- S.F. Mayor Ed Lee proposes pension-reform measure (SF Chronicle)
San Francisco city workers would pay a maximum of 12.5 percent of their salaries to pensions and police and firefighters would pay up to 13.5 percent under a pension-and-health-care reform package to be unveiled today by Mayor Ed Lee, according to a memo from the city's Department of Human Resources obtained by The Chronicle. Today is the deadline for the mayor to submit a measure to the Board of Supervisors to qualify it for the November ballot. Lee appears to have the six votes required, but big questions remain, including how much money his proposal will save.
- S.F. Muni operators move to block funds to agency (SF Chronicle)
The labor union representing Muni operators is asking the federal government to withhold billions in funding for the Central Subway and other projects if the Municipal Transportation Agency follows the dictates of Proposition G in bargaining a new contract. Attorneys for Transport Workers Union Local 250A filed a letter with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis asking that the Department of Labor refuse to certify the Municipal Transportation Agency as being in compliance with a federal law that protects collective bargaining rights for unions at transit agencies receiving federal funds.
- Prisoner reduction plans rely on sentencing reforms, not mass release (California Watch)
California is most likely to dramatically shrink its inmate population by changing who goes to prison in the first place, not by mass release of convicted felons. The U.S. Supreme Court (yesterday) narrowly upheld an appellate court ruling that ordered the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to reduce its prisoner count to 137 percent capacity within two years. That equates to 109,462 inmates in California’s 33 state prisons (about 37,000 fewer than now incarcerated), according to the CDCR reduction plan. The plan filed with the federal court in November 2009, laid out a five-year effort that achieves its reductions mostly through sentencing reforms. The bulk of the population decrease is estimated to come within 18 months of implementation.
After Chevron's last attempt to upgrade its aging Richmond oil refinery bogged down in court, the company has decided to try again. Chevron Corp. on Monday reported that it will once again ask Richmond officials for permission to renovate the refinery, improving its ability to process high-sulfur crude oil.
Some girls like the color blue. Some boys like to wear things that sparkle. Not all girls play with dolls, and not all boys like to play with trucks. Kindergartners at Redwood Heights Elementary School reached those conclusions on Monday during a lesson about gender and acceptance. "Colors are colors," "toys are toys," and "activities are activities" were the mantras of a lesson designed for kindergartners and first-graders. Older children learned more about what gender means, how it's been expressed in different cultures throughout human history, and that it's possible to be both genders -- or neither. Redwood Heights is the first elementary school in Oakland to teach children about gender identity and expression with a curriculum developed by Gender Spectrum, a San Leandro-based organization.
Jurors began deliberations Monday in the Chauncey Bailey murder trial, following two months of testimony from dozens of witnesses. The jury of five men and seven women received the case shortly after Deputy District Attorney Melissa Krum gave an hourlong rebuttal to defense attorneys' closing statements. Krum emphasized what she said was ample evidence that former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV ordered Bailey, a local journalist, and two other men killed nearly four years ago.
Marin Municipal Water District officials approved a fifth consecutive year of rate hikes Monday night on a 4 to 1 vote, but not before some verbal jousting among board members. Board member Larry Russell of Tiburon stunned his colleagues when he informed them he was voting against the 4 percent rate hike.
The California Assembly overwhelmingly approved a ban on the sale and distribution of shark fins in California, moving the state one step closer to outlawing an ancient Chinese delicacy and keeping alive a debate that has split the ethnic community. The lower house approved the bill, AB376, on a 62-8 vote Monday afternoon after a long floor debate. If the measure is approved by the state Senate, shark fin soup - a popular tradition at Chinese celebrations including weddings - would be illegal in the Golden State beginning Jan. 1, 2013.
New state guidelines advise consumers to avoid eating shiner perch and sharks caught in the San Francisco Bay because the fish contain high levels of contaminants. An advisory released yesterday by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment said that shiner perch had high levels of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, and that sharks had high levels of mercury.
The doomsday campaign is over (Harold Camping) said. There will be no more TV and radio ads, no fliers being handed out. The billboards predicting the end of the world would happen Saturday are coming down, and they won't be replaced. After all, Camping said: the world already knows when the rapture is coming, and it's not May 21, as he adamantly insisted for months that it would be -- it's on Oct. 21.
A group of Falun Gong followers has filed a potentially groundbreaking lawsuit accusing Cisco Systems of helping Chinese authorities persecute members of their religious movement by building a computer system that tracked their Internet activity and fed information to internal security databases. Cisco denied the allegations, adding in a statement Monday that it only sold standard networking equipment and did not provide any customized technology for the Chinese system.
California's landmark attempt to change the way the state draws its political boundaries took center stage Monday in Silicon Valley, as one activist after another spoke up at a public hearing for their turf. From ethnic groups to neighborhood associations, about 150 people crammed into San Jose's Mayfair Community Center, eager to help shape a statewide redistricting plan a new citizens commission is drafting...The hearing was one of dozens the Citizens Redistricting Commission has held around the state.
Wearing a blue LAPD baseball cap, Bryan Stow's sister thanked Los Angeles police Monday for arresting the prime suspect in the March 31 beating of the Giants fan outside Dodger Stadium and expressed optimism that two other suspects would be apprehended. "We never gave up hope that this day would come," said Erin Collins, standing outside San Francisco General Hospital with her mother, father and sister, who wore a Los Angeles Police Department T-shirt.
With the Sharks one defeat away from elimination in their Western Conference finals series with the Vancouver Canucks, coach Todd McLellan had a lot on his plate Monday...But McLellan made it clear that dealing with franchise demons -- the embodiment of San Jose's history of playoff frustration -- was not on his list of things to be concerned about.