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KSBR News Briefs on Thursday Mar. 23, 2017


California State University board votes to raise tuition

California State University's governing board has approved the first tuition increase in six years for the system's 23 campuses, drawing chants of opposition from students who said they're already struggling to afford the cost of education.

The board of trustees voted 11-8, approving a proposal that will increase undergraduate tuition by $270 for the 2017-18 school year.

Current tuition is $5,472 a year.

Chancellor Timothy White had urged the trustees to approve the increase, saying the nation's largest public university system needs to hire more faculty and add more classes to accommodate growing enrollment and insufficient state funding.


California says GOP health bill would cost state billions

Gov. Brown's administration says key provisions of the Republican health overhaul bill in Congress would cost our state $4.3 billion in 2020 and nearly $19 billion in a decade unless the state cuts back on health care benefits for the poor.

The state's first detailed analysis of the bill's impacts on Medi-Cal was released before the U.S. House is scheduled to vote on the GOP proposal to repeal elements of former President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

If the bill passes, Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer says lawmakers would eventually have to decide how much additional money to spend on Medi-Cal and whether to reduce costs.

Lawmakers can cut costs by covering fewer people, reducing their benefits or paying less to doctors and hospitals.


In California, Democratic voter registration climbing

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has announced Democratic voter registration in our state has climbed in the past two years while Republican registration has decreased.

The percentage of voters registered as Democrats increased roughly 1.5 percentage points to nearly 45 percent. Republican registration declined more than two percentage points to just under 26 percent. Nearly one in four state voters is registered with no party preference.


Feds begin demolishing dams in Orange County's canyons

Federal officials have begun blowing up old dams in the rural parts of our County’s canyons as part of a long-planned project to restore wildlife habitat and eliminate safety hazards in the Santa Ana Mountains.

The Los Angeles Times reports crews with the Forest Service and Marine Corps had used explosives to begin demolition in the Santiago Canyon.

More than a dozen residents and environmentalists turned out to protest the project, voicing concerns that it will clog Santiago Creek with debris, kill aquatic wildlife and wipe out popular swimming holes beneath two of the stone-and-mortar dams.

The Forest Service said three dams would be demolished this week and two others would be blasted in the future, to keep the swimming holes intact for the time being.


San Clemente

San Clemente will have a Summer Trolley Program.

The San Clemente City Council has approved a contract for the service that will operate on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, between May 26 and Labor Day weekend, plus Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day.

City Public Information Officer Laura Ferguson says there will be three trolleys that will provide free service on Fridays, between noon and ten in the evening; Saturdays, between ten in the morning and ten at night; and Sundays, between ten in the morning and eight at night.

The contract is for two years, with the option of extending it four additional years.


Lake Forest

The Lake Forest City Council saw a presentation on the 2016 Resident/Business Survey.

Mayor Scott Voigts says the results from Tru North Research indicate over 90 percent of those polled are satisfied with the quality of life in the city; 92 percent had indicated they were satisfied with the Public Works Department and 88 percent were satisfied with the Development Services Department.

He says the Council will use the results to determine where improvements are needed in the city.


Swallows Day Parade

San Juan Capistrano Mayor Kerry Ferguson says she’s looking forward to having the city host the 59th Annual Swallows Day Parade Saturday.

She says it’s the one of the nation’s largest non-motorized parades, with many riding groups, dancers and walking groups. She will be riding in a horse drawn wagon with San Clemente Mayor Kathy Ward and Dana Point Mayor Debra Lewis. Around ten thousand spectators are expected to attend.

The parade begins at 11 in the morning.

More information is available on-line at www.SwallowsParade.com.


Veterans Resource Fair

Veterans and their families are being encouraged to attend Saturday’s 3rd Annual Veterans Resource Fair and Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball game.

Republican Assemblyman Bill Brough from Dana Point and Republican Senator Patricia Bates from Laguna Niguel are hosting the event at Saddleback College’s baseball stadium.

Brough says the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team is a professional traveling team that raises awareness of disabled veterans. The team will play against the O.C. All Stars.

He says veterans may get information about health benefits, VA Home Loans, Education Benefits, VA Burial and Legal Services.

The event will go on between 11 in the morning and four in the afternoon.

The game starts at noon.