- Warmer but wetter workweek in store (SF Examiner)
Slightly warmer weather will be in store for the Bay Area through the end of the workweek, but rain is expected to arrive in the region by midweek. Full article
- San Mateo County supes to consider MOU for alternate jail site (San Jose Mercury News)
According to a memorandum of understanding it will consider Tuesday, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors must decide by Dec. 22 whether to assume the city’s purchase option for an alternate site on Chemical Way. City officials negotiated a deal with the owners of the site on the outskirts of town after the sheriff’s office signalled interest in a downtown location, an area the city has been trying to revitalize. Full article
- Albany schools try to balance parent-funded extras (SF Chronicle)
The city of Albany is up in arms over new district-imposed controls on PTA cash at each of the city’s three elementary schools, with the school board dictating what parents can – or more specifically can’t – buy for their kids to supplement their public education. Full article
- Holiday DUI arrests up, fatalities down (SF Chronicle)
The California Highway Patrol arrested more people for drunken driving this holiday weekend than last year, but as of this morning no one had been killed on Bay Area roadways. Full article
- Obama to announce 2-year pay freeze for federal workers (Washington Post)
Bowing to Republican political pressure and growing budget concerns, President Obama will announce a two-year pay freeze for civilian federal workers Monday, according to administration sources.
The freeze applies to all federal employees — including civilian employees of the Defense Department, and will not impact step increases or bonuses for federal workers, according to sources. Full article
- Vandalism getting worse on public art in S.F. (SF Chronicle)
…Increasingly, sculptures, monuments and a diversity of public art installations are falling victim to the same disrespect that sidewalks, walls and street signs have long suffered – unauthorized graffiti tagging and vandalism. Full article
- EPA grant to help identify sources of PCBs, a potent carcinogen, in San Francisco Bay (Bay Area Newsgroup)
Cities around the bay — particularly San Carlos, San Jose, Oakland and Richmond — still contain many hot spots for PCBs, a potent carcinogen that has contaminated the bay and spurred a health advisory for fish caught there.
Many of these cities will be splitting a recent $5 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to identify sources of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in stormwater — the first comprehensive study of its kind. Full article
- Union City approves smoking ban (Oakland Tribune)
Smokers must refrain from lighting up at public events and in outdoor restaurant and bar spaces starting next month.
The new law, which also will beef up penalties for selling tobacco to minors and ultimately ban smoking in all apartments, takes effect Dec. 23. The City Council unanimously approved the anti-smoking ordinances last week. Full article
- Desalination still on back burner for Marin after votes (Marin Independent Journal)
…In April the water board voted to suspend further investigation of a desalination plant until it can get a better handle on declining water demand.
Water usage in the county continues to stay low: it has dropped 15 percent in the past two years. An extended rainy season, combined with conservation, have helped lessen the demand. Full article
- Stimulus help for California roads, rail lines almost complete (San Jose Mercury News)
Less than two years after the federal government rolled out a stimulus plan to spend $48 billion to rescue America’s aging transportation system and keep construction crews working, the results are visible all over California.
The state has received $2.6 billion in stimulus funds for road and transit needs and completed or awarded contracts for 90 percent of 931 projects. That’s the second fastest performance nationwide, behind Texas, according to the Department of Transportation. Full article
- Bay Area Sikhs reach out to combat bigotry in schools (San Jose Mercury News)
…In the first report of its kind for the Bay Area, the Sikh Coalition, a national nonprofit with an office in Fremont, released findings this week showing that hundreds of Sikh children report feeling teased and taunted, being called “terrorist” and “diaper head.” Full article
$1 billion in teacher compensation under attack (California Watch)
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is taking aim at the more than $1 billion California school districts spend each year in extra pay to teachers with master’s degrees, a core feature of teacher compensation in California and the nation. Full article
- 49ers alive and suprisingly well in sickly NFC West (SF Chronicle)
…Four of their remaining games are double-jeopardy games with divisional opponents, starting tonight against Arizona on national television – the worst late-season matchup on “Monday Night Football,” record-wise, since the 49ers played the Falcons in a meeting of 4-11 teams in 1999. Full article
- San Jose to end bicycle licensing (San Jose Mercury News)
…San Jose on Tuesday is about to join a growing list of cities that are abandoning bicycle licensing.
San Jose has required bike registration since 1974. But a city audit earlier this year found the mandate is seldom observed today. The program doesn’t make enough in fees to cover the cost for busy cops and firefighters to create and maintain a useful license database. Full article