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THE NOONER for March 6, 2015
DON'T YOU (FORGET ABOUT ME): Has California's Leading Latino Politician Missed His Moment? [Andrea Drusch @ NatJournal] - "Antonio Villaraigosa decided not to run for Senate and may run for governor in 2018. But his path might be blocked by newer rising stars."
Named as rising stars in the article are:
If I left it at that, my email will be boilling over this afternoon, as there are no women on the list. So, let's add Loretta Sanchez and Ashley Swearengin. The article also leaves out John Chiang.
TALKING HEADS: John, Marisa and Anthony give us our weekly aural pleasure with the California Politics Podcast.
MONEY, IT MAKES THE WORLD GO 'ROUND: CA45 (Irvine): Assemblyman Wagner has big fundraising lead in Senate contest [Patrick McGreevy @ LAT] - "With the March 17 special election looming, Wagner reported Thursday that his campaign has raised $371,000 so far and has $118,000 in his campaign account as of Feb. 28. John Moorlach, a former member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, reported raising $108,000 and holding $33,500 in his account at the end of the period. Congressional aide Naz Namazi has raised $11,240 so far."
THE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO BOOM: State senators question Exxon Mobil over Torrance refinery explosion [Tiffany Hsu @ LAT] - "The auditorium at Torrance City Hall was nearly full Thursday night as several state senators heard testimony related to a Feb. 18 explosion at a nearby oil refinery."
CALIFORNIA LOVE: At 79, launching a digital news start-up [Rem Reider @ USAToday] - "With backing from donors concerned about the decline in reporting on statehouse news, [Gregory] Favre is setting up the non-partisan, non-profit CALmatters. Favre, a former executive editor of the Sacramento Bee and vice president for news of McClatchy Newspapers, is interviewing potential hires now. He hopes to publish CALmatters' first story in late May or early June, when the venture's extensive database will also debut. "
SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL: Caltrans: Bay Bridge safe, despite anchor-rod cracks [Charles Piller @ SacBee] - "Brian Maroney, chief engineer for the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, said Thursday that even if all the anchor rods that secure the suspension-span tower to its foundation were missing, the bridge would barely budge in a major earthquake."
With all due respect the engineer, that's kind of like your pilot saying "We've lost one engine, but this plane is designed to fly on only one.
ICE ICE BABY: Fake Snow, Real Money: The High-Tech Fight to Save California Skiing [Evelyn Spence @ Bloomberg] - "Heavenly has one of the most sophisticated snowmaking systems around. If it can't save its ski season, no one can"
R-E-S-P-E-C-T: California Women Lead and the Sacramento Area Women's Chamber of Commerce are hosting a one-day symposium on Monday at the Residence Inn across from the Capitol. [details]
DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Rocky Chávez was first elected to the Assembly in 2012, making him eligible for 12 years in the State Assembly. A wise reader writes "How much must he hate being in that Rep caucus to want to make this move?"
Of course, he could still return to the Assembly at some point, or could serve two terms in the State Senate. Unfortunately for Chávez, his SD36 probably won't be open until 2022, as Pat Bates was just elected to the seat last year. And, unless Darrell Issa gives up his bully pulpit to make a futile run for a higher California office, the door to CD49 will be locked for awhile.
PRESCIENT: From West Wing episode 10 of season 6, aired January 5, 2005:
VICE PRESIDENT RUSSELL: "You do this wrong, and there'll be a backlash that sets us back 50 years. You do it right, we'll be there in 10."
When the episode was aired 10 years ago, only one state--Massachusetts--had opened the same marriage provisions to same-sex couples. Now, the right to same-sex marriage is in effect in 37 states and the District of Columbia, and it's very likely that all 50 states will have it by the end of the Supreme Court term in June. That was some pretty solid writing by the West Wing staff, even if VP Russell was using it to argue against vetoing a budget that included a "marriage protection" rider.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Jean Ross and Miguel Santiago! Weekend wishes to James Gallagher (Saturday), Liza Mooney McGuirk (Saturday), Najia Rosales (Saturday), and Gonzo Juarez (Sunday)!
Have a great weekend! Weather in Sacramento: mid 70s; Los Angeles: low 80s; San Diego: low 70s; San Francisco: 70. About as perfect as you can get throughout our great state.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
As Assemblyman, Rocky Chavez Has Focused On Veterans, Education
During his tenure in the Legislature, Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, who announced a bid for U.S. Senate on Thursday, has established himself as a moderate Republican with an interest in veterans affairs and education.
UC Budget Battle: California Politics Podcast | Faultlines | Kqed News
It was a shrewd example of the political carrot and stick: a decision to limit non-resident admissions at two University of California campuses while also capping resident admissions at all UC campuses — just another sign that the UC budget battle is the main event at the statehouse in 2015.
Are Soaring Pension And Administration Costs At Heart Of UC Budget Fight? ‹ The Grizzly Bear Project
Anthony York @ grizzlybearproject.com
This week, the University of California announced it would cap enrollment for in-state students at some campuses.
At the pinnacle of San Francisco style
The Chronicle Style section staff and Peter Hartlaub had no problem compiling a list of 11 of the best-dressed living San Franciscans. Once the nominees were chosen, more than 2,000 readers voted last month in a The Big Event SFGate.com poll. Readers seemed to like the more conservatively dressed nominees, the ones working on a budget and those whose dress is not part of an opulent lifestyle. Anh Sundstrom: Since she began her style blog 9to5chic in 2009, Tiburon marketing director Anh Sundstrom has been a fixture of San FranciscoâÂÂs fashion scene âÂÂ but sheâÂÂs not known for outlandish looks or couture price tags. Sundstrom specializes in pulling together everyday ensembles for ultra-modern working women, translating trends into wearable looks, and mixing high and low with ease. Sundstrom has a keen eye for investment pieces, flash sales and fast fashion pieces worth buying. The owner of Isotope Comics in Hayes Valley perfectly blends his personal and professional lives, crafting a larger-than-life fashion persona. [...] his trademark is an array of flashy and fun vintage suits âÂÂ Sime doesnâÂÂt own a pair of jeans, and even has a suit he wears when working on his Ford Mustang. The top finisher among the reader choices, San Francisco Supervisor Kim continues a tradition of local politicians setting a bold fashion example. Frequently dressed in power colors, well-fitting suits and dresses during meetings, she experiments a little more when sheâÂÂs among the people and is known for her newsworthy shoes. [...] sheâÂÂs not completely opposed to fun, riding a classic pink bike with a vintage-looking basket during a recent bike-to-work day celebration. (And as far as IâÂÂm concerned, it should be the Emperor Norton Bridge west of Treasure Island.) But like Norton, the former San Francisco mayor and California Assembly speaker, and current Chronicle columnist, is a fearless, impeccable dresser. Author Robert Mailer Anderson; event planner and decorator Ken Fulk; decorator Vanessa Getty; philanthropist and arts supporter Yurie Pascarella; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; art collectors and philanthropists Norah and Norman Stone. San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu; state Attorney General Kamala Harris; rock star Chris Isaak A legend in his own mind, the Emperor was a reminder to the rest of us that unwavering confidence is half the fashion battle. Bay Area royalty from before World War II to her death in 1983, de Guigne was impeccably dressed and accessorized, with a Parisian flair that included gowns by Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Coco Chanel. A lover of the arts, she gave her own fashion a daring artful flair, with an unconventional style that was often surprising but always appropriate for the moment. The Chronicle has had more than its share of snappy dressers; former theater critic Paine Knickerbocker makes the short list as well. Columnist Caen set the standard in the newsroom, though âÂÂ on the page and in the public eye.
Republicans' Bills Would Change Teacher Tenure, Layoff Laws
John Fensterwald @ edsource.org
Assembly Republicans announced bills Wednesday that would change state laws that establish teacher tenure and a layoff system based on seniority â two employment protections for teachers that a California Superior Court judge threw out in his sweeping Vergara v. the State of California ruling last year.
Assemblyman Wagner Has Big Fundraising Lead In Senate Contest
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
With the March 17 special election looming, Wagner reported Thursday that his campaign has raised $371,000 so far and has $118,000 in his campaign account as of Feb. 28.
As Supreme Court Weighs Health Law, G.O.P. Plans to Replace It
Jonathan Weisman @ rss.nytimes.com
The legal campaign to destroy President Obamaâs health care law may be nearing its conclusion, but as the Supreme Court deliberates over the lawâs fate, the search for a replacement by Republican lawmakers is finally gaining momentum.
Rocky ChÃ¡vez cites Marine background as key asset in U.S. Senate race
Rocky Chávez, a Republican state assemblyman from Oceanside, launched a campaign for U.S. Senate on Thursday, offering his military background as a key asset in the race to succeed Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer.
With Eyes on His Vote in Health Subsidies Case, Roberts Lets on Little
In Supreme Court arguments Wednesday on the fate of the health care law, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. traded his usual display of intellect and competitiveness for a sphinxlike demeanor.
California Prisons Have Released 2,700 Inmates Under Prop. 47
Melody Gutierrez @ sfgate.com
Californiaâs prisons have released 2,700 inmates after their felonies were reduced to misdemeanors under a ballot measure that voters approved in November, easing punishment for some property and drug crimes.
Central Valley Congressmen Epitomize California Gop's Immigration Woes
In rebuking “a small group of phony conservative members who have no credible policy proposals and no political strategy,” Nunes epitomized a growing dilemma for Central Valley Republicans.
L.A.'s Disclosure 'Loophole' That Lets Campaign Donors To Temporarily Hide
Kerry Cavanaugh @ latimes.com
On Tuesday, shortly before the polls closed, the campaign committee supporting Charter Amendments 1 and 2 filed a report showing that a handful of controversial donors contributed $115,000 to the cause of changing Los Angeles' election dates.
Berkeley elementary school kids try for Einstein world record
Berkeley elementary school kids try for Einstein world record Albert Einstein, who knew a lot of stuff, probably never knew that he had to put glue on his famous mustache or it would fall off. Luca was one of more than 300 Berkeley schoolkids who dressed up as Einstein to set a record for the number of people dressed up as Einstein. The entire student body of Black Pine Circle School got the afternoon off to stand in the athletic field dressed in white wigs, white mustaches, neckties, sport coats and slacks âÂÂ girls included. For each kid who left his square to use the bathroom or get a drink, the Einstein count was to be reduced by one. Physical education teacher Vince Apple-Chiarella was the official timekeeper. For a while, the kindergarten mommies were fanning the faces of their little Einsteins, because it was a hot day to be wearing plastic hair, but then the judges came around and told the mommies that the official rules from the Guinness Book of World Records said the mommies had to go away and the Einsteins had to do it on their own. [...] the mommies and daddies reluctantly retired to the side of the field and gazed adoringly at the proceedings, which were all included, along with the plastic wigs, in the schoolâÂÂs $22,000 annual tuition. To kill time, he sang songs, read fun Einstein facts, told physics jokes (IâÂÂm positive, said a proton) and talked about how Einstein got around on his bike, just like a Black Pine Circle kid. Immediately after yelling âÂÂ3-2-1-zero!âÂÂ the new world record holders wasted no time ripping off off their despised Einstein wigs and tossing them into the air as if they were mortarboards at graduation that they were done with forever. The judges in the orange safety vests, checking their clipboards, said many of the Einsteins had failed in their elementary school obligations, just as the original Einstein had done. Judge Travis Ash disqualified four more kids for mustache and wig violations and another kid for stepping outside the boundary line.
President Obama Plans L.A. Trip Next Week For Democratic Fundraiser
He has no campaigns left to run, President Obama likes to remind audiences of late. But he nonetheless will return to Los Angeles next week to raise money for his party as it gears up for the next presidential race.
A Bernie Sanders Presidential Bid Would Take On The Billionaires
Bernie Sanders, the blunt-talking independent senator from Vermont, speaks to a distinct strain of Democratic discontent. He will soon decide on whether to run for president in 2016.
Wisconsin Closer to Becoming a Right-to-Work State
Monica Davey @ rss.nytimes.com
The State Assembly approved legislation barring unions from requiring workers to pay the equivalent of dues. Gov. Scott Walker has said he will sign the measure.
Fixing Bay Bridge towerâ
More than half the 400 steel rods that hold the new Bay Bridge eastern spanâÂÂs tower in place were put at significantly greater risk of cracking when engineers fixed a lean in the landmark tower by tugging it into its proper position, a bridge official revealed Thursday. The problem was that when it was first installed, the top of the tower listed 18 inches closer to the East Bay shore than it should have, project chief engineer Brian Maroney told members of a bridge oversight committee. To pull the tower upright, workers attached high-tension cables on Yerba Buena Island to the 525-foot-tall structure for a full year in 2011 and 2012, Maroney said. The integrity of the 25-foot-long rods had already been thrown into doubt because of another construction problem: A botched grouting and caulking job had them stewing in water for years after they were installed. Before Thursday, Caltrans had downplayed the risk from the long-term soaking, saying the rods were under less stress than 32 similar steel fasteners that snapped when they were tightened on the bridgeâÂÂs seismic-stabilizer structures in 2013. Stress is a key factor in causing corrosion damage from hydrogen, the element that led to the sudden failure of those rods. The tower was off-center after it was lifted into position in 2010 because the eastern half of the suspension span is longer than the western half, creating forces that pulled the structure eastward, Maroney said. Maroney acknowledged that tugging the tower into its proper position could have put the water-soaked anchor rods at greater risk of cracking. Maroney said the stress that the rods sustained during the year the tower was being pulled into position could account for microscopic cracks that were found on the rod that was removed from the foundation and tested. Maroney said there is no immediate safety threat to the bridge, but that there could be a problem during a large earthquake âÂÂ the kind the $6.4 billion bridge was designed to withstand after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake revealed the vulnerability of the old eastern span, a section of which collapsed. Steve Heminger, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and chairman of the oversight panel, asked whether some rods may have already failed in their sleeves at the base of the tower. Because of the way they were installed, they would not pop out of position like the ones that failed on the seismic-stabilizer structures in 2013. Bernard Cuzzillo, a Berkeley-based mechanical engineer who investigates material failures, said the process of yanking the tower into place may indeed account for the tiny cracks that Caltrans has identified. âÂÂThis would provide additional loading on the rods, during the time they were the most vulnerable âÂÂ a high hydrogen environment in water,âÂÂ Cuzzillo said.
UC Improves Its Investment Returns But Still Lags Behind Other Schools
Lance Williams @ revealnews.org
The University of Californiaâs $13.1 billion endowment produced better investment returns last year but still trailed most of the other richest colleges in the country, new financial data shows.
Student Protests Shut Down UC Santa Cruz Campus
UC Santa Cruz administrators have closed the campus after protesters demonstrating over tuition hikes blocked visitors from entering.
Laura Bush: 'W' watching Jeb's likely campaign from the sidelines
Bush says she and former president George W. Bush have been watching the likely campaign "only from the sidelines."
Warren Furutani To Run For 35th Senate District Seat
Former Los Angeles School Board President and Assemblyman Warren Furutani said Thursday he will run next year for the 35 th Senate District seat against Assemblyman Steve Bradford now that incumbent Isadore Hall is planning to run for Congress .
State Sees Higher Minority, Youth Sign-ups For Health Plan
Judy Lin @ sacbee.com
California did a better job of enrolling more minorities and young people for health care coverage during the second year of expansion, but a shortfall in overall enrollment could lead to increased fees in the future, according to new state data released Thursday.
At Trystero Coffee In Atwater Village, Bring Your Own Cup
Greg Thomas runs Trystero Coffee out of his garage. On a recent morning there, folks drank cups of cappuccino chased with brewed Kenyan coffee. On a couch was a regular who sells wedding dresses and writes poetry in his free time. Several more people dropped by as the morning progressed, to pick up beans, have a cup of coffee and to chat. The regulars brought their own cups.