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THE NOONER for November 18, 2014

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Indian tribes competing to build huge casino in Vallejo - "The ink is barely dry on the rejection that California voters dealt in this month's election to an off-reservation tribal casino plan in the Central Valley, but already two similar proposals have popped up — right in the heart of the Bay Area."

My problem with this story is the connotation that the No on Prop 48 campaign was an anti-gaming effort. Yes, there was a front woman from a group against gambling, but the fact is that the $13.3 million raised was almost all from competing gaming interests. The on or off-reservation debate was competitive, not policy-based. I have no position on this issue, and believe arguments on both sides. However, don't believe there was a policy decision by the voters on the Madera casino. There was just a great campaign against it and little money in favor of it.

Democrats lash out at Nancy Pelosi [John Bresnehan @ Lauren French @ Politico] - "The list of grievances — from the election losses, to routine procedures erupting into nasty fights — has shaken the confidence many Democrats hold in their leader. So while Pelosi was reelected unanimously by voice vote to the top House Democratic post on Tuesday during a closed-door party meeting — with no audible disagreement, according to a source in the room — the incoming minority leader is about to be in the worst position with her caucus since the end of their short-lived majority in 2010."

Interesting PAC: "Coalition for Excellence."

#CAKEDAY: Birthday greetings to Bryan Ha, Carlos MarquezDennis MeyersMartin Radosevich, and Ace Smith!




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Indian tribes competing to build huge casino in Vallejo
Kevin Fagan @
The ink is barely dry on the rejection that California voters dealt in this month’s election to an off-reservation tribal casino plan in the Central Valley, but already two similar proposals have popped up — right in the heart of the Bay Area. Two Pomo Indian bands are competing to build a casino on the long-closed Navy base of Mare Island in Vallejo, and they promise that if they get the go-ahead they will construct a gaming palace the likes of which the state has never seen. Between $10 million and $20 million will gush into the economically battered city’s coffers every year, the tribes promise, thousands of jobs will be created, and what is now a wasteland on the closed base will blossom into a tourist magnet. Early plans show that the casino would rise on the northeastern tip of Mare Island, turning what is now a 157-acre stretch of weed-flecked asphalt and abandoned Navy buildings into a colorful playland of more than 3,000 slot machines and hotel rooms, shops, concert venues and high-end restaurants. Perhaps the biggest catch is the requirement that whichever tribe wins Vallejo’s blessing must first have that tip of Mare Island federally designated as its land — meaning it would suddenly constitute a tiny sovereign Indian nation right on the waterfront of Vallejo. The other, the 50-member Koi Nation of Northern California, has no land, having been forced from the last of its Clear Lake-area territory in 1956 when the federal government sold it to build an airport. The Elem would need an act of Congress to have the Mare Island property turned over to them and the Koi would need federal Bureau of Indian Affairs authorization — and both would need approval from the state Legislature and the governor to go ahead with a casino. The plans got their first rollouts to the public at a nearly five-hour-long Vallejo City Council meeting Thursday, but in the weeks before that, statewide gambling opponents were already raising objections in letters to the city. Leaders of Vallejo, which has been economically battered by the summer earthquake and a bankruptcy that ended in 2011, are eager to bring in the kind of money being dangled by the tribes. Councilwoman Pippin Dew-Costa said she was concerned that a tribe coming in from out of the area would encounter the same type of political buzz saw that the North Fork Tribe of Mono Indians ran into when it planned a casino alongside Highway 99 in Madera, 38 miles from the closest thing the tribe had to its own property. Gambling opponents put Proposition 48 on the Nov. 4 ballot, saying the tribe was “reservation shopping” when it had the Madera land federally designated for its use. “These two new proposals have the same problem as the North Fork casino, and to me if they go through, it’s like a snowball starting to roll downhill,” said Cheryl Schmit, director of gambling watchdog group Stand Up for California and leader of the Prop. 48 campaign. A casino would draw customers away from existing restaurants and other entertainment businesses, Schmit said, as well as fuel gambling addiction because it would be within easy reach of densely populated areas. Neither tribe is claiming that Vallejo was an ancestral homeland, but the Pomos did travel through the area and trade with the local Ohlone and Miwok, tribal members said at Thursday’s council meeting. The Elem band has drawn headlines over the years for tribal infighting, including a reservation shootout in 1995 that left nine wounded and the expulsion in 2007 of an elder who supporters said was the last speaker of the tribe’s 8,000-year-old language. The present Elem rancheria is so contaminated by mercury and arsenic from a long-closed nearby mine that it is a Superfund site, so “there is a breach of trust with our people regarding our land,” Garcia said.

Is Local Tax Measure Success A Sign Of Things To Come? :: Fox&hounds
The two largest categories of revenue instruments were general fund city taxes requiring a majority vote and school bonds requiring a 55% vote. Of city general fund taxes 61 of 88 passed, or 69%. School bonds fared even better with 80% of the 112 measures passing. School parcel taxes requiring a two-thirds vote were perfect on Election Day with all eight passing.

With Japan In Recession, Abe Calls Elections In Bid To Delay Tax Hike
With his nation in an unexpected recession, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday called early parliamentary elections to seek public backing for a delay in a scheduled tax increase that could worsen economic conditions.

Dems Urge Obama To Act On Immigration
By Josh Richman Monday, November 17th, 2014 at 1:29 pm in Barack Obama, Barbara Boxer, Immigration, Jeff Denham, Nancy Pelosi, Obama presidency, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.

California Tax Revenue Beating Estimates | The Sacramento Bee
David Siders @
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Marin Photogs Shut Business Rather Than Shoot Same-sex Weddings - Sfgate
Evan Sernoffsky @
Confronted over their decision not to take pictures at same-sex weddings, a Bay Area photography company opted to permanently put on its lens caps and shut its doors, according to a statement

Senate debates Keystone XL pipeline bill as vote approaches
The Senate is debating down to the final hours before a vote expected Tuesday night over whether to authorize the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

Global warning labels coming to Berkeley, S.F. gas pumps?
Libby Rainey @
Drivers filling up at gas stations in Berkeley and San Francisco may soon get a shot of accountability along with their petroleum, with stickers on pumps warning that burning fuel contributes to global warming. Advocates say the proposed warning labels — which would be the first of their kind in the country — could make a difference in reducing Bay Area residents’ carbon footprints, while oil-industry opponents see a politically motivated attack on free speech. The Berkeley City Council will decide Tuesday whether to take a big step toward requiring the stickers on each gas pump in the city, voting on a pair of similar proposals. A mock-up written by the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office states, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that a typical passenger vehicle burning one gallon of fuel produces on average almost 20 pounds of tailpipe carbon dioxide, which the EPA has determined is the primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to recent climate change.” An environmental group fighting for the labels, 350 Bay Area, compares them to health warnings on cigarette packaging. “Right now, it’s normal and socially acceptable to burn fossil fuels in our society, and this is in contradiction to the science of global warming,” said Jamie Brooks, a campaign manager for 350 Bay Area. Polly Armstrong, who heads the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, said she’d prefer to see the city use funds to encourage residents to buy hybrid cars, rather than discourage gas consumption. If the Berkeley council votes in favor of the labels Tuesday, the city’s Office of Energy and Sustainable Development will then draft a formal ordinance for the council’s approval with input from the City Attorney. Carbon dioxide emissions make up over half of Berkeley’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the city.

Bill to Curb N.S.A. Faces Uncertainty in Senate
The Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday night on whether to consider legislation to end a program the collects phone records, but opposition has been mounting.

Gov. Jerry Brown Lets State Supreme Court Vacancy Linger - Sfgate
Bob Egelko @
The California

Appeals Court Weighs Fate Of Sunnyvale Gun Law | News Fix | Kqed News
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco is weighing an attempt by the National Rifle Association to overturn Sunnyvale’s voter-approved ban on firearms magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

Costa Mesa Mayor Keeps His Council Seat By 47 Votes
Ending two weeks of ballot counting, Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer edged out his closest challenger to hold onto his council seat, according to unofficial results released Monday night.

Mimi Walters Elected To House GOP Leadership | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @
Be sure to include your name, daytime phone number, address, name and phone number of legal next-of-kin, method of payment, and the name of the funeral home/crematory to contact for verification of death.

Massive Starfish Die-off In Pacific Ocean Linked To Mystery Virus
Paul Rogers @
The epidemic, which threatens to reshape the coastal food web and change the makeup of tide pools for years to come, appears to be driven by a previously unidentified virus, a team of more than a dozen researchers from Cornell University, UC Santa Cruz, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and other institutions reported Monday.

Tax Attorney Used Ids Of Dead Children To Avoid Taxes
A former tax attorney who used the IDs of dead children to avoid paying taxes has been sentenced to prison.

Republicans, Twitter And The Brave New World Of Campaign/outside Group Coordination
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Marisa Lagos and Jill Tucker @
San Francisco restaurant and retail workers could soon have more predictable schedules, more opportunity for full-time work and more rights in general after the Board of Supervisors’ budget committee sent two proposed ordinances to the full board over the objections of the business community. Mar’s proposal, known as the Retail Workers Bill of Rights, would discourage on-call scheduling, require four hours pay when an employee is on call or sent home early, require businesses to offer extra hours to part-time workers before they hire new employees, and prohibit employers from discriminating against employees who have commitments such as caregiving or school. Chiu’s ordinance focuses on predictable schedules, calling on formula retail stores to post workers’ schedules 14 days in advance, giving workers extra pay for last-minute shift cancellations or changes to the schedule, requiring the payment of a set amount for unused on-call shifts and giving part-time workers the same access as full-time workers to requests for time off and particular work schedules. [...] business advocates, including Chamber of Commerce Vice President Jim Lazarus, told the supervisors that they still have concerns with several provisions, including the requirement that schedules be posted two weeks in advance. The business community’s biggest hangup, however, is the directive to offer part-time employees extra hours before they hire additional workers, saying it sounds like a good idea but in reality ties managers’ hands. The San Francisco school board will take up a resolution Tuesday that would bring gun-safety lessons into schools and require the district to send information home about gun safety and disposal. The resolution, authored by board member Matt Haney, includes 29 “whereas” clauses citing statistics on gun violence; describing Violence Prevention Month (November); publicizing the city’s Dec. 13 gun buyback; and noting Dec. 14 as the two-year anniversary of the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The district would also be required to send home information to families telling them “the best way to reduce gun related injury in children is to remove guns from the home.” Guns are one of the leading causes of death among children in San Francisco, and incidents of violence have deep and long-lasting impacts on school communities, affecting students and staff socially, emotionally and academically.

On eve of leadership vote, Nancy Pelosi lays out post-election strategy
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) announced plans Monday to broaden her leadership team ahead of her expected reelection as the House Democratic leader, the first steps in an ambitious strategy designed to put the party in a stronger position to regain seats in coming elections.

Campaign Finance: Mayday, a Super PAC to Fight Super PACs, Stumbles in Its First Outing
But its founder, Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard law school professor who has long opposed big money in politics, is not giving up.