Rough & Tumble ®
A Snapshot of California Public Policy and Politics


Updating Sunday

Nancy Pelosi had her ups and downs with California Democrats. Now it’s a love fest -- Even before former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made her first appearance at the California Democratic Party convention this weekend, she was an inescapable presence, dangling in cartoon form off the shoulders of the party’s politicians and most dedicated activists. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/23

Poll: Trump takes big lead over DeSantis among California Republicans -- Trump has the support of 44% of California’s likely Republican primary voters, while DeSantis was backed by 26%, according to the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by The Times. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/23

Women who support Trump cite party, economy over sexual misconduct -- Women in a key swing county in Pennsylvania say they'd still vote for Trump, even after a New York jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation of E. Jean Carroll. Colby Itkowitz in the Washington Post$ -- 5/28/23

McManus: Republicans are crowding the 2024 race. It boosts Trump, but may help the GOP in the end -- Trump holds a commanding position in the polls, but he is attracting serious rivals who think he can be beaten. That’s good news for Republican voters. Doyle McManus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/23

Trump Looks Like He Will Get the 2024 Crowd He Wants -- Ron DeSantis entered the presidential race last week along with Tim Scott, with others to follow. For the former president, the more candidates the better. Shane Goldmacher, Jonathan Swan, Maggie Haberman in the New York Times$ -- 5/28/23

Democrats vying to replace Rep. Barbara Lee promise tougher approach on crime -- Two new candidates running for an East Bay House seat promise to help small business owners struggling to deal with crime and other issues. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/28/23

Darrell Steinberg is stepping away. But will Sacramento’s mayor ever leave the spotlight? -- He is a man in constant motion who in one breath insists he is leaving City Hall to focus on his personal life and in the next says he is contemplating what would be a grueling run for state attorney general in 2026. Ryan Lillis, Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/28/23

Arellano: Laughter and tears as family and friends remember Gloria Molina one last time -- It was two hours before Gloria Molina’s funeral, but the different patches in the quilt that was her life were already starting to form outside Resurrection Catholic Church in Boyle Heights. Gustavo Arellano in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/23

Smith: DeSantis is waging a ‘battle for reality’ with his anti-trans, anti-Black book bans -- As odious as DeSantis is, it has become increasingly clear that his culture-war antics, especially his anti-trans, anti-Black crusade to ban books, which recently ensnared Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb,” are more popular among Americans than they should be. Erika D. Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/23

Feinstein, Back in the Senate, Relies Heavily on Staff to Function -- The California Democrat is surrounded by a large retinue of aides at all times, who tell her how and when to vote, explain what is going on when she is confused, and shield her from the press and public. Annie Karni in the New York Times$ -- 5/28/23

Even in blue California, attempts to regulate controversial antiabortion centers continue to fail -- Legislation aiming to regulate crisis pregnancy centers in California have failed despite otherwise robust abortion access policy. Mackenzie Mays in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/23

Biden circle seeks to boost Harris ahead of 2024 -- As Republicans zero in on the vice president, the White House seeks to elevate her, starting with the debt talks. Cleve R. Wootson Jr. in the Washington Post$ -- 5/28/23

After 40 years, Boyle Heights priest still irks politicians and fights for his flock -- From a proposed prison near Boyle Heights to lead contamination from an Exide battery plant, Monsignor John Moretta has fought against threats to his mostly Latino, low-income parishioners. Andrew J. Campa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/23


One of the last glaciers near Yosemite was about to disappear. Then came the snowy winter -- On the towering slopes of Mount Conness, just north of Yosemite’s Tioga Pass, one of California’s smallest glaciers sits beneath the biggest snowpack of the century, as much as 30 feet of snow at its height this spring. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/28/23


In Alameda County’s Cherryland, environmental injustices come in many forms -- This 1.2-square-mile pocket of Alameda County, bordered by three interstates and bisected by a railroad track, has a population of 15,808 and some of the county’s most worrisome health indicators. Asthma rates are high: in the 89th percentile. It’s an area defined in part by its geography, situated amid the toxic emissions from major thoroughfares. Will McCarthy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/28/23

Pizarro: Closing this downtown San Jose street isn’t as easy as it looks -- What started as a lifeline for small businesses reeling from the pandemic economy has become the norm for San Pedro Square, which has been the site of World Cup watch parties, St. Patrick’s Day festivities and more. This is a change that virtually nobody is against — even the fire marshal likes it. Sal Pizarro in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/28/23


Fear, frustration and fatigue: How a deal to save the Colorado River was struck -- Even as they reached this landmark moment — an unprecedented agreement among Arizona, California and Nevada to conserve more than 10 percent of their river supply over the next three years in exchange for $1.2 billion in federal funds — there was little clean or definitive about the resolution. Joshua Partlow in the Washington Post$ -- 5/28/23


Homeownership in San Diego loses ground in last decade, especially for minorities and younger, middle-aged households -- Newly released data from the 2020 census shows the San Diego homeownership rate slipping to a little over 53 percent from a decade earlier, as surging housing prices make it increasingly hard to transform renters into owners. Lori Weisberg, Phillip Molnar, Karthika Namboothiri in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/28/23


‘A collective responsibility’: Fire authorities share fire safety information at Tierrasanta town hall -- One of the best ways to prepare for the threat of wildfire in San Diego County is to have an evacuation plan, fire officials say. But not only is it important to have your own plan, knowing the neighbors’ plans — particularly if they are elderly or disabled — can help save lives. Caleb Lunetta in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/28/23


Drug use, suicides, thefts, now a fatal shooting: Data show years of problems at downtown San Diego library -- Since May 2018, more than 1,800 police calls — about disturbances, drug overdoses, thefts, assaults and concealed weapons — have been logged at the San Diego Central Library Lyndsay Winkley in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/28/23

Abused Kids

How California’s big effort to help abused children left some with nowhere to go -- Over the last 18 months, Los Angeles County’s child welfare agency has placed more than 200 foster children in hotels, sometimes for months, despite internal criticism that the practice could be dangerous. Kathryn Hurd in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/23

Violence and ‘crisis’: How hundreds of L.A. County’s abused children ended up in hotels -- A woman stumbled into the palatial lobby of downtown Los Angeles’ Biltmore Hotel earlier this year, pleading for someone to call the police. Kathryn Hurd, Rebecca Ellis in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/23


California Policy and Politics Sunday

Biden, GOP reach tentative deal to raise debt ceiling, avoid calamitous US default -- However, the agreement risks angering both Democratic and Republican sides with the concessions made to compromise. Negotiators agreed to some Republican demands for increased work requirements for recipients of food stamps that had sparked an uproar from House Democrats as a nonstarter. Lisa Mascaro, Mary Clare Jalonick, Zeke Miller, Kevin Freking Associated Press Courtney Subramanian, Don Lee, Noah Bierman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/23

Debt-ceiling deal: What’s in and what’s out of the agreement to avert US default -- While many details are unknown, both sides will be able to point to some victories. But some conservatives expressed early concerns that the deal doesn’t cut future deficits enough, while Democrats have been worried about proposed changes to work requirements in programs such as food stamps. A look at what’s in and out of the deal, based on what’s known so far: Kevin Freking Associated Press -- 5/28/23

6 pillars of the debt ceiling deal -- The policy provisions of the agreement between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy appeared to fall far short of conservatives’ demands. Jennifer Scholtes, Caitlin Emma, Meredith Lee Hill, Josh Siegel Politico Jeff Stein, Rachel Siegel in the Washington Post$ -- 5/28/23

California Democrats divided on Dianne Feinstein serving to term’s end -- As the three Democrats vying to replace retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein darted around the California Democratic Convention this weekend courting potential supporters, a quieter debate was unfolding among the party’s delegates about whether their state’s senior senator should serve out the remainder of her term, which ends in early 2025. Maeve Reston in the Washington Post$ -- 5/28/23

Walters: The stakes for Newsom’s big plan to streamline big California projects -- Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to decarbonize California’s economy but the California Environmental Quality Act is an impediment. So, he wants to streamline the law’s application for big public works projects. Dan Walters CalMatters -- 5/28/23


Dodgers announce ‘Christian Faith and Family Day’ following Pride Night fallout -- The event, which was tweeted out by star pitcher Clayton Kershaw on Friday, is set for July 30 at Dodger Stadium. Details remain unclear, but the team’s Twitter account said the game between the Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds will be part of a day of worship. Jack Flemming in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/23


Southwest Airlines pilot climbs into cockpit window after being locked out of flight deck -- A Southwest Airlines pilot was forced to crawl through the cockpit window after a passenger accidentally closed and locked the door to the plane’s control center on a flight from San Diego to Sacramento earlier this week. Corinne Purtill in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/23

Studio City Starbucks removes seating due to ‘safety concerns’ -- The move comes nearly a year after the popular coffee chain closed six stores in the Los Angeles area due to “challenging incidents that make it unsafe to continue to operate.” Nathan Solis in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/23

Twitter Workplace

Move Over, Mars. Elon Musk Turns His Attention to 2024 White House Race -- The billionaire wants Twitter to be the home to presidential hopefuls, but Ron DeSantis’s glitch-plagued campaign launch raises questions. Tim Higgins in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 5/28/23


OC immigrants facing deportation need better legal services, report says -- Those who lack money to pay for private attorneys 'are faced with few options to prevent deportation," says the Orange County Justice Fund. Scott Schwebke in the Orange County Register -- 5/28/23


FBI, EPA investigating release of toxic dust from Martinez refinery over Thanksgiving -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are investigating the release of more than 20 tons of toxic dust from a malfunctioning oil refinery over Martinez neighborhoods last Thanksgiving, a Contra Costa County supervisor and the FBI confirmed Saturday. Mallory Moench in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/28/23


Sforza: Plunge in school enrollment is coming, but is California in denial? -- Column: Beefing up educational offerings is always a good idea, but that won't mean more babies. Teri Sforza in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 5/28/23


Reparations Are a Financial Quandary. For Democrats, They’re a Political One, Too -- Republicans have criticized recent estimates of what Black Americans are owed in reparations. But for Democrats, they pose deeper problems for a party eager to retain the allegiance of Black voters. Trip Gabriel, Maya King, Kurtis Lee, Shawn Hubler in the New York Times$ -- 5/28/23


This is the most stolen car brand in San Francisco, SFPD data shows -- Hondas, the cars most stolen in San Francisco over the past 10 years, dropped to a record low in thefts last year, according to trove of car theft data obtained by The Chronicle from the San Francisco Police Department. Annie Vainshtein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/28/23

Police agencies are desperate to hire. But they say few want the job -- The San Francisco Police Department is down more than 600 officers, almost 30 percent of its allotment. Phoenix needs about 500 more officers to be fully staffed. Robert Klemko in the Washington Post$ -- 5/28/23


In a Small California City, Nearly Half the Police Included in Racist Text Threads -- Officers in Antioch, Calif., used slurs and boasted of beating Black suspects, prompting calls for an overhaul. Zusha Elinson, Amy Osborne in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 5/28/23

This extreme sport is taking over California's remote rivers -- California’s unique culture of “whitewater racing” sends 80 mph speed boats careening through remote river canyons. Gregory Thomas in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/28/23

Nobody would adopt the husky with a crooked face. The solution? Some social-media creativity — and a family road trip -- A chance encounter with a photo of a husky’s uniquely lopsided grin on social media led one family in Seattle to make the thousand-mile trek to San Diego to give that pup its forever home. Emily Alvarenga in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/28/23


Saturday Updates

At time of USC hiring, Mike Bohn was being investigated for racial, gender discrimination at Cincinnati -- At the time he was hired as USC’s athletic director, Mike Bohn was under investigation for his conduct at Cincinnati and facing complaints from his staff, according to interviews with five current and former Cincinnati employees as well as Title IX documents viewed by The Los Angeles Times. Ryan Kartje in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/27/23

CIF denounces ‘harassing behaviors’ that led to transgender athletes withdrawing from track finals -- After a week of online vitriol and transphobia aimed at two runners scheduled to compete at the state track and field preliminaries Friday, neither showed up to the starting line of their scheduled 1,600-meter heats at Buchanan High in Clovis. Luca Evans in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/27/23

Study: At all levels of public office, threats now come with the job -- Since taking office in 2021, Oakland City Council member Carroll Fife has received threats by phone, social media and in person, an extreme level of harassment she never imagined would come with serving her community. Hannah Allam in the Washington Post$ -- 5/27/23

Knight: ‘She’s all over the place’: S.F. Mayor Breed needs a plan to address the fentanyl crisis. Where is it? -- As 66 more people died of drug overdoses in San Francisco in April, Mayor London Breed continues to flounder in crafting a clear, unwavering response to the crisis. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/27/23

How many people live in San Francisco — and how many have left? We have a best guess -- The U.S. Census Bureau believes the city has 26,000 fewer people than the California Department of Finance estimates. Christian Leonard in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/27/23

Old Navy to close downtown S.F. store after decades -- Gap is closing yet another San Francisco store: the Old Navy on Market Street. Roland Li in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/27/23

Lopez: Plant by plant, flower by flower, he created his own Shangri-La in a Griffith Park nook -- Jose Palacios has hauled stones, tools, seeds, saplings and the burden of his past up a hill to create his own Shangri-La in Griffith Park. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/27/23

Long-planned new Rock Mountain jail is years delayed and $10 million over budget -- San Diego County supervisors in charge of the sheriff’s budget declined to address the slow going and cost overruns. Jeff Mcdonald, Kelly Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/27/23

Bell: Coronado mayor runs Boston marathon, then climbs Mount Everest -- Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey barely had time to catch his breath after running the Boston on April 17 before catching a flight to Kathmandu in Nepal. Diane Bell in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/27/23


They built the digital world. Now they just want to sew and make chairs -- But like many modern workers who are tethered to digital devices all day, Huang and The are hooked on the stress relief — and the sense of connection and accomplishment — that comes from working with their hands. Lisa Bonos in the Washington Post$ -- 5/27/23

Has ‘Gig Work’ Become a Dirty Word? -- If work for companies like Uber and Lyft once carried some appeal for offering flexibility, the kind of labor it has come to represent is now used by some as shorthand for a raw deal. Kellen Browning in the New York Times$ -- 5/27/23


Scientists find way to make energy from air using nearly any material -- The technology builds on research that showed it was possible to capture the energy in humidity. The latest discovery finds it's possible to do so with any material. Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff in the Washington Post$ -- 5/27/23

Students become stars at huge San Fernando Valley film festival -- Hollywood is Los Angeles’ biggest and most profitable industry, but the vast majority of young Angelenos grow up without any idea how to access the magical world of moviemaking. Clara Harter in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 5/27/23