Sexual harassment

Nov 10, 2017

Another California lawmaker, Sen. Tony Mendoza, accused of sexual harassment


From the Merc's KATY MURPHY: "Amid a continued outcry over the treatment of women in California’s Capitol, allegations have surfaced that in late August Sen. Tony Mendoza repeatedly invited a young woman seeking a job in his office back to his apartment."


"The following month, three of the Los Angeles County Democrat’s staffers who knew about or reported the allegations to the Senate Rules Committee were fired Sept. 22 and signed confidentiality agreements, the Sacramento Bee reported."


"It’s the second time in under two weeks that a sitting lawmaker has been named in media reports of misconduct. In late October, the Los Angeles Times revealed that now-Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, a San Fernando Valley Democrat who is part of the leadership team, was secretly disciplined after he was accused of groping a female staff member at an after-work event in 2009 when he was a legislative staffer."

READ MORE about sexual harassment: Attorney: California Senator Fired Capitol Staffers Who Reported Alleged Misconduct With Young Female Colleague -- BEN ADLER, BOB  MOFFITT at Capitol Public Radio; How do you report sexual harassment in politics when there's no HR? -- KAI RYSSDAL and SEAN MCHENRY in Marketplace; Investigations under way as state Sen. Tony Mendoza denies improper conduct with female legislative fellow -- LAT's PATRICK MCGREEVY; California Capitol averages three sexual harassment investigations per year -- SacBee's ALEXEI KOSEFF; California's Legislature investigated 31 abuse complaints made over the past decade -- LAT's JOHN MYERS


Four supervisors on Dianne Feinstein's home turf have endorsed Kevin de Leon for Feinstein's Senate seat. 


From the Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "Four progressive San Francisco supervisors have broken ranks with hometown U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein — the city’s most prominent and long-standing Democratic politician — and instead endorsed her challenger, Kevin de Leon."


"Supervisors Jane KimHillary RonenAaron Peskin and Norman Yeeall threw their support behind de Leon, the state Senate president pro tem who jumped into the race in October, to long-shot odds."


"De Leon gained popularity crusading against the policies of President Trump this year, and his views on immigrant rights, climate change and single-payer health care are picking up support in the Bay Area, campaign spokesman Roger Salazar said."


Elsewhere in the Bay Area: Lead contamination at 10 Oakland schools prompts new round of water tests


From JENNA LYONS in the Chronicle: "A new round of water quality testing began Thursday morning at 86 public schools in Oakland after lead contamination was found in plumbing fixtures at 10 campuses in the city, officials said."


"The Oakland Unified School District and the East Bay Municipal Utility District are evaluating the quality of “high-use water sources” such as faucets and fountainheads. Teams began taking water samples Thursday morning to check if lead was present in water sitting in pipes or fixtures overnight, district officials said."


"The school district began testing water at schools in August but is now partnering with EBMUD in hopes of providing “greater peace of mind” for those concerned by lead in the water, said John Sasaki, a district spokesman."


Advocates call for halt to payments under disputed San Onofre settlement deal


The U-T's JEFF MCDONALD reports: "The settlement of costs was reopened in May of 2016, after repeated revelations that improper communications between regulators and utility executives may have tipped the scales in the original deal."


"Consumer advocates now say that Southern California Edison and other plant owners should stop receiving proceeds of the settlement from ratepayers until the terms are revised — and unless an investigation into the failure is completed and finds the utilities acted prudently."


“The situation demands relief,” Matthew Freedman of the Utility Reform Network or TURN, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group in the Bay Area, said at the Tuesday hearing."


Band Together Bay Area concert helps raise at least $15 million for North Bay fire recovery


DAN TAYLOR in the Press Democrat: "Firefighters shared the spotlight with rock stars and sports heroes Thursday night when 40,000 people jammed San Francisco’s AT&T Park to raise money to help victims of last month’s North Bay wildfires."


“It was hard to watch those fires from anywhere and not be able to do something about it,” singer and guitarist Dave Matthews said from the stage of the Band Together Bay Area benefit concert, sharing his reaction in watching television coverage of the disaster."


"With a show that starred East Bay-based heavy metal megastars Metallica and Dead & Company, including Occidental drummer Mickey Hart, the San Francisco nonprofit Tipping Point Company set out to do something big."


READ MORE on the concert: Musicians band together in SF to benefit North Bay fire victims -- PETER HARTLAUB, LEAH GARCHIK and AIDIN VAZIRI in the Chronicle


Speaking of the wild fires, PG&E contends private power line may have caused deadly Tubbs fire in Sonoma and Napa counties


From the Press Democrat's KEVIN MCCALLUM: "PG&E contends in a new court filing that a private power line may have started the deadly Tubbs fire that raced through Santa Rosa last month and became the most destructive wildfire in state history."


"The Tubbs fire, which killed 21 people and destroyed more than 4,400 homes in Sonoma County, remains under state investigation. At least 10 lawsuits with more than 100 plaintiffs had been filed last week against PG&E claiming poorly maintained power lines were responsible for Northern California blazes that erupted Oct. 8, including the Tubbs fire."


"But “preliminary investigations suggest that this fire might have been caused by electrical equipment that was owned, installed and maintained by a third party not named in these actions,” PG&E attorneys wrote in a filing Thursday with the Judicial Council of California, the policymaking body of the California courts."


READ  MORE on the fires' causes: PG&E says someone else’s wires may have started Tubbs Fire -- The Chronicle's DAVID R. BAKER and EVAN SERNOFFSKY; Should PG&E Shut Off Power During Windstorms to Prevent Fires? -- KQED's LAUREN SOMMER


And now for something completely different: Cremation -- an environmentally friendly approach


From Capitol Weekly's JESSICA HICE: "The environment plays a big part in Capitol legislation, but here’s a topic rarely linked to the environment – cremation."


"Traditional fire-based cremation entails emissions and pollutants."


"But a little-known bill signed by Gov. Brown allows the use of a water-based method called alkaline hydrolysis, which has been used elsewhere since the 19th century."



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