- New Occupy Oakland camp in West Oakland (Oakland Tribune)
A new Occupy Oakland encampment sprang up in West Oakland on Tuesday and already there are more than a dozen tents. The new camp is located in a vacant lot on the 2000 block of Peralta Street near Mandela Parkway and is being called the Cypress Triangle, according to the Occupy California website.
- Governor announces 14 judicial appointments (Sacramento Bee)
Gov. Jerry Brown made just one judicial appointment in his first 11 months in office this year. Tuesday afternoon, he announced 14.The Democratic governor’s appointees included six Democrats to Los Angeles Superior Court and three more to Riverside Superior Court, including Raquel Marquez, a 45-year-old senior deputy district attorney who will be that court’s first Latina judge. He filled other Superior Court openings in Ventura, Imperial, Tuolumne and Santa Clara counties.
- Curbing cough medicine abuse target of Calif. law (SF Chronicle)
Starting Sunday, California will become the first state to try to curb the abuse of over-the-counter cold medicines containing a powerful cough suppressant by requiring consumers to show proof they’re over age 18.
- Overturning of Prop. 13 sought in lawsuit (SF Chronicle)
…[A] team of lawyers headed by a former federal appeals court judge has sued to overturn a crucial provision of Prop. 13 – the requirement of a two-thirds legislative vote to raise state taxes. The lawyers argue that the two-thirds requirement has been undermined by more recent decisions of the state’s high court.
- Water agency tightens its belt with new contracts (SJ Mercury News)
Attempting to trim costs as it faces major expenses and an upcoming request to voters for more money, the board of Silicon Valley’s largest water provider on Tuesday approved new contracts that cut benefits and limit pay increases for hundreds of its union employees.
- 100 Sears, Kmart stores closing (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
After a disastrous holiday shopping season, the parent company of Sears and Kmart will close at least 100 stores to raise cash — a move that sparked speculation about whether the 125-year-old retailer can avoid a death spiral fed by declining sales and deteriorating stores. The impact on local stores remains unknown, and managers reached by phone Tuesday had little information.
- Christmas crackdown on fireplaces yields 400 complaints; New Year’s may be next (SJ Mercury News)
The Bay Area’s air-quality police were out in force over Christmas weekend, cracking down on wood fires. And the smoke cops could be sending out belated stocking stuffers — hefty fines — to several dozen people caught using their fireplaces. Regulators said more than 400 people tattled on their neighbors for lighting wood fires in their homes on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, a holiday tradition that was illegal this year because of poor air quality.
- Oakland City Hall gadfly Sanjiv Handa has died (Oakland Tribune)
Sanjiv Handa, a City Hall gadfly for more than 20 years who hammered city leaders on open government and regularly spoke on every item at City Council meetings, was found dead in a home near Piedmont Avenue on Tuesday. He was 55. The cause of death will likely be determined by an autopsy later this week.