Monday, October 9, 2017

Notations From the Grid (Special California Edition): Around the State in #California

One of our must reads here at the Daily Outsider is "Around the Capitol' By Scott Lay that provides a snapshot of the latest from our home State of California.     As fires raged on in Northern California and Southern California, he shared this yesterday on latest that underscores the continued challenges with Climate Changing in our World: 

Well, I'm guessing most of you have been following the news on fires across the state, with the hardest hit being the wine country that the Capitol community is so familiar with. I know of a few cases already of direct and devastating impacts to members of the Capitol community, but I'll let them share on their own terms.
    Here's what we think we know as of 4pm:
  • Over 78,000 acres have burned by at least five distinct fires in Lake, Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Yolo counties. There is an additional fire in Mendocino County.
  • At this time there is "zero percent containment" in all of the fires.
  • Two people have died in the fire and dozens injured, with some in critical condition from burns.
  • Governor Brown has declared a state of emergency.
  • Several wineries have burned down, including one of California's oldest--Stags' Leap Winery--where grapes were first planted on the estate in 1898. The Winery is now owned by Australia's Foster's group, the maker of Foster's beer and owner of the Beringer family of wines.
  • At least two hotels have burned down--the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country and the Fountaingrove Inn--as well as dozens or hundreds of other businesses.
  • Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa and Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital remain evacuated. Kaiser appears to not have been damaged, while Sutter had at least exterior damage.
  • All Santa Rosa Junior College campuses will be closed again tomorrow, but reportedly is not damaged. Napa Valley College was closed today and is serving as a shelter. NVC's website is down, so situation for tomorrow is unclear.
  • While there is a call out for volunteers, public agencies are asking that out of town volunteers wait until the immediate safety conditions are alleviated to avoid traffic jams that hinder emergency response. There will be plenty of time to help.
  • A fire has also been burning through Anaheim Hills and has damaged or destroyed at least six houses.
We'll likely have more tomorrow, but let's hope we've seen the worst and our hearts are with those affected. Beyond those that lost their homes, including an entire trailer park, hundreds of people have no job to return to. This is going to require a very lengthy and costly recovery.

He also reported on the latest on the Political Front as Senator Feinstein announced that she's running for Re-election: 
  • Following Dianne Feinstein's announcement this morning that she's running for reelection, Senator Kamala Harris tweeted that she was fully behind Feinstein.
  • Kevin de León sent out an email message: "Yesterday, the White House outlined some of the most unforgiving, fear-mongering policy priorities we have witnessed in modern America. Once on the record committing to protecting our Dreamers, he’s come up with more mean-spirited, shortsighted schemes. His latest proposal proves once again that Donald J. Trump cannot be trusted."

    The message closed with "Join Me" and:
    - "Paid for by Kevin de León for Lieutenant Governor 2018. FPPC #1375100. Not paid at public expense."

    Of course, he's not running for LG, but his every move is being carefully watched.
  • The California Democratic Party has endorsed Wendy Carrillo in the AD54 (East LA) runoff
  • As expected, Governor Brown signed SB 17 (Hernandez), providing price disclosure of prescription drugs.

He reported on this last week--as the latest move by the California Attorney General to sue the Trump Administration for rescinding the Obama-Era rules on Clean Power Plants even though Jobs in Clean Energy continues to climb:  

LAW AND DISORDER: Yesterday, Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration arguing that its new orders lifting some of the requirements that employer health care coverage include contraceptive benefits is discriminatory, reports Patrick McGreevy in the Times.
McGreevy writes "Becerra has filed more than two dozen legal actions challenging policy changes by President Trump since the Republican entered the White House in January." Wow.
COLD AS ICE: The Bee's Cristopher Cadelago reports "The Trump administration’s immigration chief warned Friday that his agents will be making more arrests in California neighborhoods and workplaces because Gov. Jerry Brown signed a “sanctuary state” law."One of the bills the governor signed yesterday is the controversial SB 384 (Wiener), which changes the sex offender registration requirements from lifetime to a tiered system based on the seriousness of the crime. The LAT's Patrick McGreevy writes "The measure was introduced at the request of Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey and other law enforcement officials who said the registry, which has grown to more than 105,000 names, is less useful to detectives investigating new sex crimes because it is so bulky."
Other high profile bills signed were:
  • SB 50 (Allen), which provides California the right of first refusal to acquire land that the federal government removes from protection and intends to sell by prohibiting the transfer of title to a private party.
  • SB 284 (Wiener), which changes the crime of failing to knowingly disclose that one has HIV to a sexual partner from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Some of those vetoed were:
  • AB 350 (Salas), which sought to prohibit the marketing of cannibis products to minors by prohibiting them to be in the shape of "person, animal, insect, or fruit." In his veto message, the governor wrote that the bill would "chapter out" provisions included in AB 133, the overall cannibis regulatory framework.

    For the home gamers, "chaptering out" means that a bill is amending a code section in a previously enacted, yet not in force yet, bill. Amendments or additions to code sections are taken by the mos

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