Updating . .   

CalSTRS opts to engage assault weapon retailers, not immediate divestment -- The California State Teachers’ Retirement System decided on Wednesday to publicly engage retailers of military-style assault weapons in the wake of public outcry over mass shootings, as opposed to immediately reducing investments in these companies. Robin Respaut Reuters -- 5/9/18

California regulators approve mandate for solar panels on new houses -- The California Energy Commission voted 5-0 to approve the measure, which also applies to multifamily buildings of three stories or fewer. The mandate is set to take effect in 2020 and does not need the approval of the Legislature. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ Ivan Penn in the New York Times$ Mark Chediak and Prashant Gopal Bloomberg -- 5/9/18

Republicans are trying to force a vote on DACA despite leadership stonewalling -- Republican members of the House in vulnerable districts began a vigorous effort Wednesday to defy GOP leaders to force a vote that could help keep Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients in the country. Kate Irby in the Sacramento Bee$ Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/9/18

Kevin McCarthy and Nancy Pelosi as different as Buck Owens and Jello Biafra. A political tale of two cities -- Kevin McCarthy and Nancy Pelosi may stand political poles apart but, together, the two California lawmakers are on the verge of making history. Mark Z. Barabak in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/9/18

Pruitt fast-tracked California cleanup after Hugh Hewitt brokered meeting -- EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt placed a polluted California area on his personal priority list of Superfund sites targeted for “immediate and intense” action after conservative radio and television host Hugh Hewitt brokered a meeting between him and lawyers for the water district that was seeking federal help to clean up the polluted Orange County site. Emily Holden and Anthony Adragna Politico -- 5/9/18

This Mexico City restaurant is rescuing deportees with jobs and Texas barbecue -- His kids, his job and every other fiber of life were back in Redondo Beach, the sun-soaked California community he called home for three decades. Now he was alone and penniless in a teeming Latin American metropolis he had not seen since leaving for the United States at age 11. Kate Linthicum in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/9/18

More voters signed up in San Diego County after Trump's victory than after either of Obama's wins -- San Diego County has seen a surge of new voters since the election of Donald Trump as president in November 2016. Joshua Stewart and Lauryn Schroeder in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/9/18

This law would affect just two people in California, including its author -- A California lawmaker is carrying a measure this session that directly affects only two people: himself and Rep. Brad Sherman. Senate Bill 1159 would allow sitting legislators and congressmen who hold inactive licenses as certified public accountants to continue using the title. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/9/18

Senate Democrats believe net neutrality is a political winner as they try to reinstate regulations -- One after another, 15 Democratic senators — nearly a third of their caucus — stepped to a microphone on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to call for tough rules to protect net neutrality. Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/9/18

Fox: Governor Deukmejian: Iron Duke; Gentle Man -- George Deukmejian was a gentle man with a spine of iron who stood up for a civil society under the rule of law and order. The “Iron Duke” was first and foremost concerned about safety and crime issues as reported in many of the remembrances of his life but he also was an advocate for the taxpayer. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 5/9/18

Reduced power possible during California summer evenings -- The manager of California’s power grid said Wednesday that below-average hydroelectricity production could mean reduced supplies for consumers during high-demand periods this summer. Associated Press -- 5/9/18

Summer just got a little hotter: State could have you using your AC less -- The managers of California's electrical grid warned Wednesday that the state is facing tight power supplies this summer, due in part to a drier winter that is reducing available hydro power. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/9/18

Wolves in Northern California aren’t just loping through anymore; they’re here to stay -- Wildlife biologists regard the re-establishment of Canis lupus in California as a milestone in the country’s decades-long effort to protect and preserve natural habitats and endangered species. Up to 2 million gray wolves once lived in North America, but European settlers, fed by big, bad wolf myths, drove them to near-extinction in the lower 48 states. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/9/18

California pesticide use high, covers vast acreage -- Farmers in California, the nation’s top agricultural state, are applying near-record levels of pesticides despite the rising popularity of organic produce and concerns about the health of farmworkers and rural schoolchildren. Paul Feldman Capitol Weekly -- 5/9/18

Impact of a Warming Climate on the Sierra Nevada and California’s Water -- Imagine a California where springtime temperatures are 7F warmer than they are today, where snowmelt runoff comes 50 days earlier and the average snowpack is just 36 percent of the 1981–2000 average. Tara Lohan Water Deeply via KQED -- 5/9/18

Those needles littering the streets? The city gave them out -- For all of City Hall’s tough talk of late about getting needles off the streets, the city itself is responsible for helping fuel the problem — handing out millions of syringes a year with little or no controls over their return. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/9/18

Half Dome cables going up Friday, several weeks earlier than last year -- Yosemite National Park is installing cables on Half Dome two weeks earlier than usual — several weeks prior to last year, when lingering snow delayed the opening until mid-June. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/9/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning

Gavin Newsom catches it from all sides in California gubernatorial debate -- Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is the undisputed front-runner in the June 5 primary for governor, which made him the No. 1 target in Tuesday night’s candidates’ debate in San Jose. Joe Garofoli and John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/9/18

Personality — not policy — divides and other takeaways from the California governor debate -- California's six leading candidates for governor discussed topics ranging from immigration to artificial intelligence over the course of a 90-minute debate Tuesday night. Some produced thoughtful answers about the state’s future, others generated responses that came across as general bromides about making things better. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/9/18

Frontrunner Gavin Newsom On Facing a GOP Opponent In the General Election: "Either One of These Will Do" -- The six top candidates running to be California's next governor clashed along predictable party lines Tuesday night, at what is likely to be the most consequential debate ahead of the state's June 5 primary election. Marisa Lagos, Guy Marzorati KQED -- 5/9/18

No knockout punches as governor candidates spar at San Jose debate -- During what could be their last faceoff before the June 5 primary, the candidates rushed to fit their attacks and applause lines into the 30-second answer limit — making the forum feel at times like a contest of who could speak fastest. Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/9/18

California Governor Hopefuls Face Off In Crucial Primary Debate -- When the six leading candidates for California governor debated Tuesday night in San Jose for what might be the only time in this final month before the June 5 primary election, their tactics illustrated each campaign’s strategy as the race enters a crucial stretch. Ben Adler Capital Public Radio -- 5/9/18

Mixing it up: After last debate for California governor, will Gavin Newsom get his wish? -- On stage for 90 minutes tonight in San Jose, the top six contenders to be California’s next governor echoed existing positions, with no one managing to score a breakout moment or strike a fatal blow. And there isn’t much time left. Ben Christopher Calmatters -- 5/9/18

Here's what the candidates for California governor got wrong in last night's debate -- Candidates for California governor running to succeed Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday participated in their last major debate before the June 5 primary election at the California Theater in San Jose. The Sacramento Bee fact-checked their statements: Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/9/18

Guess who talked the most during the California governor's race debate -- The debate among the candidates vying to be California’s next governor lasted 90 minutes. With rapid-fire questions and six candidates on stage, there was little time for anyone to waste. Michael Livingston in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/9/18

John Cox says he led the effort to oust former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. Here's what happened -- Cox was a donor to the effort to oust Filner, but he was not one of the primary driving forces behind Filner’s exit. A former San Diego city councilwoman as well as two local attorneys first called on Filner to resign and were the most prominent opponents of Filner as the controversy raged. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/9/18

Santa Clarita may join other cities in opposing California's 'sanctuary' law -- The debate over California's immigration laws raged on in Santa Clarita on Tuesday evening as the City Council considered formally opposing the state's so-called sanctuary law and filing a brief in support of the Trump administration's lawsuit against the state. Nina Agrawal in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/9/18

Judge Skeptical That San Francisco Gun Charge Is Vindictive -- A judge expressed skepticism Tuesday of a Mexican national's claim that he's the target of a vindictive federal prosecution after a San Francisco jury acquitted him of murder in a case at the center of a heated national debate over immigration. Paul Elias Associated Press -- 5/9/18

Federal agents search Adelanto mayor's home, City Hall amid corruption probe -- Adelanto Mayor Rich Kerr had a plan to cure the long-struggling city's deep financial woes. He would make the desert town, with its vast stretches of cheap land, into the Silicon Valley of marijuana. James Queally and Paloma Esquivel in the Los Angeles Times$ Richard K. De Atley and Joe Nelson in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 5/9/18

Walters: California’s economy now globe’s 5th largest -- California was in a bragging mode last week because the state’s economy has climbed in global rankings to 5th place behind only the United States as whole, China, Japan and Germany. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 5/9/18

Trump Plans to Fight California Car Rules With Twice-Failed Strategy -- The Trump administration is preparing to battle California’s tough car pollution regulations using an approach that federal courts have already rejected. Twice. Ryan Beene and John Lippert Bloomberg -- 5/9/18

California Counties Jump Into Opioid Litigation -- As lawsuits over the opioid crisis have spread nationwide, the country’s most populous state has largely stayed on the sidelines. Now, 30 counties in California are jumping in, seeking recovery for alleged taxpayer losses from the major makers and distributors of opioid painkillers. Sara Randazzo in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 5/9/18

George Deukmejian, California governor in a different era, dies at 89 in Long Beach -- Deukmejian was remembered by fellow Republicans and by Democrats for blending traditional conservative positions on fiscal and social issues with stands like his advocacy for the state divesting from South Africa during apartheid. “He represents the kind of politicians that California used to produce but doesn’t anymore: decent, moderate conservatives,” said Jack Pitney, professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College. Kevin Modesti in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press Melody Gutierrez and John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/9/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Picket line grows to 1,400 at UC Davis hospital as two unions add support -- Roughly 1,400 workers picketed for a second day at the UC Davis hospital and campus on Tuesday, as two unions representing nurses and physical therapists, social workers and dietitians went on strike in sympathy with members of AFSCME 3299. Molly Sullivan and Cathie Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/9/18

UC Nurses, Hospital Staff Join Service Workers' Strike -- Striking University of California service workers got reinforcements Tuesday, as nurses and technical staffers joined them on the picket lines outside medical centers around the state. Raquel Maria Dillon KQED -- 5/9/18

'We are humans too:' Voices of UCLA's striking custodians, hospital aides and imaging technicians -- She said she’s had to supplement her work with odd jobs to keep up with rising costs. “I wear the pants and the dress,” said the single mother of four. “I’m just tired of surviving. I want to live.” When she started working, she made about $13 an hour. Seven years later, she makes $18.64. Joy Resmovits in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/9/18

California Hospitals, Officials Take Careful Steps To Minimize Patient Impact During UC Labor Strikes -- Nurses across the University of California system are striking this week to support janitors, technicians and other hospital workers demanding higher wages and better health care. But patients aren’t likely to notice much difference in care. Sammy Caiola Capital Public Radio -- 5/9/18

30,000 LAUSD workers call off May 15 strike after reaching tentative contract deal -- Los Angeles Unified School District bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, classroom aides and other non-teaching employees called off a one-day strike planned for May 15 after leaders of their union reached a tentative contract agreement with district officials late Tuesday. Kyle Stokes KPCC Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/9/18

Sonoma County could slash 107 health jobs to help close $19 million deficit -- The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday gave conditional approval for officials to begin layoffs that would permanently reduce the size of the Health Services Department by 107 full-time vacant and filled positions. Martin Espinoza in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 5/9/18

California’s Governor Race Has Bond Investors Worried -- Saying goodbye to Jerry Brown is tough for the bond market. A progressive with a frugal bent, the Democratic governor won fans on Wall Street. As analyst Ben Woo put it, “He is the one who saved California.” So far, his potential successors aren’t making the farewell any easier. Romy Varghese Bloomberg -- 5/9/18

Grit, Endurance and Pullups: Inside L.A.'s Women's Fire Prep Academy -- Becoming a firefighter is no easy task. The competition is fierce and the physical requirements are grueling, especially if you’re a woman. Jenny Hamel KQED -- 5/9/18

San Jose police officer alleges racist department culture against Muslims -- Officer Nabil Haidar joined San Jose’s police force in 1996. But since 9/11, he said, he has regularly experienced harassment and discrimination. In the complaint filed Monday, Haidar alleges that other San Jose police officers said things like, “How many infidels are you planning to kill today?” and joked about him being associated with ISIS and terrorist groups. Sophie Haigney in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/9/18

L.A. lawmakers reject warehouse agreement over worker concerns -- The Los Angeles City Council rejected a proposed agreement Tuesday for a logistics company to continue using a warehouse near the Port of Los Angeles, saying that space should not be provided to a firm accused of flouting labor laws. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/9/18

The fight over net neutrality returns as supporters launch long-shot bid to resurrect the rules -- This time, Democrats and other supporters of the controversial internet traffic regulations are seeking to turn the tables on Republican opponents by using a legislative tactic, popularized recently by the GOP, to resurrect the rules the Federal Communications Commission struck down last year. Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/9/18

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

The open secret about California taxes -- California’s tax system, which relies heavily on the wealthy for state income, is prone to boom-and-bust cycles. Judy Lin Calmatters -- 5/9/18

California Has Slow Start To Marijuana Tax Collections -- So far, there's been no tax windfall from legal marijuana in California. Broad legal sales kicked off on Jan. 1, and state officials had estimated that California would bank $175 million from cultivation and excise taxes by the end of June. Michael R. Blood Associated Press -- 5/9/18


Second batch of new BART cars gets OK -- BART’s second batch of sleek new rail cars — another 10-car train — will be rolling onto the transit system’s tracks by next week, officials said. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/9/18


Study says Oakland school district lost $57.4 million last year because of charters -- For years, Oakland public school officials have watched thousands of city students leave their schools and enroll in charters, with more than $10,000 in state funding following each of them out the door. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/9/18

CSU San Marcos Using Public-Private Partnership For Newest Addition To Campus -- California State San Marcos officially broke ground Tuesday on a new Extended Learning building that will house a combination of academic space and retail outlets. Alison St John KPBS -- 5/9/18

LAUSD will rebuild Roosevelt High — and tear down buildings linked to its historic past -- It's official: Los Angeles' historic Roosevelt High School will get a massive and long-overdue rebuild of its aging campus. But for some alumni, there's a flaw in the construction plans: the most historic, culturally-significant buildings on Roosevelt's campus will have to be torn down. Kyle Stokes KPCC -- 5/9/18

Immigration, Border, Deportation 

Father arrested at gunpoint by ICE officers with riot shield -- A father who had previously been removed from the U.S. was arrested Tuesday in his home after immigration officers pried open the back door with a crowbar and entered with guns drawn and carrying a riot shield. Kate Morrissey in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/9/18

With Central American caravan gone, members who stayed behind struggle to find a path in Mexico -- Daniel and Martín Castillo, both farmers back in Guatemala, joined the migrant route through Mexico to the U.S. border — hoping to find jobs and build lives safe from crime. But after enduring two consecutive attacks this week at a Tijuana migrant shelter, the brothers from the Quetzaltenango region said they are more frightened than ever. Sandra Dibble in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/9/18


Climate change ruining California’s environment, report warns -- Bigger, more intense forest fires, longer droughts, warmer ocean temperatures and an ever shrinking snowpack in the Sierra Nevada are “unequivocal” evidence of the ruinous domino-effects that climate change is having on California, a new California Environmental Protection Agency report states. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Dale Kasler and Sharon Okada in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/9/18

California Lawmakers Want Expedited Action On Salton Sea Restoration -- California leaders who represent the shrinking Salton Sea want the same kind of expedited action taken on restoring it as the Oroville spillway crisis had in 2017. After the spillway eroded millions of dollars were quickly allotted to fix the dam. A 10-year plan to restore California’s largest lake was adopted last year. Ezra David Romero Capital Public Radio -- 5/9/18

Also . . . 

Panel finds 12 LAPD officers violated department policy in 2017 shooting from helicopter -- It was a first for the Los Angeles Police Department: A helicopter was dispatched to where a 29-year-old man was barricaded inside a home on the top of a hill, surrounded by brush and debris. Nicole Santa Cruz in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/9/18

A Google program can pass as a human on the phone. Should it be required to tell people it’s a machine? -- Google's artificial-intelligence assistant sounds almost exactly like a human when it calls the salon to book a woman's hair appointment. It responds to questions, negotiates timing and thanks the receptionist for her help. It even says “um” and “mm-hmm.” Drew Harwell in the Washington Post$ -- 5/9/18

POTUS 45  

Firm Tied to Russian Oligarch Made Payments to Michael Cohen -- A shell company that Michael D. Cohen used to pay hush money to a pornographic film actress received payments totaling more than $1 million from an American company linked to a Russian oligarch and several corporations with business before the Trump administration, according to documents and interviews. Mike McIntire, Ben Protess and Jim Rutenberg in the New York Times$ Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger and Emma Brown in the Washington Post$ -- 5/9/18


Trump Lawyer Received $500,000 From Firm Linked to Russian Oligarch -- A company created by Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, received $500,000 in 2017 from an investment fund linked to a Russian oligarch, according to a person familiar with the matter. Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Drew FitzGerald, Michael Rothfeld and Rebecca Ballhaus in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 5/9/18

The Strange Case of AT&T's Payments to Michael Cohen -- Among the details in a document released by Stormy Daniels’s lawyer Michael Avenatti on Tuesday evening is the description of a series of $50,000 payments by AT&T to Essential Consultants, a shell company owned by Michael Cohen. Alexis C. Mandrigal The Atlantic -- 5/9/18


-- Tuesday Updates 

George Deukmejian dead at 89, public safety and law-and-order dominated two-term governor's agenda -- George Deukmejian, a perennially popular two-term Republican governor of California who built his career on fighting crime, hardening the state's criminal justice stance and shoring up its leaky finances, died on Tuesday. He was 89 years old. Claudia Luther and Richard Paddock in the Los Angeles Times$ Kathleen Roynane Associated Press Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/8/18

Brown's Delta tunnels get $650 million boost from Bay Area water agency -- A Bay Area water agency agreed Tuesday to pump $650 million into Gov. Jerry Brown's Delta tunnels project, providing a meaningful boost for the controversial $16.7 billion plan. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/8/18

Three finalists for LAPD chief are a diverse group of department veterans -- Arcos, a third-generation Mexican American, is in charge of Central Bureau, which includes downtown and parts of northeast Los Angeles. Moore oversees the LAPD's patrol operations. Scott, who is African American, left the LAPD more than a year ago to become police chief in San Francisco. Richard Winton, David Zahniser, James Queally and Cindy Chang in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/8/18

Marijuana tax cut could be in jeopardy as revenue lags behind budget projections -- Money collected through California’s marijuana taxes may fall short of the $175 million budgeted for the first six months of this year. The less-than-expected haul could force the Legislature to shelve a bill that would reduce the excise tax on pot from 15% to 11%, state officials warned Tuesday. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/8/18

Sutter nurse testifies surgery center leader asked: 'You couldn't just eat at your desk?' -- At hearings unfolding this week and next week at the California Labor Commissioner's Office, Sutter Health employees testified that they were not able to take meal breaks or rest breaks because of chronic understaffing in their departments at Sutter’s Capitol Pavilion Surgical Center in midtown Sacramento. Cathie Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/8/18

Political veteran vs. political outsiders in race for California schools superintendent -- The race for the state’s top schools job has long followed a familiar pattern: A state legislator, anointed by the Democratic establishment and the teachers unions, faces off against political outsiders who want to bust up the Sacramento status quo. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/8/18

‘Meet the Press’ host Chuck Todd steps into California’s ‘weird jungle primary’ -- On Tuesday, Todd will be thrown into the middle of the jungle at a crucial moment in the gubernatorial campaign, as moderator of a candidates debate being televised statewide. It will probably be the last time voters get to see the top six candidates sharing a debate stage before the June 5 primary. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/8/18

San Francisco Mayor Farrell wants city to be prepared for the next economic downturn -- Taking the hard lessons learned after the national economic downturn of 2008, which resulted in painful cuts to city services and the loss of some 40,000 local jobs, Farrell’s directive calls for the formation of an economic oversight board that will closely monitor economic conditions at the local, state and national levels. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/8/18

All systems are go for SpaceX’s BFR rocket facility at Port of Los Angeles after City Council OKs plan -- The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a plan allowing SpaceX to build and operate a facility at the Port of L.A., where the Hawthorne space company will produce its next-generation BFR rockets and spacecraft. Samantha Masunaga in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/8/18

Worried about wildfires, PG&E unveils new fire forecasting center -- In a room where Pacific Gas and Electric Co. personnel used to monitor the electricity grid, analysts now watch day and night for fire. David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/8/18

Knight: A plan for San Francisco to take rape cases seriously at last -- Late last month, a string of women testified at a City Hall hearing that they’d reported being raped or sexually assaulted in San Francisco and that the brush-off by city officials made the trauma even worse. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/8/18

Santa Clara County sheriff faces fiercest election challenge in two-decade tenure -- Santa Clara County’s longest-serving sheriff, Laurie Smith, faces her stiffest challenge yet for an unprecedented sixth term that she appears poised to win despite one of the biggest scandals in the agency’s history. Robert Salonga in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/8/18

Fox: Will Recall Election be a Harbinger for Gas Tax Repeal? -- Much was made at the recent state GOP convention about the gas tax repeal initiative being a magnet to bring Republican voters to the polls in November. Whether the magnet has true pulling power is yet to be determined but a test of that theory comes soon with the recall election of Democratic Sen. Josh Newman. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 5/8/18

"We've got some healing to do." New Phillips ad sounds social justice themes -- Noah Phillips has launched a new television spot sounding the themes of equal justice, police accountability and repairing community trust that have driven his campaign to unseat Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert on June 5. Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/8/18

Proposed California solar mandate could add $10,500 to cost of a house -- The California Energy Commission on Wednesday is expected to mandate solar arrays on almost all new single-family houses built after Jan. 1, 2020, as part of the state’s fight against global warming. The rule also would apply to new multifamily buildings up to three stories tall. David R. Baker and Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/8/18

Uber shows off its flying-car prototype -- At its second annual Elevate Summit in Los Angeles, the ride-hailing giant introduced a prototype for its electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOL), which are designed to carry four passengers in ride-sharing flights in dense, urban markets. Levi Sumagaysay in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/8/18

Google CEO unveils new era of robots that sound like humans -- Pichai demonstrated Duplex’s ability by having Assistant make reservations with restaurants and hair salons in two recorded phone calls. The receivers of the calls seemed to have no idea they were speaking to an artificial intelligent voice. In the phone calls, Google Assistant said “ums” and “uhs” to make itself sound more human. Seung Lee in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/8/18