California Today: Is This the End of Youth Football?

A fact sheet in support of the bill — known as the Safe Youth Football Act — says children who wait until they are 12 to play tackle football decrease their risk of “life-impacting brain damage” by 50 percent. Doctors have also noted that head hits are more damaging to young players because their brains are not fully developed, and are less capable of fully repairing themselves. Similar legislation has been proposed in Illinois, Maryland and New York, officials said.

But passing anti-football laws, even at the state level, can be an uphill battle. Despite a decline in youth football participation over the past decade, the sport remains very popular. A Facebook group titled Save Youth Football — California already has more than 4,000 members. On the page, critics of the proposed law call it government overreach, share stories about the value of football and question the research into its harm.

“I’m opposed to anything that’s going to tell me how to raise my kids that’s not a black-and-white situation,” Nick Hardwick, a former center for the San Diego Chargers who now is the team’s radio analyst, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “And youth football is a gray area.”

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, Democrat of Sacramento, and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, Democrat of San Diego, unveiled the bill in February. The bill is currently in committee and is expected to be heard no later than the first week of May, officials said.

“Over my son’s dead body,” Ms. Archie said, “will it not pass.”

California Online

(Please note: We regularly highlight articles on news sites that have limited access for nonsubscribers.)


The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking to roll back Obama-era rules.

George Etheredge for The New York Times

• The Environmental Protection Agency has taken steps to challenge California’s right to set its own air pollution rules. A showdown is likely. [The New York Times]

• In a separate action, the Justice Department has sued the State of California, claiming that a state law illegally blocks the federal government’s right to buy and sell federal land. [The New York Times]

• And one day after declaring “NO MORE DACA DEAL,” President Trump has begun a new push for legislation that would crack down on illegal immigration and make it more difficult to obtain refuge in the United States. [The New York Times]

• Sheriff Scott Jones of Sacramento County said he believed his deputy did not know his car had hit an activist during protests over the shooting death of Stephon Clark. [The Sacramento Bee]

• The California Supreme Court let stand a provision that says any adult arrested or charged with a felony must give up his or her DNA. [The Los Angeles Times]


• The markets are tumbling again. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index sank 2.2 percent on Monday as investors jettisoned shares of financial and technology stocks. [The New York Times]

• Does Representative Devin Nunes actually use his Clovis office? “They just use us as a mail slot,” a building employee recently said. [The Fresno Bee]

• How much damage do natural disasters actually do? Officials say January’s deadly mudslides caused more than $421 million in insured losses. [Reuters]

• April measurements of the Sierra Nevada snowpack show that the water content is more than 40 percent below normal. “Helpful,” the state climatologist said. “But not enough.” [KQED]

Yosemite’s new superintendent faces several challenges, including parking and even a new Starbucks. Thankfully, he knows the place rather well. [The San Francisco Chronicle]


Jennifer and Sarah Hart with four of their children in 2014.

Thomas Boyd/The Oregonian, via Associated Press

• New details have emerged about a crash involving a sport utility vehicle that plummeted off a California cliff with a family inside. “It was pure acceleration,” a California Highway Patrol official said. [The New York Times]

• A camera system on a Bay Area freeway has been counting the people inside every vehicle in the car pool lane to detect cheaters. Could the experiment become permanent? [The San Francisco Chronicle]

• California has a law prohibiting taxpayer-funded travel to eight states. So lawyers for the public universities with basketball teams have had to devise legal workarounds during March Madness. [The New York Times]

• The Charlotte Hornets have formally offered their vacant general manager position to the longtime Los Angeles Lakers executive Mitch Kupchak. [The New York Times]

• The Times has written an obituary about Stephen Reinhardt, the judge featured in yesterday’s newsletter. [The New York Times]

And Finally …


The advertisements displayed on boards in New York.

Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Officials at the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board have done the focus groups, and they’ve come up with a controversial conclusion.

“The younger generations living in New York love Los Angeles,” Don Skeoch, the board’s chief marketing office said in an email. “This is not fake news, we promise.”

They’re so sure they’re right, the tourism board started a campaign called “L.A. ♥” seeking to sell New Yorkers on a trip to Southern California. New Yorkers visit L.A. more than any other American market, they say, and part of the reason is that — wait for it — New Yorkers and Angelenos actually like lots of the same things.

The advertisements flashing across boards in New York City highlight some of those things: “public transportation,” “the morning commute” and “that view,” for example. (Whether Angelenos actually love public transportation is highly questionable, and it should be noted that the photo that serves as the backdrop of the “morning commute” ad depicts young people hiking Runyon Canyon instead of a traffic jam on the 405 Freeway.)

The New York-specific ads will run through the end of May, officials say. They are part of a broader campaign in major cities across the United States and even Mexico City and China.

Asked to pitch Los Angeles to the most skeptical New Yorkers, Mr. Skeoch said: “We’re just asking that you give us a long weekend.”

Near-perfect 72-degree days, he noted, tend to warm even the coldest hearts.

California Today goes live at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see:

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.

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