Water vote

Apr 10, 2018

Vote on SoCal's investment in delta tunnel project could be a nail-biter


LA Times's BETTINA BOXALL: "With the city of Los Angeles and Orange County on opposite sides, Southern California's role in financing a massive water delivery project is likely to hinge on a few smaller agencies."


"In what will be a crucial decision, the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is expected to vote Tuesday whether to approve nearly $11 billion in financing to help build two giant water tunnels in the center of the state's waterworks or $5.2 billion to construct a single tunnel."


READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Two tunnels? One? None? Water agency to decide how much to spend on Delta fix -- OC Register's TERI SFORZAWhen it comes to California water, nothing is easy -- TESS TOWNSEND in Capitol Weekly; It's only April and a stretch of the Rio Grande has already dried -- NMPR's LAURA PASKUS; The Hidden Coral Crisis: Loss of fish diversity after bleaching strikes -- Oceans Deeply's TODD WOODY


Political staff could be next to go at gutted California tax agency


Sacramento bee's ADAM ASHTON: "The Legislature has one more knife to stick in the Board of Equalization, the tax-collecting agency lawmakers gutted a year ago."


"This time, lawmakers could take a scalpel to the tax experts and political aides who work directly for the agency’s four elected members. Each of the BOE’s four elected offices has a dozen staff members."


"The elected members of the Board of Equalization want to keep those employees on the payroll even though the agency lost the vast majority of its mandate last year. Elected board members say their staff members provide valuable services in helping taxpayers figure out how to appeal government decisions or just pay their taxes correctly."


Cops muted their body cams after Stephon Clark shooting. Now they need to keep mikes on


Sacramento Bee's RYAN LILLIS/NASHELLY CHAVEZ: "The Sacramento Police Department has ordered officers to keep their body cameras and microphones on after community members criticized the muting of footage minutes after the Stephon Clark shooting, according to a department email obtained by The Sacramento Bee."


"The department sent the memo to rank-and-file officers on Wednesday saying officers “shall not deactivate or mute their BWCs (body worn cameras) until the investigative or enforcement activity involving a member of the public has concluded.” The memo states that cameras may be turned off when officers are discussing issues with a doctor or nurse, when victims refuse to give a statement while being recorded or when the incident involves “sensitive circumstances” such as sexual assault."


READ MORE related to Stephon Clark Shooting: Stephon Clark-inspired use of force bill 'dumbfounded' police chiefs, they say -- Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFF; 'It makes me never want to call 911 again,' neighbor says after Stephon Clark shooting -- Sacramento Bee's NASHELLY CHAVEZ; After Stephon Clark shooting, Sacramento to steer tech grants toward low-income areas -- Sacramento Bee's RYAN LILLIS


CHP report showed security gaps at Yountville Veterans Home before killings


Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "The state-run veterans home where a former soldier murdered three women last month had security shortcomings that the California Highway Patrol identified in 2010, according to a report obtained by The Sacramento Bee."


"It’s unclear whether any of the recommendations in the 22-page report could have prevented Albert Wong from attacking the therapy program he once attended at the Yountville Veterans Home. The California Department of Veterans Affairs (Cal Vet) also won’t say which recommendations it adopted."


"The document revealed the state’s challenge in policing a sprawling campus that houses residents, hosts programs for others veterans and opens its doors to community events."


3 candidates for SF mayor argue supporting police, fixing homelessness


The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA: "For months, the candidates hoping to become San Francisco’s next mayor have relied more on their personal backstories than their policy positions to separate themselves from one another."


"But on Monday evening, at a mayoral forum sponsored by The Chronicle and the City Club of San Francisco, three of the leading contenders for the city’s top job — Supervisor London Breed, Supervisor Jane Kim and former Supervisor Angela Alioto — sought to put some daylight between themselves and their rivals."


Pelosi's claim that 86 million 'middle-class' Americans will see taxes rise under Trump tax bill


WaPo's GLENN KESSLER: "Pelosi has been using this line for months and we have never gotten around to fact-checking it. But a reader saw this news report and wondered if it could possibly be true, given other news reports saying most Americans are getting some kind of tax cut."


"We can understand the reader’s confusion. This is another example of how Democrats and Republicans describe the tax bill in strikingly different ways, with Republicans focused on the here-and-now and Democrats on the distant future."


"In other words, this is the flip side of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “Cindy,” the single mom who is supposed to get $700 every year from the tax bill."


The surest path to a green card may be an investor visa -- at least for anybody with $500,000 to spare 


LA Times's ANN M. SIMMONS: "Fresh out of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a degree in applied information management systems, Ishaan Khanna landed an internship at Ticketmaster.com."


"But after the U.S. government rejected his application for an H-1B visa — available to highly skilled workers in fields with a shortage of qualified Americans — he was forced to return home to India."


In California, national test scores show enduring achievement gaps


LA Times's JOY RESMOVITS: "Every two years, the nation’s fourth- and eighth-graders are tested in math and reading — and newly released results from last year’s tests give California at least a little reason to be pleased."


"The 2017 results — out Monday night — were mostly flat nationwide, though the average score in eighth-grade reading went up."


"But while that improvement largely came from the increased scores of the highest-performing students, California eighth-graders showed some reading progress from the lowest levels to the highest."


READ MORE related to Education: Under state control, Inglewood school district's financial picture worsened -- LA Times's ANNA M. PHILLIPS; SF City College's plan for free summer classes shot down by mayor's office -- The Chronicle's NANETTE ASIMOV; California makes significant gain in reading on much anticipated national test -- EdSource's JOHN FENSTERWALD


Chinese investment in US plunges, with big implications for California


The Chronicle's DAVID R. BAKER: "As the threat looms of a trade war between Washington and Beijing, a new report finds that Chinese investment in the United States plunged by more than a third last year, a result of policy changes in both capitals."


"That downward trend, if it continues, could have big implications for California."


California aims to tackle health care prices in novel rate-setting proposal


CHL's CHAD TERHUNE: "Backed by labor and consumer groups, a California lawmaker unveiled a proposal Monday calling for the state to set health care prices in the commercial insurance market."


"Supporters of the legislation, called the Health Care Price Relief Act, say California has made major strides in expanding health insurance coverage, but recent changes haven’t addressed the cost increases squeezing too many families."


"To remedy this, Assembly Bill 3087 calls for an independent, nine-member state commission to set health care reimbursements for hospitals, doctors and other providers in the private-insurance market serving employers and individuals."


READ MORE related to Health & Health Care: Can you hear me now? Senate bill on hearing aids may make the answer 'yes' -- CHL's MICHELLE ANDREWS; How a drugmaker turned the abortion pill into a rare-disease profit machine -- CHL's SARAH JANE TRIBBLE


Homelessness tops priorities in LA County's new budget


Daily News's CITY NEWS SERVICE: "Los Angeles County officials unveiled a $30.8 billion recommended budget Monday for the 2018-19 fiscal year, with a mission to “improve the quality of life for all county residents, particularly those struggling on the margins of society.”


"County Chief Executive Officer Sachi Hamai said the budget is “at the very heart of the services we provide … We are the safety net for millions of Los Angeles County residents.”


"Highlights include spending on a handful of priorities set by the Board of Supervisors, with $374 million to fund the fight against homelessness front and center. That reflects a jump of more than $100 million for housing and services for the homeless, due largely to a full year of the quarter-cent sales tax increase mandated by Measure H."


LA County Sheriff watchdog panel needs teeth, group says. But the sheriff says not so fast


Daily News's BRENDA GAZZAR: "A broad coalition of activists is spearheading an effort to give a watchdog of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department more teeth while paving the way to reduce the county’s jail population."


"But they are up against the sheriff and union leaders who say the effort could lead to costly battles over deputies’ personnel records and undercut the sheriff’s authority."


"Reform L.A. Jails, a coalition that includes public safety and criminal justice reform leaders, among others, aims to gather enough signatures to put a proposed measure on the November ballot. The measure would give the Sheriff’s Civilian Oversight Commission, now an advisory body, subpoena power to compel the release of documents and testimony from witnesses connected to oversight."


Mr. Zuckerberg goes to Washington: FB chief's first day of testimony on Capitol Hill


LA Times's DAVID PIERSON: "Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg will begin two days of testimony Tuesday on Capitol Hill starting with a hearing before the Senate Judiciary and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committees at 11:15 a.m. Pacific time."


"The executive is expected to apologize for his company's mishandling of data from up to 87 million unsuspecting Facebook users, whose personal information landed in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, according to planned remarks published Monday by Congress."


Government recommends 25 years in prison for Enrique Marquez Jr., friend of San Bernardino terrorist


The Press-Enterprise's RICHARD K. DE ATLEY: "The U.S. Attorney’s Office will recommend 25 years in prison for Enrique Marquez Jr., the Riverside man who bought the two semi-automatic rifles and explosive powder used by two terrorists in the Dec. 2, 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino that killed 14 and wounded 22."


"While Marquez, 26, didn’t plot or participate in the attack, the government notes in its sentencing memo filed Monday that Marquez told interviewing FBI agents that he “could have done something about it."


"The memorandum also contains statements from loved ones who died during the mass shooting."


FBI raids office of Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen; Trump calls it 'disgraceful'


NYT's MATT APUZZO: "The F.B.I. raided the Rockefeller Center office and Park Avenue hotel room of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, on Monday morning, seizing business records, emails and documents related to several topics, including a payment to a pornographic film actress."


"Mr. Trump, in an extraordinarily angry response, lashed out hours later at what a person briefed on the matter said was an investigation into possible bank fraud by Mr. Cohen. Mr. Trump accused his own Justice Department of perpetrating a “witch hunt” and asserted that the F.B.I. “broke in to” Mr. Cohen’s office."


"The president, who spoke at the White House before meeting with senior military commanders about a potential missile strike on Syria, called the F.B.I. raid a “disgraceful situation” and an “attack on our country in a true sense."


READ MORE related to POTUS45/KremlinGate: Trump attorney Cohen is being investigated for possible bank fraud, campaign finance violations -- WaPo's CAROL D. LEONNIG/TOM HAMBURGER/DEVLIN BARRETT; Trump lashes out after news of raid on his lawyer's office, raising the possibility of firing special counsel Mueller -- LA Times's NOAH BIERMAN

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