Aaron Read
Capitol Web Works
Olson Hagel
CA Leg Analyst
Governor Brown
Capitol Weekly


Updating . .   

California’s bullet train is pumping billions into the Valley economy. So why is it so unpopular? -- Vicente Ward had trouble finding work after leaving the Air Force — until California’s bullet-train project came along. Now he’s helping build a bridge that some day will carry rail passengers across the San Joaquin River between Madera and Fresno. Dale Kasler, Ryan Lillis, and Tim Sheehan in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/23/18

California's next governor and lawmakers enter a new power dynamic in Sacramento -- Single-payer healthcare. Universal preschool. Tuition-free community college. The California Legislature and the state's next governor share a wish list of progressive policies. The big question is: Who takes the lead? Taryn Luna and Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/23/18

Rocked by scandal, USC must heal its divisions and repair a broken culture -- On a rainy day in late November, the billionaire chairman of USC’s board of trustees sat in the front row of a classroom as one female student after another described how the university had failed women. Harriet Ryan and Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/23/18

Three major banks suspend lending for shipyard home purchases -- The banks, Wells Fargo, Chase and Citi, all confirmed to The Chronicle that they are not providing loans to any buyers at the San Francisco Shipyard development at the moment. They cited reasons related to unresolved questions about the safety of the land where mega-developer Lennar Corp. has built about 450 homes and is planning thousands more. Jason Fagone and Cynthia Dizikes in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/23/18

Report says price tag for ending Alameda County homelessness is $334M a year -- Every person sleeping on the streets of Alameda County could be placed into housing or shelters if the county more than triples its spending on key programs, a new report says. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/23/18

Weeks after the Thousand Oaks shooting, country bar's regulars reunite for a two-step and that old Borderline warmth -- Borderline Bar and Grill was a place you could go to dance away your worries. Even after what happened there last month, regulars still wanted to do that together — so they met up and danced in parking lots, in backyards, in a barn, at the mall. Esmeralda Bermudez in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/23/18

California teachers can pin students face down. Does the danger outweigh the benefit? -- It’s a scenario that sounds more likely in jails than schools: Arms pulled behind their back, a person is forced into a “prone restraint,” pinned face down on the floor with limbs held immobile by at least two people. Sawsan Morrar and Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/23/18

Inglewood to destroy more than 100 police shooting records that could otherwise become public under new California law -- The decision, made at a City Council meeting earlier this month, has troubled civil liberties advocates who were behind the state legislation, Senate Bill 1421, which takes effect Jan. 1. The law opens to the public internal investigations of officer shootings and other major uses of force, along with confirmed cases of sexual assault and lying while on duty. Liam Dillon and Jack Dolan in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/22/18

A sagging economy could doom a 2020 ballot measure to raise commercial property taxes, Gov. Jerry Brown says -- An effort to remove commercial property in California from the tax limits imposed by the landmark Proposition 13 could be felled by an economic slowdown, Gov. Jerry Brown said. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/23/18

Morain: What Jerry Brown fixed and couldn’t fix -- With his time in office down to 17 days, Gov. Jerry Brown spoke of things he fixed, tried to fix and fears can never be fixed. He sat in the main room of the home he and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, have built on land his great-grandfather, August Schuckman, bought for $1 an acre in the 1850s. He wore a jacket, a fire blazed in the fireplace, and his corgi, Colusa, barked. Dan Morain Calmatters -- 12/22/18

How Jerry Brown fits in among California’s greatest governors -- He was California’s youngest governor in a century, its oldest governor in history, and will remain its longest-serving governor for the foreseeable future. Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury -- 12/23/18

Willie Brown: Everything Kamala Harris is doing says she’s running for president -- Sen. Kamala Harris is making all the early moves for a 2020 presidential run. The California Democrat is booking speeches in early primary states while stepping back from the Sunday morning talks shows, which provide forums for verbal missteps. Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/22/18

Ancient California redwood grove damaged by selfie-seeking visitors to get $3.5 million rescue plan -- Raised walkway, restored vegetation, parking lot and restrooms planned near Grove of the Titans, now marred by litter, illegal trails and erosion. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury -- 12/23/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Regulators mull massive changes to PG&E management, structure -- California regulators are considering whether Pacific Gas and Electric Co. should shake up its leadership, split its core operations into separate companies or be transformed into a publicly-owned utility. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/22/18

State commission confirms new California Supreme Court nominee -- Joshua P. Groban, a Los Angeles lawyer who has advised Gov. Brown on judicial appointments, high profile litigation, prison issues and immigration, Friday became the newest member of the California Supreme Court. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/22/18

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom taps Keely Bosler to be his finance director -- Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom on Friday appointed Keely Martin Bosler as director of the California Department of Finance, continuing the role she has served under Gov. Jerry Brown since August. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/22/18

Federal officials question California DMV's process for issuing Real IDs -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has notified the California Department of Motor Vehicles that its process for providing residents with federally recognized identification cards is not adequate. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/22/18

How Sanger Democrat Melissa Hurtado came to be California’s youngest state legislator -- As it grew dark on Election Day, Melissa Hurtado flipped on a flashlight and continued to knock on doors. The polls would close at 8 p.m., meaning she still had a few hours left to change a few more minds. Rory Appleton in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/22/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

California’s minimum wage goes up again in 2019, and it’s even higher in these cities -- On Jan. 1, 2019, California will move one step closer to its ultimate goal of a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/22/18

Changes In Overtime Rules Coming For California Farmworkers -- Most workers get overtime when they work more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week, but farmworkers do not. That will change for some California farmworkers starting in 2019. Julia Mitric Capital Public Radio -- 12/22/18

'Move fast and break things,' satellite edition: FCC fines Swarm $900,000 for launching without permission -- The Menlo Park, Calif., company has agreed to pay a $900,000 fine to the Federal Communications Commission, the regulatory agency said Thursday. The FCC had denied Swarm’s request for permission to launch four tiny satellites, but the company went ahead with the launch anyway in January. Sammy Roth and Samantha Masunaga in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/22/18

Santa Barbara County takes emergency action to better protect Montecito from mudslides -- Santa Barbara County granted an emergency permit Friday to a private group’s request to install 11 steel ring nets to hold back boulders in canyons above Montecito that led to January’s deadly debris flows. Joe Mozingo in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/22/18

Sacramento suddenly is a train-manufacturing mecca, thanks to this company’s big score -- Sacramento, a longtime train-manufacturing hub, is about to become a busier builder than ever. Siemens Mobility, part of the Germany-based international manufacturing giant, announced it has scored two of the largest train construction contracts in the 25-year history of its Sacramento assembly plants, together accounting for $1.6 billion in work. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/22/18

If Counties Get On Board, Selling Food From Your Own Kitchen Could Become Legal In California -- In March Akshay Prabhu got some bad news. Officials with Yolo County told him he was no longer allowed to sell meals out of his home to supplement his day job. Ezra David Romero Capital Public Radio -- 12/22/18

FDA says San Diego stem cell company sold dangerous, unapproved products -- Twelve patients contracted serious infections after being given products supposedly containing stem cells from a San Diego company, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday. The company, Genetech, is unrelated to Genentech, the large biotech company based in South San Francisco. Bradley J. Fikes in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/22/18

In the heart of Silicon Valley, woodworking shop has thrived for 90 years -- Just a few miles from Facebook’s campus and the other Silicon Valley tech innovators in Menlo Park, Tom Kieninger is hard at work cutting wood on his 1906 band saw, housed in his 1885 woodworking barn. The air smells of sawdust and pine, and the huge machine makes a whirring, grinding noise as he carefully demonstrates its power. Tony Bravo in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/22/18

San Diego County's carbon-offset plan for developers in jeopardy but some projects could survive -- San Diego County’s plan that would allow developers to pay their way around restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions appears to be in legal peril. However, several projects already approved by the Board of Supervisors still could move forward. Joshua Emerson Smith in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/22/18


Amid government shutdown, FEMA will remain on the job in wildfire zones -- Victims of the wildfires that devastated parts of California last month will not have to add a government shutdown to their list of troubles, federal authorities said Friday. Joel Rubin and Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/22/18

Woman names baby after medic who saved her during wildfire -- In his 20 years as a paramedic, Mickey Huber assisted in two emergency deliveries. But to him, the most memorable birth is the one that didn’t happen on his watch. Huber was helping people evacuate from the terrifying wildfire that tore through the Northern California town of Paradise on Nov. 8 when he heard on the scanner about a pregnant woman going into premature labor. Daisy Nguyen Associated Press -- 12/22/18

Immigration, Border, Deportation 

Migrant caravan in Tijuana hunkers down for the long haul -- Standing before dozens of his fellow Central American migrants, Walter Coello raised a megaphone to his lips and made an urgent plea. “I need four valiant women and four valiant men to help me,” the 41-year-old Honduran told the crowd. He wanted to form a committee of volunteers to organize cleaning and security duties, and to fact-check rumors that were sowing fear and confusion. Andrea Castillo in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/22/18

Honduran Family Pictured Fleeing Tear Gas At US-Mexico Border Released On Parole -- A Honduran woman whose image went viral after she fled tear gas fired by U.S. authorities near the San Diego border on Nov. 25 was released on parole at the San Ysidro Port of Entry with her five children Friday evening, while their asylum proceedings unfold. Jean Guerrero KPBS -- 12/22/18


L.A. teachers union rallies supporters with call for cap on charter schools -- In its 69 pages of demands to the school district, the union representing Los Angeles teachers barely touches on charter schools. But as they prepare for an announced strike on Jan. 10, union leaders are making the growth of these schools a focus to rally members and raise public awareness of what they see as an existential threat. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/22/18

Celerity charter school founder to plead guilty to conspiracy charge, prosecutors say -- The founder of Los Angeles charter school network Celerity Educational Group has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to misappropriate and embezzle public funds, federal prosecutors said Friday. Anna M. Phillips in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/22/18

San Diego Unified data breach hits staff, plus as many as 500,000 students and former students -- The personal information of San Diego Unified students, former students and employees may have been compromised in a data breach that officials believe happened in January, the school district announced Friday. Kristen Taketa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/22/18


Big Bear Lake is home to a growing tourist economy and a small band of bald eagles. But for how long? -- Tourists driving bumper-to-bumper up the mountain for a weekend in the snow. Bald eagles perching in scraggly pines and swooping down to feed on fish. Both are staples of Big Bear Lake — for now. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/22/18

San Francisco officials want health officer’s role in shipyard home sales investigated -- Four current or incoming members of the Board of Supervisors said this week they want to know if Amy Brownell, an environmental engineer, should have been directly involved in individual home sales at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard — the city’s biggest redevelopment project in a century. Jason Fagone and Cynthia Dizikes in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/22/18

Also . . . 

With help from ex-captain, family of slain woman says Richmond cops failed her -- Attorneys for the family of a Richmond woman slain in front of her two children said Friday they plan to sue the city after receiving help from an unusual advocate: a recently retired police captain who was at the scene of the killing and contends his colleagues failed to protect the victim from her abusive ex-boyfriend. Demian Bulwa and Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/22/18

POTUS 45  

Reliable Allies Refuse to Defend a President Content With Chaos -- President Trump, who has long believed that he is his own best adviser and spokesman, was forced to test that idea on Friday when few of his allies seemed willing to publicly share in his evident satisfaction with the tumultuous events that have buffeted the White House in the past few days. Katie Rogers and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times -- 12/22/18

With Trump's moves on Syria and shutdown, cracks open in his political wall: Senate Republicans' support -- A border wall perhaps isn’t the one President Trump should worry about. With his abrupt move to yank U.S. troops from Syria and provoke his Defense secretary’s resignation — both actions coming amid the week’s government shutdown drama — Trump has opened cracks in his wall of support among Senate Republicans. Noah Bierman and Eli Stokols in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/22/18

‘He takes no ownership — that’s just Trump’: President eschews responsibility for a shutdown he once craved -- In 2014, Donald Trump sued to have his name taken off a pair of Atlantic City casinos he built three decades earlier that had gone bankrupt. It took the president just 10 days this month to remove his name from something else he once proudly owned but that wasn’t going great — the federal government shutdown. David Nakamura in the Washington Post -- 12/22/18


Here's how the government shutdown could affect you -- The post office will continue delivering mail (including those last-minute Christmas packages), Social Security checks will still be delivered, Medicare will still function and Transportation Security Administration agents will still inspect you at airport security (though they will probably be working without pay, which may not lighten their holiday moods.) Otherwise, with most government offices already shut through Christmas, the average American may not notice much impact — at least for a while. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/22/18

From Parks to Airports, How a Shutdown Would Affect Federal Agencies -- Art Del Cueto wants the wall, but he also needs a paycheck. Border Patrol agents like Mr. Del Cueto — in the crossfire of the government shutdown fight over President Trump’s demand for a border wall — are preparing to work without pay if the government shuts down Friday night. Glenn Thrush and Mitchell Ferman in the New York Times -- 12/22/18


-- Friday Updates 

Will federal shutdown hamper FEMA in fire-scarred California? -- In a standoff over border security, President Donald Trump and Congressional Democrats were poised Friday to shut down large swaths of the federal government, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed or without pay through at least the holidays. Ryan Sabalow and Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/21/18

California's job market remains hot, despite economic uncertainty -- Trade tensions and stock market volatility loom over the nation’s economy, but California’s job market powered forward in November with a robust expansion of payrolls and a record low unemployment rate. Margot Roosevelt in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/21/18

Californians move here from Illinois and leave for Arizona: Migration data shows trends -- High taxes. Stifling regulations. Exorbitant housing costs. Freeway gridlock. Fires and floods. Hand-wringing over an exodus of disillusioned Ctgb 9alifornians may be a Golden State pastime, the subject of political punditry and strung-out social media threads. Margot Roosevelt in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/21/18

LA County’s rent control measure is now in effect -- The temporary ordinance limits rent hikes to 3 percent annually. Elijah Chiland Curbed LA -- 12/21/18

Leading Republicans question Trump plan to deport Vietnamese refugees, some in US over 20 years -- California Rep. Ed Royce, the outgoing House Foreign Affairs Chairman, and his successor, Rep. Mike McCaul of Texas, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen on Thursday saying they were “deeply concerned by reports of a new Administration policy to deport certain Vietnamese-Americans who have lived in the United States for longer than 23 years.” Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/21/18

How Tuition Waivers Opened Doors for Undocumented Students -- California decided to crack open the door to higher education a little more for undocumented students through the California DREAM Act. Federick J. Ngo KQED -- 12/21/18

Camp Fire Survivors Return To Live Where Their Homes Burned, Despite Health Warnings -- All that’s left of Barbara Beers home outside of Paradise is burned up appliances, ash, and some black skeletal shrubs. But the 66-year-old doesn’t see an apocalyptic landscape: She only sees the natural beauty that that drew her to her home in Concow here in the 1980s. Pauline Bartolone Capital Public Radio -- 12/21/18