Wednesday, September 18, 2019
University of California President Janet Napolitano, who has championed immigrant students and sexual abuse victims but whose management of the UC system has sparked criticism, announced Wednesday she was resigning.
Jagdeep Singh Bachher and Richard Sherman, Sept. 17, 2019, LA Times
Our job is to make money for the University of California, and we’re betting we can do that without fossil fuels investments.
We are investors and fiduciaries for what is widely considered the best public research university in the world. That makes us fiscally conservative by nature and by policy — “Risk rules” is one of the 10 pillars of what we call the UC Investments Way. We want to ensure that the more than 320,000 people currently receiving a UC pension actually get paid, that we can continue to fund research and scholarships throughout the UC system, and that our campuses and medical centers earn the best possible return on their investments.
We believe hanging on to fossil fuel assets is a financial risk. That’s why we will have made our $13.4-billion endowment “fossil free” as of the end of this month, and why our $70-billion pension will soon be that way as well...
Full op ed at https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-09-16/divestment-fossil-fuel-university-of-california-climate-change
The University of California declares a climate emergency
Carolyn McMillan, UC Newsroom, Sept. 17, 2019,
The University of California has joined forces with more than 7,000 colleges and universities around the globe to declare a climate emergency and commit to urgent action to address the crisis.
UC President Janet Napolitano and all 10 UC chancellors have signed a climate emergency declaration letter that recognizes “the need for a drastic societal shift to combat the growing threat of climate change.”*
In signing the declaration, UC leaders agreed to a three-point plan that includes increasing action-oriented climate research; expanding education and outreach on environmental and sustainability issues; and achieving climate neutrality, a goal UC expects to achieve by 2025, five years ahead of the declaration’s pledge.
“We have a moral responsibility to take swift action on climate change,” said UC President Napolitano. “This declaration reaffirms UC’s commitment to addressing one of the greatest existential threats of our time..."
Full media release at https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/university-california-declares-climate-emergency
*Letter at https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/press-release/higher-and-further-education-institutions-across-globe-declare
Note: The timing of the op ed and the media release coincides with the Regents meeting this week and follows a "fossil free" resolution by the Academic Senate. This timing coincides, but is unlikely to be a coincidence. Although yours truly doesn't want to rain on the parade, it seems unlikely that academic finance types would buy the rationale offered in the op ed above by UC's chief financial official and the chair of the Regents' Investments Committee, essentially that because fossil fuels are facing a declining market, they are risky and thus should not be included in a broad portfolio. All equities have a degree of risk. And financial markets are aware of the particular risks entailed in fossil fuel securities and presumably price related equities accordingly. In short, the divestment is a response to the changing university climate rather than a strictly financial decision. Whether over any given future period, the endowment and pension portfolios will gain or lose from the decision is unknown, but it is a deviation from the finance idea of having lots of different eggs in the portfolio basket.
PS: Fear not! Yours truly is downloading and archiving the audio of the sessions of the Regents occurring this week including the session of the Investments Committee. But, as usual, it takes time to go through the recordings.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
President Trump to Use Santa Monica Airport Tuesday: Military presence expected around SMO
By Sam Catanzaro, 9-16-19, Santa Monica Mirror
President Trump is expected to use the Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) on Tuesday, September 17 and in preparation for his visit, the City of Santa Monica anticipates military helicopter activity at and around SMO on Monday, September 16 and Tuesday.
Trump is in California Tuesday for several fundraisers in both Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Geoff Palmer, the real estate developer and one of the president’s biggest donors, is hosting a Los Angeles fundraiser for Trump.
Very few details have been made public about Trump’s visit to California, a state where his approval rating is under 40 percent according to a poll released by the Public Policy Institute of California.
As Airport staff release additional details about potential street closures as a result of the visit this article will be updated.
Apart from possible disruptions from the presidential visit, the Regents are meeting at the UCLA Grand Hotel starting today and continuing Wednesday and Thursday. So there could be some on-campus traffic issues.
UPDATE: The Trump visit largely will be felt this evening in areas near UCLA, possibly affecting some late commutes:
7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday
The area around Bundy Drive between Airport Avenue & West Pico Boulevard
The area around Sunset Boulevard between South Sepulveda Boulevard and Bedford Drive (Beverly Hills)
8 to 9 p.m. Tuesday
The area around Sunset Boulevard between Bedford Drive and South Sepulveda Boulevard (Beverly Hills)
The area around West 9th Street between the 110 Freeway and South Flower Street
The area around South Figueroa Street between Olympic Boulevard and West Sixth Street
Beverly Hills street closures
5-9 p.m. Tuesday
Sunset Boulevard between Ladera and Beverly Drives will be intermittently closed (suggested alternative east/west routes: Santa Monica, Wilshire and Olympic boulevards
Benedict Canyon Drive between Sunset Boulevard and Mulholland Drive will be intermittently closed (suggested alternate north/south route: Coldwater Canyon Drive)
Monday, September 16, 2019
Ige disclosed the threats as he and his cabinet members held a news conference asking people on all sides of the issue to be careful with their language.
Attorney General Clare Connors played a voicemail recording in which an unidentified man told a state employee, “I hope you die.”
She showed reporters a social media post offering a $5,000 reward for the identity of a law enforcement officer involved in last week’s demolition and removal of a small wooden house built by demonstrators near the camp where they are blocking the telescope’s construction.
“I hope that we can all agree that putting a bounty on the head of law enforcement officer is disturbing and deeply concerning,” Connors said. “It’s dangerous. This law enforcement officer showed up to work that day and was doing his job when he found himself in an untenable situation.”
The issue of the Thirty Meter Telescope issue has engulfed Hawaii since mid-July when the state announced construction would begin after a decade-long permit and appeals process. Protesters have blocked the road to Mauna Kea’s summit for the past two months, preventing the building from getting underway. They oppose construction because they believe the top of the mountain is sacred.
Ige said there’s been improper language on both sides, noting he’s seen “terrible and racist” things written about protesters in the comment sections of news sites online...
Full story at https://www.apnews.com/9d933d05c5614c9a993d1995d4ff74ab