News

Friday, January 24, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Thousands took to the streets across the Bay Area Saturday for the fourth annual women's march, a movement to empower women politically.

Fewer people took part this year but organizers say the message is just as powerful.

The original march began in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump's inauguration, and drew hundreds of thousands of people in the nation's capital. The exact size of the turnout remains subject to a politically charged debate, but it's generally regarded as the largest Washington protest since the Vietnam era.

Here's a look some marches from around the Bay Area:

SAN FRANCISCO

"Today we march, as one family," said San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen.

Cohen was one of dozens of speakers who energized the crowd outside city hall.

Women and their allies, marched down market street with a message.

Friday, January 24, 2020

SACRAMENTO – Senators Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, and 15 other Bay Area legislators on Wednesday urged Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders to provide funding to help acquire the N3 Ranch in Alameda, Santa Clara, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties and preserve it as public parkland.

“This once-in-a-generation opportunity would help create one of the largest parks in California, protect a crucial watershed, fight climate change and provide accessible backcountry wilderness to millions of Californians,” Senator Wieckowski said.

“This is a matter of urgent concern because this irreplaceable property is for sale now,” Senator Glazer said. “Non-profit conservation groups have assembled funding commitments that could finance more than half the cost. We need to move on this quickly.”

Friday, January 24, 2020

By Evan Symon / California Globe 

In Sacramento on Wednesday, lawmakers met with representatives from AT&T and Verizon over what can be done about future planned blackouts. In addition, a new bill was introduced making it mandatory to have backup power in areas at risk of a wildfire.

Outcry after phones are cutoff during planned blackouts

Planned blackouts have become increasingly common around the state due to power company PG&E shutting down power to mitigate wildfire risk. As PG&E has gone into bankruptcy and faces a possibly state takeover this year due to a power line in Northern California helping spark the deadly 2018 Camp Fire, power shutoffs are also saving them from another multi-billion dollar lawsuit.

Friday, January 24, 2020

By National Herald Staff / The National Herald

SACRAMENTO, CA – Amid mounting concerns for the health and safety of young people, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, 30 state lawmakers, and a strong coalition of health, youth and community advocates are backing a tough new bill [to be] introduced today to ban sales of any flavored tobacco product in California stores.

“As a mother of two teenage sons, I’ve watched the explosion of teenage vaping in my own community, as well as across the state,” Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis said. “Too many of our kids are already suffering addiction to tobacco products. This flavor ban will help them break free, as well as prevent more young people from becoming addicted in the first place.”

Monday, December 2, 2019

By Evan Symon / California Globe

Both battery and diesel power has been proposed by bill authors

Three new bills requiring cell phone and electric companies to provide emergency backup power to cell towers and hospitals will be introduced in Sacramento next year.

The Three Bills

One of the bills would require cell phone providers to have at least 72 hours of emergency backup power at all of their towers in areas projected to be affected by wildfires, which also includes areas where voluntary shutdowns to reduce the chances of wildfires would be.

Another bill would give emergency backup battery packs or battery-powered chargers to customers who live in areas affected by long-term planned blackouts.

A different bill that would allow hospitals to run diesel generators during a planned blackout is also planned, and would change laws that currently bar such a generator from running due to air pollution concerns.

Monday, December 2, 2019

By Phillipe Djegal / Kron 4

ORINDA (KRON) — The loss of cell phone service during public safety power shutoffs is unacceptable.

That’s the word from East Bay State Senator Steve Glazer.

During a news conference in Orinda Wednesday, Glazer announced proposed legislation to keep cell towers powered up when PG&E pulls the plug.

Depending on your cell phone carrier, in Orinda during last months PG&E public safety power shutoffs, you either got lucky and did not lose reception.

“We did not — but we had Verizon,” said resident Taylor Hurt. 

Others struggled for service.

Andrea Picco works in Orinda and said the loss of service was very frustrating. 

“I had to walk down to the corner to the stop sign and make a call,” she said. 

The Federal Communications Commission says more than three-percent of the state’s cell sites were out of service due to the shutoffs at the end of october.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Pleasanton Weekly

$750,000 in state funds acquired to create one-year pilot program

Top prosecutors and elected officials in Alameda and Contra Costa counties joined together Wednesday to announce new funding and strategies aimed at preventing illegal dumping and waste.

Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, Pleasanton's representative whose district also includes parts of Oakland that are affected by the problem, said something must be done because illegal dumping is "a plague on our society" and affects residents' quality of life.

Joining Miley and others at a news conference at the Alameda County District Attorney's Office in Oakland, Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) said she has secured $750,000 in state funds to allow for the creation of a one-year pilot program in Alameda and Contra Costa counties that will focus on increased law enforcement efforts to combat illegal dumping.