Shake, rattle and roll

Oct 19, 2018

New seismic era begins as earthquake warnings are readied to ring in California


LA Times's RONG-GONG LIN II: "Tom Heaton thought it was crazy when, back in the 1970s, he first heard about the concept of an earthquake early warning system."


"Japan’s high-speed rail system already was using the technology to slow down trains before shaking from a distant earthquake hit. But the more the young Caltech scientist did his calculations, the more he dreamed of bringing the system to California."


Partisanship roils voting reform efforts


CHUCK MCFADDEN in Capitol Weekly: "Moves to make voting easier in California have caused yet another divide between Republicans and Democrats."


"The Republicans say they are worried because the door to voter fraud might swing wide open. Democrats say California needs greater civic participation by groups who have historically shown lackluster voting turnouts, and automatic vote-by-mail and electronic registration will help."


"The general consensus among political types is that Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s “Motor Voter” program, which registers Californians when they apply for driver’s licenses, along with automatic vote-by-mail will increase voter registration and turnout — and that probably adds up to more Democratic votes."


NOAA predicts a warmer, wetter California due to weak El Nino


Sacramento Bee's VINCENT MOLESKI: "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted Thursday a mild winter with warmer, wetter weather likely for much of the country from December through February due to a developing El Niño."


"California is likely to see hotter-than-average winter temperatures, while parts of Southern California could also get greater precipitation, according to NOAA."


"Drought conditions may worsen in much of Southern and Central California, although the north coast of California may see some relief, according to NOAA."


READ MORE related to Energy & EnvironmentTule elk are eating too much grass in Pt. Reyes . Should they be shot so dairy cows can graze? -- Sacramento BeeBig food brands commit to conserve water, soil -- amd the climate -- Water Deeply's ELIZA ROBERTS/LINDSAY BASS


You could get $6,000 a year under this California senator's new plan


The Tribune's ANDREW SHEELER: "American families making less than $100,000 a year could be eligible for a monthly tax credit of up to $500, or $6,000 a year, under new legislation announced Thursday by Democratic U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California."


"Individuals making less than $50,000 would be eligible for up to $250 a month, $3,000 a year."


"Americans are working harder than ever but stagnant wages mean they can’t keep up with cost of living increases,” Harris, a likely presidential candidate in 2020, said in a statement."


Prop. 10 is 'in deep trouble,' poll shows


LA Times's LIAM DILLON: "An initiative that would expand rent control in California faces a steep deficit as election day nears, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll."


"The survey found that 41% of likely voters favor Proposition 10 with 38% opposed and 21% undecided. California law prohibits cities and counties from implementing many forms of rent control. Proposition 10 would repeal that law, allowing local governments to develop their own policies."


Residents erupt in anger at Garcetti's town hall for planned homeless shelter in Venice


LA Times's DAKOTA SMITH/DOUG SMITH: "For four hours, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took the heat from a crowd in Venice. Locals booed, catcalled and criticized the city’s plans to build a 154-bed homeless shelter on an abandoned Metropolitan Transportation Authority yard in the heart of the seaside community."


"It was Garcetti’s first town hall to discuss his Bridge Home program, which seeks to put a temporary shelter in each of the city’s 15 council districts."


Record number of East Bay jail inmates likely to vote in 2018 midterms


The Chronicle's MEGAN CASSIDY : "Sascha Atkins-Loria had only a few hours at Alameda County jail in Oakland to register inmates to vote, so she didn’t waste time last week as she delivered her pitch to each housing unit."


"You can’t be on parole,” the social worker for the Alameda County public defender’s office yelled, as inmates emerged from their cells."


READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: California will allow up to 4,000 nonviolent third-strike criminals with life sentences to seek parole -- AP


A doctor warned California about prisoner care. After an inmate suicide, he got $822,000


Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON:  "California has awarded more than $800,000 to a prison psychiatrist who said he was retaliated against after he warned that conditions at San Quentin State Prison would endanger inmates."


"Christopher Wadsworth, the prison’s former chief psychiatrist, got an $822,000 settlement last year after alleging that a change in mental health protocol contributed to an inmate’s suicide in 2014. He claimed he experienced years of professional retaliation after warning his supervisors that a plan to temporarily restrict the number of San Quentin’s acute crisis beds would endanger inmates and contradict provisions of a court agreement that governs mental health services."


"The lawsuit, filed in 2015, concluded this year when Wadsworth accepted a transfer to Folsom State Prison."


READ MORE related to Healthcare: Fentanyl smuggled from China is killing thouisands of Americans -- LA Times's DEL QUENTIN WILBER


Trump admin seeks prompt immigration ruling


AP's SUDHIN THANAWALA: "The Trump administration said it will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene if a federal appeals court does not rule soon on the administration's decision to end legal protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants."


"The U.S. Department of Justice wants the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, by Oct. 31, or it will ask the Supreme Court to take up the case, the Justice Department said Wednesday in a letter to the 9th Circuit."


"A spokesman for the 9th Circuit, David Madden, said the letter would be sent to the three judges considering the case and it's up to them to decide when to issue a ruling."


UCF agrees to $150K settlement over sexual harassment claim


The Chronicle's NANETTE ASIMOV: "The University of California has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit from a former colleague against UCSF’s famed anti-tobacco crusader and researcher Stanton Glantz, who also faces a second, similar lawsuit from a former employee."


SF throws out charges against homeless people camping on sidewalk


The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "San Francisco judge dismissed criminal charges Thursday against three homeless people who were arrested for camping or sleeping on the streets, a decision that follows a federal appeals court ruling barring cities from prosecuting such cases when no shelters are available."


"District Attorney George Gascón, who has announced a new policy of charging people with illegal camping only when they reject an offer of an available shelter, did not challenge the dismissals. But Gascón and Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s office appear to be at odds on what a city has to do to make shelters “available."


Four communities in California turn to voters to help fund children's programs


EdSource's ZAIDEE STAVELY:  "In the face of compelling research showing the importance of providing services for children before they reach kindergarten, four communities in California are going to voters to ask them for special funding to underwrite a range of early education programs."


"The measures that seek new funding streams for early childhood are in Oakland, nearby Richmond, tiny Capitola, on the Santa Cruz coast, and San Joaquin County in California’s Central Valley. Some of the funds from the measures would also be used for programs serving older children."


"If passed, these measures would serve a tiny fraction of the state’s youngest children. A just-released study by Sean Reardon at Stanford University and several other researchers showed that children from low-income families arrive in kindergarten substantially behind their peers academically nationwide — and the gap is very hard to make up by the time they reach 8th grade."


Trump uses inflated figures to argue that foreign sales are ties that bind US to Saudi Arabia


LATimes's NOAH BIERMAN: "As President Trump has faced increasing pressure to punish Saudi Arabia over its suspected torture and murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, he has repeatedly cited the country’s value as not only an ally, but also a customer."


"They’re a tremendous purchaser of not only military equipment, but other things,” Trump said this week. “When I went there, they committed to purchase $450 billion worth of things, and $110 billion worth of military. Those are the biggest orders in the history of this country, probably the history of the world."


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