- Northern California nurses stage massive strike (KTVU)
Nurses began picketing Thursday morning outside dozens of Northern and Central California hospitals as part of a one-day strike over benefit cuts and other concessions sought by hospital management. The strike at 33 not-for-profit hospitals run by Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health and at the independent Children’s Hospital Oakland began at 7 a.m. Thursday, said Charles Idelson, a spokesman for the California Nurses Association, which organized the strike.
- Oakland police under new scrutiny by judge who threatened federal takeover (Oakland Tribune)
The judge who last year threatened to put the Oakland Police Department under federal control over its nearly nine-year failure to reform is now demanding answers for questionable police conduct that raises new concerns. In a sealed order Aug. 25, Judge Thelton Henderson demanded the city answer for five problems not specifically addressed in the negotiated settlement agreement, or NSA, which in 2003 settled the notorious Riders corruption case.
- UC Berkeley graduates are freed from Iran prison after more than two years (Oakland Tribune)
After 781 days in an Iranian prison, two American hikers jailed as spies were freed on a $1 million bail-for-freedom deal Wednesday. Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, both 29, left Tehran as darkness fell in the capital city and landed in the Gulf state of Oman, where their parents, siblings and former fellow inmate Sarah Shourd, of Oakland, greeted them at the airport.
- ‘Nude is not lewd’ is message of rally (SF Chronicle)
Consider yourself warned: Those naked guys in the Castro will turn out in force on Saturday for a noon “nude-in” at what they call the Buff Stop. (For non-nudists, that’s the plaza at the corner of Castro and 17th streets.)
- Chinatown nonprofit scrutinized over ties to mayor (SF Chronicle)
…Some good-government advocates are alleging the nonprofit’s use of city funds to recommend itself for a lucrative contract to help build an affordable-housing apartment building that will take in residents displaced by the subway represents a conflict of interest. They also contend the group’s close ties to Lee could influence his funding and policy decisions.
- Jerry Brown signs 28 bills, vetoes 3 (SF Chronicle)
Gov. Jerry Brown took action on dozens of bills Wednesday, signing into law a measure to allow infused alcohol along with another bill that would delay fee increases for community college students if midyear budget cuts happen.
- Jerry Brown wants to ensure funds for inmate shift to counties (Sacramento Bee)
Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday he plans to place on the November 2012 ballot a funding guarantee for prison realignment, the state’s shift of responsibility for certain offenders to local government. The framing of the measure, however – and of any tax increase initiative that might accompany it – remains unclear.
- Proposition 8 opponents weigh campaign for repeal (SF Examiner)
Gay rights advocates still haven’t made a decision about whether to take gay marriage back to California voters. After 2008’s Proposition 8 outlawed same-sex marriage in California, there was immediate talk of returning the issue to the ballot to reverse it in 2010…Now, the group that led the 2008 battle against Prop. 8 says it will make a decision by the end of September.
- Bay Area income beats state, U.S., census shows (SF Chronicle)
More grim economic news rolled out of the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday, but amid the numbers showing rising local poverty rates and a sinking California household income came one sliver of cheer for the Bay Area. This region didn’t suffer as much as the rest of the state. Or even the nation as a whole.
- County pensions revealed: 98 reap more than $100,000 (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Ninety-eight retirees in the Sonoma County pension system get more than $100,000 in annual pension payments, including three who receive more than $200,000, according to records released Wednesday by the retirement association. The top pensioner is Rod Dole, the recently retired county auditor-controller-treasurer-tax collector.
- Jeff Clark once again in charge of Mavericks (Bay Area News Group)
The Mavericks surf competition is back in the hands of its founder, big-wave surfer Jeff Clark. All it needs now is some decent surf. On Wednesday night, the San Mateo County Harbor Commission awarded a surf-contest event permit to Mavericks Invitational Inc., a group led by Clark. If conditions are right, the contest will occur sometime between Dec. 1 and March 30…