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

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No fly zone: SFO bans sale of plastic water bottles -- The new rule — which exempts flavored water — will apply to restaurants, cafes and vending machines in the airport. Fliers needing plain water will have to buy refillable aluminum or glass bottles if they don’t bring their own. Gregory Thomas and Eduardo Medina in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/2/19

Radical Baptist church preaches LGBTQ hate just miles from California’s Capitol -- Pastor Roger Jimenez implored his congregation at Verity Baptist Church to separate themselves from the ways of a modern, wicked world. Burn your Harry Potter books. Trash your rock ‘n’ roll CDs. Don’t vaccinate your babies. Stay away from gay people. Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/2/19

Feeling marginalized by the California Democratic Party, black women push for more clout -- State Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles looked out at more than a hundred black women gathered for an annual event at the California Democratic Party convention earlier this summer and marveled at the group’s progress. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/2/19

Calif.’s new law requiring candidates’ tax returns appears unconstitutional — or does it? -- California’s new law requiring presidential primary candidates to release five years of tax returns might not survive long enough to keep President Trump off the state’s ballot in March. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/2/19

Southern California jails are trying to improve health care. But inmates are dying -- One night two weeks after being booked into jail for a probation violation, Patrick Russell started hyperventilating and throwing up. “I can’t breathe,” the 30-year-old told a nurse. “I’m having an anxiety attack.” He was wrong. So was the jail’s medical staff, who apparently didn’t recognize his intense and radiating chest pain, numbness, continued vomiting and pleas for help as signs of a life-threatening condition. Nikie Johnson in the Orange County Register -- 8/2/19

Orange County: Jail health care called inadequate, but some changes underway -- Critics of Orange County’s jails fear that not enough action is being taken to improve health care in the wake of a series of recent watchdog reports that raised serious concerns about inmates’ well-being. A spate of deaths in the past two months — three inmates and fetus of another inmate who was just entering her third trimester — has further raised advocates’ alarm. Nikie Johnson in the Orange County Register -- 8/2/19

Knight: Why doesn’t SF treat homelessness like the crisis it is? -- If a major earthquake struck San Francisco today and cast thousands of residents out onto the streets, would City Hall create endless task forces to study the problem? Call for hearings and reports? Create new positions to come up with plans — eventually? Let’s hope not. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/2/19

To house almost 600 homeless people, a Venice couple are working outside the system -- It started with a spreadsheet of income and expenses showing a modest profit could be made by housing homeless people. The profit hasn’t materialized yet. But Heidi Roberts and John Betz, a Venice couple who decided to make their mom-and-pop rental business part of the solution to homelessness, have shown that they can get people off the streets while operating outside the government-run system. Doug Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/2/19

Taylor: Even a home not always enough to save long-term homeless -- Marcus Emery called me every few weeks to update me on his life — and to give me his new phone number. I’ve got four numbers saved under his name in my cell phone. Otis R. Taylor Jr. in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/2/19

Suspects arrested in fatal shooting of LAPD officer at taco stand -- The individuals, who have not been named, were taken into custody in Riverside, Murrieta and Temecula, said LAPD Assistant Chief Bea Girmala. A law enforcement source said at least one woman was among the three suspects. Girmala said the suspects are in their 20s but declined to provide additional details. Mark Puente, Richard Winton, Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/2/19

Hiltzik: How the hospital lobby derailed legislation to protect you from surprise hospital bills -- California hospitals want you to know that they’re fully on board with the idea that emergency room patients shouldn’t be hit with thousands of dollars in surprise billings because the ER isn’t in their insurance plan’s network. You should also know, however, that the hospitals just killed a measure in Sacramento that would have accomplished that goal, and that the reason they did so was to protect their own revenues. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/2/19

Electric scooters are good for the environment, right? Here’s why it’s not so simple -- While traveling a mile by scooter is better than driving the same distance by car, it’s worse than biking, walking or taking a bus — the modes of transportation that scooters most often replace. That’s primarily because of the energy-intensive materials that go into making the vehicles, and because of the driving required to collect, charge, and redistribute them. Julia Rosen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/2/19

Fox: Two Major California Problems are Linked -- Wildfires have become a major concern in California after a series of fires took lives and ripped up the landscape in Northern and Southern California over the last year. The danger of more devastating fires is increased in the coming fire season. Homelessness has also been a growing scourge on the Golden State and many of its residents. Homeless encampments in brush areas adds to the threat of more fires. Relieving the homelessness problem could lessen fire danger to a degree. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 8/2/19

Climate Could Be an Electoral Time Bomb, Republican Strategists Fear -- When election time comes next year, Will Galloway, a student and Republican youth leader at Clemson University, will look for candidates who are strong on the mainstream conservative causes he cares about most, including gun rights and opposing abortion. But there is another issue high on his list of urgent concerns that is not on his party’s agenda: climate change. Lisa Friedman in the New York Times$ -- 8/2/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

San Jose police union is raffling off a semiautomatic rifle, former police auditor says it’s ‘indefensible’ -- A former San Jose independent police auditor is calling for San Jose police officers’ union to cancel its plan to raffle off a semiautomatic rifle on the heels of Sunday’s mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Lauren Hernández in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/2/19

Gilroy strong: Hundreds of residents stand tall at vigil in wake of mass shooting -- Just days after a gunman opened fire at the city’s iconic Garlic Festival, hundreds of Gilroy residents packed the downtown corridor on Monterey Road to honor the victims — and the heroes — in the deadly shooting. Tatiana Sanchez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/2/19

‘I think he’s going to shoot’: Victims recall harrowing escape from Gilroy gunman -- Two women who were shot in the back while running away from the gunman who killed three people and injured 13 others at the Gilroy Garlic Festival recalled their harrowing escape Thursday, speaking publicly for the first time since Sunday’s mass shooting. Tatiana Sanchez, Erin Allday, Matthias Gafni and Lauren Hernández in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/2/19

Gilroy shooter did not appear to target people based on race, authorities say -- The man who opened fire Sunday at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, killing three people, did not appear to target people of a particular race, a law enforcement official said Thursday, pushing back on speculation — fueled by racist comments posted on the gunman’s Instagram account — that he was motivated by white supremacist beliefs. Matthew Ormseth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/2/19

FBI: Motive for Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting may never be known -- The motive behind Sunday’s mass shooting at the Garlic Festival may never be known, authorities said at a news conference Thursday, as their investigation into what drove Santino Legan to open fire on a crowd of families in his hometown dragged into a sixth day. Robert Salonga and Jason Green in the San Jose Mercury$ Stefanie Dazio Associated Press -- 8/2/19

‘Much quieter than they used to be’: PG&E lobbying spending falls -- While the political campaign spending of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. was recently questioned by a federal judge, public records show the company paid far more trying to shape the debate in Sacramento behind the scenes than it did giving directly to candidates or causes in the past few years. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/2/19

Could PG&E Face Criminal Charges for Camp Fire? Maybe, Butte County DA Indicates -- Butte County’s top prosecutor says it’s “somewhat doubtful” that he would strike a deal that would allow PG&E to avoid criminal charges for causing November’s deadly Camp Fire. Lily Jamali KQED -- 8/2/19

Energy traders took California for $866 million. Guess who paid for it -- For the past decade, electricity traders and generators have taken advantage of a little-known wrinkle in California’s energy market to extract more than $866 million from the state’s power grid. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/2/19

Adachi leak: SFPD chief’s spokesman ID’d journalist before notorious raid -- After San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott conceded in May that a raid on a journalist was likely illegal, he said in a department-wide email that he was “concerned by a lack of due diligence by department investigators in seeking search warrants.” Evan Sernoffsky in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/2/19

Oakland police under-reported uses of force, especially on people of color, audit finds -- An internal Oakland police audit found that officers failed to report using force against a suspect in more than one-third of instances studied in 2018, and all of those unreported incidents involved a non-white suspect. Megan Cassidy in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/2/19

After boy’s death, family sues L.A. County’s child welfare agency for $50 million -- The family of Anthony Avalos alleges that social workers willfully disregarded concerns about abuse and failed to protect the boy before his death. Matt Stiles in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/2/19

Inland Rep. Raul Ruiz targets military burn pits, blamed for sickening veterans in Iraq, Afghanistan -- When Steven Phillips’ skin condition flares up, he thinks of Iraq. Specifically, the 35-year-old former Marine from La Quinta – a city about 25 miles east of Palm Springs – recalls his service there, three months of which he says were spent overseeing an open-air burn pit half the size of an Olympic swimming pool used to dispose of all manner of trash, including air-conditioning units and batteries. Jeff Horseman in the Riverside Press Enterprise$ -- 8/2/19

Reports: Graffiti with n-word on East Bay homes not being investigated as hate crime -- A black woman living in an East Bay community said Wednesday that she and her neighbors were the target of racist graffiti, but the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office is not investigating the incident as a hate crime, according to multiple media reports. Ashley McBride in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/2/19

Ro Khanna on Anti-War Activism, Regulating Silicon Valley, and Keeping His Kids Off of Social Media -- Guy Marzorati, Marisa Lagos KQED Political Breakdown -- 8/2/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

UC, union workers reach tentative agreement including pay hikes of 20% or more --The University of California has reached a tentative labor agreement with an estimated 13,000 healthcare, research and technical professionals that will boost their pay by 20% or more over the next five years. The workers are represented by University Professional and Technical Employees-Communications Workers of America. The two contracts are expected to be ratified Aug. 8, and the labor agreements would be effective until the fall of 2024. Kevin Smith in the Orange County Register -- 8/2/19

The streaming gold rush is bringing major development to a decidedly un-Hollywood area: Pacoima -- West Hollywood-based Quixote Studios — a major provider of facilities, trailers and equipment for the entertainment industry — on Thursday unveiled its new $30-million facility that will provide much-needed stage space for major shoots. Ryan Faughnder in the Los Angeles Times$ Bob Strauss -- 8/2/19

Half of Private Sector Californians Have No Retirement Funds, According to Report -- A new report from the UC Berkeley Labor Center finds that California workers are even less prepared for retirement than previously thought. Michelle Wiley KQED -- 8/2/19


Shuttered jail in downtown Oakland could house homeless -- Alameda County supervisors offered to lease the Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility at 550 Sixth St. near the Oakland police station and the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse on Tuesday to the city of Oakland for $1 a year to help get people off the streets. But so far no plan exists to operate the proposed facility, and no one has worked out who might pay for it. Peter Hegarty and Ali Tadayon in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/2/19


Permits for new Bay Area homes, apartments drop sharply -- Despite a pressing demand for new homes, condos and apartments, residential building permits in California fell 16 percent in the last year, dropping for the first time since the recession nearly a decade ago. Louis Hansen in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/2/19


Two-thirds of Contra Costa County in fire hazard zone, chief says -- As the risk of a destructive wildfire approaches this fall, Contra Costa County’s fire chief is sounding the alarm — reporting that two-thirds of the county is currently classified as a fire hazard zone. Jon Kawamoto in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/2/19


More than 100 people flood SF school to see mural slated for destruction -- A historic mural at San Francisco’s Washington High School opened briefly to the public Thursday for the first time since June, when school board members voted to whitewash the Depression-era work and catapulted themselves into a national debate over art and censorship. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Samantha Maldonado Associated Press -- 8/2/19

Is high school football slowly dying? Read the latest numbers for California -- Football remains king among high school sports in California, but for the fourth consecutive season, fewer players suited up than the year before. The item is in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/2/19

School lunch could be slashed for thousands of California children under new proposal -- Thousands of children in California would no longer qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches if a federal proposal to cut the number of food stamp recipients is finalized. Zaidee Stavely EdSource -- 8/2/19


Suspected Poway Synagogue Shooter Used Hunting License To Buy AR-15 -- More than 300 pages of recently unsealed search warrant records relating to the April shooting at a Poway synagogue are providing a clearer picture of what the alleged shooter did in the weeks leading up to the attack that killed one person and injured three others. Matt Hoffman KPBS -- 8/2/19


Seabirds eating plastic. Recyclers struggling. This is what California’s waste crisis looks like -- It was more than a year after the seabird died and washed up on a California beach before Jessie Beck prepared to reveal its last meals. Holding its stomach over a laboratory sink, Beck snipped open the slick tissue. With a series of plinks, the stomach contents slumped out onto the metal sieve below. Rachel Becker Calmatters -- 8/2/19

West Oakland Advocates Unhappy With EPA, City Agreement on Dirty Air -- After negotiating for two years, federal environmental officials reached a voluntary settlement with the city and Port of Oakland over a discrimination complaint related to West Oakland's dirty air. Kevin Stark KQED -- 8/2/19

Is Hetch Hetchy worth $100 billion? -- Draining the Bay Area's water storage in Yosemite could open up a new outdoor mecca. Should we do it? Gregory Thomas in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/2/19

California honeybees are still declining. Trump administration says it can’t afford to study it -- It’s the last federal report on honeybee populations we’ll see — at least for a while — and the numbers for California show the number of colonies are still decreasing. Kate Irby McClatchy DC -- 8/2/19

POTUS 45  

Trump, in battleground Ohio, amplifies attacks on progressives -- In a state he hopes to capture again next November, President Donald Trump on Thursday accused his “extremist left-wing” opponents of ruining America’s inner cities — escalating his attacks against influential progressive voices and painting the Democratic presidential primary as a referendum on Barack Obama’s legacy. Gabby Orr Politico -- 8/2/19


Pelosi calls Kushner a 'slumlord' as she defends Cummings -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a shot at Jared Kushner on Thursday as she defended Rep. Elijah Cummings after days of attacks from President Donald Trump. Pelosi, a Baltimore native, said that, instead of focusing his ire on Cummings, Trump should look within his own family when it comes to deteriorating housing conditions in the city. Heather Caygle Politico -- 8/2/19

Will Hurd, Only Black Republican in House, Is Retiring From Congress -- Mr. Hurd, who is also the only Republican to represent a district along the southwestern border, is the sixth House Republican and the third Texan in the past 10 days to announce retirement. After the 2020 election, Senator Tim Scott, Republican of South Carolina, will be the only black Republican incumbent in Congress. Emily Cochrane in the New York Times$ Robert Moore in the Washington Post$ -- 8/2/19

Trump’s pick to lead U.S. intelligence claims he arrested 300 illegal immigrants in a single day. He didn’t. -- President Trump’s choice to lead the nation’s intelligence community often cites a massive roundup of immigrant workers at poultry plants in 2008 as a highlight of his career. Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg in the Washington Post$ -- 8/2/19


-- Thursday Updates 

Bay Area’s new homeless epicenter? -- Oakland has surpassed San Francisco in per-capita homelessness. The city has a multi-pronged approach to attacking the problem, but advocates say officials aren’t doing enough. Sarah Ravani and Joaquin Palomino in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/1/19

Sean Hannity endorses in a California swing district -- Conservative talk show host Sean Hannity is taking sides in a California congressional race, giving his support to Republican Robert “Buzz” Patterson, a retired Air Force officer challenging Democratic Rep. Ami Bera in a suburban Sacramento district. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/1/19

Eric Swalwell dodges fight for his East Bay congressional seat -- The Hayward City Council will be home for now for Aisha Wahab, who has suspended her campaign for Dublin Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell’s seat after he dropped out of the presidential race and fired up his re-election effort. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/1/19

Quentin Kopp harrumphs again, says he’ll run against state Sen. Scott Wiener -- Kopp’s decision to challenge Wiener was triggered in part by the senator’s call to replace the Cow Palace’s board of directors with local politicians, a move Kopp called a the first step in a “land grab” by developers who have been eyeing the 65-acre site on the San Francisco-Daly City line. Phil Matier in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/1/19

Five takeaways from the Democrats’ policy brawls -- This week’s Democratic presidential debates showed that nobody will have an easy road to the nomination. Progressives and moderates will brawl until the convention over the best way to deliver health care. Tal Kopan and Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/1/19

Chinese billionaire used L.A. as base for audacious aluminum scam that cost U.S. $1.8 billion, feds say -- A Chinese billionaire and his company had a problem, federal prosecutors allege: They wanted to import massive amounts of aluminum into the United States without paying tariffs. So they came up with an audacious plan. Alex Wigglesworth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/1/19

Trump imposes new 10% tariff on Chinese goods as trade talks stall -- In the minutes after the president’s tweets, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 300 points. The trade war with China has been going for a year and a half. In May, Trump hiked tariffs from 10% to 25% on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Eli Stokols in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/1/19

California’s largest teachers union spent $1 million a month to restrict charter schools -- The state’s biggest teachers union spent more than $1 million a month since April to influence lawmakers as it pushed bills aimed at cracking down on charter schools, financial disclosure forms filed ahead of a Wednesday deadline show. Hannah Wiley and Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/1/19

A not-so-high-speed train in the Central Valley could be a boon for the Bay Area -- Caltrain could see faster, more frequent service sooner rather than later under a proposal that would shift billions of dollars from the Central Valley segment of the state’s bullet train project and distribute it to other parts of the state. Erin Baldassari in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/1/19

Fox: Poll Finds Voters Behind CA Confronting Global Warming, but are They Willing to Pay? -- Public Policy Institute of California’s extensive polling on the environment turned up solid support from likely voters for the state to take a leading roll in confronting climate change. But when asked if they were willing to pay, the answers were mixed. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 8/1/19

Bankrupt PG&E makes deal to cut solar power prices. Won’t abandon CA’s clean energy goals -- PG&E Corp., scrambling to save money, has been hinting for months it might scrap some of its expensive contracts to buy solar and wind energy — a move that would seriously undermine California’s efforts to turn its electricity grid green. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/1/19

Endangered plants bulldozed in Topanga State Park -- Crews for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power recently bulldozed hundreds of federally endangered plants in Topanga State Park, and both state and city authorities have launched investigations into DWP’s actions, part of a wildfire prevention project aimed at replacing wooden power poles with steel ones. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/1/19

SoCalGas Admits Funding 'Front' Group in Fight for Its Future -- Right now, regulators at the California Public Utilities Commission are weighing exactly how and when to wean the state away from natural gas. That means Southern California Gas is fighting for its future, and the Public Advocates Office, an independent watchdog within the CPUC, says the utility’s not fighting fairly, lying to regulators and violating ethics and other rules in the process. Molly Peterson KQED -- 8/1/19

Castle Rock State Park: Grand new $8.7 million entrance opens to public -- For years, Castle Rock State Park on the Santa Clara-Santa Cruz county line has been known for breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, honeycombed sandstone rock formations and adventure-seeking rock climbers. It’s also been notorious for its cramped gravel parking lot, malodorous pit toilets and motorists who park perilously close to the side of Skyline Boulevard. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/1/19

For Colleen Bell, California’s new Film Commission director, wooing runaway productions back to LA area will be among top priorities -- The California Film Commission has its first new director in 15 years. She’s Colleen Bell and she arrives with, among other things, experience as a producer of the daytime drama “The Bold and the Beautiful” and as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary. Bob Strauss in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/1/19

Luxury grocer Dean & DeLuca leaves behind debts, say employees and vendors -- Dean & DeLuca, known for introducing ultra-fancy food to the masses, apparently can’t afford to pay its recently laid-off workers. Janelle Bitker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/1/19

Column One: He’d been kept alive with tubes for nearly 17 years. Who is he, and is it possible he’s conscious? -- It was his 34th birthday and the icing from the cake was his first taste of food in almost 17 years. He didn’t react when the dollop of chocolate settled onto his tongue. Maybe his taste buds had stopped working. Or maybe he had just forgotten what real food was like. Joanne Faryon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/1/19