Death knell?

Jan 14, 2019

PG&E CEO resigns as company faces billions in liability


AP: "The CEO of Pacific Gas and Electric resigned Sunday and employees could learn this week if the utility will declare insolvency while facing billions of dollars in liability over its role in recent California wildfires."


"PG&E released a statement Sunday thanking Geisha Williams for her service. The board of directors chose John Simon as interim CEO."


"While we are making progress as a company in safety and other areas, the board recognizes the tremendous challenges PG&E continues to face,” the company said. “We believe John is the right interim leader for the company while we work to identify a new CEO.”


READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: PG&E Chief Exec. Geisha Williams leaves as utility readies for possible bankruptcy -- LA Times's STAFF; PG&E CEO exits amid utility's mounting wildfire woes -- GEORGE AVALOS, Mercury News; Possible bankruptcy for PG&E: Company may notify employees Monday -- Chronicle's CATHERINE HO and J.D. MORRIS2 million gallons of wastewater spills into Sonoma County slough -- The Chronicled's JOHN KING


Hueso and other lawmakers went to Maui with utilities while wildfires burned


From JEFF McDONALD, San Diego Union-Tribune: "Sen. Ben Hueso, chairman of the state Senate’s Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, was one of a dozen California lawmakers to join 60 utility executives and other paid sponsors at the Fairmont Kea Lani resort in Hawaii last November."


"Such conferences are often criticized as inappropriate hobnobbing of policymakers with businesses affected by their decisions, and defended as legitimate working sessions. This one had the added timeliness of occurring while wildfires raged on the mainland — some of them possibly sparked by equipment owned by utility companies whose liability is an ongoing issue in state government."


"Much of the work in Maui was focused around panel discussions on health care, public safety, energy and economic development, among other policy issues."


Newsom bringing wife on board as 'first partner' in Sacramento


The Chronicle's PHIL MATIER: "Newly installed Gov. Gavin Newsom isn’t the only family member with an office in the Capitol — his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, is moving in as well, with the title of “first partner."


"Siebel Newsom’s focus will be on gender equality and lifting up women and families. She will not be paid but will have an office just down the hall from the governor’s."


"Outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown’s wife, attorney Anne Gust Brown, served as both the first lady and as special counsel, an unpaid job she also held when Brown was attorney general."


READ MORE related to Gubernatorial: Newsom angers no one with budget, puts off big fights for another day -- The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH


What to know as LAUSD teachers prepare to strike


LA Times's SONALI KOHLI: "Third Street Elementary School will be open Monday, but it will hardly be business as usual at the Hancock Park campus: Teachers are expected to picket outside. Students will be herded by unfamiliar adults into big groups both outdoors and indoors."


"And then there’s the forecast for rain, which could make things both trickier and soggier."


"As Los Angeles teachers prepare to launch their first strike in 30 years, there are so many moving parts to consider."


Is Tehran spying on SoCal? Feds say OC waiter and 'Chubby' from Long Beach were agents of Iran


LA Times's MELISSA ETEHAD: "They seemed an unlikely pair of spies."


"The older man, Majid Ghorbani, worked at a posh Persian restaurant in Santa Ana’s South Coast Village Plaza. At 59, he wore a thick gray mustache and the weary expression of a man who had served up countless plates of rice and kebab."


"The younger man, Ahmadreza Mohammadi Doostdar, was a Long Beach native who held dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship. Round-faced and bespectacled, the 38-year-old answered to the Farsi nickname “Topol,” or “Chubby."


Old, young, liberal, centrist: Democrats will have no end of choices for president in 2020


LA Times's JANET HOOK: "There are fresh faces and old hands. Thirty-somethings and senior citizens. Billionaires and at least one person still paying off student loans. A skateboarder, a brewery founder and a coffee magnate are all taking a look."


"Dozens of Democrats are thinking about running for president in 2020."


"The result could be a divisive, messy set of primaries, but many Democrats are exhilarated by the prospect of a wide range of choices, mirroring the congressional races in 2018."


Recreational fishing rules to be overhauled under new law


AP's PATRICK WHITTLE: "The rules that govern recreational marine fishing in the U.S. will get an overhaul due to a new law passed by Congress, and the country's millions of anglers and the groups that stake their livelihoods on them hope the changes will bring better management."


"The new standards are part of a suite of changes that proponents call the Modern Fish Act that were approved by the House and Senate in December. Supporters of the new rules have said they will boost an industry that contributes billions to the economy, though some members of the fishing industry felt deeper rule changes were warranted."


"The passage is a "big step toward implementing science-based methods" and "marks the first substantial update to the federal fisheries management system in more than a decade," said Nicole Vasilaros, senior vice president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, a boating industry trade group."


UC employees still reporting hardships from a faulty payroll


Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "University of California employees continue to report missed or reduced direct deposit paychecks that they attribute to the university system’s troubled payroll system, UCPath."


"The complaints, often from student employees whose paycheck-to-paycheck income leaves them particularly vulnerable to payroll problems, prompted two California state lawmakers — Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego — to write letters voicing their concern to the University of California chancellors in their respective districts."


"Too many student workers have gone without pay, in some cases for months,” Gonzalez wrote."


Gunman who killed Davis Officer Natalie Corona was ordered to surrender AR-15 rifle


Sacramento Bee's SAM STANTON/BENJY EGEL/MOLLY SULLIVAN/DANIEL HUNT: "The gunman who shot and killed Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona Thursday night has been identified as Kevin Douglas Limbaugh, a 48-year-old man who was ordered last fall to surrender a semiautomatic rifle after he was convicted in a battery case."


"Yolo County Superior Court records show Limbaugh was charged in September with battery with serious bodily injury, a incident that a source said stemmed from him punching a co-worker at Cache Creek Casino in the face after a dispute."


"The case was resolved as a misdemeanor conviction, and California Department of Justice records show he agreed to surrender a black .223-caliber Bushmaster AR-15 rifle in November."


READ MORE related to Natalie Corona Slaying: Davis officer's killer says in note that he was being bombarded by ultrasonic waves -- Sacramento Bee's DANIEL HUNT; Why more training could not have saved Davis police officer Natalie Corona -- Sacramento Bee's TONY BIZJAK/BENJY EGEL/DALE KASLER/MICHAEL FINCH II


New effort to require Caltrans to consider bikes, buses and pedestrians in plans


The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "The streets are not just for cars anymore."


"That’s the credo behind a bill that state Sen. Scott Wiener will announce Monday, requiring the state Department of Transportation — Caltrans — to consider bike lanes, buses and pedestrian walkways whenever it starts a major road project."


"It would mainly apply to state highways that function as city streets — “the 19th Avenues and Van Nesses of the world,” said Wiener, D-San Francisco, referring to a bustling artery in the Sunset District, and a thoroughfare that stretches north from Civic Center."


Graham urging Trump to reopen govt for a few weeks


AP's DARLENE SUPERVILLE: "A Republican lawmaker advising President Donald Trump said he is encouraging the president to reopen the government for several weeks to continue negotiating with Democrats over funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall before the president takes the more drastic step of declaring a national emergency."


"But that may be wishful thinking, given that Sen. Lindsey Graham also says Trump still wants to reach a deal for the wall before agreeing to reopen shuttered government departments. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a leading Democratic negotiator, insists that Trump reopen the government first."


"The weeks-old standoff over funding led to the partial government shutdown that hit day 23 on Sunday without an end in sight."


Santa Rosa Diocese releases names of clergy it believes were child sex abusers


The Chronicle's MICHAEL CABANATUAN: "The Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa has released a list of 39 clergymen it says have been credibly accused or convicted of sexually abusing about 100 children, calling them “the evil actions of priests and bishops."


"More than half of those on the list released Saturday night — at least 23 — are deceased, and Robert Vasa, bishop of the diocese, said in the North Coast Catholic newspaper that none of the priests or deacons on the list are still serving in the diocese."


"The names, which include four clergymen convicted of sexual offenses, were released in the newspaper. Many of them are already well-known through public accusations, admissions or investigations disclosed in the media or on the internet. Included on the list are 14 men who were accused of child sexual abuse in other locations but did not face allegations in the Santa Rosa diocese."

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