Justice Department sues California over sanctuary laws
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO/HAMED ALEAZIZ: "After struggling in court for the last year to strip federal funds from California and sanctuary cities like San Francisco for refusing to aid federal immigration agents, the Trump administration filed suit Tuesday accusing the state of unconstitutionally interfering with immigration enforcement."
"Three state laws enacted in 2017 “reflect a deliberate effort by California to obstruct the United States’ enforcement of federal immigration laws,” the Justice Department said in a lawsuit in federal court in Sacramento. The suit seeks to overturn all three laws."
"In remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday to a law enforcement gathering in Sacramento, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Trump administration would “fight these unjust, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you.”
READ MORE related to Immigration: California leaders strike defiant tone after Trump administration sues over sanctuary laws -- Sacramento Bee's FRANCO ORDONEZ/ANITA CHABRIA/STEPHEN MAGAGNINI; A fight simmers in the Bay Area over protecting the privacy of immigrants here illegally -- L.A. Times's JAZMINE ULLOA; SF gave undocumented immigrants voting rights. Now it's worried about ICE -- The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS; Lawyers for Mexican journalist blame his detention in the US on Trump's 'anti-Mexican bias' -- LA Times's KATE LINTHICUM
Planned Parenthood California staffs up, swings back at Trump administration
Sacramento Bee's STEVE MAGAGNINI: "Sacramento attorney Maggy Krell was fighting a high-profile internet sex trafficking case on behalf of the state of California when she made an unexpected career decision: She left her position as a prosecutor for the attorney general to join Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California as its chief legal counsel."
"Krell had spent months putting together a case against Backpage.com, a site she argued was little more than a platform for digital pimping, often facilitating prostitution of underage girls. She was in the middle of the litigation. It was a trial she was passionate about, one that had raised her profile statewide after an unsuccessful run for Sacramento District Attorney in 2014."
"But, she said, the work she could do at Planned Parenthood was too urgent to wait. "I am not willing to stand of the sidelines when the stakes are so high," Krell, 39, explained."
Hetch Hetchy water's long trip from Sierra to San Francisco
The Chronicle's BILL VAN NIEKERKEN: "Just to the east of Crystal Springs Reservoir sits the Pulgas Water Temple, a landmark commemorating completion in 1934 of the Hetch Hetchy aqueduct, which brought water from the lakes and valleys in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to kitchen taps in the Bay Area. An inscription above the temple’s columns reads: “I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people.”
"It took 22 years and $100 million to complete the Hetch Hetchy system, and on Oct. 28, 1934, thousands of people celebrated as water flowed into Crystal Springs Reservoir in the Santa Cruz Mountains."
"The Chronicle archives overflow with photos documenting the downstream journey of Hetch Hetchy’s water — an engineering marvel that feeds power stations and fills reservoirs. So here’s a follow-up to our previous column on O’Shaughnessy Dam and Hetch Hetchy Valley."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Winter, spring arrive at same moment at Mount Diablo -- The Chronicle's TOM STIENSTRA; Conflict of interest in Coastal Commission lawsuit leaves lots of questions -- LA Times's STEVE LOPEZ; The largest Pacific salmon are vanishing. Are killer whales the cause? -- Oceans Deeply's ALASTAIR BLAND; Graying of Alaska's fishing fleet puts key industry in peril -- Oceans Deeply's YERETH ROSEN
For all their risks, opioids had no pain-relieving advantage in a year-long clinical trial
LA Times's KAREN KAPLAN: "For years, doctors turned to opioid painkillers as a first-line treatment for chronic back pain and aches in the joints. Even as the dangers of addiction and overdoses became more clear, the drugs' pain-relieving benefits were still thought to justify their risks."
"Now researchers have hard data that challenges this view."
"In the first randomized clinical trial to make a head-to-head comparison between opioids and other kinds of pain medications, patients who took opioids fared no better over the long term than patients who used safer alternatives."
READ MORE related to Health & Health Care: Male doctors are disappearing from gynecology. Not everybody is thrilled about it -- L.A. Times's SOUMYA KARLAMANGLA; On Medicaid? Amazon offers recipients a Prime discount -- AP; Founding papers of AA to be auctioned in Calabasas could fetch $3 million -- AP
The Inland Empire is leading California in job creation
SGV Tribune's KEVIN SMITH: "California is outperforming the nation in job growth, and the state’s inland regions are leading the way, according to the latest UCLA Anderson Forecast."
"In a turnaround from the norm, the report shows that the Inland Empire, San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento are outpacing some of California’s tech-heavy regions, which traditionally see the bigger job gains. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, according to the report."
READ MORE related to Economy & Development: OP-ED: Fight for union workers is a fight for all Americans -- Kamala Harris in Mercury News
Teen who escaped Perris home posted videos on YouTube under an alias
LA Times's ALENE TCHEKMEDYIAN: "One of 13 siblings found living captive in a Perris home in January had posted a video of herself on social media days before she and her siblings were rescued, according to a new report."
"The 17-year-old girl, who escaped and alerted authorities to the alleged abuse, posted a series of recordings on YouTube that show her singing inside the home, ABC7 Eyewitness News reported."
"You blame me for everything, you blame me in every way, you blame me for what they say, what they say," she sings in one video, which she posted using an alias."
Controversial facility for federal inmates approved for this Sacramento neighborhood
Sacramento Bee's RYAN LILLIS: "The Sacramento City Council approved a controversial service and counseling center for former federal inmates in South Sacramento on Tuesday, denying the appeals of residents who said the facility would threaten the safety of nearby neighborhoods and hinder development in an economically-depressed area of the city."
"While some residents questioned why the facility was being placed in South Sacramento - and not a more affluent section of the city - council members said the center would provide a valuable service to former inmates and downplayed its impact on the surrounding neighborhoods."
"This is something that’s needed,” said Councilman Larry Carr, who represents most of the neighborhoods near the Franklin Boulevard business park where the facility will be located."
READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: SF car break-ins: with no verbal warning, renters are unaware of the epidemic -- The Chronicle's HEATHER KNIGHT; Second Pasadena police officer is under investigation by federal authorities -- SGV Tribune's RUBY GONZALES/JASON HENRY
Creator of Pepe the Frog is suing Infowars
LA Times's JESSICA ROY: "Pepe is headed to court."
"Rather, his creator, Matt Furie, is."
BART's plans for Civic Center Station worries patrons of the arts
The Chronicle's MICHAEL CABANATUAN: "BART’s intimidating Civic Center Station, where passengers are forced to walk past drug users, dealers and grime, may soon shrink, losing a long hallway and a couple of entrances."
"Within months, a temporary closure of a station entrance in front of Burger King on Grove, Hyde and Market streets probably will become permanent, and another entrance outside the front doors of the Hotel Whitcomb probably will be closed, too."
"BART officials expect to barricade the western entries and the corridor that connects them to the station’s main concourse to clear the way for a new power substation needed to ensure there’s enough electricity when the transit agency fulfills its plan to run 25 percent more trains through the Transbay Tube and beneath downtown by 2025."
READ MORE related to Transportation: Carpool sticker shock: Applications soar and California HOV lanes get more crowded -- Mercury News' GARY RICHARDS
LAPD defends rising arrests of homeless people
LA Times's GALE HOLLAND: "Los Angeles police on Tuesday defended stepped-up enforcement against the city's exploding homeless population, saying that despite officials' anti-criminalization stance and adoption of alternative strategies, arrests and citations are needed to meet the crisis."
"As a last resort, a tool, one tool of many tools, we turn to enforcement," Cmdr. Dominic H. Choi, the LAPD's homelessness coordinator, told the Police Commission during a discussion of the department's year-end homelessness report. "We have to have a balanced approach."
OP-ED: American voters don't need a dress code
LA Times's EDITORIAL BOARD: "Should voters have to abide by a dress code? The idea seems absurd. Yet when Andrew Cilek showed up to cast his ballot in Hennepin County, Minn., in 2010, he was asked to remove or cover up a Tea Party shirt and a button reading "Please ID Me" (a message promoting a controversial step by poll workers — demanding identification from would-be voters — as a way to guard against election fraud)."
"Cilek eventually was allowed to vote without removing the offending shirt and button. But last week his lawyer asked the Supreme Court to strike down the state law that brought his apparel under the scrutiny of election officials. It prohibits the wearing of a "political badge, political button, or other political insignia" at a polling place on election day."
"The court should do so because the law is a violation of the 1st Amendment; the only issue is how broad the ruling should be."
READ MORE related to Midterm Elections: Democrats' turnout in Texas primary is highest in 16 years -- AP
Gary Cohn, Trump's top economic adviser, to resign amid differences on trade policy
WaPo's DAMIAN PALETTA/PHILIP RUCKER: "Gary Cohn, the White House’s top economic adviser, announced Tuesday that he was leaving the administration amid a major internal clash over President Trump’s sharp and sudden pivot toward protectionist trade policies."
"The departure of Cohn, a former president of Goldman Sachs who had been an interlocutor between the Trump administration and the business community, is the latest jolt to a White House that has been especially tumultuous in recent weeks and unable to retain some of its top talent."
"His resignation as National Economic Council director will leave the White House without a financial heavyweight who business executives and foreign leaders believed had served as a counter to Trump’s protectionist impulses and as a moderating force in other areas."
READ MORE related to POTUS45/KremlinGate: Businessman with ties to UAE is cooperating with Mueller probe -- WaPo's DEVLIN BARRETT/SARI HORWITZ/ROSALIND S. HELDERMAN; Why an Emirates adviser's cooperation with Mueller may be terrible for Trump -- NY Mag's MARGARET HARTMANN; How the Washington establishment i slosing out little-known Trump advisers on trade -- WaPo's DAMIAN PALETTA/JOSH DAWSEY; Jimmy Kimmel and President Trump get into 'lowest-rated Oscars' spat -- LA Times's NARDINE SAAD; Porn star sues Trump over nondisclosure agreement -- AP's MICHAEL BALSAMO; Mueller is reportedly investigating incidents involving Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen -- CNBC's KEVIN BREUNINGER
Saudi women take the wheel, test-driving a new freedom
AP's AYA BATRAWY: "Fatima Salem giggles with hesitation when it's her turn to drive through a small parking lot lined with bright orange cones and arrows. Like millions of Saudi women, she plans on applying for a driver's license when the kingdom lifts its ban on women driving in June. But first, she has to learn how to drive."
"I'm a little nervous," the 30-year-old master's student said."
"Francesca Pardini, an Italian former racecar driver, helps calm her nerves, reminding Salem to check the mirrors and buckle up. Once on the road, Pardini reached over to help straighten out the wheel after a left turn, and they both lurched forward when Salem stepped on the brakes before a stop sign."