Wangfujing “Snack” Street, Beijing

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Starfish Anyone?

STARFISH AND SCORPIONS AND SPIDERS, OH MY!

(Beijing, CHINA) I heard that Chinese food in China is very different than Chinese Food in the United States.  On my last day of my visit to Beijing… I learned just how different it is.

One of my favorite parts of any trip is the food.
On a scale of 1 to 10 rating adventurous eaters, I used to think I was about a 7 or 8.   My major aversion is eggs (it’s rooted in a bad experience with a fried egg as a kid).

But on my vacation to Beijing, I learned I’m more of a 5 or 6.

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A Piece Of Naval History Leaves San Francisco Bay

 

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(SAN FRANCISCO)  One of my favorite parts of being a reporter in San Francisco is the opportunity to witness historic moments.

I’m also a bit of a kid when it comes to ships, cars, airplanes, buildings and bridges.  So when I was assigned to covering the departure of the USS Iowa from the Port of Richmond and the San Francisco Bay, I was more than happy.  Actually, I was downright giddy!

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Berkeley’s Cafe Fanny Closes

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(Berkeley)  I’ve become a bit of a foodie over the years.  But I don’t often get to report much on restaurant news.  So it was a blessing and a curse to be assigned this story.  I loved reporting about this cafe, which was co-founded 28 years ago by Bay Area Chef Extraordinaire Alice Waters.  I was sad however to report that this was their last day open.  And I was one of many who never got to sample this corner cafe’s French fare.

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Four Days In Berlin

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The Brandenberg Gate

Berlin is a city that is steeped in history.  Yet it remains a cutting edge capital of politics, arts, and culture. For the casual traveler, it’s a city that is very easy to navigate and is full of plenty of places to see, great food to eat and lots to experience.

On our four day visit, we cover plenty of ground in and around the city. Based on our short stay, we summarize a few easy ways to get from place to place. And, we  share a few of the discoveries we make along the way.

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San Francisco Gold’s Gym Franchises Cut Ties With Corporate

Gold's Gym San Francisco

(San Francisco)  The owners of four Gold’s Gym franchises in the San Francisco Bay Area have announced plans to cut their ties to the chain over political contributions by Robert Rowling, CEO TRT Holdings.

TRT Holdings is a conglomerate that owns Gold’s Gym.  Robert Rowling has been identified as one of the biggest donors to American Crossroads, a conservative political group headed by former Bush Administration operative Karl Rove.

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9th Circuit Tosses Catholic Suit Against San Francisco

9th Circuit Court San Francisco

(San Francisco)  A split panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a lawsuit filed by Catholics who oppose the city of San Francisco’s criticism of the Church over Gay Adoption.

An eight judge majority supported prior decisions by lower courts stemming from a 2006 resolution by the San Francisco Supervisors.

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Sonoma County Defends Against Lawsuit

Sonoma_County_ca_sealAn attorney for Sonoma County says workers separated two senior men who lived together for  20 years because of domestic violence.

Greg Spaulding, an attorney representing Sonoma County, said case workers placed 88 year old Harold Scull in a county senior facility because he accused partner Clay Greene of domestic abuse.

But a civil lawsuit filed by Mr. Greene tells a very different story.  According to the suit, Mr. Scull fell one evening at the home they’ve shared for more than 20 years.   Greene called 911, and when Scull was taken to the hospital, county workers refused to allow him to see his longtime partner.

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Testimony Ends In Prop 8 Case

Perry & Stier

Plaintiffs Perry & Stier

(SAN FRANCISCO) The final witness for supporters of Proposition 8 ended the trial phase of the Federal Civil Lawsuit.

David Blankenhorn is the founder of a conservative research group dedicated to publishing documents about preserving traditional families.

During cross examination by Plaintiff’s Attorney David Boies, the session often became contentious.

Blankenhorn was noticeably agitated.  US District Judge Vaughn Walker intervened on a few occasions, and at one point Blankenhorn seemed to snap at Judge Walker.

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Defense Opening Arguments In Prop 8 Federal Trial

(SAN FRANCISCO)  Ten minutes into Defense Attorney Charles Cooper’s opening statement, US District Judge Vaughn Walker asked what the difference between racial restrictions in marriage and sexual orientation.US Dist Court

Cooper responded conceding that prior restrictions based on race were solely based on white supremacy, and clearly wrong.

Cooper described the institution of marriage as primarily for, “Socially approved sexual intercourse that is naturally pro-creative.”

“How does allowing homosexuals to marry prevent heterosexuals from continuing to procreate,” Judge Walker asked.

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Opening Arguments In Proposition 8 Trial

US Dist Court(SAN FRANCISCO)  The opening statement of by Plaintiff’s Attorney Theodore Olson ran into a flurry of questions by Chief District Judge Vaughn Walker.

Traditionally, opening remarks tend to drone on as attorneys read from prepared statements.  But as Olson was making a point, Walker jumped in.

“In the words of the highest court in the land, marriage is the highest right in the land,” Olson said,

“But, is the right to be married the same as the state granting a license,” Walker asked.

Olson struggled and responded simply, “Yes.”

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