Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS:

  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Misogyny of the on-line attacks on Vice President Kamala Harris and political women in general (2021-02-25)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), who makes a return to the Legislature (2021-02-24)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): GOP political consultant Rob Stutzman (2021-02-22)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) on His Family's Internment History and His Agenda for Military Veterans (2021-02-18)

CLASSIFIEDS BELOW:

  • The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - MPA/MPP
  • Executive Director of Government Relations: California State University, Fresno
  • California School Boards Association - Public Affairs & Community Engagement Representative (San Diego)
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - Masters of Science in Law

The Nooner for Monday, March 1, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

  • COVID-19
    -the numbers
    -tiers for fears
    -vaccines
    -school daze
  • Exodus?
  • Do you recall?
  • Pot tests
  • SacTown farmers market
  • Taste of Boysenberry
  • Cakeday and classifieds  

Happy first day of March! Argh, after being better for a couple of weeks, my shoulder is back to the high-pain mark. Yes, I've done everything recommended by Nooner readers and physician friends with lots of yoga and CBD cream. Anyway, I'll get through the day which appears beautiful yet chilly.

Here I am watching the Senate Budget sub on education with the LAO complaining about the same issues that I saw over 20 years before the committee. It's great to see John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) back at the helm, although while it is also quite strange to see essentially only empty chairs around Laird in room 3191 Of course, UC and CSU want more money to increase graduation rates while attendance has dropped because of the pandemic. I remeber similar moments of being raked over the coals.

The LAO basically ducked the funding issue raised by UC and CSU and who suggested that it be revisited after the May Revision to the governor's January budget. We'll have to wait and see.

New state senator Dave Min, who was a law professor at UC Irvine before being elected, specifically spoke out against online education.

COVID-19: California added 212 deaths yesterday for a total of 52,212 since the pandemic began. As always, weekend reporting can be lower than actual, with reports carrying forward into the workweek. At 2.7%, the 14-day positivity rate has fallen below the October 25th number for the first time following the winter surge.

-Sandy Eggo: Meanwhile, California's second most populous county reported a 4-month low in number of new cases, reports the Times of San Diego.

Out of 13,819 test results received in the past day, 2% were positive, and the 14-day rolling average of positive tests dropped again, to 4.1%.

COVID-19 hospitalizations stood at 504, with 164 of those patients in intensive care, continuing the sharp downward trend.

-tiers for fears: Here are the statuses of California's 58 counties.

You can see what the restrictions mean here, although local health orders may be stricter than the state's orders.

  • purple (widespread): 47 counties
  • red (substantial): 9 counties (Del Norte, Humboldt, Marin, Mariposa,
    Plumas, San Mateo, Shasta, Trinity, and Yolo)
  • orange (moderate): 2 counties (Alpine and Sierra)

-vaccines: 

From the latest CDPH release:

  • vaccines reported as shipped to California: 11,724,565
  • vaccines delivered to administering entities: 11,158,090
  • vaccines administered: 8,772,866 (many of the "delivered" above are reserved for second doses)
  • Johnson & Johnson: Over 2 million doses of the latest and single-dose vaccine to be approved have reportedly been shipped although in this morning's federal presser, it was cautioned that there will be a pause in supply before 16 million doses delivered by the end of the month. Of the initial delivery, California is expected to receive 380,000 doses.

-school daze:

Back to the classroom: For AP, Adam Beam reports on the deal between Governor Gavin Newsom and Democratic legislative leaders on the plan announced this morning to return to in-person instruction in California's schools.

California’s public schools could get $6.6 billion from the state Legislature if they return to in-person instruction by the end of March, according to a new agreement announced Monday between Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state’s legislative leaders.

Most of California’s public schools have not met in-person since March because of the coronavirus. Many districts have struggled to reach agreements with teachers’ unions on the best way to return students and staff to the classroom.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles County teachers have jumped to the front of the vaccination line, reports a team at the Times. Beam continues:

 Newsom, who could face a recall election later this year spurred by his handling of the coronavirus, has been at odds with legislative leaders on the best way to encourage school districts to return students to the classroom. California can’t order schools to return to in-person instruction, but state officials can offer a lot of money to those that do.

The agreement sets aside $6.6 billion for schools that return to in-person instruction by March 31. The bill is a deal between Newsom, state Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, all Democrats. It was confirmed by Atkins’ office. Newsom’s office has scheduled a formal announcement for late Monday morning.

...

To be eligible for this new money, districts in the most restrictive tier -- known as the purple tier -- must return to in-person instruction at least through second grade, the officials said.

Districts in the next highest tier, the red tier, must return to in-person instruction for all elementary school grades, plus at least one grade in middle and high school, the officials said.

The money will be distributed through the normal funding method that provides local districts with state money, the officials said, which would ensure more money for schools that serve primarily low-income students. In addition, the officials said districts would get an additional $1,000 for every homeless student they have.

To get the money, districts must meet the requirements by March 31, the officials said. Beginning April 1, for every instructional day school districts do not meet the requirements, the amount of money they are eligible to receive will go down by 1%, the officials said.

The bill would not require all students and staff to be vaccinated before returning to the classroom. And it would not require districts to get approval from teachers’ unions before returning, the officials said.

  • Oaktown: In the Chron, Sam Whiting reports on yesterday's rally to press for a return to in-person instruction in Oakland
     
    “Schools Not Screens” was the rallying cry as this grassroots organization stood on the grass to insert parents’ voices into the negotiation between the Oakland Unified School District board and the teachers union, as to how and when 86 public schools will bring 36,000 students back into the K-12 classrooms.

    “It’s time we get our kids back to school, or as we say in Oakland ‘hella time,’” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who rocked her Skyline High School Class of 1983 street cred when her time came at the podium. “Us adults have to get our stuff out of the way so we can put our children first.”

    Last week, the Board of Education sent out a letter detailing a plan to bring students in kindergarten through fifth grade back to school by mid- to late-March. But the Oakland Education Association has not agreed to the timeline. “They’re close,” Schaaf said after her speech, “but they haven’t come together yet.”

In other words, the Oakland Unified board is engaging in collective bargaining through the mail.

  • Bezerkley: Meanwhile, Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez reports for KQED that the proponents of reopening schools caught the Berkeley Federation of Teachers president dropping his daughter off at a private in-person preschool. 
     Matt Meyer, president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, has fought for what he called the "gold standard" for the teachers he represents — saying Berkeley schools should only reopen to in-person learning when educators are vaccinated, among other criteria.
    A tentative plan between the Berkeley Unified School District and Berkeley Federation of Teachers in mid-February would see preschoolers through second grade returning to class at the end of March and other grades staggering back to in-person learning through April, according to Berkeleyside.

    But some Berkeley parents have claimed that the union is moving too slow and are pushing for earlier school reopenings. They have long argued — and the Center For Disease Control and Prevention has agreed — that schools are safe to reopen without vaccinations for all teachers.

    Looking to prove a double-standard by the Berkeley Federation of Teachers union president, they followed Meyer and his 2-year-old daughter to her preschool, camera in hand. The footage they captured has ignited the ire of parents groups fighting teachers unions — and Meyer in particular.

And, in San Francisco, are threatening a recall of school board members to nobody's surprise. 

more after the jumpity jump...

EXODUS? For the Chron, Roland Li and Susie Neilson report that while there is an exodus from high-cost Bay Area counties, the majority of folks are mostly relocating within California.

Only 3.7% of the households and businesses that filed address changes in five Bay Area counties from March to November 2020 left California, a total of 4,264 move outs, according to the [Postal Service] data.

In contrast, 72% of changes resulted in moves to other Bay Area counties and about a fifth of the 115,243 address changes went elsewhere in California. USPS didn’t provide batches of address changes from a ZIP code totaling 10 or fewer, citing privacy concerns. The data covers Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

The migration doesn’t add up to an exodus, said Jeff Bellisario, executive director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, a business-backed think tank. But it still represents a significant population shift, pushing apartment rents and future tax revenue down, he said. “Some of the data points we’re tracking do imply greater movement than in the past.”

The most popular out-of-state destination was Washington state, followed by Texas, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho and New York.

The majority of the 1,227 households that moved to Washington went to King County, which includes Seattle. The coastal tech hub has been a popular destination for tech workers for years and has satellite offices from numerous Bay Area tech giants like Google and Facebook. Salesforce, San Francisco’s largest private employer, has a significant Seattle division after buying local software company Tableau. Amazon and Microsoft are also hiring rapidly.

And plenty keep moving to Sacramento.

DO YOU RECALL? The Bee's Lara Korte and Sophia Bollag write up the out-of-state money helping the effort to recall Gavin Newsom.

Vincent Page was outraged when he heard Gov. Gavin Newsom had banned singing California in churches.

“I was just incensed at the overreach,” said Page, an independent contractor from Pattison, Texas, a small town west of Houston. “I went searching for any and all information I could find about any effort that would get that guy out of office.”

What he found last summer was a small, relatively unknown campaign to recall Newsom, fueled, in part, by the governor’s executive actions aimed at fighting the pandemic. Part of Newsom’s crackdown on the virus included restricting indoor religious services, where people are likely to spread the virus.

Page gave $100. Then he gave $500. Then $1,000. By the end of 2020, Page had donated to the effort 15 times for a total of $6,400, according to campaign filings.

“Any governor who does not allow singing in churches deserves to be recalled,” Page said. “And I believe it’s our Christian obligation to help.”

The effort to recall Newsom started as a grassroots campaign led by a former Yolo County sheriff’s sergeant. Over the last year, it has grabbed the attention and support of the national Republican Party, national conservative leaders, and, according to state records, more than 240 people from outside California.

Yup, Yolo County residents are paying Orrin Heatlie for his recall work. The Folsom resident retired in 2018 under the 3% at 50 formula at age 50 with final pay of $152,896. The 52-year-old now receives a CalPERS pension of $80,232 per year.

Of course the recall predates the pandemic in California, the petition doesn't mention it as filed February 20, 2020, and Heatlie was active in the recall efforts led by failed CA36 candidate Erin Cruz in 2019. Here's the list of complaints on the current petition:

The grounds for this recall are as Follows: Governor Newsom has implemented laws which are detrimental to the citizens of this state and our way of life.
Laws he endorsed favor foreign nationals, in our country illegally, over that of our own citizens. People in this state suffer the highest taxes in the nation, the highest homelessness rates, and the lowest quality of life as a result.

Lowest quality of life among whom? In the 2019 U.S. News rankings that evaluates healthcare, education, economy, opportunity, fiscal stability, infrastructure, crime & corrections and natural environment, California was 19th. That's well ahead of popular destinations Nevada (37), Arizona (34), and Texas (38). The United Nations Human Development Programme's Human Development Index places The Golden State as 14th in the nation and WalletHub puts California at 23rd. All three "destination states" place far behind California in the rankings.

The petition continues:

He has imposed sanctuary state status and fails to enforce immigration laws. He unilaterally over-ruled the will of the people regarding the death penalty. He seeks to impose additional burdens on our state by the following; removing the protections of Proposition 13, rationing our water use, increasing taxes and restricting parental rights. Having no other recourse, we the people have come together to take this action, remedy these misdeeds and prevent further injustices.

We really should require footnoting with citations of these things. Unlike ballot measure summaries, recall petitions are not subject to independent review including judicial oversight. I'm trying to remember when Gavin raised taxes or stripped parents of their rights. I guess the requirement for vaccine exemptions in schools be medically justified is the stripping of rights, although except on the extremes, I don't think that an objection thereto can be raised in 2021.

Okay, the "sanctuary state" bill (SB 54) was signed by Governor Jerry Brown and governors don't "enforce" immigration law. The last execution in California was in 2006 while Gavin was mayor of San Francisco. Anyhow, it's not like people read what they are signing let alone follow what happens in state government and while I'm often a critic, I do point out BS when I see it.

POT TESTS: In The Bee, Andrew Sheeler looks at AB 1296 (Quirk), which would prohibit employers from acting against an employee for testing positive to recent marijuana use but who is not under the influence on the job.

Assembly Bill 1256, introduced by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, is intended to prevent employers from using past evidence of marijuana use, such as a hair or urine test, as justification for discrimination against an employee, such as denying or terminating employment, according to Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML, a sponsor of the bill.

“It is those tests that we want to ban, because they don’t detect anything related to impairment,” Gieringer said.

Hair and urine can be used to show that a person has consumed marijuana in the past, but not whether they are actively intoxicated with THC, the chief psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

He likened using urine to determine whether somebody is intoxicated with cannabis with finding beer or wine bottles in a person’s trash and concluding that they must be drunk.

“You can’t judge a worker by their urine. If you do that, you’re going to have a piss-poor workforce,” Gieringer said.

He called hair and urine tests “an irrational discrimination” against cannabis users.

SacTown farmers market, Taste of Boysenberry, cakeday, and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

SACTOWN FARMERS MARKET: The Bee's Vincent Moleski writes up the last (for a while) Sunday farmers market under "the W-X," the segment of Business 80/Highway 50 that traverses the south part of downtown.

Hordes of shoppers eager for farm-fresh produce were doing their rounds beneath the floors of Highway 50 at W and Eighth streets, some blissfully unaware that change was coming to the beloved community market. For the next 10 months, there will be no market beneath the overpass.

That’s why the organizers of the market posted large, bold-print signage to the concrete pillars that support the highway overhead, announcing a temporary move to Arden Fair mall. An addendum to the signs indicated the precariousness of the situation: the word ‘hopefully’ on a separate piece of paper was taped on.

That is, hopefully the market will reappear at the mall near the closing Sears store on March 21. Final permitting still needs to go through to secure the mall’s parking lot as the site for the market, which has been operating beneath the Highway 50 overpass for 40 years. A Caltrans expansion project on the highway is forcing the market out for now, although organizers hope to return to the old spot in December.

The change has some vendors rattled — sellers whose income in many cases is directly tied to each Sunday morning’s turnout.

...

One concern came up frequently among patrons of the market — bikers or pedestrians within range of the Southside Park location might be unwilling or unable to travel the additional three or so miles to Arden Fair. But that won’t stop Ebeltoft and Bassegio, even though they normally bike to the market.

Yup, as well as people who walk and try to squeeze the market into a Sunday morning of writing.

TASTE OF BOYSENBERRY: While my weekly food foray falls at the hands of Caltrans for this year, Brady MacDonald writes in the Register about the food event being held at Knott's Berry Farm in lieu of the rides and events SoCal folks are accostumed to.

The Taste of Boysenberry Festival takes the concept of the Taste of Merry Farm that that was canceled by the state’s stay-at-home order along with the previous Taste of Fall-O-Ween, Taste of Knott’s and Taste of Calico events and adds a boysenberry twist with a menu celebrating the park’s trademark fruit.

OMG...what I wouldn't give for a slice of boysenberrry pie right now, even though it's only 8:15am. Warmed please, with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream on top. That said, some of the other items also whet my palette.

  • Boysenberry Macaron
  • Pork Bao Buns with a Boysenberry Kimchi and Nam Pla
  • Flavored Funnel Cake with Boysenberry Ice Cream, a Lemon Drizzle, and White Chocolate Sprinkles

Funnel cakes with a boysenberry drizzle are one of my fondest memories.

Not so sure about these ones:

  • Boysenberry BBQ Carne Asada Pizza Slice with Cilantro and Onions
  • Boysenberry Brisket Tater Tots topped with Crispy Jalapeno Chips and a Boysenberry Aioli Sauce

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Paul Hefner, Mike McGee, and Ryan Wilson!

Classifieds

Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing scottlay@gmail.com, with a headline, a summary of up to 200 words, and what you'd like the end date to be. You can attach a PDF or provide a link for a bigger job description/info to apply. [Other advertising options]


The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

In addition to a well-respected JD, the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees. Both full-time students and those earning a professional degree while working succeed in the program. Our focus on the interconnections of law, policy, management, and leadership provides unique competencies for your success. Students gain a foundation in statutory interpretation and skills in public policy making and implementation. Learn at a beautiful campus three miles from the State Capitol:
go.mcgeorge.edu/publicpolicy

Executive Director of Government Relations: California State University, Fresno

Reporting directly to the President, the Executive Director of Government Relations is responsible for all local, state and federal governmental and advocacy programs for Fresno State. The Executive Director is principally responsible for the development and management of strategies to inform and influence public policy at the local, state and federal levels on issues and in areas of interest to Fresno State and to advise Fresno State on legislative matters that may affect it. Equal Opportunity Employer.

For more information and to apply, visit: https://apptrkr.com/2149578

California School Boards Association - Public Affairs & Community Engagement Representative (San Diego)

Serve as CSBA’s liaison to local schools and county boards of education, key decision makers, and the community-at-large. Execute grassroots strategies designed to build relationships with, train, and mobilize local school board members and communities to advance CSBA’s legislative and statewide ballot measure advocacy priorities. Coordinates and executes fundraising events. Salary based on experience. This is a remote position based in San Diego County. Please apply at: https://www.csba.org/About/Careers

McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

Built on the foundation of nationally ranked and world class programs, McGeorge School of Law offers an online master (MSL) degree for individuals seeking in depth knowledge of law and policy, but who do not require a traditional law degree. Our MSL’s two concentrations in Government Law & Policy and in Water & Environmental Law offer students the flexibility to work while they learn and still engage in a highly interactive master’s program. To learn more and to sign up for our monthly webinars, please visit our website, Online.McGeorge.edu, or contact us at graduatelaw@pacific.edu.

Political Data Inc.
For 30 Years PDI has been California’s premier data vendor. Now, you can get live online trainings on the newest PDI software every week: