Updating . .  

'We won't be bullied.' California Democrats react to Trump's immigration threats -- President Trump on Thursday criticized California officials for how they are dealing with gangs and threatened to pull immigration and border agents out of the state to show just how bad things would be without federal help. California’s Democratic politicians weren’t happy, and swiftly responded. Sarah D. Wire and Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18

GOP candidate for state attorney general accused of judicial misconduct -- The state’s judicial disciplinary agency has accused Steven Bailey, a former judge now running for California attorney general, of multiple acts of misconduct, including accepting improper gifts, steering court business to his son and using his judicial title to promote his candidacy. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/22/18

Poll says San Francisco voters like Uber and Lyft but scrubs some unfavorable results -- San Franciscans view on-demand ride-hailing services such as Uber, Lyft and Chariot in a positive light, according to a poll being released Tuesday by the Bay Area Council. However, the group edited out of its final release some poll results that were unfavorable to the companies, which are among the council’s 315 members. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/22/18

The most desired people in San Diego this weekend: Democratic delegates -- Politically desired, that is, because snagging the state party endorsement has rarely been more coveted than it is this year, when candidates are running for office in record numbers and looking for some way to stand out. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/22/18

Feinstein faces competitive vote for party endorsement at Democratic convention this weekend -- Democrats are sure to bash the Trump administration and get fired up over the 2018 midterms when they gather in San Diego for the state party convention this weekend. But when it comes to handing out the coveted party endorsement, one of the state’s most legendary politicians could be in for a major snub. Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/22/18

A changing of guard: After unthinkable tragedy, Generation Z emerges loud and clear -- Then a gunman walked into a Parkland, Fla., high school on Valentine's Day, killing 17, injuring at least a dozen and terrorizing hundreds more. Generation Z emerged overnight. Lorraine Ali in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18 

California senator resigns amid harassment allegations -- Sen. Tony Mendoza resigned from office Thursday, just as his colleagues considered an unprecedented vote to expel him. His decision came days after the Senate publicly released the findings of a two-month investigation that concluded Mendoza, D-Artesia, “more likely than not” engaged in unwanted advances and sexually suggested behavior toward six women, including four subordinates, over the last decade. Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury$ Sammy Caiola Capital Public Radio John Myers and Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ Kevin Modesti and Katy Murphy in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/22/18

Trump berates California, threatens to pull federal immigration agents -- President Trump on Thursday lambasted California officials for how they are dealing with gangs and threatened to pull immigration and border agents out of the state to show just how bad things would be without federal help. Christi Parsons in the Los Angeles Times$ Ken Thomas Associated Press -- 2/22/18

Oroville Dam: DWR still expects feds to pay bulk of spillway repair costs -- The state Department of Water Resources is still expecting the federal government to pay the bulk of the cost of repairing the Lake Oroville spillways. The estimated cost is up to $870 million, and north state congressmen had indicated the Federal Emergency Management Agency had some doubts whether it could reimburse costs for a redesigned structure. Steve Schoonover in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/22/18

Pin the tail on the donkey: Democrats vie for party endorsement…but why? -- If the June 5 primary is the prelude to the November general election, the California Democratic Party is set to hold a prelude to the prelude. This weekend members of the state’s dominant party will meet in San Diego for its annual convention. Platform writing and morale boosting aside, the main task will be to pick which candidates get to run with the state party endorsement. Ben Christopher Calmatters -- 2/22/18

Yes, Duncan Hunter was there for some of the improper charges he has repaid to his campaign -- Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, is suggesting to the national media that questionable expenses of his campaign funds took place in California while he was in Washington, D.C., doing the people's business. But a review of campaign records and social media by The San Diego Union-Tribune shows that Hunter was regularly present, with his family, when improper campaign spending happened. Morgan Cook in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/22/18

California’s Recurring Nightmare: Nearly Half the State is Back in Drought -- After an all-too-brief reprieve, the Golden State is once again starting to brown up — at least on government drought maps. The U.S. Drought Monitor now has nearly 48 percent of the state categorized as being in at least “moderate drought.” More than 91 percent of the state is listed as at least “abnormally dry,” the precursor stage to drought. Craig Miller KQED -- 2/22/18

Fox: Fulfill the Promise of the Water Bond -- Maybe I was naïve. Back in October 2014 I wrote a column in F&H promoting the passage of the Proposition 1 water bond on the November ballot chiefly because money in the bond would be dedicated to water storage, something desperately needed as California faced a drought. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 2/22/18

Blowout well near Porter Ranch was severely corroded, investigators say -- Investigators hired to pinpoint the cause of the nation's largest uncontrolled natural gas leak said in a new report that they found extensive corrosion on the casing of the well that broke open at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility near Porter Ranch. Sharon McNary KPCC -- 2/22/18

L.A. Unified rushed to rebuild cafeterias, then fought for years to recoup excess costs -- For the Los Angeles Unified School District, the $37-million Cafe L.A. project at first seemed like a stunning success. In about 18 months, 64 school cafeterias had been gutted and transformed so that students could be served faster — with more time to eat and more healthy options to choose from. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18

Sky-high rents and home prices are making it hard for Southern California businesses to attract workers -- Ace Clearwater Enterprises needs to hire four welders. The South Bay aerospace company could also use three more machinists, as well as four specialists who use 7-ton drop hammers to form metal parts for fighter jets. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18

Home Depot looking to hire 1,500 for Sacramento-region stores -- The regional hiring push by the Atlanta-based chain is part of a national effort to hire some 80,000 workers nationwide, including positions in nearly 2,000 stores and dozens of distribution facilities. Mark Glover in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/22/18

World’s most powerful X-ray laser taking shape near Stanford -- A $1 billion project to create the world’s most powerful laser is quietly taking shape near Stanford University. Located 30 feet below ground, the giant X-ray laser is part of a quest to illuminate some of science’s great remaining mysteries. Alex Fox in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/22/18

'Swatting' call sends Beverly Hills police to room at Peninsula Hotel -- A Beverly Hills police SWAT team was dispatched to the historic Peninsula Hotel on Thursday morning in response to a bogus emergency call, police officials said. Police received a call about 6:30 a.m. from a man saying "there were men with guns in his hotel room and they weren't letting him leave," said Capt. Lincoln Hoshino. Joseph Serna and James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

California Senate leader introduces resolution to expel Sen. Tony Mendoza -- State Sen. Tony Mendoza, who faces increasing scrutiny over allegations of inappropriate contact with female staffers, could face a formal expulsion vote on Thursday under a resolution introduced late Wednesday night. The resolution was authored by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). Last week, Senate leaders acknowledged an expulsion of Mendoza was a possibility. John Myers and Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18

California lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct apologizes -- A California state senator accused of sexual misconduct apologized Wednesday to anyone who felt uncomfortable because of his behavior but flatly denied two of the more serious allegations, one involving a 19-year-old female intern, a day before his fellow senators could decide his punishment. Jonathan J. Cooper and Don Thompson Associated Press Chris Nichols Capital Public Radio -- 2/22/18

Mendoza says sexual harassment findings don’t warrant Senate expulsion -- If the end is near for Tony Mendoza‘s career in the California state Senate, he isn’t going quietly. Kevin Modesti in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/22/18

Laura Friedman: First-term lawmaker in key Capitol role -- Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, a first-term lawmaker, is among the most prominent figures in the California Capitol working to combat sexual harassment. Not only has she become the Legislature’s de facto point person on sexual misconduct, but she’s also responsible for reshaping the current harassment-reporting process that many say has failed victims. Sophia Bollag Capitol Weekly -- 2/22/18

Hope, Fear of Division as California Democrats Prepare for Convention -- One question is, with so much on the line as Democrats aim to flip several California congressional seats from red to blue, can the party set aside its internal differences to focus on beating Republicans? Scott Shafer KQED -- 2/22/18

California Democrats to decide endorsements and hear from potential presidential candidates at annual convention -- Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, California Sen. Kamala Harris and billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer are among the top Democrats attending the convention whose names have been floated as possible candidates for president in 2020. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18

Trump foil Schiff riffs on light, dark aspects of a dog-year presidency -- Congressman Adam Schiff, better known these days as the burr beneath Donald Trump’s saddle, dropped by a jam-packed meeting of the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Tuesday night. If you were in the mood for a laugh, he was your guy. “I know what you’re thinking,” Schiff told the rapt, partisan crowd. “He doesn’t look that little.” Gary Peterson in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/22/18

Skelton: Schiff versus Trump in 2020? The Burbank congressman's growing fan base sure hopes so -- Rep. Adam Schiff was in the right place but at the wrong time to run for the office he coveted: U.S. Senate. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18

Walters: Is Brown’s school finance reform paying off? -- As he introduced his final state budget in January, Gov. Jerry Brown faced sharp questions from reporters about the effectiveness of his landmark overhaul of public school finance. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 2/22/18

After 66 years of service at the state Capitol, what's next? The wrecking ball -- Once seen as a modern marvel that enhanced the original 19th century landmark in California's capital city, the state Capitol's 66-year-old annex was declared by architects and lawmakers on Wednesday to be long overdue for demolition and replacement. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18

White nationalist is latest to sue over social media ban -- A prominent white nationalist is suing Twitter for banning his accounts at a time when social networks are trying to crack down on hateful and abusive content without appearing to censor unpopular opinions. Jared Taylor filed the lawsuit Tuesday in state court in San Francisco, marking the latest legal challenge filed by right-wing groups and figures banned from social media sites. Paul Elias Associated Press -- 2/22/18

‘Racist’ statue of subjugated American Indian on way to removal from Civic Center -- A Civic Center statue that depicts a conquering vaquero and a missionary standing over a fallen and nearly naked American Indian man is a step closer to being removed, after a unanimous decision Wednesday by the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/22/18

San Diego Muslims protest firebrand speaker who claims Islamic effort to destroy America -- Ex-FBI agent John Guandolo sparked a Wednesday protest outside Mission Valley’s Dave & Buster’s restaurant but drew sustained applause inside from U.S. Naval Academy graduates following a speech alleging widespread infiltration of mosques and government agencies by Islamic terrorists and their sympathizers. Before he took the eatery’s stage, a protest and news conference led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on the San Diego chapter of the U.S. Naval Academy Association to distance themselves from their keynote speaker by “saying ‘no’ to hate.” Carl Prine in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/22/18

LA fire chief says politics, social issues are dividing firefighters and threaten public safety -- Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph M. Terrazas has a message for his staff: Put your political and other differences aside before you jeopardize public safety. In a Feb. 16 memo to the agency’s nearly 3,200 firefighters about “appropriate workplace behavior,” Terrazas said he recently became aware of a few issues that concern him, including “on-duty heated discussions” involving the perceived lack of patriotism by NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. Brenda Gazzar in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/22/18

Dumanis Collected Pension and Salary in Last Two Years as DA -- Bonnie Dumanis has pledged not to collect a salary and a pension at the same time if she is elected to the County Board of Supervisors. But it turns out, she already did that during her final two-and-a-half years as the county's district attorney. Ashly McGlone VoiceofOC.org -- 2/22/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Retirement Debt: What’s the problem and how does it affect you? -- Across California, the cost of retirement benefits for public employees remains untamed. The total cost to state and local governments as well as schools and colleges has more than tripled since 2003—and projections indicate the burden in coming years will continue to grow. Judy Lin Calmatters -- 2/22/18

Why LA city received more sexual harassment claims in 2 months than it did in 5 years -- Reports of sexual harassment among workers for the City of Los Angeles have increased dramatically after the introduction of a new data collection system in December. Aaron Mendelson and Mary Plummer KPCC -- 2/22/18

San Francisco firefighters sue amid tangled charges of harassment, station affair -- Six former commanders and two firefighters at a San Francisco fire station who were reassigned amid a sexual harassment investigation in 2016 sued the city Wednesday, saying they were discriminated against because the alleged harassment victim was having an affair with a battalion chief. Evan Sernoffsky in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/22/18

The Human Cost of Uber and Lyft: Life in the Dying Taxi Industry -- Carl Ditlefsen vacuums out his car as the sun sets on the Green Cab taxi lot. He’s the only cab driver here. Next to the lot is a cluttered two-person office and a tarp lean-to. It covers a portable toilet with a sign that reads “Taxi Driver Parking Only.” Sam Harnett KQED -- 2/22/18

LA's economy is strong, but not for all workers -- Unemployment is below five percent and still declining. And economists project that solid overall growth will continue over the next two years. But for many workers, the report paints a picture that isn't so rosy. Those who struggled to find work in the past may now have a job — but not necessarily a stable, well-paying one. Meanwhile, the forecast sees no end in sight for LA's skyrocketing housing costs. David Wagner KPCC -- 2/22/18

El Dorado Hills firefighter accuses chief, male colleagues of rampant sexism, harassment -- LisaMarie Mason began her firefighting career with the El Dorado Hills Fire Department in June 2007, the only female in her class. For the next decade, Mason claims, she endured a workplace where she was denied training that male firefighters were granted and was subjected to a barrage of sexist comments from her superiors. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/22/18

Google fired disabled, transgender man for opposing his co-workers’ bigotry and white supremacy, lawsuit alleges -- Google fired a disabled, queer, transgender engineer for opposing discrimination, harassment and white supremacy among his fellow Googlers, a lawsuit filed Wednesday alleged. The site reliability engineer, Tim Chevalier, claimed in the suit that the Mountain View tech giant’s workplace culture was discriminatory toward minorities. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ Annie Ma in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/22/18

State agency drops objection to city rules on waterfront development -- San Francisco’s Proposition B, which gives voters a say in waterfront development, will remain in effect under a settlement announced Wednesday that ends a state lawsuit challenging the measure. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/22/18


Orange County struggles to find motel operators to house homeless -- Orange County has taken on the huge physical task this month of moving hundreds of homeless people from a tent city along the Santa Ana river, but one of the most challenging aspects is finding the motel rooms to house them, as required under a court order. Josie Huang KPCC -- 2/22/18

Will California use its budget surplus to house the homeless? -- Responding to pleas from 11 big-city mayors grappling with the alarming rise of homelessness, California lawmakers on Wednesday announced two proposals that would devote over half of the state’s $6.1 billion budget surplus to the crisis. Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury$ Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/22/18

Hospitals that leave homeless patients on shelter doorsteps face city crackdown -- Councilman Steve Hansen on Tuesday called on the city attorney to investigate recent cases of homeless patients left at shelters and parks, including one incident earlier this month in which an amputee without hands or legs was found sleeping in a wheelchair in midtown’s Fremont Park. The man told police he had been bused to Sacramento from a Stockton hospital, according to a police report. A police officer drove the man to Sutter General Hospital for treatment. Cynthia Hubert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/22/18

L.A. lawmakers pledge 222 units of homeless housing in each of their districts -- A group of Los Angeles lawmakers pledged Wednesday to avoid not-in-my-backyard battles over where destitute residents should be housed, promising to back a minimum number of new supportive housing units for homeless people in the districts they represent. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18


Water use surges in San Diego, parts of Southern California as drought conditions loom -- As dry conditions persist in California, residents in San Diego County and around the state have started using water at levels not seen since before the state’s historic drought. Joshua Emerson Smith in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/22/18

California water agency gets scolded: Speed up spending billions on new reservoirs -- With California facing another potential drought, legislators demanded Wednesday that a state agency release $2.7 billion in bond funding for dams, reservoirs and other water storage projects. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/22/18


Could free, in-school SAT option level the playing field? -- The SAT may be an important hurdle in the college admissions process, but until recently it was one that many students in the Long Beach Unified School District weren’t clearing. Fewer than half of 11th graders in the working-class district were even attempting the test. Felicia Mello Calmatters -- 2/22/18

The final tally is in — UC's highest one-year payout for sex harassment settlements -- Sexual harassment payouts at the University of California spiked in 2016-17 at more than $3.4 million, with students and university employees filing claims ranging from inappropriate hugging and kissing to sexual assault, according to new documents released by UC to The Bee. Marjie Lundstrom in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/22/18

Parents and students seek answers after ‘Race and IQ’ controversy at McClatchy High -- Parents and students sought answers Wednesday night at a McClatchy High School forum after a controversial science fair project prompted the district to examine whether minority students have been unfairly denied access to top academic programs in the city. Diana Lambert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/22/18

School threat reports pour in and are being taken seriously, Southern California experts say -- In the week since police say Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at a Florida high school, reports of threats of violence against schools in Southern California and around the nation have poured in to police departments and schools. Such threats are not new, police say, and whether the actual number has increased in Southern California since the Feb. 14 tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High is debatable, experts say. Brian Rokos in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/22/18

Two teens arrested after threatening violence at Long Beach high schools, police say -- Two teenagers were arrested Wednesday after allegedly threatening to harm students at two high schools in Long Beach, police said, prompting authorities to step up patrols around the city's campuses. Both students, 15 and 16 years old, were arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats in what investigators believe are unrelated incidents, according to the Long Beach Police Department. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18

UC expands free online classes for high school students -- Seeking to help disadvantaged students, the University of California announced an expansion Wednesday of its online learning program that provides high school students with free access to courses required for admission into state universities. Billy Kobin in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/22/18

Supporters gather for Clovis East teacher accused of targeting student who sat during Pledge -- Several community members turned up at Wednesday’s Clovis Unified board meeting in support of a teacher accused of telling a student who didn’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance to “go back to her country.” Ashleigh Panoo in the Fresno Bee -- 2/22/18

California research project timed to elevate education in fall elections, inform next governor -- A compendium of more than 30 new studies on California education, involving dozens of researchers, will be released in June, in time to help shape the debate in state elections in November and the next governor’s approach to education. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 2/22/18


Kids And Pot: How One Emergency Room Is Responding -- Emergency physician and medical toxicologist Dan Kolby with UC Davis said doctors have seen an increase over the last two years in pediatric patients who’ve accidentally ingested marijuana. Usually these children show up sleepy, disoriented and vomiting. It can take physicians a while to figure out what’s wrong. Sammy Caiola Capital Public Radio -- 2/22/18

Immigration / Border 

Border wall work begins in downtown Calexico -- The federal government began work Wednesday to replace a section of border wall in California, the first wall contract awarded in the Trump administration outside of eight prototypes that were built last year in San Diego. Associated Press in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18

Also . . . 

San Francisco DA launches task force against scourge of car break-ins -- The unit would be made up of prosecutors, analysts and investigators who seek to bust up rings of prolific auto burglars. Gascón’s office has asked the mayor and Board of Supervisors for $1 million to fund the task force. Evan Sernoffsky in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/22/18

San Francisco inmates can now pick their deputy’s gender before body search -- The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday announced a new policy that allows inmates to note their preference in deputy gender prior to a visual body search. The policy is the Sheriff’s Department’s latest effort to address the needs of of TGN inmates, or transgender, gender variant and nonbinary. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/22/18

A Glendale man burned his genitals and legs. The culprit? An e-cigarette battery, new lawsuit claims -- Still reeling from the pain and recovering from the burns, Howell, 26, on Wednesday took legal aim at what he alleges is one of the culprits for his injuries: LG Chem, the Korean chemical company that's among the world's largest battery manufacturers. "Even though I try to go through my day ... the public definitely needs to be aware of these batteries," Howell said at a news conference in a Glendale hotel to announce a lawsuit. Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18

L.A. City Council to impose new fines in crackdown on 'party houses' -- The ordinance targets residences in the Hollywood Hills and other hillside neighborhoods that have become semi-commercial venues with valet parking, red carpets and security guards. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18

L.A. County sheriff’s deputy charged with sexually assaulting 6 female inmates -- Giancarlo Scotti, 31, faces six felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of sexual activity with a detainee in a detention facility, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ Brian Day in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/22/18

POTUS 45  

Questions Swirl as Melania Trump’s Parents Obtain Green Cards -- The parents of the first lady, Melania Trump, have obtained lawful permanent residency in the United States, a lawyer for the couple confirmed Wednesday, but it remains unclear how or when the couple received their green cards. Emily Cochrane in the New York Times$ -- 2/22/18


Pelosi takes to the road to tamp down growing enthusiasm for Trump tax cuts -- The tax cuts pushed by President Trump and the GOP Congress are “a black cloud hanging over the national budget,” Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said at a news conference Wednesday in San Francisco. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/22/18

Even after Florida school massacre, little movement on gun control likely -- The school shooting in Florida that left 17 people dead is cracking open a debate on gun control that has been in lockdown for years, with President Trump cautiously considering support for a handful of modest measures to restrict the deadliest firearms. Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/22/18

A quick political guide to what's next for the 'Dreamers' -- Congress and the White House haven't been able to agree on a plan to give legal status to millions of people brought to the country illegally as children, and the clock is ticking. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/22/18

Coming soon: Another showdown over Dreamers in Congress -- The Senate’s protracted debate last week deadlocked with a predictable flurry of finger-pointing and insults. But the chamber will likely reprise the fight ahead of the next and presumably final deadline to avoid another government shutdown on March 23. Burgess Everett Politico -- 2/22/18


-- Wednesday Updates 

Mendoza's colleagues could discipline him Thursday -- Formal discipline against state Sen. Tony Mendoza could come on Thursday, after lawmakers privately discussed the findings of a sexual misconduct investigation and Mendoza lobbied colleagues with a last-minute letter defending his actions. Melanie Mason and Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/21/18

15-year UC study finds alcohol more effective than exercise for long life -- A 15-year study of 1,700 nonagenarians, conducted by University of California - Irvine neurologist Claudia Kawas, suggested that moderate drinking could help elongate life — even more so than moderate exercise, according to the Independent. Those seniors who drank one or two glasses of wine or beer each day were 18 percent less likely to die prematurely. Alyssa Pereira in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/21/18

California Capitol annex needs a $543 million replacement, report urges -- Knock it down and build a better one. That’s the recommendation of a long-awaited study on the Legislature’s options for remaking its 66-year-old annex, the warren of offices attached to the 19th century Capitol. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/21/18

BART gets serious about a 2nd East Bay-San Francisco Transbay Tube -- A new BART tunnel beneath the bay might begin in Alameda and emerge in Mission Bay. It could parallel the existing tube but then head up Mission Street on the west side of the bay instead of up Market. Or maybe it would stretch between Alameda and AT&T Park. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/21/18

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue gets grounded in California -- "You might already know this …," Central Valley farmer Sarah Woolf offered politely, before launching on a primer on California's convoluted water system. "No, I don't," Sonny Perdue, Trump's secretary of Agriculture, interrupted. "I need all the education I can get." Geoffrey Mohan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/21/18

California water agency gets scolded: Speed up spending billions on new reservoirs -- With California facing another potential drought, legislators demanded Wednesday that a state agency release $2.7 billion in bond funding for dams, reservoirs and other water storage projects. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/21/18

Democratic candidates for Congress square off on question of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House -- Five Democrats looking to replace retiring Republican Rep. Darrell Issa squared off at a debate in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday night, struggling to differentiate themselves in a crowded and open race. Javier Panzar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/21/18

Group working to elect more scientists to Congress will spend $1 million on Los Angeles TV ads -- A political nonprofit working to elect scientists to Congress announced Wednesday it has reserved just over $1 million in broadcast television air time in the Los Angeles in the two weeks leading up to June’s primary. Javier Panzar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/21/18

California man surrenders his AR-15 to ‘take a stand’ against violence -- After last week’s mass shooting at a Florida high school, Rodd Mann decided he didn’t want any part of an AR-15. So on Friday, Feb. 16, Mann showed up at the Tustin Police Department with an open box containing the pieces of a partially assembled rifle. Susan Christian Goulding in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/21/18

Days after Florida massacre, L.A. County authorities raced to thwart a school shooting plot in Whittier -- Just 48 hours after a gunman slaughtered 17 students and teachers in Parkland, Fla., El Camino High School security officer Marino Chavez overheard a troubling threat. A 17-year-old student with an "extensive" disciplinary history said he planned to "shoot up" the Whittier campus within three weeks, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/21/18

Machine guns among 28 weapons seized from Temple City man banned from owning firearms -- Despite being on the state's list of people barred from owning weapons, an L.A. County man was able to accumulate an arsenal of 28 guns before authorities recently seized the firearms, officials announced Wednesday. Marisa Gerber in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/21/18

L.A. wants more money for homeless encampment sweeps -- The city of Los Angeles has a mounting backlog of requests from the public to clean homeless encampments, prompting the city's Bureau of Sanitation to seek millions of dollars more to pay for the sweeps. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/21/18

Lopez: After a week without food, skid row activist still hungry to make a statement about housing shortage -- Kaleb Havens could have given up candy, pizza or tacos for the 46 days of Lent. That would have been reasonable, right? Instead the 30-year-old Catholic Worker activist gave up all food last week, on Ash Wednesday, and began a hunger strike. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/21/18

As homeless camps explode in L.A. suburbs, residents fear they will become permanent -- In the shadow of the roaring 110 Freeway in West Carson, Jennifer Morris stepped out of the portable restroom and washed her hands in a nearby sink. Morris' pajama bottoms and shirt were covered in dirt, but she said she hadn't felt this clean in months. Melissa Etehad in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/21/18

Breed’s backing for Tasers doesn’t impress San Francisco police union -- London Breed’s newfound support for arming cops with Tasers hasn’t won the mayoral candidate any points with the San Francisco Police Officers Association. Breed has been a vocal supporter for police reforms, but only recently came out publicly in support of Tasers. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/21/18

Asian population booms in San Gabriel Valley while white households decline, report shows -- The San Gabriel Valley's Asian American population grew by 22% between 2000 and 2010, while the region's white population shrank by 17%, according to a study released Wednesday by Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. Frank Shyong in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/21/18

Salt marshes will vanish in less than a century if seas keep rising and California keeps building, study finds -- On one side, there's the rising ocean. On the other, rising buildings. Squeezed between the two are California's salt marshes — a unique ecosystem filled with pickleweed and cordgrass, shorebirds and many endangered species. Rosanna Xia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/21/18

With only a trickle of water, Yosemite's 'firefall' still puts on show -- The natural marvel usually occurs during a two-week stretch in the early part of the month on the east side of El Capitan. When Horsetail Fall is flowing and the weather conditions are just right, the setting sun illuminates the ribbon of water and granite face with a fiery glow. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/21/18

Rape suspect drinks poison and dies during freeway chase in Ventura County, CHP says -- A sexual assault suspect killed himself by drinking poison during a police chase on the 101 Freeway in Ventura County early Wednesday morning, authorities said. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/21/18