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Sep 11, 2017

Bilingual education advocates celebrate first new policy for English language learners in 20 years 


EdSource's ASHLEY HOPKINSON: "Martha Hernandez, who began her career as a bilingual educator in California in 1976, remembers a time when knowing a language other than English was not considered an asset. It was difficult to advocate for students learning to speak English and often programs did not provide enough math and reading intervention for those students."

"But that’s all changing now."

"After years of reform and advocacy efforts, bilingual education activists across California celebrated the adoption of California’s first new language policy in more than two decades — the English Learner Roadmap."


The last few days of a legislative session are hectic -- and this year is no exception.


From the LA Daily News' KATY MURPHY: "The California Legislature has left many of its high-stakes proposals — from a “sanctuary state” bill to a long-delayed affordable-housing package — for the final five days before adjourning for the year, setting the stage for a frenzied week in the Capitol."


"Bills that don’t get a vote by Friday will have to wait until January, when lawmakers reconvene for the second half of a two-year session."


“The Legislature is no different from you and me,” said Larry Gerston, a San Jose State professor emeritus. Lawmakers put off the most difficult decisions for as long as they can, he said, and the two-year option allows them “the luxury of waiting.”


A windy night among strangers -- human, canine and otherwise -- as Hurricane Irma blows through


LA Times' EVAN HALPER: "When the knock came Sunday afternoon on the door of the hotel room where Glen Sinatra was riding out the storm, he had just minutes to put his most valued papers in the bathroom, where they would be least likely to get sucked into Irma’s wrath."

"Social Security card. Insurance papers. Birth certificate. And the photo of his wife. She died of cancer not too long after the couple moved to Naples, Fla., from Long Island in 2009 for their long-planned retirement. Now, Sinatra wondered if he would lose the cherished picture. His entire side of the Hampton Inn and Suites in Estero had just been told to leave their rooms because there was a risk of uprooted trees flying into them."

"He had no idea what was next. But the 64-year-old was sure of one thing: He wasn’t going to tell his panicked children, who are now grown and living in New York, how unnerved he was."


READ MORE related to Hurricane Season: Cruise lines cancel sailings, send ships to help Caribbean islands hit hiard by Hurricane Irma -- LA Times' MARY FORGIONE; Hurricane Harvey's wake of damaged cars and trucks -- LA Times' JAMES F. PELTZ/DAVID MONTERO


Police crack down on black-market pot to protect regulated growers


The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE: "The caravan of law enforcement trucks bounced over a dusty old logging road through redwood groves, across the Noyo River and along tracks used by the beloved Skunk Train, before stopping next to a sign that read “Family Camp.”

"There, in hillside clearings cut from the forest, was the target of a raid in August by a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office task force: 811 bright green marijuana plants."

"Digging deeper, the deputies found an illegal assault rifle and two other guns, a makeshift hash oil lab and pumps stealing water from the river — common trappings within a black market for pot that is still thriving in Mendocino, Humboldt and other northern counties despite the industry going legal."


READ MORE related to Public Safety: Pair sue BART over police scuffle, claiming excessive force led to miscarriage -- East Bay Times' ANGELA RUGGIERO; Berkeley vendor's police citation fuels online funding campaign -- East Bay Times' GEORGE KELLY


Taking on Trump: 2020 on the minds of Democrats heading to SF 


The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS: "It’s been less than eight months since President Trump was sworn in, and already top Democrats are auditioning to replace him — with a parade of potential contenders headed our way."

"On Friday, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who recently created a committee to explore a presidential run, is due in town for a sit-down with potential backers at the office of wealth managers Rahul and Tejal Shah."

"Bullock might be the first declared 2020 hopeful to set foot in San Francisco, but Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — rumored but undeclared — has been to the Bay Area at least twice this summer."


Small earthquakes can increase risk of the Big One. Now, seismologists say they can create public quake forecasts


LA Times' RONG-GONG LIN II/RAOUL RANOA: "One day, next to the traffic map and weather forecast on your smartphone, seismologist Thomas H. Jordan envisions an app that you can check to see when the chances of a major earthquake in California rise."

"Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, is quick to make clear this is not an earthquake prediction. Predicting exactly when and where a catastrophic earthquake will strike next is impossible, scientists say."

"But what scientists can do is pay close attention when moderate quakes strike in perilously sensitive spots — places right next to major faults such as the San Andreas."


READ MORE related to Environment: Green groups line up for state's cap-and-trade cash -- The Chronicle's JULIE CART


9/11 responders who became ill from toxic exposure now have a monument to their heroism


LA Times' MATT HANSEN: "Commemorations for the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks began in New York late last week as they have for multiple years, with twin beams of light piercing the night sky, a tribute to those lost in the World Trade Center that could be seen across the region."

"Yet even 16 years after the 2001 attacks, the list of the fallen continues to grow as police officers, firefighters, first responders and recovery workers succumb to illnesses linked to their work in the aftermath of the attacks."

"Researchers estimate that the choking dust that coated the ground zero recovery site — and persisted in the air for days afterward — contained a hazardous mix of airborne particles, including aluminum, asbestos, glass and the remnants of burned jet fuel. Similar hazards affected workers at the Pentagon and the Shanksville, Pa., crash site where the hijacked United Flight 93 was brought down."


READ MORE related to September 11th, 2001: US commemorates 9/11; ceremony begins at Ground Zero -- AP's JENNIFER PELTZ/KAREN MATTHEWS; Trump and FLOTUS commemorate Sept. 11 anniversary -- AP's DARLENE SUPERVILLE


Sanctuary business? Tough talking states give businesses a pass on illegal immigration


LA Times' CINDY CARCAMO: "As part of its tough stance against illegal immigration, Texas has been one of the few states requiring state agencies to use a federal system known as E-Verify to check job applicants."

"The system checks Social Security numbers to make sure a prospective employee can legally work in the U.S."

"But despite the state’s determined use of technology, it has no one in charge of making agencies comply with the law. It also does not require private employers to use the system if they are not working with the state."


READ MORE related to Immigration: 'Dreamers' could lose more than their jobs if immigration program dies -- The Chronicle's KATHLEEN PENDER; UC sues Trump over order to end protections for 'Dreamers' -- EdSource's CAROLYN JONES


'Street fighter' Steve Bannon promises to protect Trump in his first TV interview on '60 Minutes'


LA Times' LORRAINE ALI: "How do you want to be perceived?, asked talk-show host-journalist Charlie Rose."

"The media image I think is pretty accurate. I’m a street fighter,” said former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon during a “60 Minutes” interview with Rose on Sunday. It was his first since leaving his post at the White House and his first “ever” on television, said Bannon."

"Street fighter,” however, is not among the most common public perceptions about the co-founder and executive chairman of the far-right news platform Breitbart."


Free rides for 17,000 -- really, BART?


East Bay Times' GARY PETERSON: "In one of my favorite scenes from the late, great sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” the title character engages in some manner of guys-will-be-guys idiocy to the exasperation of his wife."

"I’m tired,” she says. “Could you just call yourself an idiot?"

"And so I reacted to the news last week, reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, that BART gave free rides in 2016 to more than 17,000 passengers at a cost of $3.5 million. The riders were active BART employees, retirees, board members and their immediate families, who were issued passes. It’s a practice that dates back to the agency’s inception in 1972. In addition, 4,000 members of law enforcement also were allowed free passage. This magnanimous perk has been part of the agency’s economic landscape for nearly half a century."


'Proof' of Rohingya-set fires in Myanmar fails inspection


The Chronicle: "Pointing to the ashes of a destroyed village that was once home to dozens of Rohingya Muslim families, the abbot of a nearby Buddhist monastery insisted he knew who had set it ablaze. It was the Rohingya themselves, he said, and there was photographic evidence to prove it."

"I even tried to stop them," the abbot, Zawtika, told reporters who visited violence-torn northern Rakhine state last week after an explosion of communal violence that has so far compelled a staggering 300,000 Rohingya to flee into neighboring Bangladesh. "I told them not to do that, but it seemed like they wanted to."

"Shortly afterward, a local Buddhist resident who is close to the monk, a man named Maung Maung Htwe, shared photos he said he had taken on his mobile phone that showed several people setting fire to the buildings."



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