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Bay Point ‘mayor’ on the mend

Gloria Magleby

Gloria Magleby

Bay Point’s unofficial mayor, Gloria Magleby, is reportedly doing well after suffering a stroke a few days ago.

I am a huge Gloria fan, so I wish her a speedy return home.

Here is what an email about her condition sent out today said:

Greetings, Everyone!

Pardon the email blast, but I wanted to update everyone on Glo’s condition, and this seemed the best way.  I will be responding to individual emails, and I will catch up on the phone calls, but this seemed the best way for now.

Glo is improving dramatically, as of last night.  In fact, as you know, they keep stroke patients only a few days in the hospital, and then move them to rehab right away, if all seems to be going in the right direction.  That is precisely what they have done with Glo.  Because she was able to start swallowing, and eating soft food (on her own, with both hands!), she has been transferred to:

Stonebrook Convalescent Center
4367 Concord Blvd.
Concord, CA
925-689-7457

I don’t know her room number, as I haven’t been to see her (or Sport) yet today.  But she is able to receive visitors for a short time, and she is beginning to get feisty!  She is far from being ‘whole’ again, but is making remarkable progress.  She should be there for some time, based on her progress.

Your thoughts and prayers have meant so much to us — to her, to her family, and to me personally.  I know she misses being active (already!), and she misses each and every one of you.

Again, if I have left anyone out of this email, please send this message on to people you think should know.

And again, thank you for all your good thoughts and prayers — keep them up.  She’s not out of the woods yet, but she is a fighter, and fighting is what she is doing now.  She’s ‘our Glo’ and is proving her strength and fortitude as I write this.

Regards,

Julie Nelson

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Calbuzz on GOP convention

I love Calbuzz but its witty posting today is particularly interesting.  Read what its venerable journalists Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine have to say about gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and her appearance this weekend at the state Republican convention.

(And no, I’m not going. Newspaper travel budgets being what they are these days.)

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Boxer, Fiorina clash on education funding

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., was crowing last week that the $26 billion aid package for cash-strapped states includes $1.2 billion for California that would “keep 16,500 teachers on the job.”

This morning, the campaign of Republican senatorial nominee Carly Fiorina sent out a news release saying California Democrats had other plans for the money: “Another day, another broken promise from Barbara Boxer.”

The Fiorina release pointed to a Sacramento Bee blog item in which state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said this new federal money could help plug part of the state budget’s gaping deficit. It also says that the federal money won’t be available before districts must plan their budgets and school starts, and that the money won’t flow through to schools under the Legislature passes a budget, so jobs will be lost at least in the interim.

Both Steinberg’s and Boxer’s offices shot back later this morning.

“The education jobs law and the guidance from the Department of Education could not be more clear: This funding can only be used to save education jobs that serve our children in public schools – and nothing else,” Boxer said in her statement.

And Nathan Barankin, Steinberg’s communications director, said Fiorina “fails to grasp the basic fundamentals of budgeting.”

“News flash to Fiorina: keeping teachers on the job does help the state balance its budget,” he wrote. “Governor Schwarzenegger’s budget proposes to slash school funding by billions, which would result in thousands of teacher layoffs throughout the state. This is an outcome that Senator Boxer and Senator Steinberg want to avoid. The federal money will ensure our schools can afford to keep teachers on the job and our children receive a quality education.”

Then there’s the issue of timing: whether the federal money would arrive and the state budget would be enacted in time to save teachers’ jobs.

Districts already have budgeted for this coming school year; when there’s uncertainty about the budget, they peg their budgets to the Governor’s May budget revision. The state Education Code dictates timing of budget-related layoffs, with a June deadline, so districts already have issued their pink slips for this coming year.

California applied for the federal funding last Friday, Aug. 13, the first day it was possible to make the request, so the governor’s office clearly was wasting no time. Secretary Arne Duncan told governors that day that the U.S. Department of Education anticipates awarding the money within two weeks of receiving approvable applications – in our case, that would be by Aug. 27; he also urged states to give districts an estimate of how much they’ll receive as soon as possible so they can plan accordingly.

The state need not wait for a budget to be passed and signed into law before passing the federal dollars through to the districts; the state Department of Finance can send a letter to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the caucuses can sign off on it and the money can go out. The hope is that districts would get it in time to choose whether to bring pink-slipped teachers back right away and staff up for this school year, or to save the money as a bulwark against further layoffs next year.

As California Watch’s Louis Freedberg noted last week, that won’t be possible everywhere. Some districts have started school already, and most others will do so around the end of this month. And local school boards would have to ratify whatever decisions are made on how the funds will be spent.

As Freedberg concluded, all levels of government – federal, state and local – are going to have to work very quickly and efficiently with clear communications if teachers will be re-hired and paid in time to greet most students returning to school this year. That said, I’d bet there’s not a school district in the state that won’t gratefully accept the money, whenever it arrives.

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Skinner: People are vulnerable, not ‘expendable’

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appears in the new action movie “The Expendables,” but he shouldn’t consider California’s most vulnerable residents among his co-stars, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner said this morning.

Skinner, D-Berkeley, called a news conference to roll out a new 60-second Web video featuring interviews with local residents who stand to lose their jobs, their independence, their homes and more to budget cuts.

This is part of a talking-points campaign orchestrated through Assembly Speaker John Perez’ Office of Member Services, so you can expect to see similar videos, statements and news conferences from Democratic lawmakers around the state.

The Govs Expendables Poster“It seems like in the governor’s budget plan, some Californians have been deemed to be ‘expendables,’” Skinner said at her event in the Franklin Preschool on Eighth Street in Berkeley, arguing that the Legislature and governor are responsible for ensuring these vulnerable people are protected. “We’re going to do our best to communicate this.”

Michelle Rousey, 39, of Oakland, is wheelchair-bound and requires oxygen; she has been an In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) consumer since the early ‘90s. IHSS cuts are “a deadly proposal to eliminate vital services that we use,” she said at today’s news conference.

Daniel McGrath, 34, of Berkeley, has been an IHSS care provider for six and a half years, with three elderly or disabled clients in the Berkeley area. “Life or death should never be on the table,” he said today.

Michelle Alvarez, 34, of Berkeley, said if her two children can’t go to state-funded preschool and afterschool programs, her husband will have to quit the part-time job he got two months ago in order to stay home and care for them; that would leave the family of four living on her salary as an administrative assistant at UC-Berkeley. “Why is he (Schwarzenegger) treating our kids worse than prisoners?”

Michael Pope, 53, executive director of Berkeley-based Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay, said “seniors who gave to this state” all their lives stand to lose crucial day care and family support services. “They need our support, this is not a time in their life when we should be throwing them under the bus.”

Franklin Preschool teacher Sandra Farmer, 67, of Pittsburg, said that in her 37 years in early child development, “I’ve never seen anything like I’m seeing right now” – a situation where loss of preschool will put low-income parents out of work, back on unemployment or welfare.

And Janien Harrison, 40, of San Leandro, an IHSS consumer who has used an electric wheelchair to get around since suffering a traumatic brain injury in a 1999 car accident, said “the cuts would make it so I would not have the opportunity to stay in my home” – she’d have to go to a hospital or institution instead, a far costlier proposition than IHSS. “These cuts disenfranchise my life.”

It’s not a “pity party,” Skinner said, but rather a demonstration that people’s ability to live productively and independently is at risk “if we’re not smart with the budget.” She said Democrats put forth a proposal that included billions in cuts – though not cuts that would have put people like this at risk – while also recognizing that “to do justice and to avoid putting people in harms’ way and to avoid job loss, there is a need for revenue.”

“The Republicans are not talking and the governor basically doesn’t seem to care,” she said.

Skinner before the news conference had said “it’s difficult to make a forecast” about how this year’s budget drama will play out. With state Senate Republican Leader Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murrieta, set to turn over his leadership role to state Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, on Sept. 1, the “reset” button is about to be hit.

“There just doesn’t seem to be willingness on the Republican side to really negotiate,” said Skinner, who serves on the budget conference committee. “You just wonder, is there a political motive going on? Did someone decide it’s to their advantage to delay the budget?”

Replied Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear: “We understand Assemblywoman Skinner supports a massive tax increase to protect public employee pensions and the status quo for unions. We simply disagree.”

I’ve received no response from Hollingsworth’s office.

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CCT posts candidate/measure database

Let’s say you want to know the names of the candidates for the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District or the Knightsen School Board.

What about all those would-be Oakland mayors or the cast of thousands (or so it seems) running for seats in Richmond or Concord.

And there are dozens of state and local ballot measures headed for the Nov. 2 election. Is your city proposing a sales tax or does your school district have a bond measure?

The Contra Costa Times is your answer. We have posted a searchable candidate and ballot measure database for Alameda and Contra Costa counties and portions of San Joaquin and Solano counties.

Check it out.

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Appeals court issues stay of Prop. 8 ruling

There will be no same-sex marriages in California this week. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has granted Proposition 8 proponents’ request that the same-sex marriage ban remain in place pending appeal of a federal judge’s opinion finding it unconstitutional.

But the appellate court also has ordered that the case be expedited: A previous briefing schedule that would’ve had papers being filed through December has now been vacated. Instead, the opening brief is now due Sept. 17; the answering brief is due Oct. 18; and the reply brief is due Nov. 1, with oral arguments set for the week of Dec. 6.

And the court has asked the proponents – who were actually interveners in the original suit filed against the state – to include in their opening brief why their appeal shouldn’t be dismissed for lack of standing.

UPDATE @ 5:30 P.M.: The three 9th Circuit appellate judges who ordered the stay are Edward Leavy, Michael Hawkins and Sidney Thomas – for those who keep count, that’s one Reagan nominee and two Clinton nominees. (Though if you want to judge books by their covers, don’t forget that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who has declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional, was first nominated by Reagan and then re-nominated by George H.W. Bush.)

From ProtectMarriage.com General Counsel Andy Pugno:

“California voters spoke clearly on Prop 8, and we’re glad to see their votes will remain valid while the legal challenges work their way up through the courts. Invalidating the people’s vote based on just one judge’s opinion would not have been appropriate, and would have shaken the people’s confidence in our elections and the right to vote itself.”

From Freedom to Marry Executive Director Evan Wolfson:

“Today’s 9th Circuit order expediting appeal of Chief Judge Walker’s persuasive decision striking down Prop 8 and maintaining a stay during the appellate review, is a disappointing delay for many Californians who hoped to celebrate the freedom to marry and full inclusion in society as soon as possible. But there are many twists in the road to justice, and we are encouraged by the court’s setting a fast pace for the appeal, revealing that the judges understand how important a quick end to the exclusion from marriage is to gay couples, their loved ones, and all Americans who believe in equality under the law. While the lawyers make the case for the freedom to marry in the courts of law, we have more months in which to make our case in the court of public opinion. The evidence at trial overwhelmingly confirmed that there is no good reason for withholding the freedom to marry from committed couples, and the Governor, the Attorney General, a majority of Californians, and a majority of Americans agree with Judge Walker that the freedom to marry helps families, while hurting no one. Prop 8 should never have been on the ballot and we look forward to seeing its stain removed from the law books, as we push forward on other fronts across the country.”

From Alliance Defense Fund Litigation Staff Counsel Jim Campbell:

“It made no sense to impose a radical change in marriage on the people of California before all appeals on their behalf are heard, so the 9th Circuit’s decision is clearly the right call. Refusing to stay the decision would only have created more legal confusion surrounding any same-sex unions entered while the appeal is pending. This case has just begun. ADF and the rest of the legal team are confident that the right of Americans to protect marriage in their state constitutions will ultimately be upheld.”