A chance for Ryan Zinke to do right by California: We hold out hope that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will become an advocate for the environment. He did, after all, ride a horse to work on his first day as Interior secretary. Gimmicky, yes. But it sent a message.
A factory closes, and California seems to shrug: Aerojet’s departure leaves us to wonder what California leaders’ vision is for the Sacramento region. The list of companies that have left is too long. Some companies have moved in. But what is the plan?
Foon Rhee: A pro-Israel activist wants the city and Kings to cancel the show by Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd frontman set to play Golden 1 on June 12, because Waters is a vocal critic of Israel’s policies toward Palestinians. The city and Kings say political views don’t decide who gets to play at the new arena. Should a performer’s politics matter?
Bill McEwen, The Fresno Bee: Fresno State history professor Lars Maischak – author of the now infamous “Trump must hang” tweet – is portraying himself as a victim. I’m not buying it, and here’s why.
Markos Kounalakis: President Donald Trump should use his dealmaking business prowess to build a coalition of military powers to accelerate the destruction of chemical weapons in the U.S. arsenal and around the world.
Joe Mathews: California and Nevada have much in common. They love to entertain, not judge. They can’t get enough foreigners and tourists. They’re both tolerant of deviancy and sin. And eliminating destructive economic competition is only part of what they could do for each other.
Brian Soucek: Given the stakes, it is important to have clarity about which states are banned from travel, and why. California’s attorney general needs to start sharing his office’s thinking about who we should – and shouldn’t – be boycotting.
Take a number: 61 percent
Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much. So it is with President Donald Trump’s decision to bomb a Syrian airbase in retaliation for a suspected nerve gas attack against civilians. By a margin of 77 percent to 19 percent, Republicans support the attack. Democrats oppose it 48 percent to 45 percent, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday. While 85 percent of Democrats say Trump lacks a clear plan for Syria , 61 percent of Republicans think Trump does have a plan. Overall, 61 percent of Americans don’t see a clear plan. That tracks the basic position of The Bee’s editorial board on the biggest military action of Trump’s young presidency. – Foon Rhee, @foonrhee
L.A. Times: Disposable plastic waste has gotten way out of hand, and recycling programs don’t appear to be solving the problem. The conditions are ripe for another attempt to enact a statewide restriction on polystyrene takeout containers. Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) has written one, and lawmakers should pass it.
San Diego Union-Tribune: an appeals court delivered taxpayers and voters a major victory, safeguarding San Diegans’ right to limit city worker pensions – while also protecting Californians’ constitutional right to direct democracy through citizens’ initiatives such as the one at issue, Proposition B, the 2012 measure that made San Diego the state’s lone jurisdiction not giving new hires a traditional public pension.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: California is the only state with an elected Board of Equalization. It could just as easily be consolidated with the state’s other tax agency, the Franchise Tax Board, as Gov. Pete Wilson recommended two decades ago. Chances are, no one would notice it was gone. Our view.
San Francisco Chronicle: California’s high school graduation rate hit a record high last year, with 83.2 percent of the class of 2016 earning their diplomas. What’s particularly exciting about the rate increases is that there’s been a narrowing of the racial achievement gap, a stubborn (and costly) problem in California.
Raleigh News & Observer: A little more than 20 years ago, The News & Observer’s Pulitzer prize-winning series on the hog industry showed it to be woefully short on regulation. Some changes came, but the industry still is fighting and, in the state House, winning in its campaign to do as it pleases without regard to the impact of actions on its neighbors.
Lexington Herald-Leader: Give House Majority Leader Jonathan Shell credit for honesty, if not integrity. He shrugs off smoking’s intolerable toll on Kentucky because, as he told The Associated Press’ Adam Beam, tobacco “has bought and paid for everything (in) my life. My house, my education.” But Shell’s devotion to toxic air is putting him and the House at odds with Kentuckians.
Kansas City Star: Donald Trump won Kansas’ 4th District in 2016 by 27 points. On Tuesday, in the first national test of the Republican Party’s electoral strength since November, Ron Estes claimed the seat in the Wichita-area district by a mere 7 points. A win is a win, but underwhelming it was. This means your party is going the wrong way, Mr. President. You’re shrinking, or at least your margins are.
Thomas L. Freidman: Is it really in our interest to be focusing solely on defeating ISIS in Syria right now? Here’s a look at the logic.
E.J. Dionne: As is always the case with Donald Trump, he will not take any personal responsibility for what’s going wrong. He must find a scapegoat, and Steve Bannon is the latest.
“MWD is investing in the Sites project to tap into more Northern California water, fish and Delta farmers be damned.” Roger Thibault, West Sacramento
Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, and and Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, can take a measure of pride in the latest childhood vaccination results. In 2015, they led the legislative push to make is tougher for parents to opt-out of getting their children vaccinated, and it’s working.
The California Department of Public Health reports that the percentage of kindergarteners who arrived at school with all their vaccines rose to 95.6 percent, a 5.2 percentage point increase in the two years since 2014-2015. That’s the highest reported for the current set of immunization requirements for kindergarten, which began in the 2001-2002 school year.
Unfortunately, it turned into a partisan exercise, as most Republicans voted against the legislation, weirdly making a “parental rights” argument.
Pan and Allen received plenty grief for their stand, as did lobbyist Jodi Hicks, and our own Shawn Hubler, who took the lead in writing our editorials in support of a scientific approach to public health.