Stories you shouldn’t miss (sorry this is late, but we had some computer issues this morning):
1. UC students could face another 8 percent fee hike soon, on top of the huge 32 percent fee increase this year, the Chron reports. University of California regents will consider the new fee increase proposal from UC President Mark Yudof next week. Yudof said the fee hike is needed to make up for $1 billion in state budget cuts in the past few years. If the increase goes through, annual tuition for UC undergraduates will rise to $11,124 — about double what it was six years ago. The CSU system, meanwhile, is poised to raise student fees by 15 percent — five percent for the spring semester, and 10 percent next fall, the CoCo Times reports.
2. The PG&E executive in charge of the utility’s SmartMeter program apparently isn’t very smart. William Devereaux, a senior exec with the utility, attempted to infiltrate an online anti-SmartMeter group using the alias, “Ralph,” but was too clueless to realize that the e-mail address he used included his real name, the Chron and Mercury News report. The revelation means another PR disaster for the scandal-plagued utility.
3. John Burris, the lawyer representing Oscar Grant’s family, says he has asked the US Justice Department to file civil rights charges against Johannes Mehserle, the Trib reports. Grant’s family believes the ex-BART cop’s two-year sentence was far too lenient.
4. The Chron today provides new insight into the student sit-in at UC Berkeley’s Wheeler Hall last year, focusing on the case of a student who now faces a one-year suspension from the university. The newspaper notes that student Laura Zelko is unfairly being held to the campus’s new stricter code of conduct — and not the code that was in effect during the sit-in.
5. Ex-state Senator Don Perata remains confident that he’ll win the Oakland mayor’s race even though he’s currently running behind Councilwoman Jean Quan, the Chron reports. The Alameda County Registrar’s Office had planned to release updated results yesterday, but then changed course because there are still a few thousand provisional ballots left to count.