Orange County, California voters have declined to re-elect District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, whose doings have provided repeated grist for this space. His successor and former protege sounds like a possible source of grist too: “A Wahoo’s employee told the deputy Spitzer decided to handcuff the preacher because he kept looking at Spitzer.” [Nick Gerda, Voice of OC; R. Scott Moxley, OC Weekly]
“Quite frequently, it is in the best interest for project organizers to pay off the people opposing the project, instead of going through the lawsuit and delay…. And understand that these groups claim they are speaking for you.” [Josh Albrektson, Market Urbanism Report] Earlier on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) here.
- Political fight brewing in California over ballot initiative that would pave way for bringing back rent control [Michael Hendrix, City Journal]
- “Metes and bounds” method of describing legal property boundaries has been much derided, but new archival research from American colonial period suggests its benefits then were greater and costs lower than might appear [Maureen (Molly) Brady, SSRN, forthcoming Yale Law Journal] Just for fun: street grid orientation (or lack thereof) in major cities expressed as polar charts [Geoff Boeing]
- “Alexandria, Virginia Gets Housing Affordability Wrong” [Vanessa Brown Calder, Cato]
- Houston does not zone but it does subsidize deed restrictions. Is that good? [Nolan Gray, Market Urbanism]
- Great moments in historic preservation: “Silver Lake gas station moves toward landmark status” but connoisseurs say it’s not nearly as choice as the three service stations previously landmarked in L.A. [Curbed Los Angeles]
- “America’s Ugly Strip Malls Were Caused By Government Regulation” [Scott Beyer]
“In Indio and Coachella, prosecutors take property owners to court for some of the smallest crimes, then bill them thousands and threaten to take their homes if they don’t pay.” [Brett Kelman, The Desert Sun, California, via Dan Mitchell who besides citing this story, and my writing on the new Philadelphia bulletproof glass law, relates local government ticketing sprees arising from Chicago window sign rules and Los Angeles pedestrian laws] The Institute for Justice [press release] has now filed a lawsuit challenging the Indio/Coachella practices. [Kelman, Desert Sun]
- New regulations on international movement of rosewood create major hassles and risks for musicians, instrument makers [Robert Benincasa, NPR, earlier on exotic woods]
- “Argentinian geoscientist faces criminal charges over glacier survey” [Jeff Tollefson and Emiliano Rodríguez Mega, Nature]
- “The Progressive Roots of Zoning” [Samuel Staley, Market Urbanism]
- “Water Rights, Water Fights in the American West” [Reed Watson and Caleb Brown, Cato podcast]
- “Los Angeles Wants to Make Housing Affordable by Making it More Expensive” [Christian Britschgi, Reason]
- “Private Property Rights Collide With Invisible Frog” [Chris Bennett, Farm Journal, on cert petition in Markle Interests v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Chamber, earlier]
Does the naturally occurring mineral talc, found in Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, cause ovarian cancer? According to the National Cancer Institute last month:
The weight of evidence does not support an association between perineal talc exposure and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society:
It has been suggested that talcum powder might cause cancer in the ovaries if the powder particles (applied to the genital area or on sanitary napkins, diaphragms, or condoms) were to travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes to the ovary.
Many studies in women have looked at the possible link between talcum powder and cancer of the ovary. Findings have been mixed, with some studies reporting a slightly increased risk and some reporting no increase. Many case-control studies have found a small increase in risk. But these types of studies can be biased because they often rely on a person’s memory of talc use many years earlier. Two prospective cohort studies, which would not have the same type of potential bias, have not found an increased risk.
For any individual woman, if there is an increased risk, the overall increase is likely to very be small. Still, talc is widely used in many products, so it is important to determine if the increased risk is real. Research in this area continues.
On the other hand, some experts believe the risks are higher. Our contemporary American legal way of handling this disagreement is to submit the question in a series of high-stakes trials in venues selected by plaintiff’s lawyers, in which juries will listen to a battle of hired experts. On Aug. 21 a Los Angeles jury told Johnson and Johnson to pay $417,000,000 to Eva Echeverria, a 63-year-old California woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. [ Margaret Cronin Fisk and Edvard Pettersson/Bloomberg, ABA Journal, Amanda Bronstad/NLJ, Alison Kodjak/NPR, Eric Lieberman/Daily Caller]
- From 2014, missed earlier, and relevant to bounty-hunting and public sector incentive systems: George Leef reviews Nicholas Parrillo’s Against the Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in American Government [Regulation]
- “Los Angeles’ Pension Problem Is Sinking The City” [Scott Beyer]
- Firefighter unions throw their weight around in Arizona local politics [Jessica Boehm, Arizona Republic]
- Public employee pay studies: “In this instance, I’d argue that casual intuition has a higher signal-to-noise ratio than does formal empiricism.” [Arnold Kling]
- Public sector employees aren’t sicker than comparable private employees but do take more illness/injury days off [Steven Malanga, City Journal]
- Mayor concedes there’s no “rational justification” for California city’s six-figure pensions, but that’s what the union got in its contract [Eric Boehm, Reason]
- Investigation of problems with no-knock “dynamic entry” police raids [Kevin Sack, New York Times; cf. Radley Balko’s work] But her living room furniture was just sitting there! Why shouldn’t we take it? [C.J. Ciaramella on Mississippi case]
- Minnesota judge approves (which doesn’t mean Google will go along with) police demand for all search records on a certain name from any and all users in town of Edina [Mike Mullen, City Pages]
- “The L.A. County sheriff wants to release names of 300 deputies with histories of misconduct. He can’t.” [Jessica Pishko, Slate; Tim Cushing, TechDirt (list is of cops considered highly impeachable in court testimony)]
- Just catching up with this still-relevant Joshua Muravchik critique of Black Lives Matter [Commentary]
- Feds indict seven members of elite Baltimore police gun trace task force on racketeering charges; underlying predicates include robbery, swearing out false search warrants, false overtime claims (“one hour can be eight hours.”) [U.S. Department of Justice, Baltimore Sun, Washington Post]
- “New Orleans Police Chief Says He Needs to Hire and Fire Commanders at Will to Protect Reforms” [Ed Krayewski]