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By Tim Hunt

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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Uploaded: Jun 4, 2013



As would be expected, Chris Gray, the former long-time chief of staff for Supervisor Scott Haggerty, has filed a wrongful termination suit. Haggerty fired Gray almost a year ago for unspecified job performance reasons and Gray filed a claim against the county last winter as a precursor to the legal action.
Gray accused Haggerty of misusing and misappropriating county funds and using his staff to work on his re-election campaign and for personal errands.
Haggerty's new chief of staff Shawn Wilson dismissed the claims as the actions of a disgruntled employee.
Gray worked for Haggerty for 15 years and spent the prior 12 years working for his predecessor Supervisor Ed Campbell.
ANOTHER NEWS item that struck me—the Southern California air board, the cousin of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, now has set its sights on a nasty source of pollution—the bonfires that are common on beaches in SoCal, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal by Erica E. Phillips.
They are so common that bureaucrats responsible for the beaches (both city and state) place concrete rings in the sand to contain these evening fires.
The air board regulators have determined that the particulate matter coming off of these fires could be a health hazard—to whom beyond those sitting by the fire by choice, particularly given the evening ocean breezes that are common—is question worth pursuing.
The air board apparently received complaints about the smoke from some beach-front residents. I suspect the fires existed decades before the complaining folks moved in, but that's typical of the California mindset.
What's sad is that the air board is taking them seriously instead of simply brushing them off as NIMBYs.
Remember, these are the same regulators that now will fine you if you are burning wood on a day they deem a no-burn day and actually floated the idea of regulating the feed of dairy cows because of the gas created by their digestive tracks.

There was one big surprise late last month in a series of special elections—Republican farmer Andy Vidal topped the field in the election to replace Democrat Michael Rubio who resigned earlier this year to join Chevron and head its lobbying operation statewide. The 16th district centers around Bakersfield and registration is Democrat by a 51-31 margin.
Nonetheless, Vidal came within two-tenths of a point of winning the election outright. He will face Democrat Leticia Perez in the runoff this summer. It was the first positive sign for Republicans statewide since the Democrats captured a supermajority in both houses of the Legislature last fall.

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