A.M. Splash: CCSF to Miss Accreditation Deadline; Insurance Commissioner Calls Anthem Hike ‘Unreasonable’; Oakland Museum Burgled Again
- CCSF to miss key deadline, overseer says (SF Chronicle)
City College of San Francisco will not be able to fix all of its financial and managerial problems by the March 15 deadline to retain accreditation, and the best it can hope for is to win more time to work on its issues, a special trustee told state officials Tuesday…The vast college of 85,000 students learned in July that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges will yank its seal of approval and shut it down if it cannot quickly repair years of management problems that have led the college to live beyond its means.
- California regulator scolds Anthem, praises UnitedHealth on rates (LA Times)
California’s insurance commissioner scolded Anthem Blue Cross for raising rates for small businesses while praising industry rival UnitedHealth Group Inc. for cutting worker premiums. Escalating his campaign against rising health insurance rates, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said Anthem’s premium hike for companies with 50 or fewer workers, which he pegged at 11%, was “unreasonable” because the company overstated its projected medical costs and improperly added fees related to the federal healthcare law.
- Valuable historic artifact stolen from Oakland Museum during second burglary in two months (Oakland Tribune)
A historic box made of California gold and said to be valued at more than $800,000 was stolen from the Oakland Museum of California Monday morning, the second break-in in two months, sources said Tuesday. Museum spokeswoman Kelly Koski said a California Gold Rush era quartz and gold box with ornamentation depicting early California was taken from a museum display. She declined to say if the box was the only item stolen and would not disclose its worth.
- New student tests to focus less on memory (SF Chronicle)
In just two years, California students, along with millions of their peers across the country, will start taking new computerized standardized tests that require them to write, think, analyze and solve problems – a dramatic departure from the fill-in-the-bubble tests in place for decades. But schools in the state are nowhere near ready for what education officials say is an overhaul of what is taught and how kids are tested.
- Legal war ahead on California bid to end federal prison controls (Sacramento Bee)
Gov. Jerry Brown’s declaration Tuesday that California has solved its prison overcrowding problem is part of a bold move to wrest control of the nation’s largest corrections system back from the federal courts and their appointed overseers. But experts say there is a slim chance of that. “I think the court will respond very negatively,” said Joan Petersilia, a Stanford Law School professor and former corrections adviser to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I would be very surprised if they moved an inch.”
- Yosemite overhaul may hit troubles (SF Chronicle)
National Park Service officials released blueprints for the future of Yosemite on Tuesday, after more than a decade of courtroom brawling over river and infrastructure improvements that opponents dismissed as attempts to build a theme park in what should be a wilderness.
- Bay Bridge was exempted from rules limiting large ships from sailing in fog (SJ Mercury News)
After the cargo ship Cosco Busan sailed through heavy fog and hit a tower of the Bay Bridge five years ago, spilling 53,000 gallons of bunker fuel, the Coast Guard and shipping officials wrote new rules to limit large ships from sailing in risky areas of San Francisco Bay when visibility is less than a half mile. But they left out one key risk: the Bay Bridge itself. Capt. Peter McIsaac, president of San Francisco Bar Pilots, said he and Coast Guard officials helped craft the fog rules in 2008. The Bay Bridge was deliberately not included among the areas to be avoided in fog, he said, because foggy conditions are so common in San Francisco Bay that limiting sailing near the Bay Bridge would bring commerce to a near halt.
- Flu season has arrived in Northern California (Bay Area News Group)
The pesky flu virus has arrived in Northern California and while it’s too early to know for sure, this could be a nastier than normal season. The predominant circulating flu strain — influenza A H3N2 — has filled East Coast emergency rooms with achy, feverish people and has in other years brought more serious illnesses and hospitalizations.