In the News

PLEASANTON WEEKLY: Corbett Bill Grants Abbot's Final Wish

March 26, 2014

Allows Archimandrite to be buried on Castro Valley monastery's grounds

by Jeb Bing / Pleasanton Weekly

Special legislation initiated by Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-East Bay) will allow Archimandrite Theodor Micka, who has been the Abbot at the Holy Cross Monastery in Castro Valley since its founding, to be buried on the monastery's grounds.

Governor Jerry Brown signed the bipartisan-approved bill Tuesday that allows the special burial.

CAPITAL PUBLIC RADIO: Lawmaker Wants California Involved In Federal Brain Research Effort

January 13, 2014

Katie Orr

There’s a federal effort underway to map all the neurons in the human brain, and one lawmaker wants to make sure California’s involved in the effort.

There are nearly 100 billion neurons in the human brain, with 100 trillion connections between them. A federal effort launched last spring seeks to better understand how those pieces interact.

Democratic State Senator Ellen Corbett has introduced legislation that would create a California brain research program that could work in tandem with the federal effort.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Senator Pushes For More Assisted-Care Inspections

November 14, 2013

Will Kane

Concerned over the residential care home fiasco in Castro Valley, an East Bay state senator said she plans to introduce legislation to bolster inspections by the state agency tasked with monitoring assisted-care facilities.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: 2 Bills to Toughen Limo Rules go to Governor

September 15, 2013

Henry K. Lee

Four months after a limousine fire on the San Mateo Bridge killed a bride and four other women, a pair of bills designed to strengthen California's regulation of limos and make them safer is awaiting action from the governor.

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Bill Gives Parents Control of Networking Sites

May 20, 2013

By Judy Lin, Associated Press | Associated Press – Thu, May 2, 2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would allow parents to remove their children's personal information from social networking sites, over the objection of Facebook and other tech companies that say it would be impossible to implement.

BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN (EDITORIAL): Social Media Too Invasive Of Our Privacy

April 14, 2013

By The Bakersfield Californian

A California lawmaker is taking a second shot at strengthening the privacy rights of social media users. Her new, streamlined proposal has merit.

A bill that was offered up two years ago by state Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett, D-San Leandro, would have given users greater control of how sites like Google, Facebook and Twitter could use their personal information, but it withered under an aggressive lobbying push by those companies and others, and it failed to gain passage.

L.A. TIMES: Tesla Motors to post its first profit

April 02, 2013

Tesla sold more of its electric cars than expected in the first three months of the year, and it adjusts its first-quarter guidance to 'full profitability.'

By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times

Tesla Motors Inc. is poised to turn a profit for the first time, based on stronger-than-expected sales of its premium electric cars.

CALIFORNIA WATCH: Senate Leader Wants Task Force to Improve School Seismic Safety

March 01, 2012

By Corey G. Johnson

The chairwoman of the state Senate disaster preparedness committee is calling for new building standards and an overhaul of California's seismic safety law in the wake of a California Watch investigation and a scathing audit that found significant flaws in the state's oversight of public school construction.

Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, introduced SB 1271 last week. Under the bill, a task force would have until Jan. 1, 2014, to adopt new building standards and policies to bolster school seismic safety. The task force will include representatives from the Division of the State Architect, Bureau of State Audits, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and Office of Emergency Services.

The new standards are intended to address weaknesses in the state architect's office's oversight of seismic safety standards for K-12 public school construction. According to the bill, the task force will consider:

• Penalties and other sanctions to compel compliance by school districts, contractors and other professionals
• Stronger oversight of fire safety and accessibility standards
• Improved evaluation of inspectors
• How to increase transparency in the state architect’s office regarding enforcement actions

NY TIMES: A Bridge Built to Sway When the Earth Shakes

February 07, 2012

By Henry Fountain

SAN FRANCISCO — Venture deep inside the new skyway of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and it becomes clear that the bridge’s engineers have planned for the long term.

At intervals inside the elevated roadway’s box girders — which have the closed-in feel of a submarine, if a submarine were made of concrete — are anchor blocks, called deadmen, cast into the structure. They are meant to be used decades from now, perhaps in the next century, when in their old age the concrete girders will start to sag. By running cables from deadman to deadman and tightening them, workers will be able to restore the girders to their original alignment.

The deadmen are one sign that the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, which includes the skyway and a unique suspension bridge, is meant to last at least 150 years after its expected opening in 2013. (The existing eastern bridge, which is still in use, will then be torn down.)

But to make it to the 22nd century, the new span may at some point have to survive a major earthquake, like the one that destroyed much of San Francisco in 1906 or the one that partly severed the Bay Bridge in 1989. With two faults nearby that are capable of producing such large quakes, survival is no simple matter.