The DNC kicks off

Jul 25, 2016

The Democratic National Convention starts this week in Philadelphia, and already the drama unfolds as chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is ousted before the event starts.


Aaron Blake with Washington Post writes: "Thousands of leaked emails have sealed the fate of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's uneven five-plus-year tenure as DNC chair."


"Wasserman Schultz's resignation announcement Sunday afternoon comes as a bad situation just keeps getting worse -- and appears as though it might continue to do so. That's because WikiLeaks has so far released nearly 20,000 emails, new details are still being discovered, and there is still the prospect of additional, damaging emails coming to light."


"Many of the most damaging emails suggest the committee was actively trying to undermine Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign. Basically all of these examples came late in the primary -- after Hillary Clinton was clearly headed for victory -- but they belie the national party committee's stated neutrality in the race even at that late stage."


READ MORE in Beltway: Sanders supporters won't be stopped from having say at DNC -- Joe Garofoli with The Chronicle; Brown's presence at convention will exercise governance, demographics -- Carla Marinucci with Politico.


And terror is back, after another nightclub shooting, this time in Ft. Myers, Florida, leaves 2 dead and 16 wounded


Lizette Alvarez reports with N.Y. Times: "MIAMI — Two people were killed and at least 16 were wounded in a shooting early Monday at a nightclub that had been hosting a party for teenagers in Fort Myers, in southwestern Florida, the authorities said."


"Police officers were called to the nightclub, Club Blu, on Evans Avenue about three miles south of City Hall, around 12:30 a.m. Monday. They arrived to find “several victims suffering from gunshot wounds” in the club’s parking lot, Capt. Jim Mulligan of the city’s Police Department said in a statement."


"At “this time, the scene is still very active as investigators and crime scene personnel attempt to determine what had occurred,” Captain Mulligan said. “The Police Department is attempting to determine a motive for this incident.”


Meanwhile, Santa Clarita Valley is under attack from a rapidly growing wildfire that has displaced thousands.


Cindy Chang, Deborah Netburn and Marisa Gerber report with L.A. Times: "Just a few weeks ago, Ted Kellum told his wife that he felt like they lived in paradise."


"After relocating to the Santa Clarita area from Texas for his new job as a defense contractor at Raytheon, Kellum and his family settled into their home two years ago on Sand Canyon Road. It came with a pool and a striking view of the San Gabriel Mountains."


"But then, this weekend, Kellum, 55, watched as the area transformed into an inferno. Dark smoke choked the air and orange flames traced a ridge behind the home that he loves."


READ MORE in Environment: Out-of-control wildfire grows to more than 33,000 acres -- L.A. Times


And in business news, Verizon is rumored to be buying out Yahoo! for around $5 billion


Associated Press reporting in L.A. Times: "Verizon has agreed to buy online portal Yahoo Inc. for roughly $5 billion, according to multiple media reports, each citing a single unnamed source."


"The deal is expected to be formally  announced  Monday before markets open, the reports said."


"Verizon had emerged in recent days as the front-runner for the beleaguered Internet company. Yahoo, under pressure from shareholders fed up with a downturn in the company's revenue during the past eight years, is expected to sell its email service and news, finance and sports websites in addition to its advertising tools."


A new law requiring middle- and high-schoolers to be educated about sexual harassment goes into affect this fall


Jane Meredith Adams in EdSource writes: "A new California law requiring 7th- through 12th-grade students to be educated about sexual harassment and assault will enter its first full year of implementation this fall, and experts and advocates say schools have the opportunity to address troubling attitudes about gender and power that they say can contribute to sexual harassment and even assaults on college campuses."


"Many school cultures trivialize harassment, tolerate language that degrades girls and women, and leave unchallenged the misconception that masculinity means being superior and aggressive and femininity means being inferior and submissive, said Erin Prangley, associate director of government relations for the American Association of University Women, a Washington, D.C.-based research and policy organization. These unchecked attitudes emerge at an early age and help create a mindset that, at the college level, has the potential to contribute to sexual assaults, such as the case of Brock Turner at Stanford University, she said."


"The problems that have been very high-profile in the campus sexual assault arena aren’t problems in a vacuum,” Prangley said, without referring to the specific circumstances of the Turner assault."


SEE MORE related to Education: Homeless and hungry in college: not just a 'ramen-noodle' problem -- Katy Murphy with Mercury News.


And in local government, Santa Clara County's courthouse is costing the state $33,000/month to operate, despite its large lack of efficacy.


Tracey Kaplan reports in Mercury News: "For more than two decades, residents of south Santa Clara County were promised a local courthouse, so they wouldn't have to drive 45 minutes north to deal with traffic tickets and other legal problems."


"But the first new courthouse they got became infested with toxic black mold and had to be shut down four years after it opened. So the courts were moved from the $7 million ruined building to leaky, cramped portables infested with ants and rats."


"Ten years later, a second, $60 million courthouse complex with stunning views of nearby hills opened in Morgan Hill with great fanfare."


And now from our "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" file...


Ever helped an apparent panhandler on the side of the street? Well, next tme you see one and want to help, think twice. You may end up with a traffic ticket.


UPI: "REGINA, Saskatchewan, June 10 --  A Canadian man was ticketed for removing his seatbelt in traffic while attempting to give money to an undercover cop he mistook for a panhandler."


"Dane Rusk was fined $175 for unbuckling his seatbelt when he attempted to give $3 in change to a man that appeared to be a panhandler while leaving a mall in Regina."

"As I came up to the stop sign, I stopped and looked and I saw this homeless guy holding a sign. I instantly felt sorry for him," Rusk told CTV News. "I reached out – I had to undo my seatbelt, hang over and drop the change on the curb."