Updating . .   

Along California-Oregon border, debate over protected lands is clash of values -- There’s no welcome sign here, not even a marked road to the entrance. Just wide-open countryside. But this little-visited stretch of protected hills and valleys that makes up California’s share of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is at the heart of a nationwide debate over the management of America’s public lands. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/4/18

Emilio Huerta drops out of congressional race against David Valadao -- Emilio Huerta, a Bakersfield attorney and the son of civil rights legend Dolores Huerta, is ending his campaign to replace Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rory Appleton in the Fresno Bee -- 3/4/18

California gears up for a battle over single-family zoning near transit -- Taking aim at climate change, highway gridlock and soaring housing costs, a California lawmaker has ignited a red-hot debate with a proposal that would force cities to allow more apartments and condominiums to be built a short walk from train stations and bus stops. Katy Murphy and Erin Baldassari in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/4/18

Libby Schaaf’s war on ICE may hold hidden dangers -- Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s warning about federal immigration sweeps might look like a no-brainer on the local political front. After all, one poll of 500 Bay Area residents, by KPIX-5/Survey USA, found 48 percent approved of her heads up and just 34 percent turned thumbs down. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/4/18

Tijuana shelters brace for influx of Trump administration deportees -- When deportees from California are unceremoniously deposited at a dusty traffic circle just across the border here, their first destination is often the same: an airy dormitory in Tijuana’s hills with a sweeping view of the sprawling city below. Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/4/18

Mexican man assumes American's identity for 37 years, steals $361,000 in government benefits -- It started as a rather straightforward Social Security fraud investigation — a man receiving disability benefits pretending to live in the United States when in fact he lived in Tijuana. Kristina Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/4/18

Ron Conway says he’s too busy to get involved in San Francisco’s mayor race -- As San Francisco finds itself in the midst of an unexpected mayoral campaign after Lee’s death, accusations are flying about Conway’s influence in a battle between moderate and progressive candidates. Trisha Thadani and Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/4/18

Whiter and older but somehow less Republican. The GOP is losing its grip on two North County strongholds -- But the shift has now reached a point where Democratic and Republican voter registration in two once-conservative North County seats — the 76th and 77th — are within a whisker, giving Democrats a chance to bolster their majority in the 80-member Assembly. Joshua Stewart in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/4/18

Smolens: As GOP pressure grows, will Rep. Hunter get a boost from Trump? -- Rep. Duncan Hunter marches on, even as Republicans on both coasts tighten the screws. He has filed for re-election and outwardly seems unfazed by the prospect of high-profile election opponents. Michael Smolens in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/4/18

San Francisco union leader’s SUV break-in goes viral, and the cops come running -- Nothing like being the head of a politically influential union to get a response when your car is burglarized. At least that was the case when Firefighters Union Local 798 President Tom O’Connor walked out of San Francisco City Hall after an afternoon of contract negotiations to find his 2010 Chevy Tahoe broken into — for the third time in two years. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/4/18

For Sacramento, 'Lady Bird' offers a vivid portrait of a city that revels in its 'modest pleasures' -- "You clearly love Sacramento," says the Catholic nun and high school principal as she looks over the college essay written by one of her students. The teenager, who clearly thinks the city is uncool, shrugs and says she just pays attention to her surroundings. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/4/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Feinstein renews effort to ban assault weapons -- The weapon used to kill 17 people in last month’s rampage at a high school in Parkland, Fla., was banned from manufacture and sale in the United States for 10 years under a law written by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/4/18

California nurses union leader RoseAnn DeMoro retiring, but remains ‘on call’ -- Sen. Bernie Sanders calls her “very tough” and “an invaluable ally.” Longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader praises her as “the greatest labor organizer of her time.” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka admires her “iron will.” Filmmaker Michael Moore says she is “the pain-in-the-ass labor leader all workers need fighting for them.” Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/4/18

Late entrant to California's gubernatorial race makes her case to young women -- In one of her first public appearances since launching her campaign for California governor, Amanda Renteria encouraged a group of more than 100 young women to engage in politics and spoke about her experience as a Latina with political ambitions. Sophia Bollag in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/4/18

Willie Brown: NRA could lose gun fight to next generation -- All successful movements have a moment when they gather momentum. The great push for civil rights acquired its force thanks to Rosa Parks and the buses of Montgomery. The Free Speech Movement helped create the climate for mass opposition to the Vietnam War. Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/4/18

Myers: How a list of 23 crimes now dominates California's debate over prison punishment -- California has a long history of mixing crime and punishment with raw politics. But outrage doesn't always translate into coherent policy, and unintended consequences can spark even more public anger. With that in mind, consider the last two years of debate over what should, and should not, be a "violent" crime. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/4/18

California GOP endorses Hunter for re-election -- While the county-level GOP had already endorsed Hunter, and it is common for the state GOP to follow those recommendations, controversy swirling around the Alpine congressman raised some question as to whether he would secure enough votes for the state backing. A federal investigation into reports that Hunter used campaign funds for personal spending is ongoing, and a recent Politico article alleged former staffers and lawmakers have raised issues with drinking and relationships with women. Hunter responded to the Politico story as “tabloid trash.” Kristina Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/4/18

Walters: One bill captures two unseemly Capitol traits -- When the Legislature passed – and Gov. Jerry Brown signed – Assembly Bill 1687 two years ago, they exhibited two of the Capitol’s more unseemly traits. The legislation, aimed directly at IMDb, a company that maintains databases of actors and other entertainment information, forbade it and similar firms from publishing the ages of performers if they wanted to keep them secret. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 3/4/18

California Politics Podcast -- This week's episode looks back at the biggest battles from the California Democratic Party convention -- which ended in no endorsements in the biggest races. Plus, we discuss the decision of a Republican close to President Trump to drop out of the governor's race. With John Myers and Seema Mehta of the Los Angeles Times. Link Here -- 3/4/18

Sierra snow: Tahoe resorts receive 5 feet of snow in 48 hours -- The cold and relentless storms that have rolled in from Alaska and Western Canada this week have so far dumped 5 to 6 feet of new snow in many places across California’s Sierra Nevada Range, a much-needed respite from the bone-dry conditions of February, and a boost to the state’s summer water supply. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/4/18

Rescuer describes harrowing avalanche rescue of snowboarder buried in Squaw Valley snow -- Heather Turning and her boyfriend were taking a rest about a quarter of the way down Squaw Valley’s K-22 mountain, beneath the Olympic Lady chairlift, when they both heard a noise and looked up the hill. Matthias Gafni in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/4/18

Hope and loss mark recovery in fire-scarred Mendocino County -- Yellow daffodils are poking up from the blackened landscape in Mendocino County’s Redwood Valley nearly five months after a deadly wildfire raged through the bucolic hamlet, killing nine people, destroying a third of the homes and causing $170 million in damage. Paul Payne in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 3/4/18


Soggy storm boosts Bay Area rainfall totals, but not enough -- Recent storms have dropped more than an inch of rain on San Francisco and blanketed the Sierra with snow, but water levels and snowpack around the state are still lagging far below normal. Sophie Haigney in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/4/18

POTUS 45  

Trump to launch major donor initiative after disastrous week -- Donald Trump is wrapping up the most chaotic week of his presidency by rolling out a major new donor push — one of his most serious steps yet to prepare for a 2020 reelection campaign. Alex Isenstadt Politico -- 3/4/18


McMaster caught in the middle as Mattis and Tillerson maneuver to constrain Trump on national security issues -- As President Trump appears to lurch from crisis to crisis on the world stage, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have quietly maneuvered to constrain an impulsive commander in chief, the latest sign of a national security team that is increasingly challenging the president. Brian Bennett in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/4/18

Mueller’s Focus on Adviser to U.A.E. Indicates Broader Inquiry -- George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman, has hovered on the fringes of international diplomacy for three decades. He was a back-channel negotiator with Syria during the Clinton administration, reinvented himself as an adviser to the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, and last year was a frequent visitor to President Trump’s White House. Mark Mazzetti, David D. Kirkpatrick and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times$ -- 3/4/18


-- Saturday Updates 

Why Trump's steel tariffs could have an outsize impact on California -- The state does have about 5,500 steel workers, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2016. But UC Davis economist Katheryn Russ estimates that California has many more workers — over 100,000 — turning steel into products like hardware and car parts. David Wagner KPCC -- 3/3/18

California steel industry leaders say they would be hurt by Trump's proposed tariffs -- California steel manufacturers are concerned that tariffs proposed Thursday by President Trump will drive up the price of their products, threatening their ability to compete with foreign and eastern U.S. steel makers and forcing them to cut local jobs. Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/3/18

‘Pure madness’: Dark days inside the White House as Trump shocks and rages -- Still, Trump’s friends are increasingly concerned about his well-being, worried that the president’s obsession with cable commentary and perceived slights is taking a toll on the 71-year-old. “Pure madness,” lamented one exasperated ally. Retired four-star Army general Barry McCaffrey said the American people — and Congress especially — should be alarmed. “I think the president is starting to wobble in his emotional stability and this is not going to end well,” McCaffrey said. Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey in the Washington Post$ -- 3/3/18

Scientists Say New Reservoirs Will Not Offset Dramatically Declining Snowpack -- Scientists have found dramatically declining snowpack across the American West over the past six decades that will likely cause water shortages in the region that cannot be managed by building new reservoirs, according to a study published Friday. Gillian Flaccus Associated Press -- 3/3/18

California attorney general foes spar in AP interviews -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has become the face of the state's resistance to President Donald Trump, challenging the Republican administration's policies nearly four dozen times in court and providing the kind of meat-and-potatoes opposition that Democratic activists say they want. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 3/3/18

Garcetti, council members ignored 2016 report finding waste, flaws in police a5691nd fire retirement program -- Mayor Eric Garcetti and leaders of the Los Angeles City Council ignored a report urging them to eliminate, or drastically amend, a controversial program that pays veteran cops and firefighters their salaries and pensions simultaneously for up to five years. Jack Dolan, Ryan Menezes and Gus Garcia-Roberts in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/3/18

Former Todd Spitzer aide who got $150K settlement from O.C. sues ex-boss again – this time for defamation -- Christine Richters alleges in her new lawsuit, filed Friday, March 2, that statements Spitzer made to the media about her during the earlier lawsuit were false and are hindering her attempt to get a new job. Jordan Graham in the Orange County Register -- 3/3/18

Can Los Angeles start a public pot bank? City study says costs could be 'exorbitant' -- How hard would it be for the city of Los Angeles to create its own bank? Very. That's the upshot of a report released this week by the city's chief legislative analyst, which identified a bevy of potential roadblocks, including the need for changes to state and city law and potentially "exorbitant" start-up costs. James Rufus Koren in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/3/18

State audit: Counties hoarding money for mental health programs -- Counties throughout the state are holding onto millions of dollars intended for mental health services, a recently released state audit has found. The audit is forgiving of San Diego County, which was found to allocate funds appropriately and monitor projects effectively, although it also was sitting on about $185 million at the time of the study. Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/3/18

Why a California gun seizure law could be a model for national legislation -- A California law that is a model for pending national legislation resulted in 190 court orders in 2016-17 for police to temporarily take away weapons from people deemed a danger to themselves or others. Michelle Faust KPCC -- 3/3/18

Once Banned, Now Loved and Loathed: How the AR-15 Became ‘America’s Rifle’ -- Jeff Swarey bought his AR-15 rifle five years ago after shooting guns in video games. Jessie K. Fletcher, a former Marine sniper, was given one by his platoon after he stepped on a bomb in Afghanistan that blew off his legs. Jessica Dorantes, a Texas police officer, will not go on patrol without hers. Ali Watkins, John Ismay and Thomas Gibbons-Neff in the New York Times$ -- 3/3/18

Questions Surround Trump’s First Border Wall Contract -- A tiny Nebraska startup awarded the first border wall construction project under President Donald Trump is the offshoot of a construction firm that was sued repeatedly for failing to pay subcontractors and accused in a 2016 government audit of shady billing practices. Associated Press -- 3/3/18

Is San Diego's casino industry over-saturated? -- Though the sun was shining Friday morning, officials from the Pechanga Resort & Casino had to move a press conference about today’s grand opening of the resort’s $300 million expansion indoors. Michele Parente in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/3/18

Knight: Arts groups decry miserable state of Mid-Market streets -- Patrons of the magnificent theaters that dot San Francisco’s Mid-Market and Civic Center neighborhoods know that some of the most jaw-dropping drama isn’t happening onstage at all. It’s happening on the sidewalks and in the BART station just outside. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/3/18