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California Legislature has spent $294,271 investigating sexual harassment claims since 2006 -- Most of the money was spent by the Assembly in 2017 in the wake of intense scrutiny of misconduct under the state Capitol dome. The document marks the first time legislative officials have revealed the cost of outside investigators in examining claims against lawmakers, staff members and others. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

California Legislature releases a decade's worth of records on sexual harassment investigations -- Eighteen alleged cases of sexual harassment, ranging from sharing of pornographic photos to a staff member accused of grabbing a woman's buttocks and genitals, were publicly disclosed by the California Legislature on Friday, detailed through investigation records that had been shielded in some cases for more than a decade. John Myers and Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

GOP candidate for California governor Travis Allen responds to appearing in sexual harassment investigation records -- Gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen is among the state lawmakers who were accused of sexual harassment in the past several years, according to documents publicly disclosed Friday by the California Legislature. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Four Current California Lawmakers, Including Governor Candidate Travis Allen, Named In Sexual Harassment Claims -- The current officeholders named in the documents released Friday are Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) and Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D-Marina del Rey). None of the four lawmakers received any discipline beyond verbal conversations. Sammy Caiola, Ben Adler, Nick Miller and Bob Moffitt Capital Public Radio Melody Gutierrez and Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Christopher Cadelago, Alexei Koseff, Marjie Lundstrom and Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 2/2/18

ICE targets 77 Northern California businesses in illegal worker crackdown -- The so-called I-9 audit notices were delivered to businesses in San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, said ICE spokesman James Schwab. He would not name the businesses. Jason Green and Tatiana Sanchez in the San Jose Mercury$ Anita Chabria in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/2/18

ICE employment crackdowns haunt Bay Area undocumented immigrant workers -- Some activists say undocumented immigrants are hesitant to show up to work, and others have stopped showing up altogether. “Taking away these people’s humanity is a commonly-used tactic by ICE and unfortunately, it’s very effective,” said Maria Marroquín, executive director of the Day Worker Center of Mountain View. Tatiana Sanchez and Emily DeRuy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/2/18

Middle school shooting renews debate over how L.A. Unified keeps students safe -- Frightened parents rushed to the scene of a Los Angeles middle school Thursday morning, crowding outside the gates, desperate to hear if their children were safe. Word had spread fast that a gun had gone off in a classroom and that students had been shot. Sonali Kohli, Howard Blume, Ruben Vives and Anna M. Phillips in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

What exactly does L.A. Unified do to try to prevent school shootings? -- The nation’s second-largest district relies on both policing and counseling to try to prevent campus violence. It also has an experienced team of counselors to deal with the aftermath — although most deadly episodes happen outside school. Howard Blume and Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Gun in Westlake school shooting may have gone off inside a backpack, LAPD says -- Police investigating the shooting of students at Sal Castro Middle School said the handgun that was carried into a classroom appears to have fired a single round from inside a backpack. Brittny Mejia and Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

California wants more electric cars. The Trump administration doesn't. Automakers are in the hot seat -- The signals to automakers couldn't conflict more: California, with the nation's largest auto market, is stepping up pressure to stay on track with the state's ambitious climate goals. The Trump administration is moving to free the companies of such obligations and even has threatened to strip California of its power to impose existing requirements within its borders. Evan Halper in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Voters OK’d $2.7 billion for new reservoirs. Critics say California won’t spend it -- It’s a tantalizing pot of money, $2.7 billion for new dams and reservoirs approved by California voters during the worst of the drought. But is the state willing to spend it? Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/2/18

Pension costs ‘unsustainable,’ California cities say -- Most California cities expect their spending on public employee pensions to climb by at least 50 percent over the next seven years, restricting their ability fund basic services like public safety and parks, according to a study their lobbying organization released on Thursday. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/2/18

Activists Try to Recall Judge in Stanford Sex Attack Case. Some Say They’ve Gone Too Far -- When a California judge sentenced a Stanford University swimmer found guilty of sexual assault to six months in jail, many saw the verdict as too lenient. Outrage spread across the country, particularly among those who felt it was the latest proof of a criminal justice system stacked against women who have been victims of sexual violence. Jose A. Del Real in the New York Times$ -- 2/2/18

Knight: Gone in 5 seconds: San Francisco neighborhood, police powerless against car break-ins -- As we talked, the Jetta drove by again and again, circling seven or eight times. Finally, it came to a stop next to a white Dodge Grand Caravan. A man in a gray sweatshirt jumped out, quickly shattered the middle of three windows on the driver’s side, and reached in so far his waist was balanced on the door and his legs and feet were in the air. He emerged with a backpack and dashed back into the Jetta. It took just a few seconds. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/2/18

Morain: Billionaires are running our elections. Is there no way out of this? -- After discussing the failings of Obamacare, the importance of gun rights and the wisdom of locating the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, the conversation turned, inevitably, to campaign money. Dr. Yona Barash is a Republican surgeon who is challenging a fellow physician, Democratic incumbent Ami Bera, in the swing congressional district that runs from Bera’s home in Elk Grove to Folsom. Dan Morain in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/2/18

Capitol Weekly Podcast: Alexei Koseff -- Sacramento Bee reporter Alexei Koseff covers California politics and higher education for the Bee’s capitol bureau — and handles the state Assembly, too. Alexei joined Capitol Weekly’s John Howard and Tim Foster to chat about the challenges facing UC — Alexei is a Stanford alumnus, by the way — and the unique, constitutionally protected position the institution occupies in California’s educational structure. Click Here -- 2/2/18

Compton gave the world 'The Chronic' — but rejects marijuana sales despite legalization -- Dr. Dre's classic 1992 album brought the nickname for high-grade cannabis into the mainstream, and, to the disdain of many Compton residents, cemented the city as the home of West Coast gangsta rap. Angel Jennings in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Taylor: Clock ticking to find space after operator wins Oakland permit for pot store -- Gene Gorelik, a commercial real estate agent who specializes in green zone listings, told me there’s plenty of retail space available in Oakland. But, he added, many building owners are hesitant to lease to cannabis businesses because they fear that banks could require property owners to immediately and fully pay off their loans if they learn that a cannabis business is operating on the premises. Otis R. Taylor Jr. in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/2/18

This deputy says sheriff kissed and hugged her 100 times. Now she’ll get nearly $100,000 -- Six years after accusing Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto of kissing her on the lips and giving her at least 100 unwanted hugs, a former deputy has settled her lawsuit against the county for a $98,000 payment. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/2/18

Feds thought she was missing in Humboldt, but woman was spotted on 'The Bachelor' -- A woman who was reported as missing in Humboldt County was found this week in a rather visible place — the reality series "The Bachelor." Rebekah Martinez, 22, of Fresno, was reported missing on Nov. 18 by her mother, who told the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office that her daughter had gone to the area to work on a marijuana farm. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Lisa Bonos in the Washington Post$ -- 2/2/18

Sacramento erased crosswalk two months before woman, child were struck by hit-and-run driver -- Sacramento officials on Thursday defended the change, saying city standards indicate a crosswalk is dangerous at high-volume streets if no other safety enhancements are present, such as a traffic light. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/2/18

California could make it easier to erase your old marijuana convictions -- Assemblyman Rob Bonta is hoping to simplify the process. The Alameda Democrat’s Assembly Bill 1793 would require courts to automatically expunge the records of Californians convicted of offenses that are now legal under Proposition 64, such as possessing up to an ounce of weed and growing up to six plants for personal use, and to resentence those individuals whose crimes, such as selling marijuana, were reduced from felonies to misdemeanors. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/2/18

Study shows how Asian Americans are transforming Orange County, and highlights diversity and disparities -- In the first-ever study of Asian Americans in Orange County, a new report released by civil rights and advocacy group Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Orange County details the growing assets and continued needs of the county's fastest growing immigrant group. Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

FCC fines Cesar Chavez Foundation over promotions on its radio stations -- The stations — KUFW-FM (90.5) in Woodlake, Calif., and KNAI-FM (88.3) in Phoenix — strayed from rules that allow educational stations to acknowledge underwriters without making "commercial" pitches for them, the FCC found. Geoffrey Mohan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Fox: Where’s the Republican Bench? -- The Republican Party in California is fighting for relevance – “Dying at the box office,” as former Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger once put it—so you would expect an effort to be made to field known, credible candidates in all statewide races. But with little over a month to go to file for a constitutional, statewide office there are few recognizable Republicans vying for those posts. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 2/2/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

GOP alarm? Dem challengers outraise seven California House Republicans -- Democratic challengers outraised seven Republican members of Congress in California over the last three months of 2017, the latest sign of a flood of support for Democrats as they try to take control of the House of Representatives in this year’s midterm elections. Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/2/18

By the numbers, Democrats look strong in Orange County congressional races they must win to flip the House -- Democrats have a few problems to sweat over in this year’s midterms: winnowing their vast fields of candidates and navigating California’s top-two primary system, to name a couple. But in Orange County, a key battleground as they attempt to take back the House, money doesn’t seem to be one of them. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Avoiding a showdown, state Sen. Tony Mendoza agrees to abide by extended leave of absence during harassment probe -- Under investigation for sexual harassment allegations, state Sen. Tony Mendoza avoided a showdown with Democratic leaders Thursday by agreeing to abide by an extension of his leave of absence for up to 60 days — even though he complained the Senate Rules Committee acted prematurely. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Gavin Newsom’s list of one and onlys is getting longer -- When Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom extolled Jerry Brown ahead of the governor’s final State of the State last month, he reached for a quote from another San Franciscan who shares a first name with the governor: Jerry Garcia. Only a former mayor of San Francisco, Newsom reasoned, could possibly get away with the informality. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/2/18

State Treasurer John Chiang, running for governor, outlines vision for state -- State Treasurer John Chiang may be running for governor, but 20 years on the financial side of government leaves a mark that isn’t going away. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/2/18

In San Francisco appearance, Villaraigosa says he has plans to solve the housing crisis -- Saying the state has been “missing in action” on housing affordability issues, gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa called Thursday for a $10 billion loan fund to help build more in-law units as part of his plan to increase California’s housing stock. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/2/18

Latest California Governor Campaign Fundraising Reports Are Out, And Gavin Newsom Is Lapping The Field -- Gavin Newsom isn’t just leading in the polls in California governor’s race. He’s got the most money in the bank, too. And it isn’t even close. Ben Adler Capital Public Radio -- 2/2/18

Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra has big lead in campaign fundraising over challengers -- State Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra maintained his large political fundraising lead over five possible challengers in the June 2018 primary, with the incumbent reporting he brought in $4 million last year, according to campaign disclosure reports filed Wednesday. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Kevin de León reports tiny sliver of rival Sen. Dianne Feinstein's campaign cash -- State Senate leader Kevin de León, a Democrat who is challenging Sen. Dianne Feinstein, kicked off 2018 with a tiny fraction of the money the veteran lawmaker has in the bank, according to federal fundraising documents filed Thursday. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Money flows to London Breed in race for San Francisco mayor; Mark Leno’s funds still on top -- Just 22 days after announcing her candidacy in the San Francisco mayor’s race, Board of Supervisors President London Breed has raised over $320,000 in campaign contributions, putting her within striking distance of Mark Leno, who leads the field of candidates in fundraising. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/2/18

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's challengers raised more money than he did for the second quarter in a row -- For the second period in a row, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s fundraising has lagged behind that of his Democratic challengers in the hotly contested race for his 48th Congressional District. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Rep. David Valadao again out-raises his 2018 Democratic opponent, in a district Clinton won -- Republican Rep. David Valadao of Hanford, Calif., raised 10 times as much as his Democratic opponent last quarter, despite representing a district that backed Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and where Democrats have a voter registration advantage. The item is in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Nunes memo furor helps one of his Democratic challengers raise $65,000 in one week -- One of Rep. Devin Nunes’ opponents says he’s raking in donations thanks to the controversy about the House Select Intelligence Committee chairman’s very public push to release a controversial memo related to the Russia investigation. Fresno County Deputy Dist. Atty. Andrew Janz, a Democrat, said that as of Wednesday night he had brought in a little over $65,000 over the last seven days while the memo has been in the news. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Rep. Steve Knight narrowly outraised by opponent in 25th Congressional District -- Democratic challenger Katie Hill narrowly out-raised Republican Rep. Steve Knight in the last three months of 2017, with another Democrat close on her heels in fundraising for the Antelope Valley area district. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Facing term limits, state Sen. Joel Anderson has filed paperwork to run for tax board -- State Sen. Joel Anderson has filed preliminary paperwork to run for an open seat on the state tax board, a move that not only shows the lawmaker’s plans for when he hits term limits at the end of the year, but also throws a wet blanket on old speculation that he was going to run for the House of Representatives. Joshua Stewart in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/2/18

Democratic House candidates pour millions into their own campaigns -- Democratic candidates hoping to take Orange County’s four Republican congressional seats have raised nearly $8 million from donors while adding another $7 million from their own pockets in contributions and loans, according to federal campaign filings due Wednesday. Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register -- 2/2/18

Lobbyists spent more than $1 million on a failed bill to help proposed Clippers arena -- More than $1 million was spent lobbying last year on failed legislation that would have fast-tracked construction of a new Clippers arena in Inglewood, according to state lobbying disclosures released this week. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Interest groups spent record $339 million on lobbying California state government in 2017 -- The spending activity to influence elected officials and bureaucrats far exceeds the previous record of $314.7 million in 2015, new lobbying reports show. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

California's mentally ill inmate population keeps growing. And state money isn't enough to meet needs, lawmaker says -- Gov. Jerry Brown has earmarked $117 million in his new state budget to expand the number of treatment beds and mental health programs for more than 800 mentally ill inmates found incompetent to stand trial. Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Tech billionaires Peter Thiel and Reid Hoffman talk ‘crisis of democracy’ -- Sitting onstage together at Stanford University on Wednesday night, two tech moguls with intertwined pasts but opposing political views — Peter Thiel and Reid Hoffman — faced a question about their relationship: In today’s political environment, would they still have become friends like they did in philosophy class nearly 30 years ago? Maybe, they both said. But only if they took the time to get to know each other beyond their politics. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/2/18

Court overturns order on FBI surveillance of Northern California Muslims -- A federal appeals court on Thursday overturned a ruling by a judge in San Francisco that would require the FBI to release documents describing its efforts to keep watch on Muslims in Northern California and recruit informants from the Muslim community. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/2/18

Rainwater collection systems would get boost under new California state ballot measure -- If voters approve Proposition 72 — which became the fifth statewide ballot measure to qualify for California’s June 5 primary election — property owners who install rainwater capture systems won’t be required to have their property reassessed as the law now requires, saving them from paying higher property taxes. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/2/18

Kevin McCarthy’s stint as a small-business entrepreneur -- Just about every politician has an origin story – the tale they tell over and over about a key moment in their life that spurred them on. It becomes part of their regular pitter-patter on the stump and often ends up as a line in just about every newspaper biography. Glenn Kessler in the Washington Post$ -- 2/2/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

California cities say pension costs are high — and will get even higher in the next few years -- Citing limited options for raising local taxes, the association representing hundreds of California cities warned that rising public employee pension costs might mean fewer services and longer emergency response times over the next several years. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

UC union workers protest outside Thornton Pavilion -- Cafeteria workers, custodians and a variety of patient care workers rallying for a new union contract staged protests at eight locations around California on Thursday, including outside of UC San Diego's Thornton Pavilion in La Jolla. Karen Kucher in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/2/18

The cost of healthcare for California government workers when they retire rises sharply to $91.5 billion -- That’s a substantial increase from last year’s estimate, a result of changes in the way the total debt is calculated and changes in the projected cost of healthcare in the coming decades. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18

Land acquisition delays have paralyzed high-speed rail contractor, lawsuit alleges -- The California bullet train project is supposed to be an economic engine for small business in the Central Valley, but one woman-owned construction firm is alleging in a suit that the project has paralyzed her company. Ralph Vartabedian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/


Seedy motel in Santa Ana is reborn as housing for homeless people -- With its transformation into housing for people who previously lived on the street, a once blighted motel on First Street in Santa Ana seems a perfect metaphor for its inhabitants – a place for change. Theresa Walker in the Orange County Register -- 2/2/18


Hundreds of California cities and counties will have to make it easier to permit housing, state says -- Almost every city and county in California will have to streamline its rules for approving new housing following the passage of legislation last year, the state Department of Housing and Community Development said Thursday. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/2/18


California bill would require backup batteries for new garage doors -- Garage doors proved a deadly obstacle for at least five of the 44 victims in October’s fires. Others were stymied by garage doors that would not open because power had been knocked out by the powerful winds Oct. 8 and 9. Kevin Fixler in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 2/2/18

Post-fire health survey now open to North Bay residents -- Researchers at UC Davis hope to enlist thousands of Northern California residents in an online survey designed to gather the personal experiences, household circumstances and health effects from devastating wildfires that burned over 245,000 acres in six counties and killed 44 people. Mary Callahan in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 2/2/18


LA school shooting was accidental, 12-year-old in custody -- The shooting was reported just before 9 a.m. and within minutes a 12-year-old girl was taken into custody without incident. Police interviewed her and by evening they announced that they would book her on a charge of negligent discharge of a firearm on school grounds. Amanda Lee Myers Associated Press -- 2/2/18

Unions give big to Thurmond, charter backers to Tuck in state superintendent campaign filing -- Marshall Tuck collected $2 million in donations in 2017 and Assemblyman Tony Thurmond received $1.4 million, according to year-end filings by the two presumptive candidates vying to become the next state superintendent of public instruction. John Fensterwald EdSource​ -- 2/2/18

Kickboxing and Kundalini: Part of a novel approach to reducing charter school teacher attrition -- Kickboxing, yoga, Zumba dance classes, healthy snacks and nursing pods for new mothers are all an integral part of an unusual approach adopted by a charter school network in Los Angeles to tackle the near-universal problem of stress and isolation that teachers cite as major reasons they leave the profession. George White EdSource -- 2/2/18


California could make it easier to erase your old marijuana convictions -- When California voters legalized recreational weed in 2016, they made the law retroactive, allowing residents to petition to overturn or reduce old convictions for possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/2/18

County moving forward with criminal-record reductions in Prop. 64 marijuana cases -- San Diegans convicted in past years of marijuana offenses that are no longer illegal have been quietly getting their criminal records reduced — almost 700 of them so far, with another 4,000 cases awaiting action. John Wilkens in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/2/18

Immigration / Border 

ICE targets 77 Northern California businesses in illegal worker crackdown -- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents this week served notices of inspection at 77 Northern California businesses in an effort to root out illegal workers. The so-called I-9 audit notices were delivered to businesses in San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, said ICE spokesman James Schwab. Jason Green and Tatiana Sanchez in the San Jose Mercury$ Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ Hamed Aleaziz in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/2/18


With storms skipping state, nearly half of California is back in a drought -- Less than a year after Gov. Jerry Brown declared an end to one of the worst droughts in California history, a consortium of nationwide water experts reported Thursday that 44 percent of the state is again experiencing at least moderate drought conditions. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/2/18

This winter is so hot and dry that 'severe drought' has returned to SoCal -- Large swaths of Southern California have slipped back into severe drought according to a weekly report released by the U.S. Drought Monitor, part of the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Jacob Margolis KPCC -- 2/2/18


Orange County’s only needle exchange shuts down; advocates fear increased HIV transmission -- City leaders, in refusing the Orange County Needle Exchange Program a permit on Jan. 17, claimed the program had resulted in uncapped hypodermic needle littering the area in and around the Civic Center, endangering public employees and others. Jordan Graham in the Orange County Register -- 2/2/18


Trump plan could undo preservation of millions of acres of California desert for renewable energy development -- BLM said it will open a 45-day public comment period on 10.8 million acres of BLM managed land for possible changes to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. The majority of that land is in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Opposition to the announcement was swift. Jim Steinberg in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 2/2/18

Trump administration signals move against California desert protection plan -- Trump administration threatened Thursday to undo a hard-fought conservation plan to protect millions of acres of California’s Mojave Desert from industrial development. Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/2/18

Environmentalism or ‘nanny state’? Efforts to regulate plastic in California take off -- Environmental advocates in California who successfully pushed for a ban on single-use plastic bags have expanded their fight against plastic waste, targeting straws and bottle caps and calling on the state to increase the amount of recycled material in plastic water and soda bottles. Billy Kobin in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/2/18

Also . . . 

Sorry, Elon Musk has no more flamethrowers to sell you -- That was quick: Elon Musk sold out all his totally serious flamethrowers in five days. Last weekend, Musk opened up pre-orders for 20,000 flamethrowers on The Boring Company’s website. The flamethrowers cost $500, and the flamethrowers netted Musk — whose net worth is $21 billion, according to Forbes — $10 million more. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/2/18


-- Thursday Updates 

Frantic parents descend on school after shooting: 'I just want my daughter, I want my daughter' -- Frantic parents rushed to Salvador Castro Middle School in Westlake on Thursday, desperate for word about the safety of their children after a shooting injured two students. Sonali Kohli and Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/1/18

Two students shot at Salvador Castro Middle School, one in critical condition. Girl in custody -- Two students were shot in a classroom in Salvador Castro Middle School in Westlake on Thursday morning, and one is in critical condition, authorities said. Police received a report of shots fired about 8:55 a.m. in the 1500 block of West 2nd Street, according to LAPD Officer Drake Madison. Brittny Mejia and Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/1/18

California Senate approves staff whistleblower protections -- The California Senate has unanimously approved whistleblower protections for legislative staff after four years of stonewalling the measure. The Senate's passage comes as the Legislature grapples with an ongoing sexual misconduct scandal that's prompted two members to resign and another to take a leave of absence. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 2/1/18

L.A.'s homelessness surged 75% in six years. Here's why the crisis has been decades in the making -- Some of the poorest people in the city spend their days in the shadow of Los Angeles City Hall, napping on flattened cardboard boxes. Gale Holland in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/1/18

Democratic candidates flock to California’s ‘very hostile’ House districts -- Three times more Democrats are running in the 10 Republican-held California House districts this year compared to 2014 and 2016. The latest tally of Democratic candidates, according to Federal Election Commission filings, is now at 63. In 2016, 22 Democrats competed in those districts. In 2014, there were 20. Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/1/18

Trump falsely claims his State of the Union audience was 'highest' in history -- Trump’s audience, measured by Nielsen data, is below the 48 million viewers who watched former President Obama's first State of the Union address in 2010. It’s also below 52 million — the number that tuned in to watch President George W. Bush’s first such speech in 2002 and President Clinton’s in 1994. Brian Bennett in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/1/18