Thursday Must Reads: Probability of an El Niño-Fueled Wet Winter Intensifies; GOP Tries to Distance Itself from Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Diatribes


Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The probability of an El Niño weather pattern causing a wet winter in California this year and bringing much-needed relief to the drought-stricken state has increased to 90 percent, the Mercury News$ reports, citing a new analysis from federal climate scientists. The scientists say the developing El Niño weather pattern in the Pacific looks to be the strongest since 1997, when heavy rains inundated the state for months. That winter, San Francisco received 47 inches of rain — the most since 1862.

2. Republican Party officials are trying to distance themselves from presidential candidate Donald Trump because of his anti-immigrant diatribes, the Washington Post$ reports. GOP officials are worried that Trump is becoming the face of the party and that he’ll galvanize Latinos to vote for Democrats. Trump, who has characterized undocumented immigrants as rapists and killers, garnered headlines in the Bay Area this week for bashing San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy, because it led to the release of a Mexican citizen who then killed a Pleasanton woman.

3. Legislation that would have regulated e-cigarettes in California like other tobacco products died in the Assembly, the SacBee$ reports. E-cig sellers packed the state Capitol, arguing that the bill would have harmed their businesses, that e-cigs help people quit smoking, and that there is no evidence e-cigs are as harmful as cigarettes. Supporters of the bill blamed the tobacco industry for its defeat.

4. A fire on a BART train shut down five East Bay stations this morning and caused heavy delays, the Chron reports. The Lake Merritt, Fruitvale, and Coliseum stations in Oakland were closed, along with the Bay Fair and San Leandro stations.

5. Ex-Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts was fired yesterday from the same position in Baltimore, the AP reports. Batts, who quit his job in Oakland just as the Occupy movement got underway, came under intense criticism in Baltimore after a young Black man, Freddie Gray, died in police custody.

6. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has nominated Joan H. Story, an attorney who represents real estate interests, to serve on the Oakland Port Commission, the Trib$ reports. Story, if confirmed by the city council, would replace longtime labor activist Victor Uno.

7. And the South Carolina House of Representatives voted last night to lower the Confederate flag at the state capitol, following the impassioned speech of a representative who is a descendent of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the Washington Post$ reports. The South Carolina state Senate voted previously to remove the flag — so it’s expected to come down tomorrow.