Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday Must Read: CSU Tuition Now Twice What It Cost in 2007; California Leads Nation in Green Jobs

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The California State University board approved a 12 percent tuition hike, raising annual student fees to $6,422 — double what it was just four years ago, the Chron and CoCo Times report. The new fee hike for this fall comes on top of a 10 percent increase that was already approved, meaning tuition will be more than 20 percent higher than last year. The massive fee hikes are the result of $650 million in cuts to the CSU system this year by Governor Jerry Brown and the state Democrats to balance the state budget. The huge tuition increases also are making it increasingly difficult for low-and middle-income students to get a college degree in California.

2. California continues to lead the nation in green jobs, according to a new study from the Brookings Institution, the LA Times and Mercury News report. Statewide, 320,000 people are employed in green jobs, and nationwide, the clean economy employs 2.7 million people — more than the fossil fuels industry. But the new study is sure to spark controversy because it uses an expansive definition of green jobs to include mass transit and green waste management.

3. PG&E says it has backed off its assertion in court that victims of the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion are partially responsible for it, the Chron and Merc report. But a lawyer who represents blasts victims says PG&E’s amended court filings still include legal language that seeks to spread blame to the victims. PG&E also says money it has paid out to victims so far has “no strings attached” and does not preclude them from suing the utility for more damages.

4. The City of Berkeley had to shut down its family camp near Yosemite National Park for the second year in a row because of a stomach virus outbreak, the Chron reports. A highly contagious norovirus sickened about 75 people at Berkeley Tuolumne Camp. There was also a stomach illness outbreak in nearby Camp Mather, run by the City of San Francisco, but the camp remained open.

5. People who drink diet soda are much more likely to get fat than those who don’t, the Merc reports, citing a new study. The study found that diet soda drinkers, on average, end up with waistlines three times larger than of those who avoid them. Researchers theorize that diet soda drinkers may be eating higher-calorie foods because they think they’re saving calories by drinking diet soda. They also say that diet soda increases the body’s need for high-fat, sugary foods because it tastes so sweet.

6. And Netflix announced a big spike in its monthly fees yesterday, and will now charge more to customers who stream video from its web site, the Merc reports.

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