Stormy weather

Nov 26, 2019

'Impossible' travel weather? Rain, snow, wind to hit NorCal before Thanksgiving


Sacramento Bee's MICHAEL MCGOUGH: "Winter weather is upon us, and the timing couldn’t be much worse for those with travel plans this week for Thanksgiving."


"From Monday through at least Thursday, storms will strike the West Coast, East Coast and a large chunk of the Midwest, bringing what the National Weather Service national headquarters has called “blizzard-like” conditions just a day or two in advance of Thanksgiving."


"Significant” winter storms will drop heavy snow over the Rockies, northern New England, the Sierra Nevada mountain range and several other regions over the next few days, according to the NWS."


READ MORE related to WeatherCrews battle wind-whipped SoCal brushfire -- AP


Sierra winds reach 94 mph ahead of big snow storm


From AP's SCOTT SONNER: "Dangerous winds in the Sierra toppled a semi-trailer truck, downed power lines and closed a stretch of highway in Southern California on Monday ahead of a winter storm expected to bring up to 2 feet (60 centimeters) of snow to mountain tops around Lake Tahoe."


"U.S. Highway 6 was closed due to downed power lines south of Yosemite National Park near Bishop, California. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries after a tractor trailer flipped on U.S. Highway 395 near Pearsonville about 150 miles (241 kilometers) north of Los Angeles."


"The road was later reopened."


Californians push Nevada past the 3 million population mark


From Associated Press in the Riverside P-E:  "California is playing an unparalleled role in Nevada growth, as state population estimates surpassed 3 million people and the U.S. Census Bureau ranked the Silver State as the nation’s fastest-growing in 2018."


"More than 50,000 Californians moved to Nevada from July 2017 to July 2018, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, or nearly 40% of the total number of people who moved from another U.S. state during that time."


"Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said there are now more adults in Nevada who were born in California than native Nevadans."


California officials side with marijuana company in new fight over home deliveries


From the LAT's PATRICK MCGREEVY: "Escalating a legal battle with California cities and counties over where marijuana can be sold, state officials are intervening in a new court fight over home delivery of cannabis in communities that have banned or restricted pot shops."


"Earlier this month, Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra filed a motion on behalf of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control to join a lawsuit by Salinas-based East of Eden Cannabis Co. against Santa Cruz County, which has banned deliveries by companies it has not licensed.":


"The legal action comes as a group of cities is challenging California’s home delivery rules in Fresno County Superior Court, arguing that state law allows them to decide whether businesses can sell pot in their communities. In January, the Bureau of Cannabis Control issued regulations that permit firms it licenses to deliver marijuana to homes anywhere in the state, including in cities and counties that have banned pot shops."


Aging Oroville Dam spillway gates draw concern


From the Chico Enterprise-Record's ROBIN EPLEY: "Despite increased maintenance of Oroville Dam since the spillway fell apart in February 2017, members of the community-led Oroville Dam Ad Hoc Group have expressed concern about the age and wear of mechanics within the spillway’s main gates, citing similar failures on dams of the same era."


"The Department of Water Resources convened a meeting Nov. 13 of the Oroville Dam Ad Hoc Group — an organization comprised of local elected officials and stakeholders appointed by state Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama) and Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) — as part of the Oroville Dam Safety Comprehensive Needs Assessment that was initiated by the DWR after the spillway crumbled."


"The eight, extremely large gates at the top of the spillway are controlled by a mechanism known as a Tainter gate. The radial-style gates are commonly used on dams and canal locks across the world because the water flow under that type of gate assists in opening and closing the gate. They resemble a piece of pie with the curved side against the flow of water. But after many decades of use, that style of gate can put an extreme amount of stress on the pins holding the moving arms in place."


The secret base jumpers of California


The Chronicle's GREGORY THOMAS: "Daniel Ristow toed a rugged precipice high above a narrow gully near the summit of Mount Morrison and spit into the thin mountain air. The wind carried his projectile left to right, indicating a slight quartering tail wind — maybe 5 to 8 mph. Not ideal, Ristow thought."


"It was nearly noon on a cool blue October morning — one of the last quality days of the season for a wingsuit BASE jump from the 12,241-foot peak. The drop-off from Ristow’s perch measured about 600 feet to the gully floor, but he’d have to clear a series of chossy ledges sloping out below him if he was going to survive this jump. About a mile and a half away, 4,300 feet down into an alpine basin, was Ristow’s landing zone, a scrubby field near the western shore of Convict Lake in the Eastern Sierra."


"Ristow and his jumping partner that day, Jordan Kilgore, had set out from the basin at 4 a.m. in pitch-black, 13-degree conditions, navigating by headlamp and humping heavy packs. Ahead of them was a 6.5-mile trek up the east face of the mountain known as the Eiger of the Sierra. Without a trail to guide them, the jumpers followed a dry creek bed to a vast scree field on Morrison’s flank, forging through brambles in the dark. Up and over the summit ridge of the crumbling crag they found their destination, the tip of a white buttress peeking out of the mountain’s shadow and into the bright sun. It is one of the rare natural exit points in California where wingsuit BASE jumping is logistically feasible and technically legal."

Devin Nunes 'quite likely' to face ethics inquiry over Europe trip, senior Democrat says


Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "Leading Democrats are calling for an investigation into a trip to Europe that Rep. Devin Nunes took last year with three aides after attorneys for an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani told news outlets the Republican congressman sought dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden."


"House travel records show Nunes traveled to Europe from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3. Three congressional aides who have worked for Nunes have matching travel receipts for the same dates, House records show. The trip cost $63,525."


"The Democratic Coalition, an advocacy group that opposes President Donald Trump, announced that it filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee arguing Nunes on the trip “used his official office to pursue a domestic political investigation by contacting ex-officials of the Ukrainian government."


Lack of driver's license isn't reason for police to search vehicle at traffic stop


The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "A driver’s failure to produce a valid license when stopped by police does not authorize them to search the car without a warrant, a divided California Supreme Court ruled Monday, overturning its decision in a similar case in 2002."


"The price of giving officers the discretion to search at will among a person’s private effects whenever that person has committed a traffic infraction is a high one,” Justice Leondra Kruger said in the 4-3 ruling. “It is not a price we should lightly require California drivers to pay."


"Kruger said the California court’s 2002 ruling, also by a 4-3 majority, that allowed police to search a vehicle for identification documents after the driver had failed to show a valid license had not been followed by the courts of any other state. She also said police had other options for identifying drivers, such as questioning them, checking state registration records, asking to take a thumbprint, or, in some cases, placing the driver under arrest."


Cash-poor Dems to Obama donors: 'Give so much that it actually hurts'


The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "Former President Barack Obama received a standing ovation at a Los Altos Hills fundraiser the other day, but the 100 donors in attendance heard something else that they didn’t cheer as loudly for — a really hard sell to “give until it hurts."


"It’s a wealth election,” tech executive Amy Rao told the guests before Obama and Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez came in. “This is about sitting down and looking at your personal wealth and saying, what percent of it are you willing to put on the table to make sure that we win in 2020? ... And it doesn’t matter who the Democratic candidate is."


"The reason: The Democrats are falling further behind the GOP in fundraising."


Unemployment checks could be late this week because of tech error


Sacramento Bee's HANNAH WILEY: "Californians expecting an unemployment check this week might not see their money until Wednesday due to a technical system error, according to the California Employment Development Department."


"The department said database maintenance completed over the weekend unexpectedly disrupted the system that processes unemployment insurance payments, prompting anxieties among unemployment recipients ahead of the holiday season."


"Unfortunately, the update created a disruption in accessing data and led to delays in processing those payments,” department spokeswoman Aubrey Henry said in a written response to questions. “The issue has been fixed and the (department) believes the majority of the payments will be made tomorrow and the rest completed on Wednesday."


Arrests outside Oakland City Hall as protesters pitch tents, call out homeless strategy


The Chronicle's SARAH RAVANI: "Twenty-two people were arrested early Monday in Oakland after dozens of protesters set up tents outside City Hall to bring attention to the treatment of homeless people, officials said."


"The people arrested were booked at Santa Rita Jail on charges of resisting arrest and cited for violating the city’s municipal code for staying at the park past 10 p.m. Police cleared the camp overnight."


"Nearly 80 people gathered outside City Hall at about noon Sunday set up 25 tents and signs that read “F— the Tuff Sheds” and “Public Land for Sanctuary."


As group home closes, mentally ill may end up in shelter


The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI: "Despite City Hall’s efforts to save San Francisco’s board-and-care homes, the facilities for the homeless, mentally ill and drug addicted are still rapidly closing around the city — and officials are running out of places to send the residents."


"South Van Ness Manor, a board-and-care home for 27 mentally ill and homeless residents, can no longer sustain its expenses and plans to close Sunday. The city has found another long-term placement for only about half of the residents around the Bay Area, said Jennifer Esteen, a member of the Department of Public Health’s Transitions Division, which identifies shelter and treatment placements for those in need."


"The rest of the residents, she said, may be moved to Hummingbird Place, a homeless shelter at San Francisco General Hospital that provides temporary care to psychiatric patients."


Fatal stabbing plunges BART into another crisis. Does it need more help?


The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "A fatal stabbing aboard a train has thrust BART into crisis, focusing new attention on how the transit system is no longer a respite from social problems outside, but more and more the place where they play out."


"Once again, the agency, whose central role is to efficiently shuttle around hundreds of thousands of people a day, is struggling to fulfill a more basic mandate: making customers feel safe. And that’s caused tension over cooperation between leaders at BART and in the Bay Area counties it serves."


"The brutal knife attack Tuesday afternoon, allegedly by a 39-year-old man who had walked shoeless out of a San Leandro hospital — shortly after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting a medical worker — left dead a 49-year-old Oakland man who had stepped in to thwart the theft of a sleeping rider’s sneakers."


Fatal stabbing has BART officials looking for ways to speed up new gates


The Chronicle's PHIL MATIER: "The fatal stabbing on BART last week has the transit system’s leaders scrambling to speed up the installation of jump-proof fare gates — if they can find the money, that is."


"But even then, it will be at least three years before the gates start going in, and only at “high priority” stations."


"We are looking at moving money from other projects or reprioritizing projects to get the necessary funding to get started,” BART General Manager Robert Powers said Friday. “Right now the priority is to move forward as fast as possible."


In major win for Congress, judge rules Trump aides must testify


LA Times's DAVID G SAVAGE: "A federal judge strengthened the power of Congress in its battles with President Trump on Monday, ruling that former White House Counsel Donald McGahn may be required to testify under oath about what he heard and saw during special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian election meddling."


"The judge’s decision upholding a congressional subpoena is a victory for House Democrats who have been anxious to establish a legal precedent that could force other top Trump administration officials to testify before Congress."


"And although the case began as a result of the Mueller probe, it could have impact in the current impeachment proceedings against Trump. It sets the stage for what could be a historic court test of the president’s ability to prevent senior aides from testifying."

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