California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Gender inequities persist on California Capitol payroll -- Two days after actress Patricia Arquette made an impassioned call for women to be paid equally to men as she accepted an Academy Award last month in Hollywood, state legislators called a news conference in Sacramento to make the same demand. Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/29/15

See how staff pay for men and women compares in California Legislature -- With lawmakers highlighting wage inequity in California workplaces, The Sacramento Bee analyzed the Legislature’s own payroll to see whether men and women are paid equally by the institution that sets policy for the rest of the state. Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/29/15

Jennifer Siebel Newsom a leader of new generation of feminists -- When she first stepped onto the public stage, media accounts focused on Jennifer Siebel’s budding career in film (“Something’s Gotta Give”); her dating history (George Clooney); her designer clothes (Diane von Furstenberg) and her engagement to a young Democratic star, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Carla Marinucci in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/29/15

Tech’s concept of 'culture fit’ and the Ellen Pao trial -- From the first day in court, it was evident that venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers was not the only party on trial in the gender discrimination suit against it. Kristen V. Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/29/15

Experts: Sex Bias Case Will Embolden Women Despite Verdict -- A long legal battle over accusations that a prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm demeaned women and held them to a different standard than their male colleagues became a flashpoint in the ongoing discussion about gender inequity at elite technology and venture capital firms. Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press -- 3/29/15

Walters: California bullet train: High cost, tiny impact -- A few years ago, when it was first proposed that state “cap-and-trade” fees on carbon emissions be used for the state’s bullet train project, the Legislature’s budget analyst questioned its legality. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/29/15

Recent election gains show Asian American voters' power surge -- From his new perch in Washington, Ted Lieu has suffered through an East Coast winter and other confounding indignities of life as a freshman member of the House from the party out of power. Cathleen Decker in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/15

DNA lab irregularities may endanger hundreds of SFPD cases -- A new scandal at the San Francisco Police Department’s beleaguered crime lab may imperil hundreds of criminal cases based on DNA evidence, The Chronicle has learned. Jaxon Van Derbeken in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/29/15

Bill would help Christians in Iraq threatened by Islamic State -- Two San Diego area congressmen are among the sponsors of a bill to rescue members of religious minorities threatened with violence by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria - possibly helping them join the large Middle Eastern immigrant community in eastern San Diego County. Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/15

L.A.-born political leader has high hopes for Latinos in Washington -- California recently rode shotgun with Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) and its educational fund, on a quick tour of his childhood neighborhood in L.A.'s Pico-Union district. The item is in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/15

BART airport shuttle quick, quiet and costly, riders say -- BART's new elevated shuttle to the Oakland Airport has been an initial success, exceeding ridership on the buses it replaced, but travelers this week almost uniformly questioned paying $6 for it. Andrew McGall in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 3/29/15

Gang chief, international fugitive among dozens paroled under California policy -- A former prison gang kingpin and a black revolutionary-turned-international fugitive are among 74 inmates who owe their freedom to a year-old California policy of granting parole for convicts who are deemed too old to commit new crimes. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 3/29/15

Morain: When conventional wisdom slips -- You have to love it when conventional wisdom is badly mistaken. Dan Morain in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/29/15

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions    

Businesses, workers adjusting to Oakland's higher minimum wage -- Oakland workers will greatly benefit from the minimum wage hike from $9 to $12.25 an hour, academics say, but business owners have struggled to handle the sudden payroll increase, some say. Mike Blasky in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 3/29/15

Court overturns part of San Francisco workers’ pension cuts -- A state appeals court has overturned part of the pension cutbacks for city employees that San Francisco voters approved in November 2011, a reduction of cost-of-living increases for retirees when their pension fund was earning more than previously expected. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/29/15

Long Commute to Silicon Valley Increasingly the Norm for Many -- Thomas, 55, is a Stanford University Dining employee. To get to and from Stanford, Thomas has to take a bike, a train and a bus. Monday through Friday, Thomas spends 16 hours away from home and treks a total commute of nearly six hours. Sabrina Greenway KQED -- 3/29/15

Female Executives Disappointed, Surprised by Ellen Pao Verdict -- The women executives at Maier’s party had spent years navigating Silicon Valley’s male-dominated venture capital world to secure financial backing for their businesses, and they expressed frustration at how little had changed. Rebecca Bowe KQED -- 3/29/15

Back above water: Homeowners without equity a rarity as house prices rebound -- Orange County property owners who have no equity in their homes are a rarity these days – a far cry from the ugliness of the Great Recession just a few years ago. Jonathan Lansner in the Orange County Register$ -- 3/29/15

Hotel giants target tech-savvy millennial travelers -- At the latest breed of hotel, rooms are up to one-third smaller than traditional quarters, with furniture that looks fresh from an Ikea showroom. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/15

San Quintin farm workers push for more pay -- As thousands of farm workers headed for the strawberry fields of these low coastal valleys early Saturday, hundreds of others prepared to ride buses across Baja California, continuing the campaign launched this month for higher wages and improved working conditions in the region’s export-oriented farms. Sandra Dibble UT San Diego$ -- 3/29/15

Baja labor leaders learned tactics from their efforts in U.S. -- Before Fidel Sanchez led protest marches this month against growers in Baja California, he fought for higher wages from tomato farmers in Florida. Justino Herrera, who dons an Army fatigue jacket during labor talks, once led a work stoppage against an abusive labor contractor in Oregon. Richard Marosi in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/15

Exotic car sales see rebound -- At $181,000 and up, a new Lamborghini isn’t for most car buyers. In fact, it’s roughly the cost of seven new Ford Mustangs. Mark Glover in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/29/15

Education 

LAUSD pays metal workers, lawyers, police better than teachers -- Lawyers, metal workers and police employed by the Los Angeles Unified School District were among groups of employees who earned more on average than a typical teacher last year, according to recently released payroll records. Thomas Himes in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 3/29/15

Sexual allegations against teachers in California jumped 70% in 2014 -- Experts say a number of "disheartening" sexual abuse allegations involving teachers is rising nationwide and nowhere is the problem more prevalent than California, where statistics show abuse allegations have doubled in less than a decade. Jason Henry in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 3/29/15

Cal State Long Beach students to serve in hurricane country for spring break -- While most students see spring break as a time to party, or at the very least rest and relax, a group of students at Cal State Long Beach will embark on a humanitarian effort to help New Orleans residents rebuild their lives. Josh Dulaney in the Long Beach PT -- 3/29/15

Drought   

California’s hydro power dries up as drought worsens; utility customers paying more -- The drought is drying up California’s once-plentiful supply of cheap hydroelectricity, and utility customers are paying for it. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/29/15

California drought: San Francisco seeks tech fix to leaky pipes -- John Bess of Baltimore has spent the past two weeks walking around San Francisco with his headphones and Orioles cap on. He’s logged nearly 10 miles a day, past such sites as the Embarcadero, Telegraph Hill and AT&T Park. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/29/15

March heat shatters records in bone-dry Los Angeles -- A series of heat waves this month -- including a brief one one that ended Friday -- brought a grim new distinction to hot, dry Los Angeles. Veronica Rocha in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/15

Yosemite: Popular lookout opens, earliest date in 20 years -- Glacier Point Road takes drivers to a lookout perched at 3, 214 feet above the valley floor, where visitors can view spectacles such as the Half Dome rock, Yosemite Falls and Yosemite’s high country. Associated Press -- 3/29/15

Immigration / Border 

Lawsuits Challenge Detention of Central American Families Seeking Asylum -- Stephanie waded into the Rio Grande clutching her 6-year-old son with no idea of what to expect on the other side. The smuggler that brought them from El Salvador left them abruptly at the river’s edge. Julie Small KQED -- 3/29/15

Number of deportations from Los Angeles area down, new statistics show -- The number of people deported from the Los Angeles area has fallen sharply in recent years, with the biggest drop occurring in the last few months, new federal statistics show. Kate Linthicum in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/15

Environment 

In store for visitors to Yosemite: a drier, browner park -- Yosemite National Park is bracing for its driest year on record, with visitor bureaus downplaying the allure of the park's most famous waterfall and instead touting the park as a destination for hiking, bicycling and photography. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/15

Also . . . 

LAPD is more diverse, but distrust in the community remains -- The sweeps came on Friday nights in South Los Angeles, often before big events like Raiders games. Police would round up young men they thought were gang members and hold them over the weekend to keep violence down, a campaign launched by then-Chief Daryl F. Gates to control "the rotten little cowards." Angel Jennings, Kate Mather, Joe Mozingo, Ruben Vives, Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/15

Convicted sex offender arrested in 1981 death of Anaheim boy -- For more than three decades, the 1981 slaying of 6-year-old Jeffrey David Vargo of Anaheim remained unsolved. Angel Jennings in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/15

Beltway 

Balz: A GOP governor not running for president has ideas for politicians who are -- The Republicans are awash in governors and former governors (and senators) eyeing the White House. One governor who seems to be bucking that trend is Michigan’s Rick Snyder. But he offers a perspective on what ails the national political culture that the others could benefit from hearing. Dan Balz in the Washington Post$ -- 3/29/15

In the hunt to be the 2016 GOP pick, top contenders agree on 1 thing: Guns -- There are 15 noteworthy contenders for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Together, they own at least 40 guns. David A. Fahrenthold in the Washington Post$ -- 3/29/15