The Central Valley is sinking as farmers drill for water. But it can be saved, study says
Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "A team of Stanford University researchers believe they have identified the best way to replenish the shrinking aquifers beneath California’s Central Valley."
"The groundwater beneath the Central Valley has been steadily depleting, particularly as the state’s $50 billion agricultural industry relied on it during a series of droughts. Each year, more water exits the aquifer than goes into it."
"The study from Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences, published in the journal Water Resources Research, found that unless action is taken, the ground in that region will sink more than 13 feet over the next 20 years."
Interview: Gavin Newsom Reflects On First 100 Days As California Governor, Sanctuary Policy, Wildfire Liability And Taxes
BEN ADLER, Capital Public Radio: "California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s response to President Trump’s recent and repeated claims that the federal government should place Central American migrants seeking asylum in “sanctuary cities”?
"It’s already happening."
“That’s what they’re doing,” Newsom told CapRadio during an interview in his office at the state Capitol on Monday. “They’re sending folks to street corners and Greyhound bus stations in a sanctuary state, disproportionately in our state. Legal asylum seekers.”
Wall Street critic Maxine Waters rakes in corporate campaign money
Politico's ZACHARY WARMBRODT: "Rep. Maxine Waters is embracing corporate campaign contributions as the new chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, even as some progressive Democrats have sworn off fundraising from businesses."
"The California Democrat's campaign received about $210,329 in contributions during the first three months of this year, most of which came from industry PACs, according to a Federal Election Commission filing. About $38,329 came from individual contributions."
"The figures suggest Waters is following through on a pledge to have an "open-door" policy with industry, even as she uses the gavel to crack down on financial firms in the name of consumer protection. In all, she saw her contributions grow nearly 18 times over from the $12,009 that her campaign reported in the first three months of the last election cycle in 2017."
California's most vulnerable congressional Democrat is still untangling his tax liens heading into 2020
Sacramento Bee's KATE IRBY: "A freshman San Joaquin Valley congressman who narrowly unseated an incumbent in November has a complicated financial history that includes multiple tax liens and a delinquent debt that caused the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office to warn him that it could seize his property."
"Rep. TJ Cox, D-Fresno, defeated Republican incumbent former Rep. David Valadao by less than a thousand votes in the midterm election, making him one of the most vulnerable House Democrats heading into the 2020 election. Cox, an engineer, has been separating himself from some of his companies since taking elected office."
"Some of his financial entanglements were reported during his 2018 congressional campaign, including an IRS lien against him and his wife. McClatchy has obtained new records showing that the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office was involved in collecting an arbitration payment five years ago, as well as recent liens against two of his companies."
Harris is crushing other 2020 candidates in fundraising
Sacramento Bee's ADAM WOLLNER/BEN WIEDER: "Sen. Kamala Harris used her home-state connections to raise more than $4.3 million from California donors in the first three months of the year, far more than any of her Democratic rivals in the 2020 presidential race."
"All told, Californians accounted for 57 percent of the money Harris raised from donors who gave at least $200 from the time she launched her campaign in mid-January through the end of March, according to an analysis of newly filed financial reports."
"$4 million is a great figure to post, and I think it proves early that California donors will be adding a zero to the checks they wrote in 2016,” said Wade Randlett, a San Francisco energy executive and Democratic donor. “Every candidate who looks like they can erase the stain of Donald Trump in 2020 will have a huge amount of gold to mine here.”
READ MORE related to Harris Campaign: On Israel, Harris breaks with liberal 2020 pack -- Sacramento Bee's EMILY CADEI/MICHAEL WILNER; Harris’ Hollywood haul: Donors include Ben Affleck, Elizabeth Banks, Wanda Sykes -- Politico's MAGGIE SEVERNS and CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO.
Remote-Controlled Cars Come To Streets Of Downtown Sacramento This Week
From RANDOL WHITE, Capital Public Radio: "Cars operated by remote drivers will debut on the streets of downtown Sacramento this week — and the technology that powers them could one day serve as a safety back-up for autonomous vehicles."
"If you hop in a car equipped with technology from Phantom Auto, among the first things you'll hear is: "Welcome everyone, my name is Ben. … I'll be driving you today through Sacramento.” But Ben is not inside the car. Instead, he’s controlling it from the company's facility 100 miles away."
"The car is mounted with five cameras, which are used to navigate a pre-programmed route around the Capitol. Phantom has been testing the area's 4G cell signal to ensure uninterrupted connections between the car and the remote driver."
Operation Varsity Blues: Palo Alto parents move to dismiss indictment
The Chronicle's MATTHIAS GAFNI: "In the first defense mounted by any of the dozens of defendants ensnared in the college admissions scandal, two Bay Area parents Monday asked a judge to dismiss the indictment against them, claiming there was no conspiracy among the mothers and fathers accused of bribing coaches and test-takers."
"Gregory and Amy Colburn, of Palo Alto, are among 19 parents from across the country indicted on conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services fraud, along with conspiracy to commit money laundering. Their attorneys Monday filed a motion to dismiss their charges arguing that even if it were true that they paid $25,000 for a test proctor to correct their son’s SAT scores, as the government alleged, they acted separately from the other parents."
Nepotism investigations spur questions for California state workers: Where is it happening?
Sacramento Bee's WES VENTEICHER: "Parents often want their children to follow in their footsteps, but in state government that can sometimes be a problem."
"A recently published state auditor’s report detailed a department director’s improper efforts to get her daughter hired and promoted in the department, renewing attention on nepotism in California state government."
"The topic has surfaced over the last two years in relation to a nepotism investigation at the Board of Equalization, where about 800 of the tax-collecting agency’s 4,200 employees were found to be related to one another."
SF Rules Committee recommends rejecting Breed's Rent Board appointment
The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI: "The Rules Committee recommended against San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s recent appointment of Reese Isbell to the Rent Board, after tenants’ rights activists questioned his aptitude for the job compared to his predecessor, an attorney and 35-year veteran of the board."
"Dozens of tenants’ rights activists spoke out against Isbell during nearly three hours of public comment Monday. Breed appointed him to replace Polly Marshall last month. Isbell served as an aide to Mark Leno during his time in both the state Assembly and Senate. He was also a member of Breed’s transition team last year."
"The appointment inflamed tenants’ rights activists, who had long-standing relationships with Marshall. Critics also worried about the lack of tenants’ rights experience on Isbell’s resume."
As weed lovers prepare to light up on 4/20, MADD urges caution and preparation
Sacramento Bee's CATHIE ANDERSON: "Planning to indulge in some high times at 4:20 p.m. on 4/20, the date when many people celebrate cannabis culture? If so, Mothers Against Drunk Driving is urging you to also plan a designated driver to avoid making a potentially tragic mistake."
"The odds of being involved in a crash after 4:20 p.m. on April 20 is 12 percent higher in the United States than it is for the same period a week earlier, according to Canadian researchers who looked at 25 years’ worth of U.S. traffic data. For those under age 21, the risk increased by 38 percent."
"The researchers – Dr. John A Staples and Dr. Donald Redelmeier – published their findings last year in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal. They said sales of legal marijuana surge ahead of 4/20 and college students report increased consumption on a date informally called the “High Holiday."
Sacramento plans to open its first homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth in this neighborhood
Sacramento Bee's THERESA CLIFT: "There are likely more than 100 LGBTQ homeless young people in Sacramento County, experts say, but no shelter that focuses specifically on their needs."
"That’s expected to change this summer."
"Sacramento’s first homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth, a 12-bed facility in a midtown house at the corner of 21st and P streets, is planned to open early this summer, said David Heitstuman, executive director of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, which will operate the shelter."
A local photographer witnessed the burning of the Notre Dame Cathedral in paris. See his photos and videos
Sacramento Bee's BETHANY CLOUGH: "Randy Haron is a professional photographer, though you might now him better as the owner of downtown Fresno’s Haron Jaguar Land Rover dealership."
"He just happened to be in Paris when the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral was burning. And he had his camera with him."
"Haron shared some compelling photos of the fire on his Facebookpage and Instagram, where he has more than 99,000 followers under the name @2ndfloorguy. He agreed to let The Fresno Bee share some of his images."
SF compromises -- slightly -- on Embarcadero Navigation Center after month-long backlash
The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA: "San Francisco officials signaled a willingness Monday to compromise — slightly — with residents of Rincon Hill, South Beach and other waterfront neighborhoods who are staunchly opposed to a plan to bring a Navigation Center to the Embarcadero."
"After more than a month of divisive, sometimes vitriolic debate, Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Matt Haney jointly announced changes to the city’s proposal meant to make the center’s arrival less jarring for its future neighbors."
"It’s unlikely that the revised plan will do much to assuage the project’s detractors, who broadly believe that a Navigation Center will turn the tourist-heavy Embarcadero into a dirty, dangerous place. City officials informed the South Beach-Rincon-Mission Bay Neighborhood Association at a meeting Monday night."
Cops, firefighters with PTSD seek workers' comp coverage for mental health trauma
Sacramento Bee's HANNAH WILEY: "Recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, Sacramento firefighter Joshua Katz isn’t ready to give up on what he calls a ‘dream job.’"
"He still loves his “fire family,” exciting workdays and having a job that lets him help others. He’d rather take time off to treat his post-traumatic stress with financial support from workers’ compensation than allow his injury to cause an early end to his career."
"If I came to work so consumed with my anxiety or depressed and was so consumed and can’t do the bare minimum, I shouldn’t be there,” Katz, 34, said. “Because the public trusts us to provide a service for them without question. Without fail, I need to be able to do that."