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E-121 - Saturday, November 2, 2019, presented by SYASLPartners
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IN TODAY'S NOONER:
Happy Saturday! The Kings have their first win or, we can simply say that they are 1-0 in November. Because of a late scheduling conflict, we had to postpone the podcast until Monday. Things are supposed to be quiet on Friday afternoons, yet have been anything but lately. Considering we put out 3.5 hours this week, you're probably thankful for the delay. Meanwhile, lots of other great aural content is out there this week and linked above, so like me you have no excuses to keep you from raking up those leaves.
If you were wondering why the Capitol and Library and Courts buildings were lit up in purple and yellow last night, it was in celebration of the 100th anniversary of California's ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment granting women suffrage. First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom tweeted a photo.
On the SD28 race, I used "transgendered" when discussing possible candidate, Palm Springs councilmember Lisa Middleton. The correct adjective is transgender. I've made the mistake before and I think I had it correct in the first draft and screwed up when I hastily wrote the second one.
The good news is that the public safety power shutoffs have mostly ended and the weather has improved. In the ten-day forecasts around the state, we see the return to double-digit humidity and normal winds across the state (Redding, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Simi Valley, San Diego). However, as you see in those outlooks, meaningful precipitation is not coming soon. Of course, I need not tell you that while we want to see rain, we definitely don't want to see torrents in areas of charred hills. While we are in a period of weather extremes, that California fire-mudslides-regrowth cycle is something I remember talked about in my childhood.
"ENERGY CZAR": In rare Friday breaking news, Governor Newsom took to the podium in the Capitol press room yesterday to answer questions from reporters after he announced several actions to tackle the major issues relating to the state's energy supply and safety. In a Medium post, Newsom writes:
"To that end, I have tapped my Cabinet Secretary, Ana Matosantos, to serve as the state's Energy Czar to lead a dedicated energy team with Ann Patterson, our lead attorney on the matter, Alice Reynolds, our lead energy and environmental policy expert, and Rachel Wagoner, our senior legislative strategist, spearheading the Administration’s energy efforts. They will work closely with other senior leadership in my office, outside legal, financial and energy advisors, and leadership across state government to game out every option and prepare a plan should the state need to intervene. All options are on the table."
PPIC has a short bio of Matosantos, who served as Director of Finance in both the Schwarzenegger and Brown administrations. She's known for her fiscal prowess, and was tapped by President Obama to assist in economic recovery in her home territory of Puerto Rico.
Much has been made of the threatened state takeover of PG&E--something called for by some Democratic presidential candidates and others. Newsom is hesitant and it's an extraordinarily complex issue, both practically and legally. Newsom writes:
"Let me be clear – the creativity that so many people desire for PG&E to be a new company that prioritizes safety, understands the communities it serves, and is responsive to the needs of customers can only happen if we first get out of bankruptcy court.
It is my hope that the stakeholders in PG&E will put parochial interests aside and reach a negotiated resolution so that we can create this new company and forever put the old PG&E behind us.
If the parties fail to reach an agreement quickly to begin this process of transformation, the state will not hesitate to step in and restructure the utility."
Anyway, let's see how we're doing as the awful weather event appears to wind down.
more after the jump...
MARIA: Yesterday, Southern California Edison filed an Electrical Incedent Report with the Public Utilities Commission notifying the regulatory body that it had re-energized a line near the fire's believed point of origin minutes before the blaze, reports the AP's John Ancjak.
An LAT team reports that illegal drones have impeded the air battle against the Maria Fire. They write:
"According to the National Interagency Fire Center, aerial firefighting efforts have been shut down at least nine times this year because of drone use, and at least 20 drone incursions have hindered firefighting capabilities nationwide from January through October. A report shared with The Times showed that of those 20 incursions, five were in California.
While the unmanned aerial vehicles are small, drones can wreak incredible havoc. A collision with a wing, engine or any part of a larger aircraft can cause severe damage."
"OUT OF TOUCH AND OUTRAGEOUS": State Senator Mike McGuire, who was evacuated from his Healdsburg home this week, did not take it well when PG&E CEO Bill Johnson suggested that North Bay residents could replace their spoiled food by going to area food banks. McGuire tweeted "This is the most out of touch and outrageous statement by PG&E’s CEO. Californians should be appreciative that you didn't burn down their homes (this time)!?! Total BS. You're a broken corporation who - for decades - have put your shareholders before the safety of your customers."
Senator McGuire's comments came after ABC7 News reporter Dan Noyes asked in a presser what Johnson had to say to people who needed to refill their refrigerator/freezer, but didn't have the means to do so. Noyes tweeted video of the interaction. Johnson responded to Noyes's question with "The main thing is we didn't cause any fires...didn't burn down any houses. The Kincade Fire is still under investigation. I got that...We gave them the opportunity to refill their refrigerator because their house is still there."
At which point every comms professional cringed. I don't know what the right answer to give was for Johnson, but that sure wasn't it. Talk about what you are doing with Community Resource Centers that provided food, device charging, and other services. Say you'll look into how the company is working to assist those who have been reenergized. Basically, say anything other than what was said.
By the way, for those refilling your fridges and freezers, keep your receipts. That video could very well end up in court if PG&E was found negligent. Legal relevant? Probably not. Would a judge sustain an objection as such? Maybe or maybe not. But a jury would hear it and the ire against the corporation surges. (Do you really believe "The jury will disregard the prior evidence." actually works?)
After all, many of those affected lost far more than food this week, even if their houses didn't burn down. Many own small businesses or work from them, and we already know that business interruption insurance often doesn't cover forced power outages.
CAKEDAY and CLASSIFIEDS after the jumpity jump...
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Glen Schaller, Paco Torres, and Nadir Vissanjy!