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THE NOONER for April 1, 2015
GOVERNOR PROPOSES SECOND CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT TO ADDRESS WATER CRISIS
Today, at a press conference at the Phillips Station in the Sierras where the April snowpack measurement was taken, Governor Jerry Brown proposed the largest public works project in California's history, continuing the Brown family legacy. A major component of the legacy of the governor's father, Edmund G. Brown, is the California Aqueduct, which is named in his honor.
The news comes amidst what is expected to be the lowest snowpack water equivalent in history.
The new aqueduct would parallel the existing aqueduct and would have tunnels that connect to Sacramento, extending further north than the existing aqueduct, which originates at the southern end of the Bay-Delta.
The aqueduct would also be unique in another way--it ends in water, but doesn't start that way. The aqueduct seeks to solve Califiornia's water problem through the ultimate recycling--turning urine into safe drinking water. "The technology is safe for our astronauts, why can't it be safe for us?" said an administration source who was not authorized to speak on the record. He continued "This is the Tang of our time."
The aqueduct would collect urine from the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Central Valley and convey the liquids to a purifying plant just north of the Edmonston Pumping Plant at the base of the Tehachapis. Near the huge pipes viewable from I-5 that currently carry water over the pass to Lake Castaic and other reservoirs, a large plant would be built that would use proven technology to convert the matter into safe drinking water and electricity. After purification, the clean water would be pumped into the existing aqueduct and pumping system. The water would be purified and tested again in the same manner as existing aqueduct water.
According to a fact sheet obtained from the Administration, the average person produces between 800 and 2000 milliliters of urine per day, of which 95% is water in a healthy person. This would result in approximately 13 million liters (3.4 milion gallons) of urine flowing from Northern California into the aqueduct daily, supplemented by the "flushing" water associated with the waste. Federal standards require new toilets to have a maximum of 1.6 gallons/flush.
Not everyone is sold on the plan. "This is Sacramento literally p*ssing on us," said Bob White of Simi Valley-based Californians for Fresh Drinking Water. Peter E. Eckhardt, President of the Jefferson State is more optimistic, saying "This might just keep the Jeffersonian counties in Califiornia. We love the idea of keeping more of our water for our farms and flooding Los Angeles with our waste."
Details are expected to be included in the governor's May Revision of the 2015-16 Budget Act.
The official name of the project is "Golden Showers for the Golden State."
Anyway, yeah, I hate this day. Here's how you can pass the day and ignore your foolish co-workers: the Capitol neighborhood has to be one of the hardest Google Pac-Man neighborhoods to play. To play your neighborhood, go to maps.google.com, select the address you want to be the center of your game, and then click the Pac-Man icon on the bottom left of the screen.
Here are some cool California places to play:
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Justin Fanslau, Patrick Martinez, Leslie Smith, Rick Wathen, and Justin White!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Sacramento City Council Bans Plastic Bags
The Sacramento City Council has voted unanimously to ban plastic grocery bags and require a minimum ten-cent charge for reusable or paper bags.
Sales Taxes Hit 10 Percent In Hayward, San Leandro, Union City, Albany And El Cerrito
Matthew Artz @ insidebayarea.com
While Hayward, San Leandro, Union City, Albany and El Cerrito are the first Bay Area cities to reach the 10 percent threshold, they may soon have company as the state Legislature considers changing the law to give cities and counties more latitude to ask voters for sales tax increases.
Christensen, Peskin waste no time in growling at each other
J.K. Dineen, Heather Knight @ sfgate.com
A few hours after The Chronicle broke the news Monday that former Supervisor Aaron Peskin would run for his old District Three supervisorâÂÂs seat, incumbent Julie Christensen was rallying her troops at the House of Shields on New Montgomery Street. Hosts were three well-known restaurant industry veterans: chef-bar owner Dennis Leary, who owns the House of Shields, Natoma Cabana and the Sentinel; Gwyneth Borden, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association; and Obadiah âÂÂObieâÂÂ Ostergard, president of the Au Bon Repas restaurant group. The crowd included an assortment of the usual suspects who show up at campaign events âÂÂ lobbyists, real estate attorneys, activists, political consultants. âÂÂWhile serving as the mayor of this town, I wanted every library in this city to be appropriately remodeled, redeveloped or renewed,âÂÂ said Brown, who writes a Sunday column for The Chronicle. When informed Tuesday of what his adversaries were saying about him, Peskin scoffed at the notion that heâÂÂs been an obstructionist, pointing out that he supported four massive neighborhood up-zonings âÂÂ Market-Octavia, the Eastern Neighborhoods, Rincon Hill and the Hunters Point Shipyard âÂÂ that paved the way for most of the new housing under construction in the city. At the House of Shields, Christensen said, âÂÂUnfortunately, in the way our political system works, money is viewed as support, so I need to make a damn good showing by June,âÂÂ Christensen said. [...] my opponent has nothing to do all day but call people up and twist their arms. San Francisco police officers and California Highway Patrol officers are teaming up to blanket the city looking for distracted drivers. Stronger police enforcement of traffic laws is part of San FranciscoâÂÂs âÂÂVision ZeroâÂÂ plan to eliminate traffic deaths by 2024. Suhr said the cityâÂÂs crowded streets along with inattention are to blame for traffic deaths. The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed legislation Tuesday giving special protection to gay and transgender seniors in assisted-living facilities. forbids discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation and demands that senior facilities train at least one staff member to serve as a liaison for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents. Wiener and other supporters of the bill, including the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the ACLU of Northern California, say it is needed to protect LGBT people entering care facilities from discrimination. Wiener also introduced a resolution that puts the city on record condemning the Indiana âÂÂreligious freedomâÂÂ law that is bringing that state and its governor so much heat.
National Briefing | Washington: Lawyers Chosen to Present Case for Gay Marriage
Gay rights groups announced that they had chosen two lawyers, Mary L. Bonauto and Douglas Hallward-Dreimeier, to present Supreme Court arguments on April 28 in favor of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
S.F. Sheriff Mirkarimi reeling from scandal over forced fights
Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi may be the loneliest person at City Hall these days, after last weekâÂÂs allegations that deputies had forced prisoners to fight each other has eroded support among those who had stood behind him through his previous troubles. The former city supervisor is trying to burnish his legacy as a progressive, forward-thinking sheriff in advance of the November election despite the lingering taint of domestic violence charges against him three years ago. Two other recent revelations âÂÂ a mistake by sheriffâÂÂs deputies last week led to the escape of a federally indicted drug trafficker and a video camera in December recorded a sheriffâÂÂs deputy choking and then arresting a patient at San Francisco General Hospital âÂÂ add to a perception that the sheriffâÂÂs department is poorly managed. Supervisor David Campos, who voted to keep Mirkarimi in office after Mayor Ed Lee suspended him following the 2012 domestic violence incident, in which Mirkarimi admitted bruising his wifeâÂÂs arm during an argument, said the latest allegations âÂÂshock the conscience.âÂÂ Eric Balaban, a senior staff counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union National Project who represents prisoners in abuse cases, said a key to ferreting out misconduct is to have systems in place âÂÂwhere prisoners arenâÂÂt fearful of reporting.âÂÂ Mirkarimi has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations, in addition to the one started by his departmentâÂÂs internal affairs unit. On Monday, San Francisco District Attorney George GascÃ³n said he is forming a task force to look into misconduct in the police and sheriffâÂÂs departments, and the inmate fights at the jail will be examined. The most important thing to win any type of contested race is you have to have a coalition of supporters behind you,âÂÂ she said, âÂÂand since progressive activists have basically spent the last three years wishing Ross Mirkarimi would disappear itâÂÂs hard to imagine he is going to have the ground game he needs to stand a chance. Corey Cook, a political science professor at the University of San Francisco, said Mirkarimi now faces a âÂÂtwin challengeâÂÂ in his re-election bid. San Francisco immigration attorney Karl Krooth said that when Hennessy filled in for Mirkarimi âÂÂshe was taking systematic withdrawalsâÂÂ from existing protections for undocumented immigrants in the jails. Krooth said that when Mirkarimi returned he spearheaded programs to keep undocumented immigrants in the country despite pressure from federal officials.
California State It Office Faces Hiring, Retention Challenge | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
A plan to create a special unit of IT experts who would manage Californiaâs state government technology projects has merit, a new report states, but several uncertainties remain about how it would be implemented.
A State Earned Income Tax Credit Could Help People Move From Welfare To Work
Editorial @ latimes.com
The earned income tax credit has enjoyed four decades of bipartisan support because it helps working people at the bottom of the economic ladder climb up a few rungs. In their zeal to bring the federal budget into balance without raising taxes on people with means, however, congressional Republicans have proposed to shrink the federal credit in 2018. Democrats in the California Legislature, meanwhile, want to create a state version. The latter is a good idea, if done the right way. The former is a step in the wrong direction.
Republican Voter Registration Continues To Erode In California | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @ sacbee.com
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.
Lawmakers Try And Try Again To Expand Dual Enrollment
Michelle Maitre @ edsource.org
Programs that allow students to earn high school and college credit at the same time are seen as an effective way to boost college success rates. However, numerous legislative efforts over the past decade to expand opportunities for students to take the courses have withered.
Tribe Fights Coachella Valley Water Agencies For Aquifer Rights
Matt Stevens @ latimes.com
In drought-ravaged California, the vast freshwater aquifer beneath the Coachella Valley is a rare bright spot.
'decline To State' Voters Continue To Grow In California, Including San Diego County | Utsandiego.com
Here's Hoping For A Marijuana Measure That's Not Half-baked
Californians are almost certainly going to vote in 2016 on a ballot measure to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. And according to the most recent polls, a majority of voters now support that goal.
Economic Scene: The False Hope of a Smaller Government, Built on Tax Breaks
Protected from democratic accountability, the government developed into a Rube Goldberg contraption that has a weak claim to a defensible social purpose.
Caltax March 27, 2015
San Bruno Officials Want Bigger Fine Upheld Against PG&E Over Pipeline Blast
Bryan Goebel @ ww2.kqed.org
San Bruno city officials are calling on the California Public Utilities Commission to uphold a proposed $1.6 billion fine against Pacific Gas & Electric for the 2010 pipeline blast that killed eight people.
Opinion: Gas Prices Generate Irrationality, Demagoguery
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Thereâs something about the ebb and flow of gasoline prices that makes ordinarily rational people go a little nuts. And thereâs something about politicians that entices them to demagogue the publicâs irrational gas price obsession.
Kaiser to search for causes of autism in large-scale study
Kaiser Permanente is about to begin what is believed to be the largest genetic research project ever conducted by a health organization into the causes of autism, gathering biologic and other health information from 5,000 Northern California families who have child with the developmental disorder. Scientists have long suspected that autism results from a combination of genetics and environmental factors, but no one knows for sure. âÂÂThis is an opportunity for the families who are affected by autism to really contribute their expertise and experience and help find answers,âÂÂ said Lisa Croen, director of the autism program at KaiserâÂÂs Division of Research in Oakland and the studyâÂÂs principal investigator. Autism is a complex neuro-developmental disorder characterized by a range of symptoms that include difficulties in communicating, social impairment and repetitive patterns of behavior. âÂÂThere have been a lot of genetic studies done and the one thing we know for sure is itâÂÂs very complex,âÂÂ said Neil Risch, study co-investigator and the director of the UCSFâÂÂs Institute for Human Genetics. The study, called the Autism Family Research Bank, was funded by a $4.6 million grant from Simons Foundation, a charity that supports a variety of health and social welfare initiatives. The grant will fund the recruiting of families and the collecting of detailed genetic, medical and environmental information, all of which is expected to take three years. In addition to looking closely at the genetics, researchers will study other prime suspects associated with autism such as the age of the parents, environmental exposures during gestation and the early post-natal phase, immunological abnormalities and additional health issues such as seizure disorders. âÂÂThe only the way to get answers is by contributing to the current body of research,âÂÂ Bullock said, who serves on the community advisory board for KaiserâÂÂs Autism Research Program.
Ex-football Player Armond Armstead Reaches Settlement With Usc
Former USC football player Armond Armstead reached a confidential settlement in his lawsuit that accused the university and team doctor James Tibone of causing a heart attack by improperly injecting him with the potent painkiller Toradol.
SD Will Lift Travel Threat If Indiana Law Changes
Michael Smolens @ utsandiego.com
Mayor Kevin Faulconer does not anticipate enacting his threatened ban on city employee travel to Indiana in light of Gov. Mike Penceâs pledge to amend a law that critics say allows discrimination against gays and lesbians, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Gov. Jerry Brown To Attend Snowpack Measurement Near Lake Tahoe
Chris Megarian @ latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown will be on hand Wednesday morning near Lake Tahoe when officials measure the state's drought-depleted snowpack, his office announced.
California's Death Row Is Out Of Room. What Now?
A 2011 study published in the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review revealed that since 1978, California taxpayers had spent about $4 billion more with the death penalty than if those inmates had been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Other studies reveal that if the current system is maintained, there will be a cost of $5 billion to $7 billion more than with just life without parole between now and 2050.
Gender Equality Debate Gives New Life To Old Ideas In Sacramento
Marisa Lagos @ ww2.kqed.org
Are you a liberal Democrat who supports increased welfare payments or expanded access to subsidized child care or paid family leave?