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  • School Inoovation and Achievement

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Bocanegra needs to ‘to look at his own heart’ about remaining in office, top Democrat says -- Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra needs to “think long and hard” and decide whether he should resign after the recent revelation that he was disciplined eight years ago for allegedly groping another legislative staff member, the head of California’s Democratic Party said Wednesday. Amy Chance in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/17

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra wants court to halt Trump's plans to end DACA -- Becerra on Wednesday filed a motion in federal court in San Francisco, seeking a preliminary injunction that aims to put a hold on Trump’s efforts to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ Tatiana Sanchez in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/1/17

California's teachers pension fund will consider divesting from gun retailers following mass shootings -- California's teachers pension fund will consider canceling its investments in national retail companies selling guns and ammunition banned in the state after Treasurer John Chiang argued for action following last month's mass shooting in Las Vegas. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/17

Facebook, Google, Twitter say 150 million Americans saw Russian propaganda -- Tech companies have insisted that the advertisements purchased with Russian money, meant to further divide American communities and voters, amounted to flotsam in a sea of billions of social media posts. But the number of people who were exposed to Russian propaganda and fake news across several websites and social networks likely topped 150 million, lawyers from Twitter, Google and Facebook revealed in congressional testimony this week. Marissa Lang in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/1/17

Facebook beats third-quarter expectations amid controversy -- Controversy swirling around how Russia used Facebook to meddle in the U.S. presidential election didn’t appear to hurt the social media giant’s third-quarter ad sales. But as Facebook spends more in technology and workers to keep the site safe, the tech firm warned investors that rising expenses will impact the company’s profits in 2018. “ Queenie Wong in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/1/17

Judge says California can’t force antiabortion clinics to publicize abortion access -- California violates freedom of speech by requiring antiabortion “crisis pregnancy centers” to tell patients that the state makes abortions available at little or no cost, a Riverside County judge has ruled, reopening debate over a law that federal courts had upheld. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/1/17

Oroville Dam ready to withstand winter rains as first phase of repairs is finished, officials say -- Eight and a half months after the gravest emergency in the dam’s history forced 188,000 residents to flee, state officials said Wednesday that Oroville’s structures have been largely rebuilt and can withstand a rainy Northern California winter. A second phase of work will be completed next year. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/17

Trump nominates U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California -- President Trump on Wednesday nominated McGregor W. Scott to be the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California. Scott is currently a partner in the Sacramento office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where his focus is white collar criminal defense and corporate investigations. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/17

Kevin de León distorts Sen. Dianne Feinstein's environmental record in fundraising plea -- U.S. Senate candidate Kevin de León mischaracterized Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s environmental record on Tuesday in a fundraising plea to supporters. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/17

Whistle-blower protections sought for California lawmakers’ staffers -- Over the years, California lawmakers have passed and strengthened whistle-blower protections to encourage private and public employees to report wrongdoing at their workplaces without fear of retaliation. But they have deliberately left one group of workers unprotected: their own. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/1/17

California lawmaker faces calls to resign over Capitol groping incident -- Aside from a statement by leaders of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus urging the Assembly to review his behavior, Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra’s colleagues have largely stayed silent about the recent revelation that he was disciplined eight years ago, as a Capitol chief of staff, for allegedly groping another legislative staff member. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/17

BottleRock Presents to host trio of benefit concerts -- The producers behind Wine Country’s annual BottleRock Napa Valley music festival plan to host three concerts in support of relief efforts after the firestorm that ravaged the North Bay last month. East Bay-bred bands Counting Crows and Michael Franti & Spearhead are slated to headline separate shows Nov. 18, while San Francisco rockers Train are scheduled to perform Dec. 1, BottleRock Presents announced Wednesday, Nov. 1. Mariecar Mendoza in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/1/17

Feinstein urges San Francisco supervisors to undo tax sale of rich residents’ street -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein is coming down hard on the side of Presidio Terrace residents outraged that San Francisco sold their gated, private street to a South Bay couple. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/1/17

Stanford to study Vegas mass murderer Stephen Paddock’s brain -- Dead and stored in a morgue, Stephen Paddock can’t explain why he carried out one of the worst mass shootings in American history. But his brain, on its way to Stanford, might reveal clues. Lisa M. Krieger in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/1/17

Seal on diploma will be badge of honor for civically active California students -- Johnny Rebel, the 20-foot tall mural of a Civil war soldier carrying a rifle, may soon be sanded and scraped off the gym wall and into the dustbin of history at Savanna High in Southern California. All because students got involved and came up with a recommendation for their school board. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 11/1/17

Peterson: Eight guns in one week: ‘Coincidental cluster’ of gun incidents bedevil Bay Area schools -- Bring Your Gun to School Week got off to a rootin’, tootin’ start Monday, Oct. 23, when an eighth-grade student showed up at Menlo Oaks Middle School with an unloaded handgun. The student was detained when he left school without permission. The gun was discovered in a backpack and the student was taken to juvenile hall. Gary Peterson in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/1/17

Rhee: Some say California is getting soaked on flood insurance. Should we go it alone? -- As California moves into rainy season, a growing number of voices are urging the state to explore getting out of federal flood insurance and creating its own program. They point out that the National Flood Insurance Program is inundated with debt, and that California residents pay far more into the program than they are getting back. Foon Rhee in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/17

Russian ads, now publicly released, show sophistication of influence campaign -- As a group, the ads made visceral appeals to voters upset about illegal immigration, black political activism, the declining economic fortunes of coal miners, gun ownership, the rising prominence of Muslims in some U.S. communities and many other issues. Some ads, many of which were bought in Russian rubles, also explicitly called for people to attend political rallies amid a campaign season that already was among the most polarizing in recent U.S. history. Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin, Adam Entous and Karoun Demirjian in the Washington Post$ -- 11/1/17

How Russian Bots and Trolls Invade Our Lives — and Elections -- How do bots and trolls work to infiltrate social media platforms and influence U.S. elections? We take a closer look at these insidious online pests to explain how they work. Natalia V. Osipova and Aaron Byrd in the New York Times$ -- 11/1/17


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

PG&E reports from fire zones show toppled trees, downed lines, broken poles -- Late in the evening of Oct. 8, the night wildfires erupted across Wine Country, winds blew branches and entire trees into Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power lines throughout a wide swath of Northern California, according to safety reports that California regulators released Tuesday. David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Ted Goldberg, Marisa Lagos and Lisa Pickoff-White KQED Emily DeRuy and Tracy Seipel in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/1/17

Electric utilities that cause wildfires should eat the costs, lawmakers say -- As state agencies investigate the cause of the wine country fires that killed 42 people and destroyed nearly 9,000 structures, California lawmakers announced plans to introduce legislation to prevent electric utilities found responsible for wildfires from passing the cost of claims and penalties onto consumers. Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/17

Effectiveness of California crime laws fuels debate -- Another round of the debate over crime and punishment is opening in California, where lawmakers and voters in recent years have added some elements of leniency to a justice system that has long been one of the nation’s most punitive. A new study and a proposed ballot measure gave conflicting grades this week to the wave of changes in state law. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/1/17

California Senate paid $89,500 to employee fired after argument over Colin Kaepernick -- The California Senate earlier this year reached a five-figure settlement with a former employee over allegations of discrimination and retaliation, including that he was fired for complaining about illegal political activities, sexual trysts and racist behavior in the office. In January, the Senate agreed to pay $89,500 to Douglas L. Miller, a former district representative for Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, two weeks after a Sacramento County judge allowed his lawsuit to proceed to trial. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/17

Walters: Garcetti’s opt-out for governor may have saved Villaraigosa -- That sigh you hear is Antonio Villaraigosa’s relief that Eric Garcetti won’t be running for governor next year. Dan Walters Calmatters.org -- 11/1/17

Tom Steyer's impeachment petition gets over 1 million signatures in first week -- Last week, Steyer began airing an ad calling for Trump's impeachment and asking viewers to sign his petition urging Congress to do so. He has spent more than $10 million to air the ad nationwide, including during the World Series Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/17

Tom Steyer Brings Impeachment Campaign To Anti-Issa Protest In Vista -- California billionaire Tom Steyer brought his campaign to impeach President Donald Trump to San Diego’s North County. He found a supportive audience Tuesday among the protestors outside Rep. Darrell Issa’s office. Alison St John KPBS -- 11/1/17

Return Manafort's money, Democrats demand of California Republican -- A California neuroscientist vying to unseat Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher stepped up his criticism of the conservative on Tuesday, demanding he return a $1,000 contribution from indicted Trump adviser Paul Manafort. Sharon Bernstein Reuters -- 11/1/17

Gov. Jerry Brown plans climate trip to Vatican, Belgium, Norway and Germany -- Gov. Jerry Brown has mapped out a busy European travel schedule that includes attending the next United Nations conference on climate change in Bonn, Germany. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 11/1/17

Parent who held teacher hostage at elementary school killed by police after hours-long standoff -- SWAT officers on Tuesday evening swarmed a Riverside elementary school classroom and shot a parent who had taken a teacher hostage, ending an hours-long standoff. The parent, identified as Riverside resident Luvelle Kennon, 27, died later at a hospital, said Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback. Joseph Serna and Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/17

The Crippling Ransomware Attack on KQED: The Inside Story -- This summer, criminals somewhere in Russia, Ukraine or maybe down the block, hacked into KQED’s computer system, installed malicious code that encrypted the station’s files, software and servers, and demanded money for their safe return. Jon Brooks KQED -- 11/1/17

Bee sex-ed survey done with Fresno Unified’s OK. Now, district drawing law group’s fire -- The Fresno Bee recently reported on the results of an anonymous survey of Fresno Unified students about sex education, conducted with the permission of the school district, as part of an investigation into teen pregnancy rates in the Valley. Now, a conservative law group wants Fresno Unified to discipline staff who allowed The Bee to distribute the survey, demand a retraction from the newspaper, and limit reporters’ access to school campuses. Tim Sheehan in the Fresno Bee -- 11/1/17

Michael Tilson Thomas to Step Down From San Francisco Symphony -- Tilson Thomas has been in the role since 1995, when he came to San Francisco as a respected figure in the classical music world with determination to present new works, fresh ideas for the concert experience, and an unwavering love of Mahler. All have helped define his tenure in San Francisco, which reads as a long list of awards, accolades, and achievements. Gabe Meline KQED Georgia Rowe in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/1/17

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

California homeowners would likely keep key deduction under revised GOP tax plan -- House Republicans will unveil tax legislation this week that likely allows taxpayers to continue to write off their property taxes, but not their state and local income and sales taxes. Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

California business tax incentive program should end, legislative analyst says -- The analyst's office examined California Competes, a program that began four years ago to give tax credits to businesses looking to move to the state or remain here, and found it puts existing companies that don't receive the awards at a disadvantage without clear benefits to the overall economy. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/17

Trump’s election incited racial harassment by shipping companies at Port of Oakland, lawsuit says -- Four longshoremen at the Port of Oakland are suing shipping companies there, alleging the companies are tolerating ongoing racial discrimination since the presidential election, including Confederate flag waving and multiple nooses found at the port, their attorney said Tuesday. Angela Ruggiero in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/1/17

Why Facebook, Twitter and Google are suddenly taking Russian meddling very seriously -- The three companies came to the hearing — the first of three on Capitol Hill over two days — with data showing how badly they underestimated the scope of Russia’s interference. Facebook said 126 million users were served content from a Russian troll farm, the Internet Research Agency, more than 10 times the original estimate. David Pierson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/17

Mark Zuckerberg’s Big Blind Spot and the Conflict Within Facebook -- For Zuckerberg, connecting the world means bringing people together. But increasingly the platform is being used by some very powerful elements to do the exact opposite: sow divisions. That’s led Facebook struggling almost every week to offer explanations for misleading and divisive news on its platform. Aarti Shahani KQED -- 11/1/17

Giant Pier 70 waterfront development gets final OK from San Francisco supervisors -- A massive development at San Francisco’s Pier 70 and an exit plan for city employees working at the squalid Hall of Justice both won unanimous approval from the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/1/17


20th death reported in San Diego's hepatitis A outbreak -- San Diego’s ongoing hepatitis A outbreak has now killed 20 people in San Diego and, with the number of cases still on the rise, concern continues that the health emergency could reach new populations. Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/1/17

Court says BART has right to evict Berkeley homeless encampment -- BART can evict a group of homeless people from an encampment they have occupied since January on the transit system’s property in south Berkeley, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, saying a transit agency has no legal duty to provide housing or shelter. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/1/17

LA County leaders seek more ability to detain, help people with severe mental illness -- What is a grave disability? It was a question on the minds of Los Angeles County supervisors, who OK’d a motion Tuesday that seeks to expand that definition. Their goal: To find a lawful way to expand the role of social workers and law enforcement officers to be able to detain people with severe mental illness who refuse treatment, even if their lives are in grave danger. Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 11/1/17


San Diego home price increases outpace nation, most U.S. cities -- San Diego had the third highest annual home price increase in the nation in August, a distinction not reached since 2014, said a top real estate index released Tuesday. Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/1/17


After the wine country fires, what happens to the crops? -- The full extent of the damage from the northern California wildfires that killed 43 people and destroyed 8,400 homes is still being tallied. The devastation left an obvious scar, but not all the damage is visible. Among the assessments still to be made is what impact millions of gallons of fire retardant—essentially a potent fertilizer—may have on carefully tended plants and soils. Julie Cart Calmatters.org -- 11/1/17

Rain in forecast shifts Sonoma County cleanup to stream banks -- The specter of rain washing potentially toxic ash from thousands of burned homes into sensitive Sonoma County watersheds has injected a new sense of urgency to local fire cleanup efforts, with the immediate focus shifting to erosion control needed to safeguard water quality. Kevin McCallum in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 11/1/17

Losses from Northern California wildfires top $3 billion; 14,000 homes destroyed or damaged -- Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced the staggering number and warned it will likely grow as more claims are reported by insurers. Richard Winton, Shelby Grad in the Los Angeles Times$ Kathleen Pender in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/1/17


Eight arrested in protests as Milo Yiannopoulos speaks at Cal State Fullerton -- At least eight people were arrested at Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday night during small but tense protests as conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos spoke, blasting what he called the silencing of conservative views on college campuses. Alene Tchekmedyian, Makeda Easter and Benjamin Oreskes in the Los Angeles Times$ Roxana Kopetman, Deepa Bharath, Scott Schwebke and Alicia Robinson in the Orange County Register -- 11/1/17

Wait begins for free community college -- It will take awhile before Californians can enjoy the much-heralded free community college offer recently approved by Gov. Jerry Brown. The earliest the free tuition could go into effect is fall 2018 and that’s only if the Legislature agrees to budget the $31.1 million needed to pay for the expected 19,000 students who would take advantage of a school-offered tuition waiver. Lisa Renner Capitol Weekly -- 11/1/17


Some L.A. pot growers, manufacturers may get legal grace period ahead of licensing -- Under a plan passed Tuesday by the City Council, Los Angeles could provide a grace period for some marijuana growers and manufacturers — allowing them to avoid prosecution and continue operating while they seek city licenses. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ Elizabeth Chou in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 11/1/17

Abcarian: Another cultural tipping point? Cannabis ads appear in TSA checkpoint trays at Ontario airport -- Every now and then, the culture experiences a watershed, a moment when we look up and say, wow, things really have changed. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/17

SWAT sniper justified in killing Northern California pot-grower, D.A. says -- Prosecutors say a SWAT sniper with the Butte County Sheriff’s Department acted in self-defense when he shot and killed an armed pot grower who told officers they “better bring body bags” if they came to his property earlier this year, according to findings made public this week. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/17

Sacramento audit finds pot dispensaries under-report taxable revenue, other violations -- Medical marijuana dispensaries in Sacramento are under-reporting revenue to tax collectors and failing to comply with city operating requirements, according to an audit that will be discussed at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Brad Branan in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/17


City hasn't been tracking transit, biking goals in landmark Climate Action Plan -- The city of San Diego has some ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gases, but one goal stands out as something of a question mark — getting thousands of commuters to cars ditch their cars in favor of alternative modes of transportation. Joshua Emerson Smith in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/1/17

Wildlife camera catches uncollared mountain lion roaming the Hollywood Hills -- An uncollared mountain lion was caught on camera roaming the Hollywood Hills just after midnight recently — the first official evidence of a cougar inhabiting a specially preserved parcel of land in Laurel Canyon, wildlife advocates say. Makeda Easter in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/17

POTUS 45  

Four Pinocchios: President Trump’s claim that he ‘turned West Virginia around’ by cutting regulations on mining -- President Trump has repeatedly taken credit for economic improvements and business deals that have little to do with his policies. Regular readers may recall that we gave him Two Pinocchios for his claim that he personally added 1 million jobs, and Four Pinocchios for taking credit for Foxconn’s proposed plant in Wisconsin. Now Trump is at it again. Nicole Lewis in the Washington Post$ -- 11/1/17

Trump resists mounting pressure from Bannon and others to fight Mueller -- Debate intensified in President Trump’s political circle Tuesday over how aggressively to confront special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, dividing some of the president’s advisers and loyalists as the Russia investigation enters a new phase following charges against three former Trump campaign officials. Philip Rucker and Robert Costa in the Washington Post$ -- 11/1/17

Trump Foreign Policy Advisers Were Brought On to Solve a Political Problem. Now They Are One -- One lasted only 24 days as President Trump’s national security adviser, done in by his lack of candor about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador. Another has been hauled in front of a federal grand jury investigating Russia’s interference in the election. A third has pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his own contacts with Russians. Matthew Rosenberg, Sharon LaFraniere and Matt Apuzzo in the New York Times$ -- 11/1/17


Consumer protection chief appeals directly to Trump in bid to save class-action lawsuit rule -- In a rare direct appeal to the White House, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wrote a letter to President Trump this week, asking him to let stand a rule that makes it easier for consumers to file class-action lawsuits against financial firms. Congress narrowly passed legislation that would spike the rule, and the bill now goes to Trump for final approval. James Rufus Koren in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/17


-- Tuesday Updates 

Republicans’ deal to keep property tax deduction leaves California lagging some other states -- The decision by a key House Republican to maintain the deduction for property taxes but not for other state and local taxes is a victory for California but a bigger win for residents of other states. Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

Orange County is ground zero for fundraising in California's most contested races -- More than half of the money raised for the most contested House races in California is going to candidates in Orange County, another indication of its starring role in the Democratic effort to win back control of the House next year. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

California's gas tax increases Wednesday, and the political fallout is likely to spill over into 2018 elections -- A state gas tax increase of 12 cents per gallon kicks in Wednesday, and while the immediate impact will mean less money in motorists’ wallets, the long-term political fallout could roll into next year, when the higher levies are expected to be an issue in elections across California. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

Fox: The Gas Tax is Going Up—Treat or Trick? -- How can anyone call a tax increase a “treat?” One would think increasing taxes on an essential product like gasoline is definitely a trick to fit today’s holiday theme. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 10/31/17

State appeals court orders CPUC to turn over disputed emails -- A state appeals court has ordered the California Public Utilities Commission to turn over scores of emails involving regulators and the Governor’s Office so justices can determine whether they should be released in response to a Public Records Act request. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/31/17

High hopes but few details for Trump's $200 million STEM pledge -- The White House’s pledge to spend $200 million on science, math and computer education could potentially transform U.S. classrooms, but educators are waiting to celebrate until they know how the money will be spent. Carolyn Jones EdSource -- 10/31/17

Apple says it may stop using Qualcomm chips in iPhones, and San Diego tech company's shares tumble -- Qualcomm Inc. shares tumbled Tuesday after a report that Apple Inc. is considering dumping the company’s cellular modem chips from next year’s versions of iPhones and iPads. Mike Freeman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

Want to work in Hollywood? Here's the kind of nondisclosure agreements you have to sign first -- If you wanted to work for Leonardo DiCaprio’s company Greenhour Corp. a few years ago, you would have had to sign a document crucial to the Oscar winner’s “personal safety, well being and business.” James Rufus Koren in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

Push to Protect Robert Mueller From President Trump Fizzles in Congress -- Legislative efforts to shield special counsel Robert Mueller from political interference appear to have stalled out on Capitol Hill, even as attempts from President Donald Trump and his allies to discredit the investigation intensify. Andrew Desiderio The Daily Beast -- 10/31/17