Bay Area residents, visitors feel sting of government shutdown
The Chronicle's NANETTE ASIMOV/BENNY EVANGELISTA: "Patty Kephart did the unthinkable this weekend."
"She had to email the families of her 19 fourth-graders at the Bayshore School in Daly City and tell them that their field trip to Point Bonita Lighthouse at the Marin Headlands this week was canceled, and the park ranger they planned to host Tuesday would not show up."
"I feel awful. And mad,” Kephart said. “I blame Mitch McConnell,” the Senate majority leader from Kentucky."
READ MORE related to Shutdown: Government shutdown unlikely to slow North Bay fire recovery -- KQED's GUY MARZORATI; Senate adjourns without deal to end government shutdown; vote postponed until noon Monday -- WaPo's ROBERT COSTA/ERICA WERNER/MIKE DEBONIS/SEAN SULLIVAN; Shutdown throws Trump's Davos trip into doubt -- Politico's BEN WHITE; A President not sure of what he wants complicates the Shutdown impass -- NYT's JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS/MAGGIE HABERMAN; Congress fails to reach deal on ending federal shutdown, pushes vote to Monday -- LA Times' LISA MASCARO; Much as White House might try to soften blow, government shutdowns are costly and cumbersome -- LA Times' EVAN HALPER/LAURA KING; What's closed and open during government shutdown -- The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER; Shutdown extends into workweek, as Senate talks continue -- AP's ALAN FRAM/ANDREW TAYLOR/ZEKE MILLER; Shutdown continues into workweek, as Senate talks drag on -- AP
Trump verses California: One year into his presidency, tensions rise
LA Times' CATHLEEN DECKER: "After sodden hillsides thundered into Montecito, obliterating scores of homes and killing nearly two dozen people, seven days went by before President Trump first acknowledged the disaster."
"Even then, word came not from Trump, but from his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who noted in a two-sentence statement that the president “has been briefed and will continue to monitor the mudslides."
"The statement, issued a day after local authorities effectively announced that no more survivors would be found, offered sympathy for the families involved and “prayers for those who remain missing."
Gov. Jerry Brown is in danger of becoming remembered for his 'boondoggle bullet train to nowhere'
LA Times' GEORGE SKELTON: "Time is running out for Gov. Jerry Brown to fix two big legacy projects. If he doesn’t, his successor might just dump them in the trash."
"Brown has only until the end of the year to clean up and repair his bullet train and water tunnel ventures. He’s trying."
"Perhaps we’ll hear more about it in the governor’s final State of the State address to the Legislature on Thursday. Then again, he may decide not to bring up sore subjects."
READ MORE related to Transportation: Gas Tax repeal headed for ballot as money about to flow for road repairs -- Union-Tribune's JOSHUA EMERSON SMITH; Santa Ana Council to reconsider $1 million subsidy to auto dealers for freeway billboard -- OC Register's ROXANA KOPETMAN; Massive cost overruns threaten to derail the bullet train. Here's what has to change -- LA Times' RALPH VARTABEDIAN
At least six people killed in Montecito mudslides were in voluntary evacuation zones; 11 others on border
LA Times' ALENE TCHEKMEDYIAN: "At least six of the 21 people killed in the devastating mudslides in Montecito nearly two weeks ago were in voluntary evacuation zones, while 11 others were along the border of the voluntary and mandatory evacuation areas, authorities said Sunday."
"Four people who died were swept away from neighborhoods under mandatory evacuation orders, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told reporters at a Sunday afternoon news conference."
"It was not immediately clear if the victims who lived along the border were in the mandatory or voluntary zone."
READ MORE related to Montecito Mudslides: Search teams find 21st victim of Montecito mudslide -- LA Times' JACK DOLAN
Dan Walters: Should Legislature's employees be unionized?
DAN WALTERS in CALmatters: "Four-plus decades ago, the Legislature and Jerry Brown, then in the first stages of his two-part governorship, decreed that public employees had the right to join unions and bargain for salaries and other working conditions."
"The argument for extending collective bargaining rights to state and local government workers, including teachers, was that they should have the same rights as other wage earners."
"It was and is, however, a questionable rationale, since public employees differ markedly from those in the private sector."
Natural gas is energy's new king -- but how long will it reign? California may offer some clues
LA Times' ROB NIKOLEWSKI: "King Coal has been kicked off the throne."
"Natural gas is now the nation’s leading source of electricity. It is abundant and cheap, which has not only crippled the coal industry but has also affected virtually every other source of power that makes up the energy grid."
"Some have estimated there is enough natural gas in the U.S. to meet the country’s energy needs for about 200 years."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Bay Area coast's secret haunt for great white sharks -- The Chronicle's TOM STIENSTRA; Is San Jose winning its war on illegal dumping? -- Mercury News' NICOLETTA LANESE; San Jose council adopts new fines for illegal dumping -- Mercury News' RAMONA GIWARGIS; Bill cracking down on dumping of sofas, mattresses heads to Gov. Brown -- Mercury News' ELIZABETH CHOU
E-Verify doesn't prevent many companies from hiring undocumented workers
Mercury News' TATIANA SANCHEZ: "When federal agents raided dozens of 7-Eleven stores across the country earlier this month and arrested 21 workers suspected of being undocumented immigrants, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Tom Homan declared that the highly publicized raids were meant to send a message to employers: “If you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable."
"But after all the smoke from the day’s fiery rhetoric cleared, one huge question remained: How did these undocumented immigrants get hired in the first place?"
"At a time when the national debate over immigration is at its tipping point, questions have begun to resurface about E-Verify — a 21-year-old electronic program designed to filter out undocumented immigrants who apply for jobs — leaving many Americans wondering how millions of them slip through the system."
CalPERS seeks legislation to avoid pension cuts
Ed Mendel in CalPensions: "CalPERS wants unions and local government groups to come up with legislation that would retroactively correct a mistake that could lead to more pension cuts, like the 63 percent reduction last July in pensions promised about 200 former employees of LA Works."
"The mistake was that CalPERS contracted to provide long-term pensions for an employer that only had short-term contracts — no other revenue, not even shared pension liability with another government agency that can impose fees or taxes."
"LA Works, a job-training agency formally known as the East San Gabriel Valley Human Services Consortium, was a joint powers authority formed by four cities: Azusa, Covina, Glendora, and West Covina."
Video of La Mesa police officer throwing handcuffed teen to ground sparks outrage
LA Times' LYNDSAY WINKLEY: "Video footage of a La Mesa police officer slamming a handcuffed high school student to the ground has sparked outrage, with some community members calling for the officer’s removal."
"The incident happened at Helix Charter High School near San Diego about 1:30 p.m. Friday. The interaction between the police officer and the student — captured in a 30-second video that shows a portion of the altercation and was widely shared on social media — angered other students, parents and community members who plan to stage a protest at the campus Monday morning."
"Officers were called to the school when a 17-year-old student who had been suspended refused to leave the University Avenue campus, La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez said in a statement."
CPMC to shut down Alzheimer's program; residents scramble for alternatives
The Chronicle's CATHERINE HO: "One of San Francisco’s only subsidized residential care centers for Alzheimer’s patients will shut down by the end of 2018, prompting worry among family members, caregivers and officials about the dwindling availability of affordable care for dementia patients in an aging city."
"The Irene Swindells Alzheimer’s Residential Care Program, operated by California Pacific Medical Center in the city’s Presidio Heights neighborhood, will close as part of the hospital’s plan to move its campus on California Street to a newly constructed center at the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Geary Street. The new facility is scheduled to open in 2020."
"The Alzheimer’s care center, which opened in 1997 and houses 18 elderly patients, is the only service that will be discontinued after the move. Other medical services, such as emergency medicine, pediatrics and oncology, will continue at the new campus."
READ MORE related to Health & Health Care: Dog flu confirmed in San Francisco, according to SPCA -- SFGate's DIANNE DE GUZMAN; California may buck Congress with its own health insurance requirement -- Mercury News' ELIZABETH AGUILERA; How do authorities, medical staff react to California torture case? Probably like everyone else -- Mercury News' SUZANNE HURT
New science standards a boon for the youngest learners
EdSource's CAROLYN JONES: "Science education has long been a weak spot at some elementary schools, but educators are hoping California’s new science standards — if implemented well — will entice teachers to expand and improve science lessons for the youngest students."
"Science education has been severely lacking, especially in K-2,” said Rena Dorph, interim director of the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley. “I hope it will change, but it will depend on a lot of factors — policy, resources, local control, support for teachers and quality of curricular materials, and how it’s prioritized at the district level."
"According to a 2016 study by WestEd, SRI International and the Lawrence Hall of Science, more than half of kindergarten and 1st-grade teachers in California spend less than an hour per week on science. Science time increases as children reach 5th grade, when they take their first standardized science tests, but overall, 40 percent of K-5 teachers devote an hour or less per week to science, the study found."
READ MORE related to Education: Detained UC Berkeley student returns to Bay Area -- The Chronicle's BENNY EVANGELISTA
OC ready to clear out Santa Ana River homeless camp. But where -- and when -- will they go?
OC Register's JORDAN GRAHAM/THERESA WALKER/ALICIA ROBINSON/JONATHAN WINSLOW: "Posted signs at the Santa Ana River Trail warn that the end is imminent. Six shipping containers have been placed strategically, ready to store tons of personal belongings once the mass exodus begins."
"And police and outreach workers have increased their foot patrols in recent weeks, urging many of the nearly 500 inhabitants of Orange County’s largest homeless encampment that it’s time for them to leave."
"All that’s left now is for county workers to begin the onerous process of clearing out the notorious, three-mile-long tent city."
READ MORE related to Housing & Homelessness: Homeless wonder where they will go as OC clears out massive encampments along river -- LA Times' BENJAMIN ORESKES