As Oroville Dam threatens, people of goodwill step up: Today, people living downstream from Oroville Dam are in need of shelter. But the Department of Water Resources estimates in a 2013 report that one in five of us lives in areas threatened by floods, and that there are more than 1,500 dams and reservoirs. No one should believe that Oroville Dam, so fundamental to California’s water delivery system, is the only one at risk.
Erika D. Smith: There’s the threat of Oroville Dam. Then there’s President Donald Trump. Incredibly, Trump said nothing Sunday as people frantically fled three California counties over the threat Oroville Dam would fail.
Dan Walters: As California authorities evaluate the near-collapse of a spillway at Oroville Dam, which would have imperiled communities along the Feather River, it’s a stark reminder that we depend on a complex infrastructure of public facilities and should be willing to maintain and enhance them.
Karin Klein: No matter how much new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos might believe in private schools, even she realizes that most of the schools in this country will remain public. That means she needs figure out how to prod those schools to improve, rather than just trying to replace them.
Loren Kaye: Increasing opportunity and offering everyone a slice of the California dream is within reach of state leaders. Here are five goals to start with.
Take a number: 34
The party that controls governor’s offices in various states will have the power to approve 2020 legislative and congressional lines, with some exceptions. That makes the 2018 election especially important. The Cook Political Report points out that Republicans will have 34 gubernatorial seats to defend in 2018, to the Democrats’ 15, California included. The numbers show are an indication of how dominant the GOP has become at the state level. However, Cook notes one seat held by a Democrat, Terry McAuliffe in Virginia, is a toss-up, while there are Republican-held toss-ups in Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, Michigan and Maine. The ideal solution would be for states to create independent redistricting commissions, of the type in place in California.
Los Angeles Times: A disaster at the Oroville Dam could easily become a crisis for Los Angeles, too. Southern Californians have been drinking from the Feather River – and washing in it, flushing with it and sprinkling it over their lawns – for nearly a half century without giving it much thought, until now.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Oroville Dam evacuations: Check all state reservoirs now. The sudden erosion amounts to a wake-up call for state officials to upgrade their maintenance efforts at Oroville Dam, the tallest in the United States, and the nine other large reservoirs built in California from 1927 to 1979.
San Jose Mercury News: Federal and state officials have a lot to answer for in the wake of the Oroville Dam fiasco. They decided in 2005 to ignore warnings that the massive earthen spillway adjacent to the dam itself could erode during heavy winter rains – which it has done – and cause a calamity, which it very nearly did this week and could yet do.
San Francisco Chronicle: Oakland’s neglectful oversight contributed to the Ghost Ship fire. There’s no clearer example of failure than Oakland officialdom’s negligent handling of the trouble signs that led to the deadly Ghost Ship fire. Time and again, the city was tipped to dangers and did next to nothing.
Miami Herald: The high cost of housing in Miami is driving away educated workers. The swift transformation of Miami into a first-rate metropolis has had an undesirable consequence for many: the soaring cost of housing and the threat of a “brain drain.”
Raleigh News & Observer: A proposed bill from 10 Republicans in the General Assembly to remove North Carolina’s concealed-carry permit requirement for handguns has the odor of a gun-lobby sponsored maneuver. There’s no other way to say it: the idea is absurd, and dangerous. One hopes GOP leaders will stop this idea before it goes any further.
Kansas City Star: Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ confrontational style is no way to govern. Republicans, who control all the levers of power in the Missouri Capitol, need to manage themselves a whole lot better. As governor, Greitens is supposed to be the adult in the room. Instead, he needs a chill pill.
Trudy Rubin: President Donald Trump’s moral equivalence between Russian and American behavior should not be quickly dismissed, because it has scary implications for Trump’s policymaking at home and abroad.
Michael Gerson: Leaks coming from the White House uniformly reveal a management structure and culture in which the highest goal is not to display competence or to display creativity but to display loyalty, defined as sucking up.
Paul Krugman:What we’ve seen over the past three weeks is an awesome display of raw ignorance on every front. Worse, there’s no hint that either the White House or its allies in Congress see this as a problem. They appear to believe that expertise, or even basic familiarity with a subject, is for wimps; ignorance is strength.
Andres Oppenheimer: Bolivian President Morales has been playing the race card for too long. It may have sounded convincing to some when he first took office, because Bolivia’s election of an Indian president was long overdue. But 11 years later, and after repeated violations of the constitution and allegations of massive corruption, his defense sounds increasingly hollow.
“Gov. Brown, it’s time to reprioritize your agenda and put a focus on protecting our infrastructure and the public.” – Wayne Dyok, Rocklin
Tweets of the day, or how leaders handle crises
“There’s no excuse for letting an international crisis play out in front of a bunch of country club members like dinner theater.” –@NancyPelosi, the top House Democrat on reports that other diners posted photos of President Donald Trump responding to North Korea’s missile test while on an outdoor patio Saturday night at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
“Asked if he plans to travel to Oroville, Brown says no. Doesn’t want to flutter around and mug for the media, he says.” – Christopher Cadelago @CapitolAlert