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IN TODAY'S NOONER:
SEEN ON SUNDAY: House Intel Chair Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) along with House Judish chair Jerry Nadler on This Week with Snuffleupagus.
I believe Schiff will be a United States Senator from California at some point. If either Kamala's or Dianne's seat opens up, Gavin can't appoint a white guy. Adam is a candidate for Feinstein's seat in 2024 or a second appointment if Kamala wins a VP bid (only forseeable exit from the Senate) AND DiFi retires early. Gavin can appoint Adam but has to appoint a Latino/a first, although California Supreme Court chief Tani Cantil-Sakauye would also be an option. While Tani is no party preference, a Filipina with a Japanese-American husband would be huge since the only Asian-American in the Senate was conservative S.I. Hayakawa.
The dominant Democratic voters would love to vote for Schiff, but Gavin knows that can't be the first appointment. So, we'll just have to wait and see.
¡Feliz domingo! The Mexican food returns to the neighborhood today and the perennial gastronomic debate of menudo vs. street tacos vs. hot links continues.
I've added the conversation with Mike Madrid that we recorded on 12/3 a few hours after Kamala dropped out of the presidential race to the Nooner Conversations podcast feed. You can find it on Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) along with the talk with Professor Carlton F.W. Larson Monday night at Capital Books and is available directly from Simplecast.
Subscribe to the feed on Apple Podcasts as Madrid and I will talk again tomorrow after Wednesday's CNN/SSRS California poll--the first since Kamala's departure. If you like what you hear, give it a rating and comment. If you don't know know how to reach me in dissent.
Yes, I'm working on another image for Nooner Conversations, but y'all know I'm better with words than graphics.
A question I have for Mikey (another friend from community college days 25+ years ago) is whether or not Tom Steyer stays in the race or pulls his name off the California ballot by the December 26 deadline. After spending tens of millions on advertising over the last few years--first calling for impeachment and now for his campaign--he's still at 1% in California after the two other "known" Golden State candidates dropped out (Kamala and Swalwell). In the national Real Clear Politics polling average, he is at 1.4%, although that's only because of an abberant Politico/Morning Consult poll that found him at 3%. Every other one in December has been 1%, rounded up. Oh, and there was that Economist/YouGov one that started the month that found 0% support for Steyer.
Support for Steyer is akin to PG&E stock over the last five years. Withdrawn your Honor. An equity investment in the bankrupt company would have been a better bet.
PG&E: For the AP, Daisy Nguyen reports on Pacific Gas & Electric's efforts to reshape its reorganization plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy following Governor Gavin Newsom's opposition to the one submitted last week.
The governor said PG&E’s plan did not go far enough in improving safety, corporate governance and the company’s financial position. The company has until Tuesday to appease Newsom and get him to sign off on the plan.
“We’ve welcomed feedback from all stakeholders throughout these proceedings and will continue to work diligently in the coming days to resolve any issues that may arise,” PG&E said in a statement.
From my sources, the issue is that the concerns are that PG&E's current plan settles existing liabilities but doesn't have enough for the path forward of "hardening" and reshaping the deadly grid.
SOLAR: For the SDUT, Joshua Emerson Smith writes on the battle between rooftop solar and massive desert arrays between companies and utilities.
Experts say the outcome could dramatically influence the cost of power in the state — and, by extension, the speed at which residents adopt electric appliances and cars.
Ratcheting up the tension, private purchases of solar panels have outpaced expectations over the last decade. Former governors Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrated this week the installation of a million solar roofs across the state.
Advocates said the milestone has come despite escalating efforts by utilities to undermine rooftop solar installations. They said those attacks include everything from hefty fees on ratepayers to calling for dramatic cuts to the credits residents receive for generating energy from the sun.
Not mentioned in the article but very relevant is that the massive arrays often use union labor for construction and maintenance, while rooftop usually does not. This is also an issue about the debate over storage, which is obviously a necessary long-term need with solar and wind-generated electricity. Where do the batteries go and who installs and maintains them.
Everyone is talking about the need for microgrids to reduce wildfire risk and allow segmenting of the grid, although labor issues and NIMBYism complicate the matter.
SCHIFF: A town hall organized yesterday by the Armenian National Committee featuring Representative Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) meant to highlight the passage of a resolution condemning the Armenian genocide of course turned into a scuffle over impeachment. Raul Roa and Mark Kellam report for the Times:
As Schiff began speaking, a man and two women held up signs reading,"Don’t Impeach.” When they were asked to take down the signs, they refused.
Then, about a dozen people scattered throughout the auditorium began yelling, “Liar.”
When some in the audience asked them to refrain from yelling, scuffles broke out throughout the room, and the audience members who were yelling at Schiff removed their jackets, revealing shirts supporting President Trump.
After about 15 minutes, the scuffles settled down, and the event continued.
There were three Glendale police officers at the event who helped deal with the situation, according to the Police Department. No injuries were reported, police said.
Who woulda thunk? For the home gamers, the issue of recognizing the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks is always divisive. Add a side dish of impeachment and the event was destined for this outcome. Thankfully, it was less violent than the California Democratic Party's pre-endorsement conference in Region 16 that led to longtime Assembly Democrats strategist Jim Wisely to be hospitalized and surgery after being shoved by a supporter of Maria Estrada, who is back this year with a challenge to Speaker Anthony Rendon.
PLAINTIFF IN CHIEF: For McClatchy, Kate Irby reports on the question of how Representative Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) pays for all the lawsuits he files:
Rep. Devin Nunes’ critics have obsessed over how he is paying for the six lawsuits he filed this year, but there are no public records showing how he has paid his Virginia lawyer.
That means Nunes is either paying for the lawsuits out of his own pocket, promising to pay his lawyer a portion of any money they’re awarded in court at a later date, or flouting House Ethics rules that would require him to publicly disclose who is funding the legal work.
SANDY EGGO GUNS: In the SDUT, Morgan Cook reports on the opposing sides on gun shows that made their voices heard yesterday at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Facing an uncertain future in San Diego County, Crossroads of the West Gun Show returned this weekend to its decades-long home at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, where supporters and opponents held dueling rallies to debate the appropriateness of continuing to hold the event there.
The gun show’s return comes about two months after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill banning gun and ammunition sales at the state-owned venue starting in 2021.
Meanwhile, there is a lawsuit to deal with.
SANDY EGGO POT: David Garrick writes for the SDUT on efforts by San Diego city officials to ease renewals of licensed cannabis dispensaries:
San Diego officials are trying to avoid a major disruption to the city’s marijuana industry next year with a proposal allowing dispensaries with expiring operating permits to get streamlined five-year renewals.
The dispensaries could still be denied such renewals if there has been a significant amount of crime at or near the dispensary, or if the business has violated its operating permit multiple times during its initial five-year run.
But the dispensaries wouldn’t have to start the entire approval process over from scratch, which would include presentations to community planning groups and multiple public hearings.
In addition, starting over could make the dispensaries vulnerable to changes in circumstances, such as a new church, park, school or other “sensitive use” opening near the dispensary.
If only we could streamline approval of housing to avoid chronic NIMBY syndrome.
SANDY EGGO HOMELESS: Also in the SDUT, Gary Warth reports on a program by the San Diego Sheriff's Office to connect homeless to services. Warth writes:
The concept of law enforcement working with service agencies to help homeless people isn’t new. Several city-funded police departments throughout the county have their own homeless outreach teams, while some cities that contract with the Sheriff’s Department have deputies assigned to Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving, or COPPS, which focuses on quality-of-life issues that often involve homeless people.
Unincorporated areas, however, had no similar homeless outreach. Sheriff’s Sgt. George Crysler said the gap left a population of homeless people unconnected and sometimes far away from services that could help them.
“There was an outreach from the community saying they needed help,” Crysler said. “We were finding parks, specifically in Spring Valley, were having lots of transient and homeless people who needed help.”
Thank you Sandy Eggo! Those in the know around SacTown, please share with me similar efforts. On my plentiful walks around town, I rarely see any official interacting with the homeless and severely mentally ill unless it involves handcuffs.
As I returned from farmers market between the Premium and standard distribution, there was a Sac PD officer standing next to the Jehovah's Witnesses tabling on 6th. I didn't figure out why he was there but did witness him tell a homeless person asking about the adjacent Southside Park clubhouse if it was a cold weather shelter this year.
The officer said "Nope" and the homeless guy with his belongings in trash bags over his shoulder looked on quizacally as to what to do. That's the failure of Sacramento to prioritize shelter beds and cold weather shelters this year even after we doubled the supplemental sales tax.
A couple more items, Cakeday, and Classifieds after the jump...
BOAT FIRES: An LAT team reports that the fire on the dive boat Conception that took 34 lives and was likely caused by charging lithium ion batteries was not the first, even within the same company. They report:
Nearly a year before 34 people were killed in a fire aboard the dive boat Conception, a second vessel owned by the same charter company began a three-day voyage around the Channel Islands.
Divers on the Vision charged numerous lithium-ion batteries installed in cameras, phones, computers and even underwater scooters with an array of power outlets in the salon area. At some point, one of those batteries began to smolder as it was charging. An alarmed crew member quickly tossed it into the water, preventing the fire from spreading, a witness and several sources told The Times.
The fire underscored the potential dangers of such batteries, which have been banned from cargo areas of commercial planes and become the subject of tighter regulations by the U.S. Navy.
As someone who has slept on similar boats, this is scary. As someone who charges devices overnight constantly, this is scary.
BLOOMBERG AND WILLIE: Willie Lewis Brown, Jr. shows that he still wears a ring to kiss and dedicates today's column to presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, who met with hizhonner during his swing through NorCal last week.
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Senator Pat Bates, Erin Evans-Fudem, David Zay Latt, Tricia Lipper, Rita Montes-Martin, Josh Pulliam, Jennifer Quan, and Laura Velkei!