A temporary shelter on a military base in Southern California could fill up next week as authorities contend with a flood of children trying to cross into the U.S. illegally from Mexico and Central America. The shelter at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme can hold up to 575 children. Bunk beds and extra dining tables have been brought in, and dirt soccer fields have been created so that the kids can play outside. The shelter is one of three planned for military bases in California, Oklahoma, and Texas following a spike in the number of children caught crossing the border illegally.
Former Dodger owner Frank McCourt is expected to take the witness stand today in a civil trial brought by a San Francisco Giants fan who was severely injured when he was jumped by two men in a stadium parking lot. A lawyer for Bryan Stow wants to question McCourt about the Dodgers’ finances. The plaintiffs say the team skimped on security on Opening Day in 2011, even as McCourt lavished millions of dollars on his own lifestyle. Before McCourt testifies, Superior Court Judge Victor Chavez will hold a hearing to determine if McCourt has to talk about the team’s books. If Chavez limits the questioning, McCourt’s time on the stand could be brief. Stow is suing McCourt and the team for negligence. His family is seeking $50 million.
UCLA economists say healthy job growth in California during the past year is a sign the state’s economy is primed for a rebound. The latest quarterly report from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management predicts that unemployment in the state will drop from its current level of 7.7 percent to 5.9 percent in two years. The report says that Silicon Valley, San Francisco and San Diego have regained all the jobs that were lost in the wake of the housing crisis and recession. Employment in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire is still below pre-recession levels, but those areas have made gains as well.
California’s controversial bullet train would get $250 million next year and would be guaranteed a future share of the state’s cap-and-trade revenue under a budget deal taking shape in Sacramento. The horse trading isn’t done yet. Lawmakers have until Sunday to pass a spending plan and send it to Governor Jerry Brown. The governor has made the high-speed rail system a priority He wanted to devote a third of California’s cap-and-trade revenue to the train system. The program charges fees to polluters who emit greenhouse gases. Democratic lawmakers reportedly offered 15 percent. In the end they settled on 25. The money represents a small percentage of the system’s estimated $68 billion price tag. But it could prove crucial as voter-approved bond money for the bullet train sits unused because of lawsuits.
A new poll by the California State University system shows a big drop – 60 percent – in the number of students who don’t have health insurance since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The decline translates to about 60,000 students and leaves just about 10 percent of Cal State students uninsured. The number of insured students is considered especially important because of concerns that young healthy people might not be interested in getting insurance.