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‘It could happen here’: East Bay community moves to shield itself from mega-fire -- Dave Winnacker commutes over the Berkeley hills each morning into Orinda, often by bicycle, navigating the switchbacks of Wildcat Canyon Road and cringing at the bristling and highly flammable vegetation lining the roadway. Matthias Gafni in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/9/19

H-1B: Outsourcing giant games visa system to discriminate against non-South Asians in hiring, lawsuit claims -- Outsourcing giant HCL Technologies and its Sunnyvale-based U.S. subsidiary are exploiting the H-1B visa system while discriminating against non-South Asian workers, a new lawsuit alleges. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/9/19

2018 was California’s worst year of fire ever, federal report confirms -- According to the National Interagency Coordination Center’s year-end statistical roundup, more than 1.8 million acres of California was burned by wildland fires in 2018, surpassing the previous year’s total of 1.3 million, officials said. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/9/19

Willie Brown: What’s a Democratic Party without the Clintons? -- With all the noise surrounding the Democrats’ crowded presidential field, it’s easy to overlook that the Clintons are gone from the scene. Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/9/19

Californians voted for year-round daylight saving. Could this be our last spring forward? -- Two things are required before Californians can do away with daylight saving time altogether: a bill to pass the state Legislature and to obtain federal authorization through a majority vote in Congress, according to Annie Pham, a member of Chu’s staff. Claire Morgan in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/9/19

Millions of Californians’ water bills could climb after Trump’s FEMA won’t pay $300M for Oroville Dam -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency said federal taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for problems that existed prior to a massive hole forming in the dam’s concrete spillway in February 2017, eventually prompting the two-day evacuation of 188,000 downstream residents and a $1.1 billion emergency response and repair job. Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/9/19

A wet winter will likely lead to a whale of a year for hydro in California -- Plenty of snow in the Sierra and lots of rain just about everywhere else in California have helped alleviate drought conditions across the state. But there’s also another positive byproduct of the wet winter — a likely boost in the amount of hydroelectricity in California’s energy mix. Rob Nikolewski in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/9/19

Need a DMV appointment fast? Oakland company will get you one for $25 — but assemblyman says that is wrong -- Would you pay extra to spend less time at the Department of Motor Vehicles? Starting at $94.95, an Oakland-based startup, YoGov, will send someone to wait in line and let you known when to swoop in and switch places. Alma Fausto in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/9/19

‘A swastika is not a joke’: Protesters voice outrage over O.C. Nazi party, call for unity -- On Friday evening, more than 100 people gathered in Costa Mesa’s TeWinkle Park to show solidarity with Orange County’s Jewish community after photographs posted on social media this week showing a group of local high school students in Nazi salute around a makeshift swastika went viral. Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/9/19

San Jose State releases footage of fatal officer-involved shooting -- Off limits to the public for more than five years, body camera footage of a fatal encounter between a pair of San Jose State police officers and a man carrying a blade was released late Friday under California’s new police transparency law. Jason Green and Thomas Peele in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/9/19

Why Sacramento is still protesting Stephon Clark’s death, one year later -- After officials announced the officers who shot the unarmed 22-year-old won’t be charged, his family and community are demanding reforms. Gabe Schneider Vox -- 3/9/19

Just released records show what San Diego deputies lied about and lost their jobs for -- A lieutenant stole “well over” $100,000 from her church. A deputy was accused of biting his wife and lying about it. Another deputy went to Starbucks instead of responding to a call for service. Greg Moran and Lyndsay Winkley in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/9/19

Immigrant detention center in Bakersfield, thought to be set to close, will stay open -- An immigration detention facility in Bakersfield that was expected to close later this month will remain open for another year, according to a federal contract made public this week. Andrea Castillo in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/9/19

39,000 UC workers will strike again, protesting income gaps and job insecurity -- A union representing 14,000 research, technical and health care workers at the University of California will go on strike March 20, labor leaders said Friday, because UC leaders are ignoring their concerns about job security, benefit erosion and income inequality. Cathie Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/9/19

LA rents rising at slowest pace in five years -- It’s not just home values leveling off in Los Angeles. Rental prices in LA County are rising at the slowest rate in five years, according to data gathered by commercial real estate tracker CoStar. Elijah Chiland Curbed LA -- 3/9/19

Lopez: Some say charter schools create problems. But for many families they’re the solution -- Echo Park resident Jackie Goldberg, a grandmother, great aunt and candidate for school board, says if she had school-age children, she would not send them to a charter school. Not even the one in her neighborhood that has been called one of the best in California. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/9/19

After more than 140 years, a massive fig tree gracing the plaza where Los Angeles was founded collapses -- They were doing the line dance when what sounded like firecrackers split the air. Matthew Ormseth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/9/19

Trump says the Democrats are ‘anti-Jewish.’ The numbers don’t bear that out -- Thirty-two of the 34 Jewish members of Congress are Democrats. According to the Pew Research Center, more than 70 percent of Jewish Americans voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Though Trump has proffered several pro-Israel positions while in office, the vast majority of American Jewish voters do not support him. Eugene Scott in the Washington Post$ -- 3/9/19

 

California Policy & Politics This Morning  

California harassment investigations cost taxpayers $1.8M -- The California Legislature racked up more than $1.8 million in legal costs from sexual harassment investigations during 2018 and the first month of this year when at least nine current or former lawmakers faced allegations of misconduct, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 3/9/19

Meadowview protest calls for police officers to be jailed for killing Stephon Clark -- About 100 protesters marched through Meadowview on Friday to the home where Stephon Clark was shot and killed by two Sacramento police officers last year. They chanted “Hands up! Don’t shoot. Fists up! Fight back!” “Whose streets? Our streets!” “Black Lives Matter!” before reaching the 29th Street home of Clark’s grandmother, Sequita Thompson. Claire Morgan and Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/9/19

New version of San Francisco corporate cafeteria ban swatted down, Breed plans more shelter beds -- The San Francisco Planning Commission Thursday rejected a slimmed-down iteration of its employee cafeteria crackdown, turning down legislation that would have required companies to obtain a conditional use authorization before opening a free chow hall for its workers. J.K. Dineen, Trisha Thadani and Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/8/19

San Jose: Mayor urges city to brace for possibility of economic downturn -- In a new budget message ahead of the City Council’s 2019-2020 budget discussions in May, Liccardo calls for putting more money in reserves and paying down debt. Emily DeRuy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/9/19

84 East Sacramento protesters arrested Monday night won’t be charged, DA’s office says -- Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced Friday that charges will not be filed against the 84 people arrested Monday night during an East Sacramento protest following her decision to not file charges against the police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark. Molly Sullivan in the Sacramento Bee$ Ashley McBride in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/8/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Diesel trucks would be nearly eliminated in California under proposed law -- The bill, by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, would direct the California Air Resources Board to require a 40 percent reduction in diesel emissions by 2030 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050, cuts that experts say would not be possible without a major overhaul of the trucking industry. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/9/19

San Diego's annual pension payment climbing to $350 million -- The board of San Diego’s pension system Friday unanimously approved increasing the city’s annual pension payment in the coming budget year from $322.9 million to $350.5 million, a spike of more than 8 percent. David Garrick in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/9/19

Warren wants to regulate tech — Silicon Valley is unimpressed -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced a crowd-pleasing proposal Friday in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination: Break up the biggest technology companies, including Amazon, Facebook and Google. Melia Russell in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/9/19

With no flood insurance, wineries and restaurants in Sebastopol’s Barlow struggle to pay bills -- Brooks Friedeman needed to get creative. Nearly 6 feet of water had filled the tasting room for his winery, Friedeman Wines, in Sebastopol’s Barlow complex during last week’s floods. All of the furniture was ruined. The drywall would need major repairs. Most devastating of all, Friedeman lost 95 cases of wine — about 8 percent of what he produces in a year. Esther Mobley and Tara Duggan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/9/19

Union claims Anchor Brewing workers were prohibited from pro-union pins on uniforms -- A union helping Anchor Brewing Co. workers who are trying to unionize alleged that company managers ordered employees to take off pro-union pins from their work uniforms, according to a complaint filed with the federal National Labor Relations Board. Lauren Hernández in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/9/19

Why San Diego missed the first wave of tech ‘unicorns,’ and what’s changing now -- After years of stagnation, San Diego is seeing a barrage of startup activity in the tech scene. In recent months, two tech startups earned billion-dollar valuations, making them the first software “unicorns” spotted locally in decades. Seismic won the title in late December, while TuSimple — only 4 years old — reached unicorn status last month. Brittany Meiling in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/9/19

Transit  

L.A. backs Venice Boulevard’s controversial ‘road diet’ as activists threaten to sue -- Setting the stage for a legal challenge, the Los Angeles City Council rejected an appeal Friday from neighborhood advocates fighting a bicycle lane on a congested Westside artery. Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/9/19

Homeless  

What's San Francisco Doing for Homeless in Bad Weather? Not Enough, Critics Say -- Amid criticism from advocates for the homeless that San Francisco hasn't done enough to help people living on the streets during this winter’s storms, the city has said it will change its extreme weather policy to open up more shelter space and make more services available. Hope McKenney KQED -- 3/9/19

Education 

San Ramon Valley district, teachers union reach tentative agreement -- Highlights of the tentative deal include: 4 percent base salary increase; 0.18 percent increase to the Retired Employees Health Benefit Plan and Trust; an extended work year and revised salary schedule for school nurses; lower student-to-staff ratios for counselors, nurses and teacher librarians; an extended work year and new salary schedule for speech pathologists; and caps on class sizes and caseloads. Jon Kawamoto in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/9/19

After Violence and Asylum Battles, Young Oakland Migrants Face a New Challenge: Graduating High School -- When a young woman from Honduras crossed a stage in Oakland last June to receive her high school diploma, it wasn’t just any graduation. She had escaped gang violence in her home country, Honduras, and kidnapping in Mexico on the journey north. Then, she endured detention after crossing the border and asking for asylum. Zaidee Stavely KQED -- 3/9/19

Officials Say They May Be Unable To Get Rid Of UC Davis Professor Who Advocated Cops Should Die -- UC Davis Chancellor Gary May and UC President Janet Napolitano say there may be nothing they can do about a professor who has publicly advocated for the death of police officers. But the chancellor is investigating his options. Drew Sandsor, Bob Moffitt Capital Public Radio -- 3/9/19

Immigration / Border 

In court loss for Trump, U.S. judge to oversee more family separation cases -- A San Diego federal judge has expanded his authority and will now oversee the cases of potentially thousands of additional children who were separated from their families at the border during the Trump administration. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/9/19

Asylum-Seekers Can Appeal Fast-Track Deportations, Court Rules -- A federal court in San Francisco made it harder Thursday for the U.S. government to quickly deport asylum-seekers if they fail an initial screening at the border. A law passed by Congress in 1996 sharply limited the ability of asylum-seekers to access U.S. courts if they want to challenge decisions of an asylum officer and immigration judge. Matthew S. Schwartz KQED -- 3/9/19

Environment 

Sick marine mammals turning up on California beaches in droves -- The deep blue waters and crashing waves along the coast of California provide a picturesque backdrop to the state’s shores, but the sight has been marred of late. As winter rains have poured down, trash has flowed onto area beaches. And amid the detritus has been an even more troubling discovery: scores of sickened or dead marine mammals. Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/9/19

Also . . . 

California man learns he’s dying from doctor on robot video -- Ernest Quintana’s family knew he was dying of chronic lung disease when he was taken by ambulance to a hospital, unable to breathe. But they were devastated when a robot machine rolled into his room in the intensive care unit that night and a doctor told the 78-year-old patient by video call he would likely die within days. Janie Har Associated Press Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/9/19

San Francisco sheriff’s deputy faces May trial on charges he punched handcuffed jail inmate -- A San Francisco sheriff’s deputy will face trial in May on charges that he punched a handcuffed inmate in the face several times in front of other officers in 2017. Ashley McBride in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/9/19

Landslides keep Highway 1 closed at Mud Creek south of Big Sur -- Landslides continue to be a problem at Mud Creek on Highway 1, forcing Caltrans to keep the road closed as dirt and rock continue to slide out from underneath the road. Susana Cruz, a Caltrans spokeswoman, said the hope is to completely reopen Highway 1 along the Big Sur Coast by Friday evening. “You can’t really guarantee anything anymore on that coast,” Cruz said. Tom Wright in the East Bay Times -- 3/9/19

Panel to decide whether judge should be disciplined for sexual comments, alleged abuse -- After hearing from dozens of witnesses the past couple of weeks, a state disciplinary panel now must decide whether and how severely to punish a Contra Costa County judge facing nine counts of sexual harassment and abuse of authority. Annie Sciacca in the East Bay Times -- 3/9/19

POTUS 45  

Why Trump soured on Fox News veteran Bill Shine -- Trump has now burned through five communications directors, raising the question of whether he really even wants one. Gabby Orr and Eliana Johnson Politico -- 3/9/19

Beltway 

Democratic debate on Fox News? Kirsten Gillibrand ‘would not mind at all’ -- New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says her path to the White House “is a different one” from her more liberal Democratic competitors because she’s had to win over conservative voters to get elected — and knows how to do it. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/9/19

Waiting for Beto O’Rourke: California fans say Democratic field needs him -- To the true believers, none of the 14 Democrats running for president is good enough. So the Draft Beto faithful are lighting candles and holding “Beto for President!” parties. They’re watching his interview with Oprah, over and over. They’re waiting for a sign that Beto O’Rourke is coming. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/9/19

House Passes Democrats’ Centerpiece Anti-Corruption and Voting Rights Bill -- The House passed the Democrats’ showcase anti-corruption and voting rights legislation on Friday, an expansive measure that aims to dismantle barriers to the ballot box, end big money in politics and impose stricter ethics rules on federal officials. Catie Edmondson in the New York Times$ -- 3/9/19

 

-- Friday Updates 

84 East Sacramento protesters arrested Monday night won’t be charged, DA’s office says -- Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced Friday that charges will not be filed against the 84 people arrested Monday night during an East Sacramento protest following her decision to not file charges against the police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark. Molly Sullivan in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/8/19

Oroville Dam: Trump administration denies California repair funds -- The Trump Administration has informed California that it will not reimburse the state for the majority of repair costs that state officials have requested to help pay for repairs at Oroville Dam, after a disaster there two years ago. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/8/19

Pentagon may tap military pay, pensions for border wall -- The Pentagon is planning to tap $1 billion in leftover funds from military pay and pension accounts to help President Donald Trump pay for his long-sought border wall, a top Senate Democrat said Thursday. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told The Associated Press, “It’s coming out of military pay and pensions. $1 billion. That’s the plan.” Andrew Taylor and Lisa Mascaro Associated Press -- 3/8/19

El Monte district ordered to pay $2 million for its role in teacher’s abuse of student -- El Monte school officials had warning signs that Richard Paul Daniels was having inappropriate interactions with the girls in his high school classes — he even had a conviction for it — but they failed to take decisive action that would have prevented him from having sex with a student in 2015. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/8/19

California raised taxes to pay doctors for the poor—and is still waiting for them -- It’s been two years since Californians voted to raise tobacco taxes so the state could pay doctors and dentists more when they treat low-income patients. But it’s unclear if the money is achieving a related purpose: getting more medical providers to accept the government’s health plan for the poor. Elizabeth Aguilera Calmatters -- 3/8/19

Fremont family upset that Kaiser let robot deliver bad news -- It’s never easy to hear bad news about a family member in the hospital. For the family of Ernest Quintana, hearing it from a robot that rolled into his room made it worse. John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/8/19

A growing wave of older people is ending up on our streets. -- Aging onto the street -- Nearly half of older homeless people fell into trouble after age 50, new research shows. Meet three people who worked hard in life but fell through a tattered safety net. Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/8/19

Santa Anita hopes to resume horse racing around March 22 -- As horses returned to the training track Friday morning, Santa Anita officials said they were hoping to resume racing around March 22 if the courses are deemed safe after testing. John Cherwa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/8/19

Study finds 19% of community college students in California are homeless -- Nineteen percent of students attending California’s community college system have experienced homelessness in the last year, while 60 percent have experienced recent housing insecurity and 50 percent have struggled with food insecurity, according to a report. Deepa Bharath in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/8/19

Costa Mesa set to spend $6.9 million on location for a homeless shelter -- Costa Mesa plans to spend nearly $7 million to buy a warehouse near John Wayne Airport to use as a homeless shelter. In the meantime, the city expects to open a temporary shelter within a month at the Lighthouse Church of the Nazarene to offer a nightly place for up to 50 people to stay. Heather McRea in the Orange County Register -- 3/8/19

Councilman Ward pushes to reopen Neil Good Day Center showers -- San Diego City Councilman Chris Ward said he would like the city to repair and reopen showers for homeless people to use at the Neil Good Day Center, which he said could be expanded to operate 24 hours a day. Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/8/19

Bay Area powers to robust gains in January, fueled by Santa Clara County hiring surge -- Employers in the Bay Area added 10,900 jobs during January, and the region now has a record 4.04 million payroll jobs, according to seasonally adjusted figures released by the state’s Employment Development Department. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/8/19

San Diego County unemployment rose in January -- Increasing unemployment was attributed to a loss of retail jobs, nearly 9,000, after the holiday season. Hospitality was also affected, shedding 4,100 jobs. Things look better on an annual basis. In the last 12 months, San Diego County employers added 22,300 jobs in a year. Still, that’s fewer than 26,600 at the same time last year. Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/8/19

California employers add only 3,000 jobs in January -- The slight increase over December 2018 brings the state’s total number of nonfarm payroll jobs to 17.3 million, according to the California Employee Development Department. Last year, the state’s job market wrapped up on a high note, adding a revised gain of 19,700 net jobs in December. Melissa Gomez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/8/19

H-1B: Petition to White House to let H-1B spouses keep working gains thousands of signatures -- A petition on the White House website to stop the government from banning employment of spouses of H-1B visa holders has racked up almost half the number of signatures necessary to draw an official response. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/8/19

Bubble Watch: Investor Bill Gross calls California’s economy ‘vulnerable’ -- A big worry for California that Gross foresees are issues the state has little control over such as financial market shifts and political whims. Take high-cost housing. It means many California property owners — from individuals homeowners to institutional investors — are highly leveraged. So keeping interest rates relatively low is critical to the state economy. Jonathan Lansner in the Orange County Register -- 3/8/19

Twitter adds new options for reporting tweets with personal information -- Twitter, in what seems like a never-ending effort to prevent the spread of personal information of users who don’t want that data tweeted out, has rolled out new options for users to report when their personal info has been tweeted out without their permission. Rex Crum in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/8/19

Ever hear of ‘menstrual equity’? These Bay Area students will make sure you do -- A growing movement of Generation Z activists — those born in the mid-1990s and early 2000s — argue that it’s finally time for us to talk about periods. Openly. Tara Duggan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/8/19

No fleas found amid L.A. City Hall rat infestation, inspection report says -- A firm hired to assess the presence of fleas at Los Angeles City Hall said it found no evidence of the disease-carrying pests inside the building or in other government structures nearby, according to a report issued to the City Council. David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/8/19

Zero to $13 billion: Salesforce’s two decades in San Francisco -- From a cramped apartment on Telegraph Hill to the tallest building in town, Salesforce rode the web software wave with seeming ease. But it could have been a dot-goner. Owen Thomas in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/8/19