"The city plans five-day-a-week cleanups and increased police presence in “special enforcement zones” around a network of 15 shelters it hopes to build by the middle of next year."
"Wednesday was to have been the first day of the stepped-up enforcement around the first shelter, El Puente, which opened a month ago across from Union Station."
New SF school board president skips Pledge of Allegiance at first meeting
The Chronicle's JILL TUCKER: "For the first time in memory, the San Francisco school board bypassed the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of its meeting Tuesday night, a purposeful omission by the board’s new president."
"Stevon Cook, presiding over his first meeting, said he had been mulling over the idea of replacing the recitation of the pledge after he was elected to lead the board following the departure of former President Hydra Mendoza two weeks ago."
"He told only a few board members prior to Tuesday’s meeting, and instead of asking people to stand and recite the pledge, he read a quote from poet Maya Angelou: “When you learn, teach. When you get, give."
Nervous Dems ask: Could Election Day disaster strike again?
McClatchy DC's ALEX ROARTY: "It was this week two years ago that Hillary Clinton’s victory looked assured, when the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape of Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault appeared all but certain to end his campaign."
"Jesse Ferguson remembers it well. The deputy press secretary for Clinton’s campaign also remembers what happened a month later."
"It’s why this veteran Democratic operative can’t shake the feeling that, as promising as the next election looks for his party, it might still all turn out wrong."
Postal Service proposes 5-cent increase to first-class stamp
AP: "The U.S. Postal Service is seeking to increase the price of its first-class stamp by 5 cents to 55 cents to help stem its mounting red ink."
"If approved by regulators, the 10 percent increase to the cost of mailing a 1-ounce letter would be the biggest since 1991. The price of each additional ounce would go down, from 21 cents to 15 cents."
"The proposed increase would take effect in January. It comes as President Donald Trump has criticized the Postal Service for "losing a fortune" by not charging higher shipping rates for online retailers such as Amazon.com."
California adults need help to finish college
EdSource's LARRY GORDON: "Millions of Californians who began their college education but never finished deserve special support and policy changes to help get them across the finish line later in life, a new report urges."
"The study from the non-partisan California Competes organization estimates that 4 million Californians, ages 25 to 64, earned some college credits at various times but no associate or bachelor’s degrees and are not in school now. As a result, their employment and financial prospects have suffered and they face “diminishing opportunities in labor markets that increasingly rely on workers with degrees,” said the report entitled “Back to College: California’s Imperative to Re-Engage Adults."
"The report found that those adults with some college but no degree are significantly less likely to earn more than $75,000 a year compared to those who have at least an associate degree from a community college. Only 14 percent of those who didn’t finish their degrees earn in that upper income bracket, compared to 36 percent of those who have degrees (and 5 percent of those with just high school or less)."
The Bay Area's Year of #MeToo
The Chronicle's RYAN KOST: "On Oct. 15, 2017, after weeks of news reports about sexual assault allegations by dozens of women being leveled at Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men, survivors took to social media to say #MeToo. It was a rallying cry, one of empathy, for those who had experienced sexual assault and harassment to share their stories and encourage others to do so as well."
"While the hashtag gained life after actress Alyssa Milano used it to share her own story, those words of solidarity had been used to comfort survivors for years. Activist Tarana Burke has been using them since 2006 to empower women who had experienced sexual abuse — particularly women of color in underprivileged communities."
"The hashtag brought with it a year full of allegations that would see men in multiple fields — politics, arts, education, comedy — finally held accountable for their actions."
GOP at risk of losing several key governorships at a crucial political moment
LA Times's EVAN HALPER: "Running in a place where Republicans dominate state government and Donald Trump won in 2016, Michigan Atty. Gen. Bill Schuette might have expected an easier path to victory in the upcoming governor’s race."
"But at a recent midday press conference on the fringes of downtown Detroit, his allies were outnumbered by protesters outside, who shouted that the GOP nominee should “Go home!,” banged on building windows and hoisted a giant puppet of him scowling. Schuette is trailing badly in polls."
Disappearance of journalist puts Saudi prince, a Trump ally, under a dark cloud
LA Times's LAURA KING/NABIH BULOS/UMAR FAROOQ: "It was only six months ago that Saudi Arabia's young crown prince was feted in Hollywood and Silicon Valley, Manhattan and Washington as a reformist monarch-in-waiting, already putting a modernist stamp on an intensely traditional – and fabulously wealthy – desert kingdom."
"Now the image of 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is tarnished by growing suspicion of Saudi state involvement in what may have been a brutal assassination of a critic. And the deepening mystery leaves the Trump administration, which has embraced the House of Saud more warmly than has any other Western leader, in an increasingly awkward spot."
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