Updating Thursday . .   

Here’s when the Salinas River could start flooding in Monterey County tonight -- Monterey County Sheriff Tina Nieto warned at a news conference that there’s a possibility that the peninsula — which includes the towns of Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach and Carmel — could become isolated due to flooded roads, including Highway 1 and Highway 68. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23

California suddenly has so much snow. But even this extraordinary bounty isn’t enough -- At the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Laboratory in Donner Pass on Wednesday, snow was piled so high that lead scientist Andrew Schwartz no longer needed stairs to exit the second floor. “We just walk directly out onto the snow!” Schwartz said. The nearly 11 feet of snow surrounding the lab was the deepest he’d seen so far this year. Hayley Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

5 million Californians remain under flood watch; death toll at 17 -- Californians are bracing for another atmospheric river in the succession of storms that have pummeled the state since New Year’s Eve, destroying homes, flooding cities and killing at least 17 people. On Wednesday, San Joaquin Valley residents navigated flooded roads by boat, including along a creek that cuts through the city of Merced. Sawsan Morrar, Mike Mcgough, Tim Sheehan, and Thaddeus Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/12/23

Flooding threatens to isolate a California peninsula as river surges -- Central California’s Monterey Peninsula could become isolated from the rest of the state Thursday as the Salinas River surges toward an expected moderate flood stage, authorities warned. “You need to be preparing for what could be the Monterey Peninsula island,” Monterey County Sheriff Tina Nieto said Wednesday afternoon. Scott Dance in the Washington Post$ Rong-Gong Lin II, Summer Lin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

Storm-weary Californians clean up, brace for another torrent -- Laurie Morse shoveled wet sand into bags in the pouring rain Wednesday, preparing to stack them along her garage in a last ditch effort to keep out a rising creek on California’s central coast, as the storm-ravaged state braced for another round of lashing rains and damaging winds. Martha Mendoza, Christopher Weber Associated Press -- 1/12/23

Two more storms are headed to the Bay Area — here's when to expect the heaviest rain -- This is thanks to a shift in the flow of air thousands of feet above the ground — the jet stream — its winds gradually shifting north in the coming days, meaning the storm door will finally begin to close. But before it does, two more storms will roll into far Northern California this weekend and into early next week. Gerry Díaz in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23

What is causing the parade of storms battering California? -- The short answer is the location of the jet stream or storm track — a belt of strong winds high in the troposphere where airliners fly. Paul Duginski in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23


Is California still in a drought after the epic storms? Here are what maps and charts show -- But experts cautioned against thinking that one month of heavy precipitation — about 8.6 inches on average for California since Dec. 26 — could so easily reverse three years of extreme drought, especially since there’s no guarantee that the wet season will continue to deliver. Claire Hao in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23

California’s drought has eased significantly due to heavy rains, federal government concludes -- For the first time in more than two years, the majority of California is in moderate drought, not severe drought. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/12/23

In extraordinary move, California mulls crackdown on Los Angeles’ water draws at Mono Lake -- Even as a storms shower California with rain and snow, state water regulators announced this week that they’re revisiting their effort to protect Mono Lake from the ravages of drought, agreeing to review how much water the city of Los Angeles is taking from the basin and whether it’s too much. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23


World’s Oceans Absorbed Record Heat From Warming Climate in 2022 -- The world’s oceans absorbed record amounts of heat from the atmosphere last year, which slowed the rise of temperatures over land, while fueling powerful storms and weather systems that are damaging communities across the globe, federal climate scientists said. Eric Niiler in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/12/23

How climate change will make atmospheric rivers even worse -- Storms are typical in the winter, including those associated with atmospheric rivers, or long and wide plumes of water vapor flowing from the tropics. But as Earth warms, climate scientists warn these atmospheric river events may be amplified, bringing even more destruction. Kasha Patel in the Washington Post$ -- 1/12/23

Multiple agencies concur: ’22 was one of Earth’s hottest years -- As five different scientific organizations this week classified last year’s intense heat — declaring it either the fifth- or sixth-warmest year on record — the impact of the Earth’s soaring temperatures became clear. Amudalat Ajasa and Naema Ahmed in the Washington Post$ -- 1/12/23

This giant underground battery is a $1-billion clean energy solution -- What can store solar power for after dark, doesn’t require lithium and costs three-quarters of a billion dollars? The answer is deep beneath the ground in California’s San Joaquin Valley — or at least, it will be. Sammy Roth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

Policy and Politics  

Skelton: Newsom is the luckiest California governor ever. But is his good fortune running out? -- Gov. Gavin Newsom is arguably the luckiest California governor ever. But some of that luck will run out with the Republican takeover of the U.S. House. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23


Instacart to pay $5 million over allegations about worker benefits in S.F. -- Instacart will pay over $5 million to people who worked for the grocery delivery service in San Francisco, as compensation for allegedly failing to provide some benefits, under terms of a settlement between the city and the company, The Chronicle has learned. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23

Google’s parent company cuts hundreds of jobs at two subsidiaries -- Google parent Alphabet has cut hundreds of jobs across its Verily Life Sciences and Intrinsic divisions, as layoffs expand to hit another tech giant. Roland Li in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23


Q&A: L.A. Mayor Karen Bass: ‘The city is demanding the tents go away’ -- Weeks into her tenure as Los Angeles mayor, Karen Bass talks about her focus on homelessness and affordable housing. Benjamin Oreskes, Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

Palmdale tells LA: Don’t dump homeless people here -- The Palmdale City Council voted unanimously on a resolution at its meeting on Wednesday night declaring opposition to the city of Los Angeles using emergency powers to create a homeless village in the Palmdale area. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/12/23


California attorney general clears LAPD officer in shooting using controversial ‘expert’ -- California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta’s office recently cleared a well-connected Los Angeles police officer of wrongdoing in a deadly shooting from 2020 based in part on the “expert opinion” of a police use-of-force consultant whose work has been criticized as illegitimate for years. Kevin Rector in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

BLM co-founder’s cousin dies after police repeatedly use Taser, video shows -- A cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors died hours after Los Angeles police repeatedly used a Taser on him and restrained him in the middle of the street following a traffic accident, according to body-camera footage released by authorities Wednesday. Timothy Bella in the Washington Post$ -- 1/12/23

Police never searched ‘catfish’ cop Austin Lee Edwards’ second home -- Police never searched a Richmond-area apartment belonging to Austin Lee Edwards, the Virginia cop who killed three relatives of a 15-year-old Riverside girl whom police say he “catfished” online. Erin B. Logan, Summer Lin, Rich Griset, Jess Nocera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23


New Orange Unified superintendent looks to ‘be of service’ — but for the short term only -- A retired Southern California school superintendent living in Idaho took the helm of Orange Unified this week following the abrupt firing of the district’s top administrator. Edward Velasquez flew in Monday afternoon and went straight from the airport to the district office, although he doesn’t yet have a contract and his salary hasn’t been approved. Roxana Kopetman in the Orange County Register -- 1/12/23

Berkeley’s People’s Park is again in a fight for the ages, now over UC student housing -- People’s Park — among California’s most contested and colorful patches of public land and a ‘60s era symbol of free speech and community power — is again embroiled in a battle for the ages, this time involving UC Berkeley, a key environmental law and the acute student housing shortage. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23


US inflation eases grip on economy, falling for a 6th month -- Rising U.S. consumer prices moderated again last month, bolstering hopes that inflation’s grip on the economy will continue to ease this year and possibly require less drastic action by the Federal Reserve to control it. Christopher Rugaber Associated Press -- 1/12/23

Also . . .   

Dana Point parents hope Japanese PM visit could help transfer their jailed Navy Lt. son to the US -- A Dana Point couple, whose son, Navy Lt. Ridge Alkonis, is serving prison time in Japan following a car crash, hopes a visit by the Japanese Prime Minister this week with President Joe Biden could help in getting him transferred to the United States. Erika I. Ritchie in the Orange County Register -- 1/12/23

Lopez: Is our aging population a time bomb? An opportunity? -- A vaguely familiar chap keeps showing up at my house every morning and evening, seven days a week, without fail. I look in the mirror and see a cross between my father and myself. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23




California Policy and Politics Thursday  

Death toll rises to 19 in California as new storms hit battered communities -- The death toll from the sudden and powerful storms rose Wednesday after Sonoma County sheriff’s officials announced a person had been found dead in a car submerged in 8 to 10 feet of water. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office also confirmed Wednesday that a 33-year-old man was found dead in the American River on Jan. 3, bringing the total of confirmed storm-related fatalities to 19. Luke Money, Summer Lin, Jessica Garrison, Rong-gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

California parents describe horror of losing 5-year-old son swept away by floodwaters -- Just as she did any other Monday, Lindsy Doan was driving her 5-year-old son, Kyle, to Lillian Larsen Elementary School in San Miguel, where she works as a special education teacher and her son is a kindergartener. Summer Lin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

They sang at breakfast, said goodbye and left in separate cars. Then, she vanished in Sonoma County floodwaters -- The kids had left for school, so it was just Daphne and Marc Fontino at the breakfast table Tuesday. Daphne spread jelly and cream cheese on her homemade cinnamon bagels and scrambled some eggs while Marc sang two of her favorite Smokey Robinson songs to her — “Just to See Her” and “One Heartbeat.” Matthias Gafni in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23

Here are the parts of L.A. County most likely to be hit by catastrophic flood -- Nearly 105,000 Los Angeles County residents live within the designated 100-year flood plain, according to a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Terry Castleman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

Sacramento’s iconic tree canopy turns destructive in storms -- On a good day, the sun shines in California’s capital city — and elms, pines, oaks and hundreds of other tree varieties fill Sacramento’s parks and line streets, fortifying the city’s reputat ion as the “City of Trees.” But on a bad one, violent winds knock some of the trees down, causing damage to cars, homes and power lines. Sophie Austin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

Did your apartment flood? Renters insurance is unlikely to help you -- First, damage to the rental property is not your responsibility, it’s the landlord’s. Second, although a renters insurance policy can help under certain circumstances, it will not cover flood damage to your personal property. Karen Garcia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

Storm damage? You could qualify for lower L.A. County property taxes -- L.A. County Assessor Jeff Prang said Wednesday that property owners have one year to apply for a reassessment of “Property Damaged or Destroyed by Misfortune or Calamity.” To be eligible for tax relief, the property must have lost more than $10,000 of its current market value. Jon Healey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

Onslaught of Bay Area storms continues — but the end is finally in sight -- Relief from the devastating string of major winter storms could finally be around the corner, forecasters said, offering the first hope of a real reprieve. The rain and winds will continue over the next week, but “there is now a plausible end in sight,” said climate scientist Daniel Swain in a social media post. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23


Reservoirs are filling quickly, boosting water supplies after years of drought -- Since Dec. 1, California’s 154 largest reservoirs have gone from 67% of their historical average capacity to 84%, adding roughly 4.7 million acre feet of water in six weeks — or enough for the annual consumption of 23 million people. Paul Rogers, Scooty Nickerson in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/12/23

Here’s where California reservoir levels stand after the rains this week -- The onslaught of rain across California this week has pushed up the state’s reservoir water storage levels even more since the weekend, according to state data, though levels for most reservoirs are still below the historical average for this time of year. Danielle Echeverria, Nami Sumida, Ying Zhao in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23

Janu-buried! California ski resorts have received more than 300 inches of snow so far this season -- Mammoth Mountain has received 40 to 54 inches from the latest storm and has already surpassed last year’s season-snowfall total of 310 inches at the Main Lodge and 419 inches at the summit. Farther north, at Palisades Tahoe, the resort has received more than 8½ feet of snow since Jan. 1, and more is on the way. Buckle up. Marc Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

Policy and Politics  

California’s 2024 Senate race just started, and it’s going to be wild -- Progressive infighting. Gender politics. Republican spoilers. $20 million to get in. With one candidate officially in, the 2024 race has begun. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23

Rep. Barbara Lee tells colleagues she plans to run for Feinstein’s Senate seat in 2024 -- Lee announced her intentions during a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus, receiving a standing ovation, but has not officially confirmed she is running or formed an official Senate committee to start raising money in a race expected to be both costly and intensely competitive. Nolan D. Mccaskill, Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ Dylan Wells in the Washington Post$ Joe Garofoli, Shira Stein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23

Councilmember Kevin de León says censure penalties would hurt his constituents -- Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de León addressed his colleagues for more than eight minutes Wednesday, speaking publicly in council chambers for the first time since an incendiary leaked audio conversation upended local politics in October, propelling the legislative body into crisis. Julia Wick, David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

Council member wants to look at removing guns from LAPD officers at council meetings -- Los Angeles Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez called Wednesday for the city’s policy analysts to determine whether the council has the power to require that every police officer assigned to the council chamber show up unarmed. David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

Goldberg: George Santos is trying to pull a De León. Will either of them get away with it? -- It was highly amusing to watch then-Congressman-elect George Santos ducking and weaving to avoid the media scrum on his first day on Capitol Hill. Nicholas Goldberg in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23


Alphabet Unit Verily to Trim More Than 200 Jobs -- Verily Life Sciences, a healthcare unit of Alphabet Inc., is laying off more than 200 employees as part of a broader reorganization, the first major staff reductions to hit Google’s parent following a wave of layoffs at other technology companies. Miles Kruppa in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/12/23

These 2 San Francisco tech firms just laid off hundreds of workers -- Flexport, a supply chain management company, announced Wednesday that it will lay off about 20% of its global workforce — or about 640 employees — according to a memo from its co-CEOs. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23

Are tech layoffs a sign of looming Bay Area recession? Here’s what experts say -- Each day seems to bring news of another set of tech layoffs. But with so many of those companies still concentrated in the Bay Area, what does the cavalcade of job cuts actually say about the regional economy? Chase DiFeliciantonio in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23


Homeless woman sprayed with hose by S.F. gallery owner is hospitalized. Why was she on the street? -- Two days after a San Francisco art gallery owner sprayed her with a garden hose on a sidewalk in the posh Jackson Square neighborhood, the homeless woman nonprofit workers and officials know as “Q” was receiving treatment in a local hospital, Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin said. Rachel Swan, Chase DiFeliciantonio in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23


‘Most transmissible’ COVID variant yet is spreading in California. What we know about XBB.1.5 -- As the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic nears an end, the coronavirus continues to evolve and prove that it has more tricks up its sleeve. Kellie Hwang in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23


S.F. leaders tout steep drop in anti-Asian hate crimes -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed braved a downpour in Chinatown Wednesday to celebrate a recent drop in hate crimes against the city’s Asian American community ahead of upcoming Lunar New Year festivities, expected to draw thousands to the neighborhood. Nora Mishanec in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23

S.F. Police Commission bans pretextual traffic stops to reduce racial bias -- The ban, which was first drafted in May, will restrict police officers from conducting “pretextual” traffic stops — when officers pull people over for minor infractions, such as expired registration tags or a broken taillight, as a way to probe for possible criminal activity. Jordan Parker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23


Newsom budget includes naloxone for middle and high schools while largely avoiding cuts -- Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday pledged to provide naloxone — the overdose reversal drug — to every middle and high school, a low-cost but pressing need in a proposed education spending plan that would sustain school budgets but largely end a massive recent expansion of K-12 and college funding. Howard Blume, Debbie Truong, Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

Former special education student joins school board in Shasta -- As a new school board member, Joshua Brown is prioritizing special education in his rural Northern California district. But his perspective is unusual: He has firsthand experience with the district’s special education program — as a student. Carolyn Jones EdSource -- 1/12/23


Oil companies sue L.A. over ban on drilling -- The lawsuit by Warren Resources, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, says the city failed to do a required environmental study of the effects of stopping oil extraction. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/12/23

Also . . .   

Burning Man organizers file suit to stop Nevada geothermal test approved by U.S. -- The eight-day festival known as Burning Man returned to the Nevada desert last summer after missing two years due to COVID. But organizers say the quiet surroundings could be overwhelmed in the future by a proposed geothermal plant whose likely impact is being ignored by federal regulators. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/12/23


Wednesday Updates  

Crushed by falling trees. Drowned in floodwaters. The deadly toll of California storms worsens -- A toddler crushed by falling trees. A 5-year-old swept away by floodwaters before his mother’s eyes and still missing. Three bodies recovered from inside or near submerged vehicles on a rural stretch of freeway. Hayley Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/11/23

Another pineapple express is rolling into Northern California today. Here are the impacts for the Bay Area -- Following Tuesday’s thunderstorms across Northern California, the storm door is looking to remain wide open today. That’s thanks to a low-pressure system off the coast of the Pacific Northwest that will quickly funnel atmospheric moisture from Hawai’i toward Northern California and the Oregon border. Gerry Díaz in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/11/23

L.A. digs out from mudslides, sinkholes and flooding — with another big storm on the way -- Southern California on Tuesday began digging out from a storm that forced mass evacuations, damaged homes, left roads impassable and made a muddy, wet mess of Los Angeles hillside neighborhoods. Andrew J. Campa, Noah Goldberg, Luke Money, Alexandra E. Petri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/11/23

When could storm-ravaged Bay Area residents and businesses see federal aid? -- President Joe Biden declared an emergency for much of the greater Bay Area this week, putting federal agencies on standby to help with response efforts amid a deluge of severe winter storms battering the region. Now, the waiting begins. Ethan Varian in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/11/23

Arellano: It’s flooding in Southern California. 85 years ago, the damage was way worse -- Southern California’s deadliest flood happened 85 years ago. We visit its few monuments to learn about the devastation left behind. Gustavo Arellano in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/11/23

Maps and charts show the awful impact of the California storms -- A parade of storms known as atmospheric rivers has dumped massive amounts of rain and snow on California since late December. The storms have produced deadly flooding, crippling snow, dangerous mudslides, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Dan Stillman in the Washington Post$ -- 1/11/23

Policy and Politics  

Garofoli: California’s 2024 Senate race just started, and it’s going to be wild -- There is a big reason that Rep. Katie Porter’s first U.S. Senate campaign stop will be in the East Bay next week: Geography — perhaps as much as anything — will matter a lot in the 2024 Senate race that began in earnest with Porter’s announcement Tuesday that she’s in. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/11/23

It’s on: Gavin Newsom, Republican lawmakers in D.C. launch a verbal slugfest -- “They can be a roadblock in terms of progress along the lines we’ve experienced in the last two years,” Newsom said Tuesday of Republicans in Washington. “I’m also not naive around the obsessiveness of the Republican leaders and leadership around all things California,” he added. David Lightman, Jenavieve Hatch in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/11/23

Sforza: From Nixon to Porter, Orange County has given America colorful politicians -- Nothing may ever top Richard Nixon shaking Elvis Presley’s hand or testily insisting “I am not a crook.“ Not “B1 Bob” Dornan yanking a congressional colleague’s necktie and calling him a draft-dodging wimp. Not Loretta Sanchez’s crazy Christmas cards, or how she dabbed during a debate with the woman who is now vice president of the United States. Teri Sforza in the Orange County Register -- 1/11/23

Let California’s budget haggling begin -- Gov. Gavin Newsom’s big budget reveal Tuesday morning is only a first step in a long process: Legislators hold hearings, number crunchers update revenue projections, Newsom presents a revised version in May and he negotiates with the Legislature before approval by June 15. Sameea Kamal CalMatters -- 1/11/23

How is Gavin Newsom dealing with a $22.5 billion deficit? Four things to know about his budget -- In the meantime, here’s four takeaways from the governor’s first-round proposal for the new fiscal year, which will begin July 1. Maggie Angst, Lindsey Holden in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/11/23

Cuts in Gavin Newsom’s budget include delaying new benefit for undocumented Californians -- Gov. Gavin Newsom’s goal to make California the first state in the nation to offer food benefits to undocumented immigrants will take longer than expected. Mathew Miranda in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/11/23


‘Let’s see results.’ Newsom budgets $3 billion for California homelessness, demands progress -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget maintained billions in funding to help cities address homelessness, and he’s also pushing for more progress on the state’s “out of control” crisis. Lindsey Holden in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/11/23

Amid heavy rain, Bass takes on a huge, long-standing homeless encampment in Venice -- Mayor Karen Bass’ Inside Safe initiative targeted an encampment that served as home to an estimated 98 people. By Monday, 82 had moved indoors. David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/11/23


Will XBB.1.5, the latest Omicron subvariant, fuel another California COVID surge? What we know -- The latest Omicron subvariant, perhaps the most infectious yet, has gained a foothold in California. Officials say its growth advantage is worrisome. Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ Kellie Hwang in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/11/23


Are tech layoffs a sign of looming Bay Area recession? Here’s what experts say -- Economists and experts said while the layoffs are disruptive for the lives of the affected people, they don’t necessarily foreshadow an economic collapse like the dot-com bust of the late 1990s or the housing crisis of the late 2000s. Chase DiFeliciantonio in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/11/23

Google mobility data shows San Francisco metro area led the nation in avoiding the office in 2022 -- Google mobility data suggest that San Francisco has had one of the slowest returns to in-person work since the pandemic when compared to over 50 major metropolitan areas — and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change in 2023. Adriana Rezal in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/11/23

Silicon Valley office vacancy rises, rents flatten, big leases vanish -- Silicon Valley’s office market experienced rising vacancy rates, flat rental rates and a vanishing act for big leasing deals during the final three months of 2022 amid uncertainties over the economy and tech layoffs. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/11/23

Laid-Off Workers Are Flooded With Fake Job Offers -- Employment scams using fake job opportunities to swindle applicants are on the rise and have found a new, prime target in laid-off tech workers. Imani Moise in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/11/23

Natural Gas  

Natural-Gas Prices Have Fallen Back to Earth—Except in California -- Utility bills are ballooning in the Golden State, where natural gas costs five times the benchmark U.S. price. Ryan Dezember in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/11/23


New LAPD policy lowers off-duty drinking limit -- The new policy, which was passed by the Police Commission on Tuesday, forbids officers who carry firearms while off duty from drinking to impairment. Libor Jany in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/11/23


Gun Owners in San Jose Now Need Liability Insurance -- San Jose’s law, the first of its type in the nation, mandates that gun owners in the city of nearly one million have insurance covering costs related to accidental gunshot injuries or deaths. The law doesn’t require policies to cover criminal misuse of firearms. Zusha Elinson in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/11/23


Ocean heat surged to another record-high temperature in 2022 -- ‘The fact that we’re seeing such clear increases in ocean heat content, extending over decades now, shows that there is a significant change underway,’ one long-time researcher says. Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis in the Washington Post$ -- 1/11/23


California schools, community colleges to face slight drop in funding, first in a decade -- Funding for schools and community colleges will fall next year for the first time in a decade, under the first pass at the 2023-24 state budget, which Gov. Gavin Newsom released Tuesday. Both the University of California and the California State University would receive 5% base increases. (Go here for more details on higher education funding.) Michael Burke, Ashley A. Smith EdSource -- 1/11/23

Also . . .   

Twitter Said to Consider Selling User Names to Boost Revenue -- It’s unclear if the project will move forward and if the plan affects all user names or only a subset, the people said. But Mr. Musk said last month that he wanted to start eliminating inactive accounts on Twitter and free up 1.5 billion user names. Only certain user names — such as those of well-known people, brands and popular names — may have value. Ryan Mac and Kate Conger in the New York Times$ -- 1/11/23

R.J. Reynolds Pivots to New Cigarette Pitches as Flavor Ban Takes Effect -- Now that California’s tobacco prohibitions are in place, some Camel and Newport items are billed as newly “fresh” or “crisp” non-menthol versions. Christina Jewett and Emily Baumgaertner in the New York Times$ -- 1/11/23