1. The City of Oakland will soon begin issuing municipal identification cards to residents who may otherwise have difficulty in obtaining proper IDs, the Trib reports. Under the program authored by Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente and Mayor-elect Jean Quan, the municipal IDs also will work as debit cards — a nationwide first. The municipal IDs also will be honored by Oakland cops, and city officials hope that the IDs will encourage people who witness crimes or are crime victims to cooperate with police officers.
2. The state Supreme Court turned down a request by the SF Weekly to review a $20 million-plus judgment won by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Chron reports. The ruling essentially means that the Guardian has won its case against the SF Weekly, after proving in court that the Weekly illegally sold ads at below-cost in order to put the Guardian out of business. However, the Guardian is still fighting with the Weekly’s parent company, Village Voice Media, on how to collect on its judgment.
3. The Oakland-based California Nurses Association has become a power-broker in California politics, the Chron notes. The union has been unafraid of playing political hardball and its army of nurses has grown into a powerful force in the state. The union helped elect Jerry Brown as governor, funding attack ads against Meg Whitman, and assisting her illegal immigrant ex-housekeeper to come forward during the campaign.
4. The conservative Westlands Water District in the Central Valley may have torpedoed a state plan to protect the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The Chron reports that the district is refusing to help pay for further studies of the plan because of alleged attempts by the Obama administration to protect endangered species in the Delta. Some politicians believe that the water district is hoping that the Republican-controlled Congress will help it obtain more water. But some environmentalists suspect that the water district realizes that the delta plan is environmentally flawed and is bailing out because it won’t get the water it wants.
5. And a Toyota Prius used by Mayor-elect Jean Quan was booted yesterday because the car allegedly had more than $1,000 in parking tickets, the Chron reports. However, after the paper started making inquiries, the boot was removed possibly because Quan, or her husband, Floyd Huen, who owns the car, apparently paid off the tickets.