California increasingly sees itself at odds with President-elect Donald Trump, especially in the area of higher education.
From Chuck McFadden in Capitol Weekly: "In an effort to reassure thousands of worried young people, leaders of California’s enormous system of public and private higher education are setting it on a potential collision course with the incoming Trump Administration."
"The California defiance has intensified and become more formalized since Donald Trump indicated he will appoint Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, an avowed hard-liner on immigration, as his attorney general."
"Sessions has called for deporting millions of people who are in the country illegally. Although it probably would not be a top priority, Sessions’s deportation push might include California college students who lack legal permission to be in the country."
Meanwhile, Berkeley astronomers are excited after discovering a star exhibiting signs of a Dyson swarm -- and now they hope to find proof.
DAVID PERLMAN with The Chronicle: "Berkeley astronomers on a new hunt for E.T. are aiming one of the world’s most powerful radio telescopes at the most bizarre star ever detected."
"They have tuned the big telescope at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia to listen for signals from an object in space called Tabby’s Star, whose implausible behavior is puzzling astronomers all over the world."
"That star might conceivably be a sign that some civilization far more advanced than our own is, or has been, building some kind of giant structure far off in the Milky Way, they say."
Also in Berkeley, advocacy groups in Berkeley are demanding swift action to secure warmth and shelter for the city's homeless.
EDWARD BOOTH with Daily Californian: "Chilled winds blow, rain pours and the homeless residents sleeping on the streets of Berkeley continue to bear the brunt of the approaching winter."
"The city’s already precarious homeless situation was swept into further crisis after the emergency winter shelter at Berkeley’s First Congregational Church was damaged in September by a fire. Though the city has made recent efforts to address the lack of an emergency winter shelter in the form of an ad hoc committee, a self-advocacy group — First They Came for the Homeless — released a list of demands Monday for Mayor-elect Jesse Arreguin and his administration."
"The group called on the city to impose a moratorium on police raids of homeless tent villages. In addition, they demanded the city designate a location for a sanctioned tent village and renew the emergency shelter declaration and use it to provide meaningful housing alternatives."
Orange County is suing the FAA over increased noise at John Wayne Airport.
ANH DO with LAT: "Orange County has filed a petition in federal court to join Newport Beach in suing the Federal Aviation Administration, with both trying to block revised air traffic plans for planes coming in and out of John Wayne Airport."
"The legal motion, filed Nov. 10, argued that the changes could lead to a significant increase in airplane noise for areas surrounding the county-owned-and-operated airport."
"The county’s Board of Supervisors filed the petition in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after a vote to join with the coastal city “in protecting all of our communities,” said Supervisor Todd Spitzer."
Perigord truffles -- worth $1200 an ounce -- are prized for their flavor and their rarity due to a nearly impossible growing/production process. But has a California start-up discovered a secret?
JIM ROBBINS with NYT: "NAPA, Calif. — Gig the truffle dog zigzags with her nose to the ground among hundreds of oak and filbert trees. Her goal is to sniff out the Perigord truffle, a fungus so prized by chefs it is called the diamond in the kitchen."
"This is a training run: Gig is looking for — and eventually finds — a bit of truffle planted by her owner, Alyson Hart, at the behest of the vineyard’s owner, Robert Sinskey. Soon, Mr. Sinskey hopes, the English shepherd will be searching for the real underground McCoy."
"Mr. Sinskey is a winemaker who is branching out into a new field: truffle growing. It can be a challenging business. Truffles, which grow underground among the roots of certain trees, are famously difficult to domesticate, and then require trained animals like Gig to find them by scent. Once unearthed, they lose flavor quickly."
Stores opened early for those eager to start Black Friday ahead of schedule.
NINA AGRAWAL and ALENE TCHEKMEDYIAN with LAT: "Eager customers crowded malls throughout Southern California on Thanksgivingnight, sneaking in a serving of shopping between the turkey and pie."
"Many lined up early to get a crack at doorbuster specials. At Westfield Culver City, about 400 were queued up outside JCPenney before the store opened at 3 p.m. Customers tired of standing were perched on overturned shopping carts, while others dragged along strollers and, in one case, a pair of crutches."
"Aleyda Rodas, 49, was in line by noon for what would be her first Thanksgiving Day shopping experience. Her goal was to snag a free gift card offered to JCPenney early birds, spend no more than $100 and hurry home for Thanksgiving dinner."
READ MORE related to Black Friday: Sacramento-area consumers expected to open wallets for holiday shopping -- RICHARD CHANG with Sacramento Bee
The election and the weather both have impacts in store for the upcoming holiday shopping season.
ANNIE SCIACCA with Mercury News: "Early forecasts predicted a strong holiday shopping season prompted by an improved job market and stronger household finances, but the recent election could be casting a cloud over some buying."
"A recent report from Adobe Digital Insights showed a smaller-than-expected growth in e-commerce sales in the immediate days after the election, begging the question of whether the political climate will have a lasting chill on holiday spending."
"Online sales rose 1.35 percent in the first two weeks of November over the same period last year, far below the 7.8 percent growth that had been predicted, according to the report released last week analyzing 18.1 billion visits to retail websites."
Thanksgiving Eve was a busy day for Santa Clary County Main Jail after multiple inmates escaped by sawing through the steel bars of a second-floor window.
JASON GREEN with Mercury News: "Four inmates escaped from Santa Clara County’s Main Jail on Thanksgiving Eve by sawing through the steel bars of a second-floor window and using a makeshift rope to rappel to the ground below, according to the Sheriff’s Office."
"Correctional deputies found out about the jailbreak at 11:08 p.m. Wednesday and immediately nabbed two of the inmates just outside the facility at 150 W. Hedding St. The Sheriff’s Office late Thursday was still searching for the other two, who were identified as Rogelio Chavez, 33, of San Jose, and Laron Campbell, 26, of Palo Alto."
"San Jose and Sunnyvale police officers joined sheriff’s deputies in a manhunt that initially focused on the immediate area around the jail. The effort, however, was called off at 9:15 a.m. Thursday when surveillance footage surfaced showing the men outside the police perimeter."
READ MORE related to Public Safety: Armed suspect dies after officer-involved shooting at Carmichael 7-Eleven -- TIM SWANSON and TARYN LUNA with Sacramento Bee
Colin Kaepernick is receiving some criticism for a shirt he wore in perceived reverance to Fidel Castro.
ERIC BRANCH with The Chronicle: "Colin Kaepernick had a tense conference call with the Miami media Wednesday, and the friction centered on a T-shirt the 49ers’ quarterback wore in August that featured Malcolm X and Fidel Castro, the Palm Beach Post reported."
"When asked about the T-shirt, Kaepernick reportedly focused on Malcolm X, instead of the former Cuban dictator."
"I’m not talking about Fidel Castro and his oppression,” Kaepernick said. “I’m talking about Malcolm X and what he’s done for people."
A Bay Area nonprofit aims to support and help families trying to navigate Down Syndrome.
TAMMERLIN DRUMMOND with East Bay Times: "Marta Avina was 5 months pregnant when she found out her unborn son had Down Syndrome. After delivering the traumatic news, a doctor at the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Concord told the couple he could help them terminate the pregnancy."
"Dazed, Marta said “yes.” Luis said “no.”"
“It was like a slap in the face,” Luis Avina said, tearing up. “But I said, we’re going to continue with this. This is our baby, we love him and we’re going to do whatever it takes."
READ MORE related to Health: An electric shock therapy stops self-harm among the autistic, but at what cost? -- DEBRA BRUNO with WaPo
Experts are claiming Russian propaganda supposedly helped spread fake news during the election cycle.
CRAIG TIMBERG with WaPo: "The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation."
"Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of websites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia."
"Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House. The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on “fake news,” as they have vowed to do after widespread complaints about the problem."
READ MORE related to Election: Why are people giving Jill Stein millions of dollars for election recount? -- DAVID WEIGEL with WaPo; 'Fake news' isn't just a Rightwing problem -- IAN TUTTLE with National Review
Trump is eyeballing Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary.
YIAN Q. MUI and ROBERT COSTA with WaPo: "Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor considered the “king of bankruptcy” for buying beaten-down companies with the potential to deliver profits, is expected to be President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for commerce secretary, two officials with knowledge of the decision said."
"Ross helped shape the Trump campaign’s economic agenda, particularly its hard-line stance on the need to renegotiate — or even withdraw from — free trade agreements. That position resonated with the working class voters who were instrumental in delivering Trump’s upset victory. Elevating Ross to a position in his Cabinet could suggest that Trump intends to nurture the nationalist streak that was one of the hallmarks of his campaign."
"In a video released this week, Trump said he is focused on creating jobs and reiterated his pledge to withdraw from the sprawling Asian trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership that became a flash point during the election."
READ MORE related to POTUS45: Republicans divided between Romney and Giuliani for Secretary of State -- JEREMY W. PETERS and MAGGIE HABERMAN with NYT; Poll: Majority think Trump will do good job as President -- LEAH BARKOUKIS with Townhall; Michael Flynn's consulting firm may have violated federal lobbying law -- CHUCK ROSS with Daily Caller; Asia is nervous about Trump, but US-India ties could improve -- AP in Fox News