To prevent fires, California sets new rules for shutting off power
The Chronicle's DAVID R. BAKER: "If Pacific Gas and Electric Co. decides to switch off power lines in your neighborhood to prevent a wildfire, the company has to notify you first. If that’s at all possible."
"California regulators on Thursday established rules the state’s utility companies must follow if they decide to turn off — or de-energize — power lines to prevent fires. Those rules will now require the companies to try to notify affected customers before the lights go out, but only if notification is feasible."
The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "California’s gubernatorial candidates are having a hard time agreeing on debates, and their disagreement is boiling down to the choice that divides much of the country:"
"Do you prefer CNN or Fox News?"
"On Thursday, Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom accepted an invitation to debate his opponent, Republican businessman John Cox, on CNN on Oct. 1. Newsom campaign officials said they had accepted CNN’s offer not because of the national exposure it offered, but because the cable network reaches 80 percent of Californians — more than any other media outlet in the state that offered to host a debate."
AP's KATHLEEN RONAYNE: " U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is tapping into her political Rolodex to convince California Democratic Party leaders to not formally endorse a candidate in her November race against fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon."
"She says it's to avoid an intraparty fight, but her effort if successful will thwart her longshot rival's very real chance at capturing the party nod when the committee votes Saturday."
"A 26-year incumbent like Feinstein wouldn't ordinarily find herself in this position but does for a couple of reasons: The party has moved farther left in the Trump era, and Feinstein hasn't spent time courting the activists who make up the executive board, many of whom have long been skeptical of her. De Leon, meanwhile, has engaged with them for years as a state senator from Los Angeles and former leader of the chamber."
Now-former SF Mayor Farrell looks back on short term, future of city
The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA: "After spending nearly eight years as a San Francisco public official — the last five months as mayor — Mark Farrell is back to civilian life following the inauguration of Mayor London Breed on Wednesday."
"I walked out of City Hall with a huge grin on my face yesterday,” Farrell told The Chronicle’s Editorial Board in a wide-ranging interview Thursday."
"The former mayor first entered office in 2011 after his election to the District Two seat on the Board of Supervisors. Farrell was catapulted to the city’s top job during a period of political turbulence, when the board voted to install him as mayor in January."
Richmond's Mayor Butt meets ICE detainees
The Chronicle's OTIS R TAYLOR JR: "When he walked over to a group of inmates sitting on couches and leaning against columns in the common area outside of their jail cells, Tom Butt, the mayor of Richmond, didn’t waste time with small talk."
"He asked the women — detainees of Immigration and Customs Enforcement — how they were being treated."
"They get mad anytime you ask them for something,” one woman said in Spanish, referring to the deputies patrolling the cellblock."
Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "For the second year in a row, California’s main public pension fund beat its investment return forecast."c
"The California Public Employees’ Retirement System reported Thursday that it had an 8.6 percent return on investments for the fiscal year that ended June 30 — exceeding its expectation of a 7 percent return."
"While we’ve seen some expected volatility in the markets, our diversified, global portfolio has allowed us to exceed our expected rate of return of 7 percent,” Ted Eliopolous, CalPERS’ chief investment officer, said in a video. “While we’re pleased with the returns, we’re always focused on the long-term bigger picture."
Sacramento Bee's CAITLIN CHEN: "Harry Sharp spent most of the last weekend of June sitting in front of his ccccccomputer, trying resolutely to register his four newly banned guns on the California Department of Justice’s website."
"The deadline to register his bullet-button assault weapons was June 30 and California’s online reporting system kept crashing."
"Sharp said he managed to register his Steyr AUG, a bullpup-style rifle, on June 29, a Friday, but was unable to register his other three firearms despite the hours he spent trying."
SF supervisors committee tinkers with tax measures on cannabis, ride services
The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI: "The Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Finance Subcommittee on Thursday considered and amended two tax measures that voters could potentially see on the November ballot: One that would levy a tax on the cannabis industry, and another that would create a tax category for ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft and their self-driving arms."
"The subcommittee unanimously agreed to continue both measures to its next meeting on July 19."
"The cannabis measure would impose a 1 percent tax on gross receipts — the total revenue a business receives during an accounting period — beginning Jan. 1, 2020. The tax would increase in 2021 to between 1 and 5 percent, depending on the type of business activity. The first $500,000 of gross receipts from sales of recreational marijuana would be exempt from the tax, as would be retail sales of medical cannabis."
The new and improved State Fair comes to town
Sacramento Bee's JULIA SCLAFANI/JORDAN CUTLER-TIETJEN: "Is there a better way to pack everything the Golden State has to offer in one place?"
"The State Fair kicks off Friday at Cal Expo with the best of California, and the variety of food, music, rides, exhibits and offerings should more than excite die-hard fairgoers and newcomers alike."
"Visitors to this year’s fair can expect classic entertainment, such as pie eating contests and petting zoos, as well as novel experiences such as a National Geographic photography exhibit called “Future of Food” and an acre-sized walkable forest with a chainsaw-carving demonstration. If the fidget spinner theme didn’t tip you off, the fair is geared toward families and samples the best of what this big state represents."
Kavanaugh on abortion: Speech gives evidence of where he'd stand on Roe vs. Wade
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh hasn’t said publicly whether he would vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 ruling that declared a constitutional right to abortion. But a speech he gave to a conservative group 10 months ago appears to be the strongest evidence so far of Kavanaugh’s views on the issue."
"Not surprisingly, those views look consistent with President Trump’s promise, as a candidate, to appoint justices who would “automatically” overturn Roe. Groups on both sides of the issue are circulating the speech, and it’s likely to come up at his Senate confirmation hearing."
"In 2006, Kavanaugh assured senators during his confirmation hearing for a judgeship on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., that he considered Roe vs. Wade “binding precedent” that he would follow “faithfully and fully,” as required for judges on lower federal courts. But he shed a different light on his views of the decision last September in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute."