Heat and workers

Jul 17, 2019

As temperatures climb in California and nationwide, a new push aims to keep workers safe


CHL's ANNA MARIA BARRY-JESTER: "Last month, on a day that was sweltering even by Phoenix standards, Filiberto Lares knew he wasn’t well. An airline caterer, he said he had spent hours moving between the scalding tarmac and a truck with no air conditioning. Lares, 51, was dehydrated and fell ill with a fever that would keep him out of work for four unpaid days. It wasn’t the first time this had happened."


"Honestly, I never imagined I would live a situation like this in the United States, especially not in an industry as valued as the airlines,” he said in Spanish."


"It’s a scene that plays out on airport tarmacs, in farm fields and on construction sites across the country: workers falling ill after laboring in hot or humid conditions for long hours without enough water and rest. Over the past decade, more than 350 workers nationwide have died from heat-related illness, according to data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tens of thousands have had heat-related illnesses serious enough that they missed at least one day of work."


READ MORE related to Energy & EnvironmentCalifornia's master of disaster talks quake-rate hike, new wildfire fund -- The Chronicle's KATHLEEN PENDERFearsome mountain lions high-tail it out of there when they hear human voices -- The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITEEven after huge earthquakes, much of SoCal still unprepared for The Big One -- LA Times's HANNAH FRY


Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here's how


Sacramento Bee's KATE IRBY: "Affordable housing advocates warned that the corporate tax cuts passed by Republicans in 2017 could have disastrous effects on the development of more affordable housing. More than two years later, independent data show it has meant at least 15,000 delayed or killed affordable housing units in California alone."


"The low-income housing tax credit is the primary federal program for funding affordable housing projects. It promises a tax credit to private companies — usually banks — that fund housing accessible to low-income families. It’s a program that has received broad bipartisan support over the years."


"But when the Republican tax cuts lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent, it had the unintended effect of lowering the potential benefits of the tax credits. Scott Hoekman, president and CEO of Enterprise Housing Credit Investments, LLC, a company that manages funds for the tax credits nationwide, estimated that meant companies were willing to invest about 10 to 15 percent less than they had before the 2016 election, cutting off a major source of funding and derailing thousands of projects."


READ MORE related to Homelessness & Housing: Mayor angered it takes so 'damn long' to build housing as homelessness spikes -- The Chronicle's HEATHER KNIGHT


Yang doing better than many veteran politicians in first White House run


The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "Andrew Yang got a sign that his top campaign issue is resonating when, he said, Joe Biden sidled up to him during a commercial break at the first presidential debate last month."


"No matter what happens, Andrew, you and I need to sit down and talk about the fourth industrial revolution because I’m terrified that we’re going to gut the middle class,” Yang recalled Biden telling him."


"And I said, ‘Hell yeah, Joe,” Yang said Tuesday during a campaign appearance in San Francisco. “This is a very, very positive thing that the message is getting through in ways big and small."


The Buttigieg bump: Mayor Pete challenges Kamala Harris for Cali cash


LA Times's MALOY MOORE: "Kamala Harris continues to lead all Democratic challengers so far among California donors of $200 or more, whose identities are revealed in campaign disclosures."


"However, her home-state advantage narrowed in recent months. Upstarts in the race like South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg out-raised her here by $500,000 in the most recent quarter, according to new filings released this week."


Do you know California's cannabis DUI law? Chances are 'no,' survey says


Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "Quick, how much marijuana can you legally smoke before you drive?"


"If you’re like a majority of Californians, odds are you don’t know the answer to that question. Nearly half, 46 percent, who responded to a recent survey from Eaze, an online cannabis marketplace, were unable to answer whether there exists a legal bloodstream concentration limit for THC, as there is for alcohol (there isn’t)."


"The online survey of 527 licensed Californian drivers, who all used cannabis within 30 days of responding, shows that “few know critical details about cannabis consumption and driving,” according to the executive summary."


Safeway reaches tentative contract with union representing thousands of California workers


Sacramento Bee's CATHIE ANDERSON: "Grocery union leader Jacques Loveall announced Tuesday that the bargaining team for UFCW 8-Golden State has negotiated an agreement with Safeway and Vons, and he is strongly recommending union members vote yes on the deal."


"At the bargaining table we were able to build on the key achievements of decades of union solidarity,” said Loveall, president of UFCW 8-Golden State, in a prepared news release. “This contract is one of our best ever, a big ‘win’ for union members."


"He did not share details of the three-year agreement in the release, saying the union would not release any information until after the vote had concluded. Provisions of the tentative contract will be mailed out to union members, along with a mail-in, secret ballot."


READ MORE related to Unions: Cracks emerge in SEIU Local 1000 leadership as bargaining season begins -- Sacramento Bee's WES VENTEICHER


Undocumented immigrant reported by Daly City police to ICE, prompting outcry


The Chronicle's TATIANA SANCHEZ: "Jose Armando Escobar-Lopez and his girlfriend were driving home from church one Saturday evening when they were pulled over by a Daly City police officer. Escobar-Lopez, who was behind the wheel, didn’t have a criminal record. But he was living in the country illegally and driving without a license."


"In California, that wouldn’t have gotten the 21-year-old immigrant from El Salvador into trouble with immigration authorities because the state’s sanctuary law, implemented in 2018, largely prohibits police from cooperating with ICE unless an individual commits a serious crime."


"But on May 11, the police officer arrested Escobar-Lopez then turned him over to federal immigration officials. Now, Escobar-Lopez may be deported."


READ MORE related to Immigration: An ultra-violent MS-13 group entered the US, then stalked LA with blades and bats -- LA Times's JAMES QUEALLY/MATTHEW ORMSETH


Delays in California jail construction cost lives, dollars while money goes unspent


Sacramento Bee's JASON POHL/RYAN GABRIELSON: "Last June, Fabian Cardoza headed to the shower in the dilapidated Merced County Main Jail. The 20-year-old had spent a month there awaiting trial on a robbery charge. Two cellmates boxed him in. One pinned Cardoza to the floor. The other slipped a braided bedsheet around his neck and tightened it."


"It was just past noon, but no correctional officers took notice. No one was monitoring the video camera that watched the area and, because the facility was so outdated, officers would have had to stand directly in front of the cell to see anything inside."


"The jail was built in 1968, before most of the prisoners were even born. Inmates live behind rusted bars in the aging cellblocks, where eight people share a space the size of a two-bedroom apartment. The sleeping area has stacked beds bolted to the walls, opening into a dayroom that serves as a bathing and communal eating space. On that Sunday afternoon, it was a killing ground."


READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: California's execution pause hasn't stopped new capital cases. The Supreme Court could change that -- Sacramento Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG             


Former SCOTUS Justice John Paul Stevens passes away at 99


AP: "John Paul Stevens, the bow-tied, independent-thinking, Republican-nominated justice who unexpectedly emerged as the Supreme Court's leading liberal, died Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after suffering a stroke Monday. He was 99."


"During nearly 35 years on the court, Stevens stood for the freedom and dignity of individuals, be they students or immigrants or prisoners. He acted to limit the death penalty, squelch official prayer in schools, establish gay rights, promote racial equality and preserve legal abortion. He protected the rights of crime suspects and illegal immigrants facing deportation."


"He influenced fellow justices to give foreign terrorism suspects held for years at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval base the right to plead for their release in U.S. courts."


House votes to condemn Trump's tweets as racist


LA Times's NOAH BIERMAN: "For all the tumult and anger that President Trump’s verbal attacks on four minority lawmakers have caused, he has been clear about his political motives: Drive a wedge through the country that forces each side to its corner."


"Trump is betting he can repeat the formula that won him election in 2016, widening the nation’s racial, cultural and ideological divides to eke out victory with a strong showing among older conservative white voters."


"Democrats, who have been debating how much to focus the 2020 election on Trump’s personal behavior, voted in the House on Tuesday evening to condemn Trump’s racist tweet that told four liberal members of Congress — all women of color — to “go back” to the “crime-infested places from which they came."

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