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Gavin Newsom drops plan for California homelessness czar -- Gov. Gavin Newsom has abandoned a campaign promise to appoint the state’s first-ever homelessness czar and will instead rely on a task force and staff members to guide his response to the growing crisis in California. During his 2018 campaign for governor, Newsom said he would hire a “cabinet-level secretary committed to solving the issue, not just managing it.” Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/28/19

Numerous complaints as CSU proposes tougher admission standards -- California State University officials want to require high school students to take an extra math, science or computer class to qualify for admission, a proposal that critics say will harm low-income students of color. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/28/19

Infighting threatens Westminster’s leadership and its Vietnamese American council majority -- Westminster residents waited decades for their City Council to become the nation’s first with a Vietnamese American majority. Now some are watching with growing frustration and anger as that majority threatens to implode. Anh Do in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/19

Deputy who allegedly faked being shot by a sniper is ousted from Sheriff’s Department -- Angel Reinosa, a probationary employee who had been with the Sheriff’s Department for a year, became the subject of a criminal investigation last week after he said he was shot by a sniper outside the sheriff’s Lancaster Station, a claim that officials said he later admitted was untrue. Richard Winton, Maya Lau, Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/19

Former L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca implicated in fraud scheme, court documents allege -- Several times, the witness heard the well-connected gas company owner on the phone or heading to meetings with “the boys.” The owner bragged that this network of law enforcement officials he began building in the late 1990s protected him while he played games with the Internal Revenue Service. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/19

California should change law to give CHP officers smaller raises, report recommends -- Forty-five years ago, when California passed a law to give automatic annual raises to Highway Patrol officers, the pay structure might have made more sense than it does today, according to a new Legislative Analyst’s Office report. Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/28/19

East Bay lawyer smuggled witness ‘hit list’ out of jail. Now she wants her law license back -- A once-prominent criminal lawyer suspended by the State Bar in 2014 for smuggling out of jail a hit list of witnesses in the murder of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey, wants her law license back. Thomas Peele in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/28/19

BART police hiring up, overtime down, as department tackles rising crime -- Staffing levels at the BART Police Department are some of the highest they’ve been in years, with 40 new officers hired since January, as the agency combats rising crime, BART officials said Wednesday. BART began aggressively hiring new officers in the summer of 2017 with $15,000 hiring bonuses but only netted 16 new officers that year. The following year, it hired 24 officers, BART said. Erin Baldassari in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/28/19

Calling alimony ‘legal extortion,’ California man aims to reform the law -- Titled “Elimination of Open Ended Alimony,” the initiative would limit alimony payments to a maximum of five years. Current California law stipulates that for marriages of 10 years or more, alimony obligations may continue indefinitely until a judge decides otherwise. Susan Christian Goulding in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/28/19

Google gift bolsters Salvation Army’s San Jose affordable homes development -- Google has provided the Salvation Army with a $1.5 million gift to bolster efforts by the famed nonprofit organization to develop hundreds of affordable homes in San Jose, executives said Wednesday. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/28/19

SF top Dem Campos wants Shanti to pull award to Dede Wilsey — cites GOP fundraiser -- The San Francisco Democratic Party chairman is calling on the Shanti Project to rescind its plan to honor socialite and philanthropist Dede Wilsey with a lifetime achievement award. The reason? She was listed as a co-host of a fundraiser for President Trump last month. Phil Matier in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/28/19

Can states change the electoral college ahead of 2020? Supreme Court may have to decide -- Heading into what looks to be a hard-fought presidential election, the Supreme Court will likely be asked to resolve a lingering but fundamental question about the creaky, little-understood electoral college system adopted in 1787. David G. Savage in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/19

Kirsten Gillibrand doesn’t know why she gets blamed for Al Franken quitting -- Many top Democratic donors are still angry at New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for being the first to call on fellow Democratic Sen. Al Franken to resign nearly two years ago after eight women accused him of sexually inappropriate behavior. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/28/19

Fox: Business as the Bad Guy -- American popular culture is fond of labeling business executives and corporate greed as the source of what is wrong with this country. The idea is not confined to movies that frequently portray a big business exec as the villain but has taken over state and local lawmaking and some presidential campaigns, as well. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 8/28/19

 

California Policy & Politics This Morning  

‘You are helping him’: Vulnerable Democrats grilled on impeachment -- The very first question Rep. Katie Porter received at a town hall here, for example, was where she stood on impeaching Trump. To rousing applause, the vulnerable California Democrat told the crowd that she favors impeachment — even though some worry it would play into the president’s hands. Andrew Desiderio and Sarah Ferris Politico -- 8/28/19

PG&E bankruptcy case keeps getting more complex -- PG&E Corp.’s bankruptcy is growing increasingly complicated as it grapples with the case’s most pivotal question: How much money does the company owe victims of wildfires its equipment started? J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/28/19

Pelosi, Speier talk gun control at a San Francisco town hall -- A month after three people were shot and killed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival and just weeks after 31 others were killed in separate mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Jackie Speier called for comprehensive gun violence legislation at a town hall in San Francisco Tuesday evening. Lauren Hernández in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/28/19

More political donations to Insurance Commissioner are linked to companies he regulates -- A new Union-Tribune analysis of public disclosures related to Ricardo Lara’s successful campaign for state insurance commissioner shows that he accepted more donations from interested parties than was previously known. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/28/19

Walters: Old tax loopholes live again -- Everything old is new again, at least when it comes to punching loopholes in state tax laws to benefit corporate interests. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 8/28/19

Betancourt to face Dahle in November runoff for the 1st District Assembly seat -- A Democratic candidate will face off against a Republican for the November runoff to win California Assembly District 1, the state’s northeastern corner generally considered a conservative stronghold. Elizabeth Betancourt and Megan Dahle garnered the most votes in preliminary returns for Tuesday’s special election primary race and will compete for the seat in a race on Nov. 5. Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/28/19

Expert panel endorses plan to stabilize SF’s leaning Millennium Tower -- Independent experts charged with reviewing the proposed $100 million fix to San Francisco’s famously sinking and tilting Millennium Tower endorsed the plan Tuesday, saying that they “see no reason to withhold approval of the building permit for the structural upgrade of the foundation.” J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/28/19

Man exonerated in stabbing death after 28 years in prison -- A California man convicted in the stabbing death of a man suspected of sexually molesting a child has been exonerated after 28 years in prison thanks to newly discovered evidence, including the confession of the true killer, a lawyer said. The conviction of Bob Fenenbock was reversed Friday by a judge in Solano County Superior Court in the case handled by the Santa Clara-based Northern California Innocence Project. Olga R. Rodriguez Associated Press -- 8/28/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Los Angeles has lined up record-cheap solar power. But there’s a problem -- Los Angeles has been sitting on a contract for record-cheap solar power for more than a month — and city officials declined to approve it Tuesday because of concerns raised by the city-run utility’s labor union, which is still fuming over Mayor Eric Garcetti’s decision to shut down three gas-fired power plants. Sammy Roth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/19

Grocery workers give supermarkets a Sept. 9 deadline in labor contract talks -- Saying little progress has been made in contract talks with supermarket chains, Southern California grocery workers’ union leaders have set a deadline of Sept. 9: On that day, workers will start voting on whether to ratify — or reject — the companies’ latest contract offer. Lori Weisberg in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/19

In California, Trump's trade war threatens permanent damage to some agriculture markets -- Before the trade war, California sold nearly $2.3 billion in agricultural products in recent years to China, its third-largest buyer in 2017, and there are concerns that if an agreement isn’t reached soon, those markets could close down for good. Because agricultural exports are a big part of California’s economy, the effects of the trade war are expected to resonate into other industries. Gabrielle Canon USA Today via Palm Springs Desert Sun -- 8/28/19

Uber, Lyft Drivers Rally in S.F. in Support of Controversial Gig Employee Bill -- Dozens of ride-service drivers rallied outside Uber headquarters in downtown San Francisco on Tuesday, urging lawmakers to pass controversial legislation that would classify them as employees. Sruti Mamidanna KQED -- 8/28/19

Buttigieg joins Uber, Lyft drivers in San Francisco gig-work protest -- Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg joined dozens of Uber drivers who circled the company’s Market Street headquarters Tuesday, horns honking and flags flying, to advocate for a bill that could classify them as employees with protections and benefits. Mallory Moench in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/28/19

They called an UberPool and found love -- For Peter Movilla, Dec. 9, 2015, was shaping up to be an average Wednesday. He had just come off work as an ob-gyn resident at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus when Jennifer Wang, a scientist at a local biotech firm, hopped into the front seat of the UberPool taking him home. Simone Stolzoff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/28/19

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

More Californians are taking loans with 3-digit interest rates. Will state restrict them? -- As California borrowers move away from small payday loans, new data from a state agency show they’ve shifted to larger and more expensive credit with triple-digit interest. Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/28/19

Homeless  

Scathing new audit finds deep operational failures at L.A.’s top homeless outreach agency -- The homeless outreach agency that was meant to move hundreds of people from the streets into housing, shelters or treatment for mental illness and substance abuse has failed dramatically to meet the goals of its contract with the city of Los Angeles, according to an audit set to be released Wednesday by Controller Ron Galperin. Doug Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/19

Another ‘startling’ record: homeless deaths in Sacramento County reach new high -- Less than a quarter of the homeless died from natural causes. The most common cause of death in 2018 was blunt force injury, claiming 21 lives. That included homicides, suicides and accidents – people like 36-year-old Sarah Valencia, whose November death was determined to be an accident. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/28/19

Housing  

San Jose Wants to Expedite Permitting and Building of Backyard Homes -- San Jose on Tuesday announced a series of changes designed to make the permitting process easier for Accessory Dwelling Units—also known as backyard homes or in-law apartments. The goal is to incentivize residents to build more of these units on their existing lots. Sonja Hutson KQED -- 8/28/19

Some High-Rent California Cities Aren't Building Enough Apartments, And Zoning Is Part Of The Problem -- Cities near some of California’s biggest job centers are discouraging the construction of new apartments despite high rents and strong housing demand, according to a recent Brookings Institution report. Chris Nichols Capital Public Radio -- 8/28/19

Landlord, friends arrested after home invasion to chase away tenants, police say -- A family newly arrived to Silicon Valley from North Carolina — and having trouble making their first rent payment — became the target of a home invasion orchestrated by the frustrated landlord as a way to scare them from the apartment, police and one of the alleged victims said Tuesday. Pete Grieve and Tatiana Sanchez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Jason Green in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/28/19

Earthquake

If It's A Windy Day When A Big Quake Hits, Parts Of LA Could Burn To The Ocean -- In movies, when a big earthquake hits, the main danger always seems to be crumbling buildings. But in real life, the fires that follow earthquakes can be even more destructive. When a quake shakes the ground, gas lines can be severed, power lines can collapse and electrical arcs can start fires as everything smashes together. Jacob Margolis LAist -- 8/28/19

Education 

Sacramento Student Arrested After Making School Shooting Threats On Social Media -- A suspect is in custody after making school shooting threats on social media, which prompted a lockdown at Jesuit and Rio Americano high schools on Tuesday. Sacramento County sheriff's deputies say they responded to a call from Jesuit around noon due to concerns over the post, which indicated an active shooter situation. Bob Moffitt Capital Public Radio -- 8/28/19

Who Should Get Priority Enrollment in Oakland Schools? OUSD Weighs Details of Policy Shift -- The Oakland Unified School District's radical plan to downsize by closing and merging schools includes a key component to making sure displaced students end up in better schools. It's a policy change that could result in diversifying some of the city's most in-demand schools. But details of the so-called opportunity ticket have yet to be hammered out. Julia McEvoy KQED -- 8/28/19

Adulting 101: Cal students teach course on ‘how to live in the real world and function as an adult’ -- Lau and Zhou’s 12-week course will cover nine subjects, including time management, money budgeting, health and fitness, job searches and paying taxes. They drew from their own experiences to come up with subjects, but they also researched each heavily during their monthlong winter break last year. Cicero Estrella in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/28/19

Amid scandals, USC continues reputation reboot with new provost appointment -- As it navigates a raft of high-profile scandals, the University of Southern California has selected a new provost and second-in-command: Charles F. Zukoski, an accomplished chemical engineer and the current provost of the University at Buffalo. Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/19

Low-cost, free textbooks for California college students -- As they start a new school year, college students usually come to campus knowing their tuition and room and board costs. The big unknown is the often-hefty cost of textbooks. Ashley A. Smith EdSource -- 8/28/19

Cannabis 

Navy OKs CBD Use — Provided It’s Topical And Has Less Than .3% THC -- The Navy is offering new guidance on products containing the active ingredient in marijuana, after a change in the law makes some products containing CBD legal under federal law. Steve Walsh KPBS -- 8/28/19

Immigration / Border 

San Diego Immigration Courts Lead Nation In Returning Asylum-Seekers To Mexico -- A new report shows the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which is also known as Migrant Protection Protocols, has dramatically expanded. San Diego immigration courts now lead the country in the number of asylum-seekers sent back to Mexico to await their court hearings. Max Rivlin-Nadler KPBS -- 8/28/19

DHS to siphon $155M in disaster aid to bolster immigration enforcement -- In a recent letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) said the administration hasn’t provided an adequate justification for funneling money from FEMA’s disaster fund to an account that supports facilities for immigration court proceedings. Caitlin Emma Politico -- 8/28/19

Border Patrol agent pleads guilty to hitting migrant in face -- Jason McGilvray, who worked in Calexico, agreed to resign from federal law enforcement as part of his plea agreement. Kristina Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/28/19

Environment 

California Challenges Trump Plan to Ease Review of Climate Impacts -- Another day, another environmental policy skirmish. California, 17 other states, and Washington, D.C. today challenged a Trump administration plan to limit climate change analysis for major energy and infrastructure projects. Kevin Stark KQED -- 8/28/19

What Does '12 Years to Act on Climate Change' (Now 11 Years) Really Mean? -- The number began drawing attention in 2018, when the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report describing what it would take to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, a goal of the Paris climate agreement. Bob Berwyn InsideClimate News via KQED -- 8/28/19

Colder waters off West Coast mark end of “the blob” -- Record high Pacific Ocean temperatures recorded off the West Cost in recent years have receded to near normal, according to a report on the California Current. That cool shift marks the end of “the blob,” the mass of warm water that dominated the West Coast, and of the El Nino event that followed. Deborah Sullivan Brennan in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/28/19

Researchers Press California to Strengthen Landmark Climate Law -- Authors from Stanford Law School, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, among other institutions released a paper today pressing the California Air Resources Board to strengthen accounting reviews and ensure the state’s landmark climate change law is achieving its goals. Kevin Stark KQED -- 8/28/19

Also . . . 

Muslim men sue L.A. Sheriff’s Department, alleging religious discrimination in jail -- Three Muslim men are suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, alleging they were denied access to an observant diet and proper religious garments and texts, while the same accommodations were made for inmates of other faiths. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/19

TSA bans Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge ‘thermal detonator’ Coke bottles from checked and carry-on luggage -- TSA officials confirmed that the souvenir collectible Coke bottles exclusively available in the new Star Wars lands are prohibited on U.S. flights because they look like replica explosives. “Replica items are not allowed on aircraft,” said TSA spokesperson Jim Gregory. Brady MacDonald in the Orange County Register -- 8/28/19

San Francisco Police Chief Apologizes to LGBTQ Community for 'Harm That Was Caused' -- "Unless the wrongs of the past are acknowledged and dealt with appropriately, our past will continue to put a stain on the present and on our future," Chief William Scott said during a "Reflection and Reconciliation Session" aimed at increasing trust between the LGBTQ community and police. Associated Press -- 8/28/19

Homeless man burned to death in skid row area -- A homeless man was burned to death on skid row on Monday night, and Los Angeles police have captured one suspect in connection with the gruesome killing, authorities said late Tuesday. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/19

The temporary city built for Burning Man is visible from space -- The images were taken on Sunday, the first day of Burning Man, ostensibly before all the camps were even fully set up. In zoomed-in pictures, you can see the giant wooden structure where "the man" will be burned during the festival's climax Saturday night. Alix Martichoux in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/28/19

Burning Man's webcam might be the next best thing to attending the festival -- Art car break down and can't make it to the Black Rock Desert this year? The creative minds behind the annual Burning Man event in Nevada offer a live stream with real-time footage of life on the Playa. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/28/19

POTUS 45  

Deutsche Bank all but confirms it possesses some of Trump’s tax returns -- If the 2nd Circuit upholds those subpoenas to the two banks, the president’s tax returns and other financial documents could be used as part of the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment investigation. Andrew Desiderio and Brian Faler Politico David Enrich and Emily Flitter in the New York Times$ Ann E. Marimow in the Washington Post$ Rebecca Ballhaus and Corinne Ramey in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 8/28/19

‘Take the land’: President Trump wants a border wall. He wants it black. And he wants it by Election Day -- President Trump is so eager to complete hundreds of miles of border fence ahead of the 2020 presidential election that he has directed aides to fast-track billions of dollars’ worth of construction contracts, aggressively seize private land and disregard environmental rules, according to current and former officials involved with the project. Nick Miroff and Josh Dawsey in the Washington Post$ -- 8/28/19

Trump denies his Doral resort is infested with bed bugs -- The "nasty rumor" to which he refers stems from a 2016 lawsuit brought by Eric Linder, a New Jersey man who claimed his room in the Doral's Jack Nicklaus villa had a bed bug infestation. Linder reached a settlement with the property in 2017, according to the Miami Herald. Arren Kimbel-Sannit Politico -- 8/28/19

Beltway 

Tom Steyer, Marianne Williamson on verge of being bounced from next debate -- The final day to qualify for the next Democratic presidential debate is Wednesday — and half the candidates in the field are unlikely to make the cut. Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/28/19

 

-- Tuesday Updates 

How Democrats get out the vote — from overseas -- Martha McDevitt-Pugh may vote in Oakland, but for the past 19 years she’s been filling out her ballot from her home in the Netherlands, one of a growing number of overseas Americans who are part of the Democratic Party. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/27/19

Engineer charged with stealing Google’s self-driving car secrets -- Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged a former star engineer at Google’s self-driving car spin-off with 33 criminal counts after he allegedly stole trade secrets from the technology giant before joining Uber to lead its self-driving team. Evan Sernoffsky and Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Michael Liedtke Associated Press -- 8/27/19

Deputy who allegedly lied about being shot was accused of dishonesty earlier, sources say -- Before a sheriff’s deputy allegedly faked being shot by a sniper, he had been investigated for dishonesty by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials, law enforcement sources said. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/27/19

Mental health advocates worry wrong lessons learned from case of Embarcadero attack -- The harrowing attack of a young woman as she tried to enter her Embarcadero condo building this month — and the widely circulated security camera video of the incident — fueled a public outcry that’s still echoing in San Francisco. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/27/19

Will letting bars stay open late help Gavin Newsom? He’ll soon act on bills affecting his company -- Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose investments in the hospitality industry made him a millionaire, put his holdings in a blind trust after winning last year’s governor’s race. As a new officeholder, he issued an executive order forbidding state executive branch agencies from doing business with PlumpJack Group, the company he founded. Ethics experts say Newsom, unlike President Donald Trump, has done all he can short of selling his holdings to insulate himself from potential conflicts of interest. Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/27/19

Light rail crash operator: ‘By the time I realized he was on my track, it was too late.’ -- The operator of the light rail train that crashed into an in-maintenance train in north Sacramento Thursday said by the time he saw the other train on his track it was too late to stop. The unnamed operator told passengers afterward he thought he was going to be “smashed” in the seconds before the 9:38 p.m. crash, according to a recording made by a passenger. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/27/19

Amazon rolls out Scout, a robot that helps deliver packages, in Irvine -- After testing delivery robots near its home base in Seattle, Amazon has expanded its trial use of Scout to Irvine. Alicia Robinson in the Orange County Register -- 8/27/19

Folsom residents may soon pay more for water, sewer and garbage services -- Folsom water, sewer and garbage rates could potentially increase for residents, in some cases for the first time in more than a decade. Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/27/19

Hollywood stunt coordinator helps fulfill superhero dreams for people with special needs -- For 25 years, the stunt coordinator has helped some of Hollywood’s biggest superheroes take to the sky. Now, he’s using the same equipment that has flown actors Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch to help children and adults with special needs soar, through his Flying Hero Club. Erika I. Ritchie in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/27/19

California looks to Santa Monica as it ramps up rent subsidies for seniors -- Over the last year, the city has experimented with sending rental checks to nearly two dozen seniors and now wants to expand the program exponentially. Amita Sharma KPBS via Calmatters -- 8/27/19

Sacramento To Consider Allowing Homeless People To Live Out Of Their Cars In Designated Lots -- A Sacramento council member wants to make it legal for homeless people to park and live out of their cars in designated parking lots citywide. A common complaint by unhoused residents is that they not only feel unsafe in their cars, but also that they are unfairly targeted by parking services. Bob Moffitt Capital Public Radio -- 8/27/19

Shipping container homes may be set up at area church -- A group of San Diego housing advocates believe building on property owned by churches and non-profits could be the solution for creating more affordable homes. Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/27/19

Mexico’s Playa Bagdad mixes sun, sand and drug trafficking -- At the very eastern end of the U.S.-Mexico border there’s a long strip of sand where the Rio Grande meets the sea. It is called Playa Bagdad — or ‘Bagdad Beach.’ Maria Verza Associated Press -- 8/27/19