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The Kings on Saturday announced they have parted ways with defenseman Dion Phaneuf by buying out the final two years of his contract.

Phaneuf had a salary-cap hit of $5,250,000 over the next two seasons; he was slated to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020-21 campaign.

Phaneuf, 34, this past season had a career-low six points (1 goal, 5 assists) with a ratio of minus-21 in 67 games for the Kings, who missed the playoffs with the fewest points (71) in the Western Conference.

Phaneuf had 44 points in a season as recently as 2011-12 with Toronto. He had a career-high 60 points in 2007-08 with Calgary.

The Kings acquired Phaneuf and center Nate Thompson from the Ottawa Senators for forwards Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore during the 2017-18 campaign. He finished that season by scoring 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) with a minus-7 in 26 games.

Phaneuf was an alternate captain with the Senators, and was captain for the Toronto Maples Leafs for six seasons.

The three-time All-Star has appeared in 1,048 regular-season NHL games since being drafted ninth overall in the first round by Calgary in 2003. He has 497 points (137 goals, 357 assists) and 1,345 penalty minutes.

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Perhaps no issue more motivates progressive activists than social justice. Good intentions may motivate the social justice warriors, albeit sometimes sprinkled with a dollop of self-hatred. But good intentions do not necessarily produce good results. Indeed, often the policies favored by progressive idealists hinder the economic and social progress of the very people they seek to rescue.

They do this in many ways, emphasizing subsidies and preferences based on race while undermining the economic growth that most poor people, of any race, according to a recent You Gov poll, believe would be more effective than entitlement spending in reducing poverty.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

In the real world — where most people live — intentions do not necessarily produce results. Opposition to charter schools may please progressives’ allies in the teachers’ unions but removes from poor and minority communities one proven way to achieve better results. Lowering standards might allow some of these students to emerge from under-performing public schools and enter elite colleges, but the evidence is that such students do poorly in these environments, often dropping out and, if they stay, segregating into departments, like ethnic or women’s studies, devoted to, you guessed it, social justice.

Indeed the emphasis on social justice, which is now filtering into the younger grades, seems destined to lower the actual achievement of those who so indoctrinated. The emphasis on race, gender and — horror of horrors, white privilege — is no substitute for the proficiency in math, science or literacy, things actually valued in the real world.

Social class in the wokest places

In California and other progressive states, woke policies are clearly not helping the poor. Indeed despite all the progressive rhetoric, African Americans and Latinos suffer considerably higher rates of poverty in California than in the rest of the nation; the Golden State already suffers the highest percentage of poor people among the states. The twin pillars of woke politics, California and New York, also suffer both the highest rates of inequality in the nation.

Many policies embraced by progressives also hamper minority aspirations to enter the middle class. California policies that restrict peripheral development, for example, have made home ownership all but impossible, and rents unsustainably high, for most minorities and working class families. In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, for example, 37% of Latinos and 33% of African Americans own their own home; in much dissed and less rigorously progressive places like Houston (51% & 42%) or Atlanta (44% & 45%), the percentages are much higher.

The deepest blue cities — San Francisco, New York, San Jose, Los Angeles and Boston — may be ruled by social justice activists but, according to Pew research, suffer the largest gaps between the bottom and top quintiles. Long-standing minority communities like Albina in Portland are disappearing as 10,000 of the 38,000 residents have been pushed out of the historic African-American section. San Francisco’s African-American black population is roughly half that of the 1970s, constituting less than 5 percent of the city’s population. More than half of the Bay Area’s lower-income communities, notes a recent UC Berkeley study, are in danger of mass displacement.

A direct result of climate policies, high energy prices place enormous burdens on California’s working-class families, particularly in the less temperate interior. These policies also discourage growth of manufacturing and other blue-collar industries that long incubated opportunities for working people. As the state’s manufacturing sector has stagnated last year while industrial jobs expanded 14 percent in neighboring Arizona, 5 percent in Nevada and by 3 percent in arch-rival Texas.

Regulations in California have also slowed construction growth, and left employment considerably below the industry’s 2007 numbers. Residential sales have dropped statewide, and California’s rate of new housing permits has fallen behind the national average, making construction workers’ economic prospects even dimmer.

The diminishing prospects in these blue collar industries, as well as high housing costs, may do much to explain why so many minorities, and immigrants, are increasingly migrating away from multi-culturally correct regions like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco for less regulated, far less woke places like Phoenix, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Atlanta and Las Vegas.

Needed: a rebellion against the benefactors

Our democracy was forged largely by rebellions against entrenched social forces — notably the church and the hereditary aristocracy — and later by the working class’ movement against monopoly capitalists. To restore the prospects of minorities, the middle and working classes, we need a new movement opposing not just the ultra-rich but also those who, like the medieval clerics, consider themselves the anointed benefactors of the masses.

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A healthy first sign of the potential of such a movement was demonstrated by the state’s private-sector labor unions, who organized a “Blue Collar Revolution” protest against the Democrats’ climate legislation. Already state policies have threatened the jobs of those in building-trades unions, which count 400,000 members statewide. Calls for the elimination of fossil fuels by 2030, as well as the loss of nuclear power, another heavily unionized industry, would devastate workers in the large state’s energy-production sector. In 2012, the oil and gas industry alone employed over 400,000 Californians. These generally well-paid workers would have no place in the world promoted by progressive Green New Deal policies.

But the recent union protest is not the only sign of growing dissatisfaction with the state’s ultra-green and woke political tendencies. California’s Legislature, the font of progressive tinkering, according to one recent survey is even more disliked in the state than President Trump.

There’s room for a new politics that recognizes that the path to actual social justice lies primarily in expanding opportunities for a broad range of jobs and housing options. But this can only be done by confronting the current approach to social justice that results in conditions demonstrably unjust.

Joel Kotkin is the R.C. Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange and executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism (www.opportunityurbanism.org).

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The definition of “mistake,” the Merriam-Webster dictionary tells us, is “a wrong judgment; a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment, inadequate knowledge, or inattention.” All those things describe homelessness policy in California, and you don’t need a dictionary.

In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti is under fire for his failure to stop the growing plague of homeless encampments that are blocking the sidewalks, spilling trash and spreading rodents and disease.

The entire City Council and City Attorney Mike Feuer deserve blame as well. It was a mistake to settle two lawsuits brought on behalf of homeless people by agreeing to create a right to sleep on the sidewalks (Jones v. Los Angeles) and to store mounds of personal property on the public right-of-way (Mitchell v. Los Angeles).

But Garcetti is the particular target of public rage. He pushed for the approval of two tax increases for homeless housing and services in 2016 and 2017, and the problem has only gotten worse. The recent Point in Time Count found that 36,300 people are homeless in the city of Los Angeles, an increase of 16 percent from 2018.

In 2017, the count was about 34,000, and that was a 20 percent jump from the previous year, when the problem was already disturbing enough that voters approved Measure HHH, a tax increase to build homeless housing.

Now L.A. Controller Ron Galperin is raising questions about how the city is using, or not using, the $86.4 million in bond funds currently available from HHH. Galperin reported that in fiscal year 2018, only $4.5 million was spent.

“It has been two-and-a-half years since L.A. voters approved Measure HHH to spend $1.2 billion to create 10,000 supportive housing units,” the controller said in a press release. “While nobody expected these units to be built overnight, at this moment not one HHH project has been completed. And the average total development cost per unit is nearly $520,000.”

At that price, it would cost L.A. taxpayers almost $19 billion to build an apartment for each of the 36,300 homeless people identified in this year’s Point in Time Count.

In 2017, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Executive Director Peter Lynn expressed satisfaction that 14,000 people were placed in housing in L.A. County during the previous year, while acknowledging disappointment that the number of homeless people was rising. Two years and two tax increases later, LAHSA’s latest presentation claims that 21,631 people were placed in homes in 2018 and 27,080 made “other exits” from homelessness, but this success was overwhelmed by the “inflow” of an estimated 54,882 people into homelessness.

Garcetti also argues that although the problem is getting worse, the policies are a success. He says 7,400 new units of homeless housing are in the pipeline and he’s “adding a team” in his office to “cut red tape” and expedite building approvals for housing paid for by HHH bond revenue.

You don’t need a degree in mathematics to see that this doesn’t add up. It may be worse than a policy mistake. It’s starting to look like the cynical use of homelessness to advance an agenda of long-held political goals.

Before Measure HHH and its companion county sales tax hike, Measure H, were approved by desperate voters, the message from politicians was that homelessness was increasing because more revenue was needed. That convinced voters to raise taxes. Now the new message from politicians is that the increase in homelessness is caused by property owners.

If you own an apartment building, according to this argument, you are to blame for homelessness because you charge rent that people can’t afford to pay. In a new twist, L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin now proposes that if you leave your units vacant and refuse to rent them at all, you should be penalized by the city for withholding housing from the market.

If you own a home, you are blamed for homelessness because you don’t want homeless shelters, housing or service centers in your neighborhood, and also because you’re resisting efforts to override local zoning and build six-story apartment buildings on your street of single-family homes.

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Instead of linking homelessness to mental health and substance-abuse treatment policy, politicians and activists are insisting that the problem belongs in the category of housing policy.

This furthers a statewide agenda of punitive measures against property owners. If homelessness is caused by the increase in rent-burdened households, politicians offer the “solution” of rent control and other limits on the rights of property owners. They offer legislation like Senate Bill 50, which would override local zoning and allow developers to knock down a single-family home and put up a 12-unit apartment building on the same lot. They offer proposals like Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1, which attacks Proposition 13 and makes it easier to raise property taxes.

But enacting those measures would be a mistake. Rent control steadily reduces the supply of housing. Single-family zoning protects the biggest investment most families will ever make. Repeatedly raising property taxes can force people out of their own homes.

The biggest mistake is the message California politicians are sending to voters: If you’ve worked and saved and bought a house or built a business, you’re the problem.

Merriam-Webster’s might call that “a faulty judgment.”

Susan Shelley is an editorial writer and columnist for the Southern California News Group. Susan@SusanShelley.com. Twitter: @Susan_Shelley.

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Howard Jarvis lives! The spirit of his Proposition 13 tax revolt in 1978 animated the June 4 demise of Measure EE in Los Angeles. Needing a two-thirds majority vote to win, it fell short by 21 points to garner only 46 percent.

“We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!” voters effectively shouted, echoing Jarvis’ signature phrase of rage.

Measure EE would have imposed a tax of $500 million a year on real-estate parcels. Voters rejected the contention the money was needed to patch up the failing Los Angeles Unified School District.

In January, the United Teachers of Los Angeles went out on strike for six days. The strike ended when the LAUSD agreed to a new contract with a 6 percent raise for teachers and a promise to support Measure EE and a statewide “split roll” property tax increase on the 2020 ballot that would sharply alter Proposition 13, the 1978 property tax limitation initiative.

But the money just would have gone to underfunded teacher pension plans.

The desperateness of Measure EE reminded me of the Measure R campaign in Orange County, a half-cent sales tax to fund a bailout. In 1994, as a candidate for county treasurer-tax collector, I warned incumbent Bob Citron’s risky investments were driving the county off a cliff. I also campaigned for a more prudent government and against tax increases.

Bankruptcy struck that December. Citron resigned. And the board of supervisors appointed me to the post.

Some county political and business leaders insisted tax increases were needed to “save” the county. They scheduled an election for June 27, 1995 on Measure R, a half-cent sales tax to fund a bailout.

I opposed the tax increase, which got just 39 percent of the vote, to 61 percent opposed. Similar to Measure EE, it fell short by 12 points of the majority needed.

The County of Orange and the cities and school districts slammed by the bankruptcy laid off hundreds of workers and tightened their belts in other ways. The county not only survived, it thrived.

Measure R’s defeat sent a hopeful message to businesses: Government mistakes will not result in slamming the private sector. Consequently, the OC remains the most business-friendly place in California. Measure EE’s demise is good news for taxpayers.

In 2020, state voters will get to decide whether to alter Proposition 13, the 1978 initiative that capped annual tax increases at 2 percent of assessed value on real property, until the property was sold. The proposed “split roll” ballot measure would allow steeper increases for commercial real property, although the residential taxation methodology would remain the same — for now. It’s projected about $10 billion more in taxes would be raised.

Unless homeowners bought before the gigantic price increases of recent years, it’s a myth Prop. 13 has kept property taxes low. Voters have approved numerous bonds and parcel taxes above and beyond the maximum 1 percent of the assessed value at acquisition allowed by Prop. 13 (compared to a state average of 2.6 percent before Prop. 13 passed).

Because of soaring property values, California also now ranks a high 17th among the states in per capita property tax payments, at $1,559 per capita. That’s up from a rank of 31st in 1996.

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And let’s remember the main benefit of Prop. 13: tax stability. You know when you buy your home what property taxes will be five, 15 or 30 years down the road. There’s no surprise jump in the tax that drove many homeowners into foreclosures in the years before 1978. Business owners — employers — should continue enjoying the same stability.

It’s possible other tax increases could be put on the 2020 ballot, such as an estate tax. So let’s review what we already must put up with.

California’s top marginal tax rate of 13.3 percent is by far the highest of any state. Even the middle-class rate, beginning at about $55,000 of income, hits at a staggering 9.3 percent. Yet in the Bay Area now, the San Jose Mercury-News reported, even $400,000 in income leaves families “feeling strapped” because of high taxes, housing and other costs. Should they pay more taxes?

Taxes are not the solution, but the problem. You should vote against a “split roll” or any other tax on the ballot. Like abolitionist Wendell Phillips urged before the Civil War, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Never take a tax increase proposal lightly. Your prosperity may depend on it.

John M. W. Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, represents the 37th District in the California Senate.

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LOS ANGELES — Joe Maddon probably couldn’t help himself. His managerial instincts were too overwhelming.

Before Friday night’s game between the Dodgers and Cubs, the Chicago manager talked about the Dodgers’ left-handed hitters and their success against left-handed pitching, pretty much reversing one of the team’s – and particularly Cody Bellinger’s – fatal flaws in 2018.

So when Bellinger came to the plate in the fifth inning on Friday night, after going 0 for 1 with a walk against right-hander Kyle Hendricks, Maddon strode to the mound, waving toward the bullpen with his left hand.

It didn’t work. Bellinger smacked a 2-and-2 sinker from Kyle Ryan into right field for a single, setting up the  Dodgers’ final run in a 5-3 victory.

This is, as much as anything, why Bellinger is having a breakout season: He is punishing left-handers almost as frequently as he does right-handers, with a .329 batting average and 1.108 OPS against southpaws compared to .374 and 1.178 against right-handers.

His numbers in 2018: .226 and .681 against lefties, .278 and .881 against righties.

Nor is he alone. Max Muncy is better against lefties (.299/.962) than against righties (.267/.889). So is rookie Alex Verdugo: .368/.966 against lefties, .273/.763 against righties.

The only outlier among the Dodgers’ left-handed hitters is Joc Pederson: .253 and 1.010 against right-handers, .167 average and a sickly .335 OPS against lefties. But since Dave Roberts became the Dodgers manager in 2016, Pederson sees right-handed pitching almost exclusively. He has had just 24 at-bats against left-handers this season, and when the Cubs brought in another lefty to face his spot in the seventh inning Friday night, Kiké Hernández hit for him.

And this doesn’t even account for Corey Seager, now on the injured list after straining his hamstring Wednesday night against the Angels. Seager was superior against left-handers in 2017, his last full season, and though his numbers were better against right-handers this season he was starting to do damage against all comers over the past month.

There are times when the Dodgers still resemble the all-or-nothing offensive team of last year. Until pitcher Rich Hill singled in a run in the fourth Friday night the Dodgers had scored 13 consecutive runs on home runs. And, as their 1-for-11 performance with men in scoring position in Anaheim on Tuesday night suggested, they are still capable of those nights of immense frustration that prompted This Space, a year ago, to label them “at once, the most entertaining and most frustrating team to watch in all of baseball.”

But at their best, they are more diversified, more adaptable, and more versatile. And it’s possible that sitting on the bench in the first two games of last year’s World Series provided enough motivation for Bellinger and Muncy, in particular, to bear down even more against left-handers.

“Their lefties hit lefties, and that’s the one thing that stands out,” Maddon said. “… When they go into a series, where you think you might get an advantage against them by matching up against them with their better hitters, you don’t.

“Even Verdugo. Put him in that category also. That young man, he really stands in there well against left-handed pitchers.”

So why such a dramatic change? Is it simply swing adjustment and greater selectivity, or is there more?

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“I think there’s a lot of factors,” Roberts said. “Right now they (Bellinger and Muncy) both see the baseball well. They both stay in there as far as keeping their upper body square to the baseball. They can use the other side of the field. They don’t run from the ball in on them. There’s a lot of different variables that allow the lefty to stay on it and have success in that situation.”

Verdugo’s output since replacing A.J. Pollock in center field has made it hard to consider sitting him down when Pollock is healthy, and he has made it even harder with the way he mashes lefties. How would you platoon him?

“I might get a little closer to the plate, but really it’s just trying to get a pitch out over the plate,” he said. “A lot of times lefties (throw) fastball-slider-curveball, and they don’t really throw very much (else) to another lefty, so you just try to hang in on them, don’t bail out and just shoot the hole.

“I feel like with our team we’ve got some really good lefty hitters who can manipulate the barrel up there and just have a good at-bat, whether it’s a righty or a lefty up there.”

It might not be the final piece of the puzzle – the bullpen will still be a point of concern until it isn’t – but it’s one less vulnerable spot for a team determined to make noise in October.

jalexander@scng.com

@Jim_Alexander on Twitter

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — After Cody Allen gave up four more runs in his latest difficult outing, he said he knew if he didn’t improve the Angels were going to find someone else.

About 12 hours later, they did.

The Angels designated Allen for assignment Saturday morning, cutting their losses with their $8.5 million investment. Allen had a 6.26 ERA in 25 games, including allowing six runs in his last two outings.

“Carrying around the numbers I’ve been carrying around for a little bit, the organization has a responsibility to put the best product on the field and I just haven’t been that,” Allen said. “There’s a lot of really, really good young arms that are waiting in the wings and that give them some versatility and production.”

The Angels bullpen needed a fresh arm Saturday, and the only relievers with options were Ty Buttrey and Justin Anderson, both of whom have been more valuable this season than Allen.

Taylor Cole was recalled to take Allen’s spot.

“Not an easy decision,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “I know he’s not performed as well as he would have liked, but he was a tremendous teammate and a tremendous professional. It’s not easy giving good people bad news.”

Allen had a stretch of 12 innings in which he’d allowed two runs, but then he gave up a pair of homers in a game last week, following by a four-run performance on Friday night.

After that, Allen said: “Either I’m going to get better, or they’re going to find someone else who does. That’s the reality of the game.”

The next morning, he didn’t sound surprised at the news. He said he’s been trying to rediscover his mechanics ever since he got to the Angels, continuing a process that began in the middle of last season with the Cleveland Indians. It was complicated by a back injury that cost him some time in April.

“I felt like I had came out of the gates throwing the ball really, really well,” said Allen, who didn’t allow a run in his first five games. “Then, you know, went on the IL and that kind of paused things for a minute there. And then pretty much since I’ve come off the IL, it just hasn’t hasn’t been the same. But I’m extremely grateful for everything this organization has done for me in the short time that I’ve been here, you know. They’ve put forth a valiant, valiant effort, and there’s been a lot of people that have cared deeply about my success. And so that’s that’s greatly appreciated.”

Ausmus said Allen “worked his tail off” to try to solve his issues, but “nothing was sticking.”

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Allen, 30, had been one of baseball’s most consistent closers from 2014-17 with the Indians, becoming that franchise’s all-time saves leader. He struggled last season, with declining fastball velocity and a curveball that didn’t work as had in the pasts.

The Indians allowed him to go and the Angels signed him in January, a move general manager Billy Eppler hoped would give them a closer to top off a bullpen with less experienced arms.

Clearly, it didn’t work, and Ausmus said he wasn’t quite sure what Allen needed to fix, but he hoped that he could figure it out.

“I hope he rediscovers something and is pitching somewhere else because he’s a good person and I’d like to see him continue his career,” Ausmus said.

ALSO

Justin Upton was scheduled for a workout at Angel Stadium on Saturday, after which he could be cleared to join the Angels for Monday’s game in Toronto. Upton was had two homers among his four hits on Friday night for Inland Empire. He was 7 for 21 in six games during his rehab assignment. Upton has missed the entire season so far after suffering a sprained toe just before Opening Day…

Tommy La Stella, who was scratched on Friday because of forearm tightness, was improved on Saturday but still not in the lineup. Ausmus said he hoped La Stella would be available to pinch-hit on Saturday and start on Sunday.

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Angels (RHP Griffin Canning, 2-2, 3.52) at Rays (TBA), 10:10 a.m., Fox Sports West

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This simple wisdom — “Fans don’t boo nobodies” — is courtesy the pinstriped philosopher Reggie Jackson, and it resonates for anyone who has ever been in the public sphere.

Put yourself out there and the cranks crank it up. In the end, they’re still cranks.

When you are being noticed, it’s because you have become a cause for concern, for somebody.

So that’s how I realized early this month that the formerly minor character known as Mayor Pete has become a serious cause for concern for the Republican National Committee as it continues its unethical quest to re-elect the president.

How did I realize this? Because the RNC told me so.

On June 3, its Christiana Purves sent me an email: “Good evening — With less than a month to go before the first 2020 Democrat Presidential debate, we’re still only scratching the surface of truly learning about lesser-vetted candidates like Pete Buttigieg. Unfortunately for Mayor Pete, the more we learn, Californians are more likely to see that he was a lousy Mayor who’s struggling to keep up with the pace of presidential politics.”

Then Purves goes on to cite an odd selection of stories from what the Grand Old Party on a normal day, when it didn’t suit its needs, would term the lamestream media.

“‘I ain’t ever seen the dude’ — Residents of South Bend’s poor neighborhoods say Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg left them behind,” the RNC quotes CNBC as saying. Oh, how the GOP is in touch with America’s troubled urban youth. And then: “Buttigieg is only top 2020 presidential candidate not offering staffers health care yet.” Ha ha ha. The former deputy press secretary for Trump buddy Sen. Lindsey Graham concerned a Democratic longshot is not yet being able to afford benefits for his ragtag staff? Ha ha ha.

But with the RNC concerned enough about the guy to start doing a lot of opposition research and sending it out to members of the press, maybe he’s not such a longshot, what?

I have by no means figured out who stands the best chance of preventing the global disaster that would be a second term for this president. No one has stood out in particular from the clearly too many candidates clogging the opposition field. Too bad a gutsy moderate Republican won’t come forward to take advantage of the ridiculously tainted incumbent.

The latest poll of California Democratic voters goes: Biden 22, Sanders 17, Harris 13, Warren 18, Buttigieg 10, O’Rourke 3.

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So, only 10 percent of California’s Democratic voters right now say Buttigieg is their main man. Or, to look at it another way, a guy who otherwise just leads the fourth-largest city in Indiana is in fifth place among voters in the nation’s largest state. And this sudden GOP attention would lead us to believe that’s fifth place with a bullet. Harvard and Oxford graduate, former Navy Reserve lieutenant who served in Afghanistan — nice resume. Oh, and he’s gay. And he’s getting noticed — pollsters say awareness of Buttigieg shot up from 4% to 48% in the last six months.

Still actually a stretch, though. The problematical guy who is for some reason not a longshot, Joe Biden, is the frontrunner who is really giving the incumbent conniption fits. The president’s own campaign pollster came to him with numbers from a 17-state survey showing Trump losing to Biden in states that he needs to win, including Texas (sweet!), Michigan and Pennsylvania. After seeing the polls, the president told aides to deny them, Annie Karmin reports in The New York Times.

Biden is “Sleepy Joe” to Trump.

What’s he gonna call Buttigieg when the going gets rough on down the road?

Larry Wilson is on the Southern California News Group editorial board. lwilson@scng.com.

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  • The front door of the French House, a Queen Anne Cottage at 540 W. 3rd Street in Old Town Tustin. (Courtesy of Markus and Heidi Brown/First Team Real Estate)

  • The wraparound front porch has turned columns that are crowned with intricate corbels. (Courtesy of Markus and Heidi Brown/First Team Real Estate)

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  • The kitchen in the historic Queen Anne cottage at 540 W. 3rd Street in Old Town Tustin has views of the backyard. (Courtesy of Markus and Heidi Brown/First Team Real Estate)

  • Corbel detailing inside the historic Queen Anne cottage at 540 W. 3rd Street in Old Town Tustin. (Courtesy of Markus and Heidi Brown/First Team Real Estate)

  • An ornate brass doorknob in the historic Queen Anne cottage at 540 W. 3rd Street in Old Town Tustin. (Courtesy of Markus and Heidi Brown/First Team Real Estate).

  • A push button light switch. in the historic Queen Anne cottage at 540 W. 3rd Street in Old Town Tustin. (Courtesy of Markus and Heidi Brown/First Team Real Estate)

  • The fireplace in the historic Queen Anne cottage at 540 W. 3rd Street in Old Town Tustin boasts a glazed tile surround and wood mantel. (Courtesy of Markus and Heidi Brown/First Team Real Estate)

  • The upstairs master bedroom includes an en-suite bathroom and walk-in closet. (Courtesy of Markus and Heidi Brown/First Team Real Estate)

  • The French House, the only Queen Anne cottage in Old Town Tustin, has been listed for $750,000. (Photo courtesy of Markus and Heidi Brown, First Team Real Estate)

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A historic Queen Anne cottage in need of some TLC in walkable Old Town Tustin has just come on the market.

The asking price is $750,000.

Dubbed the French House, the 1885 cottage at 540 W. 3rd Street was home to the minister of the Tustin Presbyterian Church when it was new. It may have fallen on hard times over the decades, but the 134-year-old dwelling still stops people in their tracks.

“When I lived in Old Town, people would walk by and go, ‘Wow, that’s a cool house! You recognize it has some character and personality,” said Heidi Brown of First Team Real Estate, who is co-listing the home.

It’s the only Queen Anne cottage in the neighborhood, she said.

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The 1,889 square foot two-story house features a wraparound front porch, millwork, shiplap siding, steep bell-cast gabled roof covered in an alternating pattern of triangular and fish-scale tiles and a shed-style dormer.

According to the City of Tustin Historical Survey, the dormer likely got added to the roof in the 1920s.

Inside, such ornate touches as brass doorknobs and hinges, push-button wall switches, clawfoot tub, and a wood and tile fireplace further add to the overall character.

The cottage, set on a 14,400 square foot lot surrounded by a white picket fence, is within walking distance to restaurants, bars and specialty shops in Old Town.

But interested buyers should know it needs work, including refinished walls and hardwood flooring, updated plumbing and electricity and new landscaping.

“I can imagine it all cleaned and fixed up and painted,” Brown said. “It’s going to be a showpiece that someone can be proud of, and maybe even put on the home tour to share its history with the rest of Orange County.”

Markus Brown of First Team Real Estate is co-listing the house. It will be open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 15 and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 19.

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The consensus box of picks comes from handicappers Bob Mieszerski, Art Wilson, Terry Turrell and Eddie Wilson. Here are the picks for Saturday June 15 at Santa Anita.

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Preparing for an open house can be a daunting task.

Putting away all evidence that you actually live, eat, sleep, bathe, and handle dirty clothes and dishes can take an hour or more. Making sure all your jewelry, medicine, firearms and electronic devices are tucked away can also occupy a good amount of time.

But these are all necessary to make sure your house looks as desirable as possible, while protecting your valuables.

In making all of these preparations, give some thought to what you might serve your open house guests. This might encourage them to stay longer, help them remember your house as distinct from all the others they might visit that day and keep them hydrated and fuel their energy level. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

While homemade brownies, baked the morning of the open house, will help the house smell wonderful, they can be a little messy. Even if you provide plates and napkins, when that family with four kids between 4 and 12 come barreling into your house, it will be very difficult for their parents to monitor their snacking behavior.

So when the 4 year old stands on her tippy toes to grab a hunk of gooey chocolate goodness off of your sparkling quartz kitchen counter, skips the plate and the napkin, and heads off to follow her parents upstairs to see if there’s a bedroom suitable for her, she may leave a trail of brownie bites all over your new white carpet. Which her siblings may grind into your new white carpet on their way to check out their new bedrooms.

Just pray they keep their dirty fingers off of your freshly painted walls.

Similarly, providing ice-cold beverages, such as bottled water, soda or juice boxes can be a little tricky.

First, there’s the stylish chrome bucket you set on your sparkling quartz kitchen counter, sitting on top of a thick towel to prevent the condensation from spilling onto your brand new hardwood floor. And there’s the dripping that will happen once anyone selects a beverage from the bucket and takes it with them on a tour of your house.

If you have gone to all the time, money, and effort to upgrade to your house, then painstakingly prepared it to invite in random strangers, maybe keep the snacks in check by choosing items with very little chance of making a mess.

Small, room-temperature water bottles, individual seedless grapes (removed from the cluster), and bite-sized cubes of mild cheese might avoid having to have the carpets cleaned and the walls repainted while still providing some sustenance for your guests.

Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with Realty One Group. She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or leslie@leslieeskildsen.com.

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