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E-145 - Saturday, October 12, 2019, presented by SYASLPartners
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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
SCOTUS WATCH: Look for the next update on this week's oral arguments and next week cases in Sunday's Nooner.
LEGISLATIVE DIRECTORY UPDATES:
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
Before I get rolling, I'll start putting some of the more personal stuff like food, events, and other politics/policy-related observations around town at the spot where I shared yesterday's personal message -- scottlay.com. On that particular message, I know several hundred of you read it and I thank you for your very kind and supportive words. For those who reached out for help, we got this. Email to that domain is still in DNS hell and I've had a support ticket in with the IBM techs over the hamster farm for like two years to no avail.
If you didn't read the protected post yesterday, the password is "orangecoast". There aren't any secrets to it, but I do it to avoid it being indexed by search engines.
2019 GOLDEN BEAR AWARDS: I wanted to get this done before today's Nooner, so I'll send it out in a separate email shortly with apologies. With bill actions ending today, it's time to for use to decide who is deserving our 2019 Golden Bear Awards.
In previous years, The Nooner community has done "Legislator of the Year" awards for several years, but that creates the misperception that legislators are the only players in what becomes California policy. Of course, there are far more. As of now, I have 21 different categories to include staff, lobbyists, and media!
The timeline will be something like:
We'll do nominations then move to 3-5 finalists in each category that will be voted online by Nooner readers. As in previous years, each Nooner reader will be able to vote once with no ballot box stuffing.
Anyway, check your mailbox in an hour or so and get ready for some fun (which we really all need right now)! Yes, I wasted way too much time on Twitter this morning and should have had this done by Nooner hamster-time.
I know that there is a "Golden Bear award" at the Berlin Film Festival, but I think it's okay that we can appropriate the name as well. If someone is going to list it in their professional accomplishments, it's a helluva lot better than a Bacteria Bear award.
PG&E UPDATE: As of 6:00am, 98% of customers of Pacific Gas & Electric who had power turned off during the Public Safety Power Shutoff this week had their power restored. That leaves fewer than 13,500 customers to be restored of the 740,000 disconnected during the event,
Meanwhile, that story that has made the rounds in media and on social media that a man died 12 minutes off the power was turned off in El Dorado County because his oxygen "tank" was turned out is false. Molly Sullivan and Sophia Bollag report in the Bee "The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office identified the man as Robert Mardis, 67, and said an autopsy completed Friday afternoon determined he died of severe coronary artery atherosclerosis."
So, the memes out there quick to say that the man's blood was on Governor Gavin Newsom's hands were debunked by, well, medical science. After all, 2-3 million individuals were without power this week and, while I'm no medical examiner, I learned when I was studying to be an EMT at the North Orange County ROP in 1990 that people die for lots of reasons all the time--even during power outages. (Yes, for the Nooner newbies, I've had a very strange career path. I'll write more about that on scottlay.com at some point.)
After articles suggesting that the power outage situation this week was the same as that which brought down Governor Gray Davis, Taryn Luna and Phil Willon write about the important differences and have the talked to Gray about it this week. From their telephone interview with the former governor:
“His situation is considerably different. First of all, he is totally on top of this problem. He was working on wildfires during his campaign,” Davis said in a telephone interview. “By this time next year, we should be in a better position than we are now.”
They also quote Garry South, who was the lead political consultant for Davis:
“In Newsom’s case, he has the advantage of being able to say that this is not the state’s fault, this is not the fed government’s fault, this is not the customers’ fault. This is PG&E’s fault,” South said.
I agree and actually think that in the long run, Newsom will end out ahead. The PG&E negligence is well documented by the media, PUC, and federal courts. It's not fair to Davis, but he got to blame for human actions by a Texas corporation--Enron. No, I have no relationship with the late Enron CEO Kenneth Lay to my knowledge. The true story of how Enron brought down Davis, and eventually the corporation itself, wouldn't emerge until after Davis was recalled with the star power of Arnold Schwarzanegger. I like Arnold personally, but
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Friend of The Nooner lobbyist Chris Micheli moves the beads on the abacus to tell us that "the Governor has acted on 809 bills out of the 1,042 sent to him. He has signed 763 and vetoed 46 bills (5.7% veto rate). That leaves 233 bills before" tonight's deadline. Chris also shared with us a summary of the bills introduced in the first year of the legislative session. Thanks Chris! This is a team effort.
Here are the bill action releases:
I still have to go through all the bills and this doesn't end our Nooner discussion on bills signed and vetoed. We're triaging info here and I'm still one person.
Just as I heard the governor had signed SB 8 (Glazer) to ban smoking on state beaches, a perennial issue vetoed by Governor Brown, I couldn't help myself but to capture this picture on the West Lawn as I was walking back from the podcast recording last night. As I crossed over from the North Steps to the west, I saw the busload of Korean tourists and felt really bad that they had to shoot their selfie-stick photos with our beautiful Capitol wrapped in a giant white condom.
Come all the way from South Korea to find the California Capitol wrapped in plastic during your bus tour is up there with finding Walley World closed. If you're a true California geek, you better know where the Walley World scenes were filmed.
But, then when I walked along the path heading toward L Street I noticed the two girls sitting on the grass were blazing up a big ole bong. You might not see them on the small photo, but you can click it to see the two right there in the middle of the grass strip.
If you can get away with smoking weed on the Capitol lawn and not hidden under a tree in Capitol Park, I think think you're going to get that $25 fine as you get glassy-eyed on Glass Beach in Fort Bragg.
DRINKING WATER: For the Desert Sun, Nicole Hayden and Ricardo Lopez have an outstanding article on the challenge of providing safe drinking water on tribal lands. They write:
"Life at the Oasis Mobile Home Park on Torres Martinez tribal land in Southern California is a hardscrabble existence. Residents liken it to a slum — or a dump, given the amount of trash that regularly piles up.
Known for its cheap rent, the trailer park near Thermal is home to 1,900 people, many of whom are undocumented farmworkers. Some come from remote parts of Mexico and speak the indigenous language of Purepecha.
But conditions tipped from bleak into officially alarming in late August when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the water residents drink, cook with and bathe in had been contaminated with arsenic at 10 times the allowable limit since at least April. The park filters water from a private well on its property.
The finding sent federal, state, local and tribal officials scrambling to sift through the jurisdictional issues in order to address the water contamination. The EPA's announcement also brought into renewed focus the patchwork of regulations that residents on tribal land face when they seek help to address other issues, from building safety matters to rent hikes Lawson implemented immediately after the EPA issued its order."
I encourage y'all to read the whole article.
Great work folks! That's quality journalism.
So, this week has been about fire, power, and water. Anything else?
CAKEDAY and CLASSIFIEDS after we pay some bills...
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Chris Chaffee, David Cunningham, Tony Madrigal, and Tim Sbranti!