Posts Tagged ‘ president ’

Col. Ann Wright: 10 Years Later and I’m Still Protesting War – Col. Ann Wright’s Columns – Truthdig

March 19, 2013

Col. Ann Wright: 10 Years Later and I’m Still Protesting War – Col. Ann Wright’s Columns – Truthdig : Ten years ago, I resigned my post in opposition to President George W. Bush’s war on Iraq. I had worked in the U.S. government for most of my life, first in the Army and Army Reserves, retiring as a colonel, and then as a diplomat. I served in U.S. embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone and Micronesia. I helped reopen the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in December 2001.

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Board of Ed Still Plans to Oppose Mike Feuer Transit Bill

February 4, 2012

The Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education is remaining steadfast in its opposition to a proposed state bill sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) even though the legislation is not as limiting as board members originally believed. Introduced by Feuer in January, AB1444 would streamline the approval process for public transit projects , such as the Westside Subway Extension , by granting them special legal protection from state environmental review challenges. “My bill would not affect the ability of the Beverly Hills Unified School District to challenge one of the routes that the L.A. County Metro Board will consider for the Westside Subway Extension,” Feuer said in a Feb. 2 commentary on Patch . “In fact, it would only apply to projects for which, unlike the subway, a draft environmental impact report has yet to circulate.” Feuer made his comment after Patch reported that the Board of Education is drafting a resolution to oppose AB 1444 as it thought the legislation would prevent an environmental challenge to an MTA subway route under Beverly Hills High School. However, board President Brian Goldberg on Friday told Patch that Feuer’s comments do not change the board’s opposition to the bill. He said the board will still consider hiring a lobbyist in Sacramento to help defeat the measure. “We have seen legislation change dramatically during the legislative process and we do not have the luxury of waiting,” Goldberg said. “In addition, from a public policy standpoint, I am not sure why we [should] trust the MTA—a quasi-government agency—to bypass protections that we do not afford other businesses. What makes MTA special?” B e sure to follow Beverly Hills Patch on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook . The rest is here: Board of Ed Still Plans to Oppose Mike Feuer Transit Bill

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Obamajam, First Lady Edition? Michelle Obama in Town Today and Tomorrow

January 31, 2012
Obamajam, First Lady Edition? Michelle Obama in Town Today and Tomorrow

Normally, when the President arrives in town, we cluck about it for days beforehand because we’re all so terrified that we’ll be the unlucky bastards stuck on Pico Blvd. for three hours. But we haven’t heard much about traffic delays leading up to the arrival of Michelle Obama today, and we’re hoping that it stays that way. more › Read more here: Obamajam, First Lady Edition? Michelle Obama in Town Today and Tomorrow

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Board of Ed to Oppose Mike Feuer Transit Bill

January 29, 2012

The Board of Education will vote at its next meeting to oppose a bill that seeks to streamline the approval process of new public rail transit projects, such as the Westside Subway Extension , by granting them special legal protection from state environmental review challenges. Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) introduced  AB1444 in early January. If the bill is passed, the Beverly Hills Unified School District cannot file a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) challenge against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to stop it from routing the Westside Subway Extension under  Beverly Hills High School .  “The timing of this legislation is suspicious,” board member Lisa Korbatov said at the Jan. 24 school board meeting. “This legislation speaks to us right now as we are the only ones who could soon make a CEQA challenge.” The panel voted 4-0 (board member Jake Manaster was not at the meeting) to request that Superintendent Gary Woods draft a resolution opposing AB1444. Woods was asked to bring the measure to the board’s next meeting for a vote.  The board will also consider hiring a lobbyist in Sacramento to help defeat the bill. Board President Brian Goldberg instructed BHUSD staff to “work with legal counsel to prepare proposals to hire a lobbying firm to oppose this legislation.” It is not clear if the proposals will be ready by the next board meeting, which is scheduled for Feb. 14. The board already spends $15,000 a month on Venable LLP, a Washington, D.C. lobbying firm hired last year to persuade lawmakers to withhold federal funding for the Westside Subway Extension should Metro choose a route that goes under BHHS. Board members voted unanimously last month to extend the Venable contract until March 31. In introducing AB1444, Feuer said the bill would encourage job growth and give people alternatives to commuting by car. “This bill would create thousands of desperately needed jobs, and give commuters and residents environmentally sound transit options as alternatives to sitting in stopped traffic,” Feuer said in a Jan. 4 statement. As part of the 42nd Assembly District, Beverly Hills is represented by Feuer. However, the city is  joining the new 50th Assembly District  for the November 2012 election. Be sure to follow  Beverly Hills  Patch on  Twitter  and “Like” us on  Facebook . See original here: Board of Ed to Oppose Mike Feuer Transit Bill

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BHUSD Faces Clean-up of Raw Sewage Under Hawthorne School

January 24, 2012

After months of complaints about a foul odor permeating the auditorium of Hawthorne School , officials discovered in November that a broken sewer line had created a pool of human waste soaking into the soil beneath the building. The busted line was capped soon after the discovery, but the Beverly Hills Unified School District is now beginning the process of hiring a contractor to clean up the mess—the full extent of which has yet to be determined. At its meeting Tuesday night, the Board of Education is expected to start the bidding process to hire a company to remove the soil contaminated by the raw sewage. Hawthorne workers discovered the broken sewer line while searching for the source of the auditorium odor. They located a 15-foot stretch of tunnel under the building where human waste from the school’s bathrooms had been leaking from an old pipe. “Pipes break, unfortunately,” said Alex Cherniss, the district’s assistant superintendent for business services. “When pipes break in areas that are not accessible or not easily seen, it’s hard to know when and where it happened. The odor tipped us off.” School staff began complaining about a stench coming through the auditorium vents last spring. The odor was initially attributed to Hawthorne’s aging sewer injection pump, which has a history of emitting bad smells throughout the building and was replaced in late December, according to Cherniss, who served as Hawthorne principal from 2005-08. However, no complaints had ever been made about an odor in the auditorium when he was there, he said. Cherniss, BHUSD chief facilities manager Nelson Cayabyab, and current Hawthorne principal Kathy Schaeffer confirmed that when the raw sewage was discovered under the school in November, the broken sewer pipe was capped that same month to stop the leakage. Since then, Schaeffer wrote in an email to Patch, “we have had no odors in the auditorium.” Cayabyab said that within a few days of identifying the problem, a neutralizing chemical was added to the affected soil to absorb the waste.  “The bottom line is that right now it’s neutralized, the existing soil there,” Cayabyab said. “There’s really no harm to the students or anybody at the site.”  Cayabyab also said that the school’s exhaust system has been fixed “to be able to evacuate a lot of the odors and smells that linger.” It is unknown at this point if the air was unsafe to breathe. School board President Brian Goldberg said he learned about the discovery of the human waste under Hawthorne “about two weeks ago.” When asked why he wasn’t notified of the problem earlier, he replied, “I don’t have an answer for that.” Cherniss said he had alerted Superintendent Gary Woods when the broken pipe was located. It is unclear when the leak began. Both Goldberg and Cherniss said it was possible the sewer line was damaged during renovations of the school’s auditorium in 2008, which were paid for with funds from 2002′s Measure K bond and carried out by Strategic Concepts, the consulting company started by former BHUSD facilities director Karen Christiansen. “We’re trying to clean up a lot of messes from previous projects,” Cherniss said. Christiansen was sentenced earlier this month to more than four years in prison after being found guilty in November of four felony conflict of interest charges for secretly negotiating to be an independent BHUSD contractor while performing her duties for the district. Christiansen was hired by the district in 2004 and reportedly received a total of $5.2 million from BHUSD between 2006 and 2009. Strategic Concepts’ records regarding repairs it made to Hawthorne and other city schools have not been made accessible to the district, Cherniss said.  Hawthorne was built in 1914. A survey conducted in August to ready the school for renovations under Measure E—passed by voters in 2008 to finance the modernization of Beverly Hills’ aging public schools—stated: “Several of the cast iron sewer laterals are severely corroded. Some appear to have holes or other significant defects.” The survey recommended that the pipes be replaced. Hawthorne is slated to undergo Measure E renovations in late summer 2013.  “We are going to test the soil and remove any soil that has been contaminated,” said Goldberg, who was elected to the board after Measure K renovations had been approved. “We’re doing everything we can to remediate the problem.” To view the agenda for Tuesday’s school board meeting, click here . Be sure to follow  Beverly Hills  Patch on  Twitter  and “Like” us on  Facebook . Go here to see the original: BHUSD Faces Clean-up of Raw Sewage Under Hawthorne School

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84th Annual Academy Award Nominations: Nick Nolte, Max von Sydow and Rooney Mara Among Surprises

January 24, 2012
84th Annual Academy Award Nominations: Nick Nolte, Max von Sydow and Rooney Mara Among Surprises

This morning at exactly 5:38:30 am, LAist was among the throng of bloggers, photographers, TV crews and bona-fide journalists in the audience of the Samuel Goldwyn Theater for the 84th Annual Academy Award nominations announcement in Beverly Hills. Doing the honors this year were Academy President Tom Sherak and actor Jennifer Lawrence, a leading actress nominee last year for Link: 84th Annual Academy Award Nominations: Nick Nolte, Max von Sydow and Rooney Mara Among Surprises

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Woman with a Double Vagina Rejects $1 Million Offer to Star in Local Porn Production

January 21, 2012
Woman with a Double Vagina Rejects $1 Million Offer to Star in Local Porn Production

The woman who has been on British television this week talking about how she has two vaginas has (not surprisingly) rejected a $1 million offer from a local porn honcho. Steven Hirsch, the president of the adult video company Vivid Entertainment, wrote her a letter saying, “You are obviously an extraordinary woman and I would like to make you an offer to star in an upcoming Vivid production.” more › Read the original: Woman with a Double Vagina Rejects $1 Million Offer to Star in Local Porn Production

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Osborn Snags Another Dem Club Endorsement

January 19, 2012

Torie Osborn ‘s campaign for the new 50th Assembly District , which includes Beverly Hills, continued to gain steam Tuesday night as she picked up the endorsement of the  Santa Monica Democratic Club . The political veteran has already garnered support from the  Malibu Democratic Club  and the  Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley . Osborn won the Santa Monica club’s endorsement overwhelmingly with 77 percent of the vote, beating out her Democratic opponents—53rd District Assemblywoman Betsy Butler and Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom . The three fielded questions about an array of issues plaguing the financially troubled state. Butler ended up with 13 percent of the club’s votes and Bloom received 9 percent.  The primary election is June 5. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, will face off in the November general election. West Hollywood resident Brad Torgan is the only Republican in the race.  “Because of you I’m going to win,” Osborn told her supporters. ”My life’s work has been making opportunities out of emergencies.” Known in local circles for championing feminism and gay rights, and working with the homeless, Osborn said her backers were “kickass” for their enthusiasm in supporting her campaign. “She is honestly the most inspirational of the three,” Santa Monica Democratic Club President Jay Johnson said of Osborn. Osborn dubbed herself a “community organizer with an MBA.” Her responses often evoked hollers and applause from her supporters, who wore blue and yellow campaign stickers on their chests. They were the most boisterous in the 100-odd crowd at the main branch of the Santa Monica Library, where the candidate forum was held. “I want a fighter. Their voice has to be fresh and authentic,” said Santa Monica resident Sally Breiter, who met Osborn for the first time Tuesday and said she now supports her. But Osborn’s political ideologies are generally shared by her Democratic opponents, who are equally educated and whose resumes are just as formidable. When asked about their plans to raise taxes, Osborn and Butler said they support Gov. Jerry Brown’s initiative to hike taxes on sales and the wealthy, while Bloom replied “we have a menu of options to choose from. The most important question isn’t which one we chose, but how do we get people to vote for it?” Osborn and Butler also said they support taxing oil. Osborn added that she’s working on a money-saving ballot initiative to reform the property tax legislation of  Proposition 13 . The two women are also aligned in their opposition to the death penalty. Bloom said he supports it only for mass murderers and terrorists. All three want to see health care reformed into a single-payer system, such as the one proposed under  Senate Bill 810 .  In an effort to appeal to voters, Bloom reminded the audience that he has served on the Santa Monica City Council for 13 years. Butler told those in attendance that she already has experience in the state Assembly. “I’m finishing the first year of my first term, and I’m quite happy with what I got to work on this year,” said Butler, who went on to name six bills she penned that were ultimately signed into law by Gov. Brown. Yet Butler and Bloom will have another chance to face off against Osborn. The  West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club  is holding its endorsement meeting for the State Assembly at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25. The meeting will take place at the West Hollywood Park Auditorium, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, CA, 90069. Current members’ dues must be paid by Jan. 25 to vote. It is too late for new members to join and vote at this meeting. For more information, call 310-278-7596 or email WHBHDEMS@gmail.com. Be sure to follow Beverly Hills Patch on  Twitter  and “Like” us on  Facebook . View post: Osborn Snags Another Dem Club Endorsement

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Osborn Supporters Accuse Butler of Hypocrisy

January 10, 2012

State Assembly candidate Betsy Butler and her supporters criticized Torie Osborn’s campaign for recruiting people to join the Malibu Democratic Club so they could vote for her in Sunday’s endorsement election. Osborn supporters say Butler’s camp is being hypocritical because it had encouraged people to “join as many of the Dem clubs as possible” through a mass email. Butler told Patch that the two situations are different because nobody has offered to pay for her supporters to join the organizations. One person submitted a $1,000 check last month to the Malibu club to cover the expenses of about 40 Osborn supporters’ memberships, club President Jean Goodman told Patch. Osborn  won the Malibu club’s endorsement for the Assembly’s 50th District seat on Sunday after receiving 41 votes following a forum featuring the three Democratic candidates. Five people chose Butler, none picked Richard Bloom and 13 club members wanted there to be no endorsement.  “The thing that’s most concerning here is that one person wrote a check for 42 members,” Butler told Patch on Monday. “How hard is it to join a club if somebody’s writing the check for you?” Goodman has declined to name the person who submitted the check. She said the name would be revealed when the club files its next financial report with the California Secretary of State’s Office. When asked by Patch about this issue on Sunday, Osborn said her campaign “organized some people to either re-up [their memberships] or join,” but said she personally had nothing to do with it. Several Osborn supporters forwarded the email from Butler’s campaign to Patch.  The email states: Join as many of the Dem clubs as possible (for most of the clubs, the only requirement to join is that you be a registered Democrat. For instance, you do not necessarily need to live in the Pacific Palisades to join the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club  ) … Ask as many friends as you can to also join and attend as many Dem clubs as possible. Osborn supporter Dante Atkins, who is a vice chair of the  Los Angeles County Democratic Party , wrote to Patch, ”The complaints from Betsy Butler’s surrogates about the Malibu Democratic Club endorsement process are the height of hypocrisy.” Be sure to follow Beverly Hills Patch on  Twitter  and “Like” us on  Facebook . More: Osborn Supporters Accuse Butler of Hypocrisy

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Migration to California Explodes

January 2, 2012
Migration to California Explodes

California has regained its status as a ‘magnet state,’ according to the new Allied Van Lines’ annual Magnet States Report that shows California back on the inbound list after a decade on the outbound. Once again, waves of people are moving to California for perfect weather, endless opportunities and unrestricted personal freedom — in record numbers. The 2011 Allied U.S. migration pattern tracking report shows the Golden State skyrocketing up 33 positions to #7 in the nation as the fellow magnet state of Texas shows its momentum slowing. California is the Allied report’s shocker of the year. After dismal performance on the inbound list for more than a decade (and being the #1 outbound state twice during the same period), California has made a giant leap onto the inbound list at #7. California’s dramatic turnaround back to a strong inbound state is attributed to the state’s increase in company expansions and strong overall job growth. “In the last year, one out of every six new jobs created in the U.S. was created in California, which is more than any other state in the nation,” declared Deputy Director Brook Taylor of the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. California also regained its title as the “most mobile state” with 12,000 interstate moves and the biggest volume of inbound and outbound shipments by Allied Van Lines . Additionally, the company’s report shows a strong demand for moving vans by ex-Californians wanting to move back to California from many states, including Texas. “We see the news from California as a bellwether for positive movement in the future for states that have seen hard times in this economy,” said Allied Van Lines Vice President Bill Lyon , who called 2011 “a turning point year for California.” California, Here They Come! Follow this link: Migration to California Explodes

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Raw Police Video