Today’s News: Supreme Court weighs DOMA; Toxic legacy; Boothless Golden Gate bridge

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DOMA debate. The Supreme Court today turned from California’s Proposition 8 to the question of whether the federal government can deny benefits to those already married. At issue is the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. DOMA as it’s known, affects some 18,000 legally married same-sex couples in California. L.A. Times

New neighborhood. L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and city leaders will join USC President Max Nikias today to sign an agreement for a new development called USC Village. The billion-dollar retail and residential project is being called the largest in South L.A.’s history. Developers are promising a “town-square” setting with student housing, academic buildings, a grocery store and a hotel and conference center. Plans also call for 12 acres of open space. KTLA

Closing the gap. The L.A. City Council has agreed to consider another big round of budget cuts, including the elimination of a shortened work week for police officers and deferring promised employee raises. The 10 Council members present yesterday voted 9-1 in favor of taking a closer look at the controversial package of cost saving measures. Meanwhile, former Clinton Administration Commerce Secretary Mickey Cantor is expected to announce later this week that he’ll lead a private panel to consider ways of addressing the city’s chronic deficits. L.A. Times

Toxic Cleanup. The Goodrich Corporation has agreed to pay more than $21 million toward the cleanup of an Inland Empire EPA Superfund Site. The settlement comes after a nearly decade-long legal fight over responsibility for widespread groundwater contamination in Rialto, Colton and Fontana. Goodrich conducted solid rocket tests in the area in the 1950s and 1960s. The total cleanup bill could exceed $100 million. Press Enterprise

Keep moving. The last human toll takers on the Golden Gate Bridge have cleaned out their booths. Commuters heading into San Francisco this morning are paying their tolls electronically. The Golden Gate Bridge is the first bridge in California with an all-electronic toll collection system. Tolls can be paid with FasTrak, or drivers can agree to have their license plates scanned and get their bills in the mail. KQED