Updating . .   

Bill to evade President Trump's tax overhaul gets watered down -- In the new version of the bill, those who give to the nonprofit will reduce their state income taxes by 85% of the donation plus receive a federal charitable deduction. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

Why are taxpayers on the hook when government workers misbehave? -- When The Bee reported Friday that the state had paid out more than $ 25 million in the last three fiscal years to settle sexual harassment-related cases –most of it taxpayer money – many readers wanted to know why. Marjie Lundstrom in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/30/18

Why California Republicans are paying Kevin McCarthy’s wife -- Judy McCarthy, wife of the state’s highest-ranking Republican, has spent more than three years working full time for the California Republican Party, financial records show. McCarthy, who is married to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, has earned nearly $160,000 since mid-2014 working on the state party’s donor programs. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/30/18

State treasurer, attorney general team up to explore creating California pot bank -- On a conference call Tuesday, State Treasurer John Chiang, a candidate for governor, said his office will look into costs, regulation and other operational issues the state would need to consider before creating such a bank — an entity that would be one of just two in the nation. James Rufus Koren in the Los Angeles Times$ Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/30/18

With few budget solutions in sight, Cal State administrators say another tuition increase is possible -- California State University faces difficult budget problems with no quick solutions, and administrators are preparing for tuition increases, program cuts and other unpopular options that seem unavoidable. Rosanna Xia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

ACLU sues Bakersfield police over traffic stop and arrest of black passenger -- The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Bakersfield Police Department, claiming its officers unlawfully jailed a black man after they stopped the car he was riding in because the vehicle had an air freshener dangling from its rear view mirror. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

State senator facing harassment probe attracting possible challengers — from his own party -- Montebello Mayor Vanessa Delgado, a Democrat, took out candidacy paperwork Monday to become the first challenger to state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), who is under investigation over allegations of sexual harassment. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

Hiltzik: California A.G. blows the whistle on the paint industry's deceptive ballot measure -- Shortly after getting thrown for a loss by a California appeals court, three paint companies launched an attempted end run around a judgment that could cost them hundreds of millions of dollars: They filed an initiative for the November ballot that would nullify the judgment and invalidate the legal theory on which it was based. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

Study Finds California Clean Vehicle Target Within Reach -- California's ambitious goal of putting hundreds of thousands more electric vehicles on the road is possible. A new study by Beacon Economics and the nonpartisan group Next 10 finds the state is adding zero-emission vehicles quickly. Erik Anderson KPBS Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

First-ever self-driving delivery on public roads sees groceries dropped off in Bay Area -- A Bay Area tech company is claiming the world’s first delivery of goods by a self-driving car on public roads, after its electric cargo truck delivered groceries from the posh Draeger’s grocery store in San Mateo to two nearby locations Tuesday. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/30/18

Tesla will move 1,500 workers to Fremont offices, in major expansion -- Tesla will move 1,500 employees to new offices in Fremont, marking a major expansion for the maker of electric vehicles, the company told this news organization on Tuesday. Tesla already has about 10,000 employees in Fremont, primarily at the company’s electric vehicle manufacturing plant in the East Bay city. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/30/18

Federal immigration agents would need warrants to enter schools and courthouses under this state bill -- Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) introduced Senate Bill 183 as part of a broader move by Democrats to counter President Trump’s calls for increased immigration enforcement and deportations. Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

McFadden: In end game, Brown reverts to the conventional -- Jerry Brown professes to not be interested in legacies. Yet his 16th and final state-of-the-state speech last week was all about a legacy – his own. The governor talked about how dire the state’s fiscal situation was before he became governor. Then he talked about how good things are now that he’s been in charge for the last seven years. Chuck McFadden Capitol Weekly -- 1/30/18

A California bill would jail people for handing out straws. It may be based on a child's research -- The majority leader of the California State Assembly has introduced a bill that would, as written, impose jail sentences of up to six months if a restaurant worker hands out a single unsolicited plastic straw. Ian Calderon (D) has blamed a miscommunication for the bill’s strict criminal penalties and promised to remove them before it’s voted on. Avi Selk in the Washington Post$ -- 1/30/18

Quiksilver and Boardriders CEO Pierre Agnes lost at sea, rescuers scour ocean off France after boat washes ashore -- A head executive of surfwear company Boardriders, owner of Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver, is presumed lost at sea and rescue efforts are underway off the coast of France, according to multiple news sources. Laylan Connelly in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/30/18

Elon Musk sold 10,000 Boring Co. flamethrowers in 2 days. He knows what his fans like -- Elon Musk knows his audience. He just sold tens of thousands of hats emblazoned with the name of his Boring Co. tunnel business, then followed up by slapping his brand on something far less practical: flamethrowers. Samantha Masunaga in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

Lazarus: It's unclear if homeowners' insurance covers mudslide damage -- First came fire. Then mud. Now come the lawyers. The typical homeowners' insurance policy doesn't cover flood damage, which would include some mudslides. You'd need supplementary coverage for that. David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

Bazar: California moves to make family leave easier to get and better paying -- Last May, I wrote a column that offered tips for caregivers — without knowing that I would soon become one myself. A few months later, my dad was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. Then came the cancer diagnosis. Emily Bazar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

Fox: Booing Histrionics at the State of the Union Address -- President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address tonight which gives me an opportunity to express a pet peeve—the vociferous cheering and standing ovations versus the sitting on the hands of the rival political factions during these presidential speeches. I guess I have to admit to being old-fashioned or just old but I don’t recall such carryings-on at major presidential speeches a couple of generations ago. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/30/18

Trump will hail two Californians — a firefighter who saved dozens of campers and boy who honors veterans’ graves — in State of the Union speech -- Steve Oaks met David Dahlberg when they were tasked with saving 62 children and counselors from the Whittier fire last year. Oaks, a Santa Barbara County Fire Division chief, said that before Dahlberg left, "I wanted to look into his eyes to make sure the instructions were understood." Michael Livingston in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

Fact-checking the economic claims Trump is likely to make in his State of the Union address -- Among the main points Trump will make in the speech are taking credit for creating jobs and boosting the economy, according to a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to give a preview of the president's remarks. Here’s context for some of the comments he’s likely to make. Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

California consumer confidence at new high: Trump bump or long upswing? -- As President Donald Trump prepares for his first State of the Union speech, California consumers seem happy, at least by one poll. The Conference Board reported on Tuesday, Jan. 30., that its consumer confidence index for the state hit a record high for the second straight month. Jonathan Lansner in the Orange County Register -- 1/30/18

Relax, Californians: Cheaper weed is coming -- Nothing raises the price of a drug like making the industry that produces it illegal, and nothing causes those prices to collapse like legalization. However, transitory price spikes in the early days of legalization are common because the supply chain and the regulatory structure are immature and disorganized. Keith Humphreys in the Washington Post$ -- 1/30/18

Republicans draw a very fine line between Steve Wynn and Harvey Weinstein, while keeping Wynn’s money -- The Republican National Committee is holding on to Steve Wynn's money. And in doing so, it's drawing a very fine line between his alleged misdeeds and those of Harvey Weinstein and former senator Al Franken (D-Minn.). Aaron Blake in the Washington Post$ -- 1/30/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

New impeachment ads funded by Tom Steyer will run during Trump's State of the Union address -- The new ad is tightly focused on a ticking clock and features Steyer giving examples of the kind of damage a president could do in 30 seconds: order the deportation of immigrant children, threaten an unstable dictator, and “go into a rage” and use the nuclear launch codes. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

DACA recipients from California will attend Trump’s first State of the Union address -- For Denea Joseph, being vocal about her identity as a black undocumented woman has been crucial at a time when the White House has taken a hard stance against immigration. And on Tuesday, Jan. 30, she will have a seat at President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address. Alejandra Molina in the Riverside Press Enterprise$ -- 1/30/18

Democrats to attend State of the Union with ‘real people’ at their sides -- Sen. Kamala Harris will bring Denea Joseph, a Belize native and member of UndocuBlack, which seeks to raise awareness that black people are also among the undocumented population, not just Asians and Latinos. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, plans to wear black in solidarity with the #MeToo movement, bringing Travis Moore, a ringleader of roughly 1,500 former congressional aides who spoke out against sexual harassment in Congress. Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/30/18

6 things to know about the fight over Rep. Devin Nunes’ secret memo -- Washington is abuzz over a secret memo that House Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican from Tulare, has been pushing to release. The memo reportedly alleges senior FBI and Justice Department officials relied on questionable and politically motivated sources to justify surveillance of President Trump’s campaign. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

Local Democrats pick favorite congressional candidates in hot races -- With more than 30 Democrats running in five area congressional seats held by vulnerable or retiring Republicans, Democratic insiders picked their favorites last weekend in an effort to attract an endorsement from their state party. Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register -- 1/30/18

California lawmakers seek bullet train (audit) as cost rises -- Democratic Sen. Jim Beall of San Jose and Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson of Fresno will make their pitch for the audit Tuesday to a joint committee, which will choose whether to authorize it. A representative from the California High-Speed Rail Authority has been asked to testify. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 1/30/18

In fight over San Francisco law requiring soda health warning, city gets new hearing -- A federal appeals court granted San Francisco a new hearing Monday in its defense of a first-in-the-nation law that would require health warnings in display ads posted in the city for sodas and other sugary drinks. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/30/18

Thousands of criminal cases reviewed after DNA rules changed -- The extensive review, ordered by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas in 2011, a year after a national science group changed the way DNA mixtures are interpreted, resulted in reduced charges in just two serious crimes, prosecutors said. Dozens more were found to include evidence in which the defense might have benefited under the new DNA standards. Tony Saavedra in the Orange County Register -- 1/30/18

Court to decide whether Lodi man was wrongly convicted of terrorism -- Attorneys for a Lodi man convicted 12 years ago in a terrorism case that drew national attention argued in federal court Monday that his confession was false, the result of leading questions and exhaustion. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/30/18

California would require rules on social media 'bots' under new legislation -- In the wake of intensifying criticism over the growing number of automated “bot” accounts on social media, a California assemblyman wants the state to require these accounts be easily identified and ultimately linked to a human user. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

Bill would expand breastfeeding-friendly workplaces to all of California -- In the chic offices of Stitch Fix, a newly public company flush with cash, state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, introduced a bill Monday that would ensure most California women have access to lactation facilities at work. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/30/18

Lawyers chase O.J. Simpson over $70M wrongful death judgment -- O.J. Simpson is cashing in on autographs since his release from prison and should pay the money toward a wrongful death judgment that now exceeds $70 million, according to a lawyer for the family of Fred Goldman whose son was killed in 1994 along with Simpson's ex-wife. Brian Melley Associated Press -- 1/30/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Insurers should be on the hook for Montecito mudslide damage, commissioner says -- Montecito residents who are hoping that insurance will cover damage to their homes from recent mudslides received a word of support from an important ally on Monday. California insurance commissioner Dave Jones issued a notice to insurers outlining his office's position that they should be on the hook for that damage. David Wagner KPCC -- 1/30/18

Coal firms plead to courts, Trump for West Coast export terminals -- Coal producers filed two recent lawsuits against governments in Washington state and California challenging local decisions to block port projects on environmental grounds. The industry is also lobbying the Trump administration to override the local bans. Valerie Volcovici Reuters -- 1/30/18

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum To Get New Name After Deal With United Airlines -- Renaming deal, largest in college sports, supports stadium’s $270 million upgrade ahead of the 2028 Summer Olympics Nour Malas in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/30/18

New editor named in latest Los Angeles Times shake-up -- In another newsroom shake-up at the Los Angeles Times, veteran Chicago journalist Jim Kirk was named editor in chief Monday to replace Lewis D'Vorkin, whose short tenure was marked by clashes with staff. Associated Press -- 1/30/18


The unexpected role librarians are playing in Sacramento’s homeless crisis -- For many of Sacramento’s homeless men and women, the public library is a haven from harsh weather, a primary source for bathroom facilities, a place to rest from the stress of the streets. Sacramento library director Rivkah Sass welcomes them all, she said, as long as their behavior is not disruptive to staff members and other patrons. Cynthia Hubert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/30/18

Salvation Army Receives $50 Million Donation Toward New Homeless Facilities -- The $50 million dollar donation towards homeless services is the largest donation of its kind to the Salvation Army in San Diego. "Our strategy is not to do everything, but try and make a difference," philanthropist Ernest Rady said. Matt Hoffman KPBS Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/30/18

Malibu residents concerned about homeless encampment after wildfire triggers evacuations -- For months, Lara Vidaurri has noticed a growing number of people cooking with portable stoves and over open flames at a homeless camp a few hundred yards below her Malibu home. Melissa Etehad and Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

Advocate for homeless sues to stop Orange County from clearing riverbed encampment -- A nonprofit that advocates for the homeless sued Orange County on Monday, hoping to stop officials from clearing an encampment with more than 500 people along the Santa Ana River. Anh Do in the Los Angeles Times$ Theresa Walker and Jordan Graham in the Orange County Register -- 1/30/18


Stanford garden won’t include quote from woman sexually assaulted there -- A contemplative garden that Stanford University will plant on the site where a student sexually assaulted a woman in 2015 will not include a quote from the woman, whose eloquent statement to her assailant helped a nation understand what a victim feels. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Janie Har Associated Press -- 1/30/18

California Senate approves medication abortion on campuses -- California would be the first state to require public universities to offer medication abortion under legislation approved in the state Senate Monday, a bill that if signed into law would mark a vast expansion of a service that's rare on college campuses. Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press -- 1/30/18

Homeless students, destroyed campuses, ‘invisible injuries’: What California schools learned from recent disasters -- California schools ravaged by fire, floods and mud this year have mostly re-opened and are diving in to a new semester, but district leaders say they’ve learned some crucial lessons about handling natural disasters that all schools could benefit from.​ Carolyn Jones EdSource -- 1/30/18

Two senior L.A. school district officials resign amid sexual harassment allegations -- L.A. Unified made no announcement, but high-level sources within the district said that Silva and Dean were given the choice of resigning or facing potential dismissal. The sources are not be named because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

Butte College offering two semesters of free tuition for new students -- The kickoff of the Butte College Promise Scholarship Program will be made possible through a combination of state and private funding, including the largest donation in the history of the college — $1 million from Sierra Nevada Founder Ken Grossman and his wife, Katie Gonser. Both are alumni, along with their children. Risa Johnson in the Chico Enterprise-Record -- 1/30/18

Cal State University leaders to consider tuition hike for next school year -- The CSU trustees, meeting in Long Beach this week, are scheduled to consider the university’s budget for the coming academic year — including a discussion on possible tuition hikes. A vote on potential tuition hikes, however, is not expected for months. Roxana Kopetman in the Riverside Press Enterprise$ -- 1/30/18

Health officials to test John Burroughs students for tuberculosis after possible exposure -- Anxious parents peppered county health officials with questions about the safety of their children Friday afternoon after an individual at Johns Burroughs High School was diagnosed with a possible case of tuberculosis earlier this week. Andy Nguyen and Anthony Clark Carpio in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18


In Quiet Curtis Park, One Pot Grower Looks To Become Part Of The Neighborhood -- Andrew Main’s small-scale, city-approved indoor medical marijuana grow does pretty well. He stays afloat by selling his organically grown product to distributors for medical dispensaries. Now, he’s trying to expand his business, Connatural Organics Cooperative, into a large warehouse in Curtis Park — a currently vacant site on an industrial strip near a residential neighborhood. Sammy Caiola Capital Public Radio -- 1/30/18

A new snapshot of California cannabis lovers -- We’re just a few weeks into California’s fledgling social experiment with legalized cannabis and we’re already seeing a steady stream of user data, cultural deep-dives and all types of analyses of Californians who grow, sell, ingest, smoke, research, market, protect, profit from and invest in weed and all of its ancillary iterations. Patrick May The Cannifornian -- 1/30/18

Immigration / Border 

Study: White House plan slashes legal immigration rates by 44 percent — 22 million fewer immigrants over a half-century -- A White House proposal would slash legal immigration rates by 44 percent this year and result in 22 million fewer immigrants over the next five decades when compared to current law, according to a Cato Institute study released Monday. David Nakamura in the Washington Post$ -- 1/30/18

Immigrant children aren't entitled to government-paid lawyers in deportation hearings, court rules -- A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an immigration judge's decision to deny asylum to a minor identified as C.J.L.G., who left Honduras at age 13 after being threatened by gangs. The boy did not have a lawyer, and his mother was unable to find free legal help. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18


Specter of drought looms as California’s weather turns dry again -- The storms have passed and California’s dry winter has returned, raising the specter that the state could be entering another drought less than a year after the last one officially ended. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/30/18

California water: Desalination projects move forward with new state funding -- California water officials have approved $34.4 million in grants to eight desalination projects across the state, including one in the East Bay city of Antioch, as part of an effort to boost the water supply in the wake of the state’s historic, five-year drought. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/30/18

Rain’s Below Average and Snowpack Is Meager; But Don’t Worry — Things Are Going to Get Worse -- his Thursday, a crew from the California Department of Water Resources will drive up to a meadow above Lake Tahoe to measure how much snow is there. Dan Brekke KQED -- 1/30/18


If you want quick care for the flu, don’t go to a hospital -- Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno has been so busy this winter that the hospital has had to put the emergency department on lockdown, barring visitors from the waiting room to make seats available for patients. Barbara Anderson in the Fresno Bee -- 1/30/18

Her mom needed a kidney, so she donated part of her liver to someone else -- On Monday, 22-year-old college student Aliana Deveza met two sisters: Deveza had saved one of their lives. And the other sister? Well, as it turns out, she had saved the life of Aliana’s mom. Cathie Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/30/18


Lake Forest hottest spot in U.S. as January heat wave breaks records, broils Southern California -- Numerous spots around the region hit new highs for the day, including Long Beach (91), LAX (89) UCLA (89), Santa Ana (88), Newport Beach (85), and Vista (90). Lake Forest was the hottest spot in the U.S. at 93 degrees. More record heat is expected Tuesday. Melissa Etehad and Brittny Mejia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18

Half Of California’s Trees And Plants At Risk Of Dying Due To Rising Temperatures, Extreme Weather -- Even if greenhouse gas-emissions are reduced today, Thorne says around a quarter of the state’s trees and plants will be climate stressed by the end of the century. But if no changes occur, the study — published in the journal Ecosphere — suggests that number may double. Ezra David Romero Capital Public Radio -- 1/30/18

New San Diego tax incentive aims to turn blight into urban gardens -- The goals of the program include boosting access to healthy food in low-income areas and encouraging greater civic engagement by bringing residents together to grow and harvest fruits and vegetables on individual plots of land. David Garrick in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/30/18

Also . . . 

Campus incident ignites discussion with community, police -- More than 100 people -- community members and police officials -- met for nearly two hours Monday at Helix Charter High School to address issues of trust, diversity and justice. The forum was called to handle unrest in the aftermath of a campus incident in which a school resource officer body-slammed a female student to the ground, an image captured on video. Karen Pearlman in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/30/18

POTUS 45  

Trump the pitchman: A prime-time hour to sell his vision and lift his poll numbers -- Trump will have about 60 minutes of prime time Tuesday night to try to turn public opinion as his approval rating sits at historic lows for a president at this point in his term, and his party faces the prospect of losing control of the House and perhaps the Senate in the midterm election. Brian Bennett in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/30/18


Republicans love their tax law. Voters aren’t so sure -- President Donald Trump is sure to get plenty of applause during Tuesday’s State of the Union address when he mentions the $1.5 trillion tax cut he signed into law in December. But with polls showing Republicans have yet to make the sale on the tax bill, it’s not clear how much the new law will help them in November. Bernie Becker Politico -- 1/30/18

The rise of David Bowdich, the former sniper in line to become the FBI’s new deputy director -- FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down from his job and is expected to be replaced by David Bowdich, a senior official who headed the FBI’s response to the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., according to people familiar with the plans. Marwa Eltagouri in the Washington Post$ -- 1/30/18


-- Monday Updates 

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