Water, water everywhere

Apr 17, 2017

California officials announced that the state will increase water deliveries to SoCal.


San Gabriel Valley Tribune's STEVE SCAUZILLO: "State officials said Friday Southern California water agencies will soon get close to a full of allotment of water — 85 percent — following several winter storms that broke rain and snow records across the state."

"That’s the highest percentage meted out from the State Water Project since 2006, said Ted Thomas, a spokesman for the state Department of Water Resources said in a statement."

"The announcement came one week after Gov. Jerry Brown declared the drought over in California, with the exception of four counties in the central part of the state. Officials said there’s now strong evidence that the state’s urban water supply increased by large margins this winter."


READ MORE related to Environment: What's the link between nuclear power, Vietnam War, stem cell research and now climate change? -- Union Tribune's JOSHUA EMERSON SMITH; Nuclear energy was once considered a fundamental part of America's energy future, but the industry is struggling -- LA Times' ROB NIKOLEWSKI; One key way soggy California could save water for the next rainless days -- LA Times' BETTINA BOXALL; Bids for Oroville Dam repairs top state estimates; $275.4 million the lowest -- Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER


Democrats in California are on a warpath to secure midterm seats from any GOP candidate aligned with Trump's views.


The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "Democratic plans to target half of California’s 14 Republican members of Congress in the 2018 midterm elections represent a high-stakes bet that President Trump’s continuing unpopularity in the state will filter down to even the strongest GOP candidates."

"There’s going to be a backlash in the state from voters still outraged that the GOP businessman was elected at all and others upset with Trump’s plans for the nation, said Robin Swanson, a spokeswoman for the California Democratic Party."

"Donald Trump lost California by more than 4 million votes,” she said. “When Republicans align themselves with his unpopular policies, it’s going to stick.”


Freemium mobile gaming has been using the platform lately to raise money for refugees.


Daily News' KEVIN SMITH: "What do you get when you combine technology, a modern-day retelling of the story of Moses and a fundraising effort to help refugees fleeing oppression?"

"In the case of brothers Khoa and Chinh Vu, you get a mobile adventure game called “Moses the Freedom Fighter.” The game is currently available for free on both Android and iOS from Ayotree, their education technology company.


"The brothers, who maintain offices in Pasadena, Los Angeles, Saigon and Cambodia, are seeking donations from people who play the app-based game. And they’re giving 100 percent of the money to Oxfam America’s Syria and Refugee Crisis Response Fund."


A look at Carter Page's career jacket shows nothing out of the ordinary, so why did the FBI have mounting suspicions that the former Trump campaign aide was a foreign agent working with Russian intelligence?


Sacramento Bee's KEVIN G. HALL: "He has a lengthy military background, academic credentials and, until recently, a largely apolitical financial career."

"But now, Carter Page is a central character in the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the United States election. And this week, it was disclosed that he’s been under Justice Department surveillance because of suspicions he acted as a foreign agent."

"In an interview Friday where he revealed new information about his military intelligence experience, the evasive Page said he had no idea why the Justice Department sought powers to surveil him."


READ MORE related to Beltway: Congressman tells constituents that nobody has 'got to use the internet' -- WaPo's KRISTINE PHILLIPS; Trump: 'Who paid for' rallies seeking release of tax returns -- AP's TAMMY WEBBER

 The modern 'Local Control Funding Formula' has reversed funding gaps between poor and affluent school districts, but opportunities haven't improved accordingly.


Daily News' JOHN FENSTERWALD: "Four years after its passage, the Local Control Funding Formula has narrowed and, by some measures, reversed the funding gap between the lowest- and highest-poverty districts in California."

"But an infusion of funding hasn’t translated yet into improved opportunities for low-income students and English learners ­– and may not achieve that goal without tighter disclosure rules and more innovative approaches to distributing districts’ resources, a student advocacy organization said in a recent report."

"We need more clarity on where money is going. Without transparency, community stakeholders, policymakers and the broader public are left to wonder whether this massive public experiment and investment is paying off,” said the Education Trust–West in “The Steep Road to Resource Equity in California Education."


READ MORE related to Economy: A panel of 50 must suggest how to spend millions for LA County's homeless. So far, they can't agree. -- LA Times' DOUG SMITH; At Southside Park, hundreds march to call for Trump to release tax returns -- Sacramento Bee's BLAIR ANTHONY ROBERTSON; Battling racial inequality, segregation in Bay Area restaurants -- The Chronicle's JUSTIN PHILLIPS; How a tax plan unites progressives, the Koch brothers and Walmart -- The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI


A Navy SEAL has come under fire for moonlighting as a porn star without authorization.


Union-Tribune's CARL PRINE: "Navy Chief Special Warfare Officer Joseph John Schmidt III has been living dual lives."

"As a member of the Navy SEALs, the 42-year-old boasts a chest of ribbons and medals during his 23 years in the military, including a valor citation for combat overseas. To his East County neighbors and Coronado shipmates, he’s been the married father who has given pep talks to special-needs children in Los Angeles and toured the country recruiting for the elite Naval Special Warfare teams, even serving as the face of the SEAL program on its website."


"Schmidt is also Jay Voom, the actor in at least 29 porn flicks during the past seven years, from “Apple Smashing Lap Dance” to “Strippers Come Home Horny From the Club.”


The LAPD is expected to adopt a new use-of-force policy this week that is intended to reduce the number of officer-involved shootings.


LA Times' KATE MATHER: "For nearly two years, the Los Angeles Police Department’s civilian bosses have embarked on a high-profile campaign to curb the number of shootings by officers, pushing department brass for more training and less-lethal devices."

"This week, the Police Commission will consider taking a major step to help the LAPD deliver on that goal."

"Commissioners on Tuesday are expected to approve a new use-of-force policy that would require officers to try, whenever possible, to defuse tense encounters before using deadly force — a decades-old concept known as “de-escalation.”


READ MORE related to Public Safety: Jerry Brown pardons three veterans deported to Mexico -- Sacramento Bee's CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO; Jaywalking tickets disproportionately given to black people in Sacramento -- Sacramento Bee's ANITA CHABRIA/NASHELLY CHAVEZ/PHILLIP REESE; Funky smell had SF landmark's tenants running for the exits -- The Chronicle's MATTIER & ROSS


The Bee's transportation writer takes a critical look at one of Sacramento's most life-draining intersections: Watt Ave. & Fair Oaks Blvd.


Sacramento Bee's TONY BIZJAK: "What’s the worst intersection on your daily drive? And what makes it bad?"

"I ask because I drove the other day through one intersection that has always put me on edge, especially at commute hour, Watt Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard, and had a chance to think about what’s wrong there, and to wonder if there are other intersections worse than this one."

"One problem is that Watt is one of the few streets in Sacramento County that crosses the American River. So there is a traffic funneling effect. Fair Oaks is a busy commute route as well. It feels like four big armies marching shoulder to shoulder run into each other in a narrow valley." 

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