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Special to CityWatch: Can Jorge Ramos Save The American Immigrant Dream?

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA- President Barack Obama’s disappointing failure to champion immigration reform, what The Washington Post called his “immigration train wreck,” may be the consummate example of the failure of the Obama presidency on Latino issues. It is also a tell-tale sign of the potential trouble the Democratic Party could find itself in…

Museum Row’s Billion Dollar Block Party

Tim Deegan
EXCLUSIVE TO CITYWATCH--City planners, developers, community members and other stakeholders are having a block party in the Miracle Mile: no champagne but plenty of stress served to order, depending on who you're aligned with. Issues with development: take a seat. Raising hundreds of millions of dollars for development, take several seats. Here…

What Is It About The Homeless That Makes Us So Angry?

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD--It was a long public hearing at my neighborhood council the other night. Outraged, obviously frightened homeowners were pitted against advocates for the homeless. At least that's how it started, but it's not how it ended. It's curious, but in this contentious culture of ours, it turned out to be possible to have a meeting of the…

Kill the Transit Tax, Kill the Olympics

Ken Alpern
ALPERN AT LARGE-You know, it's indeed possible that there will be enough voters who won't remember (or care about) the current shenanigans and budget games in the City of LA--enough to allow a 2/3 vote to pass a new sales tax measure in November 2016. Then again, maybe enough voters will remember, and the initiative will (like its predecessor…

Headlines Don’t Lie – LA Needs Leadership

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-I’m talking to you as a man who policed Los Angeles streets for over 30 years and established policy for another 14 years -- two years as an elected Charter Reform Commissioner and 12 years as an elected Los Angeles City Councilman. Take a look at the latest Los Angeles News and Breaking Headlines. They tell a frightening story…

Airbnb Just Floats by the PLUM Committee

Tony Butka
THE CITY-I was going to do my usual flip and cynical kind of a piece on the Airbnb hearing, but the issue is too important, and just maybe, all is not lost. The Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee hearing was scheduled in the Public Works Hearing Room, but so many people attended that they had to move it to City Council Chambers…

Bikeshare Comes to Los Angeles … Sort Of

Richard Risemberg
WAITING ON LA--Here’s photographic confirmation that bikeshare has arrived in LA: Not the City of Los Angeles, though; not quite yet. That’s a live bikeshare station in Santa Monica, on Main Street, next to one of the two bike corrals that grace the block south of Ashland. (There’s another and very busy bike corral two blocks north.) This is a…

The Summer of My Discontent ... LA Version

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN--I think there is such a thing as the "Dog Days of Summer" since my usual sunny disposition ... glass half full demeanor ... seems to be out of sorts of late. There is a litany of things that are annoying me, aside from the heat. I am disappointed in our local government ... not all of them, but a majority. Like many of you I studied the…

Marilyn Who? Ask Councilman Krekorian or Mayor Garcetti

Richard Lee Abrams
PRESERVATION POLITICS-Who doesn’t like Marilyn Monroe? Councilmember Krekorian, that’s who! Why else would Councilmember Paul Krekorian support the demolition of one of the most significant homes of Marilyn Monroe? With the blessings of Mayor Garcetti, who believes in eradicating as much of Hollywood’s history as possible, and with the support of…





Record Breaking! Josh Groban sings Trump


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If It Moves, the State Wants to License It

CALWATCHDOG - I’m not a pet guy. I have no personal stake in legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, which would create a “voluntary” certification program for California’s pet grooming industry.

Yet, I’m troubled that Vargas and his fellow lawmakers think that pet grooming rises to the level that its practitioners ought to be certified.

Not because voluntary certification almost certainly will lead to involuntary certification which, inevitably, will lead to state-mandated licensing — which much of the state’s pet-grooming community fears.

But because the state government’s propensity to license any and every occupation with more than a handful of practitioners is a de facto restraint of trade that has a damping effect on competition and that ultimately raises the costs to consumers of pet grooming and other services.

As it is, California licenses more than 175 different professions, more than any other state. And while it is understandable that the state licenses doctors, lawyers and other professions where an incompetent practitioner can do irreparable harm that certainly doesn’t apply to decorators, locksmiths or pet groomers.

Yet, the Vargas bill, SB 969, would require pet groomers to complete 900 hours of training — why not an even 1,000? — and to pay a to-be-determined fee to the state — but of course — for the privilege of coiffing poodles and manicuring Abyssinians.

And it would create a new California Pet Grooming Council to administer the certification process.
As with every other occupation regulated by the state, the rationale for licensing, or in the case of pet grooming, certification, is to protect consumers. But a Federal Trade Commission study on the costs and benefits of occupational regulation concluded that licensing “does not increase the quality of service.”

What it does do is impose a barrier to entry into regulated occupations, like pet grooming. That’s fine by big corporations, like Petco and PetSmart, that offer grooming services at higher prices than smaller, independent pet groomers. And it’s fine by the state’s veterinarians, who would like to make inroads in the pet grooming business.

But with almost 2 million Californians out of work three years into the state’s putative economic recovery, now is absolutely the wrong time for the Legislature to enact a measure, like SB 969, that will create even more joblessness.

And not only should lawmakers reject proposed certification of pet groomers, be it “voluntary” or not, they also should revisit state licensing mandates for the more than 175 or so occupations to which they currently apply.

A sensible reform would require licensing only for occupations that, if unregulated, could pose a threat to public health and safety, as well as those, again, where a deficient practitioner can cause irreparable harm.

Under such criteria, the state government’s regulatory power would be stayed against not only pet groomers, but also furniture upholsterers, pesticide applicators, court reporters and other service providers whose occupations are needlessly licensed.

(Joseph Perkins is the Business Editor for San Diego Magazine. He previously authored a nationally-syndicated column for the San Diego Union-Tribune and served on the White House Staff of former Vice President Dan Quayle. He currently blogs at calwatchdog.com where this piece was first posted.)
-cw





CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 59
Pub: July 24, 2012

 

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