The Roundup

Jul 8, 2019

Six months in

Six months in, here's how Newsom is doing on keeping promises


Sacramento Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG: "Gov. Gavin Newsom is six months into his first term as governor. The Sacramento Bee has been tracking 10 promises he made while campaigning for the job."


"Now that he’s signed his first budget, we have an update on his progress on such issues as homelessness and health care."


"He’s made some initial progress but is still far from accomplishing many of his concrete long-term goals, like building 3.5 million new homes and creating half a million apprenticeships to boost California’s workforce."


Quakes push Californians to prep for 'The Big One'


AP's JOHN ROGERS/ROBERT JABLON/MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ: "Shaken residents were cleaning up Sunday from two of the biggest earthquakes to rattle California in decades as scientists warn that both should serve as a wake-up call to be ready when the long-dreaded "Big One" strikes."


"California is spending more than $16 million to install thousands of quake-detecting sensors statewide that officials say will give utilities and trains precious seconds to shut down before the shaking starts."


"Gov. Gavin Newsom said it's time residents did their part by mapping out emergency escape routes and preparing earthquake kits with food, water, lights and other necessities."


Lawmakers took thousands from Big Tobacco before they wrote anti-vaping bill


Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "Two California lawmakers with a history of taking money from tobacco giant Philip Morris USA have introduced a bill aimed at curbing teen vaping by creating new penalties on retailer and teenage buyers."


"One critical senator says it resembles a measure the industry itself has previously promoted."


"Assembly Bill 1639 criminalizes underage possession of vape products, making it punishable by a fine of $100. Offenders under age 18 would have to take anti-tobacco classes and perform community service. The bill would suspend the offenders’ driving privileges for one year, if they are younger than 18."


READ MORE related to TobaccoHealth groups say a new California bill on e-cigarettes does the bidding of Big Tobacco -- LA Times's PATRICK MCGREEVY


Wanting to ease utility wildfire costs, Newsom faces biggest test yet with lawmakers


LA Times's TARYN LUNA: "There’s been no shortage of criticism for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to help California’s largest utilities stave off bankruptcy from costs associated with wildfires: No focus on prevention efforts. More difficulty proving utility negligence. Too much of the financial burden falling on millions of utility customers."


"The governor, six months into his first year in office, faces a crucial test this week as he attempts to convince the California Legislature to ratify a multibillion-dollar utility wildfire fund before lawmakers leave Sacramento for a one-month recess."


"This is his first time up to bat on a very big issue,” said Joseph S. Tuman, a professor of political and legal communications at San Francisco State University. “It’s important for him to have success with this."


The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim


LA Times's ROSANNA XIA: "THE CALIFORNIA COAST GREW AND PROSPERED during a remarkable moment in history when the sea was at its tamest."


"But the mighty Pacific, unbeknownst to all, was nearing its final years of a calm but unusual cycle that had lulled dreaming settlers into a false sense of endless summer."


"Elsewhere, Miami has been drowning, Louisiana shrinking, North Carolina’s beaches disappearing like a time lapse with no ending. While other regions grappled with destructive waves and rising seas, the West Coast for decades was spared by a rare confluence of favorable winds and cooler water. This “sea level rise suppression,” as scientists call it, went largely undetected. Blinded from the consequences of a warming planet, Californians kept building right to the water’s edge."


California bill could triple rebates for electric car buyers


The Chronicle's DUSTIN GARDINER: "California could triple the rebate it gives to drivers who purchase zero-emission cars under a San Francisco lawmaker’s bill that seeks to put the state on track to meet its goals to combat climate change."


"Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting’s bill, AB1046, would let state regulators increase a typical consumer’s rebate for an electric car to up to $7,500 and provide a stable pot of funding for the payments."


"Ting said his bill would promptly boost rebates and reduce them over time, as electric vehicles such as Teslas and Chevrolet Bolts presumably grow in popularity."


Prop. 13 reform headed to California ballot could swamp counties


The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "Progressives are excited about an initiative to change Proposition 13 that could generate billions of dollars every year for schools and local government — and it’s already qualified for the November 2020 ballot."


"The California Democratic Party backs the idea, and so do 54% of likely voters, according to an April survey by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. All it would take to unleash that new waterfall of tax revenue would be to reassess commercial and industrial properties in California every three years instead of whenever they are sold."


"But that may not be as easy as it sounds."


READ MORE related to Waiting for The Big One: Is the "Big One" coming? Here's what California quake experts say -- Sacramento Bee's DON SWEENEY


SV eases into the wars over abortion rights -- cautiously


The Chronicle's CATHERINE HO: "When Hint CEO Kara Goldin was weighing whether to add her name to a small but growing list of CEOs speaking out against restrictive abortion laws recently passed in Alabama, Georgia and other states, the answer was simple."


"It was really less about what my opinion is on abortion but more about the fact that I have employees all over the U.S.,” said Goldin, whose company’s fruit-infused bottled water is sold across the country and is popular at tech cafeterias around Silicon Valley. “We’re now up to 200 employees. We’re San Francisco-based but all over the U.S. When I look at health care, I think everyone should have the same rights."


"So Goldin joined 180 other CEOs in signing an open letter, which ran as a full-page ad in the New York Times last month, calling the abortion laws “bad for business” and saying, “Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers.” The list of supporters has since grown to more than 300."


Segregation has soared in America's schools as federal leaders largely looked away


LA Times's SEEMA MEHTA/MICHAEL FINNEGAN: "Nearly 50 years have passed since Kamala Harris joined the legions of children bused to schools in distant neighborhoods as the United States attempted to integrate its racially segregated public schools."


"Yet the consequences of racial and economic segregation remain a fact of daily life for millions of black and Latino children."


"Harris’ attack on her Democratic rival Joe Biden over his opposition to federally mandated busing in the 1970s was a rare case of school segregation emerging as a flashpoint in a recent presidential race."


California neighborhoods prep for wildfires with help from feds


The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE: "The harsh reality of fire-prone California has caused a kind of awakening in Jackson Oaks, a woodsy hillside community in Santa Clara County surrounded by dry oak-dotted grasslands."


"Warm winds blow up a steep, dry canyon almost every afternoon, a situation that has infused residents of the 505 ranch-style homes on the east side of Morgan Hill with a foreboding that didn’t exist before wildfires raged across California over the past few years."


"The tales of fiery destruction and death have transformed the picturesque view from Jackson Oaks toward Anderson Lake into an alarming panorama of fuel. Hundreds of communities across California are confronting the same situation as they try to save their neighborhoods from the increasingly ominous forces of nature."


Judge will rule on key pretrial motions for congressman


AP: "A judge on Monday is expected to rule on a bid by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter to move his trial on charges that he looted campaign funds for personal use and even to dismiss charges."


"U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan decided a flurry of pretrial motions last week but deferred some decisions until Monday to fully consider late filings. The California Republican's trial begins in September."


"Hunter, 42, is seeking a change of venue from San Diego to the Eastern District of California, which includes counties that Donald Trump carried in the 2016 presidential elections in a state that voted overwhelmingly for Clinton."


Emeryville showdown looms over nation's highest minimum wage


The Chronicle's SARAH RAVANI: "A showdown over the nation’s highest minimum wage is looming in Emeryville, where smaller restaurants say they need a break from rising costs and unions argue workers need the money."


"In the end, city voters may decide."


"Emeryville’s City Council passed an ordinance in 2015 that established a minimum wage increase every year as part a citywide effort to bring better wages for low-paid workers. On July 1, the city’s minimum wage became the highest in the country at $16.30 per hour. Previously it was $15."


Warren is running for president. Five things Californians need to know about her


Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has been surging in the polls coming off her performance in the first debate. The Running on a progressive platform, the Massachusetts senators hopes her policy proposals will resonate with California voters."


"She is emphasizing income inequality and an unjust economy in her appeal to voters in the Golden State."


"We get enough people in this, we can take our government back and make it not work just for a thinner and thinner slice at the top,” she said in an interview with the California Nation podcast. “We make it work for everyone."


READ MORE related to The Campaign Trail: Why Warren thinks she can beat Trump and won't attack Bernie -- Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON


As Congress struggles with trade deal, here are the lawmakers to watch


McClatchy's DAVID LIGHTMAN/RICK CHILDRESS: "The U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement could mean more jobs around the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and at ports around the country. But it might hurt the produce industries in Florida and Georgia."


"Or the pact might spur foreign competition that could depress American wages."


"The uncertainty about the impact of the agreement, if it is ratified, is making it a rough summer for the Trump administration and supporters who want Congress to approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)."


OP-ED: California is on the verge of a 'gray wave.' Health care needs to keep up


DAN SCHNUR  in a Special to the Sacramento Bee: "Heads up, California. There’s a gray wave coming."


"As the baby-boom generation ages, the number of senior citizens in the state is about to explode. The 65-and-over population will nearly double within a decade, which means a larger percentage of seniors here in California than in Florida. And it’s not clear if we’re ready for the societal, economic and health care demands this shift represents."


"California has a relatively young population that’s about to gray rapidly, and we are woefully unprepared,” said Bruce Chernof, president of The SCAN Foundation. “The state’s approach to aging services is a six-decade collection of well-meaning but one-off programs that are siloed from one another.”


READ MORE related to Health: Trump officials tell one court Obamacare is failing and another it's thriving -- LA Times's NOAM N LEVEY


Facing Trump's asylum limits, refugees from as far as Africa languish in a Mexican camp


LA Times's MOLLY O'TOOLE/CAROLYN COLE: "A group of roughly 100 Haitians, Africans and South Americans cross the Rio Grande, just shallow enough for adults to wade despite an overnight storm."


"As they wait on the muddy bank near Del Rio, Texas, to surrender themselves to the Border Patrol, the voices of children in the group carry across the river to the Mexican side."


"There, in the city of Ciudad Acuña, hundreds of migrants have formed an impromptu refugee camp in an ecological park bound on one side by the river. Just outside the park, the official port of entry to the United States sits at the end of a short bridge."


California firefighters back home from battling vicious fire in Canada


Sacramento Bee's ELAINE CHEN: "With California’s wildfire season yet to take off, local firefighters were in western Canada for the past two weeks helping put down some of the most intense wildfires that the neighboring country has experienced in years."


"The California-based Hotshot Crews - highly trained groups of firefighters with the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Park Service - arrived back at McClellan Airport on Sunday, having endured swampy land, daily thunderstorms and mosquito attacks that they don’t typically encounter while fighting California fires."


"Local Hotshot Crews are frequently sent to other parts of the country and sometimes outside the country to help put down intense blazes. The United States’ aid to other countries is reciprocal, as firefighters from Canada, as well as Australia and New Zealand, have assisted in putting down California wildfires in past years."


Chain store bans in SF leave more shops empty, critics say


The Chronicle's ROLAND LI: "San Francisco is home to some of fashion’s biggest names: Levi Strauss & Co., Gap and Old Navy."


"But in three neighborhoods — North Beach, Chinatown and Hayes Valley — those local companies are banned from opening new stores."


"That’s because the city forbids chains, defined as having more than 11 locations globally, in those areas. The bans were passed starting in 2004, after residents fought the encroachment of large corporations into neighborhood retail districts. Other areas require additional permits for such stores, also known as formula retail."


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