Archive for December, 2016

The Sacramento Bee: A tax cut for Californians? Yes, really

Business & Real Estate
By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
December 30, 2016 12:13 PM

Californians are about to enjoy a rare tax cut.

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California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, seen in January, wrote the 4-3 ruling that said a government agency’s legal bills are generally public record in cases that have been resolved. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Maura Dolan
December 30, 2016

A government agency’s legal bills for a case that has been resolved are generally public record, a divided California Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

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By Aaron Claverie, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 12/28/16 – 11:10 PM PST |

What can Southern California’s casinos expect from a Trump presidency?

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Clockwise from top left: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Grace Napolitano (Lauren Victoria Burke, Mark Wilson, Bill Clark/ AP, Getty Images, Roll Call)

Sarah D. Wire
December 28, 2016

So far, none of California’s 55 senators and representatives have announced plans to retire ahead of the 2018 election. But after weeks at home with family during the holidays to talk about the future, such declarations could come soon.

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Los Angeles Times: Southern California home prices keep rising, and sales jump

The Southern California median home price has now risen, year-over-year, every month for more than four years.

Andrew Khouri
December 27, 2016

Southern California home prices and sales rose in November compared with a year earlier, according to a report released Tuesday.

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Politico: Clinton touts popular-vote count in thank you message to supporters

By Nolan D. McCaskill
12/26/16 – 03:53 PM EST

Hillary Clinton thanked her supporters Monday in an end-of-year email.

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The Press-Enterprise: Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit dies at 64

Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit died Monday, Dec. 26, his office announced. He was 64 years old.

By Jeff Horseman / Staff Writer
Published: Dec. 26, 2016
Updated: Dec. 27, 2016 – 8:05 p.m.

  • The former state lawmaker was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in November.

Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit died Monday night, Dec .26 at age 64, his office announced.

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Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca talks to reporters outside the federal courthouse earlier this week after his obstruction case ended in a mistrial, with jurors hopelessly deadlocked. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Joel Rubin and Victoria Kim
December 24, 2016

The team of federal prosecutors was on a roll.

For nearly five years, the Public Corruption and Civil Rights section of the U.S. attorney’s office had been building and winning cases against a group from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department accused of carrying out a plan to obstruct a federal investigation into allegations of inmate abuse at the county jails.

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InlandPolitics: Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

Sunday, December 25, 2016 – 08:50 a.m.

InlandPolitics would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkaah.

Let’s be safe out there!

Politico: Trump writing his own White House rules

On Jan. 20, Donald Trump will take the oath of office having never released his tax returns, the first incoming president not to do so in four decades. | Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images

By Annie Karni
12/23/16 – 05:58 AM EST

  • He is shining a light on how much of the American political system is encoded in custom and how little is based in the law.

President-elect Donald Trump has said he might do away with regular press briefings and daily intelligence reports. He wants to retain private security while receiving secret service protection, even after the inauguration. He is encouraging members of his family to take on formal roles in his administration, testing the limits of anti-nepotism statutes. And he is pushing the limits of ethics laws in trying to keep a stake in his business.

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A homebuyer who held off purchasing a $500,000 home in July when rates sank to 3.41 percent now will pay $255 more a month on a 30-year loan.

By Kathy Orton
December 22, 2016 at 5:58 PM

House hunters might need to start adjusting their expectations as the days of ultra-low mortgage rates could finally be winding down.

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By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 12/22/16 – 2:43 PM PST |

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca walked out of federal court Thursday almost a free man after jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked and a judge declared a mistrial in his jail corruption trial.

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Jim Brulte

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By Carla Marinucci
12/22/16 – 06:00 AM EST

SAN FRANCISCO — Jim Brulte, the current chair of the California Republican Party, once served as a high-profile backer of National Popular Vote, a movement that supports the elimination of the Electoral College.

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Pension costs for state and local government will begin to rise in 2017 after CalPERS officials voted to throttle back the expectations on profits earned from its $299 billion portfolio.

By John Myers
Dec. 21, 2016

In the four years since California’s largest pension fund recalibrated its investment projections, the annual contribution from state and local governments — in effect, the money paid by taxpayers — has slowly been on the rise.

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By Martin Wisckol, The Orange County Register
Posted: 12/21/16, 9:43 PM PST |

They are billionaires and generals.

Seven of the 23 named so far have no government experience. At least six oppose key policies of the agencies they’ve been nominated to run.

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By Dale Kasler
Business & Real Estate
dkasler@sacbee.com
December 20, 2016 – 5:17 PM

The cost of that government pension is about to go up again, for California taxpayers as well as some public employees.

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Voters passed Proposition 66, a ballot measure that aims to speed up the death penalty. No one has been executed in California since 2006 because of legal challenges to the lethal injection protocol. (Manny Crisostomo/Sacramento Bee file)

By Alexei Koseff
Capitol Alert
akoseff@sacbee.com
December 20, 2016 – 3:04 PM

A new voter-approved law intended to speed up California’s fractured death penalty system will not take effect while a court considers a lawsuit from its opponents.

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Patrick McGreevy
California politics
Dec. 20, 2016 – 3:23 p.m.

Los Angeles County had more cases of politicians and others successfully prosecuted for violating campaign finance and ethics rules than any other county in California this year, the state Fair Political Practices Commission reported Tuesday.

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Pennsylvania elector Carolyn Bunny Welsh holds her ballot for Donald Trump before casting it at the State Capitol. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

By Philip Bump
December 20, 2016 at 12:11 PM

On Monday, Faith Spotted Eagle became one of 117 people in U.S. history to receive a vote for president in the electoral college.

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Los Angeles Daily News: Struggling California Republican party faces deep divide

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Ladd’ÄìPeebles Stadium, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

By Martin Wisckol, The Orange County Register
Posted: 12/18/16 – 12:58 PM PST |

A new president usually lifts all boats in his party.

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By Lisa Schencker, Chicago Tribune
December 17, 2016 – 2:05 PM

One of the first things Tracy Trovato did – once she overcame the shock of learning her 42-year-old, marathon-training husband had leukemia – was look through their health insurance documents.

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Los Angeles County saw healthy job gains last month but the region’s construction sector posted a loss of 1,600 jobs. (AP File)

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 12/16/16 – 5:31 PM PST |

California employers added 13,600 jobs in November, marking the weakest showing since March.

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Jim Brulte, the chairman of the California Republican Party on Dec. 4, 2013 in Sacramento. (Hector Amezcua hamezcua@sacbee.com)

Capitol Alert
By Taryn Luna
tluna@sacbee.com
December 16, 2016 – 4:53 PM

California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte is mounting a re-election bid and high-profile GOP figures are already lining up to back him.

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Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens speaks in August. (Sam Gangwer/Staff Photographer)

By Kelly Puente and Tony Saavedra / Staff Writers
Published:  Dec. 16, 2016
Updated:     Dec. 17, 2016 – 8:57 a.m.

A judge said Friday that he might find Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens in contempt of court because of her department’s reaction to an order to produce documents in the trial of admitted killer Scott Dekraai.

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By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 12/16/16 – 5:32 PM PST |

California employers added 13,600 jobs in November, marking the weakest showing since March.

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By Lisa Boothe (@LisaMarieBoothe) •
Published: 12/16/16 – 2:50 AM

The Democratic Party has latched onto reports citing anonymous CIA sources who allege the Russians tried to sway the 2016 presidential election. After blaming Fake News, the FBI, racism, sexism and the Electoral College, it appears the newest scapegoat for Hillary Clinton’s and the party’s crushing defeat is Russia.

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Former Los Angeles County Sheriff, Lee Baca, and his wife, Carol Chiang, leave the United States Court after his arraignment on Friday, August 12, 2016. File photo. (Photo by Dean Musgrove/Los Angeles Daily News)

By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 12/15/16 – 6:59 PM PST |

Former Sheriff Lee Baca, who led the largest law enforcement department of its kind in the nation, may take the witness stand in his own defense in an ongoing federal jail corruption trial, his attorney announced Thursday.

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The U.S. Department of Justice is launching a civil rights investigation into the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department over allegations that prosecutors and police routinely withhold evidence and use jailhouse informants to illegally obtain confessions. From left, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. (Photos by Orange County Register/SCNG)

By Kelly Puente / Staff Writer
Published: Dec. 15, 2016
Updated:   Dec. 16, 2016 – 7:12 a.m.

The U.S. Department of Justice launched a civil rights investigation of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department on Thursday over allegations that prosecutors and deputies withhold evidence and use jailhouse informants to illegally obtain confessions.

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KPMG was hired to save Riverside County money. But one supervisor wonders when the savings part starts

By Jeff Horseman / Staff Writer
Published: Dec. 14, 2016 – Updated: 9:21 p.m.

Change in Riverside County government comes at a price – almost $21 million, to be precise.

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By Michael Barone (@michaelbarone) •
Published: 12/12/16 – 9:27 AM

One way to look at the election of Donald Trump is that it is a repudiation of the cult of political correctness that thrives — metastasizes might be a better word — on college and university campuses. One particularly egregious example, the bogus prosecution of Duke University lacrosse players in 2006 and 2007, seems to have had particular reverberations in producing election results this year, a decade later. For a definitive account of the disgraceful behavior of Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, Duke President Richard Brodhead and dozens of members of the Duke faculty, see KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor’s book Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case.

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Rob Nikolewski
December 14, 2016

In a ruling made just before the close of business hours Tuesday, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) directed Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to meet with groups critical of a 2014 agreement that calls on utility ratepayers to shoulder about 70 percent of the costs from shutting down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

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Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
December 13, 2016 – 4:37 PM

Steve Schmidt, the Republican strategist who advised John McCain’s presidential bid and helped elect Arnold Schwarzenegger governor of California, imagines a not-too-distant future where the GOP here ceases to wield the influence of a major party and instead becomes the state’s largest interest group.

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InlandPolitics: Mainstream media triples-down on anti-Trump psychotic episode

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 – 09:00 a.m.

The mainstream media, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, Washington Post and The New York Times to name a few, has went off the proverbial cliff.

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By Jeff Horseman / Staff Writer
Published: Dec. 12, 2016
Updated:    Dec. 13, 2016 – 6:59 a.m.

In a nod to Riverside County’s ongoing financial challenges, a proposal before the county Board of Supervisors would have supervisors defer any pay raise they’re due to receive until 2019.

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By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
December 12, 2016 – 4:30 PM

Well, we saw the first major impact last week, without Trump even lifting a finger.

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Capitol Weekly: California vs. Trump bout shaping up

Chuck McFadden
December 12, 2016

Any hope that California would soon settle into some sort of accommodation with a Trump Administration is fading rapidly.

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Modification of the project known as San Gorgonio Crossing is not enough to assuage letter-writing opponents.

By Gail Wesson / Staff Writer
Published: Dec. 9, 2016
Updated:   Dec. 11, 2016 – 7:56 p.m.

The draft environmental report for a controversial industrial distribution facility project in Cherry Valley is available for public comment until Jan. 18, with public hearings possible later in 2017.

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Politico: Democrats fear another Trump trouncing

Leaderless and lacking a strategy, top party officials worry they’re not ready for Trump’s first 100 days.

By Gabriel Debenedetti
12/12/16 – 05:06 AM EST

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, Democrats fear they remain woefully unprepared to fight the new president’s agenda.

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By Rene Ray De La Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted:      Dec 10, 2016 at 9:40 AM
Updated:   Dec 10, 2016 at 9:40 AM

VICTORVILLE – The announcement of a new large development project at Southern California Logistics Airport is drawing the attention of many in the manufacturing industry.

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The Hill: Democrats unnerved by Trump’s reliance on generals

By Rebecca Kheel
12/10/16 – 05:05 PM EST

Democrats are growing uneasy with the number of generals President-elect Donald Trump has tapped for his administration, citing concerns about the amount of sway the military will have in the government.

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InlandPolitics: Local economist who pimped warehouses now says — What jobs?

Saturday, December 10, 2016 – 10:30 a.m.

One would hope that several local Inland Empire governments are feeling stupid and duped these days.

But maybe they don’t care.

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Supervisor Marion Ashley suggests that his peers defer pay increases since unions are being asked to hold the line on raises.

By Jeff Horseman / Staff Writer
Published: Dec. 7, 2016
Updated:   Dec. 8, 2016 – 4:47 p.m.

Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley wants his peers to defer the automatic pay raises they received over the summer to show empathy with union employees, who also are being asked to forgo raises.

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By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 12/09/16 – 6:09 PM PST |

A jury awarded $110,000 plus undisclosed punitive damages to an Adelanto man shot by San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies in a case of mistaken identity, the man’s attorney said Friday.

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Sarah D. Wire and Bettina Boxall
December 9, 2016

Over Sen. Barbara Boxer’s objections, the Senate voted 78 to 21 Friday evening to pass sweeping water infrastructure legislation that changes how much water is pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to San Joaquin Valley farmers and Southern California.

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Victoria Kim
December 10, 2016

Two ex-Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies who have been convicted of obstructing an FBI civil rights investigation into the county jails told a federal jury on Friday that they believed they were following orders from former Sheriff Lee Baca.

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Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
December 9, 2016 – 11:37 AM

The Field Poll, which for more than a half-century has been the gold standard for public opinion research, is ceasing operations Friday, leaving behind a fabled track record of accurately reflecting the highs and lows of California’s biggest players and issues.

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The Sun: What San Bernardino did during its 4-year bankruptcy

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 12/07/16 – 6:46 PM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> A day after the city emerged from its 53-month bankruptcy, city officials marked the “watershed moment” with a detailed statement on what they’ve done since filing for bankruptcy and their plans for the future.

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By David Allen, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 12/08/16 – 4:15 PM PST |

ONTARIO >> With local control of Ontario International Airport comes a paycheck.

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Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
December 8, 2016 – 9:00 PM

With tuition hikes being discussed for California’s public universities, a new poll shows a strong majority of residents identifying college affordability as a big problem, including at least half of adults across wide partisan, income, and age groups.

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California National Guardsmen line up at Fort Irwin in San Bernardino County. (Los Angeles Times)

David S. Cloud
December 9, 2016

The Senate overwhelmingly approved a $619-billion defense authorization bill Thursday that includes direct help for thousands of California National Guard soldiers and veterans facing repayment demands for long-ago enlistment bonuses.

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Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, and his wife Carol Chiang, arrive on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, for his arraignment at the federal courthouse in Los Angeles. Baca’s trial began Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. (File photo by John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News)

By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 12/07/16 – 12:22 PM PST | U

Former L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca was “the heartbeat of conspiracy” when it came to hiding abuses within Men’s Central Jail, and he did nothing to hold deputies who beat inmates accountable, prosecutors said in federal court Wednesday.

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Australia, Melbourne Tullamarine Airport MEL Qantas airlines onboard flight cabin business class passengers disembarking overhead luggage bins removing woman reaching. (Photo by: Jeff Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)

By Alyssa Pereira
Wednesday, December 7, 2016 – Updated 2:44 pm

The overhead bin, an in-flight accommodation often considered as vital to flying, will now be something of a luxury on United flights.

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InlandPolitics: Pearl Harbor Day – December 7, 1941

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 – 09:15 a.m.

In remembrance of a horrific day in American history and it’s impact on the country and world.

A federal judge said Tuesday that she would approve San Bernardino’s bankruptcy plan, meaning that the city can begin the process of emerging from four years of bankruptcy. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Paloma Esquivel
December 6, 2016

After four long, painful years, San Bernardino will soon emerge from bankruptcy.

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Yekaterina “Katherine” Kolcheva (Courtesy photo)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 12/06/16 – 10:34 AM PST |

San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman announced Tuesday he has appointed his deputy chief of staff, Yekaterina “Katherine” Kolcheva, to serve as his new chief of staff.

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By Teri Sforza / Staff Columnist
Dec. 6, 2016 – Updated 10:50 p.m.

Law enforcement seized nearly $2.6 billion worth of airplanes, houses, cash, jewelry, cars and other items from suspected wrongdoers last year, according to data from the U.S. Department of Justice.

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The Press-Enterprise: Sabrina Cervantes, Eloise Reyes take oaths in state Assembly

California Assembly Seal

By Jeff Horseman / Staff Writer
Published: Dec. 5, 2016 – 1:16 p.m.

The California State Legislature convened today with state senators and Assembly members taking the oath of office.

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LA County Seal

By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 12/05/16 – 8:28 PM PST |

Two newly elected Los Angeles County supervisors brought historic changes to local politics Monday when they became part of a supermajority of women to serve on the largest local governmental body in the nation.

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american-apparel

American Apparel has warned thousands of its Southern California workers that layoffs may be coming in January. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Shan Li
December 5, 2016

American Apparel has told nearly 3,500 employees in Southern California that they may lose their jobs in January depending on the outcome of a likely sale to Canadian clothing maker Gildan Activewear.

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Judge Thomas Goethals talks with Orange County Sheriff's attorney Elizabeth Pejean in his court in Santa Ana during a hearing in the Scott Dekraai case on Friday, October 28, 2016. (Photo by Ken Steinhardt, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals, shown in October, is hearing the challenge in the Cole Wilkins case. Goethals is also the judge in the Scott Dekraai mass murder case. (Ken Steinhardt/File Photo)

By Tony Saavedra / Staff Writer
Published: Dec. 3, 2016
Updated:   Dec. 4, 2016 – 8:49 p.m.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office, harshly criticized in a recent appellate court ruling for a systemic failure to protect defendants’ rights and under investigation by the state attorney general and the county grand jury, is facing a new legal challenge that could remove it from a second high-profile murder case in less than two years.

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Up Arrow

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 12/04/16 – 4:20 PM PST |

Southern California’s construction industry is gaining traction after years of decline, but it still has a long way to go.

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warehouse

“There are a lot of people doing traditional warehouse work, but that will change,” says John Husing, chief economist for the Inland Empire Economic Partnership. “Everything is being automated.”

By Natalie Kitroeff
Dec. 4, 2016

When Skechers started building a colossal distribution center in Moreno Valley six years ago, backers promised a wave of new jobs.

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The Sacramento Bee: Will Legislature follow or evade California’s new sunshine law?

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
December 3, 2016 – 2:00 PM

Last month, California voters approved, by a nearly 2-1 margin, Proposition 54, which if faithfully followed would shine some light on the Capitol’s dark corners.

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SEIU

The State Worker
By Adam Ashton
aashton@sacbee.com
December 3, 2016 – 12:07 PM

A day after halting plans for a strike, state government’s largest employee union announced that it had reached a tentative agreement for a new contract.

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The Sacramento Bee: California state worker union cancels strike set for Monday

SEIU

The State Worker
By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
December 2, 2016 – 2:47 PM

A one-day strike by California’s largest state employee union, set for Monday, has been called off.

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question-mark

Jeff McDonald
November 30, 2016

The judge who until a few weeks ago was in charge of the long-running San Onofre case before the California Public Utilities Commission has taken a job with a contractor to plant owner Southern California Edison.

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Politico: California’s brewing battles with Trump get a new face

xavier-becerra

Rep. Xavier Becerra. | AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

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Politico

By Carla Marinucci
12/01/16 – 05:17 PM EST

SAN FRANCISCO — With his nomination to become California’s first Latino attorney general, Rep. Xavier Becerra is now primed to be the public face of the Democratic resistance to Donald Trump on issues like climate change, health care and, most visibly, immigration.

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xavier-becerra

Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles, grew up in Sacramento, the son of Mexican immigrants.

Capitol Alert
By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
December 1, 2016 – 9:00 AM

Gov. Jerry Brown has tabbed Rep. Xavier Becerra to serve as California’s interim attorney general, selecting the Los Angeles Democrat to fill a vacancy opened by the imminent departure of outgoing Attorney General Kamala Harris to the U.S. Senate.

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SBCO

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 11/30/16 – 4:58 PM PST |

San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman has fired his chief of staff, Mike Spence, after Spence was charged with driving under the influence of drugs and admitted to battling drug and alcohol addictions for more than 20 years.

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