CA school districts file lawsuits against Juul on behalf of students, citing a "e-cigarette epidemic."

“The nationally recognized attorneys from Baron & Budd and Panish Shea & Boyle LLP continue their efforts to hold JUUL Labs, Inc. accountable for their role in creating an e-cigarette epidemic and resurgence in youth nicotine addiction that impedes the education and learning environment in schools across California,” the law firm said in a press release.

“Today, lawsuits were filed on behalf of the Chico Unified School District, Davis Joint Unified School District, and Campbell Union High School District against JUUL Labs, Inc. The suits were filed in Butte County, Yolo County, and Santa Clara County, respectively, and the respective Case Numbers are 20CV00183, CV20-93, and 20CV362049.

“These districts join Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the nation and the largest district to file suit against JUUL, Glendale Unified, San Diego Unified, Compton Unified, Anaheim Elementary School District, King City Union School District and Ceres Unified School District to take a stand against JUUL’s promotion of dangerous and addictive products.

“’These ten school districts, which represent over 900,000 students, are part of a statewide movement to hold JUUL accountable for the expenditure of public and taxpayer resources required to respond to the vaping crisis,’ said Baron & Budd Shareholder, John Fiske. ‘School districts of all shapes and sizes are standing up for their student communities—from northern, central, and southern California, from urban, suburban, and rural communities, and from large, medium, and small in size—they are all standing up.’

“’It’s inspiring to see school districts across California stand shoulder-to-shoulder to take on JUUL, the schoolyard bully that preys on our kids and puts the health and academic success of all students at risk,’ said Panish Shea & Boyle LLP Partner, Rahul Ravipudi. ‘We’ve spent our careers standing up against companies like JUUL that think they can take advantage of the most vulnerable in our society without consequence. The safety and wellness of our children is priority number one and we’re proud to stand beside these Districts in championing that mission – we won’t stop fighting until justice is served.’

“The lawsuits seek injunctive relief and abatement remedy to combat the e-cigarette epidemic, which has severely impacted the school districts by interfering with normal school operations. The districts are also seeking compensatory damages to provide relief from the districts’ financial losses as a result of students being absent from school, the extensive costs to orchestrate outreach and education programs regarding the risk of vaping, and deploying the enforcement restrictions – such as vape detectors, surveillance systems, and staff to monitor the school’s property in an effort to combat the e-cigarette crisis.

“Since entering the market in 2015, JUUL has dominated the e-cigarette industry and now controls over 70% of the market. Over a million JUUL e-cigarettes were sold between 2015 and 2017. In fact, the e-cigarette category grew 97 percent to $1.96 billion between June 2017 and June 2018 along. That growth is largely based on JUUL’s market strategy which is to target school-age children.

“The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that the 2018 spike in nicotine vaping was the largest for any substance recorded in 44 years and the number of youth e-cigarette users increased by 1.5 million between 2017 and 2018. JUUL’s aggressive, strategic marketing and product designs not only create an addiction crisis among youth consumers, but also a broader health crisis.”

The full article is here.

Another report on KCRA — Davis, other NorCal schools sue Juul for vaping epidemic — is here.

Memo to RR: Steph Curry is moving to S.F.

I hope the dinosaurs at Rebane’s Ruminations don’t freak out, but a well-known sports celebrity is moving to (not from) downtown San Francisco. LOL!

“Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors All-Star guard, is buying a swanky pad in downtown San Francisco’s plushest new condo tower,” as The Chronicle is reporting.

“A few months after the Warriors left Oakland for San Francisco’s Mission Bay, the Curry family — Stephen is married to celebrity restaurateur Ayesha Curry and they have three children — is heading west, too. Curry, who signed a $201 million, five-year contract in 2017, snapped up a condo in the Four Seasons Private Residences at 706 Mission St., a new tower opening in June across from Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

“The price for the 2,800-square-foot condo the Currys bought was just under $8 million, according to real estate sources familiar with the unit and building. The unit is on the 30th floor — coincidentally, Curry wears No. 30 for the Warriors.

“The purchase is the latest example of the Curry family’s gradual migration from the East Bay to the west side of the bay. 

“There is no shortage of interested buyers out there,’ said Rich Baumert, a partner with Westbrook Partners overseeing the development. ‘Downtown (San Francisco) is still a place people want to be. The Four Seasons has global reach. Global demand for this kind of product has not waned in any way.’”

The article is here.

The 49ers are returning to the Super Bowl

“The San Francisco 49ers blew out the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship on Sunday, securing their spot in Super Bowl LIV,” as The Chronicle is reporting. “The Niners will make their first Super Bowl appearance since 2013, when their Colin Kaepernick-led squad fell to the Baltimore Ravens, 34-31.”

We celebrate our family milestones with the Niners (and Miami):

—Shannon and I met on Jan. 28, 1989, in San Francisco while watching the Super Bowl at the home of our mutual friend Sam T. Harper. The Niners beat the Bengals in Miami (where I landed my first job at the South Florida Sun Sentinel after grad school in 1982). We dated, got married in 5/91 and had a son in 4/2002.


—Flash forward to 2020. Our son Mitchell is graduating from high school and going to Johns Hopkins University — the same year the Niners return to the Super Bowl — in Miami, no less.

Milestones. And the 49ers. The circles of our lives. Ha!

(Photo: Ms Koningsdam on 12/24/2018, out of Miami)

"You are fine, just as you are"

Editor’s note: In 2013, I met Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger — the “Miracle on the Hudson Pilot” — at an air show in Truckee. This weekend Sullenberger writes in The New York Times: “Like Joe Biden, I once stuttered, too. I dare you to mock me.” The retired pilot is responding to recent comments from the president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, on the way the former vice president talks. This paragraph sums up Sullenberger’s thoughts:

“You are fine, just as you are. You can do any job you dream of when you grow up. You can be a pilot who lands your plane on a river and helps save lives, or a president who treats people with respect, rather than making fun of them. You can become a teacher to kids who stutter. A speech disorder is a lot easier to treat than a character defect. You become a true leader, not because of how you speak, but because of what you have to say — and the challenges you have overcome to help others. Ignore kids (and adults) who are mean, or don’t know what it feels like to stutter. Respond by showing them how to be kind, polite, respectful and generous, to be brave enough to try big things, even though you are not perfect.”

The rest of his comments are here.

Capt. Sullenberger in Truckee (Photo: Jeff Pelline)

Baltimore Sun: "Better to have a few rats than to be one"

With our son preparing to go to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore this fall we have begun subscribing to the digital edition of the The Baltimore Sun. I like to practice “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” so The Sun is emailed to me each morning. (We are longtime digital subscribers to The Washington Post — a good read in the Trump era). Ha!

I am familiar with the Sun going back to the ’80s, when I worked at the San Francisco Chronicle. The Baltimore newspaper has long been home to famous writers, including HL Mencken in the ’40s.

Reg Murphy was the longtime publisher of the Sun. At its height, The Sun ran eight foreign bureaus and it had a separate edition, the Evening Sun, with a separate staff. Reg was a journalism legend.

Times have changed in the digital era (the Sun’s foreign bureaus were unraveled), but the Sun is still a good read for local news. As it turns out, the former opinion editor at the Sun, Andrew Green, is now Johns Hopkins’ first VP for communications as of last fall. He’s been doing a good job.

As for the Sun, Trump’s recent attacks against the late Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings sparked have some tart editorials. One was titled “Better to have a few rats than to be one.” It was well done.

Here’s a 1977 documentary about The Baltimore Sun that was a finalist in the Academy Awards’ short subject category:

Gov. Newsom kicks off homelessness tour in GV (and strums the autoharp)

I was glad to see Gov. Newsom get a music lesson on the autoharp this morning when he visited the Spirit Peer Empowerment Center in Grass Valley to discuss his homelessness program — proposing to spend $1 billion to address the issue. When I was growing up, we were allowed to check out an auto harp in school and take it home for a tryout — a musical perk but also an honor. It’s a fun instrument. Gov. Newsom’s visit to Hospitality House was next. The video is here: