Mar 12, 2019

California's cannabis industry needs an intervention to avoid an 'extinction event'


Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "Once, the cannabis industry was poised to become a multibillion-dollar industry in California. Now, it could be heading for what its advocates call an “extinction event."


"An estimated 10,000 marijuana growers could lose their licenses in the coming months if California lawmakers fail to pass a bill designed to grant them an extension, according to Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, who has sponsored Senate Bill 67."


"The bottom line is this: This bill is going to protect thousands of cannabis farmers, in particular, who did the right thing and applied for a state license after the passage of Prop. 64 but their temporary license is about to expire,” McGuire said in a hearing on his bill."


Tropical jellyfish, eels and sea butterflies are invading California’s coast, thanks to a ‘warm-water blob’


From the LAT's LOUIS SAHAGUN: "Marine biologist Jacqueline Sones was strolling along a beach near this Northern California fishing village one foggy summer morning when she spotted an unfamiliar jellyfish bobbing in the surf."


"Her curiosity turned to shock, however, when she opened a field guide and identified the creature with a white bowl-shaped bell, vivid stripes and long tentacles."


"“I’d discovered something unprecedented,” Sones recalled Monday. “It was a purple-striped jellyfish.” While the impressively hued Chrysaora colorata is no stranger to Southern California, or Monterey Bay for that matter, it had never been recorded venturing this far north, according to the researcher."


California wants to reform PG&E, but just how is uncertain


The Chronicle's J.D. MORRIS: "California leaders clearly want something about Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to change after many of the wildfires scorching the state in recent years were linked to the utility’s power lines."


"Now PG&E and its regulators, critics and others are grappling with the hard part: What exactly do they want to do?"


"They could split the gas and electric sides of the business into separate companies. Some or all of PG&E could be owned by the government. Or they could break up PG&E, the state’s largest utility, in another way — perhaps making the electric business a “wires only” company focused solely on distributing and transmitting power."

Overtime pay soared at Cal Fire amid record wildfires 


From the Bee's  WES VENTEICHER AND PHILLIP REES: "Wildfire overtime increased Cal Fire’s payroll by $91 million last year, a sharp increase from what was already an expensive year before it, underscoring the budget challenge the state may face if major fires are now the norm."


"The department paid its workers about $855 million in 2018, up 12 percent from 2017, according to an analysis by The Bee. That included $207 million in overtime pay — the highest proportion of pay taken as overtime among state departments, according to the analysis."


"Firefighters spent stretches of up to six or seven weeks battling the Camp, Woolsey and other fires, said Tim Edwards, president of union Cal Fire Local 2881."


California’s voter registration rate Is now higher than any time In the past 25 years


From CPR's BEN ADLER and EMILY ZENTNER: "A higher percentage of eligible Californians are now registered to vote than at any time since the final weeks of the 1996 presidential campaign."


"New data released Monday by the Secretary of State’s office show a 79 percent voter registration rate. The previous high was just over 80 percent in October of 1996."

The report also shows California had a record 19,978,449 registered voters as of Feb. 10. Since then, the Secretary of State’s office says registration has jumped above the 20 million mark."

California cities could open their own banks under bill backed by Democratic lawmakers


Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "Two California Democratic lawmakers have introduced a bill that would develop a state-owned banking system, modeling it on a program run by one of the smallest states in the union."


"California Assemblymen Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, and David Chiu, D-San Francisco, have introduced Assembly Bill 857, which would enable local governments to charter their own public banks."


"North Dakota, with a population of fewer than 1 million people, has America’s only state-owned bank. The Bank of North Dakota this year is celebrating its centennial anniversary."


Cities will lose gas tax money if they don't meet housing goals under Gavin Newsom's plan


Sacramento Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG: "California cities that aren’t making plans to build affordable housing could lose money for roads starting in 2023, if Gov. Gavin Newsom gets his way."


"Newsom first announced his intention to link housing goals to road repair money in his January budget proposal. On Monday, the Democratic governor released details about how his plan would redirect funds generated by the state’s recently increased gas tax, sometimes called SB1 money after the 2017 law that increased fuel taxes."


"He also described how he wants to spend $1.75 billion to entice communities to build more and set a timeline to accelerate the state’s construction goals."


Veteran Prison Industry chief departs


JESSICA HICE in Capitol Weekly: "The head of the California Prison Industry Authority, an internationally known agency that trains inmates for such diverse occupations as carpentry, deep-sea diving, computer coding and farming, is retiring after more than a decade on the job."


"The departure of Chuck Pattillo marks the end of an era at CalPIA, an unusual state agency — it operates roughly like a not-for-profit enterprise — that has had a dramatic impact on thousands of inmates."


"His retirement came just days after the state auditor reported that California prison system’s programs to reduce recidivism aren’t working effectively."


SF Mayor Breed chooses Manohar Raju as city's new public defender -- choice praised by staff


The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA: "San Francisco Mayor London Breed has selected Manohar “Mano” Raju as the city’s next public defender, following the death of Jeff Adachi last month."


"Breed announced the appointment at a private meeting early Monday with the staff of the public defender’s office. Multiple people present said the announcement was met with a standing ovation for Raju."


‘Coffee and pretty much a peep show in our town’: Northern California city battles a risque cafe


From the LAT's MATTHEW ORMSETH: "The town of American Canyon, population about 20,000, is trying to shut down a coffee shop by asking the kind of oddly philosophical question you might contemplate while nursing a cup of joe: Is a cafe still just a cafe if the baristas are wearing close to nothing?"


"The American Canyon City Council last week upheld the city manager’s decision to revoke a license for Bottoms Up Espresso, a drive-through coffee shop that officials have argued is, in fact, a “bikini cafe” and “adult cabaret.”


"That did not sit well with Inderjit Sangha, a franchisee of Bottoms Up Espresso, who said the city’s decision was based on personal taste rather than the law."


Bay Area Cambodians face deportation amid Trump administration crackdown


The Chronicle's TATIANA SANCHEZ: "A group of Cambodian refugees in the Bay Area received summonses to show up to ICE in San Francisco this week, where they’ll be detained and likely deported as part of a push by the Trump administration targeting immigrants with criminal records."


"At least eight local Cambodians were asked to report to deportation officers at ICE headquarters on Sansome Street on Wednesday, and dozens more are expected to be detained across the United States this month, according to local advocates."


"It’s the latest round of these deportations, as ICE cracks down on Cambodian refugees who committed crimes years or even decades ago, often as teenagers, that cost them their green cards and put them on a track to deportation."


Freeway blight or mall saviors? Here's where Sacramento may allow 8 new digital billboards


Sacramento Bee's TONY BIZJAK: "Sacramento leaders have pushed for years to reduce the number of billboards along streets and freeways, calling them visual clutter and blight. Now, the city is proposing allowing four large shopping centers to erect two digital advertising signs each on their property."


"The reason: Economics."


"As the burgeoning online shopping world continues to take bites out of brick-and-mortar business, retailers want the brightly-lit changeable message boards as a weapon in that war – helping them catch the attention of customers with targeted promotions similar to pop-up online ads."


Is your vehicle most likely to make it to 200,000 miles? If it's one of these, yes.


Sacramento Bee's DAVID CARACCIO: "A new study came up with the vehicles most likely to last 200,000 miles in the Sacramento to Modesto demographic."


"The study by iSeeCars analyzed more than 13.8 million cars, SUVs and pickup trucks to find which ones prove to last the longest for their drivers. It turns out in the Sacramento region, as well as the nation, SUVs are most likely to reach 200,000 miles or more, according to the automotive research firm and car search engine."


"With the right maintenance and care, today’s vehicles have the potential to reach 200,000 miles,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly in a news release. “While large SUVs and pickup trucks appear most often on the list, those looking for sedans and minivans can also find a vehicle that is proven to be a high-mileage hauler."


NFL legends fight for fair pensions: You'd be shocked at how little they get


The Chronicle's ANN KILLION: "Football is family, right?"


"That’s what we hear from the NFL, through its extensive marketing campaign. Family. Connection. Loyalty."


"So why is football ignoring Dad? And Grandpa?"


Pelosi dismisses impeachment talk: 'He's just not worth it'


The Chronicle's TAL KOPAN: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview published Monday that she doesn’t want to impeach President Trump, a position that could put her at odds with many of her Democratic colleagues."


"The San Francisco Democrat has long been hesitant on the issue of impeachment, and has said Democrats should wait until the special counsel, Robert Mueller, finishes his investigation into Russian election interference in the 2016 presidential campaign."


"But in an interview with The Washington Post, Pelosi downplayed the idea of impeachment altogether unless it was an overwhelmingly clear choice."

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