Fire season

Aug 23, 2019


4,000 evacuated near Redding in 600-acre Mountain Fire, CA's first major wildfire this summer


Sacramento Bee's RYAN SABALOW/DALE KASLER: "California’s wildfire season, mostly quiet so far, roared to life Thursday as a brush fire east of Redding prompted the evacuation of a community college and hundreds of homes in outlying neighborhoods."


"While the Mountain Fire was relatively small — burning about 600 acres by evening — it disrupted the lives of thousands of Shasta County residents still on edge after last summer’s devastating Carr Fire."


"The fire burned a brushy area around the unincorporated community of Bella Vista. At one point, it had doubled in size in less than an hour."


READ MORE related to Mountain FireMountain Fire 20% contained -- The Chronicle's MICHAEL CABANATUAN/ANNA BAUMAN


Train derailment in Sacramento injures 27 people, according to prelims


LA Times's JACLYN COSGROVE: "A train derailed late Thursday in Sacramento, injuring 27 people and prompting a major response from emergency crews."


"At 9:43 p.m., the Sacramento Fire Department received a call about a motor vehicle accident. Once crews arrived, they discovered it was actually a light-rail passenger train incident and determined it a mass casualty event, prompting several ambulances and firefighters to rush to the scene at Roseville Road and Marconi Avenue."


"Capt. Keith Wade of the Sacramento Fire Department said 27 patients were injured, including 13 people who were taken to two trauma hospitals. The remaining patients were treated on the scene and released, he said."


California to sue Trump admin over new detention policy


LA Times's TARYN LUNA: "Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that California will join other states in filing a new lawsuit as early as next week that seeks to block the Trump administration’s efforts to indefinitely detain immigrant minors and families with children."


"It’s an assault on the Flores decision,” Newsom said of the administration’s new regulations during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “Clearly, I think it will be rejected by the courts, and the answer to your question is California will once again assert itself in the court of law."


"The Department of Homeland Security announced plans this week for new regulations that would roll back protections for migrant children. Trump officials are taking aim at the 1997 Flores settlement that set minimum standards of care for youths in U.S. custody. The government is generally prohibited from detaining children who traveled to the U.S. alone or with their families for longer than 20 days."


Boosting California college graduations is governor panel's first task


EdSource's LARRY GORDON: "The first order of business for a new higher education advisory board appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom will be to look at ways to improve the low college graduation rates in the Central Valley and the Inland Empire and counter the effects of poverty and geographic isolation there, officials say."


"The “Council for Post-Secondary Education,” which includes the state’s top education leaders as well as representatives of business and labor, will meet for the first time on Monday in Sacramento. It is supposed to get the state’s various public and private education systems out of what Newsom called their separate “silos” and to cooperate on issues of college access, success and costs."


"But even before its first gathering, the panel is triggering anticipation that it might one day grow into or be replaced by a formal state-wide coordinating council for higher education with more authority and resources. During his election campaign last year, Newsom said he would support such a coordinating board."


Dems risk alienating young voters by rejecting climate-only debate


The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "The Democratic National Committee took a stance on climate change Thursday in San Francisco that could alienate young voters — a key group that Democrats need to be energized for the party to win back the White House."


"The action that angered young environmental activists happened during the first hours of the party’s three-day conference. It wasn’t over policy — unlike many Republicans, Democrats support the science supporting the conclusion that human activity is contributing to climate change."


"Instead, the argument is over how to talk about the topic. The activists wanted the Democratic National Committee to sponsor a presidential debate focused solely on climate change. That doesn’t seem like a big ask, especially not for the most existential of all issues, they say."


Bernie Sanders tells Sacramento rally he won't settle for defeating Trump


McClatchy's EMILY CADEI: "Vermont senator and 2020 presidential contender Bernie Sanders drew an overflow crowd to his downtown Sacramento rally on Thursday evening, part of a multi-day swing through California as he vies for the Democratic nomination to take on President Donald Trump next year."


"I’m here this evening to ask for your help to win the Democratic primary in California,” Sanders boomed to a fired up crowd filling Cesar Chavez Plaza — a diverse mix of young people, parents with children, men and women in business attire, and retirees in wheelchairs."


"But Sanders said he was also asking for more from his area supporters."


Pelosi slams SF vaping ballot measure


The Chronicle's CATHERINE HO: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday voiced her opposition to e-cigarette company Juul and its efforts to pass a San Francisco ballot measure, Proposition C, that would overturn a sales ban on e-cigarettes and allow the company to continue selling the products in San Francisco with some new restrictions."


"No on C. We can’t afford this brazen special-interest attempt to addict our children to cigarettes,” Pelosi said at a San Francisco Democratic Party ceremony honoring her with a lifetime achievement award. “With all the unknown short-term and long-term consequences of e-cigarettes, we cannot let corporate special interests buy themselves this proposition. So, children, teachers, parents, leaders, policymakers — say no to Juul, no on C."


"Juul has spent $4.3 million to back Prop. C — more than other San Francisco ballot initiative backers combined for the Nov. 5 election. The contributions have gone to a committee created to back the ballot measure, called the Coalition for Responsible Vaping Regulation."


Weedmaps going strictly legal

Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER
: "A website that helps people find medical and recreational marijuana is taking steps to prevent black market operators from advertising on its platform."


"Irvine-based Weedmaps, which gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to back the 2016 initiative that legalized recreational cannabis in California, plans to require its advertisers to provide a state-issued license number on their listings."


"It’s characterizing its decision as an effort to support licensed businesses that compete with unregulated and un-taxed dealers."


SoCal must prep for 1.3M new homes in the next decade, Newsom says


LA Times's LIAM DILLON: "Cities and counties in Southern California will have to plan for the construction of 1.3 million new homes in the next decade, a figure more than three times what local governments had proposed over the same period, according to a letter released by state housing officials Thursday."


"The decision is sure to intensify a clash between cities in the region and Gov. Gavin Newsom over the need for new construction to alleviate the state’s housing crisis. Newsom and allies in the Legislature have called for 3.5 million new homes to be built statewide by 2025 in an effort to end a shortage of available homes that is driving up prices. Local government officials, including many in the Los Angeles area, have been frustrated by the state’s efforts to push for greater growth in their communities and to take away some of their control over development."


"The governor has said California must use every tool in its toolbox to combat the state’s housing affordability crisis,” Newsom spokesman Nathan Click said in a statement. “This is part of that approach."


Phone companies pledge to combat robocalls in multi-state deal


McClatchy's BRIAN MURPHY/EMILY CADEI: "California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and all 50 fellow attorneys general from across the country and Washington, D.C. announced a deal with the nation’s largest phone companies to rein in robocalls on Thursday."


"Today’s commitment by our industry partners is a step in the right direction to provide every landline and wireless customer with access to free and effective call-blocking tools,” Becerra said in a statement."


"As part of the nonbinding deal, twelve phone companies, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, Charter and Comcast, will implement initiatives to prevent robocalls, help customers block them and encourage more enforcement against phone scams."


Co-worker arrested in Cal State Fullerton stabbing murder, police say


LA Times's ALEJANDRA REYES-VELARDE: "A Cal State Fullerton employee has been arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of a retired university administrator, authorities said Thursday."


"Chuyen Vo, 51, was taken into custody at 10:16 p.m. Wednesday in his Huntington Beach home and is being held without bail, Fullerton police said at a news conference. Officials say he attacked Steven Shek Keung Chan, 57, in a campus parking lot Monday, killing the former budget director who had returned to Cal State Fullerton as a consultant."


"Fullerton police Lt. Jon Radus did not disclose the relationship between Vo and Chan but said the victim had been targeted."


Dems like their chances against Trump, but they haven't forgotten 2016


The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "President Trump is falling behind in battleground states across the country, but that means his 2020 re-election chances are dimming, not disappearing, Democratic Party officials said Thursday."


"In states such as Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota, “Trump is facing incredible, historic headwinds,” said David Bergstein, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, which is meeting this week in San Francisco."


"But memories of 2016, when shocked Democrats saw Hillary Clinton lose to Trump in a historic upset, are keeping overconfidence at bay."


California lawmaker slams Facebook over anti-vaccine activist’s shove video


From the Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "A day after he was shoved by an anti-vaccine activist who streamed the incident live on Facebook, state Sen. Richard Pan said social media companies should be held responsible for allowing violent discourse that can inspire real-life attacks."


“Facebook is deliberately giving a platform to this violence, and perhaps inciting another person to do the same, maybe even up the ante,” the Sacramento Democrat said during remarks Thursday on the Senate floor."


"Sacramento police arrested Kenneth Austin Bennett, 54, who is active in the campaign against mandatory childhood vaccines, after he confronted Pan on a downtown Sacramento street Wednesday about his bill to tighten the rules for obtaining a medical exemption from the shots required by California schools. Bennett, who recorded himself pushing Pan from behind live on Facebook, was cited for misdemeanor battery and released."


It’s been 30-plus years: Time to run for Congress again?


From the Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "A Bay Area Republican says he’d be the favorite in 2020 to unseat a Southern California Democrat who flipped a GOP-held seat last year — and he’s got the poll to prove it."


"Couple of problems, though. At age 82, former Rep. Ernie Konnyu hasn’t held public office since he was beaten by fellow Republican Tom Campbell in the 1988 GOP primary for the Peninsula congressional district that Konnyu held for exactly one term."


"Second, Konnyu still lives in San Jose, not Democratic Rep. Katie Porter’s district in Orange County."