Wish list

Dec 13, 2018

Here's what Californians want Newsom to deliver. Probably not high-speed rail.


Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "Focus on universal health care and free community college. Forget high-speed rail."


"That’s the message from Californians for incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom, according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California."


"The Democratic lieutenant governor won an overwhelming victory in the November election and is preparing to take office next month with a policy agenda full of ambitious, and expensive, items. With state coffers booming from a strong economy, the PPIC survey asked respondents how important it was to them that Newsom pursue a handful of the major issues he mentioned on the campaign trail."


READ MORE about the PPIC report: Poll Tells Gavin Newsom: Make Universal Health Care Highest Priority -- BEN ADLER, Capital Public Radio;  Despite surging economy, Californians anxious about future and want change -- BEN CHRISTOPHER, CALmattersCalifornians want state to spend surplus on health care for all, free community college -- TRAPPER BYRNE, San Francisco Chronicle


Raiders back out of tentative deal to play in Oakland next season


The Chronicle's KIMBERLY VEKLEROV/MATT KAWAHARA: "The Raiders withdrew Wednesday from a tentative deal to stay in Oakland for the 2019 season, a day after the city sued the team over its impending departure to Las Vegas."


"The move appeared to fulfill the team’s threat to find somewhere elseto play next year if the city filed suit, though officials said a new deal could be reached. And it put even more urgency on the question hovering over the team and the NFL: Where will the Raiders play in 2019?"


"The team’s options include sharing Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara with the 49ers, playing in a city such as San Diego that lacks an NFL team, and moving to Nevada ahead of schedule to a university facility. Each option carries complications and downsides."


California shifts water from farms, cities to fish. But a Jery Brown compromise isn't dead


Sacramento Bee's RYAN SABALOW: "Despite an epic last-minute compromise brokered by Gov. Jerry Brown, state water regulators voted Wednesday to reallocate billions of gallons of San Joaquin River water from farms and cities to revive struggling fish populations."


"After hours of testimony, the State Water Resources Control board voted to deliver hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water from the San Joaquin watershed to salmon, steelhead and other species that ply the fragile Delta. The vote will eventually take water from Valley farmers, who have blasted the plan as a “water grab,” as well as cities such as Modesto and San Francisco."


"The vote probably won’t be last word on river flows, however. Earlier in the day, Brown’s administration offered a broad, $1.7 billion compromise agreement under which many cities and farms across the Central Valley would surrender water to the fish and would kick in cash to help the ailing species survive. The money would be spent on building spawning grounds and making other habitat improvements."


READ MORE related to Energy & EnvironmentWhere to watch coho salmon spawn in the Bay Area -- The Chronicle's TOM STIENSTRASoCal Edison wants to charge $125M to a competing utility's customers -- LA Times's SAMMY ROTH


Pelosi, foes clinch deal all but paving her way to speaker


AP's ALAN FRAM: "Rep. Nancy Pelosi all but ensured Wednesday that she will become House speaker next month, quelling a revolt by disgruntled younger Democrats by agreeing to limit her tenure to no more than four additional years in the chamber's top post."


"Within moments of announcing she would restrict her time in the job, seven of her critics distributed a statement promising to back the California Democrat. Democrats widely agreed that the pledge meant Pelosi had clinched a comeback to the post she held from 2007 until January 2011, the last time her party ran the House and the first time the speaker was a woman."


"Wednesday's accord gives Pelosi a clear path to becoming the most powerful Democrat in government and a leading role in confronting President Donald Trump during the upcoming 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns. It moves a 78-year-old white woman to the cusp of steering next year's diverse crop of House Democrats, with its large number of female, minority and younger members."


READ MORE related to House Leadership: Pelosi agrees to term limits for House leaders, likely securing the votes she needs to regain the speakership -- LA Times's JENNIFER HABERKORN


Arambula says he was only trying to discipline his daughter after recent child abuse arrest


Sacramento Bee's RORY APPLETON: "An emotional Joaquin Arambula on Wednesday said he spanked his 7-year-old daughter on the buttocks after she “acted out” before the family went to bed in an attempt to discipline her."


"The assemblyman’s admission came a day after the Democratic assemblyman was arrested on a misdemeanor child abuse charge from an incident Sunday night at his home."


"Holding the hand of his wife, Elizabeth, Arambula said spanking is a last resort in his home and he does it maybe once per year."


William Newsom III, prominent judge and father of governor-elect Gavin Newsom, dies at 84


Saccramento Bee: "William Newsom III, a former California judge, environmental advocate and the father of governor-elect Gavin Newsom, died Wednesday after a long illness. He was 84."


"Justice Newsom was a proud, lifelong Californian, a public servant of profound accomplishment and a powerful voice for individual rights and environmental protection,” Nathan Click, a spokesman for Gavin Newsom, said in a statement announcing the death."


"It comes less than a month before Gavin Newsom will be sworn in as California’s 40th governor."


Camp Fire: PG&E finds bullet holes, broken equipment at sites where blaze likely started


Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER:  "PG&E has acknowledged to regulators that it found bullet holes, a broken transmission-tower hook and other flaws with equipment at sites where the catastrophic Camp Fire is believed to have started last month."


"In its most detailed accounting yet of the problems that might have led to the Nov. 8 wildfire that consumed most of Paradise, the beleaguered utility told state officials that its inspectors have found a “broken C-hook” on a high-voltage tower near the community of Pulga, northeast of Paradise. Lawyers for Camp Fire survivors suing PG&E have suggested the broken hook might have allowed a live “jumper” cable to make contact with the tower itself, showering the dry ground below with sparks."


"Separately, at a power pole in the Big Bend area of Concow several miles away, PG&E employees found that “the pole and other equipment was on the ground with bullets and bullet holes at the break point of the pole and on the equipment,” PG&E senior director of regulatory relations Meredith Allen wrote in a letter to the Public Utilities Commission."


Selling shipyard safety


The Chronicle's JASON FAGONE/CYNTHIA DIZIKES: "Michael Spencer was about to sign the papers on a million-dollar home at San Francisco’s mothballed naval base when he began having second thoughts."


"The condominium sat on the first developed piece of the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard — a hilltop area known as Parcel A. The rest of the shipyard, adjacent to the home parcel, is a Superfund waste site tainted with radioactive substances. And something had gone wrong with the cleanup of that land, Spencer had learned from news reports. The Navy suspected fraud by a key contractor, Tetra Tech, raising the possibility that supposedly safe areas might contain hazards — and that thousands of future homes might never get built."


"A 50-year-old Air Force veteran, Spencer wanted assurance from the seller, Lennar Homes, that the home site was safe and that construction on the other shipyard parcels would still happen. He didn’t want to live on a little island of development surrounded by a wasteland."


SCUSD says it wil be broke in November 20   


EdSource's VINCENT MOLESKI: "The Sacramento City Unified School District announced Wednesday it expects to run out of cash by November 2019 after months of financial crisis."


"In a statement sent to the community, the district said unless major savings are found, it will be unable to pay employees and make necessary purchases."


"The statement suggested that moving forward with recent plans to reduce health care costs is the next best step to reach solvency, especially considering it pays more for health care than any other Sacramento-area school district."


Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime lawyer, sentenced to three years in prison


LA Times's CHRIS MEGERIAN/SONJA SHARP: "Michael Cohen, who long swaggered as Donald Trump’s bare-knuckled fixer only to see himself vilified by the president for cooperating with law enforcement, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison after telling a federal judge that he had acted illegally out of “blind loyalty” to Trump."


"Standing before a packed courtroom in lower Manhattan, the 52-year-old lawyer and businessman called his years as Trump’s factotum a time of “personal and mental incarceration,” saying that “time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds."


"In his tearful speech, Cohen asked forgiveness from his family and the country."


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