- Supporters of Oakland gang injunctions speak out at City Council committee hearing (Oakland Tribune)
With a judge's decision looming in the proposed Fruitvale district gang injunction, more than 100 people packed the City Council's public safety committee meeting Tuesday in a long, heated debate over the issue. The injunction, which targets 40 adults accused by police of being among the most dangerous members of the Nortenos street gang, has been the subject of numerous protests since City Attorney John Russo announced it in October, and dozens of familiar faces from those protests spoke at the meeting, drawing long rounds of applause. It was the first time, however, that those activists were met directly with residents in support of the injunction.
- Snow at sea level? It could happen this weekend (SF Chronicle)
...On Saturday morning, forecasters say, city folks could wake up to find their find their streets carpeted an inch deep in wet alabaster for the first time in 35 years. And it's expected to be even thicker elsewhere around the Bay Area, especially in the hills. There have been snowflakes on Twin Peaks as recently as 2009, and flurries peppered even lower spots in San Francisco in 1988, '89 and '98.
- Matt Gonzalez is defender's new No. 2 (SF Chronicle)
Former supervisor, erstwhile mayoral candidate and progressive stalwart Matt Gonzalez is back in the public realm after six years as partner in a private law firm. Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced Tuesday that he had hired Gonzalez as the chief attorney in the office where Gonzalez worked as deputy public defender for about a decade.
The Alameda County Transportation Commission is proposing next year to ask county voters to renew early -- or possibly increase temporarily -- the half-cent sale tax for transportation. The current sales tax, approved in 2000, raises about $100 million annually for road, highway and public transit improvements, road repairs and bus operations. The tax, which took Alameda County sales tax to 9.75 percent,¿ will expire in 2022 unless two-thirds of the county's voters renew it or make it permanent. Renewing the measure in November 2012 -- a decade early -- would enable the commission to begin new road, freeway and public transit projects to relieve traffic congestion.
A growing number of school districts will be forced to lay off teachers this year to balance their budgets, placing further strain on California's teachers' retirement system. That could include teachers in the San Francisco Unified School District, which faces cuts of at least $113 million on top of a deficit of up to $20 million through June 2012. While district officials have said they may consider layoffs as part of next year's budget package, details are still unclear.
About 2,500 public employees gathered Tuesday evening at the state Capitol in Sacramento, their minds 2,000 miles away with counterparts in Madison, Wis. They assembled in solidarity with government workers in the Badger State fighting its newly elected Republican Gov. Scott Walker and GOP-majority Legislature's plan to limit public employee unions' bargaining power.
...Under so-called "income splitting," the IRS is requiring all same-sex married couples or registered domestic partners in California to divide their combined income equally and report it on their separate tax returns. For some couples, it will mean more money in their 2010 refund; for others, they'll pay more in taxes.
At another packed meeting Tuesday, the Mt. Diablo school board unanimously agreed not to close any more schools, based on the superintendent's recommendation to pursue other cost-saving measures. Mt. Diablo school board agrees not to close a third campusBut board President Gary Eberhart warned that the board could revisit the idea if voters do not approve tax extensions proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Although criticism of the Saltworks Redwood City project has focused on the very idea of plopping a mini-city onto the baylands, questions also are being raised about whether the area can handle the extra traffic such a development could create. If 12,000 homes, office buildings, stores, schools and parks are developed at the Cargill property east of Highway 101, the Saltworks project could add 6,000 to 7,000 vehicles to rush-hour traffic, according to a preliminary report done by consultants for Redwood City. Hit particularly hard would be the Highway 101 intersections at Marsh Road, Woodside Road and Whipple Avenue, which already are at capacity, the report notes.
Passengers who take Golden Gate Transit buses and ferries will likely see a 5 percent fare hike beginning July 1. The same 5 percent hike would also continue for another four years — through 2015 — under the plan, aimed to help solve the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District's five-year, $89 million deficit.
Scaffolding is set to arrive by Wednesday at the Golden Gate Bridge so workers can do something that has never been done since the span opened: renovate the massive main cables. The bridge — opened in 1937 — has two main cables that pass over the tops of the two main towers and are secured at either end in giant anchorages. They are the steel strings that hold the bridge together and support the roadway.
Apple's board faces a showdown with investor groups today over its succession plan for CEO Steve Jobs, who is on medical leave for the third time in the past seven years. Under a resolution scheduled for a vote at Apple's shareholder meeting, the board would be asked to disclose plans for replacing Jobs and explain how it's nurturing the executive team under him.