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Immigrants flooded California construction. Worker pay sank. Here’s why -- Construction in Los Angeles has shifted from a heavily unionized labor force that was two-thirds white to a largely non-union one that is 70% Latino and heavily immigrant. Natalie Kitroeff in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/17

A few potential clouds over the 4/20 party -- Free at last! Free at last! Thursday is the first time that 4/20 — the unofficial cannabis-lovers’ holiday — will be celebrated when it’s legal for adults to ingest weed just for fun in California. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/20/17

Ann Coulter vows to speak at Berkeley despite cancellation -- Ann Coulter fired off an angry stream of tweets Wednesday vowing to speak as planned next week at UC Berkeley after campus officials called off the event for security reasons. Jocelyn Gecker Associated Press -- 4/20/17

Former Sacramento developer opens committee to run for lieutenant governor in 2018 -- Eleni Kounalakis, a former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, on Wednesday opened a committee to raise money for a possible lieutenant governor’s bid. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/20/17

Study calls on big tech companies to move closer to transit -- Victoria Makras used to slog through a nearly two-hour commute from her Laurel Heights home to Box’s office in Los Altos. She’d wake up at 6:30 a.m. and board an Uber to the Caltrain station. The fast Baby Bullets weren’t an option, since they didn’t serve the closest station to Box. So she’d walk more than a mile, taking another 15 minutes before reaching her desk. Nicholas Cheng in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/20/17

Talbot: Terrible postscript to San Francisco’s eviction saga -- Nearly one month has passed since Iris Canada died, but she still has no resting place. Her body lies in the cold morgue at UCSF Medical Center, where the 100-year-old woman died March 25. David Talbot in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/20/17

Dumanis to resign July 7, mulls run for county board -- San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced Thursday morning she is resigning effective July 7. Greg Moran in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/20/17


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Critics hold a town hall to talk issues with Rep. Devin Nunes, but he wasn’t there -- About 150 people showed up Wednesday to a town hall meeting here to send a message to Rep. Devin Nunes – even if the Tulare Republican decided to skip the meeting and call its organizers a bunch of “left-wing” activists. Lewis Griswold in the Fresno Bee -- 4/20/17

Rep. Hunter says he has halted campaign payments to his wife -- Among the many issues raised by constituents at the March 11 town hall by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, was his campaign’s payments to his wife, Margaret Hunter, for consulting work. Morgan Cook in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/20/17

Here's how Rep. Darrell Issa has moved toward the center since he almost lost in November -- Back in November, Rep. Darrell Issa won reelection over a novice Democrat by fewer than 2,000 votes, and it seems to have shaken him. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/17

Deportation’s orphans: Who cares for children when parents are sent away? -- As immigration enforcement ramps up, so rises the fear of undocumented parents about the fate of their children if they are separated by deportation and returned to their native country. Elizabeth Aguilera Calmatters.org -- 4/20/17

Groups demand transparency on Oroville Dam spillway repairs -- A coalition of environmental groups that had warned Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway was fatally flawed long before it nearly washed away this winter is demanding that federal regulators open up dam repair plans for public vetting. Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/20/17

California officer detained in Taiwan after TSA misses gun in her bag at LAX -- Federal officials have admitted that procedures were violated at Los Angeles International Airport when an off-duty police officer boarded a flight to Taiwan with a handgun in her carry-on bag. Anita Bennett and Brenda Gazzar in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 4/20/17

Skelton: Was Gov. Brown wrong to make side deals to push through the gas tax hike? No, that's democracy -- Among the most abused words in politics are “corrupt,” “bribery” and “graft.” And they’ve been bellowed a lot lately since the California Legislature voted to raise gas taxes to fix shabby roads. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/17

Feds say they didn't deport 'Dreamer,' but acknowledge error on his DACA status -- Federal officials acknowledged Wednesday that Juan Manuel Montes’ protected immigration status was not due to expire until 2018, correcting themselves on one point in a case that thrust the 23-year-old Mexican national into the center of a heated debate on illegal immigration. Cindy Carcamo in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/17

Mayor Garcetti to lay out plan to close budget deficit of more than $224 million -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti plans to take a simpler approach than usual during his state of the city speech. The mayor will deliver his address Thursday at City Hall — instead of at an off-site location like in years past — and he is expected to focus on fiscal prudence. Elizabeth Chou in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 4/20/17

Decker: Republicans face a Trump problem as they look to 2018 contests -- With the first two elections over in a series of off-season special House races, the Republican party’s biggest challenge is obvious: President Trump. Cathleen Decker in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/17

Father of fallen Muslim-American soldier decries travel ban -- The father of a Muslim-American soldier who died in combat in Iraq filed an amicus brief on Wednesday supporting a federal judge's decision to block President Donald Trump's revised travel ban. Attorneys for Gold Star father Khizr Khan filed his brief in San Francisco where the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering an appeal to the ruling by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson Associated Press -- 4/20/17

Barbara Boxer will lobby for an environmentally controversial desalination plant in Huntington Beach -- A Boston-based water development company is paying former Sen. Barbara Boxer to push for approval of a proposed seawater desalination plant that has been mired for years in environmental controversy. Bettina Boxall in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/17

“Wait, you don’t have data on that?” Where California flies data-blind -- It seems like a simple question: How many African-American boys scored proficient on California’s math test? Go ahead, try to answer it. I’ll wait while you Google. Matt Levin Calmatters.org -- 4/20/17

Former South El Monte mayor sentenced to prison in bribery scheme -- The former mayor of South El Monte will spend one year and one day in federal prison for taking tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from a city contractor, prosecutors said Wednesday. Luis Aguinaga, 49, will also serve one year of home detention, perform 3,000 hours of community service and pay a $10,000 fine as part of a sentence handed down by a U.S. District judge. Jeff Landa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/17

Loyola's Project for the Innocent secures third release in a month -- In 1998, Jaime Ponce recalls being a 19-year-old Mexican immigrant with two jobs – one in a restaurant, one in a bakery. He says he worked a lot and was happy to finally have a day off. Frank Stoltze KPCC -- 4/20/17


Supes eye jail time for deceptive landlords -- A group of San Francisco supervisors wants to keep the city’s landlords honest by dangling the threat of jail time if they evict tenants on the pretense of moving in themselves but then don’t actually move in. Rachel Swan and Lizzie Johnson in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/20/17

LA County at risk of losing 14,000 affordable apartments -- Property owners priced these units at below-market rates for typically 30 to 40 years as a condition of getting financing or permission to build. But with these agreements expiring, some are deciding to take advantage of the county's hot housing market. Josie Huang KPCC -- 4/20/17

Bay Area rent control movement continues to spread -- Rent increases are moderating in the Bay Area, but the rent control movement is not. Kathleen Pender in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/20/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions 

How tax breaks aim to keep companies growing in California -- You’re going to Disney World. So why not offset the cost by getting paid to answer a few questions on your mobile phone? Margot Roosevelt in the Orange County Register -- 4/20/17

End of an era, again: Genova closes Oakland ravioli factory -- An Oakland institution is officially leaving town. A year after closing their Temescal deli, the owners of Genova announced this week they are shutting down their ravioli factory on upper Broadway. The quiet exit ends a 90-year run in Oakland. Dave Debolt in the East Bay Times -- 4/20/17

Sacramento leaders offer city streets as testing ground for driverless cars -- Sacramento stepped up its push to become a national testing ground for driverless cars Wednesday, holding a private meeting downtown with automakers and technology company representatives, then calling a press conference to say Sacramento is hungry to be an robot car leader. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/20/17


Audit to examine questions on Peralta College district spending -- Millions of dollars of parcel tax money intended for faculty salaries in the Peralta Community College District may have been misspent on salaries, vacation, sick leave and other fringe benefits for nonacademic staff, says a public watchdog group that has pushed for an independent audit of the spending. Ted Andersen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/20/17

Majority of Californians polled favor vouchers for private schools -- Rejecting President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown, Californians overwhelmingly said in a poll released Wednesday that they favor designating their school districts “sanctuary safe zones” to protect undocumented students and their families from federal immigration enforcement efforts. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 4/20/17

Panel endorses bill aimed at reducing number of college students in remedial classes -- Reformers have scored legislative progress in their efforts to enroll many more California community college students in credit-bearing courses instead of remedial classes, with placements based on high school grades rather than just placement exams. Larry Gordon EdSource -- 4/20/17

Bill Requiring UCs and CSUs To Provide Abortion Pills Advances -- Like most U.S. colleges and universities, the University of Californa and the California State University systems do not offer medical abortions—pills that terminate a pregnancy, which public health officials have deemed relatively safe. Ben Bradford Capital Public Radio -- 4/20/17


A TV ad for a marijuana vaporizer has hit the airwaves — with no mention of the drug itself -- Six months after California voters legalized the recreational use of marijuana, a television commercial has begun airing in the state that promotes a product aimed at cannabis users, but without ever mentioning the drug itself. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/17


LA to study banning oil production around homes, schools, hospitals and other public places -- The city of Los Angeles is considering taking its boldest step yet towards restricting oil and gas development. On Wednesday, city council president Herb Wesson introduced a motion calling for a study of what it would take to shut down all oil and gas wells near homes, schools, hospitals, parks and other public places. Emily Guerin KPCC -- 4/20/17

Bay Area air-quality agency tackles climate change -- With calls for charging tolls to drive on freeways, doing away with gas heat and even urging meat-free meals, the agency is reaching beyond its usual targets of oil refineries and diesel trucks to push for cuts in greenhouse gases on a much broader scale. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/20/17

San Francisco’s green energy goal is a decade ahead of target -- Mayor Ed Lee on Thursday set a new goal for San Francisco — that at least 50 percent of the city’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2020. That’s 10 years ahead of the target the state has set for itself. Lizzie Johnson in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/20/17

Can California Reverse EPA’s U-Turn on Pesticide Ban? -- A year and a half ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would ban the use of the neurotoxic insecticide chlorpyrifos on food crops. Then, at the end of March—reversing course on decades of agency science and a decision that was years in the making—EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the agency would not ban the pesticide after all. Elizabeth Grossman KQED -- 4/20/17

This hydrogen-fueled 18-wheeler at LA, Long Beach ports emits only water from tailpipe -- Toyota delivered a zero-emissions 670-horsepower truck to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Wednesday that could ultimately reverse the region’s high cancer-causing pollution levels. Sandy Mazza in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 4/20/17


Philip Morris moves to soften blow of California cigarette tax increase for smokers -- Health groups that pushed a successful $2 cigarette tax increase on the November ballot said raising prices decreases smoking rates. Not if Philip Morris can help it. Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/20/17

Transgender patient sues Dignity Health for discrimination over hysterectomy denial -- More than seven months after a Dignity Health hospital refused a hysterectomy to a Sacramento-area transgender patient, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Wednesday on his behalf. Claudia Buck and Sammy Caiola in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/20/17

Also . . . 

‘The racism needs to stop,’ says family of shooting victim Mark Gassett, killed walking home with groceries -- Rosie Wagner fights back tears as she recalls her son’s final moments on Earth – fatally shot by a gunman he didn’t know while walking home carrying a bag of groceries from Catholic Charities. A security guard from the social service agency rushed to her son’s side as he crumpled to the concrete. Carmen George and Marc Benjamin in the Fresno Bee -- 4/20/17

After deadly shootings, residents say violence and sadness are all too familiar in Fresno -- This is not a city where people are likely to say, “I didn’t think it could happen here.” The aftermath of a series of shootings that left four dead in the last week held familiar ritual. Diana Marcum and Veronica Rocha in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/17

Columnist Thomas Friedman says big forces are changing things in Fresno and the world -- Economics, politics, ethics, employment and communities are being greatly affected by three major global forces – and places like Fresno are squarely in the path of that change. Tim Sheehan in the Fresno Bee -- 4/20/17

Bus driver convicted in autistic student’s death sent text messages, had sex with other driver while teen sat on bus -- The bus driver convicted of leaving a 19-year-old autistic student on a hot school bus two years ago was having sex with another driver while the teen died, according to legal documents filed Tuesday by the attorneys of the teen’s family. Sandra T. Molina in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 4/20/17

POTUS 45  

Trump Adviser’s Visit to Moscow Got the F.B.I.’s Attention -- Ever since F.B.I. investigators discovered in 2013 that a Russian spy was trying to recruit an American businessman named Carter Page, the bureau maintained an occasional interest in Mr. Page. So when he became a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign last year and gave a Russia-friendly speech at a prestigious Moscow institute, it soon caught the bureau’s attention. Scott Shane, Mark Mazzetti and Adam Goldman in the New York Times$ -- 4/20/17

Roger Stone helped Donald Trump get elected president - now he’s helping himself -- Richard Nixon’s dirty trickster is back in the limelight and knee-deep in scandal — just how he likes it. Manuel Roig-Franzia in the Washington Post$ -- 4/20/17

Companies with issues before government wrote big checks for Trump's inauguration -- President Donald Trump’s record $106.7 million inauguration fundraising haul drew heavily from U.S. companies with policy issues in front of the new Republican administration, according to documents released Wednesday. Darren Samuelsohn and Madeline Conway Politico Nicholas Confessore, Nicholas Fandos and Rachel Shorey in the New York Times$ -- 4/20/17

Trump blasts foreign worker program at company that pays below-average wages to foreign workers -- But it turns out that Snap-on Tools, where Trump signed his “Buy American, Hire American” executive order to much fanfare, pays below-average wages to the handful of foreign workers for whom the company has sought H-1B visas. The practice, critics say, has the effect of driving down wages for American workers. Tracy Jan in the Washington Post$ -- 4/20/17

Exclusive: Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway 2016 U.S. election - documents -- A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters. Ned Parker, Jonathan Landay and John Walcott Reuters -- 4/20/17


-- Wednesday Updates 

Gas tax deals illegal? ‘Preposterous,’ says Jerry Brown -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday dismissed as “preposterous” suggestions that he broke the law by providing district-specific projects to lawmakers to win their support for his $52 billion road repair package with tax and fee increases. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/19/17

UC Berkeley orders cancellation of Ann Coulter speech -- Next week’s scheduled speech by right-wing pundit Ann Coulter at UC Berkeley is off — for now — because campus officials say they won’t be able to protect participants from rioting if it should happen. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/19/17

AP Exclusive: Dam managers made missteps in handling crisis -- Late in the afternoon of Feb. 12, Sheriff Kory Honea was at the emergency operations center for the tallest dam in America when he overheard someone say something that stopped him in his tracks: "This is not good." Ellen Knickmeyer and Michael R. Blood Associated Press -- 4/19/17

'Filled with hate, filled with anger': Anatomy of a shooting allegedly fueled by hatred of white people -- Fresno police said they believe a shooting rampage downtown Tuesday that left three white men dead was racially motivated. Melanie Mason, Diana Marcum, Hailey Branson-Potts and Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/19/17

This senator wanted to fix potholes. Now Republicans want to take him out -- Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, flew to St. Lucia a week ago for vacation with his wife and baby during the Legislature’s spring recess. After a long flight, he got cell phone service for the first time at his hotel. A news alert popped up in his email: The gas tax approved in the state Legislature had prompted a recall effort against a Southern California Democrat. Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/19/17

High school rat problem spurs teacher to take video – then take students elsewhere -- Substitute teacher Veronica Luther said she was startled when a rat lurking in an empty classroom at John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento came at her at a dead run Monday. Before the end of the day, Luther, 25, moved her math classes into the library and asked administrative staff to eradicate the rat and thoroughly sanitize Classroom 306. By day’s end, she said, she was asked not to come back to the school for her second day. Loretta Kalb in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/19/17

The trees that make Southern California shady and green are dying. Fast. -- The trees that shade, cool and feed people from Ventura County to the Mexican border are dying so fast that within a few years it’s possible the region will look, feel, sound and smell much less pleasant than it does now. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/19/17

Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez hangs himself in Massachusetts cell -- Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez hanged himself Wednesday in the prison cell where he was serving a life sentence for murder, taking his life on the same day his ex-teammates on the New England Patriots were set to visit the White House to mark their Super Bowl victory. Jimmy Golen Associated Press -- 4/19/17

Emirates cuts flights to U.S., citing less demand under Trump's policies -- Emirates, the Middle East's biggest airline, said Wednesday that it is cutting flights to the United States because of a drop in demand caused by heightened U.S. security measures and Trump administration attempts to ban travelers from several Muslim-majority nations. Adam Schreck Associated Press -- 4/19/17

Securing Her Global Brand, Now From a White House Base -- The president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, now a White House adviser, has filed 173 foreign trademarks in 21 countries, as well as in Hong Kong and the European Union. Danny Hakim and Rachel Abrams in the New York Times$ -- 4/19/17

Big money, big ego, big bills: how to get divorced Silicon Valley style -- The billionaire founder of Zynga, the San Francisco-based company that makes FarmVille, has found himself in (very messy) DivorceVille. Olivia Solon The Guardian -- 4/19/17