Not guilty

May 17, 2019

Assemblyman Arambula found not guilty; will return to Capitol on Monday


Sac Bee's RORY APPLETON: "California Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, the Fresno Democrat, was found not guilty Thursday in his misdemeanor child abuse trial."


"The jury spent less than a day deliberating after the nine-day trial. Arambula’s wife, Elizabeth, burst into tears as the verdict was read. Family and friends let out several cheers."


"After the case was adjourned, the assemblyman left the courtroom, unaccompanied, and walked alone several blocks to the office of his attorney, Michael Aed, where he held a brief news conference as reporters and family members caught up with him."


Trump admin cancels $929M bullet train contract


Sac Bee's TONY BIZJAK/BRYAN ANDERSON/TIM SHEEHAN: "In a dramatic move, the Trump administration announced Thursday it has canceled a nearly billion-dollar funding contract with the California bullet train, throwing the state’s troubled high-speed rail project further in doubt."


"California Gov. Gavin Newsom immediately fired back, calling the move illegal and vowing to fight it in court."


"The Federal Railroad Administration said it terminated a longstanding contract to pay the California High Speed Rail Authority $928,620,000 because California “has repeatedly failed to comply with the terms of the (2010) agreement and has failed to make reasonable progress on the project."


Major housing bill from Sen. Scott Wiener put on hold until 2020


The Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "State lawmakers dealt a sharp setback Thursday to a San Francisco senator’s efforts to spur denser housing around public transit and in residential neighborhoods, shelving until 2020 a high-profile bill that would curtail local governments’ ability to block certain apartment and condominium projects."


"State Sen. Scott Wiener promised to press on with his bill, SB50, after the Senate Appropriations Committee declared it would hold the measure for the rest of the year. The delay could give the Democrat more time to build support or make further changes to the deeply divisive legislation."


Rare May storm brings record-setting rain to SoCal


LA Times's HANNAH FRY: "An unusually wet spring storm that began sprinkling — and sometimes dumping — rain on Los Angeles early Thursday has already shattered at least one precipitation record in California and is poised to break a few more, forecasters say."


"The unseasonably late low-pressure system that moved into the northern part of the state Wednesday from the Gulf of Alaska and into Southern California early Thursday lingered into the afternoon, bringing between one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch of rain across much of the Southland."


"Since historically May 16 isn’t a very wet day, forecasters expected the rainfall to set some daily precipitation records. Some fell quickly."


Pelosi: Dems may sweeten wildfire relief with border money


The Chronicle's TAL KOPAN: "Democrats are open to attaching money for the crisis at the southern border to a disaster relief package being negotiated in Congress that includes billions of dollars for California wildfire recovery, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday."


"The idea is part of negotiations taking place between members of both parties in the House and Senate, which is set to vote on disaster relief next week."


READ MORE related to Wildfire EpidemicBear cub burned in Paradise fire, now fat and healthy, released into wild -- The Chronicle's KIMBERLY VEKLEROV

Adachi leak: Lawyer for journalist fights 'breathtakingly overbroad' search


The Chronicle's EVAN SERNOFFSKY: "San Francisco police illegally seized computers and other property during “violent and breathtakingly overbroad” searches of a journalist’s home and office while trying to figure out who leaked him a police report into the death of Public Defender Jeff Adachi, an attorney for the journalist wrote in a court filing Thursday."


"The lawyer, Thomas Burke, filed a motion to quash search warrants and return property to freelance videographer Bryan Carmody, arguing police and judges violated state and federal laws, including Carmody’s right to due process and California’s shield law that protects journalists from being compelled to identify sources."


Newsom cites Alabama abortion ban to recapture film industry


Sac Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG: "Gov. Gavin Newsom is citing recent abortion bans in conservative states to argue that film companies should take their productions out of the South and back to California."


"In a Twitter video with Assemblywoman Luz Rivas, Newsom said California, which already gives tax breaks to films, is “going to do more” to entice productions to film in the Golden State."


"For those of you that have left to do production in states like Georgia, consider the investment there and what it’s promoting, versus investing in your state and what we’re promoting,” he said in the video posted Tuesday evening. “This is the moment, come back home."


READ MORE related to Newsom Administration: Newsom appoints Sac State alumnus to Visit California board of directors -- Sac Bee's VINCENT MOLESKI


California once paid its bills with IOUs. It's still writing checks to settle recession debts


Sacramento Bee's WES VENTEICHER: "A group of business owners who received IOUs instead of checks from the state of California during the recession could be paid $2.7 million a decade later."


"Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget proposal for the coming year requests the money to close out a class action lawsuit filed in 2010 by Nancy Baird, a San Luis Obispo County woman who owned a small embroidery business. The $2.7 million payment is outlined in a letter from Newsom’s Finance Department to legislative leaders."


"The lawsuit stems from a $27,000 contract Baird received to provide shirts and uniforms for a California National Guard youth camp around April 2009. Baird provided them in May and June of that year."


SF supes move step closer to closing juvenile hall


The Chronicle's JILL TUCKER: "San Francisco supervisors moved closer Thursday to shutting down juvenile hall, with a unanimous committee vote pushing the measure to the full board for a final decision in early June."


"The decision followed nearly three hours of public comment during the Government Audit and Oversight Committee, with dozens of community organizers and formerly incarcerated youths supporting the effort, saying the facility is mostly empty, ineffective in rehabilitating juveniles and too costly."


READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: Jury clears LAPD officers in $12.5M lawsuit over man who swallowed heroin -- LA Times's MARK PUENTE


Record cherry haul in California at risk due to weather fluctuations


Sac Bee's DARRELL SMITH: "Bruce Blodgett’s heart sank as he drove through the pouring rain Wednesday from Stockton to his Elk Grove home."


"I got home and told my wife, ‘The rain is unrelenting right now.’ It’s not what we needed now,” he said."


"Blodgett is executive director of the farm bureau in San Joaquin County, California’s cherry bowl. The mid-May downpour and his windshield wipers told him everything he needed to know: His county’s record ready-to-pick yield of sweet cherries – one of San Joaquin’s most lucrative crops even amid the county’s winemaking renaissance – was in serious danger."


Teachers union delays strike at Sacramento City Unified


Sac Bee's SAWSAN MORRAR: "The teachers union at Sacramento City Unified School District on Thursday night said it will delay its second one-day strike, which had been planned for May 22."


"No new strike date was announced, and Sacramento City Teachers Association President David Fisher said at a news conference Thursday the union hoped it would not need to schedule one."


"The announcement was made just before the school district’s board meeting was set to convene, where the board was set to vote and approve the district’s 2019-20 third interim financial report."


READ MORE related to Education: College SAT results to include another score: Hardship in students' lives -- LA Times's MELISSA GOMEZ


Rangers, police arrest 30 homeless in American River bike trail 'warrant sweep'


Sac Bee's MICHAEL MCGOUGH: "A few dozen park rangers and Sacramento police officers arrested 30 people during a “warrant sweep” Wednesday at homeless encampments along an American River Parkway bike trail, authorities said."


"Officers and rangers were seen handcuffing a number of individuals near homeless camps set up in the Richards section of the city along the Twin Rivers Trail, south of the American River and just west of the Highway 160 overpass."


"Sacramento County Chief Park Ranger Michael Doane said in an emailed statement Thursday that the sweep “took place in the lower reaches of the American River, and yes, it is focused on the larger areas of homeless encampments."


READ MORE related to Homelessness & Housing: SF homeless population swells by 17% in latest tally -- The Chronicle's KEVIN FAGAN


California psychiatrist 'depressed' by Trump 2016 win stumbled to work drunk, board says


Sacramento Bee's JARED GILMOUR: "California’s medical board put a Napa psychiatrist on probation for seven years after he admitted to stumbling to work drunk the day after President Donald Trump’s election because he was “depressed” by the outcome, board records say."


"Dr. Michael Cosgrove, a staff psychiatrist at Napa State Hospital, showed up to work on Nov. 9, 2016, walking unsteadily and with difficulty keeping his balance — and a police officer who noticed Cosgrove’s behavior stopped him to ask if he’d been drinking, according to the board’s decision in the case, which went into effect May 10."


"Cosgrove told the officer that he’d “been drinking all night because he was depressed by the presidential election,” according to the board."


Mike Wilhelm, first psychedelic rock guitarist, dead at 77


SF Chronicle Datebook's AIDIN VZIRI: "Mike Wilhelm, the co-founder and lead guitar player of the pioneering San Francisco psychedelic rock outfit the Charlatans, who also played with the bands the Flamin’ Groovies and Loose Gravel, died on Tuesday, May 14 at a hospital in San Francisco. He was 77."


"The cause was complications from cancer, said his wife, Ana Maria Wilhelm."


"The Charlatans never released an album during their Summer of Love heyday, but the group’s impact was huge on the nascent San Francisco scene. Dressed in vintage Edwardian finery, the five-man band developed its rowdy amalgamation of blues, rock and Western swing over the summer of 1965 during a residency at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City, a small Sierra Nevada town."


Taiwan approves same-sex marriage in a first for Asia


AP: "Taiwan's legislature voted Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, a first in Asia and a boost for LGBT rights activists who had championed the cause for two decades."


"Lawmakers pressured by LGBT groups as well as church organizations opposed to the move approved most of a government-sponsored bill that recognizes same-sex marriages and gives couples many of the tax, insurance and child custody benefits available to male-female married couples."


"That makes Taiwan the first place in Asia with a comprehensive law both allowing and laying out the terms of same-sex marriage."

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