Updating . .   

Second effort to force Los Angeles D.A. George Gascón into recall election fails -- A second effort to force Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón into a recall election fizzled out Monday after officials determined the campaign to boot him from office failed to gain enough valid signatures. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/15/22

Brooke Jenkins defends work with nonprofit tied to campaign to recall Chesa Boudin -- San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins defended her decision to work for a nonprofit organization linked to the successful campaign to recall her predecessor Chesa Boudin, maintaining that her title as a “volunteer” for the recall was accurate and for the first time discussing the nature of her work with the nonprofit. Megan Cassidy in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/15/22

California’s climate countdown: Can the state power through it? -- Starting today and lasting through Thursday, generators and transmission-line operators should delay any scheduled maintenance to avoid possible power outages as Californians crank up their air conditioners to deal with an expected onslaught of 100-plus degree heat, the state’s electric grid operator said Friday. Emily Hoeven CalMatters -- 8/15/22

Skelton: Newsom’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta plan makes more sense. But it’s still a ‘water grab’ -- The third attempt could be the charm for repairing California’s main waterworks, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. On paper at least, the latest plan by a governor to upgrade the delta into a more reliable state water supply seems to make much more sense than what his predecessors promoted. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/15/22

His website skewers Stockton politicians and agencies. Then one gave him a cushy job -- As traditional media fade, the lines have become fuzzy on what constitutes a journalist, including here in the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In Stockton, Motecuzoma Patrick Sanchez runs 209 Times, a news site that has gained a sizable following as it punishes Sanchez’s enemies, rewards his friends and often celebrates the work of its owner and founder. James Rainey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/15/22

California state agencies free to delete emails after legislators kill retention bill -- California state agencies will be able to keep deleting emails and other documents as soon as officials see fit after legislators killed a records retention bill on Thursday. Assembly Bill 2370 would have required the agencies to preserve records for at least two years, applying the same standard California imposes on cities and counties. Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/15/22

Water  

Tensions grow over lack of a water deal for the shrinking Colorado River -- Two months ago, federal officials took the unprecedented step of telling the seven states that depend on Colorado River water to prepare for emergency cuts next year to prevent reservoirs from dropping to dangerously low levels. Ian James in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/15/22

Economy  

Netflix puts an entire Bay Area campus up for sublease amid turbulent year -- After a pandemic-era streaming boon, the company announced in April that it lost subscribers for the first time since 2011 — and lost nearly a million more by July. Its stock has fallen by nearly 60% this year. The company laid off around 300 employees in June, on top of 150 earlier in the year, and it now looks to be shedding that empty office space in its Silicon Valley hometown. Andrew Chamings in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/15/22

Monkeypox  

As L.A. schools return, should monkeypox be a concern for students, staff? -- With many Los Angeles County students returning to school this week and thousands of young people headed back to California universities this month and next, there’s a rising concern about the potential for monkeypox outbreaks in academic and social environments. Grace Toohey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/15/22

Climate  

California cows are leaving the state and that won’t help global warming -- California is nearly halfway to a 2030 goal for methane reduction. But that's in part thanks to cows, and their methane, 'leaking' into other states. Brooke Staggs in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/15/22

Education  

Sacramento-area public school enrollment is falling -- Public school enrollment in the four-county area — Sacramento, Placer, Yolo and El Dorado counties — dropped by about 8,700, or 2.2%, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, according to the California Department of Public Education. Those figures only tell part of the story. More students last year enrolled in non-traditional, online-only programs. The enrollment declines at traditional elementary, middle and high schools instruction were even steeper. Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/15/22

A new normal in L.A. on first day of school: Later start times, relaxed COVID rules -- As the new school year begins in Los Angeles and across California on Monday, the first bell will be ringing in later start times in middle and high schools, districts have stepped back from COVID-19 safety measures and many campuses have increased security in response to the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/15/22

Also . . .   

They thought it was food poisoning — then came the ventilator. Inside a California couple’s battle with Legionnaires’ disease -- Over the last weekend in June, Dan and Rita Miles flew from their Long Beach home to visit family in in Santa Clara and Monterey, staying in a San Jose hotel where they enjoyed the pool and hot tub. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/15/22

 

 

California Policy and Politics Monday Morning  

Deadline looms for drought-stricken states to cut water use -- Cities and farms in seven U.S. states are bracing for cuts this week as officials stare down a deadline to propose unprecedented reductions to their use of the water, setting up what’s expected to be the most consequential week for Colorado River policy in years. Sam Metz and Felicia Fonseca Associated Press -- 8/15/22

California county sees 11 new dry wells reported in past month -- Over the course of the past 30 days, 11 new dry well reports in Butte County have been sent to the California Department of Water Resources. That comes out to 39 in the past year and 98 total. Jake Hutchison in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/15/22

In Los Angeles, the Grass Isn’t Always Greener This Year -- Southern California residents are beginning to accept that lush lawns are unsustainable when reservoirs and rivers run low in a drought era. Jill Cowan in the New York Times$ -- 8/15/22

Wildfire  

Red Fire burning in Yosemite National Park grows to 250 acres -- A wildfire caused by lightning grew over the weekend in Yosemite National. According to Yosemite Fire and Aviation Management, crews discovered the fire on Aug. 4 at an elevation of 7,800 feet, and it spread to 167 acres on Friday evening. As of Sunday, the fire had grown to 250 acres, but it was not threatening critical infrastructure and trails remained open. Kellie Hwang in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/15/22

Firefighters continue to battle Northern California wildfires amid hot, dry conditions -- Firefighters in California’s northern forests continued containment Sunday over the massive and deadly McKinney fire in Siskiyou County, but as temperatures headed higher, another large blaze was burning nearby. Jessica Garrison in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/15/22

Policy and Politics  

Walters: Two lawsuits continue California’s tax wars -- When California voters passed Proposition 13, the state’s iconic property tax limit, in 1978, it was merely the opening salvo of a decades-long political war over curbing the ability of state and local governments to impose taxes. Dan Walters CalMatters -- 8/15/22

Economy  

California still leads US in new business formation — but growth cools -- California ranked No. 1 in the first half for new business starts at 35,880 — 11% of the 314,120 created nationally. After California came Texas at 32,210, Florida at 26,480, Georgia at 14,690, and New York at 14,310. Jonathan Lansner in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/15/22

Calm, trendy wellness startup ‘unicorn’ headquartered in San Francisco, lays off a fifth of staff -- Calm, like direct competitor Headspace and digital therapy services like BetterHelp and Talkspace, capitalized on the recent uptick in demand for mental health care and wellness — a demand that was only intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Joshua Bote in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/15/22

The Boy Bosses of Silicon Valley Are on Their Way Out -- In recent weeks, Ben Silbermann, a co-founder of the digital pinboard service Pinterest, resigned as chief executive; Joe Gebbia, a co-founder of the home rental company Airbnb, announced his departure from the company’s leadership; and Apoorva Mehta, the founder of the grocery delivery app Instacart, said he would end his run as executive chairman when the company went public, as soon as this year. Erin Griffith in the New York Times$ -- 8/15/22

Workplace   

Kaiser mental health workers in Bay Area, Northern California plan to go on strike Monday morning -- About 2,000 Kaiser Permanente mental health workers across the Bay Area and California’s Central Valley plan to go on strike Monday, demanding the health care provider boost staffing to curtail burdensome wait times for patients seeking appointments. Jakob Rodgers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/15/22

Homeless

A large L.A. homeless camp gets swept away. The big question is what comes next -- The man who lived in the manhole was gone. After weeks of visits by outreach workers and last-minute persuasion by police, the row of shanties was abandoned. Doug Smith, Genaro Molina in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/15/22

Housing 

How Bay Area home prices would hold up in a recession compared to the cities where so many have moved -- Migration hot spots where home prices soared, such as Riverside, Boise, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Phoenix and Tampa, all landed in the top 10 with the highest overall risk scores. Rust Belt and Northeast cities including Akron, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Boston and Buffalo, are among the most resilient and less likely to see a decline in home values, according to the report. Kellie Hwang in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/15/22

The Summer of NIMBY in Silicon Valley’s Poshest Town -- Moguls and investors from the tech industry, which endorses housing relief, banded together to object to a plan for multifamily homes near their estates in Atherton, Calif. Erin Griffith in the New York Times$ -- 8/15/22

Rent  

‘I was in shock’: California rents are spiking — and not only where you’d expect -- In California, a new report shows the most expensive cities for renters weren’t in Los Angeles or San Francisco. Summer Lin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/15/22

Polio  

Biggest polio threat in years sparks alarms from New York to California -- Delays in getting children vaccinated during the COVID-19 pandemic and antivaccination sentiment in general may be fueling the most serious threat of polio in the U.S. in years, raising alarms from New York to California. Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/15/22

Street  

Search for Truckee teen Kiely Rodni continues, as her mom pleads for tips: ‘Desperately need people to come forward’ -- Planes, helicopters, divers and land crews continued searching for the 16-year-old Truckee girl last seen Aug. 5 at a party with other teenagers at a rural campground on the water. The spot has been a popular place for high school parties for decades, locals say. As such get-togethers can, this one swelled to as many as 300 people, authorities say, and yet no one seems to know what happened to Kiely. Joshua Sharpe in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/15/22

Education  

6 fraternities disaffiliate from USC, prompting harsh warnings from university -- In a mutiny against strict party rules imposed last year following allegations of frat house sexual assaults, six USC fraternities formally disaffiliated from the university Friday — prompting warnings of “serious ramifications” from campus administrators. Teresa Watanabe, Debbie Truong in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/15/22

What parents should know about getting kids ready for transitional kindergarten -- Going back to school is always a bit of a sticky transition, but this year there’s more to worry about, from teacher shortages to mask rules, than the usual concerns. On top of all that, there are many more children who will be going to transitional kindergarten, or TK, this year because of the expanded age guidelines. Karen D'Souza EdSource -- 8/15/22

Climate  

As Congress funds high-tech climate solutions, it also bets on a low-tech one: Nature -- From boosting forest preservation to incentivizing climate-smart farming practices, the Inflation Reduction Act includes an acknowledgement that land is a profound ally in the fight against climate change. Brady Dennis in the Washington Post$ -- 8/15/22

This energy source doesn't exist in California. But it could account for 25% of the state's electric power in the future -- The new targets, unanimously approved by the California Energy Commission, call for the state to produce 25 gigawatts from offshore wind by 2045 — which would be more than 11 times the capacity of the state’s last remaining nuclear plant. Tara Duggan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/15/22

Environment  

California’s vital ocean current will soon see major disruption. Here’s what’s at stake -- With human-caused climate change, some of the most important species that live in that zone will experience major changes by the end of the century, in some cases facing a 25% lower chance of survival, a new study found. Tara Duggan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/15/22

Also . . .   

San Bernardino Mountains hit with flash floods as summer downpours continue -- Heavy rainfall continues to cause havoc in Southern California’s mountain and deserts, including flash flooding that forced a San Bernardino County sheriff’s search and rescue team to help seven hikers trapped near Forest Falls on Saturday. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/15/22

Turkestan cockroaches, invading California, already ‘all over the Bay Area’ -- There is a relatively new cockroach invading California and it’s certain to have some people cowering under their covers. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/15/22

There’s one hour of the week where Bay Bridge traffic is surpassing pre-pandemic levels -- If you want to see the ebbs and flows of activity in the Bay Area during the pandemic, look no further than the region’s bridges. Ricardo Cano in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/15/22

Sunday Updates   

Newsom, out front on marriage and marijuana, faces ‘different animal’ on drug sites -- Gavin Newsom is facing one of the toughest political decisions of his career: whether to grant state permission for San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles to open experimental safe injection sites as a way to curb California’s overdose crisis. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/14/22

Smith: When a sheriff OKs harassing a pastor for a Batmobile, it’s time for accountability -- California is littered with people who have a legitimate beef with an elected sheriff. People who’ve had a relative killed by deputies, for example, and can’t get any answers about what happened because a sheriff refuses to be transparent about the department’s internal investigation. Erika D. Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/14/22

‘We have lost an incredible champion.’ Ventura County mourns beloved public servant -- The list of tributes and condolences grew ever longer on Saturday, as friends and colleagues mourned Ventura County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez, a longtime attorney and beloved public servant, who died Friday night after being hit by a truck in a crosswalk in downtown Oxnard. Marisa Gerber in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/14/22

As farm workers march to Sacramento, one city wants to charge UFW to use César E. Chavez park -- At the age of 74, Maggie Mejia is too old to march with the organizers from the United Farm Workers this week, as they walk the 355 miles from Delano to Sacramento in support of AB2183, but she isn’t afraid of a fight. On Thursday, she wrote an email to the Modesto Mayor Sue Zwahlen and all five council members: “No Tienen Verguenza.” Shame on you. Adam Echelman in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/14/22

Street  

Accusing a cop: One woman’s journey through the LAPD’s secretive discipline system -- Mathews’ case is one of many in recent years in which LAPD officers accused of serious misconduct have been spared punishment by department disciplinary boards whose decisions trump those of internal investigators and the police chief and occur under a veil of secrecy that deters independent scrutiny. Kevin Rector in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/14/22

Orange County sheriff’s deputy accused of sexually assaulting two inmates -- Arcadio Rodriguez, 30, is accused of sexually assaulting two women on separate occasions by touching them and showing them pornographic videos in their housing locations, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. The assaults date back to May, the release said. Alex Wigglesworth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/14/22

Economy  

‘We have to remake ourselves’: Can a new trail help revive this crest of the Sierra? -- The project — dubbed “Connecting Communities Through the Lost Sierra Route” — aims to reverse the decline. If all goes as planned, mountain bikers, off-road bikers and hikers would flood in, drawn by the opportunity to traverse from town to town a la the Swiss Alps. They would exult in the stark beauty of the landscape, spend oodles of money in local restaurants, bars and hotels, and then go home again — hopefully without driving up housing prices too much. Jessica Garrison, Brian Van Der Brug in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/14/22