- Bay Area to feel impact of new mortgage lending rules (SJ Mercury News)
Tighter rules for mortgage lending announced Thursday will go a long way toward protecting consumers against the worst excesses of the housing bubble, but could hit some Bay Area homebuyers in the pocketbook. The rules are designed to prevent the types of toxic loans that allowed people to buy homes they couldn't afford. Those mortgages eventually collapsed, leading to the housing and financial crash.
- No agreement on Oakland police compliance director (Oakland Tribune)
The city and opposing attorneys have failed to agree on who should fill a position with broad power over Oakland's police force and intend to submit separate slates of candidates Friday for a federal judge to consider. Whomever U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson selects to become Oakland's police compliance director will have authority to spend city funds and overrule top commanders in order to get police fully compliant with a court-sanctioned reform effort agreed to in the wake of the decade-old Riders police brutality scandal.
Mega-quake possible in California (SF Chronicle)
For decades, scientists have assumed the central portion of California's San Andreas Fault acts as a barrier that prevents a big quake in the southern part of the state from spreading to the north, and vice versa. As a result, a mega-quake that could be felt from San Diego to San Francisco was widely considered impossible. But that key fault segment might not serve as a barrier in all cases, researchers wrote Wednesday in the online edition of the journal Nature.
As a child, Liberty Bradford Mitchell sat through one of her dad's rough-cut porn movies. As an adolescent, she was given her first safe-sex talk by her dad's girlfriend - a porn star. Then, at age 20, on Feb. 27, 1991, she learned that her father, Artie Mitchell, had been slain by her uncle, Jim Mitchell. "Murder was a bigger stigma than pornography had ever been," she says.
The state advisory board that sets guidelines for maritime operations in the Bay Area is considering adding new restrictions for ships passing under the Bay Bridge, now that the second big ship in five years has hit one of the bridge's towers. There are nine designated "critical maneuvering areas" in the bay and nearby waterways where ship pilots are told to take extra care if bad conditions such as heavy fog arise. But the waters beneath the Bay Bridge - the most important passageway for ships carrying cargo in the bay - are not on that list.
City College of San Francisco needs to resolve its labor issues and come up with a stable budget plan - and do it fast, a top state education official told college trustees meeting on Thursday. Two days earlier, the state-appointed overseer of City College stunned the community college system's Board of Governors by reporting that the college would not be able to fix all of its financial and managerial problems by the March 15 deadline set to retain accreditation, and blamed foot-dragging by labor unions and other factions at the college.
Gov. Jerry Brown won widespread praise Thursday for proposing a budget that beefs up education spending, averts more cuts to the social safety net and sets California on a fiscally stable course that until recently seemed like an impossible dream... A balanced budget, he said, "allows us to take care of people over time instead of a momentary rash of excitement -- and then we pay with a hangover." The governor will be in a strong position to say no, said David Latterman, a political science professor at the University of San Francisco. "Brown can pretty much pick and choose whatever he wants to do -- he's got all the political capital he needs from the voters," Latterman said...
Republicans, who have fallen so low in their numbers at the Capitol that they won't likely have much impact on policy decisions in coming years, approved of Brown's fiscal message.
Computer users are being advised by security experts to disable Oracle's widely used Java software after a security flaw was discovered in the past day that they say hackers are exploiting to attack computers. "Java is a mess. It's not secure," said Jaime Blasco, Labs Manager with AlienVault Labs. "You have to disable it." Java, which is installed on hundreds of millions of PCs around the globe, is a computer language that enables programmers to write software using just one set of code that will run on virtually any type of computer.