Waiting game

Sep 16, 2019

California housing, guns, criminal justice reform: Focus shifts to Newsom


The Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEFF/DUSTIN GARDINER: "The California Legislature ended its first year under the tenure of Gov. Gavin Newsom last week. Now the focus shifts to the governor, who has until Oct. 13 to review hundreds of bills sitting on his desk and decide whether to sign or veto them."


"Some of the proposals give Newsom an opportunity to start fulfilling campaign promises that included building 3.5 million new homes and ending private prisons in California. Here are key issues to keep an eye on:"


California adds an 11th state to its travel ban: Iowa


Sacramento Bee's WES VENTEICHER: "Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday extended California’s ban on taxpayer-funded trips to an 11th state, adding Iowa to the list based on the Midwestern state’s passage of a law that removed gender protections under Medicaid."


"Becerra’s order means public employees and college students may not travel to Iowa under provisions of a 2016 California law."


"Twelve years ago, Iowa’s Legislature made gender identity a protected characteristic under its Civil Rights Act, which prohibited refusing service to or discriminating against people based on their gender identity preferences."


In defying Newsom, she tried to protect California from Trump -- and showed how legislating should work


LA Times's GEORGE SKELTON: "Combine Friday the 13th with a full moon and weird things can happen — good and bad."


"We saw this Friday when the California Legislature passed scores of bills — most of them without any semblance of debate — before adjourning for the year about 3 a.m. Saturday. Nothing unusual about that."


"But one very good thing that occurred — regardless of your view about her bill — was a normally low-key Senate leader standing up to a powerful new governor of her own party."


What is a menstrual cup? Incident at California's Capitol sparks interest


Sacramento Bee's SAWSAN MORRAR: "Google searches for the words “menstrual cup” dramatically increased Friday evening into Saturday, as news broke out that a anti-vaccine demonstrator threw one from the gallery filled with blood at state senators, splashing lawmakers on the final day of the legislative year."


"Rebecca Lee Dalelio, 43, was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism, misdemeanor battery and four other counts related to disrupting official state business, and posted bond Saturday morning."


"In its news release on Friday, the California Highway Patrol didn’t use the term menstrual cup, instead saying they were investigating a situation where a demonstrator threw a “feminine hygiene device containing what appeared to be blood."


Later start times for California schools? Newsom will decide


Sacramento Bee's HANNAH WILEY: "Don’t hit the snooze button yet, kids."


"A proposal to roll back school start times still needs Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature to become law."


"The California Legislature approved – while working into the early hours of Saturday morning – a measure that would prohibit high schools and middle schools from starting before 8:30 and 8:00 a.m., respectively."


SF ranks high in property crime while it ranks low in arrests


The Chronicle's PHIL MATIER: "San Francisco has by far the highest property crime rate in California, with more than twice the number of reported thefts per capita than Los Angeles or Santa Clara counties, according to a new report by the Public Policy Institute of California."


"And when it comes to arrests, San Francisco is 50th out of the state’s 58 counties."


"Statewide police records reviewed by the PPIC show San Francisco averaged a whopping 5,844 property crimes per 100,000 residents per year from 2014 to 2016, the last period for which detailed arrest data are available. Alameda County, which includes Oakland, came in second statewide with 3,666 crimes per 100,000 residents."


Time could be right for California Dems thinking of House retirement


The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "Democratic Rep. Susan Davis of San Diego is leaving Congress after 10 terms. Don’t be surprised if she’s not the only member of the state delegation to go."


"Across the country, 13 GOP members of Congress already have bowed out of the 2020 campaign. At least some of them faced the prospect of tough re-election campaigns and the grim likelihood of serving in a Democratic-controlled Congress if they won."


"None of the most senior Democrats in California faces a serious GOP challenge in 2020. But with the looming 2022 redistricting set to scramble the lines of the state’s congressional districts, the timing could be right for anyone already contemplating retirement."


Biden on racism: Whites 'can never fully understand'


The Chronicle's BILL BARROW: "Visiting a black church bombed by the Ku Klux Klan in the civil rights era, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Sunday the country hasn’t “relegated racism and white supremacy to the pages of history” as he framed current tensions in the context of the movement’s historic struggle for equality."


"He spoke to parishioners at 16th Street Baptist Church in downtown Birmingham as they commemorated the 56th anniversary of the bombing that killed four black girls in 1963. “It’s in the wake of these before-and-after moments when the choice between good and evil is starkest,” he said."


"The former vice president called out the names of the victims — Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley. He drew nods of affirmation as he warned that “the same poisonous ideology that lit the fuse on 16th street” has yielded more recent tragedies including in 2015 at a black church in South Carolina, in 2018 at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh and in August at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart frequented by Latino immigrants."


Biden gets a taste of what Trump would do: Try to make him look old


The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI/TAL KOPAN: "One Democratic presidential candidate took aim at a sensitive target at Thursday’s debate: front-runner Joe Biden’s age."


"Some top Democrats scolded Julián Castro for his attacks, but the former Housing and Urban Development secretary’s comments were almost certainly a preview of the barbs the 76-year-old former vice president would face from President Trump if Biden becomes the party’s nominee. Trump, 73, often derides Biden as “sleepy Joe” and questions whether he is “mentally fit” to be president."


"But other Democrats said Castro wasn’t saying anything that others weren’t feeling. After the debate, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker told CNN that “Castro had some really legitimate concerns about” about Biden’s ability to survive “a long, grueling campaign."


Climate change and the Bay Area: Answers to your questions


The Chronicle's TAYLOR KATE BROWN/STAFF: "Climate change is a huge problem for the Bay Area and the world. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming — especially since science has established that humans are largely to blame, and we're not doing nearly enough to cap the runaway emissions that make the problem worse. So The Chronicle asked readers to send in questions about climate change and its impact on the Bay Area. We're answering those questions (edited for length and clarity) here as we kick off a joint effort with other media organizations to spotlight the issue. We focused on queries specific to the region. Ongoing coverage can be found here."


READ MORE related to Energy, Environment & Climate: Forest Service makes progress fighting Walker Fire -- Sacramento Bee's VINCENT MOLESKI


Sacramento State accidentally accepts 3,500 students on its waitlist


Sacramento Bee's SAWSAN MORRAR: "Sacramento State accidentally accepted 3,500 waitlisted students for fall admission, resulting in 500 additional students who began classes this semester."


"The error occurred when the waitlisted students were mistakenly invited to the university’s Admitted Students Day this year, according to Brian Henley, the university’s director of admissions and outreach. The error was first reported by The State Hornet, the school’s student newspaper."


"The university sent an email out in March to all accepted students, welcoming them to the special event. When the university invited waitlisted students to visit the school, the email began with, “Congratulations."


What new federal action on e-cigarettes means for Juul


The Chronicle's CATHERINE HO: "The White House and the Food and Drug Administration announced major enforcement actions last week against e-cigarettes, designed to reduce youth vaping, that pose serious threats to industry leader Juul."


"A federal regulation banning the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, which could come in a few weeks, would force Juul to stop selling mint and menthol flavor nicotine cartridges or “pods” in the United States — on top of the other flavors, like mango and creme, which Juul stopped selling at retail stores in November. Flavored pods represent an estimated 80% of Juul’s U.S. sales, and a federal prohibition could cost it hundreds of millions of dollars."


"Juul, a privately held San Francisco company, does not disclose its financial results. But tobacco analysts estimate that mint and menthol accounted for 58%, roughly $1.9 billion, of Juul’s $3.3 billion in U.S. retail sales for the 12 months that ended in August, according to a research note by Wells Fargo Securities, citing Nielsen data. But in the event of a federal flavor ban, some mint and menthol users could switch to tobacco-flavored Juul pods, softening the losses somewhat. (Though tobacco pods are artificially flavored, they are considered “unflavored” by the industry; Juul does not make a flavorless pod, though other manufacturers do."


Hidden guns, bodyguards and a DA raid on the Santa Clara County sheriff


The Chronicle's JOSH KOEHN/MATTHIAS GAFNI/JOAQUIN PALOMINO: "Prosecutors in Santa Clara County have served at least three search warrants while investigating whether Sheriff Laurie Smith’s office gave out coveted concealed-gun permits in exchange for campaign money, sources familiar with the investigation told The Chronicle."


"The Santa Clara County district attorney’s office raided the sheriff’s San Jose headquarters Aug. 2, seizing evidence through a search warrant that remains sealed. About a week before that, sources said, prosecutors served search warrants on two of the sheriff’s higher-ranking supervisors."


"Among those who have been contacted by investigators is AS Solution, a security company whose bodyguards protect Silicon Valley tech executives. Public records show one of the company’s managers gave a large contribution last year to an independent expenditure committee supporting Smith’s re-election."


Oil jumps the most ever after attack cuts Saudi Arabian supplies


BLOOMBERG: "Global oil prices surged the most on record after a strike on a Saudi Arabian oil facility removed about 5% of global supplies, an attack the U.S. has blamed on Iran."


"In an extraordinary start to trading, London’s Brent futures jumped almost $12 a barrel in the seconds after the open on Monday, the biggest intraday advance in dollar terms since they were launched in 1988. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate contracts were frozen for about two minutes after the scale of the move delayed the market open."


"While Brent futures pulled back after their initial surge of almost 20%, taking the global benchmark just shy of $72 a barrel, they were still headed for the biggest percentage gain since 2008."