Paradise lost

Nov 9, 2018

Paradise ‘pretty much destroyed’ as wildfire rages in Northern California

Washington Post's LINDSEY BEVER, ELI ROSENBERG and JASON SAMENOW: "Cars and trucks were left melting in the road."


"And thousands of residents of a remote Northern California town fled for their lives as the Camp Fire roared across California’s Butte County, about 90 miles north of the state’s capital, Sacramento."


"By Thursday night, Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean said the blaze had burned about 30 square miles, destroying an untold number of structures."


READ MORE about California fires: Woolsey fire jumps 101, closing freeway in Ventura County and forcing evacuations in Malibu -- LA TIMES' JACLYN COSGROVE , RUBEN VIVES , ALENE TCHEKMEDYIAN  and HANNAH FRY


PG&E says it will not pre-emptively shut off power in fire-risk areas


Sacramento bee's VINCENT MOLESKI: "PG&E announced Thursday that it would not be preemptively shutting off power to Northern California residents in response to high fire-risk conditions, a shift after two days of announcements warning customers of the potential for power loss."


"PG&E began notifying 70,000 customers Tuesday that it might shut off power in parts of eight Northern California counties where fast-moving, gusty winds increased the likelihood of wildfires after a Red Flag Warning was issued for the area, according to a news release issued by the San Francisco-based utility."


“We want to thank our customers for their understanding and for their actions in preparation of a possible public safety power shutoff. We know how much our customers rely on electric service, and we will only consider temporarily turning off power in the interest of safety and as a last resort during extreme weather conditions to reduce the risk of wildfire,” PG&E senior vice president of Electric Operations Pat Hogan said in the release."


READ MORE related to Energy & EnvironmentCamp Fire blazes toward Chico -- evacuation warning issued inside city limits -- Sacramento Bee's MOLLY SULLIVAN/RYAN SABALOWDem House takeover spurs hope for farm bill this year -- AP's STEVE KARNOWSKIFederal judge blocks construction of Keystone XL pipeline -- APCamp Fire devastates Paradise near Chico -- businesses, church, numerous homes burn -- The Chronicle's KURITS ALEXANDER/LIZZIE JOHNSON/GWENDOLYN WU/ERIN ALLDAY


He was a bouncer, she loved music , he wanted to join the Army--thse are the victims of the Borderline shooting


LA Times's STAFF: "The neighborhood bar they all came to for a casual midweek night out was like one big community living room."


"It was the kind of place where you might run into a Little League coach or a neighbor or the owner of a local coffee shop you liked, the kind of place where people of a wide range of ages felt secure."


"It had long been a hangout of students from the colleges nearby."


READ MORE related to Gun Violence Pandemic: Newsom plans to go further on gun control than Jerry Brown -- Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFF; Newsome blames 'gun culture,' Feinstein blames GOP -- The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH


California has 4.5M ballots left to count. That could spell trouble for GOP


Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "Election Day may be over, but California has more than 4.5 million ballots left to count."


"The uncounted ballots could push voter turnout to nearly 60 percent of those registered. Participation in a non-presidential election has not hit 60 percent in California since 1994, although it hit 59 percent in 2010."


"The ballots also could be the difference in several uncalled statewide, congressional and legislative races, and Democrats are hoping a large turnout might just be enough to put top candidates over the edge."


Newsom expected to staff up administration fast. Here are the  key seats to watch.


LA Times's MELANIE MASON: "Californians made their choice Tuesday and elected Gavin Newsom their next governor. Now, Newsom faces some crucial choices of his own — who will serve in his administration."


"There won’t be much time to waste. Newsom, a Democrat who is finishing his second term as lieutenant governor, will be sworn in the first Monday in January, leaving him just two months to fill key posts.


"Given the task, it was perhaps unsurprising that, in chatting with reporters Thursday, the governor-elect sounded more like a human resources director than a policy wonk."


READ MORE related to Gubernatorial: Will Gov.-elect Newsom move to Sacramento? Maybe not -- The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS


GOP Reps. Rohrabacher/Walters lose ground in California House races in latest ballot count


LA TImes's MICHAEL FINNEGAN/MAYA SWEEDER: "Democrats in two House races that remain too close to call in Orange County have gained substantial ground since the election on Tuesday, but tens of thousands of ballots have yet to be counted in each contest."


"The 2,682-vote lead that Democrat Harley Rouda established on election night over Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa jumped to 4,756 votes late Wednesday when the Orange County Registrar of Voters updated its tally.."


Rep. Linda Sanchez abandons leadership bid after husband is indicted on theft


LA Times's SARAH D WIRE: "Rep. Linda Sanchez of California, whose husband has been indicted on criminal charges in Connecticut, pulled her name from consideration for a top House leadership post Thursday."


"Sanchez (D-Whittier) cited an "unexpected family matter requiring my attention" in a letter to colleagues withdrawing her name from the running for House Democratic Caucus chairwoman."


SF Mayor Breed didn't get all she wanted in election -- that's not necessarily bad


The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI: "There was a lot on the line for Mayor London Breed on Tuesday night as she walked into a cramped pizza restaurant on Irving Street, where her preferred District Four candidate, Jessica Ho, was holding a modest election watch party."


"We know that these are just early results, so let’s not give up,” the mayor said to cheers, after the first ballot count showed Ho slipping behind her progressive competitor, Gordon Mar. “I need her on the Board of Supervisors because I want to get the job done for all of you."


"But election night didn’t exactly turn out the way Breed had hoped: Mar, a longtime labor activist, beat Ho in the preliminary counts, flipping the District Four board seat, which has long been held by a moderate."


New SF Board of Supervisors coming into focus as vote count continues 


The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI: "While there are still 118,000 ballots left to count, the new San Francisco Board of Supervisors is taking shape."


"By Thursday, five candidates held a clear lead over their opponents: incumbent Supervisor Catherine Stefani in District Two, Gordon Mar in District Four, Matt Haney in District Six, incumbent Supervisor Rafael Mandelman in District Eight and Shamann Walton in District 10."


"The results are based on Thursday’s tally under San Francisco’s ranked-choice system, which allows voters to designate their second and third choices. The department had counted 242,704 ballots by Thursday."


CalSTRS votes to build a second HQ in West Sact  


Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "The California State Teachers Retirement System on Thursday committed to a $300 million expansion of its West Sacramento headquarters, voting to build a second 275,000 square foot office building along the Sacramento River."


"CalSTRS, the $229 billion teacher pension fund, has been considering an expansion since a 2014 study suggested it would need more office space than its 17-story headquarters could provide."


"The teachers’ retirement board voted to build a second tower on its campus rather than lease space or buy an existing building in downtown Sacramento or delay construction. CalSTRS anticipates that it will be able to move into the new structure in 2021."


FDA expected to impose severe restrictions on e-cigs


LA TImes's LAURIE MCGINLEY: "The Food and Drug Administration, alarmed by a huge increase in vaping among minors, is expected to impose severe restrictions on the sale of most e-cigarettes products throughout the United States — actions that will likely have a significant effect on an industry that has grown exponentially in recent years with little government oversight."


"As soon as next week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is expected to announce a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes — the majority of vaping products sold — in tens of thousands of convenience stores and gas stations across the country, according to senior agency officials. According to its officials, the agency will also impose such rules as age-verification requirements for online sales."


LA Unified apologizes for keeping mum about armed man who tried to lure middle school girls off campus

: "School district officials took the unusual step Wednesday night of offering an unqualified apology to an angry audience of parents."


"The administrators told more than 200 parents at Reed Middle School that they had erred in failing to notify them and staff that a man had reportedly approached girls at school and then returned days later in a truck containing an arsenal of illegal weapons."


READ MORE related to Education: California universities make millions on applications they reject -- The Tribune's ANDREW SHEEOLER


White House braces for Mueller's next steps


AP's ERIC TUCKER/JONATHAN LEMIRE/CHAD DAY: "The White House is bracing for the probe of Donald Trump's presidential campaign to fire up again. Trump's advisers are privately expressing worries that the special counsel, who's been out of the news for the past month, has been stealthily compiling information and could soon issue new indictments or a damning final report."


"Trump abruptly altered the chain of command above Mueller on Wednesday, putting his work under the supervision of a Republican loyalist who has been openly skeptical of the special counsel's authority and has mused about ways to curtail his power. But Trump and his aides are concerned about Mueller's next move with the work that is complete, according to a White House official and a Republican with close ties to the administration."


"They insisted on anonymity to comment on conversations they were not authorized to describe."


READ MORE related to POTUS45: Hundreds in capital region protest Trump's new acting AG after Sessions' departure -- Sacramento Bee's VINCENT MOLESKI; Acting AG Whitaker has thoughts on Mueller's Russia probe -- AP's LAURIE KELLMAN/ERIC TUCKER


Letter shows a fearful Einstein long before Nazis' rise


AP 's ARON HELLER: "More than a decade before the Nazis seized power in Germany, Albert Einstein was on the run and already fearful for his country's future, according to a newly revealed handwritten letter."


"His longtime friend and fellow Jew, German Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau, had just been assassinated by right-wing extremists and police had warned the noted physicist that his life could be in danger too."


"So Einstein fled Berlin and went into hiding in northern Germany. It was during this hiatus that he penned a handwritten letter to his beloved younger sister, Maja, warning of the dangers of growing nationalism and anti-Semitism years before the Nazis ultimately rose to power, forcing Einstein to flee his native Germany for good."

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