California Policy & Politics This Morning   

California a testing ground for new labor organizing strategies -- The state is home to the largest number of union members in the nation - some 2.4 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Union organizers have used the state to test new recruiting strategies; but success has been limited. Kitty Felde KPCC -- 9/1/14

California lawmakers post mixed record on political reform -- In a year marked by scandal in the state Capitol – including two senators indicted on bribery charges and dozens of politicians warned by the state’s campaign finance watchdog for raising money at the home of a prominent lobbyist – California lawmakers pledged to clean up some of their political practices. Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/1/14

Compton Unified policy on rifles draws criticism but isn't unusual -- At a quiet July school board meeting, Compton school police chief William Wu matter-of-factly explained that his officers would need AR-15 semiautomatic rifles to adequately protect students and staff from a heavily armed shooter if such a nightmare unfolded on a campus. Stephen Ceasar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/14

Concealed weapons permits nearly double in Orange County -- In the six months since Orange County began issuing concealed weapons permits under a relaxed standard, the number of people licensed to carry guns is close to doubling, and thousands more are awaiting approval. Paloma Esquivel, Adolfo Flores, Ryan Menezes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/14

Uber takes turn toward old-school politics -- Uber bills itself as a leader in tech innovation, but when it came to fighting mandated insurance for its drivers, the ride-share giant turned to good old-fashioned hardball politics. Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/1/14

High school to drop 'Arabs' mascot that some found offensive -- Last year. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee urged the district to eliminate the mascot — a man with a large nose and heavy beard wearing a kaffiyeh, a traditional Arab head covering — saying the school is perpetuating demeaning stereotypes. The item is in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/14

San Diego Republican wages long-shot run for Congress -- As a candidate in the 51st Congressional District, Stephen Meade's politics are a problem. He's a conservative Republican in a district where voter registration is more than 2-to-1 Democratic. The district is 70% Latino, but Meade does not speak Spanish. Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/14

Los Angeles is largest manufacturing center in U.S., government says -- As of July, the region had 510,900 manufacturing workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tiffany Hsu in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/14

Peters, DeMaio battle over ‘moderate’ label -- In one of the nation’s most closely watched congressional races, Democratic Rep. Scott Peters and Republican challenger Carl DeMaio each portray themselves as the true consensus candidate who can move past the partisan divide in Congress to best represent San Diegans. Mark Walker UT San Diego$ -- 9/1/14

Ad Watch: Karl Rove’s PAC hits Bera with generic TV ad -- Crossroads GPS, the Karl Rove-affiliated outside group, has added a second TV ad into the rotation that takes on Democratic Rep. Ami Bera of Elk Grove. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/1/14

Tom Steyer's $1 million offer to pro-environment candidates -- When San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer speaks, Sacramento listens. Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/1/14

Walters: ‘California Comeback’ hasn’t helped everyone -- As Gov. Jerry Brown runs for re-election, he has adopted “California Comeback” – voiced during his State of the State address in January – as his informal slogan. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/1/14

Skelton: Productive lawmakers can thank a retooled system -- It was a moderately productive two-year session that the Legislature wrapped up at the witching hour Saturday. Credit mainly voter-approved reforms. This is a new era in Sacramento. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/14

Earthquake study drifts as scientists seek money -- Earthquake scientists are striving to save a pioneering project buried 2 miles under a Central Valley pasture that could one day reveal the hidden mechanics of quakes like the one that jolted Napa last week -- and the inevitable "Big One" to come. Lisa M. Krieger in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/1/14

Labor looks for realignment of power that could strengthen its hand -- As the final push begins to fill a key seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, union leaders, elected officials and political analysts are anticipating a realignment of power that could strengthen the hand of organized labor in decisions affecting a wide array of public services and the region's largest employer. Catherine Saillant and Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/14

Bay Area police departments say census data on diversity flawed -- Brentwood Police Chief Mark Evenson is the first to acknowledge it -- police departments in the Bay Area and across the country can and should be more diverse. Daniel J. Willis in the Oakland Tribune -- 9/1/14

California High-Speed Rail No. 10: Palate Cleanser -- As a reminder, this is No. 10 in a series on the proposed north-south California High-Speed Rail system, which deserves national attention as the highest-stakes infrastructure project underway anywhere in America now. James Fallows The Atlantic -- 9/1/14

Taxes, Fees, Rates   

Muni Fares Set to Go Up on Labor Day -- Daily cash fares for riding San Francisco Municipal Railway will go from $2 to $2.25 effective Monday, SFMTA officials said. KQED -- 9/1/14

San Francisco Chronicle property owners to get tax break from creating urban farms -- A new law taking effect next week will mark another innovation for San Francisco: The city will be the first in the country to offer a financial incentive for urban farming. Tara Duggan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/1/14

Economy, Employers, Jobs   

Despite efforts to protect San Francisco tenants, housing crisis persists -- San Francisco's elected officials have attempted to tackle the housing crisis with gusto since 2013, passing laws that govern condo conversions, the merging of units, the legality of in-laws, tenant harassment and Ellis Act evictions. Marisa Lagos in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/1/14

Protecting homes central to both sides of landlord-tenant battle -- In some ways, Jerrold Jacoby and Daniel and Maria Levin have a lot in common with Beverly Upton and Jacqui Naylor: All five have called San Francisco home for decades and feel part of the fabric of the city. Marisa Lagos in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/1/14

Equity credit lines are making a comeback as home prices rise -- If you've got it, tap it. That appears to be the strategy for growing numbers of homeowners across the country who have begun taking out home equity credit lines at a rapidly accelerating pace. Kenneth R. Harney in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/14

Amid Choruses of Despair, an Aria of Hope -- The offices of the San Diego Opera once filled the penthouse atop the Civic Center Plaza, with 12-foot ceilings and sweeping views of this city and its harbors. No more. Adam Nagourney in the New York Times$ -- 9/1/14

'Birthplace networks' are a boon to immigrant homeowners, study says -- Native-born Americans looking to move into homeownership for the first time could learn a thing or two from immigrant homeowners, according to recent research. Lew Sichelman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/14

Tesla Motors dealing as states play factory poker -- From the start, little has been typical about Tesla Motors' plan for a $5 billion factory to make batteries for a new generation of electric cars. Justin Pritchard Associated Press -- 9/1/14

California Legislature fails to reach a deal on Tesla battery factory -- State lawmakers left town without seeing, let alone debating, a much-anticipated incentive bill that was supposed to entice Tesla Motors Inc. in Palo Alto to build a $5-billion battery factory in the Golden State. Marc Lifsher in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/14

Incentives states can offer to get Tesla factory -- Five states are on the short list for a $5 billion factory that Tesla Motors plans to build so it can crank out batteries for a new generation of electric cars. Associated Press -- 9/1/14

Education

California Legislature passes stiffest U.S. bill to protect K-12 students' online data -- Trying to protect children from marketers, identity thieves and predators, California could establish the nation's toughest protections of student privacy and forbid the sale and disclosure of schools' online student data. Sharon Noguchi in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/1/14

Common Core standards challenge schools -- California’s new academic standards formally go into effect, bringing big changes, some confusion and a new brand of teaching to the classroom — from kindergarten through high school. Maureen Magee UT San Diego$ -- 9/1/14

For college textbooks, newer -- and pricier -- isn't always better -- At Cal State Stanislaus, computer science faculty maintain a small library of textbooks so students don't have to buy them. Chico State history professor Susan Green invites former students to sell their used textbooks to new arrivals on the first day of class. Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/14

Drought  

California’s drought: What losing 63 trillion gallons of water looks like -- A new study says that California’s drought is so severe it’s causing the ground to rise. Angela Fritz of The Washington Post reported scientists estimate 63 trillion gallons of water have been lost in the past 18 months. Nick Kirkpatrick in the Washington Post$ -- 9/1/14

Why doesn't California build big dams any more? -- How much money drought-stricken California should spend to build new dams was a big part of the debate over the bill that Gov. Jerry Brown signed last month to put a $7.5 billion water bond on the November ballot. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/1/14

Drought Myth-Busting: Why El Niño Is Never A Good Bet -- If, like many Californians, you’ve been on El Niño Watch, you’re no-doubt confused by now. It’s happening. It’s not happening. But whether it is or isn’t might matter less than you think. Craig Miller KQED -- 9/1/14

Immigration / Border

On immigration, will Obama shape his legacy or the next election? -- President Barack Obama and his team spent hours last week deliberating over how and when to fulfill his promise to use his executive power to change the immigration system. They pored over legal precedent and policy data and debated political fallout. Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons McClatchy DC -- 9/1/14

Environment

Salton Sea could benefit from CA water bond -- Talk with leaders from Imperial County and you’ll hear a clear message: Time is running out to save the Salton Sea, the accidental desert lake whose receding shores pose a growing hazard for the wildlife and people who live nearby. Chris Nichols UT San Diego$ -- 9/1/14

Health

Doctors are shifting their business models -- With insurance companies often paying doctors less for their services and with paperwork increasing, Dr. Gregory Yu was putting in longer workdays to squeeze in more patients. Lisa Zamosky in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/14

People Found Ineligible for Obamacare Coverage Must Repay Subsidies -- California runs its own exchange and is on a different timeline. Covered California will send notices starting next week to 100,000 people affected. They have until September 30 to respond. Julie Appleby KQED -- 9/1/14

Also . . .

Banning Russian-made AK-47s sets off a U.S. buying frenzy -- Thirty-six hours after the Obama administration banned importation of the classic brand of AK-47 assault rifles as part of sanctions against Russia, a Maryland dealer specializing in the weapon took stock of its inventory. There was nothing left. Michael S. Rosenwald in the Washington Post$ -- 9/1/14

POTUS 44    

Feinstein says Obama may be 'too cautious' -- The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee says President Barack Obama might be taking too long to respond to the growing threat from Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria. Adam Sneed Politico -- 9/1/14