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California Policy & Politics This Morning  

By 2-1 ratio, Californians believe probes of Trump should continue, new poll shows -- The Mueller report is finished, but Californians overwhelmingly believe that investigations of President Trump should continue, according to a new poll taken Monday. John Wilkens in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/26/19

What’s next for California Democrats after Mueller’s no-collusion conclusion? -- As President Trump and his allies celebrated the end of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian influence into the 2016 election, California Democrats in key leadership positions were faced with a choice: double down on digging into the Trump-Russia ties, or pivot to other issues. Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/26/19

Schiff, blasted by GOP after Mueller report, says oversight of Trump won’t stop -- Rep. Adam Schiff faced Republican calls for him to resign Monday after the attorney general’s letter summarizing the special counsel’s report on the 2016 election contradicted the Burbank Democrat’s claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Schiff stood his ground. Kevin Modesti in the Orange County Register -- 3/26/19

Eric Garcetti would ‘look seriously’ at a U.S. Senate bid; what else could his future hold? -- Speaking with Southern California News Group editorial board members and reporters on March 11, Garcetti was asked if he’d rather be California governor or a U.S. senator, offices for which his name was floated before the 2018 elections won by Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Garcetti said he loves an executive role like mayor and governor, but then bluntly expressed his interest in one of the state’s two U.S. Senate positions. Kevin Modesti in the Orange County Register -- 3/26/19

Victims' Families Speak Out On Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Decision To Halt California's Death Penalty -- Larry Lasater was a police officer in Pittsburg, Calif., when he was shot and killed on April 23, 2005, in the line of duty. His killer is on death row. When Lasater’s mother, Phyllis Loya, heard this month that Gov. Gavin Newsom was halting the state’s death penalty, she said she felt “like my heart had been ripped out. I was in shock. I just couldn’t believe it.” Chris Nichols Capital Public Radio -- 3/26/19

A California mosque was set ablaze in ‘clear homage’ to the New Zealand terrorist attack -- The Muslim community in Escondido, Calif., gathered a week ago for an interfaith prayer vigil, insisting ßthat a distance of nearly 7,000 miles did not ease the pain they felt for the 50 victims of a pair of mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. Isaac Stanley-Becker in the Washington Post$ -- 3/26/19

‘Wannabe terrorist’ sentenced to 19 years for traveling with IEDs in Orange County -- A 48-year-old man was sentenced to 19 years and four months in state prison Monday after police in Orange County last year found two improvised explosive devices in his car during a traffic stop, prosecutors said. Javier Panzar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/26/19

Schwarzenegger plea to Beverly Hills: Spare exclusive cigar club from tobacco rules -- Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a famed physical fitness buff — and prominent fan of expensive stogies — is appealing to the Beverly Hills City Council to exempt the tony Grand Havana Room from its proposed city-wide ban on tobacco sales. Carla Marinucci Politico -- 3/26/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Lyft and Uber Drivers in S.F, L.A. Stage One-Day Strike in Push for Higher Wages -- Protesting pay cuts, a small group of Lyft drivers and their supporters demonstrated on Monday in front of the Omni Hotel in downtown San Francisco, where executives of the ride-hailing company were reportedly courting investors in the run-up to their initial public offering. Anna Sturla, Matthew Green KQED -- 3/26/19

Lyft drivers’ protest exposes ride-hailing Achilles’ heel -- As Lyft and Uber prepare for multibillion-dollar Wall Street debuts, the ride-hailing companies face rising tensions with their drivers, the independent contractors who are the backbone of both services. Some drivers are joining forces, both online and in person, to voice grievances about their pay and other working conditions. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/26/19

The 'poultry Grim Reaper' makes its way to Northern California -- The virus, called virulent Newcastle disease, is untreatable and spreads quickly among various poultry species, including — but not limited to — chickens, turkeys, pheasants, ducks, geese and pigeons. The only way to stop the spread of VND is to quarantine domesticated birds and euthanize infected ones. Michelle Robertson in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/26/19

NRC fines Southern California Edison $116,000 for nuclear canister incident at San Onofre -- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission hit Southern California Edison on Monday with $116,000 in civil penalties following an incident last August in which a 50-ton canister filled with nuclear waste was left suspended for 45 minutes about 18 feet off the floor of a storage cavity at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Rob Nikolewski in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ Martin Wisckol and Teri Sforza in the Orange County Register -- 3/26/19

Transit  

How to get to Dodger and Angel stadiums without driving or taking an Uber or Lyft -- Bostonians roll their eyes when asked, “What trains go to Fenway Park?” That’s because they all do. Yankee Stadium? Take the 4, B or D trains and from the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines outside the city, it’s a straight shot to the House That Ruth Built. Steve Scauzillo in the Orange County Register -- 3/26/19

Homeless  

Faulconer proposes new law to ban living in vehicles -- Faced with a flood of homeless people living in cars near the beach, San Diego officials said Monday they are pursuing a new law that would restore the city’s ability to prohibit such behavior. David Garrick in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/26/19

Nonprofit helps reunite homeless with family, friends through digital detective work -- The path out of homelessness could begin with a single phone call to the right person. Finding that person’s number, however, can be a challenge for someone on the street or in a shelter with few resources, little time for research and possible personal issues. That’s where the San Francisco-based nonprofit Miracle Messages comes in. Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/26/19

Housing  

How much income does it take to buy a home in San Francisco? -- What does it take to buy a home in San Francisco these days? For starters, a lot of optimism. But you’ll also need a hefty annual income; New York-based finance site Smart Asset suggests at least $172,000 per year if potential homeowners want to stay out of debt. Adam Brinklow Curbed San Francisco -- 3/26/19

Education 

Yale rescinds admission as first student faces consequences in college scandal -- It is the first known case in which a student’s involvement in the scheme has resulted in a revoked admission. Dozens of parents are accused of cheating or paying bribes to get their children into elite schools, including Yale, USC and UCLA. Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/26/19

More wealthy parents under scrutiny by prosecutors in college admissions scandal -- As the college admissions scandal investigation widens, more parents are coming under scrutiny. Sources familiar with the investigation but not authorized to discuss it say several parents and their attorneys have been informed they are the subject of the federal inquiry. Richard Winton and Matthew Ormseth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/26/19

The #RealCollege guru offers three ways to fix California’s student financial aid -- If the plight of hungry and homeless college students has lately caught the national media’s attention, it’s in no small part due to the efforts of Temple University professor Sara Goldrick-Rab. Felicia Mello Calmatters -- 3/26/19

Proposed CA state bill aims to protect special needs students after El Dorado Hills death -- A state bill aimed at protecting special needs students at nonpublic schools was introduced Monday in response to the November 2018 death of a student who was restrained at his El Dorado Hills school. Sawsan Morra in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/26/19

California school district latest to change board elections to better reflect diversity of community -- Across California, more than 190 school districts are electing board members to represent specific geographic areas in hopes of improving the representation of diverse communities. Theresa Harrington EdSource -- 3/26/19

Immigration / Border 

Pentagon chief says $1 billion of funding shifted to border wall -- The U.S. Department of Defense shifted $1 billion to plan and build a 57-mile section of “pedestrian fencing”, roads and lighting along the border between the United States and Mexico, the Pentagon chief said on Monday. Last week, the Pentagon gave Congress a list that included $12.8 billion of construction projects for which it said funds could be redirected for construction along the U.S.-Mexico border. Mike Stone Reuters -- 3/26/19

Also . . . 

California Attorney General backed off review of fatal Fremont police shooting -- California’s attorney general quietly decided not to independently review Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley’s clearing of two Fremont police officers who fatally shot a teenage girl in Hayward in 2017, this news organization has learned. Joseph Geha in the East Bay Times -- 3/26/19

Second man found dead in Ed Buck’s apartment died of accidental meth overdose, authorities say -- The second man to die in Democratic donor Ed Buck’s West Hollywood home died of a methamphetamine overdose, authorities confirmed Monday. The Jan. 7 death of Timothy Dean, 55, was ruled accidental, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Richard Winton and Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/26/19

Alameda County deputy, sergeant saved after exposure to fentanyl -- A sergeant and deputy from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office needed a dose of Naloxone to offset the symptoms they both showed after being exposed to fentanyl in the booking center at the Santa Rita Jail, authorities said. Rick Hurd in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/26/19

Local Water Board Paid an Employee Not to Work There. Now He’s on the Board -- Five years ago, the Sweetwater Authority paid one of its engineers $175,000 to drop a lawsuit against the water district if he agreed to never work there again. Now, the engineer, Hector Martinez, is one of seven board members in charge of running the district. Ry Rivard Voiceofsandiego.org -- 3/26/19

Last pandas at San Diego Zoo are leaving -- In an announcement Monday, zoo officials said the pandas, Bai Yun, 27 — a fixture at the zoo for 23 years — and her son, Xiao Liwu, 6, must leave San Diego because a multi-year agreement with the Chinese to keep them here has ended. Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/26/19

POTUS 45  

Trump Blames ‘Treasonous’ Critics for Russia Inquiry -- Grim faced and simmering with anger, Mr. Trump repeated his assertion that a collection of partisan foes had effectively conspired to try to disrupt or even end his presidency with false allegations about his campaign’s ties with Moscow in 2016. Peter Baker in the New York Times$ -- 3/26/19

Beltway 

Republicans block U.S. Senate Democrats' move on making Mueller report public -- U.S. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell on Monday blocked a second attempt by Democrats to pass a measure aimed at prodding the Justice Department to release to the public Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Richard Cowan Reuters -- 3/26/19

In shift, Trump administration backs judge’s ruling that would kill Obamacare -- The Trump administration on Monday said it supports a federal judge's ruling that the entire Affordable Care Act should be thrown out, signaling a shift in the Justice Department's position and alarming Democrats who vowed to oppose the move. Dan Diamond Politico -- 3/26/19

 

-- Monday Updates 

Bay Area voters: ‘Yes, we’ll pay to fix traffic’ but middling support for housing plan -- They’re the twin demons plaguing Bay Area residents: the never-ending grind of bumper-to-bumper traffic and the ever-climbing cost of housing. But in a recent poll, voters said that when it comes to tackling those most vexing issues, they are far more willing to open their wallets to fix traffic problems than they are to support a wide-ranging plan to bring down high housing costs. Erin Baldassari in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/25/19

Eminent domain threatened in Santa Cruz highway widening plans -- The City Council on Tuesday will consider taking the rare step of forcing a private River Street property owner to sell the city two properties integral to a planned highway interchange road widening project. Jessica A. York in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/25/19

Some Startup Founders Leave Silicon Valley ‘Bubble’ and Head East -- Silicon Valley has long been the epicenter of tech talent and investor cash, but startup founders who recently made the move to New York City say a Bay Area address isn’t necessary to start a successful tech firm. Kate King in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 3/25/19

Taylor: Bay Area’s housing crisis rolls on for UC Berkeley grad living in van -- Yesica Prado’s graduation stole hangs in her living room like a piece of art. She graduated from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism in May and now works as a freelance photographer and writer, reporting on homelessness. It’s a subject she knows a lot about. She lives in an RV. Otis R. Taylor Jr. in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/25/19

San Diegans could face two tax hikes to fund world-class transit system. But will they foot the bill? -- San Diegans will likely be asked in coming years to pay for a costly yet world-class public transit system — complete with a San Diego Grand Central, new rail lines and commute times that rival driving. Joshua Emerson Smith in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/25/19

As Trump tries to roll back clean water rules, California seeks stronger protections -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working to rein in the landmark law and halt what it sees as excessive oversight of small marshes, creeks and ponds, like the scores that spill across California’s farm country. State regulators are seeking to maintain and even expand watershed protections. They say too many waterways have been eaten up by human sprawl. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/25/19

Urban Shield, much-criticized police anti-terror training exercise, is dead -- The decision to defund the program followed an earlier 3-2 vote by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors on a resolution that called for the $1.5 million program to lose the Urban Shield name and its controversial vendors show, which exhibited the latest in police gadgetry, and to cut the SWAT team competitions from the exercise. Phil Matier in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/25/19

How bad are porch pirates in California? You might want to rethink those online purchases -- New report says Golden State rates No. 3 for most packages stolen from homes. Patrick May in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/25/19

California lawmakers will consider banning cosmetic genital surgery on intersex children -- River Gallo has prosthetic testes he says he never asked for and never wanted. Alice Alvarez says she should have been able to decide for herself before a doctor removed her testicles, which one did when she was an infant. Melody Gutierrez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/25/19

Pelosi wins breathing room on impeachment after Mueller findings -- The speaker appeared to be vindicated in urging Democrats to move slowly on impeachment. John Bresnahan and Heather Caygle Politico -- 3/25/19

Fox: Death Penalty Politics -- Gov. Gavin Newsom’s anti-death penalty position will not only intensify the politics of district attorney campaigns but may one-day reach as high as California Supreme Court retention elections. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 3/25/19