Bill aims to fix sex-offender list's inequity toward gay men
The Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "If a 19-year-old man is convicted of having sex with his 17-year-old boyfriend in California, he must register as a sex offender. But that may not be the case for a 24-year-old man who gets a 15-year-old girl pregnant — he can avoid that penalty if a judge decides it’s unnecessary."
"That disparate treatment lingers from a historic criminalization of gay sex that California struck from law decades ago. Critics warn that it leaves LGBT young people vulnerable to unfair punishment in more conservative parts of the state where local prosecutors might be more inclined to pursue such cases."
"State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, hopes to eliminate the discrepancy with a bill giving judges discretion over sex-offender registration in all cases involving voluntary intercourse between teenagers and young adults."
Newsom administration bans controversial farm pesticide defended by Trump's EPA
Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER: "California officials banned a widely used farm pesticide Wednesday, handing a major victory to environmentalists while depriving farmers of a chemical they’ve employed for decades to protect almond orchards, cotton fields and more."
"The decision by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration to ban the pesticide, known as chlorpyrifos, is also a significant rebuke to President Donald Trump. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Trump has been defending the chemical against court challenges after the Obama administration took steps to prohibit its use."
"We’re saying, ‘Enough is enough.’ We can’t wait for the federal government, which has been very slow and has kind of flip-flopped,” Jared Blumenfeld, secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, said in an interview."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Manager threatened California EPA scientist and kept his job. She was demoted, lawsuit says -- Sacramento Bee's WES VENTEICHER
Massive cache of 1,000 guns seized from Bel-Air mansion
LA Times's RICHARD WINTON/JACLYN COSGROVE/ALEJANDRA REYES-VELARDE: "A man was arrested Wednesday after authorities seized more than 1,000 guns from a home in Holmby Hills, authorities said."
"Officials received an anonymous tip about a person illegally manufacturing and selling guns in a home in the 100 block of North Beverly Glen Boulevard, said Officer Mike Lopez, a spokesman with the Los Angeles Police Department."
"As part of an ongoing joint investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the LAPD served a search warrant at the home at 4 a.m., he said."
Protecting the ocean: Don't stop at the shoreline
OPINION: NOAH OPPENHEIM/SEAN BOTHWELL in Capitol Weekly: "California has distinguished itself as a climate leader, from reducing carbon emissions to managing wildfire risk and preparing coastal cities for rising seas. But our action to date has largely stopped at the shoreline, despite the fact that some of the first and worst climate impacts are being felt in the ocean."
"If you have walked the coastal trail at Point Lobos lately, you may have noticed the once-sprawling kelp forests are shrinking. If you fish or enjoy eating local seafood, surely you have noticed the periodic absence of Dungeness crab at local markets over the past couple years, as heat waves fueled toxic algae blooms that at times made their meat unsafe to eat."
"Researchers are tracking the northward migration of many species, from tropical jellyfish to spiny lobsters, seeking cooler waters as their home ranges become inhospitably warm."
38 states want to let cannabis industry use banks
Sac Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined 37 of his counterparts to urge Congress to pass legislation that would allow cannabis companies to access federally insured banks."
"Though California is one of more than 30 states to have legalized marijuana in some capacity, many banks are reluctant to do business with growers and retailers because marijuana remains on the federal government’s list for most restricted narcotics."
"“This is simple: Not incorporating an $8.3 billion industry into our banking system is hurting our public safety and economy,” Becerra said in a statement announcing his participation in a coalition demanding the passage of the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act."
California tech official raced to launch Motor Voter
Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "The California government technology officials who developed an automatic voter registration program for the Department of Motor Vehicles last year raced to the finish line even though they acknowledged they should have slowed down."
"In April 2018, the state delayed the launch of its Motor Voter program by one week because of technical errors, inadequate testing and infrastructure concerns, according to records obtained by The Sacramento Bee."
"Amy Tong, director of the California Department of Technology, told colleagues working on the project the morning of the scheduled launch that, “In some strange way, this maybe (sic) a sign that we need to slow down in order to go fast again."
California approves controversial new sex ed approach
Sac Bee's SAWSAN MORRAR: "The California Department of Education approved controversial changes to the state’s health and sex education framework on Wednesday, but removed five resources and books that some organizations called “sexually explicit,” including a book that explains sex to students as young as kindergarten."
"Despite large protests, the department unanimously approved new guidelines for elementary school grades about sex trafficking, sexual orientation and how to support transgender and non-conforming students in the classroom."
"The department’s meeting focused on revisions for the Health Education Framework, which makes K-12 public school health curriculum recommendations for the next decade. More than 120 people signed up for public comment to support or oppose the changes."
READ MORE related to Education: SCUSD to lay off more than 170 staff amid budget crisis -- Sac Bee's SAWSAN MORRAR
Bill to stiffen California's vaccine law must first get past single-issue voters
LA Times's GEORGE SKELTON: "Some bills are just more trouble than they’re worth for nervous legislators who must worry about voter support."
ICE slams Yuba City and sanctuary policy after suspect in fatal crash leaves Sutter County jail on $300,000 bail, despite fact Yuba City voted unanimously against sanctuary policy
Sacramento Bee's HANNAH DARDEN: "Federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement pushed back against California sanctuary state policies which came to a head over the weekend when alleged undocumented immigrant Ismael Huazo-Jardinez was arrested after three people were killed in a drunk driving incident in Knights Landing."
"According to ICE spokesman Paul Prince, Huazo-Jardinez was released on bail from Sutter County Jail in Yuba City before ICE learned of the arrest and “before we could lodge a detainer to take him into ICE custody."
"Even if ICE filed a detainer, California law prohibits local law enforcement from honoring them. However, Yuba City’s city council voted against the sanctuary state law."
Biden woos voters and scoops up campaign cash in LA
LA Times's MELANIE MASON: "Joe Biden’s first visit to Los Angeles as a presidential candidate featured two things this city produces in abundance — campaign cash and tacos."
"Biden spent most of his visit on Wednesday mingling with high-dollar donors at two private fundraisers. A third fundraising event is scheduled for Thursday morning."
"Between visits to Los Angeles’ swankiest neighborhoods, Biden and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti stopped for a late afternoon snack at King Taco #10 in Pico-Union."
SF Facebook office worth more than $1B in sale -- city gets $0 in taxes
The Chronicle's ROLAND LI: "A pending deal to sell almost half of Park Tower, one of San Francisco’s tallest office buildings, could lead to $539 million changing hands and set the new skyscraper’s value at more than a billion dollars — an almost unprecedented sum."
"But the city will get nothing from the deal, at least in the form of the transfer taxes it collects on most sales of real estate."
"That’s because owners MetLife, John Buck Co. and Golub plan to sell a 49% stake in the property at 250 Howard St., where the office space is fully leased to Facebook."
Caltrans fined after union complaint over homeless camp cleanup
Sac Bee's WES VENTEICHER: "Union complaints over homeless camp cleanup led California’s workplace safety enforcer to fine the state’s transportation department, the department’s union announced Wednesday.
"The International Union of Operating Engineers filed a complaint with CalOSHA in November as part of broader effort to prod Caltrans into adding protections for workers who clean up human waste, used feminine hygiene products and needles when they clear homeless camps under bridges and along roadways, said Steve Crouch, the union’s director of public employees."
"This is not in their job specifications,” Crouch said. “Caltrans workers were hired to maintain the highways and bridges."
READ MORE related to Transportation: Uber, Lyft account for two-thirds of traffic increase in SF over six years, study shows -- The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN
Woman body slammed by cop during confrantational traffic stop, bodycam shows
Sac Bee's MICHAEL MCGOUGH: "Rio Vista police have released body camera footage from a traffic stop incident Sunday evening in which a woman was apparently body slammed, after cellphone video posted to social media earlier this week quickly gained viral attention."
"The slam involved a family member of a woman who was pulled over in Rio Vista, and who arrived to the scene in a second vehicle, according to a news release and eight bodycam videos provided to The Sacramento Bee by the Rio Vista Police Department."
"An internal investigation will be conducted into the incident, according to the news release, which the department says is standard procedure in a use-of-force incident."
READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: Firefighters reach into a California storm drain -- and pull out a baby deer, video shows -- Sacramento Bee's JARED GILMOUR; Video shows Anaheim police firing 76 shots during 'alarming and irresponsible' chase -- LA Times's RICHARD WINTON; Is there a way to identify gang members without racial bias? California wants an answer -- LA Times's ANITA CHABRIA
In Oakland, money intended to be used for this being used for that so lights stay on
The Chronicle's PHIL MATIER: "At a time when Oakland is trying to cure its pothole epidemic, the city is planning to use $2.9 million in state gas tax money to keep its streetlights on, then use what it saves of its own money to stave off cuts in parks and recreation."
"It’s a bit of a financial loop-de-loop, but money is money."
"Here’s the story, straight from the source."
Panel votes to hold Barr in contempt; Trump claims executive privilege on Mueller report
LA Times's CHRIS MEGERIAN: "Tensions between the White House and Congress boiled over Wednesday after President Trump asserted executive privilege to block release to lawmakers of the special counsel’s unredacted report, and a House committee voted to hold Atty. Gen. William Barr in contempt."
"The high-stakes brawl marked a major escalation of a legal and political fight that has few parallels since the Watergate era. The disputes are almost certainly headed to court."
“We’ve talked for a long time about approaching a constitutional crisis,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the New York Democrat who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said after the contempt vote. “We are now in it.”
READ MORE related to POTUS45/KremlinGate: Senate Intel Committee subpoenas Trump Jr. to testify again -- AP
Dave Chappelle books 3 shows at famous 'Punch Line' comedy club following news of venue's move
The Chronicle Datebook's MARIECAR MENDOZA: "Dave Chappelle doesn’t want the Punch Line to move, and he’s ready to tell San Francisco why, according to an announcement posted by the legendary Bay Area comedy club on Wednesday, May 8."
"Just one day after news broke that the Punch Line will be forced to move from its 444 Battery St. location by August — “after being unable to renew its lease with the current property owners,” Punch Line talent buyer Molly Schminke said in a statement — tickets to Chappelle’s three 8 p.m. shows set for May 20-22 went up for sale. Of course, they quickly sold out."
"But Chappelle’s surprise booking will likely not be the last of the big-name shows for the comedy space as the countdown to its closure nears."