Could this UC Davis innovation do for Sacramento what it did for Atlanta’s economy? The town-gown partnership that ought to exist between California’s capital and UC Davis perpetually founders in ways that it simply shouldn’t. Arizona State University in Tempe is embedded in Phoenix’s economy, though 10 miles separate those two cities. No business considering a Los Angeles location would imagine that city’s sprawling assets don’t include the academic powerhouse 16 miles west of City Hall known as UCLA.
Only action will make a difference: Amid the cheer of twinkling lights, homeless people and remorseful politicians file into the pews of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral every December to mourn the men, women and children who continue to die on the streets of Sacramento County. Last year, the death toll was about 80 people, including a 28-year-old pregnant homeless woman who was hit by a car. Mourners dedicated an ornament to her unborn child.
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Jennifer Montgomery: As California burns in December, this legislation could protect homeowners. Homeowners face loss of insurance as wildfires strike. That worsens California’s housing crisis. Ricardo Lara’s legislation could help.
Take a number: $13,400
In 2014, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom made news by becoming the first prominent politician to accept campaign donations in the form of bitcoins. His donors include Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twins who sued Mark Zuckerberg over who was the rightful founder of Facebook. The Winklevoss twins were in the news recently for having bet big on bitcoin. The New York Times noted that they used money from a $65 million settlement with Zuckerberg to load up on bitcoin. That paid off big when the value of virtual currency soared, turning them billionaires, at least virtually. “We’ve turned that laughter and ridicule into oxygen and wind at our back,” Tyler Winklevoss was quoted as saying. Alas, the market cooled a bit, but not before they handed out a bit of holiday cheer. On Dec. 20, the Winklevoss twins each gave $13,400 to Newsom’s run for governor, bringing their collective total to Newsom this year to $116,800. As near as we can tell from the campaign finance filings, the donations came in the form of real, not virtual greenbacks.
Virginian Pilot: Virginia finds itself so closely divided that control of the House will be decided by the name in a film canister that an election official pulls from a fish bowl on Wednesday. What a strange turn of events. In truth, the outcome matters of course, but perhaps less so than how lawmakers proceed from here. That’s obviously true in the event of a 50-50 split. But it seems clear that even if Republicans maintain a majority, they must use that margin wisely and look to build consensus wherever possible. The only choice is to govern from the center, something Gov.-elect Ralph Northam is likely to preach as well.
Mercury News: More than a month after the document requests were filed, and as news organizations consider litigation, Kevin de León started backpedaling on the records stonewalling. He now says lawmakers will waive their legal privilege under the Legislative Open Records Act and turn over the documents – in January. More than two months after they were sought. It’s a crumb that misses the bigger point: Lawmakers should be bound by the same rules as everyone else.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Republicans used to at least give lip service to federalism and states’ rights. What is best for the people of California might differ from what is best for Alabama, they argued. The residents of each state should set their own course. Apparently that’s not so important when it comes to guns, however. The hypocrisy would be shocking if it weren’t so commonplace. Members of both major parties support states’ rights as long as the states do what they’re supposed to.
Timothy Egan: I’m optimistic, as we crawl out of the darkest days of the year, that the words Donald Trump has tried to erase, or change the meaning of, will come roaring back to haunt him next year. You can ridicule “the resistance,” as Trump did while urging people to vote for an alleged child predator this month. But that only makes it stronger.
Ross Douthat: Those of us who remain Christian – and yes, this is a Christmas column, UFOs and all – can be agnostic about all these strange UFO stories, not reflexively dismissive, since Christianity does not require that all paranormal experiences be either divinely sent or demonic or imaginary.
Dana Milbank: Trump has failed Puerto Rico. Some 1,065 more Puerto Ricans died in September and October of this year than in previous years, almost certainly storm-related deaths, according to the Center for Investigative Journalism. When all is tallied, the destruction in Puerto Rico will be very much on par with what Trump considers “a real catastrophe like Katrina,” which killed about 1,800.
Kathleen Parker: As a functional obsessive-compulsive, I’m never happier than at year’s end when I get to make lists. Herewith, my picks for the most important stories of 2017. This year my list is short: “Fake News” – from which all cursings flow. Not only has the president’s frequent “fake news” defense against any story he dislikes helped codify the idea that the media, especially CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post, seek only to misinform, but this strategic deception has created a volunteer class of the arrogantly ignorant.
Eugene Robinson: Many of us began 2017 with the consoling thought that the Trump presidency couldn’t possibly be as bad as we feared. It turned out to be worse. We knew that Trump was narcissistic and shallow, but on Inauguration Day it was possible to at least hope he was self-aware enough to understand the weight that now rested on his shoulders, and perhaps grow into the job. He did not. If anything, he has gotten worse.
“It is tragic that various elected officials have begun to try to compromise that extraordinary reputation by attempting to undermine the FBI's and Justice Department's credibility in order to avoid careful scrutiny of their own conduct. We all lose when politicians, even newly minted businessman-politicians, get away with such blatant and disgusting tactics.” Malcolm Segal, Sacramento
San Diego Union Tribune: San Diego, the nation and the world lost a giant Thursday with the passing of Dick Enberg at his La Jolla home. A powerful case can be made that the 82-year-old was the greatest all-around sports broadcaster who ever lived. Whether it was college basketball, major league baseball, tennis, college and pro football, boxing, golf or the Olympics, Enberg was smooth, thoughtful and knowledgeable – a perfect host who helped his color analysts shine, one with none of the look-at-me, look-at-me antics of some current announcers.