NEW BAY BRIDGE
First cars cross SF-Oakland Bay Bridge's new span
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — New bridge, same traffic.
The gleaming white and newly built $6.4-billion eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge handled its first morning commute Tuesday with few problems other than the traffic snarls that were common around the toll plaza of the old span.
California Highway Patrol Officer Sam Morgan said traffic heading into San Francisco on the bridge around noon was a little heavier than usual, possibly because of excitement about the new bridge.
But he said the CHP has not encountered any instances of people pulling over on the roadway to take pictures of the span.
The new span opened on Monday, hours after an inaugural chain-cutting ceremony.
It replaces a span that was damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
The bridge's bike and pedestrian path opened on Tuesday.
Anti-detention bill wins bipartisan support
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Legislation that takes exception to a federal anti-terrorism law has produced an unusual alliance between one of the Legislature's most liberal lawmakers and one of its most conservative members.
Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco says his carrying of a bill by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly illustrates bipartisan agreement that the federal government is going too far and trampling on civil liberties.
The bill by Donnelly, a Republican from Twin Peaks in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California, would prohibit state agencies, employees and the California National Guard from enforcing a federal law allowing for indefinite detainment.
Leno says Michigan and Virginia have similar laws.
The bill passed the Senate 37-0 Tuesday after some ribbing from fellow lawmakers about Leno carrying Donnelly's bill. It now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown.
Calif. bill would allow for multiple legal parents
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Assembly has approved a bill that would allow judges to declare that a child has more than two legal parents.
Under the legislation from Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco, a judge could legally recognize additional parents if failure to recognize the relationships would be detrimental to the child.
Leno's bill was prompted by a 2011 court case involving a California girl whose legal parent could not care for her and whose biological father was deemed not a parent.
The measure is co-sponsored by Children's Advocacy Institute and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
The Assembly passed the bill Tuesday 43-27, returning it to the Senate for a final vote.
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill last year, saying he wanted more time to consider the implications.
Bill would make it illegal to bar life-saving help
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Lawmakers are sending a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown that would bar employers from having policies that prohibit offering life-saving medical help in an emergency.
Assemblyman Rudy Salas introduced the bill after the death of an 87-year-old woman at a Bakersfield retirement home in February. The case sparked outrage when a nurse was heard on a 911 call saying her company policy prevented her from performing CPR on the collapsed woman.
The Senate unanimously approved the Bakersfield Democrat's bill on Tuesday.
Democratic Assemblywoman Norma Torres of Pomona says the legislation would prevent employees from being placed in the difficult position of having to "choose between saving a fellow citizen's life and being fired for breaking a company's policy."
The nursing home owner later said the staffer misinterpreted its policy.
SCHOOL BOND RESTRICTIONS
Senate OKs bill barring high-cost school bonds
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Lawmakers are sending Gov. Jerry Brown legislation intended to prevent school districts from selling high-cost bonds that rack up massive interest costs and cannot be paid off until they mature.
The Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved the bill by Democratic Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan of Alamo in an effort to curb the sale of so-called capital appreciation bonds.
The bonds delay payments for decades while school districts do construction and renovations. The result is massive balloon payments that sometimes inflate debt services to 10 times or more the principal.
Sen. Ben Hueso said one school district will end up paying $1 billion for $100 million in borrowing. The San Diego Democrat says districts usually begin paying off the bonds "when the buildings are at the end of their functional life period."
Conviction in fight over existence of God case
(Information in the following story is from: The Oakland Tribune, http://www.oaklandtribune.com)
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — An Oakland man has been found guilty of first-degree murder for shooting and killing his friend during an alcohol and cocaine-fueled argument over the existence of God.
The Oakland Tribune reports 33-year-old Douglas Yim was also found guilty Tuesday of assault with a firearm and mayhem for shooting a second friend in his living room two years ago.
Yim killed 25-year-old Dzuy Duhn Phan after a night of partying and playing video games. Another friend, Paul Park, testified the two men had engaged in a heated discussion about God.
Yim became enraged and grabbed his gun after Phan asked Yim where God was when Yim's father died of a stroke several years earlier.
Yim shot Phan at least six times. Park was also hit by a bullet.
Yim faces 126 years to life in prison.
News Corp. sells group of local newspapers
NEW YORK (AP) — News Corp., the owner of The Wall Street Journal, is trimming its newspaper portfolio by selling 33 smaller publications, including one in Stockton.
The deal announced Tuesday affects newspapers that News Corp. ran as part of its Dow Jones Local Media Group. They are being sold for an undisclosed amount to Fortress Investment Group LLC, which specializes in buying troubled businesses.
The daily newspapers being turned over to Fortress are the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y., the Cape Cod Times in Hyannis, Mass., The Record in Stockton, Calif., The Standard-Times in New Bedford, Mass., The Pocono Record in Stroudsburg, Pa., The Herald in Portsmouth, N.H., The Mail Tribune in Medford, Ore. and The Daily Tidings in Ashland, Ore.
Besides the Wall Street Journal, News Corp. still owns the New York Post.
Calif. clears same-sex weddings for prison inmates
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California prison officials have confirmed that inmates can get married to someone of the same sex under certain conditions.
Michael Stainer, director of the adult institutions division for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations, issued a memo on Friday stating that the U.S. Supreme Court decision that made same-sex marriages legal again in the state in June also applies to prisoners.
But Stainer says gay or bisexual inmates will only be allowed to marry same-sex partners who are not incarcerated and only during prison ceremonies. He says marriages between two prisoners would raise too many security concerns.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano said Monday that Steiner's directive was prompted by an inquiry from his office.
In 2007, California became the first state to allow conjugal visits and overnight stays for inmates with same-sex domestic partners.
Northern Calif. man charged in family slayings
(Information in the following story is from: Contra Costa Times, http://www.contracostatimes.com)
PINOLE, Calif. (AP) — A 25-year-old Northern California man has been charged with murder in the slayings of his grandmother and uncle with a butcher knife.
The Contra Costa Times reports that Jeffrey Flores of Pinole is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday on two counts of murder with the use of a knife. He was charged on Tuesday.
His grandmother, 76-year-old Nona Jean Flores, and her son, 54-year-old Tony Flores, were found slain at the home the defendant shared with them on Friday.
Authorities say Jeffrey Flores called officers there. The officers found Nona and Tony Flores dead in separate bedrooms.
Contra Costa County prosecutors say each had wounds to their necks. A butcher knife was still lodged in one of them.
Prosecutors say Jeffrey Flores suffers from mental health problems.
28 farmworkers buried in mass grave in Calif. after 1948 plane crash get memorial with names
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Twenty-eight farmworkers who were buried in a mass grave after their plane crashed en route to Mexico in 1948 now have a gravestone with their names on it.
Their burial without names prompted a protest poem by Woody Guthrie that was sung over the years by musicians including Joan Baez and Bob Dylan.
The granite memorial was unveiled Monday at the grave site at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Fresno.
Many of the farmworkers were returning home after being part of the bracero program, which allowed Mexican citizens to legally enter the U.S. to do seasonal work. Their airplane crashed over Los Gatos Canyon near Coalinga, killing everyone one board.
The effort to remember the workers was spearheaded by Fresno-born writer Tim Hernandez, who is writing a book about them.
Study: CA spends $500M on waterway trash-fighting
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An environmental group says California communities are spending a half-billion dollars a year to keep plastic and other trash from polluting waterways and beaches.
The report last week from the Natural Resources Defense Council looked at 95 communities and how much they spent to — among other things — sweep streets, clean up lakes, rivers and beaches, and protect waterways from polluted storm runoff.
Los Angeles topped the list with more than $36 million in annual costs, followed by San Diego with about $14 million and Long Beach at around $13 million. Others in the top 10 for costs were San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, Hayward, Merced, Redondo Beach and South Gate.
The study calls for measures to reduce trash, especially plastic, and to share the cost of dealing with it.
YOSEMITE FIRE-RENO SMOKE
CA fire smoke cancels Reno preps again
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Lingering smoke from a big California wildfire has forced the cancellation of high school soccer and tennis matches in Reno and sent football practice indoors again due to concerns about unhealthy air quality.
State athletic officials canceled all outdoor events and practices Tuesday in Reno-Sparks, Carson City and surrounding areas when the air quality index exceeded the 100 level shortly after noon.
The 118 reading considered unhealthy for sensitive populations slipped back to a moderate reading of 97 after 2 p.m. It had shown significant improvement at times over the holiday weekend.
Football practice has been held indoors along most of the Sierra's eastern front since smoke from the fire at Yosemite National Park more than 100 miles away began to thicken on Aug. 22.