Updating . .   

Heavy smoke from Alisal fire triggers air quality advisory in L.A., Orange counties -- Heavy smoke billowing from the Alisal fire near Santa Barbara prompted an air quality advisory for Los Angeles and several other counties, as flames from the blaze surrounded the former vacation home of President Reagan. Lila Seidman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

Map: Alisal Fire evacuation expands in Santa Barbara County -- The evacuation area for the Alisal Fire, in Santa Barbara County, was expanded Wednesday evening. The new mandatory evacuations include Gaviota, Gaviota Beach and Las Cruces. The orders imposed Monday to the east remain in effect. The item in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/14/21

PG&E has reduced the scope of potential Bay Area shut-offs. Here's the latest -- Thanks to improving weather conditions, the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. delayed its scheduled power shut-offs Thursday in portions of 11 counties and reduced the number of customers that could be affected in what could be the second round of scheduled outages this week. Jessica Flores in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/14/21

COVID Vaccine  

More than 100 San Francisco police and firefighters remain unvaccinated and could lose jobs -- Police Chief Bill Scott told the Police Commission Wednesday evening that 118 sworn police officers — 5% of all sworn officers — remain unvaccinated, and 61 are partially vaccinated. Another 31 non-sworn employees are unvaccinated and 11 are partially vaccinated. Mallory Moench in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/14/21

L.A., San Diego school districts are sued over student vaccination mandate -- California’s two largest school districts — Los Angeles and San Diego — are targeted in lawsuits challenging their student COVID-19 vaccination mandates, alleging the vaccines are too new and that unvaccinated children face discrimination and the denial of their equal right to a public education. Howard Blume, Kristen Taketa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

‘Oh my gosh. I’m myself again.’ Growing evidence vaccines prevent, treat long COVID -- Patients from San Diego to London to Paris are saying that lingering COVID-19 symptoms tend to improve after vaccination. Scientists are trying to understand why. Jonathan Wosen in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/14/21

For those who got Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, FDA booster authorization could come this week -- While the millions of Americans who got the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have been able to start getting booster shots since federal regulators authorized them last month, millions more who got the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been waiting to hear if and when they too can get boosters. Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/14/21


Officials knew of potential for ‘catastrophe’ when O.C. oil platforms approved in 1970s -- The red flags came early. Selling offshore leases for oil drilling in the middle of shipping lanes seemed reckless. Building a complex of oil platforms just off the Orange County coast was an invitation to disaster. Thomas Curwen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

Experts to ask Congress for more offshore oil oversight as California cleanup continues -- Nearly two weeks after a pipeline ruptured and leaked as much as 131,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean, environmental policy experts will testify before Congress on Thursday, urging lawmakers to require more federal oversight of aging and abandoned offshore oil platforms and pipelines. Anna M. Phillips in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

Policy and Politics  

Lopez: Ridley-Thomas, a heavy lifter on homelessness, now carries weight of bribery charges -- As I’ve said before, maybe it’s in the water, or maybe it’s in the air. I’m not sure which, but when it comes to politics in Los Angeles, scandal is in the city’s DNA. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

How will diverse voters be represented in California’s new election districts? -- Across the state, organizers are banding together to make sure new congressional, legislative and local districts lead to diverse representation. The track record of the Citizens Redistricting Commission is mixed, according to two recent studies. Sameea Kamal CalMatters -- 10/14/21

Hiltzik: People talk about the cost of that big federal bill but don’t know what’s in it. So we’ll tell you -- The most glaring flaw in media coverage of Washington is that it focuses heavily on process and seldom on substance. That’s certainly been the case with coverage of the Build Back Better Act, the comprehensive reform package now being dickered over on Capitol Hill. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21


LAPD detective wounded in shooting; 14-year-old suspect in custody -- The circumstances that led to the shooting, which occurred shortly after 5 a.m. near South Central Avenue and East 34th Street, were not immediately clear, LAPD Capt. Stacy Spell said. The detective was shot while driving to work on Central Avenue near 28th Street, police said. Richard Winton, Kevin Rector in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

Oakland is facing a surge in homicides. But young and old don't always agree on how to deal with it -- When Oscar Grant was shot and killed by a BART police officer, Jessica Ramos was only 5. But she said she still remembers wondering why police would kill an innocent man. Now 18, Ramos said she doesn’t want more police, despite a surge in homicides in Oakland. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/14/21

S.F. Mayor Breed is facing pressure to declare the overdose crisis a health emergency. Would it help? -- Amid a dramatic increase in fatal overdoses, several supervisors and advocates are pressuring Mayor London Breed to replicate the city’s urgency around the pandemic and declare the drug crisis a local health emergency — just as she did for the coronavirus. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/14/21

Richmond chief on leave after family member accuses her of violence, death threats in investigation that’s ensnared three Bay Area police departments -- Bisa French and her husband, an Oakland police sergeant, have claimed the family member is being manipulated by her pimp. Nate Gartrell in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/14/21


USC to apologize for WWII actions that derailed education of Japanese American students -- In the throes of World War II, weeks after a 1942 presidential executive order forced the removal of all persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast, then-UC Berkeley President Robert G. Sproul sprung into action. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

Venture Capital   

In rare twist, San Diego tech startups outmuscle life science firms for top money deals -- Biotech and medical device companies usually dominate venture capital funding in the region. But in the last quarter, software, defense tech, sensing as a service and fleet safety firms led the way. Mike Freeman in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/14/21


4.3 Million Workers Are Missing. Where Did They Go? -- Many economists expected school reopenings, expiring unemployment benefits and the fading Delta variant to help boost labor-force participation this fall. But evidence suggests labor shortages might be deepening: Labor supply declined in September and workers quit at record rates in August. Josh Mitchell, Lauren Weber and Sarah Chaney Cambon in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 10/14/21


Sacramento leaders want to turn a downtown motel into permanent housing for the homeless -- f state officials select the project for funding, the motel will be converted into 92 permanent supportive housing studio units for homeless adults and couples, Jones said. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/14/21


Q&A: How California’s new ban on gas-powered leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other outdoor equipment affects you -- Buying a new gasoline-powered leaf blower, lawn mower, string trimmer, chain saw or other outdoor gardening tool in California that runs on fossil fuels may soon be a tradition of the past. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/14/21

Also . . .   

“Glad she’s gone”: Los Gatos reels after mom arrested for drunken teen sex parties -- Sitting poolside at a luxury apartment complex in Eagle, Idaho, over the summer, a mom introduced herself to a new neighbor, Shannon O’Connor, who had just moved with her two sons away from the Silicon Valley town of Los Gatos. Julia Prodis Sulek in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/14/21



California Policy and Politics Thursday Morning  

NWS says ‘near critical’ wildfire conditions will develop Thursday with arrival of Santa Ana winds -- The cold snap that sent temperatures diving way below normal earlier this week will be replaced Thursday by weak Santa Ana winds that will combine with high heat and low humidity to create “near critical” wildfire conditions. Gary Robbins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/14/21

Strong winds across California mean a risk of fire and power shutoffs -- From Los Angeles to Solano counties, gusty northerly winds are expected to arrive beginning Thursday, colliding in some places with the twin fire hazards of single-digit humidity and bone-dry vegetation, weather officials said. Lila Seidman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

A rare plant and a president’s ranch are threatened as Alisal fire grows -- The Alisal fire in Santa Barbara County swelled for the third day as flames closed in on homes, threatened Ronald Reagan’s old ranch and kept the 101 Freeway shut down. Hayley Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

Video shows dangerous 'fire whirl' from Alisal Fire in Santa Barbara County -- As the Alisal Fire continued to grow Wednesday in Santa Barbara County, video footage showed wind-whipped flames swirling upward and racing across the hills — a phenomenon known as a fire whirl, or a fire devil. Danielle Echeverria in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/14/21

One PG&E wildfire safety blackout is ending. Another could begin in California soon -- PG&E Corp., still wrapping up a wildfire safety blackout that began earlier this week, is preparing to launch another outage across parts of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, Bay Area and Central Coast. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/14/21

Late October rains could dampen wildfires and help with drought, forecasters say -- A wetter than average forecast for late October could dampen wildfires burning in Northern California and help ease drought conditions, according to the National Weather Service. Paul Duginski in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

'Near-record' rainfall could hit the Bay Area soon. Would it end wildfire season? -- There’s a chance the Bay Area could see above-normal rainfall this month that would slightly improve drought conditions and potentially put an end to the region’s wildfire season, according to meteorologists. Jessica Flores in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/14/21

New homes in South Placer communities to pay increased fee for fire services -- Placer County officials approved an increase to a fee for the South Placer Fire District Tuesday, which applies to every new residence and commercial structure built within the district’s service area, including the communities of Granite Bay, Loomis, Penryn and Newcastle. Molly Sullivan in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/14/21


Marin County, now with moderate transmission, might be able to lift mask mandate in three weeks -- If Marin County remains in the “moderate” transmission category for more than three weeks, it will almost certainly meet the criteria set by Bay Area health officials last week to lift the indoor mask mandate in public settings for vaccinated people. Aidin Vaziri in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/14/21

New at-home rapid COVID test will soon hit Bay Area stores. Here's what we know about FlowFlex -- Another at-home COVID rapid testing kit will soon be on the way to store shelves, made by a California company — welcome news in the Bay Area, where the tests have been hard to find amid a nationwide supply crunch. Kellie Hwang in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/14/21

COVID Vaccine  

Unlike LA, San Diego won’t issue an indoor COVID-19 vaccine mandate, county says --San Diego County officials don’t plan to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry into restaurants, shopping centers and other indoor settings, local officials announced Wednesday. Jonathan Wosen in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/14/21

San Diego County now 80% vaccinated against COVID-19, 89% partially vaccinated -- Vaccine supplies remain plentiful, county officials said, both for those seeking initial doses and boosters for those who received the Pfizer vaccine and meet the criteria. KPBS -- 10/14/21

Sacramento school district votes to mandate COVID vaccines for students and staff -- The mandate, which requires full vaccination, will go to into effect on Nov. 30, and also includes all dependent charter schools and adult education centers. Sawsan Morrar in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/14/21

Anti-mask group sues San Diego Unified over vaccine mandate in schools -- The lawsuit says the district’s vaccine mandate hurts students because it forces them to learn from home in independent study if they don’t get vaccinated. Kristen Taketa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/14/21

California judge blocks COVID-19 vaccine order for correctional officers -- A Kern County Superior Court judge on Thursday granted a request from the state prison guards’ union to block a vaccine mandate that was set to take effect Friday. Wes Venteicher in the Fresno Bee$ -- 10/14/21

COVID Politics  

Anti-abortion activists have already sued over California's new law limiting vaccination site protests -- Anti-abortion activists have sued to overturn a new California law that restricts protests outside vaccination sites, just days after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the measure despite warnings from First Amendment experts that it would violate free speech rights. Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/14/21


When will supply chains be back to normal? And how did things get so bad? -- How did we get into this mess? And why isn’t it getting better? The Times reached out to some supply chain experts, and here are their answers. Jon Healey, Samantha Masunaga in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

Photos: Gridlock at L.A. ports as dozens of ships idle off the coast -- President Biden announced Wednesday that the Port of Los Angeles would operate around the clock to alleviate a logistical bottleneck that has left dozens of container ships idling off the California coast and Americans waiting longer to get products manufactured overseas. Carolyn Cole, Jason Armond, Allen J. Schaben in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

Policy and Politics  

L.A. Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas and ex-USC dean indicted on bribery charges -- Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas was indicted Wednesday on federal charges that he took bribes from a USC dean in exchange for directing millions of dollars in public funding to the university when he was on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. Michael Finnegan, Matt Hamilton, Harriet Ryan in the Los Angeles Times$ Christopher Weber Associated Press Alexander Nieves Politico -- 10/14/21

Times Investigation: Mark Ridley-Thomas, his son and the USC School of Social Work -- A federal grand jury has accused Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas of conspiring with Marilyn Louise Flynn, then dean of USC’s School of Social Work, to steer county money to the university in return for admitting his son Sebastian into graduate school with a full-tuition scholarship and a paid professorship. Matt Hamilton, Harriet Ryan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

Indictment against Mark Ridley-Thomas another blow to L.A. politics -- Los Angeles’ political and community leaders were stunned by the corruption indictment handed down Wednesday against Mark Ridley-Thomas, one of the city’s best-known and longest-serving officials. David Zahniser, Benjamin Oreskes, Dakota Smith, Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

Top California labor official and husband accused of grand theft, embezzlement and tax evasion -- The California attorney general’s office has filed felony charges against the executive director of the state’s largest labor union, alleging that an investigation into possible campaign finance violations revealed that Alma Hernández and her husband underreported their income by more than $1.4 million to evade taxes. Taryn Luna in the Los Angeles Times$ Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/14/21


New California task force grapples with a big question: Who would qualify for reparations? -- One year after California approved the first statewide task force in the nation to study reparations for Black residents, the panel is grappling with a fundamental question: Who should potentially qualify for restitution? Dustin Gardiner in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/14/21


San Diego prices are up 6.5 percent in a year. That’s one of the biggest jumps in the U.S. -- San Diego had one of the highest inflation rates in the nation in September as everything from food costs to gas pushed up the price to live here. Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/14/21


FBI reward for GirlsDoPorn fugitive ratchets up to $50,000 -- Michael James Pratt fled during a high-profile civil trial and is wanted in a sex-trafficking prosecution in San Diego. Kristina Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/14/21

Sacramento County jury convicts soccer coach for sexually abusing two boys, DA says -- A Sacramento County jury convicted a former soccer coach for sexually abusing two boys, including a 12-year-old boy he sexually assaulted while free on bail, prosecutors said. Rosalio Ahumada in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/14/21

OC deputy facing felony perjury charge pleads guilty to misdemeanor, stays out of jail -- Deputy Chad Renegar originally faced a maximum sentence of four years and eight months in state prison if convicted on felony charges that he falsely signed a police report under his trainee’s name and forged a victim’s signature. Tony Saavedra in the Orange County Register -- 10/14/21

Inside the massive surge in sideshows across the Bay Area - and why no city has figured out what to do about it -- On a crisp night in February, a caravan of cars and trucks tore through San Jose, following a cryptic set of directions posted on Instagram, police said. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/14/21

Child Protective Services  

‘Inhumane’ conditions: Children under Fresno County custody living in office space -- A child sleeps on top of a conference room table. Another child sleeps on a mat on the floor. Two water bottles are filled with urine from a teenager staying in the office building. Yesenia Amaro in the Fresno Bee$ -- 10/14/21

Heat Deaths  

L.A. City Council members push for measures to monitor and prevent heat-related deaths -- Members of the Los Angeles City Council are urging new measures to protect residents from extreme heat, citing a recent Los Angeles Times investigation that revealed the state has failed to adequately address the health dangers of worsening heat waves or accurately count heat-related deaths. Tony Barboza in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21


Supporters call for Natomas school district to keep teacher filmed discussing antifa -- Supporters of a Natomas Unified School District teacher filmed in an undercover video discussing antifa called for the district to allow the teacher to return to his position during a Wednesday press conference at the Sacramento office of civil rights attorney Mark Merin. Sawsan Morrar in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/14/21

Nearly half of money for high-needs students not getting to their schools, analysis finds -- Diverting funds intended for California’s high-needs students for other spending “dampens” the potential to significantly close the achievement gap between high-poverty and low-poverty students, new research from the Public Policy Institute of California has found. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 10/14/21


Praise and hope after much-anticipated announcement on border reopening -- Late Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security confirmed that travel restrictions at the Mexican and Canadian land borders will ease in November, allowing fully vaccinated travelers to enter the country for non-essential activities, such as tourism and family visits. Alexandra Mendoza in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/14/21


Complaint alleges ICE tortured African asylum seekers using restraint device during deportation -- The device, known as The WRAP, placed men from Cameroon and Uganda in stress positions for hours, complaint says. Kate Morrissey in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/14/21


2 San Dieego County supervisors seek ordinance to prohibit ghost guns in the region -- Two county supervisors vowed Tuesday to crack down on ghost guns, with an eye toward crafting local legislation that would prohibit firearms and their parts from being made or distributed in the region if they don’t have serial numbers. Teri Figueroa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/14/21

California prosecutor joins suit against ‘ghost gun’ sellers -- California Attorney General Rob Bonta is joining a lawsuit targeting three online sellers of “ghost guns,” the untraceable firearms made from build-it-yourself kits that he said can be assembled in minutes and are increasingly being used in violent crimes. Daisy Nguyen Associated Press Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/14/21

Also . . .   

Auction of ‘The One’ — L.A.’s biggest new mansion — delayed amid allegations of a power grab -- A planned foreclosure auction of the largest modern home in the country has been delayed after billionaire lender Don Hankey was accused of maneuvering to take control of the troubled Bel-Air project and leave other debt holders out in the cold. Laurence Darmiento in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/14/21

92 rattlesnakes retrieved from under Santa Rosa home -- After 3 hours and 45 minutes of crawling on his hands, knees and belly, moving small and large rocks and weaving back and forth underneath the home, Wolf retrieved 59 babies and 22 adults. He returned to the Santa Rosa home on two more occasions, and found another 11 of the venomous snakes. Lauren Hernández in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/14/21


Wednesday Updates   

Sundowner winds stymie fire crews as Alisal fire grows to more than 14,000 acres -- The Alisal fire in Santa Barbara County swelled to 14,500 acres on Wednesday, threatening the former vacation home of President Ronald Reagan and becoming Southern California’s first major wildfire of the season. Hayley Smith, Lila Seidman, Al Seib in the Los Angeles Times$ Jessica Flores in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21

Delta mobile home park fire nearing full containment after fierce winds finally abated -- The fire that destroyed more than 40 structures at a mobile home park in Isleton in the southwestern area of Sacramento County is 90% contained as of Wednesday morning, according to fire officials. Mila Jasper in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/13/21

Why PG&E’s wildfire safety triggers are sparking controversy instead of deadly blazes -- During this tinder-dry wildfire season, a change to Pacific Gas & Electric’s power lines has dramatically reduced the risk of sparking calamitous and killer blazes. But every time a rogue squirrel gets zapped, hundreds of rural residents are suddenly plunged into darkness – for hours, sometimes days. Lisa M. Krieger in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/13/21


Investigators examine role of unprecedented port gridlock in O.C. oil spill -- Investigators are probing possible issues with the way ships are anchoring or drifting off the coast in long lines caused by skyrocketing consumer demand and disrupted supply chains during the pandemic. Hannah Fry, Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/13/21


COVID lungs: Transplants are last resort for many California patients -- Ten percent of people who have undergone transplants this year in California had their lungs wrecked by COVID-19. Doctors worry there are more transplants to come, and that non-COVID patients will be waiting longer for new lungs. Ana B. Ibarra CalMatters -- 10/13/21

Pregnant women were kept out of clinical trials. That left them vulnerable to COVID-19 -- As the fast-spreading Delta variant filled the University of Washington Medical Center with COVID-19 patients this summer, Dr. Linda Eckert was struck by something: More pregnant patients were hospitalized with the disease than at any other time during the pandemic. Amina Khan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/13/21

'COVID is never going to go away,' California scientist says, even as case numbers improve -- Even as the rate of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continues trending downward in California, health experts on Tuesday cautioned that the hard times may not be over. Aidin Vaziri in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21

COVID Vaccine  

Sacramento school district votes to mandate COVID vaccines for students and staff -- The mandate, which requires full vaccination, will go to into effect on Nov. 30, and also includes all dependent charter schools and adult education centers. Sawsan Morrar in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/13/21

Policy and Politics  

Gavin Newsom vetoes bill that sought to promote more diverse California state workers -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom last week vetoed legislation that would have required the California Department of Human Resources to develop employee “upward mobility goals” that would factor in race, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status and physical and mental disabilities. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/13/21

California announces changes to ease the thorny problem of fire insurance for vintners, farmers -- As this year’s wildfire season approached, many vintners and farmers in California found themselves unable to secure wildfire insurance for their properties, as private insurers raised their premiums by as much as 300%, or in some cases canceled their policies altogether. Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21


Leader of California’s largest union resigns amid tax fraud, embezzlement charges -- The executive director of SEIU California, the biggest labor union in the state, is resigning after the attorney general’s office charged her and her husband with multiple counts of tax fraud, embezzlement, perjury and failure to pay unemployment insurance taxes. The office filed its charges against Alma Hernández and her husband, Jose Moscoso, on Oct. 4 in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Jeong Park in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/13/21

Hollywood crews say they will strike next week if there is no agreement -- Ratcheting up pressure on the major studios, the union representing Hollywood crews announced Wednesday that its members will go on strike on Monday if they can’t reach agreement on a new contract. Anousha Sakoui in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/13/21

Google employees allowed to sue tech giant for bans on talking about wages, working conditions -- The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for current and former Google employees to sue the Mountain View tech giant for allegedly forbidding them to speak to the news media or prospective employers about Google’s wages and working conditions. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21

Trans Netflix employees will stage walkout to protest controversial Chappelle special -- Transgender Netflix employees and co-workers will stage a walkout next week protesting the streaming giant’s decision to release Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special, multiple Netflix staffers have confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. Christi Carras in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/13/21

Port truckers win $30 million in wage theft settlements -- One of the world’s largest trucking companies, XPO Logistics, agreed Tuesday to pay $30 million to settle class-action lawsuits filed by hundreds of drivers who said they earned less than minimum wage delivering goods for major retailers from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Margot Roosevelt in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/13/21


No law north of the Klamath.’ Dysfunction, scandal plague California sheriff’s office -- Locals still mention the saying — which dates back to the unruly 19th-century Gold Rush — when they talk about the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office. Ryan Sabalow and Jason Pohl in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/13/21


This Silicon Valley county is trying to end a 'hidden epidemic' of homeless families. Will it work? -- After years of rent hikes and instability for South Bay families like Castañeda’s, Santa Clara County officials last week launched a new effort to house 1,200 homeless families in the next year. Lauren Hepler in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21

Man dies from burns after sleeping bag allegedly was set on fire in San Francisco -- Police responded to a reported “aggravated assault with fire” in the area of 25th Street and South Van Ness Avenue at about 5 a.m. Friday and found a 43-year-old man who said he woke up to find his sleeping bag aflame, according to a police news release. Andres Picon in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21


Are immigrants getting left out of California’s rent relief? -- Non-English speaking immigrants face some of the biggest hurdles to receiving California rent relief. Advocates say informal leases, lack of technology access and language barriers are getting in the way. Manuela Tobias CalMatters -- 10/13/21


This summer was California's driest on record in more than 100 years - here's what that means -- The effects of the drought can already be seen throughout the Bay Area — this week at Lake Tahoe, for example, the water level is expected to sink below the basin’s natural rim, or the point at which the lake pours into the Truckee River. Parched land and vegetation are also a driving factor in why wildfires across the state are exploding so quickly. Danielle Echeverria, Yoohyun Jung in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21

Also . . .   

This Bay Area city plans to ban cars, expand outdoor dining for good along its ‘crown jewel’ -- Even as some Bay Area cities pull dining tables off of streets and reopen their downtown strips to motorists for the first time in 18 months, Mountain View leaders have no intention of doing away with what they see as one of the silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maggie Angst in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/13/21