Paying Pennsylvania employees with debit cards is not a valid way to pay wages, a state appeals court ruled in a class action against McDonald's franchisees. 

     My Uncle Bill was the richest and most successful person in our family, after starting out as an engineer with Hewlett-Packard when the firm consisted of seven employees working out of a garage.
     For all his wealth, he loved to travel in a very simple fashion, driving along, stopping at roadside cafes for for pie and coffee, and sleeping at motels that looked good at the end of the day.
     I have realized that I too find that the most comfortable way to travel, avoiding the crowds, lines and tension of airports and airplanes, and seeing the beauty of our land roll past the windshield. Although you then miss the powerful elixir of a new environment in a different society, which was my father's draught.
     So it was that on my birthday this year, I woke up ready for a road trip up to San Luis Obispo. It has been many years since I felt that childhood sensation that this was my "special day," a time to relax from start to finish, do what I would most enjoy, and contemplate the run of life, thank my parents and feel just a smidgen of their love.
     I, and my girlfriend Sanae took off up the 210 Freeway, as the wide ribbon of road sweeps through the foothills of the Angeles National Forest and then merges with the 5 going north. We cut off on the 126 Highway to head over to the coast.
     I have always liked that two-lane highway, as it winds along the dry bed of the Santa Clara river. Big rigs and agricultural machinery dwarf the cars, in a region of fertile land and farms, even as you can see the beginnings of the creep of development.
     As we almost always do, we stop at Margaret's Cocina, a little roadside café in Fillmore, run by women, with Frida Kalho prints on yellow walls.
     We sit outside at a round yellow table with red benches and a green umbrella, a few feet from the highway. The fish tacos are so-so but the draft Bud-Lite is cold and fresh. A warm, dry wind is blowing.
     A long time ago, I wrote a story about Fillmore for the Boston Globe because, in an agricultural area dependent on Mexican farm-workers, the town had passed an English-only ordinance, requiring that all public employees speak only English. The best interview was with the guys who ran the survivalist shop, selling mostly guns. They were all for it.
     Back on the 126, we keep driving west until Ventura, then hook onto the 101 going north through Santa Barbara, passing a string of small, beautiful state beaches, like a set of pearls.
     We stop at the last one before the road turns inland, called Gaviota.
     It is a small beach under a railroad trestle, but it reminds me of the beaches in Baja. It is unmanicured with dry seaweed littering the sand, a population of sea gulls, a broken pier, an empty lifeguard station, small, empty, concrete picnic tables, and one big Latino family having a meal. So I take a swim in the cold ocean.
     Refreshed, I drive on up the road towards San Luis Obispo, where, as my uncle would do, we find a budget, two-story motel, the Avenue Inn, for $81 a night, with an ample parking lot, just off the freeway and next to downtown. The rooms are refurbished and very clean, and our little Prius C is parked outside the window.
     We take a break in the room. Sanae naps. I catch up on the latest Trump-astrophe on my i-pad while having a petit coup, a small hit of wine from a bottle of Syrah that I brought along.
     We have a reservation for that night at Goshe, my favorite sushi restaurant anywhere, in a non-descript building at the back of a parking lot on a side street. So with some time to kill, we take a walk in town and Sanae stops to shop in a vintage clothing store.
     Which gives me the perfect excuse to take a seat in the outdoor enclosure of the Wineman Hotel on Higuera Street, have a cold beer, and watch the world go by.
     One of the charms of San Luis Obispo is the large number of students and ex-students from the Cal State University here who work in the cafes and restaurants and fuel the bars. The waitresses are pleasant and friendly.
     Two women who appear to be Chinese tourists, thin and smartly dressed, take the table in front of me, and the older one orders a huge stein of beer, downing it at an impressive pace.
     Sanae returns with a set of black, embroidered bell bottoms, a throwback to the era of flower power, and we head off for dinner. At the end of a great meal, to some embarrassment, the sushi chef, his assistants and the waitresses chant congratulations in Japanese — Omodeto! — punctuated with a series of rythmic claps. I wave in thanks, secretly pleased with the homage.
     We finish the night with another walk along Higuera Street, where the bars are now filling up with students. By chance, the same two Chinese women who were at the Wineman now come barreling down Higuera rolling huge suitcases stood up on end in front of them. Where could they be charging off to at this time of night, I wonder.
     We make one stop for a cone of chocolate ice cream, and another for a petit coup of whiskey, and then return to the motel, to sleep soundly at the end of a long and happy day.

     A lawsuit by 59 students drowning in debt says Career Point College shut down this month under federal investigation after the profit-seeking school in Texas induced them to take out high-interest student loans. 

     Returning to the witness stand after detailing a water-bottle attack and other abuses, the woman indicted over New Jersey's politically orchestrated 2013 traffic jam said Gov. Chris Christie lied to distance himself from the scandal.

     A federal judge late Monday shut down what can only be described as a document war between former Trump University students suing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, siding with the students who say Trump is trying to delay the Nov. 28 trial. 

     Voicing concerns about the proposed $85.4 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner, a senator urged the Judiciary Committee on Monday to consider a public hearing before the lucrative communications merger goes forward.

     While plastic bag manufacturers bill Proposition 67 as a simple referendum on a 2014 California law banning stores from giving customers plastic bags at checkout, some are calling the ballot initiative a ploy by the industry to slow the momentum of similar bans across the nation.

     A Minnesota man claims in court that he was exploited out of nearly 3,000 copyrighted photographs he took of Prince during the musician's early career. 

     A Florida woman filed a federal class action against the owner of the Bath & Body Works brand, claiming the vehicle fragrance product it markets as "Scentportables" is defective. 

     A city that financed a bus for a local nonprofit says that the bus manufacturer is responsible for damages after the bus caught fire outside of a shopping mall. 

     The Seventh Circuit upheld an Illinois federal judge's refusal to stop the state from banning many nonresidents' applications to carry concealed firearms. 

     Over a dozen nursing homes claim in court that Rhode Island overpaid Medicaid benefits and is now dodging its responsibility by demanding the repayment of millions of dollars without notice. 

     The marshal's office dominated by a fundamentalist Mormon sect in twin towns on the Arizona-Utah border routinely hides children involved in custody disputes from outside law enforcement, a sheriff testified Monday as the federal government tries to shut down the agency.

     Jailed rap mogul Suge Knight claims in a cross-complaint that legendary rapper and producer Dr. Dre is responsible for a nightclub shooting that left Knight with multiple gunshot wounds, and that Dre owes $900 million from a colossal Apple-Beats deal.

     Two civil-rights groups claim in a federal lawsuit that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security stonewalled a Freedom of Information Act request about surveillance of Movement for Black Lives protesters. 

     Kathleen Kane, the first woman and Democrat to be elected Pennsylvania attorney general, left the court in handcuffs Monday after a judge ordered her to spend up to 23 months for perjury.

     New revelations from the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server are not enough to give a conservative advocacy group relief from an April ruling against it in a Freedom of Information Act dispute with the State Department, a federal judge ruled. 

     The mother and grandparents of a girl who committed suicide last year sued her school district, claiming its policy on suicide awareness and prevention was outdated. 

     After suffering a brutal on-campus rape, a female victim took Ramapo College of New Jersey and its Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity chapter to task for not protecting her from her attackers. 

     A Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola from the first domestic case of the virus settled her lawsuit against her employer before trial on Monday.

     The Illinois Supreme Court reversed an order finding that a state-law requirement that sex offenders disclose their internet identities and websites is overbroad. 

     The first man to live-stream a birth on Facebook claims in a federal complaint that Rodale published his video without permission or a license on the website for Women's Health Magazine. 

     Two sex offenders who were convicted before Indiana's Sex Offender Registry Act was passed in 2009 claim in federal court that it is unconstitutional for Indiana to require them to register as sex offenders after moving back from other states, while those who have never left Indiana do not have to register. 

     Overruling precedent in light of recent Supreme Court decisions, the en banc Ninth Circuit on Monday held that federal judges should look at all the circumstances of a trademark case to determine if the case is exceptional enough to warrant an attorney fee award. 

     Citing imminent loss of the sea ice it needs to survive, the Ninth Circuit on Monday upheld federal protection of a subspecies of the Pacific bearded seal under the Endangered Species Act. 

     Despite a proliferation of polls suggesting his falling further and further behind Democrat Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump continues to insist he's going to win the presidency on Nov. 8.

     Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee chair, donated nearly a half million dollars to the senate campaign of the wife of an FBI official who later spearheaded the probe into Hillary Clinton's private email server.

     The father charged with intentionally leaving his son in a hot car to die in June 2014 complained about his marriage and son over several social media messages with various women, the lead detective in the case testified Monday.

     In response to a petition to list 81 marine species, two groupers now have Endangered Species Act protections, agency says.

     A class blames mirepresentations by Ally Financial, formerly known as GMAC, and its underwriters for the more than 25 percent drop in share value two years after the subprime car-loan business earned $2.4 billion going public.


     A disabled veteran and a homeless man claim the Arkansas State Police enforce an unconstitutional state law that criminalizes "loitering with intent to beg," in Federal Court.  

     Cody M. Winters fraudulently sold $5.2 million in unregistered oil and gas securities through cold calls from his company Southlake Resources Group, both of Fort Worth, the SEC says in Federal Court. 

     The Elida (N.M.) Police Department asked a state judge to order the Roosevelt County Sheriff's Office to stop interfering with city police business, in Portales County Court. 

     Thomson Reuters' former vice president of applications and e-commerce claims the company fired him from his $305,000-a-year job for expressing concerns that a $3 billion deal in the works violated the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, in Federal Court. 

     Colorado's prohibition of "ballot selfies" violates the First Amendment, two voters claim in Federal Court. 

     Millionaire oilman Jack Grynberg sued the Department of Justice for documents in the criminal case United States v. Giffen, involving oil development in Kazakhstan, in a federal FOIA complaint.