Private prisons

Jul 10, 2018

Private prisons are significant political players in California


SCOTT SORIANO in Capitol Weekly: "So you think privately-run prisons are a Republican thing? Perhaps in Texas and Tennessee."


"But in deep blue California, it is the Democrats who take in the most contributions from for-profit correctional corporations, primarily Florida’s The GEO Group and the Tennessee-based CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America."


"Both The GEO Group and CoreCivic own and operate immigration detention facilities for the U.S. Immigration & Custom Enforcement (ICE), facilities that are at the center of President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy."


Environmental group files lawsuit to block California's split-the-state measure from November ballot


LA Times's JOHN MYERS: "A prominent environmental group took legal action on Monday to block Proposition 9, the proposal to split California into three states, from the fall ballot."


"The challenge, filed with the California Supreme Court, asserts that the proposal is too sweeping in its nature to have been placed on the ballot under the same provisions used to enact traditional laws."


Judge rejects Trump administration bid to indefinitely detain immigrant children with parents


LA Times's VICTORIA KIM/KRISTINA DAVIS: "A federal judge in Los Angeles dealt the Trump administration a significant blow Monday by rejecting its attempt to indefinitely detain immigrant children caught crossing the border illegally with their parents."


"U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee issued an order lambasting the Justice Department for its request to modify a 1997 legal settlement that set rules for how the government can deal with immigrant children in its custody. Calling President Trump’s executive order on immigrants “ill-considered,” the judge accused the administration of attempting to shift blame to the courts for a crisis of Congress’ and the president’s making."


READ MORE related to Immigration: Federal judge rejects Trump lawsuit against California's sanctuary state law -- Sacramento Bee's TARYN LUNA


Appeals court rejects effort to tear down Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Reservoir


The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER: "The push to drain Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and restore the Sierra canyon to its natural state was rejected by the courts — again — Monday, though opponents of the dam said they plan to take their fight to the California Supreme Court."


"In a legal case that has been a thorn in the side of the city of San Francisco, California’s Fifth District Court of Appeal in Fresno ruled that a Tuolumne County judge was correct two years ago when he tossed a lawsuit seeking to raze the city-run reservoir."


"Restore Hetch Hetchy, a Berkeley group, has argued that San Francisco should not have rooted its water supply in a national park because it overran a pristine valley and violated a provision of the state Constitution requiring reasonable water use. But the appeals court agreed with the lower court that the city had federal permission to build the reservoir and didn’t need to meet the state standard."


John Cox, California governor candidate, says business background a big boost


The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "When John Cox is pressed about how he would handle being California’s governor when he’s never held elective office, the Republican businessman frequently retorts that 18 states have governors who came from the business world."


"Then Cox starts ticking off their names."


"Larry Hogan in Maryland never served in another office, Doug Ducey in Arizona, Pete Ricketts in Nebraska, Matt Bevin in Kentucky, Rick Snyder (in) Michigan, Rick Scott in Florida,” Cox said during a visit to The Chronicle’s editorial board in April, citing a few of the governors from his list. “Very successful businesspeople who also became very successful governors. There’s certainly ample precedent for this around the country."


Customers sue embattled Compton water district over discolored water


LA Times's RUBEN VIVES/ANGEL JENNINGS: "Frustrated by discolored drinking water pouring from their taps, four Compton residents filed a class-action lawsuit late Monday against their water provider, Sativa Los Angeles County Water District."


"The lawsuit, filed at Los Angeles County Superior Court, accuses Sativa of failing to provide quality drinking water, misappropriating taxpayer dollars and causing a financial burden on its low-income customers in Compton and Willowbrook. It comes days before a crucial decision by county oversight officials on whether to dissolve the small public water district."


READ MORE related to Local: Changes on SF Board of Supes a political challenge for new Mayor Breed -- The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS; SF Mayor-eleect London Breed says she wants to move quickly, look to future -- The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI/DOMINIC FRACASSA


Does Roundup cause cancer? Patient's case against Monsanto goes to trial in SF


The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE: "The case of a Benicia groundskeeper who claims he developed terminal cancer as a result of using the herbicide Roundup went to trial Monday in San Francisco Superior Court, the first of what could be a flood of cases accusing the agricultural giant Monsanto of distributing deadly poison and trying to cover it up."


"Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, 46, a former groundskeeper for the Benicia Unified School District, accused Monsanto of hiding evidence over the past two decades that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, can cause cancer."


"Monsanto has steadfastly defended its product, pointing to a slew of studies that find no evidence of danger in glyphosate, and noting that the Environmental Protection Agency has never restricted Roundup."


READ MORE related to Energy & EnvironmentA beach behind lock and key is turning into a fight over social justice in California -- LA Times's ROSANNA XIAHundreds of customers are still without power as hot and angry Angelenos fume at the DWP -- LA Times's EMILY ALPERT REYES/DAKOTA SMITH/JAVIER PANZAR; Firefighters gain ground, some evacuations lifted: NorCal fires update -- Sacramento Bee's CASSIE DICKMAN; How much water do Coho Salmon Need? Researchers find surprising answer -- Water Deeply's ALASTAIR BLAND


PG&E customers would pay some Wine Country fire costs under board proposal


The Chronicle's DAVID R BAKER: "Pacific Gas and Electric Co. could use state-authorized bonds to settle Wine Country wildfire lawsuits costing billions of dollars, under newly amended legislation in Sacramento."


"And those bonds would be paid off by the utility’s customers, prompting critics to label the legislation a “bailout” of PG&E."


"The legislation, AB33, would let PG&E use the bond proceeds to settle lawsuit claims for property damage, personal injury and firefighting costs from the series of fires that swept across Northern California in October, destroying 8,880 buildings and killing 45 people. The utility, however, could not use the money to pay any government fines or penalties arising from the fires."


Federal law? State law? Which takes precedence when you want to travel with cannabis?


LA Times's CATHARINE HAMM: "You can’t take it with you. Actually, you can. But it’s not a good idea when you’re traveling, especially for the risk-averse."


"We speak, of course, of cannabis; its use was approved by 57% of California voters in November 2016. Proposition 64, known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, allows the recreational use of marijuana in the Golden State; medical marijuana had been legal for about a decade before that."


Hate crimes increase again by double digits in California


Sacramento Bee's ANGELA HART: "The number of hate crimes reported in California surged more than 17 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to new data released Monday by the state Department of Justice, the third straight year of double-digit increases. Local law enforcement reported 1,093 hate crimes last year."


"Crimes perpetrated against people on religious grounds accounted for the largest increase, the report found. Anti-Muslim, anti-Islamic and anti-Jewish hate crimes rose by 21 percent last year, to 207, up from 171 reported in 2016."


"Incidents involving a person's real or perceived sexual orientation jumped nearly 19 percent, with 246 crimes committed last year, compared with 207 the year prior. Crimes against gay males accounted for the largest number, with 172 last year."


READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: Incumbent Joe Marshall gets another shot at SF Police Commission, if supes OK it -- The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSACharges dismissed against former San Leandro cop who had sex with minor -- The Chronicle's ERIN STONE; Oakland leaders hope reward money stops arsons at construction sites -- The Chronicle's KIMBERLY VEKLEROV; Bay Area homicides plunge to historic lows in first half of 2018 -- The Chronicle's SARAH RAVANI?EVAN SERNOFFSKY


Highways considered for carpool lanes in and out of SF


The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS: "Transit officials are looking into carving out carpool lanes along both Highway 101 and Interstate 280 that could double as toll lanes to allow drivers willing to pay a bit extra for a faster commute in and out of the city."


"The southbound commute lane would extend along I-280 from King Street, near AT&T Park, down to where Highway 101 meets Interstate 380 near San Francisco International Airport."


"The northbound lane would run along Highway 101 — from I-380 up to the San Francisco County line — then pick up again on I-280 from Mariposa to King streets."


Brett Kavanaugh, a Washington veteran, is Trump's second pick for the SCOTUS


LA Times's DAVID G SAVAGE: "In choosing Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, President Trump went with a well-credentialed Washington insider who compiled a long record as a reliable conservative and won the respect of White House lawyers and the outside groups that advise them."


"They are confident that, if confirmed by the Senate, he will move the high court to the right on abortion, gun rights, affirmative action, religious liberty and environmental protection, among other issues."


134 confirmed dead as Japan continues to search for missing


AP: "The Latest on search effort after heavy rains and flooding in western Japan (all times local):"


"1:10 p.m."


"Japan's government says at least 134 people have been confirmed dead from the heavy rains, floods and mudslides that have struck western Japan."

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