Sacramento police officer fatally shot, suspect continues firing weapon as police surround home
Sacramento Bee's LAUREN HERNANDEZ/DUSTIN GARDINER: "A Sacramento police officer helping a woman move out of a home after a domestic dispute Wednesday was fatally shot with a rifle by a suspect who barricaded himself in the home, police said."
"The rookie officer, Tara O’Sullivan, 26, died at UC Davis Medical Center. Police had to conduct a rescue operation to remove the officer from the backyard, where she collapsed. The shooting occurred around 6 p.m. and the rescue was conducted just before 7 p.m., police said."
"O’Sullivan graduated from the academy in December and was still in training."
Can California avoid a third year of fire catastrophe? Here's what's been fixed -- and what hasn't
The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER/PETER FIMRITE/JD MORRIS/KATHLEEN PENDER: "All signs point to another busy fire year in California."
"Already, a heat wave this month triggered hundreds of wildfires. They were mostly small burns, but they thrived off a healthy crop of brush nourished by the wet winter. As the state’s hills and valleys continue to dry out, that vegetation may pose bigger problems."
"State and federal leaders are working to reduce the threat, but they face a number of long-standing challenges: overgrown forests that haven’t been cleared of undergrowth, sprawling development in high-risk areas, an electric grid prone to throwing deadly sparks and a warming climate."
California looks to use Trump tax law to help state's working poor
The Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "California Democrats have finally found something to like about the federal tax overhaul that congressional Republicans and President Trump pushed through in 2017 — they can use it to give more money to the working poor."
"The Legislature is poised to approve a proposal that would reduce some business write-offs to match the Trump tax law, bringing in more than a billion dollars per year in new state revenue, mostly from wealthy individuals and corporations."
"It is the cornerstone of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget push to more than double the size of the state’s earned income tax credit program. Lawmakers largely support that goal, and the Senate passed the measure this week."
After Camp Fire, PG&E found hundreds of 'immediate safety risk' problems on equipment
Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER: "PG&E Corp. said Wednesday its inspectors have found hundreds of “immediate safety risk” problems on its transmission towers and other equipment in recent months, some of them comparable to the flaws that state officials say ignited the Camp Fire last November."
"The utility said it has fixed almost all of the problems already."
"PG&E officials made the disclosure as they neared completion on an intensive inspection-and-repair program begun earlier this year in response to a 2018 law requiring utilities to improve their wildfire safety records. The utility said it inspected nearly 50,000 transmission towers and other equipment in the high-risk zones of its service territory, far more than usual."
California gas tax goes up July 1, but leaders say road repairs need even more money
LA Times's PATRICK MCGREEVY: "California is poised to charge the highest taxes and fees on gas in the country when an increase kicks in July 1, but officials say the state is still billions of dollars short of what’s needed to properly fix the roads and are considering additional charges."
"The gasoline tax is set to climb by 5.6 cents per gallon, the second in a wave of increases approved by state leaders two years ago to raise billions of dollars for road and bridge repairs and mass transit."
"Combined with a 12-cent increase that took effect in November 2017, the taxes and vehicle fees approved in a bill known as SB 1 are projected to add $5.4 billion in the coming year to transportation funding."
OP-ED: Time to focus on rehab for juvenile offenders
HARRY GRAMMER in Capitol Weekly: "Recent reports found that youth detention facilities are failing to adjust spending rates even after facility populations have drastically dropped. California youth are not committing violent crimes at the rate that was once predicted, leaving many detention hall beds empty."
"The declining juvenile crime rate is an opportunity for the state to transform the juvenile criminal justice system with a larger focus on rehabilitating system-involved youth and lowering recidivism rates – an effective solution for state safety and the budget. As the article outlines, California spent an average of $284,700 last year to incarcerate a single youth, and juvenile facilities were operating at or below 50% capacity."
"California is heading down a path of progress and there is much work yet to be done, but in Los Angeles County, major progress is already being made."
Kamala Harris to introduce bill to cover HIV prevention drug
The Chronicle's TAL KOPAN: "Sen. Kamala Harris will introduce legislation Thursday that would require health insurance companies to cover the HIV prevention drug PrEP, a first-of-its-kind bill that the California Democrat timed to coincide with Pride Month."
"The bill would require that insurance plans cover the full cost of PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, as well as require initial tests and related follow-up visits with a doctor."
"That would go beyond a recommendation this month by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a panel of government-appointed prevention experts, that PrEP be given to people at high risk of contracting HIV."
2020 hopeful Marianne Williamson apologizes for calling vaccined law 'draconian' and 'Orwellian'
LA Times's MATT PEARCE: "Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, an author and self-help guru who will appear on the Democratic debate stage next week, apologized Wednesday night after she attacked mandatory vaccinations as “draconian” and “Orwellian” at a Manchester, N.H., event."
"To me, it’s no different than the abortion debate,” Williamson said at the event, according to a tweet from an NBC News reporter. “The U.S. government doesn’t tell any citizen, in my book, what they have to do with their body or their child."
"After a request for comment from the Los Angeles Times, Williamson acknowledged making the remarks and said she misspoke"
Car makers launch late drive challenging Newsom's plan to close state tax breaks
Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "Car makers are launching a last-second drive to challenge a proposal by California Gov. Gavin Newsom that would close a set of business tax benefits that collectively would raise about $1.4 billion a year for the state."
"One item in the package would cost car makers more than $100 million a year, according to a letter the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers sent to Newsom late last month. The organizations lobby for domestic and foreign car manufacturers."
"“It is unreasonable to expect a small number of companies in one industry to carry such a large proportion of the burden,” the carmakers wrote."
Cory Booker's 2020 plan: Clemency for up to 20,000 nonviolent drug offenders
LA Times's MATT PEARCE: "In an effort to reduce mass incarceration, Cory Booker wants to reform the clemency powers of the White House and shorten federal prison sentences for as many as 20,000 nonviolent drug offenders, according to a proposal unveiled by the Democrat’s presidential campaign Thursday morning."
"On his first day in the Oval Office, Booker would launch clemency reviews for federal prisoners who have been convicted of marijuana-related offenses or who received especially lengthy sentences for having crack cocaine, a punishment that has landed most heavily on black Americans."
"The senator from New Jersey is proposing to reduce several thousand prisoners’ sentences to match more lenient sentencing minimums under the First Step Act signed by President Trump last year."
Pelosi: We'll impeach 'when we stop finding even more information'
The Chronicle's TAL KOPAN: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that if the House moves forward with impeachment proceedings, it will be because members are ready to vote to impeach President Trump. But she downplayed the likelihood that moment will ever arrive."
"When we stop finding even more information,” the San Francisco Democrat said when pressed where the line would be that would trigger impeachment. “This runs deep and every day we see more, so why would we stop with a less strong case? If you’re going to go down this path, you have to make it so clear."
"Many House Democrats have called for an impeachment inquiry as a way of strengthening their hand against Trump, who is resisting congressional subpoenas and exerting executive privilege over documents and witness testimony in a variety of investigations of his administration."
Eric Swalwell: Running for president 'if I'm still in it'
The Chronicle's TAL KOPAN: "Rep. Eric Swalwell says he will keep running for president as long as he’s “still in it,” but if he gets cut from the Democratic debate stage, he could seek to retain his East Bay congressional seat."
"His deadline will be December — the last chance to register to run for Congress in California."
"The Dublin Democrat’s comments to The Chronicle echo what he told the Washington Post, noting that the criteria to qualify for the presidential debates will get stiffer in September. Swalwell narrowly qualified for the first debate June 27, but could lose his spot by a July debate if more candidates qualify and poll stronger than he does, or by September when the bar for making it onto the stage becomes higher."
Major homeless nonprofit plans to close 90-bed shelter after loss of state funding
Sacramento Bee's THERESA CLIFT/ALEXANDRA YOON-HENDRICKS: "A major homeless nonprofit will need to shut down 90 beds, a dining hall and a culinary training program at its Mather Community Campus in Rancho Cordova if it does not receive more funding by July 1, the nonprofit said Wednesday."
"It’s the largest cut facing Mather in its 23 years of operating, said Christie Holderegger of Volunteers of America."
"It’s going to be a huge impact to our community having up to 90 empty beds. It just doesn’t make sense.” Holderegger said."
Activists target Mayor Eric Garcetti with a recall campaign, citing homelessness crisis
LA Times's DAKOTA SMITH: "Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is being targeted for removal from office over his handling of the homelessness crisis."
"On Wednesday, Alexandra Datig, a political commentator who is leading the effort, told reporters at a news conference outside City Hall that the mayor was served with a notice of intent for recall — the first step of a long-shot attempt."
"He can’t handle the crisis,” said Datig, a registered Republican who described herself as longtime Angeleno frustrated by the surging number of people living on the street. “He needs to step down."
Capitol Corridor commute from Sacramento to South Bay now 5 mins faster officials say
Sacramento Bee's CAROLINE GHISOLFI: "Capitol Corridor commuters traveling between Sacramento and the South Bay Area just got five minutes of their lives back, transportation officials say."
"A new timetable went into effect Monday, reportedly reducing travel times and delays of nearly a dozen trains on the 170-mile route between San Jose and Auburn, according to a Capitol Corridor news release."
"The new schedule released by Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority marks the completion of its $12 million rail infrastructure improvement Travel Time Savings Project in partnership with the California Department of Transportation, the California State Transportation Agency and Union Pacific, according to the release."
Snow thaw means Sierra campgrounds finally opening for summer
The Chronicle's TOM STIENSTRA: "After a six-month winter, Tioga Road will open Friday on a limited basis with access to the high country of Yosemite National Park. The Lassen Park Highway will open Saturday afternoon. Full operations at Echo Lake near Tahoe, Caples Lakenear Carson Pass, and a dozen campgrounds in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area also will commence this weekend."
"Two weeks from Fourth of July weekend, summer finally is arriving to the flank of the Sierra Nevada. Hot sun in the past 10 days has melted snow across millions of acres of national forest up to about 7,500-foot elevations in California’s mountain country. That is allowing rangers to open roads and trails for camping, hiking and boating at hundreds of small lakes and streams."
"At the same time, many high-country wilderness areas remain inaccessible. Snow depths higher than 10 feet this week include at the Pacific Crest Trail above 9,500-foot Leavitt Lake near Sonora Pass, at 7,707-foot Grouse Ridge in the Bowman Lakes Recreation Area north of Tahoe, and at the 8,500-foot staging area for the trailhead for Lassen Peak."
Will Trump's 5G push interfere with forecasting deadly storms in California and US?
LA Times's SUSANNE RUST: "As atmospheric rivers dumped record volumes of rain on California this spring, emergency responders used the federal government’s satellites to warn people about where the storms were likely to hit hardest."
"Many government scientists say such warnings may become a thing of the past if the Trump administration’s Federal Communications Commission pushes forward with plans to auction off radio frequency bands adjacent to one that weather forecasters use."
"In May, the FCC finished accepting bids on a radio frequency bandwidth that agency officials say will enable U.S. companies to compete in the 5G wireless field, which offers the tantalizing prospect of a much faster, more reliable cellphone signal. Nearly 30 cellular companies bid on nearly 3,000 licenses, bringing in more than $2 billion."
Iran shoots down Navy Drone, US Says, ratcheting up tensions in Persian Gulf
LA Times's DAVID S CLOUD: "A Navy reconnaissance drone was shot down by a missile fired from Iran, the Pentagon said Thursday, but U.S. and Iranian military officials disputed whether the unmanned aircraft was in Iranian airspace."
"The shootdown follows weeks of escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington, including mine explosions on two oil tankers that the Trump administration has blamed on Iran."
"The incident is the most serious military clash between the U.S. and Iran since the Pentagon began beefing up its presence in the Middle East in early May, saying intelligence indicated that Iran was preparing to attack U.S. forces or allies."