Richard Gonzales http://kuer.org en Activists: We Want An Emancipator, Not A 'Deporter In Chief' http://kuer.org/post/activists-we-want-emancipator-not-deporter-chief Activists who support an overhaul of the immigration system are <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/03/14/290244211/hispanic-activists-vow-to-keep-pressing-white-house-over-deportations">angry and frustrated</a>. The immigration bill that passed in the Senate in June is stalled out. Sat, 29 Mar 2014 21:02:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 44109 at http://kuer.org Activists: We Want An Emancipator, Not A 'Deporter In Chief' The Story Of Calif. Senator's Arrest Reads Like Pulp Fiction http://kuer.org/post/story-calif-senators-arrest-reads-pulp-fiction It's a case that has stunned California's political community: A prominent Democratic lawmaker has been accused in a federal complaint of participating in an elaborate conspiracy involving guns, gangs, drugs and bribery.<p>State Sen. Leland Yee was known as a champion of open government and gun control, but not any more. A 137-page federal affidavit accuses the lawmaker of soliciting and taking bribes from an undercover FBI agent in exchange for political favors.<p>He's also accused of gun trafficking. Not just any guns, but automatic weapons and shoulder-fired missiles. Sat, 29 Mar 2014 17:28:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 44106 at http://kuer.org The Story Of Calif. Senator's Arrest Reads Like Pulp Fiction What A Long, Strange Trip: Salmon Are Trucking To The Pacific Ocean http://kuer.org/post/what-long-strange-trip-salmon-are-trucking-pacific-ocean In California, severe drought has imperiled millions of juvenile salmon who now face waters too dry to let them make their usual spawning trip to the ocean. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 07:21:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 43924 at http://kuer.org What A Long, Strange Trip: Salmon Are Trucking To The Pacific Ocean Businesses Help Guide Workers Down Path To Citizenship http://kuer.org/post/businesses-help-guide-workers-down-path-citizenship Silicon Valley companies have launched a drive to provide citizenship services on-site to employees holding green cards. The belief is that such employees become more valuable workers. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 09:24:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 43528 at http://kuer.org Ruling On Gay Juror May Cause Ripples In Same-Sex Marriage Cases http://kuer.org/post/ruling-gay-juror-may-cause-ripples-same-sex-marriage-cases There was a small development in a case before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this month that could have a major impact on the legal battle over same-sex marriage. The case involves a dispute between two pharmaceutical companies, a gay juror and the level of legal scrutiny directed by the appellate court.<p>The two big pharmaceutical companies, SmithKline Beecham and Abbott Laboratories, were in court over the marketing and pricing of some HIV drugs. A lawyer for Abbott wanted to keep one prospective juror off the jury because he is gay. Wed, 12 Mar 2014 22:10:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 43304 at http://kuer.org Ruling On Gay Juror May Cause Ripples In Same-Sex Marriage Cases Gays And Lesbians Seeking Asylum In U.S. May Find A Hard Road http://kuer.org/post/gays-and-lesbians-seeking-asylum-us-may-find-hard-road Even through a long-distance line from Uganda, you can hear the fear and anxiety in the young man's voice. Nathan, 19, is gay. NPR is not using his surname because he fears arrest.<p>"Right now we are not safe," he says. "Because we are hearing some people say ... 'If we get you, we will kill you. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 08:37:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 42649 at http://kuer.org Gays And Lesbians Seeking Asylum In U.S. May Find A Hard Road Flood Of Gay Marriage Cases Releasing Stream Of Federal Rulings http://kuer.org/post/flood-gay-marriage-cases-releasing-stream-federal-rulings A federal judge in Virginia struck down that state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage this week. It's just the latest in a string of similar rulings in conservative states, and it indicates that the strategy for winning marriage equality in federal courts is moving faster than many had expected.<p>In her ruling, U.S. Sat, 15 Feb 2014 16:29:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 42199 at http://kuer.org Flood Of Gay Marriage Cases Releasing Stream Of Federal Rulings Small Cuts To Food Stamps Add Up To Big Pains For Many Recipients http://kuer.org/post/small-cuts-food-stamps-add-big-pains-many-recipients In a rare display of bipartisanship, the House of Representatives Wednesday approved a massive five-year farm bill that costs nearly half a trillion dollars.<p>The bill includes some reductions to food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, to the tune of nearly $1 billion a year. It's far less than what many Republicans had wanted. Thu, 30 Jan 2014 23:32:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 41496 at http://kuer.org Small Cuts To Food Stamps Add Up To Big Pains For Many Recipients Jerry Brown Declares A Drought Emergency In California http://kuer.org/post/jerry-brown-declares-drought-emergency-california Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>In California, Governor Jerry Brown has signed an emergency drought declaration, saying his state is seeing the driest weather in about a century. This is California's third consecutive dry year with no appreciable rain in sight. As NPR's Richard Gonzales reports, cities and counties across the state are taking drastic measures.<p>RICHARD GONZALES, BYLINE: January is usually a wet month in California but there's hardly been a hint of rain. Fri, 17 Jan 2014 22:28:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 40958 at http://kuer.org In California, Alarm Grows Over Shrinking Water Levels http://kuer.org/post/california-alarm-grows-over-shrinking-water-levels Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Last week, we were shivering in depths of the polar vortex. Now another sign that Mother Nature is in charge. This time it's California, where right now it should be rainy season. Instead, there's growing alarm over a persistent lack of rain. The state is suffering its third consecutive dry year.<p>And as NPR's Richard Gonzales reports, there are calls for the governor to officially declare a drought.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS)<p>RICHARD GONZALES, BYLINE: So, how dry is it in California? Tue, 14 Jan 2014 22:12:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 40812 at http://kuer.org California Still Owes U.S. Billions For Unemployment http://kuer.org/post/california-still-owes-us-billions-unemployment Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>California, according to recent budget numbers, is slowly recovering from its years of multi-billion dollar budget deficits. The state is on track to turn a $2.5 billion budget surplus at the end of the current fiscal year. But that's general fund money. It does not address another gaping deficit. The state owes almost $10 billion to the federal government for money spent on unemployment benefits.<p>NPR's Richard Gonzales reports.<p>RICHARD GONZALES, BYLINE: So how did California wind up owing the federal government $9.7 billion? Thu, 12 Dec 2013 11:42:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 39446 at http://kuer.org As Rent Soars, Longtime San Francisco Tenants Fight To Stay http://kuer.org/post/rent-soars-longtime-san-francisco-tenants-fight-stay San Francisco has long been a desirable place to live — and that's even more true today as the city is basking in the glow of another tech boom. But the influx of new money and new residents is putting a strain on the city's housing market.<p>The city has the highest median rent in the nation, and evictions of longtime residents are skyrocketing.<p>Ground zero for San Francisco's eviction crisis is the Inner Mission District. Tue, 03 Dec 2013 08:17:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 39002 at http://kuer.org With Robberies Up, Oakland Residents Turn To Private Cops http://kuer.org/post/robberies-oakland-residents-turn-private-cops The city of Oakland, Calif., is in the middle of a robbery epidemic. In response, some residents in several Oakland neighborhoods are taking matters into their own hands, hiring private security companies to patrol their neighborhoods.<p>Overall, robberies in Oakland are up 24 percent over the past year, with armed robberies up 45 percent. Fri, 15 Nov 2013 08:03:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 38236 at http://kuer.org With Robberies Up, Oakland Residents Turn To Private Cops How A Free Bus Shuttle Helped Make A Small Town Take Off http://kuer.org/post/how-free-bus-shuttle-helped-make-small-town-take <em>This story is part of an ongoing project on commuting in America.</em><p>What's known as the "last mile" of a commute<strong> </strong>can be the Holy Grail for many city transportation planners. How do you get people from their major mode of transportation – like a train station – to their final destination?<p>Perhaps your last mile is a drive home from a subway or train station — but these days, many cities and towns are trying to eliminate cars as much as possible. Some are planning for streetcars to take commuters on that last leg. Others rely on buses. Wed, 13 Nov 2013 08:23:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 38122 at http://kuer.org How A Free Bus Shuttle Helped Make A Small Town Take Off Police, Community Relations Strained After Teen's Death http://kuer.org/post/police-community-relations-strained-after-teens-death Sonoma County, Calif., is probably best known for its good wine, green sensibilities and otherwise healthy and peaceful living. But that peace was shattered last week when a county sheriff's deputy shot and killed a young teenager carrying a toy gun.<p>Thirteen-year-old Andy Lopez was walking through an open field near his home in semi-rural southwest Santa Rosa on Oct. 22 when he was spotted by two sheriff's deputies. Lopez was carrying a plastic pellet gun, a toy replica of an AK-47. Wed, 30 Oct 2013 21:12:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 37500 at http://kuer.org Police, Community Relations Strained After Teen's Death How A County Clerk Ignited The Gay Marriage Debate In N.M. http://kuer.org/post/how-county-clerk-ignited-gay-marriage-debate-nm New Mexico law doesn't explicitly ban or approve same-sex marriage. There were a spate of lawsuits seeking to clarify the issue, but they were tied up in the courts. Tue, 22 Oct 2013 21:15:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 37128 at http://kuer.org How A County Clerk Ignited The Gay Marriage Debate In N.M. Oracle Team USA Defeats New Zealand To Win America's Cup http://kuer.org/post/oracle-team-usa-defeats-new-zealand-win-americas-cup Oracle Team USA completed a remarkable comeback to win the America's Cup regatta, winning eight straight races. The American team, backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison, beat Emirates Team New Zealand. Just a few days ago, the American team trailed the Kiwis, and were on the brink of being eliminated from the competition. Thu, 26 Sep 2013 09:06:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 35926 at http://kuer.org In Comeback, Oracle Team USA Wins America's Cup http://kuer.org/post/comeback-oracle-team-usa-wins-americas-cup Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>In San Francisco today, a dramatic winner-take-all finish to the America's Cup race. Oracle Team USA, the defending champion, completed a remarkable comeback to win the regatta, 9-8. The American team is led by Silicon Valley billionaire and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. They were on the verge of elimination to their opponent, Emirates Team New Zealand. Trailing 8-1, the Oracle team then won eight straight races, concluding this afternoon in the high winds of San Francisco Bay. Wed, 25 Sep 2013 21:30:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 35914 at http://kuer.org One By One, California Agents Track Down Illegally Owned Guns http://kuer.org/post/one-one-california-agents-track-down-illegally-owned-guns In California, officials are ramping up a unique program that identifies and seizes guns from people who are prohibited from keeping them. Under state law, a legally registered gun owner loses the right to own a firearm when he or she is convicted of a crime or becomes mentally ill.<p>Last year, state agents seized nearly 2,000 firearms, but implementing the gun seizure program is a painstaking job. In a recent operation, a caravan of four unmarked trucks traversed the bedroom communities of San Francisco's East Bay. Tue, 20 Aug 2013 06:56:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 34163 at http://kuer.org One By One, California Agents Track Down Illegally Owned Guns Oakland Braces For Seeing Subway Shooting On The Big Screen http://kuer.org/post/oakland-braces-seeing-subway-shooting-big-screen It's not often that Oakland, Calif., hosts a movie opening. But there is plenty of anticipation for <em>Fruitvale Station.</em><p>The film is about the life and death of Oscar Grant, a young black man who was fatally shot in the back by a white transit police officer in the early morning hours of New Year's Day in 2009.<p>Grant was killed by Officer Johannes Mehserle, who claimed to have been reaching for his Taser, not his handgun. Fri, 12 Jul 2013 09:13:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 32284 at http://kuer.org Oakland Braces For Seeing Subway Shooting On The Big Screen Crash At San Francisco Airport Kills Two http://kuer.org/post/crash-san-francisco-airport-kills-two Transcript <p>RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: <p>This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The National Transportation Safety Board has recovered the flight data and voice recorders from the Boeing 777 jet that crashed during landing yesterday. Two people were killed, both 16-year-old female students from China. More that 180 other people were injured. Asiana flight 214 was landing at San Francisco International Airport when its tail apparently hit the ground, sending the plane skidding across the landing area. Nearly 50 of the injuries are serious but it could have been much worse. Sun, 07 Jul 2013 10:41:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 32010 at http://kuer.org Transit Strike Sends Commuters Scrambling In San Francisco http://kuer.org/post/transit-strike-sends-commuters-scrambling-san-francisco Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>For two days now, about 400,000 commuters in the San Francisco Bay Area have had to find an alternate way to get around. Workers for the area's rail system are on strike. The dispute at Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, is over pay, benefit and safety issues. Employees walked off the job early Monday morning as their contract expired. Tue, 02 Jul 2013 20:06:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 31819 at http://kuer.org Same-Sex Marriages Resume In California http://kuer.org/post/same-sex-marriages-resume-california The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its injunction on gay marriages in California on Friday. They'd been on hold while the challenges to Proposition 8 worked their way through the appeals process. Sat, 29 Jun 2013 01:22:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 31651 at http://kuer.org Political Battles Still Dog Redistricting In California http://kuer.org/post/political-battles-still-dog-redistricting-california In most states, the power to draw lines for political districts rests with legislators. In recent years, California voters have tried to make the process less political by taking it out of lawmakers' hands. Wed, 29 May 2013 06:52:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 30012 at http://kuer.org Political Battles Still Dog Redistricting In California On California Prisons, It's The Governor Vs. The Courts http://kuer.org/post/california-prisons-its-governor-vs-courts California Gov. Jerry Brown is locked in a legal battle over control of his state's prison system. Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling ordering the state to drastically reduce its prisoner population. Brown claims the state has made substantial progress, but the governor has stopped short of complying fully with the court order.<p>There's a long history of legal wrangling over California prisons. Tue, 30 Apr 2013 18:50:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 28580 at http://kuer.org On California Prisons, It's The Governor Vs. The Courts How To Be The Good Guy With A Gun At School http://kuer.org/post/how-be-good-guy-gun-school Ever since the Newtown, Ct., school shooting, there's been a raging debate over how to keep America's schoolchildren safe. National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre proposed stationing an armed guard in every school in the country. Critics said that idea was impractical and would be too expensive to carry out.<p>But many schools and school districts already have armed police officers. Since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, about one-third of the schools in the U.S. Wed, 20 Mar 2013 07:16:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 26607 at http://kuer.org How To Be The Good Guy With A Gun At School Oakland To Issue IDs That Double As Debit Cards http://kuer.org/post/oakland-issue-ids-double-debit-cards The city of Oakland, Calif., is taking a major step toward helping to bring many of its residents, especially illegal immigrants, out of the shadows.<p>It will issue a municipal identification card to anyone who can prove residency.<p>Oakland isn't the only city to issue such ID cards to illegal immigrants. New Haven, Conn., and San Francisco already do that.<p>The Oakland card, however, has a unique feature — it doubles as a debit card.<p>In Oakland's predominantly Latino Fruitvale neighborhood, a group of day laborers are gathered for their weekly meeting. Mon, 25 Feb 2013 10:07:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 25482 at http://kuer.org Oakland To Issue IDs That Double As Debit Cards Berkeley Receives $1M For Undocumented Students http://kuer.org/post/berkeley-receives-1m-undocumented-students <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UktXJIeB1tg</p> Tue, 11 Dec 2012 22:14:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 22198 at http://kuer.org Berkeley Receives $1M For Undocumented Students School District Owes $1 Billion On $100 Million Loan http://kuer.org/post/school-district-owes-1-billion-100-million-loan More than 200 school districts across California are taking a second look at the high price of the debt they've taken on using risky financial arrangements. Collectively, the districts have borrowed billions in loans that defer payments for years — leaving many districts owing far more than they borrowed.<p>In 2010, officials at the West Contra Costa School District, just east of San Francisco, were in a bind. Fri, 07 Dec 2012 21:24:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 22057 at http://kuer.org School District Owes $1 Billion On $100 Million Loan California Examines Disaster Plans http://kuer.org/post/california-examines-disaster-plans Transcript <p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>Emergency managers around the nation have been paying close attention to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Mon, 19 Nov 2012 09:49:00 +0000 Richard Gonzales 21247 at http://kuer.org