The Roundup

Apr 20, 2017

Battered, but progressives stay hopeful

A panel in San Francisco at the Herbst Theater on Wednesday was a galvanizing point for local progressives who, though seemingly defeated, have been searching for a way to legally fight back against the alt-right. 


The Chronicle's KEVIN FAGAN: "With Republicans firmly in command of Congress, the White House and about one-third of all state legislatures, it would be easy for an overwhelmingly left-wing crowd gathered in San Francisco Wednesday night to feel like the political equivalent of crushed bugs. Or at least voiceless ones."

"Forget that, insisted the panel of political activists and experts they came to see at the Herbst Theater in a presentation entitled “Can the Trump Resistance Grow Beyond Protest?”"

"What progressives need to do is what the right wing did beginning in the late 1970s, the panel advised: start organizing at the ground level, taking back school boards and city councils, not just aiming for the big federal offices."


READ MORE related to Local: Here's how Rep. Darrell Issa has moved toward the center since he almost lost in November -- LA Times' SARAH D. WIRE; Was Gov. Brown wrong to make side deals to push through the gas tax hike? No, that's democracy -- LA Times' GEORGE SKELTON; Gas tax deals illegal? 'Preposterous,' says Jerry Brown -- Sacramento Bee's CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO; On 4/20, it's a mixed bag for backers of pot legalization -- Sacramento Bee's ROB HOTAKAINEN


Sacramento's leadership has offered up the local streets as testing gorunds for driverless vehicles


Sacramento Bee's TONY BIZJAK: "Sacramento stepped up its push to become a national testing ground for driverless cars Wednesday, holding a private meeting downtown with automakers and technology company representatives, then calling a press conference to say Sacramento is hungry to be an robot car leader."

"Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Rep. Doris Matsui convened an invitation-only group of several dozen manufacturers, entrepreneurs, regulators and business community members to offer its streets as a proving ground for the technology that many say will revolutionize driving in the next few decades."

"One of those leaders, Kings managing partner and former tech CEO Vivek Ranadive, said he feels that Sacramento is in a race with other communities, some of whom, including San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Phoenix, already have autonomous test cars on their streets."


Jerry Brown's administration has been criticized for withholding Oroville dam's administrative records.


The Chronicle's STAFF: "Having barely succeeded in holding back floodwaters, state officials have turned their attention to holding back information. Gov. Jerry Brown administration’s suppression of records related to the wobbly Oroville Dam has been rightly criticized by legislators, local officials and journalists."

"Since the dam’s crumbling spillways forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate downstream areas amid heavy winter rains, the Department of Water Resources has become increasingly reluctant to release information about the structure’s weaknesses and planned repairs. Even as the state prepared to spend $275 million in public funds to repair the nation’s tallest dam, officials cited security concerns and antiterrorism regulations to keep contract, inspection and other records from reporters and the public."

"Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City (Sutter County), Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Tehama, and a coalition of local governments and businesses are among those urging the Department of Water Resources to be more transparent. Gallagher said officials are withholding, among other records, a consultants’ analysis that had been public in the past. “There could be certain things that are security risks ... but blocking the entire report is unacceptable,” Gallagher said. “You can’t veil the entire thing under the auspices of national security."


The battle against climate change rages on in California, with the latest round in the fight coming in the form of the Bay Area's air-quality agency.


The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER: "The Bay Area’s little-known pollution control district jumped into the fight against climate change Wednesday with a first-of-its-kind regional plan that promises big changes in residents’ daily lives."

"With calls for charging tolls to drive on freeways, doing away with gas heat and even urging meat-free meals, the agency is reaching beyond its usual targets of oil refineries and diesel trucks to push for cuts in greenhouse gases on a much broader scale."

"When thinking about the scale of climate change, we realized this had to be an all-in approach, everything in on the table,” said Abby Young, climate protection manager for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District."


UC Berkeley has ordered the cancellation of the speech of far-right commentator Ann Coulter, because she failed to go through the proper channels at the educational institution to ensure proper security measures.


The Chronicle's NANETTE ASIMOV: "UC Berkeley administrators canceled a scheduled speech by right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, saying they can’t protect participants from rioting if it goes ahead — but the students who invited her, and Coulter herself, said Wednesday that she’ll come anyway, and speak on or off campus."

"If she does show up next Thursday, “We will continue to do what is necessary to provide safety and security for the campus community and our neighbors,” said Dan Mogulof, a campus spokesman. He would not elaborate."

"The standoff began Wednesday after vice chancellors Scott Biddy and Stephen Sutton emailed the student groups co-hosting the event — the Berkeley College Republicans and BridgeUSA, which gets students with political differences to listen to each other — to say the event was off until September at the earliest."


READ MORE related to Education: Audit to examine questions on Peralta College district spending -- The Chronicle's TED ANDERSEN


Legalization in California has prompted San Francisco to organize the first official 4/20 pot party at Hippie Hill -- a pot party that has been celebrated for decades in an underground, speakeasy fashion.


The Chronicle's LIZZIE JOHNSON: "Two days before San Francisco’s giant annual pot party, the portable toilets and chain-link fences were set up."

"Merchants along Haight Street hustled to staff up their stores, and the city’s Recreation and Park Department upped its ranger patrols. Police and fire officials worked with City Hall to decide which Haight-Ashbury streets to cordon off and how many motorcycle officers to dispatch."

"Thursday’s annual group smoke at Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park will be a test of how the event is organized in future years. Previously, the unorganized bash, always attended by thousands of people, left the city stuck with the costs of paying for services and hauling away the tons of trash left behind by the crowd."


Efforts to improve renter protections like rent control and eviction limitations are getting a foothold in the Bay Area thanks to down-ballot successes with related policies at the box last November.


The Chronicle's KATHLEEN PENDER: "Rent increases are moderating in the Bay Area, but the rent control movement is not."

"Encouraged by some success at the ballot box in November, grassroots efforts to limit rent increases and evictions are spreading to more cities, from San Jose to Santa Rosa."

"After a contentious meeting last week, the Pacifica City Council voted 3-2 to approve a temporary rent- and eviction-control ordinance, even though about two-thirds of the 70 people who spoke over the course of nearly four hours opposed it."


READ MORE related to Economy: Just say no to investing in pot, comittee advises California judges -- AP; Fox News Channel dismisses O'Reilly, its biggest star -- AP's DAVID BAUDER


OP-ED: Trump supporter and Conspiracy Theory posterboy Alex Jones has admitted in court (custody battle) to essentially being a fraud, claiming that his InfoWars hosting gig is just character acting for the camera.


LA Times' KEN WHITE: "Is there a difference between the persona we offer to the world and the person we truly are? That question is as old as philosophy, poetry or adolescence. But here’s a modern American twist: What’s the legal difference between the personas we offer to the world and our true selves? This week, infamous conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been exploring that subject in a Texas courtroom as he resists his ex-wife’s attempt to secure full custody of their children."

"A talk-radio host, Jones runs the alarmingly popular conspiracy websites and His star rose dramatically during the rumor-fraught 2016 presidential campaign. He is known for proclaiming that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a government false-flag operation, questioning the “official story” about 9/11, taking off his shirt on camera at odd intervals and (recently) receiving effusive praise from President Trump."


"His ex-wife’s lawyers have used his antics to paint him as a demonstrably unstable parent. Jones has made this easy for them lately by challenging actor Alec Baldwin to a cage match and, in a rant peppered with profanities and anti-gay slurs, threatening to beat up Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff. Both times Jones was reacting to criticism of Trump, whom Jones regards with a childlike reverence."


READ MORE related to Beltway: Republicans face a Trump problem as they look to 2018 contests -- LA Times' CATHLEEN DECKER; Pence says Trump to attend Asian summit in November -- AP


Feds have incorrectly stated that the 23-year-old Mexican national thrust in the middle of a a very public ICE detention snafu has had his protected status ended a couple of years ago, despite his protections actually being valid until 2018.


LA Times' CINDY CARCA: "Federal officials acknowledged Wednesday that Juan Manuel Montes’ protected immigration status was not due to expire until 2018, correcting themselves on one point in a case that thrust the 23-year-old Mexican national into the center of a heated debate on illegal immigration."

"They had said Tuesday that Montes’ protected status ended two years ago."


"At the same time, Department of Homeland Security officials denied Montes’ claim in a federal lawsuit that he had been deported, saying Wednesday he had voluntarily left the U.S. for Mexico."


READ MORE related to Immigration: Immigrants flooded California construction. Worker pay sank. Here's why. -- LA Times' NATALIE KITROEFF


A transgender patient is suing Dignity Health after being denied a hysterectomy.


Sacramento Bee's CLAUDIA BUCK/SAMMY CAIOLA: "More than seven months after a Dignity Health hospital refused a hysterectomy to a Sacramento-area transgender patient, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Wednesday on his behalf."

"The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, alleges that Dignity discriminated against Evan Michael Minton, 35, a former state Capitol legislative aide, when he sought a hysterectomy as part of his transition from female to male."

"Last summer, Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, part of the Dignity Health chain, abruptly canceled Minton’s surgery the day before it was scheduled to take place. His doctor eventually performed the procedure at another Sacramento-area hospital, but the initial denial still causes frustration and disappointment, Minton said. After months of reflection, he decided to take legal action against the San Francisco-based hospital chain."


READ MORE related to Health: Philip Morris moves to soften blow of California cigarette tax increase for smokers -- Sacramento Bee's TARYN LUNA


The Sacramento man who was violently punched after jaywalking and goading officers is now poised to sue the department that he claims assaulted him.


Sacramento Bee's ANITA CHABRIA: "A man who was punched repeatedly by a Sacramento police officer after an alleged jaywalking stop has hired a prominent civil rights attorney and will likely sue the city for injuries that include a broken nose and concussion."

"Attorney John Burris said Wednesday he had been retained by Nandi Cain, a Del Paso Heights resident who garnered national headlines after an April 10 altercation with a police officer."

"Burris recently represented the father of Joseph Mann, a mentally ill black man shot dead by Sacramento police last July on Del Paso Boulevard, settling this year with the city for $719,000. He also has been retained by the family of John Hernandez, a 34-year-old who suffered severe brain damage after a confrontation with officers last month."


READ MORE related to Public Safety: Tragic error led to U-2 spy plane crash that killed Air Force pilot -- Sacramento Bee's PETER HECHT/BILL LINDELOF


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