A.M. Splash: Cal State Mulls More Tuition Hikes; Berkeley Aims to Boost Tourism; Bald Eagles Returning; Los Altos Man’s Device Goes to Mars

  • CSU looks to limit enrollment or increase cost to bridge potential budget gaps (SF Examiner)

    Attending one of the university systems’ 23 campuses could be more expensive, tougher to get in to or tuition could even be reduced, depending on what voters decide for the pending tax measure… A discussion about two options for what to do if the proposed tax measure fails will take place today during the CSU board of trustees meeting in Long Beach. Though no decision on what to cut will be made, trustees are expected to discuss the potential cuts to student services or even employee pay and benefits in order to make up the funding gap.

  • Newest Mars rover has Los Altos man’s rock analyzer aboard (Oakland Tribune)
    A small Mountain View-made device will pry out the long-secret mysteries of “The Red Planet” when it lands on Mars in August to analyze the rocks and soils of its faraway landscape. More than 150 million miles from home, the breadbox-sized instrument built by NASA Ames geologist David Blake seeks to identify and quantify the minerals in samples collected by the rover Curiosity, aboard the Mars Science Laboratory.

  • Berkeley makes tourism push (SF Chronicle)

    Berkeley is moving to promote itself as one of the Bay Area’s top tourist draws, a lively, eclectic college town with endless choices for food and culture just a short BART ride from San Francisco… The City Council will consider a 1 percent assessment on hotel revenue Tuesday night, on top of the 12 percent hotel tax that visitors already pay. That would raise $400,000 a year, doubling the city’s annual tourism budget and bringing it on par with what Monterey and Sonoma spend.

  • PG&E memo: Downgrading leaks would cut costs (SF Chronicle)

    Pacific Gas and Electric Co. suggested to managers before the San Bruno pipeline explosion that downgrading more than 2,300 natural-gas leaks – and potentially not fixing them – would save the company nearly $5 million, according to an internal document obtained by The Chronicle.

  • Facebook’s Zuckerberg gets mortgage at 1.05% (Oakland Tribune)

    The rich are different — they have cheaper mortgages. At least that’s true for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The 28-year-old billionaire refinanced his Palo Alto home April 9 with a 1.05 percent adjustable rate mortgage on a loan of $5.95 million. The average person getting an adjustable mortgage that month would be paying an interest rate of 2.68 percent on a loan that was fixed for one year, according to Freddie Mac.

  • California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer seeks divorce from former Supervisor Nadia Lockyer (Oakland Tribune)

    Ending the marriage of a Democratic power couple after a sordid public breakup, California Treasurer Bill Lockyer has filed for divorce from former Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, who had an affair and has struggled with a drug abuse problem in recent months.

  • Hands-free texting while driving OK’d (SR Press Democrat)

    Soon you’ll be able to text while driving if you do it hands free. Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed a bill, Assembly Bill 1536, that will allow drivers starting Jan. 1 to use voice-operated devices to dictate, send or listen to text-based communications.

  • White bread, sandpaper on Tour de France ride (SR Press Democrat)

    Kym Fant has cycled 1,713.8 miles thus far on the 2012 Tour de France route. There’s “only” 457.6 miles left. Part of a six-woman team seeking to become the first females ever to complete the Tour’s route, always keeping a day ahead of the men and the official Tour, Fant doesn’t have to wait until Saturday to put her experience into a neatly condensed opinion.

  • Bald eagles soaring to recovery in Bay Area and state (Marin Independent Journal)

    Environmentalists held their breaths and watched as a feathery brown eaglet leapt from its nest for the first time — a very real sign of the comeback of the bald eagle in the Bay Area and the nation…. The bald eaglet — the first to hatch near Lake Chabot in Castro Valley in modern times — was playing its part Friday in a mini-drama in the recovery of a species that nearly vanished.

  • SF court workers’ strike closes offices (SF Chronicle)
    The largest union of San Francisco court workers held a one-day strike Monday, closing clerks’ offices and halting some jury trials, to protest administrators’ negotiating stance that led to an imposed 5 percent pay cut. Nearly 200 clerical employees and support staff walked out, said Steve Stallone, spokesman for Local 1021 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents about 60 percent of the Superior Court employees.

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