A.M. Splash: Low Turnout Predicted for Today’s Primary; Deportation Review Begins in Bay Area Courts
- California primary vote turnout likely to be light (SF Chronicle)
Voter turnout for California’s presidential primary election Tuesday is projected to be the worst ever in the state’s modern era: Only 35 percent of the state’s registered voters are expected to perform their civic duty, according to a Field Poll estimate Tuesday.
- Oakland Council members question Quan’s budget (Oakland Tribune)
Council members aren’t quite as bullish about Oakland’s rebounding finances as Mayor Jean Quan. In their first opportunity to discuss Quan’s proposed budget amendments, several council members on Monday evening questioned whether the mayor was moving too fast in proposing to add 13 positions. Meanwhile union leaders said newfound revenue should go toward lessening the concessions city employees made a year ago.
- Deportation review begins in Bay Area immigration court (Bay Area News Group)
The San Francisco immigration court partially closed Monday morning as a team of federal lawyers pored over thousands of backlogged Bay Area deportation cases to close those deemed low priority. The two-week review in one of the nation’s busiest immigration courts will relieve some Bay Area residents who are here illegally but have strong community ties and clean records. But having their cases administratively closed — set aside indefinitely — also will leave the illegal immigrants in limbo, allowing them to stay but not to seek permanent legal residency.
- Oakland wrestling with broke pension system (Oakland Tribune)
The last time Oakland issued bonds to prop up a woefully underfunded pension system for retired police and firefighters, it lost a quarter-billion dollars, according to the city auditor. On Tuesday, City Council members are all but certain to hold their noses and approve issuing up to $250 million in additional bonds, [which] will allow Oakland to postpone payments into the pension system for five years. Without it, the city would have to spend about $40 million a year to keep the system afloat, resulting in major layoffs and service cuts.
- SFMTA’s plan to steer cabs from cash course to plastic wins few fans (SF Examiner)
…For the past two years, cab companies have been able to pass off 5 percent of their credit card processing fees to drivers. Cabbies say the 5 percent comes out of their income, while companies respond that it’s necessary to cover the costs of the growing usage of plastic by passengers. (T)he result has been that cabdrivers, who are mandated to accept credit cards as payment, will regularly avoid passengers looking to charge their fares or say their payment machines are broken and can only accept cash… (T)he San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which regulates cabs, has recommended a proposal to cap credit card fees at 3.5 percent for drivers. The plan also includes stipulations that drivers will be allowed to use their own processing equipment, such as Square for smartphones, and that all cabs will be outfitted with standard back-seat credit card machines. The agency’s board of directors is scheduled to vote on the proposal Tuesday.
- Facebook explores alternatives to banning kids under 13 (SJ Mercury News)
Amid fierce debate over the best way to protect kids online, Facebook is exploring ways to provide extra safeguards rather than continue its current policy that forbids users younger than 13 — a ban that millions of youngsters have easily defied. Reports of Facebook’s efforts sparked both criticism and praise Monday from advocates on children’s safety and privacy. Some say younger kids don’t belong on the popular networking site, while others say Facebook should institute more protective limits for kids who are determined to use it.
- Experts doubt lawsuit will stop Rohnert Park casino (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
A lawsuit that questions the right of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria to open a casino next to Rohnert Park may delay the project but is unlikely to stop it, some Indian law experts say. The suit challenges the sovereign status of the Indian-owned land.
- Polished Albert Park shines before packed house in San Rafael Pacifics’ inaugural game (Marin Independent Journal)
MARIN COUNTY BASEBALL fans grew up watching youth and high school games at dusty, venerable Albert Park in downtown San Rafael. But it’s safe to say none of the people in the park for Monday night’s inaugural game of the San Rafael Pacifics had ever seen the park looking like this. With the park dressed for an opening night party and a sold-out crowd of more than 1,000 people ready to cheer every hit by the hometown team, the new professional independent minor-league team kicked off its first season with a party in the heart of Marin on Monday night.