Fees, thefts, fines

The cost of a public education is about to go up—again—for UC Davis and Sacramento State students. The University of California Board of Regents will vote next week on whether to increase its fees by 8 percent, which would up the annual tuition cost to an average of $12,150. The California State University Board of Trustees also is considering raising its fees by 15.5 percent.

Associated Students of UC Davis president Jack Zwald says that families and students alike will be “hit hard” by the proposed increase and urges the regents to cut wasteful spending before raising costs. Specifically, he cited an agricultural resources board that receives 1.5 percent of all student fees from every UC campus. “This board provides no benefit to students and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars annually of student fees,” he explained. “Eliminating that and other entities like it would help ease UC’s financial burden and make these increases unnecessary.”

UC tuition exceeds in-state tuitions at respected universities throughout the country. University of Texas at Austin, for example, charges its residents $9,418. University of Oregon costs $8,190, University of Washington is $8,973, University of Colorado $8,511, and University of Florida $5,045.

The UC’s fee increase would generate an estimated $180 million in revenue, and just over a third of that would be used for financial aid. Last year, the regents passed a 32 percent fee increase. (Nick Miller)

Boycott burgle?

On the heels of Proposition 19’s defeat at the ballot box last week, popular website Cannabis Warrior (http://cannabiswarrior.com) posted a blog titled “PROP 19 LIARS and MISLEADER BOYCOTT INFO PAGE.” The post featured a list of no-on-19 advocates—which included many Sacramentans and medical-pot dispensaries, such as Canna Care, J Street Wellness and SN&R’s October 28 issue cover subject Ryan Landers—and a appeal to shun these businesses and individuals.

Cannabis Warrior’s boycott immediately drew feverish response from readers (a total of 144 comments had been posted by Monday night), who did not refrain from calling no-on-19ers “scum” or “traitors.” And on Friday morning, November 5, Sacramento’s Unity Non Profit Collective was burgled—and director Don Johnson pinned the club’s $15,000 loss on his anti-19 stance and related online boycotts.

Cannabis Warrior editor Mickey Martin says the burglary absolutely has nothing to with his website’s boycott. By Tuesday afternoon, he’d removed the boycott list from his blog, calling it a “distraction.”

Kris Hermes, with Americans for Safe Access, an organization that fights for medical-cannabis rights, says he’s “not aware of any similar occurrences as a result of the Prop. 19 tensions” anywhere else in California. (N.M.)

Hazardous penalty

A Rancho Cordova waste-storage company recently was slapped with a large fine for mishandling thousands of gallons of acids, solvents and toxins over a three-year period, according to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

General Environmental Management was issued a $600,000 fine for improperly storing more than 82,000 gallons of waste at its facility. Inspectors found several violations during a routine inspection in March 2009, some of which showed evidence of the practices dating back to December 2006.

The facility is now under corporate ownership and has made several operational changes. (Stacey Kennelly)