Sanctuary city policies thwarted

Nov 21, 2017

The Roundup is compiled by Associate Editor Geoff Howard. Email him at


Trump's threatened punishment over sanctuary policies blocked by judge's final ruling


The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "President Trump acted unconstitutionally when he threatened to strip billions of dollars in federal funding from sanctuary cities and counties, like San Francisco and Santa Clara County, that refuse to cooperate fully with immigration officers, a federal judge ruled Monday."


"U.S. District Judge William Orrick III of San Francisco had already issued a nationwide injunction in April, blocking enforcement of the executive order that Trump had issued in February and saying it was likely to be found unconstitutional. The Trump administration has appealed that ruling, which remains in effect, and has also sought to backpedal from the broad language of the president’s order."


"Orrick went further Monday and issued a final ruling saying Trump had committed multiple constitutional violations — usurping Congress’ power over federal spending, seeking to defund programs unrelated to immigration and trying to coerce local governments to change their policies."


READ MORE related to Immigration: With prototypes of the border wall in place, both Mexicans and Californians are talking about Trump's plan -- The Press-Enterprise's ALEJANDRA MOLINAUS ending temporary permits for almost 60,000 Haitians -- AP's LUIS ALONSO LUGO; Justice Department asks Supreme Court to fully reinstate travel ban -- WSJ's JESS BRAVIN


Leading Democratic candidates for California governor back universal preschool


EdSource's LOUIS FREEDBERG/ASHLEY HOPKINSON: "In what would be a significant shift from Gov. Jerry Brown’s position on early education, the four leading Democratic candidates running to replace him next year say they are committed to offering universal preschool in California."


"Under Gov. Brown’s watch, California has increased the number of subsidized preschool and child care slots, as well as access to an early kindergarten grade called transitional kindergarten for some 4-year-olds. But much to the frustration of early education advocates, Brown has rejected pressures to expand preschool to all low-income 4-year-olds, mainly citing the costs of such an expansion as the major impediment. In a setback for advocates two years ago, Brown vetoed what was called “The Preschool for All” legislation (Assembly Bill 47). "


"But at an October event in Sacramento organized by Advancement Project California as part of its “Birth to Five Water Cooler” gathering, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, State Treasurer John Chiang and former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin all agreed that universal preschool was essential not only for children, but for the state."


READ MORE related to EducationHarvard faces DOJ probe over Affirmative-Action policies -- WSJ's MELISSA KORN/NICOLE HONG


FCC to outline plan to roll back Net-Neutrality rules


WSJ's JOHN D. MCKINNON: "Federal regulators this week are expected to unveil their plans for reversing Obama-era rules that require internet-service providers to treat all web traffic equally, a move that could fundamentally reshape the internet economy and consumers’ online experience."


READ MORE related to Feds: Justice Department files lawsuit challenging AT&T-Time Warner deal -- WSJ's BRENT KENDALL


Leeann Tweeden, the woman who first accused Al Franken of groping her at a USO tour, has just had a reckoning of her own: photos and videos from her time at the USO tour where she was allegedly groped reveal a different story of a woman not being groped, but doing the groping.


VerifiedPolitics' KATARINA POPOVIC: "In the tumultuous aftermath of Leeann Tweeden’s accusations against Al Franken during a 2006 USO trip to Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan, new photos and videos have emerged that cast doubt on her account."


"During the very same USO tour in question, Tweeden can be seen blatantly groping the backside of a male performer and kissing another."


"This USO tour is not the only time that Tweeden has put her hypocritical behavior on display. At one point, she even did so with the iconic, late Robin Williams."


READ MORE related to Boy's Club'He put his hand full-fledged on my rear': Why Al Franken could be in a lot more trouble now -- WaPo's AMBER PHILLIPS'I am not okay': The remarkable response by 'CBS This morning' co-host to the Charlie Rose allegations -- WaPo's J. FREEDOM DU LAC/MARWA ELTAGOURIAmid new groping allegations, Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra says he will not run for re-election -- Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFFDe Leon moves to strip Mendoza of leadership post -- Sacramento Bee's TARYN LUNAStop using Bill Clinton to hammer on liberals. Sexual harassment is a man problem, not a partisan one -- LA Times' ROBIN ABCARIANCongresswoman accuses former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment -- San Diego Union Tribune's JOSHUA STEWART


Mandalay Bay and concert promoter sued by hundreds of Las Vegas massacre survivors


LA Times' MATT PEARCE: "Lawyers representing more than 450 victims of the Oct. 1 Las Vegas massacre filed multiple lawsuits Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, arguing that hotel and concert officials did not do enough to prevent a shooting that left 58 people dead."


"More than 15 additional lawsuits have already been filed as victims seek financial compensation for the attack, in which more than 500 people were injured by gunshots or were trampled. Litigation could stretch for years."


"The five new suits announced Monday focus on the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where gunman Stephen Paddock brought in weapons and opened fire at a crowd of concertgoers across the street, as well as its owner, MGM Resorts International. Paddock’s estate was also named as a defendant."


READ MORE related to Gun Violence: Northern California shooter exploited 'honor system' in telling court he had no guns -- LA Times' JOSEPH SERNA


The art of the deal -- Capitol style


CHRIS MICHELI with Capitol Weekly: "We often read about the “wheeling and dealing” among elected officials that occurs in state capitols across this country, including Sacramento. While some Capitol observers refer to it as lawful deal-making, others characterize it as improper, or even unlawful, vote trading."


"So which is it?"


"The key question is whether there is anything improper about a legislator agreeing to vote for one bill because of promises that are made to that legislator, to another lawmaker, or even to the governor."


Trump administration announces sanctions against North Korea


AP's MATTHEW PENNINGTON: "The Trump administration plans to announce Tuesday new sanctions on North Korea, after declaring it a state sponsor of terrorism in the latest push to isolate the pariah nation."


"North Korea has joined Iran, Sudan and Syria on America’s terror blacklist, a largely symbolic step as the administration already has the authority to impose virtually any sanctions it wants on Kim Jong Un’s government over its nuclear weapons development."


"As part of its “maximum pressure” campaign, President Donald Trump said the Treasury Department would impose more sanctions on North Korea and “related persons” starting Tuesday, without hinting who or what would be targeted. The move is part of rolling effort to deprive Pyongyang of funds for its nuclear and missile programs and leave it internationally isolated."


Hospitals are rationing saline solution. Patients are starting to worry. 


Sacramento Bee's CATHIE ANDERSON/MOLLY SULLIVAN: "Sacramento resident Charis Hill was caught off guard by the tiny bottle of saline solution hanging from the intravenous pole when she went for the latest infusion of medication that helps her avoid crippling pain. Accustomed to seeing a much larger bag of fluid, she immediately asked staff about the change."


"That’s when she learned that, since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, key U.S. pharmaceutical plants on the island are experiencing manufacturing delays and distribution holdups that have caused unprecedented shortages of the widely used and critical fluid. Intravenous infusions of saline solution are used to hydrate patients during treatment or to dilute drugs during infusions, and Hill said she’s worried about whether there will be enough of the fluids when she arrives for her next treatment in six weeks."


"Perhaps the best indicator of the dearth of saline solution is that patients such as Hill have begun to take notice. Earlier this month, leaders of both the American Hospital Association and the California Hospital Association sent letters about the scarcity of supplies to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, asking Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to take any and all steps to resolve the worsening shortages. The treatments, they said, are essential to patient care in hospitals."


READ MORE related to Health Care: White House officials looking into merging VA and Tricare health services -- Military Times' LEO SHANE IIISacramento County to pay UC Davis more than $98 million under health care settlement -- Sacramento Bee's MARK GLOVER; New push on Parkinson's disease -- Capitol Weekly's DAVID JENSEN; Taken for a ride? Ambulances stick patients with surprise bills -- California Healthline's MELISSA BAILEY; Years before heading offshore, herpes researcher experimented on people in US -- California Healthline's MARISA TAYLOR; Doctor's RX for a stiff knee: A prescription for 90 Percocet pills -- California Healthline's MICHELLE ANDREWS; Displaced Puerto Ricans face obstacles getting health care -- California Healthline's PAULA ANDALO


Utility regulators used private lawyers to challenge criminal probe of agency


San Diego Unione Tribune's JEFF MCDONALD: "California Public Utilities Commission lawyers repeatedly sought to quash court-approved search warrants after utility regulators last year promised they would cooperate with an Attorney General’s Office criminal investigation, newly released records show."


"According to documents unsealed by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge Monday, commission lawyers opposed providing records to investigators as required by three different search warrants approved in 2015 and 2016."


"The warrants were issued after judges found probable cause that ratepayers were illegally saddled with billions of dollars in costs related to the San Onofre nuclear plant failure almost six years ago."


Nebraska regulators have approved a new route for the Keystone XL pipeline. But will it ever be built?


LA Times' KEITH SCHNEIDER: "The Nebraska Public Service Commission has authorized the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, but the decision — a new route with substantial environmental and legal impediments — now leaves serious questions about whether the $8-billion pipeline will ever be built."


"It’s a huge victory,” said Brian Jorde, an Omaha lawyer who represented 100 landowners who refused to sign leases to allow the pipeline to cross their property. “The commission sent TransCanada down a new, long and twisting road of appeals to get this pipeline built."


"Nebraska state Sen. Jim Smith, a Republican who strongly supported the project, was similarly skeptical about the pipeline’s prospects."


A Sacramento man was punched by an officer 18 times after allegedly jay walking and refusing to stop in the middle of the street. The officer has returned to duty.


Sacramento Bee's ANITA CHABRIA: "An officer who punched an alleged jaywalker more than a dozen times in Del Paso Heights in April will return to duty in coming weeks with no public details on the outcome of an internal affairs investigation."


"He will likely patrol an area that includes the neighborhood where the incident took place."


"The department announced Monday it had completed its investigation into the April 10 incident in which Officer Anthony Figueroa repeatedly punched Del Paso Heights resident Nandi Cain, and that Figueroa would return to his former duties. Sacramento police chief Daniel Hahn said Figueroa was scheduled to patrol Natomas, but that officers in that district also answer “a lot of calls” in nearby Del Paso Heights."


READ MORE related to Public Safety: Anaheim police excessive use-of-force rate outpaces many cities, ACLU report alleges -- LA Times' ANH DO/ADAM ELMAHREKAlameda County sheriff gets US grant to hire officers -- The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN; LAPD reduces front-desk hours at Valley, South LA stations, shifts officers to streets -- Daily News' ELIZABETH CHOU; Father gets 6 years in prison for joining son in beating Huntington Beach officer in front of cop's daughter -- OC Register's SEAN EMERY; Firefighters respond after elephants reported on a highway. Oh, and also a fire. -- Fresno Bee's SCOTT BERSON


Hackers attack Sacramento transit system and demand $8,000 ransom


Sacramento Bee's TONY BIZJAK: "Computer hackers directly attacked the Sacramento Regional Transit system computers this weekend, erasing data and threatening to do more harm if SacRT doesn’t pay them one bitcoin, now worth about $8,000."


"The attack erased parts of computer programs on the agency’s servers that affect internal operations, including the ability to use computers to dispatch employees and assign buses for routes, chief operating officer Mark Lonergan said."


"Regional Transit officials said they have determined that no data was stolen and are working to secure their system from further attack. Bus and rail service has not been affected."


READ MORE related to Crime: 11 Hells Angels members accused of violent racketeering -- The Chronicle's EVAN SERNOFFSKY


More than 600 illegal cannabis grow ops have been busted by police in Sacramento over the last two months.


Sacramento Bee's RYAN LILLIS: "Sacramento police broke up more than 600 illegal marijuana growing operations over a two-month period this year, arresting 10 people, issuing millions of dollars in fines and seizing nearly 5,000 plants."


"In response to concerns from multiple City Council members, a team of SWAT officers conducted a 60-day operation beginning in August aimed at curtailing illegal pot growing inside homes across the city. The sweep touched nearly every corner of the city, from North Natomas to Meadowview."


"On Tuesday, the Police Department will ask the City Council for $850,000 to continue the enforcement action through the first six months of 2018, according to a city staff report. The department wants to dedicate a team of three sergeants and 12 police officers to a specialized pot enforcement team, along with a city staffer tasked with removing marijuana and cultivation equipment from illegal grow houses."


READ MORE related to Cannabis: Legal San Diego marijuana growers plan to cluster in Mira Mesa, Kearny Mesa, near border -- San Diego Union Tribune's DAVID GARRICK


After a record-setting five-year drought, California found respite in 2017 with a record setting year of water.


Sacramento Bee's JEFF OPPERMAN/PETER MOYLE: "Massive floods hit Houston and devastating hurricanes struck Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Yet one of the more remarkable stories in the past year is the catastrophe that did not happen: massive flooding in California."


"California experienced its wettest water year on record in 2016-17. In previous decades, that huge volume of water would have caused lethal floods, particularly in the Central Valley."


"In part, we were lucky. Reservoirs were empty from drought so they had abundant capacity, and there was sufficient time between big storms so the rainfall didn’t stack up. Dams and major levees held, though the near-failing of Oroville Dam’s spillway and the flooding of the small town of Maxwell in February showed it could have been much worse."


READ MORE related to Environment: Repairs should not be limited to Oroville Dam -- WaterDeeply's RICHARD BLOOMA Trump official just promoted coal at a climate summit, got a brutal response -- VerifiedPolitics' BRIAN TYLER COHEN; Santa Rosa retirement-community operators sued over wildfire evacuation -- The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA; How have drought, climate change impacted beloved giant sequoias? New study finds out -- Fresno Bee's BRIANNA CALIX; Measures to boost salmon are working, but some fear they could backfire -- WaterDeeply's ALASTAIR BLAND; SDG&E and city-run alternative compete to provide 100 percent green power in San Diego -- San Diego Union Tribune's JOSHUA EMERSON SMITH


San Bruno casino facing $8 million penalty over alleged money laundering on premises


The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA: "The federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has hit Artichoke Joe’s Casino in San Bruno with an $8 million penalty for allegedly violating a number of anti-money-laundering laws over the past eight years."


"From October 2009 until this month, FinCEN claims, the casino — one of the largest so-called card clubs in the state — failed to create adequate internal controls intended to detect, deter and report suspicious transactions."


"The 101-year old casino’s operators have denied the allegations and say they’re currently their next steps."


Can the NAACP save itself? With viral protests and new leadership, a storied group tries to reinvent


LA Times' JAWEED KALEEM: "When the most prominent African American civil rights group recently issued a nationwide warning against flying on American Airlines, it was a surprising move for an organization known more for slow-moving lawsuits than public confrontation with major corporations."


"Leaders of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People said they were following tradition in standing up to the company after investigating a series of complaints that it had discriminated against black passengers who were removed from flights or had their seats downgraded against their will. The airline shot back, calling the accusation disappointing and saying it did not “tolerate discrimination of any kind."


"Civil rights historians and activists say the rebuke of one of the nation’s biggest corporations is part of a growing effort by the 109-year-old organization to reboot. It follows years of complaints that it has become out of touch as social-media-fueled movements like Black Lives Matter ignite protest and policy change."


Chicago will be new airline connection for Fresno travelers


Fresno Bee's TIM SHEEHAN: "United Airlines will add new daily summertime nonstop flights between Fresno and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport starting in June 2018, adding to the number of options available for Fresno travelers heading to the Midwest and beyond."


"The once-daily evening flights will begin June 7, the city announced Monday afternoon."


"O’Hare is the fourth largest airport in the world,” Mayor Lee Brand said. “These new flights provide a greater opportunity and convenience for folks traveling to the Midwest or connecting to other destinations on the East Coast, or going on to Europe.” He added that it also provides greater access to Fresno for business people."


READ MORE related to Transportation: San Diego Int'l Airport will dig up the runway every night for a year -- San Diego Unione Tribune's JEANETTE STEELE


Personal income is growing -- slowly -- in Fresno County and the Valley


Fresno Bee's TIM SHEEHAN: "Fresno County employers paid out more than $22.1 billion to compensate their workers last year. How much of that did you take home?"


"New figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed that per capita income – the average personal income for every man, woman and child – in Fresno County amounted to just over $40,000 in 2016. That was up 2.5 percent compared to 2015, and includes income from employment, unemployment insurance, dividends, government benefits, retirement payments or just about anything else that puts money in your pocket."


"Among neighboring Valley counties, per capita income was reported at $32,287 in Kings County; $37,529 in Madera County; and $37,717 in Tulare County. Statewide, the estimated income per person was $56,374."


READ MORE related to Economy: Lawsuits claim top San Diego restaurants defrauding consumers with minimum wage surcharge -- San Diego Union Tribune's LORI WEISBERG


Up to 35 hurt in blasts, fire at New York cosmetics factory

: "Two explosions and a fire at a New York cosmetics factory recently cited for safety violations left 30 to 35 people injured, including seven firefighters caught in the second blast, authorities said Monday."


"Police said the first explosion occurred around 10:15 a.m. Monday at the Verla International cosmetics factory in New Windsor, about an hour’s drive from New York City. Firefighters who responded were inside when the second explosion occurred around 10:40 a.m."


"Up to 35 people were being treated for injuries, including seven firefighters, most of them from the nearby city of Newburgh, Town Supervisor George Green said. Two of the firefighters were taken to the burn unit at Westchester Medical Center, he said. None of the injuries appear to be life threatening. One employee remains unaccounted for."