.Wednesday Must Reads: Berkeley to Consider Balcony Reforms; Aid-Dying-Bill Dies in Assembly

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The City of Berkeley is considering stricter building code requirements and tighter inspections on balconies in the wake of the balcony collapse that killed six people last month, Berkeleyside reports. The collapsed balcony at a Kittredge Street apartment complex was inundated with dry rot due to shoddy workmanship. The city council may vote on the reforms next week.

2. Authors of a landmark aid-dying-bill tabled the measure after it failed to garner enough votes in the Assembly, the LA Times$ reports. Several Latino Democrats opposed the bill — as did the Catholic Church, which lobbied strongly against it. The legislation would have allowed physicians in California to help terminally ill patients end their lives. The bill, which passed the state Senate, may be revived next year.

3. Latinos passed whites last year as the largest ethnic group in California, the LA Times$ reports, citing new Census data. As of July 2014, about 14.99 million Latinos lived in California, compared to 14.92 million whites.

4. US Senator Dianne Feinstein and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton both criticized the City of San Francisco for releasing from custody a Mexican citizen, who later fatally shot a Pleasanton woman, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. San Francisco released Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez because it’s a sanctuary city and does not honor federal immigration holds.

5. And the gun used by Lopez-Sanchez in the killing of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle was stolen from the car of a federal agent with the Bureau of Land Management, NBC Bay Area reports, citing anonymous sources.


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