Earth vs. The U.S.

Mar 8, 2018

Youths' unprecedented suit accusing US of endangering planet OKd by 9th Circuit 


The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "A federal appeals court gave a go-ahead Wednesday to an unprecedented suit by 21 young people who accuse the federal government of endangering their future, and the planet, by failing to act against global warming."


"The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco did not delve into the merits of the lawsuit, saying those could be addressed, along with the government’s legal challenges, by the presiding judge as the case proceeds. But by denying the Trump administration’s request to dismiss the suit, the appellate panel moved the suit one step closer to trial in federal court in Oregon."


"We think we can be there in six months,” said Julia Ann Olson of Wild Earth Advocates, lead attorney for the youths. “There will now be a full trial on climate science and what our federal government did to create this dangerous situation."


READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Despite wet weather, California should prepare for drought again -- Water Deeply's JAY LUNDFirst rising tides, now sinking shores: Study finds new trouble for Bay Area -- The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER; West Coast sardine fishing closed for 4th year; 'alarming' 97% population decline -- The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE; They've tried for years to catch a Sierra Nevada red fox. Now scientists have caught two -- Sacramento Bee's JANE BRAXTON LITTLE


Speaking of the Feds, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is taking them on -- but at what cost?


From Capitol Weekly's CHUCK MCFADDEN: "Does Libby Schaaf have a political future outside of Oakland?"


"Since her inauguration in 2015, Oakland Mayor Schaaf has worked assiduously on (and bragged about) programs aimed at reducing crime, improving transit and a host of other causes dear to the hearts of big-city mayors."


"Then came Saturday, Feb. 24. That’s the day Schaaf issued a warning that police from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were about to conduct massive raids in the Bay Area to round up illegal immigrants."


Legal analysts: Sessions' suit likely to fall short of the ultimate goal


The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ lawsuit accusing California of interfering with federal immigration enforcement seems unlikely to achieve its ultimate goal of barring sanctuary laws that limit state and local cooperation with immigration agents."


"But Sessions might put a dent in two of his targets, legal analysts say."


"One is a new state law that prohibits private employers in California from allowing immigration agents to enter non-public areas of a workplace without a warrant if the agents aren’t already authorized for entry by federal law. The other is a law that restricts federal agents from seeing specific records involving undocumented immigrants being held in private detention facilities in California."


READ MORE related to Immigration: Protesters greet Sessions, federal lawsuit -- Capitol Weekly STAFF; Oakland's Libby Schaaf vs. the Feds -- CHUCK MCFADDEN in Capitol Weekly; Text of AG Sessions' Sacramento speech -- Sacramento Bee; Trump 'basically going to war' with California, Jerry Brown says -- Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFF; Trump reelection campaign seeks to capitalize on California lawsuit -- Sacramento Bee's EMILY CADEI; Trump to pay first presidential visit to California amid immigration 'war' -- McClatchy DC's ANITA KUMAR/EMILY CADEI/ANITA CHABRIA; Some of the California 'sanctuary' laws targeted by feds could be vulnerable, legal experts say -- LA Times' MAURA DOLAN; Sessions did the California Democratic Party a big favor with his visit to the state -- LA Times's GEORGE SKELTON


International Women's Day by the numbers


LA Times's MICHAEL LIVINGSTON: "With the campaign theme #PressforProgress, International Women's Day — which is Thursday — comes amid a renewed push for female empowerment."


"In the United States, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have spurred women to speak out against sexual assault and harassment."


"The movements were launched last year in response to revelations that some of Hollywood's most powerful men were serial abusers of women. The protests have rippled across other fields, including the media."


California bills target lengthy foster-parent approval process


Chronicle of Social Change's JEREMY LOUDENBACK: "California legislators have introduced two new bills aimed at easing the funding delays facing by thousands of new foster parents in the state, an unforeseen byproduct of the state’s foster-care reforms."


"As the state implements broad changes to its child-welfare system through the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR), one of the biggest challenges has been moving foster parents and relative caregivers through a new approval process."


"Since the start of last year, many new foster parents and relative caregivers—both now known as resource families in California—have struggled to make their way through the resource family approval (RFA) process as a result of more stringent requirements for relatives."


READ MORE related to State PoliticsEx-federal prosecutor sentenced for stealing sealed whistleblower lawsuits -- BANG's JASON GREEN


This city is proud of its diversity, but a lawyer says it blocks Latinos at the ballot


Sacramento Bee's ELLEN GARRISON: "Elk Grove is unique for its diversity - no major ethnic group has a majority, and each one has sizable populations in the middle-class suburb."


"But a Malibu civil rights attorney alleges that racial harmony eludes the city at the ballot box."


"In a letter sent to the city last month, Kevin Shenkman said that Elk Grove's election system disenfranchises minority voters. Elk Grove uses a system that allows residents to vote for all four district council members, but each member must represent a specific geographic area in the city."


Cheers to lobbyists and lawmakers: New bar and steakhouse to open by Capitol


Sacramento Bee's BILLY KOBIN: "Political players in Sacramento sad to see the steakhouse Chops close last summer soon will have a new option for drinking and dining — and fundraising — across from the Capitol."


"The Diplomat Steakhouse will open to the public in April in the former Chops location at 1117 11th Street. New owners are renovating the 10,700-square-foot space and should open it for private events by the end of this month, said Tom Bacon, with Bacon Commercial Real Estate."


"Chops was a signature hangout for political insiders and downtown diners for nearly 15 years, with frequent fund raising events on the patio with views of the Capitol dome. Before that, Brannan's operated in the same location."


Kris Brown, co-president of the Brady Campaign, talks gun control, student activists and Trump


LA Times's KURTIS LEE: "Kris Brown has never seen the energy and support behind gun control reach this level."


"Students are staging walk outs. Businesses are limiting gun sales. And politicians are voicing support for legislation that, a month ago, seemed unimaginable."


"Brown, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said that in the weeks since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., the gun control advocacy organization has swelled with support. Following the Feb. 14 shooting, she said, 18 new chapters — in addition to the more than 100 that already existed — have emerged nationwide. The group is helping to organize “March for Our Lives” rallies across the country on March 24 that will call for more gun control laws."


OP-ED: How and why the SF Chronicle makes endorsements


The Chronicle's JOHN DIAZ: "Starting this week, a steady procession of candidates will be meeting with The Chronicle’s editorial board to make their cases for the June 5 election. Those meetings represent a critical component of the endorsements this newspaper will offer for voters."


"It’s always worth pausing to explain how and why those endorsements are made. I recognize from various studies, as well as many conversations with readers and even fellow journalists over the years, that many people regard newspaper endorsements as mysterious, predictable or anachronistic."


"Here’s the inside story:"


California told Weedmaps to stop promoting illegal pot. But the ads are still up


Sacramento Bee's BRAD BRANAN: "Almost three weeks after the head of California's Bureau of Cannabis Control told operators of a popular website to stop "engaging in activity that violates state cannabis laws," continues to advertise unlicensed cannabis retailers."


"Hundreds of dispensaries and delivery services advertise on Weedmaps in California, far more than the number of companies licensed by the Bureau of Cannabis Control."


"Bureau chief Lori Ajax said her agency compared businesses on Weedmaps to licensing records to determine that the website was violating state law. She said the agency has sent similar warning letters to other publishers of advertisements for unlicensed retailers. In Sacramento, the city's cannabis regulator has sent a similar letter to the Sacramento News & Review."


San Francisco earns its first triple-A credit rating


The Chronicle's KATHLEEN PENDER: "San Francisco may not be able to stop car break-ins or solve the homeless problem, but its finances are top-notch, according to Moody’s Investors Service, which raised its credit rating on the city’s general obligation bonds to Aaa on Tuesday."


"It’s the first time San Francisco has received the highest credit rating from any of the three major debt-rating agencies, according to Ben Rosenfield, the city’s controller. And San Francisco is the only large California city rated Aaa by Moody’s, although several California counties boast that rating. Of the 20 largest cities nationwide, seven others have an Aaa rating from Moody’s."


"Moody’s analyst Lori Trevino attributed the rating bump to a combination of factors, including a booming economy and measures approved by voters and the Board of Supervisors to rein in and increase funding for pension and retiree health benefits and to bolster reserves."


READ MORE related to Economy & Development: SF to charge vacant-lot owners for rainwater that runs down the drain -- The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS; Trump to offer temporary tariff exemption for Canada and Mexico -- WaPo's DAVID J. LYNCH/HEATHER LONG/DAMIAN PALETTA; Alexa's random laughter is freaking people out. Amazon says it's 'working to fix' -- Sacramento Bee's DON SWEENEY; Low-income or black? You may be paying more for auto insurance in the Bay Area -- BANG's ERIN BALDASSARI; Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick starts fund to invest in tech startups -- Bloomberg


SF to automakers: We want demo of driverless cars before they hit city streets


The Chronicle's CAROLYN SAID: "San Francisco wants robot-car makers to demonstrate their vehicles to public safety personnel before cars without drivers hit city streets."


"I am specifically requesting that all (autonomous vehicle) manufacturers who intend to apply for a driverless testing or deployment permit participate in a safety assessment exercise in San Francisco,” Mayor Mark Farrell wrote in a letter addressed “Dear Autonomous Vehicle Manufacturers” and sent Thursday."


"The point of the voluntary program is for robot-car makers to show their vehicles’ safety features and to make sure that San Francisco first responders, transit operators and other city staff know how to interact with the no-driver cars in case of an emergency."


They faced 66 years in prison. The 'Eastside 13' and how they helped plan the East LA walkouts


LA Times's LOUIS SAHAGUN: "As Los Angeles schools and others this week observe the 50th anniversary of the East L.A. walkouts, when thousands of Mexican American students marched to demand a better education, much attention has focused on those who became known as the Eastside 13."


"But who were the Eastside 13?"


"They were 13 men secretly indicted by a grand jury on June 1, 1968, on conspiracy charges stemming from the "East L.A. blowouts." The walkouts kicked off on March 5, 1968, when students began protesting at Garfield High School, and spread to other campuses to decry the shortcomings of public schools in Los Angeles' barrios. The walkouts are viewed as a turning point in the political development of the nation's Mexican American community."


Landlord who evicted elderly tenant faces tough time at SF Planning Commission


The Chronicle's JK DINEEN/RACHEL SWAN: "Iris Canada — who became the poster elder for landlord disputes when she was evicted from her Lower Haight apartment a few years ago — died in May at age 100. But the fight over the future of her former home continues."


"On Thursday the Planning Commission is expected to rule on whether Peter Owens, the owner of 670 Page St., will be permitted to convert the three-unit building into condominiums."


"Owens became the target of tenant activists in 2016 after moving to evict Canada, who had lived in the building since the 1950s. Owens bought the building in 2002 with the goal of converting it to tenancy-in-common units and eventually to condos. Though the other tenants moved out, Canada fought eviction and eventually won a “life estate” agreement, where the owner agreed to allow her to remain in the unit until she died."


Trump spoke to witnesses about matters they discussed with special counsel


NYT's MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT/MAGGIE HABERMAN: "The special counsel in the Russia investigation has learned of two conversations in recent months in which President Trump asked key witnesses about matters they discussed with investigators, according to three people familiar with the encounters."


"In one episode, the president told an aide that the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, should issue a statement denying a New York Times article in January. The article said Mr. McGahn told investigators that the president once asked him to fire the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Mr. McGahn never released a statement and later had to remind the president that he had indeed asked Mr. McGahn to see that Mr. Mueller was dismissed, the people said."


READ MORE related to POTUS45/KremlinGate: Mueller gathers evidence that 2017 Seychelles meeting was effort to establish back channel to Kremlin -- WaPo's SARI HORWITZ/DEVLIN BARRETT; Republicans flee the storm over Stormy Daniels and President Trump -- WaPo's JOHN WAGNER/ED O'KEEFE/MIKE DEBONIS

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