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California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Trump's EPA pick casts doubt on California's power to regulate auto emissions -- Donald Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency cast doubt on whether California should continue to have power to impose its own emission rules for cars and trucks, an authority the state has enjoyed for decades that is also the cornerstone of its efforts to fight global warming. Evan Halper in the Los Angeles Times$ Stuart Leavenworth McClatchy DC -- 1/19/17

Gov. Jerry Brown touts partnerships with China amid warnings about the future -- In another example of how the state plans to stand apart from the incoming administration in Washington, Brown went to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco on Tuesday to speak at a Lunar New Year celebration to reaffirm what he called the state's "great interest" in working with China. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/19/17

Nearly 70K – including Jane Fonda – expected at Women’s March Los Angeles -- Those who plan to attend the Women’s March in downtown Los Angeles Saturday are being encouraged to take public transportation or arrange rides, since many of the streets in and around the area will be closed. Nearly 70,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they will attend Women’s March Los Angeles, which is one of several to be held nationwide. Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/19/17

Bay Area events related to Donald Trump’s inauguration -- Bay Area events centered on President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/19/17

This Golden State Podcast: Trump Eve: A Frightened Community -- Muslim immigrants & refugees from Afghanistan tell This Golden State’s Randy Shandobil, it’s like Donald Trump flipped a switch. Now instead of Afghan-Americans worrying about their friends and family members being stuck in their war-torn homeland, many people in Afghanistan worry about them living here, in Donald Trump’s America... specifically, Fremont, southeast of San Francisco. Link here -- 1/19/17

Skelton: Trump's inauguration is a reminder that rebelling against the ruling class is in America's DNA -- Millions of Californians will click on their TVs Friday and groan. They’ll wince as the unthinkable becomes a reality. Can you say President Trump? It’s painful. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/19/17

Trump key to political ambitions of many big city mayors -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took to a microphone on Wednesday, declaring that his city’s schools and other gathering places would be “places of refuge” for undocumented immigrants if Donald Trump moves forward with mass deportations. David Siders Politico -- 1/19/17

Abel Maldonado comes up short in agriculture secretary bid -- In selecting former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue for agriculture secretary, Donald Trump dealt Abel Maldonado, the former California lieutenant governor and apparent finalist for the position, one more high-profile, if unsurprising, blow. David Siders Politico -- 1/19/17

Becerra clears Senate committee, promises to enforce death-penalty speed-up -- Vowing to fight President-elect Donald Trump and his incoming administration, Rep. Xavier Becerra on Wednesday soared through another major hurdle on his way to becoming California attorney general. Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/19/17

Former Mayor Riordan puts in $1 million to defeat school board president Zimmer -- The donation swamps other contributions so far in what have become the most expensive school board races in the country. Howard Blume and Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/19/17

Legislature curbs free speech for 'worthy' aims—then come the lawsuits -- Back before the internet made it so easy to find a celebrity’s age, a 29-year-old actress landed the role of a 17-year-old girl—and helped propel “Beverly Hills 90210” into a hit TV show in the 1990s. That was the story actress Gabrielle Carteris told state lawmakers last year as she lobbied for a bill to strip actors’ ages from commercial websites used in casting. Laurel Rosenhall Calmatters.org -- 1/19/17

Will She Or Won’t She? Feinstein Hints at 2018 Run -- My interview with Sen. Dianne Feinstein began when she sat down in her Washington, D.C., office and offered to show me the scar from her recent pacemaker implant. I had a flash to LBJ showing off to reporters the scar from his gallbladder surgery in 1965. Scott Shafer KQED Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/19/17

Rep. Xavier Becerra commits to staying with state attorney general job for foreseeable future -- After answering questions on the death penalty, marijuana, guns and abortion, Rep. Xavier Becerra moved a step closer Wednesday to becoming California’s next attorney general when the Senate Rules Committee voted 3-1 to recommend his confirmation. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/19/17

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti calls for 'Dreamers' to be protected at mayors meeting in Washington -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday that a bipartisan group of the nation's mayors is calling for Congress and the incoming Trump administration to continue a program that delays deportation of people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ Miranda Leitsinger KQED -- 1/19/17

California withdraws immigrant health care request -- California officials on Wednesday withdrew their request to sell unsubsidized insurance policies to people who can't prove they're legally in the United States after learning the decision would fall to President-elect Donald Trump's administration. Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press -- 1/19/17

Morain: Brown hands out a plum and dims his legacy -- Isadore Hall III is no William B. Gould IV, and the workers who harvest California’s crops will be worse off for it. Dan Morain in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/19/17

Have climate policies helped San Joaquin Valley? New report says yes -- As California lawmakers prepare for another round of debating the best way to combat climate change, a new study says the San Joaquin Valley is benefiting economically from the state's policies on global warming. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/19/17

State senator wants to get to ‘bottom of the cause’ before re-opening Aliso Canyon gas field -- State Sen. Henry Stern, D-Canoga Park, has introduced urgency legislation that would block regulators from making a decision on Aliso Canyon’s fate until a private oil and gas industry firm completes its “root cause analysis” of well site SS-25’s rupture high on Oat Mountain above Porter Ranch. Gregory J. Wilcox in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/19/17

Santa Ana City Manager Accepts Deal to Resign Amid Ouster Effort -- After months of behind-the-scenes maneuvering and brazen political moves, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and his new faction of police union-backed city council colleagues succeeded Tuesday in completing their ouster of City Manager David Cavazos. Nick Gerda VoiceofOC.org -- 1/19/17

Police officers could face more restrictions at schools under two new bills -- Two state lawmakers want to tackle how schools discipline their students and have introduced bills that would tighten rules for how police officers can operate on school sites. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/19/17

Video shows police cornering mentally ill man and fatally shooting him: 'This was an execution' -- Graphic surveillance video released Wednesday shows a throng of Fontana police officers surrounding a legally blind and mentally ill man in a convenience store before an officer opens fire, killing him. Matt Hamilton and Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/19/17

Oakland City Council’s startling move on police oversight pacts -- Citing the millions of dollars it has paid to comply with court-ordered reforms to its Police Department, the Oakland City Council has balked at renewing contracts with consultants who are steering the 14-year-old effort. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/19/17

Sacramento mayor wants officers to spend a week learning how to approach mentally ill -- The plan, which will be presented by interim Police Chief Brian Louie to the City Council on Thursday, would cost $750,000 over two years. While the department will look for grants, Steinberg said he will seek city budget funds if necessary, calling mental illness the “unattended issue of our time.” Anita Chabria in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/19/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions 

California's poorest may finally be feeling rising economy -- Applications for cash welfare reached their lowest point in at least six years in 2016, which economists say might indicate California's poorest are finally feeling the effects of an improving economy. Rina Palta KPCC -- 1/19/17

Developer Rick Caruso agrees to shave height of apartment tower -- The developer of a residential tower planned near the Beverly Center offered new concessions to the city on Wednesday, saying he will reduce the height of his project by nearly 23%, taking it from 240 feet to 185. David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/19/17

San Diego Small Business Group Calls Obamacare Repeal Misguided -- A local coalition of small businesses says repealing the Affordable Care Act would lead to unaffordable premiums and job losses. The Main Street Alliance of San Diego has nearly 200 members. Kenny Goldberg KPBS -- 1/19/17

Carl's Jr. nears the end of an era as parent company begins California exit -- The California exit of CKE Restaurants, parent of Carl’s Jr., begins in March, ending a decades-long era for the fast-food company founded 60 years ago in Anaheim by Carl Karcher. Nancy Luna in the Orange County Register -- 1/19/17

Nail Salon Workers Allege Wage Theft, Indicate Larger Exploitation -- Many nail salons in California may be systematically cheating their employees, according to a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court by the civil rights organization Asian Americans Advancing Justice. David Gorn KQED -- 1/19/17

Water   

California Proposing To Continue Water Conservation -- Water conservation would continue in California until at least May under a proposal regulators are considering. Currently, emergency drought regulations require cities and water agencies to prove they have enough water to meet future demands or they must cut back water use. Amy Quinton Capital Public Radio -- 1/19/17

Education 

Oakland schools abruptly cut off money for AC Transit busing -- Without warning, the Oakland Unified School District has decided to stop paying AC Transit to run buses to several city schools, something the transit agency says will jeopardize service for hundreds of students. Jill Tucker and Michael Bodley in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/19/17

Students respond enthusiastically to new science standards in 'early adopter' districts -- California’s new science standards were in full flower last week at a middle school in Oakland when 8th-grader Amy Zhang strung together a battery, wire and carpentry nail and marveled when not one, not two, but five paper clips jumped to the nail magnetically. Carolyn Jones EdSource -- 1/19/17

Bill would provide $20,000 grants to help recruit teachers in high-demand subjects -- Students in teacher preparation programs who commit to teach math, science, bilingual education or special education could receive grants of $20,000 under a new bill introduced in the state Legislature. Fermin Leal EdSource -- 1/19/17

California Schools Can Now Ask Water Supplier To Test For Lead On Campus -- California schools can now ask their water supplier to test for lead on campus. This affects any school from kindergarten through 12th grade, both public and private. Flint, Michigan served as a warning to everyone on the dangers of lead in the water system. Rich Ibarra Capital Public Radio -- 1/19/17

Smokey Robinson takes Pio Pico Middle School to Motown -- Pio Pico Middle School became a surprise venue for a Wednesday morning performance featuring students in the school's music program — and Motown icon Smokey Robinson. Redmond Carolipio KPCC -- 1/19/17

Cannabis 

California’s pot czar on upcoming marijuana regulation: ‘We will not fail’ -- In a coming together that once seemed highly unlikely, California state regulators Wednesday greeted a hotel ballroom filled with marijuana growers, promising that a licensing program to bring thousands of pot producers out of the shadows will be operational in the state by Jan. 1, 2018. Peter Hecht in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/19/17

Immigration / Border 

Santa Ana Finalizes ‘Sanctuary City’ Law Just Before Trump Takes Office -- With Donald Trump set to be sworn in as president on Friday, Santa Ana City Council gave final approval Tuesday to an ordinance declaring the heavily-immigrant community a “sanctuary city.” Nick Gerda VoiceofOC.org -- 1/19/17

Environment 

Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Field Could Reopen After Public Hearings -- State oil and gas regulators say they completed a safety review of a Los Angeles gas storage facility where a blowout spewed methane for nearly four months. Based on that, they are setting some strict conditions for Southern California Gas Co. to reopen the underground field that blew a huge leak in 2015. KPCC -- 1/19/17

Report on tests for toxics near battery recycler Quemetco delayed -- State regulators had planned to issue a report last month on the results of tests for toxic metals around the Quemetco battery recycling plant, but now they say the report won’t be ready until March. George Lavender KPCC -- 1/19/17

Joshua Tree National Park could expand by 22,000 acres -- The plan proposes transferring land currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management to the national park. The land, known as the Eagle Mountain area, was part of Joshua Tree when it was designated a national monument in 1936. Sara Fay KPCC -- 1/19/17

Health 

Mistake means thousands on state health exchange surprised by higher premiums -- Thousands of Covered California enrollees face higher-than-expected bills from their insurers because the exchange sent incorrect tax credit information to the health plans. Emily Bazar in the Orange County Register -- 1/19/17

Also . . . 

Girls in sex trade need help, not prison, former victims say -- Gregory Leon Hightower pimped young girls up and down the West Coast, from Seattle and Portland all the way to Orange County, where they worked in the shadow of the Happiest Place on Earth. Teri Sforza in the Orange County Register -- 1/19/17

POTUS 45  

Trump pays $25 million Trump University settlement -- The funds, paid by the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, were deposited Tuesday night in an escrow account, where they will remain until the settlement is finalized, confirmed Jason Forge, one of the San Diego attorneys representing about 7,000 class members in two of the cases. Kristina Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/19/17

Whistleblower suit alleges widespread problems at bank run by Treasury nominee Mnuchin -- Whistleblowers connected to the California mortgage lender once run by Treasury secretary nominee Steven T. Mnuchin have accused the bank in federal court of mishandling more than a thousand applications for loan modifications during his tenure -- potentially costing many borrowers their homes. Ylan Q. Mui in the Washington Post$ -- 1/19/17

Trump Cabinet nominees meet growing ethical questions -- Three of Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks came under growing fire Wednesday on ethical issues, potentially jeopardizing their nominations. Karen Tumulty, John Wagner and Ed O'Keefe in the Washington Post$ -- 1/19/17

Nominee Betsy DeVos’s Knowledge of Education Basics Is Open to Criticism -- In questioning by senators, she seemed either unaware or unsupportive of the longstanding policies and functions of the department she is in line to lead, from special education rules to the policing of for-profit universities. Kate Zernike in the New York Times$ -- 1/19/17

‘He Has This Deep Fear That He Is Not a Legitimate President’ -- On the eve of the inauguration, Trump’s biographers ponder his refusal to bend his ego to his new office. Michael Kruse Politico -- 1/19/17

Beltway 

Obama's final contrast to Trump -- The president's measured, philosophical approach to his last news conference makes Friday's turnover even more jarring. Edward-Issac Dovere Politico -- 1/19/17

Yellen says politics don’t sway Fed’s monetary policy -- Days before Donald Trump will be sworn in as president, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen started and ended a speech in San Francisco Wednesday by saying that the central bank does not favor one party over another. Kathleen Pender in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/19/17

An exit interview with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler -- If you're familiar with the comedian John Oliver, then you may also remember the man he once memorably called a "dingo." That's Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Brian Fung in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/19/17

Trump National Security Team Gets a Slow Start -- The Obama administration has written 275 briefing papers for the incoming administration, but doesn’t know whether the Trump team has read them. Mark Landler in the New York Times$ -- 1/19/17

 

-- Wednesday Updates 

Should California drought rules be lifted? State ponders question as storms roll in -- With rivers roaring and more rain coming, California’s drought cops are wrestling with a complicated question: Should they keep patrolling the beat? Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ Lisa Renner Capitol Weekly -- 1/18/17

EPA pick Scott Pruitt repeats doubts about climate science and attacks on the agency he is expected to head -- Although Pruitt said that he accepts that human activity is affecting the climate, he expressed doubt over the mainstream scientific consensus that the warming is happening at a catastrophic pace that must be confronted with aggressive actions. Evan Halper in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/18/17

Global Warming Drives Record Heat For Third Straight Year -- For three years in a row now, our Earth has experienced record high temperatures. On Wednesday, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that globally, 2016 was the hottest year on record. It follows 2015 and 2014, which were the previous highs. Lindsey Hoshaw KQED Amina Khan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/18/17

Born in internment camp, California congresswoman vows to watchdog Trump’s treatment of Muslims -- Congresswoman Doris Matsui of Sacramento was born in the desert of Southern Arizona, in an internment camp that was so big and isolated, its conditions so extreme, that its three subdivisions were nicknamed Roastin’, Toastin’ and Dustin’ by its Japanese American residents. Hamed Aleaziz in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/18/17

Oracle paid white men more than women, blacks, Asians: labor department lawsuit -- Bay Area tech giant Oracle has discriminated against women, African Americans, Asians and non-Asians in its employment practices, the U.S. Department of Labor said Wednesday after filing a lawsuit. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/18/17

Lucy Killea, independent trailblazer, mentor to women, dies -- Lucy Killea, a former San Diego City Council member and state legislator whose independent streak put her famously at odds with the Catholic Church and her own political party, has died. She was 94. Lyndsay Winkley and Joshua Stewart in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ Christopher Cadelago and Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/18/17

High-speed rail: Planners pitch ‘preferred’ route around Chowchilla -- A potential east-west bullet-train route along Highway 152 in Madera County is being pitched by high-speed rail planners and engineers as the best option for a Y-shaped junction for the train lines near Chowchilla. Tim Sheehan in the Fresno Bee -- 1/18/17

BART says people walking on the left are causing escalators to break faster -- Those of us trying to get a little exercise or get to our destination quicker are apparently ruining BART's escalators. In a series of tweets over the past few days, BART has said that walking on one side and standing on another causes "uneven wear" on the escalator. This leads to more breakdowns, creating even more problems for unhappy BART riders. Katie Dowd in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/18/17

Tech employees protest in front of Palantir HQ over fears it will build Trump’s Muslim registry -- Silicon Valley is no stranger to protests against tech companies. But it’s unusual when the tech workers themselves protest tech. Such was the case this morning in front of Palantir headquarters in Palo Alto where 50 people in the tech community came out in the pouring rain to demand the data mining startup take a firm stand against the makings of a Muslim registry. Sarah Buhr Techcrunch.com -- 1/18/17

Saturday's marches could evolve into anti-Trump movement -- Longtime liberal activist Bill Honigman has participated in countless political demonstrations, but he’s never seen a new president greeted with the hundreds of thousands of opponents expected to turn out at Saturday at the Women’s Marches in Washington and across the country. Martin Wisckol and Alejandra Molina in the Orange County Register -- 1/18/17

Abcarian: Who could be against a Children's Bill of Rights? You probably won't be surprised -- It was a little like being in an alternate reality Tuesday morning, as dozens of parents and children gathered on the state Capitol steps to protest a bill aimed at improving the lives of California’s 9 million children. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/18/17

LAPD officers harmed by black mold, bird droppings, says police union -- The union that represents the Los Angeles Police Department rank-and-file demanded today that the city take steps to remove mold and bird droppings found in and around the Southeast Community Police Station on 108th Street in South L.A. and provide medical testing for personnel assigned to the facility. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/18/17

Old media continue to dominate as a source of campaign news, survey shows -- As expected, voters who sided with President-elect Trump got their news from significantly different sources than those who sided with Hillary Clinton, but perhaps surprisingly, traditional media dominated on both sides. David Lauter in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/18/17

Lopez: Scum of the earth lowlife packs a bag for Trump's inauguration -- I and my brethren have been called scum. We are terrible people. Horrible. Illegitimate. Liars. The worst. Hey, nobody’s perfect, and I’m willing to forgive. So today I’m packing my bags and hitching a ride to D.C. for the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/18/17

In LA: Taxing Business to Publically Finance Political Campaigns? -- A Los Angeles City Councilman wants to get rid of private money in politics by approving a public financing scheme potentially funded by taxing members of the business community. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/18/17

Carl's Jr. owner will exit California in March with 24 local jobs cut -- The California exit of CKE Restau rants, parent of Carl’s Jr., begins in March, ending a decades-long era for the fast-food company founded 60 years ago in Anaheim by Carl Karcher. Nancy Luna in the Orange County Register -- 1/18/17

California Strikes a Bold Pose as Vanguard of the Resistance -- In the months since the election of Donald J. Trump, California has turned into a laboratory of resistance — championing legal, legislative and political strategies to counter Republican policies while pressing the kind of new Democratic policies that presumably will not be coming out of Washington anytime soon. Adam Nagourney in the New York Times$ -- 1/18/17

Taylor: Set aside our differences? You first, Mr. President-elect -- He’s a clown pulling an endless string of handkerchiefs from his pocket, in front of a nuclear meltdown. He’s a smokescreen for what the people he’s handpicked to run the country will do while he’s on a monologue tour. Otis R. Taylor Jr. in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/18/17

Oakland businesses again brace for breakage -- It has come to a point where Alexeis Filipello considers smashed windows a cost of running a bar in downtown Oakland. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/18/17

Trump's D.C. hotel bans press during inauguration week -- A Politico reporter attempted to enter the hotel Wednesday morning for a previously scheduled breakfast meeting but was stopped at the door. He then identified himself as a journalist and was told “media” was not allowed. Daniel Lippman Politco -- 1/18/17

FBI, 5 other agencies probe possible covert Kremlin aid to Trump -- The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President-elect Donald Trump, two people familiar with the matter said. Peter Stone and Greg Gordon McClatchy DC -- 1/18/17

Trump Voters Harbor Mixed Feelings Ahead of Inauguration -- Evolving view of president-elect among ambivalent supporters could tip the balance of public opinion. Janet Hook in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/18/17