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San Diego is paying almost $18,000 a day to rent a vacant building -- What started as an effort to consolidate San Diego city workers in new downtown office space has devolved into a long-term arrangement that is costing taxpayers almost $18,000 a day in rent for a building that is likely to remain vacant for months to come. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/22/18

Toxic soil went from SF’s Hunters Point to state landfills, ex-workers say -- The scandal involving cheating in the $1 billion cleanup at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has until now focused on allegations of what was left behind at the site: radioactive dirt dumped into trenches to save the time and expense of testing and disposing of it properly. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/22/18

Bay Area falling behind on quake safety despite booming tech economy -- Property values are soaring to stratospheric levels. The tech economy is booming, fueling fast-paced development and spending on home renovations that ranks among the nation’s highest. Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/22/18

Marin health officials test new way to track opioid overdoses -- Jeoffrey Orman, a paramedic for one of Marin County’s busiest ambulance crews, has seen it time and time again. Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/22/18

#MeToo movement lawmaker made anti-Asian comments -- California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, the prominent #MeToo activist now under investigation for groping and sexual harassment of former legislative staffers, was reprimanded by former Assembly Speaker John Perez in 2014 for making racially insensitive comments against Asians. Carla Marinucci Politico -- 4/22/18

Rules in the works as city offers olive branch in scooter war -- Despite the very public push to get the newly arrived hordes of electric scooters off San Francisco’s sidewalks, the two-wheel rentals could wind up operating with the city’s blessing. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/22/18

America Before Earth Day: Smog and Disasters Spurred the Laws Trump Wants to Undo -- A huge oil spill. A river catching fire. Lakes so polluted they were too dangerous for fishing or swimming. Air so thick with smog it was impossible to see the horizon. That was the environmental state of the nation 50 years ago. But pollution and disasters prompted action. Livia Albeck-Ripka and Kendra Pierre-Louis in the New York Times$ -- 4/22/18

 

California Policy & Politics This Morning  

California lawmakers say they'll keep releasing sexual misconduct records. And yet a bill to guarantee that is about to be killed -- Last October, after accusations of a "pervasive" culture of sexual misconduct in politics blazed through Sacramento, the question was whether the California Legislature would disclose records pertaining to abuse investigations. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/22/18

Diaz: California has long and eclectic list of contenders for governor, U.S. Senate -- Many Californians encountering the June 5 primary ballot for the first time might say to themselves: “This is craziness.” There are 31 challengers to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and 27 candidates hoping to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown. John Diaz in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/22/18

Orange County anti-corruption task force collapsed amid infighting between federal and local investigators -- The creation of the Orange County Corruption Task Force and its work were shrouded in secrecy. But nearly four years after it began, the joint operation quietly fell apart last year amid conflicts between local and federal investigators who had little to show for their work together, according to a Los Angeles Times investigation. Adam Elmahrek and Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/22/18

Walters: The dimensions of California’s pension crisis -- California’s public employee pension systems have immense gaps – called “unfunded liabilities” – between what they have in assets and what they will need to meet their obligations to retirees. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 4/22/18

Fearing Chaos, National Democrats Plunge Into Midterm Primary Fights -- The Democrats’ message to Mai Khanh Tran was polite but unsparing. With half a dozen Democrats running for Congress in her Orange County district, they showed her a discouraging poll and argued that she could not win — and risked fracturing the party in the June primary election. Alexander Burns in the New York Times$ -- 4/22/18

Willie Brown: How Jerry Brown pulled a fast one on Trump -- Gov. Jerry Brown found himself caught in no man’s land when it came to deploying the California National Guard to make President Trump happy. He still managed to come out a winner. Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/22/18

Rep. Ro Khanna tapped by Pelosi to draft “Internet Bill of Rights” -- Since arriving on Capitol Hill last year, Rep. Ro Khanna has advocated for Americans’s rights to their own private data on the web. Now, fellow Bay Area Rep. Nancy Pelosi has tapped him to outline just what those rights are. Seung Lee in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/22/18

Lopez: Inside L.A.'s other cycling world — no helmet, no cars and not much money for repairs -- Bikes are everywhere on the south side. Although cycling is dangerous — two more people were struck and killed by motorists in recent days in South L.A. — it's the least expensive way to get around. No matter the time of day or night, you see people traveling not for recreation, but out of necessity, often without helmets and the Popsicle-colored spandex you see in areas where cycling is often sport, not last resort. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/22/18

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

San Francisco Chronicle raising water, sewer rates over 4 years -- Water bills in San Francisco are set to rise steadily over the next four years, after the approval of a rate schedule by the city’s Public Utilities Commission. The city’s combined bill for water and sewer services will climb by an average of 8.4 percent, or around $10, each year through 2022, according to the commission. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/22/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Raids and tariffs? We'll take our lumps, say California farmers -- You might assume walnut grower Mike Poindexter would be regretting his vote for Donald Trump. Since the inauguration, immigration officials have raided his Selma, Calif., office and China has slapped tariffs on his walnuts to retaliate against President Trump’s protection of steel, aluminum and manufacturing. But you’d be dead wrong. Like many other farmers in the rural and conservative San Joaquin Valley, Poindexter, 46, is holding as steadfast as his trees. Geoffrey Mohan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/22/18

How much has once-dreary Hollywood changed? Try $6,600 a month for a 2-bedroom apartment -- Monthly rents for a deluxe apartment tower called Argyle House opening next month start at $3,395 for a studio, $4,395 for a one-bedroom and $6,595 for two bedrooms. The location? Not Beverly Hills, not Santa Monica, but the once-dreary intersection of Argyle Avenue and Yucca Street in Hollywood. Roger Vincent in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/22/18

Environment 

Can science and religion coexist? They must in order to save the planet, two luminaries conclude -- Two of the deepest thinkers in science and religion convened Saturday for a celebration of Planet Earth and a discussion of whether their respective disciplines are mutually exclusive, and how they could be wedded to overcome the most vexing challenges facing the world. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/22/18

The Bay Area Celebrates Earth Day -- Earth Day, which takes place on April 22 each year, traces its roots to a 1969 oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara. With California as the birthplace of the annual observance, the state will go the extra mile to honor the planet, with events planned in numerous cities. Amel Ahmed KQED -- 4/22/18

Earth Day 2018: How plastic pollution occurs and what we can do to lessen it -- Globally, plastics have been a growth industry for more than 60 years. But pollution from plastics is also on the rise, which makes this year’s Earth Day theme, “End Plastic Pollution,” apt. Kurt Snibbe and Anna Berken in the Orange County Register -- 4/22/18

Wildfire  

Fire Survivors' Last Resort: How a Dilapidated Hotel Became a Haven for the Displaced -- O n a hot Sunday afternoon in 2015, Bart Levenson left her house on 6 acres of forestland in Lake County to go into town and get her prescriptions filled. “I left to do errands and I never got home," she says. "Ever." Levenson's home burned down in the massive Valley Fire that sparked on Sept. 12, 2015, killing four people and wiping out 1,280 homes. Sukey Lewis KQED -- 4/22/18

Education 

Sacramento State had lead and chemical safety problems. Does CSU have systemwide issues? -- Lead exposure and a chemical spill at Sacramento State are expected to feature prominently in a state audit scheduled for release Tuesday examining whether the California State University system has health and safety deficiencies. Diana Lambert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/22/18

El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills wins the 2018 U.S. Academic Decathlon -- It's the latest victory for El Camino Real's powerhouse team, a perennial state and national champion that won LAUSD's Academic Decathlon in February and has clinched the national Academic Decathlon title seven times in the last two decades — most recently in 2014. Carlos Lozano in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/22/18

Cannabis 

City Councilman Mitch Englander calls for marijuana 'amnesty boxes' at LAX -- A Los Angeles City Council member wants to give travelers flying out of Los Angeles International Airport with marijuana in their possession the option to dump the legal drug in a so-called "amnesty box" before going through security. Javier Panzar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/22/18

POTUS 45  

Michael Cohen, once at pinnacle of Trump’s world, now poses threat to it -- When Donald Trump won the presidency, his longtime attorney Michael Cohen seemed in position for a coveted spot in the senior ranks of the White House. At one point, Cohen topped a list of five candidates for White House counsel, according to documents reviewed by The Washington Post. He suggested to some Trump allies that he might make a good chief of staff. But when Trump built his West Wing team, the brash New York lawyer did not make the cut. Michael Kranish, Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman in the Washington Post$ -- 4/22/18