Major California DMV account heading toward collapse, analyst says
Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "The clock is ticking on a major funding source for California’s Department of Motor Vehicles."
"An account used to fund 95 percent of the DMV’s expenses will soon become insolvent, according to a nonpartisan report published on Tuesday."
"The Legislative Analyst’s Office predicts the $3.9 billion Motor Vehicle Account, which primarily funds the California Highway Patrol and DMV, will collapse in a few years."
READ MORE related to Transportation: You could register your car every other year under this plan to cut California DMV wait times -- Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON; Taxing Uber and Lyft rides is LA County's latest idea to free up congested roads -- LA Times's LAURA J NELSON
California's biggest state worker union kicks off contract talks with town halls
Sacramento Bee's WES VENTEICHER: "California state government’s largest union is holding two dozen town halls over the next two months to hear from its members ahead of contract negotiations with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration."
"SEIU Local 1000, which represents about 96,000 state workers, has a contract expiring Jan. 1. The union’s current contract, which started in July 2016, included 4 percent general wage in creases in 2017 and 2018 and a 3.5 percent raise this year. It also required employees to kick in more for their retiree health benefits, following a precedent that Gov. Jerry Brown set with other unions."
"The town halls begin with an 11 a.m. meeting March 2 at Armaan’s palace in Elk Grove and will be held all around the state. A schedule may be viewed at seiu1000.org/townhall-schedule."
Russian River reaches flood stage -- evacuations ordered
The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE/MICHAEL CABANATUAN/LAUREN HERNANDEZ: "The second day of a wet and unrelenting storm socked the Bay Area and beyond on Tuesday to drench the North Bay, knock out power to thousands, dump several feet of snow in the Sierra and trigger mandatory evacuations along the Russian River."
"The Russian River reached flood stage — at 32 feet — Tuesday night, and Sonoma County officials warned that continuing rainfall would cause the waterway to rise to 46 feet, inundating the area, by 11 p.m. Wednesday."
"We have some serious flooding going on in the Russian River right now, and we are urging all residents to evacuate,” Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick said Tuesday night. “Please do not wait until 10 o’clock tomorrow night."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Wildlife and off-roaders gain room to roam in California's new desert protection act -- LA Times's LOUIS SAHAGUN
Republican foot soldiers urge back to basics
CHUCK MCFADDEN in Capitol Weekly: "If the Republican Party wants to make a comeback in California, it’s going to have to stand up against voter fraud and stick to its principles, according to an unscientific sampling of party stalwarts, many of them angry, at the weekend’s GOP state convention in Sacramento."
"We are really screwed because of voter fraud,” said Brian from Rohnert Park. “It’s hard to say the Democrats got in there legally."
"Besides that, he said, the news media don’t report facts, just biased opinion. He and two friends were not official delegates to the convention, but were visiting the event while in the capital."
Oakland teachers strike costing $1M a day, district says as 4th day passes
The Chronicle's ASHLEY MCBRIDE/KIMBERLY VEKLEROV: "Just 6 percent of Oakland students have attended school during the teachers’ strike, which continued for a fourth day Tuesday, costing the school district about $1 million daily, district officials estimate."
"Oakland teachers returned to rain-soaked picket lines as negotiations between their union and the school district resumed with assistance from elected officials. Teachers, nurses, counselors and their supporters wore ponchos and held signs wrapped in plastic."
"The $4 million net loss so far — the cost of student absenteeism minus the savings from not paying teachers — comes as district officials plan to make $22 million in cuts to their 2019-20 budget."
READ MORE related to Education: Proposed legislastion would substantially curb growth of California charter schools -- EdSource's JOHN FENSTERWALD
Immigrants face harsh conditions in California ICE facilities, study says
Sacramento Bee's HANNAH WILEY: "Thousands of detainees in the state’s 10 immigration facilities are facing harsh conditions that include 22-hour stints of cell confinement, obstacles to legal representation, severe disciplinary practices and lack of access to communication with family members, a study released by the California’s Department of Justice revealed on Tuesday."
"The Legislature passed a bill in 2017 that mandates a 10-year DOJ review of county, local and private Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities housing individuals in civil immigration proceedings."
"During the pilot yearlong investigation, DOJ officials visited centers in efforts to capture a comprehensive picture of life during the average 51-day detainment. They documented everything ICE officials allowed them access to, including food quality, medical care and confidentiality, sexual abuse and prevention protocol and maintenance concerns."
Rep. Eric Swalwell will give up East Bay seat if he runs for president
The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "If East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell does decide to run for president — “We’re getting pretty close,” he says — the Dublin Democrat will give up the House seat he has held since 2013."
"Burn the boats,” Swalwell said, name-checking what Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés did when he invaded the Aztec Empire in 1519. “They stormed the land. And he had them burn the ships behind them so there was no looking back."
"I would want people to know that I’m putting my all into this and I don’t have a life insurance policy."
Alameda County supes vote to overhaul controversial Urban Shield police training program
The Chronicle's MEGAN CASSIDY: "Alameda County supervisors voted Tuesday to overhaul the controversial Urban Shield law enforcement training program run by the sheriff’s office, stripping the annual conference — attended by agencies throughout the Bay Area — of trainings that police say were vital."
"The move eliminates SWAT deployment exercises and the event’s vendor show, which showcases law-enforcement gadgets and weaponry, among other things."
"Sheriff Gregory Ahern warned that the changes could violate the terms of the agency’s grant funding — worth $5 million — and lead to the unraveling of the entire Urban Shield conference."
SF gets $3M state grant for mental health, drug abuse services for homeless
The Chronicle's KEVIN FAGAN: "San Francisco is receiving a $3 million state grant to expand badly needed mental health and substance abuse services for homeless people over the coming 18 months."
"The grant from the California Department of Health Care Services will fund a range of outreach, social work and case management expansions aimed at shepherding intensively troubled homeless people into programs that will help them get off the streets and into healthy, housed lives."
"The grant includes $960,000 to pay for up to six new case managers to help chronically ill people identified through the city’s Healthy Streets Operation Center, as well as two new social workers at the San Francisco General Hospital emergency psychiatric ward."
House blocks Trump's emergency declaration
AP: "The Latest on President Donald Trump and his national emergency declaration(all times local):"
"The House has voted to block President Donald Trump's emergency declaration, a measure intended get him billions of extra dollars to build his border wall."
READ MORE related to POTUS45: Michael Cohen's written statement: Trump a 'racist,' a 'conman' and a 'cheat' -- CQ-Roll Call's GRIFFIN CONOLLY in Sacramento Bee; Michael Cohen reportedly to testify that Trump knew of Wikileaks plot -- WaPo's TIM ELFRINK; Bulldozers sit idle at border amid legal confusion over Trump's emergency -- LA Times's MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE/MOLLY O'TOOLE; In Vietnam, Trump and Kim Jong Un find symbolism, history -- and a shared goal of keeping the press at arm's length -- LA Times's SHASHANK BENGALI; California, other states in border wall fight -- MONET MUSCAT in Capitol Weekly
Key 2016 Bernie Sanders strategists won't return for 2020 campaign
AP: "Three strategists who played key roles in Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign said Tuesday they would not join his 2020 White House bid, in the latest sign of how the campaign may look different this time around."
"Tad Devine, Julian Mulvey and Mark Longabaugh said they would not work for Sanders’ 2020 campaign. Their firm was behind Sanders’ 2016 media strategy, including a 60-second television spot titled “America” that included the Simon and Garfunkel song by that name."
“We are leaving because we believe that Sen. Sanders deserves to have media consultants who share his creative vision for the campaign,” Devine, Longabaugh and Mulvey said in a statement."
Decorated transgender troops to testify before Congress
AP's JULIE WATSON/JENNIFER MCDERMOTT: "Lindsey Muller served in the Army as a man for nearly a decade before telling her commanders in 2014 that she identified as a woman and would resign because military policy barred transgender personnel. Her superiors, citing her outstanding performance, urged the decorated attack helicopter pilot to stay so she did."
"After then-President Barack Obama changed the policy, she started dressing in uniform as a woman. Muller went on to be recommended for a promotion as the surgery to complete her gender transition was scheduled, but the operation was postponed in 2017 when President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he was reinstituting the ban."
"With the ban now blocked by lawsuits, transgender troops Wednesday will testify for the first time before Congress."