Daily Recorder
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
GUEST COLUMNS

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Desiree Johnson is the mother of three beautiful daughters. She has a loving husband and a job with Contra Costa County. Despite that, Desiree says that each of her pregnancies was unusually traumatic, and she has the scars to prove it.
"Rich is just the term we use to describe people who have more than us when we don't think they deserve it."

Monday, September 20, 2021

There is no ecological Chapter 11 to protect our communities from climate change. But, here are actions we can all take now.
The changes to the form and its financial aid calculations aim to make the FAFSA simpler as well as to encourage more students to complete it and to expand aid eligibility for lower-income students.

Friday, September 17, 2021

The attempt to throw Gov. Gavin Newsom out of office failed by a wide margin, according to vote counts released tonight in California's historic recall election. With some 9.1 million ballots counted — out of 22.3 million ballots mailed to registered voters — the "no" vote is ahead of the "yes" vote 64% to 36%, according to the California Secretary of State.
Gov. Gavin Newsom is keeping his job after months spent lambasting the recall as a Republican power grab; feverishly fundraising, wooing likely supporters and wrangling fractious progressive activists; sweating the odd, unexpectedly close poll; fusing policymaking and politicking; and calling upon big-name D.C. Democrats to come stump out west.
In the fall, many employers offer an open enrollment period – a window of time to select your benefits package for the coming year. It's easy to overlook this opportunity and maintain the status quo, but this could be a costly mistake given the significant role benefits play in your financial life.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

As final ballots were cast Tuesday and election officials began counting the votes for and against Newsom, critics of California's recall system contend that it's too easy to put a recall on the ballot and too easy for an unqualified candidate to become governor with only a relative handful of votes.
The California Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom have a powerful opportunity to right this wrong by passing the VISION Act, Assembly Bill 937.
For fashion to thrive in the years to come and for our planet to exist beyond my grandchildren's lifetime, we need to give the next generation of responsible apparel brands the right environment to succeed in.
Living on the South Carolina coast means living under the threat of dangerous weather during storm season. But the added peril of the pandemic made Ann Freeman nervous.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

As if California needed another crisis, the state's seemingly perpetual wildfires are forcing millions of homeowners in fire-prone areas to pay skyrocketing premiums for insurance coverage — if, indeed, they can buy it at all.
The panic started to set in for California Democrats in the last week of July.
Democrats have been under fire for not running a top-tier potential replacement candidate in the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom and instead calling on voters to leave the second question blank.
As a Black woman, I take the California recall election personally. It is an undemocratic assault on my right to vote.
Many Californians are struggling with what to do about both questions on the recall ballot.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Lawyers "may" have the right to say the election was stolen during public debate and discourse, but those who pursue litigation claiming election fraud on behalf of their clients are subject to statutory requirements, the rules of civil procedure, and the rules of professional conduct. They lose their First Amendment rights upon "entering" the courtroom.
Whatever else the California Legislature did or didn't do this year, it finally — and very belatedly — took a long-needed step toward ridding the state of bad cops who victimize people they are supposed to be serving and taint their honorable profession.
California's eviction protections will almost certainly not be extended once they expire after Sept. 30, the state Assembly Housing chairperson said today.
Later this month, a group of renters in the United States will get a new break when they try to become homeowners: Their history of consistently paying their landlords will count toward qualifying for a mortgage.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Vernon, unfortunately, is not an isolated example. The southeastern quadrant of Los Angeles County is rife with municipal malfeasance, and was once dubbed a "corridor of corruption" by state Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. Numerous local officials have been charged with bribery, self-dealing and other transgressions.
It can't be said enough; California's farming industry is a cornerstone of this great state – our growers provide food for your families and the world. As we hear so often during this pandemic, farming and agriculture are essential.
With Newsom facing what could be the most harrowing challenge of his political career, he was back in the Bay Area, though not in San Francisco, but in the East Bay — Harris' turf. And he's asking his oldest political frenemy to put in a good word just six days before the Sept. 14 recall.
The second year of the coronavirus pandemic in California was shaped by two political undercurrents at the state Capitol: a budget awash with cash, thanks to a booming stock market and federal aid, and a looming recall election asking voters to throw Gov. Gavin Newsom out of office.
Was your home damaged by Hurricane Ida? Insurance experts say you should file claims as soon as possible — if you have coverage.

Friday, September 10, 2021

A week from now we'll know – maybe – whether Gavin Newsom, the Democratic governor of a state utterly dominated by the Democratic Party, will lose his job.
State lawmakers are scrambling to craft a better solution for COVID-quarantined students — after schools and parents complained that recent changes to independent study laws were leaving them in the lurch.
Legalizing cannabis was supposed to be about social justice. About ending mass incarceration of people of color for possessing a small amount of marijuana. About safer legal access.
The 2020 General Election was historic for many reasons, not least of which was the sheer number of voters who turned out at the polls. For California, the state had the highest turnout since the 1952 General Election at 70.9% of eligible voters.
There is no right answer for everyone, but in many cases, it may make sense to use both active and passive investments to effectively build and manage a diversified portfolio.
Cynthia Rojas never had much interest in politics. A mother who owns an online business selling hair accessories from her home in West Los Angeles, Rojas chose Democrats when she voted. But she skipped a lot of elections — and she certainly never glanced at a city council agenda or attended school board meetings.
The Central Valley's rice fields and wetlands are widely heralded as key rest and refuel stops for millions of migratory birds traveling along the Pacific Flyway.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Texas' new abortion law gives enforcement powers to private citizens. Is there precedent for that?
The solution to California's housing crisis is simple: Scrap the California Environmental Quality Act.
Gov. Gavin Newsom's $6 billion broadband plan approved by the Legislature in July is a massive investment providing California's best chance yet to close the digital divide and finally connect the state's remaining unserved households that still have no internet service or very slow service.
The government's app for facilitating transactions — its "digital wallet" — went offline temporarily, protesters took to the streets of the capital to denounce the move, and the price of Bitcoin dropped sharply, demonstrating the volatility of the cryptocurrency market.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

A couple of columns back, I reported comments from several superior court judges about what they do not like to see in trial court briefs. Since then, a few more comments have trickled in from smaller counties.
Most insureds pay regular monthly life insurance premiums for years without a problem. Occasionally, a policyholder may miss a premium payment. For example, in the last few months of her life, the policyholder may be so ill or incapacitated that she uncharacteristically fails to pay the monthly premium.
An acquaintance had some good news to impart last week: Her son, who operates construction machinery, just got a raise from $43 an hour to $57. It explains why government construction is costly in California, but also undermines the popular belief that one must have a college degree to get a well-paying job.
California's bet on transitional rehabilitation programs is novel, and recent evidence suggests it is paying off.
Leaders from a newly formed revitalization task force joined California State Parks representatives last week in announcing a partnership to honor a piece of California Black history in the Central Valley.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Two weeks before voters decide whether to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom, a second round of stimulus payments is landing in the bank accounts of Californians who make less than $75,000 per year — with one glaring carve-out.
Governing a state is hard work, but governors aren't supposed to mislead citizens, make up sympathetic stories or create rules they neglect to follow. Yet Gov. Gavin Newsom is a repeat offender of all those.
More than 200 occupations are licensed the same way in California, from teachers to doctors. Professions that require public confidence are held to a high standard, and the privilege of practicing can be rescinded for failing to meet it. Law enforcement is not among those 200.
Assembly Bill 616 would grant to California farmworkers the same rights to vote by mail in union certification elections that all California voters enjoy in political elections.
The problem emerged last year as state employment systems were straining to process a crush of claims during the coronavirus pandemic. The fraud persists even as authorities try to crack down on it and as expanded pandemic unemployment benefits are set to expire, identity theft experts say.

Friday, September 3, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic, we've been told, changes everything and that may include one of California's oldest social support systems, workers' compensation.
Imagine picking up the newspaper the day after the California gubernatorial recall election and reading an entirely plausible result: 51% of Californians voted to recall the governor and 49% voted to keep him in office.
Smoke and ash from wildfires near Lake Tahoe — one of the deepest lakes in the world — is already clouding the lake's famously clear water, researchers say.
If you're among those who plan to quit your current role in search of a better opportunity, it's important to consider how doing so could affect your finances. Here are some things to think about before you hand in your two-week notice.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Gavin Newsom was just a toddler in 1968 when Robert Kennedy won California's June 5 presidential primary, addressed his cheering supporters in Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel and then was murdered as he walked through the hotel's kitchen en route to a private celebration.
Each year, nearly 4,000 Californians die in car crashes. More than three times that number are severely injured. The difference between death and injury is speed — and with every mile per hour, the risk only grows.
Nearly $2 trillion in federal funding is flowing to state and local governments as part of the American Rescue Plan, which is more than what President Franklin Roosevelt spent on the New Deal, even after accounting for inflation.
Under California law, non-exempt employees who are not provided a compliant meal and/or rest break must receive "premium pay" equal to one hour of pay.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Three decades ago, it became apparent that casino gambling was coming to California and the only question was who would control and benefit from it.
With Gov. Gavin Newsom facing a Sept. 14 recall election, fellow Democrats in the Legislature appeared to protect him from having to sign or veto some controversial measures as they culled hundreds of bills Thursday in the biannual ritual known as the suspense file.
Republicans running to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in the recall election have talked about making some big changes in California: Cut taxes. Give parents vouchers for private schools. Roll back some landmark environmental laws.
The only California governor to ever be recalled has some thoughts about how the process could be reformed.
Here's one you probably haven't heard before: The Legislature is considering a plan to make it easier for California community college students to get into a UC or Cal State campus, but current community college students aren't backing it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

There is $12 billion in Gov. Gavin Newsom's state budget allocated for homelessness and affordable housing — enough to permanently take care of the vast majority of the state's needs.
Even before the pandemic, mental health disorders were among the most common chronic illnesses Californians face.
A year and a half of pandemic living has revealed — or reminded us of — some persistent patterns around money, gender, marriage and families. And they aren't always pretty.

Monday, August 30, 2021

As a result of recent legal developments, the gun industry, which has weathered lawsuits and legislative efforts to clip its wings with impunity, is in an unprecedented state of vulnerability.
In the past month, four emergency room nurses — exhausted by the onslaught of patients and emotional turmoil wrought by COVID-19 — have quit at the Eureka hospital where Matt Miele works.
California is a textbook example of structural racism.
In principle, a court is a forum in which the parties resolve disputes by discovering the truth. In practice, by rubber-stamping hundreds of thousands of creditor judgments against unrepresented or even absent defendants, California's courts have become a pliant arm of the debt-collection industry. With many legal protections for California's borrowers because of COVID-19 set to expire, better regulation and representation are urgently required to reverse this disturbing practice.
A new crop of mobile money apps are promoting themselves as part of the solution to a stubborn problem: a lack of financial savvy, particularly among young Americans.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Kevin Paffrath is running to be California's next governor in the Sept. 14 recall election, but he doesn't quite look, or talk, the part.
The differences between President Biden and Gov. Newsom were never as stark as they were earlier this month. Both leaders understand the urgency of climate change. Both see our economy transitioning to lower-carbon energy sources. But the way they're governing is wildly out of sync.
Budgeting and financial planning are two terms that are easily confused. Both apply to personal finances and both are activities that can help you be financially successful now and in the future.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is an ancient proverb thought to date from a 4th century BC Sanskrit writing on statecraft.
Anaheim, San Diego and Oakland are all hoping to give their sports arenas a boost by giving the surrounding real estate a makeover. In high-gloss renderings, developers promise walkable, transit-friendly cityscapes featuring housing, hotels, shops and restaurants with plenty of inviting green space.
With just three weeks until California's Sept. 14 recall election, some of the top candidates are starting to scuffle. Not Kevin Kiley.
On the afternoon of Aug. 4, a 40,000-foot pyro-cumulus cloud built over the mountains south of Lake Almanor, collapsing into a storm of red-hot embers.
There's an expression about the personal-information-grubbing practices of free digital services that sell ads, including Facebook and weather apps: If you don't pay for the product, you are the product.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The large firms and small boutiques who sent their workers home in the early days of the pandemic are watching with wary eyes the Delta variant, even as they are opening their doors and turning the lights back on. But the attorneys who show up to work in this next phase of the pandemic could look much different than the group that departed last year.
One silver lining has emerged from this pandemic: Never, perhaps, has it been so clear how much we owe the physicians in our communities. And California Supreme Court case Natarajan v. Dignity Health helps clarify the standards applicable to medical staff peer review hearings.
California had a huge and growing housing problem before COVID-19 reared its ugly head 18 months ago, falling well short each year of state construction goals.
Andrew McDowell, who owns a cafe in downtown Los Angeles, says the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom is a waste of time and money.
In California, our natural resource world has changed and continues to change faster than our policies and institutions can adapt. Temperature records are being set annually, tinder-dry watersheds experience raging wildfire driven by high winds, and reduced snowpack often evaporates without running into rivers.
As millions of renters stare down the end of California's eviction moratorium — and stories of the thousands of evictions that have taken place despite the moratorium are learned — we can clearly see the short- and long-term effects of the pandemic on Californians.
A bill that would have fundamentally changed how garment workers are paid had enough votes to pass during last year's legislative session, its supporters say, but ran out of time during the session's frenzied final hours.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

On a few of the vast, verdant lawns in East Sacramento, one of the capital city's most popular and expensive neighborhoods, yellow-and-black yard signs urge passersby to "save neighborhoods" and keep Sacramento "livable and diverse."
Larry Elder goes by a lot of labels these days. If he's tough to pin down, that's because he's such an unlikely character: A Black man who grew up in South Central Los Angeles, went to an Ivy League college and became a conservative provocateur.
Hospitals in six rural California counties — all in remote, northern parts of the state — are now treating more COVID-19 patients than ever, breaking records by exceeding their winter surges.
State Auditor Elaine Howle periodically issues a list of "high risk" state agencies and programs, essentially warnings to governors and state legislators about festering problems needing attention.
Assembly Bill 616 is misleadingly being portrayed as merely a way to shift farmworker union elections to mail-in ballots. In reality, the bill could deprive California farmworkers of many of their existing rights in choosing whether to form or join a union, including the secret ballot.
A trial expected to start yesterday will offer an unusual, public peek into the details of a big-money Silicon Valley divorce. They include Hassan's failed attempt to persuade Huynh to sign a so-called postnuptial agreement and his admission that he started a website in her name to publicize embarrassing information from her past.

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