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Ambulance rides could get more expensive and a new leaf-waste solution – morning roundup

Ambulance rides might be about to become more expensive in Sacramento.

Welcome to the first edition of the "wake-up call," a rundown of five items that we’re working on, found interesting or otherwise thought you might want to know about today. As is always the case here at The Sacramento Press, suggestions are welcome.

MEDICAL BILLS: Just as the Supreme Court gets set to rule on Obamacare, the Sacramento City Council will consider an ordinance to allow the Sacramento Fire Department to hike the cost of ambulance rides in the city by 21 percent, and more than double the cost of being treated but not transported by firefighters.  We will have more on this story soon.

DUMP POLITICS: This week brings more leaf pickup discussions to the City Council, but with a new twist: Will the city introduce “dump coupons”? It’s a proposed pilot program that would give city residents an option to call the city’s 3-1-1 service when they have a big pile of stuff they need to get rid of (say, leaves) and ask for a “dump coupon,” which would give them a pass to take five cubic yards of yard waste to the city dump themselves at no charge. The city would pick up the cost of the "tip fee" at the transfer station. This is another story we’re working on this morning – we’ll have more soon.

STATE: Now that the state budget is all but said and done, Sacramento Bee reporter Dan Walters sums up three topics on the state landscape that will be dominating the agenda: water issues, state workers’ pensions and the debate over for high-speed rail in the Central Valley.

A GOOD READ: As the City of Stockton faces a decision about whether to file for bankruptcy, an article in the Sunday New York Times about a town in Georgia that has pushed the evelope in cost-cutting and outsouring seems partiularly relevant. The town, Sandy Spings, rents a nondescript office as a “city hall” and outsources all of its services but police and fire. The city doesn’t outsource all its services to one company, but several, and for every contract the city awards, it also choses a “runner up” so it can switch providers quickly if needed. The approach was designed to keep down costs and encourage competition. Sandy Springs has the advantage of being a prosperous enclave with little to speak of in terms of poverty or social problems, so it’s an open question as to how well the model would work if applied in other circumstances.

EVENT: The Nuance, a rock band with a solo cellist, 7:30 p.m. @ Old Ironsides.

This YouTube video is grainy but it does give you a good idea as to what the band sounds like:

This list was compiled with the help of Sacramento Press Staff Reporter Melissa Corker.

 

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