Friday, July 20, 2018

Delta Advocates Slam Power Play by Zinke and Denham

Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke came to California today, hosted by Congressman Jeff Denham, who represents the 10th district which covers the northern part of the San Joaquin Valley. He is touring two dams and reservoirs in the Sierras. The visit is a power play by Republicans in Congress and their agribusiness donors, who are frustrated by their inability to totally control water decisions in California. Denham along with California Congressmen Ken Calvert and David Valadao inserted three riders to the Interior Department appropriations bill. The riders would allow federal regulators to divert more water to agribusiness, while shifting power over the state’s water allocation decisions to the federal government. That bill passed the House on July 19th. At a press briefing at Denham’s field office in Modesto today, Bay-Delta advocates slammed Denham and Zinke for betraying the right of Californians to control their own water, and legally challenge water projects. Vic Bedoian reports from Modesto.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Lawsuit Challenges Trump Rollback of Campus Sexual Assault Protections

A federal judge in San Francisco is considering a lawsuit aimed at blocking a Trump administration policy that critics say rolls back Obama-era protections for sexual abuse survivors in schools and universities. Advocacy groups are suing education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education, saying the new policy is unconstitutional and based on stereotypes about women making false claims of sexual assault because of regrets or misunderstanding.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Legislation Could Change Who Pays Costs of Wildfires

State lawmakers are considering legislation that would let PG&E pass on the cost of last year’s devastating wildfires, and change who pays for safety measures to prevent future wildfires. PG&E calls the legislation “balanced reforms” to help fire victims and protect energy companies and consumers, but critics call the bills a “blank check” and a “free pass” for utility companies and their investors.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Ferguson Fire Rages, Fueled by Heat and Dry Vegetation

The Ferguson Fire now burning west of Yosemite National Park has grown to nearly twenty thousand acres in just 5 days. The blaze is raging up tributaries south of the Merced River along state highway 140. Tall, dry grass and intense heat, combined with drought and bug killed trees, are fueling the wildfire. Firefighters are working hard to keep the fire from crossing over to the north side of the river. Currently more than a hundred structures are threatened but none have burned. So far there are no civilian casualties but one firefighter has lost his life. A hundred people residing in mountainous area have already been evacuated. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Democratic Senators Introduce Immigrant REUNITE Act

Several Democratic senators have introduced a bill to reunify immigrant families separated by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. The measure by three senators, including California’s Kamala Harris, calls for immediately reuniting separated children and parents, as well as putting in place policies to prevent children and from being indefinitely detained while they await their immigration hearings.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Jerry Brown Praises Online Community College Plan at Trustees Meeting

Governor Jerry Brown took a seat at the Community College Board of Trustees meeting Monday, praising a newly-funded online community college program, as well as a “Vision for Success” plan aimed at boosting the number of students who get degrees, certificates or skills to prepare for better-paying jobs.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Richmond Mayor Visits Immigrant Detainees in Jail

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt toured the West County Detention Facility to see the conditions of immigrants detained by ICE. The Contra Costa Sheriff’s office is ending its contract with ICE to detain immigrants, but activists have concerns about what will happen next to immigrants detained there, and others who will be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the future.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

London Breed Becomes San Francisco's 1st African American Woman Mayor

San Francisco has sworn in its first African American woman mayor. London Breed took the oath of office on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, where she gave an up-beat speech about working together for a better future, taking on perennial problems like homelessness and housing affordability.
Christopher Martinez files this report.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Immigrant Rights Activists Hold "Playdate Protest"

About a hundred social justice and immigrant rights activists held a “play date protest” at the Alameda County Sheriff’s office in Oakland. They’re calling on Sheriff Greg Ahern to end a policy of cooperating with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
Christopher Martinez files this report.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Lawsuit Claims Monsanto's Herbicide Causes Cancer

A jury in San Francisco is hearing arguments over whether Monsanto’s “Roundup” herbicide causes cancer. Lawyers began their opening arguments Monday in a trial that has been sped ahead of other cases because the plaintiff is dying of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Christopher Martinez reports.