A.M. Splash: Silicon Valley Ranks High in Demand for Visas; Bus Rapid Transit Approved in Oakland; Snowy Plover Comes Back

  • Silicon Valley ranks highest in “H-1B intensity” for foreign worker visas (SJ Mercury News)

    The Bay Area ranks behind only metropolitan New York in recruiting high-skilled workers from abroad, but it’s not just Silicon Valley tech giants on the hunt for foreign labor, according to a new report. Sure, a batch of familiar names — Google, Apple, Yahoo, Oracle, eBay, Intel — leads the pack of companies seeking to bring foreign tech workers to the Bay Area on temporary H-1B visas, but thousands of other local employers, big and small, are in the temporary foreign worker game.

  • AC Transit approves bus rapid transit project in Oakland and San Leandro (SJ Mercury News)

    A new type of speedy frequent service, described as a railway on wheels, has been approved by the transit board for parts of Oakland and San Leandro. Board members approved the $153 million project Wednesday, saying they expect it to increase ridership, cut pollution and lure motorists out of their cars on a heavily used 9.5-mile long bus route. It extends from 20th Street in downtown Oakland to the San Leandro BART station.

  • Ranked-choice mayoral elections continue (SF Chronicle)

    A last-minute legislative move to place two competing measures on the November ballot to change the way San Francisco voters pick their mayor effectively killed the idea. “Having two proposals would be too confusing,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell, who has led the charge to unravel the system of ranked-choice voting in mayor’s races in favor of returning to the old system of runoffs.

  • Western Snowy Plovers make sweet comeback at Pescadero State Beach (Oakland Tribune)

    A pair of western snowy plover chicks learned to fly last week at Pescadero State Beach, sending the spirits of local conservationists soaring. It’s the first time any of the endangered birds have fledged there in 32 years, according to state parks officials and local bird watchers, thanks in part to a decade-old policy banning dogs from the beach.

  • Bay Area drivers could pay to drive each mile under tax proposal (SJ Mercury News)

    Imagine being taxed a dollar for driving to the store. Commute to work? That’ll be a few bucks more. Is it crazy or the way of the future? The Bay Area is considering a long-range plan to become the first place in the nation to tax drivers for every mile they travel, with an average bill of up to $1,300 per year.

  • Central Subway Work Starts Amid Problems (SF Chronicle)

    Noisy, dusty, traffic-tangling construction is under way on the Central Subway, yet uncertainties and challenges continue to dog the $1.6 billion project.

  • S.F. board delays big hospital decision (SF Chronicle)

    Faced with the possibility of dealing a fatal blow to California Pacific Medical Center’s $2.5 billion planned overhaul of its facilities in San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors voted late Tuesday to give the medical group a two-week reprieve to address a range of concerns.

  • Yahoo Data Shows Depth of Challenge Mayer Faces (NY Times)

    There in Yahoo’s quarterly financial report on Tuesday — Marissa Mayer’s first day as the company’s chief executive — was the basic problem she faces. Revenue and net income were stalled at last year’s levels. Although Yahoo has amassed an enormous audience, some advertisers are looking elsewhere.

  • Bay Area salmon fleet back on the water after settling for $3.50 per pound wholesale (Marin Independent Journal)

    So many salmon were being hooked along the Northern California coast that processors awash with fish slashed the price they offered commercial fishermen, prompting the fishermen to go on strike last Wednesday for a better deal. But the fleet was back on the water five days later after agreeing to a new deal in which fish fetch about $3.50 a pound wholesale, about 75 cents more that processors were offering a week ago, and about half as much as fishermen got at the beginning of the season.

  • San Francisco housing market booms bigger than ever(SF Chronicle)

    Plummeting inventory of homes for sale accompanied by a new wave of tech workers have San Francisco’s rental and real estate markets continuing to boom.

  • Oakland public safety radio system still failing (Oakland Tribune)

    A radio system designed to help Oakland police and firefighters finally communicate with compatriots in other cities has had so many glitches that officers say they now have trouble even talking to each other.

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