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THE NOONER for March 18, 2016
It's Friday! You made it! And, it's the Legislature's spring break. No, you don't have to picture your boss in a bathing suit, but you can revel in the fact that your office teevees can switch from CalChannel to the NCAA tournament games.
I lost a few yesterday. I really wanted the Fresno State Bulldogs to get past the first round, and thought Arizona would make it through a few rounds. Actually, many of you are probably not reading this at the normal lunchtime hour, as Cal is playing now. I'm a big Oregon fan, so I'm looking forward to the game this afternoon. (Many of my family members went to Oregon, where I was born.)
AURAL PLEASURE: I sat down with John Howard and Tim Foster earlier this week to talk politics on the Capitol Weekly podcast.
GOV: John Chiang’s quiet entry changes governor’s race [Thomas Elias @ LADN] - “Unlike [Gavin] Newsom and [Antonio] Villaraigosa, [John] Chiang doesn’t have to run for any new office two years from now, when current Gov. Jerry Brown will be termed out after a total of four terms in the statehouse. And unlike the two fabulously wealthy additional prospects — [Tom] Steyer and former state Controller and eBay executive [Steve] Westly — Chiang can’t wait until the last moment to decide and then simply reach for his checkbook.”
WISDOM FROM MY CUZ: Here’s what Alexander Hamilton can teach senators about Supreme Court nominations [David Lay Williams @ WaPo] - “As the debate over [Merrick] Garland’s nomination unfolds, it is instructive to follow the spirit of Antonin Scalia himself by examining “The Federalist,” the series of essays written from 1787 to 1789 by John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison to promote ratification of the Constitution in New York. Scalia made a habit of referencing these essays in his opinions, and he even urged lawmakers to “all get a copy of the Federalist Papers and read it, underline it and dog-ear it.””
Growing up, I never knew that David and I would be in the same field, albeiit from different approaches. He's a brilliant political theory professor at DePaul University, and I avoided political theory in college like the plague.
NON-SMOKING SECTION: California smoking bills in holding pattern, stalling lobbyist threat [Jeremy B. White @ SacBee] - “Politically potent tobacco bills have not advanced to Gov. Jerry Brown a week after California legislators passed them, for now delaying the tobacco industry’s strategy to exact revenge with a referendum campaign.”
This is something that only keen observers of the legislative process understand. There is an assumption that as soon as a bill passes both houses, it automatically goes to the governor. However, when bills actually go to the governor is largely under control of the last house to vote on them. Under “administrative” process, the house can sit on a bill, as the Assembly is holding the tobacco bills. It’s called “engrossing and enrolling,” which is essentially proofreading and verifying all of the votes. That usually takes a few hours, although when a delay is politically necessary, can take much longer.
TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING? Reservoirs are getting a big boost from 'Miracle March' — but the drought isn't over yet [Matt Stevens @ LAT] - “So much rain has fallen in Northern California recently that federal officials have done what would have been unthinkable a year ago. They opened the spill gates at Folsom Lake and let precious water tumble into the American River as a precaution against — of all things — flooding.”
SHAMU-VE ON: SeaWorld bows to public opinion with orca breeding halt [Dan McSwain @ SDUT] - “Having failed to beat its critics, SeaWorld’s decision Thursday to join them was realistic, necessary and perhaps overdue.
Investors seemed to agree, sending the value of the theme park company’s shares 9.4 percent higher after Chief Executive Joel Manby said SeaWorld would stop breeding orcas and partner with the Humane Society to “raise awareness of animal welfare.””
THE 916: Boom looms for state office construction [John Howard @ CapWeekly] - “A surge in state government office construction looms for downtown Sacramento, including the replacement or renovation of the Capitol’s 64-year-old annex.
State officials say cramped space, safety and efficiency issues and the need to modernize old structures is driving the construction plans.”
CRAZY TRAIN: State Analyst Questions New High Speed Rail Proposal [Ben Bradford @ CapPubRad] - “California’s high speed rail project has received fresh scrutiny on its latest proposed business plan. The Legislature's non-partisan budget analyst released a new report Thursday that questions how the project will be funded." [report]
END OF AN ERA: The earthquake expert who made Californians smarter and safer is moving on [Rosanna Xia] - “Now [Lucy] Jones hopes to leverage her earthquake credentials to tackle even more ambitious projects. She's retiring from the USGS this month to help officials develop science-based policies related to climate change, tsunamis and other kinds of natural disasters.”
If you grew up in Southern California, Lucy was like an aunt to you. She was omnipresent after the earth shook, and a calming force amidst the inclination to panic.
REGISTER AND REPORT: FPPC votes to tighten California lobbying regulations [Taryn Luna @ SacBee] - “The Fair Political Practices Commission voted Thursday to change a ride-along rule to curb abuse of state lobbying regulations.
The ride-along exception was created decades ago to allow subject-matter experts to attend meetings alongside registered lobbyists. But California’s political watchdog grew concerned that other political operatives were using the rule to avoid having to register as a lobbyist with the Secretary of State and file quarterly filings to explain who they attempt to influence and how much money they spend.”
LET THERE BE FLIGHT? 3 more state lawmakers want UC Davis chancellor to leave [Diana Lambert @ SacBee] - “Assemblymembers Luis Alejo, Jim Cooper and Lorena Gonzalez asked Thursday for [Linda] Katehi to leave her post, bringing to five the number of state lawmakers who have called on her to resign or be removed. Assemblymen Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, and Evan Low, D-Campbell, previously asked Katehi to resign.”
BEZERKELY: Sexual harassment outcry at UC Berkeley Law School spreads to campus provost [Teresa Watanabe @ LAT] - “The recent sexual harassment scandal at UC Berkeley has spread to Provost Claude Steele, including concerns that he imposed lenient sanctions against the law school dean who admitted to sexual misconduct in exchange for a faculty appointment.”
UC would like to just forget this March.
AWESOME SAUCE: Joshua Malina, who played Will Bailey on The West Wing, has launched a podcast--The West Wing Weekly. Each week will cover one episode. Subscribe on iTunes.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Assemblymember Ken Cooley, Assemblymember Shannon Grove, and Zocalo's Joe Mathews!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Three More State Lawmakers Want UC Davis Chancellor To Leave | The Sacramento Bee
Diana Lambert @ sacbee.com
Assemblymembers Luis Alejo, Jim Cooper, Lorena Gonzalez call on chancellor to leave
Prop 47: Tracking Lawmakers' Promise Of Drug Treatment Over Prison | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @ scpr.org
Charsleen Poe credits a sober living facility, A New Way of Life, for helping her start a career and reunite with her family. Prison savings from Prop. 47 could help pay for similar drug interventions for former possession offenders. MayaSugarman/KPCC
California Lawmakers Again Headed To Australia | The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @ sacbee.com
Trip sponsored by nonprofit seeks to promote drought knowledge
California Analyst: High-speed Rail Lacks Spending Details - The Orange County Register
JULIET WILLIAMS @ ocregister.com
SACRAMENTO – California’s independent legislative analyst says a new $64 billion high-speed rail business plan lacks important details.
California Initiative Avalanche Makes Your Signature More Valuable | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @ sacbee.com
Crowded field drives prices
Trump Likely Needs California Triumph To Win Nomination
The party that hasn't elected anyone to statewide office in a decade just might get the last word on whether Donald Trump should be the GOP's presidential nominee -- not to mention a front-row seat to a huge political spectacle that will likely trigger massive protests.
Jury Selection Process Begins In Filner Civil Trial | Sandiegouniontribune.com
At a morning press conference in his office, embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner announced on July 26, 2013, that he was placing himself in a two-week program to start him on a road to correct his inappropriate behavior towards women. — John Gibbins
California Smoking Bills In Holding Pattern, Stalling Lobbyist Threat | The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @ sacbee.com
Legislative leaders deny manipulating process
California Congressmen Try To Talk Uncle Sam Out Of Taxing Turf Rebates | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @ scpr.org
The turf outside this Pasadena home was transformed into a drought-friendly yard using the Metropolitan Water District's Cash for Grass program in October 2014. But should Uncle Sam be able to tax that cash? Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Garcetti-affiliated Nonprofit Raises $14.6 Million In First Year
A nonprofit created by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to advance civic initiatives raised $14.6 million in its first full year of operation, less than a third of which it has spent, according to tax records filed recently with the federal government. The Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles, which Garcetti...
Sf Wants Airbnb Hosts To Pay Taxes On Beds, Stoves And Cutlery - Sfgate
San Francisco has a message for vacation-rental hosts: You owe more taxes.
California Bullet Train A Moving Target For Analysis | The Sacramento Bee
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Project managers make frequent changes in plan
Uber Passport Transports Riders From San Diego To Mexico | Sandiegouniontribune.com
The ride-hail company is launching its first truly international product, letting passengers cross into Tijuana from the San Ysidro border.
Sacramento Native Builds Restaurant Empire In China With California-inflected Cuisine | The Sacramento Bee
Stuart Leavenworth @ sacbee.com
Alan Wong has opened 12 restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai, with another coming to Shanghai Disneyland
Borenstein: The Multiplier Effect Of Pension Spiking
That's effectively what happened to, respectively, four Contra Costa County doctors, a county hazardous materials worker and the former fire chief of the Moraga Orinda Fire District. Their cases provide excellent examples of the math behind pension spiking.
Sacramento Kings Issue Sustainable Food Charter For Golden 1 Center | The Sacramento Bee
Blair Anthony Robertson @ sacbee.com
The initiatives include sourcing 90 percent of ingredients from within 150 miles
Drought Eases In Northern California But Still Severe Down South, Says Noaa | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @ scpr.org
The Sierra Nevada snowpack in a typical year provides almost a third of California's water supply. Photo by Anirudh Rao via Flickr Creative
Two Active Southern California Faults May Cause A Big One By Rupturing Together
Two of Southern California's most active faults could rupture together in a magnitude-7.5 earthquake, according to a new study, raising a grim seismic scenario for communities east of Los Angeles.
Kingsburg School District Could Allow Guns On High School Campus | Fresno Bee
Mackenzie Mays @ fresnobee.com
Proposal would allow some school employees to carry weapons, ammunition
Shorensteins get OK for Tenderloin-area housing
The Shorenstein family won approvals to build 304-unit development on the edge of the Tenderloin Thursday evening, despite opposition by some residents and nonprofit leaders who argued that the project fails to provide enough affordable housing. The project calls for the demolition of a vacant two-story commercial building and a fenced-in parking lot that has long been a magnet for drug sales. While the project has a Market Street address, most of the parcel fronts onto Golden Gate Avenue and Jones Street. The plan calls for 268 market rate rental units and 36 below market rate units that would be affordable to households earning 55 percent of the area median income, about $40,000 for an individual or $56,000 for a family of four. Many argued that the development would accelerate the displacement of low-income residents and be far beyond the reach of current residents of the Tenderloin, where the median household income is $29,000. [...] Randy Shaw, executive director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, characterized the mostly market-rate development an anomaly amid a sea of permanently affordable residential hotels and low-income complexes. The fact that 1066 Market St. is surrounded by buildings and services catering to the poor or homeless âÂÂ itâÂÂs across form the St. AnthonyâÂÂs dining room, which serves 3,000 meals a day to the hungry âÂÂ suggests that market rate rents at 1066 Market St. would be âÂÂunlikely to attract the gentry.âÂÂ The approval comes at a time when San Francisco voters are facing a ballot proposition that would mandate that new projects include 25 percent below market rate.
Out of Race, Marco Rubio Returns to the Senate
After a disappointing end of his campaign for the Republican nomination, and with only 10 months left in his term, Senator Marco Rubio goes back to work at the Capitol.
Trump Fuels Citizenship Drive Among San Diego County Immigrants | Kpbs
Jean Guerrero @ kpbs.org
Many immigrants in San Diego County are rushing to naturalize in time to vote with the help of a local program called Cultivando Liderazgo.