Bay Area News Group boys high school athlete of the week: Nic Austen, College Park water polo

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 07:15

College Park water polo player Nic Austen is the Bay Area News Group’s boys high school athlete of the week for Sept. 19-24 after he collected 17,794 votes (38.39%) by the 5 p.m. deadline Wednesday.

Del Mar football player Andre Latimore (15,441 votes, 33.31%) finished second and Fremont-Sunnyvale water polo player Alex Szewczyk (7,430, 16.03%) placed third.

Congratulations to all the candidates for this week’s recognition.

Austen, a freshman, scored six goals and had two steals to help lead College Park to a 16-10 victory over Alhambra.

In his team’s 16-11 loss to Tamalpais two days earlier, he had three goals and a steal.

Austen began this week with 44 goals, 28 steals and 12 assists for a team that is 8-6.

To nominate an athlete for next week’s poll, email by Monday, Oct. 3, at 11 a.m. Please include stats and team results.

We also review stats submitted to by coaches/team statisticians for consideration.

Winners are announced each Friday on the Mercury News & East Bay Times websites.

Past winners

Sept. 12-17: John Ben Pau Mendoza, San Ramon Valley football

Sept. 5-10: Luke Baker, San Ramon Valley football

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Aug. 28-Sept. 3: Luke Llabres, Willow Glen water polo

Aug. 22-27: Mikhail Popov, College Park water polo

Categories: Local News

James Wiseman impresses with 20-point showing in Warriors’ preseason opener

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 07:11

SAITAMA, Japan — James Wiseman had butterflies when he checked into Friday’s preseason opener in the first quarter and for good reason.

Not only did Wiseman have to wait 1 1/2 years to suit back up for the Warriors, but Friday night also was the first time he’s ever played professionally in front of fans alongside his NBA teammates.

And boy, did Wiseman give the crowd of more than 20,000 engaged fans a lot to cheer about.

Wiseman made his 7-foot presence known in the Warriors’ 96-87 win over the Washington Wizards, throwing down five dunks, including an alley-oop in the second quarter off an assist from Steph Curry.

Wiseman finished with a game-high 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting. He also grabbed nine rebounds playing just under 24 minutes off the bench.

It was an ideal start to the preseason for a young guy who had been challenged countless times over a lengthy 15-month rehabilitation process.

“It felt good just to be out there with my teammates and to be out there playing,” said a smiley Wiseman after the game. “It’s been like 1.5 years, two years, so just to be out there playing, it feels good.”

Wiseman moved up and down the floor all night with ease. He said he had some jitters returning to court, though those nerves weren’t apparent to anyone watching.

“This is my first games in two years but I just went out there and just played my game and just be myself,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to do as much, I wasn’t trying to do something like outside my boundaries just keep the game simple, and just be myself out there.”

Wiseman’s development over the next two weeks will be one of the biggest storylines to follow as he heads into a pivotal Year 3 after missing all of last season due to a pesky knee injury.

It’s hard to make of what the Warriors have in Wiseman since he’s played in only 45 games over the last three years with Memphis, Golden State and the team’s G League affiliate in Santa Cruz. He had a solid rookie campaign — averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds — but it was cut short after 39 games because he needed surgery to repair a torn right meniscus.

Wiseman played three games in Santa Cruz last season before being shut down for good. He made his return to the floor in summer league after a lengthy and, at times, frustrating 15-month rehabilitation process. He was a mixed bag of sorts in his four games during the Las Vegas exhibition, during which he averaged 10.5 points and 5.5 rebounds while playing just under 20 minutes per game.

The coaching staff has raved about Wiseman’s gradual growth in recent weeks. He’s the only player to participate in every pick-up game at Chase Center before camp, according to Kerr. And Wiseman continued to have a good few days of practice heading into Friday’s game.

Despite being limited on the court for an extended period of time, Wiseman put in a lot of work in the film room. As a result, some of the biggest strides he’s made so far is his spatial awareness and decision making.

“Just his understanding of spacing and defensive communication, being in the right place, he just has a much better sense of the NBA game now than when he was playing a couple of years ago and for good reason,” Kerr said. “He’s been putting a ton of work in and obviously last year despite the injury he was studying, watching tape, learning from our older guys so couldn’t be happier for James that he’s done such a good job putting so much work and to see him rewarded in the first preseason game was fantastic.”

Wiseman entered training camp — his first full preseason since being drafted No. 2 overall in 2020 — ready to prove he can play meaningful minutes as an impact player on a title-contending team. While the Warriors re-signed Kevon Looney this offseason to help Wiseman as he works his way back, the 21-year-old could eventually earn his way into the starting lineup at some point this season.

Friday’s game was promising for Wiseman, though he did his best to downplay his performance.

“It’s just a preseason game so I’m just going to keep working,” he said. “It’s only one game anyways.”

Categories: Local News

Seattle area to see weather at or near 80 degrees

Seattle Times - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 07:10

Don't tell your boss, but if there was ever a day to play hooky, create a DIY three-day weekend and soak up the last rays of summer, this Monday could be it.
Categories: Local News

Bird-Safe Seattle Week is coming up. Here’s what to know

Seattle Times - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 07:07

Bird-Safe Seattle Week runs from Oct. 2 through Oct. 8. Here are some free bird activities in the Seattle area, as well as feathered friends to listen for this time of year.
Categories: Local News

San Jose Sharks roster projection 2.0: Can this PTO player beat the odds?

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 07:01

SAN JOSE – In a little under two weeks, Scott Harrington went from being just another defenseman trying to crack the San Jose Sharks roster to one that was paired with a two-time Norris Trophy winner.

Harrington, in Sharks’ camp on a Professional Tryout after six years in the Columbus Blue Jackets organization, skated with Erik Karlsson in one of the team’s two practice groups Thursday after defenseman Markus Nutivaara stayed off the ice with a lower-body injury.

Harrington will likely play with Karlsson in a preseason game Friday, as the Sharks have split-squad games in Las Vegas against the Golden Knights and in Anaheim against the Ducks.

There’s a possibility Harrington, 29, sticks around past Friday, too.

Although the Sharks are set to trim their roster to around 27 players Saturday before their flight to Berlin, Germany, they could be in need of another experienced left-shot blueliner if Nutivaara, who started camp as Karlsson’s partner, can’t return soon.

Harrington with his steady, no-nonsense style, could fit the bill.

“I’d say I’m someone who’s reliable defensively, good first pass, breaks the puck out well,” said Harrington, who has 38 points in 210 NHL games, as he began his career with one-year stops in Pittsburgh and Toronto. “Somebody who can jump up and support the play when there’s an opportunity.”

Harrington has played in two preseason games so far. On Sunday at home against Los Angeles, Harrington had 17:28 of ice time, including 4:35 shorthanded.

“I liked his intentions. I like what he brought to the table,” Sharks coach David Quinn said of Harrington earlier this week. “Obviously, there’s an opportunity here in this organization. We brought him here for a reason, and he’s got an opportunity to take advantage of it to make our team.”

Here’s how the Sharks’ roster shapes up with the second week of training camp winding down.

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 25: San Jose Sharks' Thomas Bordeleau (17) waits for a face-off during their game against the Los Angeles Kings in the first period of their preseason game at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 25: San Jose Sharks’ Thomas Bordeleau (17) waits for a face-off during their game against the Los Angeles Kings in the first period of their preseason game at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)  FORWARDS

LOCKS (12): Alexander Barabanov, Nick Bonino, Logan Couture, Noah Gregor, Tomas Hertl, Luke Kunin, Kevin Labanc, Oskar Lindblom, Steven Lorentz, Timo Meier, Matt Nieto, Nico Sturm.

TRENDING UP (5): Thomas Bordeleau, Jonah Gadjovich, Scott Reedy, Tristen Robins, Evgeny Svechnikov.

STATUS QUO (10): Andrew Agozzino, William Eklund, Danil Gushchin, Luke Johnson, Adam Raska, C.J. Suess, Jeffrey Viel, Max Veronneau, Jasper Weatherby.

OVERVIEW: There remains some competition for the final few roster spots as some interesting twists have taken place.

Barabanov and Lindblom are injured and although they’re both considered day-to-day, Quinn on Thursday wouldn’t totally dismiss the notion that either player or Nutivaara would be unable to fly with the team to Germany on Saturday. That could open the door for another forward or two to at least be a part of the traveling party.

With the Sharks deep at center, Quinn also said he would be open to moving Bordeleau to the wing. Bordeleau had traditionally played in the middle, but this might be the best opportunity for him to crack the NHL roster out of camp.

“Good hockey players can play anywhere,” Quinn said. “A lot of wingers in the National Hockey League have been lifelong centers, so it wouldn’t be a surprise, and certainly, and if he’s playing well enough to make it, we’ll put them on the wing.

“I’ve got no problem with putting him on the wing. If he’s a good enough player, he can adapt.”

Gadjovich has had a strong camp so far and Svechnikov scored a power-play goal Wednesday against Los Angeles to help his cause. Both have made the case to be on the plane to Berlin. If Bordeleau is moved to the wing, where does that leave Eklund?


LOCKS (6): Matt Benning, Mario Ferraro, Erik Karlsson, Markus Nutivaara, Radim Simek, Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

TRENDING UP (2): Scott Harrington, Jaycob Megna.

FADING OUT (5): Artem Guryev, Ryan Merkley, Nick Cicek, Santeri Hatakka, Artemi Kniazev.

OVERVIEW: The Sharks’ defense corps was also hit with an injury this week as Nutivaara missed Thursday’s practice with a lower-body ailment. He’s considered day-to-day for now, but the Sharks can ill afford to have another defenseman miss much time considering Brent Burns is in Carolina and Nikolai Knyzhov will be out for at least another four or five months.

If Nutivaara has to go on injured reserve – and that remains unclear – it could open the door for Harrington to sign a contract with the team and start the year in the NHL.

Megna is a known quantity to Quinn and it would be a surprise to not see him make the trip to Europe. Merkley hasn’t done enough to stand out so far.

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LOCKS (2): Kaapo Kahkonen, James Reimer.

TRENDING UP (1): Aaron Dell.

FADING OUT (3): Zachary Emond, Eetu Makiniemi, Strauss Mann.

OVERVIEW: The Sharks have received solid goaltending throughout the preseason. Kahkonen made 43 saves Sunday against L.A. and could be in net for the Oct. 7 opener against Nashville in Prague with Reimer as the backup. Dell appears to be in line to be the third goalie on the trip.

Makiniemi returned from his undisclosed injury earlier this week.

Categories: Local News

Why Negan and Maggie Aren’t Ready to Leave ‘The Walking Dead’

N.Y. Times - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 07:00
As the zombie drama rounds out its final season, the longtime co-stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan will reunite for the spinoff “Dead City.”
Categories: Local News

Mets expected to call up top prospect Francisco Alvarez ahead of key series vs. Braves

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 06:55

The Mets are getting a boost as they head to Atlanta for the most important series of the year. The club is expected to call up Francisco Alvarez — a 20-year-old catcher and one of the top prospects in baseball — on Friday ahead of the start of a three-game set against the Braves.

Holding only a one-game lead over the Braves in the NL East, the Mets could use an offensive boost after some inconsistent performances at the plate earlier this week against the Miami Marlins. The right-handed hitting Alvarez could compete for at-bats as a DH and potentially compete for a playoff roster spot as well.

The Mets are in dire need of DH production. Darin Ruf, acquired at the trade deadline in exchange for the previous DH, J.D. Davis, has been abysmal since coming to New York from San Francisco, hitting just .152 with a .413 OPS. He was even used solely against left-handed pitching for a stretch and the results weren’t much better. Mark Vientos has been used as DH against lefties as well and has hit .250 with one home run.

Left-hander Max Fried is slated to start Friday and Alvarez has been crushing left-handed pitching this season, slashing .315/.424.595 with a 1.019 OPS in 132 plate appearances between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Syracuse.

The Venezuela native who signed with the Mets at age 16 for a franchise record $2.7 million was promoted to Triple-A in July after dominating in Double-A, despite being much younger than most of the competition. He missed time with an ankle injury in August but since he returned to the lineup on Sept. 11 he’s hit .362 with a 1.079 OPS and three home runs.

He has plus-plus power and his 24 total homers in 2021 were second-most among minor league teenagers. Manager Buck Showalter called one of his spring training bombs a “big boy” home run. He balances that out with a strong walk rate. Alvarez has impressive size and strength at only 5-10 and uses it to generate power.

Behind the plate, he has a plus arm but his defensive abilities and framing are still developing, but those aren’t why the Mets are calling him up right now. This is not uncommon for catchers his age.

This could be the first real look at the player billed as the Mets’ best catcher since Mike Piazza. It’s a huge moment for Alvarez and for the organization, especially given the stakes the Mets are playing for in Atlanta, but there is an inherent risk of calling up a 20-year-old. In the past, the Mets have rushed prospects, sometimes out of necessity and sometimes in an attempt to drum up excitement toward the end of a losing season. But if used in the right way, Alvarez the risk is minimized.

Using Alvarez as a DH in specific situations could help him get a feel for big-time big-league situations and atmospheres. The atmosphere in Truist Park this weekend will undoubtedly feel playoff-like, which could help take some of the shock value out of the actual playoffs. His defense and framing won’t be exposed if he’s only being used for his bat for now. And if that bat is as major-league ready as some scouts say it is then the Mets should absolutely get a look at him before the postseason.


Categories: Local News

Los Gatos 2040 General Plan referendum moves forward

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 06:54

The effort to repeal a portion of Los Gatos’s growth and development plans for the next 20 years reached a critical milestone this week, putting future growth plans up in the air.

The Los Gatos Community Alliance filed a referendum earlier this year against the town’s narrowly approved, state-mandated 2040 General Plan, saying it calls for an unnecessarily high number of future housing units. The General Plan serves as the town’s blueprint for future development.

The group gathered the necessary 2,200 signatures to move the process forward last month, and the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Office verified them earlier this week. The alliance’s referendum flagged the General Plan’s land use and community design elements, which could now go before Los Gatos voters.

Town Council will vote at its Oct. 4 meeting to replace those two elements with the previous policies from the 2020 General Plan while they decide next steps, town attorney Gabrielle Whelan said.

It’s too late to add the question to 2022’s general election ballot, but council will later decide to either put the question on the November 2024 ballot, hold a special election in 2023 or rescind the elements in question and start over.

If the council choses to hold a special election in 2023, it could cost around $100,000. If council chooses to wait until the 2024 general election, the 2040 General Plan could already be amended to reflect concerns cited in the referendum.

The town council approved the General Plan on a split vote in June, with Mayor Rob Rennie, Vice Mayor Maria Ristow and Councilmember Marico Sayoc voting to approve it and councilmembers Mary Badame and Matthew Hudes voting against it for what they deemed an excessive number of housing units.

Alliance members said the 2040 General Plan needs to include specific incentives for affordable housing and a fiscal impact analysis of new housing development.

“Almost 3,000 (signatures) in three weeks–that says a lot about how the citizens felt about the General Plan,” said alliance member Jak Van Nada.

Not all members of the community are behind the referendum.

Jim Foley, board president of the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, wrote in a newsletter that the delays the referendum will cause could have negative effects on the town.

“Points on both sides are valid, but what we cannot afford is another 24-month delay while we wait for this debate to be settled on the ballot. The General Plan has been delayed long enough,” Foley said. “The reality is, debating and delaying or making time-consuming changes to the plan that was recently approved by town council will do significantly more damage than whatever the objections are to the wording of the current plan.”

The approved 2040 General Plan concentrates the majority of new housing growth in mixed-use and higher-density developments, like apartments with shops on the ground floor. It keeps the town’s low-density neighborhoods and allows more variety in the number of housing units in high-density residential zones.

The alliance is calling for reducing planned growth to account for the current Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) cycle plus a 20% buffer, resulting in 2,392 new units. The General Plan calls for 3,196 housing units to be developed in town over the next 20 years.

Under California’s Housing Element, Los Gatos must add 1,993 new housing units between 2023 and 2031 to meet the needs of people across all income levels. However, there is no guarantee that these units will actually be built.

“The state of California plans new housing in eight-year cycles. The General Plan should reflect this eight-year planning cycle (i.e., 2023-2031) and be amended every eight years when new information and future RHNA allocations become known,” reads a statement from the alliance. “This thoughtful approach assumes that incremental change is best and is made only when new information is available.”

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Categories: Local News

Permanent SB9 regulations in the works in Los Gatos

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 06:51

More rules and regulations around lot splitting in Los Gatos could be coming soon.

The Los Gatos Planning Commission worked through potential changes to permanently codify local regulations for Senate Bill 9 developments in town at its meeting Wednesday evening.

Their recommendations will be presented to town council for final approval next month, when residents will have the opportunity to comment.

SB 9, which went into effect in January, allows up to two duplexes to be built on single-family lots in an effort to address the housing crisis in California. It was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom last September.

A handful of affluent suburban communities like Saratoga and Monte Sereno are pushing back against the law, saying it will bring in traffic and put too much strain on local resources. They joined a statewide effort called Our Neighborhood Voices to overturn the law. Los Gatos has not publicly backed this effort.

Los Gatos Town Council passed an urgency ordinance last year that set guidelines for developers, and renewed it earlier this year. Wednesday’s conversation marks another step in how the town will navigate SB9 applications.

Under the urgency ordinance, developers have to follow certain locally specific rules when building duplexes, such as keeping units under 16 feet tall and keeping them out of high fire-risk zones.

“I’m sure there’s some enterprising people that are thinking SB9 is for building mega houses, two on a lot,” said Planning Commission Chair Melanie Hanssen. “We have to remember that the intent of SB9 was not to do that; it was to make more housing, but affordable and smaller units.”

Town staff made changes to the urgency ordinance, like window and tree regulations, unit number limitations and intent-to-occupy requirements.

The proposed draft also added hillside residential areas to the areas of town where SB9 properties can be developed. Staff added specific requirements for the hillside, such as building height restrictions.

In a written public comment, resident Sue Raisty  said she hopes SB9 will increase the amount of family housing available in town.

“We would love the option to live in a duplex or ADU and have some access to a backyard, instead of being restricted to apartments and townhouses,” Raisty said. “To that end, the 1,200-square-foot maximum on the size of the ADU is too small for small families.”

Not all residents are supportive of the ordinance. Resident Melanie Allen said she’s been disappointed with developments like the North 40 in town.

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“I have been a resident of Los Gatos for many years. I have watched the changes to the housing landscape change, (and) not for the better,” Allen said. “The only reason the town is pushing this is because it needs more funds to handle the mismanaged town budget that is in dire need of funds–funds that would be gained from building permits, inspection fees and additional taxes on the land and buildings involved.“

Los Gatos Town Council is set to vote on the permanent ordinance at an upcoming council meeting.

Categories: Local News

In a world of 6% mortgage rates, savers are the winners

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 06:50

Risk-averse people, this is your moment in the spotlight.

For roughly a decade, the same forces that plunged mortgage rates to record lows made no-risk savings earn next to nothing. But now the Federal Reserve has replaced its cheap money policies with sharp rate hikes.

So it’s a world of 6% mortgage rates — and 4% yields on Treasuries. That means it’s time to sharpen your hunting skills for higher savings rates.

Yes, nobody’s going to get rich at today’s no-risk yields. But the effort can be worthwhile for any spare cash you have sitting in federally backed assets.

Rate shopping means you’ll likely have to open accounts at new banks or other financial institutions. And you’ll have to be comfortable with remote banking to maximize these returns. If you’re a branch-banking fan, there are some opportunities to increase yields at local institutions, too.

Why is Federal Reserve ruining US economy with rate hikes?

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Some online sleuthing skills are required. Websites such as Bankrate, NerdWallet or WalletHub track better-paying accounts across the nation and locally. But I’ll note certain saver-friendly institutions run advertisements for accounts with attractive rates in your favorite local newspaper.

You’ll also have to become a diligent reader of fine print. The added income from your effort can be significantly trimmed by various fees — charges for everything from failure to maintain a minimum balance to too much movement of funds in and out.

But the first step is to break your spare cash into two piles: what you might need in the short run and the nest egg than can stay parked for a while. Let’s explain why.

Money markets

If you’ve got spare cash that needs to be easily accessible, banking’s money market accounts can be the best bet for you.

They’re an upgrade from interest-paying checking accounts or traditional savings accounts that often pay next to zero. The trade-off is that money markets typically come with limitations on how often you can withdraw the money.

In return, some banks pay you a decent rate. Bankrate says annual yields average 2% nationwide.

Note: If you need to access this cash more than once or twice a month, fees for frequent activity could cut your returns.

Savings bonds

If you don’t need spare cash in the next five years, the federal government borrows money through an odd consumer-centric investment currently paying a 9.6% annual rate.

That’s the inflation version of the venerable U.S. savings bonds – the so-called “I” bond. Why so high? Well, its rate is derived from the latest inflation numbers.

Of course, there are a few catches with “I” bonds that are sold through a U.S. Treasury website called

The rate is variable. Starting in November, new inflation data will create the yield for the next six months. (It’s a good bet a payout in the next few years won’t be much lower, but inflation should fall over time!)

Plus, if you want your money back within five years, you lose the previous three months of interest though that may prove to be a small penalty.

You can only buy $10,000 per year, but there’s a congressional push to increase that limit.

Treasury securities

One trick your investment adviser probably won’t tell you is that that same government website — – also will allow you to buy other Treasury-backed investments.

It’s not the friendliest investment site. And you’ll need a minor understanding of how Treasury securities are sold.

But it offers maturities from three months to 30 years with yields at or around 4%. No fees are charged. The site will even automatically reinvest your savings when your security matures if you so desire.

Certificate of deposit

The bank often will pay you a better rate in return if you commit to keeping the money in place for an extended period.

Remember, there are often penalties — sometimes steep — for early withdrawals, so planning is required.

CDs come in almost every maturity imaginable, so make sure you’re comparing apples to apples when rate shopping. The best rates of late have run from nearly 2% for three-month CDs to just over 4% for three-years-plus.

And note that some banks offer “penalty-free CDs” where the yield is a little lower but you can cash out at any time, without any cost.

Brokered CDs

You don’t have to get a certificate of deposit directly from the issuing bank.

Numerous federally insured institutions also sell their CDs in fixed-income markets. This is sort of like how stocks trade, thus the “brokered” name.

And oddly, and to your benefit, brokered CDs typically pay better than what’s found at the same bank’s branches or website.

Your financial guru can probably help you find brokered CDs. Some do-it-yourself brokerage accounts also offer them.

By the way

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Seeking better rates on your savings helps the Federal Reserve cool the economy and tame inflation.

For years, the Fed boosted the economy by giving you nothing on your savings. That was a nudge to bet on risky assets like stocks, bonds and real estate.

Today’s rising rates push folks away from borrowing as well as shifting money from risky assets into safer ones.

That cash flow toward safety helps chill an overheated business climate.

Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at

Categories: Local News

PizzaHacker alum’s State Flour Pizza Company now open in Berkeley

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 06:45

Bay Area pizzaiolo Derek Lau has opened his highly-anticipated pizzeria, State Flour Pizza Company, in the Elmwood district of Berkeley.

State Flour, located in the former digs of Trattoria La Siciliana, specializes in East Coast style-pies with beautifully-blackened dough bubbles and farmer’s market-driven toppers. Lau, formerly of San Francisco’s PizzaHacker, opened the counter-service spot at 2985 College Ave. last week, with a menu that includes six pies and two salads. The restaurant is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays.

The pies, ranging from $22 to $24, with a 14-inch keiki cheese for $16, feature unique some unique flavor combinations. The Gaia is a white sauce pizza with roasted cauliflower with garlic confit, pine nuts, aji verde sauce, provolone and grana padano, while the BLTCEA features bacon, arugula, cherry tomatoes, corn, a farm egg, avocado dressing and mozzarella. The meat lovers, dubbed Cassanova, is topped with bacon, sausage, soppressata, sweet peppers and more.

The restaurant doesn’t have a website but you can check out its Instagram for developments. Related Articles

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Categories: Local News

40+ Ways to celebrate Halloween in the Bay Area

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 06:45

Spooky season is upon us, and whether you’re looking for family-friendly fun or an adults-only night on the town, there’s no shortage of Halloween events to get your fright on. Here’s a sampling of Halloween events happening across the Bay, from trick-or-treating to carnivals, haunted houses, masquerade balls, concerts, bar crawls, cruises, dance parties and more.

Tricks and Treats at California’s Great America: Friday-Sunday through Oct. 30, 4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara. This South Bay amusement park has just debuted an all-new immersive, family-friendly Halloween event, Tricks and Treats that includes a trick-or-treat trail, Halloween-themed games and activities and special live entertainment, along with delicious fall-inspired foods, sweets and drinks. Included with park admission.

An actor plays out a haunted scene in a room at Winchester Mystery House on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. Winchester Mystery House's newest attraction for the Halloween season is "Unhinged," an immersive walk-through horror experience.(Jim Gensheimer/Special to Bay Area News Group)An actor plays out a haunted scene in a room at Winchester Mystery House (Jim Gensheimer/Special to Bay Area News Group) 

Winchester Unhinged: Select days and times through Oct. 31, Winchester Mystery House, 525 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose. Winchester Mystery House returns this fall with an entirely new chapter, “Unhinged: Nightshade’s Curse.” Featuring a new storyline and terrifying new scares, this suspenseful walk-through haunt offers multiple routes through the darkened corridors of the infamous mansion, where guests will confront malicious spirits and encounter terrifying scenes revealing the twisted tales and secrets of the haunted home. $65+.

Spooky Halloween Science: 2 to 3 p.m. Oct. 1, Vineland, 1450 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose. Spooky Halloween Science is a hands-on S.T.E.A.M. workshop where children (ages 5 to 12) will make “witches’ brew” that bubbles and fizzes due to a fun chemical reaction. In addition, students will concoct bright green “Ogre Boogers” slime to take home. There’s Halloween storytime and mask-making too. Prices TBD.

Mockingbird Lane – A Halloween Market: 12 to 5 p.m. Oct. 2, 2305 Alameda Ave., Alameda. The ghosts of Mockingbird Lane invite you to the fifth annual Halloween Market, a curated Halloween festival that features 40 artists specializing in all things spooky, macabre, strange and unusual. Free.

HalloQueer Variety Show: 8 p.m. Oct. 6, Studio 23 Gallery, 2309 Encinal Ave., Alameda. This trans/non-binary POC inclusive Halloween show will be full of spooky fun, with live music, drag performances and raffle prizes. Donations from raffle tickets will go to Friends of Alameda Animal Shelter. Costumes encouraged! Free. Eventbrite:

KML Presents: Freddy Krueger’s Day Off: 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday Oct 6-29, Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy St., San Francisco. Blood will “trickle down.” No one can SAVE FERRIS. So perm your hair, slip on your parachute pants and Aerobics your way to the theater for a night of seriously scary sketch comedy, ’80s style. $21.50. AllEvents:

House of Superstitions: 7 to 11 p.m. select nights Oct. 7-31, Blind Scream Haunted House, 98 Santa Rosa Plaza, Santa Rosa. Deep in the dank, dark woods stands a dilapidated old dwelling that the townsfolk steer clear of. It’s inhabited, some say, by three evil sisters who have poisoned the surrounding lands and cursed anyone who dares enter. Those brave enough to cross the haunted house threshold, well, they never return. $25-$35. Eventbrite:

Halloween Meltdown: Oct. 8-9, Mosswood Park, 3612 Webster St., Oakland. Halloween Meltdown, the spooky sister-festival to the beloved Mosswood Meltdown, announces the stacked lineup for this annual Halloween-themed event, featuring performances from Amyl & The Sniffers, Shannon & The Clams, Fuzz, Sheer Mag, The Spits, Lydia Lunch and more. The event will also feature a costume contest with a $500 cash prize and a haunted house designed by East Bay musician and horror artist Rob Fletcher. $59-$179.

Pug-O-Ween at Roaring Camp Railroad: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 9, 5401 Graham Hill Road, Felton. Join the spooky puggy fun on this special train ride through the redwoods. Expect food, drinks, games, costume contests, cake walks, cotton candy and a spin wheel. $65.

Zombie Brew Crawl: 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 15, Downtown Martinez. The undead are coming, and they’re thirsty! Join the zombies shambling along the downtown corridor of Martinez, sampling 30+ craft beers from various breweries stationed at participating small businesses. Zombie costumes are optional, however there will be cash prizes awarded for the best individual costumes, as well as the best group costume. There will also be a “Thriller” Flash Mob. $35-$50.

Halloween Spooktacular Circus Costume Cabaret: 7 to 11 p.m. Oct. 15, The Lama Shack, Lincoln Ave., Oakland. Transport to another land as you eat, drink and melt into the sunset at this enchanting venue complete with koi pond, VIP cabanas, fire pits and stunning entertainment. Performances include Nikki Borodi’s Acrolele ukulele antics, aerial acrobatics by Maia Walker, hypnotic juggling and hand balancing by Jeremy Vik and burlesque by Lolo Ramone. $50-$95. 

CYC’s Halloween Night: 5:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 21, Community Youth Center, 2241 Galaxy Court, Concord. Werewolves howl, phantoms prowl — and CYC’s Halloween Night will be offering  something fun for all age groups. Paint pumpkins, load up on candy and play games at the Trunk-or-Treat, and/or get your screams out in the Haunted House. $15-$25. Eventbrite:

Halloween Masquerade Ball: 7 p.m. Oct. 21, Market & Main, 610 Main St., Martinez. Drink, dance, eat and be entertained at this elegant Venetian mask event and dance party. Expect music and mischief, dancing, DJs and other entertainment, catered entrees, signature drinks and a show-ending mask reveal. $64. Eventbrite:

Halloween Jam at Fairyland: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 21-23 and Oct. 28-30, Children’s Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. The Halloween Jam offers a boo-tiful time, more kooky than spooky, and full of outdoor fall fun and festivities. Enjoy seasonal surprises including decked-out sets, a creepy crawly scavenger hunt, arts and crafts stations and a ghost town. $9-$18.

’80s Halloween Party: 8 p.m. Oct. 22, 860 San Pablo Ave., Albany. Rock your favorite goth, punk, vamp, horror, ’80s movie digs as you jam to the sounds of Kate Bush, Cure, New Order and more. All music will be performed live by Retrospekt at the Ivy Room, a women owned, all-inclusive venue and a special home for the LGBTQ+ community. $12. Eventbrite:

Boo at the Zoo: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 22-31, Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland. Enjoy this family-friendly Halloween event with a spooky animal-themed scavenger hunt. Grab a program as you enter and follow the clues to trick-or-treat for animal trading cards throughout the Zoo. Upon completing your scavenger hunt, collect a limited-release trading card and a candy bar from our presenting sponsor, OCHO Candy. Free with admission.

Bubbles & Broomsticks: 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 26, 248 Oak St., Brentwood. This spooktacular night of ghoulish good times includes fine dining options, hand-crafted drinks at cauldron keepers and brewing stations, exclusive Halloween specials at local shops and trick or treat entertainment. $10. Eventbrite:

ThiccTease presents BADDIES – A Halloween Burlesque Show: 7 p.m. Oct. 26, OASIS, 298 11th St., San Francisco. Devilish friends and devious fiends, get ready for a show featuring the baddest babes and the most angelic gogos from around the Bay. $20-$40. Eventbrite:

Baby BOOgie ’80’s Halloween Party: 6 p.m. Oct. 27, Mitchell Park Community Center, 3700 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Kids and families should get ready to dance to ’80s hits while decked out in your totally rad costumes. Free. Palo Alto CIty Library:

Frightmare Home Haunt: Oct. 28, 29 and 31, 697 Sonoma Ave., Livermore. A passion project that stemmed from the owner’s love of all things Halloween, scary movies and spooky decor, this haunted home experience has been a Bay Area Halloween favorite for almost a decade. Each year the team adds to the experience, drawing in crowds of over 500 per night to see a set that this year includes a laser swamp and an abundance of plastic pumpkins! Free.

Crawloween- San Francisco Halloween Pub Crawl: Oct. 28, 29 and 31, various times and locations in San Francisco. Crawloween brings together thousands of fun, costumed people to drink and dance the night away with drink specials at more than 25 San Francisco bars. Think of it as trick-or-treating for adults. $10-$35.

MARTINEZ, CA - OCT. 31: Halloween character Michael Myers greets trick-or-treaters at a home in Martinez, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)MARTINEZ, CA – OCT. 31: Halloween character Michael Myers greets trick-or-treaters at a home in Martinez, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

Trick-or-Treat in Downtown Martinez: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 28, Main Street, Downtown Martinez. Visit creatively themed and decorated car trunks, kids activity game booths and shops to collect candy and treats. Free.

FUNtazmagoria: 3 to 8 p.m. Oct. 28-30, Children’s Museum of Sonoma County, 1835 W. Steele Lane, Santa Rosa. This Mad Scientist Lab will be a walk-through experience with potions, creepy critters, ghostly glow-in-the-dark everything and electric exploration. $12-$20.

Not Your Mummy’s Halloween Party: 4 p.m. Oct. 28, Homegrown Hops Brewing, 3000 Mines Road, Livermore. This fun filled, family-friendly Halloween Party includes trick or treating, brews, bites, costume contests, games and more. Free admission. AllEvents:

SuperNatural Halloween at the California Academy of Sciences: 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 28, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco. Shake your bones at a silent disco in Steinhart Aquarium. Satisfy your sweet tooth at trick-or-treat stations, marvel at mystical magic shows and create crafts to “DIY” for. Transform into living (or undead) art with face painting, and immortalize your spirit at a photo booth. And last but not least: Teens can rest in peace at an exclusive teen lounge with arcade games, snacks and more. $55-$60.

The Witching Hour: 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 28, 2353 Pacific Ave., 2353 Pacific Ave., Stockton. Come mingle with the other witches and spooky season lovers as you shop all things metaphysical. Stock up on sage, palo santo, bath and body products, intention candles, crystals and so much more.  Enjoy a mini sound healing session, henna, reiki, tarot reading or even a psychic reading. Free admission. Eventbrite:

Wormhole Halloween: 10 p.m. Oct. 28, The Great Northern, 119 Utah St., San Francisco. Wormhole Entertainment is bring its legendary Halloween party back to one of its favorite rooms in the city with another stacked lineup, to boot. $20-$40.

Halloween on the Wharf (Courtesy Brickman Marketing)Halloween on the Wharf (Courtesy Brickman Marketing) 

Halloween Fright Night Costume Cruise: 10:30 p.m. Oct. 28, Jack London Square, 1 Broadway, Oakland. Celebrate Halloween with a 3-hour midnight cruise from Jack London Square to the haunted waters under the Bay Bridge and all the way to San Francisco and McCovey Cove. There will be food and chilly cocktails available for purchase, plus prizes for best costumes. $55-$400.

Monster Bash: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 29, Rengstorff Park, 201 S. Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View. Don your favorite costume and enjoy a fall festival loaded with a twisty maze, spooky games, enchanting performances, a Dia de Muertos celebration, stilt walkers, inflatables and a creepy, crawly, ooey gooey zone. Free.

Bats, Bats and More Bats!: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 29, Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto. Start your Halloween weekend with a fun-filled morning of trick-or-tricking with Dracula, arts and crafts and live bats at Gamble Garden. Come in costume (or not) and be prepared to have a batty and draculish time. $0-$40.

Halloween Hoopla: 12 to 3 p.m. Oct. 29, Children’s Garden, Yerba Buena Gardens, 799 Howard St., San Francisco. The 22nd annual Halloween Hoopla is the place to be for family-friendly frights and delights, including live entertainment, palm reading from the mystical Madam Z and ghoulishly good craft-making. Free.

Halloween Carnival with Día de los Muertos Celebration: 12 to 5 p.m. Oct. 29, Rohnert Park Community Center, 5401 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. Celebrate the spooky season at this fun, family-friendly event featuring carnival games, a haunted maze, a live animal experience, arts and crafts and a pumpkin walk. Free. City of Rohnert Park:

Art Embraces Words – Halloween Costume Event: 2 p.m. Oct. 29, Lafayette Library & Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. Dress up as your favorite literary or artistic character and join the celebration, which includes hearing emerging writers read from their work. Find out who inspires lovers of literature and art. Free. Lamorinda Arts:

Halloween LEGO Workshop: 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 29, Portal Park, 10299 N. Portal Ave., Cupertino. Get your scare on with Snapology’s Monster Mania. Use LEGO bricks to create your own monster fighter, build a haunted town and have a scary good time during this fun program. Students will not only learn about the origins of some scary myths, they’ll use this knowledge for their builds thereby confronting what lurks in the night. $50-$60. Facebook:

Halloween Brew Crawl: 5 to 8 p.m. Oct 29, Pleasanton Museum,  603 Main St., Pleasanton. Stroll through haunted Downtown Pleasanton as you sip craft brews and ciders while enjoying tasty bites along the way at more than 25 downtown locations. Costumes encouraged. $50. Eventbrite: 

Halloween Wine Bash: 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 29, Leisure Street Winery, 8953 Tesla Road, Livermore. This Leisure Street Winery Halloween Wine Bash features live music by Nomad Hustle, Big C BBQ and family-friendly activity stations. $10-$20. AllEvents:

Halloween Party Spooktakular with the Houserockers: 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 29, Guglielmo Winery, 1480 E. Main Ave., Morgan Hill. This Rock & Soul Spooktacular Event offers an incredible night of dancing, wine and friends at Guglielmo Winery with music by The Houserockers. $30.

Halloween Masquerade Ball at Buena Vista Winery: 7 p.m. Oct. 29, 18000 Old Winery Road, Sonoma. Put on your favorite fedora or flapper costume and join the annual Masquerade Ball celebrating the roaring ’20s in “Great Gatsby” style. Dance the night away with live music and entertainment while enjoying delicious bites and wines. $100-$125.

Pre-Halloween Silky Soul ’70s Concert: 7 p.m. Oct. 29, Black Repertory Group, 3201 Adeline St., Berkeley. Enjoy an evening at Miss Pumpkin Productions’ Pre-Halloween Silky Soul Dinner Dance Concert with The Delfonics, featuring Greg Hill and The Dells Revue. Join us for dinner, dancing, and the super silky sounds of this old school ’70s concert. $100. Eventbrite:

RagTag Improv Presents Halloween SuperScene: 7 p.m. Oct. 29, Stage Werx Theatre, 446 Valencia St., San Francisco. Join the fun at this fast-paced improv competition, which includes all things creepy: zombies, a spooky doll, a camping story, chainsaws, creepy ghost girls in the woods… all made up on the spot! $15. Eventbrite:

San Francisco Masquerade Halloween Yacht Party: 7:45 p.m. Oct. 29, Alameda Boarding, 2394 Mariner Square Drive, Alameda. Step on board the Cabernet Sauvignon for this masquerade yacht Party. $45+. Eventbrite:

Speakeasy San Francisco Halloween Party Cruise: 7:45 p.m. Oct. 29, Fume Blanc, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco. Get ready for this special Halloween experience aboard the Fume Blanc, where guests will be transported back to the ’20s while surrounded by a slew of movers and shakers all decked to the nines. Dance your night away with two top San Francisco DJs spinning open format music and spectacular views of Treasure Island, Alcatraz and city skyline. $85+. Eventbrite:

W Hotel San Francisco Mega Halloween Party: 9 p.m. Oct. 29, W San Francisco, 181 Third St., San Francisco. Looking for the best Halloween Party that San Francisco has to offer? This Halloween Ball offers four magically decorated rooms and 10 DJs, plus dancers, drummers and more. $35-$150. Eventbrite:

Tri-Valley Halloween Con 2022: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 30, San Ramon Community Center, 12501 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon. All things pop culture, including toys, collectibles, anime, LEGO, comics and art, will be featured at this family-friendly show presented by Bay Area Festivals and American Brick Builders. $0-$12. Eventbrite:

Edge of Halloween Treasure Hunt: 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 30, Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., San Francisco. Join this family-friendly Halloween treasure hunt amid the holiday-perfect Gothic ambiance with spooky music and festive fun. Families will follow the footsteps of the cathedral cat, performing fun tasks, searching for clues and weaving their way through obstacles to find their treasure. Sensational and super-spooky organ music will be provided by Grammy-winning composer and organist Dorothy Papadakos. Free. Eventbrite:

Halloween on the Wharf (Courtesy Brickman Marketing)Halloween on the Wharf (Courtesy Brickman Marketing) 

Halloween on the Wharf – Trick or Treat By the Bay: 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31, Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf, 101 Washington St., Monterey. Come in costume, receive some sweet treats, pose for fun photo ops and jam to spooky tunes on the wharf. Free admission.

Categories: Local News

California won’t forgive parking tickets for homeless after Gov. Newsom veto

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 06:37

Mackenzie Mays

Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill on Thursday that would have required cities to forgive parking tickets for homeless Californians.

The move was a disappointment for anti-poverty advocates across the state — who have warned that parking-ticket late fees can lead to more debt for already low-income people — and a win for cities that receive revenue from those tickets.

“I am sympathetic to the author’s intent to provide financial relief to extremely low-income Californians, but a statewide requirement for parking ticket forgiveness may not be the best approach,” Newsom said in his veto message Thursday night.

Assembly Bill 1685 would have required local governments and universities that issue parking tickets to forgive at least $1,500 in fines each year for Californians who prove they are living unhoused.

The bill aimed to block attempts by local agencies to seek collections from the Department of Motor Vehicles, which puts holds on vehicle registrations due to unpaid parking tickets, a policy that can lead people unable to pay to lose their vehicles altogether.

Mike Herald, director of policy advocacy for the Western Center on Law & Poverty, which supported the bill, was surprised by Newsom’s decision and called it “a very disappointing veto.”

“This is going to mean that people lose their vehicles over minor unpaid parking tickets,” he said. “It means they are going to be punished because they’re poor.”

Newsom pointed to existing local programs that already forgive some parking ticket debt for those who are homeless, and to “safe parking” programs designed to support Californians living out of their cars.

In his veto message Thursday night, he signaled that he is open to working on a different solution, but said that this bill had problems, including the lack of a limit to the number of times a person could seek relief from the program.

For people like Kia Dupclay, who was homeless on and off for a decade starting when she was just 14 years old, parking tickets became an unexpected financial barrier that she said prolonged her instability.

As a victim of sex trafficking in the Oakland area, Dupclay sometimes lived out of her car. At one point, she had accrued more than $3,000 in parking tickets, which led to more fines for late fees, tows and related costs for penalties at the DMV. That led to her license being suspended, which in turn delayed her ability to secure a job, she said.

“Those things started to pile up. Everything trickles down and becomes a consequence,” said Dupclay, now 29 and an advocate for homeless victims of human trafficking in Los Angeles. “Over time, as I’m worried about housing, and bouncing around pillow to pillow and sleeping in my car, the last thing I was worried about was paying a traffic ticket.

“It was the last thing on my mind when I needed basic necessities like food and clothes,” she said.

Assemblymember Isaac Bryan (D-Los Angeles) wrote the bill, and said that too often, one ticket can trigger a spiral of debt and worsened poverty.

Bryan used Sacramento as an example: five unpaid parking tickets in the city would result in $520 in late fees alone.

“Instead of continuing to penalize poverty, let’s save some money with good policy and use it to get people more of the housing and services they really need,” Bryan said during the legislative process. “Lose your financial stability, lose your house. Lose your house, live in your car. Lose your car, set up an encampment.”

The bill faced wide opposition, including from the California Mobility and Parking Assn. and the California League of Cities.

The League of Cities urged legislative leadership not to approve the bill unless the state would backfill lost revenue in local budgets brought in from parking tickets.

The group said the program would increase illegal parking and require burdensome work for city officials to validate drivers’ homelessness. Under AB 1685, ticketing agencies would have had to verify proof of homelessness through healthcare and legal services providers or other organizations.

“Parking enforcement serves the vital functions of helping cities keep streets and water systems clean (street sweeping), perform essential public works (i.e., tree trimming, sidewalk repair), ensure access to business and government services by promoting turnover and promoting alternative modes of transportation in heavily congested areas,” the League of Cities said in a letter to lawmakers in August. “Without appropriate levels of fines, drivers will simply ignore these rules, making it incredibly challenging to meet these multifaceted goals.”

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti opposed AB 1685, saying it overrides a program created there that forgives $1,500 in parking tickets to homeless drivers in exchange for community service.

“There’s no need to end a program that has allowed us to engage more than 1,900 people experiencing homelessness and helped connect them with the services and support they need,” Jose “Che” Ramirez, Garcetti’s deputy mayor of homelessness services said in a statement.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

©2022 Los Angeles Times. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Local News

Regrow vegetables from kitchen scraps on a sunny windowsill

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 06:35

Gardening naturally lends itself to reusing and recycling — just think about compost and last year’s seed trays. So if there’s a way to reduce trash while saving money on produce, you can count me in, and one of my favorite ways to do both is to regrow vegetables from kitchen scraps.

Instead of throwing away or composting the bottoms (or tops) of vegetables when preparing them, you can grow them into leafy greens and other tasty tidbits right on your windowsill.

Before I go any further, it’s important to point out that these methods aren’t likely to produce plants that will grow well in your garden, so I don’t recommend replacing your seedlings in this manner. But they are likely to yield a side dish or two, and you can never underestimate the value of a fun project.

General tips: Scraps will grow best in a sunny spot. Use lukewarm water, and replace it every day or two to avoid the growth of bacteria. Don’t worry if the submerged portion of your cuttings becomes a bit slimy, but if the whole thing starts to turn brown, toss it in the compost pile and start over.


My favorite thing about beets is that one plant provides two sides dishes – the tuberous root and the tasty greens. Although you can’t regrow a beetroot indoors from a cutting, you can certainly generate more leafy greens: Cut off the top 1 1/2 inches from a beetroot and place it cut-side down in a dish that contains just enough water to keep the sliced end submerged. New leaves will sprout from the top within a few days, and you can start harvesting them in a couple of weeks. (This method also works with parsnips and turnips).


Cut 3 inches off the bottom of a head of celery, then slice a sliver off the very bottom of the 3-inch segment. Place it right-side up in a shallow container and pour in 2 inches of water. New growth will sprout from the center in just a few days.


Trim the entire white portion off the bottom of a leek or scallion stalk, then place it root-side-down in a jar or glass holding an inch of water. If the stalk outgrows the jar, move it to a larger one. New growth will be harvestable in a couple of weeks.


Cut 3 inches off the bottom of a head of romaine lettuce, then remove its outermost leaves. Place the 3-inch “heart” in a shallow container to which you’ve added one-half inch of water. Within a week, a sprout will emerge from its center. As it grows, it’s normal for some of the heart’s outer leaves to turn brown. Remove them. When the center growth is large enough for a salad (or sandwich), trim it off and enjoy – then wait for more to grow.

Jessica Damiano writes regular gardening columns for The Associated Press. Her Gardening Calendar was named a winner in the 2021 Garden Communicators International Media Awards.

Categories: Local News

Ukraine Says 25 People Died in Attack on Civilians in Zaporizhzhia

N.Y. Times - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 06:35
People in the convoy were waiting to be allowed into Russian-occupied territory to pick up relatives and deliver humanitarian aid, a Ukrainian official said.
Categories: Local News

Coming to grips with food insecurity

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 06:30
Ken FrantzKen Frantz 

It’s been a trying summer for gardening. Between the drought, a thriving crop of tomato worms, the dogs in the raised beds, and a few hungry bunnies, things still turned out rather well in terms of produce. The neighbors are refusing to answer their door as we drop off even more cucumbers and zucchini squash. The peppers did remarkably well thinly sliced and dried to be placed in their corresponding jars. The canning tomatoes came as a bit of a shock. A hundred pounds or more remain on the vines, waiting their turn as ingredients for salsa and puree, something especially wonderful when used for a base in crockpot soups and stews. The cherry tomatoes were collected in 2-gallon pails.

The most fun in the garden, however, stems from an early fascination with the vining plants and what they reveal in late season. It was always a thrill to go hunting beneath the leaves for gourds, melons, carrots, summer squash, and watermelons. The cantaloupes were especially on the mark this year as hail generously left them alone. The biggest disappointment came with the giant pumpkins that split open when we overwatered them. Who knew? Dreams of a 700-lb. monster are still alive, just on hold for another year. And if you’d like to talk about milk-fed pumpkins, I’m your man.

To say the amount of produce raised was a surprise would be an understatement. The question always is to determine the best combination of vegetables and pollinizers. Plants that draw bees, birds, butterflies, and moths are welcome anytime in these gardens. This year’s abundant produce is also a reminder that not everyone has the opportunity to grow a garden.

That is where we must also step up by making sure that little is wasted. Days of food insecurity are seldom a concern for us, yet we know that inequities worldwide demand that we pay attention to needs and that we understand our role in food security concerns. It’s been said that water law is a lifelong full employment opportunity for attorneys. Who controls water eventually controls food… who controls food controls the populace. An econ professor specializing in foreign aid development some years ago remarked that one of the fastest, easiest, cheapest ways to subjugate a population is through hunger. Explore the news and you will likely draw a similar conclusion.

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We should worry for the future of international politics and the dark places food insecurity plays a contributing part. Many have said that there is plenty enough that no one should go hungry for lack of food. Are we listening and understanding that it takes more than a farmer or two to make it happen? It’s moments like these in history where the rubber hits the road. In what manner shall we respond? Contact your local food bank and ask about the numbers they serve. On a per capita basis, there is little distinction between metro and rural communities. A certain percentage of the population will always need assistance.

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” (Matt 25:44-45, NIV). Clear enough.

Ken Frantz is a non-salaried ordained pastor serving the Haxtun Church of the Brethren.

Categories: Local News

Gov. Newsom signs bill protecting transgender youths and families fleeing red-state policies

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 06:28

Mackenzie Mays

Again heralding California as a refuge from discriminatory policies in conservative states, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on Thursday that aims to protect transgender youths and their families from bans against gender-affirming care.

Senate Bill 107 by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) provides for a range of safeguards meant to block out-of-state attempts to penalize families that come to California seeking medical treatment for transgender children and teens or move to the state to avoid consequences for already seeking that treatment elsewhere.

In a signing message, Newsom said that state laws attempting to ban medical care for transgender people younger than 18 “demonize” the community and are an act of hate.

“In California we believe in equality and acceptance. We believe that no one should be prosecuted or persecuted for getting the care they need — including gender-affirming care,” Newsom said. “Parents know what’s best for their kids, and they should be able to make decisions around the health of their children without fear. We must take a stand for parental choice.”

The new law prohibits California courts and attorneys from enforcing subpoenas requested by other states about gender-affirming care for minors, and healthcare providers from releasing medical information.

The bill also declares that any potential out-of-state arrest warrant for violating laws related to such care will be given “the lowest law enforcement priority.”

“While attacks on the transgender community are not new, we are experiencing alarmingly blatant attempts to use legislation, policy and political rhetoric to restrict or eliminate the autonomy, freedom and existence of transgender people across the country,” the advocacy group Equality California said in a statement of support for the bill.

The California bill comes after more than 20 Republican-led states have introduced legislation to outlaw gender-affirming medical care for young people, and to penalize parents and healthcare providers who allow it.

The actual enactment of policies to limit that care has largely been stalled as states face legal challenges at the federal level. In August, a federal appeals court in Arkansas ruled that the state can’t enforce its ban on transgender children receiving gender-affirming medical care.

But Wiener said California cannot bank on such blockages continuing.

“We don’t know what’s going to play out in appeal or if states will find other kinds of laws they can get through to courts,” Wiener said in an interview before the bill’s passage. “It would be absolutely negligence for us to say we’re not going to do anything until one of these laws gets upheld and someone gets put in prison.”

Whether SB 107 itself will be upheld in court is also in question because of federal requirements that states must recognize out-of-state laws when residents travel.

Last-minute amendments to the bill include a severability clause because “it is unclear whether this bill will run afoul of the Constitution,” according to a legislative analysis of the measure. Severability allows parts of a law to remain in effect even if other provisions are struck down.

Wiener acknowledged that uncertainty, and said that the bill was crafted carefully to avoid violations of the U.S. Constitution, but said that California should not act as “an arm of law enforcement of the states of Texas or Alabama.”

“We may have limits under the U.S. Constitution, but we are going to go right up to the edge of what we’re able to do to protect them and say, ‘Unless we are absolutely forced to send you back, we are not going to send you back,’” he said of potential families of transgender youth who may come to California.

California has also labeled itself a “sanctuary state” for those seeking abortions, which several states have banned following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the historic 1973 ruling that granted a legal right to the procedure.

As with California’s attempt to support out-of-state residents seeking abortions, the impact of SB 107 is hard to estimate because many people in other states don’t have the option or financial wherewithal to abruptly move to California.

“We can’t solve everything in one bill. We’re making sure that people who are being criminalized have a place to go,” Wiener said. “This bill is about giving people refuge.”

Gender-affirming care includes a range of “social, psychological, behavioral and medical interventions designed to support and affirm an individual’s gender identity,” according to the World Health Organization.

That can include hormones and puberty blockers, depending on a child’s age. The World Professional Assn. for Transgender Health recommends some surgeries for patients starting at 15 years old, according to new guidelines released in June.

Conservative groups opposed the bill. The California Family Council, which routinely opposes LGBTQ rights legislation, said that SB 107 encourages “medical child abuse.”

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Sen. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), who is running against Newsom for governor, said children “really don’t know what their identify is,” and said the legislation would insert the state into family custody battles.

“If one parent is for it and the other is against it, the state now will be in the middle of that decision,” Dahle said on the Senate floor before voting against the measure. “This bill is basically putting the state in your home.”

The bill’s supporters included Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and Equality California.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

©2022 Los Angeles Times. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Local News

Hurricane Ian cut a man off from his oxygen. A neighborhood sprung into action

Seattle Times - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 06:27

Folks at a North Fort Meyers, Florida, trailer park always look out for one another. The need was a bit more urgent this week.
Categories: Local News

California bars tech companies from complying with other states’ abortion-related warrants

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 06:26
By Brian Fung and Clare Duffy | CNN Business

California is attempting to stymie abortion prosecutions in other states by making it illegal for Silicon Valley giants and other businesses based in the Golden State to hand over the personal information of abortion-seekers to out-of-state authorities.

A new law signed Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom forbids California-based businesses from giving up geolocation data, search histories and other personal information in response to out-of-state search warrants, unless those warrants are accompanied by a statement that the evidence sought isn’t connected to an abortion investigation.

The prohibition also bars companies in the state from complying with out-of-state law enforcement requests related to abortion, including subpoenas and wiretaps.

It’s the latest example of how California is using its status as a powerful state, with jurisdiction over the world’s most powerful tech companies, to influence policy at a national scale.

“California is setting a national privacy standard,” said Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, an architect of the bill, in a statement Tuesday. According to a release by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, the law went into effect immediately upon signing.

Bauer-Kahan’s law, AB 1242, bars California-based companies, including Google, Meta, Uber and others, from producing records about a person if the companies know “or should know” that the warrant they’re responding to is related to an abortion probe. CNN has reached out to the companies for comment.

The new law prohibits abortion-related search warrants in the first place, and requires all out-of-state search warrants to attest that they are not abortion-related.

But in directly undercutting the anti-abortion laws of other states, California’s new law could put businesses in the difficult position of having to pick sides — and face potential legal penalties no matter what they choose.

Companies that violate AB 1242 could face prosecution by the California attorney general. But if they comply with AB 1242, they could also face legal action in states that have restricted abortion for failing to comply with legal process.

“Anti-choice sheriffs and bounty hunters are going to be highly motivated to do anything they can to get this data,” said Adam Schwartz, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group that supports the California law.

In the event of a conflict between state laws, Schwartz said courts first look to whether a state has jurisdiction over a company and then, if it does, they fall back on a procedural tool known as “choice of law” to determine which law should apply.

A state with only some employees of a company, or that is home to users of an electronic service, isn’t likely to satisfy the jurisdictional test, Schwartz said. Even if it did, he added, it would likely fail in the choice of law because the California law is tailored to govern businesses that are incorporated in California or that have their “principal executive offices” in California.

Still, he acknowledged there will likely be many court battles ahead.

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“We are going to see more of this situation where a business is facing, at one time, legal process from an anti-choice state commanding it to disclose abortion-related data, and a blocking statute from a pro-choice state forbidding it from disclosing that same data,” Schwartz said. “This is an important new area, this contest between anti-choice legal process and pro-choice blocking statutes, and it is a matter that could work its way up the courts to the highest court.”

In the meantime, tech companies could find themselves between a rock and a hard place, according to tech trade group Chamber of Progress.

“Red states and blue states are at war over abortion, and online platforms are caught in the crossfire,” Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich said in a statement to CNN. “California’s new law could potentially have a big impact on protecting reproductive privacy — but first it will create a challenging conflict between state laws.”

CNN’s Clare Duffy contributed to this report.

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Categories: Local News

Ravens vs. Bills staff picks: Who will win Sunday’s Week 4 game in Baltimore?

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 09/30/2022 - 06:25

Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff views the outcome of Sunday afternoon’s Week 4 game between the Ravens and Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore:

Jonas Shaffer, reporter

Ravens 24, Bills 21: Buffalo won’t have an All-Pro safety (Micah Hyde) or an All-Pro cornerback (Tre’Davious White) on Sunday. It probably won’t have a starting defensive tackle (Jordan Phillips). It might not have a starting wide receiver (Gabe Davis) or a handful of other contributors. Even if the Ravens don’t match up well with the Bills’ stout run defense, scary pass rush or well-executed zone coverages, injuries at some point start to matter. Playing at home amid a possible downpour, the Ravens should be in this one until the end.

Mike Preston, columnist

Bills 28, Ravens 24: It’s always great to watch quarterbacks like the Bills’ Josh Allen and the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson compete against each other, and Jackson gets somewhat of a break because Buffalo has suffered major injuries at safety, a major component of its defense. But the Bills have a strong defensive line and they can get consistent pressure on the quarterback. The Ravens have been quite the opposite on defense and haven’t slowed anybody. The Bills will be angry after losing to the Dolphins last week in Miami. The Ravens have to match that energy.

Childs Walker, reporter

Bills 30, Ravens 27: These are two of the NFL’s top three scoring teams, with quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen at or near the top of early Most Valuable Player lists. The essential matchup will be Allen vs. the Ravens’ erratic pass defense. Can the Baltimore secondary clamp down on big plays while continuing to generate turnovers? The Bills are the safer bet because they’ve been sounder on both sides of the ball.

Ryan McFadden, reporter

Bills 27, Ravens 24: Sunday will feature a matchup between two MVP candidates in Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen. If the Ravens’ offensive line can contain the Bills’ pass rush to some degree, I expect Jackson to take advantage of Buffalo’s secondary that’s ravaged by injuries. The biggest concern will be the Ravens’ pass defense, which has been inconsistent at best. Baltimore struggled against Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker, so there’s no telling what Allen and Stefon Diggs will do.

C.J. Doon, editor

Ravens 27, Bills 24: With both teams at full strength, I’d give the slight edge to the Bills. But with cornerback Tre’Davious White and safety Micah Hyde already out and more injuries looming in the Buffalo secondary, Lamar Jackson should take advantage. Buffalo’s stacked defensive line against the Ravens’ banged-up offensive line is a mismatch, but if there’s one quarterback who can mitigate an effective pass rush, it’s Jackson. Just like last week, the Ravens’ defense makes enough big plays down the stretch to stop Josh Allen and the Bills’ talented offense.

Tim Schwartz, editor

Bills 35, Ravens 31: The Bills found a way to lose last week, and I don’t anticipate they do it two weeks in a row — the same way the Ravens didn’t between Weeks 2 and 3. Josh Allen is the most important player to his team in the NFL, and the Ravens haven’t shown an ability to get after quarterbacks through three games. I wouldn’t be surprised if Allen throws 50-plus passes and surpasses 400 yards against Baltimore’s league-worst pass defense. But Lamar Jackson is on a tear, and no defense is going to slow him down. Expect a shootout with both quarterbacks putting up big numbers but the better overall team — the Bills — coming out on top.


Categories: Local News