Updating Saturday. .   

New storms move into Southern California, bringing wet, hazardous holiday weekend -- Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties were expected to see showers throughout the day Saturday, with the heaviest rain in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. The rain is expected to continue through Monday. Rong-Gong Lin II, Christian Martinez, Grace Toohey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/14/23

With the Salinas River rising, Monterey County stocks up on sandbags and supplies -- Twenty-two members of the California Conservation Corps scrambled to fill hundreds of sandbags at Toro Park near Salinas on Friday as a new round of storms thrashed the coastal region, forcing thousands to evacuate along the Salinas River. St. John Barned-Smith, Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/14/23

Floods and downed power lines expected as another storm slams Bay Area -- After a few days break from the downpour, another storm moved into the Bay Area on Saturday with wind gusts topping over 45 miles per hour in the morning. Those winds could topple trees, sending them tumbling into power lines. Scooty Nickerson in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/14/23

Floods, landslides, sinkholes: See the devastation of heavy rain in California -- After weeks of relentless rainfall, the toll is coming into view. Communities faced flash floods, mudslides, debris damage and a range of other hazards as the storms, known as atmospheric rivers, have whipped across the landscape. At least 19 people have died. Derek Hawkins in the Washington Post$ -- 1/14/23

Why were California’s storms so deadly? Flooded roads and falling trees posed greatest risks -- As another round of storms rolls in over the weekend, the state’s flood control system — already battered by persistent rainfall — will be put to the test. Seven rivers are likely to jump their banks this weekend, and the Monterey Peninsula could temporarily become an island, state officials said on Friday. Ariane Lange and Kaytlyn Leslie in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/14/23

The rain paused, but the work hasn’t for road crews battling nature’s wrath -- The 11-man crew assembled at the Felton office of Santa Cruz County’s Department of Public Works, waiting to hear what physical and mental toil they were going to be assigned. Susanne Rust in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/14/23

Frustrated by waiting, some hikers return to potentially hazardous trails -- The ominous message was taped to an 18-inch orange traffic cone. “Danger. Flash flood area. Do not enter,” it read. Andrew J. Campa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/14/23

Policy and Politics  

California should plan for bigger deficit and more budget cuts, new analysis says -- The analysis, released by the Legislative Analyst’s Office on Friday, said there is “a good chance” that California revenues will come in lower than Gov. Gavin Newsom has projected. Lindsey Holden, Maggie Angst in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/14/23

The top 10 Republican presidential candidates for 2024, ranked -- The 2024 Republican presidential race is technically two months old. We say “technically” because there’s really only one candidate and very little sign that he’s running a bona fide campaign at this point. Aaron Blake in the Washington Post$ -- 1/14/23


He raised 4 kids in Sacramento. He died homeless of hypothermia this winter -- Six days after Thanksgiving, a man froze to death on a sidewalk just north of downtown Sacramento. He was the second homeless person to die of hypothermia in the capital city this winter. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/14/23

L.A. to keep downtown hotel open as homeless housing for another year -- A 13-story hotel that has served as a cornerstone of Los Angeles’ fight against homelessness, a facility that had been set to cease operations in less than three weeks, will be kept open for an additional year, city officials said Friday. David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/14/23

Oakland says it needs to clear huge Wood Street homeless camp — or lose money for affordable housing -- Before Jared DeFigh moved to the sprawling Wood Street homeless encampment under Interstate 880 in West Oakland he lived on the side of the freeway in Berkeley. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/14/23


Sacramento judge blocks California from enacting first-in-the-nation fast-food labor council -- California will again pause implementation of its first-in-the-nation council that would set pay and working standards for fast-food employees. Maya Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/14/23


For Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, police violence hits close to home -- Patrisse Cullors is used to being the one consoling families of people who died at the hands of police, not the other way around. But there she was, fielding voicemails, DMs and WhatsApp messages from well-wishers as she grappled with the sudden loss of Keenan Anderson, a distant cousin who died earlier this month after a Los Angeles police traffic stop. Libor Jany in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/14/23

Knight: She failed to save her daughter from fentanyl’s grip. A year later, her daughter and S.F. remain stuck -- Dealers clustered at Seventh and Mission streets, openly selling drugs. At their feet, people smoked fentanyl off tinfoil while others nodded off. Tents dotted the sidewalks. Piles of food scraps, trash and feces filled the gutter. Pedestrians, including a woman pushing a baby in a stroller, nearly swerved into traffic on Seventh Street to get past. Laurie Steves, 57, stood amid the commerce and the chaos, waiting. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/14/23

L.A. traffic deaths rose in 2022, surpassing 300 fatalities for first time in two decades -- Traffic deaths climbed again in Los Angeles last year, with 300 people killed on city streets — the highest number in at least two decades, said city officials. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/14/23

Several Torrance police officers linked to racist text scandal no longer employed by city -- Several Torrance police officers linked to a racist text messaging scandal — including two who shot and killed a Black man in a controversial 2018 incident — are no longer employed by the troubled law enforcement agency, records show. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/14/23

Also . . .   

The Circus Came to Town—and Bought the Place -- What happens when a circus buys a town? The small community of Nipton, Calif., is living through the experiment. Kirsten Grind in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/14/23



California Policy and Politics Saturday  

Rain Train  

‘Not out of the woods yet’: Latest California storm brings fresh dangers and worry -- A National Weather Service meteorologist says heavier rains, strong winds and more snow for the mountains are expected Saturday. Susanne Rust, Summer Lin, Grace Toohey, Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times$ Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ John Woolfolk, Austin Turner in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/14/23

L.A. Mayor Karen Bass declares local state of emergency over storms -- The city is expecting another storm to move in by Saturday, raising not only the possibility of more damage from the rain, but hindering officials’ ability to address the damage already caused. Salvador Hernandez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23

Sacramento loves its trees. But will we ever recover from the damage they’ve inflicted? -- An estimated 1,000 trees have fallen in the city of Sacramento since the New Year’s Eve storm. Hundreds more toppled in the suburbs. The carnage tore holes into historic midtown homes, split cars in Orangevale and knocked out power to thousands. Two homeless people died when trees fell on their tents. Ryan Lillis, Benjy Egel in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/13/23

California’s Redwood Forests Don’t Mind Wet, Windy Weather -- Though some trees may be toppled in storms, experts say that redwood trees, which can live for centuries, are adapted to a wide range of weather events. Amanda Holpuch in the New York Times$ -- 1/13/23

‘Without power for 10 days’: 49ers star, others see multi-day PG&E outages -- Wells is among more than 20,000 Californians who were still without power on Friday afternoon as a series of atmospheric storms continue to pummel the state. While PG&E successfully restored power to 2.4 million people over the past two weeks, others, including star 49ers tight end George Kittle, are still blacked out. Eliyahu Kamisher in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/13/23

Pesky potholes: Bay Area storm brings rash of new roadway damage -- While torrential storms bring catastrophic floods, downed trees and mass power outages to the Bay Area, water is also seeping into asphalt causing cracks to morph into one of the region’s peskiest — and costly — problems: potholes. Eliyahu Kamisher in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/14/23

Policy and Politics  

California’s EDD faces questions from Congress on state’s unemployment fraud -- The California Employment Development Department found itself on the receiving end of a letter from Congress demanding documents and explaining why the state saw, what the letter called, “the worst unemployment fraud in the nation during the pandemic.” Chase DiFeliciantonio in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/13/23

Deal or no deal? A corruption case spins out of control with a judge’s last-minute change of heart -- For more than a decade, tax consultant Ramin Salari fought charges that he had bribed former Los Angeles County assessor John Noguez in a pay-for-play conspiracy. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23


Supreme Court appears set to expand workers’ right to time off for religious observance -- The justices voted to hear an appeal from a former U.S. postal worker and evangelical Christian who was disciplined and eventually quit because he refused to deliver packages on Sundays. David G. Savage in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23


Bass’ Inside Safe program quickly moves almost 100 homeless off Venice streets -- Venice residents couldn’t believe their eyes on Friday morning, Jan. 13, as they traveled to well-known restaurant The Rose for a community meeting with Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and city councilmember Traci Park: the streets long lined with trash, tents and human suffering were miraculously clear. Clara Harter in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/13/23

Mental Healthcare  

L.A. County on track to join Newsom’s sweeping mental health plan a year early -- Los Angeles County is on track to join the first wave of counties this year launching a sweeping new plan backed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to address severe mental illness by compelling treatment for people who are in serious crisis. Hannah Wiley, Thomas Curwen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23


Atmospheric rivers won’t end California’s drought -- Even after six atmospheric river driven storms, a majority of the state is still in a drought that began three years ago. Why rain alone doesn’t solve dry conditions has much to do with what happens to that rain once it falls and how climate change is disrupting that cycle. Daniel Wolfe, Szu Yu Chen and Laris Karklis in the Washington Post$ -- 1/13/23


California storms: A 2-inch fish is limiting how much water can be captured for cities and farms -- Environmental regulations aimed at protecting a two-inch-long fish, the endangered Delta smelt, have required the massive state and federal pumps near Tracy to reduce pumping rates by nearly half of their full limit, sharply curbing the amount of water that can be saved for farms and cities to the south. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/14/23


Riverside County sheriff’s deputy is killed in shooting near Lake Elsinore -- A Riverside County sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed Friday near Lake Elsinore, just two weeks after another deputy was fatally shot while on duty, authorities said. “We are devastated to announce the passing of Deputy Darnell Calhoun who was killed in the line of duty this afternoon,” the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a tweet shortly before 8 p.m. Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times$ Brian Rokos, Monserrat Solis in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/13/23

After deaths, L.A. police face new questions about excessive force -- Three men have died after encounters with Los Angeles police officers in recent days, adding pressure on a new mayor who has called for police reform. Scott Wilson in the Washington Post$ -- 1/13/23

Independent investigators reject innocence claim from death row inmate Kevin Cooper -- The special counsel appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to look into the case of Kevin Cooper, a death row inmate whose decades-old murder conviction fell under fierce scrutiny in recent years, released a report Friday casting aside the prisoner’s long-standing claims of innocence. “The evidence of Cooper’s guilt,” the report reads, “is extensive and conclusive.” Marisa Gerber in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23

Faced with shrinking ranks, LAPD looks to rehire retired officers -- The Los Angeles Police Department is making a simple but unusual pitch to its retired cops: Come back. Please. Libor Jany in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23

LAPD’s repeated tasing of teacher who later died appears excessive, experts say -- Videos released this week of a teacher who died after Los Angeles police discharged a Taser on him at least six times on a Venice street raises serious concerns about the officers’ tactics, law enforcement experts who reviewed the tapes said. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23

New report says California’s parole process could lead to inequitable outcomes -- Advocates say the current parole process unfairly denies parole to Black and brown inmates as compared with white inmates; the Board of Parole Hearings disagrees. Sarah Mizes-Tan Capital Public Radio -- 1/13/23


Burning Man touts sustainability. Now it’s suing to block clean energy -- The Burning Man Project, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that holds the festival every year, filed a lawsuit Monday against the federal government in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, arguing that regulators at the Bureau of Land Management failed to properly take into account the environmental impact of the geothermal exploration project when they approved it. Dino Grandoni in the Washington Post$ -- 1/13/23

Also . . .   

Here I am’: Redondo Beach WWII veteran is oldest living Pearl Harbor survivor -- Joseph Eskenazi, the oldest living survivor of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, was told by his doctor that a heart condition would prevent him from flying on an airplane to attend a ceremony this week at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Nathan Solis in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23


Friday Updates   

Rain Train  

Next round of Bay Area storms could bring even more flooding than previous storms — here's why -- But rivers have continued to swell and a couple, like the Russian River in the North Bay and Salinas River on the Central Coast, are forecast to rise this morning and through Saturday. Models are forecasting these rivers will approach moderate flood stages, despite those same weather models predicting the next two storms to be much weaker than recent ones. Gerry Díaz in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/13/23

Renewed flood threat, heavy snow: What to know about California’s next big winter storm -- Another atmospheric river storm will bring flood risk to the Sacramento Valley for a third consecutive weekend, stirring up strong gusts while dumping several more feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The precipitation is expected in two rounds, National Weather Service forecasts show. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/13/23

California braces for more storms. When will they hit and how bad will they be? -- Northern California, already battered by severe flooding, is expected to be at higher risk than Southern California when rains roll in Friday. Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23

National Guard joins search for 5-year-old swept away by floodwaters in San Luis Obispo County -- Nearly 120 members of the California National Guard have joined the search for Kyle Doan, the missing 5-year-old boy who was swept away by floodwaters near San Miguel in San Luis Obispo County during this week’s storms. Summer Lin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23

‘The whole ceiling was on top of me’: San Jose couple forced out of home by falling tree -- In the early hours on a recent grisly day, 29-year-old Lauren Kirchick was awakened by crazy, “hurricane wind” pounding on her bedroom window. Vandana Ravikumar in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/13/23

Mass storm outages bring misery across California, exposing power grid’s vulnerabilities -- California’s power grid is typically tested during wildfire season or intense heat waves, but a winter storm system has challenged the state’s electric grid in new ways. Experts say resiliency measures are needed. Grace Toohey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23

A perilous paradise: In Montecito, fires, floods and mudflows leave wealthy town in fear -- In the town of Montecito, where the median home costs $5 million, Bentley drivers leave their car windows open as they hop out to grab something from the market and residents refer to Gwyneth Paltrow as simply “Gwyneth,” it’s hard to imagine anything ever goes wrong here. And most of the time, nothing does. Noah Goldberg in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23

California Storms Destroy a Wharf and Threaten a Way of Life in Beach Town of Capitola -- Locals hope to rebuild before summer tourist season, while officials say rising seas are increasing the future threat. Jim Carlton in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/13/23

A drive to Tahoe for the long weekend could be ‘pretty rough,’ the weather service warns -- With countless travelers heading to the Lake Tahoe area for the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, meteorologists warn that a storm system is approaching the area and threatening to create dangerous driving conditions. Terry Castleman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23

In a Drought, California Is Watching Water Wash Out to Sea -- Heavy storms have flooded parts of California, but the state has been unable to capture billions of gallons of water that are flowing unchecked into the ocean. Los Angeles is embarking on an ambitious new program to change that. Ralph Vartabedian, Mette Lampcov in the New York Times$ -- 1/13/23

Policy and Politics  

For ultraconservatives in McCarthy’s red California district, speaker drama in D.C. was welcome -- Kevin McCarthy serves a reliably red California district. But conservatives voters there, who criticize him as being an establishment Republican, cheered the standoff over his House speakership. Hailey Branson-Potts, Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23

California Republicans renew call for quicker movement on water storage projects -- Republicans in California’s Assembly used a break in the storms Thursday to condemn Democrats for the drought-stricken state’s inability to capture more of the rainfall that has inundated it in recent weeks. Stephen Hobbs in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/13/23

Will California budget cuts take transit off track? -- California’s projected $22.5 billion deficit means budget cuts are almost inevitable — much to the chagrin of climate activists, public health advocates and others who have criticized Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal since its unveiling this week. We can also expect to see pushback from the Legislature on Newsom’s proposals to cut money for public transit. Sameea Kamal CalMatters -- 1/13/23

Arellano: With In-N-Out, Tennessee officials are double-doubling down on California -- In-N-Out made headlines after announcing it will open up shop in Tennessee. But lost in the hubbub is the state’s use of California to solve an identity crisis. Gustavo Arellano in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/13/23


For first time, Sacramento County to open state fairgrounds to shelter homeless in storm -- Local and state officials have long floated 350-acre Cal Expo campus as an option for the homeless. Thursday marked the first time it actually happened. Cal Expo’s Building 8, located behind the water park, will serve as a 100-bed weather respite center for the homeless during the storms. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/13/23


Bay Area tech, biotech layoffs swell by several hundred more jobs -- An estimated 675 Bay Area jobs are being lost as a result of decisions orchestrated by seven companies that are in the tech, advanced manufacturing, or biotech sectors, according to this news organization’s review of official notices received by the state Employment Development Department. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/13/23

San Francisco’s LendingClub to cut 225 jobs -- The San Francisco financial services company cited rising interest rates for the restructuring and expects $5.7 million in charges. Payroll and benefits expenses will drop by $25 million to $30 million per year after the job cuts. Roland Li in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/13/23

Apple CEO Tim Cook takes rare pay cut -- Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook has voluntarily taken a 40 percent pay cut for 2023, an unusual move that comes “in response to shareholder feedback,” according to the company’s annual proxy statement. Taylor Telford in the Washington Post$ -- 1/13/23


COVID in California: Nose sprays could someday replace face masks -- Johns Hopkins engineers are developing a nasal spray that could be used to block the entry of respiratory illnesses. Aidin Vaziri in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/13/23

Tax Time   

Why you should file taxes even if you don’t owe any -- Tax returns are used by the state government to send Californians money. But some of the people who could most use the money don’t get it — if their incomes are low, they may not be required to file taxes, and if they choose not to, they might miss out. Grace Gedye CalMatters -- 1/13/23


S.F. is being forced to permit concealed guns. But it hasn’t issued a single permit as fight continues -- The first time private investigator Andrew Solow applied for a permit to carry a concealed gun in public, some 30 years ago, he thought he had a strong case: He’d been attacked by gang members with baseball bats not far from his home in the Mission District, and only survived, he said, thanks to two cans of pepper spray. St. John Barned-Smith in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/13/23


Experts say California should ban this type of police stop. Why haven’t lawmakers done it? -- A growing chorus of policy experts have concluded that the way to root out racial bias in policing is for California to ban certain types of minor or technical traffic stops altogether. Dustin Gardiner in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/13/23


Panel of scientists has joined research review of Stanford’s president -- A Nobel laureate and former leaders of Harvard and Princeton universities are among the experts helping to evaluate claims of possible research misconduct. Susan Svrluga in the Washington Post$ -- 1/13/23

Also . . .   

S.F.’s largest landlord defaults on massive loan. What does it mean for the future of city’s real estate? -- But with office buildings empty, rents down and apartment complexes riddled with vacancies, investors will likely increasingly not have the cash flow to pay off the maturing loans. Meanwhile the combination of current high interest rates and San Francisco’s slow recovery is making it hard to borrow or find new capital partners willing to invest. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/13/23

Despite doctors’ concerns, University of California renews ties with religious affiliates -- As the University of California’s health system renews contracts with hundreds of outside hospitals and clinics — many with religious affiliations — some of its doctors and faculty want stronger language to ensure that physicians can perform the treatments they deem appropriate, including abortions for women or hysterectomies for transgender patients. Annie Sciacca in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/13/23

State fines Laguna Honda for deaths of medically fragile patients transferred last summer -- San Francisco’s embattled Laguna Honda public nursing home has been fined $36,000 by the state for violations associated with the deaths of 11 patients last summer after the facility was directed to discharge all residents as part of a federal order to prepare for closure. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/13/23