DiFi, Reeps on family separation

Jun 22, 2018

Feinstein working with Republicans to reach family separation compromise


McClatchy DC's EMILY CADEI: "California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is leading the effort to find a bipartisan solution to the family separation crisis at the border that has fractured Congress and gripped the nation."


"Feinstein and fellow Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois plan to meet Monday with Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina to seek a compromise between their competing bills."


Some California Dems trying to flip the House are backing away from Pelosi


The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "Nancy Pelosi may be one of the nation’s best-known Democrats, but some California House candidates in her party have decided they would be better off attacking her than backing her."


"While I respect Leader Pelosi’s years of advocacy on behalf of California and the Democratic Party, it’s time for new leadership,” Gil Cisneros, who is running for an Orange County seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Ed Royce, said in a statement explaining why he won’t support the Democratic leader if his party takes back the House and Pelosi runs for speaker."


"Democrat Andrew Janz, who is running an uphill race against GOP Rep. Devin Nunes of Tulare, has also said he would not support Pelosi."


Jerry Brown will decide whether Californians vote on daylight saving time in November


Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "The fate of daylight saving time in California now rests in Gov. Jerry Brown’s hands."


"The Assembly on Thursday sent Brown a measure that would ask voters to repeal a 70-year-old initiative enshrining the biannual changing of clocks into state law. If signed by Brown, that question could appear on the ballot as soon as November."


"While I would love to enLIGHTen you on this, our office typically doesn't chime in on pending legislation," Brown spokesman Brian Ferguson wrote in an email. "Please don't be alarmed, we will be sure to circle back when the time comes."


Capitol annex faces $755 million redo


JESSICA HICE in Capitol Weekly: "The Capitol’s six-story annex is a functional, granite hive of lawmakers’ offices, committee hearing rooms and assorted legislative staff offices, joined at the hip with the domed Capitol. One factoid: The third floor of the annex matches the second floor of the historic wing, which leads to no end of confusion for visitors trying to navigate the labyrinth."


"But change is coming."


"The state budget allows $1.6 billion to build new government structures in downtown Sacramento, including $755 million to replace the 66-year-old annex. State officials say cramped spaces, safety and efficiency issues drove plans to eventually tear down and replace the annex, which originally cost $7.4 million to build in 1952. To date, there is no definite time frame for the project."


The H-1B visa: a golden ticket loses its luster


The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI: "The sun glares down on an ancient temple where Pruthvi Yadav joins a swirling mass of devotees. The deity here, he’s been told, is particularly powerful at granting U.S. visas."


"On this 98-degree morning at the Chilkur Balaji Temple, he’s swept into the crowd praying to Lord Balaji — walking 11 laps around the temple for a wish, 108 laps for an answered prayer. As his bare feet shuffle against the scorching ground, his mind focuses on a far-flung place: California’s Silicon Valley."


"In the middle of the crowd, a priest, C.S. Rangarajan, squawks into a microphone: “Donald Trump is temporary! Lord Balaji is forever!"


SF progressives angered by London Breed's board-president maneuver 


The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA: "As London Breed stood on the steps of San Francisco City Hall for her victory speech after clinching the mayor’s race, she delivered a clear appeal for civic unity."


"Whether you voted for me or not ... I’ll be your mayor, too,” Breed said, promising to “bring the Board of Supervisors together for the purpose of solving our most challenging problems."


Official for Compton water district is suspended after reports of fake supporters at town hall


LA Times's ADAM ELMAHREK/RUBEN VIVES/ANGEL JENNINGS: "The general manager of a small public agency under fire for delivering brown, smelly water to parts of Compton and Willowbrook has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately, the water district board’s attorney announced Thursday night."


"Maria Rachelle Garza’s suspension comes days after The Times reported allegations that the embattled Sativa Los Angeles County Water District hired people to pose as supporters and attend a local congresswoman’s town hall regarding complaints of dirty water."


Would Sacramento's proposed sales tax increase go to pensions, salaries?


Sacramento Bee's RYAN LILLIS: "Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has an ambitious plan for what he would do with a sales tax increase in the city."


"As Sacramento struggles with a simmering housing crisis, he'd likely try to use some of the tax revenue from a planned November ballot measure to build affordable housing. He would want some of the money to provide services and shelters to the city's growing homeless population. Low-income neighborhoods and minority communities would see big investments in job training programs, small business incentives and education. Millions more could pour into a seed fund to help launch grandiose projects like a technology campus near Oak Park."


"In Steinberg's mind, a one cent sales tax would be "a true game changer in Sacramento," as he said in a speech earlier this month."


Lottery thieves cheated California's scratcher game. Now retailers have new rules.


Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "A rash of thefts of California Lottery tickets in San Jose prompted the state this week to roll out a new system aimed at preventing store owners from paying out purloined scratchers."


"The new system forbids a practice that had allowed retailers to begin selling tickets before they confirmed that they received their full order of scratchers."


"A thief or thieves exploited that practice by stealing packages of scratchers en route to retail outlets, according to a June 8 message announcing the new policy by Lottery Chief of District Sales Randy Forrester."


California Supreme Court upholds death for child killer


AP: "California's Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty for a mentally ill man who killed and dismembered a 12-year-old boy in Orange County."


"John Ghobrial, a one-armed panhandler who'd been diagnosed with serious mental illness, was convicted of strangling Juan Delgado in La Habra in 1998."


"Prosecutors said Ghobrial dismembered the boy and put his remains in concrete cylinders he left around the area. They said Ghobrial had been overheard threatening to kill the boy and eat his genitals, which were never found."


House GOP proposes major cuts to food stamps with passage of 2018 farm bill


The Chronicle's TARA DUGGAN: "The House of Representatives on Thursday passed the 2018 farm bill, which includes an overhaul of the federal food stamp program that could result in cuts of up to $20 billion in direct benefits over 10 years, opponents say."


"Considered a key piece of legislation in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s bid to reduce entitlements, the bill failed in its first vote on May 18  but passed 213-211 Thursday, this time with support from members of the conservative Freedom Caucus. Every Democrat voted against it, agreeing with hunger-relief organizations that the bill’s proposed work requirement changes to food stamps, called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, could be catastrophic for low-income and working-class Americans who depend on them."


"It’s shocking that the House would pass this kind of harsh farm bill that betrays the long-standing bipartisan commitment to making sure that people who are struggling have enough to eat,” said Stephen Knight, director of policy and partnerships at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, which estimates that 110,000 Alameda County residents are enrolled in CalFresh, the state’s version of SNAP, 60 percent of them children. “With wages falling and inequality growing in our country, protecting and strengthening SNAP is essential.”


A new groundwater market emerges in California. Are more on the way?


Water Deeply's ALASTAIR BLAND: "A “USE-IT-OR-LOSE-IT” SYSTEM of water allocation has historically required growers in California to irrigate their land or lose their water rights, whether market forces compelled them to grow crops or not."


"Now, in a significant breakthrough for the state’s water economy, a community of farmers near Ventura are about to join a new groundwater market. The buying and trading system, expected to begin by July 1, will allow farmers under the purview of the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency to fallow their own land and sell groundwater to other users willing to pay more than their crop sales would generate. This small-scale water market has been in planning stages for more than a year and is being launched as a pilot project that could eventually serve as a model for the rest of California."


"Matthew Fienup, executive director of the California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, has worked with the Fox Canyon agency, local growers and the Nature Conservancy to help design and launch the program. He said the new system creates a powerful incentive for the region’s growers, who produce strawberries, lemons, celery and avocados, among other crops, to conserve water."


China blocks John Oliver on social media after scathing show


AP: "A popular Chinese social media site is censoring discussion of "Last Week Tonight" and its HBO host John Oliver after he mocked Chinese President Xi Jinping, his apparent sensitivity about being compared to Winnie the Pooh and his country's crackdown on human rights."


"Attempts to send posts with either the terms "John Oliver" or "Last Week Tonight" on the Sina Weibo microblog Friday were met with failure messages saying "the content contains information that violates relevant laws and regulations."


"Oliver's show on Sunday made satirical references to Xi and the way that Chinese internet users often joke that he resembles Winnie the Pooh. The show also referred to China's internment of hundreds of thousands of members of the Muslim Uighur minority groups in political indoctrination camps ."


Young Americans are waking up to their grim financial future


Bloomberg's BEN STEVERMAN: "Lately I’ve been losing track of how old everyone is. Friends, co-workers and family members are resisting middle age with vigorous exercise, careful diets and regular doctor visits. Even when 50-year-olds look like they’re 50, they often dress or party as if they’re still in their 20s."


"Our capacity to fetishize youth never ceases to amaze. But while some older Americans want to look like younger folks, they certainly don’t want their finances to follow that path. That’s because the wealth gap between generations keeps widening, and their children’s future is beginning to look ugly."


"Just two years ago, the median American born in the 1980s — the cradle of millennials — had family wealth that was 34% below what earlier generations held at the same age, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis reported last month. And all the data show it’s probably going to get worse."


SoCal home prices hit another record high


LA Times's ANDREW KHOURI: "The Southern California median home price surged 8.2% in May from a year earlier, hitting a new all-time high of $530,000, according to a report Thursday from CoreLogic."


"The sharp gain in the median sales price was partly driven by a lack of supply: the number of sales across the six-county region fell 3.4% from a year earlier. Along with historically low mortgage rates and an improving economy, the shortage of homes for sale has sent prices up for more than six straight years."

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