"However, the Service Trades Council said Monday that Disney refuses to give employees at the Orlando theme park the bonuses until the union approves a new contract. "If the unionized employees do not accept Disney's offer by August 31, 'the bonus offer will expire,' " according to a news release from the trades council."
READ MORE related to Economy & Development: BART tells A's to forget about a new station at a waterfront ballpark -- The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS; Under Trump, consumer agency promises to do the bare minimum, and nothing more -- LA Times' DAVID LAZARUS; A stunning chart shows the true cause of the gender wage gap -- Vox's SARAH KLIFF
Are ultra-low mortgage rates going away? What higher interest rates could mean for homebuyers
Sacramento Bee's HUDSON SANGREE: "Mortgage rates hit a four-year high late last week, and it’s looking like the years of ultra-low-cost home loans are coming to an end, experts said."
"I would say this has been a long time coming,” said Dan Starelli, head of Guild Mortgage in Sacramento. “We’ve had interest rates dropping for decades. I think we hit bottom. I don’t think we’ll see rates in the 3s again."
"Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages now hover in the 4.5 percent range after a run-up over the past month that was prompted by stock market volatility and strong signs of economic growth."
READ MORE related to Housing & Homelessness: For David Carter, the federal judge at center of clash between OC officials and riverbed homeless, his roll-up-his-sleeves style is nothing new -- LA Times' CHRISTOPHER GOFFARD
UC Hastings expansion will add housing, bring YMCA back to Tenderloin
The Chronicle's JK DINEEN: "UC Hastings College of the Law is embarking on an aggressive expansion of its Tenderloin campus, a five-year project that will include not only new housing and academic buildings, but also a three-level YMCA the school hopes will help strengthen connections with the hardscrabble neighborhood it has long called home."
"Next month, Hastings plans to start construction on the first piece of a long-planned campus makeover, a $58 million, 55,000-square-foot academic building to be erected on a vacant lot the school owns at 333 Golden Gate Ave., between Larkin and Hyde streets."
"That new building will set three projects in motion. Once the new academic building opens in late 2019, Hastings will knock down an existing 1953 structure known as Snodgrass Hall and replace it with a 14-story, 592-unit residential tower that will be split between students from the law school and from UCSF. In addition, Hastings will renovate an existing residential structure at 100 McAllister St."
READ MORE related to Education: Elite or elitist? Why there are so few African-American and Latin-American students in high school AP classes -- Sacramento Bee's ANITA CHABRIA/DIANA LAMBERT; 'Big data' classes a big hit in California high schools -- EdSource's CAROLYN JONES; Countdown to expand ban on 'willful defiance' suspensions in California schools -- EdSource's DAVID WASHBURN
Health care workers to protest possible Kaiser plan to layoff call center employees
SGV Tribune's KEVIN SMITH: "Hundreds of health care workers are expected to gather Wednesday at Kaiser Permanente‘s Baldwin Park facility to protest the provider’s alleged plan to lay off 300 call center employees and move their jobs to other areas of California where the pay is lower."
"The SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West union, which represents more than 55,000 Kaiser employees in California, including 2,149 at Kaiser Baldwin Park, claims the health care organization is planning to lay off those employees plus another 160 call center workers in Woodland Hills and 192 more at its Los Angeles Medical Center."
"The nonprofit plans to move the jobs to Riverside, Fontana and San Diego, the union said, where the positions would pay $2 per hour less, the union says."
Teen girls had no IDs and one-way first class tickets. Why that alarmed airline employee
Sacramento Bee's BENJY EGEL: "Quick thinking from an American Airlines employee at Sacramento International Airport likely saved two teenage girls from lives in captivity."
"American Airlines customer service agent Denice Miracle knew something was awry when two girls from the Vacavillle-Fairfield area, ages 17 and 15, came to her ticket counter on Aug. 31. The girls had no identification, were unaccompanied by adults and had two first-class tickets booked by another person with a fraudulent credit card, according to an airline news release."
"Between the two of them, they had a bunch of small bags. It seemed to me as if they were running away from home,” Miracle said in the release. “They kept looking at each other in a way that seemed fearful and anxious. I had a gut feeling that something just wasn’t right."
New command center strives to tackle homeless issues more quickly in SF
The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA: "Given the intensifying urgency of San Francisco’s homelessness crisis, it’s perhaps fitting that the vanguard of the city’s efforts to bring people off the streets is now based in the same building where officials and first responders gather together to confront major emergencies."
"For the past month, a quintet of municipal departments has been working side by side within the Department of Emergency Management on Turk Street. Their task has been to create a central hub for the city’s attempts to respond to nonemergency homelessness complaints and to better connect those living on the streets to health and housing services."
"The new project is an exercise in cooperation among city departments designed to respond to and resolve homelessness-related complaints more rapidly. The San Francisco Police Department, Public Works, Department of Public Health, Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing and the city’s 311 system make up the core of what’s been called the Healthy Streets Operations Center. But the project is also receiving support from the city controller, city administrator and the Mayor’s Office of Housing."
Witnesses in Sacramento terror case testify from Pakistan in rare late-night court session
Sacramento Bee's STEPHEN MAGAGNINI: "In what legal experts are calling one of the first cases of its kind, a Sacramento federal courtroom stayed open until 10 p.m. two nights last week to take live video testimony from Pakistani witnesses 7,353 miles away."
"All four Pakistanis testified as alibi witnesses in the evidentiary hearing on whether to free Lodi cherry picker Hamid Hayat, who has spent 12 years in prison after being convicted in 2006 of lying to the FBI and providing assistance to terrorists."
"Hayat’s legal team, led by criminal appellate specialist Dennis Riordan, has been fighting for years to prove that he never attended a terrorist camp in Pakistan and was coerced into confessing during two days of grueling interrogation by the FBI."
SoCal freeway may dedicate a lane for electric vehicles -- and charge them while they travel
Mercury News' STEVE SCAUZILLO: "As part of a $6 billion widening of the 710 Freeway, a Metro committee is asking the transit agency to add a lane dedicated to electric vehicles — cars, buses and trucks — which would use wireless power transmission pads placed in the roadway to recharge their batteries as they travel."
"While wireless charging is being used at transit yards, including in the Antelope Valley to power electric buses, the notion of a freeway lane embedded with devices that continuously recharge a moving vehicle’s battery pack would be a first in the United States."
"I think the technology exists or is about to exist, so we can have both long-haul trucks as well as cars be zero-emission,” Janice Hahn, county supervisor and board member for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Monday. “I believe the market will respond to Metro creating that policy."
Biden, in public and private, tiptoes toward a 2020 run
AP's JOSH LEDERMAN: "Former Vice President Joe Biden is tiptoeing toward a potential presidential run in 2020, even broaching the possibility during a recent gathering of longtime foreign policy aides."
"Huddled in his newly opened office steps from the U.S. Capitol, Biden began a planning meeting for his new diplomacy center by addressing the elephant in the room. He said he was keeping his 2020 options open, considering it a real possibility. He insisted he had made no decision, and didn't need to yet, according to five people who either attended the meeting or were briefed on it by those who did."
"Biden also expressed interest in bringing those in the room onto his team if he decides to launch a campaign. At the same time, he gave them an out: There would be no hard feelings if they decided they were content in their current roles outside of government, said the people, who demanded anonymity to discuss a private meeting."
Former Trump aide Richard Gates to plead guilty; agrees to testify against Manafort, sources say
LA Times' DAVID WILLMAN: "A former top aide to Donald Trump's presidential campaign will plead guilty to fraud-related charges within days — and has made clear to prosecutors that he would testify against Paul Manafort, the lawyer-lobbyist who once managed the campaign."
"The change of heart by Trump's former deputy campaign manager Richard Gates, who had pleaded not guilty after being indicted in October on charges similar to Manafort's, was described in interviews by people familiar with the case."
"Rick Gates is going to change his plea to guilty,'' said a person with direct knowledge of the new developments, adding that the revised plea will be presented in federal court in Washington "within the next few days."
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'It's not a war. It's a massacre.' More than 100 killed in Assad regime hospital-barrell bombing campaign in Syrian enclave.
The Guardian's KAREEM SHAHEEN: "Pro-regime forces continued to bombard the opposition-controlled enclave of eastern Ghouta in Syria on Tuesday, leaving dozens dead, after more than 100 people were killed and hundreds wounded on a day of “hysterical” violence on Monday."
"The surge in the killing came amid reports of an impending regime incursion into the area outside Damascus, which is home to 400,000 civilians. More than 700 people have been killed in three months, according to local counts, not including the deaths in the last week."
"Five hospitals were also bombed on Monday in eastern Ghouta, which was once the breadbasket of Damascus but has been under siege for years by the government of Bashar al-Assad and subjected to devastating chemical attacks. Two hospitals suspended operations and one has been put out of service."
READ MORE related to Syria: Russia's Foreign Ministry says ''several dozens'' of Russians hospitalized after being injured in fighting in Syria -- AP