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THE NOONER for December 22, 2014


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DOLLARS AND SENSE: Jerry Brown's budget: Five things to watch [David Siders & Jim Miller @ SacBee] - "Gov. Jerry Brown's January budget proposal is just around the corner, and it’s the event every lawmaker, lobbyist and chief financial officer in your life will be talking about over the holidays."

SD09 (Alameda): Former Assemblymember Wilma Chan (D) is looking to return to the Capitol in an effort to succeed Loni Hancock. Also interested in the seat are former Assemblymembers Nancy Skinner (D) and Sandre Swanson (D).

SD21 (Santa Clarita/Antelope): Knight plans to keep Senate seat for as long as possible [Luke Money @ SCV Signal] - Steve "Knight said in an interview last week that he does not plan to resign his Senate seat until shortly before he is sworn into Congress, largely because the area will likely be without a Senate representative for several months during the special election process that is required to fill the seat."

I'm a big fan of Steve's, but I have to call him out on this explanation. The "ideal" time to resign would have been immediately after the November election. Who cares whether a district is represented when the Legislature is not in session? An immediate resignation would have allowed a January/March special. Resigning when Congress convenes will lead to a March/May special, meaning the district won't be represented through the busy part of the legislative session.

Legislators generally don't resign until the last minute, and that's the same this cycle (De Saulnier, Knight, Walters). Why give up $16,000 in salary if you don't have to?

AD39 (E. San Fernando): Whispering campaign sprouts against Assemblywoman Patty Lopez [Rick Orlov @ Daily News] - Raul "Bocanegra supporters are stirring up a whispering campaign on everything from Lopez's skipping out on an orientation meeting for new members to her breaking Assembly rules in her hiring. As for Bocanegra, who has maintained a low profile since the election, he's staying out of the direct fray over Lopez and is instead focusing on opening a campaign committee for 2016. Look for a more heated campaign against Lopez, whom he pretty much ignored in this last race."

iCARLY: Carly Fiorina ramping up long-shot bid for White House [Josh Richman @ MercNews] - Carly "Fiorina, 60, is energetically declaring "the end of the Obama era" at national conservative conferences, paying not-so-subtle visits to Iowa and New Hampshire, and wooing potential contributors and fresh staffers for what looks like a presidential bid by the only woman -- at least, so far -- in the GOP field."

DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON YOUR WAY OUT: 2014: You are history! [JibJab]



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Oakland police say protests hinder crime-fighting efforts
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross @
Oakland police who already lost Thanksgiving Day with their families so they could keep an eye on street protests could wind up spending Christmas Day on the job as well.

Tackling The Big Debt That Lawmakers Let Balloon
Ed Mendel @
A cost-cutting move by the administration of former Gov. Pete Wilson began requiring active state workers to pay some of the cost of their health care. No change was made in the payment for health care promised when they retired.

Promising vision, at last, for Golden State Warriors arena
After two years of false starts, political drama and a round of toilet jokes, the vision of a San Francisco home for the Golden State Warriors is starting to look real — and it’s a promising vision at that. Instead of an isolated object best viewed from a blimp, as was the case with the arena concepts for Piers 30-32 just south of the Bay Bridge, we’d have the concentrated drama of a major destination within an urban setting. Portions of the roof would extend out from the main form with sliced angles that suggest motion, as if a giant unseen hand from above was giving the structure a good spin. The main entrance would be a plaza from Third Street between South and 16th streets, where a Muni light rail line stops en route to Market Street and the Financial District. When lead architect David Manica made his presentation earlier this month to the Mission Bay Citizens Advisory Committee, he stressed that the concept isn’t yet a full design. The conceptual nature is even more apparent along Third Street, where the entry plaza would be flanked by office buildings, 90 feet high along the plaza and 160 feet on the outer edges. For all its sleek curves, the proposed arena has a more conventional look than what was proposed for Piers 30-32 by Snøhetta, a firm founded in Norway and best known locally for the addition to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art now taking shape. The arena project can shake things up — as a swirling silver counterpart to a static scene, and as an attraction that puts people on the streets during both day and night. There also will be a renewed emphasis on Third Street, which too much of Mission Bay treats as a back alley despite the presence of the light rail line. There’s no visible political opposition — unlike the case on the Embarcadero, where the quest for a TV-friendly icon stirred fears of waterfront change that led to a successful ballot initiative in June that gave voters the final say over any project on port-owned land that seeks height above what now is allowed.

Studies Tout Value Of State's Almond Growers, Green Energy, Latinos
Marc Lifsher @
It's that time of year when public relations firms roll out impressive numbers to boost clients' images at the Capitol. Interest groups fill a holiday news vacuum by releasing specially commissioned economic studies. The reports are jammed full of data showing, not surprisingly, large amounts of jobs created, money spent and taxes paid.

O.C. Delegation Frowns On Budget
The last-minute budget bill signed into law by President Barack Obama last week would never have passed Congress if it had been up to Orange County’s House members.

California Puzzles Over Safety Of Driverless Cars | The Sacramento Bee
California's Department of Motor Vehicles will miss a year-end deadline to adopt new rules for cars of the future because regulators first have to figure out how they'll know whether "driverless" vehicles are safe.

Brace Yourselves For A Nasty Flu Season In Bay Area - Sfgate
Erin Allday @
And as a backup, doctors and other health care providers may need to rely more heavily on antivirals to treat people who get the flu, CDC Director Dr.

The 113th congress Was The Second Least Productive In History
David Knowles @
Thanks to a last minute flurry of activity in the nation's capitol, this year's Congress narrowly avoided taking the title of  the"Do-Nothing Congress" of all time. 

West Sacramento Says No To Ethanol Trains | The Sacramento Bee
Tony Bizjak @
Several crude oil and ethanol trains have been involved in crashes and explosions nationally in recent years, prompting concerns in cities along rail lines.

Demographic Shifts Bring Change To Policies On Cuba, Drugs, Gay Rights
Writing about politics inspires a certain amount of déjà vu, time and again. Last week, like many before, served as a case in point.

Five Takeaways From Lakers' Loss To Sacramento
The Lakers aren't just bad. They're boring. And predictable. Have we mentioned bad yet? Here are five takeaways from their 108-101 loss Sunday to Sacramento.

Kamala Harris Sees Safeguards In D.a.s Prosecuting Police Killings - Sfgate
Bob Egelko @
The furor over the non-indictments of white police officers for killing unarmed black men in Missouri and New York has led to widespread calls for states to take such cases away from local district attorneys, who work with police every day and often depend on their support for re-election.

Lakers' Nick Young avoids suspension
game Sunday against the Sacramento Kings.

Posada Christmas Pilgrimage Reunites Family, Friends At U.s.-mexico Border | The California Report | Kqed News
Carlos Aragon Padilla of South San Francisco reunites with family members through the border fence. Relatives travelled half way across Mexico to see him at the cross-border Posada. They'd not seen him since Carlos last visited Mexico about 10 years ago.

Lacer Afterschool Programs Give Students A Reason To Go To Class
Aaron Cornejo could hardly believe it when he saw his report card with all A's and Bs for the first time.

Daniel Borenstein: Mtc Commissioners Allowing Themselves To Be Misled On Building Costs
At issue are misguided plans to use toll-bridge money for a new regional government center in downtown San Francisco housing MTC, Association of Bay Area Governments, Bay Area Air Quality Management District and San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

Lausd Board Members Look To Slow Charter School Expansion
Today's high

Steinbrenner charity to pay for education of slain NYPD officer's son
Rafael Ramos, one of two New York Police Department officers killed when they were ambushed by a gunman on Saturday, left behind two sons -- Jaden Ramos, 13, and Justin Ramos, who is a freshman at Bowdoin College in Maine.