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THE NOONER for January 20, 2016
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Happy Wednesday! Sorry about the glitch yesterday in which The Nooner hamsters thought you'd might like to revisit days gone by. I'm trying figure out how that happened, so hopefully it doesn't happen again. I can tell you that it wasn't a hacker, as I've checked all the logins and it's just me (it takes three different complicated passwords to get into the section of my server that houses The Nooner.
It appears that it's over for now and was a mail queue clearup of messages that had not previously gone through. Oddly, I didn't get any old messages (and have three email accounts on The Nooner list). Let me know if you get any more, and I'll be carefully watching the server's mail queue.
CA25 (Antelope/Santa Clarita): The Southern California Gas Company's well leak in Porter Ranch has Democratic interests rethinking about whether or not to target Congressman Steve Knight (R). Knight, who lives in Lancaster, represents the north San Fernando Valley community, where thousands of residents have been relocated out of the area for health concerns. Recently, Northridge Middle School absorbed 1,100 Porter Ranch students, dwarfing the 800 students already enrolled.
The leak is now in its 88th day since reported to regulators and the gas company believes it might have the well capped off by late February. It was a pretty miserable holiday season for residents in and around Porter Ranch.
Congressman Brad Sherman (D) lives in the southern part of Porter Ranch (which is in his CA30) and has been regularly visible, but some activists feel that Knight hasn't been present enough. Among the critics are Erin Brockovich, who was portrayed by Julia Roberts in the 2000 movie Erin Brockovich, and lives in the adjacent CA33 (Ted Lieu).
Residents are very angry, as property values are reportedly plummeting, their lives have been disrupted, and they are concerned about long-term health effects. And, while the evacuation was Porter Ranch, and parts of Northridge and Chatsworth, it's a big story throughout northern Los Angeles and southern Venture counties, both with areas represented by Knight (including the Republican stronghold of Simi Valley).
Knight won by 7,600 votes in 2014, 6.6% and wasn't on the initial target list for this cycle. However, Porter Ranch may have changed the electoral math. As of September 30, none of the Democrats had raised significant money, with the next report due January 31. But, it could just be a district in play in 2016 because, as you know, in politics stuff happens.
SIN AGUA: Rain, snow making a dent in California’s historic drought [Ryan Sabalow and Phillip Reese @ SacBee] - “Since Friday, a series of storms have dropped close to 2.5 inches of rain in Sacramento, helping replenish reservoirs drained to historic lows last summer. More importantly, the storms have added to the snowpack blanketing the Sierra, a stark contrast to last year, which dawned with the state’s driest January in more than 100 years."
MONEY MATTERS: Californians Are Still “Meh” About the Economic Recovery [Carson Bruno @ Fox & Hounds]:
And he has good reason to do so. Since taking office in January 2011, California’s U3 unemployment rate is down 6 points, almost 1.8 million more people are employed, and real GDP per capita has grown by about 4%. But Brown should also be careful that he doesn’t over celebrate this progress. While the state has been experiencing a slow-but-steady recovery, it has been very uneven across the state. For instance, while Santa Clara County in the heart of Silicon Valley boasts an unemployment rate of 3.8%, those in the Central Valley and Inland Empire still are experiencing double-digits rates. In fact, if you were to remove the Silicon Valley-Bay Area from California, it would reduce employment growth since 2009 from 7.5% to 5.7%."
Continuing his tradition of eschewing the evening newscasts (and letting lawmakers get out of town), Brown will give his State of the State at 10:00 am tomorrow. You can watch it at calchannel.com.
$$$: Playing the odds, Gavin Newsom endorses rival minimum wage hikes [Christopher Cadelago @ SacBee]
“On Tuesday morning, [Gavin Newsom] joined San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and labor activists as they submitted signatures for their initiative to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021. The proposal, endorsed by Newsom in November and led by SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, would be adjusted annually to keep pace with the cost of living.
. . .
Within hours of his appearance in San Francisco, a rival measure to boost the base wage to $15 an hour by 2020, this one led by SEIU California, put out a press release of its own also claiming Newsom as a supporter. SEIU California’s initiative includes six paid six days per year, and its 700,000 workers are seen as a key political ally in contested statewide campaigns.”
OMAHA...HIKE! Gavin Newsom fundraising on Super Bowl for gun control [David Siders @ SacBee] - “For a $5 donation to his ballot measure to strengthen gun control laws in California, supporters can be entered into a drawing to win tickets to the big game in Santa Clara next month.”
$$$: California’s big benefit debt load will grow [Dan Walters @ SacBee] - “No one truly knows the extent of what are called “unfunded liabilities,” because official estimates of the debts, around $200 billion, assume pension trust funds will achieve earnings that are likely unrealistic. Meanwhile, almost nothing is being put aside for rapidly increasing health care obligations.”
BUDGET BREAKER? What if the Supreme Court Sides with Friedrichs? [Joel Fox @ Fox & Hounds] - “I suppose its never too early in the punditry business to conjecture how an action might affect future political efforts—even if that action hasn’t occurred yet—but considering the busy ballot likely facing California voters in November, one wonders what happens if the U.S. Supreme Court decides in June to release public employees from paying mandated union agency fees in the Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association case?”
CHOO-CHOO: State Senate leader plans oversight hearings on California's bullet train [Ralph Varabedian @ LAT] - “The hearings, chaired by Sen. James Beall Jr. of San Jose, would provide the first significant legislative oversight of the project in four years, during which it has fallen far behind schedule and concerns have mounted over its costs and other uncertainties.”
THE 916: Sacramento City Council Walks Out On Protesters [Bob Moffatt @ CapPubRad] - “Tuesday night's Sacramento City Council meeting ended with shouts of protest. Councilman and Vice Mayor Rick Jennings adjourned the meeting after four people addressed the council about homelessness in the city and the city's anti-camping ordinance. People in the audience continually disrupted those speeches and council comments.”
The Kings and Lakers face off tonight at Staples, but it ain't like it used to be.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Poway Unified school board president Kimberley Beatty!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Backers of $15 minimum wage submit signatures to get on ballot
Emily Green @ sfgate.com
Supporters of a $15-an-hour state minimum wage submitted signatures Tuesday to qualify the measure for the November ballot, setting the state for a contentious fight between labor and business groups.
Budget Rollercoaster And The Oil Severance Tax :: Fox&hounds
Six state budgets are feeling the effects of falling severance taxes, which in some cases include minerals as well as oil. Alaska has taken the biggest hit because the severance tax accounts for 72% of state revenues. Given the sharp decline in that revenue, the governor has proposed a 6% income tax to make up for some of the lost funds.
Playing The Odds, Gavin Newsom Endorses Rival Minimum Wage Hikes | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @ sacbee.com
Bid by SEIU-UHW would raise wage to $15 by 2021
Santa Clara Valley Water District Ceo's Resignation, $278,000 Payout Raise Questions
Paul Rogers @ mercurynews.com
But what went on behind closed doors at the government agency told a different story: In truth, Goldie was forced out. Only minutes before the Santa Clara Valley Water District issued the retirement statement, Goldie and the agency's board signed a legally binding agreement saying that he was invoking the "involuntary termination" clause of his contract. He also signed a pledge not to sue the water district in exchange for six months' severance pay, about $152,630. The contract didn't allow the severance pay if he voluntarily retired.
The Senate's Homelessness Proposal May Need To Go To The Ballot - Capradio.org
Ben Bradford @ capradio.org
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826
Guidelines Issued For California's Assisted Suicide Law
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
With the state's assisted death law taking effect in months, the California Medical Assn. on Tuesday issued guidelines to physicians in writing prescriptions of lethal doses of drugs for terminally ill patients.
Senate Democrats May Try To Pin GOP With Immigration Votes - Politico
"He's all done," said one Michigan Republican strategist. "Water's important, you know. It's over."
Gavin Newsom Fundraising On Super Bowl For Gun Control
David Siders @ sacbee.com
For a $5 donation to his ballot measure to strengthen gun control laws in California, supporters can be entered into a drawing to win tickets to the big game in Santa Clara next month.
California Drought: Stormwater Floods Modesto Almond Orchard In Experiment To Restore Aquifer
Lisa M. Krieger @ mercurynews.com
On Tuesday, roiling, muddy water from the storm drains of the city of Modesto flooded an almond orchard, where UC Davis researchers will track its progress as it slowly percolates -- over weeks, months, even years -- into a 45-foot-deep underground reservoir.
California Bill Limits Rifle, Shotgun Sales To 1 Per Month | The Sacramento Bee
Californians would be limited to buying a maximum of one rifle or shotgun each month under newly proposed legislation.
Brown's Transportation Budget Celebrates The Car - California Health Report
Daniel Weintraub @ calhealthreport.org
By Daniel Weintraub
As With Lakes Around World, Water Temperature In Lake Tahoe Rising - Sfgate
Like hundreds of lakes around the world, Lake Tahoe has been warming steadily for more than 40 years, with surface temperatures rising faster than the global warming rate of oceans and the atmosphere, an international survey has detected.
Erin Brockovich Appeals To Porter Ranch Residents As Law Firms Push Gas Leak Suits
Erin Brockovich and Robert Kennedy Jr. pitch Porter Ranch families on legal services.
12 days till Iowa: The latest photos from the campaign trail
With the Iowa caucuses just a flip of the calendar page away, POLITICO takes you on the campaign trail Tuesday, Jan. 19, where presidential candidates are braving snow, racking up endorsements and scrambling for last-minute support.
Who, Exactly, Uses The On-demand Marijuana Delivery Service Eaze? - San Francisco Chronicle
Click here to confirm your subscription & sign in information.
L.A. To Pay $24 Million To Two Men Imprisoned For Decades After Wrongful Murder Convictions
Los Angeles will pay more than $24 million to two men who were wrongfully convicted and freed after decades behind bars, city lawmakers agreed Tuesday.
First Draft: Donald Trump Bears Down on Iowa as Voting Nears
s two-day visit to Iowa comes as the billionaire developer is locked in a tight race with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, with both trying to attract the support of evangelical Christians and Tea Party voters and social conservatives.
3 supervisors say city needs better deal on Super Bowl costs
Supervisors Jane Kim, John Avalos and Aaron Peskin on Tuesday stood at Market and Drumm Streets, which on Jan. 30 will become part of the cordoned-off Super Bowl City fan festival area, to denounce what they view as the terrible deal the city has struck with the NFL and the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee and demand the two sides renegotiate. On Friday, San FranciscoâÂÂs budget and legislative analyst, Harvey Rose, released a report at the request of Avalos that slammed the city for not signing an agreement with the NFL and the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee for full reimbursement of the cityâÂÂs costs. Santa Clara will host the football game, but its $720 million annual budget cannot easily absorb the hosting costs and it is getting reimbursed $3.6 million from the host committee, Johnston said. San Francisco will host the vast majority of visitors in its hotels and restaurants and will throw the parties including Super Bowl City. âÂÂThere is a way to host large, free events that not only create excitement and fun for the city, but also bring in millions in tax revenue and economic impact,âÂÂ Falvey said. The street artists who sell their wares under white awnings at the base of Market Street are being moved several blocks west on Market for the duration of Super Bowl City, and the artists say theyâÂÂll lose money because of it. Michael X. Trachiotis, who designs T-shirts, said the NFL could pay each affected artist a small daily stipend to make up for the lost costs for less than the price of a ticket to the Super Bowl. Johnston, a former member of the cityâÂÂs arts commission and its street artists committee, said the artistsâÂÂ temporary spot on Market near Fourth Street will see a lot of extra foot traffic and should earn them a windfall. There were also questions about whether Famous WayneâÂÂs Shoe Shine Stand at Market and Drumm Streets and an Indian food truck on Market outside the Hyatt Hotel would be shut down temporarily for Super Bowl City. Peskin said he is hopeful that the city, which faces a $100 million budget gap for next year because of rising pension costs, can get some financial help from the NFL for hosting the Super Bowl celebrations.
Alameda County Vaccinations Surge In Wake Of Enforcement | State Of Health | Kqed News
The countywide turnaround is due in large part to improvement in vaccination rates recorded in the Oakland Unified School District. The district lifted its rates of kindergartners with up-to-date vaccinations from only 75 percent in 2014-15 to 97 percent this year.
DWP Board Approves Power Rate Hike To Raise $720 Million
The board that oversees the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power on Tuesday approved a plan to increase power rates in a move they said was necessary to meet a slew of energy-related mandates and repair the city¿s degrading power infrastructure.