Cell kill-switch bill moves ahead

Thursday, August 7th, 2014
kill switch

California could soon become the second state in the nation to force so-called "kill switches" into cellphones. The technology causes equipped devices to be disabled remotely, by a figurative flip of the switch. An owner might throw the kill switch if his cell was stolen. Or the government might ord...

CA bill aims at home guns

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
gun wikimedia SIG pro semi-automatic pistol

Proposed gun control legislation often appeals to a sense of public fear. Playing on worries about lone nuts and random killings, gun control groups like former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Everytown organization seek to tighten gun restrictions with an appeal to safety in the public squ...

State funds dry cleaners’ shift to CO2

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

The California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research Program has produced a dry cleaning machine that uses CO2. The carbon-based cleaning process replaces perchoroethylene chemical-based dry cleaning. The machine is being tested by the Aramark uniform cleaning corporation in Los A...

Minimum wage activists set sights on L.A.

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

The concerted push for higher minimum wages in California has spread from the East Bay to Los Angeles. On the heels of a recently approved $15 minimum wage in Seattle, advocates for dramatically increased hourly wages sensed an opportunity to select a fresh target. That's where L.A. comes in. Or...

CA, feds struggle with — and spar over — pot regulation

Friday, July 18th, 2014

As California muddles ahead with its disorganized decriminalization of marijuana, local and federal lawmakers are adopting distinctly different approaches to the prospect of pot-related crime. City councils are apt to worry about different kinds of drug crime than Congress. But the new attention...

Richmond pols continue posturing on underwater mortgages

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

A majority of the Richmond City Council still wants to use eminent domain powers to to seize “underwater mortgages" even though the bond market refused to sell $34 million in municipal bonds for the city last year due to Richmond officials' interest in the novel proposal. Prices are soaring in ...

CA legislators threaten Uber, Lyft

Friday, July 4th, 2014
Uber logo

A new bill will determine whether California remains the world leader in innovative technology -- or starts to block progress. Assembly Bill 2293, by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, would severely limit the ability of startup companies to use social networking technology to link passeng...

CA Dems balk at Cap and Trade cost

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
gas prices stunt recovery, mckee, cagle, July 3, 2014

  With gas prices soaring again, consumers are rebelling. And even liberal Democrats in California are seeking to help their constituents. Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, spearheaded the writing of a June 16 letter signed by 16 Democratic assembly members to California Air Resources B...

CA to reverse food glove law

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
food safety, wikimedia

Say goodbye to California's ban on bare hands for food and drink handlers. Set to be enforced beginning July 1, the measure -- passed just this March -- would have required all bar and restaurant employees who prepared meals or beverages to wear fresh gloves. Faced with a strangely unexpected flur...

East Bay proposal reignites minimum wage fight

Monday, June 30th, 2014

When a handful of corporations conspires to fix wages, they face legal action. But for several cities in the San Francisco East Bay area, the idea of a concerted effort to set pay has a newfound appeal. Rather than taking a permissive attitude toward business collusion, however, the plan is to cr...