Get ready for 2018

Mar 14, 2017

If you think the 2016 elections were a wild and crazy show, then get ready for 2018: The battle lines already are being drawn.


Froom Capitol Weekly's Paul Mitchell: "The 2016 elections have yet to fade in our rear-view mirror, but already the most important topic in Sacramento — and nationally — is the coming 2018 election cycle."


"After a tumultuous 2016, many of us are expecting the mid-term elections to be a deep and engaging referendum on the current administration and whatever intervening events occur in the coming year and a half."


"Republicans, who control both houses of Congress and nearly two-thirds of the state legislatures across the nation, will be seeking to solidify their gains. Democrats will attempt to regain relevancy in a handful of states and pick up 24 seats in the House of Representatives in their fight to regain majority control."


Rep. Darrell Issa has taken a dip in favorability ratings according to an internal survey, and it appears that his newfound attachment to President Trump is the culprit.


LA Times' JOSHUA STEWART: "A month after Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) won reelection in the closest congressional race in the country, the congressman got a warning that his next contest could be even tougher."

"An internal poll by Issa’s campaign showed a nearly 10-percentage point drop in his favorability ratings between mid-October and early December — and that one likely reason the lawmaker’s image took a hit was because of his support for President Trump."


"Overall, the poll suggested Issa was hurt significantly by negative television advertising."


READ MORE related to Elections:  Super PAC didn't derail Trump, but it did boost Villaraigosa's bid for governor -- Sacramento Bee's CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO/JIM MILLER

LA County Sheriff's Department is dipping into its budget for a fashion overhaul, but some say it's a waste of money.


LA Times' MAYA LAU: "ThLos Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is getting down to brass tactics."

"Sheriff’s officials are spending $300,000 on items they say would make deputies look more professional in their jobs and could help make them safer."


"But the taxpayer dollars won’t go toward tools such as higher-quality ballistic vests, backup guns or body cameras, all of which are optional items that deputies have to pay for on their own."


READ MORE related to Public Safety: Closing arguments in Baca obstruction retrial offer conflicting motives for actions of former LA County sheriff -- LA Times' JOEL RUBIN; Prosecutors seek 40-year prison term for Vallejo kidnapper, until he is 'old and weak' -- Sacramento Bee's SAM STANTON; Orange police fatally shoot man after using fire hose to force him from vehicle -- LA Times' HAILEY BRANSON-POTTS; Tips pour in to LAPD about $4.5m makeup heist -- Daily News' GREGORY J. WILCOX


California's 'Right to Try' law has made terminally ill patients' access to experimental drugs much easier, but critics believe it's a bad practice.


LA TImes' MELISSA HEALY: "Former firefighter Mike DeBartoli is a man desperate to rescue himself. He suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the degenerative nerve disorder better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which usually kills within five years. He has already spent one year in a clinical trial, taking four pills a day that may have been a placebo. It didn’t help."

"DeBartoli walks with difficulty and falls frequently. He’s losing his ability to breathe on his own. Now the 55-year-old from Tracy, Calif., has pinned his hopes on an experimental drug made by Genentech."


"To get his hands on GDC-0134, as the compound is known, DeBartoli doesn’t want the help of the Food and Drug Administration. And under California’s new “Right to Try” law, he no longer needs it."


READ MORE related to Health: GOP health plan to cost older, poorer Californians far more -- The Chronicle's CATHERINE HO; GOP health proposal would upend consumers' cost calculations in California -- Sacramento Bee's CHAD TERHUNE; Newsom to pitch universal health care as California governor's race grows crowded -- Sacramento Bee's ANGELA HART


Pitzer College has fallen victim to anti-white hate speech, and now the president of the institution is condemning the act committed by those responsible.


AP: "The president of Pitzer College is condemning hate speech directed at the campus community by outsiders after a dust-up over hoop earrings and cultural appropriation."

"A wall on the side of a dormitory at the Claremont college that is devoted to unmoderated free speech through art was recently painted by a group of Latino students from Pitzer who wrote: “White Girl, Take OFF Your Hoops.”


"Student Alegria Martinez said that she and other women of color created the art because they’re tired of white women appropriating their style."


READ MORE related to Education: California bar exam's passing score should be lowered, critics say -- The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA; Carol Christ is named UC Berkeley's chancellor -- The Chronicle's NANETTE ASIMOV; Debt-free college? Assembly Democrats want to make it possible for California students -- Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFF; Should California teachers have to pay state income tax? -- Sacramento Bee's TARYN LUNA; Marshall Tuck running again for California schools chief: 'We've settled for mediocrity' -- Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFF; UC Berkeley's new chancellor is hailed as 'a brilliant choice' -- LA Times' TERESA WATANABE/ROSANNA XIA


A brush fire believed to have been started by careless juveniles has unearthed human remains.


LA Times' VERONICA ROCHA: "Los Angeles County coroner’s investigators are examining a human skull that was found Saturday during a small brush fire, which officials say was sparked by juveniles playing with matches."

"On Monday, investigators returned to the site of the blaze in the 3500 block of North Coy Drive near Sherman Oaks to search for additional body parts, said Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter. They did not find any bones."


"Forensic anthropologists will now examine the skull to determine its age and gender as well as the time of death, he said. They also will look at dental records to determine whether the time of death occurred before modern dentistry."


READ MORE related to Environment: Moving day for 300 caterpillars in effort to restore butterflies -- The Chronicle's STEVE RUBENSTEIN; Nor'easter pounds region canceling flights, schools -- AP's DEEPTI HAJELA; First we lost an hour, now 90-degree Southern California weather comes along with it -- Daily News' STAFF


Trump's newest travel ban revision is already being met with fierce resistance and its opponents show no sign of slowing down their efforts.


The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "Three days before President Trump’s new travel ban is due to take effect, California joined a legal challenge by Washington and four other states Monday arguing that the proposed halt on admission of immigrants and refugees is a thinly disguised anti-Muslim decree that would damage the states’ universities, hospitals and economies."

"Like Trump’s first order, which was blocked by the courts, the revised order is “an attack on people — women and children, professors and business colleagues, seniors and civic leaders — based on their religion and national origin,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement accompanying the filing in a federal court in Seattle."

"Washington state, the lead plaintiff, asked U.S. District Judge James Robart to hold a hearing Tuesday on its request to extend his previous injunction to Trump’s new order temporarily blocking people from six mostly Muslim nations and all refugees. But Robart said he would hear arguments no earlier than Wednesday, when other federal judges have scheduled hearings on separate lawsuits in Maryland and Hawaii."


READ MORE related to Immigration: California joins other states challenging President Trump's travel ban -- Sacramento Bee's CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO; City council votes to declare Malibu a sanctuary city -- Daily News' STAFF


Intel is now diving into the self-driving technology market.


The Chronicle's CAROLYN SAID: "In the biggest deal yet in the race to build driverless cars, Intel is paying $15.3 billion for Mobileye, an Israeli company that makes sensors to help autonomous vehicles perceive the world around them. The alliance creates a powerhouse supplier for the many companies — including all major carmakers, Google’s Waymo and numerous startups — seeking to develop self-driving cars."

"This acquisition essentially merges the intelligent eyes of the autonomous car with the intelligent brain that actually drives the car,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO, in an email to Intel employees."

"Will Intel and Mobileye produce and sell their own autonomous cars?"


READ MORE related to EconomySacramento families waiting for affordable housing may lose access under federal cut -- Sacramento Bee's ANITA CHABRIA/TONY BIZJAK; Are Californians willing to pay Scandinavian taxes for Scandinavian services? -- Sacramento Bee's DAN WALTERS


Sacramento might have to deal with a 'parking gridlock' in midtown which experts believe will have a $5 million impact on the local economy.


Sacramento Bee's TONY BIZJAK/ED FLETCHER: "Sacramento will be bursting at the seams Friday when as many as 30,000 college basketball fans hit downtown, filling hotels and restaurants – and also competing with downtown workers for limited parking spots."

"The city’s sports commission is forecasting at least $5 million in direct economic impact from this weekend’s NCAA basketball games at the downtown Golden 1 Center arena. Fans are expected to come from Oregon, Los Angeles, Ohio, and as far east as Rhode Island, all of whom have teams competing in the year-end tournament."

"One place those visitors will not have to spend money on Friday will be light rail. In an effort to reduce potential traffic problems downtown, Sacramento Regional Transit will offer free light rail rides for people with arena tickets on Friday. RT will have customer assistance employees at stations and downtown to guide first-timers."


READ MORE related to Transportation: Sacramento RT partnership with advertising firm makes rolling billboards of area's light-rail cars -- Sacramento Bee's MARK GLOVER; Study says millions could switch from personal vehicles to driverless, ride-hailing services in 15 years -- San Gabriel Valley Tribune's STEVE SCAUZILLO




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