Split Six: Plan to carve California moving forward

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Backers have been given the go-ahead to begin collecting signatures for a ballot measure to split California into six states. It should make for good water cooler talk, if nothing else. Venture Capitalist Tim Draper is pushing the measure. He says California is too big and diverse to be governable. But even if voters agree, Congress would have to approve the plan, and give what’s now California 10 more Senate seats. That’s unlikely to say the least. Under Draper’s “Six Californias” plan, the Inland Empire, Orange and San Diego counties would make up South California; West California would stretch from L.A. to San Luis Obispo.

norwood-sanchezGuilty pleas by two men who brutally attacked a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium three years ago have brought an end to the long criminal case. But the legal battles continue. An attorney for the Stow family says Bryan Stow’s medical bills already exceed $5 million. And the lawyer tells the L.A. Times that it will cost and addition $34 million to care for Stow for the rest of his life. They are seeking $50 million from the Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt.

State Senator Richard Lara wants to repeal a law that banned most bilingual education in California. Proposition 227 was approved by voters in 1998. It requires schools to teach only in English – even to students who spoke little or no English, unless their parents signed a waiver. Lara says English would always remain the official language of California, but the ability to speak more than one language is an invaluable skill in the global economy. His bill would place a measure on the ballot in 2016 to do away with Prop. 227.

chivasThe air has gone out of the ball for Chivas USA. The struggling Major League Soccer team is being taken over by the league until a new owner can be found. The current owners – Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes – run a team by the same name in Guadalajara, Mexico. They’ll retain the rights to the Chivas name. The team has been plagued by front-office turmoil and has also been lousy on the field, finishing last in the Western Conference the past two seasons.

overstockOnline discounter Overstock.com has been slapped with a $6.8 million fine for violating California’s false advertising laws by telling customers they were getting better deals than they actually received. Eight counties had sued the company. Overstock – which had more than a billion dollars in revenue last year – displayed reference prices that were misleading and took other states to overstate the savings shoppers could get. As part of the settlement, the company will have to more accurately display its prices.