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THE NOONER for January 29, 2015



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So, I am sort of screwed. My both of my laptops crashed last night. Well, I don't know when the backup crashed, just that it was dead when I tried to use it as, well, the backup it was intended for.

Thus, this a skinny dip in an icy pool, as I am at Kinkos trying to get some words to you. And, trying to work on a Dell instead of Mac is seriously a cluster...

For today, let's just read through the PPIC poll and realize how much more optimistic Californians are.

Thanks for your patience. Off to the Apple Store.





  • One year ago, Sergio C. Garcia, the nation's first undocumented lawyer was sworn in as a lawyer licensed to practice in California. On Saturday, Jan. 31, The Sergio C. Garcia Foundation brings a fundraiser celebration to  Sacramento, "Bringing Justice Forward." The Library Galleria, 828 I Street, 5:00 to 9:00 PM, $50.00 per person, dinner, music, the funds going to youth scholarships., or 530 899 7373. 
  • FORMER CALIFORNIA CHIEF JUSTICE RONALD GEORGE discusses changes to California's judiciary and his career in this exclusive interview:
    Know a current or former elected official in Southern California we should interview? Our TV program reaches California's #1 zip code for campaign contributions. Send suggestions
  • Join us February 18 & 19 at the Sacramento Convention Center for the Future of California Elections 2015 Conference “Working Together for a More Inclusive Democracy" Space is limited. Register today!
  • The James Irvine Foundation 2015 Leadership Awards Luncheon. Join Irvine and state policymakers in honoring California leaders and their breakthrough solutions to critical state issues. Presentations followed by a roundtable on leadership led by KQED’s John Myers. February 5, 12:00-1:30 p.m., Sheraton Grand. Contact Tamara Torlakson - 916-288-2245.

  • Interested in learning more about health insurance in California, and about a key contributor to the Legislature's review of health insurance-related legislation? Great! Legislators, staff, advocates, and the public are warmly invited to the California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP)'s annual legislative briefing on 1/29/2015 from 10:30 – 11:30 am. The briefing will provide information about CHBRP and the bills we analyze, how we do our work and the information we provide. Please RSVP to this free event online – 

  • The California Charter Schools Association hosts its 5th Annual Back to Session Reception on Monday, February 2 from 5 p.m – 7 p.m. at Ella Dining Room & Bar, 1131 K Street, Sacramento. Legislators and staff are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to
  • TRAINING FOR GRASSROOTS OUTREACH TO LEGISLATORS.  Experienced grassroots organizer Mark Wirth provides training and guidance for organizing the members of your organization for grassroots outreach to legislators.  Training on site at your location and designed to fit the needs of your organization.

  • Learn the legislative process and best practices for effective lobbying. Cover the complete spectrum of governmental advocacy in two days. Veteran lobbyist Ray LeBov presents "Lobbying 101" and "Lobbying 201" seminars January 29-30. $250 each. Essential for lobbying firm principals / support staff, organizations / public agencies that employ lobbyists. Complete info / registration: or 916 442 5009.


A One-two Punch Against The Initiative Process At The Supreme Court :: Fox&hounds
California voters also approved ballot measures that took the power to draw district lines away from the legislature and gave it to an independent commission. Proposition 11 in 2008 created the Commission to draw state legislative districts, Proposition 20 in 2010 allowed the commission to draw congressional districts. If the Arizona legislature were successful in court banning the commission more than the redistricting commissions would fall. Ultimately, the entire initiative process could be endangered.

California Gold: Key Obama Strategist Bill Burton Opens Shop In Ca - Politics Blog
Looks like the Golden State is becoming even more golden for politics: veteran Democratic strategist Bill Burton -- the national press secretary to Barack Obama's first presidential run and former ...

Poll: Californians Willing To Extend Prop. 30 Taxes | Faultlines | Kqed News
Wednesday night’s poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California finds 52 percent of likely voters support the continuation of the taxes enacted by Proposition 30, taxes that otherwise begin to wind down between 2016 and 2018.

Poll: California Voters Back Extending Prop 30 Taxes, Key Change To Prop 13 -
A new poll shows Californians are open to extending the sales and income tax increases voters approved in 2012. They’re also open to making a change to the state’s popular property tax law.

Sharon Runner Only Candidate For California's 21st Senate District
Former Republican lawmaker Sharon Runner of Lancaster has emerged as the only candidate for one of three open state Senate seats.

S&p: Cuts, Not Taxes, Turned California's Budget Around -
A new report from the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s credits California’s financial turnaround more to budget cuts than to tax increases.

Same-Sex Marriage Foes Dig In on the State Level
Despite rulings declaring bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in their states, some state legislators have introduced bills that would prohibit the issuing of marriage licenses to gay couples.

California Runs Risk Of Financial Relapse, Ratings Agency Says
When Gov. Jerry Brown released his latest budget proposal earlier this month, he said California's finances were balanced but remain precarious.

Sen. Feinstein's Anti-marijuana Stance Shows She's Too Old School For California
Sen. Dianne Feinstein should rethink her stance on marijuana.

Governor Proposes Boost For Career Education | Edsource
Meet the StaffJohn Fensterwald | Editor-At-Large

1st District Supervisor Race Becomes Nail-biter, With Only A Few Hundred Votes Separating Candidates - The Orange County Register
Here are Wednesday evening's main tallies in the 1st District Board of Supervisors race:

Most Major California School Districts Pledge To Reduce Suspensions
The state's landmark school finance law has prompted most major California school districts to pledge to reduce student suspensions, hire more counselors and use positive alternatives to deal with misbehavior, according to a study released Wednesday.

Attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch to Senate panel: 'I am not Eric Holder'
In her confirmation hearing for attorney general Wednesday, Loretta Lynch managed to subtly distance herself on the issue of immigration from her controversial predecessor, Eric H. Holder Jr., while still backing her boss, the president.

Grand UCSF hospitalâ
After more than a decade in the works, a new $1.52 billion UCSF Medical Center will open Sunday, finalizing the university’s vision to provide more personalized patient care and create a closer relationship between its physicians at the hospital and its scientists conducting biomedical research on the Mission Bay site. By linking clinical care with the research, UCSF officials say, they hope to translate ideas into practice more quickly and turn discoveries into treatments and cures targeted specifically for a patient’s biology. “We are bringing together so much more knowledge around precision medicine, around new approaches to providing care,” said Mark Laret, UCSF Medical Center’s chief executive officer. For us, this becomes the place where people will participate in those clinical trials and research and benefit from that creativity. The 878,000-square-foot center — a trio of hospitals that includes UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, the UCSF Bakar Cancer Center and the UCSF Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital — is also the next step in a changing landscape in health care in the Bay Area. In addition to UCSF, a wave of hospital construction is happening throughout the city with the planned opening at the end of the year of San Francisco General Hospital’s new nine-story, 283-bed acute-care hospital, built at its current site with about $887 million in voter-approved bonds. The $1.3 billion development includes a 100-office medical building, parking structure and equipment. California hospitals have been required to upgrade their buildings to meet strict state-mandated safety requirements after the devastating 1994 Northridge earthquake in Southern California. The cost of retrofitting existing buildings was higher than the cost of building new hospitals in many cases, leading to the wave of high-tech hospitals designed for the future of health care. “As far as having cutting-edge health care, no other region will have what we have with all this new building going on,” said Sue Currin, San Francisco General’s chief executive officer. The center comes with the only operating hospital helipad in San Francisco and will be used to bring in babies, children and pregnant women in life-threatening situations from outside hospitals. The complex has 20 operating rooms, nine labor-and-delivery rooms, and many intensive care units, including intensive care delivery rooms and specialized pediatric cardiac ICUs. Patients will have access to multimedia gadgetry in their private rooms to communicate with their families and clinicians. Features designed to calm patient anxiety in the MRI, CT and other scanning suites include soothing music, dimmed lighting and images that glide across flat-screen monitors. The new hospital adds 289 inpatient beds to the city: 183 pediatric beds, 70 adult beds in the cancer center and 36 beds in the women’s hospital. A portion of the campus known as the Gateway Medical Building has 126 examination rooms and 10 outpatient procedure rooms. The bells and whistles in the new hospital aside, how the hospital feels from the patient perspective is most important to people like Sally Coghlan McDonald, whose daughter was treated all her life at UCSF for a congenital syndrome that affects multiple body systems. McDonald served on the new children hospital’s family advisory committee since 2006, helping to shape its amenities and design features to best serve the needs of young patients and their families. Through her daughter’s multiple surgeries and hospital stays, McDonald said UCSF became almost like another home for her family.

Orange County Supervisor Special: Andrew Do increases lead over Lou Correa
Republican Andrew Do has increased his lead over Democrat Lou Correa in the nail-biter special election to replace Janet Nguyen on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. With another 4,898 late absentee and provisional ballots counted on Wednesday, Do increased his lead from 2 votes to 239 votes.

After 'whirlwind' debate, Senate set to approve Keystone pipeline bill
After three weeks and 50 amendment votes, the Senate was on track Thursday to approve legislation to expedite construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Teachers Ask High Court To Hear Union Dues Case | Edsource
Meet the StaffJohn Fensterwald | Editor-At-Large

Ppic: Obama, Brown, Immigration Popular In Ca
If your opponents believe compromise is capitulation, then there is no common ground. So stop with the kissy face look, plant your feet and make the other guys take stands that will bite them in the ass in 2016. And guess what? People respect you more and your approval rating goes up.

Water Cutbacks On Horizon If Snow Stays Stingy | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @
The Sierra Nevada snowpack in a typical year provides almost a third of California's water supply. The levels currently stand at a quarter of typical for this time of year. Photo by Anirudh Rao via Flickr Creative

Obama Again Seeks To End Budget Cuts Made In Sequester Deal
President Obama will revive his push to reverse billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts that took effect in 2013 as part of a last-resort deficit deal, the White House said Thursday as officials began to tease out pieces of the president's 2016 budget due out next week.

Report: Chevron Richmond refinery fire response flawed
The August 2012 fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond was made worse by a flawed emergency response as well as lax safety attitudes at the plant, according to report approved Wednesday night by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. The three-member panel has issued a string of reports calling for an overhaul of state and federal regulations and industry practices since the blaze, which was caused by a corroded and leaky pipe and sent 15,000 people to hospitals seeking treatment. The agency’s chairman, Rafael Moure-Eraso, opened the board’s meeting in Richmond by saying the goal of the reports is to ensure that Chevron and other refiners “are not simply completing paperwork” to comply with existing regulations but will seek the safest ways possible to process crude oil. In the report, the board staff said a number of refinery workers expressed fear in a 2010 survey that they would be punished if they exercised their right under state law to order a shutdown based on safety. “These trends could explain why no individuals used their stop-work authority on the day of the incident, despite some participants reporting in interviews that they were not comfortable with the hazardous work activity taking place,” the report concluded. “This lack of knowledge led the incident commander to direct emergency responders to take actions that may have ultimately exacerbated the leak and put many Chevron personnel in harm’s way,” the report said. “Chevron had no formal system to decide the right people were gathering information” on the events of that day, he said, and no protocol on whether to shut down the unit. Since the fire, the company says, it has inspected and surveyed 12,000 sections of pipe and taken other safety measures. Clyde Trombettas, head of the state’s refinery inspection effort, said that since the fire, the state is notified in advance when the 15 refineries are down for maintenance and now conduct two detailed inspections each year.