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A Snapshot of California Public Policy and Politics


California Policy and Politics Sunday

WGA, Hollywood studios close to a deal on ending writers’ strike, sources say -- Lawyers for the two sides were haggling over the details of a possible agreement on Saturday during a meeting that began mid-morning, according to people close to the discussions who were not authorized to comment. However, the union and studio alliance had not announced a deal as of early Saturday evening. Meg James, Wendy Lee in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/24/23

Newsom kills driverless truck safety bill, says he trusts the DMV -- The California Legislature passed a bill this month to require human safety drivers in heavy-duty robot trucks for at least the next five years. On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom killed it. Russ Mitchell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/24/23

After climate summit, California Gov. Gavin Newsom faces key decisions to reduce emissions back home -- Lawmakers have sent him bills aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, help schools adapt to the changing climate and ease the cost to taxpayers for the cleanup of orphan oil and gas wells. Sophie Austin Associated Press -- 9/24/23

Watching the Real-Estate Bust From the Streets of San Francisco -- City’s new landmarks are struggling office buildings and a shopping mall losing tenants. Shane Shifflett, Peter Santilli in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 9/24/23

Here’s why L.A. council members could get a one-time shot at a six-year term -- If you’ve been following the push for reform at Los Angeles City Hall, you’ve heard plenty of arguments in favor of expanding the size of the City Council. David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/24/23

Bay Area officials say antisemitic ‘Zoombombing’ is derailing local democracy -- The 50 minutes of the Walnut Creek City Council’s June 6 meeting passed as routine: the Pledge of Allegiance, one proclamation and two presentations. But as the council turned to take public comment, the meeting was derailed by one Zoom attendee’s antisemitic rant — followed by three others. Megan Fan Munce in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/24/23

Walters: California politicians point fingers as tolerance of homelessness wears thin -- As California’s homelessness crisis continues, its politicians are carping over who should be held responsible for resolving it. Dan Walters CalMatters -- 9/24/23

Speaker McCarthy is giving hard-right Republicans what they want. But it never seems to be enough -- Staring down a fast-approaching government shutdown that threatens to disrupt life for millions of Americans, Speaker Kevin McCarthy has turned to a strategy that so far has preserved his tenuous hold on House leadership but also marked it by chaos: giving hard-right lawmakers what they want. Stephen Groves, Lisa Mascaro, Farnoush Amiri Associated Press -- 9/24/23

Why does Donald Trump attack the Ronald Reagan Library? -- Why would the library, devoted to a man who was a movie star, California governor and a popular president, draw criticism from a Republican presidential candidate? The answer may lie in the differences in the personalities of the two conservative politicians. Olga Grigoryants in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 9/24/23

Post-ABC poll: Biden faces criticism on economy, immigration and age -- A finding that shows Trump leading Biden by a wide margin does not match other recent polling, however, suggesting it is an outlier. Dan Balz, Scott Clement, Emily Guskin in the Washington Post$ -- 9/24/23


LAPD investigating midnight heist of $1.5-million Buddha statue -- The thief pulled up to an antiquities gallery on La Cienega Boulevard with a clear plan. Harriet Ryan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/24/23

S.F. car break-in crisis: Here’s what tourists are hearing from rental agencies -- When Scarlet Kenwrick and Philippa Haile arrived at San Francisco International Airport this month, they checked out their Nissan Rogue from the Alamo Rent a Car kiosk and received a stern warning from the clerk. Matthias Gafni in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/24/23


How NASA Ames plans to bring asteroid samples to Earth, safe and sound -- As a primordial space rock hurtles toward Earth on Sunday morning, it will be protected by a heat shield invented in Silicon Valley. Lisa M. Krieger in the San Jose Mercury$ Aylin Woodward in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 9/24/23

Artificial intelligence, hip-hop and classical music commingle at 112th S.F. Symphony Gala -- From Bay Area rappers and computer generated imagery to Mahler and Ravel, tradition and innovation struck a harmonious chord at season opener. Tony Bravo in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/24/23

S.F.’s Chinatown bustles with colorful costumes at Autumn Moon Festival -- The events celebrate three concepts: gathering of family and friends, thanksgiving for the harvest, and praying for loved ones and prosperity. The item is in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/24/23

Yosemite’s longest-serving seasonal ranger is retiring after 59 years. Here are his stories -- If you’ve spent time in Yosemite National Park any of the past 59 summers, there’s a chance you’ve had a friendly run-in with Fred Koegler, the park’s longest-serving seasonal ranger. Gregory Thomas in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/24/23


Saturday Updates

Newsom vetoes bill requiring custody hearings consider affirmation of child’s gender identity -- Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday vetoed a bill that would have asked judges presiding over custody battles to take into consideration a parent’s support for their child’s gender identity — a culture war flashpoint that has drawn vocal criticism from the right. Jeremy Childs in the Los Angeles Times$ Lindsey Holden in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/23/23

Bay Area officials say antisemitic ‘Zoombombing’ is derailing local democracy -- Remote access to public meetings means more Bay Area residents can participate in local democracy. But it also means subjecting officials to a rising trend of antisemitism. Megan Fan Munce in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/23/23

Americans Don’t Want Another Impeachment Fight -- Voters say partisan battles are distracting lawmakers from fixing the country’s problems. Aaron Zitner, Tarini Parti in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 9/23/23


Hollywood crew members fight to hang on as the strikes drag on: ‘We’re the collateral damage’ -- Crew members are expressing frustration at the length of the writers’ and actors’ strikes as Hollywood workers struggle to pay for rent, food and healthcare. Jonah Valdez, Wendy Lee in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/23/23


San Francisco is no longer the most expensive large Bay Area city to buy a home -- Nearly three-quarters of homes sold in Fremont in August went for more than asking price, according to data from real estate brokerage site Redfin. Christian Leonard in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/23/23

This L.A. freeway is the butt of many jokes. Can it have new life as parks and housing? -- A transportation advocacy group wants to turn the three-mile stretch of the unfinished Marina Freeway in Culver City into public parks and thousands of affordable housing units. The idea has already garnered some support. Salvador Hernandez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/23/23


Following L.A.’s footsteps, Alameda County declares state of emergency on homelessness -- Alameda County declared a homelessness state of emergency amid rising numbers of unhoused people in the region — an issue exacerbated by high housing costs. Christian Martinez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/23/23

When will Sacramento DA Thien Ho’s homeless lawsuit against the city get a court date? -- Sacramento County District Attorney Thien Ho this week filed a high-profile civil lawsuit against the city of Sacramento regarding homeless camps, but it’s unclear when a judge will actually make a ruling. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/23/23


UCSF is trying a new tactic to eradicate long COVID symptoms. Here’s how it works -- Researchers are experimenting with ‘guided missile’ antibody infusions to cure the mysterious, persistent illness. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/23/23


Could ‘algorithmic destruction’ solve AI’s copyright issues? -- Authors and other creatives are suing Meta and OpenAI over copyright issues. One potential outcome could have courts ordering to dismantle the offending bots. Chase DiFeliciantonio in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/23/23


Lopez: Work, school, caregiving. Multiple generations honor a family member while going about their lives -- Moving a grandmother from her home? Not happening. ‘I feel the way to honor my mom is to keep her with me as long as I can.’ Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/23/23

California Coastal Cleanup Day: Thousands of volunteers clear trash, beautify beaches -- Volunteers throughout California grabbed gloves, buckets and bags Saturday morning and headed out to hundreds of designated parks and beaches to clean up trash and other debris. Cynthia Dizikes in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/23/23