If you don't see images in this message, click "Display Images" or the equivalent.
E-120 - Sunday, November 3, 2019, presented by SYASLPartners
Advertise in The Nooner to reach over 8,000 readers
RECENT AURAL PLEASURE: Have a new pod episode related to California politics and policy that you'd like listed? Email Scott.
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
Happy Sunday! It's one year before the 2020 general election.
This morning and full of testosterone after attending the Ultimate Fighting Championships in NYC last night, President Trump took to Twitter to go after California.
"The Governor of California, @GavinNewsom, has done a terrible job of forest management. I told him from the first day we met that he must "clean" his forest floors regardless of what his bosses, the environmentalists, DEMAND of him. Must also do burns and cut fire stoppers.....
..Every year, as the fire’s rage & California burns, it is the same thing-and then he comes to the Federal Government for $$$ help. No more. Get your act together Governor. You don’t see close to the level of burn in other states...But our teams are working well together in.....
....putting these massive, and many, fires out. Great firefighters! Also, open up the ridiculously closed water lanes coming down from the North. Don’t pour it out into the Pacific Ocean. Should be done immediately. California desperately needs water, and you can have it now!"
"Water lanes." Huh. Those water lanes ferry salmon to Native Americans and maintain the Delta ecosystem for the birds on the Pacific Flyway between Canada and Mexico. Both long pre-existed people who look like me.
I know water is very complicated, which is why I'm going to learn from experts on Tuesday at PPIC's event. I do everything I can to absorb the information up like a sponge, but I know it's not as simple as portrayable in 280-character tweets.
Meanwhile, according to the LAO, the federal government manages 57% of the forest land in Caliifornia.
Gavin responded to President Trump's tweet, saying simply "You don’t believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation."
HUMAN COST: Amid all the likely appropriate criticism of the utilities, it's important to keep something in perspective. No deaths caused by the wildfires have been announced this year.
While the season is likely not over, thank you to the first responders and the workers for our public utilities for keeping Californians safe in a situation that could have been much worse.
Yes, I know there was a reported death from the early October power shutoff, although that was in doubt after an autopsy. To put it crassly, people die all the time. When over a million people lose power, deaths may not be caused by but are rather coincidental to a power shutoff.
SONOMA: In a beautifully written piece in the Los Angeles Times, Maria L. La Ganga reports on the impact of the Kincade Fire on Sonoma County's wine and tourism industry:
"The fire’s impact — which is considerable — was mostly felt by wine industry workers who were unemployed while their job sites and homes were under evacuation orders. And by small, family wineries that sell most of their wares from tasting rooms, which have been closed during this, the end of the high season. And possibly by the 2019 vintage itself."
DAMNED IF YOU DO, DAMNED IF YOU DON'T: After news that the Maria Fire in Ventura County may have started when Southern California Edison re-energerzed power lines darkened in a public safety power shutoff, the LAT's Doug Smith writes on the dilemma faced by utility providers dealing with angered customers whose power has been turned off:
"California utilities were already in a bind, between intense criticism when they shut off power and financial peril when they don’t during high fire hazard episodes.
Now an announcement by Southern California Edison has introduced a third dimension to the dilemma: the risk of turning that power back on too soon.
In an incident report filed with the Public Utilities Commission on Friday, Edison said it had shut down a 16,000-volt power line near Santa Paula last week following its fire-safety protocol but then re-energized the line approximately 13 minutes before the estimated ignition of the Maria fire."
PG&E: Meanwhile the LAT's editorial board steps closer to calling for a public takeover of Pacific Gas & Electric:
"Public takeover is not the right approach for all private utilities. The state’s two other large for-profit power providers, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, have been fairly decent managers of their systems so far. But PG&E’s management has demonstrated that it’s time for a change, and the public option needs to be on the table."
more after the jump...
VACCINATIONS: For Politico, Mackenzie Mays looks at how parents can avoid the state's tightening vaccination requirements while using hybrid publicly-funded charter schools in which instruction is primarily provided at home. Mays writes:
"California doesn't have a clear interpretation of whether home-based charter schools qualify for the exemption, and some charter programs have relied on that ambiguity to skirt vaccination requirements.
Different home school charters have different rules. Some host classes through third party vendors like the YMCA, which don’t have to operate under the same laws that schools do. Meanwhile, state education and public health officials regurgitate the bill language when pressed for clarification about whether these types of programs are exempt from the law."
SANTA ANITA: Well, this weekend was the Breeder's Cup at the Arcadia race track that has seen 36 horses die since the spring meet began on December 26 and, you guessed it, another one died. For the LAT, John Cherwa reports:
"It appeared that Santa Anita had a safe Breeders’ Cup, but in the last race, at the top of the stretch, Mongolian Groom was pulled up in distress. He suffered a life-ending injury to his left-hind leg and was euthanized on Saturday. It was the 37th death at Santa Anita since Dec. 30 and will raise the temperature even higher on the track with one day remaining in the meeting.
It was the seventh death in the abbreviated fall meeting. Last year, there were four in the same time span."
We need to update our Nooner Santa Anita Horsie Graveyard:
Hopefully, Santa Anita works out the kinks before next year, as John Cherwa is a stringer for the Los Angeles Times and will be limited to 35 submissions next year under AB 5. Or, perhaps they are content knowing that horses will die in the dark.
The LAT's editorial board opines:
"The troubling thing is that even experts such as [Santa Anita chief vet Dionne] Benson are stumped by what is causing the recent deaths at Santa Anita and elsewhere. It would help if Benson had the necropsies of all the horses. The L.A. district attorney’s office set up a task force to investigate the deaths six months ago and the results are still not public nor does the office have a time frame for when they will be released.
Benson says her goal is “safe horse racing with zero fatalities,” but she acknowledges how difficult it will be to get to that.
Hopefully, even more changes at the park will get Santa Anita closer. If it can’t, and if no racing park in the United States can, then the inescapable question for elected officials and the public in California and across the nation is: Do we want to continue a sport — even a historic and beloved sport — in which horses’ lives are routinely sacrificed so that people can be entertained?"
No humans have died in 2018 from wildfires, yet 37 horses have died at Santa Anita in the last eleven months.
CAKEDAY and CLASSIFIEDS after the jumpity jump...
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Anna Ferrera!