- S.F. mayor budgets for more cops, fire personnel (SF Chronicle)
More San Francisco police officers would be walking the beat and fewer firefighters would be forced to work mandatory overtime under Mayor Ed Lee’s plan to bolster the city’s depleting public safety ranks…The new hires, if approved by the Board of Supervisors, would represent one of the biggest hiring commitments in years. The plan is part of the mayor’s city budget that he will unveil Thursday morning at City Hall.
- Soda spraying, curses preceded Bryan Stow beating (SF Chronicle)
One of the two defendants in the beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow after an Opening Day game at Dodger Stadium had spent much of the contest harassing San Francisco supporters, pelting them with peanuts and cursing them before dousing them with a bottle of Coke, several witnesses said Wednesday. They testified that the defendant, 30-year-old Louie Sanchez, appeared to be drunk and ready to fight even though he was at the game with his young son, and had to be separated from a man in a Giants cap who was unhappy that he and his girlfriend had taken the brunt of the sprayed soda.
- CA request to take over inmate health care denied (SF Chronicle)
A federal judge rejected a request by California prison officials Wednesday to regain control of inmate health care, which has been under court-supervised receivership for six years, and said the state must first show it can provide adequate medical treatment. U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco appointed a receiver to manage health care at California’s 33 prisons in February 2006, saying the lack of proper care was killing an average of one inmate a week, and overall conditions violated the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
- Attempt fails to force San Jose mayor to support gay marriage (SJ Mercury News)
Gay-rights activists failed Wednesday to push San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed into joining the Bay Area’s other big city mayors in publicly supporting same-sex marriage. The pitch from activists and their backers on the City Council put Reed on the spot over an issue he has avoided as he focuses on the city’s budget and economic development and where he stands increasingly apart from his fellow Democrats.
- Field Poll finds slipping support for California tobacco tax measure (Sacramento Bee)
California voters still favor a ballot measure to raise the state’s tobacco tax, but the margin is slipping, suggesting a potentially close finish in the election Tuesday. The measure, once supported by a wide majority of Californians, now leads by only eight percentage points among likely voters, 50 percent to 42 percent, according to a Field Poll released today.
- Redwood City Saltworks developer seeks to avoid federal environmental rules (Palo Alto Daily News)
In a move that could allow it to elude some environmental regulations, DMB Pacific Ventures on Wednesday asked two federal agencies to declare whether they have any say over what happens to the Cargill salt flats in Redwood City it wants to develop. DMB, which early last month withdrew its polarizing Saltworks project and indicated it will later submit a scaled-back proposal, said it wants the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency to determine that the vast majority of the 1,400 acres of salt flats are not “waters of the United States” subject to their authority.
- Stanford University opens multimillion-dollar center in Beijing (SJ Mercury News)
On the walls of the stunning new multimillion-dollar Stanford Center here are hand-painted Chinese landscapes and scenes from the Palo Alto campus — signs of a new cross-Pacific partnership that offers great promise as well as some perils for the university. The facility — which provides Stanford with its first center for research and teaching for its faculty and students in China but will not offer degrees — blends traditional Chinese courtyard architecture and state-of-the-art classroom technology. It is an experiment that will begin in just a few weeks, when the initial wave of Stanford faculty begin arriving to use it for the first time as a base for research and lectures.
- UC Berkeley officer cleared in shooting death of business student (Oakland Tribune)
A UC Berkeley police officer was cleared in the November shooting of a 32-year-old business school student who pointed a gun at officers in a computer lab, according to a 25-page report by the Alameda County District Attorney’s office. The report also said the student, Christopher Travis, had two previous gun incidents with Berkeley and Oakland police in the months leading up to his death and had attempted suicide with sleeping pills in 2003.