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THE NOONER for February 13, 2015




Public Retirement Journal


Join your colleagues from around the state for a day of in-depth discussion on current and future issues facing public retirement in California at the 26th Annual Southern California Public Retirement Seminar.
February 24, 2015 - 9AM-4PM - Registration: 8AM; The Centre at Sycamore Plaza (5000 Clark Ave, Lakewood)
Keynote Speaker: Gregory Totten, Ventura County District Attorney
Registration Fee: $200.00 - includes breakfast & lunch and seminar materials.
Register online or contact us directly @ 916-341-0848

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Well, we keep waiting to find out if Kamala Harris will have a significant challenger for the Barbara Boxer seat. Lots of folks have been polling for the prized seat. U.S. Senate is the best political office in California, with no term limits and six-year terms.

RUH-ROH: High levels of benzene found in fracking waste water [Julie Cart @ LAT] - "The testing results from hundreds of wells showed, on average, benzene levels 700 times higher than federal standards allow, according to a Times analysis of the state data."

And, what the heck is benzene and how concerned should we be that it was flushed?

PEEVED Protesters try to spoil swanky party for ex-CPUC head - "Some 250 guests packed a downtown San Francisco ballroom on Thursday night to honor Michael Peevey, the embattled former California Public Utilities Commission president who is under investigation for possible corruption at the agency. Outside, a dozen protesters tried to spoil the fun."

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Norman Fassler-Katz and Gary Link! Weekend #CAKEDAY shoutouts to Aaron Park (Saturday), Angie Wei (Saturday), Sam Cohen (Sunday), Rex Hime (Sunday), and Tina Park (Sunday)


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  • LA COUNTY FEDERATION OF LABOR HEAD RUSTY HICKS discusses the challenges for organized labor in Southern California 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

  • Open Position:  Senior Program Officer, California Democracy Program, James Irvine Foundation. Position can be based in San Francisco or Los Angeles.  Initial grantmaking focus will be on Voter & Civic Engagement and Immigrant Integration. Minimum of eight years of work experience in policy-making institutions or nonprofit organizations, including five years of experience in a senior leadership role; substantive experience on key California policy issues and processes; and the ability to work across the political spectrum. Master’s degree is preferred. More information:

  • The University of California is pleased to announce that Kieran Flaherty has accepted an interim position in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer serving as Executive Director representing the University on budget and other financial matters coming before the executive and legislative branches. Mr. Flaherty has served as Director of State Government Relations at UC Berkeley since 2008 and previously served in a similar position at UCSF. Thus, he joins the Chief Financial Officer team with considerable background in the major issues facing the University. He can be reached at

  • California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Legislative Representative. Manage complex state and federal laws and proposed legislation affecting educators and K-12 education. Act as Commission liaison with the Legislature and education stakeholder organizations. Provide policy analysis and research in the area of preparation and licensing of educators serving in California public schools.  Must have strong analytic, writing and communications skills. Additional duties and responsibilities here or contact (2/12)

  • Gonzalez, Quintana & Hunter, LLC seeks a part-time, student-intern to work Tuesday/Thursdays. Applicants must be detail-oriented and comfortable managing multiple tasks in a fast-paced office. Interest in state government, politics, and the legislative process required. Send resume and cover letter to
  • California Council on Science and Technology is now hiring an Executive Assistant for our Sacramento Office.  This position will act as administrative support for Sacramento senior staff members and their designees, as well as office manager, coordinating all aspects of the Sacramento office, and meeting coordinator/planner for all CCST Board and Council meetings. Will provide project support for program managers.  $36,600 minimum salary.  Looking for a highly organized self-starter with strong communication and technical skills.  Must apply through UC Merced.  See more at

  • 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!
  • 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.


Transbay Transit Center selling naming rights + ABAG facing audit
J.K. Dineen @
Tapping into an international trend of selling the naming rights to public parks and transit stations, San Francisco’s Transbay Joint Powers Authority is looking for corporations, philanthropic foundations or even individuals looking to pay big bucks to get their name on the $4.5 billion transit center set to open in 2017. Sponsors can ante up for five years of naming rights, except for the two biggest ones — the entire transit center and rooftop park — which requires a 10-year commitment. A phone company — AT&T perhaps — could become the transit center’s official Wi-Fi partner, while Bianchi could slap its name on the bike parking facilities. The program is modeled in part on the success Chicago has had in selling the naming rights to Millennium Park, where the pedestrian bridge is named after BP, galleries after Boeing and promenades after Chase. The selection criteria will be based on a combination of financial proposal (75 points), profile of respondent (15 points), and cultural or historical significance (10 points). State Controller Betty Yee announced Thursday that her office will conduct an audit of the Association of Bay Area Governments internal administrative and accounting controls following allegations that a senior official stole $1.3 million. Yee’s office has sent a letter to ABAG asking that the association fork over any and all relevant documents — including ledgers, contracts, invoices, personnel records, meeting minutes, policies and procedures. [...] State Treasurer John Chiang and Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León are teaming up to conduct legislative oversight hearings to “ensure that monies raised through the sale of government bonds are safe from fraud, abuse, and mismanagement,” according to a press release. The inquiries come after The Chronicle reported that an official with an independent public financing arm of ABAG is suspected of embezzling $1.3 million in public bond money from a fund meant for street and park improvements South of Market.

California Budget Could Face New Strain From Obama Immigration Action
President Obama 's executive action on immigration may have a major impact on California's budget, according to reports issued by legislative analysts on Thursday.

Sd 7: Informing The Voters A Candidate Is Not Running :: Fox&hounds
An influential campaign message in the Senate District 7 Special Election would be: NO Republican Has Applied.

Villaraigosa, Mulling U.S. Senate Run, Informed By Private Polls | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @
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Among Latinos, Tony V Thumps Kamala For Senate « Calbuzz
In a head-to-head matchup, Villaraigosa leads Harris 44-29% among Latino likely voters.

Inglewood NFL Stadium Plan Advances As Petition Signatures Verified
Plans to build an NFL-quality football stadium in Inglewood cleared another hurdle Thursday as election officials confirmed that enough petition signatures had been verified to put the initiative on the ballot.

California authorities crack down on cardboard theft
FONTANA, San Bernardino County — Investigators wearing bulletproof vests sit in unmarked cars outside a Southern California recycling center, swapping license plate details over two-way radios before dawn. A truck emerges, and they follow, hoping to learn where drivers pick up what to many looks like trash but turns out to be treasure: cardboard. “It’s big, big money — for somebody,” said Steve Rivera, a senior investigator with the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office who has been conducting sunrise surveillance to track, educate and cite the culprits. The crackdown in gritty, industrial suburbs east of Los Angeles is to put a stop to a long-running practice that surges with cardboard prices and wallops trash company revenue — and could eventually push up trash collection rates for homeowners and shopkeepers. When the economy booms, cardboard prices rise as manufacturers make more goods and need more packaging to sell them. [...] they can’t remove materials from recycling bins left out at the curb, which are considered property of the local waste hauling company, said Ronald Steiner, a professor at Chapman University law school in Orange County, who teaches case law related to privacy rights and garbage. In Huntington Beach (Orange County), about half to three-quarters of the cardboard placed in commercial bins is stolen before drivers can retrieve it, said Sue Gordon, vice president of public affairs at Rainbow Environmental Services. Burrtec Waste Industries, which is working with county investigators, has seen the problem grow since a California law required many businesses to recycle, which has meant more trips for trash trucks but also more thieves, said Michael Arreguin, the company’s vice president. Neighbors often complain about residential scavenging, fearing those rummaging through their trash bins might find information that could make them susceptible to identity theft. Authorities say cardboard theft occurs on a much larger scale in commercial areas where big-box retailers unload tons of the material along with their merchandise, but law enforcement rarely has time to police it. Some drivers douse the material with water to make it heavier and fetch more money at recycling centers, said Rivera, who has conducted surveillance on more than a dozen trucks, some of them trekking miles to retrieve cardboard, since last year.

Republicans Delay Vote On Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch
Senate Republicans on Thursday delayed a committee vote on attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch for two weeks, provoking outrage from Democrats who said her nomination has been pending “longer than any modern attorney general nominee.”

Opinion: Old Water Conflicts Open Again | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Dan Walters @
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Covered California Considering Enrollment ‘contingency Plans’ Tied To Tax Deadline | State Of Health Blog From Kqed News
Covered California open enrollment ends this Sunday. Sort of.

Muslim Leaders Want California Lawmaker To Apologize For Remarks | The Sacramento Bee 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.

Democrats List Their House Members Most At Risk In 2016
Getting an early start on shoring up at-risk members, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday released a list of 14 it deems most vulnerable in next year's elections.

Protesters try to spoil swanky party for ex-CPUC head
J.K. Dineen @
With the California flag flapping above the entrance, guests arriving at the Montgomery Street fundraiser for UC Berkeley;€™s public policy school were greeted by the protesters, who shouted things like "€œCrooks honoring crooks" and "€œJail Peevey!"

Mexico And Wal-mart Launch Initiative To Improve Lives Of Farmworkers
The Mexican government and Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, have announced steps to improve the lives of the nation's farmworkers, two months after a Los Angeles Times investigation  detailed labor abuses at Mexican agribusinesses that supply major U.S. supermarket chains and restaurants.

State Oversight Avalanche Bears Down On Abag
By Josh Richman Thursday, February 12th, 2015 at 4:32 pm in California State Senate, John Chiang, Kevin de Leon.

Methodist Bishop And Immigration Reform Advocate To Speak In San Diego |
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California Falling 400,000 Short Of Health Care Sign-up Goal | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
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LAPD Officer Shoots, Injures Teen After Seeing A Replica Gun
The Los Angeles Police Department said Wednesday that an officer shot and injured a 15-year-old in the back after spotting him in an alley next to someone who appeared to be aiming a handgun.

Obama arrives in Bay Area for 20th time as president
Kale Williams @
With a squeal of rubber on runway, Air Force One touched down just before 5:20 p.m. Thursday at San Francisco International Airport with President Obama aboard, the leader of the free world visiting the Bay Area for a cybersecurity summit at Stanford University and cash-snagging stops at fundraisers. Obama jogged down the great plane’s steps and was greeted by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee ahead of military families and other VIPs waiting for the chance to meet the president. After smiles, handshakes and photo ops — and a high-five or two with shoulder-mounted youngsters — the presidential motorcade whisked Obama north toward San Francisco, where he was expected to stay the night ahead of Friday’s events. While most of his Northern California stopovers have been strictly campaign cash grabs, this visit could have policy implications, with Obama attending a series of high-profile cybersecurity meetings. The daylong summit at Stanford will bring the president together with “CEOs from a wide range of industries, including financial services, technology, retail and communications companies; law enforcement officials and consumer advocates,” according to White House officials. Obama last visited San Francisco in October, when his two-day visit included a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the W Hotel and a $32,400-per-person roundtable fundraiser at the Pacific Heights home of Zynga founder Mark Pincus and his wife, Ali, founder of online marketing business One Kings Lane.

Alabama Justice Roy Moore's legal reasoning on marriage is sound
To the editor: Your criticism of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for ordering his state's probate judges not to obey a U.S. District Court judge is misplaced. The Alabama Constitution prohibits same-sex marriages. All authorities in Alabama are required to obey that law unless it is...

Health News & Articles | Healthy Living
ABC News @

Marin mom lashes out at 'measles partyâ
For the past week, the 43-year-old Marin County woman has been savaged as the mom whose comments launched a national furor over “measles parties” — her life turned upside-down by a media happy to stereotype Marin as a hippy-dippy haven, and her reputation turned into a social-media plaything for people eager to blow hard about a rumor that turned out to be pure baloney. [...] what really happened was this: The KQED radio reference was picked up by the national media, which reported that Marin families were throwing measles parties instead of doing the sensible thing and having their kids vaccinated. Schiffman, widely attributed as the source of this information by reporters who didn’t contact her, was called an “idiot” in online forums, with some suggesting that all “anti-vaxxers” like her be jailed for child abuse. Schiffman, who holds a master’s degree in special education, was speechless with hurt. The brouhaha that broke with KQED’s Feb. 6 piece is still billowing, propelled by outpourings on the comments sections of websites that featured stories condemning measles parties. The story later acquired a disclaimer at top saying, “It turns out reports of 'measles parties’ are largely unsubstantiated. ...We apologize for the error.” Schiffman said her sons have not gotten measles shots on advice of her doctors because of the family’s medical history, and she said people have no business knowing anything more. “The hysteria got out of hand, and how the national, local and online media outlets have run amok with this story is appalling,” said Schiffman, who teaches her children at home and is on the leadership team of Marin Homeschoolers. If the firestorm has had any positive effect, it’s been to prod health officials to weigh in on the very concept of measles parties. California public health officials said they haven’t heard of such kiddie bashes taking place anywhere in the state. [...] Dr. Matt Willis, the Marin County public health officer, confirmed he hadn’t heard of any parties in his area. The idea was to infect kids at a young age when they were considered less likely to suffer complications. [...] though, public health experts say the parties are dangerous and make no sense. Some parents opposed to vaccines argue that “natural” immunity to a virus — which occurs when a person is exposed to the pathogen and gets sick — is stronger and more effective than vaccine-generated immunity. There may be some truth to that, infectious disease experts say, but the risk of developing complications such as blindness or encephalitis from measles is far greater than the risk for healthy children of mild side effects from the vaccine.

All the president's memes: Obama's 'new media' promotion tour
Hadas Gold,Dylan Byers @
From the White House's perspective, it's a great opportunity to show off the "cool" Obama to millennials (and hawk while throwing a new media outfit a blockbuster interview with the president.