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Paid sick leave, lead ammo, smartphones affected by new laws

SACRAMENTO — More than six million workers are expected to benefit from a new law taking effect Wednesday that requires California employers to provide them at least three paid sick days a year. The measure applies to most employees who work at least 30 days a year. The workers will earn a minimum of one hour of paid […]

Hunters, smartphone owners affected by new California laws

SACRAMENTO — Hunters, ride-hailing companies and smartphone owners are among those affected by these new California laws that take effect Wednesday: — Smartphones manufactured after July 1 and sold in California must have a way for the owner to remotely incapacitate the phone if it is lost or stolen. SB962 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, is intended to […]

Firefighters gain on California wildfires; heat sets in

LOMPOC — Firefighters made progress against wildfires burning throughout California on Tuesday, but weather was becoming a potential problem as a heat wave built in some regions and the threat of thunderstorms, gusty winds and lightning persisted elsewhere. A 320-acre blaze that erupted outside the Santa Barbara County city of Lompoc on Monday and forced […]

Addiction an ugly word, isn’t it?

Now we all have become familiar with the word addiction in our modern society, haven’t we? We all conjure up our own version and vision of what addiction is. Horrible, isn’t it? Maybe you are put off by addiction. Maybe you just can’t understand why and how it all happened. Would you all be surprised […]

IMF may be other casualty of Greek default

All sides are working hard to prevent Greece from defaulting on its debt obligations to the International Monetary Fund – and with good reason: Such an outcome would have dire consequences not only for Greece and Europe but also for the international monetary system. The IMF’s “preferred creditor status” underpins its ability to lend to countries […]

June 29, 2015 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Division over health care act raises questions on legitimacy of public debate

Yes, subsidies will remain available on federal health-care exchanges. So the Supreme Court ruled Thursday, in a 6-3 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts. The justices might have come close to overturning the whole law in 2012, but pulled back because they feared the political fallout of destroying the Obama administration’s signature legislative initiative, […]

Water, water everywhere; just not in right place

After scanning prior letters to the editor, there seems to be a dearth of letters addressing this state’s most pressing issue, water. Multiple billions of dollars in farming are at stake and a huge proportion of our state’s economic future is tied up with water. I was here the last time (late 1970s) the state […]

Police technology a potential threat to liberty

Fairfield’s police department recently announced the installation of license plate reader cameras on several department vehicles. These cameras are heralded as a way to make staff more efficient and expand an agency’s ability to recover stolen vehicles. They are a technological marvel, scanning passing license plates, checking each plate against a “hot list” of stolen […]

Pols move in right direction, but not far enough

Capitol politicians are patting themselves on the back for opening an escape hatch for millions of motorists whose licenses have been suspended for failure to pay past-due tickets. A budget “trailer bill” gives drivers whose licenses were suspended due to nonpayment in 2012 or earlier a window to settle up with discounts – 50 percent […]

Sound off for June 28, 2015

Columnist Kelvin Wade wrote: When South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from government grounds and Mississippi politicians called for the removal of that same flag from their state flag, it was a big step in the right direction. Here’s what some readers had to say: It’s hard […]

You can run but you can’t hide

During a recent conversation with a coworker, we were discussing the living conditions of certain communities and where would be the best place to live. The conversation turned to the amount of crime and violence in certain Bay Area cities. Some communities have unfair negative reputations of being violent. Parts of Richmond, Oakland, Stockton, Vallejo […]

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