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THE NOONER for April 2, 2015
Good morning from Insight Coffee, where I'm looking at the Grim Reaper standing outside, along with non-union workers continuing the Carpenters union protest, which from the crowds here lately, prove to be having little to zero effect. The protest--also against Magpie--has to do with the plans by the two businesses to expand into new digs at 16th and P. The developer is using non-union carpenters. The union staged a similar protest against the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op--ironically, a union shop. The Bee's Ryan Lillis wrote about it in February.
I'm pro-union, and when I was CEO of the League, we never touched a Do Not Patronize hotel and cancelled events when picket lines emerged. However, this is the kind of crap that turns people off from the labor movement. If every small business was bound to only lease space in union-constructed space, we would have no small businesses. I'm also guessing that almost every lobbying firm in Sacramento would be homeless. Protest the developer, not the tenants.
Buy a cup of joe today at Insight at either at 8th and S or in the old Temple location at 1014 10th Street.
Well, that was fun yesterday. Most people caught the April Fools connection at the Tang line. Actually, there are water districts that are actively exploring converting urine into water, and I would guess that 20 years from now there will be many such projects. However, it's unlikely we'll have a yellow river flowing down the state.
ON TOPIC: Here's How Much Water California Needs to Save This Year Nick Stockton @ Wired] - "An acre foot is literally an acre of land covered with one foot of water. For you non-farmers, that’s about 490 billion gallons. But most people can’t even visualize the volume of water they use in a single day, which is about 80-100 gallons, or about three fully filled bath tubs. Oh, speaking of bath tubs, Brown's plan calls for skipping about 7.1 billion of them. Or 20 billion short showers. Or about 500 billion tooth brushing sessions. For the flush-conscious, that’s about 460 billion number ones (If it’s yellow, let it mellow!)."
The NYT maps out water use across the state.
REDUX: What's old is new again: Brown called for 25% water cuts in the 1970s [Phil Willon @ LAT] - "Gov. Jerry Brown's order Wednesday for a 25% mandatory cut in water use, a response to the state's devastating drought, comes almost four decades after the governor faced a similar water crisis that pitted water-rich Northern California against its thirsty southern neighbors."
EXCEPTIONS: New California Water Reductions Don't Apply to Farmers [Pauline Bartolone @ CPR] - "Agriculture in California consumes about 80 percent of water used by humans. Brown’s executive order requires farmers to submit information on water usage to the state, but not to cut back further."
The governor's executive order can be found here.
Anyway, it is April, meaning it's the Most Important Month. That's how Tony Quinn bills it, based on the Civil War surrender of the Confederate Army and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Here in California, April is the Most Important Month for another reason. This is the state's most important revenue month. Under the Department of Finance's cash flow projections, April is forecast to account for 14% of the year's revenue, including 16.9% of personal income tax revenues. And, with the high variability of personal income taxes, it will determine what the sandbox looks like as the Legislature reviews the governor's budget proposal and May Revision.
Through February, the Dept. of Finance tallies state General Fund revenues at $633 million above the January budget forecast, which was $2.058 billion above the amount assumed when the budget was enacted in June 2014. Thus, the fiscal year budget is already nearly $2.7 billion above what was assumed when the Legislature and governor agreed on the current year budget. That's not a huge surprise for budget watchers, as they know that the budget was conservative on the revenue side, keeping with Governor Brown's conservative budget approach. In fact, the Legislative Analyst projected revenues at $2.243 billion higher than the Department of Finance at the time of the May Revision.
Now the question is whether April will be below, above, or on target with the forecasted amount of $12.783 billion in personal income tax revenues. The LAO will launch its revenue tracker soon and I'll be watching it and letting you know how the coffers are doing.
GOV: San Jose Inside reports that Steve Westly has decided to run for governor in 2018.
OUCH, iCARLY: Merc News editorial:
Trying to look on the bright side of Carly Fiorina's "higher than 90 percent" chance of running for president in 2016, at least there's this: Since she moved to Virginia a few years back, she won't be embarrassing California at every turn.
Her splash on "Fox News Sunday" gave us chills. And not in a good way.
VOTER REG STATS: Here is the district-by-district voter registration changes over the last two years. The new data are also posted to the AroundTheCapitol district pages. Paid subscribers can download the spreadsheets at the subscribers portal.
THE DEAN SPEAKETH: California Sen. Janet Nguyen's story may have you waving U.S. flag [George Skelton @ LAT] - "Nguyen's is the kind of old-fashioned, feel-good story we don't hear enough of anymore — proof that the dream still can be real."
THE HAVE NOTS: Poverty rates near record levels in Bay Area despite hot economy [George Avalos @ MercNews] - "Despite being a nationwide leader in job growth, the Bay Area suffers from a poverty rate that still hovers near historic highs, with more than 800,000 people in the region living below the poverty line, a report released on Wednesday shows."
BULKING UP: The law firm Greenberg Traurig announced the addition of former Assemblymember Roger Dickinson as a shareholder. Dickinson joins former Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg at the firm, which entered the Sacramento market in 2005 by acquiring law/lobbying firm Livingston and Mattesich.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to David Chiu, Bill Monning and Jerry Seedborg!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
What's Old Is New Again: Brown Called For 25% Water Cuts In The 1970s
Gov. Jerry Brown ’s order Wednesday for a 25% mandatory cut in water use, a response to the state’s devastating drought, comes almost four decades after the governor faced a similar water crisis that pitted water-rich Northern California against its thirsty southern neighbors.
Finding The Power To Get Fresh Water From The Ocean :: Fox&hounds
Proposals to desalinate water from the Pacific Ocean have run into environmental concerns and cost issues. Environmentalists still raise alarms dealing with the health of the ocean and the creatures that live in it. The thinking on the cost issue is changing, however, because of the severity of the drought, the increased value of water, and potential energy resources to make the process work.
SD7: Steve Glazer Files FPPC Complaint On Unions
Josh Richman @ ibabuzz.com
Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer, vying with Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla in the 7th State Senate District special election, filed a complaint Wednesday with the stateâs political watchdog agency claiming labor unions are hiding their role in a group thatâs attacking him.
Key Provisions Of California's New Water Cuts
California Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered California's first mandatory, statewide water cutbacks by cities and towns as the state's nearly 40 million people head into a fourth summer of severe drought. Here's a look at Brown's plan for achieving an overall 25 percent cut in water use.
Decision Expected Soon On San Juan Capistrano Lawsuit That Questions Tiered Water Rates - The Orange County Register
Gov. Jerry Brownâs direction that water agencies consider new rates to encourage conservation comes at a questionable time for longstanding rate models used by many agencies to do just that.
Protesters To Demand CalSTRS Unload Firearms Investments
Dale Kasler @ sacbee.com
The California Federation of Teachers plans a protest outside a CalSTRS board meeting in West Sacramento on Thursday, demanding the pension fund follow through on its pledge to unload its investment in Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity firm that owns gun manufacturer Freedom Group. A Bushmaster rifle manufactured by Freedom was tied to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.
L.A. To Pay $1.4 Billion In Sidewalk Repairs, Settling ADA Lawsuit
Mayor Eric Garcetti announces a $1.4 billion settlement of a lawsuit brought by disabled residents over broken city sidewalks and missing curb ramps April 1, 2015. Attorney Guy Wallace, center, represented wheelchair user Lillibeth Navarro and other plaintiffs in the class action. Sharon McNary
Law Enforcement Split On Body Cameras
Bob Moffitt @ capradio.org
Officer-worn body cameras are rare in northern California, but, perhaps not for long. About half of the law enforcement agencies in the greater Sacramento region are using the cameras or are testing them. But, some agencies are reluctant.
California Drought: Santa Cruz, Tri-Valley Show Deep Cuts In Water Use Possible
To see how Californians can drastically cut back on their water use as ordered Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown, look no further than the East Bay's Tri-Valley area and the city of Santa Cruz. They already did it last year.
How smartphones will change the 2016 presidential race
Dylan Byers @ politico.com
Four years ago today, President Obama was gearing up to announce his reelection campaign, Mitt Romney was leading Newt Gingrich in the polls, and roughly one of three American adults owned a smartphone.
Presidential Pardons At Last
Debra J. Saunders @ sfgate.com
In commuting the sentences of 22 federal drug offenders Tuesday, President Obama has begun to take the unfettered power of executive clemency embedded in the Constitution to the place where it belongs. âIâve been a cynic on the Obama administration for a while,â University of St. Thomas School of Law Professor Mark Osler told me, but with these commutations, which doubled the presidentâs total, âitâs hard for me to be cynical about whatâs happening today.â Finally, the administration is demonstrating how pardon power should be used, with, as Osler put it, âthe most powerful person in the world freeing the least powerful person in the world.â
Here's How Much Water California Needs To Save This Year
Nick Stockton @ wired.com
He may have dropped the news on April Fools Day, but California Governor Jerry Brownâs new water rules are no joke. Issued while standing in the bone dry Sierra Nevada mountainsâwhich are usually packed with snow this time of yearâBrownâs executive order will affect every user in the state, from cities to golf courses, parks to agriculture.
City attorney sues developer whose house slid down Twin Peaks
The San Francisco city attorneyâÂÂs office on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against politically connected developer whose Twin Peaks project slid down a hillside in 2013, accusing him of multiple violations of city building codes over more than a decade. The civil complaint against Mel Murphy âÂÂ former president of the Building Inspection Commission who now serves as a port commissionerâÂÂ accuses him of deception and committing permit violations that ranged from allegedly hiding of rental income from an illegally converted complex to improperly reinforcing the hillside project that later collapsed. The city wants a judge to order that 20 of MurphyâÂÂs properties undergo detailed inspections and that he be sanctioned $2,500 each for dozens of apparent violations of city building and public safety regulations. âÂÂThe conduct exhibits a pattern of brazen lawlessness that really does threaten the health and safety of San Francisco residents,âÂÂ City Attorney Dennis Herrera said. Neighbors were opposed to the project, saying the size of the new structure would be out of scale with the neighborhood. The city attorneyâÂÂs office said the Alabama Street conversion suggests a âÂÂdeliberate pattern of fraud,âÂÂ with Murphy filing elaborate documentation with the city to maintain the fiction of a twoâÂÂunit project and his consistent failureâÂÂâÂÂ to report the his interest in, and income from the project as is required under city ethics rules for commissioners. In another instance, an 11-unit condominium project at 3418 26th St. in Bernal Heights, the complaint accuses Murphy of illegally installing lifts last year that allowed cars to park on top of each other in the garage, which has room for four spaces. When told he did not have permits for any of the four stacking devices and had not made one of the spaces wide enough for handicapped accessibility, he removed the lifts and painted spaces so look like he had created the required, wider handicapped accessible space, the suit says. The suit also alleges that Murphy allowed parking in the area that should have been clear to allow for handicapped accessibility.
Prison Doctors Double Pay With O.T.
Joel Hoffman @ utsandiego.com
Twenty-nine state prison medical workers were paid more than $100,000 in overtime last year, including 15 doctors and nurses who were able to more than double their wages with the extra hours.
Drought Etiquette: When Is Yellow No Longer Mellow?
Dan Brekke @ ww2.kqed.org
It seems so simple. Stop hosing down your sidewalk. Forgo washing the car out on the street. Be prudent in all your outdoor watering. Quit letting the water run while you brush your teeth or shave or do anything else. Take Navy showers. Put a brick in the tank of your toilet or install a low-flow model. And donât flush unnecessarily â if itâs yellow, let it mellow.
Contract Talks Stalled, Thousands Of L.A. City Workers Take Strike Vote
Peter Jamison and Catherine Saillant @ latimes.com
Angered by stalled contract negotiations, at least 10,000 Los Angeles city workers will decide whether to strike, a move that could potentially paralyze basic city services such as garbage collection, sewer maintenance and transportation.
Indiana Drafts Amended Religious Law To Protect Gays Against Discrimination
Michael Muskal and Matt Pearce @ latimes.com
Indiana lawmakers on Thursday presented new legislationÂ designed to answer critics who say the stateâs new law on religious beliefs allows discrimination against gays and lesbians and to ease the political and business pressure that has tightened around the state.
S.F. fire officials reject D.A.âs call for tougher alcohol rules
Jaxon Van Derbeken @ sfgate.com
The San Francisco Fire Department has not acted on a warning from the cityâs district attorney that it needs to toughen its alcohol-testing rules for firefighters â a warning that anticipated a judgeâs dismissal of drunken-driving charges against an ex-firefighter who crashed his rig.
Control Of L.A. School Funds At Risk In Dispute Over Teacher Evaluations
The Los Angeles Unified School District could lose control over $57 million a year in federal funds because of a disagreement over performance evaluations with the teachers union.
Central Valley And Rural Northern California Counties Ranked Unhealthiest - California Health Report
Hannah Guzik @ healthycal.org
Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone
Steve Westly Tells Private Group He's Running For Governor In 2018
Forget Hillary Clinton and her emails, or Ted Cruz and Canadian birther conspiracies. The 2016 race for president can wait. We need to start talking 2018. Thatâs when Californians will return to the polls to select a new governor, and Fly has learned Democratic multi-multi-multi-millionaire Steve Westly has made up his mind to run.
Brown's Action Draws Excitement, Disdain At Street Level
Jeffrey Hess @ capradio.org
Among other actions, Governor Brownâs executive order mandates the replacement of 50 million square feet of lawn around the state with drought-tolerant landscaping.
Judge Rules Navy Underestimated Threat To Marine Mammals From Sonar
A federal judge has ruled in favor of environmentalists who assert the Navy has vastly underestimated the threat to marine mammals posed by its use of sonar and explosives during training off Southern California and Hawaii.
Indiana lawmakers announce revised religious freedom law
One lawmaker says the fix will "hopefully" put an end to misconceptions.