William Bigelow

Latest News

Padilla's Plastic Bag Ban Looms Before Legislature

State Bill (SB) 270, introduced by State Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) in January to ban disposable plastic check-out bags from grocery stores, may come to a vote by midnight Aug. 31, according to the Los Angeles Times. Padilla, who is also the Democratic Party's nominee for Secretary of State, had said that the millions of bags used every year “cost state and local governments at least $25 million,” amended his original version to curry favor with the grocery industry. Aug 24, 2014 3:00 PM PT

SF Chronicle: Desperate Farmers Turning to 'Water Witches'

The severe California drought is prompting farmers and vintners to hire dowsers, AKA “water witches,” to locate water underground, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The harshness of the drought has cut the normal quantity of water delivered to farmers, forcing them to use their wells. But with the wells running dry, and the much-higher cost of hiring geologists, dowsers are finding themselves overwhelmed with requests. Aug 24, 2014 2:51 PM PT

DHS: Over 1,000 Businesses Hit by Cyber Attack Stealing Data

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealed Friday that over 1000 businesses across the U.S. have been targeted by a cyber attack that allows hackers to steal personal data from customers’ debit and credit cards. Some of the biggest names that have been hit include Target, Supervalu, and UPS. Aug 24, 2014 2:20 PM PT

Famous Jewish Couple in Turkey Stabbed to Death

Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News is reporting that a famous Jewish couple were stabbed to death in their home in Istanbul. The bodies of Jak Karako, 77, and his wife, Georgia Karako, 69, were discovered by police in their apartment in Istanbul’s Ortaköy neighborhood. The caretaker for the couple is nowhere to be found; police regard the caretaker as a suspect. Aug 22, 2014 6:04 PM PT

Jerry Brown Signs Bill Allowing Dogs at Restaurants

The Sacramento Bee is barking good news for dog owners: If you live in California, you don’t need to bring a doggie bag home from the restaurant any more. You can simply bring your dog to the restaurant with you. That’s a gift from the legislature and Governor Jerry Brown, who signed Assembly Bill 1965, which allows owners to bring their pets to the outdoor sections of food establishments. Aug 22, 2014 12:21 PM PT

State Forces Catholic Colleges to Pay for Abortion

Thanks to a reversal by Governor Jerry Brown’s administration, two Catholic universities, Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount, have now been prevented from offering insurance plans for their employees that refused coverage for “elective” abortions and only permitted abortions if the woman’s life were in danger or her health could be severely damaged, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Aug 22, 2014 8:54 AM PT

Homeowner Fined for Replacing Grass with Drought-Resistant Plants

The Contra Costa Times reports that a San Ramon home woman who received a rebate from the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) for tearing out her lawn and replacing it with drought-resistant plants has been fined $50 a month by her homeowners association, the Twin Creeks South Estate Homes Association. Aug 22, 2014 7:51 AM PT

Rural Davis, CA Police Acquire Mine-Resistant War Vehicle

The acquisition by the Davis and Sacramento police departments, as well as the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, of excess military equipment from the U.S. Defense Department has the Sacramento Bee in a tizzy. Aug 21, 2014 3:35 PM PT

Native Tribes Demand More Water in Rivers to Save Fish

The Times-Standard reports that the Yurok, Karuk, and Hoopa Valley tribes and the Klamath Justice Coalition traveled to Sacramento Tuesday to protest the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) decision to cut pre-emptive water releases from Trinity Lake that would nurture fish on the Trinity and Klamath rivers. Roughly two hundred protesters showed up at the office of Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo, who made the decision which diverted the water to the Sacramento River to protect federally endangered salmon. Aug 20, 2014 2:34 PM PT

Ethics Fail: Bill on 'Suspended Pay' Fails to Make November Ballot

The Sacramento Bee reports that the Democratic-dominated California State Assembly, which acted on various pieces of legislation Monday, somehow failed to act on Senate leader Darrell Steinberg’s bill asking voters if the legislature should have the capacity to suspend pay for representatives who have been suspended for allegations of dishonorable behavior. Aug 20, 2014 5:46 AM PT

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