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THE NOONER for January 23, 2016
Happy Saturday from the Nooner Global Headquarters, which fortunately is not located in DC or NYC. That is going to require an immense amount of digging. The plus, I watched a couple of hours of CNN this morning, and didn't hear the word "Trump" once. And, Chris Christie is getting far more coverage than he does at Republican debates.
Here's the view from Speaker Paul Ryan's balcony with a view of the Washington Mall. And, the reporters in Times Square are panicked because Starbucks has now closed.
Tough weather. I got water in my flip flops during my morning walk this morning from the overnight rain.
MIXED MESSAGES: "California’s unemployment rate increased to 5.8 percent in December, and nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 60,400 during the month for a total gain of 2,198,800 jobs since the recovery began in February 2010, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two separate surveys."
Meanwhile, Orange County's job growth in 2015 was the highest in 17 years, data shows [Margot Roosevelt @ OCR]
TUNNEL VISION: Lawmakers want to put Gov. Jerry Brown's delta tunnels plan before voters [Melanie Mason] - "Lawmakers representing the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta, the heart of California's water system, have introduced a bill that would make Gov. Jerry Brown's controversial twin tunnels project subject to statewide voter approval."
As I've written about before, Brown is trying to avoid a vote that would demonstrate the very different regional feelings about the project by using revenue bonds instead of general obligation bonds, which would require voter approval. Stockton farmer Dean Cortopassi has also qualified an initiative for the November ballot that would require revenue bonds to get voter approval in a bid to derail the project.
NO QUICK FIX: Feds to California farmers: Water reserves low despite recent rains [Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler @ SacBee] - "On Friday, the Bureau of Reclamation issued notice that reservoir levels behind Central Valley Project dams remained unusually low despite recent rains and heavy snowpack."
UBER AT LAX: I forgot to mention this on Thursday that Uber can now pick up at Los Angeles International Airport. When I returned from Cancun last month, I took Uber from SMurF Intergalactic Airport home, and it was perfect.
Speaking of transportation, this pisses me off: "Sacramento transit agency proposes 20 percent fare hikes." I'm a big fan of the Sacramento Kings, a season ticket holder, and am excited for the new arena. But, we found $255 million in city funds (over 35 years through bonds) for the arena, and now we're going to charge the disabled, poor, and elderly more for basic transportation. In fairness to RT, fares haven't increased since 2009.
I recorded a segment on Charter Communication's Local Edition with my old friend Brad Pomerance last week, and it's now available on the web and will be on the California Channel and local cable networks soon. We talk about how the presidential campaigns affect state legislative races.
Of course, today there's word that Michael Bloomberg is considering an independent run for president. Now have to rethink my thoughts!
This is the best thing you'll see all weekend. As Politico's Mike Allen writes in today's Politico Playbook. "PANDA SNOW ANGELS break the Internet."
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Politico.com!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Lawmaker Pushes For Public Vote On Any Delta Water Project | The Sacramento Bee
David Siders @ sacbee.com
Bill faces dim prospects in California Legislature
L.A. Councilman Calls For Ballot Measure To Revamp How DWP Is Governed
Los Angeles City Councilman Felipe Fuentes called Friday for a ballot measure to overhaul the way that the Department of Water and Power is governed, proposing changes that he argued would empower its board and minimize interference by city politicians.
UC San Diego's Jacobs Medical Center Now Has A Construction Price Tag Approaching $1 Billion | Sandiegouniontribune.com
Jury Awards $12 Million In Fungus-related Valley Fever Lawsuit Against Caltrans
A Northern California jury awarded five construction company workers nearly $12 million in damages in a lawsuit alleging the California Department of Transportation did not warn them about the risks of being exposed to a dangerous fungus at a work site.
New California Death Penalty Rules Debated | The Sacramento Bee
Sam Stanton @ sacbee.com
State holds public hearing over new lethal injection rules
Cellphone Encryption Bill Pits Police Against Tech Industry And Privacy Advocates
A Democratic state legislator is taking aim at smartphone encryption, arguing the strict security measures to protect cellphone data hamper law enforcement's ability to crack down on human traffickers and other criminals.
9 days till Iowa: The latest photos from the campaign trail
With the Iowa caucuses just a flip of a calendar page away, POLITICO takes you on the campaign trail Friday, Jan. 22, as presidential candidates scramble for last-minute support.
S.F. man sues after late husbandâ
Robert Pritchard, a hospice nurse, and Thomas Conwell, a hotel telecommunications engineer, wed in 2008 after the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in California. When Conwell died of a brain disease in February 2012, the pension plan of his union, Stationary Engineers Local 39 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, told Pritchard that Conwell had been âÂÂsingle at the time of his retirement and deathâÂÂ under the planâÂÂs terms. [...] the lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, said the pension plan expressly defines a spouse as âÂÂa person to whom a participant is legally married,âÂÂ without reference to gender. Pension plan officials invoked the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman and denied federal benefits to same-sex spouses. âÂÂWhile DOMA has been the source of extreme discrimination against LGBT people and their families, it provides absolutely no defense in this case,âÂÂ said one of PritchardâÂÂs lawyers, Amy Whelan of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The plan paid Pritchard $14,641.52, the annuity Conwell was owed for the seven months between his retirement and his death, but denied him spousal benefits, the suit said.
Lottery Racking Up Sales, Paying More Prizes | The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @ sacbee.com
Sales revenue increased by more than 50 percent from decade ago
Civil Rights Groups State Concerns In Implementing New Federal Education Law | Edsource
Teacher Carina Chavez, left, watches a science experiment with sound waves done by 4th grader Daniel Garcia, left, and 6th grader Jade Soriano, middle, on Dec. 7, 2015 at Advanced Learning Academy in Santa Ana.
Sacramento Regional Transit Proposes Rate Increases Starting This Summer | The Sacramento Bee
Tony Bizjak @ sacbee.com
Agency officials say the district faces major operating losses without fare increases
Owner Of Motel Allegedly Used For Drug Deals Should Be Forced To Live There, Suit Says
The owner of a Los Angeles motel allegedly used for drug dealing and prostitution should be forced to live there until the illegal activity stops, according to a lawsuit filed by the city attorney's office.
California 1-drug Plan Would Bring Executions Soon, Prosecutor Says | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @ scpr.org
Shown is the view a condemned inmate would have from a table inside the death chamber of the new lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010. The state corrections department is holding a public hearing on its plan to use a single lethal injection to meet legal requirements amid a national shortage of execution drugs. Eric Risberg/AP
Notes On The State Of The State Speech :: Fox&hounds
Brown reviewed his budget talking points again on the uncertainty of economic future and the need for a strong Rainy Day Fund. No argument here.
A Political Searcher Agitates For The Independent Nation Of California
Essential California Newsletter
Environmentalists Say Proposed Desalination Plant Vulnerable To Flooding | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @ scpr.org
Environmentalists in Orange County are using the King Tides hitting the coast this week to argue that a proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach is slated for the wrong place.
Scott Peters, Helped And Hindered By Citizens United, Decries Its Impact | San Diego News From Inewsource
That placed the contest 14th in outside spending among 2014 general election House matchups.
Surcharges Piling Up On Telephone Bills | The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @ sacbee.com
Total charges have gone from 2.78 percent at end of 2012 to 7.894 percent
Feds Cautious About Water Deliveries To California Farmers - Capradio.org
Ed Joyce @ capradio.org
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826
For The Third Time, Brown Rejects Parole Of Manson Follower Bruce Davis, 73
Associated Press @ latimes.com
This Dec. 22, 1970, photo shows Charles Manson followers Bruce Davis, left, and Steve Grogan leaving court after a hearing in Los Angeles.
Oakland’s Privacy Commission Could Lead Nation On Surveillance Oversight | News Fix | Kqed News
Around this time, some National Security Agency documents provided by former CIA employee Edward Snowden were published, detailing U.S. government surveillance. The revelations ignited a huge conversation about privacy and data.
CSU Chancellor Timothy White Gets Earful At Cal State Long Beach Visit
D Buses @ presstelegram.com
News analysis: Presidential Candidates, Silent on Presidential Power
Candidates are keeping mum on their views on executive authority.
Trade Growth Creates Infrastructure Needs On U.s.-mexico Border | Sandiegouniontribune.com
A worker power washes a new pedestrian bridge before its February 2011 opening, part of the $741 million overhaul of the San Ysidro Port of Entry. As federal budgets grow tighter, planners are searching for other ways to fund such border improvements.