8:59am

Mon March 5, 2012
Morning News Roundup

Connecting the Dots: Top news stories for Monday, March 5, 2012

A group of student-run organizations who have planned a rally for education funding at the state capitol today are worried about protest confusion: Refund California and Occupy Education is also holding an action in Sacramento today. Though the two protests have been called for similar reasons, student group spokespersons have stressed they are unrelated. The student groups say they have no plans to “occupy” the capitol, and do not support the “millionaire’s tax” advocated by the Occupy and Refund California protestors...

With severe budget cuts in California over the last decade, the state university system has now become more expensive for middle-class students than elite schools like Harvard and Princeton. A comparison of typical financial aid packages reveals the weaknesses of state tuition help, while some of the country’s top schools have in recent years committed to growing financial aid for low and middle-income students...

The financially-troubled city of San Jose may bring in the state to evaluate its pension problems. A group of seven South Bay legislators are asking for a state audit of San Jose’s finances and pension debts. Mayor Chuck Reed has been in conflict with employee unions over future pension costs...

Finances for several projects in the city of Oakland are also under review. Questions are being raised about the possible improper handling of funds for a teen center opened by City Councilwoman Desley Brooks... 

And a recent City Auditor’s report revealing cost overruns and possible lack of oversight at the renovated Fox Theater is raising concerns about the upcoming $500 million Oakland Army Base Project...

Last week America’s Cup organizers reversed their decision to fund repair and redevelopment of San Francisco’s Piers 30-32, highlighting the city’s lack of a plan for long-term maintenance and reconstruction of the waterfront area. Experts and city officials agree that the current state of the city’ budget does not allow for infrastructure repair without private investments...

East Bay residents were greeted early this morning by a 4.0 magnitude earthquake. The quake was centered in El Cerrito, and had a depth of about 5 miles.

 

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