The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) today announced that it is planning to sell up to $3 billion of its real estate investment portfolio. Park Hill Group has been selected to assist CalPERS with the sale.
“The sale of these assets represents the continued effort to reduce costs, risk and complexity across the CalPERS fund,” said Paul Mouchakkaa, CalPERS Senior Investment Officer for Real Assets. “For the Real Estate Program it will enable us to invest in assets and managers that are more aligned with our current strategy.”
Park Hill Group will immediately begin seeking offers from interested parties on the secondary market, and plan to have a deal completed by the end of 2015.
The CalPERS Real Estate Program currently holds approximately $25.5 billion in commercial, industrial and residential assets.
For more than eight decades, scandal plagued CalPERS has been the retirement and health security systems for state, school, and public agency members.
Nationwide, police have shot and killed 123 people this year who were in the throes of mental or emotional crisis. The dead account for a quarter of the 461 people shot to death by police in the first six months of 2015.
In most cases, the police officers who shot them were not responding to reports of a crime. More often, the police officers were called by relatives, neighbors or other bystanders worried that a mentally fragile person was behaving erratically, reports show.
In many cases, officers responded with tactics that quickly made a volatile situation even more dangerous.
Most Christian commentary has opted for another strategy: fight on. Several contributors to a symposium in the journal First Things about the court’s Obergefell decision last week called the ruling the Roe v. Wade of marriage. It must be resisted and resisted again. Robert P. George, probably the most brilliant social conservative theorist in the country, argued that just as Lincoln persistently rejected the Dred Scott decision, so “we must reject and resist an egregious act of judicial usurpation.”
These conservatives are enmeshed in a decades-long culture war that has been fought over issues arising from the sexual revolution. Most of the conservative commentators I’ve read over the past few days are resolved to keep fighting that war.
The research mirrors an analysis of data by the Los Angeles News Group that found that nearly half of 57 inmates on California’s death row convicted of murdering at least 93 victims under special circumstances in Los Angeles County between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2010, had killed females. The 38 females who were killed ranged in age from 1 to 79.
A few court clerks in Kentucky were refusing to issue marriage licenses to any couple Monday as an objection to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage.
Gov. Steve Beshear ordered all the state’s clerks to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses Friday. In a statement Monday, he said he expects all clerks, who are elected officials, “to execute the duties of their offices as prescribed by law.”
California lawmakers on Monday sent the governor a contentious bill that would impose one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country in reaction to a recent measles outbreak at Disneyland.
The Senate reaffirmed the bill striking California’s personal belief exemption for immunizations on a 24-14 vote. Mississippi and West Virginia are the only two states with such strict requirements in place.
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has not said if he would sign it.
Like so many political events, the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Monday that upheld the right of independent citizen commissions to draw district lines inspired a different reaction in California than elsewhere in the nation.
Three current and former UC Berkeley students sued the University of California on Monday for allegedly failing to properly respond to their sexual assault complaints, asserting that administrators did not act quickly enough or adequately penalize perpetrators found responsible.
“They absolutely failed to respond to these charges in any manner that could be considered adequate,” said Irwin M. Zalkin, an attorney for the plaintiffs. “There was deliberate and utter indifference to these girls.”
While Congress has been unable to advance comprehensive immigration reform legislation, California has reeled off a series of bills expanding immigrant rights. So it was fitting that the Assembly spent part of Monday passing a resolution declaring June Immigrant Heritage month and praising the contributions of foreign-born Californians. Democrats and Republicans alike rose in support, and 75 lawmakers signed on as co-authors.
Legislators’ reform ideas will no doubt run into the same brick wall that greets most of their ideas in a Democratic-controlled Legislature. (What’s the chance the Legislature will slash public-sector jobs or reform an environmental act they have been reluctant to touch, except for favored projects?)
But their main point makes for a good opening volley: There are plenty of ways to find a few billion dollars in a record $115-billion budget without raising taxes. The question comes down to priorities.
If critics of the bill are frustrated that their arguments about parental rights weren’t accepted, supporters have every right to be frustrated as well. The vast majority of evidence shows vaccines are extremely safe and are immensely helpful to public health. The more people who aren’t vaccinated, the more risk the broader community faces. This is why requiring vaccinations among schoolchildren is obviously in the public interest.
What’s also frustrating is the conspiratorial hokum used by many vaccine foes, starting with the claim that vaccinations are only given because pharmaceutical companies have bought off politicians or because they’re so good at using marketing scare tactics.
We urge the Senate to give final approval to SB 277 as expected. And we urge Gov. Jerry Brown to sign it.
The Southern California real-estate market is feeling the sting of a changing climate, as a pair of new reports finds renters, would-be homebuyers and black households losing ground in the face of competition from investors and a widening racial wealth gap.
In a survey of 80 community-based nonprofits, the California Reinvestment Coalition found that long-term tenants are being displaced by high rents while potential first-time homebuyers are losing out to all-cash offers from investors.
“The irony in Wall Street profiting from a foreclosure crisis they helped create is not lost on anybody,” Kevin Stein, the coalition’s associate director, said in a statement.
Thomas Goethals now finds himself, less happily, at the center of a different sort of public battle rooted in questions of moral conscience and constitutional justice. The case, which has unfolded in his 11th-floor chambers in downtown Santa Ana, involves the worst massacre in Orange County history.dormant for months.
National news media seized on the clash and the misuse of criminal informants. “Dateline” and “20/20” have filmed in Goethals’ chambers for segments that have yet to air. “60 Minutes” has had its cameras rolling there in recent days.
At least two other high-profile murder cases have unraveled due to practices laid bare in the Dekraai case – one involving gang member Leonel Vega, whose original life sentence in prison was cut to 15 years. Isaac John Palacios, a client of Pohlson’s who had admitted to killing a gang rival and faced charges of killing a second victim, was set free because information gleaned from informants was never properly divulged to the legal defense team, Pohlson said.
“Law-enforcement actions caused a double-murderer to be released,” the attorney said.
It’s been a year for high-profile liberal legislation in the California Senate, which earlier this month passed a sweep of politically ambitious proposals around poverty, tobacco use and the environment.
Several appear headed for approval, including a set of aggressive renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals shared by Gov. Jerry Brown, and an expansion of health care for undocumented children that was funded in the budget.
Others await a much tougher slog in the Assembly. While also dominated by the Democratic Party, which traditionally aligns with organized labor, the Legislature’s lower house has a growing “moderate caucus” that is generally more receptive to the concerns of the business community.
Organizations representing police chiefs and officers from around the state have filed legal briefs supporting an effort to bar the release of videos that recorded Gardena police fatally shooting an unarmed man and seriously wounding another.
The Los Angeles County Police Chief’s Assn., California Police Chiefs’ Assn., California State Sheriffs’ Assn. and California Peace Officers’ Assn. in court papers filed last week said that sealing such evidence is common practice nationwide. They cited concerns about violating the privacy of the officers involved and the possibility of interfering with investigations.
Dashboard cameras from three police cars recorded parts of the June 2, 2013, shooting of Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino, who was struck eight times and died from his injuries. Another man, Eutiquio Acevedo Mendez, also suffered a gunshot wound to his back, leaving bullet fragments near his spine.
The city has paid $4.7 million to the families of Diaz-Zeferino and Mendez to settle a civil rights lawsuit over the shooting.
Democrats, and many other Americans of varying political stripes enjoyed a feel-good national moment, but the GOP wasn’t invited to the party – Republicans were worrying about how to keep from being trampled by the accelerating gallop of 21st-century social change.
With the Supreme Court’s decision today striking down state bans on gay marriage, gay and lesbian people are now fully equal in the eyes of the law. Right?
Well, not exactly. There’s still a big hurdle: No federal law currently prevents employers from discriminating against people on the basis of sexual orientation. So while gay, lesbian and bisexual people may have equal rights in love, they’re still far from equal at work.
It’s not just semantics. Multiple studies have found that gay and lesbian people face higher rates of employment discrimination and harassment, whether it’s through denial of certain health benefits, vandalism of personal property, or bias in hiring. (Rates are particularly high for transgender people, although according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, they are protected under the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex).
Friday’s Supreme Court ruling to allow same-sex marriage nationwide will likely hurt some California businesses that already supply wedding-related services in a state where gay marriage has been legal.
Other Southland companies expect an uptick in business, but Lisa Phillian is not among them.
“From a business standpoint I think this will negatively impact us,” said Phillian, owner of Rainbow Weddings in Palm Springs. “Now people will be all about getting married at home with their friends and family around. But personally, with this court decision, I say it’s about time.”
A California law allowing nursing homes to make medical decisions on behalf of certain mentally incompetent residents is unconstitutional, an Alameda County judge ruled this week.
The law, which has been in effect more than two decades, gave nursing homes the authority to decide residents’ medical treatment if a doctor determined they were unable to do so and they had no one to represent them.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio M. Grillo wrote in the decision, which was released Wednesday, that the law violates patients’ due process rights because it doesn’t require nursing homes to notify patients they have been deemed incapacitated or to give them the chance to object.
Presidential campaigns this time around have a new technological ace in the hole — you.
Building off two decades of digital wizardry, the campaigns are getting ready to monitor and analyze most of what you do online instantaneously. And if you forward certain political emails to your Aunt Maggie in Iowa or your old college roommate in Ohio, they’ll reward you for doing it.
The technology will no doubt make it easier for campaigns to personalize their messages and respond in seconds, but it will also test the will and patience of privacy advocates who might feel a little itchy about campaigns looking over everyone’s shoulders in real time.
In the coming week, the California Assembly will vote on a straightforward statement urging each University of California campus and other publicly funded schools to adopt resolutions condemning “all forms of anti-Semitism and racism, including Islamophobia.”
Jewish organizations, educators and organized labor support it. Former Speaker John A. Pérez, a University of California regent, returned to the Capitol last week to testify for it at committee hearing. The resolution isn’t binding. The Legislature can only urge UC campuses to act.
But the resolution faces surprising opposition from one of the more influential public employee unions, the California Faculty Association.
State water officials not only told more Central Valley farmers Friday that they need to stop drawing water from low-flowing rivers and creeks — but they tossed the city of San Francisco onto the list as well.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which pipes mountain water from the Yosemite National Park to 2.5 million people in and around the city, was warned Friday that there is not enough flow in the Tuolumne River and its tributaries to continue diverting water into reservoirs at four places.
The move could very well bring legal action because San Francisco officials have been quick to defend their water rights in the past and don’t want to see the state setting a precedent of stripping them.
This week, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 83, a trailer bill attached to the state budget.
It reverses a ban on releasing what are known as well logs to anyone but the well’s owners, government officials and those cleaning up toxic spills. Drilling companies have to file the reports when they create new wells.
The reports detail the composition of the subterranean layers the drillers encountered and how far down they hit water.
Water scientists and advocates had long pushed for making the reports public, since they provide critical information about underground features and depth and quality of a water supply. The reports, they say, are even more important now as groundwater increasingly is being overtaxed amid years of drought.
About 40 percent of California’s freshwater supply comes from underground sources – a percentage that’s growing as the state’s reservoirs shrivel.
California is the last Western state to make its well logs public. Some states, including Texas, even post them online.
GOP lawmakers are hoping the political climate is more congenial for their 170-page package that once again includes hot-button items like scaling back a San Joaquin River restoration program.
Opposed by the Obama administration and California Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration, last year’s House package effectively died in the Senate after House negotiators came relatively close, but failed to complete a deal with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
With the drought worsening, the State Water Resources Control Board issued “curtailment orders” to a combined 16 holders of so-called senior water rights on the Merced and upper San Joaquin rivers. Some of the rights go as far back as 1858.
In addition, the water board said it sent a curtailment order to the city of San Francisco for rights it holds to pull water from the Tuolumne River dating to 1903.
Regardless of one’s take on the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Friday forbidding states from banning same-sex marriage, it’s clear the ruling didn’t come in a vacuum. Analysts said the court “created” a new civil right, but public attitudes have shifted dramatically in recent years. The court simply gave its blessing to a cultural change that already has taken place.
We see another long-in-the-making social change on the issue of marijuana. A recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California found 55 percent of likely California voters in favor of legalizing weed for recreational uses. Support for such an idea was barely perceptible decades ago.
The Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage. President Barack Obama praised the decision, saying the court has “reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law, that all people should be treated equally regardless of who they are or who they love.” And the Democratic Party’s leading contender for the 2016 nomination, Hillary Clinton, tweeted the following:
The reaction from the other side was notably different, as Republican presidential candidates expressed their displeasure with the court’s 5-4 ruling.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher–Orange County’s senior, career politician–announced today that his longtime campaign treasurer allegedly stole more than $173,000 from his election coffers.
But Rohrabacher failed to mention who is likely most upset by the situation: the congressman’s wife, Rhonda, who has in the past deposited about 50 percent of campaign contributions into the family’s bank accounts by–cough, cough–acting as his campaign manager.
Nick Gerda at the Voice of OC broke the story and quoted Rohrabacher as claiming he’s “disappointed and dismayed by this betrayal of trust” by Jack Wu, a surfing Newport Beach/Los Angeles tax accountant, past city council candidate and conservative political activist whose Twitter account description declares, “Kick ass for da Lord!”
Rohrabacher, a bombastic war hawk nowadays though he skipped all Vietnam War military service when eligible to fight in combat, first ran and won in 1988 by arguing for the importance of term limits.
BART police have adopted sweeping new policy guidelines around interactions with transgender people. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, it is among the first such policies adopted by a major law enforcement agency.
“BPD officers and employees are to interact with transgender people and the transgender community in a manner that is professional, respectful, and courteous,” the policy states. “Officers are cautioned not to treat a person’s transgender status or appearance as a basis of suspicion or as evidence of a crime.”
BPD officers are urged to ask transgender people the name and pronoun they prefer. BPD forms that require recording gender will also be revised to include a transgender category.
Also included in the policy are instructions not to remove prosthetics, wigs, clothes, or make-up; instructions to provide medical care — such as hormones — when requested; and instructions to ascertain a transgender person’s legal name in a private, one-on-one interaction. BPD officers are also prohibited from searching a person’s genitalia to determine gender identity.
Sheriff’s office deputies from Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties conducted a large scale marijuana cultivation sweep Monday morning, which included serving several search warrants in the Island Mountain area, according to officials.
Dozens of deputies hit the remote area, which touches all three counties. No federal agencies were involved.
Island Mountain is located in southeast Humboldt County, near where the three counties meet and is the original Emerald Triangle area.
Sources told reporters that they expect to find upwards of 100,000 plants.
The sources said the marijuana grows are not Mexican cartel operations but from local growers who have been growing for years.
Beyond the sheer size of the grows, prompting the raid is evidence of massive water theft and other environmental violations, the sources said. For that reason the California Department of Fish and Wildlife was assisting deputies.
A handful of Central Valley water agencies that have been warned to stop pumping water from rivers to farms, in light of the drought, say they’re considering running their pumps anyway.
The defiance comes after state officials this week presented a legal case for their conservation crackdown — a framework that irrigation districts see as a retreat from tough talk of cutbacks and fines.
Many suppliers stopped drawing water from rivers and creeks this month, for the first time ever, when the state water board took the extraordinary step of sending curtailment notices to some of California’s strongest water rights holders. Now, agencies with those historic claims say that state regulators, by their own admission, don’t appear to be in a position to penalize people who keep taking water.
The move by the County Medical Services Program board promises to fill in health access gaps for people who don’t qualify for low-income health coverage through Medi-Cal or for private insurance under the state’s health exchange, Covered California.
Many of those people are undocumented immigrant adults who have only had access to emergency care.
The program’s expansion would add several doctor visits and about $1,000 of prescription drugs to the list of services available to undocumented immigrants and to legal residents who meet eligibility criteria but don’t qualify for other aid programs.
The board approved a half dozen other program expansions, including raising the income eligibility limit for both legal and illegal residents to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, which is less than $12,000 for an individual.
The national health care law championed by President Obama survived its second legal challenge when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld government subsidies that are critical for insurance coverage to millions of people in 34 states that did not establish medical insurance marketplaces after the measure was approved.
In the 6-3 ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts said the subsidies are available to everyone who buys insurance under the program and meets the income limits set by Congress.
“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not destroy them,” Roberts wrote.
Three hideously brutal Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies have been convicted of beating a handcuffed man bloody and then lying to cover up the abuse.
A federal jury deliberated for only four hours before returning guilty verdicts against Deputies Sussie Ayala and Fernando Luviano and former Sgt. Eric Gonzalez, who supervised the incident and boasted about the assault in a text message to a colleague.
Nine other deputies were previously convicted of other crimes, including obstructing the FBI’s investigation.
French President Francois Hollande held a crisis meeting of the country’s Defense Council on Wednesday after newspapers published WikiLeaks documents showing that the United States eavesdropped on him and two predecessors.
After the meeting, the council issued a statement lambasting U.S. spying as “unacceptable” and declaring that France had demanded two years ago that the National Security Agency stop snooping on its leaders.
Hollande spoke to President Obama on Wednesday afternoon as lawmakers across the political spectrum insisted the French president demand a formal apology.
The Supreme Court upheld the broad reach of a federal law that forbids racial discrimination in housing.
The court decided that the Fair Housing Act may be used to attack zoning rules or lending policies that appear to have a discriminatory effect on blacks, Latinos or other racial minorities.
The decision is a defeat for the mortgage banking industry.
“Much progress remains to be made in our nation’s continuing struggle against racial isolation,” Justice Kennedy said, in an opinion joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
Azusa police shot a man overnight, authorities said Thursday, in the second police shooting of a suspect in the city this week.
Naturally, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is aiding Azusa police in its investigation, had no information on the circumstances surrounding the incident early Thursday. Authorities could not say whether the man was alive or dead, only that he was shot by police in the 5000 block of North Conwell Avenue sometime around midnight.
But a resident, Gerardo Jaurez who said he is a brother of the man, spoke with ABC7, saying Jose Jaurez, 45, was the person shot and that he had an encounter with Azusa police recently about an open container.
Ten years ago Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court catapulted the arcane issue of “eminent domain” into public consciousness by ruling that cities may take private property and give it to corporations – provided displaced owners are paid “just compensation.” People were so shocked that it sparked a backlash, with most states eventually putting limits on the practice.
The ghosts of the Kelo decision must have hovered around the court’s Washington, D.C., building on Monday, as justices issued two of their most significant property-rights-related decisions since 2005. Unlike Kelo, they ruled on behalf of property owners in both of these California-related matters.
A program that anti-illegal immigration activists see as a burden to American taxpayers has generated $422.4 million in application fees and allowed hundreds of thousands of people to work and study in the country legally.
In the three years since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals took effect, 664,607 young adults have been accepted into the program. Participants must renew every two years, and, to date, 243,872 people have done so.
The program allows young people who arrived in the United States before age 16, and who meet certain other criteria, to defer deportation. They also can get work permits and continue their education.
The heads of two school districts told the county on Tuesday that they’re eager to see more law enforcement officers on their campuses.
“We find that the time is now to put those resources into place if at all possible,” Robert Graeff, the superintendent of the Ramona Unified School District said to the county Board of Supervisors. He was joined by Ralf Swenson, the head of the Grossmont Union High School District.
Their comments came moments before the board unanimously approved a measure that gives the county’s chief administrative officer three months to work with the Sheriff’s and Probation departments to find a way to put more deputies and probation officers in schools in unincorporated parts of the county.
Supervisors Bill Horn and Dianne Jacob said putting these officers will make students safer and allow officials to intervene early to address truancy.
The Los Angeles City Council gave final approval Tuesday to an aggressive crackdown on street encampments, setting the stage for major homeless sweeps in the city in decades.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said he would sign the two ordinances, which authorize seizure and in some cases destruction of makeshift shelters and other property of homeless people.
Opponents, including Councilman Gil Cedillo, who cast the lone no vote, said the measures would criminalize homelessness while doing nothing to help people off the streets.
“We should have a war on poverty, not on the poor,” Cedillo told the council.
An overwhelming majority of the city’s 26,000 homeless people live in the streets. Shelter directors and housing experts say their facilities are full and there is nowhere else for homeless people to go.
The measures drew condemnation from national advocates, who said the city is running against the tide of recommended practices in the fight to end homelessness.
Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change could prevent tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions in economic losses in the United States, according to a new study by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The report, “Climate Change in the U.S. – Benefits of Global Action,” looks at what could happen by 2050 and by the end of the century if action is taken – and, by implication, if nothing is done – to limit the rise of the average global temperature to about 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
That is the point past which scientists say an irreversible cycle of damage from climate change will take hold.
Tiny cracks found on some of the rods on the new Bay Bridge tower potentially endanger the rest of the more than 400 remaining fasteners that secure the tower to the foundation in an earthquake, Caltrans officials said Tuesday.
They also acknowledged that one of four high-strength tower anchor rods they have examined apparently snapped after it was exposed to water and became brittle. That was the same headache that cost the agency $45 million to fix in 2013 when 32 rods on seismic stabilizers failed after sitting in water.
Medical marijuana has not been proven to work for many illnesses that state laws have approved it for, according to the first comprehensive analysis of research on its potential benefits.
The strongest evidence is for chronic pain and for muscle stiffness in multiple sclerosis, according to the review, which evaluated 79 studies involving more than 6,000 patients. Evidence was weak for many other conditions, including anxiety, sleep disorders, and Tourette’s syndrome and the authors recommend more research.
The analysis is among several medical marijuana articles published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. They include a small study suggesting that many brand labels for edible marijuana products list inaccurate amounts of active ingredients. More than half of brands tested had much lower amounts than labeled, meaning users might get no effect.