1. Traffic on major Bay Area freeways has worsened by 80 percent since 2010, reports Erin Baldassari of the East Bay Times$, citing a new report from Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Traffic has become much worse as more people have moved to far-flung suburbs in search of housing and then drive to work.
2. The Audubon Society’s Golden Gate chapter announced its opposition to the Oakland’s A’s plan to build a new ballpark next to Laney College and near Lake Merritt, the San Francisco Chronicle$ reports. The influential environmental group says that Lake Merritt, which is an inland estuary, is home to numerous bird species that could be impacted by a new ballpark nearby. But Oakland business and labor leaders said they support the plan.
3. Millions of Californians could be on the hook for Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build two giant water tunnels—regardless of whether they support the proposal, the Associated Press reports. The Brown administration contends that water agencies serving millions of Californians will have to pay for the tunnels even if they vote against the plan—unless they sign contracts with other agencies to buy their water allotments from the tunnels.
4. Hurricane Maria strengthened to a monster Category 5 storm and is expected to plow through Puerto Rico today after it devastated the island of Dominica, The New York Times$ reports.
5. And GOP Senators are continuing their drive this week to repeal Obamacare, Politico reports. The Republican plan would replace the Affordable Care Act with block grants to states and is expected to result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance.
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