Daily Briefs

Attorney General mounts major gang crackdown in Salinas

Law enforcement officials arrested 37 members of two separate street gangs, responsible for more than three dozen murders and 200 shootings in Salinas and surrounding areas. [Attorney General’s Office] The mass arrest on Thursday, coordinated through the office of state... (Continue reading)

Louisiana offshore oil explosion sparks concern in Santa Barbara

Political observers are debating the impact of the tragic explosion involving the BP oil rig off the coast of Louisiana, and how it might affect the current debate over offshore drilling in Santa Barbara. [Calbuzz] The ever-growing spill in the... (Continue reading)

California faces $325 billion in unfunded pension obligations

A top pension consultant warned Thursday that state and local governments currently face $325 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, amounting to $22,000 for every working adult in California. [Los Angeles Times] Consultant Girard Miller issued the warning before California’s Little... (Continue reading)

Maldonado wins key support to be lieutenant governor

Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria) appears to be on his way to becoming the next lieutenant governor of California [Los Angeles Times] The moderate Republican cleared a major hurdle Thursday morning when the state Assembly confirmed his nomination by a vote... (Continue reading)

California voters support soda tax to fight obesity

A majority of California voters say they would support a small tax on sweetened soft drinks in order to fight obesity. [HealthyCal.org] The Field Poll survey found that 56 percent would support a soft drink tax and 43 percent would... (Continue reading)

San Luis Obispo County public defender’s office runs out of money

The San Luis Obispo County public defender’s budget is about $500,000 in the red and the Board of Supervisors is being asked to intervene. (Tribune] According to a staff report, there is only $50 left in the public defender’s $5... (Continue reading)

Cash for clunker appliances

Does your old refrigerator rattle while it guzzles energy like an SUV in need of a tune up? A federal government rebate program could help you rid your home of that clunker appliance. [KEYT] However, you might need to act... (Continue reading)

Maldonado gets another chance at lieutenant governor confirmation

The nomination of state Senator Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria) to be California’s next lieutenant governor is apparently back in play after an earlier rejection [San Francisco Chronicle] The state Assembly, which voted to reject Maldonado last February, is scheduled to... (Continue reading)

Council expands Mardi Gras penalties

The San Luis Obispo City Council voted unanimously to expand the Safety Enhancement Zone Ordinance currently in place for Mardi Gras to include St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween. There will be stricter penalties for those who break the law, additional... (Continue reading)

State parks fee likely to be on November ballot

Make room on the November ballot for yet another measure–environmental groups have apparently gathered enough signatures to let voters decide whether to charge California motorists $18 a year to help state parks. [San Jose Mercuy News] Petition organizers submitted 760,000... (Continue reading)