• School Inoovation and Achievement
  • San Diego Water Authority

Updating . .   

The life-and-death stakes of an Affordable Care Act repeal in one of L.A. County's poorest, sickest regions -- Nurses and doctors rush through hallways, readying exam rooms. The clinic in Lancaster hasn’t yet opened for the day, but staff members know that once patients start filing in they won’t stop. In less than two hours, it will be standing-room only in the waiting areas. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

DMV: Humans soon no longer required in self-driving cars -- Self-driving cars with no human behind the wheel — or, for that matter, no steering wheel at all — may soon appear on California’s public roads, under regulations state officials proposed Friday. David R. Baker and Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle Louis Hansen in the San Jose Mercury$ Justin Pritchard Associated Press Russ Mitchell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

$1.4 million in oxycodone found hidden in woman's car at Otay Mesa border -- The 47,340 tablets found in a hidden compartment under the woman’s car represent the largest seizure of oxycodone along the U.S.-Mexico border in at least five years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. David Hernandez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

Four Big Sur State Parks shuttered indefinitely due to winter storms and summer wildfires -- Work crews are cleaning up mudslides, fallen trees and mounds of debris while repairing campgrounds and hiking trails. They're also faced with rebuilding the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1 that's cracked beyond repair, impassable and limiting access to the area. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle Lisa M. Kreiger in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/10/17

Lawmakers get greeting cards with a nudge from Santa Cruz County -- Nothing says “season’s greetings” like a gaping sinkhole. Filipa A. Ioannou in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/10/17

California State Bar bans sex between attorneys and clients -- The bar's Board of Trustees passed the rule Thursday as part of a long-awaited overhaul of attorney conduct standards that revised or crafted 70 ethics rules. All the new rules are now before the California Supreme Court, which has final say over them. Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press -- 3/10/17

Man pleads guilty in stabbing of French train hero Spencer Stone -- The man suspected of nearly killing French hero Spencer Stone in a Sacramento street brawl in 2015 pleaded guilty Friday to attempted murder in the incident. Nashelly Chavez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/10/17

California is sick of being a presidential campaign afterthought. Here's one lawmaker's fix -- Every four years, as smaller, less cutting-edge states are lavished with love and attention from presidential candidates, California is all but ignored, like one of those kids, nose to the glass, smudging up a candy store window. Mark Z. Barabak in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

California’s population getting grayer, new projections show -- Rising life expectancies and falling birth rates mean California will get increasingly older over the coming decades, with almost a quarter of residents being 65 or older by 2036, according to new population projections from the Department of Finance. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/10/17

Martin Huff, who defied Jerry Brown on corporate taxes, dies -- Martin Huff had been California’s top tax collector for 16 years when he went head-to-head with a young Gov. Jerry Brown over the way in which international corporations were taxed – and it cost him his job. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/10/17

The troubled, covert agency responsible for moving the nation's most lethal cargo -- The unmarked 18-wheelers ply the nation’s interstates and two-lane highways, logging 3 million miles a year hauling the most lethal cargo there is: nuclear bombs. Ralph Vartabedian and W.J. Hennigan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

Selfie of white joggers in African American neighborhood sets off debate, and quest for understanding -- It was the selfie that set Leimert Park talking. There was DeMille Halliburton, his arm outstretched in the foreground, shooting a photo of the Saturday running group the African American entertainment industry insurer has long organized. Angel Jennings in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

Hiltzik: Quietly but decisively, Trump's FCC is delivering big favors for big broadband companies -- The Trump administration’s determination to roll back regulations protecting the environment, voting rights and financial services consumers has been drawing most of the public’s attention. But a stunningly swift and thorough deregulatory campaign is happening elsewhere in Washington: at the Federal Communications Commission. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

Borenstein: CalPERS, unions deceiving public about pensions -- Last month, I wrote that Gov. Brown’s 2012 attempt at pension reform has failed. CalPERS, the nation’s largest pension system, immediately responded on its website declaring that “Pension Reform Has Made a Difference,” and claiming that my column “greatly oversimplifies and needlessly discounts the real impact” of Brown’s plan. Daniel Borenstein in the East Bay Times -- 3/10/17

Fox: In Defense of the Disney CEO Staying “In the Room” -- Walt Disney Company CEO, Bob Iger, at the company shareholder meeting, rejected a request that he quit President Donald Trump’s business advisory committee over Trump’s policies. Iger, while objecting to a number of the president’s policies, gave the sensible answer that it is best be “in the room” so that he can address his concerns directly to the president. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 3/10/17

The $1-billion deal to sell Dick Clark Productions to China's Wanda Group is dead -- The much-ballyhooed $1-billion deal to sell Dick Clark Productions to China’s Dalian Wanda Group has collapsed, marking the latest deal between China and Hollywood to fall by the wayside. Ryan Faughnder in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

Budget referee may call foul on Obamacare repeal -- The fate of Obamacare may lie in the hands of a number-crunching Republican appointee whose bottom line might single-handedly blow up the GOP quest to repeal and replace it. Rachana Pradhan Politico -- 3/10/17


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

California Democrats look to special election as ‘resistance’ test -- Turning to a small crowd at a forum in Los Angeles this week, Wendy Carrillo described the nation’s first congressional election since President Donald Trump’s inauguration as “a perfect first response” to Republican rule in Washington. David Siders Politico -- 3/10/17

California Republican leader under consideration for key Department of Justice post -- Harmeet Dhillon, a California GOP leader, is under consideration to run the civil rights branch of the U.S. Department of Justice. The post will be heavily scrutinized given the Trump administration’s positions on issues such as voting rights, and because of past controversial statements about race made by the department’s leader, U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions. A series of hate crimes have also taken place in the weeks since Trump’s election. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

California insurance chief: 5 million in state could lose health coverage under ‘Trumpcare’ -- California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones took a hard-line stance this week against the Obamacare repeal House Republicans are staking out, saying it could reverse advances California has made under the Affordable Care Act and strip 5 million Californians of their health coverage. Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/10/17

L.A. congressional candidate Alejandra Campoverdi makes healthcare debate personal in first TV ad -- Congressional hopeful Alejandra Campoverdi, who's running to replace Xavier Becerra in Los Angeles, opened up to the Washington Post recently about her family's history with breast cancer. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

Oakland ethics commission slams sports ticket perks -- East Bay officials are getting free tickets to Warriors, Raiders and A’s games through a process that has built-in conflicts of interest, lacks transparency and raises the specter of governmental corruption, according to the draft of a scathing new report from the Oakland Public Ethics Commission. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/10/17

Ex-CHP chief snared in son’s escape from rape trial seeks disability pension -- A former California Highway Patrol assistant chief who allegedly helped his son flee to Mexico after being accused of rape is eligible for a tax-free disability pension because the state agreed not to discipline him when it accepted his resignation four years ago. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/10/17

Prosecution and defense rest cases in re-trial of ex-LA County Sheriff Lee Baca -- After almost two weeks of testimony by more than a dozen witnesses, the prosecution and defense rested their cases Thursday in the federal jail corruption re-trial of former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 3/10/17

Toxic Priorities: Switching cleanup rules, state risks leaving homes contaminated -- Struggling with what officials call the largest and most expensive toxic contamination in California history, embattled state regulators have changed the formula for assessing the level of lead-laced soil in residential areas—a move that could result in a significant number of homes falling off the priority cleanup list. Elizabeth Aguilera CalMatters.org -- 3/10/17

Tech workers electing to use skills in politics -- Mike Levin, a new Congressional candidate in a Southern California swing district, wants to do everything he can to beat the incumbent Republican in 2018 — and to do so, he said, a strong digital and social media presence is key. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/10/17

After Measure S, some L.A. developers say they'll step more softly with new projects -- As the city debated slow-growth Measure S, developer Century West Partners refused to buy land that would need special exemptions to build, fearful the two-year moratorium on such projects would pass. Andrew Khouri and Roger Vincent in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

Garcetti bans private meetings between developers and planning commissioners -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has banned city planning commissioners from meeting or communicating privately with real estate developers whose plans they are vetting, following through on a pledge made last year. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ Elizabeth Chou in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 3/9 17

Garcetti now has a mandate — but how he will use it has City Hall and the political world guessing -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti lingered at his election party Tuesday night in Pico-Union, staying late to pose for selfies with supporters and celebrate with longtime aides. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

California GOP Stakes Out Position on Poverty -- In making their case for California’s policies on climate and immigration, Democrats proudly note the state’s status as one of the world’s most powerful economies, driven by thriving tech and creative industries. Republicans here are pointing to a different metric: the poverty rate. Alejandro Lazo in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 3/10/17

In tentative ruling, judge dismisses Issa's lawsuit against Applegate -- A Superior Court judge issued a tentative ruling Thursday dismissing a $10 million defamation lawsuit by Rep. Darrell Issa against his opponent in last year’s election, Doug Applegate. Joshua Stewart n the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/10/17

Reps. Darrell Issa, Duncan Hunter to hold town halls Saturday -- After months of protests, petitions with thousands of signatures, and public demands from constituents, two Republican San Diego-area House members are holding town hall meetings on Saturday. Reps. Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter are both scheduled to host separate forums and answer questions from constituents. Teri Figueroa and Joshua Stewart in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/10/17

Could Dianne Feinstein Face a Democratic Challenge in 2018? -- By every indication, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is running for re-election next year. In an interview with KQED in January, Feinstein indicated she would be a candidate and has since begun raising money. But some in the party wonder if it isn’t time for the 83-year-old Feinstein to step aside and let a younger Democrat take the baton. Scott Shafer KQED -- 3/10/17

At UC Berkeley, Justice Sotomayor discusses obstacles to justice -- Poor people don’t have enough access to the U.S. legal system, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor told students at UC Berkeley on Wednesday. “Not that well,” Sotomayor said when asked by a law student in the audience whether the justice system succeeds in treating the rich and poor equally. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/10/17

Justice Sotomayor laments perception of judges as political -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Thursday that she was saddened to see many people have lost confidence in judges and believe they are political. Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press -- 3/10/17

San Jose flood: Hundreds of victims at City Hall meeting demanding answers -- More than one hundred frustrated San Jose flood victims Thursday piled into City Hall to demand answers from Mayor Sam Liccardo and the City Council about why they weren’t warned or evacuated before massive floodwaters engulfed their homes two weeks ago. Ramona Giwargis in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/10/17

Damaged Oroville Dam spillway may need to be used by next week, state officials say -- A damaged flood control spillway at the Oroville Dam may have to be used as early as next week as storm runoff and snowmelt continue to fill the massive reservoir on the Feather River, state water officials said. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

After near-record Northern California storms, signs of El Niño rise -- If you don’t think California has seen enough rain this year, just wait. There may be more to come. Federal forecasters said Thursday that the chances of an El Niño developing by fall are on the rise — now between 50 and 55 percent —an outlook that could skew the odds in favor of yet another wet winter. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/10/17

Longtime lobbyist Brian Hatch appointed to California Fair Political Practices Commission -- Brian Hatch, Padilla’s pick, is well-known in the third house and lobbied for the California Professional Firefighters for nearly 40 years. The announcement follows state Controller Betty Yee’s appointment of Allison Hayward, an ethics and election law attorney, to the five-member commission last week. Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/10/17

Fearing Trump threat to state emissions law, California lawmakers plan a fight -- The Trump administration could move at any time to revoke California’s right to impose stricter auto emissions standards than the federal government does, and the state’s senators are already mounting a fight. Sean Cockerham in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/10/17

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds    

BART looks at ways to raise funds, reject some ticket increases -- Facing a menu of unpalatable fare-increase proposals to cover losses from declining ridership, BART directors Thursday rejected the idea of raising the lowest fares and had little taste for a plan to discard a discount on high-priced tickets. However, the board held onto the possibility of putting a surcharge on rides taken using paper fare cards and reducing BART’s discount rates for youths, seniors and disabled people. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/10/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions 

San Francisco DA’s office investigating Uber’s Greyball program -- The San Francisco District Attorney’s office confirmed on Thursday that it is investigating an Uber program called Greyball, a tool the ride-hailing company developed to show individual riders different versions of its app. The news comes a day after Uber said it would prohibit employees from using the program to thwart regulators. The item is in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/10/1 7

Having bought Virgin, Alaska Airlines plans big SFO expansion -- Three months after its $4 billion purchase of Burlingame’s Virgin America, the company said Thursday that it will add 13 routes from the Bay Area to destinations across the continent, including Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans and (pending government permission) Mexico City. Thomas Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/10/17

Wanda's $1-billion Dick Clark deal is said to be falling apart -- The much-ballyhooed $1-billion deal to sell Dick Clark Productions to China’s Dalian Wanda Group is headed for collapse, said three people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to speak publicly. Ryan Faughnder in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

Court revives San Francisco hotel workers’ suit over tips -- A federal appeals court revived a lawsuit Thursday by food and beverage workers at the Hilton Hotel on Union Square in San Francisco who said they’ve been cheated out of some of their tip money at dinners and banquets. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/10/17

Airbnb, hotels dispute whether commercial hosts are increasing -- Airbnb makes a big — and growing — chunk of its revenue from commercial operators, according to a study financed by the hotel industry. The home-rental company disputed the report as misleading and inaccurate, and provided The Chronicle with data showing that it had jettisoned hundreds of commercial listings in San Francisco as part of its “One Host, One Home” policy. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/10/17

Wolverton: Republicans aim to roll back online privacy protections -- The moves could soon allow broadband providers to track your online activities and collect whatever personal information they’d like about you without getting your permission first. They’d also alleviate the broadband providers from having to take any concrete steps to protect your personal data. Troy Wolverton in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/10/17

WikiLeaks will share CIA hacking data with tech companies -- WikiLeaks will turn over all the details it has on the CIA’s alleged hacking arsenal so that tech companies like Apple and Google can patch holes and fix vulnerabilities in their technology before the activist group makes the code publicly available online, the organization’s founder announced Thursday. Marissa Lang in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/10/17

Wikileaks put Apple iPhone, Google Android phone users at risk of hacker attack, experts say -- Worried about the CIA hacking into your phone? Experts say the greater threat comes from criminals armed with new information about device vulnerabilities, thanks to the release of documents by Wikileaks. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/10/17


UC sexual misconduct files show faculty resigned, retired -- An associate UCLA professor who pursued a romantic relationship with a student until she was afraid to attend classes paid the university $7,500 in lieu of suspension. At UC Irvine, a dean accused of sexually harassing a co-worker agreed to take a demotion and stayed on as a teacher. Jocelyn Gecker, Janie Har and Juliet Willams Associated Press -- 3/10/17

Magid: Bill would strip privacy protections from California students and teachers -- In 2015 Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that prohibited California police and other state agencies from searching our phones and online accounts without our consent, a court order, or showing it is an emergency. That measure, the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act, affords Californians basic Fourth Amendment protections when it comes to digital data. Larry Magid in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/10/17

CSU could pay additional $1.77 million in Burns case -- The tab in the wrongful termination lawsuit of former San Diego State women’s basketball coach Beth Burns likely will grow again, with the release of a tentative ruling Thursday that would compel the California State University system to pay nearly $2 million for her attorney fees and expenses. Mark Zeigler in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/10/17

Little impact expected on California as Congress rescinds school accountability rules -- The U.S. Senate followed the House’s lead Thursday and, on a mostly partisan vote, narrowly rescinded regulations that strengthened provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act holding schools accountable for improving student performance. The action removes one uncertainty among a constellation of larger ones facing California education officials as they await the Trump administration’s expected budget cuts and policy shifts. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 3/10/17

Americans For Trump members met with resistance from Cal State Fullerton students -- Three members of Americans for Trump came to the Cal State Fullerton campus Thursday and were met with resistance from about 80 students, police said. Starting around 9 a.m., members of the group, who had a permit for a reserved table on Titan Walk, displayed signs and gave speeches in support of President Trump, said Cal State Fullerton police Capt. Scot Willey. Scott Schwebke in the Orange County Register -- 3/10/17


California gets high grade for medical marijuana access, report says -- California does a good job of letting medical marijuana patients get their treatment of choice, but some elements of the state’s marijuana laws still fail to protect people with legitimate ailments, according to a report released Thursday by a patient advocacy group. Brooke Edwards Staggs in the Orange County Register -- 3/10/17

Immigration / Border 

State schools chief seeks clarity on federal immigration policy after L.A. incident -- California's top education official announced on Thursday that he has asked federal authorities to clarify whether they are changing a policy that in the past has avoided immigration actions near schools. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

Oakland Officials Question Police Partnerships with Federal Immigration Agents and FBI -- For years, Oakland police officers have worked closely alongside the FBI, DEA, and federal immigration agents as members of tight-knit “task forces.” The Oakland Police Department shares data with the feds, and its officers are deputized to enforce federal laws as they carry out warrants and arrest suspects. But outside of high-profile cases, and mishaps, these partnerships have garnered little attention from media and elected officials. Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston East Bay Express -- 3/10/17


Under Pressure, Air District Says It’s Still Investigating Vallejo Fumes -- Facing pressure from state legislators, Vallejo residents and environmentalists, local air regulators are reversing course and now sa y they are still trying to figure out what caused an unbearable odor that sickened scores of Vallejo residents and prompted a shelter-in-place order last September. Ted Goldberg KQED -- 3/10/17

End of drought not all good for Bay Area oyster farms -- The “atmospheric river” that dumped rain on Northern California this winter was good for farmers — on land, that is. Tomales Bay oyster farms had to stop operations during the storms to protect customers in case pathogens from runoff were in the water, a byproduct of the bucolic dairy farms on the hillsides. Tara Duggan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/10/17


Whiting: Prescription opioid, heroin overdoses kill more than ever in Orange County -- Accidental overdoses from prescription opioids such as Vicodin and Oxycontin soared 20 percent last year, according to my review of thousands of Orange County coroner records. In total – and some deaths remain under review – opioids and heroin took 211 souls who wanted to live. David Whiting in the Orange County Register -- 3/10/17

Mumps outbreak prompts LA County public health alert -- Seven men in Los Angeles County have been diagnosed with mumps, prompting public health officials to issue an alert Thursday. The seven cases involve men who have sex with men. The cases were described by health officials as two different clusters. Susan Abram in the Inland Daily Bulletin$ -- 3/10/17

Also . . . 

LAPD launches Valley ‘knock knock’ task force amid rash of celebrity break-ins -- A new San Fernando Valley task force has been assembled to stop “knock-knock burglars” believed to be targeting celebrities and others in affluent neighborhoods, a Los Angeles police lieutenant said Thursday. Brenda Gazzar in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 3/10/17

$4.5 million worth of makeup stolen from L.A. warehouse, LAPD says -- The LAPD said Thursday that the suspects sawed through the roof of a San Fernando Valley warehouse and snatched more than 100,000 packages of eye shadow. Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/17

Camp Pendleton-Based Marines Move Into Syria For ‘Temporary’ Ground Mission -- A group of Camp Pendleton Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit have departed their ships in the Middle East and moved into Syria to help fight ISIS. The Pentagon has deployed 400 Marines on the ground to help Syrian fighters gain control of the northern city of Raqqa. Susan Murphy KPBS -- 3/10/17

POTUS 45  

Growing signs of trouble for Trump’s border wall -- Illegal crossings are down. Trump’s budget chief suggests the project is hardly underway. And powerful Republicans are voicing reservations. Nolan D. McCaskill and Eli Stokols Politico -- 3/10/17

Four Pinocchios: Trump keeps claiming he’s created U.S. jobs since Election Day. Not so. -- President Trump claimed undue credit for ExxonMobil’s investment announcement — the latest example of the new president’s now-predictable formula: A company announces a U.S. jobs plan that predates Trump’s presidency. The company gives a nod to Trump’s anti-regulation policies. Trump then takes credit for bringing jobs back to the United States. Repeat. Michelle Ye Hee Lee in the Washington Post$ -- 3/10/17


This climate lawsuit could change everything. No wonder the Trump administration doesn’t want it going to trial -- A groundbreaking climate lawsuit, brought against the federal government by 21 children, has been hailed by environmentalists as a bold new strategy to press for climate action in the United States. But the Trump administration, which has pledged to undo Barack Obama’s climate regulations, is doing its best to make sure the case doesn’t get far. Chelsea Harvey in the Washington Post$ -- 3/10/17

Profitable Companies, No Taxes: Here’s How They Did It -- Complaining that the United States has one of the world’s highest corporate tax levels, President Trump and congressional Republicans have repeatedly vowed to shrink it. Yet if the level is so high, why have so many companies’ income tax bills added up to zero? That’s what a new analysis of 258 profitable Fortune 500 companies that earned more than $3.8 trillion in profits showed. Patricia Cohen in the New York Times$ -- 3/10/17

E.P.A. Chief Doubts Consensus View of Climate Change -- Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said on Thursday that carbon dioxide was not a primary contributor to global warming, a statement at odds with the established scientific consensus on climate change. Coral Davenport in the New York Times$ -- 3/10/17

‘Reasons to Vote for Democrats’ jumps to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list. But its pages are blank -- As of early Friday morning, a new political book remained perched at the top of Amazon’s bestsellers list: “Reasons to Vote for Democrats: A Comprehensive Guide” by Daily Wire managing editor Michael J. Knowles. Travis M. Andrews in the Washington Post$ -- 3/10/17


-- Thursday Updates 

Schwarzenegger for Senate? -- Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — the “Terminator" action hero who made "I'll be back" one of filmdom's most iconic phrases — may be mulling a political comeback, according to several GOP political insiders in California. Carla Marinucci Politico -- 3/9/17

California is having its wettest year since 1895 -- California is having its rainiest water year since record-keeping began in 1895 — a phenomenon that has lifted tens of millions of residents from drought, according to government records. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/9/17

PG&E bills over $600 blindside customers -- Right before Thanksgiving, Andrea Sinclair got laid off from her job as an office assistant. In January and February, the San Jose resident said she got PG&E bills of $687.04 and $681.67, respectively, more than double what she’d ever paid. Tammerlin Drummod in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/9/17

Does AG candidate Dave Jones recall his vote on legal pot? ‘I truly do not’ -- California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, campaigning to become the state’s top law enforcement official, has forgotten how he voted four months ago on the statewide initiative to legalize recreational marijuana. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/9/17

Sign of discontent outside Tesla -- As billboard ads go, it isn’t splashy — just four words on a digital sign near an industrial stretch of I-880 in the East Bay: “Elon: Please Dump Trump.” Louis Hansen in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/9/17

Rep. Eric Swalwell wants an independent probe into the Trump administration's ties to Russia — and he has charts -- Northern California Rep. Eric Swalwell really wants an independent investigation into President Donald Trump and his administration’s ties to Russia. And he has some handy charts and graphics to prove his case. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/9/17

EPA chief: Carbon dioxide not primary cause of warming -- The new chief of the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming, a statement at odds with mainstream scientific consensus and his own agency. Matthew Daly Associated Press -- 3/9/17

Upgrade your jail cell - for a price -- Pay-to-stay option allows even those convicted of serious crimes a safer, more comfortable stay. Alysia Santo, Victoria Kim and Anna Flagg in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/9/17

'It’s time to tax liquor before ladies:' Lawmakers trying again to end sales tax on diapers and tampons in California -- Lawmakers in Sacramento are trying again to save California consumers from sales taxes on diapers and tampons. To pay for the tax break, Assemblywomen Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) and Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) want to increase taxes on hard alcohol. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/9/17

Lawsuit filed against off-duty LAPD officer who fired gun during videotaped Anaheim clash -- A civil lawsuit has been filed against an off-duty Los Angeles police officer who fired his gun during a wild videotaped clash with several teenagers in Anaheim last month, according to court records and a police union spokesman. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/9/17

Talbot: Art Agnos sizes up San Francisco politics over matzo ball soup -- There didn’t seem much to celebrate for a progressive warhorse like Agnos. A man who represents everything Agnos opposes now occupies the White House. David Talbot in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/9/17

What happened at Lake Oroville? -- What happened at Lake Oroville? See an interactive explainer on how a wet winter revealed problems at the nation’s tallest dam — and how a big test is still to come. Emma O'Neill, John Blanchard and Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/9/17

Why Southern California is going to have a major earthquake -- Friday is the anniversary of the most deadly California earthquake in 100 years. We look at our chances of another massive disaster. Kurt Snibbe in the Orange County Register -- 3/9/17

To develop greater trust, Fresno mayor proposes citizens board to help oversee police -- Fresno Mayor Lee Brand’s proposed citizens public safety advisory board will consist of nine people he will appoint whose task will be to improve trust, accountability and transparency of the police department. The item is in the Fresno Bee -- 3/9/17

Fox: The Crime Issue Rises -- The murder of Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer and the big increase of property crimes have highlighted growing concern over the consequences of recent legislation and ballot measures that have opened prison doors. The crime issue, so powerful in the final decades of the last century, is rising again in the public consciousness. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 3/9/17