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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
  • California Enacts Nation’s Toughest Climate Law

    Monday, September 12, 2016
    No other state has enacted such deep emission cuts into law. The legislation goes well beyond the reductions required by California's landmark 2006 global warming law. The state's emissions have fallen 9.5% since peaking in 2004, and analysts now consider the 2020 goal well within reach. ``Here we are, 10 years later, emissions have gone down and the economy has gone up,'' said state Sen. Fran Pavley, who wrote the new law. ``It's a success story.''   read more
  • EPA Backs California Expansion of Shadow Program Allowing Toxic Waste Pumping into Water Reserves

    Thursday, September 01, 2016
    Thanks to poor record keeping, the state found more than 2,000 wells were injecting toxins directly into the state’s drinking water. The waste is often described as merely “salt water.” Indeed, only “non-hazardous” substances are supposed to be pumped into them. But under concessions won by the oil industry and inserted into federal law, oilfield production waste — including chemicals known to cause cancer and fracking materials — are not legally considered “hazardous."   read more
  • U.S. Postal Service Sues Berkeley for Blocking Sale of Historic Post Office

    Thursday, August 25, 2016
    The U.S. Postal Service has sued Berkeley, California, claiming the city interfered with a federal mandate by passing an ordinance to block the sale of its historic post office building. The lawsuit is the latest wrinkle in a four-year fight over the 102-year-old downtown post office. As part of its cost-cutting crusade, the Postal Service said it would sell its main post office building at 2000 Allston Way in Berkeley, as it needed only 4,000 square-feet of the 57,000-square-foot structure.   read more
  • State Supreme Court Allows Teacher Tenure to Stand

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016
    The California Supreme Court handed teacher unions a major victory on Monday by refusing to review an appeals court finding that the Golden State's teacher-tenure laws do not violate students' rights.   read more
  • Invasion of Privacy, Misinformation and Broken Laws Permeate California Gang Database

    Thursday, August 18, 2016
    In a searing audit, State Auditor Elaine Howle claims the CalGang database is reeling from a lack of oversight and that law enforcement agencies are adding names to it without cause. Plagued by errors and misinformation—42 children under the age of one were entered into the system—the law enforcement resource's usefulness is waning, Howle said. "User agencies are tracking some people in CalGang without adequate justification, potentially violating their privacy rights," the report says.   read more
  • California Bill would End Daylight Savings Time

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016
    Chu says daylight-saving time can exacerbate public health issues. He points to studies showing that the number of heart attacks, workplace injuries and traffic accidents increase shortly after a time change. "Daylight-saving time is an institution that has been in place largely without question for more than half a century," Chu said. "I think we owe it to the general public to be given the opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not it ought to be continued."   read more
  • California Bill Criminalizing Journalists’ Reporting of Undercover Videos Alarms Free Speech Advocates

    Sunday, August 14, 2016
    Nikki Moore of the California Newspaper Publishers Association said the bill creates a dangerous liability for the distribution of footage and could unintentionally punish more people than intended. She said CNPA has been working with Planned Parenthood to narrow the bill, but the changes have not gone far enough. "We've been trying to help them find a way to accomplish their goals while not infringing on the First Amendment or creating liabilities for media," said Moore.   read more
  • Lawsuit Accuses L.A. Police of Withholding Documents on Mapping of Muslim Communities

    Thursday, July 28, 2016
    A Muslim advocacy group claims the LAPD refuses to hand over documents related to an abandoned and controversial plan to map Muslim communities in the city. The LAPD announced in late 2007 that it had ditched the plan as part of its counterterrorism efforts. Khera cited another case claiming that religious profiling of law-abiding Muslims by the New York Police Department in Hassan v. City of New York. In that case, Khera said, it turned out the department had been working with the CIA.   read more
  • Court Rules State Doesn’t Have to Pay Landowners for Tunnel Project Tests

    Saturday, July 23, 2016
    State officials don’t have to pay landowners to access their property for environmental testing as part of a massive tunnel project that will divert water to Central and Southern California, the state’s high court ruled Thursday. The decision reversed an opinion stating that because the testing would constitute a taking of private property, the owners would be entitled to a determination of the market value of the property rights the state was acquiring for the project.   read more
  • African-Americans and Latinos Subjected to Greater Number of Traffic Stops by San Francisco Police

    Wednesday, July 13, 2016
    The judges' report found blacks and Latinos were searched without consent at higher rates than whites and Asians. It also found complaints rarely resulted in disciplinary consequences and when they did, officers received mild disciplinary action. There is a systemic lack of internal controls within the San Francisco Police Department and no external body overseeing its operational effectiveness, high-risk activities, or compliance with policies, the report said.   read more
  • Top California Water Suppliers Admit to Having No Water Conservation Plan

    Monday, July 04, 2016
    Nine of the 10 biggest urban water suppliers in California reported to the state last week that they've set conservation targets of zero -- yes, goose eggs -- meaning they're not committing to saving any water for the remainder of 2016. The self-set targets come as California water supplies run short of historic norms amid a fifth year of punishing drought. The new goals -- or lack thereof -- are in stark contrast to the mandatory reductions of up to 36% ordered by the state's water board.   read more
  • Lawmakers Approve Tougher Gun-Control Legislation

    Friday, July 01, 2016
    California lawmakers on Thursday approved a package of gun-control laws that limit monthly rifle purchases, outlaw high-capacity magazines and create mandatory background checks for ammunition sales. Lawmakers routinely referenced terrorist attacks in Orlando and San Bernardino throughout the corresponding state Senate and Assembly floor sessions as the reasons to support and deny the firearms proposals.   read more
  • Legislature Ends Bid to Copyright Public Documents

    Thursday, June 30, 2016
    Assembly Bill 2880 initially sought to give records created at taxpayer expense, including legislative reports, maps and recorded hearings, federal copyright and trademark protections and allow state and county governments to control and even prohibit their use. Last week the bill’s author, Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) agreed to amend the bill for the fourth time and ditch the blanket copyright provisions.   read more
  • Effort to Expose California Police Misconduct Fails in State Senate

    Tuesday, June 28, 2016
    California is one of 23 states that deem police misconduct records to be confidential; the only way to obtain them is through litigation in the course of a criminal case — and even then, the material often must be kept out of the public eye. This isn’t apt to change any time soon: A California bill aimed at making misconduct available to the public died in committee last month. “Police in California shouldn’t be able to operate as if they’re the CIA,” said ACLU's Chauncee Smith.   read more
  • End of Nuclear Power in Sight for California; Renewable Energy to Fill Void

    Wednesday, June 22, 2016
    Pacific Gas & Electric announced plans to shutter its Diablo Canyon facility in 2025. It will replace the power generated by the plant with projects that don't produce greenhouse gases, including renewable energy sources, increasing energy efficiency and new storage capabilities. The stunning proposal comes out of an agreement with environmental groups and labor unions. "This is an absolutely historic agreement," said Damon Moglen of Friends of the Earth, who participated in the negotiations.   read more
  • $28 Million Wasted on Failing California Vets Health System

    Saturday, June 18, 2016
    California dumped nearly $28 million into a deteriorating disabled-veterans health care system and the failing program has yet to comply with state and federal regulations. The cutting report says the VA ignored complaints regarding a new computer filing system from its own employees for years and lacked oversight over contractors. It claims the department approved payments for services it couldn't verify were completed and that the renovated system doesn't meet the needs of disabled veterans.   read more
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