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Summer Recess

E-230 - Friday, July 19, 2019

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SacTown Talks by The Nooner


  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Palmdale)
  • Kern oil spill
  • Homeless
  • Early childhood education
  • Commerce and Canna-Fists
  • SacTown schools
  • Cakeday  

Happy Friday! You made it!

Just a few items this morning...

SD21 (Santa Clarita-Palmdale): For the Los Angeles Daily News, Kevin Modesti looks at the two Democrats who are challenging Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita). They hope to complete a sweet that started in the area in 2018 with the flip from Republican to Democratic of AD38 (Christy Smith) and CA25 (Katie Hill). The two challengers of Wilk are attorneys Warren Heaton and Kipp Mueller.

In 2016, voters in SD21 voted for H. Clinton by 2.9 points over Trump, but gave Wilk a 5.6% win over Democrat Johnathon Ervin. In the 2018 gubernatorial race, John Cox (R) received 1.8% over Gavin Newsom (D) in the district.

Obviously, the 2018 flips of the Assembly and congressional seats will both be tested again in 2020 for re-elections. SD21 likely will be wrapped up in the three. Like in the CA45/SD37/AD74 overlap in Orange County, enormous resources will be poured in by both parties to CA21/SD21/AD38 and all three are likely to be determined by the national mood on President Trump and Congress.

KERN OIL SPILL: In the LAT, Piper McDaniel reports that state officials have found that the Chevron site near McKittredge about 35 miles west of Bakersfield continues to seep a hazardous mix of oil and water.

"The new leakage occurred in a surface expression vent in the Cymric oil field, near the Kern County town of McKittrick, according to the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources. The vent is one of the locations where three previous leaks released about 800,000 gallons of oil and water.

Field inspectors from the agency identified the latest seepage at 3 p.m. Wednesday and released information about the latest spill Thursday. The agency is working to address what they are describing as a large oil release. The leak potentially resulted from a high-intensity steam injection intended to release oil."

Meanwhile, Ted Goldberg reports for KQED that Senator Henry Stern and Assembly woman Laura Friedman, who chair the respective Natural Resources committees, are requesting special hearings to learn what happened and how it can be prevented in the future.

HOMELESS: In the LAT, Gale Holland and David Zahniser report on the new federal lawsuit filed by seven homeless individuals that challenges the city's ordinance allowing crews to collect and destroy "bulky" and other belongings found on city sidewalks.

"The federal civil rights lawsuit seeks to strike down a city ordinance that allows sanitation crews to throw out so-called bulky items found in the streets.

The 59-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, says the city’s cleanup law and encampment enforcement violates constitutional protections against unreasonable seizures of private property and due process. The plaintiffs also include two citizen groups, Ktown for All and the Assn. for Responsible and Equitable Public Spending.

The lawsuit comes as homelessness continues to surge in Los Angeles, despite billions of dollars in state aid and voter-approved tax measures to open shelter beds and build subsidized housing, and amid a burst of legal action over enforcement in homeless camps."

It also requests an injunction preventing cleanup squads from confiscating tents, sleeping bags, medication and other items that an attorney with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles said are vital to homeless people’s survival — and frequently destroyed during camp sweeps."

If anyone has a copy of the complaint, I'd love to read it.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION: Ricardo Cano reports for CalMatters on the compensation of childcare and preschool teachers. Cano writes:

"This year, legislators and early childhood advocates cheered a budget signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom that included the most significant investments in recent history toward early childhood education programs. The $1.8 billion is expected to give tens of thousands more kids access to subsidized child care and preschool, and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into educator training and new child care facilities.

But left out of the budget picture was the issue of pay for early childhood educators, whose chronically low compensation has long troubled early childhood providers, advocates and experts. It’s an expensive ask—on top of an ambitious agenda with a price tag already estimated in the tens of billions of dollars—but one that could be critical, according to experts."


Probolsky Research

COMMERCE AND CANNA-FISTS: Well, it appears we now know more about that fistfight among Commerce City Council members during the California Contract Cities Association conference in Indian Wells earlier this year--cannabis. In the LAT, Ruben Vives writes:

"At the heart of the problems in Commerce is mistrust toward officials in City Hall, with residents calling on city leaders to allow voters to weigh in on whether cannabis businesses should operate in the city.

Since last year, the twice-a-month meetings have been tense. Residents and business owners, including members from the Church of Scientology, have voiced their opposition to cannabis businesses. Demonstrations have been held outside City Hall, and activists have gathered thousands of signatures."

I would check those "thousands of signatures." In the 2018 election, 3,340 people total voted for governor in the city of Commerce.

Before you think that this is about a debate over the number and location of retail shops, think again. The fight is largely over which cultivation and manufacturing cannabis businesses get one of the many permits pending in the warehouse-dense city.

Permitting politics leading to fights in Commerce? Shocking, I tell ya.

SACTOWN SCHOOLS: In the Bee, Sawsan Morrar writes "An independent fiscal adviser blasted the Sacramento City Unified School District this spring while it was calculating huge cuts to jobs and programs, saying he had “no confidence” in its business staff or their data"

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Jennifer Baker, former congressman John CampbellJudy Centlivre, Assembly members Heath Flora and Chris Holden, and Erica Romero!


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