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Targeted wildfire alerts ‘very well could have’ saved lives, California lawmaker says -- When a fast-moving wildfire flared up in Lake County early on Oct. 9, emergency officials quickly issued an emergency alert, blasting thousands of cell phones with mandatory evacuation orders and notifying area residents that they could soon be trapped by flames. Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/4/17

Gov. Jerry Brown compares GOP congressional leaders to 'Mafia thugs' -- Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday morning that GOP leaders in Congress who are advancing a major federal tax overhaul are “wielding their power like a bunch of Mafia thugs.” “The most immediate evil of this cynical maneuver called the tax bill is to further divide America when we’re at one of our most divisive periods in history,” Brown said during a conference call with reporters. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/4/17

Lobbyist names California lawmaker she says masturbated before her in a bar bathroom -- A Sacramento lobbyist said Monday Assemblyman Matt Dababneh cornered her in a bar bathroom last year and masturbated in front of her. Alexei Koseff and Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury$ Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ Scott Shafer KQED -- 12/4/17

Two women say California Assemblyman Matt Dababneh sexually harassed them -- At a news conference Monday morning, Pamela Lopez, a Sacrament lobbyist, named the San Fernando Valley Democrat as the man she said followed her into a restroom and masturbated in front of her. She had previously refused to name the man but said she decided to reveal the name after learning other women had bad experiences with him. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/4/17

High housing prices are forcing hundreds of Sacramento State students into homelessness -- A $200 a month rent increase pushed Sacramento State senior Elizabeth McGuire into homelessness on a recent Sunday afternoon. “Now, here I am with no money, no place to live and no car,” she said. “I was really lucky because I have a good friend who said I could stay on her couch.” Diana Lambert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/4/17

Wine Country fires: In sad aftermath, for-sale signs go up on burned-out lots -- The real estate ad posted by Coldwell Banker calls it a “fantastic opportunity” in a “wonderful neighborhood.” But it’s not the dream home you might expect in Wine Country. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/4/17

Lazarus: Less choice, higher prices feared in CVS' takeover of health insurer Aetna -- CVS Health says that its $69-billion takeover of insurance giant Aetna will be good for consumers. That, of course, is unlikely. For the deal to benefit consumers, it would have to result in lower drug prices or lower insurance costs. If past mergers are anything to go by, this won't happen. David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/4/17

Expect the 'strongest and longest' Santa Ana winds of the season this week in L.A. area -- Deflate your giant Santas and unplug those twinkly holiday lights: The Santa Ana winds are coming to town. Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/4/17

Number of Border Patrol agents getting sick from sewage nearly triples -- Headaches, rashes, infections, breathing problems. An increasing number of U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Imperial Beach station have reported a host of health problems since February, when an estimated 143 million gallons of Mexican sewage spilled into the Tijuana River Valley they patrol. Barbara Zaragoza in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/4/17

Fox: Tax Reform and the 2018 CA Elections -- The tax reform plan that is on the road to passing Congress sets up an interesting dynamic for the 2018 elections in California. Democrats will argue that those Republican congress members who voted for the tax plan and ended deductions raised taxes on many Californians. On the other hand most state Democrats will be protecting the need for gas tax increase against a repeal effort if one qualifies for the ballot. Reverse the script for Republicans. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 12/4/17

Don’t Stop the Presses! When Local News Struggles, Democracy Withers -- The sad story of the East Bay Times exemplifies how the decline of community journalism erodes civic engagement. Henri Gendreau WIRED -- 12/4/17

Where Silicon Valley Is Going to Get in Touch With Its Soul -- The Esalen Institute, a storied hippie hotel in Big Sur, Calif., has reopened with a mission to help technologists who discover that “inside they’re hurting.” Nellie Bowles in the New York Times$ -- 12/4/17

Utility regulators revise down the number of emails withheld on San Onofre matter -- Two years ago, California utility regulators identified 128 emails related to the disputed San Onofre settlement that they said could not be released because they were privileged communications to and from the Governor’s Office and the Public Utilities Commission president. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/4/17


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

De León pressured as sexual misconduct scandal creeps into U.S. Senate race -- Two days after state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León announced he would challenge fellow Democrat U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein in next year’s election, a sexual harassment scandal broke under his roof. Melody Gutierrez and John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/4/17

Kate Steinle memorial tied to 'alt-right' removed by city -- The city of San Francisco took down a memorial set up for Kate Steinle at Pier 14, after family members reportedly asked city officials to have it removed. About 50 candles, along with red and white roses, were seen Friday where Steinle was shot and killed, following the conclusion of the trial where her alleged shooter was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges. Dianne de Guzman in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/4/17

Colin Kaepernick honored at ACLU Bill of Rights Dinner in Beverly Hills -- Kaepernick was awarded the Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award, a recognition that was a surprise to event guests, who gave him a standing ovation. His name was not on the star-studded list of honorees released before the banquet that included Hollywood A-listers Jane Fonda, Viola Davis and Judd Apatow. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/4/17

Walters: How far can Democrats go to help unions? -- Undeniably, California’s dominant Democratic Party is joined at the hip with labor unions, even though scarcely a sixth of the state’s workers belong to unions. Dan Walters Calmatters.org -- 12/4/17

Skelton: Where's your money really going when you donate to charity? Do your research -- It's the season for charitable giving. And the trick is to make sure your money actually goes to a charity, not some fundraising outfit. You might be stunned to learn how much money some professional solicitors keep for themselves and the paltry amount they turn over to charities. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/4/17

Breakthrough Prize: A glittering night for science -- The path to science fame is typically a gauntlet of flasks, petri dishes, computers and tedious grant proposals — but sometimes, for the most talented, it ends on a red carpet. Lisa M. Krieger in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/4/17

Sweet recognition — and major cash — for three San Diego scientists with Breakthrough Prize -- Three top San Diego scientists on Sunday were awarded the world’s richest science prize, established five years ago by a team including the founders of Google and Facebook. Out of the seven $3 million Breakthrough Prize awards for 2018, San Diego scientists won two, with a third shared equally with a collaborator. The award is worth about twice the value of the Nobel Prize. Bradley J. Fikes in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/4/17

American family wants to help Afghan interpreter, but Trump administration says no -- Every day, Ken and Susie Perano wake up on their cattle ranch wondering whether Muhammad Kamran and his wife and four daughters are still alive. For the past nine months, the Peranos and their daughter Kristy, 27, have been trying to get the U.S. government to grant entry to Kamran and his family. Stephen Magagnini in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/4/17

Sexual Harassment at the California Capitol: Are There 'Rapists' in the Building? -- The California State Assembly’s point person investigating sexual harassment at the state capitol called on victims’ rights advocate and Democratic National Committeewoman Christine Pelosi Sunday to notify police if she believes a lawmaker has committed a violent sexual assault. Conan Nolan NBCLA -- 12/4/17

Election Tuesday will decide if Wendy Carrillo or Luis López becomes next state Assembly member -- The two Democrats emerged from 13 candidates who sought to replace Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez in the October special election. Carrillo claimed 22.16% of the vote, and Lopez came in with 18.59% in an low-turnout affair in which just 10% of the roughly 223,000 registered voters cast ballots. Javier Panzar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/4/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

How a Company Actually Plans to Spend Its Tax Cut Money -- Republicans have pitched their tax plan as an economic godsend that will offer deliverance from middling growth and set off a torrent of investment, hiring and raises. But at a quarry here in Southern California’s high desert, the outcome doesn’t look so straightforward. Natalie Kitroeff in the New York Times$ -- 12/4/17

Will Brown pension reform lead to more reform? -- Gov. Brown’s pension reform legislation five years ago, sold in part as a way to assure voters a proposed tax increase would not be eaten up by rising pension costs, got little love from pension critics. Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 12/4/17


San Francisco mayor, supervisor feud over use of site for housing -- The homeless Navigation Center that Aaron Peskin proposed for a North Beach parking lot has led to a power struggle between the supervisor and his longtime political foe, Mayor Ed Lee, who wants to use the site for affordable housing. Peskin’s Navigation Center would likely interfere with the 178-unit development that’s scheduled to break ground next year at 88 Broadway, now a city-owned parking lot just off the Embarcadero. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/4/17


Home prices nearly doubled in this surprising California city -- The jump in home prices in Stockton and neighboring Lodi — up about 92 percent over the past five years — is dramatic evidence of the ripple effects of the Bay Area’s tight housing market and the increasingly out-of-reach cost of living here. Marisa Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/4/17


Fire-scarred Highway 12 feels the burn of lost tourism -- The Nuns Fire that blowtorched through the upper Sonoma Valley has transfigured the multimillion dollar views that inspired writers like Jack London and Michael Ondaatje. Meg McConahey in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 12/4/17


Jerry Brown's dilemma: fix school funding formula now or watch others do it later -- If he chooses, Gov. Jerry Brown can leave office a year from now with the satisfaction of seeing the Local Control Funding Formula, the sweeping school funding and improvement reform he championed, intact and fully funded — at least as the 2013 law defines full funding. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 12/4/17

24 ideas for improving the Local Control Funding Formula​ – With Gov. Jerry Brown retiring a year from now, EdSource asked two dozen school leaders, student advocates, legislators and other astute observers to suggest the most important improvements needed to make his landmark education law, the Local Control Funding Formula, more effective, equitable and truer to its promise.​ John Fensterwald EdSource -- 12/4/17

Teaching common core with a chard quinoa salad -- Every parent who knows the frustration of trying to get a child at mealtime to eat their vegetables should consider the challenge Paul Escala faces—he’s got about twelve hundred kids to win over every day. Tom Chorneau Cabinet Report -- 12/4/17

University leaders make case to keep managing Los Alamos lab -- University of California leaders say that despite safety and operational lapses at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the university system alone has the experience and expertise to manage the nuclear weapons lab - a role the school essentially has had since the lab's inception. Associated Press -- 12/4/17


Lawyers Walk Fine Line to Navigate State, Federal Pot Laws -- Lawyers in the burgeoning business are entering a legal gray zone where the drug is permitted for some purpose in most states but illegal under federal law — in the same controlled substances category as heroin. Missteps could lead to prosecution for conspiracy, money laundering or aiding and abetting drug dealers. Brian Melley Associated Press -- 12/4/17


Rising seas may eventually submerge some important U.S. historical landmarks -- Sea-level rise this century may threaten Jamestown in Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas; the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which launches all of NASA’s human spaceflight missions; and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in North Carolina, the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States, a new study finds. Charles Q. Choi in the Washington Post$ -- 12/4/17

King tides bring Bay Area coastal flood warnings -- The dramatic tidal fluctuations known as king tides — caused by the full moon being in close proximity to the Earth — were expected to surge as high as 7 feet, said Steve Anderson, a National Weather Service meteorologist. Tides will reach their height in the mid- to late-morning hours of Monday and Tuesday, forecasters said. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/4/17

Also . . . 

Linda Vista park named after Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient who grew up down the street -- In 1970, in Vietnam, a grenade landed in front of John Baca. Jeanette Steele in the San Diego Union-Tribune -- 12/4/17

POTUS 45  

Trump lawyer says president knew Flynn had given FBI the same account he gave to vice president -- President Trump’s personal lawyer said on Sunday that the president knew in late January that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn had probably given FBI agents the same inaccurate account he provided to Vice President Pence about a call with the Russian ambassador. Carol D. Leonnig, John Wagner and Ellen Nakashima in the Washington Post$ -- 12/4/17

Billy Bush: It was Trump's voice on "Access Hollywood" tape -- Former NBC television host Billy Bush accused U.S. President Donald Trump of “indulging in some revisionist history” for reportedly telling allies it was not his voice making lewd remarks as the men waited to film a segment for “Access Hollywood” in 2005. Reuters -- 12/4/17

President Trump has no surrogate in attendance at the Kennedy Center Honors -- There were no Trump administration surrogates standing in for the absent President Trump and first lady Melania Trump at the Kennedy Center Honors on Sunday night, when the national arts center presented its annual celebration of the performing arts. Peggy McGlone in the Washington Post$ -- 12/4/17


-- Sunday Updates 

Russia probe examining possible obstruction of justice, Feinstein says -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said Sunday that her panel is focused on investigating possible obstruction of justice by President Trump. “The [Senate] Judiciary Committee has an investigation going as well and it involves obstruction of justice and I think what we’re beginning to see is the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice,” Feinstein said in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Lizzie Johnson and Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/3/17

For tenants on the edge, paying the rent often takes more than half their income -- The problem has been building for decades, a result of rising rents and stagnant income for many lower- and middle-class workers as the economy shifted away from manufacturing to create a legion of low-wage service jobs. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/3/17

Lopez: They're leaving California for Las Vegas to find the middle-class life that eluded them -- The rent steals so much of your paycheck, you might have to move back in with your parents, and half your life is spent staring at the rear end of the car in front of you. You'd like to think it will get better, but when? All around you, young and old alike are saying goodbye to California. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/3/17

Willie Brown: Ed Lee, George Gascón were missing in action after Kate Steinle verdict -- The silence out of San Francisco’s top officials after the verdict in the Kate Steinle case was both uncharacteristic of our city and unhealthy. Uncharacteristic, because in past years, mayors and district attorneys have never been shy about stepping before the microphones when San Francisco is in the headlines, be the news good or bad. Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/3/17

San Diego gun buyback is so popular, police ran out of money -- San Diego police officers bought back 164 unwanted guns from people in South Bay on Saturday — a no-questions-asked event that proved so popular, officers ran out of the gift cards they gave in exchange for weapons. Teri Figueroa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/3/17

Taylor: Artist collective called Deathtrap faces new reality after Ghost Ship fire -- The Deathtrap family didn’t gather this year to eat leftover turkey legs, casseroles and pies. The annual post-Thanksgiving gathering had been one of the best parties for years, because as many as 50 people would bring food to the West Oakland warehouse. Otis Taylor Jr. in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/3/17

Group says Rep. Duncan Hunter is too close to the vaping industry, seeks ethics review -- A legal advocacy group has asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to look into Rep. Duncan Hunter’s “endorsement of private vaping products in blatant disregard of the House Ethics Rules” — but Hunter’s office says the group is just blowing smoke. Joshua Stewart and Morgan Cook in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/3/17