California community college students will be guaranteed admission to UC -- if they meet requirements
The Chronicle's NANETTE ASIMOV: "Good news for thousands of California community college students hoping to transfer into the University of California: Succeed in a rigorous set of courses, and your UC admission is guaranteed."
"Students who begin community college in fall 2019 and do well in courses that UC faculty helped develop — the required grade-point average is still to be determined — will win admission into a UC campus under an agreement announced Wednesday by the two higher education systems."
"The courses will lead to an associate degree for transfer into UC, similar to the degree established in 2013 for guaranteed transfer into California State University. Applicants may not get into their first choice, but will be admitted into one of the nine undergraduate UC campuses."
California's 'rape kit' backlog under fire
JESSICA HICE in Capitol Weekly: "Thousands of California women who said they were raped gave details of their assaults to investigators and provided critical data in “rape kits” — DNA, wounds, semen, hair, fibers — to identify their attackers."
"But many of the rape kits were not examined in a timely way, caught in a months-long backlog that has angered some lawmakers and women’s groups."
"According to the Joyful Heart Foundation, a program geared toward educating and advocating for rape survivors, and its initiative called End the Backlog, there are currently over 13,000 untested kits in California — plus 8,000 in Nevada, over 4,000 in Oregon, and over 6,000 in Arizona."
California tool used to squeeze 'top 500' tax scofflaws upheld by court
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "California can legally suspend the driver’s licenses of the unhappy members of a state “top 500” list, a federal appeals court said Wednesday in a ruling that applies to a roster of taxpayers who owe the state at least $100,000 and haven’t paid it."
Since 2012, state law has required the license suspensions of the top 500 delinquent taxpayers, a list published twice a year. Before losing their driving privileges, they are given 90 days’ notice and a chance to keep their licenses if they pay their taxes, reach an agreement on a payment plan, or show financial hardship. They also get 30 days’ notice that they’re about to be added to the list of 500, but can avoid it by agreeing to pay what they owe.
READ MORE related to Development & Economy: These California counties have the most to lose in a China trade war -- McClatchy DC's EMILY CADEI; California state workers would get paid twice a month if this bill passes -- Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON; Bay Area still dominates US venture capital industry but cracks may be showing -- BANG's SEUNG LEE
Massive Delta tunnels project took a giant step forward -- here's what you need to know
Sacramento Bee's RYAN SABALOW/DALE KASLER: "A powerful Southern California water agency voted Tuesday to cover two-thirds of the cost of building the controversial Delta tunnels, in one of the most significant California water actions in decades."
"If you're confused about what's going on, or maybe just need a refresher course, here are some answers to your questions about the $16.7 billion project on Sacramento's doorstep that just took a giant step closer to reality."
"So this means the tunnels are a done deal, right?
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Oil 'is killing us.' Activists call on Jerry Brown to halt California drilling -- Sacramento Bee's ANGELA HART; Understanding what the 'new normal' means for water in the west -- Water Deeply's TARA LOHAN
How Paul Ryan's retirement will affect California politics
The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "House Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to retire from Congress didn’t just send shock waves through Washington and his home state of Wisconsin. It’s likely to change the political dynamic in California as well."
"One likely successor to Ryan as head of the House’s GOP contingent is a Californian — he could become speaker if Republicans keep their House majority in the November elections. But Ryan’s departure also makes the Republicans’ election challenge more difficult, and if they return to minority status, San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi is in position to retake the speakership she lost in 2010."
READ MORE related to Paul Ryan's Long Goodbye: Kevin McCarthy has a road to the House Speaker's job -- McClatchy DC's KATE IRBY/EMILY CADEI
Jerry Brown agrees to National Guard border efforts, but not 'a mission to round up women and children'
LA Times's JOHN MYERS: Gov. Jerry Brown agreed Wednesday to take money but not marching orders from President Trump in deploying 400 National Guard troops to various locations around the state, insisting any service members near the border would not enforce federal immigration law."
"Your funding for new staffing will allow the Guard to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state," Brown wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis."
"Brown was the last of the nation's border governors to respond to Trump's request for a beefed-up presence. In his letter, he said that he wanted to be "crystal clear" in what he was agreeing to provide."
Gavin Newsom keeps lead over John Cox in new governor's poll
The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "With the June 5 primary less than two months away, Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is maintaining a double-digit lead over GOP businessman John Cox, with former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in third, according to a new survey by the Public Policy Institute of California."
"The results are basically a rerun of the nonpartisan group’s March poll, with Newsom dropping two points to 26 percent, and both Cox and Villaraigosa getting one-point bumps to 15 and 13 percent, respectively."
How single-payer healthcare became the biggest policy flashpoint 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."
"The debate over single payer in California's race for governor reaches beyond how best to cure the inadequacies of healthcare in the state. It's a political marker for the top Democratic candidates trying to woo different factions of their divided party, and has emerged as the biggest policy flashpoint in the campaign."
READ MORE related to Health & Healthcare: Bad news for night owls: Their risk of early death is 10% higher than for early risers, study finds -- LA Times's AMINA KHAN; OP-ED: A case for charitable health care -- Capitol Weekly's LAVARNE A. BURTON; How a drugmaker turned the abortion pill into a rare-disease profit machine -- CHL's SARAH JANE TRIBBLE
Another Democrat drops out of race against Rohrabacher, backs fellow challenger Harley Rouda
LA Times's CHRISTINE MAI-DUC: "Another Democrat running against is dropping out, but remains on the ballot. Michael gives a nod to fears over Dems not getting through top-two primary, says he's supporting "
California parents fear school shootings but don't want to arm teachers, survey finds
LA Times's PATRICK MCGREEVY: "Two months after a gunman killed 17 people at a Florida high school, a new survey finds that most California parents are concerned about the threat of school shootings but that a large majority opposes allowing more teachers and school officials to carry guns on campus."
"The statewide survey, released Wednesday, was conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California after a string of school shootings, including a Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla."
“In the wake of the Florida mass shooting tragedy, many California public school parents are concerned about school safety,” said Mark Baldassare, president and chief executive of PPIC. “Yet most oppose having more teachers carry guns."
SF shipyard activists frustrated by naval officials on alleged soil test fraud
The Chronicle's CYNTHIA DIZIKES/MICHAEL CABANA: "Hunters Point activists and shipyard neighbors had hoped to get answers Wednesday night to newly released documents suggesting that misconduct in the federal cleanup of radioactive soil at San Francisco’s biggest redevelopment site is likely far more widespread than previously reported."
"But a community meeting by naval shipyard officials turned out to be an open house on waterfront cleanup plans for the site, which is slated for thousands of homes as well as offices, retail and industrial use — and not a forum for asking questions about wrongdoing."
A change to California's housing supply law could spur a big expansion in home building
LA Times's LIAM DILLON: "A Bay Area lawmaker's housing proposal could expand the size and scope of home building efforts in California at an unprecedented scale."
"The legislation, Senate Bill 828, from state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), would require cities and counties to rezone land in their communities to permit many more homes than are currently in their plans."
READ MORE related to Housing & Homelessness: Bold idea: Homeless shelter at San Francisco public school for students, families -- The Chronicle's JILL TUCKER; LA approves fast-tracked plan to build homeless housing, convert motels into temporary shelters -- Daily News
LA to pay $3.9M to the parents of a man fatally shot by police at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
LA Times's CINDY CHANG:: "The parents of a man who was fatally shot by a Los Angeles police officer at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center will receive $3.9 million in compensation from the city."
"In October, a jury awarded $3.5 million plus attorneys fees to the parents of Ruben Herrera. The family had alleged use of excessive force, negligence and other violations in a federal lawsuit. The Los Angeles City Council approved the payment Wednesday."
"Dale Galipo, one of the Herrera family's attorneys, said the size of the award shows the jury did not buy the police account that Herrera reached for one officer's gun."
READ MORE related to Prison & Public Safety: More than 1,000 game fowl used for cockfighting seized during animal cruelty investigation, authorities say -- LA Times's ALENE TCHEKMEDYIAN; SF officer alleges 'blatant racism' in Police Department -- LA Times's ALENE TCHEKMEDYIAN; LA racing ministry pits illegal street racers against cops. The prize? Saving lives -- Daily News's BRENDA GAZZAR; Progressive Democrats run California, yet it does more than many states to shield police from scrutiny -- CALmatters' LAUREL ROSENHALL
Former San Jose school trustee gets 60 days in jail for campaign theft
The Chronicle's JENNA LYONS: "A former San Jose school board member convicted of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a bond measure campaign was sentenced Tuesday to 60 days in county jail, prosecutors said."
"John Lindner, 55, pleaded no contest to grand theft, perjury and violations of the Political Reform Act in February after an investigation found he took $28,000 from the 2010 Measure J campaign for personal use."
"As the treasurer of the bond measure campaign, which asked San Jose voters to approve $50 million in property taxes to improve the Franklin-McKinley School District’s aging schools on the city’s east side, Lindner raised funds and handled expenses for the campaign. He also served as a trustee on the district’s school board for 14 years, starting in 2004."
Congress: No clear ideas how to regulate Facebook
The Chronicle's CAROLYN LOCHHEAD: "For all the bipartisan sound and fury about regulating Facebook during chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s two-day marathon of testimony to Congress, what most clearly emerged was a lack of consensus in Washington about how to protect consumer privacy."
"There were fears going in that draconian regulation — a heavy hand from the Beltway — was on the horizon,” said Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer and head of technology research for the GBH market research firm. “There were fears of a pit bull that we were going to see on the Hill, and ultimately we got a poodle."
"The stock market seemed to reflect investors’ sense of relief. Facebook stock rose 4.5 percent Tuesday and was up another 0.8 percent Wednesday, adding more than $3 billion to Zuckerberg’s net worth.
Will LAX people mover be a game-changer for travelers using the airport? LA hopes so
LA Times's SHELBY GRAD: "After decades of debate and failed plans, it appears L.A. will soon finally have a rail link to Los Angeles International Airport."
"The new people mover system comes after numerous aborted rail plans, including a bullet train from LAX to Las Vegas, another high-speed rail line from LAX to San Diego and the Green Line, which was supposed to go to LAX but never did. L.A. has fallen behind many other American cities when it comes to mass transit options at its main airports."
Impeachment looms after woman says Missouri governor coerced her into sex
LA Times's MATT PEARCE: "Missouri's governor faced calls to resign and a threat of impeachment Wednesday after state legislators released a bombshell report in which a woman testified he slapped her, ripped open her shirt and "coerced" her into giving oral sex against her will."
"Republican Gov. Eric Greitens — a former Navy SEAL whose outsider 2016 campaign for governor made him a rising star in the GOP — already faces an upcoming felony trial in St. Louis over allegations he photographed the woman naked against her will during an affair in 2015."
San Pedro man expected to plead guilty to threatening to kill Rep. Maxine Waters
Daily News's CITY NEWS SERVICE: "A San Pedro man is expected to plead guilty next week to threatening to kill Los Angeles Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters."
"Anthony Scott Lloyd, 45, faces up to 10 years in federal prison on the single count of threatening a United States official, according to a plea agreement filed March 26. He is scheduled to enter his plea Monday before U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson in downtown Los Angeles."
"Lloyd made the threat during a phone call to Waters’ Capitol Hill office. He had become angered while listening to talk radio on Oct. 22 when he heard a report in which Waters made disparaging comments about President Donald J. Trump, according to court papers."
House Speaker Paul Ryan's departure poses new threat to Republicans in November
LA Times's CATHLEEN DECKER: "House Speaker Paul D. Ryan's decision not to seek reelection throws an already fractious House into further uncertainty and could deal another blow to Republican hopes of holding onto control of Congress."
"The Wisconsin Republican, often seen as a future GOP presidential contender, announced Wednesday that he would not run in November and would leave the speakership after the election. Republicans fear they will lose a significant number of House seats, and perhaps their majority, in the midterm election."
"Ryan insisted that his departure has nothing to do with fears of a Democratic wave or frustration over President Trump's administration. Instead he said that after securing his career-long dream of major tax-cut legislation in December, he wanted to spend more time with his teenage children."
As Trump vents anger over Russia probe, some senators propose protecting Mueller from getting fired
LA Times's CHRIS MEGERIAN: "President Trump's anger over what he called the "fake and corrupt" Russia investigation flared anew on Wednesday, fueling a bipartisan push in the Senate for a new proposal to prevent the president from firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III."