Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. The BART board of directors voted 8-1 to approve contracts with two of the transit agency’s largest unions, thereby greatly lessening the possibility of another strike, CoCo Times$ reports. The agreements now must be ratified by the unions’ rank-and-file members. The membership had approved an earlier contract agreement but the BART board rejected it, contending that its negotiating team had mistakenly agreed to a paid family leave benefit. Under the revised deal, that benefit is dropped in exchange for other concessions.
2. A judge has ordered San Francisco City College to remain open until a state accrediting commission can prove in a court trial that the institution should close, the Chron reports. Judge Curtis Karnow also expressed doubts that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges would win its case against the CCSF. San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who sued to keep the college open, noted that it was stacked with panelists who want to block students from attending community colleges unless they’re seeking a four-year degree.
3. ICYMI: Oakland civil rights and labor attorney Dan Siegel, who is a longtime friend of and former adviser to Mayor Jean Quan, announced that he’s running against her for mayor this year, the Trib$ reported earlier this week. Siegel, a progressive, had a falling out with Quan after her administration’s harsh crackdown on Occupy Oakland in 2011.
4. ICYMI: Oakland finished the year with the fewest number of homicides since 2004, the Trib$ reported earlier this week. Violent crime was down in the city in every major category except robberies.
5. And the state Supreme Court ruled that a Chico man, who is an undocumented resident, can get his law license — but he’ll have to be a independent contractor because law firms are prohibited from hiring him, the Mercury News$ reports.