• School Inoovation and Achievement
  • School Inoovation and Achievement

Updating . .   

Several homes burn in exclusive Bel-Air as fire forces evacuations -- Several homes were destroyed in Bel-Air on Wednesday as a wind-driven wildfire triggered mandatory evacuations in one of Los Angeles' most exclusive neighborhoods. The fire prompted evacuations in a large swath of the hillside enclave, which taken with other fires around the region added to a total of more than 100,000 people forced from their homes. Melissa Etehad, Laura J. Nelson and Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

405 Freeway reopens as 150-acre Skirball fire continues to burn in the Sepulveda Pass -- Firefighters raced to a fast-moving brush fire that broke out early Wednesday morning near Skirball Center and Getty Center in the Sepulveda Pass, prompting the closure of the northbound 405 Freeway for several hours and burning at least four homes in the Bel-Air area. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 12/6/17

Nearly 30 horses found burned to death by Creek fire in Sylmar -- Amid the charred landscape of Little Tujunga Canyon Road in Sylmar on Wednesday stood the remains of Rancho Padilla and the carcasses of nearly 30 horses who died in the fast-moving Creek fire. Brittny Mejia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra issues warning against price gouging as fires rage -- California law generally prohibits charging a price that exceeds, by more than 10%, the price of an item before a state or local declaration of emergency. (There are some exceptions, including a significant increase in the price of labor or materials for the business.) Those who violate the law could face one year of imprisonment, and/or a fine up to $10,000. Joy Resmovits in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

'The fire is here and wrapped around' Ojai, official says as crews prepare to defend the mountain town -- Fire crews are preparing to defend Ojai — the bucolic mountain town known as a haven for spiritual seekers, health enthusiasts and celebrities — from the fast-moving blaze that destroyed portions of Ventura, an official said Wednesday afternoon. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

L.A. fire reaches Rupert Murdoch’s estate, threatens other stars’ homes -- The dramatic Skirball fire, which erupted in Los Angeles early Wednesday, may have reached Rupert Murdoch’s Bel-Air estate and has threatened other multimillion estates in nearby neighborhoods whose star residents include Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Martha Ross in the San Jose Mercury$ Melissa Etehad in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

At least 110,000 kept away from their homes by Creek fire; Rye fire evacuations lifted -- More than 100,000 residents in the San Fernando Valley remained under evacuation Wednesday as a brush fire that started in the foothills above Sylmar continued to grow. The Creek fire started Tuesday about 6:30 a.m. and quickly raced out of control as powerful Santa Ana winds pushed it toward houses below. The fire has destroyed at least 30 homes and scorched 11,377 acres, authorities said. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Firefighters worry that a change in the wind could push flames toward Ojai -- Fire officials said Wednesday that the area they call branch four — which includes the city of Ventura — is their highest priority, due to the “tremendous volume of fire” there. If the wind turns, the area they’ve dubbed “branch one,” which includes Ojai, will be their priority. Firefighters are currently putting together a plan to protect Ojai and expressed concern that winds could push the flames toward the city. Sarah Parvini in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Homes burning in Bel-Air as 150-acre fire closes the 405 Freeway and forces evacuations -- Homes in Los Angeles' Bel-Air neighborhood were burning Wednesday morning as a wind-driven wildfire prompted closure of the 405 Freeway as well as mandatory evacuations in an area of multimillion-dollar homes. The Skirball fire was estimated to cover about 150 acres and has destroyed four to six homes by 9:40 a.m., but Los Angeles fire officials said it was being fueled by 25 mph winds and likely would grow. Melissa Etehad, Laura J. Nelson and Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Anxious Ojai residents ask whether their city is going to burn down -- The sight of firetrucks rolling past Ojai boutiques and wine-tasting rooms under a heavy pall of smoke made it impossible for officials to give a satisfying response to the big question on everyone’s minds Wednesday morning: Is the town going to burn down? Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Rye fire near Santa Clarita has burned at least 7,000 acres, is 5 percent contained -- The Rye Fire burning near Santa Clarita remained at 7,000 acres with 5 percent containment Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said. Fire officials were expected to release updated information on the progress of the blaze later Wednesday morning. Scott Schwebke in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 12/6/17

Here's how to get through the gridlock on the 405 in Bel-Air -- The closure of one of California’s busiest freeways has caused a ripple effect for the morning commute. Here’s what you need to know: Shelby Grad in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

More than 50 schools in the Los Angeles area are closed today as multiple wildfires burn -- More than 50 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District are closed today as firefighters battle multiple blazes in Southern California. All of Santa Monica Malibu Unified is closed, along with many Ventura County schools. All Simi Valley Unified campuses will also be closed Wednesday due to the Rye fire in Santa Clarita. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Wine Country fire damage claims rise to unprecedented $9 billion -- The losses, which were reported to major state insurance companies and tracked by the state, far surpass claims from any other wildfire event in California. The 1991 Oakland hills fire was previously the most costly, with about $2.7 billion in reported damages after accounting for inflation, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti on the fires: 'These are the days that break your heart' -- The Skirball fire burning in Bel-Air destroyed at least four, and possibly six, houses on Casiano Road and Moraga Drive on Wednesday, officials said. More than 350 firefighters, 52 engines and six fixed-wing aircraft are battling the blaze from the north, west and east. The crews will have relatively cool temperatures in the 50s and 60s, but also low humidity and winds stronger than 25 miles per hour. Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17


Feinstein: Traffic is terrible. Build a new bridge -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein renewed her call Wednesday for a so-called Southern Crossing — a new east-west transbay bridge somewhere south of the always-congested Bay Bridge. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

Harris, Feinstein call on Al Franken to resign after sexual harassment allegations -- California’s U.S. Senators joined a flood of other Democrats and party leaders who called on Sen. Al Franken to resign on Wednesday, following new sexual harassment allegations against the Minnesota Democrat. Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/6/17

California lobbyist who spoke out against sexual harassment in the Capitol featured on Time's 'Person of the Year' cover -- Adama Iwu, one of the founders of the We Said Enough group that has called attention to sexual misconduct in state politics, is one of five women featured on the magazine’s cover, which was unveiled Wednesday morning. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/6/17

Capitol struggles to confront sexual harassment -- Allegations by scores of women of rampant sexual assault and harassment in California’s Capitol over decades have ensnared three lawmakers and brought promises of reform from leadership. But some women who have spoken out say they are also facing consequences for telling their stories. Sophia Bollag Capitol Weekly -- 12/6/17

California governor candidates distance from Matt Dababneh after assault allegation -- While Assemblyman Matt Dababneh has emphatically denied his involvement, the political and professional fallout grows for the Los Angeles Democrat over allegations that he pushed a Sacramento lobbyist into a hotel bathroom in Las Vegas last year and masturbated in front of her. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/6/17

Fox: Taxpayers Second Victims in Harassment Cases -- In light of the sexual harassment charges that have encircled the legislature, last month Assemblyman Kevin McCarty said he would introduce a bill that would require convicted sexual harassers to pay out of their own pocket instead of taxpayers compensating victims. McCarty’s bill should go further to protect taxpayers. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 12/6/17

Oakland strike enters second day as City Council considers labor deals -- Libraries, day care centers, recreation spots and other nonemergency city services stayed closed as employees returned to picket lines to push for better pay raises, working conditions and other demands. Police, fire and 911 services remained open and staffed. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

California's attorney general takes his attacks against the Trump administration to Washington -- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra complained in a speech to journalists Wednesday that the Trump administration is failing to release documents that might explain its decisions on immigration and environmental issues. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Four California Republicans targeted by group that wants to overturn Citizens United -- A political action committee aimed at overturning Citizens United says it plans to spend millions in the 2018 midterms to elect Democrats who support campaign finance reform. On Tuesday, it announced that its top 20 targets include Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine). All four are on a watchlist for next year’s most vulnerable California House members. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

San Francisco’s Central Subway falling further behind schedule, builder warns -- San Francisco’s already behind-schedule Central Subway won’t be completed until 2021, more than a year later than the city insists the line will be ready, according to a new report by the big dig’s main contractor. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

A’s plans for a new downtown ballpark dealt a crushing blow -- The A’s dream of a downtown ballpark in Oakland may have just died. The Peralta Community College District’s board of trustees decided in a closed-door session Tuesday night to break off discussions between Chancellor Jowel Laguerre and the A’s, who were hoping to build a privately financed stadium on land owned by the district. Jon Becker in the San Jose Mercury$ Bill Shaikin in the Los Angeles Times$ Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

Taylor: Anonymous donor helps evicted East Oakland woman buy back home -- Last March, Dorothy DeBose was given 10 minutes to clear her belongings out of the home she lived in for most of her life. The 76-year-old retired phone company employee was evicted from the East Oakland house her mother had left her after she fell behind on loan payments, a victim of predatory lending. Otis R. Taylor Jr. in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

L.A. asked for $3 million for community policing. The DOJ said no. Some fear it's a sign of what's ahead -- In 2015, a community policing initiative — one credited with helping curb violence in some of L.A.’s toughest housing projects — scored the Los Angeles Police Department high-level praise. A captain and a sergeant who led the program were invited to Washington, D.C., earning coveted seats near the first lady during President Obama's State of the Union address. Kate Mather in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Ballot measure would relax San Francisco’s Prop. M office space cap temporarily -- The cap that restricts the amount of new office space that can be approved in San Francisco would be temporarily relaxed to allow a wave of office development South of Market, under a ballot measure the affordable housing group Todco and the urban think tank SPUR plan to submit Wednesday. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

That sales tax you pay on your meal? Some restaurants keep it, using illegal ‘zappers’ -- In the digital age, such businesses have turned to more high-tech tricks. One common method is to install “zapper” software into their computerized cash registers — commonly known as “Point of Sale” or POS systems — either with a thumb drive or a disk. With use of a zapper, business owners can delete entire transactions from a day’s receipts, allowing them to under-report the sales tax collected from customers and owed to the state. Stuart Leavenworth McClatchyDC -- 12/6/17

Cheaper to rent than own a house in Sacramento in one of nation’s widest gaps, report finds -- Monthly mortgage payments in Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties will eat up 32.9 percent of a median family income after a 3.5 percent down payment, the report found, while renting a three-bedroom house in those counties means giving up 26.4 percent of one’s paycheck. Benjy Egel in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/6/17

As rents rise, so does California homelessness -- California’s homeless population went up 14 percent, to 134,278 — the most by far of any state, and representing 31 percent of all the homeless people in the U.S., according to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. New York had the second-largest homeless population, at 89,503, a 4 percent increase. Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

Mike Flynn was working on private nuclear power plan while advising Trump, whistleblower says -- Michael T. Flynn was helping a former business partner lay the groundwork for nuclear power plants in the Middle East, a plan that involved a partnership with Russia, despite his role as an advisor to President Trump, according to a purported whistleblower who provided an account to a leading Democrat in Congress. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Southern California fires live updates: Multiple blazes rip through communities, closing major freeways and sending thousands fleeing -- Three major fires are raging in Southern California. The first, the Thomas fire in Ventura County, started last night and exploded overnight. The second, the Creek fire, started at 4 a.m. near Sylmar. A third fire, the Rye fire, erupted in Santa Clarita shortly before 10 a.m. today. Updates via the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Labor activist Wendy Carrillo will be L.A.'s newest Assembly member -- Democratic labor activist Wendy Carrillo won a special election in Los Angeles Tuesday night to serve out the term of former assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, who was elected to Congress in a special election earlier this year. Ellis Simani, Javier Panzar and Michael Livingston in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Backlash ripples through California politics after women denounce sexual harassment -- With sexual harassment and assault allegations ricocheting through the state Capitol, two female lobbyists say they soon faced the consequences of speaking out—a state senator who suddenly wanted to avoid meeting with them. Laurel Rosenhall Calmatters.org -- 12/6/17

Supervisors order review of LA County's sexual harassment policies -- Four of the five Los Angeles County supervisors are female and their awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace emerged during a discussion Tuesday of how the county can improve procedures for its own employees filing complaints of inappropriate behavior. Mary Plummer KPCC -- 12/6/17

John Chiang, Gavin Newsom react to allegations against Assemblyman Matt Dababneh -- The allegations of sexual misconduct against Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Woodland Hills) reverberated in the California gubernatorial race on Tuesday, with one candidate calling on Dababneh to resign and another donating political contributions he received from the San Fernando Valley lawmaker. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Walters: Sex scandal may erase Democratic supermajorities -- California Republicans have harbored thoughts—or fantasies—about eroding the Democrats’ two-thirds legislative “supermajorities” in next year’s elections. However, it appears that Democrats could do it to themselves by ousting legislators accused of sexual harassment. Dan Walters Calmatters.org -- 12/6/17

Cancer biologist to challenge Rep. Steve Knight in 25th Congressional District -- Cancer biologist Michael Masterman-Smith is joining the race to challenge Rep. Steve Knight in the Antelope Valley’s 25th Congressional District, saying it’s time for scientists to help draft healthcare policy. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Brown’s environmental mixed bag -- In recent years, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed groundbreaking legislation establishing the most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in North America, and he has been praised globally for his environmentalism and his efforts to curb global warming. Jessica Hice Capitol Weekly -- 12/6/17

Kate Steinle shooting: Federal grand jury indicts Garcia Zarate -- A federal grand jury indicted Jose Ines Garcia Zarate on Tuesday for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and being an “illegally present alien” in possession of a firearm and ammunition, federal prosecutors announced in a statement Tuesday evening. Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/6/17

Kate Steinle case: Garcia Zarate indicted by feds as Gascón rips ‘mad man’ Trump -- San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said Tuesday that a jury’s acquittal of a homeless undocumented immigrant on murder and manslaughter charges in the killing of Kate Steinle was “hard to receive,” but that he respects the decision. Evan Sernoffsky in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

Knight: Steinle verdict could haunt Gascón’s career -- There are many questions following the shocking acquittal of a homeless undocumented immigrant on murder and manslaughter charges in the killing of Kate Steinle. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

Prosecutors Seek to Prove 36 Counts of Manslaughter for Each Ghost Ship Fire Defendant -- It’s been just over a year since Mary Vega last saw her son, Alex. Alex Vega, 22, and his girlfriend, Michela Gregory, 20, were among the 36 people who died on Dec. 2, 2016, when fire engulfed the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland. Sukey Lewis KQED -- 12/6/17


L.A. endures a day of fire fueled by intense winds as officials brace for more -- The focus early Tuesday was on the destruction in Ventura County when a small fire ignited in the Angeles National Forest near Sylmar. Within an hour, the blaze was raging out of control, closing freeways, destroying homes, forcing thousands to evacuate and sending choking smoke into the inland valleys. Brittny Mejia, Joseph Serna and Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Ventura County wildfire rages over 50,000 acres, destroys more than 150 structures; 27,000 residents flee -- At least 150 structures — including at least one large apartment complex and the Vista Del Mar Hospital, a psychiatric facility — were consumed by flames. But Cal Fire suspects the true number is hundreds more; firefighters just haven’t been able to get into areas to know for sure. Ruben Vives, Laura J. Nelson, Sarah Parvini, Matt Hamilton and Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Some fire hydrants didn't work because of power outages, firefighters say -- Officials said power outages caused by the fire and heavy winds left some water pumping stations inoperable, meaning water couldn't reach the fire hydrants. Sarah Parvini and Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Less than two months after their own city burned, Santa Rosa firefighters battle Los Angeles fires -- On Tuesday, Santa Rosa firefighters were dispatched to the Creek Fire now raging in Los Angeles County, SRFD spokesperson Paul Lowenthal confirmed. Four other fire engines from Sonoma County will join the Santa Rosa engine in a "strike team," he said. Graph Massara in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

Unlike in North Bay, Ventura County officials issued wide alert -- As Santa Ana winds whipped across the dry, mountainous backbone of Ventura County, fanning a brushfire to 50,000 acres in a matter of hours, officials deployed an emergency notification system to help evacuate residents living in the blaze’s path. It went out to all landline telephones serviced by AT&T and Verizon, to residents who had opted in to receive text alerts on their cell phones, and to many peoplewho had not opted in. Lizzie Johnson in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

Wildfires raging in Southern California cap most destructive season in state history. Here’s why it’s so bad -- But even before the start of this week’s fires, this year was going down as the most destructive wildfire season in California history, state officials said. From Jan. 1 to Dec. 3, there were 6,762 fires that destroyed 505,391 acres. That’s 43 percent more events for the same time period last year, when 244,297 acres were destroyed, according to Cal Fire. Susan Abram in the Orange County Register -- 12/6/17

Thomas Fire destruction leaves behind shocked, surprised residents -- All across Ventura, residents seemed dumbstruck that a massive firestorm had completely upended the sense of security and stability they had placed in their neighborhoods. "I grew up here, and it just seemed like the fires were always on mountains, far away," said Armando Rey, a resident of Wall Street near the historic San Buenaventura Mission. "I just didn't imagine it would happen here." Emily Guerin KPCC -- 12/6/17

Little Mountain fire in San Bernardino forces evacuations, freeway closures -- The 100-acre blaze dubbed the Little Mountain fire left two people with critical burn injuries, closed the 215 Freeway and prompted evacuations in the hills south of Cal State San Bernardino. Ryan Hagen and Brian Whitehead in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 12/6/17

Speed and terror of Sonoma County fires revealed in 911 calls -- The 911 dispatcher asked the frantic woman on the other end of the phone call if she was safe. The answer was immediate: “No.” Fire was burning all around the Santa Rosa couple’s Riebli Road neighborhood on the night of Oct. 8, cutting off their escape. Julie Johnsom, Nick Rahaim, Randi Rossman and Christi Warren in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 12/6/17

FBI leading task force to investigate fraud after Northern California fires -- The FBI shed more light Tuesday on the steps it is taking to address a range of fraudulent activity in the wake of Northern California’s devastating October wildfires, announcing a group of more than a dozen federal, state and local agencies it has convened to investigate cases related to the disasters. J.D. Morris in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 12/6/17

Will your face mask protect you from wildfire smoke? -- As the Wine Country fires blanketed San Francisco and the Bay Area with smoke in October, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District warned residents about hazardous smoke. And it wasn't just for people with asthma, heart or lung disease, or other respiratory problems. Mike Moffitt in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

Plan to set San Francisco parking rates based on demand is approved -- Beginning in mid-January, motorists who park in the city’s 30,200 metered spaces, or in its lots and garages, will be charged more during peak times and less when demand isn’t as high. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

Proposal: $2,100 For A Sac Fire Ride To The Hospital -- The Sacramento City Fire Department has asked permission to increase the cost of a trip to the hospital by $650 . Deputy Chief Chad Augustin says that includes a $375 increase for existing services and a new $283 "First Responder Fee." With the additional charges, a trip to the hospital would cost $2,100. Bob Moffitt Capital Public Radio -- 12/6/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Thousands of striking Oakland city workers hit the picket lines -- Potholes went unfilled, trash from the night before clogged gutters all day and hundreds of little kids got no day care in Oakland when thousands of unionized city workers walked off their jobs Tuesday. Libraries, Head Start day care centers, recreation spots and other nonemergency city services shut down as employees hit picket lines to push for better pay raises, less use of part-time workers and other demands. Police, fire and 911 services remained open and staffed. Kimberly Veklerov, Jenna Lyons and Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Rick Hurd and Tammerlin Drummond in the East Bay Times -- 12/6/17

San Diego boosts police pay up to 30 percent amid staffing crisis -- San Diego boosted pay between 25 percent and 30 percent for the city’s police officers on Tuesday to help solve a crisis of departing officers that has lengthened response times, limited proactive policing and ballooned overtime budgets. David Garrick in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/6/17


These police officers were assigned to help the homeless, but did they? -- The 38 officers assigned to the LAPD homeless outreach program contacted 12,300 homeless people during the first nine months of this year, according to a report delivered Tuesday to the police commission. It’s unclear, however, how many actually received help. Frank Stoltze KPCC -- 12/6/17


California schools fail to teach children to read or write, suit says -- The suit was filed on behalf of current and former elementary school students and their families in two districts in Los Angeles and Stockton, and a charter school in Los Angeles County. The lead plaintiff is a 7-year-old second-grader who can’t spell words like “need” and “help,” lawyers said. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

More than 80,000 LAUSD students were 'chronically absent' from school last year -- One out of every seven students in the Los Angeles Unified School District — more than 80,000 kids — missed more than three weeks of classes, according to a report from an attendance task force presented to the district's school board Tuesday. Kyle Stokes KPCC -- 12/6/17

Stanford University executive leaves job after huge data breach -- The chief digital officer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business is out of a job days after campus officials revealed that the school had failed to disclose a huge data breach of personal information that came to light only after a student made it known. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

Conservative student group accuses UC of denying free speech -- A group of conservative students at UC Berkeley, frustrated that administrators have so far denied them the privileges of a recognized student organization, has asked a federal judge to intervene in the campus dispute. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

Estate of Ray Dolby, San Francisco tech pioneer, donates $115 million to alma mater Cambridge -- The estate of Ray Dolby on Tuesday donated $115 million to support scientific research and education at the University of Cambridge, the venerable British educational institution that played a pivotal role in both the professional and private life of the late San Francisco audio technology pioneer. Benny Evangelista in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17


Lawmakers say California's proposed marijuana rules will hurt small family farms -- Two legislators called Tuesday for changes to regulations for growing marijuana in California to better protect small family farmers from being driven out of business by big corporate cultivators. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17

Armed robbers steal 600 pounds of pot from Yolo commercial grow, sheriff says -- The Yolo County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an early-morning home invasion Tuesday in which armed robbers allegedly made off with 600 pounds of processed marijuana from a commercial grow site, said Sgt. Matthew Davis, a department spokesman. Nashelly Chavez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/6/17

Immigration / Border 

Legal status for Dreamers gets support of nearly 3 dozen House Republicans -- Nearly three dozen House Republicans, including three from California, fired off a warning shot to Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday, saying they have enough votes to join with Democrats to pass legislation to protect young immigrants before Congress adjourns this year. The 34 Republicans demanded that Ryan put legislation on the House floor that would legalize roughly 800,000 “Dreamers,” young immigrants who arrived illegally in the United States as children, who face deportation starting March 5 unless Congress acts. Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

Mimi Walters becomes third California GOP representative to advocate for DACA fix this year -- Orange County U.S. Rep. Mimi Walters on Tuesday joined Central Valley congressmen David Valadao and Jeff Denham in urging House Speaker Paul D. Ryan to address the legal status of people brought to the country illegally as children before the end of the year. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17


San Diego continues hepatitis emergency with watchful eye to the Midwest -- Mindful of a concerning development in the Midwest, county supervisors decided Tuesday to continue calling San Diego’s hepatitis A outbreak a public health emergency even though the level of intensity has been falling for weeks. Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/6/17


Analysts Worry Calif. Climate Change Program Is Doing Too Well -- California is swimming in $1.5 billion in new money for clean energy programs and the high-speed rail project, after lawmakers extended the climate-change program, cap-and-trade. But analysts suggest the current boom could ultimately undermine the program’s purpose of cutting long-term emissions. Ben Bradford Capital Public Radio -- 12/6/17

Proposal to go solar at old Oakland power plant -- An aging power plant running on jet fuel near Oakland’s Jack London Square could be replaced by batteries and solar panels, under a proposal city leaders and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. plan to announce Wednesday. David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/6/17

San Diego to concentrate density in target communities -- Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office is expected to unveil Thursday a new strategy for choosing which neighborhoods in San Diego will be the focus of increased job and housing density — a move aimed at satisfying the city’s legally binding pledge to reduce greenhouse gases. Joshua Emerson Smith in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/6/17


House GOP’s gun bill vote could fracture bipartisan coalition on background checks -- Rare bipartisan consensus around legislation to improve the national background check system for gun purchases is in jeopardy after House Republicans linked the measure to a bill allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines. Karoun Demirjian and Katie Zezima in the Washington Post$ -- 12/6/17

POTUS 45  

Trump’s voter fraud commission plans to create a massive voter database. Former national security officials say it could be hacked -- More than a half-dozen technology experts and former national security officials filed an amicus brief Tuesday urging a federal court to halt the collection of voter information for a planned government database. Hamza Shaban in the Washington Post$ -- 12/6/17


California Republicans Push to Preserve Income-Tax Deduction -- Though the House and Senate have voted to repeal the deduction for state income taxes in Republican tax overhaul plans, it isn’t dead yet. California Republicans are pushing for an income-tax deduction in the final tax bill being worked out by lawmakers in a House-Senate conference committee on tax legislation. Richard Rubin and Siobhan Hughes in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 12/6/17

Tax Plan Crowns a Big Winner: Trump’s Industry -- Most businesses were hit with new limits on deductions for interest payments, but not real estate. Most industries lost the ability to defer taxes on the exchange of similar kinds of property, but not real estate. Domestic manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies lost some industry-specific breaks, like the tax credit for so-called orphan drugs, in exchange for lower rates. The real estate industry ended up with an even more generous depreciation timetable, allowing owners to shelter more income. Patricia Cohen and Jesse Drucker in the New York Times$ -- 12/6/17

‘Death to Democrats’: How the GOP Tax Bill Whacks Liberal Tenets -- “It’s death to Democrats,” said conservative economist Stephen Moore, who advised Trump’s campaign on tax policy. “They go after state and local taxes, which weakens public employee unions. They go after university endowments, and universities have become play pens of the left. And getting rid of the mandate is to eventually dismantle Obamacare,” Moore said in an interview, arguing that it would accelerate “a death spiral” in the health-care law’s marketplaces. Sahil Kapur Bloomberg Politics -- 12/6/17

I’m not going to ‘let evil win’: Patagonia’s billionaire owner says he plans to sue Trump -- Outdoor goods retailers Patagonia, REI and the North Face are firing back against President Trump’s executive order this week that would drastically reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah. Abha Bhattarai in the Washington Post$ -- 12/6/17

The White House press briefing, always a spin zone, is now approaching uselessness -- The White House press briefing reached an ignominious milestone this week when a spokesman stood before reporters aboard Air Force One, read a series of prepared statements, then refused to take on-the-record questions during one of the newsiest days of the Trump presidency. Noah Bierman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/6/17


-- Tuesday Updates 

This map shows where 3 of Southern California’s biggest wildfires are burning -- Three brush fires are burning across Los Angeles and Ventura counties Tuesday. The Creek Fire has burned more than 11,000 acres above Sylmar and closed the 210 Freeway between the 5 Freeway and the 2 Freeway. The Thomas Fire burning in Ventura County has charred more than 70 square miles in the Santa Paula area. The Rye Fire has burned more than 1,000 acres in the Santa Clarita area and closed the 5 Freeway at Highway 126. Daniel Aitken in the Orange County Register -- 12/5/17

Fire badly damages Ventura hospital: 'I burst into tears' -- At least two buildings on the campus of Vista Del Mar Hospital burned down as the Thomas fire ravaged the canyons above Ventura. The hospital treats adolescents and adults with mental health issues, and among its specialties is treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Rye fire spreads to 1,000 acres, causes evacuations and gridlock in Santa Clarita -- A growing wildfire in Santa Clarita has burned 1,000 acres, prompting the evacuation Tuesday of thousands of homes and several area schools as an enormous cloud of smoke rose over the area. Melissa Etehad in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Three burned in wind-driven fire growing in San Bernardino County -- Three patients were taken to the hospital with burns, officials said. Mandatory evacuations were ordered about 1:45 p.m. for residents east of Little Mountain Drive and north of West Edgehill Road, the department said. An evacuation center was set up at Marshall Elementary School in San Bernardino. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Cal Fire: Thomas Fire in Ventura County “mirroring” North Bay Tubbs Fire -- The extreme conditions of a massive blaze in Ventura County eerily resemble those of the destructive Tubbs Fire that devastated Sonoma and Napa counties in early October, a Cal Fire official said. Sophie Haigney in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/17

The worst is yet to come with Santa Ana winds strengthening this week -- The winds, with gusts topping 50 mph, are expected to continue for at least the next three days, the National Weather Service said. “Generally, it’s awful fire weather today, tomorrow and Thursday,” said forecaster Ryan Kittell. “The winds we’re seeing right now are … plenty strong to drive a fire.” Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

He woke up sleeping neighbors to say the Ventura fire was coming — and fast -- Standing at the corner of Victoria Avenue and Foothill Boulevard, Bryant Lum, 56, watched as an entire hillside burned, flames whipping as they approached close to a dozen homes on Santa Lucia Court, just off Victoria Avenue. Just on the other side, along Santa Susana Court, stood his home. "I thought we were going to be safe," he said. Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Ventura wildfire rages over 45,500 acres, destroys more than 150 structures, triggers evacuation of 27,000 -- There was no containment on the fire as of 7 a.m., with 1,000 firefighters battling the blaze and more on the way, said Ventura County Sheriff's Department spokesman Tim Lochman. One helicopter was dropping water and authorities were hoping winds would die down so they could deploy fixed-wing aircraft soon, he said. Jaclyn Cosgrove, Ruben Vives, Laura J. Nelson and Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Arctic ice loss could spell more drought for California, Livermore Lab study finds -- Alongside the obvious perils for polar bears and other wildlife, as well as the problem of rising ocean levels, the massive ice thaw thousands of miles away is triggering changes in the atmosphere that are likely to shrink rainfall close to home, according to new research by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Evan Halper in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Top seven ways the GOP tax plan will affect Californians -- From the big (changing the mortgage interest deduction) to the medium (loss of tax break for electric cars) to the small (retaining a special tax treatment for the kombucha fermented tea drink!) the GOP tax bill that lawmakers are chiseling into a grand piece of sculpture as we speak will have all sorts of implications for the Golden State. Patrick May in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/5/17

Abcarian: I finally understand why male politicians have been able to sexually harass women with impunity -- For the last two months, Americans have watched in disbelief as sexual harassers have been called to account. The #MeToo campaign on social media and a flood of investigative stories have given women the courage to speak up, which has forced employers to step up. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's Russia ties highlighted in new ads from Barbara Boxer's PAC -- The group, called PAC for a Change, released a digital ad Tuesday morning that features news clips detailing Rohrabacher’s long-held affection for and ties to the country accused of meddling in last year’s elections. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

ACLU pushes California's members of Congress to help Dreamers in new online ads -- Three California ACLU affiliates are running online ads urging five California Republican members of Congress to support a legislative fix to resolve the legal status of people brought to the country illegally as children. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/17

Thousands of striking Oakland city workers hit the picket lines -- Thousands of Oakland city workers walked off their jobs Tuesday, shuttering libraries and other non-emergency city services as they pushed for better pay raises, less use of part-time workers and other demands. Kimberly Veklerov, Jenna Lyons and Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/17

Donald Trump impeachment effort gains steam with public. How it’s helping Tom Steyer -- Tom Steyer, the billionaire liberal activist and megadonor, has spent years laboring to boost his profile. Despite helping lead successful ballot drives in California, the hundreds of millions of dollars he sunk into failed Democratic efforts over the last few election cycles put him at risk of managing a losing brand. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/5/17

‘Concussion’ doctor quits San Joaquin County job; says sheriff interferes in death investigations -- Dr. Bennet Omalu Tuesday announced his resignation as San Joaquin County’s chief medical examiner, saying Sheriff/Coroner Steve Moore’s interference in death investigations has created a legally and ethically questionable workspace. Benjy Egel in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/5/17

Fox: No Trigger in GOP Tax Plan—Like CA Once Had -- The U.S. Senate passed a tax bill Saturday morning but not before shunting aside the idea of setting a “trigger” to raise taxes if economic growth did not provide enough revenues to avert a growing budget deficit. The idea of a “trigger” to deal with an unsolved deficit was once adopted by the California legislature, which approved the “trigger” concept to pass a budget in the early 1980s. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 12/5/17