• School Inoovation and Achievement
  • School Inoovation and Achievement

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This map shows where 3 of Southern California’s biggest wildfires are burning -- Three brush fires are burning across Los Angeles and Ventura counties Tuesday. The Creek Fire has burned more than 11,000 acres above Sylmar and closed the 210 Freeway between the 5 Freeway and the 2 Freeway. The Thomas Fire burning in Ventura County has charred more than 70 square miles in the Santa Paula area. The Rye Fire has burned more than 1,000 acres in the Santa Clarita area and closed the 5 Freeway at Highway 126. Daniel Aitken in the Orange County Register -- 12/5/17

Fire badly damages Ventura hospital: 'I burst into tears' -- At least two buildings on the campus of Vista Del Mar Hospital burned down as the Thomas fire ravaged the canyons above Ventura. The hospital treats adolescents and adults with mental health issues, and among its specialties is treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Rye fire spreads to 1,000 acres, causes evacuations and gridlock in Santa Clarita -- A growing wildfire in Santa Clarita has burned 1,000 acres, prompting the evacuation Tuesday of thousands of homes and several area schools as an enormous cloud of smoke rose over the area. Melissa Etehad in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Three burned in wind-driven fire growing in San Bernardino County -- Three patients were taken to the hospital with burns, officials said. Mandatory evacuations were ordered about 1:45 p.m. for residents east of Little Mountain Drive and north of West Edgehill Road, the department said. An evacuation center was set up at Marshall Elementary School in San Bernardino. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Cal Fire: Thomas Fire in Ventura County “mirroring” North Bay Tubbs Fire -- The extreme conditions of a massive blaze in Ventura County eerily resemble those of the destructive Tubbs Fire that devastated Sonoma and Napa counties in early October, a Cal Fire official said. Sophie Haigney in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/17

The worst is yet to come with Santa Ana winds strengthening this week -- The winds, with gusts topping 50 mph, are expected to continue for at least the next three days, the National Weather Service said. “Generally, it’s awful fire weather today, tomorrow and Thursday,” said forecaster Ryan Kittell. “The winds we’re seeing right now are … plenty strong to drive a fire.” Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

He woke up sleeping neighbors to say the Ventura fire was coming — and fast -- Standing at the corner of Victoria Avenue and Foothill Boulevard, Bryant Lum, 56, watched as an entire hillside burned, flames whipping as they approached close to a dozen homes on Santa Lucia Court, just off Victoria Avenue. Just on the other side, along Santa Susana Court, stood his home. "I thought we were going to be safe," he said. Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Ventura wildfire rages over 45,500 acres, destroys more than 150 structures, triggers evacuation of 27,000 -- There was no containment on the fire as of 7 a.m., with 1,000 firefighters battling the blaze and more on the way, said Ventura County Sheriff's Department spokesman Tim Lochman. One helicopter was dropping water and authorities were hoping winds would die down so they could deploy fixed-wing aircraft soon, he said. Jaclyn Cosgrove, Ruben Vives, Laura J. Nelson and Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Arctic ice loss could spell more drought for California, Livermore Lab study finds -- Alongside the obvious perils for polar bears and other wildlife, as well as the problem of rising ocean levels, the massive ice thaw thousands of miles away is triggering changes in the atmosphere that are likely to shrink rainfall close to home, according to new research by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Evan Halper in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Top seven ways the GOP tax plan will affect Californians -- From the big (changing the mortgage interest deduction) to the medium (loss of tax break for electric cars) to the small (retaining a special tax treatment for the kombucha fermented tea drink!) the GOP tax bill that lawmakers are chiseling into a grand piece of sculpture as we speak will have all sorts of implications for the Golden State. Patrick May in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/5/17

Abcarian: I finally understand why male politicians have been able to sexually harass women with impunity -- For the last two months, Americans have watched in disbelief as sexual harassers have been called to account. The #MeToo campaign on social media and a flood of investigative stories have given women the courage to speak up, which has forced employers to step up. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's Russia ties highlighted in new ads from Barbara Boxer's PAC -- The group, called PAC for a Change, released a digital ad Tuesday morning that features news clips detailing Rohrabacher’s long-held affection for and ties to the country accused of meddling in last year’s elections. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

ACLU pushes California's members of Congress to help Dreamers in new online ads -- Three California ACLU affiliates are running online ads urging five California Republican members of Congress to support a legislative fix to resolve the legal status of people brought to the country illegally as children. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Thousands of striking Oakland city workers hit the picket lines -- Thousands of Oakland city workers walked off their jobs Tuesday, shuttering libraries and other non-emergency city services as they pushed for better pay raises, less use of part-time workers and other demands. Kimberly Veklerov, Jenna Lyons and Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/17

Donald Trump impeachment effort gains steam with public. How it’s helping Tom Steyer -- Tom Steyer, the billionaire liberal activist and megadonor, has spent years laboring to boost his profile. Despite helping lead successful ballot drives in California, the hundreds of millions of dollars he sunk into failed Democratic efforts over the last few election cycles put him at risk of managing a losing brand. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/5/17

‘Concussion’ doctor quits San Joaquin County job; says sheriff interferes in death investigations -- Dr. Bennet Omalu Tuesday announced his resignation as San Joaquin County’s chief medical examiner, saying Sheriff/Coroner Steve Moore’s interference in death investigations has created a legally and ethically questionable workspace. Benjy Egel in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/5/17

Fox: No Trigger in GOP Tax Plan—Like CA Once Had -- The U.S. Senate passed a tax bill Saturday morning but not before shunting aside the idea of setting a “trigger” to raise taxes if economic growth did not provide enough revenues to avert a growing budget deficit. The idea of a “trigger” to deal with an unsolved deficit was once adopted by the California legislature, which approved the “trigger” concept to pass a budget in the early 1980s. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 12/5/17

 

California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to testify before Intelligence Committee about Julian Assange meeting -- Orange County Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) will testify before the House Select Intelligence Committee this month about a meeting with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in which the two discussed who stole emails from the Democratic National Committee ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Rallies planned across California as activists pressure GOP House members on tax vote -- With another round of votes looming on the Republicans’ tax overhaul bill, Democratic activists are planning a series of protests and rallies across the state to pressure GOP members to oppose it. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

They survived the San Bernardino terrorist attack and were seeking help. Then the workers’ comp system failed them -- Struggles endured by survivors of the Dec. 2, 2015, San Bernardino terrorist attack throw an unflattering spotlight on California’s workers’ compensation system and San Bernardino County. Changes in workers’ comp laws led to big savings for insurance companies, but made it difficult for injured workers to get the help they need. Suzanne Hurt in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 12/5/17

Autopsy Doctors: Sheriff Overrode Death Findings to Protect Law Enforcement -- Two San Joaquin County forensic pathologists have accused the sheriff of meddling in death investigations in order to protect officers of the law. Documents released Monday by a pathologist who announced her resignation last week raise serious questions about the integrity of investigations of people who died in the custody of law enforcement officers who used Tasers or other types of force. Julie Small KQED -- 12/5/17

Pender: Governors howl: Why tax plan would hammer blue states -- The governors of California and New York and governor-elect of New Jersey joined forces Monday to attack GOP plans to do away with the state and local tax deduction — calling it a possibly illegal or unconstitutional transfer of wealth from predominantly Democratic states, which tend to have higher income taxes, to predominantly Republican states, which generally have lower or no state income tax. Kathleen Pender in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/17

Steve Clute, former California assemblyman, gave his wife a gun so she could kill herself, prosecutors allege -- Former California Assemblyman Steve Clute has been charged with a felony for allegedly giving a gun to his wife, a well-known Riverside college professor, so she could commit suicide last year. Brett Kelman and Barrett Newkirk in the Desert Sun Brian Rokos in the Riverside Press Enterprise$ -- 12/5/17

Suspected neo-Nazi rejects deal for attacks at Capitol -- William Scott Planer, the white supremacist arrested along with counter-demonstrators on assault charges stemming from a violent June 2016 riot at a neo-Nazi rally at the state Capitol, rejected prosecutors' deal offer Monday afternoon setting up a preliminary hearing on the allegations. Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/5/17

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

GOP tax plan a mixed bag for tech firms, though experts say good outweighs bad -- Throughout the first year of President Trump’s tenure, Silicon Valley corporations and executives have made their opposition to a number of the administration’s efforts clear, weighing in on immigration, net neutrality, education reform and climate change. Marissa Lang and Thomas Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Oakland city workers strike as talks break down; mayor calls walkout illegal -- Labor unions representing thousands of city workers in Oakland said they will go on strike starting Tuesday, interrupting nearly all non-emergency services with the first major walkout in the city in four years, after negotiations came to a halt Monday. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/17

Los Angeles Times journalists take step to unionize newsroom -- A committee representing newsroom employees of the Los Angeles Times took an initial step Monday to form a union by asking the National Labor Relations Board to hold an election. The item is in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

LA Weekly's new era starts with backlash; some advertisers step back -- There has been outcry over the new owners' political backgrounds and their plan to use articles by unpaid contributors. Former writers for the alternative weekly are spearheading a call for a boycott. A few advertisers have taken a step back. Lauren Raab in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Report blasts CalPERS’ environmental and social ‘activism’ -- The nation’s largest public pension fund is leaving money on the table by favoring environmental and social causes in its portfolio, a business-backed nonprofit argues in a study it’s releasing Tuesday on the California Public Employees Retirement System. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/5/17

Uber broke California law by concealing massive data hack, L.A. city attorney says -- For more than a year, Uber Technologies Inc. concealed a massive hack that exposed the personal data of millions of drivers and riders, violating a California law that requires companies to promptly report such breaches, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/17

South Bay fraud ring busted in fake car-crash insurance scam -- Twenty-two suspects were charged Monday in connection with a Santa Clara County fraud ring that duped insurance companies into paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars in claims for fake car accidents, prosecutors said. Sophie Haigney in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/17

YouTube, responding to crisis over content, will have 10,000 people reviewing videos: CEO -- In a tacit admission that its much-hyped artificial intelligence still lags behind humans, Google said it would increase the number of people it has monitoring YouTube for offensive and extremist content to 10,000. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/5/17

Sonic expands gigabit fiber service to Berkeley, parts of Oakland and more -- With the size of cable TV and internet service provider Comcast looming over the Bay Area, it may seem like consumers and businesses in the region might have no other choice when it comes to getting internet access at home or the office. But Santa Rosa-based Sonic, an independent ISP, would beg to differ. Rex Crum in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/5/17

Uber in the sky? Now you can crowdsource a helicopter and get to the show on time -- IEX Helicopters, the company that flies folks to and from Catalina Island, has partnered with EvoLux, a national helicopter charter service. Their goal: Get people to use “SkyLimos” like they carpool with Uber and Lyft. Samantha Gowen in the Orange County Register -- 12/5/17

Homeless  

Hygiene facility launches on LA’s Skid Row -- For years, Skid Row’s homeless have complained the lack of bathrooms and showers was creating an area ripe for infection. Now, just months after Los Angeles county health officials announced a Hepatitis A outbreak, Skid Row is getting a hygiene station. Robert Garrova KPCC -- 12/5/17

Study finds L.A. County saves money by housing sick homeless people -- Los Angeles County’s marquee program to provide housing for very sick homeless people saved taxpayers thousands of dollars by reducing hospitalizations and emergency room visits, a three-year Rand Corp. study released Monday found. Gale Holland in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Housing  

Will the GOP tax bill lower home prices in California? -- The proposed cuts to real estate-focused tax deductions could cause prices in the Golden State to drop between 8 and 12 percent, leading to a loss in home value of between $37,710 and $56,550 for the typical home owner, according to the National Association of Realtors, which continued to opposed the bills as Republicans moved closer to a final plan over the weekend. Marisa Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/5/17

How the Senate tax plan affects San Diego housing -- The Senate passed a sweeping tax bill Saturday morning that has housing advocates, real estate agents and industry groups worried. Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/5/17

Special report: Can we build our way out of the housing crisis? -- The Union-Tribune examined if San Diego County can build more housing to slow the pace of rent and home price increases. What we found: Roger Showley and Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/5/17

Wildfire  

Ventura County wildfire explodes, thousands evacuated, at least one person dead and structures lost -- A fast-moving, wind-fueled brush fire exploded to about 10,000 acres in Ventura County late Monday night, forcing hundreds of people to flee their homes as widespread blackouts hit areas ranging from Oxnard to Santa Barbara, officials said. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Targeted wildfire alerts ‘very well could have’ saved lives, California lawmaker says -- When a fast-moving wildfire flared up in Lake County early on Oct. 9, emergency officials quickly issued an emergency alert, blasting thousands of cell phones with mandatory evacuation orders and notifying area residents that they could soon be trapped by flames. Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/5/17

Gov. Jerry Brown plans to upgrade California's emergency alert system -- Emergency alerting systems received widespread complaints for not notifying residents as wildfires ripped through Napa and Sonoma Counties in October. The blazes, along with others nearby, left 44 residents dead. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Wildfires emphasize need to improve emergency alert systems -- In the early hours of Oct. 9, as massive wildfires licked across the North Bay area, Sonoma County officials decided against sending a mass text alert to residents’ cell phones. Lizzie Johnson in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/17

Smith: After the inferno, many Sonoma attorneys dig deep, work for free -- Not all lawyers scan our charred landscape and see green. Amid the lawsuit frenzy, a good many lawyers are stepping up to counsel fire victims for free. Clay Gantz is one who’s helped Legal Aid of Sonoma County maintain a presence at FEMA’s Local Assistance Center in the downtown Press Democrat building. Chris Smith in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 12/5/17

Education 

Til debt do us part: UC Berkeley students are getting married to save thousands in tuition -- You may have thought marriage had become obsolete among millennials, but Bohemianism has gotten expensive at UC Berkeley. In some cases, students have found that their marital status is a matter of tens of thousands of dollars. Frances Fitzgerald in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/17

Basketball player Trump helped to leave China after shoplifting arrest leaves UCLA -- A UCLA basketball player who was arrested for shoplifting in China and whose father later engaged in a public dispute with U.S. President Donald Trump will leave the university and prepare for the NBA draft next year, the player’s father told media on Monday. Reuters -- 12/5/17

UC Berkeley student group sues university for First Amendment violation -- A student group at UC Berkeley that focuses on “pro-liberty” filed a federal lawsuit Monday after the university allegedly refused to recognize them as a campus organization. Angela Ruggiero in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/5/17

Where they stand: leading Democratic candidates for California governor offer visions for education - California voters interested in the future of education in California will make a pivotal decision when they go to the polls twice next year to elect a successor to Gov. Jerry Brown, whose record four terms are drawing to a close. Louis Freedberg EdSource -- 12/5/17

Cannabis 

L.A. lawmakers are close to setting ground rules for marijuana industry -- The elaborate regulations, which have been repeatedly tweaked at a string of city hearings, lay out the ground rules for what is expected to be one of the hottest marijuana markets in the country. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Immigration / Border 

Asylum-seeking fathers separated from children by ICE -- Four fathers fleeing death threats from gangs in Central America traveled thousands of miles to reach the safety they saw in the U.S. border. Then immigration officials forced them to hand over their children. Kate Morrissey in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/5/17

DREAM Act supporters block downtown traffic -- Standing in the middle of Broadway and Front Street, they called on Sen. Dianne Feinstein to vote no on a spending bill that would keep the government from shutting down after Friday unless that bill also includes legislation that would protect unauthorized immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Kate Morrissey in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/5/17

LGBT immigrants fear deportation as Congress debates whether to take up DACA -- According to a UCLA report issued earlier this year, an estimated 36,000 LGBT young people have participated in DACA. The program grants temporary protection from deportation and work permits to roughly 800,000 young unauthorized immigrants who came to the United States as children. About a quarter of them live in California. Leslie Berestein Rojas KPCC -- 12/5/17

Xavier Becerra opens review into abuse claims by immigrants at Richmond jail -- The review will encompass conditions inside immigrant detention centers across the state and specifically examine the “troubling” claims by immigrants at the East Bay detention facility, Becerra said. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/17

Stockton lawyer pleads guilty to conning immigrants out of more than $370,000 -- Stockton-based immigration lawyer Yehlen “Mary” Dorothea Brooks has pleaded guilty to 15 counts of grand theft for defrauding dozens of immigrants seeking citizenship, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Monday. Stephen Magagnini in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/5/17

Environment 

Yosemite Is Making The Move To Zero-Emission Buses For Visitors -- Shuttle buses transport almost four million Yosemite visitors around the park. The buses are diesel-electric, but now they are being replaced by cleaner zero-emission buses. Yosemite has a fleet of almost 30 buses that take visitors from waterfalls in the valley to hiking trails. Rich Ibarra Capital Public Radio -- 12/5/17

Monterey Bay advocates ready to fight marine sanctuaries executive order -- A review on the national marine sanctuaries requested by President Trump was submitted to the White House on Oct. 25, but it has not been made available to the public. Fearing the worst, local organizations and individuals are preparing to defend these areas once again, should the Trump administration attempt to rollback the protections. But part of it is a waiting game. Laura Shields in the Santa Cruz Sentinel -- 12/5/17

POTUS 45  

White House spokesman refuses to answer questions on the record from reporters -- On a day filled with news, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters traveling with the president aboard Air Force One that he would not take any questions on the record. Noah Bierman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Manafort Associate Has Russian Intelligence Ties, Court Document Says -- President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and an associate with ties to Russian intelligence drafted an op-ed article last week about Mr. Manafort’s work for Russia-aligned interests in Ukraine, according to a court document filed Monday by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Kenneth P. Vogel in the New York Times$ -- 12/5/17

Claim that Trump can’t obstruct justice has little support among scholars -- Forty years ago, former President Richard Nixon famously told interviewer David Frost, when asked whether a president can order an illegal act in the nation’s best interests, “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/17

Three Pinocchios: Trump’s claim that ‘they just kept cutting, cutting, cutting the military’ until it was ‘depleted’ -- Since taking office, President Trump has repeatedly called for a “rebuilding” of the U.S. military to combat ISIS and “to keep America safe.” Nicole Lewis in the Washington Post$ -- 12/5/17

Beltway 

Trump seeks Democrats' help on year-end budget, DACA deal -- After railing against Democrats for weeks and pushing a sweeping tax plan over their objections, President Trump reached out to the rivals Monday — a subtle acknowledgment that he'll need their help to avert a government shutdown at the end of the week. Lisa Mascaro in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Democrats question GOP commitment to Senate's Russia inquiry -- Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are raising fresh concerns about the GOP-led panel’s appetite for digging into the Russian ties forged by multiple advisers to President Donald Trump. Elana Schor Politico -- 12/5/17

Schnur: The best thing Trump could do for Israel is grow up -- If foreign policy were composed solely of bumper stickers and hashtags, President Trump would be Israel’s greatest ally. Like any good sound-bite specialist, he says all the right things when it comes to the safety and security of Israel. Dan Schnur in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/

 

-- Monday Updates 

Targeted wildfire alerts ‘very well could have’ saved lives, California lawmaker says -- When a fast-moving wildfire flared up in Lake County early on Oct. 9, emergency officials quickly issued an emergency alert, blasting thousands of cell phones with mandatory evacuation orders and notifying area residents that they could soon be trapped by flames. Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/4/17

Gov. Jerry Brown compares GOP congressional leaders to 'Mafia thugs' -- Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday morning that GOP leaders in Congress who are advancing a major federal tax overhaul are “wielding their power like a bunch of Mafia thugs.” “The most immediate evil of this cynical maneuver called the tax bill is to further divide America when we’re at one of our most divisive periods in history,” Brown said during a conference call with reporters. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/4/17

Lobbyist names California lawmaker she says masturbated before her in a bar bathroom -- A Sacramento lobbyist said Monday Assemblyman Matt Dababneh cornered her in a bar bathroom last year and masturbated in front of her. Alexei Koseff and Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury$ Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ Scott Shafer KQED Kevin Modesti in the Los Angeles Daily News$ Ben Adler Capital Public Radio -- 12/4/17

Two women say California Assemblyman Matt Dababneh sexually harassed them -- At a news conference Monday morning, Pamela Lopez, a Sacrament lobbyist, named the San Fernando Valley Democrat as the man she said followed her into a restroom and masturbated in front of her. She had previously refused to name the man but said she decided to reveal the name after learning other women had bad experiences with him. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/4/17

High housing prices are forcing hundreds of Sacramento State students into homelessness -- A $200 a month rent increase pushed Sacramento State senior Elizabeth McGuire into homelessness on a recent Sunday afternoon. “Now, here I am with no money, no place to live and no car,” she said. “I was really lucky because I have a good friend who said I could stay on her couch.” Diana Lambert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/4/17

Wine Country fires: In sad aftermath, for-sale signs go up on burned-out lots -- The real estate ad posted by Coldwell Banker calls it a “fantastic opportunity” in a “wonderful neighborhood.” But it’s not the dream home you might expect in Wine Country. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/4/17

Lazarus: Less choice, higher prices feared in CVS' takeover of health insurer Aetna -- CVS Health says that its $69-billion takeover of insurance giant Aetna will be good for consumers. That, of course, is unlikely. For the deal to benefit consumers, it would have to result in lower drug prices or lower insurance costs. If past mergers are anything to go by, this won't happen. David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/4/17

Expect the 'strongest and longest' Santa Ana winds of the season this week in L.A. area -- Deflate your giant Santas and unplug those twinkly holiday lights: The Santa Ana winds are coming to town. Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/4/17

Number of Border Patrol agents getting sick from sewage nearly triples -- Headaches, rashes, infections, breathing problems. An increasing number of U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Imperial Beach station have reported a host of health problems since February, when an estimated 143 million gallons of Mexican sewage spilled into the Tijuana River Valley they patrol. Barbara Zaragoza in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/4/17

Fox: Tax Reform and the 2018 CA Elections -- The tax reform plan that is on the road to passing Congress sets up an interesting dynamic for the 2018 elections in California. Democrats will argue that those Republican congress members who voted for the tax plan and ended deductions raised taxes on many Californians. On the other hand most state Democrats will be protecting the need for gas tax increase against a repeal effort if one qualifies for the ballot. Reverse the script for Republicans. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 12/4/17

Don’t Stop the Presses! When Local News Struggles, Democracy Withers -- The sad story of the East Bay Times exemplifies how the decline of community journalism erodes civic engagement. Henri Gendreau WIRED -- 12/4/17

Where Silicon Valley Is Going to Get in Touch With Its Soul -- The Esalen Institute, a storied hippie hotel in Big Sur, Calif., has reopened with a mission to help technologists who discover that “inside they’re hurting.” Nellie Bowles in the New York Times$ -- 12/4/17

Utility regulators revise down the number of emails withheld on San Onofre matter -- Two years ago, California utility regulators identified 128 emails related to the disputed San Onofre settlement that they said could not be released because they were privileged communications to and from the Governor’s Office and the Public Utilities Commission president. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/4/17