Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. The University of California is considering a proposal to charge higher tuition at popular campuses, such as Cal and UCLA, than at other schools in the system, the LA Times reports. Advocates of the proposal say that market demand should play a role in setting tuition and that the extra money raised could still be shared among the entire 10-campus system. But opponents say it would splinter unity within UC and promote elitism.
2. Urban farming pioneer Novella Carpenter plans to reopen her Oakland urban farm stand now that she has raised the $2,500 needed to pay city permitting fees, the Chron reports. Carpenter also advocates an overhaul in city planning rules to make it easier for residents to grow vegetables and livestock on their property and sell, barter, or give away food.
3. Teachers throughout California plan to hold rallies and demonstrations this week to pressure the state Legislature into approving tax-extension measures in order to avoid devastating budget cuts to education, the Chron reports. Teachers want the legislature to pass Governor Brown’s tax proposals without going to voters, but their plan still requires four GOP votes — two each in the assembly and senate — and Republicans have been united in opposition to the tax plan.
4. President Obama said last night on 60 Minutes that he ordered the operation to get Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani compound even though there was no concrete evidence that the terrorist leader was there, AP reports. The president said that the risks of a failed mission were outweighed by the possibility “of us finally getting our man.” But he acknowledged that the mission might have been “the longest forty minutes” of his life.
5. The US Chamber of Commerce is working hard behind the scenes to convince President Obama to not sign an executive order that would require government contractors to disclose political donations that they can now keep secret, the LA Times reports. The chamber says it’s a First Amendment issue, but it also knows that corporations that do business with the government may stop funneling tens of millions of dollars through the chamber for political causes, most of them conservative, if Obama signs the order.
6. An increasing number of homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages are turning to bankruptcy court to eliminate costly second mortgages, the Mercury News reports.
7. California children who were conceived in March have a higher rate of autism, leading researchers to conclude that springtime pesticide use may be increasing the risk for birth defects, California Watch reports, citing a new UC Davis study.
8. And Apple’s brand name is now the most valuable in the world, climbing to $153.3 billion last year, Bloomberg reports, citing a new report.