Floor action

Feb 24, 2017

A California senator was removed from the floor after trying to criticize the recently deceased political activist Tom Hayden.


Capitol Weekly's JOHN HOWARD: "In a remarkable confrontation, a Republican state senator of Vietnamese descent was hustled off the Senate floor Thursday, after majority Democrats said she was out of order for trying to make disparaging comments about the late political activist Tom Hayden."

"The leader of the Senate Republicans immediately demanded an investigation by the Rules Committee, saying she feared retribution against Sen. Janet Nguyen, R-Garden Grove."


"The incident began when Nguyen rose to her microphone to address the floor. She first spoke in Vietnamese, then began to speak about the “hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees who died seeking freedom and democracy.” She said she wanted to offer “a historical perspective about Hayden,” when she was cut off by the presiding officer, a Democrat."


READ MORE related to LocalBay Area politics: Feinstein protests, environmental rallies -- The Chronicle's SARAH RAVANIProtesters target Sen. Feinstein for not holding town halls -- The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI'House of Cards' drama over SF Democratic club name -- The Chronicle's HEATHER KNIGHTProtesters seek out California's Republican members of Congress at their homes -- L.A. Times' JAVIER PANZARCan the Calif. Republican Party bounce back in 2018? Here's the chairman's game plan -- L.A. Times' PHIL WILON/CHRISTINE MAI-DUCA celebration, and wake, for a campaign legend and a political time gone by -- L.A. Times' MARK Z. BARABAK; Assemblyman Dababneh to host town hall in Van Nuys -- Daily News' GREGORY J. WILCOX

For those in California wondering what's next in the world of marijuana, how 'bout this: Trump plans a war on recreational cannabis

McClatchy Washington Bureau's ANITA KUMAR/ROB HOTOKAINEN
: "President Donald Trump’s administration said on Thursday for the first time that it will crack down on marijuana sales in states that have approved recreational pot use."

"White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the Department of Justice will pursue enforcement of federal law against recreational use, but not medical use. The statement marked a major break with the Obama administration’s hands-off approach to the growing marijuana legalization movement."

"I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement,” Spicer told reporters at his daily briefing. “Because again there’s a big difference between the medical use … that’s very different than the recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice will be further looking into.”


READ MORE related to EconomyCalifornia, Trump could clash over legal pot -- The Chronicle's DAVID DOWNS/DOMINIC FRACASSATrump administration signals a possible crackdown on states over marijuana -- L.A. Times' EVAN HALPER/PATRICK MCGREEVYThe red carpet isn't actually red, and other secrets underfoot at the Oscars -- L.A. Times' DANIEL MILLERNasty Gal, once a fashion world darling, is now bankrupt. What went wrong? -- L.A. Times' SHAN LI; Ready Pac Foods bought by French company who says Irwindale jobs are safe -- San Gabriel Valley Tribune's KEVIN SMITH


Trump shunned CPAC a year ago, but his newfound popularity at the event shows just how much he's upended the political system and swept up the Right by storm. A lot of Republicans, however, were no-shows.


L.A. Times' NOAH BIERMAN: "Donald Trump skipped the nation’s preeminent conference of conservatives last year, underscoring the friction between the populist candidate and many of the warring factions in his party during a heated presidential primary season."

"This year, his dominance at the forum, the Conservative Political Action Conference, is hard to miss."

"It’s not just the red “Make America Great Again” caps, the throngs of college Republicans surrounding his aides and allies, the giant Trump-decorated pickup truck at the convention center entrance or the excitement about Trump’s Friday speech, the first by a president in his first year in office since Ronald Reagan. "


READ MORE related to BeltwayWhite House adviser asked FBI to dispute Russia reports -- AP's JULIE PACEMalaysia: VX nerve agent killed outcast North Korean scion -- AP's EILEEN NGPalestinian protesters throw shoes at Trump picture -- APCar bombing near Syrian town captured from Islamic State kills 60 -- AP

California's fiscal situation is in a possible state of emergency, but the governor has yet to make a public declaration.


Sacramento Bee's JIM MILLER: "Approved by voters more than two years ago, Proposition 2 created a rainy-day reserve that can only be tapped if the governor declares a “fiscal emergency.” That hasn’t happened yet, and the fund will total an estimated $6.7 billion by June 30."


"Yet the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal analyst reported Thursday that, based on low revenue estimates in Gov. Jerry Brown’s January budget proposal, declaring a fiscal emergency for the coming fiscal year “seems available” as an option should Brown be so inclined."

"He’s not, his office said."

Santa Cruz police are accusing the feds of tricking them into performing immigration raids, but the feds are denying the allegations.


AP: "Federal immigration officials pushed back hard against the assertion that they had duped the Santa Cruz, California, police department into helping them make immigration arrests during a raid on an El Salvador-based gang."

"They also denied that the aggressive immigration approach of President Donald Trump's administration had anything to do with their plans or actions."

"We worked closely with the Santa Cruz Police Department over the last five years on this case," Immigrations and Customs Enforcement spokesman James Schwab said in response to statements Thursday by the city's police leadership and mayor. "Allegations that the agency secretly planned an immigration enforcement action in hopes there would be new political leadership that would allow for an alleged 'secret' operation to take place are completely false, reckless, and disturbing," Schwab, the spokesman for ICE's San Francisco field office, said in a statement."


READ MORE related to ImmigrationRep. Doris Matsui discusses Trump's orders, her history of internment and Democrats' future -- Sacramento Bee's ROBIN OPSAHLSanta Clara County calls Trump's sanctuary order 'extortion' -- The Chronicle's JENNA LYONSSanta Cruz leaders slam feds over immigration detentions during gang operation -- The Chronicle's HAMEZ ALEAZIZ; North Hollywood man protected by DACA held by ICE -- Daily News' GRACE WYLER; Trump calls immigration roundup a 'military operation' -- AP; LA officials to ICE: Stop immigration agents from identifying as 'police' -- Daily News' STAFF


Law-school students are failing the State Bar exam in greater numbers and nobody seems to be able to nail down the cause.


Capitol Weekly's JOHN HOWARD: "California’s law-school students are failing the daunting State Bar exam in surprising numbers — and experts are trying to figure out why."

“It’s difficult to understand why the pass rate in California is so low,” said Barry Currier, the managing director of the American Bar Association’s legal education and admissions unit."

"Traditionally, California’s grueling, multi-part bar exam has been a three-day test given twice annually in February and July. But this year, for the first time, it will become a two-day exam, starting in July. The shift from a three- to two-day test comes amid heightened concerns about the pass rate."

Authorities have now cleared out remaining protestors from a camp on the Dakota Access Pipeline


AP's JAMES MACPHERSON/BLAKE NICHOLSON: "Authorities cleared a protest camp where opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline had gathered for the better part of a year, searching tents and huts and arresting dozens of holdouts who had defied a government order to leave."

"It took 3 ½ hours for about 220 officers and 18 National Guardsmen to methodically search the protesters' temporary homes on Thursday. Authorities said they arrested 46 people, including a group of military veterans who had to be carried out and a man who climbed atop a building and stayed there for more than an hour before surrendering."

"Native Americans who oppose the $3.8 billion pipeline established the Oceti Sakowin camp last April on federal land near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to draw attention to their concerns that the project will hurt the environment and sacred sites — claims Dallas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners disputes. The camp gained increased attention starting in August after its population had grown and authorities made their first arrests. At its height, the camp included thousands of people, but the numbers had dwindled during the winter and as the fight over the pipeline moved into the courts."

READ MORE related to EnvironmentLawmakers propose adopting federal environmental protections they fear Trump will drop -- Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFFCalifornia Trail exhibit taking shape at Oakland Zoo -- The Chronicle's FILIPA A. IOANNOUDid the drought contribute to severe flooding in San Jose? Officials search for answers -- L.A. Times' RONG-GING LIN II/VERONICA ROCHA/MATT STEVENS Shasta Dam makes history as water flows from top gates for first time in 20 years -- L.A. Times' JOSEPH SERNA

A suspect believed to be involved in Wednesday's motorcycle death of a CHP officer has been apprehended

: "A man suspected of being the subject of a pursuit that resulted in the death of a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer Wednesday night has been arrested."

"The CHP announced Thursday night that Alberto Morales Quiroz, 26, was taken into custody at 11:45 a.m. Thursday in connection with the death of Officer Lucas Chellew."

"Investigators believe that Quiroz was the suspect riding an allegedly stolen motorcycle that the officer was chasing when he was involved in a collision that resulted in Chellew being fatally injured, according to a CHP news release." 


READ MORE related to Public SafetyIn Anaheim, a mundane dispute turned explosive -- L.A. Times' MELISSA ETEHAD/KATE MATHER/ANH DOPlease, reduced bail request expected at hearing in Baby Justice case -- Sacramento Bee's DARRELL SMITHSheriff's deputy hit by bus at Santa Rita Jail dies -- The Chronicle's VIVIAN HOHow an off-duty cop telling teens to stay out of his yard escalated to gunfire, protests and outrage -- L.A. Times' MELISSA ETEHAD/KATE MATHER/ANH DO; 13-year-old boy in scuffle with off-duty LAPD cop who discharged his gun set free for now -- O.C. Register's ALMA FAUSTO/CHRIS HAIRE/SCOTT SCHWEBKE; FBI joins search for Elias Rodriguez, missing Pacoima teen -- Daily News' CITY NEWS SERVICE; What are gun rules for off-duty cops? -- Daily News' TONY SAAVEDRA

A local Sacramento movement is trying to bring a little bit of color to downtown's Tower Bridge


Sacramento Bee's ROBIN OPSAHL: "Sacramento’s landmark entryway – the Tower Bridge – could be getting some new sparkle as community leaders work to drape it in energy-efficient LED lights that could be programmed to shine different colors to celebrate holidays or events."

"The refurbishment is spearheaded by the “RePower the Tower” campaign. Organizers are trying to raise $900,000 to replace all the Tower Bridge lights, which have been in place since 1989. RePower the Tower, as well as the original Tower Bridge light project, were both started by Sandy Smoley, a former Sacramento County supervisor and former Gov. Pete Wilson’s health-and-welfare secretary."

"In 1989 when I was at a fashion show on the west steps of the Capitol, I looked down at the Tower Bridge and it was just a dark hole that went to nowhere. I thought, wouldn’t this be a good time to put lights on the bridge?” Smoley said. “I had a similar realization last year at a farm-to-fork dinner. Now the bridge looked a little tired. I thought, wouldn’t it be neat to upgrade the lights to LED?"

A unique piece of local history, the Sacramento Valley Station, has seen some restoration.


Sacramento Bee's ANITA CHABRIA: "A few years ago, pigeons roosted inside on the decrepit rafters of the Sacramento Valley Station. Train passengers waited outside in the elements to retrieve their bags."

"On Thursday, the doors officially opened on the rehabbed building that city and state leaders said they hope will serve as a “front door” to Sacramento and highlight both the history and future of the region. And provide a sheltered luggage area."

"Every century or so, we use this very depot to imagine, re-image and define our future,” Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg told a crowd of hundreds that gathered under the ornate vaulted ceiling painted with intricate pink and blue trim. “This depot is in fact a microcosm for all that defines what is special about the city we love."


Regional water regulators are in a dispute with Oakland after officials dumped Ghost Ship Fire debris in the San Leandro Bay, prompting requests for removal of the trash from the local waters.


The Chronicle's VIVIAN HO: "In the almost three months since a fire tore through the Ghost Ship artist collective in Oakland during an electronic music event, killing 36, charred debris from the Fruitvale District warehouse has languished near the San Leandro Bay, where city officials dumped it in an effort to clear a path for first responders and fire investigators."

"Regional water regulators have since asked the city to either remove the debris or cover it before the next rainfall, authorities said Thursday."

"Dale Bowyer, an official with the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board Watershed Division, said he can’t say for certain if the debris could cause any environmental damage to nearby water sources with the rain. Located hundreds of feet and downhill from the bay, there’s little chance of any of it washing into the bay in a heavy storm, he said."


Amazon's new major project of opening physical, bricks-and-mortar superstores such as Walmart has many small business owners anxious with worry.


The Chronicle's THOMAS LEE: "Growing up in rural Indiana, Lowell Goss recalls with some sadness how the arrival of Walmart supercenters signaled the end of Main Street small businesses."

"He sees the same thing happening today, only this time the culprit is Amazon. The online giant recently opened an automated physical store in Seattle, called Amazon Go, in which shoppers can pick out their groceries and leave without having to stop at a checkout station."

"It’s just one test store, but Goss already envisions a pretty glum, dystopian future."


Effective weight loss is a biproduct of many different disciplines, but arguably the most difficult one to stick to -- burning calories -- happens by controlling the quality and quantity of your food.


L.A. Times' AMBER DANCE: "Hoping to shimmy into those skinny jeans by adding an extra spin class to your workout routine or spending more time on the treadmill?"

"Sorry, say experts, you’re out of luck. Exercise, while enormously beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight, doesn’t tend to be effective for shedding pounds. The best way to trim the flab is to minimize the food on your plate."

“You cannot outrun a bad diet,” as an editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine put it."


READ MORE related to HealthOut of shape? You can probably blame bad habits. But it's never too late to build better ones -- L.A. Times' CHRIS WOOLSTON; Try these tricks to stop your mindless eating -- L.A. Times' CHRIS WOOLSTON; So why is an AIDS nonprofit suing to halt construction and pushing for Measure S? -- L.A. Times' EMILY ALPERT REYES/DAVID ZAHNISER


This week's Capitol Weekly Podcast guest is Christ Austin of Maven's Notebook, a California state water policy blog.  


Capitol Weekly's STAFF: "As floods ravage San Jose and the spillway of the Oroville Dam continues to erode, we’re joined by California’s essential water policy blogger, Chris Austin of Maven’s Notebook. We chatted about water storage, conveyance, subsidence, aquifers, the Yolo Causeway and, of course, the Twin Tunnels project. And we find out why one of the state’s most closely read water blogs has such an odd name."


Los Angeles Metro's governing board has rescinded its corporate naming rights policy.


Daily News' STEVE SCAUZILLO: "In an about face, Metro rescinded its short-lived corporate naming rights policy for train lines, street stations and buildings by a unanimous vote of the governing board Thursday."

The removal of a controversial policy that allowed corporations to pay big bucks to re-name a station or train line overtaking the more organic, geographic name, came as expected after several board members spoke out about the policy since it was approved on Dec. 1, 2016."

"Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) board member Sheila Kuehl and Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, both members of the board, argued successfully that the policy was both an example of over corporatization of public facilities and a potential magnet for litigation."


READ MORE related to Transportation: SpaceX makes space station delivery, Russian cache to follow -- AP's MARCIA DUNN

And for the person who had the worst week in California, #WorstWeekinCA, how about Republican Sen. Janet Nguyen of Garden Grove? She got booted off the Senate floor as she prepared to offer criticism of the late political activist Tom Hayden.


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