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L.A. police and firefighters rush to join controversial retirement program -- The rush to join the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP program, coincided with a Times investigation in February that found the program, which was created in 2002 to keep veteran officers and firefighters on the job, allows participants to file workers' compensation claims and then take extended injury leaves at nearly twice their usual pay. Jack Dolan, Ryan Menezes, Gus Garcia-Roberts in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/18

Gun rights backers gather at Capitol, part of ‘Americans for America’ rallies -- An estimated 200 people took to the south steps of the state Capitol Saturday as a part of a nationwide gun rights demonstration that organizers said was intended, in part, to rebut some of the arguments made at the recent March for Our Lives events. Barbara Harvey in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/15/18

How dementia can drain a family’s life savings -- If Denis Winter suffered from heart failure, cancer or almost any other deadly disease, his family could rest assured that his care would be largely covered by insurance. But Winter has Alzheimer’s disease. So the extraordinary cost of his care — $8,500 a month, or $102,000 a year — is borne entirely by his wife, Linda. It is quickly draining their lifetime of savings. Lisa M. Krieger in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/15/18

Without mentioning Mueller, Trump lawyers urge high court to bolster his power to fire executive officials -- The Supreme Court is set to hear a seemingly minor case later this month on the status of administrative judges at the Securities and Exchange Commission, an issue that normally might only draw the interest of those accused of stock fraud. But the dispute turns on the president's power to hire and fire officials throughout the government. David G. Savage in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti on running for president, not running and his favorite jazz pianists -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti brought his all-but-announced 2020 presidential candidacy to Iowa on Friday, visiting for two days of stumping in the state that traditionally casts the first ballots of the presidential campaign. Mark Z. Barabak in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/18

California voters are getting to know the state's attorney general through his aggressive stance challenging Trump -- Less than two months from his first statewide election, California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra has become adept not only at challenging President Trump but at using the bully pulpit of his office to raise his profile with voters. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/18

Walters: The victims of transcontinental gamesmanship -- The long-distance spitting match between President Donald Trump’s Republican administration in Washington and California’s Democratic politicians in Sacramento over just about everything is either high drama or low comedy. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 4/15/18

Tens of thousands of votes are in danger of not being counted in California's biggest races this June -- In the vast majority of elections, it's the simplest rule of all: You can only vote for one candidate. Make a mark beside the name of more than one person, and that vote doesn't count. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/18

Anti-war activists protest outside San Francisco homes of Feinstein, Pelosi -- The anti-war group Code Pink protested Saturday outside the San Francisco homes of Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in response to the American-led missile strikes on Syria. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/15/18

If Kevin McCarthy wants to be speaker, this may be his biggest obstacle -- In the race to succeed Paul D. Ryan as House speaker, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has one major enemy: time. Ryan’s decision to not run for reelection sets up an unusually long race to choose his successor, creating a campaign that is out in the open but almost in a state of suspended animation. Paul Kane in the Washington Post$ -- 4/15/18

Secret recording? Alameda city manager taped council members who she thought might break the law, attorney says -- The City Council is poised to fire its city manager Monday in response to an independent investigation that appears to have revolved around a secret recording she made of a conversation with two council members. Matthias Gafni in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/15/18

San Francisco robbery suspect still in jail despite major case on bail he initiated -- Nearly three months after a landmark legal ruling upended the state’s cash bail system, the San Francisco robbery suspect at the center of the case remains in jail, his bail still set at $350,000, an amount the appeals court ruled was excessive and unfair. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/15/18

Knowledge, research celebrated at San Diego March for Science -- Some activists registered people to vote. Others urged visitors to stamp their cash with political messages. Daniel McDonald was collecting poop. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/15/18

Lopez: The staggering body count as California newspapers founder, and democracy loses -- The body count is staggering. In my 43 years as a journalist, armies of trained bloodhound s have been run out of newsrooms where I've worked, victims of layoffs, and buyouts, and battle fatigue. I've lost so many hundreds of colleagues, I can't keep track of where they ended up. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/18

Nolte: Sacrificing privacy to tech has big costs, but also major rewards -- These are tough days for the Internet and the tech moguls who run it. Carl Nolte in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/15/18

Police reform experts say Trump administration left San Francisco in the lurch -- Policing experts tapped by President Barack Obama to devise reforms for law enforcement agencies across the country say the Trump administration has largely abdicated that responsibility — and that the federal absence is hurting cities such as San Francisco. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/15/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Airplanes may soon install sleeping compartments in the cargo area -- European aircraft builder Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace, one of the world's largest manufacturers of cabin interiors, have teamed up to develop and market passenger sleeping berths on planes. The catch: The compartments will be in the cargo holds of the planes. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/18

Would you pay $18.75 for ad-free Facebook? -- Mark Zuckerberg said in congressional testimony this week that “there will always be a version of Facebook that is free.” “A version” — meaning another version might not be free. Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, recently told NBC that an ad-free iteration of the social network “would be a paid product.” Callum Borchers in the Washington Post$ -- 4/15/18

Amazon Books plans to open store in Berkeley -- The online giant plans to open its third Bay Area bookstore — it already has locations in Walnut Creek and San Jose — on Fourth Street in West Berkeley. John McMurtrie in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/15/18


Capitol Corridor trains have been running late. It’s not because of freight traffic -- Trains along the popular Capitol Corridor are running later than before, and homeless camps are partly to blame. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/15/18

Fix for crucial, clogged Silicon Valley freeway is stuck in the slow lane -- Traffic on Highway 85, one of Silicon Valley’s most important freeways, grinds to a standstill during rush hour — and everyone is pointing fingers over who should pay to find a fix. Wendy Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/15/18


Cow Palace gun show draws crowds and protesters -- Right at the northern edge of Daly City and the southern edge of San Francisco, hundreds came out to a gun show Saturday to look at the latest firearms on display. But they wouldn’t walk out with any. There’s a 10-day waiting period to get a gun in California — the state with some of the strictest laws in the country governing sales at gun shows. Jenna Lyons in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/15/18


After 30 years on the streets, she's no longer homeless. Here's how she found housing -- Katherine Ann Wahl long had been a fixture at busy intersections around Sacramento's central city, holding a sign made from a cardboard box that read: "Need Help. Thank You. God Bless." Cynthia Hubert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/15/18

Safe parking program for homeless veterans is launching in West L.A. -- The pilot program will provide the veterans an assigned spot where they may sleep safely, as well as access to social services and eventually housing, Bonin's office said Friday. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/18

Are the Navigation Centers helping city’s homeless? -- San Francisco’s much-celebrated Navigation Centers for homeless people have been shifting their mission. Initially the promise was that they would put clients into housing quickly, but in practice it takes far longer. Now there are limits on how long most clients can stay — 30 days in the case of the center on Mission Street, for example. Caille Millner in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/15/18

LA County To Pay Homeowners To Create Housing For The Homeless -- In an attempt to alleviate the soaring homelessness problem in Los Angeles County, officials want to pay homeowners to house people by building new living units or bringing existing dwellings up to code if they are in violation. Vanessa Romo NPR -- 4/15/18


Rough paths forward for projects promising 1,200 housing units on Sonoma County land -- Sonoma County wants to transform three large taxpayer-owned properties in Santa Rosa into new housing, with plans calling for as many as 1,200 units, a surge of supply in even greater demand after the destruction wrought by last year’s wildfires. J.D. Morris in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 4/15/18

Also . . . 

Straight out of Meadowview: Hmong family rises from the ghetto -- The tragic past and shining future of America’s Hmong played out at a south Sacramento restaurant a week ago when more than 400 Hmong from across the United States gathered to honor a family from Meadowview that achieved its American dream. Steve Magagnini in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/15/18

POTUS 45  

‘Big price to pay’: Inside Trump’s decision to bomb Syria -- From the moment White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly first informed him late on the night of April 7 that dozens of people in a leafy suburb of Damascus had died choking and foaming at the mouth from another suspected gas attack, President Trump was determined to strike back in Syria. For him, the only question was how. Philip Rucker, Missy Ryan, Josh Dawsey and Anne Gearan in the Washington Post$ -- 4/15/18