Jerry Brown, in his final State of the State Address, celebrates California's strengths, says state needs to remain bold
The Chronicle's MELODY GUTIERREZ: "California has prospered over the past eight years despite critics’ warnings of doom and financial collapse, Gov. Jerry Brown said Thursday, arguing in his final State of the State speech that the embattled high-speed rail and delta tunnels will ultimately emerge as successful projects that greatly benefit the public."
"In a wide-ranging speech, the termed-out 79-year-old governor passionately argued for the unpopular undertakings, saying any big project has setbacks."
"Difficulties challenge us, but they can’t discourage or stop us,” Brown said in his 16th State of the State speech. “Yes, there are critics, there are lawsuits — lots of them — and there are countless obstacles. But California was built on dreams and perseverance and the bolder path is still our way forward."
READ MORE related to State Politics: Will unfinished train overpasses become California's Stonehenge? -- National Review's VICTOR DAVIS HANSON; Gubernatorial candidates talk deportation, sanctuary ities at UCLA debate focused on Latinos -- Press-Enterprise's ALEJANDRA MOLINA; Governor touts progress, warns of threats in State of State speech -- AP's KATHLEEN RONAYNE; In final State of the State, Brown touts fast train -- NYT's ADAM NAGOURNEY/TIM ARANGO; In his final State of the State speech, Jerry Brown remembers where he's from -- CalMatters' LAUREL ROSENHALL
California paid $25 million to settle 92 sexual harassment claims in the last three years
Sacramento Bee's MARJIE LUNDSTROM: "Four young men who were locked in a youth correctional facility in Southern California accused a male staff counselor of coercing them into sex acts in exchange for contraband and special treatment. The cost to taxpayers to settle their lawsuit: $10 million."
"At California State University, Fullerton, a female student in her 20s reported that her professor encouraged her to drink whiskey with him in his office and advised her to masturbate during the week to relax, then report back to him on her progress. The cost? The CSU system paid $92,000 to settle her case, while the student became fearful and anxious after the encounters and her “quality of life declined,” her lawsuit contended."
"And at California State Prison-Corcoran, which has housed the likes of Juan Corona and Charles Manson until his recent death, a female correctional officer said a fellow guard repeatedly made explicit sexual comments, stared at her breasts and crotch, touched her with his hands and pelvis and called her at home, according to court documents and interviews. The state settled her case for $750,000."
California awaits uncertain fate for national monuments
Capitol Weekly's DOROTHY MILLS-GREGG: "When it comes to national monuments, California is hoping it won’t suffer a fate similar to Utah’s."
"President Trump recently signed orders to reduce the size of two Utah national monuments. But will there be others?"
"California had seven national monuments under review by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Last year, Trump ordered Zinke to review national monuments that were established from 1996 to present and were larger than 100,000 acres or were “made without adequate public consultation."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: How Trump's pumping plan is dividing California over water -- again -- Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER/RYAN SABALOW; LA and the future of urban water in California -- Water Deeply's ERIK PORSE; Forest Service planning 18 controlled burns in Angeles National Forest, most in a decade -- SGV Tribune's STEVE SCAUZILLO; Donkey leads goats, sheep to temporary freedom in West Covina -- SGV Tribune's SANDRA T. MOLINA; Scattered showers in store for the Bay Area -- The Chronicle's SARAH RAVANI; Warren Miller: Remembering the king of all ski bums -- The Chronicle's AL SARACEVIC; DWR says there was redundant power for spillway gates -- Chico ER's RISA JOHNSON; Idea of 'maximimizing' water deliveries takes a beating -- Chico ER's STEVE SCHOONOVER; DWR could have lost control of Oroville spillway gates during crisis -- Chico ER's RISA JOHNSON; Rare video and photos show orcas catching a sea lion off the Southern California coast -- OC Register's LAYLAN CONNELLY; New water storage strategies serve California's 21st century needs -- Water Deeply's BARRY NELSON; 11 billion pieces of plastic are smothering reefs, infecting corals -- Ocean Deeply's TODD WOODY
Less cooperation with ICE? LA County's sheriff oversight panel is considering it
Daily News' BRENDA GAZZAR: "Ideas to further limit cooperation between Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and federal immigration officials were met with cheers and jeers from community members Thursday at a civilian oversight meeting in downtown Los Angeles."
"The recent passage of Senate Bill 54, sometimes referred to as a “sanctuary state” law, already limits the ability of state and local police —including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department—to cooperate with ICE and other federal officials."
"But Hernán D. Vera, chair of the immigration ad-hoc committee for the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, argued that the law should be considered only “a floor” and “not a ceiling” when it comes to curbing cooperation."
READ MORE related to Immigration: A fond farewell to the Mexican immigrant who brought Democrats and Republicans together -- Sacramento Bee's MARCOS BRETON; Two immigration ads, one dark, the other sunny -- NYT's TIM ARANGO; Trump's immigration plan draws harsh reviews from left and right, and some conservatives label him 'Amnesty Don' -- LA Times' BRIAN BENNETT/LISA MASCARO; Border Patrol chooses new target: a volunteer helping migrants -- LA Times' MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE; Nine humanitarian activists face federal charges after leaving water for migrants in the Arizona desert -- The Intercept's RYAN DEVEREAUX; Trump administration weighs whether to extend protections for thousands of Syrians -- The Intercept's MARYAM SALEH; As H-1B applications get under way, foreigners face new challenges -- The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI; Dodging death along the Alpine migrant passage -- Refugees Deeply's ANNALISA CAMILLI; Democratic immigration extremism and warnings of extremism to come -- National Review's DAVID FRENCH; Durbin-Graham is the problem, not the solution -- National Review's RICH LOWRY
El Monte quickly appoints assistant city manager Alex Hamilton to top job
SGV Tribune's CHRISTOPHER YEE: "El Monte residents won’t have to wait to find out who their next city manager will be, as the City Council unanimously selected assistant city manager Alex Hamilton for the job."
"Hamilton joined the city in 2015 and previously worked in local government for the cities of Los Angeles, Norwalk, Glendale, Commerce and Montebello."
"The city has been building momentum for many years, and his leadership and steady hand will allow us to maintain continuity and continue building in the future,” said Mayor Andre Quintero in a statement."
In Battleground races, health care lags as hot-button issue, poll finds
California Healthline's JORDAN RAU: "As the midterm elections approach, health care ranks as the top issue, mentioned more frequently among voters nationwide than among those living in areas with competitive races, a new poll finds."
"In areas with competitive congressional or gubernatorial races, the economy and jobs ranked as the top issue for candidates to discuss, with 34 percent of registered voters listing it as No. 1, according to the poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) Following economics was the conflict with North Korea (23 percent), immigration (22 percent) and health care (21 percent). The competitive areas are 13 states with statewide races and 19 House districts as judged as toss-ups by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report."
"Nationwide, 29 percent of registered voters ranked health care as the most important issue for electoral discussion — though it was far more important for Democrats than Republicans. Economy and jobs were close behind with 27 percent of voters rating it most important, and then immigration, with 24 percent listing it."
READ MORE related to Health & Health Care: A push to get older adults in better shape for surgery -- California Healthline's JUDITH GRAHAM; Hepatitis cases decline among LA County's homeless but outbreak may not be over -- SGV Tribune's SUSAN ABRAM; Young rappers are getting honest about doing battle with depression, drug addiction and suicide -- LA Times' AUGUST BROWN; As doctors drop opposition, aid-in-dying advocates target next battleground states -- California Healthline's MELISSA BAILEY; Family crisis or new joy? Get paid time off for it -- California Healthline's EMILY BAZAR; Medicaid dollars should go to those who need them, not Big Labor -- National Review's KIM CROCKETT
OC fairgrounds board votes to ban marijuana-related events
OC Register's LOUIS CASIANO: "Orange County Fair Board members moved a step closer to banning marijuana-related events at the OC Fair & Event Center during a meeting Thursday, Jan. 25."
"The 7-0 vote — vice-chairman Robert Ruiz and board member Gerardo Mouet were absent — centered on concerns over the proximity of events to homes and schools, said board member Stan Tkaczyk."
"In my mind, we are close to schools and we do have an option to be an island and away from it, but we also want to be good neighbors,” Tkaczyk said."
READ MORE related to Cannabis: Despite liberalizing marijuana laws, the War on Drugs still targets people of color -- The Intercept's SHAUN KING; California bill seeks to legalize banking for cannabis businesses -- The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE; What are the benefits, risks of marijuana use? Experts are just finding out -- Sacramento Bee's BRAD BRANAN
Harvey Weinstein ex-assistant sues, describung unwanted touching, naked dictation and used condoms
LA Times' RICHARD WINTON: "Harvey Weinstein's former personal assistant sued him and his former company Thursday, alleging "endless offensive, degrading, and sexually harassing" acts with almost daily touching at the hands of her boss."
"For two years, Sandeep Rehal alleges, she was forced to work in a hostile work environment catering to Harvey Weinstein's sexual appetites and activities and attending to his family members, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday in New York."
"The suit alleges she served his every need, including supplying him with clean underwear, preparing for and cleaning up after his sexual encounters and often removing semen from the couch in his office and disposing of his used condoms."
Interim Pomona police chief, officers meet with residents over coffee to discuss local concerns
SGV Tribune's MONICA RODRIGUEZ: "All around Mr. D’s Diner on Foothill Boulevard, conversations between Pomona residents and members of the Pomona Police Department took place Thursday morning."
"Residents, many of them holding a cup of fresh coffee, were engaged in animated conversations with department personnel, ranging from beat officers to Interim Police Chief Michael Olivieri."
"The Coffee with a Cop gathering was a first for resident Shirley Buckner. She has spoken with department members when they attended Neighborhood Watch group meetings in her north Pomona neighborhood, but generally, the conversations there are about a specific topic and time is limited."
READ MORE related to Public Safety: Anti-LGBTQ violence claimed one life for every week in 2017 -- HuffPo's BEVERLY TILLERY; NSA deletes "honesty" and "openness" from core values -- The Intercept's JEAN MARC MANACH; Cache of 9 illegal guns seized from home of South Pasadena felon; 4 children taken into protective custody -- SGV Tribune's BRIAN DAY; Ex-Chico police sergeant enters plea in assault case -- Chico ER's ANDRE BYIK; Prosecutors agree to 3-year sentence, not life, after defendant claims illegal use of snitches -- OC Register's KELLY PUENTE; Ex-deputy had 180 guns, 23 of them illegal, DA says -- Chico ER's ANDRE BYIK; 20 protestors gather on street where off-duty LAPD officer fired 'warning shot,' after DA's Office declines to prosecute him -- OC Register's SCOTT SCHWEBKE; California may up its rehab efforts to keep ex-inmates from returning to prison -- CalMatters' SOPHIA BOLLAG
High school graduation day for SF County Jail inmates
The Chronicle: "La Carla Carr (center) holds her diploma after posing for a photo with her aunt Synithia King (left) and grandmother Sallie Newell (right). Carr was one of more than a dozen San Francisco County Jail inmates who graduated from high school Thursday at the Hall of Justice. The inmates earned their degrees from Five Keys Charter High School, the nation’s first high school that operates in a county jail. The school is celebrating its 15th year."
READ MORE related to Education: Trump administration backs conservative students' lawsuit against UC Berkeley over free speech -- The Chronicle's NANETTE ASIMOV/BOB EGELKO; Early Head Start partners with local child care providers to serve more infants, toddlers in Los Angeles County -- EdSource's ASHLEY HOPKINSON; Butte College welding program gets 70-ton donation from PG&E -- Chico ER's RISA JOHNSON; Cafeteria food vanished at high-poverty schools, feds say. Three workers face charges -- Sacramento Bee's DIANA LAMBERT
Trump, the anti-globalist, will declare America 'open for business' in speech to globalists
LA Times' NOAH BIERMAN: "President Trump, facing stepped up heat from the Russia investigation and fresh controversy over his newly released immigration proposal, will try to shift the focus to international trade Friday with a speech to the World Economic Forum."
"The speech is unusual for its venue: a president who campaigned against globalism will try to define his "America First" policy to an audience of international elites who view free trade and cooperation between countries as bedrock principles."
"The annual Davos conference, perched in a ritzy Alpine village, is considered the premier event for the world's wealthy glitterati, a sharp contrast to the "forgotten" men and women of Trump's political rhetoric. Trump dined on tenderloin, fried fish and pureed peas with a small group of European business tycoons Thursday night, looking excited to take the role of salesman for American business opportunities as the executives took turns praising his policies."
READ MORE related to Economy: A $20 million boost for a 'tired looking' tourist attraction in Sacramento -- Sacramento Bee's RYAN LILLIS; YouTube changed its ad rules to appease advertisers. YouTubers say they're the ones paying for it -- LA Times' DAVID PIERSON; Trump predicts Davos speech will be 'well received' -- AP's CATHERINE LUCEY; Trump's tariffs are Statism on the march -- National Review's JONAH GOLDBERG; How Blockchain will disrupt colleges, the media, and unions, too -- Weekly Standard's TEVI TROY/JEREMY EPSTEIN; Trump is still threatening to pull out of NAFTA -- except maybe he can't -- HuffPo's SV DATE; Sacramento is poised for a building boom. Now it just needs construction workers -- Sacramento Bee's HUDSON SANGREE
BART begins search for ways to improve parking in its lots
The Chronicle's MICHAEL CABANATUAN: "Commuters who drive to BART stations to catch a train know that finding a parking space is at best a challenge and at worst impossible."
"Which has BART officials looking at overhauling their parking policies to allow prices that increase or decrease depending on demand and using license-plate readers to determine who’s paid for a space and who gets a citation."
"Parking, which was once free at BART, has been a contentious issue for decades. There are several ways to get a parking spot in a BART lot or garage, and none of them are easy."
The judge who gave a light sexual assault sentence to a Stanford swimmer now faces a reckoning with voters
LA Times' ROBIN ABCARIAN: "In June, voters in Santa Clara County will be asked whether Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky should be removed from the bench."
"This is not the standard, every-six-year retention vote faced by California judges. This is a recall, borne of outrage and frustration at the way Persky mishandled a sexual assault case involving a Stanford swimmer named Brock Turner and an unconscious young woman, known to the public only as "Emily Doe."
"Rather than send Brock to prison for six years, as the prosecutor recommended in 2016, Persky opted for a lenient penalty: Six months in jail and three years of probation. Turner served half his sentence and was freed after 12 weeks in county jail. For Turner, a slap on the wrist. For his victim, a slap across the face."
Amid anxiety among homeless, law enforcement begins plan to gradually clear out Santa Ana riverbed encampments
OC Register's THERESA WALKER/JORDAN GRAHAM: "Apart from a visibly heavier presence of law enforcement officers and news media, the daily routines of hundreds of homeless people living along the Santa Ana River Trail went on as usual even as a plan to gradually evict them from their tent encampments got underway."
"Hardly anyone appeared to be packing up on Monday, Jan. 22, the day Orange County Public Works set for closure of a three-mile-long stretch of the bike trail from Ball Road in Anaheim to Interstate 5 in Orange to do cleanup work. On a warm, mellow winter day, radios played inside tents, volunteers handed out food and homeless people rode by on bicycles and scooters."
"The seemingly placid scene, though, belied deep anxiety among many who still had no clue where to go even as they heard polite and respectful warnings to leave from a contingent of around a dozen Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputies who went tent to tent."
Family in Perris torture case may have fled Texas after daughter tried to call for help
SGV Tribune's SUZANNE HURT: "The Turpin family disappeared from their isolated Texas home days after one of the 13 siblings escaped in what may have been a failed bid for help eight years before another one succeeded, said a former neighbor who later bought the property."
"Perris residents David and Louise Turpin, now facing 75 felony charges including torture, imprisonment and cruelty toward their children in Riverside County, arrived in Murrieta in 2010, the same year they dropped from sight in Texas."
"The family had trashed the brick house they owned in Hill County, Texas, so badly – leaving feces on the walls, a rotting bathroom floor, trash strewn everywhere and knocked-in doors – that they brought in a trailer and lived in it for six or seven years, before vanishing days after one of the siblings apparently went to call for help before a neighbor brought her back home, Nellie Baldwin said."
READ MORE related to Misc.: 2 former lawyers for ex-rap mogul Marion 'Suge' Knight are arrested on accessory charges -- LA Times' JAMES QUEALLY/MATT HAMILTON; South Korea revises death toll of hospital fire to 37 -- AP; Barbara Graves, devoted human rights activist, dies at 104 -- The Chronicle's STEVE RUBENSTEIN
Trump ordered Mueller fired, but backed off when White House counsel threatened to quit
NYT's MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT/MAGGIE HABERMAN: "President Donald Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert Mueller, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive."
"The West Wing confrontation marks the first time Trump is known to have tried to fire the special counsel. Mueller learned about the episode in recent months as his investigators interviewed current and former senior White House officials in his inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice."
"Amid the first wave of news media reports that Mueller was examining a possible obstruction case, the president began to argue that Mueller had three conflicts of interest that disqualified him from overseeing the investigation, two of the people said."
READ MORE related to POTUS45/KremlinGate: Trump praises African leader after White House dustup -- AP's CATHERINE LUCEY; The Mueller confrontation that Republicans were trying to avoid has just arrived -- WaPo's AMBER PHILLIPS; Trump's handling of the Russia investigation has never looked more like a coverup -- WaPo's AARON BLAKE; Trump calls reports he tried to fire Mueller 'fake news' -- The Week; The clamor over the Nunes 'FISA Abuse' memo -- National Review's ANDREW C. MCCARTHY; The conspiratorial mindset among the President's supporters -- National Review's MONA CHAREN; Release the Memo and release the evidence -- National Review's DAVID FRENCH; Trump's impromptu news conference: an unplanned drop-by or a deliberate dig? -- NYT's MAGGIE HABERMAN; Trump booed at Davos for criticizing 'fake' media -- HuffPo's MARINA FANG; Donald Trump offers the most unenthusiastic apology for racist retweets -- HuffPo's LEE MORAN; Rep. Joe Kennedy picked to give Democratic response to Trump's State of the Union -- HuffPo's MARY PAPENFUSS
The Roundup is compiled by Associate Editor Geoff Howard. Comments? Complaints? Questions? Email Geoff at email@example.com.