- Hurricane Sandy forces cancellation of dozens of East Coast-bound flights from Bay Area airports (Bay Area News Group)
With Hurricane Sandy bearing down, Bay Area travelers expecting to board flights to New York, Boston, Philadelphia and other East Coast cities Monday probably aren't going anywhere, officials said. Major airlines canceled thousands of flights scheduled for Sunday and Monday, and more could be scrapped if the hurricane causes heavy damage. At San Francisco International Airport, flights bound for the affected areas were canceled starting at around 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon as the airlines did their best to move planes out of the storm's path, according to Duty Manager Dan Dinnocenti.
- California school districts could take credit rating hit if tax measures fail (Oakland Tribune)
With five straight years of budget cuts and deferred payments from the state, California school districts have increasingly had to turn to borrowing. Now, if neither state proposition that would shore up education funding passes Nov. 6, the cost of borrowing for many districts is likely to go up. Some may be forced to seek a state bailout, or possibly face bankruptcy. That bleak scenario comes not from districts themselves nor the backers of Proposition 30 or Proposition 38, the tax measures to fund schools, but from the bottom-line analysis of Moody's Investors Services, which rates nearly one-third of the state's 1,000-plus school districts and more than half the 122 community college districts.
- Charles Munger Jr. drops another $13 million to fight tax initiative and boost anti-union measure (Oakland Tribune)
The shadowy Arizona group that gave $11 million to a small-business PAC has nothing on Charles Munger Jr. Munger, a Republican activist from Palo Alto, has been the true deep pockets of the Small Business Action Committee, which is running campaigns in favor of Proposition 32 -- the measure that seeks to curb unions' ability to collect political dues -- and against Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown's tax-hike measure. After donating a cool $13 million to the business group Friday, Munger has now contributed $36.5 million of the $49 million the PAC has raised, according to Berkeley-based Maplight, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign spending.
- California prison head leaves to lead county association (Sacramento Bee)
Matt Cate, who oversaw a dramatic, court-ordered reduction of California's prison population as secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, is resigning, the Brown administration confirmed Friday. Cate will become executive director of the California State Association of Counties. He will replace Paul McIntosh, who stepped down in August.
Rescue teams were back in the mountains Sunday resuming separate searches for two hikers missing in California's Sierra Nevada. More ground crews were called in and two more helicopters, including a California Highway Patrol helicopter, joined the search for Larry Conn of Pacific Palisades... In a second search in the Sierra, Fresno County teams continue to look for Matthew Hanson, 52, a Visalia man who was missing after going on a backpacking trip near Shaver Lake.
State Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi's shoplifting past is about to become very much a part of her current run for Alameda County supervisor. A Sacramento group calling itself the Morals PAC is sending out mailers made to look like the poster for the movie "There's Something About Mary" - highlighting the assemblywoman's conviction for stealing $2,500 worth of clothes from San Francisco's Neiman Marcus.
The ability to get an FHA loan so quickly after a foreclosure could be welcome news to thousands of people who lost their homes during the housing bust. In the coming 12 months, about 22,000 Bay Area foreclosures will hit the three-year mark. While mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac make people wait seven years after a foreclosure, the FHA will approve loans after three years, providing the buyer has established good credit and the ability to pay the mortgage.
The massive undertaking by Oakland officials and police to prepare for protests would be an exceptional challenge for most Bay Area cities. In Oakland, it's become the new normal. It involves months of planning, orchestrating hundreds of police and other public workers, and has cost millions of taxpayer dollars.
The state’s Environmental Protection Agency finalized a revision of a controversial K-12 environmental curriculum on plastic bags Friday. California Watch reported last year that whole sections of an 11th-grade teachers' edition guide for a new curriculum had been lifted almost verbatim from comments and suggestions submitted by the American Chemistry Council, the chemical and plastics industry trade group.
...A crisp, stylized double "A" surrounded by a bright red circle, visible from almost every downtown corner, marks the ever-expanding footprint of the Academy of Art University. The private, for-profit college has become, over the past century, the largest arts school in the country and one of the biggest landholders in San Francisco -- only the Catholic Church owns more buildings. In the past two decades, the Academy of Art has grown 10 times in size to nearly 20,000 students. And administrators are pushing for more: a recent school master plan projects a student population of nearly 25,000 within five years, roughly the same number of undergraduates who attend the University of California at Berkeley.