via intergalacticspaceparty : trifesoup)

Apr 10, 2012
So both the Bee and the Sacramento Business Journal have pretty good recaps of the proposed Kings arena financing deal. And you can of course get a lot of that info from the term sheet itself, released about 6 pm yesterday. The whole arena is estimated to cost $391 million, with the city’s share coming to a whopping $256 million, most of it coming from “monetizing” the city’s parking lots and meters. 
This is not at all a comprehensive look at all the red flags in the deal. If you want more critiques, go here, here, here and here. If you want to know how great the deal is, go to the website of any Sacramento daily media outlet. 
(UPDATE: And if you like your news crew completely in the tank for arena subsidies and ready to #GetItDone, then Fox 40 is the place for you.)
Talking to people inside and outside of City Hall, it’s clear to me there’s enough complexity and uncertainty in this proposal that the council really ought to postpone Tuesday’s vote–a nonbinding, but nevertheless politically loaded decision to approve the general outline of an arena deal–until council members, and the public, have a chance to really do their homework. 

(I know some of the arena hawks out there are going to say, “If you don’t understand it, you’re stupid.” But if you’re telling me you’ve studied it and you know it’s solidly a good deal for the city, then I’m telling you that you’re a little bit full of shit.)It does seem more and more obvious that the “concession” or privatization approach to wringing money out of the parking is a really bad deal. That’s the idea that’s been on the table for several months now, where the city would lease the parking system to a private company for 30 or 50 years or so, in exchange for a big upfront payment, maybe $230 million. (Maybe.) Under this approach the city’s general fund would lose out on $7 million in parking revenue every year. (The city brings in, average, about $9 million. But assistant City Manager John Dangberg says right now the City is looking at keeping about $2 million every year.)

According to the term sheet, the general fund would be “backfilled” with ticket surcharges on Kings games (estimated $2.6 million a year) and non-Kings events ($1.1 million) and the City’s cut of arena profits ($1 million), and a million here, a little bit there, in ad revenue from digital signs, etc. It all adds up on paper. You can look at it. It’s on page 21 of the term sheet.

So both the Bee and the Sacramento Business Journal have pretty good recaps of the proposed Kings arena financing deal. And you can of course get a lot of that info from the term sheet itself, released about 6 pm yesterday. The whole arena is estimated to cost $391 million, with the city’s share coming to a whopping $256 million, most of it coming from “monetizing” the city’s parking lots and meters. 

This is not at all a comprehensive look at all the red flags in the deal. If you want more critiques, go hereherehere and here. If you want to know how great the deal is, go to the website of any Sacramento daily media outlet. 

(UPDATE: And if you like your news crew completely in the tank for arena subsidies and ready to #GetItDone, then Fox 40 is the place for you.)

Talking to people inside and outside of City Hall, it’s clear to me there’s enough complexity and uncertainty in this proposal that the council really ought to postpone Tuesday’s vote–a nonbinding, but nevertheless politically loaded decision to approve the general outline of an arena deal–until council members, and the public, have a chance to really do their homework. 

(I know some of the arena hawks out there are going to say, “If you don’t understand it, you’re stupid.” But if you’re telling me you’ve studied it and you know it’s solidly a good deal for the city, then I’m telling you that you’re a little bit full of shit.)

It does seem more and more obvious that the “concession” or privatization approach to wringing money out of the parking is a really bad deal. That’s the idea that’s been on the table for several months now, where the city would lease the parking system to a private company for 30 or 50 years or so, in exchange for a big upfront payment, maybe $230 million. (Maybe.) 
Under this approach the city’s general fund would lose out on $7 million in parking revenue every year. (The city brings in, average, about $9 million. But assistant City Manager John Dangberg says right now the City is looking at keeping about $2 million every year.)

According to the term sheet, the general fund would be “backfilled” with ticket surcharges on Kings games (estimated $2.6 million a year) and non-Kings events ($1.1 million) and the City’s cut of arena profits ($1 million), and a million here, a little bit there, in ad revenue from digital signs, etc. It all adds up on paper. You can look at it. It’s on page 21 of the term sheet.

Apr 10, 2012

Awesome headline

So both the Bee and the Sacramento Business Journal have pretty good recaps of the proposed Kings arena financing deal. And you can of course get a lot of that info from the term sheet itself, released about 6 pm yesterday. The whole arena is estimated to cost $391 million, with the city’s share coming to a whopping $256 million, most of it coming from “monetizing” the city’s parking lots and meters. 

This is not at all a comprehensive look at all the red flags in the deal. If you want more critiques, go hereherehere and here. If you want to know how great the deal is, go to the website of any Sacramento daily media outlet. 

(UPDATE: And if you like your news crew completely in the tank for arena subsidies and ready to #GetItDone, then Fox 40 is the place for you.)

Talking to people inside and outside of City Hall, it’s clear to me there’s enough complexity and uncertainty in this proposal that the council really ought to postpone Tuesday’s vote–a nonbinding, but nevertheless politically loaded decision to approve the general outline of an arena deal–until council members, and the public, have a chance to really do their homework. 

(I know some of the arena hawks out there are going to say, “If you don’t understand it, you’re stupid.” But if you’re telling me you’ve studied it and you know it’s solidly a good deal for the city, then I’m telling you that you’re a little bit full of shit.)

It does seem more and more obvious that the “concession” or privatization approach to wringing money out of the parking is a really bad deal. That’s the idea that’s been on the table for several months now, where the city would lease the parking system to a private company for 30 or 50 years or so, in exchange for a big upfront payment, maybe $230 million. (Maybe.) 
Under this approach the city’s general fund would lose out on $7 million in parking revenue every year. (The city brings in, average, about $9 million. But assistant City Manager John Dangberg says right now the City is looking at keeping about $2 million every year.)

According to the term sheet, the general fund would be “backfilled” with ticket surcharges on Kings games (estimated $2.6 million a year) and non-Kings events ($1.1 million) and the City’s cut of arena profits ($1 million), and a million here, a little bit there, in ad revenue from digital signs, etc. It all adds up on paper. You can look at it. It’s on page 21 of the term sheet.

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