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THE NOONER for February 17, 2014
Whales and elephant seals
Marianne Williamson - Joe Trippi and Shallman
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Sacramento, Calif.: GOP Challengers See Opportunity In Water Crisis | Business | Fresnobee.com
JULIET WILLIAMS @ fresnobee.com
How much money do people make in the education field in the Valley? Consult our database.
Water Meters Gain Grudging Acceptance Up North
Michael Gardner @ utsandiego.com
In previous droughts, many Southern Californians lived with shorter showers, reluctantly conceded to browner lawns and spent money on new household fixtures to save water. The all-knowing water meter -- and its upward click to higher rates -- was reporting every gallon to the bill collectors. But it was a different story in and around the capital city of Sacramento, surrounded by thousands of homes with thirsty lawns, swimming pools and toilets that flushed away more water than necessary. While conservation was being preached, resistance to installing meters remained steadfast.
Fire District Report Lacks Promised Road Map Out Of Financial Crisis
Daniel Borenstein @ contracostatimes.com
The Contra Costa grand jury had called on the district to think "outside the box." This paper's editorial page had similarly chastised the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District's failure to look for creative options to address soaring pension costs in the face of recession-driven declines in property tax revenues.
The Public Eye: Confidential Documents Cite Interference In Prison Death Review
Sam Stanton and Denny Walsh @ sacbee.com
Steven and Elaine Duran, parents of deceased inmate Joseph Duran, head to federal court in January for a hearing to look into their son's death at Mule Creek State Prison.
Gov. Jerry Brown Puts Deep Imprint On California Judiciary
Howard Mintz @ mercurynews.com
Justice Joyce Kennard's unexpected announcement last week that she will retire in April has given Brown a chance to name his second Supreme Court justice in his latest go-round as governor, a clear opportunity to heavily influence a court that has tilted conservative since he left office in 1983.
Op-ed: How A Prop. 13 Fairness Campaign Could Win
Chuck McFadden @ calbuzz.com
By Chuck McFadden Special to Calbuzz
Obscure Source Of Water Dries Up | Utsandiego.com
Be relevant, respectful, honest, discreet and responsible. Commenting Rules
As Retiree Costs Soar, Reformers Question Independence Of Worker-dominated Pension Boards | Star Tribune
The board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System will meet Tuesday to begin considering how to address the costs associated with retirees living longer, but it already has indicated that it will ignore the governor's request to tackle the problem immediately.
Same-sex Marriage Moving Swiftly Back Toward Supreme Court
David G. Savage @ latimes.com
The move to legalize same-sex marriage is picking up speed, meaning a Supreme Court test could come as early as next year.
New Water Basin In Anaheim Will Add To Supply - The Orange County Register
SARAH TULLY @ ocregister.com
By SARAH TULLY / STAFF WRITER
South Korean Lawmaker Convicted Of Supporting North Korea
Steven Borowiec @ latimes.com
SEOUL — A left-wing South Korean lawmaker was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday on charges of treason and praising North Korea, the first such conviction of a legislator since the South transitioned to democracy in the late 1980s.
Calif. Water Politics Complicate Brown's Decisions
JULIET WILLIAMS Associated Press @ mercurynews.com
For Brown, the drought presents both opportunity and risk for a governor facing re-election who also was in office during California's last major drought in the mid-1970s.
Municipal Transportation Agency rolls out budget
Everything from free Muni rides for senior and disabled riders to shutting off parking meters on Sundays will be on the table when the Municipal Transportation Agency considers its budget for the next two fiscal years. The agency, which oversees all things related to transportation in San Francisco - transit, traffic, parking, taxis - has proposed a basic spending plan of $915.4 million for the budget year that starts July 1 and $943 million for the following year. A separate capital budget proposes spending $646.6 million and $749.1 million on physical improvements, including Central Subway construction, replacing Muni Metro rail cars and some buses, building more bike lanes and pedestrian safety projects, and installing new traffic signals. What's not included are the proposals to raise, reduce or eliminate some fares and fees, increase service, build pedestrian and bicycle improvements, and improve technology. A potential big cost reduction is a proposal to reduce or eliminate work orders: that is, money paid to other city departments for services.
San Francisco Seeks Special Treatment For Embattled College
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
A few days later, Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, introduced a bill that would give the college an extra injection of state aid â in effect ignoring its enrollment drop â at the request of new Chancellor Art Tyler, who said it would âavoid the death spiral.â
Club Offers Solace To Gun-loving Liberals
Josh Richman @ mercurynews.com
But Marlene Hoeber, president of the Northern California chapter of the Liberal Gun Club, wants the world to know that lefty politics and a love for guns and gun rights aren't mutually exclusive.
Dems' new 2014 plan: Neutralize Obamacare
POLITICO MAGAZINE @ politico.com
Republicans scoff at the notion that voters will forgive Democrats for the health care law.
Economic Stimulus: 5 Years After Recovery Act, Obama Says It Worked | Time.com
Five years ago Monday, President Barack Obama visited the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to sign the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, his $800 billion stimulus bill. At the time, the U.S. economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month. In the fourth quarter of 2008, it had contracted at an 8% annual rate, a Depression-level free fall.
Obama Tees Off On Larry Ellison's Private Course
RANCHO MIRAGE -- President Barack Obama is teeing off on a private California golf course owned by supporter Larry Ellison, the billionaire co-founder of the Oracle software company.
Former Bell Council Members Weigh Deal For Guilty Pleas
Jeff Gottlieb @ latimes.com
After prosecutor offers 4-year prison terms for guilty pleas, ex-Bell heads must agree on whether to accept or again stand trial.
Fines for unpaid Golden Gate Bridge tolls bring in millions
the way, Jackie Safier happens to be president of @ sfgate.com
Having switched to all- electronic toll collections, the Golden Gate Bridge district may be looking at a windfall gain of millions of dollars in fines from motorists who don't pay up in time. Under the system installed last March, drivers who don't have a FasTrak transponder can either pay tolls in person or get a bill in the mail. [...] while the agency missed out on $1.7 million in toll revenue, it more than made up for the loss - collecting $2.95 million in fines from just 119,851 of those motorists, records show. Real estate tongues are wagging over the seemingly cozy relationship between a UCSF Foundation board member and one of the three finalists bidding for the rights to build housing on the university's 10-acre Laurel Heights campus. UCSF spokeswoman Barbara French tells us that Jackie Safier last attended a real estate committee meeting in October 2012 - two months before the bids were issued - and resigned her committee post in May to avoid any appearance of impropriety. [...] Jackie Safier happens to be president of Prometheus Real Estate Group - the company that tried to buy the Lake Merced Golf Course in Daly City last year for an eye-popping $321 million in hopes of developing the site.
Flood Irrigation Still Common, But Drip Method Is Gaining Ground
Matt Weiser @ sacbee.com
Farmer Tom Muller examines a drip irrigation line in a field of garlic at his farm in Woodland on Thursday, February 13, 2014.
Generic Drug Makers Fight Rule On Health Risk Warnings
David G. Savage @ latimes.com
Generic drug makers are fighting a proposed FDA regulation that would require them to warn patients of each drug's known health risks.
Washington Post Journalists Win Polk Awards
Five Washington Post journalists are among the 30 recipients of one of journalism’s biggest prizes this year, honored for work that includes disclosures about the federal government’s extensive surveillance programs.