The Roundup

Nov 20, 2018

Awaiting rain

Rain to bring relief to Bay Area and fire zone, but one storm isn't a cure-all


The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE: "The skies are expected to open up this week, quenching a fire-scarred landscape and clearing a hazy atmosphere, but meteorologists are cautioning mask-wearing and drought-weary Californians not to anticipate too much from one storm."


"The weather system, forecast to be in full force during the Wednesday morning commute, is expected to water bone-dry vegetation, clear out the unhealthy smoke hanging over Northern California and help firefighters collar the deadly Camp Fire in Butte County that has raged for 12 days. But the biggest benefit will likely be to the psyche of the beleaguered populace."


"We’re not looking at humongous amounts of rain, but the fact that we have been so dry thus far makes it more significant,” said Jan Null, a meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services. “Any sort of precipitation, rain or snow, is needed."


READ MORE related to Energy & EnvironmentFlash-flood watch issued, residents in Camp Fire area urged to watch for evacuations if storm grows -- Sacramento Bee's TONY BIZJAKAir pollution is shaving years from people's lives. Where is it claiming the most? -- McClatchy DC's STUART LEAVENWORTH


California fires: Trump admin now blames devastation on 'radical environmentalists'


LA Times's ALEJANDRA REYES-VELARDE/JOSEPH SERNA: "The political battle between the Trump administration and California over blame for the the devastating wildfires that have killed scores and left nearly 1,000 missing continued Monday."


"U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke blamed the state’s fires on “radical environmentalists” who he said have prevented forest management."


"His comments come days after he and President Trump toured the devastation from Paradise to Malibu, with both vowing to help California recover from the disaster."


READ MORE related to Camp Fire Calamity: 79 now dead, 699 still unaccounted for -- Sacramento Bee's HANNAH DARDENPhotos before and after the Camp Fire reveals a town destroyed -- LA Times's JON SCHLEUSS/PRIYA KRISHNAKUMAR; Stunned residents start returning to Paradise in fire's terrible aftermath -- The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI/EVAN SERNOFFSKY/JILL TUCKER; DNA technology helps ident ify Camp Fire victims; challenge is finding family -- The Chronicle's EVAN SERNOFFSKY; Did Camp Fire have second start?  PG&E filing points to other possible origin -- The Chronicle's JD MORRIS; Two arrested for looting Cal Fire station during Camp Fire, authorities say -- Sacramento Bee's MICHAEL MCGOUGH


The new question for House Dems: Will you back Pelosi?


AP's LISA MASCARO/ALAN FRAM: "It's the thorny first question confronting newly elected House Democrats: Will you vote for Nancy Pelosi?"


"Even before they've taken office, the freshmen swept in by the midterm elections are caught at the center of an escalating power struggle over Pelosi's future."


"The clash intensified Monday as Pelosi's critics unveiled a letter signed by 16 Democrats, including five freshmen, vowing to oppose her. If that holds, it could be enough to derail her bid. If not, she could reclaim the gavel she once held."


Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban


AP's NOMAAN MERCHANT: "A federal judge barred the Trump administration from refusing asylum to immigrants who cross the southern border illegally."


"President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Nov. 9 that said anyone who crossed the southern border between official ports of entry would be ineligible for asylum. As the first of several caravans of migrants have started arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump said an asylum ban was necessary to stop what he's attacked as a national security threat."


"But in his ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar agreed with legal groups that immediately sued, arguing that U.S. immigration law clearly allows someone to seek asylum even if they enter the country between official ports of entry."


Gone in 30 days? Report: U.S. troops at border could be gone within a month


From the Union-Tribune's GUSTAVO SOLIS: "As Customs and Border Protection continued to fortify the San Ysidro Port of Entry Monday by temporarily closing lanes to install vehicle and pedestrian barriers, the general overseeing the military deployment along the U.S.-Mexico border said troops may soon be heading home."


"Some 1,300 troops have been assigned to support operations along the California-Mexico border and began arriving Nov. 8. The troops have been busy placing concertina wire and other barriers to limit access to the ports of entry."


"But Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, in charge of the deployment, told Politico that the military’s mission is complete and that engineering and logistics units putting the barriers in place will be returning home as early as this week. The rest, he said, would be done by Dec. 15. CNN reported that President Donald Trump would be granting the remaining troops the authority to protect CBP personnel should they face violence."


Doing a weed start-up? Wait in line


Capitol Weekly's LISA RENNER: "Though recreational marijuana has been legal in the state since January, good luck trying to open a marijuana business in much of the state."


"The state gives local jurisdictions the power to decide what type and how much cannabis businesses to allow. While big cities like San Francisco and San Jose allowed commercial activity right away, many other communities have banned it or are still debating how much to let in."


Stevante Clark, brother of Stephon Clark, running for mayor of Sacramento


Sacramento Bee's THERESA CLIFT: "The brother of Stephon Clark, the African American man shot by Sacramento city police in March, has taken a formal step toward running for mayor in the 2020 election."


"Paperwork was filed Monday with the California Secretary of State opening two campaign finance committees for Stevante Clark, one citing a mayoral bid in the next general election. Details of those filings were not immediately available online."


SF Mayor Breed takes step to ensure Prop. C homeless tax becomes reality


The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA: "After initially assailing Proposition C as a well-intentioned but ill-conceived way to fund services for the homeless, San Francisco Mayor London Breed has taken a significant step to help ensure the measure’s success."


"On Monday, Breed announced that she has introduced an ordinance that would allow City Attorney Dennis Herrera to seek a court order validating the city’s use of a simple-majority vote to pass Prop. C."


"Prop. C, which would bring in as much as $300 million a year through a tax on the city’s biggest businesses, is one of three San Francisco ballot measures currently trapped in legal limbo."


Solana Beach dives deeper into single-use plastics ban


LA Times's PHIL DIEHL: "Solana Beach, one of the first cities in the state to ban single-use plastic bags and polystyrene food containers, has some new targets."


"Disposable plastic straws, stirrers, spoons, forks and knives would be prohibited at restaurants, coffee shops and other vendors under a proposal by the City Council."


"Single-use plastic beverage bottles such as the ubiquitous 16-ounce clear polyethylene water container would also be off-limits at all city events and on city properties where fountains and other hydration sources are available."


Court overturns $1.6 million jury award in Bay  Area asbestos case


The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "A state appeals court has overturned $1.6 million in damages awarded by an Alameda County jury against a pipe supply company last year in a suit by a former construction worker who was stricken with cancer after cutting pipes laden with asbestos."


"The only evidence that the company supplied the pipes was a foreman’s testimony that he saw the company’s logo on some invoices, the appeals court said. The jury never got to see the invoices because they were destroyed. So that testimony was hearsay — a secondhand account of events occurring outside the courtroom — and it should not have been allowed in Frank C. Hart’s trial against Keenan Properties, the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco said in a 2-1 ruling, published Monday as a precedent for future cases."


2018 was bad for California Republicans. With Trump on the ballot, 2020 could be worse


McClatchy DC's EMILY CADEI: "California’s last outstanding congressional race was finally called for Democrats over the weekend, ending a brutal election cycle for the state’s Republicans."


"With President Donald Trump on the ballot in 2020, political experts say the party’s prospects for regaining congressional seats are not likely to improve anytime soon."


"Democrat Gil Cisneros officially defeated Republican Young Kim in the Orange County race to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Ed Royce on Saturday, giving Democrats six of the seven Republican-held districts they targeted in 2018 — and every Orange County House seat."


Ivanka Trump used personal account to send emails about government business


WaPo's CAROL D LEONNIG/JOSH DAWSEY: "Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails last year to White House aides, Cabinet officials and her assistants using a personal account, many of them in violation of federal records rules, according to people familiar with a White House examination of her correspondence."


"White House ethics officials learned of Trump's repeated use of personal email when reviewing emails gathered last fall by five Cabinet agencies to respond to a public records lawsuit. That review revealed that throughout much of 2017, she often discussed or relayed official White House business using a private email account with a domain that she shares with her husband, Jared Kushner."


"The discovery alarmed some advisors to President Trump, who feared that his daughter's practices bore similarities to the personal email use of Hillary Clinton, an issue he made a focus of his 2016 campaign. Trump attacked his Democratic challenger as untrustworthy and dubbed her “Crooked Hillary” for using a personal email account as secretary of State."

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