SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Homeless moms who were evicted earlier this year from a vacant San Francisco Bay Area house they occupied say a community land trust has purchased the property and will turn it into transitional housing for other mothers experiencing homelessness.

Members of the activist group, Moms 4 Housing, announced Friday that the three-bedroom home in West Oakland was purchased by the Oakland Community Land Trust from a real estate investment company. The property requires extensive renovation for habitation, the group said.

The land trust purchased the property for $587,500 and closed in May, but the pandemic and planning for repairs delayed a public celebration . The land trust is a nonprofit organization that holds property for the benefit of low-income residents.

Steve King, executive director of the trust, says the house requires extensive repairs, including a new roof and windows. He said his group will work with Moms 4 Housing to figure out a transitional housing program for the property. Money to buy and refurbish the house came from donations and does not include city money, he said.

“We’re excited to be part of it and definitely excited to get the rehab started and finished so the house can be used,” he said.

The group caused a national sensation last year when the moms and their children moved into the empty house in November, partly to protest the methods of speculators who they claim snap up distressed homes and leave them empty despite California’s severe housing shortage and growing numbers of homeless people. They said mothers and children should not be homeless when housing is available.

They were evicted at dawn in January, surrounded by supporters on watch. Video showed one deputy slamming a battering ram against the house’s front door.

The group received widespread support, including

Oakland International Airport announced Thursday that Southwest Airlines will begin nonstop service between San Francisco’s East Bay and Palm Springs, California (PSP) twice per day starting Nov. 15.

Southbound flights will depart Oakland at 9:05 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. Return flights depart PSP at 8:30 a.m. and 4:25 p.m. for the hour-or-so trip.

Fares are for sale on starting Thursday, and a quick check shows the cheapest OAK-PSP roundtrips at a remarkably low $79 roundtrip. That’s super cheap, and I expect we will soon see United, Alaska Air and Sun Country match those fares from the Bay Area.

Only Southwest will serve the Oakland-Palm Springs route, and will use Boeing 737s. Alaska, United and Sun Country fly nonstop between San Francisco and PSP. Alaska will soon add a nonstop from San Jose. United and Alaska fly a combination of various jets on the route, but primarily use smaller Embraer or CRJ aircraft.

RELATED: Why Palm Springs is so hot these days

What’s best about Southwest fares is that you can go ahead and make reservations now, then make changes later with no penalties. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, most other carriers have also eliminated those frustrating fees, which is going to make a getting to and from the Coachella Valley this winter quicker, easier and less expensive.

Southwest will also fly to Denver and Phoenix from Palm Springs.

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“Palm Springs is an often requested yet unserved destination from the East Bay,” said Port of Oakland Director of Aviation Bryant L. Francis. “So, we’re especially pleased that the new service will allow over 4 million East Bay residents to use their home airport when they fly to Palm Springs.”

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Jim Nash is proud as poop of his new $32-million maze of pipes and boilers on the outskirts of Pontiac.

Two plans for handling sewage, only one gets state’s OK



“This is going to revolutionize how sewage is treated,” says Nash, the boss of Oakland County’s drains and sewers. 

Doesn’t excite you? Well, put on your COVID mask — it’ll cut down on odors we’ll encounter — and join a reporter and photographer as we tour a new way of handling everyone’s you-know-what.

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“We’re the first place in Michigan to try it and only the third in the nation,” Nash says on the tour.

a man standing next to a building: Oakland County Water Resource Commissioner Jim Nash, right, and Mike Daniels, plant manager, give a tour of the new Thermal Hydrolysis Processing facility (THP) in Pontiac. The plant transforms human waste into class A fertilizer.

© Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press
Oakland County Water Resource Commissioner Jim Nash, right, and Mike Daniels, plant manager, give a tour of the new Thermal Hydrolysis Processing facility (THP) in Pontiac. The plant transforms human waste into class A fertilizer.

In tax dollars and energy, this new technology will save a you-know-what load, Nash promises. Plus, it’s good for the environment, turning the mountains of hazardous solids that come from sewage plants, which other plants must truck off to landfills, into a safe and beneficial fertilizer.

Before starting construction, Nash, who is Oakland County’s elected water resources commissioner, had to get state regulators to approve a sewage permit for his new-fangled chemistry set at the Clinton River Water Resource Recovery Facility (formerly the Pontiac Wastewater Treatment Plant).

At a site 30 miles away in Macomb County, the same regulators denied a sewage permit sought by Nash’s counterpart, Macomb County Public Works Director Candice Miller. It was for a sewage project of almost the same cost, around $30 million.

During heavy rains, Miller’s project aimed