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THE Nooner for December 24, 2016

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

TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Sidney Drell, adviser to presidents on nuclear weapons, dies
sfgate.com
Sidney Drell, a physicist who served for nearly half a century as a top adviser to the U.S. government on military technology and arms control, died Wednesday at his home in Palo Alto. Mr. Drell combined groundbreaking work in particle physics — he directed the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, now the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, for nearly 30 years — with a career in Washington as a technical adviser and defense intellectual. Beginning in 1960, as the Cold War heated up, Mr. Drell served on a succession of advisory groups that helped advance the technology of nuclear detection and shape the policy of nuclear deterrence. [...] he was a leading advocate of arms control and a critic of major projects such as the MX missile and the Strategic Defense Initiative, the Reagan administration program also known as Star Wars. Mr. Drell was recruited as a consultant for the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency soon after its creation in 1961 and served as a director of the Center for International Security and Arms Control (now the Center for International Security and Cooperation) at Stanford University in the 1980s. In 2006, he and George P. Shultz, the secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan, founded a program at the Hoover Institution to propose practical steps to rid the world of nuclear weapons. “In dealing with terrorists or rogue governments, nuclear deterrence doesn’t mean anything — the value has gone,” he told the website In Menlo in 2012. Mr. Drell was the author of “Electromagnetic Structure of Nucleons” (1961) and, with the theoretical physicist James D. Bjorken, wrote the textbooks “Relativistic Quantum Mechanics” (1964) and “Relativistic Quantum Fields” (1965). Additionally, he had to determine whether the Soviet Union could nullify the sensors by exploding a nuclear device in the atmosphere before the main launch. During the Vietnam War, Mr. Drell’s service on the President’s Science Advisory Committee under Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon, and his role as a shadow adviser to Henry Kissinger, damaged his academic reputation as opinion turned against U.S. policy. After the war, he emerged as a leading thinker on arms control and disarmament, which he addressed in numerous books and papers, including “Facing the Threat of Nuclear Weapons” (1983), “The Reagan Strategic Defense Initiative: A Technical, Political and Arms Control Assessment” (1985), In the Shadow of the Bomb:

Political Road Map: California Secession Fever Is Nothing New. There's A Rich History Of Wanting To Slice Up The State Or Split It Off
John Myers @
latimes.com
As activists organize an effort to split California from the nation, it's worth noting the state has a rich political history of secession fever.

Uber Disagreed With Ca Law Pushed By Its Head Of Self-driving Car | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
sacbee.com
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Audio: Race To Fill Becerra's Congressional Seat Grows More Crowded | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @
scpr.org
FILE PHOTO. U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra speaks to the media as he arrives at a briefing for members of the House of Representatives June 11, 2013 on Capitol Hill. The list of candidates seeking his seat has grown longer following his nomination as California attorney general. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Barbara Boxer Letter To The Times: 'our Democracy Depends' On Holding New Leaders Accountable
latimes.com
Update on 'Essential Politics: 'Calexit' group opens Russian embassy, California members of Congress lobby Trump'

Sacramento Buddhist Reverend, Takes Over As Assembly Chaplain | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
sacbee.com
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris Files New Pimping And Money-laundering Charges Against Operators Of Backpage.com
Alene Tchekmedyian @
latimes.com
Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris announced new criminal charges Friday against the operators of classified ad website Backpage.com, accusing them of laundering earnings from escorts as well as pimping children and adult women on their websites. 

Is There A Suicide Epidemic At Chino Women’s Prison?
the time someone reaches prison, expectations are more clear. @
dailynews.com
Today's high

Sacramento Artist Says 'no Way' To Trump Inauguration Invite | The Sacramento Bee
Ryan Lillis @
sacbee.com
By Ryan Lillis

Oakland Ghost Ship Fire: First Lawsuits Filed Over Deaths
eastbaytimes.com
OAKLAND — From the building owner to the concert promoter, the master tenant to the city and the county, everyone bears some responsibility in the Dec. 2 warehouse fire that killed 36 people, according to the first lawsuits and claims filed Friday over the deadly Ghost Ship blaze by two grieving sets of parents.

2 Families Of Oakland Warehouse Fire Victims To File 1st Lawsuits - Sfgate
sfgate.com
Judy Hough, left, and her husband Brian, center, hold a picture of their son Travis, who died in a warehouse fire, during a vigil at Lake Merritt on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Family members and friends are being notified as firefighters continue a painstaking search for victims of the Oakland warehouse fire.

Trump Co-chair Wishes Death On Obama, Calls 1st Lady Male | The Sacramento Bee
CHRIS CAROLA @
sacbee.com
A wealthy businessman who co-chaired president-Elect Donald Trump's state campaign confirmed to The Associated Press on Friday that he told an alternative newspaper he hoped President Barack Obama would die from mad cow disease and that the first lady would "return to being a male."

Some Californians Can Drink What The Astronauts Drink: Recycled Wastewater - Capradio.org
Amy Quinton @
capradio.org
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826

Exclusive Look At Mark Zuckerberg And Priscilla Chan's New Private School
mercurynews.com
The Primary Schook in East Palo Alto, founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan, his wife, serves 51 low-income 4- and 5-year-olds by combining health care with teaching.

President Obama Signs Defense Bill That Could Spur New Space-based Arms Race
David Willman @
latimes.com
President Obama signs law that shakes the foundations of U.S. nuclear defense policy

Thanks Msm, For The Very Special Gift Of Trump! « Calbuzz
calbuzz.com
A close reading of that world exclusive, filed 12 hours before Election Day voting kicked into gear, reveals a slight hedge: a promise that if the story was wrong, Calbuzz would publish a photo of Our Founders wearing Dodger hats. So today, Christmas Eve 2016, we hereby hold ourselves accountable for our teeny-tiny error. If you look really closely, you might even see the dog-ass Dodgers’ logo.

Necessary Evidence Or Privacy Intrusion? Bill Seeks To Expand Dna Collection
Jazmine Ulloa @
latimes.com
Update on 'Essential Politics: 'Calexit' group opens Russian embassy, California members of Congress lobby Trump'

Families Of 2 Oakland Warehouse Fire Victims File 1st Lawsuits - San Francisco Chronicle
sfchronicle.com
Judy Hough, left, and her husband Brian, center, hold a picture of their son Travis, who died in a warehouse fire, during a vigil at Lake Merritt on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Family members and friends are being notified as firefighters continue a painstaking search for victims of the Oakland warehouse fire.

Commercial Crab Fishing To Expand On Mendocino Coast | The Press Democrat
J.D. MORRIS @
pressdemocrat.com
The commercial crab season will open Thursday in the coastal waters in Mendocino County between Point Arena and Ten Mile River north of Fort Bragg, state fish and wildlife officials announced Friday. But the section of coastline between Ten Mile River and Shelter Cove in Humboldt County will remain closed, officials said, until tests on crab there show no more significant public health risk from domoic acid, a neurotoxin that can be harmful if ingested by consumers.

Chargers Lease Offices, Training Facility In Orange County - The San Diego Union-tribune
David Garrick @
sandiegouniontribune.com


Mycapture | The Union Democrat
customwire.ap.org


State court OKs Muni streetcar loop on SF central waterfront
sfgate.com
A state appeals court has given the go-ahead to a long-planned Muni streetcar loop in San Francisco’s central waterfront area, over the objections of a neighborhood group that wants the line rerouted. City officials say the loop would make more light-rail service available for peak traffic periods and special events, including basketball games at the Warriors’ planned arena at Third and 16th streets. The loop was part of a light-rail project that San Francisco’s Public Transportation Commission approved more than 15 years ago, but construction was first authorized in September 2014 after the city obtained a $10 million federal grant. A lawsuit by a group of residents and business owners contended the 1998 study was obsolete because of an influx of apartments, condominiums and stores in the neighborhood. After the appeals court blocked construction last year, Superior Court Judge Garrett Wong held a non-jury trial and ruled that no further environmental review was needed.