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THE NOONER for February 25, 2015




TOPPERMOST OF THE POPPERMOST: Fuller Elected California Senate Republican Leader [Christine Bedell @ BakCal] - California Senate Republicans unanimously elected Jean Fuller of Bakersfield their next leader Tuesday, the latest local lawmaker to nab a high-profile post. When Fuller assumes the Senate Republican leader post in November, she will be the first woman to do so."

That means both houses will have female Republican leaders...

RUH-ROH: So, somedays the "save" button on THE NOONER doesn't exactly work, and yesterday was one of those. I won't blame the hamsters that keep the wheel churning, and will blame human error. So, today I offer a mix of yesterday's news and today's news.

NO GO ANTONIO: Antonio Villaraigosa’s departure scrambles U.S. Senate race [Christopher Cadelago @ SacBee] - "Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has decided against a run for the U.S. Senate, leaving California Latinos without an immediate standard-bearer for the office and shifting the focus to Washington where a handful of Democrats are considering possible candidacies."

So, the interesting thing about this is that state legislators are now actively pushing members of Congress to run. Why? Well, any member of Congress who runs would be giving up their seat, and seats in Congress don't open up very often. So, the 120 in the State Capitol along with a thousand or so in city halls would love the entire 53-member delegation to run for US Senate.

The weird meme continues to be that there needs to be more ethnic diversity in the race. Talk about political options, but to suggest that there is not ethnic diversity with Kamala Harris--Indian, Trinidadian, and African-American--is like saying Junipero Serra was just on a camping trip.

Villaraigosa decision hot topic at Latino Caucus retreat in Napa [Patrick McGreevy @ LAT] - "Besides Villaraigosa, who had the best name recognition, Hueso said other possible high-profile candidates could be U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Secretary of State Alex Padilla and U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra."

Of course, Padilla is the only one that would have a free ride.

BAGGED, FOR NOW: California's plastic-bag ban put on hold by ballot referendum [Patrick McGreevy @ LAT] - "Opponents of a ban on single-use plastic bags in grocery stores have qualified a referendum on the law, delaying its July 1 effective date until voters act on the measure in November 2016, the California secretary of state’s office said Tuesday."

AGUA: Water rights' cost draws scrutiny [Scott Soriano @ Capitol Weekly] - "A provision in California’s landmark 2014 Water Bond Act, Proposition 1, could lead California into overspending on water — and that has sparked concern from the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal adviser."

OH, THAT'S GREAT: Southwest grounds 128 planes over missed inspections [Christine Mai-Duc @ LAT] - "Southwest Airlines says it has grounded 128 planes after failing to inspect backup hydraulic systems used to control the rudder if the main system fails."

DOUBLE X FACTOR: Supervisors' races could create female majority [Jean Merl @ LAT]:

There is only one woman on the 15-member Los Angeles City Council.

Statewide, women have been losing ground at other elected levels.

But the emerging field of potential candidates for next year's Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors election raises the odds that women could capture a majority of seats for the first time ever.


Jerry Brown job performance:

  • Approve: 56%
  • Disapprove: 32%
  • Huh?: 12%

The poll comes as Brown, starting his fourth and final term, pursues two controversial infrastructure projects: construction of a $68 billion high-speed rail system and a pair of massive tunnels to divert water around the Delta to the south.

"Perhaps the more expansive aspects of what he's trying to do, there’s some reluctance,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the poll.

YUM-YUM: Yes, you can drink it - and you probably are: O.C. toilet-to-tap recycled water program is expanding [Aaron Orlowski @ OCR] - "Don’t drink the yellow water, and stay away from the black water. The clear water? Totally fine, even if it tastes a little flat from lack of minerals. And if you live in north or central Orange County, you are already drinking the clear water, with 70 million gallons pumped underground every day as part of the Groundwater Replenishment System."


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

Seminar registration:

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  • Join Emerge California for their Women’s History Month Celebration on Saturday, March 7 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant located at 72 N. Almaden Ave in San Jose. To join the Host Committee, please contact Nazneen Rydhan-Foster at or visit the event page here.

  • 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:

  • 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

  • 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.


UC Berkeley Studies International Education Campus In Richmond
On the waterfront seven miles from UC Berkeley , the university owns what is now an isolated and somewhat ramshackle collection of storage facilities and labs. But Berkeley's chancellor envisions it as a future showcase for international education.

On redistricting, justices should let voters' will trump self-serving political bosses
For decades, California's legislative and congressional districts were carved up and redrawn every 10 years by the leaders of the Assembly, the state Senate and whatever other political operatives they allowed into their locked and (in image, at least) smoke-filled room. They had two goals:...

Daniel Borenstein: El Cerrito Used Public Funds To Deceptively Campaign For Increasing The City's Sales Tax To The Top Rate In The State
The campaign included mailers, social media, letters to community leaders and public presentations. Documents and emails obtained through the state Public Records Act reveal that the city deliberately downplayed that Measure R would increase a pre-existing tax.

Villaraigosa Decision Hot Topic At Latino Caucus Retreat In Napa
Antonio Villaraigosa ’s decision not to run for the U.S. Senate next year has already become a hot topic of discussion at a Wine Country policy retreat by the California Legislative Latino Caucus.

illaraigosa says he won't run for Boxer's Senate seat
Melody Gutierrez @
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, long viewed as a likely candidate for Sen. Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate seat, announced Tuesday that he won’t run, leaving Kamala Harris as the only major candidate so far.

Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Won't Run For U.S. Senate
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Tuesday that he would not enter the race for Barbara Boxer ’s seat in the U.S. Senate , leaving state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris as the only major candidate.

Hillary Clinton, Offering Possible Glimpse Of Presidential Campaign, Comes Out Swinging For Women
Josh Richman @
The presumed Democratic presidential candidate said women are still woefully underrepresented among the valley's executives, investors, engineers and software developers -- and that they often earn less than their male counterparts.

S.F. supervisor proposes ban of tobacco at all baseball fields
A huge wad of chewing tobacco stuffed into a player’s cheek has long been an unofficial symbol of baseball, but a proposed city measure would ban its use at every playing field in San Francisco, including AT&T Park. “This will have positive health benefits for our city and for our youth for years to come,” said Farrell, who said he chewed tobacco while playing baseball in college and continued through law school. An event Tuesday on the dirt infield of a youth baseball diamond at Moscone Playground in the Marina was part of a carefully choreographed effort by antitobacco groups to highlight the dangers of smokeless tobacco and the effect its very visible use by chewing, spitting big-league baseball stars can have on the kids who want to emulate them. “We picked California and San Francisco as places with a strong tobacco control tradition,” said Kevin O’Flaherty, a regional director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Baseball already bans the use of smokeless tobacco in the minor leagues and supports a ban in the major leagues, although that would have to be decided in negotiations with the players association. The Major League Baseball Players Association declined to comment on the San Francisco and Sacramento legislation but said the group is no fan of chewing tobacco. The association “discourages the use of smokeless tobacco products by its members or by anyone else,” Greg Bouris, a spokesman for the group, said in a statement Tuesday. [...] in Arizona, Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who quit chewing tobacco with the help of a hypnotherapist, said: To force a ban, that’s going to be difficult. Curt Schilling, a top major-league pitcher for 20 years, said last year that he is being treated for oral cancer, which he blamed on three decades of chewing tobacco. Chewing tobacco is a dangerous substance that has no place on city playing fields, said Dr. Roger Eng, a radiologist who is president of the San Francisco Medical Society. While San Francisco has long been a leader in limiting tobacco use, supporters of the bans have always pointed at the danger of secondhand smoke to nonsmokers, who can’t choose to avoid it. [...] the indirect effect that seeing ballplayers with a plug or dip of tobacco in their mouths has on the young kids who watch them is reason enough for the new law, the supervisor said. At the Moscone Playground, Farrell’s podium was flanked by blown-up photos of preteen ballplayers, and he was joined by a trio of doctors in white lab coats, an official of the city’s parks association and a half-dozen boys in their baseball uniforms. The supervisor said he already has discussed the proposal with both the Giants and Major League Baseball, but he didn’t rule out granting the team and AT&T Park an exemption if an agreement on tobacco use can’t be reached with the players’ union.

Sacramento, Calif.: California Agency Votes To Reduce Gas Tax By 6 Cents | Business |
Get a video forecast, radar, current conditions, blogs, stats and more.

California's Plastic-bag Ban Put On Hold By Ballot Referendum
Opponents of a ban on single-use plastic bags in grocery stores have qualified a referendum on the law, delaying its July 1 effective date until voters act on the measure in November 2016, the California secretary of state’s office said Tuesday.

Questions surround Antonio Villaraigosa's future as he passes on Senate run
s announcement Tuesday that he will not run for the U.S. Senate in 2016 could cap the political career of the once-rising Democratic star -- or portend a gubernatorial run.

Fashion Powerhouse Diane Von Furstenberg: “ready For A Woman President” - Politics Blog
Iconic fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg today delivered a powerful endorsement of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's global work on behalf of women, saying the country is "ready for ...

Fuller Elected California Senate Republican Leader
Christine Bedell @
California Senate Republicans unanimously elected Jean Fuller of Bakersfield their next leader Tuesday, the latest local lawmaker to nab a high-profile post. When Fuller assumes the Senate Republican leader post in November, she will be the first woman to do so.

Inaugural Events For California Legislative Leaders Cost The Public At Least $38,000 | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Laurel Rosenhall @
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.

State Controller Wants Details About Edison Pay After San Onofre Deal
State Controller Betty Yee is asking top Southern California Edison executives for information about their pay increases over the last two years at a time the company was facing soaring costs of permanently closing its San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Kaiser Improves Mental Health Services, But More Needs To Be Done, Agency Finds
Rebecca Parr @
Some patients also are being given inaccurate and misleading information about their plans' mental health coverage, according to the state Department of Managed Health Care in a report released Tuesday.

USC Schwarzenegger Institute slow to act on sexual harassment allegations against IPCC chair
The University of Southern California's Schwarzenegger Institute is "looking into" allegations that a prominent climate change activist and member of its board of advisors sexually harassed a female researcher, but has yet to follow the lead of other academic and non-profit institutions to distance itself from the accused.

San Francisco archbishop backs off on strict morals code for teachers
Under pressure from his Catholic schools community, the archbishop of the San Francisco diocese said Tuesday that he is peeling back strict guidelines he proposed for teachers that would require them to reject homosexuality, use of contraception and other “evil” behavior. Most significantly, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said he is dropping an effort to designate high school teachers as “ministers,” which under a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling would have eliminated them from government-mandated employee protections by placing them solely under church control. In an hourlong meeting with The Chronicle’s editorial board, Cordileone said he is forming a committee of theology teachers from the San Francisco Archdiocese’s four high schools to go over his proposed teacher guidelines. The modifications Cordileone drew up this month for the Faculty Handbook for his archdiocese’s 350 or so teachers ignited a firestorm of opposition when teachers, parents and students interpreted them to mean staff could be fired for being in same-sex marriages, using contraception, approving of abortion or engaging in other actions the handbook labeled as “evil.” The purpose of his guidelines, he said, is to make sure his teachers’ behavior, and the examples they set in public, don’t contradict bedrock Catholic principles — which condemn same-sex marriage, abortion and birth control, among other things. Publicist Sam Singer, who is representing parents and alumni of San Francisco Catholic schools as they try to counter the proposed dictates, said the archbishop’s statements were welcome news.

Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa won't run for U.S. Senate
s seat in the U.S. Senate, leaving state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris as the only major candidate.

California GOP Senators Choose Jean Fuller As Next Leader | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Laurel Rosenhall @
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.

Clinton Takes On Gender And Pay Gap For Women In Silicon Valley - Sfgate
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton greets the crowd before giving the keynote address during the Inaugural Watermark Lead On Silicon Valley Conference for Women at the Santa Clara Convention Center Feb. 24, 2014 in Santa Clara, Calif.