Updating . .   

Gates plea in Russia investigation centers on meeting with California congressman -- Former Trump campaign aide Richard W. Gates III is expected to plead guilty today to conspiracy and lying about a 2013 Ukraine-related meeting between his former business partnøer Paul Manafort, a lobbyist and California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa). Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/23/18

Harvard-Westlake closes both campuses after Instagram post that showed gun, referenced bullying -- Harvard-Westlake School closed both its high school in Studio City and its middle school in Holmby Hills on Friday as a precautionary measure following a social media post that showed a gun and tagged former students of the school, according to Los Angeles police. Brenda Gazzar in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/23/18

Turo sues San Francisco over airport rental car classification -- Like many disruptive startups, Turo, a self-styled “peer-to-peer car-sharing company” headquartered in San Francisco, says its business is in a new category that doesn’t fit existing regulations. It says that just as Uber and Lyft aren’t taxi operators, Skype is not a telecom and eBay isn’t a retailer, Turo should not be burdened by an irrelevant label. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/23/18

Enough is enough: Tenants join landlord in Bay Area exodus -- Tony Hicks moved to San Jose in 1981, but he’s had enough. Hicks told his 11 tenants he would soon place the three homes he owns on the market. He expected disappointment. Instead, most wanted to move with him to Colorado. “It didn’t take them long,” Hicks said. “I was surprised.” Louis Hansen in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/23/18

Six more indicted after massive FBI gang raids in Northern California -- Six more defendants have been indicting following “Operation Silent Night,” a multi-agency raid that swept up 31 gang members. That Feb. 14 raid focused on the Varrio Bosque Norteño gang, which had centralized itself in Woodland for several years. Of the six new individuals charged by U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott, three resided in Woodland. Hans Peter in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/23/18

KPCC buys LAist; Gothamist sites are being revived by public radio stations -- LAist, the news website that was shut down abruptly last year by its billionaire owner, will reopen under new management: KPCC. The public radio station will run the site out of its Pasadena offices after two anonymous donors acquired LAist and its sister sites in the Gothamist network, KPCC said. David Pierson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/23/18

Lazarus: California has strict rules for political robocalls — and they're routinely ignored -- A federal district court judge ruled the other day that it's constitutional for Montana to ban political robocalls, even though political consultants who had sued the state claimed their right to free speech had been violated. David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/23/18

Nurses Throughout California Rally Against Supreme Court Case -- Janus v. AFSCME is scheduled to be heard on Feb. 26. At issue are what are called fair-share fees that public sector unions use to represent members in collective bargaining. Kenny Goldberg KPBS -- 2/23/18

Fox: On Climate Change, Local Governments Tell Different Stories in the Courtroom and on Wall Street -- By 2050, because of climate change, Oakland officials insist that the city faces dealing with “100-year” type floods every two years—or maybe it won’t have those floods. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 2/23/18

Hiltzik: The right wing's 40-year attack on unions is coming to the Supreme Court, and this time it could win -- For 40 years, right-wing activists and fronts for the 1% have had their knives out for a Supreme Court precedent that protects the ability of public employee unions to represent their members and even nonmembers, and to speak out on matter of public interest. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/23/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Gavin Newsom wasn’t always such a liberal crusader -- When he took his seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Gavin Newsom wasn’t exactly the left-leaning stalwart who would emerge two decades later as the front-runner for California governor. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/23/18

Democrats Head Into Convention With Sexual Harassment Allegations Looming -- Legislative Democrats solved one problem Thursday when state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) resigned following a sexual harassment investigation that found he “more likely than not” engaged in a pattern of sexual misbehavior. But the issue isn’t going away as Democrats head to their annual state party convention in San Diego this weekend. Katie Orr KQED -- 2/23/18

What led to California lawmaker’s resignation amid sexual harassment allegations -- Sen. Tony Mendoza resigned from office Thursday after a Senate investigation confirmed that he “more likely than not” engaged in a pattern of unwanted advances and sexually suggested behavior toward six women, including four subordinates, over the last decade. Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/23/18

California Democrats meet with hopes Trump can unite them -- California Democrats, united in their opposition to President Donald Trump, are gathering to chart a path for 2018 success while seeking to shore up fissures over the party's direction that were exposed during the 2016 election. Kathleen Roynane Associated Press -- 2/23/18

Democrats fight among themselves as they work to replace Tom McClintock -- California Democrats face a crucial task as they gather in San Diego this weekend for their annual convention: deciding the party’s endorsements in a handful of crowded congressional races. That includes the increasingly fractious 4th Congressional District contest, where some local leaders are hoping the decision to endorse a candidate will help stem some of the infighting – and turn the race’s focus to ousting veteran House Republican Tom McClintock. Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/23/18

Hey California Democrats, how well do you know your party? -- Laurel Rosenhall Calmatters -- 2/23/18

This is why the mayor of Los Angeles is visiting an early presidential primary state -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is not well known in this rural Southern town of 2,882 residents. So there were lots of questions when the dapper 47-year-old Democrat, who presides over a city of nearly 4 million, strolled into a local health and fitness center Wednesday evening, grinning broadly as a crowd of more than 100 seniors finished their dinner of fried chicken and mac and cheese. Jenny Jarvie in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/23/18

California AG launches environmental justice unit focused on poorer communities -- Frustrated by declining federal regulation of the environment and health disparities between poorer and wealthier communities, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday appointed a team of lawyers to fight pollution. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/23/18

Five officials charged with misusing public funds, burying hazardous waste at Central Valley water district -- It started a year ago when state investigators uncovered 86 drums holding thousands of gallons of hazardous waste illegally buried in a rural Central Valley water district yard. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/23/18

Trump accuses California police of being soft on street gangs, and cops fire back -- Los Angeles officials expressed puzzlement and concern over Trump's comments, saying local police have made significant strides against gang violence in recent years. "Nobody takes gang enforcement more seriously than I do or the Los Angeles Police Department does," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said in an interview Thursday. "I believe that we're better at it than anybody in the nation." Kate Mather, Cindy Chang and Christi Parsons in the Los Angeles Times$ Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/23/18

Bee Q&A with Devin Nunes: The memo, school shootings, Valley water, tax reform, Trump -- For more than a year, Rep. Devin Nunes’ name has been plastered across media reports and bandied about by politicians, activists, top law enforcement officials and the president of the United States. Rory Appleton in the Fresno Bee -- 2/23/18

New attack ad, website launched against Gavin Newsom in California governor's race -- The Asian American Small Business PAC launched a broadside attack against Gavin Newsom’s campaign for governor with a website and digital ad accusing him of having inappropriate relationships and a history of violating the “public trust.” Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/23/18

Martins Beach billionaire owner takes fight over public access to US Supreme Court -- The billionaire owner of Martins Beach in San Mateo County asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to let him keep its gates closed to the public, saying California is using its coastal protection law to violate his private property rights. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/23/18

Abcarian: Now they’re playing the race card to avoid talking about gun control. How low will the NRA go? -- You know the National Rifle Assn. is losing when it tries to blame the media for the country's shameful epidemic of mass murder. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/23/18

Why It Took Nearly Four Months For California’s Megan's Law List To Include An Out-Of-State Sex Offender -- Paroled sex offender Christopher Edward Lawyer moved from Colorado to his aunt’s Sacramento County home four months ago. But the convicted rapist, who was classified as a “sexually violent predator” by that state, didn’t end up on California’s Megan’s Law website until this past weekend. Neighbors are asking why it took so long. Bob Moffitt Capital Public Radio -- 2/23/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Drinking at Cal Fire academy brings down 14 more firefighters -- For the second time in three years, Cal Fire is cracking down on alcohol consumption at its training academy in Amador County. This time, it’s disciplining 14 firefighters who were supposed to stay sober during their six weeks of training at the Cal Fire Academy in Ione. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/23/18

Silicon Valley tech hiring outpaces rivals, but woes worsen -- Silicon Valley remains the nation’s leader in tech job creation, but the region’s innovation economy is imperiled by inadequate levels of housing construction, skyrocketing home prices and a migration of residents to other states, according to a report released Thursday. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ Jenna Lyons in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/23/18

FCC Takes Another Step Toward Repeal of Net Neutrality -- The Federal Communications Commission is working toward officially taking current net neutrality rules off the books. The agency took the requisite formal step of publishing the rules on Thursday, opening the door for lawsuits from a number of state attorneys general and advocacy groups. Alina Selyukh KQED -- 2/23/18

Sexual harassment a persistent and costly problem for the City of Los Angeles -- As reports of sexual harassment have increased dramatically at the City of Los Angeles, legal claims over harassment and assault have been costly to the city for years. The city has paid out $8 million in sexual harassment claims and judgments since July 1, 2011 — even before the issue grew into a national moment of reckoning, data provided to KPCC from the City Attorney show. Aaron Mendelson and Mary Plummer KPCC -- 2/23/18

Kaiser Permanente workers protest healthcare giant’s planned layoffs in LA area -- In addition to 160 call center workers in Woodland Hills, the organization, which serves 11.8 million members, is allegedly planning to lay off 300 employees at its call center in Baldwin Park and 192 workers at its Hollywood office, according to the union. The job cuts are part of Kaiser’s plan to move the jobs to San Diego, Riverside and Fontana, where workers will be paid $2 less per hour, the union said. Olga Grigoryants in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/23/18

Congressman calls for probe into SFO close-calls, study on aviation trends -- The run of close-calls at San Francisco International Airport and other airports across the country involving runway or taxiway incursions have prompted Congressman Mark DeSaulnier and two other politicians to call for an independent review. Matthias Gafni in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/23/18

Electric vehicles' future relies on cobalt. It's often mined by children and is soaring in price -- The road to an imminent electric vehicle future has hit a speed bump — one made of cobalt. An essential ingredient in lithium-ion batteries that power millions of smartphones as well as plug-in electric cars, cobalt is in heavy demand. Rob Nikolewski in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/23/18

SpaceX launch brings Elon Musk's broadband-internet satellite plan closer to reality -- SpaceX is one step closer to providing low-cost broadband internet access after launching the first two demonstration satellites for its planned satellite constellation Thursday morning. Samantha Masunaga in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/23/18

Enough Hotel Rooms For NBA All Star Game In Sacramento? Proponents Say No Problem -- Sacramento has unveiled its pitch to host a NBA All-Star Game in four or five years. A major component of the proposal deals with hotel space near the Golden 1 Center. The city has about 3,300 rooms. The NBA would like at least 5,000. But Mike Testa, president and CEO of Visit Sacramento, says the Sacramento region — from Davis to Rocklin — has roughly 16,000 rooms. Bob Moffitt Capital Public Radio -- 2/23/18

California vehicle sales exceed 2 million for third straight year -- For the third straight year, sales for new cars and trucks in California exceeded 2 million and the forecast for 2018 anticipates the number to top 2 million again — but just barely, as the rate of growth is slowing. Rob Nikolewski in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/23/18

Ace Parking says Uber, Lyft have cut parking business up to 50% in some venues -- In a September email buried deep in an environmental report, Ace Parking CEO John Baumgardner laid out the ugly truth facing the parking business. Jeanette Steele in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/23/18


Training Trump’s army of gun-toting teachers wouldn’t be simple or cheap -- Arming the nation’s schools would probably be fantastically expensive, requiring that hundreds of thousands of teachers undergo the kind of intensive training that police officers receive. And despite Trump’s tweeted confidence that it would “solve the problem instantly,” those familiar with armed-response tactics say there’s no guarantee it would work. Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/23/18

Tom Steyer, gun safety groups plan voter registration drive for high school students -- Steyer’s NextGen America group is working with Giffords — the group founded by former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, after she was shot in 2011 — and Everytown for Gun Safety, founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The effort is kicking off with a $1 million donation from Steyer. Gabriel Debenedetti Politico -- 2/23/18

Whiting: Students plan series of protests, call gun control a battle for survival -- They call themselves the “mass shooting generation,” but that’s a moniker many teens are determined to lose. From the shores of California to Washington, D.C., students are rising up, protesting and planning a series of national demonstrations demanding gun control legislation for one simple reason. They want to live. David Whiting in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/23/18

Los Alamitos High students, teachers and parents hold pro-gun control rally to ‘Save Our Schools -- Speaking through a bullhorn, history teacher Mark Celestin warmed up the still mostly adult crowd. “Let’s practice chanting before the kids show up,” he prompted. “What do we want?” “Safe schools!” his audience shouted, glancing at the slips of paper that provided a script. “When do we want them?” Celestin queried, to a chorus of, “Now!” Susan Christian Goulding in the Orange County Register -- 2/23/18

Gun lobbyist speaks to students at secretive event after UCSC appearance canceled -- One week after the Parkland, Florida, shooting, one of America’s most prominent gun lobbyists had been scheduled to speak to two conservative student groups at UC Santa Cruz on Wednesday night. After word of the event — which had been scheduled weeks earlier — leaked online, organizers announced it had been canceled. Nicholas Ibarra in the Santa Cruz Sentinel -- 2/23/18


Tiny homes for Sacramento homeless could get $200M in subsidies and vacant city land -- The mayor and the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) announced Thursday they had released a request for information from local developers who could build 1,000 “efficiency homes” to help shelter the city’s growing homeless population. Ryan Lillis in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/23/18

Clearing of homeless encampments moves to Angel Stadium area as more people are relocated Thursday -- Despite some ongoing challenges in securing motel rooms that are being rented on a weekly basis, county officials said they were hopeful that the west bank of the flood control channel between Katella and Orangewood avenues could be cleared of about 100 people by day’s end. Theresa Walker in the Orange County Register -- 2/23/18


Court tells Lafayette to let voters decide on 22-acre development -- A hillside housing development proposal for Lafayette must be submitted to the voters for approval, a state appeals court has ruled, reversing a judge’s ruling that had barred a referendum in the East Bay suburb. The development would include 44 single-family homes, parks and a bike path on 22 acres along Deer Hill Road, which runs above Highway 24 near the Lafayette BART station. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/23/18

New Sacramento Rent Control Effort Takes Step Toward November Ballot -- On Tuesday, a notice was filed with the city clerk’s office for the Sacramento Renter Protection And Community Stabilization Charter Amendment. The petitioners argue that, since the city does not regulate rent prices or prevent certain types of evictions, a new charter amendment is needed. Nick Miller Capital Public Radio -- 2/23/18


CCSF yet to receive any money from city to pay for Free City program -- More than a year after San Francisco and City College rolled out a plan to provide free tuition to all city residents, CCSF has yet to receive a single dollar to pay for the program, leaving the college short $4.1 million. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/23/18

Single state agency needed to coordinate California's 'patchwork' of early childhood education programs, new report urges – California will continue to lag behind other states in providing enough child care slots and diverse preschool options for all its nearly 2.5 million children under the age of 5 until it develops a more unified system that provides affordable care and makes it easier for families to enroll. Ashley Hopkinson EdSource -- 2/23/18


No cannabis events or sales at Orange County fairgrounds, board rules -- After a brief discussion, board members voted 5 to 0 to approve the regulations, which they had backed in concept last month. Vice Chairman Robert Ruiz and board members Ashleigh Aitken, Gerardo Mouet and Newton Pham were absent from Thursday's meeting. Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/23/18

Also . . . 

Family, Protesters Want BART Officer in Fatal Shooting Taken Off Duty and Prosecuted -- Family and supporters of a man killed by a BART police officer last month are demanding that the transit agency’s board of directors remove Officer Joseph Mateu from duty while the shooting is investigated. Sara Hossaini KQED -- 2/23/18

Sheriff's deputy arraigned on 14 charges related to sexual misconduct allegations, pleads not guilty -- A San Diego County sheriff’s deputy who was accused of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen women over recent months turned himself in to law enforcement officials Thursday and was quickly arraigned on 14 criminal counts. Jeff McDonald and J. Harry Jones in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/23/18

Orange County sheriff’s deputy alleges in lawsuit that colleague raped her and she was punished for reporting the assault -- The plaintiff, who is in her mid-20s and remains employed at the sheriff’s department, said the assault occurred in Nov. 2016 in a Houston hotel after she was given water her attorney suggested may have been laced with a “powerful ‘knock-out’ drug.” Jordan Graham in the Orange County Register -- 2/23/18

Arrest made in 'swatting' call that sent police to Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel -- Authorities said they traced the call to a 36-year-old Beverly Hills man named David Pearce, who was arrested on suspicion of making a false report of an emergency. He is due in court in April. Joseph Serna and James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/23/18

Accidental 911 calls traced to Apple's Elk Grove phone repair facility -- Apple's iPhone repair and refurbishing center has been identified as the source of apparently inadvertent 911 calls received by Elk Grove police and Sacramento County sheriff's dispatch centers over the past five months. Cathy Locke in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/23/18

POTUS 45  

Trump offers plenty of ideas but no concrete plan on guns -- The White House said the president, who echoed NRA talking points in a West Wing gathering with law enforcement, is ‘going to take input from a lot of folks.’ Matthew Nussbaum, Louis Nelson and Cristiano Lima Politico -- 2/23/18


Another Shooting, Another Gun Debate. Will the Outcome Be the Same? -- Within hours of the blood bath in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and adults were killed on Feb. 14, the machinery of the American gun debate began grinding into motion. Peter Baker and Michael D. Shear in the New York Times$ -- 2/23/18


-- Thursday Updates 

'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