• School Inoovation and Achievement

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California sues EPA for documents to determine whether Administrator Scott Pruitt has conflict of interest -- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Friday filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleging it failed to comply with a request for documents that might indicate whether agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has a conflict of interest. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/17

Struggling L.A. County cities look for business opportunities in relaxed marijuana laws — and face pushback -- As California braces for the impact of relaxed marijuana laws that allow recreational use for adults, several small, financially strapped cities in southeast Los Angeles County and elsewhere are at the forefront of efforts to seize business opportunities — despite pushback from some residents. Leila Miller in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/11/17

L.A. has been sued again over traffic lane reductions in Playa del Rey -- When Los Angeles officials removed traffic lanes on four streets in Playa del Rey earlier this summer, a wave of outrage swept through the Westside and the South Bay. Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/11/17

Rebellious California lawmakers get banished to ‘The Dog House,’ a tiny office -- Welcome to “The Dog House,” Melissa Melendez. That’s the nickname for the 391-square-foot State Capitol office to which Melendez, a Republican assemblywoman from Lake Elsinore, was assigned this week. There’s even a plaque listing and praising former occupants for “Standing up for your Principles.” Jeff Horseman in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/11/17

Why is Sacramento spending so much on lobbyists? -- Mayor Darrell Steinberg likely has more political clout at the state Capitol than any Sacramento mayor in recent history. He’s been an assemblyman, president of the state Senate and an attorney at a powerful law firm. Yet even with his connections, the city of Sacramento is spending more on Capitol lobbyists than nearly every other city in the state. Ryan Lillis and Ellen Garrison in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/11/17

A new ad opposing California's Rep. Jeff Denham has nothing to do with Trump -- For many California Democrats hoping to defeat Republican incumbents in the House next year, the tone is shaping up to be pretty anti-President Trump, with some early ads tying GOP members to the president. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/11/17

San Francisco family’s RV was their home. Then it got towed. -- Poverty advocates say Lowes’ predicament is a prime example of how low-income people are victimized by exorbitant parking and tow fees in San Francisco, which charges about two times more for such penalties than nearly every other city in the United States, a Chronicle investigation last year showed. Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/17

Fox: Is a Blacklist Back? -- Is a blacklist back in fashion in the town that made term “blacklist” famous? One gets that feeling when the Los Angeles City Council voted this week to draft a law that will ask contractors to disclose if they have been hired to work on the wall between the U.S. and Mexico. What could be the reason for the disclosure except to cut off business to a company because of political motives? Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 8/11/17

Bear reportedly took midnight dip in Granada Hills pool -- The incident was initially reported as a bear in a pool at 12:25 a.m. in the 16300 block of Knollwood Drive and the bear was located about 30 minutes later in a different area, said Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Luis Aguilar of the Devonshire Division. Wes Woods in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/11/17

 

California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Immigration appeals court throws out deportation order for man detained by ICE after dropping daughter off at school -- His lawyer said the case will be kicked back to the local immigration court that initially ordered that he be deported. That means Avelica-Gonzalez, 49, is still in deportation proceedings, but it could take years for a judge to enter a new decision. Andrea Castillo in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/11/17

Feinstein criticizes Trump over deportation that splits Oakland family -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein called Thursday for the federal government to reverse the deportation of an Oakland nurse and her husband, saying their removal after more than two decades in the country revealed the “cruel and arbitrary nature” of President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration. Hamed Aleaziz in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/17

Parks And Water Bond Linked To Housing Deal At California Capitol -- As California lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown work to hammer out an affordable housing deal that includes a multi-billion dollar bond measure, they’re also negotiating a parks and water bond that would advance at the same time. Ben Adler Capital Public Radio -- 8/11/17

Lawsuit Claims Free Speech Violations After San Diego Trump Rally -- A federal lawsuit filed on Thursday claims the San Diego Police and Sheriff's Departments violated free speech rights in their response to protests outside a Donald Trump campaign rally last year. Andrew Bowen KPBS -- 8/11/17

LA leader says time is up for ‘antiquated’ crosswalk laws -- Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar has voiced his support for state legislation that would allow pedestrians to cross a street even if the crosswalk countdown has already begun. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/11/17

115 arrest warrants issued in ATF operation in Bay Area -- In what was billed as the largest operation, as counted by arrest warrants, in the history of the federal agency that oversees the nation’s gun laws, more than 75 people were arrested around the Bay Area, authorities said Thursday. Michael Bodley and Evan Sernoffsky in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/17

Strong support for safe injection centers in San Francisco -- San Francisco is inching closer to a decision on whether to create a supervised, city-sanctioned place for people to use injection drugs safely. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/17

If North Korea attacks, officials say the U.S. is ready -- The secretary spoke to reporters at the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, also known as DIUx, in Mountain View. His visit came as President Trump doubled down on his promise that North Korea would be met with “fire and fury” in response to a nuclear attack. Trisha Thadani and Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/17

The Scripps Research Institute ranked first worldwide in science -- The Scripps Research Institute ranks first worldwide in the quality and impact of its science, besting world-renowned research centers such as MIT, the National Institutes of Health and Stanford University, according to a report by the top-tier scientific journal Nature. Bradley J. Fikes in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/11/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions

Labor union files complaint against owner of Loews Santa Monica -- A labor union for hotel workers has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing the Chinese owner of a popular Santa Monica hotel of failing to provide information about a potential condominium conversion at the property. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/11/17

LA City Council to vote on new Olympic plan for 2028 that has yet to be finalized -- The Los Angeles City Council Friday morning is expected to vote unanimously to authorize Mayor Eric Garcetti to sign a Host City Contract with the International Olympic Committee in which the city agrees to host the 2028 Olympic Games and guarantees that it will cover any potential financial shortfall from those Games. Scott M. Reid in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/11/17

Early Uber investor sues co-founder Travis Kalanick, accusing him of fraud -- Ever since Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick resigned as the company’s chief executive in June, there were rumors that he was plotting his return. On Thursday, Benchmark Capital Partners, one of the earliest investors in the ride-hailing company, filed a lawsuit against Kalanick with the hope of squashing any such plans. David Pierson and Tracey Lien in the Los Angeles Times$ Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/17

Robots – and humans – to help Sacramento get packages faster -- The new human jobs – 1,500 in this case – got the headlines, but it’s the robots that make online retail giant Amazon’s new Sacramento distribution center zing. Ed Fletcher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/11/17

Anaheim police chief cites ‘intolerable’ working conditions, and union leaders say they want him out -- Police Chief Raul Quezada says his working conditions are “intolerable” and appears to be taking steps in case he is pushed out. Quezada made the charge in a claim filed against the city – just as the Anaheim Police Association was surveying rank-and-file officers about a vote of no confidence on him, which passed with 87 percent. Union leaders cite poor leadership. Joseph Pimentel and Scott Schwebke in the Orange County Register -- 8/11/17

San Diego boosting efforts to solve worsening police officer shortage -- San Diego’s worsening problem with police officer vacancies is prompting the city to increase pay, analyze the reasons why officers are leaving and develop new strategies for recruiting and retention. David Garrick in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/11/17

Transit  

BART, consultants spar over changes needed in wake of Oscar Grant shooting -- Police oversight at BART in the wake of the Oscar Grant shooting doesn’t need changing, several members of the agency’s governing board said Thursday. Their feedback came in stark contrast to a recent report by consultants Michael Gennaco and Aaron Zisser, who made 53 suggestions, most of them focused on giving BART’s Office of the Independent Police Auditor more authority to investigate allegations of officer misconduct, more resources to expand its oversight capabilities and more influence in disciplinary decisions. Erin Baldassari in the East Bay Times -- 8/11/17

Housing  

Fed up with housing prices, Bay Area buyers look to Sacramento and Seattle -- Overwhelmed by traffic and the steady climb of housing costs, potential homebuyers in the Bay Area are setting their sights on other markets, especially Sacramento and Seattle. Richard Scheinin in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/11/17

Single-family rental rivals Invitation Homes and Starwood Waypoint Homes to merge -- Two of the nation’s largest owners of single-family rental houses announced Thursday they are merging, creating a behemoth rental company with a major presence in Southern California. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/11/17

State Senate bills aim to make homes more affordable, but they won't spur nearly enough construction -- Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders promised in a joint statement to pass a package of bills that “will help ensure Californians won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to have a roof over their head.” Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/11/17

Audit shows San Francisco Housing Authority can’t manage its own money -- Apparently, the finance department of the San Francisco Housing Authority can’t balance its own checkbook. That was the big reveal of a city controller’s report released Thursday that identified a number of problems that led to major errors in account balances and prevented city officials from getting a clear picture of the agency’s funding needs. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/17

Education 

Nation’s largest LGBT group calls for Ashjian’s resignation from school board -- The Human Rights Campaign – the largest LGBT organization in the country – is calling for Fresno Unified school board president Brooke Ashjian to resign after he made controversial statements about teaching sex education that includes lessons on LGBT. Mackenzie Mays in the Fresno Bee -- 8/11/17

A later start to the school day? Why California could delay the bell -- Coaxing groggy teenagers out of bed and onto an early morning school bus is a challenge for many parents. Democratic state Sen. Anthony Portantino of La Cañada Flintridge says you can count him among them. Jessica Calefati Calmatters.org -- 8/11/17

Inspired by Skid Row, educator opening charter to help LA's homeless children and families -- As a college freshman, Hattie Mitchell visited L.A.’s notorious Skid Row neighborhood as part of a choir group and spotted a six-month old baby on the ground surrounded by trash and signs of prostitution and drug use. Mikhail Zinshteyn EdSource -- 8/11/17

What it means when a school district declares itself a 'safe haven' or 'sanctuary': a quick guide – An FAQ regarding school protections for undocumented students and their families. Carolyn Jones EdSource. -- 8/11/17

Cannabis 

Berkeley beat California to cleaning up its pot supply -- In the land of the organic and artisanal, one might expect that California’s cannabis would be as high-quality as an organic tomato. In fact, multiple lab studies show that most of the state's weed contains pesticides or bacteria, because the 21 year-old medical marijuana market has never been regulated at the state level. Jackie Flynn Mogensen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/17

A public bank might help California collect $1B in pot taxes -- Government, financial and marijuana business leaders spent five hours Thursday in a far-from resolved debate over whether a state-run bank could help solve the cannabis industry’s banking problem. Brooke Staggs in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/11/17

Water  

Southern Californians, here’s how much your water bills could rise to pay for Delta tunnels -- More than 6 million Southern Californian households could pay $3 more a month to help cover the costs of Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial plan to bore two huge tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/11/17

Health 

Is your doctor drug tested? That depends on where he works -- Many southern California hospitals have anti-drug policies for their employees, but they don’t always drug test their physicians. Michelle Faust KPCC -- 8/11/17

Environment 

Wealthy landowner must open public access gate to Martins Beach, appeals court says -- The campaign to maintain public access to Martins Beach has notched a victory, with a state appeals court upholding an order that required a wealthy landowner to stop blocking the only road to the sand. Bettina Boxall in the Los Angeles Times$ Peter Fimrite and Steve Rubenstein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/17

Federal climate report finds ‘extreme’ conditions, despite Trump’s cold shoulder -- A new federal report could again challenge the Trump administration’s dismissive stance on global warming, finding that last year the planet was hotter than any time in well over a century and witnessed perhaps the most significant climate disruption in modern history. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/17

Feds list actions to stop border sewage spills after legal threat -- Federal water-quality officials on Thursday released a list of actions taken in recent years to stop wastewater from flowing from Mexico into the San Diego region, a little more than a week after the city of Imperial Beach threatened a lawsuit. Joshua Emerson Smith in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/11/17

Also . . . 

Musician killed in Oakland while trying to retrieve stolen laptop -- He was a musician living in Oakland who reminded friends of an experimental Bob Dylan, with a raspy voice and an aptitude for throwing singer-songwriter conventions to the wind in the pursuit of his art. Dave Deporis was killed in the middle of the day Wednesday in Oakland when he ran after the getaway car of the robber who took his laptop and ended up being dragged and run over, police said. Michael Bodley and Filipa Ioannou in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/17

POTUS 45  

Behind the Trump-McConnell feud -- The rupture between President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell originated where so many of the president’s dramas do: with something he saw on TV. Josh Dawsey Politico -- 8/11/17

Trump thanks Putin for expelling U.S. diplomats, infuriating State Department -- President Donald Trump on Thursday thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for expelling American diplomats from Russia on the grounds that “we’re going to save a lot of money,” prompting dismay among many of the rank-and-file at the State Department. Nahal Toosi and Madeline Conway Politico -- 8/11/17

Trump D.C. hotel turns $2 million profit in four months -- Donald Trump’s company turned a $1.97 million profit at its opulent Trump International Hotel so far in 2017, dramatically beating its expectations and giving the first hard numbers to critics who charge that Trump is profiting from his presidency. Jonathan O'Connell in the Washington Post$ -- 8/11/17

 

-- Thursday Updates 

Rep. Rohrabacher wades into Google's firing of controversial memo's author -- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) took Google to task Thursday for firing a male employee, James Demore, who circulated a memo within the company arguing women are biologically incapable of doing a man’s job in Silicon Valley. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/10/17

Court orders tech billionaire to open up Martins Beach -- A Silicon Valley billionaire who locked the gates at a popular Northern California beach must open them open to the public, a state appeals court has ruled. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/10/17

More than half of L.A.'s 1 million poor households live in unaffordable or substandard rentals, study says -- Los Angeles and New York City top the list of U.S. cities with the most poor people laboring under heavy rent burdens, living in substandard housing, or both, according to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs study released Wednesday. Gale Holland in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/10/17

How does a progressive Democrat try to unseat a Republican? Step one: Don't talk about single-payer healthcare -- Congressional candidate Katie Hill was sitting around a kitchen table with a local activist group last spring when one of the attendees asked her a question: Will she have to “soft pedal” her stance on any issues to unseat Republican Rep. Steve Knight in the 25th District? Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/10/17

Cannabis dispensary rules in San Francisco create 'green clusters' -- Even by the standards of San Francisco’s famously fractious land use fights, last month’s Planning Commission hearing on a plan to open a cannabis dispensary in the Sunset District was extreme. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/10/17

Community college transfer degrees speed graduation at CSU -- Early alumni of California’s community college transfer program are showing promising results for the 7-year-old law’s efforts to ease the path to a bachelor’s degree. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/10/17

On first day of school, Bay Area districts still seeking teachers -- Facing an acute national teacher shortage, schools have aggressively recruited and offered creative incentives to attract applicants. Increasingly, districts facing the biggest teaching challenges are turning to lightly prepared candidates holding non-standard credentials. Sharon Noguchi in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/10/17

Reuniting families has driven U.S. immigration. What would ending that mean for Californians -- To Edwin Valdez, turning 21 this month meant a lot more than just meeting the legal drinking age. It meant he could finally sponsor his undocumented immigrant Mexican parents for legal residency. Hannah Knowles in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/10/17

Santa Clara County, Oakland top fat-pension ranking for public workers -- The San Francisco Bay Area, of course, is already up there near the top of many lists: best beaches, VC funding and tech jobs, median price of a home, most eclectic food-truck scene. It’s now hit another pinnacle: On the list of retired public employees in the CalPERS system with annual pensions of $100,000, Santa Clara County is No. 1, followed closely by the city of Oakland. Patrick May in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/10/17

Google’s Mountain View headquarters targeted in alt-right protest march -- Organizers pointed to Google’s sacking of software engineer James Damore for a controversial anti-diversity memo as the spark that ignited the protest march. But the alt-right has long held out Google and social media companies Facebook and Twitter as enemies of free expression, saying they promote a liberal agenda and censor conservative views. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/10/17

Quinn: California’s Attempt At “Massive Resistance” -- California’s decision to become a “Sanctuary State” and defy the federal government on immigration, likely to become law later this month, places California in the company of state’s rights extremists that once tried to stop public school integration by much the same means. Tony Quinn Fox & Hounds -- 8/10/17

Political advice for Zuckerberg: Keep writing the checks -- Word that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg just hired Hillary Clinton’s former top political strategist, Joel Benenson, to advise him and his wife, Priscilla Chan, on their philanthropic pursuits is being met with predictable overheated reaction in the political world: Philanthropy? Yeah, right. Zuck is running for president! Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/10/17