- Dems and Brown agree on budget (Contra Costa Times)
Nearly two weeks after being rebuked on their first try, Democrats will vote on a budget Tuesday that Gov. Jerry Brown is sure to sign this time. Brown and the two legislative leaders, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, announced an agreement Monday on a budget that closes a $9.6 billion deficit with $4 billion in newly projected revenues and more cuts. After monthslong talks with a handful of Republicans proved fruitless, Brown is ditching his plan for a special election on taxes he had hoped to extend before they expire Thursday. Instead, he said he will push for an initiative during the November 2012 presidential election, precisely when many Democrats and their labor allies had said would offer more ideal conditions to win on taxes.
- Oakland, police union tentatively agree to givebacks to rescue city budget (Oakland Tribune)
Just days away from the July 1 budget deadline, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and the City Council brokered tentative agreements Monday with the Oakland police union and four other public employee guilds that could help fill a crippling $58 million deficit looming over the city. The most significant concession would come from the Oakland Police Officer's Association, which agreed to pay 9 percent of its pension plan, a compromise pushed by the City Council that the union rejected last year. The Oakland firefighters union would also pay 9 percent, as would the three other unions -- the Professional & Technical Engineers Local 21, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245 and SEIU Local 1021.
- Court strikes down California video games law (SF Chronicle)
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down California's ban on selling violent video games to minors today, ruling that young people's access to even the most brutal onscreen mayhem is protected by freedom of speech. By a 7-2 vote, the justices declared unconstitutional a law that has been blocked by court orders since it was passed in 2005.
- Woolsey to retire after 20 years in Congress (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Rep. Lynn Woolsey made it official Monday at her Petaluma home, announcing that she will retire next year after completing two decades as the North Bay's representative in Congress. “It's been a privilege to serve you, to work with you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Woolsey, 73, told about 200 supporters gathered in the backyard of her Petaluma home.
- California sales tax drops by a penny Friday, thanks to budget dance (Sacramento Bee)
...California's sales tax is about to drop by a penny, to a statewide rate of 7.25 percent. The change takes effect Friday, with the expiration of the tax hikes approved by the Legislature in February 2009. In addition, the vehicle license fee will drop by nearly half, to 0.65 percent of the car's value.
- Santa Clara County: Volunteers spread out to survey homeless population (San Jose Mercury News)
...Instead of just counting the homeless, as has been done by various agencies for many years, the organizers behind "Registry Week" plan to survey, sort and prioritize the approximately 7,000 estimated homeless people in Santa Clara County, and find a roof to put over the heads of 1,000 of the most vulnerable by 2013.
- Muslim woman sues Abercrombie & Fitch over hijab (San Mateo County Times)
A San Mateo County woman filed a discrimination lawsuit Monday against Abercrombie & Fitch, claiming the clothing retailer firing her from its Hollister Co. store at Hillsdale Shopping Center because her Muslim headscarf clashed with the company's image. When Hani Khan was hired for a stockroom job in the fall of 2009, she was told her hijab would not conflict with the policy as long as it matched company colors. She was fired in February 2010, however, when a district manager and corporate human resources manager asked if she would remove her hijab while working, according to the suit.
- Video shows Stow in Dodger Stadium confrontation (SF Chronicle)
Los Angeles police detectives are reviewing a video that shows Giants fan Bryan Stow in a brief confrontation with a second man in the stands at Dodger Stadium, where Stow was severely beaten March 31. The footage, aired Monday by celebrity news website TMZ, shows a man walk over to Stow, who is seated, and point at him with his left hand before walking away.
- Feds Arrest Well-Known Tomato Farmers for Growing Pot (Bay Citizen)
The Jopson family has farmed the land in a speck of a town called Rio Oso, north of Sacramento, for four generations. Twenty years ago, brothers Tom Jopson and David Eldon Jopson broke from the family business of growing grains to try their hand at greenhouse tomatoes. The gamble paid off. Their flavorful tomatoes were a hit across the state. Restaurants and supermarkets sought them out, because their produce was available year-round, paying the Jopsons up to $4 a pound.
- Don't adjust your monitor: Rain coming to South Bay Tuesday (San Jose Mercury News)
Forecasters say it's almost a sure thing that up to a quarter-inch of rain will fall on the South Bay and Peninsula on Tuesday afternoon -- an almost once-in-a-lifetime event for June 28. It'll be weaker than a winter downpour but enough to warrant a brief reunion with your umbrella. How unusual is South Bay rain this time of year? It hasn't rained in the last week of June since 2001, when just .13 of an inch fell; the current rainfall record for June 28 is a measly 0.02 inches, set in 1952; during June 2008, June 2009 and June 2010, measurable rain fell just once total. A storm at the beginning of this month single-handedly broke the record for the wettest month of June.
- Time is running out for meter-free parking in some San Francisco areas (SF Examiner)
ree on-street parking would become even rarer with the possible installation of as many as 4,000 new meters in Mission Bay, the Mission district, western SoMa and around local college campuses. The meters would be part of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s SFpark program, which soon will set parking rates based on demand. Last year, the agency agreed to add up to 5,000 new meters. About 1,000 have already been installed, and today the agency’s board will vote on a $22 million contract that could yield 4,000 more.
- Lake Merritt transformation on the horizon (Oakland Tribune)
On a sunny June morning, excavation crews dressed in billowy white jumpsuits and masks began breaking open a subterranean warren of chambers under 12th Street, invisible to the joggers and dog walkers passing overhead. When the sound of backhoes striking cement quieted, light pierced the craggy openings in the viaduct, revealing a series of low-slung dens about as large as a walk-in closet and illuminated only by what electricity the homeless inhabitants could tap from the streetlights above. Most of the squatters had deserted the dens in 2004 when their electrical hot-wiring started a fire, revealing their secret city at the south bend of Lake Merritt.
- Safeway goes natural to avoid becoming 'roadkill' (Bloomberg)
To celebrate its new line of foods made with natural ingredients, Safeway Inc. built the world's largest picnic table on San Francisco's Marina Green, looking out onto the Golden Gate Bridge, and hired Food Network chef Tyler Florence to cook up meals using the items...Safeway Chief Executive Officer Steven Burd is using Open Nature, along with lower prices and a revamped website that offers personalized digital coupons, to lure back shoppers who flocked to cheaper competitors such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. during the recession. Whole Foods Market Inc., meanwhile, has done a better job of attracting a wealthier clientele.
- Is San Andreas Fault due for a mega-quake? (California Watch)
Scientists know the San Andreas Fault is going to rupture. But why it hasn’t triggered a major temblor in more than 100 years has baffled geologists and seismologists. A new study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, may explain the seismic hiatus. And it suggests that a mega-quake may be around the corner.