CA120: Get ready for the 2018 election reforms
Capitol Weekly's PAUL MITCHELL: "One of the ongoing themes in analyzing California’s 2018 elections is the impact of the reforms that were enacted in 2012 – the state’s open primary, the extension of term limits and the new district lines drawn by the state’s independent redistricting commission."
"Beyond these three, we also saw the creation of statewide online voter registration and a ballot measure to allow passage of an on-time state budget by a simple majority vote."
"This wave of reforms has made it incredibly difficult to discern the impact of each. You often see them being conflated in analyses of the state’s elections and governance."
"...For this June primary, we are about to witness the impact of four different election reforms that are intended to increase registration, improve turnout and remove hurdles on Election Day.
California's twin-tunnel delta project back on track with SoCal water district's vote
The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE: "The largest water district in California agreed Tuesday to fork over nearly $11 billion to build two tunnels that will siphon water south from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a major boost for Gov. Jerry Brown’s pet project."
"The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California threw its considerable weight behind the massive water distribution plan, called California WaterFix, after a nearly four-hour debate."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: SoCal water agency backs 2 Delta tunnels in breakthrough vote -- Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER/RYAN SABALOW; SoCal's water district just OK'd nearly $11B for a piece of the WaterFix tunnel project -- Daily News's CITY NEWS SERVICE; 'Roller-coaster ride' of rain expected across Bay Area this week -- The Chronicle's SOPHIE HIAGNEY; Prepare for unsettled weather midweek in Sacramento, Sierra -- Sacramento Bee's ANTHONY SORCI; Understanding what the 'new normla' means for water in the west -- Water Deeply's TARA LOHAN; What's next: Swarms of AI-powered robotic microscopes to study plankton -- Oceans Deeply's PAUL TULLIS
State stem cell agency gets global industry partners
DAVID JENSEN in Capitol Weekly: "California’s drive to produce a stem cell therapy is ratcheting up a notch with announcement of two new, global industry partners along with a plan to engage more companies and give them “direct access” to hundreds of millions of dollars in state-funded research."
"The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), as the $3 billion state stem cell agency is formally known, said the program represents an opportunity “to bring the most promising stem cell, gene therapy and regenerative medicine programs to market where they can help people with unmet medical needs."
"The first two participants are BlueRock Therapeutics of Cambridge, Ma., with offices in Toronto and New York City, and Vivo Capital of Palo Alto, Ca., which has offices in Bejing, Shanghai and Tapei. BlueRock was founded in 2016 with $225 million in backing from Versant Ventures and Bayer AG. Vivo has more than $1.7 billion under management, according to the firm’s web site."
California state workers would get paid twice a month if this bill passes
Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "A Republican lawmaker wants to help California state workers balance their checkbooks without actually giving them a raise."
"Sen. Andy Vidak of Hanford is carrying a bill that would compel the state to pay its employees more often, switching to biweekly paydays instead of the monthly schedule state government uses now."
"The change would force the state to comply with a 1919 law that generally requires employers to pay their workers every other week."
How single-payer healthcare has divided Democrats in California's race for governor
LA Times's PHIL WILLON:"When Gavin Newsom campaigns on his support for a California single-payer healthcare system, he's talking about more than the virtues of universal care. He's trying to sell himself as a bold visionary."
"When Antonio Villariagosa warns of the financial calamity that awaits if the state adopts single payer, he's trying to send a different message — that he's a fiscally responsible realist who won't make promises he can't keep."
Man pleads not guilty to threatening women in Rep. Jackie Speier's office
The Chronicle's JENNA LYONS: "A Manteca man accused of threatening to kill female staff members of U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, has pleaded not guilty to multiple felony charges, officials said."
"Ronald Joseph Lafaye, 52, was arraigned Monday in San Mateo County Superior Court on charges of criminal threats, threatening a public officer and making annoying telephone calls. He allegedly left 12 threatening voice mails on the office phone for the congresswoman."
Forget the Emerald Triangle. The Central Coast is becoming California's weed hotspot
Sacramento Bee's BRAD BRANAN/MONICA VAUGHN: "To view the revolution taking place in California's commercial cannabis industry, head to the Central Coast."
"Turn off Highway 101 in the Salinas Valley. Look for the clusters of greenhouses protected by fences with razor wire, security cameras and guards. There you will find some of the largest marijuana grows in the state."
"Inside, removable curtains are used to periodically block sunlight and trick the plants into flowering sooner than normal. Fabric tunnels send in cool air, while rubber tubes deliver water and other nutrients to the marijuana."
READ MORE related to Cannabis: California not meeting revenue projections for commercial cannabis, analyst says -- Sacramento Bee's BRAD BRANAN
Bay Area restaurant industry on high alert for potential ICE raids
The Chronicle's JUSTIN PHILLIPS: "As U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers swept across Northern California earlier this year, arresting more than 150 undocumented immigrants, the Bay Area restaurant industry watched closely."
"Everyone is fearing a day that ICE could show up at their doors,” said Gwyneth Borden, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.
School board approves a new formula for funding high-need schools
LA Times's SONALI KOHLI: "L.A. schools will soon get more money if they are located in neighborhoods with such problems as high levels of gun violence and asthma."
"The Los Angeles Unified school board voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a new formula to determine how to dole out some funding to schools, based not only on the characteristics of the student populations but on the traumas that affect the communities around campuses."
"The new formula will be applied to $25 million in funding next fiscal year and about $263 million annually in future years — a small part of the district's $7.5 billion annual budget."
READ MORE related to Education: UC Davis allowed takeover for weeks in 2016. Students now face discipline after 3 days -- Sacramento Bee's DIANA LAMBERT; Illuminating science for blind students, with help from latest tech devices -- EdSource's CAROLYN JONES
Enrique Marquez bought guns used in the San Bernnardino terror attack. Now a judge will decide his sentence
LA Times's PALOMA ESQUIVEL: "Enrique Marquez Jr. knew he had a problem."
"Lonely and in search of belonging, Marquez had been guided as a teenager by his friend and Riverside neighbor Syed Rizwan Farook to embrace a radical extremist version of Islam. Together they plotted terror attacks targeting students at a community college and drivers on the 91 Freeway."
"Marquez eventually abandoned those plans and distanced himself from Farook. But Farook kept the two rifles Marquez had bought for him while they conspired. In the summer of 2015, as Marquez chatted online with friends, he seemed to feel an urgency to get them back, writing, "Hope to god I can still retrieve those items."
SMART railroad wins funding to extend to Larkspur ferry terminal
The Chronicle's MICHAEL CABANATUAN: "SMART, the North Bay’s nascent commuter railroad, got word Monday that it will receive $22.5 million in federal funding to complete a critical extension to the Larkspur ferry terminal."
"The 2.1-mile extension to the Golden Gate Ferry terminal is considered a vital link that will lure commuters who travel between the North Bay and San Francisco. To make the trip now, SMART riders have to get off the train at the current end-of-the-line station in downtown San Rafael and take a bus to the ferry terminal or into San Francisco."
READ MORE related to Transportation: Direct flights to Paris -- cheap ones -- just got closer to Sacramento's door -- Sacramento Bee's TONY BIZJAK
Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn answers questions at City Council meeting
Sacramento Bee's PAUL KITAGAKI JR.: "Police chief Daniel Hahn answers 11 questions asked of him at a Sacramento City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 10, 2018."
READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: Sacramento police chief vows to change policies to avoid another Stephon Clark-like shooting -- Sacramento Bee's RYAN LILLIS/ED FLETCHER
Protesters fight against homeless moving to Irvine: 'We will decide who comes into the city'
LA Times's ANH DO: "They wanted to make an impact by filling up the City Council chambers Tuesday to fight against the homeless moving to Irvine, but officials turned most of the crowd away at an unexpectedly short meeting."
"No matter, organizers had planned a protest in the plaza outside City Hall, and with about 100 people gathered, they kept chanting: "All our kids deserve better! All our kids deserve better!"
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shows support for the idea of regulation -- but not the particulars
LA Times's DAVID PIERSON/TRACEY LIEN: "During historic testimony Tuesday on Capitol Hill, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg made sure lawmakers knew his company was working hard to protect user data."
"I'm committed to getting this right," Zuckerberg told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee."
"But when it came to the subject of regulations that would enshrine user protections into law, the tech billionaire's answers were far more nebulous."
READ MORE related to Psychological Warfare: FB stores its data in this rural North Carolina town, where the privacy debate is just beginning to catch on -- WaPo's TODD C. FRANKEL
House Speaker Paul Ryan will not seek reelection
WaPo's ROBERT COSTA/SEUNG MIN KIM/JOHN WAGNER: "House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) told colleagues Wednesday that he will not seek reelection this year, ending a nearly 20-year tenure in Congress and adding further uncertainty about whether embattled Republicans can maintain control of the House."
"The speaker is proud of all that has been accomplished and is ready to devote more of his time to being a husband and a father,” said Brendan Buck, counselor to Ryan, adding that Ryan plans to serve out his term and retire in January."
"The decision comes ahead of mid-term elections that were already looking treacherous for Republicans, who risk losing control of the House."
Trump supporters seem likely to win approval for unusual lawsuit
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "Supporters of presidential candidate Donald Trump, who were roughed up by protesters after a June 2016 rally in San Jose, appear likely to win a federal appeals court’s approval to proceed with a suit accusing police of putting them in harm’s way."
"Suits challenging police handling of demonstrations typically face an obstacle in a Supreme Court doctrine known as qualified immunity. That doctrine shields officers from liability for violating specific rights of private citizens, such as the right to be protected from foreseeable violence, unless those rights have been clearly established by past rulings."
McClatchy editorial cartoons for the week of April 9, 2018