Here’s why Newsom wielded veto pen with vigor

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 13:44

Gov. Gavin Newsom spent the past week working through a stack of hundreds of bills, signing significant legislation on everything from housing to abortion rights. But he also vetoed more bills than he had in the last two years combined while sending a particular message: Now is no time for California to go on a spending spree.

With inflation, war in Europe and higher interest rates pounding the stock market, many of Newsom’s veto messages contained a refrain about the uncertain future finances of a state that has enjoyed record budget surpluses in recent years: “With our state facing lower-than-expected revenues over the first few months of this fiscal year, it is important to remain disciplined when it comes to spending.”

As Newsom wraps up his first term as governor, political observers say he’s learned from others’ experience of California’s boom and bust economic cycles.

“Gavin Newsom is clearly a progressive who’s worrying a lot about a recession,” said political analyst Dan Schnur. “He knows from watching his predecessors that there’s no better way to destroy a governor than budget deficits.”

Among the legislation Newsom tackled before Friday’s midnight deadline were bills to crack down on retail thefts, increase family and disability leave, support the state’s hiring of people with disabilities and make it harder to recall elected officials. Newsom’s track record on bill signings this year comes with the added scrutiny of not only his re-election bid in November, but also increasing signs that he is a potential presidential contender. That has raised speculation his actions on bills are tailored to his White House aspirations.

The governor’s office said Saturday that Newsom vetoed 169 of the 1,166 bills sent to his desk and signed the rest.

According to the governor’s office and a comprehensive October 2020 veto survey by the California Senate Office of Research, Newsom vetoed 66 of 836 bills in 2021 and 56 of 428 in 2020, when the legislature cut back on its bill volume to devote time to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. The Senate research office survey said Newsom vetoed 172 of 1,042 bills in 2019, his first year in office.

Newsom’s veto rates — 14% this year, 8% in 2021, 13% in 2020 and 17% in 2019 — have been more or less in line with his Democratic predecessor, Jerry Brown, and lower than those of Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, according to the Senate research office survey.

Newsom has previously cited concerns about reckless spending. In rejecting a bill last fall on part-time community college faculty, he said “this bill would create significant ongoing cost pressures on the state and community college districts,” and that “such a high expenditure is better addressed in the state budget process.”

But analysts say such comments have become more frequent this year. Newsom has noted in multiple veto messages that “the legislature sent measures with potential costs of well over $20 billion in one-time spending commitments and more than $10 billion in ongoing commitments not accounted for in the state budget.”

He used that language in rejecting a bill to make kindergarten attendance mandatory. And he repeated those concerns in vetoing SB 1387. The author of that bill, Sen. Monique Limόn, a Santa Barbara Democrat, hoped to boost diversity in state office by requiring a report with demographic information about people appointed by his office.

Newsom wrote that his office “makes an intentional, transparent effort to build a diverse and qualified pool of candidates for these positions,” but noted that the bill “is estimated to cost millions of dollars not accounted for in the budget.”

Newsom’s frugality comes after California has enjoyed years of record budget surpluses, leaving many asking: What gives?

H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the California Department of Finance, said that the administration has been signaling caution for months in its budget documents about risks to the state’s revenue stream, and the veto messages shouldn’t be a surprise.

The governor’s May budget revision noted uncertainty in the economic forecast, especially as the plummeting stock market and cooling housing market squeeze one of the Golden State’s largest sources of revenue: capital gains taxes.

The finance department’s latest revenue report said general fund revenues for the first two months of the fiscal year are $2 billion below the revenue forecast in the enacted budget. And the state ended the last fiscal year in June nearly $2.2 billion below forecast. That means the state is “roughly $4.2 billion below projections in our most recent revenue forecast,” Palmer said.

The overwhelming majority of the state’s discretionary surplus funds are committed to one-time measures such as boosting reserves, prepaying billions in state debt, making supplemental deposits into reserve funds and the $9.5 billion in inflation relief payments set to go out next week to some 23 million Californians.

And although California has continued to add jobs, with an 11th month of increases, many have been lower-wage, while high-paying technology companies have seen recent layoffs and hiring freezes. Palmer said that has been reflected in lower withholding receipts from income taxes, where the top 1% pay account for nearly half the revenue.

“The likelihood of continued declines on the receipts side of the ledger means that we have to closely watch the expenditures side,” Palmer said.

Newsom’s nod to tighten spending as the economy wobbles may also be driven by his ambitions. Though the governor has insisted he’s not planning a run for president, he has been mentioned frequently as a future contender for the Democrats, especially with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris polling poorly.

The governor, who polls and last year’s failed recall suggest will easily be reelected, has helped feed those presidential rumors by spending campaign money on ads in Republican states blasting the GOP on abortion, guns and transgenders.

Schnur said an underwater budget would undercut Newsom’s appeal to swing-state voters along with a perception the state is awash in crime. Among the last bills Newsom signed Friday were a package aimed at tackling the retail smash-and-grab robberies that have made national headlines. He vetoed a bill Thursday that would have eliminated solitary confinement, something that might not play well with a tough-on-crime crowd.

Newsom also vetoed a bill that would have allowed drug injection sites in cities as a treatment approach, but signed bills to expand recycling and to protect people who seek abortions or transgender treatments in California from states where there are more restrictions.

“He’s trying to sign everything he can to make the left happy unless it would also frighten swing voters in purple states,” Schnur said. “If he goes hard left enough on environmental and social issues, it gives him cover for sticking with the center on crime and spending bills.”

Categories: Local News

Woodland man pleads to gun trafficking, unlawful gun possession

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 13:44

A 38-year-old Woodland man pleaded guilty Thursday in a federal courtroom in Sacramento, admitting to the unlawful sale of a firearm to a felon and being a felon in possession of a firearm, and became the 27th and final defendant to plead in a massive investigation that uncovered organized crime in Woodland with ties to criminal groups in California’s jail and prison systems.

After his hearing, Justin Wade Johnson was remanded in Sacramento County Jail, Phillip A. Talbert, the U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Eastern District of California, said in a press statement.

Court documents show Johnson is one of more than two dozen federal defendants arrested in February 2018 on narcotics and weapons-related charges as part of Operation Silent Night, the investigation, begun in the spring of 2016, that revealed the widespread criminal activity.

Although centered in Yolo County, the investigation also showed that at least nine other California counties were negatively affected by these criminal organizations: Sacramento, Sutter, Colusa, Yuba, Del Norte, Solano, Fresno, Santa Clara, and Siskiyou, noted Talbert.

Johnson is a felon who, by law, is prohibited from possessing any firearm because he was previously convicted of felonies for assault with a deadly weapon, possessing a weapon while being a prisoner, and possession of marijuana for sale, said Talbert.

In October 2017, Johnson sold an AR-15 rifle to a convicted felon. At the time of the sale, Johnson knew that he was selling the rifle to a felon. Later in October, law enforcement used a search warrant at Johnson’s storage unit in Woodland, where officers seized a shotgun, a rifle and four handguns.

Johnson, who is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley on Feb. 23, faces a maximum 20-year prison term and a $500,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Lee is prosecuting the cases, which already have led to the convictions of 11 other Woodland residents.

Operation Silent Night is the product of an investigation by the FBI, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, the Woodland Police Department, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the California Highway Patrol.

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Several agencies provided additional and “substantial assistance,” said Talbert. Among them were: the Vacaville Police Department, the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, the Davis Police Department, the Sacramento Police Department, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Categories: Local News

Science in the Park fair in Hayward ‘brings science to the community’

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 13:42

Sofia Medina cautiously reached out her hand toward the yellow and black ball python drawing a crowd around the science fair booth at the California State University, East Bay campus. The python’s handler assured the 7th grader its scales would be dry to the touch, explaining to the families gathered there that unlike humans, most snakes don’t have oils on their skin.

“I was really nervous — It felt nice though!” said Medina, who is from Hayward. She learned that “there isn’t any reason for the snake to bite you if they’re not threatened.”

Students like Medina came from around the Bay Area to the Science in the Park fair in Hayward on Saturday. Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle was heartened to see the dozens of exhibits set up across the CSUEB campus after the every-two-years event, originally launched in Union City in 1997, had been on pause because of the pandemic.

“The whole concept is bring science to the community,” Valle said. “You walk away with a lot of knowledge and understating of how science works.”

In recent years, officials have made science, technology, engineering and math education a bigger emphasis in schools as U.S. students, in particular those of color, have fallen behind many of their international counterparts in “S.T.E.M” curriculum literacy.

Participants in Saturday’s event included volunteers from public agencies and educational nonprofits such as the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland.

Soni Johnson, community development coordinator with Alameda County Healthy Homes Department, handed out small potted plants for students to grow at home. The goal was to raise awareness about potential lead contamination in the soil in parts of the county that have many older homes. Students were encouraged to grow the plants in raised beds or plant them in the pots to avoid contaminated soil.

“They’re really interested in the information and the science of everything,” Johnson said.

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Anna Dix, an engineer from Castro Valley, brought her 8-year-old son Nico to the fair to help spark an interest in learning about science.

“Just exploring all the different types of science that are out there,” Dix said. “There are so many booths, so many activities to touch and feel and do.”

Advick Malhodra, a 5th grader from Fremont, set up his own “science lab” booth at the fair. He showed off a mini hydraulic crane and lego rocket launcher that he built himself.

Malhodra said he also likes math and coding and wants to be a computer engineer when her grows up.

His favorite thing about science?

“It’s pretty amazing when you learn things,” Malhodra said. “It’s kind of awesome when you do experiments like volcanoes and fireworks.”

 

 

Categories: Local News

Nestor Cortes dominates Orioles again, strikes out 12 in Yankees’ 8-0 win

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 13:39

In the early hours of Saturday morning, Ryan Mountcastle got a text from his dad.

“That sucked.”

The Orioles’ first baseman quickly realized what it meant. With a pinch-hit, walk-off home run from Cal Raleigh, the Seattle Mariners had just mathematically ended Baltimore’s playoff hopes.

About 13 hours later, the Orioles played a game that could largely be summed up by that text message, too. Their first game formally out of postseason contention was an 8-0 loss to the New York Yankees as one-time Orioles left-hander Nestor Cortes struck out 12 in 7 1/3 one-hit innings.

It was a letdown from the night before, when the Orioles (81-77) temporarily staved off elimination with a dramatic 2-1 victory over New York that ensured their first non-losing season since 2016. A Rule 5 draftee that pitched in four games for Baltimore in the 2018 season that sparked the organization’s rebuild, Cortes continued his domination against his former team.

He struck out five of the first six Orioles as the Yankees (97-60) built a 4-0 lead off Austin Voth, including solo home runs from Giancarlo Stanton and Kyle Higashioka. Voth did not allow another run in completing five innings, but the outing still marked the first time since Baltimore claimed him on waivers from Washington that he allowed more than three earned runs. In 22 appearances, 17 of them starts, he had a 3.04 ERA with Baltimore after posting a 10.13 mark as a Nationals reliever.

Cortes, meanwhile, did not allow a hit in the first four innings, with walks to Jorge Mateo and Mountcastle accounting for Baltimore’s lone base runners. Mateo’s two-out single in the fifth ended the no-hit bid. The Orioles threatened to end the shutout with Mountcastle’s single and Adley Rutschman’s double in the ninth, but it only continued their struggles with runners in scoring position.

In seven career appearances against the Orioles, Cortes has a 1.06 ERA, 0.853 WHIP and 51 strikeouts in 34 innings. Both of his career-best 12-strikeout games have come against Baltimore.

As much as Cortes might have frustrated the Orioles’ hitters Saturday, it couldn’t compare to what Baltimore’s pitchers did to the 45,428 fans announced in attendance when it came to how they handled Aaron Judge. With Judge’s 61 home runs tied for the American League single-season record, the Orioles largely avoided the strike zone against the slugger, though it came back to bite them.

Down 2-0 against Judge to open the first, Voth hit the star outfielder to prompt an avalanche of boos, and Judge eventually scored the first of the frame’s three runs. Spenser Watkins opened the seventh by walking Judge on five pitches, with the Yankee Stadium crowd chanting an obscenity toward Watkins in response. Three hits followed as New York doubled its lead. More boos came when Watkins fell behind 3-0 against Judge in the eighth, but he recovered to strike him out to push Judge’s pursuit of history to Sunday’s series finale.

This story will be updated.

ORIOLES@YANKEES

Sunday, 1:35 p.m.

TV: MASN

Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM

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Categories: Local News

Nestor Cortes puts on a show as Yankees rout Orioles; Aaron Judge still stuck on No. 61

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 13:37

This winter, Nestor Cortes called pitching coach Matt Blake, just to check and make sure he had a spot on the big league roster. A 38th-round draft pick who has had to earn every start and promotion in his career, Cortes didn’t want to leave anything to chance.

And Saturday, he made sure that the Yankees have him in their plans for big spots in the playoffs. While the packed Yankee Stadium hoped to see Aaron Judge hit a historic 62nd home run of the season, they were instead treated to yet another brilliant start by Cortes. He struck out a dozen and allowed just one hit as the Yankees rolled over the Orioles 8-0.

The Yankees (97-60) won their 10th game out of their last 12. It was their 16th shutout of the season.

Judge was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat, he walked twice and struck out swinging twice Saturday. It was his second game stuck on 61 home runs and trying to become the first American League player to best Roger Maris’  61 year old single-season record. Maris set the 61 home run mark exactly 61 years ago on Saturday.

Giancarlo Stanton and Kyle Higashioka homered for the Yankees. For Stanton, it was his 29th of the season, his first since Sept. 22 and just his fifth in the second half of the season. Gleyber Torres and Josh Donaldson each drove in two runs.

And Cortes was simply dominant.

Cortes, a first-time All-Star this year, struck out 12 hitters, tying his career-high set earlier this season against Baltimore,  and allowed just one hit. He walked two and saved the Yankees taxed bullpen.

“It feels great, honestly. I didn’t know what my position was this year coming in. I knew I had a chance to be a starter, but I didn’t know how many innings I was going to be able to go,” Cortes said. “And luckily, I’m here in the middle of it and I’m happy to be part of it.”

He should be a very big part of it.

The 27 year old lefty has arguably been the Bombers most effective pitcher this season. He’s 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA over 28 starts. While he may not get the honor of pitching Game 1 of the Division Series, he should pitch the second one. That would line up to pitch the fifth game if the series goes that far.

He has certainly made the case for that.

Cortes has not allowed a run and struck out 31 in three starts (18.1 innings pitched) against the Orioles, who cut him off the 40-man roster in 2018.

It was Cortes’ seventh time this season he did not allow a run. He’s allowed three runs or less in 25 of his 28 starts this season, two runs or less in 21, and one run or less in 15

In five starts since coming off the injured list with a groin injury, Cortes is 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA. He’s allowed just two hits in his last 13.1 innings pitched.

“He had a great year. I mean he was an All-Star obviously, in the first half and has continued to pitch like that through the rest of the season,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “So excited for him to go out and make his last regular season start today but it’s been a phenomenal season. And one of the big reasons we’re in the position we are.”

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Categories: Local News

City of Santa Cruz workers will strike next week

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 13:36

SANTA CRUZ — After months of failed contract negotiations between the city of Santa Cruz and city service workers with SEIU Local 521 workers will begin an unfair labor practices strike Monday. Those planning to strike next week include workers from maintenance, sanitation, public safety, library, parks and water departments, among others.

“We have people that are homeless working for the city of Santa Cruz,” said SEIU Local 521 Santa Cruz Chapter President Ken Bare. “I live here in Santa Cruz and so does most of my family and it’s a shame that the citizens are going to suffer, but it’s the citizens that need to tell the City Council that it needs to treat its employees properly.”

The strike is scheduled begin at 7 a.m. Monday, and Santa Cruz residents should expect delays or pauses in city services after that time, but those such as police, fire services, water and wastewater will still be available, according to the city. The unfair labor practice strike is a legally protected activity and workers cannot be fired or replaced for participating. The strike comes after the union rejected the city’s offer of a three-year 12% compensation increase.

“It’s unfortunate that it has reached this point,” said Santa Cruz City Manager Matt Huffaker. “But we are striving to meet the needs of our employees while also being fiscally responsible.”

Workers with SEIU Local 521, are frustrated with the city’s inability to recruit and retain employees to reach adequate staffing levels, treatment of its workers, and the attempts to compare cost-of-living adjustment proposals accepted by city executives to the salaries of front-line service workers, according to union organizers.

“The revolving door and our inability to retain workers is clearly not a priority for city executives who just received significant wage increases,” said Juan Molina, SEIU Local 521 Santa Cruz Chapter vice president. “Residents aren’t getting the services they pay for because we are short-staffed, and that’s because we are underpaid compared to other cities.”

Bare told the Sentinel that the union is willing to continue negotiations for a fair deal, but the city told the union to “kick rocks.” In response to the union’s strike announcement, the city filed a complaint against the union with the Public Employees Relations Board claiming an unlawful strike and bad faith bargaining. The union has 20 days to respond to the complaint dated Sept. 29.

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“Santa Cruz residents are facing a strike because the City Council has enabled management to engage in unfair labor practices while trying to force its lowest paid to accept raises far below what it has offered top executives,” said Bare. “The city just gave its executives year one raises averaging over $4.30 per hour at the same time that they are trying to force over 100 of our front line service workers to accept less than a dollar per hour.”

Service Employees International Union Local 521 represents more than 50,000 public, nonprofit and private-sector workers in California.

For information about service disruptions, visit cityofsantacruz.com/serviceimpacts.

Categories: Local News

Ghanaian-American citizen shares passion for African dance

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 13:34

During his senior year at Atlanta’s Emory University as an African studies student, Kokayi Postell decided to study abroad in Ghana. It wasn’t long before he fell in love with the country’s rich culture, warm people and especially African dance, and extended his stay.

Now a dual Ghanaian and American citizen, the Sausalito resident decided to bring what he’s learned stateside, by teaching and performing African dance.

"It's liberating because it's the relationship between the dancer and the drummer," says Kokayi Postell of African dance. (Photo by Desmond Love)“It’s liberating because it’s the relationship between the dancer and the drummer,” says Kokayi Postell of African dance. 

Over the past few months, he’s taught and performed at RoCo Dance in Mill Valley and Marin City’s Rocky Graham Park and hopes to continue to find ways to teach adults and kids alike throughout Marin and in the greater Bay Area.

Postell, who taught Pan-African history, creative arts and dance therapy to special education youth in Ghana, is a paraeducator at Archie Williams High School in San Anselmo. He can be reached at kokayi@retroroots.net.

Q What drew you to African dance?

A It’s liberating because it’s the relationship between the dancer and the drummer. It’s not about who does it right or wrong, there’s no first place, it’s let’s all dance together. And it usually involves smiling, so you feel happier afterward. There’s a story usually around the dance, and these stories can teach things like gender equality and respecting nature. There are lessons in all of these dances and songs affiliated with them. I really feel like it can bring people together. That’s what we are missing, communal events, all of us participating in something.

Q What got you into dance?

A When I was very young, I used to be the kid who danced and sang for my relatives. I was really outgoing and really into dance and performing, and I still am. I went through a shy phase when I was battling scoliosis during middle school and high school. I became insecure in my body and self. Then I had spinal fusion surgery in high school and from that point, my confidence started to increase. Before going to Ghana, I had a lot of insecurity, a lot of anger and confusion all based on being a person of color living in America, being born in the South. I had a lot of things I needed to detoxify from, and African dance really gave me a chance to heal, to have a new relationship with my body and connect with others.

Q Did performing African dance feel different for you?

A Yes. At university, I did stepping and was in hip hop groups, but it wasn’t until I came to Ghana that I went deep into African dance. I felt it was one of the main binders with me to the people. Initially, I couldn’t speak much of the local language but getting into the dance it was like a language, an understanding. You could read so much about a person from their body language and their movement. It’s a community communication in movement.

Q How did you learn about it?

A I was there through the Council on International Educational Exchange and they gave us a small introductory dance course and it was like, I want more of this. This feels good. I enrolled in the general education class for students in Ghana who wanted to learn dance and all the associates kept saying, “You’re good. It comes naturally. You move like a Ghanaian.” They took time with me and I got to do it right. I created community through dance and that’s what sustains me, teaching dance.

Q What struck you about Ghana?

A When I first went, it was like there’s something about this place that is connecting with me. The way I feel in my body is different. I am smiling more. I am more social. People are looking me in my eye, it’s no ill feelings, no resentment. That’s why I created a business, RetroRoots Tours, putting together tours in Ghana that allow people to experience the culture of Ghana, and is heavily dance-based.

Q What’s your dream?

A Ideally, my drummers and I would just be teaching cultural dance all around the county, in Marin schools and elsewhere. And then to also go to Ghana to learn new dances as well as other West African countries. There’s still a lot I have to learn. And get people from Ghana to come and experience America, to have a cultural exchange, and have them experience things to bring back to their country.

Categories: Local News

Chico back in court for homeless encampment settlement dispute

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 13:33

CHICO — For the third time since the settlement agreement of Warren v. Chico allowed the city to continue homeless camp removals given that it provides appropriate shelter spaces, the city will once again be appearing in court over a dispute with Legal Services of Northern California.

Judge Kendall Newman, who presides over the agreement, issued an order Friday scheduling an informal video conference with Chico and LSNC set for 9 a.m. Oct. 6 to discuss the dispute that blocked the city Thursday from issuing 7-day enforcement notices to campers at Humboldt Park.

In a news release by Chico on Thursday, the city stated LSNC wanted the city to resolve reasonable accommodation requests before they are placed in a shelter space. It also said LSNC did not want the city to ask people to fill out property abandonment forms.

A handwritten sign placed on a dumpster warns people to not overfill the container Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at Humboldt Park in Chico, California. (Michael Weber/Enterprise-Record)A handwritten sign placed on a dumpster warns people to not overfill the container Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at Humboldt Park in Chico, California. (Michael Weber/Enterprise-Record) 

City Manager Mark Sorensen said the delay to continue enforcement appears to be a tactic by LSNC, but he said he does not know why.

“There doesn’t appear to be any valid reason to delay the process at this moment in time, as there didn’t appear to be a good reason to delay the process back in August,” Sorensen said. “That’s something you’ll have to ask them about.”

The Legal Services of Northern California was reached out to by phone, but declined to comment.

Sorensen said LSNC’s requests would make the city have to assess what is “effectively” ADA requests which would be a big time sink and cause further delay.

Sorensen said the plaintiff’s counsel wants to micromanage the assessment process, but the city manager declined to comment further on what accommodating a reasonable request would look like.

According to the settlement agreement, signed Jan. 13, 2022, the city’s outreach and engagement teams must assess whether a shelter space is or is not an appropriate shelter space.

At minimum, the agreement states that a Pallet shelter or a bed at the Torres Shelter is not an “appropriate shelter space” for a person when:

  • The shelter cannot accommodate the person’s physical, mental disabilities.
  • The shelter’s hours unreasonably impair or hinder a person’s ability to work, school or activities.
  • Families are involuntarily separated into two or more units.
  • The person is disqualified because of restrictions beyond their reasonable control, such as having pets the shelter does not allow.
  • The shelter space requires mandatory religious or other programs.
  • The shelter only offers a mat and not a sleeping bed.
  • The shelter space cannot provide appropriate single-gender placement for someone who objects to mixed-gender placement.
Humboldt Park

The number of camps at Humboldt Park has grown in recent weeks. Sorensen said his last figure states 45 people were counted living at the park. Volunteers at the North State Shelter Team, which visits the park each Friday, said they counted around 90.

Most camps are on the park space itself while others have been set up inside the Little Chico Creek Greenway. There were no portable toilets seen Friday. Two dumpsters were set up nearby and are funded by the Sierra Club Blue Oak Group.

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With gates around Comanche Creek Greenway and other areas of Chico under enforcement, North State Shelter Team President Charles Withuhn said there aren’t many places to go if Humboldt Park is cleared.

“History has shown they move northward into your neighborhood,” Withuhn said. That’s where they go; to alleys, bike paths, some other place that’s vacant where they can hide and not get robbed or beaten up in the middle of the night.”

Categories: Local News

Chico police arrest one man suspected of attempted stabbing

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 13:32

CHICO — Chico Police Department officers arrested one person who was suspected of an attempted stabbing on Friday night.

Multiple police officers responded to the Jack in the Box on 500 Broadway at 7:36 p.m. after a Chico Police Department Volunteers in Police Service officer, who was patrolling the Friday night concert located in the City Plaza, was contacted by a person who alleged that a man had attempted to stab him while he was trying to interrupt a potential bike theft.

Officers arrested Bernie Valencia, who had matched the description of the person of interest. During the investigation, police say they determined that Valencia was the person involved in the potential stabbing.

Valencia was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and suspicion of possession of a concealed knife. Valencia was transported to the Butte County Jail with bail set at $45,000.Related Articles

Categories: Local News

He flew his plane from Florida to escape the Hurricane. It found him in South Carolina

Seattle Times - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 13:31

On Monday, as Hurricane Ian approached Florida’s Tampa Bay region, Cullen Moorhead was feeling relieved.
Categories: Local News

Arlington Heights board expected to reject petition to ban taxpayer subsidies for Chicago Bears stadium development

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 13:18

A petition to prohibit public money for a Chicago Bears development in Arlington Heights won enough signatures to be considered by the village board Monday, but trustees are expected to reject it.

The libertarian group Americans for Prosperity — Illinois had initially fallen short of the required 557 signatures, or 1% of the registered voters in the village. Seventy of those who signed were discounted for not being registered resident voters, not matching registered signatures, or other reasons.

Supporters gathered another 30 signatures to get over the threshold, and the measure was set for the village board agenda. Trustees were expected to vote on whether to put the measure on the ballot as a referendum for local voters.

The Bears have a preliminary $197 million agreement to buy the 326-acre Arlington International Racecourse from Churchill Downs, which closed the historic horse track last year. Team officials say they hope to build a new enclosed stadium there, but say they can’t make the $5 billion surrounding mixed-use development happen without government help.

Mayor Tom Hayes and several trustees disparaged the “Anti-Corporate Welfare Ordinance” at their previous meeting in September, with none speaking in favor of it, making its passage unlikely.

“I’m certainly hopeful the board will unanimously reject it,” Hayes told the Tribune.

If the measure is rejected, sponsors may try to gather signatures from 12% of the registered voters, or nearly 7,000 signatures, to get the measure on the ballot without board approval.

Americans for Prosperity, part of a national organization that’s backed by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, maintains the referendum would be binding, but village officials say it would be advisory, meaning the board could choose to ignore the results.

Village Manager Randall Recklaus told the board that the measure would not only keep the village from helping the Bears’ proposal, but would ban any village incentive to any business. That would quash 11 village incentives, from subsidized public parking to business tax abatements.

One possible form of assistance to the Bears would be a Tax Increment Financing District, or TIF. Any property tax increase in the area would be reserved for 23 years for redevelopment of infrastructure, such as roads and sewers, on the site, instead of going to local taxing bodies such as school districts.

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Categories: Local News

Report: Fight at Skyline leads to football team’s forfeit against Windsor

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 13:10

Skyline High School forfeited its Friday night home football game against Windsor because of a fight that happened on the Oakland school’s campus this week, according to a published report.

The news was first reported by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. 

When reached via text, Skyline coach KC Adams said he could not comment but confirmed that there was a forfeit.

Skyline administrators have not responded to requests for comment.

According to Windsor coach Dean Sexton in an interview Saturday with the Bay Area News Group, the Skyline administration decided to forfeit the game after players and other students were involved in a fight.

“We offered a few other scenarios to play the game on Saturday or Monday, either at their place, or we could bus them up to our place,” Sexton said. “But ultimately, their administration decided not to allow that to happen. They said it was too soon and they wouldn’t be ready to play a game by Monday.”

Sexton said that both he and Adams wanted to play, but that Skyline’s administration chose to call the game off.

“Their administration made this a punishment because of what their kids did on campus in their involvement in the incident,” Sexton said, adding that he harbors no animosity toward Skyline for its decision.

The loss drops Skyline’s record to 1-3.

Windsor, which had lost to Campolindo last week, improved to 3-2.

Skyline is scheduled to play Friday at Vallejo.

Check back later for updates.

Categories: Local News

SF Giants: Logan Webb’s final start ‘up in the air’

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 13:02

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants determined earlier this month that the long-term health of Logan Webb was more important than his personal goal of reaching 200 innings this season.

With five games to play, still holding the slimmest of chances at the postseason, the club has another short- and long-term decision to make: whether Webb makes his final start, scheduled for the Giants’ home finale Sunday, or to call it a wrap on his first full season at the top of San Francisco’s rotation.

“We’re discussing what the best strategy is for Logan, if he’s gonna be able to make one more start for us,” manager Gabe Kapler said before Saturday’s game against the D-backs. “There’s a few things up in the air there.”

Webb, 26, has already reached career-highs in games started (32) and innings pitched (192⅓). His 2.90 ERA, 163 strikeouts and 4.5 bWAR would also go down as personal bests. He is one of nine pitchers in the majors, as of Saturday, to start 32 games this season; only 10 pitchers have thrown more innings.

Webb previously mentioned 200 innings as a personal goal for himself this season, but the Giants have limited his workload in his past two starts. Kapler said Saturday that Webb has been dealing with some back stiffness lately.

After taking a no-hit bid into the sixth inning last week, Kapler came to get Webb as soon as he allowed his first hit, after 66 pitches and 5⅓ innings. In his last start, Webb fanned seven and limited the Rockies to one run over five innings, but that was it for him after 77 pitches.

“I would love to get to 200, but I think being smart would be great for me,” Webb said after his 5⅓-inning, one-hit start Sept. 21 in Colorado. “I want to throw 200 innings for the next 10 years, not just this year.”

The Giants have more to mull over, thanks to their recent player — winners of 10 of their past 11 after Friday — and the inability of the flailing Phillies and Brewers to put away the final wild card spot.

It’s possible the Padres and the Giants will both have playoff positioning up in the air when they meet for the final series of the regular season Monday in San Diego.

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Carlos Rodón, who was on a soft pitch limit in his last start, is on track to pitch Tuesday. With 237 strikeouts, he is one behind Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes (who should start Wednesday’s season finale) for the National League lead.

“I think we’re probably in a place where we’re trying to strike the appropriate balance between what’s important for us this year and what’s important for us in years to come and how to protect players at this point,” Kapler said. “The last two weeks have gone pretty well and we haven’t tried to apply any additional pressure to ourselves, so I don’t think we’ll start today.”

Notable
  • The Giants reinstated left-hander Jarlín García from the paternity list and optioned right-hander Sean Hjelle to Triple-A Sacramento (whose season is over). García missed the maximum three games after his wife gave birth to their second child. By optioning Hjelle, the Giants effectively ended his season. Players must spend at least 10 days in the minors after being optioned, and there are four games left in the regular season after Saturday.
Categories: Local News

Oakland police release photo of Jun Anabo killer and getaway car

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 12:23

Oakland police Saturday released images of the suspect and getaway car in the fatal May shooting of Artgel “Jun” Anabo, Jr. in a plea for help in identifying and locating the killer.

Anabo, co-owner of the Filipino restaurant Lucky Three Seven, was fatally shot just before 9:45 p.m. May 18 in the 2800 block of Brookdale Avenue in East Oakland while walking to his car with his son.

In a video update on the unsolved homicide, Oakland police released photos of a black 2009 Ford Escape with a license plate number 8ZTF474 believed to be connected with the shooting. The video also contained a grainy image of what police said was the killer.

Police asked that anyone with information contact their homicide section at (510) 238-3821 or their tip line at (510) 238-7950. The Oakland Police Department and CrimeStoppers of Oakland are offering a reward for an arrest in this case.

Friends said Anabo was closing up the restaurant and starting to do preparations for it just before the shooting. Oakland police officers found Anabo shot on the same block as the restaurant, and an ambulance took him to a hospital, where he died. Friends said Anabo has an 11-year-old son and that he had been looking forward to his 40th birthday on May 28.

Categories: Local News

The racial divide Herschel Walker couldn’t outrun

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 12:08

WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga. — The race for a critical Senate seat was in full motion by midsummer, but there were just a few Herschel Walker campaign signs sprinkled around his hometown.

They were planted in front of big homes with big yards, in a downtown storefront window, near the sidewalk by the Dairy Queen. There were two on the corner by the Johnson County Courthouse, near a Confederate memorial.

The support appeared randomly scattered. But people in Wrightsville saw a dot-to-dot drawing of a racial divide that has shaped Wrightsville for generations — and is now shaping a critical political race with national implications.

“All those campaign materials were in the white community,” said Curtis Dixon, who is Black and who taught and coached Walker, a Republican, in the late 1970s when he was a high school football prodigy. “The only other house that has a Herschel Walker poster is his family.”

It may not be an exaggeration. In a predominantly Black neighborhood of small homes about a block from where Walker went to high school, nine people, including a man who said he was Walker’s cousin, gathered on a steamy Saturday in July to eat and talk in the shade.

No one planned to vote for Walker. Most scoffed at the thought.

Around the corner, a retired teacher named Alice Pierce said nice things about Walker’s mother and family, as most people do.

“But I’m not going to vote for him, I’ll be honest with you,” she said.

Walker, 60, who is one of the most famous African Americans in Georgia’s history, a folk hero for legions of football fans, is unpopular with Black voters. And nowhere is the rift starker than in the rural farm town where he was raised, about 140 miles southeast of Atlanta.

Since June, polls have routinely shown Walker attracting less than 10% of Black voters in the race against incumbent Raphael Warnock, the pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. Although Walker often boasts he is going to win “the Black vote,” surveys have found him poised to win no more Black voters than other Republicans on the ballot.

There are easy explanations: Warnock, who is also Black, is a Democrat who preaches at Martin Luther King Jr.’s former church, and Walker is running as a Republican tied to Donald Trump.

But there are complex reasons, too, especially in Wrightsville.

“Herschel’s not getting the Black vote because Herschel forgot where he came from,” Dixon said. “He’s not part of the Black community.”

Such feelings toward Walker have been present for decades. They are flowering before November’s elections.

But they took root during one seismic spring stretch in 1980. On Easter Sunday that April, Walker, the top football recruit in the country, committed to play at the University of Georgia in Athens. The signing made national news.

Two nights later, after months of simmering tensions, there was a racial confrontation at the courthouse, a lit fuse that exploded into weeks of violence.

The events, two of the biggest in town history, did not seem connected at the time. More than four decades later, their intersection may help decide the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.

It was outside the Johnson County Courthouse in 1979 that the Rev. E.J. Wilson, a Black pastor and civil rights activist new to town, began organizing protests calling out the indignities of being Black in Wrightsville.

Schools had been integrated, but plenty else felt separate and unequal. City jobs and services mostly went to white people. The police force was white. There was an all-white country club but no public parks or pools. Black neighborhoods had dirt roads and leaky sewers. There was still an all-white cemetery, Wilson pointed out.

And plenty of residents could recall 1948, when the Ku Klux Klan marched on the courthouse and not one of the 400 registered Black voters voted in a primary election the next day.

Wilson and John Martin, a local leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, saw Wrightsville as a rural echo of Birmingham a generation before, with Sheriff Roland Attaway in the hardened role of Bull Connor.

Walker was the town’s most famous resident, a potentially powerful ally.

“There were a few times after the Friday night football games when some of the protest leaders grabbed Walker, still in uniform and pads, and demanded he join them,” The New York Times Magazine wrote in 1981. “Sheriff Attaway offered to let Herschel carry a pistol. Most of the Black athletes quit the track team the same spring Herschel led it to its title.”

Protests grew through the spring of 1980. So did opposition. National civil rights leaders arrived. The Klan and J.B. Stoner, the white supremacist politician later convicted of a church bombing, rolled in. There were standoffs and skirmishes.

Two nights after Easter, the courthouse square filled with about 75 Black protesters and twice as many white ones. The Black protesters were attacked by the white crowd, and sheriff’s deputies joined in, Black leaders told reporters. No one was arrested.

Violence continued sporadically for weeks.

In May, Attaway and his deputies, guns drawn and bracing for a riot, rolled down South Valley Street into a Black neighborhood where Wilson’s red brick church still stands. They went door to door, arresting and jailing about 40 people, some for days, most without charges.

Walker never got involved.

He soon left Wrightsville and rarely spoke about the episode. He declined to be interviewed for this article. In college, when he was asked by a reporter about the friction back home, Walker said that he was “too young” and “didn’t want to get involved in something I didn’t know much about.”

In a memoir published decades later, Walker only briefly noted the conflict. But he described a school confrontation between a Black student and the white principal the year before.

“I could never really be fully accepted by white students and the African American students either resented me or distrusted me for what they perceived as my failure to stand united with them — regardless of whether they were right or wrong,” he wrote. “That separation would continue throughout my life with only the reasons for it differing from situation to situation.”

He added, “I never really liked the idea that I was to represent my people.”

Walker, in a family of strong athletes, was barely noticed until his junior year of high school. He was, by his telling, a chubby stutterer with so few friends that he paid children to talk to him. He was haunted by nightmares of wolves and was “petrified” of the dark and the Klan, he wrote in his memoir.

Walker won state titles in track in both sprints and the shot put and led Johnson County to a football state championship his senior year.

The nation’s top college coaches crowded into Wrightsville. Walker delayed a decision for months through the tumultuous spring of 1980.

Walker flipped a coin. It landed on Georgia on Easter night.

A coin? Many details of Walker’s biography bend toward fable. Until recently, it didn’t really matter. Walker was just a sports legend spinning legends.

But as scrutiny befitting a Senate candidate has grown, Walker has been found to be a purveyor of fiction and misdirection about basic resume facts, such as graduating from Georgia (he did not) in the top 1% of his class (no); about the size, scope and success of his companies (all exaggerated); about working in law enforcement, including the FBI (he has not); and about his number of children.

His candidacy has resurfaced his 2008 memoir, “Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder,” in which Walker described a dozen “alters,” or alternate personalities. It rekindled stories of Walker’s struggle with mental health, reminding voters of his admissions of violent tendencies (briefly chasing down a man he said he wanted to kill), suicidal thoughts (Walker, who nearly killed himself in an idling car in his garage, said he occasionally played Russian roulette with a revolver) and infidelity.

His post-football life, especially, has been a stream of erratic behavior, some of it described in the book. Walker’s entrance into politics has prompted stories with new details surrounding allegations that he abused and made death threats against his former wife of nearly 20 years and his late girlfriend.

He has denied the allegations and often deflects questions about his past by saying that he is “fighting to end the stigma of mental illness.”

Such matters have not derailed Walker’s campaign. Stamped deeper into Georgia’s collective psyche is Walker’s first college touchdown in 1980.

When Walker arrived on Georgia’s campus, it had been less than a decade since the football team was integrated — one of the last in the country to do so. He became a nearly instant hero among the school’s mostly white fan base when he led the Bulldogs to a national championship, playing in the Sugar Bowl against Notre Dame with a separated shoulder.

Walker left Georgia after winning the Heisman Trophy his junior year, signing with the new United States Football League.

It was before his second season with the New Jersey Generals that the team was purchased by Trump, then a 37-year-old New York real estate developer.

“In a lot of ways, Mr. Trump became a mentor to me,” Walker wrote in 2008, “and I modeled myself and my business practices after him.”

It was Trump who nudged Walker back to the bright lights of Georgia. Walker played 15 seasons of professional football, 12 in the NFL. He was wildly famous but never recaptured the success of his college career.

“Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the legendary Herschel Walker ran for the United States Senate in Georgia?” Trump said in a statement released in March 2021, adding, “Run Herschel, run!”

And Walker did. He appeared at Trump rallies, where he stood out for his relative lack of vitriol. Bombast is not in Walker’s nature, though he does share Trump’s penchant for unscripted, sometimes incoherent remarks.

In July, for example, discussing China and climate change, Walker said that Georgia’s “good air decides to float over” to China, displacing China’s “bad air,” which returns to Georgia. And in May, after the school shootings in Uvalde, Texas, he delivered a soliloquy that began, “Cain killed Abel, and that’s a problem that we have.”

His public performances raise questions about why Walker chose — and was chosen — to run.

Walker is widely viewed as “not being ready for prime time,” said Andra Gillespie, an associate professor at Emory University in Atlanta who teaches African American politics. “Which for Black voters, who may be skeptical of the Republican strategy of nominating him in the first place, just smacks of what they view as tokenism.”

On a shaded bench in Wrightsville, a woman named Lisa Graddy wondered just where Walker had run.

“He forgot about his hometown,” Graddy said.

Exactly what she and other Black residents expect from Walker is murky. It is a combination of investment, representation, empathy and engagement.

Why has he not used his fame, fortune and now his political standing to raise the voices of those he left behind, they ask. It is a question raised in 1980, echoing in 2022.

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One ex-teammate, Tommy Jenkins, said the answer to the question was once very simple. Jenkins was among the Black track athletes who boycotted the team and participated in the protests.

“A lot of people criticized him for not standing up, but I understood why Herschel didn’t do it,” said Jenkins, a Black Wrightsville resident who intends to vote for Walker. “It would’ve ruined his career.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Categories: Local News

New coup in Burkina Faso raises question: Can the military bring back security?

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 12:08

DAKAR, Senegal — A day after military officers seized power in Burkina Faso, residents faced uncertainty over what would happen next, as the West African nation endures its second coup in eight months.

Calm precariously returned Saturday morning to the capital, Ouagadougou, where gunfire rang out early Friday. Shops reopened and traffic slowly resumed on roads that soldiers had been guarding a day earlier.

After a day filled with uncertainty and rumors about the fate of Burkina Faso’s military government, military officers announced Friday evening that they had removed the country’s leader, Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who had taken power in January.

It was a coup within a coup: Capt. Ibrahim Traoré was now in charge, the officers said on national television.

“We have decided to take our responsibilities, driven by a single ideal: the restoration of security and integrity of our territory,” an officer said as a stern Traoré sat next to him, surrounded by a dozen other officers covering their faces with sunglasses and neck guards.

Shortly before midday Saturday, gunfire erupted again in the Ouagadougou city center, a reminder that even as coups have become a regular feature of Burkina Faso’s recent political life, the capital remained on edge. It was not immediately clear what the gunfire was related to.

Leaders from the African Union and the West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS condemned the coup. In a statement released Friday, the chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, called for constitutional order to be restored in Burkina Faso by July 2024, at the latest.

Much remained unknown Saturday about the whereabouts of Damiba — and about Traoré in general.

But like in January, the officers blamed the leader they had removed for failing to quash a mounting Islamist insurgency that has displaced nearly 10% of the population and compounded economic hardship in the nation of about 21 million.

“We just want security,” Théophile Doussé, a travel agency employee, said Saturday in Ouagadougou. “Without security, business is too complicated.”

In his seizing of power, Damiba had blamed the civilian, democratically elected president, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, for failing to contain a worsening security situation. Hailed as a strong-willed officer with on-the-ground experience, Damiba vowed to bring back security and asked the nation to give until September before making a first assessment of the security situation.

But as he addressed residents last month, Damiba had little progress to offer, said Constantin Gouvy, a Burkina Faso researcher based in Ouagadougou with the Clingendael Institute, a think tank funded by the Dutch government.

For months, insurgents have blockaded towns and villages in the country’s north and east, attacked army-escorted convoys supplying them, and spread the same insecurity that Damiba had vowed to tackle.

“There was this frustration brewing in the military and the population on the basis that he would make things better,” Gouvy said, “but they actually were getting worse on some fronts.”

Last month, 35 people died when a convoy leaving a town under blockade hit a roadside bomb, and this past week 11 soldiers were killed when insurgents attacked another convoy on its way to the same town.

Nearly one-fifth of the country’s population is in need of urgent humanitarian aid, the United Nations said this past week, and more people were displaced from January to June than the whole of last year, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Damiba had just returned from the U.N. General Assembly in New York, where he described his coup in January as “illegal in absolute terms” and “perhaps reprehensible,” but “necessary and indispensable.”

“It was, above all, an issue of survival for our nation,” he said.

On Friday, the officers who removed him invoked the same arguments after they grew disillusioned with some of his actions.

A top concern from other officers, experts say, was that Damiba was perceived as a politician more than as a military leader, regularly wearing civilian clothes and tackling governance issues — which could be expected from a country’s leader, but was not favored by the military.

Another key point of contention was the international allies that Damiba surrounded himself with. Unlike in neighboring Mali, where a military junta recently cut its defense ties with France and aligned itself with Russia and its mercenaries of the Wagner Group, Burkina Faso’s previous military government kept the doors open to France, its former colonizer, as well as to Russia and others — at least on paper.

But in practice, analysts said, Damiba was seen as leaning too heavily on France and Ivory Coast, drawing the ire of a part of the population in which an anti-France, pro-Russia sentiment has been growing. “Damiba wanted to create a balance between Russia and the West, but this isn’t what the masses want at the moment,” said Abdul Zanya Salifu, a scholar at the University of Calgary who focuses on the Sahel region, the vast stretch of land south of the Sahara that includes Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso’s situation echoes Mali’s, which also faced two coups only months apart — in 2020 and last year — and where the military has so far been unable to contain Islamist insurgents gaining ground in the country’s southeast, near the border with Burkina Faso.

“Administration and governance require expertise, which the militaries don’t have,” Salifu added. “The situation in which Mali and Burkina Faso find themselves in is a prime example of that.”

On Saturday in Ouagadougou, many said that Damiba most likely would not have stayed in power much longer.

“He couldn’t accomplish the mission he came to fulfill, so it was time to quit,” said Drissa Samandoulgou, 32, a student. “We’ll judge the new ones on facts, too.”

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Whether the new leadership can bring much-needed changes remains another question, said Gouvy, the analyst at the Clingendael Institute.

“Damiba’s justification for the coup became his undoing,” he said. “But what more does Traoré have to offer? What is going to be different, and how is he going to deliver?”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Categories: Local News

The Global Indigenous Movement to Fight Climate Change

N.Y. Times - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 12:00
Imagine what could be possible with more funding and support.
Categories: Local News

Will Nostalgia Kill the British Right?

N.Y. Times - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 12:00
A yearning for the 1980s meets a very 21st century kind of European crisis.
Categories: Local News

Independent doctor involved in Tua Tagovailoa’s first concussion check fired by NFLPA

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 11:52

The unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant involved in clearing Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa through concussion protocol in last Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills was terminated by the NFL Players Association on Saturday, multiple reports said.

Reports stated from NFL Network ESPN and others stated, according to a source, that “several mistakes” were made by the independent doctor in allowing Tagovailoa to return for the second half against Buffalo.

Tagovailoa had two concussion scares within the past week, the second of which knocked him out of Thursday night’s loss at the Cincinnati Bengals. A blow to the head against the turf on a sack by Bengals nose tackle Josh Tupou caused Tagovailoa to get taken away on a stretcher to University of Cincinnati medical facilities. Dealing with a concussion among the head and neck injuries Tagovailoa sustained on Thursday, he was dispatched from the hospital and cleared to travel back to South Florida with the team that night.

Whether Tagovailoa would play on Thursday was in question in the four days from the Sunday win over the Bills to the game in Cincinnati. On the Dolphins’ official injury report, the team listed back and ankle injuries for Tagovailoa’s questionable status to play.

When Tagovailoa initially left the Sunday game versus Buffalo, he was announced as being checked for a head injury by the team before Tagovailoa and coach Mike McDaniel said postgame it was actually his back that was the concern.

When Tagovailoa fell back and hit his head from the whiplash of a push from Bills linebacker Matt Milano on Sunday, he initially grabbed at his head, got up, appeared to try to shake his head and stumbled on the field in a woozy state. Doctors checked him on the field at the first half’s two-minute warning and then escorted him to the locker room for further testing before getting cleared to return in the second half.

The unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant works independently from the Dolphins. That doctor and a team doctor from the Dolphins are to work in conjunction in clearing a player that is being checked for a concussion, according to league protocol.

This story will be updated.

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Categories: Local News

NHL salary cap guru among San Jose Sharks’ latest hires

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 11:46

SAN JOSE – Sharks general manager Mike Grier announced a handful of organizational hires Saturday, including the addition of an NHL salary cap expert who helped create one of pro hockey’s most indispensable websites.

The Sharks hired Dominik Zrim, the co-founder of CapFriendly, as their director of salary cap management/collective bargaining agreement compliance. The Sharks did not have someone with that specific title when Grier was hired in July.

Zrim was with the Chicago Blackhawks for part of last season, serving as their manager of hockey strategy and assisting the team with its cap and contracts.

Zrim left the Blackhawks in February shortly after Chairman Rocky Wirtz’s outburst at a town hall. Wirtz angrily responded to a reporter who asked what the organization was doing to address the power imbalance between players and coaches in light of Kyle Beach’s accusations of sexual assault by a former assistant coach. Wirtz later apologized.

Zrim, though, told Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman in June that he left the Blackhawks “amicably and enjoyed being there.” Zrim had been consulting for a few teams since that time, with the Vancouver Canucks being one of those teams, per The Athletic.

CapFriendly, which began in 2015, has numerous features, including listing contract details of every NHL player and each team’s structure under the league’s salary cap.

The Sharks also hired A.J. Bernstein as a co-ordinator of hockey analytics. Bernstein, per the team, will be “primarily tasked with acquiring, analyzing, and refining the team’s analytics data.” He was previously at Middlebury College as an assistant coach and director of hockey operations until his graduation in 2021.

Bernstein has also consulted with the USHL’s Chicago Steel and NWHL’s Metropolitan Riveters, leading the analytic efforts of both teams. He also worked as a strategy consultant for Accenture Federal Services.

The Sharks also promoted Stephen DiLustro to director of strength and conditioning, replacing Mike Potenza, who joined the Golden State Warriors in the offseason.

DiLustro worked under Potenza as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the previous four seasons. Brian Ganz, who served as the Barracuda’s strength and conditioning coordinator in 2015-16, fills DiLustro’s spot as the Sharks’ assistant strength and conditioning coach.

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The Sharks also bolstered their scouting department with the hire of Martin Uhnak as a European scout. He will oversee Czechia, Slovakia, Germany, and Switzerland.

Cody Ward was also hired as an assistant video coach. Ward worked with Sharks assistant coach Ryan Warsofsky last season as video coach of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. Warsofsky was the team’s head coach.

Grier has transformed the Sharks’ hockey operations department over the last three months, hiring well over a dozen new people in management, player development, scouting, and coaching. Before the most recent hires, the Sharks hockey operations department had grown from 29 to 35 individuals.

Categories: Local News

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