San Francisco Chronicle

Energy plan calls for big renewables projects in state’s deserts

By Carolyn Lochhead Industrial-scale solar, wind and geothermal projects could be built within a few miles of national parks in the California desert as part of the Obama and Brown administrations’ efforts to combat climate change, under a mammoth plan released by federal and state officials Tuesday. Construction of the plants, many of which could […]

October 02, 2014 | Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

UC to create $250 million venture capital fund

By Stephanie M. Lee Seeking to boost entrepreneurship, the University of California will create a $250 million venture capital fund to invest in inventions developed by students and faculty. The UC Board of Regents voted Wednesday to start the fund, which will support work at the system’s 10 campuses, five medical centers, three national laboratories […]

September 19, 2014 | Posted in Local News | Tagged ,

Sick-pay benefits expanded to millions

By Melody Gutierrez SACRAMENTO — Millions of Californians will begin earning paid sick days under a bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown that makes the Golden State the second in the nation to require the benefit. The law takes effect in July and will help 40 percent of the workforce in California, employees largely in […]

September 16, 2014 | Posted in State government | Tagged ,

Judges impose $1.4B penalty for San Bruno blast

By Jaxon Van Derbeken Pacific Gas and Electric Co. must pay a record $1.4 billion in fines and other penalties for more than 3,700 violations of pipeline safety laws leading up to the deadly San Bruno natural-gas explosion, two administrative law judges said Tuesday. The California Public Utilities Commission judges levied a $950 million fine […]

September 03, 2014 | Posted in Crime, Fire + Courts | Tagged ,

Small wineries suffer big losses in quake

By Peter Fimrite NAPA — The wine is flowing, grapes are being picked and Napa Valley vineyards are open for business, but it could take most of this week before the real victims of last week’s earthquake — small specialty wineries — finish tallying their damage. The crowds of carousing tourists in the valley are masking a […]

August 31, 2014 | Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

Bay Bridge project’s rainy-day money is nearly gone

By Jaxon Van Derbeken The cost of repairs and unfinished work on the $6.4 billion Bay Bridge eastern span is likely to exhaust what is left in the project’s contingency fund for overruns, a Caltrans official warned Thursday. “We’re trending in the wrong direction,” Rich Foley, risk manager for the Caltrans toll bridge program, told […]

August 31, 2014 | Posted in Transportation | Tagged ,

Bay Area for-profit colleges shut down

By John Coté A San Jose for-profit college company closed its doors last Monday, including its schools in San Francisco, Hayward and Los Angeles, according to the state Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. BioHealth College in San Jose, which also operates Bryman College locations in the three other California cities, shut down 10 days after […]

August 05, 2014 | Posted in Local News | Tagged ,

As farmland subsides, aquifer worries mount

By Kevin Fagan LOS BANOS — Case Vlot pulls up groundwater through deep wells to keep his corn and alfalfa crops alive. Chase Hurley runs a water company nearby that sells river water to farmers who can’t depend on wells. Normally, the two would rarely talk to each other. But that was before the drought, […]

July 31, 2014 | Posted in Local News | Tagged ,

California climate change policies to hit our pocketbooks

By David R. Baker In California’s fight against global warming, consumers may soon suffer their first hit. Come January, gasoline and other fuels will for the first time fall under the state’s cap-and-trade system for reining in greenhouse gas emissions. Prices at the pump could rise as a result. Until now, the state’s efforts to […]

July 25, 2014 | Posted in Local News | Tagged ,

Racial diversity crucial to drug trials, treatments

By Victoria Colliver As a nurse practitioner, Phyllis Howard understands the value of clinical trials in testing new drugs or treatment protocols. But as an African-American woman, she was leery about the idea of being a test subject. “I considered it being experimented on,” said Howard, 56, of her initial reaction to a suggestion by […]

July 23, 2014 | Posted in Local News | Tagged ,

Regents OK med school dean’s promotion to UCSF chancellorship

SAN FRANCISCO — The University of California regents on Thursday confirmed Dr. Sam Hawgood as the new chancellor of UC San Francisco, where he has served as dean of the School of Medicine and interim chancellor. Hawgood, 61, identified last week as UC President Janet Napolitano’s top choice for the job, will fill the role […]

July 18, 2014 | Posted in UC Davis | Tagged ,

Berkeley pushes for cancer warning stickers on cell phones

By Carolyn Jones Berkeley, undaunted by abandoned efforts in San Francisco, is attempting to become the first city in the nation to require retailers to put stickers on cell phone packaging warning people that the devices may emit cancer-causing radiation. City officials say they have learned from San Francisco’s similar attempt in 2010, which ended […]

July 22, 2014 | Posted in Local News | Tagged ,

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