As shutdown continues, Latin American immigration to California remains near modern low
Sacramento Bee's PHILLIP REESE: "Extending a trend that has lasted nearly a decade, fewer than 80,000 Latin American immigrants came to California in 2017, a sharp drop from the number seen in in the 1990s and early 2000s, new census estimates show."
"The number of immigrants from Asia to California now dwarfs the number of immigrants from Latin America to California."
READ MORE related to Immigration: Rhodes scholar and 'Dreamer' fears he can't return to US -- AP's PHILIP MARCELO
Feinstein says she'd back Joe Biden if he runs for president
The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "Sen. Dianne Feinstein told reporters Thursday that she would back former Vice President Joe Biden for president if he decides to run in 2020."
"My candidate would be Joe Biden,” Feinstein said. “I’ve seen him operate. I’ve seen him perform and I think he brings a level of experience and seniority, which I think is really important."
"Biden, 76, has talked about challenging President Trump, but hasn’t announced any decision. He was senator for Delaware for 36 years, serving with Feinstein, before becoming Barack Obama’s vice president in 2009."
Did non-citizens vote last year? California officials still can't say
Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "California officials still can’t say whether non-citizens voted in the June 2018 primary because a confusing government questionnaire about eligibility was created in a way that prevents a direct answer on citizenship."
"The snag comes from a voter eligibility questionnaire that lumps five separate characteristics, such as age and citizenship status, into one prompt that people see at the Department of Motor Vehicles when they try to get or renew a driver’s license."
"Investigators can see that people marked themselves as ineligible to vote or declined to answer eligibility questions, but they can’t tell why."
Nation's first public quake alert system arrives in LA with big expectations and major challenges
LA Times's RONG-GONG LIN II: "Earthquake early warning systems have been part of life in metropolises like Tokyo, Taipei and Mexico City for years."
"But bringing the technology to California, where numerous faults crisscross the region, proved to be a complex and time-consuming undertaking."
"The faults that produce Japan and Mexico's largest earthquakes are quite distant from their biggest cities, but the longest faults in California are much closer to urban centers like Los Angeles and San Francisco. That required the installation of more sensors and sophisticated software to detect shaking and send alerts."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Around the world, miles of rock are missing. Could 'Snowball Earth' be the culprit? -- LA Times's JULIA ROSEN
Nancy Pelosi elected as House speaker, and a new era begins in Washington
The Chronicle's TAL KOPAN: "Declaring “great hope and confidence for the future” as well as “deep humility and prayerfulness,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi retook the House speakership Thursday and ushered in a new reality in the nation’s capital."
"As Pelosi reprises her historic role as the only woman ever to be House speaker, she becomes a force President Trump will have to reckon with, leading one-third of the lawmaking triumvirate in Washington."
"The San Francisco congresswoman takes power amid paralysis in Washington. A shutdown of one-quarter of the government over Trump’s demand for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has lasted nearly two weeks with no end in sight."
What Jerry Brown has learned
The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "When Jerry Brown’s fourth term in office ends Monday, he’ll be leaving as California’s oldest and longest-serving governor, a politician whose split tenures bookend 44 tumultuous years in the state and in the nation."
"It’s also a job he’s leaving with few regrets — and, he says, a far greater understanding than he once had of what any one governor can accomplish."
"Maybe I’ll miss the mansion,” Brown said in an interview in the breakfast room of the three-story Victorian on H Street that housed its first governor in 1903. “It’s very nice here."
READ MORE related to Gubernatorial: Jerry Brown's life in politics -- The Chronicle's BILL VAN NIEKERKEN
California's first Latino attorney general targets Trump
AP's DON THOMPSON: "Xavier Becerra became perhaps the nation's most influential attorney general when he was named California's top lawyer two years ago, and he has since used his post atop what some call the "Resistance State" to pummel President Donald Trump's administration with dozens of legal actions."
"Heading into 2019, he may turn up the heat even more, buoyed by his overwhelming endorsement from voters, a Democratic U.S. House and a more aggressive governor who takes office Monday."
"Becerra kicked off the new year on Thursday by leading a coalition of 17 Democratic attorneys general in appealing a recent ruling by a conservative federal judge in Texas that declared the Obama-era Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. The law that Becerra called the "backbone of our health care system" will remain in place while the case is considered by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans."
Sacramento region's air quality reaches worst levels since Camp Fire smoke
Sacramento Bee's MICHAEL MCGOUGH: "The Sacramento region on Friday is expected to experience its worst air quality day since smoke from the Camp Fire passed through, according to local air districts."
"With a particulate matter (PM2.5) Air Quality Index forecast of 102, Friday has been categorized as “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” according to SparetheAir.com."
"The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District made Thursday a no-burn day after discouraging burning
On crime and punishment, Gov. Jerry Brown leaves behind revised rulels and a new focus on redemption
LA Times's JOHN MYERS/JAZMINE ULLOA: "When Gov. Jerry Brown’s final term in office ends next week, he will leave behind a California criminal justice system infused with a new commitment to second chances, a shift away from an era in which tens of thousands — many poor, most black or Latino — were imprisoned with little opportunity to turn their lives around."
"It’s called hope,” Brown said in a late December interview. “One hundred fifty thousand young men with zero hope bolsters the gangs, leads to despair, leads to violence and makes the prisons very dangerous. Many of them, the majority, will get out anyway. And they’ll get out as very wounded human beings."
Sacramento Bee's KATE IRBY: "With the partial government shutdown now nearly two weeks old — and no end in sight — consumers and federal workers are going to gradually but dramatically feel more financial pain."
"Furloughed federal workers have now officially gone a full pay period without working, and therefore are unlikely to be paid until at least late January."
"Federal tax refunds are about to be delayed."
READ MORE related to Trump Shutdown: Signs of GOP unease over shutdown ahead of White House talks -- AP's MATTHEW DALY/CATHERINE LUCEY/JILL COLVIN