Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Must Reads: Cost of Warriors Planned SF Arena Soars; Sierra Snowpack at All-Time Low

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The pricetag for the Golden State Warriors’ proposed new arena on the San Francisco waterfront continues to skyrocket and team owners acknowledge the increased costs will delay the project, the Chron reports. The cost to repair piers, which would only ready the site for construction, has climbed to at least $180 million. The $1 billion-plus project, which includes condo and hotel towers, also must go before city voters.

The Warriors proposed new home in San Francisco.
  • The Warriors' proposed new home in San Francisco.
2. The Sierra snowpack is at an all-time low for this time of year, and stands at just 12 percent of normal as the state’s historic drought continues to intensify, the LA Times$ reports.

3. Bay Area school districts have dramatically reduced the number of suspensions of students by adopting restorative justice programs that emphasize keeping kids in school and problem-solving, the Mercury News$ reports. School suspensions dropped 29 percent in Oakland last year and 43 percent in San Leandro.

4. The US Labor Department has launched a probe of the Oakland Raiders’ treatment of cheerleaders, following a lawsuit filed by a Raiderette who said the team pays them less than $5 an hour in violation of minimum wage laws, the Chron reports.

5. Jill Broadhurst, executive director of an Oakland landlords’ group, announced that she’s running for city council this year to replace Libby Schaaf, who is giving up her seat to run for mayor, the Trib$ reports.

6. A state appeals court has ruled that tenants living in a building that goes through foreclosure cannot be evicted until their lease expires, the Chron reports. Many tenants were evicted — apparently illegally — in recent years during the foreclosure crisis.

7. An independent — and highly critical — report has concluded that Caltrans needs sweeping reforms, the SacBee$ reports. The report found that Caltrans is much too focused on building highways rather than working to improve mass transit and increase urban density, and that the department fosters a “culture of fear” within its ranks.

8. And liberal Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman of Southern California announced that he’s retiring from office at the end of this year. Waxman was a longtime champion of healthcare reform and environmental issues.

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