Thursday Must Reads: Jerry Brown Tells Environmentalists to ‘Shut Up’; Kamala Harris Aide Arrested for Creating Fake Police Agency


Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Governor Jerry Brown told environmental groups, which are overwhelmingly opposed to his plan to build two giant water tunnels underneath the delta, to “shut up,” the SacBee$ reports. Brown argued that environmentalists have no right to criticize the tunnels because he said the state has put “one million hours” into studying the $25 billion project. The tunnels would make it easier to ship Northern California water to agribusinesses in the dry San Joaquin Valley and to Southern California.

2. An aide to state Attorney General Kamala Harris was arrested along with two other men for allegedly creating a fake police agency in Southern California that claimed to have jurisdiction in 33 states and Mexico, the LA Times$ reports. The arrest of Brandon Kiel, a spokesperson for Harris, followed a meeting with real police in Southern California in which Kiel and the two other men claimed to run the “Masonic Fraternal Police Department.”

3. The Emeryville City Council voted unanimously to raise the minimum wage in the city to $14.44 an hour for large businesses and $12.25 an hour for small ones, the Trib$ reports. The $14.44 an hour rate is the highest in the state, and the $12.25 wage matches that of Oakland and San Francisco.

4. The percentage of low-wage workers grew in California by three points from 2010 to 2014, the SacBee$ reports, citing a new UC Berkeley study. There are now 4.8 million workers making less than $13.63 an hour in the state.

5. Arts and cultural organizations, social safety-net activists, and affordable housing advocates urged the Berkeley City Council to require the developer of an eighteen-story luxury high-rise in downtown to provide more community benefits, the Trib$ reports.

6. The Alameda City Council agreed to pay $450,000 to a man who was beaten by a baton-wielding Alameda police officer, the Trib$ reports. The beating was captured on the officer's body camera.

7. State water officials adopted rules for the construction of desalination plants in California as the number of such facilities are expected to grow in the coming months and years because of the drought, the Chron$ reports. The new regulations are designed to protect ocean fish and plant life.

8. And California’s craft-beer industry grew 24 percent last year and is now a $6.5 billion enterprise, the LA Times$ reports.