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


Updating . .   

For these California fire survivors, hope grows amid the ashes of Paradise -- Months after California’s most devastating wildfire killed 85 people and leveled the town of Paradise, many former residents find the thought of returning here unbearable. But others, whose homes escaped destruction, have come back to a life of surreal contrasts. Laura Newberry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/19

SFO traffic suffers from Uber and Lyft, so it entices riders to meet car in garage -- Uber and Lyft made a whopping 10 million pickups and drop-offs at San Francisco International Airport last year, clogging the curbside spaces so badly that the airport started offering a $3 discount to ride-hail customers willing to walk across the street and meet their drivers at an adjacent garage. Phil Matier in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/10/19

Local marijuana industry wants looser dispensary rules, on-site 'consumption lounges' -- Leaders of San Diego’s marijuana industry are lobbying city officials to allow more dispensaries to open, lengthen their hours of operation and permit on-site use of the drug in “consumption lounges.” They say city regulations are outdated and unnecessarily restrictive, contending San Diego needs an expanded legal marijuana industry to combat the local black market for the drug. David Garrick in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/10/19

Family sues San Diego Unified alleging two brothers were beaten, bullied and district had father arrested -- A family suing the San Diego Unified School District claims that Lincoln High School officials failed to protect two brothers from being bullied and beaten at school, one to the point of unconsciousness and a concussion. The lawsuit, which covers 2017 and 2018, also claims the boys’ father was arrested and jailed after he complained about their treatment. Kristen Taketa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/10/19

Startup offers loans to H-1B visa holders, DACA recipients -- Rohit Mittal knew he’d need financial help to pursue a master’s degree at Columbia University. But as an Indian national, he couldn’t apply for a U.S. student loan. Instead, his father took out a loan in Delhi and put up their home up as collateral. Leonardo Castañeda in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/10/19

The U.S. tracked border activists, journalists and attorneys. Is it legal? -- What U.S. Customs and Border Protection is calling a valid duty to gather cross-border intelligence and investigate criminal activity is being labeled as harassment by those who have been targeted. Kristina Davis in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/19

Do California politicians’ yearbooks harbor secrets? Nah. But dorkiness? -- After Virginia’s governor fumbled last month to explain the disgraceful racist photos on his college yearbook page, it raised the question: Could our own politicians’ yearbooks harbor secrets too? John Woolfolk, Dylan Bouscher, Casey Tolan and David DeBolt in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/10/19

Bay Area police try out controversial AI software that tells them where to patrol -- Even the head of a Santa Cruz tech company that sells software to Bay Area police departments admits that using an algorithm to tell cops where and when to patrol raises a host of complicated issues. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/10/19

In budget, Trump to ask Congress for $8.6 billion for border wall -- President Donald Trump on Monday will ask the U.S. Congress for an additional $8.6 billion to help pay for his promised wall on the U.S-Mexico border to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking, officials familiar with his 2020 budget request told Reuters. Roberta Rampton Reuters -- 3/10/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

California's independent redistricting rules could offer some hope for Republicans -- California government auditors will begin accepting applications in June from citizens who would like to help redraw the state’s congressional and legislative maps, a task with enormous political consequences. The once-a-decade redistricting process will also offer a rare chance for the dwindling ranks of Republicans to get equal billing with Democrats. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/19

Charter schools soon will have open meetings and records. Gavin Newsom says that’s just a ‘start’ -- Charter backers say that’s a good thing in principle. The California Charter Schools Association stood behind Gov. Gavin Newsom as he signed the bill last week after it was fast-tracked through the Legislature with his support. Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/10/19

For families across California, a desperate struggle to get mental health care -- Elizabeth Brown’s bedroom holds a trove of evidence of her fight to save herself. Preserved among the Twilight novels, the posters of Korean pop singers and cameras she used for her budding journalism career are clues to the Santa Rosa teenager’s agonizing struggle with the mental illness that claimed her life last year. Jocelyn Wiener Calmatters -- 3/10/19

Court battles could test constitutionality of California voting rights law -- When most people think of landmark voting rights cases, places like Alabama or North Carolina, not Santa Monica, usually come to mind. But last month, a judge in the affluent, left-leaning coastal enclave ruled that Santa Monica’s system of at-large City Council representation “intentionally discriminated” against its growing Latino population. Benjamin Oreskes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/19

Walters: Politicians like to keep us in the dark -- Every year, governors and state legislators load up bills that supposedly implement the state budget with all sorts of extracurricular provisions benefiting those to whom they owe favors. They use these “trailer bills” because they can be, and often have been, passed very quickly after being drafted, thereby concealing their goodies from public scrutiny until they are safely enacted. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 3/10/19

Search for missing Camp Pendleton Marine underway in Sierra Nevada -- A massive search was underway in the state’s Sierra Nevada region for a Camp Pendleton Marine who apparently didn’t return from a skiing and hiking trip that was scheduled to end earlier this week, authorities said. David Hernandez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/19

Plant smugglers take ‘massive’ toll on California's Dudleya farinosa succulent species -- Investigators now believe several hundred thousands plants worth tens of millions of dollars on the Asian black market have been torn illegally from bluffs along the Northern California coast over the past several years, in some cases stripping whole areas of the plant species, said Adrian Foss, a captain with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Mary Callahan in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 3/10/19

As Daylight Saving Looms, Suppose We Spring Forward, and Never Fall Back? -- The 1966 law allows states to opt out of daylight saving, and Hawaii and Arizona do so, staying on standard time all year; so does Puerto Rico. But for reasons that historians say remain murky, the law does not allow states to opt in all the way, and choose daylight time year-round. So the California proposal, and a similar bill passed by the Florida Legislature last year, would require an act of Congress to take effect. Kirk Johnson in the New York Times$ -- 3/10/19

Trump slams 'grandstanding' California governor on asylum shelters -- President Donald Trump on Saturday continued to swipe at California Gov. Gavin Newsom, comparing taxpayers' expense on newly built shelters for asylum seekers to the state's scaled-back high-speed rail project. Christian Vasquez Politico -- 3/10/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

If Lyft can’t keep its drivers as independent contractors, it may never be profitable -- Lyft’s entire business model is predicated on its relationship with its drivers. It hinges on recruiting them, keeping them happy, ensuring the company never has to provide them health insurance and other benefits, and eventually finding a way to replace some of them with self-driving cars so Lyft can keep a bigger chunk of the check after every ride. Johana Bhuiyan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/10/19


Beginning in fall, tuition will be free for up to 1,000 students at San Bernardino Valley, Crafton Hills colleges -- Some Inland students will have one less thing to worry about this fall: San Bernardino Valley and Crafton Hills colleges are offering two years of free tuition, along with additional aid, to students participating in their new Free College Promise program. Beau Yarbrough in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 3/10/19


‘This crop will change California.’ Can an Oakdale group make hemp a major cash crop? -- California’s Central Valley is already the bread basket for the nation. But now a new Oakdale company — in partnership with the University of California, Davis — wants to help make it the hemp capital of the country. Marijke Rowland in the Modesto Bee -- 3/10/19

Pot-litics: 2020 Democrats line up behind legalization -- A growing list of Democratic presidential contenders want the U.S. government to legalize marijuana, reflecting a nationwide shift as more Americans look favorably on cannabis. Michael R. Blood and Nicholas Riccardi Associated Press -- 3/10/19

Also . . . 

As Yountville Marks One Year Since Deadly Shooting, Victims' Families Argue it Could Have Been Prevented -- More than 100 mourners gathered at the Yountville Community Center on Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting at a veterans therapy center that left three clinicians dead, including a pregnant woman. Sara Hossaini KQED -- 3/10/19

Anaheim police officers join community for bike ride -- Anaheim Police Department officers, with residents in hot pursuit, headed out of town on Saturday, March 9. They led a community bike ride down to Huntington Beach and back to raise awareness about bicycle safety and to honor the memory of Costa Mesa fire Capt. Mike Kreza, who was killed while riding his bike. He was training for an Ironman competition. Heather McRea in the Orange County Register -- 3/10/19

POTUS 45  

The 10 personas of Donald Trump in a single speech -- He lambasted and lampooned his rivals. He exaggerated and ballyhooed his record. He riddled his remarks with contradictions, shoddy statistics and falsehoods. And he embroidered it all with a fake Southern accent, curse words and bouts of extravagant pantomime. Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker in the Washington Post$ -- 3/10/19


Beto O’Rourke’s campaign comes to life in a darkened theater, for better and worse -- As soon as the lights fell for the Saturday premiere of the HBO documentary “Running with Beto,” former congressman Beto O’Rourke sneaked into the darkened movie theater with his wife and daughter. Jenna Johnson in the Washington Post$ -- 3/10/19


-- Saturday Updates 

‘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