Wildfires rage on

Aug 6, 2018

Wildfire alerts didn't reach everybody in danger. Gov. Brown is open to changes


Sacramento Bee's ANGELA HART: "California’s intensifying wildfires, which have killed at least 50 people since October, have sparked forceful calls by state lawmakers to improve emergency alert systems that the public relies on to be notified of danger during disasters."


"Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday said he would consider legislation this year to do so."


"I think we do need the best alert system we can get, and that’s what I would help the Legislature achieve,” Brown said at a news conference in fire-ravaged Shasta County. “There’s a lot of things we can do, and we can always do more ... given the rising threats on the changing of the weather, the climate."


READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: PG&E apprentice lineman killed in Carr Fire; seventh wildfire death -- Sacramento Bee 's TONY BIZJAK; Yosemite Valley, Wawona closed 'indefinitely' as Ferguson Fire approaches 90,000 acres -- Sierra Star's WILLIAM RAMIREZ; Mendocino fire racing at unprecedented speed into the record books -- LA Times's PAIGE ST. JOHN/ALENE TCHEKMEDYIAN/RONG-GONG LIN II


Trump tweet blaming water diversion for fires baffles experts


The Chronicle's JONATHAN KAUFFMAN: "When President Trump sent his first tweet about the current California wildfires, which have killed nine people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes, he chose the moment to zero in on water policy — leaving some scratching their heads."  


"California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized,” he tweeted Sunday. “It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!" 


"Asked whether firefighters at the Carr and Mendocino Complex fires are short on water, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Lynette Round replied, “Not that I’m aware of ... but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.”"


Brown: New money needed to boost 911 system


Capitol Weekly's JESSICA HICE: "Amid devastating wildfires lashing the state, Gov. Jerry Brown is urging the Legislature to approve new fees to update California’s aging 911 emergency-services system."


"The administration plans to modify an existing tax on phone calls to include a flat fee — estimated initially at 34 cents per line  on cellphones, landlines and other devices capable of contacting 911. More than $175 million is expected to generate from this in the first year, with the possibility of growing to $400 million in later years."

"Brian Ferguson, deputy press secretary for Gov. Brown, said the proposal — part of Senate Bill 870 and Assembly Bill 1836 — is “about saving lives,” describing the affects of a next generation 911 system."


California Gov. Jerry Brown predicts recession within two years


The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS "Although he spent most of the time talking about wildfires and climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown strayed into the world of economics while talking to reporters the other day at the state emergency center and warned of another recession lurking on the horizon."


"At some point, the tariffs and the natural cycle will kick in,” Brown said, then flipped back to his time at San Francisco’s St. Ignatius High School when “the good priest Father Clark went to the blackboard and he drew a line up, and he drew a line down — up and down, up and down.”


This is the business cycle, the priest explained, and economists are working very hard to smooth it out."

SF's imposing transit center ready to roll at last

The Chronicle's JOHN KING: "For the past decade, the transit center that will replace San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal has been the subject of grand plans and political controversies, struggles to stay on schedule and squabbles over costs."

"Next weekend, all that changes."

"On Aug. 12, transbay bus service will begin at the $2.16 billion Transbay Transit Center, which stretches nearly three blocks between Beale and Second streets, just south of Mission Street. East Bay commuters entering the city by bus will travel traffic-zfree above downtown streets from the Bay Bridge into an elevated concourse."

Left and right protesters gather in Berkeley for demonstrations

The Chronicle's MICHAEL CABANATUAN/JONATHAN KAUFFMAN: "Downtown Berkeley on Sunday became, once again, the site of a conflict between right-wing protesters and counterprotesters, crushing the hopes of city officials for a mellow day."

"For most of the afternoon, flocks of protesters surged along Berkeley’s central streets, defying police officers’ attempts to corral them. Meanwhile, in Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, a small group of “anti-Marxists” sparred with those who came out to denounce them as white supremacists."

"The afternoon ended with more than a dozen arrests, several small fires being set and a lot of screaming and slogan chanting — but by evening, the commotion was over."

Merchants of Hope

The Chronicle's ERIN ALLDAY: "In the waiting room of Mark Berman’s Beverly Hills office, the reception counter is crowded with trophies. Mostly made of clear plastic or glass, resembling a row of miniature ice sculptures, they are touchstones of his long career in cosmetic surgery."

"For more than three decades, Berman’s focus was breast augmentations and face-lifts. He invented a pocket-like device that can be implanted into the breast to produce better-looking, safer results from augmentation procedures. He calls it his “Sistine Chapel."

"But over the past eight years, Berman has reached far past his specialty into a realm of highly sophisticated, still-nascent medicine. He’s become one of the country’s most outspoken and notorious providers of so-called consumer stem cell therapies: using human stem cells to treat a wide variety of ailments despite little or no scientific proof that they work."


'Murphy Brown' weighs in on MeToo movement in series return


AP's BETH HARRIS: ""Murphy Brown" will weigh in on the MeToo movement when the series starring Candice Bergen returns to a very different world in September, the show's creator said Sunday."


"The 13-episode reboot reunites Bergen as a sharp-tongued investigative journalist and TV anchor with most of the original cast from the CBS show's initial 10-year run that ended in 1998 — before the internet and the rise of 24-hour cable news took hold. Once again, scripts will be inspired by current events, including the fourth episode entitled "(Hashtag) MurphyToo."


"Executive producer and writer Diane English told a TV critics' meeting the episode was developed months ago and inspired by the movement against workplace sexual harassment and assault that first gained momentum last fall."


These 6 California highways are among the most dangerous in the nation, report says 


The Tribune News's GABBY FERREIRA: "If you’re a driver in California, here’s some essential information — six of the nation’s top 50 most dangerous highways are in the Golden State, according to a report."


"The report, from finance website ValuePenguin, used data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to rank America’s highways."


"Interstate 5, the highway that runs from the Mexican border up through the Central Valley to Oregon, is the fourth most dangerous highway in the country, according to the report."


Judge is the undisputed center of attention at Paul Manafort's trial


LA Times's CHRIS MEGERIAN/ELIZA FAWCETT "Every big trial has a star — a crusading prosecutor or a slick defense attorney, a red-faced defendant or an emotional witness. For the trial of Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, it’s none of the above."


"As the proceedings enter their second week, the indisputable center of attention so far is the judge, T.S. Ellis III, whose cantankerous, jocular, impatient and verbose presence has shaped each step of the way."


"From his high-backed, burgundy leather chair, a wave of thin hair atop his head, Ellis pivots between jokes and rebukes, making him the rare source of theater in a case that has dwelt on dreary financial records and testimony from accountants."

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