It’s hard to look away when billionaires collide – especially when one of those billionaires is the hard-charging former CEO of Uber, known for running over the little man in the name of “disruption” and higher corporate profits. And so, we can’t blame anyone for getting sucked into the Silicon Valley soap opera unfolding in a San Francisco courtroom this week. At issue is a $1.8 billion lawsuit over supposedly stolen intellectual property for self-driving cars. Read more.
Columns & op-eds
Shawn Hubler: ‘The 15:17 to Paris’ stars a California that America rarely sees. Like Greta Gerwig’s beautiful coming-of-age story, which is also rooted in Sacramento, Clint Eastwood’s true tale of three local boys who foiled a terrorist on a train showcases the great central swath of this state that – unlike the politics of the moment – isn’t extreme. Maybe it’s already too late to still the drumbeat, but count me among those rooting for “The 15:17 to Paris” to join this year’s short list of cultural events we can all watch (or not watch) now and fight about later. And not just because even my own partisan outrage is starting to get to me. Read more.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: Russia will try to influence the elections in Mexico and Colombia. Except for President Trump, people with access to intelligence reports across the political spectrum agree that Russia is running a state-sponsored foreign disinformation machine. Read more.
Ben Boychuk: Blaming home-school for Perris child torture is like blaming trenchcoats for Columbine. Read more.
Steve Hansen and Jay Schenirer: A hit-and-run is a warning on the safety of Sacramento streets. The Vision Zero Action Plan is a comprehensive and ambitious effort to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries. Read more.
Mark Schacht: Don’t make it more difficult for workers to recover stolen pay. Holding employers and multibillion-dollar corporations accountable has been challenging for workers and state officials. Read more.
Kayla Gangl: A new study on fertilizer and smog is alarmist. Other multiyear studies have demonstrated that fertilizers on California’s agricultural lands are minor contributors to nitrogen oxide. Read more.
Take a number: 4-3
Sacramento County’s Local Agency Formation Commission voted 4-3 Wednesday night to approve a proposal by developers and landowners to add 1,165 acres to the city of Elk Grove’s planning area, a first step toward annexation and development. Elk Grove Councilman Patrick Hume, Carmichael water district director Ron Greenwood and Sacramento County Supervisors Sue Frost and Susan Peters voted yes. Coincidentally, or not, development interests backed Frost and Peters when they won their seats in 2016.
Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby, Gay Jones of Sacramento Metro Fire and Jack Harrison of the public did the right thing and voted no. As we said, this proposal could lead to more sprawl and use up fast-dwindling farmland. While supporters said opening the land for development could bring in companies to reduce Elk Grove’s long-standing imbalance between jobs and residents, there are plenty of commercial sites already inside Elk Grove. In 2013, LAFCO wisely voted 5-2 against a bid by the city of Elk Grove to expand its planning area by 8,000 acres. Times have changed, apparently. – Foon Rhee, @foonrhee
(San Luis Obispo) Tribune: As much as we’ve supported Supervisor Adam Hill in the past, we have serious concerns following the latest revelations about his unacceptable behavior, which includes cursing out a constituent over minor criticism. If Hill can’t control his outbursts and refrain from threats and bullying, it’s time for him to resign. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune: San Diego, say hello to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. By April, he is expected to own both The San Diego Union-Tribune and his hometown Los Angeles Times. The outgoing owner is a publicly traded company with all of its related pressures. Along this spectrum, the purchase by a prominent, successful Southern California entrepreneur whose to-do list literally includes curing cancer is a plus. Read more.
Los Angeles Times: With the opioid epidemic raging, four Democrats in the Legislature proposed a controversial but potentially effective response: letting a handful of counties experiment with safe injection sites. But worries about encouraging drug use among non-addicts stymied the proposal. San Francisco health officials on Tuesday decided to move ahead with what may well be the first safe injection sites in the U.S. by July 1, with or without the blessing of state authorities. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: U.S. Interior Department officials picked Sacramento for its only California public hearing on a misguided proposal to open the Golden State’s 1,100-mile coastline to offshore oil and gas development beginning next year. But an inland hearing, convened on a midweek afternoon, won’t turn back a king tide of public opposition to the drilling plan. Read more.
Orange County Register: Sacramento’s push for statewide single-payer health care has taken another faltering step forward. Although state action on universal care is more consistent with America’s laboratory of democracy than an inescapable federal plan, it’s still unaffordable and unwise for the state to take it on. Read more.
(Victorville) Daily Press: According to the 2018 California Children’s Report Card, released this week by the nonprofit group Children Now, nearly two-thirds of the Golden State’s babies are born into low-income households. But the glaring omission from this report card is parents’ role in all of these areas. Why is it, Children Now, that the state should be blamed for problems not of their making? Read more.
Karen Tumulty, Washington Post: Nancy Pelosi shared the names and life stories of nearly 300 young people who were brought to this country by their parents. She was making what may be a futile demand that House Speaker Paul Ryan give the House a chance to vote on a solution for the immigrants known as Dreamers. Read more.
David Brooks, New York Times: The new world requires a different sort of person. Changemakers are people who can see the patterns around them, identify the problems in any situation and figure out ways to solve the problem. Read more.
Michael Gerson, Washington Post: President Trump and his team accused the government of being corrupt – and have proved it beyond reasonable doubt. They alleged that the government was brimming with stupidity – and took it as a kind of recruiting challenge. Read more.
Michelle Goldberg, New York Times: It’s hard to see why Chief of Staff John Kelly would cover for Rob Porter. Unless, that is, he genuinely couldn’t grasp that domestic violence is a big deal. To be fair to Kelly, this administration has made it clear that it’s not. Read more.
Paul Krugman, New York Times: This week Republicans, having just enacted a huge tax cut, cheerfully agreed to a budget deal that, according to independent experts, will push next year’s deficit up to around $1.15 trillion – bigger than in 2012. Read more.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: The obvious purpose of the parade is not to celebrate the troops, as the White House professes, but to celebrate President Trump. Hence, his wish to have the parade before the November election (and the military’s wish to have it after). Read more.
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Be careful, parade-watchers: As far as Dear Leader Trump is concerned, anyone who fails to cheer as the bands play and the troops march by will surely be guilty of treason. Read more.
Gail Collins, New York Times: A good chief of staff advises the president against doing things that will make the administration look stupid or crazy. So, are we all in agreement that John Kelly, retired general turned Trump chief of staff, appears to be a failure? Read more.
“I would love to know where Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, D-Pomona, received his medical degree and license.” – Suzanne E. Ansell, Sacramento
Tweet of the day
“Have you seen the new GOP hashtag? It’s quite a doozy:
“ReleaseTheMemoNoNotThatMemoInTheInterestofFullTransparencyNotThatMuchTransparencyWhatDoWeDoLetsHaveAParade” – Adam Schiff, @RepAdamSchiff