A biker has been arrested after performing stunts on his motorcycle while being chased at speeds of up to 100mph by the California Highway Patrol.
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Bike Safety – Sharing the Road AAA is Committed to improving the lives of 51 million members across North America. When you think of AAA, you probably think of maps and directions and emergency roadside assistance, some of our top services. But did you know that AAA offers many services to help with your travel […]
A cold low pressure system over northwestern Mexico continued to produce damaging offshore wind gusts Friday evening through the mountains of Ventura and Los Angeles counties. See the original post here: Strong Winds Blow Through the Southland
SAN FRANCISCO — The sponsors of California’s gay marriage ban renewed their effort Thursday to disqualify a federal judge because of his same-sex relationship, but they met a skeptical audience in an appeals court panel. It’s the first time an American jurist’s sexual orientation has been cited as grounds for overturning a court decision. Lawyers for a coalition of religious conservative groups told a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker should have revealed he had a long-term male partner before he presided over a trial on the measure’s constitutionality. He also should have stated whether he had any interest in getting married, the lawyers said. Because he did not, Walker’s impartiality stands in doubt and the decision he ultimately made to strike down Proposition 8 as a violation of Californians’ civil rights must be reversed, said Charles Cooper, an attorney for the ban’s backers. “In May 2009, when Judge Walker read the allegations of the complaint, he knew something the litigants and the public did not know: He knew that he, too, like the plaintiffs, was a gay resident of California who was involved in a long-term, serious relationship with an individual of the same sex,” Cooper said. “The litigants did not have any knowledge of these facts, and it appears that Judge Walker made the deliberate decision not to disclose these facts.” Judge R. Randy Smith, who represents Idaho on the 9th Circuit, interrupted to forcefully ask why a gay judge would be any more obligated to divulge his relationship status and views on matrimony than would a married straight judge who opposes same-sex marriage. “So a married judge could never hear a divorce?” Smith asked. “Your honor, I don’t see the difficulty with a married judge hearing a divorce action,” Cooper answered. Smith replied: “Would he have to disclose, `Oh, I’ve been married, and we’ve been married for 24 years and we have a relationship that’s kind of difficult’? That’s what you are arguing here?” Cooper said the hypothetical situation Smith described was different because if Walker, who is now retired, had “desired to marry his partner, he would have stood in exactly the same shoes as the plaintiffs in this case.” David Boies, a lawyer representing the two same-sex couples who successfully sued to strike down Proposition 8 in Walker’s court, attacked Cooper’s reasoning, arguing that judicial ethics rules never have required judges to bow out of civil rights cases because they are members of the minority group whose constitutional rights are at issue. Cooper’s “perverse logic is that only judges, gay or straight, who have no interest in marrying and the institution of marriage would be the only ones who could hear this case,” Boies said. Judge Stephen Reinhardt, of California, asked if the presumption that Walker could be unbiased in a same-sex marriage case would be valid even if the judge had disclosed at the start of the trial that he planned to get married once the case were over and he legally could. “Mr. Cooper’s point is the absence of that information raises an obligation on the part of the judge to disclose whether he wants to get married or not,” Reinhardt said. “He says it’s relevant because it allows the public to determine whether there is a reason for recusal, and that applies not only to `Yes, I do intend to get married,’ but, `No, I do not intend to get married.” Boies answered that Walker had no obligation to reveal his personal thoughts on marriage either way, but that expecting him to have spoken up to disavow any interest in marrying his partner was “an intolerable double standard” for gay and lesbian judges. “A heterosexual judge may feel passionately about preserving the institution of marriage. Does that judge have an obligation to volunteer, to come forward, to tell the parties what his views of marriage are and his views of the institution of marriage?” Boies asked. The appeals court did not immediately rule on the matter. In June, Walker’s successor, Chief Judge James Ware, rejected the same arguments from the ban’s backers that Walker’s ruling should be overturned because he might personally benefit from declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional. The hearing Thursday was over an appeal of Ware’s decision. The 9th Circuit panel also heard arguments on whether it should unseal video recordings Walker made of the January 2010 trial. After the U.S. Supreme Court barred the trial’s video broadcast beyond Walker’s courtroom, the judge had his staff record the proceedings but said they would only be viewed by him in his chambers to refresh his memory while he was preparing his opinion. Lawyers for the two couples and a coalition of media organizations that includes The Associated Press are asking the appeals court to make the recordings public. The 9th Circuit has said it needed to hear arguments on both the significance of Walker’s relationship and the public release of the trial videos before it can address the more substantive issue of whether Walker correctly struck down Proposition 8 on federal constitutional grounds. The appeals court panel heard arguments about that in January but does not face a deadline for making a decision. Continued here: Yet Another Day In Court For Prop 8
The 2012 Rose Parade, which takes place on Monday, January 2nd in accordance with the “Never On A Sunday” tradition, steps off at 8am PST. Southern Californians who make the trek to watch the parade in person face traffic, limited parking and limited space along the 5.5 mile parade route — but that won’t stop the approximately 700,000 people who are expected to make it out there. The OC Register’s infographic guide to the Rose Parade notes that parking “is a nightmare,” but that savvy spectators would be wise to park on Pasadena streets starting at noon the day before the parade. The parade steps off on South Orange Grove Boulevard and Green Street and then marches east on Colorado Boulevard. The parade ends by turning north on Sierra Madre Boulevard and stopping at Villa Street. Check out a list of street closures related to the Rose Parade . The rest of us can watch live coverage of the events on KTLA (which is also doing a live feed online ), and East Coast viewers can catch it on local ABC and NBC stations from 11am to 1pm EST. National channels covering the parade include the Hallmark Channel, Home & Garden and Univision, according to the SF Examiner . As for those who are interested in this year’s unofficial float, Gigaom reports that Spencer Miller will be broadcasting Occupy The Rose Parade online. Details to be announced on Miller’s twitter feed . Leading the parade in its 123rd year is Grand Marshall J.R. Martinez, a military veteran turned inspirational speaker and actor (and the 2011 champion of Dancing With The Stars ). In a press conference on Friday , Martinez expressed both gratitude and disbelief about his role in the upcoming parade. “It’s really going to be amazing… I think that’s really going to hit me in an emotional way,” he said. “To think, here I am bringing in 2012 in such an unbelievable way.” Rose Queen Drew Washington also joins the parade, where she will appear with six rose princesses: Morgan Eliza Devaud, Stephanie Grace Hynes, Cynthia Megan Louie, Kimberly Victoria Ostiller, Hanan Bulto Worku and Sarah Nicole Zuno. Richard Jackson, president of the Tournament of Roses, praised this year’s royal court, saying, “We are so honored to have them as a part of our Tournament of Roses family. These beautiful, smart and poised young ladies have been and will continue to be excellent ambassadors of the Tournament of Roses.” Stay tuned to the Huffington Post for more coverage of the 2012 Rose Parade. Preparing For The Parade In the slideshow below, volunteers work on the Everybody Walk float, a caterpillar with a walking stick and compass. Organizers at EverybodyWalks.org want parade-goers to know the health benefits of walking: the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other diseases are decreased, and years can be added to a life with a regular walking routine. All photos by Deborah Zeitman/ EveryBodyWalk.org . Captions by Jason Evans. See more here: How To Watch The Pasadena Rose Parade