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THE NOONER for February 21, 2016

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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!

  • Coro is in Sacramento the week of 2/22!   Kick off the week with us on Monday at our 2016 Sacramento reception.  Meet our current Coro Fellows in Public Affairs and connect with local leaders and Sacramento area Coro alumni. 

    Monday, February 22, 2016
    5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
    Downtown & Vine - 1200 K Street. #8. Sacramento, CA 95814

    Admission is free.  RSVP here:

  • The Sacramento State Department of Public Policy & Administration invites you to its spring celebration. This event is a great opportunity to network with the graduate program's alums, faculty, students, and supporters. Prospective students are invited to attend.The celebration will showcase two alums, Christina Lokke (MPPA 2007) and Sacramento City Councilmember Eric Guerra (MPPA 2008). 

    Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    CA New Car Dealers Association
    1517 L Street

    Cost of admission is $10. Sponsorships are available to help support the Dept. of Public Policy & Administration . To RSVP or for more information: 

  • California Life Sciences Association (formerly CHI) seeks Senior Director—State Government Relations. The position, reporting to the Vice President—State Government Affairs, will conduct strategic lobbying activities in Sacramento on behalf of the biomedical industry and CLSA. The Senior Director functions both as a lobbyist to secure legislation and regulation to advance the interest of CLSA’s members, and as an organizer to engage legislators and staff to support CLSA’s advocacy goals. Excellent lobbying skills desired, association or capitol experience, superior communication skills, B.A./B.S. required, salary DOE, bonus and competitive benefits. For full job description visit ( Submit resumes with salary history to HR and Administration, Cheryl St. Cyr, via

  • SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West seeks Political Capacity Organizer (Oakland or Sacramento).  85,000 member California healthcare union seeks strategic, progressive, motivated Political Capacity Organizer – to grow the union’s activist base and political action fund; proven track record in fundraising a must.  Excellent salary, benefits, career ladder. Resume, letter, references to:
  • The Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) is currently seeking an Executive Director of Western States Legislative Affairs: This position has overall responsibility for the functioning of the Western Regional Office.  S/he works in developing and advancing HACU's legislative agenda with respect to state government issues in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. S/he will coordinate activities for legislative relations, and track state policy in operation or under development.  Go to job opportunities for complete position description.  Salary DOE (Located in Sacramento, CA) EOE.

  • Children Now – Senior Policy Associate, responsible for developing, directing and implementing a portion of Children Now’s education policy plan for California. More information. Details here

  • CalDesal, a 501(c)6 nonprofit corporation, wishes to contract with an individual or firm for the position of Executive Director. CalDesal is seeking an Executive Director who will continue the success of the organization. The ideal candidate will have strong public outreach, communication, and administrative skills to successfully implement and manage the organization. The Executive Director will be the externally identifiable staff person in charge of the organization and will arrange the staff functions and advocacy support necessary to fulfill the organization's goals.

    For more information go to

    Proposals due by Monday, February 29, 2016 at 5:00 P.M.

  • California Partnership to End Domestic Violence seeks experienced Prevention & Education Policy Specialist. College degree required. Responsible for leading and implementing the Partnership’s Adolescent Dating Abuse Policy Project and related strategies. Please send resume and cover letter to
  • Thinking about Graduate School?  Sacramento State’s master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration is the region’s most affordable program, offering a rigorous education in both public policy and administration, nested in the political context. More than 400 alumni work in California state and local government as well as private and non-profit organizations. Applications are due March 1, 

  • TBW Media/TBWB Strategies is interviewing experienced campaign managers and campaign staffers at all levels for potential campaign positions with our client campaigns this year throughout California. If interested please send a cover letter, resume, salary history, writing sample and 3 references to Barry Barnes ( No phone calls please.
  • Capital Fellows Program - There is only a bit over a week left to apply for the Capital Fellows program. The deadline is February 6, and I strongly encourage you to consider it if you are looking at work in the Capitol or as a bridge between undergrad and grad school, as some of the best legislative staff (and even legislators) started as fellows. Get more info here.
  • Fiona Hutton & Associates, one of California’s largest independent public affairs agencies, is seeking an Account Supervisor to join the firm’s growing Los Angeles office. FHA is an established leader in managing high-profile and controversial issues for a diverse client base. We’re looking for the best of the best. The candidate that thrives in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, working on high stakes situations, and demonstrates a commitment to excellence. The Account Supervisor is responsible for tactical implementation of client programs and plans, oversight of communications materials, ensuring quality control and managing a team.

    Please see link for additional details and how to apply:

  • Subscribe to the Capitol Morning Report and closely follow who’s doing what each day in California government and politics. We list news conferences, legislative hearings, state board meetings and other events. Plus we add in community news and announcements from political campaigns. More info at

  • SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West Regional Political Organizers (Los Angeles and Bay Area). 85,000 member California healthcare union seeks strategic, progressive, motivated political organizers, 3-5 yrs political/union experience. Competitive salary and benefits package. Resume, letter, 3 references:

  • Add your classified for $35/week for up to 100 words. Email



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 @
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 @
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 “properly reported through official federal channels and to local authorities,” 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
Essential Politics

Clinton and Sanders campaigns squabble over Hispanic voters
“Sanders Wins Latino Vote” 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 area’s most popular coffee chains. Mr. Vukasin was an Oakland-born, UC Berkeley graduate who played football for legendary coach Lynn “Pappy” 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. Mary’s College and the Oakland Boys’ 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 “in 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.”

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 Niño 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 children’s corner, tykes made bird feeders with plastic water bottles and foam stickers. [...] you see wildlife when you’re out and about. The trail skirts marshy land and fenced-off, hazardous materials sites that formerly were used to dump dredge spoils. “Shh, there’s birds,” he said quietly, blond hair sticking out beneath his binoculars. “This little guy is good at spotting birds,” said Snell of San Francsico’s 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.

Inside Jeb Bush's $150 Million Failure
His closest aides failed to predict Trump and never changed course, guiding a flawed candidate into a corner he couldn’t escape.