Water bills on the rise?

Aug 11, 2017

SoCal water bills may see a rate spike, thanks to the Delta tunnels.


Sacramento Bee's RYAN SABALOW: "More than 6 million Southern Californian households could pay $3 more a month to help cover the costs of Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial plan to bore two huge tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta."

"But that’s cheaper than the $5 a month that households in the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s service area were expected to pay under projections released four years ago, Jeffrey Kightlinger, the water district’s general manager, said Thursday."

“Given the importance of this project to maintain water supply reliability for the region, these are encouraging numbers,” Kightlinger said in an announcement posted on a blog on Metropolitan’s website. “It also goes to show the ability of the Southland region to fund major infrastructure projects by pooling our resources."


A federal climate report is entirely at odds with the recent hard-right stance of climate denial, a centerpiece of the Trump presidency.


The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER: "A new federal report could again challenge the Trump administration’s dismissive stance on global warming, finding that last year the planet was hotter than any time in well over a century and witnessed perhaps the most significant climate disruption in modern history."

"The annual State of the Climate report, published Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, confirmed that 2016 not only set a new mark for heat but broke records for sea-level rise, the amount of ocean ice and snow cover that were lost, and the level of heat-trapping pollutants in the air."

"While the study, recognized as the U.S. government’s most comprehensive look at climate, identified varying levels of turbulence across the globe, few spots were immune to the impacts of climate change — and some faced dire threats."


READ MORE related to Environment: Court to billionaire: Open the gate to Martins Beach -- The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE/STEVE RUBENSTEIN; Sea lions wash ashore in California amid return of toxic blooms -- The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE


State Senate bills aim to make homes more affordable, but they won't spur enough construction.


LA Times' LIAM DILLON: "Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders promised in a joint statement to pass a package of bills that “will help ensure Californians won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to have a roof over their head.”

"But the measures now contemplated to alleviate the state’s affordability crisis will not make much of a dent in California’s housing needs, according to analyses from state officials and housing groups. Even if high-profile housing bills pass, the state would need to find at least an additional $10 billion every year for new construction just to help Californians most burdened by high rents."

"The three marquee measures under consideration — Senate Bills 2, 3 and 35 — aim to increase funding for low-income housing projects and ease development regulations. The measures are unlikely to help spur enough home building in general. Development would still fall short by tens of thousands of new homes needed annually just to keep pace with projected population growth."


Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones is openly feuding with the Sacramento chapter of BLM.


Sacramento Bee's NASHELLY CHAVEZ: "An ongoing feud between Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and Black Lives Matter activist Tanya Faison has gone public, with Jones questioning her credibility and community leaders defending her approach."

"Jones issued a four-paragraph statement Thursday ahead of a planned protest by Black Lives Matter Sacramento outside his office. That came after an exchange of combative letters in recent weeks."

"On June 28, the organization issued a list of 10 demands related to fatal officer-involved incidents involving Mikel McIntyre and Ryan Ellis, as well as a traffic stop of Patricia Hill in which BLM says deputies broke her eye socket. The group sought public records such as video footage and police reports. But it also demanded that the department fire the deputies involved and that they be prosecuted for “abuse” and “murder.”


Rep. Rohrabacher wades into Google's firing of controversial memo's author.


LA Times' SARAH D. WIRE: "Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) took Google to task Thursday for firing a male employee, James Demore, who circulated a memo within the company arguing women are biologically incapable of doing a man’s job in Silicon Valley."

"The 3,000-word memo that's caused a hubbub among one of California's more prominent industries and across the country contends men fundamentally have a higher drive for status than women and says the company has a bias toward liberal thought over conservative thought. It states that the company's diversity initiatives should be replaced with "ideological diversity" policies."

"Rohrabacher joined the conversation, saying on Twitter he's troubled by the firing. He tweeted: "You shouldn't lose your job for telling the truth!" and "The mistreatment of conservatives and libertarians by tech monopolies is a civil rights issue."


President Trump just thanked President Putin for expelling nearly 800 American diplomats from Russia. No, seriously.


AP's JOSH LEDERMAN/JONATHAN LEMIRE: "President Donald Trump on Thursday brushed off Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to expel hundreds of U.S. diplomatic employees from Russia, instead thanking Putin and insisting it would save the U.S. significant cash."

"In remarks to reporters at his golf course in central New Jersey, Trump dismissed Putin's move, saying he "greatly' appreciated Putin's help cutting down the payroll at the U.S. State Department."

"I want to thank him because we're trying to cut down on payroll," Trump said, adding: "As far as I am concerned, I'm very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. There's no real reason for them to go back. So, I greatly appreciate the fact that they've been able to cut our payroll for the United States. We'll save a lot of money."


READ MORE related to Beltway/Kremlingate: With bank subpoenas, Mueller is said to turn up heat on Manafort -- Bloomberg News' CHRISTIAN BERTHELSEN/GREG FARRELL; Kushner fined for late financial report -- McClatchy Washington Bureau's ANITA KUMAR/BEN WIEDER

If Trump wants a nuclear attack against North Korea, his military advisers have few other options.


WaPo's DAN LAMOTHE: "The dueling threats issued by President Trump and the North Korean military have prompted questions about U.S. procedures to launch a preemptive nuclear attack. The answer is stark: If the president wants to strike, his senior military advisers have few options but to carry it out or resign."

"The arrangement has existed for decades, but is salient after Trump warned Tuesday that future threats by North Korea will be “met with fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.” Pyongyang responded by saying it is considering a preemptive missile strike against Guam, and Trump doubled down on his remarks Thursday by refusing to take a U.S. preemptive strike off the table and suggesting his comments might not have been tough enough."

"I don’t talk about it,” Trump said of a potential preemptive strike. “We’ll see what happens."


READ MORE related to North Korean Crisis: Gaming out the North Korea crisis: How the conflict might escalate -- WaPo's MARC FISHER/DAVID NAKAMURA; Trump doubles down on threats against North Korea as nuclear tensions escalate -- NY Times' PETER BAKER; Wrestling with North Korea, Trump finds perilous options -- NY Times' MICHAEL R. GORDON/ERIC SCHMITT; Trump doubles down on 'fire and fury' vow as wargames near -- AP's ERIC TALMADGE/JONATHAN LEMIRE; Trump steps up war of wards against North Korea, while his Defense secretary stresses diplomacy -- LA Times' NOAH BIERMAN


Is Alexa spying on us? Amazon's home-automation device -- and the other various technologies we employ in our day-to-days for convenience -- may be slightly more nefarious than previously thought.


McClatchy DC's TIM JOHNSON: "It’s an experience every computer or smart phone user has had. After downloading new software or an app, a window pops up with a legal agreement. At the bottom is an “I agree” button. One click, and it’s gone."

"Most users have no clue what they’ve agreed to."

"That single action can empower software developers to extract reams of personal information – such as contacts, location, and other private data – from the devices. They can then market the information."


An ATF months-long sting operation in the Bay Area has netted 115 arrest warrants and more than 75 arrests.


The Chronicle's MICHAEL BODLEY/EVAN SERNOFFSKY: "In what was billed as the largest operation, as counted by arrest warrants, in the history of the federal agency that oversees the nation’s gun laws, more than 75 people were arrested around the Bay Area, authorities said Thursday."

"Dubbed “Operation Cold Day,” a two-year long operation that encompassed parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties, the sting that started in the summer of 2015 resulted in a total of 115 arrest warrants, officials said."

"The operation — a rare, collaborative effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies — targeted low and mid-level crimes, according to representatives of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which spearheaded the effort."


A space telescope that will peer into galaxies past nears its final testing phases in Redondo Beach.


Daily News' SANDY MAZZA: "Two of the three main pieces that make up the world’s next most powerful space telescope were just integrated into one massive, shiny, strange assemblage in Redondo Beach."

"The custom-designed James Webb Space Telescope’s 72-foot-long sun shield was married this week to the self-propelling robotic “bus” that will carry it 1 million miles beyond Earth, according to officials from Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Space Park facility near the beach."

"This is a huge milestone for the Webb telescope as we prepare for launch,” said Jim Flynn, Webb sun shield manager for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “The groundbreaking, tennis-court size sun shield will protect the optics from heat, making it possible to gather images of the formation of stars and galaxies more than 13.5 billion years ago."