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THE NOONER for April 21, 2016

It's noon. It's time for a break. Here's what people are reading on today:

School Taxes: Majority In California Would Extend Tax On Rich
In a poll released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California, a solid majority -- 62 percent -- of likely voters supported extending for 12 years Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30 income tax increase on individuals earning over $250,000 to pay for education and health care. An initiative being circulated by teachers unions and health care organizations would put that proposal before voters in November.

California Voters Back Income Tax Extension, School Bonds, Poll Says | The Sacramento Bee
Dan Walters @
Surtax on high-income Californians, school bonds headed for November ballot

State Assembly Members Introduce Bill To Limit UC Enrollment Of Nonresident Students | The Daily Californian
A bill was introduced in the state Assembly on Tuesday that would cap the percentage of nonresident undergraduate students enrolled in the University of California at 15.5 percent.

CalPERS Sets Higher Pension Contribution Rates | The Sacramento Bee
Dale Kasler @
Pension fund says rate hike smaller than expected

Appeals Court Denies Constitutional Right To Minimum K-12 Funding | Edsource
The San Francisco-based 1st District Court of Appeal ruled on separate but related lawsuits filed in 2010: Campaign for Quality Education v. State of California, filed by Public Advocates on behalf of five nonprofits serving low-income, minority families, and Robles-Wong et al. v. State of California, jointly filed by the school boards association, the state PTA, the Association of California School Administrators and the California Teachers Association, together with Stanford Law Professor William Koski, representing low-income children.

$5 Million In Funding For Undocumented UC Students Set To Expire In June | The Daily Californian
Five million dollars in funding for undocumented UC students is set to expire in June, with many urging UC President Janet Napolitano to renew the initiative.

California's Voter Registration Forms Don't Make Sense -- It's Time For The State To Change Them
About 400,000 Californians who might be planning to vote in the state's pivotal Democratic presidential primary June 7 could be in for a shock.

CalPERS Puts Off Decision On Tobacco Reinvestment | The Sacramento Bee
Dale Kasler @
Pension fund had planned to launch study of tobacco stocks

As UC Berkeley Tries To Close Its Deficit, Administrators Feel The Ire Of Traditional Faculty Allies
As top UC Berkeley officials lead an ambitious effort to reshape the nation's premier public research institution, they are facing increasingly fierce reactions

Given that Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders is the most cannabis-friendly presidential candidate in either major party, it should come as no surprise that there is a “Burn One for Bernie 4/20 Cannabis Awareness Reggae Concert” in Oakland Wednesday night — coinciding with the 4/20 high holy day of all things cannabis. In what may be a new synergy for a presidential fundraiser, the cover charge will be lifted for guests who donate $4.20 or more to Bernie Sanders’ campaign ON THE DAY OF THE EVENT and show us your receipt (on your phone) for entry or donate at the door! The event will feature bands including the 7th Street Band, Sister Dyimah, Binghi Ghost and Luv Fyah, and DJs Atreau and Riddim. Sanders’ Bay Area supporters are really embracing the 4/20 holiday as they also scheduled a voter registration drive for Wednesday on Hippie Hill in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. None of the remaining Republican candidates — Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich — support legalization, but all have expressed some degree of support for allowing states to form their own medicinal marijuana laws.

Mental Health: Sometimes Incarceration Is The Best Medicine -
Bob Moffitt @
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826

State Assembly Committee Passes Bill Aimed At Limiting UC Nonresident Enrollment | The Daily Californian
The vote to push AB 1711 forward in the legislative process comes after a report by the California state auditor on UC nonresident enrollment.

Poll: Voters Support School Bond And Prop. 30 Extension | Edsource
Since the low point of funding during the recession, Californians surveyed expressed increasing confidence that K-12 schools are preparing students for choices after graduation, although they indicated schools are doing a better job with readiness for college than the workforce.

Majority in statewide survey says public schools do â
While confidence in California schools is up, residents say public education needs more money and taxpayers should pony up and pay, according to a statewide survey released Wednesday. The poll, conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, offered an optimistic picture of the state’s public schools, with 61 percent of those surveyed saying their local schools were doing an “excellent” or “good job” preparing students for college. “There is a greater sense of satisfaction with the local schools than we have seen in previous surveys, and in particular fewer people saying that quality of education in K-12 schools is a big problem,” said Mark Baldassare, president and chief executive of the institute. A solid majority of those surveyed supported ballot measures to boost funding for schools and school construction. Yet most state residents — and in particular African Americans — feel a teacher shortage is a “big problem,” with the greatest concern focused on low-income schools. Nearly 80 percent of African American adults polled said they were “very concerned” that schools in lower-income areas were more affected by a teacher shortage than wealthier areas.

Cruz calls Trump a 'niche candidate' and challenges GOP front-runner to a debate

The Texas senator is seeking an advantage by challenging the billionaire mogul to a debate before Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island vote next week.

Dude, You Ever Wonder, Like, Why People Celebrate Pot On 4/20? - La Times
Patients shop at the Harvest medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco. Thousands of people were expected to converge on San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on Wednesday for the annual 4/20 marijuana holiday.

California Rethinks Approach To Conserving Water In Drought - Sfgate
Californians remain under strict state conservation orders that have caused many residents to take shorter showers and let their lawns turn brown even as drought conditions ease. Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Board, said she would like to allow local control but fears not all local water officials would provide realistic assessments of their water supplies, leading to the possibility of serious shortages. Continuing to ask Californians to sustain "heroic water conservation efforts" that don't reflect healthier water supplies today could erode the officials' credibility with residents when they're called upon next time to make sacrifices, David Bolland, special projects manager for the Association of California Water Agencies says in a letter to water regulators. In a letter submitted by several environmental organizations, Tracy Quinn, a senior policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council, cautioned against abandoning conservation measures in response to outcry from water districts.

City Attorney Probe Finds 98 Cases Bungled |
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Will Brown Sign Bill To Closely Monitor The Bullet Train? :: Fox&hounds
These thoughts swirl as the Assembly Transportation Committee unanimously passed AB 2847 by Assemblyman Jim Patterson requiring stricter oversight on the costs and scope of the high-speed-rail project.

Plan to convert Hearst Building, home to old Examiner, to a hotel
The landmark Hearst office building at Third and Market streets, once the home of the San Francisco Examiner, would be converted to a luxury hotel under a plan the owners expect to submit to the city in the next few weeks. The property would capitalize on the structure’s colorful history as one of three newspaper buildings — The Chronicle and the Call were the others — at the intersection of Third, Kearny and Market streets, once known as the Newspaper Angle. A few years ago JMA Ventures converted another city landmark, Ghirardelli Square, into Fairmont Heritage Place, a mix of a hotel and fractional condos. JMA Ventures partner Todd Chapman said Ghirardelli Square, which has the city’s highest hotel room rates, shows that visitors to San Francisco are hungry for accommodations that mix city history with modern amenities. Chapman said the move toward hospitality was partially inspired by the work of one of the building’s tenants, Future Bars, which operates three businesses in the structure: the Local Edition and Lark bars, as well Cask, a spirits shop. Local Edition, which opened four years ago, has decor that is a homage to the city’s newspaper history with displays of vintage newspapers, printing presses, Dictaphones and Linotype machines. The transformation of the building could be bad news for some nonprofits that have long called the structure home and which now face a difficult real estate market. Nonprofit tenants include the California Preservation Foundation, the National Trust for Historic Places, the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation and Death Penalty Focus. The influx in new hotel projects is being prompted by a mix of booming tourism, robust business travel, healthy convention business and a development that has added only a handful of major hotels.

Extreme And Exceptional Drought Decline In California -
Ed Joyce @
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826