Sudden departure of state industrial relations head Baker stuns labor, business
The Chronicle's KATHLEEN PENDER: "Christine Baker, the first female director of the California Department of Industrial Relations, retired abruptly and unexpectedly Friday after 34 years with the agency that administers and enforces state laws covering workers’ compensation, workplace safety, wages, hours, overtime, retaliation and apprenticeship programs."
"Baker, who earned the respect of labor and business groups alike, announced her departure in a letter to the department’s employees. Her former boss David Lanier, secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, also sent a brief letter to the department’s employees thanking Baker for her more than three decades of public service."
Battling 'implicit bias' among police 'has to be a priority,' Kamala Harris says
Sacramento Bee's ANGELA HART: "America needs to change its system of policing and focus on training and "implicit bias" in law enforcement, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris told a town hall audience in Sacramento on Thursday in the aftermath of the death of Stephon Clark, the 22-year-old unarmed African American man who was shot and killed by police March 18."
"There is no question that this was a life that should not have been lost, that this is a life that should not have been ended," Harris told a crowd of about 650 people at Unity of Sacramento, a nondenominational church in the La Riviera area of Sacramento County. "I grieve with this community … My heart breaks for what has happened."
"Harris, a former prosecutor who served nearly eight years as California's attorney general, called for "leadership" on criminal justice and changing America's system of policing."
READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: Contra Costa deputy arrested, woman says she and second inmate were raped -- The Chronicle's OTIS R. TAYLOR JR./SOPHIE HAIGNEY; OP-ED: The Supreme Court continues to grant an unhealthy immunity to police accused of wrongdoing -- LA Times's EDITORIAL BOARD; LA's former assistant fire chief was paid $1.4 million last year, topping city's list of highest-paid retirees -- Daily News's ELIZABETH CHOU
Chu to SF retirement board -- impact on fossil-fuel divestment unknown
The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA: "San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu is expected to join the board of the $23 billion San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System following a round of commission personnel shuffling initiated by Mayor Mark Farrell."
"Chu would fill a seat on the retirement board vacated by Victor Makras, whom Farrell nominated to the San Francisco Port Commission. Farrell also nominated Gail Gilman to the Port Commission. Gilman is CEO of the Community Housing Partnership, a nonprofit that develops and manages housing for formerly homeless people."
"Makras would replace former Port Commission member Eleni Kounalakis, who stepped down last year to run for lieutenant governor. Gilman would replace Leslie Katz, whose term expires in May."
READ MORE related to Local Politics: Giants opener honors late Mayor Ed Lee -- The Chronicle's CATHERINE BIGELOW
OP-ED: EPA move could mean dirtier air in Sacramento
Alberto Ayala in a special to The Sacramento Bee: "The Sacramento region has made incredible progress toward clean air over the decades. But there’s more work to do."
"The region does not meet all current health standards. Those sensitive to air pollution – children, older adults, those with heart or lung ailments – suffer most."
"We know how to achieve our vision for clean and carbon-free air for all. Seventy percent of smog-causing pollutants come from cars and trucks, which are also a major source of greenhouse gases. We need to drastically reduce vehicle emissions by, among other things, improving fuel efficiency. Consumers will benefit from cleaner cars and pay less for gasoline."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Tony San Francisco enclave drenched its greenery on city's dime for over a century -- The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS; Growing crisis threatens Scott Pruitt, EPA Chief, as top aides eye the exits -- NYT's CORAL DAVENPORT/LISA FRIEDMAN; Wildfires' wake: Tracking progress, pain 6 months later -- The Chronicle's STAFF REPORT; Signs of life amid scars and loss -- The Chronicle's LIZZIE JOHNSON/KEVIN FAGAN; Major storm brings flood barriers to SF, closes campsites, could rain out Giants -- The Chronicle's SOPHIE HAIGNEY; NorCal divers battle to save abalone -- with a giant sea-urchin vacuum -- The Chronicle's TARA DUGGAN; A wealthy developer owns a rare plot of green in a very crowded part of LA. What does he owe his neighbors? -- LA Times's VICTORIA KIM; Largest earthquake in several years shakes Southern California, causes landslides on Santa Cruz Island -- LA Times's JOSEPH SERNA/RONG-GONG LIN II; Dramatic photos show earthquake shaking cliffs at Santa Cruz Island -- LA Times's RONG-GONG LIN II/JOSEPH SERNA; Yosemite Valley under flood watch, will close to visitors Friday evening ahead of storm -- LA Times's MARY FORGIONE; What you need to know about atmospheric rivers -- The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER; Photos: Line up, star trekkers-to-be; Richard Branson fires off test flight of Virgin Galactic's tourism rocket -- AP; New report finds solutions for water justice close at hand -- Water Deeply's TARA LOHAN; How historic shipwreck exploration is advancing ocean renewable energy -- Oceans Deeply's MICHAEL ROBERTS
Those who saw, mocked and ignored Nasim Aghdam's online videos express regret, remorse
LA Times's SARAH PARVINI/TRACEY LIEN: "Anyone who has spent time on the internet has come across something that confounds them — a blog post that doesn't seem to make any sense, a rant that goes off the rails, a YouTube video so strange it's hard to tell if the person behind it is sincere or creating performance art."
"Often, this content becomes the butt of online jokes, fodder not just for viewers who can't look away but also those who choose to share and mock it."
"For some who stumbled upon Nasim Aghdam's prolific library of online videos, that wasn't an uncommon reaction."
READ MORE related to Youtube Shooting: Victim improves, police tape taken down, autopsy done -- BANG's ROBERT SALONGA; YouTube shooter purchased gun at San Diego dealer -- BANG's MATTHIAS GAFNI
Amid deportations, immigrants shy away from medical care
LA Times's SOUMYA KARLAMANGLA: "They need to prepare, they say, in case they never come back."
"Patients at the St. John’s Well Child & Family Center in South Los Angeles have recently started asking for copies of their medical records. Some request extra medicine from their doctors, taking home as much as they’ll supply."
READ MORE related to Immigration: Trump renews attack on Schaaf for ICE warning: 'Something should happen there' -- The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI; They came to LA from Mexico for a better life. Now some are finding it -- back in Mexico -- LA Times's BRITTNY MEJIA; Trump's California claim: Millions of people vote 'many times' -- The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI
US added modest 103,000 jobs in March; rate stays 4.1 percent
AP: "U.S. employers added a modest 103,000 jobs in March after several months of bigger gains, though the government’s overall jobs report suggests that the labor market remains healthy."
"The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate remained 4.1 percent, a 17-year low, for a sixth straight month. Average hourly pay ticked up, climbing 2.7 percent compared with a year earlier."
"Hiring has accelerated since last fall, defying expectations that a shortage of workers would make it harder for companies to fill open positions. Employers have added a healthy average of 211,000 jobs a month in the past six months."
Millions sought to stem arrests at California foster care shelters
The Chronicle's KAREN DE SA/CYNTHIA DIZIKES/JOAQUIN PALOMINO: "A California lawmaker is calling for $22.7 million in state funding to help prevent unwarranted arrests of abused and neglected children in the state’s residential foster-care facilities — a disturbing practice exposed in a Chronicle investigation last year."
"The three-year budget proposal, to be introduced next week by Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Carson (Los Angeles County), comes as arrests continue across the state at county children’s shelters, despite pledges of reform."
University of California leaders mourn death of UC Regent Bonnie Reiss
The Chronicle's NANETTE ASIMOV: "University of California Regent Bonnie Reiss, an attorney and campaign strategist who served as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s senior adviser and later as his education secretary, died early Tuesday after a yearlong battle with cancer, UC leaders announced. She was 62."
"The university “has lost one of its most passionate, caring, and effective advocates,” UC President Janet Napolitano said in a statement. “She worked tirelessly on behalf of this institution that she so loved."
“They want to have a stockpile,” clinic Chief Executive Jim Mangia said. “There’s this tremendous fear that on their way to take their kids to school, or on their way to the clinic, or on their way into the store, they’re going to get picked up and deported.”
READ MORE related to Education: Fired teacher Gregory Salcido, heard disparaging military, has appealed El Rancho Unified's decision -- SGV Tribune's HAYLEY MUNGUIA; 1 in 10 Cal State students say they've been homeless; at community colleges in LA, it's 1 in 5 -- CALmatters' FELICIA MELLO
Dialysis clinics' revenue would be capped under California ballot measure
The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "An effort to cut the costs of kidney dialysis — and trim the profits of the huge companies that dominate the service — moved closer to the November ballot Thursday when supporters turned in more than 600,000 signatures for the initiative."
"The none-too-euphoniously named “California Limits on Dialysis Clinics’ Revenue and Required Refund Initiative”needs 365,880 valid signatures to go before the voters in the fall. While the large number of raw signatures makes it likely the measure will qualify, it probably be at least a month before the secretary of state can make that official."
"The initiative, sponsored by SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, argues that dialysis companies are overcharging patients and insurance outfits, even as patient care is suffering, especially in low-income communities."
READ MORE related to Health & Health Care: In LA today, fitness can mean IV drips, vitamin shots and a daily freeze at -292 degrees -- LA Times's RONALD D WHITE; Another downside to US healthcare system: Way more opportunities for fraud -- LA Times's DAVID LAZARUS; Patient advocacy groups take in millions from drugmakers. Is there a payback? -- CHL's EMILY KOPP/SYDNEY LUPKIN/ELIZABETH LUCAS
Why a judge denied a cannabis company's temporary restraining order against San Bernardino
The Cannifornian's BRIAN WHITEHEAD: "The city can implement an ordinance regulating commercial cannabis businesses as scheduled after a San Bernardino County Superior Court judge denied an attempt to delay its application."
"A temporary restraining order against the city was sought by Bubba Likes Tortillas, a cannabis company owned by Stephanie Smith, the Pacific Palisades woman whose marijuana growing operation was uprooted by San Bernardino police late last year."
"Judge David Cohn denied the order on Wednesday, allowing the city to begin accepting cannabis-related business applications this month."
READ MORE related to Cannabis: California cannabis company receives historic $1 million insurance payout following fire -- The Cannabist's BRUCE KENNEDY; Could a county-state dispute in Oregon lead to the end of legal cannabis in America? -- AP's ANDREW SELSKY
Big investment firms have stopped gobbling up homes
CALmatters' MATT LEVIN: "Astronomical prices are forcing a rising share of California families to postpone buying a house. As a result, the state’s record-low homeownership rate has been a boon to one growing segment of California’s housing market: single-family home rentals."
"Between 2005 and 2015, the number of owner-occupied homes in California shrunk by nearly 64,000 units, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. Meanwhile the number of renter-occupied homes increased dramatically. California now has 450,000 more homes used as rentals than it did a decade ago. Compare that to the 1990s, when the number of rented homes grew by less than 120,000 while the state added 700,000 homes owned by the people who live in them."
Backlash grows over Sinclair Broadcast Group's 'must-run' conservative content on local TV stations
LA Times's STEPHEN BATTAGLIO/MATT PEARCE: "Even in the politically polarizing age of President Trump, local TV news has tried to remain a source for viewers who want to know what's going on in their backyards."
"But the viral video posted Saturday showing local TV anchors at Sinclair Broadcast Group reciting the same promotional announcement about combating "fake news" sources has revealed that not all local news is local."
"Stitched together by the website Deadspin, anchors at Sinclair stations across the country were seen in promos eerily reciting identical scripts with phrases often used by the president when criticizing mainstream news organizations. President Trump turbo-charged that perception on Monday when he attacked his media enemies in a tweet that praised Sinclair and condemned CNN and NBC News."
FBI seeks online help to find suspect who threw explosive device into Pasadena Cheesecake Factory
SGV Tribune's RUBY GONZALES: "The FBI is using Twitter and Facebook to identify the man who threw a homemade explosive device into a crowded Cheesecake Factory in Pasadena last year."
"The device exploded but no one was injured. The culprit fled and remains unknown. FBI officials pointed out that there’s a $20,000 reward for information that would lead to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the explosion."
"FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the agency also paid for an ad to run on Facebook for 30 days and will be seen in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties."
OP-ED: Editorial: Facebook's CEO concedes mistakes before DC showdown
The Chronicle's EDITORIAL BOARD: "Facebook, a company famous for tracking the every move of its 3.2 billion users, is so sorry. After months of denial and half-hearted apologies, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is confessing to a “huge mistake” in not cracking down on privacy lapses and misuse of the powerful platform."
"For Zuckerberg, it’s a monumental shift from his 2016 dismissal of fake-news claims as “crazy” to an admission of fault. The company now says the Cambridge Analytica data rifling now takes in 87 million users, not the 50 million previously thought."
"His mea culpa is overdue but not entirely surprising. He’s looking to calm a public storm ahead of appearances before committees in the Senate and House next week. A tech darling won’t likely earn the fawning admiration he’s collected in the past."
READ MORE related to Psychological Warfare: OP-ED: Facebook finally steps up on privacy. Now it's Congress's turn -- LA Times's EDITORIAL BOARD
Mueller probe tracking down Trump business partners, with Cohen a focus of queries
McClatchy DC's KEVIN G. HALL/BEN WIEDER/GREG GORDON: "Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators this week questioned an associate of the Trump Organization who was involved in overseas deals with President Donald Trump’s company in recent years."
"Armed with subpoenas compelling electronic records and sworn testimony, Mueller’s team showed up unannounced at the home of the business associate, who was a party to multiple transactions connected to Trump’s effort to expand his brand abroad, according to persons familiar with the proceedings."
"Investigators were particularly interested in interactions involving Michael D. Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney and a former Trump Organization employee. Among other things, Cohen was involved in business deals secured or sought by the Trump Organization in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Russia."
READ MORE related to POTUS45/KremlinGate: 8 things about the MyPillow guy: his drug past, why Trump loves him, a boycott -- KC Star's LISA GUTIERREZ; White House: No Trump handshake for Raul Castro -- McClatchy DC's FRANCO ORDONEZ; Trump says he didn't know about payment to Stormy Daniels -- AP's CATHERINE LUCEY; Trump administration announces Russia sanctions for 'attacks to subvert Western democracies' -- LA Times's NOAH BIERMAN; Trade dispute escalates with Trump's $100 billion request -- The Chronicle's JILL COLVIN