- Batts quit as court report blasted Oakland cops (SF Chronicle)
Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts announced his resignation after receiving a highly critical report from a court-appointed monitor tracking reforms the department was ordered to make after four officers were accused more than a decade ago of systematically beating and framing suspects.
- D.A. opens criminal probe into van workers' donations to Lee (SF Chronicle)
District Attorney George Gascón said Wednesday that his office has begun a criminal investigation into possibly laundered campaign contributions to Mayor Ed Lee from drivers and other employees at an airport van service.
- California Dems blast Obama on foreclosure crisis (SF Chronicle)
...Led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren of San Jose, who chairs the state's Democratic House delegation, nearly all the state's 32 Democrats signed a letter to President Obama urging him to take immediate administrative actions to make it easier for homeowners to take advantage of rock-bottom interest rates, among other measures.
Bay Area executives have soured about the region's economic outlook and have intensified their plans to chop jobs in the coming months, according to a new survey released Thursday. The quarterly business confidence index compiled by the Bay Area Council plummeted, hitting 51 on a scale of 1 to 100. The summer 2011 reading on the index represented an 11-point drop from the reading for the spring -- and the worst quarterly decline since 2002.
...In San Jose on Wednesday, unhappy customers were striking back at bank bottom lines. Standing near the altar of the Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Father Eduardo Samaniego announced that the East Side parish is moving its $3 million account with Bank of America, where the church has done business for at least 20 years, to a community credit union.
The San Francisco school board will ask voters on Nov. 8 to support the third and final installment of a 10-year, $1.3 billion effort to upgrade and renovate every one of the district's 132 schools.
An effort to repeal a law that requires schools to teach about the historical contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and people with disabilities, has failed as backers did not collect enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Although Wednesday was the early deadline for states to indicate interest in applying for waivers from No Child Left Behind regulations, it appeared California wasn't among states jumping at the chance. Tom Torlakson, California superintendent of public instruction, was on the road and didn't plan to issue a statement on the state's plans Wednesday, according to his communications department. Last month, Torlakson was not enthusiastic about the Obama administration's offer of a waiver from the federal law -- which includes strict sanctions for low-performing schools -- if states agree instead to enact tough reforms.
As it hits its 100th birthday, California's initiative process is losing its luster. But followers of Hiram Johnson's landmark move toward direct democracy can take heart: the Legislature has even bigger problems. A new Field Poll shows a bare majority of Golden State voters believe the ballot measure process is a "good thing," continuing a steady slide in popularity since 1979, when more than four out of five voters gave thumbs up in the aftermath of Proposition 13's approval.
...California's grand experiment to overhaul its criminal justice system is giving local communities the freedom to reinvent how they watch over nonviolent criminals who leave prison, and Santa Clara County is taking a unique and some say controversial approach. It's the only county in California sending teams to prisons throughout the state over the next nine months to personally interview 1,067 inmates returning home.