Winning Mega Millions ticket purchased in San Jose, officials say -- A California Mega Millions winning ticket was purchased in San Jose and matched all six numbers in the lucrative jackpot, lottery officials announced Tuesday night. Robert J. Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

L.A. Sheriff admits wrongly hiring about 80 problem officers -- Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials in 2010 hired about 80 people they shouldn't have because of serious problems in their backgrounds, a department official acknowledged Tuesday. Robert Faturechi and Ben Poston in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

Facebook can see what users type even if status is not posted -- Facebook has said that it is within its terms of service to see what users are typing even when the status or comment is never posted on the social network. Salvador Rodriguez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

Feinstein: Let Supreme Court decide whether NSA surveillance unconstitutional --Sen. Dianne Feinstein — chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — has been one of the defenders of the NSA surveillance program in Washington, but after hearing a federal court judge call the program “unconstitutional” “indiscriminate” and “arbitrary” this week, DiFi now wants the Supreme Court to decide whether it’s legit. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/17/13

Michelle Rhee's consultant introduces California ballot measure -- A ballot measure submitted by a political consultant for education advocate Michelle Rhee seeks to remove seniority as a factor when California school districts lay off teachers, requiring that they instead base decisions on performance ratings. Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/17/13

Jerry Brown, urged to run for president, won't rule out 2016 bid -- If he weren’t the nation’s oldest governor, a ripe 75, Jerry Brown would automatically be counted among serious Democratic candidates for president in 2016. Mark Z. Barabak in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

Obamacare and Me, California-style -- As a 50-something, self-employed California resident repeatedly denied health insurance through the private market, I was looking forward to getting covered by the Affordable Care Act. Herbert A. Sample California Health Report -- 12/17/13

Next Obamacare crisis: Small-business costs? -- Think the canceled health policies hurt the Obamacare cause? There’s another political time bomb lurking that could explode not too long before next year’s elections: rate hikes for small businesses. David Nather Politico -- 12/17/13

Fewer than 20% of Blue Shield customers extend health coverage -- Given the choice, fewer than 20% of Blue Shield of California customers with canceled policies opted for a three-month extension of their current health plans. Chad Terhune in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

Big Sur fire grows slightly to 550 acres; 5 percent contained -- A wildfire in the Pfeiffer Ridge area along California's iconic Big Sur coast grew slightly overnight and is now 5 percent contained, officials said Tuesday morning. Virginia Hennessey, Phillip Molnar, Paul Rogers and Larry Parsons in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/17/13

Fox: F&H Daily’s Fifth Annual Black Bart Award Week -- For the past four years frequent contributors to this page Joe Mathews, John Wildermuth and I have nominated candidates for Californian of the Year in the world of politics. We name the final selection the winner of the Black Bart Award. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 12/17/13

Wildermuth: Chuck Reed Takes Pension Reform to Public -- In politics, if you’re not making someone mad, you’re not doing your job. When a person is elected, we expect him or her to decide what the important problems are and then work to fix them, regardless of whose toes get stepped on. John Wildermuth Fox & Hounds -- 12/17/13

Jerry Brown ponders 'those guys on horses' -- When Gov. Jerry Brown arrived in Mountain View for a speaking engagement Monday, he had on his mind two statues on the west pediment of the state Capitol building, architectural elements he said he "noticed for the first time" at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony last week. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/17/13

The new Washington Post-ABC News poll has one very bad number for Obama -- The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll asked respondents whether they trust Obama or the Republicans in Congress to do a better job "coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years." Forty-one percent said they trusted Obama. Forty-one percent said they trusted Republicans in Congress. Ezra Klein in the Washington Post$ -- 12/17/13

Haters gonna hate. But they plan to vote Republican -- Meet the haters. We’re talking about the voters who’ve had it with all Washington politicians: President Obama, congressional Republicans and congressional Democrats. Despite their distaste for, well, everyone, when push comes to shove, these voters are lining up squarely behind GOP candidates for Congress. Sean Sullivan and Scott Clement in the Washington Post$ -- 12/17/13

  California Policy and Politics This Morning

Sen. Kevin De Leon denies role in contribution to Calderon group -- State Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) on Monday formally denied involvement in a controversial contribution to a nonprofit linked to state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello). Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

Gov. Jerry Brown opposes government-imposed standards for schools -- In an on-stage interview, the California governor says some educational experiences can't be captured in standardized testing. Anthony York in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

Jerry Brown 'haunted' by high school test question about a leaf -- Gov. Jerry Brown has made his displeasure with standardized school tests plain any number of times since taking office in 2011. On Monday, by way of explanation, he offered his story about a leaf. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/17/13

Jerry Brown calls for federal unemployment funding extension -- With Congress apparently close to a budget agreement that does not include an extension of federal unemployment insurance benefits, Gov. Jerry Brown urged House and Senate leaders to reconsider. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/17/13

Brown says California on track, future bright -- California could be a model for national economic growth after cutting public programs, raising taxes on the wealthy and continuing to invest in infrastructure, California Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday. Associated Press -- 12/17/13

Jerry Brown's murderer parole record reverses past governors' -- Even though legal controversy remains over how long convicted murderers must remain in prison before a state parole board decides they can safely be released, the odds of those people seeing freedom have greatly increased under Gov. Jerry Brown. Paige St. John in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

California agrees to set minimum terms for murderers -- Facing allegations that California keeps convicted murderers and others serving life-with-parole terms in prison an excessive time, the state has agreed to set initial minimum sentences for those inmates. Paige St. John in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

New report gives access to California local government pay -- California's highest paid city employee last year was the city manager of Buena Park, who was paid $545,394 in 2012, according to the latest compilation of local salary data by state Controller John Chiang's office. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/17/13

Covered California: Some October enrollment numbers were wrong -- The agency said it had mistakenly transposed the numbers in two categories: the people who bought plans with federal subsidies, and those who bought unsubsidized policies. Paul Glickman KPCC -- 12/17/13

California groups report strategies, challenges of plugging Obamacare -- Freebies and refreshments were effective enticement tools. Wordy brochures and door hangers didn’t work as well. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/17/13

Brown Praises Calif. Obamacare Rollout, Credits Prop 25 for Budget Health -- Speaking at an event in Silicon Valley Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown declared California's Affordable Care Act rollout to be going "better" than the national effort and said the federal government should follow his state's budget strategy. Ben Adler Capital Public Radio -- 12/17/13

Jerry Brown on California Health Care Roll-Out: 'Satisfaction Would Be Too Strong a Word' -- As states rolled out new marketplaces for buying health care insurance this fall, California got mixed reviews. Emma Green The Atlantic -- 12/17/13

Walters: Redevelopment, CEQA reform are intertwined issues for 2014 -- Seemingly, devising a replacement for redevelopment and overhauling the California Environmental Quality Act are two discrete legislative issues. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/17/13

Billionaire to push California lawmakers for oil tax -- Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer said Monday that he will launch a campaign next year urging California lawmakers to approve taxes on companies that extract oil in the state. Juliet Williams Associated Press Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

San Diego water war moves to court -- A judge will hear arguments on Tuesday to determine whether the Metropolitan Water District overcharges the San Diego County Water Authority by millions of dollars every year and in doing so subsidizes cheaper rates for users across the rest of Southern California. Michael Gardner UT San Diego$ -- 12/17/13

Rules Would Let Transgender Athletes Compete in California -- The State of California is considering new rules that could allow transgender athletes to compete in boxing, kick-boxing and mixed martial arts events. Katie Orr Capital Public Radio -- 12/17/13

2 sheriff's officials accused of recording encounter with FBI agent -- Prosecutors in conspiracy case say L.A. County sheriff's sergeants secretly recorded confrontation outside investigator's home. Jack Leonard and Robert Faturechi in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

San Jose, once nation's safest big city, sees crime rate surpass U.S. average and arrests plummet -- The new data come as the six major candidates for mayor each jockey to make public safety their top priority heading into the wide-open June primary, while police officers continue to flee San Jose for better paying jobs elsewhere. Mike Rosenberg in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/17/13

Assemblyman wants public to take DIY approach to drafting a bill -- Assemblyman Mike Gatto has promised to introduce in the California State Legislature whatever bill the public collectively drafts using a wiki — an editing platform that allows people to contribute and edit content in a shared online space. Sharon McNary KPCC Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

Anaheim Latinos Outraged Over Blogger's Post -- A conservative blogger funded by the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce posted a photo ridiculing the mourning rituals for young Latino men shot and killed by police, triggering outrage from mothers whose sons were killed by officers. Adam Elmahrek VoiceofOC.org -- 12/17/13

Obama to meet with high-tech CEOs on HealthCare.gov, NSA -- President Obama will meet Tuesday with some of the nation's leading high-tech executives to discuss how to improve HealthCare.gov and the federal IT contracting system, along with his administration's approach to national security, a White House official said. Juliet Eilperin in the Washington Post$ Josh Richman Political Blotter Carla Marinucci in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/17/13

  Economy, Employers and Employees

New Sacramento arena would get Kings patrons off the road, report finds -- A downtown Sacramento arena would not cause substantial traffic jams on game nights, thanks to the strength of the city core’s street and freeway system and the likelihood that 10 to 15 percent of patrons will walk or take transit to events, says an author of a draft study released Monday by the city and the Sacramento Kings. Tony Bizjak and Ryan Lillis in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/17/13

Sacramento Medical Device Makers Have Mixed Views On Obamacare Tax -- The Sacramento region has a thriving medical device industry with about 70 companies doing business in the field. Some of them have faced a new tax this year under the Affordable Care Act. Pauline Bartolone Capital Public Radio -- 12/17/13

Sutter Health, Anthem reach agreement -- Sutter Health and Anthem Blue Cross have hammered out a new agreement for Sutter to continue with Anthem in 2014. In November, Anthem alarmed 33,000 HMO customers by sending letters warning them that a contract with the Sacramento health system was expiring Jan. 1, and that they’d have to choose new doctors. Melissa Wiese Sacramento Business Journal -- 12/17/13

Southern California home prices flat, sales fall in November -- The median sales price for all homes in the six-county region inched up 0.3% from October to $385,000, research firm DataQuick said Monday. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

Slamming door on one Oakland stadium plan, Lew Wolff opens door to another -- A's co-owner Lew Wolff said an Oakland waterfront ballpark plan won't work, but in a departure from prior statements, he says a stadium at the Coliseum site might be doable. Matthew Artz in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/17/13


UC Berkeley prof says its future is as a 'finishing school for the superrich of Asia' -- The University of California, Berkeley, has chosen to become "a finishing school for the superrich of Asia" in order to survive financially, argues one of its employees, Economics Prof. Brad DeLong. Steven E.F. Brown San Francisco Business Times -- 12/17/13

San Francisco considers eliminating ‘willful defiance’ as reason for suspensions -- Suspensions and expulsions for “willful defiance” of school authorities may soon be forbidden at San Francisco Unified, which is considering a broad new discipline policy that focuses on restorative justice practices and other alternative measures. Susan Frey EdSource -- 12/17/13

Khan Academy, Coursera founders define ed tech’s 5 biggest challenges -- Education entrepreneurship can be a grueling gig these days. Just ask Salman Khan — the founder of nonprofit online education provider Khan Academy — who by 9 a.m. on Monday had already recorded eight videos for his site’s 10 million monthly users. Lauren Hepler Silicon Valley Business Journal -- 12/17/13


Insurers Fight Hospitals' Paying Premiums -- A charity's plan to help people pay for coverage through new health-care exchanges has put it at the center of a high-stakes fight between the insurance and hospital industries that could pose a challenge to the economic underpinnings of President Barack Obama's health law. Louise Radnofsky and Christopher Weaver in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 12/17/13

How California’s Mentally Ill Children Suffer — Few Hospital Beds Statewide -- Maria Ramirez began caring for her granddaughter when the girl was just a toddler. Her granddaughter began hurting herself — cutting her arms and swallowing things — before she was 10. Elaine Korry KQED -- 12/17/13

Medical Tourism Booming In Baja California -- Most medical tourists are from California, but Mexican border cities are making a big push to attract visitors from inland states as well. As we’ve reported, a van service drives people from Las Vegas to Mexicali monthly for medical services. Jill Replogle KPBS -- 12/17/13

Doctor ordered to stop writing prescriptions for dangerous drugs -- A Southern California pain doctor who was featured in a 2012 Times investigative report on patient overdose deaths was barred Monday from writing prescriptions for some narcotics and other widely abused drugs. Lisa Girion in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13


Hormone-disrupting chemicals found in water at fracking sites -- A study of hydraulic fracturing sites in Colorado finds substances that have been linked to infertility, birth defects and cancer. Neela Banerjee in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

National Park Service recommends delay in Crissy Field plans -- The chorus calling for the Presidio Trust to hold off on any decision about Crissy Field's lone development site has a powerful new voice: the National Park Service. John King in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/17/13

10th consecutive Spare the Air -- Despite warmer temperatures, a prolonged spell of dry, stagnant air continues to trap smoke and other pollutants that have built up in the region for more than a week. Denis Cuff in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 12/17/13

Squaw Valley ski resort unveils smaller growth plan -- In the face of a community backlash, the owners of Lake Tahoe’s Squaw Valley USA ski resort announced plans Monday to scale back their proposal to expand an existing village at the base of the mountain. Ed Fletcher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/17/13

A Symbolic Win for Solar Panels: Large Desert Project Clears Hurdle -- Friday was a busy day for the California Energy Commission (CEC). As we reported Friday, the Commission released a negative proposed decision on a controversial solar project in Riverside County. But at the same time, the CEC sent out a tentative "thumbs up" on a solar project 40 miles due west that has been every bit as controversial. Chris Clarke KCET Rewire -- 12/17/13

Google said to be testing smart thermostats to save home energy use -- Google may be taking another crack at tracking home energy use. Josh Lowensohn The Verge -- 12/17/13


California lawmakers question gun confiscation shortcomings -- Lawmakers pressed officials on Monday to improve the speed and efficiency of a state program used to seize guns from Californians prohibited from owning firearms. Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/17/13

Gun buyback nets 1,500 weapons — and debate over program's value -- With gun-rights groups questioning the value of the exchange, a statewide gun-buyback program brought in more than 1,500 weapons from citizens hoping to receive grocery-store gift cards, officials announced Monday. Rick Orlov in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 12/17/13


Kelly Thomas did not die of asphyxiation, expert witness testifies -- An expert witness called by defense lawyers for two former Fullerton police officers accused of beating a mentally ill homeless man to death testified Monday that the familiar figure in the college town did not die of asphyxiation as the prosecution claims. Adolfo Flores in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

Greenhut: Beating video puts cops on defense -- The use of deadly force by police officers must, according to the law, be “objectively reasonable.” And myriad laws give officers the benefit of the doubt given that they must make split-second, life-or-death decisions. But this wasn’t a split-second situation. Steven Greenhut UT San Diego$ -- 12/17/13

Criminal charges brought against Andy Lopez protester -- Prosecutors brought criminal charges Monday against a Santa Rosa man who was arrested this month during a protest of the killing of 13-year-old Andy Lopez. Paul Payne in the Santa Rosa Press -- 12/17/13

Killed BART workers had backs turned to oncoming train -- Neither of the two BART workers who were struck and killed by a train while working on the tracks near Walnut Creek was acting as a lookout for oncoming trains, according to autopsy reports by the Contra Costa County coroner's office. Henry K. Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/17/13

LAPD chief: Too early to judge fatal shooting of unarmed suspect -- Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said Monday he was reserving judgment about why officers fatally shot an unarmed car chase suspect after he crashed his Corvette on live TV and tried to stagger away. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

LA Sheriff: 7 defendants in obstruction of justice case plead not guilty -- Six of the seven former and current Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employees accused of trying to block an FBI investigation into the jails have entered not guilty pleas in federal court. Frank Stoltze KPBS -- 12/17/13

Sheriff's cruiser had no lights or sirens on in fatal Palmdale crash -- A Palmdale sheriff’s deputy who was responding to a call before broadsiding an SUV and killing two passengers did not have sirens or lights on, authorities said Monday. Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

Ex-PG&E worker wins $1 million termination lawsuit -- A former power line worker for Pacific Gas & Electric has been awarded more than $1 million in a wrongful termination suit that claimed he was fired after making safety complaints. Associated Press -- 12/17/13

Big Sur blaze burns 15 homes, 500 acres -- A wildfire burning in the Big Sur area on Monday forced evacuations as it burned through dry vegetation toward the ocean, burning 15 homes and consuming 500 acres. Philip Molnar in the Santa Cruz Sentinel -- 12/17/13

'Puppy mill’ law wins first round -- The legal battle over whether retail stores in San Diego can sell dogs and cats is underway and the city won the first round. Michael Smolens UT San Diego$ -- 12/17/13

Farmers and law enforcement spar over whether 'agroterrorism' is a real threat -- If you haven't heard of agroterrorism, you're not alone — many farmers haven't even heard of it. Valentina Palladino The Verge -- 12/17/13

Facebook rolls out Donate button. “Gee thanks,” sigh charities -- Following the lead of its famous philanthropist founder, today Facebook made a big gesture towards helping out nonprofits: Introducing the “donate” button. Carmel DeAmicis PandoDaily -- 12/17/13

Regulators accuse Cash Call of improperly collecting from borrowers -- Federal regulators on Monday sued Anaheim online lender CashCall Inc., accusing the company of unlawfully collecting money from borrowers. Stuart Pfeifer in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

Pope Replaces Conservative U.S. Cardinal on Influential Vatican Committee -- Pope Francis, in naming bishops to a powerful Vatican committee, replaced a conservative American cardinal with another American considered more of a moderate on social issues. Jim Yardley and Jason Horowitz in the New York Times$ -- 12/17/13

Meet Brandon Stanton, the Photographer Behind Humans of New York -- Meet the street photographer turned culture spotter who turned his hobby into a global sensation Callie Schweitzer TIME -- 12/17/13 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/

Abcarian: The real story behind Miley Cyrus' 'Free the Nipple' tweet -- Never underestimate the power of a pop star with more than 16 million Twitter followers. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13

San Francisco urban coyotes could soon be shopping downtown -- Back in the days when Phil Frank's Farley cartoon strip ran in The Chronicle, it had a running joke about the cartoon bears frequenting the "Fog City Dumpster." C.W. Nevius in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/17/13

Lick Observatory's astronomy research could end -- The future of astronomical research at the iconic Lick Observatory is in peril, as the University of California threatens to cut funding and perhaps even convert most of its once-cutting-edge Mount Hamilton telescopes into museum relics. Lisa M. Krieger in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 12/17/13

Naked truth behind Gypsy Taub's nude nuptials -- Gypsy Taub is not certain what she will be wearing at the beginning of her wedding ceremony on the steps of San Francisco's City Hall, probably the thrift store wedding gown she's having altered, and a bridal veil for sure. She's more certain of what she will be wearing by the end of the ceremony: just the veil. Sam Whiting in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/17/13

George Zimmerman Painted a Patriotic Picture That He Wants to Sell You -- George Zimmerman, the guy that killed Trayvon Martin and who has a complicated personal life, has made a painting that he would like to sell you. Philip Bump The Atlantic Wire -- 12/17/13

  POTUS 44

Obama suffers most from year of turmoil, poll finds -- President Obama is ending his fifth year in office matching the worst public approval ratings of his presidency, with record numbers of Americans saying they disapprove of his job performance and his once-hefty advantages over Republicans in Congress eroded in many areas, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Dan Balz and Scott Clement in the Washington Post$ -- 12/17/13

  NSA / Surveillance

NSA collection of telephone records violates Constitution, judge rules -- For the first time, a federal judge has struck down the National Security Agency’s once-secret policy of collecting the dialing records of all phone calls in the country, ruling that the mass data collection involving innocent Americans appears to violate the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches. David G. Savage in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/17/13


Why a GOP Senate Takeover Is the Best Thing for Joe Biden -- When you get down to it, you could argue that President Obama has done more harm to congressional Democrats than good. James Oliphant National Journal -- 12/17/13

Reform of military retiree benefits is a hard battle for federal government -- Not all military retirees fought in combat, but as a group they certainly know how to attack any legislative plan that cuts into their pensions. Walter Pincus in the Washington Post$ -- 12/17/13

Reid lays out ambitious schedule, threatens holiday session -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday laid out a jam-packed schedule for the final week of Senate business before the Christmas holiday. Aaron Blake in the Washington Post$ -- 12/17/13