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Daily news roundup for Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"Irene and Vernon Castle," by Frances Benjamin, Used under CC license/Resized and cropped

Here’s what’s happening in the Bay Area as curated by KALW news:

Oakland Police Commission Battle Heating Up // East Bay Express

“A coalition of grassroots political groups, labor unions, churches, and current and former city officials is pushing for a November ballot measure that they say would finally allow Oakland to get rid of bad cops. The Coalition for Police Accountability wants to create a citizen-run police commission that would have complete access to all police records, the power to hire and fire the police chief, and the authority to discipline and terminate officers.”

“‘Public trust will grow for city government if this is approved," said Sokhom Mao, a coalition member.”


State audit: University of California lowered admission standards for out-of-state students // Mercury News

As high school seniors endure the grueling springtime ritual of college admission decisions, the state auditor on Tuesday released a report affirming the frustrations of many California families: The University of California softened admissions standards for out-of-state students, who pay triple the fees, even as it turned away record numbers of in-state applicants.

The finding -- vehemently disputed by UC President Janet Napolitano -- adds fuel to an already red-hot debate over which students are admitted to the highly competitive university system, especially at prestigious campuses such as UC Berkeley and UCLA. In the past five years, as their in-state admission rates fell to record lows, the proportion of out-of-state undergraduates at both schools doubled, rising to 25 percent and 23 percent, respectively.


Engineers Plan Cinema School for CCSF in Tower Theater // Mission Local

A structural engineering company with a series of Mission projects under its belt is making plans to create a cinema school inside the abandoned Tower Theater on Mission Street, and then donate the newly constructed school to the City College of San Francisco.

Rodrigo Santos, co-founder of Santos & Urrutia, says he is undertaking the roughly $12-14 million project purely out of a love for the neighborhood and an affinity for film. The school will boast a 200-seat movie theater for screenings as well as several classrooms, editing rooms, equipment rental for students and offices for instructors.


SF supes condemn UCSF over fired immigrant janitors // SF Chronicle

“Jin Chen cleaned the halls and emptied the trash at UCSF for 31/2 years before the university determined he lacked the skills to do his job.”

“Chen doesn’t believe that. Neither does the state Public Employment Relations Board, which has filed a complaint against the university, accusing it of retaliating against Chen and around 20 other immigrant service workers because they picketed the school after their pay by their contract employer was cut to minimum wage in 2014.”


SF police back bill to stop DUI convicts from driving drunk // SF Gate

“The San Francisco Police Department on Monday threw its support behind legislation that would expand the use of a device that prevents DUI convicts from starting up their vehicles while inebriated.”

“The installation of an ignition interlock device — so named because it blocks an engine from turning on when the driver’s Breathalyzer detects alcohol — is nearing the end of a pilot program in four California counties. If passed, SB1046 would replicate the program throughout the state and require future convicted offenders to buy the gadget.”


In 55 Years, The Sunset's Pick School of Ballroom Dancing Hasn't Missed A Beat // Hoodline

When Erin Pick, owner of Pick School of Ballroom Dancing, begins describing her passion for her craft, it’s easy to tell she means what she says by the rush of warmth that infuses her tone. It’s also immediately obvious that for her, dance is inextricably intertwined with another of her life’s great loves—her mother and the school's founder, famed competitive ballroom dancer Rhona Pick.

“It was all her, honestly,” says Erin. “She taught me a lot, and also, I used to watch her perform all the time. She was great. Growing up watching that level of dance is part of the reason I wasn’t interested in doing it for a long time, because it was such a high standard to achieve. But I worked very hard and have taken thousands of lessons. She pushed it, and I’m so glad she did.”