- New mayor Ed Lee ready to tackle pensions in face of $100M cost increase (SF Examiner)
...Last week, The City learned pension costs were increasing next fiscal year by $20 million more than anticipated, for a total of $375 million — a $100 million increase from San Francisco’s pension contribution this fiscal year. “I want [labor] to know that I understand the issues that they are faced with. But we have to make a decision,” Lee said Thursday. “The $100 million increase, that’s serious money. That’s money affecting all of us, and it affects the quality of life in The City. So we got to find pension reform. We got to move it forward, and I am committed to doing that. That’s part of my top five things that we have to do.”
- Google's Larry Page to become CEO (San Jose Mercury News)
In a bombshell announcement that ends a decade of leadership continuity at Google, co-founder Larry Page will take charge of the company as chief executive, replacing current CEO Eric Schmidt, who will focus on Google's external relationships with other businesses and government.
- HP shakes up board (San Jose Mercury News)
Hewlett-Packard announced a massive overhaul of its board of directors on Thursday, naming five new members in an unusual shake-up aimed at moving the world's largest tech company into a new chapter after months of corporate drama surrounding its former CEO. The new directors include a well-known Silicon Valley figure -- former eBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman, who lost a race for California governor last fall -- and four executives whose résumés include experience in international business, technology and corporate dealmaking.
The long-awaited return of the 57 problem-solving officers -- who attend neighborhood crime meetings and serve as conduits to various city departments to help reduce crime and other nuisance issues -- has been tempered by the fact that Oakland's lowest crime areas will have fewer officers while other high-stress beats will have more. The problem-solving officers and six supervisors whose salaries were covered by Measure Y were reassigned to patrol duties last year after 80 police officers were laid off in July. Measure BB, approved by voters in November, restores funding for the 63 positions, and the team was brought back earlier this month -- just not in the previous configuration.
Surprise? Not really. Disappointment? Some. Anger? A little. That's the general rank-and-file officers' reaction to the possibility of Oakland Chief of Police Anthony Batts becoming the top cop in San Jose after just over a year of leading the Oakland department. Batts, who has just under two years left on his contract with Oakland, is one of two finalists for the San Jose job, and the choice could be made in a few weeks.
A Concord family is fighting back against a reduced punishment for a man involved in the killing of their son, filing a lawsuit Thursday against the state and Arnold Schwarzenegger that argues the former governor illegally commuted the sentence of one of the attackers. During his last hours in office, Schwarzenegger commuted the sentence of Esteban Núñez, the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez. Esteban Núñez pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and other charges in the fatal stabbing of Luis Santos. Schwarzenegger reduced Esteban Núñez's sentence from 16 years in prison to seven years.
Grade inflation — a term normally associated with students — is widespread among Bay Area teachers, who receive so many favorable evaluations that it is impossible to tell how well they are performing, some educators say. For the 2009-10 school year, just 40 out of 1,924 teachers — or 2 percent — reviewed by the San Francisco Unified School District received below-satisfactory performance reviews, district records show.
With Caltrain facing a $30 million deficit - and, some fear, the end of the line - community groups and transportation officials are rallying to help the 148-year-old commuter railroad survive by finding a stable source of funding. This morning, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group is convening a Caltrain summit at Stanford to start building a coalition to save the train system.
Mayor Ed Lee isn't wasting his time in office, or in Washington. Lee, an interim mayor appointed to serve the final year of former Mayor Gavin Newsom's term, has been on the job for two weeks, but he's already met with federal lawmakers and invited both President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao to make official visits to San Francisco.
Some creditors will be unhappy getting less than 50 cents on the dollar of what Vallejo owes them, top Vallejo city officials conceded in a press conference Thursday....City Manager Phil Batchelor...unveiled nearly 300 suggested changes aimed at, "changing the culture" of the city and "throwing off the blanket of doom, despair and despondency that descended when the dark clouds of bankruptcy overshadowed the city," according to his report. The Vallejo City Council will consider the proposed reforms on Tuesday night.
Foreclosure auctions take place every weekday on the steps of courthouses throughout California. Now the FBI is investigating whether some real estate speculators are illegally rigging bids for these sales.
Most cities on the Peninsula received dismal scores on a tobacco-control report card released Thursday by the American Lung Association, though Santa Clara County was rewarded for the tough anti-smoking laws it adopted last year. The lung association's California chapter measured the state's counties and cities, issuing letter grades for policies on smoke-free outdoor air, smoke-free housing and reducing tobacco sales.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, made the health care debate personal Wednesday, citing her son's lengthy hospitalization in a speech on the House floor protesting the Republican move to repeal the health care law. Describing her son as "a husband and a wonderful father of two," Woolsey told colleagues he had just spent more than six weeks in the hospital and returned to his Petaluma home last week facing a lengthy recovery.
More than two months after losing the combative California governor's race, Meg Whitman re-emerged on the public stage Thursday as a board member of a major tech company and told The Chronicle she wants Gov. Jerry Brown "to be successful."
In her first interview since the November election, the billionaire former eBay CEO declined to critique the Democrat's budget proposal even as she promised to "keep my hand in public policy and politics," including joining nonprofit and public boards of directors.
A University of California at San Francisco medical student who was killed at a South of Market nightclub earlier this month has saved lives as an organ donor, San Francisco General Hospital officials said Thursday.