Tags >> government
Aug 25
2010

CSU Foundation Funds

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , state government , policy , nonprofit orgs , news , legislation , investigation , government , finances , education , current events , California , budget , author

Bruce Robinson

Calls for greater transparency in the inner fiscal dealings of foundations based at California State University campuses are mounting, after some of those details became public.

State Senator Leland Yee (D-SF) has championed legislative action to apply the state’s Public Records Act to the CSU academic foundations and other auxiliary organizations. He says these latest revelations about their lax fiscal management only reinforces the need for such a measure.

California Faculty Association president Lillian Taiz, a history professor at Cal State Los Angeles, charges that the newly revealed CABO minutes make it clear that the CSU administration’s opposition to Senator Yee’s sunshine bill, SB 330, was driven not by principle, but protective self-interest.

At Sonoma State, there are four separate auxiliary organizations, explains Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Administration & Finance, Laurence Furukawa-Schlereth. But the budget for the Academic Foundation is much larger than those of  the other three  combined.

Here's the link to the SSU tranparency webpage. You can also read the Executive Summary of the CFA report on the CABO minutes they found. To read the full report, go here. Scroll down for the links to the minutes themselves.

Aug 25
2010

Ship Sewage Rules

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , transportation , tourism , public safety , policy , ocean , news , international , Health , government , garbage , fish , environment , corporate responsibiliyt , coast , California , business , animals

Bruce Robinson

Land-based sewage discharges into the ocean are illegal. Soon that ban will apply to big ships, too, under new EPA rules being announced today.

Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was Environmental Director for the City and County of San Francisco before he was appointed his new job by the Obama administration last January. He would prefer that the ship sewage discharge ban reached at least twice as far offshore, but says three miles is all his agency can cover.

 Even these new rules will only restrict about 4/5ths of the sewage discharges into the state’s bays and other coastal waters; most of the remaining 20% comes from smaller vessels not governed by the new rules. Blumenfeld would like to see an eventual system of controlled dockside flushes into regional treatment facilities, but acknowledges that’s little more than a vision right now.

While the new EPA rules are welcomed, some environmental groups are pushing for more stringent standards. There is also a separate  move underway to impose a full ban on sewage discharges from all vessels on Tomales Bay.

Aug 23
2010

Early Interventions for Deaf Kids

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , state government , protest , politics , news , literacy , legislation , government , families , education , disability , California , activism

Bruce Robinson

When a child is born or diagnosed with deafness or hearing impairment, both medical responses and educational interventions are available. But how are parents to make informed choices? That’s the subject of a bitter debate right now in Sacramento.

All of this debate is focused on a bill that mainly sets out to create an informational brochure intended to give parents of hearing-impaired infants a roster of resources they can explore. The brochure is to be created by a panel of 15 people knowledgeable about this issue, but even that has become a point of contention. Jim Brune, Executive Director  of the Deaf Counseling Advocacy and Referral Agency, Director of charges that the panel will not be representative, but Assemblyman Tony Mendoza says that's not accurate, as the most recent changes in the panel will make it more inclusive.

Perhaps the most vehement opponents of AB 2072 is the The California Deaf Newborn Identification & Advocacy Stakeholder Coalition, a lengthy list of organizations who have mounted a web-based campaign against the bill that includes this list of arguments against it.

They also strongly support early access to American Sign Language.  Sheri Farinha, CEO of Deaf Newborn Intervention and Advocacy, says that past failures to do this are now being reflected in the academic performance of students whose exposure to language was delayed past their earliest formative years.

You can read the full text of Assemblyman Mendoza's AB 2072, including the most recent amendments made last Aug. 2o, here.

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 18
2010

Nieghborhood Summit

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , speaker , seniors , Santa Rosa , public safety , politics , planning , parks , lifestyle , Ideas , government , families , current events , community , children , business , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

The basic building block for influencing local elected officials is the neighborhood, says organizer Jim Diers, because people tend to be most involved and active closest to their homes.

 What defines a neighborhood? Jim Diers, author of Neighbor Power, Building Community the Seattle Way, says there are some basic characteristics that tend to be self-selecting, and common almost everywhere.

Neighborhood Watch programs are among the best known and most widespread applications of the idea that neighbors can benefit from looking out for one another.  Diers sees that as a small step in the right direction, but advocates taking thing much further.

Jim Diers will be the keynote speaker at the Santa Rosa Neighbors Summit Friday evening in the Santa Rosa City Council chambers. Events begin with a free meeting and presentation by neighborhood organizer Jim Diers on Friday evening, Aug. 20, 7-8:30 pm, followed by the working Neighborhood Summit on Saturday  Aug. 21, 9:30 am to 2:30 in the Finley Community Center on West College at Stony Point.

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