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

California Policy and Politics Tuesday

Protest violence outside L.A. synagogue spurs widespread condemnation. Bass vows quick action -- A violent protest outside a Los Angeles synagogue sparked condemnation from President Biden and others Monday and prompted new debate over what some consider escalating behavior during demonstrations over the war in Gaza. Nathan Solis, Richard Winton, Hannah Fry, Libor Jany and Karen Garcia in the Los Angeles Times$ Tyler Katzenberger Politico -- 6/25/24

Gavin Newsom is moving his children back to Marin County schools -- The Democratic California governor and his wife, first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, are enrolling their four children in schools in the wealthy Bay Area enclave but keeping their Sacramento-area home. Christopher Cadelago Politico -- 6/25/24

Push to let noncitizens vote in this California city hinges on 7 words -- The effort to extend voting rights to noncitizens in Santa Ana comes amid a countermove by national and state-level Republicans to explicitly ban the practice. Emily Schultheis Politico -- 6/25/24

A new frontier in ballot measure fights -- The California Supreme Court may have just invited upcoming ballot-measure combatants to put aside television and direct-mail budgets and invest even more in lawyers. Will Mccarthy and Emily Schultheis Politico -- 6/25/24

‘Junk fees’ law: Exemption for California restaurants is one step closer to approval -- Last-minute legislation that would allow restaurant surcharges to remain legal in California inched closer to becoming law on Monday. Elena Kadvany in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 6/25/24

S.F. Fed president says ‘doom loop’ talk ignores reality of city’s economic power -- When San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly travels, she said this is the most common question she gets: “Is San Francisco in a doom loop? Is the world over?” Roland Li in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 6/25/24

S.F.’s office vacancy continues to grow, but there are positive signs for the city’s office market -- Framing the sluggish recovery of San Francisco’s office market — which some anticipate might take decades — is increasingly about tallying the small wins. Laura Waxmann in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 6/25/24

Billionaire-backed S.F. moderate group snubs Mayor Breed, endorsing two rivals ahead of her -- One of San Francisco’s most influential moderate political groups has told its supporters to vote for mayoral candidates Mark Farrell and Daniel Lurie over incumbent London Breed in November, a blow to the mayor as she struggles to keep her job. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 6/25/24

California lawmakers fold in budget spat, approve Gavin Newsom’s $400M loan to Diablo Canyon -- California lawmakers agreed to loan Pacific Gas & Electric Co. an additional $400 million to extend the life of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, ceding to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s push for the loan after initially refusing to pay in a public budget spat. Ari Plachta in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 6/25/24

Grand jury slams Oakland council for 'irresponsible' billboard contract -- The Oakland City Council acted irresponsibly, and without transparency, when it approved a controversial billboard advertising contract that was less lucrative for the city than another deal that was proposed, according to an Alameda County Grand Jury report released Monday. David Hernandez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 6/25/24

McManus: The Biden-Trump debate will be a demolition derby. But will it change the race? -- This week’s debate between President Biden and Donald Trump won’t produce much in the way of civil dialogue over the nation’s future. It’s more likely to resemble a demolition derby, with each contestant trying to knock the other off course. Doyle McManus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/25/24


S.F. schools expect to cut more than 500 positions in future budget -- San Francisco school officials are poised to pass another budget that allows the district to spend significantly more than it brings in. It’s the last time it can afford to do so. Ida Mojadad in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 6/25/24


California traffic fatalities rise 5% while the national rate declines -- In the first quarter of 2024, traffic fatalities in California grew by approximately 5%, contrasting with a national decline of 3.2%, according to preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Aidin Vaziri in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 6/25/24


Music Labels Take On AI Startups With New Lawsuits -- Universal, Sony and Warner allege that the two companies generate sound-a-likes of popular recordings using copyrighted works. Anne Steele in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 6/25/24


Giants honor Willie Mays in touching tribute at Oracle Park: ‘He was our guy’ -- They gathered at the Willie Mays statue and left flowers. They dropped by the Willie Mays popup exhibit to soak in the vibes. They entered Oracle Park at Willie Mays Plaza to catch a pregame tribute that honored a hero. John Shea in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 6/25/24

Lots of gray whales are swimming under the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco Bay. Why? -- Popular species faces risks from collisions with big ships, as researchers look for clues. Paul Rogers in the East Bay Times$ -- 6/25/24

Discord at the Symphony: Losing a Star, San Francisco Weighs Its Future -- The struggles of one of the nation’s finest orchestras show the difficulties facing classical music in the United States. Robin Pogrebin and Javier C. Hernández in the New York Times$ -- 6/25/24


California Policy and Politics Monday

‘I have done nothing wrong’: Defiant Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao blasts FBI raid -- Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao stood before reporters at City Hall on Monday morning, choking back tears as she delivered her first public comments since an FBI raid on her house last week plunged the city into crisis and threw her political future into peril. Eli Rosenberg, Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Jakob Rodgers, Shomik Mukherjee in the East Bay Times$ -- 6/24/24

Officers remove pro-Palestinian encampment at UC Santa Barbara -- Dozens of officers removed an encampment of pro-Palestinian protesters from the campus of UC Santa Barbara early Sunday morning, according to videos and social media posts by the protest group. Melody Petersen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/24/24

Violent clash outside West L.A. synagogue; 1 carrying ‘spiked flag’ arrested, police say -- Dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators and supporters of Israel engaged in a violent clash Sunday outside a synagogue in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles. Carlos Lozano and Paul Pringle in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/24/24

In San Francisco, Doctors Feud Over ‘Do No Harm’ When It Comes to War Protests -- Doctors at the University of California, San Francisco, say that the workplace they once loved has been fractured by the Israel-Hamas war. Heather Knight in the New York Times$ -- 6/24/24

Protesters rally at Oakland City Hall for Mayor Sheng Thao’s resignation after FBI raid -- A small but vocal group of Oakland residents called on Mayor Sheng Thao to resign during a protest on the steps of City Hall on Sunday evening, three days after federal agents raided her home in a probe connected to a politically influential family. Nora Mishanec in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 6/24/24

She had a miscarriage — and says a California CVS wouldn’t fill a prescription to help her -- California has greatly expanded protections for abortion care since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. But enforcing the laws can be complicated, and some providers are confused about what’s required of them. Kristen Hwang CalMatters -- 6/24/24

Rep. Ro Khanna talks about stumping for President Biden’s reelection, contentious congressional recount -- Khanna thinks of himself as a bridge within the Democratic Party. Grace Hase in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 6/24/24


Gavin Newsom will deliver delayed California State of the State speech with budget done -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom will release a delayed State of the State address Tuesday in a recorded speech to be broadcast across his office’s social media channels and website. Vik Jolly in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 6/24/24

How California’s $100 billion surplus became a ‘budget emergency’ -- Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers announced a budget deal whose cuts could put him at odds with staunch allies and temper ambitious policy goals. Reis Thebault in the Washington Post$ -- 6/24/24


For Biden and Trump, a Debate Rematch With Even Greater Risks and Rewards -- The matchup on Thursday will be the earliest presidential debate in American history, and any potential missteps could linger for weeks or months. Lisa Lerer, Shane Goldmacher, Jonathan Swan and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times$ -- 6/24/24

We Rewatched the 2020 Trump-Biden Debates. Here’s What We Learned -- Donald Trump likes to cast himself as the outsider on the debate stage. He interrupts, trying to knock his sparring partner off his stride. Joe Biden occasionally becomes snippy and has a habit of speaking straight to the camera. They both play moderator from time to time, asking each other questions. Annie Linskey in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 6/24/24

Calmes: The Biden-Trump debate — ‘senile old man’ vs. ‘obnoxious jerk’? Please, no -- It’s our civic duty to pay attention when presidential candidates go head to head, but who could blame Americans for not watching the Biden-Trump debate in Atlanta? Jackie Calmes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/24/24


What Biden’s California border looks like as voter concerns about immigration grow -- More people cross the border into the U.S. in California than anywhere else. We talked to four migrants just as Biden announced stricter asylum rules. Andrea Castillo in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/24/24


Hollywood’s exodus: Why film and TV workers are leaving Los Angeles -- With Hollywood production activity and employment down while the cost of living rises, some film and TV workers are leaving Los Angeles — and California. Josh Rottenberg in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/24/24

How California agencies are keeping misconduct investigations secret despite transparency laws -- Public agencies are using attorneys to conduct fact-finding investigations, then hiding the facts from the public. Kristen Taketa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 6/24/24


Pushing to close the funding lag that drains millions from homeless services -- Slow reimbursement of government contracts forces a South Los Angeles home for ex-prisoners to bleed interest to predatory lenders. A small nonprofit proposes to close the payment gap with no-interest loans. Doug Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/24/24


Bay Area home prices approach all-time high after spiking 12% in May -- After median home prices in two Bay Area counties shot past the $2 million mark earlier this year, buyers might be forgiven for thinking the local real estate market had reached its peak. Ethan Varian in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 6/24/24

The Bay Area has 33 ‘two-million-dollar’ cities. Here’s where they are -- Former farm towns have become wealthy enclaves as residents fight back new development. Kate Talerico in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 6/24/24

San Mateo County community devastated over affordable housing project razed by fire -- When fire razed a massive affordable housing complex under construction in unincorporated San Mateo County earlier this month, it decimated a decade of work to bring badly needed homes to some of the Peninsula’s most vulnerable residents and shook a community that had been eagerly awaiting the security stable housing provides. Ryan Macasero in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 6/24/24


Wildfire threats make utility companies uninsurable in Northern California, across West -- As wildfire season starts, some utilities are now operating without insurance — and are on the hook for millions of dollars in damages if their power lines are linked to a blaze. Mark Chediak | Bloomberg in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 6/24/24


Summer COVID bump intensifies in L.A. and California, fueled by FLiRT variants -- Taken together, the data point to a coronavirus resurgence in the Golden State — one that, while not wholly unexpected given the trends seen in previous pandemic-era summers, has arrived earlier and is being driven by even more transmissible strains than those previously seen. Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/24/24


Is S.F. the worst-run city in the U.S.? Experts call this analysis ‘misleading’ -- A WalletHub analysis found that San Francisco is the worst-run city in the U.S. But experts say the analysis has little to do with how a city operates. Danielle Echeverria in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 6/24/24


A.I. Is Getting Better Fast. Can You Tell What’s Real Now? -- The phony images now appear regularly on social media, with many users seeming to believe that the images are real. But there are still some telltale signs that an image was made by A.I. Stuart A. Thompson in the New York Times$ -- 6/24/24


How music education sharpens the brain, tunes us up for life -- Early music experiences may impart a lifelong neuroplasticity that boosts cognition, experts say. Karen D'Souza EdSource -- 6/24/24