- California state parks had hidden surplus for 20 years, auditor's probe finds (Sacramento Bee)
A new probe of financial scandals at the California Department of Parks and Recreation found that officials maintained a hidden cash surplus for as long as 20 years – far longer than previously known. The investigation by the California state auditor, released Thursday, tracked a surplus going back to 1993 in the State Parks and Recreation Fund, the primary fund that collects and disburses revenue generated by the 278 state parks.
- Coast Guard, shipping officials pass new rules to restrict large ships from sailing near Bay Bridge in heavy fog (SJ Mercury News)
Hoping to reduce the risk of major oil spills in San Francisco Bay, the Coast Guard and top shipping officials Thursday passed new rules to restrict cargo ships, oil tankers and other large vessels from sailing near the Bay Bridge in heavy fog. The action comes five weeks after an empty oil tanker, the Overseas Reymar, sideswiped a tower of the Bay Bridge near Yerba Buena Island. The Jan. 7 accident, which caused an estimated $3 million in damage to the bridge, occurred five years after the Cosco Busan, a 901-foot cargo ship, hit an adjacent tower. That accident spilled 53,000 gallons of bunker fuel into the bay, killing more than 6,000 birds and oiling 69 miles of beaches and shoreline.
- UC student takes Dream Act case to YouTube (SF Chronicle)
Terrence Park has done plenty of work - in laundries, in restaurants and tutoring in private homes - to realize his dream of getting a college education. But the 24-year-old UC Berkeley math club leader and biostatistics major from South Korea said Wednesday that he never dreamed he would reveal his biggest secret - that he is an undocumented immigrant - on YouTube.
- Xoom zooms higher in market debut after $100 million IPO (SJ Mercury News)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Investors hinted that consumer websites are still a popular investment despite Facebook's follies, pushing the price for online money-transfer site Xoom higher in its market debut Friday morning. The online-payments company priced initial public offering at $16 a share Thursday night, $1 higher than the top of the suggested range of $13 to $15. A total of 6.3 million shares were sold, with 1.1 million coming from early investors and the rest from the company, for a total take of $101.2 million and valuation of more than $500 million.
Heavy bidding for Bay Area single family homes kept January prices well above their levels of a year ago, a report Thursday showed, stirring hopes that the recovery is well under way. The median price for a single family home in the nine-county Bay Area was $435,000, up 24.3 percent from the previous January, according to DataQuick, a real estate information company.
...The flash mob, which featured about three dozen people, was part of the global activism movement One Billion Rising, which called on men and women worldwide to take a stand against violence toward women and girls. Hundreds of people gathered outside City Hall, with some holding signs that read, “No more abuses, no more excuses” and, “I rise for women who have died to gang rape.”
It was a good week at ACE Charter High last week: The Internet finally got hooked up for students at the fledging school. Access to the Web is both a triumph and an indicator of the bumpy start for the charter, which hoped to do "blended learning" of technology and traditional teaching for kids in one of San Jose's toughest neighborhoods. But ACE opened in August without textbooks, student Internet access or lunch tables -- and chaos in some classes. Two-thirds of the teachers lacked a full teaching credential and many did not have the skills to control unruly students. Half the starting staff, including the principal, have left. Student schedules were upended and include only three college-preparatory courses and no art, music or technology classes.
The day's light was fading when the SWAT officers decided they could wait no longer for Christopher Dorner to surrender.Dorner, the fired Los Angeles cop suspected of killing four people in a campaign of revenge, had been holed up in a cabin near Big Bear Lake for hours, trading gunfire with San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies. Repeated calls over a loudspeaker for him to surrender went ignored. Attempts to flush him out with tear gas led nowhere.