DURHAM — The endless rows of almond orchards dotting the landscape in this ranch town just outside Chico meant a future for Sergio Garcia’s family. His father, a Mexican immigrant, harvested the cash crop, shaking the trees for bounty 12 hours a day through hot summer months. As a teenager, Sergio Garcia worked alongside his father, helping out when he wasn’t rising to the top of his high school class and positioning himself for college and, later, law school.
Alameda County poised to pass drug take back law after months of delay (Oakland Tribune)
Alameda County supervisors are poised — once again — to make Big Pharma responsible for collecting leftover drugs they manufacture, the first local government to do so. Supervisors were expected to approve the proposed law unanimously in March until eleventh hour lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry managed to halt its passage. The board finally took up the matter again on July 10 during the first reading of the revised ordinance and voted 5-0 in favor. They are expected to finalize passage during a second and final reading on July 24, setting the stage for a law that California legislators have been unable to push through because of opposition from Big Pharma.
S.F. ahead of the curve on jail realignment (SF Chronicle)
About 350 more people are in San Francisco Jail because of realignment, California’s shifting of state prisoners to county supervision. But unlike in some places, there’s no fevered talk of building more jails, outsourcing inmates or releasing them early. In fact, San Francisco wants a few more inmates.
Protesters move on; Muni Metro resume (SF Chronicle)
The group of 30 protesters marched in a circle in front of a J-Church line train at Church Street and Duboce Avenue, starting at about 6:45 a.m. The demonstration prevented all J-Church and N-Judah lines from traveling through the area. Bus shuttles were brought it in to replace the trains… The group is marking the first anniversary of the death of Kenneth Wade Harding, 19, who died in gunfight with police officers in the Bayview on July 16, 2011.
A high-ranking official at the California Department of Parks and Recreation carried out a secret vacation buyout program last year for himself and other headquarters staff, according to an internal audit, former employees and other documents obtained by The Bee. The buyouts cost more than $271,000, said Richard Stapler, a spokesman for the California Natural Resources Agency, which oversees the parks department.
Taxes, death penalty and food labeling lead crowded California ballot (Bay Area News Group)
They now all have numbers. The cash is streaming in. And all those annoying TV ads should be starting soon. So, Californians, maybe it’s time to put aside that light summer reading and begin your homework on November’s ballot measures. The Legislature decided a few months ago to place all initiatives on the fall ballot from now on. (Two appeared on the June ballot because they were grandfathered in.) As a result, November’s ballot will be long and, perhaps, cumbersome. But it’s packed with meaty issues — ballot measures with consequence.
PG&E — the utility responsible for the deadly and destructive 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno — wants to earn back your trust. A television spot that began airing last week depicts CEO Tony Earley openly admitting that he took the helm of a company that had “lost its way.”
SF Mayor Ed Lee’s moves raise eyebrows (SF Chronicle)
A year ago, Mayor Ed Lee was the consensus mayor, taking credit for setting a new tone of civility at City Hall and talking up “the San Francisco way,” his big-tent approach to public employee pension reform. Now, he is facing questions – and, in some cases, laboring against the backlash – arising from a series of unilateral moves.
The Marin Association of Realtors is calling on the 10 Marin County cities and towns that do onsite residential home inspections to adopt six new inspection principles, and officials from four cities appeared receptive.
Apple went from red-faced to green last week. Apparently San Francisco’s threat to stop purchasing Apple products forced the company on Friday to re-enter the environmentally conscious electronics registry known as EPEAT. The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool rating system is designed to promote environmentally friendly products and practices. A coalition of environmental groups, government agencies and manufacturers, including Apple, created EPEAT’s criteria.