San Jose and Santa Clara County are fighting to recapture the spirit of the Fourth of July.Somehow many residents have come to believe that the way to express their patriotism is to shoot off firecrackers, cherry bombs, mortars that sound like tactical nuclear weapons. It’s neither safe nor sane. …

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The PUC could and should have acted on its own in the wake of the 2010 San Bruno explosion after learning that its lax oversight of PG&E helped directly lead to the pipeline disaster. Instead, it’s been pretty much business as usual.

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The new laws don’t infringe on gun owners’ core constitutional rights.

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The explanations as to why California gas prices are high and volatile make sense.

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Journalists across the Sacramento region describe last Sunday’s riot at Capitol Park as among the most violent events they’ve covered. The final tally was 10 people injured, five stabbed. The out-of-control protesters were photographed and caught on video attacking KCRA’s Mike Luery and videographer John Breedlove, as well as random passers-by. …

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We have gotten quite accustomed to reports about California’s terrible business climate and companies moving to, or expanding in, other states that offer greater economic freedom and fewer crazy regulations and taxes. Add another one to the list….

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In another victory for the educational status quo, the Supreme Court earlier this week rejected a motion to rehear Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which deadlocked 4-4 in March after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

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There’s a sad truth about the sweeping reforms of the state’s embattled Public Utilities Commission agreed to by Gov. Jerry Brown last week: They wouldn’t be necessary if members of the commission were working in the public interest.The PUC should have reformed itself in the wake of the 2010 San Bruno explosion after learning that its lax oversight of PG&E contributed to the pipeline disaster that claimed eight lives and leveled a whole neighborhood. Instead, it’s been business as usual. Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Glendale, had to threaten to blow up the PUC altogether before Brown and PUC President Michael Picker agreed last week to a compromise with three lawmakers requiring more public participation at PUC meetings and greater public disclosure in general.But if the governor and Legislature really want reform, these rules will be just the start. …

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The United States military is in some ways a bellwether of societal norms. So it was that acceptance of gay and lesbian service members (without asking them not to tell) became a major step forward, and allowing women in combat lifted them to full equality in the service, since the highest ranks could only be reached by those with combat experience.Now transgender service members are another reason to celebrate.Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has been committed to all aspects of gender equality, bringing the United States up to the standard of countries such as Britain, Australia and what many see as the gold standard of a tough and effective military, Israel. A small country, Israel cannot afford to write off whole segments of its population for the military…

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The issue of race has scarred the entirety of U.S. history. Although sometimes overshadowed by the arguably more deep-seated issue of class, the racial divide is a festering wound that decent Americans, including politicians, genuinely want to heal. Decency and politics have a tenuous relationship, but this year, one candidate has exacerbated racial tensions in a way not seen since the days of segregationist George Wallace and Richard Nixon’s polarizing vice president, Spiro Agnew. Donald Trump, through his outbursts and incendiary rhetoric, opened the door to a new period of even greater racial antagonism. …

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The Golden State isn’t as parched as we thought.

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There is progress on student tracking, but not on tenure.

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As 15-year-old Audrie Pott lay unconscious at a party in September 2012, three boys sexually abused her, wrote comments on her body and texted photos of their act to other students at Saratoga High School in Santa Clara County. Audrie committed suicide several days later. The teenage attackers…

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The decision by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to invite into its ranks 683 new members — its largest, most diverse class ever — earned the organization a somewhat less derisive Twitter hashtag, #OscarsNotSoWhite. But even though the group is 46% female and 41% people of color,…

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Starting today, most minimum wage workers in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Malibu and unincorporated Los Angeles County will get a bump in their hourly pay — from $10 to $10.50 — as the first step toward a $15 minimum wage in 2020. For the rest of California’s workforce, the wage floor adopted…

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JPMorgan Chase patted itself on the back earlier this year after announcing plans to close hundreds of branches and increasingly shift customer transactions to ATMs and online banking. A deposit involving a human teller, the bank noted, costs it about 65 cents, whereas an ATM deposit costs just…

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For Biola University on the outskirts of Orange County, where I serve as president, religious freedom means the freedom to hold beliefs and to abide by community standards steeped in the historic Christian faith, as we have done since our founding in…

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An “outrageous act of fraud,” “egregious” and “patently illegal.” These are just some of the terms U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana, uses to describe actions by the Office of Personnel Management, which was designed to help congressmen…

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“You were failed by a culture on our college campuses where one in five women is sexually assaulted.” Vice President Joe Biden wrote these powerful words in his open letter to the courageous young victim in the Stanford University sexual assault…

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Retired city manager Joseph Tanner, a critic of inflated benefits who helped steer Vallejo through bankruptcy, loses bid to spike his pension 42 percent.

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Supreme Court refuses to reopen union dues caseSenate committee rejects teacher tenure reformSame committee endorses accountability bill … Click to Continue »

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Susan Bonilla’s legislation was a partial response to Vergara caseCalifornia Supreme Court should step into vacuum left by LegislatureVoters should factor bill’s fate as they decide how to vote on income tax initiative … Click to Continue »

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Ted Souza has been fishing the Smith River for 66 years. He caught his first steelhead in February 1950 and has been watching the fishery closely ever since. It’s not doing well, said Souza, 91, and he brings decades of observations to prove it…

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“It changes people’s lives. If you are low, it raises you up.”These words came from a 19-year-old girl living in an impoverished village in Kenya who I interviewed while conducting field research after my first year of medical school.To me, her life really had changed. She was happier, motivated and better able to provide for her family’s health needs…

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California’s presidential primary was preceded by a surge in online voter registration reflecting the wave of youthful enthusiasm that surfaced nationwide for Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. Indeed, the May survey by the Public Policy Institute of California reported that Sanders was the solid favorite for those under age 45, while his support registered at 44 percent among all Democratic presidential primary voters. Ultimately, the “Feel the Bern” movement fell short of its goal of a victory in California. Sanders is garnering 45 percent of the vote – amounting to 2.2 million voters, according to the latest California primary figures…

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Breaking up, it turns out, is not so hard to do. It is a simple matter of a stupid vote.The “Brexit” result is a shock to the international financial system, a threat to post-Cold War stability and raises tensions in a region with a historically bad war habit. Brexit dealt a new blow to European integration and collective strength, and adds pressure to a further weakened European Union already facing strategic challenges from places like Russia.Despite Brexit’s destabilizing potential, there is one European-wide institution that promises to be a unifying European political structure…

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Our great nation turns 240 years old on Monday.The birthday is worth celebrating with passion, patriotism, gratitude and … safety.There is no reason that everything from the rockets’ red glare of fireworks to small-scale celebrations with Sparklers can’t be handled in a manner that recognizes danger and promotes safety.It’s important to remember there still is a drought going on, and the tinder-like conditions can be dangerous. There have been

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A smart family leave bill dies mysteriously in committeeGrudge against women’s caucus may have played a partBut at least eight important panels have no women – why not? … Click to Continue »

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