Tags >> investigation
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.

Jun 14
2010

"Forbidden Creatures"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , law enforcement , journalism , investigation , international , government , author , animals

Bruce Robinson

The burgeoning illegal trade in rare and endangered animals isn’t good for them, or their native eco-systems, and it’s often problematic for the people who want to own the creatures.

Who are the people who want to own illegal and sometimes dangerous exotic pets? West County-based journalist Peter Laufer reports that they generally are one of two types.

Another issue that Laufer explores in his book is private, often illegal, breeding farms for endangered animals such as tigers, which raise difficult questions about the future of such species.

Despite the odd characters and sometimes shocking vignettes that are part of Forbidden Creatures, Laufer says he sees it overall as a sort of cautionary tale.

The cover art and other tangible aspects of his book are featured in an essay Laufer contributed to the North Bay Bohemian.

The following is a promotional blurb from the author's website for Forbidden Creatures:

On the heels of his acclaimed The Dangerous World of Butterflies, Peter Laufer chronicled his worldwide quest to penetrate the underworld of international animal smuggling. In Forbidden Creatures, Laufer exposes the network of hunters, traders, breeders, and customers who constitute this nefarious business—which, estimated at $10 to $20 billion annually, competes with illegal drug and weapons trafficking in the money it earns criminals.

Laufer asks: What is being smuggled, from where and why? What is being done to stop the illegal trading and irresponsible breeding? Taking readers to exotic and often lawless locales, Laufer introduces brazen and dangerous traders and wealthy customers whose greed and mindless self-interest perpetuate what is now a crisis of survival for a growing number of wild species.

Woven throughout with riveting stories from law enforcement officials and federal prosecutors, Forbidden Creatures is a compelling, first-person narrative written in Laufer’s hallmark conversational, entertaining style.

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Mar 01
2010

Sutter and Marin General Hospital

Posted by Bruce Robinson in resources , public safety , politics , nonprofit orgs , medicine , Marin , investigation , healthcare , government , finances , business , budget

Bruce Robinson

Marin General Hospital is leaving the corporate umbrella of Sutter Health Care, effective at the end of June. But the separation is proving to be less than amicable.

Dr. Martin Brotman, President of the Sutter Health West Bay Region, is well aware of the criticisms directed at Sutter and their actions in Marin County. He contends those critics fail to give the company credit for the substantial investment it has made in the Greenbrea hospital.

 

Sutter Health Care’s internal financial maneuvers may be legal, observes Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), but they do not support the best interests of the communities where the corporation’s hospitals are located.

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