Rebirth eyed for higher ed database, watchdog

The campus of the University of California, Berkeley. Photo: LAgirl5252

A move is afoot in the Capitol to bring back a higher education watchdog and restore a data trove of 1.7 billion records on public colleges and universities that were placed in limbo by Gov. Jerry Brown.

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Opinions

Schools, crucial to health care, need state’s help

OPINION: Our schools are partners in securing the health and well-being of our children. Other than their homes, Sacramento kids spend more time in school than anywhere else. That’s why we, as a community, invest in things like nutritional meals, physical education, and basic health care and counseling at schools—because we know healthy students are better learners.

Opinions

‘Wage theft’ in the fast-food industry

Imagine being pick-pocketed every time you show up to work. For thousands of low-wage workers right here in the Bay Area, that’s the sad reality they face each day. Their employers, mega-corporations in the fast food industry, are illegally downsizing workers’ paychecks in much the same way they supersize a meal.

News

Field Poll: Californians split on drought measures

Millerton Lake in Fresno County formed by the Friant Dam. Photo: K.J. Kolb

Nearly all California voters (88%) believe the state is undergoing a serious water shortage. However, there is no clear consensus about whether the situation is due more to a lack of water storage and supply facilities in the state, or users not using existing supplies efficiently enough. Statewide, 27% cite the former, 37% the latter and another 24% say both are equally responsible.

Opinions

Making a case against fracking

The San Ardo oil field, Monterey. Photo: Loco Steve, Wikimedia

Fracking is taking place in urban and rural communities throughout the state, and continues to be a regular practice in California’s ocean waters. Concerned about potential impacts, Congresswoman Lois Capps has called for a moratorium on fracking in federal waters until more is understood about the risks of the practice.

News

Fight for Yamada seat: A tale of two counties

Tracks in the Napa wine country at St. Helena. Photo: Hank Shiffman.

Thanks to newly redrawn district boundaries, Napa County has a chance to put its first lawmaker in the state capitol in more than a generation. The race to replace termed-out 4th District Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, promises to be hotly contested, featuring family connections, Democrats going head-to-head and a scramble for campaign funds.

News

ARB, Tesla at odds over rebate cuts for electric vehicles

New Teslas at the company's factory in Fremont. Photo: Steve Jurvetson

Electric vehicles costing more than $60,000 may be eliminated from a major rebate program and the rebates themselves would be reduced to a fifth of their current level – moves that would cut popular Tesla Motors’ models from the rebates.

News

Senate scandals dim voters’ view of Legislature

State Capitol, Sacramento. Photo: Wikimedia

In the aftermath of the corruption scandals now affecting three State Senators, California voters have changed their views about the performance of the Legislature. During the week immediately prior to Yee’s arrest, 46% of voters approved and 40% disapproved of the Legislature’s performance, a finding that showed continuing improvement from previous Field Polls conducted over the past two years.

News

Of Orcas, Atkins and the new Assembly

A killer whale performs at SeaWorld. Photo: Ed Schipul

Politics in California’s Capitol is rarely black and white – even when dealing with orcas. Earlier this week, a bill that would ban animal parks from keeping killer whales in captivity met an unceremonious death in the Assembly Parks and Wildlife Committee. The bill was reduced to a “study bill,” which is how lawmakers often handle issues they want to disappear.

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