- Oakland council seeks to save jobs, programs (Oakland Tribune)
City leaders are proposing laying off far fewer employees than anticipated, and council members Wednesday moved to spare even more jobs and provide extra notice for workers still slated for unemployment lines. City Administrator Deanna Santana told council members that she'll have an updated proposal Friday that takes into the city's newfound understanding that it can keep an additional $7.5 million to help pay the cost of laying off workers it can no longer afford with the loss of redevelopment funding.
- CSU trustees change policy on campus president pay (SF Chronicle)
Bending to critics' concerns of runaway executive pay, California State University trustees voted Wednesday to limit salaries for new campus presidents and to consider economic realities before making salary offers. The new policy, approved unanimously by the trustees in Long Beach, caps a president's base pay at 10 percent over what the prior president earned, with the money coming from the state's general fund. The salaries could be augmented
- CPUC president appoints self in San Bruno probe (SF Chronicle)
The head of the state Public Utilities Commission - faulted by critics for its lax safety oversight during his tenure - has put himself in charge of deciding whether Pacific Gas and Electric Co. will be fined for the deadly San Bruno gas explosion. President Michael Peevey has acknowledged that the agency he has led since 2003 had been lax and complacent on safety before the Sept. 9, 2010, disaster, in which eight people died and 38 homes were destroyed.
- California air board to vote on landmark electric-car rules (SJ Mercury News)
In a move that could reshape the American automobile industry, California regulators Thursday are expected to approve sweeping new rules requiring that 15 percent of new cars sold in California by 2025 run on electricity, hydrogen or other systems producing little or no smog. The regulations by the California Air Resources Board, dubbed the "advanced clean car rules," would start in 2018, ramping up each year and ultimately resulting in 1.4 million "zero emission" vehicles on California roads by 2025. Today there are only about 10,000 such vehicles in the state.
The last time Occupy Oakland supporters tried to turn a vacant building into a base of operations, police moved in quickly. Now as members of the movement prepare Saturday to once again take over an undisclosed vacant building and turn it into a social center, they're warning authorities not to interfere.
The family of a knife-wielding transient shot and killed by a BART police officer filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the transit agency Wednesday, saying the man had posed no threat. Charles Blair Hill, 45, was shot and killed by Officer James Crowell at the Civic Center BART Station in San Francisco on July 3 after Hill threw a knife toward the officer, who had responded to a report of a drunken man with an open bottle. The killing sparked several protests.
A former girlfriend and a neighbor are among the people who will testify as witnesses in San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi's domestic violence trial next month. Mirkarimi's wife, Eliana Lopez, and seven police officers are also on the prosecution's witness list, which was released Wednesday. Also Wednesday, Robert Waggener, Mirkarimi's attorney since the investigation began, said he is no longer representing Mirkarimi. Mirkarimi's new lawyer is Lidia Stiglich, who has defended public officials, including law enforcement officers, in high-profile cases.
The current economic boom will be robust enough for the South Bay to recover the jobs it lost during the recession by 2014 -- but the East Bay and the San Francisco metro regions might need until at least 2015, the chief economist with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute said Wednesday.
In an attempt to create revenue for cash-strapped Milpitas, officials are flirting with the idea of allowing medical marijuana facilities to operate in the city. Milpitas City Council voted unanimously last week to direct city staff to continue studying regulating medical marijuana dispensaries through the month of April, prior to returning to the council with a full report on the subject. Study of pot clubs began late last year at the council-led Transportation and Land Use Subcommittee level.