GALT (CBS13) – Controversy is flying high after a couple was told to take down one of their two flag poles, or they’d get fined. “We thought it would look beautiful to show our patriotism of having two beautiful American flags on our property,” said Sherri Raeta, who moved just moved in. Navy Veteran Ronald Raeta and his wife Sherri installed two flag poles on the front lawn and raised two American flags. But soon the call came to take one pole down. “I kept saying, ‘stop kidding stop kidding’, but it turns out it was not a joke,” Sherri said. According to the city, the Raeta’s were breaking code. “(City code) limits flag poles to one per parcel with the maximum height of 20 feet,” said the City Community Development Director, Chris Erias. It was shocking news for Sherri, whose father was a World War II vet, and husband and son both served in the Navy. “We lost so many Marines at Iwo Jima trying to put the flag up and we are being hassled about taking the flag down,” Sherri said. “I’m furious. I’m furious,” Ronald said. He believe it’s the greatest insult. “We both love the American flag, we love America. I just can’t believe anybody would want us to take down an American flag,” he said. Outraged, the two went before city council and found out there’s little they can do. “I believe this was really put in to respect the integrity of residential neighborhoods,” Erias said. He added, the problem isn’t with the flag, the code specifically allows just one pole. “We do not regulate content on who can buy what. For us, it really is limiting it to the pole,” he said. Sherri is upset because the code allows you to have as many poles as you want on your home, but won’t allow more than one pole in the ground. “He did so much for the American flag to be free, so what’s the difference if I run two American flag poles in the ground or two American flag poles on the side of the house,” she said. After fighting for his country, Raeta said he never thought he’d be fighting to raise his flag. “It’s my flag and I should be able to fly it,” he added. The city said they’ve never had a problem with two flag poles until now. The city will look into whether a revision is necessary. Another option, the Raeta’s could pay to file a petition to amend the law, but that would cost a few thousand dollars.
STOCKTON (CBS13) — If your rent is soaring in the city of Stockton, you’re not alone. Rents have grown faster in Stockton in the past year, than in any other city in the country. Cindy Madrid is a recent retiree, and a brand-new Stockton renter. “Just looking for a rental was shocking,”Madrid said. Madrid spent her career working for the county. She has a pension, but Stockton rents are rising so fast, she may move out. “I couldn’t believe the cost,” Madrid said. According to RENTCafe, Stockton has the fastest rising rent in the country in the past year, at 10.6 percent. It topped Colorado Springs, Buffalo, Reno and Sacramento. Modesto finished ninth, putting Stockton, Sacramento, and Modesto all in the top 10 fastest rising rents among U.S. cities. “You know that’s a sign that the pressures aren’t just local in nature but they’re really more regional and connected to this larger regional economy,” University of the Pacific economist Jeff Michael said. Michael says Stockton’s No. 1 ranking is a sign the city if rebounding from bankruptcy. And a that Bay Area sky-high rents are now impacting valley communities where developers are not building enough rental units. “On the positive side it does show growth, on the negative side its a problem,” Michael said. “To have high cost housing in a community that isn’t necessarily high income.” Stockton’s homeless advocates say rising rents are putting more people on the streets. For Cindy , the rise in rents are putting her retirement years in California at risk–leading her to consider a move out of state. “It’s amazing, it’s frightening, it’s sad,” Madrid said. “Born and raised in California, and I cant even afford to live here.”
ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — Police are looking for who may have killed a person and left them in the trunk of a car in a Roseville neighborhood. People living nearby say a woman’s body found inside the trunk of a car on Gerry Way on Monday morning. “Kind of strange being in our neighborhood because we have never had this kind of crime,” said William Avila. He has lived on Gerry Way for 30 years. “Unusual,” said Avila about the car. “No one in the neighborhood knew who it belonged to.” He says a woman’s body was found inside the trunk of the sedan, which had been sitting on the street for about a week. “Another neighbor had found a foul smell, seen flies. Saw something dripping out the bottom of it,” said Avila. “They noticed a characteristic odor that they thought was suspicious,” said Dee Dee Gunther with the Roseville Police Department. She says the car belonged to the person found in the trunk. “The location of the body was very suspicious,” said Gunther. Neighbors say investigators spent hours on scene collecting evidence, including a purse left sitting in the passenger’s seat. Details about the suspect and how the woman may have got to the Gerry Way location remains a mystery. “As far as I know at this time, the victim did not have a connection with that neighborhood,” said Gunther, “So, it’s possible that’s just where the car was left.” Police are left searching for answers.
Meanwhile, Avila is calling on his neighbors to act on their instincts. “The more people that call the cops, the sooner you’re going to get action,” said Avila. Police haven’t released the victim’s identity. This is the Roseville Police Department’s first homicide investigation in three years.
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California generated a record amount of solar energy this weekend: nearly 10,000 Megawatts of power. That makes it easier to ensure that enough energy gets around to all of the state. “We’re seeing exponential growth in our solar-energy installations,” said Anne Gonzales, spokesperson for California Independent Systems Operator. The organization controls the state’s power grid. And it’s been keeping an eye on the high temperatures since Friday. But back-to-back days of triple-digit numbers make it challenging to keep all of the grids up and running. “This is where all of that planning comes into play,” Gonzales said. “A difference in one or two degrees can mean a difference in the megawatts that we have to supply to utilities.” They’ve told electric companies to reduce strain on the power grid by not shutting down power plants for maintenance. Tuesday is expected to see the highest amount of energy used in California in 10 years. “It’s not a good time to wash down the equipment this week,” Gonzales said. “We need you to be online and ready.” Between the high Sierra snow melt creating more hydropower and record solar power generation, Gonzales is confident there will be enough power to go around. “June, July, and August are very sunny months and lots of solar energy can be produced.” Still, high temperatures mean high stress on power lines. “There was kind of a pop and then everything went quiet and went dark and got hot,” said Tom Grant, who lives in the Arden area. About 200 homes in his neighborhood lost power for nearly two hours after a fuse blew overhead. “We did our best just to kind of keep down and keep cool and not move around til we needed to,” Grant explained. CAL ISO just issued a flex alert for the next two days asking Californians to conserve electricity during the late afternoon, when air conditioners are typically at peak use. CAL ISO asks that between 2 and 9 p.m., consumers turn out unneeded lights, set the AC to 78 degrees or higher, and run pool pumps at night, instead of during the day. “We usually get a good response and it’s one of the most powerful things that we have at our disposal,” Gonzales said. But cutting back on AC isn’t ideal for people who plan to be home during the hottest time of the day. “I hope this isn’t the beginning of a long week for all of us but it could be,” Grant said.
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It was another busy day for fire crews faced with hot and dry conditions as a blaze shut down part of Business 80 shut down the freeway, causing a major backup. A car towed by an RV on the shoulder of the highway caught on fire. The flames quickly spread igniting the grass embankment along the highway about a mile west of Exposition Boulevard. “Because of the direction of the winds some of the tall flames coming off that vehicle fire spread over that vegetation,” said Chris Harvey with the Sacramento Fire Department. Fire crews were able to put a line around the grass fire and contain it to 20 acres. “It’s very scary with this hot weather, anything can spark a fire that can spread,” said Rosalie Gallagher who lives nearby. The Capital City Freeway shut down around 4:30 p.m. Monday– causing a major back-up. “Traffic was backed up for miles and miles, took me an hour and a half to get home today, normally takes me about a half-hour,” said Chris Grey who was stuck in traffic. In Orangevale, off Terramore Drive, a fire sparked in one home and jumped to another leaving 2 families displaced. “With North winds throughout many of the last few days, with dried out vegetation, obviously temperatures, it was just an easy spread,” said Sac Metro Fire Captain Chris Vestal. Vestal says crews are up against some difficult conditions. “A lot of hydration, altering some of the exercises and activities we do throughout the day,” he said. In Southern California, firefighters are battling a wildfire burning in the San Bernardino National Forest northeast of Big Bear Lake that has burned more than 850 acres. No homes being threatened. While crews in Sacramento have contained the fire spread along the highway and continue to mop up and monitor hot spots– they say we’re not out of the danger zone. “We have many days of warm weather ahead of us these fuels got really big and tall during this winter, they’re starting to dry out now so we have the potential for very extreme fire behavior,” said Chris Harvey. Fire officials warn: be very careful with sparks, matches, barbecues, lawn equipment that’s gasoline powered– any little thing can cause a fire because of the weather.
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California’s treasurer announced Monday, newly approved plans to allocate a hefty multimillion-dollar state grant to hundreds of Planned Parenthood facilities and community clinics across the state. Planned Parenthood’s CEO says the federal threat to defund reproductive healthcare has already forced the closure of Planned Parenthood facilities and more are on the cusp of shutting down. But critics say there’s more behind it. They are new parents and first-timers at Planned Parenthood. “I’m not ready to have another kid right now,” said Myesha Mott. Myesha Mott and her husband are now armed with free birth control thanks to their local Planned Parenthood. But down the street at the state Capitol, the nonprofit is seeking an emergency lifeline of its own. “Funding for vital healthcare services for the underserved is being threatened today by a Republican Congress,” said John Chiang State Treasurer John Chiang and Democratic lawmakers, announced a $20 million emergency grant for California’s health clinics, facing defunding threats from the feds. “California is stepping up even as others fromWashington threaten to let us down,” said Senator Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento.) In Northern California, budget problems forced the closure of three Planned Parenthood clinics in recent weeks, but clinicians worry hundreds of facilities face the same fate. “Many are on the cusp of closing,” said Planned Parenthood CEO Kathy Kneer. A future without federal funding would be crippling. “We have to get a fair reimbursement for the services we provide otherwise women won’t have a place to go,” she said. “This is fake news,” said Al Rhomberg of Californians for Parental Rights. Al Rhomberg claims these clinics don’t need more money. “$20 million is chicken feed. This is just a political ploy to give some idea there’s some danger, they’re going out of business, they close clinics all the time for business reasons,” he said. So how much state and federal funding goes to Planned Parenthood clinics each year? In 2017, California Planned Parenthood affiliates will receive about $330 million. Approximately $60 million comes from the state. Close to $200 million is federal funds. “They also have a certain percentage of their budget that comes from private paid clients,” said Sonja Petek of the Legislative Analyst’s Office. According to the analysts who crunch the numbers, big foundations make up about 20 percent of Planned Parenthood’s budget. Now advocates hope those donors will match California’s latest $20 million grant, so people like Mott won’t be left out. “If I didn’t have planned parenthood where would I go?” she said. The money’s been approved, but who gets it hasn’t. Those facilities must apply. And in the next 6 months, state officials will come up with criteria for who qualifies.
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Six Jewish students and visitors sued San Francisco State University in federal court Monday, alleging the university and its administrators “have knowingly fostered” an anti-Semitic environment and discrimination against Jewish students. The civil rights lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, centers on an event in which the campus branch of Hillel, a nationwide Jewish student group, invited Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to speak on April 6, 2016. The speech was attended by 30 to 40 students and Jewish people from outside the campus and by about 20 student protestors, according to an investigation commissioned by the university. The lawsuit claims the pro-Palestinian protestors “commandeered the event and shut it down” by using a portable amplifier to drown out Barkat’s speech with allegedly menacing chants such as “Intifada, Intifada” and “We don’t want you on our campus.” It claims that although school policy prohibits interfering with an event and using an unauthorized amplifier, administrators allegedly told campus police to “stand down” and the police did not stop the disruption. The lawsuit alleges the university and administrators violated the students’ and visitors’ constitutional First Amendment right to free speech and assembly and 14th Amendment right to equal treatment. The students also allege Hillel was unfairly excluded from a campus “Know Your Rights” fair aimed at members of vulnerable populations on Feb. 18, 2017. The suit contends that the university has a long history of anti-Semitism, dating back to the late 1960s, and that some students are afraid to wear yarmulkes or a Star of David. It asks for a court order prohibiting the alleged discrimination and for compensatory and punitive financial awards. The defendants are the university, President Leslie Wong, several administrators and the statewide
California State University Board of Trustees. University General Counsel Daniel Ojeda said in a statement, “The university disagrees with the allegations in the complaint, but we have not had a sufficient opportunity to review or respond to it. “We have been working closely with the Jewish community, among other interest groups, to address concerns and improve the campus environment for all students. Those efforts have been very productive and will continue
notwithstanding this lawsuit,” Ojeda said. The university-commissioned investigation by an outside law firm concluded last year that the chanting and amplified sound violated school policy and disrupted the event and that key planning did not occur because the event was planned on less than two weeks’ notice. But it said, “there were no direct threats of imminent violence that would have justified police intervention, specifically arrest and removal from the area.” The plaintiffs are represented by lawyers from the Lawfare Project, a nonprofit pro-Israel organization based in New York. TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.
EVERGREEN, Colo. (CBS4) – The Colorado School of Mines hosted a unique competition on Monday that put the skills of civil engineering students to the test. They raced across Evergreen Lake in concrete canoes that they created. Twenty teams from all over the country and Canada participated in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 30th Annual National Concrete Canoe Competition. They were judged on how well the canoe performed on the water and how the canoes were designed. The students have had all year to research, design and make their canoes while incorporating creativity and teamwork. LINK: Concrete Canoe National Competition California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo won this year’s race.
SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — San Jose City Council is set to vote Tuesday on an agreement that would enter the city into exclusive talks with Google to build a 6 million-square-foot office and retail development on the western edge of downtown. Since December, Google and the Trammell Crow Company, a development firm with offices in 10 states, have acquired several parcels around the Diridon station, including a property on Montgomery Street
formerly owned by AT&T. The Mountain View-based search giant is also seeking to acquire the city’s Fire Training property at 255 S. Montgomery St. and the four properties owned by the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency that
were included in the site that was previously considered for a ballpark development for the Oakland A’s. Mayor Sam Liccardo announced earlier this month that the mixed-use, transit-oriented site would accommodate between 15,000 and 20,000 jobs and include public plazas and paseos, retail shops and a public
greenbelt and park along Los Gatos Creek. Unlike many other tech developments, San Jose is staying away from the word “campus” to describe the proposed office, which can sound insular, said Nanci Klein, San Jose’s Assistant Director of Economic Development and Director of Real Estate. Klein likened the new development to the Samsung complex in North San Jose, which features dining options for the public. As a transit hub with train services from Caltrain, Amtrak, light-rail, the Altamont Corridor Express and bus agencies for three counties, city officials expect the development to accommodate and encourage
car-free commuting. The station is also planned as a future stop on the California High-Speed Rail line and Phase II of the San Jose BART extension, slated for completion in 2026. Currently Diridon sees about 900 transit trips per day, but when the high-speed rail and BART move in, city officials expect that number to shoot up to 1,600. Heavy construction in the area will mean that, if the Google plan moves forward, development likely would not start until after 2020 at the earliest, Klein said. Liccardo, Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco and council members Dev Davis, Raul Peralez and Sylvia Arenas signed a memo on Friday in support of the exclusive negotiating agreement while calling for a fair market value for the sale of any publicly owned parcels, not subsidizing the development with taxpayer dollars and implementing a “transparent community engagement process” involving local residents, small businesses and local organizations. Activists from some of those organizations, including Working Partnerships, Silicon Valley Rising, Unite Here Local 19, the South Bay Labor Council and Latinos United for a New America delivered a letter to council staffers at City Hall this morning, calling on the council to oversee a “broad and inclusive community engagement process” to mitigate displacement caused by the potential development and protect low-income workers involved with it. Union leaders voiced their support for the community benefits and influx of jobs that could be made possible by the Google development, but are pushing City Council to require Google, Trammell Crow, other tenants and
their contractors to “at least” meet the city’s living wage policy and to meet with labor organizations about the recruitment and training of local workers. The letter cites research from the University of California at Berkeley suggesting that the site’s proximity to transit, huge increases in office space and the arrival of a mass of highly paid employees could trigger
displacement and gentrification downtown. Ben Field with the South Bay Labor Council said, “There’s a substantial risk that it will exacerbate income inequality. There is a substantial risk, that will make the housing crisis even worse.” The groups want union construction crews to build the campus and Google bus drivers, food service people and janitors to be paid well enough to live in San Jose. But some city officials say housing is not the issue in San Jose. “San Jose has a tremendous amount of housing and not enough jobs,” Klein said, calling San Jose “the bedroom community.” Neighboring cities like Cupertino, Mountain View and Santa Clara have more jobs than they do housing, but in San Jose, it’s the other way around, Klein said, citing that the city has 0.83 jobs per employed resident. Over the last decade, neighboring cities have built one housing unit for every nine jobs created while San Jose built one for every three, according to Klein. “Jobs coming into the community is extremely good,” Klein said. But affordable housing advocate Rose Wallace is among those with concerns. “I am concerned about those who are low-income. I am concerned about those who are on disability. I don’t want them to be displaced while Google comes in and builds,” Wallace said. TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.
By Karen Morfitt DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police are investigating a hit and run that left a cyclist with serious injuries. It happened Monday afternoon at the intersection of 25th Avenue and North Emerson Street. Carmen Horton lives nearby and told CBS4 she rushed outside after hearing a collison. “When I came out the gentleman was laying on the ground. There was a grey little car, he did a little swerve and he just dashed,” Horton said. Horton, a mother of two, says her oldest son often rides his bike in the same area. “Cars come by here all the time and they are not doing the speed limit,” she said. “It’s just real scary, a scary situation.” According to the City of Denver website, the majority of urban bicycle accidents take place at intersections. The crash serves as a scary reminder for cyclists and motorists alike to know the rules of the road. For cyclists, that includes signaling turns and stops ahead of time. It also means having a front white light visible to 500 feet at night as well as a rear red reflector. Motorists need to remember bicycles are legally permitted on almost all Denver roadways and when passing a cyclist. Drivers are required to leave three feet of space. Horton says from what she has seen in her neighborhood, it comes down to lack of attention. “It’s both sides of the situation really,” Horton said. Police say witnesses described the suspect vehicle as a gray or silver sedan that may have a spoiler on the back. It is also possible the car suffered some front end damage. Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to call Denver police. Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.