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California Policy & Politics This Morning  

He spent 39 years behind bars for two murders he didn't commit. Gov. Jerry Brown just pardoned him -- At the time, police said it was the most heinous crime Simi Valley had ever seen. A young mother, Rhonda Wicht, was beaten, raped and strangled with a macrame rope in her apartment. Her 4-year-old son, Donald, was smothered in his bed, presumably because he might have identified his mother's killer. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ Molly Sullivan in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/23/17

California attorney general bashes idea to raise entry fees for Yosemite and other national parks -- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra and almost a dozen of his counterparts have denounced a National Parks Service proposal to increase entrance fees at 17 popular parks, including some in the state. Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/17

What new jobs? California program to entice hiring falls short -- Four years after Gov. Jerry Brown launched his signature program to boost California jobs by awarding tax credits to the businesses that create them, businesses have left two thirds of those available credits unclaimed—a sign that most expected jobs have yet to materialize. Judy Lin Calmatters.org -- 11/23/17

California Legislature denies another L.A. Times request for harassment records -- The California Legislature has refused to release additional information on sexual harassment complaints requested by the Los Angeles Times in the wake of widespread scrutiny on how the Capitol handles such matters. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/17

Walters: State Bar feeling heat from two new clashes -- The state agency that regulates California’s legal profession jumped out of the political frying pan this year, but is still feeling searing heat from two new conflicts. Dan Walters Calmatters.org -- 11/23/17

LAX is tops for flight delays during the Thanksgiving holiday -- Los Angeles International Airport, the nation’s second busiest airport, is expected to be No. 1 in an unfortunate category: the percentage of delayed flights during the long Thanksgiving travel crush. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/17

Border wall prototypes become canvas for light graffiti -- A collaboration of artists and activists lit up the Trump administration's border wall prototypes on Saturday night with a ladder and other images critiquing the barriers. The first political activism that the prototypes have seen, the project was part art, part performance and part action, according to Jill Marie Holslin, one of the artists involved. Kate Morrissey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Here are the five officials who will decide the controversial changes to net neutrality rules -- The head of the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday released his detailed proposal to repeal net neutrality rules for online traffic, setting the stage for a vote next month. Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/17

Uber hacking cover-up triggers government probes -- Uber’s failure to act earlier could hamper the company in a range of ways, including through investor backlash, class-action lawsuits and investigations by authorities worldwide, including U.S. states and the Federal Trade Commission. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/23/17

Guns 

Tens of thousands with outstanding warrants purged from background check database for gun purchases -- What that means is that those fugitives who were previously prohibited under federal law from purchasing firearms can now buy them, unless barred for other reasons. Sari Horwitz in the Washington Post$ -- 11/23/17

Housing  

LA considers an affordable housing program for its disappearing artists -- The joke in Los Angeles' Arts District is there’s hardly any artists left because they’ve been priced out of the trendy neighborhood. To stem the further loss of artists from the city, two Los Angeles City Council members have proposed creating an affordable housing program for those in creative arts. Josie Huang KPCC -- 11/23/17

City Council approves plans aimed at guarding against gentrification in South LA -- The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved new plans for real estate development in South L.A. and Southeast L.A., after years of discussion with residents focused on guarding their neighborhoods against gentrification. Josie Huang KPCC -- 11/23/17

Pending home sales take another tumble across much of the Bay Area -- Pending home sales declined across the state in September, but they tumbled in the Bay Area as the region’s super-tight home supply and climbing prices apparently proved a turnoff to some potential buyers. Richard Scheinin in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/23/17

Wildfire  

Families affected by the Sonoma County fires search for ways to cope this Thanksgiving -- Dan Cahill has arrived at the St. Vincent de Paul Society kitchen before dawn every Thanksgiving for the past five years to carve the turkeys he and other volunteers roasted a day or two earlier to serve the homeless. He’ll do it again Thursday despite losing his own home in last month’s firestorm. Eloísa Ruano González in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 11/23/17

Their home lost to the Tubbs Fire, Calistoga family rebounds with a little help -- Once there were tubs full of Legos to play with. Bikes to pedal under the tall pine trees. Comfy beds to sleep in, and nothing but pretty forest for a front yard, every so often visited by gobbling wild turkeys. Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/23/17

Bringing a Measure of ‘Peanuts’-Style Joy to a Community Devastated by Wildfires -- ate the night of Oct. 8, Jean Schulz got a call from a neighbor on the northeast outskirts of Santa Rosa. “You need to leave,” the neighbor told the wife of the late “Peanuts” creator, Charles M. Schulz, because of a fire on Mark West Springs Road. Dan Brekke KQED -- 11/23/17

Fires Leave Thousands of Sonoma, Napa County Residents Unemployed -- Officials in Sonoma and Napa counties are beginning to get an idea of the impact the North Bay fires had on the job market. Dana Cronin KQED -- 11/23/17

Education 

State auditor finds top aides to UC President Napolitano interfered in audit, recommends reforms -- California State Auditor Elaine Howle wants University of California regents to consider disciplining university employees who repeatedly interfered with a state audit, tried to hide their actions, misled investigators and withheld requested information until threatened with court action, according to a private report by her office obtained by The Times. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/17

Thanksgiving meal introduces UC Riverside international students to country, each other -- They’re thousands of miles from home, separated from nearly everyone they know. While most share Thanksgiving with family, these international students at UC Riverside gathered with each other to enjoy juicy turkey, fresh pumpkin pie and thankful conversations. Ryan Hagen in the Riverside Press Enterprise$ -- 11/23/17

Environment 

After over-hunting, habitat loss and falling into La Brea Tar Pits, California’s wild turkeys are making a comeback -- Some skilled hunters shoot their own Thanksgiving turkey, as the number of wild turkeys in California climb to more than 250,000. Steve Scauzillo in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 11/23/17

Also . . . 

‘No other morning like it in Sacramento.’ Thanksgiving charity race tradition is nation’s largest -- Before the third helping of stuffing, the second piece of pumpkin pie and the infinite regrets of overconsumption, thousands of Sacramentans will start their Thanksgiving Day by putting generosity before gluttony and indulging in a bit of charity: The Run to Feed the Hungry. Anita Chabria and Ellen Garrison in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/23/17

Desecrated in macabre ways, the ancestral remains of Catalina's Native Americans finally come home -- Nearly a century ago, an amateur archaeologist and showman named Ralph Glidden dug up Native American burial sites on Catalina and other Channel Islands off Southern California's coast. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/17

POTUS 45  

On Trump’s Thanksgiving menu: Grievances and calls for gratitude — for him -- This Thanksgiving, President Trump doesn’t seem to be thankful for very much — and seems frustrated that Americans aren’t expressing more gratitude for him. Jenna Johnson in the Washington Post$ -- 11/23/17

Trump, in Twitter Rant, Revisits Grievances Against Sports Figures -- President Trump began his first Thanksgiving vacation in office with an early-morning Twitter rage in which he again vented about some of his favorite targets: sports figures he thinks have defied him. Michael D. Shear in the New York Times$ -- 11/23/17

 

-- Wednesday Updates 

California should be able to reduce public employees’ pension benefits, Jerry Brown argues -- Gov. Jerry Brown got most of what he wanted when he carried a proposal to shore up the state’s underfunded public employee pension plans by trimming benefits for new workers. Five years later, he’s in court making an expansive case that government agencies should be able to adjust pension benefits for current workers, too. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/22/17

Political odd couple: GOP consultant advises Democrat’s bid for governor -- One wants to end the death penalty. The other thinks capital punishment is just. One campaigned for tax increases that the other opposed. One tried to put Hillary Clinton in the White House. The other helped elect President George W. Bush. Laurel Rosenhall Calmatters.org -- 11/22/17

Walters: Distorting ballot measure title undermines electoral system -- Efforts by Republicans to repeal California’s new gas taxes may be ill-considered, but they deserve a fair chance at persuading voters. Dan Walters Calmatters.org -- 11/22/17

California's ski season starts with good snowfall and higher lift prices -- The snow is falling but lift ticket prices are rising at many California ski resorts. November storms have already dumped heaps of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains, including around Lake Tahoe, allowing a few resorts to open. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/22/17

Judge rules that US must hold hearings for detained undocumented teens -- A San Francisco federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to hold immediate hearings for undocumented teenagers who were living with relatives or friends in the United States when they were arrested in gang sweeps and sent to lockups in distant states. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/22/17

Lopez: In L.A.'s misguided war on blight, an unpainted fence could cost you $660 -- It's the little things that beat you up in the end, the daily irritations and indignities. Mail from City Hall, for instance. You know, even as you draw blood with a paper cut while opening the envelope, that it can't be good news. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/22/17

California moves to block national park fee increases -- California moved Wednesday to block the Trump administration’s proposal to more than double entrance fees at popular national parks, including Yosemite and Joshua Tree National Parks, arguing the fee increases would limit public access for low-income people and communities of color. Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/22/17

BART’s big dig leading to a big fight in Silicon Valley -- The fear over turning downtown San Jose into a business-killing construction zone has transit agencies fighting over how to dig a 5-mile tunnel that will bring BART to the heart of Silicon Valley. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/22/17

If California's gas tax is repealed, what would happen? -- Thanksgiving travelers are paying more in state fuel taxes this month as they fill up to hit the road, but voters could be asked next year if they want to scrap the increase. Meghan McCarty Carino KPCC -- 11/22/17

Fox: Other Revenue Sources Should Be as “Devastating” as Prop 13 -- You’ve heard the complaints and criticisms for four decades now on how Proposition 13 severally cut government finances. Yet, once again a report from a government agency itself says that just isn’t so. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 11/22/17

Even Rose Parade floats can’t afford to live in Pasadena -- When dozens of flower-covered floats roll down Colorado Boulevard in the Rose Parade on New Year's Day, it will mark the first time that not one of them was constructed in Pasadena. Thanks to high real estate prices, the giant warehouses where the colorful floats are built have has moved elsewhere. Sharon McNary KPCC -- 11/22/17

Black Friday loses its luster as people opt for alternatives -- Black Friday is losing its luster. As retailers stretch holiday discounts across November and December, the tradition of flocking to crowded stores on the day after Thanksgiving has begun to fade. At the same time, people all over the Bay Area are rejecting the practice of marathon bargain-hunting in favor of nonshopping alternatives. Annie Sciacca in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/22/17

Who’s actually going to see Tom Steyer’s impeachment ads in Times Square? -- Nestled between ads for the Express clothing store and a Broadway musical about SpongeBob SquarePants, for 10 seconds every minute, visitors to Times Square will see an ad calling for the impeachment of President Trump. You can see it on EarthCam’s live feed, just above the golden arches. Philip Bump in the Washington Post$ -- 11/22/17

Facebook will let some of its users see if they interacted with Russian propaganda -- Facebook said Wednesday that it would let some of its users see whether they liked or followed pages belonging to Russia-linked operatives that sowed political divisiveness around the 2016 US presidential election. A new page to be published on Facebook's help center by the end of the year will show whether some accounts interacted with the Russia-linked accounts, Facebook said in a blog post on Wednesday. Alex Heath Business Insider -- 11/22/17

Trump and congressional leaders to hold talks to avoid shutdown -- President Donald Trump and top congressional leaders will meet next week to try to hammer out a year-end agreement to avert a government shutdown, according to multiple sources, as Capitol Hill careens toward a legislative pile-up next month. Seung Min Kim, Heather Cagyle and Andrew Restuccia Politico -- 11/22/17