• School Inoovation and Achievement
  • San Diego Water Authority

Updating . .   

Former L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca found guilty on obstruction of justice and other charges -- Lee Baca, the once powerful and popular sheriff of Los Angeles County, was found guilty Wednesday of obstructing a federal investigation into abuses in county jails and lying to cover up the interference. Joel Rubin and Victoria Kim in the Los Angeles Times$ Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 3/15/17

Federal judge in Hawaii puts Trump travel ban on hold -- Hours before it was to take effect, President Donald Trump's revised travel ban was put on hold Wednesday by a federal judge in Hawaii after hearing arguments that the executive order discriminates on the basis of nationality. Ben Nuckols and Gene Johnson Associated Press -- 3/15/17

Nunes and Schiff say they've seen no evidence to back Trump's wiretapping claim -- The leaders of the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that they had seen no evidence to support President Trump’s claim that he was wiretapped by President Obama before he took office. David S. Cloud in the Los Angeles Times$ Adam Goldman and Emmarie Huetteman in the New York Times$ -- 3/15/17

Trump won't seek to roll back California vehicle authority -- President Donald Trump will announce the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will revive a review of the feasibility of strict fuel efficiency standards through 2025, but will not seek to withdraw California's authority to set its own vehicle rules, a White House official said late on Tuesday. David Shepardson Reuters -- 3/15/17

Man who spent 30 years in prison for LA murder is exonerated -- A Los Angeles judge Wednesday ordered the release of a man who spent more than three decades in prison for murder after prosecutors conceded he did not get a fair trial. Deputy District Attorney Erika Jerez said during in a Superior Court that there were errors in the case against Andrew Leander Wilson, now 62. Christopher Weber Associated Press -- 3/15/17

San Jose: Judge won’t throw out Trump supporters’ negligence suit over rally melee -- A federal judge Wednesday denied San Jose’s request to dismiss a lawsuit brought on behalf of Donald Trump supporters who claim city officers steered them into an angry mob of protesters who attacked and injured them as they left a June campaign rally downtown. Ramona Giwargis in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/15/17

John Van de Kamp, former California attorney general and L.A. County district attorney, dies at 81 -- John Van de Kamp, a towering political figure who became the top prosecutor in Los Angeles and then California before running for governor, died Tuesday at his home in Pasadena after a brief illness. He was 81. Matt Stevens in the Los Angeles Times$ Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/15/17

CA120: High diversity, but low turnout looms in 2018 -- Any sound voter analysis tries to identify prior events that hopefully serve to predict future voter behavior. For this we examine several past elections, including the gubernatorial elections we mentioned in Part I, and other recent presidential primaries. Paul Mitchell Capitol Weekly -- 3/15/17

ICE agents make arrests at courthouses, sparking backlash from prosecutors and attorneys -- Octavio Chaidez was walking out of a Pasadena courtroom with a client last month when four men jumped up from a hallway bench and rushed toward them. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/15/17

Grudgingly, CalPERS cuts pensions for 200 workers of defunct LA agency -- For the second time in four months, CalPERS on Wednesday voted to cut pensions for a group of public workers whose former employer quit contributing to the retirement fund without making arrangements to protect their benefits. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/15/17

Father of victim in deadly Oakland warehouse fire tells state lawmakers more affordable housing is needed -- The father of an artist who was among the 36 people killed during a fire inside an Oakland warehouse told state lawmakers on Wednesday that California needs more affordable housing and safe performance venues in order to prevent similar tragedies. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/15/17

Yahoo hack: Two Russian spies indicted, Google users hit -- Some of the stolen Yahoo data was used to obtain unauthorized access to the contents of accounts at Yahoo, Google and other webmail providers, including accounts of Russian journalists, U.S. and Russian government officials and private-sector employees of financial, transportation and other companies, the Department of Justice said in a press conference. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/15/17

Claiming momentum is on their side, California lawmakers try again to require more transparency on drug prices -- State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) unveiled his new bill at a Capitol news conference Wednesday. He said the legislation would curtail the "arms race of profit generation" by the pharmaceutical industry by requiring manufacturers to give 90 days' notice to purchasers before significantly increasing a drug's price. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/15/17

Why CalPERS is pouring millions into a Southern California water deal -- On the edge of the Mojave Desert, beneath 1,800 acres of scrubland and tumbleweeds, California’s giant public pension fund is trying to make a killing in the water business. CalPERS is the primary owner of the Willow Springs Water Bank, an underground reservoir that could hold as much water as Folsom Lake when fully developed. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/15/17

How did Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a protege of Reagan, become 'Putin's favorite congressman'? -- Rohrabacher is one of Capitol Hill’s strongest backers of President Trump’s view that the United States has unfairly demonized Russia, which both see not as an adversary but a potentially important partner in the fight against terrorism. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/15/17

This Democrat and geologist says she is considering a run for Republican Rep. Steve Knight's seat -- Geologist Jess Phoenix, a Democrat, is considering challenging Rep. Steve Knight (R-Lancaster) in the 2018 midterm elections as part of a larger effort to get scientists elected to Congress. Javier Panzar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/15/17

Fox: Don’t Tax Teachers? -- It seems those pushing a bill to eliminate state income taxes for teachers have a large strategic hurdle to clear. Teachers through their unions frequently campaign for more taxes. How would it look if teachers are campaigning for more taxes and they no longer have to pay income taxes? Bad optics, as they say in the PR biz. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 3/15/17

New health care bill: Midterm flak may hit Republicans -- Republicans don’t just have a policy problem with their proposed health care plan; they’ve got a political problem: It hurts some of the older and low-income voters who helped put Donald Trump in the White House, and helps younger voters who wanted little to do with him. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/15/17

‘People are scared’: Paranoia seizes Trump’s White House -- Staffers are leaving their phones at home, using secret apps and monitoring each other’s social media. Alex Isenstadt and Kenneth P. Vogel Politico -- 3/15/17


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Just weeks after Oroville Dam crisis, damage found in another key California reservoir -- California water officials, still struggling with fixes at Oroville Dam, will have to temporarily shut down the pumping station that delivers water to much of Southern California and Silicon Valley after discovering damage at another key state reservoir. Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/15/17

Health premiums would leap for many Californians under GOP plan -- Health insurance premiums would leap substantially for many Californians, especially lower-income people living in high-cost cities, under the House Republican plan to replace Obamacare, according to an analysis released Tuesday. Melody Petersen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/15/17

Covered California chief: 'Millions' stand to lose coverage -- "Millions of Californians" are at risk of being priced out of health care if the Republicans' replacement for the Affordable Care Act becomes law, the head of California's state insurance exchange said Tuesday. Rebecca Plevin KPCC -- 3/15/17

California bill aims to make it harder for megaprojects to sidestep state environmental law -- Two years ago, the Los Angeles Rams did something unheard of in California development politics: In just six weeks, the team went from unveiling plans for an 80,000-seat stadium to earning final approval from the Inglewood City Council. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/15/17

State Senate panel throws support behind ballot measure to safeguard transportation funds -- A state Senate panel on Tuesday supported a ballot measure that would prohibit the state from borrowing money from vehicle fees and gas taxes for use by non-transportation programs. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/15/17

LA joins Chicago, New York to halt Trump’s new travel ban -- The city of Los Angeles joined Chicago, New York and other cities Tuesday in supporting Washington state’s efforts to block President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban limiting entry by refugees from Syria and visitors from six pre-dominantly Muslim countries. Elizabeth Chou in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 3/15/17

As LA vote count continues, incumbent Cedillo's lead narrows -- Los Angeles County officials' updated election results Tuesday show that City Council member Gil Cedillo's margin of support is slipping and that he may face a runoff. Mary Plummer KPCC -- 3/15/17

Congressional candidate Wendy Carrillo delves into her immigration story in emotional video ad -- Since announcing her run in the 34th Congressional District, Wendy Carrillo's immigration story has been front and center. Carrillo, who was brought to the country illegally by relatives as a child, wrote about fleeing war and violence in El Salvador and later discovering she was living illegally in the U.S. on the day she entered the race. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/15/17

Police commissioners concerned by 'significant increase' in shootings by LAPD officers -- Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday that his department has seen a “significant increase” in the number of shootings by officers so far this year, drawing concern from his civilian bosses. Kate Mather in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/15/17

Wrongful death suit hinges on San Diego police officer's statements -- Did a San Diego police officer change his story about what led him to shoot a domestic violence suspect during a struggle five years ago? A civil trial that began in San Diego federal court Tuesday largely hinges on that question, attorneys for both sides told the jury in opening statements. Kristina Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/15/17

Embattled Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed to retire -- Oakland’s embattled fire chief will retire May 5, five months after the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse inferno raised questions about management and inspection procedures in the Fire Department, city leaders said Tuesday. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/15/17

In federal court — over a traffic ticket -- Traffic tickets aren’t so out of the ordinary – until you get to Howard Herships’ case. After being caught by a red light camera on a right turn in suburban Sacramento, Herships, 73, contested the $200 ticket. Matthew Kramer Capitol Weekly -- 3/15/17

California Senate Republicans elect Patricia Bates as leader -- Republicans in the California Senate elected Sen. Patricia Bates of Laguna Niguel as their new leader on Tuesday. In April, she will succeed Minority Leader Jean Fuller of Bakersfield, who is termed out of office after next year. Sophia Boll Associated Press Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register -- 3/15/17

Walters: How much money will the state have to spend? Lawmakers and Brown disagree -- It’s March, and the Capitol’s occupants have dived into a new state budget, beginning with program-by-program perusals by the Legislature’s budget subcommittees. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/15/17

Green projects face scrutiny as California lawmakers debate cap and trade -- Since Gov. Jerry Brown asked lawmakers to extend California's cap-and-trade program, a broad cross-section of state policies on climate change are coming under the microscope. One of the most controversial issues is carbon offsets, which are environmentally friendly projects that polluters can financially support to meet requirements to slash greenhouse gas emissions. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/15/17

California to D.C. climate scientists: ‘Come West' -- Bracing for a fight with President Donald Trump on climate change, California turned first to heated rhetoric, with Gov. Jerry Brown suggesting the state might launch its own “damn satellite” if Trump pulled back on NASA climate science. David Siders Politico -- 3/15/17

9 Navy officers, including an admiral, indicted in 'Fat Leonard' bribery scandal -- Nine more Navy officers, including an admiral who was the director of naval intelligence operations before retiring, were indicted Tuesday on conspiracy, bribery, obstruction of justice and other charges in the ongoing “Fat Leonard” bribery scandal. Greg Moran in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/15/17


Single-family home rents rise to $2,548 in LA County, $1,729 in Inland Empire -- For years, Southern California apartment rents have been soaring. Now, a new report shows that rents have been rising even faster for houses, which are preferred by families and others seeking a bit more living space. Jeff Collins in the Long Beach Press Telegram$ -- 3/15/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions 

Monsanto loses in Fresno County judge’s final ruling on Roundup chemical -- Chemical giant Monsanto has lost its effort in Fresno County Superior Court to stop California from listing a key ingredient in its popular herbicide, Roundup, as a carcinogen. A Fresno County Superior Court judge issued her final ruling Friday. Robert Rodriguez in the Fresno Bee -- 3/15/17

Water regulators rescind $1.5M fine against tomato company -- State water regulators rescinded a $1.5 million fine levied against one of California's top tomato processing companies they said had been polluting groundwater after the company uncovered documents contradicting officials. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board imposed the fine last year against Morning Star Packing Co. for expanding two wastewater ponds from 60 to 100 acres without permission and improperly disposing of millions of gallons of waste. Associated Press -- 3/15/17


About 1,600 LAUSD administrators to get layoff notices -- These employees might not lose their jobs, however, Jones said. Last year, the school district rescinded notices it sent to 1,700 administrators after the state released its budget. “We hope to be able to do that again this year,” Jones said. Antonie Boessenkool in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 3/15/17

About that $1 billion-plus projected deficit in LA Unified's budget -- In the run-up to last week's Los Angeles Unified school board election, voters saw many ads detailing the "fiscal mess" in the district, including one television spot that said L.A. Unified faces a budget deficit of $1.4 billion. But according to budget projections that district officials released Tuesday, L.A. Unified will end this year with a $570 million surplus. Kyle Stokes KPCC -- 3/15/17

San Diego Unified approves tentative budget, eliminates jobs -- San Diego Unified School District trustees voted Tuesday night to approve a $1.3 billion tentative budget that includes $124.4 million in cuts and could result in more than 1,000 job losses. Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/15/17

Immigration / Border 

‘He had no right to be here’: Family faces undocumented immigrant charged in woman’s death -- The fiance of a woman allegedly killed by an undocumented immigrant in a car crash last month railed against the system Tuesday after the suspect, who federal officials have said was deported five times from the United States, appeared in court for a preliminary hearing. Gregory J. Wilcox in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 3/15/17


Congressional look at marine sanctuaries could impact Sonoma County -- Rep. Jared Huffman and environmentalists are concerned that a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill marks the beginning of a Republican assault on a national marine sanctuary system that protects 350 miles of California’s coast from offshore oil development and pumps millions of dollars into local economies, including Sonoma County. Guy Kovner in the Santa Rosa Press -- 3/15/17

Vacaville sued over ‘Erin Brockovich’ contaminant in water supply -- The city of Vacaville is facing pressure to clean up its water supplies after an environmental group sued this week over the amount of chromium-6 in groundwater. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/15/17

3 petroleum distributors to pay $3M over fuel storage tanks -- Three petroleum distributors in Northern California have agreed to pay $3 million in penalties over environmental violations, including failing to maintain their underground storage tanks. Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Tuesday that Contra Costa Superior Court ordered Golden Gate Petroleum and its sole shareholder, Dennis O'Keefe, Bay Area/Diablo Petroleum Company and Westgate Petroleum Company, Inc., to pay the fine. Associated Press -- 3/15/17

With Some Chinook in Trouble, California Faces ‘a Pathetic Scrap’ of a Salmon Season -- California’s chinook salmon — or some of them — are in trouble again. And under a set of proposed rules approved Monday, that’s likely to mean a very restricted salmon season for both commercial fishers and recreational anglers alike. Dan Brekke KQED -- 3/15/17


What Happens to San Francisco’s Medical Safety Net Under the Republican Bill? -- In her office in Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Dr. Alice Chen pulled down a blue box she keeps on top of a file cabinet. She set it on her lap and leafed through a stack of thank-you notes, until she found one from a former patient that she wanted to read aloud. Laura Klivans KQED -- 3/15/17

Also . . . 

Did a Fresno County sheriff’s SWAT team destroy a couple’s home? -- A family is suing Fresno County, the Sheriff’s Office and Clovis Police Department for destroying their home by “military-like force” in a SWAT call to remove a man who holed himself up in their residence. Marc Benjamin in the Fresno Bee -- 3/15/17

Orange County ends jail contract amid accusations of overcharging inmates' families to send money -- Orange County supervisors voted Tuesday to cancel a contract with a jail kiosk operator over concerns that family members and friends of inmates were being charged too much to use the company’s services, including posting bail money and adding funds electronically to commissary accounts. Jordan Graham in the Orange County Register -- 3/15/17

POTUS 45  

Another piece of Trump's taxes revealed: $35 million paid on $150 million in income in 2005 -- President Trump paid more than $35 million in federal income taxes in 2005 on $150 million in income, an effective rate of 24%, according to the first two pages of a tax return released late Tuesday that offered a rare glimpse into his financial dealings. Noah Bierman in the Los Angeles Times$ Henry C. Jackson Politico Philip Rucker and Drew Harwell in the Washington Post$ -- 3/15/17


Sen. Whitehouse: Comey may confirm FBI Russia investigation on Wednesday -- A key Democratic senator probing Russian interference into the 2016 election said FBI Director James Comey has indicated privately to senators that he may provide a "clearer explanation" of the existence of a Russia-related FBI investigation in advance of an anticipated Senate hearing on Wednesday. Seung Min Kim Politico -- 3/15/17

Neil Gorsuch Has Web of Ties to Secretive Billionaire -- The publicity-shy billionaire Philip F. Anschutz inherited an oil and gas firm and built it into an empire that has sprawled into telecommunications, railroads, real estate, resorts, sports teams, stadiums, movies and conservative publications like The Weekly Standard and The Washington Examiner. Charlie Savage and Julie Turkewitz in the New York Times$ -- 3/15/17

New health care bill: Midterm flak may hit Republicans -- Republicans don’t just have a policy problem with their proposed health care plan; they’ve got a political problem: It hurts some of the older and low-income voters who helped put Donald Trump in the White House, and helps younger voters who wanted little to do with him. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/15/17

Trump administration shifts away from 'insurance for everybody' -- The White House shifted away from President Trump's stated goal of providing "insurance for everybody" on Tuesday, instead promising that the House GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare offers "more people the option to get healthcare." Noah Bierman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/15/17


-- Tuesday Updates 

Audit slams California agencies for lax social service background checks -- California is failing in its effort to screen potential social service workers for criminal convictions and could be putting children, adults, and elderly clients at risk, according to a state audit released Tuesday. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/14/17

Republican Mike Ramos pulls out of attorney general’s race; will run for re-election -- San Bernardino District Attorney Mike Ramos, who over the last two years has positioned himself as the leading Republican challenger for California attorney general in 2018, announced Tuesday that he was abandoning his statewide aspirations and will seek re-election instead. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/14/17

Election officials question Applegate's unexplained $400,000 campaign cash dropoff -- Federal election officials have formally requested information about a nearly $400,000 drop in cash on hand reported by the campaign for Doug Applegate in his 2016 bid for Rep. Darrell Issa’s seat in Congress. Morgan Cook in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/14/17

South Bay housing crisis: 92-year-old “model tenant” facing eviction -- In his 92 years, Paul Mayer has survived World War II. He’s battled skin cancer and congestive heart failure. But it’s the fight to keep his apartment of 44 years that he fears he’ll lose. He has until April 4 to clear out. Ramona Giwargis in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/14/17

L.A. County Sheriff’s Department switches from silver to gold belt buckles at a cost of $300,000 -- The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is getting down to brass tactics. Sheriff’s officials are spending $300,000 on items they say would make deputies look more professional in their jobs and could help make them safer. Maya Lau in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/14/17

California can require a cancer warning label on Roundup weed killer, judge rules -- A judge has ruled that California can require Monsanto to label its popular weed killer Roundup as a possible cancer threat despite insistence from the agrochemical company that it poses no risk to people. Associated Press -- 3/14/17

Lazarus: Either Paul Ryan is full of it or he has no idea what he's talking about -- House Speaker Paul Ryan defended the Republican healthcare-reform plan by saying it’s not necessarily a bad thing that it will cover fewer people than Obamacare. David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/14/17

H-1B visa immigration program erodes wages, curbs hiring: study -- The H-1B visa immigration program has undermined wages and eroded job growth — yet bolstered corporate profits — according to a new report by a closely watched research group of economists. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/14/17

Fox: Haven’t We Learned Yet? More Legislation that Adds to Housing Costs -- Housing costs too much in California. But, while legislators wring their hands over the housing crisis they often pass laws that boost the cost of housing. The latest proposal that would increase housing costs is AB 199 by Assemblyman Kansen Chu. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 3/14/17

Republicans are threatening to expose Trump as the emperor with no clothes -- It's almost as though Republicans are tired of having President Trump's evidence-free allegations laid at their feet. Almost. Late Monday, a spokesman for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) threatened to subpoena the Trump administration to produce evidence of Trump's claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign. Aaron Blake in the Washington Post$ -- 3/14/17

Kushners, Trump In-Laws, Near $400 Million Deal with Chinese Firm -- A New York real estate company owned by the family of President Donald J. Trump’s son-in-law is negotiating to sell a $400 million stake in its Fifth Avenue flagship skyscraper to a Chinese insurance company with ties to leading families of the Communist Party. Charles V. Bafli and Michael Forsythe in the New York Times$ -- 3/14/17