California Policy and Politics Friday  

DWP’s first inspector general leaves after seven months -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s first inspector general for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, who was hired in the wake of a massive contracting and legal scandal at the utility, is leaving after just seven months. Sergio Perez is stepping down next week to join the L.A. city controller’s office, Perez confirmed Thursday. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/2/22

Bass’ inauguration ceremony to be held Dec. 11 outside City Hall -- Mayor-elect Karen Bass will hold a public inauguration on Dec. 11 outside Los Angeles City Hall, one day before she officially takes office as the first woman elected to serve in the city’s top job, her campaign said Thursday. Julia Wick in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/2/22

Mayor-elect Karen Bass’ daughter ‘not seriously hurt’ in West Adams hit-and-run crash -- Bass, who will be sworn in as mayor later this month, said her daughter “was not seriously hurt and is home after being cared for at the hospital.” Bass did not identify which of her daughters was involved in the crash. Benjamin Oreskes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/2/22

Devin Nunes sues CNN (again) and Jake Tapper for defamation -- Former Congressman Devin Nunes has filed another lawsuit against CNN, this one over statements that one of its anchors, Jake Tapper, made about Republican reaction to the attack on Paul Pelosi. Gillian Brassil in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/2/22

Workplace   

Tech and biotech Bay Area job cuts: more than 7,600 in two months -- A two-month spree of brutal job cuts among tech and biotech firms has chopped more than 7,600 positions in the Bay Area, a forbidding trend that’s coming to light in official state labor notices. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/2/22

Layoffs Hit White-Collar Workers as Amazon, Walmart, Others Cut Jobs -- Recent rounds of layoffs at large U.S. companies mark a departure from the usual pattern as executives navigate fears of an economic slowdown: This time, white-collar workers have been among the first and hardest hit. Theo Francis and Emily Glazer in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 12/2/22

Education Workplace   

Striking UC student workers occupy chancellor’s office in Berkeley to push for deal -- Hundreds of student workers in the third week of a massive strike across the University of California system occupied the UC Berkeley chancellor’s office Thursday, disrupted a meeting of undergraduates and administrators and held sit-ins in buildings across campus as part of a series of planned actions up and down the state, union officials said. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/2/22

Twitter Workplace  

Twitter Offers Advertisers Generous Incentives After Many Marketers Left Platform -- Advertisers booking at least $500,000 in incremental spending would be matched, up to a $1 million cap. Patience Haggin in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 12/2/22

Homeless

‘Cold cement can mess up your bones’: S.F.’s homeless struggle amid California’s winter storm -- Plunging temperatures in San Francisco have made for downright dangerous conditions for people living on San Francisco’s streets, who are fighting to stay awake — and stay alive — in frigid, wet conditions. Nora Mishanec and Jack Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/2/22

Sacramento governments to open homeless shelter, mental health center under new agreement -- The city and county of Sacramento finally have a deal outlining each agency’s responsibilities for addressing homelessness, potentially ending a long-running impasse between them. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/2/22

Housing 

How much do you need to earn annually to afford a house in Los Angeles? -- The annual income needed to buy a home in Los Angeles skyrocketed past $220,000, a recent study found, with higher mortgage rates and inflation cutting deeper into household incomes. Salvador Hernandez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/2/22

Water  

California set for more brown lawns and water restrictions as state issues 5% allocation -- The Department of Water Resources announced an initial allocation of just 5% of requested supplies from the State Water Project. Hayley Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/2/22

COVID+  

L.A. County COVID surge raises prospect of return to indoor masking order -- Coronavirus case and hospitalization rates have risen dramatically in Los Angeles County, which on Thursday reentered the medium COVID-19 community level for the first time since the end of the summer Omicron wave. Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/2/22

Street  

Will a baby’s reported fentanyl overdose be a ‘wake-up’ call for S.F.’s leaders on the drug crisis? -- City Hall leaders said they are outraged by the reported fentanyl overdose of a baby at a Marina playground on Tuesday and vowed to step up San Francisco’s response to its escalating drug crisis in light of the disturbing incident. J.D. Morris, Mallory Moench, Annie Vainshtein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/2/22

Judge dismisses felony charges against 48 CHP officers in East L.A. overtime scheme -- The officers, who satisfied conditions of a diversion program and paid restitution, were among 54 charged with exaggerating the hours they worked on Caltrans protection details. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/2/22

Education  

Political rancor has had chilling effect on public education, survey finds -- Uncivil discourse and hostile political rhetoric have seeped into the nation’s classrooms, leading to declines in support for teaching about race and racism, and sizable growth in harassment of LGBTQ youth, according to a survey of high school principals released this week. Diana Lambert EdSource -- 12/2/22

Can trees reduce pollution at schools next to freeways? A Fresno campus tries plantings -- At first glance, the 60 trees that border Tehipite Middle School in Fresno may not look like much. Only a few years old, they are still short and thin, some supported by wooden poles on each side. Ashleigh Panoo EdSource -- 12/2/22

10 students treated for suspected overdoses at Van Nuys Middle School -- An L.A. Fire Department official said 10 students ages 12 to 14 were evaluated for suspected overdoses and found to be in “mild to moderate distress.” Seven were transported to local hospitals, and three were released at the scene. Christian Martinez, Nathan Solis, Genaro Molina in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/2/22

Also . . .   

Skywriting was a dying art, but it’s taking off again. Here’s why -- Romance, culture wars and corporate promotions play out above our heads as skywriting and other aerial advertising boom. Social media is the driver. Ronald D. White in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/2/22

 

Thursday Updates   

Sheriff-elect Robert Luna picks department’s first female interim undersheriff -- Incoming Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said on Wednesday, Nov. 30, that April Tardy, a 28-year department veteran, will serve as his interim undersheriff, becoming the first woman to hold the position in the history of the sheriff’s department. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 12/1/22

Assemblyman Ken Cooley was an incumbent Democrat in liberal California. So how did he lose? -- “Redistricting happened. That district became much more conservative,” said Susan McEntire of the Assembly Democrats, which worked to get Democrats elected. “It is a much more purple district than it was for Ken Cooley’s last 10 years.” Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/1/22

California Panel Sizes Up Reparations for Black Citizens -- The state is undertaking the nation’s most ambitious effort so far to compensate for the economic legacy of slavery and racism. Kurtis Lee in the New York Times$ -- 12/1/22

Contractor: Golden Gate Bridge suicide net will cost $400M -- A suicide prevention net on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge that is already years behind schedule will cost about $400 million, more than double its original price, because of problems sparked by the government agency that manages the span, the lead contractors allege. Olga R. Rodriguez Associated Press -- 12/1/22

Education Workplace   

University of California Strike Continues for Third Week as Finals Near -- Nearly 50,000 academic workers picketed 10 University of California campuses for a third week, generating uncertainty around final exams which are scheduled to begin next week, even as a quarter of the strikers reached a tentative deal this week. Douglas Belkin and Alicia A. Caldwell in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 12/1/22

Covina-Valley school district teachers strike is averted with tentative agreement -- Teachers union leaders called off a strike set for today at the Covina-Valley Unified School District after reaching a tentative agreement late Wednesday night with officials of the 13,400-student school system. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/1/22

Twitter Workplace   

From quitting to blocking: How to protect yourself on Musk’s Twitter -- Whether they stay or go, Twitter users are wondering what a Musk-owned platform will mean for online harassment, misinformation and democracy. More immediately, they are worried about the their own data on the service, backing up or deleting their accounts, or staying safe while sticking around. Heather Kelly in the Washington Post$ -- 12/1/22

Water  

Officials fear ‘complete doomsday scenario’ for drought-stricken Colorado River -- A once-unfathomable scenario — Lake Powell dropping to historic lows and shutting down power generators that serve millions — could start as soon as July. Joshua Partlow in the Washington Post$ -- 12/1/22

Guns  

Personal data from 190,000 concealed weapon permits exposed by California DOJ, probe finds -- Personal information from concealed weapon permits was downloaded from a California Department of Justice “Firearms Dashboard” more than 2,700 times before it was removed this summer, according to an investigation commissioned by the agency. Stephen Hobbs in the Sacramento Bee$ Adam Beam Associated Press -- 12/1/22

Wildfire  

By the numbers: California’s mild 2022 wildfire season -- As California emerges from its “peak” wildfire season, the state has managed to avoid its recent plague of catastrophic wildfires. So far in 2022, the fewest acres have burned since 2019. Julie Cart CalMatters -- 12/1/22

COVID+  

Pandemic stress prematurely aged teens’ brains, Stanford study finds -- By comparing MRI scans from children taken before the pandemic with scans from other kids taken during the pandemic, the study found that changes in brain structure that occur naturally with age sped up in adolescents as they experienced the COVID-19 lockdowns. John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury$ Katherine Reynolds Lewis in the Washington Post$ -- 12/1/22

Concern grows over winter coronavirus spike in Los Angeles County -- Hospitals are seeing significantly larger numbers of patients with COVID-19, as Los Angeles County reports 4,353 new cases on Wednesday, Nov. 30., a surge in daily infections from Tuesday, when 2,370 new cases were found. Steve Scauzillo, Clara Harter in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 12/1/22

Healthcare  

Stanford partnered with a major Bay Area hospital to treat critically ill kids. Four of them died -- The deaths of four children at John Muir Health in Walnut Creek raise questions about whether it traded on the Stanford brand to woo patients and boost profits without being able to provide top-notch care. Cynthia Dizikes, Matthias Gafni and Dan Kopf in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/1/22

No Strings  

$1,000 a month, no strings attached: Anti-poverty experiment comes to Silicon Valley -- For many struggling South Bay families, getting an extra $1,000 a month with no strings attached would seem too good to be true. But for 150 households lucky enough to be chosen for a new guaranteed income experiment in Santa Clara County, that’s exactly what’s happening. Marisa Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/1/22

Street  

Corrections officers shoot, kill two inmates during fight at Northern California prison -- Two prisoners who were said to be attacking a third inmate were killed by prison guards at the High Desert State Prison near Susanville. Nathan Solis in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/1/22

A catfishing cop came to California and killed their family. They have an urgent message for parents -- Family members of three slain Riverside residents -- two grandparents and a single mom -- implored parents to protect their children after a Virginia cop catfished and “groomed” a 15-year-old daughter of one of the victims, killed her family and set fire to their home. Summer Lin, Grace Toohey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/1/22

Fentanyl poisoning confirmed in death of Northern California jail inmate, sheriff says -- A Northern California jail inmate died last month of fentanyl poisoning, sheriff’s officials announced following the completion of a toxicology report. The inmate, identified as Matthew D. Perez, suffered a medical emergency at the Yuba County Jail in Marysville on Nov. 2, the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/1/22

The 3-minute heist wreaking havoc on the Bay Area is only getting worse -- An average of 1,600 times a month, thieves use handheld power saws to cut catalytic converters from the undersides of cars and trucks across California, including ones parked everywhere from private driveways to secured parking lots. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/1/22

Education  

Stanford investigated for bias against men -- The complaint, filed by Kursat Pekgoz, a men’s rights activist and CEO of a Turkish real estate company and James Moore, a Stanford alumnus and emeritus professor at USC, said the university offers several programs that cater to women, but no equivalents for men, according to Forbes. Danielle Echeverria in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/1/22

Also . . .   

Amazon Go opens in Woodland Hills with ‘Just Walk Out’ technology -- The store will offer a wide selection of grab-and-go food and beverage items, as well as everyday essentials. Kevin Smith in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 12/1/22