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THE NOONER for March 23, 2016

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Happy Humpday. You're 24 hours closer to those Cadbury Cream Eggs! Growing up, I was allergic to chocolate so I had to settle for the marshmellow eggs and Peeps. Ewwww....The thought of eating that stuff now, particularly after you found the "eggs" a few months later.

HIKE? Voters to decide state’s minimum wage hike [Kale Williams @ SFChron] - “California’s lowest paid workers could see a bump in their paycheck in coming years if a ballot initiative aiming to boost the state’s minimum wage is approved by voters in November. . . .

The state’s minimum wage rose from $9 to $10 an hour on Jan. 1, 2016, and, if the initiative passes, that rate would see subsequent $1 an hour raises annually until it hits $15 in 2021. After that, the wage would be adjusted based on the inflation rate from the previous year coupled with the California Consumer Price Index, a financial measuring tool used by governments to calculate cost-of-living expenses.”

COASTAL CRACKDOWN: Bill would limit communications for California Coastal Commission [Alexei Koseff @ SacBee] - “On Tuesday, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, announced legislation to prohibit any private, off-the-record conversations between a commissioner and someone with business before the board. Current law allows such “ex parte” communications, as long they are disclosed through a form or, if they occurred less than 7 days before a meeting, verbally at that hearing.”

NOT IN THE BAG: Sacramento County bans plastic bags beginning July 1 [Brad Branan @ SacBee] - “The Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday in favor of the ban, joining Sacramento and about 150 other communities in the state that have banned plastic bags that are not reusable. Supervisors said they wanted to end the use of such bags to protect the environment because they essentially last forever.”

LET THERE BE LIGHT: UC regents reject blanket condemnation of anti-Zionism [Teresa Watanabe @ LAT] - “Struggling to balance free speech with concerns about bias, University of California regents stepped back Wednesday from a blanket condemnation of anti-Zionism as discrimination and voted to disapprove "anti-Semitic forms" of the political ideology.”

CATCH AND DON'T RELEASE: California’s high water should be captured [Dan Walters @ SacBee] - “We are fortunate that so much of this year’s precipitation fell in the form of snow, because the snowpack is, in effect, a natural reservoir that releases water slowly. But if global warming is as real as Gov. Jerry Brown and others contend it is, future precipitation from an El Niño would be more likely rain, rather than snow, and we could see both severe flooding and severe water shortages if we are not prepared to capture it as it falls.” 

H20 SUMMIT: White House water summit focuses on California [Sarah D. Wire @ LAT] - “Tuesday's White House water summit had a California theme, with several state water districts and officials represented among the few hundred people who gathered in Washington to talk about how the United States should use water.”

AD68 (Tustin): Opponents criticize error in Harry Sidhu's candidate statement in state Assembly race [Timoya Shimura @ OCR] - “Sidhu, an Anaheim City Councilman from 2004 to 2012, served as mayor pro tem but never mayor. His candidate statement posted on the Orange County Registrar of Voters website reads, “Harry’s experience includes: Mayor and City Councilman; Orange County Water District Director ...”

ACCREDITATION: California community colleges embark on path to new accreditor [Alexei Koseff @ SacBee] - “The California community college system’s governing board on Monday approved a resolution to begin searching for a replacement for the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The organization, which regulates two-year schools in California, Hawaii and American territories in the Pacific, has been under fire for an inconsistent, oblique and overly punitive accreditation process.”

In my former life as CEO of the Community College League of California, I was at the center of this, and never thought it would get this far.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to progressive activist Tim Carpenter and lobbyist Randy Perry!

 

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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Lawmakers Forced To Choose: Raise California's Minimum Wage, Or Leave The Issue To Voters
latimes.com
A November ballot initiative will boost California's minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years unless Gov. Jerry Brown can forge a legislative compromise.

Focus: The Pros And Cons Of Legalizing Marijuana In California - The Orange County Register
KURT SNIBBE @
ocregister.com
Federal law prohibits the possession, selling or harvesting of marijuana. But it is legal in four states, and many others have decriminalized the penalties associated with its use and possession of small amounts. Californians voted against legalized marijuana in 2010 but may see it on the ballot in November.

Supervisors Hiring An Ex-dropout To Lead L.A. County Education Office
latimes.com
Debra Duardo, left, joins other L.A. Unified officials, including then-Supt. John Deasy, center, in a 2012 home visit to encourage a student to return to school. Duardo will now head the county education office. 

Why Do Women Dominate Political Fundraising? | Election 2016 | The California Report | Kqed News
ww2.kqed.org
“So women who wanted to be involved in political campaigns professionally became field organizers or fundraisers,” she says.

Pension Issue Could Benefit Swearengin In Gov. Race :: Fox&hounds
foxandhoundsdaily.com
Whether voters think the pension issue is hard to understand or is an arcane numbers game is yet to be determined. But considering the number of costly city bankruptcies in the state, in part due to pension obligations, and successful votes in San Jose and San Diego attempting to find a solution for the local budget problems through pension reform, the issue could be viable.

'we Have A Moral Obligation': Lawmakers Want The U.S. To Provide Attorneys For Immigrant Children
latimes.com
Rep. Zoe Lofgren knew what would happen when she watched as hundreds of thousands of children fled to the United States on their own over the last few years. Because being present in the U.S. illegally is a civil offense, there is no right to an attorney during immigration or asylum proceedings. That means many children stand alone before an immigration judge as they ask to stay in this country.

Sacramento County Bans Plastic Bags Beginning July 1 | The Sacramento Bee
Brad Branan @
sacbee.com
County joins city of Sacramento in approving restrictions on carryout plastic bags

As GOP Race Heads West, Donald Trump And Ted Cruz Continue To Battle For Votes
latimes.com
The Republican presidential race headed west on Tuesday, with two contests determining whether Donald Trump can continue to overcome the forces aimed at stopping the bombastic front-runner from clinching the GOP nomination.

New Dispute Erupts Over Sacramento Delta Tunnels Project | The Sacramento Bee
Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow @
sacbee.com
Key agricultural district seeks disqualification of two state regulators

First Draft: Poll Suggests Donald Trump Would Be Weak Candidate in November
rss.nytimes.com
Donald J. Trump would be the weakest Republican presidential candidate to face off against Hillary Clinton in a general election matchup, according to a new poll that shows Senator Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich as stronger nominees against the Democratic front-runner.

Mayor wants to put 2nd homeless center at Market Street hotel
sfgate.com
Six months after pledging to open a second Navigation Center to help alleviate the city’s stubborn homeless problem, Mayor Ed Lee on Wednesday will announce its location: the Civic Center Hotel at 12th and Market streets. The notoriously blighted and dangerous hotel is slated for redevelopment, but in the meantime, its project team has given Lee approval to house 93 homeless people there for roughly three years. The nonprofit Community Housing Partnership will manage the new Navigation Center — a model that brings in entire encampments of homeless people and has far fewer rules than a traditional shelter — and expects it to be up and running by June 1. The rent on those units, which are vacant rooms in four single-room-occupancy hotels around the downtown core, will be paid for with a mix of federal housing vouchers and city money. “It didn’t happen as fast as we wanted,” acknowledged Jason Elliott, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff, who added that progress has been relatively swift, considering the first Navigation Center opened just last March. City officials in recent weeks have battled over Supervisor David Campos’ proposal to declare a “shelter crisis” to turn more quickly city property into homeless shelters, a plan that will be discussed in committee on Thursday and likely voted upon by the full board early next month. On Tuesday, Campos introduced a separate piece of legislation to mandate more Navigation Centers, including a “wet house” where alcoholics can drink inside and a safe injection site where intravenous drug users can shoot up legally. Lee has rejected Campos’ ideas, but the supervisor has eight votes, enough to override a potential mayoral veto. Campos on Tuesday said that it was ironic that he’d been slammed by Lee for rushing the community input process for new centers when the plans for the Civic Center Hotel seem to have been hatched just weeks ago and involved no apparent community input. Campos this month submitted a list of potential city properties for new shelters to the city’s Real Estate Division, a list that unwittingly included a tiny median in a residential cul-de-sac and other unfeasible sites. A drug dealer who lived there until last spring attracted lines of addicts who would use his wares in the common bathrooms, and homeless heroin and crack addicts living on a traffic island nearby have often sold and bought drugs in the hotel or in an adjacent alley. The hotel property, which includes the Local 38 plumbers union hall and parking lots, is owned by the plumbers union and is being developed by Strada Investment Group. The plans include several low-slung housing complexes with a mix of market-rate units and apartments for formerly homeless residents. Sam Dodge, the mayor’s point man on homelessness, said finding more SRO units to serve as permanent supportive housing is crucial to making new Navigation Centers work — or homeless people will just be stuck there with nowhere to go.

L.A. City Council OKs 2 Controversial High-rises In Hollywood
latimes.com
The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday approve the Palladium Residences, a pair of residential towers planned on parking lots behind the historic Hollywood Palladium concert venue. Above, an artist's rendering of the project.

$15 Minimum Wage Initiative Set For California Ballot In November - Upi.com
Ed Adamczyk @
upi.com
Sponsors of the "Fair Wage Act of 2016" presented sufficient voter signatures to put the measure to a vote, the state's Secretary of State's Office announced Tuesday. Under the proposal, California's minimum wage of $10 per hour, since the start of the year, would increase by $1 dollar each year, to $15 per hour by 2021, with automatic increases afterward in line with the cost of living. Statewide polls show support for the new minimum wage increase, as well as for future increases.

Judge Agrees To Let Trump University Plaintiff Step Down - Politico
politico.com
It's the kind of divide that Democrats have warned about since Republican senators announced their plan not to fill Scalia's seat.

California Could Prove Primary At GOP Convention | Sandiegouniontribune.com
sandiegouniontribune.com
Share Photo

Lumber Liquidators Pays $2.5 Million To Settle California Clean-air Claims | The Sacramento Bee
Mark Glover @
sacbee.com
State says flooring samples from China exceeded formaldehyde limits

The Campaign: Presidential Candidates Walking a Tightrope Over the Fight on Terrorism
rss.nytimes.com
In the current atmosphere, a strike like the one on Tuesday in Brussels rekindles every debate about whether the United States should use diplomacy, isolation or military might.

Save Mart Drops 51fifty Energy Drink; Name Is Offensive, Mental Health Advocates Say | Fresno Bee
Bethany Clough @
fresnobee.com
Advocates say name contributes to stigma against people with mental health issues

Mystery of long, lost tugboat solved in the waters off Farallones
sfgate.com
The U.S. Navy’s seagoing tug Conestoga sailed out the Golden Gate into a fierce spring gale 95 years ago Friday bound for Hawaii and was never seen again. No one knew what happened to the vessel or its 56-man crew, or where it was lost — until Wednesday, when government scientists identified wreckage near the Farallon Islands, just 24 miles from San Francisco, as the lost tug. “It was one of the great unsolved mysteries in Navy history,” said the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration in a report released Wednesday during a news conference. Marine archaeologists discovered the wreckage about 200 feet deep last fall using a radio-controlled robot diving craft. [...] over the past six months, Delgado and Schwemmer studied old records, combed Navy files and newspaper accounts, and investigated drawings and pictures of similar vessels. The tugboat, which had done World War I duty in the Atlantic, had sailed from Hampton Roads, Va., to California and to Mare Island in San Francisco Bay. The Navy launched a huge search for the missing vessel, using airplanes, destroyers and even submarines. The Navy searched the Pacific near Hawaii — more than 2,000 miles from the Conestoga’s actual watery grave. Clues — a life preserver found at Moss Beach on the San Mateo coast and material marked U.S Navy found in Monterey Bay — were ignored. The tug, “a substantial vessel built for heavy work,” according to Marine Engineering magazine, was built in 1904 for commercial work on the East Coast. According to old records, the wind picked up to 40 knots, with higher gusts. Perhaps it took a wave, which flooded the engine room, and lost power. “Despite the professionalism, attention to duty and hard work (of the crew), the Conestoga sank with the loss of every man on board,” the NOAA report says.

Pharmaceutical Companies Hiked Price On Aid In Dying Drug | State Of Health | Kqed News
ww2.kqed.org
When California’s aid-in-dying law takes effect this June, terminally ill patients who decide to end their lives could be faced with a hefty bill for the lethal medication. It retails for more than $3,000.