A.M. Splash: Bay Area Transit Prices Increase; Silicon Valley Gets Patent Office; Oakland Zoo Poised to Expand
- California homeowner protection plan goes to vote (KGO)
California homeowners facing foreclosure could soon have some added protection if state lawmakers approve a so-called Homeowners Bill of Rights. A vote was expected Monday. The protections would extend further than the $25 billion national mortgage settlement that was reached earlier this year with the nation’s top five banks, which include Bank of America, Wellsfargo, JP Morgan Chase, CitiGroup and Allied Financial.
Despite opposition, Oakland Zoo approved to expand (Oakland Tribune)
After years of quarrels with neighbors, red tape and legal struggles, the Oakland Zoo is set to get bigger and better, zoo officials say, with the addition of California native animals and even an aerial gondola. A judge in Alameda County Superior Court last week ruled against environmental groups seeking to stop the zoo’s plans to expand about 54 acres into undeveloped Knowland Park to build a veterinary hospital, gondola, new animal exhibit, camping area and an educational-interpretive center.
- San Jose to get major, federal prize: A new U.S. Patent Office in the heart of Silicon Valley (SJ Mercury News)
Delivering Silicon Valley a long-coveted prize, the U.S. Department of Commerce has selected San Jose to a get new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The Commerce Department will make the long-awaited announcement Monday, said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose. “Fabulous!” said Kim Walesh, the economic development director of San Jose, which dangled a 20,000-square-foot floor in City Hall among other enticements for picking the city. More than 600 cities applied to host the first-ever expansion of the patent office. The pool was narrowed to fewer than 50 in the spring.
- Oakland approves amended budget (Oakland Tribune)
- Bay Area transit prices increase for nearly all service (SJ Mercury News)
Weekday commuters will be paying slightly higher fares for most public transit options beginning Monday morning. Several increases took effect Sunday, including for BART, MUNI and CalTrain.
- Occupiers file claim over YMCA mass arrests (Oakland Tribune)
Eighteen Occupy Oakland demonstrators filed a civil claim against the city Friday, charging that they were unlawfully arrested outside the YMCA during a major January protest. The claim is the first step in filing a class-action lawsuit against the city on behalf of the 400 demonstrators, and several journalists, arrested outside the YMCA on Jan. 28 — the day Occupiers tried unsuccessfully to take over the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center and later vandalized City Hall.
- Burning Man organizers plan to keep attendance well under cap (SF Examiner)
After a new permit was issued allowing Burning Man to grow to as many as 60,900 people this year — 2011’s limit was 50,000 — event organizers announced last week that only a small number of extra tickets will be released.
China court: Apple pays $60M to settle iPad case (Sacramento Bee)
Apple has paid $60 million to settle a dispute in China over ownership of the iPad name, a court announced Monday, removing a potential obstacle to sales of the popular tablet computer in the key Chinese market.
The City Council approved an amended budget Thursday night that includes money for two additional police academies to beef up Oakland’s undermanned force. The amended $403 million operating budget, which also restored senior center hours, eliminated an upcoming furlough day and preserved several programs, passed 5-3 with Councilwomen Libby Schaaf, Pat Kernighan and Nancy Nadel voting against it.