As many of you know, the the San Francisco court system is in financial trouble, facing the prospect of closing 25 courtrooms and laying off more than 175 employees. Over the last few weeks Christopher Dolan, lead attorney and founder of the Dolan Law Firm has worked tirelessly on the issue, advocating on behalf of plaintiffs and citizens who demand that the court stay open. Yesterday, that hard work finally paid off, with courts accepting a package from the Administrative Office of the Courts, providing $3.15 million in emergency funding.
Good news for cyclists around the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge's western sidewalk will reopen on Sept. 10 a full two weeks ahead of schedule. The sidewalk had been closed since the end of May, and forced cyclists and pedestrians to share the eastern sidewalk, increasing the potential for bike accidents.
The Bone Bike was out in full force at the Bone BBQ over the weekend. Thousands of fans came out, and hundreds entered to win the bike. The show was great. Be sure to check out future Bone events whic feature the bike.
A Transgender woman and San Francisco resident Amber Yust settled her privacy and civil rights lawsuit with the San Francisco DMV. In October 2010, a DMV employee, who had a known history of denying equal service to transgender customers, retained Yust's personal information through his employment at the DMV. The employee then used the information to send her materials condemning her transgender status, and calling for homosexuals to be "put to death."
Big Brother BART
Things are heating up between BART and angry citizens, as the "hacktivist" group Anonymous broke into the transit companies web site and posted stolen data online. According to reports data stolen mostly comprised user information from myBART service, which notifies riders of contests, discounts and events. The hacking occurred as retaliation for BART's decision to cut cell phone service in order to thwart protests, which began after a police officer fatally shot a knife-wielding man on July 3. The decision to cut cell phone services has a number of citizens concerned about censorship and whether or not BART is violating First Amendment laws. More protests have been scheduled against BART, which as a common carrier owes a duty of safety to its passengers. However, cutting off cell phone service to achieve that end may been a mistake.
Most whistleblowers face retaliation from their employers for "letting the cat out of the bag," Marin resident Lauren Wayne claims to have been fired for protecting cats from a co-worker. According to reports,Wayne, a former pipe worker for the North Marin Water District filed a wrongful termination lawsuit, claiming he was fired after he informed authorities that a coworker was trying to poison feral cats, by filing water bowls with anti-freeze. Wayne was fired a year after the initial report on allegations he shouted at and belittled another employee at a job site, his lawsuit says. Wayne denies the accusations and claims his dismissal was retaliation for his informing against Reed.
The immigration petition of Bradford Wells, a U.S. citizen, and Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia, was denied by Federal Authorities, on the basis that the marriage was not recognized under federal law. Citing the Defense of Marriage act, the immigration officials denied Makk's petition to seek permanent residency stating: "The claimed relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary is not a petitionable relationship. For a relationship to qualify as a marriage for purposes of federal law, one partner must be a man and the other a woman." The couple had been together for 19 years and were married seven years ago in Massachusetts. The decision is especially difficult due to the fact that Wells has AIDS and is dependent on Makk as his caregiver. Read more about this couple. This case is yet another example of laws which deny same sex couples benefits granted to married couples. The Defense of Marriage Act in particular arguably violates equal protection rights under the Constitution.
At the Dolan Law Firm we love our bikes. Whether cruiser or fixed gear, 500cc or scooter, we probably have someone in our office who rides it.
This morning started with another serious accident in San Francisco. At 8:33 this morning a woman in her 40's was struck by a bicyclist, as she was crossing the street, reportedly sustaining serious head injuries from the collision.
In an attempt to decrease the number of accidents involving long-haul truckers, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is weighing a proposal to limit the amount of hours that truckers can drive in a given day from 11 to 10. The proposal would require truckers to complete their full days work within a 14-hour window that must include at least a one-hour break. This means that all the work a trucker can complete in a given day, from loading and unloading to filling out log books -- as well as the day's driving -- would be restricted to 13 hours.