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NEWS FROM ACROSS CALIFORNIA

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POSTED April 7, 2014 7:05 p.m.

• GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE TOLLS TO INCREASE BY $1: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Commuters traveling across San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge are paying an extra dollar in tolls.

Monday’s commute will see tolls rise to $6 from $5 for many who drive across the bridge and pay with FasTrak. For those who pay by license plate, the toll will climb from $6 to $7.

The rates will then rise by 25 cents in July 2015 and by another quarter every year until July 2018.

The rates for carpoolers and people with disabilities will increase by the same rate as FasTrak.

 The increase comes as the district is facing a $142 million shortfall over five years. The increase is expected to raise $138 million.

 

• PEDESTRIAN FATALLY STUCK BY CAR IN SAN FRANCISCO: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco police are investigating the death of a man struck by a car while he was crossing the street.

Officer Gordon Shyy, a police spokesman, says the incident occurred Sunday night at Van Ness and Golden Gate avenues. Investigators say the car hit the man while he was crossing the intersection.

Shyy says early reports indicate that the man was not in the crosswalk when he was struck. The driver remained at the scene and is cooperating with police.

Seven people have been killed this year while crossing San Francisco streets, four of those have occurred along Van Ness Avenue.

 

• MAN DIES WHILE SKIING AT NORTHSTAR RESORT: TRUCKEE (AP) — Authorities say 67-year-old Marc L. Coleman of Van Nuys died in an apparent skiing accident at Northstar Resort.

Resort officials say ski patrol responded to an advance run around 11 a.m. Sunday, where they found the man unresponsive.

He was taken to a Reno hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Officials say he was wearing a helmet at the time.

 

• GOV. JERRY BROWN CELEBRATES 76TH BIRTHDAY: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown is celebrating his 76th birthday.

The Democratic governor has spent most of his adult life in politics and announced in February that he will seek an unprecedented fourth term as California governor this year.

Brown was one of the youngest governors when he held the job the first time, from 1975 to 1983. That was before the state’s term limits law. He is now the oldest sitting governor.

Brown’s spokesman, Evan Westrup, says the governor and his wife will celebrate by gathering for dinner with friends he grew up with in the San Francisco neighborhood of Forest Hill.

 

• VOLUNTEERS ENLISTED TO TRACK SUDDEN OAK DEATH: SANTA ROSA (AP) — Officials in Sonoma County are once again enlisting volunteers to find evidence of Sudden Oak Death, a disease that quickly kills trees that can take hundreds of years to grow.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports the seventh annual Sudden Oak Death Blitz will focus on pinpointing trees that are so-called “reservoirs” of the deadly fungus-like microbe.

On April 19th and 20th, dozens of volunteers will comb woodlands hunting for discolored leaves on bay laurels, evidence that those trees harbor the sudden oak death pathogen, which has infected more than 105,000 acres in the county. Removing the reservoir trees can help stop the disease’s spread.

UC Berkeley’s Forest Pathology Laboratory says sudden oak death, discovered in 1995, has killed more than 3 million tanoak and oak trees in 15 counties from Monterey to Humboldt.

 

• NEARLY $4M CLEANUP PLAN PROPOSED FOR LA’S SKID ROW: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles official is proposing a nearly $4 million cleanup for skid row that would give the homeless more access to bathrooms and places to store their belongings.

Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana offered the plan Monday in a report but it will require City Council approval.

The plan would increase 24-hour bathroom access at shelters, add 500 bins at an existing storage operation and set aside an area where the homeless can check their shopping carts for the day.

Santana says nearly 3,500 homeless live in the district and there’s been an overwhelming increase in need. The county in recent years has twice cited the area as a public health threat because of rats, garbage and human waste.

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