Former Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, the estranged wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer and a figure in a highly public sex-drugs drama, is in trouble again: She was arrested in Orange County on drug and child endangerment charges.
From Josh Richman in the Mercury News: "The arrest marks the latest chapter in a sad, very public soap opera of sex, drugs and bizarre behavior that has cost Nadia Lockyer, 41, her political career, her marriage and now, perhaps, her ability to be with her 9-year-old son."
"Police went to the Orange home where Lockyer and her son, Diego, were staying with a relative on Aug. 28 after a caller tipped them that she might have drugs there, said Farrah Emami, spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney's Office. She said officers found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia -- tubular aluminum foil with a burned end -- at the house."
"(She) was arrested and charged with felony methamphetamine possession and three misdemeanors: being under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and child abuse. The latter charge was lodged because the drug was found in the room Lockyer was sharing with her son, Emami said."
In what conservationists see as a major step to protect a wide swath of Northern California land, a group has bought property and intends to develop a system of trails.
From Peter Fimrite in the Chronicle: "The Solano Land Trust paid $13.5 million to preserve 1,500 acres of former Indian hunting grounds and villages known as Rockville Trails, just west of Fairfield."
"The plan is to build a park with a regional trail system between Solano and Napa counties and eventually link up with the 800,000-acre stretch of parkland and open space called the Blue Ridge Berryessa Natural Area."
"This is a huge puzzle piece in connecting a regional trail system, which is going to be something that draws people from the Bay Area and the Sacramento area," said Nicole Byrd, executive director of the Solano Land Trust, which owns and manages 10,000 acres spread throughout Solano County. "The community really cares about this place, and they showed it by stepping up to participate. They really came together to help us make this happen."
The supporters of Proposition 8, California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage that a court tossed out, have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the issue.
From Howard Mintz in the Mercury News: "In a widely expected legal move, ProtectMarriage.com urged the high court to review a federal appeals court's decision earlier this year invalidating Proposition 8. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared the law unconstitutional because it stripped away the previous right of same-sex couples to marry in California."
"Gay rights advocates last month asked the Supreme Court to decline the case, saying the justices should leave the 9th Circuit's ruling intact. In that brief, lawyers for same-sex couples called the 9th Circuit's ruling "straightforward" and confined to California's unique circumstances, arguing there is no need for the Supreme Court to address the broader legal questions surrounding gay marriage."
"But in Wednesday's reply to that argument, Proposition 8 lawyers say same-sex marriage supporters are backing away from previous vows to win gay marriage rights in the U.S. Supreme Court."
Speaking of the courts, a federal appeals court says Los Angeles can't destroy the property of homeless people. The dispute stemmed notices the city posted last year warning that a city ordinance required street dwellers to remove their possessions during certain clean-up days.
From Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times: "Upholding a court order against Los Angeles, a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, 2-1, that the personal possessions the homeless leave for a short time on city sidewalks may be taken only if the possessions pose an immediate threat to public safety or health or constitute criminal evidence."
"Even then, the court said, the city may not summarily destroy the property and must notify the owners where they can pick it up."
"Wednesday's ruling came as cities across the state grapple with ways to keep streets clean and safe without running afoul of the rights of the homeless who live there."
A small flash fire occurred and was doused just minutes before the major blaze at the Richmond refinery that sent vapors and smoke across the bay.
From Robert Rogers in the Contra Costa Times: "A "flash fire" was extinguished about 10 minutes before a massive blaze erupted Aug. 6 at Chevron's refinery here, the company revealed in a 30-day report on the accident that it submitted to Contra Costa County officials Wednesday."
"The revelation of the flash fire, which was not publicly known previously, is crucial to the investigation into the blaze caused by a leaking 8-inch pipe, said Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Chief Randy Sawyer."
"There was a small fire that their fire department put out very quickly," Sawyer said. "That was a flash and warning in itself. What's key is to understand the thinking and decisions made in the three minutes between the little fire and the pipe failure."