Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Business sector is dubious of Props 30, 38

Independent bookstore owner Alzada Knickerbocker

Bookstore owner Alzada Knickerbocker discusses an upcoming community event with manager Nicholas Weigand.

At the Avid Reader bookstore in Davis, just steps away from the UC campus, a customer digs into her wallet to purchase an early work by Jules Verne. The woman ringing up the purchase is store owner Alzada Knickerbocker.

“This is my 25th year,” Knickerbocker says.  “It’s an exciting year. So we have to celebrate that we’re still here.”  

The Avid Reader is one of two local independent bookstores that survived the arrival of Borders a decade ago. Now that the chain store has folded, Knickerbocker says things are looking up. 

But if voters pass either Prop 30 or 38, she and other small business owners who report earnings as personal income are worried. With Prop 30 for example, depending on income level, their tax rate — not their actual taxes — could rise by anywhere from 10-to-30 percent. Knickerbocker says Prop 30’s quarter-cent sales tax increase won’t help either.


That's My Issue: The economy

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Job seekers arrive at the National Career Fairs' San Francisco South Career Fair on July 16, 2012 in San Mateo, California. As the national unemployment stands at 8.2 percent, dozens of job seekers attended a career fair in hopes of finding employment.

This post is part of KPCC & WNYC's "That's My Issue" series, and represents the views of its author, not of either station. 

My name is Enoch Morishima. I recently graduated from college and fortunately I’ve been able to find a full-time job now, but I’ve had a hard time finding it.

I know a lot of friends who are still struggling and just seeing the community and the entire country in general, seeing so many people and so many families struggle, and seeing this country lag behind others in terms of being able to lead economically and have its hard and soft power decline, it worries me.

I really hope that the person I vote for can make a positive impact. I am not looking for a very quick turnaround, but at least start making better steps and leading the country into a more robust economic recovery. 


Mayor Villaraigosa heads to Iowa for Democratic dinner

Larry Mantle interviews Antonio Villaraigosa at RNC

Gina Delvac/KPCC

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, seen here with KPCC's Larry Mantle, is off to Iowa as the keynote speaker at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is headed to Iowa Friday to serve as the keynote speaker at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, an event Democratic politicians typically use as a launching pad for national ambitions.

The mayor is expected to use the opportunity to criticize Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. According to his prepared remarks, Villaraigosa will tell the audience:  

“Gov. Romney would treat our ambitious and talented immigrants very differently. Instead of supporting their energy and enthusiasm, instead of benefitting from their contributions to our county, he would make circumstances for them so miserable, so oppressive, so intolerable that they would leave behind the lives they have built, their children born here and go back to their countries of origin. They would quote-unquote self-deport. Gov. Romney, that is not who we are.”


The sharp knives come out in Bono Mack/Ruiz Congressional race

Raul Ruiz and Mary Bono-Mack

KPCC and Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

Emergency room physician Dr. Raul Ruiz is running against Republican incumbent Mary Bono-Mack in a Coachella Valley district.

The accusations are flying in the Coachella Valley race between Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack and Democratic challenger Raul Ruiz.

Friends of Democracy, a Democratic political action committee, has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Elections Commission, accusing Mack's campaign of illegally steering a donor to a PAC that has raised money on her behalf.

Meanwhile, the Bono Mack side is painting her rival as a leftist revolutionary. The campaign has released a recording from 1999, where at a Plymouth Rock protest, Ruiz reads a letter from Mexico's Zapatista Army for National Liberation in support of Leonard Peltier. 

Peltier is a Native American activist who went to prison more than three decades ago for the murder of FBI agents.

Ruiz — who was a student at Harvard Medical School at the time — objected to the tactic, saying there’s a “difference between disagreeing and character assassination.”


Live from Carolyn's Cafe in Redlands: What's your issue?

Kim Bui/KPCC

The interior of Carol's Cafe in Redlands, California.

Carol's Cafe

Kim Bui/KPCC

Carolyn's Cafe

Kim Bui/KPCC

Carolyn's son and cafe worker Brad Strickland at work at Carolyn's Cafe

Update 12:00 pm Lunch time

The morning crowd is dying down and lunch is settling in. Now that we've talked with a good many Redlanders about the issues they care about, we're going in to have ourselve a bite. Hope you enjoyed it.

We'll be setting up at the Serving Spoon in Inglewood on Tuesday, Oct. 22nd from 7 am to 12 pm. Come on by!

Update 11:10 am: Good, paying jobs

Ed Halsell talked to us about his daughters, both of whom graduated college not long ago and struggled to find decent jobs. 

"Everyone I know whose children have graduated college are either unemployed or underemployed," he told us.

Ed works as the Chief of Maintenance at Patton State Hospital, a hospital for the criminally insane.

Update 10:51 am: How taxes are spent

We're hearing a lot for Redlands-ers concerned about taxes. Don Wallace from Redlands joined us to discuss the issue that inspired him to run for Redlands City Council: government spending. Don say she feels the government at both the local and national levels has spent far too much. He told us he hopes to get it under control