California Policy and Politics Wednesday Morning  

Flex Alert: Californians urged to conserve power Wednesday amid expected hot forecast -- California ISO officials are urging consumers to reduce their usage between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday as temperatures are forecast to be in the mid-90s to low-100s in many inland portions of the state throughout the day. Joel Umanzor in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Jason Green in the San Jose Mercury$ Quinn Wilson in the Orange County Register Gregory Yee in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/22

Policy and Politics  

Q&A with Brooke Jenkins: San Francisco D.A weighs in on the recall controversy and her new opponents -- Just over a month after Mayor London Breed appointed her, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins is in a San Francisco political maelstrom — partly of her own making — that underscores the growing local and national profile of the office she wrestled away from Chesa Boudin. Megan Cassidy, Heather Knight, Demian Bulwa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/17/22

Former Rep. TJ Cox of Fresno indicted on charges of fraud and money laundering -- The indictment alleges that Cox siphoned at least $1.7 million from companies he owned into off-the-books accounts and used some of the money to fund more than $25,000 in illegal straw donations to his congressional campaign. Christian Martinez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/22

Activists sue for the right to protest Caruso’s campaign at the Grove -- Two activists are suing real estate developer Rick Caruso’s company for the right to protest against the mayoral candidate at his flagship shopping mall. Julia Wick in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/22

Walters: California dodges Colorado River water cutbacks -- One cannot overstate the importance of Colorado River water in the evolution of Southern California from a collection of small cities and villages into a megaregion of 20-plus million people — more than the population of all but three states. Dan Walters CalMatters -- 8/17/22

Workplace   

Starbucks workers in S.F. Castro location say yes to unionizing -- Just months after employees at a Santa Cruz Starbucks location became the first to unionize in California, employees at a San Francisco store voted to unionize Tuesday, making them the first San Francisco Starbucks workers to do so. Jordan Parker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/17/22

Homeless

Homeless activists sue Sacramento to block ballot measure that would allow sweeps -- A group of Sacramento homeless activists is suing the city of Sacramento, urging a judge to pull a measure from the November election that would empower officials to clear certain encampments. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/17/22

Water  

San Diego avoids water cuts as federal deadline passes for deal on Colorado River -- San Diegans on Tuesday continued to avoid any immediate repercussions from the 22-year megadrought that has ravaged the Colorado River, threatening the water supply of 40 million people across the American West. Joshua Emerson Smith in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/17/22

Monkeypox  

Stanford monkeypox case raises questions about transmission beyond sexual networks -- A man who recently sought care for monkeypox at Stanford did not report sexual contact or lesions on the anus or genitals — an unusual case that highlights the need to better understand how the virus may be spreading beyond sexual networks. Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/17/22

Monkeypox in Sacramento County surpasses 100 cases as Yolo County announces first case -- The county’s monkeypox dashboard rose to 103 probable or confirmed cases, a 64% increase from 13 days ago when the county had counted 63 cases and 10 more cases were disclosed compared to Monday. The item is in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/17/22

Street  

South African musician alleges racial profiling at Napa Valley restaurant -- Goose & Gander, a longtime St. Helena restaurant, has been accused of racial profiling by renowned South African singer-songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Butler. Jess Lander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/17/22

Asian Americans are buying guns in record numbers. What's caused this surge? -- Vivian Moon, a real estate agent and artist, had never felt particularly afraid as a woman living alone in Buena Park, a small California city outside Los Angeles. But when violent attacks against Asian women and seniors increased across the US early last year, she became disillusioned with the police’s ability – and willingness – to protect people who looked like her. Claire Wang The Guardian -- 8/17/22

Hate crimes in Los Angeles this year could again set records, report finds -- The analysis found that hate crimes against Black, transgender and LGBTQ Angelenos this year were all up significantly compared with the first six months of 2021, according to an analysis of Los Angeles Police Department data by Crosstown, USC’s nonprofit data-driven news outlet. Grace Toohey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/22

Education  

Nearly $4 billion in federal student loan debt canceled for former ITT Tech students -- The decision came after federal investigations found that the school, which shut down in 2016, had defrauded hundreds of thousands of students with false claims about their ability to get jobs or transfer credits and lied about the accreditation of its nursing program. Jonah Valdez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/22

A movement rises to change the teaching of reading -- Scientists, teachers, and parents battle over the best way to teach reading amid a literacy crisis. Karen D'Souza EdSource -- 8/17/22

Environment  

Infamous Muir Woods ‘tightrope bridge’ will finally be replaced at cost of $2 million -- The Dipsea Race, a famous mountain route from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, comes down a steep series of steps and into Redwood Creek in lower Muir Woods. The only way across that creek is a 2-foot-wide, 30-foot-long wooden plank, necessitating a single-file tightrope walk for some 1,500 racers. Sam Whiting in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/17/22

Also . . .   

Disneyland raises Magic Key annual pass prices up to 16% -- The new prices for the four Disneyland Magic Key annual passes: Inspire $1,599, Believe $1,099, Enchant $699 and Imagine $449. Magic Key costs will increase $200 (14%) for the Inspire Key compared to the former Dream Key, $150 (16%) for the Believe Key, $50 (8%) for the Enchant Key and $50 (13%) Imagine Key, which is available only to Southern California residents. Brady MacDonald in the San Jose Mercury$ Hugo Martín in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/22

At 95, Gina Lollobrigida, icon from Hollywood’s Golden Age, to run for Senate in Italy -- The 95-year-old actor is running as part of the Sovereign and Populist Italy (ISP) party. The political faction was founded in July and described by Marco Rizzo, one of the party’s leaders, as “the only alternative against the liberal, warmongering and sanitary totalitarianism.” Carlos De Loera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/22

Nipsey Hussle gets Hollywood star on what would have been his 37th birthday -- Hussle, born Airmiess Joseph Asghedom, was a Grammy-nominated rapper, entrepreneur and philanthropist who was fatally shot in 2019 outside the Marathon Clothing store he owned in South Los Angeles. Jonathan Franklin NPR -- 8/17/22

 

Updates   

Gavin Newsom clashes with with California environmentalists on climate, water -- The word got out and the environmental lobby was quick to pounce: After years of silence on the issue, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration was reviving a controversial plan to burrow a tunnel beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the fragile hub of California’s water-delivery system. Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/16/22

California lawmakers use secretive process to kill would-be laws: ‘Where good bills go to die’ -- Twice a year, a legislative instrument called the suspense file leaves many lawmakers, lobbyists and members of the public seething. Appropriations committees in the Senate and Assembly use it to kill or quietly amend bills before they can reach the floor. Andrew Sheeler, Lindsey Holden, and Stephen Hobbs in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/16/22

Devin Nunes has to turn over details on his job for Trump’s company in lawsuit he started -- More details about former Congressman Devin Nunes’ assumption of Truth Social could be revealed as part of a lawsuit that he filed against a magazine company. Gillian Brassil in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/16/22

Caruso touts support of Hollywood, while his firm battles studio expansion near the Grove -- As a candidate for mayor, real estate developer Rick Caruso has spoken of the need to keep entertainment productions within the city of Los Angeles. Julia Wick, David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/16/22

Wildfire  

Stalled U.S. Forest Service project could have protected California town from Caldor Fire destruction -- Before the Caldor Fire sparked one year ago this week — before its 150-foot flames devoured century-old ponderosa pines in California’s Sierra Nevada, and before it destroyed more than 400 of the 600 homes in Grizzly Flats — Mark Almer had a plan. Scott Rodd, George LeVines, Emily Zentner Capital Public Radio -- 8/16/22

Water  

Four things to know about Colorado River water in California -- Southern California water districts are grappling with what the fallout could look like if supplies from a critical source — the rapidly drying Colorado River — are cut next year. Rachel Becker CalMatters -- 8/16/22

Street  

Shifting stories, sudden amnesia mark Kobe Bryant crash photos trial testimony -- When he took the stand Monday in the trial over photos of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Rafael Mejia said he didn’t know whether victims’ bodies had been visible in photos sent to him by another deputy. Alene Tchekmedyian, Michael Finnegan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/16/22

Education  

L.A.’s back-to-school challenges: low test scores, scramble for teachers, missing students -- Los Angeles school officials began the new school year Monday with a sense of urgency over the pending release of low and declining standardized test scores, a scramble to get the best professionals helping students and the ongoing search for an estimated 20,000 “missing” students. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/16/22

Nearly 50,000 students absent on first day as LAUSD deals with chronic absenteeism -- About 11% of students enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School District were no-shows on the first day of school, underscoring the fact that more work needs to be done to re-engage those students, the district said Monday, Aug. 15. Linh Tat, Christina Merino in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/16/22

Back-to-school in San Francisco: Data shows severity of teacher shortage, absenteeism, low reading scores -- But as San Francisco’s 49,000 students pour into classrooms for the first day of school Wednesday, the district will once again be juggling the ongoing fallout from the pandemic, financial woes, a bug-infested payroll system and a teacher shortage, among other challenges. Jill Tucker, Alex K. Fong in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/16/22

California schools face avalanche of changes -- One of the biggest shifts: a state law that went into effect July 1 requiring middle schools to start no earlier than 8 a.m. and high schools no later than 8:30 a.m, though campuses can also offer “zero period” classes earlier in the morning. Emily Hoeven CalMatters -- 8/16/22

UC admissions drop overall, but more California residents invited to attend -- Despite receiving more applications than last year, the University of California system admitted just shy of 125,600 freshmen this year — a 5% drop from the 132,353 invited to enroll in 2021, according to preliminary findings shared by UC. Katie Lauer in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/16/22

Breathe  

These satellite images show wildfire smoke approaching the Bay Area. How bad will it get? -- Satellite images captured Tuesday morning showed low clouds and fog along the coast, but also lots of smoke from wildfires across the state, the organization said. The latest forecast also shows that smoke is likely headed for the bay in potentially high levels. Emma Talley in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/16/22

Environment  

Santa Susana activists, residents slam Regional Water Board’s agreement with Boeing: ‘Huge tragedy’ -- The battle over cleanup of the contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory land and its runoff is far from over, critics say. Olga Grigoryants in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/16/22

Monkeypox  

Does decades-old smallpox vaccination protect against monkeypox? -- Health officials are scrambling to stretch scarce doses of vaccine to slow the mounting monkeypox outbreak, but do older people already vaccinated as kids for the related but deadlier smallpox virus already have protection? John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/16/22

COVID  

Why a Century-Old Vaccine Offers New Hope Against Pathogens -- In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when prevention seemed light years away, several scientists launched trials to see whether a tuberculosis vaccine developed in the early 1900s might protect people by bolstering the immune system. Roni Caryn Rabin in the New York Times$ -- 8/16/22

Also . . .   

Where do San Francisco’s Millennials move to the city from? Here’s what the data says -- Where do San Francisco’s Millennials move here from? Mostly other places in California. But many moved from other large cities like Seattle, Chicago and New York, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. And young adults from a couple of places, Hawaii and Boston, arrived in numbers far larger than their populations would suggest. Susie Neilson in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/16/22

Monkey see, monkey do: Monkey dials 911 at San Luis Obispo County zoo -- A monkey at the Zoo to You in Paso Robles called 911 over the weekend, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office. Dispatchers got a 911 call Saturday night that had disconnected, and tried to text and call back but got no response, according to a Sheriff’s Office social media post. Summer Lin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/16/22