Big mess at Big Sur

May 26, 2017

A massive landslide on the California coast leaves engineers and geologists scrambling to facilitate a quick and efficient clean-up plan that many say will extend into 2018.

: "The massive landslide that swallowed a stretch of Highway 1 on the Big Sur coast over the weekend was still spewing rock and dirt down a remote mountainside Thursday, and state officials say it will probably be next year before they get the wall of mud out of the way."

"The continued movement of the quarter-mile-long slide near the Monterey County community of Gorda has kept Caltrans engineers from taking stock of the situation and figuring out when — and if — the section of road that serves as the southern gateway to Big Sur can be repaired and re-opened."

"Independent experts say the solution may require constructing a sprawling bridge over the troublesome spot or a tunnel deep in the ground beneath it, a prospect that could take years and cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars."


READ MORE related to Environment: Dying star has been observed giving birth to a black hole -- MSN


A new piece of legislation aims to quantify the amount of untested rape kits in California and expedite investigations.


From the LAT's Jazmine Ulloa: "Assembly Bill 41 would require law enforcement agencies to report to the state how many sexual assault kits they collected and have examined, and how many they haven’t — along with the reason why the evidence wasn’t tested. It has sailed through the legislative process but could face a battle in the state Senate, facing heavy opposition from the California State Sheriffs’ Assn., which says the financial burden would fall on law enforcement agencies to collect the new data."


"Chiu argues that improved reporting would help determine which law enforcement departments need more resources to test kits, and provide greater transparency around a procedure that can last hours and is intrusive for victims."


“Sexual assault survivors deserve answers about the rape kits they submit,” Chiu said. “When kits go untested, it re-victimizes victims and allows criminals to go free.”


A violent assault at a Berkeley protest in April that left a man severely wounded and bleeding profusely has been perpetrated by a philosophy professor from a Bay Area school.


The Chronicle's EVAN SERNOFFSKY: "A 28-year-old former East Bay community college professor was arrested for a brutal bike-lock attack amid a clash between President Trump supporters and radical left demonstrators last month in Berkeley, officials said Thursday."


"Video of the April 15 assault exploded on right-wing websites in the days following the clash as scores of cybersleuths began identifying Eric Clanton as the masked man seen bashing a Trump backer in the head, causing serious bleeding."

"Clanton was arrested early Wednesday morning in Oakland and booked in the Berkeley Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon that is not a firearm. He is being held on $200,000 bond and is due in court at 9 a.m. Friday."


READ MORE related to Education: Former South Land Park school may be converted into commercial marijuana grow site -- Sacramento Bee's PETER HECHT; It's an early Memorial Day at LA Mission College, with thanks for freedom to 'attain our dreams' -- Daily News' DANA BARTHOLOMEW


Gov. Brown recently described anti-tax motorists as 'freeloaders', which drew the ire of the rightwing media.


Sacramento Bee's DAN WALTERS: "Jerry Brown fell into the snake-pit of contemporary American politics a couple of weeks ago when he referred to opponents of a new hike in gas taxes as “freeloaders.”

"Boom. Within days, the nationwide network of right-wing websites exploded with indignation, twisting Brown’s quite accurate, if impolite, remarks into a denunciation of every taxpayer."

“If you live in California, have a job and pay taxes Governor Jerry Brown would like you to know that you’re a freeloader and he’s tired of your complaining,” trumpeted RedState, one of the many such websites."


READ MORE related to Transportation: Arrive early: TSA at LAX wants a better look inside your carry-on bag -- Daily News' RACHEL URANGA


A Washington Post report reveals that last week's senior White House official 'person of interest' is Jared Kushner.


WaPo's MATT ZAPOTOSKY/SARI HORWITZ/DEVLIN BARRETT/ADAM ENTOUS: "Investigators are focusing on a series of meetings held by Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and an influential White House adviser, as part of their probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and related matters, according to people familiar with the investigation."

"Kushner, who held meetings in December with the Russian ambassador and a banker from Moscow, is being investigated because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians, the people said."

"The Washington Post reported last week that a senior White House official close to the president was a significant focus of the high-stakes investigation, though it did not name Kushner."


READ MORE related to Beltway: Gianforte apologizes to reporter after winning US House race -- AP's BOBBY CAINA CALVAN; Trump travel ban blocked; fight headed for SCOTUS -- AP's JESSICA GRESKO; As President Trump tours the world, America watches what he's eating -- The Chronicle's JONATHAN KAUFFMAN


A recently passed $400B single payer health care system has no actual funding plan behind it.


Sacramento Bee's TARYN LUNA: "A California Senate committee tasked with reviewing bills that spend state money passed a $400 billion universal health care proposal Thursday with no funding plan."

"Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, introduced SB 562, a sweeping overhaul of the state’s health insurance market. He’s also the chair of Senate Appropriations. The committee passed the bill with a 5-2 vote during a fast-paced suspense file hearing, clearing the way for it to be taken up on the Senate floor next week."

"The vote came days after the committee revealed the Legislature’s first cost assessment of the bill, which turns out to be more than the entire state budget for the year beginning July 1."


Nearly 200 immigrants were arrested across California this week; many with a history of serious crimes, according to ICE.


Daily News: "A wide-ranging crackdown on criminal immigrants this week netted 23 people in the San Fernando Valley – part of 188 who were arrested in a five-day sweep that spanned from Los Angeles County to the Inland Empire."

"All were “public safety threats” and they included criminal foreign nationals, illegal re-entrants and immigration fugitives, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Thursday."


"They were detained on a range of charges, including drug offenses, battery, weapons violations, manslaughter, prostitution and cruelty to children, according to ICE."



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