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  • California Forbids U.S. Immigration Agents from Pretending to be Police

    Thursday, July 27, 2017
    ICE agents have reportedly claimed to be police officers to gain consent to enter a person’s home – a tactic that is viewed as unethical, but within the powers granted to the officers. Civil rights groups supported Kalra’s bill, looking to stymie the Trump administration’s promise to use any and all available tools to deport undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes. Many groups fear Trump will expand deportations to include all undocumented immigrants, their families and relatives.   read more
  • Brown Throws Support behind Sentencing Reform Plan

    Thursday, January 28, 2016
    The measure, which would go before voters in November if enough signatures are gathered to put it on the ballot, would undo a provision of state law that allows juveniles as young as 14 to be tried as adults for numerous serious crimes - including murder, rape and torture - without the approval of a judge. "It's an important step," said Brown. "It puts a juvenile court judge in the position of viewing in totality whether a juvenile is fit to be tried as an adult."   read more
  • Capital Punishment Activists Battle over California’s New Lethal Injection Plan

    Wednesday, January 27, 2016
    The hearing was part of the process for a new protocol for lethal injection that would use one drug to put condemned inmates to death. It would replace a three-drug cocktail that a California court declared unconstitutional 10 years ago. Under a court settlement, the state must develop a new procedure for executions. At the same time, Californians have grown more divided over capital punishment, with nearly half the electorate and many top officials now opposing the death penalty.   read more
  • California Gas Leak Spotlights Shoddy Regulation of Aging Storage Wells

    Saturday, January 23, 2016
    There's been scant oversight of 400 underground natural gas storage facilities in 30 states. National industry groups have pushed for federal oversight - unusual in an industry better known for fighting regulation. Jurisdiction falls to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. But it has never written rules for gas storage despite two decades of calls for regulation - and at least two deadly explosions. The agency declined comment on its hands-off posture.   read more
  • Monsanto Files Lawsuit to Remove Roundup Herbicide from Carcinogen List

    Friday, January 22, 2016
    Roundup is used by farmers around the world, generating Monsanto $4.8 billion in fiscal 2015 revenue. Genetically modified seeds designed to tolerate glyphosate are immensely popular among corn and soybean growers. But questions from environmentalists and other critics about the safety of the herbicide have dogged Monsanto for years. Since IARC's classification last year, Monsanto has been named in numerous lawsuits accusing the company of knowing of the dangers of glyphosate for decades.   read more
  • California Still Ships Troubled Kids Out of State

    Friday, January 01, 2016
    ProPublica estimated that at least 900 youthful miscreants were stashed outside California in 2015, mostly in Utah. Local school districts provided the most kids, 600. County probation departments accounted for around 235 and child welfare agencies supplied another 52. ProPublica saw “signs that California has a limited ability to guarantee the health and welfare of the children it sends beyond its borders.”   read more
  • Can We Make Lawmakers Wear Donor Logos like NASCAR Ads?

    Friday, January 01, 2016
    Republican Rancho Santa Fe venture capitalist/real estate mogul John Cox has proposed a ballot initiative for November 2016, California Is Not for Sale, which would require lawmakers to wear logos of their Top 10 contributors and include them on any advertising. The initiative is a response to the growing role of money in politics unleashed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling.   read more
  • Lots of California Voter Data in Breach of 191 Million Records Nationwide

    Thursday, December 31, 2015
    Researcher Chris Vickery discovered the database of nearly every registered voter in the country, exposed because of a misconfiguration. The data included names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses, but not Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, passwords and other more sensitive information. DataBreaches tried to track down the database owner, but didn’t get far.   read more
  • Labor Board Tells San Diego Pension Cuts Were Illegal; Could Cost $100 Million

    Thursday, December 31, 2015
    The state Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) said the city should have talked to unions first before ripping up their contracts at the ballot box. Prop. B substituted a 401(k) for a pension for most new city hires, excluding police officers. Those public safety workers still get a pension, but it will max out at 80% of the individual’s salary, not the current 90%.   read more
  • Drought Blows Their Cover—58 Million Trees at “Severe” Risk

    Wednesday, December 30, 2015
    Instead of counting dead trees on the ground, the researchers went airborne to measure the moisture in tree canopies across the state and compared the results to 2012. They found “severe” canopy water content (CWC) losses of at least 30% in 58 million trees. "This pool could increase into the hundreds of millions of trees,” they said. The survey also found 888 million large trees in 41,000 square miles of forest had measurable loss of canopy moisture.   read more
  • Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation : Who Is Scott Kernan?

    Wednesday, December 30, 2015
    Kernan grew up in San Quentin. His mother worked at the prison in his youth, and he spent around 10 of his formative years living on the grounds. He started out as a guard, worked his way up to warden and then joined the insiders running the department during tumultuous times. He was the Number 2 guy when he retired and became a consultant four years ago. Now he's back.   read more
  • Typo in State Law Fuels Rush by Cities to Clamp Down on Marijuana

    Tuesday, December 29, 2015
    The Los Angeles Times counted 19 cities in its neck of the woods that have restricted or banned medical marijuana dispensaries recently and said dozens more in the state are considering it. The Times said there was “panic” among medical marijuana supporters. Cal NORML director Dale Gieringer said local officials were "stampeding to restrict cultivation without adequate consideration.”   read more
  • Coercive or Punitive? Orange County Man Jailed 5 Years for Contempt of Court

    Tuesday, December 29, 2015
    The court ordered Nazarzai to account for all his assets and Nazarzai said he had $370,540 at an unidentified location. He was ordered to produce it by July 2, 2010, but did not. Instead, he offered a fanciful story of how the money came to be missing. The judge wrote: "I find beyond a reasonable doubt that the cash was not in the car and never was placed into it for delivery.” Nazarzai was found to be in contempt of court.   read more
  • Massive Gas Leak Could Put Crimp in New Porter Ranch Housing Development

    Monday, December 28, 2015
    The unfolding disaster has put a crimp in 10-year-old plans to add 188 homes along the community's border, on lots averaging 18,500 square feet. The development is to include a new 114-acre nature preserve, with horse riding trails and other recreational opportunities. Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, as a member of the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), asked for a moratorium on annexation of the property. He called the leak “catastrophic.”   read more
  • State Tells L.A. Port Firm It Can't Pretend Driver Employees Are Contractors

    Monday, December 28, 2015
    Commissioner Julie Su awarded the short-haul drivers at Pacific 9 Transportation $6.9 million in a case that could have ramifications for hundreds of other drivers in similar situations. They do the work of employees, under the direction of the company, but don’t receive benefits, aren’t covered by overtime laws, have to pay both employee and employer ends of withholding taxes, aren’t eligible for unemployment insurance, and lack job security.   read more
  • New, but Not Unexpected, Technology Derails State’s Plan to Squelch Prison Cellphones

    Friday, December 25, 2015
    The 2012 report by the California Council on Science and Technology said the system wouldn’t block 4G, Wi-Fi, MiFi, Skype, text messages or satellite transmissions. It can’t triangulate radio signals, limiting its effectiveness in identifying specific phones or users. And radio frequency leakage could interfere with regular cellphone usage, affecting the public’s access to 911 operators. But the state forged ahead, installing the system at 18 prisons before deciding it wasn’t working.   read more
  • Influential Assemblyman Quitting to Join Pharmaceutical Lobbyists

    Friday, December 25, 2015
    Fresno Democrat Perea, 38, will be a senior director of state advocacy for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). That didn’t come as a huge shock to the Sacramento Bee, which noted when Perea announced his impending resignation that he was one of the top beneficiaries of Big Pharma contributions in 2013 and 2014 and a possible candidate for a job there.   read more
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