- San Jose unions offer pension concessions (SJ Mercury News)
Five unions representing San Jose police officers, firefighters and other workers offered pension reductions for current and future employees Wednesday, contending that they would save nearly half a billion dollars in retirement costs over five years and avoid a long, costly court fight with the city. Retired officers and firefighters also stepped up with an offer to reduce annual cost-of-living raises on their pensions and retirement bonus checks.
- Activists launch petition campaign to repeal new San Jose pot club laws (SJ Mercury News)
Marijuana activists Wednesday announced a petition drive aimed at blocking new San Jose ordinances that sharply limit the number, location and operation of medical pot dispensaries. The activists' announcement outside City Hall came a day after the City Council's second and final vote approving the ordinances. Expected to take effect at the end of October, the laws made San Jose the largest Northern California city to approve a framework allowing medical marijuana businesses.
- Federal cash boosts shrinking Oakland police department by 25 officers (Oakland Tribune)
Twenty-five more police officers will join a shrinking department in the fight against the city's rising crime rate, concentrating on vulnerable middle schools, thanks to a federal grant announced Wednesday. The city won the $10.7 million grant from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, one of the largest awarded to several cities across California. It provided Oakland with the highest number of officers allowed by the COPS grants.
Immigration agents arrested 186 people in Northern California and more than 2,900 nationwide in a weeklong sweep in search of illegal and legal immigrants with criminal records. In the Bay Area, the majority of arrests occurred in Santa Clara County, where 35 immigrants were arrested, followed by 23 in Alameda County, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Most of those arrested in the Bay Area had prior felony convictions. Five are documented gang members.
Over some environmentalists' objections, the state Supreme Court voted Wednesday to let California air-quality regulators go ahead with a market-oriented cap-and-trade system of pollution credits to combat global warming while appealing a judge's order to look harder at alternatives.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who is running for mayor on a platform that touts his independence from powerful interests, has received more than $45,000 in campaign contributions since 2009 from attorneys at law firms that combined have received millions of dollars in city contracts from his office, a review of campaign finance records shows. One of the donations appears to violate a city law barring contractors with deals worth at least $50,000 from donating to officials who approve those contracts.
...There was little quiet...in the heart of the Moraga campus as more than 100 students, faculty and staff rallied for unity and open talk about sexual assault in the wake of two rapes reported in the campus dorms in as many weeks. "It's nonsense. We shouldn't be having two sexual assault cases in the first month of school," said Jenny Cruz, a 20-year-old junior from Santa Ana who helped stage the rally on short notice, given that the most recent assault surfaced Sunday.
Police are preparing for hundreds, perhaps thousands of bikers expected to ride into Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose sometime next month to honor the memory of Jeff "Jethro" Pettigrew, the president of the city's Hells Angels chapter who was shot to death in a gun battle at a Sparks casino. There will be Henchmen, East Side Riders Car Club, Devil Dolls, Top Hatters and more. Alongside them, also paying their respects, will be members of the South Yard Heavy Equipment Crew.
As they have for more than five decades, California voters overwhelmingly support the death penalty - but in a marked shift, more voters now prefer that convicted murderers be sentenced to life without parole instead of death, according to the latest Field Poll.