LA school tax measure looks headed to defeat, in blow to Garcetti and Beutner
LA Times's HOWARD BLUME: "Leaders of the Los Angeles school district made a calculated gamble: The January teachers strike made such a huge, positive impact on the public that sympathetic voters, they thought, would overwhelmingly pass a tax increase to benefit schools."
"They turned out, it appears, to be wrong."
"While the verdict was not entirely settled late Tuesday evening, all signs pointed to a disappointing outcome for a tax measure put on the ballot by the nation’s second-largest school system."
California’s job engine is slowing as U.S. nears recession, UCLA predicts
From the LAT's MARGOT ROOSEVELT: "California’s low unemployment rate should persist through the next two years, but the state’s generation of new jobs will lose steam, a new UCLA economic forecast predicts."
“The California economy is slowing down,” wrote Jerry Nickelsburg, director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast, released Wednesday. “The state is, quite simply, running out of people to be employed.”
"Although inland regions continue to lag behind coastal areas, and the impact of the trade war with China is beginning to be felt, “economic prosperity has clearly become the norm in California today,” the 138-page report concluded."
Republicans said they made a mistake on immigration. Democrats are doing the same thing
McClatchy's KATE IRBY: "Democrats on Tuesday passed an immigration bill that would provide protections for millions of immigrants, including the so-called Dreamers who were brought to the country illegally as children."
"It’s a step further than Republicans got last year, when they tried to pass immigration reform after weeks of negotiations and failed."
"This is about honoring the respect for families that is at the heart of our faith and who we are as Americans. ... There should be nothing partisan or political about this legislation, and we are proud to pass it,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco."
Homelessness in LA is a catastrophe in motion, and our leaders are largely to blame
LA Times's STEVE LOPEZ: "Some of them are flat broke, some are sick, some work, some have given up hope."
"They are homeless in Los Angeles, where mega-mansions and shantytowns share the same ZIP code, and where the dark underbelly of a colossal social breakdown is on full display."
'First Partner' has the celebrity touch
CHUCK MCFADDEN in Capitol Weekly: "California’s “First Partner” Jennifer Siebel Newsom is smart, articulate, idealistic — and cautious."
"Well, most of the time she’s cautious."
"In a recent appearance before a capacity crowd at the Sacramento Press Club, Newsom, a film-maker with an MBA from Stanford, acidly dismissed President Trump as the “the embodiment of toxic masculinity."
California prison guards get a raise in tentative deal with Newsom's administration
Sacramento Bee's WES VENTEICHER: "California state correctional officers would get a 3 percent raise under a tentative agreement the officers’ union has reached with the state."
"The agreement, which still requires approval from union members and the Legislature, would last one year, expiring in July 2020, according to the tentative agreement posted to CalHR’s website Tuesday."
"The 28,000-member California Correctional Peace Officers Association reached the tentative agreement after two months of official negotiations with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new bargaining team at CalHR."
READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: In historic move, SF supervisors vote to close juvenile hall by end of 2021 -- The Chronicle's JILL TUCKER/JOAQUIN PALOMINO; Fixing 'inhumane' jail conditions part of Sac County's $4.4B budget plan -- Sacramento Bee's ALEXANDRA YOON-HENDRICKS; All-civilian panels could decide LAPD misconduct case starting June 13 -- LA Times's MARK PUENTE
California State Parks is hiring rangers, lifeguards and more
Sacramento Bee's GABBY FERREIRA: "California State Parks is looking to hire full-time rangers and lifeguards — and they’ve extended the deadline to apply for the State Parks Peace Officer Cadet Academy."
"Both rangers and lifeguards fall into the peace officer category, according to Adeline Yee, a State Parks public information officer. Anyone hoping to become a permanent State Parks ranger or lifeguard has to attend the academy to be considered."
"The deadline to apply for the academy is June 17, State Parks said. The selection process then takes about 15 to 18 months and includes a background investigation as well as a medical and psychological evaluation, according to the agency."
Can chicken fight climate change? Blue Apron founder's new company bets on carbon-friendly chicken
The Chronicle's TARA DUGGAN: "Most environmentalists say the best way to fight climate change on your plate is to reduce or avoid eating meat. But there’s a growing number of proponents for regenerative agriculture, a farming method that builds organic matter in the soil with the goal of sequestering more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases."
"In other words, you can save the world and eat chicken, too."
"That’s the basic slogan of Cooks Venture, a new company from Matthew Wadiak, the co-founder and former CEO of the meal kit delivery company Blue Apron. Based on an 800-acre Arkansas farm, Cooks Venture will begin selling its heirloom-breed, pasture-raised chickens in California on Wednesday at Golden Gate Meats in the Ferry Building. The cost is $3.98 per pound, about the same as Mary’s organic chickens, and much less than pasture-raised chickens from smaller Northern California farms, which can cost around $10 per pound. Golden Gate Meats will also sell the chicken to its wholesale restaurant and grocery store accounts."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Young people suing government over climate change try to move suit forward -- The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO
OPINION: Labor, business together on cannabis retail
DOUG MOORE/JULIAN CANETE in Capitol Weekly: "When California voters passed Proposition 64 in 2016, they envisioned a robust legal cannabis market with substantial tax revenue for our state, improved access, and relief for communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the failed “War on Drugs."
"Almost three years later, we see a cannabis market constrained by local bans on retail sales and frustratingly slow licensing processes. An alarming 77 percent of California cities have banned cannabis retailers altogether. Additionally, burdensome licensing requirements have forced many nonprofit medical collectives in the state to close their doors."
"Many Californians who would like to use cannabis for relief are essentially blocked from access to it, causing unnecessary suffering."
Ghost Ship trial: Witness recalls late friend's face the moment flames spread
The Chronicle's MEGAN CASSIDY: "For a brief moment, Jonathan Axtell thought the strand of smoke seeping into the second floor was from a fog machine. But then he and his friend, Hanna Ruax, locked eyes and seemed to grasp the danger simultaneously, he said."
"The next several moments were a chaotic blur, but Axtell said he’ll never forget that moment with Ruax just before he fled the Ghost Ship warehouse’s electronic music party on Dec. 2, 2016, in Oakland."
“We both knew at that moment there was a fire,” Axtell said Tuesday in Alameda County Superior Court."
Sacramento mayor's critics left out as City Council advances $16M budget surplus plan
Sacramento Bee's THERESA CLIFT: "The Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday to move ahead with a $1.2 billion city budget that funds youth sports facilities, a river trail and an increase in public safety, but left out $14 million for a North Natomas aquatic center and other projects requested by critics of Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s surplus spending plan."
"Councilwoman Angelique Ashby of North Natomas sought funding for the aquatic center from a city budget surplus, but Steinberg’s proposal to spend $16 million of the surplus left the request out. Ashby and Councilman Jeff Harris have been vocal critics of a plan by Steinberg to dedicate millions of dollars from the city budget to pay for bonds that would fund projects in disadvantaged neighborhoods."
"Steinberg and other council members pledged to continue exploring a funding plan for the pool facility in the weeks ahead."
BART fare increase isn't a done deal; director lines up support to overturn hike
The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "A member of BART’s board wants to roll back fare increases that have already been approved, insisting that higher ticket prices will chase more riders away from the transit system."
"Director Debora Allen of central Contra Costa County is lining up support to stall a 5.4% hike planned for January, which would add about 40 cents to a long trip from Antioch Station to Embarcadero — producing $25 million a year for the struggling agency."
“If I’m a private business and I’m not serving my customers to their satisfaction, I can’t raise my prices because people will look for other alternatives,” Allen said."