By Derrick Broze for Activist Post – On Friday, a Ninth Circuit panel of judges ruled in favor of a Berkeley, California law which requires retailers to display warnings about the possibility of health risks from cellphones. The 2 to 1 decision rejects a legal challenge from the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA), a wireless industry trade group who challenged Berkeley’s so-called “Right To Know” ordinance in June 2015. The group claimed the law violates the First Amendment by forcing retailers to spread a message that they say is misleading. Circuit Judge William Fletcher disagreed, writing that because Berkeley’s cellphone warning is “purely factual” and is offering protection of public safety, it does not violate the First Amendment. “Berkeley’s compelled disclosure does no more than to alert consumers to the safety disclosures that the FCC requires, and to direct consumers to federally compelled instructions in their user manuals providing specific information about how to avoid excessive exposure,” Fletcher wrote. “Far from conflicting with federal law and policy, the Berkeley ordinance complements and reinforces it.”
By Danielle Ola for PV Tech – From the hours of 11am to 2pm on 11 March, the total solar share of gross demand exceeded 50%, according to the EIA. Source: Flickr/ lindalino. On 11 March, for the first time ever, over 50% of California’s power needs were met with solar power, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). From the hours of 11am to 2pm, “the total solar share of gross demand probably exceeded 50%,” the EIA said – noting that it was a combination of residential and commercial rooftop generation that constituted 4 million kWh of electricity during peak time. During the same time window, wholesale electric rates dipped below zero, compared to the average price of between US$14-$45MWh in March between 2013 and 2015.
By Staff of Sustainable Pulse – Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Kapetan previously issued a tentative ruling on January 27 in Monsanto Company v. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, et al. Judge Kapetan formalized her ruling against Monsanto on Friday, which will allow California to proceed with the process of listing glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as a chemical “known to the state to cause cancer” in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known as Proposition 65. Note: California has still not finalized the labeling of Roundup under Proposition 65 or set the safe harbor levels.
By Nanette Asimov for San Francisco Chronicle – City College of San Francisco will be free of charge to all city residents under a deal announced Monday by Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Jane Kim that college trustees hope will lead to an enrollment jolt and more state funding for the school. Under the agreement, which is expected to take effect in the fall, the city will pay $5.4 million a year to buy out the $46-a-credit fee usually paid by students. The city’s contribution will also provide $250 a semester to full-time, low-income students who already receive a state-funded fee waiver.
By Staff of The Dawn News – In the Spring of 2019, Californians will go to the polls in a historic vote to decide by referendum if California should exit the Union, a #Calexit vote. You will have this historic opportunity because the Yes California Independence Campaign will qualify a citizen’s initiative for the 2018 ballot that if passed would call for a special election for Californians to vote for or against the independence of California from the United States. This is a very important question. It is the responsibility of this campaign to explain what a yes vote will mean for you, your family, your community, our state, our country, and our world. We have designed this website to answer many of these questions and look to you to ask more.
By Grant Stern for Occupy Democrats – The State of California’s elected officials are exploring ways to combat President Trump’s Executive Order cutting off funding to sanctuary cities. National legal experts say that Trump’s sanctuary cities order is unconstitutional because, at its core, the order is an attempt to commandeer state and local officials in violation of the 10th Amendment. California’s Democratic leaders believe there are numerous federal programs receiving state funds as well, which they will seek to cut, to make up for anything Republicans siphon out of their budgets. San Francisco’s CBS affiliate reports that the federal government only spends 78 cents in California for every tax dollar sent from that state to Washington…
By Lorraine Chow for Eco Watch – In its lawsuit, Monsanto claimed that the listing was unconstitutional because the OEHHA delegated law-making authority “to an unelected and non-transparent foreign body that is not under the oversight or control of any federal or state government entity.” However, California lawyers argued in its motion to dismiss the lawsuit that the IARC’s scientific determinations are “the gold standard in carcinogen identification.” According to the Associated Press, Judge Kapetan will issue a formal decision soon. OEHHA spokesman Sam Delson told the AP that state regulators are waiting for the judge’s formal decision before moving forward with the warning labels.
By Andrea Castillo for McClatchy DC – The city of Clovis won its more than three-month-long civil trial against chemical manufacturing giant Shell Oil Co. over the cleanup of a toxic chemical found in drinking-water wells around the city of 108,000 people. The chemical is 1,2,3-trichloropropane, or TCP, which is a waste product from making plastic. TCP was in farm fumigants last used in the 1980s, which were injected into the ground to kill tiny worms called nematodes. A jury on Wednesday awarded the city nearly $22 million, finding that Clovis residents were harmed by the design of the fumigant, that Shell did not prove the benefits of its product outweighed the risks, and that those risks were known at the time it was sold.
By Liz Martinez and Roque Planas for The Huffington Post – LOS ANGELES ― Days before he died, Pedro Villanueva asked his mother for permission to go to Tijuana with his cousin over the Fourth of July weekend. She refused, worrying that Mexico would be too dangerous for her 19-year-old son. Now she wonders if she made the right decision. “I said, ‘Oh no, if you go to Tijuana, what if something happens to you?’” Hortencia Villanueva told The Huffington Post. “You know, [as a parent] you’re always trying to protect your children. And always thinking that the worst things happen in Mexico, not knowing that these things can happen right here.
By Liliana Segura for The Intercept – ON THE DAY a California jury sentenced 25-year-old Irving Ramirez to die, Dionne Wilson went out to a bar to celebrate. “We had a major party,” she told me. Ramirez had shot and killed her husband, Dan, in 2005 — the first Alameda County cop to be murdered in the line of duty in almost 40 years. The district attorney tried the case himself; when the death sentence came down two years later, Wilson felt satisfied she could finally move on with her life.ON THE DAY a California jury sentenced 25-year-old Irving Ramirez to die, Dionne Wilson went out to a bar to celebrate.
By Ellen Brown for The Web of Debt Blog – School districts are notoriously short of funding — so short that some California districts have succumbed to Capital Appreciation Bonds that will cost taxpayers as much as 10 to 15 times the principal by the time they are paid off. By comparison, California’s Prop. 51, the school bond proposal currently on the ballot, looks like a good deal. It would allow the state to borrow an additional $9 billion for educational purposes by selling general obligation bonds to investors at an assumed interest rate of 5%…
By Nika Knight for Common Dreams – The San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission on Wednesday voted 3-2 to reject a Phillips 66 oil train project, an outcome that was met by a standing ovation. “Here’s one for the people,” said Martin Akel, a member of Mesa Refinery Watch, a group that opposes the rail-spur project, according to local newspaper The Tribune. “The commissioners got it finally. We finally beat back a major business institution that only had its self-interests in mind, not the people.”
By Daniel Ross for Truthout – In a region known for being among the worst nationally for its air quality, plans are marching briskly forward on a proposed integration project that will combine operations at two sprawling oil refineries near Southern California’s Long Beach area, expanding it into the single largest oil refinery by far on the nation’s West Coast. The merger threatens to introduce additional toxins, such as benzene and sulfur gases, into a community that is already suffering from unnaturally high rates of asthma, cancer and other ailments, warn experts.
By Staff of Reuters – (Reuters) – An unarmed black man has died after being shot by a police officer in El Cajon in southern California on Tuesday, the local police department said, appealing for calm as local media reported crowds had gathered at the scene of the shooting. The death comes less than two weeks after black men in Charlotte, North Carolina and in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were shot dead by police, sparking protests. In Charlotte, rioting prompted the authorities to impose a state of emergency.
By Sharon Bernstein for Reuters – SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept 12 (Reuters) – California will become the first U.S. state to require farmers to pay overtime to field workers and fruit pickers under a bill signed on Monday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown. The bill would phase in overtime pay for farmworkers from 2019 to 2022. In an industry where a work week during the harvest season can be as long as 60 hours, the measure requires farmers to pay overtime after eight hours per day or 40 hours per week.