Bay Area Briefs

Thursday October 03, 2002

High fire danger prompts  

East Bay park closures 

A high fire danger warning issued by the National Weather Service Tuesday has prompted a number of East Bay Regional Park closures. 

Parks impacted by the warning include Tilden Park, Wildcat Canyon, Claremont Canyon, Sobrante Ridge, Sibley, Huckleberry, Temescal West Slope and trails and Briones.  

Citing strong winds and dry conditions, the Red Flag Warning, declared for much of Northern California, was expected to run through last night. 

For further information concerning closures contact the East Bay Regional Park Police at 881-1833. 

Labor study challenges  

Bay Area liberal image 

A new labor survey challenges the conventional wisdom that the Bay Area is more liberal than Southern California. 

When it comes to issues of economic inequality, Los Angeles-area residents surveyed for the State of California Labor 2002 report were more likely to support government-led solutions than Bay Area respondents to the poll. 

University of California at Berkeley sociologist and political scientist Margaret Weir, who contributed to the report, said those political leanings might be due to the large growth of low-wage jobs in the Los Angeles area during the 1990s. 

"We can speculate in two ways. One is in Southern California, the more pro-government stance ... is result of the higher proportion of low-income workers. Their presence is really beginning to change the political profile of Southern California,'' Weir said. "The other piece is the rise of Silicon Valley really helped promote more faith in market solutions.'' 

The political differences between California's two main urban centers "really surprised me when we first uncovered it,'' said Ruth Milkman, a UCLA sociology professor who also contributed to the report. 

Lawyer for tree-squatters  

has new plan to let them stay 

BRISBANE — A lawyer for the couple that San Mateo County officials want to remove from their home at the base of a 300-year-old tree says he has a new plan to allow them to stay. 

Burlingame lawyer Bill Johnston said Besh Serdahely and Thelma Caballero should be allowed to remain in their San Bruno Mountain County Park home where they’ve lived for 12 years and become permanent caretakers of the park in exchange for permission to continue living there. 

The county gave the couple an eviction notice after a review of property lines showed the hideaway county rather than state land. 

To allow the couple to stay, Johnston proposed in a letter to county officials that the county implement a program similar to that of the state park system’s Campground Host program.