California

11:01am

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

California's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is Unconstitutional, Court Says

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 4:26 pm

At the top: Proposition 8's supporters (who oppose same-sex marriage). Below: Proposition 8's opponents. Outside the court today in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today in a much-anticipated decision from the nation's most populous state. The judges upheld a lower court's ruling.

As you'd expect, the ruling has drawn praise from those who support same-sex marriage and condemnation from those who oppose it. Both sides acknowledge that the decision isn't the last word on the subject — an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is expected.

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6:00am

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

As L.A. Probes Sex Abuse Charges, Staff Replaced At Elementary School

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 4:26 pm

Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles.
Krista Kennell AFP/Getty Images

"In a dramatic move to quell parents' fears, Los Angeles school officials said they will temporarily replace the entire staff of an elementary school south of downtown Los Angeles, where two teachers have been accused of lewd acts against students," the Los Angeles Times writes.

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5:23am

Mon January 30, 2012
The Two-Way

As Oakland Picks Up The Pieces, Washington To Evict Occupy Protesters

A defaced bust of former city councilmember Frank Ogawa sits outside Oakland, Calif., City Hall on Sunday.
Noah Berger AP

After a short respite, the Occupy movement had a resurgence this weekend. There was a mass protest in Oakland that extended through Saturday and Sunday and ended with the arrest of more than 400. In New York City, Occupy Wall Street protesters took to the streets last night in solidarity. Twelve were arrested

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1:44pm

Tue January 24, 2012
Around the Nation

Down And Out Escape To 'Slab' In California Desert

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 6:30 pm

Slab City is an informal community in the California desert on the site of a former WWII artillery range. The recent recession has sent the town a new wave of people who have fallen on hard times and are looking to escape the burdens of modern life.
Gloria Hillard For NPR

There are no signs leading to Slab City. From Los Angeles you head east deep into the desert, and then south, past the Salton Sea. For years, a diverse group of people has been drawn to the abandoned Marine base, but the troubled economy has driven even more travelers to the place dubbed "The Last Free Place in America."

Following the tire tracks of countless RVs, trailers, vans and campers, you pass a landscape of the vehicles that have taken root here, their tires now soft on the desert floor.

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10:01pm

Wed January 18, 2012
Crisis In The Housing Market

Silicon Valley Homebuilder Finds A Profitable Niche

James Witt stands next to the foundation of a house he is building in Palo Alto. Witt has built a successful business by tearing down and rebuilding houses in Silicon Valley. His business has survived four recessions, including the most recent one.
Cindy Carpien NPR

The U.S. housing market may be singing the blues, but there are pockets where home sales are rising. James Witt, a homebuilder in California's Silicon Valley is surviving and thriving thanks to his luck, location, and knowledge of the local market.

Witt is a tall lanky man whose graying long hair suggests an actor in a Western movie. He's standing on his 3-acre property in Palo Alto, which includes an updated old farmhouse and a yard with a pair of donkeys. One, named Perry, has an interesting pedigree.

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