- Californians to get $18 billion in mortgage relief in settlement with nation’s biggest lenders (SJ Mercury News)
A multistate agreement with major banks over a document signing scandal will bring struggling California homeowners $18 billion, much of it in principal reductions for people with mortgages worth less than the value of their homes, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced today.
- Quan Touts Successes in State of City Address (Oakland Tribune)
Despite a tumultuous few months punctuated by a fresh round of city layoffs and unyielding protests, Mayor Jean Quan said things are looking up for Oakland in her first State of the City address Wednesday night…The mayor didn’t outline any new major policy initiatives or address the Occupy movement during an upbeat and often lighthearted 55-minute speech inside a packed council chambers filled with supportive city commissioners, city workers and elected officials.
- Legislative analyst cites flaws in education plan (SF Chronicle)
Gov. Jerry Brown’s rescue plan for higher education – including his idea to let public colleges and universities decide for themselves how many students to enroll – is flawed, the independent legislative analyst says in a critical new report.
- Bay Area Catholic clerics join contraception fray (SF Chronicle)
San Francisco’s Catholic archbishop has jumped into the latest national culture war, blasting the Obama administration’s controversial requirement that employers – including Catholic hospitals, universities and institutions – provide birth control and other contraceptive services as part of their health care insurance plans.
- More Bay Area express lanes to offer toll access (SF Chronicle)
Bay Area drivers will be able to buy their way into the fast lanes on six more freeway stretches – including the Oakland approach to the Bay Bridge – in 2015, as a region-wide express lane network rolls to a start.
- Former Stanford student on ‘no-fly’ list wins chance to argue her case in U.S. courts (SJ Mercury News)
A federal appeals court on Wednesday sided with a Stanford-educated professor who has been fighting for seven years to get off the United States no-fly list. Despite being a resident citizen of Malaysia, Rahinah Ibrahim has enough connection to the U.S. to assert her constitutional right against abuse of government authority and to petition for a redress of grievances, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision.
- Group suspends California public pension reform ballot effort (Sacramento Bee)
The cause of pension reform in California took a significant body shot Wednesday when a group hoping to put an overhaul measure before voters this year suspended its campaign.
- A’s owner talks about San Jose move (SJ Mercury News)
(A)fter three years of hoping and waiting for Major League Baseball to say whether the A’s can seek a San Jose ballpark over San Francisco Giants’ territorial objections, owner Lew Wolff could only tell the room full of city power brokers that he believes a decision will come soon. Wolff couldn’t say how soon, and he shares San Jose’s frustrations with the delay. He believes he’s made a solid case that he has exhausted his options in Oakland and an A’s move to San Jose is best for baseball. He remained optimistic about the prospects for a San Jose move.