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550 homes and businesses projected to flood along Russian River near Guerneville -- A bit of sunshine Monday morning was little comfort to many living along Sonoma County’s Russian River, where water levels were expected to continue swelling into the afternoon despite a letup in the rain. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle Maria Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/9/17

Four big questions for Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget -- But this month’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, along with his fellow Republicans retaining control of Congress, has injected a heavy dose of trepidation into the Democrat-controlled budget process that formally begins Tuesday when Brown releases his proposed spending plan for the year beginning July 1. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/9/17

‘All they got was a slap on the hand.’ Is California low-balling penalties in nursing home death investigations? -- Armando Reagan was 30 when he bled to death, rushed from a Southern California nursing home as blood soaked his sheets, pooled on the floor and as he pleaded with staff: “Help! Help! I do not want to die!” according to state public health records. Marjie Lundstrom in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/9/17

Judge in whistleblower case orders SDPD to hand over personnel records -- A Superior Court judge has granted a request from a lieutenant suing the San Diego Police Department to order the department to hand over personnel records of a captain and subordinate officer whose conduct factors in the case. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/9/17

L.A. needs to borrow millions to cover legal payouts, city report says -- Los Angeles budget officials are warning that the city needs to immediately borrow tens of millions of dollars to avoid dipping into its emergency reserve fund after several high-profile lawsuit payouts. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/17

SDG&E Seeks $379 Million From Ratepayers In 2007 Wildfire Costs -- The public will have an opportunity on Monday to weigh in on San Diego Gas & Electric's request to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in costs related to the 2007 wildfires. Under the proposal, the average residential customer could be on the hook for approximately $20 a year for six years. Susan Murphy KPBS -- 1/9/17

Bad news for Bay Area mega-commuters: Sacramento now leads the nation in rent growth -- We’ve been hearing about Bay Area mega-commuters for some time now — those poor souls who spend hours on the road each day, commuting from far-away affordable homes or apartments to decent-paying jobs in the Bay Area’s core. Richard Scheinin in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/9/17

Who are Trump's friends? One is Thomas Barrack, a Californian who could shape his views on the Middle East -- Thomas J. Barrack Jr. drew worldwide attention for bailing out Michael Jackson when the singer’s Neverland Ranch was on the brink of foreclosure. Michael Finnegan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/17

Donald Trump couldn't let Meryl Streep's Golden Globes speech go unanswered -- He decried Meryl Streep as a disgruntled “Hillary lover” both on Twitter and in an interview with the New York Times after the actress used a Golden Globes speech Sunday to condemn his campaign-trail comments about a reporter with a congenital condition. Michael A. Memoli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/17

Meryl Streep was right. Donald Trump did mock a disabled reporter. -- Streep ripped Trump for his obvious mockery of a journalist's physical disability in late 2015, and Trump responded by once again denying that he meant to make fun of the reporter's condition. Callum Borchers in the Washington Post$ -- 1/9/17

Fact Check: Streep overrated? Trump picks a decorated star -- She has earned 19 Oscar nominations and three wins, as well as a record 29 Golden Globe nominations and eight wins, and two Emmy Awards. Plus there's a Presidential Medal of Freedom, not to mention 10 People's Choice Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, four National Society of Film Critics Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor and has been named a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the highest civilian honor given by the French government. Mark Kennedy Associated Press -- 1/9/17

Sports personality nearly predicts exact time of Trump's Meryl Streep tweetstorm -- Sports personality and former Sports Illustrated editor Jimmy Traina, who wrote that the President-elect would start firing off posts at 6:24 a.m. As it turned out, Traina came within three minutes of being correct: Alyssa Pereira in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/9/17

Herdt: Uncertainty Over Federal Health Care Policy Creates Major Heartburn for California Budget-Makers -- When C. Duane Dauner, the crackerjack CEO who has headed the California Hospital Association for 31 years, announced last month his intent to retire at the end of 2018, the timing must surely have been bittersweet. Timm Herdt Fox & Hounds -- 1/9/17

KGO-TV news van caught in rockslide in Santa Cruz Mountains -- A KGO-TV news van got stuck in a rockslide early Monday morning in the Santa Cruz Mountains and its driver suffered minor injuries when he was trapped inside, officials said. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/9/17

San Diego County Supervisors Add To Their Pension Payouts During Last Term In Office -- On Tuesday, Item #7 on the San Diego County Supervisors’ agenda is the final reading of an ordinance that effectively increases their pay by about 12 percent within the next year. Alison St John KPBS -- 1/9/17

Theme park crime: Counterfeiters prefer Disneyland; shoplifters like Universal Studios Hollywood -- Disneyland’s 1955 opening was plagued by snafus, including the widespread distribution of counterfeit tickets. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/17

Candy maker Mars is buying L.A.-based animal hospital chain for $7.7 billion -- VCA Inc., which consolidated chunks of the pet health industry to grow into a leading chain of animal hospitals, agreed to be bought by candy and pet-care giant Mars Inc. for $7.7 billion in cash, the companies said Monday. James F. Peltz in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/17

San Diego’s Public Transit Growth Hits Speed Bump -- San Diego is far from alone: Low gas prices and increasing competition from ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft have put a damper on public transit ridership in nearly every city in the United States. In addition, high employment and low interest rates have allowed more people to buy cars, and sky-high housing prices have forced many to live further from their jobs, making the convenience and speed of driving one's own vehicle all the more attractive. Andrew Bowen KPBS -- 1/9/17


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Obamacare Repeal Could Punch $15 Billion Hole in State Budget -- When Gov. Jerry Brown unveils his 2017-18 budget Tuesday, there will be one huge question mark hanging over the proposal: What will it cost California when congressional Republicans follow through on their promise to dismantle Obamacare? Marisa Lagos KQED -- 1/9/17

This California Republican is hoping he'll have more luck with his immigration reform idea under Trump -- Rep. Jeff Denham has been at odds with his own party’s leadership on immigration reform before, but he's trying again with this Congress, hoping a single comment from the president-elect is a sign his idea might have a chance. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/17

How this former aspiring screenwriter became one of California's campaign finance experts after losing his day job -- On a recent afternoon in mid-December, Rob Pyers notices something amiss. It’s months after the grueling 2016 election, a quiet time when consultants and candidates are taking long-deferred vacations. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/17

Skelton: Eric Holder could be California's MVP, or he could be a bust. But odds are recruiting him was a good idea -- A major league ball club signs an all-star free agent. An NBA team recruits a big-name basketball coach. You really can’t be sure how they’ll perform. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/17

Walters: State Bar gets the message, begins to split its functions -- The 2016 legislative session ended four-plus months ago with a cross-Capitol stalemate on the future of the State Bar, the agency that oversees the legal profession. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/9/17

I-80 closed in both directions near Donner Summit after mudslide as big as a football field -- A major mud slide on Donner Summit Sunday night closed Interstate 80 in the Sierra Nevada, cutting off the main transportation route between Reno and San Francisco. Paige St. John in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/17

Mudslides block westbound I-80, Highway 50 over Sierra -- Westbound lanes of the two main highways over the Sierra into Northern California were blocked by mudslides Sunday night, and emergency officials said it would take several hours to clear them. Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/9/17

Mudslides and downed lines close I-80 in both directions. Hwy 50 reopens -- Interstate 80 was closed in both directions over the Sierra Nevada near Donner Lake on Sunday night. The westbound lanes were shut down by a 60-foot mudslide near the Donner Lake Road interchange, Caltrans reported. Hudson Sangree and Jessica Hice in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/9/17

Historic Pioneer Cabin Tree toppled in California storm -- The historic Pioneer Cabin Tree, a former "drive-through" giant sequoia in Calaveras Big Trees State Park in Calaveras County, was felled in California's weekend storms. The tree was hollowed out in the 1880s to allow tourists to pass through it, and even allowed cars, but more recently has hosted only hikers. It was part of the "Big Trees Trail" at the state park. Peter Hockaday in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/9/17

3 Sonoma County school districts cancel classes due to flooding -- Raging floods and rain Sunday forced Sonoma County officials to close three school districts at the start of the week. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/9/17

Obama White House veterans stake out spot in Trump resistance -- Just for fun during the presidential campaign, President Obama’s longtime former speechwriter Jon Favreau and three other Obama White House veterans — Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and San Franciscan Tommy Vietor — produced a podcast series called “Keepin’ it 1600.” Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/9/17

Scott Wiener models state solar bill on San Francisco law -- Newly sworn-in state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, plans to introduce legislation Monday requiring all new construction in the state to include solar panels. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/9/17

Lucas museum board deciding soon whether to pursue Treasure Island -- The Bay Area could soon learn whether billionaire filmmaker George Lucas will try — again — to build a high-profile museum on a prime spot on San Francisco Bay. John King in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/9/17

Judge Persky critic rips state panel report in Brock Turner case -- The Stanford law professor campaigning to remove a judge who gave a former athlete at the university six months in jail for sexual assault says the state commission that cleared the judge of unethical conduct ignored some facts and distorted others. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/9/17

Diaz: Media law’s ultimate test -- Sonja West, a law professor from the University of Georgia whose focus includes the First Amendment, recalls serving on media-law panels at conferences where the speakers outnumbered audience members. Not anymore. John Diaz in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/9/17

Schnur: How California has become the new Texas -- Fifty is the new 30. Orange is the new black. And in Donald Trump’s America, California has become the new Texas. Dan Schnur in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/9/17

This Golden State Podcast -- Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom looks forward to making the resistance to Donald Trump a major issue in the 2018 campaign for California Governor. In an interview with This Golden State’s Randy Shandobil, Newsom says at this point, “absolutely, it will be the dominant meme of the campaign.” Also, point by point, Newsom discloses how California could counter Trump’s policies. Link Here -- 1/9/17

Capitol Weeky Podcast with David Quintana -- Capitol Weekly's John Howard and Tim Foster kick off 2017 with a visit to lobbyist David Quintana, the brains behind the Back to Session Bash - the hottest political party of the season - which is on track for Thursday, January 12. We get the lowdown on the origin of the bash, the best and worst moments of past Bashes, what, exactly, Coolio was buying at Rite Aid while he was supposed to be performing - and dig for details about this year's special guest. Link Here -- 1/9/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions 

Another ruling says pension set at hire can be cut -- A second appeals court panel has unanimously ruled that the public pension offered at hire can be cut without an offsetting new benefit, broadening support for what pension reformers call a “game changer” if the state Supreme Court agrees. Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 1/9/17

Southern California worker deaths on the rise -- One ugly byproduct of an improving job market can be an increase in workplace fatalities. Jonathan Lansner in the Orange County Register -- 1/9/17

Google's self-driving minivan will start test drives this month in California and Arizona -- The minivans, built in collaboration with Fiat Chrysler, are Chrysler Pacifica hybrids outfitted with Waymo's own suite of sensors and radar. Waymo and FCA announced their partnership in May. Dee-Ann Durbin Associated Press -- 1/9/17


Uber to help cities get a better grasp on traffic patterns -- Uber is offering a helping hand to some of the same city leaders it sometimes antagonizes with the aggressive way it runs its popular ride-hailing service. The assistance will come in the form of a free website, called “Movement,” expected to be available to the public in mid-February. Uber announced the new website Sunday, on the eve of a transportation-planning conference in Washington. Associated Press -- 1/9/17


Sacramento-area students learn civics through experience. Others could follow their lead -- It’s one thing for students to learn about civics in a classroom, another to organize clothes drives, plant community gardens or register voters. California’s latest history and social studies guidelines were designed in part to encourage schools to give students real-world experience in civic engagement. Diana Lambert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/9/17

USC taps diversity expert to run new research center on race and equity -- USC has hired a leading expert on campus diversity and racial equity to launch a new research center on campus. Shaun R. Harper will join the USC Rossier School of Education in July as a professor and founder of the USC Race and Equity Center, the university announced Monday. Rosanna Xia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/17

Oakland teens to get a global perspective as they study abroad through pilot program -- More than a dozen high school juniors in Oakland Unified are part of a new pilot program to allow low-income teens to study abroad. This month, they will travel to Thailand, where they will spend 11 weeks learning about the culture from host families, calling on a Buddhist monk and visiting a national elephant park. Theresa Harrington EdSourc​e -- 1/9/17

U.S. to make final decision on California science testing waiver ‘very shortly’ -- In a final administrative appeal, California education officials Friday again made their case before the U.S. Department of Education to begin administering online tests this spring based on new science standards, in lieu of a test based on standards established in 1998. Pat Maio EdSource -- 1/9/17

Also . . . 

On Mammoth Mountain, avalanche control requires bringing out a big gun — the 105-millimeter Howitzer -- Rescuing skiers and backcountry trekkers is a life’s work for men like ski patrolman Cliff Klock and U.S. Forest Service emergency response expert Jeffrey Karl. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/17

Voters to decide if Elk Grove should get an Indian casino -- Elk Grove voters apparently are going to decide whether a $400 million Indian casino gets built in their city. Casino opponents have submitted enough valid signatures to qualify their anti-casino referendum for the Elk Grove ballot, the city clerk announced Friday. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/9/17

Off-site tents bring luxury to Coachella campers -- Pop-up resorts are setting up shop near the Empire Polo Club this spring to accommodate the already sold-out Coachella festival taking place over two weekends in April. Alejandra Molina in the Inland Daily Bulletin$ -- 1/9/17

POTUS 45  

Trump has taken few steps to disentangle from private empire -- President-elect Donald Trump pledged to step away from his family-owned international real estate development, property management and licensing business before taking office Jan. 20. With less than two weeks until his inauguration, he hasn't stepped very far. Julie Bykowicz and Chad Day Associated Press -- 1/9/17


Obama retools his political operation for another run -- He will use his foundation and an updated Organizing for Action group to try to salvage his legacy and rebuild the Democratic Party. Edward-Isaac Dovre Politico -- 1/9/17

Fact Checker: Republicans once again rely on a misleading Obamacare factoid -- With the election of Donald Trump, Republican lawmakers finally have the opportunity to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. As a result, we’re hearing some talking points that were debunked long ago. Glenn Kessler in the Washington Post$ -- 1/9/17

Trump confidants serving as presidential advisers could face tangle of potential conflicts -- Billionaire investor Carl Icahn will have the ear of President-elect Donald Trump as an adviser focused on cutting government regulations. But Icahn also stands to benefit if his advice is taken: It could make the energy companies and others in which he has a stake more profitable. John Wagner and Ylan Q. Mui in the Washington Post$ -- 1/9/17

Trump Was the Elephant in the Ballroom at the Golden Globes -- The biggest presence at Sunday’s Golden Globes was a TV star who didn’t show up, didn’t win an award, was not thanked and was only rarely mentioned by name. Hollywood’s first awards show of the year was — like so much in today’s headlines — brought to you by Donald J. Trump. James Poniewozik in the New York Times$ -- 1/9/17

Trump Not Surprised by Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes Speech -- President-elect Donald J. Trump dismissed Meryl Streep as “a Hillary lover” early Monday morning after the actress, in a speech at the Golden Globes award ceremony, denounced him as a bully who disrespected and humiliated others. Patrick Healy in the New York Times$ -- 1/9/17

Watch all of Meryl Streep's inspirational Golden Globes acceptance speech -- The following is a transcript of Meryl Streep’s speech at the 74th Golden Globes as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. via the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/17

Obama says he didn't underestimate Putin but did misjudge the potency of misinformation -- President Obama insisted in an interview that aired Sunday he did not underestimate Russian President Vladimir Putin when he dismissed Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign assessment that the country was the top U.S. geopolitical foe. But Obama acknowledged he may have misjudged Russia’s ability to tamper in the American electoral process. Noah Bierman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/17