Texas sues California over state travel ban, dismissing LGBT protection laws as 'poiltical'
Sac Bee's WES VENTEICHER: "Texas sued California Monday in the U.S. Supreme Court over California’s ban on taxpayer-funded travel to Texas."
"The lawsuit targets a 2017 California law known as Assembly Bill 1887. The law, enforced by the California Attorney General’s Office, prohibits public agencies and colleges from spending state money on travel to states that reduce protections for gay and transgender people."
"Texas is one of 11 states to which California has banned travelso far."
T-Mobile wins court approval for $26.5-billion Sprint deal
From the LAT's DAVID MCLAUGHLIN, ERIK LARSON AND SCOTT MORITZBLOOMBERG: "T-Mobile US Inc. won court approval for its $26.5-billion takeover of Sprint Corp., defeating a state-led lawsuit that sought to block the industry-altering wireless deal."
"The decision by a district judge in Manhattan is a huge win for T-Mobile and its owner Deutsche Telekom AG, as well as SoftBank Group Corp., Sprint’s parent. The combined company, which will operate under the T-Mobile name, will have a regular monthly subscriber base of about 80 million -- in the same league as AT&T Inc., which has 75 million subscribers, and Verizon Communications Inc., which has 114 million."
"After the merger, T-Mobile will have more spectrum -- the frequencies through which wireless signals are transmitted -- than any other carrier. This larger capacity will give the combined company an advantage as the industry transitions to the next generation of wireless technology, the much-faster 5G standard."
In a first, court says a state must provide gender-confirmation surgery to inmate
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "A federal appeals court in San Francisco on Monday affirmed its ruling, the first by any appellate court, ordering a state to provide gender-confirmation surgery to a transgender inmate. Ten Republican-appointed judges dissented, including the court’s first openly gay judge."
"The Idaho inmate, Adree Edmo, was born male but says she has viewed herself as female since age 5 or 6 and began living as a woman at about 20 or 21. Sexually abused as a child, she pleaded guilty in 2012, at age 21, to sexual abuse of a 15-year-old boy at a house party. She is due to be released from prison next year."
"Prison doctors diagnosed her with gender dysphoria, the searing emotional stress from a conflict between birth sex and gender identity, and prescribed hormones. Housed at a men’s prison, Edmo attempted to castrate herself with a razor blade in 2015. She applied for surgery in 2016 but the prison’s chief physician and medical staff turned her down, saying the hormone therapy had lessened her dysphoria and that she had refused to attend other therapy sessions."
Bay Area clinics seek supplies of masks for coronavirus
The Chronicle's CATHERINE HO: "In late January, as the coronavirus continued spreading across the globe, the Foothill Community Health Center in San Jose had a problem."
"The center, a nonprofit network of medical and dental clinics, was running low on N95 masks — the respirator mask that officials recommend health care workers wear when coming in contact with patients who may have coronavirus."
“There’s a huge shortage,” said Umer Murtaza, the safety manager and facilities coordinator for Foothill’s clinics. Staff normally wear surgical masks during flu season, but with the coronavirus starting to spread beyond China, Foothill wanted to upgrade to N95s. It had some, but not enough."
California Democrat proposes ban on taxpayer-funded stays at Trump hotels
Sac Bee's WES VENTEICHER: "A Silicon Valley Democrat wants to make sure California doesn’t spend any more taxpayer money at President Donald Trump’s hotels."
"A proposed law from Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, would prohibit state agencies from spending money at any hotels owned by a president of the United States, present or past."
"Only one California state worker has booked a stay at a Trump hotel through the state’s contracted travel agency or its online booking tool since the start of 2016, according to the Department of General Services."
Cal/OSHA investigating construction workers death in SF
The Chronicle's ANNA BAUMAN: "A construction worker was killed while working on a San Francisco Public Works project last week in the Midtown Terraces neighborhood, officials said."
"An employee of K.J. Woods Construction, contracted for the project, suffered fatal injuries when he was driving a three-wheel street sweeper that “went into an embankment,” according to Cal/OSHA spokesman Frank Polizzi."
"The San Francisco Medical Examiner’s office identified the victim as Eduardo Pelayo, a 58-year-old resident of Solano County."
PG&E wants more money to 'harden' California against wildfire. Your bill could go up
Sac Bee's DALE KASLER: "PG&E Corp. is asking for more rate hikes as it continues to wrestle with the fallout from California’s devastating wildfires and the risks of new fires."
"In a pair of filings late last week with the California Public Utilities Commission, the troubled utility asked for permission to charge ratepayers $1.4 billion for over the next two years."
"The money would go for work that’s been done to “harden” its electric grid against future wildfires and repair equipment damaged in last year’s fierce windstorms. About a third of the money would go for buying additional liability insurance."
California newspaper asked for Sutter County concealed gun permits. Then the threats rolled in
Sac Bee's RYAN SABALOW: "The San Francisco Chronicle’s request to Sutter County’s sheriff may have appeared routine to a journalist used to requesting government documents."
"But asking for information about the 3,700 concealed weapons permit holders in the conservative rural county quickly set off a cascade of threats and vitriol — after the sheriff announced on Facebook he was legally obligated to provide the names."
"Now, the Chronicle has been forced to increase security at its newsroom and for its reporters. Gun owners across the country are livid, fearing a newspaper in one of America’s most liberal cities wants to “dox” the state’s gun owners by releasing a list of names of people with a concealed-carry weapons permit, or CCW."
Nuru resigns in wake of fraud charges, but pension fight looms
The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA: "Mohammed Nuru has resigned his post as director of San Francisco Public Works, some two weeks after his arrest on fraud charges pitched the city into a widening government corruption scandal."
"The resignation preceded an expected dismissal."
"Nuru had been on paid administrative leave since he was arrested along with San Francisco restaurateur Nick Bovis on Jan. 28.
City Administrator Naomi Kelly, Nuru’s supervisor, accepted his resignation Monday morning."
Rogue SF e-scooter company says it's back in business. Not so fast, city officials says
The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "Weeks after getting shut down by the San Francisco city attorney, the founder of rogue e-scooter company Go X says he’s back in business. Alex Debelov told The Chronicle on Sunday that he plans to sell his fleet of e-scooters, tricycles and e-bikes to the hotels and bike rental shops that have housed them since May."
"Previously, the startup and the venues shared revenue in exchange for a place to park. He also intends to sell Go X software to those businesses “so that these companies can become unique operators.”
"But records from the city attorney’s office show that neither Go X nor its partners have a permit to run transportation devices on the streets of San Francisco."
'Antiques Roadshow' set to air episodes from 2019 stop at Crocker Art Museum
Sac Bee's MITCHEL BOBO: "The Public Broadcasting Station’s highest rated show, “Antiques Roadshow,” is set to air a trio of episodes filmed at Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum."
"Antiques Roadshow” set up shop at the Crocker in May. The event drew more than 20,000 ticket requests and a crowd of nearly 2,700 people who sought appraisals for keepsakes and knick-knacks, which included a signed Joe DiMaggio game-used bat and a prototype Ark of the Covenant from 1981’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark."
"The show’s last stop in Sacramento came in 2000. The PBS program, which has picked up 17 Emmy Awards across 23 seasons, is scheduled to air the Sacramento episodes Feb. 17 and 24, and March 16 at 8 p.m."
Need help on BART? Team of 'ambassadors' starts work
The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "BART’s new security team boarded a train at Lake Merritt Station on Monday, wearing earpieces, police radios and navy blue polo shirts with the word “ambassador” printed on the back in silver."
“They look a little timid,” laughed Serella Crockett of Oakland, who was riding a San Francisco-bound train to her own security job at a bank."
"They need nightsticks; they need Tasers,” Crockett said. “There are some crazy people on BART."