Almost Daily Briefing
Local News Roundup for #Lafayette, California
Lafayette PD Looking Into Woodview Drive Thefts
Lafayette police are investigating the theft of jewelry from a home in the 3300 block of Woodview Drive and say the burglary may be related to a series of other thefts reported in the same neighborhood.
FBI officials say Ellis held up 11 banks during a robbery spree in February and March 2016, including branches in Fremont, Gilroy, Concord, Dublin, Pleasanton, Lafayette, Elk Grove, Sacramento and Rio Vista.
The move would limit the agency's cooperation with the federal government over issues related to passengers' immigration status.
Questions about density, public notice rile neighbors, many of them Pleasant Hill residents. City of Walnut Creek says communications could have been better, but stress it’s early in the process, and not a “done deal”
Walnut Creek: City gets 35 solar-powered, waste compacting bins
New solar-powered trash bins that compact waste have replaced conventional garbage cans downtown.
'This is the worst I have seen': California's roads are in dire shape, says former Caltrans director (Los Angeles Times)
In more than four decades as a top transportation planner in California, Will Kempton says the state’s roads have never been in as bad condition as they are right now. Kempton, 69, who is retiring as executive director of the advocacy group Transportation California, said he is “frustrated and disappointed” that California has failed for decades to agree on a plan to pay for a $136-billion backlog of repairs on state highways and local roads. Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders said they will take another crack at reaching a deal during the next two months, which Kempton said is welcome news. Kempton, a former Caltrans director, thinks the seriousness of the issue has sunk in with state leaders and residents to the point where action might finally be taken this year. He said he is encouraged by recent comments by Brown and lawmakers who set an April 6 deadline for reaching a transportation funding deal.
BART has plenty of staffers at station with no trains or riders
San Francisco Chronicle
Wiener proposes major fundraising legislation for transportation agencies statewide
San Francisco Examiner
California’s housing crisis again emerges as major issue (Sacramento Bee)
It seems like almost daily California lawmakers are scrambling to address a new proposal or respond to the latest tweet from President Donald Trump. Democrats, who far outnumber Republicans in the Golden State, have quickly – and proudly – earned California the reputation as a “state of resistance,” with some promising a fight and others proposing bills to protect immigrants and welcome refugees. Less flashy is work underway to find a way this year to address the state’s widening housing crisis and fix crumbling roads. With the bill introduction deadline just a week away, lawmakers are fine-tuning proposals to dramatically increase the supply of affordable housing, lower development costs and streamline permitting. They are also working to identify a source of transportation funding. The issue is the subject of an online forum today hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California titled “Building California’s future.”
California’s housing crisis: It’s a matter of will
San Francisco Chronicle
Fairfax faces referendum threat over senior housing plan
Marin Independent Journal
OROVILLE DAM FAILURE
Flood risk causes 100,000 to evacuate. Here’s what we know. (New York Times)
Thousands of people fled areas downriver from Lake Oroville on Sunday after a secondary spillway at the swollen reservoir was compromised, raising fears of a collapse that might unleash disastrous flooding. By late Sunday, after whole towns had emptied out, officials said the immediate danger appeared to have passed. Evacuation orders, however, remained in place until they could be sure. State officials had been fixated on the troubles at Lake Oroville, about 70 miles north of Sacramento, since last Tuesday, when part of its main spillway caved in during water releases into the Feather River below. Under normal circumstances, the draining might have been halted to repair the damage. But intense rain-fed runoff pushing the reservoir toward its brim made that impossible.
After upheaval, California Coastal Commission selects veteran insider as new head (Los Angeles Times)
After a tumultuous year that included allegations of undue influence from wealthy developers and the firing of a popular leader, the California Coastal Commission has selected a new executive director. Jack Ainsworth, a career commission employee who has served as the acting executive director since his boss was fired last February, has been awarded the top spot, the agency announced Friday night. The commission, which was created by voter initiative in 1972, is responsible for preventing over-development on California’s 1,100 miles of oceanfront — some of the most scenic and valuable real estate in the nation. Last year’s firing of Ainsworth’s predecessor, Charles Lester, sparked fierce protests from California environmentalists.
Borenstein: Permitted pension spiking will cost $2.1 million
Twelve retired Contra Costa hazardous materials workers can keep their inflated pensions, leaving taxpayers with the $2.1 million tab.
Jerry Brown holds school fundraiser at hotly disputed venue,'' by SFChronicle's Matier and Ross:. "When Gov. Jerry Brown walked into a fundraiser for his military academy at Scott's Seafood on the Oakland waterfront the other day, he was also stepping into the middle of a long-running fight over public access to the bay that involves some big names and a $841,000 state fine against the restaurant. ... The luncheon gathering of 265 mostly corporate guests in a pavilion on the waterfront walkway at Jack London Square raised an estimated $2.1 million for the Oakland Military Institute, a charter school that Brown established when he was mayor of Oakland. Story.
"Gov. Jerry Brown asks potential nemesis - President Trump - for aid," by Louis Hansen in The Merc: "In December, Gov. Jerry Brown asserted California's independence and blasted President Donald Trump for dismissing climate change. On Friday, the governor turned to his potential nemesis for help - specifically, asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to declare a major disaster after the state was hammered by storms, floods and mudslides. The request could be an early test of relations between the Democrats who run the nation's largest state and the new Republican administration." Story
High-speed rail taking shape even as opponents seek to kill it,'' by SFChronicle's Kurtis Alexander: "For many Californians, the plan to run high-speed trains between San Francisco and Los Angeles remains in the realm of fantasy. The project is short on cash, behind schedule and in the crosshairs of Republicans in Congress who've asked the Trump administration to hold back federal support for a key piece of the rail line. Story.
"Biggest Driver of Cleaner-Car Rules Is California, not Washington," by WSJ's Mike Spector: "Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Mark Fields used a recent White House breakfast with President Donald Trump to argue for relaxing U.S. car-emissions standards. But Mr. Fields and other auto executives need to travel 2,700 miles west of Washington to find the government officials who are pushing them the most on environmental regulations." Story
"'This is the worst I have seen': California's roads are in dire shape, says former Caltrans director," by LATimes' Patrick McGreevy: Will Kempton, 69, "who is retiring as executive director of the advocacy group Transportation California, said he is 'frustrated and disappointed' that California has failed for decades to agree on a plan to pay for a $136-billion backlog of repairs on state highways and local roads." Story
"Stephen Miller: A key engineer for Trump's 'America first' agenda," by WaPo's Rosalind S. Helderman: "As a young conservative in liberal Santa Monica, Calif., Stephen Miller clashed frequently with his high school, often calling in to a national radio show to lambaste administrators for promoting multiculturalism, allowing Spanish-language morning announcements and failing to require recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Miller's outrage did not appear to subside after he graduated. As a Duke University sophomore, Miller penned a column, titled 'Santa Monica High's Multicultural Fistfights,' in which he ripped his alma mater as a 'center for political indoctrination.'" Story
Secretary of State Alex Padilla's statement in reaction to President Trump's senior policy adviser Stephen Miller's unsubstantiated allegations of widespread voter fraud on Sunday morning news shows: "Another day, another Team Trump claim of 'massive' voter fraud without any evidence. Just last week the White House said the issue was 'no longer a priority' and that Vice President Pence would lead an investigation. It appears they have reached their conclusions before the inquiry has even begun. To be clear, these allegations are lies and they undermine our democracy by making people believe the system is rigged and their vote doesn't matter. America deserves better."
Revved up for 2018? "Feinstein fundraising machine fires up for re-election run," by Matier & Ross in SFChronicle: "Aspiring Senate hopefuls got some bad news the other day when Sen. Dianne Feinstein sent out invites for a 'Feinstein for Senate 2018' campaign kickoff fundraiser March 18 in Bel-Air. 'We need Senator Feinstein in the Senate now more than ever,' Sim and Debra Farar, the couple who are chairing the event, wrote in an email last week to the California Democrat's backers." Story
"Newsom runs for governor, waging 140-character war against Trump," by SacBee's Dan Morain: "Six years into it and aspiring to move over to the governor's suite, Newsom is using the position of lite guv to be everywhere....Mostly Newsom is in the face of President Donald Trump, giving voice to horrified liberals by using the president's medium of choice to regularly tweet smack to his 1.29 million followers." Story
"Republicans think they've found the ideal candidate for governor. So why isn't Kevin Faulconer interested?" by LATimes' Mark Z. Barabak: "In many ways, the leader of California's second-most-populous city seems an ideal prospect. He is a fiscal conservative who supports same-sex marriage and passed a local climate change measure praised by that greenest of gurus, Al Gore himself. He is fluent in Spanish. He not only won landslide reelection in a city where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans, but also carried a substantial chunk of the Latino vote running against a Latina opponent. There's just one problem: Faulconer insists he's not interested." Story
"With term limits and political roadblocks ahead, what's next for California Senate leader Kevin de León?" by LATimes' Patrick McGreevy: "Supporters and observers say options open to him include running for governor, lieutenant governor or the U.S. Senate next year, or mayor of Los Angeles in four years. But pundits warn the fields for some races in the 2018 election are already solidifying in a way that could make a late entry by De León difficult." Story
"A US-born NASA scientist was detained at the border until he unlocked his phone," by Loren Grush in The Verge: Story
"With pension reform looming, these California departments went on a hiring spree," by SacBee's Adam Ashton and Phillip Reese: Story
"San Jose: Thousands rally to support Planned Parenthood, women's rights," by Tatiana Sanchez in the Merc: Story
"How much could the Rams and Chargers make in their new stadium?'' by James Rufus Koren, Roger Vincent in the Los Angeles Times. Story.
"Political Road Map: What does the state spend more money on, prisons or schools?" by LATimes' John Myers: Story
AND FINALLY. . .
The Almost Daily Briefing is an aggregation of links to news articles from local and regional newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, and other internet sources. Its purpose is to alert readers to current issues and affairs that may impact Lafayette. The Almost Daily Briefing does not promote, favor, disfavor, support, reject, or endorse any position, candidate, campaign, or proposition, and nothing about the Daily Briefing, including the selection, presentation, arrangement, or content of the links presented should be construed as an advocacy position.
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