- Oakland is still Mayor-Electless, after a final count for the election held a week ago did not materialize as planned. Initially, the Alameda Country Registrar's Office said official results would be released Monday, but late yesterday Registrar Dave Macdonald said the count was still not complete. A spokesman said the Registar's Office hoped final results would be released Tuesday -- that's today.
The mayoral race in San Leandro is also still up in the air pending a final vote count.
The counts are taking so long because of ranked-choice voting. (See here for a refutation of this.) If you want to hear the system explained for the umpteenth time, from the Oakland Tribune:
Ranked-choice voting -- also known as instant-runoff voting -- allowed voters to rank their first-, second- and third-choice candidates for a single office. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote when ballots are tallied, the ranked-choice voting system kicks in.
The system starts eliminating candidates from the bottom up. When a voter's first choice is eliminated, their second choice is then counted. This process of elimination occurs until a candidate has 50 percent of the vote.
The system eliminates the need for a primary.
However, for the system to work, all votes must be verified before the process can begin -- thus necessitating the current delay in knowing the winner of a race.
- In the San Francisco Supervisors' race, the San Francisco Chronicle reports with an update:
In District Two, Janet Reilly holds a very slim lead - 231 votes - over Mark Farrell.
District 10 remains a huge toss-up. Tony Kelly is still in first place, but Marlene Tran is just 15 votes behind. Lynette Sweet, Steve Moss and Malia Cohen round out the top five, with just one vote separating Moss and Cohen.
Jane Kim and Scott Wiener have maintained their seemingly insurmountable leads in District Six and District Eight, respectively...
So far, 261,545 votes have been counted, split almost evenly between those cast through the mail and those cast at polling places. There are about 10,000 vote-by-mail ballots to count; 15,464 provisional ballots also haven't been counted.
John Arntz, director of the Department of Elections, said a new ranked choice voting tally should be ready today. But he hastened to note that he expects to use the full 28 days allowed to certify election results. Read the full article.
- Both UC and Cal State are proposing tuition rises for the fall. From the San Jose Mercury News:
The UC system is preparing to raise undergraduate tuition by $822 this coming fall, an 8 percent increase that will bring the average cost at the 10 campuses to $12,150. Cal State trustees, meanwhile, this week will vote on two tuition hikes -- 5 percent, or $105, for the second half of the current school year and 10 percent on top of the new fee, or $440, this coming fall.
Cal State tuition will cost $4,884 in fall 2011 if both increases are approved by trustees Wednesday.
The proposed UC increase was announced Monday by President Mark Yudof, who also unveiled corresponding improvements to financial aid that will cover the higher costs for more than half of the system's 181,000 undergraduates. In addition, students from families with incomes from $80,000 to $120,000 will not pay the higher prices until fall 2012. Read the full article.
- A senior director of PG&E's SmartMeter program, William Devereaux, admitted that he used a false name in trying to join an online anti-meter group. From the San Jose Mercury News:
The Merc said the disclosure "is likely to be yet another public relations disaster for the utility." Very likely, I'd say.
Activists discovered the subterfuge late last week, when Devereaux tried to join the California EMF Coalition, which maintains an online discussion group for people concerned about electromagnetic radiation.
Sandi Maurer, a Sebastopol resident, uses Google Groups to moderate the coalition's online discussion group, and she often e-mails people before allowing them access to the small group. On Thursday, she said she received an e-mail from someone using the address "firstname.lastname@example.org."
"I live in Oakland where Smart meters have been sweeping across town and wanted to learn more about them and join the conversation to see
what I can do to help out here," wrote the person, who signed his name as "Ralph."
But the e-mail message also revealed that the address actually belonged to Devereaux. Maurer recognized his name immediately -- she met Devereaux in person at a forum last spring.
"He's disguised himself, used a false name, said his name was Ralph and pretended to want to help our cause," Maurer said. "It's symbolic of what PG&E has become: deceptive and untrustworthy." Read the full article.
- A San Carlos warehouse belonging to musician Neil Young has been badly damaged in a fire. From Bay City News:
More than $1 million in damage was done to the contents of a San Carlos warehouse belonging to musician Neil Young after a two-alarm fire broke out at the building early this morning, a Belmont-San Carlos fire marshal said.
Reports of the fire were first received at 2:55 a.m. and firefighters responded to 593 Quarry Road, although a San Mateo County fire dispatcher originally reported incorrectly that the fire was next door at 595 Quarry Road.
Belmont-San Carlos Fire Marshal Jim Palisi said the fire ignited inside the warehouse and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
"A lot of the belongings have been saved, but there was still a lot of damage done," Palisi said.
Young lives nearby in La Honda in unincorporated San Mateo County.
Listen to the report from KQED's Joshua Johnson: