Bay Area officials will vote today on a $76 million plan to install suicide prevention nets on the Golden Gate Bridge. The agency that operates the bridge has previously rejected the idea of raising the railings to prevent suicides – arguing that it would drastically change the character of the 77-year-old landmark. But the suicides continue to add up. A record 46 people jumped to their deaths from the bridge last year. More than 1,500 have killed themselves since it opened in 1937. Advocates say the nets will cut down those numbers. They’ve been arguing for years that transportation officials have turned a blind eye to the human carnage. The nets would be installed 20 feet below the railings on either side of the bridge. Funding would come from a mix of state and federal money, and bridge tolls.
Metro has taken a major step toward building a light rail station near LAX – and, correcting what many believe to be a two-decade old mistake. Critics have been calling the east-west Metro Rail Green Line “the train to nowhere” ever since it began running in 1995, stopping just short of the airport. But the MTA has voted unanimously to begin environmental impact studies of a $200 million light rail station that would be built a mile-and-a-half east of LAX, along the route of the Crenshaw/LAX Metro Rail Line now under construction. LAX would pay for a monorail-like people mover to take riders from the station to passenger terminals.
A series of political scandals involving Democrats in the Legislature is contributing to a dim view of state lawmakers held by many Californians. A new Field Poll says about a third of California voters – 35 percent – approve of the job being done by state legislators. Nearly half – 47 percent – disapprove. Only 18 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of independents give state lawmakers good marks. Democratic senators Leland Yee, Ron Calderon and Roderick Wright have all faced criminal allegations in recent months. Wright was convicted of living outside his district and lying about it. Political corruption charges are pending against Yee and Calderon.
Jurors will start their first full day of deliberations today in the Bryan Stow civil trial. Lawyers for the San Francisco Giants fan who was badly injured in an attack at Dodger Stadium are seeking at least $50 million from the baseball team former owner James McCourt. Two Rialto men – Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez – are serving prison sentences for assaulting Stow in the Dodger Stadium Parking lot on Opening Day in 2011. But Stow’s family says it’s the team and former owner Frank McCourt who ultimately bear responsibility because of lax security. The former Santa Cruz paramedic suffered debilitating and permanent brain injuries in the attack.
A federal judge in Miami has denied a motion by L.A. Dodgers star Yasiel Puig to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a Cuban man who blames the outfielder for his imprisonment and torture. The man claims he was falsely accused by Puig of involvement in human trafficking and was subjected to torture in Cuban prisons. The judge set a November trial date. Puig has denied the allegations. Filings in other lawsuits have detailed Puig’s defection out of Cuba by smugglers who took him to Mexico and eventually to the U.S. amid threats over unpaid debts.