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tv   KQED Newsroom  PBS  January 26, 2018 7:00pm-7:31pm PST

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hello and welcome to kqed newsroom. coming up on our program, a special kqed investigation into october's deadly northern california wildfires. some troubling lapses in the energy response system. plus, steps you can take to protect your digital privacy. but first, scott shaffer leads a discussion on local politics. san francisco's board of supervisors replaced the acting mayor with mark farrell, a venture capitalists who represents some of the city's wealthiest neighborhoods. and the governor delivered his final state of the state address with optimism and a warning. >> despite what is widely
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believed as some of the most powerful people in washington, the science of climate change is not in doubt. the national academies of science of every major country in the world, including russia and china, have all endorsed the main stream view that human caused greenhouse gases are trapping heat in the atmosphere and action must be taken to avert catastrophic changes in our weather systems. all nations agree except one, and this is solely because of one man, our current president. here in california, we follow a different path, enlightened by top scientists at the university of california, stanford and cal tech. our state has led the way. >> scott shaffer is next. >> joining us now to talk about the governor brown and san francisco's new interim mayor are columnist at mission local
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jess esconazi. and university of san francisco professor james taylor. welcome, everybody. it was a very emotional and dramatic week at the board of supervisors. joe, tell us what happened and where we are right now in san francisco politics. >> what i wrote is it was a deeply ugly scene, and it was that, and a very counterintuitive outcome in which the left leaning bloc of supervisors, at this moment in american history, up seated a black woman, a city native who worked her way up from the projects, and a wlolot of perso strife and unseated her in favor of a white venture capitalist. >> is that what you mean when you say ugly if >> the ugliness was the heartfelt and angry reaction of the crowd, many of whom are also african-american, grew up with her, and saw this as part and parcel to a pattern of
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disenfranchisement and frankly race ii racism. they couched this blow against white billionaires who are backing her campaign, and in order to stifle a white billionaire, they elevated a white millionaire. [ laughter ] >> james, is there more at play here? >> i think part of this they had to consider is the
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by all accounts rise to the occasion. but with that came these politics that immediately started and this question of what was going to happen in june. so could you make the argument that she might have been able to distance herself? it's likely. but i think there's been a lot of complicating factors. >> who cast the deciding vote. jeff shy represents the castro, openly gas. he had been in the moderate camp but flipped to help -- >> after the vote, he told me that the situation was untenable. you can't be the head of the
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executive branch at the same time. and there had been delay after delay on this vote, and he had that odd role for six weeks. jeff actually did vote for london breed to be interim mayor, but only three other people did. but he voted for mark, as well. >> but james, with all the talk at the board on tuesday that we never had an african-american woman, but we've never had an asian-american woman or an openly gay mayor. the identity politics here -- >> they're real. and i think for that reason, this move on london reflects at the ground level, what do the constituents of the supervisors prefer. we saw a look at how supporters reacted. we're not considering that these other supervisors had to go to that meeting to carry out the will of the voters, and it mad
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been consistent with the way they voted. i think it's important to note that for those who sort of see this as a racial act. i think there is race involved here, but these are the same people that elected him to become the supervisor twice. so last january they voted for her, january 16th, the second time to be their leader. they have some respect for her, and -- >> not now. we want to talk about the state of the state. so we're going to shift from san francisco to sacramento. you were up there this week for the state of the state. jerry brown's 16th and i think final state of the state address. what was the mood there, and was it just a victory lap for him? what was your most important takeaway? >> yeah, i would say that it was. i think that the mood in the chamber was very positive. even republicans had a lot of deference and respect for jerry brown.
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he arrived in the chambers to just massive applause. he had a lot of ripping in his speech and spent most of the time talking how far the state has come and defending his most important initiatives. but in his final year, that they don't get rolled back. >> things like high speed rail, the delta tunnel. you know, he doesn't like the word legacy, james. he resists that word. but how much of his legacy is resting on what happens in this final year? >> i think jerry brown's legacy, i think he has a native son relationship with this state that is unprecedented. he's one of a kind for this state, given his relationship to his father, having been gofr inner in the '70s, mayor of oakland, governor again.
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professor at usf. jerry brown has become -- i wrote an op-ed piece, he's almost like the george wallace of climate change. donald trump is the threat, and jerry brown becomes the blue state champion of climate change in a way that wallace was with segregation. >> joe, of course, one of the contenders, leading contender to take his place is gavin newsom, former mayor here in san francisco. they've had a tense relationship at times. they were opponents running against each other until gavin ran for lieutenant governor. what do you make of this shift of power from l.a., you know, up to san francisco? diane feinstein, jerry brown, now gavin newsom. what does that say about how politics in california has changed? >> there's more money up here, and there's more voters up here.
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>> actual voters. >> people who turn out and cast ballots. >> so it's not a huge surprise. and there's a level of insurgency for southern california that they wanted some of that back. i know a lot of people who are not fans of gavin newsom that would still support him because he is northern california and he will bring the bacon back to northern california opposed to southern california. >> just about a minute left, but we talked to the governor in his office a couple of weeks ago, and he was talking about making ol hiv oive oil on the ranch. but criminal justice is also going to be a big part of his legacy. >> yeah, part of his speech yesterday was pleading with lawmakers that i know realignment has been tough, but don't roll it back. bail reform, does the governor back that and do they find the money? >> and the gas tax repeal, he's promising to fight that. thank you all so much.
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>> thank you. turning now to a special investigation of the north bay fire response. as flames sped across the county on october 8, calls flooded into 911. overwhelmed operators gave conflicting information about whether to evacuate not. we found troubling gaps in the emergency response system. i reported on this, together with my colleagues who join me now. so one of the main findings after months of talking to people and listening to these calls was about evacuation order. lisa, what did we learn about what happened in those early hours in sonoma county and how quickly they were able to respond to these fires? >> we sound several calls where cal fire was calling up officials asking them to call people through reverse 91 1 and
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warn them the fire was coming, but fires didn't go out for an hour. >> so there was a delay when firefighters thought people should be leaving their homes and when they were told to do so. >> exactly. >> was there a reason for the delay that we know of? >> so i think part of it comes down to just the overwhelm of the night. first responders were out in the streets. they were doing everything they could. they were responding to, like fires were basically popping up everywhere, and it was like what can -- like whack-a mole, and there was a delay and a recognition of the disaster that was happening. and then this issue of process, where they're calling, the firefighter has to call from the field and let the main cal firestation know what's happening. and the main dispatcher there is calling another dispatch center.
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and then that information is getting relayed to law enforcement. law enforcement are the only ones who have the actual authority to ask people to leave their homes and evacuate. so all that process, that takes time, especially when everyone is freaking out. >> right. as you pointed out, what we found was that there is so many players and so much going on. i want to play one call that i think illustrates the frustration the public ran into because of this chaos. >> looks like no one is calling it in. we don't hear any sirens. >> ma'am, this is going to be cal fire's jurisdiction. let me give you their phone number. >> are you kidding me? this is 911. i'm supposed to call somebody else in >> if you're reporting a fire, it's going to be cal fire that responds out there. i'm not aware of a fire in that area. >> so you can hear there is a frustration in this woman's voice. this was a call around 10:00 to napa 911, and she's basically
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being told call cal fire. lisa, i feel like as a member of the public, we think there's this cohesive system. it seems like there's some big gaps in there. >> there's different people who deal with different situation. cal fire has the jurisdiction to fight fires and they're the ones that need the phone calls when people tell you there is a fire going on, so they can find it and then decide whether or not to send responders to it. that's what is going on in that call. one of the things is that people really want information. they see flames, they smell smoke and they do what they were taught to do. 911 gets completely overwhelmed and they can't take the really important calls. and also it makes it harder for officials and 911 operators to
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get out that public information. so the more people just keep calling 911. >> and we got to actually visit one of these dispatch centers and talked to the director there. it was all hands on deck. i think one thing we talked about is we want to point out the systematic problems here, not blame individuals. they were doing everything they could. >> yes. we met with the sonoma dispatch center, and they were dealing with this emergency in their own way. the room filled with smoke because they lost power, they had to go on generator power. so they're trying to manage this emergency. >> they almost had to evacuate themselves. >> and the nature of how widespread this was, that it took people by surprise. >> lisa, can you give me a flavor of the types of stories
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from the fire victims? >> we heard a lot of people. some people got help from friends, there were a lot of local heroes who knocked on people's doors. peop people drove through and tried to find other ways out. it was frightening. they really thought they were going to die. >> i think that's what we've all seen and heard and talking to people. people were upset and i think we're also hearing that changes are coming. >> right. i want to get to that. i know that as we've learned, this isn't multicounty, multijurisdictional process.
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but there are a couple of things that would force a more cohesive response system. next week, federal officials are picking this up. >> the fcc is looking at this. this has been a big topic. some sonoma officials have been in hot water for the type of alert they chose to use. they use this kind of limited alert. that's only a land line, and it's very limited in scope. and not everyone has them. and then there was an alert, which the public has to opt into it. and not many people do. so there is this third piece of technology that will basically make a beeping noise.
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>> this is like an amber alert. >> exactly. so sonoma officials decided not to use this because of the limitations with it. even as these fires were burning, feinstein and harris were looking to make these alerts more effective and basically new regulations that would require wireless providers to make these more effective. >> a lot more work 9sdz sdz sdzz
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>> thank you. turning now to high tech. california lawmakers want to preserve net neutrality through legislation push back on the trump administration's fcc ruling. and as data theft becomes common, experts are urging people to take steps to protect their devices. to talk about this more, my next guest is michelle dennedy >> thank you for having me. >> so as i mentioned, protecting data and privacy is something we're hearing more as these breaches become more common. how do you think people should strike a balance between these considerations of ease of life and not wanting to end up in a
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situati situation like this? s t 20z u7b9sdz bz 7b8g9sdz 9sdz
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>> the latest and the great ees cool things, but your
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fingerprints for xavrle. that's when you really want to big in on ethics conversations and use items in the news. to our ad in california looked at this. so don't think you can wait until high school to tackle some of these ethics issues. and do please talk to your fellow parents and let them know that a picture of your wild with
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the name in front of the school probably is not the best. >> there's issues perk lating around diversity and gender. do you think that silicone valley needs to have more of these moments? >> oh, my gosh. i don't want to get too crazy, but i put a hash tag up when that poll came out. i know one woman who said she's never h never had any of this happen for the last 30 years. i think silicone valley is good to help not just the bad guys, because quite honestly, they're
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open secrets. but the men who are enablers, who gave us a voice at the table, i have a great boss. i tell you what, if everyone of them could be turned into an enabler, this would not be an issue by the time our children were our age. we focus so much only the bad stuff, though. >> thank you so much for coming in tonight. >> thank you. >> that's it for us. find more of our coverage at the news site.
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robert: a presidential order months ago up-ends washington this week. i'm robert costa. president trump's handling of robert mueller's russia probe once again front and center. all as he makes his sales pitch to the world, tonight on "washington week." president trump: very excited. robert: president trump's debut at a global summit is overshadowed by bombshell reports that he demanded the firing of special counsel robert mueller. president trump: fake news, folks. robert: one of the president's confidante's, news max c.e.o. chris ruddy, told the "pbs newshour" last june, that mr. trump was actively considering firing mueller. >> i think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. i think he's weighing that option. robert: and there are new reports that at


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