Trump effect: California Latino voters showed up in force in 2018. Will they do it again?
Sacramento Bee's KATE IRBY: "California Latinos turned out to vote in big numbers in November’s midterm elections, helping Democrats flip seven House seats and raising expectations for the role they may play in 2020."
"Data obtained by McClatchy show that the proportion of Latinos voting in the seven California congressional districts that Democrats targeted last year rose to levels normally seen in presidential elections."
"Democratic leaders point to President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and the party’s own get-out-the-vote operation for spurring the heavy turnout."
Education: Tony Thurmond’s silver bullet
From LISA RENNER in Capitol Weekly: "Abandoned by his father and orphaned at age 6 after the death of his mother to cancer, Tony Thurmond believes he could have easily ended up in prison."
"Instead, the 50-year-old Richmond resident is the new state superintendent of public education. He is the second African-American in the position after Wilson Riles, who served 1971-83."
“I’ve spent years analyzing my experience,” he said. “Why is my experience not the experience of many of my peers? If you look who is in jail, it is largely African-American and Latino men and people in low-income backgrounds.”
Kardashian visits the Capitol + Newsom's surfing buddy + DMV $
Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "Keeping up WITH Kim Kardashian caught many people by surprise on Monday when she visited the Capitol to talk with lawmakers about ways to improve the state’s criminal justice system."
"Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, introduced a constitutional amendment earlier in the day that would restore voting rights for about 48,000 Californians on parole for felony convictions. McCarty said Kardahsian embraced the effort and also wants more to be done to assist women in prison. Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, said on Twitter she was there “to learn more about recidivism issues."
Shortage developing in California of educated workers
The PPIC in Capitol Weekly: "California faces an increasing demand for affordable higher education and a need for adequate facilities suited to a rapidly evolving economy. PPIC estimates that by 2030 the supply of college graduates will fall 1.1 million short of workforce demand. All three public systems—UC, CSU, and CCC—are working to bridge that gap. Alongside the three systems’ efforts, the state must consider the following cross-cutting capital finance challenges:"
"A growing need for more capacity. California’s K–12 and higher education systems are making progress toward closing the workforce skills gap. This will eventually produce an unprecedented influx of college-ready Californians, but the state of current facilities remains a central challenge."
"Historical underinvestment. Data suggest that economic pressures and policy decisions have led California to underinvest in higher education infrastructure over the past decade, ballooning deferred maintenance backlogs across all three systems. Estimates reported by UC, CSU, and community colleges reflect that facility modernization and maintenance could cost more than $50 billion through 2022–23."
See how far union membership has declined in California
Sacramento Bee's PHILLIP REESE: "Fewer than 15 percent of California workers were members of a union in 2018, the lowest union membership rate in at least 35 years, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics."
"About 14.7 percent of the state’s workers belong to a union in 2018, down from 15.5 percent in 2017. The number of California union members fell by about 85,000 from 2017 to 2018, even as the state added more than 300,000 new workers."
"California union membership has dropped by almost 4 percentage points in the past decade, and by about 7 percentage points since 1983."
California prisons' use of solitary confinement violates court settlement
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "California prison officials have systematically violated the rights of inmates spelled out in an agreement more than three years ago to limit the use of solitary confinement by crafting dubious procedures to classify prisoners as rule-breakers who must remain in isolation cells, a federal magistrate has ruled."
"In deciding that inmates were too dangerous to return to the general prison population, officials have fabricated claims of information from confidential sources and abused rules of secrecy to thwart inmates’ challenges, U.S. Magistrate Robert Illman of Eureka said Friday. He said officials have also denied inmates “a fair opportunity to seek parole” from prison by using unreliable evidence to identify them as gang members."
"Illman’s ruling extends through next January a court-supervised settlement that had been scheduled to expire in October 2018."
Harris: Unpopular positions part of being AG
AP's THOMAS BEAUMONT: "Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris defended positions she took as California's attorney general that are unpopular with some Democrats, saying they reflected her duty as the state's top law enforcement officer."
"During a CNN town hall-style event Monday night at Drake University, Harris was asked about prosecuting death penalty cases as well as legislation in California to require her office to investigate all police-related fatal shootings."
"Harris, who was attorney general from 2011 until she took office as a U.S. senator in 2017, said she enforced the death penalty despite opposing it."
SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera rules out running for mayor -- for now
The Chronicle's HEATHER KNIGHT: "City Attorney Dennis Herrera has long coveted the mayor’s office."
"He ran for the job in 2011, finishing third behind winner Ed Lee and Supervisor John Avalos. A year ago, he pulled papers to try to finish Lee’s second term after the mayor’s unexpected death, saying he was “seriously” considering jumping into last June’s election. He wound up not running."
"So nobody would have been all that surprised if Herrera tried again this November to unseat Mayor London Breed — and he would have been a formidable challenger. But he’s not running and instead will be on the November ballot to seek a sixth term representing the city of San Francisco in court."
Oregon biologists killing California sea lions to protect threatened salmon
The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE: "Marauding gangs of California sea lions have invaded a river system in Oregon and are devouring thousands of threatened salmon, forcing wildlife officials to begin a controversial lethal removal program in a desperate attempt to protect the fragile fish species."
"As many as 93 of the blubbery darlings of Pier 39 are facing execution in a culling operation that has upset marine mammal rescue officials in the Bay Area who have fought for decades to bring the barking pinnipeds back from near extinction."
"“It’s quite possible that animals that are in their sights could have come through this facility or other centers in California,” said Jeff Boehm, executive director of the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands. “Personally and professionally, it’s hard not to see this as a real affront.”
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Why dozens of people are liekly to sue Caltrans and Redding over the deadly Carr Fire -- The Chronicle's RYAN SABALOW; Camp Fire cleanup could hit a major roadblock - The Bee's TONY BIZJAK
Many say legal cannabis is too expensive. California lawmakers want to help
Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "It soon could get a little cheaper to grow and buy legal marijuana in California."
"California lawmakers announced a bill that would temporarily reduce or eliminate two cannabis taxes in an effort to help fertilize a newly legal industry that they say is having trouble competing with black market operators."
"The bill would reduce the state’s 15 percent cannabis excise tax to 11 percent and eliminate a cultivation tax a that growers pay for three years."
Huntington Beach sues state, claiming housing law is unconstitutional
The Chroniccle's ASHLEY MCBRIDE: "The Orange County city of Huntington Beach has filed a lawsuit against the state of California, seeking to overturn SB35, a law that went into effect in 2018 that streamlines processes for building new housing developments."
"Huntington Beach’s lawsuit contends that the state’s Constitution grants charter cities exclusive authority over local land use and zoning. SB35 requires housing projects to be approved faster if they offer affordable housing and meet certain conditions, such as the use of union labor."
"Michael Gates, city attorney for Huntington Beach, said the city views the law as an overreach into city matters, specifically zoning."
SF considers charging visiting drivers a fee for traveling Lombard
The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "Tourists may grumble, but some Russian Hill residents are warming to the idea of charging a toll to coast down the crooked block of Lombard Street, where cars crawl at a glacial pace as drivers take in the view."
"Others say it would make things worse. Still others are willing to try anything to ease the gridlock that can turn a one-block drive into a 20-minute exercise in sit-and-wait."
"I think it could help,” said Ernestine Campagnoli, who has lived for decades in an apartment on Larkin Street a block west of San Francisco’s famous twisty, red brick street. She and other neighbors will get a chance to weigh in on a proposed reservation and pricing system during a community meeting on Wednesday at Yick Wo Elementary School, just downhill from the curvy section."
Lawsuit in Stephon Clark death seeks over $20 milion from Sacramento, police officers
Sacramento Bee's SAM STANTON: "The long-expected federal civil rights lawsuit in the March 2018 Stephon Clark shooting was filed Monday and seeks at least $20 million from the city of Sacramento and the two officers who gunned him down in his grandparents’ backyard."
"The suit, which follows an earlier claim against the city seeking at least $35 million in the slaying of the unarmed 22-year-old black man, comes as Sacramento officials are bracing for the release of a report by District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert on whether Officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet should face criminal charges in the incident."
"The suit, filed in federal court in Sacramento on behalf of Clark’s minor sons, his parents and grandparents, alleges that the officers had no reason to use deadly force against Clark."