Coming home to roost

Dec 11, 2018

PG&E facing losses over Camp Fire, vows to step up wildfire safety


Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER: "PG&E, facing an avalanche of lawsuits and increased regulatory scrutiny following the Camp Fire, announced another series of safety measures Monday that it said will reduce wildfire risks."


"The embattled utility said it will conduct “detailed safety inspections” of more than 5,500 miles of transmission lines, going beyond its routine maintenance and inspections. “This includes ground and climbing inspections, as well as aerial imagery captured by drones and in some cases helicopter, to further complement and enhance visual inspections."


"PG&E also said it will do more to trim “overhanging branches and limbs directly above and around power lines, and trees that are at an increased risk of falling into lines.” It also will expand its network of weather stations, adding 1,300 more stations by 2022."


ICE arrested undocumented adults who sought to take in immigrant children


The Chronicle's TAL KOPAN: "The Trump administration has arrested 170 undocumented immigrants who came forward to try to take migrant children out of government custody, federal officials said Monday. More than 100 of those arrested had no criminal record."


"The arrest totals were released as the number of undocumented immigrant children in government custody has reached record highs, with no signs of slowing down. The number has surged to more than 14,700, according to a source familiar with the total."


READ MORE related to Immigration: Immigrant asylum claims increase at US southern border -- LA Times's MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE


Mayor Garcetti's speech at USC shut down by protesters


LA Times's DAKOTA SMITH: "Mayor Eric Garcetti was forced to halt a speech Monday at USC after demonstrators began shouting at him and criticizing his approach to the city’s homelessness crisis, the Los Angeles Police Department’s use of force and other issues."


"Garcetti was less than a minute into his address in front of an audience of about 350 people at USC’s Bovard Auditorium when he was interrupted by a series of protesters."


"The mayor had planned to deliver the keynote speech at an event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."


Sale, possible slaughter of California horses delayed while they get their day in court


The Tribune's ANDREW SHEELER: "The U.S. Forest Service has agreed to postpone the sale without limitation of hundreds of older wild horses — rounded up in Northern California earlier this fall — until after a hearing late next month."


"A sale without limitation would mean the horses could be purchased by foreign slaughterhouses to be turned into food. The order putting the sale on hold was filed Dec. 6.""

The U.S. Forest Service has agreed to postpone the sale without limitation of hundreds of older wild horses — rounded up in Northern California earlier this fall — until after a hearing late next month.""A sale without limitation would mean the horses could be purchased by foreign slaughterhouses to be turned into food. The order putting the sale on hold was filed Dec. 6."


"Before that, un-adopted mustangs 10 and older collected in a “horse gather” in Modoc National Forest earlier this fall would have gone for sale on Jan. 15. Now, that sale will not begin until at least Feb. 18."


Trump administration poised to strip protections from up to two-thirds of California streams and millions of acres nationwide


LA Times's EVAN HALPER: "The Trump administration is poised to roll back Clean Water Act protections on millions of acres of waterways and wetlands, including up to two-thirds of California’s inland streams, following through on a promise to agriculture interests and real estate developers to rewrite an Obama-era rule limiting pollution."


"The administration’s plan for a vastly scaled-down Clean Water Rule is expected to be released as soon as Tuesday. Officials said nearly two years ago that they had begun the process of reversing the rule President Obama put in place, and internal talking points laying out its case were disclosed late last week by the environmental media outlet E&E News."


"The talking points signal that the Environmental Protection Agency intends to strip federal protections from many of the nation’s wetlands and streams that do not flow year-round. The administration has not challenged the accuracy of the talking points."


READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: A wet start to the winter brings piles of snow to California mountains and high hopes for water supply -- LA Times's ALEJANDRA REYES-VELARDE


Protesters demand closure of school where teen with autism was restrained, later died


Sacramento Bee's SAWSAN MORRAR: "A small group of former students, advocates and parents gathered in front of the California Department of Education Monday to demand the closure of a school where a teen with autism stopped breathing and later died after being restrained by staff."


"Nearly a dozen protestors said they were demanding the immediate closure of Guiding Hands School in El Dorado Hills. Those gathered also said they believed state regulators didn’t do enough to prevent the death of Max Benson, 13, who died Nov. 29, a day after school staff put him in a face-down restraint for an extended period of time."


"The California Department of Education found “sufficient evidence” in a preliminary inspection of Guiding Hands that the facility had violated multiple state rules governing how and when physical restraints can be used on students, according to a letter sent to the school obtained The Sacramento Bee through a California Public Records Act request."


READ MORE related to Education: California college students who want abortions were slapped in the face by Jerry Brown -- LA Times's ROBIN ABCARIAN

New name on SFO's International Terminal might not be Ed Lee's


The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS:  "The idea of renaming San Francisco airport’s International Terminal for the late Mayor Ed Lee is running into headwinds — and one reason is that some feel the honor should go to Sen. Dianne Feinstein."


"It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” said Chinese community activist David Ho."


"With the Dec. 12 anniversary of Lee’s death in two days, a Chinatown vigil is planned to bring renewed attention to the idea of honoring the city’s first Asian American mayor by naming one of the airport’s biggest terminals after him."


READ MORE related to Transportation: BART pays $7.5k for violations on its Measure RR bond campaign in 2016 -- The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN


SF supervisor's bill takes aim at illegal home demolitions


The Chronicle's JK DINEEN: "A San Francisco lawmaker is pushing back against what he says is the growing trend of real estate speculators illegally knocking down homes and replacing them with much larger and more expensive “monster” houses."


"On Tuesday Supervisor Aaron Peskin will introduce the Housing Preservation and Expansion Reform Act, legislation that increases fines for illegal demolitions and also requires a conditional use authorization for any home expansion that increases the square footage by more than 10 percent."


"The bill comes after several high-profile, historic homes have been essentially demolished through “serial permitting” — a practice of pulling multiple permits for smaller remodels that if, taken together, are tantamount to allowing a new building."


Napa police release body cam footage of fatal shooting, chase


The Chronicle's GWENDOLYN WU: "A Napa man was shot to death by police after an early morning foot chase led to a violent struggle for an officer’s rifle, authorities said Monday."


"Napa Police Chief Robert Plummer held a news conference to present body camera footage of the chaotic Dec. 5 shooting of 27-year-old David Molina. Dispatchers received a call at 1:48 a.m. reporting an armed man assaulting a woman outside the Kentwood Apartments near Lincoln and Soscol avenues, according to 911 audio released Monday."


"Eight minutes later, Officer Christopher Simas fired his department-issued rifle and struck Molina four times. He was pronounced dead at the scene."


CBS sells Television City for $750M to LA real estate developer


LA Times's MEG JAMES/ROGER VINCENT: "For CBS Corp., the price was right."


"The company said Monday that it has sold its iconic Television City headquarters, and active sound stages, near Farmers Market and The Grove for $750 million to Los Angeles-based real estate developer Hackman Capital Partners."


"The sale, which was expected, will give the buyer the right to use the Television City name in connection with its future operations on the property. But shows that are produced at Television City, including CBS’ “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” “The Price is Right” and “The Young and the Restless,” will continue to be based there."


Some Trump allies starting to worry about investigation


AP's JONATHAN LEMIRE/ALAN FRAM/ELANA SCHOR: "President Donald Trump's intensifying legal troubles are unnerving some of his fellow Republicans. Despite his brash stance, they believe the turmoil has left him increasingly vulnerable as he gears up for what is sure to be a nasty fight for re-election."


"Trump, ever confident of his ability to bend story lines to his will, mocks the investigations into his conduct as candidate and president as a "witch hunt" and insists he will survive the threats."


"But a shift began to unfold over the weekend after prosecutors in New York for the first time linked Trump to a federal crime of illegal hush payments. That left some of his associates fearful that his customary bravado is unwarranted. For some Republicans, the implication that the president may have directed a campaign finance violation, which would be a felony, could foreshadow a true turning point in the Republican relationship with him when special counsel Robert Mueller releases his report on the Russia investigation."


READ MORE related to POTUS45/KremlinGate: Meadows would bnrning political skill to chief of staff job. But can he control Trump? -- McClatchy DC's FRANCO ORDONEZ/EMMA DUMAIN


5 missing US marines declared dead in plane crash off Japan


AP: "The U.S. military has declared five missing crew members dead after their refueling plane collided with a fighter jet last week off Japan's southern coast, and halted search and recovery operations."


"The five crew members were on a KC-130 refueling aircraft that collided Thursday with an F/A-18 Hornet during regularly scheduled training."

Panic: The Untold Story of the 2008 Financial Crisis


From VICE: "A decade after the 2008 financial crisis brought the global financial system to the edge of collapse, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Henry Paulson, Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, Josh Bolten, Jamie Dimon and others speak as they never have before about the frantic, bipartisan effort to keep America out of another great depression." 

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