Newsom vs. Becerra?

Mar 22, 2019

Newsom may prohibit new death sentences, setting up possible conflict with Becerra 


LA Times's PHIL WILLON/PATRICK MCGREEVY: "A week after issuing an executive order imposing a blanket moratorium on the execution of California death row inmates, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he is considering a plan to prohibit any new death sentences in local criminal cases."


"Newsom’s pronouncement could create conflict with another top Democratic leader, state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, who has supported capital punishment, even though the governor said he wants to work collaboratively with the attorney general."


"Newsom reiterated his desire to abolish the death penalty and said he hopes to work with Becerra and others to determine whether, as governor, he can act “on behalf of the people in this state to no longer prosecute death."


College admissions scandal: UCLA men's soccer coach Jorge Salcedo resigns in wake of bribery allegations


LA Times's BEN BOLCH: "UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo resigned in the wake of his alleged involvement in accepting $200,000 in bribes to help enroll two players using fake athletic profiles, an athletic department official confirmed Thursday."


"Salcedo had been placed on leave since being indicted last week on charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering after facilitating the acceptance of one female and one male student to the school under the pretense of being soccer players even though they did not play the sport competitively."


"One of those students, Lauren Isackson, was part of the women’s soccer team in 2017 despite no previous experience, according to prosecutors. Her parents have been implicated as part of a wide-ranging scheme to enroll the children of privileged families into top-tier universities across the country."


READ MORE related to Operation Varsity BluesA wiretap brings privilege and helicopter parenting to the fore in the college admissions scandal -- LA Times's BENJAMIN ORESKES


Newsom wants to implement a tax break for the wealthy in his latest affordable housing experiment


Sacramento Bee's MADELINE ASHMUN: "A provision of Trump’s 2017 tax bill helps the wealthy put off paying some taxes. Now California might use it to help build affordable housing."


"The opportunity zone program lets investors take money they’ve made from selling something like stocks, real estate, or art, and put it into a fund that invests it in projects to uplift economically distressed communities."


"Investors can defer paying their federal capital gains taxes on those investments until the end of 2026 or whenever they sell or exchange their investment – whichever comes first. The longer an investor keeps money in an opportunity zone investment, the smaller their tax liability becomes. If they keep an opportunity zone investment for 10 years or more, they don’t have to pay any taxes on the gains they make from their investment."


READ MORE related to Development, Homelessness & Housing: A 100-bed homeless shelter is proposed near this wealthy Sacramento neighborhood -- Sacramento Bee's THERESA CLIFT


Nunes blames Twitter for his close call in 2018 election. Here's his real problem


Sacramento Bee's KATE IRBY/EMILY CADEI: "Rep. Devin Nunes blames Twitter for only narrowly avoiding defeat in the 2018 election in his newly filed lawsuit against the social media giant, but voter registration and turnout trends suggest the San Joaquin Valley Republican has other challenges to worry about for his next campaign."


"Republican registration dropped 5 percent in his Fresno-area district between 2012 and 2018, as more voters registered with “no party preference.” And, if Democrats vote in numbers like they did last fall, he could face a blue wave like the one that unseated seven of his fellow California Republican congressmen in 2018."


"Those trends are among the reasons that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee included his district as one of its top targets for 2020."


Mixed signals: While Devin Nunes sues Twitter to suppress free speech, Donald Trump orders colleges to 'back free speech' or lose fed money


AP's COLLIN BINKLEY: "President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday requiring U.S. colleges to protect free speech on their campuses or risk losing federal research funding."


"The new order directs federal agencies to ensure that any college or university receiving research grants agrees to promote free speech and the exchange of ideas, and to follow federal rules guiding free expression."


"Even as universities have received billions and billions of dollars from taxpayers, many have become increasingly hostile to free speech and to the First Amendment," Trump said at a White House signing ceremony. "These universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great young Americans."


City of Lincoln's stability 'threatened' by years of financial mismanagement, state audit says


Sacramento Bee's ALEXANDRA YOON-HENDRICKS: "The California State Auditor’s office slammed the city of Lincoln for years of financial mismanagement of public funds, lax accountability and inadequate oversight from officials that “threaten the city’s stability,” in an audit report released Thursday."


"For years, Lincoln overcharged developers and residents, made “questionable” loan transfers, and shuffled money from restricted funds to offset deficit-ridden accounts to falsely present the funds as solvent, according to the state auditor’s report. These actions “did not always follow state law,” Chief Deputy State Auditor John Billington wrote in a letter to legislators."


"For many in Lincoln, the state audit validates a long-held belief that city officials repeatedly failed to heed concerns raised by residents, contributing to bad accounting practices and government oversight, said Tony Manning, a co-founder of a neighborhood watchdog group called Lincolnites for Integrity and Fiscal Transparency, or LIFT."


Nearly half of SCUSD preschoolers to lose their program as district slashes budget


Sacramento Bee's SAWSAN MORRAR: "Nearly half of Sacramento City Unified’s preschool children will be transitioned into other childcare programs as the district slashes its budget to try to avert a state takeover, according to program employees."


"Grappling with a $35 million budget gap, district officials are cutting programs, and children will be serviced by other providers. The programs include the Early Head Start for infants and toddlers, preschool programs, in-house programs for children with medical needs, and prenatal education."


"The Sacramento Employment and Training Agency, a joint effort by the city and county, supports the federally funded Head Start program and state funded programs with $6.5 million. But the district has been supplementing funding for the programs. Barrios told The Bee in August that the funding gap had been increasing and the district would contribute $2.3 million in 2018-19. The growing costs were due to salary increases and employee benefits, according to district officials."


READ MORE related to Education: Students and teachers say City College in SF will cut under-enrolled classes -- The Chronicle's GWENDOLYN WU


3 SF supes pledge to close juvenile hall after Chronicle report


The Chronicle's JILL TUCKER/JOAQUIN PALOMINO: "Three San Francisco supervisors have vowed to shut down juvenile hall, an extraordinary move — prompted by a Chronicle investigation — that would end the jailing of youths in the city."


"Hillary Ronen, Shamann Walton and Matt Haney are drafting legislation that would close the facility, which has 150 beds but typically has fewer than 50 youths held inside, by the end of 2021."


READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: Richmond police records reveal little on discipline over sex abuse scandal -- The Chronicle's MEGAN CASSIDY


NASA's study of moon's potential for future use starts with a trove of rocks


The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE: "A trove of rare moon rocks, preserved untouched for nearly half a century, will be unsealed by Bay Area scientists this summer and used for experiments that NASA hopes will solve lingering mysteries about the lunar surface and pave the way for future habitation of Earth’s natural satellite."


"Nine research teams, including two at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View and one at UC Berkeley, were selected this month to conduct high-tech studies of a special collection of rocks that astronauts dug up during the last Apollo mission in 1972 and placed in hermetically sealed containers."


"Nine research teams, including two at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View and one at UC Berkeley, were selected this month to conduct high-tech studies of a special collection of rocks that astronauts dug up during the last Apollo mission in 1972 and placed in hermetically sealed containers."


READ MORE related to Energy, Environment & Science: Survivors of childhood cancers find hope for parenthood -- in monkey testicles -- LA Times's EMILY BAUMGAERTNER


Wall Street finds Levi's a good fit


The Chronicle's SHAWNIKA NARAYAN: "Maybe retail isn’t dead after all."


"Levi Strauss, the venerable San Francisco jeans-maker founded near the height of the Gold Rush, made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday."


Marine Corps commandant says deploying troops to the border poses 'unacceptable risk'


LA Times's MOLLY OTOOLE: "The commandant of the Marines has warned the Pentagon that deployments to the southwest border and funding transfers under the president's emergency declaration, among other unexpected demands, have posed “unacceptable risk to Marine Corps combat readiness and solvency."


"In two internal memos, Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller said the “unplanned/unbudgeted” deployment along the border that President Trump ordered last fall, and shifts of other funds to support border security, had forced him to cancel or reduce planned military training in at least five countries, and delay urgent repairs at bases."


"The border deployment and funding transfers, as well as recovery costs from hurricanes Florence and Michael, new housing allowances and civilian pay raises, are taking a toll on combat readiness, Neller wrote to Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Navy Secretary Richard Spencer."


Disney cuts high-level Fox ececutives and will shut down Fox 2000 label


LA Times's RYAN FAUGHNDER: "Two days after completing its landmark acquisition of the legendary Fox studio, Walt Disney Co. began laying off senior-level executives in an effort to wring savings from the $71.3-billion deal."


"The initial cuts Thursday affected about two dozen people, most of whom are high-level executives at the 20th Century Fox lot in Century City, according to people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to comment. Termination notices and severance packages started going out Thursday morning."


"Among those who are losing their jobs is Chris Aronson, Fox’s well-liked president of domestic theatrical distribution who joined the studio in 2005. Others who are leaving the film studio include marketing President Pam Levine, international distribution head Andrew Cripps and domestic publicity head Heather Phillips."

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