• School Inoovation and Achievement
  • San Diego Water Authority

Updating . .   

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 -- 2/11/16

Gas leak at Porter Ranch well is temporarily stopped -- Southern California Gas announced Thursday it has temporarily controlled the flow of gas from a well near Porter Ranch, a crucial first step in the effort to stop the leak that has forced thousands to flee their homes. Louis Sahagun, Alice Walton and Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

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 -- 2/11/16

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$ -- 2/11/16

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 -- 2/11/16

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$ -- 2/11/16

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$ -- 2/11/16

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 -- 2/11/16

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 -- 2/11/16

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$ -- 2/11/16

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$ -- 2/11/16

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 -- 2/11/16

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$ -- 2/11/16

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$ -- 2/11/16

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$ -- 2/11/16

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$ -- 2/11/16

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$ -- 2/11/16

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$ -- 2/11/16

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 -- 2/11/16

L.A. County health officials want you to eat smaller portions at restaurants -- Now, in another attempt to reduce obesity rates, the Los Angeles County Public Health department is launching an advertising campaign to encourage parents and their kids to choose smaller portions and healthier foods the next time they eat out. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

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 -- 2/11/16

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$ -- 2/11/16

California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Coastal Commission fires executive director over objection of hundreds of supporters -- The California Coastal Commission voted 7-5 Wednesday night to fire executive director Charles Lester, over the objections of hundreds of supporters who testified at an all-day public hearing. Tony Barboza and Dan Weikel in the Los Angeles Times$ Alex Matthews Capitol Weekly Aaron Orlowski in the Orange County Register Adam Nagourney in the New York Times$ Michael R. Blood Associated Press Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle Aaron Kinney in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/11/16

Lopez: The pristine beauty of California's coast shouldn't be for the few -- I'm sitting on a beach in San Simeon as blue surf cracks before me and wispy clouds drift overhead like sea smoke. I'm wondering how to do justice to what I see. But it's a fool's errand. Mere words don't measure up when you try to describe the California coast. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

How did Eric Linder win the left and the right? -- California's largest public employee union endorses a Koch-backed Republican. Laurel Rosenhall Calmatters.org -- 2/11/16

Taking the oath of office seriously to fight corruption in Southeast L.A. County -- Richard "Ric" Loya was in an unusually quiet mood, his car radio turned off as he pulled into the parking lot of the FBI offices. He was 55, the mayor of Huntington Park and about to become an informant in a federal bribery case involving a local casino. Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

Orange County supervisors want to give $100,000 reward to homeless man who helped nab jail fugitives -- A San Francisco homeless man whose tip helped authorities capture two Orange County jailbreak fugitives could soon receive a $100,000 reward. Jordan Graham in the Orange County Register -- 2/11/16

After Five Years Brown Appoints New Consumer Advocacy Director at the CPUC -- Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Elizabeth Echols on Wednesday to direct the California Public Utilities Commission’s Office of Ratepayer Advocates. The division is dedicated to protecting consumers and has been without a permanent director for more than five years. Interim director Joe Como retired in December. Lisa Pickoff-White KQED -- 2/11/16

LAO says Governor's office-building plan needs more sunshine -- The governor’s state office building plan, which calls for $1.5 billion worth of new construction in downtown Sacramento, doesn't provide the kind of details that residents and lawmakers will need to evaluate it, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office said in a report issued Wednesday. Allen Young Sacramento Business Journal -- 2/11/16

L.A. will pay a white parks worker nearly $3.8 million in a racial bias lawsuit -- Five years after a white city parks worker accused a former supervisor of disparaging his skin color, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a multimillion-dollar payout to satisfy a court judgment in the racial discrimination lawsuit. Brittny Mejia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

Morain: A doctor digs deep in quest for ways to save lives -- Dr. Garen Wintemute digs deep into his wallet to keep the lights on at a squat, nondescript building near the UC Davis Medical Center, understanding lives of people he will never know could depend on it. The building is unmarked, intentionally so. Dan Morain in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/11/16

USCD researchers: Voter ID laws suppress Dems, minorities -- Researchers from the University of California San Diego have created a new statistical model indicating that voter identification laws do what detractors claim — reduce turnout for minorities and those on the political left. Daniel Wheaton in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/11/16

Powerful casino tribes raise concerns with California fantasy sports bill -- The daily fantasy sports industry’s string of easy wins in the California Legislature may be about to end. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/11/16

Sen. Dianne Feinstein tries yet again with California water bill -- Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Wednesday relaunched a big California water bill, in what might be cast as the triumph of hope over experience. Michael Doyle McClatchyDC -- 2/11/16

Skelton: Bernie Sanders blazes a trail to the root of political evils -- Whether he's your candidate or not, give Bernie Sanders credit: He has made inherently corrupt, high-roller campaign financing a central issue of his presidential bid. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

Could California’s 16-year-olds be casting ballots? -- A bill before the Legislature would amend California’s constitution to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to cast ballots exclusively in school district and community college board elections – the very races, proponents argue, in which Californians under 18 have the most at stake. Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/11/16

Ethics agency launches revision of state's Political Reform Act -- The state’s ethics watchdog agency has launched a yearlong overhaul of California’s law governing campaign finance and lobbying with an eye toward streamlining and simplifying rules that many politicians complain are too complex, the agency’s top official said Wednesday. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

Two nonprofits face more than $47,000 in fines over L.A. lobbying forms -- Ethics Commission staffers have proposed a fine of $30,000 for the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, an influential organization that has successfully pushed to raise wages for hotel and airport workers, and $17,500 for the Hospital Assn. of Southern California, a regional trade group for hospitals. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

College freshmen are more liberal and keen on political activism, survey says -- Today's American college freshman is more liberal, less religious and increasingly committed to civic involvement and political activism than her predecessors in previous generations, according to a national survey released Wednesday by UCLA researchers. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls     

Insurers back proposed California health plan tax -- Most of California's health insurance companies said Wednesday they're supporting Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to restructure a tax on health plans. Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press Ben Adler Capital Public Radio -- 2/11/16

Could developmental disability funding be at play in negotiations for tax on healthcare plans? -- For more than a year, the state has grappled with how to overhaul a tax on healthcare plans. Now, as Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal winds through the Legislature, there's another question surfacing: What will the money be spent on? Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

California senator proposes 15-percent medical marijuana sales tax -- Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, on Wednesday introduced a tax bill that follows long-awaited regulations passed by lawmakers in the final days of the legislative session last September, nearly two decades after voters first legalized medical marijuana. Alexei Koseff in the Los Angeles Times$ Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/11/16

Councilman Larry Reid says ‘impact fees’ would hurt East Oakland -- Oakland Councilman Larry Reid is concerned about a plan to impose “impact fees” on new housing developments, saying the mechanism — used by many cities to generate money for affordable housing, transportation and infrastructure — would hurt his East Oakland district. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/11/16

BART: Parking fees may rise as much as $30 for O.co Coliseum, Oracle Arena events -- BART wants to crack down on people using the parking lot at its Oakland Coliseum station as free parking for events at the O.co Coliseum and Oracle Arena and may soon charge as much as $30 during events there. The item is in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 2/11/16

Lafayette to poll voters on potential sales tax hike -- The City Council agreed Monday to hire San Mateo-based Godbe Research to conduct a $26,250 phone poll in March to gauge support for a general sales tax measure. Jennifer Modenessi in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 2/11/16

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions   

Farm worker education promotes government trespassing, land rights group says -- A proposal by the state’s farm labor watchdog to gain access to fields so it can educate workers about their rights is running into strong opposition from growers, even before it has been written into regulation. Geoffrey Mohan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

An ‘Unauthorized Diary’ of Silicon Valley, From Its Underbelly -- You probably think of Silicon Valley as a land of tech moguls and quick fortunes. But a new collection of essays is challenging readers to see another side of California’s iconic boomtown, through the eyes of its factory workers, ice cream cart pushers and metal scrappers. Even a swimming pool installer who predicts who’s going to strike it rich based on the backyard pool. Sasha Khokha KQED -- 2/11/16

Broadcom to cut nearly 700 jobs at Irvine campus -- The San Jose-based company plans to lay off about 850 workers statewide including 180 positions in San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, according to filings with the Employment Development Department. Lauren Williams and Hannah Madans in the Orange County Register -- 2/11/16

Southwest Airlines makes bid to serve Long Beach Airport -- If the application is approved by the city of Long Beach and the Federal Aviation Administration, the Dallas carrier would join only JetBlue, American and Delta Air Lines in serving one of the smallest commercial airports in Southern California. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

Tech fueled job market powers record boom for Silicon Valley: report -- The economy and job market in Silicon Valley chalked up an "astounding" year during 2015, but the region's boom cooled during the final three months of last year, according to a new Silicon Valley Index report released on Wednesday. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/11/16

California solar industry job growth reaches record levels -- California led a record-breaking year for solar power in 2015 that included the addition of more than 20,000 new jobs within the state -- more than half of the positions the industry created nationwide, according to a new report. Ivan Penn in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16   

San Diego voters will decide on a minimum wage increase -- Voters will get a chance on June 7 to decide whether the city should have a higher minimum wage than the $10 an hour required by the state. City Council members voted Monday to place incremental minimum wage increases up to $11.50 on the June primary ballot. David Garrick in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

Drought   

When it comes to saving water, Southern Californians are tapped out — or are they? -- After months of responding to calls to save water, Southern Californians say they've hit a wall. Taylor Goldenstein in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

Education 

Charter school groups complain to LAUSD, then score some new schools -- After formally complaining that the Los Angeles Unified School District is treating them with increasing unfairness, charter school operators caught a few breaks at Tuesday's school board meeting. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

L.A. teachers union seeks to raise dues as it fights a charter school push -- The Los Angeles teachers union has long been the most powerful player in local education. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

With money tight, chancellor says UC Berkeley must 'reimagine' its future -- UC Berkeley is facing an unsustainable budget deficit and will launch an extensive review to “reimagine” its fundamental structure, the university chancellor announced Wednesday. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury$ Lisa Leff Associated Press -- 2/11/16

One way to improve kindergarten attendance: Take the school bus -- Hop on the bus, Gus. Students who ride the school bus in the critical first year of formal education – kindergarten – are absent less often and have lower odds of being chronically absent, a key indicator of future academic success, according to a new study. Jane Meredith Adams EdSource -- 2/11/16

Health 

Yolo County confirms case of Zika virus -- A Yolo County person has tested positive for Zika virus after recently returning from international travel, according to a county news release issued Wednesday. The announcement didn’t mention the identity or sex of the infected person or where they traveled to. Sammy Caiola in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/11/16

California hospitals struggle to control some infections -- Infection rates in California hospitals and other settings have shown some improvement, but the presence of one articular bacteria is on the rise, according to a report released Wednesday by the state’s Department of Public Health. Susan Abram in the Inland Daily Bulletin$ -- 2/11/16

Also . . . 

Bay Bridge worker sues over hangman’s noose, rope incidents -- An African American iron worker for a Bay Bridge contractor says his foreman dropped a hangman’s noose next to him and a short time later a co-worker threw him a rope and told him to put it around his neck — and when he complained about racism, his work hours were reduced. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/11/16

CHP officers go out on a ledge to stop woman’s Bay Bridge leap -- A California Highway Patrol officer is credited with preventing a distraught woman from jumping to her death Tuesday morning from the eastern span of the Bay Bridge. Evan Sernoffsky in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/11/16

At heart of Sheriff's Department scandal was top-secret 'Operation Pandora's Box' -- At the center of the FBI's investigation into abuses at the Los Angeles County Jail was a top-secret program known as Operation Pandora's Box. That investigation took a dramatic turn Wednesday with news that retired Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca will plead guilty to a federal charge of making a false statement. Shelby Grad and Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

Ex-L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca pleads guilty in jail scandal -- Retired Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca pleaded guilty Wednesday to lying to federal investigators, a stunning reversal for the longtime law enforcement leader who for years insisted he played no role in the misconduct that tarnished his agency. Joel Rubin, Cindy Chang and Harriet Ryan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

Who's the driver of that Google car? Feds ready to say it's the computer -- Google Inc.'s self-driving system, controlled by artificial intelligence, could be considered a car's driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Samantha Masunaga in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

POTUS 44

Returning to his roots, Obama calls for an end to 'poisonous political climate' -- Returning to the message of hope that propelled him from the Illinois state capital to the White House, President Obama on Wednesday invoked Abraham Lincoln’s warning that a house divided could not stand and called for structural changes to improve the country’s political discourse. Michael A. Memoli and Christi Parsons in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/16

Beltway