California Update

Juvenile_detention_center When kids act up, locking them up is the wrong thing to do in most cases, says a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The foundation's Juvenile Justice Strategy Group director, Bart Lubow, says decades of research, along with new data, show that putting kids behind bars doesn't keep them from criminality later. 

The report, No Place for Kids, The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration, also shows the practice fails to provide public-safety benefits, wastes taxpayer money, and exposes young people to violence and abuse, while in almost every case, the "crimes" they had committed were minor.

"The majority are either charged with nonviolent offenses, or are there primarily for acts of defiance relative to an adult."

The report also finds that reducing incarceration doesn't mean crime will increase. 

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Mike_ThompsonCongressman Mike Thompson (CA-1) again today voiced his concerns with a plan that would take water away from the Delta region. Joined by Representatives George Miller, Doris Matsui, Jerry McNerney, John Garamendi, Thompson met with Jerry Meral, the Deputy Secretary of the California Natural Resource Agency to express his grave concern over any Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) that could adversely affect the Delta Region. Meral is the senior state official who oversees the BDCP.

 “Needlessly rushing the scientific review of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan is simply irresponsible, and that is what I told the Bay Delta Conservation Plan officials today," said the north state Democrat. "We know all too well the consequences of bad water policy combined with impractical deadlines. In Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, expedited review of the Klamath River project resulted in the death of 68,000 Chinook Salmon. Are we really considering walking down the same road again? We need sound, science-based solutions that don't harm our wildlife or environment."

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Gov. Brown has vetoed a bill that would have given greater protections to home health care workers. We get some background on the labor pool it would have covered in today's California Update. Also a peek at the state's newest Lottery game.

philanthropys_promise_logoSAN FRANCISCO - Californians can feel more confident their donated dollars are going to those who need it the most. Eight more charitable foundations from the Golden State are taking a pledge to direct more of their dollars to under-served communities, with a focus on finding solutions to social problems. The groups join nearly 100 nationwide who have signed "Philanthropy's Promise" to direct at least half of their grants to causes that benefit the poor, the elderly, and other groups. 

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ken_salazarCalifornia's water supplies may be looking good this year, but the future is never certain. That's the message from U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who spoke at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco  this week.

Salazar described how the federal government will help the state keep rivers healthy and balance the water needs of humans and ecosystems. However, Molly Mugglestone, project coordinator for the group Protect the Flows, says recreation and tourism should be a part of the discussion. The group includes businesses which operate along the portion of the Colorado River that flows through California.

"So what we're asking for is that that actually happens - that recreation and tourism become an actual quantitatively studied measure of how we use the water in the future."

Protecting the flows in the Colorado River will keep revenue flowing into local economies, she says, as well as protect fish, wildlife, and their habitats.

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