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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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).

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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.

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SF’s car smash-and-grab reality even worse than count

San Francisco’s epidemic of car burglaries may be spreading even faster than the already alarming 28 percent increase reported by police this year.

Statistics obtained from the city’s 911 center show it received 25,031 calls about auto break-ins during the first six months of 2017 — 7,061 more than the 17,970 reported by police.

The difference is that car-burglary victims’ first reaction is often to call 911 — but they don’t always follow through by filing an online report, and the cops don’t send anyone to the scene unless a smash-and-grab is in progress.

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String of grab-and-run thefts hits Fillmore Street businesses

Merchants on Fillmore Street in San Francisco were hit by more than a dozen “grab and run” thefts in August, leaving employees at the businesses feeling unsafe and owners calling for more police presence in the area. The New Fillmore reports that the thefts have hit businesses on the street including Sandro, Curve, SpaceNK, Intermix, Scotch & Soda, Rebecca Minkoff, Mio and Eileen Fisher.

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As car break-ins jump 28 percent in San Francisco, police shuffle response

Scott came to the job amid escalating criticism from city residents about filth and crime in San Francisco’s streets. He spoke as newly released figures revealed that victims had reported 17,970 vehicle break-ins across San Francisco through the end of July, a 28 percent jump from the same period last year.

At this rate, the city will far exceed the 25,899 burglaries in 2015, which the civil grand jury said cost victims at least $19 million. In 2010, less than 10,000 vehicle break-ins were reported the entire year.

Magnifying the problem, guns taken in car burglaries have been used in a number of killings in the city, including the July 2015 shooting of Kate Steinle on Pier 14.

The civil grand jury report, released in June 2016, said gangs were responsible for up to 80 percent of the burglaries, but that police made arrests in fewer than 2 percent of cases.

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Supreme Court defends local initiatives, but may threaten taxpayer protections

In the case of California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland, the court by a 5 – 2 majority held that statutes proposed by voter initiative need not be held to the same procedural standards as statutes proposed by local government agencies.

The opinion by Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar held that Proposition 218 does not limit voters’ ‘power to raise taxes by statutory initiative.’ A contrary conclusion would require an unreasonably broad construction of the term ‘local government’ at the expense of the people’s constitutional right to direct democracy, undermining our longstanding and consistent view that courts should protect and liberally construe it.

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Crime in California 2016

Crime in California, 2016 presents an overview of the criminal justice system in California. Current year statistics are presented for reported crimes, arrests, dispositions of adult felony arrests, adult probation, criminal justice personnel, citizens’ complaints against peace officers, domestic violence- related calls for assistance, and law enforcement officers killed or assaulted. In addition, statistics for preceding years are provided for historical context.

Research & Studies
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Could uptick in California crime make it a political issue again?

The state’s prison population has declined by more than one-fourth to comply with federal court orders, in part by diverting low-level felons into local jails via “realignment.”

Law enforcement officials and prosecutors generally opposed the new leniency, warning that putting fewer miscreants behind bars would inevitably increase crime. And the latest state crime report may point in that direction.

While property crimes such as burglary and car theft have continued to decline, down 1.9 percent between 2011 and 2016, violent crimes have spiked, up 7.4 percent during that period, with “aggravated assault” seeing the biggest jump.

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