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THE NOONER for January 7, 2015

It's noon. It's time for a break. Here's what people are reading on today:

Quan lost ton of cash in re-election bid as Oakland mayor
Campaign finance reports show that Quan spent a whopping $112,000 of her own money on her ill-fated run for a second term. In all, Quan’s money represented more than a third of the $226,450 she had raised by mid-October, the last fully reported period on file at the city clerk’s office. Quan’s mayoral salary was $183,395 a year, but she took a voluntary 25 percent pay cut for part of her tenure. [...] at Monday’s swearing-in of her successor, Libby Schaaf, the former mayor was overheard telling guests, I’m looking for a job — something interesting and meaningful.’’ [...] sources tell us she’s looking to land a job in education — a subject near and dear to the onetime school board member’s heart — after which she may run again for an at-large seat on the City Council. In an effort to help Quan retire her debts — and to signal that there were no hard feelings — Schaaf lent her name as a co-hostess for a recent fundraiser for the ex-mayor at the Chabot Space Center. Attorney Dan Siegel put $125,000 into his campaign, health executive Bryan Parker self-contributed $115,000 and San Francisco State Professor Joe Tuman kicked in $8,000 for his losing cause. The supervisors kicked over a hornet’s nest when — after nearly eight years without raises — they voted 4-1 last fall to pump up their annual pay to $129,227 from $97,483. The move prompted a petition drive by an unlikely alliance of public worker unions and antitax groups, which collected 39,000 signatures for a repeal — more than enough to put the matter on the ballot. Just hours before being sworn in to his historic fourth term, Gov. Jerry Brown raised the stakes in his budget battle with University of California President Janet Napolitano by appointing his legislative affairs secretary to the UC Board of Regents. The appointment of Gareth Elliott, 44, comes just weeks after the regents, with backing from Napolitano, approved a plan to raise tuition 5 percent a year for the next five years if UC doesn’t get more money from the state. [...] the appointment of Elliott and his earlier naming of former Assembly Speaker John Pérez to the board signal the governor is bracing for a longer political struggle that eventually could determine whether Napolitano keeps her job. Some of San Francisco’s heaviest hitters are kicking off the new year with a $500-a-head reelection fundraiser Friday night for Mayor Ed Lee at the Hilton Hotel’s Grand Ballroom on Kearny Street. Co-hosts include Chronicle columnist and former Mayor Willie Brown, Chinatown powerhouse Rose Pak, lobbyist Marcia Smolens, developer Lawrence Lui and lawyer (and longtime Gov. Jerry Brown confidant) Jeremiah Hallisey.

California Bill Would Create Third-party Oversight Of Police Shootings | The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @
Police officers who fatally shoot suspects would be subject to an outside review under California legislation being introduced by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento.

Oakland Set To Pay $40k To Settle Suit Over Education Protest - Sfgate
Henry K. Lee @
The city of Oakland was expected Tuesday to agree to pay $40,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by three people who said police used excessive force while arresting them on Interstate 880 during a 2010 protest against state education cuts.

Contra Costa Supervisors To Reconsider 33 Percent Raise On Jan. 13
The raise caused a backlash among county union employees and taxpayers. On Friday, union members delivered nearly 40,000 signatures to the clerk of the board on petitions calling for a referendum on the pay hike. In response to that action, Gioia, of Richmond, said he believed the best course for the board was to rescind the raise "as soon as possible."

National Briefing | Mid-Atlantic: Delaware: Election Agency Sues Ex-Candidate Christine Oâ
Donnell, a former Senate candidate and Tea Party favorite, illegally used at least $20,000 in campaign contributions to pay rent and utility bills at a townhouse where she worked and lived, according to accusations in a federal lawsuit.

CSU Chancellor: We're Not Raising Tuition, But We Still Need More Money -
Chancellor Tim White says the CSU needs another $100 million from the next state budget – just as the UC does.

Dianne Feinstein Reintroduces Bill To Repeal Doma
By Josh Richman Tuesday, January 6th, 2015 at 2:07 pm in Dianne Feinstein, same-sex marriage, U.S. Senate.

California water use down 10%, but still short of target
Kurtis Alexander @
Wet weather at the end of the year helped drive down California’s water use, but consumption remains well above the target that Gov. Jerry Brown set amid the drought. Figures released Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board show Californians used 9.8 percent less water in November than in the same month in 2013. The southern part of the state conserved the least amount of water, with residents in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas using 3.2 percent less when compared to the prior year, the new figures show. Rain and cooler temperatures that swept through Northern California were largely absent in the south and didn’t deter outdoor watering like fall weather often does. In the Sacramento area, residents used 25.6 percent less water in November, while San Francisco Bay Area residents cut back 18.3 percent, the figures show. The rules included barring residents from spraying down driveways, watering lawns to the point of causing runoff, washing cars without a shut-off nozzle and using potable water in fountains. The state water board has been tracking use since Brown declared a drought emergency and asked California residents for voluntary cutbacks almost a year ago. Residents have yet to hit the governor’s 20 percent conservation target. The past three rainy seasons have been drier than average, leaving drinking water supplies depleted and farms without sufficient water. [...] snowfall has been relatively light in the Sierra, where most of the state’s water originates, leaving reservoirs low and snowpack paltry.

Brown The Juggler :: Fox&hounds
Jerry Brown, the adroit political juggler, was on full display during his Inaugural Address/State of the State Speech yesterday keeping in the air at the same time the notion of more spending while also tossing about the importance of fiscal responsibility.

Sen. Isadore Hall Offers Legislative Help For Inglewood Stadium Proposal
A state lawmaker who won approval of a bill in 2009 to assist a proposed NFL stadium in the City of Industry said Tuesday that he was willing to provide unspecified legislative help to a new proposal by the owner of the St. Louis Rams to build a football stadium in Inglewood.

Gov. Jerry Brown Toughens Climate-change Goals
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
SACRAMENTO -- As he was sworn in for a record fourth term, Gov. Jerry Brown charted an ambitious new goal on Monday for California in its fight against climate change, challenging the nation's most populous state to increase renewable energy use to 50 percent in the next 15 years.

California Income, Corporation Tax Revenue Surged In December | The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @

Obama, Mexico's president discuss violence, immigration
President Obama raised concerns about violence in Mexico during an Oval Office meeting Tuesday with the country's president, while also praising the two nations' efforts to improve their handling of issues such as immigration.

Opinion: Bullet Train Pep Rally And Reality | The Sacramento Bee
Dan Walters @
The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Jeb Bush Forms New Pac, Further Indication Of Presidential Bid
In a move that further lays the groundwork for a potential 2016 presidential campaign, Jeb Bush on Tuesday announced the formation of a political action committee that will allow him to begin raking in money from donors. 

California Republicans Look Forward To Control Of Congress | The Sacramento Bee
Republican members of California's congressional delegation on Tuesday celebrated GOP control of Congress, pointing to passage of drought relief legislation for the San Joaquin Valley as one possible benefit.

Gov. Brown's Inaugural Speech Continues His Green, Fiscal Themes
SACRAMENTO — Marking a historic occasion with a simple, subdued ceremony, Edmund Gerald Brown Jr. called Monday for ambitious new environmental rules as he embarked on an unprecedented fourth term as California's governor.

California Drought: State Residents Increase Conservation But Still Fall Far Short Of Governor's Goal
Paul Rogers @
Statewide, residents cut water use by 9.8 percent in November, compared with November 2013, according to new state figures released Tuesday. That's an improvement from October, when the reduction was only 6.8 percent. And it compares with the 11.5 percent savings in August, and 10.2 percent in September .

Washington: Capitol Hill Californians Will Push For Drought Legislation Again
Michael Doyle @
Get Fresno State sports news wherever you are with The Bee's free Bulldog Buzz app.

California Bullet Train Construction Starts Today Despite Opposition
California's bullet-train agency is set to officially start construction in Fresno on Tuesday on the first 29-mile segment of the system, a symbol of the progress the $68-billion project has made against persistent political and legal opposition.

Lee to appoint North Beach activist Julie Christensen supervisor
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will appoint North Beach neighborhood activist and businesswoman Julie Christensen to the Board of Supervisors on Thursday, sources told The Chronicle, filling a key swing seat on the 11-member board with a rookie officeholder and likely loyal ally. Christensen, though, seemingly represents a reliable vote in Lee’s corner, at least until November as the mayor seeks to stave off any viable challengers while San Francisco wrestles with an acute housing crunch and other side effects of a tech-fueled economic boom. Christensen, a Telegraph Hill resident and member of the advisory board for the smart-growth think tank SPUR, has been a neighborhood advocate for years. Planning Commission President Cindy Wu had been considered by many to be the front-runner to fill the seat representing San Francisco’s District Three, a dense and diverse corner of the city that includes the northeastern waterfront, major businesses in Union Square and the Financial District, the deeply layered ethnic enclave of Chinatown, and storied neighborhoods like North Beach, Telegraph Hill, Nob Hill and part of Russian Hill. Wu is a community planning manager at the Chinatown Community Development Center, an influential affordable housing nonprofit with deep ties to Lee, a former housing rights attorney in the 1970s and 1980s. [...] some of the mayor’s advisers and major donors view Wu as considerably more liberal than the business-friendly Lee, who since becoming mayor in 2011 has embraced the tech industry and made job growth — and then housing construction — his core priorities.

Assembly GOP leader Kristin Olsen vaguely embraces high-speed rail
Assembly GOP leader Kristin Olsen has embraced the state's high-speed rail project. Sort of.

Commonwealth Club puts move on hold
J.K. Dineen @
Two years after buying a building at 110 The Embarcadero, the 112-year-old civic affairs forum faces ongoing appeals from a handful of neighbors who say the $25 million project’s proposed glass facade is inappropriate for one of the most historic buildings on the downtown waterfront. [...] the Commonwealth Club has signed a two-year lease for 15,000 square feet at the former San Francisco Press Club at 555 Post St. It will move there in February. [...] the club, which presents speakers and forums on current issues, has faced rent increases in the current market. The central issue under dispute at the Embarcadero site is the extent to which the Commonwealth Club will restore the facade of a building that played an important role in the city’s bloody 1934 general strike. The bodies of the two union workers shot during a clash with police on “Bloody Thursday” lay in state in the hall for four days, and the building was the starting point for a funeral procession across the city that drew an estimated 40,000 marchers. Duffy said the Commonwealth Club is working closely with representatives of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which supports the project, according to President George Cobbs. Other supporters include the San Francisco Buildings and Construction Trades Council, historian Kevin Starr, and neighbors including the Jewish Community Relations Council, Perry’s restaruant and the YMCA. [...] the club has worked with LMS Architects to design a sustainable glass facade with 51 windows that will cool the building and allow it to be certified under the National Green Building Council’s standards. Another opponent, Bradley Wiedmaier, said the 100 block of the Embarcadero, despite being home to several modern office buildings, is one of the most intact examples of the old downtown waterfront.

Californians Used Nearly 10 Percent Less Water In November Of Last Year Than In 2013. |
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High-speed Rail Project Breaks Ground In Downtown Fresno
Gov. Jerry Brown breaks ground on California's bullet train, calling it the 'central cog" of new rail system.