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THE NOONER for February 21, 2016
Happy Sunday! Another beautiful day in SacTown. Unfortunately for the drought and ski resorts, the week ahead has no rain in the forecast. Anyway, I'll keep it short today so you can go out and look at the blooming flowers. The camellias here in Sacramento have been incredible.
CHOO-CHOO: High Speed Rail Takes A Detour With New Plan [Jeffrey Hess @ Valley Public Radio] - “The California High Speed Rail Authority has officially released an updated plan that makes big changes to first section of the bullet train. The plan confirms that the Authority wants to change the first functional section of track to run from Bakersfield to San Jose. The original plan was for the first working segment of track to run from the Central Valley to Burbank outside LA.”
The change has angered Latino activists and elected officials in the Valley, who frequently have a bigger connection to Los Angeles than to Silicon Valley. However, the financing plan is very sketchy for full implementation of the project, and there is more support for the project in the Bay Area, which is much more accustomed to public transit than the LA or valley areas.
One of the big issues is that the connection to Los Angeles requires tunneling under the Tehachapis, a very expensive endeavor. That's why Amtrak stops in Bakersfield, where you need to shift to a bus to get to the City of Angels. If you've driven to/from Los Angeles to the valley or NorCal, you can appreciate the engineering feat by the steep I-5 climb over the grapevine or the pipes for the California Water Project to the west of the freeway. You just can't take a train over that.
We'll see if high-speed rail lands as the moon-landing moment or moonbeam moment for Governor Brown.
PARADISE FOUND? Gavin Newsom ponders the reality of California’s hypothetical future [Erika D. Smith @ SacBee] - “Newsom might not be the right person to be the next governor of California. But it’s great to have someone in elected office who thinks about these things. I mean, really thinks about these things to the point of potentially shaping public policy around them.”
GAS RELIEF: Air district law panel halts, for now, indoor air monitoring in Porter Ranch [Dana Bartholomew @ LADN] - “The South Coast Air Quality Management District Hearing Board, after a private huddle by air district and gas company attorneys, temporarily suspended its decision to modify a nuisance abatement order with the Southern California Gas Co. until public health officials had a chance to weigh in. The public hearing was continued to Wednesday at the AQMD headquarters in Diamond Bar.”
RE-ENTER PASSWORD: Assembly bill would require unlockable smartphones [Jeff Horseman @ PE] - “The bill introduced last month by Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, would require smartphones sold in California and made after Jan. 1, 2017 to be capable of being unlocked by the manufacturer. Phone makers would face fines of $2,500 for each smartphone that can’t be decrypted.”
HIGH HOPES: LA Mayor Eric Garcetti quietly fundraising for 2024 Olympics bid [Dakota Smith @ LADN] - “Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is helping fundraise for the city’s Olympic bid, in some cases turning to groups with a stake in City Hall decisions for donations to the committee seeking the games.”
BREAKOUT: Feinstein says Apple is wrong to refuse to cooperate [Melody Gutierrez @ SFChron] - “U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Apple is wrong to refuse to cooperate with the federal government to help unlock an iPhone used by terrorists in the San Bernardino massacre. Speaking at a Public Policy Institute of California event in Sacramento on Friday, Feinstein said Apple is making a mistake by deciding privacy rights trump national security.”
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to journalist Alexa Haussler Bluth, Health Access' Silvia Flores, lobbyist Lexi Purich Howard, and organizer Trisha Tahmasbi!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Water Customers In L.A. County Foothill Cities Are Asked To Tighten Taps Further
Water customers in some of Los Angeles County's foothills are being asked to tighten taps further and refrain from watering lawns for as long as 10 days starting Feb. 29 while the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California temporarily closes a La Verne treatment plant for infrastructure upgrades.
Mcclintock Takes Gavel, Yosemite Quakes | The Sacramento Bee
Matt Weiser @ sacbee.com
Elk Grove congressman has enormous potential to influence what happens on public lands
Lausd Partners With App To Connect Students With Health Clinics | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @ scpr.org
Kordic said that LAUSD has had an ongoing relationship with Healthvana for a number of years, and feels certain the company is a trusted resource.
S.F. police seek handgun reported lost by federal agent
Police Saturday were seeking a handgun a federal agent reported missing in San Francisco. The duty weapon, belonging to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, was lost Friday after he left it on top of his car. The weapon was âÂÂproperly reported through official federal channels and to local authorities,âÂÂ said James Schwab, a spokesman for the federal agents.
Jeb Bush, An Early Front-runner Who Couldn't Keep Pace With His Party Or Outrun His Family History
Clinton and Sanders campaigns squabble over Hispanic voters
âÂÂSanders Wins Latino VoteâÂÂ read the subject line of Sanders campaign press release blasted out to reporters late on Saturday.
Ted Cruz and Donald Trump Have Deepest Pockets Ahead of â
The two insurgent candidates appear to be in the best position financially to compete in an expensive stage of the campaign: the day when twelve states vote at once.
Scenes from the battle for Nevada and South Carolina
Hillary Clinton narrowly won in Nevada and Donald Trump dominated in South Carolina. Behind the scenes, both states saw scores of voters heading to caucus sites and polling stations, and campaigns rallied supporters for living up to preset expectations.
Ad of the Week: Ted Cruz Shows Marco Rubio Speaking Obamaâ
back-to-back clips present Senator Rubio and the president saying similar things during the 2013 battle over an immigration overhaul.
Hillary Clinton Narrowly Defeats Bernie Sanders In Nevada Caucuses
Nevada, a state with little important history in the presidential nominating process, stood poised Saturday to play a major role in the increasingly competitive Democratic race.
Sanders campaign says it raised $21 million in January
Sen. Bernie Sanders presidential campaign said it raised over $21.3 million in January alone.
George Vukasin, coffee guru and Oakland civic leader, dead at 82
A memorial service will be held next month for George Vukasin, a former Oakland councilman, vice mayor, port commissioner, Coliseum president and pillar of the East Bay community. In addition to his many civic duties, Mr. Vukasin may be best known for his role at Peerless Coffee and Tea, where he served as CEO of the Oakland coffee roasting institution older than many of the areaâÂÂs most popular coffee chains. Mr. Vukasin was an Oakland-born, UC Berkeley graduate who played football for legendary coach Lynn âÂÂPappyâÂÂ Waldorf. Despite a desire to serve in the FBI, Mr. Vakusin was called home to start a career in the family coffee business. Over the years, Mr. Vukasin served as chairman of the Alameda County March of Dimes, president of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce and board member for St. MaryâÂÂs College and the Oakland BoysâÂÂ Club. Chronicle columnist Herb Caen called Mr. Vukasin a genial man and wrote in an October 1994 column that Mr. Vukasin threw a party at the Oakland Coliseum âÂÂin his big Box 33, with acres of lasagna, mounds of Caesar salad, a full bar and terrific music (live) by a band called the Rolling Stones.âÂÂ
Bernie Sanders Outspent Hillary Clinton In January - Politico
His campaign dropped $34.9 million last month.
Jeb Bush Bows Out of Campaign, Humbled and Outgunned
In what turned out to be the year of the unconventional outsider, Mr. Bush conducted his campaign as the conventional insider. In the end, none of it mattered.
Bush Super Pac Fundraising Sputtered In January - Politico
Campaign raised 40 percent of its cash from donors who gave the maximum in January.
Mare Island Flyway Fest celebrates Bay Areaâ
More than a million shorebirds, water fowl and common birds rest in the area while traveling between their winter and summer homes. The three-day festival allows visitors to catch a glimpse of the winged creatures as they soar along the Pacific Flyway, a migratory highway. El NiÃ±o rains have only made birdwatching conditions better, said Myrna Hayes, festival director and president of the Mare Island Heritage Trust. Birders will come rain or shine, event organizer Sarah Cain said. Participants filed through a cream-colored, former warehouse filled with Flyway vendors and nonprofit groups. Visitors moved among the tables, stopping to grab seed packets and informational brochures. At the childrenâÂÂs corner, tykes made bird feeders with plastic water bottles and foam stickers. [...] you see wildlife when youâÂÂre out and about. The trail skirts marshy land and fenced-off, hazardous materials sites that formerly were used to dump dredge spoils. âÂÂShh, thereâÂÂs birds,âÂÂ he said quietly, blond hair sticking out beneath his binoculars. âÂÂThis little guy is good at spotting birds,âÂÂ said Snell of San FrancsicoâÂÂs Inner Sunset neighborhood. There will be free guided outings throughout the San Pablo Baylands, self-guided hiking routes and guided bird-watching outings around Mare Island.
Donald Trump Wins South Carolina Primary, Establishing Supremacy In Republican Presidential Race
Donald Trump is looking to ride a week of insults directed at a popular pope and a GOP president to trounce his opponents in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary Saturday, while his rivals jostle to strengthen their own positions in the race and, in some cases, merely survive to fight another day.