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


Updating . .  

Sacramento D.A.: No charges against police officers who shot Stephon Clark -- One year after Sacramento police shot Stephon Clark to death and sparked a renewed national dialogue over police shootings of young black men, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert declared Saturday that the officers feared for their lives and “acted lawfully under the circumstances.” She declared the shooting justified and said her office was not pressing criminal charges. Sam Stanton, Tony Bizjak, Dale Kasler, Molly Sullivan, and Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee$ Anita Chabria in the Los Angeles Times$ Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/2/19

Why Sacramento DA decision to clear police officers in shooting of Stephon Clark was expected -- Schubert’s announcement Saturday that she determined the officers acted legally came as no surprise to experts on deadly force issues. State law and a pair of U.S. Supreme Court decisions gave Schubert little room to decide otherwise. Dale Kasler and Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/2/19

Sacramento DA has investigated more than 30 police shootings. She’s never filed charges -- Since January 2015, when the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office resumed reviewing officer-involved shootings after a four-year hiatus because of budget cuts, District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert has issued 33 reports on officer-involved shootings in the county. In each instance but one, Schubert’s office has determined that “the shooting was lawful.” Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/2/19

Facebook funding could drive new South Bay train -- The idea of a southern rail crossing from the East Bay to Silicon Valley has enthralled politicians and transportation officials for decades. Yet with no money to back it up, it’s always been just a line on a map, tantalizingly snaking along the Dumbarton corridor. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/2/19

In Central Valley towns, California’s bullet train isn’t an idea: ‘It’s people’s lives’ -- The recent debate surrounding California’s transit future has reverberated statewide. But here in the Central Valley, the upheaval — like the bullet train itself — is real. Houses have been boarded up, businesses moved, vineyards torn out, a highway realigned. Giant concrete structures rise from orchards waiting to hold up tracks that now seem further from existence. Diana Marcum in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/2/19

Lopez: Some Dana Point residents say free meals just encourage homeless people to stay -- They came on bikes, on foot and in vehicles for the nightly dinner at Doheny State Beach. Some of them work, some have homes but most don’t, and all of them were grateful for the ham, chicken and sandwiches dished out by volunteers from local churches. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/2/19

Willie Brown: Michael Cohen made for great TV. But did he make a difference? -- Former lawyer and Donald Trump enforcer Michael Cohen’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee was like an outtake from one of the “Godfather” movies. Cohen began with one of the most memorable lines I’ve ever heard: “I have been a liar, but I’m not lying now.” Talk about a T-shirt slogan. Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/2/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Oakland school strike: Teachers reach tentative deal with district -- Striking Oakland teachers and district officials reached a tentative agreement Friday that will end the weeklong strike and allow normal classroom operations to resume Monday, if union members vote to approve the deal over the weekend. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Ali Tadayon in the East Bay Times Jocelyn Gecker Associated Press Matthew Green KQED -- 3/2/19

Attorneys: PG&E has long failed to handle wildfire risk -- The risk of catastrophic wildfires in Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s service territory existed long before the disasters in Northern California in the past few years, and the company did not do enough to prevent them, lawyers representing fire victims told a federal judge Friday. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/2/19

New PG&E leadership? Sacramento developer, politico Phil Angelides jumps into the fray -- Sacramento developer Phil Angelides served as state treasurer, ran for governor and jousted with titans of Wall Street over the cause of the 2008 financial meltdown. Now he’s part of a group backed by a dissident PG&E Corp. shareholder trying to seize control of the battered utility. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/2/19

Harassment and retaliation claims during Kamala Harris’ time as California’s top cop led to $1.1 million in settlements -- The California Department of Justice paid more than $1.1 million to settle claims with employees who alleged they were sexually harassed or retaliated against by co-workers during the tenure of then-state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris from 2011 to 2017, according to documents obtained by The Times. Christine Mai-Duc and Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/2/19

Evacuation orders lifted for Guerneville, rest of Russian River area -- With the floodwaters finally back below the banks of the Russian River, the people of Guerneville rolled back into downtown Friday from wherever they’d taken refuge — and found pretty much what they expected. Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/2/19

Guerneville ‘river rats’ roll with the worst flood in years -- No one’s crying an atmospheric river in Guerneville. The resilient residents of the tiny tourist town are once again banding together to help each other recover from the wrath of the Russian River after another major flood. Jane Tyska in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/2/19

‘Communal grief’ as river towns confront massive toll of flooding -- Russian River floodwaters receded from all but the lowest-lying areas Friday, pulling the river’s watery curtain out of homes and away from most surface streets, giving residents and merchants a clearer look at the extensive damage and sprawling cleanup to come. Julie Johnson in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 3/2/19

Sierra living: When there’s too much snow -- The blessing and curse of a historic February snowfall: lovely skiing powder, but hurdles to reach it, plus buried homes, unsafe driving and high avalanche danger. Lisa M. Krieger in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/2/19

Lawmakers, businesses warned as Sacramento awaits Stephon Clark decision -- Lawmakers were told to avoid the Capitol and downtown store owners were warned to anticipate crowds and to protect themselves Friday as Sacramento awaits District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s decision on whether to charge police officers who fatally shot Stephon Clark. Benjy Egel and Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/2/19

Xavier Becerra doesn’t rule out legal action against journalists over police conviction data -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday didn’t rule out the possibility that his office could take legal action against Berkeley-based journalists who received a secret list of California police officers convicted of crimes. Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/2/19

Measles outbreak in Bay Area in 2018 tied to unvaccinated children -- A small measles outbreak in the Bay Area last year spread almost entirely among families who had chosen not to vaccinate their children — including two young boys whose mother lied to public health investigators about their immunization status — underscoring the gaps that remain in vaccination coverage in California, according to a report published Friday. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/2/19

SMUD cancels controversial power line project north of Sacramento -- The proposed 500-kilovolt transmission line through Colusa and Sutter counties would have enabled SMUD to access more hydro power and other clean energy from the Pacific Northwest. SMUD said the line would have improved system reliability. Farm groups in the Sacramento Valley rose up in opposition, with farmers saying the new power lines and transmission towers would have disrupted their operations and disturbed wildlife. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/2/19

California governor recalls struggles reading as child -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom opened up about his dyslexia to school children Friday, telling them he struggled to read as a child and recalling a time when he was laughed at by classmates for trying. Associated Press -- 3/2/19

Former Orange County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh won’t run for congress in 2020 -- A presumed Republican front-runner in the GOP’s fight to retake Orange County’s coastal 48th Congressional District has decided not to run in 2020. Jordan Graham in the Orange County Register -- 3/2/19

How a black man ‘outsmarted’ a neo-Nazi group — and became their new leader -- Without notifying his followers or even his inner circle, the longtime president of a legacy neo-Nazi group has signed over its control to a black civil rights activist from California. Katie Mettler in the Washington Post$ -- 3/2/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Airports feared losing revenue to Uber and Lyft. Here’s what happened -- Airport officials were understandably nervous when Uber and Lyft drivers began pulling up at terminals across the country a few years ago. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/2/19


Video shows private security guards rough up, detain homeless men near Jacobs Center -- The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovations, a southeastern San Diego nonprofit organization committed to improving the lives of disadvantaged people, recently fired its security company after The San Diego Union-Tribune asked charity officials about a videotape of several guards interacting with men seen loitering near a creek bed. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/2/19


How to solve the housing crisis? Silicon Valley leaders hash it out -- Connect the Bay Area’s 27 transit agencies. Build more housing near transportation hubs. Write new zoning rules in Sacramento. And try again on a failed local housing bond. That’s the way to tackle the Bay Area’s housing crunch and traffic woes, according to a group of high-powered local and state leaders who gathered in Campbell on Friday. Marisa Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/2/19


Folsom Cordova high schools to stop ranking students for colleges. Here’s why it’s a trend -- Counselors in the district said the ranking system doesn’t accurately represent the students’ achievements, and is often misleading – even hurtful – when they apply to colleges. Sawsan Morrar in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/2/19


So many guns in California the state can’t keep up. Thousands still own them illegally -- Close to 9,400 residents with criminal charges, domestic violence records and mental health issues still possess firearms in California, despite the state’s leadership in creating a first-of-its-kind investigative database that advances efforts to confiscate the weapons. Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Don Thompson Associated Press -- 3/2/19

Also . . . 

Graphic novelist ordered to pay nearly $42 million in fiancee's torture murder -- A Los Angeles judge has ordered a graphic novelist from a wealthy Canadian family to pay $41.6 million to the family of his slain fiancee, whom he brutally tortured and killed in 2016 just weeks after their daughter was born. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/2/19

LAPD commander involved in controversial car crash is demoted -- A Los Angeles police commander has been demoted to captain after his city car was found wrecked and abandoned in Carson. Richard Winton and Cindy Chang in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/2/19

POTUS 45  

Two days in July: As Republicans convened in Cleveland, did Trump receive a heads-up about WikiLeaks? -- At 1:25 p.m. on July 17, 2016, an Alitalia jet carrying Donald Trump’s longtime fixer and attorney Michael Cohen landed in New York, bringing him home after eight days celebrating his 50th birthday in Capri and Rome. Rosalind S. Helderman and Manuel Roig-Franzia in the Washington Post$ -- 3/2/19

Inside the Chaotic Early Days of Trump’s Foreign Policy -- Former top national security officials detail a climate of fear, incompetence and hostility to facts in a White House that wasn't ready to run the world. Nahal Toosi Politico -- 3/2/19


Kamala Harris pitches populism, inspiration during first Nevada campaign stop -- Winning the California primary is crucial to Sen. Kamala Harris’ plan to secure the Democratic nomination for president. Winning the Nevada caucuses that will be held a few days earlier in 2020 would give her the momentum to make that task a lot easier. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/2/19


-- Friday Updates 

Oakland teachers, school district still deeply divided over salaries -- Oakland teachers say they are not paid enough. Their bosses and their students want them to get a raise. Education researchers agree. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/1/19

Hedge Fund BlueMountain Nominates New Board for PG&E -- BlueMountain Capital Management LLC, the hedge fund seeking to replace the board at bankrupt PG&E Corp. , said Friday it has nominated 13 candidates for the California utility’s board. Becky Yerak in the Wall Street Journal$ J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/1/19

Firefighter suicides reflect toll of longer fire seasons, increased stress -- Capt. Ryan Mitchell had just finished three punishing weeks of firefighting. He had deployed to fires far from home, then returned only to dash out to another one. Mitchell’s parents and 16-month-old son came to visit him at the station. “He didn’t look good. He was tired, he was thin, his eyes were shallow. He wasn’t his usual self,” Mitchell’s father, Will, recalled. Nina Agrawal in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/1/19

Evacuation orders in Guerneville to be lifted after worst storm in 22 years -- Evacuation orders for residents in Guerneville were expected to be lifted Friday, nearly three days after people were told to flee as the town transformed into an island due to disastrous flooding. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/1/19

Deported Cambodian refugee returns to Sacramento under court ruling after burglary sentence -- Deported five years ago, Veasna Meth has had to watch his family grow – and grow up – in Sacramento from nearly 8,000 miles away. But he never lost hope. Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/1/19

Chinedu Okobi case: San Mateo sheriff’s deputies cleared in Taser death of unarmed black man -- The San Mateo County district attorney’s office announced Friday it will not seek charges against the sheriff’s deputies who tased an unarmed black man to death in October. Ashley McBride and Gwendolyn Wu in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/1/19

Waiting for a decision in Stephon Clark’s killing, they are ready to be disappointed — and to mobilize -- An 8-foot-tall chain-link fence went up around the Sacramento County district attorney’s office, weeks after police shot and killed Stephon Clark — an unarmed black man whose cellphone they mistook for a gun. Demonstrators previously had blocked the front doors, chanting “Shut it down!” as protests erupted across the capital city. Anita Chabria in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/1/19

California could adopt strictest drunken driving limit in nation, taking a cue from Utah -- It could soon be a lot easier to be busted for drinking and driving. California Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, D-Marina Del Rey, has introduced a bill that would nearly halve the maximum allowed blood alcohol content for driving, from .08 to .05. Assembly Bill 1713 is in line with a 2013 National Transportation Safety Board recommendation. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/1/19

Homeless shelter in school a costly failure so far -- An experiment to put a homeless shelter in a San Francisco public school gym has so far been a costly failure, with so few families using it that it’s costing taxpayers about $700 for each person who spends the night. Jill Tucker and Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/1/19

Blue Bottle buys into cashless trend -- If you want a hot coffee at Blue Bottle, cold hard cash may not work anymore. The high-end coffee company will ban cash at 12 locations across the country starting on March 11 as part of a month-long experiment that aims to speed up purchases. Shwanika Narayan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/1/19

Lyft seeks to raise $100 million in IPO as it beats Uber to market -- Lyft has beat Uber and other Bay Area tech unicorns expected to go public this year by filing for a $100 million initial public offering Friday. Levi Sumagaysay in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/1/19

Hiltzik: Inside the breakdown of auto emission talks between California and the Trump White House -- There was a fair amount of perplexity at the California Air Resources Board on Feb. 21, when the Trump administration abruptly announced that it had decided to “discontinue discussions” with the state’s air quality regulator over the administration’s proposal to gut federal auto emissions standards. The general reaction at CARB’s Sacramento office was: “What discussions?” Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/1/19

10,000 homes – and lots of shopping – planned for new neighborhood near Sacramento airport -- A group of Natomas farming families and their backers got the go-ahead this week from Sacramento County leaders to plan what would be one of the largest new communities in the region, to be built on fields just southeast of Sacramento International Airport. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/1/19

L.A. approves new restrictions on disposable plastic straws, but stops short of a ban -- Under the new ordinance, L.A. restaurants cannot offer or provide disposable plastic straws to customers who are dining in or taking food to go unless customers request them. The rules are slightly looser for drive-through or delivery: Businesses can go ahead and ask those customers if they want plastic straws, but are barred from giving them out without a request. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/1/19

Unique California program sets update on guns seized in 2018 -- Attorney General Xavier Becerra is set to unveil new numbers for 2018 Friday from a uniquely California program that seizes guns from people no longer allowed to own them because of criminal convictions or mental illness. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 3/1/19

California ranks 14th for quality of life, lowest since 2013 -- State's rank didn't change in a year but it's down from No. 13 in 2016 and California's lowest grading since a 17th place ranking in 2013. Jonathan Lansner in the Orange County Register -- 3/1/19

Smolens: San Diego's plans for housing, homeless, transportation run into resistance -- San Diegans increasingly are told they need to do more — and pay more — to help the homeless, increase the housing stock, and expand street and trolley systems. Clearly, a lot of them don't like it. Michael Smolens in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/1/19