Laguna Beach Cries ‘Self Defense’ With Drone Ban

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Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: Portland police officer called ‘racist serial killer;’ Minneapolis tip dispute; and Seattle residents oppose youth jail.

DRONES | Laguna Beach, California’s City Council unanimously banned drones over city parks near beaches and government property citing “self-defense” concerns surrounding harassment and intimidation of emergency responders and public works. Use of drones has ballooned throughout the city by real estate agents, photographers and filmmakers—leading to numerous complaints. “When I bought the house, it had privacy unless there was a helicopter hovering nearby,” said one Laguna Beach resident. “I have an outdoor shower and drones hover close by. I’ve opened the curtains to my bedroom and there’s a drone 20 feet away.” [The Orange County Register]

POLICE | The grandmother of Quanice Hayes, the black 17-year-old shot and killed by Portland, Oregon Police Officer Andrew Hearst in February, called the latter a “racist serial killer” at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. Police believed Hayes to be armed following a report of a robbery in Northeast Portland. An autopsy showed Hayes had drugs in his system, including cocaine, when he died, and a grand jury cleared Hearst of any wrongdoing in March. Hearst previously shot and killed 50-year-old Merle Hatch with two other officers in 2013. “You can take my grandson and drag him through the mud,” Quanice Hayes said. “Calling a kid a grown man and a drug addict. Hearst is a grown man and may be a drug addict. We don’t know because no one checked. Why wasn’t Hearst checked? Quanice was.” [Oregon Public Broadcasting]

MINIMUM WAGE | Restaurant owners in Minneapolis are pushing for tips to be counted as wages, as the City Council begins work on an ordinance to hike the minimum wage there—possibly to $15 per hour. But many restaurateurs aren’t optimistic a tip credit will ultimately be included in legislation. “I think it’s going to go through, and we’re all just going to have to figure out how to deal with it,” said Adam Sieve, an owner of Hazel’s Northeast restaurant. “I’m just surprised that the idea of a more nuanced approach for business owners isn’t on the table.” [Star Tribune]

WATER | San Francisco City Hall is getting complaints over groundwater that’s been mixed into the city’s standard drinking water source, the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Supervisor Norman Yee called a hearing this week to ask the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to address concerns. Four groundwater wells are now being tested, with plans to mix four million gallons of water into the city’s supply daily by 2020. “We don’t want this water until it’s proven to be safer. We don’t want this water until we need it,” said George Wooding, president of the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods. [San Francisco Examiner]

JAIL | King County, Washington officials want to build a $210 million “modern, therapeutic and community-centered” youth jail and court complex, the Children and Family Justice Center, in Seattle’s Central District to replace the old detention facility. Community members have turned to City Council to oppose construction, triggered by approval of a ballot measure residents point out included no mention of youth detention. [Real Change News]

SMOKING | Providence, Rhode Island’s City Council may have passed a smoking ban of tobacco products near two public parks, but Mayor Jorge Elorza plans to veto the measure. And the body currently lacks the 10 votes needed to override—split 8-5. [The News & Observer]

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT| A nonprofit foundation has purchased part of Monson, Maine, a small, rural town, and plans to spend up to $10 million to revitalize it with artist residences and studio space. “The place has amazing potential but it happens to be in the poorest county in Maine,” said Erik Hayward, senior vice president of the Libra foundation. “There’s a lot that can be done there, and we’re not just looking at Monson.” [Bangor Daily News]

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