- CHP extends Oakland patrols for another month (Oakland Tribune)
The California Highway Patrol will continue policing Oakland streets for at least another month, although it's unclear whether the city or the state will be paying for the service. The CHP's 90-day crime suppression work in Oakland had been scheduled to end Thursday, potentially leaving the city with even fewer officers to deal with a violent crime epidemic.
- California's gun background-check system could be national model (Bay Area News Group)
Every day for the past 22 years, California's background checks have stopped about a dozen felons, mentally ill people and others from buying guns. When prospective gun buyers stride into California gun stores such as Ron Kennedy's Canyon Sports in Martinez, they must swipe their driver's licenses or state IDs. That sets off a review process that runs their names not only through the same FBI criminal database other states use but also almost 20 other sources, from mental health records to DMV data. It's a check more rigorous than any other state's.
- SF Central Freeway lane lines wiped out (SF Chronicle)
If traffic on San Francisco's Central Freeway looks like a "Mad Max" scramble these days, there's a reason - an absence of lane stripes. Caltrans repaving contractors tore up the top layer of asphalt for a 1-mile stretch in both directions of the freeway early this month. That wiped out the lane markers, which have not been replaced.
- Culliver shows equality isn't here yet (SF Chronicle)
One step forward. One step backward. That's the plight of gay rights in professional sports, and it's on display this week at the Super Bowl. In a news conference, one young man - Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo - was speaking out for gay rights and against bullying. In another interview, a different young man - 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver - basically made threats against any gay athlete who might come out.
Nuclear watchdog groups spoke out Wednesday night against a federal proposal they said could result in the transfer of weapons-grade plutonium from Los Alamos National Laboratory to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for diagnostic testing. "We're here to ask how and why we can stop plutonium shipments to Livermore," said Scott Yundt, staff attorney for Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment (CAREs).
As President Barack Obama and Congress strive to overhaul America's immigration laws, three quarters of Californians -- a record majority -- are on board with the idea of legalizing the more than 2 million immigrants illegally living in the state. Californians across generations and political inclinations also appear to be warming up to the minority-majority, immigrant-heavy reality of today's Golden State, according to a survey being released Thursday by the Public Policy Institute of California. It also revealed opinions on gun control, same-sex marriage and Gov. Jerry Brown's budget.
[The U.S.S.] Hornet [is] a bucket-list destination for those interested in paranormal activity. And, those enthusiasts claim, a post-bucket-list destination for apparitions.... Paracon 2013 will feature guest speakers including Bill Murphy and Paul Bradford from the Syfy Channel, and local paranormal researchers Pamela Heath and Sommer Carter. Ticket proceeds from the event will provide transportation for students to visit the Hornet and experience its STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Math) program, using the ship as a learning resource. There will be flashlight tours of the ship -- including some areas usually off-limits -- and overnight accommodations.
During a recent interview, a Catholic leader made an unusual comparison between gay marriage and male breastfeeding. Speaking with the United Kingdom's Catholic Herald, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said the term gay marriage refers to a "natural impossibility" and should be rarely used.