05/25/2018

News

California’s top court makes it more difficult for employers to classify workers as independent contractors

In a ruling that could change the workplace status of people across the state, the California Supreme Court made it harder Monday for employers to classify their workers as independent contractors. The unanimous decision has implications for the growing gig economy, such as Uber, Lyft and other app-driven services — but it could extend to […]

Read More

International gamers in SF for convention ‘shell shocked’ by ‘dangerous city’

More than 28,000 international gaming professionals recently congregated at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center, where they tested the latest VR tech and sampled hundreds of indie games. But some attendees, many of whom traveled thousands of miles for the annual convention, found the city streets outside the Game Developers Conference (GDC) inhospitable, the sights disturbing. […]

Read More

Holy hazelnut mocha! California has gone off the deep end

Second, the unintended consequences could be enormous. We already have a crisis of confidence in our governments, institutions, and scientists. Maybe this is my second soy latte talking, but why risk incurring the wrath of the nation to prove a nanoscale point? Why cast the country into even more confusion by overreacting about a beverage […]

Read More

The science behind cancer warnings on coffee is murky at best

A review of more than 1,000 studies found no consistent link between drinking coffee and more than 20 types of cancer, according to a working group of scientists who met in 2016 at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a World Health Organization group. These studies examined the epidemiological evidence, meaning they looked for […]

Read More

California Environmental Quality Act Lawsuits and California’s Housing Crisis

Our current urban “environment” continues to be dominated by single family homes in neighborhoods consisting of other single-family homes. A recent UC Berkeley study concluded that 62% of California households are single family homes, and another 9% live in town homes or duplexes.38 Changing single family home neighborhoods by adding more residents, more traffic, and […]

Read More

CEQA Abuse Confirmed

Hernandez relates the current “exclusionary zoning” effects of CEQA lawsuits to past practices of land-use discrimination – like when the City of Milpitas and Santa Clara County used zoning laws and high development fees back in the ‘40’s and ‘50’s to discourage African-American families from moving there after the Ford Motor Company relocated a Richmond-based […]

Read More

Epidemic Of Car Break-Ins Makes Parking A Nightmare For Bay Area Drivers

Car break-ins are on the rise across the Bay Area. In fact, 2017 was a record-breaking year for our three largest cities. We’re seeing record numbers of car burglaries in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. Chances it has happened to you or someone you know. San Francisco leads the pack with 31,120 break-ins last […]

Read More

Is an Eco-Billionaire Funding Oakland’s Climate Lawsuit?

A report from the Daily Mail last December also showed a close linkage between these lawsuits and Steyer. Two officials inside his nonprofit group, NextGen, were briefed in 2015 on the strategy behind a legal crusade against various oil producers, the Daily Mail report noted at the times. He has repeatedly denied any involvement in […]

Read More

Judge orders California agricultural officials to cease pesticide use

A judge has ordered California agricultural officials to stop spraying pesticides on public and private property to control insects that threaten the state’s $45-billion agriculture industry. The injunction by a Sacramento County Superior Court judge, issued late last week, could throw a substantial hurdle in front of efforts by the state Department of Food and […]

Read More

PAGA Problem Mirrors Workers Comp Before Reform of 2004

For the business community, the difficulties of the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) are similar to what business faced under the burden of workers compensation costs over a decade ago. Small businesses particularly had to cope with workers comp costs that stood at twice the national average threatening the viability of many establishments. While workers […]

Read More

Politicians can’t have it both ways on climate change

Suing oil companies for causing climate change has become a popular exercise in California’s coastal communities. Officials in five cities and three counties have filed suits, alleging that the companies knowingly emitted greenhouse gases that will damage those communities as oceans rise, and should pay for it. . . .It’s easy to file a lawsuit […]

Read More

In California, Coffee Causes Cancer and Lawyers Collect the Fee

A judge in California is going to determine whether or not coffee causes cancer. Think about that. We live in a society where judges and lawyers — not medical doctors, scientists, or even a group of really clever AP biology high school students — get to determine the credibility of biomedical research. The stakes are […]

Read More

Gone in 5 seconds: SF neighborhood, police powerless against car break-ins

Heat maps of where last year’s 30,000 police reports were taken in San Francisco show car break-ins are concentrated in tourist hot spots — from the Beach Chalet to Fisherman’s Wharf, from the Academy of Sciences to, yes, Lombard Street. Sometimes, the losses are major: passports, cash, laptops, entire packed suitcases. Other times, they’re small […]

Read More

Most Federal Agency Regulatory Guidance May Be Invalid, So Now What?

It’s not a new phenomenon, but today’s administrative state is increasingly characterized by agencies issuing “interpretive guidance” instead of troubling themselves with writing rules for public notice and comment (let alone waiting for Congress to pass a law).

Read More

FBI, SEC Look Into Business Practices of Country’s Largest ‘Green’ Lender

Investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into business practices at Renovate America Inc., the largest provider of energy-saving home-improvement loans, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Scott McKinlay, Renovate America’s chief legal officer, said in a statement that “we have been assured that Renovate America is not a target of an FBI investigation. We believe from our discussions with the FBI about its investigation of a contractor with whom we have done business that it is likely our company has come up in the context of those FBI interviews.” Renovate America is the largest lender in one of the U.S.’s fastest-growing loan programs known as Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE. Private lenders in the PACE program team up with local governments to make loans to purchase solar panels and energy-efficient appliances.

Read More