• School Inoovation and Achievement
  • San Diego Water Authority

California Policy & Politics This Morning  

State rail authority reduces size of future bullet train stations -- The California bullet train authority has told its design engineers that the future system would have shorter trains and smaller station platforms, reducing the capacity of individual trains by roughly 50% and potentially the capacity of the entire Los Angeles-to-San Francisco route. Ralph Vartabedian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/21/16

How an obscure Alameda Corridor rail agency avoided public accountability laws for years -- The Los Angeles and Long Beach harbor commissions will vote on Monday whether to permanently dissolve a committee that plays a key role in maintaining Alameda Corridor rail tracks that serve the local ports because of potential ethical violations. Rachel Uranga in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 10/21/16

Ex-California state senator faces 5 years for taking bribes -- As he faces sentencing Friday, though, prosecutors say Calderon is not taking responsibility for his actions and has presented a "whimsical and revisionist view of his conduct" in an effort to serve no time behind bars for graft that lined his own pockets and helped put his children through college. Brian Melley Associated Press -- 10/21/16

When running for U.S. Senate, it's good to be the highly visible California attorney general -- U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris had a particularly good day earlier this month. In the morning, she landed endorsements from the state’s two U.S. senators and hours later, from her perch as California attorney general, she announced the arrest of an Internet CEO for sex trafficking. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/21/16

Backpage.com goes on attack against Kamala Harris over prosecution -- The operators of the classified ad website Backpage.com have asked a Sacramento County judge to dismiss criminal charges filed by state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, who accused them of conspiring to profit off the prostitution and trafficking of women and girls. Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/21/16

Questions about character dominate Northern California congressional race between Rep. Ami Bera and Sheriff Scott Jones -- In a Northern California swing district, mudslinging and allegations of wrongdoing have been the focal point of what will likely be one of the tightest congressional races in the state. Sophia Bollag in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/21/16

Sanders tells soda tax opponents to stop using his name -- Saying that consuming too much sugar is a serious health problem, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders told the soft drink industry to stop using his name in ads fighting proposed soda taxes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Janie Har Associated Press -- 10/21/16

Are Sanders’ Supporters Still Feeling the Bern? -- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was back in California recently, trying to harness some of his popularity on behalf of progressive causes. Sanders was here stumping for Proposition 61, the state initiative aimed at reducing prescription drug costs, and for San Francisco state Senate candidate Jane Kim. Tara Siler KQED -- 10/21/16

Explaining Proposition 64: How California Would Legalize Marijuana -- There are so many questions about California’s November ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana that it’s easy to overlook the most basic question of all: What would the initiative actually do? Ben Adler Capital Public Radio -- 10/21/16

Prop 51 bond measure pits school needs against worries over state debt -- California voters have a decision to make on the general election ballot: approve $9 billion dollars in bonds for school and community college construction projects and modernization, or reject it to avoid adding to the state debt. Mary Plummer KPCC -- 10/21/16

Walters: Gavin Newsom sponsors two ballot measures, readies run for governor -- Gavin Newsom’s name isn’t on the Nov. 8 ballot, but California’s lieutenant governor has a lot riding on the outcome. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/21/16

Trump’s vote-rigging claim disputed by election officials -- Dead people voting. Noncitizens casting ballots. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s claim that there are “millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn’t be” elicited a pointed response Thursday from California elections officials. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/21/16

Jerry Brown off to Yale Law School reunion; will receive big honor -- Jerry Brown is taking a long-weekend respite from the campaign to attend his class reunion at Yale Law School, where the Democratic governor will receive the prestigious Award of Merit, his spokesman said. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/21/16

Ex-death row inmate urges Californians to repeal death penalty -- Juan Melendez repeats the numbers often: 17 years, eight months, one day. That’s how long he spent on Florida’s death row, having been convicted of a killing he did not commit. Dana Littlefield in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/21/16

LA County Sheriff McDonnell, DA Lacey speak out against Prop 57 -- Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell and District Attorney Jackie Lacey added their voices Thursday to the chorus of law enforcement opposing Proposition 57, the statewide ballot measure that would make non-violent felons eligible for early parole. John Ismay KPCC -- 10/21/16

San Bernardino high school students hold Medina, Steinorth AD40 debate -- They’ve accused each other of ducking debates in the past, but on Thursday morning, Assembly District 40 candidates Abigail Medina and Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga, took part in an hour-long debate for the benefit of Pacific High School AP Government students. Beau Yarbrough in the Inland Daily Bulletin$ -- 10/21/16

Calbuzz: LA Times/USC “Daybreak Poll” Dishonors the Paper -- Despite Nate Silver’s argument that we should leave the LA Times/USC Dornsife “Daybreak Poll” alone, this poor excuse for a survey has been so wrong so persistently – and has been so constantly cited by Donald Trump as evidence of his campaign success – that it’s time for the Calbuzz Green Eye Shade Division to call them to task. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 10/21/16

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds    

Placer County conservatives at odds on transportation sales tax plan -- Placer County roads and highways are increasingly congested and local leaders say they don’t have enough money to provide traffic relief. After years of debate, they are asking voters on Nov. 8 to approve a half-cent sales tax increase to fund an estimated $1.6 billion of transportation improvements over the next 30 years. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/21/16

Serious, Funny Ads Target San Diego Ballot Measures C, D -- The San Diego County Taxpayer's Association launched a media campaign to defeat measures C and D. Both of the San Diego ballot measures call for major increases in the city's tourist tax and change how tourism marketing is funded. Erik Anderson KPBS -- 10/21/16


A fix for L.A.'s homeless crisis isn't cheap. Will voters go for $1.2 billion in borrowing? -- For years, many Los Angeles residents have watched with alarm as homeless encampments spread across the city, from the sidewalks of skid row to alleys in South Los Angeles, behind shopping centers in the Valley and even on the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean. Doug Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/21/16


L.A. ballot measure would make housing affordability crisis worse, opponents' study finds -- A Los Angeles ballot measure pitched as a way to provide good jobs and less expensive housing would instead worsen the city’s affordability crisis, according to an economic analysis released Thursday by the measure’s critics. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/21/16

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions 

SAG-AFTRA goes on strike against video game companies -- The largest actors union in Hollywood officially called a strike early Friday morning against several prominent video game companies after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on an increase in compensation for performers who do voice-over and motion-capture work for popular games. David Ng in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/21/16

Elon Musk challenges regulators to catch up to Tesla's driverless car technology -- According to Elon Musk, driverless car technology is a problem that’s pretty much solved. As he’s made clear numerous times, the regulators need to catch up. Russ Mitchell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/21/16

Liberty Mutual to pay $925K settlement for ‘accident forgiveness’ ads -- The Liberty Mutual Group, Inc, which offers Liberty Mutual auto insurance, will pay $925,000 to three Southern California district attorney’s offices for not properly disclosing in ads that the company’s “accident forgiveness” program was not available in California. Ali Tadayon in the Long Beach Press Telegram$ -- 10/21/16

BJ's blames debates for sales dip -- Huntington Beach-based BJ’s Restaurants Inc. is blaming the volatile presidential election – and particularly the debates – for keeping customers away. Bloomberg -- 10/21/16

Google group blasts DMV’s autonomous-car rules -- Google, Uber, Lyft, Volvo and other members of a self-driving cars coalition are warning that proposals from state officials could shackle their autonomous-vehicle efforts in California. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/21/16

GM, Audi test out car rentals in San Francisco -- In a sign of the seismic changes coming to the automotive world, two major car makers, General Motors and Audi, have launched car-rental operations in San Francisco to experiment with different ways of linking vehicles and drivers. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/21/16


Magnolia charter schools fight to stay open after LAUSD ‘death sentence’ -- A leader of two high-performing, independent charter schools in the San Fernando Valley says she’s “very confident” they can avoid shutdowns by appealing their denied renewal petitions to the county and possibly the state. Brenda Gazzar in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 10/21/16

Southern California schools cope with heat from gusty winds -- Southern California was slammed with the second day of a heat wave Thursday that raised the risk of wildfires and left many schoolchildren to sweat it out in aging classrooms. Amy Taxin Associated Press -- 10/21/16

Students can begin applying earlier for college financial aid -- This fall, new federal reforms may ease the anxiety and deadline pressure surrounding what has been a dreaded chore for many families – applying for college financial aid. Larry Gordon EdSource -- 10/21/16

Immigration / Border 

Lawsuit against ICE seeks information on asylum seekers -- Civil rights advocates filed a lawsuit in San Francisco on Thursday against the federal government in an attempt to get information about how many detained asylum seekers are denied parole and how such decisions were made. Hamed Aleaziz in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/21/16

Tijuana-San Diego drug tunnel found -- U.S. and Mexican authorities on Thursday confirmed the discovery of a clandestine cross-border tunnel between Tijuana and San Diego. Sandra Dibble in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/21/16


Prescription Drug Abuse Continues To Take Toll In San Diego -- The epidemic of prescription drug abuse shows no signs of abating in San Diego County. The county's 2016 Prescription Drug Abuse Report Card shows 248 people died last year from an overdose. Kenny Goldberg KPBS -- 10/21/16

Also . . . 

San Francisco police, residents gather to discuss shooting of Pacifica man -- San Francisco police released new details of last week’s gunbattle near Stern Grove that left a mentally ill Pacifica man dead and an officer critically injured Thursday night at a meeting with residents. Jenna Lyons in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/21/16

Family of unarmed driver killed by San Francisco sergeant files U.S. lawsuit -- The family of a woman who was killed by a San Francisco police sergeant as she drove a suspected stolen car in the Bayview neighborhood — a shooting that led to the resignation of Chief Greg Suhr — filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court. Vivian Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/21/16

Syrian family, rebuilding lives in East Oakland, finds new hope -- The eyes of the new U.S. resident cast a curious gaze. Otis R. Taylor Jr. in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/21/16

A giant nude statue in California is stirring controversy -- There have long been complaints about the lack of women in the tech industry. Now there's a towering female figure, in a tech park across the bay from San Francisco, although not quite what some people had in mind. Jocelyn Gecker Associated Press -- 10/21/16


U.S. vote authorities warned to be alert to Russian hacks faking fraud: officials -- U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials are warning that hackers with ties to Russia's intelligence services could try to undermine the credibility of the presidential election by posting documents online purporting to show evidence of voter fraud. David Rohde and Mark Hosenball Reuters -- 10/21/16

AP Fact Check: Sharp contrast between Gore in 2000 and Trump -- Donald Trump, who's railed for months about a "rigged" political system, used the final presidential debate to defiantly say he won't decide until the election ends whether he will accept its results. Alan Fram Associated Press -- 10/21/16

Trump’s speech turns dark and he’s booed at Al Smith Dinner -- Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump drew boos near the end of his speech at the 71st Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York on Thursday night. Brian Murphy McClatchy DC -- 10/21/16

Watch Donald Trump's full remarks at the Al Smith dinner -- Watch Donald Trump's full remarks at the 71st Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York via the Washington Post$ -- 10/21/16

Watch Hillary Clinton's full remarks at the Al Smith dinner -- Watch Hillary Clinton's full remarks at the 71st Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York via the Washington Post$ -- 10/21/16

Nasty Women Embrace #NastyWoman -- Trump starts a movement with insult of Clinton during debate. Christina Flom Roll Call -- 10/21/16

Trump’s suggestion of ‘rigged’ election not shared in Southern California -- Echoing the consensus of academics and others who have studied the election system in depth, local politicians say the system may not be 100 percent perfect — investigations put the reliability around 99.9993 to 99.9997 percent — but they trust the officials behind the process. Ryan Hagen in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 10/21/16

Beneath the drama of the Trump-Clinton campaign lies a conflict between the old America and the new -- The contrast in the 2016 presidential election was as evident Thursday as it has ever been: Donald Trump spoke to a largely white audience in Ohio, a state that has traditionally picked presidents but finds itself somewhat marginalized this year. Cathleen Decker and Noah Bierman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/21/16

Trump's incredible shrinking map -- Six of the 11 battleground states are now in Hillary Clinton's pocket. Steven Shepard and Charlie Mahtesian Politico -- 10/21/16

-- Thursday Updates 

California drought worries rise as La Niña reemerges in winter forecast -- As the days darken, all eyes are on the Sierra Nevada, then the sky, with a glance back at the mountains, to the internet for forecast information, over to the thermometer — all in a fidgety search for a sign, any sign, that this winter will be wet. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/20/16

Tax board’s executive director lost her job without a vote from elected leaders -- State law requires elected boards to disclose roll call votes on personnel decisions that take place in closed meetings. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/20/16

California promised public employees generous retirements. Will the courts give government a way out? -- A case before the state Supreme Court could clear the way for reductions in public retiree benefits, which have become hugely expensive. But the outcome is “hard to predict.” Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/20/16

Drought's grip on Southern California to tighten with La Niña, forecasters say -- After five years of withering drought, government forecasters say California is once again headed for a warm and dry winter, especially in Southern California. The item is in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/20/16

What did Wells Fargo's new CEO know about the scandal? Senators push for answers -- Two senators are pressing Wells Fargo & Co. about how much new Chief Executive Timothy Sloan knew about the unauthorized-accounts scandal that led to his appointment. Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/20/16

President Barack Obama stars in TV ad for Kamala Harris -- President Barack Obama, whose summer endorsement of Kamala Harris dealt a stinging blow to U.S. Senate rival Loretta Sanchez, is appearing in a new statewide TV ad touting Harris’ accomplishments. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/20/16

As Sacramento goes, so goes the nation -- The four-county region has backed the winner in every presidential election since 1972, when a majority of local residents picked eventual winner Richard Nixon over George McGovern. Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/20/16

Donors pour record $450 million into California initiatives -- olitical donors have spent a record $450 million to support and oppose 17 November ballot initiatives in California, beating the state's own record for the most spent on propositions in a single year, campaign reports filed Thursday show. Alison Noon Associated Press -- 10/20/16

Pity the plastic bag: Will Californians seal its fate with a ban? -- So, in the confounding manner of direct democracy, California voters in November will ponder two opposing initiatives, each sponsored by the plastic bag industry—which has spent more than $6 million to put them on the ballot. Julie Cart Calmatters.org -- 10/20/16

Vaping on the verge: With Prop. 56, California could start taxing e-cigs like tobacco -- Proposition 56 is best known as the measure to dramatically boost the state’s relatively low cigarette tax. But it also would start to tax e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine like tobacco—which both sides say could trigger a similar push nationwide. Samantha Young Cal Matters -- 10/20/16

Sequoia hires Polyvore’s Jess Lee as its first woman VC in US -- For the first time in its 44-year history, Sequoia Capital, one of the most vaunted venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, has hired a female investing partner for its U.S. operations. Lizette Chapman and Sarah McBride in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/20/16

Decker: Donald Trump undoes his third and best debate performance in just a few words -- Donald Trump needed a compelling victory in Wednesday’s debate to alter the course of a campaign that has increasingly moved toward Hillary Clinton both nationally and in key states. He did not get it. Cathleen Decker in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/20/16

Undocumented immigrants flex political muscle in presidential election -- Mayela Razo can’t vote in the presidential election come November. But she’s making sure those who can cast a ballot do, even offering to drive friends and family members to the polls on election night. It’s a privilege that Razo, who is undocumented, wishes she had. Tatiana Sanchez in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/20/16

Fox: Strange Provisions in Proposition 60 -- Proposition 60, the measure requiring use of condoms in adult films, has a couple of noteworthy provisions that could be precedent setting for future initiatives–one not so good; the other, interesting and different, if perhaps unconstitutional. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 10/20/16

Jeffe & Jeffe: Post-debate Wisdom: 90 Minutes to Nowhere -- Our long national debate-mare is over! But not before GOP nominee Donald Trump succumbed to his strongest opponent—himself. Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe Fox & Hounds -- 10/20/16

25 years later: Oakland hills ripe for another firestorm -- Twenty-five years after a horrific firestorm killed 25 people and wiped out nearly 3,500 homes in the Oakland hills, the conditions are ripe once again for a similar — if not worse — disaster. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/20/16

Oakland police officer arrested on suspicion of prostitution -- An Oakland police officer was arrested on suspicion of engaging in prostitution and obstruction of justice, officials said Thursday. The Oakland Police Department did not immediately identify the officer, but jail records indicate he is Oakland police Officer Ryan Walterhouse, 26. Kimberly Veklerov and Michael Bodley in the San Francisco Chronicle Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston in the East Bay Express Harry Harris in the East Bay Times -- 10/20/16

How Bing Crosby and Silicon Valley Revolutionized Radio and TV -- The origin story of Silicon Valley typically centers on Stanford and steady funding from the US military. The marriage of technology and entertainment, as the story goes, came way later, with companies like Apple and Facebook. But no. Rachael Myrow KQED -- 10/20/16