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THE NOONER for December 20, 2012
Greetings. Sorry for disrupting your holiday luncheon and those white elephant festivities. Here's some data to chew on after you swig that egg nog to pass that fruit cake past your uvula. Of course, feel free to jump below to get today's Twelve Days of Christmas contest question!
A few reads:
Today, we'll look at turnout by Assembly districts in descending order. Overall voter turnout was 72.36%, although remember that not all voters vote in every race. Here's how many voted in a few key races:
**THE NOONER'S TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS CONTEST**
For the next 12 days (including Saturday and Sunday), CAPoliticalMaps.com and Political Data Inc. will be asking a question each day, which will be answered on the CAPoliticalMaps.com site. The closest (and first in the event of a tie) answer each day by 9pm PST will win a free map from CAPoliticalMaps.com and a $5 Starbucks gift card--a $50.00 value.
YESTERDAY'S QUESTION: How many voters are named George Bailey?
YESTERDAY'S ANSWER: 34
WINNER: Erin Mellon with 35
TODAY'S QUESTION: The average turnout of registered voters of the 20 State Senate districts that had a regular election on November 6 election was 70.47%. Name the districts with the highest and lowest turnouts among State Senate districts that had a regular election (excluding SD04, which was special). If nobody gets it correct, those that get the closest to each will be the winner. [SUBMIT AN ANSWER]
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Katherine Feinstein Retiring As Judge
John Cote @ sfgate.com
Katherine Feinstein, who as presiding judge steered San Francisco Superior Court through a series of debilitating state budget cuts, is retiring after more than 12 years on the bench and is open to running for public office, she told The Chronicle.
Gov. Jerry Brown Gets High Marks For Effectiveness In Report Card
George Skelton @ latimes.com
This was the year that Gov. Jerry Brown delivered what he was selling when he ran for election: the political know-how to clean up Sacramento's fiscal mess.
Veterans Die Awaiting Pension Benefits
Aaron Glantz, Center for Investigative Reporting @ sfgate.com
The VA's inability to pay benefits to veterans before they die is increasingly common, according to data obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting. The data reveal that tens of thousands of veterans are being approved for disability benefits and pensions only after it is too late for the money to help them.
11,200 Child-care Slots In Los Angeles County Lost During Recession
Teresa Watanabe @ latimes.com
Loss of $1.2 billion in state funds for early child-care and education programs was the biggest cut in six decades and hurt low-income communities the most.
Boxer Pitches Grants, Guardsmen For Safer Schools
Josh Richman @ ibabuzz.com
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer today introduced two new bills that she said will strengthen safety at schools by giving state and local officials new resources and tools to help them secure their campuses and protect students.
Sacramento Region's Home Values Up Nearly $15 Billion
Hudson Sangree @ sacbee.com
The Sacramento region's cumulative home values rose by $14.8 billion in 2012, with an additional 10 percent increase projected in 2013, online real estate tracker Zillow said in a report issued today.
New Chief Of California's Prisons Named
Paige St. John @ latimes.com
Jeffrey Beard, the former head of Pennsylvania's prisons, favors shorter sentences and community treatment. The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.
The Buzz: 'L.A. Shuffle' keeps politicians moving among Los Angeles, Sacramento and Washington
The "L.A. Shuffle" isn't a dance â at least not a musical one â but a name that some insiders apply to the constant movement of politicians in Los Angeles County, which holds more than a quarter of California's population. The county claims all or part of 18 of the state's 53 congressional districts, 15 of the 40 state Senate districts and 24 of the 80 Assembly districts.
UC Irvine's Desert Research Center Awarded Funds For Expansion
Louis Sahagun @ latimes.com
Field scientists and students who rough it in UC Irvineâs Steele/Burnand Anza Borrego Desert Research Center in eastern San Diego County will soon be settling into a new laboratory, apartment building and dormitory thanks to $2.8 million in Proposition 84 funds awarded by the California Wildlife Conservation Board.
San Bernardino Plan: Cut Or Refinance Pensions?
Vallejo emerged from bankruptcy last fall with an agreement among all creditors, a process that took more than three years. City officials said they considered cutting pensions, but did not after CalPERS threatened a long and costly legal battle.
Drunken driving campaign targets downtown Sacramento
Tony Bizjak @ sacbee.com
Starting tonight in Sacramento and three other California cities, holiday revelers will see an odd, potentially sobering vehicle parked in front of popular bars and nightspots.
Appeals Court Imposes Restrictions On Parcel Taxes
John Fensterwald @ edsource.org
Democrats in the Legislature are poised to help make it easier for school districts to pass parcel taxes, but a court ruling this month â if it withstands an appeal â will narrow the scope of what parcel taxes can tax.
California Pension Funds Walk A Tightrope On Investments
John Ortiz @ sacbee.com
That dual nature creates a tension graphically illustrated with Monday's news that the California teachers' retirement system's portfolio included a stake in Freedom Group. The global firearms manufacturer's subsidiaries include the company that made the rifle used to kill 20 children and six adults at a Newtown, Conn., school on Friday.
'la Shuffle' Means Lots Of Political Moves In Huge County
Dan Walters @ blogs.sacbee.com
The "LA Shuffle" isn't a dance, or at least not one of the musical variety, but rather a name that some political insiders apply to the constant movement of politicians in Los Angeles County, which has more than a quarter of the state's population.
House plans vote on Plan B for 'fiscal cliff,' despite objections from Senate, president
Andrew Taylor @ mercurynews.com
The Republican-controlled House pushed ahead Thursday with a bill that would raise taxes on people earning over $1 million a year as hopes faded for a pre-Christmas deal between President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner to avert the so-called 'fiscal cliff.'
CalPERS state employee retirements flat for 2012
Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
The number of state workers who applied for their pensions in 2012 was essentially unchanged compared with the previous year, new data from CalPERS shows.
Sen. Feinstein will not become Judiciary Committee chairwoman
Richard Simon @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON — Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s hopes of taking over the panel that will be critical to her efforts to renew an assault weapons ban and overhaul immigration laws were dashed Wednesday when Sen. Patrick J. Leahy decided to remain chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
More Gun Laws On The Way In California?
Steven Harmon @ mercurynews.com
California legislators seek to strengthen restrictions in the state with the nations toughest gun controls.
Battle Expected Over Disclosure Of 'Fracking' Chemicals
Michael J. Mishak @ latimesblogs.latimes.com
Under pressure from state lawmakers and environmentalists, Gov. Jerry Brown's administration released draft regulations for hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," the controversial drilling process driving the nation's oil and gas boom. As The Times reported Wednesday, the proposed rules would require...
Utilities Benefit In State Carbon Market - Business - The Sacramento Bee
Most businesses say California's new cap-and-trade program, designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions, is a job killer that will suck billions of dollars out of the economy.
Final Capitol tribute to late Hawaii Sen. Inouye
Kevin Freking @ mercurynews.com
Sen. Dan Inouye will lie in state in the Capitol rotunda. It's a rare tribute that demonstrates respect and good will that lawmakers in both parties had toward the soft-spoken but powerful Democratic chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearing on voter suppression
Danielle Ryan @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON – Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee debated the necessity of voter ID laws and early voting restrictions Wednesday morning, with Democrats accusing Republicans of aiming to suppress the votes of African Americans and Hispanics.
State To Sound Alarm For Straying Seniors
Tony Bizjak @ sacbee.com
A decade after California launched its Amber Alert program, which enlists citizen help in searching for missing children, the state will add a similar program for another of society's at-risk groups: its elderly. It's called the Silver Alert program.
Chevron Richmond Announces $1 Million In Grants For Local Education, Jobs Initiatives
Robert Rogers @ contracostatimes.com
Money will be divided among six area nonprofit groups that include West County Bridge to College, Contra Costa Economic Partnership, Catholic Charities of the East Bay, New Leaders as part of the energy giants California Partnership Program.
Calif. Ocean Sanctuaries To Be Doubled
Peter Fimrite @ sfgate.com
President Obama is poised to protect 2,093 square nautical miles of ocean habitat off the coast of Sonoma and Mendocino counties, a move that would more than double the area covered by two national sanctuaries off the West Coast and permanently ban offshore oil drilling there.