Erika D. Smith: There are dozens of dispensaries and cultivation startups tucked between Power Inn Road to the west, Fruitridge Road to the north, Elder Creek Road to the south and Watt Avenue to the east. Of the 160 applications submitted to the city for permits, at least 80 are for this swath of south Sacramento, eying 2.5 million square feet of space. For perspective, that’s the equivalent to about 42 football fields. That’s a lot of pot. No one should be surprised residents are livid. Read more.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: Nikolas Cruz, the young man suspected of having perpetrated the Broward County mass shooting with a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle, bought the weapon legally last year when he was only 18. Cruz was not old enough to be allowed to buy a beer, but could legally buy an assault weapon. Read more.
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Carl Hiaasen, Miami Herald: Poised beside Gov. Rick Scott in Parkland was Attorney General Pam Bondi, another darling of the NRA. A few years ago she joined a failed Republican push to allow 18- to 20-year-olds to buy handguns and ammo. (They can already legally purchase long guns, which is how the alleged Parkland shooter acquired his assault rifle last year at age 18.) Guess what Bondi came to offer the families of the murdered teens at Douglas High: free funerals. I wish I was making that up, but I’m not. Read more.
Take a number: 10
We can only wonder what might not have happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School if Florida had a law like California’s statute allowing for gun violence restraining orders. San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott has a thought. Read more.
Salt Lake City Tribune: It’s time to end the death penalty in Utah. Handing the state the power to end any human being’s life is not compatible with the idea that the government that governs best is the government that governs least. Read more.
Dallas Morning News: Texas Republicans have an opportunity in the March 6 primary featuring incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz and four Republican opponents to vote for the kind of public leadership that inspires America rather than divides it. A kind of leadership that gives America its best chance to address the very real challenges ahead. To make the most of the moment, we urge voters to choose Houston energy lawyer Stefano de Stefano over Cruz. Read more.
Miami Herald: In a stunning admission, the FBI announced Friday that a person close to Nikolas Cruz contacted the department on Jan. 5 to report concerns about Cruz’s disturbing behavior. That’s six weeks ago. The person had done what we ask citizens to do: “If you see something; say something.” Yet the Bureau did absolutely nothing with the information. Not a thing. It was an unforgivable lapse. Read more.
Orange County Register: Fundamentally, reducing gun violence or at least the frequency of mass shootings will require a multifaceted approach that is sure to make people across the political spectrum uncomfortable, but we cannot continue to allow partisan talking points to prevent productive discussions from taking place. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: The facts facing Santa Rosa City Schools are daunting, and they leave but one conclusion. When school board members gather for their regular meeting on Wednesday, they need to make deep cuts. And the impacts will be painful. The district already had to cut $4.5 million from this year’s budget and faces a structural deficit of $12.7 million over the next two years. This is due largely to increased payments required for retirement costs to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, increased labor costs and other expenses, and relatively flat growth in revenues. Read more.
Kansas City Star: Give the Missouri Senate some credit: The right honorables are finally expressing interest in limiting lobbyist gifts. But while the progress is noteworthy, it isn’t enough. Right now is the time to strike and take an even bigger step toward wiping out lobbyist gifts once and for all. Read more.
Max Boot, Washington Post: The president's obstructionism makes it impossible to appoint an 11/8 Commission to study this cyber-assault and to recommend responses. Various agencies, such as the FBI, are trying to combat the Russians on their own, but there is no coordinated response. Read more.
Charles Blow, New York Times: One thing that is clear to me after the special counsel’s indictment of 13 Russians and three companies for interfering with our election is that the black vote was specifically under attack, from sources foreign and domestic. And this attack appeared to be particularly focused on young black activist-minded voters passionate about social justice: The “Woke” Vote. Read more.
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: President Donald Trump is either totally compromised by the Russians or is a towering fool, or both, but either way he has shown himself unwilling or unable to defend America against a Russian campaign to divide and undermine our democracy. Read more.
“I use to think of firemen as heroes. Not in Cameron Park, they push assault weapons onto their community in exchange for a little cash? Let’s hope that not one of our children or other love ones ends up in the sights of this deadly assault weapon.” – Kevin Sidney Baker, U.S. Marine combat vet, Sacramento