• School Inoovation and Achievement
  • School Inoovation and Achievement

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Brown’s cap-and-trade deal could eventually kill high-speed rail -- A last-minute deal that Gov. Jerry Brown made with Republican lawmakers to win support for a 10-year extension of his signature climate program could cost the governor another top priority: high-speed rail. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/21/17

Massive California fire sends smoke all the way to Idaho while choking Yosemite and Lake Tahoe -- The Detwiler fire, which has forced more than 4,000 residents to flee, swelled to more than 70,000 acres Thursday and was 10% contained, according to Cal Fire. Officials said the fire was burning in an area littered with dead trees, killed by bark beetles and years of drought. Ruben Vives and Meg Bernhard in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/17

After bitter fight, decision expected on challenge to election of California Democratic Party leader -- A California Democratic Party commission reviewing allegations of voting irregularities in the election of a new leader is expected to announce its findings on Saturday. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/17

Bay Area job market bounces back, South Bay, East Bay post strong gains -- The Bay Area powered to strong job gains during June, an employment surge that banished — for now — fears that the region’s dynamic economy had begun to totter on the edge of a downturn, a state labor report released Friday showed. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/21/17

UCSC lowers admission of California students -- UC Santa Cruz dipped its admission of California high schoolers for the upcoming school year while upping its admission of international students more than any other school in the system, preliminary data released by the UC shows. Nicholas Ibarra in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/21/17

LAPD officer at center of cadet scandal charged with sexual assault of 15-year-old girl -- The Los Angeles police officer at the center of a scandal roiling the department’s signature youth initiative has been charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old member of the cadet program, prosecutors announced Friday. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/17

Hiltzik: Under Senate's Obamacare repeal, some Americans would have to pay more than their total income for health coverage -- One of the ostensibly brilliant ideas in Senate Republicans’ plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act is to move low-income families from Medicaid to the private insurance marketplace, allowing them to use the premium subsidies provided by the ACA. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/17

Spicer quits amid White House feud -- The beleaguered press secretary resigns after Trump settles on Scaramucci for communications director, splitting aides. Tara Palmeri, Ben White Politico -- 7/21/17

 

California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Catastrophic engineering expert asks: Is Oroville Dam leaking? -- One of the country’s foremost experts on catastrophic engineering failures released a new report Thursday on the troubled Oroville Dam that asks a disturbing question: Is the country’s tallest dam leaking? Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/21/17

Engineering expert blasts management failures at Oroville Dam -- State water resources officials and federal regulators caused the failure of the Oroville Dam spillway in February by ignoring long-established guidelines and neglecting their duty to manage risks and detect flaws, a scathing report by a Berkeley engineering expert concluded Thursday. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/21/17

Judge won’t dismiss sanctuary city suits by San Francisco, Santa Clara County -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ claim that President Trump won’t strip federal funding from San Francisco, Santa Clara County and other sanctuary locales for refusing to cooperate with immigration officers was an “illusory promise,” a federal judge ruled Thursday. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Jason Green in the San Jose Mercury$ Cristiano Lima Politico -- 7/21/17

California Attorney General Sues to Stop Sale of Martinez Oil Terminal -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Thursday he will file another motion in an antitrust lawsuit to stop Valero Energy Corp. from purchasing a Martinez oil terminal, which he says could raise gas prices. Sonja Hutson KQED -- 7/21/17

Kamala Harris and Rand Paul Introduce National Bail Reform Bill -- The bill would allocate $10 million over three years to fund federal grants for courts instituting pretrial services and data-driven risk evaluations thought to reduce racial and economic disparities between defendants who are held and those who are released pending trial. Alex Emslie KQED Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Anshu Siripurapu McClatchyDC -- 7/21/17

A top Assembly Republican quits her leadership role to protest climate vote -- Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, from Lake Elsinore, was among the majority of Republicans who voted against the bill Monday because of concerns that it would increase gas and energy costs for Californians. In total, eight Republicans joined most of the Democrats backing the measure. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Jason Green in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/21/17

Cap-And-Trade Deal Exemplifies Chad Mayes's Governing Philosophy, Could Cost Him His Job -- It was no surprise to see California Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers take a victory lap after the cap-and-trade deal passed the state Legislature Monday night. But then, there was this guy: “Well, it is so good to be here,” said Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes, from the podium in the governor’s press conference room. After all, he added, “Republicans don’t get to stand on this stage very much.” Ben Adler Capital Public Radio -- 7/21/17

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher draws a Republican challenger in 48th Congressional District -- Orange County businessman Stelian Onufrei, a Romanian immigrant who owns a construction business, announced Thursday that he's running against the Costa Mesa Republican. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/17

Judge denies ex-Sheriff Lee Baca's request to stay free while appealing his conviction -- A federal judge has denied ex-Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca’s request to remain free while he appeals his conviction on charges that he obstructed an investigation into abuses in the county jail system. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News-- 7/21/17

L.A. officials considering changes to gang injunction policy after lawsuit alleges constitutional violations -- Los Angeles officials are considering making significant changes to the way they enforce gang injunctions in the wake of a lawsuit that accused the city of violating the constitutional rights of thousands of people, according to court documents made public this week. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/17

Police union examines incident at Pasadena hotel involving a former USC dean after an officer is disciplined -- The union that represents the Pasadena police officer who was disciplined for not filing a prompt report on a drug overdose witnessed by the then-dean of USC’s medical school is conducting a legal review of the incident, the labor organization said Thursday. Matt Hamilton and Paul Pringle in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/17

Defiled Quran immersed in lard mailed to Sacramento Muslim group -- A container filled with lard and a defiled copy of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, was mailed to the Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations last month, a week after two area mosques were targeted, CAIR officials announced Wednesday. Stephen Magagnini in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/21/17

Sacramento FBI office helps take down international ‘dark web’ drug, weapons bazaar -- In a case that included probes in Fresno and Merced, the Justice Department announced the dismantling Thursday of an international “dark web” operation that dealt in hundreds of millions of dollars of illegal drugs and other contraband. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/21/17

California parents trying to control kids can lose custody -- The state can take wayward children away from their parents even when they are doing their best to control their kids and the kids aren't delinquents, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press -- 7/21/17

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds

Get ready, LA County homeowners: Property taxes are going up again -- Property taxes will rise again in Los Angeles County, thanks to a brisk real estate market and construction boom. The assessed value of all taxable property in the county jumped by 6.03 percent in 2017, which was slightly higher than last year, figures released Thursday show. Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 7/21/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions

Hydro, wind and solar make inroads in California's electric grid -- Wetter weather and continued growth in renewable energy sources resulted in some big changes in electricity generation in California in 2016, according to numbers recently released by the California Energy Commission. Rob Nikolewski in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 7/21/17

Bakersfield votes to end controversial program that funds home solar panels -- As home improvement projects to increase energy efficiency have exploded in California, so has the controversy over a property tax-based financing program that’s helped spur the growth. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/17

LADWP retirees bring in bigger pensions than city, county workers, audit says -- Workers who retire from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power enjoy a higher monthly pension, on average, than retired public employees from the city and county, according to an audit released this week by City Controller Ron Galperin. Elizabeth Chou in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 7/21/17

Teachers’ pension fund posts highest returns since 2014 -- California’s second-largest public pension fund rode a booming stock market to post its best year of investment returns since 2014. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System gained an investment return of 13.4 percent for the budget year that ended June 30. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/21/17

Homeless  

Pitching a tent plan for San Diego's homeless -- San Diego business leaders on Thursday said they have raised money to fund two large tent shelters to get homeless people temporarily off the streets, but the next step will be up to elected officials. Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 7/21/17

Housing  

For young California homeowners, a proposed 2018 initiative could make buying a new house a lot less expensive -- Under a ballot measure filed Thursday, California's landmark Proposition 13 property tax breaks would be extended to young homeowners who sell their residence and buy a new one. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/17

Wildfire  

The fight to save the gold-mining town of Mariposa from a monster fire -- As firetrucks rolled through the hazy, deserted streets of this historic gold-mining town, Brian Redding stood behind the cash register at the Grizzly Gas mini-market Thursday, waiting in his green uniform. Meg Bernhard, Ruben Vives, Veronica Rocha and Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/17

100 new wildfires in California in four days, and more are surely on the way -- Firefighters and determined residents of Mariposa County continued their battle against the massive Detwiler Fire on Thursday as wildland blazes continued to burn around the state, generating smoke for hundreds of miles. Hector Amezcua and Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/21/17

California fire's growth is stunted, but 50 homes destroyed -- The town of Mariposa, with its century-old saloons and covered sidewalks, normally bustles with summer visitors on their way to Yosemite National Park but the Gold Rush-era hamlet was mostly empty as ash rained down and heavy smoke from a nearby blaze darkened the sky. Scott Smith and Olga R. Rodriguez Associated Press -- 7/21/17

Detwiler Fire slows its rage, but destroys more than 50 homes near Mariposa and Yosemite -- It was a day of mixed emotions as firefighters battled the Detwiler Fire near Mariposa and Yosemite National Park on Thursday. While the blaze showed very minor growth in acreage, and officials have spoken positively about gaining a hold on the inferno, Cal Fire confirmed the flames have turned more than 100 buildings to ash, at least 50 of them once occupied by families. Mark Evan Smith in the Fresno Bee -- 7/21/17

What’s life like in ‘firefighter city’ at the Merced County Fairgrounds? -- The camp is a tangled maze of trailers, tents, vehicles and port-a-potties and includes a mobile kitchen, communication center, medical center, automotive repair site, safety center and more than a dozen sleeping trailers. CalFire contracts with vendors for catering services, communication services and even office supplies like copiers and printers. Brianna Calix in the Fresno Bee -- 7/21/17

Education 

Fired LAUSD teacher can sue district for alleged discrimination, court says -- A state appellate court panel Thursday upheld a trial judge’s ruling that a former Los Angeles Unified School District teacher can move forward with his lawsuit alleging he was removed from his classroom for criticizing many of the school district’s policies and initiatives. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 7/21/17

UC Berkeley Now Says It Will Host Conservative Speaker Ben Shapiro -- UC Berkeley officials said Thursday they will now find a venue for controversial conservative writer Ben Shapiro to speak on Sept. 14. Jeremy Siegel KQED -- 7/21/17

Despite record applications in CSU, Long Beach campus expecting minimal growth this fall -- Cal State Long Beach is likely to have more than 37,000 students enrolled when classes resume for the fall term, and enrollment growth there is expected to be slim after the Cal State University spends new money intended to accommodate more students up and down the state. Andrew Edwards in the Long Beach Press Telegram$ -- 7/21/17

California proposes minimal sanctions for low participation in state tests -- The Every Student Succeeds Act gives states more latitude to decide how to use federal education funding but what hasn’t changed is the requirement for nearly all students to take annual standardized tests – and for states to see that schools and districts comply. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 7/21/17

Have questions about California charter schools? Here are some answers​ – ​Charter schools are frequently in the news, but it’s not always clear how they compare to traditional public schools. Mikhail Zinshteyn EdSource -- 7/21/17

Health 

Sighs of Relief From Health Safety-Net Providers in California After Senate Bill Collapses -- Health care workers at California hospitals and clinics that serve low-income patients are relieved but still wary after the collapse of the Senate Republican health care bill earlier this week. Laura Klivans KQED -- 7/21/17 --

Valley Fever cases increase in California -- California public health officials on Thursday announced a large hike in the number of reported Valley Fever cases in the state, with illness onset in 2016 — but they don’t know what’s behind the increase. Tracy Seipel in the East Bay Times -- 7/21/17

Also . . . 

Lawsuit accuses Orange County priest of sexually assaulting his assistant at Irvine church -- A senior Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Orange sexually assaulted and harassed a female church employee last year at a prominent Irvine parish where he was placed despite a similar prior accusation, according to a lawsuit filed by the woman. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/17

Third Female Scientist Sues Salk Institute Alleging Gender Discrimination -- A prominent molecular biologist has sued the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, alleging gender discrimination by the life sciences organization, her lawyer announced Thursday. KPBS -- 7/21/17

Family to sue county over Vista shooting -- Relatives of a Vista man fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy on July 5 said Thursday they plan to file a federal civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit against San Diego County, and urged authorities to order an independent investigation into the shooting. J. Harry Jones in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 7/21/17

Man comes face-to-face with a great white shark near Santa Barbara as it chomps on his kayak -- A large great white shark triggered a beach closure in Santa Barbara on Thursday after it sunk its teeth into a kayaker’s vessel. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/21/17

Former LA city councilman’s detective work helps crack 2001 cold case -- DNA evidence and a former San Fernando Valley city councilman helped solve the grisly, 2001 cold case of a Korean War veteran who was stabbed more than 100 times in his East Los Angeles bar, police said this week. Elizabeth Chou in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 7/21/17

Century-old Angels Flight railway prepares to ascend Bunker Hill once again -- Crews have been hard at work on the more than century-old downtown Los Angeles railway known as Angels Flight. After it closed down in 2013 for safety issues, the railway is on track to reopen on Labor Day weekend. Meghan McCarty Carino KPCC -- 7/21/17

POTUS 45  

Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation -- Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort. Carol D. Leonnig, Ashley Parker, Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger in the Washington Post$ -- 7/21/17

Trump Aides, Seeking Leverage, Investigate Mueller’s Investigators -- President Trump’s lawyers and aides are scouring the professional and political backgrounds of investigators hired by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, looking for conflicts of interest they could use to discredit the investigation — or even build a case to fire Mr. Mueller or get some members of his team recused, according to three people with knowledge of the research effort. Michael S. Schmidt, Maggie Haberman and Matt Apuzzo in the New York Times$ -- 7/21/17

Trump's public Russia comments could cause legal headaches for him — and his kids -- Investigators can use the president's interview to establish facts and intent, potentially creating stumbling blocks for others touched by the case and making it harder for the many lawyers involved to coordinate. Darren Samuelsohn and Josh Dawsey Politico -- 7/21/17

During ‘Made in America Week,’ President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club applies to hire 70 foreign workers -- President Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida has asked permission to hire 70 foreign workers this fall, attesting — in the middle of the White House's “Made in America Week” — that it cannot find qualified Americans to serve as cooks, waiters and housekeepers. David A. Fahrenthold in the Washington Post$ -- 7/21/17

Trump Made Several Misleading Claims in Times Interview -- In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, President Trump made a number of misleading and false claims, including statements on health insurance, the biography of his deputy attorney general and French history. Here’s an assessment. Linda Qiu in the New York Times$ -- 7/21/17

Beltway 

Cloud of confusion hangs over health-care bill -- Senate Republican leaders’ latest attempt to salvage support for a GOP health-care bill floundered Thursday as leaders struggled to explain to rank-and-file members what exactly they would be voting on next week. Kelsey Snell and Amy Goldstein in the Washington Post$ -- 7/21/17

The Hill Staffer at the Center of the Russia Intrigue -- Meet Paul Behrends, an aide to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher whose friendliness toward Moscow is raising hackles on Capitol Hill. Ben Schreckinger Politico -- 7/21/17

 

-- Thursday Updates 

San Diego welcomes more refugees than any other California county -- Zawadi Namagazuzyo was about 12 when she was forced to flee her native Congo. Her mother and many family members were dead. Her father wanted her to live. Elizabeth Aguilera Calmatters.org -- 7/20/17

O.J. Simpson granted parole -- O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday by the state of Nevada for convictions connected to a robbery in a Las Vegas about a decade ago. He could be out of jail as early as October. The ruling came after a hearing that in which Simpson testified that he longed to be reunited with his family and children and said that he has no interest in returning to the media spotlight. David Montero and Matt Pearce in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/20/17

Fire officials optimistic in battle against blaze near Yosemite -- The wildfire that’s been raging near Yosemite National Park was showing signs Thursday of calming down as temperatures in the area dipped and humidity rose, officials said. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/20/17

The drought is over. Why are Republicans in Congress fighting for more water for farmers? -- The drought may be over and Central Valley farmers are getting more water than they have in years, but that hasn’t stopped Congressional Republicans from resurrecting a bill that would strip environmental protections for fish so more water can be funneled to agriculture. Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/20/17

A new suit says lawmakers broke the law when they changed California's recall election rules -- Republican activists and an anti-tax organization filed a lawsuit Thursday to scrap a new law that revised the rules for California’s recall elections, accusing Democrats of a blatant attempt to help an embattled state senator keep his job. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/20/17

Assembly GOP Leader Chad Mayes survives challenge over cap-and-trade vote but party activists will push for his removal -- Under pressure from some party activists to step down, Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley met with his caucus for more than an hour Thursday and emerged saying he remains its leader. Melanie Mason and Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/20/17

'I'm done': Fed up with California, some conservatives look to Texas -- The tipping point came in November, when he ran as a “pro-life, pro-family, pro-faith conservative Republican” in California’s 31st Congressional District on a platform of bringing back a shuttered military base to San Bernardino and cracking down on crime. A veteran of the Iraq war who remains in the Navy reserves as an intelligence officer, he lost to his Democratic opponent by more than 11% of the vote. Jenny Jarvie in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/20/17

Tom Steyer rebrands his political group for anti-Trump mission -- Tom Steyer, a major donor to Democratic causes and a potential candidate for California governor, has long signaled his political ambitions stretched far beyond climate change, his signature issue. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/20/17

Ed Royce stopped Dana Rohrabacher from going to Russia last spring, senior GOP aide says -- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has made several trips to Moscow during his 15 terms in Congress. But the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats canceled a publicly announced trip to meet with the Russian parliament last spring with little notice. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/20/17

Volkswagen to pay millions more in California for diesel scandal -- Volkswagen agreed Thursday to pay California an additional $153.8 million in the carmaker’s diesel air-pollution scandal. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/20/17

Childhood trauma -- Preventing childhood trauma should be one of the top goals of California policymakers, a coalition of child advocates say. About 150 of the advocates came to Sacramento last week to educate legislators about the devastating effects of adverse childhood experiences. The goal was to help legislators create policies that will better protect kids. Lisa Renner Capitol Weekly -- 7/20/17

Jeffe & Jeffe: Somewhere in a Galaxy Not So Far Away…President Jerry Brown -- Brown, once known as “Governor Moonbeam” used laser focus to get his legislation over the top. Donald Trump could learn a lot from Jerry Brown 2.0. It takes persistence and experience for a chief executive to get things done, not just random tweeting. As the GOP fiasco in Washington clearly shows, a headless horseman inevitably falls off a cliff. Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe Fox & Hounds -- 7/20/17

Former Santa Ana Police Chief Alleges Wrongdoing by Top City Officials and Officers’ Union Leader -- Santa Ana’s former police chief has taken a step toward suing the city for alleged wrongdoing he says involved the officers’ union president, Mayor Miguel Pulido, and two other City Council members the union helped win election last year. Nick Gerda VoiceofOC.org -- 7/20/17

Lopez: USC bosses flunk the leadership test amid shocking allegations about former medical school dean -- By now you probably know the details. Dr. Carmen Puliafito, a $1.1-million-a-year professor, doctor, dean and big-bucks rainmaker for the University of Southern California, left plenty of time in his busy schedule for extracurricular activities. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/20/17

How an ex-FBI profiler helped put an innocent man behind bars -- The wrongful conviction has renewed questions about the credibility of profiling and focused attention on the role played by Safarik, the star of the season-long television show “Killer Instinct,” whose testimony was considered crucial at Jennings’ trial. Marisa Gerber in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/20/17

Revised GOP healthcare bill would still leave millions more without insurance, new report concludes -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) may have as much as $99 billion to spend to woo GOP senators wary of the party’s legislation rolling back the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Noam N. Levey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/20/17

Apple iPhone, iPad users: Update now to protect against dangerous ‘Broadpwn’ hack -- Apple patched more than 40 issues in its new 10.3.3 update, but the one that matters most is its fix against the “Broadpwn” exploit. Through this exploit, hackers can take over a person’s device if the target is within their Wi-Fi range. Seung Lee in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/20/17 (on Apple devices go to Settings -> General -> Software update)