Judge overturns N.F.L.’s suspension of Tom Brady

“In a major setback for the N.F.L., New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady prevailed in his battle to have his four-game suspension overturned Thursday, as a federal judge reversed a ruling by Commissioner Roger Goodell to bench one of the league’s biggest stars in a dispute over underinflated balls he used in a January championship game,” as the New York Times is reporting.

“Judge Richard M. Berman of Federal District Court in Manhattan did not rule on whether Brady tampered with the footballs in a bid for competitive advantage. Instead, he focused on the narrower question of whether the collective bargaining agreement between the N.F.L. and the players union gave Goodell the authority to carry out the suspension. Judge Berman ruled that it did not.

“The 40-page decision picks apart the N.F.L.’s case, finding a number of faults and reflecting Berman’s skepticism in recent court hearings.

“’Brady had no notice that such conduct was prohibited or any reasonable certainty of potential discipline stemming from such conduct,’ the judge wrote.

“Even if the league believed Brady had obstructed the investigation, by having a cellphone destroyed before it could be fully examined, the judge sided with Brady’s argument that “there is no evidence of a record of past suspensions based purely on obstructing a league investigation.”

The rest of the article is here.

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Fishing with a drone

You can’t make this stuff up.

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Sacramento Regional Technology Alliance shuts down

“The Sacramento Regional Technology Alliance is shutting down, the group’s recently appointed CEO said Tuesday,” as the Sacramento Business Journal is reporting.

“Howard Bubb, who joined in May, said the group’s board of directors voted Monday to cease operations.

“While the organization had increased support from grant revenue in recent years, the level of support from businesses has declined, he said.

‘”The region has evolved to the point that businesses and individuals are putting their support elsewhere,’ Bubb said. ‘There is only so much funding available for economic development.’

“SARTA had been in talks about combining forces with the new Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council, but neither group has announced such a move.”

The rest of the article is here.

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Locals supporting family that was racially targeted at campground

A Sacramento TV station reported this weekend that a family enjoying a reunion at a Nevada County campsite had to leave in the middle of the night because of racially charged threats allegedly made by a man in the neighboring campsite.

You can check out this story on abc10.com: http://on.news10.net/1FirenY. (The Union reported this as a police blotter item, but did not write an article. I suspect it will now, given the widespread attention it is receiving, on social media and elsewhere).

This morning a group of locals stepped up to support the family that was involved. It has launched a crowdfunding campaign called “The Allen Family 2016” reunion.

“This campaign is to fund the Allen family’s 2016 Family reunion. Let’s show them what this county is truly about…a community full of compassionate people that values diversity.
It will only be used to purchase a vacation package at local lodging, dining, and attractions.
If you are a business owner, please feel free to donate to further their Nevada County experience!”

One donor commented: “The treatment of your beautiful family is despicable and embarrassing since I am a local and frequent Rollins Lake often. I hope this little bit will help ease your pain and that you can eventually replace negative memories with better ones.”

“I am very overwhelmed by the amount of love and support we have received from other residents of Nevada County,” said another comment. “Although we are not looking to receive any funds at all just want to shed light on the unfortunate incident! It warms my heart to see that it is still good people in the world.”

In addition, the Sacramento TV station interviewed supporters of the family who gathered in Grass Valley today, as part of a followup report.

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The new breed of legal “ambulance chasers”

“Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has chosen to prolong her moment in the limelight by defying a federal judge’s order to issue marriage licenses to legally qualifed people who apply for them,” as the Lexington-Herald Leader writes in an editorial.

“Sharing Davis’ glow is Liberty Counsel, which describes itself as a nonprofit that provides pro bono legal representation related to ‘religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family,’ funded by tax-deductible donations and grants. In 2012 those gifts reached just over $3.5 million and in 2013 topped $4.1 million, according to IRS filings.

“The husband and wife team who founded and run Liberty Counsel, Anita and Matthew Staver, were paid $137,758 and $153,591, respectively, in 2013. The staff of five ran up $184,479 in travel expenses that year and spent $429,584 on conferences, conventions and meetings. Liberty Counsel paid one independent contractor over $600,000 for ’email alert services,’ and another almost $500,000 for printing and mail services. ‘Case costs,’ were reported at $105,487.

“Liberty’s attorneys know they can’t win the case in Rowan County. Same-sex marriage is legal since the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision and it’s Davis’ job to issue marriage licenses.

“So, why is Liberty Counsel marching alongside Davis in this losing cause? It takes a lot to keep that marketing machine humming and those executives paid, and the only way to keep those donations coming is to stay in the news. For that purpose a losing cause is just as good as, perhaps better than, a winning one.”

The rest of the article is here.

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Family racially targeted at area campground

A family enjoying a reunion at a Nevada County campsite had to leave in the middle of the night because of racially charged threats allegedly made by a man in the neighboring campsite, ABC10.com is reporting.

Check out this story on abc10.com: http://on.news10.net/1FirenY

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Our extreme hard-right politics lead to defeat of fire tax again

From the “you can’t make this stuff up” or “you reap what you sow” department:

For another time, a tax to improve fire protection failed in the Higgins Fire District in South County failed, as Ballotpedia is reporting. “The district tried to pass previous parcel tax measures in both 2013 and 2012. Both past measures received more than 60 percent approval, but failed to reach the 66.67 percent supermajority required. The 2013 measure, which was called Measure O, fell short of the two-thirds supermajority vote required by a margin of just 32 votes. A two-thirds supermajority vote was required for the approval of Measure V.”

Proponents had argued: “Our homes and businesses are our most important – and expensive – assets. As residents in a high fire hazard zone, we need to do all we can to protect our property from fire damage. For a very small investment, we can continue to mitigate the risk of fire in our area for our property and families. The average amount a residential parcel will contribute is less than $12.00 a month for Measure V.”

In addition, the group said: “Unfortunately, the argument against Measure V authored by Mr. Wade Freedle makes several erroneous statements presented as facts. … Mr. Freedle has gotten his ‘facts’ wrong and it has been published in a pamphlet that has gone to all registered voters in Higgins District. This spreads misinformation throughout our community and I felt it necessary to set the facts straight.”

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