Anthony Portantino kicks off run for State Senate (Pasadena Star News click here): In a bid to re-enter the political arena, former state assemblyman Anthony Portantino will host a kick-off reception for his state Senate campaign in South Pasadena on Sunday.
Portantino, who was termed out of the Assembly last year and was replaced in November by former Pasadena City Councilman Chris Holden, said he plans to run for state Sen. Carol Liu's 25th District seat when she's termed out in 2016. The foothills district spans from Tujunga to Upland and comprises the Angeles National Forest and the cities adjacent to it.
Portantino, a former mayor of La Cañada Flintridge, said he plans to campaign on the core values of transparency in government and education. "Those are the values of the foothill communities and those are my values and I think there is a need to continue to fight for them," he said.
Portantino served as a state assemblyman for the 44th District for six years. He has been a strong advocate for the California Public Records Act and an active opponent of the 710 Freeway extension to Pasadena. He currently serves on the California Film Commission and is a visiting fellow at USC's Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. He is also a member of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Committee, The Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy and the La Cañada Chamber of Commerce.
(Mod: Anyone who opposes the 710 Tunnel wins big points in my book. Couple that with support for the California Public Records Act and the favorable impression grows even more. Well, ok. Interesting that those two issues are being put forward. Where is he on SB375?)
Election Season is On (Fox & Hounds click here): Yesterday I received fundraising emails from both Abel Maldonado and Tim Donnelly, both seeking funds for their gubernatorial campaigns. I didn’t receive an email from Governor Jerry Brown for his re-election campaign … but I have received gubernatorial fundraising emails from him in the past, so it’s just a matter of time.
Maldonado’s pitch asked donors “to support a Californian who will defend your basic right.” Maldonado, of course, is that referenced Californian. The email was complaining about the governor signing a bill “that will allow him to meet in closed-door sessions with city or county elected officials.”
Donnelly’s pitch was straight forward: California needs a change in leadership. “To return California to greatness, we need new leadership willing to take our state in a dramatically new direction. The old ways are broken. The politics of the past have failed to solve today’s problems. As for me, I refuse to stand on the sidelines in the hope that somebody else will rise to answer the call of duty.”
(Mod: Whether you love or loathe Tim Donnelly, he is against SB375 and forced Sacramento development demands. No RHNA numbers, no homeless shelter in the middle of Sierra Madre, no state officials suing us because we didn't build "workforce housing" or a "Transit Village" in any of our neighborhoods. Certainly issues I would base my vote on.)
In South Carolina, Paul seeks common ground among GOP (CNN click here): Making his political debut in the early presidential primary state of South Carolina, Sen. Rand Paul on Friday leveled blows against the Obama administration and sought to fuse some of his libertarian-leaning positions with the wider Republican Party platform.
The first-term senator from Kentucky, who's considering a White House bid, addressed his criticism of Guantanamo Bay, the government's surveillance programs and his proposals to cut defense spending--three topics that fall out of line with mainstream Republicans.
Paul spoke before a crowd in Columbia at a casual barbecue dinner hosted by the state's Republican Party. Friday's trip to South Carolina marked the third leg of his early-voting state circuit; last month he headlined events in Iowa and New Hampshire, and his summer plans involve more trips to early states.
Paul ticked off other examples of wasteful spending, including studies he frequently mentions that involved robotic squirrels and monkeys on methamphetamine.
He stayed on message, too, when he talked about a need for reduced spending in the Department of Defense.
"People say, you're not going to go to South Carolina and talk about waste in the military, are you?" he joked.
"There's waste everywhere," Paul continued. "It doesn't mean I'm against national defense. National defense is the most important thing we spend money on. It's one of the few legitimate constitutional functions--it should be a priority." But, he added, that doesn't mean it gets a "blank check."
"I think we should audit the Pentagon," he said.
(Mod: Audit the Pentagon? My goodness, wouldn't that be interesting.)
License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers (Center for Investigative Reporting click here): When the city of San Leandro, Calif., purchased a license-plate reader for its police department in 2008, computer security consultant Michael Katz-Lacabe asked the city for a record of every time the scanners had photographed his car.
The results shocked him.
The paperback-size device, installed on the outside of police cars, can log thousands of license plates in an eight-hour patrol shift. Katz-Lacabe said it had photographed his two cars on 112 occasions, including one image from 2009 that shows him and his daughters stepping out of his Toyota Prius in their driveway.
That photograph, Katz-Lacabe said, made him “frightened and concerned about the magnitude of police surveillance and data collection.” The single patrol car in San Leandro equipped with a plate reader had logged his car once a week on average, photographing his license plate and documenting the time and location.
At a rapid pace, and mostly hidden from the public, police agencies throughout California have been collecting millions of records on drivers and feeding them to intelligence fusion centers operated by local, state and federal law enforcement.
An image captured by a license-plate reader in 2009 shows Katz-Lacabe and his daughters stepping out of a car in their driveway. The photograph made Katz-Lacabe “frightened and concerned about the magnitude of police surveillance and data collection,” he says.
With heightened concern over secret intelligence operations at the National Security Agency, the localized effort to track drivers highlights the extent to which the government has committed to collecting large amounts of data on people who have done nothing wrong.
(Mod: Say cheese. About 30 times a year.)
A Reddit Co-Founder's Devastating One Line Takedown of Facebook (The Atlantic click here) "Facebook makes me hate the people I know, and Reddit makes me love the people I don't." -- Alexis Ohanian, a Reddit co-founder, sharing one of his favorite quotes at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
(Mod: There needs to be a rule. If someone is your friend, you need to able to at least remember their name. And anybody who claims to have 1,000 "friends" should be required to recite all of their names.)
An Indian airline is hiring all female flight attendants to save money on fuel (The Daily Caller click here): A private Indian airline has decided to recruit only female flight attendants in future as its aircraft will burn less fuel carrying them than their heavier male counterparts.
The low cost carrier Go Air maintains that deploying air hostesses, who on average weigh 33-44 lbs less than male stewards, will help it save around Rs30 million ($499,000) per year in fuel costs.
Airline official’s estimate that every extra kilogram (2.2lbs) a commercial aircraft carries costs it an additional Rs3 per flight hour.
Operating 15 aircraft, Go Air employs 330 cabin crew members of which 132 are males.
Although none of the cabin stewards will be sacked, all forthcoming recruitment for the 80 additional aircraft Go Air plans on inducting by 2020 will be stewardesses.
(Mod: Maybe airlines should initiate a ticket cost by weight program. Kind of like pricing bananas at the supermarket. Svelte passengers being cheaper to fly and all.)
New Jersey woman gives birth on front lawn, hadn’t known she was pregnant (NY Daily News click here) She was not expecting — but she sure was pregnant. A New Jersey woman did not realize she was with child until she gave birth on her front lawn earlier this week.
Elizabeth Whitehead, 21, woke up with what she thought were cramps Tuesday. Her long-overdue period finally arrived, or so she thought.
She walked across the lawn toward the driveway of her Barnegat Township home just before 11 a.m. Then the 2-pound baby arrived. "It all happened on the grass," Whitehead told the Lacey Patch. "His head was out when I was on the grass."
Her boyfriend, David Windham, dialed 911. Police officers Michael Moore and Vincent Damiano arrived to find Whitehead lying on the ground beside the newborn — the umbilical cord still attached.
The 3-month premature child had no pulse and was not breathing, said Lt. Keith Germain. The officers performed CPR on the baby as they awaited the ambulance. The first sign of life came when the boy started to cry. "Once I heard a little bit of the cry, it kind of made me jump a little bit," Moore told NBC Philadelphia.
The baby developed a stable heart beat and regular breathing during the ambulance ride to Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, reported the Asbury Park Press.
(Mod: Many people living in New Jersey are too caught up in contemplating the larger philosophical issues of life to notice something as mundane as pregnancy. Also - are we big enough to admit that this child owes its life to a well tended lawn?)
OK, that's plenty.