"I would not have voted for that. It is not the time to be voting on (raising) the gas tax," said Tacherra, a Republican running against Democratic Assemblywoman Anna Caballero, who voted for the tax increase last year."
SF mayor vows that clearing homeless tents from the Mission just a start
The Chronicle's KEVIN FAGAN: "An army of cleaners, counselors and police descended upon the Mission District at dawn Wednesday — and by lunchtime, they had rendered the gentrifying district entirely free of homeless tent camps for the first time in recent memory."
"And with that, San Francisco’s mayor had fired the first shot in what he said will be unending salvos of enforcement efforts in the coming weeks to try to rid city streets of tent encampments."
Judge rules against Trump administration in DACA case
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "A federal judge ruled Tuesday that President Trump had offered no legal justification for canceling DACA protections for nearly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants, in a ruling that — for the first time — would require the administration to accept new applicants to the program."
"The ruling by U.S. District Judge John Bates of Washington, D.C., came after decisions by federal judges in San Francisco and New York that also rejected Trump’s rationale for halting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But while the earlier rulings barred the administration from ending DACA for current recipients, making them subject to deportation, Bates went a step further and said the government must allow others to apply."
Hackers stole his campaign cash, Sacramento lawmaker says
Sacramento Bee's TARYN LUNA: "Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, is alleging that thieves hacked his email account and stole $46,000 from his re-election campaign in a "sophisticated" scheme earlier this year."
"Hopefully we can identify the people who did it," Pan said. "That will send a signal that they can’t just get away with it and the people who try these things can get caught."
"Pan said the FBI and California Highway Patrol are investigating the campaign theft, which was also reported to the California Fair Practices Commission."
Filling California's biggest groundwater gap
Water Deeply's ELLEN HANAK/SARGE GREEN: "California’s largest agricultural region – has been in a state of perpetual water stress that can only be partly attributed to the latest drought. Decades of unchecked pumping have resulted in a chronic groundwater deficit averaging nearly 2 million acre-feet per year – equivalent to about two Folsom reservoirs. The clock is ticking for overdrawn basins to comply with the state’s 2014 groundwater law and get their water supply and use into balance."
"One strategy that can help make a substantial dent in this deficit is to encourage more storage in the valley’s depleted aquifers. While logistical and economic constraints will limit how much extra water can be captured from local rivers, we estimate that there is potential to reduce the deficit by up to a quarter with increased groundwater recharge. As a first step to realizing this potential, the State Water Resources Control Board will need to develop a simple, rapid way to determine when river flows exceed the amount of water required for environmental purposes and downstream users."
"The very wet winter of 2017 hints at what’s possible. Even though high-river flows can only be captured for a short span of time – and despite serious shortcomings in the infrastructure required to actively store more water in aquifers – water districts managed to put an estimated 6.5million acre-feet into local aquifers last year. An additional 4 million acre-feet may have been recharged “passively” through seepage from river channels and regular irrigation practices on farmland. The combination of active and passive recharge brought the valley’s groundwater balance sheet into the black for the first time since 2011."
What scandal? Facebook's profits soar, user numbers rise
The Chronicle's BENNY EVANGELISTA: "Facebook’s powerful revenue machine is blazing ahead despite the recent data-privacy scandal."
"In its first earnings report since the furor began last month, the Menlo Park social network on Wednesday blew past expectations, raking in nearly $5 billion in profit during the first quarter, up 63 percent from a year ago. Both advertising revenues and membership showed healthy gains."
Cop killer Bracamontes gets tossed from court, then gets death penalty
Sacramento Bee's SAM STANTON: "Cop killer Luis Bracamontes was given the death penalty Wednesday during a hearing wrought with the emotion of the victims' family members and friends and outbursts from the defendant."
"Bracamontes was sentenced for the Oct. 24, 2014, slayings, which occurred during a daylong crime spree that began in the parking lot of an Arden Way Motel 6 and ended in Auburn."
"About eight family members and friends of slain Sacramento County sheriff's Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County sheriff's Detective Michael Davis Jr. gave statements before Bracamontes was sentenced in Sacramento Superior Court. Bracamontes continued the outbursts and odd behavior he has exhibited during his trial before he was removed from the courtroom."