Crackdown on California charter schools brings out hundreds to protest at Capitol
Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER/HANNAH WILEY: "Charter school advocates packed a Capitol hearing Wednesday to protest a package of bills supported by teachers’ unions that would limit the opening of new charter campuses."
"The bills are part of a legislative push to restrict charter schools that has already produced a win. Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill that forces charter schools to hold open meetings and adhere to state open records laws."
"But a set of three Assembly bills would go further by handing greater control of charter schools to local school districts in the state and by placing a statewide cap on the number of charter schools."
READ MORE related to Education: Sacramento teachers will strike Thursday. Here are 5 things parents need to know -- Sacramento Bee's THERESA CLIFT; DMV said a USC professor's vanity plate request had racial connotations. Now he's suing -- LA Times's JAVIER PANZAR
New Analysis Raises Questions About Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Juvenile Justice Proposal
From SAMMY CAIOLA at Capital Public Radio: "Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed major changes to the juvenile justice system during his State of the State in January. A new report from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office shows it’s unclear whether the move would lead to tangible change for the state’s youth."
"Newsom hasn’t released many details about his plan to move the Division of Juvenile Justice out of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and into Health and Human Services."
"The analyst’s office says the governor and the Legislature must address several questions, including if the division needs to be reorganized to improve conditions for youth, what the potential consequences would be, what alternate options exist and whether the change should happen through budget trailer legislation or the regular bill process."
Death penalty sought for East Area Rapist suspect
LA Times's PAIGE ST JOHN: "Prosecutors said Wednesday they will seek the death penalty for the man accused of being the Golden State Killer."
"Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. is suspected of raping some 50 women and holding entire families hostage during a reign of terror in Sacramento and the Bay Area in the late 1970s, then progressing to murder."
"The killer was given various names in each region, including the Visalia Ransacker, East Area Rapist, Creek Bed Killer and Original Night Stalker, before becoming known as the Golden State Killer."
PG&E rates could double if big wildfires persist, analyst tells Gov. Newsom
Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER: "In a grim forecast to Gov. Gavin Newsom, a public policy analyst warned Wednesday that PG&E’s rates could double if it’s found liable for another round of wildfires on the same scale as the disasters that drove the utility into bankruptcy."
"Steven Weissman, a lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, is advising Newsom’s office as it expects to roll out a plan Friday for dealing with wildfire costs in an age of global warming and increasing fire risk. Weissman’s three-page memo attempts only to gauge the impact of future fires, not the effect of the $30 billion in potential liabilities PG&E already faces from the 2017 and 2018 wildfires."
"The memo is titled “The Massive Cost of the ‘New Normal’ in Wildfires & Climate Change Era” and predicts dramatic rate increases for other companies as well, including Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, if mega-fires continue."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: SF wants to prepare for extreme weather, turns to climate scientists for help -- The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER
SF supervisors reject housing complex that would cast shadow on SoMa park
The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI: "The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously rejected a 63-unit apartment complex, including 15 below-market-rate units, because it would cast an evening shadow on a South of Market park."
"The proposal was to replace several smaller buildings at 1052-1060 Folsom St. and 190-194 Russ St. with an apartment complex that would shade a portion of Victoria Manalo Draves Park, a 2-acre open space next to Bessie Carmichael School, a public K-8. The project will now return to the Planning Commission for further review."
"We absolutely need more housing and affordable housing,” said Supervisor Matt Haney, whose district includes the park. But “this isn’t a meaningless shadow on someone’s backyard. This is a shadow that falls on the only multiuse public park in SoMa."
READ MORE related to Homelessness & Housing: Regional plan needed to solve Bay Area crisis, business group says -- The Chronicle's KEVIN FAGAN
CW PODCAST: Carl Guardino on housing, transportation
Capitol Weekly STAFF: "Carl Guardino is president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and a member of the California Transportation Commission — which means he wears two very big hats. Carl, born and bred in San Jose, sat down with Capitol Weekly’s John Howard and Tim Foster at K Street’s bustling Ambrosia Cafe (trust us, it gets quieter after a minute or two) to offer insight into the battles over new housing in the Bay Area (including SB50) and the fierce fights over improving California’s rail system, including the bullet rain, train electrification in the Peninsula and San Jose’s future subway."
Stevante Clark and 14 others named to Measure U oversight committee
Sacramento Bee's THERESA CLIFT: "The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday voted to approve Stevante Clark, brother of Stephon Clark, and 14 other people to help decide how the city should spend revenue from the Measure U sales tax increase voters approved in November."
"Councilman Larry Carr – who represents the Meadowview neighborhood where Stephon Clark was killed – nominated Stevante Clark for the Measure U Community Advisory Committee because of his ability to connect with “hard to reach groups,” within minority communities and young people, Carr said."
"His entrance in to the public was somewhat disturbing, and his actions immediately following that were also disturbing, but since then, he has been to nearly all my community meetings and worked with me on projects,” Carr told the Bee in February after nominating Clark. “He’s sweet, he’s kind, he’s soft spoken and he wants to do something to help the community. I’m willing to give him a chance to do that."
Gas prices continue to climb in refinery damage aftermath
LA Times's SUHAUNA HUSSAIN: "The price of gas in Southern California has climbed rapidly over the last few weeks as oil refineries across the state experience maintenance problems."
"The average pump price for regular gas in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area stood at $3.946 on Wednesday, up about 22 cents from a week ago and 70 cents, or 17%, from a month ago, according to the American Automobile Assn."
"Prices had been relatively stable the last few months — at $3.25 on Jan. 10 and $3.35 on March 19, said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, which tracks fuel prices."
Walk to Work Day: 24 seconds in the life of the mayor and her entourage
The Chronicle's STEVE RUBENSTEIN: "Twenty-four seconds is not a lot of time to cross Van Ness Avenue, especially in high heels. Mayor London Breed found that out Wednesday."
"That’s how long you get before the light turns red, on Walk to Work Day or on any other day. Twenty-four seconds to cross broad Van Ness Avenue at the corner of Grove Street, even if you’re the mayor."
"Some lights change so fast you can’t get across the street,” Breed had said a few minutes earlier as she set off on her walk from the Western Addition to City Hall, accompanied by the few dozen cops, aides, glad-handers, well-wishers and hangers-on who always seem to accompany mayors at such events."
Living under the threat of wildfire in California (VIDEO)
Sacramento Bee's AKIRA OLIVIA KUMAMOTO: "One in 12 of California's homes exists in areas facing severe wildfire threat. Is there anything that can be done to spare these homes? Destined to Burn, a Sacramento Bee collaborative project, publishes April 11, 2019, at sacbee.com."
Family seeks answers in immigrant's post-detention death
AP's AMY TAXIN: "A 27-year-old man died in a California hospital after he suffered a brain hemorrhage while detained by U.S. immigration authorities, his wife said Wednesday, demanding to know what caused his injury and whether he received appropriate medical care in custody."
"Melissa Castro said she was called Feb. 8 by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement official and told that her husband had a "passing out episode" while in the custody of detention officials in Adelanto, California, and had been taken to the hospital."
"Castro, who had delivered the couple's baby five days earlier, said she found Jose Luis Ibarra Bucio in an intensive care unit and in a coma from which he never awoke."
READ MORE related to Immigration: When this farmworker shelter started taking in asylum seekers, it lost its biggest donor -- LA Times's BRITTNY MEJIA
Caltrans' costs soar on $1.1B San Francisco tunnels
Sacramento Bee's WES VENTEICHER: "Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrated when the California Transportation Commission voted, despite a host of warnings, to pay a contractor more than $1 billion to build two tunnels and a stretch of road outside San Francisco nine years ago."
"Schwarzenegger said the project’s new approach, which aimed to cap public expenses and shift responsibility to the private sector, would serve as a “shining example” of an innovative way to improve the state’s highways while saving taxpayer dollars."
"Now the project, known as the Presidio Parkway, is more than two years late and $208 million over budget. When the commission approved another $34 million in delay-related spending last month, two commissioners who originally opposed the project lamented their predictions had come true."
It's steel on steel as Transbay Center repairs progress
The Chronicle's MICHAEL CABANATUAN: "Repairs to the fractured steel girders that hold up the Transbay Transit Center are moving faster than expected, officials said Wednesday, but they still have no projected date for reopening the transit hub, which has been closed for more than six months."
"The soonest the three-block-long center could reopen would be early June, when repairs are expected to be completed and approved, Christine Falvey, a Transbay spokeswoman, said during a media tour of the repair work Wednesday. But before a reopening can be announced, a comprehensive review of the structure needs to be completed and the building dusted off and put back in shape for public use."
"No one can commit to a reopening date,” said Dennis Turchon, senior construction manager for the Transbay Joint Powers Authority. The agency is responsible for the construction and operation of the $2 billion transit hub, which includes retail space and a rooftop park."
Misconduct allegations aren't hurting Biden in California
The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "Allegations that former Vice President Joe Biden has made women uncomfortable with unwanted touching haven’t hurt his presidential prospects in California, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University."
"Biden hasn’t announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination to challenge President Trump in 2020, but California Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents have him as their top choice in the March primary with 26% support, the poll indicates."
"He is trailed by independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with 18% and California Sen. Kamala Harris at 17%. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., are tied at 7% each, with none of the many other Democratic hopefuls topping 4%."
AG Barr is reviewing 'spying' on Trump campaign in 2016
LA Times's DEL QUENTIN WILBER/CHRIS MEGERIAN: "Atty. Gen. William Barr told a Senate committee Wednesday that he is reviewing whether the Justice Department and the FBI acted inappropriately in their investigation of Russian election interference in 2016, saying he thought “spying did occur” on President Trump’s campaign."
"In echoing the provocative charge leveled by Trump to denounce the court-approved surveillance of a former member of his campaign, Barr thrust himself directly into the partisan battle waged by the White House and Republican lawmakers who allege that abuses by FBI officials prejudiced the Russia investigation from the start."
"Testifying to the Senate Appropriations Committee, the nation’s top lawman expressed concerns about whether top FBI officials at the time followed rules governing secret surveillance and whether those guidelines need to be reexamined."
Kim Kardashian West is studying to be a lawyer, and you can blame the White House
LA Times's CHRISTIE D'ZURILLA: "Kim Kardashian West is studying to become a lawyer, just like her dad was."
"Yes, the same Kim Kardashian West who has a beauty empire and shapely selfies and a hit reality TV show. C’mon, there’s only the one."
"I had to think long and hard about this,” the 38-year-old tells Vogue for its May issue, referring to her decision to do a four-year apprenticeship with a law firm in San Francisco ahead of taking the bar, hopefully, in 2022. It was a decision she made last summer, the magazine says."
AMI looking to sell National Enquirer on heels of Jeff Bezos scandal
LA Times's DAVID NG/STACY PERMAN: "American Media Inc. is looking to sell the National Enquirer as well as other tabloid publications, including the Globe and National Examiner, the company announced Wednesday."
"New York-based AMI said its board had concluded a strategic operational review of its tabloid business, which began in August, leading to the decision to explore strategic options for the brands. The move will “likely result in their sale in the near future,” the company said in a release."
"The decision comes on the heels of the Jeff Bezos scandal in which the Amazon founder accused the Enquirer of extorting him with leaked text messages and naked photos that the publication had obtained."