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Bay Area briefs
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City official consults Ouija board before vote

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco supervisor says he consulted a Ouija board before city leaders voted on whether to recommend naming a Navy ship after slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

Supervisor John Avalos tells the San Francisco Chronicle that he believes he made contact with Milk's spirit and that Milk spelled out letters indicating: "Good riddance to don't ask, don't tell."

The Board of Supervisors approved the non-binding resolution Tuesday on a 9-2 vote.

Milk was a city supervisor and former naval officer. He was fatally shot in 1978 by Dan White.

Supporters say the naming would honor the repeal of the 'don't ask, don't tell" law barring open homosexuality in the military.

Opponents say Milk opposed war and it would be inappropriate to name a warship after him.

$11.4M award in garbage truck case

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A jury has awarded $11.4 million to a garbage truck driver who was injured when the wheel fell off his truck.

A federal jury in San Francisco made the award last Friday in a lawsuit filed by 46-year-old Raymond Mariolle. Part of the award goes to his wife.

Mariolle's lawyers say he was left in severe pain from spinal injuries when a truck wheel hub broke and the wheel fell off in 2007, dropping the 55,000-pound vehicle to the ground.

His suit argued that the hub was defective. It named Volvo Truck, the company that designed the truck and the wheel hub manufacturer. The companies argued that Mariolle had pre-existing back injuries.


.No vote on Occupy Oakland weapons ban

OAKLAND (AP) — Occupy Oakland protesters have disrupted a meeting where city leaders were considering a law banning the use of homemade weapons by demonstrators.

Police cleared a meeting of the City Council's public safety committee on Tuesday after protesters began yelling that the measure would infringe their rights. Some swore, shouted down a speaker and hinted at violence if the measure passed.

The ordinance would allow police to arrest demonstrators carrying shields, clubs and defensive sprays.

Councilmember Pat Kernighan says the proposal is modeled after similar laws in Los Angeles and Santa Monica. She says she might present the proposal to the full City Council at its next meeting.


Man in a wheelchair drowns after falling in marina

EMERYVILLE  (AP) — Authorities say a 61-year-old Emeryville man in a wheelchair drowned after he fell into the waters of the Emeryville Marina.

Police say a witness saw the man, identified by officials as William Ferris, struggling with his wheelchair around 6 p.m. Tuesday before he disappeared in the water.

The witness jumped into the water to try to save Ferris. She was joined by an off-duty firefighter. Police say they were able to pull Ferris out of the water, but when paramedics arrived at the scene, they were unable to revive him.