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Remember $4-a-gallon gas? Get ready to say ‘ouch’ -- Remember $4-a-gallon gasoline? It could be coming to a gas station near you, perhaps as soon as Memorial Day weekend. At the close of January, national gas price tracker GasBuddy.com said average gasoline prices across most of California were at their highest levels in more than 850 days. Mark Glover in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/11/18

How a battle over same-sex marriage 14 years ago sparked Gavin Newsom’s political rise -- Gavin Newsom was a fresh-faced mayor a week into his job when he walked into the House of Representatives chamber for the State of the Union address in January 2004. While he watched from the balcony, President George W. Bush declared his support for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex unions — inspiring a political gamble that would change lives and transform Newsom’s career. Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/11/18

Devin Nunes creates his own alternative news site -- House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a relentless critic of the media, has found a way around the often unflattering coverage of his role in the Trump-Russia investigation — by operating his own partisan news outlet. David Siders Politico -- 2/11/18

Racially charged science project prompts review of Sacramento’s elite academic programs -- Sacramento City Unified Superintendent Jorge Aguilar vowed to diversity the district’s academically elite programs Saturday after a C.K. McClatchy High School student’s science fair project questioned whether certain races were smart enough to compete. Diana Lambert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/11/18

Bay Area residents want more housing, but … Fed up with soaring prices that are increasingly putting home ownership, or even a decent rental, out of reach, Bay Area residents overwhelmingly say they want more housing built, according to a new poll. But it better not make their commutes worse. Marisa Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/11/18

Oroville crisis drives harder look at aging US dams -- One year after the worst structural failures at a major U.S. dam in a generation, federal regulators who oversee California's half-century-old, towering Oroville Dam say they are looking hard at how they overlooked its built-in weaknesses for decades. Ellen Knickmeyer Associated Press -- 2/11/18

Disneyland resort raises prices as much as 18% -- The Disneyland resort raised prices over the weekend, several months before the park plans to unveil a remake of its boardwalk-themed area at the California Adventure Park. The prices rose the highest for annual pass holders, up as much as 18%. Daily tickets rose nearly 9%. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ Tamara Lush Associated Press -- 2/11/18

The road to building a border wall will be long and difficult, and go through the courts -- It's not long — just two pages — but a notice recently issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a reminder of the challenges, legal and otherwise, facing President Trump's promised border wall. Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/18

Bretón: Spotlight dims for one of the city’s most colorful – and confrontational – characters -- If there is one person from Sacramento in the past 40 years whose outlandish, outspoken and outsized life could be the subject of a movie, it would be Leonard Padilla. Marcos Bretón in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/11/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Governor candidates have their uncomfortable moment in #MeToo spotlight -- In politics, a candidate’s past never goes away — especially when it involves his sexual history. That’s one reason three of the men in the nearly all-male field of candidates running for governor — Democratic front-runners Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, as well as GOP Assemblyman Travis Allen — are spending a lot of time responding to concerns about their inappropriate sexual behavior, which in some cases happened a decade ago. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/11/18

Willie Brown: Pelosi’s still got what it takes, and she’s going to need every bit of it -- House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi had to stand all day and work all night to get it done, and when she finally wrung a concession out of House Speaker Paul Ryan on immigration, it was her party’s first victory in weeks. Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/11/18

One of California’s most powerful posts has been empty for almost six months -- Gov. Jerry Brown's answer to a reporter's question during a January news conference was both evasive and, by the end, unflinchingly honest. The topic was his search for a new California Supreme Court justice. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/18

In California Visit, Trudeau Mixes Job Deals With Defense of NAFTA -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came with an unambiguous message on his latest US visit: the North American Free Trade Agreement is a success that needs to be modernized, not abandoned. Michael R. Blood Associated Press -- 2/11/18

The Unlikely Activist -- Like many people who have lost loved ones in police shootings, Dolores Piper found that grief can be a gateway to advocacy. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/11/18

Walters: Cities should fess up about taxes and pensions -- California’s political leaders don’t have to look very far to find a stark example of the pension cost crisis facing the state’s 482 cities. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 2/11/18

Lopez: Amid the death and destruction in Montecito, a bakery becomes a center of recovery and hope -- Alison Hardey got to work early Friday morning, about 6:30, to prepare for the big day. "People were waiting outside," she said, and when the doors opened at 7 a.m., about 20 people stepped to the counter to order breakfast. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/18

Diaz: Can congressional action help protect a free press? -- The threat of violence against journalists is no longer an abstract concept or other countries’ problems in the Trump era. President Trump has been spewing the type of anti-media vitriol by national leaders that has led to physical attacks on reporters in places such as Chechnya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Iran and Egypt. John Diaz in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/11/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

SAG-AFTRA establishes code of conduct to combat sexual harassment -- SAG-AFTRA, the union representing about 160,000 actors and other performers, is trying a new approach to protect its members from sexual harassment amid a wider reckoning in Hollywood over misconduct. The guild released a code of conduct on Saturday that outlines best practices for the handling of workplace sexual harassment. Its slogan: "STOP. SUPPORT. REPORT." Daniel Miller in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/18

Though Valley economy seems healthy, some jobs lost in the Great Recession are still gone -- Construction remains in the largest job deficit compared to its pre-recession status in Fresno County. In 2007, the industry employed about 21,100 workers. By 2010, it had lost more than 45 percent of its employees, reaching a low of 11,500. As of last year, construction still had 20 percent fewer workers than before the recession. Tim Sheehan in the Fresno Bee -- 2/11/18


‘Why are we OK watching them die?’ -- Two deaths last month in the Russian River homeless community underscore the population’s vulnerability and the difficulty of finding solutions amid a prolonged standoff over a proposed year-round shelter. Mary Callahan in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 2/11/18

‘No easy answer’ on homelessness in Guerneville as Russian River area tussles over response -- David Hays had been homeless for about two years when he got help that turned his life around, including a roof over his head and access to any support he needs to stay on track. Mary Callahan in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 2/11/18


Academy of Art could face federal trial over fraud suit -- At the heart of a lawsuit against the Academy of Art University in San Francisco is whether the for-profit school used illegal tactics to enroll students and defraud the federal government out of millions of dollars in financial aid. For nearly seven years, the nation’s largest art school — and one of San Francisco’s biggest property owners — has succeeded in keeping a jury from hearing the lawsuit that plaintiffs say could cost it nearly a half-billion dollars. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/11/18


For the legal cannabis trade, some new wrinkles: Older users -- Even before California legalized recreational marijuana Jan. 1, pot was enjoying a gray renaissance. Peter Rowe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/18

Santa Cruz County pot shops: Sales up, profits down -- Pot sales spiked across the state in January as new customers flooded into the recreational marketplace, according to early retailer reports. But some local business owners say profit margins have eroded as they grapple with high taxes, testing and packaging requirements and a constrained supply chain. Nicholas Ibarra in the Santa Cruz Sentinel -- 2/11/18

Immigration / Border 

White House floats an offer to keep legal immigration at 1 million per year instead of cutting it -- As the Senate prepares to begin a free-wheeling debate over immigration next week, White House officials have begun floating a possible compromise idea — a pledge to maintain legal immigration at current levels, about 1.1 million people a year, for more than a decade. Brian Bennett in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/11/18

Attorney General says employers must protect confidential information from ICE agents -- Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Friday in Fresno that employers must protect confidential information about employees when federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents ask questions. Lewis Griswold in the Fresno Bee -- 2/11/18

Also . . . 

Desert Hot Springs man arrested in crash that killed Tour de Palm Springs cyclist -- A Desert Hot Springs man is facing a charge of vehicular manslaughter after police say he crashed into Tour de Palm Springs cyclists, killing one and seriously injuring another. Sherry Barkas and Barrett Newkirk in The Desert Sun -- 2/11/18

POTUS 45  

Trump decries lack of ‘due process’ for men accused of sexual harassment, abuse -- President Trump on Saturday appeared to side with men accused of domestic abuse or sexual misconduct, following a week of turmoil surrounding allegations of spousal abuse against two male aides that brought the national #MeToo movement inside the White House. Anne Gearan and Katie Zezima in the Washington Post$ -- 2/11/18


Speier: Trump's view on harassment 'beyond rehabilitation' -- Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said on Saturday that President Trump's views on sexual misconduct and domestic abuse are "beyond rehabilitation," after he appeared to raise questions about such allegations. Max Greenwood The Hill -- 2/11/18


-- Saturday Updates 

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take a morning hike in Griffith Park -- On his last stop in a three-day visit to California, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at Griffith Park on Saturday for an early morning hike. Brittny Mejia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/10/18

For legal cannabis, some new wrinkles: older users -- Even before Jan. 1, when California legalized recreational weed, pot was enjoying a gray renaissance. Between 2006 and 2013, the National Survey of Drug Use and Health reported a 250 percent rise in marijuana use by Americans 65 and older. This is still a small number, climbing from 0.4 percent to 1.4 percent of that population, but local dispensaries see plenty of silver-haired shoppers. Peter Rowe in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/10/18

Should veterans be allowed to use medical marijuana for post-combat stress? The Trump administration says no -- Frustrated with traditional therapies for chronic pain and post-combat stress disorders, a growing number of military veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are turning to medical marijuana for their treatment, a move that has put them at sharp odds with the Trump administration. David S. Cloud in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/10/18

L.A. County set to build its first new freeway in 25 years, despite many misgivings -- The California Department of Transportation, in cooperation with a joint powers authority, will in June begin buying land to build a 63-mile high desert freeway connecting the Los Angeles County communities of Palmdale and Lancaster with the San Bernardino County communities of Victorville, Apple Valley and Adelanto. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/10/18

'Deep division,' distrust pervade Huntington Beach Police Department, study finds -- Team-building among police staff, leadership development, infrastructure improvements and additional staffing are among 16 recommendations for improvement made by an independent consulting firm tasked with studying operations at the Huntington Beach Police Department. Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/10/18

With BART ridership down, and complaints up, agency promises new cleanup -- BART officials who acknowledge that filthy stations and trains, the presence of sleeping homeless people and fear of crime may be scaring away riders said this week they have big plans to clean up the region’s backbone transit system. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 2/10/18

Sudden appearance of electric scooters irks Santa Monica officials -- The dockless shared scooters took Santa Monica by surprise, including the mayor, who says he received a LinkedIn message from Bird chief executive Travis VanderZanden, offering to introduce him to the company’s “exciting new mobility strategy for Santa Monica” — after they landed in town. Noah Smith in the Washington Post$ -- 2/10/18

How an Olympic skier from Tahoe made it, despite being as tall as Draymond Green -- They dismissed him as too tall. They said his size 15 feet were too big an obstacle. They told his parents it just couldn’t be done. But 6-foot-7 Bryce Bennett dreamed of growing into a top downhill ski racer anyway. “There’s a first time for everything,” he once told his father. Elliott Almond in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/10/18

Meet the Sacramento ‘Lady Birds’ who flew back home -- The Oscar-nominated movie “Lady Bird,” set in Sacramento, has trained a spotlight on the capital city as the pleasant but unexciting hometown of a young woman eager to escape to a bigger life elsewhere. There’s more to the Sacramento story. Some of those who leave – some “Lady Birds” – fly home. Call it the real-life sequel. Tony Bizjak and Ryan Lillis in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/10/18

Problems in the pipeline for Sempra's subsidiary in Mexico -- Sempra, San Diego’s Fortune 500 energy giant, has made sizable investments across Mexico, looking to take advantage of the Mexican government’s decision more than four years ago to dramatically reform its energy system and open it up to projects from foreign companies. But an incident in a small town in the state of Sonora offers a stark example how expensive plans can be disrupted. Rob Nikolewski in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/10/18

CHP officer in Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's motorcade hurt in crash near Ronald Reagan library -- A crash involving motorcycle officers accompanying Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his visit to Southern California sent one officer to the hospital, but Trudeau's vehicle was not involved and he was not hurt. Associated Press -- 2/10/18

As domestic abuse claims roil the White House, Trump says lives are being ruined ‘by a mere allegation’ -- President Trump appeared to be coming to the defense of men accused of domestic abuse or other sexual misconduct, asking in a Saturday morning Twitter post, “Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?” Anne Gearan in the Washington Post$ -- 2/10/18