California Policy and Politics This Morning

Poor children could lose medical coverage in budget plan -- The state Legislative Analyst's Office said Friday that fewer poor children will get the medical care they need under Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/18/12

Jerry Brown woos Xi, Chinese companies -- As he helped squire Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping around Southern California, Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday that the state would open two trade offices in China and proposed setting up a task force with the Communist government there to improve trade and investment. Nicholas Riccardi in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/18/12

Steve Glazer advises Jerry Brown as tax measure heads for November ballot -- Other than Brown's wife and special counsel, Anne Gust Brown, Glazer is closer to Brown than perhaps anyone at the Capitol. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/18/12

Brown’s pension reform would help schools, cities, more than state -- The state might not save a bundle by shifting new hires into a hybrid retirement plan — but schools and local governments stand to make out better from a switch.So says an actuarial staff analysis done by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System to help clarify the impacts of Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension reform plan. Teri Sforza in the Orange County Register -- 2/18/12

Bill and Nadia Lockyer: A seemingly perfect life becomes a messy affair -- Over the years, Bill and Nadia Lockyer's neighbors watched the couple walk their young son up and down their Hayward street at Christmastime, admiring the festive lights. The image of this political power couple seemed as perfect as a campaign commercial. Josh Richman and Julia Prodis Sulek in the Contra Costa Times -- 2/18/12

High-speed rail advocate skeptical of California plan -- Republicans are among the loudest critics of California’s high-speed rail plan, which is endorsed by President Barack Obama and Gov. Jerry Brown. But even a key advocate of the general concept of high-speed rail – one who worked to get the successful rail bond, Proposition 1A, on the 2008 ballot – says the California plan is not ready to proceed. Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register -- 2/18/12

Tipoff: Anonymous online commercial attacks Richard Alarcon's Assembly bid -- An Internet commercial attacking Councilman Richard Alarcon, in his race for the 39th Assembly District, has been making the rounds but no one has been able to identify the creator. Rick Orlov in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 2/18/12

   Economy - Jobs

Gas prices surging beyond $4 a gallon -- and they will go higher -- Gasoline prices are rising at an almost unheard-of pace, and painfully so in California, where the cost for a fill-up now exceeds $4 a gallon in five cities and is approaching that dreaded mark in numerous others, including San Jose and Oakland. Gary Richards in the San Jose Mercury -- 2/18/12

California foreclosure study is less damning than it appears -- The “Foreclosure in California” report released by the San Francisco Assessor-Recorder this week seemed to confirm all those bad things we’ve heard about mortgage lenders. John Corrigan in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/18/12

Labor market isn't child's play anymore -- California's overall unemployment rate is high. But for young people, it's even higher. A look deep into the statistics shows that persistent joblessness is worse for young people, who in many cases are trying to enter the workforce for the first time. Andrew Edwards in the San Bernardino Sun -- 2/18/12

California legislator's proposal would make wide swaths of city off limits to food trucks -- Guess what might get kicked out of school? Food trucks, if one California legislator has his way. Jim Sanders in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/18/12

UC Davis moves forward on plans for major genomics lab in Sacramento -- UC Davis signed a "master agreement" today with a Chinese scientific company that's planning to build a major genomics lab on the university's Sacramento medical campus. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/18/12

Hiltzik: Payroll tax cut undermines Social Security's security -- If Social Security becomes just another line item in the federal budget, what's to save it from being swept up in an across-the-board orgy of spending reductions? Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/18/12

China's Huawei places $6 billion worth of orders in California -- The Chinese electronics maker is buying microchips and other components from Broadcom in Irvine, Qualcomm in San Diego and Avago Technologies in San Jose. Andrea Chang and Matt Stevens in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/18/12


Katehi survives no confidence vote at UC Davis -- A motion asking for a vote of no confidence against UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi failed to gain a majority of votes needed to pass, school officials said Friday. Brad Branan in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/18/12

John Deasy: LAUSD broke state law -- Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy said Friday the district broke state law by waiting a year to tell California's teacher credentialing agency that it was firing an instructor under investigation for alleged lewd acts with students. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 2/18/12

In Inglewood, a sparkling new campus and looming bankruptcy -- The Inglewood school district, beset by declining enrollment and state funding cuts, is a study in contrasts: It recently opened a state-of-the-art campus but is months from bankruptcy. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/18/12

   Health Care

10 counties expand medical coverage for low-income residents -- Los Angeles County adds about 114,000 people to its Healthy Way program. The state hopes to enroll as many as possible before the federal government takes over the program in 2014. Anna Gorman in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/18/12


Farms in Richmond? You betcha -- And under the auspices of a recent analysis on farming in Richmond, a neighborhood group is close to securing free use of a plot of city land at Sixth Street and Enterprise Avenue in the Iron Triangle to grow a community garden. Suzanne Bohan in the Contra Costa Times -- 2/18/12

California wildlife official in hot water over mountain lion hunt -- One of California's top wildlife officials found himself in the political line of fire Friday, after a photo surfaced showing him holding a dead mountain lion he killed in what appeared to be a recent big game hunt. Paul Rogers in the Contra Costa Times -- 2/18/12

Incentives help Sacramento Valley farmers replace diesel pumps with electric to cut pollution -- A wine grape vineyard in Galt is helping to clear the air in the Sacramento Valley. Anne Gonzales in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/18/12


Drones Set Sights on U.S. Skies -- Daniel Gárate’s career came crashing to earth a few weeks ago. That’s when the Los Angeles Police Department warned local real estate agents not to hire photographers like Mr. Gárate, who was helping sell luxury property by using a drone to shoot sumptuous aerial movies. NICK WINGFIELD and SOMINI SENGUPTA in the New York Times -- 2/18/12

Tracking software helps Oakland police nab robbers -- Tracking software on a robbery victim's iPad led police to two men who investigators say have robbed at least 10 people of jewelry, cash, phones and other valuables in the past week. Kristin J. Bender in the Contra Costa Times -- 2/18/12

Bay Bridge work - west lanes closed -- The Bay Bridge's top deck was taken over by construction crews at 8 p.m. Friday as the westbound lanes were closed until 5 a.m. Tuesday. They could be closed longer if heavy rains fall this weekend. The item in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/18/12

FBI probes Oakland teen center renovation -- The FBI has joined Oakland officials in examining a city-funded teen center, asking two construction firms why city Redevelopment Agency officials sought bids from them for a 2010 renovation of the center that had already been completed, representatives of the companies said Friday. Demian Bulwa in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/18/12


Tea Party faces a turning point in 2012 Senate races -- The tea party referendum has officially begun. Aaron Blake in the Washington Post -- 2/18/12

Pelosi endorsement of gay marriage plank raises stakes for Democrats -- A move to put gay marriage in the Democratic Party platform at this year’s convention could prove problematic for Democrats as they seek to keep the election-year conversation focused on their efforts to right the economy. Josh Lederman The Hill -- 2/18/12

Maxine Waters ethics case: 6 committee members recuse selves -- The tumultuous ethics case against Rep. Maxine Waters, one of Los Angeles’ most enduring politicians, took another strange turn Friday as six members of the House Ethics Committee recused themselves from considering the charges against her. Richard Simon in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/18/12