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THE NOONER for August 11, 2014
Well, well, well The water debate has gone subterranean as Democrats seek to push through a groundwater management proposal before the session ends. The LAT’s Melanie Mason reports:
Groundwater regulation has been politically poisonous since the state's founding. But lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown's administration are hoping to capitalize on the current parched conditions, and cautious cooperation from once-resistant interest groups, to pass a plan for a groundwater management system by the end of the month.
"This falls under the category of: Never let a crisis go to waste," said Assemblyman Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento), an author of the legislation.
There are no statewide rules on how much water can be taken from the ground. Since the Gold Rush days, groundwater has been considered a property right; landowners are entitled to what's beneath them.
As the availability of water from lakes and rivers has become more inconsistent because of drought or environmental regulation, groundwater extraction has increased. That has caused more water to be removed from some underground basins, especially in the agriculture-rich San Joaquin Valley, than is being replaced.
From our Darkest Before the Dawn files, looks like its now or never for a renegotiated water bond. All kinds of coverage this morning, including this from the Chron’s Melody Gutierrez.
State voter guides listing ballot measures are scheduled to go to the printer Monday night, making that the deadline to remove the water bond currently on the ballot, according to the secretary of state's office.
Lawmakers can extend the deadline for changing the water bond on the ballot if they approve printing a second voter guide at a cost of several million dollars.
But first, any new water bond would need to clear significant hurdles to win widespread support from legislators and Brown.
Inside the Lines A bill by Sen. Alex Padilla could have wide-ranging implications for political districts around the state – and could ultimately fasttrack a second Latino district on the LA Board of Supes.
Abby Sewell reports: The way Los Angeles County — among others jurisdictions — has drawn districts for elected officials could face a legal challenge in California if a bill, introduced by state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), becomes law.
The bill would “allow challenges to systems where officials are elected by district. If the legislation is enacted and violations of the law are found, a judge could order the local government to redraw district lines or increase the number of seats on the elected body to ensure minority voters are treated equally.”
The LA Times has a new publisher: Austin Beutner. “In 2010, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Beutner deputy mayor of economic development, or "jobs czar," overseeing 13 city departments and the Port of Los Angeles. He helped to streamline the business-permitting process and led the effort to pass a tax break to lure companies to Los Angeles.
Beutner accepted a $1-a-year salary and held the job for 15 months. In April 2011 he filed papers to explore a run for mayor. Espousing a business-friendly platform, he was critical of City Hall, at one point calling it a “barnyard,” an assessment he still stands by.
He dropped out of the race after a year, saying he wanted to spend more time with his wife, Virginia, who is a former book editor, and four children.”
Beutner was also part of a team, along with Eli Broad, that has explored buying the paper. Developing…
Special delivery. The Uber of pot is facing as much political heat as the real Uber. From our Only in San Francisco files: “The latest industry to be "disrupted" is a lot more interesting than parking. It's pot - and now it's the Department of Public Health's turn to figure out how and whether to regulate the, ahem, hazy new landscape.
As The Chronicle reported recently, there's a new San Francisco startup called Eaze that bills itself as the "Uber of pot" because it allows medical marijuana patients to use their smartphones to order pot and have it delivered by people driving their own vehicles. No word yet on whether there will be big fluffy green marijuana leaves on the cars' grilles to identify them.
Well, now there's some, um, buzz around City Hall that Eaze could be the latest cutting-edge technology to face scrutiny from city officials - and it's already caught the attention of Herrera's office.
In the spotlight: Timm Herdt profiles the incoming pro tem.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Ventura Pension Vote Blocked, Summit This Fall? | Calpensions
Backers of a Ventura County pension reform initiative, which was removed from the November ballot by a judge last week, are not appealing the ruling. But they may meet with other reformers after the elections this fall to discuss a statewide pension reform initiative.
Editorial: Two bonds on California’s November ballot are too many bonds
the Editorial Board @ sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown has been frugal when it comes to saddling the state with more debt, even when it is for a good cause. It has taken an extreme drought to get him to consider a water bond for the November ballot. Even so, he’s been labeled a cheapskate by legislators and others who think his $6 billion water bond proposal is so low as to be laughable.
Storage, Tunnels Clog Water Bond Talks As Deadline Nears - Capradio.org
Gov. Jerry Brown and California lawmakers are already living on borrowed time as they negotiate a measure to replace the $11 billion water bond on the November ballot.
Proposal Could Create More Voting Districts Anchored By Minorities
Minority groups seeking more influence in local government would have a potentially powerful new tool at their disposal under a proposed expansion of the California Voting Rights Act.
University Of California Steps Up Out-of-state Recruiting
Alexei Koseff @ sacbee.com
Pushed to look for alternative sources of revenue amid the deep budget cuts of the economic recession, schools in the UC system increasingly are recruiting nonresident applicants, who likely will make up a fifth of all freshman for fall 2014. Even as state funding has begun to recover, campuses rely on substantial additional fees paid by out-of-state and international students who have brought in hundreds of millions of dollars for the university system in recent years.
Sacramento Press Club plays favorites in state controller's race
Less than 90 days from the November election, the Sacramento press corps is once again playing favorites in a competitive election. This time, the media bias may surprise you.
The Buzz: Former gubernatorial candidate Glenn Champ arrested
David Siders and Jim Miller @ sacbee.com
Tye “Glenn” Champ, a former gubernatorial candidate best known for his status as a registered sex offender, was arrested Friday in connection with the shooting of a neighbor and a horse.
California Lawmakers Struggle To Agree On Lower-cost Water Bond - Sfgate
As Clock Ticks, Chances For Water Bond Fade
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Feinstein Squares Off With Obama | Thehill
Alexander Bolton @ thehill.com
Feinstein, the senior senator from California and chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has repeatedly battled the administration on a string of different issues.
California state revenue beats expectations in July
David Siders @ sacbee.com
California’s improving budget outlook has continued into the new fiscal year, with revenue last month beating estimates by about $232 million, or 4.5 percent, the state controller said Monday.
University of Maine at Augusta president leaving
Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
The president of the University of Maine at Augusta is leaving to take a job in California.
Chances Of A Crude Oil Train Fire Are Low But Mounting In Sacramento
Tony Bizjak @ sacbee.com
Crews arrive at the site of the 2013 oil train derailment and fire in Lac-Megantic, Canada, that killed 47 people and leveled blocks.
Primary Incomplete But Odds Are Long For Senate Challenger In Hawaii
Hawaii’s Democratic primary election may stretch for weeks due to storm-related voting delays, but the challenger in an acrimonious and achingly close U.S. Senate race faces an uphill struggle to win.
California Drought: Regulations Limiting Groundwater Pumping Under Consideration By Lawmakers
GOP Magical Thinking: Pathway Is Crucial To Latinos
No shit, Sherlock. As Calbuzz has explained over and over and over again, when asked to list the top issues, Latinos, like everyone else, cite education, the economy and security, depending on conditions at any given time.
This L.A. Cop Gets The Drop On Water Offenders
Rick Silva began his investigation at the end of an alley, on a hot day in L.A.'s Westlake community. Driving down a busy thoroughfare, he spied water runoff on a sidewalk.
A look at California legislation on sexual assault
The California State Assembly is expected to vote on legislation this month that would require colleges that receive state funds for student assistance to adopt an 'affirmative consent standard' as part of their sexual assault policies in determining allegations from a complainant.
Ex-Google Engineer to Lead Fix-It Team for Government Websites
Mikey Dickerson, who helped repair HealthCare.gov, is leaving Google permanently to be the administrator of the new United States Digital Services Team.
Rock the Vote bands target ID fight
JEFF SMITH @ politico.com
Musicians throw their voices behind the coalition, speaking out against voter ID laws.
The New Health Care: Medicaid Rolls Are Growing Even in States That Rejected Federal Funds
Many people who were always eligible for the program realized they could sign up, in part because of widespread discussion about the Affordable Care Act.
Sailors Test Polluted Waters At 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic Site
The organizers of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro concluded their first major test event over the weekend, holding a world-class regatta at a venue where water pollution has been of significant concern.