Morning Splash: UC Tuition Hike; LGBT History Bill; Fremont Likely Divided in Redistricting
- UC tuition hits $12,192 – a 9.6 percent increase (SF Chronicle)
University of California regents voted Thursday to raise tuition by 9.6 percent – on top of an 8 percent increase already approved for this fall – over the objections of students who said they’ll drown in debt. At the same meeting in San Francisco, the regents also gave large pay raises to three executives, including two who are paid from state funds.
- New state law requires LGBT history in textbooks (SF Chronicle)
Public schools in California will be required to teach students about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans starting Jan. 1 after Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a controversial bill to add the topic to the social sciences curriculum. Textbooks now must include information on the role of LGBT Americans, as well as Americans with disabilities, though California’s budget crisis has delayed the purchasing of new books until at least 2015.
- New political districts likely to divide Fremont (Oakland Tribune)
The commission redrawing state political boundaries appears poised to split Fremont into two Assembly and congressional districts despite fierce opposition from city political leaders. A majority of commissioners Wednesday expressed support for congressional district maps that would divide Fremont along Peralta Boulevard and Mowry Avenue, placing about 65 percent of the city’s residents — along with all of Newark — in a district where most voters are from Santa Clara County. Likewise, commissioners appeared to back new Assembly districts that would divide Fremont roughly in half along Walnut Avenue and Stevenson Boulevard, with the southern portion of the city and Newark being placed with Milpitas and eastern San Jose.
- S.F. threatens suit over PG&E, calls regulation lax (SF Chronicle)
State and federal regulators have long failed to enforce pipeline safety laws against Pacific Gas and Electric Co., the San Francisco city attorney’s office said in a letter Thursday that threatens government agencies with a federal lawsuit to compel them to oversee the utility properly. The letter, sent to the state Public Utilities Commission and the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, is a precursor to a lawsuit.
- S.F. supes propose change to health care accounts (SF Chronicle)
Eighty percent of the $50 million San Francisco businesses paid last year into city-mandated health care reimbursement accounts for their uninsured workers was never used and instead went back to the employers, City Hall officials said Thursday. Now, Supervisor David Campos and six of his colleagues want to close that perceived loophole, despite complaints from business groups that a change would trigger layoffs by cutting too deeply into employers’ bottom line.
- Final numbers emerge in Oakland layoffs (Oakland Tribune)
As the fallout of the city’s new budget becomes clearer, 56 city employees are headed out the door in the next couple weeks, with unions reporting that the deepest impacts will be seen in the physical maintenance of the city. The number was a slight reduction from last week’s estimates, but as many as 12 more employees could be laid off or bumped into lower positions by year’s end, Andrea Gourdine, Oakland’s director of human resources, said Thursday.
- After preserving 59,000 acres, ‘Midpen’ open-space district faces a funding shortage (San Jose Mercury News)
For nearly 40 years, a low-key government agency based in Los Altos has preserved some of the most scenic landscapes in the Bay Area for hikers, bicyclists and horse riders, from redwood forests to ridge-top meadows with sweeping ocean views. Six years from now, however, the open-space purchases may come to an end. After acquiring 59,401 acres — an area about twice the size of San Francisco — since 1972, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is facing an unprecedented financial challenge. Because of increases in its staff size and growing debt, the agency projects it will run out of money to buy any more land by 2017.
- State Senate OKs privately funded scholarships for undocumented immigrants (Sacramento Bee)
Legislation that would extend more scholarship opportunities to college students who are undocumented immigrants was approved Thursday by the state Senate. Assembly Bill 130, one of two “Dream Act” bills under consideration this year, would allow undocumented immigrants who qualify for in-state tuition to apply for scholarships funded with private donations.
- S.F. ex-Police Chief Godown heading to Oakland (SF Chronicle)
Former interim San Francisco Police Chief Jeff Godown is poised to move across the bay after accepting a deputy chief position in Oakland, where he will head the criminal investigations division. Oakland Chief Anthony Batts said Thursday that he had made the offer, and Godown, 51, said he had accepted. The move is conditional until the completion of a routine background investigation.
- UCSF Shuttle Lacked Seat Belts (Bay Citizen)
Dr. Kevin Mack was on his way to work at San Francisco General Hospital Thursday morning, when the shuttle bus he was riding in collided with a big rig at the corner of Oak and Octavia. Dr. Mack was ejected from the jitney-sized the University of California San Francisco shuttle and “ended up underneath the big rig, but was not run over or crushed,” said SFPD Lt. Troy Dangerfield. The 52-year-old psychiatrist was pronounced dead at the scene. Dr. Mack wasn’t wearing a seat belt, because none of UCSF’s 15-passenger shuttles have them — and aren’t required by law to have them.
- List of people interested in Woolsey’s congressional seat grows (Marin Independent Journal)
The list of people who have announced they will run for Rep. Lynn Woolsey’s seat in Congress in 2012, or are thinking about it, has grown by several new names. Woolsey, 73, announced last month she will retire from Congress when her 10th term ends in 2012. Dan Roberts, a Tiburon securities broker with an office in San Francisco, has announced that he has formed an exploratory committee to run as a Repubican. Roberts ran against Woolsey as the American Independent Party candidate in 2010.
- East Coast authorities find $500K worth of pieces in alleged Picasso thief’s home (SF Examiner)
A police raid on Mark Lugo’s New Jersey apartment Tuesday uncovered several stolen artworks, including a Picasso painting that was taken from a Manhattan art gallery, investigators said Thursday. Lugo, 30, of Hoboken, N.J., is locked up in San Francisco County Jail after being charged with stealing a Picasso sketch from the Weinstein Gallery in Union Square on July 5. The drawing, “Tête de Femme,” is worth more than $200,000.
- Google quarterly results beat expectations (San Jose Mercury News)
New Google CEO Larry Page wowed Wall Street Thursday, revealing that the company’s new social network already has 10 million users and presenting his most extensive vision yet for the company’s products even as Google announced second-quarter profit jumped by 36 percent and sales increased 32 percent, handily beating expectations. Google also notched the largest-ever quarterly increase in the size of its workforce in the second quarter, adding about 2,400 workers for a 9.3 percent jump in its head count — a figure that might typically set off alarm bells on Wall Street. But Thursday, its stronger-than-expected sales and profit numbers, particularly outside Google’s traditional strength in search advertising, clearly impressed analysts and investors.
- California high court upholds city’s plastic-bag ban; leaves door open to lawsuits (Sacramento Bee)
It was a mixed bag Thursday when the California Supreme Court ruled that a small city does not need an environmental impact report to ban plastic bags, but made clear that larger cities and counties may have to do an EIR. The decision strikes down rulings by trial and appellate courts in Los Angeles in the legal fight over a 2008 ordinance enacted by the south coastal city of Manhattan Beach banning “point-of-sale plastic carry-out bags.” Both lower courts said the city had to prepare an EIR before implementing its ban.
- Google is changing your brain, study says, and don’t you forget it (San Jose Mercury News)
… (O)ur growing dependence on the Internet has changed how — and what — our brains choose to remember. When we know where to find information, we’re less likely to remember it — an amnesia dubbed The Google Effect by a team led by psychologist Betsy Sparrow of Columbia University…The finding, published in Friday’s issue of the journal Science, doesn’t prove that Google, Yahoo or other search engines are making us dumber, as some have asserted…Rather, it suggests that the human memory is reorganizing where it goes for information, adapting to new computing technologies rather than relying purely on rote memory. We’re outsourcing “search” from our brains to our computers.