Updating Tuesday . .   

LAPD widens investigation into source of racist City Hall leak -- Information obtained by Los Angeles police from search warrants served on Twitter and Reddit has led detectives to additional investigative avenues as they work to uncover who recorded a meeting between three L.A. City Council members and a labor leader that was filled with racist and offensive comments, according to court documents and sources. Richard Winton, Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/17/23

Rain Train  

California’s record rainstorms are a blessing, a hardship and a spiritual experience -- It may feel like California is being cursed by the gods, but in fact humanity’s relationship with rain has always been paradoxical. Rain has the ability to create, and to destroy. And so it becomes a matter of faith: We pray for it, even as we fear it. Deborah Netburn in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/17/23

New Bay Area maps show hidden flood risk from sea level rise and groundwater -- Amid dramatic ocean swells and drenching atmospheric rivers, a new report lays bare a hidden aspect of sea level rise that has been exacerbating flooding in the Bay Area. Rosanna Xia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/17/23

Bay Area rainfall chart, December and January: Almost 50 inches at wettest spot -- For this point in the water year — which starts in October — the totals are around twice the average at many Bay Area spots. November was drier than normal, and December brought about double the average rainfall. The item is in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/17/23


Want to solve climate change? This California farm kingdom holds a key -- Replacing agriculture with solar panels could help solve the West’s energy and water crises. But farmers are fighting back. Sammy Roth, Robert Gauthier,Jessica Q. Chen, Maggie Beidelman, Jackeline Luna, Paul Duginski in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/17/23

Race to zero: Can California’s power grid handle a 15-fold increase in electric cars? -- Despite expecting 12.5 million electric cars by 2035, California officials insist that the grid can provide enough electricity. But that’s based on multiple assumptions — including building solar and wind at almost five times the pace of the past decade — that may not be realistic. Nadia Lopez CalMatters -- 1/17/23


Unity Software Lays Off More Workers as Tech Job Cuts Grow -- San Francisco-based Unity said Tuesday that 284 jobs would be eliminated. Some of those losing their jobs may be rehired for other positions if they apply for openings, the company said. Sarah E. Needleman in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/17/23

Office chairs and a blue bird statue: Here’s everything you can bid on as the Twitter auction begins -- Twitter’s online auction sale, in which the company hopes to sell off office furniture, memorabilia and other items, launched Tuesday morning. Buyers can bid on lounge chairs, sofas, coffee tables, computer monitors, espresso machines and a plethora of other office and kitchen equipment. Jessica Flores in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/17/23

California bills would ban state employees from installing TikTok on their work phones -- California state workers could be banned from installing certain social media apps like TikTok on their state-issued smartphones under two proposed laws that highlight potential cyber security threats. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/17/23

How Restaurant Workers Help Pay for Lobbying to Keep Their Wages Low -- The National Restaurant Association uses mandatory $15 food-safety classes to turn waiters and cooks into unwitting funders of its battle against minimum wage increases. David A. Fahrenthold and Talmon Joseph Smith in the New York Times$ -- 1/17/23


As Cities Get Tough on Homelessness, Legal Battles Follow -- Cities across the U.S. have been introducing tougher measures to address the growing problem of homelessness, prompting a number of court challenges that could set guideposts on how far municipalities can go. Laura Kusisto in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/17/23


UC housing problem persists for graduate students -- The recent agreement between striking graduate student workers in the UC system did little to solve their housing woes. Mikhail Zinshteyn CalMatters -- 1/17/23

Also . . .   

Nearly half of California’s LGBTQ youth considered suicide last year. Two major shifts explain why -- A conservative backlash to transgender rights and the ongoing pandemic are contributing to a mental health crisis: Nearly half of California’s LGBTQ youth considered suicide last year. Elissa Miolene in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/17/23

Morrison: Recent report on L.A. County hate crime numbers is a reminder of when we didn’t even count them -- You could plausibly take the point of view that much of the history of the 20th century is one long chain of hate crimes. Patt Morrison in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/17/23

Which Bay Area city has the best ‘quality of life’? This tool lets you decide -- What’s the best city to live in the Bay Area? The answer is different for everyone. For some people entertainment options are paramount, while others care more about diversity. Leila Darwiche, Nami Sumida in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/17/23


California Policy and Politics Tuesday  

Devastating storms might be over, but officials caution California to stay vigilant -- But officials caution the public to remain vigilant. Landslides, sinkholes and other hazards could still strike because the ground has received such a soaking, and tree branches — dried up from years of drought and whiplashed by high winds — remain a deadly hazard. Rosanna Xia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/17/23

Helicopters evacuate residents of Ventura County town left isolated, battered by storm -- The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said 17 inches of rainfall over the course of one week left “towering piles of rock and mud” as high as 40 feet in some locations, blocking the single road into and out of the canyon. A part of Matilija Canyon Road collapsed into a raging creek below. Melody Gutierrez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/17/23

Mudslide wipes out one home, forces Berkeley Hills evacuations -- A mudslide tore into a home in the Berkeley Hills early Monday and forced the occupants of eight houses to evacuate the neighborhood as emergency officials tried to shore up a hillside saturated by recent rains. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/17/23

Storm brings snow, some operational delays to Southern California ski resorts -- Southern California’s mountain resorts reported up to 18 inches of fresh snow over the weekend, good news for winter sports enthusiasts though the storm disrupted operations in some cases. Jordan Darling in the Orange County Register -- 1/17/23

Woman found dead near tree limb at Golden Gate Park identified as San Francisco resident -- San Francisco resident Beth Louise Abrams took walks in Golden Gate Park almost every day — when she wasn’t busy teaching dance, getting food to people in need or advocating for ™a better environment. Claire Hao in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/17/23

California storms: The damage and the amazing deluge, by the numbers -- The relentless winter storms that have hammered California over the past three weeks are the biggest in five years. They have caused widespread damage across the state, but also significantly improved California’s water situation after three years of severe drought. With dry weather forecast for most of the next week, here’s a tally of the storms’ stunning impact, so far, by the numbers: Paul Rogers, John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/17/23

President Biden coming to California this week to assess widespread storm damage -- While exact details are not final, Biden does plan to meet with first responders, state and local officials, and communities in several areas affected by the devastating “atmospheric river” storms that have left at least 20 people dead. David Lightman in the Sacramento Bee$ Trisha Thadani, Tara Duggan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/17/23

Policy and Politics  

‘This is our way of honoring Dr. King’: MLK marches in Sacramento attract big crowds -- More than 2,000 people gathered Monday to march through Land Park to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 42nd Annual March for the Dream, one of three walking rallies in Sacramento to celebrate the fallen civil rights leader. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/17/23

Hundreds in S.F. honor MLK’s legacy with march, music and celebration -- The sun poked out over San Francisco for what felt like the first time in weeks, and a sea of people marched through downtown Monday in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/17/23

Parade, service projects, Unity Walk and LA cathedral Mass celebrate King Day -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day was marked on Monday, Jan. 16, by the 38th Kingdom Day Parade, service projects, a Unity Walk in Santa Clarita, a program at the California African American Museum and a Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/17/23

A once-in-a-generation political fight is heating up for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat in California -- It’s exceedingly rare — like snow in San Jose rare — for one of California’s two U.S. Senate seats to hit the ballot without an incumbent running. But that’s exactly what may happen in 2024 when many expect Feinstein, who is almost 90 and reportedly facing cognitive decline, to retire. Marisa Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/17/23

Struck by EBT fraud, thousands of San Diego food-stamp and welfare recipients struggle to find food, pay bills -- Advocates have seen a growing number of fraud claims in recent months and are pressing policymakers to upgrade EBT card technology. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/17/23

Walters: Storms tell California to upgrade its plumbing -- A series of storms has dumped immense amounts of water on California, but the state needs some new plumbing to take advantage of such events and counteract the effects of drought. Dan Walters CalMatters -- 1/17/23


LA County captures 33 billion gallons of stormwater from this winter’s storms -- That amount of water could supply 816,000 people with water for a year, according to the county. The stormwater was captured within the “first few months of our winter storm season,” according to Mark Pestrella. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/17/23


Medical Residents Unionize Over Pay, Working Conditions -- The pandemic’s strains spurred residents to organize, said Simranvir Kaur, a fourth-year resident specializing in obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford Medicine, where most of some 1,400 Stanford residents voted to form a union last May. Residents were working longer shifts without extra compensation and treating Covid-19 patients without adequate protective gear, Dr. Kaur said. Dominique Mosbergen in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/17/23


OC public defender died in ‘unfortunate accident,’ Mexican authorities say -- David Scarsone, an attorney hired by Blair’s family, said they continue to be skeptical that he just fell off the balcony and will do their own investigation. “There are many unanswered questions,” Scarsone said. “(The family) is pushing back on that conclusion (by Mexican authorities).” Roxana Kopetman, Tony Saavedra in the Orange County Register -- 1/17/23


Judge throws out suit against state law, allowing sharing of gun owner information with researchers -- A San Diego federal judge upheld a state law that allows the state to disclose some personal information of registered gun owners to research institutions, dismissing a lawsuit from gun owners who said the law violated their gun-owning rights and violates their privacy. Greg Moran in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/17/23


What you need to become a substitute teacher in California | Quick Guide -- Becoming a substitute teacher in California has become easier and more financially lucrative in the last few years. Diana Lambert EdSource -- 1/17/23


Monday Updates  

Rain Train  

Southern California storms cause landslides, close highways. But end of rain in sight -- The last of a series of storms to hit Southern California is expected to finally begin moving out Monday. The region saw several bursts of rain over the last few days. The item is in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/23

Bay Area wakes up to clearer skies, but overnight storm causes havoc across region -- Part of Highway 101 near Woodside Road in Redwood City remained shut Monday morning due to a massive pothole that reportedly damaged multiple vehicles. Caltrans reported that northbound traffic was reduced to three lates at the junction of State Road 84. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/23

Bay Area storm: Overnight downpours cause damage throughout region as forecasts clear for remainder of the week -- SFO surpassed its 12-month average rain total in just four months. Austin Turner, Jakob Rodgers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/16/23

As California Storms Approach End, Flood Fears Remain -- Central California remained under a flood watch Monday as the last in a series of major storms that have battered the state since Christmas moved through, according to forecasters. Adolfo Flores in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/16/23


California reservoir levels: Charts show water supply across the state -- The Chronicle is tracking daily water storage levels at 15 of the state’s major water supply reservoirs compared with their historical averages (1991 to 2020). The storage level is shown as percentages of total storage capacity for each reservoir. The charts are updated daily at 8:00 a.m. to reflect the most recent data. The item is in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/23

Californians approved billions for new water storage. Why hasn’t it gotten built? -- In 2014, during the throes of last decade’s drought, California voters approved billions of dollars for infrastructure that would catch and store much-needed water from winter storms. The hope was to amass water in wet times and save it for dry times. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/23

Storms force California to look harder at capturing rainfall to ease drought -- After the driest three years in the state’s modern history, California suddenly has a different problem on its hands: too much water. Camille Von Kaenel Politico -- 1/16/23

Policy and Politics  

On a poverty tour of California, an advisor to the governor chronicles agony, anger and hope -- Michael Tubbs writes in his notebook and stars a word in black pen for importance: “agony.” It’s impossible to wholly describe what he has learned about Californians living in poverty during his tour across the state, but that word seems to wrap it up. Mackenzie Mays in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/23

A once-in-a-generation political fight is heating up for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat in California -- A once-in-a-generation political battle is heating up in California as candidates begin to spar over Dianne Feinstein’s coveted Senate seat, promising reverberations that will shake up everything from our representation in the U.S. House to our local Bay Area elections. Marisa Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/16/23

Smith: MLK had a dream about ending police brutality. In L.A., we’re clearly still dreaming -- For two solid hours, the rain never let up. Umbrellas collapsed. Puddles swallowed feet. Ponchos hastily pulled over Black Lives Matter hoodies billowed and leaked. Erika D. Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/23

Skelton: California has lots of catching up to do on flood management — with or without climate change -- When Leland Stanford became California’s governor in 1862, he needed a rowboat to carry him to the Capitol to be sworn in. Sacramento’s streets were flooded. In fact, much of California was. A 300-mile-long lake was created in the Central Valley from near Bakersfield to Red Bluff. At least 4,000 people were killed. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/23


Is the Bay Area on the verge of a housing construction slowdown? -- The Bay Area, already one of the most difficult and expensive places in the nation to build new homes, is being buffeted by a turbulent economy that’s creating even more challenges for a region reeling from a housing affordability crisis. Ethan Varian in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/16/23

Most cities still falling behind affordable housing mandate, state numbers show -- Just 29 out of 538 California municipalities met their housing goals at all income levels, according to state housing figures. Jeff Collins, Nikie Johnson in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/16/23


On Orange County beaches, proliferation of e-bikes brings battle to the boardwalk -- When Fred Levine steps off the patio of his beachfront home onto the crowded boardwalk, a roughly three-mile pathway that stretches parallel to the sand along the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, he has to remember to look both ways. “It’s like stepping onto the 405 Freeway,” he said. Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/23


Anxiety over ‘tripledemic’ has these LAUSD parents pleading for mask mandate -- As school resumes, COVID-traumatized L.A.-area parents call for return to masking over ‘tripledemic’ fears amid surge that also includes flu and RSV. Alejandra Reyes-velarde, Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/23

Also . . .   

A fountain of youth for dogs? This S.F. startup says it’s on the way -- Every pet owner knows the heartbreaking reality: Companion animals’ lives are shorter than ours. Now, a San Francisco biotech startup is working on drugs to help dogs live longer, healthier lives. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/23