Connecting the Dots

(San Jose Mercury News) // Monday's Supreme Court ruling on Arizona's controversial immigration law upheld the mandate for a police officer to ask for a person's immigration papers after stopping them. In California, the law is not so different from Arizona's, but enforcement varies widely and is often up to the discretion of individual officers…

(Oakland Tribune)  // A UCLA Anderson jobs forecast says unemployment in California will remain in the double digits until next year...

((LA Times)) // The Supreme Court is set to rule on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care reform act in the coming weeks. If the so-called “individual mandate” is struck down, California stands to lose. State officials worry that California could lose out on as much as $15 billion annually to provide medical care for the nearly 20 percent of the population that is uninsured…

(SF Bay Guardian) // Creative, artistically minded people are leaving San Francisco in search of affordable housing in the East Bay. Oakland is fast becoming the new hip location for the working class and young artists driven out of San Francisco by sky-rocketing rents. Oakland City Council member Rebecca Kaplan says those moving into Oakland and surrounding East Bay cities are of many different ethnicities including Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Vietnamese...

(SF Gate) // There's still no BART service between Oakland and San Francisco. An early-morning fire at a West Oakland construction site badly damaged tracks, forcing commuters to buses, ferries, or a Bay Bridge that several people have described as a "parking lot." BART hopes to have at least one track open by later today...

(Sacramento Bee) // Governor Jerry Brown is quietly moving to cut the number of retirees working for the state, but opponents of his plan say the cuts won't save significant money and will eliminate a pool of affordable and experienced workers...

(Sacramento Bee) // Assembly and Senate Democrat leaders are attempting to block the governor’s proposed cuts to programs that benefit the poor. They met with Brown yesterday to outline a budget plan that has a smaller reserve fund and cuts an obsolete high school scholarship. Since Democrats can pass a budget proposal with a simple majority, they have left Republicans at the periphery of the discussion and expect to present their budget plan to the governor Friday…

(LA Times) // High-Speed Rail construction is facing challenges over its environmental impact on both air quality and endangered species. Concerns include the problematic air quality in the San Joaquin Valley where about 1 out of 7 children have been diagnosed with asthma, and federal biologists say 11 endangered species will be impacted.

(San Jose Mercury News) // There are still 1 million votes left to tally in the vote for Proposition 29, the San Jose Mercury News projects a loss for the proposed cigarette tax hike. A vast majority of the votes left uncounted come from districts in the southern part of the state, where there was less support for the initiative to raise the state tax on packs of cigarettes to $1...

(SF Gate) // Proposition A, which aimed to break Recology’s stronghold as San Francisco’s sole waste management company, was overwhelmingly rejected by voters yesterday. The measure would have separated the trash and recycling services for the city into separate district controlled by different companies, which is a common model for most cities in California.

SF Chronicle // Starbucks has bought the Bay Area based chain La Boulange Cafe and Bakery for $100 million. Starbucks plans to start to replace its current pastry selection with La Boulange products in 2013. There are 19 La Boulange cafes across the Bay Area...

(Bay Citizen) // More than 75 vocational schools are being investigated after dozens were discovered to be operating without state approval. The schools convicted will be presented with fines of up to $50,000 by the California Bureau for Postsecondary Education...

(Sac Bee) // Support for the tobacco tax, Prop 29, is slowly going up in smoke – thanks in part to $38 million invested in advertising by tobacco companies R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris...

(Mercury News) // Chefs across California are squeezing in extra foie gras on their menus and drawing the ire of animal rights groups. A statewide ban on the staple French cuisine made from fattened duck liver goes into effect July 1. The ban was passed back in 2004 to put an end to what some consider the inhumane treatment of ducks raised for the delicacy…

Associated Press // The popularity of California’s 280 state parks may be a factor in why California legislators are developing bi-partisan legislation to them. Californians camped at 10,000 sites in state parks over the Memorial Day weekend, yet even a quarter of those parks are expected to close this July.

San Francisco Chronicle // Some investors have reacted angrily to Facebook's debut as a public company, accusing the social networking giant of failing to reveal pertinent financial information in advance of its IPO. Several media outlets have claimed that Facebook gave banks information that would provide unfair advantage over other investors, prompting lawsuits and government inquiries...

((Huffington Post)) // Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro, is in town presenting a paper about transgender Health at San Francisco General Hospital. The 50-year-old sexologist at the Cuban National Center for Sex Education will also sit on a panel at the annual conference of the Latin American Studies Association happening in San Francisco this week…

((SF Gate)) // The N-Judah Muni line, arguably the busiest in San Francisco, will be closed for nine days for track reconstruction. The light rail line – which serves neighborhoods in the Outer Sunset, Inner Sunset, Haight-Ashbury, Civic Center, Downtown, and the CalTrain Station – is a muse for a local blog and reason for many a Muni gripe in the City. The N makes its final stop this Friday May 25 at 7pm and won't begin again until June 4 at 5am.

(SF Gate) // Investigators found DNA evidence linking Antolin Garcia-Torres to the disappearance of a 15-year-old Morgan Hill girl. At a news conference, today, Santa Clara Sheriff Laurie Smith said the source of the DNA was not blood. The girl, Sierra LaMar, was last seen on March 16…

(Mercury News) // The Golden State Warriors are expected to announce, today, plans to move the team from Oakland to San Francisco, building a news arena on piers 30 and 32, near the Bay Bridge. The move could happen as early as 2017. The Warriors currently owe $95 million to the city of Oakland for renovations to their current home at the Oracle Arena...

(SF Gate) // Solar eclipse blinds driver. Check out that solar eclipse yesterday? It was blindingly beautiful. In fact, a driver in South San Francisco was, she said, “temporarily blinded” when she ran into a mother and daughter crossing the street during the eclipse. In her defense, Grand Avenue has signs warning drivers of glares – even when there aren't any eclipses happening...

(Bay Citizen) // The $68 billion bullet train project, destined to connect San Francisco to Los Angeles, is facing criticism after it was discovered that the light rail authority enacted a new policy to destroy emails after a 90-day period. Five years of emails were deleted in the midst of multiple inquires from local government and opposition groups in search of information on the train’s progress.

(San Jose Mercury News) // On Wednesday, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear a case determining whether the State Bar has the authority to allow an undocumented immigrant to practice law. Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant who graduated from Chico State University and a Florida law school, passed the Bar exam in 2009...

(Sacramento Bee) //  University of California students hissed Vice President Nathan Brostrom this morning at the UC Chancellor's meeting when he stated that administrators have full confidence in Chancellor Linda Katehi. This was the first time the UC Regents have met in Sacramento since 1993...

 

(Mercury News) // The Santa Clara Valley Water District is under investigation after reports that hydraulic oil was spilled into several of the district's reservoirs. The investigation comes as the district is asking voters to go to the polls this November to renew taxes that support its Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection plan...

(SF Gate) // The debate continues over naming a U.S. Navy ship after Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. Critics of the idea believe that Harvey Milk would not approve of his name on a Navy ship because of his opposition to war, while supporters argue that it would be a global honor for a Navy ship to be given Milk's name. Harvey Milk joined the Navy in 1951, before his political career in San Francisco…

Bay Area News Group // Oakland’s Oikos University lost six students in a campus massacre last month – and now students enrolled in the Oikos nursing program may lose their school if they don’t improve their test scores within the next two years. Administrators say they’re working on it…

Los Angeles Times // In order to retain federal funds, California’s High Speed Rail project would have to spend $3.5 million daily to meet the 2017 deadline for finished construction of track in the Central Valley. If approved, the project would have the fastest rate of transportation construction known in U.S. history.

(Rough and Tumble)//Even though the state budget deficit has ballooned to $16 billion, Capitol insiders expect Gov. Jerry Brown to unveil a revised May budget today which assumes voters will pass a November tax hike that would protect school and public safety funding from cuts. Insiders say that Proposition 98 will play a key role, that the per pupil grant base will increase, cost of living numbers will be adjusted and that the revision will require a pay-down of state debt to schools.

California Watch // The Federal Election Committee recently passed a proposal to let consumers trade in loyalty program points for donations to their preferred political candidate. Now, regulators are reviewing Repledge.com, which would would make Republican and Democratic donations made through the Repledge system cancel each other out, redirecting the money to charities...

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