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California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Burbank residents ordered to evacuate as 2,000-acre wildfire rages toward homes -- Residents in Burbank at the foot of the Verdugo Mountains were ordered to evacuate late Friday as firefighters struggled to contain a raging wildfire that grew to 2,000 acres, fanned by strong, erratic winds. Matt Hamilton, Doug Smith and Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/2/17

Two San Bernardino County officials and developer acquitted in public corruption case -- Two San Bernardino County officials and a Rancho Cucamonga developer were acquitted by a jury this week following an eight-month trial in which prosecutors accused them scheming to secure a $102-million payout from a land dispute. Veronica Rocha in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/2/17

California lawmakers shelve dozens of bills, including measures keeping bars open later and limiting gun purchases -- State lawmakers gutted or shelved dozens of bills for the year on Friday, including proposals to allow bars to stay open later, examine police practices, regulate marijuana and prohibit Californians from buying more than one rifle a month. Patrick McGreevy and John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ Chris Nichols Capital Public Radio Guy Marzorati and Marisa Lagos KQED -- 9/2/17

Bill aimed at halting Mojave Desert water project stalls -- California lawmakers rejected a bill Friday designed to stymie a private company's plan to pump water from below the Mojave Desert to sell in Southern California. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 9/2/17

New California law will extend protections for immigrants -- California police will soon be barred from arresting crime victims or witnesses just because of actual or suspected immigration violations under a new law the governor signed Friday. Sophia Bollag Associated Press -- 9/2/17

Attempt to end lifetime sex-offender registration in California fails -- California will not end lifetime registration requirements for sex offenders after a bill to overhaul the registry stalled in the Assembly on Friday. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/2/17

Bill to study police shootings in California shelved by state Senate committee -- The bill, Assembly Bill 284 from Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), would have authorized Becerra to examine the circumstances, policies, training and oversight involved in police shootings that resulted in death or serious injuries between 2015 and 2016 for a report issued by July 2019. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/2/17

Proposed California ballot initiative would give consumers more control over their personal information online -- A ballot initiative proposed Friday would allow California consumers to know what personal information businesses are collecting from them, what they do with it — and to who they are selling it. Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/2/17

Former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder files brief on behalf of California Senate in Chicago's 'sanctuary city' lawsuit -- The California Senate is throwing its support behind Chicago in a lawsuit against the Justice Department over its plan to withhold federal money from “sanctuary cities," which limit collaboration between state and local authorities with federal immigration agents. Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/2/17

Brown hits San Diego, Faulconer hits Sacramento -- In the nearly seven years he’s been governor, Jerry Brown’s been frank about why he’s supported bold criminal justice reform, like Prop. 57, the 2016 ballot measure that, among other things, offers sentence credits to inmates who take advantage of rehabilitative programming. Sara Libby Capitol Weekly -- 9/2/17

Governor Wants More Reforms For California’s Prison System -- California Gov. Jerry Brown took the stage just after the state prison industry authority made a pitch to a room full of employers to hire trained ex-convicts. Erik Anderson KPBS -- 9/2/17

New state report card finds some local dams vulnerable -- California safety regulators for the first time publicly posted safety ratings for the hundreds of dams under state jurisdiction on Friday, bowing to public pressure for more transparency after the failure of the Oroville Dam spillway in Feburary. Sharon McNary KPCC -- 9/2/17

Workers clear out of Russian consulate in San Francisco -- Acrid, black smoke was seen pouring from a chimney at the Russian consulate in San Francisco and workers began hauling boxes out of the stately building in a historic area of the city Friday, a day after the Trump administration ordered its closure amid escalating tensions between the United States and Russia. The workers were hurrying to shut Russia's oldest consulate in the U.S. ahead of a Saturday deadline. Garance Burke and Eric Risberg Associated Press -- 9/2/17

BART to slow down trains in case tracks buckle in heat -- With temperatures climbing into the high 90s in San Francisco and triple digits in much of the Bay Area, BART is reducing the speed of trains traveling outdoors between noon and 8 p.m. through Sunday night, the transit agency announced Friday. Filipa Ioannou in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/2/17

California heat wave: How much is from climate change? -- Is the heat wave scorching Northern California this weekend caused by climate change? Not exactly, say scientists. Heat waves, droughts and hurricanes like Harvey, which brought historic floods to Texas in recent days, have always been part of the weather in the United States. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/2/17

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

Voters, get ready for a Caltrain sales tax measure -- A state Senate bill to allow local authorities to place a 1/8-cent sales tax for Caltrain on the ballot in Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Mateo counties cleared the Assembly on Friday, pushing it close to the finish line. Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/2/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

California lawmakers pitch a break from a key environmental law to help L.A. Olympic bid, Clippers area -- California lawmakers introduced legislation Friday to bypass a key state environmental law that would dramatically ease the construction of rail, bus and other transit projects connected to Los Angeles’ bid to host the Olympic Games in 2028. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/2/17

Bay Area drivers see Harvey’s ‘ripple effect’ as gasoline prices surge -- Drivers throughout the Bay Area and across the state should expect prices at the pumps to remain elevated for the next couple of weeks, even though California’s gasoline doesn’t come from Texas. We’re just experiencing the ripple effect from Harvey’s disruption of the U.S. gasoline market. Rex Crum in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/2/17

What business exodus? California tops in U.S. for company creation -- Toyota’s leaving. Nestle USA, too. Also Chevron and Occidental Petroleum. To name a few more. Even the headquarters of Jamba Juice and Carl’s Jr. So with much talk about companies supposedly fleeing California en masse — purportedly due to unfriendly conditions for business — would you be surprised if I told you the state had the nation’s largest increase in the number of companies between 2014 and this year? Jonathan Lanser in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/2/17

Pulling back from strawberry market, Dole Food Co. to lay off 402 workers in Pajaro Valley -- Dole Food Co. will lay off 402 workers from its Pajaro Valley fields and packing facilities as part of a widening move out of California’s strawberry market. Geoffrey Mohan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/2/17

California spared worst of storm-driven gas price hikes -- The average price of gasoline in the U.S. is now $2.52 a gallon, the highest it's been all year. There was better news in California – gas prices only rose by an average of 6 cents per gallon last week. That's because the state's gasoline does not come from Texas, Kloza said. Andrea Bernstein KPCC -- 9/2/17

Former Wells Fargo executives say they were scapegoated for accounts scandal -- Two former regional presidents who oversaw Wells Fargo branches across Southern California say they were wrongfully blamed and fired for promoting unethical sales practices — something the pair say they unsuccessfully tried to get their superiors to address. James Rufus Koren in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/2/17

Hollywood is on track to have its worst summer in 25 years -- A Steven Spielberg film will again be the biggest movie that Hollywood will promote at the box office this holiday weekend. Except this film is one he made 40 years ago — “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Brian Fung and Hamza Shaban in the Washington Post$ -- 9/2/17

Formal sexual harassment allegations coming soon for Bay Area online-lending firm: CEO -- San Francisco online-lending firm SoFi said in August that there was no merit to allegations in a lawsuit by a former employee who claims he was fired for reporting sexual harassment of colleagues, but now the company’s CEO is warning employees that formal complaints are on the way. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/2/17


Oakland Begins Helping Some Homeless Encampments While Closing Others -- Tysonia Tyson was forced to move her tent from Grand Avenue in West Oakland on Thursday. She was among a number of homeless people living in several encampments cleared by city crews. Devin Katayama KQED -- 9/2/17


California lawmakers still seeking support to pass affordable housing solutions -- Legislative leaders backing a package of bills to raise revenue for affordable housing pushed the vote into next week after it became clear Friday that they did not have the support needed for passage. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/2/17

Searching for Solutions to SoCal’s Housing Crisis, YIMBYs Say ‘Yes’ to Development -- A backlash against high rents and home prices in Los Angeles has produced a movement that is so open to new development that many call themselves YIMBYs — as in “Yes in My Backyard.” Josie Huang KQED -- 9/2/17


Ten bills regulating pot in California are sidelined for the year as state bureau works to finalize its own rules -- The bills held by the Senate Appropriations Committee without comment would have further regulated where pot can be used, how marijuana is marketed, the trademarking of products and would have required the state to produce a consumer guide. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/2/17


San Francisco settles for $8.25 million with Lake Merced gun club over contamination -- The Pacific Rod and Gun Club will fork over $8.25 million to settle a long court battle with the city of San Francisco over who should be responsible for cleaning up piles of lead shotgun pellets and shattered clay pigeons at Lake Merced. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/2/17

Bay Area air regulators look at Russian consulate’s smoky chimney -- The Russian government almost had one more thing to deal with on top of U.S. sanctions: a ticket from Bay Area air regulators. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/2/17

Sea otters may be victims of toxin that crippled crab industry -- Two California sea otters are being treated at a Bay Area rescue center for brain lesions apparently caused by the same neurotoxin that closed down the Dungeness crab fishery two years ago and killed hundreds of other sea creatures, officials said. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/2/17

Also . . . 

Nipple equality: Women could go topless in Berkeley under new proposal -- A Berkeley law that makes public displays of the female breast illegal could be abolished this month if a city councilman gets his way. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/2/17

Don't try to treat your pet's anxiety with pot — until you read this -- Pot for pets is a big business — dispensaries across California offer a range of cannabis-derived products formulated for the four-legged members of your family — think capsules for cats, biscuits for dogs and tinctures, oils and ointments for both. Adam Tschorn in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/2/17

Sheriff: 2 bodies pulled from California river gorge -- A recovery team using a helicopter and a winch on Friday dragged a car from the middle of a dangerous California river where it had been stranded for more than a month and freed two bodies inside believed to be a pair of exchange students from Thailand. Scott Smith Associated Press Jim Guy in the Fresno Bee -- 9/2/17

Harvey is one of the costliest disasters in U.S. history, and most of the victims have no flood insurance -- Tropical Storm Harvey, which destroyed thousands of homes and businesses across southeastern Texas, is now estimated to be one of the costliest disasters in American history, with damages that could exceed $100 billion. Laura J. Nelson and Don Lee in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/2/17

POTUS 45  

Mueller Has Early Draft of Trump Letter Giving Reasons for Firing Comey -- The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has obtained a letter drafted by President Trump and a top political aide that offered an unvarnished view of Mr. Trump’s thinking in the days before the president fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey. Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times$ Rosalind S. Helderman, Carol D. Leonnig and Ashley Parker in the Washington Post$ -- 9/2/17

Forceful Chief of Staff Grates on Trump, and the Feeling Is Mutual -- President Trump was in an especially ornery mood after staff members gently suggested he refrain from injecting politics into day-to-day issues of governing after last month’s raucous rally in Arizona, and he responded by lashing out at the most senior aide in his presence. It happened to be his new chief of staff, John F. Kelly. Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times$ -- 9/2/17

John Kelly Pushing Out Omarosa for ‘Triggering’ Trump -- Newly minted White House chief of staff John Kelly has sought to put a dent in the influence of one of President Donald Trump’s most famous advisers: Omarosa Manigault. Lachlan Markay, Asawin Suebsaeng The Daily Beast -- 9/2/17


Moment of truth arrives for Obamacare repeal -- Republicans face a Sept. 30 deadline to kill the law with 50 votes, but many in the party have already moved on. Rachana Pradhan and John Bresnahan Politico -- 9/2/17

Border wall contractor once paid $3 million to settle federal fraud investigation -- One of the four companies picked by the Trump administration this week for its Mexico border wall prototype paid more than $3 million to settle a Justice Department criminal investigation into whether it defrauded the U.S. government through its participation in a federal “mentor-protégé” program to help disadvantaged small business contractors, records show. Josh Meyer Politico -- 9/2/17

Donald Trump Jr. is getting $100,000 for university speech sponsored by GOP donor’s company -- Donald Trump Jr. is being paid $100,000 to participate in a Texas public university speaking series sponsored by the company of a major Republican donor — a fee that is as much as double what President Trump’s eldest son appeared to have sought on the lecture circuit before this year. Matea Gold in the Washington Post$ -- 9/2/17


-- Friday Updates 

Jerry Brown, Dianne Feinstein suffer rare defeat -- In a rare legislative defeat for Gov. Jerry Brown, Democratic lawmakers Friday killed a bill he backed to block a controversial water-pumping project in the Mojave Desert. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/1/17  

California Republicans ask House Speaker to consider bill to help 'Dreamers' as nation awaits Trump DACA decision -- Central Valley Reps. David Valadao of Hanford and Jeff Denham of Turlock are asking House Speaker Paul Ryan to allow the House to consider legislation to protect from deportation the hundreds of thousands of people brought to the country illegally as children. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/17

San Francisco hits 106 degrees — shatters all-time record -- Friday’s temperatures baked, roasted and fried San Francisco’s all-time high record — hitting 106 degrees by mid-afternoon — and possibly heading even higher. Jenna Lyons, Steve Rubenstein, and Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/1/17

NRA marks win as lawmakers gut measure that would have limited rifle purchases in California -- The National Rifle Assn. won a rare victory in the California Legislature on Friday when a committee gutted key portions of a bill that would have prohibited buying more than one rifle in any 30-day period. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/17

Offshore drilling crackdown stalls in California Legislature -- Legislation that would clamp down on offshore drilling along California's coast stalled on Friday. The measure, SB 188, had been introduced by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) after President Trump announced in April that his administration would consider allowing more drilling. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/1/17

State bill requiring California police to disclose surveillance equipment stalls in fiscal committee -- A bill that would have required law enforcement agencies in California to disclose all of their surveillance equipment to the public stalled on Friday in the state Assembly Appropriations Committee amid its high costs. Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/17

Effort to limit pot advertising on clothing in California falls short -- The pot industry scored a victory in the state Legislature on Friday as lawmakers killed a proposal to ban marijuana advertisements on clothes for young people. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/17

Tiny Berkeley studios command huge rents -- Don’t want a roommate, but can’t afford a one-bedroom? This situation, for renters, means the hunt for a studio apartment is on. But in Berkeley, that can be an expensive endeavor. In this city, apartments as small as 250 square feet rent for $1,500 a month. Prices go steadily up with each added square foot: By the time you get to 525 square feet, you’re looking at $2,713 a month. Anna Marie Erwert in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/1/17

San Francisco has the nation’s highest rents, with San Jose and Oakland close behind -- Another month, another rent increase. The latest National Apartment Report from Abodo, the apartment listings website, spells out the damage. Richard Scheinin in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/1/17

Last call stays the same, as lawmakers turn off the taps on keeping California bars open until 4 a.m. -- Lawmakers rejected a proposal on Friday to allow many California bars to extend hours of operation until 4 a.m., a bill that would have marked the first expansion of the hours of sale for alcohol since 1935. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/1/17

New data: California is having its hottest summer . . . ever -- The Western Regional Climate Center says that California’s average temperature for June, July and August was the hottest in recorded history, based on the preliminary numbers. And it wasn’t just a little hotter than average. It was a lot hotter. Dave Johnson in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/1/17

Proposal for 100% clean energy marches forward in Sacramento -- California lawmakers advanced legislation on Friday to phase out fossil fuels for generating electricity. The measure, SB 100 from Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), was approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. If passed by the full Assembly in the coming weeks, it can be sent to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/17

Bill to reduce names on California's sex offender registry shelved -- A bill that would have ended lifetime listing of many convicted sex offenders on a public registry was shelved Friday after officials said it could cost tens of millions of dollars to make the change. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/17

Political Road Map: It's no secret why so many Sacramento lawmakers are collecting campaign cash right now -- Think of what’s going on most every weeknight right now in Sacramento as a kind of political pub crawl. More specifically, a political pub crawl for cash. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/17

Smoke seen pouring from Russian consulate in San Francisco -- Acrid, black smoke was seen pouring from a chimney at the Russian consulate in San Francisco Friday, a day after the Trump administration ordered its closure amid escalating tensions between the United States and Russia. Firefighters who arrived at the scene were turned away by consulate officials who came from inside the building. An Associated Press reporter heard people who came from inside the building tell firefighters that there was no problem and that consulate staff were burning unidentified items in a fireplace. Garance Burke and Eric Risberg Associated Press -- 9/1/17

San Jose: School officials scramble to keep kids cool in classrooms without A/C -- Sweat dripped down some student’s faces as they listened to their teacher talk about Hurricane Harvey at an East Side elementary school Friday morning. Ramona Giwargis in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/1/17

Behind coup that toppled Alum Rock schools’ brash president -- Khanh Tran thought he was adeptly navigating between two warring factions on the Alum Rock Union School District board, and had even figured out a diplomatic way of neutralizing a brewing coup against his presidency. Sharon Noguchi in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/1/17

Corrections officials hear suggestions, complaints about revamping California's parole system -- About 100 people gathered in Sacramento on Friday to offer ideas and concerns about new regulations that have overhauled California's parole system, an effort that will allow thousands more inmates to be considered for early release. Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/17

County takes sanitation action to fight hepatitis A outbreak -- After weeks of delay, hand-washing stations were to start popping up in San Diego Friday, one day after the county health department sent a letter to the city demanding immediate action to improve sanitary conditions in areas where homeless people affected by an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak are known to congregate. Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 9/1/17

San Diego Councilman Calls For Homeless State Of Emergency; Mayor Calls On County To Respond -- An adviser to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Councilman David Alvarez's call Thursday for a declaration of a state of emergency in the city due to a shortage of homeless shelters and an associated health crisis caused by an outbreak of Hepatisis A in that population is not needed. KPBS -- 9/1/17

Fired Centinela school superintendent pleads not guilty to corruption charges -- Fired Centinela Valley schools Superintendent Jose Fernandez pleaded not guilty Friday to public corruption allegations that a prosecutor alleged could have bilked the district of $1.5 million to as much as $3 million. Larry Altman in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 9/1/17

Trump pulls back threat to shut down government over border wall — for now -- The White House has signaled to congressional Republicans that it will not shut down the government in October if money isn’t appropriated to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, potentially clearing a path for lawmakers to reach a short-term budget deal. Damian Paletta in the Washington Post$ -- 9/1/17

Republicans crank up pressure on Trump to not scrap DACA -- President Donald Trump is under mounting pressure from members of his own party not to end an Obama-era program that grants work permits to hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children — a group often referred to as Dreamers. Andrew Restuccia, Josh Dawsey and Kelsey Tamborrino Politco -- 9/1/17

Rep. Ed Royce rebukes Trump on Arpaio pardon -- Royce’s statement doesn’t explicitly address an eventual pardon for Arpaio, but does join the chorus of those — including Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona — who’ve said that Trump jumped the gun because Arpaio had not been sentenced, let alone pursued the appeals process. It’s the latest indication that Royce is the most willing of Orange County’s four Republican incumbents to express public concerns about Trump actions. Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register -- 9/1/17

New crisis text line identifies California college student homelessness as big issue -- Last May, the California Community College system partnered with Crisis Text Line – a free service funded by grants and donations – to give students an all-hours, anonymous counseling service for mental health emergencies. Adolfo Guzman-Lopez KPCC -- 9/1/17

West Nile kills LA County resident as reports of virus activity spike -- California Department of Public Health confirmed a Los Angeles County resident was among the first three human deaths from West Nile virus. Stephanie K. Baer in the Long Beach Press Telegram$ -- 9/1/17

TV writers get more parental leave — and that could help Hollywood's diversity problem -- After years of waiting, John Pardee and his husband became new parents, adopting newborn Westin. At the time, Pardee was a writer for the hit show "Desperate Housewives." Parental leave was unheard of for television writers. Alex Cohen KPCC -- 9/1/17

Abcarian: Replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day is a long overdue victory for civil rights -- Twenty five years ago, ahead of its time as usual, the city of Berkeley renamed Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day. Los Angeles, what took you so long? Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/1/17