Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:
"San Francisco is poised to expand homeless services, increase its police force and spruce up neighborhoods under the proposed city budget announced by Mayor Ed Lee on Tuesday.
"The promise of more city services comes in a budget that grows by $700 million — up from $8.9 billion — to total $9.6 billion for the 2016-17 fiscal year beginning July 1."
"The mayors of San Francisco, Oakland and four other West Coast cities unveiled an agreement Wednesday to work together to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.
"Under the deal, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and their counterparts in Los Angeles; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; and Vancouver, B.C., will encourage widespread reporting of energy usage in large buildings in their cities and the use of zero-emission vehicles."
California Effort to Increase Police Transparency Dies in State Capitol // East Bay Times
"A legislative effort to open some law-enforcement personnel records up to public scrutiny died a quiet death in the Capitol last week.
"Under current law, police personnel files — including complaints filed against individual officers through internal-affairs units and independent civilian oversight agencies — are considered off-limits to the public. But Senate Bill 1286, authored by State Senator Mark Leno, would have mandated the release of substantiated complaints of civil-rights violations or excessive force. The bill also would have compelled the release of records of any death or serious injury involving a police officer, and would have asserted that confidentiality for police personnel records doesn't apply to documents held by civilian-oversight agencies."
"Pacific Gas & Electric Co. faced another financial hit for shoddy record keeping Wednesday as a state hearing officer recommended a $24.3 million penalty for lapses in natural gas records leading to a March 2014 explosion that destroyed an unoccupied cottage in Carmel.
"The penalty is much less than the $111.9 million fine recommended by the commission’s safety division, or the $652 million levy sought by officials in Carmel. If PG&E or anyone else contests Bushey’s assessment, it will go to the full commission for a vote."
What You Should Know About Sinkholes // Hoodline
"We've reported on a number of prominent sinkholes appearing in city streets recently. To find out more about what they are, how they occur, and what the city is doing about them, Hoodline talked to Jean Walsh, Communications Manager at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). We've put together an explainer to answer your questions.
"A sinkhole is a section of street that slowly or spontaneously drops downwards into a cavity below. In San Francisco the underlying cause is typically a compromised underground sewer or water pipe. It's easy to tell the difference: a broken water pipe will spray water everywhere; those are less common."
Humpback whales invade the bay in numbers not seen before // Marin Independent Journal
"Humpback whales are finding their way into San Francisco Bay this month in larger than normal numbers, astonishing researchers.
"Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary scientists recently completed a seven-day research voyage from Pescadero in San Mateo County to Salmon Creek in Sonoma County in which a record number of whales were seen just off the coast. As many as 60 humpbacks were counted each day — along with 10 blue whales — the highest volume seen since the trips started in 2004, said Jan Roletto, research coordinator for the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary."