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Daily news roundup for Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Image courtesty of sfgate.com/under CC license/resized and cropped
Commuter shuttle, aka the "Google Bus"

‘Google Bus’ pilot program nets last-­minute extension // SF Examiner

“The trial ‘Google Bus’ program will stay in place for a few more weeks, receiving an extension from The City’s transit agency.

“The Commuter Shuttle Program, as it’s known, was supposed to go into effect
Feb. 1. Now it rests in regulatory limbo because the Board of Supervisors was scheduled last week to vote on an appeal under the California Environmental Quality Act.

“The appeal, filed by SEIU 1021 and others, argues the shuttle program should have a full environmental review.”


California drought: State refuses pleas for major weakening of water conservation rules // San Jose Mercury News

“Nine months after California imposed its first-ever mandatory statewide water conservation rules to cope with the state's historic drought, dozens of leaders of water agencies on Tuesday pleaded with the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown to relax them.

“Their argument: It's raining, reservoirs are filling, customers are mad -- and selling less water is costing them hundreds of millions of dollars

“But rather than making major changes, the State Water Resources Control Board voted instead for modest adjustments after a six-hour meeting. The rules will shave a few percentage points off the conservation requirements of some places -- particularly in hot areas like the Southern California desert and the Central Valley -- while leaving drought rules unchanged in most Bay Area cities, Los Angeles and San Diego through at least May.”


Engineers zero in on design for bike path on Bay Bridge western span // SF Gate

“Transportation officials are narrowing the final designs for a bike and pedestrian path on the western span of the Bay Bridge, something bike advocates have been dreaming about for decades.

“But it could still be another decade before the 2.9-mile structure from Yerba Buena Island to San Francisco is funded and built, according to the Bay Area Toll Authority.

“‘Even two years ago, I wouldn't have thought we'd be where we are,’ said Renee Rivera, executive director of Bike East Bay. ‘It seems crazy to be excited about something that's not going to happen for 10 years, but the thing is we've been working on this for maybe 25 years already.’”


Intel struggles to retain young black employees // San Jose Mercury News

“It seems perplexing: African-Americans, early in their careers at Intel, are leaving.

This despite the fact that in the past year Intel has done more than maybe any other large Silicon Valley company to recruit, hire and promote a more diverse workforce.

“The company has put out the welcome mat in a big way. It's spent millions, expanded the universities it recruits from, invested in the talent pipeline. It has set hiring goals and tied those goals to hiring managers' pay. Twice, Brian Krzanich, Intel's CEO, took the stage with Jesse Jackson, the civil rights leader, to signal that Intel was serious.

“And on many measures, Intel has succeeded. Almost 12 percent of its U.S. hires in 2015 were underrepresented minorities, up from 9 percent in 2014. Its goal for 2016 is 14 percent. Intel has reversed a decades-long trend of losing its diverse workers at a higher rate than the rest of the work force. Now it is retaining ‘diverse’ workers at parity with the rest of the workforce.”


Union City woman is Powerball millionaire after January win // ContraCosta Times

A woman who bought her winning $1.4 million Powerball lottery ticket at a local liquor store told officials she would like to remain low-key about her future plans.

Lottery officials said Monday that last month, CheryleSilveira met with them to verify her ticket from the lottery's Jan. 6 drawing, one week before the record-breaking $1.6 billion jackpot split by three winners in Chino Hills, Florida and Tennessee.

Silveira's numbers matched 47-2-63-62-11, but she chose 22 instead of that ticket's Powerball number of 17. Instead of winning $528 million, she will settle for what lottery officials said she told them wasn't a bad consolation prize of $1,414,967.