CVIndependent

Wed03292017

Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Politics

07 Feb 2017
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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters)—The California Public Employees’ Retirement System should maintain its investments in the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline project in order to exert influence over the companies involved, staff for the largest U.S. public pension fund said on Monday, Feb. 6. Proposed state legislation would require CalPERS, a $300 billion fund, to divest from companies involved in the building and financing of the 1,168-mile-long underground pipeline project, which would affect an estimated $4 billion in CalPERS holdings, according to staff. CalPERS staff said that while divesting stocks of companies involved in the project may reduce stakeholder perception that the fund’s investments contribute to climate change, the move would limit CalPERS ability to change corporate behavior through engagement. “There is considerable evidence that divesting is…
28 Jan 2017
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The teams of President Trump’s temporary appointees who are laying the groundwork for taking over and remaking federal agencies refer to themselves as “beachheads” or “beachhead teams.” That’s a military term for the point of invasion. Politico reports there were approximately 520 members of such teams when Trump took the oath of office. In any presidential transition, there will be tensions between career civil servants and political appointees pushing a new president’s agenda—but according to experts on the matter, this administration’s use of the term may exacerbate those relations. The term was offhandedly used in 2000 by George W. Bush’s incoming press secretary, Ari Fleischer. It was central to the language of Mitt Romney’s 2012 transition plan, which was provided to the Trump team. But…
26 Oct 2016
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Indio is the Coachella Valley’s largest city—and faces complex challenges due to the fact that it’s the home of Coachella, Stagecoach and Desert Trip. In this year’s city election, seven people are running for two seats on the Indio City Council: Incumbents Glenn Miller and Lupe Ramos Watson, and challengers Joan Dzuro, Gina Chapa, Sam Torres, Jackie Lopez and Noe Gutierrez. Joan Dzuro (right), a retired human resources consultant, cited a lack of both redevelopment funds and a concise plan for redevelopment as problems in Indio, due in large part to the state of California dissolving all redevelopment agencies back in 2012. “One of the challenges that we have is the loss of the redevelopment funds,” Dzuro said. “… When those funds were removed by…
23 Oct 2016
As Election Day 2016 approaches, a heated debate among City Council candidates is disrupting the tranquility of La Quinta, the self-anointed “Gem of the Desert.” One issue fueling the controversy is the proposed 1 percent sales tax increase known as Measure G, placed on this year’s ballot by unanimous vote of the City Council. Another issue: the proposed CV Link project. The two mayoral candidates—incumbent Linda Evans and challenger Paula Maietta, a retail-marketing business specialist and 30-year La Quinta resident—have opposing views on just about all of the important issues. Regarding Measure G, Evans told the Independent in a recent interview”: “I supported putting Measure G on the ballot, and I am in support of the need for that 1 percent increase. That’s largely due…
27 Sep 2016
All five candidates for the three Palm Desert City Council seats up for election this year, not surprisingly, say they’re proud of their mid-valley city. All agree that the city’s wide roads, pleasant parks, good schools and upscale neighborhoods are virtues that continue to make Palm Desert an attractive destination for tourists and new residents alike. However, the city is facing fiscal and developmental challenges that could threaten the future growth and fiscal stability of Palm Desert. The Independent spoke with each of the candidates and discussed their concerns, their priority issues if elected, and their views on Measure T. The only city measure on this November’s Palm Desert ballot, Measure T calls for a 2 percentage-point increase—from 9 to 11 percent—in the city’s transient…
26 Sep 2016
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Cathedral City has faced some tough times in recent years. Developers have broken promises. Redevelopment in the downtown area, along Highway 111, has seen ups and downs. These are just a couple of the issues Cathedral City’s City Council is dealing with as the November election approaches. Mayor Stan Henry is running unopposed for his seat, while two City Council slots are up for grabs. Incumbents Gregory Pettis and John Aguilar are both running for re-election, and are being opposed by Sergio Espericueta, a member of the city’s Planning Commission. The Independent recently reached out to all four candidates. Espericueta (right), however, did not respond to a request for an interview. “We have a couple of challenges, one of which is to maintain our balanced…
16 Sep 2016
Rep. Raul Ruiz upset Mary Bono Mack four years ago to become the California District 36 congressman. This year, state Sen. Jeff Stone hopes to pull off an upset of his own. The Democratic Party has high hopes this year. Party leaders think it’s possible to retain the presidency, regain control of the Senate, and increase the number of Democrats in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives. Given this electoral outlook, incumbent Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz is in what seems like a fairly favorable position. He garnered 58.5 percent of June’s primary vote and had raised close to $2.5 million through June. District 36 is a former Republican stronghold that includes all of the Coachella Valley, yet Ruiz’s challenger, State Sen. Jeff Stone, attracted only 31.6…
16 Aug 2016
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At Mexico City’s historic central square, or zócalo, Jose Adan Garcia Canales was busy balancing a small pipe organ on a wooden peg. He turned its crank, and the instrument let out a shrill tune reminiscent of circus music. Garcia’s partner strolled amid the shoppers, tourists and vendors with a hat in hand, asking for change. The organillero, or organ-grinder, is one of many in the capital’s massive unofficial economy. He’s a man of the people, with his fingers on the pulse of the city, and that’s why I asked him about one of the most pressing issues in Mexico today: Donald Trump. What does the everyday Mexican think of “The Wall,” or Trump’s plan to send the millions of undocumented immigrants from Mexico living…

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