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California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Pipeline that leaked wasn't equipped with auto shut-off -- The pipeline that leaked thousands of gallons of oil on the California coast was the only pipe of its kind in the county not required to have an automatic shut-off valve because of a court fight nearly three decades ago, a county official said. Brian Melley Associated Press -- 5/24/15

Santa Barbara County oil cleanup continues; pipeline may be dug up soon -- A section of oil pipeline that ruptured and spilled thousands of gallons of crude along the Santa Barbara County coast could be dug up by the end of the holiday weekend, authorities said, giving them the first opportunity to determine what caused the break. Javier Panzar, Emily Alpert Reyes, Joe Mozingo in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/24/15

San Onofre deal concocted in secret -- The public was none the wiser. All the key parties in the room for the only public hearing on the $4.7 billion settlement agreement for shutdown costs at the failed San Onofre nuclear plant knew that the pact had its origins at a secret meeting in Poland. The consumer advocate and power company executive who agreed to the settlement, and two regulators who would sign off, all knew about handwritten notes laying out a framework on the stationery of the luxury Hotel Bristol Warsaw. Morgan Lee in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/24/15

Oakland protesters defy mayor by marching at night without permit -- Protesters marched through Oakland streets after sunset Saturday in defiance of Mayor Libby Schaaf’s policy of shutting down unlawful assemblies at night in her effort to protect businesses from protest-related violence and vandalism. Evan Sernoffsky, Rachel Swan and J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/24/15

500 protesters march against ag giant Monsanto -- Beekeepers. Physicians. Organic farmers. Preschool teachers. Parents of autistic kids. Those were some of the groups represented Saturday in a march against the controversial biotech and agricultural giant Monsanto, which is often cast as Public Enemy No. 1 by those opposed to genetically modified foods. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/24/15

Locals march against Monsanto -- More than 1,000 people gathered in Balboa Park Saturday to join the worldwide “March Against Monsanto,” the third annual protest against Monsanto, the multinational corporation whose products include seeds that are genetically modified to resist herbicides. Monsanto also makes Roundup herbicide. Karla Peterson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/24/15

Auditor has concerns about SJPD body camera policy -- But the city's civilian police watchdog worries a recently minted use policy, as written, gives so much discretion to officers that it undermines the public transparency that the cameras are meant to bolster. Robert Salonga in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/24/15

Morain: Using windfalls and paper to fight climate change -- Amid much pomp, Gov. Jerry Brown and dignitaries from Germany, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States gathered at the meticulously restored Stanford Mansion last week. There, they signed a piece of paper. Dan Morain in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/24/15

Walters: California’s sales tax is obsolete, needs to be fixed -- During the first year of Jerry Brown’s first governorship, 40 years ago, the state collected $9 billion in general fund revenues and the sales tax was the biggest source at $3.7 billion. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/24/15

Families of 10 killed in California crash get some answers -- Michael Myvett proposed to his college sweetheart on bended knee in front of the Louvre museum in Paris. Four months later, the pair died in a fiery head-on collision between a FedEx semi-truck and a bus that killed eight others in California, including five promising high school students. Amanda Lee Myers and Fenit Nirappil Associated Press -- 5/24/15

CHP: Mystery remains why driver crashed FedEx big rig into tour bus -- After a 13-month investigation, the California Highway Patrol announced Friday that it could not determine why a FedEx truck driver veered across Interstate 5 in Northern California last year and slammed into a charter bus carrying high school students from the Los Angeles area. Dan Weikel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/24/15

Violence Causes Ripple Effects for Thousands of Oakland Students -- Oakland’s first homicide victim of 2014 was a boy named Lee Weathersby III. He was shot on New Year’s Eve and died early the next morning. Police say it appears he was not the intended target of the shooting. Zaidee Stavely KQED -- 5/24/15

Gov. Jerry Brown pitches amnesty on traffic debt for poor -- Calling California’s traffic court system a “hellhole of desperation” for the poor, Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing an amnesty program for residents who can’t afford to pay off spiraling fines and penalties that have resulted in 4.8 million driver’s license suspensions since 2006. Judy Lin Associated Press -- 5/24/15

Lopez: At 50 gallons a week, widow knows just how precious water is -- Doris Tillman got a jump on the rest of us when it comes to water conservation. The 71-year-old South Los Angeles homeowner had no choice. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/24/15

Taxes, Fees, Rates    

Gov. Jerry Brown, legislators to wrestle with gas tax issue -- Since taking office in 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown has helped to resolve some of California's toughest fiscal challenges -- mainly huge structural deficits and old, forgotten debts. Jessica Calefati in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/24/15

Los Angeles County property owners appealing tax bills might get help -- Los Angeles County property owners who have waited up to three years for their tax bills to be appealed may get relief under a new county budget proposal. Sarah Favot in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 5/24/15

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions    

Booming San Francisco has bigger bonanza in store, strategists say -- There’s a lot of hand-wringing these days about San Francisco’s jaw-dropping economic boom and whether it can possibly continue. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/24/15

As farms fade, will developers move in? -- Development has long divided San Diegans like no other issue; the “smokestacks vs. geraniums” debate has raged here for a full century. Now a new element has intruded: California’s worsening water shortage. Bradley J. Fikes in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/24/15

California farm economy surprisingly resilient amid drought -- The land is bare, except for a few weeds, and the ground is cracked. For the second year in a row, Dan Errotabere is fallowing one third of his ranch: 1,700 acres of California farmland that might have grown tomatoes, garlic, onions and garbanzo beans. Dale Kasler and Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/24/15

Laguna Beach imposes 45-day moratorium on short-term rentals -- The Laguna Beach City Council has declared a 45-day moratorium on new short-term rentals, becoming the latest Southern California city to regulate a rapidly growing industry. Bryce Alderton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/24/15

In stadium financing game, Goldman Sachs dominates -- When San Diego Chargers executives needed help raising $1.7 billion for a football stadium in Carson, they turned to the professionals: Goldman Sachs. The giant investment bank has become a major player in the high-stakes stadium financing game, crafting 30 deals with pro teams in the last decade. Tim Logan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/24/15

Low-income homeowners get free solar panels thanks to cap & trade -- The spread of residential solar power has been largely a middle-class affair. Despite plunging prices in the last seven years, rooftop solar arrays remain an expensive home improvement, costing $15,000 or more. David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/24/15


Fake grass gains ground in California amid concerns about ongoing drought -- Christopher Knight makes no apologies: He likes a green lawn. But the actor best known for playing middle son Peter on “The Brady Bunch” also wants to do his part to conserve water. Rob Kuznia in the Washington Post$ -- 5/24/15

La Cañada Flintridge buys recycled water to save trees during drought -- Hoping to save trees on street medians after new state rules banned using potable water to irrigate them, La Cañada Flintridge is securing truckloads of recycled water from the city of Glendale to get the job done. Sara Cardine in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/24/15


Out-of-towners could be banned at San Francisco’s premier arts school -- More than 80 artistic teens from the Bay Area and beyond commute each day to San Francisco’s renowned Ruth Asawa School of the Arts. These teenage out-of-town actors, musicians, painters, writers and dancers want a high-quality arts education and SOTA, as it’s commonly known, offers one for free. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/24/15


Push grows to add Rim of the Valley lands to national recreation area -- As a graduate student at California State University Northridge in the mid-1970s, the late Marge Feinberg began rabble-rousing for a "green belt" of wildlife habitats, parks and recreational areas encircling the San Fernando Valley. Martha Groves in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/24/15


Father of UCSB shooting victim continues fight for gun reforms -- Richard Martinez thinks of his son every day, and with those thoughts come the constant reminder of a young life cut tragically short by a troubled man with a gun. That is why, the 61-year-old attorney says, he crisscrosses the country, poking and prodding people to support what he calls reasonable gun-control laws. John Rogers Associated Press -- 5/24/15

Also . . . 

China comes to Sacramento to celebrate countrymen who built transcontinental railroad -- China came to Sacramento earlier this month for a gala celebrating the 150th anniversary of a feat that many said couldn’t be done – the building of the transcontinental railroad over the Sierra Nevada. Stephen Magagnini in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/24/15

Smartphones are turning you dumb — and the rest of us mean -- The traffic had slowed to a crawl during rush hour on Mission Street, and I was standing on the corner with a herd of other pedestrians waiting for the light to change. Caille Millner in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/24/15


Carly Fiorina impresses in long-shot presidential run -- Carly Fiorina, the crowd-pleasing – if not first-tier – candidate for president, was midsentence at a dinner in Iowa last weekend when her microphone cut out, her allotted time up. The audience, wanting more, groaned in protest, then cheered. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/24/15