California should be able to reduce public employees' pension benefits, Jerry Brown argues
Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "Gov. Jerry Brown got most of what he wanted when he carried a proposal to shore up the state’s underfunded public employee pension plans by trimming benefits for new workers."
"Five years later, he’s in court making an expansive case that government agencies should be able to adjust pension benefits for current workers, too."
"A new brief his office filed in a union-backed challenge to Brown’s 2012 pension reform law argues that faith in government hinges in part on responsible management of retirement plans for public workers."
California birds nesting earlier to try to survive global warming
The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER: "The early bird not only gets the worm, but may stand a better chance of riding out global warming."
"A new study finds that birds in California are breeding up to 12 days earlier than they did a century ago, an apparent effort to maintain their optimal nesting temperatures as the planet warms."
"Like many plants and animals, birds have been known to relocate to cooler places to compensate for rising temperatures, moving north or to higher elevations. But the research published this month in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences highlights the extent to which birds are going to adapt in other ways to a changing world."
READ MORE related to Environment: Proposed law could mean more drilling off Calif coast -- OC Register's LAUREN WILLIAMS; A simple but seldom-used tactic to prevent wildfires: Turn off the power grid when the wind picks up -- LA Times' BETTINA BOXALL; Thanksgiving Day heat records shattered throughout Southern California -- Daily Bulletin's MONICA RODRIGUEZ
Wave of Hollywood sex assault claims sends LAPD into uncharted territory
LA Times' RICHARD WINTON: "The flood of sexual assault allegations coming out of the Hollywood entertainment industry has the Los Angeles Police Department negotiating uncharted territory."
"Never before has the department received so many sexual assault allegations involving high-profile figures at one time, including many complex cases that are years old with multiple alleged victims, officials say."
"The department has re-engineered its detective staff to deal with the influx. The LAPD has established five teams of two detectives to exclusively investigate allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood. The teams include members of the cold-case unit, because those detectives are experts in dealing with old criminal allegations that lack physical evidence."
READ MORE related to #MeToo/Boy's Club: Al Gore's dark past is an inconvenient truth -- OC Register's JOHN PHILLIPS; Lawsuit alleges inappropriate behavior by LA King's mascot, Bailey -- City News Service
The art of the deal, Capitol style -- Part II
CHRIS MICHELI in Capitol Weekly: "Cutting deals is part of the Capitol culture — it’s how laws are made."
"But does this deal-making come close to the legal line, or even cross it?"
"Let’s continue our review of California criminal statutes that might apply to the wheeling and dealing of the Legislature."
OP-ED: I'm on the FCC. Please stop us from killing net neutrality.
LA Times' JESSICA ROSENWORCEL: "Right now, you can go online and connect with friends, watch videos and read the news. There’s a good chance you are reading this online right now."
"We do much more on the internet than consume content, however. Increasingly, the internet is also where we create. We use online platforms and digital services to develop, share and spread ideas around the corner and around the globe."
"This is the open internet experience we all know, and it’s a big part of why America’s internet economy is the envy of the world."
Hayward council reverses course, approves mixed-use project
East Bay Times' DARIN MORIKI: "Just last month, it seemed likely that an old strip mall across the street from Holy Sepulchre Cemetery would remain as a mostly vacant skeleton of what once was a vibrant ethnic shopping center."
"It was a fate that appeared close to being sealed on Oct. 3, when the Hayward City Council rejected a proposal by KB Homes and DNS Capital Partners to demolish the Haymont Shopping Center at 26601 Mission Blvd. and build two separate projects: one with 35 market-rate townhouses, and another next to it with 39 market-rate apartments and 1,020 square feet of ground-floor commercial space."
"A lack of affordable housing units, green building features and open space were among the reasons cited by the City Council for denying the project."
As Malibu grapples with homelessness, weekly church dinners are pressured to shut down
LA Times' GALE HOLLAND: "Being homeless in Malibu is different."
"Chris Smith watches ducks land on the lagoon at sunset from his beach encampment, known to locals as Margaritaville."
"Nancy Rosenquist told the City Council of huddling behind a dumpster and listening to Lady Gaga record a song in an adjacent building."
READ MORE related to Homelessness: Homeless man spent his last $20 to keep her safe. She's raised $250,000 to repay him -- AP's AMANDA HOOVER
Right-, left-wing Berkeley celebs trade barbs, lawsuits
BANG's TOM LOCHNER: "In the latest chapter in a feud between two high-profile political activists, former Berkeley College Republicans president Troy Worden announced he is suing antifa celebrity Yvette Felarca for more than $100,000 in damages."
"Both sides had proclaimed vindication in October after an Alameda County Superior Court judge lifted a Temporary Restraining Order against Worden initiated by Felarca, an organizer with the group BAMN (By Any Means Necessary)."
"After the dismissal, Worden had announced that “now that we have stopped the multiple and ongoing harassment” by Felarca and BAMN, he hoped he could get on with his education and pursuit of his free speech rights. An attorney for Felarca, meanwhile, said the initial restraining order was dismissed on a technicality, and that the main aim, “to stop Troy Worden from stalking and intimidating Yvette Felarca,” had been achieved."
Manafort flight records show a deeper tie to the Kremlin than previously known
McClatchy DC's PETER STONE/GREG GORDON: "Political guru Paul Manafort took at least 18 trips to Moscow and was in frequent contact with Vladimir Putin’s allies for nearly a decade as a consultant in Russia and Ukraine for oligarchs and pro-Kremlin parties."
"Even after the February 2014 fall of Ukraine’s pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych, who won office with the help of a Manafort-engineered image makeover, the American consultant flew to Kiev another 19 times over the next 20 months while working for the smaller, pro-Russian Opposition Bloc party. Manafort went so far as to suggest the party take an anti-NATO stance, an Oppo Bloc architect has said. A key ally of that party leader, oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, was identified by an earlier Ukrainian president as a former Russian intelligence agent, “100 percent."
"It was this background that Manafort brought to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, which he joined in early 2016 and soon led. His web of connections to Russia-loyal potentates is now a focus of federal investigators."
READ MORE related to KremlinGate: Flynn lawyers make a break with Trump team -- AP
Roy Moore's Senate campaign is a train wreck. So why does he still have a decent shot at winning?
LA Tmes' MARK Z. BARABAK: "Roy Moore, the flailing Alabama candidate for U.S. Senate, has been abandoned by the national Republican Party and most of its leaders."
"He’s being vastly outspent by his Democratic rival, pummeled on the television airwaves and battered in the state’s newspapers. “Stand for Decency, Reject Roy Moore,” Alabama’s three leading papers thundered in a joint editorial emblazoned on Sunday’s front pages."
"And yet with just about two weeks to go until the Dec. 12 vote, the race is far from over."
Trump credits troops, and himself, for military advances
AP: "President Donald Trump thanked U.S. troops for their service on Thursday, assuring them "we're really winning" against America's foes as he celebrated Thanksgiving at his private club in Florida and provided lunch for Coast Guard men and women on duty for the holiday."
"Using the occasion to pat himself on the back, Trump told deployed military members via a video conference that they've achieved more progress in Afghanistan and against the Islamic State group under his watch than had been made in years of the previous administration."
"Everybody's talking about the progress you've made in the last few months since I opened it up," he told the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division, whose members are conducting operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan. "We're being talked about again as an armed forces — we're really winning."
READ MORE related to POTUS45: Congress should investigate Trump's alleged sexual misconduct -- WaPo's EUGENE ROBINSON; President Trump seems keen on picking fights with athletes. Or is it with black athletes? -- LA Times' KURTIS LEE
What could happen to Texas Rep. Joe Barton's seat?
McClatchyDC's ANDREA DRUSCH: "Backlash over a leak of video and text messages between Rep. Joe Barton and an unidentified woman could trigger a political battle that opens up a long-held Republican seat."
"Barton, 68, Texas’ longest-serving House member, told the Texas Tribune that he was “deciding how to respond” to a video showing him naked on Twitter. It was taken while he was separated, but not yet divorced from his second wife."
"Barton had announced earlier this month that he planned to seek another term."
How UC President Napolitano undermined state audit
East Bay Times' DANIEL BORENSTEIN: "George Blumenthal, chancellor of UC Santa Cruz, was driving to work a year ago when he received a call from Janet Napolitano, president of the 10-campus university system."
"She was “furious,” Blumenthal later recalled."
"The state auditor was surveying the campuses to see if officials were satisfied with services provided by Napolitano’s office. Following survey instructions, UCSC officials had sent their answers directly back to the auditor."
We recently posted an article in which a North Korean soldier sustained multiple gunshot wounds making a daring escape across the DMZ in an effort to defect to the South. That daring escape was caught on camera.
MilitaryNotes on YouTube: "Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of a North Korean soldier daring escape through the DMZ at the JSA site.
The KPA defector uses a military vehicle to cross the 72-hour Bridge.
Unfortunately, the defector gets the vehicle stuck along the row of JSA buildings."
READ MORE related to Military: Search ends for 3 US sailors missing in Navy aircraft crash -- AP
Trump golfs, tweets on Thanksgiving eve; Obama fed homeless veterans
Newsweek's JESSICA KWONG: "President Donald Trump, who spent Thanksgiving Eve sending angry tweets and golfing, might want to take a lesson from his predecessor Barack Obama, who has observed the holiday in years past in a far humbler fashion."
"While president, Obama served Thanksgiving dinner at a soup kitchen among other places, to less fortunate people including homeless veterans."
"Last Thanksgiving, Obama manned the turkey and gravy stations at the Armed Services Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. He did the same on Thanksgiving Eve 2015, for veterans and homeless individuals at St. Luke’s Methodist Church near the capital."
READ MORE related to Thanksgiving: Record-breaking turnout at Sacramento's annual Run to Feed the Hungry -- Sacramento Bee's TARYN LUNA; 'Pacer-for-life spirit' on full display at Turkey Bowl -- BEE STAFF; Many college students going hungry, need donated food groceries and food stamps -- The Chronicle's NANETTE ASIMOV
Remains of La David Johnson found in Niger
Newsweek's JOHN HALTIWANGER: "Additional remains of a U.S. soldier killed in a mysterious Niger ambush were reportedly found in the African nation earlier this month — even though his funeral had already been held, with his widow questioning whether he was even in the casket."
"The military and an FBI team in Niger discovered more remains of Sgt. La David Johnson about a month after he and three other American soldiers were killed in the ambush, CNN reported Tuesday. The announcement adds another layer of confusion to the ambush, which is still under investigation and has led to continuing factual disputes. "
"Johnson's wife, Myeshia Johnson, had told ABC News in October the military barred her from seeing her husband's body, making her very suspicious of what was in the casket at his funeral in later that month. It was a closed casket funeral. "
READ MORE related to International: 8 thought to be North Korean fishermen wash ashore in Japan -- AP; 184 killed as Egypt militants attack mosque in Sinai -- AP; 'We must work together,' Zimbabwe's new leader declares at inauguration -- AP
Manson's grandson is trying to claim his grandfather's body and reached out through GoFundMe in an effort to crowdsource funds to cover his legal and travel fees--the only problem is that GoFundMe put a blackout on the fundraising efforts without an explanation.
NY Daily News: "Charles Manson's grandson isn't giving up his plan to claim and bury the mass murderer, even after GoFundMe pulled the plug on his fundraising website Thursday."
""If we can't raise money with GoFundMe, we'll find another way. It will definitely be a group effort. It's not just one person, it's a lot of people holding hands," Jason Freeman told the New York Daily News."
"Freeman, 41, said he was on a Thanksgiving walk in some Ohio woods when he learned the crowd-sourcing page set up by his friend John Jones had been deactivated."
Desecrated in macabre ways, the ancestral remains of Catalina's Native Americans finally come home
LA Times' LOUIS SAHAGUN: "Nearly a century ago, an amateur archaeologist and showman named Ralph Glidden dug up Native American burial sites on Catalina and other Channel Islands off Southern California’s coast."
"To him, the human remains and relics were treasures to be displayed in the so-called Indian Museum he opened as a tourist attraction overlooking Avalon Harbor. It was a macabre place — and to Native Americans, highly offensive — with windows edged with toe, ankle, wrist and finger bones, shelves lined with skulls held up by leg and arm bones, and ceilings decorated with vertebrae and rosettes of shoulder blades. What Glidden didn’t use in the museum he sold."
"The museum closed in 1950, and many of those Native American remains — an array of skulls, bones and an estimated 30,000 teeth — sat in storage for decades, overlooked by researchers and far removed from living descendants."
The Roundup is maintained and curated by Associate Editor Geoffrey Howard. Questions, concerns, feedback? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.