SF Dems target far-right rally

Aug 16, 2017

San Francisco leaders are opposing a planned Aug. 26 "Unite the Right" rally at Crissy Field, fearing a threat to public safety. The gathering's organizers already have received permit approval for the event.


The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS: "San Francisco’s top political leaders piled on Tuesday in opposition to a right-wing group’s planned rally next week at Crissy Field, with Mayor Ed Lee expressing outrage that the National Park Service granted a permit for the event and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi questioning whether it had been approved “under guidance from the White House."

"An organizer of the Aug. 26 rally rejected suggestions that it would be a gathering of white supremacists. And the local managers of the Presidio, a national park site, said the group’s politics made no difference because it had a constitutional right to a permit — as long as public safety isn’t endangered."

"Pelosi, Lee and Sen. Dianne Feinstein said their fear is that law enforcement won’t be able to ensure public safety, especially in the aftermath of Saturday’s violence at a rally of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va. A woman was killed and 19 people were hurt when a car was driven into a crowd of counterprotesters, allegedly by a man who has espoused neo-Nazi views."


California's bullet train is still on a difficult road -- track? -- to fruition.


Capitol Weekly's DANIEL MARACCINI: "California’s bullet train may be in trouble again, as a recent court ruling and potential funding obstacles have plunged the transportation project into further uncertainty."

"The latest setbacks add to lingering questions over whether the $64 billion project can both meet its scheduled completion date and guarantee enough funding."


"When proposed to voters in 2008 through a bond initiative, the train system was supposed to be paid for through a combination of state funds, federal funds and private-sector investments, with each source contributing about a third of the total cost. In 2008, the San Francisco to Los Angeles line was predicted to cost $40 billion, but since then that estimate has risen to $64 billion."


Five Assembly members were targeted in newspaper ads for their reluctance to OK state sanctuary bill.


AP: "Five state Assembly Democrats who are undecided on a bill to create a statewide sanctuary policy are seeing their faces on full-page newspaper ads that call them out for their reluctance to take a stand on the Trump administration’s “cruel and out-of-control deportation machine.”

"The ads are part of a campaign by the American Civil Liberties Union of Sacramento, Planned Parenthood of California, immigrant rights groups and other supporters that are pressuring lawmakers to vote for the bill to bar law enforcement across the state from cooperating with federal immigration authorities."

"SB54 passed the Senate in April on a strictly partisan vote with all 27 Democrats voting in favor of the bill. But there are no guarantees the bill will get the majority vote it needs to pass in the more moderate Assembly. It passed two Assembly committees and now faces a third before it could head for a floor vote in the coming weeks."


California court upholds mom's secret recording of babysitter's abuse.


The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "California law makes it a crime to record someone’s conversation secretly, with a few exceptions — and one of them, a state appeals court says, allows a parent to use a hidden cell phone to record her child’s talks with a babysitter suspected of abuse."

"A mother’s recording led to the conviction of a 12-year-old babysitter for molesting his 4-year-old cousin. The defense lawyer argued that the recording was illegal because neither of the speakers had consented."

"But the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Fresno said Monday that a parent who reasonably fears harm to her child, particularly a young child, can consent to a secret recording on the child’s behalf. State law normally requires the consent of both parties to a conversation, but allows consent by one person who reasonably suspects the other of a serious crime."


The firefighters union says using civilian paramedics are a bad idea -- but it apparently worked. 


Sacramento Bee's FOON RHEE: "The city of Sacramento quietly took ambulances staffed with civilian paramedics out for a six-month test drive – and it went smoothly."


"That should lower the volume on public safety concerns raised by the local firefighters’ union, which has steadfastly resisted the idea of having anything other than two firefighters in every city ambulance."

"And it should embolden elected officials to show some spine and push hard for wider use of civilian paramedics, saving taxpayers boatloads of money."


READ MORE related to PublicSafety: LA County commission will explore 'unintended consequences' of prison reform laws -- Daily News' SUSAN ABRAM


Bernie Sanders decisively lost his presidential bid, but he won the hearts and souls of progressives who are now inspired to unseat Republicans holding some of the most important congressional districts in the country.


Sacramento Bee's ANGELA HART: "A 30-year-old lawyer who backed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign last year has jumped into the race to challenge Rep. Ami Bera, a three-term Democrat representing suburban Sacramento."

"Brad Westmoreland, a Democrat and political newcomer, said he wants to shake up “politics as usual.” He criticized Bera for his stance on health care and for accepting campaign contributions from insurance companies."

"I believe in Medicare for all ... . I don’t think we can rely on Congressman Bera to go against his own interests and support universal health care when he takes money from people who are opposed to a Medicare-for-all type system,” Westmoreland said, referencing Sanders’ push for a single-payer health care system. “I think about my son growing up in a world where we continue to ration health care away from those who need it, and I think that’s unacceptable."


A California prison psychologist alleges that she was left locked in a cell with a convicted rapist at the California Medical Facility.


Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "A California prison psychologist has filed a lawsuit against the state alleging she was threatened and demoted after she reported mistreatment of gay and transgender inmates at a correctional facility in Vacaville."

"On two occasions, psychologist Lori Jespersen alleges, a correctional officer locked her in a confinement area with dangerous criminals after she filed complaints on behalf of transgender inmates at the California Medical Facility."

"The shocking nature of (the corrections department’s) retaliation against Dr. Jespersen – trapping her in units with notoriously dangerous prisoners, soliciting prisoners to harm her, and more” compelled her to take a one-month leave from her job in 2016, the lawsuit says."


Sacramento has backed away from instituting restrictions on activists picketing in residential areas.


Sacramento Bee's ELLEN GARRISON/ANITA CHABRIA: "After activists spent much of Tuesday protesting a Sacramento plan to restrict protests, the City Council dropped sections that would have prohibited picketing outside private homes and curtailed the use of bullhorns in residential areas."

"The changes were part of a larger package to place new limits on panhandling and activist activities that Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said came from Councilman Steve Hansen, who represents the central city and Land Park."

"The package comes as homelessness is on the rise and downtown business owners have asked for more action from the city to deter panhandling, outdoor camping and criminal activity. The City Council on Tuesday dropped the residential picketing and bullhorn restrictions and sent the rest of the ordinance back to the Law and Legislation Committee for further review."


An illegally oprated foster care agency in Sacramento County is being forced to close its doors.


McClatchy's ELLEN GARRISON/ANITA CHABRIA: "More than a year after telling Sacramento County Child Protective Services to stop using a clerical office as a makeshift youth shelter, state officials have ordered the agency to end the illegal practice by a September deadline."

"The California Department of Social Services wrote in a July letter to Sacramento County Child Protective Services that it must stop letting kids sleep at the county office on Auburn Boulevard near Watt Avenue."

"The Centralized Placement Support Unit is supposed to be a quick stop where children spend a few hours before being placed into foster or group homes. The facility is not licensed to keep children for more than 24 hours, said Michael Weston, deputy director of public affairs for the state Department of Social Services."


Sacramento has decided to permanently institute its water metering program.


McClatchy's ELLEN GARRISON: "The drought may be over, but Sacramento residents will still have to limit their watering."

"The Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday to make permanent twice-a-week outdoor watering restrictions despite Gov. Jerry Brown in April lifting a drought state of emergency for California after record-setting winter rainfall. The motion passed 6 to 3, with Councilmembers Angelique Ashby, Allen Warren and Larry Carr voting no."

"Many residents spoke in favor of the restrictions, but tree activists asked the council to exempt certain watering practices aimed at protecting tree health."


President Trump reversed course on Monday about who was responsibil for the chaos at Charlottesville this past weekend.


McClatchy's LESLEY CLARK/DAVID GOLDSTEIN: "Rather than soothing racial tension, an increasingly isolated President Donald Trump reverted to the rage that fueled his campaign, playing to the core of his supporters who still adore him."


With bluster and defiance, Trump on Tuesday spread blame for the violence in Virginia not just on the torch-wielding white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members who gathered to bemoan the removal of a Confederate monument, but on the counter-protestors — black and white — who came to denounce them."

"There's blame on both sides,” Trump said of Charlottesville. “You look at both sides. I think there's blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it and you don't have any doubt about it either."


READ MORE related to White Supremacist Resurgence: Confederate monuments removed overnight in Baltimore -- AP; Monument to Confederate soldiers at Hollywood Forever cemetery will be removed -- Daily News


BART considers a later daily start during systemwide rebuild.


The Chronicle's MICHAEL CABANATUAN: "Hundreds of early-morning BART riders will have to begin their commutes an hour later on weekdays — or resort to buses or their cars — as the transit agency struggles to keep up its aging infrastructure while undergoing a massive modernization."

"With voters having approved Measure RR, a $3.5 billion bond, in November, BART has the money as well as the plans to rejuvenate the 45-year-old system. But it needs the time to do the double job of keeping the trains running while simultaneously working to rebuild the system.""

The sooner BART can switch from its current 4 a.m. daily start time to a 5 a.m. opening, the better, a committee of BART directors said Tuesday."