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[By Beat News Service | 14 Mar 2011 | No Comments]

LOS ANGELES — The chancellor of the University of California Los Angeles condemned a student’s videotaped racially charged rant that was posted onto YouTube.com and sparked an angry reply from Asian American groups after the video went viral over the weekend.

The student, identified by the school’s newspaper as Alexandra Wallace, criticized Asian students for using their phones in the library and made slapstick references to relatives affected by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami while in the library. 

[By Beat News Service | 27 Feb 2011 | 4 Comments]

It may be hard for you to believe, but San Francisco Police officers do not carry Taser guns, a rarity among law enforcement agencies across the nation who have opted to arm their sworn personnel with the popular less-than-lethal devices that proponents cite is a valuable tool in the police officer’s arsenal.

But critics of Tasers contend that police officers are far too liberal when it comes to the use of the stun guns, often using them in situations that do not warrant the use of force. They also claim that the effects of Tasers can turn deadly in many instances pointing to a number of subjects who have died in police custody after they were zapped by the devices.

[By California Beat | 12 Feb 2011 | 5 Comments]

The proposals presented this week are drastic: the elimination of more than half of train trips, cutting service short of Gilroy and Morgan Hill, shuttering seven underutilized stations and raising fares across the board.

That’s what it is going to take to save Caltrain from going further into the red, its leadership warned.

[By Beat News Service | 2 Feb 2011 | 6 Comments]

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors voted Tuesday to implement a payment program for MUNI drivers who park their cars at work. Transit operators must now purchase an $80 monthly parking pass to be able to park on transit yards and on MUNI property.

The city’s Department of Parking and Traffic officers will patrol the MUNI lots and will issue $55 citations to cars without valid placards. The DPT employees also work under the SFMTA umbrella — meaning the parking control officers would be ticketing co-workers over on the transit side of the organization.

[By California Beat | 29 Jan 2011 | 4 Comments]

Two fatal officer-involved shootings, lingering questions about the commitment of its police chief, and startling revelations about a communications meltdown between officers and emergency dispatchers during a dangerous chase last week have stoked public concern about the Oakland Police Department — an agency that appears to be functioning in crisis mode.

Police Chief Anthony Batts said Thursday that he was unsure if he would stay with the beleaguered department — one that has seen its uniformed force shrink from 805 officers when he began his tenure in 2009 to the 656 officers presently serving — after he was not chosen for the vacant police chief position in San Jose.

[By California Beat | 6 Jan 2011 | 4 Comments]
Bank of America: there is no "the" in BART or MUNI. (California Beat Photo)

In the Bay Area, it’s almost expected that where ever you go, you will meet people who are either new in town or visiting from another city. Sans the tourist guidebooks and pricey cameras dangling from around their necks, they can be pretty hard to spot.

But there’s a tell-tale way to figure out who’s a new transplant: if he or she refers to our public transportation systems as “the BART” or “the MUNI,” you’ve got yourself a Bay Area newbie.

[By California Beat | 23 Nov 2010 | 3 Comments]

It’s more San Francisco-bashing fodder for Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly to bring up: the Board of Supervisors overrode a veto from Mayor Gavin Newsom by an 8-3 vote Tuesday, turning controversial legislation that bans toys from being included in unhealthy fast food meals into a city law.

San Francisco joins Santa Clara County in implementing strict rules about the types of meals that can come with a toy. Only fast food restaurants serving kid’s meals with fewer calories, lower sodium and includes a fruit or vegetable entree can dish up a toy a la carte.

[By California Beat | 17 Oct 2010 | 6 Comments]

Today marks the 21st anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, a major 6.9 magnitude temblor that shook the entire San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California.

The earthquake leveled buildings — particularly in Downtown Santa Cruz and San Francisco’s Marina District — and brought down sections of the Bay Bridge and the Cypress freeway in Oakland.

[By Steven Luo | 29 Sep 2010 | One Comment]

John McCain, meet the incredible talking-points robot.

You could at least be forgiven for coming away with that impression from Tuesday night’s debate between gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown.

[By California Beat | 29 Sep 2010 | 15 Comments]

Was there a winner in the first gubernatorial debate between Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman at UC Davis Tuesday night?

The two traded barbs and spelled out exactly what they’d do to fix California (well, not really) if voters sent them to the Governor’s office in just under five weeks.