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Welcome to another edition of the "Wake-Up Call," a rundown of items that we're working on, found interesting, or otherwise thought you might want to know about today. As is always the case here at Sac Press, suggestions are welcome.
THINGS WE’RE WORKING ON
SACRAMENTO’s REVOLVING DOOR: A recent Sacramento County grand jury report found that two former Sacramento city managers negotiating on behalf of a trash disposal company made some city employees feel intimidated, leading to a contract that a Sacramento Bee editorial said showed “gross incompetence and shocking indifference to the issues of ratepayer costs or basic fairness in public contracting.”
City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby told us she wants the city to implement a policy that would prevent the scenario from repeating by more strictly regulating what has been termed the “revolving door,” or the practice of private companies hiring former government officials to gain favorable terms from lawmakers.
“When you work for the state and you retire, you can come back as a retired annuitant, but one thing you cannot do is come back as a consultant on subject matter from which you had direct involvement,” Ashby said.
Brandon Darnell will have more later today.
WHAT WE’RE READING
GOING BELLY-UP: The list of cities going under in the state is getting longer: Phll Willon of the L.A. Times reports that the city of San Bernardino is set to file for bankruptcy thanks to an unmanageable $46 million budget deficit – which city leaders say they didn’t even know they had. Willon writes: “City Atty. James Penman said city budget officials had falsified documents presented to the mayor and council for 13 of the last 16 years, masking the city's deficit spending.”
The cities of Stockton and Mammoth Lakes each filed for bankruptcy last month.
MISSED OPPORTUNITIES: In 2010, California had a chance to shave some of the $68 billion cost of its high-speed rail project – and took a pass on it.
Dan Weikel and Ralph Vartabedian write in the L.A. Times that SNCF of France, the developer of one of the world's most successful high-speed rail systems, proposed that the state use competitive bidding to partner with it or another foreign operator to design a sophisticated network for 200-mph trains.
The proposal included realigning the route to bypass Fresno, making it more direct and making construction more economical. But that would have meant passing up the sixth-largest city in the state, and legislators said "no thanks" to the politically unpopular idea.
PLUGGING IN: Electric car owners will soon have 28 more charging stations at eight Sacramento public parking garages to use starting in November. David Ruiz reports in The Sacramento Bee that the City Council approved installation of the stations in June, and installation is expected to begin in August. The additional stations bring the total in the city to 50, including some older units that the council approved for upgrades. All of the charging stations are free, Ruiz reports, and will work with nearly every model of electric car.
SOMETHING TO DO
“Mumbo Gumbo brings their signature danceable sound—a mixture spanning rock to soul, afropop to lush balladry and zydeco to country—to Fairytale Town for a live performance on Wednesday, Jul. 11. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and the concert starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person and go on sale in June. Members receive 2-for-1 admission, and children 12 and under are free. Blankets and chairs are welcome, food and drink will be available for purchase.” For more on concerts at Fairytale Town, see the full rundown posted on our site.
This morning Wake-Up Call was produced with the help of 32 ounces of espresso roast coffee and 2.5 ounces of vanilla cream.