- San Jose pushes ahead with pension proposals (San Jose Mercury News)
In the national spotlight since Mayor Chuck Reed this month called for a ballot measure to curb runaway pension costs, the San Jose City Council put off calling a fiscal state of emergency Tuesday while voting to study various proposals for reducing retirement benefits. The council's 8-3 vote after a three-hour afternoon meeting set up a June 21 showdown in which the council would vote on formally declaring a fiscal state of emergency and deciding which pension reforms might be taken to voters in November.
- S.F. Mayor Ed Lee touts pension plan savings (SF Chronicle)
Mayor Ed Lee on Tuesday touted his proposal to rein in the city's spiraling pension and health care costs as a "consensus, comprehensive plan that ... will fix this problem for the long term," but its cost savings are a fraction of the city's total bill. The new method of calculating employees' pension contributions would save $59 million in 2012-13, when the city is expected to be on the hook for about $460 million in pension payments, according to a new analysis from the controller's office. In 2014-15, when the city's pension bill could top $700 million, Lee's proposal would save between $84 million and $90 million.
- San Jose Sharks lose in double OT (San Jose Mercury News)
There was the too-familiar pain that comes with seeing their Stanley Cup hopes dashed once again. But in the aftermath of their 3-2 loss in double overtime to the Vancouver Canucks that eliminated them from the Western Conference finals Tuesday night in five games, the Sharks also had to deal with the fact they were beaten by a freakish goal that no one except the shooter saw coming.
Pedestrian deaths comprise more than half of all traffic fatalities in San Francisco, a rate more than four times the national average. In most metropolitan areas, pedestrians account for just a small portion — 12 percent — of total traffic deaths. But walkers in San Francisco make up 51.9 percent of traffic fatalities, according to a study by Transportation For America, a national coalition of transit and planning groups.
A plan to upgrade AT&T's network in San Francisco was again delayed by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday over concerns about the boxes that would be installed around the city to house the technology. Supervisor Scott Wiener said at Tuesday afternoon's board meeting that AT&T asked for a five-week delay on the vote so it could propose a scaled-back version of the plan.
California officials are rushing to revise a plan to protect Bay Area communities from rising water levels stemming from global warming after a stinging rebuke from the business sector last week. The Bay Conservation and Development Commission, a state agency, spent more than two years crafting the proposal, which would discourage or ban development on vulnerable waterfront areas in an effort to prevent flooding, protect habitat and create shoreline buffer zones as seas rise in the coming decades.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors gave the go-ahead Tuesday to a $1.2 billion plan to transform the sprawling Parkmerced area from a car-centric neighborhood to a state-of-the-art sustainable neighborhood. In a 6-5 split, the board voted to replace 1,500 rent-controlled town homes with 7,200 new energy-efficient units over the next 20 to 30 years. When the project, which currently houses about 8,000 residents, is completed in 2040, an additional 14,000 people will be living in the 152-acre neighborhood, originally built in the 1940s as a suburban outpost in San Francisco.
The North Marin Water District board voted 5-0 Tuesday to raise customers' water rates by an average of 11 percent each year for the next three years. "The price increase is huge. The timing couldn't be poorer," director Dennis Rodoni admitted. "But if we didn't look at this increase now, this district will be in far worse condition five years from now, when we have no reserve left." The change will raise the bimonthly service charge of a customer with a 1-inch meter from $15.70 to $22 as of June 1. That rate will rise to $28 in 2012 and $34 in 2013. The increase will add about $57 per year to most customers' bills.
Security cutbacks, scanty lighting and a hands-off approach to rowdiness at Dodger Stadium provided a "perfect opportunity" for two men to brutally beat Giants fan Bryan Stow outside the ballpark, Stow's family said in a lawsuit filed against the Dodgers on Tuesday. The negligence suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court against the team and more than a dozen related entities, seeks unspecified damages for Stow - who remains unconscious at San Francisco General Hospital with a traumatic brain injury - as well as his 12-year-old son, Tyler, and daughter Tabitha, 8.
Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday he is actively negotiating a budget deal with Republicans while conservative activist Grover Norquist roamed Capitol hallways urging GOP leaders to hold the line against taxes. The two never met, though they had plenty to say about one another. "Can Norquist spook the legislators?" Brown told reporters after speaking with California State University presidents. "I don't believe so. I think he's going to come out here to California and meet his match."
California can meet its mandate to slash greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels within the next 40 years - but only with a virtual revolution in energy production and use, said a report released Tuesday. Fossil fuel use must drop dramatically in California, and reliance on renewable energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal power will have to rise significantly, according to the report by the independent California Council on Science and Technology
Environmental nonprofit San Francisco Baykeeper won a summary judgment this week against West Bay Sanitary District in U.S. District Court, establishing the district's legal liability for 21 separate sewage spills into San Francisco Bay. The district could face up to $975,000 in fines under the Clean Water Act for sewer overflows that occurred between September 2004 and December 2009 -- raw and partially treated sewage that flowed into San Francisquito Creek, Los Trancos Creek, Ravenswood Slough and several other urban creeks in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
Campaigners for California's ban on same-sex marriage in 2008 told traditional families they had much at stake: the future of marriage itself and the need to "protect our children," as one ad put it, from the impact of legalized gay and lesbian unions. Now, as the sponsors of Proposition 8 try to convince the courts that the judge who overturned the measure had a built-in bias as a gay man with a longtime partner, their opponents are invoking that same campaign message: If Prop. 8 was meant to preserve opposite-sex marriages, they argue, then any judge, gay or straight, would have the similar conflict of interest. In their latest court filing, the measure's supporters reply that they never promoted Prop. 8 as a benefit for married couples - just for society as a whole.
In one of the most spectacular, ancient and rare events for the Diocese of San Jose, a new bishop will be ordained Wednesday at St. Joseph Cathedral Basilica to serve as an auxiliary to Bishop Patrick McGrath.Tickets to the events are so scarce -- the seating limit is 750 and every ticket is spoken for -- that the event will be streamed live on the diocesan website beginning at 1:30 p.m. Commentators will explain the ordination of Bishop-elect Thomas A. Daly in English and Spanish before the 2 p.m. ceremony, which will begin with a grand procession, all in white, of deacons, priests and bishops, including Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles.
Commercial dog walkers would be regulated and required to pay a fee to use The City’s parks and open spaces under a proposal from Supervisor Scott Wiener. The canine caregivers should be required to undergo training, limit the number of dogs they walk at one time and register through the Recreation and Park Department, which manages the land they walk on, Wiener said.