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244 immigrants arrested in four-day sweep across Southern California -- More than 240 people were taken into federal custody last week across Southern California after a four-day sweep for immigrants in the country illegally with criminal records, authorities announced Monday. Joseph Serna, Kate Linthicum in the Los Angeles Times -- 8/31/15

Immigration: Are male detainees treated differently than women? -- Jorge Ramirez fled Honduras with his family in June, paying a smuggler to take them across the Rio Grande to seek asylum. Molly Hennessy-Fiske in the Los Angeles Times -- 8/31/15

Judges' procedural questions hint at skepticism on California death penalty ban -- A federal appeals court, reviewing a ruling that could end California's death penalty, appeared concerned Monday that procedural requirements might prevent it from deciding whether the state system was so dysfunctional as to be unconstitutional. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times -- 8/31/15

Halle Berry joins Capitol climate change lobbying team -- California Democrats’ public relations push to pass sweeping climate change legislation has enlisted businesses, religious authorities - and now a healthy dose of celebrity. Jeremy B. White and Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee -- 8/31/15

Fox: What Would Voters Do on Climate Change Bill? -- Looking at the results of the California Business Roundtable/California Manufacturing & Technology Association poll on the SB 350 climate change bill, you can almost see how campaign arguments would be formulated if the hotly debated bill were on a ballot for voters to decide. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 8/31/15

Bob Huff moves from California Senate district to prep for next campaign -- The senator has left the district. Ahead of a campaign for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors next year, state Sen.Bob Huff moved this spring from Diamond Bar to San Dimas, putting him just inside the boundary for LA’s 5th Supervisorial District – and just outside the 29th Senate District he still represents through next November. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee -- 8/31/15

Assemblyman Chad Mayes seeking Assembly GOP leadership post -- Assembly Republicans could elect a new leader as early as Tuesday, said Assemblyman Chad Mayes, a GOP freshman from Yucca Valley who confirmed Monday that he's seeking the leadership post. Melanie Mason, Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times -- 8/31/15

UCLA study finds million-plus elderly Californians in poverty -- More than 300,000 elderly Californians are officially poor, as measured by the federal government, but their numbers triple to more than 1 million when the “hidden poor” are counted, according to a new study from UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 8/31/15

Skelton: Lawmakers squabble over reducing gas consumption -- Rebellion and chaos are dominating the climax of this year's legislative session. Seems like nothing and no one is safe. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times -- 8/31/15

Internal struggles at US mosques seep into secular courts -- As worshippers streamed out of the prayer hall, some beaming, clasping hands and congratulating each other on their victory, Waqar Khan was fuming. He sat on a mosque bench, absorbing his defeat. He was about to be removed as president of the Islamic Society of East Bay in Fremont, California, a suburban city in the shadow of Silicon Valley. Fariba Nawa Center for Investigative Reporting -- 8/31/15

Bayview church 'bleached,' spray-painted in racist vandalism -- Racist vandals broke into a Bayview church and went on a destructive rampage in what a church deacon calls a hate crime. Mike Moffitt in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/31/15

Burning Man’s Fashion Is Wild, but There Are Rules -- Glitter is a no-no. Sequins are frowned upon. Feathers were verboten, though they have still infiltrated in trims and turbans, to gnashing controversy. Sarah Maslin Nir in the New York Times$ -- 8/31/15

UC Berkeley: Fence around chancellor's residence divides opinions -- A newly installed chain-link fence marks the path an incoming permanent barrier will soon take between University House -- the landmark building where Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks resides -- and the surrounding UC Berkeley campus. George Kelly in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 8/31/15

California's cash for ideas contest open to entries -- The state is offering prizes of up to $25,000 to Californians in three contests meant to improve transportation, beef up the government's environmentally sustainable practices and help prevent teenage drinking. Andrew McGall in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 8/31/15

Gavin Newsom & wife expecting fourth child -- Seems like they’re trying to populate their own little “Citizenville.” Newsom, 47, and Jennifer Siebel Newsom, 41, already are the parents of Montana Tessa Newsom, who turns 6 next month; Hunter Siebel Newsom, 4; and Brooklynn Newsom, 2. Papa is running for governor in 2018. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 8/31/15


California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Time for another water bond? Draft language floating -- It hasn’t been a year since Californians approved a $7.5 billion water bond. But with drought still ravaging the state – and Democratic-heavy turnout expected in November 2016 – a former Brown administration official is mulling asking voters to approve a follow-up measure. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee -- 8/31/15

California's death-penalty delays put on trial -- California is about to find out if taking three decades or more to execute death row inmates will turn out to be the fatal flaw in the state's long-faltering death penalty system. Howard Mintz in the San Jose Mercury$ Brian Melley Associated Press Erik Eckholm in the New York Times$ Ashby Jones in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 8/31/15

Compton mayor's charity tie-in to State of the City talk raises eyebrows -- When Compton Mayor Aja Brown delivered her first State of the City address last month, the city arranged for residents to watch the event on a big screen at a local gym. Angel Jennings in the Los Angeles Times -- 8/31/15

Walters: A big mess 6 decades in making -- California’s public schools saw an enormous enrollment surge during the 1950s from the post-World War II baby boom. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 8/31/15

Kate Steinle slaying prompts Bay Area counties to cooperate with immigration officials -- Two months after Kate Steinle's death at the hands of an illegal immigrant with a criminal record ignited a national debate about immigration policy, four of the Bay Area's most populous counties have agreed to notify ICE when inmates flagged by the agency for possible deportation are about to be released. Tracey Kaplan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/31/15

California lawmakers propose sweeping ivory ban to curb elephant poaching -- Supporters of the measure, AB 96, note that scientific studies show poachers are killing 35,000 African elephants a year, or 96 every day, for their tusks, causing the African elephant population of about 500,000 to shrink at alarming rates. Paul Rogers and LiPo Ching in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/31/15

Their crimes reclassified, some California felons get a second chance -- Last November, voters in California overwhelmingly approved Proposition 47, which lets people with some nonviolent felonies petition a court to reduce their crimes to misdemeanors. And that has opened up new opportunities for many former offenders. Marisa Lagos NPR -- 8/31/15

Anthony Sadler returns to his Oak Park church a hero -- Nine days after Anthony Sadler and two boyhood friends thwarted a heavily armed assailant on a train from Amsterdam to Paris, Sadler returned to Shiloh Baptist Church to a thundering standing ovation Sunday. Stephen Magagnini in the Sacramento Bee -- 8/31/15

UC Berkeley police chief had only herself to blame for stolen gun, experts say -- Determined to set the record straight, UC Berkeley Police Chief Margo Bennett sent a mass internal e-mail this week detailing what happened when several valuables, including her department gun, were recently stolen from her vehicle at the Point Isabel Regional Shoreline in Richmond. The item is in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/31/15

SFPD has head start on activists’ race reforms -- As organizers work to promote what is thought to be the first nationally crafted plan by activists spawned from demonstrations against police killings from Oakland to Ferguson, San Francisco police officials say they’re open to the plan’s recommendations — mostly because they have already begun to make many of the suggested reforms. Vivian Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/31/15

Risks, rewards for Republicans insulting entire groups of people -- It’s already been called the Year of the Angry Voter, but 2015 could also turn out to be the Year of the Insulted Voter. Carla Marinucci in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/31/15

Dollars for green cards: EB-5 program grants visas, even citizenship, to foreigners who invest in U.S. -- Facing a deadline to get a green card or go home, Chinese immigrant Xiaoyu “Hugh” Hou narrowed his options to two: Marry an American or come up with $500,000 to invest in a jobs project. Jeff Collins and Roxana Kopetman in the Orange County Register -- 8/31/15

Calbuzz: New Research Shocker: It’s Official — Trump’s Nuts -- Rummaging through decades of dust and rat leavings, our Department of Archival Research and Hoarder Magazine Stacks in recent weeks has examined every document, file and cocktail napkin scribble that is cached in our bomb shelter archive, desperately seeking to answer 2015′s most pressing journalistic question: Is Donald Trump an alien? Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 8/31/15

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions    

In strategy shift, CalPERS looks to cut financial risk -- California taxpayers have never paid more for public worker pensions, but it's still not enough to cover the rising number of retirement checks written by the state's largest pension plan. Melody Petersen in the Los Angeles Times -- 8/31/15

San Bernardino pension shift to save $2.7 million -- Bankrupt San Bernardino approved a plan last week to disband the city fire department and annex the city to a large county fire district. Part of the expected savings is $2.7 million a year from avoiding future CalPERS rate increases. Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 8/31/15

Santa Rosa's big rent control debate -- Late last October, Jen Schallert got a notice slapped on the door of the two-bedroom Santa Rosa apartment where she lived with her children. Her lease was up, and if they wanted to stay in the Rincon Valley complex, they’d have to move to a new unit and pay nearly $2,000 per month, a $300 increase. Kevin McCallum in the Santa Rosa Press -- 8/31/15

Rent run amok: Rent hikes have sparked bidding wars and sent tenants scrambling -- Bidding wars broke out all over Orange County this summer. Not just to buy houses. But to rent homes, too. Jane Lewis, property management director for Seven Gables Real Estate, got 52 calls on a recent Saturday for a two-bedroom condo in Anaheim Hills renting for $2,300 a month. Jeff Collins in the Orange County Register -- 8/31/15


When the wells run dry: California families cope in drought -- Millions of Californians are being inconvenienced in this fourth year of drought, urged to flush toilets less often, take shorter showers and let lawns turn brown. But it's dramatically worse in places like Okieville, where wells have gone dry for many of the 100 modest homes that share cracked streets without sidewalks or streetlights in California's Central Valley. Scott Smith Associated Press -- 8/31/15

Largest Orange County jail implements water-saving programs, while some have existed for a decade -- If everything goes to plan, they eventually expect to see savings of up to 775,000 gallons every month. Alayssa Duranty in the Orange County Register -- 8/31/15


It took hunting to find L.A. school board meeting on superintendent hunt -- Los Angeles school officials have promised a “transparent” search for the next superintendent of schools, but got that process off to a murky start by the listing of a faulty address for a Sunday morning board meeting. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times -- 8/31/15

Some superintendent salaries rising to the extreme -- The base salaries of most school superintendents in North County appears to be rising moderately after years of stagnation, but a handful of top school administrators have seen staggering increases of 20 percent or more. Pat Maio in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/31/15

Uncertain impact of California’s high school exit exam -- As the state looks to replace the California High School Exit Exam with a new version, or eliminate it altogether as a graduation requirement, it remains difficult to find much consensus among educators, researchers and advocates regarding the legacy of the test for California. Fermin Leal EdSource -- 8/31/15

Community college district's Saudi outreach draws fire -- It’s been called higher education’s latest gold rush: establishing overseas campuses or partnerships partly as a way of making money amid state funding cuts. Jodie Tillman in the Orange County Register -- 8/31/15

Also . . . 

Burning Man 2015 begins with some live tweeting, no bugs -- The week-long Burning Man festival officially began Sunday, with early arrivals to Black Rock City and others waiting in line outside the gates gleefully posting photos or live-streaming their initial experiences. Jessica Mullins in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/31/15

LGBT archive at USC preserves personal stories from a hidden past -- The paper is yellowed now, the penciled cursive fading, but the letters from the World War II Women's Army Corps servicewoman to her sweetheart are romantic as ever. Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times -- 8/31/15

Wes Craven, horror maestro behind 'Nightmare on Elm Street' and 'Scream' films, dies at 76 -- Wes Craven, the prolific horror filmmaker behind "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and the "Scream" movies, died Sunday at his Los Angeles home after a battle with brain cancer, according to his representative. He was 76. Matt Hamilton, Lauren Raab in the Los Angeles Times -- 8/31/15

After deaths of 2 fans at a rave, Live Nation cancels event and creates more safety precautions -- Facing a possible ban on raves at county facilities after the deaths of two young partygoers this month, concert promoter Live Nation has agreed to cancel one upcoming rave at the county-owned Fairplex and to scale back another and implement extra safety precautions. Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times -- 8/31/15

How a 1930s water war between California and Arizona delayed Parker Dam -- "Water war" has for decades been a term used to describe the political battles over water in the West. Scott Harrison in the Los Angeles Times -- 8/31/15


Trump proposal for mass deportation of immigrants in US illegally similar to removals in 1930s -- During the Great Depression, counties and cities in the American Southwest and Midwest forced Mexican immigrants and their families to leave the U.S. over concerns they were taking jobs away from whites, despite their legal right to stay. Russell Contreras Associated Press -- 8/31/15

Trump Is Setting the GOP Agenda -- Every Republican presidential contender is playing Trump’s game. And losing at it. Matt Latimer Politico -- 8/31/15

Jorge Ramos: Donald Trump is ‘dangerous’ -- Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos called Donald Trump, a top Republican presidential candidate, "dangerous" in an interview Sunday on ABC News's "This Week." When questioned by guest host Martha Raddatz about his public tangle with Trump at a news conference in Iowa last week, Ramos was blunt. Janell Ross in the Washington Post -- 8/31/15