California moves to eliminate monetary conditions for release under revised bail bill
Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "California would eliminate cash bail, going further than any other jurisdiction in the country to remove money from its pretrial release system, under a legislative proposal unveiled Thursday."
"The revised plan arrives nearly a year after proponents pulled their initial bail overhaul measure to negotiate further with Gov. Jerry Brown and court officials — and just weeks before the end of the legislative session. While Brown’s office was involved with developing the plan, he has not committed to signing it if the bill reaches his desk."
"The essence of this measure is we’re going to look at people as people,” said Sen. Bob Hertzberg, a Los Angeles Democrat who is carrying the bill."
READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: California bill to overhaul bail system clears key legislative committee -- The Chronicle's MELODY GUTIERREZ
Federal judge likely to allow suit to force California to make all portions of execution public
LA Times's MAURA DOLAN: "A federal judge said Thursday that he was inclined to rule against a motion by the state of California to dismiss much of a lawsuit that seeks to make public all portions of executions."
"Several news outlets, including The Times, and the ACLU Foundation of Northern California have sued the state to allow public access to the mixing of the chemicals for lethal injections."
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Forget the fires, Californians should be worried about air quality all year
Sacramento Bee's MICHAEL FINCH II: "Northern California’s raging wildfires have blotted the skies with acrid smoke for weeks, but the air quality has still been better than a bad winter day."
"More than half a dozen test sites throughout the Sacramento Valley routinely registered higher measurements of the potentially harmful substance known as PM2.5 during the month of January, according to Sacramento Bee analysis of data from California Air Resources Board."
"The highest recording during the last 10 years in Sacramento County was 74 micrograms per cubic meter recorded in June 2008 when there was an active fire in the county, the data show. The second-highest reading — 64 micrograms per cubic meters — was registered on T Street in February of this year."
READ MORE related to Fire Season: Melted car batteries and twisted metal: Hown California cleans up after a 'firenado' -- Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON
Tax on California water revived to clean up drinking water -- but it's voluntary
Sacramento Bee's TARYN LUNA: "Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers are rebooting an effort to pass a new tax to attack unsafe drinking water in California."
"But there’s a twist: The proposed tax on water bills would be voluntary, increasing its chances of success among skittish lawmakers in an election year."
"After calling off a plan in June to apply a mandatory tax on water bills, the governor is backing a new pair of bills that would apply a voluntary levy on ratepayers to fund safe drinking water projects. Senate Bill 844 and 845, introduced by Sen. Bill Monning, would also raise taxes on dairies and fertilizer manufacturers."
Trump administration ordered to give up documents on deportation decision
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "The Trump administration must turn over documents explaining its decisions to deport more than 200,000 people who were admitted to the United States after catastrophes in their home countries, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled Thursday."
"Advocates for former residents of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan are challenging the administration’s decision to revoke their temporary protected status. That status, under a 1990 federal law, allows people fleeing disasters in their homeland to live and work in the U.S. under permits that are renewed every 18 months."
READ MORE related to Immigration: Online trolls are using immigration as wedge issue for November elections -- LA Times's JAZMINE ULLOA
OPINION: Trump admin has declared war on the environment
ROBERT GARCIA in Capitol Weekly: "The resignation of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was met with a collective sigh of relief across the nation. Pruitt, one of President Donald Trump’s most loyal foot soldiers in the Trump Administration’s ongoing war on environmental quality, environmental justice, and environmental health, had overseen some of the most egregious rollbacks of environmental protections in history during his brief and troubled tenure in office."
"But anyone who thinks that Pruitt’s departure is the end of the fight – or even just a momentary pause in hostilities – hasn’t been paying close enough attention."
"President Trump and his administration remain a clear and present danger to our environment, to public lands, and to all who believe that health equity, public lands and monuments, biodiversity, clean air and water, and climate justice should take precedence over corporate profits."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Climate change is helping crank up the temperatures of California's heat waves -- LA Times's BETTINA BOXALL
LA County prosecutors reviewing nearly 30 cases against USC's former gynecologist
LA Times's RICHARD WINTON/MATT HAMILTON: "LAPD detectives have presented the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office with nearly 30 cases for possible sex-crime charges against USC’s former campus gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall."
"Capt. Billy Hayes, the head of LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division, said Thursday that the cases were the result of a sweeping criminal investigation of Tyndall, who treated thousands of women at USC’s student health center during a nearly three-decade career."
Cannabis tax revenue in California falls short of projections -- again
The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE: "The kinks, complications and competing interests plaguing legalized marijuana sales in California were reflected this week in tax revenue from cannabis that fell short of projections for the first six months of the year."
"The cannabis industry brought in $74.2 million in state taxes between April 1 and June 30, according to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. The second-quarter number includes state cultivation, excise and sales taxes."
"The state collected $60.9 million in the first quarter of the year, bringing the six-month total to $135.1 million. Gov. Jerry Brown’s January budget proposal predicted that $175 million would pour in during the first six months of the state’s newly created adult-use cannabis market."
California homeowners get to pass low property taxes to their kids. It's proved highly profitable to an elite group
LA Times's LIAM DILLON/BEN POSTON: "Actors Jeff and Beau Bridges, along with their sister, own a four-bedroom Malibu home with access to a semi-private beach and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean."
"They inherited it from their mother, who had owned the house since the late 1950s when their father Lloyd Bridges first made it big in Hollywood."
"Earlier this year, they advertised the “stunning Malibu dream” for rent at $15,995 a month — a hefty price tag for a house that has a property tax bill of less than half that."
Man who died in police cuistody with 'baggie' in throat had meth in system
Sacramento Bee's MOLLY SULLIVAN/ADESUWA AGBONE: "The man who died in Sacramento police custody July 31 was found to have very high levels of methamphetamine in his system, according to a toxicology report by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office."
"The man, George Knox, 42, also allegedly had a “sandwich size plastic bag” in his throat, which was found by medical personnel when he was transported to the hospital, according to the police department."
"On Thursday night, police released four body camera videos, four in-car camera videos and one radio call, totaling more than two hours of footage related to the incident. The videos were released as part of a city policy mandating videos in critical incidents such as deaths in custody be made public within 30 days."
A gift of 41 'close friends' beefs up Crocker's early Cali collection
VICTORIA DALKEY in a Speical to the Bee: "Christmas came early to the Crocker Art Museum this year."
"After many years of consideration, Bay Area collector Wendy Willrich chose the Crocker Art Museum as the recipient of 41 early California paintings she acquired over the last 50 years."
"A transformative gift, it adds to the museum’s extensive collection of early California paintings begun by E.B. Crocker and his family in the 19th century, which today, says Associate Director and Chief Crocker Curator Scott Shields, is the state’s premier collection of California painting."
Twitter bans GOP candidate's ad for 'inappropriate content,' then relents
The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "For the second time in a week, a social media company has banned a California Republican House candidate’s biographical ad because it contained what the company deemed “inappropriate content."
"The content was footage of the 1970s Cambodian genocide that the parents of Central Valley congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng survived. Last week, Facebook banned the four-minute ad for five days before restoring it after facing public pressure. Twitter also banned the ad, before restoring it Thursday."
Former US spy chiefs unite to condemn what they call Trump's attempts to stifle free speech and politicize intelligence
LA Times's ELI STOKOLS: "In a remarkable rebuke to President Trump, a dozen former U.S. intelligence chiefs signed a harshly worded letter Thursday in support of former CIA Director John Brennan after Trump abruptly revoked his security clearance."
"We feel compelled to respond in the wake of the ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions by the White House," reads the letter from the officials, who served both Democratic and Republican presidents."