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California Policy & Politics This Morning   

California drought tests strength of Gold Rush-era water rights -- High above a landscape parched by unremitting drought, Meadow Valley Creek courses through the northern Sierra Nevada and pools in a stand of alders behind a tiny, concrete dam. David Siders and Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/26/15

CA still tied to Gold Rush-era water rights system -- Ravaged by California’s four-year drought, an increasing number of farms and towns are struggling to find reliable water supplies. That’s not the case for the state’s so-called senior water rights holders who, due to what critics call an antiquated and byzantine water rights system, enjoy few limits on their water and nearly zero cost or accountability for its use, even during severe droughts. Chris Nichols UT San Diego$ -- 4/26/15

State drought tests water rights --

"Odd couple" battles it out for senate seat -- It's hardly your typical political matchup -- pitting a missionary's daughter backed by Planned Parenthood and nearly every major Democratic lawmaker against a close confidant of Gov. Jerry Brown, who is counting on independents and Republicans to carry him to Sacramento. Matthew Artz in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 4/26/15

Nepal quake: California Google employee killed on Mt. Everest -- A California man who described himself as an "inventor" and "adventurer" and was a longtime member of Google’s privacy team died while climbing Mt. Everest after a powerful earthquake in Nepal triggered an avalanche, his colleagues and family confirmed. Matt Stevens in the Los Angeles Times$ Hamed Aleaziz in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/26/15

Walters: Tax boosts would also affect poor -- It’s fairly certain that the 2016 California ballot will include at least one, and perhaps several, tax increase measures. It will be a presidential election with a relatively high turnout of voters, which would increase the odds of passing new taxes. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/26/15

City of Industry pays former mayor $326 million in contracts over decades -- An audit of city finances concluded Industry paid more than $326 million to companies owned by former Mayor Dave Perez and his family over the past 20 years, much of it for vague or even erroneous invoices that possibly resulted in massive overpayments. Rebecca Kimitch Steve Scauzillo in the Inland Daily Bulletin -- 4/26/15

Eastern Sierra community lives with devastating reality of year-round fire season -- The fire came up quickly here in the eastern Sierra Nevada, destroying 35 homes and taking the mountainside community of Swall Meadows by surprise. Who would expect a roiling wildfire -- throwing fireballs and whipping up flame whirls through 7,000 acres of sagebrush, piñon and Jeffrey pine -- in the dead of winter? Julia Prodis Sulek in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/26/15

U.S. official denies report of Islamic State plot in California -- CNN reported on Saturday that the FBI was investigating a possible Islamic State-inspired terrorism plot in California but a U.S. law enforcement official in Los Angeles denied there was any such threat. Sandra Maler and Mark Hosenball Reuters -- 4/26/15

Los Angeles Airport Security Boosted Amid Possible ISIS Threat -- Security is being stepped up in Los Angeles, its area airports and other parts of Southern California amid new Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS)-related threats calling for attacks on uniformed personnel, several U.S. officials told NBC News on Friday. Jonathan Dienst, Andrew Blankstein and Richard Esposito/NBC News via TIME -- 4/26/15

How they became us: Orange County changed forever in the 40 years since the fall of Saigon -- The lucky ones carried bread bags holding all their worldly possessions.The others had nothing – no extra clothes, no money, not even a homeland after Saigon fell 40 years ago this week. Tom Berg in the Orange County Register$ -- 4/26/15

Tiny Modoc casino tribe adopts white men in failed attempt to profit -- alvin Phelps, a white cigarette manufacturer from North Carolina, seems an unlikely candidate for membership in a California Indian tribe. Stephen Magagnini in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/26/15

Lopez: Struggling student a victim of high fines and misdemeanors -- Eduardo Lopez, 22, has not caught many breaks in his young life. If anything, that's made him more determined to succeed. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/26/15

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions    

Public, private sector wage gap heavily favors many L.A. city workers --- For almost a year, the labor groups representing roughly 20,000 Los Angeles city workers have battled at the bargaining table for people like Marshall Turner. Peter Jamison, Catherine Saillant in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/26/15

Immigration / Border 

Fewer immigrants are being caught crossing U.S.-Mexico border -- The number of immigrants caught crossing the Southwest border continues to fall sharply, Obama administration officials said Friday, a decline due in large part to the end of the surge in people coming from Central America. Joseph Tanfani in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/26/15

Also . . . 

Anarchists turn to capitalism at Oakland book fair -- Plenty of well-ordered capitalism was happening Saturday at the anarchist book fair in Oakland. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/26/15

Old lawsuit fuels push to oust San Francisco priest -- In the latest scandal to hit San Francisco’s Catholic Church, elementary school parents at Star of the Sea School have renewed calls for the ouster of the parish’s controversial pastor after learning of a decade-old civil court case in which a jury found he inflicted emotional distress on an 11-year-old girl at his former parish in Modesto. Kristen V. Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/26/15


Obama pokes fun at political friends and foes at White House dinner -- At the gathering he jokingly called "a night when Washington celebrates itself," U.S. President Barack Obama took light-hearted aim on Saturday at a range of political friends and foes, including the people running to succeed him. Tanya Basu Reuters -- 4/26/15

Obama’s Best White House Correspondents’ Dinner Jokes -- “Dick Cheney said I’m the worst president of his lifetime, which is interesting, because I think he’s the worst president of my lifetime,” the president said. Kia Makarechi Vanity Fair -- 4/26/15


Willie Brown: A properly predicted Clinton campaign conflict -- My prediction that Hillary Rodham Clinton was inviting nothing but trouble by announcing early that she’s running for president is starting to come true. Willie L. Brown, Jr. in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/26/15