Tuesday’s Briefing: State Atty General Sues Over Sanctuary City; Enviros Back East Bay Dam Expansion

Plus, struggling Pandora hires a new CEO.


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Xavier Becerra.

Stories you shouldn’t miss for Aug. 15, 2017:

1. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sued the Trump administration over its plans to financially punish sanctuary cities, reports Patrick McGreevy of the LA Times$. Becerra’s suit, which joins one already filed by the city of San Francisco, alleges that the Trump Justice Department’s threat to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities is unconstitutional and violates the rights of residents. Becerra also argues that federal law does not require cities to comply with anti-immigration efforts in order to receive taxpayer funds.

2. Environmental groups are backing the planned expansion of Los Vaqueros Reservoir in eastern Contra Costa County, “because the project would provide large amounts of water for Central Valley wetlands, habitat for ducks, geese and other wildlife, in addition to storing water for people and farms,” reports Denis Cuff of the East Bay Times$. The environmental coalition asked a state commission to approve the allocation of $434 million in state bond money for the dam expansion.

3. Oakland-based Pandora Media hired a new CEO on Monday: Roger Lynch, former chief executive of Sling TV, reports Rex Crum of the Bay Area News Group$. Pandora cofounder Tim Westergren resigned from the CEO position two months ago. Pandora’s stock price has plummeted 35 percent this year as the music company has struggled to compete with Spotify and iTunes.

4. Nathan Damigo, leader of the California white supremacist movement who spearheaded a violent Berkeley rally earlier this year, said the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia demonstration might boost recruitment for his organization, reports Bert Johnson of KQED. Damigo, who punched a female counterprotester at the Berkeley demonstration, also attended the Virginia rally in which three people were killed.

5. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office retweeted a video posted by neo-Nazi leader Richard Spencer last night and then deleted and said the retweet was a mistake, reports Steven Tavares of the East Bay Citizen. The sheriff’s retweet prompted outrage from local immigration-rights activists.

6. After intense pressure from his senior advisers, President Trump finally denounced white supremacists who led the violent Charlottesville rally over the weekend, Politico reports. The president was reluctant to alienate bigots who support him. Meanwhile, four CEOs have quit a presidential panel because of the way Trump handled the Charlottesville situation.

7. And Touchstone Climbing, the company that owns Ironworks and other gyms in the state, has purchased the old Oaks Theatre on Solano Avenue in Berkeley and plans to turn it into a climbing facility, reports Frances Dinkelspiel of Berkeleyside.

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