- California abandons algebra requirement for eighth-graders (SJ Mercury News)
By falling in line with other states, California is abandoning its push for all eighth-graders to take algebra. Last month, the State Board of Education unanimously shifted away from a 15-year policy of expecting eighth-graders to take Algebra I. The state will allow them to take either Algebra I or an alternate course that includes some algebra. New state standardized tests will focus on the alternate course -- the same one adopted by most states under the Common Core curriculum being rolled out across the nation.
- Sullen San Francisco 49ers fans keep calm after Super Bowl loss (SF Examiner)
All Jenny Chen could do was hold her head in her hands when the Super Bowl ended. “Next year,” the 29-year-old Burlingame resident said after the 49ers lost to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday night in New Orleans. “But I was hoping for a miracle.” That sentiment was felt throughout San Francisco after a close contest in which the 49ers came just short of making the ultimate comeback, losing 34-31.
- Opinions vary about blackout's effect (SF Chronicle)
In a Super Bowl game that had nearly everything, a 34-minute power outage seemed like too much to handle. Part of the stadium lights went out early in the third quarter, with the 49ers trailing 28-6. "It was definitely a unique situation," said 49ers tackle Joe Staley. "But it wasn't the first time. We had a power outage against Pittsburgh ... and we came out afterward on fire."
- Sightings: Bobcat, surfing dolphin and more (19-pic photo gallery) (SF Chronicle)
This 19-picture photo gallery includes record fish, bobcats, gray fox, a coyote with prey, wild turkeys, bald eagles, a dolphin surfing and whale spouting. In short, sightings have been amazing the past two weeks. The teeter-totter effect of weather this winter – flooding rains in December, drought in January – has ignited great wildlife sightings and a few record fish in the Bay Area and across Northern California.
- Suspected gunman arrested in fatal Oakland First Friday shooting (Oakland Tribune)
Oakland police have arrested the suspected gunman they believe shot and killed a man and may have also wounded three other people at the city's popular First Friday event on Friday night. ... The man is suspected of shooting and killing 18-year-old Kiante Campbell on Telegraph Avenue and wounding three other people who were attending the crowded street festival that happens the first Friday of every month in the city's downtown and Uptown neighborhoods.
- California Gov. Brown issued 128 pardons last year (Associated Press)
Gov. Jerry Brown's office says he granted a total of 128 pardons last year. Brown announced he pardoned 79 and commuted the sentence of one prisoner in December. Friday, his office submitted a report on all of the pardons for 2012 to the Legislature as required by law.
- Veterinarian Melissa Miller runs a sea otter CSI at UCSC's Long Marine Lab (Marin Independent Journal)
The body arrived in a cooler, packed on blue ice. The sea otter had washed up on Pismo Beach the day before, with shark bites sunk deep into its hips and back legs -- and scratches on its bones. Melissa Miller, a veterinarian and wildlife pathologist, knew what killed the animal just by looking at it: Bacteria had infected its wounds, so it drowned. But she has found that otters often keep secrets, hiding serious diseases beneath the surface. So a postmortem exam was in order.
- Average is excellent for Marin coho (Marin Independent Journal)
Being average is welcome news in the world Marin's endangered coho salmon. With the spawning season winding down, Marin Municipal Water District officials are reporting the number of coho egg nests — called redds — are at average in number and they are the most seen in the Lagunitas Creek watershed in six years.