California joins 15 other states to sue Trump over emergency wall declaration
AP: "California and 15 other states filed a lawsuit Monday against President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border."
"California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released a statement Monday saying the suit alleges the Trump administration’s action violates the Constitution."
"President Trump treats the rule of law with utter contempt,” Becerra said. “He knows there is no border crisis, he knows his emergency declaration is unwarranted, and he admits that he will likely lose this case in court."
Newsom's housing lawsuit put 47 California cities on notice. Is yours on the list?
Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON/MADELINE ASHMUN: "Encinitas is just the kind of place Gavin Newsom might want to sue."
"A local voter-approved initiative from 2013 makes planning for affordable homes nearly impossible, preventing the wealthy city of 60,000 from complying with a state law that requires local governments to build more housing."
"The city has already spent $3.5 million in the last few years fighting a pair of housing-related lawsuits. The bill could climb if Newsom follows through on a threat to hold local governments accountable to the state housing law."
Candidates jump into SF D.A. race early to get a head start
The Chronicle's EVAN SERNOFFSKY: "When San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced in October — more than a year before the election — that he wouldn’t run for re-election in 2019, he started an early rush for the job."
"So far, five candidates are in, and Gascón’s decision removed one big obstacle from the race. San Francisco’s Nov. 5 election will be the first time in more than a century without a sitting district attorney in the race — not since William Langdon bowed out in 1909 has the city had an open field in the contest for top prosecutor."
"None of the five candidates are elected officials, and while some are known in political and criminal justice circles, they’re not household names."
Elizabeth Warren rallies in Glendale in a nod to California's early primary
LA Times's MELANIE MASON: "Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren brought her message of “big structural change” to California on Monday, including a preview of a sweeping proposal for universal childcare."
"The Massachusetts senator pitched government-funded childcare and early learning to a raucous crowd at the Alex Theatre in downtown Glendale that was filled to its 1,400-person capacity, with hundreds more waiting outside."
"The Golden State stop is unorthodox at this point in the campaign cycle; the other 10 candidates have spent most of their time in traditional early nominating states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. But Warren’s travel to the West Coast could portend a new wave of attention from 2020 contenders, thanks to California moving its primary to early March of next year."
How SF supervisors, Mayor Breed compromised on budget windfall
The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI: "When San Francisco was handed an extra $185 million late last year, Mayor London Breed did what mayors do: She spelled out the city’s spending priorities."
"But allocating the windfall ended up being a messy back-and-forth between the mayor and Board of Supervisors. During the process, she found herself with no allies on the board — a circumstance that could signal a rocky legislative path ahead for Breed."
"On the surface, Breed got much of what she wanted in the spending plan, which passed the board unanimously Tuesday: 280 shelter beds, 86 behavioral health beds and upgrades to public housing facilities. But that came about because the supervisors watered down one part of her proposal and pulled a large chunk of money from the city’s reserve fund — something the mayor was adamantly against."
California's black market for pot is stifling legal sales. Now the governor wants to step up enforcement
LA Times's PATRICK MCGREEVY: "Before he was elected governor, Gavin Newsom was instrumental in legalizing marijuana for recreational use in California. Now, as he settles into office, he faces the challenge of fixing a system that has been slow to bloom."
"Newsom has urged patience with sluggish growth in the number of state-licensed cannabis businesses, saying he expected that such a complex regulatory system would take at least five years to fully develop."
"But a new report from the state Cannabis Advisory Committee on the first year of legal pot sales in California says there is problem that requires urgent action: “Fragmented and uncoordinated” enforcement has allowed the black market to flourish, threatening licensed business with unfair competition."
Northern CA man accused of killing dozens of hawks and owls. Here's where his case stands
Sacramento Bee's RYAN SABALOW: "Nearly a year after his arrest, the Lassen County man accused of killing dozens of birds of prey in California’s largest-ever raptor poaching case has pleaded not guilty to the charges."
"Richard Earl Parker, 68, entered his plea Feb. 4 at his arraignment in Lassen County Superior Court in Susanville. He faces 86 misdemeanor counts: one for each of the hawks, owls and other birds state game wardens have accused him of shooting on his property."
"He faces two additional counts, one for allegedly killing or possessing bobcat carcasses without proper hunting permits and one for illegally possessing a mountain lion carcass."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Roads open as wet weather leaves Northern California -- Sacramento Bee's CLAIRE MORGAN; Rare mega storm could overwhelm LA-area dam and flood dozens of cities, experts say -- LA TImes's LOUIS SAHAGUN
Gas tax hiring spree continues at Caltrans. It has hundreds of new openings
Sacramento Bee's WES VENTEICHER: "Caltrans will consider hiring nearly anyone for 333 maintenance jobs it is trying to fill."
"The department is on a spree to hire enough workers to improve road upkeep as called for in a 2017 gas tax bill that in November survived an initiative that would have repealed it."
"The department has worked with hiring organizations to consider candidates ranging from recent college graduates and veterans to people who have been homeless or incarcerated, said Michelle Tucker, chief of the department’s human resources division."
READ MORE related to Transportation: Two new ferry terminals address the practical -- sea level rise -- with style -- The Chronicle's JOHN KING
Obama shares reading list for Black History Month (on President's Day)
The Chronicle's JOHN MCMURTRIE: "It’s Presidents’ Day, and former President Barack Obama used the holiday to do something he loved as president: share a reading list."
"A voracious reader, Obama released his latest list of book recommendations in honor of Black History Month and in anticipation of MBK Rising!, a two-day event that will take place in Oakland on Tuesday, Feb. 19, and Wednesday, Feb. 20. Obama will attend the event, along with fellow speakers Stephen Curry, John Legend, Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler, among others."
"The convening grew out of Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which he began five years ago to help boys and young men of color, and is now part of the Obama Foundation."
Oakland diocese names 45 priests and other church officials accused of sexual abuse
AP: "The Catholic Diocese of Oakland has released the names of 45 priests, deacons and religious brothers who officials say are “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors."
"The San Francisco Chronicle said Monday that Oakland's list goes back to 1962 — when the diocese was founded. None of the men is currently in the ministry. Of the 45 people named, 20 were priests."
Roger Stone deletes photo of judge presiding over his case and says he didn't mean to threaten her
WaPo's REIS THEBAULT/MANUEL ROIG-FRANZIA: "Days after a federal judge imposed a limited gag order on him, Trump confidant Roger Stone posted a photograph of that judge to his Instagram page and included her name, a close-up of her face and what appeared to be the crosshairs of a gun sight near her head."
"Stone deleted the picture soon after, then reposted it without the crosshairs before deleting the second post."
"U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson is presiding over Stone's criminal trial in which he has pleaded not guilty to charges of lying about his efforts to gather information about hacked 2016 Democratic Party emails that were published by WikiLeaks."
Trump says 'no going back' in attempts to oust Venezuela's Maduro
LA Times's JENNIFER HABERKORN/TRACY WILKINSON: "\President Trump, speaking Monday in vote-rich south Florida, called on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s supporters to abandon him or face ruin, and denounced what he termed socialism at home and abroad."
"Aides had billed Trump’s speech as a show of support for Venezuela’s opposition leader and self-declared interim president, Juan Guaido, as he seeks to oust Maduro. But the event had all the trappings of a political rally."
"Trump linked the struggle to his opposition to communist-ruled Cuba, one of Maduro’s key allies and a source of concern for a vocal emigre minority in Miami. He said the move toward democracy was irreversible in both countries."