Editorial: As state superintendent race tightens, Tuck the best choice

In this editorial, the Orange County Register reaffirms it’s endorsement of Marshall Tuck for state superintendent of schools:

Let’s not bury the lede: California’s school superintendent race has drawn nearly three times the campaign spending as the race for governor. It has generated more than double the spending of the last three superintendent races combined. It has featured a clash of union interests, billionaires, charter schools and Hollywood stars.

And yet, according to an Oct. 30 Field Poll, challenger Marshall Tuck and incumbent Tom Torlakson are tied at 28 percent – with 44 percent of voters undecided.

The campaign resembles something of political trench warfare: Each side lobbing shells, but gaining little ground. Field Poll’s Late August/Early September results found a 3 point split in favor of Mr. Tuck, 31-28, with 41 percent undecided.

In other words, after $30 million dollars of combined campaign spending – a number compiled by Oakland-based education think tank EdSource, roughly 80 percent of it independent expenditures – California voters are in about the same place they were two months ago.

The Register has previously endorsed Mr. Tuck for the office, calling him a “mission-driven education reformer.” We reaffirm that endorsement, and the results of the recent Field Poll give us even more confidence in his candidacy.

Read the full editorial here

Could desalination solve California’s water problem?

From the Sacramento Bee:

CARLSBAD — Along this patch of the Pacific Ocean, welders and pipefitters nearly outnumber the surfers and sunbathers. Within sight of the crashing waves, the laborers are assembling what some hope will make water scarcity a thing of the past.

They are building the Carlsbad Desalination Project, which will convert as much as 56 million gallons of seawater each day into drinking water for San Diego County residents. The project, with a price tag of $1 billion, is emerging from the sand like an industrial miracle. In California’s highly regulated coastal zone, it took nearly 15 years to move from concept to construction, surviving 14 legal challenges along the way.

The desalination plant is being built by Poseidon Water, a private company, and will be paid for in large part by rate increases on San Diego County water customers. On the surface, the plant resembles any other major construction project: Construction cranes scrape the sky as concrete foundations are poured; the giant new blocky building could be any warehouse or parts factory.

Inside, the truth of the project is revealed. …

 

Rep. Tom McClintock, Art Moore get personal in lone debate

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

Rep. Tom McClintock and challenger Art Moore sparred in an early morning debate Wednesday marked by fierce character attacks that generated audience groans but put some distance between the two Republicans.

It was still dark out when the candidates took to their lecterns for the hastily planned, 60-minute exchange before about 100 people at Auburn City Hall. The six-term incumbent from Elk Grove and political newcomer from Roseville, running to represent the Placer-county centered district, took questions from the crowd on issues ranging from the national debt to climate change to fire protection.

But it was issues of character and who has the better temperament to lead the rural district that incorporates Yosemite and Lake Tahoe and runs to Fresno that coursed through the forum. …

Read the full article here

Orange County D.A. delaying release of some police shooting reviews

From the Orange County Register:

Long after Santa Ana police shot two fleeing suspects near homes and bustling shoppers one Friday afternoon, much about the disturbance remains out of the public’s reach.

Authorities have not explained whether the suspects were armed or why exactly they were shot. Aside from initial reports of a car chase and a foot chase, what prompted the shooting is largely unknown.

The reason boils down to a little-known policy at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. The office investigates most police shootings for criminal liability and has a policy to withhold incident information from the public if a related criminal case is pending.

Prosecutors say withholding the information – in some cases for years – is necessary to protect the due process rights of people who are shot by police and subsequently prosecuted on charges stemming from the incident. A person charged with assaulting an officer before being shot in self-defense is one example….

Read the full article at ocregister.com

Will new gun restraining order help deter suicides?

From the San Jose Mercury News:

SACRAMENTO — California’s first-in-the-nation gun restraining order legislation was born out of a college-town rampage that left six people dead at the hands of a killer whose family felt helpless to stop him.

Advocates say its greatest use actually might come not in preventing headline-grabbing murderous sprees, but in helping families deal with loved ones who are in danger of taking their own lives or who might be so angry or distraught that they could turn a gun on family members.

Victims of domestic violence in California already can file for restraining orders that can include the removal of firearms.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed a law that will make California the first state that lets family members ask a judge to temporarily remove firearms from a relative who appears to pose a threat. It will also let law enforcement authorities go directly to a judge to seize guns from people they deem to be a danger, as they already can in Connecticut, Indiana and Texas.

Read the full article here

Jerry Brown vetoes California political ethics bills

From the Sacramento Bee:

Rejecting major parts of an ethics package in a year tainted by scandal, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have required more campaign finance disclosure and reduced the value of gifts lobbyists can give state officials.

In a message accompanying one of three ethics-related vetoes, Brown criticized legislation he said would needlessly make existing regulations more complex.

“Proper disclosure, as already provided by law, should be sufficient to guard against undue influence,” he wrote.

Senate Bill 1443, by Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, would have…

 

More than 700 infants exposed to TB at Texas hospital

From CNN News:

More than 700 infants and 40 health care workers have been exposed to tuberculosis, commonly called TB, at a hospital in El Paso, Texas, according to the city’s Department of Public Health. Health officials are not yet saying if any of the people exposed have tested positive for the disease.

An employee at Providence Memorial Hospital in El Paso came to work with an active case of TB some time between September 2013 and August 2014. He or she worked with infants in the nursery and in the post-partum unit at the hospital, the health department says. The hospital has identified 706 infants and 43 workers who were exposed to the disease during that time period. The family of each patient was sent a certified letter and is being contacted via telephone with instructions on how to get tested for TB. Any necessary follow-up care will be provided free of charge by the health department and the hospital.

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In US, huge grain crops spell headache for farmers

From Yahoo News:

US corn and soybean crops could break records this year, but for farmers the bounty has a dark side: falling prices and a logistics nightmare getting crops to market. “It is not an exact science but when we look at the fields, it looks like it is going to be a big crop,” said John Reifsteck, a corn and soybean farmer in Champaign, Illinois, a Midwest farm belt state.

Reifsteck estimated his corn crop could be as much as 15 percent higher than last year’s. The US Department of Agriculture is forecasting record crops this year for corn and soybeans, the two largest US crops in terms of production. Unless there is a devastating freeze or torrential rains before the harvest ends, corn production is projected at 366 million tonnes and soybeans at 106.5 million tonnes.

(Read Full Article)

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Secret Service Launches Probe Into White House Security Breach

From NBS News:

The intruder who sprinted across the White House lawn and was able to enter the North Portico doors had a knife, officials said Saturday as the Secret Service pledged a review of Friday night’s security breach and increased patrols.

Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, an Iraq war veteran, was arrested after he hopped over a fence at 7:20 p.m. and sprinted across the lawn before entering the North Portico doors. Officials initially said Gonzalez was unarmed, but a law enforcement official told NBC News Saturday that Gonzales had a four-inch folding knife on him when he was arrested. Army records show Gonzalez is an Iraq war veteran who served as a cavalry scout, and he served in Iraq from 2006 to 2008.

(Read Full Article)

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Obama Charges ISIS

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