New express lanes opening on I-580 // San Jose Mercury News
“Bay Area drivers, the era of highway express lanes is dawning.
“Starting this month, a 14-mile stretch of carpool lanes that will double as toll lanes -- allowing solo drivers to use them for a price -- will open on Interstate 580 from Dublin to Livermore.
“It's only the beginning. In the next couple of years toll lanes will be added to Interstate 680 in Contra Costa County and I-880 in the East Bay and extended on Highway 237. Within another decade, about 300 miles worth of toll lanes will be rolled out in the region, including Highways 85 and 101 in the South Bay.”
BART security: Less than one-quarter of BART's cars had working cameras // Bay Area News Group
“Only 151 of BART's 669 passenger rail cars -- or 23 percent -- were equipped with operating security cameras as of Jan. 15, according to information released Tuesday from the Oakland-based transportation agency.
“Those and other specific numbers were released to the San Francisco Chronicle through a public records request and shared with other media Tuesday. BART said last month it plans to install working security cameras on all its trains.”
“Richmond now boasts the first emergency dispatch center in Northern California to accept 911 texting, but officials warn that in most cases the finger-typing smartphone messages are no substitute for old-fashioned landline voice calls.
“Dispatchers believe the new system will be particularly helpful to people with hearing or speech impairments, who previously had to go through a third party to report emergencies. Victims of domestic violence or kidnapping also may benefit from the texting option, but dispatchers urge the community at large to use the service only in instances when a voice call would put their lives in peril.
“‘We’ve all gotten calls where someone says something like, “I can’t talk right now, Aunt Betty,” and we know something’s not right,’ said Michael Lusk, a Richmond Police Department dispatcher who has taken about six 911 text messages since the service went live at the end of January. In situations where callers are not at liberty to describe aloud what’s happening, he said, texting may prove useful.”
“A San Francisco neighborhood is in an uproar over the plan to open a sex offender treatment clinic.
“The original opening date was February 1st, which was then pushed to February 9th. Now it's unclear whether it can open at all at a proposed site at 100 Church in the Duboce Triangle neighborhood.”
President Obama's computer education plan is launched in Oakland // San Jose Mercury News
“The nation's chief technology officer came to Skyline High School in Oakland Monday to help launch a new initiative by President Obama to promote computer science education for all students, regardless of their race, gender or income.
“U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith told students at a computer lab class at Skyline that getting an education in the field provides "a great economic opportunity" because there currently are 600,000 jobs available in the technology field and they pay 50 percent more than the average salary.”
Rent hike means San Francisco nuns may lose home, soup kitchen // Los Angeles Times
“Nuns who serve this city’s homeless population are in danger of getting kicked out of their home after a rent hike of more than 50%, another example of the struggle to balance soaring living costs in a booming economy.
“The sisters of the Fraternite Notre Dame Mary of Nazareth Soup Kitchen said Tuesday that they can't afford the rent increase from $3,465 to $5,500 a month and have asked their landlord for more time to find a cheaper place to feed the hungry.”