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THE NOONER for December 28, 2015

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Well, the holidays in the South continue to get worse. While we Californians are celebrating getting a large snowpack in the Sierras and beautiful weather here on the valley floor, at least 25 people have died and over 600 homes have been destroyed in the tornado-producing storm system the last few days. Our thoughts are with them.

FEELING GASSY AFTER THE HOLIDAYS? Gas prices rising in Sacramento, throughout California [Mark Glover @ SacBee] - "Allison Mac, a Los Angeles-based petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said the recent spikes were tied to a flurry of breakdowns and "maintenance issues" at multiple Golden State refineries that produce the specific blend of gas required in California."

This is what we call Bull Crap. Prices drop too much and the refineries decide that now is the time to perform deferred maintenance as opposed to when the money was rolling in with high prices.

I'm not anti-oil, despite driving an electric car. My family has an austere ranch in Texas that has some oil and gas production. But, like on the ranch, you call out bull s*** when you see it. It's like South Park "Shenanigans!"

HIGH HOPES: New Year's resolutions for California political players [Jeremy B. White @ SacBee] - "While other Californians pledge to drop a few pounds or quit smoking in the coming year, the state’s elected officials and political influence-wielders have loftier goals in mind. Here’s the list of resolutions we would expect them to make for 2016. . ."

CHATEAU CEMENT: What those homeless camps along L.A.'s freeways mean for a public space once above it all [Christopher Hawthorne @ LAT] - "The [Los Angeles] freeway system, which Southern Californians once saw as a ticket to freedom, an emblem of L.A.'s love of individuality and movement, increasingly serves as a landscape of hard luck and a desperate sort of community — a place to hunker down."

Meanwhile, kids are paying $500 a night to sleep on couches in San Francisco before their wi-fi equipped buses pick them up for the haul down the (or minus the for NorCal folks) 101.

PAPER OR PAPER? Get ready to ditch those plastic bags in Sacramento [Hudson Sangree @ SacBee] - "This week, the city will join 145 other communities in California in banning single-use plastic bags from grocery stores, large pharmacies and other retailers. The city ordinance takes effect even as a statewide ban on the bags remains on hold pending the outcome of a referendum in November."

FLORIDA: Deputies: Woman ate sushi, sweets while riding Wal-Mart cart [AP] - "A Florida woman has been accused of taking methamphetamine and driving a motorized shopping cart through a Wal-Mart while drinking wine and eating sushi and cinnamon rolls."

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to California Young Republicans' Taylor Strand and Michael Trujillo.

In sports news, the San Francisco 49ers have officially changed their name to the San Francisco 24.5ers, and that is generous.

Finally, Go Broncos! 




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Senators brace for unpredictable 2016 elections
Those up for reelection are building their voting records and campaigns, knowing all the while how little control they have over presidential-year politics.

San Bernardino Plan Cuts Pensions Of 23 Retirees | Calpensions
The supplement paid through a private-sector firm, the Public Agency Retirement System, boosts pensions to the same amount now common among police and firefighters, a standard set by the Highway Patrol in a CalPERS-sponsored bill, SB 400 in 1999.

Letter From Washington: Presidential Primaries May Hold Key in Senate Races
Among the unpredictable events that could affect elections: the presidential race, and economic or national security issues.

Get Ready To Ditch Those Plastic Bags In Sacramento | The Sacramento Bee
Hudson Sangree @
New city ordinance goes into effect in new year

Rohrabacher Was Sole O.C. Opponent To Spending Bill - The Orange County Register
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher was the only Orange County member of Congress to vote against the omnibus spending bill this month, even though it included one of his pet projects.

Jane Sanders Knows Politics, and How to Soften Husbandâ
With the exception of Bill Clinton, Ms. Sanders may be the most politically active and experienced spouse in the 2016 presidential election.

Abuse Of The J-1 Visa Was A Sidelight Of San Bernardino Attacks - Wsj
Miriam Jordan @
The San Bernardino, Calif., attack this month put the spotlight on a type of visa issued to a wide swath of foreigners, from camp counselors to physicians, and how easy it is for recipients to remain in the U.S. after the visa expires.

Gavin Newsom Looks To Close Year With Lots Of Cash For 2018 Gubernatorial Run - Matier And Ross

Salem Residents Report Resumed Owl Attacks -
Ben Hooper @
The Oregon Water Resources Department said two workers were attacked in separate incidents in different Salem locations Tuesday, the first leaving marks on the man's head and the second knocking a hat off a worker's head.

Socal Gas Pinpoints The Site Of A Leaking Well Near Porter Ranch
The late afternoon sun casts a warm glow on ridgeline homes in Porter Ranch. The comunity has survived wildfires, hurricane-force winds and a massive earthquake -- it is now contending with a disruptive natural gas leak.

2016 Republican Primary Campaign: Labor Secretary Perez On Donald Trump: 'i'm Thoroughly Offended' - Politico
Her speech slurred as she discussed the results, and a gasp could be heard on air

Worker Salaries Are Poised To Climb In 2016
American workers are poised in 2016 to finally get what they've been missing for years: higher salaries.

Huckabee: My Money’s On Trump - Politico
When it comes to Donald Trump's threat to go after Bill Clinton as the former president ramps up campaigning for his wife's bid, Mike Huckabee...

California Hospitals Required To Keep Caregivers In The Loop
Today's high

Researcher: Voter Registration Data Of 191 Million Exposed Online - Politico
Secretary of State John Kerry praised the move.

Elections Are Easy for Queens Prosecutor; Critics Call This a Problem
s job six times since 1991, with no opposition, and detractors say that is a sign of lingering machine politics in New York.

Carly Fiorina: 'bill Clinton's Fair Game' - Politico
The New Hampshire Union Leader tore into Donald Trump ahead of the Republican candidate's latest visit to the state.

Accountability Questions Dog D.a. Rackauckas And O.c.'s Justice System - The Orange County Register
Tough, street-smart Tony Rackauckas, who left gang-marred East Los Angeles to jump from the sky as a U.S. Army paratrooper, has spent the better part of his legal career in one battle or another.

Spending Bill Bolsters San Diego |
The MQ-9 Reaper was developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and is capable of serving as a hunter-killer as well as tool for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.