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Finding statewide office hard to attain, tea party stakes claim to city, county races -- George "Duf" Sundheim, donning his "Duf Sundheim" navy blue fleece jacket and khaki pants, strode down the center aisle inside the Destiny Fellowship Church, wading into the crowded pews at a tea party meeting in the northern reaches of California. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/7/16

Bay Area vaccine controversy reignites in time for Super Bowl -- California may have closed a chapter in its bitter fight over mandatory vaccines for children, but a new billboard campaign by opponents of the state's pro-vaccination law shows the controversy is far from over. Aaron Kinney in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/7/16

Plagued by delays, California high-speed rail back in court -- California voters embraced the idea of building the nation's first real high-speed rail system, which promised to whisk travelers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under three hours, a trip that can take six hours or more by car. Eight years after they approved funding for it, construction is years behind schedule and legal, financial and logistical delays plague the $68 billion project. Juliet Williams Associated Press -- 2/7/16

New Bay Bridge corrosion probe: Concrete chunk falls in tunnel -- Caltrans is investigating possible corrosion in the Bay Bridge’s Yerba Buena Island tunnel after a chunk of the concrete wall tumbled into the roadway and narrowly missed hitting a motorist, officials said. Jaxon Van Derbeken in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/7/16

California should help pay for earthquake early warnings, state lawmakers say -- Hours after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake destroyed buildings and took lives in Taiwan, four state lawmakers said they want California to help fund an earthquake early warning system that has been stalled by a lack of money. Rosanna Xia and Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/7/16

California’s $400 billion debt worries analysts -- California has come a long way to dig itself out of budget deficits, but the state remains on shaky ground due to nearly $400 billion in unfunded liabilities and debt from public pensions, retiree health care and bonds, financial analysts say. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/7/16

Jones made inaccurate claims about mass killer -- Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, running for Congress against Democratic U.S. Rep. Ami Bera of Elk Grove, is making immigration and national security the center of his campaign. Sean Cockerham in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/7/16

Walters: Brown’s projects face tests -- The two immense public works projects that would be Jerry Brown legacies will soon face pivotal moments. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/7/16

Morain: Doctors dance with a toasty partner -- California Medical Association hopes to limit smoking of one plant, legalize another. Dan Morain in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/7/16

Richmond 1st Northern California city to accept 911 text messages -- Richmond now boasts the first emergency dispatch center in Northern California to accept 911 texting, but officials warn that in most cases the finger-typing smartphone messages are no substitute for old-fashioned landline voice calls. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/7/16

Bell sounds for Baby Boom teachers -- As part of the nation’s largest-ever anticipated teacher retirement wave, roughly 11,300 California teachers retired last year. That’s up slightly from the previous year, though significantly less than in 2009-10, when departures peaked at nearly 15,500, according to state figures. Jodie Tillman in the Orange County Register -- 2/7/16

Super Bowl helps BART crush weekend-day ridership record -- Super Bowl 50 is fueling a huge boost in ridership for Bay Area public transit, with BART reporting its busiest weekend day in history Saturday — and Sunday is expected to be big, too. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/7/16

Orange County breaks tourism record with 47 million visitors in 2015 -- Thanks to the allure of Disneyland and huge growth in convention attendance, Orange County hosted a record 47.3 million visitors last year. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/7/16

Lopez: Almost a year after Exide shut down its toxic plant, neighbors are trapped in an environmental nightmare -- Warmer days are coming soon to the working-class communities east and southeast of downtown Los Angeles, but at many homes, parents won't let their children play in their yards this spring and possibly into summer. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/7/16

Greenhut: Is infrastructure about taxes or priorities? -- Legislators and activists target governor’s focus on bullet train and Delta tunnels. Steven Greenhut in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/7/16

Rubio stumbles with help from Republican governors who have nothing to lose -- Their campaigns hanging in the balance, the Republican governors running for president struck back in Saturday's debate, the last before New Hampshire votes on Tuesday. And Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was their primary victim. Cathleen Decker in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/7/16

Debate Takeaways: Rubio shaken, Trump not stirred -- There have been no higher stakes on a Republican debate stage in the 2016 campaign for president than there were Saturday night. Steve Peoples and Julie Bykowicz Associated Press -- 2/7/16

A bad night for front-runners and a good night for governors -- Marco Rubio hit a wall named Chris Christie. Donald Trump couldn’t put down an aggressive Jeb Bush. And Ted Cruz had to issue a public apology to Ben Carson. Dan Balz in the Washington Post$ -- 2/7/16

Fierce exchanges mark Republican debate, as Marco Rubio is hit hard -- The target on Marco Rubio’s back grew larger Saturday, as rivals candidates, starting with Chris Christie, sought to turn the Florida senator’s polish into a liability in a critical debate on the eve of New Hampshire’s leadoff presidential primary. Chris Megerian and Michael A. Memoli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/7/16

Calbuzz: Chris Bashes Marco, and 5 Other Debate Takeaways -- Marco Rubio, flavor of the week amid Beltway bubbleheads paid obscenely to forecast wrongly the presidential race, got hammered, staggered and rolled by Chris Christie moments into Saturday night’s GOP New Hampshire debate. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 2/7/16

President Obama coming to South Bay on Wednesday -- The president is scheduled to travel to the San Jose area on Wednesday, a White House official said. On Thursday, he will attend fundraising events held by the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, before traveling to Los Angeles. Matthew Artz in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 2/7/16

 

California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Los Angeles County spends $1 billion managing homelessness, report finds -- More than half of the $577 million in health spending went to mental health treatment, the county study found. Another $294 million was for cash benefits and food stamps for homeless individuals. Gale Holland in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/6/16

Erin Brockovich, Stockton ‘freak out’ over water treatment -- Erin Brockovich is fuming about the chemicals in Stockton’s drinking water, and fearful residents are protesting at City Hall. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/6/16

PG&E may face additional fines in criminal trial for San Bruno explosion -- PG&E could face additional fines if convicted in a criminal trial over a lethal explosion in San Bruno, according to a ruling by a federal judge who also decided that the trial, scheduled to begin in late March, should be divided into two phases. George Avalos in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 2/6/16

Analyst urges California lawmakers to back Gov. Brown's drought measures — for the short and long term -- A report released Friday by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) — a non-partisan fiscal and policy adviser to the California Legislature — says that the ongoing drought necessitates continuing support. Jed Kim KPCC -- 2/6/16

Taiwan earthquake: Destruction a grim reminder of dangers for California, experts say -- When a magnitude-6.4 earthquake rocked southern Taiwan on Saturday, images of building collapses quickly surfaced on social media and in local media reports. The damage, structural engineers said, was a sober reminder that these collapses would also probably occur in California should a massive temblor strike. Rosanna Xia and Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/6/16

Riverside 'prosecutor of year' had San Diego DUI -- The newly minted 2015 Prosecutor of the Year in Riverside County was honored even though he had a recent drunk driving conviction in San Diego County and an altercation with San Diego police that made the news in 2006. Morgan Cook in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/6/16

Stem cell agency to begin review of human genetic changes -- California’s stem cell agency has embarked on what is likely to be an exhaustive review of genetic alteration of human embryos with likely recommendations for changes in the $3 billion research effort. David Jensen Capitol Weekly -- 2/5/16

California drought's hardest-hit may need years of support -- Dying native fish, rural communities with dry wells and some other sectors hardest-hit by California’s drought may still need extra support long after the current dry spell ends, an analysis of the state’s drought response said Friday. Ellen Knickmeyer Associated Press -- 2/5/16

California overpays 20,000 state workers, wants money back -- The errors ranged from $37 to $101 per employee and showed up in checks and direct deposits issued in January for the December pay period, State Controller’s Office spokesman John Hill said. Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/5/16

California’s Ballot Measures Raise Millions -- In November’s election, California voters could potentially weigh in on questions ranging from upholding a plastic bag ban to overturning the death penalty. And millions are being spent to sway opinions. Katie Orr KQED -- 2/6/16

California lawmakers raised $39 million for campaigns in 2015 -- Members of the California Legislature began the election year with more than $40 million cash on hand after raising about $39 million last year, according to campaign reports filed this week. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/5/16

Data Tracker: California lawmakers – even senators – took campaign cash at session’s hectic finish -- California’s campaign finance disclosure calendar means the public only now is getting a look at elected officials’ fundraising and spending during the second half of 2015. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/6/16

Coastal Commission chief defends his record as panel moves to fire him -- The embattled head of the California Coastal Commission is defending his record in his first public comments since members of the panel launched an effort to fire him from the powerful land-use agency. Tony Barboza in the Los Angeles Times$ Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/6/16

Hiltzik: The billion-dollar CRISPR patent battle: A case of big money shaping science -- The contestants are the University of California and the Broad Institute, a Harvard- and MIT-affiliated research foundation endowed by Los Angeles billionaire Eli Broad. At stake are the rights to a breakthrough gene-editing technology known as CRISPR — and more precisely, to billions of dollars in royalties and license fees likely to flow to whichever claimant prevails before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (and in the almost inevitable appeals in court). Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/6/16

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions      

Goodell insists he wants Raiders to stay in Oakland -- Commissioner Roger Goodell delivered his annual state-of-the-NFL speech Friday, in which he repeated his preference to keep the Raiders and Chargers in their current cities without offering specifics about how the league would help. Ron Kroichick in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/5/16

L.A. developers accused of stealing millions in affordable-housing scheme -- Two executives at a Los Angeles-based real estate development company and two of their employees have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges they defrauded government agencies of millions of dollars in funds for housing low-income families. David Zahniser and Shashank Bengali in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/5/16

California export trade’s winning streak snapped in 2015 -- The value of California merchandise exports fell 5 percent in 2015, the first annual decline since 2009. Mark Glover in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/5/16

Drought   

Feds sharply increase flows from Folsom Lake -- Folsom Lake has filled up at a near-unprecedented pace since early December, thanks to rain, snow and what had been a sharp curtailment on water releases because the drought had left the reservoir severely depleted. Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/6/16

Orange County will demand less water in the future, new forecasts say -- A new estimate of future water demand countywide is 17 percent lower than previous estimates. Aaron Orlowski in the Orange County Register -- 2/6/16

Education 

How two San Fernando Valley schools have kept learning after an epic gas leak -- Rosie Vanzyl’s eighth-grade science class is one part desks from Porter Ranch Community School, one part lab table from Los Angeles Unified School District and one modest-size room at Northridge Middle School that holds it all together. David Montero in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/6/16

Sacramento County schools may allow special-needs students to avoid vaccines -- A fiercely contested state law eliminates personal-belief exemptions for parents who oppose vaccines, but California’s new rules may not apply to special education students in some Sacramento County school districts. Diana Lambert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/6/16

Immigration / Border 

San Francisco cops admit car-theft victim was wrongly turned over to ICE -- San Francisco police officers handcuffed a car-theft victim, ran his name for warrants and then released him into the waiting arms of federal immigration agents, records show, in what is being investigated as a possible breach of local sanctuary-city laws. Vivian Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/6/16

Environment 

Oil Trains Face Tough Haul in California -- A statewide conflict over whether to allow more trains carrying crude oil into California is coming to a head in communities hundreds of miles apart. The Central Coast town of San Luis Obispo and the Bay Area city of Benicia are poised to make decisions in the coming days that would have broad implications for the future of this type of import. Julie Small KQED -- 2/6/16

Sacramento officials challenge Benicia oil train project -- Sacramento leaders this week accused the city of Benicia of failing to take any steps to help protect cities against potential oil spills from daily train shipments an oil company wants to run through Northern California. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/5/16

Health 

UCSF neurosurgeons to examine NFL players for concussions at Super Bowl 50 -- One career path headed toward professional football, another to a life in medicine. As a young Harvard student in the 1970s, Mitch Berger saw both tracks running parallel, until a knee injury derailed his NFL dreams. Queenie Wong in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 2/6/16

Also . . . 

Doctor convicted of murder for patients' drug overdoses gets 30 years to life in prison -- A judge on Friday sentenced a Rowland Heights doctor to 30 years to life in prison for the murders of three of her patients who fatally overdosed, ending a landmark case that some medical experts say could reshape how doctors nationwide handle prescriptions. Marisa Gerber in the Los Angeles Times$ Amanada Lee Myers Associated Press -- 2/5/16

Beltway 

Trump says Obama ‘goes to a mosque and apologizes’ while Americans are targeted by terrorists -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was critical of President Obama’s visit to a Baltimore mosque during a Friday speech here in Florence, S.C., saying that the president “goes to a mosque and apologizes” as Americans are targeted by terrorists. “Where did they come from?” Trump asked as he spoke about the November terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., referencing the attackers who carried out the killings. Jose A. DelReal in the Washington Post$ -- 2/6/16

Donald Trump’s Campaign, Billed as Self-Funded, Risks Little of His Fortune -- About three-quarters of Mr. Trump’s total campaign spending has either gone to reimburse his own businesses or has been covered by funds from grass-roots donors, according to an analysis by The New York Times of F.E.C. reports. Virtually all of the money Mr. Trump himself has put into the campaign was lent, rather than donated outright, meaning that he could potentially sell enough hats and T-shirts to pay himself back down the road. Nicholas Confessore and Sarah Cohen in the New York Times$ -- 2/6/16

Ted Cruz left Canada when he was 4. Calgary seems okay with that -- Here in the city where Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was born, many Canadians give less than a hockey puck about whether their native son is eligible to be the U.S. president. Many of them are just glad he’s not running for anything in Canada. Mary Jordan in the Washington Post$ -- 2/6/16