State high court okays Brown's parole plan

May 6, 2016

The state Supreme Court has ruled that Gov. Brown acted within the powers of his discretion when amending a juvenile justice bill to include the release of nonviolent adult offenders as well.


The Bee's David Siders reports: "An effort to block Gov. Jerry Brown’s ballot initiative to make some nonviolent felons eligible for early release came under heavy skepticism from the California Supreme Court on Thursday, with several justices suggesting Brown acted within his discretion in the controversial way he filed the measure."


"The court hearing came after a lower court ruled in February that Brown improperly filed his initiative as an amendment to a narrower measure concerning juvenile justice. The Democratic governor is scrambling to gather signatures to put on the November ballot an initiative to make certain felons eligible for early parole and to give the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation authority to award credits for good behavior."


"Governor Jerry Brown joined legislators and labor leaders to announce a landmark agreement that makes California the first state in the nation to commit to raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour statewide on Mon., Mar. 28, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif."


As the presidential race winds down to just Trump and Clinton, Clinton now shifts the focus of her campaign to attacking Trump's stance on immigration, a key issue in California. 


LAT's Seema Mehta reports: "In front of a heavily Latino crowd in East Los Angeles, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton on Thursday castigated Donald Trump for reiterating his controversial plans to deport millions of immigrants after he became the presumptive GOP nominee earlier this week."


“Every election is a choice,” she said, noting that Trump “doubled down” on his plans to create a deportation force to round up people in the country illegally, to scrap President Obama’s executive orders on immigration on his first day in office, and to build a giant wall on the southern border."


“The best way to prevent that from happening is to make sure he never gets near the White House,” Clinton said."


Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, 64, has been diagnosed with leukemia, but he intends to seek reelection.


From the Contra Costa Times' Daniel Borenstein: "But his cancer has responded well to treatment. His prognosis is good. And he has even felt well enough to resume his meditative 8-mile runs on Mount Diablo."


"As for the lingering political question, the 64-year-old freshman congressman stands ready and determined to continue his campaign for a second term -- although last year he wasn't so sure."


"He was scared while awaiting a diagnosis that could have been much worse. He recalls "walking around the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress on a beautiful day" and thinking "this is interesting. I (just) became a member of Congress. It's going to be a short run."


As UC continues to be plagued with scandal, Janet Napolitano's relentless policing finds her being accused of skirting the channels of "shared decision making" and neglecting the voices of the teachers she represents.


Chronicle's Nanette Asimov writes: "Handling any crisis — whether it’s sexual harassment at UC Berkeley or reports of ethics violations by the UC Davis chancellor — comes down to two words, experts say."


"Fix it."


“Good spin is great. But it doesn’t solve the problem,” said Larry Kamer, a Bay Area strategist who specializes in crisis management at companies and colleges."

Meanwhile, a relief bill aimed at providing support to the residents of Aliso Canyon and all those under the Porter Ranch gas leak has been shot down by the Assembly.
Sac Bee's Jeremy B. White reports: "Following late-blooming resistance from business groups, a bill giving Porter Ranch residents more tools to seek legal redress for a gas leak fell far short in the California Assembly on Thursday."


"A leaking well in the affluent southern California community spewed massive amounts of gas into the atmosphere for months, depressing property values and leading residents to complain of dizziness, vomiting and other symptoms. Legislators have already sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill continuing a moratorium on injections into the troubled well."


"But an effort to expand residents’ ability to bring lawsuits faltered on a 27-31 vote, nowhere near the 41 votes needed for passage. Six Democrats joined Republicans in voting against the bill, and 19 Democrats withheld votes."


SEE ALSO: Torrance refinery explosion cost California drivers $2.4 billion in high pump prices -- Nick Green with Daily Breeze.


 El Niño's spotty track record this year may be setting California up for an even more volatile and flammable summer next year.


LAT's Joseph Serna reports: "As he drove east of Fresno to the next Wildfire Awareness Week event in Kern County on Wednesday, Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott turned his gaze toward the browning landscape."


“I’m looking at grass that’s 2 feet tall easily, and it’s already dead,” Pimlott said."


"Meanwhile, far away in the southern and central Sierra Nevada, foliage on 29 million trees infested with bark beetles are turning orange and red and dying, with countless more stretching north toward Sacramento expected to meet a similar fate over the next year."


Finally, the person with the worst week in California, #WorstWeekinCA, is Tom Angel, chief of staff to the L.A. County Sheriff, who has been ousted after a scandal revealed rampant racism in Angel's day-to-day text messages and interactions with others. 


Jennifer Hong reporting in Newsoxy: "Sheriff Jim McDonnell’s chief of staff, Tom Angel, has resigned amid mounting criticism over emails he sent mocking Muslims, blacks, Latinos, women and others from his Los Angeles County work account during his previous job with the Burbank Police Department."


"After previously saying that he had no immediate plans to discipline his chief of staff, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a statement that he had accepted Tom Angel’s resignation and intended to turn the controversy into a “learning opportunity” for his department employees, the New York Daily News reports."


“This incident is one that I find deeply troubling,” McDonnell said. “Despite the Sheriff’s Department’s many recent efforts to fortify public trust and enhance internal and external accountability and transparency, this incident reminds us that we and other law enforcement agencies still have work to do.”