The Roundup

May 19, 2017

Pondering the special counsel

California lawmakers are sharing their views on the Mueller special counsel appointment overseeing the Kremlingate investigation. 


Sacramento Bee's WALTER KO: "California lawmakers respond to former FBI Director Robert Mueller appointed to special counsel on Russia investigation."


"The Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election."

Mueller was appointed after President Donald Trump took heat for firing former FBI Director James Comey last week. After reports emerged that Trump asked Comey to shut down an FBI investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, public rage over the allegations has grown daily."


READ MORE related to Kremlingate: Rosenstein knew Trump was going to fire Comey before writing his memo about the FBI director -- LA Times' JOSEPH TANFANI/LISA MASCARO/EVAN HALPER; Trump calls FBI probe 'witch hunt,' contradicts why he fired Comey -- The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI


At what level will the surge of newly minted voters from the 2016 presidential election participate in 2018's midterms? It's a crucial question for political campaigns.


Capitol Weekly's PAUL MITCHELL: "History tells us that presidential-year new voters are likely to skip mid-term elections. Will the new voters of 2016 be any different?"

"The answer to that question could have a profound impact on the 2018 elections."

"A new pollreleased this week by EMC Research ( and Capitol Weekly, dives into these new registrants with a deep look at their interest in elections, how they receive political information, their ideological and policy leanings, how they view the current Trump administration and what they want our state’s leadership to do about it."

University of California has adopted its first-ever limit on out-of-state/foreign students.


Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "Years of public outcry and political pressure have pushed the University of California to adopt its first-ever limit on out-of-state and foreign students at its nine undergraduate campuses."

"Acknowledging concerns that surging nonresident enrollment cost some qualified California high schoolers a spot at the university, UC’s Board of Regents on Thursday approved a policy that allows five campuses, including Davis, to grow their proportion of nonresident students to no more than 18 percent. Four campuses that already exceeded that threshold – Berkeley, San Diego, Los Angeles and Irvine – will be capped at their ratios in the 2017-18 academic year."

"The policy strikes, in my view, the appropriate balance between resident and nonresident enrollment,” President Janet Napolitano said, “particularly given our commitment to enroll every eligible California resident and that nonresidents are added in addition to and not in place of California residents."


READ MORE related to Education: Alleged tree-cutting binge lands Chico fraternity in trouble with feds -- Sacramento Bee's JANE BRAXTON LITTLE; UC regents defend Janet Napolitano, blame media for 'salacious' coverage of state audit -- Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFF


Trump's hard line on immigration has netted two undocumented military workers renovating a hospital at Travis Air Force Base.


Sacramento Bee's STEPHEN MAGAGNINI: "Two undocumented Mexican workers sent to Travis Air Force Base to help renovate a hospital are now facing deportation under one of President Donald Trump’s first executive orders toughening enforcement of immigration laws."

"Hugo Mejia, 37, and Rodrigo Nuñez, 35, immigrants from the Mexican state of Jalisco, were taken into custody May 3 after they checked into the visitors center at the base near Fairfield. The two men, who live in the Bay Area, have been in the U.S. for more than a decade and have U.S.-born children, said their pro bono attorney, Alisa Whitfield of Oakland-based Centro Legal de la Raza."

"To protect the base, everyone entering has their IDs checked and scanned, said Air Force Capt. Lyndsey Horn. When Mejia and Nuñez entered their ID numbers, the information came back false, she said." 


READ MORE related to Immigration: Border Patrol detains a 22-year-old Cal State student activist, and her lawyer sees payback -- LA Times' MATT HAMILTON/RICHARD WINTON

The rate of babies born under the influence of drugs in California has skyrocketed.


Sacramento Bee's CLAUDIA BUCK: "Their cries are piercing. Their distress is visible."

"For babies born to mothers using narcotics – even legal prescription painkillers – the first weeks of life can mean a wrenching withdrawal off drugs."

"In California, the number of babies born affected by drugs has nearly doubled over seven years to more than 3,630 in 2015, according to state public health officials."


READ MORE related to Health: Miss USA spoke for many Americans when she said health care isn't a right -- LA Times' DAVID LAZARUS


A local brewery forced to close its doors after controversial political remarks on social media has undergone a change of hands, and now the new owners are seeking a fresh start.


Sacramento Bee's BLAIR ANTHONY ROBERTSON: "Nearly four months after the owner of Twelve Rounds Brewing saw his customer base collapse following a series of rants on Facebook, a new owner emerged Wednesday and said he plans to act quickly to change the name, win back customers and revamp the East Sacramento brewery’s badly tainted image."

"In January, on the heels of the women’s protest march in Sacramento and in many cities throughout the nation, Dan Murphy, the owner of Twelve Rounds and an award-winning brewer, posted the following on his personal Facebook page: “I am disgusted at all of the people and politicians that supported this anti-Trump event."

"That post alone startled many in East Sacramento, a Democratic stronghold. It turned out Murphy had made a habit of Facebook tirades and soon scores of people were combing through his earlier comments. He called Barack Obama a “Muslim traitor;” argued that all Muslims should be deported; used a racial slur to refer to Pakistanis; and made derogatory comments about gay marriage."


READ MORE related to Economy: From more firefighters to traffic projects, here's how LA plans to spend its $9.2b budget -- Daily News' ELIZABETH CHOUWith its wireless broadband, Webpass is cord cutters' gateway to the internet -- LA Times' MIKE FREEMAN; SF City official recommends increase in garbage collection rates -- The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN; States seek to advocate for low-cost insurance in lawsuit -- Daily News

Videos of police interactions with the public are a double edged sword for the officers involved,
and many cops are wondering if more transparency will help.


Sacramento Bee's ANITA CHABRIA: "Responding to low morale and frustration on the police force, Sacramento may consider wider release of police videos to include everyday interactions and incidents where officers appear in a positive light – a practice that would make the department among the most forthcoming in the nation with official footage."

"Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Tim Davis, head of the Sacramento police officers union, said members of the force are dispirited that a new city policy requiring release of video in extreme confrontations unfairly portrays their department. In the most recent example, an officer was captured on tape last month tackling a pedestrian to the ground and repeatedly punching him in Del Paso Heights."

"Steinberg called Tuesday for the city to consider releasing “as much video as possible” to show “everyday interactions, incidents that occur where the police officer acted in the right,” which he said could boost department morale."


Trump is hoping to reboot the US/Saudi relationship as he prepares for his upcoming overseas trip.


LA Times' MICHAEL A MEMOLI/MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE: "President Trump takes off Friday for Saudi Arabia, the initial stop on his first overseas trip as president, where he can expect a 21-gun salute and an elaborate welcome by the Saudi royal family that speaks to their hopes he will crack down on a joint enemy — Iran."


"The Obama administration invested years on a high-stakes gamble to negotiate a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program in return for easing international economic sanctions. But to the Sunni Muslim leaders in Riyadh, that suggested an unacceptable concession to their regional Shiite Muslim rivals in Tehran, and relations with Washington soured."

"Although the Trump administration waived those sanctions again this week, as required by Congress to keep the nuclear accord intact, it added a new raft of penalties aimed at Tehran’s ballistic missile program, which is not covered under the deal."


READ MORE related to Beltway: Sudanese state media says country's leader will not attend Saudi summit where President Trump is guest of honor -- AP; Swedish prosecutor drops rape investigation of Assange -- AP's DAVID KEYTON/GREGORY KATZ


A recent sea level analysis has dire implications for Los Angeles: mass flooding at a faster rate than previously believed.


LA Times' AMINA KHAN: "The effects of rising oceans on coastal flooding may be even worse than we thought. Scientists have found that a mere 10 to 20 centimeters of sea-level rise — which is expected by 2050 — will more than double the frequency of serious flooding events in many parts of the globe, including along the California coastline."


"The findings, described in Scientific Reports, highlight the environmental and economic impacts of sea-level rise on coastal areas, and the need to properly predict and prepare for these effects."

"As global warming marches onward and land-ice reserves continue to melt into the seas — thanks in large part to human-produced greenhouse gases — oceans are continuing their upward creep."


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