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UC President Janet Napolitano considers overhauling her office amid political criticism -- An extensive outside review of the office provided to The Times found relatively little fat in its oversight of the most complex university system in the nation — a $33-billion operation of 10 campuses, five medical centers, three national laboratories and global research. But the review suggested streamlining the office in what could amount to a 50% budget reduction. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/29/18

Central Valley candidate is back for third try at unseating Rep. Jeff Denham -- Eggman lost to Denham (R-Turlock) in 2014 by 12 percentage points and in 2016 by 3.4 percentage points. Hillary Clinton carried the district by 2.9 percentage points in 2016. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/29/18

Rising stars collide in shadow 2020 primary -- Two rising stars in California are about to collide: Sen. Kamala Harris of San Francisco and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. As potential Democratic presidential candidates in 2020, the pair might soon be asking the activists and donors who have known them their entire political careers to finally choose sides. Gabriel Debenedetti Politico -- 1/29/18

CA120: California’s congressional battleground -- Activists and political observers are suggesting the most vulnerable of the Republican congressional delegation are those in districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, with seven of those right here in California. But there are a couple arguments that suggest this isn’t going to be a cakewalk for Democrats. Paul Mitchell Capitol Weekly -- 1/29/18

Orange County woman, whose stem cell transplant was delayed by officials, dies -- Last year, officials with the U.S. State Department had repeatedly denied Huynh's sister a visa before ultimately agreeing. The delay pushed the transplant back a period of months. “Had my aunt gotten her visa sooner and my mom gotten her stem cell transplant earlier, she would have had much chance of fighting the leukemia," Murray said. Jill Replogle KPCC -- 1/29/18

‘Don’t talk to the FBI, never, ever.’ Lodi man seeks to overturn terrorism conviction -- Hamid Hayat, a cherry picker from Lodi, was packed off to federal prison 12 years ago after being convicted in one of the Sacramento region’s first international terror cases following the 9/11 attacks. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/29/18

Californians are buying fewer guns since Trump took office -- About 870,000 guns were sold in California during 2017, down by 450,000, or 35 percent, from 2016, according to a Bee review of new FBI instant background check data. In 2016, gun buyers raced to buy rifles equipped with “bullet buttons.” Those rifles, which are easier to reload, were banned at the start of 2017. Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/29/18

Pender: Bay Area family’s arduous quest to create a backyard container home -- A year ago, Joshua To set out to build a 640-square-foot home made of four metal shipping containers in the backyard of his Menlo Park home. A design director for Google by day, To also runs a nonprofit called Soup that uses innovative design to tackle problems such as the Bay Area’s affordable-housing shortage. Kathleen Pender in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/29/18

Building groups creating tiny houses, temporary housing for fire survivors -- Soon Strieter realized that the wine industry was eager to get behind a major relief effort, so he and his co-workers at the Occidental-based winery created Rebuild Wine Country rebuildwinecountry.org. Using social media and other digital assets, the new nonprofit found a way to channel that outpouring of support into financing for new home construction. Michael Shapiro in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 1/29/18

Housing in 2018: San Jose neighborhoods top the nation’s `hottest’ list -- More bad news for people house-hunting in the Bay Area: Of the 10 hottest neighborhoods in the country this year, according to the real estate website Redfin, nine are in the San Jose. The tenth is in San Francisco. Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/29/18

To rent or own? Federal tax plan could tip the balance -- A study by researchers at the Urban Institute, a social and economic policy think tank, found the tax law signed by President Donald Trump in December could persuade some families to choose renting over owning. The study looked at the total cost of shelter, from rent payments and mortgages, to tax consequences, insurance and home repairs across the country. Louis Hansen in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/29/18

1,447 fewer Inland Empire homes for sale this January -- As of Jan. 25, ReportsOnHousing found the Inland Empire had a supply of 11,895 listings, down 11 percent in a year and down 14 percent vs. the 2013-17 average. Demand was 3,761 new escrows, down 4 percent in a year and down 7 percent vs. 2013-17. Jonathan Lansner in the Riverside Press Enterprise$ -- 1/29/18

'This can't be the end': For this Salvadoran family, L.A. feels like it has always been home -- In the darkest moments, Orlando Zepeda often has found his way. When he was a teenager in El Salvador and civil war brought bombs and death to his front door, he escaped to the United States. When he was new to Los Angeles and struggling to earn enough to get by, an American family helped him get a work permit and a job. Esmeralda Bermudez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/29/18

Worried about Trump-stoked exodus of immigrants, Canada discourages illegal crossings -- Worried that anti-immigrant rhetoric and decisions from the Trump administration could drive more people across its border, the Canadian government is trying to nip that in the bud. Cindy Carcamo in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/29/18

Blowing the whistle on sexual harassers may get easier for Capitol workers this week -- Before sexual harassment allegations rattled the Capitol, legislation by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, to extend whistleblower protections to workers in the statehouse died in the Senate four years in a row. Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/29/18

MWD sees record water savings thanks to torn-out lawns -- Semi-arid Southern California's residents saved a record amount of water last year, more than one million acre feet, according to the Metropolitan Water District, the region's biggest water wholesaler. That’s a year’s supply for two million households. Sharon McNary KPCC -- 1/29/18

Could this idea fix north Tahoe’s brutal winter traffic congestion? -- The snow is falling, and the ski season is about to hit high gear heading toward the big Presidents Day weekend. Will Tahoe roads be ready to handle the traffic? Probably not. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/29/18

Fox: Business Threading the Needle on Tax Issues -- In his State of the State speech, Gov. Jerry Brown raised the battle flag against an initiative effort to repeal the gas tax he championed. Big business likely will join Brown’s side in that fight—while opposing all taxes directed squarely at business on the same ballot. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/29/18

Dumanis sought to protect her pension before announcing run for county Board of Supervisors -- Dumanis does not — and never did — intend to accept a county supervisor salary if she wins, her political consultant said. He said her main motivation in hiring attorneys was to ensure she would not be required to accept a salary on top of her $268,800 annual pension. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/29/18

Polls show ‘no one’ cares about the Russia investigation, White House press secretary said. That’s not true -- White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Trump will not address the ongoing investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia because no Americans care about the issue. Eugene Scott in the Washington Post$ -- 1/29/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Temperatures set records, fierce winds surpass hurricane strength as Santa Anas hit Southern California -- Hurricane-force wind gusts and record-setting temperatures hit Southern California on Sunday, Jan. 28, and the fire danger will stay elevated until Monday night when bout of Santa Ana winds are expected to die down. Nikie Johnson in the Los Angeles Daily News$ Amina Khan and Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/29/18

California marijuana purveyors go mainstream, except for the sacks of cash -- Bay Area marijuana retailers who went fully mainstream this month were forced to act like gangsters anyway as they rumbled down freeways and across bridges in sport utility vehicles and sedans and, in at least one case, a Tesla, bearing cash piled in shopping bags and suitcases. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/29/18

California looks for a way to keep parolees from coming back to prison -- Gov. Jerry Brown wants to add millions in new spending on programs to help former inmates stay out of jail — a proposal generating bipartisan praise because of concern that parolees are returning to prison in large numbers. But some say it still isn’t enough. Sophia Bollag in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/29/18

White nationalists hang banner opposing sanctuary city on Bay Bridge tunnel -- A sign mocking San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy was hung early Sunday over the Yerba Buena Tunnel in San Francisco by a white nationalist organization. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/29/18

Walters: Jerry Brown’s two big public-works projects are foundering -- During his second governorship, Jerry Brown has frequently touted big public-works projects as the mark of a great society—a marked change from his first stint four decades ago, when “small is beautiful” and “lower your expectations” were his oft-voiced themes. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 1/29/18

Skelton: A Brown — father or son — has been California governor for 40% of the last six decades -- The best way to characterize Gov. Jerry Brown's final State of the State address last week is that it marked the end of an era — a very, very long era. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/29/18

Will the next LAPD chief build on Charlie Beck’s community policing approach? -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has said he’d like his next pick for police chief to be a good listener, even-keeled and an innovator. Brenda Gazzar in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/29/18

Here are some guests Southern California lawmakers are taking to Trump’s State of the Union -- Southern California’s congressional delegation will speak without talking during President Donald Trump’s first-ever State of the Union Address on Tuesday, Jan. 30. In some cases, lawmakers’ choices of guests, who will sit in the upper gallery during the speech, will serve as a political statement against the Trump administration’s policies. Jeff Horseman and Kevin Modesti in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/29/18

Laura's Law still unused, but called effective in dealing with mentally ill in county -- This month marks the third anniversary of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors’ decision to implement Laura’s Law, a statewide ordinance that allows authorities to order psychiatric treatment for people with mental illness. Three years later, it still hasn’t been used. Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/29/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Chief ousted in cheating flap vents about Cal Fire’s ‘secret police’ -- A high-ranking state firefighter with 24 years of experience was compelled to resign last month because his department believed he helped a fire captain cheat on a test that the captain failed. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/29/18

Why $1.4 million payouts top annual pension list -- A half-dozen Los Angeles police and firefighters received pension payouts of $1 million or more in 2016 — two reaching $1.4 million, according to Transparent California, a watchdog database listing individual state and local government employee salaries and pensions. Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 1/29/18

New and cheaper flights fueled by resurgence at Bay Area airports -- Airlines are flocking to the Bay Area’s airports and competition is driving prices so low people are making weekend getaways to Europe. John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/29/18

State of the federal workforce? Low -- The past year has been a tough one for the federal workforce. There was a hiring freeze at many agencies. For three days earlier this month, there was a government shutdown, leaving many workers to wonder when their next paycheck would arrive. Brian Naylor NPR -- 1/29/18


UC Regent Chairman: More Funding Needed to Keep the UC 'Highest Rated in the World' -- George Keiffer, the Chairman of the University of California Board of Regents, says independent analysts have assessed the management of the university and indicate it's among the best run in the nation. Conan Nolan NBCLA -- 1/29/18

More candidates for state superintendent raise odds of runoff in November -- The list of candidates for state superintendent of public instruction raises the prospect that neither Marshall Tuck nor Tony Thurmond, the presumptive leaders in the nonpartisan race, will get a majority of votes in the June primary. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 1/29/18

California Child Abuse Case Revives Home-School Regulation Debate -- Just over a week after California officials found 13 malnourished siblings allegedly held captive and apparently not missed by schools because they were being home-schooled, home-schooling advocates say they are bracing for calls for stricter oversight of the practice. Carolyn Thompson Associated Press -- 1/29/18

Immigration / Border 

Why one former immigrant detainee says detention centers should be called prisons -- Hidalgo — who was detained inside the Adelanto Detention Facility for about a year but is free on bond — is now on a mission to improve conditions at the facility, a former city-owned jail that now houses immigrants in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as they await deportation or decisions in their immigration cases. Alejandra Molina in the Riverside Press Enterprise$ -- 1/29/18


State scores Temperance Flat dam project at a big fat zero. Boosters are pushing back -- An application for $1 billion of state bond money to build Temperance Flat dam east of Fresno scored a dismal zero from the California Water Commission on the cost-benefit ratio, potentially jeopardizing its construction. Lewis Griswold in the Fresno Bee -- 1/29/18

Also . . . 

Troubled Los Angeles Times Picks New Editor Amid Unrest -- In an attempt to calm rising newsroom tensions at The Los Angeles Times, the paper was expected to name Jim Kirk, a veteran journalist and former editor and publisher of The Chicago Sun-Times, as its next editor in chief on Monday, according to company officials. Sydney Ember in the New York Times$ Meg James in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/29/18

Gold treasure recovered from 1857 shipwreck to make debut -- More than $50 million worth of gold bars, coins and dust that's been described as the greatest lost treasure in U.S. history is about to make its public debut in California after sitting at the bottom of the ocean for more than 150 years. Amanda Lee Myers Associated Press -- 1/29/18


Hillary Clinton reads from 'Fire and Fury' at Grammys -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may already have a Grammy to her name, but on Sunday night she jokingly auditioned for the role of narrator to "Fire and Fury," Michael Wolff's insider account of drama in President Donald Trump's White House. Brent D. Griffiths Politico -- 1/29/18

Secret Memo Hints at a New Republican Target: Rod Rosenstein -- A secret, highly contentious Republican memo reveals that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein approved an application to extend surveillance of a former Trump campaign associate shortly after taking office last spring, according to three people familiar with it. Nicholas Fandos, Adam Goldman and Sharon LaFraniere in the New York Times$ -- 1/29/18

Lawmakers call on Trump to drop bid for legal immigration cuts -- Lawmakers in both parties said Sunday that the immigration debate should focus narrowly on efforts to legalize young immigrants known as “dreamers” and beef up border security, suggesting that President Trump’s demands to slash legal immigration levels are likely to sink a deal. David Nakamura in the Washington Post$ -- 1/29/18


-- Sunday Updates 

London Breed’s sudden, short term as San Francisco’s acting mayor -- On Jan. 17, some 200 London Breed supporters gathered at Emporium SF, an arcade and bar in the Fillmore district, for the first rally of her mayoral campaign. Breed had been acting mayor for more than a month, but now she had filed her papers to run in the June election, and she was free to make the case for why she deserved the job for good. Jason Fagone in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/28/18

Willie Brown: London Breed got a raw deal. That might help her in the mayor’s election -- The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has given us a mayor’s race worth watching. The vote to install Mark Farrell as interim mayor, bouncing London Breed from her acting mayor’s job, had all the intrigue of a palace coup, right down to the element of surprise. Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/28/18

In Issa's GOP-leaning district, Democrats have a math problem that makes a win tougher -- For the last year or more, Rep. Darrell Issa was the guy San Diego County Democrats could all agree on. Each Tuesday morning they could assemble with like-minded folk outside his 49th District headquarters in Vista and make the nine-term Republican the punching bag for their problems with Washington. Joshua Stewart in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/28/18

UC Irvine chancellor: Students are not 'snowflakes,' but they need to understand free speech -- UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman has plenty of experience with free speech issues. His campus has been rocked by controversial appearances of right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, a dust-up with College Republicans and annual skirmishes between supporters of Israel and Palestinian rights. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/28/18

Lopez: L.A. homeless crisis grows despite political promises, many speeches and millions of dollars. How do we fix this? -- It was another warm January day, the afternoon sun sailing across a blue sky, the air thick with the scent of urine, rotting trash and human misery. Beginning at Central Avenue and heading west, I counted 16 tents on the south side of 5th Street. My longtime traveling companion, Times photographer Francine Orr, counted 15 tents on the north side of the street. One block, 31 tents. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/28/18

Downtown residents say City Hall is ignoring fires on skid row while cracking down in Bel-Air -- After authorities determined that last month's Skirball fire in Bel-Air was caused by a cookiœœng fire at a homeless encampment, Mayor Eric Garcetti and fire officials unveiled a plan to clear tent clusters in hillside areas. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/28/18

California Politics Podcast: Finales and Fireworks -- Gov. Jerry Brown's final State of the State address seems to talk a lot about a subject (legacy!) he doesn't like to discuss. Plus, we recap a tense state Senate debate over a lawmaker's leave of absence. And we replay the greatest moments from this week's debate between major candidates for governor. With John Myers and Melanie Mason of the Los Angeles Times. Link Here -- 1/28/18

Fire-scarred Santa Rosa has a big housing problem. Tiny homes might help -- Pamela Van Halsema’s home in Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park used to have a huge backyard, one filled with fruit trees, a trampoline, a massive wooden deck. The house is gone now, destroyed by the October wildfire that reduced the neighborhood to rubble. And when she rebuilds, there won’t be quite as much open space out back. Lizzie Johnson in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/28/18

Santa Monica tries a balancing act as it deals with burgeoning street vending along beaches, pier -- The sun set over the Santa Monica Pier as Ana Ortiz sold fresh fruit to tourists and kept an eye out for police. The 21-year-old and her mother, uncle, cousin and other family members earned a living in the city as street vendors. "It's like a regular job," she said. "But you get paid the same day." Makeda Easter in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/28/18

Can Woody Allen Work in Hollywood Again? -- Hollywood says it’s done with Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Kevin Spacey and other figures ousted for misconduct through the #MeToo movement. But what about Woody Allen? -- Melena Ryzik and Brooks Barnes in the New York Times$ -- 1/28/18

After a baby suddenly dies, a 911 call from USC's former medical school dean sparks detectives' interest -- The man who called for an ambulance at an Altadena apartment last fall had the calm and direct manner of one familiar with healthcare emergencies. Matt Hamilton and Harriet Ryan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/28/18

Elon Musk wants to sell you a flamethrower for $500 — and it seems to be legal in California -- “Flamethrowers that shoot a flame over 10 feet long require a permit in (California),” said Teller in an email. “This flamethrower projects a flame that is shorter than 10 feet and as such does not require a permit.” The state fire marshal’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Seung Lee in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/28/18