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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
  • Legislature Advances Gun-Control Bills

    Thursday, June 16, 2016
    Less than 72 hours after the country’s deadliest mass shooting in Orlando, California lawmakers approved a hoard of gun-control bills Tuesday aimed at limiting rifle purchases and mandating background checks for all ammunition sales. The comprehensive proposals were led by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) and ranged from widening the state’s assault-weapons ban to tightening restrictions on homemade guns created with 3D printing technology.   read more
  • Federal Pollution Rules Unfair to Big Trucking Companies, Judge Rules

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016
    California air regulators created an uneven playing field when they eased up on air-quality regulations for smaller operators of heavy-duty diesel trucks, a state judge ruled. Postponing deadlines for smaller firms to upgrade to cleaner engines or install better pollution controls was unfair to trucking companies that already spent millions of dollars to comply with new regulations designed to clean up diesel emissions, Fresno County Judge Mark Snauffer ruled.   read more
  • FTC Claims Two Southern California Law Firms Bilked Consumers for Millions

    Sunday, June 12, 2016
    With millions of homebuyers facing foreclosure after the collapse of the housing bubble, the Federal Trade Commission claims two law firms bilked people for $15 million in a single year in a mortgage scam. The Brookstone Law and Advantis Law firms have marketed themselves as expert litigators in mortgages issues since 2011, the FTC says.   read more
  • No Right to Concealed Carry of a Firearm, Appeals Court Rules

    Friday, June 10, 2016
    Finding no Second Amendment right to carry a concealed firearm in public, the en banc Ninth Circuit upheld tough California gun laws Thursday. “Based on the overwhelming consensus of historical sources, we conclude that the protection of the Second Amendment — whatever the scope of that protection may be — simply does not extend to the carrying of concealed firearms in public by members of the general public,” Judge William A. Fletcher wrote (pdf) for the majority.   read more
  • Water Agency Gave $1.4 Million Loan to Executive to Buy House

    Friday, June 10, 2016
    Westlands Water District says its 2007 loan to deputy general manager Jason Peltier — now at $1.57 million with a 0.84% annual interest rate — is allowed under agency rules on salary. But experts in governance say the deal raises red flags, not just over the unpaid loan and its generous terms but over whether Peltier and Westlands complied with laws mandating disclosure of the use of public funds.   read more
  • Two Minority Women to Vie for California U.S. Senate Seat

    Thursday, June 09, 2016
    In a historic first, California voters Tuesday sent two Democrats, both minority women, to a November runoff for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat. The matchup between state Attorney General Kamala Harris and 10-term Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez marks the first time since voters started electing senators a century ago that Republicans will be absent from California's general election ballot for the Senate. The outcome reaffirms the GOP’s diminished stature in the nation’s most populous state.   read more
  • Developers Bypass Voters by Using Loophole in California Initiative Process

    Wednesday, June 08, 2016
    The advantage for developers is clear: Projects approved by ballot measures avoid legal challenges under the California Environmental Quality Act. There is a twist, though: Residents often do not even have a chance to vote. So far, the issue has failed to attract much attention in Sacramento. “We’ve ended up with a warping of direct democracy...” said attorney Douglas Carstens. “It’s ramping up. Within a year or two, people will realize what a bad situation this is.”   read more
  • Variety of Ethnic Groups Press for Historic Accuracy in Overhaul of California Textbooks

    Tuesday, June 07, 2016
    A Hindu-American group has protested the substitution of the words South Asia for India. People of Japanese descent have argued against including mention of Asian "comfort women" enslaved during World War II. Other groups simply want more about what their people endured, such as the killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians under the Ottoman Empire and the Bataan Death March in the Philippines in 1942, when 10,000 Filipinos and 750 Americans died on a forced 60-mile walk to prison.   read more
  • As a Key Water Source Dries Up, California Eases Water Use Restrictions

    Friday, June 03, 2016
    Seemingly overlooked is the state’s enormous reliance on the Colorado River for its urban water supplies — and the fact that the Colorado is approaching its worst point of crisis in a generation. On May 18 — the same day that California lifted its restrictions — Lake Mead reached its lowest point since 1937. By 2019, the Bureau says, there is a 64% chance it will drop so low as to trigger a federal emergency provision. California is the single largest draw on this resource.   read more
  • California’s Choices on Death Penalty: Speed it up or Abolish It

    Friday, May 27, 2016
    Californians are closely divided, with 48% in favor of speeding up executions and 47% preferring to eliminate them. Opinion polls indicate that public support for the death penalty has been declining in California, and that a majority of the public would prefer a sentence of life without parole for convicted murderers. The November election would be the first in the state's history to ask voters to choose between initiatives supporting and opposing capital punishment.   read more
  • Terrorized during Week of Captivity, Taxi Driver Who Flushed Out Fugitives Files Suit after Denial of Reward Money

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016
    A reward of $45,000 went to four other men, but Ma got nothing. Teague said he believes the supervisors were prejudiced against Ma because he is Vietnamese. "That's not cool," he said. "How would you like to be locked in a room with three killers for a week?" Teague said it was Ma's escape that flushed the fugitives out of hiding. "Those two guys still in Northern California, they thought, 'Uh-oh,' and they left the motel. That's how they got captured."   read more
  • California Mentally Ill Left Untreated in Jail Longer than if They Had Plead Guilty

    Sunday, May 15, 2016
    Since the evaluation and placement process can stretch on for months, many incapacitated detainees spend more time in jail than if they had pleaded guilty, the federal complaint states. Mentally ill inmates suffer increased risk of suicide, get beat up by other inmates, punished by guards, and often cannot get medication, much less treatment for their illnesses. They also lose pretrial custody credits, which doubles their time compared to other inmates.   read more
  • California Officials Downplay Obstacles on Road to Resuming Executions

    Wednesday, May 11, 2016
    California is working on new execution procedures to replace methods that a federal judge barred in 2006. ACLU's Ana Zamora said state prison officials have largely ignored reports of botched executions in other states. Records of the state's current rule-making process showed that ``the Department of Corrections wasn't taking these events seriously and studying them to ensure that we never have that kind of event in California,'' Zamora said.   read more
  • Secret Report Details Ethical Violations of UC Regent, Who is allowed to Keep Board Seat

    Monday, May 09, 2016
    A doctor on UC’s Board of Regents has been allowed to keep his seat despite a secret investigation that concluded he violated ethics rules by trying to strike a financially beneficial deal between his eye clinics and UCLA, part of the university system the regents oversee. Asked why the inquiry’s conclusions — or even its existence — had been kept confidential until asked about them, UC replied, “The outcomes of whistleblower investigations are not routinely announced publicly.”   read more
  • Legal Aid for Poor Put at Risk by Proposal to Break Up California State Bar, Claim Critics

    Tuesday, May 03, 2016
    Critics countered that dividing the state bar would weaken its overall impact. Trial lawyer Paul Kiesel said that because the bar "is a multifocused group, it has a lot more power than if it were a stripped-down group." Kiesel led a group to restore funding to the courts after their budget was cut by $1 billion after the economic crisis. "The state bar is powerful because of its constituent elements," he said. "If it ain't broke, don't break it."   read more
  • L.A. County Refinery a Threat to Environment, Suit Claims

    Sunday, May 01, 2016
    Southern California regulators must put the brakes on an ExxonMobil refinery that emits 50 tons of hydrogen cyanide in Los Angeles each year, the Refinery Safety Network says in court. The nonprofit sued the South Coast Air Quality Management District on Wednesday in Superior Court, and named ExxonMobil Oil Corp. as a respondent-real party in interest.   read more
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