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This morning, I was hearing rumors that Competitive Power Venture’s proposal for a 400 megawatt power plant on the Ball Road Basin was not selected by Edison from among the responses to its request-for-offers.

The Orange County Register has posted a story confirming that is the case:

Competitive Power Ventures did not make it on Southern California Edison’s short-list of companies to provide energy for the state’s energy grid, an industry source said Friday.

Braith Kelly, a senior vice president for Competitive Power Ventures, declined to comment, citing a nondisclosure agreement.

More than 1,000 offers were submitted for various projects in the region since September, Edison spokesman Paul Klein said.

Klein declined to say whether Competitive Power Ventures made Edison’s short-list of proposals that now moves into the cost-negotiating phase; he said that it is proprietary information.

In December, the Orange County Water District’s board voted 6-4 to lease Ball Road Basin to Competitive Power Ventures, which had sought to build a plant with at least four 90-foot-tall smokestacks. Under the lease, Competitive Power Ventures has two years to enter into an agreement to sell electricity from the proposed plant and file state permits.

There are no immediate plans by state officials nor Edison to solicit a second round of bids from companies interested in providing energy to the state’s grid.

You can read the entire story here.

This is a big win for the coalition of Anaheim businesses and residents that quickly mobilized to fight CPV’s proposal, repeatedly asking the OC Water District Board of Directors not to lease Ball Road Basin for a power plant. One has to think the Stop the Power Plant effort was a key factor in CPV’s proposal not being selected.

This is also a big win for the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, which provided the organization and leadership for the effort along with Steve Faessel and many other dedicated residents – and the good people at the Hardin family dealerships, especially. Kudos are also due to Councilmembers Kris Murray and Jordan Brandman, who were vocal in their opposition from the beginning and appeared before the OCWD Board during public comments to urge them to reject the lease agreement with CPV.

It isn’t clear what impact this will have on the OCWD’s lease with CPV. I’ll update the post after re-visiting the terms of the agreement.

la-me-ln-mayor-picks-new-dwp-boss-20140130-002

Courtesy of the LA Times

This was unexpected. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is recommending Anaheim City Manager Marcie Edwards to be the next General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Edwards has accepted, although she must be confirmed (or rejected) by the Los Angeles City Council, which could take a month.

Edwards was appointed interim city manager in May of 2013, and become the permanent city manager two months later on July 2. Prior to that, she has been general manager of the Anaheim Public Utilities since 2001, and served simultaneously as assistant city manager from 2009 to 2011 under then-City Manager Tom Wood. She came to Anaheim from the DWP.

Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray had this to say:

“It is always hard to lose a great talent like Marcie Edwards. But at the same time I am incredibly proud that she is being recognized for this historic appointment. It affirms that Anaheim is led by the best and the brightest and that our City Council was right to entrust the management of our city to a professional of her caliber.

“Her leadership stabilized the city at a critical time and should she be confirmed for this appointment, I am confident the city has a strong bench of successors and department heads to carry on her hard work in Anaheim.”

I’m sure some might spin this as Edwards looking to bail out of Anaheim city government’s fractured politics, but the reality is that for someone of her background, this is a historic opportunity and she’d be crazy to pass up the chance to run the LA DWP. She’ll be the first woman general manager of the largest municipal utility in the country and get to follow in the footsteps of William Mulholland.

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The second of the city’s community forums on the Angels negotiations is tonight from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Katella Avenue. It will be in the arena, just as before.

Parking is free. And here is a link to the Power Point presentation given at the January 16 forum by Tom Morton, the city’s Director of Convention Center, Sports and Entertainment.

Although it is officially a two hour forum, the last one wrapped up at 7:00 p.m., so if you’re planning to go, don’t dawdle.

 

Anaheim Insider here.

TheLiberalOC.com’s Dan Chmielweski published a follow-up to his earlier post about Mayor Tom Tait’s engineering company taking hundreds of thousands in taxpayer subsidies to give  his employees computer training. Dan contrasts that with Tait’s vote in 2012 against $40,000 to fund a computer literacy program at the Ponderosa Library in a heavily Latino neighborhood:

Ponderosa computer classesLast week, we detailed how Tait & Associates received hundreds of thousands of dollars in state grants for employee computer training from 2004 to 2010. But when it came time to authorize $40,000 for computer training and education programs at the Ponderosa Library, a program designed to help Anaheim’s poor and working class families gain new skills for better jobs, Tait was the only member of the city council to vote no (slide to the 3:12 mark of the June 19, 2012 meeting and watch the vote). Democratic candidate for Mayor, Lorri Galloway, voted yes for this program.

Taxpayer funded computer training is OK for me but not for thee.

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Correa_portraitAs I posted last week, tomorrow is when Southern California Edison is supposed to select from the power generation proposals it received to its recent Request for Offers (RFO). Among those is Competitive Power Ventures’ proposal for a 400 megawatt power plant on the Ball Road Basin next to Ball Road and the 57 freeway in Anaheim.

Senator Lou Correa sent this letter to SCE President Ronald Litzinger urging Edison to reject CPV’s proposal:

Dear President Litzinger:

I write to express my strong opposition to the proposed construction of a power plant on the Orange County Water District property known as the Ball Road Basin in the City of Anaheim. As a state legislator that has represented the City of Anaheim for the past 16 years, the Ball Road Basin is not an appropriate site for a power plant.

The Ball Road Basin property is currently owned by the Orange County Water District and is zoned for open space by the City of Anaheim. The proposed 300-600 megawatt power plant would negatively affect nearby entertainment and commercial businesses, as well as residents that are in proximity to the proposed site. The City of Anaheim owns its own electric utility and would not benefit from this proposed plant. The City recently opened a power plant a few miles away in an appropriately zoned area. Your agency has already identified this site as a low priority space for generating new electricity.

I have received many phone calls and emails from my constituents regarding their strong opposition to the proposed power plant. As a native of Anaheim, I too stand in opposition to the proposed project. Currently, the Ball Road Basin area is zoned as open space and should be kept as such. The City has expressed interest in building much needed recreation space for its residents. As a teenager that was active in sports and fitness, I saw the need for Anaheim residents to have a space to exercise in an urban area.

 

I ask that you consider opposing the proposed power plant on the Ball Road Basin. Please contact my District Office at (714) 558-4400 if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

LOU CORREA

California State Senator, 34th Senate District

Kudos to Sen. Correa for stepping up to the plate on this issue. If Edison doesn’t select the CPV proposal, that should end the matter and hopefully open a pathway to a better use of the Ball Road Basin that is compatible with the surrounding area.

Galloway for mayorThis came over the transom from the Lorri Galloway for Mayor campaign a little whole ago:

LorriGalloway.com is Live!

Lorri Galloway has officially launched her campaign to become the next mayor of Anaheim.

Visit the new LorriGalloway.com today.
Get involved! Join together with Lorri Galloway and create a better way for Anaheim’s future.

On Lorri Galloway’s new site you will find:
• Lorri’s story displayed in a new, highly interactive way
• Residents sharing why they will be voting Galloway
• Lorri’s opinions on Anaheim’s key issues
• Ways to volunteer and donate to the campaign
• News and info about upcoming campaign events
Be sure to visit LorriGalloway.com today.

We can’t do this without you!

The Lorri Galloway for Anaheim Mayor 2014 Campaign Team

Is it a coincidence this was sent out at the same time as the Anaheim State of the City luncheon, where the mayor presents his annual State of the City? Probably not.

Galloway filed her campaign report for 2013 on the 16th of this month. She loaned herself $7,000 and had spent $4,000 of it on “Cause Consulting Services” of San Diego (I Googled the firm and turned up na-da).

Young Kim

Young Kim

This just came over the transom from the Young Kim for Assembly campaign:

Young Kim Bursts “Out of the Gate” – $427,000 Raised in Less Than Six Months

(Fullerton, CA) Republican Young Kim announced that her campaign will show $382,000 raised on the year end campaign finance report. With the addition of the $45,000 raised at her fundraiser in Buena Park last week, her campaign has now raised $427,000 in less than six months.

Since her official announcement in October, Young Kim, has rocketed to a staggering fundraising number. All of her donations have been received since the mid-year campaign finance reports.

“I am absolutely honored with the response I have received from the community,” said Young Kim. “Our campaign has been off to a blistering start since I announced my candidacy. We have support coming from hundreds of individuals and small businesses who are frustrated with what is going on in Sacramento. They want change and they trust me to be their voice in the Assembly. I won’t let them down.”

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Anaheim Insider here.

Have you seen this post from TheLiberalOC.com blog: “Tom Tait: For ‘Corporate Cronyism’ Before He Was Against It.”?  Dan Chmielewski catalogs example after example of how much distance there is between Tait pure free market rhetoric and his real record.

Some of it has been out there for a while, such as Tait’s long record of supporting the TOT rebate deals that he’s now blasting in front of the OC Republican Party Central Committee and other venues. He never really explains the flip-flopping other than to say his past support of such policies “was wrong.”

What was new, at least to me, was the hundreds of thousands in government subsidies Tait & Associates has accepted from the state to train employees how to use their computers:

And when it comes to businesses sucking from the “public teat”, as it’s so often described, Tait & Associates has no problem using public funds for training purposes.

The State of California offers private companies grants for training employees on a variety of equipment using new computers and new software applications and Tait & Associates applied for these grants several times.  From the websitehttp://www.etp.ca.gov/ : The Employment Training Panel (ETP) provides funding to employers to assist in upgrading the skills of their workers through training that leads to good paying, long-term jobs. The ETP was created in 1982 by the California State Legislature and is funded by California employers through a special payrolltax. The ETP is a funding agency, not a training agency. Businesses determine their own training needs and how to provide training. ETP staff is available to assist in applying for funds and other aspects of participation.

According to state records, in 2004/05,Tait & Associates was approved for $334,620 in contracts to train 234 employees from May 2005 to May 2007.  The earned amount of the grant was $114,685 and 145 employees were trained in a company that reported 265 people working at the business.  In 2006/07, Tait & Associates was approved for $283,500 to train 210 employees from May 2007 to May 2009 (about three weeks after the expiration of the first grant).  Tait & Associates reported 128 people were trained but the company shrunk to 227 people.  In 2009/10,Tait & Associates got a third ETP grant to train 125 employees for $75,500; 53 were trained but the business was down to 162 people.

In all, Tait & Associates had their employees trained on new computers and software to the tune of more than $320,000 in taxpayer funds after having been approved for nearly $700,000 – all to help a private business train employees to better do their jobs.  So nearly nearly twice as many people were trained than are currently employed at Tait &Associates.  Was Tom Tait himself trained with these state dollars?

It’s wrong for Anaheim have a policy to encourage the construction of luxury hotels by rebating back to the hotel (for a finite period) a percentage of the TOT tax revenue it collects. But it’s fine for an existing engineering firm to take taxpayer money to subsidize training its employees how to use their computers, which is something that has to be done anyway.

Tait defenders will probably say its different because the GardenWalk deal involves millions of dollars and Tait’s company only took hundreds of thousands of dollars. But is it the amount or the principle that matters?

One of the milestones on Competitive Power Ventures’s proposal to build a 400 megawatt power plant in OCWD-owned land in Anaheim arrives next week.

On Thursday, January 30, Edison will notifies offerors who responded to its 2013 request-for-offers whether or not they’re projects have made the shortlist for consideration for contracts.

If CPV’s offer doesn’t make the shortlist, it’s my understanding their  proposal for a Ball Road Basin power plant is dead – as far as this RFO is concerned.

Readers will recall that the OC Water District Board of Directors voted on December 9 to approve leasing Ball Road Basin to CPV for the purpose of building a power plant (although some directors declaimed they were not actually voting for the construction of a power plant even as they voted to approve a land lease for that express purpose).

The vote was 6-4, the bare majority necessary to approve the lease, which would have failed on a 5 to 5 tie. One of those six was Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker, who was appointed in August of 2012. [Three of the 10 OCWD directors are appointed by the city councils of Fullerton, Anaheim and Santa Ana, respectively; the remaining seven are elected by single-member districts. OCWD directors are paid $221.13 per day of service, up to a maximum of 10 days per month. They’re also eligible for health insurance, life/accidental death and dismemberment insurance, retirement benefits and an electronic equipment allowance.]

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Assembly District 65 includes the portion of western Anaheim that’s basically west of Euclid and north of Katella. It’s represented by Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva, the former Fullerton councilmember who upset incumbent Republican Assemblyman Chris Norby in 2012. Among other votes she cast in her first year, Quirk-Silva voted to abolish the state’s Enterprise Zone program, including Anaheim’s.

In her first re-election run, she faces an energetic Republican opponent in Young Kim, a staffer for Rep. Ed Royce, who has been representing much of what is AD65 since 1982 (in the state Senate and since 1992 in Congress).

Young Kim has done quite a job clearing the field on the GP side and united the party behind her. Her fundraising is strong, she works hard, has an attractive personality and brings into play elements the run-of-the-mill GP candidate ordinarily doesn’t. AD65 will be battleground in November.

She’s holding a fundraising event this February 13 in Fullerton from 5:30 – 7:3-0 p.m. at the Hotel Fullerton:

Young Kim 2-13-14 fundraiser

 

Click here for the full invitation with more even and RSVP information.

Anaheim Councilwoman Gail Eastman is holding a re-election fundraiser on February 27 at The Catch in Anaheim:

Eastman 2-27-14 fundraiser'

Click here for the full invite and more details.

1-14 angels forumIf there’s a groundswell of public anger out there over the city’s negotiations framework with the Angels, it wasn’t in evidence at last night’s community meeting on the Angels negotiations.

There were around 60 people there, about half of whom were wearing Angel red and were there as part of the “keep the Angels” effort.  I think there were four critical speakers, and basically the same people who have been critical of the negotiation framework from the very start. Cynthia Ward was there, naturally, trying unsuccessfully to trap Tom Morton with as series of “gotcha” questions. At one point, she claimed the city shared in the Angels television revenues prior to the 1996 deal (which I don’t think is correct).

In any case, last night’s meeting made it pretty evident that the “anger” over the city’s negotiation framework is more or less confined to small number of council meeting regulars, and is not a widespread feeling among Anaheim residents. If they’re angry, they’re doing a pretty good job of keeping it to themselves.

It reminds me of how single-member district proponents relentlessly claims “the people” want districts, and yet throughout the Citizens Advisory Committee process and city council meetings on the subject, it was always the same group of OCCORD and UNITE-HERE Local 11 members and select gadflies and out-of-town bloggers who constituted “the people.”

 

Jordan BrandmanI have noted on this blog numerous times of the disconnect between the lead plaintiff on the ACLU lawsuit seeking to force single-member districts on the Anaheim City Council while simultaneously doing nothing to bring them to the Anaheim City School District – in spite of the fact that the circumstance Jose Moreno says warrant them in the City of Anaheim are equally present in the ACSD.

Last night, a different advocate of single-member districts stepped forward to impel the ACSD to action. Anaheim City Councilman Jordan Brandman attended the meeting of the ASCD Board of Education. During public comments, he invoked Section 35145.5 of the California Education Code and requested of the Board that:

“the following two ACTION items be placed on the Anaheim City School District Board of Education Agenda for your next regularly scheduled meeting on January 27:

1. Adopt a revised Board policy to shift to By-Trustee/By-Governing Board Member Area/Single Member District elections for the November 2014 General Election, and 2. Adopt a resolution seeking a waiver from the California Department of Education of the requirement that board member areas and adoption of a By-Trustee/By-Governing Board Member Area/Single Member District election process be submitted to the electors for approval in November 2014, as set forth in Education Code Sections 5019, 5020, 5021, and 5030, inclusive.”

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keep the angels_logoThe first of the city’s community workshops on negotiations with the Angels (the result of a proposal by Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray and adopted by the City Council) will take place tonight at the Anaheim Convention Center, 800 West Katella Avenue (parking is free).

The workshop will be in the Convention Center’s arena (the original domed building) and runs from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

From the city’s press release:

The community meetings will include a presentation on the following topics –

  • An outline of why negotiations are taking place
  • A discussion on the mutual goals of the City and Angels Baseball
  • A discussion on the Major League Baseball marketplace
  • Angels Baseball benefits to the City and community
  • A discussion on the current lease agreement
  • An outline of the negotiation framework and process
  • Development opportunities available within the stadium district
  • Read the rest of this entry »

Anaheim Dark Scotch AleA new post notification came over the transom yesterday from the Anaheim Brewery Blog. I’ve excerpted from the post, the entirety of which you can read here:

Anaheim Dark Scotch Ale is Back and Darker Than Ever!

Tapping on Thursday, January 16th.  Come in and drink with the label artist, our friend, Chris Maya!

We won’t be tempted to write a poem for you, but we are very excited to announce the return of Anaheim Dark Scotch Ale, on draft in the Tasting Room and available for the first time in 12-ounce bottles.

Anaheim Dark Scotch Ale is a traditional top-fermented beer. Roasted barley provides the rich, dark color, while generous levels of unfermentable sugars give it a full body and deep, malty flavor.

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Imperial Ball 8Mike Campbell, best known as guitarist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, will be performing with his band The Dirty Knobs on January 25 at the Servite High School theatre. They will be joined by special guests Johnny Depp (yes, that Johnny Depp), Peter Stroud and Butch Walker. [NOTE: although the concert is in the Servite theatre, is is not a Servite High School event.]

The doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale Monday, January 13; no tickets will be available at the door.

goatsThis came over the transom a little while ago:

City of Anaheim To Employ Goat Herd to Clear Hillside Brush in East Anaheim

ANAHEIM, CA – (January 9, 2014) During the week of January 13-17, Anaheim Fire & Rescue and the Department of Public Works will utilize a tried-and-true method to clear brush in the City’s right-of-way on eastbound Santa Ana Canyon Road between Lakeview Avenue and Royal Oak Road. A herd of goats will be Anaheim’s newest guests, and our four-legged friends will replace traditional machinery to clear the area of overgrown hillside brush.

This environmentally friendly and cost-effective method will help firefighters protect homes and businesses by creating a defensible space for land and structures. Additionally, this approach provides a safer route than commercial methods, while giving spectators a fun, visual experience as the goats enjoy their meal.

During this period, please note the following points meant to ensure the worksite runs smoothly as the goats do their duty:

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panattoniAnd now for some good news via the OC Register (from which I’ve excerpted the following):

New industrial buildings are expected to bring back some jobs lost when the Boeing Co., previously the city’s largest employer, left its large campus in east Anaheim.

The new complex by Panattoni Development Co. is under construction on the largest swath of the former location of Boeing, which announced its departure in 2006. The first buildings are set to open this summer in the Anaheim Canyon industrial area, said Stephen Batcheller, a partner of Panattoni.

“What our goal is, is to bring a lot of these jobs back,” Batcheller said.

The Anaheim Chamber of Commerce estimates that new businesses could bring in between 6,000 and 7,000 jobs, although Batcheller said he was unsure of a final number.

Panattoni Development bought 120 acres of the campus starting in 2007. Before developers even got inside the buildings, Boeing removed any traces of its secretive operations.

“Some of the stuff we could never see. It was literally top secret,” Batcheller said.

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As part of the settlement between the city and the ACLU the left-leaning group’s lawsuit seeking single-member districts for Anaheim City Council elections, the city has to pay the ACLU’s legal costs, which are reportedly to be $1 million. Single-member council district proponents are now trying to shift blame to the councilmembers who oppose single-member districts — which utter nonsense. From today’s OCRegister.com:

Mayor Tom Tait said that the cost of fighting the lengthy lawsuit could have been avoided if the City Council in August 2012 had approved his call for similar ballot measure. 

First of all, it was Jose Moreno, Amin David, Consuelo Garcia and the ACLU who sued the City of Anaheim, not the other way around. They initiated the litigation. They forced the legal fight. The legal costs incurred by both sides are the result of a deliberate, freely-made action by the plaintiffs and the ACLU.

Furthermore — and this is the crucial truth that the media has missed and single-member district proponents are glossing over — the litigation continued for as long as it did because the plaintiffs and the ACLU had no interest in putting single-member council districts on the ballot. This is from a September 4, 2012 letter — nearly a month after Mayor Tait’s failed attempt to put single-member district on the ballot —  from the plaintiffs’ attorneys to the city’s attorneys:

We told you that Plaintiffs would not postpone litigation on the possibility that the City might put a measure to the voters in November 2012, and that the City should instead consider a negotiated resolution to a court action, which would allow the election system to be changed without subjecting the question to a vote of the entire electorate, which is equivalent to an at-large election in its discriminatory effect on Latinos.

And from the same letter:

Still, the City took no positive action toward unconditionally changing the election system. It put on the agenda for the next scheduled Council meeting, on July 24, 2012, a resolution to submit the matter to voters at the November 2012 election — precisely the type of “referendum” that we told you repeatedly the Plaintiffs would not accept as the basis for settling or delaying the lawsuit.

And more:

Moreover, the schedule established by Resolution No. 2012-090 and incorporated in the City’s request for a nearly one-year stay of litigation would provide the City the absolute ability to avoid the risk that the Court could compel the City to change its election system before the 2014 elections.

And:

As we have discussed with you on numerous occasions in informal communications, Plaintiffs will not accept such a ballot measure as a basis for resolution or even delay of the lawsuit.

The mayor’s claim is directly contradicted by the plaintiffs’ attorney. The plaintiffs and the ACLU had no interest in putting single-member districts on the ballot – they wanted the court to impose them directly on the people of Anaheim without their consent. According to the plaintiffs’ attorney, even if the council had supported Mayor Tait’s proposal, it would not have stopped the clock on the litigation. it would still have gone forward and the legal costs would have continued to mount, because the plaintiffs were not interested in going to the ballot — which they viewed putting the matter on the ballot to be discriminatory against Latinos.

Given that they had opposed placing single-member council districts on the ballot as having a “discriminatory effect on Latinos,” it is strange that the plaintiffs are today celebrating the same thing as a “victory” for Latinos.

If the plaintiffs had been amenable to putting single-member council districts to the voters, this settlement would more than likely been reached long ago, and Anaheim taxpayers would have saved a great deal of money. The fault lies with the plaintiffs’ stubborn insistence on bypassing the voters in favor of the imposition of single-member districts by judicial fiat.

“This settlement gives us the opportunity to go to the ballot box in November to resoundingly say that we want to have local representation in Anaheim,” said Jose Moreno, an Anaheim City School District board member who joined the American Civil Liberties Union and two other Anaheim residents in suing the city over how elections are held. – OC Register, January 8, 2014

Moreno, as the lead plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit, has been suing the City of Anaheim since June 2012 to impose single-member council districts. He has has held forth repeatedly at council meetings and other public forums that single-member districts are utterly necessary to ensure Latinos are represented on the City Council (let’s leave aside the radical notion that a citizen can only truly be represented by someone of their race or ethnicity).

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