PG&E bankruptcy judge questions $11M payment plan for top executives
The Chronicle's J.D. MORRIS: "The judge overseeing PG&E Corp.’s bankruptcy case on Friday questioned how the company is handling the compensation of its top executives, including senior leaders who stand to benefit from a performance bonus plan that could be worth nearly $11 million."
"U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali told a PG&E attorney that he took issue with the company’s argument that the payments were necessary to “appropriately incentivize” 12 executives. He said the leaders should be motivated to perform well by virtue of their positions at the bankrupt company, which is responsible for wildfires that killed dozens of people and incinerated thousands of homes."
"If they’re not incentivized enough, they ought to find another job, frankly,” he said at a hearing in San Francisco."
Six Californians who shouldn't have been registered voted last year due to 'DMV errors'
Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "Six California residents who were erroneously added onto the voter rolls voted in last year’s midterms, the Secretary of State’s Office confirmed Friday afternoon following a months-long investigation."
"According to Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s office, all six individuals voted in the primary and two of them also cast ballots in the 2018 general election. Their records have since been canceled and they are not being charged with a crime."
"After a through review, Padilla concluded they were inadvertently registered through the state’s Motor Voter program “due to DMV errors.” The residents live in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego counties."
READ MORE related to DMV: Are you confused by California DMV voter registration? You're not alone, report finds -- Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON
New law protecting sex workers stirs emotions
ALAN RIQUELMY in Capitol Weekly: "The woman, writing to Gov. Gavin Newsom about Senate Bill 233, called herself voiceless."
"In her letter she told the governor about rapes she’s suffered while homeless and on the streets. Pimps had beaten her. One once threw her out of a hotel, leaving her naked in the parking lot."
"She feared to call police. They never listened to her before, the unnamed woman wrote."
Sacramento will release some defendants without bail in test of new California system
Sacramento Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG: "Sacramento will start releasing some defendants from jail without posting bond as part of a pilot program aimed at helping California courts end reliance on bail for suspects awaiting trial."
"A panel of California judges and court executive officers selected Sacramento as one of 16 counties to launch a 2-year risk-assessment program to evaluate whether suspects should be released from jail before trial."
"The state’s Judicial Council, which makes policies for California courts, voted Friday to give Sacramento and the other recommended counties the money."
LA's Green New Deal polarizes voters in a district haunted by environmental disaster
LA Times's EMILY ALPERT REYES/DAVID ZAHNISER: "For decades, campaigns for city office in the San Fernando Valley foothills have been animated by intensely local issues such as traffic congestion, real estate development, and preserving the culture of horse keeping."
"But this year, an idea that has erupted on the national stage — the Green New Deal — has become a polarizing issue in Tuesday’s special election to fill a northwest Valley council seat."
"Candidate Loraine Lundquist, a Democrat and college instructor, has endorsed L.A.'s version of the Green New Deal, a package of environmental proposals from Mayor Eric Garcetti. She has made battling climate change a core part of her campaign, inspiring activists from across the city."
Seth MacFarlane has quietly become one of Hollywood's major political donors
LA Times's TINA DAUNT/MALOY MOORE: "Comedy is Seth MacFarlane’s forte, but when it comes to politics, he’s a serious money man."
"While building a multibillion-dollar entertainment franchise with the Fox animated series “Family Guy” at its center, MacFarlane has quietly become one of the largest political donors of his generation in Hollywood."
"In 2005, at age 31, MacFarlane made his first contribution to the Democratic Party — a $2,500 check to its Congressional Campaign Committee. As his career skyrocketed, so did his donations, which now total $4.6 million, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of federal campaign filings."
FBI struggles to confront right-wing terrorism
LA Times's DEL QUENTIN WILBER: "FBI Director Christopher A. Wray assured Congress last month that his agents were aggressively combating domestic terror threats from a broad array of extremist groups."
"The FBI, working with our state and local law enforcement partners,” he said, “is all over this."
"But the bureau is now scrambling to investigate domestic terrorism on two fronts — a mass shooting in Gilroy, Calif., followed days later by a far more deadly attack in El Paso — appearing to undercut Wray’s assertions and raise questions about whether the FBI is doing enough to identify and stop murderous plots by home-grown fanatics with no ties to foreign terrorist organizations."
Can gun laws curb gun violence? Studies suggest some might
The Chronicle's JOAQUIN PALOMINO: "The recent string of horrific mass shootings has policymakers at both the state and federal level considering gun-control laws that might help reduce gun violence."
"Two recent studies from Boston University may provide some guidance in trying to address that issue. The papers, published this year, found that three types of laws that regulate access to firearms are associated with a significant reduction in gun-related homicides."
"States such as California that require universal background checks for gun purchases, prohibit violent misdemeanor offenders from buying firearms, and impose strict restrictions on who can carry guns in public have homicide rates 35% lower than states with none of those protections in place, the studies found."
'It's terrible': Bay Area small businesses brace for more tariffs
The Chronicle's SHWANIKA NARAYAN: "The tariffs slapped on Chinese goods last year have been tough enough for many Bay Area stores."
"It’s about to get harder still, if President Trump follows through on his announcement this month that he will add levies to $300 billion worth of Chinese imports."
"I just placed an order in which every item increased by at least 10% in price,” said Linda Kapnick, owner of Ambassador Toys in San Francisco’s West Portal neighborhood. Most items sold in her store come from China, she said, and the tariffs “make a dent in the consumers’ wallets."
To keep insurance, some homeowners now have to do costly wildfire mitigation
The Chronicle's KATHLEEN PENDER: "In response to the rising cost and risk of California wildfires, some insurance companies are requiring property owners in high-hazard areas to perform extensive, often expensive, mitigation work to keep their policies."
"In some cases, they are demanding more than what local and state fire departments recommend."
"On May 14, Katharine Menzies of Mill Valley got a letter from The Hartford threatening her with “cancellation or nonrenewal” if she didn’t “completely remove all trees and bushes within five (feet) of the front sides, or rear of the dwelling,” remove plants touching her home; cut annual grasses to a maximum of 4 inches; remove all dead or dry vegetation within 30 feet of all structures and remove anything stored underneath decks or porches."
Are safe-parking 'camps' an answer to the growing homelessness crisis?
Sacramento Bee's THERESA CLIFT: "The number of people, including families with children, living in their cars in Sacramento County has drastically increased in the last four years."
"Volunteers canvassing the county in January found four times the number of vehicles where people were living than they counted in 2015. Researchers estimate people were sleeping in at least 340 vehicles in the county. This included approximately 100 children. Most of the vehicles were in the city of Sacramento."
"Now, Sacramento officials are considering one remedy to help people living in their cars – putting many of them into one or more designated parking lots. Instead of a tent city, Sacramento would create a car encampment for the homeless."
Hamid Hayat, freed after 14 years in terror case: 'I can't believe this day came'
The Chronicle's DEMIAN BULWA/BOB EGELKO/TATIANA SANCHEZ: "Hamid Hayat, the Lodi man who spent 14 years behind bars in a one of the most controversial terrorism cases of the post-Sept. 11 era, said Sunday that he’s “still in shock” after his release from federal prison in Arizona."
"I’m lost for words,” Hayat said through tears during a news conference in Sacramento, his first public appearance in California since a judge overturned his 2006 conviction, freeing him from prison Friday."
"I can’t believe this day came,” said Hayat, 36. “I still think this is a dream. I wake up and I still think I’m in prison."
READ MORE related to Hamid Hayat: 'I still think this is a dream': Hamid Hayat celebrates Eid al-Adha after release from prison -- Sacramento Bee's ELAINE CHEN
How Charles Manson cast his spell on homecoming queens, honor students and dropouts
LA Times's JOE MOZINGO: "She was a suburban mother of three, married for 30 years, with a ski boat and a lake house. She sang in the church choir, volunteered at summer Bible camp and took family road trips to Yosemite and Zion."
"In January 2008, a phone call snapped her back to a time she’d spent nearly 40 years trying to forget."
"Is this Dianne Lake?” a man asked."
Epstein's jail guards were working extreme overtime shifts, source says
AP: "Guards on Jeffrey Epstein’s unit were working extreme overtime shifts to make up for staffing shortages the night of his apparent suicide, a person familiar with the jail’s operations told the Associated Press."
"The person familiar with the Metropolitan Correctional Center’s operations told the Associated Press on Sunday that one guard in Epstein’s unit was working a fifth straight day of overtime and another guard was working mandatory overtime. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he lacked authorization to discuss jail operations publicly."
"The jail staff failed to follow protocols leading up to Epstein’s death, according to a report from the New York Times, deepening the fallout from what led to the highly connected financier’s apparent suicide."