3 in 4 Californians back vaccines as state debates making it tougher to opt out
Sacramento Bee's HANNAH WILEY: "As lawmakers and vaccine skeptics battle in the Capitol corridors over a bill to restrict medical exemptions, a new poll shows that three fourths of Californians support mandatory vaccinations and nearly all believe the shots are safe."
"Close to 75 percent of 1,713 surveyed adults think that parents should vaccinate their children, a new Public Policy Institute of California poll released on Wednesday showed. Nearly eight in 10 said they worry a recent nationwide outbreak of 981 measles cases will continue to spread. There are 47 reported cases in California."
"We find partisan differences on almost everything today. This is a topic when there isn’t a partisan difference on whether vaccinations should be required,” said the institute’s president and CEO Mark Baldassare. “And virtually all Californians say its very or somewhat safe."
Startup rents bunkbeds in SF for $1,200 per month
From SF Curbed's ADAM BRINKLOW: "How much does it cost for bare minimum accommodations in San Francisco—i.e, a bed and a roof?"
"In the Tenderloin, that’ll be $60 per night, or $1,200 per month. That’s what the Southern California-based startup Podshare charges for one of its “pods” at the company’s first San Francisco locale."
"According to the company, “A pod is a hand-built, high-end bunk bed complete with your own flat screen TV and night light." Renting with Podshare buys access to the bed and the communal spaces in the building in what’s essentially a hostel-like setup—complete with a dearth of privacy thanks to the wide open, multi-pod layout of rooms Podshare offers."
Councilmen weigh legal action, saying other cities are pushing homeless into LA
LA Times's DAVID ZAHNISER/DORANY PINEDA: "One day after Los Angeles received confirmation of a major increase in its homeless population, two City Council members said they want to look into legal strategies to force nearby cities to provide shelter beds or allow people to sleep on their sidewalks."
"Councilmen Mike Bonin and Joe Buscaino called Wednesday for City Atty. Mike Feuer to explore “legal steps” that L.A. could use to compel those cities to comply with a federal court decision on homelessness and sidewalk camping in Boise, Idaho. The proposal, they said, would stop nearby cities from pushing homeless people into L.A. city boundaries."
"The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that homeless individuals may not be held criminally responsible for sleeping on government property when no alternative shelter is available."
Want to live near your job and mass transit? Most Californians do, too
Sacramento Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG: "Several weeks after state lawmakers killed a bill to allow more housing near transit and job centers, a new poll shows most Californians support the idea."
"Most Californians want the state to force cities and counties to allow more housing near transit and job centers, according to a poll the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California released Wednesday."
"The news comes after state lawmakers tabled a bill to do just that. San Francisco Sen. Scott Wiener’s Senate Bill 50 would have stripped cities and counties of zoning authority around rail, bus and ferry stops and areas with high job concentrations. It aimed to allow taller, denser housing developments in those areas."
READ MORE related to Transportation: Trump's Cuba crackdown hits Bay Area travel outfitters -- The Chronicle's SARAH FELDBERG
Newsom wants to spend 22 percent more on his staff than Brown did. Here's what he's adding
Sacramento Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG/RYAN SABALOW: "In his proposed $213 billion state spending plan, Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to spend more on plenty of programs, from health care to early childhood education."
"He also wants a big boost for his own office budget."
"Newsom is planning to spend 22 percent more to staff the governor’s office than his predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown, creating new positions and revamping old jobs to bring in more senior advisers on such high priority policy areas as wildfires."
UCSF loses contract as Trump administration restricts fetal tissue research
The Chronicle's ERIN ALLDAY: "The Trump administration on Wednesday announced major new restrictions in funding of research involving human fetal tissue — a product that many scientists say is irreplaceable in studying certain diseases — in a move that immediately ended a decades-long partnership with UCSF involving HIV research."
"The National Institutes of Health, the country’s largest single provider of medical research funding, will no longer support new research by its in-house scientists that uses human fetal tissue obtained from abortions. Scientists with NIH grants who do not work for the agency will be allowed to continue applying for funding, but their applications will be subject to approval from a newly created review board."
"The announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services had been anticipated for a few months. It is likely to end most if not all federally funded research involving human fetal tissue over the next few years. The move was widely perceived as a political gesture toward President Trump’s base of conservative, largely antiabortion voters."
READ MORE related to Roe v Wade: Biden's opposition to federal funds for abortion brings first big fight of his campaign -- LA Times's JANET HOOK/JENNIFER HABERKORN; Trump to end human fetal tissue research by government, a victory for abortion foes -- AP
Legal cannabis? California lawmaker tells Apple CEO there should be an app for that
Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "A California lawmaker from Silicon Valley called on Apple CEO Tim Cook to remove the restriction against cannabis sales on the company’s app store."
"As you know, California law grants every adult over age 21 the right to purchase and consume cannabis and cannabis products,” Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, wrote in a letter to the CEO. “You and your team have the opportunity to support the will of California’s voters and reinforce the values of openness, inclusion and diversity that Apple is known for."
"California voters in 2016 voted to legalize recreational cannabis. The state is struggling to regulate the new industry while black market competitors compete with growers who want to comply with the law."
Californians with unsafe drinking water appeal for fixes
Sacramento Bee's KYUNG MI LEE: "A coalition of California residents affected by unsafe drinking water held a symbolic “water strike” at the Capitol on Wednesday, pressing lawmakers to fund a plan that would clean up their water sources."
"More than 1 million Californians lack access to clean drinking water, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration. An additional 2 million people are vulnerable to contamination, according to the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund Coalition."
“We cannot claim to be the Golden State when we have 1 million Californians without access to clean and affordable water,” said Daniel Peñaloza, City Council Member from Porterville in Tulare County. “This is an injustice and a disgrace."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Yosemite's Half Dome summit to reopen to hikers with cable installation -- The Chronicle's KIMBERLY VEKLEROV
California Dem voters disagree with Pelosi on impeachment
McClatchy's EMILY CADEI: "California Democrats overwhelmingly believe Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report did not clear President Donald Trump of wrongdoing, and a sizable majority want Congress to launch impeachment proceedings against the president now."
"A new Public Policy Institute of California, conducted in late May, found that 66% of likely Democratic voters in California support moving forward with impeachment, despite arguments by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of San Francisco, and other party leaders who say it’s premature. Overall, 49% of California adults support impeaching the president, compared to just 39% of adults nationwide, a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found."
"In California for a party convention last weekend, Pelosi once again stopped short of calling for impeachment, but said her party will continue to “investigate the president’s welcoming of assault on our democracy” by the Russians."
Ghost Ship trial: Big takeaways after prosecution rests its case
The Chronicle's MEGAN CASSIDY: "Prosecutors in the Ghost Ship criminal trial rested their case before a jury Wednesday, buttoning up four-plus weeks of methodical testimony in which they sought to show that the two defendants were negligent in throwing a party at an unsanctioned Oakland warehouse before a blaze broke out and killed 36 people."
"Autrey James and Casey Bates, prosecutors for the Alameda County district attorney’s office, called to the stand dozens of witnesses — fire survivors, victims’ family members, warehouse tenants, investigators, and police and fire personnel — to drive home one key point: Those who died on Dec. 2, 2016, had “no notice, no time and no exits."
"At stake is the freedom of Derick Almena, 49, and Max Harris, 29, who are both charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, one for each person killed. Prosecutors have said that Almena, the master tenant of the Ghost Ship warehouse, and Harris, the artists collective’s creative director, ran day-to-day operations in the space and were responsible for overseeing the deadly conditions up until a fire broke out during an electronic music concert."
H-1B visa approvals plunged 10% last year, feds say
The Chronicle's MELIA RUSSELL: "According to new data released by the federal government on the state of the H-1B visa, commonly used for high-skilled workers in tech, there has been an abrupt drop in approvals for a work permit that once was granted routinely."
"Fewer foreign nationals applied for new or renewed H-1B visas, whose recipients are picked out of a lottery, from October 2017 to September compared to the previous 12-month period, and far fewer were granted admission. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said it approved 335,000 of the visas in fiscal year 2018, down 10% from approvals in 2017."
"President Trump, who issued a “Buy American, Hire American” executive order in 2017, has said he wants higher skilled workers to comeinto the country, while also stemming the flow of migrants illegally crossing the southern border. This year, the administration tinkered with the H-1B lottery to give an edge to foreigners with advanced degrees from American colleges and universities."
READ MORE related to Immigration: Migrant arrests at US-Mexico border surge to largest monthly total in more than a decade -- AP
Investigators look into whether USC great Pat Haden was involved in college admissions scheme
LA Times's JOEL RUBIN/MATTHEW ORMSETH: "Federal investigators are scrutinizing whether Pat Haden, the former USC athletic director, was involved in the college admissions bribery and cheating scheme carried out by William “Rick” Singer, according to a source with knowledge of the case."
"In response to questions about his possible involvement with Singer, Haden issued a statement Wednesday through his son-in-law denying wrongdoing:"
"Like many people, I was introduced to Mr. Singer several years ago by a friend. I was unaware of his illegal activities and had no ongoing relationship with him whatsoever.”"
Prices for tomatoes, avocados could skyrocket with Mexico tariffs
Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "Californians looking to stretch their savings may be saying, “Hold the tomatoes, please,” as President Donald Trump’s tariff on Mexican food imports threatens to raise the price of popular grocery store staples."
"You could soon be paying up to 85 percent more for a vine-ripened tomato, according to the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas."
"And California’s beloved avocado? Prices for Mexican Hass avocados are the highest they’ve been since August 2017, according to Bloomberg. The association argues the tariffs won’t help bring the cost down, contending they’ll have American’s paying $3 billion more for produce this fall.."
Mario Woods shooting: SF officers acted within policy according to report
The Chronicle's EVAN SERNOFFSKY: "The San Francisco Police Department’s Internal Affairs unit found five officers acted within policy when they shot and killed Mario Woods in the city’s Bayview in 2015, even though the controversial shooting prompted widespread reforms within the department and a legal settlement from the city, newly released records show."
"The department on Wednesday released a 55-page report on the administrative investigation, which found that officers Charles August, Winson Seto, Antonio Santos, Nicholas Cuevas and Scott Phillips followed protocol when they fatally shot Woods, 26, on Dec. 2, 2015."
"However, the report acknowledged that the department has changed its use-of-force policy since the shooting, specifically when responding to armed people who appear to be experiencing a crisis."
READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: SF public defender's office demands SFPD release misconduct records -- The Chronicle's ASHLEY MCBRIDE