Standing strong for Orlando

Jun 14, 2016

Thousands attended a vigil for the Orlando terrorist attack hosted at L.A.'s City Hall on Monday night.


Emily Alpert Reyes, Jason Song and Ben Poston in LA Times: "They came to pay their respects, to mourn, to comfort each other."


"The crowd of more than 2,000 people gathered Monday evening at the steps of Los Angeles City Hall to honor  the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., over the weekend."


"We are with our family in Orlando and everywhere else our community faces hate and violence," said Justine Gonzalez, a member of the Los Angeles Transgender Advisory Council."


SEE ALSO: San Diegans march for a second night in Hillcrest -- David Hernandez with The Tribune;  Orlando massacre forces bay area LGBT community to regroup and reassess what comes next -- Bruce Newman with Mercury News.


California lawmakers are calling for immediate gun control response after the mayhem in Orlando, but some legislative critics accuse the policy-drafters of exploiting tragedy.


Patrick McGreevy writes in LA Times: "On the eve of key votes on a package of 11 gun control bills, California lawmakers on Monday cited the Orlando massacre as a call for approval of the measures, and opponents of the measures accused the legislators of exploiting a tragedy."


"Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has proposed a gun control initiative for November, said the Orlando attack that killed 49 people and December’s terrorist shooting in San Bernardino that killed 14 are brutal evidence that existing gun laws are not working."

“This is a uniquely horrific tragedy that is unprecedented,” Newsom said Monday. “The fact that this individual allegedly was able to purchase an assault rifle so easily despite being watched by the FBI  suggests that our gun laws are wholly inadequate in this country.”


California's cap-and-trade program is walking on eggshells.


Chris Megerian and Ralph Vartabedian in LA Times write: "The linchpin of California’s climate change agenda, a program known as cap and trade, has become mired in legal, financial and political troubles that threaten to derail the state’s plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions."


"The program has been a symbol of the state’s leadership in the fight against global warming and a key source of funding, most notably for the high-speed rail project connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles."


"But the legality of cap and trade is being challenged in court by a business group, and questions are growing about whether state law allows it to operate past 2020. With the end of the legislative session in August, Gov. Jerry Brown, lawmakers and interest groups of all stripes are laying the groundwork for what could become a battle royal over the future of California’s climate change programs."


Berkeley has its sights set on funding from the Department of Transportation that would start construction of a state-of-the-art transportation system within the city -- but first they must win the Smart City Challenge.


JESSIE QIAN in Daily Californian: "Campus experts have joined with the mayor of San Francisco to attempt to convince the U.S. Department of Transportation that the city is the best place to invest for a 21st-century smart transit city program."


"Should the department choose the city as the winner of its Smart City Challenge, San Francisco — one of the seven finalist cities selected by the U.S. secretary of transportation — will receive $40 million in government funding to develop its proposal of “smart” infrastructure improvements. These plans include free wifi for neighborhoods in the city, an increase in biking provisions and an integrated travel mobility app."


"According to Timothy Papandreou, the director of the Office of Innovation at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the project proposal mainly comprises improvements to San Francisco’s current transportation system. Papandreou added that the proposal is expected to reduce the city’s traffic collisions and fatalities by 10 percent by 2020."


A legislative committee has passed a bill that would end the practice of daylight savings time


Alexei Koseff in Sacramento Bee reports: "With little debate, a bill to end California’s observance of daylight saving time cleared its first committee on Monday."


"Assembly Bill 385 could make California the third state not to observe daylight saving time, in addition to Hawaii and Arizona. If approved by a two-thirds majority of both houses of the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, it would put a measure on the ballot asking voters whether or not the state should eliminate the practice."


"Citing research that discounts any energy savings – more daylight can mean more air conditioning use, for example – as well as studies finding upticks in vehicle and workplace accidents after clocks shift, Assemblyman Kansen Chu, D-San Jose, said it’s time to let voters rethink a policy adopted during the Truman administration."


The Calderon family name has been marred after brothers Ronald and Tom plead guilty to various corruption charges. 


Joel Rubin and Patrick McGreevy in LA Times: "For decades, the Calderon name carried weight."


"Ronald and Tom Calderon, along with an older brother, were power brokers and deal makers who rose up from the small-time politics of Montebello, their hometown east of Los Angeles, to hold sway in Sacramento’s corridors of power."


"Known for a ruthless style of political hardball and audacious fundraising, the brothers were masters of leverage, using others’ wants and weaknesses to their advantage."


And now from our "Bond, James Bond" file ...


UPI: "MARIJAMPOLE, Lithuania, June 13 (UPI) -- Lithuanian Police released dashboard camera footage of a harrowing high-speed chase where the driver attempted to use a smokescreen and spikes against police."


"The footage, posted to Facebook by the Lithuanian Police, shows dashcam footage from the June 9 chase, which took place on rural roads near the city of Marijampole."


"The video shows the driver using the Volvo's exhaust to create a smokescreen in an attempt to ditch the pursuing police and later throwing spikes from the car's windows in an attempt to pop the police's tires."

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