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THE Nooner for October 15, 2017


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Good morning all. I'm going to be a bit short at midday, as I need to hop in the shower and get over to the Buddhist Church of Sacramento for its 9:30 service. Whatever your faith is, we all need some time this week to pause our brains. Namu Amida Butsu. Of course, it's also farmers' market and street taco Sunday here in the Nooner's Southside Park neighborhood. Can't sit in front of the 'puter all of the time!

Yeah, I'll miss some of the Niners game, but this season seems like something to miss in totality, like that of my Oregon Ducks. The Broncos are the night game tonight, of course overlapping with the second game of Dodgers v. Cubbies (great game yesterday blue), so it'll be a multi-screen evening.

I'll likely have an afterNoonerer. 

Current fire map. Red dots are hot spots.

The Latest:

  • 41 dead
  • Mendocino: 9
  • Napa: 6
  • Sonoma: 22 dead, 355 missing
  • Yuba: 4, 1 missing

The number is either 40 or 41 based on conflicting reports from Mendocino County.

According to Cal Fire this morning, 217,566 acres have burned and we're still at an estimate of 5,700 structures burned.

Here's my latest higher education update...we should have news on K-12 schools later today.

  • Empire College: classes scheduled to return Monday, October 16
  • Mendocino College: classes scheduled to return Monday, October 16 - facilities are open with showers and supplies
  • Napa Valley College: closed through Sunday, October 22 - shelter still open, but may be full
  • Pacific Union College: classes scheduled to return Tueday, October 17
  • Santa Rosa Junior College: closed through Tuesday, October 17
  • Solano Community College: classes scheduled to return Monday, October 16 - shelter still open, but may be full
  • Sonoma State University: faculty and staff resume Tuesday, October 17; classes resume Wednesday, October 18
  • University of San Francisco - Santa Rosa campus: classes scheduled to return Monday, October 16

In Fairfield, neither Brandman or University of Phoenix have anything posted on Twitter or their web pages. Brandman was closed today. No information on Phoenix.

While most of these institutions are not damaged, many faculty staff and students have been affected, disrupting operations. 

U.S. SENATE: Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León announced his challenge to Senator Dianne Feinstein in an email this morning, which included an announcement video.

Fellow progressive and possible challenge billionaire venture capitalist Tom Steyer has not announced his intentions.

THANK YOU, UH, NO THANK YOU: Lite Gov and guber candidate Gavin Newsom has donated the $5,000 he received from the disgraced hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein to Equal Rights Advocates.

This story continues to be sad for me on many levels, as I live off the story in the movie Good Will Hunting, co-produced by Weinstein. Can I watch it? Can Matt and Ben, perhaps with an assist of Robin Williams's estate buy out Weinstein's share of the production of the movie? Seriously, whatever it costs!

YEAH, THAT'LL WORK: The governor signed AB 1620 (Debabneh), which will prohibit legislators from lobbying the Legislature for two years after the legislative session in which they resign or retire, reports Patrick McGreevy in the Times. Of course, the current one year ban is already a joke. When Henry Perea bailed on the Legislature early for the Western States Petroleum Association, he didn't need to register as a lobbyist. Western States spent $2 million last session when Perea joined them. That's influence--registered or not.

Perea had $623,540 on hand as of June 30, ostensibly for a run for Insurance Commissioner that he is not running for. He gave $226,800 to USC Price School of Public Policy before that report, but still has a lot of cash on hand to wield influence. He did reimburse several contributions to special interests. As a lobbyist, he can't personally contribute to candidates for the Legislature, but the committee can. There are many others.

Added after church/farmers market: There are millions (if not tens of millions--I went to law school since math ain't my thing) sitting in accounts controlled by people who used to be legislators but aren't running for anything. Many of these accounts could destroy an incumbent, with is more influence than a do-gooder former legislator working on a social justice agenda.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Bill Brough and Denyne Colburn!




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Political Road Map: Just 3% Of California Recall Elections Actually Work. They Have One Thing In Common
John Myers @
As Republicans rally to force a special election firing of an Orange County state senator, it's worth noting that 97% of recall elections have failed in state history. Here's why the 3% have succeeded.

Vice President Pence throws his weight behind Va. GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie

Pence visited rural southwest Virginia to excite voters for next month’s election, citing comparisons between Gillespie and President Trump.

California Government Workers Will Soon Be Added To Equal Pay Laws
Melanie Mason @
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Trump Tweets Approval After Health Care Stocks â

President Trump cut off subsidies to cover insurance costs for low-income people, and some health care stocks fell. He cheered.

Trump Campaign's Legal Spending Tops $1 Million During Third Quarter - Politico
President Donald Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee reported spending almost twice as much on legal bills over the last three months as it did during the second quarter of this year.

Fifty-year Legal Fight Ends With Five North County Tribes Getting Their Water Back - The San Diego Union-tribune
J. Harry Jones @

Pence, Biden hit the trail in Virginia governor's race
The vice presidents stumped for their candidates in the home stretch of Virginia's gubernatorial election.

GOP lawmakers walk the line between defying Trump and alienating their base

Up-and-coming Republican senators like James Lankford have been savvy about the political risks of disavowing the president’s recent comments.

Porter Ranch Residents Exposed To Aliso Canyon Gas Leak Have Uranium, Lithium And Other Chemicals In Their Bodies, Health Study Shows – Daily News
High levels of uranium, lithium and a synthetic chemical used to make plastics were present in the urine and hair samples of residents who live near the site of the massive 2015 Aliso Canyon natural gas leak, according to results released Saturday by a local physician.

Feinstein Draws Primary Challenge From Democrat De León - Politico
Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

These La-area Democrats Are At The ‘epicenter’ Of The Trump Resistance. Here’s Why – Daily News
These days it’s also a point of interest to political junkies: It’s the spot where Adam Schiff’s, Brad Sherman’s and Ted Lieu’s congressional districts meet.

Germany’s Social Democrats Headed For Victory In Regional Election – Politico
Outcome appears to strike blow to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democrats.

California Legislators Who Resign Face A Longer Wait Before They Can Lobby
Patrick McGreevy @
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Complaint Says Detention Not Providing Adequate Care To Pregnant Immigrants - The San Diego Union-tribune
Kate Morrissey @
Sergii Pyvovarenko fled after he was kidnapped and tortured by the Right Sector, a far-right nationalist group.

Muslim Community Advocates Plan March Through Downtown L.A. Sunday To Protest Trump's Latest Travel Ban
Andrea Castillo @
Participants of the #NoMuslimBanEver march and campaign will gather at noon at the Japanese American National Museum at 100 N. Central Ave. Speakers will focus on the similarities between the current ban and exclusionary policies throughout United States history, including the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Slow But Steady Progress Being Made Against Sex Trafficking In San Diego - The San Diego Union-tribune
Kristina Davis @
FBI Supervisory Special Agent Todd Hemmen, who leads a human-trafficking squad, said it often takes 10 to 15 contacts with a witness before he or she will cooperate with an investigation or prosecution.

Hillary Clinton Blasts Trump Over Iran, Korea Policies - Politico
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured in June, said President Donald Trump's approach to Iran "giv[es] Iran the spotlight, the aggrieved party spotlight." | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

4 Ways Trump Has Moved to Undo His Predecessorsâ

President Trump has promised sweeping changes to health care, immigration, the Iran deal and trade. Here’s a look at where things stand now.

Despite Clear Risks, Santa Rosa Neighborhood That Burned Down Was Exempt From Fire Regulations
Doug Smith, Nina Agrawal @
Coffey Park was a suburban neighborhood well outside the city's Wildland-Urban Interface area where fire danger is considered high. But when the embers blew in, the Santa Rosa suburb burned to the ground.

Northern California Wildfires: Large Death Toll In Mendocino County Town Of Redwood Valley | The Sacramento Bee
Ryan Lillis @
By Ryan Lillis

Haley Dismisses Reports Of A Feud With Tillerson As 'so Ridiculous' - Politico
U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said on Sunday that while she and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have "different opinions" on various issues they still have a great relationship. | Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo