UT SeaCooling Ban on Power Plants
The State Water Resources Control Board last week decided to phase out once-through cooling for seaside power plants because the process kills more than 2.6 million fish and 19 billion fish larvae annually, according to the agency. The policy may be contested by energy companies concerned about the cost of compliance, including fitting new infrastructure into existing facilities.
Ratepayers statewide will pay the bills for retrofitting, which could reach into the billions of dollars.
UT SVR Capacity to Double
The $568 million effort involves boosting the 220-foot-high dam by an additional 117 feet. Work is expected to begin this spring and finish in early 2013. When the dam raise is completed, the capacity of the adjoining San Vicente Reservoir will more than double.
California's $500-billion pension time bomb
The staggering amount of unfunded debt stands to crowd out funding for many popular programs. Reform will take something sadly lacking in the Legislature: political courage...
How did we get here? The answer is simple: For decades -- and without voter consent -- state leaders have been issuing billions of dollars of debt in the form of unfunded pension and healthcare promises, then gaming accounting rules in order to understate the size of those promises.
As we saw during the recent financial crisis, hiding debt is not a new phenomenon. Indeed, General Motors did something similar to obscure the true cost of its retirement promises. Through aggressive accounting, for a while it, too, got away with making pension contributions that were a fraction of what it really needed to make, thereby reporting better earnings than was truly the case.
NCT Pension Forum
Officials with a county watchdog group asked taxpayers Wednesday to contact their city officials and request reform for municipalities' generous pension plans.
EUC Blog Pension Reform Discussion
...SDCTA has lots of resources and papers on their web site, but I'll sum up the presentation here. Encinitas city employees can retire at 55 and get paid essentially a full salary for as long as they live. That is completely out of line with private-sector, real-world benefits. You'd have to build a 401(k) in the millions by the time you're 55 to match that kind of cheese. And that's before we even get into paying for their health care for life. These massive benefits are a huge and growing drain on city resources...
ETA & SDCTA TO HOLD JOINT FORUM ON PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PENSIONS
Event Will Be Held at Encinitas Library on April 28 at 6:00 PM
ENCINITAS—The Encinitas Taxpayers Association will host the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) as the SDCTA presents the findings of its watershed report on public employee pensions in San Diego County cities. Residents of Encinitas and other North County cities are encouraged to attend and learn more about the costs of their city’s employee pension obligations.
The presentation will include updated information concerning the state of city pensions gathered since the analysis was first released in the fall of 2009.
Presentation of SDCTA’s “San Diego Pension Plans Phase I: CalPERS-Contracted Municipalities,” the first part of a two-part study analyzing 17 city governments in San Diego County that participate in the California Public Employee Retirement System, including Encinitas.
Wednesday, April 28
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
540 Cornish Drive
JoAnne Golden, Policy Manager for SDCTA. Ms. Golden has a Master of Public Policy from Pepperdine University with a specialization in economics and state and local policy. Prior to working at the SDCTA she worked for Schmitz & Associates, a Malibu-based land use consulting firm, and the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission.
The city paid a million more than the appraisal's inflated fair market value. The ETA reported on this issue back in August 2008.