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THE NOONER for April 13, 2012

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TWEET DU JOUR: @pourmecoffee - "North Korea would be better off launching a giant piñata. At least when it exploded, people would have something to eat."

Happy Friday! First, many of you knew that I have been a candidate for a job that would have led me to leave Sacramento to lead a college district in the Bay Area, and have asked about what happened. It was a unique opportunity and only the second job I have applied for in seventeen years. That said, the board went with someone else, and I am very happy to continue on the Sacramento scene. 

This is going to be a quick one today, as I have two board meetings today and I need to prepare. Yesterday, Controller John Chiang painted a very serious and challenging budget picture for my college presidents. Like many entities of government, they are planning two vastly different scenarios for next year, assuming the tax measure either passes or doesn't.

$$$: The American Federation of Teachers kicked in $500,000 to the compromise tax initiative. In just three weeks, more than $10 million has been raised, pretty much all from labor and Democratic legislators. 

LAT editorial on UC Davis: "But it took two reports on the incident by an independent university panel and paid consultants to spell out the scope of the screw-ups, which indict not just the officers holding the spray canisters but the entire campus police force, its chief, a team of university leaders and Chancellor Linda Katehi. Disciplinary action should be next."

SACBEE editorial: "NBA must find new owners for the Kings"

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Two of my favorite submissions to the "rename Andrew Acosta's new firm" included:

  • Acosta sin Salazar
  • A Costa You Less Than Richie

Best of luck to both Andrew and Roger in their new paths.

Looks like we'll dry out for the weekend. Have a great one, and talk to you on Monday, when we'll have all those FEC quarterly reports.

Senate Panel Keeps Animal Shelter Law Alive, For Now
A Senate budget panel on Wednesday rejected Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to repeal provisions of California's animal shelter law. Animal activists have been campaigning for months to preserve the mandate, which lengthened the amount of time shelters must hold stray...

Online USC Poll Confirms Support For Brown's Tax Measure
An experimental online poll of California voters by the University of Southern California's Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences has found strong support for Gov. Jerry Brown's tax increase ballot measure - almost identifical, in fact, to a simultaneous telephone poll.

UC Davis' Katehi Has The Backing Of Critic
Peter Hecht and Hudson Sangree @
Cruz Reynoso, the former state Supreme Court justice whose task force blamed "systemic and repeated failures" of UC Davis' leadership for the pepper-spraying of students last fall, said Thursday that Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi should stay on the job and enact reforms to prevent a recurrence.

California Leaders Watching The Tax Dollars Trickle In
Kevin Yamamura @
California's budget process is in a holding pattern until Gov. Jerry Brown issues his revised plan next month, which depends largely on how much tax money the state receives in April.

UC Davis Chancellor To Respond To Protest Report
Don Thompson @
FILE - This Nov. 21, 2011 file photo shows University of California, Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, center, as she is escorted from the stage after she spoke during a rally on campus in Davis, Calif., after police pepper-sprayed peaceful demonstrators during a protest near the same spot. A University of California task force said Wednesday that UC Davis police should not have used pepper-spray on student demonstrators in an incident that prompted national outrage and calls for the chancellor's resignation. The task force also attributed the response to breakdowns in the campus chain of command, from Katehi to police Chief Annette Spicuzza to Lt. John Pike, the main officer shown in the widely viewed online videos.

Judge Leaning Toward Furlough Back Pay For California State Engineers, Scientists
Jon Ortiz @
Roughly 13,000 state workers could receive back wages for two furlough days if a tentative ruling in a union lawsuit becomes final after lawyers debate the case on Friday.

L.A. County Budget Expected To Avoid Service Cuts, Layoffs
Jason Song @
L.A. County supervisors will consider a proposed $23.8 billion budget next week that will not include any "dramatic" cuts to public services, furloughs or layoffs, officials announced.

Big Money Being Raised For Open Marin/Sonoma/North Coast House Race
Joe Garofoli @
With the April 15 federal filing date approaching, we’re seeing that they’re raising some serious money in the newly-drawn 2nd Congressional race. That’s the one that Dem Rep. Lynn Woolsey is retiring from and is — so far — withholding her endorsement. Ten Dems and two Republicans are brawling up there for two tickets to the November dance. (Sorry for the Vitaleian hyperbole; we’re still nursing our March Madness hangover.)

Bill Would Give CSU Students More Power To Stop Campus Fees
California State University students would wield more influence over the creation of new mandatory campus student fees, such as fees for health services, instructional activities and materials, under a bill that advanced this week through the Senate Education Committee.

California's State Taxes Showed Big Jump Last Fiscal Year
Although its economy was stagnant and its state budget was imbalanced, California saw one of the nation's sharpest increases in state tax revenues during the 2010-11 fiscal year, according to a new Census Bureau report.

Healthcare Reform Is About Lives, Not Just Politics
David Lazarus @
If health insurers can keep denying coverage to anyone, millions of Americans could be left to fend for themselves in a system that openly discriminates against the sick and leaves many destitute.

Fish And Game Chief Who Killed Mountain Lion Broke Political Contribution Law, State Panel Says
California Fair Political Practices Commission declines to fine Dan Richards up to $5,000, however, saying he eventually repaid the $6,800 value of the mountain lion hunt, even if it was after a 30-day deadline

California Senate Approves Bill To Remove 'R Word' From Books
Torey Van Oot @
The California Senate today unanimously approved a bill today that would strip the phrase "mentally retarded" from existing statutes, replacing that and related terms with "intellectual disability."

California Shouldn't Brainwash Students
Dan Walters @
California is one of the globe's most complex and diverse societies. And it's fair to expect that as schools teach history, it should include that complexity and diversity.

High-speed Rail Board Approves Final Plan For California Bullet Train
Even as the California High-Speed Rail Authority unanimously approved the massive project s final blueprint Thursday, supporters led by the governor began a fast-and-furious sales campaign to convince skeptical lawmakers to jump on board.

O.C. Tea Party Movement Shifts Its Focus
Martin Wisckol @
Three years after the Tea Party started, activists in Orange County say the movement has evolved in several different directions. And not always for the better, some say.

Assembly passes bill stemming from local case
Spurred to act by a Carlsbad case, the Assembly Thursday unanimously passed legislation to close a loophole in the law that now allows abusers convicted of violent sex crimes against their spouses to still be awarded support payments, community property or other financial benefits after divorce proceedings.

With No One Willing To Take The Hot Seat, California Roast Is Cancelled
Torey Van Oot @
This year's California Roast will be no laughing matter for Capitol denizens in need of a chuckle.

Republicans Seek Support From College Students
On politics in the Golden State

Palomar Health executive lands at No. 2 — again
The Palomar Health public hospital agency’s CEO has again ranked with the second highest pay in the California State Controller’s Office annual statewide survey of local governments — edged out by $2,549.

Ethics Agency Alleges Fish And Game Official Violated Gift Limit
California ethics agency alleges Fish and Game President violated gift law

Sebelius: No health law backup plan
J. Lester Feder @
The HHS secretary says she's sure Obama's health reform law is constitutional.