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THE NOONER for December 29, 2015

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The initiative madness continues. The Secretary of State yesterday cleared for circulation eight water bond initiatives. The initiative's proponent is Jerry Meral, a former Jerry Brown administration employee who oversaw the Delta tunnels project. The eight initiatives have different bond amounts, and it's unclear which one will be the focus of signature gathering.

The initiatives for an additional water bond provides an alternative funding mechanism for the tunnels project. The existing plan is to use revenue bonds, which don't require voter approval and would be paid for from water rates as opposed to general obligation bonds that are paid for from the state General Fund, but do require voter approval.

The revenue bonds strategy, which would avoid an ugly ballot fight with a NorCal (anti-tunnels) vs. SoCal (just give us some damn water), is threatened by an initiative sponsored by Stockton farmer Dean Cortopassi. The initiative, which has already qualified for the November 2016 ballot, would require voter approval for revenue bonds.

There are currently 73 initiatives in circulation as interests rush to avoid the increase in filing fees from $200 to $2,000 that starts on January 1.

In other initiative news, Six-figure donations for anti-poverty ballot proposal [Jim Miller @ SacBee] - "Major money has begun to flow into the effort to qualify a ballot measure that would impose a property tax surcharge on expensive homes to pay for anti-poverty programs."

Speaking of agua, Controversial sale of Delta islands runs into problems [Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow @ SacBee] - "The proposed land purchase has hit a snag in the form of pre-existing legal restrictions that govern how the islands are treated. The restrictions date to a 2013 settlement agreement that the islands’ owner – Delta Wetlands Properties, controlled by Swiss insurer Zurich Insurance Group – made with officials of San Joaquin County, neighboring water agencies and other government entities."

BOOMTOWN: Downtown: $6.4B development juggernaut [Roger Showily @ SDUT] - "San Diego's Centre City has more than $6.4 billion in 63 projects under construction, approved or under review — an amount equal to more than 40 percent of the 1,600-acre community’s entire $15.5 billion in assessed valuation, according to Civic San Diego, the downtown planning agency, and the county assessor’s office."

With this and the Inglewood development (with or without a stadium), Sacramento's arena development, Cupertino's new Apple campus, San Francisco/Oakland and so much more, it's a huge time in California real estate, and it's less focused on residential than previous booms.

Of course, being left out is the Central and North Valleys and even within these cities, where some of the greatest poverty resides.

FROM THE BELTWAY: Rohrabacher was sole O.C. opponent to spending bill [Martin Wisckol @ OCR] - "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. Included in the $1.1 trillion bill is a provision barring the federal government from prosecuting medical marijuana use and sales that conform to state law. The amendment, co-authored by the Costa Mesa Republican and Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, was a reauthorization of a similar amendment first approved as part of the omnibus spending bill in 2014."

Yesterday, Daily Kos writer and San Franciscan Paul Hogarth posted on Facebook how he found an unoccupied grand piano at Chicago O'Hare Airport and just started to tickle the ivories in the spirit of the season. One of the songs he played was Gershwin's Rhaposdy in Blue, which brought back this great childhood memory.

Damn, we need the Olympics back in Los Angeles in 2024. Unfortunately, we won't know until early 2017.

ONE-MAN SHOW: One person shows up to O'Malley event in Iowa, remains uncommitted [Nick Gass @ Politico] - "Amid a vicious winter storm on Monday that forced some presidential campaigns to cancel their scheduled stops in Iowa, only Martin O'Malley decided to press on. And one man at his last event, the only person to show up, in fact, "was glad to see me," the former Maryland governor said. But he still would not commit to caucus for O'Malley."

In other words, for those of you have worked on campaigns, it can always be worse...

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Port Huenume/Oxnard Commissioner Mary Anne Rooney




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Six-figure Donations For Anti-poverty Ballot Proposal | The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @
Campaign reported $700,000 from Los Angeles-based Daughters of Charity Foundation on Christmas Eve

Jerry Brown Taps Insider Scott Kernan As New California Prisons Chief
A guard watches the movement of the prisoners being escorted across the yard at San Quentin State Prison.

It’s Not Hard To Treat Hiv — Unless You’re Poor | State Of Health | Kqed News
HIV/AIDS activists and physicians say that despite the significant medical advances in treating the disease, many patients are being left behind because of their life circumstances. Groups that once held angry demonstrations against government agencies and pharmaceutical companies to speed access to affordable, life-saving HIV medications now emphasize the socioeconomic barriers that keep some people living with HIV from consistently obtaining and using those drugs to remain healthy.

Gas Prices Rising In Sacramento, Throughout California | The Sacramento Bee
Mark Glover @
Area at-the-pump cost increases the first since early July

Buying Power: For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions
The very richest are able to quietly shape tax policy that will allow them to shield millions, if not billions, of their income.

Smoke Clears As Pot Advocates Settle On 2016 Initiative |
Share Photo

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

Caltrans Sign In Corona Is Hacked To Show Support For Donald Trump
A Caltrans sign in Corona had an unexpected message for drivers on Christmas: Support Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Someone reprogrammed the northbound 15 Freeway sign at Ontario Avenue to read: "Inland Empire supports Donald Trump. Merry Xmas. Vote Donald Trump," the California...

New Bernie Sanders Ads Highlight Inequality - Politico
Two of the ads feature the Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate speaking to crowds

Silicon Valley Tech Companies Jump On The Super Bowl Bandwagon
Patrick May and Queenie Wong Staff writers @
"This is an unprecedented opportunity for companies that have grown up in the valley to take advantage of such an iconic event right here in our own backyard," said Paul Lanning, a San Jose State University vice president who recently held a symposium on how technology is changing the game of football and the way fans experience it. "This particular Bowl will be a game of stunning scope, with an immense regional impact. And the companies that will be leveraging it have a chance to advance their brands in ways that previous Super Bowls have never offered."

Bill Clinton To Make His First Campaign Trip Of 2016 - Politico
An Iraqi military spokesman says the country's forces raised the Iraqi flag over the government complex.

Refugee Crisis In Germany Mirrors Ca's Experience In 1980s -
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826

Why California Health Outcomes Trail Other States - California Health Report
Daniel Weintraub @
By Daniel Weintraub

California State Senator Seeks To Eliminate Statute Of Limitation For Rape Cases
"I'm bringing the civil case because that's what seems to be my last alternative in order for him to take any type of responsibility," Anderson-Salvatto, 53, said. "I can't bring a criminal suit because of the statute of limitations."

Study: 58 million dry California trees threatened by drought
A study released Monday by the Carnegie Institution for Science counts as many as 58 million trees statewide experiencing severe water loss, whose ruin would not only turn massive stands of pristine green to ugly brown but upset vital watersheds and wildlife. “Our maps reveal much wider, much larger-scale impacts on our forest than the dead trees would tell in themselves,” said Greg Asner, an ecologist at Stanford University who led the new study. Asner and his team evaluated the health of California’s woodlands by using laser-guided imaging, deployed from an airplane and unique to the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, to measure water content in trees. Asner doesn’t know for sure if the drought-tested trees will perish but says these are the ones to keep an eye on — especially as state and federal forest managers draft policies to maintain the health of California’s woodlands during dry times. “The Carnegie Airborne Observatory’s research provides invaluable insight into the severity of drought impacts in California’s iconic forests,” said Ashley Conrad-Saydah, deputy secretary for climate policy at the California Environmental Protection Agency. While the El Niño weather pattern building in the Pacific is expected to provide drought relief to forests this winter, the researchers suggest that many trees will remain indefinitely in a weakened state.

Ben Carson Campaign Changes To Be Revealed Next Week - Politico
He's given mixed signals about whether he's planning to make personnel shifts in a bid to revive his flagging campaign.

San Francisco Gears Up To Battle Justin Bieber
By Josh Richman Monday, December 28th, 2015 at 10:23 am in San Francisco politics.

Former Romney Lawyer Lays Out Chances Of Chaotic GOP Convention - Politico
The former national legal counsel for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign on Tuesday broke down how a potentially chaotic Republican convention could...

Not Only China's Wealthy Want To Study In America
Three months before the gaokao, China's all-or-nothing college entrance exam that can determine whether students become cashiers or CEOs, Kenny Fu was having second thoughts.

Carly Fiorina: 'bill Clinton's Fair Game' - Politico
A Syrian-based leader linked to the Paris attack leaders was killed on Dec. 24.

With Notecards Instead Of Computer Files, Dr. Mull Makes The Rounds Early At South L.A. Clinic
The line of patients starts to form outside South Central Family Health Center about 6:30 a.m.