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Bay Area news briefs
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• Berkeley’s proposed sitting ban defeated: BERKELEY (AP) — Voters in a California city known for free speech and tolerance have narrowly struck down a measure that would have banned sitting and lying on streets and sidewalks.

Berkeley’s Measure S was rejected 51 percent to 48 percent on Tuesday.

It would have made it a crime to sit or lie on sidewalks from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in commercial areas. Similar laws have been adopted in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Palo Alto and Los Angeles.

Berkley’s vote came after months of heated debate. Supporters said the measure would help businesses whose storefronts are often blocked by groups camping out.

Opponents said the proposal was severe. It carried citations and a possible maximum sentence of six months jail.

• SF rejects measure to restore flooded valley: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco voters rejected overwhelmingly a measure that sought to restore a flooded gorge in Yosemite National Park that is used as a city reservoir.

The San Francisco Department of Elections on Wednesday reported that only about 23 percent of voters supported Measure F.

If passed, it could have set in motion plans to drain the 117-billion-gallon Hetch Hetchy reservoir.

The measure’s supporters sought to undo a contentious, century-old decision by Congress that created a municipal reservoir in a national park.

The battle for its restoration was first waged by naturalist John Muir, who described Hetch Hetchy as Yosemite Valley’s twin.

An unlikely coalition of Republicans and environmentalists supported the measure, working against Democratic San Franciscans, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who fought to retain the city’s pure water supply.

• Palo Alto nixes medical marijuana dispensaries: PALO ALTO  (AP) — Palo Alto residents went against the green on Election Day and voted against allowing three medical marijuana dispensaries to set up shop in the city.

On the same day that voters in Colorado and Washington approved initiatives legalizing pot for recreational use, 62 percent of Palo Alto voters in Tuesday’s election rejected Measure C.

The measure would have reversed a 1997 ban on local medical marijuana shops and imposed a 4 percent tax on their sales.

City leaders opposed the move despite the promise of additional revenue.

Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, when the state became the first to allow patients with doctor’s recommendations to possess the drug.

• Judge dismisses murder charge in mall slaying: REDWOOD CITY (AP) — A judge has dismissed murder charges against a man accused of killing an East Palo Alto community leader at a mall.

San Mateo Superior Court Judge Stephen Hall ruled on Tuesday that San Mateo police investigators violated Gregory Elarms’ Fifth Amendment rights by continuing to question him and ignoring his repeated requests for an attorney concerning the death of David Lewis.

Prosecutors say Elarms shot his childhood friend outside Hillsdale Shopping Center in June 2010. Authorities say Elarms believed gang members were after him and that Lewis had turned against him.