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THE NOONER for June 17, 2014
It was twenty years ago today,
Seriously, is anyone reading this, or are you all watching Brazil v. México? ¡Viva México! Speaking of, the Taiwanese animators give us the highlights of yesterday's win by the U.S. over Ghana.
Happy Tuesday from Burlingame, in Mighty Mullin's district. A reader pointed out yesterday that Assemblymember Kevin Mullin took a step forward on the signature validation issue that I ranted about yesterday with his AB 1135. The bill, which went into effect January 1, allows additional forms to be submitted demonstrating the evolution of a voter's chicken-scratch.
A process similar to this was used in the razor-thin (133 vote) win by Democrat Christine Gregoire in Washington's 2004 gubernatorial race, reports another reader. He writes that 1,000 "rehabilitated" ballots were turned in that likely were the margin of victory.
Signatures and late ballots may be the deciders in the election for state controller. The AP's Michael R. Blood reports:
In the state's June 3 primary, Los Angeles County received about 2,400 mail-in ballots after the Election Day deadline — the close of polls — making them ineligible to be tallied. The number of latecomers invalidated in Santa Cruz County was nearly 600, all postmarked on or before the election. The postmark isn't the deciding factor — the cutoff is the close of polls, when election officials must have the ballots in-hand.
Meanwhile, Seema Mehta writes in California's least-populous county takes voting seriously:
In Alpine County — the least populous of the state's 58 counties and fondly referred to as the California Alps — all residents vote by mail, one of only two counties to do so in the state. Alpine instituted all-mail balloting in 1989 because of its tiny yet sprawling population — fewer than 1,200 residents spread across 743 square miles — and because voters were often stymied going to the polls in November by deep drifts of snow.
CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: As expected, Kevin de León was elected President Pro Tempore of the State Senate. He'll move into the second floor office on October 15, after the end of this year's session.
LA-LA LAND: Garcetti drops an F-bomb at Kings celebration — and there's fallout [LAT]:
Garcetti, who was wearing a Kings jersey and carrying a bottle of Bud Light, set up the joke for the audience at the Kings celebration, telling them that there are two long-standing rules for politicians: "They say never, ever be pictured with a drink in your hand and never swear. But this is a big"— he then raised his bottle and uttered a seven-letter obscenity — "day."
GO WEST: Animated Mean Center of Population for the United States: 1790 to 2010 [Census Bureau h/t Kottke.org]
CONTEST: If you're not feeling good about your ranking, you might like to know how you compare to the "Wisdom of the Crowd," which aggregates all of the choices of participants. Mr. Wisdom received 143 votes, which puts it in 127th place, or 48th on the point ranking scale.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Mark Stone!
Controller update after the jump!
Yesterday, only Napa County reported additional ballots, which added 68 to the margin for John A. Pérez. Pérez now leads Betty Yee by 388 votes. Los Angeles, which has 30,232 ballots left to review and process, plans its next update this afternoon. Statewide, there are 178,805 ballots left to process.
The model still hasn't changed, although when we're this close, reality can easily throw off a model.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
The green lawn: American staple or water waster?
The 45-year-old construction worker, who bought a house in Dublin to raise a family two decades ago, respects his community's new restrictions on watering. [...] he's not quite ready to part with a healthy patch of grass that surrounds a cement letter "N" he installed to honor his favorite college football team, the University of Nebraska. Groundskeepers are reluctantly letting the grass at Sacramento's Capitol Park die off, while legislators are considering laws to make sure homeowners associations don't punish residents for not running the sprinklers. Strict water rulesIn East Bay suburbs like Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore, where some of California's strictest water rules are now in place, subdivisions are already turning into tapestries of yellows and browns as households, sometimes begrudgingly, cut back water use. With the local water district capping consumption at 640 gallons per day per home, as well as limiting outdoor watering to two days a week, Schofield thinks he can keep the Nebraska shrine in his backyard alive as well as the flowers he maintains out front. Schofield planted his azaleas when his mother was fighting breast cancer. David Roth, manager of Dublin's Armstrong Garden Center, says many who shop at his store are emotionally invested in their green grass. "When a lot of us were growing up, a green lawn was a symbol of a peaceful, prosperous home," said Roth, who stocks plenty of drought-tolerant alternatives to grass at his store. If the dry weather persists, a front yard without green grass may become like a Prius in the driveway - a symbol of environmental consciousness. Some homes along Dublin's quiet streets and cul-de-sacs have signs out front, courtesy of the water district, to clear up any confusion about whether the grass is yellow due to conservation or neglect. The agency gets most of its water from the State Water Project, which has reduced water distributions this year because of low mountain runoff. Saving water, lawn The joys of a green lawn don't necessarily have to be sacrificed to the drought, water experts say - even with reductions in household water use of 20 percent or more. A handful of landscaping techniques can help keep a yard alive and well with just limited watering, experts say.
New Budget's New Spending Sets Stage For Future Political Infighting
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
The political infighting over the next state budget began Sunday night, just minutes after the Legislature passed one that would spend $156.4 billion â $200 billion-plus when federal funds are included â in the fiscal year that begins July 1.
S.F. archbishop: March for Marriage is not anti-LGBT
Cordileone addressed the letter to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and several other politicians and groups that advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights. Before being named to lead the 560,000-member San Francisco archdiocese in 2012, Cordileone was one of the main backers of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that California voters approved to ban same-sex marriage. Without referring to Prop. 8, Cordileone wrote Monday that "simply for taking a stand for marriage as it has been understood in every human society for millennia, people have lost their jobs, lost their livelihoods, and have suffered other types of retribution, including physical violence."
Senate OKs campaign fundraising blackout periods
Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
The state Senate has approved a bill establishing campaign fundraising blackout periods for state lawmakers and legislative candidates.
Senate Investigations Probe Sergeant-at-arms Shooting
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
The California Senate will spend more than $40,000 on private contractors to investigate security concerns raised by an in-house law enforcement officer who was found to have used cocaine and marijuana the night he was involved in a fatal off-duty shooting.
Sacramento Region Reduces Water Use By 18 Percent - Capradio.org
New data from the Regional Water Authority show customers in the Sacramento region reduced their water use by 18 percent from February to May, compared to the previous two years.
'Audrie's Law' juvenile rape bill stalls in Assembly committee
The Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill toughening penalties for juveniles who commit sex crimes, dubbed "Audrie's Law" after a 15-year-old assault victim who committed suicide, but the measure stalled Tuesday in the Assembly Public Safety Committee.
Supervisor Jane Kim seeks 30% threshold for affordable housing
San Francisco residential builders are facing off against affordable housing advocates over a proposed November ballot measure designed to ensure that 30 percent of all new units are below market rate. The measure, proposed by Supervisor Jane Kim, would hold market-rate developers to more rigorous and time-consuming environmental scrutiny anytime the ratio of affordable housing in the city's development pipeline slips below the 30 percent threshold. The idea, Kim said, is to create a more balanced spectrum of residential development at a time when housing costs in San Francisco are the fastest rising in the United States, jumping 20 percent since March 2013. Crafting a compromiseWhile the city is in the midst of a building boom, with more than 4,000 units under construction or recently completed, most of the development focuses on well-paid tech workers moving here to work for fast-growing companies such as Uber, Twitter and Salesforce. 'A very high bar'Colen, along with Erickson and other developers, argues that the focus should be on finding more public money for affordable housing rather than making it more difficult to build market-rate projects. Developer John Stewart, whose company is building 742 affordable units in Hunters Point, said Kim's 30 percent goal is laudable but particularly unrealistic given that Gov. Jerry Brown has abolished redevelopment agencies, which used tax increment financing to help fund more than 10,000 affordable housing units in San Francisco.
New budget’s new spending sets stage for future political infighting
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
The new state budget has some new spending, which sets the stage for future budget infighting.
Southern California School Districts Outperform State In Cutting Suspensions
Teresa Watanabe @ latimes.com
School districts in four of five Southern California counties outperformed the state average in reducing suspensions last year amid growing calls nationwide to find more effective ways to correct student misbehavior.
State Democrats honor party chairman Burton
Adulation rained down on California Democratic Party chairman John Burton during a Monday event launching a new party headquarters bearing Burton’s name. An impressive roster of statewide elected officials, members of the Legislature and of Congress converged at S and Ninth streets in Sacramento for the dedication. Formerly a Wishing Well party store, the building has since has transformed into a sparkling new LEED-certified structure boasting solar panels and charging stations for electrical vehicles.
SF's new energy plan could reap millions at PG&E's expense
San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission would be given the option to provide hydropower to nearly all new developments in the city under legislation being introduced Tuesday to the Board of Supervisors that could help raise millions of dollars a year for streetlights and other underfunded infrastructure. [...] the proposal by Supervisor Scott Wiener also could take a big bite out of Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s future customer base by allowing the SFPUC to sell cleaner power from the Hetch Hetchy water system to private customers. Currently, the PUC provides the hydropower from Hetch Hetchy to public agencies in San Francisco at a deep discount, and sells any excess power on the wholesale market to residential and commercial customers at one-quarter of the price it could get under normal market pricing. City officials have been working to expand the agency's customer base in recent years, signing deals to sell power to the new Transbay Transit Center and the Hunters Point Shipyard housing development when they are completed. A matter of choiceThis legislation, which will be co-sponsored by Supervisor London Breed, would change city law so that the SFPUC, instead of PG&E, can choose whether to be the power provider to any new public projects and private developments that are larger than 10 units or 10,000 square feet.
What California state workers earn: SEIU Local 1000 – part 2
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
With raises kicking in for most California state employees on July 1, The State Worker is taking a look at 2013 salaries by union bargaining unit.
Iraq: Senate Republicans ask Obama for an action plan
Bradley Klapper @ mercurynews.com
The Senate's top Republican says President Barack Obama must present a strategy against the extremists who are gaining ground in Iraq and could threaten the United States.
State Architect: Fixing Seismic Oversight For Schools A ‘high Priority’ | Kqed News Fix
Corey G. Johnson, @ blogs.kqed.org
by Corey G. Johnson, California Watch
U.S. Official Defends FBI's Secret Inquiry Into Detainees' Lawyers
FBI committed no wrongdoing with a secret inquiry into the Sept. 11 defense teams, lawyer tells military judge at Guantanamo Bay.
New Child Care Spending A Good First Step :: Si&a Cabinet Report :: The Essential Resource For Superintendents And The Cabinet
Alisha Kirby @ cabinetreport.com
The $264 million Fair Start proposal aims to invest in early learning and childcare programs and increase the quality of current ones over the course of a few years.
Kenya president blames local leaders, not al-Shabab, for attacks that killed 60
Jason Straziuso @ mercurynews.com
President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a nationally televised address, said evidence indicates that local political leaders inside Kenya were behind what he termed ethnically motivated violence. The Somali militant group al-Shabab had claimed responsibility for two nights of attacks near the tourist resort island of Lamu that targeted non-Muslims.
Iraqi Forces Battle Rebels In Baqubah; Prisoners Reportedly Slain
Forces loyal to the Iraqi government repulsed an insurgent attack on a provincial town northeast of Baghdad, state media reported Tuesday, as Iraqi troops bolstered defenses around the capital.
Palo Alto: Council votes to review partnership proposal for new animal shelter
Jason Green @ mercurynews.com
The Palo Alto City Council voted unanimously Monday to consider a joint public-private partnership proposal from the Palo Alto Humane Society that would see the nonprofit organization build and manage a new animal shelter. The city, meanwhile, would provide the land and animal control services.
Thousands of mail-in ballots too late to count
Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
Thousands of mail-in ballots in California's primary election will be set aside because they arrived too late to be counted.
Oakland residents reject pair of obelisks as public art
There is little disagreement in Oakland or most other towns that public street art installations can help enliven an area and create a recognizable symbol immediately identifying a particular neighborhood. The latest clash over artistic style - or the lack of it - involves a pair of 20-foot-high obelisks planned as a gateway entrance to Oakland's Temescal District, an increasingly popular North Oakland neighborhood. The project was initiated by the Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District, an association of more than 200 property owners, primarily on Telegraph Avenue, who pay a premium on their property taxes to fund the special district. Karen Hester, an event planner and community activist who has fought against a BevMo liquor store on Telegraph Avenue and lighted billboards on the Oakland side of the Bay Bridge, weighed in against the project and assembled supporters. The sign was removed shortly after the vote, but not before county officials paid a Washington state artist $106,000 to build the 14 1/2 foot steel and aluminum sign that stood on the boulevard at the entrance to the city on Redwood Road. The business improvement district is certainly on the right track in its efforts to gussy up Telegraph Avenue storefronts and public spaces to enhance the quality of life, but when it comes to art, I rely on the advice given to me on a T-shirt an old friend used to wear.
Obama To Sign Executive Order Curbing Discrimination Against Gays
President Obama plans to sign an executive order forbidding companies that do business with the federal government from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, fulfilling a goal that gay rights organizations have sought for years.