A top-ranking UC official was placed on administrative leave for abuse of power, ranging from severe nepotism to misappropriation of student fees.
CPR's Bob Moffit reports: "UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi has been placed on 'investigatory administrative leave' by University of California President Janet Napolitano."
"Napolitano's office released the following statement Wednesday evening:"
"Information has recently come to light that raises serious questions about whether Chancellor Katehi may have violated several University of California policies, including questions about the campus's employment and compensation of some of the chancellor's immediate family members, the veracity of the chancellor's accounts of her involvement in contracts related to managing both the campus's and her personal reputation on social media, and the potential improper use of student fees."
SEE ALSO: UC-Davis chancellor placed on administrative leave after revelations of ‘scrubbing’ Internet -- Fred Barbash in Washington Post; University of Redlands looks for a solution to diversity issues plaguing the school -- Sandra Emerson in Daily Bulletin.
The Bay Area's BART system comes under scrutiny after a stealth-installation of license plate reading cameras allows the agency to collect and store sensitive driver information with little oversight.
Erin Baldassari reports in Mercury News: "BART police have quietly purchased and installed two automatic license plate readers at the MacArthur station and hope to launch a pilot program with the aim of eventually installing the technology at every station."
"BART Deputy Police Chief Ben Fairow, who plans to present the pilot program to the transit agency's board of directors Thursday, said the automated license plate readers, a tool that has proliferated in police departments across the Bay Area, could be especially useful in solving property crimes. But privacy and civil rights advocates are concerned about how long BART will retain the collected data, how that data will be used, and who is being surveilled."
"BART first purchased two cameras from 3M in 2013 for $65,500, Fairow said. But it wasn't until late last year that those cameras were installed at the MacArthur station."
Bay Area residents love development and the growth it brings -- just as long as it doesn't happen on their turf.
Mercury News' George Avalos reporting: "Bay Area residents are all for more homes and plenty of them to help solve the region's housing affordability and traffic woes -- just not in their backyards."
"Amid record-high housing prices, a sturdy economy and brisk hiring, a new poll released Thursday shows that by a strong majority -- 60 percent -- residents prefer that housing be built not in the crowded nine-county region but outside the Bay Area in places such as Yolo County, San Joaquin County and San Benito County."
""NIMBY is alive and well, and maybe stronger than ever," said Russell Hancock, president of San Jose-based Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network, which tracks the regional economy and often advocates creation of affordable housing. "Many people say they are here in the Bay Area, and they don't want anybody else to get in."
Santa Clara police may have cost the county half a million dollars in court appointed damages after a Muslim family filed suit alleging trauma from racial profiling.
Mercury News' Jason Green reports: "The city will pay nearly $500,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging police illegally searched a Muslim family's home two times, among other violations."
"The Santa Clara City Council approved the settlement in a closed session Tuesday night."
"Mohammad Moneeb and his parents, Mohammad and Hazakat Ikram, claim that officers investigating the alleged theft of a $300 dashboard camera illegally entered and searched their home on the 1100 block of Lincoln Street around 1:15 a.m. on Feb. 10, 2014."
One of California's first Latin poll workers reflects on her career spanning over fifty years, as well as her plans for working the primary.
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin's David Montero reports: "Lucia Perez stood in front of Grape Street Elementary School in Watts and remembered how isolating democracy felt to her more than 52 years ago."
"She had just become eligible to vote and her father had marched her down to the Los Angeles County Registrar to get her registered. But Perez didn’t just want to vote. She decided she wanted to help others vote, too. So she volunteered to work as a poll worker."
"Election night was chilly. And not because of the weather."
Many hopeful candidates wishing to be the next Los Angeles County supervisor took to the podium Wednesday at a supervisorial debate in Pasadena, California.
Daily Bulletin's Brenda Gazzar writes: "The largest gas leak in U.S. history, the 710 Freeway gap and homelessness were among the issues that took center stage Wednesday night at a Los Angeles County District 5 supervisorial debate in Pasadena."
"The top six candidates vying to fill the seat of outgoing Supervisor Michael Antonovich gave concise answers on a range of issues asked by board members of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. The one-hour televised forum at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church was moderated by ABC7’s Marc Brown."
"All but one candidate — educator Darrell Park — opposed a tax increase or fee to get homeless people off the streets and provide them with services. Only one candidate, state Sen. Bob Huff, expressed strong support for closing the 4.5-mile 710 Freeway gap while the others expressed strong disapproval of continuing the freeway via a tunnel or said other things could be done to alleviate traffic."
It turns out the natural gas injection methods believed to be responsible for the Porter Ranch gas leak continue to be utilized by the same company to this day.
KPCC's Sharon McNary writes: "A Southern California Gas Company executive told state lawmakers this week that the company continues to use the same controversial method to inject and withdraw natural gas that has been cited as a possible cause for the uncontrolled, four-month gas leak near Porter Ranch."
"According to state records, as many as 51 wells in Playa del Rey, Santa Clarita and Goleta employ the method which uses both the inner tubing of a well and the the gap between the tubing and the outer metal casing to move gas in and out of an underground reservoir."
"Gas wells are like a straw within a straw. The inner tubing of a well, measuring about 2.5 inches across, is placed within a 7-inch metal casing, often surrounded by concrete. Injecting and withdrawing gas through both the inner tubing and the space between it and the outer casing is a fast way to move a large volume of gas quickly, but it has safety drawbacks."
San Diego County has discovered a charity that was siphoning tax dollars by charging the county for reimbursement on things not actually purchased.
Jeff McDonald reports in The Union-Tribune: "Mental Health Systems, a social-services charity that collects and spends millions of tax dollars each year, improperly directed public funds to its for-profit subsidiary and sought reimbursements from San Diego County for costs it did not pay, a county investigation has found."
"The San Diego nonprofit, one of the county’s largest contractors at more than $35 million a year, also withheld payments to doctors, vendors and employees in order to free up money for Novata CARES, the private for-profit company owned by Mental Health Systems, investigators said."
"While MHS prepared checks for all invoices received on a weekly basis, not all of the checks were released when written,” the audit said. “This practice violates generally accepted accounting principles because it results in understated liabilities and cash recorded on the books.”
And now from our "Under The Sea" file...
Researchers have long been tracking a phenomenon known as biofluoresence -- the ability for a select few fish to "glow" in the water. However, the miraculous process may involve far more fish than previously thought, and it may be the way fish 'speak' to one another.
Union-Tribune's Gary Robbins reports: "Scientists diving off La Jolla may have figured out why many fish glow, a mysterious phenomenon that’s proving to be far more common in the marine environment than anyone assumed."
"Researchers used a “shark-eye” camera to determine that swellsharks in Scripps Canyon could see each other glowing and probably use the light to communicate, possibly for such essential needs as mating."
"The sharks transform faint blue light in the ocean into a fluorescent green color, a natural process called biofluoresence. Humans can’t see the eerie glow unless they wear eye filters."
Sounds fishy ...