Gas prices may hit $4 for first time since 2014
Sacramento Bee's MILA JASPER: "Trips to the gas station are about to get even more expensive for California drivers, according to GasBuddy."
"Gas prices are spiking, and may reach as high as $4 in the coming weeks for the first time since 2014, when average prices peaked at around $4.15, according to data from the California Energy Commission."
"GasBuddy, a web site that tracks gas prices nationally, said the increase has to do with ongoing refinery issues limiting supply. Refinery maintenance is slowing down production, it said."
13 parents, former tennis coach agree to plead guilty and cooperate in admissions scandal
The Chronicle's NANETTE ASIMOV/ASHLEY MCBRIDE: "Federal prosecutors announced agreements Monday with five Bay Area parents charged in the college admissions scandal who will plead guilty this month to fraud in exchange for cooperating with the government."
"They were among 13 parents and a former tennis coach who prosecutors said Monday agreed to plead guilty."
"Two of the Bay Area parents, Bruce Isackson, 61, and Davina Isackson, 55, of Hillsborough, will also plead guilty to one count of money-laundering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. The U.S. Department of Justice said the couple paid bribes, then deducted the payments from their federal income taxes as charitable contributions."
READ MORE related to Operation Varsity Blues: Felicity Huffman, other parents agree to plead guilty in college admissions scandal -- LA Times's RICHARD WINTON/MATTHEW ORMSETH/JOEL RUBIN
Eric Swalwell joins the 2020 presidential field
Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "California Congressman Eric Swalwell announced his bid for president on Monday, vowing to make gun control central to his campaign."
"Declaring his candidacy Monday before an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Swalwell pushed for tackling student debt and combating gun violence."
"I talk to kids who sit in their classroom afraid that they’ll be the next victim of gun violence, and they see Washington doing nothing about it after the moments of silence and they see lawmakers who love their guns more than they love our kids,” Swalwell said. “None of that is going to change until we get a leader who is willing to go to big on the issues we take on, be bold on the solutions we offer and do good in the way that we govern. I’m ready to solve these problems. I’m running for president of the United States."
READ MORE on Swalwell: Eric Swalwell jumps into 2020 presidential race -- TAL KOPAN, Chronicle; California congressman Eric Swalwell joins 2020 Democratic presidential field -- LA Times' MARK Z. BARABAK
Merced County's weed nuns are the subject of a new documentary. It's out just in time for 420.
From the Sun-Star's THADDEUS MILLER: "It’s been a long road for the Wisconsin mom and one-time wife who now leads an international group of cannabis-growing nuns based in Merced County, and later this month a documentary will tell that tale."
"Christine “Sister Kate” Meeusen and the rest of the Sisters of the Valley are the subject of “Breaking Habits,” a documentary premiering April 19 in Modesto, Los Angeles, New York and several other cities. It’ll also be streaming on iTunes the same day."
"She’s grown what started as a business with 12 plants to one that makes $1.1 million a year in sales, she said. The documentary highlights the hoops they jump through to do that.
“The county is a far more interesting place than the Sisters,” the 60-year-old said. “So when these British filmmakers approached us ... and said we want to show the lightness of what the Sisters do against a gangster capital, I said yes.”
Devin Nunes files new lawsuit against McClatchy
Sacramento Bee's SAM STANTON: "In his latest legal onslaught against perceived critics of his policies, U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, filed a $150 million defamation suit Monday in a Virginia circuit court against the McClatchy Co. and a Virginia communications consultant described as a “digital terrorist for hire.”"
"A record of the lawsuit couldn’t be found in the Virginia online records system, but Nunes confirmed the lawsuit in a Monday night appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show."
"Nunes declared that McClatchy reporters need “to come clean with the American people” and retract their “fake news” reports. He said he wants such stories scrubbed from the internet and promised more legal challenges."
Trump gave corporations a big tax cut. California Democrats want to take some of it
Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "Citing a tax windfall that major corporations received through President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law, California Democrats on Monday unveiled a plan to levy a steep tax hike on the state’s most profitable businesses."
"Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, is the primary author of Senate Bill 37, which would raise the minimum amount of tax collected for the top 0.2 percent of companies that do business in California."
"Corporate profits are at an all-time high, yet the portion of tax revenue California receives from corporations is at close to its lowest point in 40 years,” Skinner said in a statement announcing the bill. “SB 37 just asks corporations to pay their share, so we can cut income inequality and help fund our kids, our teachers, and our schools."
Oakland councilwoman McElhaney, a crusader against gun violence, suffers twice
The Chronicle's SARAH RAVANI: "Quietly, in a room at a Berkeley funeral home, Lynette Gibson McElhaney washed her son’s face while searching for the bullet hole in his head."
"When she found the place in his temple where he was shot, she thought it was small, almost insignificant. She paused, examining it with her eyes and hands, then continued to bathe her son, soaking in one of the final times she would be able to touch his skin."
Federal judge blocks Trump plan forcing asylum seekers back to Mexico
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "President Trump’s efforts to close U.S. doors to asylum seekers suffered another setback Monday when a federal judge in San Francisco said he would halt the administration’s practice of sending migrants back to Mexico while their cases were considered."
"Then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced the “Back to Mexico” policy in December and implemented it in January. The policy applied to thousands of undocumented immigrants, mostly from Central America, who persuaded asylum judges that they had a “credible fear” of persecution if returned to their homelands."
"Previous policies allowed asylum seekers to enter the United States while awaiting a final ruling from immigration courts, but Nielsen instead kept them in Mexico, where advocates said they faced dangerous conditions."
READ MORE related to Immigration: Trump aide Stephen Miller 'going to clean house' as immigration policy hardens -- LA Times's MOLLY OTOOLE/NOAH BIERMAN/ELI STOKOLS
California weighs opposing plans to deter killings by police
AP's DON THOMPSON: "California lawmakers begin battling Tuesday over how to cut down on police shootings as they consider two radically different proposals that have stirred an emotional debate over the safety of both officers and those they're tasked with protecting in the nation's most populous state."
"A legislative committee is expected to advance a first-in-the-nation measure restricting when police can use deadly force. The bill sparked by last year's shooting of unarmed Sacramento vandalism suspect Stephon Clark would allow police to kill only if there is no reasonable alternative, such as verbal persuasion or other non-lethal methods of resolution or de-escalation."
"It calls for them not to use lethal force unless it is absolutely necessary, that someone's life is in imminent danger," said Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego, who wrote the bill that advocates hope will be a model for other states. "There are other means and methods that can be used because you respect life."
READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: SF's juvie hall would shut down within 3 years under proposal -- The Chronicle's JILL TUCKER/JOAQIUN PALOMINO
Global warming is shrinking glaciers faster than previously thought
AP: "Earth's glaciers are melting much faster than scientists thought. A new study shows they are losing 369 billion tons of snow and ice each year, more than half of that in North America."
"The most comprehensive measurement of glaciers worldwide found that thousands of inland masses of snow compressed into ice are shrinking 18% faster than an international panel of scientists calculated in 2013."
"The world's glaciers are shrinking five times faster now than they were in the 1960s. Their melt is accelerating because of global warming, and adding more water to already rising seas, the study found."
BART launches new crackdown on fare evaders with SF show of force
The Chronicle's MICHAEL CABANATUAN: "Teams of BART police officers, fare inspectors and agency managers converged on four downtown San Francisco stations Monday morning in the transit agency’s latest bid to crack down on fare evaders who cost the system millions."
"The blitz — expected to continue for at least a few weeks — launched during the morning commute at the Embarcadero, Montgomery, Powell and Civic Center stations. Commuters, many delayed after a train struck and killed a person on the tracks at El Cerrito del Norte Station, were greeted by a handful of BART managers in neon-green vests standing inside the fare gates and a couple of fare inspectors and police officers outside. Teams were stationed at each collection of fare gates, stymieing would-be scofflaws."
"The crackdown had a noticeable effect. Some people turned around at the fare gates and backpedaled to the add-fare machines; others paused to pull a ticket or Clipper card out of their pockets; and still others headed toward an alternate exit — apparently hoping to sneak out in peace without paying."