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California braces for strongest storm system in 10 years amid fears of flooding, avalanches, blizzards -- Sierra travelers trapped by back-to-back storms that dropped more than 2 feet of snow have a brief window to pass, before the arrival of a weather system Saturday so wet forecasters are calling it an "atmospheric river." Paige St. John and Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/17

NWS: Northern California now on pace for 'wettest water year on record' -- After many long years of waiting, California's drought relief may finally be here. Snow has piled up over five feet in some parts of the Sierra Nevada since the Sunday storm. And while the first snow survey of the year actually came in below average in terms of snow accumulation, there are reasons for optimism. Kristin Hanes in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/5/17

Police: 22-month girl shot in East Oakland -- The child, a 22-month-old girl, was rushed to a local hospital and was said to be in stable condition later in the afternoon, said Officer Johnna Watson, a spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department. No arrests were reported following the shooting, and a motive remained under investigation, she said. Kimberly Veklerov and Michael Bodley in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/5/17

Trump’s Debts Are Widely Held on Wall Street, Creating New Potential Conflicts -- More than 150 financial institutions hold debts connected to president-elect, analysis shows. Jean Eaglesham and Lisa Schwartz in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/5/17

UC Berkeley researcher debunks global warming hiatus -- Suggestions by climate change skeptics that ocean cooling put global warming on hiatus more than a decade ago were based on faulty measurements of seawater temperatures, a new study led by a UC Berkeley researcher confirms. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/5/17

Taking Aim at Trump, Leaders Strongly Affirm Findings on Russian Hacking -- Rebuffing efforts by President-elect Donald J. Trump to cast doubt on Russian interference in the presidential election, top intelligence officials and senators from both parties on Thursday issued a forceful affirmation of the findings. They took relentless aim at Mr. Trump’s public skepticism and suggested he had negatively affected morale in the intelligence community. Matt Flegenheimer and Scott Shane in the New York Times$ -- 1/5/17

Mark Zuckerberg Is Sure Acting Like Someone Who Might Run for President -- Facebook's CEO doesn't necessarily plan to sink his teeth into electoral politics. But he's made some moves in the past few days that set the table. Davey Alba Wired -- 1/5/17

Fox: Eric Holder to Save the CA Economy? -- What caught my attention when legislative leaders hired former United States Attorney General Eric Holder was not the obvious rationale expected of the Democratic majority promising resistance to a Trump presidency on issues of immigration, climate change and health care, or even the need and expense for such a move considering the state Attorney General’s role to stand up for California, but the expectation that Holder’s law firm will help preserve California’s economy. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/5/17

California Senate joins anti-Trump fight with Holder hire -- th the hiring of former Attorney General Eric Holder, California’s legislature has enlisted a uniquely experienced attorney to prepare for “the legal fight of a generation” against the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump. Carla Marinucci Politico -- 1/5/17

Keep calm and continue to conserve water, state says -- As much of the state heads into a sixth year of drought, water officials on Wednesday cheered Californians’ continued conservation while urging them to stay stingy with water after residential savings slipped below 19 percent in November. Suzanne Hurt in the Inland Daily Bulletin$ -- 1/5/17

Before the 'Ghost Ship,' owner struggled with old warehouse in tough neighborhood -- Chor Ng became the owner of a run-down warehouse 20 years ago, part of a larger divorce settlement with her husband. Paige St. John in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/17

The D.A. charged a man with murder in a notorious Palmdale killing. A decade later, the same office seeks to toss his conviction -- From behind bars, Raymond Lee Jennings begged a court to throw out his murder conviction, saying he had nothing to do with the shooting death of an 18-year-old college student in a dimly lit Palmdale parking lot. The item is in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/17

As Inauguration Day nears, Muslims wonder whether Trump's tough talk will turn into action -- Aisha Shafi stuffed pens and notebooks into her sons’ backpacks and buzzed around her San Marcos home as she made sure the boys were ready for the new school year. Sarah Parvini in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/17

California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Kevin Faulconer, San Diego mayor, quietly mulling run for governor -- San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has quietly started discussing a potential run for governor with advisers and prospective donors, according to a former Los Angeles mayor and sources familiar with Faulconer's deliberations. David Siders Politico -- 1/5/17

Cutting Obamacare will hurt a lot of Trump voters in California -- If the ACA disappeared, Kern County, where the unemployment rate is at 9.2 percent and 45 percent of the population is on Medi-Cal, would lose an estimated 5,000 jobs. Tulare County, where the unemployment rate of 10.8 percent is twice the statewide figure, would lose 3,000 jobs. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/5/17

Valley GOP legislators decry Dems’ hiring of Holder to battle Trump -- Republican legislators, including those in the Valley, are unhappy that Democratic leaders of the state Senate and Assembly have signed a deal to hire the nation’s former top legal gun “in defense of our values and constitutional guarantees” against President-elect Donald Trump’s forthcoming administration. Tim Sheehan in the Fresno Bee -- 1/5/17

Monster storm could bring state’s worst flooding in over a decade -- A menacing storm taking shape over the Pacific is poised to pound California this weekend, causing what could be the worst flooding in parts of the state in more than a decade, forecasters said. Evan Sernoffsky in the San Francisco Chronicle Aaron Kinney in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/5/17

MIT scientists: Monster storms will triple in California by 2100 -- As forecasters predicted 12 inches or more of rain in parts of Northern California over the next week, MIT released a new study that warned that the state could expect the frequency of extreme storms to triple by the end of the century. Mike Moffitt in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/5/17

Make California (politically) great again, says lawmaker who wants to move the presidential primary to Super Tuesday -- California's presidential primary could find itself squarely in the middle of the Super Tuesday political sweepstakes in 2020 under a proposal being introduced this week at the state Capitol. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/5/17

Trump presidency puts California Legislature in defense mode -- As California lawmakers return to Sacramento on Wednesday, liberal dreams of expanding safety-net benefits and providing health coverage to immigrants are giving way to a new vision revolving around a feverish push to protect gains racked up in the past. Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press -- 1/5/17

If China is Trump’s foil, what happens here? -- Before last year’s presidential election, Chinese-language media in Southern California were surprisingly abuzz with news and commentary voicing support for then-Republican nominee Donald Trump. Now, those voices often are silent. Grace Wyler in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/5/17

Measure S opponents scale back claims in voter guide after being sued -- Opponents of a controversial measure that would restrict L.A. real estate development have agreed to scale back some of their claims submitted for a city voter guide after being sued by the initiative’s supporters. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/17

Yosemite may close under threat of heavy rains, flooding -- Yosemite National Park is making emergency preparations for a possible closure of the national park amid weather forecasts for significant rain and flooding through the weekend. Linda Gonzales in the Sacramento Bee$ Evan Sernoffsky and Steve Rubenstein in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/5/17

Pants On Fire For Claim California Legalized Child Prostitution -- Did California really legalize child prostitution? That’s the startling question our audience asked after reading a misleading op-ed by Republican state Assemblyman Travis Allen in the Washington Examiner. Chris Nichols Politifact CA -- 1/5/17

Skelton: Marijuana is legal in California. Now politicians and pot pushers need to help keep it out of kids' hands -- Happy New Year and pass the pot. But now that weed is legal for adults in California, we need somehow to keep more teens from toking. Regular use can stunt their mental growth. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/17

2016 ended with 89 police shootings in LA County — 1 every 4 days -- Police officers and sheriff's deputies in Los Angeles County were involved in 89 shootings last year, according to the L.A. District Attorney's office. The number includes people who were wounded and those killed by a police officer's bullet. Aaron Mendelson KPCC -- 1/5/17


Broke: Why more California families are becoming homeless -- Daejanae Marshall remembers waking up in a panic before 5 a.m. Something was wrong. She was 22 and a new mom. And baby Zah'Nyah was her world. Rina Palta and Priska Neely KPCC -- 1/5/17


California needs to build a staggering number of homes and we are way behind -- Developers are building an average of 80,000 new California homes a year, but that falls well below the 180,000 that are needed, according to the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Kevin Smith in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/5/17

Affordable Housing for Artists: Santa Cruz Shows Bay Area How It’s Done -- In the wake of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, cities all over the country are looking into what they can do to create more affordable housing for artists that doesn’t trade basic safety for cheap rent. One answer lies to the south, with the Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz. Rachael Myrow KQED -- 1/5/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions 

Fill 'er up: $3 gas prices are on the horizon -- Ready to say goodbye to $2 gas? A steady uptick in prices across the region will likely extend into late spring, with prices creeping closer to $4 per gallon by May. The reason, according to GasBuddy petroleum analyst Allison Mac, is increasing oil prices. Hannah Madans in the Orange County Register -- 1/5/17

Macy's to close stores and cut more than 10,000 jobs -- After a disappointing holiday season, Macy’s said it is cutting more than 10,000 jobs and going ahead with plans to close 68 stores — including locations in San Diego and Santa Barbara. Shan Li in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/17

Snapchat showed investors false user statistics, ex-employee alleges in lawsuit -- A former Snapchat employee alleged in a lawsuit Wednesday that the company misrepresented its financial state while recruiting him and then pressured him to spill secrets about his time at Facebook. Paresh Dave in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/17


Caltrain Ridership Drops After 72 Straight Months of Increases -- Ridership on Caltrain is slowing down. For more than six years the average number of people riding trains on weekdays between San Francisco and Santa Clara County increased each month compared to the month the previous year. Ted Goldberg KQED -- 1/5/17

Next phase of the Wilshire subway receives $1.6 billion in federal funds -- The announcement in Los Angeles on Wednesday of more than $1.6 billion in new funding for the Westside subway brings transportation officials one step closer to their ambitious goal of finishing the nine-mile line before the 2024 Olympic Games. Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/17


Pre-Inauguration, California Districts Declare Sanctuary Schools -- At their neighborhood park in Oakland, Marina Morales and her five-year-old daughter, Ruby, look for water insects in the creek and then test the bells on a playground structure. Zaidee Stavely KQED -- 1/5/17

For teachers, it's not just what you say, it's how you say it -- Denisia Wash, a kindergarten teacher in Berkeley, didn’t want to use a sugary voice when she talked to her 5-year-old students – they weren’t babies and that voice wasn’t actually effective, she said. But she didn’t want to use a sharp-edged voice either, the impatient tone that can come out when she’s tired or under pressure. “I call that teacher voice my ‘stress voice,’” she said. Jane Meredith Adams EdSource -- 1/5/17

These are the classes you get when you give college students control -- For much of each week, UC Berkeley senior Caelle McKaveney studies chemical signaling in spiders, nucleotide coding patterns and other serious science. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/17

UC Berkeley braces for speech by Breitbart News gay provocateur -- There’s a lot of glass in the Pauley Ballroom at UC Berkeley, and campus officials hope it holds when the explosive provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos delivers his message to students there on Feb. 1. He typically aims his barbs and taunts at women, people of color and anyone left of Donald Trump. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/5/17

Immigration / Border 

California House Democrats are taking a wait-and-see approach on Trump's plan for Dreamers -- President Obama told congressional Democrats during a closed-door meeting Wednesday that he's told President-elect Donald Trump about the importance of the program that defers deportation of people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/17


Scientists say the global ocean circulation may be more vulnerable to shutdown than we thought -- Intense future climate change could have a far different impact on the world than current models predict, suggests a thought-provoking new study just out in the journal Science Advances. Chelsea Harvey in the Washington Post$ -- 1/5/17


California, LA County fret over what ‘Trumpcare’ could mean after Obamacare -- With the Trump administration and lawmakers moving swiftly to do away with Obamacare, many in Los Angeles County are bracing for the ripple effects in a region that could be among the hardest hit. Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/5/17

Also . . . 

Flower Festival starts in Little Saigon Friday kicking off Tet celebration season -- The 14th annual Flower Festival, marking the beginning of the Tet celebration season, kicks off Friday at the Asian Garden Mall, offering the chance over the next month to browse dozens of exotic flowers and trees that cost up to $1,000 a pop. Chris Haire in the Orange County Register -- 1/5/17

Killer Charles Manson's failing health renews focus on cult murder saga -- The long saga of Charles Manson, the cult leader whose murder spree more than four decades ago made him a subject of hate, fear, revulsion and fascination, moved to a hospital in downtown Bakersfield this week. Richard Winton, Matt Hamilton and Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/17


Republicans offer no plan to repeal Obamacare as more party members express concern -- After demanding for six years that the Affordable Care Act be gutted, Republican leaders refused Wednesday to outline concrete steps to repeal and replace it, even as members of their party voiced growing reservations about rolling the law back without a viable alternative. Noam N. Levey and Lisa Mascaro in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/17

Fact Checker: Julian Assange’s claim that there was no Russian involvement in WikiLeaks emails -- While Assange — and subsequently, Trump — claim that Russia is 1,000 percent certain not to be the source of the documents published on WikiLeaks, the facts are not nearly as certain. We dug into it. Michelle Ye Hee Lee in the Washington Post$ -- 1/5/17

Fact Check: Once again, lawmakers are stretching the facts on Obamacare -- President Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence were both on Capitol Hill Wednesday, making competing cases for and against Obama's signature health care law. Republicans have promised to make repeal of the Affordable Care Act their first order of business, once they control both Congress and the White House. Scott Horsley NPR -- 1/5/17

Trump pick for secretary of state reaches $180 million payout deal with Exxon -- Former Exxon Mobil chief Rex Tillerson has reached a retirement deal with the oil giant worth about $180 million that would sever his ties with the company if he is confirmed as Donald Trump’s secretary of state. Anne Gearan in the Washington Post$ -- 1/5/17

GOP airs Obamacare divisions in Pence meeting -- Republicans are fast-tracking the process of repealing Obamacare, aiming to get it done in several weeks. But they’re not even close to agreement about what comes next — or even when the repeal should take effect. Jennifer Haberkorn and Burgess Everett Politico -- 1/5/17


-- Wednesday Updates 

California rejects proposed new death penalty rules -- Efforts to revive the death penalty in California were dealt another blow late last month when a state agency tasked with reviewing regulatory changes rejected a proposed new lethal injection protocol. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/4/17

UC proposes first tuition increase in six years for more faculty, courses and financial aid -- The University of California unveiled a proposal Wednesday for the first tuition increase in six years, saying booming enrollment growth and reduced state support have left campuses scrambling to pay for more faculty, course offerings, classrooms and financial aid. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/4/17

Oakland introduces new ‘reform-minded’ police chief -- Oakland’s new police chief, Anne Kirkpatrick, promised to create a culture of accountability and earn residents’ respect in her first public address at City Hall Wednesday. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle James Queally and Annie Sweeney in the Los Angeles Times$ Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/4/17

Obama administration pushes giant California water project -- Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to build two giant north-south water tunnels for California got a hand from the outgoing Obama administration Wednesday, seeking to help the project clear at least one federal regulatory hurdle before Barack Obama leaves office Jan. 20. Ellen Knickmeyer Associated Press -- 1/4/17

California braces for a Trump presidency by tapping former U.S. Atty. General Eric Holder for legal counsel -- Bracing for an adversarial relationship with President-elect Donald Trump, the California Legislature has selected former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. to serve as outside counsel to advise the state’s legal strategy against the incoming administration. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ Adam Nagourney in the New York Times$ -- 1/4/17

Quinn: How Arizona vs. United States Will Stop Democratic Immigration Efforts -- Sorry, California Democrats, but you have already lost the battle over stopping President-elect Trump’s immigration policies. You lost five years ago when the state of Arizona tried, as sanctuary cities are doing now, to upend federal immigration laws, and the US Supreme Court said no. Tony Quinn Fox & Hounds -- 1/4/17

Darrell Issa takes another shot at changing the rules for the skilled worker visa program -- U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) wants companies that recruit highly skilled foreign workers to follow new standards aimed at making it more difficult to exploit the visa program that allows them to work in the U.S. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/4/17

Californians saved less water in November than previous year, water board report says -- California water conservation took a slight step backward in November, officials announced Wednesday, possibly due in part to an unusually wet fall and months of successful conservation efforts. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/4/17

GOP congressman plans Russia trip to ‘work with the Duma’ -- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican ally of President-elect Donald Trump and a longtime enthusiast of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Wednesday that he is planning to lead a congressional delegation to Russia next month and expects to meet with Russian officials to discuss “how we can work with the Duma.” Robert Costa in the Washington Post$ -- 1/4/17

Sage College closes doors amid dispute over accreditation -- Hundreds of students enrolled in court-reporting and paralegal training classes at Sage College were left in a lurch Tuesday, when owners of the for-profit school closed the business two weeks before the end of the quarter due to a long-simmering accreditation issue. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/4/17

2017: What’s in, what’s out in CA -- Okay, 2016 is now history, and many of us are saying “Good Riddance!” But 2017 has arrived, with its attendant challenges and changes, right? And to succeed, the smart Capitol denizen must become acquainted with 2017’s ins and outs — the land mines, the pitfalls and the Ways To Take Advantage. Chuck McFadden Capitol Weekly -- 1/4/17

Equifax, TransUnion fined for selling consumers credit scores not used by most lenders -- All credit scores are not created equal. That’s the upshot of federal enforcement actions levied Tuesday against credit bureaus Equifax and TransUnion. James Rufus Koren in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/4/17

Tesla begins churning out battery cells at Nevada Gigafactory -- Batteries are crucial to the future of Tesla, best known as a car company but currently transforming itself into an ambitious alternative energy provider. Russ Mitchell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/4/17

Poverty In San Diego County Higher Than During Great Recession -- When Jim Floros started his job as president and CEO of the San Diego Food Bank at the beginning of 2013, he says the nonprofit served about 330,000 people a month. That number has since grown to 370,000. Joe Yerardi KPBS -- 1/4/17

Study: Bay Area one of the most bed bug-infested spots in the nation -- If you suddenly felt itchy all over, it's probably not bed bugs ... but the probability it is remains higher here than in most places in the country. According to pest control company Orkin's annual study, the Bay Area ranks 10th on their list of 'Bed Bug Cities.' That's up four spots from last year. Katie Dowd in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/4/17

Lopez: Not rich, not poor, and not ready for the cost of growing old -- Caroline from Sierra Madre wrote to me about the “five-year-long funeral” that followed her father’s stroke, saying “he retired a member of the middle class and died impoverished after all the family funds were spent on care.” Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/4/17