Aaron Read
Capitol Web Works
Olson Hagel
CA Leg Analyst
Governor Brown
Capitol Weekly

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2 more firefighters injured as Ferguson Fire continues to grow -- Two more firefighters were injured as crews struggled to gain containment Saturday of a relentless inferno fueled by dry terrain and hot weather near Yosemite National Park, officials said. The Ferguson Fire swelled to 27,129 acres by early Saturday — growing by more than 4,000 acres since Friday — and was still only 7 percent contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/21/18

In L.A. stop, Parkland students continue push for gun control and voter registration -- The Parkland students — survivors of a February mass shooting in Florida — brought their activism to Los Angeles this week as they try to maintain momentum in their push for greater gun control at the local and national level. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/18

Lopez: Hard times, through the eyes of three children who dream of better days -- The upheaval in the lives of the Johnson children began a few years ago, when their parents no longer could afford the cost of a Los Angeles apartment despite one and sometimes two jobs between them. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/18

L.A. County issues heat wave warning for the week ahead -- High temperatures are forecast to arrive on Monday. The alert covers areas prone to dangerous summertime heat. They include downtown Los Angeles, the Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley and the Pomona area. Anna M. Phillips in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/18

Willie Brown: It should have been President Hillary Clinton. Here’s why it’s not -- There was no better proof of how we have failed as voters than the scene at last week’s NAACP convention, where former President Bill Clinton presented me with the group’s award for outstanding achievement. As I told 2,000 attendees in San Antonio, if we had all done our job and voted in 2016, it would have been President Hillary Clinton making the presentation. Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/21/18

Nolte: California’s high tech, diverse population are its new story -- It’s is a historic time in California and the Bay Area, almost like living in the middle of the Gold Rush. In a single generation, Californians have invented a whole new world. Carl Nolte in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/21/18

Pender: California gearing up for big battle over rent control -- Battle lines are forming over what could be one of the most contentious fights about housing in California in decades. Kathleen Pender in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/21/18

Gas tax repeal campaign focuses on Bay Area commuters, families -- The campaign to overturn California’s newly enacted gas tax will hit three Bay Area cities next week, as organizers search for volunteers to post lawn signs, write opinion pieces and spread the taxpayer revolt on social media. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/21/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning

Wildfire just miles from Yosemite grows to 22,892 acres -- A wildfire burning near Yosemite National Park grew by nearly 2,000 acres on Friday as fire crews attempted to navigate the rough terrain, officials said. The Ferguson Fire, which ignited a week ago, remained only 7 percent contained as it reached 22,892 acres, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/21/18

Ferguson fire near Yosemite National Park continues to grow -- A forest fire in the Sierra Nevada just west of Yosemite National Park expanded to nearly 36 square miles (93 square kilometers) on Friday. More than 2,700 firefighters aided by a fleet of helicopters were battling the Ferguson Fire but only 7 percent of its perimeter was contained. Associated Press -- 7/21/18

State strips ex-USC medical school dean of license, citing 'an appalling lack of judgment' -- The state agency that regulates physicians on Friday ordered USC’s former medical school dean stripped of his license to practice medicine, citing “an appalling lack of judgment” in his use of drugs and association with a circle of addicts and criminals while leading the major institution. Matt Hamilton and Harriet Ryan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/18

Rohrabacher tours Irvine immigrant detention facility, refuses to answer questions about Russia -- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher took a tour Friday, July 20, of a detention center in Irvine that holds unauthorized immigrants, then set out to talk about illegal immigration. Here’s what he didn’t want to talk about: Russia. Roxana Kopetman in the Orange County Register -- 7/21/18

Hundreds of families reunited but several hundred more to go by judge's deadline -- With one week left under a federal judge’s deadline to reunify families separated at the border, the Trump administration on Thursday said 364 children age 5 and older have rejoined their parents. That’s only a fraction of the 2,551 children in that age group who’ve been identified for possible reunification. Kristina Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 7/21/18

Trump officials Mike Pompeo, James Mattis coming to Bay Area -- Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be at Stanford University for two days next week meeting with top Australian leaders — and, most likely, being greeted by protesters. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/21/18

California Will Allow Backers To Drop Local Ballot Measures -- Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation giving local governments the chance to negotiate deals to withdraw ballot initiatives. The bill signed Friday allows initiative proponents to withdraw them up to 88 days before an election. It extends a controversial option that already exists for state ballot measures to the local level. Associated Press -- 7/21/18

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti set to visit Asia on 10-day trade mission -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will leave Monday for a 10-day trade mission to Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Hong Kong, a trip focused on bringing jobs and investment to L.A. and boosting tourism in the city, his office said. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

San Diego unemployment rate up to 3.7% as employers struggle to find workers -- The rate was up from May’s revised 2.9 in May, but still below the state and nation, 4.5 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively. (Figures not adjusted for seasonality.) Roger Showley in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 7/21/18

The Bay Area company building world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai -- A small San Mateo company is building what is billed as the world’s largest vertical farm next year in Dubai, right on the runway that serves Emirates airline. The 50-foot-high sealed warehouse will produce 3 tons of leafy greens a day, without using a drop of what Sonia Lo calls “free energy” — otherwise known as sunlight — or soil, essentially recreating an optimized version of Central California in the Middle East. Tara Duggan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/21/18

Scooter 'treasure hunt': Nighttime chargers make big money -- Each night after dinner, David Padover invites his kids to join him in a high-tech scavenger hunt through their San Jose neighborhood. They pile into his Subaru Outback, turn on an app and hunt for electric scooters with drained batteries, pressing a button to make their quarry sound a tone and flash lights. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/21/18

L.A. hyperloop company lands first deal in China -- Los Angeles-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced this week that it would work with China to bring the high-tech experimental transportation service to that country. Hyperloop technology is still a concept that’s under development, with no operational hyperloop systems in place yet. Ethan Millman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/18


The Klamath conflict -- As one of the tensest fights for water in the West closes in, residents in this town along the rural California-Oregon border are moving out. The sidewalks are emptier. The downtown is a ghostly strip of vacant storefronts, struggling lunch spots and liquor stores. The highway nearby is flanked by abandoned silos and crumbling produce warehouses. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/21/18

Interior Secretary Zinke visits reservoirs, signaling federal interest in water fight -- Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke paid a visit Friday to two reservoirs that are embroiled in an intense fight over water allocations in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. Ken Carlson in the Fresno Bee -- 7/21/18


The State Might Give Marijuana Customers a Way Around Local Bans -- California officials say new marijuana regulations should be seen as technical tweaks, but at least one provision is a potential a game-changer for the industry. Jesse Marx Voiceofsandiego.org -- 7/21/18


Justice Department, gun rights groups clash after assault weapons deadline passes -- The California Department of Justice is processing nearly 70,000 applications to register assault weapons as a gun rights group this week filed suit, alleging that the DOJ’s online registration system crashed as the June 30 deadline ran down, possibly making criminals of those who couldn’t register. Jim Guy in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/21/18


Embattled L.A. Unified school board member is poised to take plea deal in money-laundering case -- The stage appears to be set for a deal that would resolve political money-laundering allegations against Los Angeles school board member Ref Rodriguez, based on a filing posted Friday afternoon by the city's Ethics Commission. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/18

Also . . . 

Sheriff: Dispute over marijuana fueled slaying of missing Cloverdale man -- A marijuana deal gone bad fueled an escalating dispute between a Healdsburg man and the one-time business partner he is suspected of killing before burying his body deep beneath a pot patch west of town, according to Sonoma County sheriff’s officials. Kevin Fixler, Nashelly Chavez in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 7/21/18

POTUS 45  

Michael Cohen Secretly Taped Trump Discussing Payment to Playboy Model -- President Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, secretly recorded a conversation with Mr. Trump two months before the presidential election in which they discussed payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump, according to lawyers and others familiar with the recording. Matt Apuzzo, Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt in the New York Times$ Carol D. Leonnig and Rosalind S. Helderman in the Washington Post$ -- 7/21/18


Putin isn’t welcome in Congress, Pelosi says -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday rejected the possibility that Russian President Vladi­mir Putin might address the U.S. Congress, describing the Russian leader as a “tyrant” and calling it “beyond belief” that President Trump would invite him to Washington. Felicia Sonmez in the Washington Post$ -- 7/21/18


-- Friday Updates 

Wildfire just miles from Yosemite National Park grows to 22,892 acres -- The Ferguson Fire, which ignited a week ago, continued to be only 7 percent contained as it reached 22,892 acres, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Jim Guy in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/20/18

With heat wave coming, a frantic effort to gain on raging brush fires across California -- With another heat wave on the horizon, firefighters battling blazes on grassy slopes and deep in forest canyons across the state were in a frantic fight to gain ground. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/20/18

California's teacher pension fund beats its investment goal for second straight year -- California’s second largest public pension fund beat its investment goals for the second year in a row, officials reported Friday, due in large part to rising US and global stock markets. The California Public Teachers’ Retirement System reported an net return of 8.96 percent on investments for the 2017-18 fiscal year that ended in June. Caitlin Chen in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/20/18

Stop investing in immigrant detention companies, California teachers tell pension fund -- Hundreds of California teachers and a handful of left-leaning organizations are urging the state’s $225 billion teacher pension fund to pull its money out of for-profit prison companies and immigrant detention centers. Caitlin Chen in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/20/18

California Democrats urge Brown to spearhead gas tax repeal fight -- California Governor Jerry Brown, heading into his last months in office, is staring down a capstone political challenge — an unexpectedly robust GOP effort to dismantle one of his legacy achievements. Jeremy B. White and Carla Marinucci Politico -- 7/20/18

Fake charity pledged to fight veteran suicide. Instead, it kept millions of dollars -- Ten veterans charities that allegedly misused millions of dollars in donations are facing sanctions from California amid a nationwide crackdown on organizations that appear to manipulate the public’s goodwill for military service members. Caitlin Chen in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/20/18

California's planned new campaign finance website is delayed, price has doubled -- A plan to replace California’s antiquated website for disclosing lobbying activity and contributions to elected officials is 11 months behind schedule, and its budget has doubled. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/20/18

Santa Clara County job market booms in June, outstrips state and Bay Area -- California added a paltry 800 jobs in June, which means Santa Clara County produced more than three times as many jobs last month as the entire state, the EDD figures show. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/20/18

LA County Task Force Cracks Down on Prostitution -- The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says 36 adults have been arrested by a human-trafficking task force that also rescued two teenage girls identified as commercially sexually exploited children. Associated Press -- 7/20/18

City may have contributed to West Nile virus outbreak in Pocket area, officials say -- The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District confirmed that a disruption in water flow from the Pocket Canal to the Sacramento River caused mosquitoes to proliferate in the area. Efforts by the city to apply an algaecide treatment to the Pocket Canal caused the water disruption. Hannah Holzer in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/20/18

Fox: Forget 3 States, How About a Much LARGER California -- The California Supreme Court pushed the three states initiative off the November ballot probably on its way to being shoved out the door permanently once the court examines the proposal more closely. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 7/20/18