California Policy and Politics This Morning

If California taxpayers paid up, state's deficit would disappear -- As Californians put the finishing touches on their income tax returns, tax collectors say the state's $9.2 billion deficit would drop to zero if all taxpayers submitted what they owe. Kevin Yamamura in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/7/12

San Onofre to remain closed indefinitely, NRC chief says -- Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko, who toured the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant Friday, assured reporters that the plant would not restart until officials understand the root cause of the cause of systems failures that forced the plant's closure. Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/7/12

Regulator Vows Full Accounting of Tube Failure at San Onofre -- After touring the San Onofre nuclear power plant with federal lawmakers on Friday, the nation’s top nuclear regulator vowed a complete accounting, as well as accountability, for why a key radiation barrier at the facility degraded far more quickly than expected and caused a minor radioactive leak earlier this year. NICK GERDA -- 4/7/12

Nuke chief: wear differs in Onofre reactors -- The pattern of premature wear in steam generator tubes differs between the San Onofre nuclear plant’s two reactors, the top U.S. nuclear official said after a tour of the plant Friday. Pat Brennan in the Orange County Register -- 4/7/12

FBI will probe police shooting of unarmed college student -- The FBI announced Friday that it will open a civil rights investigation into the shooting death of an unarmed college student by Pasadena police. Richard Winton and Adolfo Flores in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/7/12

For black parents in Pasadena, shootings give fresh relevance to 'The Talk' -- The fatal shootings of Kendrec McDade in Pasadena and a black teen in Florida renew the painful generations-old discussion about the need to swallow one's anger and pride when dealing with the police. Christopher Goffard and Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/7/12

Jerry Brown turns to robocalls and mailers to qualify his tax initiative -- Gov. Jerry Brown is turning to robotic telephone calls and mailers in his race to collect enough signatures to place his tax initiative on the November ballot. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/7/12

Jerry Brown: 74 and going strong -- Once one of California's youngest governors, Edmund Gerald Brown, Jr. is now the oldest to ever serve in state history. Saturday, he gets a little bit older. John Myers News10/KXTV -- 4/7/12

Big Tobacco adds nearly $9 million to fight against cigarette tax -- Big Tobacco is going all in against Proposition 29, the June ballot measure that would hike cigarette taxes by $1 per pack. Michael J. Mishak in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/7/12

Fight brewing over used-car information -- Leading consumer groups have vowed to block legislation introduced by Sen. Juan Vargas, claiming it would undermine California’s landmark protections for used car buyers. Michael Gardner UT San Diego -- 4/7/12

Assemblyman Jeff Gorell focuses on home after war duty in Afghanistan -- Sitting in his sunny Westlake Village office surrounded by books, posters and family photos with an iPad on his desk and staff milling around outside, Assemblyman Jeff Gorell found himself still trying to take it all in. C.J. Lin in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 4/7/12

Specter of bankruptcy raised in L.A. -- Offering a dire warning about potential bankruptcy, Los Angeles City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said Friday the city will need to raise taxes, clamp down on employee pay and consider layoffs in order to keep solvent. Rick Orlov in the Los Angeles Daily News Kate Linthicum in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/7/12

Hercules teeters on brink of bankruptcy -- If there's a symbol of California cities' economic hangover, it's a pair of four-story, half-finished, plastic-wrapped apartment buildings in Hercules. Carolyn Jones in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/7/12

Few new details in Dodgers' sale court documents -- Documents filed in Bankruptcy Court shed no light on parking lot arrangement or what role Frank McCourt might have in it. Judge is expected to approve the sale at April 13 hearing. Bill Shaikin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/7/12

Oaksterdam founder to leave cannabis business -- Richard Lee said he will relinquish ownership of his marijuana-related businesses, including Oaksterdam University, as he braces for a possible federal indictment on tax charges. Matthew Artz in the Oakland Tribune -- 4/7/12

Unincorporated communities lack basic services -- When her parents moved to Parklawn in 1986, they didn't realize the extent to which their new neighborhood, an island of Stanislaus County land within the city of Modesto, lacks basic public services. Parklawn is not connected to nearby city sewer lines, which means Hernandez and her neighbors flush their sewage into overloaded septic tanks. Bernice Yeung California Watch -- 4/7/12

Federal judge again refuses to block discharge of Marine critical of Obama -- For a second time, a federal judge Friday refused to order a halt to the Marine Corps' process of discharging a sergeant who made comments critical of President Obama on Facebook. Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/7/12

   High-Speed Rail

Bullet train won't make it to Anaheim in latest high-speed rail plan -- The California bullet train project has dropped a link to Anaheim from its current $68-billion plan, officials confirmed Friday, marking a significant departure for the Bay Area-to-Southern California high-speed rail system that state voters approved in 2008. Dan Weikel and Ralph Vartabedian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/7/12

   Economy - Jobs

UC report paints grim picture of California's job market -- California's labor market will not return to a healthy state until sometime between 2018 and 2023, according to a new report from the University of California, Berkeley's Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics. Mark Glover in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/7/12

Inland Empire beginning to recover from recession's job losses -- The Inland Empire may be the scene of moderate job growth this year as some sectors appear to be rebounding, but those seeking work would likely do well to look somewhere other than construction or government for their next job. Andrew Edwards in the Inland Daily Bulletin -- 4/7/12

Summer camps singing along as improving economy boosts registration -- In a sign that parents feel more secure about family finances, some Southern California facilities are expanding and hiring extra counselors to meet growth in enrollment of 5% to 30%. Hugo Martín in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/7/12

Higher gas prices cause less public anger this time -- Gas prices have soared about 15% in the last six months, hitting $3.94 a gallon on average nationwide, and $4.29 in California. The mood of motorists? Meh. Jerry Hirsch in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/7/12

Ex-Facebook insiders building next wave of Silicon Valley firms -- Already loaded, or soon to be, thanks to the looming Wall Street payday, these Facebook pals are furiously building the next generation of Silicon Valley companies. And they're doing it together. Jessica Guynn in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/7/12


After pepper spray: College fee raise put off -- The board of trustees at Santa Monica College voted Friday to postpone a two-tiered fee scale that brought angry campus protests where students were pepper sprayed. GREG RISLING Associated Press -- 4/7/12

   Health Care

Counterfeit drugs show need for tracking -- The discovery of a second batch of a phony cancer drug in the United States this week has frustrated regulators in California, where the nation's most stringent law to track and trace pharmaceuticals was passed in 2004 but has yet to be implemented. Victoria Colliver in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/7/12

California Advocates For Healthy Food in U.S. Farm Bill -- The U.S. Farm Bill is up for reauthorization in Congress this year and California food and health advocates are eager to use the opportunity to shift national policy towards healthier eating, which would also benefit California farmers. Katrina Schwartz KQED State of Health -- 4/7/12


The Sorry State of the Salton Sea -- Last month the California Supreme Court upheld a water transfer deal that sends billions of gallons of water a year from Imperial County farms to cities in San Diego County. Sam Harnett KQED Climate Watch -- 4/7/12

New plan crafted to limit Ocean Beach erosion -- The silver tide that surges through Ocean Beach from dawn to dusk is a surfer's delight. For San Francisco, however, it is an unrelenting test of nature. Stephanie M. Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/7/12


Pinterest vaults into third place for social networks, ahead of LinkedIn and Google+ -- Pinterest has become the third most popular social network in the United States, behind only Facebook and Twitter, a marketing-research report has found. Jeremy C. Owen in the San Jose Mercury -- 4/7/12

Banks: Too much health information — it's enough to make you sick -- It's a ritual that's beginning to make me feel less responsibly health conscious and more reliably heading toward old age. Every Sunday, I count out seven days' worth of a dozen different pills and load them into the daily compartments in my plastic medication bin. Sandy Banks in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/7/12

   POTUS 44

Slower job gains stir doubts about recovery, Obama reelection bid -- Job growth slowed sharply last month, raising fresh questions about the strength of the recovery and complicating, for the moment, President Obama's ability to run for reelection on the wave of a resurgent economy. Don Lee and Kathleen Hennessey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/7/12


Eric Cantor donation roils House GOP -- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor went into damage control mode Friday following the revelation that he contributed $25,000 to a super PAC devoted to defeating incumbent House members — including numerous Republicans. ALEX ISENSTADT and JOHN BRESNAHAN Politico -- 4/7/12

Saunders: Obama, the happy drug warrior -- Why is the federal government under President Obama arguably tougher on medical marijuana operations than it was under George W. Bush? That's the question that antidrug-war groups have been asking themselves for months. Debra J. Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/7/12