- Supreme Court: California's prison overcrowding is 'serious constitutional violation' (McClatchy Newspapers)
A closely divided Supreme Court on Monday cited “serious constitutional violations” in California’s overcrowded prisons and ordered the state to abide by aggressive plans to fix the problem. In a decision closely watched by other states, the court by a 5-4 margin concluded the prison overcrowding violated constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment. Pointedly, the court rejected California’s bid for more time and leeway. “The violations have persisted for years,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority. “They remain uncorrected.”
- Suspect arrested in beating of Giants fan (SF Chronicle)
Carrying out a lightning raid in a scruffy East Hollywood neighborhood, police on Sunday arrested a man they believe was the "primary aggressor" in the March 31 beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow outside Dodger Stadium, officials said. An emotional Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said at a press briefing near the stadium that investigators learned of the suspect, 31-year-old Giovanni Ramirez, thanks to a tip from his parole agent, then obtained a search warrant.
- 'Showtime' as deadline on pension reform nears (SF Chronicle)
It's down to the wire on Mayor Ed Lee's plan to have a consensus pension reform measure on the November ballot. Facing a Tuesday deadline to introduce his charter reform measure at the Board of Supervisors, where six votes are needed to get it on the ballot, city officials and labor leaders worked through the weekend, trying to hammer out a plan that's been months in the making.
- Doomsday budget forecast for schools may not materialize (San Jose Mercury News)
After issuing thousands of preliminary layoff notices, drafting budgets with deep cuts and listening to sky-is-falling scenarios that would shorten the school year by a month, California schools now face a startling possibility: There actually may be the same amount of money as this year. Now a preeminent school adviser, whom 90 percent of school districts pay to interpret the state budget and education laws, recommends districts add back the revenues they had planned to cut for next year. Ron Bennett, chief executive officer of the Sacramento-based School Services of California, said districts "will be able to bring back teaching, classified and administrative positions. But the rosy advice comes with a caveat: Plan on restoring it, but don't spend it yet.
Nearly 200 inmates at San Quentin State Prison rioted in the dining hall, leaving at least four men wounded and hospitalized. The four inmates had stab or slash wounds after the melee broke out Sunday night among 184 men, prison spokesman Lt. Samuel Robinson said in a statement. Guards stopped the brawl using non-lethal bullets and pepper spray, and found at least 10 weapons made by inmates in the aftermath, he said.
Punches are already being thrown in San Francisco's district attorney race - some of them personal. First up: Police Chief-turned-D.A. George Gascón's support of the death penalty, a position that has proved lethal for candidates here in the past.
...San Jose Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell, in cooperation with the Police Department, has crafted a new and unique third option for (those) who feel disrespected by officers: Talk it out in front of a retired judge, shake hands, drop their complaints and walk away. The new process, which has been used three times so far, is an attempt to alleviate the lowest level of complaints usually looked into by the department's Internal Affairs unit. It keeps such complaints out of an officer's personnel file. It saves the city thousands of dollars in arbitrations. And it gives unsatisfied residents the rare opportunity to tell law enforcement what they really think.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, responding to the City Council's vote to fund gang injunctions in Fruitvale and North Oakland last week, called the measures “over-ambitious” and said she would have preferred alternative crime-fighting strategies. “I don't quite get the process except that it probably looks good in the media and you do create some sense of 'Okay, we're being serious,' ” Quan said at her Friday press briefing.
Every day, Gloria Vargas keeps an eye on the young men who congregate in front of her concrete apartment complex on 28th Avenue, near Foothill Boulevard. Some of them live on the block, some don't. At least one she has known since he was in preschool. Those young men and several others create a real nuisance for the neighborhood, residents say. They smoke marijuana, flash guns and spray-paint gang tags on sidewalks, buildings and utility boxes.
...Under the governor's new budget schedule, much of the state's tax revenue growth over the next two years would help clean up balance sheets rather than buy more school days or restore Medi-Cal cuts. The state would generally wait to pump more money into programs until 2013-14. Despite significant revenue growth in the meantime, schools and low-income residents would generally have to wait to claw back from the Great Recession.
California officials will mull the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant’s future in early July, during the first public hearing scheduled since a Japanese nuclear power plant began melting down more than two months ago.To continue operating Diablo Canyon from 2025 until 2045, Pacific Gas & Electric needs approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a federal agency. To continue selling electricity produced by the facility, the company also requires approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.
The man who said the world was going to end appeared at his front door in Alameda a day later, very much alive but not so well. "It has been a really tough weekend," said Harold Camping, the 89-year-old fundamentalist radio preacher who convinced hundreds of his followers that the rapture would occur on Saturday at 6 p.m.
A giant red ribbon was staked to the eastern slope of San Francisco's Twin Peaks on Sunday to mark the upcoming 30th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic and to serve as a sobering reminder that the disease is still spreading. It was June 5, 1981, when the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that a rare pneumonia struck five gay men in Los Angeles, a first account of an opportunistic infection tied to a disease later to be known as HIV/AIDS.
Kathrin "Kate" Sears of Sausalito, a supervising deputy attorney general in the state Department of Justice, was appointed to the Marin County Board of Supervisors this weekend by Gov. Jerry Brown. The governor's office announced the appointment of the 58-year-old Sears on Sunday morning. Evan Westrup, spokesman for Brown, said on Saturday that Sears and county officials had been notified of the decision.
San Jose Sharks drop Game 4 in 4-2 loss to Vancouver Canucks (San Jose Mercury News)
Their power play had squandered five early opportunities when the calls began going against the Sharks in quick succession midway through the second period. A high-sticking penalty to Dany Heatley. A hooking call against Torrey Mitchell. A bench minor because Logan Couture jumped onto the ice too soon. A delay-of-game infraction when the puck sailed over the glass off Douglas Murray's stick. All in less than a three-minute span.