Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. Jerry Brown wants to eliminate local redevelopment agencies as part of his plan to close the state’s $28 billion budget gap, the Sacramento Bee reports. The plan also would kill Oakland’s proposal for a new ballpark for the A’s in Jack London Square, because the stadium project requires redevelopment money for land acquisition and infrastructure upgrades. Under Brown’s proposal, local redevelopment agencies, which are designed to transform blighted urban areas, would cease to exist. Oakland has numerous redevelopment areas, and Brown used them to help revitalize parts of the city when he was mayor. It’s unclear whether Brown’s proposal would require voter approval. He also is proposing to eliminate “enterprise zones” — depressed areas where businesses receive tax breaks.
2. Brown will be sworn-in today as governor in a low-key affair that will include free hot dogs, the CoCo Times reports. In Oakland, Jean Quan will be sworn-in as mayor at the historic Fox Theater in the city’s uptown district, which Brown helped revitalize with tens of millions in redevelopment money. Quan will become Oakland’s first woman and first Asian-American mayor.
3. In one of his last acts as governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted the prison sentence of the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez in connection with the fatal stabbing of a young East Bay man, the Chron and CoCo Times report. Schwarzenegger lowered the prison stint for Esteban Nunez from sixteen years to seven years, saying that Nunez’s sentence was too long because he was not the person who fatally stabbed Luis Dos Santos of Concord.
4. As Schwarzenegger leaves office, the Chron reports that the governor failed to expand the state’s prison system as authorized by a $7.4 billion bond measure approved by voters in 2007. However, some critics of the bond measure, including the state prison guards’ union, say that Brown should reexamine whether many of the proposed prison expansion projects that never got done are necessary.
5. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley has decided not to appeal a judge’s decision to dismiss the gun enhancement conviction of ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle in the fatal shooting of train-rider Oscar Grant, the Trib reports.
6. And sport-fishing for salmon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta may be a thing of the past, the CoCo Times reports.