The Commish

Jul 24, 2017

Oakland's new, specialized, seven-member police commission to oversee misconduct probes has seen over 150 highly qualified candidates apply for the positions -- some of whom happen to be the governor's friends.


The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS: "In all, 153 candidates have applied to join Oakland’s new seven-member Police Commission overseeing officer misconduct investigations — including some very familiar names on both sides of the issue."

"Those looking to serve on what is likely to be a high-profile panel include:"

"Downtown developer and Jerry Brown buddy “Shotgun” Phil Tagami, who tells us that “after a three-year break from public service, I want to help where I can.”"


From DAN MITCHELL in the Chrionicle: "At the online store, you can buy a shirt emblazoned with an American flag and bearing the words: “The United States of Amerijuana ... with Brownies and Doobies For All.”


"That shirt, crass as it might be, is perfectly legal to sell in California. But a stylishly lettered T-shirt that does not even reference marijuana but is sold by the Apothecarium, a San Francisco medical cannabis dispensary, would be banned from sale in the state under legislation now making its way through the Legislature."


"State Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, is the sponsor of SB162, which would prohibit licensed cannabis businesses from selling or giving away promotional hats, T-shirts or any branded merchandise that bears the name or logo of a cannabis company or product."

AB 63 is a bill aimed at increasing driver safety by enforcing safety research and increasing the age at which permits are no longer needed to 21 from 18. The bill's origin is rooted in tragedy.


Sacramento Bee's TONY BIZJAK: "Nearly two decades ago, Jim Frazier’s 20-year-old daughter Stephanie was killed in a head-on car crash near Pollock Pines. His younger daughter, Lindsey, was critically injured."

"It devastated Frazier. It pushed him into politics. And it has led him to sponsor one of the most potentially far-reaching bills in the state Legislature this year."

"Assembly Bill 63 requires new drivers under 21 years old to take lessons and adhere to driving restrictions during their first year on the road."


Some of Trump's children  are due to testify in Congress on possible connections between the Russians and the Trump presidential campaign. 

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner denied Monday that he colluded with Russians in the course of President Donald Trump's successful White House bid, declaring in a statement ahead of interviews with congressional committees that he has "nothing to hide."

"The 11-page statement , released hours before Kushner's closed-door appearance before the Senate intelligence committee, details four contacts with Russians during Trump's campaign and transition. It aims to explain inconsistencies and omissions in a security clearance form that have invited public scrutiny."

""I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government," Kushner said in the prepared remarks in which he also insists that none of the contacts, which include meetings at Trump Tower with the Russian ambassador and a Russian lawyer, was improper."


The massive Yosemite fire is nearly half contained as firefighters continue to fervently work at quenching the blaze.


LA Times' ANH DO: "A massive wildfire burning near Yosemite National Park that forced the evacuation of thousands of residents last week is now 40 percent contained, officials said Sunday."

The Detwiler fire erupted last Monday east of Lake McClure in Mariposa County, Calif., and has burned more than 75,000 acres and uprooted residents and businesses in communities throughout the region, according to Cal Fire. Most of the evacuation orders have since been lifted."

The wildfire, which produced plumes of smoke that spread as far as Idaho, destroyed 120 structures, including 60 homes, officials said. For four days, workers and families in Mariposa – a historic gold-mining town – were forced to evacuate."


Are high school Advanced Placment (AP)  classes ill-preparing students to cope with a college education?


Sacramento Bee's DIANA LAMBERT/PHILLIP REESE: "High school students are flocking to Advanced Placement classes in an attempt to earn credits for college, boost their grade-point average and look good on university applications." "But are all students ready for the college-level coursework?"

"Students at the eight schools in the Sacramento region that fared worst on AP tests failed to score high enough to earn college credit on at least 75 percent of exams in 2015-16. That includes 3,375 tests taken at Florin, Valley, Highlands, Foothill, Natomas, Rosemont, Inderkum and Grant high schools."


A crucial procedure among coronary specialists known as an "isolated coronary artery bypass graft" draws two starkly different schools of thought.


Kaiser Health News' ANNA GORMAN: "Michael Koumjian, a heart surgeon for nearly three decades, said he considered treating the sickest patients a badge of honor. The San Diego doctor was frequently called upon to operate on those who had multiple illnesses or who’d undergone CPR before arriving at the hospital."

"Recently, however, Koumjian received some unwelcome recognition: He was identified in a public database of California heart surgeons as one of seven with a higher-than-average death rate for patients who underwent a common bypass procedure."

“If you are willing to give people a shot and their only chance is surgery, then you are going to have more deaths and be criticized,” said Koumjian, whose risk-adjusted death rate was 7.5 per 100 surgeries in 2014-15. “The surgeons that worry about their stats just don’t take those cases.”


READ MORE related to Health: LA County leaders to discuss health permit fees for adult film studios -- Daily News' SUSAN ABRAM


Speaking of healthcare, the GOP is steeling up for an offensive maneuver against Obamacare, but Democrats are doubling down and preparing to push back.


East Bay Times' TRACY SEIPEL: "Hell hath no fury like a president scorned. And with the embarrassing collapse of the GOP-controlled Senate’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, many health care experts predict that Donald Trump and his administration will do whatever it takes to “let Obamacare fail,” as the president put it last week."

"But the people who run the state’s Obamacare insurance marketplace say they have their own plans in place to make sure hundreds of thousands of Californians don’t lose their health coverage."

"We have pieced together good ideas that have come from health plans and advocates — four or five elements, all about protecting consumers,’’ said Peter Lee, Covered California’s executive director."


And in UC Berkeley news, the campus administration believes it can host conservative speaker Ben Shapiro on Sept. 14, despite a recent announcement that security concerns may force Mr. Shapiro to speak at night unless the hosting group, Young American's Foundation, pays more for security fees.


Daily Californian's BOBBY LEE: "Campus administration announced Thursday it is “confident” it will be able to provide Berkeley College Republicans a venue for Ben Shapiro to address the campus Sept. 14, according to an emailed statement from campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof."

According to the statement, BCR — which had originally requested a venue to host an audience of 500 people for the event — is open to accepting smaller on-campus locations to hold the address.Campus officials also announced they are willing to underwrite BCR’s potential rental costs to offer the group venues “usually not available free of charge to students” for its planned event, according to an emailed statement."

The announcement comes a day after Young America’s Foundation alleged campus student affairs administrators blocked and “denied” BCR’s request for a campus venue to hold the event."