Tuesday Must Reads: Brown Sets Climate Change Goals; State Political Watchdog Issued Record Number of Fines in 2014

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Governor Jerry Brown said he will seek to reduce the use of fossil fuels in cars by 50 percent in the next fifteen years as part his plan for addressing climate change, the SacBee$ reports. But environmentalists, demonstrating outside of Brown’s inauguration, mocked the governor for his support of fracking in California. Brown also said he would seek to address the state’s $67 billion infrastructure backlog, but offered no plan on how to do so.

2. The California Fair Political Practices Commission issued a record number of fines for ethics violations by public officials last year: 332, the LA Times$ reports. The FPPC also issued 673 warning letters to public officials who violated state ethics laws.

[jump] 3. The Oakland City Council voted 6-1-1 to elect Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney as the panel’s president despite her ethics troubles. Gibson McElhaney failed to file her campaign finance reports last year in violation of city and state laws and failed to pay her state and/or federal taxes for five out of seven years from 2006 to 2012.

4. Several restaurants in Oakland, Berkeley, and other Bay Area cities are now charging customers a 15 percent service fee, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. The restaurants are then spreading the funds to all employees.

5. US Senator Dianne Feinstein is moving forward with plans to outlaw torture by CIA officials in the wake of her sweeping report on harsh interrogation methods used by US officials, the Chron reports.

6. Safeway has agreed to pay a $9.87 million fine for improperly disposing of hazardous waste materials, the Chron reports.

7. And Oakland’s new mayor Libby Schaaf was sworn into office yesterday, along with new council members Annie Campbell-Washington and Abel Guilen.

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