News

Benicia teens lead march of about 800: ‘We will vote’

Benicia is known for its numerous parades. Protest marches? Not as much. Until Saturday.

Around 800 residents braved an early morning chill led by students with a NEVER AGAIN banner, getting a jump on the national March for Our Lives with a walk up First Street and speeches at the City Park gazebo.

“Brave students have come together to say ‘enough is enough,’” said Assemblyman Tim Grayson, adding that he appeared in Benicia not as a politician, but as the father of a 16-year-old.

Nancy McFadden, a key architect of Gov. Jerry Brown's political renaissance, loses her battle with cancer

Nancy McFadden, who translated the sweeping agenda of Gov. Jerry Brown's return to power into legislative action and established law as his top advisor, died Thursday after battling ovarian cancer.

In January, she stepped away from her daily state Capitol duties to receive additional medical treatment. A spokesman for the governor said McFadden died Thursday night at her home in Sacramento, surrounded by family and friends.

 

Free glasses help Benicia students see their future

For 37 students at Robert Semple Elementary in Benicia, Tina Tran and Robert Mitchum are super heroes.

No, they can’t fly. They don’t have super strength. They certainly can’t change the weather by blinking. And while Tran and Mitchum can’t see the future, they did their part Thursday to make sure the kids could — literally.

New California legislation would make it easier to build projects that meet climate goals. But environmentalists don't like it

A Bay Area lawmaker wants to knock down what he believes is a key barrier to California meeting its ambitious climate change goals: one of the state's most prominent environmental laws.

Assemblyman Tim Grayson (D-Concord) has introduced legislation that aims to make it harder for lawsuits filed under the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, to stop construction of roads and public transit.

This school program tries to empower girls and keep them away from sex trafficking

Thumping music, balloons, and young women in boas and fairy wings greeted a line of schoolgirls as they filed into the cafeteria.

The mood was festive at Father Keith B. Kenny K-8 School in Oak Park, but the mission was serious: empower Sacramento girls and keep them out of the clutches of sex traffickers.

It was the year’s first meeting at the school for the Shine Program, which was launched three years ago by the nonprofit City of Refuge.

Harassed at work? Bill gives California victims years to complain

Californians experiencing workplace harassment and discrimination could get more time to take legal action.

Assembly Bill 1870, introduced Thursday by a bipartisan group of female lawmakers, would give victims up to three years after harassment occurs to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the state agency tasked with enforcing anti-discrimination laws. Currently, Californians have one year to submit a claim, the first step before an external investigation, mediation or a lawsuit.

New one-stop government shop opens in downtown Vallejo

Downtown Vallejo is home to a “one-stop” legislators’ shop, as the region’s elected officials now share office space on Virginia Street.

Rep. Mike Thompson, State Sen. Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Tim Grayson officially moved in to their new digs at 420 Virginia St. on Tuesday.

After scathing audit, UC will have to be more transparent in reporting costs

Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed a law that will require the University of California to be more transparent in how it reports costs and how it deals with the state auditor, a measure that was introduced in the wake of a scathing audit of the UC president's office this spring.

The measure, AB 1655 by Assemblyman Tim Grayson (D-Concord), also will require UC to use publicly available financial information when it publishes its biennial report on the costs of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

Opinion: Toll increases are not the “answer” we deserve

Where is the equity? That is what East Bay legislators have been asking proponents of Regional Measure 3 (RM3) to increase our six state-owned bridge tolls by up to $3 per crossing. Unfortunately, the problem is even worse than most realize and the wrong people are being asked to foot the bill for the Bay Area’s transportation problems.

SB 595, currently under discussion in the Legislature, would require the nine Bay Area Counties to hold a referendum on RM3 next year. Massive investment in the Bay Area’s transportation infrastructure is critically needed but a hike in the bridge tolls would disproportionately put the burden of financing this investment on East Bay residents. As an East Bay legislator, this inequity is not something that I can support.

Bay Area bridges tolls on the rise

Among the bill’s critics is Concord Assemblymember Tim Grayson, who wrote in an op-ed earlier this month that toll hikes stick it to bridge users while non-bridge users reap the benefits.

“Politically this makes sense: the fewer people made to pay and the more people who benefit, the more likely it is that the measure will pass,” writes Grayson. “[But] is it fair to place the burden so disproportionately on one segment of our region?”