The @GOP’s desperate mission to stop @realDonaldTrump

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In public, there were calls for the party to unite behind a single candidate. In dozens of interviews, elected officials, political strategists and donors described a frantic, last-ditch campaign to block Mr. Trump — and the agonizing reasons that many of them have become convinced it will fail. Behind the scenes, a desperate mission to save the party sputtered and stalled at every turn.

Source: New York Times

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Will Orange County’s #KKK violence spread?

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Three people were stabbed, one with a flagpole, and 12 people were arrested during a brawl on Saturday morning between self-described Ku Klux Klan members and counter-protesters at an Anaheim park, police said.

Initially arrested were five Klan members – four men and a woman – and seven counter-protesters – five men, a male juvenile and a woman. Seven people were booked in the Anaheim jail on assault or abuse charges. Police are seeking one additional suspect who can be seen in a video of the altercation punching a Klansman.

Source: Orange County Register

Flame-retardant ban proven to save lives

Citizens_Fire_safetyLevels of harmful flame-retardant chemicals in women’s breast milk have dropped by nearly 40 percent since California’s decade-old ban on these chemicals took effect, according to a new study by state environmental scientists.

The chemicals, called PBDEs, were widely used for decades in household products such as furniture, crib mattresses and televisions. They tend to leach out of products such as furniture and can settle in household dust, tainting homes and offices and accumulating in both people and animals.

The study, sponsored by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and conducted by researchers from the agency’s Environmental Chemistry Laboratory in Berkeley, was published in the peer-reviewed journal Chemosphere.

Source: Oakland Tribune

 

 

 

DWP rate hike looks more like a tax scam

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As Los Angeles city leaders prepare to vote on raising water and power rates Wednesday, hundreds of millions of dollars hang in the balance.

But it’s not just funds to replace old pipes and other utility expenses one might expect at the Department of Water and Power.

Roughly $600 million of power revenue each year is spent on city work unrelated to delivering water and electricity, such as police protection and firefighting. Some of the money comes from a tax on electricity, and some is “transferred” from the DWP’s surplus power revenue. It all goes into the city’s general fund.

Critics contend such transfers constitute hidden taxes and must be curtailed or approved by voters. Time may be ripe for a change, they say. Across the state, plaintiffs have sued municipalities, including Los Angeles, under an anti-tax measure approved by voters in 2010. Meanwhile, city officials have renewed calls for reform at the DWP and may introduce a ballot measure this November.

“At the same time they’re making the transfer, the DWP claims it doesn’t have enough money to make repairs,” said Richard Close, president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association. “I just think they’re deceiving the public. If we’re the shareholders of the DWP, [the surplus] should be used to reduce our rates.”

Source: Los Angeles Daily News

Cali Dems finally come to their senses, endorse Mike Honda

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San Jose Rep. Mike Honda won the California Democratic Party’s endorsement for his re-election bid Saturday, despite loud complaints from his challenger.

During his speech before delegates voted Saturday night, Ro Khanna, who was beaten by Honda two years ago, predicted he would lose the endorsement battle, saying the voting process was rigged in Honda’s favor. He promised he would reform the process if elected.

“This is not democracy,” Khanna said.

Honda, who got well over the 50 percent plus one needed for the party’s backing, was unhappy with the complaints.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“The big difference is that white people don’t focus on police killings”

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The big difference is that white people don’t focus on police killings. But that’s practically all you hear about when it comes to African Americans. To hear some members of the community tell it, cops are the problem. Cops may well be part of the problem, along with a host of other issues like discrimination and poverty.

But black people are killing a lot more black people than cops are.

And at some point, no matter how uncomfortable the conversation may be, it has to take place within the African American community. We have to get to the cause of this open wound — otherwise, we are just going to keep passing on the pain from generation to generation.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Orange County’s love affair with the #KKK

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A Ku Klux Klan rally in Anaheim turned violent Saturday, leaving three people with stab wounds and several arrests.

Last summer, at least 100 residents of Whittier and Fullerton awoke to find packets containing KKK fliers, rife with racist rhetoric, and candy in their driveways. A Santa Ana neighborhood was also blanketed with KKK fliers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day last year, police there said.

An 8-foot cross was burned outside the home of a black man in Anaheim Hills in 2003, and the FBI investigated the case as a hate crime, but police did not specifically link that case to the KKK.

Klansmen were once the dominant political force in Anaheim, holding four of five City Council seats.

At the height of the group’s power in Orange County, Klansmen patrolled city streets in robes and masks. A large KKK rally attracted 20,000 people to the city.

KKK patrols stopped and interrogated citizens, and once burned a large cross in front of St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church.

Source: Los Angeles Times

 

 

Porter Ranch the largest methane leak in U.S. history

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Scientists who flew an airplane equipped with sensors through the plume of natural gas leaking into the Porter Ranch area have found that at its peak, the nearly four-month leak released roughly 100,000 tons of methane — effectively doubling the methane emissions rate of the entire Los Angeles Basin.

The findings, published by the journal Science, cement the leak’s position as the largest methane leak in U.S. history — and highlight the need for rapid scientific response if and when such disasters do strike.

“Aliso Canyon will be, certainly, the biggest single source of the year,” said co-lead author Stephen Conley of UC Davis and Scientific Aviation. “It’s definitely a monster.”

Source: Los Angeles Times

LB Biz Journal publisher comes off like a #racist jerk

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The subject under discussion was raising the minimum wage. As Rosa Ramos addressed the Long Beach City Council in her native Spanish, unbeknown to her, the publisher of a local newspaper posted a tweet.

“Minimum Wage: 1st speaker gets 6 min because she doesn’t speak English even though she has lived her [sic] 28 years. This is going to be a mess,” the message by Long Beach Business Journal Publisher George Economides read.

Economides tweeted again when a Latino man was given additional time at the podium to allow for translation.

Those social media posts have landed Economides in hot water with activists who have denounced his statements as “hateful and shameful.”

Source: Los Angeles Times

 

Cali waiting for school reform results

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Three years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown persuaded legislators to overhaul how tens of billions of dollars in state aid flows to schools.

It pumped more money to schools, virtually eliminated strings on billions of dollars that had been restricted to particular programs, and gave additional aid to districts with large numbers of poor and “English learner” students.

The rationale was that educators would have more money and flexibility to improve educations for 6-plus million kids and close the “achievement gap” that separated – and still separates – poor black and Latino students from their white and Asian American classmates.

Simultaneously, the state was abolishing its test-driven oversight system, creating a new “multiple measures” system that would be, it was said, “a flashlight and not a hammer,” and trusting local school officials to do the right thing through “Local Control Accountability Plans” (LCAPs) that would involve parents and taxpayers.

So how’s all that working out? No one knows.

Source: Sacramento Bee

Cali Dems come to their senses, endorse Bera

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Rep. Ami Bera, drawn into an extended endorsement standoff over his votes on trade and refugees, easily won the Democratic Party’s formal support at the state convention on Saturday.

Despite not facing an intraparty challenge, Bera’s votes to advance a contested trade agreement and limit Syrian and Iraqi refugees from resettling in the U.S. so upset unions and a vocal group of local activists that he fell short of the endorsement threshold last month.

After that, Bera’s campaign spent weeks preparing to ensure he avoided what could have been an embarrassing episode. Bera supporters marginalized his detractors as impractical, arguing their persistent criticism of him would only help his GOP challenger in one of the state’s closest swing districts.

Source: Sacramento Bee

Brown shows class in battle with #PoliceState DA’s

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Gov. Jerry Brown said Saturday that it only took so long to file his ballot initiative to make certain nonviolent felons eligible for early parole because he was consulting with law enforcement groups, saying the “process worked” despite legal uncertainty surrounding the measure.

The Democratic governor was allowed to move ahead with his initiative on Friday, when the California Supreme Court temporarily stayed a lower court’s ruling blocking the measure.

Attorney General Kamala Harris issued a title and summary for the initiative, and Democrats were expected to begin circulating it immediately.

Feckless #Apple blames San Bernardino for iPhone debacle

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Tim Cook is a piece of garbage.

What jerks!

Apple’s contention that the FBI and the county of San Bernardino could have accessed the iPhone used by the gunman in the Dec. 2 terrorist attack had they taken proper safeguards, resurfaced in a motion filed Thursday by the technology company, which is fighting a court order to assist the government in hacking the device.

The motion, filed by attorneys for Apple on Thursday requesting that U.S. Magistrate Sheri Pym rescind her Feb. 16 order, included a declaration by Apple’s manager of user privacy, Erik Neuenschwander, who said the FBI would likely have been able to clear the passcode lock on Syed Rizwan Farook’s work-issued iPhone 5C, without Apple’s assistance, had the county’s Department of Public Health, which employed Farook as an environmental health specialist, installed a software called Mobile Device Manager, or MDM, which allows employers to clear passcode locks on mobile devices to reset forgotten passwords.

Investigators may also have been able to obtain recent data from the phone had the FBI not instructed county officials to change the iCloud password associated with the iPhone account.

Source: San Bernardino Sun

So far, Cali prison reform has been a joke

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It’s been a decade since California lost control of its state prison health care system to a federal receiver. The state has made enormous progress since then. California has built new medical facilities at several prisons, doubled its annual prison health care budget, and released tens of thousands of inmates to county jail supervision under groundbreaking realignment legislation.

But last week showed that the state still has a long way to go.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Despite destroying lives in #PorterRanch, @SoCalGas raking in huge profits

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SoCalGas raking in millions in profits while destroying the environment.

Despite the largest methane leak in U.S. history, Southern California Gas Co.’s fourth quarter earnings nearly doubled, the utility reported Friday during a conference call.

During last year’s fourth quarter, SoCalGas’ earnings increased 88 percent from a year earlier to $143 million, the company said.

 

The leak at a well in the company’s Aliso Canyon storage facility above Porter Ranch was discovered on Oct. 23, 2015, and it pumped more that 100,000 tons of methane into the air before being sealed 111 days later.

Source: LA Daily News

Number crunching professor says get ready for President Trump

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A Stony Brook University professor of political science named Helmut Norpoth, who developed an almost perfect statistical formula model that predicts who will become president, has declared that if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination, he will almost certainly become President of the United States.

The system utilizes the performance of a candidate within their own political party along with “patterns in the electoral cycle” to predict its winner.

The model, which has correctly identified and predicted the winner of every election but one since 1912 — the one miss was the 1960 winner John F. Kennedy — has surmised that if the ballot comes down to Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Trump in the upcoming November election, the latter has a 97 percent chance of entering the White House.

If Bernie Sanders wins the democratic nomination, the odds of Trump winning leap up to 99 percent.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Exterminating the #homeless is #SanFrancisco’s top priority

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San Francisco pols, doing the bidding of rich white Liberals, have targeted the city’s homeless population for extermination.

The looming threat that San Francisco officials would forcibly remove a sprawling homeless encampment along Division Street had by Friday induced dozens of down-on-their-luck campers to clear out, but about 100 veterans of the tent city south of downtown were holding fort as night fell.

As Mayor Ed Lee’s 72-hour deadline for the street dwellers to pick up stakes came and went, it appeared a police sweep might not happen, at least not immediately. Instead, the city’s plan centered on approaching people with kindness — and housing options — in the hope they would voluntarily move away.

“The order continues, and we’re going to keep working there like we have for years with the homeless outreach team, but we don’t want to resort to police intervention,” said Sam Dodge, the mayor’s point person on homelessness. “We’ve made really great progress.”

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

#KKK thinks Orange County’s a great place for a rally

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Ku Klux Klan members have planned a rally in Anaheim on Saturday.

People representing the hate group are expected to descend on Pearson Park around 10 a.m. Saturday, according to Sgt. Daron Wyatt, an Anaheim police spokesman.

The hate group has a long and troubling history with the city. Klansmen were once the dominant political force in Anaheim, owning four of five City Council seats.

At the height of its power in Orange County, nearly 300 Klansmen lived in Anaheim, patrolling city streets in robes and masks. A large KKK rally once attracted 20,000 people to the city.

An 8-foot cross was burned outside the home of a black man in Anaheim Hills in 2003, and the FBI investigated the case as a hate crime, but police did not specifically link that case to the KKK.

Source: LA Times

 

#LA pols are committed to destroying the #homeless

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For months, gaily painted wooden houses on South Los Angeles freeway overpasses had intrigued motorists looking up from the roads below.

The 6-by-10-foot structures, it turned out, were homes for the homeless that Elvis Summers had built and placed in several encampments around the city.

Each house, about the size of a garden shed, came with an American flag, solar-powered lights and a house number, proudly displayed next to the front door.

“It’s psychology,” said Summers, a self-described struggling musician who lives in South L.A. “The slightest thing you do to make them feel normal is so important. They’re treated like garbage.”

On Thursday, Summers raced to remove eight small houses ahead of city sanitation workers sent to impound and possibly destroy them. Summers’ crusade had run into Los Angeles’ intractable homelessness crisis.

Source: LA Times

Cali bill would expel kids for sexting at school

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Concerned by a practice he’s said is becoming more prevalent in schools, a state lawmaker is carrying a bill that would let schools suspend or expel kids for so-called sexting – sharing explicit pictures and recordings via electronic message. Assembly Bill 2536 would also require that health classes include information on the perils of sharing scandalous content.

The bill specifically deals with images or video – lascivious language isn’t enough – and focuses on cases where the communication has “the effect of humiliating or harassing a pupil.” It exempts images that have “serious literary, artistic, educational, political, or scientific value.”

Cali Supremes reject feckless DA’s charge

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Gov. Jerry Brown was allowed to move ahead with his ballot initiative to make certain nonviolent felons eligible for early parole, after the California Supreme Court late Friday temporarily stayed a lower court’s ruling blocking the measure.

Attorney General Kamala Harris immediately issued a title and summary for the initiative, allowing the measure’s proponents to collect signatures while the Supreme Court considers the case. The court ordered arguments filed by Monday afternoon.

Source: Sacramento Bee

Crooked Orange County DA slammed again by judge

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An Orange County judge on Thursday granted a retrial for a man twice convicted of a double murder – the latest case to unravel amid the controversy over the use of police informants by local police and prosecutors.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals found that authorities withheld evidence from defense attorneys in the case against Henry Rodriguez, who is serving a life sentence for his role in the 1998 shooting death of a pregnant Fullerton woman.

Goethals is the same judge who removed the District Attorney’s Office from the penalty phase trial of confessed Seal Beach shooter Scott Dekraai, another case that involved the alleged misuse of a jailhouse informant and withheld evidence.

Source: The Orange County Register

Horton’s self-serving BOE play tanks

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The “all Jerome, all the time” show at the BOE has finally ended.

Long-simmering conflicts among the four elected members of the state Board of Equalization – all former state legislators – erupted in public Wednesday night.

At the end of a two-day meeting in Culver City, a verbal skirmish over election of a new chair and other issues ended with Democrat Fiona Ma succeeding Democrat Jerome Horton as chair, but then adoption of a new policy that would limit her to a single year in the chair.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Porter Ranch gas leak is largest in U.S. history

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A study published Thursday confirmed that the 100,000 tons of methane that flowed out of Aliso Canyon was the largest natural gas leak disaster to be recorded in the United States, and that it doubled the methane emission rate of the entire Los Angeles basin.

Researchers with the UC Irvine and Davis campuses, along with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration found during the peak of the leak that “enough methane poured into the air every day to fill a balloon the size of the Rose Bowl.”

University officials called it a first-of-its kind study on the gas leak, published in the journal Science.

Source: Los Angeles Daily News

Need more proof #Apple hates #America and loves #ISIS? Well here you go

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Apple didn’t bother creating a “back door” for China…they simply let the Chinese government in through the front door. 

Apple Inc. has come out swinging in its pitched battle with the government on its home turf.

But when it comes to its second-largest market, China, the Cupertino, Calif., company has been far more accommodating.

Since the iPhone was officially introduced in China seven years ago, Apple has overcome a national security backlash there and has censored apps that wouldn’t pass muster with Chinese authorities. It has moved local user data onto servers operated by the state-owned China Telecom and submits to security audits by Chinese authorities.

The approach contrasts with Apple’s defiant stance against the FBI, which is heaping pressure on the company to decrypt an iPhone that belonged to San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook.

Source: LA Times

Hapless and desperate, Cruz and Rubio flail away at @realDonaldTrump in GOP debate

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Eight months after Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign, his top GOP rivals finally tag-teamed him for not providing the specifics of his platitude-filled plans and exposed what Trump’s vulnerabilities might be in a general election.

The only question is whether Thursday’s CNN/Telemundo debate performance will make any difference to Republican primary voters who’ve been swooning over Trump no matter what he’s said — or who he’s insulted or what policy position he’s failed to spell out — en route to winning three of the first four GOP contests.

So with time running out for the White House dreams of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Trump’s two closest rivals sought to turn his strength — his bombast — into a weakness. Roughly half of the delegates needed to win the nomination will be dished out across 13 states in next week’s Super Tuesday contests and Trump is leading nearly all pre-election polls. So Rubio and Cruz had no time to waste.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Brown turns to the Cali Supreme Court in his fight with feckless DA’s

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In an effort to revive his ballot initiative to make certain nonviolent felons eligible for early parole, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday appealed to the California Supreme Court to allow the measure to go forward.

The filing came less than 24 hours after a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled the initiative was improperly filed and barred the state attorney general from issuing ballot language necessary for supporters to start collecting signatures.

The initiative, with sweeping implications for the state’s criminal justice system, was filed last month as an amendment to a measure concerning juvenile justice.

Because the amendment substantially changed the content of the initiative, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shellyanne W.L. Chang ruled, Attorney General Kamala Harris should not have accepted it.

In their appeal, Brown and juvenile justice groups argued Chang’s interpretation of the law was too narrow and that the amendment should be allowed because both the original and amended initiatives deal with similar issues of criminal justice.

Proponents of the initiative have said that if the lower court’s ruling is upheld, they will not have enough time in the election calendar to refile and circulate the initiative for the November ballot.

“Waiting until 2018 to qualify this measure for the ballot is not an option,” Brown said in his appeal. “If the Superior Court’s order stands, the people will have been deprived of their right to use the initiative process to remedy problems that urgently require attention now.”

Source: The Sacramento Bee

The @GOP rallies around a loser – @MarcoRubio

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With a sudden outpouring of money and endorsements flowing to Marco Rubio, Republican leaders have launched a full-scale scramble to unify the party around the charismatic young senator as the GOP’s only hope for stopping Donald Trump’s march to become their presidential nominee.

The only problem with the plan: Rubio has yet to win a single state.

And no one seems certain when, or where, he will.

Source: LA Times

Coastal Commission is nearing collapse

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Questions big and small remain unanswered in the two weeks since the California Coastal Commission forced its widely admired executive director to walk the plank.

Among the bigger questions:

With a raft of gigantic, controversial projects coming before the commission in coming months, what’s the plan to put back the pieces, rescue the demoralized and leaderless staff and find a replacement for Charles Lester?

One of those mega developments — an oil company confab’s proposed Banning Ranch residential development in Newport Beach — was supposed to come up at next month’s meeting but has been postponed.

The commission staff had recommended against building on the environmentally sensitive habitat in Newport Beach, but the commissioners haven’t given up on the project.

Source: LA Times

Cali to provide millions of kid’s personal data to hackers

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With a recent court ruling ordering the release of 10 million California student records to attorneys suing the state, parents throughout California are anxious about their children’s private information falling into the wrong hands.

So can they protect the data that could include everything from their child’s address, Social Security number and records on mental health, discipline and test scores?

Not right now.

While concerned parents may file an objection in federal court to protest the release of their children’s records, it’s unclear what federal Judge Kimberly J. Mueller in Sacramento plans to do with the requests. Even if she approves them, the complexity of combing through the data means there’s no guarantee that all seven huge state databases can be cleared of all information on children whose parents sought an exemption.

Source: Mercury News

Apple’s @Tim_Cook looking for new ways to help #ISIS

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Apple is reportedly working on new security measures for the iPhone that would make the device even more difficult for government and law enforcement agencies to unlock.

This is obviously great news for ISIS and the rest of the Islamics who have pledged to kill everyone on the planet.

The tech company is developing the new security measures as a result of its ongoing legal case with the FBI, which wants the company’s help in bypassing a lock on an iPhone used by one of the shooters responsible for last fall’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif.

DOJ has done nothing to stop @SFPD #DeathSquads

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Community members invoked the names of those killed by police, with members of the Justice for Mario Woods Coalition leading chants calling for the firing of Suhr. They called for more thorough investigations into the fatal shootings of Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez-Lopez and Woods.

Many criticized the review as just a show to appease the community after video of the Woods shooting was shared on social media, sparking public outcry.

The Justice for Mario Woods Coalition had called for a federal civil rights investigation into the Police Department following the shooting, similar to the type that the Obama administration opened in cities including Chicago, Cleveland and Ferguson, Mo.

Such an investigation would include not just a review of the Woods shooting, but also a look into the department’s practices and policies with any recommended reforms made mandatory. After the 1991 Rodney King beating in Los Angeles, Congress gave the Justice Department power to force reforms at police departments.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

If they don’t move, the @SFPD will kill them

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Slowly, quietly and surely, the homeless tent cities that have snaked along Division Street for months are disappearing as campers pack up to beat a Friday deadline set by San Francisco’s mayor for them to be gone.

There were still as many as 100 people in tents and makeshift plywood houses Wednesday, but the pockmarks of empty sidewalk in what used to be solid lines of encampments grew throughout the day.

They know the truth, if they don’t move, the SFPD will kill them.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Property tax initiative flops

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Proponents of a measure to raise billions of dollars for anti-poverty and children’s programs through higher taxes on commercial properties stopped collecting signatures for the November ballot and said Wednesday they will try again another year.

The “Lifting Children and Families out of Poverty Act,” backed by several Southern California nonprofit groups, sought to impose a surcharge of up to 1 percent on real estate with assessed values more than $3 million.

Proponents said the surcharge would raise an estimated $7.7 billion, with almost all of that coming from commercial properties.

“The 2016 ballot has become too crowded with too many revenue raising measures on it,” one of the proponents, former Board of Equalization member Conway Collis, said in a prepared statement. “Consequently it makes more sense to qualify early for a later ballot.”

He said proponents will also work to “see if there are any modifications to our approach that should be made before it is refiled.”

Source: Sacramento Bee

Feckless DA’s block prison reform initiative

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In their effort to block the initiative, the California District Attorneys Association and Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert argued Brown’s measure constituted a “completely different and new initiative” that should go through its own review process, including public comment.

Chang, who once worked for Gov. Gray Davis, Brown’s chief of staff when he was governor before, said the Legislature intended for voters to have an opportunity to comment on a proposed initiative. The timing of Brown’s amendment allowed proponents to short-circuit the normal, 65-day review process.

“With all due respect, stand in line like everybody else,” said Tom Hiltachk, a lawyer for opponents of the initiative.

Enjoy your Police State.

Source: Sacramento Bee

Prop 47 saving millions

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The nonpartisan and highly respected Legislative Analyst’s Office earlier this month released an in-depth look at the “fiscal impacts” of the initiative that dispels any notion that the voter-approved sentencing reform was revenue neutral:

“We find that the administration likely underestimates the savings and overestimates the costs resulting from the measure. For example, we estimate that the actual level of prison savings due to Proposition 47 could be $83 million higher compared to the administration’s estimate. Overall, we estimate that the (Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund) deposit in 2016-17 could be around $100 million higher than the administration’s figure.”

Source: Steven Greenhut, San Diego Union-Tribune

Big Oil doesn’t get it: People don’t like tap water that catches on fire

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The oil industry hasn’t figured out yet that people don’t like tap water that catches on fire.

Hoping to expand on similar bans already in place in Santa Cruz, San Benito and Mendocino counties, environmentalists on Tuesday launched a ballot campaign to prohibit fracking in Monterey County, setting the stage for another expensive battle with the oil industry over the controversial drilling technique.

#Racist @SFPD doubles-down on its hatred of #African-Americans

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An anti-Black Lives Matter opinion article that labels an epidemic of police violence against blacks a “myth” has been posted inside a San Francisco police station for almost a week, possibly in violation of department and city rules that bar political activity in public buildings.

But the department says the opinion piece, hung at the Taraval Station in the Sunset District, isn’t political.

Source: San Francisco Examiner

Your tax dollars at work: Transgender inmate wins

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A transgender inmate whose case led to a ruling requiring California prisons to allow sex-reassignment surgery when doctors recommend it settled her claims Tuesday against the state, which agreed to drop its appeal and pay her legal costs.

Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, 52, was released on parole in August after serving 30 years in prison for second-degree murder in Orange County, and now lives at a halfway house in San Francisco. She became aware of her female identity in the mid-1990s and started taking hormone therapy, with prison doctors’ approval, in 2000.

Kept at a male prison and called Jeffrey, her birth name, by guards and prison officials, she was gang-raped by nine male inmates in 2009 and was infected with hepatitis C, which she still suffers from. After officials rejected years of requests for male-to-female surgery, a federal judge ordered the state in April to allow the operation — the first such ruling in California, and the second in the nation.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Hateful San Francisco elites target the homeless

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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s move Tuesday to clear the Division Street homeless encampment comes amid a growing public outcry over a tent city that has taken over several blocks, dropping poll numbers for Lee and the opening of a new shelter at Pier 80 that the mayor could point to as an alternative to sleeping on the sidewalk.

What Lee and other officials, including Police Chief Greg Suhr, couldn’t answer Tuesday is what happens if the scores of homeless people who have been living under the freeway bordering the South of Market and Mission District ignore a 72-hour deadline to move along.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Thanks to feckless @SouthwestAir, plane tickets just got more expensive

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These people are just assholes.

Despite slumping fuel costs that are boosting profits for airlines, the nation’s largest carriers are increasing their fares $10 per round trip, the third increase of the year.

The fare hike on most U.S. routes was initiated Friday by Southwest Airlines, the nation’s largest domestic carrier. It was matched soon after by Delta, United and American Airlines.

Source: LA Times

Court approves #racism at @SJSU

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Of course if the situation was reversed and the students were black, they’d already be in prison.

A former San Jose State University student accused of calling his former suite mate racial slurs, hanging a Confederate flag in their living room and barricading him in his bedroom has been found not guilty of committing hate crimes.

The jury hearing the case in Santa Clara County Superior Court also deadlocked on hate crime charges against two other suite mates accused of participating in the attacks against Donald Williams Jr., who was a freshman at the time. Prosecutors said they have not yet decided whether to try again with a new jury.

Source: LA Times

#PoliceState Update: The Nazi cops who run our schools

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You first learn about the Police State in the public schools.

The Los Angeles School Police Department doesn’t have any more weapons from a controversial Department of Defense program, according to a letter the school district sent to activists on Monday.

The weapon collection included grenade launchers, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle and rifles.

On Feb. 5, the department returned the last of the weapons it had obtained through a Defense Department program that stocked local police departments with surplus weapons and equipment. The district sent the letter to the Labor/Community Strategy Center, a civil rights group, and provided it to The Times.

But on Tuesday, a handful of activists commandeered an L.A. Unified school board committee meeting to demand proof. 

Source: LA Times

Cali Reps flail away at labor

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A group of organized-labor dissidents have teamed up with Republican Assemblywoman Shannon Grove to introduce two long-shot measures intended to throw open government-union books and allow members to choose their representation.

Assembly Bill 2753 would require California’s public employee unions post itemized budgets online and make them accessible to members. Assembly Bill 2754 would mandate public unions hold an election every two years to ratify its continued representation of members. At the same time, employees could choose another public employee union to take its place.

Both measures strike at transparency and accountability concerns that some SEIU Local 1000 members have had for years. The union, which represents about half the state’s organized workforce, covers about 95,000 employees.

Source: Sacramento Bee

Anti-vaccine kooks at it again

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Though it is so preventable that young people now can be all but immunized against it, cervical cancer still kills more than a quarter million women annually.

Most of the victims are in developing nations. But nearly 13,000 American women last year also were diagnosed with cervical cancer. More than 4,000 died, even though Pap screenings are a routine part of annual checkups for women in this country, and even though teenagers have, since 2006, had access to an FDA-approved inoculation against the virus that causes the disease.

There is no good reason for this lethal public health gap in a First World country, and it’s time we got rid of the bad reasons, the biggest of which stem from – what else? – misinformation and partisan politics. Because of baseless fears whipped up by culture warriors and vaccine resisters, parents are preventing young people from being vaccinated, at great potential health risk.

At issue is inoculation against the human papillomavirus, which causes not only cervical cancer, but can also cause anal, oral and throat cancers and cancers of the genitalia.

Source: Sacramento Bee

Cali lowers gas tax

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The state Board of Equalization on Tuesday approved lowering the statewide excise tax rate on gasoline by 2.2 cents.

The 3-2 vote for approval at the BOE meeting in Culver City means the tax will decrease from 30 cents to 27.8 cents per gallon effective July 1 and remain there through June 30, 2017.

It marked the third consecutive year that BOE lowered the rate.

Source: Sacramento Bee

Here’s how @RepBillShuster screwed American air travelers

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On Feb. 10, Nick Calio, the head of the nation’s top airline trade group, Airlines for America, testified before Rep. Bill Shuster’s House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The topic was a top priority for both men: A bill to overhaul the Federal Aviation Administration, most controversially by putting air traffic control in the hands of an entity favorable to the airlines.

Two days later, Shuster’s committee approved the measure. And the week after that, he and Calio escaped to Miami Beach, Florida, with Shelley Rubino, an Airlines for America vice president who is Shuster’s girlfriend.

The three lounged by the pool and dined together during festivities tied to Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart’s (R-Fla.) annual weekend fundraising trip. Attendees said it looked as if they were traveling in a pack.

It’s the most recent example of Shuster’s cozy relationship with the powerful airline association. His panel has jurisdiction over the $160 billion U.S. airline industry.

Source: Politico

It appears @TedCruz knew his campaign manager was a liar from the start

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For weeks, the labels have hung over Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign like dirty laundry: Deceitful. Cynical. Willing to do anything to win.

The attacks from Mr. Cruz’s Republican rivals have challenged his core campaign promises of integrity and conservative purity.

In short, Ted Cruz made a point of hiring a liar to run his campaign.

Source: New York Times

Serious people now believe that @TedCruz can’t win the GOP nomination

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South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary vote on Saturday produced the expected Trump victory and two surprises: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush exited the race after a less-than-10 percent vote; he left gracefully. The other surprise was Sen. Marco Rubio’s (Fla.) win over Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas). Serious people now believe that Cruz can’t win the Republican nomination.

Source: The Hill

Asshole @SanDiegoPD thug murders family dog

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Fuentes said he and his children gave Grizzly to his father when the dog was just a puppy.

“The second I brought him over, (my dad) was in love,” Fuentes, Jr. said. “He is alone a lot so it was just him and Grizzly a lot of the time.”

He said he’s planning on getting his dad another pet, when he’s ready. “He’s heartbroken right now,” the son said.

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

Stinking #SiliconValley rat #VinodKhosla wants you to pay $30 mil to use your beach!

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The jerk billionaire who claims to own Martins Beach near Half Moon Bay has drawn a new line in the sand over public access to the picturesque cove, and it would cost more seashells than the state is willing to pay.

Screenshot 2016-02-23 at 08.30.12Vinod Khosla, a venture capitalist who co-founded Sun Microsystems, said in a letter to the State Lands Commission that an easement leading over his property in San Mateo County to the beach would cost California about $30 million, not including the enormous additional costs for road repairs, annual operations and maintenance.

“The $30 million figure is rather amusing,” said Gary Redenbacher, a lawyer for Friends of Martins Beach, which says the state Constitution makes all beaches public property.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

The leak is plugged, but @SoCalGas is still public enemy #1

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Now that the utility has plugged the leak that began Oct. 23, fouling the air with natural gas and methane, attention has turned to the future of the gas storage field, which is the largest in California and ranks fifth nationwide.

(Note to SoCal Gas…people still hate you.)

Source: LA Times