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California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Why some buildings crumbled and others survived the Mexico City quake: A sober lesson for California -- The amateur videos emerging from the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that devastated Mexico City on Tuesday are grim. Some show taller buildings swaying. Others show short, squat structures suddenly collapsing. Remains of brick walls have fallen onto sidewalks in heaps of rubble. Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/21/17

How ready will Bay Area be for next big quake? -- The 7.1 magnitude earthquake that shattered buildings and left more than 200 dead in and around Mexico City is another powerful reminder of what could happen when — not if — another major temblor strikes the Bay Area. John Wildermuth and J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/21/17

LA County rescue team deploys to Mexico to aid in earthquake recovery efforts -- A Los Angeles County Urban Search and Rescue team is headed to aid local authorities in Mexico following the devastating earthquake there, officials said Wednesday afternoon. County fire department spokeswoman Vanessa Lozano said the team, which was preparing to leave from Pacoima on Wednesday, was given the confirmation to deploy about 2:35 p.m. Wes Woods in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 9/21/17

Here’s how to help victims of Mexico City earthquake -- Bay Area residents seeking to help in the recovery from a devastating 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Mexico City on Tuesday can do so either by donating or volunteering with a number of local and global organizations. Annie Ma in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/21/17

California would lose $78 billion — more than any other state — under GOP health bill -- California would lose more federal funding than any other state under the latest GOP plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the health policy consulting firm Avalere Health. Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/21/17

Who got killed in California in 2016, and why -- A recently released report on homicides by the California Department of Justice found that killings around the state jumped 3.7 percent from 2015 to 2016, but were down 14.5 percent from a decade ago. It also offered a look at the nature of killings last year. Demian Bulwa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/21/17

Faulconer won't back border wall condemnation based on political, business concerns -- Mayor Kevin Faulconer won’t support a San Diego City Council resolution against President Donald Trump’s enhanced border wall because it calls for the disclosure of local companies involved in constructing or financing the wall. David Garrick in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 9/21/17

California Senate leader preparing for legal fight over 'sanctuary state' legislation -- Gov. Jerry Brown hasn't yet signed legislation making California a so-called sanctuary state, but state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León is preparing to defend it in court. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/21/17

Rail board members question bullet train budget overruns -- The board overseeing California's bullet train project approved roughly $50 million in contract amendments on Tuesday to deal with unanticipated construction and environmental review costs. But several members of the California High-Speed Rail Authority board said repeated budget overruns are damaging the project's public image and called for more thorough oversight of how budgets are set and spent. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 9/21/17

Antonio Villaraigosa rips Gavin Newsom over high-speed rail -- Antonio Villaraigosa, stopping off Wednesday in the Central Valley to survey construction of the state’s oft-debated high speed rail system, accused Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom of repeatedly equivocating on the project, criticizing his Democratic rival for governor of being “for it, before he’s against it, and then he’s for it again.” Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/21/17

Central Valley figures large in Villaraigosa’s campaign for governor -- Antonio Villaraigosa, former state Assembly speaker and Los Angeles mayor, is working Fresno and the Valley hard now as a Democratic candidate for governor in next year’s elections. Tim Sheehan in the Fresno Bee -- 9/21/17

Protesters walk out of Tom McClintock’s town hall, vowing to replace him -- A group of about 40 protesters quietly and abruptly walked out of Republican Congressman Tom McClintock’s town hall in the city of Angels Camp Wednesday night. “We’re going to take our district back,” said Kate Hege, 38, of nearby Amador City. Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/21/17

Skelton: Here's why Gov. Brown should junk the presidential election bills on his desk -- Two presidential election bills are on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, sent to him by the Democratic Legislature. Both should be tossed in the trash. No doubt I’m in the minority on this. These bills do offer some fun, even if they’re flawed. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/21/17

Walters: Despite Legislature’s liberal bent, business groups did well -- From all appearances, the California Legislature’s 2017 session was one of the most liberal – or progressive, as liberals prefer to say – in the state’s history. In fact, legislative leaders such as Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon are saying as much. Dan Walters Calmatters.org -- 9/21/17

What a difference three days makes: How voters shook up California’s Legislature -- Something was different this year. As lawmakers in Sacramento approached the last night of their session—the final opportunity to pass or kill bills for the year—they had had three days to figure out how to vote. Laurel Rosenhall Calmatters.org -- 9/21/17

Condemning Trump, ignoring antifa? How and why California lawmakers take a stand -- It was a prescient warning on the final night of session. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/21/17

Lopez: Trump's wall is big, beautiful and dumb — here's a better way to control the border -- If the goal is to stop illegal immigration, I’ve got some advice for President Trump from here in California, which used to be part of Mexico and now has turned itself into a kind of sanctuary state. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/21/17

L.A. reaches settlement with First Amendment Coalition over retaining public records -- A legal battle over records tied to former Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge has ended with the city reaching an agreement on retaining city documents. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/21/17

Ex-Googler, fired for controversial memo, didn't know he was on Berkeley 'Free Speech Week' list -- Former Google employee James Damore will not be speaking at Free Speech Week on the UC Berkeley campus despite his inclusion on a speaker lineup Monday, he announced via Twitter. Damore says he never knew he was on such a list in the first place. Michelle Robertson in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/21/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

H-1B applications receiving extra scrutiny under Trump administration, data shows -- This data supports anecdotal claims from immigration lawyers across the country that, under the Trump administration, certain H-1B applications are being challenged far more than in years past. The scrutiny is coming in the form of “requests for evidence,” documents from the government asking lawyers to justify their client’s application. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/21/17

More Local Governments Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change Costs: Oakland, San Francisco Join the Fray -- San Francisco and Oakland announced Wednesday that they are suing five big oil companies for costs associated with climate change mitigation. Each city filed its own suit against Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell, asking the court to hold the companies responsible for the cost of sea walls and other infrastructure cities will need to mitigate the effects of climate change. Dana Cronin KQED -- 9/21/17

Waymo seeks $2.6 billion in damages from Uber for alleged use of one trade secret -- With three weeks to go until the explosive Waymo vs. Uber trial begins, court-watchers got a peek Wednesday at the hefty price tag Uber could face if it loses. Marisa Kendall in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/21/17

Republican report accuses consumer bureau of going easy on Wells Fargo -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could have fined Wells Fargo in excess of $10 billion for its illegal sales practices but instead settled for $100 million, according to the agency's internal documents released by Congressional Republicans this week. Ken Sweet Associated Press -- 9/21/17

Facebook moves to block offensive terms from targeted advertising campaigns -- Advertisers on Facebook no longer can use offensive search terms such as “Jew hater” and “how to burn Jews” to target specific audiences, the company said Wednesday. David Pierson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/21/17

Bag fees didn't make base airfares that much lower, government report finds -- Travelers who check at least one bag when flying domestically are paying more overall to fly than they did before airlines began unbundling fares in 2008 and charging separately for checked baggage, a government watchdog has found. Joan Lowy Associated Press -- 9/21/17

Rhee: A candidate for lieutenant governor says inmate firefighters are slave labor. Is she right? -- In May, firefighter Matthew Beck was killed while clearing brush in Del Norte County when a 120-foot tree fell on him. In July, firefighter Frank Anaya died while battling a grass fire in San Diego County after he fell on a chainsaw. Two tragedies, with something most interesting in common: Both firefighters also happened to be state prison inmates. Foon Rhee in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/21/17


San Diego officials were warned about restroom shortage repeatedly before hepatitis outbreak -- As San Diego officials scramble to stop a deadly hepatitis A outbreak linked to a lack of downtown public restrooms, they can’t say they weren’t warned. James DeHaven in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 9/21/17

Father Joe's leader responds to public restroom criticism -- As improving sanitation has become a high priority in combating San Diego’s ongoing hepatitis A outbreak, criticism has been leveled at the state of public restrooms operated under contract with the city by Father Joe’s Villages on Imperial Avenue downtown. Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ Matt Hoffman KPBS -- 9/21/17

Large homeless shelters and affordable housing planned for this Sacramento neighborhood -- As Sacramento’s housing and homeless crises deepen, city officials are proposing to open a 200-bed homeless shelter with social and health services in a warehouse bordering the Woodlake neighborhood north of the American River. Ryan Lillis in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/21/17


Redondo Beach halts mixed-use developments after residents raise concerns about traffic -- The Redondo Beach City Council has placed a nearly one-year moratorium on mixed-use development, a move that comes amid a statewide housing shortage driving up rents and home prices. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/21/17


Cal State trustees approve raises for top executives -- California State University trustees unanimously approved a salary increase for top executives at the end of a two-day meeting in which they also discussed budget shortfalls, enrollment growth and protections for immigration students. Rosanna Xia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/21/17

UC system will chip in at least $300,000 to help Berkeley pay security costs for controversial speakers -- The University of California will chip in at least $300,000 to help UC Berkeley pay security costs for controversial speakers, an unprecedented step as criticism mounts over the financial toll the events are taking on the campus. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/21/17

The College Try -- Liz Waite and Kersheral Jessup couldn’t afford a higher education, let alone rent. But they worked and scrounged and slept on couches to put themselves through school. Will their degrees be worth it? Ashley Powers The California Sunday Magazine -- 9/21/17

Silicon Valley and its colleges, universities 'mismatched' and out of sync -- Last month, a legislative committee launched the first of a series of year-long hearings into possibly updating the state Master Plan that has guided higher education policy in California for the last 70 years. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 9/21/17

L.A. County to investigate public school system's enrollment of Catholic school students -- Los Angeles County education officials have launched an investigation into fiscal and legal questions surrounding a small public school district that has been enrolling Catholic school students. Anna M. Phillips in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/21/17

Immigration / Border 

San Francisco helping eligible Dreamers to renew DACA benefits -- For the sliver of people still eligible to renew their benefits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, San Francisco city officials are offering help with paperwork — and money — this weekend. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/21/17


New fight in California water wars: How to update old system -- In California's long-raging water wars, pitting north against south and farmer against city dweller, the one thing everybody agreed on Wednesday was that the outdated method of shipping water throughout the most populous state needs a serious upgrade. Scott Smith and Ellen Knickmeyer Associated Press -- 9/21/17

Also . . . 

Parents of man fatally shot by LAPD, then run over by a police car, call for criminal charges -- The parents of a 20-year-old man who was shot to death by Los Angeles police, then run over by an uncontrolled patrol car, demanded Wednesday that the officers face criminal charges for the killing. Kate Mather in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/21/17

POTUS 45  

Trump’s sloppy handling of his Russia problem is coming back to bite him -- Special counsel Robert Mueller has requested extensive records from the White House for his Russia investigation, The Post's Carol D. Leonnig and Rosalind S. Helderman are reporting. The request includes 13 categories that are seen as key to the probe. And for many of those 13, President Trump and the White House have nobody to blame but themselves. Aaron Blake in the Washington Post$ -- 9/21/17

Mueller Seeks White House Documents Related to Trump’s Actions as President -- Document requests show that Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, is interested in President Trump’s firing of his F.B.I. director and other events. Michael S. Schmidt in the New York Times$ -- 9/21/17

Manafort offered ‘private briefings’ on 2016 race to Putin ally -- Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination, his campaign chairman made the offer in an email, according to people familiar with the discussions. The emails are among tens of thousands of documents given to officials probing whether Trump associates worked with Russia as part of Moscow’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election. Tom Hamburger, Rosalind S. Helderman, Carol D. Leonnig and Adam Entous in the Washington Post$ -- 9/21/17


Three Pinocchios: Sen. Cassidy’s rebuttal to Jimmy Kimmel: ‘More people will have coverage’ -- Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel attacked Cassidy over the health-care repeal plan crafted by Cassidy and Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) as a last-ditch effort to replace the Affordable Care Act. Kimmel asserted, among other things, that the proposed law “will kick about 30 million Americans off insurance.” Glenn Kessler in the Washington Post$ -- 9/21/17

Insurers Come Out Swinging Against New Health Bill -- The health insurance industry said that state-by-state block grants could create chaos in the short term and an uncertain market. Robert Pear in the New York Times$ -- 9/21/17


-- Updates 

California, with alliance of states, pledges to keep pushing climate policies despite lack of federal progress -- California and a growing alliance of states committed to fighting global warming said Wednesday that they're slashing greenhouse gas emissions at the rate required by the Paris climate agreement. However, the rest of the country would need to join their effort for the United States to actually hit the target of cutting emissions by at least 26% below 2005 levels by 2025. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/20/17

Bannon, Coulter back on the list of expected UC Berkeley speakers -- Bannon, Coulter and many others included in the updated list, however, have not confirmed directly with the university that they will show up. But the event promoter, Milo Yiannopoulous, says they will. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/20/17

Berkeley 'Free Speech Week' with Bannon will be costly, university president says -- University of California President Janet Napolitano said Wednesday that the so-called Free Speech Week planned at Berkeley this month that will feature former White House strategist Steve Bannon will be an expensive test for the school that has become the center of debate over free speech on college campuses. Benjamin Wermund Politico -- 9/20/17

He tried to stay alive to testify against the officer who shot his son. He didn’t make it -- Ted Rose, the pastor whose schizophrenic son died in his arms when he was shot and killed by a Sacramento County Sheriff's deputy called to their home, died late Tuesday at a local care facility, a family attorney said Wednesday. Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/20/17

Mueller casts broad net in requesting extensive records from Trump White House -- The special counsel investigating Russian election meddling has requested extensive records and email correspondence from the White House, covering everything from the president’s private discussions about firing his FBI director to his White House’s handling of a warning that President Trump’s then-national security adviser was under investigation, according to two people briefed on the requests. Carol D. Leonnig and Rosalind S. Helderman in the Washington Post$ Michael S. Schmidt in the New York Times$ -- 9/20/17

California sues to stop Trump's border wall: 'No one gets to ignore the laws. Not even the president' -- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that President Trump’s proposal to expedite construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border violates laws aimed at protecting the environment. Patrick McGreevy and Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/20/17

Illegal immigration into California drops as border crossings shift to Texas -- Undocumented immigrants are shunning California in favor of Texas, with the Lone Star State’s undocumented population growing nearly five times as fast as California’s, new federal data show. Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/20/17

San Francisco, Oakland sue major oil companies over rising seas -- The suits, filed separately Tuesday in Superior Court in San Francisco and Alameda County, claim that a slate of oil, gas and coal producers not only caused the heat-trapping gases that drove sea-level rise but knowingly did so, a challenge akin to litigation against big tobacco companies in the 1990s. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/20/17

Could your building collapse in a major L.A. earthquake? Look up your address on these databases -- The destruction from the 7.1 earthquake that rocked central Mexico on Tuesday is a reminder of the vulnerabilities Southern California faces from a strong temblor. Shelby Grad, Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/20/17

Fearing a big earthquake like the one in Mexico isn't enough. Here's how to turn anxiety into action -- The magnitude 3.6 earthquake that struck Westwood on Monday night was small and caused no damage. The deadly 7.1 earthquake that struck hours later in Mexico City caused buildings to collapse and resulted in a significant number of deaths. Both are reminders that a much bigger and more damaging quake eventually will hit Southern California. Shelby Grad, Rong-Gong Lin II and Colleen Shalby in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/20/17

California pensioners: Your COLAs are safe, for now -- The state’s largest pension fund on Tuesday shot down a pitch from a Republican lawmaker who wants it to study how much money it could save by cutting benefits for retired public workers. Sen. John Moorlach of Orange County in July wrote letters to CalPERS board members – Richard Costigan and Dana Hollinger – making two touchy requests for the pension fund. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/20/17

Fox: Tax Reform in Washington has CA Implications -- If done right, tax reform is really a jobs bill. Cutting taxes for large and small businesses to 15 percent, as President Donald Trump wants to do, puts more resources in the hands of business leaders and entrepreneurs to expand business and create jobs. Cutting taxes through increased deductions will help workers gain larger paychecks. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 9/20/17