- State of the State gives governor a big audience (Sacramento Bee)
n delivering his State of the State address this evening, Brown has an opportunity to influence perceptions not just of his agenda, but his leadership. Only 41 percent of Californians approve of the job Brown is doing, and 39 percent haven't made up their minds, according to a survey by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. The State of the State address, poll director Mark Baldassare said, is "unusually important for this governor."
- San Bruno pipeline called 'tip of the iceberg' (SF Chronicle)
Federal investigators' findings in the San Bruno pipeline explosion probe suggest that thousands of miles of long-buried and untested natural gas pipelines across the United States are at far greater risk of failure than the industry and government regulators have long maintained, experts say.
- New possible cause of Kentfield sewage spill identified (Marin Independent Journal)
Maybe ecoterrorism isn't to blame for last month's massive sewage spill in Kentfield after all. Ross Valley Sanitary District officials say they have identified a new possible cause of the 842,000-gallon sewage spill that occurred near Kent Middle School on Dec. 17. During the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ongoing investigation into the cause of the spill, it was discovered that one of two pipes designed to convey sewage from the area of the spill is crushed in two spots.
- Officials push for higher tolls during rush hours on San Mateo, Dumbarton bridges (Bay Area News Group)
Drivers crossing the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges would pay higher tolls during rush hours under a plan Peninsula officials are urging Bay Area leaders to adopt. A group of city, county and transportation officials this week released the new San Mateo Countywide Transportation Plan, which includes support for congestion pricing on the two bridges that connect the Peninsula and East Bay.
- Cal Fans Rally To Save 5 Sports Teams (KTVU)
For UC Berkeley baseball players, this could be their last season. The university set a deadline for this week to decide if it will reinstate the school's baseball, lacrosse, and men and women’s gymnastics teams. The rugby team is also at risk and it may become a club sport...A group of alumni and Cal supporters have been fund-raising on a website called Save Cal Sports in order to save the teams. So far, the group has raised over $16 million.
- County of Marin to pay $1 million in retirement incentives and cut payroll (Marin Independent Journal)
Forty-five employees at the county Civic Center are in line to share $1 million in bonuses in a retirement incentive program offered by county supervisors. As part of the golden parachute deal, the positions vacated by the departing employees would be eliminated, saving $6.1 million a year — more than enough to bridge a $5 million budget gap projected next fiscal year due to rising pension costs.
- Planned Parenthood to open Mill Valley clinic, has plans for other Marin locations (Marin Independent Journal)
A new Planned Parenthood clinic will open in Mill Valley, probably by the end of February — and the organization hopes to open a San Rafael location, and maybe even one in Novato, within the next couple of years.
- Ed Lee vows to get into head of 49ers' Jed York (SF Chronicle)
Mayor Ed Lee is not giving up on the 49ers leaving the city for Santa Clara just yet, and he wants to get a sense of what's going on in Jed York's head.
- Proposed budget cuts for the California courts already causing a stir (San Jose Mercury News)
...Gov. Jerry Brown, as part of his plan to slash state spending, has proposed cutting $200 million from the California courts in the next budget, on top of the more than $100 million court officials have been forced to cut in the past year. And the prospect of closing the courts again looms large over what is already a fierce debate over how much the justice system can afford to cut -- from Santa Clara County, where court workers protested outside the court administration building last week, to Los Angeles, where judicial leaders warned of a crisis if such drastic cuts are required.
- A Night Out, Tallying the Homeless (Bay Citizen)
“Thank you,” Ali Schlageter, a policy analyst with San Francisco's Homeless Coordinating Board, told hundreds of volunteers who crowded into the Department of Public Health's hearing room Thursday night...Thirty minutes later, the crowd, mostly city workers and employees of social service nonprofits, fanned out across the city, checking sidewalks, parking lots, subway stations, freeway underpasses and fast-food restaurants as part of San Francisco's biennial count of the homeless.
- Civil rights leaders honor Oakland activist (Oakland Tribune)
Fred Korematsu on Sunday made history a second time, becoming the first Asian-American to have a day named after him by a U.S. state. The inaugural Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution drew enough people to pack Wheeler Hall on the UC Berkeley campus in honor of the man's fight against the World War II forced internment of Japanese-Americans.
- Excited Asian-Americans get ready to embrace the lunar new year (San Jose Mercury News)
...with the approach of the Lunar New Year, Asians throughout the Bay Area are racing to embrace their traditional holiday, which starts Wednesday night and includes great family feasts and setting aside time to express appreciation for loved ones. Marked with deep symbolism, the holiday is both reflective of the past and full of yearnings for a better life and hope for the future.