• School Inoovation and Achievement
  • San Diego Water Authority

Updating . .   

Prosecutors’ lawsuit challenges Jerry Brown’s crime initiative -- California prosecutors have asked a judge to block a newly amended ballot measure championed by Gov. Jerry Brown that would make it easier for non-violent prisoners to get parole. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ Don Thompson Associated Press -- 2/12/16

Why ex-L.A. Sheriff Lee Baca gets to keep his pension even if he goes to jail for lying -- Retired Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca could lose his freedom for up to six months when he is sentenced in federal court in May, but there's one thing he won't forfeit — his county pension. Richard Winton and Kim Christensen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

A new leader of state's Black Caucus -- State Sen. Isadore Hall III (D-Compton) is taking over the chairmanship of the California Legislative Black Caucus after Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D–Los Angeles) abruptly resigned from the leadership position. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Analyst says California governor undercounts crime savings -- California's nonpartisan legislative analyst says Gov. Jerry Brown is undercounting the savings from a voter-approved measure that cut penalties for drug and property crimes. Associated Press -- 2/12/16

'Bay Boys' surfer gang cannot block access to upscale beach, Coastal Commission says -- For generations, a small group of locals in wealthy Palos Verdes Estates has maintained a reputation for keeping other surfers off Lunada Bay's well-shaped waves. Garrett Therolf in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Firing Leads to Questions on California Coast’s Future -- The decision by the powerful commission that controls development along California’s coastline to fire its executive director threw the agency into turmoil Thursday, raising questions about why it acted and the future of the state’s 1,100 miles of coastal land. Adam Nagourney in the New York Times$ -- 2/12/16

Berkeley scientists develop quake-detection phone app -- Scientists at UC Berkeley began mobilizing a global smartphone network Friday to detect earthquakes and someday send out life-saving early warnings before dangerous temblors shake the distant ground. David Perlman in the San Francisco Chronicle Rosanna Xia and Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Porter Ranch: Lessons from past attempt to kill a well -- The company used a method it first tried 25 years ago on another stubborn well blowout. That experience, in a Santa Clarita Valley gas storage field called Honor Rancho, didn't go well initially. Sharon McNary KPCC -- 2/12/16

Fox: The Dilemma of a “Shut It All Down” Solution for Porter Ranch -- Local and state officials are walking a tight rope between the demand made by some environmentalists and residents who suffered from the leak to close the entire storage facility and the consequences of closing a major energy reserve. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 2/12/16

House flippers turn to crowdfunding platforms for financing -- David Berneman isn't developing an app. His company isn't venture backed. In fact, his business is about as low-tech as it gets: He buys houses, fixes them up and flips them. But he too is funded by the crowd. James Rufus Koren in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Socialists at Bernie Sanders dance party: No ‘gold-rimmed money box’ -- A few dozen Bernie Sanders supporters looked to keep the night going when, after the Democratic presidential debate on Thursday, they went over to the Press Club in Sacramento to dance and raise money for their candidate. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/12/16

Rocky Chávez endorses Duf Sundheim for U.S. Senate -- After retiring his campaign for U.S. Senate last week, Republican Assemblyman Rocky Chávez endorsed his former GOP challenger Duf Sundheim on Friday. Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/12/16

In debate, a measured Clinton and an invigorated Sanders sharpen their pitches to voters -- Hillary Clinton substantially adjusted her approach in Thursday’s presidential debate here, a reaction to her landslide loss in New Hampshire earlier this week. Cathleen Decker in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

San Quentin puts on a happy face -- What if, instead of building prisons in remote locations, we put them near cities, accessible to family members and to the resources — educational, vocational, therapeutic, recreational, cultural — that are scarce in most prison towns? Bill Keller and Neil Barsky Capitol Weekly -- 2/12/16

 

California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Gov. Jerry Brown opposes $9-billion school bond measure -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday came out against a $9-billion school bond measure that will go before voters in November, erecting a political hurdle for advocates of new spending on school construction. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Fired California Coastal Commission director speaks out -- The newly fired executive director of the California Coastal Commission said Thursday that commissioners have shifted in recent years to be more accommodating to coastal developers and to exert tighter control over day-to-day activities at the agency. Tony Barboza in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Coastal Commission, an agency with populist roots, takes heat over secret-session firing of director -- The commission fired Charles Lester, its executive director, in a secret session Wednesday, with little public explanation, after hearing from more than 200 people who opposed his dismissal and virtually none who favored it. Tony Barboza and Dan Weikel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Transparency debate follows vote by California coastal panel -- The agency that decides what gets built and where along the California coast is facing questions about transparency after it pushed out its top executive in a closed-door vote and without a clear explanation of why the change was being made. Michael R. Blood Associated Press -- 2/12/16

Six times Charles Lester changed California's coastline -- Charles Lester was unanimously voted in as executive director of the California Coastal Commission in September 2011. The item is in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

What will the ouster of Charles Lester mean for the California coast? -- Environmentalists openly fretted Thursday that the ouster of the popular chief of the California Coastal Commission could usher in an era of furious development along the state’s 840-mile waterfront. Sandy Mazza and Tim Grobaty in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/12/16

Firing of Coastal Commission chief Charles Lester leaves deep divisions -- The California Coastal Commission's decision late Wednesday to fire its executive director, Charles Lester, after closed-door deliberations sparked outrage by environmentalists and is expected to leave deep divisions. Many of the more than 100 Lester supporters awaiting the decision broke into tears or reacted angrily. Tony Barboza, Dan Weikel and Sarah Parvini in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Political drama is nothing new to California Coastal Commission -- In the 1950s and 1960s, developers and urban planners had big ideas for the coast. They talked about high-rise residential towers, marinas and resorts. Shelby Grad in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

How coastal commissioners voted on the ouster of Charles Lester -- The California Coastal Commission voted 7 to 5 on Wednesday to dismiss Executive Director Charles Lester. Here's how they voted: Garrett Therolf in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

CalChamber sends ‘job killer’ bills to its personal graveyard -- At the Esquire Building, a block away from the budding magnolias on the state Capitol grounds, policy analysts and executives of the state’s most powerful business coalition are busy screening bills as quickly as legislators can introduce them. Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/12/16

Walters: DAs fight governor’s measure -- Wily politician that he is, Jerry Brown tried to dampen potential opposition to an overhaul of criminal sentencing laws he’ll place on the November ballot. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/12/16

Prison realignment fears not borne out in Orange County -- For all the fear surrounding what prison realignment might mean for Orange County and the local crime rate, a recent county report on the program’s first four years suggests that very little has changed for residents – despite nearly 8,000 former and would-be state prisoners being released to county supervision. Jordan Graham in the Orange County Register -- 2/12/16

Orange County deputies union files lawsuit over jail conditions, saying they led to inmate escapes -- The union that represents Orange County’s sheriff’s deputies sued Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and the department Thursday, alleging that staff reductions, unsafe jail conditions and a series of critical missteps contributed to last month’s escape of three inmates. Scott Schwebke in the Orange County Register -- 2/12/16

Analyst: California governor's prison plan may save millions -- But California's bipartisan Legislative Analyst cautioned Thursday that the savings could vary widely depending on how the measure is interpreted and implemented. Associated Press -- 2/12/16

GOP and Democrat Congressmen hold joint fundraiser for marijuana -- Perhaps only one thing could bring a Democratic and a Republican congressman together to headline a $1,000-a-person fundraiser in San Francisco: weed. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/12/16

Modern-day slavery even happens in Silicon Valley -- As many teens do, B and her friends used to call up boys to be silly and flirt a bit. But one day, after getting into an argument with her family, she called up a man she had met through a chat line and asked him to come pick her up from her suburban Sacramento neighborhood. He did, and on that day B--not yet 16--lost her freedom. Leeta-Rose Ballester in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 2/12/16

Mario Woods had 20 bullet wounds, drugs in system, autopsy shows -- Mario Woods suffered 20 gunshot wounds, many of them from behind, when he was killed by San Francisco police officers in December, according to an autopsy report that also indicated the presence of methamphetamine, marijuana, antidepressants and cough medicine in his system. Vivian Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/12/16

Christy O'Donnell dies at 47; activist pushed for California's new right-to-die law -- Christy O'Donnell, a former LAPD sergeant and lawyer whose difficult battle with lung cancer drove her to advocate for California's new right-to-die law, has died. She was 47. Jill Leovy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Road to recovery begins in Porter Ranch as gas leak is halted at last -- Nearly four months of environmental contamination and civic disruption in Porter Ranch came close to an end Thursday when work crews pierced the underground casing of the damaged Aliso Canyon gas well and started injecting it with a mud-like compound. Alice Walton, Matt Stevens, Thomas Curwen and Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ Brian Melly Associated Press -- 2/12/16

Why some Porter Ranch residents aren’t overjoyed after gas leak stopped -- But for many residents of Porter Ranch, the Aliso Canyon gas leak had gone on for so long that it changed them. Some became nervous wrecks as they worried about what the toxins in the air were doing to their health. Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/12/16

Timing, cost of high-speed rail project face legal scrutiny -- Current state plans for a $68 billion high-speed rail system would not get passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the time voters were promised when they approved the project, attorneys for a group of landowners opposing the system argued in court Thursday. Juliet Williams Associated Press -- 2/12/16

Fight brews over federal wildfire funding after devastating year -- After the costliest of wildfire seasons ravaged the West last year, with three catastrophic blazes ripping through Lake County, the U.S. Forest Service may be headed for a showdown with Congress over how to cover the surging bill. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/12/16

Bad actions in state workforce cost taxpayers thousands of dollars -- Psychiatrists at a state hospital routinely played hooky. A supervising nurse at a correctional facility forged military papers. A development center squandered thousands of dollars on state worker leave time. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ Alison Noon Associated Press -- 2/12/16

Female lawmakers float package of bills seeking pay equity, child care funding -- A package of proposals unveiled Thursday by female lawmakers would help women in California achieve equitable pay and expand family-leave job protections, as well as earmark more state funds for child care and for helping children on welfare. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Bill Would Restrict Contributions to California SBOE Members -- A California State Board of Equalization member is backing a bill to tighten monetary contributions to—or at the request of—board members with the goal of ending perceived conflicts of interest at the only elected tax board in the country. Laura Mahoney Bloomberg -- 2/12/16

State Officials Disagree On Who Will Track Medical Marijuana Plants -- California’s new medical cannabis law will put the state in charge of tracking each marijuana plant from “seed to sale.” But the Brown administration and the state's independent tax board are at odds about who will oversee it. Ben Bradford Capital Public Radio -- 2/12/16

Feinstein water policy bill could signal a compromise in sight -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein filed a 184-page water policy bill Wednesday, calling it one of the most difficult bills she's worked on in 23 years representing California. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Gov. Jerry Brown makes budget the latest battleground on climate change -- Gov. Jerry Brown is looking to make good on a promise to curb California's petroleum use by shifting away from new legislation and instead tucking his fuel-reduction goal inside the state budget. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer provides a glimmer of hope for a Republican revival in California -- San Diego’s mild-mannered mayor, Kevin Faulconer, appears destined to cruise to a second term, a notable achievement for a Republican politician who took the helm of this Democratic city just two years ago. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions      

Dungeness crab health advisory lifted for Central Coast -- The cruelest winter that most Bay Area fishermen have ever seen is finally coming to an end: California health officials lifted a health advisory late Thursday for Dungeness crab on the Central Coast, clearing the way for the recreational crab season to begin. Aaron Kinney and Tracy Seipel in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 2/12/16

California Fishermen Struggle To Make Ends Meet -- Lawmakers heard from California state agencies, fishermen and scientists about the state of fisheries along the West Coast. Most of the news was not good. California crab fishermen are struggling to pay mortgages, levels of a toxin in the ocean are “unprecedented,” and salmon are struggling to survive in the drought. Amy Quinton Capital Public Radio -- 2/12/16

Amazon's bookstore buzz hits San Diego -- The Seattle-based e-commerce giant is hiring store managers, booksellers and gadget enthusiasts for an Amazon Books retail store in the "La Jolla or San Diego area," according to multiple job listings posted online this month. Jennifer Van Grove, Lori Weisberg in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Raiders sign lease to play 2016 season in Oakland -- The decision comes one week before the Feb. 17 expiration date for the Raiders’ current lease on O.co. Coliseum and on their headquarters in Alameda. The agreement includes two one-year options to renew in 2017 and 2018. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/12/16

San Francisco real estate ‘overvalued’ according to new report -- Prices continue to go up in many markets throughout the country, but home prices in the Bay Area have “risen to a level unsupportable by area income,” according to Fitch Ratings. Emily Landes in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/12/16

Imports Rebound at Southern California Ports -- The two busiest U.S. ports on Thursday reported slight growth in imports, the latest sign that many companies are holding back on spending as they wait for the economic picture to clear. Erica E. Phillips in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 2/12/16

Education 

Here’s where to go in California if you want to finish college in four years -- Five affiliated private colleges near Claremont - Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Scripps, Pitzer and Harvey Mudd -- each had four-year graduation rates of 80 percent or higher. Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/12/16

Immigration / Border 

Silicon Valley’s Indian Community Pushes to Reform H1B Visa Program -- The H1B visa is such a big deal for the Indian expatriate community in Silicon Valley that immigration lawyer Madhuri Nemali has been able to build her business around it. Nemali says over half of her clients are Indian nationals struggling with some aspect of the visa program. Sam Harnett KQED -- 2/12/16

Feds charge California man in 7-state immigration scam -- Federal authorities charged a Sacramento man Thursday with running what they called an unusually creative scam that promised U.S. citizenships to hundreds of immigrants across at least seven states in return for fees as high as $10,000. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 2/12/16

Environment 

Benicia commission rejects crude oil trains -- The Benicia city planning commission, voting unanimously, dealt a dramatic setback Thursday to an oil company's plans to ship crude oil via train through Northern California, including downtown Sacramento, to its local refinery. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/12/16

Point Reyes: Lawsuit challenges historic ranching operations at iconic park -- A year after an oyster farm was forced to shut down at Point Reyes National Seashore, sparking a bitter controversy over the role of farming in national parks, a coalition of environmentalists on Wednesday filed a lawsuit over a bigger and more explosive target: thousands of dairy and beef cattle in the park. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/12/16

Obama creates 3 new national monuments to protect 1.8 million acres of California desert -- President Obama designated three new national monuments in the California desert Thursday, expanding federal protection to 1.8 million acres of landscapes that have retained their natural beauty despite decades of heavy mining, cattle ranching and off-roading. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times$ John Rogers Associated Press -- 2/12/16

California residents live on the edge of crumbling cliffs -- Sonja Thompson lives so close to the edge of an 80-foot bluff above the Pacific Ocean that when paragliders fly by "you can almost high-five them." Having the Pacific as your backyard has its benefits, and its dangers. Kristin J. Bender Asociated Press -- 2/12/16

Health 

Why food portions matter for children’s health in L.A. County -- More than 700 restaurants across Los Angeles County have pledged to curb adult and childhood obesity by offering smaller portion sizes and healthier meals on their menus as part of a public health campaign, officials announced Thursday. Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News$ Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Will HealthCare.gov get a California-style makeover? -- The copay cap on drugs is just one way Covered California chose to shape the health insurance marketplace this year. The California exchange uses more of its purchasing power to get what it wants than the vast majority of exchanges in other states. Pauline Bartolone NPR -- 2/12/16

Also . . . 

Berkeley: Balcony report finds more than 400 buildings requiring corrective work -- More than 400 buildings in the city with balconies or other projecting structures require corrective work, inspections performed in the wake of a deadly balcony collapse last year have revealed. Tom Lochner in the Oakland Tribune$ -- 2/12/16

POTUS 44

Obama in California: 'Strange things' happen when voters are scared -- President Barack Obama said Thursday that “strange things” can happen in politics when voters are scared and that the angst people are feeling across the country is finding voice in both the Republican and Democratic parties. Darlene Superville Associated Press -- 2/12/16

Obama interview: 'Maybe I could have done ... a little better' -- He had just given an hourlong speech calling for comity in politics, and President Obama craved a few moments with a few friends who remember when he was not a polarizing figure but an effectively bipartisan one – his poker buddies from his eight years here in the Illinois Senate. Christi Parsons in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/12/16

Beltway 

Rep. Barbara Lee among top African Americans waiting to endorse -- She wants to hear the candidates talk more about “waste, fraud and abuse” in the defense budget, environmental racism, and what can be done about gentrification in cities like Oakland. She also wants to hear more from the candidates about how they would get more people of color into technology companies. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/12/16

AP Fact check: Clinton, Sanders on health care, donors -- In their latest debate, Hillary Clinton glossed over the big-money donors juicing her White House ambitions while Bernie Sanders offered disputed numbers behind his plan for a government-financed health system. Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Julie Bykowicz Associated Press -- 2/12/16

Analysis: When will Trump have to explain his plan? -- However, as he often has during his six-month campaign, Trump neglected to explain one thing during that speech: How he’s going to do it. So far no one — not his opponents and not the media — has pressed him very hard on the details of how he’ll “make America great again.” Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/12/16

California Rep. Duncan Hunter blows smoke at congressional hearing -- Republican Duncan Hunter, California’s vaping congressman, took a long drag from his device at a hearing Thursday and exhaled a big white cloud. “This is a vaporizer. There’s no combustion, no carcinogens,” Hunter, R-Alpine, said at the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he opposed an amendment banning the products on airplanes. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ Amber Phillips in the Washington Post$ -- 2/12/16