- Oakland schools to get suspension monitor (SF Chronicle)
Facing a civil rights investigation for disciplining black students more harshly than their white peers, the Oakland school board voted Thursday to accept five years of federal monitoring as the district attempts to address the problem. The agreement with the U.S. Department of Education shuts down the investigation, but it now means that at least until 2017 federal officials will be keeping tabs on 38 Oakland schools as they work to reduce the disproportionate suspension of minority students, especially African American boys.
- Calif. man behind anti-Muslim video ordered jailed (Associated Press)
The mystery surrounding the man behind the crudely produced anti-Islamic video that sparked violence in the Middle East deepened when he appeared in court and identified himself by yet another name. Arrested on Thursday in Los Angeles after authorities said he violated his probation from a 2010 check fraud conviction, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula told a judge his real name was Mark Basseley Youseff. He said he had been using that name since 2002, even though he went by Nakoula in his fraud case.
- BART installs system to give warning seconds before major quakes, slowing trains (Oakland Tribune)
In a marriage of technology and earthquake safety, BART has become the first U.S. transit system to install an early-warning system that can detect major earthquakes seconds before the ground begins shaking and then slow trains to reduce the risk of derailments, injuries and deaths. The system, developed with the help of scientists at UC Berkeley, can give a warning that ranges from a few seconds to up to a minute before a quake hits, depending on how large and how far away an earthquake is. A similar network is already in use in Japan, where it has saved lives in major quakes.
- Oakland council may cut meeting access (SF Chronicle)
Oakland City Administrator Deanna Santana is proposing to sharply reduce public access to City Council meetings in an effort to avoid disruptions such as one last week, when demonstrations over a fatal police shooting prompted the council to shut its meeting down. The most dramatic change would eliminate nearly half the 214 seats in the council's City Hall chambers by prohibiting people from sitting in the upstairs galleries.
California, home to many of the world's social media companies, now has the nation's strictest privacy laws preventing your boss or college from surfing through the personal information you post on sites like Facebook. It will be illegal for companies or universities to ask for access to your personal social media or email accounts under two bills signed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
On Saturday night, the North Bay will be able to boast of a spectacular new concert hall, thanks largerly to former Marin residents Donald and Maureen Green. That's when the crown jewel of their Green Music Center, the 1,400-seat Sanford I. Weill Hall, opens on the Sonoma State University campus in Rohnert Park with a gala, sold-out concert by the flamboyant Chinese pianist Lang Lang. Modeled after Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, home of the famed Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts, the hall features a modular rear wall that opens onto an outdoor lawn with seating for up to 3,000.
Peace and Freedom Party presidential nominee Roseanne Barr came to Oaksterdam on Thursday evening to distance herself from President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney and their stance against marijuana. The comedienne and former television star held her town-hall meeting, "The Political Future of Medical Marijuana," in front a standing-room-only crowd of about 200 at Oaksterdam University. Barr said legalizing marijuana is the "way to end the drug wars and stop the monopoly of the subsidized prison systems."
City agencies are looking into the hiring and payment practices of an America’s Cup event production contractor previously caught letting its roving workforce be paid less than San Francisco’s minimum wage. The inquiries were prompted by complaints from local unions crying foul about compliance with the terms of last winter’s assiduously discussed labor agreement between City Hall and organizers of the sailing regatta.
The small plane that plunged into a Redwood City lagoon two years ago, killing all three people aboard, lost power in one engine before crashing, federal investigators have concluded. The twin-engine Beech 65 Queen Air took off from San Carlos Airport just before noon on Sept. 2, 2010, and rose about 650 feet before plummeting into a lagoon in the Redwood Shores area, killing the pilot, his girlfriend and the plane's owner.
Consider this your official reminder: Fall did arrive last Saturday. But you might forget that this weekend when temperatures creep upward, creating some unseasonably warm weather throughout the Bay Area. "If you're having a street fair in the East Bay or San Jose, you're going to be selling a lot of ice cream and beer," said Steve Anderson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service. "It's going to be nice, sunny and warm. But that's what people look forward to in the fall when you live here, especially on the coast."