Cha Ching! Park Hill Group ready to cash-in on CalPERS real estate sale

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) today announced that it is planning to sell up to $3 billion of its real estate investment portfolio. Park Hill Group has been selected to assist CalPERS with the sale.

“The sale of these assets represents the continued effort to reduce costs, risk and complexity across the CalPERS fund,” said Paul Mouchakkaa, CalPERS Senior Investment Officer for Real Assets. “For the Real Estate Program it will enable us to invest in assets and managers that are more aligned with our current strategy.”

Park Hill Group will immediately begin seeking offers from interested parties on the secondary market, and plan to have a deal completed by the end of 2015.

The CalPERS Real Estate Program currently holds approximately $25.5 billion in commercial, industrial and residential assets.

For more than eight decades, scandal plagued CalPERS has been the retirement and health security systems for state, school, and public agency members.


Police shootings: When you call for help, they come and kill you

Nationwide, police have shot and killed 123 people this year who were in the throes of mental or emotional crisis. The dead account for a quarter of the 461 people shot to death by police in the first six months of 2015.

In most cases, the police officers who shot them were not responding to reports of a crime. More often, the police officers were called by relatives, neighbors or other bystanders worried that a mentally fragile person was behaving erratically, reports show.

In many cases, officers responded with tactics that quickly made a volatile situation even more dangerous.

via Police shootings: Distraught people, deadly results – The Washington Post.

Most Christian commentary has opted for another strategy: fight on

Most Christian commentary has opted for another strategy: fight on. Several contributors to a symposium in the journal First Things about the court’s Obergefell decision last week called the ruling the Roe v. Wade of marriage. It must be resisted and resisted again. Robert P. George, probably the most brilliant social conservative theorist in the country, argued that just as Lincoln persistently rejected the Dred Scott decision, so “we must reject and resist an egregious act of judicial usurpation.”

These conservatives are enmeshed in a decades-long culture war that has been fought over issues arising from the sexual revolution. Most of the conservative commentators I’ve read over the past few days are resolved to keep fighting that war.

via The Next Culture War – David Brooks, The New York Times.

L.A. County killers more likely to get death penalty

The research mirrors an analysis of data by the Los Angeles News Group that found that nearly half of 57 inmates on California’s death row convicted of murdering at least 93 victims under special circumstances in Los Angeles County between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2010, had killed females. The 38 females who were killed ranged in age from 1 to 79.

via Convicted killers of women in L.A. County more likely to get death penalty – Los Angeles Daily News.

Kentucky court clerks hang on to their hatred of gays…


A few court clerks in Kentucky were refusing to issue marriage licenses to any couple Monday as an objection to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage.

Gov. Steve Beshear ordered all the state’s clerks to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses Friday. In a statement Monday, he said he expects all clerks, who are elected officials, “to execute the duties of their offices as prescribed by law.”

via Kentucky Clerks Object to Ruling, Halt All Marriage Licenses – ABC News.

Vaccine bill goes to Brown

California lawmakers on Monday sent the governor a contentious bill that would impose one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country in reaction to a recent measles outbreak at Disneyland.

The Senate reaffirmed the bill striking California’s personal belief exemption for immunizations on a 24-14 vote. Mississippi and West Virginia are the only two states with such strict requirements in place.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has not said if he would sign it.

via California Legislature passes strict school vaccine bill – The San Francisco Examiner.

UC Berkeley’s “deliberate and utter indifference” to sexual assault complaints

News conference, February 2014Three current and former UC Berkeley students sued the University of California on Monday for allegedly failing to properly respond to their sexual assault complaints, asserting that administrators did not act quickly enough or adequately penalize perpetrators found responsible.

“They absolutely failed to respond to these charges in any manner that could be considered adequate,” said Irwin M. Zalkin, an attorney for the plaintiffs. “There was deliberate and utter indifference to these girls.”

via UC Berkeley sued for allegedly failing to properly respond to sexual assault complaints – LA Times.

Who care’s if you’re thirsty…? Cali farmers obviously don’t

California droughtThe drought has highlighted the arcane workings of California’s water rights system, one that rewards those who got here first and underpins agriculture’s position as the state’s dominant water user.

via Lawsuits over California water rights are a fight a century in the making – LA Times.

California Assembly loves immigrants

New naturalized citizens are sworn in on Sept. 17, 2013, during a special naturalization ceremony at Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium.While Congress has been unable to advance comprehensive immigration reform legislation, California has reeled off a series of bills expanding immigrant rights. So it was fitting that the Assembly spent part of Monday passing a resolution declaring June Immigrant Heritage month and praising the contributions of foreign-born Californians. Democrats and Republicans alike rose in support, and 75 lawmakers signed on as co-authors.

via California Assembly praises immigrants, warns about immigrant work visa – Sacramento Bee.

The GOP Road to Nowhere…

In this photo taken Feb. 4, 2015 photo a vehicle in the High Occupancy Vehicle lane, on right, passes lines ...Legislators’ reform ideas will no doubt run into the same brick wall that greets most of their ideas in a Democratic-controlled Legislature. (What’s the chance the Legislature will slash public-sector jobs or reform an environmental act they have been reluctant to touch, except for favored projects?)

But their main point makes for a good opening volley: There are plenty of ways to find a few billion dollars in a record $115-billion budget without raising taxes. The question comes down to priorities.

GOP points to budget’s big pothole: lack of road funding – Steven Greenhut, San Diego Union-Tribune.

Latinos hate Donald Trump and the GOP…and they deserve it

Meet the kinder, gentler Donald Trump.

“The Latinos love Trump,” the real estate tycoon told reporters recently. “And I love them.”

That’s funny. As a Latino, I don’t feel loved. I feel used. We have once again been cast as cultural boogeymen to help a Republican scare up votes.

via Trump deserves Latino backlash – San Diego Union-Tribune.

Requiring vaccinations among schoolchildren is obviously in the public interest

If critics of the bill are frustrated that their arguments about parental rights weren’t accepted, supporters have every right to be frustrated as well. The vast majority of evidence shows vaccines are extremely safe and are immensely helpful to public health. The more people who aren’t vaccinated, the more risk the broader community faces. This is why requiring vaccinations among schoolchildren is obviously in the public interest.

What’s also frustrating is the conspiratorial hokum used by many vaccine foes, starting with the claim that vaccinations are only given because pharmaceutical companies have bought off politicians or because they’re so good at using marketing scare tactics.

We urge the Senate to give final approval to SB 277 as expected. And we urge Gov. Jerry Brown to sign it.


via Frustration on both sides of vaccination debate – San Diego Union-Tribune.

Wall Street continues to crush Southern California renters, homebuyers

The Southern California real-estate market is feeling the sting of a changing climate, as a pair of new reports finds renters, would-be homebuyers and black households losing ground in the face of competition from investors and a widening racial wealth gap.

In a survey of 80 community-based nonprofits, the California Reinvestment Coalition found that long-term tenants are being displaced by high rents while potential first-time homebuyers are losing out to all-cash offers from investors.

“The irony in Wall Street profiting from a foreclosure crisis they helped create is not lost on anybody,” Kevin Stein, the coalition’s associate director, said in a statement.

via Reports detail housing woes for Southern California residents – Press-Telegram..

#PoliceState Update: Orange county cops shredded the Constitution, now killers may go free

Thomas Goethals now finds himself, less happily, at the center of a different sort of public battle rooted in questions of moral conscience and constitutional justice. The case, which has unfolded in his 11th-floor chambers in downtown Santa Ana, involves the worst massacre in Orange County history.dormant for months.

National news media seized on the clash and the misuse of criminal informants. “Dateline” and “20/20” have filmed in Goethals’ chambers for segments that have yet to air. “60 Minutes” has had its cameras rolling there in recent days.

At least two other high-profile murder cases have unraveled due to practices laid bare in the Dekraai case – one involving gang member Leonel Vega, whose original life sentence in prison was cut to 15 years. Isaac John Palacios, a client of Pohlson’s who had admitted to killing a gang rival and faced charges of killing a second victim, was set free because information gleaned from informants was never properly divulged to the legal defense team, Pohlson said.

“Law-enforcement actions caused a double-murderer to be released,” the attorney said.

via Judge in a storm: Thomas Goethels surprised many with his decision in the Dekraai case – The Orange County Register.

Cali Assembly betraying the liberal agenda

It’s been a year for high-profile liberal legislation in the California Senate, which earlier this month passed a sweep of politically ambitious proposals around poverty, tobacco use and the environment.

Several appear headed for approval, including a set of aggressive renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals shared by Gov. Jerry Brown, and an expansion of health care for undocumented children that was funded in the budget.

Others await a much tougher slog in the Assembly. While also dominated by the Democratic Party, which traditionally aligns with organized labor, the Legislature’s lower house has a growing “moderate caucus” that is generally more receptive to the concerns of the business community.

via California Senate’s liberal agenda faces uphill climb in Assembly – The Sacramento Bee.

#PoliceState Update: Killer cops want to spike video of their execution of Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino

Organizations representing police chiefs and officers from around the state have filed legal briefs supporting an effort to bar the release of videos that recorded Gardena police fatally shooting an unarmed man and seriously wounding another.

The Los Angeles County Police Chief’s Assn., California Police Chiefs’ Assn., California State Sheriffs’ Assn. and California Peace Officers’ Assn. in court papers filed last week said that sealing such evidence is common practice nationwide. They cited concerns about violating the privacy of the officers involved and the possibility of interfering with investigations.

Dashboard cameras from three police cars recorded parts of the June 2, 2013, shooting of Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino, who was struck eight times and died from his injuries. Another man, Eutiquio Acevedo Mendez, also suffered a gunshot wound to his back, leaving bullet fragments near his spine.

The city has paid $4.7 million to the families of Diaz-Zeferino and Mendez to settle a civil rights lawsuit over the shooting.

via Law enforcement seeks to bar release of video showing Gardena police shooting – LA Times.

Carly Fiorina goes on the attack against gays

GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on Saturday said the Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide ignores religious history across most world faiths.

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO argued history has almost always defined marriage as the coupling of one man with one woman on spiritual grounds.

“Marriage is an institution grounded in spirituality,” she told listeners at the Western Conservative Summit 2015 in Denver.

“For millennia, through every religion in the world, marriage has meant a very specific thing,” Fiorina said.

via Fiorina: Marriage is ‘grounded in spirituality’ – TheHill.

Workplace discrimination, the next battlefield for gay rights activists

GAY_OFFICEWith the Supreme Court’s decision today striking down state bans on gay marriage, gay and lesbian people are now fully equal in the eyes of the law. Right?

Well, not exactly. There’s still a big hurdle: No federal law currently prevents employers from discriminating against people on the basis of sexual orientation. So while gay, lesbian and bisexual people may have equal rights in love, they’re still far from equal at work.

It’s not just semantics. Multiple studies have found that gay and lesbian people face higher rates of employment discrimination and harassment, whether it’s through denial of certain health benefits, vandalism of personal property, or bias in hiring. (Rates are particularly high for transgender people, although according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, they are protected under the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex).

via This is the next front in the battle for gay rights – The Washington Post.

#PoliceState Update: #LAPD starts to spin trigger happy cop story

78415-full#LAPD takes over a week to come up with cover story to defend killer cops…

Finally, the officer who shot and critically wounded an unarmed 48-year-old man in Los Feliz last week has been identified by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Police have said that Cairo Palacios and his partner believed the man, Walter William DeLeon, was threatening them with a weapon last Friday evening.

The story gets better, the police say they have witnesses at the scene who also thought the man was armed and threatening the officers.

DeLeon remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Police did not say how many witnesses had confirmed the officers’ point of view.

No firearm was recovered.

via LAPD officer named in Los Feliz shooting of unarmed man – Los Angeles Daily News..

Forty-seven of Cali’s 58 counties have now agreed to extend health care to illegal immigrants

immigrantxingThirty-five California counties have agreed to provide health care coverage to people who are in the United States illegally.

The decision was made Thursday by the County Medical Services Program. That program provides health services to the poor in the mostly rural, sparsely populated counties.

The program could begin next year. Several thousand people are expected to enroll.

Forty-seven of California’s 58 counties have now agreed to provide low-cost medical coverage to eligible people regardless of their immigration status.

via 35 California counties extend health care to immigrants – Los Angeles Daily News..

Gay marriage ruling may offer mixed results for business

ssmrFriday’s Supreme Court ruling to allow same-sex marriage nationwide will likely hurt some California businesses that already supply wedding-related services in a state where gay marriage has been legal.

Other Southland companies expect an uptick in business, but Lisa Phillian is not among them.

“From a business standpoint I think this will negatively impact us,” said Phillian, owner of Rainbow Weddings in Palm Springs. “Now people will be all about getting married at home with their friends and family around. But personally, with this court decision, I say it’s about time.”

via Same-sex marriage ruling may offer mixed results for business – Los Angeles Daily News..

Judge slams cuckoo’s nest law in Cali nursing home case

One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoos-001A California law allowing nursing homes to make medical decisions on behalf of certain mentally incompetent residents is unconstitutional, an Alameda County judge ruled this week.

The law, which has been in effect more than two decades, gave nursing homes the authority to decide residents’ medical treatment if a doctor determined they were unable to do so and they had no one to represent them.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio M. Grillo wrote in the decision, which was released Wednesday, that the law violates patients’ due process rights because it doesn’t require nursing homes to notify patients they have been deemed incapacitated or to give them the chance to object.

via Judge strikes California law that allowed nursing homes to make medical decisions for mentally incompetent residents – San Jose Mercury News.

2016’s campaigns using NSA style spying on voters

CIkvK2CUwAEMn7ePresidential campaigns this time around have a new technological ace in the hole — you.

Building off two decades of digital wizardry, the campaigns are getting ready to monitor and analyze most of what you do online instantaneously. And if you forward certain political emails to your Aunt Maggie in Iowa or your old college roommate in Ohio, they’ll reward you for doing it.

The technology will no doubt make it easier for campaigns to personalize their messages and respond in seconds, but it will also test the will and patience of privacy advocates who might feel a little itchy about campaigns looking over everyone’s shoulders in real time.

via 2016’s campaign technology is all about YOU – San Jose Mercury News.

Cosby trying to spike documents that reveal marriage, sex life, and prescription drug use issues

FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2014, file photo, comedian and Navy veteran Bill Cosby speaks during a Veterans Day ceremony in Philadelphia. A lawyer for Cosby says it would be "terribly embarrassing" if documents from a 2005 sex-assault lawsuit were unsealed in Philadelphia. Cosby's lawyer on Friday, June 26, 2015, fought efforts by The Associated Press to unseal documents from a lawsuit he settled with a former Temple University employee. Photo: Matt Rourke, AP / APA lawyer for Bill Cosby argued Friday that it would be “terribly embarrassing” for the comedian if documents from a 2005 sex-assault lawsuit were unsealed.

Cosby is fighting efforts by The Associated Press to unseal motions from a lawsuit he settled with a former Temple University employee.

The lawsuit accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting the woman at Cosby’s home. The settlement is confidential.

Cosby’s lawyer argued that his client’s deposition could reveal details of Cosby’s marriage, sex life and prescription drug use.

“It would be terribly embarrassing for this material to come out,” lawyer George M. Gowen III argued.

He said the public should not have access to what Cosby was forced to say as he answered questions under oath from the accuser’s lawyer nearly a decade ago.

via Cosby lawyer: Unsealing court docs ‘terribly embarrassing’ – San Francisco Chronicle.

Cali Republican wants to ban Islamophobia

“My goal is to stop hate in all its forms, including Islamophobia,” said Sen. Jeff Stone, a Riverside-area Republican and the author of Senate Concurrent Resolution 35.In the coming week, the California Assembly will vote on a straightforward statement urging each University of California campus and other publicly funded schools to adopt resolutions condemning “all forms of anti-Semitism and racism, including Islamophobia.”

Jewish organizations, educators and organized labor support it. Former Speaker John A. Pérez, a University of California regent, returned to the Capitol last week to testify for it at committee hearing. The resolution isn’t binding. The Legislature can only urge UC campuses to act.

But the resolution faces surprising opposition from one of the more influential public employee unions, the California Faculty Association.

via Prejudice comes in many forms – The Sacramento Bee.

Will the gay community seek retribution against conservative churches?

Same-sex marriage rulingA hot question in conservative circles for months gained steam Friday with the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on same-sex marriage.

The concern: Could a church-related institution, such as a college, lose its tax exemption for refusing to give equal treatment to same-sex couples?

via Will a religious institution lose tax-exempt status for refusing to marry a same-sex couple? – LA Times.

San Francisco likely to sue over big state water cuts

Featured imageState water officials not only told more Central Valley farmers Friday that they need to stop drawing water from low-flowing rivers and creeks — but they tossed the city of San Francisco onto the list as well.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which pipes mountain water from the Yosemite National Park to 2.5 million people in and around the city, was warned Friday that there is not enough flow in the Tuolumne River and its tributaries to continue diverting water into reservoirs at four places.

The move could very well bring legal action because San Francisco officials have been quick to defend their water rights in the past and don’t want to see the state setting a precedent of stripping them.

via New round of big state water cuts to hit San Francisco – SFGate.

California well reports filled with secrecy

Jorge Vargas drills a well at a farm in Chowchilla in 2014. Reports that water well drillers file with the state are set to become public under a bill signed into law this week.This week, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 83, a trailer bill attached to the state budget.

It reverses a ban on releasing what are known as well logs to anyone but the well’s owners, government officials and those cleaning up toxic spills. Drilling companies have to file the reports when they create new wells.

The reports detail the composition of the subterranean layers the drillers encountered and how far down they hit water.

Water scientists and advocates had long pushed for making the reports public, since they provide critical information about underground features and depth and quality of a water supply. The reports, they say, are even more important now as groundwater increasingly is being overtaxed amid years of drought.

About 40 percent of California’s freshwater supply comes from underground sources – a percentage that’s growing as the state’s reservoirs shrivel.

California is the last Western state to make its well logs public. Some states, including Texas, even post them online.

via Some addresses may be hidden as California well reports become public – The Sacramento Bee.

House Republicans take another run at a Cali water deal

Water-theft-600x400GOP lawmakers are hoping the political climate is more congenial for their 170-page package that once again includes hot-button items like scaling back a San Joaquin River restoration program.

Opposed by the Obama administration and California Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration, last year’s House package effectively died in the Senate after House negotiators came relatively close, but failed to complete a deal with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

via House Republicans revive California water wish list – The Sacramento Bee.

State Water Resources Control Board orders more cuts

State regulators on Friday told San Francisco to stop taking some of the river water it routinely stores in the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.With the drought worsening, the State Water Resources Control Board issued “curtailment orders” to a combined 16 holders of so-called senior water rights on the Merced and upper San Joaquin rivers. Some of the rights go as far back as 1858.

In addition, the water board said it sent a curtailment order to the city of San Francisco for rights it holds to pull water from the Tuolumne River dating to 1903.

via California cuts more water rights, including San Francisco’s – The Sacramento Bee.

Cautious marijuana effort eyed for 2016

FILE - In this May 5, 2011, file photo an unidentified man smokes medical marijuana during karaoke night at the Cannabis Cafe, in Portland, Ore.  The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has launched a $350,000 public education campaign using social media and other means to put across the message that although it will be legal for anyone over the age of 21 to possess and use marijuana starting July 1, 2015,  it is not yet legal to buy it, including across the border in Washington state. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)Regardless of one’s take on the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Friday forbidding states from banning same-sex marriage, it’s clear the ruling didn’t come in a vacuum. Analysts said the court “created” a new civil right, but public attitudes have shifted dramatically in recent years. The court simply gave its blessing to a cultural change that already has taken place.

We see another long-in-the-making social change on the issue of marijuana. A recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California found 55 percent of likely California voters in favor of legalizing weed for recreational uses. Support for such an idea was barely perceptible decades ago.

via Cautious marijuana effort eyed for 2016 – Steven Greenhut, San Diego Union-Tribune.

Republican Candidates Slam SCOTUS Gay Marriage Decision

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage. President Barack Obama praised the decision, saying the court has “reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law, that all people should be treated equally regardless of who they are or who they love.” And the Democratic Party’s leading contender for the 2016 nomination, Hillary Clinton, tweeted the following:

The reaction from the other side was notably different, as Republican presidential candidates expressed their displeasure with the court’s 5-4 ruling.

via No Republican Candidate Has Praised SCOTUS Gay Marriage Decision – The New Republic.

Peter Rosenstein: Don’t drink all the champagne yet

Our fight for civil and human rights for the LGBT community goes on.

Marriage-equality is only one rung in the ladder to victory. Bigger battles are yet to be fought and won.

We cannot accept that you can marry today and in thirty-seven states and lose your job or be denied a place to live tomorrow.

And even when we win those fights there will still be the work to change the hearts and minds of those who still believe we are different and not deserving of love and decency.

via Pop the cork on the champagne; but don’t drink it all – Peter D. Rosenstein.

Feckless Dana Rohrabacher’s Campaign Embezzlement

RohrabacherDope.jpgCongressman Dana Rohrabacher–Orange County’s senior, career politician–announced today that his longtime campaign treasurer allegedly stole more than $173,000 from his election coffers.

But Rohrabacher failed to mention who is likely most upset by the situation: the congressman’s wife, Rhonda, who has in the past deposited about 50 percent of campaign contributions into the family’s bank accounts by–cough, cough–acting as his campaign manager.

Nick Gerda at the Voice of OC broke the story and quoted Rohrabacher as claiming he’s “disappointed and dismayed by this betrayal of trust” by Jack Wu, a surfing Newport Beach/Los Angeles tax accountant, past city council candidate and conservative political activist whose Twitter account description declares, “Kick ass for da Lord!”

Rohrabacher, a bombastic war hawk nowadays though he skipped all Vietnam War military service when eligible to fight in combat, first ran and won in 1988 by arguing for the importance of term limits.

via Dana Rohrabacher’s Scary Crisis: How Can I Buy Booze After Campaign Embezzlement? – OC Weekly.

Kennedy Delivers: Supremes Declare Same-Sex Marriage Legal Nationwide

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday made marriage for same-sex couples legal nationwide, declaring that refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples violates the Constitution.

The landmark ruling will produce the most significant change in laws governing matrimony since the court struck down state bans on inter-racial marriage almost 50 years ago.

The majority opinion in the 5-4 decision was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

” The constitution promises liberty to all within its reach,” Kennedy wrote.

via Same-Sex Marriage Legal Nationwide, Supreme Court Rules – NBC News.

BART cops can no longer feel-up suspects to ascertain their gender identity

CHRIS BECKETT/FLICKRBART police have adopted sweeping new policy guidelines around interactions with transgender people. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, it is among the first such policies adopted by a major law enforcement agency.

“BPD officers and employees are to interact with transgender people and the transgender community in a manner that is professional, respectful, and courteous,” the policy states. “Officers are cautioned not to treat a person’s transgender status or appearance as a basis of suspicion or as evidence of a crime.”

BPD officers are urged to ask transgender people the name and pronoun they prefer. BPD forms that require recording gender will also be revised to include a transgender category.

Also included in the policy are instructions not to remove prosthetics, wigs, clothes, or make-up; instructions to provide medical care — such as hormones — when requested; and instructions to ascertain a transgender person’s legal name in a private, one-on-one interaction. BPD officers are also prohibited from searching a person’s genitalia to determine gender identity.

via BART Police Adopts New Policy For Transgender People – San Francisco Weekly.

#PoliceState Update: Nor-Cal cops nail long-time pot growers in massive raid

Sheriff’s office deputies from Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties conducted a large scale marijuana cultivation sweep Monday morning, which included serving several search warrants in the Island Mountain area, according to officials.

Dozens of deputies hit the remote area, which touches all three counties. No federal agencies were involved.

Island Mountain is located in southeast Humboldt County, near where the three counties meet and is the original Emerald Triangle area.

Sources told reporters that they expect to find upwards of 100,000 plants.

The sources said the marijuana grows are not Mexican cartel operations but from local growers who have been growing for years.

Beyond the sheer size of the grows, prompting the raid is evidence of massive water theft and other environmental violations, the sources said. For that reason the California Department of Fish and Wildlife was assisting deputies.

via Large-scale grow busts near Island Mountain – Times Standard.

Cali farmers to thirsty cities – it’s our water so piss off!

A pump that sends water to 160 farmers in the delta was shut off Wednesday. The Byron Bethany Irrigation District in eastern Contra Costa County was directed by the state to stop diverting water earlier this month because of the drought. Photo: Courtesy Byron Bethany Irrigation DistrictA handful of Central Valley water agencies that have been warned to stop pumping water from rivers to farms, in light of the drought, say they’re considering running their pumps anyway.

The defiance comes after state officials this week presented a legal case for their conservation crackdown — a framework that irrigation districts see as a retreat from tough talk of cutbacks and fines.

Many suppliers stopped drawing water from rivers and creeks this month, for the first time ever, when the state water board took the extraordinary step of sending curtailment notices to some of California’s strongest water rights holders. Now, agencies with those historic claims say that state regulators, by their own admission, don’t appear to be in a position to penalize people who keep taking water.

via Some water agencies in California consider defying state cuts – San Francisco Chronicle.

Health coverage expanded to undocumented immigrants in 35 California counties

The move by the County Medical Services Program board promises to fill in health access gaps for people who don’t qualify for low-income health coverage through Medi-Cal or for private insurance under the state’s health exchange, Covered California.

Many of those people are undocumented immigrant adults who have only had access to emergency care.

The program’s expansion would add several doctor visits and about $1,000 of prescription drugs to the list of services available to undocumented immigrants and to legal residents who meet eligibility criteria but don’t qualify for other aid programs.

The board approved a half dozen other program expansions, including raising the income eligibility limit for both legal and illegal residents to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, which is less than $12,000 for an individual.

via Health coverage expanded to undocumented immigrants in 35 California counties – The Sacramento Bee.

Conservatives fail again: Vaccine bill sailing back to Cali Senate for concurrance vote

Protestors opposed to the mandatory vaccination bill SB277 rally outside of the Capitol before a Senate hearing on the bill on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 in Sacramento, Calif.
Conservative advocacy effort failed miserably. Once again, the Left dominates policy-making in California.

SB 277 was approved by the state Assembly on a 46-30 vote.

It now heads back to the Senate for a vote on amendments taken in the Assembly before it can go to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

The bill passed the Senate by a comfortable 25-10 margin in May, and Brown has called vaccines “profoundly important.”

via California vaccine bill clears Assembly – Sacramento Bee.

Obamacare wins again

Jessica Ellis, right, with "yay 4 ACA" sign, and other supporters of the Affordable Care Act, react with cheers as the opinion for health care is reported outside of the Supreme Court in Washington,Thursday June 25, 2015. The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP / APThe national health care law championed by President Obama survived its second legal challenge when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld government subsidies that are critical for insurance coverage to millions of people in 34 states that did not establish medical insurance marketplaces after the measure was approved.

In the 6-3 ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts said the subsidies are available to everyone who buys insurance under the program and meets the income limits set by Congress.

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not destroy them,” Roberts wrote.

via U.S. Supreme Court upholds federal health care law – San Francisco Chronicle.

#PoliceState Update: Hideous L.A. County deputies convicted of brutality

L.A. County sheriff's deputies' trialThree hideously brutal Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies have been convicted of beating a handcuffed man bloody and then lying to cover up the abuse.

A federal jury deliberated for only four hours before returning guilty verdicts against Deputies Sussie Ayala and Fernando Luviano and former Sgt. Eric Gonzalez, who supervised the incident and boasted about the assault in a text message to a colleague.

Nine other deputies were previously convicted of other crimes, including obstructing the FBI’s investigation.

via Three L.A. County deputies convicted in beating of jail visitor – Los Angeles Times.

French go berserk after revelations about feckless U.S. spying on Hollande

French President Francois Hollande held a crisis meeting of the country’s Defense Council on Wednesday after newspapers published WikiLeaks documents showing that the United States eavesdropped on him and two predecessors.

After the meeting, the council issued a statement lambasting U.S. spying as “unacceptable” and declaring that France had demanded two years ago that the National Security Agency stop snooping on its leaders.

Hollande spoke to President Obama on Wednesday afternoon as lawmakers across the political spectrum insisted the French president demand a formal apology.

via France denounces U.S. spying exposed by WikiLeaks – Los Angeles Times.

Supremes nail racist mortgage banking industry

Supreme Court rulingThe Supreme Court upheld the broad reach of a federal law that forbids racial discrimination in housing.

The court decided that the Fair Housing Act may be used to attack zoning rules or lending policies that appear to have a discriminatory effect on blacks, Latinos or other racial minorities.

The decision is a defeat for the mortgage banking industry.

“Much progress remains to be made in our nation’s continuing struggle against racial isolation,” Justice Kennedy said, in an opinion joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

via Supreme Court upholds far-reaching racial discrimination rules for housing – Los Angeles Times.

Trigger happy Azusa cops blast away at citizens

Azusa OISAzusa police shot a man overnight, authorities said Thursday, in the second police shooting of a suspect in the city this week.

Naturally, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is aiding Azusa police in its investigation, had no information on the circumstances surrounding the incident early Thursday. Authorities could not say whether the man was alive or dead, only that he was shot by police in the 5000 block of North Conwell Avenue sometime around midnight.

But a resident, Gerardo Jaurez  who said he is a brother of the man, spoke with ABC7, saying Jose Jaurez, 45, was the person shot and that he had an encounter with Azusa police recently about an open container.

via Azusa officials report second police shooting in a week – LA Times.

#PoliceState Update: Court backs property rights for a change

Ten years ago Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court catapulted the arcane issue of “eminent domain” into public consciousness by ruling that cities may take private property and give it to corporations – provided displaced owners are paid “just compensation.” People were so shocked that it sparked a backlash, with most states eventually putting limits on the practice.

The ghosts of the Kelo decision must have hovered around the court’s Washington, D.C., building on Monday, as justices issued two of their most significant property-rights-related decisions since 2005. Unlike Kelo, they ruled on behalf of property owners in both of these California-related matters.

via Court backs property rights for a change – Steven Greenhut, San Diego Union-Tribune.

Keep the Kids; Deport the Racists

A program that anti-illegal immigration activists see as a burden to American taxpayers has generated $422.4 million in application fees and allowed hundreds of thousands of people to work and study in the country legally.

In the three years since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals took effect, 664,607 young adults have been accepted into the program. Participants must renew every two years, and, to date, 243,872 people have done so.

The program allows young people who arrived in the United States before age 16, and who meet certain other criteria, to defer deportation. They also can get work permits and continue their education.

via Three years later, Deferred Action immigration program remains controversial – Orange County Register.

#PoliceState Update: San Diego wants even more cops, probation officers in schools

sldkfjaThe heads of two school districts told the county on Tuesday that they’re eager to see more law enforcement officers on their campuses.

“We find that the time is now to put those resources into place if at all possible,” Robert Graeff, the superintendent of the Ramona Unified School District said to the county Board of Supervisors. He was joined by Ralf Swenson, the head of the Grossmont Union High School District.

Their comments came moments before the board unanimously approved a measure that gives the county’s chief administrative officer three months to work with the Sheriff’s and Probation departments to find a way to put more deputies and probation officers in schools in unincorporated parts of the county.

Supervisors Bill Horn and Dianne Jacob said putting these officers will make students safer and allow officials to intervene early to address truancy.

via Schools want more cops on campus – San Diego Union-Tribune.

L.A. shreds the Constitution, declares war on the homeless

cleepersThe Los Angeles City Council gave final approval Tuesday to an aggressive crackdown on street encampments, setting the stage for major homeless sweeps in the city in decades.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said he would sign the two ordinances, which authorize seizure and in some cases destruction of makeshift shelters and other property of homeless people.

Opponents, including Councilman Gil Cedillo, who cast the lone no vote, said the measures would criminalize homelessness while doing nothing to help people off the streets.

“We should have a war on poverty, not on the poor,” Cedillo told the council.

An overwhelming majority of the city’s 26,000 homeless people live in the streets. Shelter directors and housing experts say their facilities are full and there is nowhere else for homeless people to go.

The measures drew condemnation from national advocates, who said the city is running against the tide of recommended practices in the fight to end homelessness.

via L.A. City Council OKs crackdowns on homeless encampments – Los Angeles Times.

New EPA report says pollution is bad – thank you Captain Obvious!

stupidReducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change could prevent tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions in economic losses in the United States, according to a new study by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The report, “Climate Change in the U.S. – Benefits of Global Action,” looks at what could happen by 2050 and by the end of the century if action is taken – and, by implication, if nothing is done – to limit the rise of the average global temperature to about 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

That is the point past which scientists say an irreversible cycle of damage from climate change will take hold.

via EPA report cites benefits of limiting emissions, climate change – Los Angeles Times.

Bay Bridge debacle: More cracks found

Tiny cracks found on some of the rods on the new Bay Bridge tower potentially endanger the rest of the more than 400 remaining fasteners that secure the tower to the foundation in an earthquake, Caltrans officials said Tuesday.

They also acknowledged that one of four high-strength tower anchor rods they have examined apparently snapped after it was exposed to water and became brittle. That was the same headache that cost the agency $45 million to fix in 2013 when 32 rods on seismic stabilizers failed after sitting in water.

via Ominous new cracks found on Bay Bridge rods – San Francisco Chronicle.

Whacked cop shoots police dog

A file photo of a police K-9 dog. A police officer in Richmond shot a department K-9 after the dog bit him. Photo: Scott Strazzante, The ChronicleA Richmond police officer shot a department K-9 on Tuesday.

The shooting happened at police headquarters at 1701 Regatta Blvd. at 6:50 a.m.

The dog had been inside a Chevrolet patrol vehicle but somehow got out. The dog’s handler was inside the police building at the time.

Via Richmond cop shoots department dog – San Francisco Chronicle.

Bummer dude! Weed isn’t that good for you after all

FILE - This Feb. 1, 2011 file photo shows medical marijuana clone plants at a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif. Medical marijuana has not been proven to work for many of the illnesses state laws have approved it for, according to the first comprehensive analysis of research on its purported benefits published Tuesday, June 23, 2015 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The strongest evidence of benefit is for chronic pain and for muscle stiffness in multiple sclerosis, according to the analysis, which analyzed 79 studies involving more than 6,000 patients. Evidence was weak for many other conditions, including nausea from chemotherapy, sleep disorders, HIV-related weight loss and Tourette syndrome.Medical marijuana has not been proven to work for many illnesses that state laws have approved it for, according to the first comprehensive analysis of research on its potential benefits.

The strongest evidence is for chronic pain and for muscle stiffness in multiple sclerosis, according to the review, which evaluated 79 studies involving more than 6,000 patients. Evidence was weak for many other conditions, including anxiety, sleep disorders, and Tourette’s syndrome and the authors recommend more research.

The analysis is among several medical marijuana articles published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. They include a small study suggesting that many brand labels for edible marijuana products list inaccurate amounts of active ingredients. More than half of brands tested had much lower amounts than labeled, meaning users might get no effect.

via Study: Scant evidence that medical pot helps many illnesses – Associated Press.