The most popular story on our site this week was a rundown of new laws that will affect anyone who drives, walks, uses bridges, parks a car, takes public transit or uses a ride-hailing app. So, basically all of us.
A few that stood out to me:
It's no longer illegal to enter a crosswalk when it's counting down.
Starting July 1, Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing drivers will be subject to a 0.04 blood alcohol limit.
Also starting July 1, if a bus has a seat belt, you have to use it.
Less punitive payment plan options will be introduced that allow people to pay off their parking citations while preserving their ability to register and drive their vehicles.
We've been doing a lot of thinking at KQED about the nature of the California Dream as part of a statewide collaboration with other news organizations.
For many, the California Dream is about westward expansion and coming to California in search of a better life. But what about the people who have been living here for millennia, long before any Europeans were here?
This piece explores the history of colonization in California and its impact on the native population. Did you know the population of Native Americans in California dropped from 150,000 in 1846 -- two years before the Gold Rush -- to approximately 30,000 in 1870? Or that one of the first laws passed by the California Legislature in 1850 set up a form of legalized slavery of indigenous people?
Olivia Chilcote, an assistant professor in the Department of American Indian Studies at San Diego State University, puts it bluntly:
The success of the California Dream depends on the disappearance of Indigenous peoples, who have been historically figured as roadblocks to land acquisition, progress and civilization.
How do we reimagine the California Dream to honor and respect California Indians?
I'm a naturally skeptical and slightly paranoid person when it comes to new technology, especially something like the new virtual assistants like Alexa or Google Home that are just always listening. So reading something like this is guaranteed to stress me out:
John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog has read the patent applications for these assistants, and he says those applications clearly indicate plans for broader, commercially focused household surveillance in the near future. “You know, keeping track of things like the number of times you flush the toilet, and when you go to bed,” he says.
Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica-based nonprofit, is asking the Federal Trade Commission to look at how much information these virtual assistants are collecting on us.
All I know is that "commercially focused household surveillance" reminds me of the Disney Channel Original Movie "Smart House," which might have been the movie that scared me most as a kid.
From Michael Brown to Freddie Gray and many, many others, it's become a common occurrence for law enforcement officers who kill people in the line of duty to not be convicted or even charged with any crimes.
That wasn't the case this week in Santa Clara County where three former sheriff's deputies were sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison for beating 31-year-old Michael Tyree to death in his jail cell in 2015. Tyree suffered from bipolar disorder and addiction.
However you feel about the new Star Wars movie (for the record, I thoroughly enjoyed it), you have to admit that you've fantasized about picking up a lightsaber and dueling like Obi-Wan and Darth Vader.
Now, you can.
The Bay Area is home to several lightsaber combat classes, which cater to everyone from the superfan who just wants to duel to the fencing aficionado to the person who wants to get fit Star Wars style. You have to check this out.
Billionaire and potential Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate or governor of California told KQED Newsroom that he bought 535 copies of the new book about the Trump White House, "Fire and Fury," and plans to have them hand-delivered to each member of Congress.