Sweet contracts, tricky rules help California unions hold on after court loss
Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "California public employee unions can celebrate a little good news in the months since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling that stripped them of millions of dollars in revenue and threatened their influence in the state:"
"So far, workers are not leaving their unions in high numbers. In fact, some labor organizations are gaining members."
"Payroll data from the State Controller’s Office show that the unions representing California state employees have collectively gained members since the Supreme Court in June issued a decision that banned public sector unions from collecting fees from workers who don’t choose to join them."
More whistleblowers emerge in fight over secret report on prison psychiatric care
Sacramento Bee's SAM STANTON: "With lawyers for state inmates insisting that a secret reportprepared by California’s top prison psychiatrist must be made public, attorneys in the case say more whistleblowers are beginning to come forward."
"The revelation came during a hearing in federal court in Sacramento on Monday, where U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller is wrestling with how to deal with a 160-page report compiled by Dr. Michael Golding, the top psychiatrist in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation."
"Golding leaked the report two weeks ago to the federal receiver overseeing medical care in the prisons, and lawyers for the inmates say the report contains allegations that corrections officials have provided misleading and inaccurate information to Mueller."
Gavin Newsom slashed welfare checks to the homeless, with the goal of housing more people. Did it work?
LA Times's DAKOTA SMITH: "When San Francisco’s homelessness problem swelled in the early 2000s, Gavin Newsom endorsed a radical plan for the famously liberal city."
"Then a San Francisco supervisor on the rise, Newsom proposed slashing the amount of welfare for single homeless adults and instead using the funds on shelters, housing and services. Called Care Not Cash, the program sought to stop welfare recipients from spending their monthly checks on heroin or alcohol."
READ MORE related to Homelessness & Housing: SF supervisor wants to protect tenants without leases whose spouses pass on -- The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI
Tougher rules to curb vehicle pollution
OPINION: SHANNON BAKER-BRANSTETTER in Capitol Weekly: "Californians who want cleaner air have long known that addressing pollution from vehicles is a problem we must address. Transportation accounts for the greatest share of greenhouse gas emissions in California, at 41 percent and trending up."
"So it should come as a relief that California’s Air Resources Board recently approved a suite of clean transportation rules that will not only help reduce carbon emissions from vehicles, but will help consumers who are feeling the pain of rising fuel costs in California.."
"A report from Consumers Union finds that California’s clean transportation policies could save households up to $1,500 annually by 2030."
John Cox pushes for repeal of CA gas tax hike at Bay Area rally
The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "John Cox, the Republican candidate for governor, made a brief stop in Santa Clara on Monday to boost efforts to repeal the state’s recent gas tax increase and, not incidentally, slam Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, his Democratic election rival."
"The 12-cent-per-gallon gas increase passed last year by the Legislature forces too many Californians to choose between food for their tables or gas for their cars, Cox said."
"The rising cost of housing in California “is forcing people to move away from the cities they love and the work they enjoy,” Cox said, and the higher gas tax is making long commutes even more expensive."
Here's why Meals on Wheels is asking elderly Californians about their LGBT status
Sacramento Bee's MICHAEL MCGOUGH/CASSIE DICKMAN: "Carol Alexander received a phone call from Sacramento County’s Meals on Wheels program last Friday and it wasn’t her usual case worker."
"Alexander, 83, said she was hit with a barrage of about a half-dozen questions she considered invasive or unnecessary: What is your sex? Do you still associate with your gender? Are you heterosexual? Are you white or Hispanic?"
"I was in shock. I took offense to that,” she said."
Is the US really facing a border crisis?
LA Times's CINDY CARCAMO: "The images convey a deepening U.S. immigration crisis: a two-mile-long stream of more than 7,000 Central American migrants marching into Mexico, heading north toward the United States."
"President Trump has seized on the mass exodus, taking to Twitter to call it an “assault” on the southern U.S. border. Two weeks shy of the midterm election, he continues to characterize the border as out of control, threatening to send troops there and telling a crowd of supporters in Montana: “Remember it’s gonna be an election of the caravan."
"But is pressure on the U.S. border really getting worse?"
READ MORE related to Immigration: Here's what happens when migrant caravan arrives at US border -- The Chronicle's TAL KOPAN
UCSF delays over 4,000 appointments ahead of union strike
The Chronicle's CATHERINE HO: "Thousands of unionized University of California workers plan to begin a three-day strike Tuesday morning that has forced three major UC-run medical centers in San Francisco to cancel or reschedule thousands of appointments."
"The locations expected to be affected most are UCSF’s Parnassus, Mission Bay and Mount Zion facilities. The emergency rooms at Parnassus and Mission Bay will remain open during the strike, but some outpatient clinics at Mount Zion will operate at half capacity, UCSF officials said. Some medical services will be provided by temporary replacement workers, who are not unionized."
"Across the three UCSF centers, about 4,200 non-urgent appointments, 241 surgeries and 172 chemotherapy and other infusion treatments were rescheduled, according to the university. Ten acute patients were transferred to other hospitals."
READ MORE related to Education: Candidates for California state superintendent of schools trade barbs over attack ads -- EdSource's NICO SAVIDGE
Dungeness crab season nears in California, but toxins pose a familiar threat
The Chronicle's TARA DUGGAN: "The days are getting shorter, pumpkin spice lattes are here and once again, it’s time for that other Bay Area rite of fall: worrying about the levels of toxins in local Dungeness crabs."
"With the state’s recreational Dungeness crab season scheduled to start Nov. 3 and the commercial season Nov. 15, the California Department of Public Health has released preliminary test resultson Dungeness crab for domoic acid, the neurotoxin that caused delays in two of the past three crab seasons in the Bay Area."
"So far, elevated levels of domoic acid were found in five Dungeness crabs collected from Bodega Bay and Trinidad (Humboldt County) in late September and early October, which is the most recent data available. The San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Monterey and Morro Bay regions were clean in this round of tests. Testing will continue in the coming days and weeks."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Stop sale and slaughter of wild horses in California, lawsuit says -- The Tribune's ANDREW SHEELER
California has lost more than half a million jobs to China -- more than any other state, report says
LA Times's MARGOT ROOSEVELT: "California has lost more jobs to China than any other state since 2001, fueled by Silicon Valley outsourcing and the continued shrinking of Southern California’s apparel industry, according to a report released Tuesday by a Washington, D.C., think tank."
"Some 562,000 jobs were displaced in the Golden State, the equivalent of a 3.34% share of California’s total employment of 16.8 million jobs in 2017, the Economic Policy Institute concluded."
SF transportation authority considers withholding $9.7M from Transbay center
The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "The San Francisco County Transportation Authority will vote Tuesday on whether to suspend $9.7 million in funding for the beset Transbay Transit Center, and its chairman wants to replace the independent government agency that has managed the project since 2001."
"I think that putting a pause on spending more taxpayer dollars on an agency that needs better oversight is the right thing to do at this point in time,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, chair of the authority, which comprises the 11 city supervisors."
"Peskin called for the freeze in Proposition K sales tax funds that would have helped lay a new railroad track to link the center in SoMa to the Caltrain station at Fourth and Townsend streets. Ultimately, transit officials dream of a region crisscrossed by rail, with newly electrified Caltrains zipping up the Peninsula and into the Transbay center’s basement, and bullet trains barreling in from Southern California."
USC gynecologist accused of abusing patients faces loss of medical license
LA Times's MATT HAMILTON: "Dr. George Tyndall, the longtime campus gynecologist at USC, faces the loss of his medical license after state regulators formally accused him of negligence and sexual misconduct with several patients."
"The charges brought by the Medical Board of California come as Tyndall and USC face hundreds of civil claims from women who allege sexual abuse and harassment. On Friday, USC announced that it had agreed topay $215 million to settle a federal class-action lawsuit brought by several former patients. The university’s total legal costs for the scandal are expected to be significantly higher."
Turkish leader says Khashoggi's killing was planned in advance
LA Times's NABIH BULOS: "On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyep Erdogan vowed he would reveal the details behind the killing of Saudi journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi and expose what many believe is a cover-up by Saudi Arabia."
“The truth,” he said, would be “revealed in full nakedness.”
"It remained mostly clothed."