A.M. Splash: Polling on Tax, Term-Limit Measures; Memorial Day Weekend Congestion; BART Proposing Weekend Bus Service

  • Majority support tax, term-limit measures, poll says (SF Chronicle)

    …The Public Policy Institute of California survey, conducted last week, found a sharp drop in support for the tobacco tax – 53 percent of likely voters said they will vote for the $1-a-pack hike, down from 67 percent in March. Meanwhile, a ballot measure that would change the state’s term limit laws to reduce the time legislators may spend in Sacramento from 14 years to 12 still has strong support, with 62 percent of likely voters backing the proposed change, down from 68 percent in March. Brown’s tax initiative – which is likely to appear on the November ballot – is still receiving majority support, with Democrats backing the measure, Republicans opposed and independents split.

  • Memorial Day weekend full of events, congestion (SF Chronicle)

    …With the Dumbarton Bridge closed all weekend for seismic strengthening, traffic crawling to and across the Golden Gate Bridge because of its 75th birthday party, and Muni’s busiest Metro line – the N-Judah – starting a nine-day shutdown Friday, getting out of town could be a sensible strategy.

  • Google Scores Victory in Battle with Oracle (SJ Mercury News)

    A federal jury’s unanimous ruling Wednesday that Google did not infringe Oracle’s patents when it developed its Android software was a major victory for the search giant and a blow to Oracle’s efforts to control how others use its Java software. But experts and analysts say it’s unclear how much of an impact the verdict will have on the tech industry as a whole. Immediately after the verdict was announced, Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court of Northern California dismissed the 10 jurors and canceled the third phase of the trial that was to determine damages. Alsup said he would issue a decision on a related copyright issue within the case next week.

  • BART proposes improvements with budget surplus (Contra Costa Times)

    BART would begin late night weekend bus service between San Francisco and the East Bay, run trains an hour later on the Richmond line, add 56 workers, and set aside more money to buy new cars, under a proposed transit system budget. Unlike many transit agencies that are struggling financially, BART is considering a 2012-2013 operating budget of $670 million — 8 percent larger than last year. That figure includes a $30 million surplus to be used to make improvements. The BART board will hold a budget public hearing at its meeting 9 a.m. Thursday in the third floor meeting room at the Kaiser Center, 20th Street Mall, 344 20th St., Oakland.

  • Cuba’s Mariela Castro cheered in S.F. visit (SF Chronicle)

    Cuban President Raul Castro’s daughter, whose visa approval to the United States sparked a political outcry that reached the presidential campaign this week, heard nothing but applause Wednesday as she made her first public appearance in San Francisco.

  • Bay Bridge FasTrak lanes not that fast with backup (SF Chronicle)

    …Using FasTrak, it takes 14.67 minutes to get from University Avenue in Berkeley to the metering lights between 8 and 9 a.m. on a weekday. That’s about 2.7 minutes faster than drivers who wait in the shorter cash lanes, according to a November 2011 study by the UC Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies.

  • Anonymous

    Issue with tobacco tax is it’s targeted for “cancer research”.  Targeted revenue measures are almost always subverted, distorered, abused.  What’s cancer research, for example?   You’ll end up with researchers scrambling to redefine their basic work as “cancer research” to get in on the money.  Better to just put the money into the general fund where it’s needed.  I support higher taxes in many cases, but I’m generally against targeted measures, which just create a budgetary mess.  The term limit measure seems yet another case of “not what it seems”.  Toss it back, as well.

Author

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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