The Roundup

Dec 7, 2017

SoCal blaze: $9 billion and climbing

Section of 101 Freeway closed as powerful winds force new evacuations


LA Times' SARAH PARVINI/LOUIS SAHAGUN/CINDY CARCAMO: "The return of powerful winds Thursday pushed the destructive Ventura County fire closer to several communities, prompting new evacuations."


"Communities both on the coast and inland were under threat. At 4 a.m., officials closed the 101 Freeway between Routes 126 and 150. According to the California Highway Patrol, that left no open routes between Santa Barbara and Ventura counties."


"The Thomas fire has scorched about 90,000 acres and carved a path of destruction that stretches more than 10 miles from Santa Paula to the Pacific Ocean."


READ MORE related to The West is Burning: Before & after images of devastating fires in SoCal -- LA Times' PRIYA KRISHNAKUMAR/JOE FOX; Northern California fire damage claims rise to unprecedented $9 billion -- The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER/JILL TUCKERDuring a week of flames, upscale Bel-Air homes burn as fire roars through canyon -- LA Times' MELISSA ETEHAD/LAURA J NELSON/JOE MOZINGO; Fire crews in scorched LA brace for 80-mph wind -- LA Times' SARAH PARVINI/LOUIS SAHAGUN/CINDY CARCAMOUCLA students dissatisfied with the university's response to Skirball fire -- LA Times' ALEJANDRA REYES-VELARDE; 100,000 evacuated, hundreds of schools closed amid fears of new fires, powerful winds -- LA Times' RUBEN VIVES/JACLYN COSGROVE/JOSEPH SERNA; Here's a map showing all the major fires in Southern California -- LA Times


Capitol struggles to confront sexual harassment


Capitol Weekly's SOPHIA BOLLAG: "Allegations by scores of women of rampant sexual assault and harassment in California’s Capitol over decades have ensnared three lawmakers and brought promises of reform from leadership. But some women who have spoken out say they are also facing consequences for telling their stories."


"Two women who have accused Assemblyman Matt Dababneh of sexual harassment said this week they were already experiencing a backlash for coming forward."


"Sacramento lobbyist Pamela Lopez says Dababneh forced her into a bathroom and masturbated in front of her. Dababneh’s lawyers had sent her a letter denying her story and threatening legal action if she spoke out."


Sacramento civic and business leaders urge local Congress members to fix DACA


Sacramento Bee's STEPHEN MAGAGNINI: "Saying the future of America and its economy depends upon it, Sacramento business and civic leaders joined students at Sacramento State on Wednesday to sign a letter to six local U.S. Congress members asking them to help advance bipartisan legislation that would offer so-called “Dreamers” protection from deportation and a path to citizenship."


"The letter signing, led by Sac State President Robert Nelsen, was part of a chorus of voices this week demanding legislation that would protect the 800,000 young immigrants who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Those in the program were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and have grown up and attended school here."


"Several dozen House Republicans earlier this week penned a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan urging Congress to act before the year’s end on legislation that would protect “Dreamers” from deportation. In addition, about 2,000 people converged on nation’s Capitol Wednesday for a rally demanding a DACA solution."


US 9th Circuit judges skeptical of Trump's travel ban


LA Times' MAURA DOLAN: "Two days after the Supreme Court allowed President Trump to enforce his travel ban, a federal appeals court appeared skeptical that it complied with the law."


"During a hearing in Seattle before a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a lawyer for the Trump administration argued the revised ban issued in September was based on careful study and tailored toward specific conditions in various countries."


"Hashim M. Mooppan, arguing for the Trump administration, noted the ban allows for waivers and must be reviewed every 180 days."


FBI Director Christophr Wray to testify amid turbulence over Russia investigation


LA Times' CHRIS MEGERIAN: "Four days after President Trump tweeted that the FBI’s reputation was “in tatters,” the bureau’s new director, Christopher A. Wray, will testify before Congress for the first time Thursday."


"The House Judiciary Committee hearing is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. ET."


"Wray will face questions from lawmakers at a time of severe turbulence within federal law enforcement and the Trump administration."


READ MORE related to KremlinGate: Witness: Flynn said Russia sanctions would be 'ripped up' -- WaPo's TOM HAMBURGER


What's that on my California college bill? Fresno's vote may signal a wider rebellion


EdSource's LARRY GORDON: "Students at Fresno State earlier this year voted against a $400 annual fee increase that would have financed construction of a new student union there. That rejection, some activists say, may signify a wider rebellion across California public universities against campus fees that often add $1,500 a year to mandatory costs on top of tuition."


"Those fees usually appear on education bills as a dozen or so extra charges for health services, recreation programs, student government, transit subsidies and other, often popular and important functions. Administrators note that tuition funds and state revenues can not be used for those non-classroom purposes."


"Steep increases in fees this year at several Cal States have triggered affordability worries because financial aid often does not cover those charges.  The push back on fees also comes at a time when many students fear that tuition may go up next fall for the second year in a row. The defeat of the proposed $400 annual fee hike at Cal State Fresno last March showed how opposition can be mobilized among students who fear that increasing costs could push them into part-time enrollment and delay their graduation by years."


Battle over education policy may enter new arena
DAN WALTERS in CALmatters: "California’s long-running feud over the direction of its 6-million-student public school system has raged in many arenas, but never in a high-profile campaign for political office."

"That day, however, may come soon."


"Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, two candidates for governor who run a close 1-2 in the polls, are exhibiting serious differences over education policy that next year’s campaign may magnify."


READ MORE related to Education: California school dashboard provides opportunity for schools 'to turn data into action' -- EdSource's MICHAEL KIRST/TOM TORLAKSON; Database on chronic absenteeism in California schools 2016-17 -- EdSource's DANIEL J. WILLIS; More than 1 in 10 California students are 'chronically absent' -- EdSource's LEE ROMNEY/DANIEL J. WILLIS


Laney College board halts ballpark plans, leaving Oakland A's shocked


The Chronicle's KIMBERLY VEKLEROV: "The A’s plans to build a 35,000-seat ballpark in downtown Oakland near Lake Merritt derailed Wednesday when the community college district that owns the land halted talks with the baseball team."


"The abrupt move “shocked” the A’s, who hired a design team last month for the ballpark and had support from Peralta Community College District Chancellor Jowel Laguerre, who had touted the benefits of collaborating with the team."


READ MORE related to Economy & Development: A's thought they had a deal. They didn't reckon on Laney's faculty -- The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS; Sacramento leaders make their case for Major League Soccer with chanting fans on hand -- Sacramento Bee's RYAN LILLIS


Why you should believe women in politics who speak out about sexual misconduct


LA Times' GEORGE SKELTON: "Personally, I almost always believe the woman — any woman who accuses a man of sexual misbehavior or worse."


"It’s instinctive. To not, it seems to me, would be intellectually dishonest, especially in the political world. Partisan affiliation has nothing to do with sexual predation, whether it involves President Trump or Bill Clinton, Roy Moore or Rep. John Conyers Jr."


"No political party has a monopoly on truth, justice and decency. There are nasty apples in every barrel."


READ MORE related to Boy's Club/#MeToo: Democratic calls for Franken to resign signal new political accountability -- The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI; Time names leader of California anti-harassment movement a 'Person of the Year' -- Sacramento Bee's TARYN LUNA


Tax breaks for beer, unborn children and lawmakers are among goodies in Republican bill


LA Times' LISA MASCARO: "As the House and Senate begin to reconcile their different tax bills, they will have to sort through many little-known provisions that appear designed more to achieve policy goals or reward key lawmakers than deliver tax savings."


"Here’s a look at some of the standouts, and their prospects for being including in the final legislation."


Your plumber offers a money-back guarantee. Should your doctor?


California Healthline's MICHELLE ANDREWS: "Linda Radach has had six hip replacement operations since 2006, three on each side. Osteoarthritis was the reason she needed surgery in the first place, but replacing her hips in some ways only worsened her troubles."


"Following two of the procedures, the implanted metal socket didn’t integrate with the bone of her own hip socket and was loose, causing excruciating pain. Most recently, the titanium metal ball in her hip corroded."


"The surgical complications were bad enough, but after one of the operations, Radach, 63, also developed cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection that if left untreated can turn deadly."


READ MORE Health Care News from  California Healthline: Health risks to farmworkers increase as workforce ages -- SARAH VARNEY; Churning, confusion, disruption -- the dark side of marketplace coverage -- JAY HANCOCK; 'Rock star' navigator on mission to clear health insurance hurdles for Vietnamese -- CHARLOTTE HUFF; Pace of US health spending slows in 2016 -- PHIL GALEWITZ; Stopping opioid addiction at one key source: the hospital -- SHEFALI LUTHRA; If your insurer covers few therapists, is that really mental health parity? -- JENNY GOLD


Consumer financial watchdog's deputy director ask judge for injnction to replace Mick Mulvaney as acting chief


LA Times' JIM PUZZANGHERA: "The deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is asking a federal judge for an injunction to install her as the agency’s acting chief in place of President Trump’s appointee, Mick Mulvaney."


"The Wednesday night legal filing by Leandra English is the latest in the legal battle for control of the bureau and comes after U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly denied her request last week for a temporary restraining order to remove Mulvaney."


"Kelly did not rule on the merits of the case, which centers on a dispute over which statute governs the appointment of an acting director. English’s attorney, Deepak Gupta, had said his client planned to file for an injunction, which, unlike the restraining order, could be appealed if not granted."


House OKs GOP bill letting out-of-staters pack concealed guns in California


The Chronicle's CAROLYN LOCHHEAD: "Republican-backed legislation that would allow people to carry their concealed weapons across state lines if they have a permit to do so in their home state now heads to the Senate after winning approval in the House with no support from Democrats."


"Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas has introduced companion legislation in the Senate, where Republicans have a 52-48 majority, allowing Democrats to block legislation with a filibuster that requires 60 votes to break."


"But California Rep. Mike Thompson, a gun-owning St. Helena Democrat who battled the bill in the House, said blocking the Senate measure will be a “heavy lift.” “The American people need to speak out and say ‘whoa,’” Thompson said."


Military IDs 100 killed on USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor


AP's AUDREY MCAVOY: "The military has identified 100 sailors and Marines killed when the USS Oklahoma capsized during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 76 years ago, officials said Friday."


"The milestone comes two years after the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency dug up nearly 400 sets of remains from a Hawaii cemetery."


"Officials exhumed the bodies after determining that advances in forensic science and genealogical help from families could make identifications possible. The buried Marines and sailors have been classified as missing since World War II."


'Raw' footage: Sacramento-area train heroes honored by WWE


Sacramento Bee's NOEL HARRIS: "Three Sacramento-area men stepped into the ring Monday, but not to throw down."


"Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone were honored during “WWE Raw” at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. The men helped thwart a terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train in August 2015."


“Pleasure to welcome Alex, Anthony, and Spencer to #Raw. These men have an absolutely incredible story of heroism and it was our honor to host them ...” wrestler-turned-executive Triple H tweeted Monday."


The Roundup is compiled by Associate Editor Geoff Howard. Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email him at


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