SF transit strike has commuters facing gridlock
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco Bay Area commuters are waking up to another day without the region's main commuter train line because of a strike.
Traffic at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge toll plaza was already heavy around 5:30 a.m. Monday. Ferries, charter buses from several BART stations and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District buses are serving as alternatives for regular BART riders.
BART's unions went on strike on Friday after contract talks broke down. The two sides have not scheduled any new talks. BART's board, however, is holding a special meeting on Monday afternoon.
BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said the agency is open to restarting negotiations if that's what a federal mediator wants. The San Francisco Chronicle, meanwhile, reports the unions have made another offer to BART.
Man, wife arrested after accidental store shooting
(Information in the following story is from: San Gabriel Valley Tribune.)
GLENDORA, Calif. (AP) — A husband and wife were arrested after a gun they were carrying accidentally went off inside a Southern California Sam's Club store.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports 48-year-old Robert Duncan was wounded in the forearm when the gun discharged Sunday at the store in Glendora.
Police say Duncan and his wife, Helen, were passing a bag between them that contained the gun. They dropped the bag, causing the gun inside to go off.
Robert Duncan was struck in the forearm by the bullet. Nobody else was hurt.
Officers found the couple at a hospital, where they were arrested and booked on suspicion of negligently discharging a firearm.
The newspaper says the husband is also expected to face a charge of illegal weapon possession.
HASH OIL BLASTS
Report: OC blasts linked to 'hash oil' manufacture
(Information in the following story is from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com)
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Investigators say a series of damaging explosions across Orange County have been attributed to the manufacturing of hash oil, the potent marijuana byproduct.
The Orange County Register reports the sheriff's bomb squad has been called to investigate more than half a dozen THC-related explosions in the last 18 months.
A recent blast at a condominium complex in Tustin left two men badly hurt.
The county Burn Center says it has treated at least six patients this year who suffered severe injuries while making hash oil.
Tustin Police Lt. Paul Garaven tells the newspaper the do-it-yourself drug is gaining popularity because while marijuana has about 15 percent THC — the main intoxicant in cannabis products — hash oil has a THC rating of 30 to 80 percent.
CORPORATE BUYING BINGE
Tech companies lead Bay Area buying binge
(Information in the following story is from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com)
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Internet giants are buying up businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the country by the hundreds.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that since 2010, Google has purchased nearly 200 small companies — at a rate of more than one deal every week.
Last year, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Cisco Systems were among the nation's top five purchasers of privately held tech firms, typically startups.
The newspaper cites data that show overall, Bay Area businesses closed 329 such deals last year, far more than any other region.
Analysts tell the Mercury News these investments signal a fundamental change in Silicon Valley's culture of innovation. Facing intense competition, companies are supplementing research and development efforts by simply purchasing a potential rival that's already started or completed the work.
County pays $2 in damages, $197,505 in fees
(Information in the following story is from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A newspaper report says Sacramento County paid $2 in damages and $197,505 in attorney fees to settle a civil rights case.
The Sacramento Bee says a jury awarded the attorney's two clients $1 each on their claims that they endured excessive force while inmates at the county's downtown jail.
The eight-member panel awarded Robert E. Hunter and Howard Eley nominal compensation, apparently concluding the plaintiffs suffered no substantive damages.
The judge in the case awarded plaintiffs' lawyer Gary Gorski nearly $200,000 in fees, over the objections of attorney Thomas Cregger, who handled the litigation for the county.
Gorski says such fees give attorneys an incentive to vindicate important constitutional rights.
Cregger and County Counsel John Whisenhunt could not be reached for comment.
The trial earlier this year was the second in the 7 ½-year-old civil rights suit.