Aaron Read
Olson Hagel
Capitol Weekly
CA Leg Analyst

Updating . .   

PG&E, under siege after mass power shut-offs, stands its ground -- PG&E Corp. admits it made big mistakes while cutting power to parts of more than 30 counties across California this month. But the perennially embattled San Francisco company does not regret shutting off hundreds of thousands of customer accounts. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/20/19

Gov. Newsom’s cautious approach on California marijuana bums out cannabis advocates -- Gov. Gavin Newsom led the campaign to legalize marijuana in California three years ago but has since angered some in the industry by refusing to allow pot in hospitals and outlawing its use on tour buses and in limousines. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/20/19

California braces for deluge of child sex-assault lawsuits under new law -- Matt Smyth’s secret was revealed his senior year of high school with a knock on the front door of his family’s Fallbrook, Calif., home. Two plainclothes sheriff’s detectives were investigating reports that Smyth’s former assistant scoutmaster — the one who’d driven kids to Boy Scout meetings, chaperoned camp outs and hosted fishing outings on his bucolic property — had molested several boys. Kristina Davis in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/20/19

SF voters will weigh $600 million affordable housing bond, the biggest in city history -- There’s a thorny problem at the heart of San Francisco’s efforts to build more affordable housing for low- and middle-income people: If the city stands any chance of creating more of it, it’s going to need money — a lot of it. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/20/19

H-1B: Uber snatches up more foreign-worker visas as it lays off hundreds of employees -- Uber has doubled the number of government approvals it has received to hire foreign workers through the controversial H-1B visa this year, while laying off hundreds of skilled employees, state and federal data show. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/20/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Company at center of insurance commissioner’s contributions scandal sold without California approval -- The insurance conglomerate behind tens of thousands of dollars in political donations to California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has been sold — even though state regulators say they have not approved the transaction. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/20/19

Kaiser clinicians and patients protest long appointment waits and not enough providers -- Kaiser Permanente therapists, social workers and patients from throughout the Bay Area gathered in front of the health care nonprofit’s Oakland headquarters on Saturday to call for more providers and shorter patient wait times, which they say can be a month or longer between appointments. Leonardo Castañeda in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/20/19

Willie Brown: Trump to America: Yeah, so what? -- “Give me liberty or give me death.” Patrick Henry, 1775. “Get over it.” Mick Mulvaney, 2019. My, how far we have come. Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/20/19

Disaster disparity: California spreads emergency training to diverse communities -- Cliff Gooden rushes to save a rubber dummy — an elderly man for the purposes of this training demonstration — trapped under a ceiling beam that has fallen during an earthquake. Dustin Gardiner in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/20/19

Southern California back on fire watch as dangerous winds return; red flag warnings expanded -- The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning for Santa Barbara County’s south coast and mountain regions that remains in effect through Sunday night. The Real fire near Goleta started Thursday and burned 420 acres. It is now 50% contained. There, so-called sundowner winds were expected to combine with low humidity and dry brush to increase the threat of wildfires. Alex Wigglesworth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/20/19

S.F. Mayor Breed Orders Inmates Moved From Seismically Unsafe County Jail by 2021 -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Thursday announced a plan to shut down the county jail on Bryant Street within two years and relocate its roughly 300 inmates. The order follows years of warnings that the structure could crumble in a major earthquake. Kate Wolffe KQED -- 10/20/19


The cannabis industry — legal and illegal — is booming in California. The resulting feuds are tearing the Anza Valley apart -- Like the pungent aroma of the fall's cannabis harvest, feuds over how to confront the explosion of unlicensed marijuana grows are permeating the remote Southern California agricultural enclave of Anza Valley. Disagreements in this close-knit community have devolved into what one grower calls a "Hatfield-and-McCoy reality," where residents call law enforcement on their neighbors, inciting a culture war of sorts, spawning fights over policing, rural life, water and even immigration. Sam Metz in the Palm Springs Desert Sun -- 10/20/19


Like in Alaska, salmon draw in bears on Tahoe creeks -- At a small creek that feeds Lake Tahoe, you can see how spawning kokanee salmon are drawing in hungry bears to feast before they face a long winter. Tom Stienstra in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/20/19

Also . . . 

Du Tu Le, beloved Vietnamese poet who came to U.S. as a refugee, dies -- Du Tu Le, a towering literary figure in Vietnam and in the cities and towns across America where the waves of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants settled after the fall of Saigon, has died at his home in Garden Grove, leaving behind 77 volumes of poetry — one for each year of his life. Anh Do in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/20/19

One year alone at sea: Solo sailor returns to the Bay Area -- Randall Reeves was exhausted. The Oakland resident had been hand-steering his 45-foot aluminum sailboat through the perilous Northwest Passage for several days, dodging icebergs and trying to stay alert on three hours of sleep a day. Gregory Thomas in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/20/19

POTUS 45  

After backlash, Trump says his Doral resort won’t host G-7 summit -- After days of relentless criticism, President Donald Trump abruptly reversed course late Saturday when he announced he would scrap plans to hold next year’s G-7 gathering of world leaders at one of his family’s resorts. Anita Kumar and Evan Semones Politico Katie Rogers and Eric Lipton in the New York Times$ -- 10/20/19

Trump’s season of weakness: A president who prizes strength enters key stretch in a fragile state -- Trump now finds himself mired in a season of weakness. Foreign leaders feel emboldened to reject his pleas or to contradict him. Officials inside his administration are openly defying his wishes by participating in the impeachment probe. Federal courts have ruled against him. Republican lawmakers are criticizing him. He has lost control over major conservative media organs. Polling shows that Americans increasingly disapprove of his job performance and support his impeachment. Philip Rucker in the Washington Post$ -- 10/20/19


Inside the Closed-Door House Impeachment Meetings -- Republicans say witnesses should be testifying in public, while Democrats say there are good reasons to keep them private for now. Natalie Andrews in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 10/20/19


-- Saturday Updates 

70,000 California wildfire victims may miss out on payments -- As many as 100,000 Californians are eligible to receive payments for the damages they suffered from a series of devastating wildfires over the last several years. But tens of thousands of them have not sought compensation. They face a Monday deadline to file claims against Pacific Gas & Electric, the utility blamed for many of the fires and required to cover a wide range of wildfire-related losses as part of its bankruptcy plan. Daisy Nguyen Associated Press -- 10/19/19

Saddleridge fire: Four years after giant leak, flames at Aliso Canyon fuel critics, even as SoCal Gas can’t find damage -- Craig Galanti was leaving his home last Friday night, Oct. 11, with his wife and son after authorities issued mandatory evacuations for his Porter Ranch community during the Saddleridge fire. He watched as a glow of flames from the blaze painted the horizon orange. He couldn’t help but have a sense of déjà vu. Olga Grigoryants in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 10/19/19

With $10-million haul, Trump outraises Democratic challengers in California -- No 2020 candidate raised more in California over the last three months than President Trump. He pulled in nearly $10.8 million from donors of $200 or more disclosed in campaign filings this week. Maloy Moore in the Los Angeles Times$ Eric Ting in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/19/19

California bill to boost housing in suburbs gets new life. Newsom may back it -- When state Sen. Scott Wiener revives his contentious bid to allow more small to medium-size apartment buildings around public transit and in wealthy suburbs, the San Francisco Democrat could have some hefty additional muscle behind his effort. Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/19/19

SF ballot measure intended to limit ‘pay-to-play’ politics -- As spending on San Francisco’s elections reaches staggering heights, supporters of a November ballot measure want voters to have a better idea of who’s funding the campaign ads that inundate their mailboxes, TVs and social media feeds. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/19/19

Rep. Mike Levin raises twice as much as opponent, Brian Maryott, during 3rd quarter -- The northern San Diego County- southern Orange County congressional seat held by Rep. Mike Levin is likely the only seat in the San Diego delegation Republicans stand a chance of flipping in 2020. But if fundraising numbers are any indication, that is looking like an increasingly difficult task. Charles T. Clark in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/19/19

Lopez: Learning Spanish at a Boyle Heights hair salon reminds me what I love about L.A. -- I don’t like to think of it as a bucket list, but I do have a few things I’d like to get to before my name appears in the obit section of the newspaper. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/19/19

Lelyveld: They came to L.A. to chase a Hollywood dream. Two weeks later, they were homeless -- So many people come to L.A. carrying little else but big dreams. One misstep, one con, one stroke of bad luck can be all it takes to derail them. I recently met a young couple from Detroit whose journey here started with great hope. Nita Lelyveld in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/19/19