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Bay Area Headlines: Thursday, 8/6/20, AM

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New Information Released On Officers Who Used Deadly Force In Vallejo / Atmospheric Rivers And Snow Droughts Could Become More Common / Judge Orders Changes To Voter Guide For Property Tax Measure / State Spent Millions On Arena Hospital That Saw 9 Patients

New Information Released On Officers Who Used Deadly Force In Vallejo
 
Newly released documents show that the police chief of Vallejo recommended firing an officer who shot at a man who was sleeping with a gun in his lap inside a car last year. KPIX-TV says documents released yesterday on a Vallejo city website show Chief Shawny Williams agreed with an internal investigation that said the officer engaged in unsafe conduct. The officer is still employed by the department. The website also has more than a dozen video clips of the February 2019 shooting of 20-year-old Willie McCoy. Police fired 55 shots at McCoy after they say he appeared to be reaching for the gun.

Atmospheric Rivers And Snow Droughts Could Become More Common

Remember in 2017 when the spillways failed at Oroville Dam and nearly 200,000 people were evacuated? Part of the problem was unusually deep snow in the Sierra Nevada above Oroville Dam, but then a four-day atmospheric river melted a lot of that snow.

“That's a long time to have sort of a plume of warm, moist air pointed at one place.”

Brian Henn co-authored a study on the role of atmospheric rivers in the spillway incident with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. The storm created the second highest amount of runoff in 30 years and it strained the reservoir. He says this could be a grim sign of what could come as temperatures increase globally.

“What this storm was looked a lot like what climate change projections of future atmospheric rivers will look like.”

Here’s where snow droughts come in. UC Irvine researchers found periods with decreased snow levels have become more severe east of the Rockies since 2000. Study author Laurie Huning says an atmospheric river could worsen or create a snow drought by melting the snowpack. That in turn could create worse drought conditions. 

“With warming temperatures many regions are getting warmer, and so the likelihood of a snow drought may actually increase in many regions of the world.”

She says Californians should pay attention to shifts in snow and atmospheric rivers because they have a huge impact on how much water is available or the kinds of emergencies we face.

Judge Orders Changes To Voter Guide For Property Tax Measure

A California judge has ordered changes to an election information guide for arguments opposing a property tax ballot initiative. Proposition 15 will ask voters to raise taxes on business properties with a value of $3 million or more. Prior to the election, the Secretary of State's office will mail a voter information guide to registered voters that gives arguments for and against statewide ballot initiatives. Yesterday, a judge ordered language removed from the guide that said the initiative would let the Legislature raise property taxes on homeowners. Superior court Judge James P. Arguelles said home-based businesses are exempt from the measure.

State Spent Millions On Arena Hospital That Saw 9 Patients

When California was anticipating a spring surge in coronavirus cases, it turned an old NBA arena and practice facility in Sacramento into a field hospital prepared to take hundreds of patients. The state spent $12 million setting up the arena and hiring roughly 250 medical workers through various programs. They were told to expect 30 to 60 patients within the first few days. But only nine arrived over the next 10 weeks. One doctor said many workers felt like they lacked a purpose and were unclear on the facility's goals. State officials say the facility was needed at the time but can provide lessons for the future.