- Earthquake risk identified in apartments, but not released to residents (San Jose Mercury News)
Eight years after a survey counted 2,630 earthquake-vulnerable "soft story" apartments in Santa Clara County, little progress has been made in publicly identifying, inspecting and fixing these buildings...San Jose State engineers estimated that about 90,000 residents live in these apartments -- but their findings, published in 2003, have languished.
- Santa Clara County prepares to further whack its safety-net spending (San Jose Mercury News)
Santa Clara County supervisors are poised to make sweeping cuts to the local Social Services Agency on Tuesday, a $6 million reduction that will scale back social workers in the foster care system, public health nursing and the protection of elderly adults who cannot care for themselves. The budget plan reluctantly designed by Social Services Agency Director Will Lightbourne calls for cutting in half the number of front-line social workers. The group affected collects donated food and clothing, enrolls foster children in school, performs drug tests on parents, provides transportation to court and supervises family visits. Their ranks will be reduced from 48 to 27.
- Lenient regulation let PG&E do faulty inspections (SF Chronicle)
Federal regulators missed at least two chances before the deadly explosion in San Bruno to force Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and other utilities to collect more accurate information on their gas pipes and use better inspection techniques, a Chronicle investigation has found.
Police Chief-turned-District Attorney George Gascón is drafting a plan to remake San Francisco's swamped criminal justice system by moving thousands of petty offenders into a network of volunteer-run community courts. As envisioned, mediators in seven or eight neighborhood courts would decide on innocence or guilt and hand out non-jail sentences for such crimes as shoplifting, prostitution, minor drug violations and illegal sidewalk sitting.
An Oakland public schools police officer fatally shot a 20-year-old man Saturday night who was stabbing another school officer with a screwdriver, authorities said. Raheim Brown had addresses in San Francisco, Daly City and Alameda, authorities said. The names of the officers were not released. Brown was inside a Honda that had been stolen earlier in the evening in Oakland, officials said, and a pistol was also found inside the vehicle not far from where the man was.
A woman who was shot by a Daly City police officer in San Francisco on Saturday evening, after she allegedly crashed her vehicle into a home and backed into the cop, is hanging onto her life.
Labor deals with three county of Marin public safety unions cap salaries until fiscal 2013-14 and then provide raises of up to 4 percent, but do not include pension reform measures. The agreements with the Marin County Fire Department Firefighters Association, the Marin Sheriff's Staff Officers Association and the Fire Battalion Chiefs Association, which represent a total of 96 employees or about a quarter of the public safety workforce, will be reviewed by county supervisors on Tuesday. No deal was announced with deputy sheriffs.
If Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts moves to San Jose, he will leave behind an improved yet troubled department beset by staffing shortages, equipment problems and political turmoil.
It's a bitterly cold and drizzly Saturday morning and Theresa Butler, bundled in a heavy coat and scarf, is standing on a bustling street corner deep on International Boulevard in East Oakland. ...The "stand-ins" as they are called "are to bring awareness to neighborhoods that someone died on your street and we need you to be proactive," said Butler, a 52-year-old social worker who lives in West Oakland. "We've had people ask us, 'Why are you standing here?' And we've said, 'Someone was killed here.' And they've said 'Who?' People are dying in front
Vallejo, which delivered a wake-up call to municipalities around the country when it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008, outlined in court papers last week how it plans to get back on its feet, financially speaking. For residents, the plan makes for grim reading. And if you’re a public official or taxpayer who’s hoping that bankruptcy might be a way to solve your city’s financial problems, it will surely prompt you to think twice.
A woman calls police because she is the victim of a domestic violence incident. Police arrive, but the attacker accuses the woman of being the aggressor... Within weeks, a victim of domestic violence is being deported because she reported the incident to police. That precise scenario has played out at least three times in recent months in Northern California, according to Angela Chan, a San Francisco police commissioner and immigration attorney.
Republicans have yet to emerge with an official set of demands they'd want met before considering Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal, but pension reform will top the list once they do. Sen. Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Hills, is preparing a package of pension reform bills she said must be addressed before taking up taxes. Among her reforms is legislation requiring all new state employees to enter 401(k)-style benefit plans.
At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, KUSF Program Director Trista Bernasconi learned that she would have to do the unthinkable: silence her radio station. After she was called into that meeting, where she was told that the station had been sold and the signal would have to be cut at 10 a.m., Bernasconi was under close supervision until the early evening, she told The Bay Citizen.
Google's ex-CEO Eric Schmidt has just been awarded a $100 million golden thank-you for his time in Google's big chair. He'll retain around of 10% of the company's voting rights too. In a regulatory filing today Google's revealed it's awarding $100 million of equity as a thank-you to ex-CEO Eric Schmidt, as he steps aside from the role to let Google co-founder Larry Page to take over. The stock and options will be awarded February 2nd, and vest over four years.