- Brown calls out GOP on tax-measure vote (Sacramento Bee)
Pressing against a March deadline to put his tax measure on the ballot, Gov. Jerry Brown stepped up pressure on reluctant Republicans Monday, calling their opposition "unconscionable" in his most direct attack on them yet. "When democratic ideals and calls for the right to vote are stirring the imagination of young people in Egypt and Tunisia and other parts of the world, we in California can't say now is the time to block a vote of the people," Brown told a joint session of the Legislature in the first State of the State address of his third term.
- Oakland to hire back 10 laid off officers (Oakland Tribune)
The city will hire back 10 of the 80 officers laid off in July, Mayor Jean Quan announced Monday. In addition to rehiring the officers -- bringing the force to a total of 666 officers -- Quan is moving to repair the department's fleet of aging patrol cars, as well as broken radios and computers that rank-and-file officers have been complaining about in Quan's visits to roll call meetings, she said.
- Oakland plan permits 5 new pot dispensaries, farms (SF Chronicle)
...(Oakland) Councilwoman Desley Brooks has drafted a plan that would permit five new dispensaries with off-site farms. The proposal does not spell it out, but Brooks has said she would like to give farms to the existing four dispensaries. Under the previous plan, farms operated independently and could have sold to any dispensary they chose. The City Council will vote on the proposal tonight. Brooks said strong, clear regulations are vital to the plan.
Monday's school-imposed deadline passed without any news out of Berkeley, where Cal officials are deciding whether to reinstate four athletic programs scheduled for elimination July 1. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced in September that Cal no longer would field varsity teams in baseball, men's and women's gymnastics, lacrosse and rugby (though the school would maintain rugby as a club sport).
Motorists who cross the Dumbarton Bridge at night or early in the morning may want to consider another way. Because of seismic retrofit work that began Monday night on the six-lane span, two lanes each way will be closed overnight this week -- and probably on a similar schedule through August 2012. Lanes will be coned off from 8 or 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. weekdays. On Fridays and weekends, the closings could last until 11 a.m.
The plan to sell six downtown properties to raise money for the A's ballpark site has come up almost $7 million short of what the San Jose Redevelopment Agency expected -- and that may lead to a new round of "For Sale" signs popping up on some of the agency's other most coveted properties. Monday was the deadline for bids on the six properties -- ranging from downtown parking lots to the Fairmont hotel retail annex -- which fetched a total of $19.59 million from the highest bidders, according to the agency. The agency's appraisals had pegged the total value at about $26 million.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has surged to an early lead in the fundraising race among the current field of mayoral candidates, campaign disclosure forms filed on Monday show. From the time he announced his candidacy in late August until the end of 2010, Herrera received more than $265,000 in contributions, which are limited to $500 apiece under city election rules.
San Francisco would become the first city in the nation to ban the unsolicited distribution of the Yellow Pages under legislation to be formally introduced today by Board of Supervisors President David Chiu. The thick volumes, dropped off at nearly every home and office in the city, are becoming increasingly obsolete in the Internet age, Chiu says, and often end up unopened in the recycling bin.
Three destitute Marin residents, backed by two public interest law firms, filed suit against the county of Marin on Monday asserting that it uses illegal and unfair methods to refuse subsistence aid. The suit, filed by Bay Area Legal Aid and the Public Interest Law Project of Oakland on behalf of Greg Versis, Alfredo Garcia and Lee A. Lee, asks the court to lend order, consistency and openness to the county's methods for dispensing general assistance funds.
Safeway Inc. will combat an aggressive crop of rivals with an expansion that includes nine new stores in the West -- of which six will be in the Bay Area, the Pleasanton-based retailer said Monday. Pleasanton, Castro Valley, El Cerrito, Campbell, Los Gatos and Burlingame are the cities where Safeway plans to revamp or open stores this year, said Karl Schroeder, president of Safeway's Northern California Division.
In the smartphone business, Google's Android partners are racking up the sales and Apple is sucking up the profits, leaving some of the industry's former leaders struggling to keep a place in the market. Variants of Android are now the most popular smartphone operating systems worldwide, overtaking the Nokia-backed Symbian software in the fourth quarter last year, technology research group Canalys reported Monday. Symbian -- and the Nokia phones that run it -- has long dominated the smartphone market.
As the world watched Egypt take to the streets over the weekend, American audiences were exposed to a channel that had been missing from their cable packages — leading many to say, "I want my Al Jazeera English!" And it's a San Francisco-based nonprofit network that's been giving it to them. Since Friday, Link TV has been pre-empting scheduled shows to show live footage from Al Jazeera English in Egypt. On Sunday, Link ran 10 hours of live AJE.