This year's November ballot will have more than enough measures on it to keep voters occupied at the booths. Don't forget to stretch your fingers.
John Myers with L.A. Times reports:"California elections officials announced Thursday that 17 measures have earned a spot on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot, a bumper crop of voter choices ranging from marijuana legalization to repeal of the death penalty and even new workplace rules for actors in adult movies."
"It is the longest list of state propositions on a single ballot since March 2000, and could grow longer still as lawmakers consider placing three more measures on the ballot in August."
“Hardly anything on this ballot is boring,” said Thad Kousser, a political science professor at UC San Diego who studies the initiative process. “These are all hot-button issues, and ones that will generate big time advertising expenditures.”
READ ALSO: Voters will weigh extension of temporary taxes on California's wealthy taxpayers in November -- John Myers with L.A. Times; Gov. Brown's plan to revamp prison parole rules qualifies for the November ballot -- John Myers in L.A.Times.
Apparently, not everything that happens in Vegas, stays there. Long story short: A firm hired by Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power used ratepayer funds to pay for Las Vegas prostitutes.
Dakota Smith in L.A. Daily News writes: "Contractors for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power used ratepayer funds to pay for Las Vegas prostitutes, hotel rooms and booze, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer alleged Thursday."
"In a Los Angeles County Superior Court filing, Feuer states PriceWaterhouseCoopers employees working on the DWP’s billing system engaged in a “three-year long conspiracy to defraud the City and LADWP by submitting falsified time records and invoices” from 2011 to at least 2013."
"The consulting firm denied the charges Thursday, calling the city’s allegations a “crude attempt to disparage PwC."
MORE STORIES related to Los Angeles: What's going on with these tax hikes for homeless programs, anyway? -- David Zahniser in L.A. Times; $54 million wasted on 'unneccessary' interest payments, city controller says -- Matt Stevens in L.A. Times
A new report from civil rights group Advancement Project is showing that communities of color are not very politically involved.
Mary Plumer with KPCC writes: "A new report released Thursday finds that California still has a long way to go to improve political participation among its residents, particularly those who are Asian Americans, African Americans and Latinos."
"The report from the civil rights group Advancement Project and University of California, Riverside, School of Public Policy found that race plays a major factor when measuring participation in government."
"As has been previously reported, voter turnout lags among communities of color. But they also fall behind in other kinds of political participation."
San Francisco P.D. has been hit with a federal verdict stating that the department has used racially discriminatory law enforcement, and now the pressure continues to build.
The Chronicle's Bob Egelko and Vivian Ho report: "Accusations of racism in the San Francisco Police Department gained momentum in federal court Thursday when a judge ruled that a series of Tenderloin drug stings — in which all 37 people charged were black — showed “substantial evidence” of racially discriminatory law enforcement."
"According to court records, one officer was overheard making derogatory references to “BMs,” or black males, and another referred to black women as “bitches.” There was also evidence that police were aware of nonblack drug dealers in the same area but did not arrest them. The evidence included a videotaped incident in which an officer apparently turned down an Asian American woman’s offer of a drug sale before arresting a nearby black woman."
"The evidence shows there are substantial numbers (and a substantial proportion) of drug dealers in the Tenderloin who are not African American; yet they were not stopped or arrested,” said U.S. District Judge Edward Chen."
SEE MORE in Public Safety: LAPD commander alleges retaliaton after leak of agency's purchase of horse owned by chief's daughter -- Richard Winton in L.A. Times
Meanwhile, California's new vaccination law takes effect today.
Reported by Anshu Siripurapu with Sac Bee: "Parents: It’s time to get your kids their shots. California’s vaccine law takes full effect Friday, prohibiting school authorities from admitting new students or advancing students to seventh grade unless they have been properly vaccinated or have a valid medical excuse."
"The requirement stems from Senate Bill 277, last year’s controversial law that eliminated religious and personal belief exemptions from child vaccinations."
“It’s going to ensure that all children are safe in school from dangerous, preventable diseases,” state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, the bill’s author, said Thursday."
READ MORE in Healthcare: Northern California has the highest costs in the U.S. to deliver a baby -- Lisa Aliferis in KQED
As long-term residents in San Francisco continue to be upset with Airbnb's market driving up the cost of rent (and ultimately forcing some residents to move), the S.F.-founded online marketplace continues to grow at odds with local government.
California Today in N.Y. Times: "All over California, communities are grappling with a shortage of affordable housing."
"Is Airbnb part of the problem?"
"The company is increasingly at odds with local governments in the state."
Gov. Brown has made mention that he likes the idea of mandatory national service for all young citizens.
David Siders reports in Sac Bee: "One week before the 40th anniversary of the California Conservation Corps, which he started when he was governor before, Gov. Jerry Brown said Thursday that he favors the idea of national, mandatory service for young people."
"In an interview at the Capitol, Brown discussed public service, the limitations of “typing on your digital mechanism” and the value of working up a “good sweat."
SEE MORE related to Gov. Brown: Gov. Brown again refuses parol to ex-Mexican Mafia killer Rene ''Boxer'' Enriquez -- Kate Mather with L.A. Times
And for the person or entrty that had the worst week in California, #WorstWeekCA, we picked the San Francisco Police Department. As noted above, SFPD was the object of a federal verdict yesterday that slammed the department for racially discriminatory law enforcement.