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Novato, California

About Novato:

Novato is a city located in northern Marin County, California. As of a 2000 census, the city had a total population of 47,630.

The city is home to the Buck Institute for Age Research, Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, DriveSavers data recovery, as well as being the birthplace of... (More Info and Source) Novato Real Estate

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Airstrikes and aid provide relief for Iraqi town

Aircraft from the United States, Australia, France and Britain dropped food and water to the beleaguered Iraqi town of Amirli, which has been under siege by Islamic State militants for nearly two months, the Pentagon said Saturday night. U.S. airstrikes supported the humanitarian mission.

Thousands of Shiite Turkmen have been stranded in the farming community about 105 miles north of Baghdad. The aid came at the request of the Iraqi government, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.

Military operations will be limited in scope and duration as needed to address the humanitarian crisis in Amirli and protect the civilians trapped in the town, Kirby said.

Instead of fleeing in the face of the Islamic State drive across northern Iraq, the Shiite Turkmens have stayed and fortified their town of 15,000 with trenches and armed positions.

While Amirli fought off the initial attack in June, it has been surrounded by the militants since mid-July. Some residents have said that the Iraqi military's efforts to fly in food, water and other aid have not been enough amid oppressive heat, lack of electrical power — the town's power station was destroyed weeks ago — and shelling from the militants.

The U.S. had been watching the area closely in case a slaughter of the Turkmen appeared imminent and air support was needed, said Michael Knights, who studies Iraq and the Persian Gulf as a fellow of The Washington Institute. U.S. airstrikes will hasten the success of the relief effort on the ground, he said.

About half of the town's population is age 15 and under while many others are elderly, sick or wounded, Knights said.

"They are remarkably vulnerable, and ISIS is determined to kill as many of these people as possible," Knights said, referring to an acronym for the Islamic State group. "As the Nazis felt about the Jews, so ISIS feels about the Shia Muslims."

U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, which began earlier this month, have targeted Islamic State militants attacking Yazidi Iraqis on Mount Sinjar and the militant forces operating in the vicinity of Ibril and Mosul Dam. The beleaguered Yazidis received several humanitarian drops of tons of food and water as well as military support aimed at protecting them.

Earlier Saturday, U.S. Central Command said five more airstrikes had taken place against Islamic State militants near Mosul Dam. Those attacks, carried out by fighter aircraft and unmanned drones, brought to 115 the total number of airstrikes across Iraq since Aug. 8.

Sat, 30 Aug 2014 21:06:40 -0700

California passes plastic bag ban

California's legislature has passed a ban on single-use plastic bags. It could soon be the first ban of its kind implemented at a state level.

State lawmakers passed the bill along with a host of other measures during a late-night session Friday, after initially failing to clear the legislature in an earlier vote. It now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk for approval. 

If signed, the proposal would ban grocery and convenience stores from providing plastic bags for their customers. Shoppers would have to either bring their own bags or pay 10 cents at the checkout for a paper or reusable plastic bag. (Video via KXTV)

Similar plastic bag bans have cropped up in cities and counties across the U.S. — including about 124 places in California — but this would be the first state-wide ban.

The issue has attracted heated debate. Proponents of the ban say plastic bags are often not recycled and pollute the environment with hard-to-eliminate waste. A lot of that waste makes its way to the ocean, where activists say it poses a hazard to marine wildlife. (Video via YouTube / Healthebay)

​​But some conservatives disagree.

Per Lisa Kennedy Montgomery on the  FOX Business channel: "Recyclable plastic bags are not the enemy, why does the government have to get up in our business? Have you ever tried picking up dog crap with a paper bag? It's ridiculous!" 

Californian Republicans argue the bill will take away jobs from bag manufacturers, and the 10-cent bag surcharge might hurt lower-income families. â€‹ Assemblyman Don Wagner, R-Irvine  told The Sacremento Bee, "It makes absolutely no sense as tax policy, it makes no sense as a jobs policy."

The bill managed to overcome some of those objections with additional protections for manufacturers, including a $2 million fund for bag makers to retool their assembly lines to produce more sustainable bags.

But  Bloomberg writer Adam Minter worries this measure will be more of a symbolic gesture than a meaningful change:

"These are feel-good measures, an easy way for civic leaders to demonstrate their concern for the environment without requiring too much of their constituents or local businesses. ... They risk fueling a self-congratulatory complacency that distracts from more serious challenges," Minter writes. 

The plastic bag ban was just one of the measures sent to Brown's desk this weekend. Other bills include regulations for groundwater pumping and requirements for most employers to provide at least three paid sick days each year.

Sat, 30 Aug 2014 20:33:04 -0700

No. 11 Stanford routs UC Davis 45-0 in opener

Ty Montgomery answered any questions about his health on his first touch, and Stanford's reconstructed defense looked just as rejuvenated in the season opener.

Next week will really give a glimpse of how far the Cardinal can go this year.

Montgomery returned his first career punt for a touchdown and caught five passes for 77 yards and another score, and No. 11 Stanford tuned up for a date with No. 15 Southern California by routing UC Davis 45-0 on Saturday.

"Our opponents are nameless and faceless. It doesn't matter who we play. We have to play to our standard," Montgomery said, reciting the team motto.

The All-American kick returner, who was cleared by doctors to play earlier this week after offseason surgery on his right shoulder, set the tone. The Cardinal's do-it-all playmaker ran the first punt back 60 yards for a TD and lined up all over the field, including once as a wildcat quarterback.

Stanford led 38-0 at the half against the overmatched Aggies and rested most of its starters the final two quarters.

"I'm proud the way the guys started the game," Cardinal coach David Shaw said. "I thought we were physical. I thought we paid attention to detail. It was not perfect early on."

Kevin Hogan threw for 204 yards and three touchdowns to guide the two-time defending Pac-12 champions through a mostly smooth opener. He completed 12 of 16 passes and had one interception.

Stanford put together quick-strike TD drives of 6 seconds, 9 seconds, 53 seconds, 2:58 and 6:55.

The retooled defense held the Aggies to 115 total yards, forced three turnovers and sacked London Lacy four times to overwhelm the lower-tier Football Championship Subdivision team. UC Davis didn't crossed midfield until the final play of the game.

"I think it's good for our program, I think it's good for our kids," UC Davis coach Ron Gould said. "It sets the tone for where we want to go and what we want to build."

The Cardinal's first shutout since beating Colorado 48-0 on Nov. 3, 2012, showed just how far they've come since losing 20-17 to UC Davis in 2005. And with South Carolina's loss to Texas A&M on Thursday, Stanford now owns the nation's longest active home winning streak at 17 games.

But Stanford still has plenty to clean up before the Trojans visit The Farm.

The Cardinal's overhauled offensive line — which features four new starters — had its share of struggles, including a false start, holding and clipping penalties in the first half. Hogan also was sacked once.

Barry Sanders ran for 43 yards on seven carries, and starter Kelsey Young had 37 yards on seven carries as Stanford tries to replace 1,700-yard rusher Tyler Gaffney this season. The Cardinal finished with 149 yards rushing.

"I feel great with where we're at," Hogan said. "Coach Shaw talked to us about the game we have coming up. It's not the Super Bowl, as some people might think. It's the next game on our schedule."

With road games at Oregon, UCLA and Arizona State, though, next week's matchup could have a major impact on Stanford's season.

Stanford's starters kept mistakes to a minimum in the opener, but UC Davis simply lacked the talent to contain the Cardinal or sustain drives. Lacy completed 12 of 22 passes for 54 yards and two interceptions, and the Aggies' top two running backs sat out with injuries.

Even still, Montgomery gave them the most trouble.

After Stanford stopped the Aggies on the game's opening possession, Montgomery fielded a punt near the middle of the field. He sliced right, cut back up field and shook off a tackle from punter Colby Wadman to complete the 60-yard score.

Montgomery also caught an inside screen from Hogan and raced 44 yards for another touchdown late in the first half. He added one rush for 8 yards out of the wildcat formation.

"Ty Montgomery showed everybody what kind of shape he's in," Shaw said.

Hogan had TD passes of 40 yards to Michael Rector and 52 yards to freshman Christian McCaffrey — the son of former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey — and scrambled for a 1-yard score. McCaffrey also returned three punts for 60 yards and had three tackles on special teams in his debut.

Jordan Williamson, who made 1 of 2 field goals, became Stanford's career scoring leader. He broke Eric Abrams' record of 289 points from 1992 to 1995.

Devon Cajuste, the Cardinal's No. 2 wide receiver, was suspended for the game for a violation of team rules. He is expected to play against USC.

Sat, 30 Aug 2014 20:09:51 -0700

News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories

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