Category Archives: Videos

Amid Threats Of Violence, Who’s Keeping San Diego School Children Safe?

The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary last December sent a shock wave through schools across the nation. Unfortunately it’s one of a series of shocks schools have had to absorb involving incidents of deadly violence by troubled students with guns. KPBS television and radio have been broadcasting a series of programs this week examining the debates about violence in our schools.

Here in San Diego, shrinking budgets have forced schools to cut deep into non-teaching staff positions in recent years. That means many schools have been left without a full-time school counselors.

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Netflix plans original children’s series

Fresh off the launch of its new Kevin Spacey political drama, “House of Cards,” Netflix is planning an original animated children’s series.

“Turbo: F.A.S.T.” (Fast Action Stunt Team) is a spin-off from the DreamWorks Animation studio film “Turbo,” which is set for release July 19. For Netflix, which recently bolstered its kid-friendly offerings by signing an exclusivity deal with Walt Disney, the “Turbo” series will be its first “in-house” production for children.

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The State Worker: Report: Caltrans workers misused rented state trucks, bought booze

From Sacremento Bee:

This report from CBS2 in Los Angeles includes surveillance of Caltrans employees using department rental trucks for commuting and personal business during work hours, including one worker who made trips to buy liquor. Watch for a heated confrontation between Gov. Jerry Brown and CBS reporter David Goldstein

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BUSINESS: Stocks tumble on renewed worries about Europe

From The Los Angeles Times:

 

Stocks lightened their losses but still are deeply in the red this morning amid fear that Europe’s lingering economic crisis is entering another dangerous phase.

Concern that Spain may need a bailout spooked investors worldwide as the country’s borrowing costs soared. European stock markts tumbled, with Asian and U.S. shares following in lockstep.

As of 9:30 a.m. Pacific, the Dow Jones industrial average was off 155.49 points, or 1.2%, to 12,667.08. The index was down nearly 240 points at its low point.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 19.45 points, or 1.5%, to 1,342.95. The Nasdaq composite index got hit the hardest, giving up 54.71 points, or 1.9%, to 2,870.59.

Yields on Treasury bonds fell to new lows amid an investor flight to quality. The yield on the 10-year note fell to a new low of 1.43%.

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LOCAL: Rising costs push California cities to fiscal brink

From The Los Angeles Times:

Facing the same financial stressors that pushed San Bernardino toward bankruptcy, cities across California are slashing day-to-day services and taking other drastic actions to skirt a similar fiscal collapse.

For some, it may not be enough.

San Bernardino on Tuesday became the third California city to seek bankruptcy protection in the last month and, while no one expects the state to be consumed by municipal insolvencies, other cities teeter on the abyss.

“There are likely to be more in the future, but it’s hard to know, since a lot of struggling cities may manage to work things out,” said Michael Coleman, a fiscal policy advisor for the California League of Cities. “Some cities may not go into a bankruptcy, but they may dissolve. They may cease to exist.”

Once rare, turning to bankruptcy has become a painful but enticing option for cities whose labor costs and municipal debt far outpace anemic tax revenues. The Bay Area city of Vallejo began the current trend in May 2008, filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection because, city leaders said, salaries and benefits for its public safety workers were eating up too much of the general fund.

Last month, Stockton became the largest city in the state to seek bankruptcy protection after it was unable to come to agreement with its employee unions and creditors on a plan to close a $26-million gap in its general fund. On July 2, the tiny resort town of Mammoth Lakes filed bankruptcy papers in part because it was saddled with a $43-million court judgment it couldn’t pay.

San Bernardino couldn’t close a $45.8-million budget shortfall and would be unable make its payroll this summer. Days before Tuesday’s City Council vote, the city of 211,00 people had just $150,000 in the bank. The city barely scraped together enough money to cover its June payroll.

The city had largely patched over its growing fiscal ills, exacerbated by the struggling economy, by tapping out its reserves over the last several years, according to a fiscal report submitted to the council before Tuesday’s vote.

That 4-2 decision to file for bankruptcy protection was the easy part, San Bernardino Mayor Patrick Morris said Wednesday. Now the city has to pull together a plan to emerge from its fiscal crisis. It has already cut its workforce by 20% over the last four years.

Morris, a former judge elected on an anti-gang platform, says the city may have to dissolve its Fire Department or portions of the Police Department, an unavoidable reality when public safety accounts for nearly 75% of the general fund budget. The city would then contract with county and state agencies for those services.

“I think all possibilities should be on the table,” Morris said. “That includes privatizing services; that includes regionalizing services.”

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THE LATEST: San Bernardino is third California city seek bankruptcy in a month

From The Los Angeles Times:

San Bernardino is poised to become the third city in California to file for bankruptcy protection in less than a month.

The City Council voted to move forward with bankruptcy on Tuesday night, saying the financial situation had become so dire that it could not cover payroll through the summer. The unexpected vote came at the suggestion of the interim city manager, who said the city faced a $46-million deficit and depleted coffers.

“We have an immediate cash-flow issue,” Andrea Miller told the mayor and seven-member City Council.

The expected bankruptcy for the city of 209,000 is certain to heighten concerns about the fiscal forecast for other struggling California cities, which have been slashing jobs and services as tax revenues have declined during the prolonged economic slump.

Stockton, a Central Valley agricultural hub with pockets of entrenched poverty, tried to remake itself during the last decade as a refuge for former San Francisco Bay Area residents. It spent money on a marina, a high-rise hotel and a promenade. They flopped.

Residents also got swept up in the boom years, snapping up new tract homes on the city’s outskirts. Soon, many of them were empty, victims of the nationwide foreclosure crisis.

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KABOOM! San Diego’s Entire Fireworks Show Ignites At Once

From National Public Radio:

Here’s what it looks like when about 18-minutes worth of professional fireworks all go up at once.

As the San Diego Union-Tribune says, the “city’s big kaboom ka-bombed on Wednesday night.”

On Twitter, the Unified Port of San Diego says “we sincerely apologize for the technical glitch that affected the ‪#BigBayBoom. Event producers are currently investigating the cause.” Apparently, the fireworks on at least three of four barges in the city’s bay went off all at once.

Appropriately named — before the mishap — the “Big Bay Boom,” the show is annually one of the biggest in the western states. Port authorities issued a statement Wednesday night saying that:

“Approximately 5 minutes before the show was to start, a signal was sent to the barges that would set the timing for the rest of the show after the introduction. There were a number of preliminary test signals sent hours and minutes leading up to the show. All these signals tested properly according to Garden State Fireworks, the fireworks company that provides the show.

“The Garden State Fireworks team will be working throughout the night to determine what technical problem caused the entire show to be launched in about 15 seconds.”

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Kevin Singer