Mystery parent

Mar 26, 2019

Who paid $6.5 million to get kids into college?


LAT's RICHARD WINTON: "Of the many outrageous allegations revealed by federal prosecutors in the college cheating scandal, one stands out."


"Someone paid $6.5 million to get his or her children into elite schools. But the identity of that parent — and details about which schools were involved — remains a mystery nearly two weeks after authorities in Boston filed the charges against dozens of wealthy individuals."


"The lack of information about the money is more notable given that the charges go into intense detail about the alleged actions of other parents, who are accused of bribing and cheating to get their kids into schools such as Yale, USC and UCLA."


READ MORE related to Operation Varsity BluesYale rescinds admission as first st udent faces consequences in college scandal -- LA TImes's ALEJANDRA REYES-VELARDE; 

More wealthy parents under scrutiny by prosecutors in college admissions scandal -- LA Times's RICHARD WINTON/MATTHEW ORMSETH


The 'poultry Grim Reaper' makes its way to Northern California


From the Chronicle's MICHELLE ROBERTSON: "One case of a nearly always fatal poultry disease was reported in Northern California, following a widespread quarantine of domesticated birds in Southern California."


"The virus, called virulent Newcastle disease, is untreatable and spreads quickly among various poultry species, including — but not limited to — chickens, turkeys, pheasants, ducks, geese and pigeons. The only way to stop the spread of VND is to quarantine domesticated birds and euthanize infected ones."


"The California Department of Food and Agriculture first reportedan outbreak of VND in Southern California in late February, when the infection was discovered in birds from four poultry industry producers in Riverside County and two in San Bernardino County. All of the birds have been or will be euthanized, CDFA said."


A push in California for caregiver tax credits


KHN's SAMANTHA YOUNG in Capitol Weekly: "Gloria Brown didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Her husband, Arthur Brown, 79, has Alzheimer’s disease and had spent most of the night pacing their bedroom, opening and closing drawers, and putting on and taking off his jacket."


"So Gloria, 73, asked a friend to take Arthur out for a few hours one recent afternoon so she could grab a much-needed nap. She was lucky that day because she didn’t need to call upon the home health aide who comes to their house twice a week."


"The price of paying for help isn’t cheap: The going rate in the San Francisco Bay Area ranges from $25 to $35 an hour. Gloria Brown estimates she has spent roughly $72,000 on caregivers, medications and supplies since her husband was diagnosed four years ago."

Legislation proposed to protect special-needs students after El Dorado Hills death


SAWSAN MORRAR, SacBee: "A state bill aimed at protecting special needs students at nonpublic schools was introduced Monday in response to the November 2018 death of a student who was restrained at his El Dorado Hills school."


"Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Discovery Bay, authored AB 1172 to expand local and state oversight of all nonpublic schools and how they operate."


"The Guiding Hands school is still under investigation following the death of a 13-year-old student with autism. Max Benson died after being placed in a face-down restraint for one hour and 45 minutes by school staff."


As Trump tries to roll back clean water rules, California seeks stronger protections


The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER: "When grower Brad Goehring looks across his rows of grapes, he can’t help but see a pool of murky water that breaks the rhythm of his vines, which otherwise stretch steadily into the Sierra foothills."


"The pool is relatively small, maybe half an acre, but vital, according to environmental regulators. They say it helps to clean the runoff from Goehring’s fields and provides a home for critters such as marsh birds. And by law, it can’t be disrupted, which is what makes this mini wetland a headache for Goehring."


No, Steve Baird is not running for state Senate District 1


Sacramento Bee's ALEXANDRA YOON-HENDRICKS: "Despite mailers recently sent to voters, Steve Baird — listed as a Democrat on the special primary ballot but a longtime Republican — is not running for the State Senate District 1 seat."


"Baird dropped out of the race in February, after ballots were already certified. The special primary election is Tuesday."


"The mailers, paid for by “Taxfighters for Brian Dahle for State Senate 2019,” state that Baird is the “clear” choice for Democrats. "


READ MORE related to State: A procrastinator's guide to the California Senate District 1 special election primary: Who 's running? -- Sacramento Bee's ALEXANDRA YOON-HENDRICKS


Apple launches Netflix-style news service; LA Times and Wall Street Journal participating


LA Times's SAM DEAN: "The Los Angeles Times is joining a new paid subscription news service created by Apple that offers customers who pay a monthly fee of $9.99 access to articles from a selection of publications, many of which are otherwise behind paywalls."


"Also participating is the Wall Street Journal, along with more than 300 magazine titles including the New Yorker, Time and People."


“We believe in the power of journalism and the impact it can have on our lives,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said at a media event at Apple’s headquarters Monday. “We want to make a valuable contribution to the industry and society as a whole.”


Second man found dead in Ed Buck's apartment died of accidental meth overdose, authorities say


LA Times's RICHARD WINTON/JACLYN COSGROVE: "The second man to die in Democratic donor Ed Buck’s West Hollywood home died of a methamphetamine overdose, authorities confirmed Monday."


"The Jan. 7 death of Timothy Dean, 55, was ruled accidental, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department."


Steinle parents can't sue SF for refusal to tell immigrant officials of shooter's release


The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "The parents of Kate Steinle, who was shot to death on a San Francisco pier by an undocumented immigrant, cannot sue the city for refusing to notify federal agents of the immigrant’s release from local custody 2 ½ months earlier, a federal appeals court ruled Monday."


"San Francisco and its then-sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi, acted within their policy-making authority by deciding they would not advise immigration officials of an undocumented immigrant’s impending release from jail or keep the immigrant in custody for transfer to federal agents, said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."


Time, money and a 'culture shift:' How three California police departments overhauled their policies


Sacramento Bee's HANNAH WILEY: "In Los Angeles, police can’t always shoot at moving vehicles. San Francisco banned choke holds. Stockton officers are required to intervene if their colleagues use excessive force."


"They are among the California police departments that cracked down on deadly force policies following controversies similar to Stephon Clark’s death in Sacramento in March 2018."


"Two officers shot and killed Clark, a 22-year-old unarmed black man, after chasing him into his grandmother’s backyard and mistaking his cell phone for a gun. Prosecutors did not charge the officers, saying they feared for their lives."


Is it already time to expand Sacramento International Airport?


Sacramento Bee's TONY BIZJAK: "Faced with record-setting passenger growth, Sacramento International Airport is running out of room to handle new flights and fliers, just eight years after completing a $1 billion-plus expansion."


"Airport officials say they are contemplating new construction, but in the meantime are asking more airlines to start sharing gates during crunch times."


"We recognize we have not kept pace with the demand,” airport executive Cindy Nichol said in an interview last week with The Sacramento Bee. “The growth in passengers and related activity has been so significant that now we actually need to be planning for more facilities."


READ MORE related to Transportation: Lyft drivers' protest exposes ride-hailing Achilles' heel -- The Chronicle's CAORLYN SAID


Republicans and Democrats angle to take the offensive after Mueller report


LA Times's JENNIFER HABERKORN/NOAH BIERMAN: "President Trump and congressional Republicans went on offense Monday by calling for new investigations into what they claim was political bias behind special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s inquiry, even as they heralded its conclusion exonerating Trump of colluding with Russia during the 2016 campaign."


"Democrats, meanwhile, found themselves walking a political tightrope between pressing for further scrutiny into whether the president obstructed justice — a question left explicitly unanswered by Mueller — without appearing overzealous or overly focused on impeachment."


"Trump’s response to the Mueller report was another example of the president’s ability to ignore the contradictions of his own actions and statements, and spin a narrative that paints him as both winner and victim."


Court of appeal clears way for 5M development project to go forward in San Francisco


The Chronicle's J.K. DINEEN: "Construction is set to start later this year on the long-delayed 5M development at Fifth and Mission streets, after a panel of judges rejected an appeal of the project neighbors filed more than 3½ years ago."


"The First District Court of Appeal on Monday ruled that the development may proceed as planned, setting the stage for property owner Brookfield Properties to start work on a 652,000-square-foot office tower at Fifth and Howard streets, as well as a 288-unit apartment building on Mission Street."


READ MORE related to Development, Homelessness & Housing: Bay Area's housing crisis rolls on for UC Berkeley grad living in van -- The Chronicle's OTIS R TAYLOR JR


McConnell wants to know why Obama wasn't tougher on Russia 


Sacramento Bee's LESLEY CLARK: "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is using the Trump administration’s summary of the Mueller report to accuse the Obama administration of being soft on Russia — challenging the Obama White House’s longstanding assertion that it was McConnell who hampered warnings about Russian election interference."


"On the Senate floor Monday, the Kentucky Republican hailed Attorney General William Barr’s report on Mueller’s findings."


"McConnell said Barr concluded Russia had carried out online disinformation campaigns and computer hacking efforts aimed at sowing discord and influencing the 2016 election, but the senator blamed the Obama administration for not doing more to counter those efforts."



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